Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

Em's At It Again

Hi World!

I just wanted to tell you that I'm doing great and I'm happy!
Really really happy!
It's amazing how much better I feel since my mommy changed my food!

I finally get to see my new GI doctor in the morning and I really hope she can help Mommy and Daddy know what to do so I am not so sad when I wake up every morning.
It's really hard on me and I almost don't like waking up, but I know once I feel better I get to play with Daddy and that makes it worth it.

My physical therapist came to see me today.
She told Mommy that she can tell I'm naughty.
When someone calls me naughty I just smile.

I don't like shoes and when Mommy tries to put them on I always curl my feet so that the shoes don't stay on tight and I can kick them off.
Today my therapist showed Mommy a trick to make my foot stay straight while Mommy puts my shoes on, and I couldn't kick them off.
I had them on all day long!
Mommy says in case I wasn't sure, she won this round.

It's important for me to wear shoes because my feet turn kind of funny when I walk, and if the shoes can't help me keep my feet straight, my therapist said I might need to wear braces on my feet and ankles.

That's just what I need: something else to worry about.

AND I have to go next week and get my hearing tested to make sure everything is okay.
I can hear just fine, especially when I hear Mickey Mouse, but I have a new speech therapist who wonders if I have fluid in my ears.
She says maybe the words I hear sound like they are coming from under the water.
I don't know if that's what I hear, but I guess that's what the doctor will tell Mommy.
  If there is a problem with my ears I'll get tubes and maybe that will help me learn to talk faster.

World, doesn't it seem like there has been a lot that has gone on with my little body?

Mommy told me that I was just so happy to come to earth that I was willing to come with all of my special problems.
I'm really glad I have such good doctors to take care of me.

Mommy told me that I get to go with her and Daddy and their friends to dinner.
I heard Mommy say that it's the first time she and Daddy have been out to dinner together with friends since before I was born.
Mommy is really excited because we are going to her favorite restaurant, with some of her favorite people.
Mommy says her friends love me a lot and that makes me feel good.

Mommy says I have to put the computer away now and go to bed.
Mommy is always wanting to go to bed - even when it's 3:00 in the afternoon.
She's a tired mommy.

Do any of you want to be my pen pal?

Mommy says if I want to I can write letters to people, and take them to the post office and mail them.
Out of all the places Mommy takes me, I like the post office the best.
(Except that I really like Aunt Becca's office too because there are fun things that make loud noises.)

If you want to get a letter from me just email my mommy your address and I'll send you one!

I love you World!!!


Do you think I should start my own blog?
One where I can write my own thoughts and stories and share them?
Mommy says I can keep writing them on her blog, but maybe I want my own blog.
I think Mommy could help me with it, and make it like my very own journal.
What do you think?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Mil Gracias

There are times when Em and I have to sneak out of church early and attend to matters of great importance:

Really, Emily needed her breakfast and I brought her home for that, but a slumber party in the middle of the living room floor seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up.

Oh my heart - I love her.
Do you get sick of me saying that?

* * *

Friends I just want to thank you for loving my little family.
Once in a while I'll get feedback from someone who has read my blog that is less than kind.
And in those moments I take a step back and wonder why I open myself up to that.

I've never claimed to be anything but myself: the good and the bad -
and to those of you who love me in spite of the bad?
Who support rather than judge?

Thank you.
Truly and sincerely,
thank you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Em and I got home from work last night and Jason had cleaned the whole house.
He's a good husband, and an even better daddy.

This morning as I was getting ready to go to work he said, "Do you know that I haven't been out of this house since last Sunday?"
I reminded him that we went to Costco and he kind of rolled his eyes.
Costco is not his idea of 'getting out of the house.'

Speaking of Costco:

And no, we did not buy the ginormous Minnie and Mickey - although we were tempted.
On occasion we do show some restraint where Emily is concerned.

Where was I?
Oh, Jason hasn't been out of the house since Sunday.

"And today the only thing I'll do outside is get the mail."
And then he looked at me with a serious face and said, "Don't you dare get the mail!  It's all I have to look forward to!"

Maybe I need to start sending him love letters so that he'll at least have something fun to open.

Jason and I are still trying to find a balance between our jobs, being parents to an adorable little girl who requires a little bit more care than the average adorable little girl, not giving up on our own dreams and passions, and taking care of our marriage.

