Tuesday, July 31, 2007

It was a Saturday...

On this day, three years ago, it all began.

I wonder if I will ever be able to forgive myself.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


This is our friend Ben. Ben is a really cool little guy who was born at the same hospital as Holland and Eden, and spent time in the NICU. I met his parents through the NICU Family Advisory Board, and have really enjoyed getting to know their family.

Unfortunately, Ben has recently been diagnosed with severe reflux. He is scheduled to go in for the fundoplication surgery next Wednesday and his mom, my friend Shannon, is understandably struggling with the impossible decision to go ahead with it.

Ben is four, and has been hospitalized several times with pneumonia. Just this past spring that they found out that the pneumonia was being caused by aspiration of stomach contents. Other than that, Ben does not show any outward symptoms of reflux. He eats pretty well and is growing, and doesn't complain at all of pain. He also has not been hospitalized with pneumonia since last fall (will be a year in November). However, Ben's pulmonologist highly recommends the surgery because the results of Ben's pH probe were "the worst" he has "ever seen." It seems like Shannon might be in the sticky place where the risks of doing the surgery are less than NOT doing it.

Soooo...I know a lot of my blog readers have experience with the fundo surgery itself, and with the outcome. Will some of you please share your story to help my friend? How did the surgery go? Did it work to fix the problem? Did you find the side effects manageable? Overall, did you feel like it was a good decision and one you would make again? I know Ben's mom Shannon would really appreciate some input from those of you who have been there.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

Oh, and Allison, consider yourself tagged too!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Crazy Eight

I've been tagged by Abby to do a Crazy Eight meme. I think I'll do it, because I never get to talk about myself!

I have to post these rules before I give you the facts:

Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I was raised as a Pentecostal. I was not allowed to wear pants, cut my hair, wear make-up or jewelry, watch television, go bowling, go to the movies, listen to rock-and-roll (etc...) as a child. I was never very good at it.

2. John and I were co-valedictorians of our high school graduating class. We were also voted "cutest couple." I don't tell many people that...it's kind of embarrassing, but really quite funny! So now you know!

3. Beans are one of my favorite foods. I love all kinds of beans, refried beans, kidney beans, bean soup, black beans, green beans... Much to my husband's dismay.

4. I got teased a lot in school because of my name. "Billie's a boy's name!" "Billy goat." "Billy boy." That sort of thing. I used to hate my name and told people it was short for Belinda. It's really not short for anything, it's just Billie. I was the third girl and was named after my father. I've grown to love it.

5. We love to travel. John and I went to the Costa Del Sol in Spain for our honeymoon. We stayed in a little village called Arroyo de la Miel, where almost no one spoke English. I took 6 years of Spanish in school, but found that I actually couldn't speak a lick of it. By the end of the second week I was catching on a bit, but by then it was time to come home! We have also been to Amsterdam, Italy, Austria, and Germany together. We really love Europe. It's harder to travel with the girls, but we will. There are a lot of places in th US that we still haven't explored. I really want to do some of the National Parks as a family.

6. John and I have been a couple for almost 14 years. Our wedding anniversary is July 24th, and we will have been married for 9 years. Next year, for our 10th anniversary we are going to take a big trip without the girls. We are considering Hawaii, Australia, or London and Paris. I had thought about doing an all-inclusive resort, where we could just relax, but I'm not sure that's our thing. We really like to explore and go on adventures. You can only drink so many Mai Tai's on the beach.

7. I just found out that my Mirena IUD is causing ovarian cysts. I'm thinking about having it taken out, but I HATE birth control and I don't know what else I would try. Hormones suck.

8. I don't know if I would/could/should have anymore kids, but I do have their names picked out. I have a baby name obsession. When I look at the kids I have I really think I should try for more. At least they would be cute!

I can't think of eight people to tag who might actually want to do it and haven't already, so I am going to tag a few of the people I know IRL:


Friday, July 13, 2007

The things people say...

"At least she's cute."

Hmmmmm. Is that supposed to be a compliment?

Don't you mean, "Lucky girl, not only is she practically PERFECT in every way...she's cute too???"

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Alert The Media!!!

That's not just 20 pounds, that 20 pounds and SEVEN ounces!!! With no clothes on!!! I thought this day would never come! I weighed her about a week before we left for vacation, and she was 19 pounds 13 ounces. I was cautiously optimistic that she'd hit 20 by her third birthday and that's still 21 days from now. We may even get to 20 and a HALF. Yippee!

I probably shouldn't mention that Holland hit 20 pounds over a year ago. That would just be depressing... But it might be encouraging to mention that Eden dropped to 17 pounds 11 ounces in April when she was sick. That means she has gained over 2 1/2 pounds in 3 months. It has taken Holland a full year to gain 2 1/2 pounds.

Keep up the good eating Edie!!! Please? Pretty please?? For the love of all things Holy...PLEEEEASE???

Monday, July 09, 2007

Big Trip Highlights

We had a great time on our big trip! The girls were SO good while driving, I almost couldn't believe it. The portable DVD player that we borrowed from my sister was a big hit and clearly saved us a couple of meltdowns. In total, the trip should have taken about 9 1/2 hours. It only took us about 13 hours over two days but we made it!

We made the mistake of telling Holland that we were going to visit Elmo at "Sesame Street Place" on Sunday morning before we left. That was 3 days before we actually got there. On the road, every time we stopped for a break or to use the restroom, Holland would get so excited and start yelling "Sesame Street...I'm coming Elmo!!!" It took a lot of explaining for her to understand that it would take a few days.

Once we actually DID get there, Eden was all squeals and pointing. She can name almost all of the Sesame Street characters, and we heard a lot of "wow," and "look" from her.

I worried a little bit that the girls would be afraid of the big characters in costume, but I worried needlessly. Holland ran full steam, arms outstretched, right up to every one of her friends. She was so excited and thought it was all about her. We saw the parade twice, and both times she was certain that she was supposed to be part of the entertainment. She even tried to run right into the parade route and I had to chase her down! She spent the whole time dancing, clapping, and calling out to the characters "how about ME???" Eden was very happy to sit on Daddy's shoulders pointing to everyone and clapping her hands. She was also good for a hug and handshake, and not at all afraid.

The character dinner was a major hit, and definitely worth the money (although it is a little painful paying full price - $16.97 each - for a buffet dinner for tiny kids who don't eat). I rationalized it by thinking in terms of paying for the entertainment! We got lucky because it was not sold out, and we had plenty of time to spend with a lot of attention from each character. The food wasn't bad either.

We had a couple of minor mishaps, such as Holland losing a screw on her glasses, forgetting to pack pajamas for the girls, and pushing some meals too late and not getting good participation, but we handled everything in stride. We were very happy to find a Pearl Vision open at 8:45pm, so the glasses were repaired and ready to go for the next day!

Another unforgettable part of our trip was the opportunity to meet Hallie and her mommies, Abby and Sharon. I knew from their blog, and from "talking" with Abby in our Preemie Blog Moms group, that they were kindred spirits, but they are even better in person! I am flattered that they are such big fans of H and E, and that they have found this blog to be such a source of inspiration. I hope the "real thing" met all of their expectations! I was impressed by their family, and the love that they clearly have for their little girl. They are quite ga-ga over her, and understandably so, since she is incredibly sweet and has the most amazingly beautiful eyes!!! Thank you both for the visit, the fabulous conversation, and for being so kind to Holland and Eden! Connecting with other micropreemie parents has been one of the best things I have done for myself in terms of my mental health. It's so nice to have someone to talk to who really "gets it." Know what I mean?