Saturday, December 26, 2009

White Christmas 2009

You can't even imagine how horrible it is to have to drive 45 miles listening to three babies scream in the backseat. Try to imagine it and then multiply that times 20....that's how bad it was. Thankfully, that was the very end to our Christmas travels and we won't be traveling for a long distance again for at least another month. The girls just don't like the car yet....we seem to get them loaded up and on our way and about 45 minutes into our trip the crying begins. I climb into the backseat to try to give pacis and when that doesn't work, we stop the car somewhere to try to feed a little, but nothing was working on our way home Saturday. So we just had to drive and let them cry. It was awful. I think they were just DONE with traveling and were so tired.
By the time we got home Brent and I both were at our limit...after we fed them and got them down to bed we were just delirious. We ended up laughing until we cried about it while we shard a Digiorno pizza for dinner.
Our car packed to the limit for our trip...

Our extra cargo carrier Brent got...thank goodness because we never would have been able to take all of our gear without it

On our way to my parents North of Dallas, we had to stop outside of Plano and feed the girls (45 minutes into our trip). I was frazzled as always from the crying...Brent had to run into this quick shop to warm the bottles since my car-bottle warmer wasn't doing the trick fast enough.

Brent - smiling away while I am about to lose it completely :)

We didn't make it to the candlelight service Christmas Eve because of the snow and ice on the roads. We thought it would be better not to risk it with the girls even though I really, really wanted to go. So we decided to get all dressed up anyway and take pictures :). This is our great family pic that Aunt Susan took. Thanks Aunt Susan for braving the cold to take pictures of Brent and me outside...we love you!

Our happy family!

The girls' Great Papaw and Mamaw Chambers - WE LOVE YOU!

Addison, Reagan and Baylee in their Christmas jammies...so cute! Reindeer feet!

A white Christmas for the girls' first Christmas...this picture was out the back, upstairs window of mom and dad's house Christmas morning

Cutie CJ opening the Transformers helmet we got him for Christmas
Finally getting to wear the helmet after it took Pop and Uncle Tim 45 minutes to put it together :)
Adorable little Marky...walkin' around in his cape Santa brought him with his name on the back
Santa's big gift to CJ, Marky and Peyton (when he is old enough)...the Gator. They were so excited even though it was SO COLD! :)
Us at 2:30 pm Christmas Day...we were already exhausted
CJ, still kickin' it on Grammy's coffee table with a peanut butter sandwich after a full Christmas morning...not tired at all.

We had a great Christmas spent with family and we are learning how to work the girls' schedule around everything so we can still enjoy all the happenings and not miss a thing.

Saturday after Christmas, we left Pop and Grammy's house with the girls and headed West of Fort Worth to Brent's sister's house to see Brent's family. We got to meet Elizabeth's fiance, Adam's family and spend time with Gran and Grandaddy as well. The girls did okay with naps at Aunt Elizabeth's house but the naps they were supposed to take in the car just never happened. They were so pooped last night when we got home that we didn't even have to go back into their bedroom to replace pacis or soothe them once they were down. They were down for the count!

I am also SO HAPPY to tell everyone that Addison slept her first full night last night! 8pm to 8am without any feedings and she even slept through Reagan and Baylee crying to be fed. We only had to feed Reagan once last night and Baylee twice. So we are REALLY seeing great things from the girls. OH! And they are all smiling now! Baylee was first, Addie second and Reagan cracked her first smile at Grandaddy yesterday. The girls like to watch their Daddy make noises and faces and then they will smile at him when he does something they like.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Attentive Parents...we just call that parenting

