Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Some recent memorable quotes from my little lady -

Steve was giving Ella a bath upstairs and I could hear all kinds of wild laughter and hooting and hollering. He got her out of the tub after a while and it got pretty quiet and I heard lots of loud whispering. I went upstairs to get a basket of laundry. Ella had her back to me, but heard me coming up the stairs and yelled out "Daddy, it's the monster!" Then she turned all the way and said "Oh, it's Mommy. Mommy's not a monster, she's a great girl!" It was music to my ears - I couldn't ask for anything more than for Ella to call me "a great girl" :)

We were on a walk and Cory stopped to do her business. After she finishes, she has a habit where she uses her back legs to kick up grass and whatever else is on the ground. On this morning the ground was wet, and Ella happened to be in a bad position behind her. She kicked up footfuls of mud, and it went directly into Ella's face. She shrieked, turns toward me with a face full of mud and said very sadly, "Cory kicked mud on me. She's not being friendly."

We were driving down the road and there were a few birds in the road so I started to drive very slowly so they would fly away. Ella asked what I was doing and I said there were birds in the road and she said "Oh no, we don't want to hit them! Then they will have big ouchies and their Mommies will have to come give them kisses and keep them safe." (It made me so happy that this is how she views mommies.)

We were playing store and I was the shopkeeper and Ella asked me where all the different things were and I would point them out for her to pretend to get them to buy. They were all normal store items, like "where is the milk?", "where are the snacks?", "where are the sodas?", and then all of a sudden she said "where are the pink alligators?" - ha!

On the way home from school Ella said to me "Mommy, there were seeds in my sam-wich today." I told her, "it's okay, it was just some grains from the bread." Her reply: "I don't like seeds. You need to buy me other bread at the store."

Ella wanted a cheese stick but wanted to open it herself. After a few minutes of trying she asked me to help her but I was in the middle of feeding Cory so I asked her if she could ask Steve to do it instead. She was like "nooooo Mommy, you need to open it" so I walked over to open it and at the last minute she said "Daddy you can open it! Mommy, don't worry - you're still my best friend!"

I used the word "debacle" to describe something and for some reason she was really fascinated by the sound of it, and she laughed and asked me what it meant. I wasn't sure the best explanation to give her, so I said "it's when several things go wrong in a row." About an hour later I was asking her to calm down and stop jumping so I could brush her hair and she said "sorry, no, it's a debacle."

After an exceptionally procrastination filled bedtime, we hadn't heard from Ella for about 10 minutes or so, then she started saying "Mommy, I need a kiss. Mommy, I need a kiss." (she knows this always gets me!) So I go in, she's in bed playing with a toy, wearing her watch (which she did not have on before bedtime). I saw something on right next to her lip that looked like food and I said "are you eating something?" because I just couldn't figure out what she'd have in bed. Her reply, "no Mommy, it's lipstick!" Ah, of course it's lipstick - why didn't I think of that?

Monday, March 28, 2011

3-year and Easter pictures

I took Ella last weekend to get her pictures taken, and she did such a great job. Here are a few of my favorites!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Quick Update

Thank you for the sweet and caring comments on my last post, we really appreciate the prayers and kind words. I wanted to give a quick update on Ella. By the end of the night on Friday her leg was hurting again, but she was fine when she woke up on Saturday morning, and has been great all weekend. The top of her hand is bruised from the IV and has been bothering her, mainly just putting a shirt on and off, but I'm assuming that should heal in a few more days.

Steve went up to MD and VA for his Uncle's funeral, so it was just Ella and I this weekend. We took it VERY easy, and barely even left the house except for the grocery store yesterday and church today.

Last night Ella had us play a long game of 'sick animals' (with her many stuffed animals) that had to go to the doctor. Some kept coughing and that's why they had to go, and some had ouchies on their legs and couldn't walk and had to go to the "hop-si-tal" and get a shot, and they didn't get lollipops after. It's amazing how much I learn about how she experiences things and remembers them, from listening to what she says while she's playing.

