Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thankful for baby helpers

Pictures: 8 week old "monkey" pictures - Emma, Kendall and Clark. Aunt Karen with all three on her birthday (and Easter and also the day UT men's basketball was on and the babies were decked out in their Vol-wear). Aunt Marsha, cousin Marshall and Clark a couple of weeks ago.

Now that Troy is back to work full-time, I really need to say it again that I am incredibly thankful for those who have been able to help with the babies. Of course, we are so thankful for ALL of the help and the thoughtful things that people have done for us throughout the last 5 weeks at home. Right now though, it is so important to have someone here to help during feeding times as it is virtually impossible for one person to handle all three (at least at this age), so I just wanted to say "thank you SOOOO much". And please let us know if you are interested in coming over to hold babies and help during a feeding time (
We have finally worked into a "schedule" of sorts where we try to feed them at 10-2-6 (am and pm). This makes it easier to arrange for help to be here with me (assuming that Troy is not available). The babies have also been able to stay asleep for longer stretches overnight which means that Mommy & Daddy get a better opportunity for sleep too. We aren't getting 8-10 hours, don't worry. But it's nice to get more than 2 hours. :)
Kendall appears to be over 8 lbs. We won't know her exact weight until their next appointment in a couple of weeks. She is doing well, though it seems that she has hit a fussy stage. We think it has more to do with the switch to the new formula as her tummy adjusts....or that is what we HOPE is going on. She is still so alert and aware of things around her (when she is actually awake) and loves to spend time on the activity mat and also her Tummy Time mat (thanks Sharon A). She had her first sleepover at Aunt Karen's house Friday night and did pretty well. Personally, I think she was just glad to have some time alone to be held and cuddled.
Emma continues to have her fussy times as well and she is also still the loudest. We are just so thankful when she is content to just cuddle (another reason that baby help is so important as it's hard to cuddle with her as much as she may like since she has a brother and a sister also waiting). A couple of us have decided that she thinks she is an only child. Often when they are together (on the activity mat, etc), she tends to turn away from the other two sort of in an effort to deny their existence and therefore get more time in with whoever might be playing with the group at the time. She is a real charmer though when she isn't crying. She loves to look at the bright quilts that Auntie Katherine made and she is fascinated by the monkey stuffed animal (used for taking their pictures in order to see how they grow over time). She is still the smallest of the three, though she has been eating the most lately and proving to be quite skilled at burping these days.
Clark is still too cute with his little grunts and his big happy eyes. He also loves to cuddle with anyone who will put the fussy girls down to hold him. He too is very alert and loves to look at toys, the quilts and just stare at whoever is holding him at the time (especially Daddy). I am wondering if he is realizing that the girls are pulling the attention toward themselves with all of the crying because he's been pretty fussy lately as well. He is usually still the patient one when it's time to eat and he is STILL getting bumped because he doesn't fuss the loudest. We also think he has moved up and over the 8 lb mark, but again, we can't confirm for another two weeks.
Mommy and Daddy continue to work to stay calm during those crying fits - especially when more than one baby is involved. Rumor has it that some of the fussiness can sort of come to an end around 4 mos - or it can turn into more crying over other issues. We are hoping for the first option. And we also look forward to the new things that the babies continue to surprise us with each day. We've been turning on music in their room during the early part of the day (either kids CD or radio stations that offer "flashback" music) and try to get the kids awake and smiling with our singing and dancing. Troy is really looking forward to making goofy faces and getting a response. Right now, the babies tend to just stare at him blankly when he does those things (sort of like Mommy does).
Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend. Time for me to go get started on another round of bottles.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

7 weeks old and growing strong

Pictures: Emma - the reason we bought more pictures. Clark laughing (for the few seconds that we could get him awake). Kendall who is not sure about the very large silk flower sitting on her belly, but one of the few chances we had when she was awake.

