Big Baby

Posted by tom | Jan 28, 2008

Eden's really excited about the Big Baby in her mommy's belly.  But she also thinks she's having 2 babies of her own!  And she knows what that means, because she now counts up to 4 on her own (part of playing hide-and-seek).  Maybe she'll start saying that she's going to be having 4 babies!  Can't wait for the stories she'll tell as she's consistently speaking in sentences . . . what a joy to witness God healing and developing hand.  He is Eden's Hiding Place

Praise God for the good growth He's given the young one as she is knit together in her mother's womb by His hand.  Pray for our Father to be her refuge & strength for all the days of her life.  Pray that Theresa and I will be filled with His Spirit/insight as we seek to raise her in Christ-likenessness in the midst of our family's struggle (in the context of the people of God) with the flesh, the devil, and world.

Eden's Big Steps

Posted by tom | Jan 2, 2008

Looking forward to Eden getting around in the new year.  Over the past several days she's been taking 5-6 steps between destinations, when encouraged. Praise God! 

Physical therapy today, speech therapy tomorrow, ear-nose-throat (ENT) Monday, occupational therapy next Wednesday, and the cycle marches on with various evaluations for good measure . . . but with the joy of knowing the Father is working through these daily investments to re-fashion Eden in a redempive manner.  Not to menion, how much we're being molded more into the image of Christ as the Spirit humbles us by filling us with patience, perseverance, faithfulness . . . Your prayers and encouragements are a great blessing to the whole family.  We rejoice in the intercession and care of the people of God. 

Blessed Christmas Morn

Posted by tom | Dec 25, 2007

Amen to St. Nick in the Big City! But this Christmas morn (and afternoon), I confess receiving great joy in seeing Eden take 2-3 steps here and there between presents (thank-you to everyone for their generous gifts and even more so for their love/care for Eden), play hide-n-go seek with her sisters (thank-you Hayley and Ellen for being big sisters), fill up on plate-after-plate of food (lots of cheese thanks to Uncle Phil), and embrace her large stuffed puppy (thank-you Uncle Scott).

Time to pack it in, in order to rise fresh for more joyous time with family tomorrow (and a few year end Fund Development details for InterVarsity) as we walk together in this life. With even more anticipation than Christmas gifts and time with family, I look forward to Christ Jesus in the Big City descending from heaven. A time when Eden will dance on the streets that are golden not only with Baby Elise, but the whole family of the people of God (including St. Nick) . . . and all the world will be set aright (as it was intended to be at the time of creation before we chose our own way into darkness/sin). Come Lord Jesus, Come. Enable our family to walk by the Light, Logos, and Life of your glory and grace each and every day . . .

12/02/07 Eden Update

Posted by tom | Dec 2, 2007

Eden's cruised around with great confidence at the Ebersole Christmas Party this afternoon!  A big part of her improvement has been the Sure Step Dynamic Stabilizing System which we had fitted through Hanger Orthopedic Group.  Sure step compresses the foot into position providing balance and stability inside her spiffy new princess sneakers. 

She also has lots of words to share, even some sentences such as

I made bubbles.
Ah et mama bft daddy (I ate mama's breakfast, daddy).

Praise God for Eden's increasing mobility and speech development. What a Christmas gift of healing to unwrap, receive, and treasure!

11/14 Eden Update

Posted by tom | Nov 15, 2007

While Theresa was out for a check-up on the 11 week child she's carrying (moving right along!), I had the opportunity to work with the PT on helping Eden go down the basement steps while holding the rail with her left hand and leading with her right leg, using the step stool to see Avery (Amanda's bird that we're watching while she's at Penland for her weaving class), standing while building a block tower, crawling back up the steps leading with her right leg, and then standing at her play table for a tea party with her babies.  So we're continuing to press on with the use of walker which is particularly successful at Kid's Playhouse at Etown BIC, practicing balance while standing/playing at the table, and encouraging Eden to lead with her right leg.   (More)

10/31 Eden's latest MRI

Posted by tom | Oct 31, 2007

We have good news to report from today's MRI at PSU-Hershey Medical Center.  Her venous angioma/cavernous malformation hasn't grown, which is quite apparent in her continued positive development.  We've decided against the angiogram and further MRIs. There is a low percentage chance of another bleed and no means to helpfully address the current situation.  If additional bleeds occur, they will be noticeable, giving us the ability to respond.  

Praise God for the stable condition of the bleed, the continued positive development in all areas, and family support (thank-you to Grandpa Ginder for watching her this evening as she tried to calm down from all the activities of the day, while the rest of us took part in Wednesday night activities at Etown Brethren-in-Christ)!  We take our next steps as a family, leaning upon the Christ's strength given to us through His Spirit, Word, prayer, sacraments, and the people of God. 