I'd say we're doing pretty well on our jobs and being Emily's parents - we try really hard on our marriage, but we need some work on the rest.
We'll figure it out.

Sami, my niece, gave me the nicest compliment ever.
She was here in my office watching Mickey Mouse with Emily (and no, Emily doesn't always watch Mickey Mouse) and after a few minute of watching Emily and me Sami said, "Noelle, Elimy really loves you doesn't she."

I really love her too; it's a win win situation for both of us.

Thanks for all of your comments of love and support over the last few days - I truly appreciate all of you!

I hope your weekends are filled with all things good and Halloween-ish!  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

For You, Anonymous - And For Anyone Who Needs The Reminder

I have something I feel is important to say.
Really important.
And I've actually prayed that the person I want to say this to reads this post.
Sadly, I don't know who the person is so I won't know if it reaches her (or maybe him), but if it reaches you, that will count for something.

I moved away from home when I was still 17.  I had graduated from high school and was starting my first semester of college.
My sister and I lived in the dorms and shared an apartment with four other girls.
I had never been away from home, and I was incredibly homesick.
I cried a lot.
I called my mom every chance I could.
We went home almost every weekend, and it was a good five hour drive one way.

On top of the homesickness, I had the worst combination of roommates you could possibly imagine.
The dean of housing at the college told my mom that he had never seen such an awful situation as my sister and I found ourselves in.

On top of the homesickness and the roommate situation that ended up being my undoing (I got the worst case of mono on the planet and my doctor said it was because of stress.  I was in bed, literally, for three months) I was dealing with some unresolved issues from my childhood, that had left me scared of life, and with little trust in men.

My mom had arranged for me to meet with a counselor and she was my lifeline for the semester I was away from home.
I called her more than one time crying, and in one situation, she and her husband drove to the campus and took me to their home to spend the evening with their family, just to get me out of the situation I was in.

On more than one occasion this counselor suggested I find friends - friends that were boys - and learn to trust them.

One day a boy found me, and he changed my life.

We were in a bowling class together, and we were on the same team.
For some reason he saw something in me that no other boy ever had, and he became my friend.
My best friend.
It wasn't a romantic relationship, not even a little bit, but his friendship healed my heart.

We laughed together, we ate lunch together in the cafeteria, we spent hours and hours talking, and when he put his arm around me I didn't flinch and pull away - when he hugged me I felt safe and secure.

His name was Austin and I loved him.  Again, it wasn't romantic - just pure love based on a solid friendship.

When I went home for Christmas break I had every intention of returning to school in a few weeks.
I had arranged to move into a different apartment, and I was excited to have a fresh start.
Austin and I said our goodbyes and he flew home to Alaska.

When Christmas break ended, and my sister returned to school, I was in my mom's bed dying.
Oh, I'm sure I wasn't dying, but I've never been more sick in my life.
My mom called and cancelled all of my classes and she cancelled my housing contract.

My sister called me a few weeks into the semester and said, "I saw Austin.  He asked where you were. When I told him you weren't coming back he seemed so sad."

Austin and I talked once on the phone, and arranged to see each other after I was well and could make the trip back up to campus.

I slept for the next three months.
I would muster the energy to shower, and then take a nap.
I would wake from my nap and then attempt to go upstairs for the rest of the day.
I would often have to sit on the steps and rest half way up, and there were only 11 stairs.
I didn't have the energy to comb my hair.
I didn't have the energy to put socks on.

After the three months I was over the worst of the mono, but didn't fully recover for years after that.

I tried to find Austin but he had moved and this was in the day before everyone had a cell phone.
I had no way to contact him and my sister never saw him again.

I asked my friend, who was also from Alaska, for an Alaskan phone book and I spent hours pouring over every page, searching for my friend Austin.  I never found a number that matched his last name.
And now, when we have the amazing technology that we do, I can't even remember his last name.

I didn't keep anything from that semester of college.
I burned my pictures; I tore the pages from my journal and threw them away; I blocked out most of the memories except for of Austin.

And I will always be grateful for him.

* * * * *

After my last post someone left this comment:

All my life I've been taught we are on this earth to fulfill a mission. I'm afraid I'm failing - failing miserably. I have no purpose & can't seem to find the courage you speak of.

And I thought about it all night long.  I spent hours trying to think of a way to respond.  And over and over again I thought of Austin.

