Friday, August 27, 2010

First Hair Cuts

I can't believe that I finally broke down and took the girls for their first hair cut.  It still seems surreal to me that the girls are at the age that they needed a little trim.  I, once again was in full panic attack mode, expecting the worst and freaking out about the things in life I can not control.  I fully expected the girls to scream bloody murder, squirm around like little wiggle worms, and just generally not be excited about the process.  Once again to my surprise, the girls were angels and exceeded my expectations.  They both hopped up onto their Daddy's lap and acted like pro's at getting their hair done.  Alexis was very curious and was inspecting everything that was going on.  Addison was more laid back about it and more interested in playing with the comb.  Here are some pictures of my Big Girls.  Enjoy!  By the way, if anyone in the Indianapolis area and is looking for a hair stylist....Go see Theresa at JC Penney's at Hamilton Towne Center, She is the best!!  She's been cutting my hair since I moved to Indiana 14 years ago, and now she is cutting my kiddos hair.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NICU Reunion---A Time to Celebrate!

Upon entering the doors of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, it is immediately understood that you are in a special place.  Everyone has their own set of circumstances, and we all realize the importance and necessity of the NICU.  Experiences there are dependent upon your unique situations and the people you encounter there.  These encounters have changed OUR lives.  We feel the NICU reunion is a wonderful way to celebrate the memories we made there, whether good or bad.  We appreciate the chance to celebrate our successes, and reminisce with the contacts that began as staff/patient, but have long endured as friendships. 

A friend recently asked me if seeing all the old faces of the NICU brought back bad memories and old feelings.  Definitely not!!  I feel that the NICU reunion gives us a chance to "show off" our girls and prove to everyone how powerful the "power of prayer" really is.  Without each and everyone of the amazing people in that hospital, and without each and every one of your prayers our girls would not be where they are today.

I remember last year going to the reunion.  The girls had only been home for a little over a month at that point.  Terry and I thought that it may be a small gathering of a few hospital personnel and a few NICU grads.  Boy were we wrong!!  At that point in our lives we truly didn't understand how great of an accomplishment being a NICU graduate actually is, and that it IS something to celebrate.  Every year over 3000 grads, doctors, nurses and parents gather to celebrate surviving the NICU.  This year was no exception.  It was incredible to see some old faces and to reflect back on how far we have actually come in the last year or so. 

We had been watching the weather for a few days leading up to Saturday morning (the 21st).  The forecast wasn't looking so great.  Saturday was the one day in like a month that it was supposed to rain.  I got up Saturday morning to find it raining.  I turned on the news and the forecast showed that the rain should pass through by 9:00a.m. and it should be a pleasant day.  So we decided to head on out to the park.  It was sprinkling on the car ride there and we were wondering if we should take the girls out, since they are still getting over their colds.  But to our surprise, once we arrived at the park the rain cleared up and it was pleasantly cool outside.  It was a beautiful morning. 

The park was filled with bounce houses, seriously like 10 massive, full size bounce houses, vendor tents, games, pony rides, a petting zoo, and a kiddie train.  As we entered the festivities, we ran into one of our doctors from the NICU.  She immediately remembered us and kept commenting on how amazing the girls looked.  She asked me "didn't we tell you that she would never be able to walk" (referring to Addison).  I replied with "yes, and I'm so thankful that you were wrong".  The doctor laughed, gave me a hug and said that God is the only logical explanation as to why our girls are doing so well.  I agreed!

After chatting with the doctor and a few nurses, we decided to take the girls on their first pony rides.  The look on the girls faces were absolutely priceless.  Terry said that he's afraid that he might have to buy Addison a pony in the near future.  She loved it SO much!  Alexis liked the pony ride as well, but I think she was more intrigued by the fact that she was sitting on this huge animal and was trying to figure it all out.   Here are some pictures:

The above four pictures are Alexis.

The above four pictures are Addison.

Sadly these pictures do not do justice to show the excitement that the girls had while riding the horses.  I wish I would have been able to capture their huge smiles and the joy that riding these horses brought to them.  I think that it is safe to say that the NICU reunion will be something we attend for years to come!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Playing catch up.....

Man, I can't believe that It has once again been two weeks since I have updated my blog.  It seems like August has completely flown by.  I have a ton to update you all on, like sick kiddos (again), our NICU reunion, the girls first hair cuts etc....but doing it all in one post would be a little over kill.  So look for several posts in the upcoming days.  I promise to do better in the future with updates.

