Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday, June 25

It's been almost three months since our last posting. Time is completely flying by in our life. We some times feel we're in "survival" mode. Just doing enough to get through the day. Tara has been very busy with the babies as they are all really active. Kevin has been working at his new job in home security and working lots of hours. Trying to update the blog has been difficult, so some of our news will be delayed.

First, we are expecting again. Surprise! We are expecting baby #4 in November. We go next week to find out the sex. Of course, we would be blessed with anything God give us, but a boy would be great to even out the field (from Kevin).

Adelaide is doing great. She's walking all over and talking more. She gets into everything and seems to be the boss of everyone. She's turning into a great kid with a funny sense of humor.

Mattie is also doing well. She's just now getting her feet under her and doing more walking. She walks very deliberately when she wants to. She's been talking some and loves to help Tara with the piles of laundry we have in the house. She also does a great job of picking up toys.

Andrew has been weaned off the ventilator. Praise God! He does require some oxygen overnight, but hasn't been on the vent since May. We had a great three day stay in the hospital to wean him off, and he responded well. He has been sick lately with a lot of mucus in his stomach, so his oxygen needs have gone up. Recently, we have found small amounts of blood in his trach, but the doctor doesn't seem concerned. He says that it's similar to blood in your sinuses when you're sick. Unfortunately, it looks like he will not be getting the trach out in late summer, and most likely, will have to wait until next spring. The doctor will not want to take it out during cold and flu season. Andrew, like Mattie, has started walking more and more. He's quick as a whip.

Praise
The blessing of baby #4
Andrew being weaned off ventilator.
Mattie and Andrew walking.
All the babies catching up developmentally.

Prayer
Andrew's health. That his cold would go away and that the mucus would lessen.
Andrew's oxygen needs going down.
Andrew would improve on his speaking valve. This is a determining factor in getting the trach out.
Kevin's job would provide what the family needs.
Rest and strength for Tara as she cares for toddlers and carries our #4.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Saturday April 9, 2011

It has been almost two months since our last posting. With a new job for Kevin, and the babies becoming more active, it's been very difficult to keep up with the updates. We had a really bad month of March, but everything is better now. To catch you up, Andrew aspirated on March 9th while he was sleeping during a feed. Tara and Kevin had just laid down to go to bed when we heard Andrew's alarms going off. When we went into check, our night nurse and the orientee nurse were over Andrew pumping oxygen into him. He had sat up, burped, and inhaled at the same time. He turned blue and was unresponsive. We called 911, and the nurses worked on Andrew for several minutes. We changed out is trach and by the time the first responders arrived, Andrew's color had returned. We took him to Children's Medical Center, and he spent two days there for observation. He had fluid in his upper right lobe. The antibiotic that they put him on gave him a full body rash after the dose was done. What a surprise. Andrew followed that with a double ear infection. On top of that, all three babies contracted RSV. Luckily, they had been taking shots to lessen the effects of RSV, so none of the babies required a hospital stay. They sounded and looked awful for several days. Also in March, we found a home for our dog, Belle. She now lives in Albuquerque with a 69 year old widower and a chihuahua named Poo-poo. We've heard some wonderful stories about her new life, and we're thankful she's in such a good situation. We are all heartbroken that she's no longer our dog. Adelaide is starting to take her first steps without assistance. She stands for several minutes by herself as well. We have found Adelaide several times sitting in a rocking chair or living room chair unassisted. She had a great checkup at her 15 month appointment. She's very good at repeating words. Her vocabulary is expanding. In addition, Adelaide has choreographed several new dance moves. Mattie has been crawling on hands and knees for several weeks now. She walks along our sofa or uses several rolling toys as support to walk around. Mattie said, "mama, up, up!" the other day. She has the most teeth of any of the babies and has perfected the slap. She's very feisty and gets into slap fights with Adelaide over toys. Andrew is doing very well on his bottle feeds. Finally! He had been struggling since the doctor changed his formula. As we now look back, we believe Andrew's ear infection and RSV really affected his eating. There were times when he would only take 5-10ml of formula and fight us the entire time. Andrew walks assisted and really flies around with the rolling toys. Andrew is up to 17lbs. and will hopefully have a three day stay in the hospital to wean him off his vent at the end of the month. Andrew has excelled at chasing things on the floor. He will chase you around the furniture with a banshee yell. Praise Kevin started a new job in February with ADT Security. We're very thankful that he found a job with good benefits. All the babies made it through RSV. God's protection over Andrew during his aspiration. Andrew's improved feeding. Mobile babies. A wonderful new home for Belle. Fantastic nurses. Prayer Andrew's feeding continues to improve. Andrew's weight gain. Vent clinic visit would lead to a weaning of the vent. Continued protection of the babies. Wisdom in the purchase of a car that will fit our whole family. God's provision through Kevin's job.

