Monday, January 14, 2013

Ella's First Birthday!

Saturday was filled with so much joy and excitement! It was so wonderful celebrating our sweet girl and thinking of what we were doing that time the year before. I can't believe how much she has grown over this past year and her party was a perfect celebration of the blessing she is!

I had so much fun planning her party. The theme was "Ella's Favorite Things" and I kept the decorations girly and fun. The food was all of her favorites and for favors we did rubber duckies and apple sauce pouches in a bag with cute little dogs on it (ironic?). I wanted the whole day to be a celebration of her and the things she loves. I did a few fun crafty things and kept the rest of it pretty simple. 

We had her friends and family all together and she could tell everyone around her was excited and she kept smiling and laughing all day, which was the sweetest thing! She LOVED eating cake (no surprise at all) and cried when we took it away. Here are some sweet pictures from her birthday!

Me and my birthday girl! 

I made little centerpieces with pictures on popsicle sticks and cupcake goldfish on the table. I also put together a little book with pictures for the guests to sign/write Ella a note. 

Incredibly lucky to call this my family. 

Such a little goof ball!

Being silly with Nana

The birthday girl with grandma and grandpa

With her Aunt Ashley and Aunt Fifi

Favors and Drinks

"Ella's Favorite Things" 

I made a "1" sign with some of our favorites. I also did a monthly picture banner, but don't have a good pic of that. 

Sweet daddy helping Ella enjoy her favorite foods!

Loves her cake!!!!

Opening presents and loving all the tissue paper!

After we had her party we celebrated with family that night. We enjoyed pizza and cake and had a great time celebrating Ella! 
Singing her Happy Birthday! 

She kept clapping while we all sang. 

Ella with her cousins. 

Lovin' on my sweet girl after a day full of fun!!

Happy Birthday, Ella Mae! You are the sweetest blessing in our lives! 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

learning the hard way

The last 24 hours have been pretty crazy for our little family. At 6:45 last night Ella and I were playing and waiting for Dad to get home. Jaxon was sitting by us, as usual and Ella was cruising all over the place. I was on the floor with Jaxon on my right and Ella started playing with her ball to my left. Out of nowhere and for a reason we still don't know, Jaxon lunged across me and bit Ella. It was by far the most terrifying thing I have ever experienced. I had to pull him off her and picked her up. There was blood on her and me and I could not figure out where it was coming from. At that moment James walked in the door and when she looked at him I realized Jaxon had bit Ella's ear. 

We got in the car and headed to the ER. They triaged her immediately and then we waited an hour and a half to see the doctor. After the doctor took a look they called in the plastic surgeon. When he arrived he went over everything with us and told us he thought surgery was the best option to fix her ear and stitch up where he could. We waited about 45 minutes for an operating room to open up then got her IV hooked up and prepped her for surgery. They sedated her through an IV that put her into a deep sleep while still being able to breath on her own. All of the doctors and nurses kept coming in to see Ella...she stole all their hearts and was an absolute dream. Considering the pain she was in she was such a trooper!!

Normally, Jaxon is such a good dog and Ella can literally pull the hair on his face and he won't budge. Ella's first word was dog when she was 10 months old and every time she sees him she gets so excited. James and I are firm believers in raising children in a home with animals. We believe it teaches them so many wonderful things, and never in a million years did I ever think something like this would happen. I was sitting right there, there did not seem to be anything that provoked him and all I can guess is that he was going for her ball. 

With that being said, today was very hard for our family in many ways.

A lot of people might be thinking, "that is why we don't have dogs," or "you just have to be so careful," but what I have learned from this is more that being parents requires sacrifice and a tremendous amount of faith that the Lord is in control and understanding that accidents are accidents and they happen. Understanding that last night was the first and might not be the last trip to the ER. Learning that even when you love your dog like a child that your baby's safety is most important.

This morning we made the choice to choose a different home for Jaxon. We know that Ella is our first priority, but saying bye to our dog was not an easy thing. Thankfully he will be living with James' parents now and crated anytime children are there. For now, this is the right decision for our family, but one day there might be room for a dog again, just not today. 

Here are some pictures of our sweet girl...

 Prepping her for surgery with her IVs.

 Snuggling with momma.

 Her poor ear. The gauze is on until tomorrow to prevent clotting. 

 You might be wondering how it is possible to be this cute in a baby hospital gown and IV...she is so sweet!

After surgery they had to monitor her for an hour then we could take her home.

So last night the lesson I learned the hard way was not that dogs are unpredictable, but that I am not in control. While the events definitely led to our family having to make changes, more than anything I learned that no matter how close I sit to her and try to protect Ella from harms way, life will happen. I am incredibly thankful for an amazing plastic surgeon who did a beautiful job on her ear and hopeful that it will heal. We would love and appreciate prayers for a speedy recovery and no infection.