Anyway, I definitely think a quiet weekend was good for both of us, and I think Ella will do great at school tomorrow!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Scariest Night as a Parent

Monday night was the scariest night we've had as parents so far. I'm sure this will be a long one to read, so I will start with the most important part first - everything worked out okay, and Ella is going to be completely, 100% fine. BUT, oh my goodness, what a night we had with her.

Ella had intermittent leg pain starting last Wednesday, where she could complain that either her knee or her thigh hurt for a little bit, but then she would be fine. On Friday afternoon it was really bothering her and she didn't want to walk on Friday night, so we decided that we'd take her to the doctor on Saturday morning.

The night before this started, Ella threw a legitimate, crazed-toddler tantrum after dinner. Steve gave her the color vitamin that she didn't want, and then when he went to give her the color she wanted instead, she popped the first one in her mouth so then we said she couldn't have the second one. Well, this was the wrong answer and she went berserk. She threw herself on the couch and kicked her legs crazily for about 2-3 minutes. I've never seen anything like it. Because this happened the night before she first complained about her leg, we thought she must have strained a muscle during that crazy outburst.

On Saturday morning, she woke up completely pain-free and was back to normal, so we were convinced that our theory was right and her muscle must have healed itself, and we did not take her to the doctor. She was fine all weekend and we had a great weekend. Monday morning, still fine, but then on Monday afternoon her teacher called to tell me that her leg was really hurting her, and that she had been limping since lunchtime. She didn't sleep at nap time, I'm guessing because she was in so much pain, and after nap time was over, she said she couldn't stand up because her leg hurt so badly. I went and picked her up, and she wasn't crying, but seemed miserable and just wanted to be held. As soon as I got home we decided she couldn't wait until the morning to take her to the doctor, so we headed to the urgent care nearby. The doctor there told us just to take her to the ER because she was in so much pain.

By that point she was in so much pain that just getting her in and out of her car seat was causing her to cry. We got to the ER and while we were in the waiting room, she wanted to be held by one of us while we were standing, not sitting, and would cry out anytime she shifted at all, it seemed that she was in pain in both legs and her torso or ribs. We couldn't even imagine what could be wrong with her, but knew we had never seen her in so much pain, including when she broke her leg and sprained her foot, this was much worse. It took a few hours to get checked into a room and she got worse very quickly during that time. Her legs went completely rigid and she wasn't able to bend her knees at all, even with the doctor trying to force them to bend. She laid in one spot in the bed and couldn't move her legs at all, and was in so much pain.

The doctor told us they were concerned was a septic infection in one or both of her hip joints, but could also have been a necrosis of her bone due to the prednisone she had been on for croup a few weeks ago (she got hives for several days following the prednisone so we know she had an allergic reaction to it), very low potassium levels causing muscle problems, or another problem with the joint, but they really weren't sure. From the outside, everything looked fine, no swelling, redness, or bruising, so it was clearly something internal vs. an injury.

They x-rayed both of her hips and took tons of blood, and after that gave her morphine for her pain. She'd been awake from 7am until 1am without sleep, so in addition to being in the worst pain of her life, she was exhausted, hungry because we hadn't eaten dinner and they wouldn't let her eat the snacks I had brought for her because they weren't sure if she'd need surgery. She finally fell asleep about an hour after the morphine, and was really out. She fell asleep holding some stickers one of the nurses had given her, like they were her little treasures. I cannot even explain how it felt to see her in so much pain like that, it was the worst feeling ever.

The X-rays ruled out bone necrosis and blood work ruled out low potassium, so they were more convinced it had to be her hip joint, because it was not the bone itself. They decided we needed to be transferred to the bigger hospital that has a more specialized pediatric department. Around 1:30 am the transfer team came to get her and I drove with her in the back of the ambulance. She looked so tiny and sad strapped in the stretcher and I was so glad she slept through the whole transfer and ride. While we were in the ambulance, her blood pressure dropped to 70/40 and because it dipped so low they had to quickly give her some fluid in her IV. Fortunately it quickly came back up, but that was one of the scariest parts of the whole of the whole night.

