Tuesday, December 29, 2009

HO! HO! HO!










We've heard lots of requests for an update lately. With the holidays here, it seems we have been on the go for weeks now. Where does time go? And HOW do babies grow SO fast?

Jenna and Blake had a great first Christmas! Santa (and our family) was very kind to them. Guess they figure the twins were pretty good this year. I would have to agree! Where to start, so much to report and share with you all.

We celebrated Christmas in Bryan a couple weeks ago with my sister, her family and my parents (PawPaw and Gammy). Jenna quickly took to crinkling, and better yet tasting, the Christmas wrap. She was more interested in trying to eat the paper than anything else. Blake got excited over all the movement and noise (as usual) and wanted to touch everything. He LOVED the sippy cup that was in his stocking from Santa. Then when he opened the Vulli Sophie the Giraffe teether, he was head over heals with it. I had one when I was a baby, so Aunt Donna thought it would be neat for the twins to have one too. We got some great pics of Blake trying to devour it, haha. Also got many pics of one of us removing mouthfuls of Christmas wrap Jenna had in her mouth. The kids did great with all of the excitement and even played together long enough to let mommy and daddy eat dinner uninterrupted! It was a nice day. Oh, and the big news was that Blake started crawling while at PawPaw and Gammy's house, Dec 12th. They both had been "low crawling" but much to our surprise, Blake took off and started actually crawling. Jenna did the same two days later!

We stayed in Austin on Christmas day. We decided to offer up our house for the festivities this year. We figure we hadn't had it here and it just might be easier on the kids to be at home. Since generally the festivities are an all day thing, we were hoping that by being at home, they would be more apt to take their naps and that all four of us would last the entire day :) We were planning on 30plus family members at the house. We did a lot of prepping the week before but am glad we did because much were things that we've been meaning to get done anyways. Jason and Adam replaced our old screaching sliding glass kitchen doors with a nice set of french doors. It looks GREAT and is 110% nicer! Just in time for company. Jason set up a firepit out back wich was enjoyed by many on Christmas day.

Back to Jenna and Blake.....on Christmas Eve, we started a new tradition. The kids open one gift, their Christmas Eve PJs. This year they got Paul Frank matching monkey PJs. They looked so cute! I can't believe they are wearing 12M clothes now! Again, Jenna just wanted to eat the paper. On Christmas morning Mimi, Papa, Syd, Tim, Christine, Kaylee, Sara, Josh and Jude, and my parents (we were glad they decided to join us even after having celebrated with my side of the family) came over to have breakfast and open gifts. Jenna wore her red and white velvet dress and Blake had his matching Santa suit on. The kids all looked so cute! There were gifts everywhere! The kids loved rattling the paper and peering into the boxes. Mimi bought them a Laugh and Learn Stage that the kids just LOVE! It's a real hit! They have been enjoying playing with it together. After opening sooo many gifts, the extended family started showing up. Before we knew it we had a full house. We had a great time having everyone over, it was real nice seeing everyone. The kids loved the attention and did such a great job handling such a long day. Fortunately being at home, they felt comfortable enough to take their naps when needed. In fact, Blake actually fell asleep several times right in the middle of the livingroom with all the noise and commotion. Blake snoozed on the couch while wearing his Santa suit, his belly hanging out (appropriately so). Jenna played with her cousin Jude. They had a great time seeing everyone. They really are such good babies.

What else have the babies been up to? Plenty!!! Blake continues to climb on whatever and whoever is near. Jenna insists on feeding herself these days! Yes, it has been quite the little development. It started one day all of a sudden with her grabbing for the spoon. The first day I kindly put her hand down and told her" Thank you but mommy will do it". That only worked for a day. The next day, she grabbed the spoon with both hands. I tried holding her hands down but it made her so angry she spit out the food and stiffened up so that she slid around in the highchair. So, I came to the conclustion that if she was being that persistent then it was probably time that I gave up the idea of a semi-cleanly feeding time and trade it for one that gave her an opportunity to try some independence, a much more messy approach. I filled the spoon and brought it to her mouth, she immediately grabbed it and put it in her mouth and smiled. Well, it took a few days of experimenting cause once she had the spoon, she didn't want to give it back. So I filled one, gave it to her, she fed herself and dropped the empty one for a full one. Quite the production. I had carrots in my hair, her hair, my shirt, her clothes, the chair, the floor, her eyelashes, my arms......whew. I missed those days of cleaner eating but when I see her smile because she is so proud of herself, I soon forget the mess she's made. Blake is still content with my feeding him although he does like to hold my hand while eating and at times likes to put the spoon in his mouth when he is waiting for me to open the jar of food. The other big development with Jenna is that she has started moving from a crawling position to a sitting one. She was getting so frustrated and has been so close for about a week now. She is much happier playing on the floor now that she has learned this new position change. She has also been pulling down the crib bumper to peek into Blake's crib. She does this to wake him when she gets up in the morning and is lonely. It is so cute to see her little fingers pull at the bumper and then all of a sudden you see two beautiful blue eyes looking through the slats at you paired with a precious little smile.

The biggest development with Blake I guess is that he is standing!!! Granted he is holding on to something while standing but all the same, he is standing! He has been pulling up on things for about two weeks now. Now that he has some learning table type toys, he has been pulling up on them and has quickly learned that he can pull himself up and stand. In fact, he also stands in his crib and looks over the end into Jenna's crib to say hello.

They play very well together these days. They are always looking to one another and talking to each other. It is great to watch.

Jason and I couldn't agree more that our greatest gift ever, has been our two miracle babies. It is hard to fathom that this time last year Jason and I went to sleep on Christmas night wondering what our little boy and little girl might look like and anticipating another 4 1/2 months of waiting to find out. Little did we know that we would find out a mere 2 1/2 weeks later. On Christmas night this year, we were extremely fortunate to tuck our precious angels into bed after having them fall asleep in our arms. It is just too hard to believe, even as I sit here today and watch them sleep-happily and healthy. Truly the most beautiful sight to see.

Thank you for your prayers and support this past year. I know our babies are with Jason and I today much due to the many answered prayers you all sent out. I can't ever thank you enough......


I am working on posting more new pics.....stay "tuned".






Wednesday, December 16, 2009

More Great News and Growth

I took the kids to their cardiologist follow up appointment yesterday. This was their first cardio follow up appointment since their NICU stay. (If you recall, Blake had PDA heart surgery last January. Jenna had been given two doses of meds to help close this same valve. She continued to have a murmur but did not require surgery). Dr. Shapiro checked them both. Jenna's murmur has closed and he said that both have healed nicely and that their hearts are healthy and strong. He is so pleased that he has released them from his care! Another HUGE relief. There just aren't words to describe the relief Jason and I feel everytime we get a good report, and better yet are told that Jenna and Blake are released from specialists' care. We have already checked off the pulmonologist, nephrologist, developmental pediatrician, and now the cardiologist from our "need to see" doctor list.

