Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The first Thanksgiving as a family of 4

The whole family enjoyed a relaxing day as we celebrated Thanksgiving. Every year we spend Thanksgiving with the Westrum side of the family. Shannon and Dan are very gracious to open their beautiful home for the family to congregate. We do a potluck style dinner where Shannon and Dan make the turkey and the stuffing and the rest of the family brings a side item or desert. We had plenty of good food to eat and we could reflect on what a great year this has been.

The girls had a blast the whole day. They had so many loving people to hold them and play with them. They were so busy with all the new people and sights that they really didn't eat as much as they normally do in a day. That was fine for one day. There was just so much fun that we stayed most of the day and into the evening. We figured out a nap situation that worked by using Shannon's bed and a pillow fort around the girls and they each napped for an hour each. We played games and caught up with the family.

We also took several pictures but I'm not able to post just yet as we are still working through our computer problems. We got our laptop with the virus cleaned and rebuilt but we lost all of our programs in the process. I will need to find the picture loading CD to start uploading pictures to this computer. The other computer is going back into the shop today as they didn't find a problem with the intermittent internet connection problems but once we got home, the computer worked for about 5 minutes and went back to failing to connect. Hopefully we will fix that computer soon because that computer holds most of our pictures and memories. Can we say back-up the computer ASAP???

Also I wanted to say thanks to some friends who have participated in the Preemie onesie donation. We have about 50 onesies and sleepers so far and we are still expecting a few more. Mandy and Kari both sent some in the mail and Brea bought some sleepers and will be making some baby blankets out of some great fabric she bought on Black Friday. I can't wait to drop off everything and put a smile on some of the families in the NICU.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

7 months

The girls will be 7 months tomorrow. I have found little time to blog lately because both of our laptops died on us this week. We are in the processes of getting them fixed so I can add pictures and updates to the blog. For now, I have to find time in my busy day at work to get some updates in.

So the girls are over half a year old. Where in the world has the time gone? I know I say this every month but I just can't get over how fast time flies by after you have kids. Each day is a blur, each week goes too fast, and before you know it a whole month has passed by.

We have decided to stop the solids here for a little while. Riley was doing okay with the cereal and the few veggies we tried, but Addison was not quite ready so I decided we could wait another month and then try again. There is no rush to get them eating solids as the girls could go a whole year on my milk. Eating solids is just practice so we will try again sometime next month. I am just so glad I have been able to produce enough milk to keep the girls on my milk alone. When they go through growth spurts, it is hard to keep up but they have yet to have formula, and I am hoping I can make it a year pumping. Only 5 more months to go. The girls are both about 15 pounds each and growing right on track despite being 7 weeks early.

The girls are getting really good at playing with their toys. They want to have everything in their hands and then pull everything into their mouths. Riley gets upset when she can't get whatever toy to go into her mouth right. She has quite the temper when things don't go her way. Addison is our always happy baby. She has improved on her fine motor skills by grabing on to all of her toys really well. Both girls enjoy standing. They don't want to sit at all, they want to stand up in your lap or on the couch or table. They are so proud of themselves when they stand up and a big smile appears on their faces. Who knows if they will ever learn to sit because they would rather stand. Addison can stand up in her crib and hold on the rail without any help. She can't pull herself up but once she is up she can stand and bounce and smile away.

The girls will be enjoying their first Thanksgiving celebration tomorrow. They won't be having any food unless I give in and let them have some veggies along with us. We will have to see. We are very thankful and blessed for everything this year and we we hope next year will be just as exciting as the girls grow.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Giving Back - Need Your Help

I have been thinking about ways to give back this year after we have been so blessed with the healthy birth of our beautiful girls. I got an idea from another blog to donate preemie onesies and other preemie clothes to the NICU at Banner Desert Hospital where the girls spent the first month of their lives.

