Thursday, March 18, 2010's been awhile

Hello out there.....sorry it has been SO long since my last post. Where shall I begin........well, since my last post what, a month and a half ago, a lot has changed!

Barrett is now going to daycare part time instead of full time. It just didn't make much sense to keep him in full time anymore since both Louis and I are home. We didn't want to take him completely out though because he loves his friends and it's a great environment for him to be in. I have taken some initiative and bought some preschool learning books so on the days he is home with me we do preschool time and he LOVES it! He is still working on potty training, but has succeed actually going in the now we just need to work on continuing that trend :). He is turning into such a little boy, it makes mommy sad. Not sad that he helps with his sisters and talks non-stop, but just sad that he's not my little baby anymore that never talked back. He is the light of so many lives though and it makes me SO proud to know that Louis and I are raising a great little guy! We went to the St. Patty's parade last weekend and Bear couldn't wait to see the marching bands. He talked about it all afternoon and evening Friday and the first thing he said the next morning when he woke up was "we going to see marching bands!" Not "hi mommy" or "I wanna watch Calilou" or "I wanna watch firetrucks" like he normally says! So maybe my little man will be a band geek like his mommy :). His newest thing has been watching fire truck videos on youtube. I think daddy introduced that to him....but there is a fire truck song that he watched once and 3 days later after watching MANY more times he knew all the words and was singing along! I video taped it on my phone but the size is too big to send out from there. So I need to download it and put it on's TOO cute! But again, like last post, our computer is STILL that will come in due time as well. He is a smart little cookie and says things sometimes that really amaze me. He has a memory like a steel trap....just like his daddy...because many of you know, mommy can't remember crap :)!

Charli and Lili are doing well. They are 4 1/2 months old already!!!!! Time really does move too quickly. At their 4 month appointment we learned how identical they truly are....both weighed 12lbs 14ozs, both measured 23 3/4 long and both had the exact same size head. They are in the 25th quite a change from my 90th percentile boy....but doing well all the same. Both girls have been referred for physical therapy. The ped thinks Charli has torticollis and Lili may have a slight case. It's when the muscles in the neck on one side aren't as strong so the baby tends to favor turning their head to one side (which both favor the right). Another characteristic is when the baby is sitting her head is sort of cocked to one side, it's not held upright. This is where I notice most of the problem with Charli. Lili doesn't seem to have this characteristic as much. It's something that can be corrected with PT and if it does not get resolved by 1 year she possibly could need surgery. I have spoken to the physical therapist and she is coming to our house April 19th for a developmental assessment and from there she will determine the severity and if PT is truly needed or if there are things she can just teach us to do. I felt like a horrible mother after leaving the 4 month appointment though because I thought it was something I should have noticed. And of course, once it was pointed out to us, I haven't been able to not notice it. After doing some research though, I wasn't beating myself up as much. It's something that is pretty common in multiples because of being crammed in....and for their size they were definitely crammed :). And it makes sense that Charli's head is tilted the way it is when she sits because of her positioning in I am hopeful everything will be ok. Their little personalities have really come out. Lili is A LOT like her daddy (which is the opposite of what we originally thought). She is just chill and sits back and takes it all in. Charli on the other hand is just like her mommy....moody, no patience, and LOVES to talk :). She is definitely the chatterbox of the two. Both of them love to smile though and I am really looking forward to hearing them laugh. They are daddy's girls already (as if any of us ever had any doubt!). Louis sings to them all of the time and they just stare at him and smile. And tonight Charli was just chillin with daddy watching was so cute.

Louis and I are hanging in there. The winter was slower than we had anticipated....but isn't it always. He has been home with me all winter and surprisingly we haven't wanted to kill each other....well ok, maybe there was a time or 2 ;)...but all in all it has been wonderful for the 5 of us to have the time that we have. I am going to miss him when he starts working 70-80 hour weeks again....but it's all worth it come winter again. We are hoping that this year will be the year for Lawn Monkey. He has brought on a friend of his (he was in our wedding for those of you that were there), Corey, to do the irrigation side of the biz and we think he will be a great asset. I have begun looking for a job and possibly might get a PT job in the bakery at Whole Foods. My mom works there and loves the I thought I would give it a whirl. It's literally 2 minutes from my house. If I am offered the job I will have to weigh the pay to that of PT daycare for all 3 kiddos and see if it's worth it...but if it is, my mom said they promote from within and if a FT job becomes available they post it throught the store it might work out well down the road when the kids are all in school and I need something to do :). I know Louis thinks I will be his personal secretary for the life of Lawn Monkey, and maybe I will, but I will see where life takes me I guess.