Once we got to the other hospital, they did ultrasounds of both hips, which she stayed asleep for. After that the orthopedist came to talk to us and said there was fluid found in the ultrasound, which indicated either septic joint or transient toxic synnovitis, but they couldn't be sure which one. Then they did x-rays on both knees, she woke up at that point because it was so painful to bend her knees, but she fell back asleep after. It was about 4am by then and Steve and tried to take sleep as much as we could until about 5am.

Throughout the whole night, there was tons of waiting. We'd have one thing done, then wait for several hours until the next time we saw a doctor. Plenty of nurse visits in between, but they were really just to check on Ella and keep track of all her vitals than to give us any news.

Sometime a little later in the morning the orthopedic surgeon came by and said he thought that from her blood work and ultrasounds, that it was very highly unlikely he would need to do surgery on her, that there was a less than 2% she would need surgery and he seemed really confident she would not. That was really good news and was the first time we started to feel a little better about things.

They took some more blood to check again on her counts and make sure everything looked good, and her blood work was very good again. A few hours after that, they told us we were going to be discharged because she definitely did not have a septic infection. What a relief! Though they were not 100% positive, they were pretty confident it was the transient toxic synnovitis, that is where the joint has fluid and inflammation around it due to a virus, and in many cases patients that have it will have had an upper respiratory infection a few weeks ago, which was exactly the case with Ella since she had croup a few weeks ago. He told us we need to follow up with a specialist but were officially free to leave, and that it should heal on its own with rest and Motrin for pain / inflammation.

We got home, totally exhausted and worn out from lack of sleep, worry, adrenaline, but so very relieved that we were home and grateful that Ella was okay, etc. We've been home the past few days with her and she is doing so much better - she is up and walking around, having fun, and in no pain at all. She has a very different idea of 'resting up' than we do!

This was without question the scariest thing we've been through with Ella - she was in so much pain, we knew something was wrong but had no idea what it was, and we were just so helpless to do anything. I prayed non-stop throughout the night and knew that when we aren't able to do anything, when even the doctors do not know what is wrong, that God was holding Ella in His hand the entire time, and I knew that He would take care of her.

We are so grateful to have been blessed with Ella as our daughter, and I absolutely know what a precious gift health is; this experience certainly confirmed those thoughts. I am one lucky Mommy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Big Girl

We had another first today. Ella can be very shy and is generally very attached to me when we're in new or unusual places. She warms up after a little bit, but is still typically a lot more secure and comfortable the closer I am to her.

Well, today we were getting her 3-year and Easter pictures taken, and there was a table with a bunch of legos on it that she wanted to play at and build. She wanted me to sit next to her and build the legos with her, and so I sat in a little chair (that was way too small for me) and we played legos for a while.

After about 10 minutes or so, another little girl came over, and said "hi, what's your name?"; Ella said, "Ella. What's yours?"; The girl said "I'm Isabella. I'm 3." Ella said, "I'm three years old! We're all 3!" Then the little girl said "Can I play with you?" and Ella started handing legos over to her and said "sure you can, we can both build." I was so proud of her for being so friendly and willing to share the toys.

They had a little conversation and played for about 2 minutes and then Ella said to me "Mommy, you watch us play. You go sit over there." I couldn't believe it! Not only was she being friendly and playing with a new little buddy but she wanted me to leave so they could play by themselves! I went and sat in a chair right behind her and she said "No Mommy, you sit over there" and pointed to another chair a little further away. They talked and had fun and played really nicely together; and I was so pleased with her being so independent, such a big girl!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Super Girls

Ella and her friend Kati in their superhero capes at gymnastics this week. My friend Nicole is very crafty and she and Kati made a cape for Kati; then Kati decided they should make one for Ella too - it was so sweet, and they were adorable in them!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Trip to Maryland

We went to Maryland this weekend to visit Steve's side of the family, it was great to see everyone. We got to Steve's Dad's house on Friday night and Teresa came over for the night - Ella had so much fun playing with her and then they had a sleepover on Friday night. Ella stayed in her room the whole night, we were impressed, and Teresa got to discover the joy of sleeping with a 3-year old :).

