Thursday, August 25, 2016

Weekend at Grandmas

We spent nearly 4 days at Grandma's house this weekend. We came down Saturday evening for a family reunion, spent the night, had plans to go home Sunday. But Anastasia's surgery was set up for Tuesday and the hospital couldn't tell me until the night before what time she'd have to go in. My mother in law thought it made more sense to stay Sunday instead of leaving and coming back up the very next day. Plus, I'd have some additional help (and A/C). 

I didn't get any pictures of the family reunion, it seemed like everyone was taking pictures and I thought for sure I could get a few from someone or at least on Facebook. My mistake. It was for Grandpa's siblings and any of their children and grandchildren who were able to come. For the first time in 12 years all 8 siblings were at the same place at the same time. It was a rather big event. It was also Anastasia's first experience to the world (beyond immediate family and doctor appointments). 

Rory and I don't do well in crowds. He just wanted to be help by either me or by Grandma. He would just nuzzle into her arms. Heidi Anne was having a blast playing with all the new kids. Anastasia was on her play mat where she either slept or played as cute as could be. I had fun showing my miracle baby off to anyone who wanted to see her. I figured everyone was getting to see Rory with Grandma and Heidi could hold her own. I really wish I got more pictures. 

After everyone had eaten Grandma and Grandpa read a story in an old newspaper about Great Grandpa (Grandpa's Dad). I knew he had served as a Navy Medic during World War II but I didn't know he was at the battle for Iwo Jima. The paper was about his service at Iwo Jima. It was very interesting to listen to. 

It was really hot on Sunday and Grandma thought the kids would like to play with some water. We got dish soap, measuring cups, the yellow bucket, and a hose. Rory loved it! Plus it was on the patio, which is grass free. 
Rory had a field day splashing around. He thought it would be funny to pretend to drink the bubbles or he wasn't pretending...either way they didn't taste to good to him. But he knew he was being silly and kept scooping up some water, spilling almost all of it as it got to his face, jerked it up to his lips (throwing what little water was left onto his face), then stop and laugh.
Heidi Anne tired to see if she could sit all the way down in the cold water (she couldn't make it). Rory would watch Heidi Anne closely and follow her led. 
Funny story about the bucket. At the family reunion it was used as a drink cooler, thus it was filled with ice and soda cans. Well, Rory and his cousin G (who is only 6 weeks younger then Rory) didn't like that their water toy was being used. They would take out a single ice cube, chuck it to the ground, and pick up another piece, (repeat). Finally, after we had cleaned up all the little ice chips, we had to play keep away the bucket from the baby boys. Totally should've had my phone with me that day.  

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Anastasia's Surgery

Here she is ready to go!
I only found out the day before the surgery when her time would be. We were lucky we had to be there at 6:15 am and would be the first one of the day. The down side, we had to be there by 6:15 am. 

The night before her surgery Anastasia could only eat until 12:00 am and nothing after that. Which was going to make for a long night. We went to bed around 10:00 pm, set an alarm to wake me up to feed her at 11:30 pm. I told her to drink as much as she could because that's all she's getting for a long time. I don't think she listened to me. 

Well, 4:30 am rolls around and off goes our alarms again. But we didn't need them, we were awake from trouble sleeping. We finished up packing what we weren't able to the night before. Loaded up Anastasia who was in a happy mood until she realized she was hungry. Then she screamed and kept it up until we were driving in the car. She fell asleep shortly after that. 

We get to Primary Children's (where we got an awesome parking spot!) and my anxiety began to increase. I tried to calm myself down because if I freak out, then so will Anastasia. Charlie showed no signs of worry. He just kept reassuring me that everything would be fine. That this is one of the best children's hospitals nationwide. But I was still a bit nervous. It's like the logical part of me walked away and I was left with neurotic me. 
We check in at 6:15 am and we wait (for nearly an hour). Then we're called into the pre-operation room. There we were instructed to give her a good wipe bath with operation grade sanitizer. They also brought out her hospital pajamas and some cute little pink socks. We got her all ready to go. Finally, a sweet OR nurse came to collect her. We walked with her as far as possible. Then she took my miracle baby away for surgery. 

I almost lost it.

