Saturday, December 6, 2008

Marathon Post...LOTS of Updates!

We have been a little out of pocket lately, and I've been unable to update our blog for quite some time, so this is liable to be the longest post in history! This has been one CRAZY month and a half for us!

On the weekend of October 25th, we had a wonderful family visit! Gran, PawPaw, Great-MoMo, Aunt Joyce, and Aunt Patti all came down to visit us. They got here on Saturday morning and left Sunday. We had such a great time playing, visiting, and going out to eat. It was a short visit but we had a lot of fun. Avery & Kenadee love to have company! Here's a picture from Sunday, October 26th when our company was about to leave:
The very next day, on Monday, October 27th, Avery had to go to Cooks to be admitted for observation. Since she was about 5 months old, she had slowly quit drinking her formula. It was gradual at first, only wanting a little less than usual, so it wasn't too alarming. But by the time she was about 6.5 to 7 months old, she'd basically stopped drinking her formula altogether. Only receiving approximately 10 oz per day (regardless of how much we tried to get her to drink it), she wasn't getting enough calories with her jar food alone, and she began losing weight. While we were in the hospital, her GI-tract doctor ran test after test trying to find a cause for her refusal to drink milk. After an Upper-GI and an Endoscopy (EGD), he said there was nothing abnormal or anything to be alarmed aboug health-wise that could be causing her not to want to drink her milk. Knowing that Jason had severe allergies as a child, and couldn't have any milk products until the age of 7, the GI-tract doctor said he was pretty sure it was probably just a milk-protein allergy. His solution was to send her home from the hospital with a feeding tube down her nose, put her on a special hypo-allergenic formula (that costs 60 bucks a can and lasts 2.5 days!!!!!) and see how she did. He said that if it were a milk-protein allergy, once she realized that this new formula wasn't going to hurt/upset her stomach anymore, she'd begin to drink it like she used to. Her follow-up appointment with this doctor was not until Tuesday, November 25th, the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Based on her progress or lack thereof, he'd make a decision that day as to what we had to do next. Here is a picture of Avery on the day he released her from the hospital (which was Halloween):
Since Avery & Kenadee were at Cooks on Halloween (we got to go home late that afternoon), and their original costumes we'd bought were at home, Cooks donated some costumes for them to wear (we got to keep them). They had trick-or-treating in the atrium at Cooks for all the kids. The costumes they gave us were "Two Peas in a Pod". Here's a picture:

Once we got home that day, we were able to go to part of Daddy's football game that night, and since it was Halloween, we wore our original costumes to the game. Here's a picture of Avery and Kenadee dressed as little lambs:

After being home for a month with a feeding tube, we went to the follow-up appointment with the GI doctor. Avery had made zero progress with her eating. Every feeding, we would first offer her the bottle by mouth. She would only drink an ounce or two and then refuse the rest. So, what she wouldn't drink by mouth had to be put into the feeding tube. At the follow-up appointment, her doctor said that since she hadn't made any progress, and since she has to have the formula, he was going to have to surgically put in a stomach button. We went back to Cooks for another 3-day visit this past week and her surgery was on Wednesday, December 3rd. The feeding tube could only be down her nose approximately 4-5 weeks because after that long of a time, it starts to mess up your nasal septum. The stomach button that she now has is more long-term. The doctor said he would leave it in a minimum of a year, even if she only uses it for the first 6 months. Avery made it through the surgery just fine, and her stomach button is not infected or anything, but she was in a lot of pain afterwards. With the exception of a few short naps, she screamed her head off for the first day and a half. Now that it's been in for a few days, she's doing much better, but she's still extremely sore. The soreness should be gone in a week or so, and then life should resume as normal (if we remember what normal is). The stomach button works a lot like the feeding tube. We have tubing that we use to feed her. When it's time for a meal, we offer her a bottle and what she doesn't drink we put in her stomach. It has a cap on her tummy that we open, plug a tube up to it, and pump the formula in. She seems to be doing great now, and I'm sure it'll be a whole lot better when she is less sore.
Avery & Kenadee have had a lot of changes the last couple of months. Avery has four teeth! Two top, two bottom. Kenadee has two teeth on the bottom. Kenadee has started saying, "Da-Da" and is crawling all over the place. Well, it's more like an army crawl, but she can get from one side of the room to the other in 0.2 seconds! The girls also really enjoy playing with each other and taking baths together. They've started kicking and playing in the tub and smile and squeal all the time. Here is a bath picture:

