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. 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!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday June 22

Well, Blake and Jenna have been home with us now for over five weeks. It seems it has been months since we were making our daily trips up to St. David's NICU to spend time with our babies. I dropped by one day last week to return something and when I parked in the garage, I suddenly realized that my NICU parking pass had expired. This time I would not be getting a new one. Funny, I was a little excited that I would HAVE to pay for parking this time. This meaning I was truly no longer a NICU mom. I walked in the main entrance and started on a familiar path. Once the elevator reached the third floor and I stepped out, the familiar scent of the postpartum floor served as a reminder of my time on the ward in Room 219. The wonderful nurses, my visitors, the care packages from family and friends, the calls of support, the amazing support Jason showed me each and every minute. Then there was some reminiscing over the thought (and dread) that I would be on bed rest for the remaining of my pregnancy IN room 219. Then thoughts of how quickly and abruptly things changed and the unexpected early birth of our babies. Collectively, my thoughts of the hospital are positive. Much due to the great care I received and phenomenal NICU that made it possible that we are all at home together today. I decided to run up to the NICU to see if Trinity and Kinsley's mom was there visiting. As I got closer and closer to the infamous NICU double doors, I actually felt like a visitor......not a "resident". What a wonderful feeling! Although the nurses, doctors and front desk staff will always make us feel like we are "home" when we visit now, it is great to be guests.

Uh oh, Jenna is calling......

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Great Gain

Blake and Jenna saw their pediatrician, Dr. Fasci, yesterday for a weight check. In a month, both have gained 2 pounds! Jenna is now 10 pounds 5 ounces and Blake is 9 pounds 11 ounces. Dr. Fasci was very impressed with their gain. Jenna's belly button hernia has reduced in size a great deal and is going away, thankfully. We want to avoid hospital stays/surgeries. After all, we haven't been out of the NICU THAT long. On the flip side though, Blake has some swelling and tightness in his, otherwise known as, " lower extremity area", so will be getting a sonogram to get further examined. We are really hoping it isn't a hernia. If if is, we are looking at surgery. If he has to undergo surgery, it will be his third surgery. I think any surgery at five months of age is a HUGE feat for a little guy, much less it having been the third. He and his sissy are such brave and strong little heroes (mom's proudly smiling). Anyway, hernias are quite common in premature babies. We just hope Jenna's continues to go away and that Blake does not need surgery.

Other than this, the appointment went real well. She was very impressed with their growth and development as well as the strength they showed with lifting and turning their heads. Dr. Fasci isn't concerned with Jenna's muscle tone. She says it is minimal at this point and appears to not be causing any problems developmentally. We will continue to monitor and perform daily therapuetic and preventative exercises. Again, we will know more when she reaches her milestones. So far so good. We will be seen again for their 6 month check up next month. It is still strange getting used to having "two ages". Although the kids are five and a half months old, they appear and are developmentally six weeks old.

Being a homemaker now I have a couple regular television shows that I watch, Oprah being one of them. I saw a very inspiring show yesterday, it was "Heroes Among Us". It caught my interest because for me, Blake and Jenna are my heroes. It was about children who have experienced great life challenges. There was a segment about a couple who at 30 weeks of pregnancy, found out their little boy had Trisomy 18. This is a disorder in which "his DNA sends faulty information to each cell of his body" and has a very low survival rate. They did not expect him to make it to birth. The couple beautifully wrote letters to Eliot every day before and after his birth. They celebrated his birthday every day with a picture and often times a cake. Both his mother and father had an amazing and inspiring attitude and lived each second of Eliot's life to it's very fullest. His mother would often tell her husband, " I'll be sad tomorrow", and lived each day with happiness caring for her terminally ill angel. They attended their NICU reunion just nine days before he died. His father reported that his wife was so proud and just beemed with excitement to show off her little boy. They were both so proud of him. He lived only a few days following a very special moment for the family. This moment being that he was able to come off of oxygen support and the tubes that were taped to his precious face were removed for a photo opportunity. This brought back memories of great joy for me of when after months following birth, were able to see our babies faces without medically necessary devices. From before Eliot's birth and throughout the tremendously challenging journey, this little boy had the fight and will to survive long enough to set eyes on his parents and live with them for as long as his body would allow. He lived for 99 days. At his funeral they released 99 balloons, each representing a day in which he lived. The video tribute to Eliot from his mom and dad is on utube. I have watched it many times and it chokes me up every time. This family is very special and is the epitomy of strength and positive thinking. When you see the pictures of Eliot you see a gorgeous little guy who had so much love to share with his family. The producers of Oprah selected his story to air on Wednesday's show, entitled "Heroes Among Us" and if you choose to view the video, you will clearly see why.

