Friday, December 29, 2006

EEG Update

I talked with the neurologist this afternoon. This is what he said: They saw irritaitions on her brain in the front left area. I'm not REAL sure what that means so if anyone has any ideas I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, they aren't sure still of any seizure activity so we are going to have another EEG that lasts between 12-23 hours long. I'll keep you all updated as I hear more.

Oh, and Ella was really that happy last time...we didn't even try to get her to smile...she just hopefully the next time will go just as smoothly!!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Lesa in town!!

One of my dearest and longest friends (12 years or so), Lesa Neff, was in town this weekend. Lesa is in West Palm Beach, Florida...getting her Masters in Counceling, so we don't get to see her very much. Actually, we haven't seen Lesa since she was in our wedding, and as most of you will remember she sang a beautiful song at the ceremony.

We met at the mall today to catch up and do a little shoe she is getting to meet Ella for the first time!!

Pictures from the EEG

I just HAD to take pictures of Ella after her EEG...look what a good mood she is in. We should get results in a day or two.

They wrapped her head after we got all the cords attached (look at all the wires, each wire had a detector on her head). You can see a pictures after they unwrapped her head and the cords "glued" to her head...then after they took the sensors off all of the goop was still in her's BATH NIGHT!! Ella did really well. She didn't like having her head scrubed (they exfoliate each spot for better reception), but after they were all on she took a bottle and went to sleep. The test is about 30 mins long and they just record her brain electric activity...that's how I understand it (EEG). We will find out if Ella has had any seizure activity or if she is currently having any...this will be a big indicator of her progress. They did do a strobe-light test...yep, like at a club, to see if it induced a seizure...hopefully there is no link or I'm guessing my picture flashes could be put on hold.

Side note: my appointment with the breast surgeon went wonderful today and they just marked it as lactation recovery. They will keep an eye on it, but nothing new to concern us at this point...PRAISE JESUS!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ella Update Part 1

Ella has been doing amazing things lately. She has learned to balance on her belly button when lying on the floor and she is lifting her head up more and more. Joe and I have been working with her modified sitting, however, there have been some comments about Joe's legs from the last pictures so we are going to hold off sending anymore pictures from that angle. We had Ella's eye glasses ordered today and they should be in next week...we'll send lots of adorable pictures. She is still patched every day for about 2 hours and it still doesn't seem to bother her. We still work daily on her head and trunk control...but I am reminded daily that we are "knitting a sweater" and this too will make me stronger, at least in my relationship with Christ. I wonder every day why God picked me and why He would think I was strong enough to endure this...I guess He knows me a little better than I know myself. Ella is growing daily and is smiling and "talking" more. We are working on "mamamama" and "dadadada"....we aren't quite there, but she responds in her own way.

We go in tomorrow morning for Ella's EEG to check and see if she has had any seizure activity since the first 72 hours after she was born. If there is more seizures then there could potentially be more damage. I, somehow, feel disconnected from this test right now...not nervous or sure of anything...but kind of numb. I, also, have a doctors appointment tomorrow as a follow up for the lumps they found in my breasts.

Everyone seems to like my honesty when I talk about how I feel...ha, I just use this blog as therapy. I have started talking to some women who are mothers of children with problems a lot like Ella's...theirs are diagnosed, but we have an idea of what our diagnosis will be...more on that at a later date. It's nice to talk to people who have "slow" children. Ella isn't "normal" and she isn't really even "slow"...she has brain damage and her motor skills, eyes, and over all muscle tone are all affected and probably will forever be affected at some level. It's taken me almost 8 months now to be calm about that. I still cry, almost daily, but it's not because of what we do know, it's about what we don't know. A lot of my reasons for sadness are selfish...I don't want to have an infant forever...those are my fears. I have a tendency to be extreme and dramatic...I think I have those same reactions with's an initial..."oh my goodness, how am I going to get through this"...some days I just wonder how I'm going to explain this all to her when she is older. She is so wonderful. She is so easy. She is so relaxed and "go with the flow". She eats well, sleeps wonderfully, and is on a great schedule. She laughs at all the right times and squeals right when we need to hear her make sweet noises. She works hard in therapy and works hard every day when we do her exercises. She is a miraculous and wonderful child. I just wish I could "fix" the things that might cause her to miss out on anything life has to offer. This too will take care of itself and God will give me the grace for these things...but sometimes I just get scared and wonder how it's all going to look a year from now.


Our Christmas was wonderful this year. As you can tell from the pictures, we were in Dallas this year. Sunday, Christmas Eve, we attended service at church. Ella didn't like the loud music so we hung out near the nursery and watched the beautiful service on a TV. After church we headed to Andrea's folks house in Richardson. We enjoyed a night full of family as Mimi's side of the family (the Elkins) have ALWAYS, since the beginning of time, gotten together for Christmas Eve. Two of the brother's families got to join and we missed Joe, Aubrey, Taylor and Alan. It was a night of good times, great food, lots of laughter...and we all got to talk to Mike via a web cam and instant messenger, it was bitter sweet. After we got back to our house that night we opened presents from family and friends who couldn't be here with us and received wonderful gifts...Ella has officially taken over as the biggest recipient of presents!!

