Sunday, February 22, 2009

Miss Brenna

She's a dare devil, a curious monkey, a climber, a chatterbox, and a true sweetheart. She is really talking lately, a lot of babbling, but her vocab does include Hi, Daddy, Dada, Mama, shoe, go, dow (down - which she thinks means up), ball, bubble, baba (bottle), no (No), no (nose), uh oh, and a few more that I know I'm missing. She says hi to everything, the pictures on the wall, and everyone she sees. Every morning, she says the same things. When I walk in to get her and Carter, she says, "Hi!". On the way down the stairs she says, "guy". This is a new one and not quite sure what it means yet, maybe sky? When we get to the kitchen, Drew is usually eating breakfast, and she greets him with a smiley, "Hi, D!" And then we get to the living room and she says, "baba!". Time for the morning bottle. :)

Wearing Drew's jacket and Spiderman slipper socks!

In Hula gear at Abby and Nathan's party

Snow bunny

And today, showing Emily her NOSE! :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mr. Carter

Mr. Carter is so emotive. He always seems to be #2 when it comes to developmental milestones, and his frustration is evident by his body language and vocal tantrums. He eats better than anyone in our house under the age of thirty, always says "tant you", and loves to smile for the camera...


"Emily, would you like to play with this truck?"

Check me out!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Emily and her new mobile

Last year, during one of the lengthy stays with neurology at CHOP, Emily seemed to watch a mobile that was available to be used during the stay. Aimee wanted us to get it and we searched high and low, but couldn't find one for less than $100. Yeah-$100 for a mobile... Don't get me started.

We eventually stopped looking as this mobile was discontinued and we already had a mobile she seemed to like. That one(from the days of Drew) began sputtering and playing out of tune notes even with new batteries, so I reinitiated a search last week, this time refusing to give up until I found one.

We found one over an hour away for only $20 and had it attached to her crib within ten hours of finding it on SHE LOVES IT. The following photo shows her smiling and looking at the mobile, a real rarity for her.

Oh Emily! How far you've come...

9 days old, wide eyed in the NICU...

549 days old, wide-eyed in her living room crib...

Emily has been having some ups and downs with her ketogenic diet. We have been keeping quiet about her progress as we don't want to jinx anything, but she has been more alert, has had significantly less seizures, and seems pretty happy most of the time. She has, however; battled a "GI Bug", and recently has had incredible reflux that is causing daily vomiting plus she's having a tough time with an antibiotic we're using to treat a UTI.
I have been making her formula daily, but Aimee handles the meds. What a real job that is! You practically need to put on a white coat to keep track of all the mixing and filling and administering. Honestly, it took me the better part of an hour the first time I made meds for her. Because her diet is highly controlled, even the itty bit of sugar carbs in a liquid medicine could take her body out of ketosis. So it is cut, crush, mix and fill for most of her medicines.
Say a prayer for Aimee every day at 8am EST. At that time, she is getting Drew on the bus, giving Carter and Brenna breakfast, and playing pharmacist at our kitchen counter. And I thought my first period math class was exhausting!
Here is short video of Emily enjoying her mobile.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Allan and Estle

My Pop-Pop, Allan Riddle, showed me how to love out loud and to love God, both through example and through my Mom. He was a fantastic storyteller, would be a friend to anyone who wanted one, and enjoyed every moment of his life. He endured challenges, but in the years I knew him would never allow anything to take his focus off his family and his love for God. He said the blessing at our wedding, and we have certainly been blessed.

My Grandpa, Estle Gollihur, showed me how to be a provider, by example and through my Dad. He worked with his hands his whole life and taught himself many incredible skills by watching and asking questions. With Grandpa, we knew there was only “I can” or “I won’t”, but he’d never say, “I can’t”. He designed and helped me create a hope chest for Aimee, which we built “In faith, hope, and love” — the very skills he exemplified in his dedication to Grandma (60+ years, side by side).

How to love is a skill learned by those who are loved. As a husband and father, all that I have learned about how to love and how to live can be traced back to these two incredible men.

It is with a heavy heart that we will say our final goodbye at their memorial services this weekend. I hope they realize the legacy they’ve left is immeasurable.

Allan Riddle
February 7, 1924 – January 29, 2009

Estle Gollihur
February 18, 1923 – February 3, 2009