Friday, December 15, 2006

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tag I'm It!

I've been tagged by my friend Jaime. So here's my answers...

1. Three things that scare me: Heights (this includes flying), War, My children dying.

2. Three people that make me laugh: Aaron, Danielle, Kati

3. Three things I love: Alone time with my hubby, getting time to be creative, Getting out with friends

4. Three things I hate: My acne that won't go away even though I'm almost 30! Doing our finances, my van

5. Three things I don't understand: How to stay organized, Politics, HTML (it's like learning a second language)

6. Three things on my desk right now: My coffee mug, a spare battery to my digital camera, 2 printers

7. Three things I'm doing right now: Listening to Jack Johnson, Drinking coffee, Listening to Aaron count the coins he got from his piggy bank

8. Three things I want to do before I die: See my kids happy with their own families, Go back to school, Travel

9. Three things I can do: Change a diaper in about 5 seconds, Make jewelry, Bow making (hairbows)

10. Three things I can't do: Keep up on my housework, Sew well, read fast

11. Three things I think you should listen to: Ben Harper, Your children, Truth

12. Three things I think you should never listen to: Disrespectful people, Profanity, Tabloids

13. Three things I'd like to learn: Photoshop, More about photography, A second language

14. Three favorite foods: pizza, chocolate, salad

15. Three beverages I drink regularly: Coffee, Dr Pepper, Water

16. Three shows I watched as a kid: The Cosby show, Little house on the prairie, Smurfs (all the same as Jaime)

17. Three people I am tagging: Kristina Liz Shannon

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And just because I thought my house wasn't already a ZOO!!!

I decided to surprise Ian with a puppy for Christmas! The surprise was foiled when he found all the information from the breeder written on a peice of paper that I forgot to hide. So he found out the day before the puppy arrived. He's 10 weeks old, and he's a pure labradore retreiver. His mama was a black lab, and his daddy yellow lab, so he's got some very unique markings on his feet. He also has small patches of yellow on one ear, and his chest. He's is so cute, and proving to be a very good dog already! He's a quick learner and is already sitting on command (most times), learning to stay, and is getting used to being outside. We are letting him be inside/outside, but mostly he'll be an outdoor dog. Ian is very excited to get him trained, and teach him lots of tricks. He's great with all the kids, and very gentle with the babies. Ian named him Rocky and he's quickly learning his name.

So that makes 2 parents, 4 kids, 2 cats, and one puppy! Boy we really do live in a zoo!!! Anyone want to come over?!

The Hall Family Christmas Tree

The hunt for the perfect tree

Katelyn: "What in the heck are we doing out here in the cold anyway"?

Notice the wheels caked in mud! And Katelyn without a sock or shoe! One of her Robeez fell off, but I searched until I found it. I was not leaving without it, they are a brand new pair and not cheap either!!!
Madelyn: "Are you kidding me? We're stuck in the mud!? O.K. I'm going to start crying at any second!"
The boys enjoying the wagon ride to the tree fields.

This year we thought it'd be fun to go to a you cut tree farm to get our tree. This is the first year we've actually been tree hunting as a family. At our old house our landlord who was also our neighbor owned a huge Christmas tree farm. He'd deliver us a beautiful noble fir every year for FREE! But now that we aren't there anymore, we had to go it alone this year. It was so much fun, and quite an experience. We went to Vollstedt Family Farm to get our tree. It is so festive there. They take you on Wagon rides out to the fields of trees, give you a saw and let you loose. When you've chosen and cut your tree, you get to wait in a nice warming shed for the next wagon to pick you up. So Cool!

The boys had a blast! The babies not so much. They weren't up for the cold bumpy stroller ride or for getting stuck in the mud. Yes that's right we got our nice beautiful double Graco stroller stuck in the mud! We really should've known better we live in Oregon after all, the state of never ending rain! We eventually had to abandon the stroller in the mud and carry the babies. Once we found our tree, which took some time as I am a very picky tree hunter, Ian (and the boys) cut it down while I went back to get the babies back in the stroller. We heard many comments like "that stroller needs 4 wheel drive" and "wow are they all your's" of course too many "you guys sure have your hands full" to count! But it was fun, and we all just enjoyed it and laughed at ourselves. And it was all worth it as you can see, we did end up with the perfect tree! It's not a noble (those puppies are expensive) like we normally get, but it's BIG and full and beautiful!

Poor Ian had to haul it back to the warming shed all by himself (all 9 ft of it) since I was pushing the mud caked stroller! What an adventure!!! Surely one we'll never forget!

Friday, December 01, 2006

12 month check up and more!

The babies had their 12 month check up today. Normally it's just shots at 12 months, but their Pediatrician wanted to do a visit as well to discuss meds, and any concerns.

