Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Holy moly what a crazy week it has been. There's so much going on right now that I don't know where to start. I have blog posts running around in my head all day, but no time to write!

First off, I spent the early part of the weekend in the ER in terrible, excruciating, stabyourselfrepeatedlyinthekidney, pain. I have a kidney stone. It's been going on since Friday, and still hasn't budged. The pain is off and on, and I have spent the better part of the past 5 days hopped up on Vicodan. The drug certainly works to dull the pain, but it makes me so groggy and tired that I have a hard time taking care of business around the house. It seems like the afternoons and evenings are okay, but I wake up frequently in the middle of the night in crazy pain. Poor John, between the three of us girls moaning and crying, he can't get any sleep!

H and E are doing really well. Holland has learned quite a few baby signs, including more, eat, book, all done, and baby. The only problem is, that "more" can mean anything. It means I want more books, more food, more videos, or just "I want something different than what you're doing right now." She is definitely at that age where she can't quite vocalize what she wants, but she certainly KNOWS what she wants, and it can make her pretty frustrated. She is super sweet and affectionate most of the time, but she throws her fair share of tantrums, complete with screaming, kicking, and throwing herself backward. It's actually quite amusing most of the time.

I wanted to keep track, so I made a list of the words that Holland can say. She is up to 19, including mama, dada, baba, baby, bye-bye, cracker, baaa, quack, hi, stop, go, dog, zippo, sissy, kisses, hop, grape, up, and clap. I am sure I have left out a few others. She seems to learn something new everyday!

Physical therapy is coming along good for Holland. She is working on climbing, and is getting really good at it. We have big Tumbleforms steps and a slide in our family room. Holly can go up the three stairs, turn around, and slide down on her belly, all by herself. She is still working on cruising along the furniture and pushing her carts. She has always had a slight weakness or lag on her left side, with her hand and the tilt of her head, that is now it is affecting her foot. We are working on getting her some shoe inserts that will help correct it while she is learning to walk. I think she still has quite a way to go before she is walking well. Maybe by her second birthday...we'll see.

Eden is continuing to make progress too. She had an audiogram done last Monday that was just incredible. Normal hearing is between 0-20 decibles. Normal with a cochlear implant is between 20-40db. Eden's hearing loss before implant was 90-110db. Her most recent audiogram shows her hearing at between 25-30db!!!!!!!!!!!!! This means that she is able to hear ALL of the sounds necessary for normal speech development. This just never ceases to amaze me. Every single time I say her name, and she looks up at me, I am utterly amazed. Imagine, she is going to be talking someday!

Eden is slowly making progress in PT also. It is still very difficult for her to sit up, and hold her head up for long periods of time. She sits best when she is focused and calm, like when she is watching tv. However, whenever she tries to play and use her hands, she isn't able to maintain her sitting posture. She ends up playing with her head laying to the side.

The biggest progress with Eden lately is with her crawling. She is pretty excited and obsessed with practicing her little military/scooting on her belly crawl. She thinks rolling is for babies. Crawling is the wave of the future. All the cool kids are doing it. So, she practices all day screeching and laughing at her progress. It is super cute. Knowing her, with her super strong-willed determined personality, she'll be crawling with the best of them in no time. Maybe she'll be crawling by her second birthday.

A little detail on the pictures... Up top the girl's are responding to the big question..."Where's Holland?..."Where's Eden?" They've been doing this for a while now. Eden used to do it to imitate us. Now all we have to do is ask!

The next two pics are of the girls finally being successful with a sippy cup. Someone asked before about how we were progressing...well the truth is, we really weren't. So, I finally just went out and bought a bunch of different kinds of cups and we finally experienced some success! This is a Nuby cup with a flip up straw made of soft silicone. The good things about it are that you don't have to tip it up, and the straw is very soft. Also, you can suck a little bit of juice up in the straw, and when they put it in their mouths, they can taste the juice and want to suck. All of these things were problems with the other cups we have tried. The girls are still drinking 3 bottles of formula a day. I know, I know,...they should be close to off the bottle by now, but we really aren't close. I'm not going to push it until they seem a little more ready. We take our time growing up around here. Not that I really have a choice!

