I finished the Twilight Series on Sunday and am back to being a mom. I kindof feel like I abandoned my family and responsibilities; I hadn't read a book since May (I am a Mother! by Jane Clayson Johnson), so I feel like I've made up for those 5 months of "me" neglect. Plus, I truly cannot remember that last 600 page book that I read just for fun. Thank goodness book 4 doesn't come out for a while!
Needless to say, one of the things I left abandoned was our blog. Lots of catching up to do. This is the image Tony & I saw when we walked into the girl's bedroom yesterday morning, (Tues, 10/23): Mary-Gail sitting up and talking to Rebecca. They were so involved in each other that they didn't notice we until I said, "what are you doing?" and made them both jump.
Mary-Gail "WOW"-ed us last Wednesday, 10/17, when she rolled from her tummy, to her side, then pushed up on her elbow (that's usually as far as she gets). But then, she sat up - ta-dah!All by herself! What a big girl! So, can us imagine our surprise when we see Rebecca sitting up too? Tony was watching Rebecca & Mary-Gail in action while I ran for the camera. The best thing was that he saw Mary-Gail grab the crib rails and pull herself to her knees! Holy Cow - is she supposed to do that yet? Of course, I didn't get that picture, but these are still cute and fun.
"What are you doing?" Mary-Gail and Rebecca in their first of many "girl/sister" talks.
Mary-Gail in her tye-died "Moab, Utah" onesie from Aunt Carol. Looks like she's going for the crib rails again...
Rebecca does this "sit'n'spin" movement with her body - tried to catch it in these pics.
These pics are from our bath this morning. I thought to myself: why not just put both girls in the tub and bathe them together? Why continue to bathe them separately? Rebecca and Mary-Gail continued their girl talk and "twin thing."
If I didn't know better, I'd swear I gave birth to two fishes!
No! Not my girls! Only me. Yes, that's right - I returned to the NICU, alone. See, I had cleaned out the girl's closet from all the gear we'd been sent home with from the NICU. What with Mary-Gail's oxygen and apnea monitor, and our concern that we'd have to start gavage feeding her, the NICU prepared us...for the worst I might add.
I held onto all this gear and equipment this long because I was so afraid that after I'd returned it, we'd all of a sudden need it. But, our girls have been home for 8 months now, and I'm pretty sure we won't be having any "over-nighters" at the NICU. So, I had all this stuff that we'd never opened (thank heavens) and tons and tons of individually wrapped bottles and lids for pumping breast milk that we didn't need anymore. All if this equipment was very sterile - being seal wrapped twice from the supplier, and then wrapped again for our keeping at home. I decided it was time to return it.
I prolonged leaving my house Tuesday morning. By the time the car was loaded and key in the ignition, it was 1:15pm. The drive to UVRMC was a quick one - much shorter than my two - sometimes three drives when the girls were there. I had a small panic attack in the elevator when I hit button "5," and I had to calm myself and speak out loud that my girls weren't here. Once I was buzzed in, I saw a familiar face - Jenny Smoot, one of our amazing Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. She immediately recognized me, gave me a big hug, and remembered Rebecca & Mary-Gail's name!! She called another NNP, Allison Showalter, to the front desk, and as soon as the doors to side A opened and Allison saw me, we embraced and she remembered my girls' names too! It was a wonderful reunion. I saw one of our very favorite Primary Care Nurses, Pam Aston, and she was a wonderful and loving as she had been for those long 3 months. Emily Wankier moved to Washington, D.C., to be a NICU nurse at one of their hospitals.
I brought copies from the NICU Reunion (Saturday, May 19, 2007) to give to our lovely nurses and NNP's, and a copy of the girls' recent picture from the Utah Baby Fair. Everyone was so happy Rebecca & Mary-Gail are doing so well. Here are some of the pics: Rebecca is dressed in RED, and Mary-Gail is dressed in PURPLE (I deemed these colors to be their favorite colors).
