Friday, June 20, 2008

Lots of good news!!! (and lots of pics)

Well, as you can see, we had a photo shoot!! It was a surprise for Darrell for his Father's Day gift. We did them at JCPenney's, and I was really happy with how they turned out. I won't ever take them all to get pics done by myself again, however, as it was NOT fun for me!!! It was a very long, challenging process, and I had a killer migraine by the time we got home. But it was worth it in the end...great results!

The girls had their 6-month (well, almost 6-months) follow-up appt at the NICU last week. I am pleased to report that they are both right on target developmentally for their adjusted age (how old they would be if they had come on their due date, which was Feb 5). They gave us some exercises to do with them to encourage specific skills/reflexes to develop, and to help Mackenzie's muscles stretch out. They said Mackenzie's tight muscles could just be due to prematurity, and that it would be too early to know if it were being caused by neurological problems anyway. Makayla weighed 13 lbs, 13 oz, and Mackenzie weighed 8 lbs, 13 oz. Everyone was just amazed at how strong and spunky Mackenzie is, and how cute both of them are.

Mackenzie had an appt with the cleft team today. She weighed 9 lbs, 4 oz (woo hoo!!!). They will call us in 4 weeks with a date for her surgery, which they will schedule for August or September. The first surgery will be for her lip repair and removal of her ear tags, and she'll be in the hospital for 2 days. It'll be done at Kaiser in Fontana. They said they won't repair her palate until she's at LEAST 18 months old, due to her growth problems. Ugh. My concern with that is that the longer her palate is not repaired, the more speech difficulties she'll have and the more speech therapy she'll need. But we'll just take it all as it comes.

Makayla started eating solid foods a week ago, and is doing great. She's still got some tongue thrust action going on, so I have to kind of hold the spoon in her mouth so she can suck the food off and swallow, otherwise she spits a good portion of it back out, but she loves it. She opens her mouth and begs like a little birdie!! She's tried bananas, squash, pears, and oatmeal, and has enjoyed all of them. Her GI system is trying to adjust - we're having some poop issues...struggling a bit. So foreign to me - never had this issue with Anthony!! LOL The food is helping her sleep longer, too - hallelujah!!! Last night, I fed her some oatmeal late - like 9:00 - and then nursed her, then put her to sleep at 9:30, and she didn't wake up to nurse until 3:00 a.m.!!! Unheard of!!!! This is my "every 2 hours like clockwork" baby!! So I repeated that tonight in the hopes that it will happen again!!

Anthony, not to be outdone by his sisters, is FINALLY potty training!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh happy day!!!! Oh happy day!!!! Can you hear the choirs of angels singing? Oh wait, that's just me singing!!! We started in earnest 2 days ago, and he's already earned 20 pee stickers (which equals 2 pee prizes) and 2 poop stickers - the first of which earned him a Lightening McQueen cake (you know, from the movie Cars?). This was a monumental occasion, as he has been scared, for some unknown reason, to poop in the potty for MONTHS - nay, a year - and last night, finally, he did it. And this morning, a repeat performance!! So, to WalMart we went, and put in an order for a chocolate cake decorated with Lightening McQueen, to be picked up tomorrow morning! And when he gets 5 poop stickers, he gets to go to the Children's Discovery Museum with mom. Just mom. No babies. Oh happy day!!!! I better start calling around to find a babysitter!!!!

And finally, last, but not least (well, kind of, b/c certainly my kids are most important to me!!), we closed on our new house last night, so on Wednesday, we will be handed the keys to our new house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (They don't give you the keys until it records with the county assessor's office, which apparently takes several days.) So this weekend, we'll be making a trip to Home Depot to start looking at paint colors, AND we'll be doing some major packing!! Let the fun begin!!

See? I told you - LOTS of good news!!!!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

How cute is that?!

Isn't she just sooo cute?! I wish I woulda had my dig camera handy a bit ago, b/c Makayla was practicing her new back-to-tummy rolling skills and rolled herself right out of the bouncy seat!! Fortunately, Darrell was there and caught her before she fell completely onto the floor! Guess we have to start strapping them in now!

Friday night I met up with some friends for happy hour to celebrate my dear friend Megan's birthday. We had a great time. The pink vase was the gift I made for her.

Monday, June 02, 2008


These are pics of Makayla and Phoebe, the daughter of my close friend Megan. Phoebe was born on Jan 2, so just 6 days after the girls.

The girls were quite worn out after their first swim!!

Long overdue update!

