Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Sunday, September 27, 2009

5 Months Old

The girls turned 5 months old yesterday. I know I keep saying this...but I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I look back to a year ago and we were in our 2 week wait, waiting to see if the IUI had worked and if we were pregnant. I don't think I even had a thought that we would be having twins. I was just hoping that we would get pregnant after a couple of tries with the IUI. We were so lucky and blessed to not only get pregnant the first try, but get twins out of the deal.

So here we are a year later with beautiful girls that smile at us every day. Sometimes I can't believe how much our life has changed, but the other part of me doesn't even remember what life was like before these girls took over our lives. Addison is our forever happy girl. Very little makes her upset and she always has a big smile on her face when she sees you. Riley is a little more reserved with her smiles but when she is really happy, she lets you know.

I wanted to add some pictures for their official 5 month mark but the girls had other plans. They were napping on different schedules and didn't allow me to get them dressed up for a little photo shoot. I'm hoping to catch some new photos this week. I bought some new outfits at the Carter's store at 70% off and some Halloween onesies that say "Baby's first Halloween" on them. Jesse didn't' see the point of dressing them in costumes since they are so young and it is so darn hot here in Phoenix. I think it was 106 degrees outside to day. If anyone knows where fall is.....can you send her over to Phoenix for us please? We don't plan to go trick or treating with them this year so the $5 onesies will have to do. Jesse knows that next year I will have my fun getting them dressed up and the girls should enjoy themselves as well.

I don't have a whole lot to report for their 5 month mark. Riley is getting good at holding her bottle up herself, although she is not that coordinated yet. Addison continues to laugh like crazy and Riley is just starting to show us her laugh. We will have more height and weight stats next month when the girls have their 6 month well baby check-ups. So for now, happy 5 months girls!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Balancing Bonding Time

I love the moments when I can just bond with my girls. The time when I know they are happy just because they are cuddled up in my lap giving me hugs and kisses. Is there anything better than that?....I don't think so. Lately, the bonding moments have been more with Riley than with Addison. Some of that makes me feel guilty, but given our circumstances, I can't give each child my full attention at every moment. Addison was our difficult child at first. She had her reflux issues along with her heart issues and she needed to be held and supported more than Riley. So Riley spent more time in her bassinet or bouncy chair and Addison spent more time in my arms, Jesse's arms, Sara's arms, or my mom's or step-mom's arms. I used to comment that Riley is our easy baby and Addison requires more work.

Then the tides changed. Riley became more needy. Maybe it was because she knew she wasn't getting as much attention as her sister. She may have thought to herself...I know if I cry, someone will pick me up and cuddle with me. And she was right. We didn't like to let the girls cry at all. Jesse and I would run to their beck and call and so would my mom and Linda. Sara was the only smart one that knew she didn't need to be held every second. At this time, Addison started requiring as much attention and would just sit in her swing and smile or hang out in her bouncy chair and watch everything that was going on and Riley would be throwing fits and crying just to cry....or so we thought. At this time I started spending more time with Riley. She was better at latching on to the breast so I would feed her every day after getting home from work. We would spend that extra close time together. I still worked with Addison but she seemed less and less interested in the breast and needed that instant gratification of the bottle. Riley was also having major trouble going to sleep at night. She would cry and cry and fight with every ounce of her body to avoid going to sleep. We even went as far as putting her to sleep in her room by herself and letting Addison fall asleep in her swing. That way Riley could cry it out at night if she needed and it wouldn't wake Addison up.

At this point I realized that Riley needed something else...something special for her to realize it was bed time and it was okay to go to bed. So I started being the one to give her the bath and feed her. On most nights Jesse and I took turns on which baby we would give a bath and feed before bed. So with just the special mommy time, Riley and I would go into the nursery with the light off and I would feed her the night time bottle with her Zantac and I would sing to her as I fed her. I only know part of this nursery rhyme but it went something like this" Go to sleep and good night....go to sleep little baby...but I would insert little Riley into my song" I would sing and hum this tune as we rocked together in the chair. Riley would look up at me and I could tell she was much more relaxed. She would watch the ceiling fan and listen to me sing and this would lull her to sleep. So for the last 2 weeks Riley has gone to bed without a peep. She was happy and content and I enjoyed the close quiet time we had together.

