Thursday, December 31, 2009

tiny happenings and passing thoughts during this year...

January: Pregnant with hope, anticipation, anxiety, happiness and of course 3 precious babes...quitting the job I loved to try and keep them safe...selling the Jeep I adored and buying a used Sequoia to try to make room...having the most amazing baby shower (seriously-this thing was like a small wedding reception) I could have ever dreamed of...hearing Brent tell me I was beautiful - over and over...being admitted to the hospital at 20 weeks - on March 19th - only to be told that the odds of bringing home even one baby were slim to none - much less the 3 I had kicking in my (40+ week measuring) belly...clarity, focus on nothing but enjoying each moment I had left with my little ones safe and warm...the fastest, most horrific yet amazing month I would venture to say I'll ever have...seeing firsthand just how much an unbelievable amount of meditation and prayer can do...

April 19th: a MAJOR operation...3 babies...first thought, "put them back!!!"...first feeling - gut-wrenching pain (emotional over physical)...feeling lucky to say, "hello" to baby Kuylen...saying, "goodbye"...pumping (I kid you not) every 2 hours without fail for a full 2 weeks in an effort to get my milk in (seriously, I think Brent could have produced breastmilk at that point)...feeling the grass under my feet and the sunshine above for the first time in just over a month...being able to touch David's hand for the first time when he was a few days old...the first time I left the hospital grounds in almost 2 months was to go to the funeral home with Brent to sign paperwork for Kuylen...the heartbreak and fear I felt when I learned David needed an operation at just 10 days old when he was still under a pound...fogging up his isolette window with tears begging him to pull through and promising him that if he would just produce wet, dirty diapers and breathe on his own, we'd be the proudest parents EVER!!! (a promise I still stick to today)...holding Mary Louise for the first time on mothers' day...holding David for the first time almost a month later...going to Damon's law school graduation just a day or 2 after getting mastitis, pumping in the car on the way...holding both babies (at the same time)just before I left to help make arrangements for Mommom...loosing so much more than a's June now...

Transferring to another hospital with David for his eye surgeries - something we were so hoping we'd not have to do...being absolutely overwhelmed by the immense support of family, friends, strangers, work colleagues, distant relatives and many many more...ahh - beautiful humanity- you don't get enough credit...running after Mary Louise like a mad-woman in the parking lot and hospital when she was transferred in (ha - I still laugh about that)...getting the baby's footprints and a photo taken by their nurses for Brent's birthday...Mimi and Granddaddy coming to the NICU to see the babies for the first time...the babies reaching 4 pounds...having to sit and watch the EMS crew load David up and transfer him back - because he needed to gain another 1/2 pound before coming home...getting to take Mary Louise home from the New Orleans area - the loooooong drive and how well she did...stopping to breastfeed just off the interstate (ha again)...seeing a baby in this house for the first time...David coming home one week later...

August through December is quite a blur - filled with diaper change after diaper change...too many (good) sleepless nights to count...colic babies...colic babies...colic babies...the dreaded reflux...Mary Louise being put back on oxygen for one month - and how wonderful it was to see her face again the day she got to get rid of it!...seeing us all on the couch TOGETHER for the first time...remembering tiny Kuylen with pride, sorrow, and grateful peace...still being is complete awe of the support of our friends, family and not so complete strangers (anymore)...visits from family and friends in which we never left the house - just stayed here and played with our little ones for days!...David's babbles and coos...Mary Louise rolling for the first time...first cereal!

And finally - this year I've gained 75 pounds and lost 62 (ha - never thought I'd say that!)...I've re-prioritized - many times- but never changed my top ranking "family" spot...Brent and I have been through some of the most difficult, tumultuous heartache I think anyone can go through and have come out much much closer than I NEVER realized we could be...I've learned more lessons than I wanted to learn, aged more than I wanted to age - both spiritually, mentally and (gulp) physically - but I aim to do a little something to fix the latter - however, I hold each moment, each experience in my heart as a contributor to the bigger picture of what we are - a family - and I look forward to see what this next year will bring.

Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season and happy happy new year!