We are upping Mady's dose of reglan since she's started coughing and wheezing a lot again. She coughs really bad at night. Hopefully a stronger dose will help. Other than that we are keeping everything else the same. He was so pleased to see the huge amounts of progress Mady has made in the past 6 weeks. The therapies she's receiving is helping her tremendously!!! I know I've mentioned before that she sees 4 therapists who work with her on a variety of things. These people have been wonderful! Without their services, and the techniques they've taught me...well I'd still be a basket case worried sick about her lack of progress. I am not exaggerating when I say that people are AMAZED at how far she's come. All the hard work she's done is starting to show, and you can see it in her eyes how delighted she is to be able to DO some of the things that Katy's been doing for months! She's such a happy girl, when she smiles her whole face lights up. You can see the smile in her eyes. And I am so happy to report that Mady giggled 2 nights ago for the first time! I've never heard her laugh, but could tell that she'd laugh on the inside. She could just never get the sound out. Jacob was making funny faces at her, and out came a laugh that sounds very similar to her cry. But it was the sweetest sound! I teared up and picked her up and just hugged her. Of course I told Jacob to repeat the sillyness that got her laughing, but she hasn't done it since. Another fun thing Mady has figured out to do as of last night, CLAPPING! She's been doing it all day today. So cute!

O.K so ready for the BIG Mady news?! She weighs 15 lbs!!! I was so shocked and in disbelief I made the nurse weigh her again to be sure. The girl gained 1.5 lbs since her last weigh in about 6 or 7 weeks ago! That's her biggest gain ever. We actually saw a spike UP on her growth chart! I'm telling you, her therapists along with our determination and her hard work equal VERY GOOD THINGS!!! Her new nickname is beef cake. I'm praying that she continues in this upward direction. She is awesome!

I talked to Dr. F about Katelyn's episodes. I've seen more of the starring to the left, and some brief blank outs, her muscle spasams aren't very noticable but I can see them every once in a while. His recommendation was to see the pediatric nuerologist again to see if we should be concerned. It could be that she needs a higher dose of topimax. He also checked out Katelyn's eyes since we've noticed her crossing her left eye, and not tracking well with it. He said he didn't notice it, but it'd be a good idea to see her pedi opthamologist. And we will have to go to Portland for that. Katelyn's weight wasn't a very big gain. She weighed in at 15lbs 3oz. We expected it to be around 16lbs. Dr. F said it's not a big deal, but we'll watch it closely to make sure it's not a trend. I can't believe my girls are within 3oz of eachother. They haven't been this close in weight since they were first born...2oz apart. I think Katelyn subconsiously decided to slow down a bit to allow Mady to catch up! She really loves her sissy!

Katelyn has added lalala to her babbling, and has sad mama once! I try to get her to say it but it's always dada! NO FAIR!!! Of course she doesn't know what the heck she's saying, but I just want to hear it. Katy has also demonstrated that she has the unique talent of rolling her tongue like her big brother Jacob. She does it a lot too, that and lalala, and clapping! As for the standing up I reported 2 posts ago, she hasn't done it since! She did it a few times for like 2 days and now nothing. But both girls can get into a sitting position all on their own now! Considering Madelyn just learned to sit unassisted a couple weeks ago, I'd say she's becoming a bit of an over-achiever!

I have become addicted to Robeez shoes. I can't help myself, they are just so stinkin cute! And they stay on! I put them on and try as they might the girls can't get them off. Finally shoes that stay on babies feet! So if anyone is looking for a Christmas gift idea for the girls, they'd love some in the 6-12 month size. They are also recommended by our Occupational and Physical therpaists!

The taggies blankets and plush toys we got them for their B-day have been a big hit. The girls love to snuggle them, and they are the perfect size.

This weekend we're gearing up for Christmas. I'm so excited to go get our tree. Ian will hang the lights on the house hopefully on Saturday. It's our first Christmas in this house, and I'm really excited to get it decorated. We have no Christmas shopping done, but that's no big surpise! We always procrastinate. Hopefully we can get some done this weekend. Should be fun!

Hopefully I won't go so long till my next post! Peace!

a few photos from the girls' party

Katy was happy to taste the cake. Neither of the girls really liked the cake. But they played in it, and got really messy!
Mady didn't really like the whole birthday cake experience. She started freaking out as soon as she got it all over her hands and arms. This is her defensive pose. She holds her arms up and fists her hands...It's part of the whole "I don't like things touching my hands" thing. "Especially if it sticks to me"

Singing the happy birthday song was a huge hit with Mady! She knew we were singing to her, and she loved it!

