Saturday, August 2, 2008

Little Miss Fussy Pants....

While Matt (and I) pretty generally call the girls Sweetie/Sweetie Pie/Cutie, etc. Today, the nickname of the day, courtesy of Matt, was Little Miss Fussy Pants. This was in reference to Little Miss Sydney who had herself ALL worked up when it was time to get her diaper changed AND a new outfit. Poor baby got herself SOOOOOOOOO worked up that we had to take her out and give her some time cuddling with her daddy before she practiced breastfeeding with her mommy (which she was too tuckered out to even do b/c of her little fit), but it was good to have mommy cuddling time too. At least she practiced with her paci, which she loves and Matt discovered makes a great soother for her....thus many of tonight's (well, today's since I'm posting this on Sat and not Friday night) will feature the girls with their Paci's.

Our Little Miss Fussy Pants... before and after a wardrobe change...

And Our Little Lazy Breather

Today was a crazy busy, tiring day. I went into work to work on cleaning out my office. Yeah, I didn't get too much accomplished, so I'll be going back this week to finish. It was weird. The weirdest part was pumping in my office and hearing other people have conversations RIGHT outside my door. Despite the 'do not disturb' sign and the paper covering the door, I was still paranoid someone would 'break in'. Not going to happen, but a little anxiety causing. I, of COURSE, took some pictures along (b/c I knew that I would be executed if I didn't bring them), and everyone thought the girls were adorable (which they are)! I was able to officially meet my new boss (which was nice and she seems awesome), so that made me pretty happy. Overall, it was great to see everyone, but a VERY tiring day for me. I realized very quickly (okay about 2 hours in) that I was not as 'healed' as I thought I was. My incision site HURT (and still hurts today) and let me know that I completely and totally over did it. :( BUT, I did get to talk to our former NEA President who told me that I would be eligible to apply for the sick leave bank when the girls come home from the hospital, so I may not have to take much, if any time off unpaid, which would be SOOOOOOOOOOO very nice for Matt and I. So after visiting work, I was home by 2 to pump again and then off to see the girls for the evening.

Girl news (some of this is actually today's news since they were weighed before we left last night)....Olivia weighs 3 lbs 2.5oz, and Sydney weighs 2lb 13.5 oz! YAY we are gaining weight. I'm so happy. :) Sydney and I worked on eating (well, not really) so we'll be practicing again today. I need to talk to the nurses about getting them on a different eating schedule so that I can practice with both of them several times a day. This eating at the same time thing STINKS. Sydney had some more bloody poop issues, so we're wondering the cause AGAIN. The Dr's are not as worried this time, but still doing tests on the poor kid. We're now wondering if MAYBE she's lactose intolerant to the small amount of dairy that I CAN actually eat, so we'll see. It's something to talk to the Dr's about today. I can't take credit for this theory, it's all Lisa (our nurse from last's night's theory), after she had to listen to me dying from HORRIBLE gas issues related to MY lactose intolerance issues... I forgot I can't eat Dairy Queen (which they serve in the cafeteria at the hospital and Matt got for us to split) OR it was the cheese on the pizza I had. We missed the sandwich station, which tragically lead to cheese pizza for dinner. Needless to say, I now carry Rolaids in my bag to the hospital. Olivia is still struggling with her Oxygen issues. Basically she's fine during the day, but at night (when she's breathing VERY shallowly), she has many destats (which Lisa reported this AM that she didn't have ANY last night...yay!).

More of Olivia Kay

And Sydney Ann...

The last event of the night is the most depressing of all. Did you know that the mall (well, West County at least) NOW closes at 9 pm. That STINKS, and completely ticks me off. So, needless to say, I was able to spend 20 minutes at the mall, which amounted to going into ONE store. But at least I was able to get the 1 thing I needed the most. I guess, unless I get back there this weekend, I'll continue wearing maternity tops (ICKY, since they are all getting VERY worn and several have holes)....oh well. STINKS to be me.

Hope all is well!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

We're 3 Weeks/33 Weeks TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And still as adorable as always (not that I am biased).

So, today the babies are 33 weeks gestation (a big deal in the NICU) and 3 weeks old! Today also, is the day that they officially started being monitored by their new team of doctors, whom I met this afternoon. They seem awesome; what more can one really say about Children's doctors?

