Friday, November 17, 2006

Happy 2nd Due Date/Homecoming Day!

Two years ago today was Holland and Eden's due date, and the day that we brought them home from the hospital after 110 days in the NICU.

Last year on this day we celebrated by visiting the NICU to thank the staff, and to let them see how far the girls had come. I had hoped to make a tradition of it, but we couldn't go today because we are STILL sick:( At the beginning of the week, we seemed to be in an upswing, but today poor Eden has been hacking so much I'm afraid she may cough up a lung. So, instead of visiting the NICU, we celebrated by meeting Daddy for lunch, where Eden began coughing so hard that she ended up throwing up all over Daddy's work clothes! Luckily, we were seated in the back, far enough away from the other customers that I don't think we ruined anyone else's lunch. The good thing is that I think we are more bothered by Eden's cough than she is, cause she continues to be in a fairly good mood. I don't think I would handle a cough like that as well:) She's such a good girl.

So anyway, in honor of the girl's 2nd adjusted age birthday, I thought I would talk a little bit more about what they are like as two year old's...

Holland is really into walking and talking on the phone right now. Aunt Lizzie gave her an old flip phone that she has continuously been walking around the house "talking" on. You can understand a lot of the conversation, including "hi, bye-bye, and, who is it?". She always knows who she is talking to (usually Nana, but sometimes Kimi, Missy, Papa, or Daddy), and she always tells them it's "Hana."

Holland has an incredible memory. She can count to ten, knows her colors and shapes, and can identify every animal and the sound they make. She remembers everyone's name, including mommy's name ("Bebe"), daddy's name ("Don"), sissy's name ("Enid"), and her own name ("Hana"). She also knows the names of every one of her favorite television characters. We have a Barney book where Barney is leading a parade and all the animals are playing instruments. Holland can name the instrument that each of the animals plays, and if we see that instrument somewhere else, she will inform us as to who plays it (e.g. the squirrel plays the triangle). She is just now starting to get good at putting two words together like "hana turn" and "mama sit" and "hi o-pus (as she holds the phone to the octopus' head)." She also knows all the moves to many many songs and can supply a missing word in all of her favorite songs and stories.

Eden is a totally sweet, cheerful, silly, little girl. She has a great sense of humor and when she smiles you can see the joy in her entire body. She is quickly getting more and more responsive to questions and is saying more words all the time. Right now she can say mama, dada, more, all done, bubbles, up, what's that, hi, yes, woof, stinky, baba, and roar, clearly and consistently. She often repeats what we say, but it's not always clear to anyone except us:) I am really encouraged that she is answering our questions so much more lately. Like, I asked her today if she wanted a cracker, and she signed "more" then "eat." She signs and says "more" all the time now, which makes it a lot easier to understand what she wants. And, by the way, it's so frickin cute when she signs that I want to cry every time!!!

Eden is also enjoying "talking" on the phone, and has mastered the military crawl through her new tunnel. When we count she will repeat some of the numbers, and will pretend to count with her fingers. She likes things to be very orderly and makes up her own games which often involve lining her toys up in neat little rows. Eden also loves to color. She has to hold the crayon perfectly in her hand, and makes little marks like she is writing. She will look at the paper for any blank space, then deliberately goes to that space to fill it in. She is also particular about what color she uses and will throw every color until we hand her the one that she wants:)

You know, the word on the street is that preemies "catch up" by age 2, and this is the age at which doctors and therapists stop adjusting for prematurity when doing evaluations. Quite possibly, many or most preemies DO catch up by age 2, but many or most MICROpreemies do not. Even though my girls are beginning to do some of the things that 2-year-olds do, they are still quite far behind in many ways, even aside from the obvious physical delays due to the CP. One of the neonatologists at our NICU said to me that we should allow one year for each month they were early. H and E were born 3.5 months early, so they will not "catch up" until age 3.5 or 4. Even then I KNOW that the effects of their prematurity will linger. The effects on them, as well as on me.


Rachel said...

I just found your blog & I must say, what beautiful girls you have, & so smart. They say more than my almost 3 year old does:) Happy 2nd due date & homecoming day!!!

Anonymous said...

Happy Homecoming Day!!!

I have to agree with your comment about not catching up. I guess I'm getting touchy when people think that something 'magical' is going to happen to Sarah when she turns 2. Your statement sounds much more accurate.

The girls are beautiful! Thanks for sharing with us :)

Anonymous said...

Billie, as always your post really gives an insight to how your precious girls are progressing. They are quite remarkable girls, I can't believe "Hana" is already talking on the phone! I know you must be so proud of how Eden is signing, it allows you to better communicate with her. Thanks for sharing their story, they are little miracles. Happy Homecoming Day, girls!

hallegracesmama said...

What a wonderful update! The girls are amazing as always. Holland is a smart little girl - whish you could post a video of her on the phone! And Eden - wow! I had no idea she could say so many words and that she has progressed in her crawling. Amazing! Congratulations to you and John. Definitely a day to celebrate.


Anonymous said...

Those are two amazimg little girlies!! It seems they were babies just yesterday. I can't believe the two totally cool little people they are becomming!!Hope everyone is feeling 100% soon! Luv ya Liz

Miranda said...

Happy homecoming to you all!

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, our 30 weekers were significantly delayed at 2 years old, much better physically at 3, and caught up in speech and all areas at about 4 years old. I wish that neonatologist's words were more widely known, because I felt very worried at 2 years when our gang were quite behind. Although they did get referred to some great therapy that helped a lot. I am sure your girls will continue to make wonderful strides ahead in the next couple of years.

And you have so much to celebrate today - hooray for Holland and Eden!
- tripleblessings

Kim said...

Wow! I didn't know Eden was army crawling and doing all the signing and talking and that Holland is chattering up a storm on the "phone"! It sounds like that are doing so well, no doubt thanks to the dedication of Mom and Dad. You are all such an amazing family--Happy Adjusted Birthday!

Anonymous said...

It has been such a joy to watch the grils grow these past couple of years. They are AMAZING!! Wish we were closer to be able to play, but I certainly wouldn't mind one of those phone calls from Holland or Eden :). Much love, Jess

Kendra Lynn said...

I'm so happy to see their progress. They are so lovely and bright.
Thanks for sharing.


Allison said...

Your children are growing and getting cuter every picture!

Sarah said...

Happy second-second birthday, girls!

Hope you can make that NICU trip soon... I'm so eagerly anticipating ours next time we're back in MA - I really REALLY want to let our old nurses and docs see Shoshanna, and for her to see them.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and really enjoy reading it! Keep up the super cute pictures! Happy due date/ homecoming day Holland & Eden!

Stacy said...

What a great post!

I loved your neonatologists works - that makes so much sense to me. It absolutely killed me when we went from being 21 months on the charts to 24 months. They fell off the growth chart completely. The kids weren't there size wise, and they aren't there yet developmentally.

Your girls are beautiful - I know you guys have additional challenges with the CP - but you approach it with so much grace.

Happy Homecoming Day!