what an exciting and fun filled month
We begin with a trip to the State Capitol December 3rd
to see Auntie Taelor’s choir for their annual
Christmas performance. Ethan is always eager to go to
any choir performance and cannot wait until he is a one
of its stars. Look out Mr. Rainwater :)
On December 5th Ethan received his Ernie Patch award at
Awana . He really enjoys Cubbie night, playing with his
friends (especially Isaac) and loves to hear his name
called to go up and receive his awards. He is doing well
with memorizing each verse and is enjoying craft time
each week… he loves the glue stick! :)
On December 8th we headed out on the street of
Sacramento looking at all (well most) of the Christmas
lights. Ethan loved all of the lights and was even more
excited when we found Santa. He is very anxious to tell
Santa all of his wishes this year.
December 11th Ethan joined the scout troop pack 107 to
help sing Christmas Carols at the Senior Citizen Center.
He loves to be with his Scout buddies, and loved singing
and entertaining all of the patients.
December 13th we helped Kokee and Pop-Pop pick out their
Christmas tree. He loved running through the tree lot
trying to pick the “right one” and then helping Papa set
it up when we brought the tree back home. He is such a
December 14th we attended Auntie Taelor’s Christmas
choir performance. Ethan loves to watch Auntie and her
friends perform and sing the songs along with them.
After the show he loves to run up on stage and give a
short performance of his own. What a wonderful show
Shades of Praise. This may be your best to date!
December 15th we helped our neighbor Matthew celebrate
his 1st birthday!! Each child (with the help of mom)
decorated a Gingerbread house. We had so much fun
watching the kids create their own house, of course
sampling some of the decorations and frosting too!!
December 16th we picked up Daddy from his business trip
(Las Vegas) and then headed to church for the children’s
Christmas performance. This was Ethan’s first
performance and he LOVED it. We were not sure if he
would actually stay up on the stage but he did and loved
every second of it, especially all the cheering from the
parents at the end. Way to go our little Super Star!!
December 17th we had dinner at John’s incredible pizza
to help support Auntie Taelor’s Guide Dogs group.
Ethan loves to eat at John’s because he can pick out his
own pizza, noodles and ice cream. He also loves to play
the games and then turn in his tickets for prizes. He’s
quite the shopper!! :)
December 20th- We headed to Chevy’s in Rocklin to meet
up with our friends the Hudock’s and Misner’s and Aunt
Carol too for dinner, gift exchange and then off to view
more Christmas lights. The kids had so much fun opening
their gifts and they all loved getting to see some of
their favorite characters decorated for Christmas. This
was such a wonderful evening for all, thank you so much
for sharing with us!!
December 22nd we finally made it to see Santa!! Ethan
could not wait to get up on Santa’s lap and tell him
what he wanted for Christmas… Elmo and a new bike!!
Ethan is very anxious to see what Santa will bring!!
December 24th Christmas Eve- We begin the morning with a
celebration for mommy’s birthday with a delicious brunch
prepared by Kokee and Auntie Shana and then open
birthday gifts. Ethan could not wait to open his
Christmas presents so we let him open one gift with
mommy. He knew exactly which package to open, “the one
with Elmo paper” which turned out to be an Elmo puzzle
book, boy was he excited!! After brunch we headed back
home for a rest and to get ready to open more presents!!
This year before opening our gifts and celebrate
Christmas, we went caroling with the Van Aiken and
Prichard families. This was a new tradition for our
family but we had great time singing for the entire
neighborhood and everyone seemed to enjoy our singing!
We even surprised our friends Tom and Angie along our
route! Ethan loved running to each house to sing more
songs and then having dessert back at the Van Aiken
home. Thank you Van Aiken’s and Prichards for inviting
us to join you!! Merry Christmas!!
We finally made it back to open Christmas presents!
Ethan was so excited he could barely stand himself this
year!! He would open a present then run back over to
Papa and ask “is there another one for me?” We all had
fun watching Ethan’s excitement this year.
Christmas day we woke up early to see what Santa had
left for Ethan... It was a bike!!! (Santa and his elves
had misjudged Ethan’s height so we sent it back to
Santa’s workshop and found another bike that is more
suitable at Toys rus). After checking out his gifts from
Santa, we headed to Manteca for more Christmas fun!!
Ethan had the best time with all of his cousins and was
so excited to open more presents with them… especially
the Jamba Juice gift card!!! He also loved reading his
new Elmo book with Auntie Laura! Thank you everyone for
a wonderful Christmas!!
We have had a wonderful year, enjoying Ethan and
watching him grow more and more independent. We cannot
wait to see what 2008 will bring. We hope you all a very
Merry Christmas, and wish all the best in 2008!
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We started off the month
celebrating Drew Stapleton’s 4th birthday on
November 3rd. Ethan had lots of fun playing
on the play structure and all of his friends at a Pirate
Adventure party. Thank you Stapleton family for a fun
we celebrated Kokee’s
birthday. Auntie Shana made a lovely dinner and we had a
Baskin Robbins’s Ice cream cake for desert. Ethan had
lots of fun helping Kokee with her gifts and blowing out
the candles on her cake. Happy Birthday Kokee!!
Heather and Ethan,
Kokee, Pop-pop and the rest of the crew traveled to
Grants Pass, Oregon for an early Thanksgiving
celebration. We had a wonderful dinner and then attended
Kyle’s high School production of the Music Man.
Kyle played the part of the mayor and did an awesome
job!! The play was a little long for Ethan but he
did such a nice job sitting quietly on Kokee’s lap and
even took a little rest..
Thank you Fortner family for such a wonderful time this
weekend. Love you all!!
On November 19th-
We headed home, but our first stop was at the Harry and
David store for a tour and lunch. Ethan loved riding on
the tour bus, climbing up the stairs and watching the
big pop corn machine
and of course the delicious samples of cookies and
chocolate!! YUM, YUM!!
next stop further down the road was at the
Sun Dial Bridge located just
outside of Redding. Ethan had fun running up and down
the bridge (stopping along the way to hang from a few of
the anchors) and then playing down by the water with
Pop-Pop. The kids played for about and hour and then it
was time to get back on the road!
We spent Thanksgiving this year at the
Fiore Family Mi-wuk cabin. Ethan loves to go to the
cabin and play with all of his cousins, but on this
visit he and Uncle Bob became best buds!!
It was fun watching the two together, especially the
After Turkey and a ton a pictures we headed back to
Manteca to spend the night with Nana and Epa. We had a
very, very nice Turkey day, but Ethan’s favorite part
was getting to “rock out” with Daddy and Uncle Joe on
Ethan has two new loves this
month….his scooter and PUZZLES. We have puzzle time each
morning (school work) and then after lunch and a rest we
go outside for a scooter ride. You should see him fly
down the drive way! Todd and cringe as he gets close to
the end of sidewalk but he always seems to turn just in
time!! He is one heck of kid, and loving doing new
things on his own. We can’t wait to see what next month
Thank you for your continued
support and prayers
Enjoy the pics!
Ethan's YouTube Debut!!!! Click
the link below:
Ethan and Uncle Bob
It’s that time again… take a peak at what
the Fiore family has been up to since the last update.
Oct2ober 2nd Mommy and Daddy celebrated their 8th
wedding anniversary with a nice dinner out at the
Melting Pot while Ethan played at Kokee and Pop-Pops.
If you have not been to the Melting Pot (if you enjoy
Fondue style) go, its Awesome! Thanks Kokee and Pop-Pop
for keeping Ethan Todd and I had a wonderful dinner.
October 6th we celebrated Pop-Pop’s
birthday dinner at our house followed by Big Spoon
Yogurt for desert. Yummy! Ethan loved helping Pop-pop
open packages and loved making his own yogurt creation,
lots of chocolate and “whoop cream”.
October 7th- Ethan’s 4th birthday!!
WOW! We still cannot believe we are celebrating a
4th birthday, it is truly amazing!!
We held Ethan’s party at Pump
It UP in Rancho Cordova. What fun we had watching
all of the kids play and slide on the big slide. Some
of the adults go into the action too (as you will
see in the photo gallery). Ethan had an absolute blast
going down the slide all by himself, and then racing
up the stairs to do it all over again!! The kids played
for an hour and then we headed into the party room
for treats, cake and presents. What an exciting day!!
Thank you all so much for coming to celebrate with
October 13th Daddy had some work to
do for Joe at his cart in Solano Mall so Ethan and
I hung out at the inside kid park while Daddy finished
working and then we headed off to Manteca for overnight
stay with Nana and Epa. We had a fun dinner at Chili’s
on Saturday night, and then Sunday morning Ethan helped
Nana make French toast for breakfast. He loves to
help crack the eggs into the bowl. We are still working
on the coordination of stirring, but it will be perfected
soon we know.
October 15th we headed to Monterey
for our annual Home School Field trip. Ethan loved
looking at all the sea otters, the jelly fish and
the shark in the large tank. After playing for almost
an hour in the Land Mammal area, we went outside for
a picnic lunch and then headed back home to Sacramento.
What a fun day!
October 22nd- We headed to Arco Arena
for Kings Fan-dominium night. Ethan had fun trick
or treating around the arena, and watching the dance
show with the Robertson family.
October 23rd- The newest member of
the Misner family was born, so Ethan and I drove to
Woodland to visit with Tim and Rebecca, baby Kyle
and big sister Hannah. Welcome to the world baby Kyle!!
October 24th- Ethan went with Kokee
along with the 4h group for a food preservation class
at the Antelope Library. Ethan loved helping Mrs.
Prichard and the kids in the class and then picking
out books to read. Ethan sure does love to go on field
October 25th- John and Colin Haugseth
came over for a play date. The three boys had lots
of fun playing with cars, play dough and crawling
through Ethan’s tube. It was a lot fun watching
the boys play together, but boy was I exhausted! ?
October 31st- Halloween and we finally
made it to the Pumpkin Patch!! Ethan had such a great
time this year. He loved riding the sea-saw, climbing
the hay pyramid and running through the hay maze.
We did attempt the Corn Maze (several times) but could
not find our way out to the end to save our souls...
where is the GPS unit when you need one? ?
After the Pumpkin Patch, we headed
to Woodland for our yearly gathering at the Khein
home. Ethan was soo excited to finally put on his
Peter Pan costume and had so much fun playing with
Brandon, Brianne, and Hannah, baby Kyle, Drew and
Austin. Thanks again Hudock’s , Misner’s
and Kehin’s for such a great time each year!!
Ethan is a wonderful four year old
and we are enjoying watching him explore his new world.
We love spending each day with him!!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers
Enjoy the pics!
September has been
quite busy for us. Heather, Ethan and Kokee began
September with a quick trip to Grants Pass, Oregon
to visit their cousin Skeeter. It was a fast trip
but Ethan did have fun visiting the Bears that lined
the downtown streets.
Sept.7th- Heather and Ethan met Nana
at the Sacramento Airport to pick up some of Nana’s
pinochle friends. Ethan had fun waiting for Linda
to come down the alligator (escalator) and drinking
his chocolate milk from Starbucks.
Sept.8th- Todd took Ethan up to the
hotel to meet Nana, Epa, Auntie Denise, Fernando,
Lexi and Jordan for dinner. Ethan loved drinking his
own Shirley temple and riding up in the elevator and
playing out on the balcony.
Sept.9th- We went to Manteca help
Jordan celebrate his 10th birthday!! Ethan loved eating
pizza with the kids, helping Jordan open his presents
and playing in the frosting with Lexie!! What fun!!
Sept. 11th- Pack 107 Court of Honor
Ceremony- Uncle Jesse received several awards for
all of his tasks completed over the summer. Way to
go Jess boy!! Ethan loves to attend Cub Scout functions
and even put on his own scarf to be just like Jesse
Sept.12th- Cubbies started back up!
Ethan is now working on his Jumper book. Ethan was
so excited to get to see all of his cubbie friends
especially Isaac! Ethan has memorized two verses and
received his Jumper patch to add to his vest. Way
to go little man!!
Sept .15th- We went to the Celebrate
Natomas festivities! Ethan had fun climbing and sliding
down on the bounce house, spinning all the wheels
to win prizes, fishing in the little pool, playing
on the playground and driving the real fire truck.
What a fun day!!
Sept.16th- Ethan, Jesse and AJ made
apple pancakes for breakfast! Ethan got to help Kokee
cut up the apples and then made a pancake for mommy.
What a good little helper!! And the pancakes were
delicious!! Good job boys!!
Sept. 21st- We went to
Santa Rosa to see the entire set of Snoopy’s
on display. It was so exciting to see all of the different
themes and decorated Snoopy’s. We even found
a snoopy dressed up as a heart patient so of course
Ethan and Heather had to take a picture with that
one. After walking through all of the Snoopy’s,
Ethan and “(the big girl) that is how Ethan
referred to Madison Helen’s oldest grand daughter
played in the dirt along the field… how cute!!
We then went to Helen’s office where the kids
had fun playing in the fountain. What another fun
day! Thank you so much Helen, Monica, and girls.
September 2007 Pictures **
August has been a
little more eventful for us as Heather was able to
get out and a about a little more so we have been
back to our busy schedule.
Aug 1st- Ethan was invited by
the Couch family to come go swimming at the Natomas
Club Center. They have a wading pool which is just
the perfect size for him to swim, and Heather can
just sit on the side and watch. He loves being able
to “swim” on his own, he is getting to
be so independent.
Aug 2nd- We went out to dinner at
Mikuni’s to celebrate our friend Michelle’s
birthday. Ethan loved playing with Joe and Michelle’s
niece Kristen. They were so cute together posing for
our pictures and dancing around in the parking lot
and entertaining all the adults. After dinner we went
back to Joe and Michelle’s for cake but Ethan
did not quite make it through desert.
Aug 3rd- Marcie, Becca, Carol, Brandon, Brianne and
Hannah came to play at our house and take mommy out
to do some shopping. Ethan, Hannah and Brandon had
fun chasing each other around the house and climbing
through Ethan’s tube and Brianne loved playing
with the walker and blocks. Thank you so much for
all your help, you all have been wonderful while mommy
recovers from her surgery.
Aug. 4th- Ethan and Heather attended
Austin Stapleton’s 2nd birthday party at his
house in Woodland. Ethan loved the play structure
in the back yard and spent most of the party going
down the slide and playing in the sand area, but we
did eventually get him to come and eat his lunch and
then he went right back up to the top of the play
structure! Thank you so much Stapleton’s for
a fun day!!
Aug. 11th- Ethan asked to go to the
park and play soccer with daddy, so we packed up the
soccer ball and headed downtown to McKinley Park.
