Apr 21, 2013

Take Out Supper Club

April is our month to host our Supper Club.   We knew with two little ones at home we would not want to do too much, but we didn't want to cancel because we really look forward to getting together with our friends.   We decided to have a low key theme and went with Take Out!  Everyone got their favorite take out for the item they signed up for.
Although we didn't want to go too crazy for this dinner party we did get several "props".  We went through several drive-thrus in search of some decor!
While spending a lot of time uptown at the hospital we tried out several new restaurants.  One of our favorites was Viva Chicken.  We decided to get their rotisserie chicken as our main dish.

Our menu included:
Appetizer Spring rolls from Thai Taste
Salad from Mama Ricottas
Sides- Collards, Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Macaroni and Cheese from Dish
Main dish- Peruvian Rotisserie Chicken from Viva Chicken
Dessert- Cupcakes from Polka Dot bakery
It happens to be Ashley's Birthweek so Beth bought her a special cupcake and we helped her celebrate!
This group is so much fun and willing to do anything for a good laugh...including wearing all the cheesy fast food hats we had as decor!
We ended the night with fortune cookies:)
And of course Graham and Ellie were perfect little angels and stayed up long enough to say hey and then slept the rest of the time!

Apr 15, 2013


Every morning after 9AM feeding the twins are wide awake.  We usually spend this time "playing" on a big blanket with each other.  I find myself constantly laughing at their interaction and had to capture some of it on film.  In general so far Ellie seems to be a little quiet trouble maker and Graham is loud and sensitive...look how this played out.
Both babies just playing and looking at each other.  So sweet right??...
 When Ellie thought no one was looking.....
The second Graham started crying she put her little hand over his mouth like she was trying to make him stop before I heard and she got in trouble....
 Once he settled down she got this smirk on her face....
These two have us constantly entertained!!

Apr 12, 2013

Fist Bath!

We are having a blast being home with these babies!  Love being a part and capturing all their firsts.  One of our favorites so far was their first real bath.  First I have to give a shout out to Emily Shwedo and Betsy Lesher (Emily's mom) for our bathroom decor.  Emily made personalized canvases for a baby shower she threw me and we loved them so much we decided to hang them in the bathroom.

Betsy made this AMAZING custom painting for Graham and Ellie.  It includes tooth brushes (since Ryan is a dentist) and their monograms!  We absolutely love it and still can't believe how talented that family is!!!

Miss Ellie: Once again you showed us so much patience!  You seemed to really like the bath and love getting to snuggle with dad in a towel right after.

Mr Graham:  You did not cry as much as we expected!  We even took your paci out for a few minutes and you seemed to really enjoy the bath.  You scared yourself when you would splash the water around while you wiggled:)  You also love being wrapped up in a warm towel right after a bath and snuggling.

After your baths we love rubbing lotion on you both...can't get over that baby smell that lotion has.  We also have started reading you a bedtime story after your bath as part of your nightly routine.

Love these two babies, especially when they are squeaky clean:)

Apr 8, 2013

1 Month Old

Part of me cannot believe my babies are already a month.  The other part feels like they have been a part of our lives for so long and thinking back to all the days in the hospital seems like a lot more than just 1 month.
We were so happy to celebrate the 1 month mark by getting to bring them home from the hospital.  These two sweet little ones have been through a lot in the first month of their lives.  We are so proud of how strong they are and how much they have overcome already!

At one month you are 6 lbs 9 oz and 20 inches long.  You are a usually a very laid back baby.  You sleep great and barely make a peep!  You are now opening your eyes and are alert more between feedings and have turned into the sweetest baby.  You have outgrown a few preemie outfits and now fitting into Newborn diapers.  You eat between 14-16 oz a day.  You have definitely found your "voice" and do not like baths or diaper changes.  You love your Paci and it usually works to calm you down.  We have come up with a few nicknames already for you- G, Graham Bamm and The Great Grahambino.

