Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Farm

Here's a quick little trip down memory lane...
Lila's first experience with the Pumpkins...

She was a month old and was still in that new baby sleep coma... not happy to be awakened for a pumpkin picture!

And last year's trip. She was better about sitting with the pumpkins but was not into the pumpkin hat I kept insisting she wear because it was cold!! She was fearless when it came to feeding the animals and liked picking out her own pumpkin... so much so that she held on to it the whole way home!

And this year... Well lets just say Lila felt right at home at the Pumpkin Farm! She was a wild child keeping us all very busy! She kept running away from the group, feeding rocks to the animals, not posing for pictures, eating Deacon's lunch and not really her own, throwing hay on the hayride and could not make up her mind when picking out her pumpkin. I have to keep reminding myself that she is two and this comes with the territory! She's not being bad she's just being her curious, gregarious self! We braved the chill in the air, our wind blown picnic lunch, bumpy hayride and had a great time with good friends! Thanks Cindy, Lindsey and Jill (who will be welcoming baby Nicholas in two weeks) for helping me chase Lila all over the farm! Here are some pictures from our day...

Lila and Deacon feeding rocks to the goats! Poor goats.. I'm sure they're sick about now!

Emily was really pretty good!

She didn't even mind when her hat slipped down over her eyes!

The girls!

Michaela is going to be such a good big sister to Baby Nick!

Off to the hayride!!

I'm sure Cindy got better pictures so I'll post more when I get them!


Lately I feel like I can't even look at Emily without praising God for his loving kindness. Years ago when Wayne and I got married my sister gave us a beautiful frame with the verse from Jeremiah 29:11... This is the verse so many of us know by heart, "I know the plans I have for you says the Lord... to give you a future and a hope." It hangs in our breakfast room where we eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. I have read it countless times over the years but only now am I truly coming to appreciate the meaning in those words.

I was raised in a Christian home so it has always been easy to 'talk the talk' if you will, but only since Emily's birth have I been so challenged to really 'walk the walk.' I know it sounds odd, but for me I guess since I grew up knowing Christ and all the Bible stories I have somehow taken it all for granted. Not a proud admission on my part but I just never had anything so bad happen that I HAD to rely on his promises. Sometimes I envy people who have come to Christ later in life. They know the exact moment they accepted Him in their hearts and were forever changed. For me, since it was always around, there was no profound, exact moment. It's almost like my acceptance with Christ just fell into place, a part of growing up. Not that I never had a relationship with Christ before all this, it was just different, hard to put into words I guess.

With Emily the only thing I could do was pray and trust in His faithfulness. And pray and trust I did as each new hurdle seemed to knock me off my feet each time I felt things start to settle down so we could catch our breath and breathe again. I know that really what we have been through lately has been nothing compared to the trials of others. I haven't had to watch one of my babies lay dying, or experience the great pain and emptiness of having to give them back to the Lord. At the time it was all heart wrenching, horrible days and nights, but now I can put it in perspective and let out a huge sigh of relief. It really wasn't that bad. (Not that I ever want to go through it again.) From all that goes along with having a preemie, the tubes and wires supporting life, to the fear of cancer, my thyroid surgery (that certainly has left it's ugly mark... always there each time I glance in a mirror or catch my reflection in a window somewhere), to the possibility of hearing loss, the susceptibility of every germ reaking havoc on an immature immune system, all the therapy sessions, the tweaking of medications just to see us through each new day, and the fear of spina bifida and it's dangerous effects, I can honestly say we have been blessed. It all could have turned out much worse.

I guess it is a little easier now that we have been through all these struggles to see a little light at the end of the tunnel, especially since we have been given the gift of great news lately and are starting to see huge strides towards progress. My dear friend Cindy just recently gave us a beautiful picture of Emily that she took when we first brought her home from the hospital. She has an amazing gift of capturing the moment and the emotion in her stunning photographs. I am overwhelmed at this amazing photo of my teeny, tiny baby. It brings tears to my eyes just looking at it and remembering. We have truly come so far. I am constantly being reminded lately that hanging on to the truth in God's word, trusting Him with whatever comes is so rewarding in the end. He IS working it all together for our good. So, thanks for hanging in there with me, I know this has been a long rambling post but I couldn't help but share my coming out of the refiner's fire with a deeper understanding of His amazing faithfulness.