As a mother of preemies, I know how difficult the NICU journey can be. Many parents don't anticipate that their child or children will need to spend time in the hospital before being able to come home with mom and dad. These parents usually don't have clothes prepared for such small babies. Most of these parents are spending as much time up at the hospital and don't have the time to go out shopping so their baby can have some clothes to wear. Having a child in the NICU can also be a financial strain on the parents. For me, being able to put clothes on my girls made taking care of my girls a more normal experience rather than focusing on trials of having your baby hospitalized.

I would like to celebrate the lives of the babies that are going to be spending December in the NICU this year by giving these parents an outfit to put on their baby. I did find shopping for preemie clothes to be a little bit of a challenge when my girls were so small. The best places to find preemie clothes were Babies R Us, The Carter's store, and Walmart.

I'm urging all my friends and family to help me out on quest to donate at least one article of clothing to each preemie baby staying in the NICU. The NICU normally holds around 60-70 babies at a time. Please help me by purchasing onesies or sending a donation to help me purchase as many onesies as possible. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. I would like to make the donation by December 12th which is a few days before we leave on our trip to Wisconsin. Please contact me and send me an email at to let me know if you can help us out in our goal.

We did not have clothing ready to put on our girls and we received a few donations while Addison and Riley were growing and learning to eat in the NICU. The first onesie that Riley got to wear was a donation. Here is a picture of our beautiful girl with her very first outfit that the NICU donated to us:

You can see that even a preemie onesie was big on our little 3 pound 12 ounce sweetheart.

Happy Holidays and God Bless,

The Prather Family

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sick Baby Sick Mamma

I started getting sick on Friday last week. I was pretty upset about this because I haven't been sick since before my pregnancy, and I was hoping to continue to avoid sickness as long as possible. Since my girls were preemies, it is even more important to keep our family healthy so the girls aren't exposed to unnecessary germs and bugs.

I quickly ran out and bought some vitamin C and D in hopes of boosting my immune system to fight this nasty cold. The vitamins seemed to work until Sunday night where I felt like I was loosing the battle of fighting the bug. I decided to take the next day off of work because Riley was acting like she was coming down with something as well. Sunday night turned out to be a nightmare as Riley started getting sicker as each hour passed. My normal great sleeper regressed back to getting up every 2 hours through out the night. I was a little naive in thinking those days were past us. Riley reminded us how difficult those nights were and my mom and I took turns getting up with her. For most of the night she didn't want to eat anything since she couldn't breathe very well. This concerned me because we are close to RSV season and I didn't want her get that sick. I some how balanced getting up with Riley with getting up to pump and by morning, my mom and I were completely exhausted which made my attempt at fighting the cold even worse.

I got Riley into the pediatrician right away and learned she was mostly congested in her nose and things had not moved into her chest which was a big concern for me. The doctor said her ears looked clear even though she was tugging and pulling on them quite frequently. To treat her we needed to run the humidifier to help her breathe, put vapor cream on her chest, and feed her smaller amounts more frequently so she didn't tire out when eating. She ate significantly less on Monday which is not normal for her. I was glad to have a little bit of time to catch up on my milk supply as I was running behind on production most days.

Each day this week, she has improved and Addison seems to be avoiding this bug. I'm still pretty sick and I can't take any of the cold remedy medication because that would dry out my milk supply and I don't want to pass anything of the medication on to the girls through my milk. To make matters worse, Jesse seems to be suffering from a double ear infection again and his new job doesn't allow him to miss time to go to the doctor. He is going to try and skip out a little early today or tomorrow and get in for some antibiotics so he can start feeling better as well.

I have learned that it is no fun to be sick as a mom. You can't just lie down and relax because the children still need you to take care of them and run the house. And with two infants, the work never ends.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fun at the Mall

Fun with Grandma Jean and the boy cousins

Riley with Cousin Marissa

The girls and I went to the mall to meet up with some of the family and let the girls play with their older second cousins. Sara and Nana Linda met us there and we met up Grandma Jean, Aunt Jennie, Uncle Mark, Aunt Shannon, Cousin Marissa and her boys, Nick and Nate, and cousin Valerie. The girls both seemed to like all of the excitement that was going on in the play place. The girls couldn't keep their eyes off of all the kids running around playing. I know they want to get mobile soon so they can enjoy all the fun.

