Thursday, October 29, 2009

Snow Day!

Woo hoo! We woke up this morning to about 20 inches of snow (or as I call it, 'no'). Last year, snow and I did not get along. I thought it was just cold, wet and kept me away from all of my favorite places, like the park and our backyard. This year, however, I have a totally different opinion of it. Snow and I are now friends! "Why?" you may ask. Just take a look at these pictures of my wicked sledding moves and you'll understand.

Daddy and I hitting the slope!

Family sledding

Me and my buddy, Mimi

Going solo--I'm such a stud (Double click to see the big smile on my face!)

Monday, October 26, 2009

An Avid Reader

Even though I'm not even two years old, I am quite the reader. I have always appreciated a good book. It started with a book of lullabies that Mommy used to read to me when I was a baby. It then progressed through many phases--the Sandra Boynton fascination, the "Where the Wild Things Are" obsession, the Dr. Suess era, and most recently, I have turned to the Sunday comics. Mommy reads a dozen or so books to me a day, and Daddy reads to me every night before bed. I even do some light reading on my own in between. Here are a couple snapshots of me doing what I do best. Happy reading!

The Joy of Mail!

Written by my guest blogger, Mommy:

Emmett had quite the surprise awaiting him when he woke up from his Saturday nap. He had gotten a package in the mail from Grandma and Grandpa Neuhaus--an assortment of toys, books and clothes that put a huge smile on his face. Emmett LOVES getting mail. He looks forward to it every day. Now, of course, getting a package or even a letter is a rarity for E, but I manage to "find" something for him in our mail every Eddie Bauer catalog, a Target coupon book, and if all else fails, the occasional bill (I have no problem handing those over). Saturday, however, the mail was real and really exciting. Here are a few pictures of E opening his VERY OWN package.

Friday, October 23, 2009

An Update on my Heart

Sorry that it's been a while since I updated you on my heart. Truth is, there hasn't been much to say. I feel great, and I am as active and defiant as any (nearly) two year old. I had an MRI and a cardiac cath done way back in July and we just heard from the surgeon a few weeks ago. So, here's the plan...I'm gonna let my Mommy explain it to you. Sorry if she's a little long-winded.

Band Tightening: We were hoping we wouldn't have to do this, but E's surgeon took his test results to conference and the vote was unanimous: his heart looks good, but the left ventricle just isn't getting strong enough fast enough. Therefore, we will be heading back to Stanford for a band tightening surgery on December 10th. The purpose of the band is to make the left ventricle work harder to pump blood so that it becomes stronger. In a normal heart, the left ventricle does most of the work. In Emmett's heart, the right ventricle is pumping most of the blood. This is okay for now, but the right ventricle isn't built to withstand that kind of workload for long. Therefore, as time goes on, it could grow more weak and, eventually, fail. Therefore, the band is helping prepare Emmett for his next (and hopefully, last) surgery--the double switch.

Double Switch: This is the big daddy of surgeries. In a nutshell, the surgeons will reroute Emmett's blood flow to work like a normal heart. This is the surgery that keeps me awake at night. It is complicated, rare and risky...however, I know that God will see Emmett through it. The current plan is to perform the double switch next summer or fall, once Emmett's left ventricle is strong enough to take on the task of pumping most of his blood.

Though this is scary, we know that we are very fortunate for several reasons:
1) We found out about Emmett's condition early on. Though the diagnosis was hard to hear, there was some bit of comfort in knowing what we were dealing with from Day One.
2) We have an incredibly caring cardiologist, Dr. Younoszai, who has been with us from the beginning. He helped perform our first echocardiogram when E was still in utero. He explained everything slowly and thoroughly. Over the last 2 or so years, he has answered countless questions, drawn numerous diagrams (for me, who is apparently clueless about the human anatomy :) and given me several hugs when I couldn't hold back the tears. We thank God daily for Dr. Y.
3) We have a brilliant surgeon. We did quite a bit of research on surgeons in this area. Our cardiologist highly recommended Dr. Hanley from Lucille Packard Children's Hospital at we know why. He is a man of few words, much like Emmett. However, he is confident, supremely talented, and never says never. While at the hospital for E's first surgery, we met several parents who said that Dr. Hanley had given them hope when everyone else had given up. I truly believe he was put on this earth to serve children.
4) We have the most supportive family and friends...EVER. Friends and co-workers gave us gift cards to pay for our meals during E's first surgery; my best friend, Dana, sacrificed Thanksgiving with her own family to share a turkey dinner at the only restaurant open in Palo Alto on Thanksgiving night :); grandparents came to visit after the surgery to help care for Emmett; and finally, I know that all of our friends and family members are praying for Emmett...this provides the most comfort of all.
5) And most importantly, we have our faith. We know that, with God, all things are possible. We have no crystal ball, and we are trying to make the best decisions for our son with what little information we have. However, at the end of the day, Emmett is in God's hands, and only He knows the outcome of all of this. We are just enjoying each and every moment with Emmett, and I can't help but think that we have many, many, MANY more of those moments to come!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cozy Mountain Hideaway

