Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Starting Therapy

Hazel and Jude are starting physical therapy again today. Yay! It's been 2 months since they've had any type of therapy and we really still think they need it and benefit from it. They are doing very well for their adjusted age and are doing some things for their actual age, but still have some "catching up" to do, especially Jude. So, today we start PT. In addition to that, we will have 1 or 2 other therapists come to our house weekly for the next month or two and then hopefully less frequently after that (maybe twice a month). They will help us work on "adaptive" skills with both Hazel and Jude, which is an area they are both a bit delayed (Hazel's sleeping, their inability to self-soothe, getting them on more solids, etc.). Another area of concern for Jude is social-emotional (he has no stranger anxiety as well as a number of other things...I'm not sure how you develop that in a kid, but I guess we'll see!). So, here we go again!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Busy and Tired

Hazel and Jude went to their first wedding yesterday! It was very small, outdoors, and on the casual side. They did great!
First picture attempt...not so good
Fourth attempt...a bit better for the kids, but I look like I'm wearing a potato sack (I'm not)

It's been crazy around here. We're both exhausted pretty much all of the time. Heather and Hillary came for a few days to get our house in order, which was great! Noel was a picture hanging, shelf hanging, curtain rod hanging master for 3 days straight. Our house looked GREAT the day they left (they cleaned and organized), but has not looked as good since. I can't seem to stay on top of it all! One of these days, when I'm comfortable with the mess level, I will take pictures and post them. I pick up stuff, wash dishes, do laundry, and care for babies all day, but at the end of the day, it's still a mess. Very defeating.

We are experiencing our first "cold" weather here. I don't really know if it's all that cold out, but it feels REALLY cold! Today was cloudy, rainy, very windy, and freezing. I'm sure this is just a taste of what's to come. Luckily, it doesn't really get below freezing here (so we're told), so that should not be too hard on our Southern California conditioned bodies.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Double Digits!

Hazel and Jude turned 10 months old last week! I was hoping to get some cute pictures of them, but their naps did not coordinate well that day (which is pretty much the case EVERY DAY), so here's Jude having just woken up from a very short nap, and Hazel being her playful self.

Trying to get a smile at the same time. Almost!
"Hazel, where are you going?"
"Okay, Mom, I'll smile for you!"

The kids are doing great. Here are a few facts about them:

Hazel recently started babbling. The day she turned 10 months, she was only saying mama. She only said it though as part of a whimper cry that she does before she goes down for a nap. "Whimper, whimper whimper, hmmmma. Whimper, whimper, whimper, hmmmma. hmmamama". Now she also says, "baba, gaga, aga, ahhh", and occasionally, "da". She opens and closes her mouth a lot, trying to say "ba", but a lot of times no sound comes out. It's pretty funny.

She LOVES Cheerios, but is not too interested in most purees.

She HATES sleeping and this is a daily battle (naps and bed time) and no longer sleeps through the night. She will not "cry it out". We have tried...numerous times...and are tired of the several hour scream fests that take place.

Jude is having an occasional sound come out of his mouth too! It's usually either, ma, ba, or da.

Jude is a CHAMPION sleeper at night. He usually sleeps a little over 12 hours without a peep! However, he takes 40 minute naps, which is quite frustrating (especially since Hazel's naps are much longer...when she actually goes to sleep).

Jude has a new found love for screaming (for joy), which (I admit) gets under my skin, big time. He's SO loud!

Jude is doing great with purees and eats pretty much anything we give him. He's not ready for the Cheerios yet though (he chokes).

Well, I better leave it at that since I have 2 screaming babies calling to get out of bed. One slept. The other didn't.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Development update

Hazel and Jude are doing remarkably well and we are so grateful for the many prayers said on their behalf. They are truly miracle babies and we are so thankful for that. Though they appear totally "normal" now, we still need to take some precautions. As we anticipate another flu season, we have to be much more cautious with them. A few weeks from now, we will not take them to church anymore (until next May), not take them to the store, ask people who come over to wash their hands, etc. Basically, we need to stay completely germ free because our pediatrician reminded us that if they get sick, they could not only end up in the hospital, but possibly in the ICU. So, we ask for your continued prayers for good health for them and for us.

