Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good Days

The last few days, we've actually had a somewhat happy Rylee!  Yayyyyyyyy!!!!!!  She still has her moments of course, but she has been puke free two days in a ROW.  Eating has been a little better.  Not great, but better.  We've been able to have more play time than usual.  She is just all around in a much, much better mood.

Partly, I think it's because she has had a couple of good poops.  Haha!  No, but seriously.  I don't know if she is truly constipated, or if she just holds back because she's learned it hurts her poor little bottom.  It wouldn't be a surprise if she does have constipation issues.  My sister and my oldest niece have issues with it, and my little baby niece went daayyyysssss without pooping for her first several months, and usually needed a little help to get things moving.  Why would my sister and nieces have anything to do with my little Rylee you may ask?  Well, don't forget, my sister was our egg donor.  One of the advantages of having a known donor is that we are privy to these kinds of things.

So maybe that's two strikes against Rylee in the pooping department - maybe she is both constipated AND holds back for fear of it hurting.  Who knows?

Is this REALLY the reason for her rare good days, or is it just a coincidence?  I don't really care why.  I'm just happy that she is more happy.

Look at that adorable smile!

She loves to stick out her tongue :)

Are they trading places?  Rylee is happy and Ayden is....not?
Now that I post these pictures, I have to laugh at the fact that she is wearing a shirt saying "Auntie said I could."  It strikes me as funny that I was just talking about her Auntie (my sister) and their pooping problems, and Rylee happens to be wearing a onsie about her.  It's like Auntie J maybe gave her permission to just let it all out!

*When I started this post, I had no idea it was going to be all about poop!  HA!

Monday, March 24, 2014

3 Month Birthday!

We celebrated the babies' 3 month birthday yesterday!  It's a good thing we started off the day by taking their pictures, because the rest of the day was a battle of fussy babies vs. parents.  We think they probably weren't feeling very good.

Rylee has puked at least once per day 7 out of the last 8 days, sometimes 2 or 3 times per day.  Saturday was puke free, so we thought we were finally moving past the puke fest, but right as we were starting the pictures yesterday she emptied the contents of her stomach.  Lucky me, I even got some in the face!  I was trying to keep her upright, catching it all in a burp cloth, but also had some of it spit into my face.  My hands were full so I couldn't even wipe it off.  Good times.  Good times.  I got her changed into dry clothes and we went about the picture taking business.  Thankfully, she wasn't too fussy at this point.  That came later, and was probably due to her sore bottom.

Ayden spent the day with several spit up episodes, definitely more than normal.  He went through a record number of clothing changes yesterday himself.  He was also pretty lethargic throughout the day, very sleepy. He didn't have a temperature.  He just slept a lot.

We did manage to get these cute pictures though!  Our only camera is on our iPhones, so the quality isn't very good, but they are cute anyway!

Poor Rylee has had a rough start in life.  Her bottom is still ulcerated, but at her last dermatology appointment, they thought it was looking better.  We are now using Duo Derm bandages to cover the hemangioma.  The bandaging starts out okay, but it's difficult to keep it sticking on the inside part of her butt cheek, thus making it difficult to keep the poopy out.  It works great for about half a day, but then the bandage starts to peel up.  One might think, okay, just change the bandaging.  I did that once.  Never again. The bandage might not stick as well on the inside portion, but it sticks very well on the outer side of her bottom.  When I took it off before the recommended time, it also peeled off some of her skin and made the ulcer bleed more than it ever had before.  That was not a happy day for anyone.  Poor baby girl.

The next time, I timed the bandage change with her bath.  Made it so much easier to take off.  You might think, well why don't you do that every time?  Because this girl hates baths.  HATES them with a fiery passion.  Seriously.  She doesn't just scream bloody murder.  She screams as if she belongs in The Exorcist. It's a little scary.  So she only gets a bath about once per week.

So, little Miss Rylee hates diaper changes (who could blame her with her sore bottom), she hates baths, she has trouble eating without gagging, when she does eat you never know if she will keep it down, she dislikes tummy time, and she also hates having her clothes changed.  She used to scream her head off when you put a onsie on and off, but that is actually getting better.  Now she only screams when you put pants on her.

Sigh.  I really, really, super duper hope that she eventually becomes a happy baby.

There are some things she does like, despite all the other things that make her miserable.  She LOVES it when you talk to her (as long as she's in the mood to listen).  She will sit there and stare at you forever if you keep talking to her.  Talking to her is what makes her smile, and making her smile is like winning the lottery. Rylee loves the swing.  I think it's her most favorite place.  She can watch her little friends on the mobile for what seems like hours.  If her tummy is settled, Rylee also enjoys spending some time on the play mat.

Just this past week we had to move her up to size 1 diapers.  She had 8 newborn diapers left and I was trying hard to use them up, but I just couldn't squeeze her into them any more.  She has outgrown some of her newborn clothes, but still fits in most.  We have begun making the transition to 0-3 month size.  At her last weight check a week and a half ago, she was 9 lbs, 10 oz.  I'm sure she's probably hit about 10 lbs now.

The longest stretch Rylee has slept at night is 4 hours, 40 minutes.  They are both still sleeping in their Rock n' Plays, but Rylee has taken one 41 minute nap in her crib.  Yes, I timed it.  I use the handy dandy iBabyLog app on my iPhone to keep track of feedings, sleep, and diaper changes.

She has started cooing.  Not a lot, but she definitely is starting to talk to us.  She is great at making a smacking sound with her tongue.  Speaking of which, she does like to stick her tongue out, too.

Rylee may be small, but she is mighty.  She may have a temper, but we still think she is so amazingly cute and love her so much.

Now for Ayden.  He is a tank.  At his last weigh in he was 12 lbs, 6.5 oz.  That was almost a month ago, so I'm sure he's well over 13 lbs now.  He is wearing 0-3 month and 3 month clothing.  He's still in size 1 diapers.

Ayden is a pretty calm baby, except for when he thinks he's starving.  If you don't get to him fast enough, his world is coming to an end.  While Rylee is pure temper and flat out scream cries, Ayden breaks your heart when he cries.  He gets the most sad, pathetic look on his face.  He knows how to make us feel bad already!

Ayden smiles easily and is not stingy in sharing those smiles.  One of the cutest things I've ever seen and heard is listening to him literally laugh out loud in his sleep.  It makes me smile and laugh out loud myself.

He enjoys spending time in his little bouncer chair and talking to his friend the penguin.  He coos and talks to us quite a bit.  His little baby noises are adorable.  He is only entertained on the play mat for a few minutes at a time. Tummy time is not his favorite, but he doesn't mind it as much when he's on the Boppy.  He tolerates bath time, but doesn't really think too highly of it.  He will chew/suck on anything that gets near his mouth - his fist, his clothing, my finger, a teething toy...  But he has trouble keeping a pacifier in his mouth.  We've tried several different kinds, but he eventually loses it, which he finds very frustrating.

Ayden frequently sleeps for 5 hour stretches at night, but has gone as long as 7 hours!  Now if only Rylee and him would sync their sleeping schedules.... I did purchase a couple sleep training books last week so that maybe we can learn a few tricks.  I haven't put him down in his crib yet to try sleeping.  I don't think we would be successful at this point.  He startles himself easily and doesn't get even remotely tired when laying on the floor on his back.  I've tried swaddling him but that just makes him mad.

Yesterday he was down for tummy time without the Boppy and he was trying SOOOoooo hard to roll over.  He almost got it too!  Instead, he just kicked his way around so he was turning in a circle on the blanket.

It's only been 3 months, but yet these two are our entire world now.  3 months doesn't seem like very long, but yet it also feels like we've had them forever.  Wouldn't change a thing.  People ask me if I miss coaching softball.  Yes, I miss the girls.  I miss being on the field.  I miss the competitiveness of the games.  But I wouldn't change a thing.  I don't miss getting the field ready and dealing with the Oregon weather.  I don't miss the two hour bus rides.  I would much rather be watching the games on the sidelines now with my two little ones.  .