Brent and I feel like we avoided something tonight that could have potentially harmed Baylee or worse...we'll never know.
We had a busy day today getting things ready for our holiday coming up. I spent the morning running errands while Brent watched the girls and when I got home he left for his Christmas lunch at work and then to spend the afternoon with his good friends Justin Slovak and Cody McCauley.
I called our pediatrician's office this morning to ask the nurse to call in a new prescription for Baylee since we are running out of the Reglan (metoclopramide) syrup she has been taking for her reflux and we will need a refill within a few days. The nurse told me she would call in the new script to the local pharmacy that we use.
When Brent got home this evening, we fed the girls and put them down for bed and I went up to the pharmacy to get Baylee's refill. As I was pulling away, I opened the package and noticed that the prescription name seemed different from what Baylee had been taking before. I thought to myself that I would check when I got home.
When I got home, I pulled out her almost empty bottle and checked the prescription name - Metoclopramide. The new bottle said Dicyclomine. Hmmmm...what to do next? You got it...Google. I Googled the new prescription name and found that Dicyclomine is prescribed for Irritable Bowel Syndrome...not reflux.
Brent got the two bottles from me and called the pharmacy to ask them about the prescription. When the pharmacy answered the phone, Brent explained the issue and they put him on hold. Not two seconds later the Pharmacist was on the phone asking if we had given Baylee any of the Dicyclomine. Brent said no, we hadn't. She said, "Oh thank goodness, I almost died when he told me what had happened..." referring to the man who answered the phone. Brent said, "What WOULD have happened had we given this to her?!" All she would say is that we would have noticed her getting increasingly tired and drowsy and this medicine isn't prescribed to infants. I have a feeling she didn't tell us all of the things that may have happened if we hadn't compared the old bottle to the new. Brent then asked her if this was the pharmacy's fault or the doctor's office and the Pharmacist replied that it was THEIR fault. She then added that they will be refunding us the co-pay for the prescription and giving us the correct prescription for free and a gift card. They will also be calling our doctor's office to tell them what happened tomorrow morning. She then added, "Thank you for being attentive parents. "
Attentive parents! We just call that parenting. You really think we are going to give our three month old whatever you hand over to us and not ask some questions?
Needless to say, Brent and I were very upset about all of this. What if they made this mistake when Baylee first started taking reflux medication and we didn't have anything to compare it to? What if....
We all need to be reminded sometimes that we are our own health advocate and we are the health advocates for our children. You can't always trust doctors and you can't always trust your pharmacy. Pay attention. Ask questions.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Routine

Hello my blog followers! Over the past weekend spent with family and friends I have been reminded of how many friends and friends of friends follow my blog and enjoy reading about the girls and our every day lives. I don't get out of the house much :) so seeing all of you was refreshing to me even though it was a sad occasion for all of us grieving the loss of Brent's grandmother.

Reagan baby
Naturally, I had a lot of questions about the girls this weekend. How are they doing? Am I getting any sleep? How do we survive? :) So I thought I would post the girls' routine and some tricks and tips we have learned from our newborn care specialist aka. Christy.
Last night was a pretty good night for us. Addison made it 9 hours between feedings! She only woke up once to be fed at 5:00 am. Reagan and Baylee woke up to be fed twice at 12:00 am and 6:00 am. So we are definitely making progress with the girls.
The girls' eyes are also really coming into focus. They will focus on our faces and on toys and they will track toys across their field of vision. Baylee is also starting to smile more and more. Tonight, she was just smiling and smiling at Brent and me singing along to the Christmas music in their room. We can't wait for Addison and Reagan to start smiling at us. They are also loving their tummy time more and more every day.

The girls daily routine starts at 8:00 am.
8:00 am - Wake to feed, bath time or playtime depending on the day
9:30 am -Nap time
11:00 am - Lunch, playtime
12:00 pm - Short nap
1:00 pm - Wake to feed, playtime
2:30 pm - Nap time
4:00 pm - Wake to feed, playtime
5:30 pm - Nap time
7:00 pm - Wake to feed, start bedtime routine, jammies and baby massage
8:00 or 8:30 pm - Bedtime
We usually have one to two feedings during the nighttime hours right now, eventually the girls will sleep from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am.

A few things we have started utilizing to help the girls.
Miracle Blankets
We swaddle the girls tightly in Miracle Blankets for all naps and bedtime.


