Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - Our Year in Review


This year, Drew started playing recreational sports. He started with T-ball in the spring and really enjoyed it. This fall, he played soccer and loved it. He was a real asset to the team! He spent his 4th summer at Tall Pines Day Camp where one of the highlights was singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" on the big stage for the whole camp! After graduating half day Pre-K, Drew moved up to full day Kindergarten and made the transition like a champ. He's doing extremely well in school, and is reading well above grade level - his teacher even has him helping to "teach" some of the other students as a challenge for him. Amazing. You know the teachers in us are so proud! This year, he has lost 4 teeth, had his 3rd set of ear tubes placed, and his adenoids removed. He had his first official birthday party with friends at a local indoor jump/bounce arena when he turned 6 in December. He also got to watch all 6 Star Wars movies with his Dad and is now a bonafide Star Wars fan! He continues to be a big help with his brother and sisters (most of the time) and really loves to play the Wii.


This year Carter has grown so much. Physically, he is still our peanut, and weighs the least of the crew. By the summer, we were realizing that he wasn't talking nearly as much as we thought he should be and within weeks of starting speech therapy, he started talking up a storm. And now, he's finally saying his own name, which he absolutely refused to say for quite awhile. He also started physical therapy because he was falling a lot. He has flat feet and drags his right foot a tiny bit because he doesn't bend his knees like he should. In the last few months, he is definitely falling less, and his balance has started to improve. He is still a fabulous eater - loves his veggies. There are really only two things I can think of that he will NOT eat. Surprisingly, they are macaroni and cheese and oatmeal!! He can count to 10, but won't say 4. He can repeat all of the alphabet letters and recognizes most of them. He knows some shapes and colors too. He is not quite ready for the potty yet. In fact, both Carter and Brenna were very interested in sitting on the potty for awhile. Then I told them that they would only get Smarties if they actually went in the potty, and their enthusiasm faded. :)


This year Brenna has become such a little lady! She loves anything Dora, Diego, Princesses or My Little Ponies! She gets thrilled over shoes and boots, and anything "dancy" (fancy) or dress-up. She can also count to 10, and can say and recognize all of the alphabet letters. She has been right on target or ahead with all of her milestones and skills and has not needed any Early Intervention services. Brenna is showing signs of potty training readiness. She will sit and do #1 occasionally, and ver rarely #2, but we're working on it. :)


2009 was a huge year for Emily. She started the ketogenic diet in January, and has made miraculous progress! She has been mostly seizure free since March, having a few breakthrough spasms here and there. But changes to the ratio of the formula have helped. She started eating by mouth a tiny bit, right now she eats every other night (and gets the rest by g-tube). She continues to get both OT and PT services weekly and has really made some huge advances. She can hold her head up, roll, push up on her arms while on her belly, and most recently began sitting unsupported for up to 10 seconds!!!! Unbelievable! :) Back in the spring she was accepted into a program provided by the Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD), and through them we have been able to get nursing care in our home, 6 days a week - 8 hours a day, to help with Emily's daily care (baths, feeding, medicines, exercises). This has been one of the biggest blessings of the year! The DDD has also supplemented our insurance to help with medical expenses and the cost of adaptive equipment. Last week, we just received a Tumble Form chair and a Squiggles stander. She is also having more alert time, more smiles and giggles, making eye contact sometimes, and even following us as we walk by!