We reviewed/discussed the rules needed for the girls to come home: 1. eat on own, 2. maintain own body temperature (which they are doing right now, but need to be able to do in an open air crib as well, which they will not get until they are 1800 grams or 4 lbs), and 3. breathe on their own (Sydney has this mastered, but Olivia is struggling with this so far...she was put back on her 2 liters of Oxygen last night again). I did tell them (the Dr's) that I was aware that most NICU babies don't get to come home until their due date (Sept 18th in the case of our girls), and that if they came home earlier it was like a bonus, which they were happy to hear b/c a lot of parents ask this question. Our new Dr. asked if I was going to be able to go back to work and take my maternity leave after the girls came home, which unfortunately I am NOT because of some stupid Hazelwood policy. Oh well. That's why Matt and I are going to be VERY poor because I'm going to be out longer than the district will allow me so that I can be home with the babies when they actually get to come home.

Next week, well any time after next Thursday, we are going to start working with the babies on eating from a bottle. However, I was warned that it could take up to 2-3 weeks before they master this talent due to the suck reflex developing ANY time between 34-36 weeks.

In other news, the girls gained weight today. Olivia weighed in at 3 lbs and Sydney weighed in at 2lb 11oz (remember Olivia is still on the fortifier to help her gain weight, Sydney is off it because it gave her bathroom issues, BUT they have upped Sydney's feeds to 29ml (while Olivia is on 25 ml) to help her gain weight. Also, today we had to retire ANOTHER hat for Olivia (the girl's head just keeps growing. Sydney can still wear her cute yellow hat, that is if her dumb mother (who is writing this blog and can say that about herself), hadn't knocked it out of her isolette, so it needs to be washed). So, Olivia is now wearing one of hats made by my Aunt Nancy's NICU lady (purple and pink), but Sydney had to get a new hat from our NICU because her head is still too petite. I'm washing her hat tonight, so that she can wear it again)!

Sydney in hat #1

...and hat #2

Olivia modeling yet another hat out of her isolette...

And the same hat while sleeping...

Grandma Sharon (who gave me a ride to the NICU), Grandma Pat, Uncle Mike, and Aunt Nozomi ALL came to visit today, so it was a VERY busy day for the babies! Grandma Pat was lured down to the NICU with the promise that she could hold a baby. And since Grandma Sharon held Olivia on Saturday, Grandma Pat got to hold Sydney today. Sadly, mommy didn't get to hold Sydney today....but that's okay, her time out today was with Grandma who LOVED holding her. It's very cute to watch our parents with the babies. I have NO DOUBT in my mind that they are going to be sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo spoiled. Oh well, as long as they are not brats (like some of my relatives were when they were little).

Sydney working on her pacifier...

Olivia snoozing and ready for a diaper change...

Grandma Pat holding Sydney

Olivia hanging out with her mom

Other than this, not too much happened today. Tomorrow I'm going to work in the morning to get some stuff done. Fun times! And then I'll be heading down to the NICU to spend time with my babies! I know that Matt is looking forward to the weekend, which is supposed to be HOT. Maybe we'll get some tax free shopping in...who am I kidding!? I can barely make it to Target to get things we need for the house, much less make it to the mall. Plus, everything I do needs to be in 2 hour increments. :) Maybe we'll get some sleep in this weekend!

Well, I'm off to bed!

Hope all is well!


Wednesday, July 30, 2008


So, after one long stressful day and evening of not feeling well and LOTS of sleep (and of course pumping), I am now happy to say that I am fever and GI issues free. But, I'm still tired, imagine that!? SOOOOOOOOO, since I am officially 'cured', means that I got to go see the girls today! Of course, I was totally paranoid, so I didn't take them out of their isolettes this afternoon, which is no fun. :( Boo. That's what I'll be doing tomorrow. :) So, in order to amuse myself while I was there, we had photo shoots! So, you'll get to see some new pictures from today! :)

