Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas 2007

We had a great Christmas. We spent Christmas Eve with Tiff's family and went home to our house to sleep.

Two tired Santas.

The next morning, we were up super early with Ez but Bella still hasn't figured Christmas out completely yet and so she slept until 9:00 (we had a late night). When she finally did wake up, she took the time to get into a skirt before coming out of her room. So, no pictures of her cute, new Christmas Eve pjs.

Bella got her pink purse and a Bella Dancerella from Santa.

Trying out her new sleeping bag for sleepovers with her cousins. She was so excited!

Ez actually smiled at his Santa gift. (The picture is a bit dark though).

Mine and Blaine's parents spent Christmas together in Chile. We were glad that they were together but a bit bummed that we weren't with them!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Church Debut

(No, his hair isn't that long and shaggy is just the shadow!)

Ez made his church debut today. All went well...not even one Young Woman touching his face or hands! We made it through a successful bottle feed at church with out any vomiting and both Blaine and I were able to tend to our responsibilities with our callings. After 2 1/2 months of not being at church all together, it was nice. And sacrament meeting was fabulous with wonderful Christmas music. I finally felt the true Christmas spirit today as I listened to a performance of "Oh, Holy Night". I felt the spirit of Christ so strongly and I was overcome with emotion and gratitude for His life and His teachings, and ultimately, His suffering and atonement so that we can one day return to His presence. As my thoughts have been so focused on material gifts recently, it was nice to ponder on the spiritual gifts that Christ has given, and continues to give. Anyway, thought I'd share.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas filled with family, peace, happiness, love, and health!

Monday, December 17, 2007

I've been tagged

Jami tagged me...So, here are 6 little known facts about me. I hope I don't bore you with the details...

1) I am what I affectionately call a “Latinga” (Latina/Gringa). Yes, it is true…I have absolutely no Latin blood coursing through my veins but I love the Hispanic cultures. My favorite vacations are in Mexico. I love Mexican food, I love speaking Spanish, and I LOVE to listen to Spanish radio. Catch me in my car, and you can be sure I’ll be singing along to Mana, Juanez, or Shakira. Every time we vacation in Mexico, Blaine and I always find ourselves scheming to move to the Mexican coast. Only problem is…dinero. How can we make REAL money in Mexico? Any ideas?
2) The first one kind of goes along with this one…I love to sing in the car. I feel so free when I am driving and I love to blast the tunes. Blaine used to always tease me that someday I was going to end up on that t.v. show where they rig your car with a video cam and catch you grooving out. I’m sure I’d provide many laughs…I can bust a pretty good move in a moving automobile, too. (Jami…how come we never took a road trip together? Sounds like we would’ve had a blast!)
3) I think I have blonde hair. When we moved to Colorado our first year of marriage, Blaine and I had to get new driver’s licenses. When he saw me writing “blonde” for hair color, he started laughing and told me I don’t have blonde hair. I was shocked and this created a total identity crisis. I had always considered myself blonde (because I WAS) and I didn’t even realize I was going brown. So, in an effort at identity preservation, I get my hair highlighted. But, I have finally started to admit that I have LIGHT brown hair. ☺
4) I know where every gas station is in a 100 mile radius that carries diet dr. pepper as a fountain drink. And, the really good ones have the super small ice chips. Diet DP is my favorite “adult beverage”.
5) I switched colleges/Universities 7 times while completing my degrees! Here’s how it went down: a few classes at Ventura college in high school, Ricks college for a year, BYU Hawaii for a semester, BYU Jerusalem for a semester, BYU in Provo for a year, went on a mission to Chile for a year and a half, back to BYU in Provo to graduate. And then number 7 was the University of Utah for a Master’s Degree. But, don’t worry, I have vowed to NEVER go back to school again. Yep, I’m getting dumber every day and I love it. ☺
6) I know I’ve already written about music but I LOVE it. I am very eclectic in my music taste. Besides Latin music and regular pop, I love country music. Blaine is disgusted with this side of me and told me that I deceived him when we were married. The truth is, I liked country music in high school but I stopped listening to it until last year. True, there are some twangy and otherwise stupid songs in the country genre which I don’t particularly enjoy, but I just switch it to another station when they come on. So, yeehaw, ya’ll...I like me a little Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, and Kenney Chesney. You gotta problem with that?

So, I will now tag...ALL of you who haven't done this yet...YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Here Comes Santa Clause, Here Comes Santa Clause...

Cutest dang Santa I ever did see (the little one, of course)!