Wow, what an appointment it was! We were there for two hours. Jason was planning on going with me but he was called into a meeting at the last minute. I dressed the kids up real warm and headed to the doc's office. Now, doing double duty paper work at the doctor's office is just part of the routine and we are quite used to it. However, we haven't had to visit any doctors since the kids have become more "mobile" (thankfully). They aren't nearly as satisfied sitting in their carriers anymore while mommy takes care of all the paperwork. I was glad that we had some new toys to play with while we waited (thanks Donna, Gammy, Aunt Christine and Mimi). The appointment consisted of cardiograms and other tests. Trying to keep 7 month old babies still while having a cardio done is quite a challenge. Haha, we had lots of fun with that. haha. It's alright though, they did pretty well and we got what we needed! We couldn't be happier.

We have the latest weigh ins! Jenna weighs 17pounds 15 ounces and Blake weighs 18pounds 12 ounces. Their height was also measured although I question the numbers. It is pretty hard to get height on wiggling babies. They were both measured to be 27 and 3/4 inches long. However, when Blake is in the walker, his feet sit flat on the floor. Jenna's toes reach.

Glad to share this latest great news with you all ! Thank you all for your continued support and prayers.




Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Reid Pirates


Here's a little 1 month flashback to Halloween. We all dressed up as pirates and attended a friend's wedding. They just sent us this pic from the reception.


Halloween Contest Results

Well, I finally found out about the results of the Halloween contest that I entered the kids in. We came in second. Yay Jenna and Blake! The first place winner was the six year old cutie dressed up as Billy Mays. We has a slightly higher rating but he has more than twice the votes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble Gobble










Today was a FUN day. We were in Bryan with the Patranella side of our family. Blake and Jenna had a great time visiting with family (as always). Jenna loved playing with PawPaw as you can see in the pic. She was defintely 'PawPaw's girl" today. She was even enjoying watching football while sitting on PawPaw's lap. She enjoyed sitting at the "grown up's table" with Gammy (grandma Patranella)! Blake was up to his usual curious ways, looking for things to inspect and people to laugh and smile with. He really enjoyed hanging out with his cousin Chris.
We had a great time, yummy food and one of my fav dessert, mom's lemon pie!
We missed you Waller side and hope you had a great Thanksgiving!!




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

1st visit with Santa

Kim has really been looking forward to taking the kids to visit Santa, and we were finally able to make it happen today. Kids were feeling good, no Dr. or therapy appointments, and I was able to scoot out of work for a few minutes.

Kim here........
As Jason mentioned above, we took the kids to see Santa yesterday. It was a very successful first encounter with Jolly Ole Saint Nic! The kids weren't scared or apprehensive, which I wondered a bit about. We went early afternoon in hopes to avoid long lines. Luckily when we got there, Santa was out "feeding his reindeer" so we were the first in line when he returned fifteen minutes later. Mimi and Grandpa N met us there so they helped keep the kids entertained while we waited. When it was our turn, as soon as Jenna caught sight of Santa, she was totally smitten!! Her little face lit up and she gave him her infamous gummy grin. It seems the first thing Blake noticed was his beard. We were able to take pics with our own camera since we planned to purchase some of theirs. Jason chose the "snow baby" theme of attire for the kids. I think it was good choice. Funny thing is as we looked at the series of pics, you can see that Blake was reaching for his beard in the first few and then in the last few he had ahold of it the whole rest of the time. Well, when it was time to leave I guess Blake wanted to take a little part of Santa home as a souvenir because he snatched out a CLUMP of his beard! It was his REAL beard!!!! OUCH! Poor Santa. haha.

EllaBella Photos are in

I can't tell you how much Kim has been looking forward to getting these photo's.

Elle did a great job and captured some precious moments.

Enjoy.




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Santa, here we come!!


Pictures taken at Zilker this Sunday

Okay, I know it's not even December yet but I am taking the kids to visit Santa tomorrow. I want to beat the usual crowd of coughing, sniffling, sneezing kids that start up immediately following the Thanksgiving holidays. I hear he is making an appearance at Lakeline Mall. I've seen pictures, I am convinved he's the real thing. ;)
November is Prematurity Awareness Month




Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LOVING being a mommy of twins!!!!


Every day I am seeing more and more of Blake and Jenna's special "twinness". Many times during the day they can be found watching one another and giving each other a huge gummy grin. They reach out to one another and hold hands while we are out for walks, shopping or running errands.

I took the kids to Target with me this evening and I got a good laugh. Most of the time, Blake wants to be all over his sister. He likes to climb on her, be right on her, gnaw on her fingers and toes, often times breaking the concentration she has on the toy she is holding. He grabs the toys she is playing with and has been known to reach for the paci that is in her mouth. Well, guess who was pestering who this evening?! I took them in the side by side double umbrella stroller and she would not stop grabbing and pulling at his ears. She also grabbed for his hand but the biigest part of the time she was pulling on his ear. After some time I think he got tired of it becuase he turned his head and leaned over the side of the stroller to get some distance-haha! She kept looking up at me to make sure I was there and then gave me a huge grin as she held onto Blake's ear. It was really cute.


Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13th


Here's one of the proofs from a recent photo shoot we had with Elle (Ella Bella Photography). She is fantastic!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

November 2nd

Wow, November already!?!?!

Things are going well over here at the Reid household. The kids are getting more mobile each day. Blake is scooting and pulling and pushing himself around as well as spinning 360 degrees to get about. At times, he gets up on his knee or knees so I just watch in anticipation. I am excited but can definitely wait a bit longer for the days they are crawling. Jenna can give her attention to a toy for quite some time and isn't usually in a hurry to move on to a new toy so she does not have the urgency to get into everything within and outside of her reach. She is using her legs and feet to scoot around and is real good at holding her upper body up. She just hasn't put the two together yet. When they are both on the floor together Blake can almost always be found grabbing Jenna's hands or feet, touching her face or grabbing whatever it is she is playing with. Jenna is a great sport about Blake's "lovey" ways but understandably so, does get frustrated at times. Mostly though, they love hanging out togehter. She watches him and has been seen grabbing her brother's hand and touching his face. Boy, we have to watch lil "Blakers". ANY time I set them on the floor and I put a toy down for him, he plays with it but as soon as I put a toy in front of Jenna...as soon as his eyes hit it, he is on the move towards it and mows down anything in his way in order to get to the toy. He is definitely one that feels the need to get into whatever moves, makes a sound or looks his way. Jenna is amazing us these days with her attentiveness to the little things. She can manipulate the tags on stuffed animals for a good thirty minutes before moving ont o something else.

Oh, twinadoes are calling. I'll continue later.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Vote for Us! Halloween Photo Contest



Well, mommy played dress up with us again today. I (Blake) was pretty excited cause I got to wear my cool UT sports "threads". And I (Jenna) couldn't wait for mommy to dress me up in my UT skirt. Then, mommy gave us a couple special pumpkins. The tiny ones were just our size! I (Blake) just HAD to taste it. I grabbed it and put it right in my mouth. Well, as much of it as I could. And I (Jenna) thought it was so funny when mommy started chanting UT cheers.