We first walked through the rose garden and then out
onto the field so Todd and Ethan could kick the ball.
Ethan had so much fun kicking the ball and chasing
Aug.13th- Wow what an eventful day!! We spent most
of the day getting ready for auntie Taelor to promote
from the eighth grade along with her three friends
Lauren Prichard, Leah Lawrence, and Jessica Hill.
All of the families were to meet downtown at the Old
School house for the graduation ceremony followed
by dinner and desert at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
YUM! The graduation ceremony went really well and
dinner was delicious!! As we were getting ready to
leave for the ceremony, Ethan went to the potty all
by himself! WOOHOO!!! No more diapers!! Yeah!! Ethan
has been doing well with the training with only a
few accidents here and there(as expected), but he
is soo excited to finally get to wear big boy underwear!!
Aug 14th- We attended the Family Boy Scout BBQ at
Antelope Park. Ethan had fun playing football, rolling
down the hill, and climbing in the big tree. He sure
loves playing with the big kids!!
Aug 15th-17th- Ethan and Heather went to stay at the
Misner house in Plumas Lake. Ethan had a great time
sliding down Hannah’s slide, climbing up the
stairs and playing fetch with Daisy and Lexi(their
On Friday the 17th- We went to dinner with the Hudock
family at the Old Spaghetti Factory, YUM!! Ethan Brandon,
Hannah and Brianne did a great job eating all their
noodles, vegetables and of course the after dinner
desert, ice cream!! Thank you Marc and Marcie for
including us in your family tradition!! Thank you
so much Tim, Becca and Hannah for letting us come
to stay with you while Todd was in Vegas. We had such
a wonderful time!!
Aug. 18th- We helped Brianne Hudock celebrate her
first birthday. Ethan a great time swimming with all
of his friends and went down the slide all by himself!!
Of course once he tried he had to do it about 100
times, he was almost a raisin by the time he got out
of the pool ?. It is amazing how independent he is
and we love watching him grow into this amazing little
Aug 21st-24th – Ethan and Heather went to stay
with the Hudock family. Ethan had fun spending the
night with Brandon and Brianne, and getting to swim
every day after lunch! What a wonderful treat for
us to come and stay with them. Thank you so much Marc,
Marcie, Brandon and Brianne for letting us stay with
you while Todd was (still) in Vegas. ?
Aug.31st- We celebrated Auntie Taelor’s
14th birthday. We went to have sundaes at Dairy Queen
(Taelor was craving a blizzard). Ethan ordered his
own chocolate dipped cone and ate the whole thing.
We all had fun watching him chasing the chocolate
of the cone?. Happy Birthday Taelor!!
August 2007 Pictures **
July has been somewhat
of a quite month as we have taken time off while Heather
recuperated from surgery. We managed to get a couple
of outings in just so Ethan did not go completely
crazy being in side all of the time. :)He has been
an absolute trooper. We have been amazed with how
well he has coped. You would think we were used to
this or something… :)
July 15th- Heather came home from
the hospital. Ethan was very happy to have mommy home
especially because he got to open his Mickey Mouse
wrapped present… Captain Hook!! He had been
waiting the whole week to open his present, and could
hardly wait until we walked through the front door
to go get it. It made us all smile to watch him rip
through the packaging. :)
July 21st- Ethan wanted to get out
and play at the park, and we had been cooped up long
enough… so the three of us headed out and stopped
to pick up some Jack in the Box (egg rolls are Ethan’s
favorite)and went to the park and had a little snack….
It was nice to get out for a little bit and watch
Ethan and Daddy play.
July 29th- We headed to Manteca for
a short visit with Nana and Epa and the rest of the
family. We had fun just hanging out in the back yard
watching the kids swim and sharing in some nice family
As you can tell, we've been taking
it easy and have been doing well. We cannot thank
you all enough for your prayers, support, the meals
and visits to our home. We would not have made it
through this time without all of you. We are truly
thankful and blessed to have each and every one of
** July Pictures **
- July 7th, 2007
Ethan has been very busy and would like to share all
Beginning with May 9th – Ethan
achieved his bravery award today at gymnastics!!…
He climbed the rings and hung upside down all by himself.
Mommy was very nervous but his coach was very proud
of him for trying a new task all on his own. Never
a dull moment!!
May 11th – Todd, Ethan, AJ and
I drove to Reno to see Elmo live!! Ethan had been
waiting and waiting for May 11th to come, in fact
he told everyone he met “I get to go see Elmo
on May 11th!! He was so excited throughout the entire
show, and was even more excited when daddy bought
him an Elmo balloon!! The night was made when the
show ended and all of the characters sang Ethan’s
favorite song “lalala. Lala, laa… sing,
sing a song… what an exciting night!!
May 13th- Mother’s Day- We celebrated
with Heather’s family here in Sacramento. This
was the first Mother’s Day without Grammy. It
was a little tough, but we ended the day with a wonderful
dinner at one of our (and Grammy’s) favorite
May 16th- We attended Awana Awards
night at Antelope Springs Church. Ethan received his
first year book award and Todd and I were awarded
the Cubby Parent Hopper Diploma!! He was so not so
thrilled about being in front of everyone but loved
with everyone cheered for him. Way to go Cubby!!
May 18th- Ethan and Heather went to
Shana’s office to join in the movie display
competition. Ethan loved the Peter Pan display and
tried several times to take Peter and Captain home
with us. Shana’s theme (Charlotte’s Web)
did not win this time but we voted for her anyway!!
Thank you to Schools for allowing us to come and tour
May 20th- Ethan helped Uncle Jesse
celebrate his 11th birthday at Scandia Family fun
center. Ethan loved playing golf with all of the kids.
He loved going to get his ball out of each hole. He
enjoyed playing each hole until the eighteenth, his
ball did not come back and the party was over!! After
recouping from the trauma at the last hole, we sang
Happy Birthday to Jesse and enjoyed his birthday cupcakes.
May 22nd- We went to the Hudock’s
house for volleyball, dinner and a dip in their new
pool. Such fun!! Ethan loved playing in the warm pool
with Carol, Branodn and Hannah. Todd did take him
down the slide on time, but Ethan ran right back to
the warm pool.
May 25th- Ethan and Heather went to
Manteca for a Memorial Dedication to the fallen soldiers
of Stanislaus County and to tour Uncle Joe’s
Chinook helicopter. What a thrill and oh soo many
buttons for Ethan to push... thank goodness Uncle
Joe had the keys!!
Thanks for the Tour Joe, it was awesome!
May 27th- We joined the Hudock, Misner
and Khein family at their annual Memorial Day picnic.
The kids had so much fun on the slide, playing ball,
eating snow cones and going fishing that was Ethan’s
favorite!! Thank you so much for letting us join you,
we had a great time!!
May 29th- We attended AJ’s Cub
Scout bringing ceremony. How exciting! Ethan loved
watching the boys and Auntie Shana on stage and even
got to pose with AJ on the bridge!
Way to go boys!!
May 31st- We headed to Discovery Kingdom
with Kokee, Couch, Hill and Lindner families. Ethan
loved playing in Zoë’s tree house, riding
on the tugboat with Kokee, Tava’s Elephant parade
with Hannah Couch, the safari ride, the Leap frogs
with the boys and the swings!! We did see Shouka the
killer whale show, but Ethan wanted to get right back
to the rides!! What an exciting day!! J
June 2nd- Ethan’s Under the
Sea Show at Tricks!! Ethan did a great job on the
floor exercises but his favorite is the trampoline...
and loved entertaining the parents gathered around!!
Such the performer!! Can’t wait for your next
June 7th – We drove to Stockton
to tour Uncle Joe’s helicopter again but this
time Daddy and lots of cousins were with us!! J Ethan
loved running around the airport grounds, in and out
of the helicopter and hanging out with Dad in the
Thanks Joe for letting us come play again!!
June 14th – Ethan had an appointment
with DR Wright. Ethan weighs 27.2 pounds and rising
(with the help of the feeding tube of course) and
heart is still doing well!! YEAH, no more check ups
with DR. Wright for 6 months!!
June 16th- We helped Brandon Hudock’s
(Ethan’s best buddy) 3rd birthday!! Ethan had
so much fun swimming with all of his friends and Papa
Khein, and loved his bucket of toys and a new Cars
cup to take home!
Thank you Hudock’s for a wonderful day!!
June 17th- We celebrated Father’s
day with a quick coffee “toast” to the
dads and piled in the cars headed for Baker City,
Oregon! Of course we stopped along the way for some
pictures and play time!!
June 18th- We made it to Auntie Pat
and Uncle Tony’s!! Ethan had fun playing in
their yard, trying to climb up the tree and playing
with the water well.
Auntie Pat looks a great deal like Heather’s
Grandmother and Ethan was like her shadow. He would
crawl up with her in her chair and rub her arm just
like he used to do with Grandma. So sweet, you could
tell he really misses Grandma as we all do. After
playing at Auntie Pat’s and Uncle Tony’s
we went to the Oregon Trail Interpretative Center
and toured the museum of what life was like on The
June19th- We celebrated Uncle Don’s
80th birthday and a celebration of Heather’s
Grandma’s life. We had a family BBQ on Auntie
Pat and Uncle Tony’s property and then planted
a tree in Grandma’s honor. It was so nice for
all who could attend to be there and share some of
their fondest memories of Grandma. She was a wonderful
woman and loved us all so very much!
June 20th- Heather her mom and the
kids drove from Oregon to Weiser Idaho to visit Auntie
Jude and Uncle Bob and to see Justin Booth (a family
friend) in The Fiddler’s Contest. We had such
a wonderful visit with Auntie Jude, Uncle Bob, cousins,
the Booth Family and listened to some pretty awesome
June 21st- We headed back home from
our stay in Oregon and Idaho. The trip always seems
to go so quickly and ride home seems to take forever.
We stopped at good old KFC and found a park to let
the kids play for a while before packing back into
the car. We so enjoyed our visit with everyone but
it was so good to get back home to our own beds!!
June 28th- Heather and Ethan went
to the Sacramento Zoo with neighbors Sammy, his mom
Amy and baby brother Matthew. The boys had lots of
fun finding all of their favorite animals, flamingos,
giraffes, lions and the penguins (who are visiting
Sacramento temporarily). Thank you Amy, Sammy and
Matthew for the field trip, we look forward to going
June 30th- We helped Trevor Neese celebrate his 1st
birthday!! Ethan had lots fun swimming and splashing
with everyone in the pool. He even went down the slide
with Erik (Trevor’s daddy). After swimming Trevor
and his mommy Wendy opened packages and the kids enjoyed
their cupcakes while Trevor enjoyed his own cake!!
J Thanks Neese family for a fun party!
July 4th- We spent the afternoon at Tom and Angie’s
house swimming and BBQing!! We had one little tragedy;
Ethan stepped on a bee and was stungL luckily at this
age a band-aid and a kiss makes everything better!!
As the sun went down we decided to move to the front
yard and prepared for our own little fireworks show.
Carl brought out the event seating (lawn chairs) and
got the hose ready. Ethan loved all the pretty colors
and cheered for Daddy after each firework. Afterwards
Ethan helped Carl hose down all the burned up fireworks
and gave Carl a shower with the hose!!! Thank you
Tom, Angie and Carl for a fun day!!
July 5th- We went to Kokee and Pop-Pops for more fireworks
display. The Lindner family joined us in the fun!
Ethan loved watching the fun colors and jumped up
and down for each firework. After fireworks the kids
enjoyed a pop-sicle and watermelon!! Thank you all
for the fun!!
July 6th- Ethan had an appointment with DR Davies…
he weighs 27.3pounds (and he has been without the
tube for 5 days). J We have decided to leave the tube
out for a while and try a new milk to see (once again)
if he can continue to maintain his weight with oral
July 7th- We went to Plumas Lake to help Hannah Misner
celebrate her 2nd birthday!! Ethan loved playing with
all the kiddos, eating lunch outside with Brandon
and Hannah at the little kids table and he really
enjoyed eating cake without his shirt on!! J Thank
you so much Misner family for such a good time.
After the party we went out in our front yard and
played with Ethan’s bubbles. He has learned
how to round his lips and blow to make the bubbles
work…. It has been a frustrating task for him,
but we are thrilled he can finally do it on his own.
Along with all the fun, Ethan has
learned opposites and 2 new letters. He knows up/down,
hello/good bye, stop/go and is finding B’s and
He has also become quite the fish, thanks in part
to the Hudock’s new pool. He puts on the “swimmies”
and off he goes. This has also been an aid for eating.
He is not allowed to swim unless he finishes his lunch/dinner
whatever the case may be, and all this swimming is
building up his appetite. So far it is working for
us!! Please continue to pray that Ethan’s weight
gain continues to progress.
Please also pray for our family’s as Heather
is preparing for her pulmonary valve replacement tomorrow
7/9/07 at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento.
We will leave for the hospital at 5am and she will
go into surgery at 7:30am. Thank you all so much for
your support and prayers.
Todd, Heather and Ethan
2006 - May 2007
It has been such a long time since our last update,
and we have lots of news to share with you!!
Beginning with Thanksgiving:
-We spent Thanksgiving this year at Grammy’s
house. We had a delicious meal almost totally prepared
by Shana. What a great cook!! After dinner the kids
played “War” and the adults played several
different card games... Blackjack, 31 and Spite and
Malice. It was a wonderful celebration, and we were
all very thankful to share this time together.
-The day after Thanksgiving Todd,
Ethan and I met up with Epa for an overnight stay
at the Soda Springs Cabin. How beautiful!! We went
for a walk around the lake and had a nice dinner at
-November 28th Todd, Ethan and I
went to pick out our family Christmas tree. Ethan
had great fun running around the tree lot and in fact
we almost did not go home with a tree that night because
we were having too much fun playing tag!!
-December 4th Heather had a Heart
Cath and Electrophysiology study. The heart cath determined
the Aortic Valve was still fully functional however
the Pulmonary Valve will have to be replaced. The
Electrophysiological test showed that Heather’s
heart was in good rhythm, this was just a precautionary
test before surgery! We will update once surgery has
-December 9th we went with Nana,
Epa, Auntie Karen and Savannah to the airport to pick
up Todd’s cousin Sara and family who had flown
in to Sacramento from Germany. Ethan was very excited
to meet his new cousins! They had quite the meeting
and even enjoyed a nice Strawberry Frappoccino together!!
Thanks Auntie Karen, it was yummy!!