What a week

We have had my mom and youngest brother (Sean) here all week as Sean has had some MD appointments here in town. This weekend, Collin should be making a pass through as well. The babies are doing well with the visitors as we make sure to keep their schedule constant regardless of what we have going on otherwise. They are getting a bit more mobile each day - working on rolling, and the newest crawls which Mary Louise is working very hard to do. They seem to have figured out that if they want "that toy", all they need to do is find a way to move their little bodies over to get it!

They are also getting more and more interested with what we have on our plates, in our hands, etc. Starting solids is not that far off I'd say...Brent and I have long discussed getting back to our almost vegetarian, low sodium diets we maintained prior to THE pregnancy. Looks like our day of reckoning is coming sooner rather than later. It's very important to us to set a good example for our little ones. We aren't far off now - but definitely need to "trim the fat" so to speak in a few more areas.

So we've been quite busy here and it doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. I often feel that there simply aren't enough hours in the day to get things done. I must stop in the moments that I'm overwhelmed, take a deep breath, re-focus and see the smiles on the little ones' faces - the laundry can wait - there's tummy time to be had.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Merry Little Christmas

So we expected 6, cooked for 12 and only had 3...Brent's family didn't make it to us this Christmas as Ma Mere was concerned that she may be coming down with something. Though we were disappointed that they couldn't make it, we set out to enjoy the day at any rate.

Damon (my older brother) was here for a few days. We cooked, visited, played with babies, walked, chatted, and really had ourselves a Merry Little Christmas (as trite as that sounds). Brent and I had done pretty much all of the cooking during the 2 days before so on Christmas day, we popped the turkey in and were done! The rest of the day, we lounged, opened the wonderful gifts we had here and just enjoyed our little family.

Mary Louise and David did not take a decent nap for almost 3 days however with all the excitement of presents and people so yesterday, when all was quiet, they both fell fast asleep for some of the longest naps they've taken since they've been home! (I took advantage and Brent graciously conceded to let me sneak off and take a much needed nap myself at that time!)

David gave us the gift of eating on his own - holding the spoon and proudly slopping cereal on his nose, eye and finally in his mouth. He is such a hard worker! Mary Louise is getting interested once again in rolling over. She did it front to back again yesterday and of course looked at me as if it was nothing special afterward.

David eating...

We had a really nice surprise visit from Brent's very good friend Shane and his parents on the 26th. As Shane lives out of town now, we see him on rare occasions but are always so glad when he drops in!

We look forward to the rest of my brothers making it here in the next week or so. Collin is in from his island medical school and as we don't travel well, has agreed to make the trip here to see us instead! It will be so nice and such a rare treat to see him.

Hope everyone had wonderful holidays, a very Merry Christmas and is planning a Happy New Year!

Oh and I almost forgot - the excitement of the day was the oven catching on fire! Ha - I put the sweet potatoes in to warm but the turkey had apparently dripped a bit earlier in the day. Just after I put the potatoes in, the bottom of the oven caught fire. Possibly the best part was my ridiculous reaction...I stared at it for a second (delayed), closed the oven door (denial), waved my hands overhead (completely non-productive), and pointed at the closed oven while yelling, "there's a fire in there - come quick - I don't know what to do!" (ha- alarmist). So, obviously, I will not be a fire fighter any time soon. Way to save the day Heather. Thankfully, Damon walked up, blew on it - and it went right out - nothing hurt.

Christmas 2009


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Precious moments

I just love watching Mary Louise and David interact. They have such sweet moments with one another- playing, "chatting", holding hands, exploring their surroundings. They seem to comfort one another as well.

I got a few photos of them - a difficult task as they are mesmerized by cameras and the sounds they make.

dec 23 2009

Cooking for Christmas 2009 is well underway here. Hopefully, it will turn out nicely - if not, at least I know we'll have good company.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Miss Mary Louise

So, our little Mary Louise is determined to use a spoon - all by herself!...

She's doing such a great job!! David is eating very well from a spoon too - just not as interested in doing it by himself yet. He is, however, very interested in playing with the keyboard on his Leap Frog learning table and with how things work - he seems to study and analyze everything while Mary Louise does more of the shaking and throwing of things. (wild woman!) Yesterday, Mary Louise also surprised me when I went to pick her up - she put her hands out in a "hold me" stance!

