Friday, December 2, 2011

Long Lost Update

Wow! Things have been so busy lately!

Yes, football is over, but these girls don't let us stop for a second! When, they do go to bed, Brandon and I are both too exhausted to do anything productive. :p

Lorelei had her first appointment at the Down's Clinic at UVA in November.  They evaluated her and just checked to see where she is right now.  She was 8 months old at the time and Dr. Anderson said she was at the 7 month level.  Her exact words were "She looks great!"  We could not be happier or more excited.  We and Bethany are working so hard to be sure she gets what she needs so she can be right along with her sister!  Lorelei is sitting up now! :) She cannot get into the position on her own, but if you sit her on the floor she will sit and play! :) We are working on the crawling now!  She can get on her knees.  She can pull herself up on her hands, but she hasn't figured out to put both together yet, but I know we will get there soon enough.  She babbles away all day long! It's so funny.  We will babble to her and she will have a conversation with us.  As my mom said, she is probably frustrated and thinking that we have no clue what she is trying to tell us! :)

Mikaela is all over the place!  She gets into EVERYTHING! :) She is crawling everyone.  She is pulling herself up to stand and she has even taken steps along the couch already!  The child is crazy!  She is going to keep me on my toes and butt heads with Brandon all the time!  She has three teeth coming in right now so she has some uncomfortable days.  Other than that, she is Mikaela! :) Nothing else going on with her.

We all had a great First Thanksgiving as a family of four! The girls even had a lunch of sweet potatoes, turkey and mixed vegetables! :) 

 Until next time! :) 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Late Night E.R.

Last night we had our first trip to the emergency room as parents.  It began yesterday with our girls going to the pediatrician for their last serious of shots.  They also received the flu shot.  The doctor was very impressed that Lorelei was meeting all of her milestones so far.  She has been rolling over for months now, both girls have been trying to crawl lately, but Mikaela has found a little more success than her sister.  Both girls also have their front 2 bottom teeth coming in.  So it has been exciting to say the least.

The girls went to bed fine but Lorelei woke up with a temp. of 103 and we immediately took her to the hospital. When we arrived she was at 104.  They gave her tylenol and by the time we saw the doctor 3 HOURS LATER she was back to normal.  It was weird seeing both girls wide awake and trying to play and crawl at 1 am.  We finally got out of there at 2 am and things have been fine.

We know every parent goes through the trips to the ER but ofcourse our case felt different.  This was our girls.  The past few months have been amazing and trying at the same time.  The girls have made leaps and bounds in their abilities to sit, stand, crawl ... and Maria has been there for it all.  If there was ever a down side to being a dedicated coach, it's that you miss so many things with your children.  My wife has done an amazing job.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Football Season is Here!

Well, we had our first weekend FULL of football!  Friday night was the first Warren County game.  Of course, it was away.  I ventured out with the girls on my own and took them to the game.  They were AMAZING!  Lorelei actually slept for about 20-30 min after she ate, even with all the noise!  I was exhausted when we got home that night, but I can't complain about anything! We even won, 29-0!

Saturday, we went down to Bridgewater for their first football game and to see Grandpa and Grandma Erwin.   The night before, I made outfits for the girls to wear to support BC.

We didn't take the girls into the game because it was so hot and we wanted to keep them in the shade so we hung out by the camper with Chris and enjoyed the day.  The girls were very well behaved but so ready to go when we left! :)  They were exhausted and both slept for 12 hours last night!

Lorelei started physical therapy this past week and the therapist said that she looks amazing right now.  She said her hips are strong and she is on point of where she needs to be.  The only thing she said to work on was getting Lorelei to jump so she can strengthen her leg muscles. :)

Mikaela is getting better at sitting on her own, but still can only do it for a little bit before she falls over. :) She is getting so close though!

They are both doing well with the cereal/baby food mix.  Lorelei usually takes about 1/2 in a sitting.  She is doing better with getting the food to the back of her mouth to swallow it.  I am going to start Mikaela on it twice a day tomorrow.  We will be trying asparagus this week, so we will see how that goes. :) 

Abuelo and Abuela are coming this weekend! We can't wait to see them!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's that time of year.....

Football season has started....needless to say, Brandon will be super busy with coaching!

