Saturday, September 26, 2009

A bunch of long overdue pics....

Due to being back at work, it doesn't seem like I have as much time to post pictures so here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks...

The above two pictures are from our Neice's soccer games a few weeks back.  Lila is in the orange holding Alexis.

Above are my weekly pics of the girls in their chairs.  Of course this is from two weeks ago.  Alexis on the left & Addison on the right.  Addison always looks like she is going to elbow Alexis.

Alexis posing for the camera.

Addison making her "stop taking pictures of me" face.

The above two pictures are me with the girls.  They didn't turn out very well.  Both girls don't look very happy & have some serious "red eye" going on (we need a new camera).  Note the fact that my shirt is all wet.  Alexis is seriously getting some teeth and drools constantly.  She will chew on anything and everything!!

The above four pictures are of Alexis.  They were taken this afternoon.  The last one is of her telling me to stop taking pictures of her because she's ready to go.  But isn't she cute in her little denim outfit?

Our neighborhood block party was this afternoon  Basically we have a huge BBQ in the common area and hang out.  They had a large bouncy house for the kids and the local police & fire department came out.  They let the kids play in the police cars & fire trucks.
The above two pics are me and Addison in the police car.  As you can see she really wasn't very impressed.

The above two pictures are me and Alexis in the fire engine.  Again, Alexis wasn't that impressed with the fire truck.  She was looking at all the buttons inside on the dashboard, but she really couldn't have cared less.

Suprisingly enough, today was the first picture taken of all four of us together.  The top pictures is us sitting on the back of the fire truck & the bottom pic is the four of us on the front of the truck. (Man it still sounds so weird to say the "four of us")

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Updates & More Q & A....

Ok, so I'm sorry about my vent yesterday but I'm really getting exhausted with dealing with bills every day. Here is what is going on with our girls lately.....

It seems like our doctor's appointments have drastically slowed down!! We no longer are required to go into the pediatricians office every week for weight checks and Addison no longer has to have follow up head scans. So basically now, we just have to go in for routine check-ups. The next time the girls go back to the doctor will be for their 6 month shots.

The girls started eating cereal last Friday. (video to come soon!) The first attempt was very messy and the girls were not quite sure what to make of it. Every day it gets easier and easier. They are figuring out that they need to start thinking about chewing as opposed to just sucking on the nipple of a bottle to get their milk. They really only get a few spoonfuls of cereal every night but man, it makes a huge difference in how they sleep (see below q & a about their sleeping habits). All and all, not much news to report. In my opinion, not having much to write about is a good thing! It seems like the last 5 1/2 months have flown by and due to the chaotic amount of doctors appointments we had I haven't had much time to just stop and enjoy my little ones.

Ok, so now onto the Q & A portion of this posting:

Did you ever find out if the girls are identical?
I know I've answered this before, but this is a constant question that we receive all the time.  The answer is yes & no.  The placentas were tested after birth.  I delivered 3 babies and our third daughter Hope, is now an Angel in heaven looking down & protecting her sisters.  We know that two of our girls were identical.  We don't know which two.  The cost to have the testing done far outweighs our desire to find out for sure.  I would guess that Addison & Alexis are not identical.  But then again, there are some days that I'm not sure.  Every day they look more and more alike.  So who knows?

Are you guys getting any sleep?
For whatever reason this question bugs me but I think that it's just a question people ask when you have infants.  The answer is happily YES!  We are very lucky to have two very good babies.  Both girls are usually in bed asleep by 9:00ish. Some days it's later and some days it's earlier, but generally it's around 9:00p.m.  They sleep until about 7:00a.m. Again, some days it's earlier and some days it's later, but they are very good sleepers.  Since we have added the cereal to their bedtime routine, it seems like they are sleeping a little longer.