-December 16th we traveled to Manteca
with an early Christmas celebration with Todd’s
family. Ethan had so much fun playing with the girls
and baby Conner!! And this year he loved opening his
packages!! He got a Discovery Toys playhouse from
his cousins, Chicken Dance Elmo from Auntie Denise
and Uncle Simon and the Sesame Street Sing and Giggle
Tool Bench from Nana and Epa!! He was in absolute
Heaven, and has had a blast with all of his new toys!
-We spent December 24th with Heather’s
family at her grandparent’s house! This was
the first time in almost 31 years that the family
has celebrated at Grandma’s house! Ethan’s
Great Grammy was ill and not able to travel, so we
brought the party to her house. We began the day with
a breakfast celebration for Heather’s birthday
and then opened Christmas presents later that evening.
The kids (especially Ethan) could not wait to open
their presents, and they were counting to see how
many each had.
-When the opening of the packages began, we had entered
into Elmo’s World!! It seemed like every package
Ethan opened was another Elmo item… books, clothes,
pajamas and Dance and Sing Elmo! Everyone he opened
he would yell Elmo and jump up and down!! We loved
watching his face after each was opened. Christmas
was truly awesome this year for Ethan.
-December 25th Ethan awoke to see
what Santa had brought him… the TMX Elmo and
a count with Ernie book!! Ethan was so excited and
we loved watching him as Elmo laughed and rolled around
the front room!
-We stopped by Heather’s grandmother’s
house for a couple of quick Christmas morning pictures
and then traveled to Uncle Vic and Auntie Laura’s
house in Manteca to celebrate with all of the Fiore
family. Ethan had fun playing on the stairs with James
and all of his cousins and of course opening more
packages and more Elmo stuff!! A cool new outfit and
the tool belt for his Sing and Giggle tool bench.
He is quite the character all dressed up and banging
away on the table!!
-After resting from all the Christmas fun and before
heading home to Sacramento, we went to see the house
of a 130,000 lights (just wait until you see the pics)
and it was absolutely amazing!!
-January 2nd Heather, Taelor, Ethan
and Grandpa went to the airport to pick up our cousin
Shilo. Although Shilo and Ethan had not ever met,
they were instant friends!! Ethan even went to help
gather Shilo’s luggage, such the helper!
January 3rd- 5th Heather’s
Uncle Spike, Aunt Carol, Seth and Shay all arrived
from Great Falls Montana! YEAH!! Ethan was so excited
to meet the boys! He was very fond of Seth and referred
to him as “Snuffy” (from Sesame Street).
We have several video clips of Ethan singing “You
and me forever” to Seth. Oh so sweet!! J
-On the evening of the third we had a mini birthday
celebration for Seth (who turned 21 December 29th
and AJ (who will turn 8 on January 8th). It was so
nice to have all of us home at Grandma’s if
only for a couple of days.
-Sunday January 7th we celebrated
AJ’s 8th birthday with a small family dinner
and ice cream sundaes for desert. Ethan loved making
his own sundae, especially putting on all the toppings!!
-January 11th -12th Auntie Pat, Uncle
Tony, Uncle Don and our cousins Cindy and Sandy came
to visit. Ethan loved dancing and singing for his
new audience, and loved sharing stories with his Great-
Great Uncles. Thank goodness for cameras and video
-January 22nd-23rd Skeeter, Jeanette
and Auntie Bea came for a visit before heading to
LA for a Scrapbook Convention. Ethan loved crocheting
with Auntie Bea, lunch and story time with Skeeter
and Jeanette. Thanks so much for coming to visit.
-January 25th – 26th Mary and
Justin came for a two day visit. Ethan enjoyed entertaining
them and eating Mary’s delicious chocolate chip
-February 4th Super bowl Sunday!
How exciting Daddy’s team (the Bears) finally
made it!! Todd went to Reno to watch the game, but
Ethan and I stayed in Sacramento, and joined the family
party at Grandma’s. We had some tasty treats
and a small super bowl pool. Each square was 25 cents
(so the kids could contribute) and the winning score
determined who would win. Guess who this year’s
winner was…. Ethan!! He was so excited!! He
immediately stuffed the cash into his pockets, so
Uncle Jesse could not take it!! Maybe next year Jess
-February 6th- Ethan had his 6month
post op appointment with DR. Wright. So amazing!!
DR Wright did an echo and Ethan’s heart is doing
well!! Other than gaining weight (Ethan at this time
is only 25 pounds) DR Wright is very happy with Ethan’s
progress as are Ethan’s parents!!
-February 16th- Heather’s grandmother
passed away. She had been battling a fight with Emphazema
for the past three months, and finally the war ended.
Grandma wanted to be at home so Heather, Ethan and
her family moved into Grandma’s house to take
care of her. Such a struggle, but we are truly thankful
for our time together.
-We are lost with out Grandma, but we are so thankful
for all the wonderful years and memories with have
with her. We have struggled to find a new “norm”
without her but we know she is in a wonderful place
and we will see her again one day. We love you Grammy!!
-February 23rd Ethan started back
to gymnastics! He was so excited to get back to “bouncy-bouncy”
and this week was Pajama week!! How fun!! Ethan’s
-Ethan has moved up to the three old class, and now
goes in with the teacher and mommy sits on the bleachers
and watches. This was a little hard at first, but
Ethan is doing well (as long as most of the class
is spent on the trampoline)!!
-February 24th- We attended Sutter
Memorial Hospital’s Pediatric Heart Surgery
Reunion. What fun! Ethan made new friends, had a great
time making cookies, coloring his very own t- shirt,
dancing with Francie, playing hoops with dad, and
catch with some of the King’s Court dancers!!
This was such an awesome celebration, and such a blessing
to see all of the happy children with their families.
-February 25th- we had a breakfast
honoring Heather’s Grandmother at one of her
favorite restaurants, Mimi’s Café. Thank
you to all who were able to join us and celebrate
such a wonderful lady.
-February 27-28th Todd, Ethan and
I headed to Soda Springs for a much needed overnight
getaway and Ethan’s first trip to the snow!!
Ethan was so excited to finally get to play in the
snow! He loved running and jumping into the big snow
banks, but did not like the snow getting in his face!
Oh and the snow plow was pretty cool too!! He loved
watching the snow shoot out across the top of the
snow plow to the other side of the driveway!
-March 3rd- Ethan learned to pedal
his tricycle all by himself!! He loves to get on his
bike in the garage, zooms down the drive way (stopping
just before the curb) and takes off down to the end
of the block!! He is s speed demon! He is now trying
to master daddy’s scooter!!
-Later on that day we met our very very good friends
Helen, Monica, Mike and their two beautiful girls
Madison and Imagine at McDonalds for a lunch and some
play time. We had a lot of catching up to do since
we have not seen them in two years!!!
-Ethan had a lot of fun climbing, sliding and running
around with all the kids! It was so nice to see them
and meet Imagine for the first time!!
-March 12th – Ethan had his
bi-monthly appointment with DR Davies. Yikes…
Ethan had been sick for the week prior to the visit
and had lost a couple of pounds. (He barely tipped
the scales at 23.5 pounds in her office). Dr Davies
and her nutritionist Nicole decided that Ethan needed
a little help to get his weight back up and put the
NG tube back in. Uggh!! This was so unexpected and
a little disappointing since Ethan was eating so well.
He just does not have the extra pounds to lose…So
we are now back on night feeds through the tube..
We are giving him 60cc’ about every 2-3 hours
during the night (we are waiting for a pump) and any
table foods during the day. Ethan is tolerating the
bolus feeds but not wanting to eat very much during
-March 19th- Ethan had a bad spell
and the NG tube came out…. Todd and I decided
to leave the tube out and see if the extra calorie
boost had helped Ethan. He is eating a little better
but really not enough to gain as much as DR Davies
would like. We will leave the tube out until Ethan’s
follow up appointment with DR Davies just to see if
Ethan will pick be able to gain on his own.
-March 23rd- Ethan helped AJ celebrate
his 8th birthday. Ethan had so much fun playing with
all the big kids, eating pizza and designing his very
own cupcake… loves those sprinkles!!
we had a follow up appointment with DR Davies and
Ethan has gained 1.3lbs!! J This is great but she
would like to continue night feeds through the tube.
Once again the NG Tube was put back in and will continue
night feedings of the Nutren Formula.
-We received the pump today so Ethan will be able
to have continuous feeds through the night. We started
him at 47 cc’s per hour and will move up gradually
each night as we do not want to overload him.
-Ethan is tolerating the overnight feeds, and is getting
an extra 500-650 calories a night. We have worked
up to 56 ccs’ per hour and he is doing well.
This is changing is feeding schedule a little as he
is not hungry until 12pm, but he is eating quite a
bit in each setting. Hopefully we are working in the
-April 5th- We had another follow
up appointment with Dr Davies. Ethan has gained another
pound this week!! He is now 26lbs!! J WOOHOO!! DR
Davies is excited!! We will continue night feeds for
another month and then possibly pull the tube. Our
goal is to reach 30lbs before pulling the tube, so
hopefully by our May appointment Ethan will have accomplished
-April 6th- 8th We spent Easter weekend
at the Soda Springs cabin. What fun! The kids loved
playing in the last snow of the season, coloring Easter
eggs, playing paddle ball with Todd, a visit from
the Easter Bunny and and Easter egg hunt outside.
What an awesome weekend!!
-April 10th- Heather and Ethan went
to visit Kokee, Pop-Pop, Taelor, Jesse and AJ down
at Sutter’s Fort. Ethan loved running up and
down the School house steps and sitting around the
campfire with AJ.
-April 15th- We went to visit Nana
and Epa in Manteca!!! Ethan loved helping Nana with
her new puppy Bella, riding piggy back on Epa, telling
Uncle Joe stories and playing with his cousins Jordan
-April 24th- Heather’s brother
Jesse “bridged” from a Cub Scout to a
Boy Scout. What an awesome ceremony. Ethan loved being
with the boys and tried several times to go up on
stage with them. He wanted to be a scout!! Soon little
buddy, soon!! J
-After the ceremony we went to Leatherby’s for
dessert, Yum! Yum!! Ethan ordered his very own chocolate
sundae and finished almost every bite!!
Congratulations to Pack 107, you are awesome!!
-April 25th- Ethan had his six month
evaluation with his speech therapist Elaine. He has
made an immense improvement over the past 6 months.
He has gone from the 7th percentile to the 13th percentile
(of their scale) and an overall average at the 3 year
3 month level!! How exciting!! Ethan has graduated
out of speech therapy!! There are still a couple of
things we need to work on at home but Elaine is quite
sure he will have them down before he enters kindergarten!!
-May 3rd- we had our visit with Dr.
Davies and Ethan has gained weight. He is now 27.5
pounds, which is a total of 2.23 pounds since the
tube went in. Dr. Davies is very happy that Ethan
has gained weight, but would like to continue the
tube feedings for at least another four weeks. He
is slowly but surely putting the weight on, but she
would like to get him at least to 30pounds before
we try maintaining his weight without the tube. We
will see her again on June 27th for another weight
-May4th- We finally got to visit
the Hudocks’, Misner’s and Uncle Carol
(as Ethan likes to refer to her). The kids had lots
of fun playing, chasing each other around the house,
taking turns with Elmo and shooting lots and lots
of baskets. We had a delicious lunch and later exchanged
some (very late) Christmas gifts. It was so good to
see them all and look forward to more play-time and
Brandon’s upcoming birthday party!! J
-May6th- We went to see Auntie Taelor’s
Shades of Praise choral performance at New Hope Church.
Ethan loved watching Taelor and the other choir members
perform and even tried to mimic the arm and dance
movements between the aisles. He made a new friend...
Mr. Green. Ethan enjoyed entertaining him as well
and even climbed onto his lap for part of the show.
Despite the long battle with Grandma,
the feeding tube and several little colds/allergy
attacks Ethan has done well. His speech has progressed
leaps and bounds. He continues to learn and recite
his bible versus each week for Cubbies and has become
very, very independent.
We are having quite the long conversations with him
and he has developed quite an imagination (thanks
in part to Sesame Street and his movie collection
which has also grown over the past 4 months)!
Ethan has finally learned his colors!!! He seems to
learn much better (and faster) when the subject is
set to music, so we made up a song to the tune of
The Farmer in the Dell naming the colors of the characters
on Sesame Street. Elmo is red, Elmo is red, hi, ho
the dairy-o Elmo is red, Oscar is green, Oscar is
green etc. etc… and pretty soon it stuck. Ethan
will still refer to objects as the character color
if he is unsure or if the shade of the color is a
little different, but for the most part he’s
got em!! J He has also learned the letters E and M
and loves to point them out whenever he finds them.
We are amazed daily by Ethan and truly blessed with
each new day.
Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!
Todd, Heather and Ethan
Please enjoy the picture gallery
you will see a "Roll-Up" of updates starting
from 10/6/06(just below) to 11/18/06. You'll find
the links for all the pics on the 11/18/06 update.
Thanks for stoppin by!
We celebrated Pop-Pops birthday at Grandma’s
house. We had a lovely traditional Italian feast,
with cookies and ice cream for desert... YUM YUM!!
Happy Birthday Pop-Pop!
Ethan turns 3!!!
What started out to be a confusing morning, ended
with a wonderful celebration at our house!! The park
which we were supposed to have Ethan’s party
had already been taken over (and they were not budging)
so we decided to have Ethan’s party at our house.
Thank goodness for family, as they were able to help
set up extra tables, chairs and decorate the house
all before Ethan’s friends arrived. Ethan was
so excited to have all of his friends at his house
for an “Under Construction” themed party!
All the kids (work crew) were given an apron, construction
hat and orders to have FUN until “quitting’
time”!! Thank you all for coming to help us
Wednesday October 11th
We went to visit our friends Marcie, Becca, Brandon,
Brianne and Hannah at Hannah’s new house in
Plumas Lake. Ethan had fun shooting hoops with Brandon,
singing the “The wheels on the bus” and
“The Itsy Bitsy Spider with Marcie, “Ring
around the Rosie’s” with Becca, and pushing
Hannah around in the laundry basket. Thank you for
lunch and the play date, we look forward to doing
Later that night we went to Cubbies
for a “Drive-In” movie night. Ethan decorated
a cardboard box (his car) and sat in it while watching
the “Veggie Tales” movie. After the movie,
Ethan received his first award for completing the
first section in his Cubby book. He had memorized
and recited 4 verses earning both the Hopper and Luv
E. Lamb patches. Now Mommy just needs to sew them
on his vest.? Way to go “Little Cubby”!!
Monday October 23rd
We went with Kokee, Shana, Taelor, Jesse and AJ to
Bishop’s Pumpkin Patch located in Wheatland.