Everyone gathered in the living room to watch the dvd of the girls' first year. It was beautiful to see their journey and watch how far they've come!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One more thing

I finally found what we are going to give the babies for their birthday. I've been looking for something special, and not toys because they'll get lots from other people, and for Christmas. I found these:

I think they'll be a hit, since neither girls have a "special" blankie, and they are both at that stage where they form attatchments to objects. For Jacob it was his blankies, and Aaron it was his binky. Katy & Mady both love to snuggle a blanket, so I'm really excited about these! And I found a shop in Corvallis that carries them so I don't have to order them. They also have plush toys, and lots of other neat stuff so I'm going to pick up a bunch of different things for Christmas too!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

mish mash of stuff

Madelyn, you can't tell but she was doing her "army" crawling. Playing the guitar he got for his birthday from Mommy & Daddy
3 years old!
girl talk
My new favorite photo

I have been a bad blogger lately. I have no excuse really, it's been the same amount of busy around here. I guess it's just a crazy month, and with it getting dark out at an obscenely early hour now, I feel out of energy a lot earlier. Hopefully I'll get used to the season change soon!

Anyway...Aaron's birthday party was very fun. We just had family and my best friend Danielle, and her kiddos. It was intimate, and so not stressful. He loved having a party all about him. This was actually the first time he's ever had a birthday party. His favorite part was everyone singing happy birthday. He happily sang along to himself, and knew to blow the candles out. Everyone got him such nice gifts. He's already talking about next year's birthday!

The girls are doing great lately. Both girls are really starting to eat solids well. Mady is starting to look a little filled out. I don't have a weight on them yet, but we have an appt next week. I'm hoping to see a big gain from her. She's still not big on the bottle, she does o.k. as long as she's REALLY hungry.

Mady has been doing well in her therapies. She has 4 therapists working with her, so she's got someone at least once a week. I think it's really helping her meet some milestones that she was way behind on just a month ago. I mean just about a month to 6 weeks ago she could barely roll over both ways. Now she's doing that, comando crawling, and sitting. She still is pretty wobbley, and leans way forward, but she's getting so strong! Her therapists have noticed that Mady is very stimulus sensitive. She does not like having her hands touch at all (which makes the signing we are trying to teach her very difficult), and she shakes her head a lot. Her PT wants us to discourage the headshaking, but I'm not sure about it. She thinks she does it to cope with her surroundings when she's overwhelmed. She gave me some ideas to get her to stop doing it, but I don't think it's hurting her, so I'm really not worried about it. I will try to distract her and soothe her, but that's it. We've also been working on balance on an excersise ball at mighty oaks. She does not like it one bit! She stiffens up while on the ball, and while they are working with her in other ways. She doesn't like the way they push her, and make her work. After an hour there, she is always worn out, and will fall asleep on the way home. Obviously her hard work is paying off though, so we will keep pushing her.

Katelyn started sleeping through the night, and did so for over a week. Then the last 2 nights she's woke up for food. She may be hitting a growth spurt, because she's been eating a lot during the day as well. Katy has been so playful, and fun lately. She loves to sign "more" by clapping her hands after a bite. I don't know if she's actually picking up on the sign or if she just likes clapping her hands. But she claps at everything, so it could be both. She's still a drama queen, and loves being held, and lots of attention. But she's also getting a bit more independant. Katelyn started pulling herself up to her knees a couple weeks ago, and on Monday she pulled herself all the way up to STAND!!! I was sitting chatting with Leslie, (Mady's OT) when I just looked over at her and she was standing at the large toy basket I have in the living room. She can't figure out how to get back down, and since she's not quite balanced enough yet, she falls quickly. I'm hoping to catch a picture of her standing soon. I just can't believe how big she's getting! We are going to be having Katy's eyes checked again soon. She's been crossing her left eye a lot, and it doesn't track with her right eye the same. Ian and I have noticed it, but when 2 of Mady's therapists pointed it out when they were here this week, we took it more seriously. So hopefully we can get with someone local, and not have to drive to Portland to see her eye doc there. He's always booked for like 4 months or more. Last time her eyes were checked was August I believe, and she had some moderate farsightedness. But they said as far as her eyes crossing, and working together she seemed fine. So this is a surprise to see her have eye issues.

I'm excited about their birthday party this weekend. We are just having a small party at home. I was wanting to plan a big bash for them, but with it being cold and flu season I dedided that wasn't in their best interest. I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by. I think partly because they've only been home with us for 9 months and not the full year. All those feelings, and emotions during the "rollercoaster" we were on are so fresh still. It's been such a crazy year filled with so many highs and lows. I will post more about their birth and experiences later when I have all my thoughts together.

That's all I've got for now...Peace!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Aaron
Happy birthday to you!!!

Can't believe my little Bug-A-Boo is 3 years old! I love the little dude he's becoming. And that he's finally become a mama's boy. He's been a challenge to raise, but I love every minute of it! He's my wild child, my rock & roller, the one who makes me want to pull my hair out, and scoop him up in my arms and hold him there forever all at the same time. So much personality, so much energy. I see a lot of passion in him. Lots of love, and so much potential to become someone REALLY GREAT! He's got an old soul in him. I see so much of me in his eyes.