Each day I think about how fortunate we are to have Blake and Jenna with us. After all, who could imagine one pound babies surviving at all. Between their prematurity and the various "scares" along the way while in the NICU, we couldn't have even imagined having ten pound babies at home. We tried to take one day at a time and celebrated each small forward step. Now that they are home, we have certainly gotten comfortable and have found ourselves in the daily routine of caring for "normal" newborns. However, our journey from birth through NICU graduation will remain at bay. Our experience have certainly taught us that sometimes, the tiniest of creatures are the biggest of heroes.

Sorry, a little emotional but I was so touched by this story that I felt like sharing. Here is the UTUBE link.
By the way, this family is still celebrating the time they were given with their little boy by keeping their memories alive and celebrating his yearly birthday. The father reported that the only thing keeping them apart is the time he and his wife have left to live on Earth. On the show, they were also happy to report that Eliot will be a big brother in two weeks.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Links to all Photo Albums

Here are the links to all the web albums. Hopefully this will make it a little easier to find.



No place like home:


End of April:

Happy Easter:

End of March:


Mid March:


Mid/Late February:

Valentine's Day:


Special Gifts:


Here it is, 3AM on Wednesday. Blake has been sleeping for about an hour and a half and Jenna is in and out of a light sleep. Each time I think it's "safe" to lay down for some shut eye, she stirs causing her paci to fall out and she cries. If only there was an invention that helped keep paci's in babies mouths in a safe way parents would sure get a lot more sleep. On nights like this, I find it easier and less frustrating to just stay up until both are sleeping deeply rather than laying down and getting to the point of dozing off then five minutes into it, needing to tend to one or the other.

Sleep deprivation has set in, no doubt! Between getting little to no sleep and having some anxiety of Jason returning to work, the last coupls days have been challenging for me. I am just trying to find the best ways to manage the care for both on my own for the eight to nine hours Jason is at work. No matter how well you plan though, days are unpredictable. I just go with the flow as best I can. I usually feed whoever is stirring first. Sometimes they are both ready to feed at the same time so I set one in a bouncy and feed with one hand while I have the other on my lap on the floor feeding with my other. I plan time for playing and exercising on the floor as well as story time. Other than feeding, changing and playing, I get NOTHING else done right now. I know that will change when they are sleeping more at night and I don't have to nap when they nap as much. However, for now when they sleep, I take every opportunity to catch a few Zzzs. We are so lucky that they are both great babies. They both have great dispositions and neat little personalities. Jenna is so fun to watch when she looks around. Her eyes are so wide and bright blue. Blake is a lot of fun to watch too. When he cries he has THE cutest pouty face with the biggest frown. I am anxiously awaiting more smiles. Right now, you can catch them smiling sometimes in their sleep. Too cute.

Today I had a doctors appointment so the mom and dad Nobrega watched the kids. They were kind enough to let me leave early to go out for lunch and run a couple errands before my appointment. It was really nice to get out into the world-haha. A break from the 24/7 focus of caring for twins is soooooooo needed. Hopefully I will get good news tomorrow. I went in for some blood work, as I suspect I may be having some thyroid issues again. (Not so) Funny thing is, two symptoms are fatigue and irritability. Well, I definitely have both but whose to say that's not due to sleep deprivation? ha! The symptom I am suspicious about is a sore feeling I have in my neck. It feels as if I have been kicked in the neck, much the same feeling I have had in the past. So, in my prayers tonight, I pray that my blood work comes out fine. I need good health and energy to care for these two lil blessings.

Even with the challenges of sleep deprivation, each day Blake and Jenna bring such joy to our lives. I thank God for giving us the gift of being Blake and Jenna's parents. We pray that he continues to give us strength, patience and good health. We pray that Jenna's therapy continues to help her work through the muscle tone and that she and Blake get another clean bill of health on their next check up on Thursday.

Well, I THINK both are sleeping well enough now that I may be able to get a couple hours of sleep although their next feed is in 30 minutes. Think I will let them sleep until they wake hungry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The first month

Figured I would post a summary of our first month at home with the kids.

