Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Friday, October 30, 2009

Meeting with our home nurse

We finally saw the home nurse that visited us right after the girls were home. I really like her personality and we share some of the same beliefs about waiting for solids and raising happy babies. The reason for her visit was to do the 4mo adjusted age screen just like the developmental specialist completed for the girls on Saturday. And this time we got a much better report. So either our week of tummy time and working with the girls has paid off or the girls just scored better this time. Addison was not behind on any of her skills this time. She does need a little more work on her fine motor skills and problem solving but she was not as behind as the last report indicated. Her eyes seemed to focus on things much better during the evaluation than she did on Saturday.

The nurse also indicated that a few of their skills were more at the level of a 6 month old baby. Riley is starting to put letters together and say things like "ma" "ba" "da". Well she actually yells those sounds, but at least she is learning. Both babies like to put their feet in the air and play with them which is more a 6 month skill. So her assessment was not as dire as the first assessment. She still said it was a good idea to get Addison's eye screening and to let the Early Intervention Group evaluate Addison and maybe get her some therapy. But overall, she was very pleased at their growth and development. I also got more kudos for continuing to breast feed and pump 100% of their nutrition. I've made it through 6 months and I know going 6 more months will be manageable. I would still like to sleep 8 or 9 hours at night without pumping or waking up engorged, but I will need to wait until spring before that will happen.

Tonight we will be celebrating Halloween at the hospital with their annual NICU Spooktacular. We get to go back and see all the doctors and nurses that took such good care of our babies after they were born. The girls will be wearing their Halloween onesies and with little beanies that say Boo on them. The girls are a little young for Halloween this year, but we should have a fun time at the party.

Happy Halloween to all!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Girls 6 month Doctor Visit



Height - 25" 10 %ile
Weight- 14lbs 2.5oz 10-20%ile
Head Circ - 17" 75%ile


Height - 24.5 5-1%ile
Weight - 14lbs 10-20%ile
Head Circ - 17" 75%ile

So the girls are catching up on height and weight and they have very nice size heads. We got the referral for Addison to go to the opthomologist so we can get her eyes checked out. Dr. W agreed that we should wait until the girls are 6mo adjusted age to start solids so that will be a week before Christmas. So far they are growing great on mommy's milk. Dr. W as so proud of me for continuing to pump and breast feed without supplementing with any formula.

They got their shots, 3 pokes and 1 oral vaccine. As usually it was a loud crying fest until we got both girls calmed down. Then they fell asleep on the ride how and were their happy selves again once they woke up. We gave them a little Tylenol just in case. Their 9mo visit will be in the end of January.

Addison saw the Arizona Early Intervention coordinator today and she didn't do an assessment since she just had one on Saturday but since she was born before 34 weeks she qualifies for the program. So we will have a full assessment done by two therapists here in the next week with a treatment plan on how to help Addison get up to speed on her development. I am happy to know we will have a plan.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Then and Now - Riley

What a difference a half a year can make. Here is a picture of Riley when she was 2 days old with her daddy. We then took a picture last week of her and daddy together at almost 6 months old. I still can't believe how tiny they used to be. Riley was 3 pounds 12 ounces when she was born and now she is close to 15 pounds. It is crazy how much she has grown.

2 Days Old

Almost 6 months old

Stay tuned to Addison's now and then.....

Monday, October 26, 2009

6 Months

I can't believe my babies are 6 months already. It seems like yesterday that I was stuck on bed rest making my home in the hospital waiting to meet our little blessings. I couldn't even imagine what life was going to be like, but I was so happy to start adding to our family times 2. Addison and Riley are such good babies and they are growing and doing new things every day. I only wish time would slow down just a little bit so I can enjoy their baby days a little more.

Here are the girls' 6 month photos. We did a fall/Halloween theme as well as cute pictures in their dresses. Riley didn't want to give us many smiles. We had to work hard to get the few we got. Addison was having a great time sticking out her tongue in many of the shots. We had a great time at the shoot.

