I decided on Ellie’s birthday party theme several months ago. I knew the holiday season was going to be crazy regardless and then add in the fact that I work in retail and I knew February was going to be here before we knew it. So I did the typical thing and picked everything out; I planned to work on a little bit every week until her birthday was here so I wouldn’t feel any pressure and then I waited until the last minute to do most stuff.
I found the theme for Ellie’s birthday on Pinterest. When I clicked through, I saw the whole shebang. Here it is for anyone that’s interested. It’s quite elaborate, so I knew we would have to tone it down quite a bit! We did get some snowflakes, teddy bears and penguin beach balls. I also had a lot of fun making fake snow for the first time and decorating the tables with it. Below are a few picks of our decor – she offers her design in pink and teal, so we went that route. We also got a pretty awesome video of Ellie crying her poor little heart out when everyone sang happy birthday to her. She got over it pretty quickly once she put a little of that wonderful frosting in her mouth.
We planned our trip to Colorado back at the end of 2012 and we took into consideration many of the things we learned with our first traveling experience with Ellie. Yes, she can walk, so we figured a quick two hour flight wouldn’t be too bad and the fact that we were going in the opposite time zone direction would be good so she would fall asleep later and wake up later. We booked the trip with my mom and her boyfriend (Grandy) and thought we were smart to stay in Denver for a day so we could visit with our aunts and get Ellie acclimated to the altitude before going up to the mountains.
All good intentions, but unfortunately good intentions do not equal good outcomes. Tutu (my mom) and Grandy had to cancel the trip due to their impending living situation and new job. Long story, but nonetheless, we were coming to visit family, so not the end of the world. The flight was fine, Ellie was happy. We spent the next day at the aquarium with Aunt Jackie, which was a blast. Then we headed up to the mountain with Ellie. While only 3000 feet above Denver, Ellie did not acclimate to the altitude very well.
The day after we got up there she seemed okay and the next morning we went for a snowshoe. It seemed to be all down hill from there – no pun intended. Ellie became really fussy and she developed a bit of a fever. Being the adequate parents we are, we had our baby Tylenol on us and gave Ellie a bit of that. She seemed to wax and wane, but at around 5 am she woke up with a temp above 103 and she vomited. With that, we were off to the nearest ER.
After a plethora of tests – a nasal swab, a chest x-ray – it was determined that she had altitude sickness and acute bronchitis. They put her on some oxygen and advised we keep her on it and get down to lower altitude as soon as possible. This was incredibly disappointing, since we were really looking forward to spending a lot more time with family up in Minturn.
We got Ellie down to lower altitude yesterday and spent the entire day today in our hotel room. She seems to be doing better now, but oh my goodness, what a roller coaster ride. It is so incredibly difficult to see our baby have a difficult time getting air and not knowing when enough is enough. We were so grateful to talk through the situation with our nurses through the hotline at Ballard Pediatric. We felt so much better after that conversation. It’s just insanely unnerving to hear that our baby could start to turn blue and that’s a sign to go back to the hospital. I just want to be like “oh really, no shit!” Being a parent is so tough sometimes. But it’s so rewarding at other times and it’s always worth every minute. I’m so grateful to have such a great partner to work through these tough situations and such a trooper of a daughter. She could only be slightly more of a trooper if she didn’t try to spit out every drop of Tylenol we try to put in her body and freak out every time we put saline in her nose and suck out her boogers. We’ll take what we can get though!