Ethan loved it!! He loved the petting zoo, jumping
in the hay, riding the rocking horse, riding on the
train, driving the tractor and going down the slide
with AJ. The very best part of the day for Ethan was
getting his very own ICE CREAM CONE!!! We had great
time, and look forward to next year’s visit.
Tuesday the 24th
Ethan had his 3 year physical. He weighed 23lbs 6oz
and measured 34 ½ inches tall!!! He is still
on the small side, (only about 5th percentile for
both height and weight on the growth chart) but steadily
moving upwards in the right direction. We will just
have to keep feeding him those delicious cheeseburgers
Wednesday October 25th
We had an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting
with Ethan’s speech therapist Elaine at Vineland
School. Based on the results from Ethan’s evaluation
in September, he will require additional speech therapy
sessions with her once a week. Ethan is still significantly
delayed in his expressive and receptive language skills,
and will require the extra help to get him ready for
pre-school and or kindergarten.
Tuesday October 31st
Halloween!! Ethan (Elmo) trick
or treated at two homes on our street, and then we
went to the Khein home in Woodland for dinner and
fun!! Ethan had lots of fun with Brandon (who was
also Elmo), Brianne(a little Elmo), Hannah (a ballerina),
Drew(Captain Hook) and Austin(a dinosaur). Thank you
for letting us come and celebrate with you!! We look
forward to our traditional Halloween gathering!!
Ethan started his weekly speech therapy session with
Elaine at Vineland school. The first five minutes
were a little rough, but he then settled down and
even made me his first little piece of art….
a Turkey!! I was so excited, and so proud of him.
You will see in the picture gallery how cute it is!!
I am such a proud mamma!!
Later that night we went with Shana,
Jesse and AJ to Disney on ice!! The kids were so excited
to get to see the show!! Ethan loved Peter Pan and
101 Dalmatians scenes. He yelled out “Captain
and Peter” and giggled, and then when all the
puppies came out on the ice it was “Puppies”
and clapped and clapped and clapped!! Such an exciting
event!! Thank you Shana for getting us tickets!!
Saturday November 4th
We attended Drew Stapleton’s 3rd birthday party.
Ethan had lots of fun bouncing in the Spiderman bounce
house with Brandon, Drew and all the friends that
attended the party!! Thank you Drew for inviting us
to your party, we had a great time!!
Monday November 6th
Ethan had a visit with Dr. Davies, and the office
dietician. The two are both concerned about Ethan’s
weight, and have put him back on Duo cal and Benecalorie.
We need to get in every extra calorie possible so
Ethan will be able to gain and not just maintain.
So we are again mixing everything possible with either,
and Ethan is doing well with it. We have also added
half and half to his whole milk, which he is tolerating
(for the moment anyway). We will see Dr. Davies again
in three months, and hopefully Ethan will have gained
Wednesday November 8th
We celebrated Kokee’s birthday at grandma’s
house with a nice dinner cooked by Shana (complete
with a shrimp platter…. Kokee’s favorite)
followed by ice cream and cookies for desert!! YUMMY!
Friday November 10th
Ethan had an appointment with Dr Wright. Ethan gained
almost a whole pound since his last visit in August
and Dr. Wright was pretty excited about that!! He
looked at Ethan and said, “This boy is doing
great” with a great big smile!! And with that
he has decided to take Ethan off Lasix next week!!!
Yeah!!! He will continue to stay on the Nexium at
least through the winter and the 81mg Aspirin until
February. One down, two more to go!! And he has been
cleared to go back to gymnastics!! YEAH!!!
Saturday November 11th
Daddy and Ethan went to Manteca for a visit with Nana,
Epa, Denise, Lexi and Jordan.
Sunday November 12th
We celebrated Grandma’s 78th birthday with a
nice dinner prepared by Shana, and ice cream dessert…..
What a special treat for all us to be able to celebrate…
We love you Grammy!!
Saturday November 18th
Ethan and Mommy went to Jesse’s last soccer
game of the season. Ethan loved watching the boys
running up and down the field and kicking the ball
back and forth. He even ran out on the field a couple
of times to try and help Jesse’s team, perhaps
we have a soccer player on our hands!! Look for Ethan
as a Shark in 2011!
It has been an exciting couple of
months for us, beginning with Ethan’s 3rd birthday!!
He is becoming quite the little man! He is dressing
himself; with just a little help from us (getting
jeans over the diaper is a challenge) brushing his
own teeth (all of them), and is becoming quite the
communicator. Ethan is also beginning to show some
interest in potty training… this could be interesting!!
Stay tuned for results……
We are enjoying watching him grow into this amazing
little person. We look forward to all the wonderful
blessings Ethan’s third year will bring.
We wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving.
See Some Pictures?~*~*~*~
(This is sort of a "roll-up" of updates
since August 16th. Instead of reading from here down,
it will probably make more sense to read from August
16th to today.)
As you can see Ethan has recovered from surgery, and
is back to his normal state… keeping mommy and
daddy busy!!! We are so blessed at how quickly Ethan
recovered and returned back to our normal almost three
year old. Can you believe we will be celebrating his
third birthday this weekend? We are thankful everyday,
and so very proud of him.
We did receive some very interesting news this month;
Heather will have to have open heart surgery as well.
We do not have any definitive date as of yet, but
ironically the same valve (pulmonary) will have to
be replaced. This is not an emergency, and like Ethan’s
surgery we have the opportunity to select a date.
We have opted to wait until the first of the year,
so we can be somewhat relaxed and enjoy Ethan’s
birthday, and the rest of the holidays. We ask to
once again keep our family in your prayers.
Thank you so much for your continued
thoughts and prayers.
Pictures will be posted later
22nd, Ethan had a speech evaluation with
the Rio Linda School District Speech Pathologist Elaine.
She conducted the same test used by his previous Speech
therapy center, and determined that Ethan will in
fact need to continue speech therapy. From her evaluation
Ethan is right at the 27th month level, so he still
needs a little help to catch up. He will have a 30
minute session each week at Vineland School, and maybe
increased if needed. We will keep you posted with
18th, we visited the Sutter Memorial Emergency
room. Ethan had fallen on a plastic cup (which shattered)
and got a pretty good cut on his nose. He did have
to have two stitches, and had quite a big bump. He
looked terrible for a couple of days, but as long
as he had an Elmo band-aid he was fine. He has told
us several times since the incident, “I fell
down on the cup” and “hospital”
then he will point to his nose.
16th, we traveled to Manteca to help cousin
Jordan celebrate his 9th birthday. Ethan had lots
of fun with all the big kids, and even “pinned
the tale on the donkey”. Good job Ethan!!
September 13th Ethan became a Cubby in the
Antelope Springs Church Awana Club. He was so excited
to finally get to go to Awana with AJ, Jesse, Taelor(who
is one of his leaders) and all the rest of the big
Each week he will learn at different bible verse which
will have to be recited in order to receive patches
for his vest. So far he is doing well. He has memorized
three verses and the “Cubby Motto”. This
is a wonderful program, and we are so excited Ethan
finally gets to be a part of it.
11th, Hannah Misner came to play for the
first time at Ethan’s house. Ethan had so much
fun, and loved helping me get her diapers and cup.
Thanks for coming to play with us Hannah!!!
3rd we attended the Neese family annual Luau.
Ethan had fun with Brandon, Drew, Austin and Mackenzie.
Mommy and Daddy had a great time visiting with friends,
and got to hold Baby Breanne (Brandon’s new
28th, Ethan had a post op appointment with
Dr. Wright He did an echo and was quite impressed
with the readings. He found that the pressure on Ethan’s
right ventricle had been reduced by almost half since
the surgery. Incredible! Ethan has one happy little
26th we went to the California State Fair
with our friend Joe. Ethan loved the curly fries,
ice cream and watching Daddy and Joe play games. Unfortunately
they did not win any prizes, but still had fun trying
to win for Ethan. We’ll get em’ next year
August 22, we went to Dr. Mainwaring’s
office for Ethan’s post-op appointment. We had
an X-ray and Dr. Mainwaring removed the stitch from
Ethan’s right wrist. We were amazed at Ethan’s
x-ray. We could see a significant difference since
the new valve was replaced. Ethan’s heart was
normal size!! We were used to seeing this big enlarged
“grapefruit” and now we were looking at
a “raisin”. Amazing!
Ethan has been recovering from surgery very well.
He hasn’t needed any pain medication since we
left the hospital. In fact he has asked to go outside
and to the park… He doesn't seem to realize
he just had major surgery!! It breaks our heart to
tell him he can’t go to the park yet, but we
are so thrilled to hear him asking to go and play!
We are so blessed with how well this surgery went
and the recovery (so far). Ethan pulled through like
an absolute champ, and we are truly blessed that all
Rollup Pics from August
16th to October 5th, 2006
We’re home!!!! We were released at about 11:30
this morning!! We went through the In and Out drive
thru and headed on home!! Ethan took a little nap
before Kokee and Grammy came for a visit. Grammy was
finally able to hold her baby!! Ethan was very excited
to see Grammy.
We spent the rest of the afternoon snoozing in our
own bed, and adjusting to being at home. Ethan has
been a little off balance probably due to medications
and lying in bed for 4 days…and it is making
Mommy very nervous, bur other than that, we are very
happy to be home!!
Thank you for all
your thoughts and prayers!!!
>>>> Todays Pics<<<<
Dr. Mainwaring removed the rest of Ethan’s chest
tubes today!!! Only has one IV, a couple heart monitors
and a pulsox attached. Now it’s much easier
to move Ethan around and it’s easier to hold
him when he wants to be held.
Dr. Davies came by to check on Ethan. We weren’t
expecting her since she just had twin boys 3 weeks
ago!!! We were all pleasantly surprised.
Shana came to visit and brought Ethan a Peanut Butter
and Chocolate Milkshake from Baskin Robbins. I think
that’s the most he ate/drank since he’s
Pop pop came to visit, and went for a wagon ride.
We must have done a dozen laps around the ICU. Ethan
wouldn't let us take him back to his room.
Daddy and Ethan raced remote control cars in the hallways.
I’m not sure we were supposed to be using remote
control devices with all the sensitive equipment here
in the ICU. But I think it was ok. ?
Kokee brought us dinner again tonight. Shana made
us another one of her amazing dishes. Thanks Shana….and
Thanks Kokee for delivering!
The doctor still thinks everything is ok and we should
be able to leave tomorrow!
Thanks again for all your support!
Pics are up!
Ethan had a pretty good night sleeping in the bigger
bed with mommy. We had to wake up a few times throughout
the night while the nurse would come in and check
his vitals (take his temperature, check his blood
pressure, etc.). Despite the light disruptions, we
all were able to get some much needed rest.
Dr. Mainwaring came in pretty early in the morning
just to check up on Ethan and said he was thrilled
with Ethan’s progress. He also said that Ethan’s
progress is better than he anticipated and we may
be able to check out on Tuesday! We’ll see.
Later in the morning, Nurse Deana suggested that we
give Ethan a sponge bath in his bed. Ethan was able
to sit up as Heather, Kokee, and Deana cleaned him
up. After he had his bath he decided he didn’t
need his oxygen canula anymore and ripped it off his
face, tape and all.
Ethan was also fed up with lying in bed and wanted
to go for a ride in the wagon again. Kokee was able
to pull him around the ICU while the rest of us followed
him as if we were on parade.
When Ethan was brought back to his bed he didn’t
lay down too long. He would just sit right up and
play with his toys. He obviously has great medication
being able to move the way he does. You’d think
he’d be in a little pain!
He is on oral medication so the pain meds do wear
off and Ethan does feel quite a bit of discomfort.
His heart rate goes up and he starts sweating and
crying saying, “oweee!”. He’ll usually
want out of bed and want his mommy to hold him as
he says, “I don’t want anymore owees!”
The pain meds shortly follow and he’s ready
for a nap.
Ethan is starting to eat solids more and more. He
still isn’t eating a whole lot but will eat
Cheerios, soup, and bread with butter. He drinks quite
a bit of water, apple juice, orange juice, and Lipton
Green Tea. ?
Our good friend Joe came to visit Ethan. He brought
Ethan a big fluffy bear and a big balloon! He also
brought us Jimboys!!! It’s been nice not to
have to eat any hospital food since the Michehl’s
have been bringing us home cooked meals! And now Joe
was able to bring us one of our favorite fast food
dishes! We were able to get our weekly dose of grease…..tacos
and enchiladas……Yummy! Thanks for hangin
out with us Joe!
Just before Joe was about to leave, Kokee and Pop
Pop came by to say hi to Ethan. They too hung out
with us for a while before Ethan had to get some rest
(us too!). After Kokee and Pop Pop left, we were all
able to get some rest.
Later that evening Katie, Taelor, Shana, and AJ brought
us some Sushi!!!!!!!!! We were able to chow while
Katie held Ethan for a while, distracting him from
us so we can focus on our Sushi! ?
Ethan’s pain meds were visibly wearing off so
Ethan took his meds and we put him back in his bed
for rest. After Ethan took his pain meds, and we stuffed
ourselves with Sushi, we were all ready for some rest.
Thanks again for all the support; for the food, the
phone calls, emails, thoughts and prayers.
Ethan was in a little discomfort again today. He rolled
back and forth from side to side quite a bit trying
to find a comfortable position. Heather was able to
hold him for over an hour, and he seemed pretty content
for a while. It is a little painful to move in and
out of the bed as you can imagine, but Ethan is tolerating
the pain very well.
Dr. Mainwaring removed
Ethan’s left chest tube this afternoon, and
will remove the two remaining either Sunday or Monday.
Things are moving along very smoothly, and a lot more
quickly than we imagined. It seems like we waited
months to have his chest tubes removed from Ethan’s
last surgery, and now this time they are removed with
in two days. Once the other two chest tubes are removed,
it will only be a couple of days until we can go home.
The arterial line
in Ethan’s right arm was removed this evening
as they no longer need to keep constant watch over
his blood pressure. His blood pressure has stabilized
on its own. ?
Pastor Scott of Adventure
Church came in to visit Ethan this evening. While
he was here, he prayed over Ethan, thankful for his
Ethan was moved into
a big bed tonight. YEAH!! This is a lot nicer for
Ethan as one of us will be able to sleep with him
and it may allow more rest for all three of us!!!
While the nurses were getting the new bed made, we
took Ethan for a wagon ride, can you believe that?