Both Girls

Smiling babies

Mommy and her Girls



Forever Twins
Always Sisters

Developmental Specialist Appointment

The girls had their appointment with the developmental specialist on Saturday. This was the first time the specialist would actually evaluate their development as the other visits were more to get to know the babies and explain the role of the specialist. The girls are now 4 months adjusted age based on when they should have been born. So at 4 months, a baby is really starting to develop skills like grabbing on to toys, spending a majority of their time in tummy time, socializing, and problem solving.

Addison went first and she was very social, smiling and trying to please the specialist. Unfortunately, she did not score very well in several areas. She scored very high in communication and personal social skills because she is such a happy baby that smiles and talks to everyone around her. In other categories she fell behind her adjusted age. The specialist was concerned because she seemed to follow objects but then lose them or start focusing on something else in the room. This has been a concern for us for the last few months but we thought she was getting better as she now focuses on people really well but she doesn't seem to be focusing on objects as well as she should be. The specialist rec commended that we get her into the opthomologist as soon as possible to see if there is any underlying eye issues that is preventing her from seeing things properly. She also scored low on her fine motor skills. She is more apt to have her hands clenched in a fist like a newborn rather than having her fingers open and exploring things around her. She would grasp on to toys but not really pull them in front to observe them.

We were very sad to learn that she has fallen behind and we are concerned about the possible eye issues so we will talk to the pediatrician on Wednesday and find out if we can get her into the opthomologist as soon as possible. The specialist also recommended that the girls be spending most of their day in tummy time. As of now, the girls will maybe spend 5-15 minutes a day if that in tummy time and this is not acceptable. Babies learn all of their development from being on their tummy and strengthening their muscles starting with their head an neck muscles, moving on to holding themselves up on their forearms and then into crawling and walking. So now, we need to be more aware of how important tummy time is and each care provider will need to work with them several times a day to improve their development.

Riley did much better on her assessment. She scored very high in every category except her gross motor skills which is related to lack of tummy time. Riley is doing everything a 4 month old baby should be and more. It is hard not to compare the two babies, but the therapist wanted us to be aware of what a 4 month old baby should be doing and she used Riley as an example. We felt better knowing at least one of our girls was not hindered from being born prematurely, but I am very sad knowing that Addison has some work to do to get up to her adjusted age. To help Addison, the specialist is referring us to the Arizona Early Intervention Group that helps babies that have fallen behind get therapy to help them move up in development.

We hope that the eye exam does not reveal anything too severe and we can just work on some therapy to get Addison up to speed. We should know more in the next few weeks but if you can keep us in your prayers, we would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New Pictures

We are still having trouble with one of our laptops but I figured out how to download the pictures onto our old laptop using a old program. The girls have grown so much over the last few weeks that I had to get some new pictures up ASAP.

We were supposed to have a visit from our home nurse today but she called me saying she was sick and didn't want to risk getting the girls sick so we rescheduled for next Thursday. By then we will have the appointment with the developmental specialist and the 6 month well baby visits at the pediatrician.

So here are some recent pictures.

Both girls relaxing in their bouncies. Addison left Riley Right

Sweet Riley Smile

Addison keeping busy

Riley wearing Sara's sunglasses

More Riley Smiles

Addison left, Riley Right

Riley Left, Addison Right
Taken from Braedon and Cohen's birthday party

Addison at Elisa's Birthday Party

Riley ready for Elisa's birthday party
Sitting with Aunt Sara

Goofy Riley

Goofy Addison

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lots to little time.

I had all good intentions of getting on the blog and updating everyone on how Jesse's first days have been going as a teacher, but the days get away from me. I find myself thinking of the things I wanted to say in the blog when my head is on the pillow and I'm falling asleep after another busy day. Work for me has picked up and I don't have as much free time during the day to post like I used to. Even with the week break from class, I found myself struggling to make time to blog and chat with my online mommies.

So back to Jesse...He has enjoyed teaching his classes. I think he finally feels fulfilled in his life with being able to shape and mold young minds. He is already making a difference with some of his football players. One in particular is very thankful that Jesse believed in him and has helped him to perform better on the field. In the classroom he is getting to know his students and he is working to be one step ahead of the kids in the curriculum. He is seeing how much work goes into being a teacher but he says he enjoys the work rather than dreading the pressure like he did in his previous jobs. He is still taking his masters classes which is a bit much to have on his plate, but he seems to be making ends meet. I wish I had him home a little earlier to help with the girls but for now we are making the adjustments necessary to get by.

