Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

Thursday, February 25, 2010


The roller coaster of high order multiples and premature babies continues. After the babies left the NICU and were cleared by all of the specialists (pediatric ophthalmologist, pediatric gastroenterologist, and a cardiologist not to mention hernia surgery) I knew there would be occasional bumps but some weeks are rougher than others.

Let’s start with Mr. Beckett.

He has been so compliant with his helmet that we were told that it is ready to come off- only when he is able to sit up by himself. He can sit up by himself but is still pretty wobbly. He really needs to be spending more time sitting up than horizontal because otherwise his head is just going to get flat again. He is really such a sweetheart about this stinky helmet. He doesn’t fuss too much about it even when he has a heat rash and wakes up soaking wet. Don’t forget the little boy is also teething so the fact that he is so good natured has really been my savior.

Now on to Ms. Addycakes (who by the way will probably be crawling in the next few days).

For several months she has had some abnormal leg movements when you stand her up. Mostly she scissors her legs and stands on her toes and will kick her left leg out like she is a ballerina. When she was evaluated in December by developmental specialists, they were a little concerned about these movements. I know that leg scissoring can be a sign of a brain injury so I’ve been secretly watching it and it was not resolving so I finally called to have another evaluation before I had a total nervous breakdown. She had a full gross motor and neurological evaluation yesterday with a developmental pediatrician to assess for injury or damage and they decided she just has very high tone in one leg and that it should resolve on its own. If they were concerned about major complications they warned me that she would have a brain MRI to find the area of injury. But it turned out that she just likes to kick her legs and walk on her toes. Phew!!!! Of course they can’t tell me 100% but everything else looked great and her development is ahead of expectations.

It also appears that the hemangioma on this beautiful animated little girl is growing.

As you may remember, it is expected to grow for up to 6 months and then slowly involutes and eventually go away after several years but further growth was not expected. The color is also becoming slightly purpler. So she went back to the plastic surgeon today. After comparing the pictures from December it appears that it is growing but proportionally to her head growth. The darker color is a sign that it is ever so slowly going to start to disappear. I guess it will get darker purple then gray and then go away. But if not, she will need some laser treatment or surgery but not until she is 4 or 5. I’ve heard people say that is looks painful but it is not. It bothers me way more than her and we have to be thankful it is not hindering her eyesight.

And on to my little dolly, Eloise.

I have been noticing that she looks a little cross-eyed in all of her pictures lately. At first I thought it was just a coincidence and then on Friday I carefully watched her eye movement and figured out that she certainly does have one eye that lags a little from the other. So she is going to the pediatric ophthalmologist on Tuesday to get checked out. I’m guessing she has something called strabismus which is when the eyes are not lined up.

One more look at it...

Our life is not all medical talk and worry. Most of our life is like these pictures my mom took while she was here. This is a more accurate reflection of our daily life with this beautiful little creatures.

I LOVE this picture. I'm not really sure why Rich is showing Eloise something on his blackberry but you can see how little she is. I think she looks too cute in little tee shirts and jeans.

I'm trying to teach them to drink from a regular glass. It is supposed to help with speech development. Eloise is nuts about drinking from a glass. The girl likes to talk.

No I didn't get another wig for the girls. This is my hair on Eloise. We were just trying to see what she would look like with hair. Hard to tell with bangs like that.

"Let me see that dress. I have one just like that. You better not be wearing mine." -Addy

"Hey, what is that? I'm thirsty too." -Addy
"I'm bigger and stronger." -Addy (but apparently not smarter)

"I don't even know what just happened."- Eloise

My helpful little guy staying out of the fights.

Now this is how we got pee all over the blankets...

(I love that you can see me in the background trying to entertain them in order to get a picture)

"Mom!!!!! They said they are giving me girl germs and cooties." -Beckett

The best for last.

All the worry, all the work, all the stress.

Think it's worth every second?

You look at this picture and tell me.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Look Mom, do you see anything?

Hmmm, I don't see anything. Wait, what is that next to your one little tooth? It's another tooth!

Tooth Count:
Mr. Beckett-2

Monday, February 22, 2010

Preview of Pictures from Grandma

I just downloaded 300+ pictures from Grandma's 2.5 day visit. This was the most exciting picture because it involved so much pee on the blankets. Who knew these babies peed so much in 10 minutes of rolling around without diapers?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Difference Between Boys and Girls

This is the difference between the boy and the girls...
Addy eating dried prunes.

Beckett eating dried prunes.

Eloise skipped the prunes today. She didn't need them!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

And The First Tooth Goes To....