Again, I didn't go down to the NICU until later on in the afternoon to give Cassius a little more time out of the cage so that we could minimalize his potty issues, which seems to be working. I think what I am going to do is start 'retraining' him like he is a puppy and gradually work his hours in his cage back up to where he used to be. HOPEFULLY that will work, but by the time he's back up to 8 hours the girls will be home and he'll never have to go in the cage b/c we'll always be home. Oh well. I used my time 'wisely' this morning before going to the NICU, I ran errands (well, what I could in 2 hour incriments), like going to the grocery store (again), the chiropractor, doing laundry, and working. Yes, I said working. Looks like I am going to use some time on Friday morning to run up to West to take back some of my curriculum/lesson plan notebooks so that my substitute has them for while I am out. AND so that I can clean out some things from my office that I had wanted to do a long time ago. Tomorrow, I'll be running more errands again, like to get our new license plates for the Tribute and maybe to return some of the millions of things I need to return at Babies R Us and numerous other places. Fun times.

Let's news...the girls are getting a new team of Doctors (well, 1 doctor and 2 nurse practitioners), they no longer need their acute care team (made up of 6 doctors), so they are getting a step down team who will focus on helping them learn to feed and grow. That's cool, but I will miss their current team, they rock! The girls didn't gain any weight today. :( I want 3 pounders soon girls...hear that!? (Shockingly enough they don't seem to listen to my 'lectures', like the one about gaining weight and Olivia's being a lazy breather lecture). While I was there today, Sydney pulled out her PGA (feeding tube), and squealed like I have never heard, then she cried. Poor baby. The nurses had told me that babies pull these out all the time and that the usually squeal when they do it, but I had yet to experience this. Due to the pulling of this, our nurse today put some tape (the white gauze looking stuff) on her feeding tube so that she couldn't pull it out again). Olivia has already done this once...which is why her feeding tube is on a different side of her face than Sydney's.

Matt had me ask the Dr's today when they'll get to move to open air cribs, to which I was told they don't usually do that until babies are 1800 grams (which is about 4 pounds), so we have awhile. The main reason is that it takes a lot of energy to heat themselves that much so they wait until babies are bigger before they do that, and the fact that a lot of babies lose weight when they are in open air cribs b/c of the amount of energy they are expending. Matt also noted today that you can tell that Miss Olivia's eyes are getting lighter, which is cool!

So, since I was paranoid about having lingering illness issues, it was a short NICU day for me, we were actually home by 6:30 to start our dinner of fajitas! Then at 8:00 our neighbors (the Moro's) came over with a gift for the girls and us. They made us really cool plaques with the girls names on them from Glazed and Confused (and in the mean time gave me some GREAT present ideas for future gifts) and a gift certificate for dinner at Frankie G's which will come in handy when the girls come home. Now, Matt and I need to figure out where we are going to hang the girls new plaques....which are absolutely adorable! As I reminded Matt, this means he's going to have to officially commit to the house...he's been so hesitant to hang stuff in the bedrooms (the office and the girls room), now maybe we can get some other pictures (like our wedding collage) hung in the house! :)

Now we're just winding down for the night...I'll be napping on the couch and Matt will be watching all the political junk he can find on the television so that he is the MOST informed American on the candidates for the upcoming election. Sadly, for once (as a History teacher, so this is depressing to admit), could care a less about the election. I pretty much only care about 3-5 things....the girls, Matt, the dogs, our family, oh and paying our bills on time. Fun times.
(Both girl's onesie's for today say....Party at MY Crib 2 a.m!!!!!!!!!!)

(Ah, Daddy...heads up this Hat it STILL too big, I don't care that it's a preemie hat, it's still too big)...I have a very petite head, what can I say?

Hope all is well!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rock Solid Immune System!

So apparently, I (Matt) am the only one in this family who has a rocking immune system. I've remarked that over the past 3 months, I'm the only one in this family who has not been sick or spent some time at the doctor or hospital receiving some sort of medical treatment... this includes both new kids and both dogs! Well, it happened again today.

Seems that Jeni called mid-day to tell me (tearfully) that she thinks she's getting sick. She had slept in this morning (under my instructions) and then made her way just before noon to Clayton to do some business with the County offices (something about personal property receipts). Apparently on her way home she started feeling not-so-good. She then called me to inform me of this and instruct me to bring home a thermometer because she suspected she had a fever.