Sara left for Chicago today for her 21st birthday weekend with her friends. We are so glad she gets to enjoy a week off from the girls. We have help from Linda and my mom to watch the girls. On Friday I am taking the day off to watch the girls are we are going up to Jesse's classroom at lunch to see him in action and bring him lunch. Then I am taking the girls over to Brea's house so we can go car seat shopping. The girls are still fine in their infant seats but there are some sales on some convertible seats and we may go ahead and purchase the next stage seats for the girls.

I started my new class on Tuesday, "Health Care Operations Management" and the material is not difficult but the instructor is asking for more than some of my previous classes. I will need to focus on using my breaks at work to get most of my class work done since the girls don't let me have much time at home to study and complete my papers.

Tomorrow we have the home nurse coming to visit with the girls. I plan to talk to her about their progress and when we should think about starting solids. I would prefer to wait as long as possible but I want to get her opinion as well. On Saturday we are having the developmental specialist visiting us since we missed the appointment 2 weeks ago. I should have plenty to report after these visits.

This weekend we are taking the girls to get their 6 month pictures done. Yes, I said 6 month pictures. I still can't believe how fast they are growing up and they will be a half a year old on Monday. When people said the time will go by fast, they were not kidding. I'm excited for their new developments but I want them to stay my babies forever, wishful thinking, I know. On Wednesday we will take them in for their 6 month well baby visits. Stay tuned for all the updates!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Lots to do...

Jesse has lots to do to prepare for his first day as a teacher. He has to get up to speed on the curriculum that the school is teaching. He is reading the first book the class is learning about which is Animal Farm. To make matters worse, he came down with the flu or something similar starting on Friday. He had a temperature of almost 101 on Saturday and I knew he needed to rest and try and work on his reading so I decided to take the girls away to my mom's house. This way he could relax and he could avoid contact with the girls because they just got over their ear infections. Luckily, I haven't been feeling sick and the girls seem to be doing just fine.

My mom and I enjoyed a girls day out and all four of us went shopping. We had some things to pick up at Walmart and then we headed out to Kohl's. I bought the girls some fall clothes and winter clothes to take on our trip to Wisconsin. I find it ironic to be buying long sleeves, pants, and jackets when it is still 100 degrees here in Phoenix. We had a cool down the week before where the highs were in the 80's and lows in the 50's but this week, the highs jumped back up to the high 90's and yesterday it was over 100 degrees. As it started to get hot, we decided to head over to the mall. I have not taken the girls to the mall yet and they had a blast. Of course, they were a hit in the mall. All of the mom's and kids thought the girls were just soooo cute. We spent most of the day answering questions like "Oh how old are they" and "Are they identical". "Are you sure because they look identical". The girls loved the attention and smiled at everyone. They loved watching the escalator and the riding in the elevator. I even got a chance to buy a nice winter coat at New York and Company. I have wanted one of these pea coats for a while and I only need to wear a coat for a few weeks out of the year here in Arizona but I know I will use it in Wisconsin so I splurged at got the coat for 30% off. That is what Arizona retailers have to do in order to sell coats with the very mild winter we have here.

I managed to keep the girls out all day and Jesse started feeling a little better by the time we came home. The girls were wore out so we gave them a bath and they went to sleep and slept 13 hours each. I just love how happy the girls are in the morning. They don't wake up crying anymore, the just wake up and talk to their mobiles and they have a big smile on their faces when I go into the nursery to pick them up. I enjoy my days off work where I can see them in the morning when they wake up.

All in all it has been a nice weekend. I don't start my new class until Tuesday so I have enjoyed my week break from the grind. I got my final grade back on my health care ethics class and I earned an "A", thanks to my girls from the SK board who had some great input on my assisted reproduction debate paper. My team earned a great score and I finished the course with input on how infertility can affect the lives of many.