10/18 Baby Eden Update

Posted by tom | Oct 18, 2007

I [Tom] had the opportunity to take Eden to her WIC appointment in Lancaster on Tuesday morning.  She was quite active and resourceful as she pushed a kids chair across the play area to get from one table to the other table for our conversation times in the waiting room.  She didn't even make a sound when she had her finger pricked for the blood test, a little too much familiarity with the medical world!  But she had lots to share about the Bugs Bunny bandaid for her boo-boo and applied her sticker (for doing such a good job) to her back as if it was a nursery nametag.   (More)

10/3 Baby Eden Update

Posted by tom | Oct 3, 2007

Praise God!  Eden is moving around like wildfire and getting into everything (particularly unsecured cabinets.  She likes to pretend she's cooking.  E.g., whole wheat flour in the nut grinder).  So good to see, for the most part.  Eden's taken some steps here and there, beyond the cruising from furniture piece to furniture piece, pushing the stroller, using one of her walkers.  But I [Tom] missed them as I was in 'da Burgh and she hasn't shown me any since my return.  Pray for strength and balance for her to walk firmly.  I'm filled with expectation.   (More)

9/11 Baby Eden Update

Posted by tom | Sep 11, 2007

Just a brief update on Eden (how long can we call her "Baby Eden"????)  This fall she started another session of physical therapy in the swimming pool at Schreiber Pediatrics.  She loves the pool and frequently asks for pool.  Normally her therapist puts weights around her ankles to help her when walking in the water, but today she walked very well without the weights.  We call her a leaner b/c if she feels you giving her the slightest support, she leans into you, expecting you to hold her up.  This is not just in the pool, but on land as well.  In some ways, the less support you give her the better she supports herself.  It's a tricky balancing act. (More)

Limit exposure to ‘Baby Einstein’ and ‘Brainy Baby'

Posted by tom | Aug 16, 2007

Due to her developmental delays, Eden watched almost no baby DVD's and videos.  Instead she has burst onto the scene with kids materials alongside Ellen and Hayley.  What is the truth and what is marketing?  Are we in a scenerio similar to bottled water? Disney claims the University of Washington report to be just plain wrong in its assertion that infants who watched DVD’s and videos designed for babies understood fewer words than did infants who didn’t watch the recorded programs.

PS.  The Genius of ‘Baby Einstein’ takes the conversation in a helpful direction.

Update: 4:01pm  Now the furor has moved to the credibility of research, see UW President rejects Disney complaints, referenced by Chronicle of Higher Ed piece and I'm sure the Chronicle has just opened a can of worms regarding higher education vs. media/business.  Check out the post/link given below for some helpful thoughts.

She took a step!

Posted by tom | Aug 3, 2007

While working on a review of Os Guinness' The Call: Finding and Fulfilling the Central Purpose of Your Life, I heard Theresa declare from outside the house You did it Eden!  I saw it with my own eyes. Note:  Theresa's mom gave a report of Eden's first step on her own without holding onto anything just over a week ago, but we hadn't seen it with our own eyes and we haven't seen anything approaching steps since then.  Praise God for this exciting developmental moment for our Eden, who will be 2.5 years old on August 22.  Praying that she'll be running around with Hayley and Ellen by her birthday.

Almost forgot to share that Theresa brought Eden into the office declaring It must be the boots! (the new hot pink cowboy boots)  But Eden wouldn't stand on her own and then walk to me.  I'll have to wait for another time, hoping that there will be lots of opportunities in the near future.  Heading up for dinner.

Eden's World

Posted by tom | Jul 23, 2007

I know many of you eagerly read the personal and family-type of blog posts (as I do on your blogs!) and I have not been consistent in posting updates.  I realize that Eden is learning so many new things and growing up so quickly I thought I'd share some things about her.


She hears in stereo . . .

Posted by tom | Jul 16, 2007
Without going into details the hearing test today indicates that Eden does hear through both ears.  Either the test at 5 months was a false positive or she has regained hearing in her left ear.  Either way we're pleased and give praise to God for His continued healing of Eden!

Eden's trucking along

Posted by tom | Jul 2, 2007

We realize it's been way too long since we posted any updates on Eden, so here's our attempt to capsulize the last 6 weeks.  I'll make separate posts to make it more manageable to read.  This post explains where she's at with her various therapies. 

