Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sneak Peak!

Many of you already know that we took the girls to get a family picture taken on Saturday.  On Thanksgiving I realized that this may not have been the smartest idea.  Taking two infants to the mall the weekend after Thanksgiving, What was I thinking?  I seriously stressed about finding parking, getting the girls dressed and making sure that we were at our appointment on time. To my suprise, we found a front row parking spot and the girls did super!!  I will definitely know for next year that we need to schedule our appointment prior to Thanksgiving or on a week day!  The portrait studio was packed but luckily we had an early appointment so they were still relatively on schedule.  By the time we left they were already running behind by about 45 minutes.  I'm fairly postive that it's our fault that all the appointments after us were postponed, but all and all things went great.  Some pictures turned out great and some pictures well, not so much.  Here is a sneak peak of a few pictures that will not be making the cut for our Christmas card. 


Above:  Me & Alexis.  I LOVE this picture!  Unfortunately, I'm limited to the number of pictures I can put on our card.  I love this picture of Alexis because it truly captures the essence of her sweetness when she's in the right mood.  Nicknamed the "Beast", we don't get many of these sweet moments captured on film!



Above:  Daddy and Addison.  Another one of my fav's that isn't going to make the Christmas card cut.  Addison wasn't truly feeling the photo shoot.  Afterwards, I realized that she was totally sweating in her little dress and that was probably what her issue was.  I just think this is a great picture.  It truly captures the way that Terry lights up any time he is around his girls.



And the final picture not making the cut, Above:  Alexis in white & Addison in red.  Ok, so it appears that Alexis is having another sweet moment by kissing her sis on the head right?  Not so much!!  Alexis likes to try and bite Addison's head or chew on her hair.  But in my opinion it's still super adorable.  These are the moments at home that I can never capture on film so I'm glad that we were able to get a few candid shots.

So stay tuned in the next month or so to see the best of the best and our first family Christmas card!!

Also, big THANKS to Grandma & Paw Paw Flanigan for helping us out this weekend!  We couldn't have made our photo appointment on time without them!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dress up time!

For a Daddy who really wanted a boy, I have never seen a guy so happy to play dress up with his girls!   I had originally bought these outfits for our Christmas pictures that we are having done next weekend.  After much thought, we decided that we wanted to something a little more formal with the girls.  I still wanted to take some pictures.  This also gave us a chance to make sure our tights & shoes fit for next weekend.  I hope you enjoy these picture as much as we do!!  By the way:  Just wanted to give a little mention to the maker of these tutus.  Liz, fellow mommy of two beautiful girls as well, has a great shop called The Painted Daisies.  I recommend checking it out!






The above five pictures are Alexis.  She cooperated with the process but I'm not sure she was exactly having much fun!!






The above five pictures are Miss Addison.  She really liked playing dress up.  Even though we have yet to capture her beautiful smile on camera, she was smiling like crazy for us.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shots & Sadness!

The girls received their RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) shots yesterday.  This is a four part shot to help prevent the girls from getting what in most infants would be classified as a bad cold.  Since preemies generally have undeveloped lungs at birth, they are more apt to get RSV which in micro-preemies can be very serious and MANY times leads to death.  We are being very cautious to keep the girls pretty much on lock down and at home right now.  Since it's cold and flu season, I'm very nervous about the girls catching anything.  Being around other children who have a minor cough or running nose can cause our girls to get very sick.  A lot of people don't understand that when a micro-preemie baby gets a cold, it's not the same as when a full term child gets sick.  While I've been doing my best not to treat my girls as "different", cold and flu season is one thing that I will not take lightly.  So I ask all of you who are getting "upset" per say because we will not be traveling to family holiday functions, or attending your holiday parties to please understand that we are doing what we feel is in the best interest of our girls.  I've done A LOT of research on RSV in preemies and this is something we just don't want to mess around with!!!  If you still feel the need to make your ignorant comments feel free to do so, but this is a decision that Terry and I have made together and we will not be changing our minds.  Sorry to be so blunt, but we spent years and years praying for these children and we will not let anything as little as being careless about cold and flu season take them away from us.
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Ok, so while the girls were at their pediatrician's office they were weighed.  For some reason I was expecting Alexis to be a lot heavier than Addison.  She just feels meatier.  But Addison is longer so who knows what I was thinking.  But here are their weights as of Tuesday, November 17th:  Addison  12 pounds 4 ounces and Alexis 12 pounds 10 ounces.
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After all that we have been through I hate to live in the past, but some things will always be a part of me and I feel like today is a day that I need to look back on the past and reflect on how truly blessed we are.  One year ago today (click this link to read) we found out that we were expecting triplets.  I will never forget the look on the faces of everyone in the room.  At that time we were still seeing our RE, so we had a nurse, a nursing student, the doctor, Terry and me in the room at the time of my ultrasound.  I immediately saw two sacks on the screen and when the third one popped up I thought Terry was going to pass out.  The doctor made him sit down before he fell over.  The doctor kept scanning the room looking at everyone.  She kept apologizing to us saying how sorry she was.  I was just ecstatic to be pregnant; I don't think it fully had sunk in yet that it was three.  Normally when we left our appointments the doctor or nurse would leave the room so I could get dressed and tell us to check out at the front desk when we were ready.  This day they all waited outside of the room to make sure that we were ok.  I got dressed and Terry just stared blankly at the wall.  When we were ready to leave the exam room, I opened the door to find the doctor and the nurse both in the hallway.  They walked us up to the front desk to make sure we were ok.  They asked both of us if we were ok to drive since we both seemed majorly in shock.  They all again apologized to us saying that they try their best to prevent high order multiples.  This whole day was very weird to me.  Looking back now, I feel like everyone at Midwest Fertility were angels in our whole conception process.  They knew that our family would be completed by two precious little girls not three.  While not a day goes by where I don't think about our baby girl Hope, I know that God knew what he was doing when he took her from us.  He needed her to help protect our two surviving triplets.  Without her, who knows where we would be today.  Every night when I put Addison and Alexis to bed, I thank God for knowing what was best for our family and for blessing us with these two incredible miracles.  I also thank baby Hope for keeping an eye out on her sisters. 
Baby Girl, You've been an Angel indeed!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