And now for more pictures...

She enjoys sleeping in her car seat when we go for walks
Looking cool in his shades
All bundled up to watch their first softball game
He slept through the entire game!

My little ducklings

Saturday, March 22, 2014

One Step at A Time

The running has commenced.

I have never been a runner.  I just like the challenge of working toward something.  It is rare for me to just go out for a run, unless I am training for some event.

Let me rephrase that.  Unless I am attempting to train for an event.  I typically am never quite as in shape as I should, or could be for any race I've ever ran.  But I've managed.  I just really enjoy running in races.  Not because I am competing for a chance to actually win, but because I enjoy the challenge of simply running the race.  It's always an adrenaline rush to run a race with other people.  Like I said, I'm never trying to win, but I do enjoy the challenge of trying to pass the person in front of me!

There's something about running a race that gives me a high.  I wouldn't call it the runner's high that you hear about.  It simply feels good to finish, and to have pushed myself as hard as I could.  Over the years I have ran numerous 8k and 10k races, but what I am most proud of is that I have also done a marathon.  I was slow as a snail and did a walk/run for the entire thing, but I don't care.  I finished and it's something I can proudly say I've done.

I always wanted to run a marathon but never really thought I could.  A few years back, I was inspired by watching the Biggest Loser.  It was because of a contestant named Ron that I signed up to run the Portland Marathon.  He was an older guy, in his 50's or so, with terrible, terrible knees. He walked with a cane.  He was able to complete a marathon.  I figured if he could do it, there was absolutely NO reason why I couldn't. Within a few days of watching that episode, I signed up for the marathon and paid the money.  Now I HAD to do it.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have also done the Hood to Coast Relay.  It started out as just another thing that I could tally up as something I could say I've done.  But.  I.  Loved.  It.  So I've done it every year since (except this last year because I was pregnant with the twins).  It's a relay of 12 people per team.  Each team has two vans of 6 runners.  While one van is out running, the other van is driving to the next exchange point.  You try to eat and sleep while you wait, but it is near impossible to get any rest.  The race starts at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and ends in Seaside, Oregon.  It's 199 miles of pure torturous fun. Each person runs 3 legs of the race, which is somewhere between 17-24 total miles/person, depending on the legs you run.  It's waiting in line for 20 minutes to use a port-a-potty.  You've never seen so many port-a-potties in your life!  It's hanging out with your team, stuck in a van together, soaked in sweat, and laughing hysterically when someone accidentally farts, because you are so exhausted.  It takes our team approximately 30 hours to finish. Again, we aren't there to win anything.  It's just the challenge and the rush of being a part of something so big.  When finished, I can hardly walk.  For the next few days afterward, I can barely get up and down off the toilet because I am so sore.  This event is both mentally and physically challenging, but despite it all, I keep going back for more.

I have 5 months to get ready for the next Hood to Coast.  I started going for walks with the babies a few weeks ago.  Not as much as I would like, but it's a start.  Today, I tried running for the first time.  If you can call it that.  It's the first time I've done any sort of running since I ran in the Cinco de Mayo 10k last May, just before our FET.

I'm starting slow.  I have to because I'm sooooo out of shape.  I'm prone to shin splints and have bad knees, so I need to be careful not to just jump in and get an injury right out of the gate.  I'm taking it one step at a time.

I walked to the high school track, which is just under a mile from our house.  I then went another mile around the track, walking the straight and running (jogging) the corners.  My right leg almost gave out on me during the first running stretch, but after that I settled in and it actually felt pretty good!  It was definitely different from the last time I ran.  My boobs jiggled and my arms swung against my muffin top, but I didn't care. I have to start somewhere, and the only way to get rid of the jiggle and middle, is by getting out there and taking those first steps!  I could have done more at the track.  I felt like I could have kept going, but I also had to walk back home and I want to be very careful and ease into the running.  I don't want to get too eager and over do it.

