Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eli's making himself known at SFH

Elijah nearly escaped hospitalization...which means he is in the hospital this evening.

He was admitted last night with the idea of giving him a bag or two of IV fluid, but they couldn’t get the IV in the baby’s vein, so he didn’t get the IV of fluid...but he remains in the hospital. Go figure.

Although they are not doing anything to him that we wouldn’t do at home...except wake him for vitals, stick him several times to attempt an IV placement and insist on a clear liquid diet...he is still in the hospital. I sound sarcastic, I know, but the whole situation seems so ridiculous. David was in the shower today when the Intensivist made his rounds on the floor where Eli is. The doc told the nurse he would return after he finished his rounds and ate his’s nearly 8 p.m. and he hasn’t been back. I’m not complaining...or maybe I should just admit that this one time, I actually am complaining and I think I’ve earned the right. Or, at least, David and Eli have earned the right that I am using.

Hopefully Elijah’s bowels will return to normal and he can come home quickly. Thanks for your prayers and love.


P.S. The Spa Party is still on for this Saturday at 10:30 at my home. Don’t think I’m horrible for not canceling, but David’s given me permission to have this indulgence, plus, I’m doing it on behalf of my sweet Eli. : )

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eli makes it to 12 pounds

Elijah made it to twelve pounds...then he contracted another GI nightmare from his loving big sister. He has diarrhea. It has been lingering since Friday. We’re trying to keep him from needing IV fluids, but as it continues I know the threat becomes greater. We love having Elijah home, away from the pokes and sticks of a hospital stay. Please pray he can stay hydrated!

Sophia recovered from her bout with the nasty bug, but not in time to make a good showing at her Kindergarten graduation, which was no fun. Elijah saw Dr. Hollister last week at the Shriner’s Hospital in Shreveport. She scheduled his wrist/arm surgery for Sept. 3. Unfortunately, she’s decided one arm/wrist at a time rather than both at the same time as per our previous arrangement. She feels like Eli needs at least three more months of recovering from his last GI issue. We are praying his current “issue” is far less debilitating than the last.

Please don’t take for granted the good health of your children. I remember standing in line at a pharmacy not long ago listening to a mother angrily reprimand her elementary-age son as he skipped from one dark square on the floor to the next dark square.

I couldn’t help but imagine what I will do when Elijah skips from dark square to dark square. I will squeal with joy. I will skip with him. I will cheer him on. It is my heart’s desire that he skip!

On the way to Shreveport this last trip David says to me, “I find myself kissing Elijah’s feet more and more.” I admitted the same feelings of fondness for his sweet feet. The daunting possibility of amputation makes us heart sick.

I visited with my Aunt Janet this weekend. She is the loving grandmother to sweet Gavin in Dallas fighting brain cancer. We marvel at the trials in our family. The obstacles that seem so giant. The horrific news we’ve endured. Please keep praying for Gavin and his family.

Another special thanks to my cousin Tony and his dear with Chery for their fundraiser on behalf of Elijah in Los Angeles. You have a special place in my heart.

For those of you local, please come to my Spa Party this Saturday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m. I’d love to have you.

Thank you for your ongoing prayers for Eli. He is a fragile little guy.

With love and appreciation,

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rolling around

I am excited to share with you some of Elijah’s recent milestones. He has figured out how to roll over. He’s best going from his tummy to his back as long as his arms are positioned correctly. He puts on a real show and expects applause after each performance. He has also taken to eating baby food. A real feat for a child who used to gag at the mere sight of a spoon headed for his mouth. He is babbling new sounds and is generally feeling better (except for those pesky allergies David mentions below). We don’t judge Elijah’s progress according to traditional measures that would put a child rolling over at 3 months and eating baby food at 6 months. Elijah is on his own schedule, which is fine by his very loud and very patient cheering section.

Please pray for Elijah’s nights. This longstanding issue for us has reared it’s ugly head again. With Eli’s allergies, he is having more difficulty getting a good night’s sleep, which keeps the rest of the Ramirezes in the same boat. David is sometimes up all night and then up all day getting Eli to and from appointments then he crashes when I get home from work for a few hours. It is rough on all of us.

