Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Dreaded Phone Call

While I am extremely tired and ready to retire for the day, I know I SHOULD write - so I will. Today I got a phone call from daycare - Ms. Toni - who left a message saying, "I'm calling your cellphone because it's not an emergency BUT......I wanted to tell you that Ella bit somone again today, actually she bit me....AND..it broke through my jeans and actually broke skin!" Hmm....well I am happy I missed that call, how embarrassing. I honestly have no idea how to respond to something like that. Apparently she thought Ella was going to give her a hug and love and instead just bit her in the leg. Needless to say, tonight we made an apology card for Ms. Toni.

Last week (Thursday) we had parent teacher conferences, yes even at a year and a half. In the beginning I thought they were going to be a waste of time, what can they honestly tell me that I don't already know?!? However, I am eating crow now because I really look forward to each meeting and learn a lot of things that I didn't know. Ms. Toni shared a lot of humorous stories with us i.e. Ella helps the younger kids learn their sign language by physically putting their hands together for them to make the motions. Or - Ella is very into routine and was very upset that one of the other daddies started to bring his little boy 10 minutes early which meant that they had to wait to go to breakfast, which did not make Ella happy - go figure, don't mess with that girls food!

We also go over typical developmental things for kids in her age range. Everything was right on track but they were a bit concerned that she may be behind the other kids in speech development. Currently Ella only says Mama and Hi clearly. She tries other words like Narley (random I know), more, milk, sorry, etc.

She is extremely good at repeating and mimicking sounds - she is just not good at physically producing the words. So we are going to have her observed by a speech pathologist just so we can make sure she stays on track and doesn't fall farther behind. I have no doubt in my mind that she will be fine - she is a strong little fighter and doesn't let anything stand in her way.

On Friday last week we had our first daycare fieldtrip to the zoo. Ella loves the zoo and making all the animal noises, so Joe and I both took the morning off to go along and see Ella enjoy her time with her friends. Ella was a bit confused in that fact that all of her friends from daycare actually didn't live at daycare - it was pretty funny. She acted as if, "Hey - how did you guys know I was coming here? And...how do you know my parents?" Overall, I think everyone had a great time, we especially enjoyed riding the carousel for the first time. I think it's the first time I have seen Ella emotionless - she just stared the entire time, as if she were on drugs. Here are a few pics from the day.

Top Pic: Hans, Ella, Elliot - patiently waiting for the tiger to come.
Third Pic:  Jacob, Hans, Ms. Eva, Ella, Anabelle, Elliot, Jenna, Ms. Toni, Carter
Fourth Pic: Ella's first carousel ride with daddy.

BTW - I have not forgot that I promised to continue Ella's story - and I will, just not now.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not So Bad After All!

As you all know, I have openly stated that this blog thing is an eery place for me right now and I am still getting comfortable writing openly and on a regular basis. Today (technically yesterday since it's so late) I received the nicest compliments from an old high school friend who stumbled across my blog...and I had to share. When I first started blogging I mentioned that I would use my other high school friend Merl as inspiration because I feel like I can hear her voice and wittiness in every post she writes.

SO..... as you can imagine when Krystal said, "I just wanted to tell you I love your blog and it sometimes brings me to tears because I can HEAR YOUR VOICE when I read it." I was ecstatic! Inevitably this blog was created for Ella and to help my decrepit mind remember all of our great life stories but, it's so nice to hear that people actually like what I have to say and can hear my voice as I write. Honestly, one of the nicest compliments I have received in a long time - thank you again Krystal.
This is a picture of me and Krystal - it's an oldie but a goodie ---->

While extremely grateful for the compliment, Krystal's comment also made me aware that people are seeing my blog that I didn't necessarily think of before. Not going to lie - I panicked a bit thinking of the fact that PEOPLE are actually reading this. After digging into the analytics and data (remember I am a web geek by day) I realized many more people were looking at it than I had thought. After a minor panic attack, I calmed myself and made a promise that I will try to continue to write openly and not filter because of who is or is not reading what I have to say. Besides, this is for Ella, right?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fantastic Weekend

I would love to know who decided that a week lasts 5 days and a weekend is only 2. When God said Sunday was a day of rest, why didn't he say Friday, Saturday AND Sunday are days of rest? It's not like he didn't have the power to make that decision. Seriously!?!
The sun finally decided to poke it's bright and shiny face out from the clouds on Friday and offered us a beautiful day for the Henry Vilas Zoo on Saturday. We haven't gone since last summer and Ella was pretty small then and didn't really care about the animals. This time around was much different. She was very independent and wanted to walk all over by herself and made all of the animal noises as we visited each one. Today was a nice day as well so we were able to hang outside for a bit and planted flowers and played in the dirt. Weekends like this make life so much happier. I love having beautiful weather to be outside and really enjoy spending time with Ella, she is such a good little girl!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Being a Mom Rocks

I would never try to take credit for someone else's work but when Caroline Mueller (a.k.a. Liney) shared this posting with me, it felt almost as if I had wrote it myself. A guest blog post on DesignMom.com titled, "Letter to a Younger Self from Megan Hinckley" is a letter written by Megan Hinckley to her younger self with the advice that she wished she had known when she first found out she was pregnant with her first child.