Love you baby! Happy birthday.


It's election day...Do you know where your ballot is? I'm not a very political person, but this election day feels different. Lots at stake, so just remember to take time out and GO VOTE! Here in Oregon it's through the mail, so don't forget to drop off your ballot today if it hasn't been mailed.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November = "The month of Hall's"

Love these new photos of the girls. They are so sweet, and really interacting with one another. I really love the stage they're in right now. They're starting to explore, and have become interested in everything around them. They love trying to imitate sounds, and when we play patty cake. They play with their toys and look for things to play with. They've also started becoming very interested in what the other has. Mady always seems to want whatever Katy has, and will take it from her. She's always taking her binky, even if she already has one of her own, she thinks Katy's looks better.

If you didn't notice in one of the photos above, Madelyn is starting to sit unsupported! She leans forward to help support herself and keep balanced. But she's getting really good at not flopping over. Some other HUGE news, is that Mady has started CRAWLING!!! I am so amazed at her progress. She crawls by pulling herself with her arms and pushing herself off with her feet. It's so cool to watch her go, and so awesome that she's figured out how to keep up with her sis! I know that she's determined to keep up with Katy and THAT is her motivation.

Feedings are going a bit better too. She still takes the same amount of formula, but her reflux is much better controlled since upping her dose of prevacid, and adding reglan. I really think that is one of the reasons why we've seen her make such a huge amount of progress with her motor skills too. Now that she's not in pain, I think she can make progress. She also eats 1 full container of stage 1 baby food per day, and we are trying to increase that to 2 containers to add calories to her diet. I think we'll add some solids to our morning feeding. She's still more petite than Katelyn, and the weight difference is noticeable, but she's started filling out a bit, and doesn't look so sickly to me anymore.

In Katelyn news, she has started sleeping through the night at least a couple times per week. I'm so ready for that! Katy is also cutting her first tooth. It poked it's way through her gum last weekend. She's been tolerating it pretty well, and just gets crabby at night, and off and on through the day I can tell it's bothering her. She's also starting to practice pulling herself up, and she can get up to her knees.

We are now in the countdown for our 5 November birthdays. Aaron's is the 7th, and we are celebrating this sunday. Then they baby's 1st birthday is on the 18th. Jacob's 7th is the 26th, and Ian's is the 29th!!! They should rename November "The month of Hall's". I think God was playing a trick on me to give us all of our children in Novemeber. It's just weird! So it's going to be a pretty crazy month! Acutally a pretty crazy couple of months since it's also Thanksgiving this month, and then all the Christmas festivities next month! INSANE!

I didn't plan it this way, but Katelyn is on the right side of all the photos above!


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A year ago...

One year ago today I was headed to a hospital 75 miles away to be hopsitalized for the remainder of my pregnancy. I was 24 weeks pregnant and our goal was to reach 32 weeks. I prayed I'd make it the whole 8 weeks there so that I could have 2 healthy babies. I was devastated to leave my family, my sweet boys who didn't fully understand that Mommy would not be home for a LONG time. Ian was afraid, and overwhelmed. I know he didn't want to leave me there. Knowing that this was it, the day we had been hoping we'd make it to, and dreading all at the same time. We both knew that when we all left that hospital together again our lives would never be the same. We would leave either with our two babies, with one baby, or with no babies.

I was SO VERY AFRAID, an emotional wreck, but DETERMINED to do what was best for the two sweet girls growing inside me. Everyday knowing that they could hurt eachother while in the womb, possibly leading to a fatality of one or both babies was almost too much to bare. Every move they made, every kick, every hiccup I would wonder, pray, hope that they didn't get too wrapped up around eachother, that they didn't just pull their already knotted umbilical cords tighter, too tight. Being in the hospital would alleviate some of those constant fears. I knew I'd be monitored closely, that's why I was there after all to save my babies. The sacrafices we made then seem so trivial and small now one year later, yet it still feels so fresh, so raw. Like it only happened weeks ago not a YEAR ago.

And of course I didn't make it the entire 8 weeks in the hospital, though while I was there, living that moment, it felt like eternity. I made it just 3 weeks. And had I not been hospitalized and monitored so closely our girls would not be here today. Their cord accident was detected, their heart rates too low, and they were delivered. 12 weeks before they should've come into this world. But they were alive, and so BEAUTIFUL! God gave us the miracle we prayed for.

This year on Halloween we will be trick or treating, and handing out candy with ALL of our children. No fear, just fun, just us as a family.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

She likes it...She REALLY likes it!