At one month you are 6 lbs 3 oz and 19.5 inches long.  You are a very animated and patient baby.  You grunt and make noises while you sleep.  You are still very alert and always ready to play.  You constantly make us laugh with your facial expressions and are such a joy.  You still wear all preemie clothes, but are now wearing Newborn size diapers.  You eat between 14-16 oz a day.  You very rarely cry and are the perfect baby for new parents.  You don't really like the paci, but love baths!  We have come up with a few nicknames for you too: Little E, bug, peanut and Ellie Belle.
Happy 1 month!!!

Apr 6, 2013

Home Sweet Home

Well after a very long month....we finally got to bring our babies home!!!!  To say we are excited is a huge understatement!  We didn't want to get our hopes up because we have seen countless families close to going home in the NICU only to have a minor hiccup within 24 hours of leaving.  We went to the hospital this morning and the entire way back to the twins "pod" we were being congratulated and hugged by all the nurses and staff.....so we figured it was safe to finally let ourselves believe that today was the day!  Taking babies home from the NICU is something to celebrate and they do!
During the past couple days the twins started drinking full bottles at every feeding and got their feeding tubes removed, they got their shots, final check ups from the Neonatologist and passed their carseat test.  
We spent the morning signing lots of discharge paper work, packing up their stuff and saying goodbye to all their primary nurses!

 Ms Angela
 Ms Jamie
 Ms Janice.
It felt so weird to walk out of the NICU with them!
We have loved our first day at home as a family.  Some of my favorite things: Holding my babies whenever I want and not having to ask permission first!  Love walking around with them not hooked up to a million machines!  Love the peace and quiet.  Getting lots done while they sleep.  Introducing them to our sweet next door neighbors.  Seeing daylight (not a lot of windows in the NICU) and this weather!!!!  Here are some of our first moments at home.
 They have never been in anything except their NICU cribs and a carseat....so far they love the mamaroo!
Changed diapers and clothes.
 Absolutely LOVE them together.  It only happened a few times in the hospital so we are really enjoying it now.  Here they are snuggling up in Grahams bed before nap time today.  Melts my heart!
Still cannot believe we have been driving back and forth from the hospital for a month now.  So happy to wake up tomorrow morning (and several times tonight:) and be able to just walk down the hall to see our sweet babies!  Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers over the past month.  It was very challenging, but these two are more than worth it.

Apr 3, 2013

Our daily routine

We have developed somewhat of a routine these days.  Most days start around 5:45AM.  We both take showers and I pump before heading to the hospital.  The twins first feeding is at 7:30AM and Ryan likes to see them before heading to work and help out with that first feeding.  I stay until about 3PM most days.  I leave and try to get a few things done or rest before we come back together at night around 6 and we try to make ourselves leave before 9PM so we can get some rest before doing it all over again the next day.

When we enter the NICU we have to basically scrub in.  Preemies are at a very high risk of sickness and infection due to their undeveloped/weak immune system so we must leave all the germs outside!
We then talk to the nurse about how the twins did overnight.  A team of doctors, nurses and staff make rounds between 8-9AM and that gives me a chance to hear how they did over the past 24 hours and ask questions.  Then we start their 3 hour routine.  We wake them up, take their temperature, change their diaper and clothes if needed.  The nurse listens to their heart and measures their belly.

Then we feed them.  We first try to feed them with a bottle.  If they don't finish the entire bottle, they are given the rest of the "meal" through their feeding tubes.  We are hoping (and praying VERY hard) that they soon are able to drink full bottles!!!

The only time we really get to hold and love on them is right after they eat.  Its my favorite time of the day:)

Before the afternoon feeding they get baths.
They get weighed.
Then we rub lotion on them and get them dressed.
Between their feedings I pump and eat.  The NICU has pump rooms equipped with pumps, storage containers and a tv.
The twins also have daily appointments....we see physical therapists, speech therapists (this is who evaluates their eating) doctors who do a daily check up and occasionally get testing done.  They are also constantly monitored...
Time goes by really fast when we are there and it is hard to leave everyday.  Although we are so appreciative for all the nurses and staff that have taken such good care of our little ones, we are just so eager to take them home and just be a normal family.