Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Dino"mite Outing


A few nights into Avonlea's hospital stay, the boys and I were really missing each other.  So Greg and I arranged for Aunt Emily to come sit with Avonlea while the rest of us went out for a family outing.  We went to City Creek mall.  We looked at all the fountains, ate in the food court and played around in the dinosaur play area.  It was a great night, lots of fun and a good stress reliever.  And as a funny side note, I realized on this outing that both Palmer and Brody call volcanoes "jalapenos."  I corrected them when they asked me to take a picture of the "jalapeno" on the wall of the play area.  They both insisted that I was wrong in calling the flaming mountain a volcano, and I easily let it go.  They are too cute and this stage of mispronunciation is almost over.  I want to enjoy their fun idioms as long as possible.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Seven Month Photo Shoot

I don't know if it's just because there are two of them or not, but the twins, by far, have been our most difficult children to photograph. I didn't realize how lucky I was with Palmer and Brody and their easy, enthusiastic smiles that quickly emerged in front of a camera. The twins will be as happy as can be when we get to the photo studio and the moment we set them down for the shoot they begin to look worried and fuss. Regardless of a lack of smiles, they still are cute. Here are pictures from their seven months photo shoot.
 
 
 



Cloud Watching

Palmer and Brody are very close in age, toddler brothers, so it is natural that they would spend a good part of their day fighting with each other.  The squabbles usually start innocently enough with playful teasing or roughhousing and usually end with both children hurt and upset.  It can be very frustrating as a parent dealing with what seems to be constant sibling quarrels.

So I try to latch on to those sweet moments of brotherly love whenever they present themselves.  Like a few days ago as we were driving home from running errands and I heard Brody's little voice from the back of the van say, "That cloud looks like a sheep."  And hear Palmer respond positively and with wonder, "Oh!  It does!"  They continued happily cloud watching for the remainder of the drive spotting the following shapes: a castle, a house, a bunny, an alligator, a pig (which Palmer mentioned did not have a curly tail, but had a curly mouth), a tree, and my personal favorite, an alligator with a pacifier in it's mouth.

Seven Month Old Twins


It's been a crazy month with the twins with them having RSV.  But at the end of this month I am finding two very healthy and happy babies which is a big relief.  They are growing so fast and getting so big, especially Archer.  They are bigger than other babies in our ward who were born before them and who are not twins, go figure.

Archer:

Archer is a tank.  He seems to get bigger and more solid each week.  He is eating quite a bit more than Avonlea right now.  He is such a pleseant natured little boy.  The only times he really gets cranky is when he is hungry.  He was acting a bit fussy for a couple days this week after his feedings.  It took me a day, but I realized it was because he was hungry.  He's doubled and often tripled the amount of food he had been eating at each feeding!  He squeals so loudly.  In fact, he is doing so as I type right now.  He is such a joy to have around.  We all just adore him.  This is what is going on with Archer at seven months old.

He has learned: to roll over

He likes: bouncing in his bouncer, eating, playing with his brothers, baths, squealing, lullabies and baby toys

He dislikes: peas, being on his belly and wet diapers

Things he does/about him that makes us laugh: he will try to bounce himself even when he's not in his bouncer (this makes it very difficult to spoon feed him in the Bumbo seat), his loud high pitched squeals

Avonlea:

Avonlea had a really hard month being so sick she had to be hospitalized.  She was a bit tramatized by the experience and was scared of strangers afterwards, but got over that after a few days.  She is now back to her healthy, happy, smiley self.  She is so much more dramatic than Archer; it's almost comical.  Often she screams if I put her down or step out of her eye sight.  She loves to be loved.  When she is being held, she is as sweet and as happy as can be.  She has the best smile!  It spreads across her whole face and often throughout her entire body with a little shake.  She is such a sweetheart and we are all in love with her!  This is what is going on with Avonlea at 7 months old.

