Yea, Yea, Yea, I know it’s been a while since I have posted but come on… I have 4 kids now so give me a break 🙂 Here is a bit of what has happened since my last post in early November. I promise I will try to get better at posting weekly especially since I am not sleep deprived anymore! The boys are sleeping through the night 9+ hours… No more feeding at night and I am happy to say that I will NEVER feed during the night again (newborn) as you all know we are done having kids. But as Karl said this morning, we will be holding heads in vomit buckets when they get sick in the middle of the night. Did I just give you a visual you didn’t want to visualize? We created a ‘Rissland Kid’ barf bucket last year. It’s a large Tupperware that we used for Riley when he had the stomach flu last year. His name and the date of when he vomited is written (with a sharpie) on the bucket. At some point Reese, Chance and Colin’s name will end up on that bucket. I guess we won’t be using that Tupperware for leftovers again. It’s stored in the hallway linen closet in close proximity to all their rooms. I know, another visual you didn’t wish to visualize.
Before I give you the ‘Readers Digest’ condensed version of what has happened since my last post you need to see how big my sweet my little guys are. If you scroll down the blog at the beginning and see all the NICU pictures it is truly amazing how far they have come! They are fraternal twins. Can you tell them apart? I am sure you can. It’s easy!
Let’s go back to discharge day from the NICU on September 30th 2009 when we brought the boys home. We are told the following during discharge: ‘Do NOT take the boys anywhere until at least April 2010 when RSV season is over’. Well ok, understood. Since these guys are preemies and their immune systems are really not up to par yet, we know we need to be careful, but really, April 2010? Ok, so I had mentally prepared myself that I wasn’t going anywhere with the boys until April 2010. I am glad I like my house, have great neighbors and that I have workout equipment here.
So we don’t take the twins anywhere but the pediatrician because they have to go there. We even have a nurse that comes to the house to give C&C their RSV shots. We take our shoes off (guests included), wash our hands, are swimming in hand gel and we all have had the H1N1 and seasonal flu shots but we all still managed to get sick. Karl started it: bad head cold that the doc thinks was a virus. I kept him away from the kids for 48 hours while he was very sick. Riley then started wheezing so I took him to the doc and he prescribed another type of face mask (air chamber) for his reactive airway disease. Glad he likes it as he hated the nebulizer but I am glad we had the nebulizer as the twins started with cold symptoms 2 days later. Doc said to use Riley’s nebulizer on them due to the coughing and mucus, lots of saline and try pedialite if they aren’t digging formula due to the mucus. They didn’t dig it so the pedialite worked wonders though I thought I was giving them orange soda. They at least needed to keep hydrated. They still weren’t feeling well so I took them back and was told bronchiolitis which is a virus that could last 6-8 weeks, great… After several days of not feeling well, drinking pedialite and keeping their airways clear with the nebulizer , they actually started to come out of it. We have really worked hard putting weight on these guys. Since Chance is the smallest I was really concerned with him losing weight. He lost 3 oz (a lot for a preemie). The weekend before Thanksgiving Colin’s monitor kept going off keeping Karl and me up all night. Colin always resolved them but there were so many alarms. The Monday before Thanksgiving we took them to the doc one more time and they both checked out great. Lungs looked clear, mucus was slowly loosening up and they were both back to drinking formula well. We told the doc we were going to download the monitors that afternoon due to all the alarms and Colin’s being full. Colin’s download took 45 minutes (due to all the activity) and Chance’s took like, a minute. The nurse from CHOA Eggleston called immediately after the download (they read the information quickly) and said get in the car and head to Scottish Rite ER asap as something else is going on with Colin and he needed to be checked out. So off we went, me and Colin, down 400 to the ER at CHOA (Children’s Healthcare of ATL – for those of you that don’t live here)…
We register and get put in a room and after several attempts of taking blood and administering an IV (it took 8 tries) they finally got it. Next step was a chest X-Ray. On our way out of the room Colin’s monitor was going off and he started turning a bit gray/blue. He resolved it himself; however, I heard “We are heading to a TRAUMA room” from one of the doctors. I am sure you all have seen ER, Grey’s Anatomy, etc. and that means “move quickly”! The next thing I know, Colin is surrounded by 8 nurses/doctors sedating him, administering a breathing tube (he is being intibated), doing a chest x-ray and giving him antibiotics. So I sat in a corner being very quiet trying to take all this in. The docs/nurses kept checking in with me telling me what was going on every step of the way. Since he was having an episode and turning grey/blue before their eyes they needed to help him breathe and get air to his lungs. Still remaining very calm and about a ½ hour into this drama, one of the nurses looked up and said to me “You have got to be the calmest mother we have ever had”. My response: “If you all would have been with me the night he and his brother were born with my water breaking and the umbilical cord hanging out of my vijay-jay you would totally understand why I am so calm right now”. A burst of laughter and the OMG look on their faces was priceless! Colin was admitted that night around 11 pm. So our 10 day stay started that night.
