Friday, September 30, 2011

LeBlanc house happenings of the week...

Mary Louise has recently developed quite the maternal instinct...and today, when David was asked, "where's the baby?" by his speech therapist who was holding a picture of a baby, David turned and pointed to my belly! I do believe they are catching on...

We really enjoyed Uncle "Ky-gool"'s visit over the weekend - he came up with an amp-ed up version of one of Mere and Pop's go-to entertain the baby moves...

**A sidenote - I realize that pushing 3 years old means Mary Louise and David aren't technically babies anymore...however, it is more than likely that I'll be calling them "the babies" and the actual baby will develop a host of other nick-names. It's ok to buck the system on occasion...or keeps things a bit more interesting eh? Besides, they'll always be *my babies anyhow! (and we still call my 2 youngest brothers "the little boys" even though, at over 6 feet tall - and in their early and mid-twenties, they are in no way little nor are they boys - just one of those things that stuck)**

And then there's Mary Louise's new dance: she began to do this earlier in the week when her therapists came to get her for their session. David simply runs to the back giggling - but Mary Louise did a little jig similar to the one below sans sound effects. It was a little surprising, and a whole lot of hilarious! (I'm glad she they enjoy therapy so much! ha - gives me something to threaten them with: Me: "Mary Louise! If you don't stop hitting David, you're not going to therapy!" ML: "Ok" ; Me: "David! You need to sit down in your high chair and eat if you want to go to therapy!" David: "Ok" - see? I don't know how long I'll get to ride that roller coaster for, but it sure works like a charm at present! (Notice David the budding football player)

We have done quite a bit of gardening around the patio in an effort to both freshen things up a bit and get into the fall spirit of things. "The babies" are a HUGE help and LOVE to garden and play in the dirt!

More later - David has had 2 sessions with the at home therapist and, in short, I think we'll keep her! Also, we had our first ultra sound yesterday!!! The baby is very healthy and has a great heartbeat - and I am doing well so far too! Many many MANY thanks for the thoughts and prayers throughout this pregnancy. We have a long road to go, but are celebrating each small milestone as they come: last weekend I past the 7  week mark which means the little Suga went from an embryo to a fetus! Yay!



Saturday, September 24, 2011


I'm pretty sure I could simply leave this post blank and publish the title and you could draw your own conclusions - but then I wouldn't get to spout off with a bit of my endless sarcasm and take the edge off of our day with a little good old journal writing would I?

I woke this morning...and wanted beef stew. I almost NEVER want beef - and we rarely keep any stock in the freezer, so I knew a trip to the store would need to happen if I was to quell the craving (we needed a few things anyhow). Mary Louise was in a FOUL mood first thing - so I really believed it just wouldn't happen today, but low and behold, a batch of banana pancakes with cinnamon and vanilla cure pretty much any gripes, grumps, or otherwise.

We took things pretty easy, played a bit, I showered and got ready for my day (yeah - by ready, I mean I showered. put on yoga pants, decided I was too tired for anything else and put a hat on - that was that Jack.) Mary Louise and David chose their clothes and I helped them put them on...

David pitched another fit about shoes. He's done this everyday since Sunday. I realize that that's a total of 3 fits (I started this post on Tuesday) - but it seems like a year's worth to me! Now, I don't care if he wears shoes at all - I don't care what color they are, I don't even really care if the darn things fit for a simple trip to the store - hell, I don't care if he wears Mary Louie's shoes...ok, maybe I care a little if he picks the ones with flowers on them - people always assume they are both girls and that doesn't make my case any easier...

So, we got the shoe thing settled (he went in with one flip flop on and carried the other), and we were off. We were all in good spirits - the babies were laughing, I was confident that I could make this a good quick trip as we only needed about 10 things...

We got to the parking lot and I parked in the first line next to the handi-capped spots (one of the advantages of shopping during senior citizen hours / before noon - ha). Buggy attained, kiddos in - David still had one shoe on and still opted to carry the other. Whatever works...

I pointed out the scrappy looking parking lot birds, others leaving with groceries, anything to get Mary Louise and David's attention - they seemed to be having fun...

We crossed the automatic door threshold...

down...down...downhill it went...

I swear, Walmart sprays some sort of irritating mist throughout their stores - or more likely, the sheer size of the place is just too much for a kid to handle what with the towers of balls in nets randomly placed next to truckloads of diapers, cat food, and sippy cups...

I was just about to close in on item number 5 when I heard, "OH MY GOSH! they're getting so big!"

It was one of the babies' night nurses from the NICU. Huge grin - totally together - beautiful and pregnant. David and Mary Louise were a bit wild - but nothing I hadn't seen before - and certainly not on their worst behavior. We chatted over whines for a minute - it was really good to see her - and we moved on.