We got some photos of the girls with Grandma Jean and the cousins along with Cousin Marissa.

We hope to try and do this every couple of Friday's so the girls can play with other kids and spend time with the family.

Sweet Potatoes Anyone?

I decided to go ahead and give the girls their first taste of veggies on Friday night. I figured sweet potatos would be a good choice since they are a bit of a sweeter vegetable and that would mimic my breast milk closer than some of the other vegetables.

Sara fed Riley while I fed Addison. Riley seems to get the whole eating solids thing a little better than Addison. She made a few funny faces at first but started eating the sweet potatoes after she got a chance to taste them a little bit.

Addison was not really a fan of her first vegetable. Can we say she is taking after her Dad yet again. She has her dad's laid back disposition and she seems to have a baby adversion to her first vegetable. I think in time she will start enjoing her vegetables a little more.

Here are Riley's pictures:

And here are Addison's pictures

Can we say "ewww mommy"?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Progress with Eating

I am so surprised at how fast babies "get" things. The first day we fed the girls cereal, they didn't know what to make of it and were a little confused at eating but now 2 days later they are really catching on. Riley ate her entire bowl (1tsp of cereal 4 tsp of breast milk) of cereal yesterday evening. She just gobbled it up. She was opening her mouth at the right time, and screaming at me if I wasn't fast enough and getting most of it down rather than spitting it out. She was so cute as she was learning how to eat.

Addison also did better but she still wants to stick her tongue out while she eats which causes her to spit some of it out but for the most part, she gets a lot of down rather than on her bib. Now that girls are doing better, I need to make a game plan to make some veggies and eventually some fruit to add to their diet. This weekend I may try to make some baby food and see how it comes out.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fussiness and Feedings

The girls have been extra fussy over the last couple of days. Sunday was a day where they were at their worst. They cried all day long. They cried together, they cried separately, and they cried as soon as the other one finished crying. We didn't get a break in the crying until we went on a trip to the grocery store. I wasn't about to leave Jesse at home with our little monsters so we decided to head out with the girls together. The girls were on their best behavior during the trip to the store. They smiled at all the customers and got many people to stop and talk and smile at them. Then as soon as we got back home, the crying began again.

I'm sure they are close to cutting some teeth. They want to chew and drool all over everything. We have been armed with baby Orajel and Tylenol in hopes of relieving their pain. They have also been wanting to eat and eat and eat all day long. They are running through my milk and into the freezer stash each day. I just can't keep up with their intake. Some of the time they are hungry, and the other times they are comfort nursing/eating.

With all of this mess going on I decided to try some solids with them and see if some oatmeal cereal would help make them feel a little more full and possibly comfort them a little bit. We started with Riley. She seemed to wonder what we were trying to put in her mouth. I'm sure she was thinking "What is this mushy stuff you are trying to put in my mouth? Where is my bottle?" But after a while she started swallowing here and there while making some faces and spitting some of it out. Here she is enjoying her first cereal:




And her slightly messy face at the end:


Notice the "Available" bib, do we have an takers???

Addison was next. She had just got up from a nap and probably wasn't as hungry as Riley was. She kept doing some tongue thrusting rather than swallowing so she may not be as ready as Riley was but we still tried and I'm sure she swallowed some of her yummy cereal. She gave us quite a few funny Addison faces along the way:


", what is this stuff?"



After all the fun was over, we got some pictures of the girls in their Redskins despite the fact the Redskins outfits don't know how to win a game. We will still support the team.

Miss Addison:



And Riley all pooped out after a long day and a bunch of spit up:


And then a happy baby after getting all cleaned up:


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Hanging out Having fun

The girls have been spending a lot of their time on their bellies in hopes of increasing their development. We caught a few shots of them this week as they were having fun. They are both getting stronger every day.