Two days out of surgery and Ethan is already cruising
the hall ways. Pop-pop, Shana, Taelor, Jesse and AJ
were up visiting at this time, so they were able to
go cruise with us. Ethan had a great time cruising
around, but it definitely tired the little guy out.
level decreased somewhat tonight, so he has been put
back on a ¼ liter to help him out tonight,
but it should be taken off by morning. His levels
seem to only decrease while he is sleeping, so there
is not too much concern yet. We will see what morning
Thank you for your
continued support and prayers.
It has been an exhausting day,
but we are happy to say Ethan made it through surgery
and is as well as expected. The surgery went very
well. Dr. . Mainwarring and Dr. . Reddy were able
to replace Ethan‘s pulmonary valve and able
to repair his aortic valve with out any difficulties.
They replaced the pulmonary valve with a 16mm Bovine
(cow) valve (which should last 5-6 years), and trimmed
some of the aortic valve which had been enlarged from
the pressure build up.
We were finally able to see
Ethan around 3pm, and amazed at how well he looked.
His heart rate was below 90 for the first time in
his life!! All of the rest of his numbers looked great
A couple hours went by before
Ethan would awake. Or at the very least, open his
eyes. As he became more and more alert, he realized
he had a breathing tube down his throat and pulled
it out. He immediately started asking for water in
a low raspy voice. He moved very slowly if at all.
He started at 2 liters of oxygen, but has been Dr.
opped down to a ½ liter and doing well.
Doctors are watching Ethan’s
blood pressure (keeping it a little on the low side)
so not to cause any problems with the new valve. At
first we were aloud to give Ethan about an ounce of
water or juice every hour if he asks for it. He woke
up several times in the night saying “I’m
thirsty”!!! Which we are so thrilled to hear
but at the same time felt bad as we couldn’t
give him anymore than just a sip. We’re now
able to give him as much as he wants to Dr. ink and
even feed him soft foods if he wants.
Ethan is a fighter, and seems to be heading in the
right direction. His vitals were all very good throughout
the night. He has asked several times to sit up, which
he may get to do tomorrow. We will keep posting throughout
Thank you for your support and prayers.
Thank you to Kokee, Pop-pop, Nana, Epa, Gina, Shana
and Taelor for being with us during the surgery and
recovery, We are blessed.
Ethan had an X-ray this morning at about 6am which
Dr. . Mainwarring reviewed before coming in to check
on Ethan. The X-ray showed a little fluid still in
and around Ethan’s heart and lungs, which is
not uncommon after being on the heart lung machine.
The docs will continue to give Lasix to try and get
the fluid out. Aside from the water still in Ethan’s
chest, Dr. Mainwarring is very pleased at Ethan’s
progress, and would like to start removing some of
Ethan’s chest tubes Saturday!!
Ethan has had a little discomfort today, as docs are
trying to move from IV to oral pain medication (Tylenol
with codeine) which does not taste very good. We tried
several times throughout the afternoon to give him
the meds in juice, but Ethan would not have it. We
finally tried an extra dose of the Fentanyl(IV meds)
which seemed to take the edge off, and Ethan was able
to sleep comfortably for a little while. After his
little snooze, Heather was able to hold him, and Ethan
took another little nap with mommy!
He did had several visitors today … Kokee, Pop-pop,
Taelor, Grandpa, Uncle Simon. Jordan, Lexie, Mr. Rainwater,
Terry and Kevin Green. A special thank you to Mr Green
for his special prayer tonight with Ethan, We will
keep Ciera-Joy in our prayers!!
Thank you all for your support
and prayers. We can’t tell you how much we appreciate
Pics are up!!!
On July 29th Ethan received a blessing at
Natomas Adventure church. Pastor Scott along with
several other members (including two pediatric doctors
and the Hill family) gathered together to pray for
Ethan and to anoint him with oil. It was so nice of
all who gathered, and we very much appreciated the
Later that evening,
the three of us went out for ice cream and fun down
in Old Sacramento!! Ethan enjoyed his treat at Sonic
and had an absolute blast in the bouncing waters!
August 9th Ethan received
the "Greatest Explorer Award" at Tricks.
Once again he enjoyed performing for everyone and
loved crossing the stage to receive his award!! Way
to go little buddy!! We are all so proud of you!!!
It has been a while, and time for another
We begin with Ethan’s Heart Catherization on
May 8th. The procedure went well! We were very anxious
to hear any news from DR Wright as he came out of
the procedure room. DR Wright did not find anything
different than what Ethan’s echoes have showed,
he did not have to do Angioplasty (which sometimes
has to be done during the procedure if they find any
blocked arteries) and the amount of back flow of blood
and pressures had not changed since Ethan’s
first Heart Cath in April of 2004. We were very excited
to hear there were not any changes, however DR Wright
wanted to discuss the results with two surgeons (one
of which is DR Reddy from Stanford) to get their opinions.
Although the procedure went well, Ethan struggled
with the recovery time after the heart cath. We had
to keep his left leg straight for six hours to make
sure there was no clotting where the doctors entered
Ethan’s leg. Talk about a struggle! Ethan sleeps
on his side with his left leg bent… needless
to say Ethan wore himself out, trying to get comfortable!
He slept for a couple of hours, and then woke up starving!!
He ate the whole dinner tray the cafeteria had sent
up to his room….. Fish sticks, salad, and a
turkey sandwich!! ?. DR Wright came in around 8pm
and discharged us as he could see Ethan definitely
was ready to go home, as were his parents!!
May 18th DR Wright
phoned to give us the results from the discussion
he had with the surgeons, and all have agreed it is
time to replace Ethan’s valve. Ethan’s
heart has been tolerating the back flow since the
original surgery at 3 days old, and shows no immediate
signs of needing a replacement, but a new valve would
relieve the pressure and allow Ethan’s heart
to work with a lot less strain. We will meet with
the surgeon here in Sacramento to select a date on
May 30th. DR Reddy will be coming up from Stanford
to assist DR. Mainwaring during the surgery so the
date will depend on the two schedules.
We spent Memorial
Weekend at the Fiore family cabin in Soda Springs
with Heather’s family. What a treat!! It was
so wonderful to relax, play and take our minds off
of Ethan’s upcoming surgery!! There was still
snow up at the cabin, so the kids had a great time
having snow ball fights and building snow tunnels
around the front of the cabin.
On Sunday we decided
to travel into Virginia City, NV. What a cute little
town, with so much history!! We had a great time walking
through streets of the old town, reading the famous
head stones in the cemetery and even joined in some
good old “Honky Tonk” music.
We met with DR. Mainwaring
on Tuesday May 30th. He discussed what the surgery
would entail, recovery time (5-7 days in the hospital)
and selected a date for Ethan’s surgery…..
August 10th. (We fortunately have the option to choose
a date, and frankly would like to have Ethan’s
valve repaired before it becomes an emergency. We
decided an August date to allow recovery time before
The surgery will be done at Sutter Memorial Hospital
here in Sacramento!! We will check in at 6:30am and
Ethan will be taken in to the OR at 8:30am. The surgery
will last about 6-7 hours depending on how smoothly
everything goes. This will be another long day for
us, but we know Ethan will be in the very best hands
possible. We ask for your prayers of strength and
a speedy recovery.
On Wednesday May 31st
Ethan had his first gymnastics show!! What a little
star, complete with the Paparazzi!! ? He loved showing
off his tricks, and wanted to accept everyone’s
awards. We could not keep him off the stage!! He is
quite the star in the making!!
On June 10th we helped
Ethan’s best little buddy Brandon Hudock celebrate
his 2nd birthday!! Ethan had a great time playing
with Brandon and the other kids, and enjoyed the wagon
ride from Brandon’s Papa!!
On June 26th Ethan
had a doctor’s appointment with DR Davies for
his bi-monthly check up. Ethan has gained weight since
his last visit, YEAH!!! He is now 23 ½ pounds!!
DR Davies was impressed, and was much more comfortable
about this weight heading into surgery. She may want
to put an NG tube in while he is in the hospital for
a little help, as he will lose 2 – 3 pounds
after surgery. We don’t want to lose to lose
all that he has gained, so this will help Ethan get
back up to the pre op weight. We should however after
surgery see consistent weight gain, as Ethan’s
heart will be functioning more efficiently!!
On June 28th Heather’s
cousins “Skeeter” and Megan came to Sacramento
for a visit. We celebrated Megan’s 20th birthday
on the 29th with a trip to Mrs. Grossman’s sticker
factory, the Jelly Belly Factory and of course a nice
little celebration at Grandma’s with cake and
ice cream. Ethan could not wait for the ice cream!!
He must have had at least 3 helpings of his own, along
with samples from everyone’s plates!!
Saturday July1st, the three of us traveled to Manteca
for a weekend stay at Nana and Epa’s!! We enjoyed
a family swim and BBQ on Sunday with the Fiore clan
and cousins Lindsey and Tyler. Ethan had a great time
sitting on the edge of the pool kicking and splashing
the water. He liked watching Daddy and the kids jump
in the deep in and swim back over to the steps. Ethan
did swim over to the waterfall several times with
daddy but wanted to get back to the steps and splash
all on his own. Ethan is still talking about Todd
jumping in the pool! ?
We enjoyed a pre Fourth of July fireworks show on
Monday (3rd) evening with Auntie Gina, Uncle Joe,
Nana and Epa. Ethan was very into the fireworks this
year. He would clap and yell “Yeah Fireworks”
after each one. He was even brave enough to hold his
On the fourth we enjoyed
a BBQ at Denise and Simon’s along with their
friends Trudi and Larry!! Ethan loved playing with
his cousins, and loved running up and down the street
with all the neighborhood kids! He also enjoyed his
visit from our friend Jeff (and his partner Paul)
who is Sheriff’s deputy. He loved sitting in
the car, the lights and his deputy sticker!! Thanks
again Jeff and Paul for coming by to see us!! It was
a real treat!!
On July 8th we helped our friend Hannah Misner (Brandon’s
cousin) celebrate her 2nd birthday. Ethan had a great
time swimming and playing with the other kids. He
even got a piggy back ride around in the pool from
Rebecca (Hannah’s mommy). We had to leave the
celebration early, but Ethan very much enjoyed playing
with the kids, Marcie and Becca and all who attended
And finally this past
weekend we celebrated Todd’s birthday (the 14th)
up at the cabin, along with Nana, Epa, Auntie Karen
and Savannah. What a fun trip!! Ethan played outside
with daddy and Epa, took a ride in the row boat with
Auntie Karen and Savannah, and even helped Nana cook
breakfast….. sausage was delicious!!
Ethan has had a great deal of fun this summer!! He
is enjoying playing with the hose, running through
the sprinklers in the backyard, and running around
without any clothes on (diaper on of course). We are
really enjoying watching Ethan in motion, and love
the sound of his laughter! We seem to be running out
of video tapes!! ?
We are amazed at what
Ethan accomplishes everyday! Speech is coming along
well (a little too well for mommy and daddy), and
Ethan continues to work towards meeting his occupational
goals. Ethan has been challenged by colors, animal
sounds and differentiating between big and little.
We have been working (frantically) week by week to
get them down. Hopefully we will have them mastered
by his evaluation in October. Ethan does however know
his parents first and last names; all of his grandparent’s
first and last names, his birthday and partial street
address! He likes to talk on the phone, and has been
asking for the number so he can dial. He is quite
We cannot believe
we are fast approaching another birthday! We never
dreamed the big “3” would come so quickly,
especially looking back at Ethan’s beginning.
It truly is a blessing to have him, and could not
imagine our lives without him.
Thank you again for your continued support and prayers.
Please enjoy the picture gallery!!
It is time for another update!!
February 25th we helped
celebrate Evan Mckeon’s second birthday at Gym
Stars in Modesto. Ethan had an absolute blast! He
loved the Styrofoam block pool, and the tumble track.
He was supposed to follow the coach and other kids
at the party but spent most of the time climbing in
and out of the blocks Thank you Evan for inviting
Ethan to celebrate with you!!
Ethan had such a great time at the party; we enrolled
him in a mommy and me tumbling class at Tricks gym
here in Sacramento!! Ethan and I are in the 10:30am
“Tumble Bunny” class on Wednesday mornings
with Miss Stephania. He loves running down the tumble
track and jumping on the trampoline… which he
would prefer to do most of the class, but each week
we try new skills, and it seems to be helping Ethan’s
balance and strength!
Speaking of strength on March 13th Ethan climbed out
of his crib for the first time!! What a thrill at
2am…. We were scared have to death!! Todd converted
his crib to the toddler bed and I’m converting
the room to an under construction theme. It really
is a process of converting out of the baby stage.
On March 16th we had a visit
with DR Wright. Ethan weighed a whopping 22lbs! He
had gained weight since the last visit but it is still
not where DR Wright would like him to be. After a
long discussion with DR Wright we have decided to
do a Heart Cath. We are a little nervous as always
with anesthesia, but will help determine whether or
not it is time to change Ethan’s valve, which
may help Ethan’ s weight gain. The Heart Cath
has been scheduled for this morning at 10:30am. DR
Wright will be doing the procedure as it will be done
here at Sutter Hospital in Sacramento. We had a pre-
op appointment on May 2nd with DR Wright to go over
procedure and answer any questions we may have. This
will be a difficult day for us, but Ethan will be
in very good hands!!
On March 29th we had an appointment
with Ethan’s tummy Dr. Davies, which did not
go as smooth as we had hoped. Ethan had lost a significant
amount of weight since our last visit in January,
and she is very nervous. What she is most afraid of
is that we may be heading into surgery again and Ethan
does not have any excess weight to lose.
We advised Dr. Davies that Ethan had been sick and
vomited at least once a day (if not 2 or 3 times)
the week prior and was just starting to get his appetite
back. She is so concerned about Ethan’s weight;
she would like to put in a G tube as a temporary means
to get Ethan’s weight up for the surgery. Todd
and I are determined to perform a miracle….
Ethan has become an eating machine. He is eating anything
and everything, cheese burgers, to macaroni and cheese.
Hot dogs to Humus (thanks to his aunt Shana)! The
best part is he is actually saying “mommy I
hungee” (hungry). We are hoping by the next
visit Dr. Davies will see such an improvement in weight
gain that the extra surgery (G Tube) will not be needed.
Hopefully today’s procedure will provide us
with an accurate date for heart surgery which will
help us on our mission, “OPERATION FATTEN ETHAN
On Saturday April 8th we traveled
to Lodi’s Micke Grove Park to meet Nana and
Epa for a Geo Cashing event.( www.geocaching.com )
Ethan had a blast with his cousins Lexi and Jordan
at the park along with some other children of the
Geo Cashing group. Nana and Epa had a good time too!!
