The New Adventure

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Post Christmas Wrap Party

Christmas time has come and gone and the girls seem to have had a great time. I'm still working on getting the pictures downloaded and ready for posting so look for an update in the next couple of days.

We spent time with both of our families over Christmas and ended up messing up the girl's schedules something awful. Molly decided that sleep was vastly overrated and spent 3 hours from 3am til 6am one night screaming and then an hour the next night between 3am and 4am doing the same. Very exciting. Lindsey says I got a bit agitated at one point and asked her why she couldn't do something about the child. I don't recall any hostility but my wife begs to differ.

But, we survived! One cool thing that I got for Christmas is a MinoHD Flip video camera

Check out the link but basically it's a tiny video camera that actually shoots in high def. This thing is smaller than a cell phone so it's easy to take everywhere.

As a test, I shot a short video of McKenzie enjoying the sunshine this past weekend in Maryville. Let's see if this works...

Ok, we're back. Look for more videos as we go on. Since this thing is so small, I'm sure we'll be using it more and more (Lindsey says, if we remember)

So, other news...Molly got to go to the hospital this morning for a hip ultrasound. Since she was breech, the doctor's request that we get an ultrasound when they hit 6 weeks of age to make sure the hips are doing what they are supposed to. Of course, they wouldn't tell us the results of the test. She seems to be walking just fine...

While we were at the hospital, we visited with Stacey and made our trip reservations for Las Vegas! Yeah, the new parents are abandoning their twins at 3 months of age to go and play in Vegas for 5 days.

Really, it's work related. Lindsey and two of her coworkers earned a special designation called the Pediatric Clinical Specialist. It's a big deal. There are only about 700 of them in the entire country and at least 5 of those work in Lindsey's department. So, we're going to Vegas for the APTA Combined Sections Meeting in February so Lindsey (and Stacey and Amanda) can receive their award. It's going to be swanky!

Ah, last story...and this one might be too much information so if you're sensitive to these sorts of things, look away now... might not want to read this...

Are you still with me? Ok, cool...

So, here's the story. After Molly's swallow study the week of Christmas, she started producing some...interesting...poops. Like, butterscotch pudding consistency. Now, this in and of itself is not a bad thing. Babies's what they do. The problem was the volume...we're talking wrapped all the way around the top of the legs and just everywhere. I couldn't fathom where this was coming from.

Now, they had told us that the dye stuff they used would cause some digestive issues but this was just nuts. Anyway, these creations lasted for much longer than you would think the dye would cause. So, Lindsey hypothesized that maybe, just maybe, it was the milk thickener, Simply Thick, that was causing these bountiful productions. So, she asked me to see if I could find out more about this and see if that was a possibility.

So, there I was, 2 days after Christmas, firing up Google and entering the search terms "Simply Thick Poop".

Thank God I wasn't doing an image search...

That's all folks!

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

So, here we are on Christmas Eve and things are pretty much the same that they've been for a while. It doesn't feel much like Christmas since it's raining and 60 degrees outside.

Here's what has happened over the last week or so. On Tuesday, Molly got to have a swallow study. It's pretty cool in that Molly sits in a seat next to an xray machine. Lindsey gave her a bottle with some xray dye in it. While she drank the bottle, the xray image showed up on a few tv screens and we could watch what she was swallowing and where it was going.

The reason for the test was to see if Molly was aspirating food into her lungs instead of getting it all to her tummy. Turns out that Molly doesn't have cruise control. Once she gets going, she just keeps speeding up until she chokes herself and tries to suck and breathe at the same time. End result: aspiration.

So, we now get to thicken her milk before she eats. We use this gel stuff called Simply Thick that costs like $0.30 per 4oz bottle, or about $2 per day. If she was on formula we could have used rice cereal but breast milk doesn't mix with rice cereal for some reason. Girls are weird...

On Christmas Eve, we went to the 3PM service at Burks with my family. The 3PM service is new this year (one of 3 different options) but a lot of the people I grew up knowing were there. There was a lot of oohing and ahhing over the girls. That's because they had their cute Christmas dresses on. After the service, we went home and Gi-gi and G-daddy came over to visit. Here's a picture of us for Christmas Eve:

Once the grandparents left, it was time to get the girls ready for Santa. So, we got on our pj's and read the Night Before Christmas.

They enjoyed it, I'm sure!

I think we're ready for Santa now! Special thanks to grandma for our special cup and plate for Santa's milk and cookies! The USPS got it to us right at the last minute! 

So, from us to you, Merry Christmas! Look for more pictures and updates after tomorrow!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Photo Updates

Some photo updates from the last couple of weeks. Things have been fairly slow around the house and that is certainly a good thing. The girls have decided that they don't like to sleep at night very much anymore, especially Molly. We (Molly and myself) saw 4am together Friday night/Saturday morning. Fun fun and more fun.

