Friday, September 27, 2013

Let The Fun Begin

Drake started up with his physical therapy and his speech therapy this week. He has PT on Mondays and Wednesdays, and he has speech therapy on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He did really well this week with everything! More than anything, he is pleased to have his cannula removed. We are also happy to have his breathing treatments spaced to every 6hrs now. 

This morning both babies accompanied Gran and me to a bridal luncheon for Jamie. They did such a great job! Our busy day did not end there, next we had the rehearsal dinner. For two little babies who had not napped any significant amount during the day, they did really well. At the end of the evening Drake was hot, tired and ready to go home. Both babies were sound asleep before we had even driven down the block. Hopefully they will rest well tonight in preparation for tomorrow's wedding festivities.

This is my absolute favorite!!! 

Looking for something in Gran's pantry.

Caught in the act!

Who knew groceries were as fun as toys?! 

We're so proud of how he is using his hands and his arms!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

15 Months Old!

Wow! Time is flying by and our little babies are already 15 months old. Kennedy is into everything and all over the house. She is starting to stand without holding onto anything for support. Her 1st "real" step is going to be happening very, very soon! Oh, and she is quite the little talker, too. Her vocabulary now consists of: dada, mama, blublu (bubba), Ella (our dog's name), nana, I play, stop it, uh-oh, hi, and anything else she can attempt to mimic. She loves to wave hello and goodbye, and we are still working on sharing with her cousin, Jacob, but she is getting better.

Drake is doing much better than he was last week from a health standpoint. He is still receiving breathing treatments around the clock, but we are hoping to wean him off of his oxygen tomorrow. This will make him much happier because he can't stand to have things on his face. He completed his 1st physical therapy session on Monday and his 1st speech therapy today. He will have PT again tomorrow and speech again on Thursday. He did quite well with both of these therapies. His speech therapist started working with him on VitalStem therapy today. This is a FDA approved therapy that his developmental doctor had mentioned to us at his last appointment. This therapy involves placing small electrical impulses to the swallowing muscles of the throat in order to strengthen those muscles. It does not hurt and Drake did very well with it today, as long as I was holding him. He wasn't interested in being held by his new therapist just yet. He prefers to be held by familiar people. I think that is pretty typical for a little guy. 

I caught a couple cute pictures of Drake smiling yesterday! Gran was giving him kisses and he LOVES getting kisses. We all get overly excited when we see him smile! I think he enjoys our over the top reaction, too! He also did a great job tracking a new lighted toy. All of these accomplishments on top of his head control continuing to improve, make us really proud of his hard work. 

These are of Drake loving getting kisses! 

I love this one of Kennedy & daddy!

Drake hanging out with daddy after work.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rain, Rain!

I guess if you are stuck at home not feeling well, a rainy day is the best kind. I canceled Drake's regular Friday therapies because he is still not feeling well. We absolutely hate seeing him feel bad. He is still requiring oxygen support and breathing treatments around the clock. I'm thankful that we are meeting his recovery needs at home rather than in a hospital setting. He is getting good sleep here at home; which he did not get last time he was in the hospital. Even during his breathing treatments during the night, he only opens his eyes briefly because of the noise and then falls back asleep. 

We have not been doing his daily routine to the full extent because we know he doesn't feel well, but we also haven't completely slacked off either. He has really impressed us with his head control; especially since he doesn't feel good. He always sounds worse 1st thing in the morning. I guess that is typical of anyone. We are thankful he has not run a temperature during any of this mess. Having bronchopulmonary dysplasia and chronic lung disease from prematurity makes the changing of the seasons hard on a little boy. I already miss how nice summer was to us, from a health standpoint. 

Kennedy enjoyed her 1st spaghetti dinner last night! She loved it! She likes eating anything we are eating. The problem is that we usual eat things that are too spicy for her. We are getting better about pulling some aside for her before we season it too much. 

Still working hard!

Nice head control! :)
1st spaghetti dinner! 

Such a big girl! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fighting Sickness

So much has taken place since my last post! We visited Brian's grandparents and extended family at Lake O' the Pines, had Brian's brother and mom (Yea-yea) in town for a visit, and celebrated Brian's (daddy's) birthday. Poor little Drake has been fighting allergies since Friday. With his weakened immune system, this has turned into a respiratory infection. He is receiving breathing treatments every 4hrs, chest and back pats, saline spray and nose suctioning. He doesn't feel well and this breaks my heart! We check his heart rate and oxygen saturation several times each day. This afternoon we put him back on oxygen, something he has not been on for a long time. He was not happy with us, but if it helps him heal faster, it will be well worth it. 

Unfortunately Drake was not able to start his new Physical Therapy or Speech Therapy this week. First we have to beat this illness and then we can move on to his new therapies.