If Austin never accomplished another thing in his life (which I'm sure is far from the truth) he accomplished the most important thing ever - for me.
He healed my heart and he taught me to trust again.
If he had no other purpose here, that was enough.
And I never even got to tell him.

I believe with all of my heart that all of us, no matter what we believe about ourselves, are here to touch and bless the lives of others.

My dear grandpa spent the last five or six years of his life sitting on his couch, listening to music on tapes because he was mostly blind and couldn't do anything else.  Day in and day out he sat on his couch, and he told me more than once how useless he felt, how little he felt that his life mattered.

He had no idea the legacy he was leaving - for me, for his neighbors, for his loved ones.  The last five years of my grandpa's life were a blessing to everyone he came in contact with.

My dear Anonymous, you are fulfilling a mission, somewhere, to someone.
Don't EVER doubt that.
Your life has purpose, more than you might ever know.

I hope you'll indulge me in one more story.

Several years ago I spent some time in Guatemala with a group of people I had never met previously.
We were from different walks of life, and we had different experiences coloring our individual reality, but we were joined together in a mutual cause of working to better the lives of a group of people in a small village in the jungles of Guatemala.

One of the girls I met and was roommates with for a few nights was different than me.
We had different backgrounds and different interests, and after getting to know her a little bit I felt like she might be misunderstood by a lot of people.
But I loved her.
I enjoyed out conversations, and I learned a lot from her.

We kept in contact a little bit after we returned home, and there were a few times she reached out to me in times where I really needed it.

Her friendship, although brief, touched my heart and made me a better person, and she'll probably never know.

Anonymous, you are doing the same, for someone or many someones, every day you live - and don't ever lose hope in what you are doing.  You aren't failing.  None of us are.

And for all of us, I hope that we will stop and take the time to thank the people who make a difference in our lives - so that they will know that they too are far from failing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I Hope This Makes Sense

There are moments I step back and look at life and wonder when it got so heavy - so hard for people that I love.
And then I look around me and see people who seem to somehow be immune to the hard, and I wonder when their hard is going to hit, and how bad it will be, because it will hit.  That's about the only guarantee we have in life.
I have been accused of being cynical - too cynical.  Perhaps I've expressed my view on the purpose of life to the wrong people one too many times.
If you believe we're on this earth for a purpose, and that we all have a mission to fulfill and lessons to learn you probably also believe that there will be trials and hard things.
I believe we're here for a reason, and that yes, we do have a mission to fulfill, but that life is a never-ending trial, with moments of peace and happiness to give us the break from hard that we so deserve.

I don't think that's cynicism.
I think it's facing reality head on - knowing that it's hard but being able and willing to find the peace, because it's there.
God loves us too much to not give us that peace, even if we can only find it in little pieces.

I found out last week that a friend of mine has had her cancer return for the third and final time.  She won't overcome the cancer this time, and she's determined to spend the last months of her life finding the beauty around her.

My sweet friend who lost her little girl a few weeks ago is heart broken and I read her blog every day and shed tears for her heartache.

Another friend sent me this text yesterday:  "4 kids in 2 days (3 yesterday) that I knew passed away.  And then we put our dog down on Wednesday.  Chris' friend's wife passed away yesterday and I will most likely find out tomorrow if my sister has cancer.  I think I am done for a while."

Three of her four daughters have life-threatening medical conditions, and she spends every day of her life caring for them and giving 110% to that care.

My brother just spent 45 minutes in my office, talking to me about the hard that his family is going through right now.

My amazing sister and my dearest friend want nothing more than to be mothers, and they do everything they can to make that a reality, and yet, for now, the longing and ache is still there for them, and I wish I could change that.

Every time I turn around I hear another story, another burden that someone has been asked to carry.

Yesterday I said to my sisters that I felt like it was time that God gave everyone a month long break from hard, because we all deserved it.

I have this quote on my office wall at work:

"Standing in the light doesn't require a sturdy spine, just a courageous soul willing to turn and face the sun."

Can I tell you what it is that gives me the courage to stand and face the sun?

It's Emily.
Plain and simple.
Everything about my daughter shouts peace, and love, and calm.

My heart is filled to overflowing because of Emily.
She eases the burdens, lessens the ache, and fills my world with light.
The sting of all hard things is dulled because of Emily.

With all of my heart I feel like Emily is God's gift to me to help me make it through the hard.
Ironic, because it's Emily's life that introduced me to the hardest of my hard.

