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.

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.

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.