Sunday, March 28, 2010

Never a dull moment

Another week with the girls has flown by so fast. We have had such a blast with our little girls. They definitely keep us both on our toes. There seems to be no dull moments in the Stansel household. We stay busy everyday, but have gotten into a good routine. Rachel and Haley are getting bigger everyday. They have come a long way on their length and weight gain, though not enough. After their last pediatrician visit last Friday, it appears they are not gaining enough weight and Haley is not growing lengthwise enough. You wouldn't think this by looking at them with all their rolls. So to help increase their rate of weight gain we are going up on their formula intake. I have been increasing their formula volume and they seem to be tolerating the increase so far. I hope this helps them gain the weight better and Haley will grow lengthwise better as well. Rachel seems to be more alert each and every day. She constantly smiles and loves to kick her legs and throw her arms in the air. It seems she has discovered her hands because she likes looking at them. It's cute to watch her do some of the things she does. Haley seems to be more alert and aware of things as well. She is such a strong little girl. When we stand her up and let her feet touch the ground, she pushes her feet against the ground and stands up with our assistance. She is definitely a mover and a shaker. She is constantly moving her legs and arms well. One thing we seem to have noticed is that she is responding to bright lights. We were worried that she wouldn't be able to see light, but it appears she can. I guess time will only tell on what she can and can't see. When she is able to communicate with us we will definitely know what she sees and doesn't see. Both Haley and Rachel are "talking" more and more. It's not quiet in our home. We love to hear their little voices when they "talk". We are so thankful for both these girls. They are our whole world. We love to be around them and to play with them. They are just such precious little girls. We have been so blessed as well with a great church and Ward. We have had so many sisters come and help me during the day while Thomas is at work. We are also so grateful for all the wonderful meals brought to our home. We love and appreciate all those who have served our family.

Feeding Haley

Rachel enjoying her ball

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Time seems to be flying by since our beautiful little girls have been home with us. We can't believe it has already been a month since the girls have both been home together. We just love having them home with us. They bring us so much joy and happiness. They both seem to be progressing nicely. I am amazed with their progression to this point. They both seem to control their heads much better. They both love their fingers. They suck on them like there is no tomorrow. They both seem to move their arms and legs really well, especially Haley who had the grade 4 head bleed. We know the girls have a lot of therapy (physical and occupational) ahead of them, but we are doing all we can to help the girls. We try to do daily exercises with them to help with their range of movement and to help strengthen their muscles. We do not know what lies ahead for our girls in regards to their physical and neurological challenges, but we do know we will except what ever it may be. The Lord has blessed us so very much. We have our two beautiful girls who mean the world to us. We know the Lord has watched over them and will continue to do so; For these are his daughters and we are accountable to him as to what we do with the responsibilities and privileges He has given to Thomas and I to raise these little girls. Both girls have their own unique personality, they are different from each other, but yet they are so alike in some ways. We are enjoying the journey as parents. We will continue to strive to do all we can to help our girls develop and grow. One thing they both will always know is who they are and where they came from. They will know that they are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, who sent them to mortality to not only gain a body but to gain experience, knowledge, and testimonies of a living Heavenly Father and of his Son Jesus Christ. To whom we owe all for their matchless love to us and to our little Rachel and Haley.

Here are some pictures of my attempt at a photo shoot with both girls together dressed in pretty pink dresses. As you can see it didn't go well. Little Haley was upset. The individual pictures of the girls turned out better.


Rachel loving those fingers

Rachel not wanting to look at the camera


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Learning and growing

This week has been fairly quiet. We only had one appointment. Haley had a repeat ultrasound on her left arm to check to see if the partial clot had dissolved after she had been on the Lovenox shots for 6 weeks. We are so happy with the results. The clot is gone and Haley no longer needs the Lovenox shots! We think Haley is happy as well as she is starting to smile a little more everyday. She is also responding better to sound. She loves the radio in the car whenever we travel to appointments. I can't believe how fast time has flown by. Haley has been home from the NICU for over a month now.

