Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twins' First Thanksgiving

I was so excited this year for thanksgiving. JR's birthday was just a few days before; I was recovering from a random cold and family was in town that had yet to meet my little men. It was the perfect recipe for a perfect day. I think what I was really excited for was that all of my boys were big enough to sit at the table at eat with the family. Yurchik's first Thanksgiving he was 4 days old... it was tough for even mom and dad to sit at the table! His second Turkey day was the big unveil of the twins' anticipated arrival so this year the whole family would be there and participatory. Big deal in mom land I guess! LOL....

Well, the day started out alright. We left the house on time, arrived before food was ready and had plenty of pre-food mingling time with family. The food was great as well. I think this was the first thanksgiving I ate the sweet potato/yams... something I've grown to love since making my own baby food. Yurchik didn't want to sit at the table for long but was a trooper and even ate the turkey! The twins started chowing down on mom's homemade carrots and store bought ham in gravy (I have yet to perfect the meat puree...) followed by their favorite mixed berries. They acted as if they hadn't eaten all day (which is typical!). Then they sat and played while the "adults" ate their turkey dinners. Everyone was happy and their stomachs were overinflated (at least mine was).

Then things spiraled downhill it seemed. Luca in typical fashion started his grunting/ hot pink face letting the world know he needed to g. o. if you know what I mean! Well, Auntie Glo took it upon herself to change him. Well, he pooped through the diaper, up the back and in the process of being changed was able to smear poo all over the blanket he was lying on!!! Oh the adventures we endure. Well, just as our lovely hostess, Aunt Stacy, had finished cleaning up the poopy blanket Anže projectile vomited all over her buffet, the floor, himself and Auntie Barb. Since Anže is the usual spitter of the two we really didn't think much of it....until he did it again, and again and again... By the time we got home and he stopped throwing up he had changed clothes 6 times! Mom's first experience with a barfy kid and hopefully the last for quite a while.

He slept until 4 or so and then woke up hungry. We gave him some pedialyte and he fell right back to sleep until 7:30. He drank some more pedialyte and is sleeping again. Hopefully, it was just something that didn't agree with his stomach or he just overate... needless to say I won't be feeding him ham any time soon just in case (it was the only new thing so that's where I'm starting).

It was, needless to say, an eventful evening. I'm sure Aunt Stacy won't be having us back for a while after the mess we all made! ;) Hopefully Anže can keep his food down for the day and we can go on with our weekend as planned!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Scooter's Jungle

This year we wanted Yuri Jr to have a say in his birthday party. We gave him two pictures; one of a bounce house and one of a guy blowing bubbles. He got to choose which one he wanted. He chose the bounce house. Luckily, we chose a place with bounce houses that does the food and whatnot so it was pretty hassle free for mom! I say luckily because the weather was drab that day. It was cold and drizzly and that would not have worked well if we rented a bounce house or if we had the "bubble man" come. So, the genius struck gold on his choice! The party was a total blast. The kids and adults loved all the different jumpers and activities. The best part in mom's opinion was that they actually put stickers on each gift and wrote down which guest brought it so if the cards were misplaced or anything it was quite easy to know who brought it! It will come in handy when the time arrives to write thank yous (I'm still behind on thank yous from the twins' dedication!! sorry...).

We had a total blast. He had a lot of friends come and got some great gifts. The hard part now is to figure out what he didn't get that he can ask for next since Christmas is only a month away!!

Thank you to everyone that came out and celebrated our big man's 2nd birthday with him! We love you all!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rolly Polly Ollie

The twins are rolling!! Front to back and back to front they are rolling! I can't believe they are already big enough to do this! I'm also saddened by the fact that I can't remember when Jr first rolled. He hated to be on his stomach. I honestly think he may have walked before he rolled! LOL... He loves that his brothers can roll and lays on the blanket on the floor with them and shows off his rolling skills too! They are so in awe of him. I think having him around truly helps inspire them to do new things and he will surely keep them developmentally on track! He is so excited that they are getting more able bodied and are interacting with him more. We are in for some serious trouble once they are all mobile! I don't know how we are going to keep up! Sr and I need a gym membership to get in better shape before that happens!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Zoo

Yesterday we took our first trip to the zoo. I couldn't believe we hadn't taken Jr to a zoo yet!! Once we got there and I was buying tickets I suddenly realized all the places we needed to go before he turned 2 (after that he's not free most places LOL!!). I guess the next month will be jam packed visiting museums and such! We are thinking that will be a fun Christmas gift (memberships to places) and a great way to spend our time together! We had a membership to the Aquarium but he suddenly hated to go there so we didn't renew it. He is in to fish now and perhaps we will try again soon.

Anyway, we went to the LA Zoo because Buddy the T-Rex from Jr's favorite show Dinosaur Train was going to be there to take pictures with the kids. I was super excited. So the boys and I snagged Auntie Glo and we were off. Bug and her parents met us there and we had a nice day together seeing the animals. Yuri really wanted to go in and be with them. I think a petting zoo is going to be next on our list so he can interact with the animals!

The weather was on the warmer side so we tried to keep ourselves in the shade when we could. We all realized we are extremely out of shape and walking up the hills pushing a triplet stroller or carrying a toddler is a LOT of work! Everyone survived with few tears shed and the twins even napped!

I can't wait to take them on another zoo trip (perhaps the Santa Ana Zoo since it's flat! ;)...)
Pictures will be up on shutterfly and facebook soon!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Grandpa love

Jr loves his Dido/ Gigi. He loves to play with him, walk with him, watch movies with him, cook with him.... really he just loves to do anything he can with him! Now that I'm working Babcha and Dido watch the boys on Fridays. When I get off work and come to pick them up Yurchik refuses to leave. He has to stay and play longer with his Gigi. He's adorable! They love each other. Yurchik is truly a life saver as he is helping to make sure that his Dido stays healthy! Yesterday, Jr walked around the house yelling, "Dad!" trying to find Dido... maybe he thinks dad and granddad look alike! LOL... He is able to say Gigi and when you talk about him he gets all excited. We are so blessed to have such wonderful family around us... not just Babcha and Dido but all the grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and extended family and friends. It's so nice to know how loved we are! We love you all (even if mom gets sad that Yurchik chooses dido instead of her! ;) ).

Ducks

Yurchik loves his rubber duckies. He seems to have a million of them. They are different sizes, colors, themes and he loves them all. The ride the rodes like his cars (which he loves as well) and he always has to have one wherever we go. Tonight we went to dinner in Long Beach and in the center where the restaurant was located is a water area... little ponds with fountains. As we walked around we came upon REAL ducks. Yurchik freaked out! He was saying "duck, duck, duck" and went to try and get one. They of course, jumped into the water and swam away and he just watched in amazement. He knew they were ducks. Real ducks and rubber duckies look nothing alike. I was in awe! On top of that there is a house a few doors down with fake ducks in their bushes. Well, he spotted them as well! He truly is a genius just like his poppy says!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More laughter and a few mommy tears

Luca has been gurgling for a few weeks. It's the silliest baby sound ever. It's like he's grunting and giggling at the same time. I love to tickle him and watch his face as he just hasn't quite known how to react...until Wednesday. Wednesday Chris and Joanne (their godparents) came over for a visit. While Jo was playing with Luca he started laughing. Full on, 100% laughing. I was so excited. It was a joyous sound and godmom was super excited to be given the gift of the first real laugh. Now all 3 of our boys crack up together and we are finding ourselves doing some of the silliest things to get them all going! We are having so much fun with our boys and are so very blessed to have them all.

Everyone is doing well. The twins are around 12 lbs each and Jr is almost to 30. He is talking more and more; every day a new word. He loves dinosaurs and all things with wheels and screeches "HuH?!?!?!" when he sees them on tv or on the road. He hasn't quite mastered car or truck but he does say "That's a dinosaur" whenever he sees one. He's great on identify his favorite things; juice, cheese, shoes, fork, water, crackers, fish, brothers are all on the current favorite words to say list. Those he uses on a consistent basis. He has tons of other words he uses sporadically. He is very well mannered as "thank you" is his most common and most often used phrase. He is even sure to remind you to "say thank you" when you should! His proud mama moment this week however had to be when he said "love you". He didn't say it to me or to dad or to his brothers he just chimed in when Yuri and I said it to each other. I was so excited... he has yet to say it again but I keep pestering! (perhaps that's why he won't say it again!!!).