Let's start with sick kiddos....  Last Monday (the 16th) morning, I got up with the girls, like any regular weekday morning.  Addison felt warm to me when I picked her up and was in general just acting a little crabby.  I know that she is getting some top molars so I kind of just chalked it up to teething.  {Which brings me to an official tooth count update:  Addison=10 teeth & Alexis=8 teeth}  I changed the girls, fed them breakfast and just went along with our normal morning routine.  It seemed as if Addison was just getting more crabby by the minute.  I took her temperature and it was around 99ish (I don't remember exactly), but it wasn't extremely high.  I warned Terry of the situation and just asked him to keep an eye on her throughout the day.

On this particular day I had a doctors appointment for myself scheduled with my OB for an annual physical.  I've been putting it off for way too long and decided to just suck it up and do it.  It is extremely hard for me to walk the halls of that hospital that we spent over three months of our lives at.  I physically get nauseous just pulling into the parking lot.  I went to my appointment at 3:30, was examined and then I spent a little over an hour talking to my OB about the events of the day that the girls were born.  I had never really been ready to know all of the details, and I'm not sure that before now I would have been ready to hear them.  A lot of the details are very graphic and of personal nature so I'm not going to share, but it felt good to have some closure on the situation and to know what really happen in the delivery room that day.  It was a rough ride home with a lot of emotions going through my head.

When I got home around 5:30ish, I found Addison laying in Terry's arms just white as a ghost.  She was burning up and very lethargic.  Alexis also felt warm to the touch and her nose was running like a faucet.  Terry had been trying to reach me, but since I was at the doctor, my phone was on silent mode.  I immediately grabbed the thermometer and took Addison's temperature.  The (digital) thermometer turned bright red, started beeping loudly as it popped out a temperature of 103 something.  I could just tell by Addison's demeanor that Tylenol wasn't going to fix this fever.  Terry and I decided that we should take the girls to the immediate care.   There happens to be an immediate care facility attached to the girls pediatrician's office, so we went there.  We walked in the door and signed in, exactly at 6:00.  I asked the receptionist how long she thought the wait would be and her response was "there are four people ahead of you, so it shouldn't be long". 

Addison who normally is a "nosey rosey" and up in every one's business, layed in my arms, completely motionless.  I could feel the heat just radiating off of her as she layed on me.  A half an hour went by and another father of an infant started pacing the lobby.  Apparently, he had picked his daughter up from daycare and she had a massive fever and he came directly to the immediate care.  I asked him how long he had been waiting.  He told me had been there for an hour.  He explained to me that he came unprepared, didn't have a diaper bag, cheerios, toys or anything.  I gave him a diaper, wipes, and some cheerios to help soothe his daughter.  At this point, we were all feeling helpless together. 

Now, it's 7:00.  I'm starting to get angry as I realize that patients are not being seen in the order of severity, but instead in order of their arrival.  Maybe this is common knowledge for an urgent care facility, but I was not aware of it.  Addison is still limp in my arms, as Terry is walking around outside with Alexis.  Terry's exact words describing Addison were, "I'm pretty sure you could fry an egg on her head".

At 8:00, I'm pretty fired up, but at this point we are too invested to leave and go elsewhere.  I knew that the father of the afore mentioned infant was in front of us and they had just been taken back.  Terry and I are both feeling so helpless and scared for our little girls.  I'm not kidding, Addison layed limp in my arms without barely moving for over two hours.  That is not her!!

Finally, around 8:15 we are called back by a nurse.  She weighed the girls and took their vital signs.  Addison at this point had a 104.5 temperature and Alexis 102.8.  A doctor finally came in around 8:40ish, shoved some things in the girls ears, looked at their throats, and listened to their chests.  She was in and out in less than 5 minutes.  I was really disappointed, but it also made me very grateful that we have such an amazing pediatrician for the girls.  We will never go back to that immediate care facility!!  It was not a pleasant experience for us at all!!

The long and the short of it is, Alexis has a viral infection.  As of today, a week later, Alexis is doing much better.  She still has a lingering cough and a runny nose, but we are told that just has to run it's course.  Addison was put on antibiotics for an ear infection and we are pretty sure that she is well on her way to getting tubes put in sometime in the near future.  I'm pretty sure that Addison also caught the viral infection because she also has a lingering runny nose.