Mommy says we are the cutest UT fans around. She even entered us in an Austin Halloween photo contest. If you want to vote for us, check out the link below. We are dressed as the Cutest #1 UT fans.

Go to www.weareaustin.com

Click on Halloween Photo Contest (found on right side of page)

Click on View Entries

Then Vote




Saturday, October 17, 2009

MayField Park Photo Session with Elle (Ella Bella Photography)

Here are the latest and GREATEST new pics of "Team Reid" (as Jason likes to call us).....

We recently had a photo session with Elle Mendenhall (Ella Bella Photography) at Mayfield Park. It was a SMOLDERING 90+ degree day (aren't we in October? lol). Elle was highly recommended to us by our friends and parents of Jenna and Blake's former NICU neighbors, precious twin girls, Trinity and Kinsley. And sooo rightly so. She captures priceless candid moments and specializes in natural light/outdoor photography. With Jason and I being much of the "out doorsy" type, we knew she would be ideal for capturing some great pics of the "twinkies".

So with the weather being so "moody" lately, when I went shopping for clothes for the photo shoot, I reluctantly chose sweaters and cold weather attire. Well, the rest of this story wouldn't be "Texas Worthy" without a quick shift in weather/setting now would it? Well, long story short, I ended up going clothes exchanging the day before our photos. We went from winter attire to summer attire. Let me tell you, it really isn't that easy to coordinate colors for four (maybe this is just a learning curve sort of thing for the new mommy, dunno) without getting too many patterns involved. Luckily, I think I pulled it together in the end pretty well.

So on the morning of the photo shoot, the kids only had a short cat nap on the way over to the park. Our session was two hours long so we weren't sure how the kids were going to fair between the heat and lack of nap time. While they weren't full of smiles, they did VERY well. We managed to get a few smirks and smiles out of Blake (that's kinda his thing anyways). Jenna gave some gorgeous gazes into the camera. It turns out the heat and lack of sleep worked on our favor in the end. During the last thirty minutes of our session Jenna just couldn't keep her eyes open anymore so we got a pic of her snuggled up on daddy. We also got some shots that I had so hoped to get when they were newborns.....sleeping poses. Elle was excited, as were we, to get some shots of her in a basket sleeping. She says that it is very rare to get shots of them sleeping during a shoot at this age. Low and behold, Blake started getting heavy eyed and fell asleep too. Thanks to Elle's patience, we were able to get some of Blake sleeping in the basket too. The end the session we put both babies on a white furry rug and got some pics of them sleeping next to one another. What a great way to end the session!!

So, the sneak peak is available on the Ellabella website and there is also a link to it on my facebook page. Drumroll...................here they are!!! Our precious angels......

http://www.ellabellaphotos.com/blog/
just scroll down a bit

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Pics

http://picasaweb.google.com/blakeandjenna/October?feat=directlink

NICU Reunion




This Saturday was the St. David's NICU reunion. Jason was out of town playing "big boy games" i.e. Air Soft and Grandma Patranella was in town so she joined Jenna, Blake and I. It was out in the court yard at the hospital. There were lots of fun activities and live music. It was real nice. We saw a couple families that we had met while the babies were patients. We saw a few nurses too, that was fun. We were so excited to see Anna and April and were able to spend some time with them. Jenna and Blake were very pleased to be carried around by their special "aunties". I'm sure you all remember from earlier posts but, April was Blake's primary (day) nurse for a very long time (from the start), she watched Jenna as well when they were two to one and Anna wasn't there. Anna was Jenna's primary (day) nurse since they were I think three days old. At the end of Jenna and Blake's stay, Anna became "primary" for both the kids. They are two VERY special gals in our books! Part of our family for sure. It was their very special care that helped Jenna and Blake become stronger every day. It was their attentiveness that recognized the needs of Jenna and Blake day in and day out. They helped them be as comfortable as possible by taking the time to know and love our babies and "adjust their pillows" when they saw fit. It was their professionalism, positive energy, sense of humor and warmth that provided Jason and I with a great sense of comfort when we had to kiss and leave our babies at the hospital. 121 days! Leaving your very sick babies with others is an extremely difficult thing to do. Leaving the care and nurturing to others while you go home for the night is not a natural act for a parent. We had no choice but I'm sure we could'nt' have chosen anyone better (outside of family) to step in and care for our little Blake and Jenna! That goes for many of the other nurses too and especially Auntie Janice too! She was Blake's primary night nurse and later Jenna's too. She had a keen connection with our little Blake right from the start and could recognize when he wasn't being himself. It was her attentiveness that helped see Blake (and later Jenna too) through a many scary nights. Wow, I could go on and on about these gals. And Rhonda and Beth....and Heather and Daun........

Ok, so the reunion and being at the hospital has brought up some emotions. Sometimes, I still can't get over what a year it has been. We started it with great fear and uncertainty and here it is the Fall of the year and we have so much to celebrate. What a complete turn around. I just want to give big warm hugs to all those that cared for our miracle babies and to all the family and friends and friends of friends and strangers whose prayers helped to save the two lights of my life. And thanks to the brightest of the lights in my life, Jason. Without him, I couldn't have been the strong mommy I needed to be when my babies needed me most.

"Fairy Princess Jenna" and "Blakenstein"

Our Little Fairy Angel and Our Little "Blakenstein"

Well, with Halloween right around the corner, mommy "had" to play dress up. Aren't they cute?

I found these costumes about a month ago, YES, a month ago. Jason and I REALLY like Halloween so as soon as




costumes came out in the stores, I picked up a FEW. I didn't have the kids with me while shopping so I brought a couple options home. Turns out after trying these cute ones on, (and snapping a few pictures), we won't be using them afterall. We've been invited to a wedding (Curt and Courtney) on Halloween and guests are asked to dress up. How fun?! So, I am trying to decide on a theme for the Reid family of four.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New Hats


Check out Blake and Jenna's new hats. It was a bit breezy this morning for our morning walk so I pulled out new hats that I just got from Target. I LOVE the Target Dollar Spot!!!!
Best thing about the walk....Jenna and Blake held hands for part of the time-ADORABLE!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Great Developments