Addison must have sensed that she was missing out on something because as soon as Riley started going down so smooth...Addison decided she was going to play the difficult baby role again. Addison may fall asleep for 30 minutes or so after her bath but she was getting up and giving Jesse and Sara some trouble before she finally would go down to sleep around 10-11pm. Riley was going down around 7 without waking.

So part of me feels guilty because I am giving Riley so much more attention at night because it is helping her to go to sleep but I am not spending as much time with Addison. I don't know how I can win where both of my girls have the bonding time with me because I can't clone myself and I have to rely on Jesse and anyone else who is helping to get Addison to bed. Maybe little miss Addison needs some extra mommy time with me this weekend. Maybe that will help.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Riley's Discovery

Recently Riley has discovered she has feet. It was so cute to see her stare down at her feet and wonder..."what are those things?" She is now grabbing on to her feet and trying to pull them into her mouth. That girl wants anything she can find to be in her mouth. It could be her hand, her thumb (which she loves the most), her blanket, her burp cloth, daddy's finger, mommy's neck, basically anything she can suck on other than the paci. That girl was the first to suck on the paci in the NICU and learned quickly that it would soothe her but the last month or so she has had no interest in her paci anymore. You stick it in her mouth and she sucks on it for a brief second and then spits it out with disgusted look on her face.

Addison is laughing more and more every day. She thinks everything is funny these days. She goes into one of those hysterical laughing fits at least a few times a day. We all sit back and laugh with her when she does it. I really need to catch another episode on video. She is just a riot.

We are looking forward to more changes with the girls as they develop more personality and learn new things.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I need a break from my weekend

It is very ironic that coming to work after the weekend is like getting a break from my weekend. Before kids I used to look forward to the weekend and sleeping in and all that jazz. Now my weekends are a little stressful. I have all kinds of errands to run, dishes to clean, laundry to do and this is all while taking care of both girls. So coming to work is almost relaxing to me. Now don't get me wrong, I love love love my girls and I can't wait to spend anytime I can with them, but sometimes I get worn out and I need a break from their crying and demands. I was so worn out on Friday evening that I went to bed at 7:30. Luckily, Jesse was able to stay up with the girls until they went to bed and I could get some sleep.

I did have a fun day on Saturday with the girls and my mom. We went shopping on her side of town. We went out to lunch and then over to Toys R' Us to get some birthday presents for the little girl next door and the Brea's boys who are all having birthday parties in the first weekend of October. I also picked up a few things for the girls. We then headed over to Target for some more household items. The girls were fantastic the whole trip and my mom helped out a bunch. Running errands takes much longer now when you have two babies to get into car seats and into strollers while loading up the car with the items we purchased. I always need a second person with me if I am going to shop with both girls.

Shopping will be much more enjoyable once the weather cools down here in Phoenix. We are still supposed to be in the 100's this next week. I just can't take the heat any more. I want to take the girls on walks in the evening and be outside more, but with that heat, it is impossible. I will be so excited once we finally get a break from the heat. Then we will be loving Arizona when it is in the 60's and 70's while everyone else is freezing in the snow. The winter and spring time makes the summer months bearable.

Lastly, on the diet front, there has been some changes. I am still eating better but I have joined a contest at work to help me stay motivated. My team at work is doing a Biggest Loser contest. We are putting $30 each in the contest pot and the contest kicks off on October 1st and runs through December 1st. I have some larger guys on my team so I don't anticipate winning the contest but I think just being enrolled in the contest will keep me motivated. I hope to see some results in the 9 week contest and it will be a nice challenge to stay motivated during the start to the holiday season and over Thanksgiving.