Why are collection agencies calling you if you have set up payment plans with them?
This is a good question!!  The call I received yesterday....She told me that all medical bills are due within 120 days of the date of service, regardless of whether or not you have set up payment arrangements.  I know this is wrong!!  I will once again be on the phone today trying to straighten things out.  I think they just like to harass people, which is truly wrong!!  It's not like we are deadbeats trying to ignore our obligations to pay.

Why are you making your blog private?
Ok, so after many emails from family & friends....I've decided to not make my blog private, but you will have to be a follower to post a comment from now on.  While I'm tired of all the spam and phising comments I receive, it just makes sense to leave it public.  With the exception of my mother/father in law & my brother/sister in law, all of our relatives live over 200 miles away.  Our blog is a way for everyone to keep up to date on the girls.  Several of our relatives are "technologically challenged" and can not figure out how to become a follower.  For now, I will just leave it public but tighten up the guidelines for posting comments.  Hopefully that will help!  And NO, this is not a result of the Pampers lady!  :-)

How are your friend Jody's boys doing?
I've been meaning to post an update on this but haven't.  They seem to be doing well.  David is still requiring the use of oxygen, but hasn't had any major episodes recently.  Both boys are getting big and are weighing in around 8 pounds.  While I understand the stress the NICU journey is, I can't even begin to fathom the stress that Jody & John have gone through since they have been home.  Please keep them in your prayers. Again, I hope Jody doesn't mind, but I snagged one of the most recent pics of her boys from her website.

How do you and Terry maintain your marriage with having two infants?
 I do NOW understand the stress that having multiples places on a marriage.  I always thought the statistic that said "60% of married couples who have multiples will be divorced before the children are 10", was stupid.  I now understand why this is true.  Terry and I have made it a point to set aside at least 15 minutes a day to spend together, alone without the kiddos, usually after they go to bed.  This may not seem like much but it makes a big difference.  There were several days where we would just pass each other in the hallway and our only conversations were about who pooped and who didn't poop.  We make an attempt everyday to discuss things other than the girls.  While this is hard because our lives now revolve around them, it's also important for us to maintain our own identities.  Our 15 minutes require the TV to be off, no texts, no phone calls & no computer.  We also try to get away for a "date night" at least once a month.  This has been more challenging, but we still try. 

So, I think that is all for now....If you have a question that I didn't cover....feel free to leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them in a later post.  Thanks for reading!!!  (I hope to have more pictures up soon!)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Irritated and No one to take it out on.....

Even though I have worked for an insurance company for almost 10 years now, please let me officially say I HATE INSURANCE COMPANIES, HEALTH INSURANCE, BILLING DEPARTMENTS AND ALL THINGS HAVING TO DO WITH THEM!!!!!

Long story short, I had two baby girls on April 13th of this year.  If you can do the math, you can see that this is over 5 months ago.  I'm still dealing with trying to get claims filed correctly from 5 months ago!  UGGHH!!  Let me start by explaining that I am super anal about money and making sure that I pay what I owe and not a penny more.  I've crossed checked all my bills with the EOB's (explanation of benefits) from the insurance company just to make sure everything is correct.  I'm fairly certain that there must be numerous dyslexic people who work in billing departments because I have received a total of 8 bills that had transposed amounts due on them.  For example:  My portion to pay was $28 and I received a bill for $82.  How many people just pay these bills and don't pay attention?? 

My second dilemma:  The total amount billed for my girls medical care year to date (this includes from the time they were born through last Thursday) is well over seven million dollars!!  Yes, you did read that correctly!  I said seven million dollars!!  This does not include my pre-natal appointments or any of the charges for me personally being in the hospital delivering the babies (that will be dilemma #3).   Terry and I are left with approximately twenty thousand dollars of bills.  Relative to the 7 million billed, $20k is really not that bad.  My issue is:  who has an extra $20k laying around after they just spend 6 months on bed rest and in the NICU.  The collection agents are already harasing us.  Every one that we owe money to gets paid $50 a month.  Like I said previously, I'm super anal about money and have not missed one payment!  I have set up payment arrangements with all out debtors, but apparently the time I spent on the phone attempting to make good on our obligations was a waste of time.  Collection Agent people are really pricks!!  Some of the things they have said to wouldn't believe!!  I also don't want to forget to mention that several bills I've been able to negotiate a lower price and a couple I've been able to get written off completely so I'm very thankful for that!