Sound Machines

We started using sound machines (Homedics sound machines we got at Bed, Bath and Beyond that includes the waterfall sound) for all naps and bedtime. It continuously plays while they sleep and helps to soothe them back to sleep if they fully wake up between sleep cycles. We actually use two of these, one is right next to Baylee since she seems to wake up the easiest when the other girls wake up and the sound machine so close to her helps drown out the other girls crying so she can stay asleep with the constant white noise.


Gripe Water
This is a natural remedy that we mix with a little warm water and give the girls a few sips to help clear their throats out if they are grunting from the reflux.



Nap Nanny
As I said before, we purchased three nap nannies (http://www.napnanny.com/) and the girls sleep in these for bedtime and naps. It keeps them at an angle at all times so the reflux has a harder time going all the way up their throat.

All of the changes we have made seem to really be benefiting the girls. Their moods are better after good sleep and I am starting to learn how to read them better and realize when they have just had enough playtime and are cranky/tired, are still hungry, just need to be held, etc.
Baylee boo
Addie
Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas holiday with family planned for this week. We can't wait to spend time with all of our family and celebrate the girls' first Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Viola Thiele (Grandma)

Brent's maternal grandmother, Viola Thiele, passed away Tuesday of this week. We will all dearly miss her precious smile and wonderful laugh.
Grandma


Viola (Mueller) Thiele, age 89, of West, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009, in Waco. Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at St. John Lutheran Church near Gatesville, with the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Moerbe officiating. Burial will follow at St. John Lutheran Cemetery. The family will receive visitors 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 18, at the funeral home. Mrs. Thiele was born July 5, 1920, the daughter of Albert Julius and Julia Ann (Weiss) Mueller. She attended Prairie Chapel School and Crawford High School. On January 22, 1944, she was united in marriage to Rudolph M. Thiele in Coryell City. He preceded her in death Dec. 5, 1998. Viola was a homemaker and worked as a seamstress for the Aamco Company and Wolf Manufacturing in Waco for over twenty years, until her retirement. She was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Coryell City, where she was active in the Ladies Circle. She was also a charter member of the Christ Lutheran Church in Waco, where she served on the Altar Guild and the Women's Guild. Viola loved spending time with her family. She also enjoyed gardening, canning, sewing, net-darning for her family and friends, and tending to her cattle. Her parents and a brother, Ervin Mueller, also preceded her in death. Survivors include two sons, Alton Thiele and wife, Twila of Temple and Dalbert Thiele and wife, Luann of Aquilla; a daughter, Brenda Huse and husband, Ronald of West; six grandchildren, Lisa Scoble and husband, Bill III, Kristi Thiele, Denise Hachtel and husband, Jason, Elizabeth Huse and fianc┼Ż, Adam Crews, Brent Huse and wife, Michelle, and Lindsey Thiele; six great-grandchildren, William IV and Alyssa Scoble, Kylie Hachtel, Addison, Reagan and Baylee Huse; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. John Lutheran Church, St. John Lutheran Cemetery Association or West Rest Haven Activity Fund. Memorial guestbook found at aderholdfuneralhome.com July 5, 1920 - December 15, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pictures with Mommy :)

Mommy with Reagan
Kisses for my sweet baby :)
Mommy with Addison
Mommy getting Baylee's pacifier out for a picture :)
Mommy with happy Baylee

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ghetto Baby Bedroom

Well, the time came. We had to separate Baylee from the rest of the girls for naps. Each time one of the girls would wake up (Baylee or Reagan mostly) they tend to wake up the other and then insanity ensues.
The girls...Baylee, in her element...Reagan reaching out to calm her down...Addison wondering what all the crying is aboutIt is so difficult to get them back down to sleep after they both wake up and then naps don't go well which means night sleep doesn't go well...so Christy advised me to separate Baylee into the guest bedroom for naps at least until they are a little older. The only problem we had was the amount of light coming into the guest bedroom during the day. There is a large half-moon window above the large draped window which lets in a lot of light. So, since Grammy was here visiting, we came up with a $0 cost way to cut down the amount of light coming into that bedroom...some cardboard from a diapers.com box, pink duct tape and a large blanket later...we have designed the ultimate ghetto baby bedroom. :)
The Ghetto Baby Bedroom
Short of putting up tin foil in the window, which would have been AWESOME, I think we came up with just about the worst looking alternative for that room. (In case you are wondering about the blanket, it is a t-shirt quilt my mom (Grammy) had made for me out of my college and sorority t-shirts and such. There are also pictures screen printed onto fabric on some of the squares.) I am just thankful that it is a short-term issue and soon, I will have my nice, guest bedroom back to normal. So, if you come over to our house anytime soon, ignore my decorating in the guest room. (Jill, I know it pains you to see this and you probably could have come up with a much better looking alternative...but hey, it cost me $0.00) So, if you would like some ghetto baby designs...call me. :)
As I said before, Grammy was visiting for a couple of days and we were so happy to see her. She got to meet Christy and see all of the great progress and changes we have made to benefit the girls. The girls were SOOOO cranky when they got up after their 1:00 pm nap today, and I think it was because Grammy had to leave. :) We will see her again in another week when we head up to Gunter for Christmas. Yeay!
Grammy with Baylee Boo...happy as long as she is being held

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Anniversary in December :)

On May 21st of this year, Brent and I were walking into my regularly scheduled OB appointment with Dr. Beaird. We were excited about our ultrasound that day and not expecting any major changes from the two weeks prior. Boy, were we in for a shock. After viewing the ultrasound, Dr. Beaird was concerned about my cervical reserve and placed me on home bed rest effective immediately after I was able to wrap things up at work. We knew bed rest was a possibility, but I wasn't expecting it at 16 weeks!
We had plans to celebrate our three year anniversary Friday night of that weekend in Fort Worth. Brent had reservations for a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris and we were staying at the Fort Worth Hilton for two nights since my great friends Derric and Hayley Smith were getting married on Saturday, May 23rd.
I left that appointment in shock and in a panic. I was worried about my babies, about my job, about everything pretty much. I was SO looking forward to that wedding!!! I called Derric on my way home from the appointment (he was helping make out place cards - what a good groom :)) and I broke down crying telling him we wouldn't be able to make it to the wedding. Of course, he understood and was very supportive. (Thank you Derric and Hayley for sending us a copy of your wedding DVD...it made me feel like I was there with you after all.)
Brent called to cancel our dinner reservations and also called to cancel our non-refundable hotel reservations. Brent doesn't understand the term "non-refundable." He spoke to a manager at the Fort Worth Hilton and explained our situation and they refunded our payment for the room without a problem. If you are looking for a hotel in the downtown Fort Worth area, try the Hilton...very good service, very nice people. :)
Our anniversary celebration ended up being us in bed watching tv. Awesome.
We decided it was time to make up for canceling our plans in May with a trip to Fort Worth this past weekend. We lined up babysitters (Thank you again Gran and Pam) and headed to the city for a day and night to do whatever we wanted. Brent made reservations for us at Ruth's Chris and schedule a massage for me at the Omni spa, which was so great! We went to a movie at the Movie Tavern downtown Saturday afternoon and overall just had a great time being together for a weekend. It was nice to get out of town and spend some quality time as a couple, but I missed our girls. :) It was my first time to be away from them for more than a few hours and I had a hard time with it. I wouldn't even let Brent stop somewhere to have breakfast on Sunday morning...drive-thru was all I would go for so we could get back to see the girls. We are planning a week-long trip to Destin, Florida with our supper club group for next summer and I don't know how I am going to handle being away from the girls for an entire week.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Panda Butts!

During the girls "awake time" this afternoon, I took the opportunity to take some pictures of them in one of the new outfits they received as a gift.
Panda Butts!!!

