Friday, June 26, 2009

Viva Las Vegas!

WARNING: This post is entirely too long, and there are entirely too many pictures. If you don't like seeing pictures of my kids you're probably not reading this blog, but if you do like pictures of my kids, brace yourself. You may need to take a potty break now!
The boys and I have just returned from our nine day trip to Las Vegas. We flew out to visit Ryan's family and catch up with some old friends. As ususal, we stayed busy and the time flew by quickly. This was my first time flying with both the boys by myself, but it all went very smoothly, thanks largely in part to the kindness of strangers.

I'll start at the beginning of our trip. The flight to Las Vegas went so smoothly. We flew direct, which was wonderful. Here's how the flight looked for about the first hour and a half. I had not considered packing a book or a magazine for myself, so honestly, I was a little bored.
About a half hour before our flight landed a near catastrophe occurred. Our DVD player died. The battery was good, but something happened, and it could no longer spin the disks correctly. Luckily Clayton rolled with the punches and played with some cars for the remainder of the flight. Gigi (Ryan's mom) was able to get a gate pass in Las Vegas, and she was waiting at the gate when we arrived. That made getting on the tram to the baggage claim a lot easier.

That night the whole Las Vegas family got together to celebrate Uncle Matt's (Ryan's brother) birthday.

Aunt Kristin (Ryan's sister) made the best carrot cake I've ever tasted. The cousins enjoyed blowing out the candles.

I got a chance to meet my newest neice, Alyssa Brooke, Matt's little girl. She is so beautiful, and I think she looks a lot like her mama, Jayann. Alyssa was born at the end of March, just after our last Vegas visit.

When we're in Las Vegas, we usually keep pretty busy. Here are more than a few pictures.

Playing in the jumping fountain at a nearby park.

Trying to beat the heat.

Hanging out at the pool.

Visiting Red Rock Canyon.

Cousin Julianne (4 years old) feeding Eli. Note her mouth wide open, coaching Eli. What a little mama.

Jack and Julianne entertaining Eli.

Clayton resisting love from Mama.

Clayton, Julianne, and Jack enjoying the outdoor concert at The District.

Eli hanging out at the concert.

This is the construction on the new bridge that will bypass the Hoover Dam. Anyone who has ever driven across the dam knows that traffic there is usually a nightmare. Trucks are no longer allowed across the dam, but the post-9/11 security checks still slow things down.

Clayton at the Hot Rod Cafe.

Lunch at Kristin and AJ's.

I just loved these three pictures of Aunt Kristin and Eli. He's a lucky little boy to have such a sweet aunt.

Eli (6 mo) and Cousin Alyssa (3 mo). I hope these two will be close.

Jack's not a baby anymore.

Julianne, Alyssa, Jack, Clayton, and Eli.

The trip back home went really smoothly as well. Ginny was able to get another gate pass, which helped tremendously, as security in Las Vegas is a lot more hectic than Oklahoma City. By the time we got through, got a bite to eat, changed Eli's diaper, and took Clayton to the potty, it was time to board. Papa graciously purchased a new DVD player for Clayton, so he spent the trip happily watching The Wiggles (gag), Cars, and Handy Manny. When we landed so many people, airport employees and fellow passengers, went out of their way to assist me, which I really appreciated. The shuttle man dropped me off at my car, instead of the pick up point, and two other passengers insisted on loading my bags for me. One man even offered to install the base of Eli's carseat in my car, which I declined, but I was impressed.

Overall, the trip was great. We love Las Vegas and hope we'll get back there soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cardiology Check Up

Clayton had his six month cardiology visit this morning. I'd worked myself into a knot with anticipation, but everything went well, and there were no surprises.


Weight: 26.5 lbs (up a whole pound in the last month!!!!)

Height: 34 inches (up 1/2 inch in the last month!!!!)

Oxygen Sat: 85% (excellent for Clayton)

At today's apointment Clayton had an EKG.

All smiles until the stickers had to come off. Ouch!

Then there was an echo.

Holding tightly to "Mack" from Disney's Cars.

Echos are always a little scary for Clayton, but he did a really good job laying still.

Finally we were done with all the tests.

Gold fish can cure just about anything.


The dreaded "F" word (F for Fontan) was then discussed. Clayton's heart looked pretty much unchanged from his last appointment, which is good. He still has leaks in the tricuspid and neo-aortic valves, but we know about those, and they're not troublesome at this time. Clayton's weight gain is also a big plus, as they want him as close to 30 pounds as possible. Our cardiologist believes the best time for Clayton's Fontan will be in the first half of next year. He will be sending today's notes to the team at Stanford to see if they agree.