So that's enough rambling from me for one night. Louis and I just prepped the trucks for the big snow storm (5-10 inches....they don't know snow like us New Yorkers!) we are supposed to get after our 70 degree week (gotta love Colorado) and now I am ready for bed. Again, I will post recent camera pics and video when we get our computer back. The ones I posted tonight are cell phone and not the best quality. Talk to everyone later!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Feeling like a human again

So life has been wonderful! The girls are getting so big. Last doctor's appointment Charli weighed 10lbs15ozs and Lili weighed 10lbs12ozs. They have doubled in size!! They are beginning to get a better sleep pattern and we have had a few nights where they have slept 7 like I said, we are feeling like humans again. There necks are starting to get strong enough to where they are holding their heads up quite a bit. We tried putting them in the Bumbo seats (I will post pics later)...they held their heads for a few and then kind of slumped over to the side a a little bit longer until they can sit in those and enjoy the scenery.

Going out in public will never be the same! We get stopped every few minutes with the stupidest questions..."Are they twins? Are they identical? Were they conceived naturally?!?" Oh yes, people really do ask that last one! Can you believe it? Neither can we! I think we need to make T-shirts that say "Yes my mommy and daddy DID have sex to make my identical twin sister and I"...that should cover it right :)? I really don't get the twin question though. Do people really think we have 2 babies the same size that are what...cousins? I just don't understand.

Barrett is doing well. He LOVES his sisters...but I think he is lacking a little bit of attention. He is beating up on the girls at daycare. We are really working on spending quality time with just him. I think he's used to being the one strangers stop and stare at and say how cute he is...and now that all goes to his sisters. So we are trying to dedicate a few hours on a weekend to do something special with just him. We are working on potty training too. It's been a bit of a challenge. He doesn't seem too interested. We put him in big boy underpants and he wets himself and continues on with whatever it is he's he just doesn't care that he's wet. I am going to try the Potty Training in One Day that Dr. Phil keep your fingers crossed for me!

So all in all, things are going great. I need to run now and tend to my girls...they are getting hungry :). I will post again soon with some recent pics. Our computer is down so I have to wait until we get it back. Until then......

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Drifting through the twindom fog....

Well it sure has been awhile since my last post....I've been pretty busy as one may expect :). The girls did not get to come home on Thanksgiving :(. The night we roomed in with them, Lili has 3 bradys where her heart rate dropped to 30. Charli wasn't due to come home until Friday originally but they were going to let her come home with Lili on Thanksgiving for convenience. Since Lili was now pushed off another 5 days, we brought Charli home on Friday. It was tough leaving Lili in the hospital by herself....but she got to come home on Sunday so it was only for 2 days. Barrett was excited to meet his sisters! I think when we brought the 2nd baby home though he was a little confused :). He probably wondered why there were 2 that looked exactly alike and if there were anymore coming! He is an AMAZING big brother already and adjusted better than we could have ever asked for. Our family is a blessing.

Since being home the babies have done SO well. Last doctor's appointment, which was 12/19, Charli weighed 7.12 and Lili weighed they have gained almost 3 lbs since birth. They eat like champs! They never took to breastfeeding and I have stopped pumping. I wasn't getting very much and it was more tiring than anything. They got the most important stuff so I need to not beat myself up over it. We wish they were breastfeeding though....they go through a huge canister of Enfamil from Costco in 5 days!!! And we go through about 120 diapers in a week...that's including Barrett who will begin potty training after New Years. Once he is out of diapers we will be down to about 85 or so. I have mastered feeding both of them at the same time though. It took some practice, but with one in the Boppy and one on my lap, I get it done!

They have developed into little people with little personalities. As I thought while in the womb, baby A, Charli, is more laid back and takes after Louis. And baby B, Lili, is more fiesty and takes after me. They make funny noises and "talk" to each other all of the time. And they LOVE to be next to each other. I sometimes sit them together in the Boppy and they put their arms across one's too cute!