In the last pic you can see Eden finishing off her very first bottle all by herself. For a while now, she will drink the first half of her bottle, but we have to help her finish it with a great deal of coaxing and distraction. On this day, however, she did it, with only the distraction of some Baby Songs. We LOVE Baby Songs!

Finally, YAY!!!! We met our original WalkAmerica goal, and are well on our way to DOUBLING it!!! I think we can all agree that 2 is better than 1, and 2,000 is better than 1,000:)


Very special thanks to Miss Zoot and the folks over there who really stepped up to help us out from all across the US! Your support is greatly appreciated:)

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Grandparents are the BEST!

Holland and Eden are so lucky to have two sets of grandparents in their lives who love them and take such good care of them. It's been so fun to see their relationships blossom over the past year and a half. Holland especially has quite a thing for her Papa right now. She'll climb into his lap and sign, more, more, more, as he reads her book after book.

There are a few things I wanted to write updates about. First, we are all healthy! Eden's virus turned into an ear infection, and she is about halfway through a course of antibiotics. She is finally getting back to her silly self. Yesterday we noticed how funny she thinks she is. She will do all sorts of tricks to make everyone laugh at her, then she just smiles the biggest cheesiest smiles. It is too cute.

Eden still isn't having any part of eating solids. Holland went through the same thing when she was sick, but now has her appetite back (as little as it is). I really hope that Eden will spring back too, and that it hasn't developed into too severe of behavioral issues with eating. Wish us luck.

I am soooo excited about the progress we have made in raising money for our WalkAmerica team!!!!!! You all are so amazing with the love and support that you have shown us. In less than 24 hours we have raised $400. That's money actually received, and we have pledges for much more. We also have quite a group of people who have committed to walking with us on the 29th. Anyone else???


Thursday, March 16, 2006

WalkAmerica: Team Holland and Eden!

We need your help! John and I are forming a family team to participate in The March of Dimes WalkAmerica on April 29th at Hines Park in Westland. We'd love to have you walk with us, or sponsor us in raising money to support a very important cause that is obviously close to our hearts.

Our goal is to raise $1,000 as a team. If anyone wants to walk, email me or sign up at our WalkAmerica website. Donations to our team can also be made online on the website. I'll accept cash and checks if you'd like to make arrangements. Let me know if anyone works for an employer or knows of an agency that would like to sponsor us, or would be willing to match funds that we raise.

Visit http://www.walkamerica.org/HollandEden to sponsor us and make donations, to sign up to walk, and/or to monitor how much money we have raised.

Thanks in advance for your support! Together I am sure that we can meet our goal.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Well, now Holland and I are feeling much better, but Eden is very sick. It's not the flu, and it's not RSV as far as we know. It's just a nasty respiratory virus. The symptoms are severe congestion, cough, and a fever that lasts 3 or 4 days. Also, definite loss of appetite, and extreme tiredness. Holland took 2 naps a day while she was sick, and went to bed around 5:30 or 6 and slept 13 hours straight through.

I'm happy to report that the girls' pediatrician was very impressed with how well Holland handled this virus. Given her history, it wouldn't have been surprising for her to end up in the hospital. She is clearly recovering from the chronic lung disease that resulted from being on the ventilator for so long, and she fought off this recent virus much the same as any other baby would. That's HUGE! Let's hope that Eden does as well. Eden is not on the nightly pulmicort breathing treatments, but she has been better at fighting off bugs in the past so hopefully it will go okay.

One piece of good news that I just HAVE to report... Eden is BABBLING!!! She says MAMA!!! She says baba too, but did I mention that she says MAMA??? It's her favorite word, and I think she knows what it means. She says it all the time, all day long. Pretty amazing if you ask me, considering that just over 4 months ago she couldn't even HEAR! She's talking!!! She's amazing!!!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How We Really Feel

This is how we WISH we were feeling...

This is how we REALLY feel...

I'm sick. I think I have the flu. Holland had a fever, a cough, and a really crabby attitude today, so I am sure she caught it. Eden will get it too. We're just hoping everyone can fight it off and we don't have to do any ER visits. Keep your fingers crossed for us...