Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Making the Turn

 After almost a week of illinsess, Drake seems to me making the turn toward recovery as of today! We pray that this continues! Seeing him so very ill has been difficult on all of us. I'm not going to act like being up in the middle of the night has been easy on me because it has not, and lack of sleep has taken it's toll, too. Just seeing his eyes seem happier today has made my heart happy. Kennedy has made her way over to him and kissed his forehead today. This is the sweetest sight to see!

I canceled his chiropractor appointment yesterday as well as his cranial technologies appointment today.  Today he received his synagis shots and also had his speech therapy appointment. He did really well, and showed us that he is on the road to recovery...thank goodness! 

Kennedy is repeating almost everything that we are saying. It is extremely comical and she started saying, "Oh, my!" and "Oh, wow!" today. It's really cute! We love her sweet caring nature that she shows toward Drake. 

A tired little princess. 

She loves to play! 

Holding up all of his weight! Even while under the weather! 

Still managing a smile! 

Eating off of her own plate! She was so proud! 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Poor Baby!

Kennedy is acting like she is feeling much better, but she is still coughing. Unfortunately, her little cough wakes her up during the night, but at least she has not run a fever. Poor little Drake is still battling a fever that comes and goes, and at the same time is now requiring oxygen support. It is difficult to see him wearing a cannula again, but we are thankful that he is showing signs of improving. Any time Drake begins coming down with anything, it effects his lungs immediately; however, having oxygen support on hand allows him to work on healing and not work so hard on breathing. I realized that I have been taking for granted how much easier our daily life is without the use of his cannula; everything from bath time, getting him dressed, and even carrying him around the house from room to room.

Even though the past few days have been difficult on all of us, we are pleased with the progress toward improvement they are both making. We will continue to work on healing and pray that we are over this small hurdle soon. 

Working on healing.

Kennedy went with us to one of Drake's appointments this week. 

This is the face that breaks my heart!

She thinks this is her iPad! 

And this little face melts my heart! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sweet Dreams

After the past few days of little to no sleep, I was finally able to get a good nights rest. Thanks to Gran for volunteering to get up with the babies during the night. I was hesitant to take her up on her offer at first, because it didn't seem right for her to miss out on sleep; however, after I fell asleep getting Kennedy back down, I knew that I needed rest. 

I think it is a combination of teething and warding off a virus that has been interrupting their regular sleep patterns. Drake has been acting like himself, but he has been fighting a fever the past two days. Kennedy has been extremely clingy and fussy but she has not run a temperature. 

This is poor little Drake's 3rd illness to deal with since it became fall. We had all settled into how nice the summer season was for us, and now this fall/winter is coming in with a vengeance. Our main goal, as always, is to keep both Drake and Kennedy healthy; which means that we are on lockdown and will not be able to participate in any upcoming holiday festivities. In the big picture of life, missing out on a couple of holiday gatherings is a not a big deal. 

One of the best things that anyone can do to help preemies who are able to be out and about is to get their vaccinations. This time of year the flu shot is essential. Brian and I used to be the type who did not get our yearly flu shot, and/or fell into the misconception that the flu shot made us sick. Knowing what we know now, we are not only helping our own children but we are also able to help all people with weak immune systems simply by getting our annual flu shot.

Kennedy says, "I love this guy, right here!"

All ready for bed :)

Yes, daddy! 

This is challenging when they both need me at the same time.

Consistently eating his baby food once each day.

I'm ready for a walk, Gran. Let's go!

Snuggling with Daddy! 

Friday, October 18, 2013


I sure am glad that our busy week has concluded. This week Drake had: an appointment with cranial technologies, 3 sessions with his physical therapist, 3 sessions with his speech therapist, 2 sessions with his chiropractor, 1 sessions with his occupational therapist, 1 session with his therapist for cognitive development, and his daily Snowdrop program with Lisa and me. Everyone was impressed with his progress this week! Not only did he do an outstanding job with his head control this week, but he has also eaten rice cereal and Pediasure at his noon feed every day. Sometimes he eats more than others, but we see each attempt as great progress. 

Kennedy is continuing to make progress with using a spoon, and we can tell that she loves to do things on her own. Last night she took a spill while she was cruising around the coffee table. Her fall cut her eyelid, but she's a tough little girl and didn't even cry. It was far more emotional for the two of us than it was for her. 

Brian's dad, Papa, is in town staying with us this weekend and we are excited to catch up with him! 

Checking on her brother.

I'm glad that I had my phone handy to capture this sweet moment of Kennedy with Gran.

Passed out in the high-chair.

This helmet was on his head when we left McKinney and this is what I found when we arrived home. Impressive!

You can see her little cut on her poor little eyelid. 

This picture just makes us smile :)

Exhausted from his busy week! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Drake's knee X-Rays do show abnormalities in his knee; however, it does not show the cause. I will be picking up a cd copy of these X-rays on Friday to take with us when we see the pediatric orthopedic doctor at Scottish Right Hospital. I do not know yet when that appointment will be; we have had a referral and I am eagerly awaiting being contacted. We had a nice weekend at home and Uncle Matt was in town for a visit. Despite his best efforts, Kennedy is still not able to say, "Uncle Matt." However, she does say, "thank you" every time she hands something to us, and she has also perfected the "fake" sneeze. I'm so glad Brian was able to witness this over the weekend. She does the "fake" sneeze just like the "fake" cough when she hears Drake do either and she sees him get attention. 