We went down to the cafeteria to help pass the time and to actually eat some breakfast. After all, we'd been up for over 3 hours and it was breakfast time anyways. To be completely honest, I didn't want to just sit in the waiting room with other anxious parents for nearly 2 hours. The whole time I was a bundle of nerves. I knew she'd be okay but I was plagued by all the "what ifs". 

Finally we headed to the dreaded waiting room. We check in with the receptionist and wait. I think we timed it pretty good because 30 minutes later the doctor came out to tell us how everything went. She had all 3 hernia's repaired. (She had a 10% chance of having the third hernia but they checked anyways. Which was good because, she suffered from it.). 
Another 20 minutes pass by and then we're called to the PACU. I got to see my sleepy, baby girl. Who was beet red! Which was a side effect from one of the medications they had given her. Anastasia was inconsiable. Just screaming and screaming. The nurse gave her some good pain meds and I swear 5 minutes later she fell back asleep. Pain free and calm. However, the pain medication had a side effect as well. Her O2 staturation decreased and she needed some O2 support. 

Once she was stable we were transferred to the Post Op unit. That is where Anastasia and I would be staying the night. I got a sweet picture of her peacefully sucking her thumb in her sleep while getting a bit of O2 support. Since everything was going good Char went to be with the other kiddos at Grandma's house. 
I decided to take a little nap while she slept. I'm glad I did, after a 90 minute nap she was wide awake. She just wanted to be cuddled and the pain to go away. The rest of the day was spent holding her and getting in some snacks. Time just seemed to drag on. (Ever notice time seems slower in a hospital? Or is that just me?)

I think the nurses did a great job on her pain management. But the baby was up ALL night.  Around 2:00 am the nurse offered to take her while I got a quick nap in. The chair was uncomfortable but apparently when you lack sleep, you can fall asleep anywhere. I remember thinking, "Geez, well this will be a short nap." Next thing I know I'm awake up and it's 5:00 am. I checked the hospital grade crib and Anastasia wasn't there. But I heard coos not to far away. At the nurses' station there are 3 nurses fawning over Anastasia and she is just cooing back to them. She didn't take a nap the whole time they had her, they said she was making up for being under and sleepy during the day. 

We got word since she was doing so good we could be discharged. I called Char at 6:00 am and cringed at having to wake him up so early. Little did I know he was almost to the hospital. He was there in no time. We loaded her up and the nurse walked us out. Anastasia finally fell asleep in the car. 

Now we're in recovery mode for the next 3 weeks. She can't do tummy time since it would put pressure on the incisions. She's just getting pain meds and unlimited cuddles. (To Rory's dismay).  

Monday, July 25, 2016

When Plans Go Belly Up

It started last night, we packed up to go to grandma's house and planned to head down to SLC first thing in the morning and spend the night there. We were geared up to go to Aunt Millie's Bridal Shower. Heidi even picked out her new blue "hippie" dress (which is cute) to wear to her first grown up party. She was so excited to be considered a big girl. Heidi also wanted to show the family her baby sister since most have only seen Anastasia in pictures. I was really looking forward to the visit.

Well, at 4:30 am this morning, Anastasia had a fever. Just like that our plans came to a grinding halt. Heidi Anne was devastated. She wanted to see Grandma and her Aunts. (She adores her Aunts). 

Normally, Rory is okay when I give Anastasia attention. He'll go off and just play with his toys knowing I'll spend time with him when she doesn't need me anymore, Well, it wasn't a normal day. Rory noticed Anastasia was getting even more attention than normal. Every time she got a bottle he HAD to have one at the exact same time. If she was being held, well he wanted up as well. To make things easier, I rocked in a chair with a baby on each side of me. Both the babies were getting the attention they wanted. 

Just when I thought I had this sick day figured out, I was given a curve ball in the late afternoon. Heidi Anne caught a stomach bug. (Naturally, she told me after I ordered pizza as a way to say thank you to her for being such a trooper about missing the party and having my time consumed by the babies). 

I spent the night singing lullabies, watching Cinderella (the new version with Lily James), and splitting my time between three little ones. I got up early at 4:30 am to tend to a sick baby, now I'm sitting on the sofa staying up late with a sick Heidi Anne. It's been a long day. Nowhere near the day I was planning on having. But that's life I guess. Let's hope Anastasia sleeps longer then 4:30 am tomorrow. 