She has learned: to almost sit up, she can lift up her upper body from a reclining position conciderably

She likes: being held, playing with her brothers, getting attention, baths, baby toys and her binkie

She dislikes: being alone and taking medicine

Things she does/about her that makes us laugh: she has quite the flair for the dramatic, chipmunk cheeks, and she will cuddle up to you as close as possible

Thursday, February 21, 2013

RSV

We had our first experience with RSV last week and it was not a good one.  The babies started with a light cough Sunday evening.  And progressively got worse from there.  By Wednesday night, Avonlea was in really bad shape so I took her to instacare.  Her oxygen level was at 82% when we arrived.  They noticed she had a bad ear infection and prescribed antibiotic for that.  The doctor said they needed to wait on test results, but she was almost certain it was RSV.  They deep suctioned Avonlea and got her to 90%-92% and then sent us home with a prescription to the suction clinic and directions to have her seen the following morning along with Archer.

The next morning (Valentine's Day) the twins saw a pediatrician.  Archer's oxygen level was great, 97%.  Avonlea's was decent, 93%.  I got another suction clinic prescription for Archer and went home.  I took Palmer and Brody out that afternoon and Greg called us home because he was concerned that Avonlea wasn't breathing well.  He took both babies to the suction clinic.  They suctioned them both; Avonlea twice, and could not get Avonlea's oxygen above 90, so they sent her to the emergency room.  She was given oxygen there and monitored for a few hours.  Then sent to Primary Children's Hospital to be admitted.

I traded places with Greg and rode with Avonlea in the ambulance to Primary Children's Hospital.  There we spent four nights and five days with Avonlea on oxygen, being suctioned every 3-4 hours.  She seemed to get sicker and sicker.  She would do better in the evening, but the early mornings were the worst.  Her oxygen always dipped and we would spend the rest of the day weaning her oxygen to where she had been the night before.  I wasn't able to get much sleep.  During the times in the night when Avonlea was sleeping and doing well, the little girl we shared our hospital room with usually was not.  So between the two babies, someone was almost always crying, struggling to breath and/or being suctioned.

There were a few sweet mercies during our stay.  The doctors commented on how Avonlea had more flowers in her room than any other patient in infant care.  Greg brought Avonlea a bouquet and me a bouquet (a late Valentine's gift) to brighten up our room.  I was able to attend a short sacrament meeting at the hospital.  I made friends with the mom sharing our room.  Greg brought the boys (they were too young to be admitted as visitors) and Aunt Emily to the hospital Saturday night.  Aunt Emily stayed with Avonlea and Greg and I took the boys to City Creek for a fun family outing.  And of course, Avonlea and I got to have a lot of one on one cuddling time.

On Sunday I started seeing glimpses of Avonlea's real self: smiles, playing, baby babble.  By Monday she was feeling so much better.  She even made it a few hours at a time without oxygen, but when she fell asleep, she would have to be put back on a minimal amount.  She was released and sent home with oxygen Monday night.

During all of this Archer was doing well.  He definitely felt sick, but he was still breathing well and acting like his normal happy self.  The boys were taken care of by family members most days so that Greg could either come visit us in the hospital or work from home with Archer by his side.  All the kids were extremely exhausted by the time I came home and we have been spending the last few days relaxing and getting back on our regular schedule.

Wednesday morning I took Avonlea to the doctor and he gave consent to take her off the oxygen.  Yay!  She was reading 94-97% in the doctors office without oxygen.  She now has both ear infected so we are starting another round of antibiotics.  She has not had to be suctioned since we left the hospital, which is amazing.  She got so sick so fast, but on the other hand, got better so quickly.  She is a bit tramatized from the whole experience and wants nothing to do with people she doesn't know.  In fact, she is downright scared of them.  I'm certain she will forget her hospital stay with all the doctors and nurses who were constantly poking, prodding, and suctioning her soon and return to the happy, friendly, easy to smile baby that she is.

Greg, Grandma Betty and I also caught the virus and have been a little sick.  Yesterday, just one day shy of me no longer being contagious, Palmer started coughing.  So we will be quarantined for yet another week until he can no longer spread this nasty bug.  Thankfully RSV is only a mild cold in older children and adults, but we will be staying put because I definitely would want another little babe to catch it and have to go through what Avonlea did.