We are all wishing Jesse good luck on his first week as a high school teacher. He is nervous but very excited to finally be doing what he has worked so hard to become. Sara is leaving for a week vacation to Chicago for her 21st birthday so we will be having both my mom's helping out to watch the girls and I will take Friday off since we don't have any help that day. The girls and I will go up to Jesse's school and see his class and maybe meet some of his students.

I wanted to also give some congratulations to some of my online friends. Kari, the woman who had the quads is able to take all 4 babies home and I am so excited for her life as a mommy to 4 babies to begin at home officially. Congrats Kari, Ben, and the Quads. Also another special friend is pregnant after losing her baby shortly after she was born in May. My heart is filled with joy as she has conceived her rainbow baby. Infertility is rough and I am always happy to see my online friends find happiness. I hope to see many more of my friends conceive over the next few months.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jesse's Good News

Jesse has always been a person who likes to help people and he has always enjoyed working with kids. He worked with Big Brothers Big Sister, ran after school programs, and helped educate the youth on substance and alcohol abuse. Jesse and I finally decided that becoming a teacher would be fulfilling his dreams even though the pay for teachers is much less than it should be. So last year Jesse began working on his Masters in Secondary Education to become certified to teach high school. His dream was to teach high school course such as English or history and coach the school's football team.

Recently, Jesse has been doing his observation hours at a high school here in the valley. The school is a charter high school that focuses on graduation and getting kids accepted into college. South Ridge is a small high school that has a 100% college acceptance rate. The organization that runs the schools opens schools in areas of the city where graduation rates are low and college acceptance is even lower. They work with the kids in a rigorous program to help prepare the kids for college and beyond.

Jesse began observing the English class and helping out with the football team. I've never seen Jesse so happy to be doing what he loves to do. He came home every day after observing or working with the football team with many stories and I could see the excitement in his eyes. This week he learned that one of the English teachers quit or was fired during the fall break and the school had the opening to fill.

Charter schools do not need to employ certified teachers although they prefer to hire certified teachers. Jesse's certification will be complete this spring after he finishes the remainder of his classes and does his student teaching. Well the curriculum coach liked Jesse and said that if Jesse passed his English proficiency test (which he took last month) then they were interested in hiring him. Jesse got his test results yesterday and he passed so the school called him in right away for an interview. The interview went well and they offered him the position. So Jesse starts teaching Freshman, Junior, and Senior English on Monday morning. He is very excited and very nervous at the same time. We are going to take a pay cut for him to work there but if he adds an extra class period to his schedule next quarter and works summer school, he will be making more money than he is now at University of Phoenix.

We are very happy for Jesse and we hope he does a great job getting used to his students and teaching.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gentain Violet

So after suffering with Thrush off an on again I finally decided to take the advice of many people including Jesse's sister that said I should use this product way back when I was first diagnosed with Thrush. Gentain Violet is a natural remedy that works as an antifungal agent. Since Thrush is a yeast infection of sorts, Gentain Violet is supposed to treat or prevent fungal infections.

So what you do is paint this very purple stuff onto your nipples with a q-tip, let it dry and have purple nipples. What you also get is purple milk. I painted this stuff on for the first time on Friday night and this picture is the milk I pumped that night.

As you can see (despite the bad picture) is very purple milk. This is all completely safe to feed to the baby but it makes me think of blueberry milk, which doesn't sound very appealing does it? Now, if you were not pumping the milk out, the mom would just latch the baby onto the breast and you may never know how purple the Gentain Violet makes the milk. Now, since the stuff is very potent, the purple stain rubs off onto the babies mouth and face. I waited a day to nurse Riley, but when I did, it looked I had smacked my child in the face and she had purple and blue marks all over her face. I wish I had a picture of that to show you all. That is the downside of the product is that it stains everything it comes in contact with including my nipples, Riley's face, the inside of my bra if I forget to put a breast pad in, my pumping parts, and my hands free pumping bra. Despite the staining, I am happy to report that I feel much better after using the product 2 times in the last 5 days. I'm hoping I can keep the Thrush at bay by applying the solution if the infection comes back. In the meantime, the girls get to enjoy some yummy purple mommy's milk. I think this is very fitting for Halloween. What do you think?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Catching up

We had another busy week and I had little time to blog about what the family has been up to. The girls seem to be feeling much better and the antibiotics seem to be helping the ear infections. The girls don't seem to be bothered by their ears but they are both coughing, sneezing, and they both have runny noses. Despite the colds, they seem to be very happy and not bothered by the sickness much.

