Tuesday, October 27, 2015

It Takes a Village...

Busy, busy, busy...the story of our lives! I'm sure everyone can relate to a hectic schedule. I'm used to us being on the go juggling doctors appointments, phone calls to insurance, durable medical equipment, pharmacies, doctor's offices, scheduling/rescheduling therapies, dance class, gymnastics, ect...However, I'm not used to being on restrictions and taking care of a newborn while trying to juggle my usual duties. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Brian left for his annual 10 day hunting trip to North Dakota. Thank goodness for our Village! Mimi & Poppy took Kennedy for the weekend and enjoyed some fun with cousins. They even managed to squeeze in a trip to the Pumpkin Patch before the rain came pouring down! Mimi brought Kennedy back on Monday and took her to dance class for me. Today, Mimi & nurse Lisa took Drake to Dallas for his vent clinic appointment, and tomorrow she will be taking Kennedy to gymnastics. Thursday, Brian's mom (Yea-Yea) will be here to be an extra set of hands until Brian gets back in town. Not to mention Brian's brother (Uncle Matt) and his dad (Papa) have been delivering dinners. Thanks to our family/village we are well taken care of around here! Oh, and our amazing nurses are a part of that village, too! 

I love that Kennedy was able to experience the pumpkin patch with her cousins! We only live two hours away, but we are not able to spend as much time with them as I would like. Watching all of these little cousins grow up together is already fun and I know it is going to get even better! 

I was excited to hear Drake's report from vent clinic today! He looks great, sounds great, chest X-Ray was clear, and blood-work was perfect! I was anxious to hear the results of his blood-work because I have been giving him Kyani daily. He's never had perfect blood-work results before! This is HUGE! His doctor advised us to "keep doing what you're doing!" 

Before Brian headed out of town on Friday, he took Hayes and me to the pediatrician's office. Our sweet baby weighed in at 8# on the dot! He not only gained weight, but he grew, too! Now he measures 20.5" long. He has been cleared to sleep for up to 6hrs at at time, and this has been a huge blessing at night! 

We are beyond thankful for our village who have kept our home/family/life running smoothly while Brian is out of town, but we will be overjoyed to have daddy home on Sunday! 

A little floor time for these brothers

Mimi & Lisa also took Drake to get fitted for his new leg braces!

They should be ready for pick up next week!

Hayes seems to like the bouncy chair and definitely the lights and sounds!

Dallas bound!

Pumpkin Patch!


Aunt Jamie & baby Chase! 

Apparently cousin Elizabeth wasn't willing to cooperate with pictures. Maybe next time :)

This looks like a hot mess...and it is, but I know Mimi is loving every second! 

He's not quite sure about bath time.

Sweet boy!

I love this smile!

Crazy head control! 

Snuggles with Mimi!

My lap is full!

So much love!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

2 Weeks In

We are two weeks in as a family of five, and despite being a little sleep deprived, we are doing really well. Mimi is here for a few days helping out, and I have definitely enjoyed having the opportunity to take a much needed nap...or two. Hayes is starting to have more awake times, and we are looking forward to seeing more of his personality develop in the coming weeks. 

Kennedy is a big help with both of her brothers! She still wants "mommy" to do everything with her: bath time, bed time stories, brushing teeth, taking her to the restroom, ect...Although, she is starting to be less apprehensive about letting Mimi or Daddy help her with these routines. 

This season change, as with most, has been difficult on our little guy. He has not been able to tolerate his time off of his vent like he had been, but we are thankful he still wants to participate in his therapies. Drake did so good today with his vision therapy! He even turned on a lighted toy by himself at least 5 times! I was thrilled watching him work, and seeing Kennedy cheer him on was icing on the cake! Poor little Kennedy was running a temperature on Friday and Saturday. Taking care of her while keeping her away from both of the boys was quite challenging. Luckily, Daddy did a great job of stepping in to take the lead with Kennedy. 

We are only two weeks in, but it is already crystal clear that our sweet Hayes is the perfect addition to our family! We didn't know he was missing before, but we sure do feel complete now. 

Our 3 LOVES!!!

"I'll protect him!" 

Seriously, kid?! I need you to wake up. 