The Fontan is the second half of Clayton's last surgery, the Glenn (also called a hemi-Fontan). His first surgery, the Norwood, was basically a temporary rerouting of bloodflow until the body can handle the Glenn and Fontan procedures. Before the surgery, Clayton will also need a cardiac cath to ensure the pressures in his heart are ideal for a Fontan. At this point, we do not have any reason to believe he would not be a candidate. We talked a little today about the pros and cons of doing the cath in Oklahoma vs out at Stanford. We'll have to think about that one.

Overall, there wasn't really anything new, which is good, but all this Fontan talk makes my stomach upset. I really hate that my sweet little boy will have to have open heart surgery soon, again. It will be our sixth open heart surgery with the boys, and this will by far be the most challenging for us. Clayton will be well aware of everything, and that will be difficult to see. Unfortunately when you hang around the CVICU as long as we have, you see a lot. I know we've seen several Fontans go well, but I also know that we've seen a few go terribly wrong, and that is hard to handle.

Four chambers sure would have been nice. I need to do a better job trusting in God's plan for Clayton.

PS Clayton got his cast off last Thursday. They were actually able to just slide it right off, which was not really supposed to happen. It's a good thing Clayton hadn't figured that out. I would have just died if he had taken it off himself one day.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Fun at the Zoo

Meghan and Luke were up here with Lizzy last week. Luke was here for a conference, and Meghan and I were able to have a lot of fun with the kiddos. We went to the splashpad, shopped, ate out, and went to the zoo. Here are some pictures from our zoo trip.

The "before" picture

When I saw this picture, I was reminded of this picture...

This was Clayton almost two years ago just before we moved here. We had come to the city to buy a home, which happened faster than we had intended, so we got to spend a day at the zoo. I guess he has grown a little.

Eli tried a sippy cup for the first time.

Then he fell asleep.

The "after" picture. Everyone was actually still happy after four hours in the heat. These are three pretty easy going cousins.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Afternoon

Just a little fun hanging out after church...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

College Station and More "Shay"ing

We're home! We've been in College Station the last two weeks, soaking up all that summer humidity, and boy are we glad to get out of the stickiness. The boys had a great time playing at Nan and Pop's and spending time with their aunts, uncle, and cousin. Clayton was, of course, thrilled to see Nan's cranky beagle, Abby. He always loves animals who don't really love him back. We were able to go to a splashpad, swim in the hot tub, go to the outlet mall, and meet up with some old friends from our Nevada days.
We're happy to be home, and we have a few things on the horizon. Meghan and Luke are coming up next week (hopefully), and we have a couple doctor's appointments. Clayton has orthopedics and cardiology. Please pray for our cardiology appointment on the 15th. I feel like I'm holding my breath, just waiting to see what our doctor says about Clayton's Fontan. I know it's coming. Most kids his age have already had it. I wish he could stay in this Glenn stage forever, but I know we're going to have to bite the bullet one day. We've been planning on next spring, but we'll see how his echo looks. Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up.
In happier news, these days Clayton is big on announcing how well he's doing with sharing. Here's today's sharing.
Um, Clayton, most of those toys actually belong to Eli.

You can't really tell, but Eli was not thrilled to be wearing these upside down sunglasses.

Six Months Old

Has it really been six months? Actually, it really does seem like Eli has been with us forever. I can't remember our family before him.

Eli's doing pretty well these days. He's generally happy, as long as you keep him well fed. He's a fan of baby food. He eats a serving of cereal in the mid morning, and then a Stage 1 jar of baby food at dinner time. So far he's tried applesauce and squash, and he's a big fan of both.

Eli is an excellent sleeper. He's usually down from about 8pm to 8am. He takes a morning nap around 9:30 or 10:00 and will sleep for about an hour. I'm really close to getting him on the same afternoon nap schedule as Clayton. It probably works out about six out of seven days a week. They go down around 2pm. Eli will sleep 1.5 to 2 hours. Clayton will sleep 2 to 3 hours (or more if we've played outside in the heat). Then there's a short evening nap just before dinner.

In other news, Eli is getting close to sitting on his own. If you prop him up with his hands on the floor between his legs, he can sit for a minute or so. He's starting to realize that rolling can take you places. He usually doesn't go too far, but I've noticed him getting just a little more mobile in the last week or so. Eli is a huge fan of Clayton. He must know what Clayton is up to at all times, and this can make nursing slightly difficult. He's still got the two teeth, and he's still as bald or balder than the day he was born. It's a good thing I don't have any girls because my babies don't seem to have hair.

We are so blessed to have this child. We did not know if it was possible for us to have a healthy baby. You can't imagine how grateful we are for this blessing. We love our little Eli and all the joy he brings to our home.