Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting Out

Ok, these hats may be a little big

Blake took this photo

Brandon and Katelyn both went in for their nine month check up the other day. They are both doing well. Katelyn is developmentally at or beyond expectations for her adjusted age (6months). Brandon might be a little behind but he is making great progress and certainly not falling behind. They still are small but doing well. Both of them are surprisingly social. We hear this reaction from many of the different health care providers. Brandon often seems more interested in the people in the room than the toys around him. Katelyn kept surprising the doctor with her strength. In fact, he mentioned it several times with increasing surprise in his voice.

Last night we tried something a little crazy. We’ve been keeping the babies away from public places. We should be able to take them out very soon but we haven’t really done it yet. A small local theatre was performing the Pirates of Penzance. Derek’s favorite movie is Star Wars (any episode we will let him watch) followed closely by the Pirates of Penzance. We found a night when the attendance would be low because of the Jazz game. We called and they let us come with the babies. We sat in an empty section in the back. I was very nervous that things would go terribly wrong. Luckily it all worked out fine.

The boys seemed to really like the play, especially when they pulled out the light sabers as a gag. They got a little antsy in the middle but the en d was action packed and kept them very engaged. The babies behaved surprisingly well. We made a couple of trips to the bathroom and had a diaper change. We even fed them rice cereal during the show. They made a little noise but not enough to disturb anyone and it never seemed to happen in the quite times in the show.

We had another interesting Blake and Derek event. A while ago, Amy let them go outside and play with some of the neighbor kids. A few minutes later they came home with a bunch of treats in their hands. We asked them where they got them and they said the neighbors gave them the treats. When we pried a little and they explained that after they passed up the kids in the yard to knock on the door, they told them that they didn’t have any food or money. As you can imagine we were pretty embarrassed. We made them go back and apologize. The problem is that it worked. They have learned they can get a lot with a smile. We are going to have to work hard to make sure that they don’t become the annoying kids on the block who go around working the neighbors.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I promise to post more videos soon but here are our first videos on this blog. The sound isn't great because they were taken with our camera and not our video camera.

We feel good about our choice to postpone Brandon's operation. Most of the time both Brandon and Katelyn only have runny noses and they don’t show any other signs of being sick. However Katelyn had some real trouble keeping food down. It is amazing how much food that can come out of such a little body. The good news is that after she was done clearing out her system she seemed to be as happy as could be. Brandon hasn’t had as much trouble but he did have enough to let us know he really is sick.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Change of Plans

Brandon and Katelyn both woke up this morning a little congested. We called the hospital and talked with the anesthesiologist. She said that with any other baby they might just proceed but with Brandon it certainly added more risk. If this was just he start of a sickness and he got worse tomorrow, being under anesthesia could make it a lot worse and his recovery could be a lot longer. They left us with the ultimate decision. It was a hard choice but we decide to cancel today. There was no reason to add any more risk. We can put off the surgery for a long time without any problems.

We don’t know when they will be able to reschedule yet. We should find out soon and we will post here once we know. I’m sure that all of your recent prayers will also count when it is actually time for his surgery. We appreciate all the support we have received. It would have been very nice to be done with this soon. The biggest problem is that now we will now have more time to worry about all of the potential complications.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Surgery Day

We found out that Brandon's surgery is towards the end of the day on Wednesday. We have to be at the hospital at 3, but he won't be taken back for surgery until 4:30. One of the hardest things is going to be his food restrictions, but as long as the OR schedule doesn't get too far behind it shouldn't be too bad. He can't have solids aftter midnight, and only clear liquids after 10:30 and nothing after 1:30. The good news is he'll get his first taste of apple juice which I am sure he will love! There are several things that we found out could put a stop to this even at the very last minute, but we are hoping to just get it done at this point (Actually we are both really hoping to get him there and have them tell us that the hernias closed on their own and that he doesn't need surgery at all! But we won't hold our breath.)

Thank you for your continued prayers for Brandon and also for his amazing surgeon Dr. Downey whom we truly love. We'll post more as soon as we can.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Big smiles

We finally got some pictures of Brandon smiling. He always stops when we pull out the camera. He at least started out smiling and in the later pictures returned to his blank stare.

Both Brandon and Katelyn have gained more weight in the last week than they have in the last month. It certainly appears that feeding them both solids, three times a day, is working. I just hope they can keep this up for a long period of time.

