Sunday, June 29, 2008

Not perfect...Not horrible....

Ellie's mom here for a minute....

Lots of you who know me personally have seen me around and have commented how GREAT it is that Reid is sleeping well. Just a little update for you all.

Yes, he is still in the crib, going down awake, and not crying at all (or very slightly). He seems to be taking 4 bottles a day now- one in the morning, one at lunchtime, one at dinnertime, and one before bedtime...but he does not fall asleep on any of them, which is what we want. He is eating 3 jars/containers of food daily....almost all the time. He is not really eating cereal. He does not care for it....and I have tried several kinds and types. I am not sweating it. If he eats, he does, if he doesn't, then, you guessed it...he doesn't.

As far as sleeping through the night...well, we had 2 good nights. That's when I wrote and was on cloud 9. Well, it hasn't happened since! That little stink must have known that it was too good for me to be true! However, it isn't horrible what he is doing. He usually wakes one time to eat at night. I don't mind. He gobbles it down. A 7 oz. bottle is gone is less than 10 minutes and then a few more minutes to burp, then down for the rest of the night. I can handle this. I just pray that before August we can get in a schedule where he is actually making it ALL night without eating. I know we will be transitioning to the cup full time which scares me to death. He LOVES his bottle, and I am not sure how the cup thing will go, frankly. We will see. I know all my cleft friends will help me through. They have never left me stranded!!!! I think tomorrow, I am going to take Reid back to the hospital where he was all those nurses can see how GREAT he looks. I am so excited to see their faces. They were all so important to us. I am anxious to show off my beautiful boy. Anyway......until next time.....

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sprayground and Kiddie City

Mommy took me to the "Sprayground" yesterday to cool off. It was really fun, and not busy at all. I basically had the whole place to myself. What a fun time I had running through the water. I was really brave and got inside of this fountain!

I met this little boy and we played together. He was 3 like me!

Here I am jumping up and down splashing in the water. FUN!

Next door to the Sprayground is Kiddie City. It is a mini city that kids can ride their bikes around. It has stop signs, tunnels, bridges, a working stop light, all kinds of houses and buildings, and lots of room to ride. I had a great time riding my Barbie bike there.

Watch I come through the tunnel!!!! Thanks for a fun day, Mommy. I loved it!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Success??? (fingers crossed)

Good morning, all. It's Ellie's mom in for a minute.

I know we have HUNDREDS...maybe more...people praying for our family, specifically for sleep and rest (if you have talked to me in the last few days, at least). Reid has been struggling with sleep. That is one area, I hate as a mom. When my kids can't rest, no one can rest. I have been struggling with little sleep for months. I have talked to new moms, pro moms, older moms, and anyone who would listen to my questions. Seriously, I even hit one mom up in the library to talk "sleep" because she was holding a child similar in age to Reid. I was desperate.

I am proud to say that Reid is totally out of the car seat for sleeping now. That is a milestone. He is in his crib now, on a wedge, inclined for his reflux, and seems to be comfy. This is huge.

As I was talking to one of my friends whose little one goes down for naps and bed beautifully, she basically put it to me straight. She said that babies need to be able to soothe themselves and be able to go down to be alone. No rocking, feeding, holding, bouncing, walking...etc. Yes, I knew that....but I needed to hear it from her, I guess. I told myself that we were going to try this. It couldn't hurt. I am going back to teaching in the fall, and Reid will be at a sitter's house. I can't think that she is going to rock, hold, bounce, etc for 30 min. to get him to sleep each time. Get real. And, I was tired of it...and we needed some help. Sooooo....I began putting him down awake for naps 2 days ago. Just to see. It couldn't hurt. You will NEVER believe it. He grabbed his little blankie....rolled over....and like magic....went down with NO FUSSING. He has done this for all naps for the last 2 days and both nights. AND......THE BEST PART...KEEP READING!!!! He has slept through the night the last 2 nights from 10 pm- 8 am straight. No getting up, no crying, no feeding. YES!!!! Keep those prayers coming our way. They are working. Thank you for allowing me to ask my 1,000,000,000 quesitons to all you moms out there. Thank you for your advice. Thank you for kicking me in the butt and just telling me what to try. I know I have an older daughter...but Reid is very different and has been through a lot. I think, though, he wanted sleep more than anything else for a long time....and now, maybe he is finally getting what he we ALL are! Yippppeeee......

Thanks for uplifting our family. We appreciate you all!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You want me to do what???

Reid has a new cup that Mommy is trying to get him used to. He thinks it is simply a new toy to chew on.

It also makes a really nice drum to beat against the highchair tray with! Maybe someday he will get the idea of putting it in his mouth!!! Not today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Reid- June 24, 2008

An Adventure for Me!

Mommy took me to see Outback Ray last night. He brought REAL animals and performed a show for lots of kids. It was a great time! This is me watching the show. I couldn't take my eyes off of all the really cool animals!

This is Outback Ray and a real aligator! Wow!

Can you see me being brave and touching the aligator in this picture? It was bumpy!