There is our Prather Family news for now. I hope to get up some more pictures soon when we get a new power cord for our laptop. It quit working over the weekend and Dell is shipping us a new one.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Another Picture Post

Here are some recent photos of the girls. They are growing fast and sharing their personalities. Enjoy:
The girls all dressed up in their first pair of jeans

Riley with her new Tigger toy my dad bought for her at Disneyland
She was falling over in her bumbo, she still learning how to sit up all the way

Riley hanging out with daddy.
Don't you love that surprised look and the spit-up on her shoulder

Addison playing in the bath

Riley relaxing on the cough
She is a thumb-sucking baby now.
We are happy about that because now she is better at self-soothing
Addison
Does this picture make my head look big??? Mommy thinks so

More Redskin Cheerleaders

Close up

Daddy and Riley all ready for the big game!

Riley sharing her beautiful baby blues

Addison
What can you say about that look???

Riley

Riley hanging out in the bumbo with her teddy

Addison sharing time with her Great Aunt Jennie

Developmental Specialist Appointment

The girls were seen by a developmental therapist yesterday to evaluate their physical skills and to see what milestones they are meeting based on their chronological and adjusted age. Their language, speech, gross motor, and fine motor skills were examined. Addison went first and she scored right at her adjusted age on her fine motor skills, she is grabbing on to toys but doesn't do much with them after that. She scored much higher being able to hold up her head in the tummy time position and her muscle tone looked very good. Addison enjoyed playing with the therapist. She was kicking her legs and cooing and smiling at the therapist. She was happy the whole visit, especially after I changed her very dirty diaper that she made while we were in the waiting room. Here is Addison working with the therapist:



Riley was up next and she scored very close to her chronological age in regards to looking people in the eye, tracking movement, and playing with her toys. She is more advanced than Addison in that regard but she scored lower on holding her head up and using her muscles. This just goes to show you their differences. Addison is my busy girl and loves to move around and be active and Riley is the watcher and thinker and she loves to talk to anyone who will listen to her. Here is Riley working with the therapist and a picture of both girls together:


And for the biggest news of all, the girls were weighed in and Addison has always been about 6-8 ounces bigger than her sister. Well apparently Riley wasn't allowing that to happen anymore and she weighed in at 1 ounce bigger than her sister. Riley was 12 pounds 8 ounces and 23 1/2 inches long and Addison was 12 pounds 7 ounces and 24 inches long. Riley's head is also measuring bigger than Addison. So Riley, our little 3 pound 12 ounce little girl is now bigger than her big sister. I guess she has been eating a little more and chubbing up those thighs of hers.
So all in all, both girls are looking fantastic and hitting their milestones right on track. They fall in between their adjusted age and their actual chronological. They will go back to see the therapist again in December. By then, they should be rolling over all the time and spending most of their time on their tummy in play. We were sent home with some exercises to complete and some activities to stimulate their growth. Sara will help us during the day and mommy and daddy will work with the girls when we are home. We will be making a few changes to help correct some small issues, but we know things are going very well our girls that were born at 32 weeks instead of 40 weeks.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Random Thoughts

The start of football season was tough for the Redskins. I meant to post yesterday, but as usual, the day got away from me. Even though we had the girls all dressed up and Jesse and I had our jerseys on, we couldn't will the Skins to a win. The Giants are a tough team and the Redskins didn't show up to play really until the second half when things were too late. Although it was funny to watch Jesse and Riley together during the game. Jesse held Riley most of the game since her new thing is to be held every, I mean, every second of the day. When the Redskins would score a touch down or do something great on the field, Jesse would jump up with Riley in his arms and run around the house with her. He would take her arm and show her how to cheer "Touch Down". It was so funny to watch. Mostly, Riley had a "what in the heck is going on" look on her face because it scared her when Jesse would jump up and yell, but she was a good sport. Jesse even tried throwing her in the air after a good play, but she didn't like that and started to cry. I guess she is still a little young to enjoy flying in the air. We hope next weekend will be better when the Skins play the Rams. This "should" be an easy win for us, but last year we gave up the game to the Rams so we hope we don't see a repeat of last year. We also hope that the Cardinals can get their act together and pull out a win next week also. They played horribly on Sunday also.

