I wanted to update on a couple of things and then hopefully share some pictures.
FEEDING - Today went well. Eliana had a feeding therapy appointment this morning. She ate some solid foods - and actually swallowed it. She tried bananas and seemed to like them. She also ate some rice cereal. She wouldn't take anything from the bottle however. The therapist used a syringe to put some in her mouth so that she would have to swallow. She noticed that she was having a hard time swallowing and thought it might be worthwhile for Eliana to have a swallow study done. She is planning to talk with someone about this for us.
Later today she actually had two feeding that were much better then the last several days. She has been eating 5-10cc (1/3 of an ounce) on average. Today she had two feeds where she ate 40cc. That is close to 1.5 ounces. Still far from where she should be - but at least she is improving. For several days she has taken close to nothing. I'm hoping and praying she will continue to improve. I'm not sure it will change anything with the G-tube, but it would still be nice.
WHOLEHEARTED - Rebecca took off about a month and a half from making bracelets. We had an incredibly busy time prior to May and she needed a break to finish up some other projects. She has been working hard this week making bracelets (a lot of red, white and blue patriotic ones) and even some earrings and necklaces too. She is working on building up her inventory so that she can try to reach her newest goal. Remember the wild, dreaming, out of reach goal that she set initially - well, she is getting close! Her goal is $5000. She is currently at $4078!
I'm not sure if I mentioned this in a previous entry and thought I'd add it here. Rebecca has had so many people respond to her story in many different ways. It has been a blessing to our family to see how others are touched and want to join in. We have had people make donations of money, beads and gift certificates to buy more craft supplies. We have had friends donate time in helping to make bracelets. We also had one sweet little 7yo girl decide to make and sell bracelets on her own to help Rebecca. She heard the story and her heart was touched and she even donated some of her own money to the cause in addition to the $55 she raised selling bracelets. We have had others volunteer to help sell bracelets, but thus far haven't been able to take them up on their offer as we haven't been able to keep up with demand here. That is a good problem to have. One other person's response that touched my heart was my 7yo son donating $10 of his own money to help his sister's cause. All of this is one more example to me of the body of Christ - working together to bless other families that are facing a medical crisis like the one we have faced. We are so thankful that our daughter has a whole heart! I am even more thankful for the healing God brings to all of our hearts.
I called today and spoke with someone at the Duke Development office. (The same gal I spoke with in March.) She was surprised and excited to hear about Rebecca's sales. The last we had talked she had wanted to reach $1000 before donating the money. She wanted to have me talk with someone there about the publicity and how the donation would be handled. (I'm expecting a phone call tomorrow.) I am excited that they are wanting to make a big deal out of it! It will be a challenge for Rebecca to be the center of attention as she is quiet and a little shy. I think it will be good for her though and know that she will rise to the occassion.
I know that I've promised pictures of her bracelets and have some to share. I'm not sure that the pictures really do them justice. She does beautiful work. Most of the bracelets she makes are out of memory wire with 2-3 coils. These are sold for $10. Many (but not all) of them have metal hearts on them. Here are a few that she has made in a variety of colors.
(She probably wouldn't want me to show these earrings as she can't duplicate those right now. I just liked the picture of the bracelet.)
Tomorrow (Thursday) is a big day! We have eye appointments in the morning. I've been praying that Eliana's eyes are fine. Part of me feels silly as they are what they are - and yet, I'm hoping that they will be fine. That I will hear that she does not need glasses. It is a hard thing to hear that your baby can't see. And a very hard thing to teach a baby to wear glasses. We've done it before - and I'm just hoping not to do it again.
In the afternoon, Eliana has a physical therapy appointment. These are usually fun. The therapist comes to our house which is really nice! Eliana likes to move and it helps to have exercises and games to do with her to help her muscle development.
In the evening we will be welcoming our cousins/aunt/uncle! We are all very excited about seeing them and spending time together. It's been a long time since we have been together.
In closing, I've been reminded again today of how much God loves me. He shows me over and over again. He has used many people to love and encourage me. He has carried me when I was too weak to walk. He has shown me that He is faithful and that He is always with me. He loves you too! You are so precious and beloved to Him!