Bella, as usual, is still not thrilled with the idea of sitting on a big, fat man's lap who is dressed in a funky soft, red suit and who has a big white beard. Even though she told me all morning that she was going to sit on his lap and ask him for a pink purse, when it got right down to it, she freaked out. No amount of candy or gifts could get that girl happily on his lap.

Safe at home, and with a big monkey and bag of candy from the library Santa, Bella cheeses it up for the camera.

Seriously though, have you ever seen a Santa this cute?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Did she really say that???

Yep, it's true. Enough is enough. Bella has had it with Ez... Here's our conversation...

Bella: "Mom, let's get a baby sister."

Tirsa: "Well, maybe we'll get one when you and Ez are bigger."

Bella: "Um, well, maybe you can take Baby Ez back to the hospital and get a baby sister."

Tirsa: (Totally busting up, and not quite sure what to say).

Bella: (Buries her head and starts to kind of cry because I am laughing).

No worries though. She bounced back quickly and was saying how cute he is and that she loves him within the hour.

Frankly, I'm surprised she lasted a whole month with him home before wanting to give him the boot.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Baby it's cold outside...

It's about this time every year that Blaine and I look at each other and ask, "Why do we live here?" How is it that two southern California sun seekers ended up living in the snow? Don't get me is beautiful but it is COLD and kind of a pain. Bella loves it though. She begged to go outside and play in it. She couldn't wait to use her Dora umbrella as it was still kind of snowing. Once out there, she was eating snow like it was flavored. Who taught her that?
Bella thought that maybe Ez wanted to talk on her cell phone.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Lovin' Life

Bella loves to hold Ez. He is pretty patient with her.

Bella is so excited about Christmas. She tells me that Santa is going to bring her a purse. She is such a girly girl! Just about every morning she asks if today is Christmas. These are going to be a long few weeks.

Best daddy in the world...Blaine having a tea party with his little ballerina.

I recognize that I am, for this very moment in life, exactly where I want to be. And that feels good. I have everything that I want most in my life...a husband who is my best friend, a three year old daughter who makes me laugh by the things she says and warms my heart by telling me at least a dozen times a day that she loves me, and a little baby boy, who at 6 pounds and 6 ounces, fits so perfectly on my chest as we snuggle together. What more could I ask for? Sure, life isn't perfect. I wouldn't mind a few bucks more, a few pounds less, and a house that cleans itself but I know that I need to just enjoy this time in my life. I am generally, by nature, a happy person. But, there are times in my life that I long for things that don't easily come. I know that those times will come again...most likely in a year or two when I start to wonder where my next child is. But, not yet. For now...I am going to bask in the moment of feeling totally and completely fulfilled.

The other day Bella came into my room to wake me up (I was already awake thanks to Ez) exclaiming..."Mom, come look at the sky!" I had a feeling that she was noticing a sunrise for the first time so, feeling totally groggy and tired, I told her to tell me what she saw. She exclaimed with the excitement and wonder of a child, "The sky is pink, and orange, and purple! Come look!" I decided that no amount of rest would be worth missing a sunrise with my sweet Bella and so I dragged myself out of bed to enjoy it with her.

Today as we were driving in the car Bella said, "Mom, my bottom is making bubbles. Do you hear that?" I was busting up! What a creative way to describe it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

American Idol Here She Comes...

Bella loves this song and she knows practically every word! This is her being shy as she sings it because when the camera isn't on, she REALLY sings it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Handsome Boy

Not much to say about this picture except, what a handsome boy, huh! Ez is now at 5 pounds 9 ounces and doing well. We continue to have good and bad days (the bad being that he throws up A LOT). We still aren't sleeping much but somehow I am functioning better during the day...probably the coke zero!

We know that we have so much to be grateful for. We are thankful for all of your thoughts, prayers, phone calls, visits, emails, and blog comments, all of which has let us know how much you care. We are grateful for all of the gifts, meals, hand me down clothes, play dates for Bella and for all of your love, concern and support. We have the best friends and family and we are so blessed!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sleep Deprivation

I don't want to sound like a complainer...but, boy are we tired! Ez is up all night and sleeps all day. (Any help on how to reverse this?) I took this picture of Blaine this morning. He had taken Ez downstairs sometime when it was still dark so that I could get a few hours of uninterrrupted sleep. This is sleep deprivation at its finest. But, I'll take the sleepless nights over not having him or having him in the hospital. He's worth it, even though I feel more like a zombie most days than a normal person.

This must be love...Bella is sharing her favorite blankie with Ez.

