Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Look what my Aunt did.

40 Day Party

Good Lookin'...Lookin' Good

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's 40!!!

This week brought more joyful memories with Eliot. Park trips, restaurants, and a lot of Mooney family bonding. Ginny and I are preparing for our first college football season with cable TV. She is busy teaching Eliot the Alabama fight song, while I threaten to purchase him every infant hog outfit in sight.

The week was not without its drama. One night during his 2am feeding, Eliot managed to pull his feeding tube out. We had been warned that this was likely and even practiced the necessary steps to remedy the situation before leaving the NICU. Upon waking Ginny up with a yell, we realized that we did not have a stethoscope, which was necessary to replace the tube. We called Walgreens...they were out. Wal-Mart did not answer. We decided we would just drive to Wal-Mart and if they did not have one, we would head on to the NICU in Springdale. Upon walking out the door, I remembered that I had once- before Eliot was born- met our neighbor three doors down. She mentioned that she had heard of our future-child's condition, and that her and her husband were nurses. So, with only having talked to the woman one time, I headed up their dark stairs and knocked on their door at 2:30am. The husband answered the door, and after a little needed time to become coherent, he found his stethoscope.

Stethoscope in hand, Ginny went to it, while I held Eliot's head still. After much wrestling, praying, and Eliot tears, the tube was down, and Eliot was able to feed. [I need to take this time and just acknowledge that my wife is my hero.] This story makes it seem a little more quick and smooth than actuality. The tube debacle did not conclude until about 6am. With that said, this story is told not for any sympathy, but just because others have expressed that they want to know what is going on.
Trying to tell you what Eliot has taught us is similar to serving grape juice as wine. More time is needed for the process. We are telling of a journey we are in the midst of. However, we can offer the glimpses that have been offered us.

Today we celebrated 40 days for Eliot. I took the dog for a walk at Wilson Park in order to get out and enjoy the cooler weather. As I rounded the corner on my first lap, I saw it. A rainbow. Not the kind you sort of see and sort of don't; rather, it was large, robust and could be seen from end to end. Initially, I thought it might end somewhere around Hasting's, and debated going to look for it. The proverbial pot of gold could put a dent in some medical bills, you know. I thought better and kept walking.

Genesis 9
And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth....Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

These verses make it seem as if God was the one who needed reminding, but I cannot help but think that it is actually us. God lifts the veil, reaches into the seen world and places a sign; one to remind us of His promises, remind of His presence. I needed a rainbow.

Eliot is a rainbow all his own. A signpost to remind us of great things. As I look at my life, including four years of full-time ministry, I have no hesitation saying that God has used 40 days of Eliot far more than anything I have said, done, or taught. Why? Because He wants to. Because God uses humble means for His glory. Eliot is a sign that is read different by each person. To some he says- cherish the seemingly mundane moments of each day; to others, look and see the power of prayer; still others read how God does not work within the logic of man. All that through a child who feeds through a tube and has never spoken a word. What a kid.

So, on Eliot's 40-day birthday, God provided a rainbow just as he did after 40 days and nights of rain. You just can't make this stuff up.

Please continue praying for Eliot. We love posts. Thanks.

Matt and Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Fam

Full of Surprises

Well, I've got one hand on the pacifier and one typing. Wish me luck.

This week brought with it some great memories and milestones for the three of us. Eliot's feeding has been stepped up and he has responded splendidly. Also, he has become quite fond of his pacifier (thus, the five-finger typing project). Ginny has noticed that he begins to pucker about five minutes prior to feeding time. What a kid. Another surprising development has been Eliot's playfulness with the toys attached to his seat. Most every time that he is put into his seat, he will stare long & hard at the objects in front of him; he will then reach out and tap them. At first, we thought we were being naive and there was no way he meant to. However, he has proved us wrong as he repeatedly performs. That may fall in to "the things only a parent can appreciate" department, but we were overjoyed.

Ginny and I are loving every moment. I have decided to not go back to law school for the semester and am considering a part-time job in the afternoon. Ginny is looking forward to possibly easing back into Virginiabead ( However, truth be known, we have both cleared our plates in order to enjoy the life given to us.

Sorry, for only one picture posted. Eliot had a photo shoot this week. The picture above is a product of that time, and many more will follow when we receive the rest. Rumor is we'll post some more pictures earlier than next Wednesday, but no promises.

In the way of memories, many were made. We'll share two that stand out. First, the three of us walked (and rode) to the park a couple of blocks from our house. About a mile out from home, and without warning, it started to rain. Gradually, the drops progressed to what must have been the hardest rain, thus far, of the summer. At first, mom and dad were a little shell-shocked, feeling as if we had the "awful parents" award in the bag. But a funny thing happened- we pulled the handy cover completely over our son- and had the time of our lives. We laughed, found cover and then opted to get soaked and take it all in. Eliot has a knack for turning the potentially frightening into fantastic.

I must apologize in advance, for this next memory will not be done justice by my words. Eliot turned one month on Sunday! (Hands down, favorite sentence I have ever written.) Early in the day, Ginny and I talked of how we wished we had invited a lot of people over in order to celebrate. We wanted the full birthday experience for him- the whole nine yards. We decided to forgive ourselves since things had been a tadbit crazy, and resolved to make him a cake ourselves. About 4 O' clock in the afternoon, Ginny heard something outside our door. We were expecting a couple who had called to come visit. Ginny yelled back to me, "Oh my gosh, there's a lot of them".