We were super super happy that both of the kids were ready to go home at the same time. We really agonized over the possibility that we may have to bring one home, while leaving the other in the hospital alone. That may be an over dramatization, but in our minds (mine at least) it felt like we'd be "leaving" one. As a vet, "never leave a man behind" is ingrained into us at the deepest level, so this was something that really bothered me. As luck (& our friends in the NICU) would have it, they were both ready at the same time.

Rooming In:
Ehhhhh That was a so so experience. We'd spent sooo much time at the hospital and had done all the "Parent" things like changing diapers, bathing, feeding, etc etc that we were very ready to have all the responsibility to ourselves. So, rooming in was more of a formality & pain in the butt for me.
For whatever reason, lil B dawg didn't really want to sleep that night, so I pretty much sat and rocked him for most of the night while watching Jenna & mom sleep a bit.
Our exit from the NICU was pretty anti-climactic as all our regular friends were off for the day. Dr. Su was awesome and called to congratulate us. He really wanted to be there, but his lil girls bday was that day. So, on a rainy Sat, the four of us made a quiet exit from St. David.

At home:
The first couple days they were home they were a bit fussy and didn't sleep as well as they normally did. By fussy, I mean that they didn't seem very comfortable. They didn't really cry more, just wiggled around a lot more and didn't settle into sleep as quickly.
One of the nurses told Kim that they would be very different babies once they got home and adjusted to their surroundings. Just about all the advice the nurses gave us turned out to be 100% true.
After about 3 days, Jenna really chilled out, and her firey attitude really calmed down. Blake was pretty much relaxed and chill the entire time. I think that's just his core personality.
Right off the bat, Kim and I both tried really hard to care for both babies and give the other some relax time. I think this really helped in the beginning as it gave Kim a little more sleep that she may have got otherwise. That got easier and easier as we all fell into our routines.

Our biggest challenge and worry was feeding. Blake was not as strong of a feeder as Jenna, so we really had to be vigilant with his feeding to ensure he was getting enough. After about two weeks, he started getting stronger and taking more and more with each feed. After Jenna perfected "pacing" while in the NICU, she never had a problem with feeds after that.

Around the second or third week, Jenna really had a noticeable change in personality. Before, she would go from "just fine" to "supper pissed" and screaming in about .025 sec. Around that time, she really relaxed and mellowed out. Now she'll kinda fuss and wiggle about before she starts crying. When she does cry, she starts off slow and soft and slowly increases her volume until we get the point and attend to her. That's not to say she can't work out the lungs when she wants to, she just doesn't seem to feel the need to go to that level very often. THANK YOU Jenna!

All in all, they have both been really good babies. They generally only cry when they are hungry or not feeling good due to gas. They've both gotten better about not having to have a passie in their mouth all the time. Then often time just chill and look around during their awake periods, with no stimulation or attention from us. Not saying that we ignore them, just that we don't have to hold or play with them every waking second.
Dare I say, they have actually been much easier than both of us had prepared ourselves for. That's not to say they aren't a hand full, cause they are, they just aren't as difficult, nor do they cry nearly as much as I would have imagined. Then again, I guess it was better that we prepared ourselves for the worst, and can appreciate how good we have it.

After about a week or two, they started sleeping a bit longer and got closer to 4hrs vs 3. They still don't sleep super hard and will start to stir and sleep softly after 1.5-2hrs. Unfortunately their sleep & stir cycles are slightly off, so that often keeps us busy ALL the time.
I sooooo can not wait for them to sleep 5 or 6hrs solid, let along through the night. On the positive side, there have been a few nights when they both slept 6+hrs. They are still infrequent, but hopefully we'll be putting more and more of those together. please please please

So far the kids have been doing great with traveling. We've taken them to the store several times and they seem to do just fine. We keep the sun shade on the baby carrier pulled up, so curious people won't just stick their hands in there, but we don't mind showing them off when people ask. We've also taken them for several walks around the neighborhood. We've decided to try to keep them used to traveling as frequently as possible. We certainly don't want to be those parents that get trapped in the house and never leave. Screw that.
Along with that, we didn't want to be the type of parents that won't/can't leave their kids for a few hours. Both grandparents have come over to watch the kids and give us a break for a bit. Surprisingly it really wasn't difficult to step out and leave them in their care. Heck, they raised us and our siblings without any catastrophic problems, so they should do ok with our kids. ;)

Dr.'s & Therapists:
We see them often. Very often. We have 1 or 2 therapist visits a week and at least one Dr. apt a week. So far everyone has been happy and impressed with their current health and development, considering what they've been through. That has been very very reassuring and has taken a huge stress off our shoulders.
The therapists continue to mention that Jenna is a little tight in her hips and isn't quite as flexible as they'd like. While this has been a re-occurring theme, I wonder how much different she is from "normal". One thing just about every parent has told us is that every baby is different. They are always giving us examples of how their kid reached some developmental milestone after the "normal" time, and yet their kid is perfectly normal and healthy.
So.... we are trying to take things somewhat lightly until they get older and get to bigger developmental stages (rolling over, crawling, sitting, etc) that will give us a better representation of their true development. I should note that when the therapists tell us that, they also say that it's pretty minor and shouldn't be something that she can not work through. So... we'll see how it turns out.