Madelyn ate her first full container of baby food! It was sweet potatoes, and she loved them. No gagging, no spitting it out, she ate them, and did such a good job. I couldn't believe that when I kept offering her bites she just kept opening, (willingly) and ate. Now we've tried sweet potatoes lots of times, and she'd eat them, but she's never eaten this well. She's actually doing better with solids than Katelyn! It's funny because K does so well with her bottles, & Mady is starting to do better with solids. They are complete opposites. I'm just so excited, this is a breakthrough people!!! I really hope she keeps it up and starts enjoying food. YAY MADY!!!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Random picutres & baby news

Just some random pictures from the past week or two.

Katelyn having her first teething biscuit. Actually it was a baby cookie which I now know is different from a teething biscuit. She gagged horribly on it. It was way too soft for her.

Some brotherly love. Aaron hangin with Mady, watching blue's clues.

I don't know when it happened exactly but I've turned into Mom. Not mommy, not mama. And I get this look now with the MA-OM. Nice!

They've started fighting over toys. It's cute for now, but I know it's just a matter of time when it turns to screaming, and hair pulling!

So the well checks went well last week. It took about 2 hrs with their pediatrician and the nurse to get through it. But Dr. F is great about taking all the time we need. He never rushes us, in fact he took Mady out for a walk around the the clinic, and in his office for a bit. I love that he really LOVES the kids he works with. I'm so glad we've found that kind of Dr. that we will always have a great relationship with, and we trust.

Anyway...the girls wieghed in at 14 lbs 12 oz. for Katelyn, and 13lbs 10 oz. for Madelyn. Not so good for either one, especially not Mady. She's still not going up, but more to the side on her growth curve. But it was a gain so we'll take what we can get! Doc said Katelyn slowed a bit on her gaining too, but over all she's going in the right direction which is up on the curve.

They also both got their first flu shots, and checked out pretty well. We decided to up Mady's dose of prevacid (for her reflux) and also start her on a small dose of reglan. Hopefully this combo will help control her reflux better. It's gotten a bit out of control again. If this doesn't work we will discuss surgery to correct the problem. I guess we should know if it's working or not within a few weeks. She isn't vomiting as much, but is coughing, wheezing, and gagging a whole lot. We can tell it's causing her discomfort. Poor little thing.

Let's see what else...Mady's therapies are going well. She had PT yesterday, and got very tired out after 45 minutes. The sessions are supposed to go for an hour, but the last 15 minutes we just let her play, or I held her while the PT & I talked. I'm happy to report that she's now rolling both ways! Her PT was so happy to see her in action. We also worked on sitting techniques, and tried to get her to put wieght on her legs. She's showing some progress with sitting with minimal support, and she stays up for a short time, so long as she has support at her hips. Her OT (occupational therpaist) is coming on Friday. She's the one that is working with her feedings. Then it's therapy at Mighty Oaks for speech, which is for feeding and to begin signing, and get her working at making more noise. She's really trying hard with making sounds. She even said bababa a few times! Mostly it's lots of cooing, and raspberry noises. So CUTE!!! It's so awesome to hear her voice. For so long she was totally silent, not even able to cry. Now to hear her little squeeks, and frog like sounds, it's like music to my ears.

Thanks to everyone who gave me info on the baby signing. Thanks a ton to my awesome Grandpa, who is taking sign language and gave me this wonderful link there's so much information there, and so I thought I'd share it. There's a link there for 100 first baby signs. So cool! Can't wait to get started.

I had a wonderful weekend and was able to work at my old job during a class with Ms. Karen Russell Well, it's not really my old job since I DO still work there, just not like before. Now it's just every other weekend. And for those of you who don't know me, yes I'm a scrapbooker and that used to be my job. I managed a wonderful scrapbook store, and got to know my creative side in a whole new way. Not your typical scrapbooker here, more an artist that loves to play with paper glue, and pictures!


Guess who learned how to crawl?!

Here she is on the move! Katelyn learned how to crawl. It's been about a week now, and boy can she move. She first started out pulling herself with her arms (army style), and within 2 days she started being able to stay up on her knees. She's getting fast too. She can now be found in any room in the house at any point in time. I guess it's time to invest in some baby gates. Honestly I didn't think she'd get this down before her first birthday. She is just so determined, and she learns so fast. She loves her new freedom, and will crawl to the kitchen, or down the hall just because she CAN!

Saturday, October 07, 2006


These boys are the biggest goofballs, Jacob's cheesiest grin! And notice Aaron with the toilet paper roll microphone in the background singing along to Johnny Cash! Is it weird that our 2 year old's favorite song is "burning ring of fire"?

just some more blah blah blah

What's this 2 smiles at the same time?!!!