It's odd but these are the days where I'm glad to be a stay at home mom and grateful that Char works hard to make sure we can afford for me to be here. They won't remember the day where everyone wanted and received cuddles. Or that I was up for nearly 20 hours straight to tend to everyone's needs. That my voice went horse from singing Itsy Bitsy Spider or Lavender's Blue (Dilly Dilly). I might not even remember it if I didn't write it down to be honest. But I need to be reminded that I'm doing my best at this mommy thing. (And why on Earth I would make Heidi Anne miss her first big girl party.) 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wegener Family Reunion in Driggs

Every summer there is a Wegener family reunion up the Idaho Tetons. We're not able to go every year but we made it this time! Last time we went it was 2 years ago and all we had was Heidi Anne. This year we had 3 kids with 2 of them younger than 16 months old. A lot can happen in just 2 years!
The Teton valley is lovely and full of outdoor activities; close to Yellowstone, the Teton forest, and Jackson Hole. We tend to stay in the Diggs / Victor area. (My friend Valerie has a blog called 51 Cent Adventures and she would have a field day in the Tetons. Her blog is about how to travel and have adventures on a low budget.) 
People went; paddle boarding, kayaking, biking, hiking, (long and short ones), scenic drives, strolls around the cabin or just played outside. I couldn't participate in much of the outdoor things this year. Rory has a fear of walking on grass and hates wearing shoes. But he would sit / walk on a quilt on the grass. So there was some progress made. Anastasia has baby skin and we forgot baby sunblock. Therefore, I trended to the babies and read a bit.

Grandpa and Char took Heidi Anne fishing for the very first time. She's been wanting to go since she was 5. 
The fishing site was packed (all the sites where). Amazingly, she actually caught her very first fish.
 It may have been little but at least she got one. According to Char, she refused to touch it, the -hand in the picture is Char's not Heidi's. Needless to say, we didn't have any fish for dinner that night. 
On Friday night everyone, (except Char and I because we didn't arrive on time), went to Bar J Wranglers and explored Jackson Hole. We went on Sunday night, everyone helped to watch Anastasia, Heidi, and Rory, making it our first date night in over 18 months. We went despite Char not feeling 100% 

We started off our date by running to the store and getting some baby rice. (Fun times, right?). Then we went to Main Street, it was packed with people! We explored the little stores, admired the art work in the galleries, got a small piece of fudge, and looked through a bookstore. 
After our time on Main Street we went to the Bar J Wranglers. Which is a chuck wagon like dinner and this group of men crack jokes and sing Western music. Char got a stake and I got chicken. It was a good show but we had to leave early because Char kept feeling worse and worse. We took a lovely drive back up to the cabin.
On the Fourth of July everyone (but me, Rory, and Anastasia) went to the Victor Parade. The kids got LOTS of treats from the parade. 

While at the parade Heidi Anne and her cousins got their face painted. Heidi and her little cousin H both got their faces painted like tigers. 

Cousin A got an adorable butterfly on her face. The paint kept smearing so it was on just long enough for the kids to enjoy it and get fun pictures taken. 

Per tradition tried to get Huckleberry shakes. Again, everyone one went (except Char, Rory and Anastasia). Heidi and I tagged along with Grandma and Grandpa. Max never had a Huckleberry shake before and was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the first place we went to was out of Huckleberries. So we went to good ol' reliable Victor Emporium.  
After dinner on the 4th of July, Cousin A and Heidi Anne (with Grandpa in tow) put on a little performance for us. They've started to do this at every gathering. The show came to an abrupt end when the sprinklers came on, getting them wet. Someone turned off the sprinklers and Aunt E turned on some music which prompted the girls to start dancing. Next thing you know Aunt M got her Bluetooth speaker and people joined in on the dancing. It was like a family flash mob. 

We were going to take Heidi Anne to see the firework show but Anastasia wouldn't go down. We found out the fireworks would be 5 miles away and we should be able to see them from the cabin. They wouldn't be as big or with the music but we could still watch them. The show didn't start until 10:20, as we're waiting outside in the dark Heidi declares she's tired, that was at 10:18 pm. We convinced her to wait a little longer. It was a real pretty performance, worth staying up for.