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Car Seats

The girls have graduated into convertible car seats. They could have spent a little more time in their infant seats, about 7 more pounds to be exact but it was getting increasingly more difficult to carry them around in the infant seats. A couple of weeks ago I got a great deal on the Graco My Ride 65 car seats at Babies R Us. These seats can stay rear facing until the child reaches 40 pounds and front face until they are 65 pounds. I'm going to miss being able to take a sleeping baby out of the car in their seat but I'm glad they have these nice seats to get used to. They will be riding in these seats for a long time to come. I took some pictures of our girls trying out the new seats before Brea helped me install them into my car.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Riley's Raspberries

Riley has just figured out how to blow raspberries. She has been doing this for about a week now but this afternoon she was doing them over and over again. She had me and nana Linda laughing in hysterics at her. Of course right when I got the camera out she really didn't want to show off her talents but we did catch her a few times over two videos. Have fun watching our baby learn new tricks:

A lot going on

Life has been busy lately. I haven't had as much time to update the blog in between working, taking care of the girls, school, Jesse's new job, and a change to my schedule at work. With my position at work I have some flexibility to change my schedule. Instead of working a full day 5 days a week, I have added an extra hour to my day Monday - Friday and I am only working 4 hours on Friday. Friday, I will be done with work at 9:30 and I will spend that day doing special things with the girls. We will find some play groups, spend time with the younger cousins in the family and play with Brea's sons. I will work hard during the week to have a fun day on Friday. I just hope that getting home later than usual will not change things too much. I'm in the middle of another class in my 3rd week and I am earning an "A" again as usual. Only 3 more classes to go after this and school will be off my plate! Woohoo

Sara will be done watching the girls right before we leave for our Christmas vacation in Wisconsin. I'm happy to report that she will be starting some college classes at the community college. She wants to be a fine arts major and will be taking an English and creative writing class to start out. She will be moving back in with my parents, which I know is not the most appealing thing, but I'm sure she will transition just fine. I am very proud of her and I am so thankful we had her help during the last 6 months with the girls. My mom will be taking over watching the girls and I know this will work out well since my mom is great at being attentive to the girls and keeping them on a schedule. She stayed with us for 4 days while Sara was out of town and we got Addison back to going to bed early and getting up at a better time in the morning. She was staying up until almost 10pm and sleeping until 10 and now she is going down at 6:30 or 7:00pm and sleeping until 7:00 or 8:00am. Riley has stayed consistent with going to bed just after 6pm every night and sleeping until around 7:00am.

Jesse is really enjoying his job and he is a little sad that football season is over for the year. His classroom management is going well and he seems to be happy with his new career choice. But as always, he would love to be independently wealthy and not have to work, just volunteer here and there. Until we win the lottery, that will not be happening.

I'm so surprised that it is November already. Where has the time gone? I have started some of my Christmas shopping but I feel like I really need to get going since we are leaving to go to WI to spend Christmas and I have children to buy for this year. I still can't believe how much our life has changed this year and I love watching our girls grow and learn. If you have any recommendations on toys that would be good for our girls, leave me a comment and let me know.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fun Video and Photos

Off to the Park

Tummy Time Fun at the Park

Riley in the bath with Rubber Ducky

Daddy teaching Riley bad tricks
And here is a video of both girls laughing while my mom makes noises at them. She was focusing on Riley and then Addison decided it was funny also

Halloween Fun (a little late)

Look at how cute we are?

Sara and Addison all ready for Halloween
Riley had to go to bed early and missed the fun

I'm a little late getting the Halloween stuff up on the blog. We had a nice family weekend with all the Halloween festivities. Linda and I took the girls to the NICU Halloween party while Jesse coached his final football game for the season. Linda and I got the girls dressed up in their Halloween onesies and took them back to see some of the doctors and nurses form the NICU. The party had a bunch of kids that graduated from the NICU all dressed up in their costumes, running around on a sugar high. The girls had fun looking at all the kids and Addie had a blast laughing and yelling at the kids as they ran by. It was so cute to see her so excited. Riley just quietly sat back and took it all in. I know the girls will have more fun next year when they can wear costumes and run around with the other kids.