They just learn more and more each day - so exciting to see what this day will bring!

Sean's Visit Dec 2009


Monday, December 21, 2009

hubby of the year!

I went to run a few errands this afternoon - they (of course) took much longer than expected. When I got home, Brent was on the sofa with the babies - a proud grin on his face. He had (after a full day of work) taken them on a walk, bathed them and readied them for bed, gave them their medicines, and was feeding them "dinner"!!

Thank you so much Brent for all of your work.

I'm (once again and always) a lucky girl.

eww cooties...

With the peak of RSV and flu season fast approaching we are renewing our efforts to quarantine our little ones from illness of any kind - but especially respiratory bugs. If they get even a tiny cold, it would be likely to land them right back in the hospital and very quickly on a ventilator with their present lung condition (they have chronic lung disease).

Accordingly, upon entering our home visitors will be required to remove their shoes or use the hospital grade cleaning wipes that I have here to clean the soles. There will under no circumstances be any shoes allowed in the playroom - this is really the only place the babies are put on the floor right now. Immediate and proper handwashing is a must - followed by the antibacterial gel we have by the sink. Proper handwashing means rubbing your hands together vigorously for the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.

Please do not "get in" the babies' faces, put their hands in your mouth (they grab at faces an awful lot now) or put your hands in their mouths (umm - they also attempt to put everything in their mouths).

Only healthy adults who have not been ill nor been around anyone else who was ill for the previous 10 days will be allowed to visit. This means as long as that "little cough" or "just a sniffle" lingers, our door is closed.

It is one of my greatest wishes that these babies prove their momma a complete over-protective lunatic. I will (I promise) wear the title proudly if it means that they stay healthy and thereby allow their lungs the best possible chance at healing. We are hoping to relax a little in the spring / summer months but for now are remaining vigilant in our efforts to keep our babies home and healthy.

We are so thankful for the support and compliance thus far and feel that we truly are doing what's best for our little ones - no matter how hard and isolating it is for us to keep them under wraps.

Much love and happy holidays to all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

All the single ladies!

So Brent went to the Saints game tonight...about 3 hours away - and is staying the night with his parents...are you catching on? That's right, home alone (well me, 2 babies, 3 dogs and a cat - so as alone as I'm going to be these days). Getting a taste of the single mom life...props to you single moms. That's all I can say about that.

Thank you Brent for coming home each night, waking up in the wee hours with David, letting Tootle out for literally the 6th time AFTER midnight so I can get just a few minutes of the uninterrupted sleep I so desperately need to function during the day. Ha - 2 babies?! At least I have 2 arms in which to cradle them I suppose.

They really have been good sports though. We've walked twice today - and in the jogging stroller to boot! We've done about 5 miles altogether with about 1/2 a mile of actual running. That's a record for us I'd say. Even David fell asleep in the stroller today. We have played, sang (ok I did the singing), bounced, giggled and fussed - all together.

They are actually resting for the moment - at 6:30 no less. So, I'm trying to take advantage and get a good pumping session in and possibly have some dinner (though the dinner part may be asking a bit too much I realize).

So far so good though. Go Saints!

Poo - the Saints lost! Oh well (ok - you can tell I'm a not so avid football fan right?) Last night ended up going quite well if I do say so myself. Today was much of the same routine - except we did our early walk again! The babies have now tolerated the stroller 2 days in a row!! We also started to throw in an extra cereal time - and an extra teaspoon per baby! They are eating and eating - and seem to really love it!

Brent is back and we are so so happy to have him home again.


P.S. The babies are 8 months old now! (*gulp* - can you believe it?!)

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Baby

We've had a wonderful visit with my youngest brother Sean (Uncle Bean). After settling into our routine for a day or so, he got the hang of things...and seemed to even get used to the noise around here - even the 5am fiascoes.