In June Eden went through her annual evaluations from all of her therapists (physical, occupational, and speech).  Some things pleasantly surprised us (or gave confirmation to our suspicions) and some things were not surprising . . .


Eden's Collarbone - Update

Posted by tom | May 21, 2007

Thought I'd update you all on Eden's second day, post trauma.  She was much better than I expected today.  She didn't cry with pain at all, as far as I could tell.  I kept her pumped full of Tylenol, but I wouldn't expect that to make a huge difference if she was really in serious pain.  She was even bearing a little weight on her left arm, e.g. bracing herself while sitting.  I think I winced more than she did today when she would lift her arm higher than I thought should be comfortable for her.  But I guess she wouldn't lift it if it hurt her.  She managed to get some food into her mouth using her left hand (her highchair tray is pretty close to her chin), but does reach for things with her right hand too.  She just doesn't have the fine motor skills in that hand to hold objects very well.  She seemed a little swollen and bruised this morning which had me worried that the bone was poking her skin (something I'm supposed to watch for), but it seemed fine later in the day.  I tried an ice pack a few times, but she tired of that quickly.  I'm going to try to take her to her pediatrician tomorrow since I can't get into the orthopedic clinic until Friday.  I'll feel better making sure that everything is how it should be until then.  She slept fine last night (Sat. night).  She was bored this afternoon after not being able to get around by herself all day.  So we went for a walk (Eden in the stroller) down to the farm where we got to see the pigs loaded onto a truck and 2 calves.  She enjoyed that, especially the calves.  To say that Eden is obsessed with babies, of any species, is an understatement. 

PS.  After the girls fell asleep, we left a relative in charge of the house and we went out of the house to decompress over some Rita's Ice. Note:  original post at Eden's broken collarbone

Eden's broken collarbone

Posted by tom | May 20, 2007

Theresa wrote the below in response to Eden's breaking of the collarbone, on the left side, yesterday morning before the family headed out to Marietta Day (Hayley, Ellen, & Tom went to Marietta Day w/the Tom's parents and Theresa went to Hershey Medical Center with Eden).  Please join us in prayer for Eden's quick healing over the course of the next 4-6 weeks, use of sling, and development of the other side of her body for greater mobility and the ability to feed herself.  Also pray for Theresa's continued grace-filledness during the increased time pressure/focus which this will demand.

Eden broke her collarbone on Sat. when she fell off the couch (she was standing on the couch, swatting at Ellen).  After about 30 min. of not being able to console and after checking her out, I was pretty sure something was wrong with her left shoulder.  She cried when she lifted her left arm.  Eden is one tough cookie and doesn't cry at much, and certainly not for any length of time.  She also started to fall asleep in my arms and again laying on the floor.  That was way out of character.  So I took her to the ER at Hershey Med . . .  


Eden's verbiage

Posted by tom | Apr 26, 2007

Last week, the speech therapist observed that Eden has many nouns, but not many verbs and adjectives. She does a lot of imitating, although the words aren't very clear. Most of the day is spent with babies and reading books. What joy to be a two year old!

So, during baby play, we're to bring out verbs like feeding, patting, burping, changing, dressing, etc. When reading, we're to continue to introduce new books, Theresa picked up five new ones at the library today, and talk about verbs, i.e., what is going on in the book.

New words to add to the list include:

ah-ga (all gone)
ba (banana)
bye (very clear)
br (bread)
coo (coat, revised from kee)
ga (glasses)
gr (girl)
huh-wo (hello)
my baby
wo (home)
Previous posts on Eden's verbage include:

Eden's Symmetry
Eden's words

Eden's glasses

Posted by tom | Apr 13, 2007

Eden just came back with her new pair of glasses, to address a slight near-sightedness, her left eye being a little worse.  Pray Eden to adjust well to this new feature of her care.  If you have any suggestions, please let us know.1st pair of glasses, 4/13/07

Funny Tidbit

Posted by tom | Mar 21, 2007

You sometimes forget how idomatic the English language can be, until you speak to a 2 year old.  Today duing physical therapy, Eden's PT was helping her to walk and said "pick up your feet."  So Eden bent over and tried to pick up her foot.  Obviously!!!

Also today Eden picked up the "M" letter magnet and said "mmmm".  What a smart cookie Laughing

Eden's Symmetry

Posted by tom | Mar 17, 2007

This week, the Occupational Therapist (OT) was enthusiastic about Eden's continued progress with using her 2 hands together, particularly during motion songs such as Itsy Bitsy Spider and Where is Thumbkin.  This is no doubt enhanced by the weekly Miracles in Motion class. She is also reaching with and hugging with her right and left hand together.  We're working on stretching her right forearm to enable her to turn her palm up, increasing her right wrist & forearm control.

