Sunday, April 27, 2008

4 groovy months!!!

Can you believe the girls are 4 months old today? That's a third of a year! That's about 18 weeks! That's 120 days or so. I have no idea how many hours or minutes or seconds that is...but wow, the time has flown by!! And at the same time, it feels like they've been here, a part of our family, for...well, forever!

We've been keeping quite busy over the past few weeks. Mackenzie continues to see her occupational therapist weekly...I enjoy the sessions, because it's mostly play time, and it gives me some individual time with her. Some days I think her feedings are getting so much better, and other days it feels like they're as difficult as ever. The awesome, wonderful news is that in spite of her frequent reluctance to eat, the formula we're adding to her breast milk is doing the trick, and she's gaining weight. Last Thursday, at the geneticist appointment (which I'll update about in a minute), she weighed 6 lbs, 8 oz (up from 5 lbs, 13 oz on 3/31), and this past Wednesday, at our breastfeeding clinic, she weighed 6 lbs, 14 oz!!! That's 6 oz in 6 days - awesome!! There have been several times when we've gotten her take 3 oz in a feeding, though there are also still times when we can only get 1 oz into her. I'm trying not to stress about it, now that she's gaining, and just hope it all balances out in the end. She's been smiling more and more, and babbling some too. She's discovered the wonder of her hands, and spends time staring at them, grabbing one hand with the other, and putting them in her mouth. She's just now starting to be able to wear newborn-sized clothing, though much of it is still big on her.

Darrell took Mackenzie to her geneticist appointment a week and a half ago. According to the doctor, her features fit 20-30 different potential genetic syndromes. The down-side is that none of the syndromes are good news, with lots of associated problems. The up-side is that she does not have all of the features of any of the syndromes, so there is still a good possibility that her problems are coincidental and not part of any bigger syndrome. They drew her blood that day to run some tests, which we do not have the results for yet. She will be going on Tuesday for a kidney ultrasound and a brain ultrasound, and the doctor also wants her to see an opthamologist for an eye exam. We'll keep you updated.

Makayla is our little butterball! Seriously, the rolls on this girl...squeezably delicious! On Wednesday she weighed in at 12 lbs, 3 oz. She's in mostly 3-6 month clothes now! It's funny to have twins, and one of them wears newborn diapers and one of them wears size 2 diapers!! Makayla continues to have a lot of reflux, and has also started drooling a lot - which means we're changing onesies several times a day. You might suggest that I put a bib on her...but honestly, it's kind of fun to put different outfits on her!! LOL She rolled over from her tummy to her back for the first time this week...she and Mackenzie were both on the play mat, and when she rolled over, she literally pushed Mackenzie right off the mat! She's very engaging, babbling a lot and laughing a lot (as long as she's been fed). She is very insistent about eating the second she wakes up!

Anthony just adores the girls and is constantly showing his love and affection. Sometimes he's a bit too over-zealous in showing his love, and we have to keep reminding him to be gentle and a little bit quieter with them. But he's a fantastic big brother!

I'll try to get some new pics taken this week!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First zoo trip

I can't believe Anthony's 3 and has never been to the zoo, but alas, he had never been til today. We met my friends Arleen and Roger, and Roger's son Bobby with his son Micah (who's 5), at The Living Desert, which is our small local "zoo." It was quite an adventure, taking the girls and him. I ended up wearing both girls in the sling for much of the time. Anthony and I both got a little pink, despite the 50 spf sunscreen - that sun was intense! Anthony was far more interested in the huge model train set they have than he was in the animals - doesn't help that he's sort of scared of just about every living creature other than people! Dogs, lizards, birds, flies...yes, flies...I'm hoping he outgrows this! He did go INTO the petting zoo, but refused to touch any of the animals. You can see him looking and considering, but he never gave in. The giraffes were my favorite part - they are amazing!

The drive home was awful, with both girls screaming bloody murder because they were hungry and Anthony whining about being hungry too...and I was hungry too! My blood sugar must have dumped on the way home, because by the time we got home, I was trembling and felt like crap. The first little bit after getting home was rough, trying to get everyone fed and changed and happy, but then they all passed out and I was able to eat. Then I spent 2.5 hours putting together Anthony's new play kitchen that my mom got him for his arrived this morning just before we left for the zoo. I didn't anticipate that it would take so was I ready to be done by the time I finally got it finished! I'll try to get some pictures to post tomorrow. Needless to say, I am exhausted tonight...why am I not in bed?! I'm going now...!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Mission trip

My brother-in-law Heath (sis Karen's husband) is heading to Bolivia for a missions trip with a group from their church...they leave on the 18th. Prayers for the group's safety and the work they will do while they are there would be greatly appreciated. To find out more or to follow their trip, click on the BCC Bolivia link over on the right.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Attempted photo shoot


So I tried to do a little impromptu photo shoot this morning...alas, this is the only decent photo I really got b/c they kept moving...the vast majority of the photos ended up completely blurry! At least they were both looking at the camera in this one!

Nothing much going on around here today. Saturday we all went to Los Angeles and met up with two of the moms from my Pregnant After Loss message board. It was really great to meet them in person. One of them gave birth to twin boys 4 days before the girls were born; but her boys were just shy of 28 weeks! They're both home and doing well, but we didn't get to meet them as they aren't really supposed to go out in public yet.