Ummm, does this look even the slightest bit cofortable? Notice Katelyn trying to steal her toy.
You'd think they'd be used to the camera by now, I mean I take pictures just about daily. "Mommy's turned into a freak again, what's that weird thing hanging off her face?"
Just thought I'd post some cute pictures of the girls, and a little update. Things are going pretty good around here. Still very busy, I think that will never change but I'd like to hope that it will get normal busy instead of crazy! Madelyn had her first session at mighty oaks children's therapy center. We met 2 new therapists, and they did another evaluation on her. It was nothing formal, just their own eval that they do for new patients. They saw her development everywhere from 0-3 months and some scattered skills in the 3-6 months range. I'm getting more used to hearing this, since this is her 3rd evaluation since august. I really liked these therapists, they were very thorough in their questions and obsevations. They are going to be seeing her every 2 weeks to begin with, since she is having OT through early intervention every week, and PT once a month, they don't want to overwhelm her. The speech therapist is going to start teaching her sign language pretty much right away. They said the sooner we start the better, and it is best to get the whole family involved. Katelyn will be learning it right along with Mady, and the rest of us will be taught through what I learn from the therapist. We also plan on getting some books, or dvds to help (if anyone knows of any good recommendations please let me know). Mady pretty much has a double wammy when it comes to speech. She is most delayed in her language skills (still is just barely cooing), and she also has the paralyzed vocal cord, making it difficult to make noise. Sign language will help her initially, and in the future if her voice never gets strong. The therapists also brought up the fact that it seems peculiar that she has left sided weakness in her extremities, and left sided vocal paralysis. Other therapists have mentioned this as well before. They asked if she'd ever had a brain scan or imaging done to rule out a nuerological problem like cerebral palsy (she has not). This of course got me going again thinking that she may have it. But overall they said since she has minor tonal issues it would probably be best to wait and see how the therapies work for her, then see where she's at in a few months. Whatever, I hate the phrase wait and see, but again it's something I'm totally getting used to hearing.

In Katelyn news, she's getting soooooo close to crawling. She's up on her knees a lot, and is trying so hard to figure out how to get herself to go. She can actually push off just a bit, which is giving her the desire to try even more, and even harder. It's going to be very very soon! She hasn't cut any teeth, so I don't know what's going on there. I really think she is teething, and has good days and bad days. Feedings have not been great with her, she won't take as much in her bottle, and is still completely refusing solids. I'm starting to worry that she really will never eat solids! We have the most success with bananas, and I can only dip the spoon in them, if she has any more than that on the spoon she throws up. She definitely has an oral aversion there, so we're trying some techniques that we've learned for Mady in her therapies, so hopefully Katy will benefit too, from some of what we do with Mady. I won't even get started on Mady's feedings. I am afraid to have her weighed next week, there is just no way she's gained adequate weight with what she eats. We'll see though, she may surprise me.

Well so much for a quick update! I guess I had more to report than I thought. Stay tuned, there's well check visits to report about next week! Hopefully I'll have something interesting to talk about when the day comes where there's no Dr. and therapy appts to fill my posts up with.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Bring on the teething

Katelyn is teething. I am sure of it. She's been very very fussy today, and not eating a lot at once, just chewing on the nipple after a few ounces or so. She is currently fussing in her crib right now as a matter of fact. It's going to be a long night, and a long how ever long it takes for her teeth to come through. I'm sure Mady will be close behind on this milestone as well. I say bring it on! At least it's "normal baby stuff", I'm sure I'll be eating those words when both girls are screaming all night long. And so it begins, teething with 2 babies this time! Time for some motrin and some cuddling to get her back to sleep and comfy, and maybe a glass of wine for me! Wish me luck, as this new adventure begins!

Thursday, September 28, 2006


So much has happened with the girls over the past two weeks. We've had so many appointments, it's really been busy around here! The first news is that we heard back from our pediatrician about Katelyn's possible seizures. He said that he was pretty sure that they were seizures, so he sent us to OHSU for an appt. with a nuerologist. I took her last wednesday (along with our tape of the episodes), and they checked her out, and did an EEG. She looked so funny with all those wires sticking out of her head! She didn't like it at first and kept trying to get it all off, but after they wrapped her head with some bandages she was o.k. During her EEG she only did the weird siezure thing 2 times! During her EEG the Dr. reviewed the tape, and had to consult with 2 other nuerologists. They at first thought that the activity was a seizure disorder, but the EEG came back normal, so then they all started scratching their heads again. And can I just say when you have 3 nuerologists standing over your baby scratching their heads, it's SOOOOO NOT COMFORTING!!! They pretty much said we still aren't exactly sure what is going on with her, and they gave me a couple of possible diagnosis.

1: Is they think it could be an aura that one might experience before a migraine. Most people that experience an aura get a change in vision. Like distorted vision, seeing colored rings, or bright flashes. So I'm not convinced this is what it is, as she has upwards of 100 of these episodes a day!, and it's not vision related.

