As 2006 comes to a close I am struck by how much our lives have changed in the past year. I'm sure one of my New Year's resolutions at the beginning of the year was to get pregnant and have another baby. I had no idea at the time how much that would come true. If I did, would I have gone through with it? Of course I would even though right now I'm wishing I could rewind the year a little bit as I still feel completely unprepared to care for 3 small babies! I know the Lord will not give me more than I can handle and for some reason He has chosen for me to care for these 3 beautiful girls but some days I wonder what He was thinking!
I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year. Our prayer for all of you is the same as for us that the Lord will bless you and watch over you.
Merry Christmas to all of you (a day late I know but I was sick yesterday). The girls had a wonderful first Christmas even though they slept through it :) Their big sister and brother made out quite well and had a great day!
I had my six-week check-up today and things look good. I have been officially discharged as an OB patient. I guess my wonderful pregnancy is over... Kidding, although as hard as it was to be pregnant with the girls it was easier than having them out! Seriously, the doctor was once again impressed at how far I was able to go in the pregnancy. I attribute it only to the grace of God.
Anyway, here are a few pictures of Kaitlyn, Caleb and the girls in their Christmas best! (You'll get one of them as Christmas cards someday - whenever I finally get around to it...) Sorry about the crying girls in the family picture but it's hard to keep them all happy at once.
Well, it wasn't much of a challenge. Alyssa won fair and square :) We took the girls to the pulmonologist this morning and Alyssa sat in her car seat for 30 minutes hooked up to lots of monitors. During that time they watched her oxygen saturation, her respiration rate and her heart rate. She did great and passed with flying colors. She is now allowed to be in a car seat just like her sisters! Yea! Julianna and Rachel were oblivious to the test and slept through the challenge in their own car seats. All of them also slept through the admiration of strangers. Wonder how long it will take them to notice that and take advantage? Hmmm... we have a lot to look forward to! At least no one asked annoying questions this time :)
Soon we will post pictures of so many who have come over to help and have held the babies. Should be good fun. We also have the babies first Christmas to look forward to! Yikes, Christmas - no, we're not ready :) But it will be great fun to enjoy our first Christmas as a family of 7!
Wow! The girls could not be doing better. It is amazing how well they are doing and how fast they are growing. The doctor was very impressed by the girls progress and weight gain. This was our first visit with this particular doctor and she was just shocked at how well the girls have done and that they didn't need any extra care in the hospital and that they don't need any now. Praise God for His goodness. It is only by His blessing that they are doing so well and we couldn't be happier about it!
None of them are big enough to really be on the charts. Julianna is about 10th percentile for height and 5th percentile for weight but we're getting there. They are all good full-term weights. My actual due date was this past Friday and believe it or not much of their lives is still based around that date. Essentially their current weights are really good singleton birth weights and since I was due a few days ago that means great things for the girls.
It also means that Julianna will come off the preemie formula completely. Good and bad for us since we got 9 cases free from the formula company!! The other 2 will stay on it for another month so we will try to use up those cases with them :) The girls are eating well. All of them about 3 ounces every 3 hours and going 4-5 hours at night which is good for us as we are now getting about 3 to 3 1/2 in a row of sleep. Yea! Julianna will also be getting about 4 ounces from now on as she drains her 3 ounce bottles very quickly.
I'm finally recovering and feeling better. I wouldn't say 100% which is very frustrating to me but Lord willing by the time my mom goes home (if we let her!) I will be back to "normal" and be able to care for the girls better by myself. Yikes, don't want to think about that!
Tomorrow Alyssa will go for her car seat challenge and hopefully after that she will be cleared to also ride in a car seat and not just a car bed. This will make life for us a lot easier as we will finally be able to use the stroller that holds the infant car seats and fits through doors. (Our other stroller does not fit through the church doors!) However, the doctor did confirm today that the girls should be flat more often then they are in carseats or swings as this can cause problems for their breathing. Fun.
It's always something and we're always busy but praise God it's nothing major!
Yesterday my beloved canine reached the end of his time on this world.
The dog that once leaped fences without hesitation could no longer climb a single step.
The animal that could once snap leashes and drag picnic tables could hardly stand.
The companion that used to chase deer up steep mountain trails, couldn’t even cross the floor for a bit of steak.
The animal that once took a car fender to the face and shrugged it off now had to drag himself to the water bowl.
Once the very image of canine regalia, now couldn’t even control his basic body functions.
He was but a shadow of the proud, noble creature he once was.
X-rays revealed a spinal disease that was eroding the cartilage and nerve endings in his lumbar region. In an attempt to regain stability his vertebrae were beginning to fuse together. Even with surgery and extensive therapy it was unlikely he’d ever do more than hobble.
I made the decision to end his suffering and he breathed his last in my arms.
Rest In Peace Duke Von Eldey, noble guardian of Nelson Manor.
We just wanted to share with everyone that today we lost our dog, Duke. We have had him since he was a puppy and he was 8 1/2 years old. He contracted a spinal disease that left him essentially unable to use his back legs. When the vet did the X-ray she found that some cartilage between his vertebrae was gone and his body was growing bone in its place causing him to be unable to walk. Apparantly this is a rare but deadly disease that is very aggressive. The vet stated he only lasted as long as he did because he was lean and in good shape. He will be missed.
Please pray for our family. I know Duke wasn't human but the kids were very attached to him and this is hard for them. It will be a hard adjustment to us all - Duke has been around a while.
Just a quick note about Rachel - we saw the doctor again today and she added another medication to Rachel's Zantac to try and control her reflux. Please pray this works - we can tell that she's in a lot of pain when she eats. The good news is that she now weighs 5.11 lbs!! Yea, go Rachel! The girls go back to the doctor next Monday and we will see how they have all grown but according to our home scale Alyssa is around 6 lbs and Julianna is around 6.8 lbs so they are all doing very well.
The girls are continuing to do well at home which is great. They are an exhausting group. We have them on a schedule and they eat every 3 hours during the day. They all seem to be really good eaters though Julianna probably packs it in the most :) They do pretty well at night. We make them every 3 1/2 hours if they don't wake us first. We do this partly because it's hard to hear them from their room (we turn the monitor off if someone's awake after a feeding - yes, they do have to cry a little at night - I'd go insane otherwise!) and partly because they can't go a whole lot longer without being fed. I really want them to grow!
Kaitlyn and Caleb are still doing well. Caleb said yesterday he only wants sisters. That's a good thing! But he also thinks he's going to turn into a girl at some point. I can understand the sentiment given the number of females in our house but thankfully that will never be the case. I try to assure him of this but he is not convinced.
We also want to say thank you to everyone who has brought diapers and gifts. We are truly grateful. I promise individual notes are forthcoming as are birth announcements/Christmas cards. They may be a bit late - I hope you can forgive me that! I'm still feeling very sore and having a very long recovery. When I feel better I plan to do more so thank you for your patience.