This weekend, we went with our buddies--the Lewis Family--up to a cozy mountain town called Crested Butte. We shopped, we ate, and we played at the COOLEST playground ever. Really, it had a slide that was, like, a mile long! I could have stayed there a lot longer, but Daddy kept saying saying something about having to go back to work--whatever. It was a long drive (almost five hours), but it was so worth it. Along the way, we saw deer, antelope and beautiful, majestic mountains. Mommy and Daddy said I was a good boy the whole weekend and that they were soooo proud of me. Here is a little collage of our fun weekend getaway!

I'm ready for my close-up!

Mommy says she gets lots of complaints from people (particularly the Grandmas and Aunt Sarah) that I don't get my picture taken enough. Mommy actually takes a lot of pictures of me...TOO MANY, if you ask me, but she had only had my picture taken professionally once, when I was just 6 months old. I guess it is a shame not to take advantage of my rugged good looks. So, Mommy and Daddy had my picture taken by a photographer friend of ours in a park by the mountains. He took a ton of pictures, but here are a few of our favorites. Enjoy! And try not to drool... :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Silly geese--pellets are for fish!

Mommy and I went to one of my favorite places this week. It's a little pond with HUGE fish in it, and for a small fortune, you can buy pellets to feed them. Usually it's a lot of fun--a bonding experience with my favorite little underwater creatures. However, on this particular day, our bonding was interrupted by some very loud and very RUDE geese. They followed me everywhere, begging for tasty morsels of food and practically biting our fingers off in the process. It really started to make me mad! Take a look for yourself...

No Words Necessary

This is how Mommy found me after she finished cleaning up the kitchen. Enough said.

Pumpkin Patch's my Mommy's favorite time of the year, and one of the reasons is the pumpkin patch. She LOVES her a good pumpkin patch--hay rides, petting zoos, picking out the perfect gourd--she lives for that stuff. Mommy and I went back to our local patch this week, but it was very different from last year. For one thing, I was walking this time (or should I say running?), and secondly, we went during the week, so we practically had the whole place to ourselves. Our own private little pumpkin patch--gotta love it!

I got to pet a baby goat, play on a cool wooden train, and pick out my very own pumpkin. I'm sure this won't be our only trip to the patch this season, but it was definitely the perfect way to say "Hello!" to fall.

My First Ballgame!

Last Sunday, Mommy and Daddy took me to my first baseball game. The Cardinals were in town playing the Rockies, so it seemed like the perfect time to figure out how this baseball thing works. When we first got to the stadium, I didn't know what to look at first. There were all kinds of people, some decked out in purple while others were sporting Redbird red like Mommy, Daddy and I. There was also a ton of food--nachos, hot dogs, brats, pretzels and my personal favorite---slushies! Needless to say, it didn't take long to talk Daddy into buying me one of those (wink, wink).

We had awesome seats. We had outfield box seats, right next to the wall. Daddy said it was prime "foul ball territory", whatever that means. It took me a while to figure out that there were guys standing in the field right next to me! A couple times, they hit balls really close to where we were sitting. We even saw Albert Pujols accidentally send his baseball bat flying into the crowd. I don't know much about baseball, but it's looking like a pretty dangerous sport to me. Whenever a ball was hit "foul", somebody would pick it up and throw it over the edge. While I didn't get one of these balls, it occurred to me that if they could throw things from the field to the stands, then I could throw something from the stands to the field. I didn't have a ball handy, so instead I threw Mama's water bottle. She wasn't very happy about it, but I'm sure the players appreciated the gesture.

After three innings, I grew a little bored of the baseball scene, so I decided to scope out the humongous escalator that I had eyed when we first walked into the stadium. My amazing, patient and beautiful Mommy let my Dad watch some more of the game while we rode the escalator all the way to the top and then walked (very slowly) back down the stairs--twice.

Finally, we decided (or should I say, I decided) that it was time to go home and play with my cars. My parents didn't seem to mind. They were just happy to see any of the game. They said it was just the first of many, many baseball games that we will see together!

The slushie experience--yum!

Don't I look like a natural?

Leaving the game on Daddy's shoulders--best seat in the house!

After the game...