After having brunch with the moms, we went to the beach - as did most everyone else in L.A. Parking was a nightmare, especially with both babies crying and Anthony whining, "I wanna see the ocean!" "Why are we stopping?" "You need to go faster!" I was seriously asking God to PLEASE provide a parking space for us!! Once we found one, we had a nice time. It was really hot, and the water on my toes felt wonderful! Anthony was too scared to get close enough to get his feet wet! The drive home wasn't much fun either - one or both girls cried at least half of the 2 hour drive home. My neck and shoulders are still sore from twisting around in my seat to retrieve binkies and hold them in mouths!

Mackenzie has an appt with the geneticist this Thursday morning. I also have to schedule another brain ultrasound for her...I didn't realize they wanted to repeat it, since the last one was normal, but the radiology department called today and said the doc had put in an order to have it repeated after 2 months, which it's been. She also has occupational therapy on Friday afternoon. She gained 3 oz last week - I was hoping for a bit more, but at least she's gaining. I've increased the amount of formula I'm adding to her milk, so maybe this week will show more improvement. She actually took a 3-oz bottle this morning - I'm pretty sure that's the first time she's ever finished off a full 3 oz! Usually we struggle to get 2 oz into her.

Makayla has full-on discovered the wonder of her hands, and spends much time chomping on them and sucking her thumb. It's kind of funny, b/c she often does it while she's nursing - her hand will get too close to her mouth, and she'll unlatch and stick her thumb in her mouth...and after a few sucks, gets mad when she realizes she's no longer getting any milk! She's also drooling all of a sudden - wondering if she's going to teeth on a more normal schedule than Anthony ever did! And she has started rubbing her eyes when she gets sleepy - fine, except that I need to file her nails, b/c she now has a little cut under one eye from her sharp-as-razors fingernails!

Both girls are "talking" to us a lot now and smiling much more. Last night Mackenzie made a noise when Anthony was being a little over-exuberant with her, and he laughed and said, "She's talking to me." I asked him what she said, and he replied, "She said, 'Get out of my face!'" Too funny!

Last night I was sitting on the couch with my laptop, and Anthony climbed up next to me. He said, "I'm so happy." I asked him why he was so happy, as he snuggled up to me. He replied, "You make me so happy." Aaahhhh...and mama melts...

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Doctor's appt and updates

Sorry it's taken me a while to update from the girls' appt on Monday. Was a very busy week, and then Darrell was out of town Fri and Sat, so I was on my own with the kiddos.

The girls saw the neonatologist in Fontana on Monday. Mackenzie only weighed 5 lbs, 13 oz on their scale - but she's never been weighed on that scale before. The doc was obviously concerned, as we have been. She said to start alternating her feedings between breastmilk and 22-calorie formula (regular formula and breastmilk have 20 cal/oz). She also said to increase her Reglan (for reflux) and started her on Tagament (also for reflux). She put in a referral for Mackenzie to see a geneticist to make sure there's not some genetic syndrome that caused her clefts and the other problems, including her failure to thrive. The good news was that we got to stop using the apnea monitor for her and she's off her breathing medicine!!! Yay!

Makayla weighed 10 lbs, 13 0z - no eating problems here! The doc increased her Reglan and left her on the Prilosec (both for reflux). The doc said she will not discontinue her apnea monitor before 7 months, since it is still going off every night multiple times. Crazy child - doesn't she know that breathing is sort of important???

Both girls will go back on May 9 for another visit with the neonatologist and to get their shots.

On Wednesday, at my breastfeeding group, we weighed the girls - and they have been weighed on that scale many times, so it's a bit more accurate. Mackenzie officially hit 6 lbs!!!! Woo hoo!!! And Makayla was a whopping 11 lbs, 8 oz!!! She really is trying to double Mackenzie's weight, I think! You should see the rolls on this girl! Those thighs!!

In the meantime, we started giving Mackenzie the formula at every other feeding, and she didn't do well on it...became very fussy and started spitting up a LOT - like still spitting up formula 3 hours after a feeding - and then didn't want to eat at her next feeding b/c she still had a tummy full of undigested formula! And of course, I'm such a lacivist, I hated the idea of giving her so much formula anyway - especially when our freezers are overflowing with breastmilk!! So after doing some research and talking with my lactation consultant and the pediatrician, we are now just adding a little bit of formula powder to the breastmilk at every feeding, to bring it up to 22 cal/oz. This way, she's still getting most of her nutrition from breastmilk, and only getting a small amount of the formula. So far, it seems to be working better. She's not spitting up as much and not as fussy. If she continues to tolerate it, her occupational therapist and the neonatologist said we could slowly increase the amount of formula so she gets more calories per oz - more "bang for the buck."

In case you didn't notice, I've added a link over on the right side for Barefoot Books. They are the most awesome children's books ever, and I signed up to sell them! If you click on the banner up on the top right, or on the bottom of my blog, it will take you directly to my website, where you can learn more and even make purchases!

I'll try to get some new pics up this week! Have a great week, everyone!


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