Well, I feel as though I have lots to catch up and blog about. So much has been going on in the last month. I mentioned, and Jason posted a bit about the "twinkies" being sick a couple weeks ago. Blake started with a cough, I guess at the beginning of Sept. For a few days it was just a light, "clearing his throat" type thing. He had no fever and acted fine. A few days later his cough started sound different and he was clearly irritated by it. He would do the cutest reaction to his cough. Trailing his cough, he would give out a groan of disgust as if he was being bothered by such a nuisance. It was the cutest darn thing (not so cute that he appeared to be getting a little cold but cute int he dramatic act of it all). Then he started acting really tired and inactive. his cough became congested. Once it became congested, it took a turn pretty quickly for the worse. He began having labored breathing and had wheezing. I had taken him him prior to the wheezing and it was thought to be and was in fact viral at the time. However, after several days he began having fever and started with the wheezing. This was Friday evening at 5:30-the usual double whammy. After hours AND the weekend. Luckily, our pedi was on call. Long story short, we ended up needing to give him nebulizer/breathing treatments. Had a sonogram done. Showed swelling in his lungs. I was very afraid that it had become pneumonia. It later did became an infection so started him on antibiotics. I have to say, the labored breathing and choking with the coughing REALLY scared me. With his history, I was very anxious when I saw him having difficulty breathing. I found that breaking thoughts that something grave was going to come of this was very very hard. This is the first illness either of them had experienced since being discharged from the NICU. Had it been a cold I would've been fine but having wheezing and watching his chest cave in and out brought back some very scary feelings and heightened emotions. This time he had no monitors, no respirator on hand, no nurses and doctors at his bedside. Very scary and unsettling for me. With Jason's help, and focusing on keeping Blake comfortable as possible, it slowly got better. Jenna warded off catching it from her brother for about five days. Then she started having a runny nose and a bit of a cough. She, too, became sick. Thankfully, it didn't get nearly as bad as with Blake. But for two weeks we had two sick babies. IT WAS HHAARRDD!!!! I'm not gonna lie. They slept for about 30 minutes at a time day and night, didn't eat much, coughed, ached with fever, cried in discomfort, needed consoling pretty much 24/7. Jason took off as much as he could from work but he was in the middle of a big project at work. Bless his heart, after working all day he would come home and try to give me a few minutes to shower, eat, prepare bottles and at times take a nap. This was definitely a difficult two weeks for all four of us. We are soooo thankful that they are well now.

We've experiences some hard days and nights trying to get them back on a nap and night schedule. it was as if we had to totally "re train" them. We decided that we would turn over a new leaf and begin "sleep training". We have put into place a nap routine and an "official" target bed time. We've decided to take the "cry it out" approach to sleeping. The "tough love" approach. The "babies will cry it out, mommy will sit on the other side of the door crying too" route-lol. We felt it was time that they learn to self soothe themselves to sleep. We had begun a bad habit of rocking them to sleep and/or laying down with them until they fell asleep. We still rock them at times but not to put them to sleep all the time.

Tonight was the third night. The first night was AWFUL!!!! We set a nighttime routine of bath, feed, lights down, massages, goodnight hugs and kisses and put to bed. Jenna is a pretty good sleeper and has 'put herself to sleep" for quite a while. She does fight sleep but only for a couple minutes. She has transitioned into this new approach rather well. Blake on the other hand did not! He screamed and screamed and screamed. On the first night, after 45 minutes, mommy and daddy caved and went in to console him. Jason went in first and put his hand on him and talked to him. Blake had his eyes closed and didn't realize Jason was even there. He pulled him close and when Blake realized daddy was there, he screamed bloody murder! I was downstairs and ran up thinking something horrible was wrong. We guess he was mad, not sure. Then we brought him down and I rocked him for a couple minutes.....he still cried. I decided to put him in his swing so I wasn't totally going back on the plan and I walked out of the room for a minute. He continued to cry. It got a little louder. I went back in a bit later and he through puffy red eyes, tear soaked cheeks, he gave me THE biggest grin!! I wanted to laugh and cry with frustration all at once! lol After another hour or so, I was too tired to deal. I took him upstairs and snuggled him to sleep. Lastnight, after much thought Jason and I decided he was probably just testing the waters and was fighting sleep. He hadn't had good naps and he was over tired. We decided to NOT cave in lastnight. unfortunately, he didn't nap well yesterday either. When it came to night, we let him cry it out. Again, awful. After 50 minutes or so, he fell asleep.

Today, they both had two two hour naps!! YAY!! They were well rested. We did our nighttime routine and but hem to bed. Jenna was out after a few "protest cries". It took her about five minutes! She is such a great and easy sleeper. Blake did not scream. He "protested" a bit and gave out these half effort cries and after TWELVE minutes, fell fast asleep!!!!!! I am so very happy. A glass of wine and a bubble bath are calling my name!!!

What else....
They are changing every day. They are very active and engaged with their surroundings. Jenna is becoming very good at hand/eye coordination. She manipulates toys very well. Blake is doing well too. Blake is as social as ever. If there is any movement, any light, any noise, he wants to explore the source. He is readily willing to smile at anyone in his sight and loves to laugh. Blake loves the jokes....funny noises, facial expressions, daddy acting silly. Jenna has become much more observant of others. She will watch you, and raise her eyebrows as she tries to get to know you and figure you out. She often times will give you a little smirk....usually a right sided little smirk all the while showing off her adorable blue doe eyes and cute dimple. She likes to bounce on your knee and LOVEs to be called pretty girl and cutie. This almost always elicits a big gummy smile and sparkle in her eyes. They are both paying lots of attention to one another. They are reaching out to one another and to our faces. So many things developing each day. Time is certainly NOT standing still these days. We are really trying to pay as close attention to all the changes, both subtle changes and big changes, each day in hopes we don't wake up one day wondering how we went from sleepless nights to walking and talking and missed everything in between. They are already sooo big.

Well, I have rattled on and on. I am quite tired so better take this opportunity to catch some sleep. I have decided to take lots of time tomorrow to take lots of pictures of the kids. I will try and post them tomorrow.



Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's been a looooong time.....

Sorry for the delay in posting. But in the last couple week, and me being absent since the kids got home.

So the kids had a pretty nasty lil upper respatory infection for a couple weeks. Blake came down with it first (and hardest). Jenna caught it from him a coupld days later and the party was ON!
Due to Blakes priory history with lung issues (pulmanory hemmohrage 3 days after birth) it really worried us and the Dr.'s didn't want to take any chances. Soooo we had lots of Dr. visits and watched them both very closely.

All in all, the kids were amazingly good to us while they were sick. Blake had this nasty cough that would cause him to start gagging and sputtering. It really freaked mom out. They didn't cry too too much. They just wanted to be held and comforted the entire time, so they was no break at all. If one was set down or not cuddled, then they would start crying. It also completely destroyed any semblance of a sleep/feed schedule. So it was pretty much 24hr baby for two weeks. As you can imagine it's pretty much impossible to hold and comfort them every min of the day, so it was pretty trying.
Unfortunately I was wrapping up a big project at work, so I wasn't really able to take any time off to help the fam. My boss is super cool, so I was able to work from home several days, which helped tremendously. I don't know how anyone could do this alone, and still maintain their sanity! Impossible I say....

