Monday, September 26, 2011

Hookin' for Helmets

Well what a busy week last week ended up being. We started with our visit to "the helmet man" for the news we expected... all 3 boys need plagiocephaly helmets & the news we did not expect... our insurance doesn't cover the helmets & the doctors office wants payment up front :(

We started out thinking we could find some used helmets on eBay or Craigslist or through some of our Mothers of Multiples friends. I posted our dilemma on facebook in hopes that someone had a used helmet they no longer needed. We also had a friend that started contacting different local organizations to see if they could help. I emailed Shriners, Easter Seals & a few others... none of them helped with plagiocephaly :( In the meantime I decided to have a fundraising "sale" on my Just Hookin' facebook page. I put all of my "in stock" merchandise into one album, called it
"Hookin' for Helmets" and marked it all down for quick sales. I advertised it & asked all of my friends, family & fellow facebook business page owners to pass it along. Within minutes I had sales!!! Sales & comments & suggestions!!! I was overwhelmed with just how many people did pass along the info & just how many people wanted to help. People we had never met!!! We also started receiving offers for donations. Unbelievable!!! I am so impressed with humanity right now.

Well needless to say, I have been crocheting like crazy!!! Not only have we sold a lot of in stock merchandise, but I've received just as many orders for new items :) I was already in the process of making new hats for the coming season, so I am busy busy busy keeping up with it all in between taking care of the boys.

For those of you who didn't know... I had a shop on Etsy, actually I still do but didn't sell much from Etsy & was paying fees to list my stuff, so I started a facebook page for my business, it was free and the only fees I pay now are to Paypal :) I'm able to advertise on facebook, network, & get my business out there through other friends and family. I haven't been selling since I went into the hospital, but a couple weeks ago I decided to start taking a few orders for the upcoming season. I bought some new patterns to try & little did I know I would be using my little side business to raise money for our boys.
Here are some examples of my work...

Baby Hats & Diaper Covers
Elf Hats for all ages
Props for Photographers
Baby Blankets & More Hats
Lush Scarves for Children & Adults
Festive Scarves for all ages
Ruffled Scarves for Children & Adults
Keep an eye out for many new items to come & Thank you to everyone that has made a purchase, a donation, or both & to those of you that have "shared" my page and passed the word along. We have the greatest friends and family & are so grateful for each & every one of you!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Appt with "The Helmet Man"

I mentioned a couple weeks ago that our pediatrician was sending the boys to see "the helmet man." Well "the helmet man" is a plastic surgeon & the boys were being seen because they each have a flat place on the back/side of their heads, this is referred to as plagiocephaly. It is causing their ears to be misaligned & it's also causing another condition called torticollis. Torticollis is where the neck muscle has tightened on one side because the boys always have their heads turned in one direction, their heads automatically roll to the flat spot & the tightened muscle makes it difficult for them to turn their heads in the other direction. We've been working on stretching their neck muscles for a couple months now & it is getting slightly better, but their heads still roll to the flat spot when they are on their backs, so we are fighting that constantly.
The outcome of the appointment is that the boys all need helmets, which we pretty much knew. However our insurance does not cover the helmets :( So we are looking into a few different things... programs & organizations that may help with funding & we are looking for used helmets to purchase or to be donated. We have had one offered to us so far :)

This is the type of helmet we are looking for in size large
I will keep you updated on the progress of the helmets...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Short Visit With Grandma & Grandpa Tilyou

Donna's parents headed back to Florida from their summer stay in New York this past weekend & they stopped by for a quick visit on their way. The last time they were here the boys were still in the NICU, so this was the first time they got to see & hold them without all the wires and monitors.

Grandpa holding one of his Grandsons (Garren) for the first time
Grandma holding Caden
Grandpa holding Caden
Grandma with Kellan & Eason
 We all went out to eat & it was during regular dinner time hours. We've taken the boys to restaurants before but we usually go for between prime dining times (late lunch or early dinner) We've done this mostly because we didn't know how the boys would handle just sitting there & so that we can get the "baby train" in & out without rearranging the restaurant. The boys did great! We cut it a little close to their feeding time, they start to get restless about a half hour before they eat, but made it home just in the nick of time :)

Donna & her Mom & Dad with the boys, L to R: Caden, Garren, & Kellan

Being silly... I love photos where everyone is laughing :o)

Caught Off Guard...