I have started cheer as well, but am only attending practice twice a week.  This was my first week with Brandon gone until late and doing everything on my own with the girls.  Monday night was a little rough.  Lorelei was super grumpy. We think she may be starting to teethe as well and is uncomfortable.  Last night and today have been MUCH better!  I am enjoying the time alone with the girls, because I know that once I have to go back to work on the 22nd, I will not be happy with having to be away from them so much.

I tried cereal with the girls yesterday and they did not like it.  They both played with it in their mouths, but made a face as if they just didn't like the way it tasted.  Tomorrow, I am going to try it again with a little bit of applesauce mixed in.  We will see how that goes! :) I bought Tyler Florence's Start Fresh book and received that today, so I am super excited about making my own baby food!

Brandon's Dad and Stepmom arrive this weekend from Florida for the week! :) We are so excited to have them!  His dad was able to come up in May and meet the girls, but unfortunately his Stepmom had to work, so we can't wait for her to meet them! :)  I know they will both have a BLAST spending time with the girls! :)

I will be taking the girls to their first football game next Friday night!  I am excited and nervous at the same time!  Luckily, I will have ALL kinds of people to help me out if needed! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Nothing New

It's been a while since I have posted and I feel lost without it. :) There isn't much going on right now. Brandon and I have started our fall sports, so our nanny, Bethany started this week and she is nothing but AMAZING!  Monday and Tuesday for very long days for me and very hard for me to get through without being with my girls, but I made it. :)

Both girls are doing wonderful.  Playing around, laughing, talking and enjoying each other's company.  I have noticed today, that Lorelei has started playing with her feet so that is pretty entertaining to watch. 

I will keep everyone posted on everything.  The developmental specialist is coming on Tuesday to work with both girls. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Growing Girls

There isn't much going on in our neck of the woods the past week or so.  Brandon and I both start our prospective sport seasons on Monday, so we will be leaving the girls for the first time with non family members!  We have been lucky enough to find a WONDERFUL nanny that was recommended to us from a very trusting neighbor!  We are excited for her to start working with us and hopefully become a very big component of our family. :)  I am thankful that I start cheer before work, so I won't be gone all day right away.  I can ease into it slowly! :)

Lorelei is doing wonderful.  She is rolling over all the time on her own!  We are now focusing on working her trunk to strengthen her upper body to sit up.  She is holding her head up so well now that we can put her in the bumbo seat and help her to hold her trunk up straight!  She is smiling all the time now, but is still stingy with her laughs. It's special when she does laugh though! :) The developmental specialist that sees her twice a month says she looks great and is on the right track.  She is meeting her milestones as of now and we love watching her grow! :) At her 4 month well appointment this past Tuesday, Lorelei was 12 lbs 14 oz and 25 inches long. She has her first appointment at the Down's Clinic at UVA in November.

Mikaela is also doing wonderful, although she has been more of a drama queen this week. Brandon and I do not want to constantly hold or have the girls held because we want them to be able to self soothe and put themselves to sleep. Lately, Mikaela has been throwing a fit whenever we leave her in the swing or the playmat during the day. It's ridiculous! Mikaela is finally rolling over on her own, Lorelei was rolling over first. It's funny, because sometimes she will roll onto her stomach but isn't sure how to go back and she get so mad! Mikaela is talking up a storm, when she isn't wining! At her 4 month well appoinment this past Tuesday, Mikaela was 13 lb 11 oz and 26 inches long.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Pregnancy to Birth

I was/am very hesitant to share this story, but Brandon, being the kind hearted person he is, thinks that it would be a great story for other families to read that may go or have gone through the same or similar situation.

Being my first pregnancy, you can all imagine how excited Brandon and I were!  After we got over the shock of having twins were walking around with open arms for the two babies I was carrying.  During my first trimester, our specialist suggested getting a few tests done, including the Nuchal Translucency Test.  Our test results came back that there was a 1 in 16 chance that Lorelei would have Down Syndrome.  After we got these results, we had our "mourning" period.  During the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, our doctor couldn't see anymore signs for Down Syndrome.  At the very beginning of my 7th month, I was placed on 1/2 day bedrest because my cervix was weak.  This worried us because we didn't want me to have to use the days from work because we couldn't afford for me to have to take days without pay.  A week later, I was placed on full bedrest because I was already dilated 1 cm and Mikaela's amniotic sac had lost some fluid.  I stayed in the hospital overnight after that appointment so the girls could be monitored and had to go in twice a week for a non stress test.