We are finally starting to feel a little more normal. Well, normal for a family with two sets of twins and one set needing a little extra attention. I guess we will never really be “normal”. We will have to embrace our abnormality. It will be interesting to see what people say when we are in public with all of our kids. We already have interesting stories with one set of twins. When we started this blog things were very different than they are now. This has been a great way to communicate with everyone but it also means that we have missed out on a lot of personal contact. We are still super busy but looking forward to more contact with friends, family and neighbor s with RSV season almost over and our babies’ health updates are more on a week by week or even month by month basis as opposed to the day by day or even hour by hour as when we started this blog. We will try and do better at things like responding to email and work on returning to normal life.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Keeping busy

Watching TV at the doctor's office

Eating dinner

These glasses just get in the way!

I actually ate some too.

Fighting over toys

Bad photo, but you can see her fuzzy mohawk

Stylish hat

Notice the super hero sticker on her chest. derek found a good spot for it.

It’s been a while since my last post. Last week our whole family was sick. For a family who has tried hard all winter, to stay away from crowds, wash our hands and generally avoid sickness, we sure have seen a lot of it. This last round of a stomach-flu hit pretty hard but luckily it only lasted about 24 hours. With the staggered effect of passing the sickness on to each other, it remained our family for much longer than 24 hours. The boys got sick and threw up in many interesting places, so I did a lot of cleaning during this period. We all seem to be better now and I hope we are close to reaching the end of RSV season so we can come out of seclusion soon. While the babies have been sick several times, we have been lucky and avoided RSV or anything that would come close to re-hospitalization.

Speaking of going back to the hospital, we are quickly approaching Brandon’s surgery. The surgeon has assured us that a hernia repair is so much simpler than his past operations but we are still very nervous. We hope to have him home within 24 hours but we are well aware of all of the complications that can arise from surgery. Brandon’s current surgery is scheduled for the 16th. Please keep him in your prayers.

As I have mentioned previously, Brandon has been diagnosed with hemiperisis. This means that his left side seems to be less responsive and it is developing slower. While it is certainly is apparent and very real, he has made really great progress. He has good moments and bad ones. We were encouraged with the therapist came over and couldn’t tell which hand was the problem hand. Brandon recently had a splint made that helps keep his thumb outstretched rather than always curled in. We keep it on him for two hours at a time throughout the day.

One of our big concerns is that they are still growing very slowly. They are almost 9 months old. Katelyn is 10lbs 10 oz. and Brandon is 11lbs. 7oz. One of the things we are doing to help them grow is feeding them solids 3 times a day. Despite her smaller size, Katelyn eats a lot. She is very messy but she loves to eat. She is also very active and one of the therapists was pretty sure that her high level of activity was burning a lot of calories.

Katelyn is pretty effective at moving around the living room and finding things to play with. She loves Brandon’s glasses, TV remotes and power cords. Brandon and Katelyn often get a hold of the same toy and engage in a tug-of-war.

The other day a funny thing happened with Katelyn. She has not been taking a bottle for months. When we first brought her home from the hospital we worked hard to get her to take a bottle but she resisted. We spent a lot of time with the occupational therapist trying many different tactics but our strong-willed girl resisted. The other day Brandon finished his bottle but still seemed hungry. Amy put a little more milk in his bottle and while carrying Katelyn walked the bottle back to Brandon and me. During the walk back, Katelyn grabbed the bottle with both hands and started drinking. Within a very short period of time she had downed the whole thing. I guess we can give bottles another shot :)

A section of our fence recently blew over in a storm. Yesterday I was outside trying to figure out how to fix it. The handle on the gate also was damaged. I had the latch in my hand when the boys convinced me we needed to race across the yard. I was feeling confident and I told them that I could beat them even if I was running backwards. It turns out I was wrong. They got ahead of me. I turned on the speed and really began to move my legs and arms. Blake figured out that the shortest path to the finish line was to run in my path. The metal latch, which was still in my hand, connected solidly with Blake’s head. As a result, we spent some time in the doctor’s office getting staples in his head. Not only did I feel horrible for seriously injuring my son, after repeatedly lecturing Blake about running with objects in his hand, but I also had to explain what happened to the doctor and nurses. He was very brave and upon returning home he asked if we could go back some time. I’m sure this desire was influenced by the pile of Batman and Star Wars stickers that both Derek and Blake got from the nurse. However, I would have much preferred to skip the experience.