Dilemma #3:  I had a C-section to deliver the girls.  I had no option, this is what I was told needed to happen!  Back in May I get a bill for $2650 from the anesthesiologist.  My insurance did not pay anything because they said he was "out of network".  I wasn't given an option of what anesthesiologist I wanted to use and I surely didn't think to ask the guy when he showed up in the delivery room if he took my insurance.  I contacted our insurance company and they said they would re-process the claim it as "in network".  So recently I get a revised bill from the anesthesiologist for $800.  I was shocked to receive this bill as I thought everything was taken care of.  I called the dr's office and was told that this was an "after hours" charge.  Since my c-section was done at 3:00a.m. there was an extra fee.  REALLY?  Like I could control that!  Anesthesiologists work 12 hour shifts.  That is that guy's job to work from 12:00a.m. to 12:00p.m.  GRRR!!  I'm still not done fighting this one!!

Ok, thanks for listening to me vent for a few minutes!!

Stalkers! UGHH!!

Effective October 1st, 2009 I'm going to be making my website private.  Due to the increasing amount of website stalkers that I'm dealing with and the junk/phising comments being left on my blog, I feel that it necessary to now make my blog private.

What this means??  If you are not signed up to be a follower of my blog you will need to sign up.  This takes all of 30 seconds to do.  On the right side of my blog, under the "followers" section, there is a link to "become a follower".  Hopefully, by allowing a week or so before I make it private, this will give everyone enough time to sign up.

If you have any issues "becoming a follower" please let me know and I can walk you through it.  Sorry for the inconvenience but if you saw some of the interesting emails & comments I receive you would understand!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Yesterday morning I took Addison for yet another brain scan.  Typically our appointments go like this:  10:00a.m. check-in time at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. 

Check-in takes like 5 minutes but they still require you to be there 30 minutes early.  Actually scan appointment is at 10:30.  Again the scan takes like 5 minutes.  Load back up in the car and drive to the neurologist's office for the results.  Appointment with Dr. Young (the neurologist) is at 11:15.  Get results and drive home.  Usually the whole process from the time we leave our house at 9:15ish takes about 3 1/2 hours. 

Yesterday didn't start well, so I was convinced that we were going to get bad news from the beginning.  Addison wouldn't take her bottle before we left home.  Maybe she was as nervous about the appointment as I was....who knows?  When we get to the hospital the main lot is full, so we have to go into the over flow garage.  When we get to the very top of the garage I unload Addison into the stroller, grab the diaper bag and we are on our way.  At least I thought?  We are on the top floor of a parking garage with NO elevator!  GRRRR!!  This is a Children's hospital!  Seriously, no elevator?  How am I going to get this stroller down 3 flights of stairs?  So basically we just walked down the parking garage being careful not to be hit by the cars entering the garage.  During our check-in I made sure to voice my unhappiness about this and the receptionist told me that I'm not the first to complain about it.  She gave me a comment card to fill out.  Apparently, since this is a very new hospital, they are still working on this issue. 

Anyway, we check-in the lady tells us where to go and we head to the radiology department of the hospital.  We take a seat in the waiting area with about 15 other people.  It's about 10:10ish at this time.  I decided to try and give Addison her bottle again since she didn't eat well before leaving home.  The minute I stuck the bottle in her mouth they called us back.  I could hear all the other people rumbling because we had just walked in and were already being called back.  Keep in mind her actually appointment isn't until 10:30.  Addison had her scan done and was baby talking to the technician who was doing it the whole time.  She just layed there and let him do his job.  Then all of the sudden she blurted out a big "HI" to the tech.  It was really cute!  He looked at me and said "Did she just tell me Hi?"  So then the tech walks us back out front and tells us to head over to Dr. Young's office for the results.  It's about 10:20.  We get back to the car about 10:30 and drive across the street to see the doctor.  We get in there about 10:40 and the receptionist proceeds to ask me if I know our appointment wasn't until 11:15.  I said yes and asked if there was any way that we could be seen earlier.  If we were going to have to wait until 11:15, Addison and I were going to take a walk outside.  The receptionist runs into the back and then says to us to come on back.  We were done with the doctor and back loaded up in the car before 11:00a.m.  When we arrived back home about 11:25, Terry was shocked that we were home so quickly.  So was I!!!