The twins are still doing some PT/OT and are starting to make headway in their developmental milestones. They go for an evaluation at the end of the month to see how they are progressing. Their OT thinks they are doing great and we are very proud of them. They are also being dedicated on the 25th at my mom's church in Whittier since we have yet to take them to any church yet it should be an interesting experience. We aren't sure where God wants our home church to be at this time and are constantly praying for Him to lead us where He wants us to go but we know the RCCI family and the Pastors graciously offered to dedicate the twins for us. We are very excited to share the day with the RCCI family and all of our family and friends. If you'd like to join us you can email me for the information.

On a personal note, I accepted a part time teaching position at the school I've worked at for the past 3 years. I am teaching 3rd grade with a great teacher. She works on Mon and Tues whereas I work Thur Fri and we alternate Wed. It's nice to only have to go to work a few days while being able to bring in some extra money for the family as we have struggled since my bedrest last February. It definitely takes a bit of the financial burden off of Yuri's shoulders. He is sacrificing his "weekends off" to take Wed and Thurs off to watch the boys and Nina; his mom, has graciously given up her Fridays to take care of the boys. It's truly a blessing that we didn't need to find a sitter and that daddy and babcha can get some extra time with the kids. This was my first week and it was rough on me. I came home today and Jr was able to reach the doorknob and open the door of his room. I don't know when he grew tall enough to do that but I know he wasn't doing it on Wed when I was home. I worry I'm going to miss all the milestones being at work now and that breaks my heart a bit. I just have to remind myself that God has a plan and working these few days is helping not hindering my family. I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to further my career and to do it at a place I love with people I love and consider family. I was saddened to not return to work and see them consistently and my heart is truly overjoyed to do that now. I'm also happy for the adult time sans kids (even if it's still spent with other people's kids!). I will miss my mommy play group and my daily play time with Jr's best friend Jayne (and her mommy) but it's only half the week so we will still have plenty of free time to play! I'm just taking everything one day at a time. Here's to a wonderful weekend!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Laughter

So both the twins have been smiling and cooing and even giggling but tonight there was laughter. Anze laughed! It was the best sound in the world. I cannot believe they have grown so fast and are so strong. I am beyond proud of my little men. I can't wait to break out the video camera and tape the whole family laughing together! What a sweet, sweet sound!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

4 months old!

We cannot believe our little guys are already 4 months old! It seems like yesterday we found we were having twins and then I realized that it's been almost a year since then! Geesh how time does fly! The boys had their 4month check up with the pediatrician. She was able to find their distinguishing features to tell them apart and was so excited to see Luca sans oxygen! She thinks they are doing well and said we can even try rice cereal to see how they fair with eating other than a bottle. It may be too early for them since they are only 2 months corrected but it can't hurt to try! Anyway... the dirty details everyone wants to know...

Luca: 10lbs 3oz, 22in
Anze: 10lbs 12oz, 22 3/4in

Luca has gained almost 7 lbs since birth (7lbs in 4 months is really good!) and 7in
Anze has gained 7lbs 1oz. and 7in

They are 5 lbs behind Jr when he was 4mos but he's HUGE and half his weight is in his feet and his head!

Everyone is happy and healthy. I can't believe they've been home for 2 months. We are starting to venture out more now that they've had 2 doses of shots. We've gone to the museum, the park, the towne center and on walks in the neighborhood. They love the outdoors.

Both boys are starting to really focus on sights and sounds as well as track them. They are also becoming great "cooers". They have a therapist coming to the house that works with them on fine and gross motor skills to ensure that they don't get behind developmentally. She is very nice and the boys seem to like her. They also sleep through the night... At LEAST 8 straight hours!!!

Jr is still being a great big brother. He gives them their bottles and pacifiers. He even throws away their dirty diapers! He is a wonderful helper (even if his idea of help is making a bigger mess!).

We are truly enjoying our time as a family of 5. Everything seems natural as if we weren't complete before but we are now!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NO more O2!!!!

Luca is off of oxygen!!! As long as he continues to do well (breathes, eats, sleeps, etc well... gains weight, doesn't get lethargic, all that stuff). He will stay off oxygen! If he starts to wheeze or cough we have albuterol to give him and have been advised to put the oxygen on him overnight as well if needed. He still has his apnea monitor just for safety purposes (for his breathing and SIDS prevention). He is almost "wireless". It makes it SO much easier to go places since he is much more portable without dragging an oxygen tank around!

The boys are also going to start in home therapy. They will be worked with by a professional therapist to do "early intervention" with them to ensure that they don't get behind in their milestones and development. It's a state funded program that we learned about through a friend with twin girls that were about the same gestation(just as preemie). Later they may upgrade to actual therapy at the facility which is mommy and me center based (I'm actually excited for this as it would be a great way to meet more moms of preemies and for the boys (all 3) to be socially acclimated more.

Everyone is thriving... the twins are around 10 lbs now and just as adorable as always. Jr is a sweet boy most of the time; terrible twos do happen from time to time... he isn't much for patience right now. However, he is a very easy toddler who keeps himself occupied (even if it means destroying the house!). I read a quote recently that said "a clean house and a toddler is an oxymoron". That is for sure as it seems every time I pick something up he goes right behind me and takes it back down. He does help a lot though; he takes out the trash, throws his diaper away and tries to clean up his toys. We couldn't ask for better kids!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Twins

I have these in 3x5s. Let me know if you'd like one.\
not 3x5




Anze Christopher

I have these in 3x5s. Let me know if you want one.
not 3x5


not 3x5

Luca Gabriel

I have these in 3x5s. Let me know if you'd like a particular photo. Limited supply... not 3x5


not 3x5

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Announcements

Here are both announcements we had created for free! We only have 40 so we can't mail everyone we know. Let us know if you would like a hard copy and we will try to get you one.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Announcement

I'm only mailing announcements out to those without emails. Here it is for your enjoyment!
Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

I actually made 2 because I got special promotions to get free announcements from different sites and as soon as I get the other in the snail mail I will post it but it's obviously the same idea.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Latest Stats

Yuri Jr is now a whoppin 27 lbs 4 oz and 33 1/2in long. He is talking a lot, even using phrases. My favorite part of the day is when Sr comes home and he says, "Hiii Dad". Melts my heart! He is very polite- saying thank you constantly. He is also working on brothers and kisses. Mom is trying I love you but it hasn't caught on quite yet...

Luca is now 6 lbs 13oz and 20in long. He is still on both the oxygen and apnea monitor and doing well. He loves to look at you and is obviously quite interested in the world around him.

Anze is now 7 lbs 4 oz and 19 3/4in long! When did my youngest get so big?! He loves tummy time and is really good at rolling from his tummy to his back. He is very laid back- perhaps a future surfer! He is also a lover- always smiling.

The twins love each other and every time they are next to each other they instantly turn towards one another. Amazing how they know! Jr loves to lay on the mat with them during tummy time. He constantly wants to hold them, feed them, paci them. You can also tell he wishes they could play with him sooo badly! I know I'm going to blink and they will all be playing together. Thankfully I have a camera and can preserve these few moments we have of them being babies!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pictures

Luca on the bottom, Anze on the top

Luca left, Anze right
Anze, Yurchik, Luca

Monday, May 30, 2011

2 months old

I cannot believe my baby boys will be 2 months old tomorrow! It seems like bedrest was just yesterday. I am so utterly grateful that they are both home and thriving, that Yurchik adores them and that they are just as sweet as he is (so far). It's definitely an adjustment to be up every 3 hours to feed someone (or someones) but we are surviving.

Jr loves to hold his brothers, give them kisses and try to feed, change and pacify them. It's incredible the instant love he had for them. However, he knows he is bigger and the boss. The first night Luca was home he pointed at both of them and talked their heads off as if telling them he was glad they were home and his but he is still the boss. I loved it. How did we get so blessed with such sweet boys. We are going to try and do weekly dates with him... mom and me, dad and me or mom and dad and me to ensure he still feels loved and all that. Today, he is going to the circus with mom. It should be interesting to see how he reacts to everything. It will be nice no matter what to be just the two of us for an hour or two.

The boys are doing great. They are both eating a lot, sleeping a lot and pooping a lot. All the things they should be doing. Anze loves tummy time and has already mastered rolling over! Luca doesn't enjoy tummy time as much but he does like the gentle movements we do every day from a class I took at the hospital. He is doing well on his oxygen and apnea monitor. He hasn't set off any of the alarms yet and we hope he never does. Pra-Baba (great gma) got to hold them both for the first time yesterday and didn't want to put them down. How blessed they are to have so many grandparents and great grandparents. Not many people have living great grandparents to meet! We are blessed by the huge extended family that calls them their own as well. They have such a large collection of honorary grandparents it's amazing. Blessed is the only way to truly describe it.

