Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hello friends and family!  Not sure if anyone is still following (It's been nearly a year since we posted that crawling video!?) but we are feeling inspired to write an update.

As many of you know, we moved north to Lyons, CO over the summer.  Ben took a job as music teacher for Lyons Elementary School here.  It is a beautiful and friendly place and we feel lucky to be here.

Lumin is 20 months old now.  She is a talking, running, singing, shouting ball of energy.  This evening we went for a night walk to see some Christmas lights and Lumin decided that she needed to "wear wings!" (her fairy costume) so she wandered around the neighborhood in about 4 layers of winter clothes, a tutu, and wings.  She is full of kisses, loves to sing, and can already tantrum like a 2-year-old :-P  She's also recently become obsessed with bears, especially polar bears.

Her health continues to be great.  Still no signs of any lasting affect from her brain injury.  We found a doctor that we like up here and she was totally amazed to learn Lumin's history.  Lu still has the umbilical hernia that she was born with, but we don't need to do anything about that unless it's still there when she's 3 or 4.

Life is so normal and healthy these days, that I no longer think about her injury every day.  How awesome is that?!  I remember a time shortly after Lumin was born-- I was sitting and thinking, trying to wrap my head around everything that had happened in such a short time.  And I was wrestling with the idea that "everything happens for a reason."  At the time it seemed too terrible to think of any reasons that she would have had to suffer so much, of there being good in it.  I still don't know the reasons.  It's all very mysterious to me.  But one wonderful thing that has come out of the experience for me is gratitude.  So much gratitude.  Instead of thinking about her injury every day, I now think about how awesome it is that she is here with us, that we get to know this little person.  Having such immediate, frequent access to my gratitude is a wonderful gift and it comes from very nearly losing her.  I think it helps me be a better parent than I would have been otherwise.  And I also feel immense gratitude for the people who sent prayers, love, food, and money to keep us going during those times.  Thank you.  We still think of you.  Receiving all of that love and support has changed us forever.  I'm hoping to figure out a way to fundraise to support brain cooling therapy or families of brain-injured babies..... Perhaps to help get a cooling cap to a hospital that doesn't have one?  If anyone has any ideas or suggestions on how to do this type of fundraising, let me know!

Wishing you all love, fun, and peace this holiday season....

Monica (Ben & Lumin)

Sunday, January 8, 2012


Here is a little video of Lumin on the move.  This is especially for Grandma, who has been itching to see little Lumin crawling :)  The past month has been big for Lu--she's cut two teeth and she finally figured out how to crawl forward after months of frustrating backwards scooting and practicing her "downward dog" yoga position.

Lumin had her 9 month check-up last week and everything looked good.  She's almost 28 inches and she weighs 22 lbs 4 ounces.  She's technically a little behind on her gross motor skills because she isn't pulling up to standing yet, but her doctor isn't too concerned and neither are we since we know how focused she's been on crawling efforts.  She's still well within "normal".

We've really enjoyed the past few days.  Lumin's been doing all sorts of new things such as clapping, waving, and crawling to a leg and tugging to be picked up.  It's so fun to watch her figure things out and learn to communicate.  Our 2012 is off to a great start and we wish you all a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

8 months of adorable

It has been a shamefully long time since we wrote a post, but here's a new one for anybody who is still tuned in!  Lumin turned 8 months old 2 days ago.  Still growing and developing beautifully.  Her hair is slowly but surely filling in.  She's enjoying quite a few foods these days, favorites being avocado, blueberry, spinach, and pretty much anything she can feed herself.  She's close to crawling, but for now she makes do by scooting around backwards on her belly or scooting on her bottom.  Much like the kitties, she's very interested in strings, cables, and cords right now.  And plastic bags and wrappers.  Who needs toys?

Because verbal delay was one of the most likely outcomes of Lumin's injury pattern, we had a appointment with a speech therapist about a month ago.  She confirmed that Lumin is right on track for her age. 

Over Thanksgiving break, we made the journey be with family (Monica's) in RI.  Flying was tough on her ears, but Lumin was a champion traveler.  She charmed her extended family, as well as a few random traveling strangers and she saw the ocean for the first time.  After all the excitement we are looking forward to a mellow and cozy Colorado Christmas at home.

Here are a few of our favorite pictures from the last few months.  Enjoy!

Monica, Ben & Lu

Monday, August 1, 2011

Lumin practicing sitting on her 4 month b-day

This past Saturday we attended Memorial Hospital's NICU reunion.  Memories came flooding back.  It was held in the same park we walked laps around while Lumin was in the hospital.  It was amazing and humbling to see the big healthy kids who once were NICU babies and the tiny ones who still need so much support.  We got to see our favorite doctors and nurses and they were so impressed with Lumin's size and personality.  What a journey we've all made in these four months!

Lumin seems to be more active and noisy by the day and has earned herself the title "wiggly wombat".  So far she has only rolled over in her sleep, but she loves sitting and standing with help.  Last month she began the slow work of teething.  No teeth yet, but lots of chomping and lots (and lots) of drooling.  Lumin's also been growing like crazy--15.5 pounds when last weighed!!!!  She is keeping us laughing and building our biceps :)

Monica, Ben & Lu

Friday, July 1, 2011

3 months

Lumin Elise is three months old today!  At this very moment she is happily wriggling without a diaper on--her favorite state now that it's hot out.  We went to see her neurologist on Tuesday and he said that she just might be their "brain cooling miracle baby."  She is right on with her motor development and we got the OK to start weaning her last seizure medication, which means we'll be med free by the end of the month.
Lately Lumin's been keeping busy by learning to grab things.  She's very into her hands and they seem to be moving all the time.  Her current weight is 12 lbs and her length is 24 inches!  It's amazing how fast she's been growing.  Here are some new photos:

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Hi all!

We are so excited to be settling into a slower-paced life now.  Ben has finished school for the year and we look forward to a summer full of gardening, camping, making music, and enjoying being a family.

Lumin is still doing very well.  Her 2 month doctors appointment is in a few days.  We're guessing that she weighs something around 11 pounds now!  She continues to wow and charm us.  She's very active and regularly returns smiles. 

Now that there is (thankfully!) less to report, we will probably only be updating occasionally.  Here are a few recent pictures for y'all.

Lots of love,

Monica, Ben & Lumin