Just the other day as I was dissolving the reflux medicine into the babies cheeks and they were frantically gumming my finger, I said, "I hope we are done with this medicine before they get teeth." Too late!
Tonight as I was giving Mr. Beckett his medicine and he was chewing on my finger I felt something rough. His first tooth! You can just barely see a few little ridges poking above the gum. I tried to get a picture but he was too busy trying to lick the camera to care about documenting his first tooth. I don't want to believe it. Our babies are growing up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

12 Inches of Snow in TX = No Power = No Heat

On Thursday it started to snow in TX and by the end we had shattered a record with 12 inches. The most snow ever to fall in the DFW area in 24 hours. It was really beautiful but being a Wisconsin girl, it wasn't the most snow I'd ever seen so I went to bed a little annoyed that Rich was stuck in Detroit because of the weather.

At 2:30 in the morning I woke up because the power went out. Hmmm, it was 30 degrees outside, no heat and I had 3 babies that couldn't go to a hotel or anywhere because of the risk of RSV and germs. About that time, Addy woke up (now NONE of the babies sleep through the night!) so I fed her a bottle and came up with a plan.
My biggest concern was of course the temperature. I figured that I could keep the babies safe and comfortable until it hit 60 degrees in the house by bundling them up and then I would have to think of something else. I contemplated pulling the minivan into the driveway heating it up and letting them play in the back. Driving around with the babies in the car didn't seem to be an option because all of the road were expected to be icy because of the temperatures. But what did I know- I had no internet, radio, tv- you get the picture.

My second concern was about the baby food I had stored in the freezer. I'll get into the whole story in a later post but basically I make all of the food for the babies and I had half a freezer full of all organic homemade baby food that I had put tons of time and money into making. They've never had baby food from a jar and we don't have one single jar in the house. I even make applesauce. So you can see it would have been a problem not to mention heartbreaking to lose all of that food if the power stayed off for a while.

At 4:00 in the morning I emptied all the ice out of the ice maker into Ziploc bags and packed all the baby food and goat yogurt into a cooler with the ice on top. Don't forget there were no lights so I did this by candlelight. Then I feed two more babies. Have you ever changed a poop diaper by candlelight?

My third concern was about the rice and oatmeal cereal that normally goes into their bottle for thickener. I have to grind the cereal in a coffee grinder to make it small enough for their nipples. I only had enough left for one more bottle and the babies haven't had formula without thickener since they came home from the NICU so I was petrified about their reflux and aspirating. Maybe if I had a mortar and pestle I could hand crush the cereal? Later, my mom suggested that I use a rolling pin. Then she asked if I had my Little House on the Prairie apron and hat. The solution was to mix the formula with goat yogurt to thicken it. Thanks Mom for the idea.

I also figured out that I would have to pack a few things and think about what I would need to pack in case it got too cold because trying to pack and even think when it was getting cold in the house with 3 babies might be impossible.

At about 7:30, all the babies were up and not happy with their bottle of cold formula mixed with yogurt. They are used to warmed bottles. I take that back, Addy loves yogurt and gobbled hers down. At this time it was about 68 degrees in the house. Sounds warm enough but when you are used to 74 degrees, it felt cold.

I bundled them up with several layers and let them play together with blankets in the crib.

The plan was to take the babies to Rich's parent's house when the temperature in the house dropped too low. Did I mention that the dogs are afraid of the snow and would not go the bathroom?

Finally around 9:30 I decided it was time to make my move. The roads didn't look great but passable. The temperature in the house was 65 degrees and dropping. I gathered up tons of stuff-
2 pack n'plays
1 bag of diapers and wipes
2 Boppy's
1 bag of clothes and blankets
1 bag of bottles and accessories, coffee grinder for the cereal
1 bag of formula, cereal, bananas, avocados, food mill, spoons, bibs, washcloths and so forth

Then packed the babies into their car seats.

Once on the road, I got a text that the power was back on.

We drove around for a while since the main roads were fine and I stopped at the Starbucks drive-thru for a much needed caffeine laden coffee drink and coffee cake while the house warmed up and the babies napped in the car. They love sleeping in the car!

It doesn't sound that traumatic but the unpredictability of when the power was going to come back on with the most unsettling feeling. Also, remember these babies have NEVER been anywhere except the doctors office and walks so the possibility of taking them to a place that was unfamiliar to them for potentially a long period of time was putting me into near panic mode.
It sounds strange but I kept thinking, "They are not done cooking. They are not done cooking. They are not done cooking." In my head I was prepared to bring them to different places in 1 or 2 months when they have had more time to build up their immune systems and the RSV season was over. Normally I've heard the phrase "cooking" when referring to a baby in utero. Since my babies didn't have nearly enough time "cooking" in me, I think of our house as the next best place because we are trying to be so careful about clothing worn in public, exposure to too many people, and carrying germs into the house in general. So mentally I was not prepared for this quite yet.