Who expects it to be 86 degrees on a Thursday & then 56 degrees on Friday?!?! Maybe if we still lived in Connecticut, but not North Carolina, not in September! Anyways, it happened & I was not prepared with warm clothes for the boys :( Luckily my sister had sent some hand-me-downs that included hoodies & long pants, some a size too big but we managed to keep all 3 boys toasty & they survived their first cold days :)

Our little munchkins ready to go out...
Garren, Kellan, Caden
While searching through boxes of the clothes my sister sent I also ran across a drawer that I thought had clothes the next size up in it. Turns out it had some warm 3-6 month clothes as well and some really cute football outfits :)

Caden, Garren, Kellan... I LOVE these outfits!!!
Needless to say we are now concentrating on finding winter cloths, shoes, & carseat covers for the boys, even though it back up in the 70's now, lol...

Friday, September 16, 2011

20 weeks old...

The boys are 20 weeks old today (yesterday, it's after midnight again.) They are just getting cuter & cuter & more & more fun!!!

We've had no doctors appointments for 2 weeks now which feels kind of strange to me. I haven't gone more than 2 weeks without a doctors appt in the past 3 years. 2 years of fertility doctors, then my first pregnancy & loss, then the triplet's pregnancy, then 6 weeks of daily NICU visits, then weekly pediatrician appointments. We did try to go for a month between their last 2 pediatrician appointments but had reflux problems in between, so we had 2 quick visits in between. Now we are going 2 months before we see the pediatrician again, but we do have an appointment monday with "the helmet man."

Back to the boys being cute & fun... These boys are wiggling around so much. Every morning when I go to get them out of their cribs they are turned in all different directions, I wonder if they sleep at night or party. We've been doing more floor & tummy time the past couple of weeks. Each of the boys have either turned onto their sides or rolled over at least once, but no one has done it a second time. Kellan really tried for a couple days after he rolled over the one time, he rocks back & forth but just hasn't managed to roll again.

from top to bottom: Caden, Garren, Kellan

The boys are also becoming more aware of each other. When we brought them home & put them in bed together for the first time they all laid there looking at each other. Now they chatter at each other, Kellan especially, and they want to touch each other, Caden is the biggest toucher. They really like to be together.

Caden & Garren
Caden petting Garren & trying to suck his head, lol
& then he fell asleep
Kellan & Garren
Garren, Kellan, Caden 
Caden, Garren, Kellan
Caden, Garren, Kellan

Kellan is our funny face maker, Caden loves to just smile, he gives big grins for no reason at all. Garren will give smiles but you sometimes have to ask for them. Caden & Kellan both chatter & coo & quiet little Garren has really found his voice in the past couple of days. Tonight he carried on like he had this whole story to tell with facial expressions and all.

If you haven't noticed in the picture for the past few weeks... The boys have lost a lot of their hair, they each kept a little bit all the way around the lower half of their heads. They are now growing new hair & it seems to be growing fast, so hopefully they won't be bald for too long. They also have the longest eyelashes. This picture doesn't do them justice but it's the best I could get of the little wigglers :)

Kellan

This past weekend the local Mothers of Multiples group had their Fall consignment sale. We put the clothes and some of the stuff the boys never got to use or wear in the sale. It was bittersweet going through their teeny tiny little preemie & newborn clothes, but these boys are growing fast and are going to need winter clothes soon!!!

We also took the boys to a Moravian festival over the weekend. Although the boys are too young, we took them to look at the animals they had for kids to pet and ride. We got a lot of attention at the festival & we met one of our blog's followers that we didn't actually know. That was pretty neat!!! (Hello Suzanne)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Beer...

