Monday, December 05, 2011

Elliott's Team Wins State Cup!

I'm feeling better. Today I learned that I do have Shingles which explains the horrible pain in my back and side. I've got a few other tests to complete. For now, enjoy this video of our son, Elliott and his team from El Dorado United Soccer Academy. The team won the Bronze division State Cup series for U10 Boys. I was well enough to go to the game so got to see his team play well and celebrate at the end. You can see Elliott's blonde mop bouncing around toward the end. He is number 13.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I have been very ill so am not posting regularly. I have been struggling with back pain since July which has now descended into intoler

le nerve pain. I'm home today after three nights in the hospital where they found little cause besides two bulging disks. This cannot explain the fever, chills and stomach pain. I would appreciate prayers to help us find a doctor who will champion my case through the medical system. A cure would be wonderful. I want to play with my children.

These are the most recent photos of the kids: A trip to the pumpkin farm where I could barely hold it together to take photos. Their costumes on our front porch. I thank God for our wonderful children who give us such joy. No one will get me back to the hospital again where I am separated from them.

God bless and please send your prayers up to God to aleviate our suffering.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beth's First Soccer Goal

Beth scored her first soccer goal! It was in her first soccer game this Saturday. It was too much fun to watch her play. Daddy and I couldn't help being amazed. To think this little one stopped breathing a dozen times each day for 2 months still amazes us. Now, she is running and playing as if nothing was every wrong!

I gotta say that watching five-year-olds play soccer is a bit like watching small fish swarm around a hunk of brine shrimp. They swim around the ball in a small pack, bumping into each other and the ball until someone falls down or the ball goes into the net (or out of bounds). Beth managed to keep herself out of the melee either because she has been watching Elliott play or she has a stronger sense of survival than the other girls!

She is number 9 in the white uniform (with the short blond hair). She is also one of the smallest in the group. There are two versions of the video here: a longer 2-minute video showing some of the game before her goal, or the 50-second version showing only the amazing feat and Beth's smile of satisfaction afterward.

Nice job, Munchkin!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Inspire Christian Writers Nonfiction Award

Last weekend, I particpated in a two-day writing conference with Inspire Christian Writers. I don't consider myself an author but I have been dabbling in the profession. I do a lot of writing as PR consultant but the purpose and format are quite different.

I've been working on the book about Beth so she would truly understand the miracles surrounding her life. My original intent was to save it just for her. But, in the course of writing, wondered if the world needed to know how God saved her life. There is no doubt in my mind that Beth is here because God intervened.

My book title is Saving Beth. (Yes, I've vacillated between The Heartbeat Within and Saving Beth.) I submitted three chapters to the writing conference and was stunned to learn that I won the nonfiction award! For the first prize, Karen Ball (writer, agent, editor extraordinaire) will read my manuscript and edit it! I am thrilled with this opportunity because of the chance to learn and hone my craft. Whether or not Saving Beth moves into the public view, it will be a treasured keepsake for Beth (and Elliott, too).

I'm letting this project move through any open doors God sets before me. It feels odd to apply my PR talents to promoting my book. Yet, if this opportunity opens yet another door, I might be in the full PR/marketing mode on my own behalf. It could be fun to promote my own project for once!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

First Day of School: Kindergarten and Fourth Grade

An equally "loving" teacher is our Kindergarten teacher at Theodore Judah Elementary School. Elliott had Mrs. Young and now it is Beth's turn.

These three cute girls were in Elliott's Kindergarten class and they are all in the same fourth-grade class this year. Our school has a new magnet school called the "Gateway Academy." The Academy is for gifted kids but also for kids like Elliott who sometimes don't perform up to their capabilities. We were so thrilled that he made it in even though he wasn't officially gifted. We did receive notification last week, however, that his STAR test results were good enough to push him into the gifted ranks.

Elliott decided to wear the tie. This kid has a future in PR; He realizes that first impressions are important! Mike, on the other hand, thinks Elliott was more focused on the girls' than on his teacher's impressions.

Preschool Graduate

I get tired of writing profound things about Beth. Sometimes I just want to enjoy her and the wonderful we are living. These photos are of Beth's preschool graduation (back in June). As you can see, pink and black are the "stylish" colors for little girls right now. And, Beth is noticably the shortest girl in her group (guess who she got that from??).

She went to Joy of Children Preschool in Folsom (as did Elliott). The teachers at Joy are wonderful people who have loved so many children in this community. Mike often talks about how much they helped him when I had to be in the hospital. Then, they gave me a shoulder to cry on for the uncertain months while Beth was in the NICU.