Christmas morning we awoke early enough to open gifts, just Joe and I...and let Ella sleep. Once we had opened gifts we loaded up and headed back over to Andrea's parents to do gifts...the way my mom loves to do Christmas. We had a wonderful time and Mike got to join us again.

For "brunch" Andrea's Aunt Linda and Uncle Roger came over and Grandmother and Grandfather was a good time to talk and eat...before we talked and ate some more over at Brian and Kayla's new home. Andrea's Aunt and Uncle (on her father's side) host the whole Roughton family on Christmas's a wonderful day and their home is beautiful. They are building a new house right next to their amazing art gallery and the house is like something I've never seen before!! We ate wonderful food and had great conversation. It was truly a relaxing and joyous holiday.

We are now home and trying to figure out where all of the new things go and how to get our house back to's a great problem to have.

I hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and remembered to keep Christ at the center of all of your festivities.

Santa Came to Our House!!

Well...more like Santa showed up at Mimi and Grandpa's. We went back over to the Roughton's for Christmas morning after opening a few presents at home. Joe and I got Ella a music box, much like the one my grandfather gave me when I was little; it holds jewlery and when you open the lid a ballerina dances as the box plays music. Joe also picked out an Abacus for Ella...funny bc she really loves it and Joe's gonna have at least one other person in the house who is good at math!!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

We opened a few gifts before we went to bed!!

...stockings were hung by the chimney with care...

Christmas Eve at Mimi and Grandpa's

After church we went over to the Roughton's for Christmas Eve.

Hanging Around Before Christmas

I've been told that I'm slacking again...I got a new computer for Christmas (THANKS MOM AND DAD) and I don't have internet up and running on it I'm in the middle of moving everything over and had to stop bc my mother-in-law needed here are a few pictures:
(daddy took a picture of mommy and Ella watching TV...well, Andrea was watching TV)

(Daddy dressed Ella. note: pale pink shirt, hot pink sweatpants and red Chrismas sweater...God bless daddys, even those with strange fashion)

Aunt Sara got Ella this shirt before Mike left for Iraq, it reads: "I maybe small, But I have the right when my Uncle is sent to fight to stand up proud and shout out loud My Uncle has got your back"

Mommy and Ella taking a self-portrait

Ella and Maria Beck hanging out before the holidays

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Sarah Update

We wanted to give an update on Sarah Byers since there has been some concern from our friends who what the blog...on Saturday Sarah's levels were up to the 80's and the doctor released her. As far as we've heard they all spent Christmas at home and are doing well. Kent told Joe that Sarah is back on "bedrest" to keep her blood pressure down. Continue to keep them in your prayers as they are adjusting to Maddie and trying to stay healthy themselves.

Thank you to all of our friends and family for your prayers and concern.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Byers Pics and Update

I'm going to include a bunch of pictures from visiting Kent and Maddie Byers today. Sarah, the mom, is still very sick with HELLP. Normal platelet levels are between 150 and 300...last night Sarah's were as low as 19 (which is VERY serious). They gave her some platelets to help her body produce more and it seems to be working...PRAISE JESUS!! When we were there this afternoon, around 5pm, she had just moved from 66 count to 69 count. Please continue to pray that Sarah heals overnight and they are released before Christmas. Also, keep Kent in your prayers as he holds his family together as husband and father. Daddy and baby were both in high spirits today and it was truely wonderful to see them interact!!

Maddie Video

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy 31st Anniversary

Yesterday was the 31st Anniversary of Andrea's parents: Andy and Prissy Roughton...HAPPY ANNIVERSAY and many more to come!!

Prayers for Byers

Some of you know that our friends Kent and Sarah were expecting...we'll, Maddie Byers showed up yesterday, December 20th!! Maddie is very healthy, however Sarah is having complications. We received this email from Jeff Brannon:

"At around 11:15 this morning Sarah's platelets dropped from 106 to 28 (they should be at 150), which puts her at risk for seizures. She has been moved back down to Labor and Delivery so they can monitor and stabilize her platelet levels. Please keep Sarah and the Byers family in your prayers and hold off on visits to the hospital until Sarah is stabilized and back up in her room.Kent or I will send a quick update as soon as Kent has any news. FYI....Maddie is beautiful and healthy just awaiting her first taste of real Wisconsin cheese."

Please pause where you are right now during the day and the craziness of the Christmas season and pray for this dear family. We have all seen how prayer can do amazing things and as we celebrate the birth of Christ we know that He is our Savior.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Letters from War

As most of you know my sister's husband, Michael, is in Iraq right now...Sara sent me this video...I didn't think I would cry, but it's moving. Just wanted to send it along so that you will remember to pray for Sara, Mike, Micah and all of the families of soliders this Christmas season and all year long.


Sunday School Christmas Party

Here are a few pictures from our Christmas Party for our friends from Sunday School (at First Baptist Dallas). Enjoy the rest of the pictures at

New Hairstyle

*I'm supposed to add a note that Grandma Mitchell is the stylist and not Mimi Roughton.

This is what happens when you leave your kids with Grandma for a couple of hours!!

Girls Night

Here are a couple of pictures of Hershey Aars crashing our party on Thursday night.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

New Sitting Position!!

Well, we aren't quite to sitting yet, but this is what we learned in physical therapy today and Ella is doing EXCELLENT at trying to sit in this modified position: