The first time we were able to hold Garren, he's was 5 days old.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
One of our favorite places here is the playground, Neptune Park on St Simons Island. The playground is set right on the water where the river meets the ocean. The boys love to see the ships setting out from the port & the shrimp boats coming in with their catch. It's a pretty nice setting for the moms too!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Caden & Kellan had their first speech therapy appointment at Wolfsons this past Friday. Originally Caden was the only one scheduled but they had a spot held for Kellan while they waited for insurance approval. As I was packing up the diaper bag & getting ready to head out it struck me that I wasn't sure if they had heard back from the insurance company yet & I didn't know for sure if we would be there a half hour or an hour, so I called to see...
Megan is the incredibly sweet & super efficient receptionist there, they hadn't received approval for Kellan yet but she was going to make some calls to see what she could find out. I went ahead & packed some snacks just in case. By the time we arrived for Caden's appointment (aprox 30 minutes) she had Kellan's approval!
There was some poor planning on my part for their first appointments. Donna had a conference call marathon on Friday & could not come to the appointment. Ideally, I would have gone back with each of the boys as they got therapy & she would have stayed with the other 2 in the waiting area. It was too late to call in help from anyone else when I realized this so I hoped & prayed that each of them would willingly go back with the therapist on their own & not completely freak out!
To my amazement they took Megan's hand & walked back to the therapist! They each had a 30 minute one on one appointment & came back happy as could be with a sticker! Ms BJ had great reports on both of them, Caden did a lot of talking & Kellan resisted until she got an airplane out & then he said "want airplane" & so on.
Since their ONE appointment both boys have been a lot more verbal! I'm so happy & excited to hear their sweet little voices more & more!
Monday, February 24, 2014
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Tuesday I took the boys to the playground later in the day than usual. There were a few more kids there than our usual time which was nice for the boys.
Caden played on the ground in the mulch with the plane he brought & another little boy, maybe a year or so older played with him pretending to be a plane & crashing into the mulch next to him.
Kellan just wanted to run! So I ended up leading him to something to climb & waiting for him at the bottom on the slides. I had to chase him quite a few times too!
Garren took notice of a little girl. She was older but her mom stuck close by her, she was very sweet & outgoing. Her name was Jordan & she was 7 years old. She was tiny thing but had no fear! Garren & Jordan followed each other around, helped each other climb, took turns going down the slides. At one point Garren wanted her to climb the rock wall with him & as she came off the slide he reached his hand out to her & said "come on babe" lol... She giggled & told her mom who was standing close by "he called me babe." They continued to play & chat with each other.
It wasn't super obvious at first but after watching & listening to Jordan for a little bit I noticed she had cerebral palsy. Her mom had asked me if the boys were born early & of course I answered yes & told her 29 weeks. She told me that Jordan had been born at 25 weeks. A little later she shared that Jordan was a surviving twin. She had a lot of difficulties in her 100 days in the NICU. She was on a ventilator for 2 months, had several brain bleeds & had retinopathy. She goes for PT, OT & Speech therapy. She's an adorable little girl & hearing her story reminded me of just how lucky we are to have 3 healthy boys.
We decided to leave when Jordan & her mom left. Kellan did his typical running & Caden followed suit, Garren however walked hand in hand with Jordan & her mom all the way to their car. It was so sweet!!! I wish I would have taken a picture but I was busy chasing my runners!
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I got a call last month from Wolfson Children's that they were ready for for the boys (we had been on their waiting list since October) They had evaluation appointments available for the boys immediately but we already had plans to be out of town. It wasn't a big deal, they had openings the very next week.
Caden took the first appointment which was on a Monday. The place was great! It's an office setting & the therapy room is a small, contained room. The therapist worked at a kid sized table & incorporated her evaluation into whatever Caden wanted to play with. She gave him a few options & changed out what he wasn't playing with frequently to keep his attention. They worked together for an hour & Caden did not have a single tantrum, there wasn't a power struggle between him & the therapist & he left just as happy as he arrived, of course he got a sticker for playing so well :)
His results were as we expected, he still needs speech therapy.
I had to reschedule Garren & Kellans appointments that week due to the stomach flu we all had :(
Kellans new appointment was last Monday, I made it back from Gainesville just in time to take him. His appointment was exactly the same as Caden's & his results were the same as well.
Garren's appointment was the next day but due to my dads condition in the hospital I had to reschedule Garren once again. I finally got him in yesterday & he does not need speech therapy, which was also not a surprise since he does enough talking for all 3 of the boys.