My days seem to be consumed with feeding and changing babies, cleaning and always doing laundry....oh yeah, and sleeping when I can! Lili does well with sleeping in the middle of the night, only waking when it's time to eat. Charli on the other hand has her days and nights a bit we are working on trying to keep her awake more during the day. Louis and I share the responsibilities of feeding so we are equally tired :). We take turns every other day getting up with Barrett. It works out well....and I don't know if we would be standing if it weren't for him being in daycare during the week. That definitely allows for a bit of time for us to try and catch up. Although we admit, having 2 newborns is tough and we needed to have my brother Jeremy and his girlfriend babysit for the night while we went and got a hotel room to sleep. The next morning both of us agreed we could have slept another 12 hours...but it definitely did some good!

Christmas was fantastic! We hosted my family at our house. It ended up snowing on the 23rd-the I had a true test of being a housewife since Louis was out doing snow removal :). I must say, I didn't do too shabby! I had to take care of all 3 kiddos, while cleaning and cooking for X-mas. And on top of that, once I finished doing all of that for the day, I had to bath all of us and get us ready to go to Louis' mom's X-mas Eve. It was very tiring, but I did it! I think the combo of those few days for me and the lack of sleep Louis got doing snow removal were the topper for us needing the night of sleep. Santa Claus was very good to Barrett...and he deserved it. He was such a great helper to mommy on X-mas Eve day while daddy was working! He LOVES to help clean so I gave him a Clorox wipe and he wiped down all of the walls and doors while I got some cooking done. And he helped with his sisters....which by the way he doesn't really know their names and it's so cute. He just calls them sisters. If you ask ones name, he answers "sister". I think he knows that one is Lili and one is Charli....but it's just easier for him to call them sister so that's what he calls them.

So all in all, I couldn't be happier. Having all 3 of my children together, home and healthy, is what I kept my mind focused on for the 10 weeks I was in the hospital. God made it happen and I couldn't be more thankful! I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my family and friends either, so for that I thank all of you. I will update periodically and keep you all posted on the crazy life of the Mullen family :). Until next time.......

Monday, November 23, 2009

Liam Patrick

I forgot to add that my brother Chris and sister in law Erin had their second child, Liam Patrick, on November 19th at about 4:30ish (I think!). He was 7 lbs 1 ounce and 19 3/4 inches. He is adorable. Big sister Emma is apparently doing ok with him. I am so glad he made it here safe and sound as well as Erin starting having contractions at 33 weeks. She made it to about go Erin! My parents went from having 3 grandchildren to 6 in the matter of 2 weeks.....holidays are going to be so fun in a few years :).

Possible homecoming

Things have been going great. Both girls had feeding tubes removed and are eating like champs. Charlize Sophia was 5.12 last we heard and Liliana Helen was gaining weight! I have attempted breast feeding with both of them and don't think they are getting very much milk. After each attempt they eat a whole feeding from a bottle so all I can do is keep trying I guess. It's a bummer because Barrett took right to it and I never really had any problems. Pumping has been VERY tiring so I really hope that if I continue to try they will take to it so I can decrease pumping. If they don't, I will pump for as long as I can...but just don't know how much I have it in me to keep it up....we'll see. I would have to say that it is one of the worst parts about them being preemies actually. With Barrett I only had to pump occassionally....pumping every 2-3 hours just isn't the same. Oh well....I can't beat myself up....I did spend 10 weeks in the hospital to fight for them....I think they will understand :).
Both girls are doing great as far as the bradys go too. And because of that we may be able to bring them home on Thanksgiving!!!!! We won't be able to bring them to dinner or anything....but I couldn't ask for a better Thanksgiving if they are with me at home! They need to be brady free for 5 far so good. Louis and I held the babies today without being hooked up to the heart rate monitor. It's a little scary at first, but I think we have both come to realize when they are forgetting to breath and we have learned what to do. It's going to be nerve wracking and I'm sure I will have lots of sleepless nights because of it, but it will be SO wonderful to bring them home....and what better day than Thanksgiving! I have SO much to be thankful for this year. We will be rooming in with the girls tomorrow night at the hospital. It's nice they do that so we get to have a practice run of what it's going to be like, but have the nursing staff there if something is happening or we have any questions. We also had to watch a few videos today on infant CPR, RSV and Shaken Baby Syndrome. Both Louis and I know CPR so it was a great refresher!
So all in all, we couldn't have asked for a better outcome in this whole experience. I know lots of you can't wait to meet them....and you will in time. We need to ease them into things so we don't over stimulate them (so different than full term babies!....even rubbing them and rocking them can be too much!).....and unfortunately with the flu and RSV we need to be very cautious. I don't want to have to go back to Presbytarian St. Luke's hospital for anything other than the occasional visit to my favorite nurses on 3A :).
I will let you all know if things go as planned...and if they don't, at least we know it's not far off. But please say some more prayers that Thanksgiving day will be the day our little angels get to come home and we can finally be our family of 5! Boy is Barrett done for :). Thanks!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finally some pics

