Friday, December 25, 2009

Daily Dose: Merry Christmas 2009

Hope on Christmas Eve

Hope wondering how many more presents she has to open

Hope and all of Daddy's family on Christmas Eve

Hope's Christmas Ladybug outfit

Hope with Mommy & Daddy on Christmas Day

Hope and her stocking

All of the excitement wore Hope out

After the presents, Hope hanging out with Grandma & Great-Grandma

As you can see from the pictures. Hope had a great Christmas. She was very glad to be home for Christmas this year instead of in the NICU like last year. Hope got to spend lots of time with family which she always loves to do.

We'll put more of a substantive post up soon, but couldn't wait to show you all of Hope's Christmas fun!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Daily Dose: Tuesday, December 22

Hope & Great-Grandma

Hope looking cute in her cute slippers

Hope hanging out in the living room

As you can see from the adorable pictures, Hope is doing pretty well. In the first picture, Great-Grandma was worried that Hope's hands were getting cold so she decided to share her gloves, always thinking. Hope also has some great little bunny slippers.

Hope has been doing good. Her weight has been pretty consistent, she is weighing in at 23 pounds!!!

The only big change for Hope is that she has currently been relocated from her bedroom to the living while her bedroom is being remodeled. Hope definitely misses her bedroom, but she has enjoyed looking at the Christmas Tree nonstop and has been pining over all the boxes under the tree, imaging all of the things that are inside of them. Hope definitely likes Christmas but DOES NOT enjoy the snow and the cold. She has been wondering why the family farm isn't in Florida and why Great-Grandma was a farmer not an alligator rancher in the warmth.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Daily Dose: Happy Birthday Hope!!!

The Birthday Girl in her Birthday Dress!!

Hope was laughing and having a good time

Hope in her "little room"

First and foremost we are wishing Hope a very very VERY Happy 1st Birthday today!!! It is hard to believe that it has already been a year since Hope was born. Quite the year!!

As you can see, Hope had a lot of fun today. She had a special birthday dress with a pink tutu. She liked it well enough to pose for the obligatory pictures but then it was off with the dress. Hope had such a great day today. She was laughing and smiling most of the day.

You can see Hope in her "little room". Hope loves to play in her little room. It has lots of items that are hanging from the top so she can reach up and grab them, or hit them, or kick them. She spends lots of time in her little room playing with all of the things.

While today was Hope's actual birthday, Hope got a mini-party on Saturday when Aunt Em drove up to spend some time with her and the family. Here are some pictures from Saturday's hoo-rah.

Hope was wearing another adorable ladybug outfit!!

Hope with Mommy & Daddy, getting ready to open her presents

Hope decided against the cake but she wanted cupcakes so here she is with Aunt Em and cupcakes.
After the presents were all opened Hope got to chill on the couch

Hope and Daddy playing on the floor

Friday, November 27, 2009

Daily Dose: Happy Thanksgiving!!!

After all the food was eaten, Hope & Aunt Em had some playtime

Hope wasn't as interested in the delicious food as the rest of us

Hope looking cute in ANOTHER ladybug outfit

Hope's first artwork: a hand turkey

This Thanksgiving we all were especially thankful. This was Hope's first Thanksgiving and she loved it. As you can see from the pictures, she had a cute little ladybug outfit on, making her officially cute as a bug! Hope slept through most of dinner but she had done the hard work ahead of time. During one of her therapy sessions, she finger painted and made a hand turkey. It is proudly displayed on Mommy & Daddy's refrigerator for all to see!!

Hope is doing well and looking forward to her birthday which is coming up very quickly. She also is looking forward to Christmas because she loves looking at the Christmas decorations, especially lights and tinsel.

As we mentioned before, we are all extremely thankful this year. While we have all had a setback or two in our own lives, Hope has been there to remind us what is important: family. No matter what goes wrong, we always know that we have Hope, and for that, we are forever thankful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Daily Dose: Wednesday, November 25

Hope relaxing in her bouncy seat!


Hope is smiling!!

Hope has had a busy few weeks doing lots of things. As you can see, Hope is growing!! She is now over 21 pounds!!

Last week, Hope went to get her hearing aids adjusted. She was put in the sound booth and responded to bass tones. This is a big step because in order to have cochlear implants her auditory nerve must be developed. We are very happy that her auditory nerve seems to be developed, paving the way for her surgery.

This week, Hope went to the eye doctor and got great news!! The eye doctor said that Hope can see!! And it will only improve from here. She is far sighted and may need glasses if that doesn't improve but quite often kids like Hope will grow out of the impairment. Hope did very well tracking and locating so the eye doctor was very happy with the progress she has made.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Daily Dose: Wedesday, November 11

Ever since Saturday when Hope officially became an 11 month old she has been BUSY!!!

On Sunday the weather was so nice that Mommy & Daddy decided to take Hope for a walk. They walked up to Grandma & Grandpa R's house and saw them for a little while.

They then left Grandma & Grandpa R's house and went to visit with Great-Grandma Vivian & Aunt Dawn. As you can see, Great-Grandma Vivian and Hope Vivian had a lot to talk about. Both of them really enjoyed their little visit.