Overall, I went just under 3 miles today.  Mostly walking, but again, I don't care.  I'm taking it one step at a time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Bullet Point Update

Rylee is currently napping contentedly in the swing and Ayden is entertained on the play mat (we'll see how long that lasts).  I thought I'd give a quick update as to what we've been up to:

  • The weather has been amazing the last few weeks, so we've managed a few walks.  Not as many as I would like, but it's at least something.
  • My feet hurt after each of those walks.  That doesn't bode well for me to start running.
  • The babies have been to their first two softball games!  We still have the no touching rule unless you've had your shots (only 3 more days!), so I took my mom with me to help with the first game. We had some friends at the second game that held them the whole time.
  • Everyone else oohed and awed over the babies and for the most part kept their distance.  The exception was one dumb lady who started touching Ayden.  When I asked if she was current on her flu shot and t-dap vaccination she said "no, but I'm only touching his sleeve."  I wanted to punch her. Like touching his clothing won't spread germs, especially when it's on his sleeve which quite frequently ends up in his mouth because he thinks he can eat it.  I think she realized how stupid it was to say that because she quickly left us alone.  Either that or my glare scared her off.
  • Rylee's bottom had an infection so we had another round of antibiotics for a week.
  • The infection cleared up and we now are covering the hemangioma/ulcers with duo derm patches.  I can't decide if I like them or not.  They work.  Until they don't.
  • Rylee still has trouble eating sometimes.  If we stop to burp her halfway through her bottle, she gags on it when we try to give her the rest.
  • For the last 5 days, Rylee has puked up the entire contents of her belly at least once a day.  Yesterday she reached a record of 3 times!  Her pediatrician says there has been a bug going around, but it's pretty minor and to just keep an eye out for other symptoms.  She doesn't have a fever and she still has wet diapers so she wasn't worried yet.  So far she has not puked yet today.
(Ayden has now been moved to the bouncer for further entertainment)
  • We have an appointment scheduled on April 2nd with an Occupational Therapist to see if she can help us get to the bottom of Rylee's reflux/digestion/gagging issues.
  • Ayden does not stop eating.  Ever.
  • The hospital bills have come.  Oy.  As if we don't have enough debt already.  Not sure how we are going to manage paying the bills.
  • I turned in our taxes yesterday.  We should get a HUGE refund back due to our medical expenses, so that should help with the bills. These babies were very expensive.
  • They continue to be very expensive, but we've decided to keep them anyway :)
I think that's all for now.  We will be celebrating their 3 month birthday in just 2 more days.  There will be another post with lots of pictures!

*Update - I spoke too soon.  Just 13 minutes after posting this, Rylee puked, making it 6 days in a row.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Our First Walk

Today the babies and I went for our first walk together.  I've been wanting to do this, but it takes so much work to get them ready that I kept being lazy and putting it off.  Today was too nice a day to stay home though!  So I loaded them up and off we went.

I decided that I was going to time how long it took to walk from our front door to the softball field with the stroller.  Games start next week, and I want to be able to walk to the games with the babies.  Of course, I suppose it doesn't really matter how much time the walk itself takes.  It's all going to depend on how quickly the babies let us get out of the house!

It took 16 minutes to get from our house to the field

It's supposed to be another beautiful day tomorrow, so I think we will do this again.  Actually, I'd really like to get out and walk every day, weather permitting.  My team got into the Hood to Coast relay again this year, and I really, really need to start training for it.  This is a 199 mile relay starting from Mt. Hood and ending at Seaside, Oregon.  I figure if I can start at least walking with the babies on an almost daily basis, and if I can get out and run on the weekends when Tony can take over with the babies, then I will at least be on my way in the training department.  I really want to invest in a jogging stroller, but I know they aren't big enough to sit in one of those yet, so I haven't been in a big hurry to research them yet.  (Besides the fact that we really can't afford one right now)  Any suggestions for a good jogging stroller?