Well, I think that was long enough for one post.
Sorry for the infrequent posts, but between being supper busy, and not too many "new" things to report, our posts will probably continue to be slower. I'm thinking 2 or 3 a week, with posts for big or specific news.

Please feel free to post comments, questions, or anything else that may be on your mind.
In addition to a way for us to keep our family and friends updated, the blog has really helped us keep in touch with people & get an outside perspectives. So don't be shy.

Back to the salt mines......

Well.... It had too come eventualy, and here it is. Time to go back to work.

Kim & I had already watched the kids for 6-8hrs by ourselves, so we have a bit of a routine down and it's not the end of the world. However, caring for two babies by ones self is no easy task.

Those that know us pretty well, know that we don't ask for help very often, but we've both come to the realization that we are going to have to ask. Between me working, & Kim being on baby duty all the time, there are going to be times when we need a sanity break or just an extra hand. We are very very greatful that we have great parents that want to help us out and spend time with their grandchildren. We are also very fortunate that we have several friends that can't wait to babysit.

We've really wanted to be a bit more social and have some people over to visit the kids, but it's kind of dificult to schedule the visits as things change by the min & we've been so busy that we haven't really reached out to many people. Hopefully we can change that in the very near future.

My boss at work has been way way cool and understanding during the whole process. Her first day as our manager was on my first day going back to work after their birth. So she didn't really know me, other than that I had two kids in the hospital. She's always been super low pressure and flexable, which has helped our family tremendously. I can't imagine going through this whole thing while worrying about having a job and therefore paying for all this. Many thanks Michelle!

Well..... Not really sure what the point of this post was, but here it is. With all the sleep depravation my brain is on slow mode.... Maybe reverse. I dunno, which one, but I do know it doesn't work so well right now. ;)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Jason!

Today is Jason's birthday. The big 34 (as I cringe thinking what that will make me in a couple weeks). June is a busy month for birthdays and such. My dad, a.k.a. pawpaw Patranella, has his birthday tomorrow. Then mine is on the 26th. Since we both have such a lack of time, I tried to be creative in the gift giving for Jason's birthday. So I decided to take complete baby duty throughout the night lastnight so he could get some good sleep then "gave" him the day to play golf. He was thrilled and had a great time but was really happy to be back with the family this evening. When he got home, there was a new set of golf clubs that had been delivered from me and his parents.

The kids have been doing well. I was pretty busy lastnight as neither Blake or Jenna slept very deeply so they woke several times needing attention. Jenna had an upset stomach lastnight again. I believe it may be colic. We've tried Mylanta and Gripe Water, neither really do the trick much of the time. I have a call into the pedi to discuss the possibility of switching formula. She has tummy issues every to every other night. Other than that though she is doing great. She had her therapy today. It was a good productive session. She really seems to enjoy the exercises while on her tummy. Allyson continues to work on stretching and lengthening Jenna's leg muscles. Jenna has a bit of high muscle tone in the hips and legs. I am so grateful that this is mild especially considering her history of bilateral ventricular hemorrhage. We were told it was very very unlikely that the tone will get worse. At this point, it is hard to tell how much or if she will have difficulty or slowed progression into reaching the crawling and walking milestones. She is looking real good though. Allyson was very pleased with what she observed in Jenna's movements today. I plan to continue working with Jenna several times a day. I make it part of our play time. I believe in her and her ability to overcome this. With the help of family and friends, our prayers and her amazingly spunky personality she will do well. I will never underestimate the power of prayer nor will I underestimate my beautiful little firecracker of a gal. In the last few days, she has made and held eye contact with us more. I am so thrilled to see this. I love looking into her star fire blue eyes.