Overall, we are doing well. Dad is working a lot and mom is lacking sleep and the bank account is empty but we have each other- AT HOME and that's all that truly matters. God has given us 3 wonderful gifts and we thank Him for that every day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Excuses Excuses

Last week Thursday the dr in Luca's room wrote on his chart that he would be discharged Tuesday. On Friday, the oxygen equipment was ordered and delivered so we were ready to bring him home. His MRI was scheduled for Monday morning. The weekend went well- no feeding issues or anything else. Monday came and they gave him his sedatives to do his MRI. Well, he didn't become sedated at all!!! He was still a wiggle monster after 2 doses of medication so his MRI was rescheduled for Tuesday morning. His nurse said as long as he eats well he could still go home before shift change Tuesday night. Tuesday morning came and after readjusting the dosage he was able to fall asleep and get his MRI done. So you can only imagine the frustration when we called to see what time he would be discharged only to hear that he needed an apnea monitor that was just ordered so he wouldn't be able to go home until Wed. Frustrating for sure after Yuri took the day off of work- his last vacation day, to bring his son home. Soon thereafter the rep who was bringing the machine to the hospital called to see when we would be there that afternoon so she could show us how to use the machine. She was ready to bring it since he was being discharged that day. So excitedly I got ready to go to the hospital so he could come home. NOPE. The dr didn't want to send him home on sedation meds even though he was eating just fine. I convinced the nurse to call him and ask him again. I gave all the excuses I could; busy day, dad took the day off today, etc etc but the dr never answered the call. She decided to call the on-call dr to see if they would sign off....

Are you ready for this?!... He can't go home until he has had the formula supplement added to his breastmilk for 24hrs to ensure he tolerates it well. Now please tell me WHY NO ONE ADDED IT TO HIS DIET EARLIER SINCE HE'S BEEN SCHEDULED TO LEAVE SINCE THURSDAY!!!! Why wasn't the monitor added to his order?! I just don't understand what has happened to the wonderful NICU experience we had for 6 weeks? It seems that once the boys hit that 6 week mark everything started to go wrong. Anze's night nurse messed up his feedings and everything has been awry since...

Believe me, I am taking my kindly worded suggestions to the suggestion box and my middle son/oldest twin home today. There cannot be any more excuses to why he needs to stay. I wouldn't be as upset if someone said he wasn't ready to go home- that's fine. But don't tell me you're sending him home just to change your mind a million times because you forgot to do what you needed to do. It isn't fair to us as parents, to his family and friends that are praying for him, to his poor nurse yesterday that got the brunt of my frustration, to our pocket book for paying for another day of care or to him being away from his family. Here's to a happy blog about a complete family of 5 tonight or tomorrow morning!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Week home

Anze has been home for a week already. I cannot believe it. He is doing well in our opinion! He is up every 3-4 hrs to eat. He enjoys tummy time and exercises with mommy that she learned at a special class offered by the NICU. He's spoiled by his oldest brother already. He's been given the remote, an XBox controller, fruit snacks, pacifiers, etc. Yurchik doesn't like anyone walking around with his baby brother. He wants to hold him all the time as well as all the other "chores"- feed, change, carry, etc. It's quite adorable. Hopefully he will be just as excited to play with Luca when Luca comes home on Tuesday.

Luca will be coming home with oxygen but the doctors all say he won't need it for long. We are only worried about Jr stepping on the tubing or tripping over it etc right now. Hopefully we will be able to find a solution that will allow us the mobility to move Luca around while not hindering Jr's playing. By the way- for some reason getting proper oxygen equipment is a PAIN! I'm not sure why but I've had to call multiple times and we just the system ordered Friday and Luca isn't even home to use it. Sigh...

All in all we are doing well. Dad's been working a lot and mom's been trying to keep up with the housework. Hopefully it will be easier without constant trips to the hospital; although there's plenty of dr appts in our near future! If only it were like the "olden days" when dr's came to you! At least that would save us in gas!

Well, here's to a great week! We will be sure to let you know how the transition from 2 to 3 boys goes! Love to all!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Visitation Guidelines

Before I type all of these out please do not feel offended in any way. We are only outlining the expectations we want to have in order to maintain the health of our family; especially the premature ones who are still growing and maturing not only their bodies but their immunities. Thank you for your understanding.

These are guidelines Yuri and I agreed upon after discussion with NICU staff and other parents of preemies.

In order to visit the twins please:
  • no cold/flu symptoms or exposure for 3 days to any illness
  • no visitation if exposed or have had contagious disease such as chicken pox, mumps, measles, etc...
  • use hand sanitizer upon entry, between babies (even Yurchik) and between touching any toys or other objects that the kids may come in contact with (sanitizing between ensures that if one has a bug/germ it is less likely to be passed to the others). The outside laundry room has a sink with soap and towels if you'd like to "scrub in" as well.
  • 1 set of visitors per day (ie one set of grandparents per day... ). This helps to limit the germ exposure as well as to ensure the twins do not become overstimulated. They need rest to grow. Please call/txt/email in advance to ensure you can come on the date in question.
  • whooping cough vaccine- this is a must. Adults can be carriers and not even realize. Both boys were on ventilators for respiratory distress and Luca is still requiring oxygen. This illness could cause permanent damage to their lungs. The dTap vaccine is good for approx 10 years.
  • restrictions will be in place for at least 2 months from Luca's discharge date (unless pediatrician states otherwise). This includes but not limited to visitations as well as their leaving the house.
  • babysitters need infant CPR training as well as lessons on how to hold/feed/burp/give medication as these are all different for preemies than full term babies.
  • More than one person has suggestion asking for people to bring meals over when visiting. I'm not sure on the tactfulness of this but if you'd like to drop something off for us with or without a visit we would appreciate it. I'm sure once all the boys are home preparing meals will not be an easy task. We just ask that nothing need to be frozen as our freezer is being used to store breast milk and there is no extra room! If you have any questions about anything please do not hesitate to ask. Thank you for your understanding.

OOOOOOOOOOOO O We're half way therrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrre....

Anze came home last night. He did a great job in the car and has been a superb baby so far at home. We are tired but all are well. Yurchik absolutely adores his brother. He wants to hold him all the time. We let him sit on the couch and he puts his arms down by his legs like he's going to hold him and sits there with him on his lap. He pushes away any adult hands that are helping! He gives him kisses and laughs or smiles at all the cute baby noises he makes. It is one of the most precious things I've ever seen. I am very proud of all of my boys.

Luca will be home in the next week or 2 depending on how he does nippling these next few days. He is still going back and forth on oxygen so they've changed his settings to how they would be if he had to come home with oxygen. That will definitely make it interesting.... God doesn't give you more than you can handle so I have no doubt we will be alright.

I will be writing a blog with visitor rules that we have agreed upon with the recommendations from the hospital staff. Anze sees the pediatrician this week and she may have extra things to add. We ask that no one visits this week so that we can acclimate our family to this new schedule without constant disruption. We hope you understand. Thank you all so much for your continued prayers and support. We love you all!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home....

Not quite yet. I'm quite annoyed with this fact as I believe it's due to laziness by Anze's night nurse last night as dad fed him 55 CCs at 6, mom fed him 60CCs at 9 both via a bottle and for some reason she fed him through a tube for his next feeding. Since he took a tube feed (gavage) he did not drink 8/8 from breast or bottle and cannot come home. A nurse he has had multiple times came in to say goodbye and was quite upset that he wasn't leaving. She actually told me to complain about this issue. I just might as it is really bugging me. Regardless, he had a MRI today to check out his brain which his standard weekly ultrasound showed decrease from last week's so that is great news. Not sure what the MRI results are yet. So... hopefully he will be home Sunday or early in the week.

This week's doctor also hinted that Luca could come home next weekend. He has been off his oxygen for 48hrs and is taking a bottle every other feed. I have noticed so much growth from him this week. He started out with oxygen. He would need to be supplemented when breastfeeding because he would tire out. He also had strict feeding guidelines and was usually gavaged the remainder of his feed after nippling. Today he drank a full feeding from the breast as well from a bottle for his other feeds without oxygen. He did have some drops in his pulse ox levels from time to time but he was able to pick it back up and recover on his own without supplemental oxygen. We are so proud of him! We are proud of all our kids actually!!!

So, we will keep you posted on their homecomings and all that that entails as it happens. Now I just have an extra day or two to clean!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!

PS- Anze is 6lbs and Luca is 5 lbs 12 oz!!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Found this today...

I wanted to share a picture I found made by a former student of mine...

This totally made my day! Thank you John!

The boys both got to increase their bottle feeds today. If Anze does well tonight he will be completely fed via a bottle. When he masters this he comes home... this means he could come home on FRIDAY!!! I never thought the day would come. I am sooo excited!

Luca is now about 5 lbs 8oz and Anze 5 lbs 13oz. They are both doing well. Luca was off his oxygen for most of the day minus his evening bottle time with dad. He's still working out the kinks of eating and breathing simultaneously. We know he will figure it out and be home soon too!

Thanks for all the continued prayers- we really appreciate them and see them working every day that our boys get bigger and stronger.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

2 lbs!

Anze has gained over 2 lbs and Luca has gained an ounce shy of 2lbs in only 5 1/2 weeks! I am amazed at how full their cheeks are, how their little legs have meat on them and how their skin isn't loose and wrinkly anymore. I cannot believe how much they have grown. They amaze me every day. Both are eating from breast and bottle; Luca 2x a day and Anze 4x. Anze will be home by the 22nd assuming there aren't any further complications or issues that arise before then. We hope Luca continues to catch up. Since he was on a ventilator for so long it is common for those preemies to come home closer to their due date if not a bit after. We have no doubt he will be home by Father's Day.

The boys' room is painted and organized- ready to go minus a few decorations! I still need to put ties on the 2nd set of bumpers and finish cleaning and organizing in other parts of the house but it will be done.

We hope you all have a great week! Love you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cannot believe it's been 5 weeks!

The boys are doing really well. Both have started practice latching on to mommy. Anze is doing a great job once he is on. Luca is taking his time; he's more interested in looking around at all the people observing him than actually eating!!! Such a character. Anze is at 3 feedings a day via bottle/ breast and Luca is at 1 (just breast). They are being reevaluated tomorrow to see if they can go up to more per day. Luca will also try the bottle again and see if his coordination (eating and breathing simo.) has improved. They both passed their first eye exams!! No signs of any issues yet but preemies are (as with everything else) more prone to things (such as lazy eyes like mom) so we shall see. Anze is receiving a shot 3x a week to boost his red blood cell count along with iron. Hopefully that will help. If they don't see an improvement they will transfuse him to see if that helps.

Anze is weighing in at 5lbs 5oz and Luca is 4 lbs 13oz. They are just growing leaps and bounds. In fact I had to swap out all of their preemie clothes for newborns. Many preemie outfits were too tight in general but they all were too short... I guess they got the tall jean that Jr missed out on!

Jr has had a good week. He is talking more and more every day! It is soo neat to hear him communicate. He doesn't have a lot of patience lately and does try to throw the "terrible 2" tantrums which we ignore. Hopefully he will get over it soon or he will learn quick that he has to be patient with 2 brothers around.

Mom and dad are well also. Dad's been working a lot still and mom has been over doing it (cleaning, errands, and a 3 mile walk for the March of Dimes with my mom)... but all is well. Thanks to everyone that has helped us this past week (Nina for cleaning, Gma Mary for babysitting and cleaning, Katie for food and errands). It has really helped me get things done. Hoping I get more done this weekend while Jr spends the night with Gma Pat. Mother's Day is up in the air still but I plan to spend a portion of it with my handsome boys in the NICU a portion with my boys at home and hopefully a portion with the moms and gmas that are local. We hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and a fantastic Mother's Day! Love to all

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A month already

I cannot believe our boys were born a month (and 2 days) ago. It seems like only yesterday that I was complaining of bed rest and missing out on the precious little time I had left with just Yurchik. Now we spend hours a day at the hospital holding our baby boys anxiously awaiting dr reports, test results and more. We cheer on the minute milestones that we would have missed out on entirely if they were born full term. I don't remember being so excited for Jr to latch on to my breast or even breath on his own! What a completely different outlook on parenting having a preemie does to you. Friends and family were so excited when Yurchik cut a tooth, took his first step, said his first word. Now everyone is thrilled when Luca gets his oxygen off (even if he has to go back on it the next day) or when Anze latches on to mom to eat on his own and not from a feeding tube. Having a preemie definitely changes your outlook on everything. Cherish every moment you have in life- in the mundane, every day things we take for granted. Each moment is truly a blessing from God.

Luca is still on oxygen. They are giving him a variety of medications to help keep the fluid in his lungs clear and to help with reflux. He ate 17cc's from a bottle yesterday eagerly. Today he gets his first boob attempt. Fingers are crossed for success. The doctors and therapists all agree that breastfeeding may be easier for him in regards to breathing and eating at the same time. Our little Luca just has difficulty multi tasking...

Anze is up to 3 feedings a day via breast/bottle. He is doing really well with his feedings. His red blood cell count is low so he is getting iron supplements for a few days. He will be tested again on Thursday and the doctors will decide if he needs a shot to stimulate the marrow to produce more or if he needs a transfusion. It does explain why all he does is sleep (not that the nurses complain!). If anyone has the time to donate this week Anze (and Luca) would appreciate it. Remember to designate it for the Motruk twins.

Both boys had their eyes dilated and tested. The nurses were impressed that both weren't bothered by this procedure and were able to breast/bottle feed afterwards as most babies are too upset to handle the extra effort of eating. That made us proud.

Jr spent a lot of time with daddy this weekend. As a family we went to the Aquarium for a few hours which was a nice way of getting out of the house without spending money together. The boys also spent most of Monday hanging out together as mommy was treated to a "spa day" at the hospital courtesy of March of Dimes for all NICU moms. I am now the proud owner of a new and much needed haircut. Two months of bedrest and then a month of preemie visits makes haircuts on the bottom of the list so I am now feeling like a new mom- amazing how a hair cut can make you feel so much better!

Well, it's time to try and fall back asleep after getting up to pump and then being attacked by both cats (one was chasing a bug and jumped on me, the other wanted to be pet and fell of the bed using my arm as a stronghold on the way down- unsuccessfully as he ended up on the floor and ended up all scratched up! Ahh the joy of owning pets...).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another boob man...

From a girl's perspective boys are infatuated with boobs far too much. Today, I contributed to this social dilemma. Anze was a great boob date... he latched right on and ate until he fell asleep- still attached. The lactation nurse and mom were very proud. We will continue working on it. He's "nippling" (mom or bottle) 2x a day. Once he's only eating from a bottle for 2 straight days he's homeward bound! He also went back into an open crib again. His doctor came in and had the nurses move him to a different section of the room (he's right under the ac vent and next to the door so he's always getting a breeze) to see if that helps him keep his temp up. He was getting his feeding tube changed this morning so I got some pictures of him without any tubes or wires or anything! Gosh, he is just gorgeous!!! He also weighed in tonight at 5lbs!!!!!!!!!!! Keep the prayers coming as his brain scan showed his right hemisphere still had a grade 2 IVH and a grade 1 was seen on the left (doctor doesn't think it's new she thinks it just wasn't caught before...). Prayers that those ventricles close and don't cause any side effects (cerebral palsy).

Luca was still in his big boy crib but back on his oxygen. He has been nicknamed yo-yo as that seems to be what he is doing with his breathing. The doctor is considering putting him on diuretics consistently (like giving him a prescription instead of a single dose). He's currently 4lbs 5oz... gaining weight but not packing it on like his little brother yet. He is also going to wait the weekend out before trying to bottle feed again as he had a hard time multi-tasking (breathing and eating) yesterday. Though he had a hard time pooping and breathing yesterday as well!! What great stories we already have for the future wives!! Did I tell the one about Anze's "exploding butt" while a night nurse changed him- she had to clean his whole isolette (incubator)!!! That made daddy proud of course.

Next week the boys get their eyes checked (they'll be 1 month old- I can't believe it!) and will continue to learn how to eat so they can come home.

Jr has been too much fun this week. He's really talking away (including yelling at Panzer). He's playing and learning how not to share. He and Jayne were stealing from each other all afternoon and fighting to get what they wanted back. It was so cute! They also enjoyed playing in the sprinkler I got. He's spending the night with Babcha and Dido because mom is doing the March of Dimes walk in the morning! Click here to donate to the cause http://www.marchforbabies.org/alymomma

Mom and Dad are doing fine. Dad's been working a lot of overtime but it's for the fam! Going to the Aquarium to get a little family time in on Sunday. Mom's getting a facial/ hand and food massage/hair cut/ make up on Monday care of the March of Dimes for all NICU moms (WAHOO!!).

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend~ Love from all of us to all of you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movin' on Up

To a big boy crib... so says LUCA Motruk!!!! WOWIE What a week.

Saturday night we left the boys in 2 separate rooms; one in a big boy crib and the other off of oxygen. And then came Easter Sunday... the boys were in the same room but... Anze back in an incubator because he couldn't regulate his temp and Luca back on oxygen because he was hyperventilating. Mom was quite upset with the setbacks but the doctor's said not every day would be a good day. So we said a prayer or 100 and moved on with the day.

