Friday, June 15, 2007


The cute little black and white cow in this picture holds special meaning for our family. His name is Grazer, and he was the very first stuffed animal "friend" to sit with Abby in her warming bed after she was born. Most of Abby's NICU pictures show an army of little, fuzzy friends surrounding her as if watching over her care and providing some sense of normalcy. One of the stipulations was that they had to be clean, and if one fell to the floor by accident it had to be taken home and washed before it could take it's post again.

Grazer managed to jump out of Abby's bed several times during her 6 month stay... but usually made it back after a good washing. One morning when we approached Abby's spot in the NICU we saw Grazer sitting alone on top of the shelf with a little sticker that said "Grazer has fallen on the floor." It made us smile as we realized the nurses new that this little cow had a name and must be special to Abby... or really, special to us.

Josiah has taken to this soft little friend. This is the first "object of affection" for him. He was playing on the floor a few weeks ago while I was putting his clothes away and I saw him select this cow out of a large crowd of stuffed animals. He immediately hugged the cow close to his cheek, smiled up at me and then rocked back and forth while sucking his thumb.

Since that day Grazer has snuggled with Josiah at every nap and bed time. We think it's neat that he chose something that already holds special meaning for us, and also a new connection with Abby.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Retina check up and hair cut

Abby had her annual check up with her retina specialist this morning. It went very well! This was the first time I didn't have to hold her down (with the help of 2 other nurses) for the Dr. to get a good view into her eyes. For anyone who knows Abby's history and extreme dislike of anyone holding her head, than you know what a triumph this is! And anyone who is a mother and knows how awful it is to hold your child down during a tormenting experience knows how thankful I was.

Of course the dilating drops came first, at which Abby did scream a couple of times. I'm told these drops do burn a little. Josiah was standing nearby, holding onto her wheel chair and was very upset by her cries.

Then we went to the waiting room, and eventually into an exam room where we met the good Dr. We caught up on any changes, improvement and worries before he shut off the lights to take a peek. Abby did so great! She stayed in her chair and actually let him shine the very bright light into her eyes, while he held her lids open and peered through a magnifying lens. She did scream again which upset Josiah, but it was all over quickly and the lights came back on.

Nothing has changed since last year. The left eye has a funnel shaped, complete, retinal detachment which means "no hope for vision in that eye." Although we know that she can see light. The right eye is structurally ok, a little scaring but overall "should have good vision potential." This is the news we have heard every year since we have been seeing this doctor, and we usually leave feeling hopeful that with continued stimulation Abby will be able to learn to use the limited vision she has in that eye.

All in all it was a great visit compared to some in the past at this office when we have had to wait, give drops, and wait after giving more drops then wait some more.

Last night we gave our big girl a hair cut... actually just a trim. She was so cute I had to post a few pics we took during the process. I couldn't believe how grown up she looked! Our baby really isn't a baby anymore. Today her little pig tails looked especially cute and curly.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Kiss

One thing that excites me as a mommy is seeing my children do new things. Anything from Abby feeling a toy with both hands, to Josiah signing "Daddy".

Well, my heart has officially melted since my little boy did the most darling thing ever! I was doing therapy with Abby on the couch, she was on her side over my lap (for shoulder exercise). Josiah was playing nearby and began crawling over towards us, pointing at Abby and chatting about something important. He pulled up while holding onto my leg, looked at Abby and gently planted a kiss right on her forehead!! Then he glanced up at me with sweet little eyes and smiled his sweet smile. I couldn't believe what I had just witnessed. Josiah's first kiss... given to Abby, without instruction or prompting. Like it was straight from his heart.

That scene will be planted in my special, mommy, memory box forever. We prayed for a special friend for Abby, and He sent Josiah.

I tried to capture a duplicate of this moment later that day, but he didn't really want to cooperate.

I think Abby liked her kiss... she knows her brother is special.