A not so happy little guy...just wanted to get a picture of him next to Bella's small doll so you could see how big he is.

And here is my pointer finger next to Ezra's arm...yep, that's finger and his arm are about the same size.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

National Adoption Month

November is national adoption month and Saturday the 17th is national adoption day. We just wanted to share a piece of our hearts with this video and to thank all of the birthparents, birthgrandparents, birth aunts and uncles, birth siblings, etc. in the world for their selfless gift to their children and to the families that are blessed enough to raise them. Specifically, we want to thank our children's birthfamilies for their unparalleled gift of love. We are eternally grateful and we love you!

Adoption...It's about love.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Home Sweet Home

Today Ezra turned 5 weeks old and we got to take him home!!! We can hardly believe that he is actually here with us and that we get to spend every minute with him now and with out the daily hour and a half round trip commute. Life is GOOD!!!

Doesn't he look so small in his big car seat? He is 5 pounds now.

First family photo...we'll get a better one someday when we aren't so exhausted...wait, that's never going to happen! :)

Big Sister holding Baby Brother. Bella is so thrilled that he is home.

Bella kissing Ezra.

Grandma, Ezra, Bella, and all of the Colorado cousins very eager to meet their new cousin.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Not home yet but close...

This week has had plenty of ups and downs...literally! Ez lost some weight and got down to 4 pounds 12 ounces. Even though it was to be expected, it was still stressful watching it happen. Without the TPN and lipids pumped directly into his blood stream, we had to rely just on his feedings for his weight gain. And, with him throwing up 1/3 of everything that he ate, he lost weight quickly. But, we have switched formula, he is now on prevacid, and we have tried a different, slower flow bottle nipple and it seems to be the winning combination. He is throwing up less and gaining again. He is back to 4 pounds 15 ounces and looking at coming home soon. We can't wait to have our little guy home with us. Even though we see him every day, we miss him during all of the rest of the hours that we aren't with him. We can't wait for Bella to understand what it really means to have a baby brother. We know we will have lots of adjustments to deal with when he comes home but we are ready. So, bring on the poopy diapers, the late night feedings, the spitting up all of the couches and carpets, and even Bella's temper tantrums she is bound to have when she is de-throned. We are ready!

Monday, November 5, 2007

4 Weeks Old Today and...Homeward Bound!

Well, today marks 4 weeks of life for our little Ez and, of course, 4 weeks since his surgery, too. I can't even explain what an emotional rollercoaster ride we've been on with this little guy but we know one thing for sure...he is worth it!
Today during our visit, they dropped the "D" word...yep, that's right...DISCHARGE!!! They said that he may be going home this weekend since he is doing so well. They will take him completely off of his TPN and lipids tonight and rely soley on bottle feeds. He will most likely lose some weight initially (he is already to 5 pounds, by the way) but then he should start to gain weight. Once that happens, they will send him home. We are so excited but trying to curb our excitement with a bit of caution as we know things can change from minute to minute. But, we at least feel like there is finally light at the end of this tunnel.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

We were a 50's family (missing one little greaser) for Halloween. Bella thought it was so cool that we were both wearing poodle skirts. Even her build a bear had one on!

Our little pumpkin

Ezra continues to do well. His feeds are increasing every day and he is doing well in the poop department also. We are actually hopeful to have him home within 2 weeks. He'll need to increase to full feeds (which will take another 3 or 4 days) and then he'll need to do well on full feeds for another 3-4 days before he can come home. We are allowing for some setbacks also but so far, so good.

Witches Night Out

The other night a bunch of my witch friends all went out to dinner at Chilis (yes, we went out in public looking like that). We got a lot of stares but we had a total blast...cackle, cackle, cackle.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Got Poop?

Ezra does! We don't mean to make light of this bodily function but this really is a highly important feat for our little guy. Of course, we aren't totally in the clear yet being that his poop was like a pea size today but it does mean that something has gone completely in and completely out, which hopefully means that he doesn't have a blockage in his intestines. We'll learn more as the poops progress. :)

The surgean explained today that we are feeding him (yes, the feedings are back on...this status seems to change from hour to hour though) only 4 cc's every 4 hours (which is less than a teaspoon full) not to give him nutrition but to make sure that his intestines receive nutrition and continue to function. Ezra is basically still getting all of his nutrition intraveniously, which can get dangerous after awhile if his liver stops processing it well. But, we continue to hope and pray that he can hold the little feedings down and that he will start pooping more so that we can increase feedings gradually and decrease TPN over the coming days. So, that's the scoop on the poop...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

1 teaspoon full at a time

This is one of those very small hospital bottles and the amount in the bottle is how much formula Ezra is taking every 4 hours. It is about 1 teaspoon full. Although he has spit up a few times, it hasn't been anything too concerning. Just in case, they are starting him on zantac for acid reflux. He sucks down his little teaspoon full of formula so quickly now and then he licks his lips for awhile afterwards. He must be so hungry! We are hoping that by tomorrow they will start to increase the formula, but of course, it will just be a little bit at a time. And, still waiting on the ever important poop to make sure that what goes in, can come out and that he has no blockages in his intestines.
This is where Ezra lives for now...