Wow, it's really been a long time since I've posted an update!! Sorry about that - too busy actually taking care of the kiddos to sit and post updates about them!! :)

Let's see, what's new...we saw the neonatologist on May 9. Mackenzie has a milk protein allergy, so we are now adding a lactose-free hypoallergenic formula to her breastmilk (Nutramigen). It seems to have done the trick - she is eczema free now and spitting up much less. Unfortunately, the stuff smells terrible going in and coming out, and it costs a small fortune...but she's gaining weight, so it's worth it! We are up to about 36 calories/ounce now (normal is 20 cal/oz), and she's regularly taking 3 oz per feeding (which equates to more like 5.5 oz worth of calories). She did take 6 oz in one feeding last week once, but she ate like crap the rest of the day!! Yesterday she took a 4 oz feeding and spit up a LOT afterwards...I think 3 oz is about what her tummy can handle. And as of last Wednesday, Mackenzie is up to 8 lbs, 5 oz!!! Woo hoo!!

At Mackenzie's O.T. appt on Friday, the therapist noted that Mack's legs are hypertonic - which basically means her muscles have too much tone. This causes them to be tight and basically contracted all the time. Mainly it's her calves and hamstrings. The therapist was unable to get Mack's legs in a straight position due to the problem, so now we are doing stretching with her a few times/day. This can be a problem for preemies, and it can also be a sign of more significant problems, such as cerebral palsy. There's not much else to do about it at this point, other than to sort of "wait and see." The girls have an appointment in the NICU follow-up clinic next Thursday, June 12, so I'm hoping they can shed a little more light on this and the overall big picture as far as how she's doing.

Mackenzie's doing well otherwise. She's so smily and happy (after she's been fed!), loves to chew on her fingers, and has discovered the wonder of her toes. She likes sitting in the infant rocker and batting at the toys on the bar, and will also lay on the playmat and bat at the hanging animals. She can roll from her tummy to her back, and is getting close to being able to go from her back to her tummy. She likes laying next to Makayla and grabbing Makayla's hair or her hands.

Makayla continues to have quite a bit of reflux, though she doesn't seem particularly bothered by it anymore. She also continues to have apnea alarms fairly regularly, though we occasionally get through a night without any alarms. The doctor we saw on the 9th said she was surprised Makayla's still having so many alarms. As of last Wednesday, Makayla weighed 13 lbs, 11 oz!! She's quite the rolly polly little thing.

Makayla talks up a storm, and loves to do back-and-forth "conversation" with anyone who will pay attention to her. I really have to get it on video, b/c she totally responds to anyone who will talk to her. She has also figured out how to turn on the charm when someone walks by her while she's in the bouncy seat - she's realized that if she lights up with a big grin and some kicks, she's likely to get rewarded by being picked up! Makayla can also roll from tummy to back, but not back to tummy yet, though she's close. She sits up in the Bebe Pod seat sometimes - yesterday she sat in it while I was working on a craft, and seemed to enjoy herself. She also likes sitting in the bouncy seat watching me cook or do chores in the kitchen. I think Makayla's getting close to being ready to try some solid foods. She watches me eat very intently and practically begs to be included. The doc said we'll discuss solids at their 6 month appt. Mackenzie's therapist said she's no where near being ready for solids yet, which I wasn't surprised to hear.

We had a nice visit with my mom for a couple weeks in May. She helped me get through some much-needed sorting in closets and the kitchen. I literally got rid of half of my clothes!! It felt great!! The girls enjoyed all the extra attention, as did Anthony.

We also have some other GREAT news...we are in escrow on our first house!! We expect to close sometime mid-month -in the next 2-3 weeks. The house is in San Jacinto, which is on the other side of the big mountain from where we are now. It's closer to Darrell's work, and it's in a cooler area...the average in July-August is about 100, as opposed to 120 here, and it actually cools off at night, unlike here. It's a 2-story house, about 2400 sq ft (so 1100 more than what we have here!), with 4 bedrooms plus an open loft area. It's a nice sized lot, so the kids will have a place to run and play outside, and it's got a cute little courtyard off the dining room area on one side of the house. It was a foreclosure, so we got a great deal, and it's in great shape...just built in late 2005, sold for the first time in May 2006. Here's a link if you want to see pics, although they aren't great pics...
My dad is coming out June 12 - July 2, to be here to help out with the move - yay for help!! Anthony can't wait to see his grandpa again!!

Okay, gonna go find some recent pics to post! The girls had their first swimming experience last week, so I'll post some pics of that too.


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