Thursday, May 29, 2008

Movies that make you smile

Comment and tell me what movie makes you smile (it can make you cry too). I'm watching "Love Actually" and Hugh Grant was just dancing around...as both of my children nap and the house is quiet I started to laugh. What a great movie.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gotta have goals...

...and this is mine. I asked a friend to add my face on my ideal body so that I had something to keep as motivation. I realize this is somewhat unrealistic, especially since there are no baby-induced-stretch-marks (or as Joe likes to call them "badges of honor"). However, it might keep me from digging in the fridge at 10:00 at night and make me get to the gym every day.

For those of you who feel the need to say "you are perfect just the way you are"...that fine, but for me I need to work on my body so that I feel better about myself. God gave me a body and I need to take care of it by eating good and working out to stay fit. Now I have a whole blog-world to keep me accountable!

THANKS STEPH for the GREAT picture!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ROCKSTAR

Well, I could go a few directions with this topic. I could talk about the fact that I used to follow Rockstars around...haha, remember Penny Lane on Almost Famous. I could also talk about the fact that I've always wanted to be a female drummer...might be fairly funny, but it always sounded fun. However, this post is about my addiction to the Rockstar Energy Drink (sugar-free since it's low in calories). Now, you might ask why I think I'm addicted...could it be that I am now getting headaches when I don't have one?!?! Joe isn't real thrilled that I drink them so this post probably won't go over very well with my husband. I consider them my version of coffee, since I hate all things associated with coffee. The very smell of most coffee makes my stomach turn and the only things I've ever purchased at Starbucks is bottled water and peppermint hot chocolate. I've realized during the day, about the time that my headache sets in, that if I drink one of these my terrible need for a nap will go away. Today I could barely wake up from a nap (while my children slept) and as I drank my Rockstar I felt much better and able to cope with the day.

So, the question: Is it bad that I need this drink every day? Is it really just a substitute for coffee or is it worse? If it's worse and I hate coffee then what is another option (and don't say working out...I've been working out almost every day for 1.5 months and it makes me exhausted!!). HELP?!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bullfrogs and Butterflies...we both been born again

I wasn't sure what to title this entry when I started writing, so if it has a title then it was an after-thought. I've felt like writing for a long time...so this might be a long one. I'll understand if you don't read the whole thing...no telling how long it's going to be.

Am I allowed to whine about my daughters condition when so many other people have it worse? I struggle with that a lot. As you might know I read a LOT of blogs every day. I just go through each of them every day checking in to see if there is anything new. A good number of my blogs are about a family struggling to cope with their current situation. Maybe this is one of those blogs to someone else. I have decided that since this is my space to vent I'm allowed to and if someone feels like they have it worse, well, they probably do. However, this is the situation that God gave ME to live with, and I feel like He allows me to complain when I'm not totally happy with His decision.

My daughter is such a light in this world. People stop me every day to tell me how beautiful she is and how happy she looks. She's both, beautiful and happy...that is something to be thankful for. Side note: I've notice that a lot of 2-year-olds tend to get very fussy or throw fits or just plain freak out sometimes (insert laughter from all of my friends who are moms)...my daughter doesn't. I mean I can tell when she's tired or hungry or overwhelmed, but she doesn't cause a spectacle or anything, she just has a pathetic cry that makes your heart break instead of get frustrated...a wonderful blessing if you ask me. My son exercises his lungs to their full extent when he's not happy, which isn't very often, but still.........okay, back to Ella. She makes me laugh most days as she talks to me in the car or sings along with the radio (I really just THINK she sings along, I have no idea what she's doing). That's one problem. People always claim what Ella can do "oh, she said mama today" or "she is really close to standing" or "she's gonna start crawling any day now" or "don't worry, she'll catch up"...did someone get a memo that I missed out on? I know that we have an amazing God who could make Ella a typical child or heal her of the reason her brain doesn't function correctly, I'm just not sure that He's planning on doing anything to change her situation. I'm okay with that, most days. Today wasn't one of those days.