November 17 is PREEMIE AWARENESS DAY!!



Ok, this has been a very difficult blog for me to write. I have so much that I want to say and I can't seem to find the right words. I've debated about giving a bunch of statistics about prematurity, copying the generic blog from the March of Dimes (MOD)website etc. etc. Instead I've decided to share more of our story with you. Here I go....Hope I can encourage at least one person to help out with the March of Dimes.

The morning of April 12th 2009 will be permanently etched into my mind. While this sounds strange to say, since a lot of the details seem foggy to me now, I will never remember the fear that I had that day. Would my babies survive? I already had one previous miscarriage. I knew that if our girls survived I would only be bringing two of our three triplet's home from the hospital. I didn't want to accept the fact that my water had broke. What had I done wrong? Why was this happening to me? How could I fix it? To this day, I still have no answers. The doctors assure me that I did nothing wrong and that prematurity is unexplainable 95% of the time. I was determined to keep my girls in. I layed in my hospital bed all day barely moving an inch because I didn't want anything to cause my girls to be born prematurely. Nearly 20 hours later the pain of the contractions was unbearable. I remember laying in my hospital bed that evening thinking that I was about to give birth to three babies that didn't stand a chance. I was only 28 weeks pregnant why was this happening?

Without the research done by the March of Dimes, my two surviving triplets would not be the healthy baby girls that they are today. I owe my heart and soul to the people who have helped developed the ventilators, c-pap apparatuses and all the other fancy equipment that was used to bring my girls back to life. Yes, I have never shared this information, but our little Addison was "jumped started" several times that early Monday morning. If I hadn't been a nosey mom and was reading her chart in the NICU I would have never have known. I'm not sure if that is information that I really care to know, but it makes me appreciate the MOD's and all our amazing NICU nurses and doctors even more. Without all of them our precious daughters would not be with us today.


Above is Addison on day 3 of her precious life.  Still fighting on the ventilator.


Above is Alexis.  Hating her C-pap.  Day four of her life.

I would like to encourage each and every one of you to visit the March of Dimes website at www.marchofdimes.com and contribute if you can. I understand a contribution is not possible for everyone.  If you are unable to contribute financially we ask that you please just say a prayer for someone you know with a premature child.....someone who is struggling through the NICU journey right now....or for the team at March of Dimes that their work continues to be funded to help fight the unknown of premature births.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Monetize?

Just wondering if any of you ladies out there Monetize your blogs?

If so, I'm curious as to how much $$ you actually make off of it? None of the FAQ's on blogspot give me any idea if it is just pennies or if it is a substantial amount.

I'd be curious to hear from everyone as to how much you make from your blog?

If you don't want to share publicly through a comment please feel free to email me at cardinalsfan0718 AT netzero DOT com

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NO WORDS NEEDED.....

Ok, I know I titled this no words needed but of course I had to add a few. This video I took on my phone so the quality is not great but I had to post it. Terry is making the girls laugh by blowing raspberries on their neck. It's the sweetest sound when they laugh!! Enjoy!


video

Friday, November 13, 2009

7 MONTHS!!! Happy Friday the 13th!!

It seems so hard to believe that our little sweeties are seven months old today.  It seems like just yesterday I was standing by their isolates in the NICU.  Last night when I was watching Addison sleep after I fed her, her bedtime bottle, I couldn't help but think to myself how incredibly lucky we are to have two amazing little ladies.  We are very blessed that they continue to thrive after all they have been through.