Sean is "the baby" of 5. He's always loved being the baby - and used it as an excuse to get his way until...well he still at the age of 20 uses it actually. We are all very caudal ed by my mother who is forever doting on one or all of us. Despite all of that - despite being well aware that he is in fact the baby and the youngest, etc., for some reason it escaped me that he's never really been around babies. Ha - poor guy comes here, and for the life of me I can't figure out why he isn't the master rocker, bouncer, jiggler - why it isn't just second nature after all these years of...oh yeah - I'm 10 years older than him. Right...So, being the good sport that he is, he caught on and by day 2 was a little more comfortable and even handled both of the babies for short times so that I could pump! So, way to go Sean! You definitely got thrown in here, but did just fine! Thanks so much for your help!!

Will post photos soon.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Chow time!

Ok, I'm running out of witty sayings to convey that the babies are in fact eating cereal so this may be my last post about the matter...maybe not - but I realize that I'm over zealous in writing about it. Having said that...

Mary Louise has gone, in the past 2 days, from not eating and actually gagging when cereal touched her royal palate to opening her mouth happily (yesterday) to grabbing the spoon and "do it myself mommy!". She also has started to fuss and point when I feed David and gets quiet and opens her mouth when I turn the spoon to feed her. Ha- little firecracker she is. I will say this for the both of them though - they do all things on their terms - in their time - but when they do finally make a decision to start something, they commit wholeheartedly!

I had to take some pictures- they just crack me up - some favorites...

From feeding time!

From feeding time!

and the album...
feeding time!


P.S. We're so excited that the semester is over and Uncle Bean has been able to come for a quick visit! oh and also - I hope I didn't loose anyone by changing the look of the blog- it was time for something new.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Open the hanger!

Mary Louise has decided to begin eating! She giggled when I brought out the cereal this morning and opened her mouth big and wide just like David does! Although she's quite sloppy - drooling and sticking her tongue out - she seemed to enjoy the whole thing. I love that things have progressed slowly with their snacking excitement. It's given me the time I needed to process the new as well - not such a traumatic experience for any of us - always good.

They ate all that I'd made - estimated at a heaping teaspoon each - then I followed up with their bottles / nursing. I try to stop the spoon feeding early every time - keeps them smiling when they see it reappear later.

They've otherwise been quite a fussy pair today - always the weathermen - they are wild before a storm!

The weekend was nice. I went to lunch with a good friend on Saturday. It ended up being the longest I've left the little ones since they've been home. Brent did a FABULOUS job! I compare leaving without them to leaving the house without my left arm (I'm right handed). So I can function without it, but it's really hard - and I am so keenly aware that something very important is missing. Kudos to Brent for holding down the house while I got some much needed "me" time though.

That's the exciting news to date - there are some videos mixed in with this album as I have been unable to upload to You Tube lately...the quality isn't as good with just Picassa, but you can still get the idea.

christmas tree 09


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sweet Kuylen

Tonight we lit a candle for our sweet little jelly bean Kuylen Stafford as a part of a movement done by an international bereavement group. One little light for our tiny baby boy. Our son. Honestly, there are no words to appropriately describe any of this - though I sure have tried in my own feeble way.

My Kuylen,

You will forever live in my heart and be on my mind. I still-and always will- remember your soft kicks, your ultrasound wiggles, your sweet peaceful final grin when all was quiet and there were no more tubes, no more machines and you were able to gently fade away in our arms. I can still trace your features in my mind - your nose, your eyes, your mouth, your tiny tiny toes. 10 little fingers. My perfection. Our beautiful gift. Our lesson in grace, strength, and knowing when to let go - no matter our agony or perceived need.

My angel. I am so so proud to be your mom.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

star pupils!

We had truly an amazingly busy morning yesterday! The babies' entourage showed up in full force - all expected visits - I should have figured everyone would somehow show at the same time!

Plan was: house keepers typically come at 8am for 2 hours, home health before 11am (around 10:30), physical therapy and case worker to come between 10:45 and 11am - that way, everything would be done for their typical long nap at 12 or so...