After the park we decided to walk through the zoo
before heading back to Sacramento. It was a quick
little afternoon trip, but it was so nice to spend
time with Nana, Epa, Lexi and Jordan.
We spent Easter Morning with
Todd’s family at Uncle Jerry and Aunt Emmy’s
in Turlock. Ethan had a good time playing with the
family, but was terrified of Uncle Bob and the Easter
Bunny. After eating very delicious foods and desserts,
we traveled back to Sacramento and had a lovely Easter
dinner and Easter egg hunt with Michehl family.
Ethan continues to do well with
therapy every week. In fact he has done so well catching
up with his gross motor skills, we no longer have
physical therapy sessions. We are so sad Kim will
not be coming to our home, but are so thrilled Ethan
has met all of his goals. We still continue with speech
and occupational therapy. We are working on mouth
rounding and making specific sounds in speech and
balance, coordination and sensory with occupational
therapy. Ethan has worked really hard on his balance
(ie he is now able to jump several times in a row
without completely losing his balance), and coordinating
the “spoon to mouth” while eating has
vastly improved. He is getting more in the mouth and
less on the floor!! But even more exciting (as if
we could be more excited) we are playing with PLAYDOUGH!!!
We are so excited to see Ethan overcoming his sensory
difficulties. The first time his OT introduced it,
you could tell Ethan wanted to jump out of his seat
and run away from it, but now he is asking to play
with it. Although he does not play with it for a long
period; just the very fact he is asking for it is
Ethan is such an amazing two
and half year old. Every new phrase or task completed
is truly a blessing. We couldn’t have asked
for more. Thank you for your continued thoughts and
It has been a long time since our last
update but we wanted to catch you up on our Christmas,
New Years and all of our experiences since the New
We celebrated Christmas Eve
(Heather’s birthday) with Heather’s parents
in Sacramento and then Christmas day with the Fiore
family in Manteca. We had such a wonderful celebration,
but we were amazed at Ethan’s reaction this
year. He never bothered the tree and was not interested
in un-wrapping his packages at all. He seemed to be
totally overwhelmed by all the excitement, and sometimes
looked a little scared at the whole process of it
all. We were totally expecting it to kind of be out
of control this year but Ethan really did not want
anything to do with the packages or gifts he received,
until he opened the big 3 Musketeers candy bar………”Canney”
(candy)!! He was overjoyed!! Oh but the wagon was
cool too, after daddy put it together!!
Todd and I went Vegas for New
Years. We left on December 30th and I returned home
on the 3rd of January, Todd stayed for the annual
CES show through the ninth. It felt like an eternity,
and I was certainly glad to land safely back home
and get back to my boy. I woke him up at 2am when
I got home; I needed to give him hugs and kisses.
He did not go back to sleep until 4am, but that was
perfectly fine, I just needed to hold him. He did
learn a couple of new phrases while we were gone…
“I want show you sumpthing” and I’m
telling on you” hey his vocabulary is increasing
On January 5th, Ethan made his
first trip to the South Natomas Library. He had a
great time looking through all the books, and even
made several friends while we were there! They have
a “Story Time” on Saturday mornings (for
his age group) which we would like to participate
in. It is a good socialization hour for him but we
just have to work on using our “library voice”…
On January 11th we had an appointment
with DR Wright, and we received very good news!! No
surgery!! DR Wright reviewed his echo with some of
the other docs in the office as well with Ethan’s
surgeon DR Reddy and they all concur!!! Ethan’s
valve is still functioning efficiently even though
we have hit the 2 year mark. Todd and I have been
concerned since we have surpassed the original time
frame DR Reddy gave us back at Stanford, but sometimes
the valves can last up to 5 years at a time depending
on how fast the child is growing. Ethan’s valve
may last longer because of his slow weight gain, and
the more time that passes, the more time it leaves
for Ethan to put on weight and continue to progress.
DR Wright also informed us (once the surgery is needed)
we do not have to travel, it can be done right here
in Sacramento. DR Reddy is now doing some surgeries
here in Sacramento, once of which is valve replacements!!
We are sad we won’t get to see our wonderful
nurses and friends we made at Stanford, but on the
other hand we are thankful there is a facility now
available to us right here in Sacramento!!
On February 4th Todd and I took
Ethan to Fairy Tale town, for free Museum/ Zoo day!
There were a million people there, but Ethan had an
absolute ball. He loved the big slides and even tried
to go down a couple by himself. He scared Todd and
I have to death several times, but he got right back
up and went down the slide again (this time on Todd’s
lap). He is an amazing kid, and we so love this stage
of Ethan’s life!
On February 9th Ethan had his
annual IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) with
Julie our liaison from ALTA. She was so thrilled to
see Ethan talking, running and playing….. Just
being a “normal kid”. She had not seen
Ethan without the feeding tube and oxygen, so she
was quite thrilled with his progress! Ethan’s
services through ALTA will terminate the end of October
as he will turn 3, which means we will then go through
the school district for any services needed. We will
do another evaluation in August to determine whether
or not Ethan will require any services at all through
the school district. On the one hand we are so grateful
and amazed at how well Ethan is doing, but on the
other hand we have developed such wonderful relationships
with all of his therapists it will be sad to see them
go! The mornings just won’t be the same without
them! They have been such and awesome part of Ethan’s
life, and we are truly grateful for all their hard
work and dedication to our family!!
On February 15th we went to
see Disney’s Finding Nemo with our friends Marcie,
Brandon, and baby Hudock. Ethan was very excited to
see Nemo and Dory, and would yell for them as they
skated around the arena. Ethan had a great time, and
was so excited to spend time with his buddy Brandon.
Thank you Marcie, Brandon and baby for coming with
us, we had an awesome time!
We cannot believe how much
Ethan has done this year, and it has only just begun.
He is walking up steps and sliding down slides all
on his own, he is feeding himself using a spoon or
fork, galloping all over the place and has quite a
vocabulary. It is hard to believe Ethan was ever lying
in a bed fighting to stay alive. He is so strong willed
and determined to do things on his own and is constantly
testing us just as we’d expect any 2 year old
We wish you all a
Wanna see some pictures? Click
Ethan made his first
trip to Baker City Oregon and Weiser Idaho to visit
his many cousins and great aunts and uncles. We began
our journey on July 14th and returned home on the
17th. It was a fast trip, but Ethan was an absolute
trooper!! He loved playing in the big city park, touring
the museum and swimming in the hotel pool. It was
so nice to finally meet the many aunts, uncles and
cousins who have been praying for Ethan.
Upon returning home from our trip, Ethan began a water
physical therapy class at Easter Seals. We went on
Wednesday night and Saturday morning for several weeks.
Ethan loved being in the water, but try getting him
to work... forget it!! He liked just relaxing, and
splashing around!! We did (during the last class)
finally see Ethan kick his feet and move his arms
in the freestyle fashion. As we have seen in the past,
Ethan will do his own thing in his own time!! J Once
he is determined to do something there is no stopping
We saw DR Wright on September
19th. DR Wright did another echo and found Ethan’s
numbers to be the same as the prior visit. At this
point we will be on watch, looking for any signs that
Ethan’s valve could be slowing down. We have
a scheduled appointment November 16th and hopefully
the news will be good from this appointment as well.
We did make the November 16th appointment and everything
seems to be the same as the last two visits. We may
after the holiday schedules another heart cath just
to make sure the internal pressure within the heart
is ok… this will be determined at our January
Ethan is eating very
well but is still not getting enough calories in everyday;
even though we are trying to push everything we can
down him. He is so active; everything we give him
burns off just as quickly as it went in. We are trying
anything with a high caloric value… milkshakes,
breakfast bars, and anything we can add his calorie
boost to. His body is still slow processing the food
so it is hard to get him on a “feeding schedule”.
He seems to like “grazing” all day, taking
in little bits here and there. This is not what the
nutritionist wants, because we will never catch up
on the calories that Ethan needs to compensate for
his heart and the calories he needs to gain weight,
but we try to get in as many calories as we can every
feeding session. We were finally able to get Ethan
to drink whole milk instead of water and the 1% that
Todd and I drink…. J Ethan did not like the
thickness of the whole milk, and would spit it out
or not drink it at all. It was very hard to trade
over, but Ethan is now drinking it like a champ. He
has yet to get a whole gallon down before it expires,
but the important thing is he is drinking milk and
not filling up on water all day and any extra calories
help!! I think they have... Ethan made 20lbs 2oz!!
Ethan has celebrated
his second birthday… can you believe it??? Todd
and I took Ethan to the Sacramento Zoo for his birthday
and had a big ice cream sundae and October 7th. We
had the big party on October 22nd at Regency Park
near our home. It was a wonderful celebration. Ethan
had a great time with Spider Man and all of his friends.
Thank you so much for all who attended. It was wonderful
to get to celebrate with you!!
On the weekend of
October 28th we took a family trip to Soda Springs
to the new Fiore cabin. Ethan had a great time climbing
up and down the three flights of stairs, sitting in
the window sill of Aunt Cathy and Uncle Bob’s
room and kissing his cousin Nick on the cheek!! Thanks
Nick for playing with Ethan!! You are a good man!!
We celebrated Halloween
in Woodland with our friends the Hudock’s, Misner’s
and Keihn’s. Ethan had fun with Pooh, Tigger
and Thomas the Train and loved running to the door
when the trick or treaters came. Thank you once again
for inviting us to celebrate with you… we had
a great time!
We are so excited
to have arrived home from Ethan’s first trip
to Disneyland, California Adventure and Medieval Times
(Nov.5th-9th)…. and wow was it fun!! It was
awesome to watch him walk through gates, well with
a hand of course!! (One of our goals for the year
was for Ethan to walk through the gates, and he did
it)!!! He loved the carousel, Casey Jr’s Train,
Dumbo and the light parade. (We unfortunately missed
It’s a Small World due to Christmas preparations,
but it will be a definite must the next trip) The
characters were great from a far but were scary up
close even if Todd and I were holding him. Ethan was
very fascinated with the show at Medieval times…
but did not want the characters anywhere near him.
He is still a little young, so hopefully next trip
(in 5 years) he will be right there with the rest
of the kids waiting to get their pictures taken with
We celebrated Thanksgiving
at the Fiore cabin in Miwuk Village. Ethan had a great
time with all his cousins, aunts and uncles. He did
sleep through the Turkey dinner but ate a whole cheeseburger
from Burger King on the way back home to Manteca!!
We did have another Turkey dinner on Saturday (with
just the immediate Fiore family members) and Ethan
did enjoy the yams, mashed potatoes and turkey on
that day. It was so nice to celebrate with everyone,
and enjoy just some great family time with everyone!
Ethan is continuing to do well
with therapy… four sessions a week!! He
is rapidly catching up on all gross/ fine motor skills,
and is gaining quite the vocabulary. It is so amazing
to hear him go from Hi, mama, Todd; to I want cereal
please…… I want yogurt please with please
being signed… oh so cute!!
It is amazing what
Ethan has accomplished this year. We look forward
to the many celebrations of Ethan’s second year!!
Thank you for your continued support. Enjoy the many
pictures of this update.
Todd, Heather and
Well once again the Fiore family has been very busy!!
Since our last update, we have been to Monterey Bay
Aquarium (May 9th), Todd’s sister’s wedding
(May28th) the San Jose Tech Museum (June 14th), Ethan’s
first Sacramento River Cats game (July 3rd) Manteca
to celebrate the 4th of July and Soda Springs to the
Fiore family cabin (July9-10)!! Ethan enjoyed all
events as he is now Walking and free of his Oxygen
and feeding tubes!! We waited so patiently for him
to take his first steps, eat a meal and be free from
any restraints! And he has certainly fought long and
hard to accomplish all of them!!
Ethan has been walking (on his own) since the middle
of May, and is now trying to run.. His balance needs
a little work, but overall he is doing quite well!!
Todd (the rest of the family) and I are so excited
to finally see him move about on his own, although
(I admit) some days I miss just holding him!!J Ethan
still likes to be rocked to sleep so I get my cuddling
We saw his cardiologist on May 10th, and his oxygen
saturation was at 95-97. I had taken him off oxygen
45 minutes prior to the visit so DR Wright could get
somewhat of an accurate reading with only one tube
in Ethan’s nose. DR Wright looked at me and
said “mom lets take him off”. At first
I could not believe this day had come, but then I
was completely terrified and excited all at the same
time. “Is Ethan really ready I asked”??
DR Wright was very confident, but suggested turning
it back on during the night or naptime. We tried this
for a week and went back in to see DR Wright on the
23rd. DR Wright said Ethan was ready to be off completely.
We had just one scare since Ethan has been off the
oxygen, but he has adapted and is enjoying this new
freedom. In fact he has escaped out the front door
several times!! YIKES!!!!! J We need a pad lock to
keep this kid inside the house!!
Ethan had one of his episodes Memorial Day which caused
his NG tube to completely come out of position. Todd
and I decided to see what he would do without it.
We tried giving his meds in his yogurt and sure enough
it worked!! So we tried it again that evening and
once again SUCCESS! OK so now what?? Will Ethan eat
if we leave the tube out?
We cannot keep this kid full. He has eaten Teriyaki
mushroom burgers, peanut butter and butter sandwiches,
happy meal hamburgers with Barbeque sauce, Velveeta
MacNCHeese and anything else he can sneak off our
plates!! He is trying new things everyday, but Guacamole
and yogurt are still his staples. Not only is Ethan
eating, he is sucking liquids through a straw (which
was self taught…. I believe we are raising a
genius....LOL!)We are able to get some of his high
caloric formula down, as well as milk, juice and his
favorite, Root Beer!! Amazing!
Ethan had his yearly evaluation with California Alta
Regional Center. Julie our liaison recommended speech
therapy for Ethan as his still delayed in several
areas. So with her recommendation, Ethan has begun
speech therapy (in addition to his physical and occupational
therapy sessions) on a weekly basis and is catching
up very quickly. His vocabulary has increased so much
since he started. He is now saying two word sentences
like “Hi Todd and Hi Grammy” and is repeating
just about every word he hears.
Ethan is doing such and amazing job, through therapy,
and play time!! We are so impressed with his strength
and determination! Keep working hard little man; mommy
and daddy are so proud of you!
Since this update was originally
written, we saw DR. Wright (cardiologist) June 30th
and a bi-monthly echo was done. He found that Ethan
is growing out of his valve which is not allowing
the full amount of blood flow out of the heart and
out to the body. DR. Wright indicated that it maybe
time to go back to Stanford and have it replaced.