Monday was a sleepy day for Anze. He is still in the incubator as they have to wait a few days before trying again (protocols et al). He hung out with dad and slept our visit away in daddy's arms. Luca was still on the oxygen but just flow- so a little extra air to help him out no to breath for him. Luca was being a pain (I think he's going to be my handful one...); he took every lead, wire, tube, etc that was attached to him off. YES- his feeding tube, oxygen, monitors, IV- all of them!!! He was trying to break out of the NICU! He also kept his stats going all day- up, down, up, down. His poor nurse, Holly, had a run for her money with him that day. He even decided to "d-sat" meaning stop breathing and severely drop the oxygen level in his blood causing him to turn blueish while mom was holding him. What a day!

Tuesday was much quieter although Luca decided to stay awake the ENTIRE time between touch times (yes, he was awake for 3 straight hours!!!). He was happy the whole time but wide awake. The nurse said he could have been withdrawing from the narcotics he had been on for so long thus the crazy behaviors for a few days. Anze again was a sleeping baby the whole visit; still in his incubator a few more days. And according to the night nurse he sprayed poo ALL over his incubator mid- change and she had to scrub everything down and change all his linens (after changing them the touch time before!). Daddy laughed of course!

Wednesday, today... Mom showed up this morning to a sleeping Anze (who pooped 2x for mom in a row making her change a fresh diaper- the joy of boys!) who weighed in at 4lbs 9oz!!!!! He isn't showing interest in his pacifier even with it dipped in breastmilk... work in progress. So mom held Anze and loved on him and talked to him and all those wonderful things and then moved over to say Hi to Luca who had started fussing. Well he was sans oxygen AND IV!!! How exciting! He also didn't set off his monitors while I was there (until I held him!). He got some kangaroo time in with mom as well (after changing 2 poopy diapers from him as well!!!). Babcha came and took some pictures and visited for a bit as well. We left the incubator twins for the afternoon fed, changed and loved... and then dad got off work.

While dad was there tonight he got to dress Luca up and hold/ love on him while the nurse prepped his big boy crib! He's in a "green outfit the nurse picked out" (I think it has dinosaurs on it) and wrapped in a million blankets according to dad. LUCA IS IN A BIG BOY CRIB! What a blessing. He has struggled the past 3 weeks and is now catching up to his brother in strides. He weighed in at 4lbs 2 oz today (lost a little over the past day but not enough to be concerned- obviously since he's in a big boy crib). Dad didn't have the camera so there isn't any pictures yet. Oh I cannot wait for them both to be in open cribs and stay that way.

The doctor said today that all they have left to do is gain some weight and bottle/breast feed for 2 straight days and they will be homeward bound!!! So, it's just a short matter of time (I've been hopeful for Mother's Day but I know that's only a week and a half away and asking a lot of my boys). I just want them to come home when they are ready and able without mom and dad having to fear too much about them staying happy and healthy. So... anyone with free time come help me scrub my house down so it's preemie clean and ready because my boys are coming home soon!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Ups and Downs

We've been fortunate to have a LOT of up days with our boys in the past 3 weeks. So many in fact that it has made the down days that much harder to deal with. This morning we happily went to visit our boys to find Anze back in an incubator and Luca back on oxygen. Definitely put a damper in the day...

Anze's night nurse felt he was cold and decided to put him back in the incubator. Personally, I think the NICU in general is cool... Needless to say he is still in his incubator tonight and hopefully tomorrow he will get to go back to his big boy bed. He seemed happier there!

Luca was having some breathing control issues. He would take some shallow breaths followed by some real quick breaths (like he was hyperventilating) so they decided to put him back on the nasal cannula to help him steady himself. This is common for some babies to yo-yo back and forth with the oxygen before finally deciding to stick with a normal, stable rhythm on their own. However, it is hard to see them take steps backward...

As I said the good days have so far outnumbered the bad days that it made these setbacks really hard for momma. Combine that with the fact that they weren't with us a family for their first Easter and I lost my "wonder woman" status for a bit today. Luckily, the family was real sensitive and didn't ask many questions about the boys allowing me the chance to decompress so that when questions were asked I didn't break down. Daddy was proud of me!

Yurchik had a BLAST today at Teta Tanya's house. He LOVES Anna and she loves him. Anna and Ivanka hid the eggs in the house (filled with cheerios) for him to find. They took him everywhere he wanted to go and never complained. I know they were both tired as was Yurchik. It was so nice to see him happy and playful with his family. He also looked quite handsome today in his sweater vest and tie. He's growing up so fast!

We pray that everyone had a wonderful Easter and spent it with the loved ones and made some new memories to cherish just as we did. He IS Risen....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Fun


All the boys took pictures with the Easter Bunny today. 2/3 were quite cooperative! One not so much... LOL.


Jr had no problem being in the same room as the bunny but when you asked him to stand next to the bunny he totally freaked. It was cute and we got plenty of upset pictures to cherish (just like my mom does for me!). Jr wore a big brother shirt to compliment his younger brothers' matching 'little brother' outfits. He also got to make Easter crafts at the hospital and play in the sib room while mom took grandma Pat and Auntie Glo for a visit. We got home and took a nice nap before heading over to Bug's house for dinner (honey baked ham and sides) followed by egg dyeing and hunting. Yurchik thoroughly enjoyed throwing his eggs into the dye and breaking the shells. Both kids enjoyed running around the yard not playing with the eggs! In fact I think the moms picked up more eggs while the dads played catch or keep away from the toddlers. It was a nice day/evening but mom and dad are super tired!!

It was so much fun to dress ALL of my boys for their pictures. Luca got to wear his first outfit ever and slept through most of the dressing process. He was sleeping most of the time I was with him today unlike yesterday where he was awake and trying to check me out (including lift his head up to look at me). He was also being prepped to promote up to the same room as his brother! He is catching up in everything. He's now 4lbs even and eating only 10cc's less than his brother. So very exciting!!!


Anze was a sleepy4 lb 5oz boy today- I guess it was lazy Saturday at the NICU although in Anze's room there seemed to be the NICU Easter chorus going on since everyone seemed to be hungry or upset at once! Nice to hear the sounds of growing babies though! He didn't fuss too much getting dressed either. All in all a successful Easter Bunny adventures.

We hope that everyone has a wonderful Easter holiday... remember the true meaning of Easter and say an extra prayer thanking Jesus for all he has done for our family in the past few weeks alone! God Bless you all!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Latest Brain Scan shows...

Smaller ventricle opening (it's shrinking!!!!) and blood clotted and resolving. PRAISE JESUS!!! It's quite evident to us that Anze is just a super happy go lucky kid that is full of smiles and ease.He gets to start "nippling" where they try to get him to latch on to a bottle and start developing those sucking muscles (something they start to do in the womb around 34 weeks so they've been waiting until the boys were that old..). Once he shows capability then he can practice with mom instead of with a bottle. He is officially in his big boy open crib and loves looking around smiling at everyone and everything. Amazing how fast they are growing! I am so unbelievably proud.

Luca is off his sedatives, his oxygen, etc. All that's left is to up his feeds and lower his IV fluids. At the rate he is going he should be IV free by the end of next week! The staff is hoping to move him into Anze's room so they will together (easier for all of us!). Then once Luca is off his IV he can be in a big boy crib with big boy clothes too! It would just be wonderful to have them side by side again!

Tomorrow all 3 boys are going to see the same Easter Bunny. The bunny is going to be available to take pictures with siblings!!!! SUPER AWESOME as Jr wouldn't cooperate with the mall bunny. Fingers crossed he does a great job tomorrow. I'm thinking they all need to be in big bro lil bro outfits... haven't decided yet... Jr and Bug are having an Easter egg dying/hunting date tomorrow so look forward to those pictures!

JR; the big 17 monther today, enjoyed the day with the sitter while mom was with brothers followed by a lunch visit from his "aunts" and his bug. He took a 3 hr nap (giving mom time to pick up the house a bit and nap herself!). He's spending the night with his Babcha and Dido and I'm sure they are all having a blast.

Mom and Dad had a good day as well; although dad was stuck in an attic all morning for work. Dad got some snuggle time in with his "squeaky" as he has affectionately nicknamed Anze (Jr's nickname from dad is stinky... Silly daddy!). Whereas mom got snuggles with ALL her boys today!!! Completely made my day to be able to hold each of them and spend 1:1 time with them like that. Can't wait to snuggle all 3 at once (I'm not sure my lap/arms will be able to but I'm going to try!!!). Mom and dad are going to enjoy dinner and a movie on the couch together without any boys (just barking dogs!) and enjoy the time just us while we can!