Kennedy had a runny nose for about one day and she seems much better now. It must just be that time of year, and it is so much harder on Drake than Kennedy. We are thankful that he is bigger and stronger now, and he can fight even harder. He's a tough little boy and this is just one more hurdle. 

Between breathing treatments for Drake and Kennedy waking up during the night because she is cutting 4 teeth right now, sleep is hard to come by these days. This too shall pass and calmer days are ahead. 

Yea-yea kissing Drake's toes! 

Family gathering at Lake O' the Pines 

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Special Outing

 I'm sure it isn't surprising that this has been a busy week for our Gilstrap clan. Honestly, I just had to refer back to my calendar just to refresh my memory of what all we have done this week. 

The results from Drake's blood draw show that everything is fine and his seizure medication is not effecting his kidneys. We really enjoyed meeting with the speech therapist for his evaluation, and she was already impressed with how well he is doing with his bottles. He is an excellent candidate for speech therapy and is scheduled to begin receiving therapy next week. She will be working with him on Tuesdays and Thursdays! 

I LOVE this SMILE!!! It melts my heart! 

This morning Drake's nurse and I took him down to 360 Wrap off of 35S in Dallas for another great Wrap Party! We chose a new design for this wrap that is black. Gran was not a fan of the skull & crossbones on the back, but I told her it's his pirate look. It shows his tough side. The people at 360 Wrap were beyond helpful by offering a quiet back room for us to feed Drake; he was not interested in taking his bottle with the noises in the big room. If Drake ever needs any future medical devises, they have also offered to wrap those for us.

Kennedy's big adventure was on Wednesday afternoon when she and I went with Poppy to the farm. This was her first time to see cows and a horse. She didn't know quite what to think. Her eyes were big and bright mixed with bewilderment. Poppy's friendly horse, Blaze, stuck her head over the gate to say hi and be petted. That was a little too close for comfort according to Kennedy. She held me tight and did a little whining. She decided it was ok to watch mommy pet the horse, but she was just going to watch. Once we let her stand on the gate (with mommy assisting) she seemed to feel right at home. Such a fun experience! 

Having fun with Poppy on the farm

She called the cows "daw" just like our dogs.

I think she had fun! 

Drake with is Aunt Mere

Little Miss Busy-Body! 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A New Day

We are so blessed to have the opportunity for Drake to have physical therapy twice a week beginning next week.  He is doing so well, and we just know that having 8 sessions a month will be so beneficial to him.
He amazes us everyday!  What a little trooper and fighter! 

Kennedy had fun traveling with me to her new "Aunt"  Jamie's bridal shower, and Drake certainly seemed enjoy spending some quality time with daddy. On Monday Drake was required to have a blood test to check his liver levels. He was not a happy camper and Kennedy and I were sad to see Drake so upset. I'm thankful that Lisa was with us to help hold Drake, b/c mommy wanted no part of that process. 

Tomorrow we will visit Cranial Technologies to check his helmet, and then we will move on to Wrap 360 to pick out his new helmet wrap! Friday morning we will join several other families for his new helmet wrap party. On Thursday, Drake will have an evaluation with a speech therapist and we are excited for the possibilities this could hold. I can't wait to update on Friday! 

Riding the Rocking Longhorn at Gran & Poppy's!

Snoozing on mommy.

Gran with her hands full!!!

Adding cousin Jacob really makes her hands full!

Sleepy girl!

Smiling boy! This smile melts my heart. 

Big girl!

Waiting for Drake's blood draw.

Hanging out with Daddy!

Kennedy at the shower with her cousin, Jacob.

Friday, September 6, 2013


Kennedy has added a new word (rather a phrase) to her vocabulary. "Uh-Oh" is heard quite often around our house. We love hearing her sweet little voice, even if it does mean that her sippy-cup is repeatedly dropped on the floor. She has an early day tomorrow as she will be traveling with me to attend a wedding shower for her soon-to-be, Aunt Jamie. We will be heading out early in the morning so that we can arrive on time, and this means Daddy & Drake will be having a "Boys Day!" 

Drake has BIG news, too! His first tooth came in and his second tooth is almost through. These are his bottom teeth, just like Kennedy's. He is learning how to sooth his teething pains by sucking on his hands. This is such a precious sight, and Brian snapped a picture of it today. Drake's visit with his neurologist went well this week. The doctor was impressed with Drake's improving head control. He still doesn't have complete control, but noticeable improvements have been made. Due to the fact that he is still having numerous seizures daily, his neurologist has increased his medications. On Monday, he will be having a blood test to check his liver to make sure the seizure medicine isn't causing any problems. Today Drake worked with his OT who also noticed and commented about his improved head control. 

Sucking his thumb

We missed our two little babies like crazy on our trip, but we still enjoyed every minute of our get-away!