Special shout out to my cousin Tony Cooper who is coordinating a fundraiser for Elijah in LA. We are touched by his generosity and willingness to help our big guy. Thanks, Tony!

I love you all...even those I do not know. Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Quick update (safe at home)

Sorry for the delay, but as they say, no news is good news. Elijah looks great, he's gaining weight (very, very slowly), he's progressing well in his therapy, and he just generally in a good mood. Whatever you guys are praying for, keep praying for it, and be sure to say "thank you" every once in a while.

UPDATE: Both Sophia and Elijah are suffering through allergies. Eli's pediatrician, the miraculous Dr. Rowena Baumgartner, said today, "Oh wow, a normal problem! It's such a blessing!" I know what she means. Dr. B has been with us from the very beginning, and we don't know what we'd do without her.

Melissa is getting slammed at work. She's in charge of PR and fundraising for the Tulsa area chapter American Red Cross, and with all the tornado damage in Picher, she's sending the troops running as fast as she can. Pray for her and for everyone in the Picher area.

Continue to keep Gavin Smith in your prayers. The 3-year-old son of Melissa's cousin, Stacie, is recovering as best he can from the removal of a malignant brain tumor. Our hearts are breaking for the Smiths. Keep Gavin in your most stringent prayers, and say a special prayer for his devastated family including his grandparents, the Ayers.

That's it for tonight. Keep on truckin'.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Picture Time 4 of 4 - Left to Right

He's suspicious of you. Just kidding. But not really. Look at how he uses those hands. Now that he's out of the hospital for good -- we are NOT expecting further "gut trauma" problems -- we can finally get back to strengthening and straightening his wrists and elbows. In the meantime, he is using all the muscles at his disposal -- arms, legs, tummy, fingers, even the tongue -- to grab and hold onto what he wants.

Please pray that we'll be able to move forward with the wrist surgeries sometime this summer. It was supposed to be in May, and more delays are not welcome.

This week's contests: Correctly identify Elijah's eye color. Winner will receive my appreciation, right after they tell me what it is. The whole spectrum is in there, honestly.

See how he's gazing at his father with unending devotion and gratitude? Actually, he's trying to say, "You took my money. I know it, you know it. Be prepared for payback, old man."

He loves to suck in his lips. I know some of you have expressed concern at seeing me hold him upside-down for extended periods of time, but he adores it, so get over it. The audiologists say the CT-scans reveal an underdeveloped vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and orientation, so their recommendation was to play a little bit more rough-and-tumble with him, to really give him a sense of movement. And since he can only throw up through his feeding tube, I really toss him around with gusto. (No shaking, ever. We are trained acrobats.)

Picture Time 3 of 4 - Clifford's Pal

Did I hear someone say the tongue is the strongest muscle in the human body? I present Exhibit A.

Yeah, he winks, too.

LOVE that smile. The teeth are really coming in nicely, which is great timing because we're really making progress with the oral feedings. You can also see the Phase 1 Gerber stains on his clothes. Soon he'll be devouring red meat. He's already asking for it.

Sophia's bright smile, sharp mind and immense patience have kept us energized when we've needed it most. But more importantly, watch how she makes the pink camo WORK.

Picture Time 2 of 4 - Eli and Sis Posing

What's he singing, you ask? "The Marriage of Figaro." Both kids are non-stop singers. Sophia is all about the "Hannah Montana." When singing along, she never misses an "Oooh," "C'mon," or "Yeah." We're looking for an agent. Seriously.

We need a modeling agent as well. No, not for me. But thanks!

Look at that stare... so judgmental. Elijah is usually much more tolerant of a botched photo op, but at the end of the day, he's a professional. Don't get on his bad side, that's all I'm saying.

Big Sis. I know a lot of you worry about what Sophia's going through, and we appreciate your prayers on her behalf, but you've got to know that she's loving life these days. Nothing stops her positive attitude, and a camera lens seems to kick it up a notch. BAM!