We will miss all the Joy of Children teachers (but we are thankful they are a few blocks from our house so we can stop by frequently).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

This Girl is Reading Already!

Kindergarten is just around the corner for Beth. I am wondering if she actually needs to go. She is reading Elliott's books. In fact, she is attempting to read the first Harry Potter book now.

I wonder if any other parents of super-readers have thoughts about Kindergarten? I'd like to know if your child was bored silly or if it was just plain fun to be in Kindergarten anyway.

When I think back to the fears we had when Beth was in the NICU, it seems odd to be where we are now. Anything could have happened during those dangerous days. And yet, by the grace of God and excellent medical care (probably some good genes, too), she is smart, beautiful and healthy.

Save the date: Friends of NICU fundraiser, the Celebration of Miracles is on Saturday, November 5.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Vacation in Hawaii

12 Days in is tough to come home to California (especially since there was construction going on at home while we were away). Dust covers everything except my office which was sealed off by plastic and tape.

We had a fabulous time: first trip for Beth to the islands. We took her up to 8,000 feet elevation near the top of Haleakela. I've had altitude sickness there on previous trips so we didn't want to go to the very top. Beth was a little nauseaus at 8K and so was I. In all other ways, she seemed fine up so high. This is just one more example that her little lungs are extremely NORMAL despite the NICU interventions. At the ranger station at 8K feet, we saw two families with infants. Mike and I were nearly panic-stricken for them. I know that most babies should be able to handle the altitude without any problem but we couldn't help but be worried for them. We wouldn't have dreamed of taking Beth to such heights when she was an infant. Guess you have to witness the struggles of a baby on a respirator to worry about these things.

Beth stricking a pose on the beach.
Elliott boogieboarding on a BIG wave day (Mike sprained his ankle on a big wave when getting slammed into the beach).

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Bethday 2011

It has been five amazing years since Beth came home from being in the NICU for 90 days. We recognize Beth-day as the real celebration of her life since her actual birthday was a scary and difficult day. Each year, our life continues traveling down a path of normal-cy and we are so happy to be an average family doing average things. But on May 1, we have to pause and recognize the miracle of Beth's life.

We celebrated our first Beth-day without everyone together. Elliott is on a comp soccer team so he and Daddy were in Manteca all day (three games on one day!). Beth and I went shopping together and then had dinner with my nephews and their adorable girlfriends, my brother and his wife, and God-mother, Carol (who played a major role in Beth's survival and keeping me sane through the hospital ordeal).

An extra special "THANK YOU GOD!" is cheered by all for His clear hand in saving Beth.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Nothin' Competes With an ELECTRIC Guitar

Today's post is about Elliott. Has been taking acoustic guitar lessons for about a year. For the most part, practice has been completed with little enthusiasm. About 2 months ago, Mike decided to buy himself an electric guitar. As soon as Elliott saw the amp come out of the box, guitar became his favorite thing (after soccer)!

He's been spending an hour a day on the guitar! In fact, I have to pull him off of it in the morning to get him to school. He is also happier about playing his acoustic.

He has taken his acoustic to school to play the theme from Titanic. Below are two videos of him "jammin" with dad. My advice for moms having trouble getting their kid to practice on a musical instrument, get something electric that makes weird and LOUD noises!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Fun Photos

Beth's 5th birthday party (Princess Party!). Note the cute princess cupcake from Little Delights Cupcakes.

Beth has started Dance lessons.

Elliott was a prince at Beth's party (although he looks a little maniacal to me in this shot. Notice his rabbit-style front teeth??

Friday, February 18, 2011

WSJ Article: Avastin Effective ROP Therapy

From the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 17, 2011
An inexpensive drug therapy far surpassed a conventional laser procedure in fixing a leading cause of blindness in babies born prematurely, according to a new study.

The results of the study, to be published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine, were so significant that the 15 hospitals participating in the research have stopped using lasers in favor of the drug...
Beth only had a "watch" in one eye even after being on oxygen for 2 months and intubated/CPAP on-and-off for a month. What a relief to know that there could be an effective alternative to eye surgery. See the entire article at the WSJ. This link will only be active for seven days. After that, go to WSJ and search on the article title.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Justin Sings to Beth

Aunt Cathie made this cute video for Beth's 5th birthday. I haven't posted for weeks because we have been sick, really, for nearly 4 weeks! This is too cute to not share!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!