We are at 7 weeks (and 2 days) today and babies are still growing strong. Our "one month" pediatrician appt was this past Monday. I say "one month" because it's sort of an adjusted age thing vs their actual age. We have to look at things like weight, developmental milestones,etc based on their actual due date instead of their birthdate. Anyway, Kendall is still in first at 7lb 10oz. Clark has moved into second place at 7lbs even. And little bit, Emma, is weighing in at 6lb 10oz. We tried to explain to her that it is from all of her fussy fits and she's burning too many calories. She is also on a different formula and it is not as high in calories as what the other two are drinking. That is about to change as we are switching formula for Clark and Kendall to the same that Emma gets, but it will take about a week to do so. We are hoping that the transition goes smoothly and crossing our fingers that it doesn't result in upset tummies.

The babies are amazing us with their new "tricks" and sounds each day. Connie and Lesly were both here Wednesday and commented on how different and how much bigger they looked just from last week. We keep hearing new little coos and peeps that they didn't do before and all three are really able to move their heads around and hold them up a lot more now. Personally, I will be glad when the days of "floppy head/neck" are behind us. They are so squirmy now that it is hard to keep them still during feeding time and they still love to kick you in the tummy if you give them the opportunity.

We had our first experience getting their pictures taken (beyond the hospital photographer) on Tuesday (some of which I've posted here). I have heard people say that this is not a fun memory, so I wasn't going into it with high expectations, though I was hoping for some great pictures. We had to wait in the car for about 45 minutes until they were ready for us (running behind because of the Easter crowds) and by then we had one fussy baby (three guesses who that was) and two sleeping babies - and I mean out cold. So, we got Emma's pictures first. Then we tried to rouse Kendall and then Clark, but with very little success. By the time we were trying to get shots of all three together, Emma was in meltdown mode and we had to cut it "short" (only in terms of # of poses, not time as we took about 45 minutes just to get to this point). In the end, there were some good pictures. Of course, the best individual one was of Emma, which meant we HAD to select one of each of the other two. For future reference, we will take more people along for the next photo shoot - one for each baby and then have it where I'm available to help the photographer with the baby being photographed at the time. Any volunteers?????? :)

Aunt Marsha, Uncle Bill and cousins, David and Marshall, were here this past weekend. David has been through the "baby thing" and was very sweet to them, but not as interested as Marshall. He did a great job holding them (while supervised) and even trying to rock them just a little. He is a natural.

Aunt Karen has been under the weather for the last few days and I made a scramble trying to line up help for feedings for the next couple of days. The babies even had an extra "dose" of Nurse Ashley as she came for a few hours last night and got baths and two feedings done so that I could get a break. We are looking forward to a few other new faces this weekend as well.

That's all for now. We wish everyone a wonderful Easter and Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

First Outing in the Park - the Crazy Stroller's First Appearance

The weather here yesterday was absolutely BEAUTIFUL and warm. We decided that it would be good for babies and parents to get out in the sunshine for a short walk. This was our first outing with the babies (aside from the trips to the pediatrician) and also the first time we have loaded up the infamous Triple Decker stroller. We have heard that it can draw a crowd. Fortunately, it wasn't particularly busy at the park. We did get stopped within 45 seconds of loading them up and beginning to walk. The lady asked if we get stopped often and we said that she was the "first" (but we didn't think to get a picture). We also had "family-time" at Sonic for lunch prior to our walk. The babies didn't seem to mind the smell of onions in the car, though I half expected Clark to tell us he wanted some tots. :)
Clark's "girlfriend" Connie and Lesly were back again to give us some baby help and we were so happy to see them. And Tuesday night was our first one with Ashley, the baby nurse. She was wonderful and we wish that she could just live here with us and help us learn how to manage things better. But we are very thankful to have her for one night a week.
That's all for now. Back soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Babies Babies Everywhere.....

Pictures: Kendall. Clark. Emma. Emma in a basket (of laundry) where she was temporarily content - or shocked that we put her there??? Kendall and Emma showing off the ruffles on their bums with Aunt Tami.

