Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pictures from a Stir Crazy Day

My friend Michelle (Mom to 24 week preemie twins) told me the other day that to get over the stir crazy days of staying home during RSV season she bundles her kiddos up and lets them play outside for a bit, so today we TRIED that! It was really a beautiful day, there was a little chill in the air and windy, but the sun was shining which it really hasn't done much of lately so I thought I'd let Lila run wild and free in the backyard for a little while. Less than five minutes later Emily and I were back inside because the chill in the air turned out to be a little too cold for us! Lila, of course, refused... she's an outdoor girl for sure so I cracked the door and Emily and I watched her play from under a blanket on the couch! I know she must have been cold but she stayed out there for a good long while coming in every once in a while to get more "friends". Later I had to go gather up 15 different stuffed animals that were scattered about the backyard. They looked like they were having fun though... Lila definitely made me work to find them all. They were found in the swing, on the slide, in the sandbox, tied up in the water hose, peering out of the bushes, on the grill, so many fun places! At least the big ones were sitting in the patio chairs at the table having a little meeting I suppose. I would have taken a picture but I was trying to hurry back to my warm blanket!
Here's Lila braving the cold today...

Daddy would be proud in her Georgia hat and gloves!
And Emily...What is a good time waster for Emily? Oh, I know..break out a Biter Biscuit! That'll keep her busy!

And yet everytime I question my sanity for giving her one. Yuck... it's a biscuit that they don't eat, they gum! More specifically gum to oblivion. They make a huge mess and have to be hosed down afterwards. Then I am really questioning why I let her attempt them in clothes?? The result is always the same. Their bibs and clothes have to be soaked for days! I ask myself, "Really? Is it worth it?" The answer.. yes. It gives me a good thirty to forty five minutes to get other things done. It takes her a good long while to gum it away to nothing!

These last pictures have nothing to do with our day but concur with my post about the "friends" going everywhere with us. These are from our last trip to the mall. Notice Lila carrying BJ around on her shoulders like her Daddy does with her.

Just walking the mall with BJ on her head... yet she refuses hairbows. Go figure!

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Monday, January 28, 2008

"My Friends, My Friends, Hi Dee Hi Dee!"

My Papa made up this silly little song using all my cousins names when we were little. We used to spend every Sunday afternoon with him and my Gram so needless to say he sang it to us alot. This silly little song is so near and dear to my heart, I can just hear him singing it today! Anyway.. sometimes I sing it to Lila and use the names of her "friends" instead of the cousins names...
Here she is with just a few of those famous "friends"... Care Bear, Barney, Baby Bop, BJ, Elmo and Piglet.

She has this AWFUL habit of having to take them with her everywhere! Between two kids, a diaper bag the size of Texas, diapers, wipes, bottle, sippee cup and snacks I can hardly keep up with my own stuff much less Lila's "friends" when we go to the grocery store, mall, etc. Kate (my niece) used to do this same thing and I said at the time I would never let Lila take an armful of friends with us everywhere we went... I guess that was my lesson in being too quick to criticize other people's parenting skills. Be careful what you say... you just might end up doing the same thing later on down the road! And don't worry.. I don't let her take them ALL with us when we go places! I'm not THAT crazy!

Today as we were leaving the grocery store a man was honking his horn and pointing insistently at something behind me. When I looked in the rear view mirror I saw Barney on the ground in the parking lot. Don't worry, he's okay.. he had to take a quick bath in the washing machine to get the tire grime off, but thankfully is still with us! I was wondering why Lila was screaming, "Mommy No!" when I buckled her in her car seat! Had we not been able to rescue him we would have had a terrible night searching the house, car, garage, yard, etc. looking for poor Barney! I'm glad we saved him! There will be peace at bedtime tonight, all thanks to a stranger who pointed out our lost "friend"! Thanks Stranger!