Well, I know this has been a really long post, but I wanted to explain to everyone what all had been going on with us, and let you know why I hadn't updated. Truthfully, I thought of updating several times, but I couldn't quite bring myself to have to post pictures with Avery in her feeding tube. At least now with her stomach button, she gets her face and arms back (she always had tape all over face holding the tube in place, and arm boards on her arms to hold them straight all day and night so that she couldn't bend her arms and reach her face to pull her tube out). Now she gets her face and arms back and can play and learn to crawl as good as her sissy.
Thanks to all of you who have been praying for us. God has heard your prayers and has truly blessed once again. I'll do better with updating from here on out! That's it for now...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reasons to Smile: Birthdays! Cake! Boyfriends!

Well...we have all been doing really well. Avery's been feeling a lot better and her blood pressure is PERFECT! She seems to have gotten her appetite back on most days. She's not back 100%, but she's doing a LOT better! Thank you, Lord!

We helped Daddy celebrate his birthday a couple of weeks ago. The girls helped Momma make the cake (red velvet with cream cheese icing...Daddy's favorite)! They even got to sample it when it was done and even had a little taste of icing! There's a picture of that....

We've been really busy lately with football & school, as is the norm this time of year, but things have been going well. We've been trying to spend as much time as possible together as a family when we can. We've been going on walks at night, even though it's been cold lately. The girls love to get all bundled up for our walks. There are several neighbors who have tons of lights and yard decorations for Halloween. Big blow-up ghosts, pumpkins, witches, etc...and the girls LOVE just stopping in front of these houses and staring at their decorations! Kenadee even thinks she needs to TALK to the ghosts, haha. Speaking of Halloween...Avery and Kenadee are going to be Little Lambs for Halloween this year! We have already tried their costumes on them and loveeee them. We'll definitely post some pictures of that in a week or two.

Avery & Kenadee already have boyfriends! There is a picture of this above. Their boyfriends are Matthew & Caleb, who are also fraternal twins. They are 3 months younger than Avery & Kenadee but that's ok! They had a really great time on their first date, and they're hoping they get asked out again sometime :) haha

The little purple outfits the girls are wearing in the pictures above were from Great-Great-Aunt Doris & Great-Great-Uncle H.L. Thank you!! We love them!! :) Well, that's about it for this time...I'll update again when I can! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

6 Month Pediatrician Appt & Some Medical Updates...

Avery & Kenadee had their 6 month check-up with the pediatrician a couple of weeks ago. Everything in their growth and development checked out perfectly. Avery weighed in at 16lbs even, and Kenadee weighed a whopping 17lb 2 oz! Avery's appetite has greatly decreased, therefore even though she's gaining weight, she's gaining at a lower rate than Kenadee is. They are both very much in the healthy range though. They don't have another appointment with the pediatrician until they are 9 months old (end of December).

A few medical notes on Avery...

Over the last several months when we've been at various doctor's offices, we've had Avery's blood pressure checked and it's been really high. For the average 6 month old, blood pressure is supposed to be roughly 80/50. Her top number got as high as the 140's and 150's at times, and her bottom number pretty much stayed in the 90's. It wasn't an "every now and then" type of deal. It was chronically high. So, after speaking with her pediatrician and endocrinologist, we decided to get an appointment with a nephrologist (blood pressure doctor). He ran some tests and did some blood work, and ordered an ultrasound on her kidneys. He believes it is her daily doses of hydrocortisone and florinef that are causing her blood pressure to go up because they both have significant amounts of salt in them (which she needs). So, he put her on blood pressure medicine (a low dosage), and within 24 hours, her blood pressure was down to 82/68...right in the normal range for a baby of her age and size.