So I swung by Walgreens and picked up a themometer... Sure enough, she's running around 100 degree temperature. Doesn't sound like much, but Jeni usually actually runs lower than the standard 98.6.

Finding out she's got a temp, Jeni was obviously crushed knowing that she couldn't go see the girls today. So, I packed up the milk from today and went down to see them alone.

Arriving at the NICU, our nurse informed me that Sydney had a surprise for me. Naturally, I'm thinking it's a lovely poopy diaper and it's time for a changing. To my pleasant surprise, Sydney looked different! She was off of her cannulas! (No more nose tubes!) Very exciting! She still has the feeding tube that goes in through her nose, but it's tiny!

It's really great that we can actually see little steps of progress as they get closer and closer to being able to come home.

Olivia is still being a bit of a lazy breather. They decided to put her back on humidity last night and is still on a very low oxygen setting.

Both girls had gained a little more weight and are both within a few ounces of being over the 3 pound mark!

So I spent some time with the girls changing diapers and watching them receive their afternoon feedings. I tucked them in and told them goodnight as I headed home.

Jeni was asleep when I got back (and still is right now). Hopefully she'll recover soon from her 'bug' (as her OB referred to it) and she can see the girls tomorrow.

As usual, it did get some pictures in of the the girls while I was visiting.


Here's Sydney (without her cannulas)... As the nurse said, "I knew she was cute before, but she's even cuter without those in her nose!" WE AGREE! :)

Olivia is modeling her new outfit that says "This is my little black dress." Another outfit from Grandma Pat.

More to come Wednesday!


Monday, July 28, 2008

Sleep is for the Weak.....

And since I'm so uncreative (probably due to my lack of sleep or desire to be doing that just now), I am stealing the title of our blog for tonight from Sydney's onesie that she wore last night! As I've said previously and will continue to suggest, I really really wish that we could STORE our sleep! God, would that be nice when the babies come home? I could seriously use some of that right now. I mean, come on, I've been on bedrest since May 16th. I could have some SERIOUS sleep banked by now if that were possible.

Olivia agreeing that sleep is for the weak, in her new outfit for the day!

Sydney, also agreeing, in her new outfit for the day!

Today was a great day! :) I was actually banned from the NICU (by Matt) until this afternoon so that I could catch up on some sleep. And believe it or not, I didn't argue about it. You see, I was EXHAUSTED yesterday (not that I am not tired now), but seriously yesterday hit a new low in my life. So, this morning, I stayed home, napped in between pumpings and did some fabulously fun house chores like going to the grocery store. FUN TIMES. First time I've been to Dierbergs since the first week in May (sadly the week I was put on bedrest I hadn't been to the store, poor Matt must have been starving then)!

Anyway, I arrived at the NICU around 2:30 and introduced my Aunt Nancy and Uncle John, who were in town for the weekend from where they live down south (Eagle Rock, MO), to the girls! They gave the girls some adorable knitted hats which I'm sure will be featured in a ton of upcoming pictures! It was, and continues to be cute to see our family react to the little girls. They were able to see me change Miss Olivia's diaper and then her entire outfit. It is a chore with all of those wires and the fact that as tiny as they are, they do have big heads. So I struggled with getting all the wires through the head of the onesie and THEN her little bitty head. Poor baby, not too happy with that. :(

Sydney's old outfit....says...SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK

Olivia's old outfit....says DOES THIS DIAPER MAKE MY BUTT LOOK BIG?

**Believe it or not, these onesie's are PREEMIE onesies, they are just not as small as the Carter's ones that the girls are wearing in the pictures at the beginning of the blog. :) These are part of the 'loot' that Grandma Pat brought them this weekend, so that they don't have to be naked babies any more!

Both girls are gaining weight... Today Olivia was 2lbs, 14oz and Sydney was 2lbs, 10.5oz. YAY girls, keep it up. I also got to join (quite by accident) the Doctors this afternoon when they did rounds on the girls... I was actually invited to come back... Apparently some of the members of the team think I am fun. It had mainly to do with me complimenting one of our Doctors on her new hair cut. I added a little life to what is typically boring rounds!

