Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Merry Christmas to all this beautiful Christmas day in 2010. This was a very special Christmas in the Stansel household. This is the first Christmas for Haley and Rachel to celebrate at home with mom and dad and family.  We celebrated Christmas in Austin with both sides of our families.  We enjoyed spending time with family, eating good food and celebrating Christmas together as a family.  Although we know the girls are a little young to understand all that was going on, they seemed to enjoy this Christmas day. They loved opening their Christmas presents with help from Grandma Benedict and mommy. I still don't know what they liked more the presents or the wrapping paper and bows, either way they were going in the mouth. It was very special to Thomas and I to just have them with us at home this Christmas day. They bring much joy and happiness to our home. We love and cherish them so very much. We are so grateful this Christmas season to have the most beautiful little girls with us to celebrate this sacred season. Most importantly we are grateful to our Heavenly Father for his Holy Son Jesus Christ. Without Christ there would be no Christmas, and without Christ there can be no fullness of joy.That knowledge alone brings the greatest comfort to me and my family. We declare to the World that Jesus Christ is indeed the first born of our Heavenly Father in the Spirit, and that this Jesus, the Christmas child, condescended to come to earth from the realms of His Eternal Father, here to work among men as healer and teacher, our Great Exemplar. And further, and most important, He suffered on Calvary’s cross as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind. At this time of Christmas, this season when gifts are given, let us not forget that God gave His Son, and His Son gave His life, that each of us might have the gift of eternal life.  Merry Christmas!

In front of our Christmas tree before we went to Austin

Here are pictures of the girls opening up their gifts.  They loved the bows and paper!

They like the curly ribbon

Rachel eating the paper

Haley likes her toy and Rachel likes the bow

Playing with the paper

They got a telephone

Haley playing with the telephone


Daddy holding Rachel.  She's so happy!

My parents, Thomas, me, the girls and my brother and his wife and kids

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Pictures

We had Christmas pictures taken 2 weeks ago and we used some of those pictures to make our Christmas card this year.  We want to share our Christmas card and Christmas pictures with all our readers.  We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

Santa Babies

Haley and Rachel so cute together



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Visit with Santa

The girls got to sit on Santa's lap for the first time today.  We found Santa at REI (outdoor sports store) and had the opportunity to take a picture with Haley and Rachel on his lap.  I was so surprised that they didn't seem to mind Santa at all.  I thought that at least Rachel would get upset and cry, but she didn't.  When I was about their age many years ago, I got upset on Santa's lap.  I'm so proud of them.  They did so good.  It's so wonderful to have the girls home with us this Christmas. 

Haley and Rachel with Santa

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Good Stuff

The girls were able to spend a little time with Grandma and Grandpa Stansel this evening as they have finished their year and a half church mission in New Orleans. Grandma and Grandpa were on there way home to Austin today and stopped in for a little while to see the girls. It was good to see Grandma and Grandpa Stansel. We love them and are so glad they are home. 
Rachel and Haley also had their monthly Synagis Shots today to help protect them from RSV. They will get these shots each month until the RSV season ends.  Poor girls have to endure those shots for another 3-4 months, but they are worth it to protect them.
Both Rachel and Haley surprised us today.  Our new OT got Rachel to drink 1/2 an ounce of formula from the bottle.  This is a great accomplishment for her as she has not drank from a bottle since February 2010.  It doesn't seem like much, but its great for her.  Haley also surprised us when she drank 9oz of formula at her 7pm feeding.  She has not drank that much for us before.  Way to go Rachel and Haley!  They are really making good progress with the help from the OT.  
I love the new Christmas tree ornament I received in the mail today.  I found this six peas in the pod ornament in a catalog and was excited to get it with all our sextuplets names on it.  Our Christmas tree has many ornaments on it remembering all our children.

Here are some random pictures of the girls we have taken the past couple of days.  We just can't take enough pictures.

Rachel in her cute polka dot outfit

Haley loves touching her feet
Sleepy Haley.  She loves her little blankets.

Sleepy Rachel

Saturday, December 4, 2010

16 months old!

Today the girls are 16 months old chronologically.  They have also made it to 1 year adjusted for their prematurity.  Again we express our gratitude for being able to love and raise Rachel and Haley.  They have come a long way seeing how early they were born and how little they were when they were born.  Being born at almost 23 weeks, the odds were against them, but they beat the odds and are here with us today.  What miracles and blessings they are! 

At 16 months old, Rachel is 18 pounds and Haley is 15 1/2 pounds.  They are small for their age, but continue to grow and make progress.  

At a church Christmas activity (12/4/2010)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's December...Christmas is coming

It's December and Christmas is almost here.  Our Christmas tree is up and all decorated.  It seems like yesterday we were celebrating the girls first Christmas.  We are happy to celebrate having Rachel and Haley home with us for their second Christmas, but their first one at home.  It will be so much fun to watch them Christmas morning tearing up the wrapping paper on their gifts.  Along with the Christmas excitement building we are also excited with the new occupational therapy Rachel and Haley are getting.  As mentioned before, Rachel is aversive to eating foods by mouth and therefore is fed through her g-tube.  We got an answer to our prayers when an occupational therapist was recommended to us that specializes in feeding issues like Rachel's.  The occupational therapist just started seeing the girls and they are already making some progress.  The OT comes to our house everyday and has both Rachel and Haley on an intensive sensory diet.  This sensory diet is all about sensory input and we have to give them specific sensory input every 2 hours.  The girls missed out on a lot of natural steps/sensory input while they were in the NICU and that is what has caused some of the feeding issues with Rachel.  Haley will also benefit from this sensory diet to help channel some of her feisty energy.  We are so thrilled to have this OT help us with getting Rachel to eat.  It will be great to see her eat and progress in that area. This Christmas Season we are so eternally grateful for our precious girls. They have filled our home with such tremendous joy and happiness. We are so thankful to all who have helped our girls progress and become much stronger. 

Our Christmas Tree

Rachel in the jumper.  She used to not like being in it, but now she likes it.
Rachel playing amongst a lot of toys.  Our living room is filled with toys.
Haley playing
Haley playing with her lighted vibrating ball