Blake is doing amazingly well. He is making the moves that will soon have himself rolling over. He is almost there actually. (BTW, Jenna is showing signs of attempts too!) He is moving along with his exercises and continues to pick up and turn his head. He holds his upper body up in short spurts. He is tracking very well. It is a truly amazing gift that Blake's vision is as healthy as it is. We are eternally grateful to Dr. Harper for performing a successful laser surgery. There have been so many people that have helped care for and help secure good health for Blake and Jenna. As I sat quietly for a few moments lastnight I began reflecting on my and Jason's life since the beginning of the year. A whirlwind of thoughts, memories and emotions suddenly came over me. As I thought back on the days that involved difficult decisions and of days of uncertainty, I found myself with knots in my stomach. Although those NICU days are well behind us, the emotions involved still easily surface. As I sat and played through some of the memories in my head, my emotions turned from fear, sadness and anxiety to joy, pride and much relief. I prayed a prayer of thanks for the amazing support we have received and for the fact that we have two wonderful babies with good health that make our family complete. The other evening, I was holding Blake. After watching a portion of the news, I looked down at him only to find two beautiful blue eyes looking up at me with a look of great content and comfort. As I sat and stared I felt so very proud. I felt so happy to have the fortune of sharing such moments with my "little man". I remembered a time I feared we would never share such moments, of fearing Blake would lose his vision. I can not possibly express the feeling of relief and gratitude I feel each day I gaze at my handsome little boy. emotionally charged post I've created. Maybe it's the lack of sleep...or the lack of time and my way of doing a turbo download of thoughts and emotions. Not sure. I just find myself very grateful for the amazing gifts I have been given.

Yep, I'm tired.....going to close for now. Will post more tomorrow. Thank you for your continued prayers. We continue to pray for Jenna to overcome any mobility challenges and for continued good health for our family and friends.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday's Handful

Whew, the twins have been a handful today! Until now, there has been NO downtime AT ALL...for Jason or myself. Mind you, I am typing one handed at times with Jenna in my arms as we speak. HA! It's funny, the innovative, twisty, turvey, stand on one foot, one hand behind your back manuevers you come up with when you juggle twins. Jason came downstairs the other afternoon from taking a short nap and started laughing at me. I was sitting on the couch, legs crossed, Jenna in the middle, Blake propped up in one arm, while I was on the phone making doctors appointments. He had to get a picture, it should be posted with the new pics. I keep telling myslef, I am going to have to learn to do so many things in this manner once Jason returns to work. Jason and I periodically give each other breaks. I usually utilize my "free time" by sleeping, he usually goes and plays golf or hangs out with Adam. Rarely does he take that time to sleep. Not me, I am not used to getting little sleep. I've never been one to function well on less than 6 or 7 hours sleep. Yea, lots of adjusting to do.

So, today has been a challenge in the Reid household. Both Blake and Jenna have been "high mantainance. They've been fussy and have needed our attention every minute. Good thing is, hopefully they will sleep well tonight. We went to the pulmonologist today. Both checked out well with their evaluation. The data from the apnea monitors has been downloaded and will be reviewed. If all looks good, they will discontinue the theophline and we will remain on the monitors for another month to make sure all is well w/o meds.

We have an appointment tomorrow to get family pictures taken. I sure hope they aren't as fussy. If, so we will just do it another day.

Well, dinner is ready and time is limited so I am going for now. Before I go though, here are new pics.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

NICU Reunion

I almost forgot to tell everyone about their little impromptu NICU Reunion.

When the kids left the hospital, it just happened to work out that all their regular nurses & Dr.'s were off work. Janice worked the evening we roomed in, but she had a full lineup of babies to care for, so we didn't get to see her as much as we liked. But.... we knew she was giving other babies excellent care, so we understood.

Anyways, the day we checked out was very low key. Nobody that we knew was working, so Anna, April, & Dr. Su didn't get a chance to say goodbye. We didn't really have much going on Tue, and the gang was working, so we packed up the kids and rolled up to good ole St. David to visit the extended family.
Anna, April, & Dr. Su were really happy to see the kids and were very happy with how much they've grown and how good they looked. The kids cooperated, behaved, & were wide awake the entire time we were there. While we were there, several of their other friends were able to come out and see them to say hi.
It's funny, it had only been a couple days over 2 weeks since we exited the NICU, but it seemed like it had been a long time. Really showed Kim and I how close we've come to all the wonderful people in the NICU & how much we've missed seeing them. We can't say enough good things about that crew. They perform miracles on a daily basis, and yet it's simply routine and "doing a good job" for them.