So anyways.... Through the weekend the kids started to feel better. Reduced cough, better sleep, taking full bottles, no more throwing up. On the plus side, the antibiotics they were taking gave them diaria. As crazy as it sounds, it was a welcomed change from constapation. It was really breaking our heart to hear one or both scream bloody murder each night trying to pass a brick. You would not believe the size of these "stones" that they were poopin out. :( Really breaks our heart.
We have tried changing forumla, the cereal, giving them pune juice, milk of magnesia, and every other tip and trick we could find. NADA..... So we are dredding a return to that.

Monday morning brought the sunshine! Both of the kids woke up all smiles and laughes. It was really really a wonderful change and set the mood for the rest of the day. Mom has been having a much easier time during the day, now that one can play independantly and they are taking naps again. I tried to do my part by giving Kim some full nights sleep to try and recharge the batteries.

Another good change was that they can now go on walks again and get out of the house. It's crazy how much they enjoy going on walks. If you put them in their car seat or in the stroller, you had better be ready to get the show on the road, cause they are, and they are NOT afraid to let us know. :) We hit the road and they completely chill out. If they haven't napped in a lil while, they'll kinda look around and then drift off to sleep. Because they like to sleep so much while in motion, we've started taking them on walks as soon as they wake up. Otherwise they think they can nap, and then wake up as soon as we get home. The downside to that is that they sleep, but don't get really good rest. So they are up when we're done with our walk, but not rested, so they can be kinda fussy.

Well, thats all for now. I'll try to post more often.
Take care all.
-Jason

Monday, September 14, 2009

1:34AM Is Sleep Anywhere In Sight????

It's been a week now that Blake has been sick. Jenna has been sick for about three to four days. Sleep deprivation has got to be worse now then it was when they just got home and were "new borns". Now they just aren't sleeping because they are either coughing, have a fever, aren't comfortable and are just out right feeling rotten. Much worse then before.............two sick babies. Jason and I have been taking shifts. I usually take the 11 or midnight to four or five and he takes four or five to about nine. During our "shifts" there really hasn't been any sleeping. Usually one is up coughing or crying and many times both are at the same time. Tonight however, I'm not sure whats going on. Right now they both just want to be up. I"ve had about 20 minutes of sleep between the both of them twitching and coughing and fussing. So, we are sitting on the floor with the lights on low and they are laying with their stuffed animals and listening to night time music. I certainly do not want to engage in playing or entertaining. Just trying to get them to realize it's time to sleep.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, Sept 8th

The most exciting new thing to report would have to be that Jenna has started "talking". She is cooing and babbling.....and smiling more than ever. She turned a new leaf last Monday. Jason and I were there to witness this new change, we were so excited then and are loving hearing her "talk". I was really starting to worry. Jason admitted to me that he was beginning to worry too. She is really a different baby in a lot of ways. She just seems comfortable and enjoys looking at peoples faces and smiling back at them where as before she would exchange smiles but would often look in your direction but not directly at you. We are so very excited. I have such a feeling of content when I hear her little coos.

Blake continues to be a highly vocal one. Especially when he is excited or is bored. He is so active and does not like to stay in one place for too long. This is proving to be a challenge-haha. He has been coughing a bit here and there for a week or so. It was more of a "clearing his throat" kind of thing. The last two days though is has changed and is a bit congested at times. I've checked his temp several times but fortunately he has had not fever. It got worse lastnight so I called for an appointment this morning. With his history and chronic lung disease, I am not about to mess around about getting checked. Dr. Fasci says his lungs sound good and that it could be the is showing signs of allergies. We are going to keep a watchful eye and monitor for certain things.

Hallelujah, we are switching from high calorie formula to regular baby formula. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! Jason and I are so happy about this. J and B haven't been "regular" for over tow months. Then when they finally do go they scream so hard, you'd think they were being hurt. That and nothing was helping to regulate them. I can't wait to see how things will be with this change.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Few New Pics

http://picasaweb.google.com/blakeandjenna/September?feat=directlink

Check them out....
Jenna "Pretty in Petals"
Blake discovered his feet!!!
"Exersaucer Fun"
and more!!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good News September

The "twinadoes" saw the neurologist on Monday. After an assessment of both he said that had he not been told, he'd never guess Blake and Jenna were "24 weekers". That says so much for their growth and development. Blake was checked as a follow up from this prematurity. Jenna was examined as a follow up from her IVH (bilateral Intraventricular Hemorrhage) and PVL (Periventricular leukomalacia). He did not feel it necessary to order a MRI since she is not "symptomatic" and does not exhibit any behaviors that indicate issues at this time. He looked at the MRI that was done back in March right before she was discharged. He said that it shows moderate damage (PVL) but overall he considers the IVH as mild. He does not "see" any muscle tone issues, mobility issues, or cognitive issues. All in all they both look great and we couldn't be happier. As we've experienced and have been told since the beginning, time will tell. We celebrate every day, Blake and Jenna's progress and wonderful growth.

New stats are in......Jenna weighs 14lbs 13ounces and Blake weighs 14lbs 10ounces. Jenna is 24 inches long and Blake is 24.4

We are tickled that Jenna seemed to really turn a corner today....after having a massive "doody". She was cooing and smiling lots! More than we've seen and heard. Jason and I have make the executive decision to change from high calorie preemie formula to a sensitive regular formula. After nearly two months of no regular BMs and painful episodes full of screaming and tears, we can take no more. We can't stand seeing them go through these painful moments anymore. We've tried prune juice, apple juice, milk of magnesia.....nothing is keeping them regular. They have been gaining 2lbs a month for a while now. Dr. Fasci wanted to wait until 9 months. We will talk to her again soon to touch base.

They are both rolling over much better now and are quite active. They enjoy playing in their exersaucers. We've been enjoying our morning walks too.

Kids are calling......

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cruisin' In Style

Well, we took our first morning walk this morning. "Mommy" is tired of waiting for it to cool off so decided to get everyone up real early to try and beat some of the heat. After I got a quick work out in Jason helped me get them prepped for our walk. Both did real well. Of course, about 15 minutes into it they were both sleeping. We LOVE the shades!!! Thanks DSES!!!


The last pic was taken when we got back home. All tuckered out.





Monday, August 17, 2009

Welcome Cousin Jude!!!

We want to welcome Blake and Jenna's new baby cousin into the world.......Happy Birthday Jude. Congrats Sara (Jason's sis) and Josh!!! We can't wait to see him. We hear he has a FULL head of dark hair. He is 7 1/2 pounds. 8:07 this AM

We took Jenna and Blake to the doctor today for the 2nd of three shots for the roto virus. Thankfully, this is an oral "shot", so no tears today. Jenna weighs 13.8 and Blake has finally not only caught up with but passed Jenna by weighing in at 14pounds. Hey, every bit counts......we learned that a LONG time ago-hehe. Both are now "on" the premature growth chart. Dr. Fasci is very pleased with their growth and development. She gave them a quick check even though we were there for shots only. They are hitting all of their developmental milestones so far. We are so very blessed.