We hope everyone had a wonderful Good Friday. Thank you Jesus for everything you've done for this family! Love to all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

PRAISES



Today Luca was taken completely off all oxygen support. He is happily breathing on his own. It took him 3 weeks exactly. We are very proud parents!!! He is doing so well. We cannot wait for him to get stronger and bigger and come home! He's weighing in at 3 lbs 14oz today. Just 2 oz shy of 4 lbs!!! Sooo exciting to see him get bigger and now he is getting stronger every day!






Anze got his IV taken out today.... this meant that mom got to bring outfits to the hospital and dress him up! He's wearing a footed onesie that says "Handsome like Dad". He was super happy to meet his Auntie Glo as you can tell from the picture! Mom cannot wait to dress him up every day! :D He's weighing in at 4lbs 1.5oz!!!!!! He had a repeat head ultrasound and we will receive the results tomorrow or Saturday hopefully.

AMAZING How quickly they seem to be progressing. I can only say that this has to be due to the support group they have that have been diligently praying for them- thank you all!

Dad was able to bypass going in for jury duty this week. He was grateful for that as well (he had 2 trainings and a meeting he didn't want to miss for work). Now if the Kings can win tonight...

Mom went to the OB for a "wound check". All is well. Down 16lbs from the last dr appt I had! So happy about that. She said I'm allowed to walk and swim- which I cannot wait to do. I'm sure I will be exhausted from one trip around the block but I'm still determined to do the March for Dimes walk on the 30th.

JR had a great week with Auntie Glo. Today we lounged around the house until the sibling center was open at the hospital where we dropped Jr off so Glo could meet her nephews. He had a great time! He must have at least because he came home and slept for 3 hours!!!!

Wonderful week so far! Hope everyone else has enjoyed their week as well. Love to all!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BBONE Promotion

Our little DJ Master BBONE was promoted from the Most Intensive NICU room to the Intensive NICU room... Luca is now in a new room and doing fantastic. He is still on nasal cannula air but at a low flow and volume. He should be able to continue to ween off of it. He is having a hard time keeping all his food down (all babies spit up!) so they are increasing his feeds slowly but he is doing great overall. I actually was bedside during rounds and heard the doctor say she can hardly hear his murmur now!! Praise Jesus!!!

Anze is still lounging out in the Intermediate room just doing his thing. He will be on his full dose of feedings (30 ccs which is 1 oz) by the weeks' end. Tomorrow they will remove his IV lines and begin transitioning him to his big boy bed (this includes lowering the temp in the incubator, keeping the top off, etc to get him used to room air/temp). Tomorrow he gets his repeat head ultrasound to check on his IVH(Brain bleed). Prayers that it has continued to clot and heal itself!!

What a busy week it seems the twins have had... yet it's only Wednesday. Saturday the Easter bunny is visiting the NICU. I may even get to dress them up for their picture with him! I'm so thrilled that the hospital does this as I was so upset earlier in the week thinking they wouldn't get to have pictures with the Easter Bunny on their first Easter...

JR on the other hand won't be having pictures on his 2nd Easter it seems. Today, we took him and his best friend Jayne to get their pictures taken. Yurchik liked to play peek a boo with the bunny but not sit with the bunny and didn't get his picture taken. Jayne has one of her crying her head off (it now matches her 1st Santa picture!!). Perhaps we will try again later in the week. If not then I guess he just won't have one! Oh well...

We've had a busy week outside of the hospital as well. The twins' bedding has been made, Yurchik got to feed ducks and play on the playground at the park. It was so cute to watch him try to walk in the sand! We went to a new restaurant where mom realized she will never be able to eat out again with 3 kids! We haven't gotten much cleaning or organizing done but I'm sure it will be done someday... when the boys are 18 perhaps!

Who knows what the rest of the week has in store... :D

Love to all! Motruk x5

Monday, April 18, 2011

Babcha and Dido

Luca and Anze finally got to meet their Babcha and Dido today. The joys of being sick when your preemie grandsons are born... NOT...Thank goodness everyone is healthy and now happy.

The boys had a great day. Mom spent the morning with them. Anze got some snuggle time with mom since yesterday dad spent a HUGE chunk of time snuggling Luca. They are both eating away (via the feeding tube). Their IV fluids are being lowered slowly as they increase in breastmilk. Once the IV is set to 0 they will take it out and another promotion will take place... to a "big boy" bed aka a standard hospital crib.

Yurchik has enjoyed the day with the sitter, his parents and grandparents and his auntie Glo (she's spending her spring break at our house!!!).

Things are going to busy with fun stuff this week so if I don't blog every day I'm sorry. But I promise to be sure and post the major things that go on!

Love to all... thanks for the continued prayers and support!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

16 days

They've gone by sooo fast but when it comes to holding your kids 16 days seems like a lifetime. Tonight I got to hold Luca for the very first time. His heart rate and blood pressure have been on the high side since coming off his vent and weening from his sedatives but as soon as the nurse set him on my chest he settled down. Amazing how much mommy's touch can change everything! Definitely an hour of my life I will never forget!

Both boys are holding their own (minus the help of the nasal air for Luca). They are both getting breastmilk via a feeding tube now and doing ok with that. Anze seems to be filling out more and more each day. Luca is playing catch up to his little brother and doing his best to promote to the big boy room!

All 3 boys got to visit with their godparents today- what wonderful friends we have chosen to be our children's godparents. Chris and JoJo love all our boys as if they were their own and we are so grateful to have them in our lives and the lives of our children.

Daddy's been working overtime and hasn't been able to get down to the hospital the past few days and is a very unhappy camper about not seeing his boys. Luckily, the Kings won game 2 in the quarterfinals tonight so that helped to cheer him up in some regard ;)

Mommy's been working to keep the house picked up. There's still A LOT of baby clothes to sort through and find storage for!! LOL... Sooner or later everything will find a home right?!?!

Grandma and Great Grandma starting working on the bedding for the 2nd crib today. I can't wait for it to be finished to take pictures of and post. I know it's going to turn out adorable.

Have a wonderful Palm Sunday! Love to all

Friday, April 15, 2011

Small miracles... big praises

Anze's brain scan showed clotting!!! That means that it is starting to heal itself. The ventricle in question is still open and a repeat scan will be done in a week to check it again but all seems well right now.

The big news however is... Luca's echo showed a small PDA (it shrank!!!!!!). He was also taken off the ventilator and put on nasal air. He has been holding his own mostly for the last 12 hours. He also started receiving feeds and has been tolerating those. Next step: promotion!!!

Thank you everyone for the prayers... they've made all the difference in the world.

JR has been taking his lawn mower everywhere we go. He seems to be on a regular schedule now (for the most part) which is going to help mom out a lot once his brothers are home.

Dad's been working a lot and coming home super tired but has been able to stop and see the boys almost every day this week despite his exhaustion (although he admits to nodding off bedside!).

Mom's been doing well. Pain is minimal and really only evident when I move wrong. I enjoyed real pizza for the first time since Christmas for dinner tonight- it was divine! Also got to visit some old colleagues who continued to lift my spirits. Oh and most importantly- took a break from picking up the house and whatnot and napped with Jr!

Lots of love from our family of 5 to all you! Until tomorrow...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Frame of Mind...

I'm not having the type of night to write down all my thoughts and feelings. My ability to be super mom is not here right now... plus JR is still wide awake and needs to go to bed (hopefully he will sleep better tonight than he did last night- trying to get 4 new teeth at once is rough on everyone).

Anze had a good day. No changes. He received his scan but we don't know the results yet... promise to let everyone know when we know.

Luca had a hard day. He was taken off the sedatives and although he tested negative for withdrawals he was fidgety all morning. They gave him some medication to "take the edge off" but it made him real lethargic. By the evening he was receiving his 2nd blood transfusion of his little two week life in hopes that that would help him feel better. He had an abdominal scan today because he regurgitated some icky looking stuff- it came back clear. Anze did the same thing just a few days ago. The doctor laughed saying they were just trying to be copy cats. Luca's heart scan showed minimal change in his PDA. Tomorrow I will get to speak with the doctor regarding whether or not to do surgery.

Luca is definitely the cause for my lack of super mom-ness for the evening. I'm keeping my brain busy by cleaning and organizing... you know I'm in the wrong frame of mind when I'm not snuggling on the couch watching the Kings' first playoff game with my boys.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day for all.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A few pictures to get you through the day...