Karl’s mom was here visiting during that time (thank god) as she was a very helpful to us (Thanks Rosann!). I spent every night in the hospital. After Riley and Reese would go to bed I would head down Scottish Rite for the night and come back for the day every morning by 9am. I just couldn’t sleep home knowing he was down there. He was discharged on December 3rd and you can’t even tell he was ever in the hospital. So, I mentioned above that I was looking for plastic bubbles for my children and I still am. If anyone knows where I can get some please drop me an email.
Very uneventful and very quiet… Karl’s mom was here visiting and we made the whole big dinner feast but it was tough because Colin was not at home. Holidays at our house are always very loud, lots of people, lots of fun, food, and booze but not this year. Here are a couple of photos of the day. Note: the photo with the boys was during Christmas. I was determined to have them both photographed with their ‘Baby’s 1st Thanksgiving’ outfits even though it wasn’t Thanksgiving. Thanks to Grandma Hermie for those adorable outfits!
Before Karl’s mom left we decorated the tree. We usually buy a real tree every year but this year decided to buy a fake one. Got a pretty good deal, I thought, at Lowes… a 9 footer that can adjust to a 7 footer for $140.
Breakfast with Santa
Our annual breakfast with Santa at the Village Tavern. Kids enjoyed seeing Santa ride in on a fire engine. Riley still doesn’t know what to think and Reese wanted nothing to do with him. But at least we got some pics.
Our annual holiday photo introducing Chance and Colin. Thanks to Tina for capturing all 4 – I still can’t believe she did it!
Thanksgiving was very quiet, but not Christmas. My family from FLA drove up: Mom, Vits, Angelo and Stephanie. The food and booze coma started on December 17th and did not stop until New Years Day. Karl and I managed to get some alone time and a couple of date nights since my folks were here. It was nice to have a little extra time – Thanks Mom and Vits!
Happy Birthday Reese!
Reese turned 2 on December 30th. We decided to have only a family party due to everyone being in town but to also keep it small due to the boys just starting to feel better. On her actual birthday, we took her to Benihanna for dinner for something different. I think she actually enjoyed it! Some photos from the family party and Benihanna.
Happy New Year!
Karl and I took Riley and Reese to the Georgia Aquarium on New Years Day. My folks stayed back to watch C&C. We all had a great time. Here are some photos of the day.
So all the ‘help’ is gone since the boys have been home. Karl’s 1 month off in October, Karl’s Dad and Margarita’s visit on Halloween weekend, Karl’s mom’s visit in November and my folks visit in December. No more ‘family visiting from out of town’ help. So we are on our own… except of course, Nanny Joan, who helps me several times a week. I thank her every day for being the greatest neighbor and friend. We met 10 years ago when Karl and I moved to ATL and we have been great friends ever since. So many people ask me ‘how do you do it, Fran’? Well, this is how we do it: See the photo’s below. When I have 2 older kids running around and 2 little babies wanting to eat you use space saver high chairs that recline and bottle props. If I did not have those products I would be pulling my hair out. I am also a stickler for a schedule and a daily to-do list. If something ‘comes’ up and we have deviate away then we deal with it.