In general what actually happened...
Case worker was the first to show at 10:45 followed closely by PT at 11. Luckily, I just planned for us to be holed up in the playroom for the morning which is what we typically do anyhow - except for naps...Brent and I cleaned the playroom the night before, arranged their activity areas and I made little spots for each to nap. I had bottles and diapers ready to go - I even had a protein bar for me! (I really hate interrupting the cleaning service when they're here). So, we'd actually been set up since about 7:30 in there - the babies played, ate, and napped and were rested and full for the therapy session. (umm - pat on my back please for such good planning - ha - as if they don't just do what they will anyhow!) So, pt, and case worker were here and started.

Mary Louise was first. Actually the case worker just comes every couple of months to review progress and go over new goals. She and the PT are very sweet and LOVE the babies (as the babies seem to do them as well- an another necessary side note - how could you not love these babies!) so I really get excited about their visits as it's a chance to get a decent in house evaluation and get a little pro feedback on Mary Louise and David's status. As the physical therapist started to work with Mary Louise, all I heard was "ooo's" and "ahh's" and "my goodness! Heather! She looks amazing!" Oh I was so proud! Mary Louise really seemed to enjoy the whole thing and "performed" beautifully!

We discussed my concerns about her - eating, rolling over a couple of weeks ago and then suddenly not being so interested, and where do I go from here to promote further development - all "normal" concerns considering their corrected age, and the fact that ultimately, I would like to encourage them as much as possible while they seem to be so so interested.

Phone rang: home health nurse: "Heather I'm running way late. (it was 11:30 now) I'm heading in your direction to see Mary Louise." Me, "(sigh- I'd been up and entertaining or feeding or cleaning since 5am) ok, well she's done with her therapy now so if you're on your way, we'll get this done before her nap."

Knock on door: housekeepers here. I gave them a quick run down. Luckily for me, the pt and case worker have gotten comfortable enough with us to take care of both babies for a few minutes when stuff like this happens. The babies were just fine.

Back to therapy: David's turn: He was so funny. He'd been awake and done eating for awhile and was content for a bit just watching Mary Louise but by the time it was his turn, he was so ready to strut his stuff that he was dancing and "agoo-ing" before the therapist ever got to him! He did beautifully as well. She seemed very impressed with both of them saying, "you know, I would have been perfectly happy with LESS progress than that! They've done incredibly well today and have made HUGE strides since last month!"

Meanwhile, the home health nurse arrived to weigh and measure Mary Louise - 21 inches long - 10 pounds 11.5 ounces = completely ridiculous weight gain since her pedi visit! (David was not due for a check so she left after seeing Mary Louise)

We discussed a few exercises for the little ones - their upper body is the constant source for their weak areas - they need to gain strength in their arms and chest to make it to their next milestones...CRAWLING AND SITTING UP!!!! Oh I'm so thrilled with the possibilities!

Perhaps the biggest immediate deal of the day? They made it through ALL of that excitement WITHOUT CRYING!!!! My goodness, to be honest, I was the one feeling a bit over stimulated after all that. They promptly went to sleep after their appointments though Miss Mary Louise had other plans and didn't sleep for long - about 30 minutes and she was done and ready to eat and play again.

Last night though, they were still a bit tired and went to sleep in good time. Brent and I then had a make shift date night- he picked up food from one of our favorite restaurants and I surprised him with a crystal and Christmas china set - up complete with a nice glass of wine on his return (um - because who needs a holiday for crystal and china I say?) We were even able to eat and visit uninterrupted!

Good day - congrats babies for all of your hard hard work!!!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

our olympian

Mary Louise just had, seriously, the BEST bath ever!! I really think she swam the distance of an Olympic sized pool - in place! She kicked her little legs so hard, splashed herself, me, and the floor (that's quite a feat considering her size and the fact that there was only a few inches of water in the tub!) She was just precious - wiggling around and having a grand time.

This was a much needed happy bath as she has been quite slow to warm up (ha) to the idea of the grown up tub. She was fine for the first time or 2 we tried it, but after that, she would panic. I've been working with her little by little to try to get her used to the idea - and tonight, she came around!

It was really wonderful and I just had to share. Unfortunately, I am still unable to upload any videos so I'll have to just get some photos on here tomorrow. Not sure what's happening with that...

good night all!

wait, what just happened?!!