A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend who recently had twin boys. Her boys were also early & spent about the same amount of time in the  NICU as our boys. So we were comparing notes & had both thought our milk decreased after bringing the babies home. She had been to the doctor (we went to the same place) that day and was told to drink beer. BEER!!! Yep, one beer every night. I'm not usually a fan of beer but I tried it anyways & it actually works, I get 2 - 4 oz more each time I pump. It's still not enough to keep up with all 3 boys at this point, they are taking 6+ oz in each bottle so I supplement with a couple ounces of formula. I was really disappointed when the babies started to out drink my supply, but after a little while I came to terms with the formula & thought the fact that I was still even attempting to pump & give breast milk to 3 babies was impressive enough. Pumping is like having a forth baby, when I'm done feeding all 3 boys I have to pump. This gets harder to do as the boys get older and require more of my attention & are sleeping less. I'm starting to think that when they start eating food/cereal I may stop pumping. I just don't know how I will have time once that happens. But then again that time may come & I may figure it out. If they keep consuming the amount of milk they do now & probably more... It would cost over $1000 a month for formula, CRAZY!!! I think I'll keep drinking the beer, lol...

Donna reading to the boys
left to right: Kellan, Garren, & Caden

Saturday, September 3, 2011

4 Months Old

Caden, Garren, & Kellan
Caden, Garren, & Kellan turned 4 months old this week & had their 4 month check-up & vaccines Thursday. We gave them tylenol right after their shots this time and avoided the meltdown that followed their first set of vaccines. It worked like a charm :)

I know I say it every time but I just can't believe how fast the time passing. It's crazy!!!

Here are their stats from smallest to largest...
Garren: 13 lbs 4 oz, 22 1/2" long, head circumference 16". He is in the 70th percentile for weight & 90th percentile for height & head.
Kellan: 14 lbs 13 oz, 23" long, head circumference 16 1/2". He is in the 90th percentile for weight & 95th percentile for height & head.
Caden: 15 lbs 3 oz, 23 1/2" long, head circumference 16 1/2". He is in the 95th percentile for everything
The percents are based on their adjusted age.

The pediatrician decided at this appointment that the boys are going to have to wear helmets :( Their heads are crooked causing their ears to be misaligned. This is caused from being so premature, their heads were softer than a full term newborn & from laying in the NICU for so long. They have an appt on the 19th with the "helmet man." We were a bit disappointed with the news but at least it is football season. We will dress them in jerseys & decorate their helmets with our favorite teams stickers. Donna gets one side of the helmet for her Cowboys and I get the other for my Buccaneers.

Kellan & Caden playing
Caden
Garren 
Kellan trying to get Garren to wake up by yelling in his direction
every couple of minutes, lol...
Kellan loving his monkey AND trying to suck on his giraffe!
The boys are also doing great developmentally (something I worry about unnecessarily all the time)
They are cooing and smiling a lot. They watch Donna & I as we move around. They are using their hands more & more, this has lead to more thumb sucking for all of them and lots of squealing at their hands when they don't do just what they want them too. They also push with their feet and try to stand. Also just today Kellan rolled, or more like flipped, from his tummy to his back and boy was he shocked!!! We put him back on his tummy & he rocked & rocked from side to side trying to do it again, but ended up falling asleep instead, lol. The boys are interacting with each other more too.

Just in case you were wondering what a triplet home looks like, lol...
We will be converting the guest room/craft room into a playroom soon!!!
These boys are growing like crazy. We had to move on to 3-6 month or 6 month clothing. It makes me sad each time they grow out of a size, but excited too to put them in something new. I saved one of their preemie outfits so I can show them when they are all big & grown-up just how tiny they started out.

And just because we don't have enough going on with triplets... Haddie had to go and rip/break her nail up inside her toe this week. Which required surgery. It was quick & she was home by the end of the day but Eason missed her terribly and moped on the back of the couch facing the front door all day. Donna picked her up after work and carried the pitiful thing around the rest of the night. Haddie sure knows how to work Donna :)

Eason missing Haddie
Haddie with her hot pink bandage
Well that's about it around here... for now...

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