Jenna is becoming a bit more vocal. I keep telling myself that she just MAY be the quiet one. That is until she disapproves of something, she certainly is not shy to let you know she wants or needs something. That is a good trait in a girl.....not afraid to voice her opinion. I know, I'll be eating my words when we hit THE 2's and she "voices her opinion". Blake is certainly the talker. And let me tell you, he really does not have voice control-hahaha. Like daddy, like son no doubt! I know that babies like to hear themselves sometimes and will be loud because of that but I think it's more than that with Blake. He gets to rambling and seems to really enjoy telling you what he is thinking and thinks it's better to do so in a loud voice. I love it though. We were watching Happy Feet one evening and noticed that Blake was really attending to it. Next thing we knew, he was smiling and talking and wouldn't keep his eyes off of the TV. He and Jenna really enjoy black and white stuffed animals and pictures. I guess he likes all of the penguins on the movie. We've watched it a couple more times since and he did the same each time. Too cute! Jenna has really been looking and studying our faces lately. She likes to watch lips when you talk. I LOVE their smiles. Blake has the biggest happiest smile that is usually accompanied by a squeal of delight. Jenna has the prettiest smile that lights up her entire face. Her eyes sparkle when she smiles her big gummy smile. I am pretty sure she has her daddy's dimples.

Well, school is about to start back. I know that if I had to return to work to teach, things would be fine and life would be soooo different. I am so happy that we are fortunate enough for me to be home with the babies. I tried to imagine leaving them at a daycare or sitters and returning to school. It nearly brought tears to my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I do get stir crazy a bit from time to time and I always sport the "mommy" shirt (recently spit up on or worse) that requires ME to change MY clothes a couple times a day but regardless, I wouldn't trade my days with my lil ones.

The "twinadoes" have eye doc follow ups this week. They are going to check Blake's eyes for any nearsightedness. He is at high risk for near sighted due to his ROP/RUSH. I just thank God for the wonderful outcome of his laser eye surgery each and every day.

Guess that is all to update on for now. Thank you all for checking in on us and for your continued prayers. As always, comments are welcomed. We love hearing from you.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Jenna has gone PUNK ROCK!!!!!


HEHE, this is how Jenna's hair looked the other day. We didn't spike it or put anything in it. We figure it was just an "Austin thing". You know what they say, "Keep Austin weird".
I had a talk with her and told her that this was the only time a spiked mohawk looked awesome on her. :)
More pics of this "do" and other pics will be added soon.

Sunday, August 9

Just wanted to post a quick update on what Jenna and Blake have been up to.

Last Thursday, I took the kids up to Round Rock and we had lunch with Jason. We had some friends from India go to lunch with us too. Priyanka and Sanjiv work for Dell as well and were here in the US for a month. They have kindly kept up with us since the beginning and were very excited to meet them. I, too, was excited. I remember when Jason came home and told me to look at the map on the blog. When I saw that we had supporters in India I was pleasantly surprised. I took Blake and Jenna up to Jason's work two weeks ago to meet them as well as other friends Jason works with as well as his manager. When I took them a couple weeks ago, it was the first time I had them in the car by myself. It went pretty well. However, this week's raod trip was quite challenging. Blake and Jenna both SCREAMED for the first 15minutes. To top it off, we were stuck on I35 in horrible traffic (no surprise there). Their screaming was in stereo and at high decibals indeed! There wasn't much I could do other than try and talk or sing to them to calm them. Neither worked. I then hummed....nothing. Whisteld.....nothing. HAHA. It was pretty comical although nerve wracking too. I just told myself it is ok for them to cry and continued to talk to them. I thought about turning around but I'd have to some how get across three lanes of traffic and I was almost past the thick of it. I just stuck it out and figured they would soon tire themselves out. Sure enough the poor little guys had worked themselves into a pretty exhausted state. Once we got to "daddy's", and had lunch they were great. They both enjoy the attention and are quite social.

Therapy went well this week. Jenna has really progressed nicely in the last three weeks. It seems her nervous system is getting stronger and more settled. She is making longer eye contact and tracks her favorite toys. They are both reaching for their toys and touching and grasping. They look for one another and watch attentively when one cries. We are really enjoying their interactions with one another.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday, July 31st NEW PICS




Jason and I think that the kids are going through a growth spurt. Blake has not really been himself for over two days, not nearly as active, "talkative" or awake. We were a little worried yesterday that he may be fighting something because he was so "out of it". I must've checked his temperature ten times. Jenna has been a little more tired too. Neither have stayed up nearly as long as they usually do. We are pretty sure they are well, just using all their energy to grow. We continue to watch them carefully.

During Jenna's therapy session today, it was evident from the start that she was going to tire pretty quickly. After about 15 minutes, she was just so exhausted. Mary decided that it was best to let her sleep. She did get enough from her to do a 30 day eval. Good news!! Premature babies' development is charted according to their adjusted age (age from due date May 7th). Their adjusted age is 2 months, 24 days. Jenna skills indicate that she is developmentally at 4 months(adjusted)!!! We are so very fortunate that our former 24 weekers are so healthy.

New pics:
http://picasaweb.google.com/blakeandjenna/EndOfJuly?feat=directlink

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finally caught Jenna's smile on camera!!!


Yay! I have finally caught Jenna's pretty smile on camera. We also got her on video. Like her brother, she is now smiling more than ever. She REALLY likes to smile at mommy and daddy and at her favorite toy, a black and white puppy. The other day she smiled at me and got so excited that she couldn't sit still. We exchanged smile after smile for some time and she had such a look of delight on her face. It was great. She had done this with daddy(Daddy's girl.....look out daddy, I can already see some wrapping around that tiny finger of hers going on), and now I have finally been able to share this with her too.
Blake is just talking up a storm these days. He talks to us, to the ceiling fan, to the lights and most of all to his favorite animal-anything with a panda bear on it. One of their toys has a panda bear on it and he carries on conversations with this thing quite often. I just had to go out searching for a panda stuffed animal. I found one and he loves it! Jenna is quite fond of it too, although she favors her "grumpy" faced black and white stuffed animal.
Both kids are doing great. They are certainly keeping me busy during the day. Blake tends to take SHORT naps....thirty minutes, forty five of I'm lucky. Jenna our my sleeper. I'm still not getting really anything done during the day but I know I am spending my time in the best way possible. Who wants to clean the house anyways? I wouldn't mind getting a work out in though...
Jenna and Blake both are interracting with us alot. They also play with toys by grabbong for them and touching them. I read to them every day. They seem to expect this now and will usually stay attentive (with the help of interesting voices and gestures I make as I act the characters out-ha!).
When Jason gets home, I have my break. Many times I will get out of the house to run an errand or just get out. I am seeing the stores have prepared for the back to school craze. Sometimes, I have to stop myself from putting some nifty little teacher tool in my cart. Once a teacher, always think like a teacher no doubt. This time of year is usually both a dreaded time for me and an exciting time. I dread that my summer break is ending but I am excited about finding new things to do in my classroom. I will miss my 2nd graders this year. However, I am enjoying my current "job" very much. In many ways, it is much harder. In more ways, it is the most rewarding way to spend my days.
Kids are calling.....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

6 Months Old

Meant to finish and post this a few days ago.....