My goodness. It's 3:20pm now and one or the other baby has been up since 3:30am. They had slept on 3 hour blocks for a few night but before we got too spoiled...Craziness! David has been quite the little clinger today but did manage to calm down just enough to allow himself an afternoon nap. He has also been quite the eater...he's nursed, taken his bottle and eaten from a spoon a few times. He LOVES to play "airplane" with his cereal and opens his mouth (aka hanger) every time now.

Mary Louise is still a bit finicky about cereal and honestly, today, wants nothing but a bottle ("filled to the top please mom!").

Their appetites are amazing - and seem to be growing by the day - or the hour! I am thankful for such good eaters - I've heard some horror stories from other preemie parents - and I've also heard that "to catch up" preemies have to grow quite a bit faster than term babies during their first 2 years...I can confirm the latter thank you!

We're having lots of fun here with play time. The babies get really into things now. They are grabbing, watching, tracking, squeezing, pulling, pushing - and learn a bit more everyday. They love the soft lights and sounds. They are absolutely fascinated by the Christmas tree. (which by the way, took us exactly 3 days to complete but was well worth the trouble to see their little faces go into that amazed stare when we turned the lights on in the dim light of evening).

We have our at home physical therapy tomorrow so I'm kind of excited to see what they're going to do - and what our next goals are as far as their medical care goes.

Just a quick update - Daddy's home!!! must run!


Monday, December 7, 2009

little cookie monsters

The cereal feeding is coming along slowly. I try a few bites each day and have ended up putting the tiny remaining spoonfuls in their bottles in an effort to see if they seem to feel a bit better. The system has worked. They get a tiny bit in the early morning, nap, then play and then get a tiny bit at the end of their day in their "good night" bottles. I still try to breast feed relatively regularly but they are pretty much stuck at their current levels - they latch and feed but can't seem to get the hind milk and are never (and I mean NEVER) satisfied with just breastfeeding so I must pump and bottle feed afterward.

The spoon feeding is a bit of hit or miss. Most days, one or the other "goes crazy" over it - but even if they aren't insanely excited about it on a particular day, they will typically take a bite or 2 and they seem to have fun exploring the new taste and texture with their hands, noses, and mouths. Mary Louise still has a bit of a tongue thrust which comes into play most days but she periodically controls it enough to get a legitimate bite in there somewhere. They don't seem to have GI upset over it though their stools have definitely changed (for the stinkier) in both smell and frequency. (ok - maybe that was a little too much info there...).

They do seem to be sleeping better. Overall, they eat the same amount but the little bits of cereal seem to actually make them satiated whereas before (and in hind sight) they were wanting to feed more and more often but could never seem to get enough to satisfy their needs. I think (this is completely my opinion) that their small size was limiting their ability to take in the amount they needed to meet their caloric requirements. With the cereal, they seem more relaxed (again, in hindsight) and are in fact sleeping a little better - back to 2 feedings during the night rather than the constant waking and feeding we were doing before.

Also, their spitting up is minimal - if it happens at all. For the first time since they've been home, we've had days - whole days- in which they didn't spit up at all! So, despite my extreme wariness, they seem to be doing well for now with the introduction of rice cereal.

Mary Louise has started to not only help hold her bottle every time she's fed, but sometimes she is actually able to hold it herself if it is more than half done. She is also trying to sit up when we lean her against a Boppy pillow - using only her abdominal muscles! When she plays with the Leap Frog table, she almost insists on doing it while being assisted in standing (yes, I said standing...) some of the photos show here doing this. She sort of leans against the table for support and plays with the buttons. We try with her sitting on a knee or in a lap, but she squirms about until we put her in a standing position - miss independent - I can almost hear her say, "no mommy, I do it MYSELF!"

David is still working so hard at turning from back to front by himself. He's almost there, but that pesky arm of his keeps acting as a speed bump and interrupting his momentum when he rolls back and forth. He also loves the keys on the Leap Frog table! (actually, more so than Mary Louise who is sometimes a bit timid with such new fangled lights and sounds) He is helping to hold his bottle consistently and was quite the champ at eating and chewing this morning. With his short frenulum, he has actually had a bit of an easier time learning how to keep the cereal in his mouth and seems to enjoy taking bites and getting praise.