Emily makes me smile.
She makes me laugh.
She fills my heart with joy.
She gives my life meaning, and she makes me want to live, and find the beauty in all things.

More than anything else, Emily is evidence of God's love, and with that evidence I can do anything.

I'm willing to share - if you need that evidence, if you need proof that God is there, loving us through all of it - I'm more than willing to share my sweet Emily ... her life, and her joy ... because I truly believe that's the reason she and her perfectly broken little heart came into this world.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Smile Gets Everyone

Hi World!

My mommy and daddy are on a date (they are sitting in the living room watching the news - Daddy says if I'm not in the room with them, it's a date) and they think I'm asleep.

I wanted to clarify something.
Something important.

The bruise on my head and the cut on my chin were all my doing.
I promise Mommy and Daddy didn't have anything to do with it.

Well, I guess Daddy kind of did because he didn't catch me fast enough when I dove off the couch.
It's not his fault really, because I'm fast.
Speedy Gonzales fast!

I'm probably going to start walking by myself any time now.

You should have seen me at church today!
I was walking everywhere.
I had lots of help.
All these ladies reached out and took my hand as I walked past them, and they made sure I didn't fall over.

Mommy says I'm kind of wobbly.
I say she should give me a break.
She should try having 4 heart surgeries, and then talk to me about wobbly.

My new best friend was sitting next to Mommy in church, and she was reading the church lesson from her phone.
I reached right over and took her phone out of her hand and started playing with it.
Mommy says I don't own the world, but I think she's just silly.

Well World, what should I tell you?

I could tell you that all my daddy does is cough - and watch football.
He thinks I like football.
Mommy says he's delusional.  (I don't know what that word means but it sounds good.)

Mommy says she's as sick of football as Daddy is of Mickey Mouse.
All I know is that Daddy can't be Aunt Becca's favorite person if he doesn't like Mickey Mouse.
Maybe Mommy, Aunt Becca, and I will go to Disneyland without him.
That will teach him!

I heard my mommy tell my daddy that I have only thrown up 7 times in the last 21 days.
(Mommy keeps a journal of my throw up track record.  Weird huh?!)

That might seem like a lot to you, but it's like heaven to me!
I still won't eat, but one of my feeding therapists told Mommy that he thinks Mommy fixed 70% of my problem with not wanting to eat.

I think I'll keep everyone on their toes for the next 30%.
What's the fun in putting stuff in your mouth anyway?

World, I can't wait to show you my Halloween costume!
I'm going to look so cute!

Tonight I was crawling on the floor at my cousin's house and he came over and sat on me like I was a horse.
He squashed me flat, and I had no idea what was even going on.
It's rough being me.

Okay World, Mommy has the baby monitor now and she's going to see that I'm still awake so I better go.

Someone told me today that I'm famous and I think it's because all of you read about me.
I hope that you don't get bored!!!

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Life

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I'm Sure It Will Be Your Definition Too

One of the things I love about me is how classy I am.
What?  You need proof?
You asked for it.

I went to a funeral on Saturday.
To put it simply, it was sad.  Incredibly sad.
I debated on saying anything at all about it because of the tenderness of the situation.

I will tell you that sweet little Mia was only four years old, and there are things in life that are hard to understand.
Her death is one of those things.

Mia's story is not mine, and I feel like I would be treading on sacred ground to try and tell it.
Instead, if you are interested you can go here to her Mommy's blog, and read about the amount of living that Mia was able to squeeze into her four years.

Mia's grandma spoke at the funeral and asked all of the heart moms who were there to stand up.
This was our group:

She told the audience that our group of moms was a sorority hand picked by God.  In that moment, I've never felt more humbled to be a part of this group, loving and supporting one of our own.

Mia's mommy Mimi will forever have a spot in my prayers.

* * * * *

This was not what you were waiting to hear about is it.
You wanted classiness.

I didn't eat breakfast before the funeral, and I hadn't had dinner the night before.
My body doesn't do well without food.
I had nothing in my purse ... food or medicine ... and I could feel a migraine coming on.

Someone gave me a pack of fruit snacks but by the time I got them it was too late.
I was a goner.

Three is how many times I had to make a dash from the chapel where the funeral was being held.
Two of those times I couldn't make it to the bathroom, which was on the opposite side of the chapel.

If you happened to drive past a certain church on Saturday morning (twice) and wondered at the woman you saw crouched in the bushes, it was just me losing my insides.