Drake has been a rock star with his physical therapy this week! He has been lifting his head and impressing everyone with his strength and determination! He has even impressed me this week and I'm with him 24/7. I love surprises like that! He even got to try baby food with his speech therapist today! He did great! She said that she was really impressed with how well he did for the first time, and that his natural instincts with using his tongue and managing the food are not often seen in babies who struggle with feeds. She is coming back tomorrow and Thursday; therefore, he will get two more attempts with food this week. Bottles have still been a struggle since his last respiratory infection. He acts hungry and interested, but when the bottle is introduced he wants absolutely nothing to do with it. 

Kennedy is loving getting to eat the same foods that we are eating (for the most part). We haven't found anything that she doesn't like. She loves her sippy cup; especially her new one with a straw. Today at lunch I let her try using a spoon to feed herself. For her first attempt, I think she did pretty well. She managed to get the spoon in her mouth and didn't make a mess. On her repeated attempts, she used both hands to help guide the spoon into her mouth. Still not bad for a 1st trial. She was pretty proud of herself, too! 

Family picture from the NICU reunion at Presby Dallas!

My, oh my, how things have changed! I'm holding Drake in both pictures and Brian is holding Kennedy.

You can see his two bottom teeth in this picture!

Spending a little time outside this weekend.

All worn out!

Check out these head raises! 

Our little Rock Star!

Eating baby food (Pediasure & Rice Cereal) with his speech therapist. He has the Vital Stem on under his chin to aid in swallowing. 

A Big Bite!

Managing his food very nicely!

Big girl feeding herself with a spoon!

Friday, October 11, 2013


The past few days we have been busy dealing with a stomach bug. The first couple of days it was Kennedy and now it is Drake. Due to this illness Drake did not have PT or Speech on Thursday and he also did not have OT today. We seem to be on the mending end of things, but it's still tough to see them not feeling themselves. I would rather feel sick any day of the week than see these little angels feel under the weather. 

Today, Drake had x-rays taken of his chest and right knee. The pediatric orthopedics at Scottish Right hospital in Dallas is going to want to see X-rays of his knee before proceeding with treatment; therefore, his pediatrician sent us for the X-rays. The chest X-rays were additional to give our pedi peace of mind as we head into RSV season. I have not heard results yet from today's X-rays, so I am going to assume all is good until I hear otherwise. I am thankful for my cousin, Lauren, who is attending college at UT-Tyler for helping us out today when we went to get the X-rays. 

Kennedy is starting to repeat so many of the things that we say: thank you, trash can, Harlee...and pretty much anything else we say. She is seriously about to take off walking and talking...I think we are in trouble VERY soon. I love how she tries to help all of the time. She crawls over with Drake's therapy brush and tries to brush him like she sees us do daily. When I told her to give bubba a kiss this week, she crawled over and kissed his forehead. It was the sweetest thing and I wish I had a picture. She really is a sweetheart who loves her brother, and he tolerates her really well. 

Even under the weather he still manages a smile.

Kennedy trying whole milk for the 1st time. 

Little miss "into everything" exploring the kitchen.

I love these smiling faces!

Fun with nurse, Lisa.

Sleeping in my arms.

A smile that warms my heart! 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I'm a little late with this post because the day got away from me and I completely forgot to post. We had a busy weekend and a full Monday! On Friday, Drake and Kennedy had their 15 month appointment with their pediatrician. This meant 4 shots for each of them. Poor little babies. This was also a big day for me because it was our 1st doctor appointment for me to take them solo. It wasn't easy, but we made it!  Their doctor was really impressed with their progress! Although, she wanted us to go ahead and have the VCUG (urinary) testing at Children's in Dallas. I was trying to avoid this testing all together because to me it seemed cruel and unnecessary. 

The Good: Saturday morning we headed to Dallas for our 1st NICU reunion. We were able to see so many of the medical professionals who were a vital part of our life last year. One of the doctors, who wasn't even one of our main doctors, remembered us and was still talking about Drake's miraculous recovery! 

The Bad: In the early hours of Monday morning, I packed the car and loaded the babies for Dallas. We arrived at Gran & Poppy's by 7am to drop off Kennedy and pick up nurse Lisa, and we were off to Children's Hospital. 1st test was Drake's ultrasound, which was not bad at all and he tolerated it like a champ. Next up was the dreaded VCUG (Voiding Cystro-Urethrogram). This test checks for bladder size and to make sure there is not any urinary reflux back into the kidneys. I was already educated about this procedure because he had this testing in the hospital last year at Presby. Last year the results were normal and I had no doubt in my mind that the results would be normal this year, too. For this testing, poor little Drake was strapped to a board with his hands above his head and a catheter was placed. Then a dye is injected through the catheter into the bladder, and the radiologist watches on a screen to see where the dye goes. Needless to say Drake was not happy and he was screaming the entire time. The next step was to make sure he could void all of the dye that was just injected into his bladder, which he did. The testing took about 20-30minutes and soon as I was able to pick him up, he immediately calmed down. 

At the NICU reunion with cousin Jacob

Having our 1st family meal at a restaurant! This was Kennedy's favorite part!

Drake enjoyed our lunch out, too!

Harlee is never far from his buddy, Drake!

Spinning in the chair (part of his Snowdrop program)