In addition to all of their other strides, they are both "asking" for things they want if they are in their line of vision. For example, if their bottle is on a table or floor area that is almost within reach they make noise (fuss, grunt, cry) while looking and reaching for it. This also applies to toys they like, etc. Accordingly, we are hoping to teach them a few signs in the near future.

Enjoy the photos! We had a great visit with Brent's parents this weekend!

sidenote: I have been having quite the unsuccessful time with uploading videos to You Tube. We've also had a bit of trouble with our wireless internet - hopefully, I'll get them up soon...
Dec 09

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Silly Mom!

I forgot to mention on their check-up day that we got almost to the pedi's office (which is literally walking distance from our house - actually I would walk if it weren't on such a busy road) and I looked at my feet...there they were, my fuzzy pink slippers.

How ridiculous. We came back home, I ran in and got some more appropriate foot wear and double checked to make sure I had pants on as well!

I may just have to start dedicating a weekly post to my mishaps and inadvertent embarrassments judging by the way things have been going!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mary Louise, Mom and the yellow hat

Ok - when I posted this picture before, why didn't SOMEONE (Mom) ANYONE (Mom - Mommom - whatever you want to be called today - MOM) tell me that her hat was on upside down?! This was my old hat, sweater and booties ensemble.

From 4 mile hike - Sam Houston - Nov 09

This is the way it SHOULD look...
From first cereal nov 2009

The problem? The stinkin' hat doesn't stay on properly if it's backwards! Ha- poor Brent held onto the thing for most of our 4 mile walk that day and kept saying, "she looks like she's German." I suppose she did look a bit Gretal-ish...

Anyhow, I put it away and conceded that she may never get to wear Mom's old duds as they weren't very practical - until yesterday. I decided to try again (maybe she needed to grow or something?) I tried them on again and after studying the hat for a bit, realized it was a Bishop style and turned the thing around.

pft - I never claimed I was a baby wear guru...Sorry Mary Louise. But really - if this is the most harmful blunder I've made thus far as a parent (though I have a sneaky feeling it's not...), I think we're going to be a-ok! (I am quite entertained by my silly novice parent self though)


Here are the rest of the photos from the album...
first cereal dec -09

Bite number one - a little bit of fun...

****I've tried all day to upload the videos and there seems to be an issue with You Tube. I'll try again tomorrow and edit this post with them later - but here's the dish anyhow...***

We tried cereal for the first time this morning - just a bite or 2 each. I opted for the spoon approach for a few reasons...1. I spoke to a few other moms whose pedi told them not to put cereal in a bottle and to introduce the spoon at the time of the cereal intro. in anticipation of foods to come. 2. That is the same thing the pedi I worked with while in clinicals told me and would tell all of the new moms that came through the clinic. 3. I thought that using a spoon would be a fun experience for them - if they were in fact ready for it- allow them to explore texture, taste, and coordinate their tongues and swallow at the same time (my they have big jobs). 4. I love making messes with food (ha there's a reason I said WE tried cereal today...). and 5. I was bothered by the fact that when Brent asked our pedi if we could just use a spoon, he said, "if you want to, but it takes longer." (he obviously doesn't know me very well if he thinks "taking longer" will deter me from something that will otherwise benefit the babies).

So we tried...Mary Louise went first and I think did pretty well. They both made "umm what is that?" faces for their first impressions. But she actually took a few legitimate bites and kept her tongue in her mouth pretty well to swallow it.

David tried to help with the spoon which I was pretty excited about! He was not just crazy over the cereal - but in his defense - in the video, he was umm "busy". (I have said multiple times in this big blog that the cornerstone of nursing is poop - can you? how do you? what does it look like? - it seems this is one huge parallel between nursing and "mom-ing" - yes, mom, you were right - no surprise there.)So, after a few minutes and a diaper change, we made another - much more successful go of things...until he sneezed. Oh yes, I will be scraping cereal flakes off of Heaven knows what in their little playroom for YEARS to come.

So, I think we were successful enough to try again later. But ultimately, I will continue with my original goal of pumping / breastfeeding / providing at least some fresh milk (and therefore MUCH needed immunities) for the little guys through their second birthday. (i.e. the 2 most crucial RSV / flu seasons. Fair enough?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

ch ch ch changes - and a check-up!