Sadly, on Wednesday of last week, I came down with a high fever and the same symptoms that both the girls had.  We are all feeling better now, but not yet 100%.  We will all be glad when our house is back to being germ free.  But I have to tell you, that's one of the scariest nights that we've had with the girls in awhile. 

By the way, thanks to everyone for their texts, emails, Facebook messages and well wishes while we were pacing the floor of the immediate care facility.  A big thanks to my friend Sherri for offering to bring us dinner during our evening spent at immediate care.  We truly appreciate you bringing us dinner the following day, when all of us were feeling under the weather.  It's so nice to know that we have so many people out there praying for us. 

Stay tuned for updates regarding first haircuts, the NICU reunion and the girls first pony rides!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010


The past few weeks here in Indiana have been miserably HOT!  Temperatures have been well over 100 degrees on several days, and just too darn hot to do anything outside with the girls.  This past Friday evening, we had a nice break from the heat so we decided to take the girls to the park.  This is the park that the girls party should have been at.  This was the first time that we actually let the girls roam freely and just explore.  Prior trips only included playing on the swings.  Let me tell you....the girls loved the freedom!!  See for yourself!

Addison loving having things to climb on!
Addison mesmerized by the shadows.  She was really into trying to "touch" my shadow for a little while.

Love this picture....Addison roaming about.

The girls also took in a little tic-tac-toe time!  I'm not sure who won?

Alexis enjoying trying to "drive" the train for awhile.

And what's more fun than crawling through the tunnels?  In the bottom picture you can see that I had to crawl through as well, Alexis was just sitting in the middle of the tunnel and I had to "rescue" her.

And of course, we had to stop for a photo op with Daddy on the swing.  It was near impossible to get all three of them to look at me at the same time!

Alexis loving her freedom!

The girls were in love with this dinosaur looking thing.  Alexis is part monkey, I'm convinced of it!
Addison made sure that everyone was following the "playground rules".

Future Goalie's??  The girls were in love with the soccer goal!

This is probably one of my favorite pictures.  I just love how happy my girls were "frolicking" through the park.  The smiles were endless and definitely contagious!!

Here are some random pictures from the past few weeks.....

Terry & Alexis at the gym this weekend.

Me & Addison at the gym this past weekend.  LOVE this picture!

Addison swinging at the gym.  Smiles like these melt my heart!  I can hear her giggling just looking at this picture!  Love it!

Alexis at the gym, always crawling on, up or into something.  See, I'm telling you she's a monkey!

Alexis after her "at home" pedicure.

Alexis always pointing at something.  She is a very curious gal.
The girls playing in our back yard.  Don't you just want to squeeze them!

Friday, August 6, 2010

No news is good news RIGHT!!

No real news to report on the girls lately, but I realized that I hadn't blogged in a while so I wanted to do a quick update.  The girls are definitely progressing into more and more of a toddler phase everyday.  My babies are growing up so quickly.  Every morning when I get them up, it seems as if they had gotten bigger overnight.  It's becoming more and more difficult for me to carry them both at the same time and I no longer feel comfortable getting them both up in the morning and carrying them downstairs together.  This is a good thing!  It means they are growing and gaining weight, which is what we need them to do!

They continue to keep us on our toes as they become more curious about exploring things.  Nothing is safe in our house anymore.  Every toy and every object is a step stool and assists in the aid of climbing onto anything they can thrust their little bodies onto. 

Addison has become obsessed with socks and shoes.  Anytime anyone has shoes or socks on she will point and repeat "socks" several times until you acknowledge the fact that you are wearing socks or shoes.  She's becoming more vocal everyday and is developing more of a personality right before our very eyes. 

Alexis has become a real sweety lately.  She loves to cuddle, give hugs and kisses.  She is still our rough one, but has a super sweet side.  The other day she was trying to hug Addison but was so rough that she knocked her over.  It melts my heart every time I see my girls try to hug and kiss each other.  I know that some day they will be the best of friends. 

The girls continue to do well with eating.  The transition to cow's milk went very well and we are so glad to be rid of the nasty job that making formula was.  We are working on the transition from bottles to sippy cups and everyday it seems that they are getting better with it. 

I can definitely say that right now I'm really enjoying being a Mommy to these two beautiful girls.  Not that I wasn't before, but as they start to develop more and more into little people they become more fun and such a joy to be with.  They continue to amaze me everyday and I feel so blessed that our girls continue to thrive and beat all the odds.  Until next time....