Saturday, October 24, 2009

Olivia News

Olivia is still cruisin' right along! Since coming home, she has continued to flourish. Olivia is such a happy baby girl... she's never met a stranger! Although I'm pretty sure that by age 10 her dad will have her convinced that all boys that aren't related to her are evil and should be avoided :)

That's me - growing by the day!

And, of course, cuter by the day :)

Not gonna lie though - all this pink is enough to make anyone just a little crazy ;) But mom loves it, so I just keep smiling!

Olivia is smiling... but she's also making the best cooing and funny tongue noises, rolling over, reaching for toys, looking for her brother, eating baby food, wrapping her dad even tighter around that little pinkie, and even sitting up. Although, the sitting is still a little unstable - we had our first clunk when she fell backward the other day. Talk about mommy guilt! But, she's fine :) From what I hear, the clunks will only get bigger as she gets older!

The tub always makes me smile!

And so does the after-tub towel wrap :)

Hmmm... is this "Geroge, check this out!" or "George, give me that!" ha ha!

I love to sit! Mom and dad love the look I get when I'm concentrating :)

My first cereal - yum!

Whew - this is tough work! No holding the bottle yet - I just like to be fed :)

Olivia has teeth!
I love this series :)

Ooooh - I like the camera! I think I can reach it...

...wait a second, YOU are reaching for ME?

Oh, you want to see my teeth? Here they are!

Silly! Why didn't you just say so!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

George News

George has had an excellent month! He is such a funny baby... he's our serious guy, but he also loves to laugh, which sounds more like grunting... which of course cracks us up... which then cracks him up. What a fun cycle it is - and hysterical for any onlooker :)

George still loves to play in the "ocean" (floor mat), but he also enjoys rolling... all over the place. We're getting to the point where you walk to the kitchen to grab him some food, and when you get back he may not be in the same place you left him! Although, he generally rolls towards Olivia, or right on top of her, so he's pretty easy to find :) George is loving his toes these days! Needless to say, socks don't last very long - he thinks its great fun to pull them off and chew on them. Ha ha! So much for those chew toys we bought him! (Oops... I guess you call them teething toys when they're for babies. No wonder the dogs are confused!)

I also love baths...

... and these ten little things that wiggle!

George does still have a few hurdles to clear... both of them dealing with his heart. One is an open PDA, which is the ductus that generally closes when babies take their first breath. (Olivia's was open but closed with medicine, and Samuel's was open but was closed with surgery.) George's PDA appeared to be closed, but re-opened when we came home. The second is an ASD, which is a hole between the left and right atrium of the heart. Since he's bigger now, both the PDA and the ASD can be closed in the Cath Lab (by catheter versus having the more invasive surgery that Samuel had), but as long as his pulmonary pressure is acceptable, we will wait to have them closed. We will wait because even in the cath lab there are risks, mainly possible damage to the arteries... so, the bigger he is, the bigger the arteries are, and the lower the risk of damage. Also, there is still a chance that one, or both, could close on their own... so as long as the pulmonary pressure is okay, we will let George do his thing :) The down side to waiting is that while both the PDA and the ASD are open, George has to work a lot harder to do everyday things... to eat, to move around, etc. Poor kid.


No, wait! I'm ready to play again! And yes, only real men can sit in pink :)

I'm rockin' occupational therapy! Come here block!

Reading with my sister... her idea...

Wrestling with my sister... my idea!

Just being my cute self... nothing better than a towel snuggle after bath time.

George has teeth!

They started to come out back in August...

Now they're full blown teeth!

All the better to eat my cereal with!

But green beans are so much more fun :)

Time for another snooze :)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Samuel News

Samuel is doing amazing!!! The last month has been full of ups... and even when we had a few downs (high temps), they didn't affect Samuel's progress. This is incredible! Just a few months ago something like a high temp would have sent Samuel over the edge... but now, he is stronger. He has always been a fighter, but maybe now his body is catching up with his will. Prayers are being answered! In fact, so many things have happened over the last month... it will be tough to remember them all. Lucky for you I guess, I'll keep it to the big stuff :)

Finally, a photo in my shirt!