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Softball Season Started Without Me

For the first time in 26 years, softball season has started without me being on the field.

I started playing softball in the 8th grade.  I grew up playing Little League Baseball, so when we were finally able to play sports for our school starting in the 7th grade, I naturally wanted to continue playing baseball.  They wouldn't let me, because baseball was for boys and softball was for girls.  So...I went out for track instead.  It was fun, but it just wasn't the same.  When I was in the 8th grade, I decided to get over myself and joined the softball team.  I've never looked back.

I played 4 years of Varsity softball in high school, and then played one year of college ball.  I started coaching the following year as the assistant coach at the local high school in town.  I eventually got a Head Coaching job at another school, but I still continued to coach the local summer team I was involved with, so I never really left working to build our local softball program.  A few years later and I got the Head Coaching job at the local high school.  I was the Head Coach there for 8 seasons.  I've coached in this community for the past 20 years.  20 years!

During my time as the Head Varsity Coach here, we made it to the State playoffs each of those years.  We won 6 Conference Championships, made it to the State Semi-Finals twice, and won a State Championship.

I've coached a summer team pretty much since the beginning of my coaching career, but it was mostly on the local level, just giving the kids a chance to continue learning the game in order to be ready for high school ball.  However, 3 years ago my husband and I started a new team, with the intention of being more competitive and giving the girls an opportunity to take their game to the next level.  Each of the 3 years we coached this team, we made it the the ASA/USA National Championships, achieving a spot in the top 50 in the Nation our second season.  We've had 3 players sign to play Division I softball, one girl has verballed to play Division II ball, and several others are playing NAIA.

Softball has been our life.  Tony and I have been married for 16 years, and almost every one of those years has been spent on the ball field together.  Most of the girls we have coached, we started working with them when they were just 11 and 12 years old and continued through their high school careers.  We would coach one group, and then get their siblings.  Our best friends became the parents of these girls.  These girls and their parents became our FAMILY.  We started out coaching because we enjoyed the game.  We continued coaching because we fell in love with the girls.  They became our outlet for not having children of our own.  The girls we coached, were like our own.  They were our girls.  It truly has been the most special thing, to be a part of these girls' lives and watch them grow up.

At our softball baby shower, with many of the girls we have coached over the years.

In September, I put in my resignation.  I had reached the second trimester with the twins.  It was a little scary to walk away from what had been such a major part of my life.  If something happened and we lost our babies, I would NEED to coach.  But if we did end up with our babies, there was no way I could coach this year because they were due right before the season started.  I couldn't wait any longer to put in my resignation, because they needed to have time to hire my replacement.

It has now been one full week since the new season has begun.  I miss it, but not as much as you might think I would.  I had the opportunity to be on the hiring committee and sit in on the interviews for the coaching job.  I am SO happy with the person that was hired as the new coach.  It has been such an awesome transition.  She is a young coach, fresh out of college, but she is also a new teacher at the high school.  This has been a best case scenario for me.  (I will call her New Coach)

New Coach and I have met several times and I have had the opportunity to directly hand over supplies, school records, and stats.  I have been able to tell her about the girls and she has asked for my advice on things.  I want her to be able to take over the program and feel that it is hers without me stepping on her toes, but I also want to continue being involved.  I wasn't sure I would be able to get that connection with a new coach, but with this gal, I have.  I have complete faith in New Coach taking over the program and it is such a huge sigh of relief that we can work together, with me taking a very back seat position.

I can't wait to take the babies to watch the team play.  I plan to attend all the home games that I possible can.  As long as the weather allows, I will load the babies in the stroller and we will walk to the games.

For the first time in 26 years, I am not on the field as a player or coach, but it is for the best reason in the world.  I now have two little ones of my own.  I figure that in about 6 or 7 years or so, Tony and I will probably venture into the coaching scene again.  We've never coached t-ball, but I have a feeling we will love it!