Friday, August 21, 2009

Lots of Cute Boys!

I have two new nephews! Andy Douglas Vaughan was born on the 15th, and Gilbert Harley Cotten was born today, on the 21st! I haven't got to see either one of them yet, but I have it on the greatest authority that they are cute boys.

My cute boy turned 4 this month.

He loves singing "Happy Birthday"-- he doesn't know yet that you're supposed to sit in demure silence when it's your birthday!

He looks like he's about to become a fire-eater in this one. The really cute picture I got of him puffing his cheeks up to blow out candles didn't focus at all. They were cute cheeks, though.

On of the "Papa Bear" books we didn't have.

Playmobil toy set from Vaughans. Cheyenne adores this one, too-- December may bring more Playmobil into our lives!

Careful unwrapper!

Poor kid-- is it that obvious that his mother is a librarian? Cheyenne dropped our copy of "Chicken Soup With Rice" in Wal-Mart when she was a baby, so I'm finally replacing it now.

Cheyenne got her own little bag of presents-- mostly Dover books for convention.

Another present!

Then cake. Umm, cake!

Rilla liked cake, too!

I'm sure most mothers think back to the day of their kid's birth on the kid's birthday. For us, it's always a very bittersweet memory. The amniotic sac around Elliott broke at 19 weeks gestation, and we were told we were losing the baby. Somehow, little Elliott hung on in there until 25 weeks. Because he didn't have amniotic fluid surrounding him for those 6 weeks, he couldn't practice "breathing" the fluid, and his lungs couldn't develop. The prognosis was pretty grim! I started having contractions at the stroke of midnight August 6th. They weren't making anything happen, except they stressed little Elliott's heart. The doctors were giving me lots of different meds to stop the contractions, but I don't think anyone thought I was really in danger of having the baby, until about 2 minutes before he came, when everything speeded up!

This is our first picture of him. We didn't get to hold him, of course, (at 1 lb. 6 oz. the nurses don't give you cuddle time!), but they made space around his little bed for Evan to take one picture. I craned my head to see him, and the only thing I could really see was those blue eyes-- it was so amazing to think he was alive, let alone with his eyes open! After a few minutes of suctioning him and "bagging him" (blowing air into his lungs) in the labor and delivery room, he was whisked up to the NICU, where he spent the next 80 days.

This is our second picture. He was so amazingly perfect for someone that tiny. All the nurses loved his little blond crewcut!

Finally holding his hand. I couldn't even touch him for the first couple of days-- it was pretty sketchy at the time whether he had any chance.


The NICU nurses put little stuffed animals next to the babies for support and comfort. They first put a stuffed snake in with Elliott, but Grandpa Dana didn't think that looked very soothing, so he went down to the gift shop and bought this little bear-- homage to our Alaskan roots! The bear was almost as big as him.

(Here's Elliott today with the bear. He's quite a bit bigger than the bear, now.)

I finally got to hold him when he was 21 days old! I spent lots of hours after that holding him against my skin to help regulate his temperature and heartbeat.

Evan went in every morning before work, when he was still nice and clean, to hold Elliott for an hour. Not many daddies are that wonderful! That's probably the reason my little guy did so well.
Elliott's bed, once he "graduated" to the less critical nursery in the NICU.

Finally, after 80 days, and laser surgery on his eyes, Mr. Elliott came home. He was still on supplemental oxygen, and a monitor, but he was HOME!

Our first family picture!

Cheyenne finally got to touch her little brother! (Young children typically aren't allowed in the nursery.)

After a few months home, we even had a photo session with the two of them! Elliott was finally able to go without the supplemental oxygen when he was 7 1/2 months. It's just amazing that Elliott is such a normal, healthy, beautiful boy considering all the odds he had to beat to make it to today!

Back in the present day, here's the White family picture (Monday after Altamont).

Scott was with us for lunch, and he refused to be photographed with anyone, but he did agree to model with our van. Good work, Vanna White!

Elliott posing in front of our laundry pile when we got home Monday afternoon. It kept growing all that evening, as we unpacked more. I wish I had got a picture of the truly colossal heights it reached! Some of it is still hanging around, even after a dozen plus loads of wash.

This is my psychotic son, pausing his photo session with dirty clothes to "shoot" his sister. I have NO idea where or why he got into guns, but suffice it to say we need to work on the proper way of responding to a greeting from an adult. (Hint: it isn't to whip around and say "Psshht!" and pretend to shoot a gun at them!)


We brought corn home from the Knaggs. Evan shucked all 95 ears, with ample assistance from the kids. Rilla was especially found of putting the shucked corn in the laundry basket. We got 6 1/2 qts. of creamed corn from it all, so that should be yummy this winter.

So, what's up with the porch, you ask? Well, this picture shows the only thing happening lately. Grass has started growing on the rich silt that has washed into the slab area.

We need to do some major re-routing of water and re-landscaping soon! We haven't been home long enough for Evan to do anything on it, though, let alone pour the concrete slab! Next month, maybe...

Oh, and by the way? There's lots of cute girls around here, too.

4 comments:

Chloe said...

I remember hearing about when he was born....but I didn't know the extent of the nail-biting!! He's so cute in his birthday pictures!!

Becky Gonce said...

What a precious boy he is...can't imagine not being able to hold him and not knowing if you ever could.

Anonymous said...

brings back so many memories. I'm so thankful, and love his personality so much!

Andy and Susan said...

Thank you for sharing Elliott's story! I never knew the extent either, although I do remember hearing of complications and that he was a preemie...so amazing! He surely has come a long way!! How do you stop yourself from just hugging him all day long? ;)