Thought we'd share more pictures. "Aunt" Tam was here this weekend and the babies were VERY happy to see her. We had told them she was coming and showed them their choo choo wagon that she had given them.
We have also been SO fortunate to have a few baby cuddlers show up this week just to give our little ones some lovin'. We already love Pam (AKA The Baby Whisperer), Jan and Ann who just spent time snuggling with one or more of the babies. There were others who helped us survive another challenging week like Aunt Karen, Uncle Tom, "Uncle" Tommy and "Aunt" Teff, Nana, Uncle Stevie, Grandpa, Aunt Marsha, Jeri, Cynthia, Jovelyn, Sharon & Ron, Kate, Sunny and a very kind Sunday School class from Grace Lutheran including our friend, Theresa. We have received many wonderful meals in addition to prayers and baby help. We are so grateful for all of your help and support.
This week, we will have our first night with Ashley. She was one of the nurses from the NICU and we are going to have her help us out one night per week for now. We are looking forward to seeing her this evening.
Emma had a rough week, but things seemed a little better for the last day or two. The dr put her on Axid, which would help reflux, assuming that might be the problem. Since she seems so much calmer (except for a few outbursts), we are thinking that might be what's going on. Right now, they are all sleeping peacefully in their boppies (crescent-shaped pillows) on our bed....even Emma. She still requires more one-on-one time, but we are hoping that things are looking up with her.
Clark and Kendall are still hanging in there and being patient about getting time with Mommy and Daddy. They are all having more periods of time when they are very alert - especially Kendall. She seems to really love the activity mat and the bouncy seat with the ocean lights and sounds. Clark is also super alert and tends to really stare at you when you talk to him. They are all kicking more and when you are feeding them, that can get a little uncomfortable when they get you in the gut. Emma can lift and turn her head when you are trying to burp her on your shoulder. I think they are all going to be overachievers, but I'm biased. :) We are really hoping for continuous warmer weather so that we can load them up in the stroller and talk a walk around the block.
That's all for now. Clark is reminding me that he still hasn't had breakfast. Hope you enjoy the pics.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Baby Update

Once again, I'm limited to six pictures at a time, but here they are: Some people are questioning if I'm even around with the babies, so here's one of me with Emma the day they came home. The "crew" lined up at 5am. Kendall is in back after being fed, then it was Clark's turn, but he got "bumped" for Emma as she was fussier. Daddy with Emma on his belly. Daddy and Kendall hanging out. "Uncle" Tommy with everyone together.

We have been to see the pediatrician twice - once last Monday and then again today. Babies are doing well and growing fast. We are already growing out of most of the preemie clothes. Today, Kendall weighed in at 6lb 3oz and Emma & Clark both at 5lb 13oz. Yes, Clark is catching up and has gained about a pound since he came home just 1wk and 3 days ago.
Kendall is growing and sleeping. I guess her sleeping is helpful to her growth, so that's good. She still coos and continues to be our "zen baby" for now. She seems to like having time on the activity mat to just hang out and look around. And her big, beautiful eyes are just awesome.
Emma has been a little challenging. We think that we are dealing with colic, rather than reflux or something similar, but still aren't sure. We are working to try a new formula though she's been getting breastmilk exclusively in an effort to help her feel better. Aside from that, she is still just beautiful and has a great time hanging close to Daddy and others as we work to soothe her during her "bad times" and right after eating.
Clark is busy growing as well, although he is probably the most alert of the three. He also seems to enjoy time on the activity mat, but really likes to hang out in the Boppy. He tends to get "bumped" in the line-up of feeding when Emma or Kendall require immediate attention. He's starting to get chubbier cheeks and we find that he will just sit and stare at you if you start chatting with him.
We'd like to thank those of you who have been so kind to schedule time to help us with the babies or around the house and/or who have sent meals. Aunt Marsha was here for the weekend to help us out and we are so grateful. Chanda continues to take calls and emails from people offering to help out. We are working to try to schedule regular visits each week by anyone who is able to do so and are also thrilled with any sort of help offered. Thanks also for your prayers and support. We are getting by on much less sleep than usual, but again, it is SO worth it to have them at home with us! They are so lovable and precious (even our little "fussy pants" with colic). We are so grateful for these miracles!