JoJo asked me to take some pictures of her family a few weeks ago. We went to Thanksgiving Point and found a few spots that were ideal for pictures - who am I kidding, any spot at Thanksgiving Point is ideal.
Here are their family pictures (those that turned out) and some other pictures of JoJo's cuties - prior to Cy being born in April...
Last week our Mom's of Mulitples group was discussing this very 'mommy blogger.' I happened to turn the TV on (getting ready to record Monday Night Football) and saw the last section of news from Charlie Gibson on ABC as he was reporting about Dawn Meehan ( www.mom2my6pack.blogspot.com). Check it out...
"...[Dawn Meehan tried] to sell a packet of Pokemon trading cards that her children had snuck into her shopping cart on eBay. She wrote about it, and the response was so good she began blogging.
Now nearly 30,000 moms log in to Meehan's site every day to read and respond to her daily column. This newfound Internet fame is incredibly surprising to a woman who spends most days filling sippy cups and wearing spit-up stained T-shirts, which Meehan believes is the key to her appeal.
"I think moms all over can relate to that. They say, 'She's not perfect, I'm not perfect, we can be not perfect together,'" Meehan said. "
One of my favorite things to do is to make up songs for my girls. I have been doing this since they came home in February. This morning I made up this song for Mary-Gail (I already made the first verse, but as we were feeding I made the 2nd and 3rd verses. I still need a line for verse 2, though). This song is sung to the tune of "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee" from Grease:
"Look at me, I'm Mary-Gail, I have blue eyes and blonde hair. I sit so well in my pink Bumbo chair - Oh, look! I'm Mary-Gail!"
"I was called 'TWIN B' When I was inside Mommy. Da da da dah, da da da da da dah - Oh, look! I'm Mary-Gail!"
"Look at what I can do: I can crawl backwards too! I'm almost One - Yes! The fun's just begun - Oh, look! I'm Mary-Gail!"
Oh my gosh!! It's 1:09 am and I can't stop reading!! Joanna and Mom turned me onto Stephanie Meyer's books. So far it's a trilogy, but I hear there's a fourth in the making and studios are going to make them into a movie. I've come to one conclusion: I am in LOVE with Edward Cullen. I started Twilight Saturday afternoon and finished it at midnight Sunday; but I couldn't stop there - I had to continue to New Moon. I wish I could read faster - only about 50 pages an hour - so when I realized it was after 1 am (and I had to get up in 5 hours) I decided to restrain myself and wait to read again in the morning.
I don't know if I can wait for Edward that long...
Poor little Mary-Gail. Her eyese are rimmed red, her nose is a cherry, and her head (I'm sure) is spinnning with all that congestion. Saline nose drops and Tylenol just don't seem to help. Maybe a little Diet Cherry Coke will do the trick?
We all have colds now, and I'm back to wearing my mask - which makes me remember this picture. It was the middle of April, our girls had been home two months, and I had a terrible cold. Rebecca & Mary-Gail had just received their April shot of the Synergist RSV prevention medicine. Our doctor told us we probably wouldn't get a shot for May, and to be careful with washing hands and visitors etc. We were disappointed, but a little relieved when our doc went on to say that the RSV season usually ends in April, and if we felt uneasy about not having the shot we could pay for it ($1,700 per shot). Tony & I decided to be under a self-imposed quarantine. Did I mention I had a cold...?
Me, slathered in hand sanitizer and mask, feeding Mary-Gail.
We can't seem to shake the coughs and colds we have. Makes me wish for warmer weather. Strange too since my favorite season is winter (I don't like being hot). Some fun summer pictures to keep us warm :)
7am and Rebecca is awake - this time ready to eat. She takes her whole bottle 7.5 oz and doesn't object when I do her breathing treatment. She welcomed it and was able to go back to sleep without problems.