I liked this snake because of his name, "Sponge Bob". I thought that was a very silly name for a snake!

Monday, June 23, 2008

My NEW house!

Our neighbors are great! They shared this playhouse with me! They are done with it for now, so I get to use it! Isn't that soooo nice? Thank you, Browers! You made my day! In fact, I couldn't wait for Mommy to take this outside, so that's why it's in our kitchen! Who needs to cook? I need to play! This is fantastic! (Mommy didn't know it would expand to be so big! She doesn't think she will EVER get it as small as it started in the nice little carrying bag! Daddy, watch'll have a job to do when you get home tonight!)

Can you spot me?

It EVEN has a tunnel!!!!! YIPPPPPEEEEE!

Ok, Mommy, we can put it outside. What a great gift! Thank you again, Browers! So, now...I am ready for my friends to come and play with me! Anytime guys!!!! I'll be waiting!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Look what I did!!!!

I DID IT! I filled my Happy Marble Jar up! Mommy started with all these blue marbles that I chose from the store in the Sad Marble Jar. It was my job to do nice things...happy get the marbles from the sad jar to the happy jar. I would get marbles for helping set the table without Mommy or Daddy asking, or making my bed in the morning, or being nice to friends and family, or using nice words, or using a smiley face instead of a grumpy know...all that kind of stuff. It was hard work, but I did it. Before I started doing all these good things, Mommy and Daddy sat down with me and explained all this stuff to me, and I got to pick a special prize when I filled the jar up. I picked a big girl bike. I have wanted one for a long time. It took me about a month to fill the jar....and look what I got last night!!!! I got to pick out my OWN BIG GIRL BIKE!!!!! (Reece, I am ready to go on the trails with you now!)

Here it is!!! Barbie pink and girly as you get. Daddy tried to convince me to get a bike that Reid could ride when he gets bigger, but I wanted this girl bike really badly. He caved in...and allowed me to get it! Thanks, Daddy!

Here I am racing down our driveway! Wow! This bike is fast! Good thing I have my astronaut helmet on. (that's what I call it all the time)

Learning to use the brakes. Tricky stuff for a 3 year old.

Whew...biking makes you thirsty. Thank goodness Mom bought juice boxes for me. More biking adventures to come soon!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

New Link

Ellie's mom here...

Just wanted to let you all know that I have added another link to our site. I was inspired by little Abby (a cleft friend of Reid's) whose mom has a cleft journey about her. Little Rachel also has a journey posted that I have viewed. Blogs that have these have been such a help to our family. It is so nice to be able to access a link that shows the real life of dealing with the ins and outs of having a cleft affected child. I know that I would have been lost without these sites. So, I have been working on another blog that is specifically for Reid. It highlights his journey through his little life from his birth until present day. I have kept it very cleft specific because I hope that our family can be a help to someone who has just found out that they will be adding a cleft affected child to their home. I will continue to update it as we journey through many twists and turns in Reid's life. I welcome you to bookmark it and check it out frequently. I have linked it to this page....and I hope you will journey with us as we continue to move forward. Thank you for your love and support thus far.

Let the journey continue.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Then and Now....

Ellie's mom here....
Reid is 4 months old in this picture..still one of my favorites. Love the wide smile.

Another mirror shot from tonight. Reid is 7 1/2 months old and just got out of the tub. No tape, no stents. FREEDOM! He is a happy guy....and he is loved much! What a change in just a few short months. We are so proud of our big guy for all he withstands from day to day! (and we think his new smile is just as sweet as the first!)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Picnic at the Park

Mommy took Reid and I to the park today for lunch and playtime. This was Reid's first swing ride. He loved it! He was squealing and laughing the whole time! See his toes at the bottom of the picture? Funny!

Reid watching me on the swing next to him.

Reid ate his lunch at the park. On the menu...PRUNES!

I didn't have to eat prunes like Reid. I am having a PB&J sandwich, watermelon, and cheese! Oh, and of course, milk to drink. I don't leave the house without my milk!

I am a big I went on the big girl swings! I could do this all day!

I am proud of myself for climbing all the way to the top on the bars. I didn't have to use the steps...I did what the big kids do! I am excited!

Gotta love the merry-go-round! Mommy was pushing me, and Reid was watching me while sitting in the stroller. He thought this contraption was pretty funny! He cracked up every time I would come his way! It was a fun day. I missed my daddy....but maybe next time we could go when he isn't working. That would be REALLY fun! I love my daddy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I am thankful for our family

Pyzam Family Sticker Toy
Create your own family sticker graphic at

Thank you, Daddy!

" Daddy, Reid and I love you. Happy Father's Day! You are my best Daddy ever!" ...Ellie

Here's when you became a Daddy for the first time. I was only a few hours days old here. I am lucky that you were picked to be my Daddy. I love you.