The diet - no fast food plan is going pretty well. I don't really crave the bad food and I look forward to all the fruits and veggies I have been eating. My body feels better and I'm not as tired as I used to be. Imagine that??? I'm down 3 pounds since Monday the 7th and we I have not had fast food since Friday the4th. I'm not completely limiting bad foods. I have replaced candy for chocolate covered granola bars and I have had a few cookies, but other than that, I am eating more healthy and looking forward to more progress. Jesse is working out 3 days a week at the gym and starting to build some muscle. I am proud of him for sticking to the work outs. I wish I didn't have to pump so often and I could run over to the gym, but until I stop pumping, there won't be enough time to sneak away. I may start walking with the girls at night to get some exercise.

I now want to recognize a few of my online friends. A fellow infertility survivor Eve just found out she is having twins after doing IVF and putting back 2 eggs. I am so happy for her and it is nice to welcome another momma into the multiples club. I wish her luck in her pregnancy, but I know she has a rough road ahead. She had pre-term labor with her son and spent time in the hospital on Mag to keep pregnant as long as possible so carrying twins will be another struggle for her body. I pray that things will go well and her body will be strong this time around.

Another friend Kari is the mom carrying Quads. She is almost 33 weeks pregnant and still holding on to all 4 babies. 2 more days and she will make it to where I did in my pregnancy and this just amazes me. Her body was built to carrying multiple babies and I am so glad things have gone so well. She may deliver any day now but each day she holds on is less time the babies will need to spend in the NICU. Keep up the good work Kari.

That is all for now, I hope to get some new pictures up later. Maybe I will add them to this post tonight.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Busy Week

I haven't had as much time to blog this week. We got a great video of Riley talking away and I have been saying "I need to get that on the blog" but here we are 4 days later and I am just getting around to it.

Work has picked up a little bit for me, which is good since my job is performance based. And a shout out to all of my blogger friends, if you are looking to get back into school and are interested in pursuing your degree online, I can help you. Okay, person plug over with.

Jesse has been getting home from work late this week because he is getting more observation hours in for the finish of his masters in secondary education degree. He needs 100 hours of observation in high school classes, or organized sports. Since he is doing his observation hours, he has had to stay at work later to make up for the time he is missing. This leaves me at home with the girls by myself and the evening hours are their most fussy times. Normally we get some help from both my mother and step mom through out the week, but my step mom and dad went to California this week for my dad's birthday (September 11th....Happy Birthday Dad!). So we only had one day of help this week and I could really see the extra pressure. I had a few melt down moments by the time Jesse got home and I haven't been in the best mood. You add in my school work and I am one tired mamma. I'm even in a class that I like for the most part, Ethical, legal, and Regulatory Issues in Health care. So even though I enjoy the work, I still don't have much time to devote to my classes. Luckily, I only have 4 more classes after this one and I will have my masters degree finished....and hopefully there will be no more school for me.

Jesse and I are excited for the start of football season today. GO REDSKINS!!! We have a tough game against the Giants in New York so we may need a few extra cheerleaders cheering us on. It looks like Addison and Riley are up to the challenge.

So here is Riley's video as promised. You have to watch for a few seconds before she really starts talking.


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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Healthy Family

Both Jesse and I are looking to get healthier. It is one thing to be unhealthy as as individuals but it is another thing to be unhealthy as a family. We want to raise our children in a healthy lifestyle. We were both in good shape when we got married, we played volleyball 4 nights a week and were very active, but now life is a little different.