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Six Month Review

Emily had her six month review today with ECI. We reviewed her goals and set new ones for the next six months. Here's the rundown...
1) Sufficiently takes a bottle sucking, swallowing, and breathing all at once without having an apnec spell or turning dusky at the lips. OBVIOUSLY CHECK!! (It amazes me that this was even a goal six months ago! We've come a long way!)
2) Focuses and follows objects and people as they enter her line of vision. CHECK!
3) Shows concept of object permanence. CHECK! (This was a hard one for Em!)
4) Can hold, transfer, and play with small toys/objects in her hands. CHECK!
5) Can tolerate tummy time and pivot to reach objects/toys not within her reach. CHECK??? (We gave it to her even though she still needs work with this one!)
6) Can sit unaided for a short period of time. CHECK!
7) Can transfer movements from back to sitting position. UMMM... NOT EVEN CLOSE. ONGOING GOAL!
8) Has the ability to crawl or shows positive signs of pre-crawling strengths/movements (getting on hands and knees and rocking)... NOT THERE YET...ONGOING GOAL!

So... six out of eight makes for a pretty good report card! And really I think I might have been a little unrealistic with those last two goals. I have to keep reminding myself that she is technically still a seven and a half month old and got a rough start!!

In the next six months we will be working towards...
1) Building muscle strength and coordination
2) Walking across flat surfaces
3) Climbing steps on hands and knees
4) Socially engaging and interacting with peers
5) And Speech - to repeat and say simple words with cognition (a lofty goal I've been told, but we'll see!)

Once Emily hits her first birthday her adjusted age is no longer a factor in her development. This being said I have been assured that it takes some preemies up to kindergarten to be developmentally on target with their peers. Speech tends to be the area they lag behind in the most since they typically can't "learn" two things at once and motor skills take precedence. I have high hopes though that in six months we will be fully "caught up" and can be dismissed from ECI and all these therapy sessions! It will be nice not to stress over constantly keeping the house clean for all our friends that come to work with us weekly!

We are setting goals with our speech therapist later this week but those are obvious and I'm sure will be attainable once we get the "tongue tied" issue resolved. We need to seek a second opinion to know if a simple clipping will be sufficient or if we need the whole tongue reconstructive surgery as we've already been told... Our motto this past year... "If it's not one thing, it's another!" At least we know there is a reason for Emily's lack in progress in the eating department!

That's all for now! Thanks for keeping up with us and for constantly keeping our little Emily in your prayers. Things haven't been the easiest for her but today I was reminded of just how far we have come! Hopefully in another six months time we can close this stressful, frustrating, and worrisome chapter in Em's life and get on to busier times chasing two toddlers around the house!

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Sisterly Love

The other night Emily was pretty fussy and at my wits end I handed her off to Lila who was sitting on the couch next to me just to see if a friendly face and less stressed embrace would soothe her mood. Lila was so sweet to her and once Emily got her bottle she was content in her sister's arms. Lila even started whispering something to her and kissed her little head. It was the sweetest thing!

I love watching my girls interact with each other. They seem to be doing it more and more. Lila has always been interested in the happenings of Emily but now that Emily can sit up and actually play a little bit with toys she is enamored with her big sister!

It's all fun and games until Lila gets a little too rough with her "Enemy" and a hug turns into a fall and dogpile! Lila still needs to learn the definition of GENTLE but it makes my heart smile to see them laughing and "loving" on each other!

Lila of course is quick to flee the scene... especially when she has been a little rough and Emily is crying. But she usually creeps back for a peek to make sure she's okay...

And Emily usually is... she just rolls over and wants to keep playing. She's one tough cookie!

Sweet "Enemy" Is there maybe a little trouble-maker streak there? No.. not Enemy!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

As Promised...

As promised yesterday in one of my posts I have pictures of Emily's latest attempt to eat baby food. We started with something new this morning... bananas which went very bad... too thick and creamy???... so it was back to the good ol pears. I'll let the pictures explain our fun times! These are just some of the looks and expressions I get while trying to feed her... it's very hard to be all serious and not laugh when Kari (speech therapist)is here working with her! For obvious reasons we strip down to the diaper and to save myself the trouble of soaking and washing a bib we went without one. Nothing but a bow... which came off too half way through!

And now we're done. Time to get cleaned up and Happy Again!

Pretty pitiful. I feel so bad for her that she just can't get it organized so she can start eating real food and cut back on some of these calorie filled formulas and medications, but she just cracks me up each and every time! The girl is hilarious!

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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Going, Going... Not Quite Gone!

Wayne came home with a big announcement yesterday... Time to shave the beard! The beard was supposed to be an end of the year thing and Wayne said he was going to shave it off on New Years Day... well it lingered a bit longer. So I was excited yesterday to see it go!
Here is before the shaving...

