Saturday, May 29, 2010

First Trip to Grandma and Grandpa's House

We arrived in Austin Texas yesterday to spend a few days for the long Memorial Day weekend with Grandma and Grandpa Benedict (my parents). This is the girls first trip outside of Houston. It was a pleasant ride most of the way until Rachel got fussy towards the end of the trip since it was her bedtime. Rachel knows when it's bedtime. She is so consistent with her bedtime at 8pm. Next time we travel we will leave in the morning. It took us a while to get out of Houston since it took us a while to pack all the girls stuff plus our stuff. Having not traveled with the girls before we didn't quite expect all the stuff that we needed to bring. We sure did load the van down! We never would have been able to travel anywhere without the van. Good thing we got it. The girls things alone took almost all the space. We made it safe and sound and now are enjoying being with Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles and lots of cousins. The girls seem to love all the attention they are getting here in Austin. They have eight cousins who had never seen the girls. They have kept the girls entertained for the most part. This is our first trip back to Austin since the funeral of our little Ashlyn 7 months ago. We plan to go and spend a little time at the gravesides of our precious children. It will be the first time the girls will visit their siblings graveside. I know Rachel and Haley are too young to understand, but with time they will and they will always have a special connection with them even it they are not here on this earth.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Haley rolled over!

This has been a long awaited day, our little Haley rolled over on her own for the first time this evening. This is a huge step for her since she has a history of a grade 4 brain bleed at birth. We always have worried about how she would do physically, but it looks like she is doing great so far.

Unfortunately I didn't have the video camera ready so I didn't get it on video, but I will be ready for it next time and will post it when we get it. We did get a picture of her on her belly after she rolled.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Joined the minivan club

We finally found a vehicle that will meet our needs with the girls and yes its a minivan. I have to say it was hard to let go of my Nissan Altima, but it was just not big enough for the two girls, the double stroller and their other stuff. We know that we have to move onto that next stage in life. We broke down and bought the minivan. It definitely has much more space for the girls. Now we can go visit Grandma in Austin.

The Minivan

The Girls in the van

The girls both had a really good week. Rachel had a renal ultrasound last week to follow up on her renal calcinosis (The buildup of calcium deposits in the kidney). The ultrasound revealed nothing new and her kidneys looked normal. We were extremely happy with this news. Haley and Rachel are such beautiful little girls, they both are getting so big. Before we know it they will be talking and walking.

Rachel and Haley together

Haley playing

Rachel playing

This is Rachel with her nasal cannula in her mouth instead of in her nose. She has been doing this a lot lately. Obviously she is as ready as me to get those off.

Rachel and Haley playing under the play gym

Daddy talking to Rachel on mommy's cell phone. She is set - cell phone, pacifier and favorite toy all in reach.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My First Mother's Day

What a special day for me. A day I thought would never come - my first Mother's day. Mother's day will always be a special day for me. A day that I have longed for. It has been challenging the past few years to get to this point, but I am here and am eternally grateful for my precious Haley and Rachel as well as my angels who have passed on and now anxiously await the day we will be reunited as an eternal family. Rachel and Haley are everything to me and they are the light of my life. I couldn't of asked for better little girls. Being a mom is so wonderful. It's amazing to get the opportunity to watch my children grow, learn and become themselves under my care and love. To see them smile just melts my heart. To hear them "talk" makes me smile. All the little things they do reminds me of how special they are. There is nothing better than being their mom.

The girls had another busy week with doctor's appointments. We saw the pulmonologist who said Rachel's lungs sound clear after her pneumonia and Haley's pulmonary hypertension is resolving (50% better). The girls also got a good report after seeing the pediatric neurologist Dr. Carlos Rivera. The interesting thing about Dr. Rivera is that he is married to one of the Neonatologists at Woman's who took care of Haley and Rachel. We liked her. She was always so informative and explained things very well to us. Dr. Rivera told us at our appointment, after examining them that they looked great and their chances of cerebral palsy are very low. We were so excited when we heard this. Both Rachel and Haley are active and move well. They are still behind in their development, but that is to be expected with their extreme prematurity. They continue to get therapy and make progress with ECI. Haley saw the ENT doctor for her hearing loss and unfortunately her ear canals are too small for tubes. The doctor will look at her again in 3 months and go from there. On this Mothers Day I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for the privilege He has given me to be a Mother. It is a sacred honor. I hope and pray each day I will be the mother that Heavenly Father expects me to be. I am eternally gratefully also on this Mothers Day for my mother. She has always been there for me when I have needed her. She is such an amazing woman. I love and admire her very much. Happy Mother's day to all mom's out there.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Happy 9 Months Girls

The girls are 9 months old today. It is hard to believe 9 months ago today they arrived in this world. It almost feels like yesterday that they were born. I am so grateful I am able to be at home as a full time Mother with my girls to watch and help them develop and grow each day. They bring so much happiness and joy to Thomas and I. We adore Haley and Rachel more than worlds can express. We love and cherish their precious little lives. We thank Heavenly Father every morning and night for their beautiful little Spirits that bring our home that much closer to Him.

Rachel is such a calm and beautiful little girl. Rachel has become our "talker". She has discovered her voice lately. She wakes us up in the middle of the night or in the early morning "talking". She can get loud. I sometimes think the neighbors can hear her when she talks. It's so cute to just listen to her even if it does wake us up. She is just a well behaved little girl. I think she takes after her mommy. She continues to make progress with ECI. She has gotten so much better with her head control and is rolling from her back to her side. We are proud of the progress she has made thus far. We know she has a long way to go, but we know with the Lords help she will get there. We absolutely love her very much.


Rachel Talking

Haley is such a fiesty little thing. She is definitely a Stansel through and through. Haley has discovered her glasses as of late. She constantly pulls them off her face. She either doesn't like them anymore or she has finally discovered them. Haley is not one to sit still for very long. She is just like her daddy. Haley has definitely gotten so much better with bottle feeding. She has really progressed and is taking 3oz or more with almost all her bottles during the day. She loves the bottle and reminds us that its time to eat before its her scheduled feeding time. She can get very inpatient for it. She is extremely good about letting us know what she wants. Haley is such a precious little girl. We love and cherish her as well.

Haley pulling her glasses off her face.

Haley Talking