The very next morning we headed home based on the smiles from all the grandkids in the family, they all had fun. Even Anastasia smiled a little for the camera. 
Top: Anastasia, Cousin A, and Heidi Anne
Bottom: Rory, Cousin G, and Cousin H

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sooo Surgery

Last week we took the babies (Rory and Anastasia) in for a well child check. Rory was the perfect picture of health. A little underweight but nothing Pedisure won't fix. Anastasia had a hernia that concerned the doctor. The doctor set her up with an appointment with a surgeon at Primary Children's Hospital for the following week. Their doctor is U of U affiliated but still she recommended Primary Children's since it's one of the best in the nation. (Or so I'm told).

Anastasia's appointment at Primary Children's was set up for early in the morning and it would have been difficult to bring all 3 children to the appointment. We we're able to spend the night at Char's folks' house the night before. Then they would watch Heidi and Rory while I took Anastasia to the hospital. 
We had a fun evening with Grandma and Grandpa. Grandma got to buckets of water for Rory to splash in since it was so warm. (And it was fun to watch him splash around outside).He even tried to say "bubbles", it came out as "bobeels" which was cute. Grandpa and Heidi Anne went on a search for a plastic pool to play in. They were sadly unsuccessful. But Heidi had fun playing in the water, too. 
 We had a fun little barbecue. Grilled chicken sandwiches for Grandpa and me, hamburgers for Heidi and Grandma. After it cooled down a little Heidi and I went picking strawberries. We used them on our ice cream for dessert. 
Grandma worked on my genealogy with me and taught me indexing. Which is where you go through old records (like obituaries, school records,or old census reports) and note down the different people listed. That way if someone searches for their ancestors they will find these links showing evidence of their family. It's pretty cool that people take their time to track down and mark others family history, never knowing if it helps or not. But to just have someone noticed and not forgotten is pretty special. 
The next morning I left for Primary Children's and the car wouldn't start. I prayed and asked Grandpa to come help me out. I was stressed, worried, and running late. Fortunately, he got the car started. We we're barely on time so I used valet parking for the very first time. Bless valet parking. 

We knew about the belly button (umbilical hernia) and Charlie suspected the left inguinal hernia. We just didn't know how bad it was. We figured that it was causing her pain and discomfort.What we didn't know about was her right inguinal hernia. These inguinal hernias are bad because it's the lower intestine that's protruding out of the abdominal wall. Which can cause fecal matter to become trapped, causing the intestine to rupture. Translation, bad hernias to have.
According to the doctor the younger the preemie the higher the likelihood of them having hernias. Apparently, the body doesn't get to close all the holes nor get a chance to develop properly. Just like how her heart had 2 murmurs due to prematurity, she has 3 hernias due to how early she was born. 

She'll have surgery on all three hernias on August 2nd at Primary Children's. (Keep her in your prayers, thoughts, or good vibes that day). Since she is so small and a preemie she'll have to stay for observation overnight at the hospital. Because we live in Wyoming, I'll be allowed to room in with her, I'll sleep and stay with her so she isn't all alone. I know the nurses are wonderful but I've already spent too many nights away from her due to hospitalization. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

What an Average Summer Day Looks Like...CHAOS

Here's what a normal summer day looks like this year. The last time I did this it was called What A Typical Visit Looks Like. Let's see the differences, shall we? My posts are a little shorter currently because the following happens nearly every day. But I think it's important to have down, so you know what I mean when I say "re-runs" (a typical day / activities) versus "highlights" (something new or different). 

12:30 AM - Wake up, and sigh because I stayed up "late" (10:30 pm). Tend to Anastasia, feed, change, and cuddle her a little. 