Thought I would update with a few pictures. I cannot believe the boys will be 2 weeks old already! The first is Anze. This is how I found him blissfully sleeping the morning away. The doctor even said he opened the incubator to check his vitals and he just slept away... Just like his momma!.

Luca is still under the lights so his pictures are a little blue... but he' s doing well!

Heart and Brain day...

Tomorrow Luca gets his final heart echo telling us if he is going to need surgery. Anze is getting his follow up brain CT to check on the progress or lack thereof of his brain bleed. We are asking for prayers for both of these. God is in control and healing our boys and we are confident He will continue to do so! I know I've said it before but thank you all for your love, support and prayers. We are truly blessed to have you all in our lives.

A GREAT DAY FOR US! Anze is tolerating feedings and is now getting 4cc's every 3 hours (that's roughly 1/4 of an ounce I believe...never been good at conversions!). He spent the morning trying to get the feeding tube out of his nose! Poor guy. Soon he will be big enough to eat like a normal baby!

Luca tolerated his vent all day yesterday and today. The albuterol(Sp?) is helping to open the closed areas of his lung and his breathing is at a normal rate. They are weening the vent and the sedation.

Jr got a bubble mower today and enjoyed mowing the lawn. He also got a new car seat (a slim design that allows for 3 seats to fit across... HALLELUJAH it works. The infant seats and his big boy seat all fit! Now where to fit mom and dad ;)

Neither mom or dad got the opportunity to hold either boy today, which breaks our hearts but other things happened today that were out of our control and we are just grateful that our boys are thriving. (If you'd like to keep the family of the little girl that lost her battle in the NICU today in prayers as well I have no doubt that family needs all the prayers in the world tonight... ). Thank you Lord for the precious lives you have blessed us with. Watch over them tonight and always. Lord be with the family that lost their baby girl today; only you know the reason Lord....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blogging or Sleeping?!?!

I had a few people mention to me today that they missed my blog last night. So sorry, I feel asleep on the couch! Yuri woke me up around midnight and I waddled straight to bed and bypassed the computer. So grateful to hear from people wanting to know how my boys are- we truly appreciate all your love and support. Ok, enough already- here's the latest.

Anze is doing well. Yesterday he wasn't keeping milk down so they stopped feeding him for a few hours and then started back up and he's been keeping it down fine so hopefully he will stay like that and graduate to the fat farm soon! Once he's fat we take him home- just like turkey on thanks giving... only we'll just eat him up in hugs and kisses! ;) Today mommy got to do some kangaroo care with him for about 45 mins (not much compared to daddy's 1.5 hr or so yesterday). It was heavenly and I wouldn't trade it for most anything...

Except a chance to hold Luca... which may happen tomorrow!!!! Luca was switched over to a regular ventilator today and given some albuterol (sp?) to help open his airways back up that had collapsed; similar to giving an asthmatic their inhaler. He switched at 9 and when dad saw him at 5 he was still breathing regularly and not struggling. If he hangs out with the regular vent overnight then tomorrow we can hold him! I'm already searching the closet for my loosest, low cut shirt. For once I won't care if I look trashy if it means I get to hold my boy! *Disclaimer- they ask you wear a shirt that provides for "easy access" to the baby if necessary* His lungs sound clear with one more day of his heart meds to go... praying that means the valve is closing and all will be well.

Anze has his head CT later this week to check on his brain bleed. Prayers it hasn't progressed... God's works in mysterious ways and we are trusting in Him to watch over both of our boys in the NICU and our toddling one at home (who didn't eat the dinner his mom made tonight to which Grandma Pat said he wanted daddy's dinner not mommy's... guess we know who the better cook is and who is loved more... yes, my mom loves her son in law more than her daughter ;) ), Other than being picky about dinner Yurchik was a super happy boy today. I took him to Jersey (the school I worked at until bedrest) and he was shy around all the teachers but loved the 5th grade girls! Soo silly. He also enjoyed stealing Kindergarten snacks and spilling them all over the floor! Good thing Jessica loves him!!! He also took a 3 hr nap allowing mom to pick the house up; which was of course destroyed within minutes of him waking up!

Yuri Sr went back to work today... he said it was hard to get back in the swing of things but stopping by the hospital on the way home every day is enough of an incentive to get through!

Well, I feel if I don't stop I will be falling asleep at the computer and that won't be as comfortable as the couch ;) Love to all!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Little Luca's heart and Pra Baba's visit

Luca started his second round of medication to close his PDA (valve between heart and lungs). He will receive one dose of medication a day for 5 days. On day 6 or so he will receive a repeat echo to check and see if the valve has closed. If there is no change or not enough he will have to undergo surgery to close the valve. Once the valve is closed his lungs will be clear of fluids (right now the fluid is entering his lungs because of that opening) and weened from the vent. This little valve is the main culprit to all of his current ailments. Extra prayers for him are appreciated.

Anze is doing great. He didn't get any kangaroo care today but tomorrow daddy plans to spend that hour loving on his boy!

Pra Baba (great grandma) got to meet the boys today. The nurse took pictures and gave them to us; a sweet moment. Luca's nurse said she seemed quite emotional with everything. We are so grateful for all the wonderful grandparents are boys are blessed with!

Love from all of us to all of you!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Promotion and Prayers

Anze graduated for the first time today... he moved up two rooms! Both boys began in the most intensive room of the NICU, the next step would be the step down intensive room followed by the intermediate/growing room and then finally the fat farm. Anze is now happily enjoying the intermediate/growing room. We are so proud of how strong he is and how well he is doing. Mom enjoyed an entire hour of kangaroo care (skin to skin time). It was heaven!

Please continue to pray for little Luca as he fights so hard... in fact he's fighting too hard. His right lung is partially collapsed. He is going back on the sedatives and a higher rate on his vent so that he doesn't breath on his own and lets the vent breath for him to give his lungs a break and a chance to mature and strengthen. He is also having a second dose of the heart meds to shrink his valve. If the second dose doesn't work he may require surgery to close it. The doctors are certain if the valve closes it will help his blood pressure and lung function and get him on track.

So keep the prayers coming for both boys but say a little extra for Luca please. Love to all....

Friday, April 8, 2011

End of Week 1/Beginning of Week 2

WOW! I cannot believe my little boys are already a week old. It's been an emotional journey so far and there will be plenty of ups and downs to come we know but this week seems to have been filled with such wonderful joy that no matter what the road has in store for us we know that God has sent us two miracle boys to add to our firstborn miracle boy. Becoming parents was not an easy road; tests, drugs, treatments, tons of dr visits, etc all to get our beautiful Yurchik. We were already so blessed and we decided to go down that road again to have another bundle of joy we had no idea we would fall into the 7% of the people blessed with fraternal boy twins. We made jokes when the ultrasound showed both ovaries ovulating (especially since one never once produced an egg with the months and months of treatments we did with Jr) that we would have twins never truly thinking both eggs would attach- even one was a long shot. Neither of us will forget that 5 week ultrasound after a positive test that showed two sacks. The doctors told us that half the time one doesn't stick so not to get attached to the idea of twins yet... well here we are 6 months later with the sweetest boys we could have asked for. Their road ahead is harder than the road we took to get them here but we have each other, our fantastically supportive family and friends and ultimately God to get us through. I'm sorry if I seem emotional (I am in fact crying while typing) but today was a day with a rough bump in the road followed by something that I cannot even describe...

Anze has a small (grade 2) hemorrhage in his right ventricle of his brain. It's extremely common in preemies under 32 weeks (1/3) and at the moment there's nothing to do but wait and see what is does. Right now it's not causing any issues. There's a 25% chance of cerebral palsy from it which is the biggest concern long term. He will receive another scan next week to track the bleed and see if it gets better or worse and then there may be options or not- it's really out of our hands and in God's right now. I have a friend who's sweet baby girls turn one this month after being born at 30 weeks and one had a similar situation and her proud parents did as we will do and trusted in God and now their beautiful angel is happy and thriving. We are trusting in God that he will get Anze through this as he has everything else for both of our boys. Bump in the road as I said...

But the road straightened out instantly- Anze is off the blood pressure meds, the vent AND the breathing mask. He had nothing on his face but his feeding tube today! What a handsome little guy he is already. Mom and dad were thrilled to see his whole face and hear him cry (first time since he was born we got to hear that sound) and watch him open his eyes and check us out. Then the nurses told us something I will not forget for a very long time. They said we could hold him. Actually pick him up and put him in our arms and hold him. I'm proud of myself for not crying right then. Dad was the first to hold him and as I took a video the tears came. What an amazing dad my boys have. The look on his face as the nurse gave him his youngest son, the words he spoke to him about how much he loved him just melted my heart and I fell in love all over again. My boys are so blessed. I just sat and held Luca's toes and watch my boys together praising Jesus for the moment. As I got my time to hold him I couldn't do anything but look back and forth from son to son and be in awe of them. They are so strong already. In that moment I knew that no matter what other bumps came our way that our family would never be the same again, that our boys would thrive in this world and become great men and do amazing things.