All 3 of the boys actually scored better than they did on their 6 month re-evaluation with the old therapist. I think it really had to do with the setting & the therapist working with them instead of trying to control them. I think we're all going to enjoy the new place & the new therapist! :)
Monday, February 17, 2014
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Saturday, February 15, 2014
It was a rough week for my family! I don't know that I've experienced anything quite as scary as a loved one on a ventilator?! Well maybe giving birth to triplets at 29 weeks gestation??? Being confronted with the possibility of losing a parent is no joke! I had a hard time holding back my tears for a few days there & wow, do I ever think of things with my & Donna's parents, the boys grandparents differently.
My parents are pretty young, I've never had to worry about their health until recent years. My dad's lung cancer a couple years ago that was easily removed with surgery & required no chemo or radiation & then my bonus dad's throat cancer last year which required much more aggressive treatment & more time to overcome but both of my dads prevailed proving once again that they were invincible.
This week I have found myself savoring the time the boys spend with each of their grandparents & saving the Valentines Day cards they received in the mail.
Anyways, my dad has improved, it took a couple days to get him off the vent & then he was on CPAP for a day & finally a nasal cannula which he may always need. Thursday he was moved out of ICU & into intermediate care. Today he was released to go home.
There was a little mystery for a couple of days as to what exactly he had but the final verdict was what they had originally diagnosed, toxic shock & pneumonia. He has also been diagnosed now with COPD. This is something he will always have which is why he may always need oxygen but we will see, he's pretty stubborn & may work hard with the respiratory therapist just to prove the doctors wrong :)
We can only hope anyways!
Thank you all again for the continued thoughts & prayers!!!
Friday, February 14, 2014
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
My dad is in the ICU at Shands Hospital in Gainsville FL. He is in critical condition, besides being in toxic shock the doctors are not sure exactly what is wrong.
As I mentioned last week, his oncologist found a couple pots on his lung in a recent CT scan & wanted to do another scan to get a better idea of what they were.
My dad has been sick since Christmas. He has had bronchitis (according to his PCP) he's taken 2 rounds of antibiotics but has not ever felt 100% better. The cough is what was really bothering him, he had part on one lung removed 2.5 years ago due to cancer & things like bronchitis are really hard on him & his breathing.
This weekend my bonus mom & my dad had gone up to the FL Pan Handle to visit my bonus sisters & their families. Apparently Saturday my dad was breathing funny & they wanted him to go to the emergency room. He is stubborn though & told everyone he was fine. Sunday as he & my bonus mom were driving home he started breathing funny again & looked to be falling asleep at the wheel. Marie (my bonus mom) of course had him pull over & took over driving but his breathing got worse.
My bonus sisters Mindy & Meggan were following behind our parents, Meggan was just familiar enough with area they were driving though to find the hospital.
My dads breathing was so bad at the hospital they had to intubate him. His oxygen level was at 58. They took a chest X-ray & black areas showed up. The small hospital in Williston was not equipped to care for him so they transported him to Shands Hospital.
I got the news from Marie about 8pm that my dad was in critical condition & being moved to Shands. I got ahold of Autumn & we decided to drive over together instead of packing up all the kids & hauling them over in the middle of the night. We got to Gainsville just before midnight & stayed with Marie in the "shock trama center in the ER" until they had a room to move my dad to.
He has been sedated this whole time & the doctors have struggled to keep all his stats at a decent level. His blood pressure started out low & then got way too high, his oxygen level stays steady but then drops again & his temperature was low but they have finally gotten it up to where it needs to be. They are keeping tabs on his organ functions & there are a lot of other stats that I just have no idea about that they are watching.
We were originally told he had pneumonia & was in toxic shock.
He was moved to a room in ICU at 6am & made more comfortable. The ICU doctors made rounds about 9am & are not positive it is pneumonia. They have run more tests, taken another chest X-ray, another CT scan & an ultrasound of his heart trying to determine if it is indeed pneumonia. They have said it could also be blood clots or even cancer.
Right now it's a waiting game, waiting to find out what it is for sure & waiting for his body to heal & get past the toxic shock.
We've been told it is too early for a prognosis so I'm asking, begging really, for positive thoughts & prayers. Good energy, light, vibes, juju, whatever you've got, please send it our way?!?
Monday, February 10, 2014
Friday, February 7, 2014
The boys were 12 weeks old here, little Aliyah was just 4 weeks old & had already been on a plane!
My sisters, their families & of course Donna, myself & the boys all traveled to Orlando to be with our parents when my dad went in to have part of his lung removed due to cancer. My dad was never a smoker & lung cancer was a complete shock to us all!