The rest of the trip worsened by the minute and I quickly made my way to the check-out before the irritation came to climax. Seriously, how could I forget that with 42 checkout lines, Wal-Mart only employs 2 cashiers. Oy.

We waited, I pointed out things that seemed fun to look at - we said, "hi" to surrounding shoppers. I answered the "twins? twins? TWINS????" question another half dozen times and heard a few nostalgic, "my brother in law's aunt's cousin twice removed had twins back in 1902" stories and smiled and nodded politely...

I let the babies load the conveyor belt thing with groceries. The lady in front of us was moving rather slowly (or I was just getting really anxious about what was surely about to happen...the meltdown phase - I had to get out of there!)...I pushed our buggy up unwittingly putting David in line to press the buttons on the credit card keypad. He was enthralled. The lady in front of us? not so much.

I moved our cart out of the way, and it was finally our turn. Our nurse friend pulled through the line next to us - we were chatting while I juggled the checkout bagging and 2 babies who were itching to get out of that darn buggy. An angry David started...

He tried to beat his head on the bottom of the buggy - luckily, he was just testing the waters and not really serious...I stopped him- honestly, he hadn't done that in weeks. Mary Louise started shrieking to turn the attention.

All I could say was, "it's nap time." Thinking, "for all of us."

Finally packed up and ready to go, we bid our friend good bye. I signed and pushed toward the outer door and smiled at the 92 year old standing there with yellow highlighter in hand . Of course we set the alarms off. Of course we did.

Said 92 year old gave me a grin and told me to, "hold on honey," while she looked up Lord knows what on some list. I thought of running - but honestly, I wasn't sure if the babies had actually helped themselves to some odds and ends around the check out and really at that point, being hauled off to jail - no matter how peaceful it sounded, didn't really seem like an A+ option for me...

I'd bought some razor blades and after some discussion, and a cataloging of the package information (and another agonizing 5 minutes), we were allowed to leave.

The show they put on when I was putting them in their car seats is seriously not worth mentioning. But lets just say I was glad we were in full view of everyone because the noises Mary Louise and David made were so shrill and heart wrenching, even I had to check to make sure I wasn't beating them mercilessly with some sort of baseball bat.

Totally not worth the $3 dollars I probably saved by going to the "superstore". And the boycott of Walmart begins...holy cow.


P.S. The stew was really good - Mary Louise and David both loved it - Mary Louise even had 4ths the first evening!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Excellent Ortho!

We spent a few days in NOLA last week for Brent's work and so that Mary Louise and David could visit their new orthopedist. Our concerns centered around their toe walking and the growth of their joints - specifically, their knees.

As it turns out, they are doing just fine. Mary Louise's knees are quite bowed, but it's not of concern at this time and her joints are still within normal positioning for a 2.5 year old toddler. She does toe walk some, but her reflexes and flexibility are fine so as she grows and gains weight, it is expected that she'll drops her heels more and more.

David's knees are not of concern (also normal for his age) and his very frequent toe walking is also expected to resolve in time. Because he started walking on his toes so early, the doctor was concerned about the possibility of mild cerebral palsy (secondary to his medical history). Thank Heaven I didn't wildly google "toe-walking" and find that tid bit! His reflexes were thoroughly checked and ligaments were stiff but appropriately flexible. I will continue stretching him manually at least daily. With time, it is also expected that he'll drop to his heels as it will help with balance in jumping and running.

We are to return in one year.

The orthopedist was incredible. He got giggles and grins out of BOTH Mary Louise and David and explained each issue during the exam. He also taught us how to tell if our areas of concern were worsening which was and is a huge relief for me. So, no more waiting "to see" if a problem develops only to have to treat it -we are on the prevention side!! YAY!!

We so enjoyed our visit to the homeland -

As I mentioned, we were there a number of days, so I was able to walk the river and downtown, we got to see Uncle Sean's new happnin' abode - and feed him a few times, we also had an afternoon visit from Mere and Pops, viewed the aquarium, stopped at Mimi's, and met up with Uncle Kyle and Sean for lunch at the park by the lake before heading back to the Chuck! (busy busy)

New Orleans is just an amazing city - taking in the smells, the sounds, the people...the thought makes me smile -

Before 9am, it's cologne and perfume with a hint of stale beer and maybe some puke (look, lets just be honest - everyone *tries to pass a good time, but a few sail right through it and into the gris gris of the night...), a hustle of heels and loafers of shop owners opening up for the day, chicory coffee, Bloody Marys, beignets...

Noon time - friers are going, bread is baked, lunch is cooking. There's a cafe, bar and grill or full on upscale restaurant on every corner - and a few in the middle! Garlic, onions, fresh peppers, roux, seafood and BBQ - the competing smells are intoxicating as they marry just outside the open eatery doors over the freshly washed sidewalks.