So, on to the photos. The first couple of pictures are from tummy time and working on our head control. Here's McKenzie working on keeping her head up.

And now we have Molly doing the same thing. Mom didn't get a very good picture of this...

Next, we have both girls enjoying their playset. They seem to be starting to figure out that their hands are attached to their bodies and they can do stuff with them. McKenzie can repeatedly punch the giraffe on her bouncy seat. Now, if she knows what she's doing is an entirely separate question.

Last, we have a few pictures of the girls getting ready for their first Christmas Party. Our Sunday School class party was Friday night and the girls got to come with us. Here we are with a new friend.

And now we're not so sure we want to go to the party anymore. Sleep...sleep...sleep...and cry...

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Black and White and Yellow

We got the results of McKenzie's bilirubin test this morning. She's not truly jaundiced. It's just what's called "breast milk jaundice" which is caused when you're only breastfed and usually lasts until 6 weeks of age. Yay!

Today is also Molly and McKenzie's 1 month birthday. Lindsey and I were talking yesterday how it didn't seem like it had already been a month since they were feels much longer! In honor of their 1 month birthday, I present the following:

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rocking and Rumbling

Wow...long day.

So, today we got to go to The Children's Hospital in Birmingham, AL for an opinion on McKenzie's cyst. If you will recall, on our 25 week ultrasound, the doctor noticed a cyst forming in McKenzie's brain. We were referred to specialists at the Regional Obstetrics Group for their opinion. Prior to delivery, they called it a porencyphalic cyst. After delivery, a head ultrasound was done and the cyst was classified as an arachnoid cyst. There was no brain tissue involvement seen and we were basically told to wait and see what would happen. Our pediatrician got us a referral to see Dr. Jerry Oakes, a neurosurgeon in Birmingham to get his opinion.

So, we went to Birmingham. It was a lovely day for a drive. Cold, rain, and fog the entire way down and back. We left the house at 7am for a 9am (central time) appointment. My mom came over to keep Molly for the day so we didn't have to worry about 2 kids. She's a great mom cause she brought Hardees biscuits for the road. Yay!

And, we're off...McKenzie seemed to tolerate the driving just fine. I think she slept most of the time. The same could be said of her mother. For those of you not familiar with the route to Birmingham from Chattanooga, it involves about 130 miles of driving on I-59, the best interstate ever created (note the sarcasm...)

Seriously, bad road. It's like the state of Alabama transportation department decided to put in a rumble strip to keep folks awake but instead of putting it on the shoulders, they just put it in the main traffic lanes.

Dear Alabama,

Come to Tennessee and see how to build a decent highway. We don't waste our tax dollars on dumb stuff like healthcare or education. You shouldn't either. We build awesome roads. You should too.



Yeah, they are that bad. Strangely, the fast lane is much smoother than the slow lane. So, you'd be driving along and run up behind an 18-wheeler and they would refuse to move over to let you pass. I hope passing on the right isn't against the law in Alabama...I guess it isn't until you get caught.

So, we get to the hospital, which is really neat. Unlike TC Thompson, this hospital is a purpose-built children's hospital. It's very nice. So, we find our clinic and we're actually on time (8:40am central time) We meet with a few nurses, a med student, and finally the doctor himself. It's actually kind of funny because he refers to himself in the third person and attempted to answer all of our possible questions before we asked. It was like, he'd be talking and say, "So, Dr. Oakes, in all the patients you've seen with similar issues, what is the likelihood of complications or problems?" And then would go on and answer it.

It was quite funny. Anyway, the diagnosis at this point is unilateral hydrocephalus or unilateral ventricular dilation. Basically, there is some scar tissue that formed within the ventricle of the brain that slowed the flow of cerebral spinal fluid causing the ventricle to expand. Therefore, there is no cyst! Just the enlarged ventricle with some extra fluid on board.

Dr. Oakes wants to get an MRI in 3 to 4 months in order to see the complete structure of the ventricle in detail as well as make sure it isn't getting larger or changing. He doesn't expect there to be any issues going forward. MRI's are usually performed on patients from youngest to oldest beginning at 7am. I think we'll be spending the night in Birmingham before we consider leaving Chattanooga at 4:30am to make the appointment.

So, while in Birmingham, the med student asked if McKenzie was jaundiced. Yeah, maybe a little. So, on the way home, we called Dr. Jeanie to find out what we should do. She suggested that we get a baseline bilirubin level drawn. This meant a trip to TC Thompson before we went home. My limit is 2 hospitals in a single day. Seriously...

So, McKenzie got poked. Prior to that, we decided to treat her to something special so we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch. She's killing Molly in accomplishments at the moment: she's up to 3 states visited and a real restaurant! Molly must be mad!