Last week his doctor found a couple spots on his most recent CT scan, so he is going in Monday morning for a PET scan to determine if it is cancer.
If you wouldn't mind saying some prayers, we would greatly appreciate it!
Thursday, February 6, 2014
My sister Autumn & I have been trying to get together more often for play dates. We only live 1.5 hours apart but we barely see each other. So our New Years resolution is to alternate the drive & get together every other week. Since the weather was crappy here & we don't have a lot of indoor play options, I headed to Jax this week.
Crazy boys & their hats!
We found a fun little place called Discovery House to take the kids to. The boys headed straight to the animal room when we arrived where they pet a bunny & looked at a turtle. There were also some toy snakes & dinosaurs in there. Chandler loved the snakes but the boys really aren't into toy animals yet, they LOVE the real thing though!
Kellan, Caden & Garren checking out the bunny...
Oh he's soft & friendly, lots of giggles :)
It's hard to see the turtle but he's right next to gardens head
There was an open play area with everything from building blocks to dress up clothes. Chandler loved the magnetic toys & the grocery carts. Caden held onto a giant helicopter the entire time we were there. Kellan & Garren went from one thing to the next, the building blocks & car area to the magnets, to the kitchen, and on & on. They had a great time playing in the playhouse, opening & closing doors I think may be their favorite pastime, lol...
Knock knock... Who's there...
There is also an art room where they have supplies for just about any art or craft project you can think of! We were going to paint but as soon as the boys discovered paint brushes in a bucket of water next to the chalkboard wall they were hooked on painting with water! It was an awesome idea since there is really no mess to clean :) After the water painting the boys all tried their hand at making a bracelet, Chandler was into it but the boys just wanted to play in the beads.
Chandler & the boys had a great time water painting!
After all that playing the kids were all hungry so we headed out for some lunch, can I just tell you how fun it is to get 5 kids, one in a stroller, into a restaurant, (in pouring rain none the less) get high chairs & booster seats rounded up for 4 & keep 4 of the 5 said kids from running off with just 2 adults, lol...
It was well worth it & the restaurant staff was very helpful, another patron even offered to babysit... The baby! lol... We said we'd keep the baby he could watch all of the boys :)
You scream, I scream, we all scream... Not really for ice cream but just because we are happy boys together & cannot contain our excitement!
Little Miss Nadia was with us & she was not ignored at all but my phone only saved about every 3rd photo I took & I didn't realize it until our date was almost over, so I have nothing with her sweet little face. The boys over her, Caden kept petting her & saying baby. Kellan & Garren both point to her & say her name.
It was a fun & busy day, the boys wore me out & I was in bed by 10:30! We're looking forward to out next play date in 2 weeks & hope the weather is nice so we can play someplace fun like maybe the beach?!? Or at least a playground :)
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Our days have been longer recently with the boys napping less & waking earlier. I'm really not sure why this is happening, I thought maybe the boys were losing the need for naps but they still get tired & cranky during the day & I NEED them to take naps so they are still taking them. Anyways these slightly longer days have required some creative ideas to keep the boys busy, especially since the weather has been so unpredictable & we really don't have many options for indoor play/entertainment here.
A while back I tried a bath paint recipe I found on Pinterest. It involved corn starch, baby shampoo & food coloring. It had a think consistency & the boys didn't care for it so this time I just added some food coloring to shaving cream & they loved it!
I started them out with just the paint & brushes in the tub with no water so they could stand & paint as much of the walls as they liked.
Once they were out of paint I added bath water to the tub to clean them up but they continued to play. They splattered water at the painted walls & watched the colors bleed together & transform into something that looked more like water colors.
They spent over an hour painting & playing in the tub. Garren asks just about everyday now to paint in the tub. It's an indoor activity that they really really enjoy & is saving is grey during the return of the witching hour.
Monday, February 3, 2014
This past weekend was overcast, drizzly & cool outside. We are all feeling better & tired of being cooped up inside so we headed down to Jacksonville to find an indoor playground.
To our surprise though, once we crossed the GA/FL state line the sky cleared up & the temperature jumped almost 20 degrees. We thought about going the zoo but quickly realized that we were all over dressed so we continued to the mall.
The boys played on the indoor playground & loved it! They were in awe of the train each time came around & eventually they were all just hanging over the wall of the playground waiting for it so we all took a ride.
Mom mom, Kellan, Garren & Caden
After the train ride the boys spotted some mechanical rides...
This looks like one of their toys
It was great to get out of the house even though it was just to a mall, we all had a super fun time & no longer have cabin fever :)