1:05  AM- Play on my phone, check Facebook. (Bad sleeping habits but I am WIDE awake  for some reason). Fall back asleep.
3:00  AM- Wake up, feed and change Anastasia. Check her 02 saturation. 
3:34  AM - Attempt to go back to sleep.
6:00 AM - Wake up, feed and change Anastasia. 
6:15 AM - Heidi is wide awake for the day. (Think of Anna in Frozen, "The sky's awake, so I'M awake!)
6:20 AM - Try to go back to sleep
6:30 AM - Char gets home from work. I give up on sleep and sneak in some reading. 
7:00 AM - Rory awakens. Reading didn't last long. 
7:15 AM - Change Rory and make breakfast for everyone. English muffins for Heidi Anne and me, we split an orange. Dry Fruit Loops and applesauce for Rory. 
7:55 AM - Go play / watch Rory. Listen to the news. Ahhh, adult human contact has been somewhat made. 
9:00 AM - Anastasia is up, (apparently, she is on a 3 hour schedule today). Feed and change her. Switch out her SP02 monitor for a new one. She's at 93% without oxygen, that works for me. Read and play with Rory while tending to Baby Girl. 
10:10 AM - Second Breakfast / morning snack. Carrots and a granola bar for Heidi Anne (she's trying to eat more healthy since the doctor told her to eat more fruits and vegetables. Somehow, coming from a doctor is more serious then when I tell her the exact same thing. Shaking head right now.)
10:33 AM - Back to play time. Try to fold laundry. Rory grabs it and throws the laundry on the floor. I keep trying for 10 more minutes and then give up and put the clothes back in the basket. Sigh, I'll try to get to it tonight or tomorrow when Char is home. 
11:00 AM - Nap time for Rory & quite time for Heidi Anne. I hurry and start a crock pot for dinner. I pick up the kitchen while I'm at it since the little people are sleeping. 
12:06 AM - Type up on my post what I have jotted down on a piece of paper about what's been going on. 
12:30 PM - Guess who's up and hungry again?? Feed, change, cuddle Stacy (One of her new nick-names. I like it, one of my best friends is name Stacy and she's a sweet, smart, strong, and kind young lady.) 
12:58 PM - Wake up Char for his day. Talk a little and get caught up on each other's days.
 1:33 PM - Rory's up from his nap.
 1:38 PM - Snack Time.
 1:45 PM - Char watches Rory while I attend to the laundry (again). This time it gets put away. Amazing!!
2:37 PM - Late Lunch for us, breakfast for Char. 
2:54 PM - Clean up from lunch, save leftovers (guess what's for dinner?)
3:00 PM - Char gets ready for work.
3:06 PM - And she's up, I could set a watch to her today. I balance stopping Rory from trying to pull at her SP02 monitor and the oxygen line while feeding the baby.
3:15 PM - Char kisses us each good-bye, then leaves for work in Ogden.
3:16 PM - Have Heidi keep an eye on Rory while I finish taking care of Anastasia. 
3:22 PM - Play with Rory while holding Stacy. Debate about putting him down for a late afternoon nap, after all he's acting sleeping. Heidi starts to read a book on the Kindle (we're letting her use it to read for summer break). 
4:00 PM - Heidi goes out to play with friends. She's been wanting to go out all day. 
4:20 PM - I surrender!! He is going down for a nap. He falls asleep right away. Sweet, I made the right choice. Cuddle the baby.  
4:30 PM - Call Char to see how his drive was, it also gives me more time to talk to him.
4:45 PM - Get off the phone with Char, while I was talking Ladybug has fallen asleep. A little reprieve from children. What to do, what to do? 
4:46 PM - Stare down the laundry. I can tackle it tomorrow when I have help again. Sneak in some rare reading time for myself. 
5:10 PM - Heidi comes to check in. 
5:14 PM - Type up what I've been up to. Back to my book.
5:21 PM - Anastasia's monitor goes off meanwhile she cries out. Yep, she's projectile vomited, again. Take care of her. 
5:43 PM - Rory wakes up while I'm feeding the baby. 
5:45 PM - Put Anastasia down, make Rory a sippy cup. Get Rory, change him, give him his drink. Pick Anastasia back up and finish feeding her. 
5:59 PM - Heidi comes home (I told her be home by 6:00 pm-technically she was). Get asked "What's for dinner?" Rory perks up at the word "dinner".
6:05 PM - Leftovers, leftovers are for dinner. 
6:22 PM - Pure chaos. Anastasia seems to get very fussy between 4 pm - 9 pm. This evening it started at  6:22 pm. At the same time Heidi can't handle the noise so she goes to play in her room. Then Rory knows neither I nor Heidi can't watch him like a hawk and that we can't play with him, which makes Rory more adventurous. Set Rory up with some toys while I care for Anastasia (feeding, changing clothes and diapers, soothing).
6:23 PM - Keep in mind, until Anastasia goes to sleep there is a screaming baby in the background, believe me I'm trying everything to calm her down. I think it's her hernia causing pain or discomfort personally. I remind myself that we have an appointment with Primary Children'd pediatric surgeon next week. Once she finally finishes pooing she'll be better (she's not constipated, believe me).
6:36 PM - It's quite, too quite. Look for Rory, he's not where I left him. Go check the halls and have Heidi check the rooms. He can only go so far. I start back down the hallway when I hear giggles. We follow the sounds of the giggles. The kid has crawled into a laundry basket, hiding the whole time! Silly boy, what is with him and laundry today? Seriously! He has all these toys to play with and he wants the laundry basket. 
7:06 PM - Ladybug is still fussy. We turn on the Simpson's. Heidi is entertained. Time to put Rory in nightclothes and brush his teeth for the night. I have to out him in his highchair while I brush his teeth, he has nowhere to go. (Insert evil laugh). 
7:11 PM - Rory is freed and ready for the night. Back to toddling he goes, just walking around because he can. Tugs on Anastasia's O2 line, along with any other cords or wires he can try to find. This would be so much easier if he understood the meaning of the word NO. But he's barely 15 months old, I remind myself. He doesn't understand it yet. 
7:36 PM - Simpsons are over, now Heidi is "bored". I turn on a show for me to listen to while taking care of the babies. Wouldn't you know it, Heidi likes it as well. Have Heidi start picking up baby toys in the living room. I try to involve Rory with the cleaning, normally we can get him to toss some toys in a box, but not today. Tonight he just pulls out whatever she tries to put away. We give up.
8:00 PM - Put Rory down for bed. Talk with Heidi a little while rocking Anastasia. Focusing on Anastasia so I let Heidi have another show to watch. 
9:00 PM - Turn on the news and tuck Heidi into bed. Since Anastasia has been on a 3 hour schedule I prep everything I'll need. It appears she isn't hungry and hasn't finished popping. But I do put her in nightclothes. The grand total of outfits worn by her today? Drum roll please? 4 outfits. 
9:21 PM - Anastasia is finally ready for a bottle and new diaper. She's calmed down quite a bit. 
9:45 PM - I think I nodded off there. But I put Anastasia to bed and finish watching the news. 
10:00 PM - Oh sweet comfort, my bed! Ah rest! Enjoy it while it lasts because I'll be up in 2 hours or so. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Early Father's Day - Lots of Pictures