2: It could be a nuerological movement disorder called dystonia. It is the 3rd most common movement disorder after parkinsons disease. It can affect any muscles in the body, and causes them to stiffen up and spasam. They've not seen it in a baby as young as Katelyn is, so there is just little information out there, on babies who have this disorder.

They gave us a script for Topimax which is an anti-seizure/anti-migraine med. which she has to take daily. She has been on it for 4 days now, and I can definitely see a difference in her episodes. She's still having them, BUT they are occuring less frequently, and don't seem as extreme. So does that mean she was indeed having migraines, or that she is having seizures??? I DON'T KNOW!!! I'm still not entirely convinced that the activity is not seizures. During my own research I have read that absence seizures can be very tricky to diagnose, and may take several EEG's to show up. All I do know is that I'm glad they seem to be coming under control. We will be following up with Dr. F, the girls Ped. and depending on what he says, we may get another EEG. We also found out, that Katelyn had 2 hematomas (sp?) on her brain during her last head ultrasound in the NICU. I was furious that we were not told this information. They only told us that her ventricles were enlarged, and they needed to do a follow up after discharge. We had the follow up within a month of her coming home, and it looked to be normalizing again. So that's what's going on with Katelyn's episodes. Still no concrete diagnosis, and still lots of frustration for us.

The other big new concerns Madelyn. She has just started receiving her EI therpaies, which has consisted of OT & PT. They come out to our home for each visit, which is so cool! I can lay Aaron down for his nap, and Katy too, then the focus is on Mady where it should be. The PT didn't do much with her during their first visit, because the OT took up most of the time regarding her feeding issues. She spent 2 hours with Madelyn, and gave me lots of tips on how to get her feeding better. We've tried most of them, and so far no luck on that end, but it's still early so I'm very hopeful that she'll come around. We also have set up weekly feeding clinic appointments with an OT & ST. Those will be every thursday starting today. I'm excited, and apprehensive about the therapies. I'm so hopeful that she'll start making progress, but very fearful of the possibility that she won't and will have to have a G-tube. So Mady is pretty much in therapy mode right now. It's been crazy with so many therapies, and Dr. appts around here lately. Not to mention that RSV season is coming. So scary!!! They'll be given the monthly doses of synagis (sp?) incurring more trips to the ped. And we will be in lock down mode again this winter. Visitors only if no cold symptoms, and MUST WASH THEIR HANDS. Now that Jacob's in school full time it's scary how many germs he could be bringing home. Oh the joys of preemie parenting!

Now time for the fun stuff! The girls are learning so much. They continue to amaze us everyday!

Lets start with Mady: She is coming along with her motor skills. She's finally learned to pivot while playing on her tummy. She can go in a full circle! Of course the little stinker will only go to her right side (again showing preference to her right & weakness on her left). But she's really taking off, with her rolling and pivoting skills! She is cooing a bit more, and making razzing sounds. Very cute little raspy noises. She practices making her voice high & low pitched. So the OT said her skills are coming along the 4 months mark in language now. She still can not laugh, but smiles so big you know she wants to. She has started sleeping through the night on most nights, because she doesn't like to eat. I would wake her up after Katelyn but she just started refusing more and more, so now I just let her sleep. She is very playful and smiley all the time. She loves to shake her head back & forth (like no no). I think she likes the headrush she gets from it! And that about covers it for Miss Mady May!

Katelyn: Katy continues to roll & pivot very well. She can get pretty much get anywhere she wants to go by log rolling and pivoting. She's sitting well with minimal support, and with no support for about a minute or so then she flops over. She's getting very strong, and loves to jump while standing on our laps. She is eating bottles very well, but hasn't come around to solids yet, which by the way is very difficult since both girls have to be spoon fed their meds. She has added a lot more sounds to her vocabulary and can say dadada, & gagaga. She's become a good babbler. She still doesn't laugh consistantly, but has a handfull of times at Jacob. (Maybe we just aren't that funny to her). She does not sleep through the night and wakes up once to twice per night for a bottle. Her favorite thing to do is play on the floor where she has more freedom to move. She doesn't really like her snuggley chair as much anymore. She is a very good baby, and it's been so fun with her lately watching her play and interact.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

cuteness...update soon!

Katelyn just hangin out. She is getting so big! 14 lbs 8 oz at their last weigh in. Getting smiles from her on camera is a rare occassion . I don't thin she likes the camera, she'll automatically stop smiling or whatever cute thing she's doing, and just stare at me like I'm some sort of freak.
I really love this one of Katy. She is getting so good at picking things up off the floor. I'm contantly checking to make sure all the little stuff is picked up, because she'll find it, and put it in her mouth.
Madelyn and HER kitten. We have adopted 3 cats, a momma and her 2 kittens that Ian found at his work. This little kitten adopted Mady. He loves her, and always snuggles up right by her. And if she's sleeping in her room, he often lays by the door waiting for her. It's so cute! Maybe they both hit it off so well because they're both the runts of the litter.
This is my new favorite picture of Madelyn. It really shows off her personality well. Too bad it's a little out of focus.