Jesse goes to the gym here at work 3 days a week but I have to pump while at work so I don't have a lunch break to be at the gym and I need to get home to relieve Sara with the babies. We are both changing are eating habits. We won't be eating fast food at all except Subway. We love love love Subway and I know there is extra sodium in their food, but I I'm not able to stock all the fresh veggies that subway puts on their sandwiches without them going bad quickly. So we will be eating there when we need to grab something fast, but dinners will be at home. We will be doing lots of fruits and veggies, chicken breast, and oatmeal and yogurt for breakfast. I hope that I can stick to eating better since I can't fit much exercise into the routine. Jesse will working with his trainer at the gym 3 days a week for 8 weeks. We hope to be in better shape when we travel to Wisconsin for Christmas. I hope to lose 20 pounds by then. I have lost 2 pounds so far, just 18 more to go. Wish us luck!

Addison's Cardiology Appointment and Our Weekend Away

My holiday/birthday weekend started early because I need to take Addison to her follow up Cardiology appointment early on Friday afternoon. We have yet to see another SVT episode from Addison since the one and only one she had while in the NICU. The more time we go without another episode, the more likely it will be that she will grow out of the condition. Instead of increasing her heart medication dose as she gains weight, the doctors are keeping her on the same dosage to allow her to be slowly weaned off of the medication. Everything on her EKG checked out fine again and the doctor was pleased that Addison is doing so well. They will see her back again in 2 months and Riley will be going to that appointment to check on the heart murmur they were hearing in the NICU. Before Riley was released the doctors felt that they couldn't really hear the murmur any longer but we did need to follow up with the cardiologist to make sure all is well with her heart as she grows.

Okay on to the weekend at the resort. Jesse and I finally got away and checked into the resort around 6pm. At this point, I was already exhausted from the long week, the packing, and getting Addison to her appointment and back. I felt bad because I wanted to make the best of the time we had away from the girls. After checking in, we decided to go out to dinner. We didn't know the area that well so we just decided to drive around and see what we could find. We ran across a Red Robin and I love to eat there so we stopped there. I had my first glass of wine in almost a year. On a side note: I can't believe it has almost been a year since we got pregnant. We were just getting ready to complete our IUI this time last year. I had one glass of wine during that cycle and I was actually pregnant at the time but I didn't know it yet. Anyways, the wine was nice and just one glass had me feeling good, but instead of waking me up, it had the opposite effect and all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Jesse made me promise that I was going to pump and dump my milk after drinking the 1 glass of wine, so I went ahead and did that to ease his mind even though there would have been just a small trace of alcohol if any in my system. So after the dinner we went back to the hotel and Jesse let me go to sleep so I could be more rested and ready to have fun the following day.

After some sleep I was ready to enjoy our time. After I woke up, I realized I had left some things at home...silly me and we needed to run home and get what I forgot. This was a nice way to check on the girls after our first night away. They were sleeping when we got there and I felt better just being able to see them. Jesse and I then went to breakfast and then it was off to the Casino. Jesse is a fan of the slots, but I am a Black Jack or card game girl. Jesse ran off to donate his money to a slot machine and I found a fun $5 Black Jack table to play at. Jesse returned after about 30 minutes and he had lost all of his money already. I was surprised because I was holding my own and having fun. After getting up a little bit, I gave Jesse some of my winnings and he sat next to me and played some rounds with me. Once again, Jesse lost his money and I wasn't doing too well either. I had got down to my last $5 and then my luck turned around and I played another 30 minutes and got back up. At that point I decided it was time to leave because I wanted to buy the girls some things at Babies R Us and I didn't' want to lose any of my money. Jesse was mad about his loss and promised he would never play slots again. I can not stand slots and I like the slower paced games that allow you to win slowly or lose slowly. We only gamble once a year but Jesse will be playing Black Jack with me from now on. Good choice!

We went to dinner that night at a Mongolian grill. After some good food we wanted to go to a movie but the timing wasn't right so we went back to the hotel and decided to order a movie in our room. The hotel allows you to watch movies that are still in the theater for about the same price as going out so we enjoyed our movie from bed. That is the best way to enjoy a movie in my opinion, so I glad we decided to stay in. We watched the Hangover...Jesse's choice, but it was pretty funny.