The very definition of class.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

On Being Emily

Speech will probably be the last thing Emily develops.
It's very likely that she won't talk until she's three or four, and there are days where I long to hear my girl's voice.
People tell me all the time that she is the most quiet one year old they've ever known.
And it's true.

Her voice is quiet.
Her laugh is quiet.
When she babbles it's more like a whisper.
Even her cries are quiet compared to most babies.

And yet, in spite of what is mostly silence, Emily speaks volumes.
My little lady is pure joy.


Em's mornings usually begin with a miserable five or ten minutes of pain and discomfort.  She cries, she screams, she retches, and she tenses her entire body so tightly that we can't do anything but hold her until her body goes limp.

The minute she's limp her eyes light up, she smiles, and we play a game.
It's always the same.

She'll make a sound and then wait for me or Jason to repeat it.
She'll make a different sound and wait again.
She'll go loud; she'll go soft; she'll screech for a long time, or a short time.
And after every sound she looks to us expectantly...just waiting.

It doesn't matter how many times she's seen Mickey Mouse come on the screen in one day, or what she's doing when he does come on - her reaction never changes.
She lifts her head, crawls as fast as she can towards the TV, sits down, and kicks her legs as fast as she can - all while smiling the biggest smile she can find.

She squints and bats her eyes at Little Einsteins.
She giggles whenever Donald Duck talks.
She sits and studies the news reporters while sucking on her binky.

She will play with her toys contentedly.
She opens and shuts the cupboards just to hear the sound.

At least two or three times a day she will crawl to where I am, whether at home or at the office, and pull herself up to me.  She'll smile until I pick her up and then she'll cuddle.  She'll snuggle into my shoulder or sit in my lap with her head against my arm, and for five or ten minutes, she won't move.

And then she'll have had her fill of snuggling and let herself down and go back to her toys.

If I put my face close to hers she will smile, squish up her nose, and breath loudly in and out of her nose.
When I repeat the action she will always laugh.

When we're holding her, and she doesn't think we're paying enough attention to her, she will use her pointer finger to direct our face back to her.
She will do it over and over again.

She glares when I put her binky in my mouth, and then laughs when she pulls it out.

If there is something blocking our faces from Emily, she will automatically play peek-a-boo.
She will look around whatever it is, even if we're just looking at our phones, and smile and then quickly hide her face again.

My list could go on and on.

My days are filled with Emily, and there isn't a day that I'm not grateful for her.
Eternally grateful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What Could Have Been The Cause Of A Heart Attack

My office at work is one of four rooms in an old farmhouse.
My brother and my cousin also have offices in the farmhouse.
I have a designated parking spot.
It's never been agreed to out loud that it's my spot, but it is, and my brother and cousin know that.

I park by the back door, which is the closest door to my office.
It allows me to take Em in and out without too much distraction, and because it seems I take half of our house with me every time we leave, it makes it more convenient to unload my car.

One day a few weeks ago I pulled in to work and saw an employees truck in my spot.
I didn't say anything until the third day in a row I pulled into work and my spot was taken by the same truck.

When my cousin walked in the door I said to him, "Travis, I have a complaint."

He put his hands up and said, "I know, I know, I'll talk to him today and tell him it's your spot.  Don't worry, he won't park there again."

Isn't that lovely?
That my cousin can read my mind?

Here's something else that is lovely.
My cousin came into work yesterday and said, "Noelle your back tire is really low.  Low enough that I wouldn't drive on it until you can get it fixed."
I sighed a big sigh and said, "Okay, I'll see what I can do.  Jason is out of town and I have to feed Emily, and then she'll take a nap and ... okay, I'll figure it out.  Thanks."

He put out his hand and said, "I wasn't telling you to fix it.  Hand me your keys and I'll take care of it."

And he did.
He drove my car to the tire place and waited an hour while they found a nail and repaired the hole.
The men in my life take care of me...and I'm beyond grateful.

That was a tangent.  I had a story about my parking spot.
I pulled in on Monday afternoon and saw this right next to my car:

To say I was freaked out would be an understatement.
I quietly opened my door and got out and practically tiptoed around to the other side of the car to get Emily out.
She was sleeping and I gently lifted her out of the car and ran for the door of the office.

I put her down and then found my brother.

"How long does it take for hornets to form a nest?"

"Why?" he asked.

"Because there is a nest outside that is ginormous and it wasn't there three days ago."

