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.

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