Back to the car ride, Lindsey really tries to be a good traveling companion, really. You know the "head nod" you get when you're trying to stay awake but you close you eyes for a second and all the sudden, it's like your head is trying to commit suicide by jumping off your neck only to be caught at the last second by a violent neck snap? Yeah, saw a lot of that both on the way down and on the way back. 

At one point I asked her why she didn't just lean back and rest against the seat. Her response? She felt guilty about falling asleep...I told her I didn't want to have to take her to the hospital for whiplash so she shouldn't feel guilty about sleeping...even though I couldn't...

So, that's our big day out. It was long but we all survived. I'm looking forward to a restful Wednesday!

Labels: , ,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Another Week, Lessons Learned

So, another week has flown by and we have all managed to survive somehow. We tried our hardest to screw stuff up but we made it through. Whew.

So, what happened this week in the lives of the twins? Not terribly much, but that's ok. We need some slow times every once in a while just to feel like we're in control (yeah right...)

So, Molly and McKenzie are on this awesome schedule where they eat about every 3 hours during the day and every 4 - 5 hours at night. Yeah, that was true up until this past week. There's something to be said about this whole "now we're past our due date so we're going to go crazy" thing that other parents have been telling us about. Molly and McKenzie have definitely got some different personalities going on.

For some reason, McKenzie has no problems taking naps or sleeping until it's after 10PM. Then, the child is a holy terror and won't calm down unless someone is holding her. I think she's afraid of falling asleep. That sounds kinda funny but seems to be the truth.

Molly is pretty passive about most things. She's definitely the stronger of the 2 and has much better head control. She can pick her head up and move it all around. So, that's fun.

Molly had her cardiologist appointment on Tuesday this past week with Dr. Parsons. We didn't find any serious issues. She had about 1500 PVC's (premature/early heartbeats) in a 24 hour period. That's like 1 every 2 minutes or something. The main thing they look for are thousands of PVC's (like 30,000) or multiple PVC's in a row. Molly never had any of those so we're looking pretty sweet there. We have to go back in April for a follow-up. Yay...more doctor's appointments!

While we were at the hospital, we went down to radiology and picked up a CD with McKenzie's head ultrasound pictures on it. Here's a picture of her cyst:

Yeah, it looks big and stuff but it doesn't seem to be having any effect on her. At least, she hasn't told me about it or anything.

Wednesday we got a phone call from the insurance company asking some questions about the girls for their life policies. One of the questions was "What is the current condition of the child?" I responded, "Warm and happy..." and the girl laughed and said she had to put that in the report. Well, at least it was true...

Friday was interesting to say the least. We had a girl come over and take some photographs of the girls. It was a 2 hour session with a bunch of different poses and stuff. I'm happy to report that both girls were so comfortable with the process that they both peed on the girl's props.


After the photos were done, Lindsey had her work Christmas party to go to. It's such a big deal that the entire Children's Therapy department at the hospital shuts down. So, while mom is gone, I figured that the girls and I could run a quick errand. I needed to pick up a keybox and sign from a property on Mowbrey Mountain, something that should take a grand total of 45 minutes. So, I feed the kids, get them in their car seats and take off for the mountains.

Well, something happened to my real estate key. It wouldn't work. So, I called tech support. After some troubleshooting, they tell me it's shot and I'll need to get a replacement. Now, normally, this would not have been a big deal, at all. But, on Saturday, I already had 7 showings (!) scheduled for a couple. So, I was going to be needing my key ASAP. 

So, here I am on top of Mowbrey Mountain at 3PM on Friday afternoon realizing that I have to get to the Chattanooga Association of Realtors on Amnicola Hwy before 4:30 to get a replacement key. 

Now, did I have a diaper bag with me? Nope

Did I have any milk with me? Nope

Was I going to call Lindsey and tell her to leave her party early? Nope

Would Lindsey have killed me if I told her where I was? Probably...

So, we trucked on. And made it. And survived to tell about it.

Molly was a bit miffed by the time we got home at 4:50PM, only 50 minutes past their scheduled feeding time. McKenzie didn't seem to mind. 

Lesson learned: it's impossible to assume that a trip will only take 45 minutes. Always pack for overnight cause you just never know!

So, Saturday I had my 7 showings with a great guy who's looking for his first house. Fun day with his dad and girlfriend. While I was away, my in-laws snuck into town to visit with the girls. Lindsey and I got to grab some dinner tonight at Olive Garden (thanks Burton's!) while the grandparents and aunt babysat.

That's a wrap from this week. This is long and doesn't have any pictures. Sorry if you actually read all of this...

We're going to Birmingham for McKenzie's appointment on Tuesday. We have to leave here around 6:45AM (!) in order to make it for a 9am appointment. No idea how long it's going to take but I guess we'll see. Til next time!