I'll post a more detailed update later tonight when I have more time. I have so much to report about the last 2 weeks.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Madelyn's EI evaluation & other news

Today we had Madelyn evaluated by a team from Early Intervention (EI), which is through the school district. It's essentially special education for children under 5 years old. They believe that treating issues EARLY in developmentally delayed children, or kids with other handicaps is better than the "wait & see" mantality that was used in years past. Since this is a service through the school district it is free to any child who qualifies. In order to qualify for services, the child has to show delays in 2 or more areas. They did a test similar to the Baley Scale Test that was used at OHSU. This test scored Madelyn a little better than the Baley Scale, she scored a bit better on this test for her motor skills, but still low on the congnitive skills. Her scores showed a delay in every area, so she qualifies for therapies. The issues that the Occupational Therapist (OT) & the Physical Therpaist (PT) saw are some weakness on her left side with a preference for using her right hand, poor trunk control, & weakness in both legs. All these things we already knew, and are glad to have someone validate the concerns we've been seeing, and we're really excited that something pro-active will be done about her issues. Madelyn will be getting OT & PT a few times per month, and then Speach will be thrown in when needed. The good news is that she's starting to make some progress on the things that she was WAY behind on back in early August. She's started making a bit more noise, and she's even started pivoting a bit while playing on her tummy. She still has quite a bit of work ahead of her to be able to "catch up", but we are very optomistic that she will with therapies.

In other news, both babies have their first head colds. It started last week with Aaron having some congestion with a bit of a cough. On Sunday the girls started with the runny noses, and today they had a bit of a cough. So far the worst part has been when they wake up with very crusty noses, and that Katelyn is fussy. Madelyn seems to be her same ole' happy girl self. Katelyn was extremely grouchy tonight, and screamed for about an hour non stop. She wanted to be held, but she was really stiff, and couldn't get comfy. She screamed in my arms for an hour before I finally just had to let her cry it out in her bed for the first time. It only took her 8 minutes to fall asleep, and all 8 of those minutes she was screaming while I watched the clock. It killed me not to go in & pick her up, but it worked. We'll see how the night goes. Hopefully she'll be able to sleep well.

The girls are now also sleeping in seperate cribs. Their first night was last night and they did very well. They love having a whole bed to themselves, and actually slept a lot better. Now I'm thinking, why didn't we do this sooner?!

Jacob has lost his 2nd baby tooth! It happened last night during dinner. Unfortunately the tooth fairy forgot to visit our house last night!!! I know, I know, worse mother of the year award goes to me!!! I had to think of something fast @ 6:00 a.m. when he came in to wake me up screaming that the tooth fairy forgot him! I don't think I've ever felt more awful! I told him that since he lost his tooth so late in the evening, the tooth fairy already had her list of kids to visit made out for the night, and that there's a 24 hr waiting list for kids to be visited by the tooth fairy. Thankfully it worked, and the tooth fairy WILL be visiting for sure tonight! With an extra dollar! Maybe she should make it an extra couple bucks for the completely disappointed look that Jacob's mommy had to see thismorning.

We still haven't heard from our Ped. about Katelyn's weirdness. I will be calling and "stalking" him tomorrow morning for news.

And that's a wrap! For now anyway.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Not so flattering pictures

This is Katelyn having one of her "episodes". We call them episodes because we aren't quite sure what they are yet, if anything. We're a bit concerned that it's a mild seizure that is happening to her several times a day. When I say several she probably does this close to 100 times a day. Sometimes less, sometimes more. It's hard to see exactly what's going on in the photographs, but basically, she turns her head to the side, and gets a blank look on her face & her eye and check seem to stiffen up, and spasam. This only occurs on the left side of her face. She is definitely not intending on doing it, and I can not even duplicate it to show someone what it looks like. She doesn't seem to notice when she does it, and it only lasts 5-15 seconds. There are times where she'll do it over & over again, back to back to back. Whatever is occuring looks very unnatural, and I can only describe it as odd. We have video taped several of these episodes, and given the tape to her pediatrician. We haven't heard from him yet, as to wether we should be alarmed and do some tests, or if it's just some weird facial twitch. These pictures posted completely out of sequence but the top & bottom picutres are during the "episode", and the middle ones are as she is "normalizing" again. I am only posting these pictures to see if anyone can offer any insight on what could be going on. I've never seen a baby do this before, so if anyone can offer me some peace of mind, please do so. Just another confusing thing to worry about!