On Mondays my Heaven-sent-in-laws take Ella to her therapies. This is a huge blessing because it's VERY hard to take both kids to the pool, get Ella dressed, to therapy, changed, then over for more therapy at another location. On Thursdays (and today) I have both kids...by myself. The hardest part is...do I unload her chair, or the double stroller, or just carry them both in...I go for the last one. Mainly because it's quicker and the other two options take up a lot of room. However, try carrying a child who can't sit on your hip very well (and I have PLENTY of hip for her to sit on) and an infant in a car seat. It makes me look a little disoriented. It makes me feel VERY disoriented.

So, today I took both kids in for Ella's speech therapy (long story, but this week and next she only has speech on Friday). So, I'm already a little overwhelmed by having to carry them both in an then get them back out to the car. Then we head to a wonderful birthday party for one of Ella's friends who is her exact same age. I love this family. They are wonderful people and have the most beautiful (and funny) little girls, one of whom loves my "baby Ella". This party was perfect...find the butterflies, play parachute games, run around eating suckers that were on the butterflies, play in a great bounce-house complete with slide, eat birthday cake and hot dogs...........notice I didn't list one thing that my poor sweet daughter who is the exact same age as these kiddos could do. (now the tears start to fall) My sweet little girl sat inside, she rolled around on the floor and she was perfectly happy...no idea that a party was happening around her and she couldn't participate, but I knew and I started to realize that parties like these are going to get more difficult. For two years it's been easy to hide behind her age to disguise the differences, but today they were painstakingly apparent. When people would ask how old she was I could watch their faces as I told them she was 2...same as the birthday girl and their little ones. I don't mind explaining Ella condition at all, I think I've gotten pretty good at doing it without a lot of medical wording, but I'm not sure people really want to know what is wrong with Ella, well, maybe not everyone. This was a great party. It was so creative and fun and all the kids left with sugar highs and sweaty from head to toe...and I'm sure they all slept wonderful right afterwards, but my heart was heavy as my kids slept. How am I going to continue to do these events?

Not just parties, but even play dates. My friend Shannon found a great play area at a mall that might work for Ella, but it's still so hard to find anywhere for her to play except at home. Honestly the only place she is safe is in her playroom. She drops so hard from sitting or kneeling that it's impossible to even have her just on carpet. There are times at my parents house when we cringe because of the sound her head makes has she lands and that's on carpet and usually a blanket or two. Luckily the kid has a hard head and the worlds highest pain tolerance. (funny story: Will pulled out a chunk of her hair yesterday and she didn't even flinch...he's gonna have to do a lot worse to bother her)

I feel trapped. Some people would probably just suggest that I don't try and take her places and to only have play dates at our house, but that's not really feasible. Plus my house would have to be clean all the time and I'll admit I have no desire to ALWAYS keep my house clean. Besides, what other kids are happy trapped in a playroom with a child who doesn't play with them anyway?? Will she feel like she's missing out if I didn't take her to parties at other peoples houses, or is it my fear of missing out and making her even more different.

I want her to have control of her body. To be able to sit, stand, crawl, walk, run, jump...and do them safely without falling over and while protecting herself if she did fall. I'm sure I'll always want more than we have at the moment. She couldn't sit and I wanted her to, now she can sit, however modified and fleeting. I wanted her to talk, now she does, however, she's invented her own language that only she and Will seem to understand.

Just for one day I wanted her to play and run and laugh and eat suckers and cry and get scrapped and be sweaty and walk herself into therapy and feed herself at least one meal and not need special attention at the gym...just for one day. Maybe tomorrow. But even if I had it for only one day would it be enough?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wild Day

Ella and Daddy at the Richardson Wildflower Festival:


William chillin' in his stroller. Here he is having a conversation with himself (does that a lot).

Drew Dinner

My brother, Drew, was in town for a few days so the adults headed out to dinner at Jasper's in Plano.

Mitchell's out on the town:

Andrea and Drew

Mom trying to take a picture of the 3 kids...didn't get a good one, but since it's the only one I had to post it.