All of the nurses comment on what a sweet little guy he is. They say usually babies that don't get to eat are very fussy but he just takes it all in good stride.

Thanks for checking in on the Ezra updates. We've been told by so many people that you read our blog frequently to know how he is doing and we so appreciate your love and concern for him. He is one loved and supported little guy and we love you all back!

*UPDATE* I guess I spoke too soon. I called the hospital before going to bed as usual and found out that Ezra had thrown up quite a bit and it was brown (like old blood) so they have suspended his feedings once again. Luckily, they did not put the tube back down his throat as they actually believe that is the cause of the blood from the tube irritating something. Once again, it is discouraging but we know that this is just an uphill battle that eventually we'll win.

Friday, October 26, 2007

So far so good...

Today I was able to feed Ezra twice. Both times it was just about 1 to 2 teaspoons full of that predigested formula but he did so much better today than last Sunday. And since he started nearly 12 hours ago, he has only had one very little spit up, which isn't much to worry about. This is great news! He will continue on this feeding schedule of just a little bit of formula every 4 hours just to stimulate his intestines, and we will gradually work the feedings up. So far so good and we are so very happy at his progress...After 3 weeks of nothing in his tummy (just the lipids and TPN that go straight into his blood stream) he is anxious to eat. He is also 4 pounds, 8 ounces already. He is getting to be a "plump" kid :).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

A better day

Today they took Ezra's tube out again and we will try feedings again tomorrow. We are hopeful that it will go better this time around. Honestly, feedings are the riskiest part about this whole process. If his intestines aren't ready, he could get a blockage in his intestines which could kill a portion of them and require surgeries to cut out what is dead and possibly to lengthen the intestines, etc. Or he could be allergic to the different formulas. There are so many variables. What we are hoping for is the following: 1) that he will take his feedings with a bottle and not have to have an NG tube down his nose 2) that his little body will tolerate the feedings and he won't spit/throw up the formula or bile and 3) that as he tolerates feedings, he can work up to a regular full feeding schedule and 4) that his bowels will work and he will start pooping. After all of that happens, our little Ez will come home. We expect this process will take anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks.

Ezra was so smiley today as we held him. It was so obvious how happy and content he was with out the big tube down his throat. He looked so comfortable and like such a little angel. We just love this little guy. He is a bit camera shy though and hates the flash so we usually only get pictures of him asleep or with a really bothered or surprised look on his face. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Two Steps Forward...One Step Back

Well, yesterday Ezra had his first feeding. I was happy to be there and to be able to give him his first bottle. It was about 2 teaspoons of predigested formula and he took it pretty well. We were so happy. I tried again at his next feeding, and he didn't want anything to do with it. He was breathing heavily and acting agitated. They decided to give it to him through an NG tube in his nose. Later he started throwing up what little formula he had taken and a lot of green, mossy bile. So, they determined that his little body was not ready for feedings yet and the big, yucky tube was replaced in his throat and into his tummy to pull out the bile. We were pretty discouraged today when we saw him. He was visibly uncomfortable and kept gagging. The medical staff keep reassuring us that this is normal for these babies to have these ups and downs but we were hoping that he would be one of the few that just do exceptionally well. Anyway, we are back to waiting until they think we should try the food again. Blaine gave him another priesthood blessing today and I am so grateful to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life that gives me so much comfort and hope. I am also so grateful for all of your wonderful love and support. It is just a bump in the road and hopefully we will find smoother pavement soon.
These first two pictures were of him yesterday, before they put the tubes back in.

Bella had a fabulous birthday weekend. We went to build a bear on Saturday and to dinner and then on Sunday her cousins, Aunt Tiff, and Grandma were here to help her celebrate. We had pizza, cake and ice cream, a pinata, and presents.

Isn't her build-a-bear cake so cute?

Bella got her bear, chocolate (pronounced in Spanish), lots of new clothes and accessories. Way too cute!