Lila helping out... It's going...


But not quite gone! We have a go tee! Maybe we'll get to clean shaven status by this weekend!

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Happy Ten Months!

Well ten months and one hour ago, Emily was born. Can you believe it? I sure can't! I don't have much to report on her development since my last post, but you might be excited to learn that she actually swallowed a few bites of pears the other night at dinner. Wayne was feeding her and it was so funny to watch her eager beaver self grab at the spoon and try to shovel that food in her little mouth! I had to get the video camera to capture the memory! Of course no surprise that she would actually choose to swallow her food when Daddy is working with her. She's always impressive when she's working with her Daddy! I think she's quite smitten with him! : ) We'll see if she can keep it up. Today I think she might have swallowed one bite out of a whole jar... it makes for a pretty impressive mess. Sometimes you can't even see the pattern on the bib anymore with all the food it collected! That should be my next post... a feeding session!

We are laying low just hanging out at home since the girls are sick AGAIN!! Poor Emily has not had fun these past few days. This is the worst cold she's had yet! We are going on an outing today though to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions... very exciting I know! After a few days at home it really doesn't matter where you go, just a car ride is exciting!

Actually I haven't had the bad cabin fever I usually get lately. It seems there is always something to do and I've had fun just sitting back and watching Lila play. She has started singing a lot and today she even got out her keyboard and played some music while she sang! So cute!

Here's pictures... that's all you really care to see anyway right?

We celebrated 10 months with a little ice cream.. play food of course!

Oops! It's too hard to sit AND hold something so we topple over!

Emily... "Are you seriously STILL taking pictures of me? A little help would be nice!"

Lila's "say 'cheese' for the camera" smile... why do we tell them that? It makes for "cheesey" pictures! Ha!

I caught Lila reading Emily a book. This is what I heard... "No, Enemy! Mine! You Listen!!" One of these days we'll learn our sister is not our enemy but our friend...or maybe after all this rough housing she will become the enemy! Payback!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Look at Me!!!

Emily's recent update...
Last Thursday was a busy day for Little Emily. We started the morning off with our second to the last round of synagis injections. I've said before that the dosage for these injections is based on weight. Once you hit 15 lbs. you have to get double injections, one in each leg. Since November our nurse, Kris (who is FABULOUS), has been telling Emily this would be her last single injection, anticipating each time that Em would be 15 lbs. the next month. Well... let this be a testament to Emily's hearing and cognitive ability because she has heard Ms. Kris loud and clear and managed to stay well under that 15 lb. mark ensuring just one painful injection for the past two months! She weighed in last Thursday at 14.3lbs. Most people gain weight over the holidays but Emily lost half a pound! These injections are pretty awful even with lidocaine to numb her leg before the shot and an ice pack afterwards. Her poor little leg always swells up and bothers her for the rest of the day, especially now that she is more active! Lila, Baby Bop, BJ, and Barney went along for moral support and just for the record... Barney weighs an ounce and Baby Bop and BJ each weigh two ounces. They did very well with their shots although Lila told me they cried... Did I already mention how fabulous Nurse Kris is?? I wish I had my camera with me that day. Lila was a good "Doctor" and even took her cookie monster stethoscope along... pretty sad when your two year old with limited vocabulary knows all the doctor words... It's been a crazy year!

Barney and Friends... notice the band-aids on their left legs?

That afternoon we went to Emily's 9 1/2 month check up (I was a little late in scheduling and they had to squeeze us in). There Emily weighed 13.11 but I'm taking the bigger of the two... 14.3 sounds better to me, especially after all the hard work we've been doing lately to add calories and eat baby food. She got more shots, always fun, and was put on Miralax and a probiotic for her intestinal issues. Nice. We have a definite diagnosis for spina bifida but have been told it is a mild case, something to watch and pray about, but nothing that will leave her paralyzed. She may have difficulty with crawling and walking but that is something we can definitely live with! God is so good! I wish I had a running count of all the prayers He has answered for us this past year. Hundreds if not thousands for sure!

I think by far the best part of our shuffling from one doctor's office to another is the lovely bug we caught while there! That's been fun the past few days! I NEVER let Lila (or Emily) touch a single toy, book, etc. while at the docs and we still caught whatever has been going around... Next time I'm breaking out my big ol' can of Lysol and disinfecting the place myself! You can never have it too clean!