I was also in near panic mode when I thought about having to unpack all of the stuff that I packed into the van.

I didn't pack the pugs. They just like to sniff things and be in pictures.

The SAFE baby food!

I could have made some really fabulous margaritas with all of this ice.

By the time Rich got home at 5:30 that night, everything was unpacked, all of the bottles were washed, I convinced the pugs the snow was not scary, the baby food was back in the freezer, and the house was clean. Rich and I didn't have anything to eat for dinner because everything in the freezer and fridge had to be thrown away but the babies sure did!

Another Quote from Rich

Another quote from Rich. Believe me, I could have have a blog full of quotes, but I love my husband and try to stay on his good side- most of the time. This is just one gem of the day.

This is what I saw when I walked up the stairs into the playroom while Rich was in charge. Addy is wrapped up in the blanket and Beckett is kicking the snot out of her. I must have looked a tad concerned.

"She did it to herself. She's alive, I've seen her move a few times." -Rich

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Okay I was really naughty yesterday. Our developmental doctor has told that we are absolutely under no circumstances to be using any sort of exersaucer or Jumperoo or walker or any sort of jumping device. This was after I had already purchased an exersaucer and a jumperoo from another multiple mom and they had used them a few times.
Since we were told not to use them they have been sitting in corner unused until I got around to selling them. I decided to break the rule yesterday- only because I sold the jumperoo to another mom and was delivering it that night so any future temptation would be gone.

Here's my wild Kangaroo. Good thing he had a helmet, I was worried he was going to bounce out. I had no idea those skinny little legs were so strong.

Addy is a very busy little girl. She was so busy playing with the toys that she forgot to jump.

I didn't dare put little Eloise in it. She still has high muscle tone and I didn't want to risk it, even for a few minutes.
See Beckett's toes? This is precisely why we are not supposed to use these- that and problems with muscle development, spine pressure, posture, blah, blah, blah. All the fun stuff is bad for you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

8 Months

After their afternoon meal we had a pseudo surprise dance party in celebration. I moonwalked out of the kitchen and then ran back in yelling "Surprise!!!"
This is what it looked like every time.

I was exhausted and hoarse by the end but it was entertainment for about 20 minutes and I think I cleaned the floor with my socks.

You'd think after 8 months I would figure out to take the "nice" pictures in the morning before they get full of food and spit up and pull off their socks but at least the girls are wearing dresses and most of the butternut squash is hidden in the folds of the dresses.

And 5 seconds later...
(Addy tips over and tried to roll off the bed.)

And 5 seconds after that...
(Beckett hits Eloise in the face making her wail.)

That was the end of picture taking for the evening.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Girls

The last couple posts have been about Beckett, and deservedly so, the poor little guy is so brave with his helmet. He had brief reprieve this week when I took off the band and he was having skin breakdown from the rubbing. I called the doctor and they told me to leave it off until it could get adjusted on Friday. Boy that was a happy (and less stinky) little man for a few days. But we are back to 23 hours a day and him sweating through his clothes...

So I thought I would write a little about the girls and what they are up to these days.

Eloise, nickname- Kitty Cat

This little gorgeous creature could charm the skin off a snake. She has these big hazel eyes and when she smiles it like a ray of sunshine. She can be very vocal when she feels like and her main form of communication is squealing, screaming and laughing. If the mood is right, anything can bring out a squeal- the dog walking by, rolling on her stomach, spotting a new toy, or even a kiss on the cheek. Her favorite things are "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and avocado. She will eat anything if there is a hint of avocado. She is also the first one to have fear of strangers. If someone comes over that she hasn't seen a while, she cries until I hold her. Then she still might cry if I'm holding her and she looks at the "stranger" too long. But when she cries, watch out. She has a piercing cry that could shatter glass. Most of the time she is gloriously happy but when she is upset, it is the most heartbreaking thing. She really can turn on the tears and when she cries it is like she is auditioning for a movie with the perfect alligator tears she can produce. She also now likes to pucker her lips and smack her lips like she is kissing. I'm telling you, this girl is theatrical. She weighs 13 lbs and 10 oz so she is still a little tiny thing. She is very content like Beckett, very focused on toys and eating and biting on as many toys as she can and loves to sit in the kitchen and watch me and watch the pugs scrounge for food.