Mary-Gail has started to sit up on her own (although not all the way) and was doing her best to peek at me while I was feeding Rebecca. Mary-Gail's smiles through the crib and started talking. "You're next little" I told Mary-Gail. She squealed and smiled more. How can she be so happy all the time? Tony told me it's because she has a good mommy. I cried. I'm trying to be a good mom. It's a tough job. I never gave my mom credit for all that she did. Mom's do a lot of behind-the-scene stuff. And they do it with love: no need for a medal; no need for a spotlight to shine on them. Mom's paycheck is a hug, a kiss, a smile from a sick baby, a squeal of laughter. Mom's paycheck is being called "mom."
Rebecca saying "da da" after bath time - October 1, 2007
Mary-Gail sqealing: before, during, and after bath time - October 4, 2007
How can a temperature be a good thing? That's what I asked our pediatrician, my mom, my sisters, my dad. Supposedly a temperatures is the body's way of fighting an infection or illness. I think it's the body's way of shutting down. Rebecca's temp spiked to 102.8 again last night. I was one-hour late in giving her her Motrin (I thought I would let her sleep instead of waking her) and that's what happened. Rebecca couldn't eat, couldn't cry, couldn't lay her head on my chest. She was "floppy" and so so so sad.
My barrier walls went up again. I was mad at myself for not just waking Rebecca and giving her her medicine. I was mad that it's been 3 days of continued temperatures and everyone thinks it's OK. I was mad that I seemed to be the only one affected by Rebecca's situation. I was mad at everyone for not making my baby better. I snipped at Tony and barked orders. My actions towards him were like the looks Rebecca kept giving me: "Why won't you fix this?"
Rebecca tried her best to lay on my chest while I kept a cold washcloth on her forehead. She hadn't eaten since 4:30pm and it was now 8:30pm. I wouldn't have been so concerned, except that her diaper was dry and I was worried that she would get dehydrated and even sicker. We worked on the bottle for 1/2 hour, finally eating 4 oz (not the best, but it was something). I kept her with me until her temp dropped to 99.8. She was miserable and overly-tired. I propped her up on a pillow in her crib and layed her on her side, hoping that it would help her cough, sore throat, and congestion.
2am and we're up again. It's time for Motrin and we're going to try and eat some more. Another dry diaper. Tony took this feeding for me, although I just sat in bed listening to Rebecca wimper and try to cry with her horse voice. I had to overcome the feelings of running into her room and snatching her from Tony. I used to think that no one could care for my babies like I did, and that no one could sense their needs. However, after sitting in bed listening to Rebecca cry, I heard Tony shushing her and telling her its going to be OK. That's the only thing that can be done - that's what I would have done too.
I hate not knowing what is going on. I hate being vulnerable. I hate having my babies be sick. I hate having flashbacks of our NICU months and worrying that we'll be back there if they don't get better. My heart raced when our pediatrician did Rebecca's stats and they were low - I reverted back to our NICU room with the monitors and the beeping and me turning up Rebecca & Mary-Gail's O2 because they were too low, and me monitoring their monitors and making sure their hearts weren't racing and...I hate that I feel like I'm hovering over those that want to help. I hate that I feel like I can't let them help. I hate I feeling like I can't do anything for them. I hate that I can't make it better. I hate that I can't take their pain and suffering away from them. I hate the word hate.
My girls have got to get better. I told Tony that we need to give them a blessing tomorrow. I think I need one too.
That's the new drug Rebecca is on. Xopenex 0.63mg/3mL is a bronchodilator (and does not include a steroid) to help open Rebecca's airways and expand her air sacks in her lungs. At our peds visit this morning, our NP, Carol, had a feeling to check Rebecca's O2 stats after listening to her breathe. Rebecca was low - 77% - 88%. Carol suggested we do a breathing treatment in the office to see if it would help Rebecca's rattling lungs.
10 minutes later and we were stating at 95%. Carol said that they had seen some early cases of children with bronchitis, and although Rebecca didn't have bronchitis, she did have a rattle (not a "pop") in her chest. Carol prescribed the Xopenex and asked if we need the nebulizer machine. We didn't - thank goodness Joanna purchased one for Reese when Reese had to have breathing treatments for asthma. Carol instructed us to do the breathing treatments 4 times a day for 3-5 days (we're doing the treatments for the full 5 days).