On Sunday morning it was time to pack and head home. We got out of the hotel early and went breakfast before it was time to go home. Jesse and I had not been able to go out to breakfast since before we had the girls so I really enjoyed the alone atmosphere and the good food.

When we got home I was so happy to see the girls. I missed them terribly, but I didn't miss the extra crying and diapers one bit. LOL The girls were happy to see us and I was sure they looked bigger in just the 2 days we were gone. They are growing like weeds so I'm sure they were a little bigger or I forgot how big they were before we left. It was a nice relaxing time away, but I was happy to get back to being a mom and holding my girls

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Funny Moments Caught on Video

We have recently caught some really funny moments on camera. This last week Jesse has been able to get Addison to full on laugh. Both girls have giggled a little bit but Addison is completely laughing when Jesse takes her stuffed animal snuggely and he holds it on her face and takes it off real quick. She just thinks this is the most hilarious thing ever. We weren't expecting to see her laughing so much so I quickly grabbed the camera while I was holding Riley to jump over to the other side of the couch to catch the funny moment on camera. I was not a very good camera person towards the end because I was laughing so hard I was crying. I was also crying because it was so touching to see my daughter reach such a great milestone. We also didn't think to turn the light on so the video would be more clear, but you can see most of it. Please enjoy the video with us:


video


This next video was caught by Sara earlier in the day. Riley was apparently hungry and though her sister's head was a nice thing to try and suck on. The rest of the video is pretty self explanatory. We hope you find it as funny as we did.

video

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Its My 28th Birthday Today


Ouchhhh.....30 is just around the corner now isn't it? I've made another trip around the sun and now I'm officially in my late 20's. I only get to enjoy 2 more glorious years in my 20's and then I will have to move into the dreaded 30's. I'm a little sad about this but I am so happy about the accomplishments I have made during this last decade. I met my husband, fell in love, and got married. We bought our first house together after selling Jesse's first home. I finished my Associates and Bachelor degrees and I am almost done with my masters degree. I finally got pregnant and had two beautiful daughters. I have also finished almost 4 years of service to the University of Phoenix as an enrollment counselor.

My goals for this next year are to finish my masters degree which I should be finishing my last class in April. I will then graduate with my husband who is finishing his Masters Degree in Secondary Education and my father who is finishing his Masters in Psychology. We will all walk across that stage together this summer.

I plan to make more steps towards open doors for me to teach online classes for any university or college. I would like to teach lower level business courses or go back to dentistry and teach dental assisting or practice management courses. Once I finish my degree I can begin the leg work for getting into the online teaching field and then I may be able to work part time and teach part time so I can be at home with my daughters more. I plan to spend as much time with my girls as possible while strengthening my relationship with my husband.

Wish me luck for the coming year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Pictures

I decided not to get professional pictures done for the girls 4 month milestone. We have put them though enough photo sessions so I just decided to get some shots at home over this last week to document the occasion.

Riley in her swing with her Best Friend Bear
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Addison:
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Riley:
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Riley in her swing:
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Addison with the Pillow Grandma Jean's friend sent from Canada:
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Both girls together...I have been told that Addison looks a little drunk-tipsy in this picture...what do you think? Ha ha
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Girls in their swings:
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Addison on the playmat:
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The girls are still sleeping through the night but they haven't been too interested in going to bed at their bedtime of 7pm since we went to Spokane. They may take a little "nap" at about 7pm after their bath, but they end up waking up around 8pm and stay up until 9 or 10 which is after I go to bed. Sara and Jesse have been working with them to get them to sleep earlier. I hope that happens soon. The developmental specialist came to visit us on Saturday and said the girls are looking great but it may take 1-2 weeks to get the girls back on their schedule after disrupting their routine by going on the trip. She also set up an appointment for October where the girls will be 4 months on their adjusted age (age based on when their due date should have been). On this appointment she will do a screening to see if the girls are meeting their 4 month milestones. So far they seem to be closer to their chronological age than their adjusted age and they have been hitting their milestones as such. I am so proud of our little munchkins.