7 weeks out from my due date, I had a full day of appointments.  I had a non stress test at 11 AM and then an appointment with the specialist at 1 PM.  Brandon took the day off and went with me to both appointments.  The OB told me I was still only 1 cm dilated but that my cervix was extremely weak and that she didn't have to see me again.  I was only 33 weeks along.  That night I was having contractions and the girls were born the next afternoon....what a whirlwind that was!

Mikaela was born at 3 lbs 9 oz, 17 inches long.  Everything was great with her! She was under the lights for a little bit because of jaundice, but all we had to wait for was for her to feed from a bottle for every feeding for 24 hours.  Mikaela was in the Winchester NICU for 4 weeks.

Lorelei was born at 4 lbs 7 oz, 17 inches long.  In the OR, the neonatologist came to us and told us that Lorelei was having difficulty breathing and that it seemed like her nasal passage was blocked.  Lorelei's nasal passage never opened completely.  There was still bone and tissue blocking the passage.  Two days after the girls were born, Lorelei was transported from Winchester to UVA, 2 hours away.  Brandon and I left that night and met her at UVA, leaving Mikaela in Winchester......My cousin and his girlfriend were gracious enough to pay for a hotel room for us that night.  The next morning, Friday, Lorelei had her first surgery.  The ENT cut out the tissue and bone and inserted stints into the passageway.  She was doing really well.  The following week, Lorelei was transported back to Winchester to be with her sister.  The stints stayed in for 2 weeks and were then removed.  Shortly after the stints were removed, Lorelei became very sick with a virus and a bacterial infection and was in the isolation room in the Winchester NICU.  During her sickness, scar tissue built up in her nasal passageway.  There was one very bad night where she couldn't breathe and the doctors and nurses worked faster than ever to get her on a ventilator.  Lorelei was transported back to UVA to get the same surgery done again.  The stints were to stay in for 4 weeks this time. Lorelei was in the Winchester/UVA NICUs for 8 weeks.  She came home while the stints were still in, so Brandon and I had to suction them with the tube every 4 hours or so.  After she got the stints out the 2nd time, everything healed correctly! :) She is now doing wonderfully!  We know that in the future Lorelei will have other issues that we will have to deal with and may even have to get stints in her nose again, but we are so thankful that is all we had to deal with in the beginning as hard as it was for us!  We are lucky enough that Lorelei's heart is perfectly normal and she did not have to have a heart surgery at such a young age.

The doctors and nurses at the Winchester NICU were such a blessing! There is no way that Brandon and I could have handled everything as calmly as we did if it weren't for them!  They will always have a special place in our hearts and we will be thanking them for the rest of our lives!

Friday, July 22, 2011

First time in the Pool!

We spent all of last week in Chesapeake with Brandon's mom, Peggy, and stepdad, Chris. :) It was nice to have some extra help around and get some time to go out and meet my sister, Carmen, and her boyfriend, Travis for dinner.  Chris and Peggy have a pool, so the girls were able to experience their first pool!

They both seemed pretty indifferent to it.  They weren't overly excited but weren't upset about being in there at all.  They both got dunked, Mikaela 3 times!

Lorelei only got dunked to just above her nose. With her small ear canals, we didn't want to get water in her ears. :) Mikeala was completely dunked 3 times by Brandon, but she was fine with it! Hopefully we have two little fishes in the future! :)

The Beginning

Not only did we have to handle the fact that we had twins, but that Lorelei was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  Would we mourn?  Would we worry?  Would we be happy about the challende?...

We were all of those!  Emily Perl Kingsley says it best:


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

We are lucky and get to enjoy Italy and Holland at the same time! We know there will be challenges, but there are with every baby and every family.  We look forward to learning about the world through the eyes of Lorelei and Mikaela.  They don't see what we see and I believe we need to look at things the way they do to continue to enjoy life.

The girls are only 4 1/2 months old, but we have already seen them meet so many milestones!  They are both growing so fast and seem to be enjoying life.  They life and "talk" to us everyday and Brandon and I take in every "word" with a smile!