We decided to shop around for the best price for the Xopenex since the pharmacy in the doctor's plaza was charging $143 for 48 vials (we have a $5,000 deductible on each child and on me, so we're all about the best price). However, when we got home, things were so crazy that I didn't get to calling around until I spoke with Joanna at 6 pm tonight. JoJo said she'd call for me. What an angel! She is THE best sister/friend in the whole wide world! Sam's Club had the best price at $70 but they needed the Rx by 6:30 pm. Do I take my sick babies with me? Do I try to find a sitter last minute? Just then my lifeline sis-in-law, Carol, called and said Stephanie was coming over to watch Rebecca. How do these things happen...?
Rebecca's 1st breathing treatment at home went well. She even held the mouth piece and put it in her mouth a few times. But, then she got tired and didn't want anything in her face. Good thing the treatment is only 15 minutes long. We'll do her next treatment at 11 pm tonight.
Oh what a week it's been already! My littles are sick and it seems like forever for them to get better. Mary-Gail still has a cold and cough that makes her cry. Rebecca is running fevers left & right. Yesterday I took her to the on-call pediatrician: she was running a low-grade fever of 99.6 - 100.4. She was very uncomfortable, inconsolable and just not her usual self. My decision to take her in was confirmed when she threw-up all over both of us. My life line, sis-in-law Carol, came and got Mary-Gail and I took Rebecca in to be checked at 7:50 pm.
The on-call doc checked her ears, and guess what? Yup, and ear infection. Although he didn't want to give us an antibiotic because her ear infection was only a 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. Instead he said to watch her and if she is still fussy by Wednesday, to take her to our regular ped's office and have her seen again. Just what I didn't want to hear...I put Rebecca down at 9:30 pm (2 1/2 hrs past her bedtime) and lay down for the night.
2:22 am and Rebecca is crying. Not what she does when she wakes up. I lift her out of the crib and she's hot - fever of 101. I fixed her a bottle and gave her some Motrin. We snuggle for a while and then at 3 am she throws up on us. I wake Tony by calling him into the girls' room and he helps me and Rebecca get in the tub. This was our first tub together. Too bad it was at 3 in the morning and Rebecca was sick. I check her temp again when we change into clean jammies - 99.9. Good. Next I wake Mary-Gail and feed her. She is a good eater and feels lots better after being on the antibiotic. I go back to bed at 4 am.
7 am and we're up again with coughs, stuffy noses and fevers. That's how my days have been lately. Sleepless, worrisome and helpless. Rebecca's fever reached 103.5 and we rushed her to our peds office. After we gave her some Motrin and a cool washcloth on her forehead, her fever dropped to 100.4. The doc got her stats and Rebecca's O2 was low. There was some rattling in her chest too, and her right ear was more inflamed. We did a breathing treatment in the office and finally got a Rx for amoxicilian for her ear infection.
Awful having your babies sick. Awful not being able to fix it. Awful having your heart break when they cry. Just awful
Tony and I took a 2-night weekend getaway toPark City, UT. This was our first getaway alone since we moved back to Utah in November 2005! We left the girls with my sis-in-law, Carol and fam, and the "other girls" with our niece, Stephanie. This weekend was an early celebration for Tony's birthday (October 10th), and it was a wonderful celebration! We had a fantastic time together - we deemed this weekend our 8th year honeymoon.
(Tony reviewing the opportunities Marriott offers. Me feeling like a queen)
Tony drove us to Park City Friday night after he got off work. We ate at Wasatch Brew Pub and then checked into our hotel at theMarriott. Long story short, we stayed 3-days, 2-nights on the Concierge floor and thus had access to the Concierge Lounge. Breakfast was from 6:30 - 9am, horsd'oeuvres from 5:30 - 7pm, dessert from 7 - 10pm and drinks from 5 - 10pm. We missed breakfast both mornings because we slept in!! It felt so good to sleep until 9am too. We bummed around on Saturday: ate breakfast at McDonald's, went to the Tanger Outletsand shopped, had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays, and then headed back to our room to "order in" a movie. We saw Bourne Ultimatum and Pirates #3. Love Jason Bourne, don't love Pirates. The last movie Tony and I saw wasEvan Almighty at the dollar theatres, so it was wonderful to watch a "newer" release and watch it from the comfort of our bed!