Aimee and Gee-off

This year we celebrated 10 years of wedded bliss! :) We used our camper twice this summer and also took a road trip to Maine. Gee-off is still teaching 6th grade Math as well as teaching for the after school program. He also continues to give his Positive Discipline Workshop for camps and after school programs in NJ and PA on evenings and weekends. He was honored to present at the ACA Tri-State Camping Conference and the NJSACC Convention this year, and is booked to do both again in 2010. In his "spare time" he likes to host poker nights with the guys and fight bad guys on the Playstation 3. I have been able to remain a stay at home Mom this year and have been able to get Carter and Brenna out to daytime activities more often (thanks to Em's nurses and having Drew in school). I've also been more active in Mom's Club events and have been able to help out in Drew's classroom as well. I was so happy to get to go to 3 all day scrapbooking crops throughout the year and attended 2 major scrapbooking conventions. I've really been enjoying my Canon DSLR camera, and I just got some home lighting equipment to experiment with too. If only I could find some cute kids to take pictures of!!! :)
Here's to an amazing 2010 - Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Card 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!!
I think this is my favorite Christmas card yet.
To all of our friends and family, your cards are in the mail and should be arriving very soon!
And to all of my "cyber" friends, this one's for you!
We hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and happy holiday and a wonderful New Year!
From top left, clockwise:
Emily, Drew, Brenna, and Carter
Drew - 6 years
Emily, Brenna, and Carter - 2 years, 4 months

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Camping in November too?!

Ok, you got me, it was actually the first week of September! :)
We had so much fun camping earlier in the summer, that we went again and stayed for a few days longer during the week this time. This time, we chos Hospitality Creek and loved it!!
Emily was able to stay with us in the afternoons, evenings, and overnights, but got to go home and relax with her nurses during the day. This also kept her away from the mosquitoes and bees!
Our set-up: the pop-up camper, the corral (playyard with extra panels to enclose a play area for the little ones), and the picnic table with canopy. Looks good, eh?

Cozying up by the fire - Drew and Daddy

Mommy and Drew

(more pics of the campfire below - issues moving pics.)

The campground had a very large lake area with a shallow spot perfect for the kids. They loved the low dock, the climbing turtle, and tunnel slide. Maybe next year Drew will attempt the BIG tunnel slide and rope swing!
(more pics of the lake below - I couldn't get these in order and I've run out of time!!!!!)

They also had an amazing activity pool that we enjoyed everyday. It had zero entry all around one end where Carter and Brenna spent most of their time playing with the sprayers. The deeper area had some water guns and a lily pad course that Drew got to play on. So fun!!!!

More from the lake

Campfire pics of Drew and his cool clip on hat light and sweet little camper Em :)

Having some relaxing playtime at the campsite with Play-Doh (and we didn't have to worry about cleaning up the crumbs!!) We also brought that picnic table from home, it collapses and we strapped it to the roof of the VUE!!

There were several playgrounds to choose from, this one in the back of the campground was perfect for our gang.

We really had a great time!

The Boardwalk in November?!

Actually, we went to the boardwalk in August, but I'm just that far behind with posting the pictures!

Before school started, Gee and I decided to take Carter, Brenna, and Drew to the boardwalk to use up some amusement park tickets. Emily stayed at home with her nurse since we were going to be so active that day.
First, we stopped to enjoy some apple cider donuts. YUM!

I HAD to step on the beach, and Drew didn't mind posing for me. :)

Bumper Cars were the first choice for Drew.

Brenna was so thrilled with this race car ride, it was hysterical watching her! I posted a video of them on Facebook back in August, you really have to see and hear them in action to appreciate the full experience!

They had an "Emily" boat, but we couldn't get it fast enough! :(

Enjoying some lunch after all the fun - Carter



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We're the featured blogger!!!!

I'm so excited to say that We Could Not Ask for More is the feature Blog today at Multiples and More!

You can check out the interview I gave at the link above. :)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Steps for Seizures - Team Emily!!

It was a beautiful day for a walk on Saturday. Our friends and one of Emily's nurses walked with us. We were so happy to see so many people there to support the cause. We got to meet Shelby, Clayton's Mom as we started the walk too.

We would like to thank everyone who donated again for all of your generosity with donations. We ended up giving over $1400.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Miss Emily

Drew, sporting his Steps 4 Seizures t shirt!

Team Emily in action :)

Go Team Emily!

Mr. and Mrs. G. times 2!