After rounds, Matt arrived and I was able to have some no stress practice (again) with the girls. This is pretty much my new standard activity with the girls in the NICU! So, if you wonder what I'm doing while I am there I do the following: Changing diapers and clothes, pumping, taking pictures (my favorite part, next to holding the girls), holding the girls, and practicing nursing. Fun times. Don't get me wrong, I love all of it.

Scary, I love changing diapers... I think it mostly has to do with the fact that it is one of the very FEW things that I can actually do for the girls right now.

I also made some new 'friends' in the NICU today... I met another couple who also has twins, who have 1 baby in the NICU and another who was able to go home from the beginning. I met them because I had 'stroller envy' and had to ask about their stroller... It was super cool AND it is supposed to (I say supposed to b/c it does depend on weights of babies when they are older), last until they are 5 years old AND it carries carseats (like our snap n go does)... It was cool, so I think I've found our next stroller. Sadly it's $199, but if it lasts until they are 5, I guess it's worth it. We'll see what Matt has to say about it later. :) I so wish money grew on trees, know what I mean? Sadly, though I'm MORE than willing to spend it if it's a great stroller... Nothing is too good for our girls and I want the BEST there is out there, within reason (I cannot afford $1k strollers like celebrities can). Meeting this couple (who is from around the Rolla area), just makes me realize how very fortunate we are to live in STL. Their story, like many others in the NICU is heartbreaking. I don't know how families from out of town do it. Thankfully, we have places like the Ronald McDonald House to make their lives just a little bit easier. I swear when we are done paying for daycare, I'm going to make a big donation to that place, they are seriously awesome.

We left around 7:15 and came home where I prepared a very difficult meal of pasta, strawberry salad, and garlic bread... Matt on the other hand had to give Cassius a bath (for the second day in a row) after his 'accident' in his cage. Poor baby... And to think he was only in it for 5 1/2 hours. I so hope he's alright. Accidents like this are unusual for him. Guess it's a good thing that I'm sleeping 'late' again tomorrow. I hate to see him distressed and upset like that AND I hate that Matt, after a long day at work has to clean that up.

I call this series of pictures...NO DADDY!!!



Hope all is well.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Long Day, Dark Knight...

Since we know that our days of having a somewhat flexible schedule are numbered, Jeni and I are making an effort to keep having a few 'dates'. We are attempting to get in some extra hours of sleep and also spend time with just the 2 of us doing things like dinner (without a drive-through and paper napkins) and catching an occasional movie. Last week we saw 'Mamma Mia' for our anniversary. This weekend I needed some more testosterone in our movie choice, so we planned our Sunday around seeing the new Batman flick, 'The Dark Knight'.

Our morning started with us rising and heading down to see the girls at around 10:30. We arrived to find that Olivia had gained another ounce, while Sydney was basically the same. We spent some quality time with the girls and Jeni had lunch. Soon after, Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Rick arrived to visit them as well. We got some good pics of the girls together with Jeni, finally. You'll see this adorable picture of them together in the same picture for the first time!

We left the hospital and headed to the theater. We arrived just in time to get some popcorn and drink before the film started. Wow! Great movie! Jeni noted, and I agreed, it's a little long, but not so long that you want it to end. It's just a little longer than the standard 2 hours. And with Jeni being on a regular 2 1/2 hours schedule of pumping, I could tell she was really ready for the movie to be over... :)

We made it home and Jeni took care of her mommy business before we headed back out to the hospital.

There, we hung around for the girls' afternoon/evening feeding and Jeni got some practice time in with Sydney. She's going to be our slow-starter on the breastfeeding I'm afraid. Honestly, neither girl has picked up the concept totally yet, but Olivia seems to know what she's doing. Sydney just doesn't seem that interested.
So after some quality time there tonight, we drug our exhausted selves back out to the car and headed home. Like I said earlier, we are committed to getting in some extra sleep while the girls are still at the hospital... Now if someone could just explain where we get these extra hours from in which to fit them in...

Oh well. Another week starts tomorrow!

Until then, here are some shots from today and some from late yesterday... Enjoy!

Sydney covering her ears...

Mugging for the camera...

Grandma Pat came to visit.

Another Family Photo!

Jeni and her two girls...

The first photos of the girls together.

Wearing Mom & Dad's rings.