Then, we had her regular check-up with the endocrinologist and her blood work showed that her sodium levels were low and her 17-hydroxyprogesterone level was extremely high. This will happen from time to time because as she grows and develops, her levels will change. As her levels change, her doses of medication will be adjusted as well. The decision has been made to up her doses of hydrocortisone & salt tablet because it is necessary in order to get all her levels back into normal range. The endocrinologist believes that the change in her levels is what has caused her decrease in appetite, and that with the adjustment in her medications, she should gain her appetite back (at least, we are hoping!). The increase in those two medications, however, will likely cause her blood pressure to go up again, but we are monitoring her blood pressure regularly, so when it goes up, the nephrologist will up her dosage of blood pressure medicine to accommodate.

Both babies have been eating baby food so well! They LOVE to eat "real" food. Avery, however, has decided that she doesn't want/need her milk. We've been basically forcing the milk down her because she needs it. The endocrinologist said that if her appetite doesn't go back to normal after a few days of adjusted meds, then it's a "taste" issue and she may just need to be switched to a different kind of formula b/c she may just not like the taste of it anymore. She has NO trouble eating real food, but she seems to never want her milk. I guess time will tell...

I guess that's it for this entry. I mainly just wanted to update everyone on the medical stuff. Life is good here...we're just staying busy with football & school. The girls are growing so fast! They are rolling over and over and over and over and OVER! They can get from one side of the room to the other super fast! Kenadee is really close to being able to crawl. They are playing more with toys and more with each other. It's really fun to watch them interact with each other. I only have one picture to put on here this time, but I'll post more when I can. That's it for now!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

6 Months Old!!!

Well, we are officially 6 months old!! Where does the time go?? This has been the best 6 months of Momma & Daddy's lives. It has gone by so fast...seems like just yesterday we were just getting home from Cooks with our brand new babies. Boy, it goes by fast!

Avery & Kenadee are now eating 3 meals a day. They have a fruit for breakfast, a vegetable for lunch, and a vegetable AND fruit for supper. They, of course, still have their formula too, but they are eating "real" food like champs!

Avery now has 2 teeth centered on the bottom row. They are SO cute (and as sharp as little steak knives, lol). Kenadee drools like a little maniac, but she doesn't have any teeth yet (or even the start of teeth as far as I can see or feel).

They have their 6 month check-up with the best pediatrician in the world, Dr. Yap, on Thursday of this week. So, we will update the blog again after that appointment. The pictures you see are the 6 month pictures we had taken at Sears the other day. Hope you enjoy them!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Video of Chatter & Laughs!

We wanted everyone to see how much fun we have together and see how much we like to talk! :) Enjoy the video!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Growing like weeds...

Let's see...there's not a lot to report from this past week. We've just been hanging out and having a good time. Daddy's been working extra long & hard, and we miss him a lot. We try to spend as much time with him as possible, and when he's gone we try to find ways to entertain ourselves until he's back home with us.

Both babies have been drooling (teething) for a while now, but only Avery has any proof of it. She is cutting two teeth. They've been visible for about two weeks now, but they haven't broken through the skin yet. They are side by side in the middle of the bottom row. They're going to be sooo cute when they come all the way in. I did take a picture of them as they are right now, but when I tried to post it on here, it was too small to actually see. Maybe I can get a better one when they're a little more visible. Kenadee actually drools more than Avery, but we can't see or feel anything coming in just yet on her.

Avery & Kenadee are both BIG fans of applesauce and pears! YAY! Fruits we actually like!! And, Momma & Daddy tasted both...and they are DELICIOUS!! It's not that they don't like fruit (as we had previously worried when they turned down peaches & bananas), it's just that they have GOOD taste in fruit. haha

Our new babysitter is AMAZING. We love her to pieces. The girls have a great time with her & she is so good with them. God has a way of working things out...that's all I can say!

We're getting very close to being 6 months old (19th of this month). We will be going to get our professional 6 month pictures done soon, so we will post those when we get them done. Hope you enjoy the snapshots from this past week. They are growing like weeds!! And, they are such happy, sweet & precious baby girls. That's it for this time! ENJOY!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Busy Little Bees...

