Tuesday, January 08, 2008

addressing a few things

Just wanted to answer a few questions that have popped up a few times.

How do I tell the girls apart? Well lots of people ask how I can tell them apart, and honestly it's not hard for me. To me they actually look very different. There are a few physical differences that are easy to detect...Madelyn has 2 birthmarks, Katelyn is bigger in height and weight (and it is noticeable), Katelyn's voice is loud and strong, while Madelyn is raspy, Katelyn's eyes go cross often, Katelyn's face is longer while Madelyn's is a bit rounder. Most of our close friends and family can detect at least one difference that helps them to tell who's who. But for me I have never mixed them up...though that was a huge fear of mine throughout my pregnancy! Daddy on the other hand does mix them up from time to time, and our boys do it too!!!

Are you a professional photographer? What a great compliment! But no I am not. I have had a love of photography for many years and know a bit beyond the basics. I also have a really great camera, and know how to use it. (it's a canon Drebel) But when all else fails I use picasa to freshen up my really bad photos. It's a great program that is free and very user friendly.

How long did the girls stay in the hospital? This question has come up a few times, and I haven't talked much about their NICU stay on the blog. The girls were born at 27.5 weeks. So that's 12.5 weeks too early! Katelyn was in the NICU for about 10.5 weeks, and Madelyn came home on their due date 12.5 weeks after they were born. Both had a rough first few weeks, with being on and off the vent. Mady ended up having a PDA ligation, which is what caused the damage to her vocal cord. Katelyn had no equipment or feeding tubes when she came home. Madelyn had O2, an apnea monitor, and a feeding tube. All of which she was done within 3 months of coming home!

What is Madelyn's voice like? Her voice is getting stronger and stronger as she gets older, and more mobile. She sounds raspy when she talks, but her voice is getting clearer. She still has a weak cry, but she can definitely be heard. She's come a long way! We work with a therapist twice a month, and Katelyn is also a huge contributor to her progress.

How are the girls appetites? They have pretty typical toddler appetites actually! Madelyn is a bit more picky than Katelyn is. And she eats less of her portions. But I'd say they are doing pretty darn good, and will try just about anything offered to them now. Mady's texture issues aren't so much of an issue anymore, so they both eat pretty much anything now.

I think that about covers it...but if you have a question go ahead and leave a comment so I can answer it.

Also I'd love to give a personal message to Shannon and Angie...I am so happy to have contact with you girls! I still remember like it was yesterday how we all rooted each other on while being hospitalized. It was amazing to have you guys going through it right along with me...that message board was my rock for many many agonizing weeks. I'm so glad we all got our happy ending, and look at all 6 of our kiddos now!!! Such miracles! All going through the terrible 2's together. I still go back from time to time and look at our "hospitalized girls" posts. It was something else what we went through, and no one else understood it like you guys! So glad that we can connect through blogging!

Back ON

After about a week of no internet, I am so happy to be back in my comfy cyber-world! I don't spend huge amounts of time online or anything, but going without it was like taking away a drug from an addict! haha! Well maybe not quite that bad, but I did miss it! It's been fun to get caught up on emails and all the blogs I read so faithfully. Good times!

And I've got some well check visits to report from yesterday's appointments. We were a little late with the girl's 2 year check ups (should've been back in Nov), but oh well it was nice to take a little break from our pediatrician's office. Of course the break may have not done Madelyn any good, because as soon as we walked into the door of the office she started into hysterics. She warmed a tad when Dr. F came in and started his exams. Of course only to start back in again when it was time for shots. Doc loved seeing them so aware of their surroundings on this visit...so if there is any good in a hysterical 2 year old, I guess that would be it. Katelyn was so brave and only cried during shots. She sat patiently while Dr. F did his exam, and as always asked me about a billion questions. She was very intrigued with the Doc's bubbles that he wears around his neck. It was not quite so traumatic for her like it was for her sis.

And for sizes...

Katelyn 20lbs 8oz 31.5" tall
Madelyn 19lbs 30.5" tall

I think the best part about the visit was that Dr. F did a little chart cleaning session, and cleared out 4 meds that the girls aren't taking any more! He also went over a lot of our previous concerns that they have now grown out of, or have thrived past. It was exciting to revisit those things, and remember how far they've really come. And so wonderful to realize how awesome they are doing! Basically gross motor wise they are pretty typical 2 year olds! Both girls have speech and cognitive delays, with Madelyn's being more on the moderate side. The best part though is that those things can be worked through even if they are moderate to severe. I just loved leaving there yesterday with no huge concerns or worries! For once we didn't talk about anything but positive things and really focused on what they ARE doing, as opposed to what they are NOT doing. It was nice to just accept where they are right now in the moment. This is HUGE for me! I'm telling ya good stuff !

My two princesses

Aaron trying to get Mady's feet (at least I think that's Mady)

Katelyn with her problem eye