Walk by the water - the crisp humidity floats around you and blows your hair into a heap of hot mess - but no one cares - rarely will you pass a person, make eye contact, and not see a huge genuine grin in return.

I was very careful to watch what I ate - so difficult in the land of THE BEST FOOD! - but mostly vegetarian and very low sodium is where it's at for me and the Suga! My blood pressure has stayed around a beautiful 100/69 to 107/ 76 and other than some notable fatigue, I'm feeling great. I've backed off on the intensity of my running / biking - but am maintaining a good exercise schedule with moderate mileage (weather permitting). I am also taking tons of vitamins and am on a low dose Asprin schedule. In short, this pregnancy is being monitored very closely and though we (including my doctor) are all very hopeful and feel many of my more critical issues were secondary to 2 poorly implanted placentas, and a higher order multiples pregnancy, there is still a significant risk of my developing pre-eclampsia again...having said that, we are employing all known techniques in prevention - and praying...alot.

I am 6 weeks along today - and enjoying every second. David should start his state (at home) speech therapy this week. Otherwise, the specialist visits are pretty much done until dentist checks and eye exams in January!

Oh - and for those who like to stay "in the know" about my pumping, I have checked with both a lactation consultant and my doctor about continuing. My supply has already dropped significantly, and will likely decrease further with time, but I have been "ok'd" to continue and will officially make it to 30 months on the 19th! I'm taking it one day at a time (as if there is any other way) but, right now, this is what is right for all of us - giving Mary Louise and David a tiny extra immune boost through their third winter is a gift I feel wonderful about being able to give them.


Monday, September 12, 2011

We are...

One in our hearts, 2 at home...we are absolutely thrilled to be expecting our miracle number 4. Our sweet suga-bean is due on May 13th.

Hoping for a ridiculously mundane, wildly boring, and very very long pregnancy...


Friday, September 9, 2011

Sickness over, speech has begun!

We ALL ended up battling that nasty cold virus! It lasted a full 10 days and I even brought David in to the pedi to ensure it wasn't spreading to his chest or ears. All was well - just remnant mucous taking it's time to evacuate. Overall, Mary Louise and David did very well with it. This was by far the worst sickness we've had here since our NICU days and I must say that I am very cautiously optimistic at this time that with a little sense, a little caution, and a little getting out and about, these kids will eventually have a decent immune system...only time will tell (of course).

We made the best of our time here and through the sniffles, coughs and sneezes, we really cooked up a storm! Pancakes, chicken noodle soup, chicken fricassee, mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, meatballs, eggplant parm, French onion soup and so much more- all from scratch, low sodium, whole ingredients. We've been on a cooking kick to say the least!

We've also been spending tons of time outside with the cooling of the weather and sunny sunny days (oh - except for the brief interruption courtesy of TS Lee of course).
(they love each other)

Pajama play time is the best!!

giving lovies:

In short, the sniffles and the funk didn't get us down too much - we had fun at home anyhow!

After some discussion, Brent and I decided it would be best to explore our options with private speech therapy for Mary Louise and David. David has been approved for services with Early Steps (the state program) as well, but with such a delay, we felt it best to be a little more aggressive and utilize any possible help we may have at hand.

Enter: Hope therapy...

We are so so SO very glad we started Mary Louise and David at this private facility. They have had 3 sessions so far and we are not only noticing differences in their communication, but also, their independence. Today, BOTH of them took their therapist's hand and walked to "the back" BY THEMSELVES!!! on the third day!!! The past 2 days, I have gone back with them and watched the evaluations and beginnings of therapy. I spoke with their ST's yesterday, and we agreed to try it without me today - boy did it work!! David was actually the dominant one in the room! (I'd discussed with them concern that keeping Mary Louise and David in the same room long term may eventually be an issue - as one (usually Mary Louise) dominates verbalization and attention).

We had an afternoon appointment and Brent was able to tag along to see the facility so that was nice. I was so proud to walk into the room and see my little guys hard at play with their therapists furiously writing all of the new sounds and words they were trying! The staff there has been extremely positive about Mary Louise and David's status and progress (already!! in 3 days!!) and feel very hopeful that they will be able to  reach their chronological age goals with practice, diligence and a little time.

In other news, I have been terrible at uploading photos - accordingly, I will attach an album of happenings over the past month or 2 (so so sorry!)- included are: Sean's graduation, our last visit to Ma mere and Pops' house, and random happenings around here... a few favorites:
Mary Louise with her Pops:

David at a wildlife swamp reserve in Baton Rouge - I highly recommend stopping!!

You know darn good and well these are some of the cutest pig tails you've ever seen...

and the album:

Sean's graduation and at home - Summer 2011