The girls had a fun week of going on walks and going to the park with many family members. Great grandma Jean, Shannon, and cousin Haley came over on Wednesday and they all went down to the park with Sara. The girls really seem to enjoy being able to look at different things outside and have the fresh air to breathe in. Nana Linda took them for walks on Wednesday and Thursday evenings so I could get some housework and homework completed. Jesse and I were both finishing up a class this past week and we had large final projects and papers to finish which kept us both very busy with little relaxation time.

I was so busy with everything I forgot that we had a home visit scheduled with the developmental specialist on Saturday afternoon. The girls and I were across town with my mom shopping so we had to reschedule the visit for 2 week out. I was looking forward to that visit to see if the extra tummy time and exercises were helping the girls on their development. We also have a home visit scheduled with the home nurse for this month, but for the life of me, I can't remember when I scheduled this appointment. Hopefully I will be home the day she comes because I can't find her number to check on the appointment. Most of the time I am very organized with appointments but we have so much going on this month that I feel a little scatterbrained. Luckily I have a week break before I start my next class so I can get my life organized again. I need to go through all the clothes that the girls have grown out of and decide if we are going to sell or donate them. I also need to start pulling out the fall clothes and take inventory on the pants and long sleeves to make sure we can start dressing the girls in cool weather clothing.

I hope to get some new pictures and videos posted this week but our other laptop is still having trouble connecting to the internet and all the pictures are stuck on that computer. Hopefully we can get the problem fixed soon so Jesse and I can stop sharing the same laptop at home.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nice Weather

The weather here in Phoenix has finally changed into fall...or at least what Phoenix considers fall. Our highs are now in the high 80's and the lows are in the 50's. Now we can finally take the girls outside and enjoy the weather. The girls have been on several walks in their side by side double stroller. They really enjoy being outdoors but they really hate the sun in their faces. They haven't had much exposure to the sun and the outdoors because it has been over 100 degrees out side since they were born. Sara took them to the park and got this shot of them enjoying their outing:
Addison is on the left and Riley is on the right
Going for walks has given us another thing to keep the occupied and happy. They seem to love to be out of the house and they like being able to look at different things rather than the same old stuff they see in the house. Nana Linda took them for an hour walk yesterday and they even fell asleep in the stroller for a little while. This was odd for me because if I am home, the girls are with me. Jesse has had some free time at home alone when I have taken the girls away for a few hours but this was the first time I had free time in the house. It was a strange reminder of what life used to be like before we had kids. The quiet was almost eerie though. I started to miss the girls after they had been gone for 20 minutes. I was able to get a bunch of chores done though and I felt refreshed by the time they returned from the walk. The next 9 months are the reason why we live in Arizona because the weather is so mild during the fall and winter months so we plan to be outdoors as much as possible.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sick Babies

So this past week was rough with the girls and they were acting real fussy and I thought maybe they were teething. After I bought the teething rings, they seemed a little better and they both seemed to like to bite and suck on the rings but then they started pulling on their ears and crying during feedings so I took them into the pediatrician.

We found out they both have ear infections in their left ears. Jesse had a real bad ear infection the week before and now the girls have them also. They aren't feeling well and they just want to be held and rocked all day long. We got some antibiotics to give them and we are hoping they start feeling better soon. They don't really like the taste of the pink amoxicillin so we may have to get creative in order to get the medicine down.

On a side note, they weighed in at 13 pounds 5 ounces for Addison and 13 pounds 2 ounces for Riley. I also talked to the pediatrician about when to start solids. She advised us to go off of their adjusted age rather than their chronological age. So when they turn 6 months old later this month they will really be only 4 months old adjusted so we can still put solids off for another couple of months as long as they seemed satisfied with just their milk. They don't seem to be giving us any other cues that they are ready to try food yet so we will continue with the same feeding routine for now.

Jesse and I are finishing the last week of our classes and I will have a week break before going into my next class and Jesse will start his next class right away. My last week is pretty light so I feel as though I really have about 2 weeks away from the grind of my classes. Woohoo

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One year ago...