Big hug for Aunt Tesie

On Saturday morning we went over to Steve's Uncle Carlos and Aunt Suzanne's house. They have several grandchildren and so they were well prepared for our visit! It was really nice to see them and Ella really enjoyed her time with Tia Suzanne.

Having fun with Grampy and Grandma Carole

Throwing rocks in the creek with Grampy. We had nice weather and Ella loves being outside and throwing rocks, so this was a hit!

Tree climbing with Steve...she always says she wants to "climb trees" but then once she gets up there, she's not so sure she likes it!

Pretty girl

Making breakfast with Grampy. Ella cracked eggs and stirred, she loves to help in the kitchen.

We had another reason for our trip as well, that was to visit Steve's Uncle Doug, who was very sick and passed away yesterday. We were able to see him on both Friday and Sunday. Steve and his Uncle Doug were very close and we will all miss him. I am glad we were able to visit with him this weekend and say goodbye.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Weekend in Charlotte

We went to Charlotte last weekend to visit everyone. Mom and Glenn flew in to Raleigh because they had to do a few things around here, and they took Ella with them to Charlotte on Thursday night, the night before Steve and I drove there. Steve and I got to go out to dinner together and Ella got some excellent grandparent time!

They had a successful trip out to Charlotte and then on Friday Mom, Erin, Ella and Cameron went to the park together

Checking out the ducks

Swinging on the playground

Mom giving Ella a pedicure - Ella loves to have her toes done!

We got there Friday night and were so happy to see Ella after her being away for the night!

Steve with Ella and Cameron. Cameron is just adorable and has gotten so much bigger in just the month since we last saw him!

On Saturday we went to see Dad and Donna, they moved a few weeks ago from Pinehurst to about a half-hour outside of Charlotte in South Carolina. They're living in a rental house right now in the neighborhood they'll be living in, while their new house is built.

Ella loves Cameron so much. Here are a few really cute pictures of Ella and Cameron at Dad and Donna's -

(Funny sidenote - This past weekend we were at the playground and Ella was playing with a girl who was about 6. The two of them talked back and forth and then the girl said to Ella, "I have a baby sister", and Ella said back to her, "I have a baby Cameron." - It was precious!)

Steve and Dad checking out the progress on their soon-to-be-finished house

Glenn, Steve and Josh went to a hockey game on Saturday night, and the girls (plus Cameron!) stayed in for the night

Some pre-bedtime mischief

Check out Cameron's chunky arm asleep on Erin!

Ella loves taking pictures with the camera and so far it's working out pretty well because she knows how to take pictures, and how to review them on the camera, but fortunately doesn't know how to delete them yet. Here is a self-portrait I discovered!

Josh was holding Cameron up too high for Ella to get her hands on him. She got resourceful and grabbed a stool to solve the problem!

Bike riding with Grampy G on Sunday

Pretty girl

Me, Ella and Cameron

It was a great trip and so good to see everyone for the weekend!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Some recent gems from Ella -

After a trip to the playground with a friend, we were on our way home for lunch and Ella asked me what we were going to have for lunch. I gave her a few suggestions which I guess were not appealing, and she said "Mommy, let's go eat lunch at a restaurant. I want to go with you to a restaurant and have a lunch date." We went and got pizza, how could I say no to my first official lunch date request from her! :)

Her stamps from Happy feet are really hard to get off, much harder than any other stamp, I don't know if it's the kind of ink or what the issue is, but they are exceptionally difficult to wash off. A few weeks ago after scrubbing Ella's shins for several minutes each I said "do you think maybe next week you could skip the stamps and ask for a sticker instead?" I forgot about it and never mentioned it again. Fast forward a week and the next week of Happy Feet, I asked her how it went. She told me "it was good, and I got a sticker, no stamps!" I just couldn't believe it. I told her how proud I was of her and she said "thank you Mommy, I did a really great job getting a sticker." That was about 3 or 4 weeks ago and now she gets a sticker every week!

She turned off all the lights in her room, came up to me with her glow man night light, held it up to me and said "I see your face, it's blue. You are a robot - a scary robot!"

