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

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. they are!!! Our precious angels......
just scroll down a bit

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New Pics

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.