I know all our children are miracles, unbelievable gifts from our loving Father. But I haven't been able to help myself from whispering in my little Emily's ear lately what a true little miracle she is and just how much she is loved by her Heavenly Father. There is something extra special about her and I just can't wait to watch and see what blessings will come of her life. Praise Him! Praise Him!

Here's a few recent pics of our girls. Both a great source of joy and pride for their Daddy and me. We're heading to the pumpkin farm tomorrow and Cindy is bringing her camera... I can't wait to see the images I will treasure in her photos. I am so grateful she has been so willing and eager to share her gift with us... I know she is reading this, so Thank You Cindy! Make sure to check back for pictures of my little punkins at the pumpkin farm!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Great News!

Sorry for not posting sooner... I guess I didn't take the pulmonogists warning seriously enough and had two sick kids after a play group at McDonald's! You're thinking McDonald's... seriously?? I know, I know! The very next time they both get out of the house we will come home to an immediate bath of sanitizer!

Anyway... Great news to report! We took Emily for her ENT visit last week and discovered that SHE CAN HEAR!!! All the other hearing tests have come back with less favorable reports because she has a collapsible ear drum and this caused the docs to think she couldn't hear! We saw the most amazing ENT (shout out to Dr. Tseng!) who discovered the problem and ran test after test all indicating that our sweet baby girl has heard every word we have said to her! She must have been thinking we were crazy all this time using all that silly, loud, obnoxiously expressive baby talk!

The collapsible ear drum is due to her prematurity and should correct itself as she grows. Apparently up until Dr. Tseng the docs didn't have an instrument small enough to properly fit in Em's ear causing her ear drum to collapse each time and make them think sound was not getting through! I am now a super big fan of third, fourth, even fifth opinions! Sometimes you just have to keep asking until you get an answer you are happy with! I am so happy we didn't have her in hearing aids yet... they would have been completely unnecessary!! Another Yay for Emily!! I like all this good news to report for a change!

Sorry for the short post... it's been raining all morning and Lila keeps asking if she can go outside and make a snowman... uh...????? When I tell her there is no snow for a snowman she thinks for a sec and asks "PLEASE?" I guess I am headed outside to prove you can't make a snowman with rain... wish me luck.. this should be interesting!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Saga Continues...

Little Emily has seen more doctors and therapists, etc. in her short life than I did throughout my whole childhood! Lately it has been a nutritionist. We were referred because she hasn't been able to start cereal or baby food and there was concern that she wasn't getting enough calories in her diet. We learned that she is in the 25% on the preemie curve for weight(good news) and that she is lactose intolerant (not such good news). We have switched to a new formula and will surely beef up soon! Maybe we'll get out of those newborn and 0-3 month clothes soon!

We are starting our RSV shots this week which should be lots of fun! Emily has been approved for five doses which will carry us through February and will continue them through April if RSV is still in full swing in the Dallas area. We are so thankful these shots will give her immune system a boost for this nasty infection so we don't have to be prisoners of our home over the next seven months! We will certainly still be very cautious in the months ahead of course!

Next week we are going for our second ENT consult and will be learning more about the hearing aids. So check back for news on that later...

And now some exciting news.... Emily is mastering the rolling over technique! After many, many weeks working on this in therapy she finally rolled over for us twice one night last week and then showed off her impressive skills again tonight! Wayne and I are beaming over this major accomplishment for her and are so proud of all her hard work. She is really doing great with head/neck control and can even pick her head up now and look at us when she is on her tummy! Again a major accomplishment and something we have been working really hard towards. Way to go sweet baby! You are the hardest little worker I know!

Such a big girl!!

My little cutie!

Big Cheers for Emily!!