One year ago on October 3rd we found out we were finally pregnant after almost 1 year of actively trying and 3 years of not really preventing pregnancy. I can not believe it has been one year since our lives changed so drastically. As I mentioned in previous posts, we went in for our IUI 11 days earlier and I had been testing out the HCG trigger shot used to force my ovaries into ovulating at the right time. I had a few completely negative tests and I knew that any subsequent positive test would indicate I was pregnant. I woke up for work on Friday October 3rd. I decided to go ahead and test even though I was starting to doubt the cycle had worked. I took the test, set it on the bath tub ledge, got undressed and got into the tub. I even started bathing before I remember to look down a the test. I had completely prepared myself for another negative test. I took a deep breath and looked down and this is what was staring back at me:

Now to those that don't test early or suffer from infertility, this picture is blurry and you can barely see that second line, but for someone who studies tests every cycle, this was the most beautiful second line I had ever seen. Once I saw the test, I blinked a few times to make sure I was seeing the second line and then I burst into tears. I just could not believe we were finally going to be parents. Aside from my wedding day, this was the best day of my life. I lived on cloud nine and enjoyed the experience with Jesse and the rest of my family. This year has been one of the best years of my life and I am just a little sad about how quickly this year has flown by. The girls are now over 5 months old and we are now a happy family of 4.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Catching up

It has been a few days since I got on here to update. I've wanted to add some pictures to the blog before I did an update so it took me this long to get the pictures uploaded. In a new development, both girls appear to be starting to teethe. Riley has been real drooly and has wanted to chew on anything she can get in her mouth. She has also been more fussy so I checked her mouth and I can see the start of little teeth under her gums. So I ran right out to Babies R Us to get her some teething rings. She really seems to like them. She will hold on the rings and put them in her mouth her self which is really nice.

Addison has also been fussy so I checked mouth as well and it looks like she is also working on some teeth. Jesse put the teething ring in her mouth and see seemed to like it. Addison is not as coordinated so she doesn't hold the ring in her mouth herself so we are helping her to hold the ring. Also Addison is consistently rolling over from belly to back. She did this for both of her Grandmothers this week. First my mom was at the house on Monday and we put Addison on the play mat and right away she rolled over. I quickly grabbed the camera and we put her back on her belly and she rolled over again. I though I was getting the event on video but it turns out I didn't have the camera on video mode so I missed it. :( A few days later Nana Linda was playing with the girls and I told her that Addison was rolling over all the time so she quickly set Addison down on her mat and she rolled over right away. Addison completed the trick but she didn't seem to be too happy to be put down and cried until Nana Linda picked her up. Those girls have their grandmothers wrapped around their fingers and the grandmothers are so happy to spoil them rotten!

We are also working on Riley rolling over but she seems to get stuck at the last minute and can't get all the way over. She gets mad and upset when she can't get all the way over. It is pretty cute so we help her get her arm under her so she can finish the roll. She should have the hang of it here soon. Riley is also doing really well at grabbing onto the toys above her bouncy chair. I clipped a new toy to the arch and it is a little bug that you pull the toy and it stretches out and when you let go, it curls back up, and vibrates as it curls up. Riley has figured this out so she is constantly pulling on the toy to get the bugs legs in her mouth and then she lets it go and gets excited when it vibrates. I'm going to get a picture of this soon so you all can see.

We have an exciting weekend planned. The little girl next door is turning 3 and we are going to her party. Little Elisa just loves coming over to visit the girls and she is excited that we will be coming over for her party. Then on Sunday it is a double birthday party for Brea's sons Braedon and Cohen. Cohen is turning 1 and Braedon is 6. We are looking forward to celebrating with the boys and hanging out with Brea's family and friends especially since the weather is supposed to be getting a little cooler.

For now, here are some pictures I have taken for the girls 5 month mark:

Both girls at Grandma Margaret's House

Playing with their toys

Riley's favorite thing to do now

Daddy getting Riley ready for the game.
You can see how small the girls are still compared to the football

Riley on the playmat

Happy 5 months
Twins Rock!


Addison being goofy