He followed me outside and started laughing.

"It's okay.  The hornets are dead.  That was in one of our trees and the guys wouldn't go near it to water.  When someone finally got brave enough to spray, they put that there as a joke."

That someone who put it there?
The guy who kept parking in my spot.

Do you think he was out to get me?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

On Why Getting Enough Sleep is Important

Jason and I went four wheeling this weekend, while Emily stayed behind and got to know Jason's parents a little bit better.
We've been trying to get away all summer to spend some time with Jason's parents, and this past weekend the stars finally aligned.
I've been telling Jason that I didn't care about what we did, as long as he took me for a ride up the mountain on his dad's four wheeler.

My mother-in-law couldn't quite understand why I didn't want to take my own four wheeler on our ride.
"It's a lot more fun to drive than it is to be a passenger," she told me.

I'm not sure that I explained adequately how in my case, it would be just the opposite.

To spend two and a half hours, just Jason and me, the entire mountain to ourselves - driving seemed too much like work, but riding with Jason, with my arms wrapped around him, that was like a vacation.

The weather was perfect, the scenery was breathtaking, and breathing in the fresh air was good for my soul...

...until I fell asleep against Jason's back and almost fell off the four wheeler when he went over a huge bump.

It Must Be That Halloween Is Near

Oh my gosh, I know.
I haven't blogged in a few days.
I've been busy.
And I have so so so much to tell you.
But it will have to wait, because it's precisely 1:49am and I'm a tad sleepy.

I'll tell you one story.
And I better make it a quick one, or I'm going to be mad at myself. know Sami...everyone knows Sami...right?  Here's a picture in case you don't:

Where was I?
That girl stakes a claim in every corner of our business.
She collects offices like I collect pink elephants for Emily.
She's up to four I think.

The desk she claims in my office is the desk our delivery guys use, and boy does it fire Sami up.
Every time she comes in she clears the desk off of whatever might be on top, and opens a drawer and pulls out her toys, jewelry, and snacks.
And then she sits and writes note after note after note.
And she chews one of our employees out for whatever it is she thinks he's done wrong that day.
She's a hoot.

Last week sometime we left the office to run something up to my sister, and as we were walking up the road Sami was waving her arms emphatically and venting to me about Steve, one of our drivers.

"Steve thinks that desk is his," she said, and she was full of venom as she said it.
"It's MY desk.  I tell him that every time I see him.  But he still sits there and it freaks me out."
(Not freaked out as in scared, but freaked out as in ticked off...she's a funny girl.)

"What should we do about it?" I asked Sami.

"Just tell him to sit somewhere else...or at least to leave my things alone.  I'm sick of it!" She was waving her arms again and I was hiding my laugh.

Every time she comes to work the first thing she asks is, "Is Steve here?"

Today Sami saw a white truck pull into the parking lot and Sami asked my mom, "Grandma, is that Steve?" and she was ready to run down to my office to defend her desk.

"No Sami, that's not Steve."
"Are you sure?" Sami asked.  "Just a minute, let me look."

(Here's what you need to know: Steve is a tall, skinny, white boy and the driver of the truck was a short, not so skinny, guy from Mexico.)

Sami peered out the window and said as certainly as if she were telling you a cloud is white, "Grandma that's Steve.  He's just wearing a mask."

HA HA HA ... this girl makes my day.

It's now 2:10am ... man I'm going to hate life in a few hours.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Child Loves Song Pop!


I took Lortab last night.
That's how bad my head hurt.
It knocked me out and when I woke up this morning I still had a headache.
Oh, and I was dizzy too.
So so dizzy.

But then.

I laid down on the floor and while Emily was crawling all over me I felt something in my ear pop.
It was like a water balloon burst and I could feel fluid and after the fluid stopped draining the pressure in my head was gone, and I was no longer dizzy.

My sister, who might as well be my doctor, informed that I probably have had an ear infection and the popping this morning was more than likely my ear drum.
Whatever it was?
I'm just grateful.

And too.

I did something.
Something kind of dramatic.
I went against our GI doctor and nutritionist's advice and changed Emily's formula.
(I've been waiting for someone to find out and send child protective services after me or something.)

Em's never had dairy or soy proteins in her formula.
Because of the recurring infection in her intestines when she was really young, everyone has been opposed to changing her formula.
(The formula she's been on her entire life is in its most elemental form, and in theory, should be the easiest to tolerate.)