I got a sweet craving and so we drove to Main Street to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. My favorite sweet treat is a large,granny smith apple, submerged in caramel, rolled in slivered almonds, then drizzled with milk chocolate. Which is exactly what I got and oh my gosh! Tony got a dark chocolatepeanut butter bucket (a humongous Reese's cup) and we shared a milkchocolate coveredcaramel square. My caramel apple lasted through Sunday night - I just finished it moments ago. Yummy.
(My delicious caramel apple. Where do I begin...?)
Sunday morning we lazily lounged in our hotel room watching Conference. We packed up, stopped at Starbucks for a hot chocolate and coffee cake, made some returns and more purchases at the outlets, and then took I-80 through Parley's Canyon home through SLC. The fall colors were amazing! Bob Ross couldn't even have done them justice. We finished our getaway with a late lunch at Olive Garden and arrived home at 3pm Sunday afternoon. Pixie & ArlaMae were so stinkin' exited to see us! Pixie gave kisses and she seldom does that. I walked to Carol's while Tony loved on "the girls." My babies had a fantastic weekend with Auntie Carol, Uncle Jack and kids. They had 6 people to love on them non-stop. Carol said Rebecca & Mary-Gail were so tired for nap time and bed time because they were worn out!
Good news was that Mary-Gail did NOT crawl while we were gone, although she is right there. Rebecca is cutting another tooth and was a little sad, but didn't show it to us. We're happy to be home and happy to have our babies and girls with us again. We've decided that we need a getaway at least once a quarter to rejuvenate ourselves. And Auntie Carol thinks that's a good idea too :)
I watched Good Morning America yesterday and saw Anita Renfroe perform her "William Tell Momism" - everything a mom would say in a 24-hour period. Absolutely hillarious. I went around all day yesterday will the tune in my head! Today I got an e-mail from my sister Joanna with the link for the full 2 minutes and 55 second video.
Click hereto see the full video footage on YouTube. Click here to go to Anita Renfroe's web page.
Although I'm not there yet, I have said many of these things to my nieces and nephews, and heard my sisters say them to their children. It's only a matter of time before I "get my chance."
I called the Peds office this morning due to Mary-Gail's unrelenting cough and cries. I had tried everything to help ease her discomfort: Tylenol, saline nose drops, using that awful bulb syringe, and vicksvapo rub since Sunday, but there was no relief. Mary-Gail was so sick and I couldn't help her. I'm supposed to be the mom that knows everything and knows what to do and how to make my babies feel better. And I couldn't help Mary-Gail.
Our NP, SueAnn, is so remarkably wonderful. She is so caring and loving towards my babies. She was visibly sad when she saw my red-eyed, coughing, stuffy-nosed Mary-Gail. A quick peek in her ears and SueAnn announced that Mary-Gail had an ear infection. My heart jumped to my throat and I almost started crying. I felt so awful, as if this was my fault. SueAnn said we were doing everything we were supposed to, but to treat an ear infection we needed an antibiotic. She prescribed amoxicillan, and gave us some cough medicine for Mary-Gail. SueAnn said she heard rattles in Mary-Gail's throat, but not her lungs, which was such a relief! I did not want to hear that in addition to the ear infection Mary-Gail had bronchitis.
We discussed this year's flu season and RSV season. The girls will need two flu shots each month. They may not qualify for the Synergis RSV shot since they've been off oxygen for more than 6 months (Rebecca since January, Mary-Gail since May). That worries me because I can't do another round in the NICU. Our girls' are still very susceptible to RSV. So, up goes the note on the door and a quarantine will be in effect.