I just had to check...the girls birthday won't fall on Friday the 13th until they are 3 and it won't fall on Easter until their 22nd birthday.  Good to know!!

So here are a few things about the girls this month:

Addison:
Our precious Addison has seriously found her voice this month.  This morning I was laying in bed listening to her babble away.  She has the sweetest little voice.  But she also does have this seriously funny growling noise that she makes occasionally that doesn't sound as sweet but is still hysterical.

Addison is not a big fan of peas, but she loves carrots.

Still wearing size 1 diapers except for at night we need a size 2 for extra absorbency.

Still mainly wearing 3-6 month clothes, but sometimes a 6 month sneaks in there.

LOVES her baby doll, which was a gift from my Cousin Kandi.  She will hug it and drool all over it for long periods of time.

Alexis:
Miss Alexis continues to be our wild child.  She is a totally wiggle worm and is constantly moving.  She has a smile that can brighten and room and isn't afraid to share it with everyone.

Alexis will eat anything and everything.  It's hard to feed her because you can't get the food in her mouth fast enough.  She doesn't seem to "love" peas, but she still eats them.

Still in a size 1 diaper except for at night we use a size 2.  Same as her sis.

Still mainly wearing 3-6 month clothes.

LOVES her "tea party" exersaucer.  We purchased this from my boss & his wife since their super cute daughter, Kingsley didn't enjoy it much.  If you ask Alexis if she wants to have a tea party she gets super excited.  (see below pictures)
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Last night I decided to break out my baby beaba baby food maker and give it a try.  LOVE IT!!  We received this as a gift at one of our showers.  Let me tell you....being as frugal as I am, I probably would have never purchased this for myself.  But this will be a total money saver for us in the long run.  Basically what this is, is a glorified food processer with the word baby on it.  But I still love it.  It cooks/steams the food for you and in the same container purees it.  I have been saving my used Gerber plastic baby food containers for this purpose.  Here is what I figured out last night: 

(8) 2 packs of Gerber plastic containers of carrots X $0.98 each=$7.84 plus tax
Yields a Total of 16 containers of carrots for $7.84
Total cost per unit=$0.49

(1) bag of carrots from the grocery store=$0.98
Yields a Total of 16 containers of carrots for $0.98
Total cost per unit=about $0.07

Yes, this does take a little bit more time, but in the long run it's healthier for the babies eating non-processed foods as well as we will save $$. The girls will be trying out their homemade carrots today for lunch.  If they like them, I plan on making a huge batch of carrots, peas, spinach and green beans this weekend.  I'll let you know how it goes.  My only wish is that the baby beaba was slightly bigger so I could make more at one time.  Since we have "double trouble" we obviously need double the food.
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As promised here are a few pictures of the girls from their opthalmologist appointments.  Obviously, these were taken prior to the doctor coming in.

Above:  Daddy & his girls.  Addison left & Alexis right.


Above:  Addison.  Love, Love, Love those chubby little cheeks!!  And she is totally getting so much hair these days.  Before long I will be able to put little barrettes in her hair! YEAH!


Above:  Alexis (aka little Terry)  Doesn't she look just like her Daddy?  She is getting more hair as well, but not as much as her sister.


We've really been working on the girls motor skills lately.  I.E.:  grabbing for toys, following objects, sitting up etc.  The bumbo chairs help with the girls practicing sitting up.  It's really been hit or miss with them.  Some days they like them, other days they despise them.

Above is Alexis and Jynxie the cat.  As you can see Jynxie is always so careful not to step on the girls blankets or play mats.  Alexis has become obsessed with Jynxie and cracks up laughing every time she sees her.  Alexis will see Jynxie and immediately try to crawl over to her.  Some days Jynx will lay there and let Alexis abuse her and yank a fistful of hair and other days Jynx will run and hide.  It's pretty cute to watch!  Addison usually couldn't care less about the cat.

Addison in her bumbo chair.  Not the best picture but at least she is looking at the camera.


Above:  the girls chillin' in the chairs.  Alexis on the left & Addison on the right.



Above:  Alexis having a tea party.  This picture is from the first time she was in it.  She still wasn't quite sure what to think of it.  But now she totally LOVES it!!


Above:  Addison in our other exersaucer.  This one isn't as fun but we still use it on occasion.  The girls definitely favor their tea party exersaucer.  This picture was from the first time we put Addison in it.  She wasn't quite sure what to think.  It took her a few minutes to realize that she could and was supposed to stand up in it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eye doctor appointments....