What a whirlwind this last week and a half has been! Now that school has started back, and football is in full swing, we are running ourselves ragged. Everyone is doing well though, and trying to re-adjust into this busy lifestyle that we almost forgot existed during our relaxing summer!

This past week we started fruits. It didn't quite go as we had expected. We started with peaches because that is something that both Momma & Daddy like, so we assumed that the girls would love them too. WRONG! Then we tried bananas & they hated them too! They take after their Momma on the bananas...ick. We were beginning to think that Avery & Kenadee were just going to be veggie lovers, but when we tried the applesauce, we hit the jackpot. They loved the applesauce! YAY! We still have pears to try, but we're having applesauce for the next few days first. So far, both babies like and dislike the same foods. The veggies they love are squash, peas, and sweet potatoes. And, so far, the only fruit they like is applesauce. Hopefully they'll like pears too. We'll find out pretty soon :)

The babies have both turned into little chatter boxes. It's hilarious. They talk constantly. They love to chit chat with each other, with Momma & Daddy, and with anyone else who will listen. They've been rolling over more and more and more. Sometimes, it's at the most inopportune times. They like to turn their little tricks when they're supposed to be sleeping. Turning over tends to ruin nap time, as it wakes them up when they roll.

Today, Kenadee made Momma's day. She was in her exersaucer (which they both LOVEEEEEE...thank you Gran & PawPaw!) and I thought she might be ready to get out, so I went over to her and said, "Are you ready to get out of there, Kenadee?" And guess what that little toot did??? She REACHED FOR MOMMA!! Wooohooo! I was so excited that I took a few steps back, walked up to her again, and asked the same question (getting Jason's attention first so he could watch), and she did it again. What a smart girl. :)

The last couple of weeks have been a very busy time and have gone by so fast. School has started back, football is going on, and we are constantly on the go. Oh, and ... ta duh ... our babysitter quit. Luckily, we had a backup plan in case that happened, and our new babysitter (who will be fabulous and better not quit or I'll kill her, lol) starts on Tuesday. We've been really busy & the girls are growing up so fast. It's hard to believe they're nearly 1/2 a year old. Where does the time go?? Well, anyway...I guess that's it for this entry. I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...

Avery & Kenadee are now five months old!! They are enjoying all kinds of activities these days. Life is so much fun! They love sitting in their new Bumbo seats. They can sit up on their own when they are in these seats. It helps them with their balance, which is good because they will probably be sitting up on their own sometime very soon. They are getting stronger and stronger each and every day. They like to scoot all over the floor (practicing for Olympic Crawling Events, haha). They're not crawling yet but they really enjoy wiggling all around, especially when getting their diapers changed. :) They've also really been enjoying bath time lately. When they were first born, baths were horrendous. But, lately they are tons of fun. We get to see a lot of laughs and bubbly smiles. They both really enjoy books at night. Momma & Daddy have fun reading to them, and they just smile and look at all the pictures. They really focus on the books that we read to them. It's neat to see how interested they are already! Both babies are eating like champs. Kenadee has decided that she likes squash after all. We're going to start fruits this coming week so we'll be sure to post some pictures of that later on. Avery & Kenadee got to meet their cousins, Beau & John Michael, for the very first time. They enjoyed getting to play with them. They can't wait to see them again soon so Beau can hold them again!! I'm attaching some pictures for your enjoyment. The patriotic picture was on their 5 month birthday. There are also some bath pictures, one of Daddy reading to the girls, and one of them in their little purple Bumbo seats. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cooler than the other side of the pillow...

Well, the babies are just growing and growing! I cannot believe they are about to be 5 months old already! Time is going by so fast. Both babies are enjoying getting to eat "real" food. Avery loves peas, sweet potatoes, green beans, and squash...Kenadee loves peas and sweet potatoes ONLY. Both babies absolutely DESPISE carrots. I would have thought carrots would have tasted sweet to them, but they both did nothing but make terrible faces and gag when we tried to feed them carrots. They were pretty sure Momma and Daddy were trying to poison them, lol. So...we won't be doing that again. We will be starting some fruits in a couple of weeks probably. They'll probably like those a lot better. We'll see...