Char's Day is going to be out of town for Father's Day (they're going to drive the coast highway in Washington & Oregon) the family decided to celebrate it early.  We debated about wither or not it was safe to bring Anastasia out of isolation for a day. In the end we choose to go. It turned out to be Tiny Stacy's first adventure that didn't involve the medical field in any way, shape, or form! 
Heidi knew this was a rare and special occasion; Anastasia going somewhere besides the doctors. Furthermore, this would be the first time some family members had even meet Anastasia, and this was a special dinner for Grandpa. She wanted to dress up complete with a matching bow. Well, that made me want to put Rory in his church romper which matched her dress. Luckily, Anastasia has a dress. (We really need to get that girl more 0-3 month clothes for that baby girl). Anyways, we dressed her up and found a matching bow for her, too. I had aspirations of getting a  lovely picture with the three of them together, but that didn't happen. I didn't even get two of them in the same photo. However, I did get solo pictures of the kiddos. One day I'll capture the 3 of them together. 

I discovered that packing for a visit is like packing for an army now. I also packed the kids nightclothes to put on for the trip back home, it's a tip I learned from my friend Valerie. (Which worked out great!) It was a long car ride down, however, Char has been listening to a book on tape and we got so wrapped up in it we missed our exit. Which was fine, it gave us more time to listen to the book.
Despite the minor set back we were the first ones to Grandma's house. We got to help prep the dinner. We worked on the rolls, the salad,watermelon, and the cheesy potatoes. I try to make the cheesy potatoes at home but they never seem to come out quite right. Char worked on the stakes and my piece of chicken. Heidi Anne helped by picking the strawberries from Grandma's garden. 
Then we played outside until the rest of the family came. Almost all the cousins played outside, either on the trampoline, on the swing, with a hula hoop, running around the yard, or playing with the bubble machine. 
 Sometimes they came inside to see what trouble they could get into. Here are the boys emptying the diaper bag while they think no one is watching. 
Here are the girls getting a selfie with Aunt Sarah.
Everyone got a chance to hold Anastasia, for some people it was their very first time meeting her. Here she is with Aunt Sarah. 