We were praying before dinner and I prayed for Steve's Dad, who just had a hip replacement. As I said that, Ella, hands clasped and head bowed, says "And Grammy." Me: "Yes, and Grammy"; Ella: "And Aunt Erin and Cory". Me: "Yes, and Aunt Erin, and Cory." Ella: "And Me!" Steve: "In your name we pray, Amen" :)

One night I told her that I needed her to turn around and sit down so I could brush her hair. She was really excited and hyper and didn't want to sit for her hair to get brushed. I asked a few times and she wouldn't do it and then finally she said "say 'little dinosuar, it's time to brush hair' [side note: she likes to pretend she's a puppy, dinosaur, robot, and we're supposed to call her 'little puppy', 'little dinosaur', 'little robot', etc]. So, I figured, okay, I'll play along if the little dinosaur will sit still to have her hair brushed. I said "Little Dinosaur, it's time to brush out your dinosaur mane!" Her response: "I'm a little dinosaur, I don't want to brush hair, I just want to run around!" Ha - foiled by my 3 year old!

On Valentine's Day, I got Ella dressed for the day in a long sleeve pink shirt with hearts, and brown pants. She acted really surprised and said "brown pants?? NO, I need pink pants!" I said "we don't have any clean pink pants" and she said "Ok, well purple then." I said "I don't know if we have any clean purple either." She said "we do, look in my drawer." Well, she was right, she had a pair of purple leggins in there. While I was getting her changed I asked her why she didn't want to wear her brown pants, and she said "I like pants that are better. Like pink and purple."

One night I was talking to my Dad on the phone and Steve was finishing tucking Ella into bed. After I got off the phone, I went upstairs to give her one more kiss. She told me that her nose was stuffy and I saw that her humidier was off, even though I thought that I had left it on. I asked her "did you turn off the humidifier?" she said very seriously, "yes, it was too noisy. I wanted to hear you talking on the phone!"

It had been a long time since we've gone for a walk with Chris and Laurie, and we had been planning to get started again now that the weather is getting nicer. For the past few months, whenever we have taken walks in the neighborhood, Ella just walks alongside me, she doesn't ride in her stroller, so she hasn't been in her stroller in a few months. I wanted to get a practice stroller-ride in ahead of time so that I wouldn't have a rebellion on my hands the next night when we were going to go on our walk. Ella decided she wanted to ride in her umbrella stroller but I really thought she seemed too big for it. But, she was pretty adamant that she wanted to ride in it so off we went. About 20 minutes into the walk I was talking about how tomorrow night we were going to go to Miss Chris's house to walk with her and Dominic. I asked her if she wanted to bring that stroller, or her other (bigger) one, and she told me "the other one. This one is too small. I'm too big girl for this stroller. We need to pack it up." (She knows that we always 'pack things up' once she outgrows them!)

I always tell Ella I love her so much, more than anything in the world, and I always ask her "How much do I love you?" and she says "so much in the world" (not quite 'more than anything in the world' but she's definitely got the gist.) One morning I asked her and she answered and then she said after thinking for a few minutes, "how much is so much?" Another time I said how much I loved her and she said "tell me so much in the world."

Ella was in bed the other night and called me upstairs sounding very upset. When I got to her bedroom she said "Mommy, I don't like this book anymore." She had a Thomas the Tank book and said "There is a scary dog in here." I asked her to show it to me and she turned to the 2nd page and pointed to a dog looking into a window. I have no idea why it was scary all of a sudden to her, she's read the book a bunch of times and she usually likes it. I asked her if she wanted me to put it back on the bookshelf and she said "Yes, and we need to give it back to Grammy the next time." (the book is from Mom) Then she said with 100% sincerity, "I need to tell her it's not my favorite anymore."

We were in a parking lot and I was singing a few lines of a song that had been playing in the store we had been in. E: "What are you singing?" Me: "It's the song that was on in there - now it's stuck in my head." E (VERY concerned, and rubbing my head): "Mommy, how you going to get it out of your head? You need medicine?"