Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Mommy!!

We are celebrating Amanda's birthday today. I am so grateful for her. She has been a great example to me, and she has truly blessed my life. I am nothing without her. She has truly been the greatest wife any man could ask for. I love and cherish her more than anything. I can not express enough gratitude to her for all that she has and continues to do for not only me but for our precious Daughters. I am always amazed when I see her with her girls. She is a great mom, who truly will do anything for Rachel and Haley. I am probably the luckiest man on earth to have such a great women, and amazing person. Sorry to be so personal, but I just want her to know how much I love her. Happy Birthday Mommy we love you so much and are grateful to you for all you do for us.

Love Rachel & Haley, Thomas

Mommy and the girls

Mommy's cake

All about the ears - part 2

The girls had their procedure yesterday for the ear tubes. They had to have general anesthesia for this procedure and they both tolerated it well. Rachel's ear tubes were placed successfully. Dr. Albright also did a bronchoscopy and a laryngoscopy to check her airway and vocal cords due to her history of tracheomalacia and left vocal cord paralysis. Dr. Albright found that Rachel's left vocal cord is not moving after all. We were told by the girls previous ENT that it was moving a little. This is discouraging news, but I trust Dr. Albright and despite her left vocal cord not moving, her right vocal cord is moving and compensating well. She may not be a opera singer in the future, but she will be able to use her voice to talk. I am so grateful for that! I am also grateful that her airway looks great. There are no longer any problems there.
Well unfortunately our little Haley didn't get her ear tubes. Dr. Albright was not able to get them into her tiny ear canals. They are so tiny that it may take up to a year for him to finally get them in. Haley is such a slow grower. Dr. Albright was able to make a tiny incision in her ear drums to suction out the fluid behind it. Unfortunately the incision will close and the fluid will build up again. Dr. Albright was pleased that Haley appears to have a normal middle ear and with hearing aids she will be able to hear better. He states that hopefully the use of hearing aids will be temporary and that once he is able to get the tubes in her ears, she won't need them anymore. This is wonderful news and we are so pleased with Dr. Albright's work and kindness. The next thing we will be doing for Haley is getting the hearing aids.

Rachel back at home after the procedure. She's so tired.

Rachel a couple of hours later. She's all rested and ready to play.

Haley back at home sleeping.

Haley jumping and playing a couple of hours later.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

The girls and daddy before he went off to work today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!!  Today September 22 is Thomas's birthday. We are so glad the girls are able to celebrate daddy's birthday today. The girls love their daddy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1st NICU Reunion

This past weekend we had the opportunity to attend our first annual NICU(Neonatal Intensive Care) reunion. The reunion was held on Saturday at the Children's Museum in Houston. It was nice to see several of the nurses that cared for our girls while they were in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Woman's Hospital of Texas. We only saw one of our Neonatologists - Dr. Mcintyre, and she was actually one of our favorite ones. She was always so patient with us and listened to our concerns. She always seemed to care very much for Haley and Rachel. We appreciated all she did for our girls. We also saw the man himself Dr. Bob Bloss. He is quite familiar with Haley and Rachel. He operated on all six of our children. He did three surgeries on Haley and two on Rachel. He is such a great guy. He told us that we are only one of two families still in his Cell phone. We truly are grateful to him for all that he has done for our children. He literally saved Rachel and Haley's lives. We are eternally grateful to all the Physicians and Medical staff at The Woman's Hospital of Texas for all that they did to keep little Rachel and Haley with us. Thomas told all of them while we were there that it was because of their care along with the help of the Lord that Rachel and Haley are still here. It was also nice to see other families that were in the NICU while Rachel and Haley were there. It was nice to see the Porter family. Their little boy was born extremely premature as well and it was nice to see him doing well and growing. We always enjoyed seeing them in the NICU and talking with them. They are a great family and we are grateful to have met them. I wish we had pictures of this event, but we forgot the camera. None the less we had a great time and look forward to the NICU reunion next year.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

All about the Ears

This blog post was started Thursday (9/16), but was not able to finish it until today (9/20). There is just not enough time in the day...

The girls saw a new ENT (ears, nose and throat) doctor Thursday 9/16. Their previous ENT doctor wanted to just wait for Haley's ear canals to grow and didn't really check Rachel's ears. Rachel's main problem is her vocal cords, but now that they are both moving that is a great thing. I decided to get a second opinion and we really like our new ENT doctor (Dr. Albright). He was so nice and wants to try to get ear tubes into Haley's ears despite her small ear canals. He also checked Rachel's ears and found that she has fluid behind her ear drums and also needs tubes. It appears the fluid is affecting her hearing so its good that she will be getting them. I'm so glad we went to Dr. Albright and that he found this with Rachel. So both girls are getting ear tubes on September 28. They luckily won't have to stay in the hospital after getting the tubes. It will be a day surgery/procedure.

So thanks to the advise from readers regarding attaching Haley's glasses to her helmet, I was able to get them to stay on fairly well with Velcro. It has been working and Haley has not been taking her glasses off or touching her eyes.

Random photos of the girls...

Haley loves her jumper

Rachel doing some tummy time

Both girls doing tummy time

Daddy making Rachel laugh

Haley loves to stand. One day she is going to just walk away.

Rachel just chillin' in her swing

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day weekend

For the Labor day weekend we traveled to Austin to visit Grandma and Grandpa Benedict, Thomas's family and my brother and his family. We enjoyed our time visiting with everyone as well as our time away from Houston.

My dad, my brother with my niece Ashley, my mom and us with the girls

Grandma Benedict with her granddaughters. The girls were getting their break from their helmets.

We are thinking and praying for Grandma Benedict. She had total knee replacement surgery and hope for a speedy recovery.

Our little Haley had an eye doctor appointment today. Her doctor (Dr. Carvounis) has been following her since he did her first eye surgery. He saw no changes to her right eye. Her right eye still has scarring from the surgeries and the doctor states that it doesn't look like its going to get any better. At best guess she only can see light. She will continue to wear the glasses since we don't know what she can see. Since she got her helmet we have not been able to get her glasses on. I tried using an elastic cord to hold the glasses tightly around the outside of her helmet, but that didn't work for long. The glasses eventually slipped down. Haley has also started doing eye presses. For those that don't know what this is, it's when a blind person presses on their eyes for some feedback or stimulation. This action over time is not good because it can push the eye too far back in the socket or cause more damage to an already frail eye. So now we are always watching Haley to see if she puts her hands up to her eyes. We have been moving her hand down over and over. This is going to be a long process to get her to not do this anymore. Anyone with this experience have any ideas or have done something to successfully stop the eye presses?

Not to leave out our sweet Rachel. Rachel is sick with a cold right now, but she will get better. It's hard to see her or Haley sick. Other than that she is doing good. We have not gotten glasses for her yet. We want to get them on her soon, but are hoping to figure out the whole glasses with the helmet dilemma soon.