Sure... there are things that differ in our stories like, she was at least married - me, not so much. She forgot to take her pill for a day or 2 or 3 - me, not on it all. She was almost done with college - me, had just got the first job I actually loved and was focused on my "career path."

Even though there are a few differences in our stories, the similarities are overwhelming. Like Megan, I too was scared as hell with tears streaming down my face as I held the positive pregnancy test in my hand (both of them). I also was selfish and thought about the sacrifices I would have to make, not only to my body, brain and ambition but, what about my social life and fully experiencing what the city of Madison had to offer? I also wondered how I could care for a baby when I lived off of cereal, Easy Mac and granola bars.

The most awing fact is that as I read her post I felt as if she was writing on my behalf - expressing my views of motherhood and Ella that I wasn't able to put into words.
"The little girl who will love you more than anybody else. A girl who will run to find you first thing every morning. A girl who will learn from you, depend on you, and frustrate you. But a girl that will awaken a piece of your heart that you didn’t know you had."

Looking back I was scared shitless when I found out Joe and I were going to have a baby. I did worry about my job, family, friends and money. BUT - since Ella has graced us on this Earth, there has never been a single day when I think about the old times. I can't imagine our life without her and am continuously amazed at what a beautiful, strong little girl she is. Megan is right, being a mom rocks and it is by far the best thing I have ever done!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

G & G Stevenson

As I mentioned, Grams took lots of pics from Ella's stay this past week. Here are a few worth mentioning.

This Friday we have a doctor appointment with our surgeon - Dr. Shehadi. He is going to look at Ella's roof of her mouth to determine how large the hole is and schedule our next surgery. I think it's going to be relatively soon and am actually going to push for that. Even though the last surgery was very painful for all involved - I want to get it done and move forward with the summer. I am curious if he plans to do anything cosmetic during this surgery since her lip looks so great, so we will see. I think that her lip has started to pull up a bit as she has grown and there is an excess piece of skin that hangs a bit on her lip - but I am pretty sure that I am the only person who notices that at this point. I guess we will just wait and see - that's always the motto.

In other news, I came across a family in northern Wisconsin via a Facebook group, who have a son that also has a cleft lip and palate. It's nice to have people to talk to and especially when they are local and can relate to other aspects of your lives. Their son Owen just went through his first surgery this week and I think all is well so far. Looking at his pictures of post-surgery almost brought tears to my eyes. I forgot how overwhelming that feeling was. Seeing Ella for the first time was an unexpected set of emotions. I felt sad that I would no longer see the big "winged" smile, I felt scared that she was in so much pain and I felt happy that one surgery could change her life in so many ways. Most of all I felt grateful for Dr. Shehadi and my special little girl.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Vegas Vacation

I realize I have made a few promises in the recent past that I am not fulfilling - but I have valid reasons:
1. In my last post I mentioned "To be continued...Ella's Journey" however, I am not feeling like writing about that yet - so it remains in the to be continued status.
2. I also promised to post something once a week - and you will notice that I have not blogged since April 28 and since today is May 11 I missed a week but, that is because Joe and I were on a Vegas Vacation!!!!

That's right, last week we traveled to Las Vegas - no, not to get married - but to visit our friends Becky & Jess and Josh & Kira. We left this past Wednesday (May 5th) and were gone until Sunday (May 9th). The trip was good but it was very challenging for me to spend that much time away from Ella, especially since Sunday was Mother's Day....without my baby.
Ella spent her time with Grandma and Grandpa Stevenson and I can't wait to see the pictures - as soon as Grandma learns how to put them onto Facebook :D Stay tuned.

Before we left for vacation we went to the park down the street and I snapped a lot of good pictures and captured some great video. Ella went down the big girl slide all by herself, which she initially thought was fantastic until midway down where her face turned to fear. I also was able to capture this video - which may be my favorite to date. This video helped me get through our vacation away from her. Love it and that child!