Ok, so yes, I realize this is a long story to get to my point.  My point is that everything yesterday, with the exception of the parking garage situation, went SO WELL!!  Dr. Young came in and said that her scan looked PERFECT!  He said that he didn't see any scaring or residual fluid in her brain.  He felt & measured her head and played with her for a minute.  She told him HI too!!  She's a very friendly gal!!  He told us that normally he would recommend a follow up in one year but he said that everything looks so good that if he made us come back in a year he would just be wasting our money. 

GOD IS GREAT!!  That's the only explanation for her miraculous turn around!!  She has come so far from the days where we weren't sure she would even come home with us.  Keep on asking and it will be given to you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8
Since I had already taken the entire day off work yesterday, I was bound and determined to try and get some things around the house done as well as get a hair cut.  I am now sporting a new do that is 4 1/2 inches shorter.  It is so much easier to take care of and only took 5 minutes to fix this morning.  It's still taking a little bit of getting used to, but I love it so far.  Pics to come soon!
We also decide to attempt another dinner out last night.  Terry's parents had come over yesterday to watch Alexis while I was at the doc with Addison.  Terry has been pretty exhausted so having them come over for even a few hours is a huge help.  The four of us took the girls to El Rodeo....Terry's favorite mexican restaurant.  Once again, our girls were angels.  The both slept in their car seats the entire time.  Well, Addison woke up just as we were getting ready to pay the bill.  I think she was a little frightened because she didn't know where she was.  But all in all....another successful dinner out.  Stay tuned for details of what we attempt this weekend......and more pictures to come as well!!  (That is if time allows!!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

5 Month Weight Checks.....

So, I just got a call from my Mother in Law that they just left the doctor's office with the girls.  The girls had a quick 5 month weight check this morning with the nurse.  Terry has never attempted a doctor's appointment by his self, so he called in his Mom for re-enforcements.  It truly is a lot of work to get two munchkins ready to go to the doctor.  They need to be dressed, fed and loaded into the car, Drive to the office, Put the stroller together, load two kids carseats into the stroller, go in for appointment.  Undress both kids and wait for the nurse.  Redress both kiddos, load them back into their carseats & back into the car.  Put the stroller back in the car and return home.  Unload two kiddos from the car, take them inside and remove from carseats.  Breathe...... It may not seem like a lot, but it's a full work out.  So I totally do not blame Terry for asking his Mom to help out.

Anyway,  It's so hard to believe that my girls turned 5 months old on Sunday.  Man how time flies.  They are both getting so big right before our eyes.  Last night while we were trying to stall their bedtime feeding a little bit, I was holding both girls.  I told Terry that I was having trouble deciding who weighed more.  Well, there was a good reason why I couldn't decide.  Both girls topped out the scales today at 9 pounds 13 ounces.  Addison is 22 1/4 inches long and Alexis is 21 3/4 inches long.  The doctor seems to think that both girls are going to be very tall ladies.  Their length is why we have had to officially move up to 3-6 month clothes.  They are a little baggy around the tummy area but they fit them lengthwise.  And both girls are now wearing Size 1 diapers.  It's so hard to believe that just a few months ago they were wearing preemie diapers that swallowed them up.  I know I said this before but Man how time flies!!!

