Wednesday, December 29, 2010
We were delighted to have a photographer come to capture some family moments and she's posted a few highlights on her blog. Feel free to stop by: Harms Family Photos
Thanks for sending all the Christmas cards, pictures and family updates. We've loved them!
Happy New Year!
Sara and the crew
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
We have so enjoyed receiving Christmas cards from many of you, and while we couldn't quite pull it together to send one out this year, we do hope your Christmas is filled with shalom. He came so that we might be at peace with God. May it be so for you.
Matt, Sara, Elizabeth, Ruby & Hannah Mae
Sunday, December 12, 2010
endoscopies....it went well. Elizabeth only needed one vein sclarosed,
and Hannah's scope looked good, all her anatomy is normal and her
esopogus showed minor esophogitis, the reason for her bloody vomit.
Elizabeth will continue to get regular scopes and Hannah should
outgrow her hernia and reflux over time. So it's good news on all
fronts. They both recovered beautifully and came home the same
We said goodbye to my mom and niece. We were so thankful for their
visit. Rachel was a fantastic playmate and Granna was super
helpful...and even managed to get matt and I TWO date nights! As
always we were sad to see them go, but we didn't have time to think
about it because we promptly all came down with the stomach flu!
Needless to say, you wouldn't have wanted to read those updates. :)
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
She lost her IV in the wee hours of the morning, (it came out and leaked into her bed) so after a bed/wardrobe change at 5am, she got poked 4 times before they finally got her new IV in! Fortunately, Grandma is a good stand-in for Mommy in the comfort department, and Elizabeth was strong and brave and quickly fell back to sleep. Please join us in praying that this IV stays in until discharge!
Grandma flies back to California tomorrow and then Granna arrives on Wednesday evening, hopefully just after we get discharged! I think we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Goodnight!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Unfortunately, this afternoon I caught her IV infiltrating (leaking out of the vein into the surrounding tissue, causing her elbow to swell) so we had to take out her IV, but the upside to that was we had 3 wonderful hours free of her IV pole and she was amazingly calm when they placed the new one in the same spot on the other arm. We finished the day with a pizza party (I'll post those pics on our blog) and now everyone is tucked in for the night.
We're continuing to experience God's mercies and so appreciate your prayers.
Please continue to pray for:
~Elizabeth to remain fever-free (and our whole family to remain healthy) so she can return home as soon as possible.
~Matt's patient load to continue to be light, so he can complete his work and remain available if Elizabeth needs him
~Ruby & Hannah to be flexible with the daily changes in schedule and caregivers
~Great rest for all of us!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Grandma arrived and immediately her presence was a blessing since the little girls got some TLC and good naps at home and thanks to a sweet visit from our friend & babysitter, I got to go home and take a quick nap! I'm home tonight with Grandma and the girls to get some much needed sleep and Matt's at the hospital with Elizabeth. She's still awake and tossing and turning...pray for her little body and mind to rest!
Thank you for your prayers, your encouraging emails, phone calls and meals! We feel loved on every side and it's remarkable to once again be faced with such a complicated crisis and honestly feel like we're doing well! Matt continues to be able to work because by the grace of God he only has a few patients on service. This RARELY happens for him. Usually when he goes on service he has "the most patients they've had in a month" or some other craziness. But after hearing how things went today I was remembering 4 years ago when we were admitted to UCSF for one of Elizabeth's long stays and Matt was able to continue his residency program AND be fully present in the hospital with us because he had 1 patient on the wards the entire month! That was unheard of. But it was a beautiful picture then and now of how many times God hasn't taken us away from the crisis but has made a path (think red sea) through seemingly impossible circumstances. Personally, I think He's enjoying showing off for us. :) He's good. Thanks for being part of His goodness to us.
A dozen times a day I log a little tid-bit that I want to pass along to encourage you how well God is taking care of us in answer to your prayers. I would love more time to write eloquently of his faithfulness, describe the nuances of his kindnesses to us. But tonight, I only have energy for a list:
~Our sweet nurse "doesn't believe in waking sleeping children"...so Elizabeth got much needed rest.
~A sweet friend got some groceries for me so I could sleep instead this afternoon.
~Elizabeth is perky, compliant, cheerful, flexible and simply the best patient a hospital could hope for. She makes hospital stays EASY (except for the insomnia thing!) :)
~Delicious Harvest Bisque with grilled cheese on french bread for dinner thanks to another foodie friend.
~Coffee and visitors at just the right time yesterday. And a friend to distract Elizabeth so I could talk with yet another team of doctors who wanted "the whole story".
~A Grandpa who is willing to spend his 60th birthday alone and send his bride of 39 years on a plane to be with his ailing granddaughter.
~Friends who care for, love and enjoy our daughters so I can be at peace in the hospital with Elizabeth.
~Matt works AT the hospital where Elizabeth is admitted. He RARELY has to take a vacation day and is always only a phone call and a few steps away.
~What appeared to be a really sad development a month ago--Hannah needed to be weaned and only takes formula from a bottle--has become a tremendous blessing: She's thriving and we have the flexibility to leave her with Grandma or a friend when I can't keep her with me at the hospital.