Hope is becoming such a big girl. Today she did some finger painting. She thought it was fun at the beginning and played along. But....

As you can see, at the end of her paint session she wasn't feeling so artistic. At least she was able to make a finger paint turkey before her inspiration ran out.

In other news... Mommy & Daddy are still in contact with a surgeon to do Hope's cochlear implants and are hoping that next spring they can have them done.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Just because it's cold and flu season and Hope couldn't go out trick or treating, that wasn't going to stop her from having fun on her first halloween!
To no one's surprise, I'm sure, Hope dressed up as a cute lady bug for Halloween. She had fun getting all dressed up and posing for the pictures. She decided the costume was so comfy that she fell asleep in the middle of all the fun!
After the mini photo shoot Hope changed into her second Halloween outfit - a cute outfit from her Aunt Em.

Hope Update - The rest of the week

We've been much better this week about taking pictures of Hope.... we haven't been better about getting them posted with updates. So here's a couple of days worth...

With all of Hope's equipment it's hard for her to venture very far. She did, however, manage to make it to the living room sofa to hang out with mom and dad for a couple of hours this week.

Since red is Hope's favorite color, she thought it was pretty neat to sit on a giant soft red thing instead of being in her room. She even got to sit on her own like a big girl!

A few weeks ago Hope took a stroll through the apple orchards. The apples weren't quite ready to pick yet. This week, daddy went out and picked some apples for him and mommy and he found one just perfect for Hope. Hope doesn't have any teeth yet so all she could do was play with the apple but maybe next year she can eat her very own apple.

Hope still gets weekly visits from OT & PT. Her physical therapist brought Hope a "peanut ball". This is an exercise ball that is shaped kind of like a peanut. For the most part, Hope doesn't like playing or "working" on her tummy. If she's on her tummy she thinks that's a good time to sleep. The peanut ball lets Hope work on some upper body strengthening and get some "tummy time" in without having to be all the way on her tummy. Hope likes this much better.... although it's kind of hard to tell from the look on her face.
Hope hasn't had any big appointments in the past few weeks. This Friday (November 6th), though she meets with the doctor that will do her cochlear implants. This is just a consultation but we are all eager to hear what the doctor has to say (and we are praying hard, as usual, for encouraging news).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hope's Baptism

This past Sunday was Hope's baptism. As you can see from the photos she was adorable in her dress. Hope didn't mind all of the excitement at all, in fact she slept through the ENTIRE thing. Even still, she was very happy to get a chance to meet so many of the people that have been praying for her through the last 10 months!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hope's Latest News

This picture shows just how big Hope is getting!!
Hope went in last week to have her hearing aids adjusted. The audiologist turned them up and tested Hope out in the sound booth. It was an unofficial test but it appeared that Hope did not show much response to adjustment. It seems as though she might be able to hear somethings in the low, bass range but the volume levels had to be so high (equal to that of a chainsaw or rock concert) that it would cause further damage for her to be hearing at this volume. She will continue to wear them, continuing on her 6 month trial in order to pursue the cochlear implants.
The physical therapist has been to the house to work with Hope. This last time she brought a "peanut" ball. This is basically an exercise ball that is shaped like a peanut. She propped Hope up against it on her tummy in order to work on head control. Normally Hope doesn't really like tummy time (unless she's sleeping on her tummy) but she seemed to like the peanut ball and she did really well pushing up with her arms and lifting her head.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy Birthday Hope!

It's hard to believe, but Hope is 10 months old now!! Happy Birthday Hope!!!

Hope got to spend her 10 month birthday with a trip to the pulmonologist. Everything went well and since Hope was in such a good mood, she decided to venture over to the hospital and visit with some of the nurses that took care of her when she was in the NICU.

Today Hope was visited by the vision consultant for Early On. She had some very encouraging news - it seems that Hope IS able to see, at least to some degree. Hope seems to really like looking at shiny, red things and prefers to look at things that are off to her right side. The vision consultant will continue to work with Hope (as will we) in hopes of getting her to be able to see equally in both directions.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Hope had quite a day yesterday...

It started out bright and early with an appointment with the neurologist. Since Hope has not had any seizures they've decided to let her "outgrow" her phenobarbital.

After that appointment, Hope had some blood drawn (she has an appointment with the pulmonologist next week and they wanted some bloodwork done prior to the appointment). After the blood draw, Hope headed home and was getting tucked back in for an afternoon nap when the phone rang.... it was the pulmonologist. She had gotten the results of the blood work and it seemed as though Hope's white blood count was elevated and she wanted to have Hope checked out. So we packed her back up into the car and headed to Grand Rapids. Hope got to hang out the in the emergency room at De Vos for 4 hour while the doctors ran more blood tests, urine tests and x-rays. They weren't able to find the source of the elevated white blood cells. They took a urine culture and blood cultures which may grow something in the next few days but nothing was outwardly apparent last night. Finally they let Hope go home for the night.

She is not acting sick so we are hopeful that it was just a "fluke" and that she isn't brewing an infection.