Thursday, April 23, 2009

The girls go green!

Yes, I know St. Patrick's Day is over. But we decided to go green! Since we are celebrating the Earth this week we wanted to make a change. No, I am not going to go out and plant 100 trees. Yes, I have done that in the past. We are no longer going to use our recycle bin as a storage bin. I used to say I don't have time to sort and recycle. Well, I started to think about what we use that could get recycled. I guess when you start to have children you think different. And a lot different if they come four at once. We are already frugal about our electricity and water. We have eco friendly appliances and toilets. I don't mind and in fact enjoy hand me down clothes so it is time to sort the trash and recycle.

Our pastor asked for a picture for Church since they are getting dedicated on Mother's Day. I thought this would be a good one. (Makaila, Hannah, Samantha, Sandra)

Empty now, full very soon!

The girls go green! (Makaila, Hannah, Samantha, Sandra)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sandra in her Jumero!

Samantha in the Jumero!

The four girls watching TV!

Makaila enjoying her tea time!

Happy happy Hannah

Charlene (my ultra sound tech) with Samantha

Dr. Palmer feeding Sandra!

Sandra has a special place in Dr. Palmers heart! She gave her many sleepless nights.

Last Friday, we had our first big outing as a family. Yes, it was to see a doctor, but it was to visit my high risk OB that delivered the girls. It was the first time the six of us were in one vehicle. It was so great to see Dr. Palmer and Charlene holding them. I will always remember what they did for us. Dr. Palmer is an excellent doctor and one I consider a friend!
Today is a day of many emotions! Today the girls turn six months old! I can't believe we as a family have made it this far! The girls are doing so good! Better than I thought they'd be six months ago. This morning Josh took G Ma to the airport! We are all very sad to see her go(including Maxine, Angus and Moo Moo). She is so great to have around. She is not only a huge help she is also positive about everything. We will miss her dearly! This just reminds me how hard it is to live far from any family members. Josh has five more years for his current commitment and also retirement. Don't get me wrong, we love our life in the military but look forward to settling down near family in the future.
G Ma we can never show you how appreciative we are of your hard work, support and especially your love for us and our girls! We look forward to spendingMother's Day with you!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Heart Jewerly

Sweet Angel Samantha right after heart surgery.

Even in the Intensive Care Unit she lights up a room with her smiles!

Still sleepy from sugery, but she would not miss an episode of Sponge Bob.

I want to start by saying that Samantha is such a good girl and doing great. We are waiting to be discharged right now. She is such a strong girl and after everything she went through she never stopped smiling.

She had the first surgery of the day which made it easy for her since she didn't realize that she was fasting. We were told MANY times that she was stingy and didn't want to give up a vein. It took them an hour to find a good one. So, she is covered from head to toe with bruises from the many failed attempts. Of all the places, it finally worked in her left thumb (how weird is that). The sad thing is that the left thumb is her favorite to suck, and she was very frustrated by the inconvenience. Apparently, she didn't want to share her arteries either. So, they had to use arteries in both groins to conduct the surgery.

During surgery they did a test to see how bad her back flow of blood was. A normal blood flow is 1:1 ratio (half to the lungs and half to the rest of the body). Her ratio was greater than 4:1. They couldn't measure it further. The device (plug) was placed in the hole. However, it is not in a "perfect" place. It is pushed up against her aorta. It is causing a 4 mm indent. The doctors decided that removing and replacing would be to high a risk of damage and decided to leave it there. They took chest x rays and it was still in the same place.

She will continue to see the cardiology surgeon (while doubling with the cardiologist) for the next six months. She will need to continue being monitored by a cardiologist for the next several years. She needs to carry a card in her wallet (Coach purse) that talks about her new heart bling bling.

Even to the naked ear we can hear a difference. She has not been panting or sweating for her bottles any more. I am so glad that her tiny (yet big in spirit) heart is better.

She is doing great and we are ready to head home to see her sisters. Thank you for every one's prayers and support. Thank you Debbie, Zenda, Martha, Diedra, Sarah, Nancy, Lynne and the rest of the crew that made this happen smoothly. We all appreciate your help!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Heart sugery today

Today is Samantha's heart surgery so everyone please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. We hope to be back home tomorrow. Josh's mom will be here with the help of a few very kind people. I will update as soon as we get home. We are all doing good! I have so great pics to post when we get back.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

Where are my ears?

Samantha is bigger than her sisters!

Sweet Sandra!

Silly Samantha!

Cute Hannah!

Precious Makaila!

Sandra found all the eggs!

Beautiful Samantha!