April '11 Pics




April '11 Pics - It's Bright in Texas!






Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday, February 13

We're having a beautiful day here in Texas and just took the girls for a walk. Andrew is still digesting his food, so we're going to take him on a special walk in a little while. Here's our monthly update.

Adelaide is doing great. She's over 20 lbs. now. She's pulling up on furniture and standing on her own. We've been practicing walking with her, and she does a good job of putting one foot in front of the other. She's making clear sounds like dada and mama. She also calls out to our dog Belle with beh.

Mattie has really taken off...literally. Mattie is doing great crawling. She loves to go down the hall with Andrew and Adelaide where they have "hall parties". She's pulled up on our ottoman and in her crib. This is very special to us because it took Mattie longer to do this than the other two. The wait was long, but so sweet. We're transitioning both girls off their NeoSure formula and to whole milk and Pediasure.

Andrew went to vent clinic this week, and his doctor said his lungs look the best he's seen them. Andrew is at 15lbs. He gained weight since the last vent clinic and was actually on the lower end of a normal daily weight gain. Andrew is being weaned to 14 hours off the ventilator for the next two weeks. If he responds well, he will move to 16 hours off for two more weeks. We would then have a three day visit to the hospital where they would take him off the ventilator completely and monitor him for the three days. He's pulling up and cruising very well. He also has his seventh tooth. Andrew is moving to a new formula, which is more appropriate for his growth state. Andrew saw a GI doctor recently because of some bile he's had. The doctor thought he looked great and felt the bile was normal. We're waiting on x-ray results early next week.

We're sad to announce that we have to give away our dog Belle. It's been too much for a seven year old dog to adjust to the babies. We've had a couple of circumstances where Belle has snipped at the babies. Right now, Tara's brother is going to be a transition home for Belle in Albuquerque. If you know anyone who loves Jack Russell Terriers and would like a well trained, sweet dog, please let us know. Belle doesn't do well with other dogs, cats or babies, but she loves people. We're really hoping to find people who know and understand the Jack mentality and would be accepting to who she is. We're broken-hearted.

Praise
Andrew's great report from vent clinic.
Andrew getting off the vent more and more.
Mattie moving around and pulling up.
Adelaide's great personality and laughter.
Kevin has multiple opportunities for full time work.

Prayer
Andrew's stomach issues would lessen.
Andrew would do well with his new formula and being off the vent.
Some of Andrew's new medical equipment may not be covered by insurance. Please pray that it does.
A new home for Belle.
A decision for Kevin's job opportunities.

Peek-a-boo

The girls have now learned to peek-a-boo together at the dinner table. We had a good chuckle, and we hope you do too.
video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tuesday, January 11

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We've missed blogging and keeping everyone updated. It's been over a month since our last blog - again. It's so hard finding the time between feeds, changing diapers, playing, wrangling, and work. The holidays were pretty busy for us and not what we had anticipated. We hope next year will be less hectic on Christmas Day, but more about that to follow. Get ready for a long read because we have a lot to type to catch you up.


At the beginning of December, the state weaned our hours for nurse care since Andrew was on the ventilator for only 12 hours a day. We talked about how to wean the hours and since Tara's been tutoring in the evenings, we thought it would be good to wean a few hours in the early morning and all day on Saturday. Tara gets up at 5:00 to watch Andrew until 7:00. The girls typically wake up around 7:30, so the plan works on most days. Kevin helps if they get up early and watches them while Tara grabs a quick shower before starting her day with the girls. The first few Saturdays of taking care of Andrew on our own was overwhelming and frustrating. We have had to adapt our schedules, so one person isn't caring for him for too long at one time. Andrew is very active and has special treatments and needs that require constant attention. He's also on a schedule for all of his treatments, so if one thing goes wrong, it can get pretty frustrating. We're thankful that the last two Saturdays have been great with our new schedule.

We had photos taken for a Christmas Card and to hang on our walls to celebrate their first year. Our friend at jmphotoimages.com donated her time for the session and gave us free prints of the pictures. We want to thank her for doing a wonderful job and for being so generous. You can see some of the pictures on previous posts on the blog.