We knew it was only a matter of time before we would
be heading back to Stanford to have it replaced, and
really it will help Ethan to have a better quality
of life. At this point we have not seen any of the
major signs that the valve is not functioning correctly,
but if at Ethan’s six week appointment DR Wright
sees any changes in the numbers from an echo or Todd
and I see any changes at home, we will be scheduled
for surgery. Please keep us and our extended families
in your prayers for continued strength and good health
as we wait and see what the next six weeks will bring.
We will update the site with any news from our August
Thank you for your
continued support and prayers. God bless
Todd, Heather and
It has been a long time since the last
update, and boy have we been busy!!
Ethan started crawling (Feb.17th)
and is all over!! Todd started crawling around the
floor with Ethan, and Ethan joined in! This is Ethan’s
new means of movement! He is crawling all around the
house, and even to his toy chest. He made his way
to kitchen and discovered mommy’s Tupperware
cabinet and he even likes to help mommy do the dishes.
I have caught him pulling up inside the dishwasher
twice!! So cute!! We have bowls, lids and cups out
everywhere, but we are so glad to see him doing all
Ethan is also into his books
right now! We wake up each morning and read “Peedie”
a yellow gosling and “Booboo” the blue
gosling. It is such and awesome time for Todd and
I to share with Ethan. Ethan not only likes to have
these read to him, but he likes to hold Boo-Boo (in
particular) as we rock him to sleep! Such a funny
Todd and I took our first big
vacation since Ethan was born the last week in February.
We spent 4 days with Todd’s family in Las Vegas.
It was such a nice treat for us to get away, but you
can bet we called to check on him at least 4 times
a day!! While we were gone, Ethan decided he wanted
to eat and boy has he taken off. He tried Swiss cheese,
Peanut Butter, Chicken, Marsh mellows, chicken soup,
chili and Fudge cycles!! …. He loves it!! As
a matter of fact, Ethan no longer wants to eat yogurt
from a spoon, he wants to put the food in his mouth
all by himself. He is not eating a full meal yet,
but it so important that he got the concept of putting
the food in his mouth, and wanting to taste new flavors!!
His tummy doctor has put him
on a new formula regimen and it seems to be working…
The food formula of choice is Nestlé’s
instant breakfast drink. He gets two 8oz cans (at
560 calories each) over night and then feed, feed,
feed by mouth during the day. He is tolerating the
formula and is developing quite the tummy!!J DR. Davies
would like to see Ethan get to 22lbs and then she
wants to take the feeding tube out. She would like
to see how much Ethan can do on his own. He has started
feeding therapy at Easter Seals, so hopefully the
feeding tube will be a thing of our past! WE know
this is not going to happen overnight, but Ethan has
definitely conquered a huge hurdle and could be on
his way to victory!!
On March 19th we formally welcomed
Ethan in to God’s community. He was baptized
in the Chapel of my high school by the Deacon Charles
Cheever (who just happens to be the same Deacon who
married Todd and I). Ethan did especially well as
the Deacon poured water over his head… he even
let out a little giggle. So precious! He is truly
a child of God! Thank you to all who joined us to
welcome our son into God’s community.
We celebrated Easter at Uncle
Victor and Aunt Laura’s in Manteca. We had a
wonderful lunch and a great visit with all the family.
After lunch the kids had an Easter egg hunt, and even
got a surprise visit from the Easter bunny!! Ethan
had a fun time trying to take everyone else’s
Ethan is working really hard
in therapy, gaining more strength every week! He is
rapidly catching up to a “normal “18 month
old child!! He had a six month evaluation, which required
us to list all his accomplishments made since the
start of therapy. He is meeting and exceeding goals!!
He even has a 23 word vocabulary: yummy, please, hi,
bye-bye, c-ya, oh no, stop it, puppy, mama, mommy,
daddy, Pop-Pop, Kokee, Nana, Grammy, A.J., Jesse,
beep-beep, Boo-boo, door, go, up and NoNoNo! He is
quite the little communicator. It is so neat to see
him actually understand and respond back to us! His
physical therapist wrote in her evaluation that she
expects Ethan to be walking by the summer!! He is
getting so close. He is walking around furniture,
using his walker and making his way around the house
along the walls. He has taken his first couple of
steps on his own April 1st, so we know it won’t
be long before our little one is RUNNING around the
Thank you again for your continued
support and prayers.
Friday January 7th we were admitted
to Sutter Memorial Hospital at 12:30. We spent the
next couple of hours answering medical history questions
and getting all Ethan’s admit vitals... blood
pressure, temperature etc… Ethan tried most
of the afternoon and evening getting used to crib
confinement. He could not figure out why he had bars
all around him!! He would roll around the sides and
to the end of the crib trying to figure out how to
get out!! He finally learned to pull himself up from
the top of the crib, standing all the way for a few
seconds before his little legs gave out!! He got pretty
good at it, only banging his head a couple of times
on the metal bars. Poor little guy!!
Most of Friday and Saturday we spent calculating Ethan’s
oral intake. Doctor Davies just wanted to get feel
for what our days/nights are like at home. We continued
his Bolus feeds of 90mls 4 times a day and then 45mls
per hour over night. Ethan tolerated the Bolus feeds
but just like clock work at 5:30am Saturday morning
Ethan vomited almost all of the night’s feeding.
Saturday we again spent the day trying to keep Ethan
comfortable in his crib, which was a little better
as the Child Life Program brought us some really fun
toys for Ethan to play with. On Saturday morning rounds,
DR Davies changed Ethan’s bolus feeds from 90mls
to 70mls and to try feeding him anything he would
take. Ethan like the frozen yogurt that came with
his meal tray, and when that was not enough, we would
walk down to the cafeteria and get more!!
Saturday night his feeds were increased to 50mls per
hour. He did well overnight, but at5:00am the laboratory
came him to do some blood work. Don’t they know
you are not supposed to wake a sleeping baby??? Ethan
did ok while they drew up his blood, but vomited as
soon as we got back into the room at 5:15am. Since
we had to change Ethan and the bed linens, the nurse
decided to bring in the scale and weigh him…
much to our surprise Ethan gained weight!! DR Davies
was pleased and wanted to continue the same regimen
for another day!
Sunday one of our nurses requested a regular bed be
brought in for us to allow Todd to stay nights with
us!! Ethan and I slept in the bed while Todd had the
sleeping chair!! It was close encounters, but a real
treat for Ethan as he does not get to sleep with mommy
Monday we were again awoken by Ethan’s 5am spell
but we saw a definite decrease in the amount that
came up!! And Ethan had gained weight!!! (8.18kg)
DR Davies was happy!!
She also advised at 4:30pm Ethan would have his scope
test! Of course the day dragged on for all of us but
we wanted to find out what could be causing Ethan
to vomit so much!!
At 4:30pm we walked Ethan down to the exam room where
Todd and I could stay until Anesthesia was given and
Ethan was asleep! This was very hard for me as I flashed
back to the days of Stanford, but I was grateful the
docs allowed Todd and I to stay until Ethan was asleep
and the procedure would begin. The procedure only
lasted about 10 minutes and DR Davies came back with
a smile on her face… Ethan is perfectly fine.
There are no obstructions in either the esophagus
or stomach!! WOHOO!!
We talked to her for about the next half hour trying
to figure out what would be the best solution for
Ethan.. Do we put him back on continuous feeds 24
hours a day?? Do we just run the formula at night
and try and push as much as we can?? And was G tube
going to be the best solution for Ethan??
Todd, DR Davies and I finally decided to try positioning
the tube as an NJ, and try feeding by mouth during
the day with out any bolus feedings, and run formula
for 10 to 12 hours overnight!! With this decision,
DR Davies wants Ethan to have feeding therapy 3 times
per week. So will have an occupational therapist come
in 3 times a week and work only on feeding and oral
motor skills!! Todd and I are really happy with this
and hope that Ethan will be eating on his own very
Tuesday morning we waited to hear what time we would
have the NJ tube placed. Since they did not know if
Ethan would have to be sedated again for this, he
could not eat for 4 hours prior to the appointment
time. Poor thing!! He was absolutely starving!! The
watered down apple juice was not doing the trick!!
The nurse finally came down at 4 and said his appointment
was changed to Wednesday!! Oh my goodness!! Ethan
was finally able to eat! He practically finished off
a whole yogurt!!
Wednesday morning our nurse told us our appointment
would be at 1:50pm! Again keeping Ethan only on clear
liquids until after the tube was placed. OK!! At least
we have a time now to look forward to!! And Ethan
could eat all morning if he wanted!! He ate ¾
of his yogurt and ½ a cup of juice!! What a
At around 10am Child Life came to our room to see
if Ethan might like to join them in some of their
activities!! I thought why not it will get us out
of this room right? So we went down and made some
pretty pictures using the Spin Art machines and then
we made Ethan’s very own DR Bag!! It was quite
fun!! He so enjoys being around the other kids!! We
played for quite a while and then went back to our
room so Ethan could a little nap in before the NJ
The tube was finally placed around 3:15… what
a nightmare!! The docs were impatient and Ethan was
getting way too frustrated!! Finally one of the docs
said his Jejunum is irregular and we cannot get the
tube in the right place. He told me it would work,
but that it would not stay in place forever!! OK!
We will just be extra careful with it!
We were finally released at 5:30pm that night from
the hospital!! YEAH! We get to sleep in our own beds!!
We got home Wednesday night started up the pump to
run the formula and… the formula was not flowing
through the tube!! We could not believe it!! Todd
pulled the tube back a little bit and kept trying
to push formula through….. we finally ended
up pulling the tube out and placing in back in the
stomach!! So of course Thursday morning Ethan vomited
when he woke up!! We could not get in at the hospital
on Thursday to have the tube replaced, but did get
and appointment on Friday afternoon!!
Ethan and I drove back to the hospital Friday at 2:30pm
to have the tube replaced. Again the docs allowed
me to stay with Ethan so he would have a little bit
of comfort in a not so comfortable situation!! DR
Vogel was an absolute angel as well as his nurse!!
Ethan did wonderful!! He hardly cried this time!!
The doc started at ten after 4 and we were back in
the car driving home at 4:30!! Absolutely amazing!!
Ethan did well over the weekend with his new plan
of action!! We were able to run the formula for 10
hours a night at 50ccs per hour, and not one case
of vomiting when he woke up!! He ate 4 yogurts from
Friday night until Monday!! What a champ! He even
ate gravy at breakfast Sunday morning and ½
of a Orange Dream Jamba juice!! He is doing great!
Once we start therapy we are hoping Ethan will be
able to try all kinds of different foods, and fatten
up!! J He is starting to feel heavier to Todd and
I but we will see what the scale says at the doctors
office next week, we are anxious to see if there is
any weight gain!!
Wednesday January 19th we went to see DR Davies just
for a weight check… since it had been over a
week. On her office scale Ethan weighed 17lbs 14 ½
ounces. (This is an increase from the last visit on
January 5th). At the last doctor’s appointment
prior to being admitted Ethan weighed 17lbs 7ounces.
We are encouraged everyday Ethan eats. I think we
may have to buy stock in Jamba Juice, but whatever
works right?? With the amount of calories in each
Jamba, and the calories from the yogurt with Duocalorie
Ethan should be well on his way!!
Thank you for your
support and prayers!
Have a look at some
We had a wonderful
Christmas celebration!! We first went to a nice Christmas
Eve dinner (celebrating Heather’s 29th birthday)
and opened gifts with Heather’s family!!
We really enjoyed watching Ethan
this year just rolling around in the paper!! We ran
out of video tape just watching him play and explore!!
He had already tried to get into the packages under
our tree, so he was excited to really get to open
his presents (along with help from mom and dad of
We then celebrated Christmas
Day with Todd’s family at Aunt Cathy and Uncle
Bob’s house in Ripon! We had a delicious lunch
and a fun visit with all of the family!! Santa was
very good to all three of us this year!! We got a
special treat Christmas week; Ethan pulled himself
up and moved a couple of steps around the coffee table!!
He also pulled himself up on the side of the crib!!
Guess it is time to put all the guard rails up locked
New Years Eve however was not
so pleasant. Todd and Ethan were both sick with the
flu!! It was not a very fun evening for the three
of us, but the two boys seem to be much better.
We received news prior to ringing
in the New Year that Ethan may have to be hospitalized
because not growing has become a bigger issue than
we have all realized. Ethan is eating but not taking
in enough calories to override how much his heart
is working (although still no signs of surgery at
this point) and gain weight. We have not seen much
more than a six ounce weight gain over the past 4
weeks. There seems to be something more going on other
than Reflux. Perhaps a blockage or some type of irritation
cause by the NG tube. So Doctor Davies wants to hospitalize
him, run some tests and work with a nutritionist to
see what can be done to get more calories into our
little guy! Despite the minimal calorie in take, (amazingly)
at his cardiology appointment Thursday the 6th, his
oxygen saturation was 100%!! Which means heart and
lungs are functioning perfectly!! In fact DR Wright
was really amazed to see Ethan pulling up and moving
all around his office… he cannot believe the
strength Ethan has!! He is a fighter!!
We will be admitted into Sutter
Memorial Hospital here in Sacramento (thank goodness
we don’t have to travel very far) on Friday
morning January 7th and will stay through Monday or
possibly Tuesday the 11th. On Monday he will have
a “scope” test done to see if there may
be a blockage either in Ethan’s stomach or esophagus.
Hopefully the doctors can find out what maybe preventing
Ethan from eating orally, and taking in the calories
he needs to gain weight. We will of course keep you
updated with all the new information and test results
we receive. We ask you again for your prayers over
the weekend and Monday for Ethan as he will have to
have anesthesia on Monday in order for the scope test
to be done.
We hope you all had a very merry
Christmas and hope that 2005 brings you all much joy
Thank you for your
Feel free to browse
Ethan's holday pics!
We traveled to Grants Pass Oregon to
celebrate Thanksgiving! It was so wonderful to get
to celebrate with the family and out of the hospital
(as you all may remember last year we celebrated in
one of the rooms at Stanford)!! Ethan slept through
our Turkey lunch but was wide awake for our traditional
Turkey Day family pictures.
We decided to finally get our
Christmas tree on the 12th of December. We (along
with Heather’s family) went to the Davis Ranch
Christmas Tree farm. You can choose your own tree,
and cut it down for a very reasonable price!! Ethan
had a great time and it looks fabulous in our house.
Ethan is now 14 ½ months
and climbing back up the charts to a whopping 18pounds
11ounces. ? He is eating a little better but still
only liking yogurt. We can occasionally sneak in some
fruit, but texture is still very much and issue. Each
day is a little better, but still a challenge we have
not yet overcome. We will get there!!
