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:)


Kacy Jean said...

Billie- I am sorry to hear that you aren't feeling well, I hope that you have a speedy recovery. I just can't imagine having to care for those two little sweethearts and feeling so bad myself! I am glad the girls are doing so well.

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to read the news regarding all the advancements the girls are making; especially in regards to Eden's hearing! That is wonderful, exciting news!!
Sorry to hear that you are sick. Take care and hope you get better soon!

Amy said...

I got chills when I read about Eden's hearing. A little teary-eyed, too.

Glad physical therapy is going well, too.

Hope you feel better.

Allison said...

Amazing updates! Excited to hear about your sippy cup progress. My twins are not even close so I am glad to hear that it does happen. Your girls are amazing!

Kendra Lynn said...

I sure hope you feel better soon.
I will be praying for you.
I am so excited about the girls' progress! And Eden's hearing...WONDERFUL news!
They are beautiful sweeties, and I love all the cute pics you've put up.
Lots of love,

Anonymous said...

I love the knew pictures. Both girls really are so beautiful. Congrats on meeting your goal for Walk America, I know it's going to be a lot of fun to walk with all those little ones. Keep drinking the water and get that stone out of there!!! Luv Liz

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry to hear about the kidney stone! Hope you can feel better very soon.
Also, it's great to hear of the progress the little girls are making. And the news of Eden's hearing is just wonderful!
As usual, your pics are too cute!

Billie said...

Ok, I forgot "Papa!" That's a big one! And just yesterday Holland started saying car and pickle. She is really interested in words that have two diffent sounds, like pickle, and will practice saying them over and over. It's so funny. Last night..."pi-ko, pi-ko, pi-ko..."

Anonymous said...

Hi- Thank you for the sippy cup tip! I still can't get my preemie to take any milk from a cup- just water. I'll try the Nuby. For Holland- My girl has a left side issue too (she didn't have an IVH). She was meeting all milestones, but was a little off ( in terms of quality of movement, kind of like what I'm reading here).

Our PT decided on a short term use of orthotics and it has made a major difference in how my daughter cruises and aligns her body. She's so much more solid now! Its kind of radical, given that she has no diagnosis and was progressing, but its something that has made a major change in daily functioning (in terms of subtly moving properly). She would have walked anyway, but I figure it couldn't hurt to fine-tune muscle movement and development. Maybe ask about that as an option. -E

Also, could you please post when Holland's talking skills took off like that and if you did anything special? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

hi ladies (and gent!)! bill, soorry to hear about the stone. yuck. i hope it is soon gone and you are back in business soon. i'm sooo happy to hear about all of the girls' progress. it's so heart-warming and exciting. i will be home april 11- 16, so let's plan a little get together. love yous!
btw, pickle is a great word at any age :)

Shannon said...

Hopefully you feel better soon! It is so wonderful that Holland and Eden are doing so great! I'm really quite jealous about the sippy cup success. I thought we had some success here, but I was wrong. D won't touch them now, again!

Take care,