Yesterday I took Makaila to the new ENT doctor. After giving the doctor the history of Makaila's voice troubles, she decided to look at her vocal cords with a camera. Originally I was told that in order to do that she would need to be sedated. When, this doctor just had me hold her for the procedure. They put a camera through her nose to her larynx. Poor Makaila! It was awful seeing her go through it. The good news is that there is no vocal cord damage. There was irritation on the larynx and the doctor saw milk also. It had been 3 1/2 hours since she ate. Apparently, her reflux is still bad. The new belief is that the reflux is causing her lack of voice. I called the pediatrician today and she is now on more medicine to help with the reflux. She will go see ENT again in three months. Thank you Debbie and Lynne for watching the other three while we were gone.
On Monday the school district came out to visit Makaila since she was diagnosed with ROP. She passed all her vision tests with flying colors. However, due to her age she needs to be reevaluated in six months. Samantha continues to have physical therapy which she hates. It is hard for me to see her so upset on those days since she is usually the happiest of the bunch. Hannah and Sandra had occupational therapy this week and are doing great.

They are all growing and developing so much, it makes us proud! They are so much more alert and playful now. Makaila and Hannah are doing the best with spoon feeding. They are now actually opening their mouths in anticipation. Sandra is starting to get the idea and Samantha would prefer to skip it and get a bottle. We introduced the jumperoos this week and they were a big hit. Samantha is atually grabbing at the toys on it.
We hope everyone has a very Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A week of firsts

Sisters being entertained; waiting for bath time.

They really enjoy being close together.

Hannah has been less fussy lately and her smile is beautiful!

Maxine loves to lay by the girls! I am constantly trying to stop her from licking them.

Samantha and Makaila watching TV. Usually there is a row of all four watching.

Makaila and Daddy studying finance. Good job Daddy on keeping up the great grades through all this craziness!

Daddy entertaining all four while Mommy makes bottles.

Alright, I know it has been a while since the last post. But believe it or not, we have been busy. So, we have a few updates. The girls are all doing awesome. It is so fun to see them change so much and do new things. Samantha actually is starting to pick up toys to play with. Sandra will play with one if you hand it to her. It is so cute! They are starting to acknowledge each other and give each other smiles.
We have changed our schedule a bit. But, lets mention a few firsts first. The girls started eating cereal from a spoon. Maybe I should say attempt rather than eat. Another first is that they are all drinking apple juice now. So the new additions changed our schedule and make for a very busy day.
7:30 am change and feed Sandra
7:45ish change and feed Makaila, Hannah and Samantha
8:30 swing time
9:15 floor time (tummy and back time)
10:00 apple juice for all four
10:15 change and feed Sandra
10:15 morning nap for girls, chores for mom
11:15 prevacid for Makaila and Hannah
11:30 Change all four
11:45 feed all four rice cereal
12:00 all four get bottles
12:30 play time
1:00 afternoon nap
2:00 feed and change Sandra
This time of day is when I get the most done (that is if everyone co operates). I blog, finish up dishes, grab a bite to eat, go potty and get ready for the rest of the day.
3:45 change and feed all four
After this feed they are awake and ready for action for the rest of the day. It takes everyone around to entertain them. This is also when we make bottles for the next 24 hours.
6:00 apple juice for all four
6:15 feed and change Sandra
If weather permits we go for a 30 minute walk at this time. Otherwise, you might see us acting a little silly entertaining the girls.
7:00 bath time
7:30 feed and change all four then to bed
quiet time for mommy and daddy. Usually involves catching up on our favorite TV shows. Thank you DVR!
10:30 feed and change all four.
They now sleep through the night until their next feeding at 8:00 am. It is so nice to be able to go to bed and stay there until the morning. We are very fortunate!
Remember two to three times a week (usually at 10:00) we have physical therapy, occupational therapy and any other visits for the girls at the house. This week we only had one doctors visit. It is impossible to keep their necks dry! They are constantly drooling. Hannah got an infection on her neck. So, during every diaper change Makaila, Hannah and Samantha also get either an ointment or powder on their necks. Just one more thing to do. Sandra has a long skinny neck so she does not seem to have a problem. We stopped Hannahs's Reglan for reflux and she seems to be doing great. Sandra has not rolled over any more. But they are all getting better at holding their heads up.
Samantha is still scheduled for the 14th for her PDA closure. And Makaila has an appointment next week for her vocal cord damage. The last ENT wanted to have her sedated and scoped but he didn't have the capability to do it. So, we are starting over with a different doctor. G Ma is still here and helping out. We all appreciate her! The girls just love their Grandma.