2 Yr. Stats


Height: 33 7/8" (50th%)
Weight: 24 lbs 14.5 oz (30th%)
Head: 17 3/4 (5th%)...little concerned here
Other than the development issues we work with every day Ella is very healthy! We have the neurologist and urologist coming up so we'd love prayers for clean bills of health there as well!!

CRASHED


Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day

I had a great Mother's Day. I got cards from my husband and kids as well as some beautiful earrings.

TWO YEARS OLD!!!


Our little girl is 2 years old. If you'd like to see pictures from her birthday party you can go here.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Letters of Love

I would love it if everyone (even people we don't know) wrote a comment to Ella. I'm slowly putting together a book of her life as a blog subject, and would love to include birthday wishes for her. If you would just make sure and put your name in case it doesn't automatically show up...I'll print them all out and give them to her. Some day it will be a huge blessing to her to see how many people loved her.

2 years ago today...

Is it possible that so much has changed in 2 years? In this picture I'm about to have Ella and my sister is 2 months from delivering Micah, now I've already had Will and Sara is due again in October. Both mine and Joe's parents have gone from no grandkids on this day, to 3 (almost) 4 on both sides!!

Not only has our lives changed with the addition of kids, but the lessons that we have all learned in the past two years are priceless. I've learned more about God's grace and provision than I ever thought possible. It's been hard and there have been lots and lots of tears both happy and sad.

I'm going to venture to guess that when I was smiling in this picture I was clueless on God's plan for my life and the life of my child...we've been given a little more of a glimpse of that plan. I feel like I've grown so much in my knowledge of our Lord and I'm grateful fo that knowledge.



I'll post more tomorrow after we are done with the actual birthday. Thank you for two years of commitment to following our family. We love each of you.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

TIME TO SIGN UP!

Sign up to help donate and fundraise for TEAM ELLA

We need you...
To become a member of our team and help us reach our goal in supporting UCP's efforts here in north Texas.
By joining our team, you will be able to invite your friends, family,and co-workers to your own personal fundraising page to learn more about the efforts UCP is taking to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities. To join the team and set up your online site, just follow these simple steps.

If you already have a fundraising page for this event, simply follow steps 3 and 4 below.

1. Go to: http://ucpdallas.donorpages.com/LifeWithoutLimitsRWR and register as a Fundraiser.
2. Design your individual fundraising page.
3. Click on the Team button.
4. Enter the team information indicated.

Team Account information:
Team Name: Ella's HopePassword: John 16:33
The homepage for Ella's Hope is:
http://ucpdallas.donorpages.com/LifeWithoutLimitsRWR/EllasHope

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Fresh Look

New Blog layout was done by Jill. Thanks for all the compliments!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Put Your Back Into It

Okay, I feel like I've written this post before, but I couldn't find it, so maybe I just thought about writing it.

I hate working out. (insert laughs from my girlfriends here) I'm sure there are some stories to tell about how much I hate working out, but I'll tell you the one that seems to get people rolling.

Maggie and I were working out at lunch one day. She was getting ready for her wedding and I was being moral support...more like comic relief. She's on the treadmill or something, probably going all out. I was sitting next to her on the bike "working out"...Maggie looked down as my bike started beeping and laughed...the screen said "PETAL FASTER"...she roared with laughter. This to say how much I hate working out. I've also fallen off a workout bench while lifting weights with Allison and thrown up during hot-yoga with Tiffany.

Side story: I went to pick Ella up out of her crib this morning...25 lbs of dead weight, and heard something in my back pop (not the good kind). I've had pain patches on my back and meds all day, but I STILL WENT TO WORKOUT!!! I did legs and it didn't hurt my back and I worked hard, just ask my trainer, he was even impressed that I showed up today.