On December 18th, we celebrated the babies' first birthday. We only had our family over for a party to limit the amount of people due to the cold and flu season. Unfortunately, Tara's parents and brother-in-law both had colds and weren't able to attend. Tara's mom did make the cake and cupcakes for the babies. The theme was Little Blue Truck, which is one of their favorite books. Each baby had a cupcake to smoosh between their fingers. This was the first sweets that they've ever tasted. Their diet has been formula, cereal, fruits, and vegetables. Adelaide and Mattie took to the cupcakes, and Mattie was the first to discover how good sugar is. It was hilarious watching them lick their fingers and smear blue icing all over their faces. Andrew was less interested and got overwhelmed with all the attention from people watching him. He ended up falling asleep in his high chair after crying for awhile. The babies received awesome toys for learning. They have Discovery Toys, Little Einstein, V-tech, and Leap Frog toys that will help them develop.

Christmas Day was not what we had envisioned and anticipated, but the afternoon was much better than the morning. We were caring for Andrew that day, and thankfully had a nurse that was willing to come in and help us in the afternoon. The whole family had been fighting colds and little sleep for the week leading up to Christmas, which added to the frustration of the day. Andrew had come down with a cold and was on increased treatments and medicine. It seemed like he had something every hour that had to be done. We had a thirty minute window to open presents before Andrew had a treatment, so that was really rushed. When the nurse arrived, it seem to calm down. It's very helpful having a third person to help. We gathered up the babies and headed to Kevin's parent's house for Christmas dinner and to open presents with his family. We had a great time despite being tired and fatigued.

Miss Adelaide - Adelaide is the one we have to wrangle the most. She's still crawling all over the place and goes on the most "adventures". We'll find her down the hall or standing at the gate that leads to Andrew's room crying for him to come out to play. To tell the truth, she really wants in his room to explore. Adelaide and Mattie love to talk and giggle to each other. She pulls herself up to a standing position and has taken a few steps. She has four teeth total with two more on the way. She's just under 20lbs.

Mattie Jane - Mattie got her helmet off just before Christmas, and she looks beautiful. Her head shaped very nicely, and her face changed as well. Mattie was the last to crawl, and for awhile, we were worried that she wouldn't. Recently, she's been crawling to the gate at Andrew's room or down the hall to the nursery. The other evening, Kevin was watching the girls while Tara tutored. Adelaide had crawled between our love seat and sofa, behind the love seat and then to the gate leading into the kitchen. Mattie decided to follow, but she was delayed halfway on the trip. We keep several of their toys in bins behind the love seat. She stopped to play and pull things out. When Tara came home, she asked, "Where's my Mattie?". Kevin told her Mattie had gone on a "walkabout". Suddenly, Mattie started to giggle from behind the love seat. It was such a neat feeling to have her moving around. Mattie weighs around 18lbs.

Andrew - Andrew had a check up before he got sick, and the doctor wanted to wean him even further off the ventilator to 16 hours. After discovering that Andrew had only gained 1lb. in two months due to the calories he burns trying to breathe on his own and being so active, Tara asked the doctor to wait on the weaning and keep him at 12 hours. She wanted him to gain weight first, knowing that he would probably lose weight being off for 16 hours. Well, Andrew gained 1lb. in 3 weeks. His cold did slow him down, and we're thankful that he wasn't on the 16 hour wean when the cold hit. It could have been very hard on him. He's doing a better job of holding his feeds down, but the added mucus he has doesn't sit well on his stomach. He's thrown up just mucus on several occasions. We have a speech therapist that works with Andrew a couple of times a week. He is much more vocal now, and we can hear him make noise even when on the ventilator. It's a sweet sound. Andrew is close to 15lbs.

Praises
Our babies are a year old.
Mattie is crawling.
Adelaide and Mattie, and their games of peek-a-boo.
Strong, healthy, and thriving babies.
Andrew's voice.

Prayer
Sleep and comfort for teething babies.
Protection during cold and flu season.
Sleep and rest for Kevin and Tara.
A full time job with benefits for Kevin.
The clearing of the mucus that Andrew still has.
Growth for Andrew.

Birthday Party Pictures











Birthday Party Pictures










Christmas Card Pictures
















Here are some more photos.

Christmas Card Pictures
















Here are a few shots from our photo session for our Christmas card. Thanks to jmphotoimages.com for donating her time and doing an awesome job.