Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents
Cheryl Silinskas

About Cheryl Silinskas

Cheryl Silinskas (PA), is also known as Earlie Girlie's Mom, a 24-week, 816 gram (1 lb. 8oz) micropreemie. Despite having a complicated medical profile, Earlie Girlie has grown into a happy child who inspires people every day. In the NICU, I often thought, “I'm an art therapist, what do I know about physical medicine and keeping a tiny person alive with all of this equipment?” As my daughter blinked at me, and the machines beeped at me, I was determined to figure it out, starting with what I knew best – art, music, storytelling and healing.
As Vice President and Art Facilitator of Art Expression Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, I enjoy my lifelong dream of being an art-helper. Follow my blog, Early Girlie Homeschool. Connect with Cheryl on Facebook at Micro Preemie Support Network, CP Mommies, Daddies, Grandparents and Caregivers, or Tracheostomy.

The Green Onesie

In a landfill somewhere there is a pale green Calvin Klein onesie. But I’ll get to that. Post-NICU, our 24-weeker was about nine months old, home with her dad and me. It was winter, and she had pneumonia. She was trached, on a ventilator with a three-foot radius, she was on oxygen, and she needed […]

Celebrating Holidays in the NICU

Our family spent our first set of fall and winter holidays in the NICU. As a tracheostomy patient, our daughter graduated to the PICU. We have celebrated every holiday at least twice in a hospital…so we know how to party! Here are a few things we did to make the most of the holiday seasons […]

The Effect of Music and Serendipity

We never know when something random will become something important to know. This is my favorite example. When I was in eighth grade in 1988, I had to compete in Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (PJAS). I struggled to weave something I cared about into a science project. I was going to be a helper, […]

10 Embarrassing Things Said by a NICU Dad

Our micropreemie, Zoey, was born at 24 weeks. She was our first child, so we were launched into the NICU with lots of questions and very different approaches to parenting. There are certain stand-out moments that in retrospect I appreciate, but at the time, I was embarrassed by them. Here are ten of the most […]