Well, here we are.....Jenna and Blake are 6 months 3 days old (aka 10 weeks 3 days)! We took the kids in for their dreaded 6 month shots. They were great during the whole appointment. When the shots were given, Blake let out a big "I'm hurting" scream and I was able to easily calm him down. Jason held Jenna. She too gave out a "hurting" scream, then she shut down and went to sleep. Both checked out real well. Jenna is actually "on the chart" for growth. Blake is just under. Their growth is charted and recorded on the preemie growth chart. Dr. Fasci is very pleased with their weight gain and development. The great news is, that in her opinion, Jenna feels just fine, no "increased" muscle tone. In fact, she was pretty surprised by some of the opinions we have been given by one of our Physical Therapists. One says she has worked through the muscle tone she previously experienced. One of our therapist detects "increased tone" and "patterns" while the other feels that what they interpretted as muscle tone before was actually more related to Jenna's nervous system growing into her body. At times she gets a little sensory over loaded so will do different things to "cope". Sometimes she looks side to side, other times she fusses, and yet others she stiffens up a bit. Each week, she has seemed to get more and more comfortable in her new "bigger" body and of all the noises, sensations, lights and such. When they were born, they were stripped of their warm, dark, sound muffled, cozy, boundary-filled home. Although the NICU attempts to provide an atmosphere as close to the real thing as possible, with as critical as they were it just does not really come close. Babies born this early are forced to acclimate to a louder, noisier, cooler, foreign and scary home. All with having underdeveloped lungs, brains, senses, and so much more. Their skin is so thin, it looks (and I imagine feels to them, as if they have burned skin-moist, red and transparent. It's tough enough not being with mom, but dealing with painful touches necessary to receive the care that is required makes them tough little survivors alone. Don't forget their lungs were not equipped to breath air for 4 more months. Considering all of these factors, their under developed nervous systems struggle to further develop and get strong. It isn't a surprise that some of these lil heroes require a bit more time to process and acclimate to this huge busy world. I believe that Jenna is still adjusting to the "outside" world. She is doing a fantastic job! And Blake, thankfully, seems to be well adjusted already.

Anyways, I guess I ran with that thought. Sometimes I think about the experiences my babies have had and am amazed all over again.

So, as I said, Dr. Fasci is very pleased with their progress. We will go in next month for a shot but other than that they won't need a check up until they turn 12 months!!!! (unless they need to be seen).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tickled Pink











Jason and I have really enjoyed the last few days. The last couple days have been filled with more smiles from Blake and Jenna. Blake has REALLY enjoyed play time lately. I got THE most awesome pics of him yesterday. See them here.....

He has cooed in delight when he sees either of us enter the room. Today he was "talking" to a soft block we have that has different shapes and designs on it. On one side there is a lady bug that just really gets him excited. He was talking to his ladybug friend and smiling at him. I got some great video of it. Jenna is cracking smiles here and there and is cooing a bit more. I took some cute pics of her with a little summer dress (see here).

Well, the kids are down for a nap. I am going to see what I can get done. Just wanted to share some adorable pics.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Taste of Sunlight

Today's appointment with the renal doctor went well. Both Blake's and Jenna's blood pressure were checked. Blake's was 79-great. Jenna has always fought the blood pressure machine, today was no different. While in the NICU, the nurses had to pull out all the tricks when attempting to get her pressure. Often they would put the cuff on her and wait til she was in a deep sleep to start the monitor for a check. Beings that that really isn't possible during our appointment, Dr. Berry's nurse pulled out many tricks and finally got a pressure of 92-okay. They would like to see it under 100. Again, it may have been lower had she not been tensing up and pulling away. Dr. Berry reminded us that preemies (and certainly most micro preemies) turn up with high blood pressure between days 71-100, cause unknown. They all outgrow this and the need for meds no later that a year of age (unless there are other true reasons for high blood pressure other than the unknown related to prematurity).

Their Aunt Donna (my sis) went to the appointment with me today. Donna and I were entertained by Jenna's curiosity. Blake is usually the one who looks out the window while in the car and looks at his surroundings while we are out. Today he slept half of the time or more. Jenna on the other hand, was very alert and curious. When we got them in the stroller and came out of the parking garage, the sun hit the visor on Jenna's carrier. Jenna immediately stuck her tongue out as if she wanted to taste the sunlight. It was so cute. Each time we moved out from the shade and the sun hit her face, her tongue stuck out for a little taste. A true warm weather girl I can tell. Like her mommy, the sunlight on her face is a great feeling to her.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 8th/NEW PICS

Wow, the twins have really changed in the last week, week and a half. We've seen subtle changes and growth almost each day but it seems like all of a sudden over night, they just look so much bigger and older! They really don't look like newborns anymore. Understandably so I guess, after all they are 8 weeks old now (adjusted). I can't believe it. (According to "real age", they will be 6 months old next week!!)

They have both been smiling, which is just so wonderful! Each day we get about 3-5 smiles out of them. The best part is when daddy comes home from work and says hello to them and they give big cheeky grins to greet him. Even after a long frustrating drive home, daddy can't help but to melt with relaxation when he sees Blake or Jenna smile as a response to him saying hello.

We changed formula and it was going great until about the 5th day. Both Blake and Jenna became badly constipated. It may be due to the extra iron in the formula. We were advised to try and treat and wait out the constipation in hopes that their bodies will get used to this new stuff. We will give it another day or so. Blake seems to be doing better. The first night was pretty bad for him. Jenna has had painful BMs for two days now. We have tried kero, VERY diluted prune juice and pedialite with 1/4 tsp milk of magnesia (advised by pedi). So it looks like we traded constant gas, spitting up for Blake and colic for Jenna for constipation. Sigh. They are supposed to be on 22cal (preemie) formula until their 9th month or more. We hope they get over the constipation soon, it is so difficult seeing them in such pain. Luckily, Blake is doing much better. Jenna has been somewhat better today. They were doing great on their schedule up until their bouts with constipation. Jenna hasn't been able to sleep well due to this, poor baby girl.

We see the nephrologist tomorrow for a follow up from the NICU. Next week we go in to see the pedi for their 6month shots.