I can't tell you how many times I've asked, "What if it's the formula that is hurting her and that's causing her to throw up?"
And I am ALWAYS told, "It's not the formula. It can't be the formula."
I've asked specifically, "Can we try a different formula?"
I'm always told no.  Emphatically no.


I've read enough to know that some kids are in fact allergic to this elemental formula and when they're taken off of it they do better.
I talked to Jason; I talked to my mom; I talked to Em's feeding therapists; I talked to myself.
And after all of it I took a leap of faith and bought a dairy based formula and over the last week I've been gradually weaning Emily off of the old formula.  Tomorrow will be the day she gets 100% of her new formula.

Guess what?

Our girl has been happier this week than we've ever seen her.
She has never had this many consistent good days that I can remember.
She still throws up and retches a little bit right when she wakes up (and we're hopeful the new GI doctor can help with that), but she tolerates her feeds.
She smiles instead of whimpering and moaning the whole time she's being fed.
She gets up and plays after she's done eating, rather than laying in our lap trying to recover from feeding time.

She laughs.
She plays peek a boo.
She crawls all over our house.

And did I mention she isn't in misery when we feed her?

If we make it past the 10 day puke free period we've had once before, and if she's still happy...
Well, I'll be grateful I followed my gut but I'll also be seriously annoyed that I didn't follow my gut 6 months ago, when I first asked about changing formulas.
And I'll probably be even more annoyed at some doctors I know.

But then I'll get over it.
And just be grateful we found an answer.

But if?

The 10 day period is all we have, and my girl starts throwing up and being miserable again, I'll probably cry and ask you for tissues.

We're leaving for a few days...getting out of here for a change of pace and scenery.
I'll be back next week.

Keep your fingers crossed for our little lady!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Is It Only Wednesday?

I've had a headache/migraine since Sunday.
Go ahead and feel sorry for me.

I've taken more drugs and had more caffeine that I've had in months.
Nothing works.

It's like my body is bound and determined to sink into a whopping case of vertigo (which I haven't had since I was pregnant with Emily, and that in itself is a miracle) and my head is fighting it and holding in all the pressure.

So between the pain and the mild dizziness I'm a sorry mess.

I walked up to my sister's office the other day to seek out her hidden stash of medicine.
My niece Erika also suffers on occasion from dizziness and when she heard I was dizzy she said,
"Noelle, you need to drink Gatorade and eat something salty!  That's what I do and my dizziness always goes away!"

Becca didn't have any potato chips so I was out of luck with the something salty.
My sister Heather, Erika's mom, is a bit of  ... what ... what is she a bit of ...
I don't know the right word really, but she is equal parts pain and joy, in a good way.
She walked up to me holding a salt lick (which we sell) and said, "Here, lick this.  It will cure you."
I said, "Only if you do it first," and she did.
So that meant that I had to.
And in a really sad and pathetic way that silly salt lick helped for a little while.

I'm considering carrying one around my neck.
I wonder what people would think of me?

* * *

I have a sweet friend Beth who I met through my blog.
She sent me the most thoughtful birthday gift!
It represents both Emily and God's promise that He will never forget us (the rainbow colors) :

Thank you Beth!

* * *

I gave our girl every option today for her nap -

-snuggle with me on the couch
-curl up with a blanket
-lay on the couch

She chose none of those options.
Instead she searched for her perfect spot.
She's a funny girl, that one!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


My niece Samantha, who is five, was just here visiting Elimy.
They watched Mickey Mouse while I tried to get some work done.
Sami asked me this very deep question:
"How old were you when you were five?"

She may not get the concept of age yet, but I think she'll be the one to get Elimy to eat by mouth.
"Noelle, you need to bring Elimy to my house so that I can babysit her."
"Oh except, where will she sleep?"
"I know.  You can take her home at night and then bring her back the next morning for more babysitting!"

(this conversation took place while Sami was brushing my hair with Emily's brush)

"Anyway, Tyler and me will teach her how to eat...and chew just like a princess."
"Like I'm doing right now. With my gum."

We've been missing the princess element.
That's been our problem this whole time!

Just as she was leaving my office Sami asked, "Noelle how old are you?"
I told her.
"Wow.  You're almost old enough for ... something."
"What something?" I asked.
"Probably to be a grandma," is what Sami said, and then she ran out the door.

How old were you when you were five?