In therapy Emily has really been focusing on tripod sitting and catching, or bracing, herself for a fall. In December we were told she was lagging behind where she should be and there was discussion as to our what our game plan should be to help catch her back up. We decided to re-evaluate after Christmas. I am so proud to announce that after a lot of diligent work with a daddy that was off for ten days over the holidays, Miss Emily is not only tripod sitting but... SITTING ON HER OWN!!! She is so proud of herself and loves her new view of life from an independent upright position! I love this little girl so much and am overjoyed at each new milestone! Keep them coming Emily!!

It's so fun to play with toys this way!

Wow! The flash on your camera is bright!

So bright it knocked me over.. but what's this?

I can't get back up on my own but I'll still find a way to play!

Our nutritionist has added 75 calories a day to her diet and MORE pear juice!! We are still on added calorie (22 cal.) formula and might add goat's milk next month... yuck!! Speech therapy for eating issues has been interesting. We have not made any progress in this area but how many adults do you see drinking a bottle for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I mean, seriously. It might take some time to get over her texture aversion, and learn to use those muscles appropriately but she'll get it. No worries here on that one!

We have follow ups with our ENT for hearing and the opthamologist for her ROP coming up in the next few months so we will let you know how that all goes later. In the next few months we are supposed to start weaning her from sleeping swaddled in a blanket (no more baby burritos) and in March when RSV season is coming to a close we
can pack up the apnea monitor! Yay!!! I can't believe Emily has been with us almost a year! I told Wayne last night that I need to start planning her birthday party because we have A LOT to celebrate and what better way than a big blow out party?!?!?

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

I'll let you decide...

Lila has a love/hate relationship with bath time. She LOVES a bath or a shower and will stay in there for hours if we'd let her. But after the bath is the hate part... more specifically the hair dryer. I try to make it fun and easier by towel drying her hair first. She doesn't really like this part either but today when she got a glimpse of herself after the towel drying, she said, "Hey, I Charlie" Well... I'll let you decide. I'm not sure I see much resemblence here... Charlie does have a lot of curls that can sometimes go wild but I don't think I have ever seen it this crazy... maybe Lila has? What I know for sure is that she is a funny girl!

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Friday, January 04, 2008


This year along with the usuals.. lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier, spend more quiet time daily with God, be a better wife, be a better mother,etc. I am going to try to Live Without Regrets.

It has probably been three years at least since this little list appeared in one of our church bulletins. I loved it so much that I cut it out and saved it. It had a special place on the fridge until Emily was born and pictures of her took over to serve as a daily reminder to me of just how big and how much our God can do. The list moved over to the desk and got lost in a shuffle of papers until I found it a few days ago and realized I had found my New Year's Resolution. It's a big task but I think if we could all live like this we would find our lives so full and so rich in all the ways that matter. So check out my resolutions for 2008 and join me in living a life without regret!

Wise Ways To Live Without Regrets - Author Unknown

* Give God "first place" in your life.
* Watch a sunrise at least once a week...maybe I'll let Wayne just
tell me about them since he sees them everyday and I'm still asleep everyday!
* Be the first to say, "Hello".
* Live beneath your means.
* Treat everyone like you want to be treated.
* Never give up on anyone - they can change.
* Forget the Joneses! (Not Greg and Sarah Jones of course!)
* Never deprive someone of hope. It may be all they have.
* Pray not for "things", but for wisdom and
* Be tough minded but tenderhearted.
* Be kinder than necessary.
* Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel
* "Keep" your promises!
* Learn to show cheerfulness, even when you don't feel like it.
Remember that overnight success usually takes about fifteen
* Leave everything better than you found it.
* Remember that winners "do" what losers don't want to
* When you arrive at your job in the morning, let the first thing you say
brighten everyone's day. Easy for me, I sing a cheesy little
song to my girls when they first wake for the day... but I don't recommend you
sing my cheesey song to your co-workers, they might think you're odd.
* Don't "rain" on other people's parades!
* And Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them.

So all my bloggie faithful, I hope that I will be better to you in 2008 and encourage and brighten your days but most of all I hope I show you how special each and every one of you are to me. It was not by mere chance that God brought you to me. There is a reason, a blessing, a friendship, a love!

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