Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A small update and some videos..

We started January off with a doctors appointment. Ellie is so patient with all of the waiting time. 

While I was cleaning our bathroom one morning, Ellie grabbed a clorox wipe and helped me start cleaning the tub.  

Ismael and I finally got brave this month and put Ellie in her own room. I didn't sleep the first few nights because I felt so nervous about her being in a different room, but it is working out great now! 

Luckily we bought a video monitor so we could watch and make sure everything is ok while she sleeps. 

I made some paper pinwheels to put above Ellie's crib. I love how they turned out. 

One Saturday evening we went and walked around the Dallas Temple grounds. It was so beautiful and peaceful. 

Ellie loves looking at the cars outside her window. 

A few videos of Ellie walking: 

Ellie has hated grass for as long as I can remember. This is her trying to get up and avoid touching her hands on the grass. 

Going out for another walk!

Ellie loves walking around and talking to Ismael on the phone. 

Ismael was singing a song to Ellie, and she was doing the actions. 

Another cute little video of Ellie. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Tonight I am feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for Ellie's trach. and her feeding tube. and for her life.   Even though sometimes these are my #1 stressors, they are not only keeping her alive, but giving her life and allowing her to thrive.

I was just going through my photos and came across this video that my sister took while Ellie was at the NICU at Primary Children's. So many feelings came rushing back of what those 3 1/2 months were like and how helpless I felt. It kind of broke my heart again to watch this video.

This is how Ellie's breathing looked before she got her trach:

I remember when Ismael and I were talking about options for Ellie, because her breathing was not improving and they could not wean her off of high-flow oxygen. We talked about the option of a tracheostomy, but both of us were really scared, and we didn't want that. Deep deep down, I knew that was what she needed. But since it was so deep it took me a while to come to terms with. It was one of those hard decisions you know is right, and even though you know it is right, is still hard to make. I went around the NICU and looked at some of my friends babies who had trachs. We discussed options with doctors. We researched. We prayed.  I talked with family members. I cried and struggled with the decision. I remember one morning, I woke up, and I felt peace about Ellie getting the trach. It was amazing! All of the fear, worries, and stupid insecurities were gone and I knew that she needed her trach. It was like a huge burden had been lifted. Ismael was still not sure, and it took him a little longer to get the same feeling. Once we both knew it was right, we moved on with the decision. 

The morning Ellie had her trach surgery, Ismael had to work and could not be there. He had already taken off so much work. Chrissy was there with me and I am so grateful she was. She was a huge support to me and made me feel so much better about Ellie's trach.  

Once she got her tracheostomy put in, she was a new baby. She didn't have to use all of her energy on breathing. I am so grateful for the trach. It saved her life. We don't know how long she will need it. I am excited for the day that she will get it out, but I am constantly reminding myself to not wish my days away, because I think I will miss these times. I want to enjoy every moment with her while she is passing through these different stages and even though 1 year or more seems like a long time for her to still have it, time has already passed so quickly and it is such a short time in the long run.  

Friday, January 3, 2014

Goodbye 2013!

I cannot believe another year has passed! 2013 treated us well and was filled with a lot of tears, stress, joy, improvements, and learning experiences. 

Looking back a year ago from today, I would have never thought we would do some of the things we did throughout the year because of Ellie's health. I felt like we would always be confined to our house, and that enjoying life outside our apartment would never happen again. Even visiting family stressed me out. 

I am so grateful for the improvements in Ellie's health. She has come so far and is so resilient. She was hospitalized twice last year, the last time being in May. Since then, we have been able to manage sickness at home. I never thought that would happen! 2013 was filled with many blessings for our family, and Ellie's health was one of our biggest blessings. 

Just a few of my favorite things throughout the year:

All of our family being together in Idaho for Katie's baptism. 

Ellie meeting some other babies that were in the NICU with her. 

Living right by Temple Square and walking around there every day. 

Also living right by City Creek :)

Going and listening to the Tabernacle Choir practice on Thursday nights. 

Fourth of July in Idaho. 

Hanging out with my sister for TWO whole weeks!

Watching these two become little friends.

Many walks in our matching strollers. 

Weekly concerts at the Brigham Young Park.

Beautiful summer hikes.

Ellie going to church for the first time. 

REAL Salt Lake Soccer Game

Halloween at Grandpa and Grandma McFarlane's.

Our move to Texas.

Ellie's first plane ride (other than being transported on the jet).

Ellie walking!

Christmas in Utah!


And finally, our year couldn't have ended better with my mom getting married. Wahoo! (photo by Chrissy)

 What a fun year! Bring on 2014!

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