Ethan is becoming more vocal
and has even increased his vocabulary to 7 words:
Mamma, Dad dee, up, buh bye (with a wave) Pop pop(Heather’s
Dad)Ya-Ya(Heather’s sister) and stop it!! Yep,
that’s right stop it!! We are pretty sure where
he learned the last, but it is not from the two of
Ethan is becoming more and more
active every day!! He is not only rolling all over
the house, he is now pulling himself up on the table,
high chair or whatever he can use to get him “up”.
He is now able to move from a lying down position
to a sitting position. He seems to be doing everything
all at once, and it is so great to see his progress.
It will not be long before he is totally mobile, and
then look out world!! ?
Thank you for your
support and prayers.
Please take a look at the picture
We celebrated Ethan’s first birthday
party October 9th at Tetotom Park. We had Subway sandwiches
with chips, macaroni salad, potato salad and pasta
salad with ice tea, water and lemonade. We wanted
to celebrate Ethan’s first birthday with all
whom have supported us throughout this first year,
so we rented the park and invited as many people as
we could!! Many were able to join on what turned out
to be a wonderful day!
The party theme was Finding Nemo and he was everywhere!
We were even able to find a Finding Nemo bouncy house
and rented it for the whole day! The kids enjoyed
it as well as some of the adults. Thank you to all
who celebrated with us!
After the party that
evening we went for a little drive up to Soda Springs
and stayed at the Rainbow Lodge with Todd’s
family...our first family trip up to the mountains.
We stayed just long enough to have a big family breakfast
Sunday morning and then head back towards Sacramento.
It was a fast trip, but the three of us had a great
We celebrated Halloween
and great grandma and great grandpa’s anniversary
with a brunch at Mimi’s Café, and then
a Halloween party with our friends in Woodland. Ethan
dressed up as a pumpkin and Todd and I dressed as
cave man and cave woman?. Ethan had a great time with
his friends Brandon, Mackenzie and Andrew.
He continues to do
well with feeding, although still only liking Yogurt,
pudding and ice cream (especially mint chocolate chip).
Ethan continues physical and occupational therapy
three times a week. He is making great strides everyday
and has met goals which were set for February. Truly
amazing! What a long way Ethan has come since October
Thank you for your continued support and prayers.
Ethans's First Birthday
Ethan's Second Halloween
More Pics of Ethan
Ethan celebrates both
11months and 1st birthday. At his last Dr’s
visit, Ethan weighed 18lbs 4ounces.Ethan
had his first haircut, started physical and occupational
therapy, rolled over and is now sitting up by himself
without the Boppy or mommy and daddy’s help!!
He has been to two Luaus, spent the night at Kokee
and Papa’s (Heather’s parents) for the
first time, patty cakes, let out his first big giggle,
moved into his own bedroom, drinks from a bottle,
met his great uncle Spike and aunt Carol and celebrates
his 1st birthday! WOW!
Ethan is doing very well with
therapy and both therapists are impressed with the
progress Ethan has made since their first visit on
August 17th. Kim (PT) and Ryan (OT) each come to our
house one a week which is so nice, as Ethan is in
his own comfort zone!
He is doing very well sitting up, reaching for his
toys and even rolling over and around the front room!!
He is not enjoying the tummy time as much as sitting
up and rolling, but each day as we work with him it
gets a little easier and soon he will be on his way
Ethan had a Modified
Barium Swallow test done October 1st to determine
whether or not he is swallowing liquids correctly.
The test determined Ethan does swallow correctly so
we have been given the green light to feed orally!!
Ethan is eating orally during the day (as much as
we can get him to take) and then tube feeding at night
to make up for the lost calories during the day. This
is a whole new adventure for us as we are not used
to taking food and bottles out with us!! Todd, Ethan
and I are all learning a whole new eating process!!
We were hoping to have the tube removed by his first
birthday, but we are extremely excited to be able
to feed Ethan by mouth!!
The doctor is very optimistic that he tube could come
out in the next few months, but we have to make sure
Ethan is able to gain weight without all the nutrients
coming from the tube. He can have just about anything
(including half and half milk), but so far he has
only taken a liking to Kentucky Fried Chicken’s
mashed potatoes with gravy and Trix yogurt!! Can one
survive on KFC? ?
We celebrated Ethan’s
1st birthday at Leatherby’s Creamery Parlor
with Kokee, Papa, Grammy, Grandpa, Auntie Shana, Auntie
Taelor, Uncle Jesse and Cousin A. J. Ethan had his
own dish of ice cream, and the waiters and waitresses
sang Happy Birthday!!
It seems so amazing to be celebrating Ethan’s
first birthday already!! What an amazing year this
has been for our family.
Ethan is an absolute
joy, and is the light of our lives!! We thank you
all for your prayers and continued support through
out the last year!! We look forward to sharing the
next year with you!! Again thank you for all your
Ethan is 10 months old and weighs 18 lbs
3 ½ ounces. He is 27 and ½ inches long.
He is really starting to get heavy and developing
quite a tummy!! Never thought we would get to say
that!! ? Ethan is getting stronger and wanting to
stand and stretch his legs, so he has a couple of
new toys… an Exersaucer and the Deluxe Jumperoo
and loves them. He can only play for a few minutes
as his little legs and neck get tired, but we know
it won’t be long until he is able to play for
Ethan finally recognized
Todd as he walked in from work. He was very excited
to see Todd, and Todd was very happy too!! Ethan gave
him a big kiss as he walked up. (I could tell Todd
had a rough day and really needed Ethan’s smile
when he walked in)!! On that same day, Ethan also
discovered his two feet, brought them to his mouth
and started chewing on his toes. What a smart boy.
Speaking of chewing, Ethan has eight teeth. Four on
the bottom and four across the top, and boy are they
May has been a very
exciting month for us as we were finally able to bring
Ethan out in the public. He has been to his Uncle
Jesse’s baseball game, church, a first breakfast
at Denny’s, Mother’s Day in Manteca and
his first shopping experience at Target with Nana!!.
We visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium with the Antelope
Springs Home schooling group and went to Santa Rosa
for a birthday Party. We also had lunch with some
of the employees from AdvancePCS/Caremark, and had
a picnic at Discovery Park to celebrate Memorial Day
with our friends John, Lori, Mike, and Nick!! WOW!!!
Ethan had a Modified
Barium Swallow test done to see if he would be able
to start drinking from a bottle. The first test was
done with a liquid substance in a bottle. When reviewing
this on the tape, the liquid did go down the “wrong
pipe” and into his lungs. The next test was
done with a mixture of rice cereal and Barium. This
test showed Ethan swallowed correctly. So with those
results, Ethan has begun eating rice cereal with fruit
in the morning and veggies during the day! He is doing
well, and seems to really like it, as you can tell
by the increase in his weight gain. He has even moved
out of size 1-2 diapers and into the size 3-4!! YEAH!!!!
He is eating baby food three to four times a day and
can now join Todd and I at the table, in his new high
chair!! His formula still runs continuously overnight,
so Todd and I still have pretty easy nights!! His
formula has been increased from 40 cc’s per
to 43. His tummy doctor would like to get up to 45cc’s
per hour to keep up with the calories he is burning!!
Ethan still requires the NJ tube in place to keep
his formula down and reflux to a minimum. His formula
has been changed from Pregestimil to Neocate as Ethan
began to develop an allergy to Pregestimil.
The first weekend
of June we traveled to Grants Pass, Oregon to visit
Heather’s family and see her cousin Megan graduate
from high school. This also gave us the perfect opportunity
to meet the rest of the family. Most of them had only
seen Ethan on the computer. Ethan also met several
women who have been praying for him. They were so
excited to finally meet him. Thank you Grants Pass,
and Scrapbook Connection for all your prayers!!
Ethan and Heather
also took another road trip to Manteca to visit Todd’s
family!! Ethan is such a good little rider!! He moved
into his big boy car seat and has discovered himself
in the Bear Mirror. He loves to smile and talk to
himself!! So cute!!
July has also been
an exciting month; Ethan had his first bout with Pneumonia.
It was a very small case which was able to be treated
by an antibiotic and not an overnight stay in the
hospital!! Big or small case, it still is quite a
scare, especially watching him struggle to breathe.
His doctors increased his oxygen level from ½
liter to ¾ liter and Ethan is doing well! He
has also started breathing treatments to help open
his lungs and provide more oxygenated blood to the
rest of his body. Ethan does not like this of-course,
but it seems to be helping him as he is producing
quite a big squeal. LOL.
We celebrated the
4th at Uncle Joe’s house in Modesto, and Ethan
swam with daddy for the first time!! Although it was
very hot, Ethan enjoyed the cool pool water! Speaking
of trying to stay cool, Ethan has discovered he needs
a wet washcloth with him at all times. This was first
introduced to him to try and suck and use his oral
motor skills which were not being used as he did not
take a bottle or mom’s milk. He at first did
not want to use the washcloth to try and develop those
skills, but just to have with him to keep cool. Over
the past couple of weeks, Todd and I have seen him
suck the water out of the washcloth and swallow it!!
His doctor’s will be soo happy he is developing
Ethan said his first
words this month… “Daddy” and “Mama”!!
He said Daddy twice on the 14th (Todd’s birthday),
what an awesome birthday present!! I had to wait to
hear Mama until the 19th!! Hmm does this mean he really
misses Todd during the day??? ?
Once again this month
we have had Ethan’s NJ tube replaced. Our little
man bit the cap off the tube. We were able to keep
it patched up with tape for a couple of days(just
trying to put off the pain of watching Ethan while
the doctors replaced the tube) but when the formula
dripped out in to his bed, we called the doctor to
have an appointment set up.
We also had an appointment to see his tummy doctor
this week and Ethan is now able to take 5cc’s
of water or juice by syringe, making sure he is able
to swallow correctly. She has also asked we decrease
the formula during the day and increase the amount
of baby food!! Could we be nearing the end of the
feeding tube? If Ethan’s weight gain continues
and the reflux lessens, we could be very close. ?
Ethan will be starting
Occupational therapy to aid in his development. He
really wants to stand and sit up but still does not
have the strength to do it for very long periods of
time. Hopefully the therapy will help, and Ethan will
be on his way to crawling, sitting and perhaps walking!!
We will keep you posted as Ethan continues to make
great strides everyday!!
Please take a look at all the pictures to see how
much our little boy has grown!
Thank you for your continued support and prayers!
Ethan had an eventful week....it was an emotional
rollercoaster for Heather and I. Monday the 19th,
I went to work as usual while Heather was home taking
care of Ethan. We were preparing for our next trip
to Stanford for Ethan's heart cath on Tuesday. Late
that Monday afternoon, Heather called me at work and
informed me that Stanford called and had resheduled
the heart cath for Wednesday while surgery was still
Friday. All of this anticipation was getting emotionally
I went back to work
on Tuesday morning since the heart cath was pushed
back to Thursday. Later that Tuesday afternoon, Heather
called me at work and informed me that Stanford called
and wants us to bring Ethan to
Stanford "tomorrow"(Wednesday). Sheesh.
Thank gawd I have a very understanding boss that allows
me to take days off on such short notice!
Soooo, we packed up
Tuesday night and traveled to Stanford Wednesday morning
at about 10am. We arrived about 1pm and the heart
cath was scheduled for 2:30pm.
We were admitted into Stanford’s
Day hospital and waited until the procedure was to
start. We then walked Ethan to the Catherization Lab
and handed our son to the team which would be performing
the procedure. This was very hard for mommy to do!!
He was in the best care, but still it was very hard
to hand him off.
The procedure took
approximately 2 and half hours, and we waited anxiously!!
Dr. Perry came out and advised (in his opinion) surgery
would not be needed but it would ultimately be up
to Dr. Reddy the surgeon. Dr. Perry stated Ethan’s
heart was functioning fine, and was providing his
lungs with enough oxygen. Since Ethan had stopped
growing in utero at 31weeks, his lungs may have not
developed which could be causing his rapid breathing.
We had to stay in
recovery for 4 hours to make sure Ethan came out of
anesthesia ok!! We were sure there would be no problems
as he was looking for us as soon as they brought him
out of the lab. The nurses checked his vitals and
the entrance site to make sure there was no excessive
bleeding. Ethan did well!! We were discharged at 10:30pm
and decided to stay in Palo Alto that evening as we
were all exhausted. So we re-checked back into the
Stanford Motor Inn for a good rest before traveling
back home. At 1:30am I woke up to check on our little
guy, and discovered his left leg was very cold and
very pale compared to his right leg. We called the
on-call cardiologist who advised us to come back to
the emergency room to have this checked out.
The doctors decided
to admit Ethan back into the hospital to have a Heparin
drip started which would thin his blood and allow
circulation back to his left leg. We were admitted
back to the Cardiac floor, and some of the same nurses
took care of us! They were so surprised to see how
much Ethan had grown!!
The Heparin was on continuous flow for 12 hours, and
worked!! Ethan’s leg warmed up and the coloring
in his little toes came back!! The doctors wanted
to see how Ethan did overnight without Heparin, so
the IV was stopped at 6pm Thursday night. Friday morning,
Dr. Perry came in to check on Ethan and advised we
could go home!! Again!!
While we waited to
be discharged, a nurse from Dr. Reddy’s team
came in and advised surgery was not needed at this
time. In fact surgery could be held off for another
6 months to a year!! (Thank God the heart cath was
done) The nurse re-affirmed Dr. Perry’s diagnosis
of Ethan’s lungs and suggested getting on an
Albuterol regimen which would open Ethan’s braNchiaL’s
allowing more oxygen to flow. Ethan is seeing a Pulmanologist
so of course Todd and I will be asking if this is
needed on our next visit!!
We were then discharged
and started back home to Sacramento. We made a stop
in Manteca to visit Todd’s family. Ethan met
his aunt Emmy, Marilyn and Linda who work at Todd’s
family’s business!! YEAH!!! We were so happy
they were finally able to meet!! We then ate dinner
with Todd’s parents at their house where Ethan
pulled out his NJ tube…..little turkey!! So
we packed up and headed for Sacramento where Todd
had to put an NG tube back into Ethan’s stomach.
Ethan had a rough night Friday night as his stomach
was readjusting to the tube. He vomited from 4am on.
Poor little guy!! Monday he will have the NJ tube
replaced as we really need to focus on Ethan’s
weight gain over the next 6 months. We need to get
some weight on this baby so he is stronger for the
On a fun note, RSV
season ends April 31st.. Look out world here comes
Ethan!! We will be free to take him out with us!!
Here are some pics
taken at the hospital