David has gone full throttle on his mission to flip over from back to front. I don't have the heart to tell the little guy that it's easier from front to back. He grunts and groans and kicks his leg back and forth for momentum. He rocks back and forth from side to back in an effort to gain enough gusto to make it all the way over. Oh my little teeter totter. He's made it to his front almost completely on his own twice today!! He grins and big proud grin once there then promptly smashes his face into the blanket and bursts into tears until I flip him back so he can start again.

Mary Louise has shown first signs of being interested in turning from back to front - though she hasn't quite figured out just yet how to get that pesky elbow out of the way! She has a fizzled interest as of late when it comes to rolling from front to back, but I know she can do it - I just haven't found her proper incentive yet to get her to do it all the time.

We went to the pedi today for their (late) 6 month shots and check-up (they are a few weeks behind on their shots because of the way they fell after their eye surgeries and transfers back to Lake Charles.) Anyhow, they did very well. The doctor was quite impressed with their growth and progress. Mary Louise is 10 pounds 3 ounces and 21 inches long. David is 9 pounds and 21 inches long. Ha- David looks so much smaller than Mary Louise - which he is in weight - but he measures the same in length (P.S. we didn't believe it either - so we double checked when we got home - they are in fact the same length!) They also have totally different builds which accounts for their difference in appearance. They still aren't officially on the growth chart, but they are trending up in a bell curve all their own - and that's what matters!

The Dr. suggested that I start adding a small amount of rice cereal to their breast milk in the evening - we will try during the day at first to see if it agrees with their systems. The purpose for the addition is to 1. possibly help their reflux issues and 2. help them to sleep a little better at night. I was super concerned about the nutrition it would or would not provide and was assured that it does have nutrient value and that they would be needing solids to be added to their diet at the next visit anyhow so it'd be safe to start this now. Honestly, I am STILL (well I've never) not producing enough breast milk for them. I have come close a few times, but cannot quite get them there. I have been supplementing with milk I stored when they were eating a bit less - that way up until now, they have been strictly breastfed. I will continue to pump for quite some time - but will gradually add solids to the breastmilk to add variety, nutrition and extra calories to their diets - preemies have an awful lot of catching up to do in the way of growth and development - especially micro preemies. Anyhow, we'll see how it goes tiny steps first! I should probably mention that I'm really typing this diet change part to try to pump myself up for it as I'm really pretty nervous about the whole thing. But, with David sleeping a grand total of 2 hours at a time during the night - at 7 months old no less - and after 3 months at home, if this will help, and it's safe and possibly beneficial to his reflux, I'll try it I think.

Finally, David's inguinal hernia has gotten bigger. The doctor has recommended for us to call and consult with the surgeon after the first of the year. He also said, "having the surgery sooner rather than later may make David a little more comfortable as well." Ha - so now the hernia is making him uncomfortable eh? Anyhow, we will see what the surgeon says. I think we're going to have it done in town here as the surgeon is the same one that did David's perforation surgery when he was 10 days old. We can also try to request the anesthesia personnel on board during the procedure which eases my mind a bit (to a level 7 rather than an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale - ha). I want it to be fixed - I want him to be comfortable - but there is a huge part of me that would surely put this off until he was 52 (the same age he will be allowed to date!) if I could - regardless of his grumpiness. (in case you're wondering Mary Louise will officially enter the dating scene at the nice mature age of 43 - though I may flex a little depending on how many children she'd like - maybe 35 would be more reasonable?)

So, that's the plan - and latest update. Photos coming soon!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

keep those babies rollin'...

So, David and I were playing, he was on his back and gripped my finger by reaching across his chest with his left hand. He then started kicking his leg back and forth to first pull onto his side...then his FRONT!!!! yay!!! He then realized that pulling himself over from back to front did in fact put him in the dreaded tummy time position. So after a quick smile from my over the top excited reaction to his newest trick, he promptly burst into tears. (I'm still the proudest momma on the planet though!)

Hoping to catch a video later, but wanted to update on such exciting news anyhow...