In early December, Melissa took Caroline for the first of several initial evaluation sessions in Iowa City. While there for her 3 hour session, she decided that it would be a wonderful time to begin eating and consumed 1/2 a jar of pears and even picked up several puffs off the table and ate them. Not more than 12 hours earlier Mike had tried to feed her some of the very same pears and she reacted as if he was trying to put her eye out with a hot stick.
Anyway, the good news is that since that session, and using some new techniques that they suggested, Caroline has begun to eat "first foods' off of a spoon. It's not for all feedings, and is only a first step... but we're very encouraged. We go back to Iowa City in early Feb for a longer session and to determine if she'll qualify for the 3 week session later this year. Since we're still not eating all foods all the time, and we're still balancing the need for nutrition with her delayed emptying syndrome, we're guessing that we'll be spending some quality "vacation" time in Iowa City teaching our daughter to eat.
And if you made it through all that, you're probably saying to yourself, "Holy Schnikeys!!! Those kids have some problems!"
The thing is, we've got the experience to know that of all the kids who come out of the NICU after starting where ours did, we're living on easy street. We've met with parents and "graduates" who will deal with extreme health issues all of their lives, developmentally and otherwise. The stuff we deal with is child's play compared to those folks and while it may not have been a "normal" path to take... our's has been an easy one with an immense bright light at the end of the tunnel. We consider ourselves blessed.
And one last little thing to touch on before we get to the pictures (and yes... there's a lot for you to have a look at!).
The litany of appointments - nursing visits, doctor visits, specialists, hospital stays, surgeries, and the time needed to care for a kid with an ear infection just two days after the other kid had needed the same thing... Without our incredible support from our bosses, coworkers, and their willingness to help us manage our schedules and work from a variety of locations (home, hospital rooms, Iowa City), we would be living in a van down by the river. We are truly blessed by your support for our young family.
And to our friends... thanks for all your help. Whether it's tolerating a double stroller at dinner, being willing to let us talk about something other than feeding schedules or poop consistencies for a couple hours, or the incredible food you brought us (that we are still pulling out of the deep freeze and chowing on during hectic times). You mean the world to us!
We want to wish you all a very happy holiday season and hope that you and your families are as blessed in life as we have been these past 14 months.
All our very best to you,
Mike, Melissa, Logan, and Caroline Vogel
And now the pictures!!!
|A couple of Hawkeyes trying out their Bumbo Seats|
|Caroline with her NG tube and a big smile.|
This was a pretty rare combination.
|Logan LOVES squash!|
|A day's worth of bottles.|
|Logan's first 2 teeth.|
He has 8 now.
Caroline has her bottom 2.
|Caroline happy before her G-tube surgery.|
|Caroline with her G-tube.|
It has since changed to just a button- no tube poking out of her.
|A very fancy lady.|
|"And you expect me to STAY in this spot???"|
|This hat is gone...|
|Big smiles from little Miss C.|
|Big smiles from Big L.|
|"Did you guys know that these feet are MINE???"|
Caught in the act of thievery.
|It's been a long season, but we were there for Daddy!|
|"Who doesn't love a bath???"|
|Dressed for Halloween at Daycare!|
|The real Halloween costume - Skunks.|
Caught in the act of some Skunk on Skunk crime.
|Logan's ok, but Caroline isn't too sure about this Halloween thing.|
|Aunt Caitlin visited for their first birthday!|
|The whole family celebrating the first birthdays!|
|Logan was very into his cake.|
|Caroline was peeved that we got frosting on her beloved binky.|
|Logan was VERY into his frosting.|
|An example of trying to feed Caroline.|
|Notice the tears mixed with carrots...|
|"Look Dad, you can't BS me. I've been in this gown before.|
It means I'm gonna wake up all pissed off and uncomfortable."
|Logan unsure of Thanksgiving dinner|
|Uncle Nick from CO visited for Thanksgiving in Topeka|
|Caroline eating puffs!|
|A much more content Caroline eating puffs and carrots after our|
Iowa City visit.
|"Caroline... come here! I heard Mom and Dad talking about what|
we're getting for Christmas!!!"