I am feeling a bit better since I've been put on my thyroid meds. It's only been 3 days. It will take a bit of time to really start feeling and looking healthier. I appear really run down and pale due to my hyperthyroidism. That and lack of sleep of course. Now that the kids are on a better routine, I look forward to finding time to exercise and get rid of this extra left over pregnancy weight. Realistically, I know it will still be some time before I can work it in as a weekly routine. It will still be a while before the kids sleep more at night and therefore I won't need to nap during the day with them each time. I look forward to that. I attempted to get out and exercise night before last. I went walking at the track when Jason got home. I got a little over zealous I guess. It was way too hot, even at 90. I haven't spent any time outside this summer really and one side effect of hyperthyroid is intolerance to heat. Needless to say, I was not thinking this through very well. I was out for 30 minutes. Once I got home, heat exhaustion set in. I was down for a few hours. Unfortunately this is the same night the kids were having problems. Jason stepped in and took care of them both while I tried to recoop as quickly as I could. Again, Jason earns the title of SUPER DAD (and super husband).

Our cousin Kristin came to help out yesterday, thanks Kristin! This allowed me to run to the pediatrician's office to pick up some formula. When I returned, it was nice to visit with her. As much as I LOVE talking to my babies, it is nice to have some grown up conversations during the day when I can ;)

So, we are STILL having computer issues. Jason is going tomorrow to buy a new hard drive and I am going to try and get much of of pics on disks to free up some space. I have some awesome pics to show you all but am unable to post on the blog.

I may try and post to another site and include the link here......

Okay, I have managed to squeeze a few in. Here they are;
http://picasaweb.google.com/blakeandjenna/July?feat=directlink




Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd

Since time is limited, I am going to attempt to quickly post an update. Daddy is playing with Jenna on the floor and Blake is swinging. Blake is calling out for attention and has THE most (endearingly) pathetic sad face EVER! His frown just melts your heart and makes you laugh all at the same time. It's okay though, daddy went to his rescue.

Well, things that are new.......we are changing formula. We are switching to Enfacare from Similac. We mixed half and half of each for 24 hours and tonight we are preparing 100% Enfacare. We hope this will help the twins with their constant gas, Blake's reflux and Jenna's "midnight tummy episodes". So far so good. Well, hopefully if all goes well with the new formula, it will lend itself to helping to keep the kids on a good routine. In the past, there have been several nights that Jenna cries from about midnight to two (or sometimes it starts at two), then she (and sometimes Blake) wouldn't sleep til after the 4 o'clock feed. Well, morning comes around and she is wiped out, I am wiped out and so we sleep. When they nap, I nap. daddy is at work.....I HAVE too. We had a couple great days. I try and provide lots of awake time entertainment during the day. On the days that I do and the nights that they sleep well, we get nearly five hours of sleep. I would LOVE to have that as our "norm". Hopefully with this change, so will our opportunities to sleep.

Blake and Jenna are looking great. Their hair is really getting thick. Aunt Donna has been visiting each Thursday. She said in a week, she is SURE their hair is thicker. Last well Blake and Jenna FINALLY got to meet their 15 year old cousin Chris. Chris has always been curious about them and wanted to meet them but with the NICU rules being no visitors under 18, he unfortunately had to wait 4 1/2 months to see them. So did "Aunt Sydney".

The kids are changing before our eyes each day. I truly enjoy being at home with them to see the daily subtle and not so subtle changes. Lastnight I was holding Blake and he was half way sleeping. He smiled and I found myself sitting on the floor with big tears in my eyes. The thought crossed my mind, "to think it was very possible that i would never get to see that beautiful smile!". I held him closer and thanked God for for allowing me to be Blake and Jenna's mommy and for keeping them with us.

Well, I am going to try and hop back on later to post pics. We'll see......

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Great News

Sorry, thought I posted this....

Blake's sonogram showed NO hernia. We are so relieved. He will be seen by the urologist in a couple months to monitor the swelling.



Yesterday Grandma and Grandpa Patranella came and watched the kids so we could go to Sara (Jason's sister) and Josh's BBQ/baby shower. They came into town in the morning which allowed Jason and I to go out for some lunch before heading to Sara and Josh's. We hadn't slept but maybe 2 hours Friday night due to the twins' restlessness. So "pawpaw" and "meemaw" tried their best to keep them up yesterday. oops....kids are calling...


K, back again. It was real nice getting out today. I think this is the first time we've been away from home that I didn't catch myself looking to see what time it was and feeling as if I needed to hurry and be out so I can hurry and be back. Meemaw and pawpaw are staying the night tonight so that Jason and I can run some errands in the morning. We sure do appreciate the help from our family!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Big Smile

She did it. Jenna smiled a big cheeky smile while awake today. (Both her and Blake smile often while sleeping). Although she wasn't looking in my direction, it was beautiful to see nevertheless. I was singing a little "ditty" to her and all of a sudden she broke out with the cutest grin. Her cheeks are so chunky and she smiled so big she showed her gums as if she had great pearly white teeth. I can't wait to see it again. Blake continues to coo quite a bit. He usually does while he is swinging or during our play time. Jenna more calls out while she "talks". We (endearingly) call it her squawking.

Blake had his sonogram today to check for a possible hernia. We should get the results tomorrow. He did very well. Jason and I decided to manage this appointment by having him stay home with Jenna while I took Blake to his appointment. This gave us a look into the window of having a single rather than twins. Wow, what a difference!!!!! We feel as IF we were to have any more children, we would be pretty darn prepared to handle a single baby. Certainly not down playing the difficulty of caring for one but after juggling a schedule to maintain structure for two infants.......we are pretty confident we would know how to manage one. Anyways, he missed being there for Blake and it wasn't the same for me to be out without Jenna too. However, it turned out to work out well.

Jenna and Blake were evaluated by the Physical Therapist this week. Blake has been released from her care. He is actually doing well and is ahead of the game in some areas. Jenna is doing well. Now that they are nearing some developmental milestones, she will be seen once a week by PT and they will both continue to be seen by OT. PT said Jenna's periodic rigidity and stiffness MAY be due to immaturity of her nervous system and her lack of comfort at times in spatial awareness. This all pointing to prematurity and likely something that will strengthen and further develop in time. At times, Jenna gets over stimulated and gets "disorganized" in her movements. She either flails her arms and legs, kicks, cries and stiffens up. Good news is that she has more times of "quiet" calm play time. This little gal can sleep just about ANYWHERE. Her OT report is a bit different. Different views by different therapists. Her OT was impressed today with Jenna's flexibility in her legs and her hips. She reports that both are much better this week. We will work on getting Jenna used to being in different positions and holding her upright so as to strengthen her neck and posture. Hopefully the nuerologist will be able to tell us a bit more once he sees Jenna. Her appointment is at the end of August. She may very well have another MRI done to evaulate the status, months following her bilateral IVH (Intraventricular hemmorage). Overall though, she is doing great. I am really hoping to get good news about Blake's sonogram tomorrow. This will definitely be included in our prayers tonight.

Well, I have been fortunate to have enough time to actually post tonight. I better see what else I can squeeze in before the little ones wake for feeding.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

BTW-Jason and I are planning on posting about the events that preceeded my early labor and delivery. We hope to get that up soon. Pictures too!!