Sunday, April 6, 2008

It's Been a Long and Lonely Winter

OK, it's not been a lonely winter, but it has been over 3 months since we've posted a blog-as you can tell. Anyway, there's a lot to cover.

ETHAN: In January we took Ethan to his appointment at Primary Children's Hospital. It was a routine check-up and found that he's still in the 95th percentile for length, 75th for head circumference, and 50th for weight. When Dr. Jou listened to Ethan's heart, he noted that his heart murmur was higher-pitched than ever before. He explained that a murmur is like a whistle, with a smaller passage, the sound becomes higher-pitched.
This was obviously concerning, so he got us into an echocardiogram room to take a closer look. We found that the pressure in the right side of his heart was too high. So we scheduled another balloon valvotomy to open up his pulmonary valve.
This procedure took place on Joelle's birthday, Feb 14th. He did well and the pressure in his heart was lessened--but not enough. We've gone back to visit Dr. Jou at Primary Children's and learned that Ethan will need open heart surgery to repair or replace his pulmonary valve. No date is set because doctors want to wait until Ethan reaches 25 lbs. He's currently around 21 lbs., so it'll most likely take place within the next 4 months.
Ethan is so happy and appears to be very healthy. He's developing on schedule, which means he's working on crawling right now and getting real close. He's also playing around with us more and more.
One morning before I left for work, Joelle was sitting on the couch behind Ethan, who was sitting on the rug with me. He looked over his left shoulder at Joelle, who responded with an excited smile. Ethan then turned his head and looked over his right shoulder at Joelle who began laughing at his new game. He then went back over his left shoulder, then back over his right. We might be biased, but he's so cute!
He likes looking at the world upside-down, being thrown into a pile of blankets, playing with other kids and animals, he loves the hymns during church, loves his baths, loves to listen to books, and he's begun eating solid food. He'll eat sweet potatoes, but he really likes peaches and pears.
The most important new thing in his life (and ours) is that Ethan is finally sleeping through the night--with only one feeding! Thanks to Kelly and Amy for teaching us the rip-it-off-like-a-bandaid method. It's improved the livelihood of everyone in the home!

MBA DECISION: In the background throughout the last three months has been the decision we've had to make regarding our future. MBA schools have responded with their admissions decisions and we've spent a lot of time (& money) making an educated choice about our future.
We applied to four schools: Minnesota, San Diego, Oregon, and San Diego State.
Oregon's response came during my interview with the dean of admissions, who told me an official letter of acceptance would arrive shortly.
So, Joelle and I planned a trip to Eugene to check out the school. We flew into Portland and visited the temple grounds before setting out for Eugene, where the University of Oregon is located. We made a stop in Albany along the way to visit Joelle's cousin, Jen and her family. We left hoping we'd have more opportunities to see them in the future.
Later that night we made our way to Eugene to get to our hotel. We woke up with good intentions of attending church. We heard the hymn being sung and figured we were a bit late. We entered the sacrament meeting room and sat on only available row, the front row. After the hymn ended a ward member stood up and said what strangely sounded like a closing prayer. Sure enough we had walked in to the front of the room during the closing hymn. The time we were given was the right time, but their meetings were in reverse. We decided to go and visit the campus instead.
We had plans to meet the Elkingtons for dinner a bit later. We really enjoyed getting to know them and were reassured that if we were to end up in Eugene, we'd have great support close-by.
That night, as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed something suspicious going on out in the hotel parking lot. A cell phone light was floating around over car windows, so I pulled back the curtain to investigate. I saw someone using their cell phone to look in cars. So I called the front desk and headed out to our rental to get our camera and Joelle's purse. When I got out to the parking lot, the suspicious people were gone and I noticed shattered glass on the asphalt. Luckily, our car was untouched, but two unfortunate SUVs near to our car got hit. Apparently, we were staying in a shady part of town.
The next day we went back to campus and met people in the MBA program. We were so impressed with the people, the exciting MBA program, and the beautiful campus. When we left. we thought the chances were great that we'd be back to attend school.
But at that point, we hadn't received word from any other school. The next response came in from Minnesota, which informed me that I was 1 of 9 applicants placed on their admissions waiting list. Knowing the University of San Diego was more exclusive, we thought Oregon was an inevitability--and we were still excited.
We received word from USD a few weeks later and, much to our surprise, they accepted me with a scholarship offer. Despite this offer, we really had to talk it out. I had visited USD's campus in October and really enjoyed my experience there as well. As we prayed and talked and talked some more. it slowly became clear that USD was the place for us. So, we've decided; we're moving to San Diego in July. We are so excited to move be close to family again and attend such a great school. We are also sad that we are not going to be spending the next few years in Eugene.
Other than that, we're busy parenting and preparing for the move. I've been working on creating a few websites for my dad's business, and Joelle's mom's business. I'm hoping to build a portfolio to begin bringing in extra income to prepare for our move and help support us during graduate school. Check the sites out at, AND (still under construction) Thanks and we hope to hear from you soon.


Liz said...

Congrats on your scholarship to San Diego! I'm sorry Ethan has to have surgery, that must be scary for you guys. We worked with a really good cardiologist at Primary Childrens named Vicki Judd. I would highly recommend her. Good luck with everything, we will keep Ethan in our prayers.

Ma Heather and Pa Craig said...

Your blog is really cute. I love all of Ethan's pictures. Aaron, ABI misses you. I hope you're having a great time in San Diego. When you get time you'll have to post some new pics of your new home. I hope Ethan is doing well, he is in my prayers.

The A Team said...

It's been too long without an update from the Bangerters. Hope you and the fam are doing well!

Ericksons said...

Hey Bangerter, How's it going? Greetings from Hermana Zirker and Elder Erickson! ;)

So I was doing a little exploring on the mission website and found you there. I thought I would just say hi. How very scary for you and your son to be facing surgery (and maybe by this time it has already happened). We hope and pray that all goes well.

We are in Washington. Jason graduated in June and is now in the Police Academy. I know, teacher to cop - go figure! He loves it though. He got sprayed with pepper spray, gets to shoot a gun, and currently has a separated rib, but he loves it.

Good to see you again :)

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