Addison has a follow up head ultrasound on Thursday so please send out some extra prayers that everything continues to look well with her cute little noggin'  :-)

Monday, September 14, 2009


Let me first start by telling you a little story...  About a week ago Terry calls me at work and said "Alexis just said I Love You!".  He was pretty excited and sure that she was talking to him.  I pretty much laughed it off and told him that he was nuts.  I get home that night and he is holding Alexis and he says, "Say I Love You".  Alexis proceeds to respond with "dah, blah, gah".  She wasn't actually physically saying I Love You but she definitely was mimicking what Terry was saying. 

So, this leads to my actually story.  Friday night, I called Terry on my way home from work.  He told me that Courtney (our neighbor's daughter, she's 14) had come over to play with the girls.  They have been a huge help to us!!  Anyway, he tells me that Addison just said "HI".  Again, I kind of laughed at him thinking that he is imagining things once again.  He tells me that she said it 4 times and that Courtney heard it too.  So, I get home and he tells Addison to say hi.  And sure enough, out of her delicate little mouth comes the sweetest little "HI".  She said it another 2 times for Terry and once for me.  Over the weekend she has said it several more times.  She gets a huge smile on her face after she does it like she has just accomplished something she's been trying to do for awhile.  It's so adorable!! 

Saturday we decided that since it was a beautiful day outside that we would pack up the girls and head out to the soccer park to watch our nieces soccer games.  The girls were so great!  No melt downs, no crying, I think they just were enjoying the fresh air outside and the change of atmosphere.  On our way home Terry and I were contemplating what we were going to do for dinner.  Neither of us were in the mood to cook but we also weren't in the mood for any fast food.  Terry said that he really has been craving blueberry pancakes from Cracker Barrell.  We both looked at each other as if we were both thinking the same thing....."You think we can take the kids to Cracker Barrell?"  So we decided to give it a try.  Terry went in and made sure that it wasn't going to be a long wait before we unloaded the girls from the car.  He came back outside and said that there was no wait.  He got us a table in the back corner just in case the girls started melting down.  Both girls did phenomenal!!  Addison sat in her car seat the whole time and played with her hanging rattle thing that hangs from her car seat handle.  Alexis on the other hand was only content in her car seat for a few minutes.  She does not like to be in her car seat if she is not moving.  She will literally scream if we are stopped at a stop light for too long.  She sat on my lap most of the time and just was checking everything out.  It was very nice for us to accomplish our first sit down dinner with the girls with no major issues.  To a lot of people this may not seem like a big deal, but it's a lot of work to load up two kids and manage to sit in a restaurant for over an hour without one of them screaming.  We were very excited to have accomplished that and we are starting to get a little braver about attempting more outings.  Stay tuned to see what we do next....
Onto my diaper issue that I posted last week.  Just to clarify.... Alexis was wearing a Pampers Swaddler Size 1 to bed and it was still leaking.  Umm, yes the comment made by the Pampers Lady did totally freak me out.  But good to know that they are out there helping people I guess?  I did a little online research and decided to try some Pampers Baby Dry diapers.  Ok, wow!!  I bought a package at Target on Friday evening.  I got home and almost laughed because the diapers seemed a lot thinner than a regular Pampers Swaddler.  But I decided to try it anyway and to my surprise, they actually worked.  So for now our problem is solved.  Thank you to everyone for your suggestions!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Looking for Advice???

Ok, so I always had heard and read that Pampers diapers were the best.  They were the best for sensitive skin.  They were the most absorbent and generally all around the best diaper.  We have always used Pampers Swaddlers because that's what they used in the hospital.  They told us that because the girl's skin was so sensitive that we should continue using them once we got home.  Addison has been in a size 1 diaper for a few weeks now.  Alexis can still wear a newborn diaper but probably should be in a size 1.  We have about 20 or so newborn diapers left so, she still wears them during the day and wears a size 1 at night.  We are just trying to deplete the newborn diapers before officially switching her over. 