I finally got around to downloading the pics off my camera. There are a few of my pregnant belly and then obviously the girls....and had to throw one in there of our number 1 son too :). The girls doing well. Lili is still having bradys, but her eating from a bottle has increased so less tube feeding. Charli's eating from a bottle has decreased a bit and she unfortunately had a brady last night. We originally thought she might be home first....but now we think she doesn't want to leave her sister behind so she is going to act up to stay with her :). But apparently all their behaviors are normal and nothing that is concerning the docs. So here's the pics....enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The NICU rollercoaster has opened for business

So the ride has begun! As I said in the last post, Lili has been having bradys. Well, after the other day when she had that long one when I was holding her, they decided that evening to suction her nose after she had another one. They apparently got quite a lot of boogies out and she didn't have any bradys for about a 12 hour stretch. When she did have one it wasn't very long and she recovered on her own. I was SO happy and felt much more relieved.....thought maybe she was having them because of congestion. When I went to see them yesterday both girls were really alert and I got to breastfeed and follow up with a bottle feed with each of them. It was a great visit! When I called this morning she had only had 1 last night and it was another quick one that she recovered from on her again, very relieved!
Louis and I went to see them today. While I was holding Lili she decided to have 4 bradys in an hour!!! She recovered on her own for 3 of them, but needed a little light stimulation for the other one. I sat there crying for the majority of our visit. It's SO scary to be holding your little baby and her heart rate drops to an alarming rate. I feel SO panicked when it happens and it scares me to hold her because I am afraid that if she were to have a terrible one I wouldn't know what to do. I know the nursing staff is there to do what they need to do....but I am her mommy and I should be able to protect her and help her when she needs it. And then I have terrible feelings of guilt because I now have this fear of holding her and I know she needs to be held and loved by me. I don't want to fear going to see my babies because of this and I know it's something I need to get over. I think my hormones are all over the board too which I know isn't helping the situation.
Charli also had one while Louis was holding her. Hers only dropped for literally a second so I don't know if that is truly counted as one. The nurses try to comfort me and have said that even term babies have bradys but because they aren't monitored it is never known....but again, that still doesn't comfort me.
I just called to check on them and the nurse tonight seems great. Lili did have another brady but it was another short one that she recovered on her own. I told the nurse about this afternoon and my new fear of holding my own child and she made a few suggestions. She said to maybe limit the time I am holding her because she could be getting over stimulated and that is her body's way of telling me she needs to go back and lay down. She also said that a lot of the time it is positional and to be sure she has a clear airway while I am holding her. She assured me that this is very normal, not a concern, and something she should grow out of in the next 2-3 weeks. She said she knows it's hard for parents to handle and told me to call in the middle of the night if I am up and worried. I really like this nurse...and maybe that was part of my issue today, I didn't feel 100% comfortable with the nurse. She didn't seem as caring as the other nurses I have met and wasn't very maybe I can request not to have her again. I will look into that.
So anyhow, I knew this next chapter of our journey with our girls wasn't going to be easy but I guess because they moved to the grad NICU so quickly and everyone was so impressed with how well they were doing, I got excited and expected them to be home sooner than I think they will...or at least Liliana will. Hopefully we will be on the uphill slope of this ride again and it will level out and we can get off.....but I have a feeling we might have a few dips before that happens. I will keep you posted. Thanks for your continued prayers.