~lastly for tonight...a sweet video of Elizabeth taken at the height of her fevers on Wednesday night...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzLqt8RYvAI
Goodnight sweet friends,
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Elizabeth spent her 5th birthday getting much better. It appears the antibiotics have finally started working. As you'll see below, she's feeling better and starting to act more like herself. Folks from around the hospital and around town stopped by or sent gifts and Elizabeth felt properly celebrated despite her location.
It's now almost 11pm and Sara just called me to say that Elizabeth still hasn't fallen asleep. Typically, just as she's starting to get better, Elizabeth gets a more than a little maniac and seems driven to catch up on all the talking and playing she missed while really sick. Pray that she'll give Sara some peace and quiet tonight...
The photos attached take you from pre-sick, to really sick, to getting better, to the events of the Birthday, to her cupcake inspired insomnia:
Happy Birthday Daddy! (Sunday 10/10)
Sweet Elizabeth in her "comfort zone"
Birthday Breakfast: Chocolate Chip Cookie!
At mommy's recommendation, Elizabeth tried Chocolate Milk for the first time in honor of her birthday....her response? "MMMMmmm tastes like.....quesadilla!"
For a girl who loves her quesadillas, that's a high compliment!
Princess Balloons from Ms. Megan!
Happy Birthday Princess Elizabeth!
Birthday's over, NOW WHAT??
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tomorrow is Elizabeth's 5th birthday. She also spent her 2nd birthday at Children's, so she's no stranger to important days passing, but it seems sadder to us this time around. Pray that we'll have some creative idea for how to mark the day despite our circumstances.
Thanks to everyone for their prayers...more info when we have some.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27: 1, 13 & 14
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
and all that I must do
too much for my small strength.
When at length
the day is through,
shall I find
I failed to tap
the Infinite Resources
forever open to the weak
Shall I die
for my sake
--who would not
--Ruth Bell Graham
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
So our little angel is growing up. Praise be to God. There were definitely seasons when we wondered if we'd see this day!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
evening! (In the interest of full disclosure, Matt yanked it out
(gently of course) since it was barely hanging on and the new ones
were already growing in behind it.) Elizabeth is ecstatic. She's got
the tooth ready for the tooth fairy and we've now got to decide what
kind of precedent said tooth fairy wants to set.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Thank you Jesus.
And thank you Jesus for our sweet girl. I learn so much from being her mommy.
This picture was taken on Monday at her ENT apt. I have to take her in every week or two to get her ears cleaned out with a special tool....despite the smile you see here, it's NOT fun for her. But as usual she's a champ. I also had both Hannah and Ruby with us at this appointment, all squeezed in this tiny little room. Her Dr. had to lay her down and use this huge microscope to help them see into her ear, and she needed to be held down so they didn't puncture her eardrum while cleaning it. Poor thing! Unfortunately, Hannah started wailing and wanting to eat at the same time and I asked Ruby to pat her and instead she started giving her the bottle I had resting in the stroller! She said she was being a "good big sister". I couldn't agree more. Would it be wrong to ask her to take over the night time feedings??
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Elizabeth has a ton of appointments this month. We had 5 last week and we have 3 more this week, as well as a check up for Hannah. Here's the brief synopsis:
~She's stable as far as GI is concerned, and we've got her next endoscopy scheduled for the end of September.
~Then today we visited ENT to continue working on getting her left ear cleared out. She still has a persistent fungal infection in her canal, but the good news is, it looks good...still "funky", but not any worse than a month ago. Because her ear looked good, and with a successful audiogram under our belts, we decided to try for the left ear and she did great! She gave an accurate test we were thrilled that the results were the same as for the right ear!! She has normal hearing except for 1 frequency! So between her two ears, her hearing is pretty close to normal!! Praise God!
~We'll see her dentist tomorrow and Cardiology on Wednesday and both of these are just check-ups, so we don't anticipate any big news from them. However, Elizabeth will get a dental cleaning, which is pretty traumatic for her, and an EKG, which as the last procedure in a LONG list of appointments, is also pretty stressful. So please pray for her state of mind and ability to know that these won't hurt her.
In other news, Hannah will be 2 months old on Wednesday and is doing great. While things are still pretty crazy, it has been a complete blessing to have her join our family. Matt leaves for a Neuromuscle conference in Naples, Italy on Thursday and will be gone for 9 days. That means the girls and I will be "winging it" at home, missing him terribly and surviving on quesadillas, grilled cheese & carrot sticks for a while. (that sounds like complete nutrition...doesn't it??) We'd appreciate your prayers for smooth travel for him and for a grace-filled week and a half for us. Please pray that Elizabeth remains healthy while Matt's gone (I'm NOT ready for a hospital stay!) and that I miraculously have joy, patience and energy even on little sleep.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Thursday, June 3, 2010
We've had a busy few weeks...Hannah's doing great. She's a great baby (translation: doesn't do too much crying, and does lots of sleeping) and the girls are still over the moon for the newest little princess. This week we're enjoying a visit from Grandma and Grandpa Harms and trying to remain in denial about the fact that very soon we'll be doing this on our own! Eeek! Here are a few pictures of Hannah's first few days...
Getting ready for our first Dr. appointment ~ 3 days old
Our Little Peanut ~ 4 days old
First Bath ~ 6 days old
First Taste of Chocolate Cake ~ 1 week old
First Backyard Playdate with Elizabeth & Ruby
First smile ~ 12 days old