The PT worked with Eden in order to help her push up to a standing position via a small stool and a therapy ball. Then she worked with Eden in help her learn how to maintain balance once standing and when cruising between parallel supports. We'll continue usuing the therapy ball to develop her standing skills. We're continuing to press on with the walker to introduce backward and movement side to side-to-side, Eden prefers to get around by what she knows best . . . crawling.

As mentioned in Dr. Seuss treatment plan and Eden's words, speech therapy has been moving along as her words are becoming more clear, e.g., Eden used to say mimi now she clearly says mommy and da-dee. She's recently added a number of words to her vocabularly, including: T.J. (Jen Brandt's younger one), ahyo (hello), goo (good), coot (cute), and uck (stuck).

Swing by for a Leapfrog Fridge Phonics concert, the other day she sat on the bench Shayna made for Hayley and Ellen in front of the fridge and repeated a number of letters again and again u, s, h, p, l, w, m, k, t, e, i, z, d, b Smile

To develop her facial muscles, we're going beyond trying to blow out birthday candles (on the real cake and then in books) to blowing cotton balls.  We'll also try straws with thin liquids.  We'll continue to try to work in letter sounds through various ways, the speech therapist recommended letters on cookies and taking advantage of the spelling games the twins bring home from first grade.  Theresa's reading an article on Ways to Encourage Language to explore other possibilities.

Dr. Seuss treatment plan

Posted by tom | Feb 27, 2007

Dr. Seuss has recently provided much care to our family, as There's a Wocket in My Pocket must be read almost continuosly while Eden checks her back pocket for a Wocket. Although she doesn't sound out many of the words in this book, the sounds in Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? find much repitition . . . in addition to the Leapfrog fridge phonics which is going off as I type and the new animal see-n-say.  In an effort to introduce other similar rhyming Suess books to Eden's repetoire, mom checked out a stack from the library.  Alas, none can compare in popularity to Wocket


Eden's Cornea Update

Posted by tom | Feb 6, 2007

News flash: Eden's cornea is much improved. It is no longer irritated as it had been in her January 8 appointment. We'll continue the use of eye drops and she'll have a return visit in 2 months.

As to the slight drift in her left eye, it is not bad enough to require surgery. Her brain probably views images together even though the images not completely aligned. Pray with us for the continued correction of her left eye.

Eden's words

Posted by tom | Feb 5, 2007

As a proud Father, I wanted to post Eden's developing words, i.e., what has gone beyond mama and dada. Our every-other-week house visit speech therapist has been a great encouragement to us as we (and our extended family) seek to teach communication skills to Eden, remember when she started about 1 month ago?

Eden needs to increase her sound repertoire to include sounds other than m, d, g, k and to articulate these sounds with clarity. Three particularly special pieces are

1. Deedee (Eden, how she refers to herself) can be found in the living room with her baby doll saying Ah deedee (ah, baby . . . sometimes sounds more like ah, dayday), singing Ah, la, dee, and feeding her baby a gah (bottle).
2. Watching Deedee pulling up to and using Ack-ah (the walker) in the living room to get around.
3. Her improvement in imitating sounds, particularly songs such as trying Happy Birthday for Eyen and Hiyah.

Other words, and context does matter with regard to meaning, include:


Developmental Surge

Posted by tom | Jan 27, 2007
Eden has been making great strides in speach, expression, and mobility. Most significantly, she briefly walked w/her walker 2x (unaided). Wow! Looking forward to working with her on this tomorrow. We rejoice in your prayers and encouragements during the first years of her fragile life (note: she turns 2 on Feb 22).

Moving and shaking

Posted by tom | Jan 9, 2007

Eden cruises the sofas now and last night she stood on her own for the longest time ever (probably about 10 seconds). She is totally into whatever H and E are doing. And they love it. Ellen especially loves to play with her, dress like her, have the same hair style, etc. We started speech therapy with her. My first assignment is to make a list of her words and their pronounciations. All of Eden's words, with the exception of mama use sounds made in the back of the throat, not with the lips. We're not sure why yet.

She went to the eye doctor on Monday (the first visit to the new doctor). Her cornea in her left eye is not as healthy as it had been so we're trying some new drops. And her left eye is starting to drift out now so we need to increase patching a little bit. Her previous eye doctor warned that that may happen, so I'm not shocked, just disappointed. Eden's also going to start a movement class through the organization that provides her therapy. Actually it started yesterday, but we had to go to the eye doctor.

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