Labels: , ,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Week in Review

Well, it looks like we're on some sort of weekly update schedule right now. I guess the girls just aren't doing anything interesting that makes me want to run to the computer and post something funny/cool/interesting/etc.

So, what's happened over the last week? Short answer: not much. Sorry, boring I know. But, we'll do some sort of summary here.

So, Molly and McKenzie continue to grow and do well. Their original due date was December 3 which was this past Wednesday. Apparently, they decided it was time to really start living. That night, McKenzie decided that she wanted to stay up from midnight until 2am and then again from 3am til 5:30am or so. Fun fun fun. Mommy and me enjoyed the heck outta that. No really, we did.

Good news of the week: our recliner for the nursery supposedly shipped out from the factory today on the way to our house. It's only 5 weeks late but it'll sure be comfy when we're trying to rock some child to sleep at 5am.

We also went to see Dr. Jeanie again on Friday. Both girls have now surpassed their birth weights. Molly is now 7 pounds 3 ounces and McKenzie is 6 pounds 9 ounces. That's an increase of 13 ounces and 11 ounces respectively in just 7 days. Little pigs we're raising.

We finally got our info from Dr. Oakes in Birmingham concerning McKenzie's appointment on Dec. 16. It looks like we don't have much of an option other than being in Birmingham at 9am that morning. Ugh...not looking forward to that. Cool thing though is that ultrasounds and imaging done at the hospital is now given to you on a CD. If it's something I can read on my computer, I'll post the ultrasound (if Lindsey lets me...)

Some things we discovered this week:

1) Molly DOES NOT like her swing AT ALL

Here's a picture of her just prior to the blow up. She screamed like a banshee and then wouldn't even sit in it when it wasn't moving. Oh well...

2) Little pullover gowns are SO MUCH easier to work with when changing diapers

Here's a picture of the girls in their gowns.

Seriously, pants on a 2 week old is a joke. It's not cute, it's annoying. Maybe that's just me. Ok, sorry...

3) McKenzie has big freaky eyes...

4) Apparently, the girls like each other...

Last note for the week...

Our Sunday School class has started bringing us meals every other day starting this past Thursday. The Chambers brought us some fabulous beef stew, beer bread, cookies, and pound cake. It was all awesome. Tonight, the Ramsey's and the Miles' brought us some chicken pie, green beans and brownies.

The Ramsey's also brought their 5 month old Grayson, also know as "Gello". Gello got to meet the ladies for the first time...

But, in the end, I think he's more in touch with his toys than the ladies...

Thank God...

Labels: , ,

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Feasts!

So, it's been a few days since I posted an update. I've been chastised by a number of folks via Facebook, email, and in person so I am relenting to you and posting an update!

What is there to say? Since our last update, the Maryville contingent of John, Jamie, and Les came down to visit for the weekend. Friday morning we had Molly's first pediatrician appointment. McKenzie tagged along as well just to get her weight checked. She gained 9 ounces since Monday and now weighs 5 pounds 14 ounces. Here's a picture of Molly getting stripped down prior to Dr. Stephanie examining her.

John's 55th birthday was also on Friday so we had another big dinner just for him. Sue fixed ham and scalloped potato casserole. We also had a squash and zucchini casserole that Jamie fixed, fruit salad, bread, etc. My parents and my brother and his wife came over as well.

The girls didn't enjoy any of the food but they provided entertainment by allowing us to put them in their bouncy seats and see how they reacted. Neither one really noticed the music but they both disliked the vibrating function. Pained expressions all around.

Saturday morning, our friends Jenny, Carrie, and Holly from Maryville came down to visit with the girls. They got to check out the nursery and help feed and change the girls. I'm sure they enjoyed every second of that. We sure did appreciate their visit.

Also on Saturday, we did Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family. My aunt and uncle Ron and Linda from South Carolina were there as were Tim and Liz and Brynn from Knoxville and my grandmother and her husband Bill. The Maryville clan came over as well and enjoyed our "traditional" Thanksgiving dinner of prime rib. That's my kind of meal.

We ended up only staying 3 or 4 hours. We're finding that it's tough with 2 little ones. They get worn out with all the holding and passing and it wears us out just to be around a bunch of other people. I'm glad we got to see everyone though!

Lindsey's folks left from there and went back to Maryville. So, it was our very first night home alone with just us and the girls. It seems that we all survived fairly well without any big problems. Here's a picture of the girls zonked out on the couch just before their last feeding for the night.

On Sunday, we just lounged around the house. Our friend Gordon stopped by briefly to bring us a gift card for Outback. He reminded me that they do takeout. I'm sure that will come in handy over the next few weeks. Thanks Gordon and Susan!

Right now, I'm all alone with the girls. Lindsey has left to go to Target and the grocery store. Everyone seems to be happy and that makes me happy. We're settling into this whole baby routine a little bit. We'll see how that goes over the next few weeks!

Labels: ,