We took the girls to see Dr. Roberts at Midwest eye institute this morning for a follow up.  Unfortunately, since Dr. Roberts is a pediatric specialist he only sees infants one day a week, on Tuesdays and way TOO EARLY .  Dr. Roberts has been the girl's opthamologist since they were in the NICU.   He is a great guy and while the girls hate their eye exams, he is super great with them.  More on their appointment later in this post...

The girls were not happy about being woke up early this morning for their appointment.  Needless to say, Mom & Dad were also not happy about having to get up early.  The day began with me getting Alexis out of her crib.  Normally we leave a light on downstairs all night.  For some reason there were no lights on downstairs this morning?  This is still a mystery???  Due to daylight savings time, it was still dark when I brought Alexis downstairs at 6:00a.m. this morning.  I was walking through the living room to turn on the lamp so it wouldn't be as bright for Alexis since she was still waking up.  And then BAM!!!  I tripped over some random pink toy that was left in the middle of our living room floor and fell smack down onto my knees.  I now have a nice HUGE bruise already on my leg and a massive carpet burn on my entire left leg from my ankle to my knee.  The good news is that I managed to hang on to Alexis and not drop her.  I can deal with the skinned up leg as long as Lex is ok!! 

So the moral of the story is....PICK UP YOUR TOYS!!!   I spent many years listening to my parents tell me to pick up my toys and put them away.  I always thought this was stupid since I was going to be playing with them again tomorrow.  I now understand why this is important!  I have a feeling that I'm going to be reiterating more than one thing my parents said to me that I previously thought was stupid!!

The girl's appointments went very well this morning.  Luckily the doctor did not have to pry their eyes open like he did at their previous check ups.  I don't know if you have ever seen a preemie eye exam but it seems rather inhumane to me!  The doctor takes what resembles a binder clip and uses it to pry open their eye lids.  The girls scream their heads off for the following 15 minutes.  Since the girls are now bigger and more responsive Terry held them in the exam chair while the doctor shined the light into their eyes and made them follow the light on the wall.  They both did great and we ALL were excited that the "binder clip" exams are a thing of the past.  Unfortunately, they did still have to have their eyes dilated, but this way was much easier for everyone involved.  Dr. Roberts said that both girls eyes look great.  Alexis has to go back in 6 months just to follow up on a minor issue with some occasional crossing of her right eye.  He doesn't seem concerned about it at this time.  Addison got an A+ for her visit today and doesn't have to go back for one year. 

I will try post pictures soon that we took of the girls sitting in the big exam chair at their appointment today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween Pictures FINALLY!!

Halloween is a special time around our place, at least it is for me.  Last year on Halloween is when we found out for sure that I was pregnant.  So we decided that we needed to celebrate by dressing up our two little blessings.  Obviously this was more for my enjoyment than theirs but it was still fun regardless!!

As I mentioned before the girls have several different Halloween outfits.  Of course, I had to take pictures of them all.  Here are two pictures of the girls in their Halloween jammies & their Halloween bibs.

Above is Alexis. Who is paying more attention to her father, than to me.

Above is Addison.  She just wants this picture stuff to be over so she can have some food.  But how can you not love those sweet little lips?

The girls have been loving their Halloween pj's.  Here are just a couple of random pictures of their pj's.


Above is Addison.  We are seriously working on some teeth at our house.  It's getting harder and harder to get pictures without their hands in their mouths.

Above is Alexis.  Don't you just wanna squeeze those little cheeks?

The next few pictures require a little explanation....The back side of the Halloween jammies have a little pumpkin face on it.  Whenever the girls wear these particular jammies, Alexis is always fascinated by the pumpkin face on Addison's bottom.  I'm not quite sure what she thinks she is going to accomplish, but she always tries to attack the pumpkin on Addison.

Above:  My little punkin butts!  Alexis on left beginning to eye ball the pumpkin tushie on Addison (right)


Yep, she found the pumpkin.

This is the point where Alexis started attacking Addison's pumpkin tushie and we had to seperate them.  Addison was trying to figure out what the heck was going on.

Above:  The girls playing nicely.

Ok, here are the pictures that I know you have been waiting for.....the costumes.  Addison was totally into her halloween costume.  I'm pretty sure that she was only interested because her costume was sparkly.  Alexis wasn't enjoying being dressed up as much.  My pictures did not turn out great but here you go:


The above two pictures are of my beautiful butterfly Addison.  She was so mellow about everything and was just chillin' in her costume.  Isn't she a doll?

The above picture is my super cute caterpillar, Alexis.  This is the only decent picture I could get of her.  She was squirming around and wouldn't pose for me.  Regardless, she still looks cute.

The above two pictures are obviously the girls together.  Sadly these were the best pictures I could get.  It's difficult to get both of them to look at me at the same time.