Here is Aunt Millie with Max cuddling our little Lady for the first time. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Swimming Lessons, Grandmas, and An Escape Artist

Grandma and Grandpa took Heidi Anne and Rory for a few days this weekend, giving me a little reprieve. It was so nice to have to worry and tend to only 1 child. I got more sleep then I have since before Rory was born.  I'm blessed to have in-laws willing to take the older 2 just so I can get some rest. 
Back in May we had Heidi Anne's swimming skills assessed. It was determined that while she has some skills she lacked confidence. They placed her in level 1, which is beginner's swimming. Thus far she is loving it. She goes every morning for 30 minutes. Her class was so big it was split into 3 groups. Since swimming is a good, general skill to have we went ahead and signed her up for the next session. 

Rory is getting more adventurous by the day. We had an improvised guard gate since we have a large opening from the living room to the kitchen. He has found several ways to get around this gate. Making us buy an new (expensive) custom guard gate. He shouldn't (shouldn't is the key word) be able to get around or climb over this one. 
Tiny Anastasia has fallen in love with the swing. She has to be rocked back and forth to settle down, especially between the witching hours of 4 pm-9 pm. I think she may have colic. She gets all fussy and can't be calmed. Or it could be that her acid reflex is getting even worse. Side note - that girl can projectile vomit. NONE of the other children did that. I guess this little Lady likes to be different.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Memorial Day

Memorial Day was fun this year, despite Anastasia still being in quarantine.  I think it was because Char was off work that day. It seems like he works every holiday. We barbecued hot dogs for the kids, some chicken for me, and a special stake for Char.  Later in the afternoon, we watched a movie and had popcorn.

Once it got dark Char had a surprise for Heidi Anne. They were going to camp outside in the backyard. He had put up a tent and gathered all the warm blankets from the house. I joked who would cave in first and come inside due to the cold (it got down to 40 degrees that night). They headed outside and he started reading Harry Potter to her. Shortly afterwards, her breathing got more rhythmic and slowed down, he turned out the flash light. As soon as the light went out Heidi Anne's eyes popped wide open and she declared frantically "I want to go inside!". As they came back into the house Char said to me "That's why we don't go camping." We later determined that home was such a close option but if we were really camping she might have done better.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Getting to Know Heidi Anne

Heidi Anne's teacher had the students answer questions about themselves for the last day of school. Here are the questions and her answers. It will be fun to look back on this years down the road. I did correct her spelling, just a side note.

My favorite subject: Math
My favorite animal: Chipmunk
My favorite special: Gym  (Specials are gym, music, art, and science.)
My favorite food: Pizza
My favorite color: Red & Blue
My favorite show: The Simpsons 
My favorite sport: Soccer 
My favorite book: Magic Tree House books
My favorite field trip: Dinosaur Park in Ogden
My favorite school event: Enrichments (The after school program, she was in the arts & crafts group)
My best friends were: Trinity & Serenity
Second Grade in 1 word: Crying  (How sad is that one?)
Important thing I learned: How to be nice even when people are mean to you. (Sadness again)
What I am doing this summer: Swimming lessons, swimming, maybe move
What I want to be when I grow up: FBI Agent!!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

He Can Walk and Other Thoughts

I guess I thought once Anastasia was released from the hospital that would be the end of the NICU Journey. That was niavie of me. One is not born 3 months early and have no side effects. Some we know about (like her small size, special caloric needs, and severe acid reflex). Others the severity is still unknown (like the ROP, the need of oxygen, heart murmurs, and Respiratory Distress Syndrome). Then there are a host of side effects and disorders that she may or may not have but needs to be monitored for, for example speech delays, movement delays, vision issues, just plain being behind her peers, or things like ADHD. Luckily, we're learning with Heidi Anne how to deal with child with ADHD.   
I guess I was in denial, I honestly thought for the longest time once she's home everything would go back to normal. I didn't plan on all these doctor appointments that are very far away, medications and having 2 different bottles each feeding. 
Today Rory was walking so much! Like it just clicked. He finally went "Hey, I like walking!!". He had a smile on his face and would walk back and forth across the room. However, if we praised him, he would sit down or pause and clap. We would just whisper to each other "Look at Rory, he's doing great!". Furthermore, when he steps on a different texture other than carpet, he will slowly get down onto his hands and knees and start crawling again. 

