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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Check Out These Pictures

These are some pics that a photographer who comes to the hospital once a month and takes pics of two kids took of Ella a couple of weeks ago. He will give us a small album of his favorite pictures. And he does this all free of charge. I love people like this!!! Just click on the link to view them. Then click on the first picture and it will enlarge them. They are just proofs and it says that on the photo so you have to kind of look through that.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home!!!

FINALLY!!! After 27 days in the hospital, we got to come home. Yesterday Ella's ANC count was 247 and she was suppose to get to 500 before we could come home. Since it had gone up the past three days, the doctor said that as long as it went up again, even if it didn't hit 500, we could come home today no matter what. Of course I didn't dare pack up anything for fear that I would jinx it and Ella's blood counts would do a tumble. But Ella did her job and hit 533 today!! The nurse walked in first thing and said "Do you want to go home?" I don't think I have ever moved so quickly!! We met daddy for lunch on our way home as he was on his way into work. Once we got home, I don't think Ella stopped!! She was working on her walking like crazy. Pushing her walker, holding my hands (even sometimes only holding one hand) and even attempted a couple steps on her own. Of course she also immediately set to making messes all over the house. But I didn't care, we were home and she was free.

At this point, we will be home until her counts hit 1000. I am going to ask for at least two weeks whether she makes counts or not. I think we need it for our mental health. It's late and the little stinker is still going strong so I better cut this short and go try to get her down. But I just wanted to catch you up on the excitement as well as give God a quick shout out for getting us home!! Here are a few random pictures from the last few days.

Playing on the neighbors swing...aahh to be outside!!

I just love this picture of her playing peek-a-boo
under the sink in our room..I think her face just
looks so sweet!!

Mommy making her model her funky outfit

Abbey and Emma and a couple counselors heading off
to Camp Ronald McDonald. What a wonderful charity
that allows the siblings to go tocamp free of charge as well.
I can't wait to hear how it was!

Me and the girls right before they left

Ella actually put herself in this position with her blanket
and Elmo and her favorite dolly. She was sitting this
way and watching T.V.

These next few pictures are of our new friends who live
near the hospital. We met on facebook and our girls are only
a couple months apart. I can't believe how much bigger E-V
is than Ella! E-V's daddy made me a yummy cake since I was
in the hospital for my birthday and didn't get a cake. He also
made these cute little dresses for the girls using 2 bandanas
and ribbon. I couldnt get over how cute they were when
they were interacting on the floor!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Out Of Communication...uugghh!!!

This is a very quick update. I had a whirlwind day and a half at home with very little time to update my blog and my husband informed me last night that our computer at the hospital stopped working so they took it back and we are now on the waiting list for another one. Who knows how long that will be. So I know I won't be doing any updates on my blog or facebook for a couple of days.

Ella's bone marrow is definitely in recovery mode. She is making platelets and hemoglobin. Her ANC started to go up and then dropped a bit but that is expected and I am hopeful for some big jumps in the next few days. I am heading in to the hospital as soon as I drop Abbey and Emma at the Ronald McDonald house to catch the bus to camp. Because they have a sibling with cancer, they are eligible to go to this wonderful camp, free of charge. These are the wonderful things that come out of your donations of change when you go to McDonalds. I will never not donate my change again!!!

I am hoping and praying that my next update will say that Ella is home!! For now, here are a few pictures of some gifts we have received that I finally got pics of.

Mickey hat handmade by Aubrey's mom

Adorable flower hat given to Ella by Lindsey and her mom

Rockstar blanket given to Ella from Preslie and her mom

****Anyone know how I can get that stupid "Cutest Blog on the Block " logo out of the middle of my post title? And how do I get my header picture to fit correctly?****

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

We Will Miss You Kristen!!!

Kristen went home to heaven today. She was the biggest warrior I know who fought and beat leukemia time and time again. Unfortunately, it wasn't to be this time. She was an inspiration to all of us and she will be missed terribly. Please say a prayer tonight for the Kirton family as they have bravely fought this fight right along with her and there is bound to be an emptiness in their lives that can never be filled. Her mother's faith has never wavered through all of this and she has set an example for us all. FLY HIGH, SWEET KRISTEN!! We love you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some Very Special Visitors

Okay.....for those of you who are bloggers and know the love you have for all of these kids you have never met but feel like you know, I want you to remember that jealousy is one of the 7 deadly sins!!! I say this because I GOT TO MEET ADDY!!! And at the same time got to spend some more time with out dear sweet Zoey!! I know you can hardly stand it, but just try to control yourselves :)

Out of the blue, Addy's mom mentioned making a quick trip to California on facebook. I asked her where she was staying in hopes that it was somewhere in So. Cal. When she told me where, I couldn't believe that is was halfway between my house and the hospital. So Zoey's mom, Heather and I quickly made plans for us to all meet up. We met at the hospital with the intention of having the moms take turns going up to see Ella and I would get to see Addy and Zoey downstairs. I was a little bummed that I wouldn't be able to have a picture of all three girls together as we didn't think they would let the little ones go up to Ella's room. I decided to take my chances and ask and was beyond excited when they said "YES!" They could go up. We left all the big kids down in the lobby and up we went for our picture taking session. My poor husband was surrounded by females but he didn't seem to mind too much. I don't know what we were thinking when we tried to get a picture of multiple kiddos looking at the camera but just seeing them all three together made my heart melt. Addy was the cutest thing ever and I couldn't believe it when all she wanted was to sit on my husband's lap. When I look at the picture of him with Ella and Addy on his lap, it makes me think of what could be if I could only get one of those little angels from Reeces Rainbow. Who knows, maybe someday!! Anyway, after our chaotic photo session, we left Ella and her daddy in the room and the rest of us all went to lunch. I had the best time as always with my dear blog friends. I just can't explain the connection I can have instantly with someone I have actually never met in person. It happens over and over again each time I meet a new blog friend. And it was the same this time with Cammie. It really is like we have known each other forever.

