Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Growing Up

These pictures were taken at preschool. They show the girls when they started school in September, then again in May. Look at the difference...especially for Eden! In the first picture she needed help to sit in the chair. By May she was able to sit there on her own:)

Another sign they are growing up on me: Eden informed me this past week that she likes Hannah Montana, Barbie, and High School Musical (except she says "Hannah Ontana" and "Hi Cool Nookical")...but noooot Princesses. Apparently she is 4 going on what? 12?

High School Musical. Sheesh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Holland's Eyes

Holland had her 5th surgery today...the fourth on her eyes. When she still in the NICU (October 2004) she had laser surgery on both eyes for ROP, then a follow-up laser surgery on only her left eye a couple of days later. Just before her first birthday (July 2005) she had surgery to correct strabismus (crossed-eyes) and the doctor moved the inside muscle on both of her eyes. We knew going into that last surgery that there was at least a 50% chance that she would need another eye muscle surgery in the future. So, today we did it again.

This time she had two muscles moved in her left eye and one in her right. We initially decided to do the surgery because her left eye was still intermittently turning in, and being the weaker eye (significantly more nearsighted) is at risk for developing amblyopia (lazy eye). The hope is that if the eyes are better aligned there is an improved chance that she will use them equally well and will develop appropriate binocular vision with her glasses. Since we decided to go ahead with the surgery, we also decided to move a second muscle in each eye...the one that causes one of her eyes to roll too far when she is moving her eyes from one side to the other (which eye depends on which way she is looking). Her ophthalmologist told us that she would NOT do surgery to move those muscles only...but since we were doing the other muscle in her left eye we would do those at the same time.

I tried really hard to get some good before and after pictures to show everyone what I am talking about. It's difficult because she doesn't look at me when I take her picture! Often she will turn her face in my direction, but her eyes will be looking somewhere totally different. I had to tell her, "Holland I want to take a picture of your eyes. You need to look RIGHT AT ME!" The other problem is that close-up, with her glasses on, you can't always see the eye turn. It happens more when she is not wearing her glasses, is looking at something far away, or is tired. are some "before" pictures.

You can see the left eye turning in slightly here.

Here is the eye roll thing...see how the right eye is rolling further then the left? If she is looking the other way, the opposite eye will do this.

And sometimes, like here, you can't really see the eye turn at all.

I promised Holland a trip to the toy store to pick out a new Scooby-Doo toy if she did a good job today. That was all it took, and she separated from us without any tears. It helped that she knows her eye doctor really well because she has been seeing Holland and Eden since they were tiny babies. Dr. Tisch said that Holland was very brave right up until she fell asleep. There were no complications with her breathing or vitals, and the surgery itself went very smoothly.

Recovery was a little rougher. There were a lot of tears, shaking, and shivering as she was waking up. She was pale and wanted to be held. Then she was upset because she wanted the IV and Pulse-Ox OFF. She wouldn't stop crying and kept asking for the "Doctor." "Doctor please take this thing off!" It took me a few minutes to realize that any time I mentioned "go home" she got more upset. I finally figured out that she didn't want to "go home!" She was expecting to go STRAIGHT to the toy store for that surprise I had promised. John and I immediately started saying, "okay, stop crying and drink something so we can GET OUT OF HERE." But every time the nurse would come by she would say "go home" and the tears would start again. Finally Holland told her she didn't want to go home, she wanted to go to the toy store. And the nurse responds, "oh you can't do need to go home and rest and take it easy today." Thanks lady. I get what you are trying to say but you are not helping me!!!

We finally got it together enough that we could leave and we headed STRAIGHT TO THE TOY STORE. Well...she ended up throwing up in the car on the way there, again on the floor of Toys R Us, and twice on the drive home. But by golly she got that Scooby-Doo toy, and while she wasn't feeling great physically, and least she felt good emotionally.

We had a 6:30am arrival time at the hospital, and were home by 11:30am. She was exhausted by the time we got home and ended up taking a 4 hour nap. When she got up she had a bath and some lunch. Then she watched Scooby-Doo while playing with her toys and seemed pretty much back to herself.

Her eyes are bloodshot and puffy, especially her left, but overall I think they look pretty good and straight. We'll have a better idea in a couple of weeks what the end product will look like. But you know, I thought she was beautiful before.

And I think she's beautiful now.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

In Her Words

I printed out a copy of the "I Hope You Dance" post with your comments for Miss Darcy. She left a comment there, and I am going to repost it here so everyone who has been waiting for an update can read it.

Her amazing spirit comes through in her words.

"hi,this is miss darcy. i would first like to thank everyone for all of the well wishes! i especially would like to thank billie for writing about this. i can't tell you how lucky i consider myself to have been able to teach your girls this year! every time i would talk to my mom about how well the class was going and how proud i was of eden and holland, my mom would begin to tear up. it is of no surprise that on the night of the performance there was not a dry eye in the house when the curtain opened on the those 5 little girls. i have taught for 16 years and every now and then i am blessed enough to have moments like that! as far as my health goes... i am doing just fine! :-) i have a lot of work ahead of me, but by this time next year i should be back to normal! i fully intend on starting the dance season again this year as soon as i am on crutches. i will be in a wheelchair for a while and great minds must think alike because i felt the same as eden did when i was told! now i'm just going to have to find some stickers for my wheelchair to try and make it even half as cool as hers is!:-) thank you again to everyone and don't worry, i've already started thinking of ideas for eden's and holland's dance performance for the 2010 recital! we will all dance again!:-)"

Thank you for your comment Darcy. I am so happy to hear that you are doing so well. You are truly an inspiration to me and to my girls and we will continue to keep you in our thoughts.

Looking forward to the 2010 dance season!

And just in case you need a little boost's a picture guaranteed to make you smile.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009