We've been doing spring cleaning these last few weeks (that's been taking up all my spare time). We're trying to minimize our things as much as possible since the next place we're going to live in will be either a townhouse or apartment. We haven't really de-cluttered in nearly 10 years of marriage. It was hard at first but once I realized we hadn't used some of these things in years and the thought of moving it (again) made donating the items much easier.  I'm talking at least 3 carloads of donations and a trailer full to the dump. We just have the kitchen left to go through. I think that's Saturday's project. 
I haven't really talked about it but this has been the hardest school year for Heidi Anne. The school work is easy, but she's been picked on and teased relentlessly. She says she loves school, which she's doing great academic wise, but dislikes the people part of it. Every morning she begs to stay home. She suffers from headaches, stomach aches and has become depressed. For example, someone at school kept teasing her until she shoved him (which was wrong of her). She lost the privilege of pool party day. Later that same day, the same boy PUNCHED her. He just got a talking to. These bullies are just getting smarter. The school says they crack down on bullies but it sure doesn't seem like it. If we're unable to move this summer we're seriously considering homeschooling her next school year. 

The babies have developed nicknames. Anastasia is; Lady, Ladybug and Stacy. Rory is our little Tiger. Heidi Anne wants to be called Chipmunk, not sure why on that one. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Scary Mommy Moments....

Anastasia's growth this week: 

Weight: 6 pounds 9 ounces!! (Was 5 pounds 15 ounces)
Length: 46 Centimeters  
(Was 45.75)
Age: 13 weeks old 
(Should be 1 week old)

I don't have everything nicely broken down into days. They just blurred together this week. Yeah, it's been one of those weeks. 

I had some scary mommy moments this week. I went to the restroom and when I came back Rory was chewing on a mini flashlight. I realized it was in pieces and the tiny battery was missing. (You know the button batteries that can burn tissue). I got him ready and woke up Char to tell him I was taking Rory to the ER and why. Char sleepily told me that the flashlight had broken in the wash and Rory must have gotten into the laundry and found it. It made me realize how quickly he can get into things and these accidents can happen to anyone. I used to judge those moms that said "I was only gone for a minute." Not anymore, because I didn't think there were any items that could harm him in the 1-2 minutes I was gone. When it comes to toddlers anything is possible. 
The next scary mommy moment was when Anastasia started having retractions which means her respiratory distress is worsening. They were mild but she needs to see a good doctor. (E,I one down in Ogden or Salt Lake). I increased her oxygen and switched her cannula. She didn't have nasal flares or abnormal grunting otherwise I would have taken her to the local ER (who would have sent us to Ogden). Besides, Char was working and I didn't have someone to watch the other kids. Kind of hard to find a sitter at 10:30 pm on a school night. 
The last one was after Anastasia's eye appointment, I had gotten up at 4:00 am got ready, got her ready and headed down to Ogden. She still has ROP but the Plus Disease has slowed down greatly. He put the eye surgery set for July on hold for now, which is good news. (Appearently, she had eye surgery scheduled and they forgot to mention it to me.) But I know about it now. I asked the doctor what and how far she can see. He replied "Less then a newborn. Her vision is around 3-6 inches up close, any further then that it's just colors and vague shapes."

We did some drive thru errands while down there (since we can't go inside), then headed home. On the way back home I nodded off (again). I awoke, heading for the road barriers, meanwhile a semi-truck was honking loudly trying to warn or wake me up. I sadly struck one of the barriers and made a little mark on the car. But we were safe. 
These early morning appointments are killing me. We're praying that the home rents or sells soon. 

Rory has been teething this week. Poor guy. But in other news we've caught him walking more and more each passing day. It's come to a point the only times he is still is when he's sleeping or in his high chair eating. One of his favorite foods are raviolis and pieces of bread. Whenever I feed him bits of bread it makes me think of feeding a baby duck. 
Rory's Footprint at birth versus Anastasia's          Hand print at birth compared to a quarter!!