They will be evaluated by an OT and a PT next week to see what services they qualify for here. They were receiving both OT and PT in Pasadena, but here in Oak Harbor, they will only get one or the other. We are sure that Jude will qualify for PT, but we're not sure about Hazel. Jude has made remarkable progress in his physical development (especially considering that some of the tissue in the motor development part of his brain was destroyed), but he is still working with some low muscle-tone and overall weakness. That being said, he's still right on track for his adjusted age. Miraculous!

We have a couple of appointments at Seattle Children's Hospital in October, one with pulmonology, one with Neurodevelopment (standard for all preemies), and one that needs to be made with Opthamology. We are hoping that we will only have 1 or 2 visits total with pulmonology since our pulmonologist at UCLA thought they were both doing great and wouldn't need medication much longer. So, our specialist appointments are really diminishing! Good thing since Seattle Children's is 2 hours away!

Both kids are still on reflux medication, but they seem to be over the massive throwing-up stage (thank goodness!). We tried to take them off the medication, but they were fussy and refusing to eat, so it's obvious they are still dealing with a lot of acid. We'll keep trying each month until they are ready. We're praying for full maturity of their digestive systems.

Thanks for journeying with us and supporting us in prayer.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jude Thinks His Mother Is Hilarious!

Jude can't get enough of his mother making gorilla sounds. (Sorry for the bad camera angle on the second video, but it shows Jude's laughter well.)

Eby's landing

We had a beautiful Labor Day here in Oak Harbor and decided to venture out for a family hike. Per the recommendation of a friend, we headed to Eby's landing, which is just a few miles south of Oak Harbor. Hazel and Jude actually did quite well! Jude "rode" with Noel and slept almost the whole way. Hazel was too curious and kept peeking out of her hood. We didn't complete the whole trail since we had Hazel and Jude with us, but we're hoping to do it someday! It's only 3.5 miles total, but with a pretty steep incline and babies on your chest, it was more than we were prepared for that day. Plus, we wouldn't have made it back before they got hungry. Maybe someday they can hike it with us!

Heading up...and up and up

Great view from the first climb.

Mount Baker in the background

The cloud passed by (see it in a few pictures up)

Yes, we started down on the beach. It was not the leisurely walk I was anticipating but very fun!

It's nice to discover some of the beauty we've been hearing about on the island. I'm sure we have many more hikes/walks in our future!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

In other news...

Well, I know you're all most interested in the kids, but I thought I'd let you know a bit of what we've been up to. I am adjusting to being with the kids by myself A LOT. Noel is gone all day and sometimes gone at nights too. It makes for some very long days, especially when the kids refuse to nap (like they have been this week). But, I have managed to accomplish a few things. I made blackberry jam yesterday from some wild blackberries that a church member picked and delivered to us. I have cooked a few things and hope to get my website going again very soon. I attended a girls movie night last week (which was a GREAT ending to a long week). And I haven't completely lost my marbles...yet. :)

Noel is SWAMPED with his job. Any new job is challenging for awhile, so we're praying that he settles in soon and can find some time to relax. He's planning all the music for 2 services, running a weekly rehearsal, filling out a TON of paper work, and trying to get the lay of the land. He's also preaching this week, which is just an added "bonus". He just moved into his office this week (it was under construction when we got here), but he still doesn't have a desk or shelves. Hopefully that will all be taken care of soon!

My sisters are coming in 2 weeks to visit and help decorate the house (and play with Hazel and Jude, of course) and I can't wait! It will be nice to have the house a bit more finished and great for Heather to meet her niece and nephew. Hopefully we survive until they get here!

Jude's on the move

Jude's starting to get a hang of the army crawl. He moves quite far now (when there's something he wants to get).

Hazel laughs at Dad

Hazel got quite a kick out of Noel's funny faces/noises the other day. Jude did as well, but wouldn't laugh on camera.