Haley peacefully sleeping. Haley has been sleeping well at night.

Rachel is doing well. She is doing better everyday with following us and toys with her eyes. She loves to look at her self in her mirror and loves her toys. She smiles more and more each day. Rachel has now been home from the NICU for 3 weeks.

Rachel napping in her bouncy chair. Rachel also sleeps well at night.

The girls never cease to amaze me with the new little things they do each day. We love them being at home and watching them grow and learn. They seem to have adjusted well at home.

The girls look so cute holding on to their pacifiers which are taped to a rolled up cloth diaper. We learned this trick from the NICU. Both girls have learned to hold on to them. We don't have to chase pacifiers as much now.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The girls the past week

The week has come and gone. Time passes by so quickly since we stay busy. The girls are doing really well. We are excited and happy with their progress at home. We are sorry we have not posted lately. Our Internet went down and we just got it repaired.

The girls had a fun week. They got to spend another week with grandma who stayed with us. They love her and will miss her when she goes back to Austin. They went on their first ride around the block in our neighborhood in the double stroller. I like to call the double stroller the "bus" since it is so big and heavy. Its good though to get them around in.

Rachel has had good week. Rachel is progressing. She loves toys that light up and make sound. She loves to be in her bouncer with the lights and sound going. Every time you turn it on she gets this big smile on her face. She is observant and loves to look around at what is going on around her. Rachel is growing. She is now over 12lbs. She is such a beautiful girl. We just love and cherish every minute we have with her. Rachel had a few favorite nurses in the NICU, one named Cathleen. We hope to have her over for dinner one night to reunite with Rachel. She loves Rachel, she just connected with her so well. We are grateful to her and all the medical personnel who helped our girls along in the NICU.

Rachel trying on her Eskimo hat. I was curious how this hat would look on her - too cute. Its too warm in Texas to wear this hat now.

Rachel smiling as she watches her toy light up.

Little Haley continues to make progress in ways and still needs some work in other ways. That is why we have many different people coming to help her like physical therapy, occupational therapy and ECI. She is a little behind Rachel in her weight. She is pushing 11lbs. The pediatrician suggested we increase her calories so we did. Haley is such a lovable little girl. She loves to be held and rocked. She usually is as content as can be when she is being held. We adore her and love her very much as we do Rachel.

Haley sitting up in the Bumbo chair. She is gaining some head control.

Haley without her glasses on.

Friday, March 5, 2010

7 Months Old

The past week has been extremely busy. The girls have been having fun with grandma visiting and helping out. The girls are loving grandma being here. Grandma spoils them and holds them a lot. The girls have also had doctors appointments nearly everyday of the week. We feel like we keep the different specialists in business with how many times we will be in each of their offices probably the next year or so. It has been such a joy to have the girls in our home. They are growing fast and are now 7 months old.

Haley and Rachel

Haley has had a good week. She continues to grow like a weed. Haley weighs 10lbs 11oz. She is such a little chunk, I love to just kiss all over her chunky cheeks. She has had a doctors appointment everyday this week except Monday. She seems to be coming along slowly but surely. We have occupationally therapist coming to our home to work with her, as well as physical therapy. She is such a strong little girl. We just love and adore her so very much. One thing about Haley is she will always let you know what is on her mind.

Grandma holding Haley

Rachel also had a good week. She is growing as well. Her weight today at the pediatricians office was 11 lbs 11oz. Rachel loves to just sit in her bouncer and look around. Her lungs are continuing to heal. Her lungs probably will take years to completely recover. She is on medications (inhalers) to help her lungs heal. Rachel continues to be a sweet little girl. She is full of life and so alert. She loves to look in the mirror. When she sees herself she smiles. We are so glad that she is home with us.


We truly love both our girls more than words can express. I am happy to be a stay at home mom. My new job at home is very busy, but very rewarding. It has been so much fun having them home with us. It has been pretty tiring as well, but it has been worth it all. We look forward to seeing them grow, learn and develop. They have already made progress since being at home.