Some of the best news we've had just came this past Monday... Samuel came off of the JET, the high frequency ventilator that delivered 320 tiny breaths per minute! Wow... I can't believe I'm saying it out loud... makes it real all over again :) In July, we weren't sure if he could ever come off the JET... much less go straight from that to CPap! That's right, CPap! No more ventilator! CPap still helps Samuel breathe, and is connected by the trache, but instead of breathing for him, like the ventilator does, it simply provides pressure support to aide in breathing. Samuel is taking his own breaths! AND, he is only on 25-35% oxygen! (Remember, 21% is room air... what we breathe.) In the past week, we have even weened on the pressure support quite a bit, and it seems to be going really well. This is GREAT! It is also scary... while we are celebrating, we are also cautious. Unfortunately, we've been here before... But, fortunately, there is no chance of this being a false-positive. In other words, even if he backslides a bit, there should not be any sudden crashes like we've had before. Samuel lungs are working... we know this because there is no other explanation. He is not on any respiratory meds or steroids... there is nothing that could explain how well he is doing, except that his lungs are getting better. Slow and steady - go Samuel!

We also continue to ween his meds, the morphine and versed... he is getting close to coming off of them. This would be excellent for a couple reasons... first, it's just great to not be on meds! Second, that would mean his pic line could come out. It's the thing stuck to the side of his head in all the photos, and while it's not a bad thing, anytime there is a line into the body it increases your risk of infection.

Next steps - this week they will continue to run tests to help with the decision of the best kind of more permanent feeding tube. Not permanent meaning forever... permanent meaning the one he will come home with. Currently his feeding tubes are in his nose, but his new one will require surgery and be inserted through his stomach. There are a few options - I'll spare you and just let you know what we decide to do :) Bottom line, Samuel can't eat with his mouth yet. I know, crazy that you have to learn how to eat - but it makes sense! He's never had to, so he doesn't know how. Let the fun begin :)

Time with dad - I love to cuddle!

I'm getting better every day at sitting and holding up my head! OT and PT work with me almost every day... now that I'm off the JET, we even get out of the bed and work out on a big bouncy ball and a floor mat.

My abs are getting stronger... I love to kick my feet!

Even though I have lots of toys, what I really like to play with are my tubes :) Don't they look fun!

So tired... must keep playing...

Time to try bananas! YEA!

Checkin' them out...

A little taste... hmmm...

Fun with bananas!

Yum! Banana fingers!

Whew! Time for a nap :)

**The funky suits we had to wear, with the gloves and masks, were when Samuel had a temperature. While they were waiting for the results of the work-up (all of which were negative - yea!) everyone had to wear them. Poor guy - hope he could tell we were smiling by our eyes!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

No News is Good News

Actually, no news means we've been crazy busy :) But, we do have good news, and lots of it! In the last month - I can't believe it's been that long since we've posted - all three babies have grown by leaps and bounds. Between the three of them, they're sitting, teething, and tolerating major weens on the ventilator settings (guess who that is... ha ha!).

Also, our lives have slowed down just a little - we are still balancing work, spending time at home with George and Olivia, trips too see Samuel, and trying to sell our house, but - the school swim season is over! What a fantastic season is was! BB will really miss spending time with the kids every day, but wow did the swimmers end the season the right way... swimming like crazy and dropping time left and right, the girls team is the state runner-up and the boys team is the state champions! Woo hoo!

Not sure where to begin with baby - they are so amazing :) Just a few fun photos to get started...

Olivia and George in their concert clothes...

... and their church clothes!

It is such a great feeling to be back at church. And, it was fun to take George and Olivia for the first time! So far there has only been one occasion when Olivia had to be removed from the building for trying to talk over the pastor... and only once that George burped after a bottle and spit up on the floor - luckily it's tile and DB is quick with the napkins :)

Oh yes, we are now wearing bows!

This crooked little smile gets us every time :)

Samuel is smiling more and more every day...

... he also gets more and more personality every day!

Just like my parents - laughing at my own jokes :)