Friday, November 6, 2009

In My Daughter's Eyes

It's been a long while since I've sung publicly, but I felt it was a worthwhile time to share... I recorded In My Daughter's Eyes with some new lyrics in my brother's studio(Thanks, Mark) and created a slideshow of Emily in honor of our Steps For Seizures Walk tomorrow. We raised $1,375 for Clayton's Hope (Thanks, Everyone) and are endlessly proud of our little girl and how she has changed our lives.

I hope you'll take 3 minutes to watch and listen to this tribute.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

2009 Steps for Seizures - Team Emily

**We have received more than $700.00 so far! We'll be accepting donations until the day before the walk. Thank you again to everyone for your kindness and generosity!**

As many of you are aware, Emily began having seizures, known as infantile spasms, when she was just four months old. Her spasms were uncontrolled except for short periods of time with various medications for nearly fifteen months. During that time, Emily made progress, but it was very limited. Emily is now on the ketogenic diet, which is keeping her seizures under the best control they have ever been. She has had long periods of seizure freedom, going for weeks and even months without a spasm. Since starting the diet, she has also been progressing with her physical development, and is now rolling, holding her head up, smiling and laughing, and even eating some by mouth again at 2 years old.

But Emily’s battle with epilepsy is not over. She has had some breakthrough spasms on and off and will most likely suffer from some type of seizure for the rest of her life. After speaking with Clayton’s mother, we were encouraged to learn that the money raised by Clayton’s Hope (a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization) will be used towards funding a study at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as to how the adrenal gland plays a role in seizure management and control and, in turn, what medications will break the brain barrier and work on the adrenal gland's mechanisms.

We believe in the incredible doctors and researchers at Children’s Hospital and look forward to walking with Emily in the 2009 Steps for Seizures Walk on November 7, 2009, at Washington Lake Park.

We are hoping our friends and family both near and far are willing to help us raise money for the walk by donating to this cause. We also would like to invite anyone else who wants to walk with us on the 7th. If you are able, please let us know as soon as possible.

With our sincere thanks,
Geoff and Aimee Gollihur

You can email me for our address to send your donation.

Please make checks payable to: Clayton's Hope

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Drew is a bit picky when it comes to trying new foods, so we gave this 20 year old slogan and his love for the media attention a try. He did indeed enjoy his first Manwich.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"One Short Day in the Emerald City"

On August 21st, Gee-off and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! With the help of some friends who were kind enough to watch the kids all day and into the evening, we spent our special day in New York City and got to see Wicked! We had been trying to see the show for years but it never worked out. While waiting, I read the book and memorized the soundtrack. In fact, I listen to it so much in the car that even Drew frequently requests it. :)
We drove up early and had time to walk around and have some lunch. We shared a HUGE sandwich at a deli for lunch and then it was showtime! We got yelled at for taking this picture in the theater. Ooops.

Or maybe she yelled at us for this one. ;)

A nice family took our picture in front of the dragon clock.

Times Square

This our traditional "take our own picture" shot.

We're still smiling after 10 years! I'm so happy to have such a great hubby. Thanks for asking me to marry you so so long ago! I love you!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday to Carter, Brenna, and Emily!!!

I realize that everyone says this, but how did this happen?? 2 YEARS have gone by since the day I gave birth to these three amazing babies. We welcomed them into the world at 8:44, 8:45, and 8:46 pm on Saturday, August 18, 2007. It's a day we'll never forget. Drew officially became a big brother, and we became the proud parents of four. :)
Now they are 2!
When we came home from Maine, we had a party in their honor with the Gollihur side of the family.
The big two year olds with Mommy

Sweet little cupcake, Emily

Fun with tissue paper and a picnic table ;)

Brothers coloring - awwww!

"Bday" girl Brenna

(who loved the balloon so much that she ran back and forth at least 20 times saying

"Mommy, buh-fly, bayoon, WOW!")