It may take a while, but I'm working hard. I do have to make a confession...I ate a brownie with dinner!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

MERCYME LYRICS
"Bring The Rain"
I can count a million times
People asking me how I
Can praise You with all that I've gone through
The question just amazes me
Can circumstances possibly
Change who I forever am in You
Maybe since my life was changed
Long before these rainy days
It's never really ever crossed my mind
To turn my back on you, oh Lord
My only shelter from the storm
But instead I draw closer through these times
So I pray
Bring me joy, bring me peace
Bring the chance to be free
Bring me anything that brings You glory
And I know there'll be days
When this life brings me pain
But if that's what it takes to praise You
Jesus, bring the rain
I am Yours regardless of
The dark clouds that may loom above
Because You are much greater than my pain
You who made a way for me
By suffering Your destiny
So tell me what's a little rain
So I pray
Holy, holy, holy
Is the Lord God Almighty


Friday, May 02, 2008

Are You Smarter than a _____ Grader?

Enter the grade you don't feel like you could beat...for me, it would be whatever grade you started spelling. Today I sent out an email to some people to just let them know the blog had TONS of updates and I titled the email "Mitchell Mahem"...NO ONE replied and told me I spelled it wrong (and spellcheck doesn't check the titles)...so I guess spelling is part of the mayhem. Oh, and then I realized after looking it up that the definition wasn't what I wanted. Oh well, forgive me.

I'm sure my mother will comment that I come by it naturally.

Slugs and Poop

Yep, I can't imagine why there isn't a song to go with this subject. Last night Joe noticed a slug in Ella's playroom...we then realized that there were more than 10 of them all over her mats and crawling in between the tile and baseboards...gross. I emailed Joe's parents that I was going to need some help taking her whole room apart and pretty much washing everything off...no one likes slug slime on their stuff. Then, in the middle of all of that our poor baby girl gets constipated. My father-in-law is going to buy caulk, I'm going to buy stuff for poop and my mother-in-law has both kids at the house (feeding Will and waiting for Ella to poop). It felt like a crazy day. Really...does anything get worse than messing with slugs AND poop in the same day?!

I guess it would have been worse if the slugs were pooping.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Good End to the Day


Arboretum Day Two

Work It Out

(VERY) Amature Photo Shoot

Bonding

Mitchell Men


Mani/Pedi (Daddy clipping Will's nails)

Supernatural Peace

My sister sent me this link and I felt my heart break all over again. It was like someone ripped off the bandage that had been on for a long time. There have been days when I have cried, but they have been fewer and further between lately. In fact, sitting here I can't remember the last time I really cried it out over Ella's condition. Tonight I did. After watching this video it took me a few minutes to be able to breathe without gasping. I was holding Will in my arms, asleep. I kept looking down at him, so thankful that he's healthy...and so jealous that Ella isn't. I'm so blessed that the Lord gave us a healthy baby boy, but my heart aches for my little girl. Watching this video reminds me how amazing God can be to offer grace to parents of special needs children, of any children. Keep us in your prayers for the times when this life we've been given seems tough, and remember to praise the Lord for the good times in all of our lives.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard you hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

Dear Lord,
Please guide my heart and my mind, beyond my own understanding.
AMEN

Daddy's AllStar

Arboretum Day One

Napping on Daddy


You can Only Type One Word. Not as easy as you might think. It's really hard to only use one word answers.

1. Where is your cell phone? diaperbag
2. Your significant other? Joseph
3. Your hair? messy
4. Your mother? friend
5. Your father? lovable
6. Your favorite thing? bible
7. Your dream last night? crazy
8. Your favorite drink? Dr. Pepper
9. You're goal or dream? joy
10. The room you're in? kitchen
11. Your ex? unimportant
12. Your fear? failure
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? content
14. Where were you last night? home
15. What you're not? tidy
16. Muffins? fattening
17. One of your wish list items? thin
18. Where you grew up? Richardson
19. The last thing you did? cooked
20. What are you wearing? jeans
21. Your TV? muted

Stir Me

I was cooking dinner just now and realized...did you know when you cook white rice (the real stuff, not instant) that you aren't supposed to stir it while it's cooking? I had no idea. I'm having to sit on my hands to keep the urge away. Who knew it was so hard to not stir something that is cooking on your stovetop. Oh, and we're having it with Orange Chicken. Joe talked me out of pizza since it defeats the purpose of having a personal trainer...whatever.