Here's when you became a Daddy for the second time. Reid is 3 days old here. We are both very lucky to have such a great Daddy. I am glad that you play wrestle with me, and Reid is glad that you hold him and tickle him under the neck. I am glad that you take me for vroom vroom rides in your car, and Reid is glad that you swing him on the porch swing. I am glad that you take me for walks around the block, and Reid is glad that you make him laugh out loud. We are glad that you are our Daddy. Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Rolling Ridge Ranch

I had a great day on Saturday. Mommy, Daddy, me and a group from church went to Rolling Ridge Ranch in Amish Country about 30 min. away from our house. We had a great time exploring lots of animals. We all went on a wagon ride to feed over 250 different species of animals. It was AWESOME! What a great day we had! Grandma and Grandpa stayed with Reid so he wouldn't be sad. It was a good day for everyone!

Mommy and I are feeding the llama. Daddy named her Tina. Do you know why? : )

I got to drive the wagon for awhile! The horses were HUGE, and I was a little scared. But not too much. I am brave.

I am getting ready to feed some animals! I loved it!

Wagon rides are great fun!

I am looking at some animals on the other side of the wagon here. The little boy sitting next to me was the driver's grandson. He was nice. Mommy likes this picture of us. It was a great day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mama's Proud!

Ellie's mom here....I have to brag for a minute. See those stints? I PUT THEM IN MYSELF!!!! To many non-cleft parents, you are probably saying to yourself, "What's the big deal?" It's HUGE! I actually called Brian on the phone this morning all excited that I managed to get them in position and sticking without help! YES!

Just wanted to also update you on our post-surgery appointment this week. It went well. We spent a lot of time with our surgeon explaining our situation and how hard it has been to deal with the stints. He understood and was helpful. Basically, they are important to the development and shaping of Reid's nose. We understand that. So, he showed us some other taping options and worked with us to show us exactly how he wants Reid taped. That helped. We were also told that we could go to a smaller size if really necessary...but he would rather stick with the 5 if we can manage. So good. Don't get me wrong.....Reid HATES having them put in. It is an ordeal to say the least...but once they are in, he manages fine. They can be stitched in as well, but if Reid would yank on them and pull...our surgeon said, and I quote, "It will cut his nose like a cheese slicer." Ok, nope....not going that route! So, we are dealing, knowing that this will one day be over with....and hopefully working in the favor of Reid. One day this WILL be a memory, I keep telling myself! Reid is still sleeping in the carseat for now. He can't bump the stints as easily, and has had 3 good nights in a row. I feel like a million bucks when I can actually get some uninterrupted rest.

And lastly, thank all of you for your prayers, concern, notes, e mails, calls, and just understanding. I so appreciate all of my "cleft" friends who have helped me in COUNTLESS ways. I feel so close to you all, and am thankful for the bond that we all share. Our kids sure go through a lot in their little lives, and I am so thankful that they have taught me more than I could ever have imagined. Honestly, I don't think I even had a slight understanding what a cleft lip/palate was a year ago, and I am surely the lucky one who has taken more away from "our" kids than you know. We love you ALL. Thanks for all your love! Until next time......

Who's the fairest of them all???

Princess Ellie!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reid at the wheel

"My bib says "Backseat Driver"......I think NOT!" ......Reid

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A closer look at Reid's lip

Ellie's mom here. Reid's scar area about the lip is taped everyday, and we will continue to do so for the next 3 months to help aid in minimal scaring. As I was feeding him his lunchtime bottle, the tape was just hanging there. It was driving me NUTS, so I can only imagine what it was doing to Reid. So, I took it off. I will let Brian clean the area and reapply tape when he comes home from work. That is his official job- tape man! He is so good at it. Reid is so strong and such a wiggle worm...that I need Brian to be the tape man for me! Anyway....take a peek at Reid's lip and the skin area above the lip. Now, mind needs cleaned..but wow! Doesn't it look amazing???? Poor guy is all taped up to keep those stints in...but he is doing ok. We see our plastic surgeon tomorrow to see what we are doing with these stints. It should be interesting. I will keep you posted!

Just a closer view of Reid again. He only has a few more stitches in his lip yet to fall out. Almost there! The red line you see about the lip area is from the tape that I took off. It has nothing to do with any part of his scar. Those lovely steri strips leave a mark!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Reid and Daddy

Reid is looking at what he will look like in 30 years or so!
Hello, and welcome to my page! I am so glad you are here. I am going to try and show you the average life of a 5 year old from my perspective. Mommy and Daddy will help me along the way if I get stuck.

Let me first introduce my family to you. I am Ellie. I am a 6 year old. I live in Ohio with my Mommy, Daddy, little brother Reid, and dog, Sophie. My mommy is a teacher. She teaches nine and ten year olds and loves it. She has been teaching for twelve years. My daddy works with computers. He works hard everyday.

We all love spending time together. I have wonderful grandparents and a terrific extended family. I am a very lucky girl. Thank you for visiting my page. Write to me any time. I love getting mail!!!

Many blessing to you all.

Little Ski (Ellie)

Mommy and me having cuddle time at Hocking Hills.

Told ya, my hair can be wild! And you thought I was kidding!

Hmmm, Blue's Brother's perhaps?