Anyway here is my dilemma..... Both girls are generally sleeping throughout the entire night!!  We are so lucky I know!!  Alexis is eating between 6-8 ounces before going to bed and Addison around 6 or so.  This morning when I got Alexis out of her crib she was soaking wet!  Her diaper weighed like 5 pounds and her sleeper was covered in pee.  Her sheets in her crib were also soaked with pee.  Yes, we changed her right before putting her down for bed.  This seems to be happening ALOT with both girls.  Anyone have any suggestions of a more absorbent diaper to use at night that isn't going to be huge on them??  Thank you in advance for any and all suggestions!! 

Thursday, September 10, 2009


One year ago today, Terry and I had our first appointment with Dr. Reuter (our fertility doctor) about whether or not we would be able to have children.  It seems like ages ago that we were sitting in her office in Noblesville discussing our options.  Since that first appointment we've come so far and we have definitely blessed with two beautiful healthy daughters!!
Just thought that I would share some of the first pictures of Addison & Alexis.  A few of these i've never posted because they would break my heart when I looked at them.  But today when I view them, I'm amazed and thankful at God's great work!!
The above picture is Alexis.  Terry's wedding ring is around her foot.  This was taken 3 days after she was born.  At that time his ring would go all the way up her thigh.  Today she has the cutest little chunky legs and his ring would never even fit over her toes.
The above picture is Addison while she was still on the vent.  Today she has a very healthy set of lungs!
This is the first picture we have of Alexis.  It was taken on day 2 of her precious life.  She is wearing the unbearable c-pap which she always expressed her hatred for!  Today she has that same feisty attitude and we are loving every minute of it.
Oh Sweet Addison!  How you have changed so much!!  This picture will never reflect how beautiful you truly are!! 

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Prayer Request!!

I'm sure that many of you remember from my previous posts my friend Jody and her baby boys, David & Derek.  Both David & Derek came home from the hospital mid August. David was sent home on oxygen and monitors.  See below picture of the boys, David on the left & Derek on the right... (I hope Jody doesn't mind that I stole them from her website!!)

Long story short, I got a text message from Jody on Friday afternoon saying that she had just performed CPR on David and was going by ambulance to the hospital.  I spoke with Jody on Friday and she told me that David was grey, had no pulse and wasn't breathing.  He had aspirated on something and stopped breathing.  Luckily Jody caught it in time and was able to perform CPR with her husband.  They kept David overnight at the hospital for observation and released him on Saturday morning.  (See below picture of little David)
Well, this morning (Tuesday) I get up and start getting ready for work.  I looked at my phone just to check the time and saw that I got a text message from Jody at 12:03a.m. (which would be 9:03pm her time).  The text said that she was back at Kaiser (the hospital) with David.  He was pale and the alarm on his monitors went off. 
Please keep Jody, John, & David (and Derek too!) in your prayers.  Please pray for Jody & John to find strength during this difficult time.  I could sense in Jody's voice when I talked to her Friday that she was not only worried but was feeling a little beat down by her continued struggles with her little dudes.  Please pray for David to fight whatever battles he is dealing with right now and to continue to grow healthy and strong.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More pictures!!

Just thought I would share some pictures from the last week or so!!  We've been busy with doctors appointments so I haven't had much time to update but here are a few.
Bouncy Seat Time!!
It's kind of hit or miss whether the girls like their bouncy seats lately.
Above is Alexis on the left & Addison on the right.
Above is Addison just chillin' in her bouncy (top).  And Alexis sleeping in her chair. (bottom)
Above is Alexis hanging out on her boppy pillow. She's getting very good  posing for pictures!
Above is Addison listening to me talk to her.  We have very in depth converstions!
I have very limited pictures of the girls together.  As you can see from the above picture they were not to enthused about being together in one bouncy seat.
Above are my weekly pictures of the girls in their chair.  I have a feeling that before long both girls won't be able to fit in the chair together.  They are getting so big so quickly!
And of course my post wouldn't be complete without my weekly picture of Daddy and his girls!!  Addison is on the left & Alexis is on the right.