We learned an important lesson on this trip. Due to all the things we had going on, we ended up leaving the house right when they were ready to feed. Because of the timing, Kim fed them in the truck on the way to the hospital. BIG Mistake! We weren't able to burp them until we got to the hospital, and Blake promptly threw up as soon as we got out of the truck.
So, no mas feeding while they are strapped in their car seat.

Anyways, we had a great visit and will post a couple pics when we have a moment to get them up.

Rollin along

Hi all.
Sorry our posts have been few and far between. When we don't both have our hands full of babies, we've been trying to give each other a break. Try to catch up on a little sleep or just get stuff done.

The kids have been doing great. Each Dr. or therapist visit brings more good news. They have all been impressed with where they are considering the challenges they've faced.
Having them home has been everything I had imagined and quite a bit more. They are definitely a handful as all parents know, but it's been amazing getting to spend almost every minute of the day with them. They are awesome! Even after 3 weeks, Kim and I often comment on how cool it is to have them home.
For the most part they are pretty relaxed kids.
Jenna has really calmed down and seems to have settled into her surroundings and life in general. Before she would go from 0 to PISSED in no time flat. This past week, she seems to have mellowed out quite a bit. Now she'll just kind of look around, grunt and try to tell you she's not happy, then open up with the lungs. She's also been doing really good consoling herself by putting her fingers in her mouth, or just by looking around.
Blake has been doing good as well. He'll often time just sit there and look around the room. He'll do this for up to two or more hours. He's also doing a good job consoling him self and relaxing.

Both have picked up their feeding quite a bit. Blake is doing great with his bottle feeding. Before, he would get tired and wouldn't put down the suction. After working with him for a few days, he's really started to get the hang of it.
Seems like they make rapid improvements after we recognise a need and begin working on it.
They are just amazing to watch develop. They are truly impressive.

The only thing I would really like to improve is the length of time they sleep. Right now it's 3-4hrs. If we could get that to 5-6, life would perfect.

Not sure if we mentioned it, but the kids have been Great travelers! The first week, we took them on a 4hr jaunt to a couple stores and Rudy's for a late dinner. They've been traveling great when we go to Dr. apts. We've taken them out for several walks, and they really seem to enjoy getting out. And by "enjoy" I mean that they sleep very very hard, so at the very least, we enjoy it. ;)

We'll both try to get some pics posted & update the blog more often. At the very least, after Dr. apts.


Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1, 2009

Thought I would hop on real quick while I have a chance. Blake and Jenna are napping AT THE SAME TIME-WHOOHOO!!!! After the 3:30 feed, Jenna decided to stay awake and explore her surroundings. She had a short tummy time first and we did her exercises. She did well and appears to be gettign stronger every day. She has lifted not only her head but she used her arms to raise her upper body too. Great job Jenna! She really enjoyed looking around at her stuffed animal friends and toys this afternoon. She is having more and more time where she likes to look around and observe her surroundings without requiring us to "entertain her" or hold her while awake. She also does not scream each time her paci falls out anymore-whew! She just hangs out when it falls out sometimes or puts her fingers in her mouth. We are excited that she has been having more quiet and calm play time.

Blake still enjoys his swing quite a bit. He just sits in there watching his mobile or looking around'This is nice when it's time for Jason and I to eat. It IS true, babies ALWAYS need something when it's time for mommy and daddy to sit down to eat. We have settled into a pretty good routine though that lends itself some time for me and Jason to eat without too many interruptions. Blake does quite a bit of cooing. Jenna calls out from time to time. She sounds like a little bird.

The other day the cutest thing happened. We put Blake and Jenna together on the floor and Blake started with the hiccups. A couple minutes later, Jenna started with hiccups too. They just looked at each other. Then for a while they hiccuped in unison-haha. It was real cute.

We have been taking lots of video and some pics. I'll work on posting more. We are going this week to have our first family pics taken outside of the hospital. Hope they either are calm and cooperative or sleeping.

Think we will go out for a stroll later tonight. Gotta get these two used to being out and about and get us used to handling them away from home. We really want to take them to our yearly family get together this year. Each year we all go camping out at the Renaisance Festival. We may be crazy taking two 5 month olds (or 9 month old according to their b-day) out on such a trip but our goal is to be a real flexible and on the go family. Gotta start early! Jason and I love nature and doing things out doors so we want to start getting Blake and Jenna ready for lots of outdoor fun.

Hope all is well. Thank you for your continued prayers. Each day is a true blessing and we couldn't be happier that Blake and Jenna are home.