Half-Naked Babies!!!
(Reagan already tired of posing for Mommy and being squished between her sisters...)
We also had a little bit of snow this afternoon at our house. Snow in Texas...WAHOO!

Mom also requested a picture of each girl in something Christmas-y for ornaments on her tree...soooo we had to fulfill that order as well.

Baylee

Addison
Reagan

Then, this is just a cutie shot of Baylee Boo wrapped up cozy in a blanket while waiting for her photography session.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

HOT, Medium and mild...

If our girls were salsa, they'd be HOT, Medium and mild. Haha! :)
Baylee is our Hot tamale. She is 0 to 60 and our temperamental gal. She wants you to KNOW she is hungry immediately after she wakes up, and she wants you to KNOW you should pick her up and hold her whenever she wants you to. :) She is the most sensory-sensitive and she is definitely the most vocal of our little chorus.


Miss Priss in her element...:) cute even when she is crying

Baylee last night getting ready for her massage...which didn't happen because everyone was too fussy and tired...


Reagan is our Medium variety...she typically follows Baylee's lead and she can get upset and let out her high pitched scream, but she is usually pretty even keel.

Reagan baby, hangin out before bedtime...

Addison is our mild, easy-goin gal. She doesn't get too upset about too many things and works her way up to a cry with some whimpering warnings for you before an all out roar comes out of her.

Addison with her Mommy! :)

Brent got a new camera so he was experimenting with photo's last night...this is Addie's foot :).

Even from the time the girls were in the NICU, our nurses were telling us that Baylee was going to be our little sassy one, Addison was more go with the flow, whatever you want to do is cool with me, and Reagan fell somewhere in between. Boy, were they right from the start!

Today has been a good day for the girls. They had a hard time going down to sleep last night. This whole schedule thing is pretty new to them and they are just getting used to a new formula, so it was a rocky evening. Also, Reagan kept waking up because of gas and then, in turn, would wake up Baylee who would have to be soothed back to sleep. Once they all finally got to sleep around 9 pm, Christy advised that we should skip the "dream feed" because it would probably do more harm than good at that point for them since they had such a hard time going to sleep. The girls slept great from there until 1 am, then woke up again at 4 am and wrestled around from about 7:15 am until they were woken up at 8 am. Their early morning play times were cut short because they were so tired from not being able to take good naps in between. The girls are still developing their elimination reflex and they were grunting and groaning to try to get rid of some of their gas and such during their naps that they didn't end up getting good sleep. So they were sleepy-tired and grumpy during their play times. Christy advised that we separate Baylee and Reagan as much as possible to keep them from waking each other up. So for now, Addison is in the crib between Baylee and Reagan because she is more able to tune the other girls out and stay asleep when they wake up and cry. Christy warned me that the first 3 days on a new schedule would be the hardest and then everything will start to become routine for them and naps and playtime will go easier. I already see a vast improvement with Baylee. She will lay on her mat or on her tummy during playtime and just gaze around and kick her little legs and she may "talk" and peep a little but she isn't screaming for me to pick her up the entire time. I am looking forward to tonight to see what bedtime is like; if it is better or if it is still rocky like last night.

Love to you all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Nanny 911!!!