Addy, Nickname- AddyCakes (as in Paddy-cake) and King Kong

Look at those beautiful blue eyes! You would think that a name like King Kong would not be very flattering for a little girl but in our world where we are working so hard to get them to gain weight it is a complement of the highest level. This is a dual nickname because she is the biggest at 14 lbs 9 oz, and because grunting is her main form of communication. She is a very busy little girl. Now she is at the stage where she sees something off in the distance and wants it and grunts and squirms and reaches out for things until I can figure out what she wants. This is where I would be happy if she would catch on to the sign language I'm desperately trying to teach them. When I'm feeding them I have to hide the sippy cups, washcloths, and teething biscuits from Addy because once she sees any one of those things, the game is over. I don't even let her see me wipe the faces of the other two because all she wants to do is suck on the washcloth and wipe the table- at least that is what it looks like. She is also my best and worst eater. She loves papaya, goat yogurt, apricot juice and root vegetables. But if she is not hungry she is the only one at this point that does the dreaded clamp the mouth, turn the head and grab the spoon. But if she is hungry, she will really go to town.

Remember I've said before that Addy is always taking off her socks and my solution is to put tights on her? She is making every attempt at foiling my plan and ruining her tights in the process.
She has them stretched out and is sucking on the feet.

Everything is hers- at least for now until the other two put up a fight. Toys, teething biscuits, sippy cups, her Dad's Lebanese food...

-no 7 month olds were given inappropriate food in the making of these photos!

Friday is another perfect example. The girls finished eating right before I got home with Beckett from the doctor. I couldn't leave the girls alone so I fed him in his bouncy chair while the girls were playing on the floor in the playroom. Once Addy saw that I had food she starting grunting and reaching so I ended up feeding Beckett with Addy on my lap trying to eat the yogurt container.

You can see the top of Eloise's head by the arm and the next course of avocado and banana at the bottom of the picture. Just a glimpse into the daily chaos...

And speaking of chaos, this scene was just too funny to me today. It was just a big pile of toys and babies. I guess it is funnier if you know the size of the playroom. There is not much more floorspace than what you can see so I'm not sure what we are going to do when they get bigger...

And one final picture of my boy sitting up (he's 14 lbs 5 oz by the way). Sorry sweetheart about the pink Boppy. I guess that is what happens when you have sisters.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Adjusting to a Hot Head

When I was in 8th grade I dislocated me pinky. The solution was to put a cast on my arm up to my elbow for several weeks. Anyone who has had a cast can tell you about that smell when the cast comes off. Well that is what my precious little boy smells like these days. His head is just so hot and he just sweats all day. I'm hoping he adjusts to it soon.

Last night after his bath and before he went to bed was the start of him wearing it 23 hours a day and the first time he had to wear it overnight. Normally the babies get a little bottle and then they I put them in their cribs whether they are sleeping or not. Beckett usually goes right to sleep or talks for a while and then goes to sleep but he cried for the first time it in a long time. It was so sad. I ended up rocking him to sleep and it took him about 30 minutes to get to sleep.

Look at his shirt; he thought this helmet thing was going to be all fun and games.

All I can say is that I'm grateful that only one baby has a helmet and I'm grateful the one baby is Beckett. I would be in big trouble if it was either one of the girls. Speaking of that, I think they have figured out that his head is protected because they both seem to be hitting him with toys lately. Today at breakfast, Addy smacked him on the head with a rattle about 5 times and he didn't even blink. He is just so laid back and sweet. He rarely cries and if he does it is because he is hungry or tired. He is always very focused on one toy at a time, shaking it, eating it, holding it above his head, inspecting it and always kicking his legs. When I'm downstairs and he is on the floor upstairs I can always hear his thumping on the floor.

The helmet is just an added challenge trying to get him to eat solid food. He still doesn't have great head control and his head seems to sag down a bit so trying to cram food in his mouth is a total mess. Luckily, the helmet is easy to clean.

He is becoming a little more interested in sitting at the table and playing. And the teething biscuits certainly help. Barley biscuits seem to be a favorite around here. Right Rich?

Bella has figured out that she will usually get some sort of treat anytime there is a baby at the table. Half the teething biscuits end up on the floor, ummm I mean, they end up pug treats. Expensive pug treats.

I took off his helmet tonight before his bath and the first thing he did was roll from his back to his stomach for the first time. It was like a little roly-poly celebration of getting his helmet off.
I'm hoping he does it again tomorrow (with his helmet ON).