Avery & Kenadee got to play with their friend Delana Friday night! She is only 3 weeks older than they are :) Uncle Ryan came down on Thursday & then PawPaw & Gran came down for the weekend on Friday evening. We had a great weekend visit. We took the girls to church again Sunday (their second week of going to the nursery) and it was great! They even had a Sunday School sheet in their bag about "Helping Others" haha :) We took the girls to On The Border after church on Sunday and they proved to Daddy that they could be really good girls in restaurants. They did great! YAY!

I'm posting some pictures from this past week. Hope you enjoy! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Live, LAUGH, Love...

This has been a really busy week for us! Last Sunday we had to go to Eastland for a funeral, so we took full advantage of the trip and visited with friends and family. Then, Daddy had to start back to work on Monday for football meetings. It's hard to believe that it's already August and that school and football are just around the corner!

Tonight we went to a get together with some friends and Avery & Kenadee got to play with their friends too (Sadie & Aubrie). I wish I had some pictures of that. It was cute how the babies would talk to each other. Sadie is 4, but Aubrie is only 4 months older than Avery & Kenadee. They were really looking each other over and cooing and "talking". Sooo cute.

Avery and Kenadee are really turning into professional eaters. This week's vegetable has been sweet potatoes. We're pretty sure that Avery will eat just about anything we put in her mouth (lol), but Kenadee LOVED the sweet potatoes and was very grateful for something other than peas (although she really did start liking peas after a few days last week). I think next week we are going to start green beans and see how that goes.

Both babies have started laughing this week! Their giggles are sooo cute, but you really have to earn them...making a complete idiot of yourself with the goofy faces and sounds. But, it really is adorable to hear them giggle.

I hope you enjoy the pictures. They are just some snapshots of the past week. The one of Kenadee with the ring on her arm needs some additional explanation...that is one of those toys where you link all the rings together. We had her on her mat in the middle of the living room floor & we were in the kitchen. When we went back into the living room, she had that on her arm. She had decided that she needed some bling bling, haha. I told Daddy that he was going to have to take her (and Momma of course) to Sam Moon to do some jewelry shopping, but I don't think he liked that idea too much. Since then, we have found BOTH babies several times with those "bracelets" on their arms and they've just put them on themselves. Too funny.

Well, I guess that's it for this entry. Hope you enjoy the pictures :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

4 Months Old & Ready For Hollywood!

Well, Avery & Kenadee are now 4 months old! Momma and Daddy can hardly believe it. Time has gone by so fast! They had their 4 month appointment with the pediatrician on Monday & he said they were doing great! Avery weighed 13lb 4oz, and Kenadee weighed 13lb 6oz! They measured right on target in every category & Dr. Yap was very impressed with their excellent head control. He recommended that we start giving them rice cereal (the box kind that you mix with formula) and that we introduce new vegetables to them (one veggie per week to watch for potential food allergies). We were so excited and went straight to Wal-Mart to buy them some food! We got the cereal and for week one, we chose PEAS. Let's just say Kenadee is taking after her Gran & her Uncle Ryan. She absolutely, positively HATED the peas. She made some of the funniest faces when we tried to feed it to her. She wasn't too crazy about the cereal either but she didn't make "as bad" of faces with the cereal as she did with the peas. Avery didn't act like any of it really tasted bad, but she didn't really know what to do with it either. She'd hold it in her mouth for a little while and then eventually she'd spit it back out. I guess we just need to keep practicing. But, I'm pretty sure that Kenadee is just ready for us to move on to something maybe chocolate, haha :) The pictures I'm including are from their food experiences with the peas & one of them in their sunglasses on their 4 month birthday! Hope you enjoy! :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Visit from Nanna & Pop...

Nanna & Pop came for a visit! They got here Wednesday afternoon and left about lunch time on Thursday. They said they just needed to come get some "sugar." :) We had a nice visit & Momma and Daddy got to go out on a date Wednesday night! YAHOO! Thought you might enjoy some pictures that we took of the girls with their "Great" Nanna & Pop. They had a great time playing with them. It was a very nice visit!