Mary-Gail, 10 months, Wed, 10/3/07 after her morning bath
My little baby Mary-Gail is sick...again. She has another awful cough, cold, and low-grade fever. She cries every time after she coughs because her throat is so sore and it hurts. It makes me cry to see her sick; she looks at you like you have the cure in your hand and you're not giving it to her.
Mary-Gail has been sick since Sunday. Sunday morning she threw-up all over the crib she shares with Rebecca. By the time I got there to see what was going on, Mary-Gail was spinning circles on her stomach in the throw-up. Gross, I know. She's thrown-up at least once every day since Sunday, and tonight was the worst of it. We'd finished our bottles and I had Mary-Gail upright on my chest rubbing her back for a burp. She looked at me, turned her head sideways, and blahhhhh - all over both of us, the bed, the nightstand. Mary-Gail turned her head to the other side and threw-up all over us again, and all over Rebecca, who was laying by my side. I cradled Mary-Gail in my arms towards the bathroom, trying to pool both her and the throw-up, when she threw up again - this time out her poor, little nose. My poor, little baby!
Little Miss Mary-Gail was whimpering in the bathroom as I peeled my clothes off and changed, picked up Rebecca who was still stunned as to what just happened, and called my niece, Amy, to come over and help me. I just needed to focus on Mary-Gail, but I couldn't leave Rebecca in her miserable state either. Amy and I put both girls in the tub and soaked them. Not to my surprise, Miss Mary-Gail was happy, smiley, laughy - everything a sick baby should NOT be. But that's my Mary-Gail. My resilient, brave little Mary-Gail.
Her temperature reached 100.9, but the bath and cool washcloth on her forehead brought it down to 99.8. Lovey ran to the store for some Children's Motrin, which significantly helped Mary-Gail's temperature too. We gave her some Pedialite to counter any dehydration. Finally, at 10pm tonight, I put Mary-Gail down. 3 hours after her normal bedtime. She was so tired, and so sick. We're calling the Peds office tomorrow.
Saturday night was the General Relief Society Meeting for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I joined Carly, Joanna, Kristie and Mom early afternoon and had supper with them at Joanna and Kristie's Stake Center. Their Stake Relief Society Presidency, and other sisters who volunteered, made supper for everyone. We had delicious pots of soup, an array of salads plus homemade rolls. Yummy! Each ward had a table set up to display things the sisters had made or were a part of. One sister, Rebekah Bales-Dunford, had copies of her latest CD, I Heard A Bird Sing in The Dark of December, by Kindred Voices, and offered these CD's to everyone for free! This CD is wonderful! It draws on Rebekah's Celtic heritage and is just in time for the Christmas season. Thank you!
We then adjourned into the chapel to await the General Relief Society session to begin. We were blessed with wonderful music, inspired words from our Relief Society Presidency, and heard from Thomas S. Monson of the Church Presidency. I was so grateful to have been there with my mom and sisters and to enjoy feeling the spirit. I was overwhelmed thinking about my daughters and how much I want them to have a testimony of Jesus Christ and enjoy sitting with me during conferences. I'm so glad we moved back home to be with family. There is nothing better in this world than family.
We attended the Utah Baby Fairon Saturday, 9/29. Boy, was it a mad house!! But, we got some wonderful pictures taken of our girls from Pretty Little Pictures.
Click here to see the pictures. Click on the "view your event" under the filmstrip of streaming pictures. Click on the "BabyFair 9/29/07" event. You may have to enter your e-mail address to view the pictures. Once entered, click on the "enter proof viewer" and you'll be connected to all the pictures from the Utah Baby Fair. Rebecca & Mary-Gail are on page 3. They're dressed in their "kute" china doll outfits their Auntie Carol gave them. Carol brought back these adorable outfits from ChinaTown in San Francisco, CA. Rebecca is dressed in RED, and Mary-Gail is dressed in PURPLE.
Or, if you can't get to the link, I took a picture of the pictures and posted them below.