Love this laugh!!! I never knew a laugh without sound could be so joyful! 

Pumpkin carving with daddy was a success!!! 

Loved her excitement! 

Oh, this face! 

Such a happy boy! 

"Mommy, I'm feeding my baby."

Snuggles with Daddy!

Baby's first field trip! 

Sweet sister! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


I'm pleased to say that we have been adjusting well to being at home. Hayes is such a sweet baby! When we left the hospital on Wednesday, he weighed 6# 14oz and Friday at the pediatrician's office he was back up to 7# 3oz. So far, he has been doing really well with an every 3hr schedule. Drake and Kennedy both seem to be adjusting well to having a new sibling, too. Kennedy is already a big helper, and she's good about asking if she can help first. Daddy put a step stool by the changing table for her. She likes to talk to him and entertain him during diaper changes.

I'm thrilled that on our way home from the hospital last week, we stopped by the car dealership to pick up my new suburban! I earned my new car through Kyani's Dream Car Program! The timing was absolutely perfect because it is just the right size for our family of 5... plus a nurse :) 

Drake and Kennedy were both very brave when the received their flu shots. Drake definitely took notice of being in a new car! I love that he is aware of his surroundings and definitely knew something was different. 

Brian and I are learning the balance of managing our time between 3 kiddos, and we haven't mastered it yet. But we'll keep working on it, and I'm sure we will improve with more time. 

Mommy's new car for our family! 

Signing the paperwork!

Proud Big brother!

Proud Big sister!

Late night snuggles! 

Our handsome little boy! 

A little grin!

Saying the blessing with Aunt Mere!

Sound asleep!

Park time with Daddy!

Sweet sister kisses! I asked her if she wanted to give her baby brother a kiss. She looked around and said, "I want to give all these brothers kisses!"

Sweet Dreams!

Stander time! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Party of 5

We went to bed on Sunday night as a family of 4, and by mid-day on Monday, we were a family of 5. We are anxious to get home and get settled into our new family dynamics as a larger family...a completed family. I think Hayes is the finishing piece to our puzzle that we did not even know was missing. Mimi & Poppy brought Kennedy up to the hospital to meet her new baby brother before taking her to their house for the rest of the week. We figured this would make the transition home and getting settled smoother for everyone. We will be more than ready to have our princess back on Saturday! I'm ready for Drake to meet his brother tomorrow, and excited to get pictures of the 3 of them together this weekend! 

This experience has been a complete 180 from last time! I wish a smooth delivery and after process for all previous preemie parents. So far, he is such a good baby! He is eating well and sleeping well. We think he is resting up and saving his shenanigans for when we get home. 

Seeing Kennedy with him for the 1st time was absolutely precious! She loves him! We just hope she still fills this way once she realizes that he is a full time family member and resident at our home.  

Drake's therapist brought him a Big Mack Switch, which he is already beginning to master! It is so much larger and easier for him to use than his other buttons. I love watching him think through the process and make his body do what he wants. One of our friends also made him a dry-fit sleep sack. Tonight will be his first night to use it, and I am anxious to hear how things go. He, like many special needs children, do not grow out of the startling reflex that all newborns have. Unfortunately, sleep sacks made to help calm babies to sleep are not made for 3 year olds...especially, hot natured 3 year olds. Our hope is that the dry-fit material will keep him from getting too hot and the sleep sack design will help calm his startle reflex. 

Now with our family of 5, we plan to head home tomorrow and begin carrying on this next chapter in our lives! 

Kennedy meeting Hayes for the 1st time!

Holding her baby brother!

Ready for delivery!

Our baby boy!

Special delivery!

Hayes with Mimi & Poppy!

Hayes Sawyer Gilstrap
October 5, 2015
7# 7oz

Good night kisses

Snuggles with daddy!

Someone found his fingers!

Hayes with his Yea-Yea!

Meeting Papa!

Bright eyes!

Excited about his sleep sack!

Fun with cousins!

Meeting Aunt Mere, Uncle Aaron, Jacob & Elizabeth last night!

Watching Netflix with Daddy!

Little man rocking it in his stander at home! Miss him SO much!!!