The day for Luca wasn't as exciting. He had no highs or lows (except his brain scan came back clear and won't be repeated until he's ready to come home). All his stats were similar to the past few days; he's still off the bp drugs, still on the high vent and light. No news is good news in my book. He is a sweet little boy that loves to stick his tongue up and curl his legs in. Momma can see he's going to be the cuddle bug of the two for sure. He gets a repeat heart echo tomorrow to check on his PDA (open valve) and then the dr's will decide if he needs another course of the medication to help it close. The first dose did help it shrink some so it's possible that it continued to shrink and he won't need the medication.

An amazing day... now we anxiously await tomorrow when we can hold Anze again and we wait in anticipation to hold Luca for the first time knowing what an amazing experience it will be. It's a step closer to bringing them home! Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers throughout this. Thanks to those that have given blood- the donor staff is impressed by our family's generosity to give knowing that even if the boys don't use it someone somewhere will. Thanks to those that have contributed to the March of Dimes to help other preemies. We love you all!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 6

Mom and Dad and big bro spent a lot of time today working on things around the house so that all the clutter and whatnot of our lives will be put into proper places by the time twins come home. Katie and Bug came and helped as well. Who knew Jr had so many toys... and so many non toys in his toybox! LOL We had a lot of family time outside on the swings, playing bball and driving in the geeksquad bug. Lots of love and laughter throughout the day.

Well, enough about those of us at home... on to the important kiddos! LOL (Mommy loves you Yurchik, you'll always be #1).

When we got to the hospital this morning we saw that Anze was off his vent and using his hockey mask to receive ample oxygen. He's also still off the blood pressure meds. He was squirming around making mom and dad laugh (we took a short video that will be posted soon). He got an extra light for his jaundice; it's not up but it's not down so hopefully the extra light will kick it! He also started feedings today and has been keeping his mommy noms down. YEAH! It's a good thing he's starting to feed because our freezer is running out of room for all the supply we are stocking up!

Luca was off the blood pressure meds and almost off the sedatives. He also has been put on to a new vent that is allowing him to breath with it unlike the jet that was doing all the work. Further proof he is getting stronger! His lung xray showed improvement with the fluid in his lungs although he is retaining a lot of fluids externally which is giving him a puffy, swollen appearance. Stabilizing all his other stats is the priority and then they will work on giving him a diuretic to release that extra fluid. He had a repeat heart echo and we will know the results tomorrow and that will tell us if he is going to get another round of heart meds or if the first round did their job (seems all his stats are improving so we are hopeful).

Both boys got routine brain echos and we will know those results soon as well. The night shift said they are doing great and we can't wait to see them in the morning. Extra excited because we are taking great grandma Mary with us so she can finally meet them after being out of town for their arrival.

Thanks all for the love, prayers and support. Reminder if you'd like to donate blood the paperwork is all filed so just let the hospital know you are designating it for the twins. Anze can accept B and O blood and Luca can accept everyone's blood!! Also you can check out www.marchforbabies.org%2F4Anze_Luca&h=6fd13 to donate funds to the march of dimes which has been helping preemies for years and without past donations our boys wouldn't be getting the level of care that they are today. Love to all!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 5

I really miss telling the boys happy birth day every day. It's a small price to pay to tuck Jr into bed every night. I cannot wait for all of my boys to be home with us!

JR had a great day. He spent the morning at the sitters (he loves her to death! and the whole family loves him). He spent the afternoon playing with mom and dad and then Auntie Glo came over to watch him while Gma Pat went to the hospital to visit his brothers. The best part of the day was coming home from the hospital and having him only want mama. It was the perfect ending to a good day.

Anze is off of the dopamine and weening from the vent (he will transition to the face mask that he had after birth). He has been very feisty; always fidgeting whenever the nurses touch him. Today he had an echo because the doctor's notice a heart murmur. He has an open valve like Luca but it's moderate so they are going to check in later on to see if it closes on its own since it's not systematic or causing any other problems.He still has the jaundice raybans but the levels are lowering. He may be off the light tomorrow which may give us the opportunity to see his whole face and maybe even some eyes! Both boys have brain scans scheduled for tomorrow; a routine exam given their prematurity to check for bleeding, swelling, etc...

Luca (which I may have forgotten to write yesterday was held by his proud mama during a bedding change- the nurse lifted him and put him into my hands while she changed his bedding... not the way mom wants to hold him but I take what I can get right now!). Anyway... Luca's dopamine was lowered a lot today. This is hopefully a sign that the heart medication is doing its job and closing that valve which is likely to help with his pressure and lung issues. He had his light turned off today so he wasn't wearing any shades and we got to see a small sliver of eye as he tried to look around at his world. He's retaining fluid from the meds so his poor little self is swollen a bit and I'm sure that hindered him from fully opening his eyes. He is also being weened from his sedatives and they are trying to get him off of the high pressure vent and on to the regular one. His sodium and a few other levels are on the high side so they are trying a variety of meds to get everything metabolically stable which will also help with the bp and lung function.He received a blood transfusion which seemed to help pink him up and hide that jaundice color a little! The nurse was able to ink his feet for his souvenir birth certificate. Not sure where the big feet come from in the family but all the boys seem to have it (though JR's are fat not long like the twins).

I was able to bring blankets from home to put in their incubators. The smell of us is said to be helpful as they get to know us that way. They already have "loveys" which we can take out of the incubator and put in our shirt to put our scent on them. It's neat to think that they always have us even when we aren't there. The night shift is supposed to change the bedding so I look forward to seeing it in the morning and getting more personalized pictures! Next, I need to choose blankets to cover the top of their incubators while they sleep. I can't decide what I'd like them to have...

Mom and Dad are doing well. Dad is enjoying mom being up and about and able to help with JR (my first official off bed rest duty was changing a stinky diaper!). Mom is doing well, no real pain but the leg/ ankle swelling is annoying. Trying to keep my legs up and elevated but it's hard. Bed rest wasn't kind to them either... cannot wait until I'm able to walk around the block again! Dad gave blood today. He said the snacks they have for afterwards are yummy! Reminder that Luca can receive all blood types and Anze can get B and O. I encourage everyone to donate somewhere just for the sake of donating as people are always in need. The hospital will ask you if you're designating- just tell them Motruk twins; everything is set up for them. The donation hours aren't the greatest but if your able we'd be so grateful.

I feel I am rambling so that's my sign to say goodnight. Happy 5th day of life my boys. Your family loves you!

Day 4

Mommy went home today. Bittersweet but coming home to two boys makes it easier than if I were alone all day. Anze had a good day. He started to ween from both his dopamine and his ventilator. Hopefully he will be able to transition back to the oxygen mask in the next day or two. All of his stats, bloodwork, etc have been coming back great as well. He is doing very well. He also enjoys "lounging". He loves to sit with his legs hanging over his body pillow with his "shades" on as if he is hanging out by the beach. Momma loves the little feet hanging out!!

Luca had a harder day than Anze but a good day all the same. He got a blood transfusion(anon. as the donor center was not open over the weekend for anyone to give... paperwork should be at the hospital Tuesday for people to designate the boys... Anze can receive blood from any B or O donor and Luca can receive blood from everyone) today to keep his levels up (they have been borderline so the transfusion was just to help him out, not an emergency). He also got an xray to check his lungs which still show some fluid so he will stay on his super vent (called a jet and requires sedation) for a bit until his lungs clear. He also was scheduled for a repeat echo on his heart (either got it at night or will get it in the morning). This is going to check and see if the valve that didn't close has started to on its own or if they need to give him some medication to help it. It's crucial to get this closed so that his BP and other stats start improving. We hope it is closing on its own as they will have to keep him heavily sedated if he goes on the meds. He also gained about an ounce in the last day... :D

Mom hasn't seen her boys since the early morning. Planned to go visit on the night shift but fell asleep on the couch at home (who knew after 7 weeks being stuck on your bed or couch and you'd still want to come home to them?! Just proof that the hospital bed isn't the greatest!!). Daddy saw the boys in the afternoon and there wasn't any changes from the morning so we know they had a great night and start to Day 5.

PS- JR is loving having his mommy home. We walked down the block, swung on the swing, ate dinner together and enjoyed being able to finally interact together after 7 weeks of "separation". It's good to be home but we can't wait for everyone to be home and be a complete family of 5!