As for Ella, her bone marrow is showing signs of producing the good cells again. A few neutrophils are starting to pop up and so hopefully things will get into full swing in the next few days and we can go home within a week or so. Last week she spiked a fever ONE TIME and they automatically put her on antibiotics in case there is an infection in her central line or something else big going on. The biggest bummer about this is that she has to be hooked up to the IV alot more so she can get these IV drugs. Can you imagine a busy toddler being hooked up to a machine with mabye a 3 foot tether....IT SUCKS!! Luckily yesterday we were able to cut out one of the drugs since she has shown no signs of any infection and she can now be off the IV for an 8 hour break during the day. We are praying for her to remain fever free and to get that ANC built up to at least 500 so she can come home for a little bit.

And for anyone that may have missed my last quick post about the Tshirts....the check needs to be made out to me (Denise Vollmer) not the police department. If you have already sent it, just let me know and I can pass it on to the gal in charge. She will need you to reissue a check unfortunately as this needs to be kept completely separate from the department. Sorry for any confusion.

Now for all the pictures......(remember don't be jealous :)

Me and precious Addy

Abbey had so much fun playing with Addy

Abbey and Emma with Addy in the hospital lobby

Ella and Addy....haven't quite noticed each other

Wait...could they possibly be......

...going in for the hug?.....you betcha!!

Joe and his girls (can't you just picture him with two :)

Ella giving Cammie a kiss (you'd think her mom would
make her hair look prettier for company, huh)

Believe it or not, this was the best picture I got of all
3 girls together. I don't care...they are all together!!

Awww...Ella like Miss Heather

Once again, the best picture I got...the girls just weren't

I just love this picture of Zoey. She was actually posing
for me.

I am pretty sure that they are talking about how lame
their moms are for taking all of these pictures.

FINE!!! We will look at the camera...AGAIN!!

All the kids together!!

Sorry Heather and Cammie but this was the best I had
and I simply had to put one of you guys together.

And one last picture to make you jealous....Zoey and me!!!

Clarification on Ella's Fundraiser Tshirts

Since I can't keep track of who I have given the tshirt information to, I wanted to do a quick post in hopes of reaching everyone in time. Apparently the checks need to be made out to me (Denise Vollmer) and not the police department. If you have already sent one off, just let me know and I will give the lady a heads up but she will need you to reissue it. Sorry for any confusion.

I will do an update on Ella when I get home in a few hours as it is to hard to do from the hospital as I can't put any pictures on.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wanted........More Pictures!!

There are a few of you (and you know who you are) that haven't sent us a picture yet for Ella's hospital wall. As you can see, there is a small amount of space left to be filled with what I consider the cutest faces EVER!!! I will even make it easy on you. If you want, you can just email me a picture and I can get them printed down the street. Email me at adjvollmer@aol.com and if you want to mail it, I can give you my mailing address. I seriously cannot get enough of looking at all these kiddos. My heart melts with each one of them and I am making it my lifelong goal to see as many in person as possible (well, I mean Ella wants to :) Actually, there are some pretty great moms to go along with these kids that I want to meet someday too. I included one picture of the whole wall and then tried to take a close-up picture that is split in two so you can see these adorable faces. If you click on each picture, it should make it larger.. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!

****update**** Ella's counts were still at ZERO for the third day which is about how it was last time so it would appear we are right on track. Hopefully they will start going up in the next couple of days.

Also, if you were seriously interested in one of the Tshirts from Ella's fundraiser, send me an email and I will tell you how you can get one.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Things You Can Do While You Are Stuck At The Hospital

You can order room service

Call your friends

Not listen to mommy when she is trying to get a picture

You can practice standing up

You can succeed at standing up

You can climb into small spaces behind the crib

You can check up on your blog friends

Hang out with visitors (Hi Mr. and Mrs. Kenneally)

You can take things out of mommy's purse

Take a quick rest

Work on eating solid foods

and work some more

And finally, you can take a nap in the best spot ever, daddy's lap!!

A quick update.....Ella's blood counts have reached zero so there is nowhere to go but up now. Barring any fevers etc, we should hopefully get a break from the hospital in 2 weeks or so. Today when the doctor came in, she said "I can't believe how good she looks for being at ZERO" I sure hope she didn't jinx us!! Oh, and I think we have had a little breakthrough with the eating. Today when her feeding therapist was there, she gave Ella some rice cereal mixed with formula and Ella was really trying to feed herself and even getting some in her mouth. She was very focused and interested. Then later when my mom was there, my mom gave her her empty soup bowl and spoon and Ella sat there for a least 5 minutes putting the spoon in the bowl and then to her mouth. My mom finally put some more rice cereal in there and Ella was actually trying to eat it!! Yay Ella!!