Ginny grabbed Eliot and the three of us met at our front door. There before us, outside, in the sweltering heat, was 14 of our friends and 6 of their kids holding balloons and singing happy birthday. At the song's end, they all came in, bringing gifts and a birthday cake for Eliot. It was a real-deal, surprise party. They released 31 balloons to celebrate 31 days of life for Eliot. People were everywhere, Eliot's friends were crying, and all hands were grabbing for was beautiful chaos. When it was over, Ginny and I sit together crying, discussing how not a sole would ever know the significance of that event in our lives. Only the Father could have crafted such a gift. Thanks'll never know.

Updates on Wednesdays. Please continue to pray. Thanks to all those who posted last week. We wake up each morning and read them. If you don't post, we don't know.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bath Time

A Walk in the Park

That's a Yawn

Sitting Beside Grace.

I am sitting beside Eliot. His 11 O' clock feeding is almost half-way done. Mom is asleep, and the best part of my day has begun. My feeding shifts are late night/ early morning. She takes over around 4:45 am, and cherishes her mornings with her son.

What a week to update you on...there are one million joys to report and, rather, nothing to report all at the same time. Eliot is doing great. Going out has now been practiced and perfected by Ginny, thus Eliot has been for a stroll around the neighborhood, out to eat twice, and even made it to his first church service. His many expressive faces have been memorized and we are now able to interpret their meaning with reasonable precision. Eliot is seldom upset or crying; his rare frustration centers on working his bowels.

We are utterly humbled by the continued prayers of many. We ask for them to be continued. It is fun to hear how Eliot's life has reminded, taught, and inspired so many.

Well, I promised to share that which we have been taught by Eliot. Here is just a fragment of the lesson. Ginny and I have both been struck by the fact that the fulfillment of our deepest desires is often found in areas opposite the places we were looking. Truth be told, Eliot's condition is the type of thing that many (us included) fear and hope against. However, whose joy surpasses ours? Down a road we would not choose, we continue to find unspeakable joy. Truly, the Lord's ways are not our own. Joy and sorrow side-by-side.

If you have a chance, please do this for us. Please post a comment. It can be as simple as "hi eliot" or maybe a written prayer...whatever floats your boat will suffice. Make sure to include your name. We think it will be fun to see who all is following Eliot, as well as hear what you have to say. So, even if you've posted before & even if we do not know you, we would like it if you would post something to let us know you are out there. Thanks.

Well, I do believe I smell an odor I have come to recognize as of late...better go change a diaper.
(New posts on Wednesdays)

Matt & Ginny Mooney

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Home Sweet Home

Well, Ginny and I have broken down, and, for the first time in five years of marriage, we have cable TV! We also now have internet. Therefore we will be updating the blog more often so everybody is in the know on Eliot's life and in the know on how they can pray for him.
WE PLAN ON UPDATING EACH WEDNESDAY (so there's some help to those who have been checking everyday & getting mad at us).

We have been home a week now, and must admit that, although Eliot often asks of the whereabouts of his NICU nurses, we have loved being home. We packed up today (oxygen and all) and went for a big outing to the pediatrician. It was was the first venture out for Eliot since being home. He did splendid...sleeping and being cute, as usual. To mark the occasion, as well as introduce Eliot to the finer things of life, we headed to Starbuck's for a Mooney family outing. It was great, and we thoroughly enjoyed the hint of normalcy...the fam goes out for coffee.

As far as care goes, Eliot is on oxygen and is fed through his feeding tube. His feedings are timed in order to not feed him too fast. Each feeding takes 1.5 hour (preparation, feeding, etc) and he eats every three hours. That's right, quick mathematicians, that's feeding or getting ready to feed for half of the day. It's really quite simple and he is able to do whatever while he is feeding. Mom & dad have had a crash-course lesson in nursing and parenting, and have loved the chance to learn how to best take care of Eliot.

Ginny and I cannot begin to express the gratitude that we have for each of you that have showed your love to us and our son. Letters, gifts, meals, visits, blog posts. You may never know how much you all have encouraged us. Thank you. Most of all we have been encouraged by the vast numbers of people praying for Eliot. We've had reports of prayers rising on behalf of Eliot from New York to L.A., and even Russia, believe it or not. We continue to need and ask for your prayers.

People have inquired as to if Eliot is better or if the doctor's have changed their tune as to his surprising strength and condition. The simple answer is no. His condition is one that is not considered "viable for life". Therefore, each day is truly a miracle, and we have experienced multiple miracles along the way. He has a laundry list of complications, but continues to surprise. Therefore, we ask for healing, continued life, and grace to see life as our Father does.

At some time in the future we hope to share with you all that Eliot has taught us, but, for now we continue to enjoy each minute and be students of his precious life.

Matt & Ginny

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Birthdays to Eliot

We wish there were more time for us to share the many things we have experienced with sweet Eliot in the last 11 days, but there just isn't enough time between feedings! We celebrate Eliot's life and the miracle God has given us in him each day at 4:59pm with a birthday party. Today he will be 12 days old!! Each day is amazing and we are loving being parents and seeing the many answered prayers. Please continue to pray for us as we prepare to go home...possibly tomorrow!! We are asking that you would pray specifically that 1. we would not live in fear 2. continued life for Eliot 3. all the details of transitioning home.
Matt & Ginny Mooney

9 day old Eliot

5 day old Eliot