A few weeks ago, I was an exhausted triplet mom just getting by on what I was reading on how to parent my three precious babies from books and the Internet. What was left of my rope was slowly starting to unwind when Brent mentioned looking into getting a night nanny or a nighttime sleep specialist. Where would we find such a person, who we could trust, in Waco? Pft...nowhere. Through my sister, Missy, my mom and I were put in touch with a nanny agency out of Dallas who then put me in touch with Christy, my savior :). Check out her website at http://www.sweetbabydreams.net/ Christy called me and we spoke for a long time about what I was going through with the girls so far, their development, etc.
Christy with Baylee during playtime...
She has 16 years of experience as a night nanny and nighttime sleep specialist and she knows her stuff! I immediately felt so much better just after one conversation on the phone. She suggested some products for us to purchase to help with Baylee's reflux and make our lives easier and more sane all around. Christy wasn't booked for two weeks in December so she graciously agreed to come stay with us and help me get on track. I honestly didn't know what to expect to begin with, but I was hoping for a complete 180 from what I was going through each day. My days were spent stressed out that my babies, all three, were crying and I didn't know why, Baylee was always upset (I thought) about something and I didn't have time to eat, shower or do anything productive around the house because I was forced to hold her all day to soothe her crying episodes.
This has all changed in just the short time Christy has been here. She implemented a schedule that she and I agreed upon to be the most beneficial for our family and the girls. She also started a nighttime routine for them that I think worked wonders. Most of my nights were spent in the living room with Baylee trying to get her to go to sleep, now she gets a bath, gets swaddled up all nice and cozy, snuggles into her nap nanny, has a bottle and bing, bam, boom...she's asleep. Awesome, right?!
Addison, having a bottle in her nap nanny this morning...
She might fuss a little and Christy showed me how to use the "Shush-Pat Method" to calm Baylee down enough to soothe herself back to sleep. She also has taught me so much on how to feed the girls and burp them. Before it was like a relay race trying to rush to get everyone burped and back to their bottle to finish in a timely manner. Christy has taught me to slow down, don't get in a hurry and give the girls time to chill out and breathe while feeding. She lets them suck on their pacifier a little while feeding to get everything down to their stomach for digestion. She explained that this will help prevent everything from coming right back up when you go to burp them, which has happened so many times. Also, she is working with Miss Priss (Baylee) on being patient and not needing to be picked up and held all day. Baylee is such a toot. She will cry and cry and once you pick her up she stops and she is happy as can be. Nothing is wrong with her, she just wants all of your attention. Well, this is something that we have to work on because I can't carry her around all day or hold her and no one else. She is already getting better with her fussiness. During playtime today she was just hanging out looking around no fussing at all. I was shocked.
Miss Priss herself, Baylee boo
Addison and Reagan playing together last night before bathtime...
I also got to sleep through the night myself last night, which was very much needed.
We have the girls on a 3 hour cycle schedule to get them in tune with their natural sleep cycles. We go in at 8 am and open the blinds to let the light in, turn on some peppy music and let the girls gradually wake up. Once they start waking up we change their diaper and feed them in their nap nannies. After that it is floor playtime. They lay on their tummies for tummy time and stretch and we do some baby exercises with them. Once we get the hint of sleepiness from them, it is time to go down for a nap. The girls only last about an hour and fifteen minutes from the time they wake up until they need a nap. We change their diaper again if needed and swaddle them up and give pacifiers and they go down for a nap. This cycle continues through the day until their 5 pm feeding. At that time, we will bring them in the living room for their bottle and then floor playtime while I get dinner ready and Brent and I have dinner. After dinner it is time for either cuddles and baby massage or baths, depending on the night, and then they get swaddled and go to bed at 8pm. At 10 pm we will go in and "dream feed" them. Basically, you don't really wake them up to feed them, you keep the lights down and they wake up just enough to take another few ounces of feeding and then they go right back to sleep.
I think every new mother should have someone like Christy come in and show them all the tips and tricks that no one teaches you like baby language, sleep signs and baby sleep science. It helps so much to have someone here telling me, yes this is good and no, you might want to try this and which products to buy and what to not waste your money on because they aren't beneficial or don't work. It just helps calm your fears and insecurities to have someone telling you that this will work, don't second guess yourself. Christy will be here with us for the rest of this week and she will be back next week. She will also be coming back when the girls are around 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks adjusted to help me transition them to sleeping fully through the night without any nighttime feedings.
I think I might cry when she leaves and chase after her car out of the driveway :). But, I will be comforted to know that she is an e-mail or phone call away if I just can't figure something out and she will be back to help me get them to fully sleeping through the night which, when that happens, we are going to have a little party to celebrate.
Love to you all!