Thursday, May 31, 2007

4 month checkup

The boys had their 4 month checkup and SHOTS this morning!

Brandon is 11 lbs 7 oz and 23 inches long. He's finally on the growth chart for his actual age. If you go by his adjusted age (they're technically only 2 months old) his percentile would be much higher.

Connor is 14 pounds and 23 1/2 inches long. There's a 2 1/2 pound weight difference between them, but only 1/2 inch in length. That means that Connor really is our fat boy!!! Seriously, he's just a solid baby. If Brandon didn't have all of his previous eating issues, I'm sure he would be closer to Connor in weight. He's also on the growth chart and would be in the 95th percentile if you went by his adjusted age.

We heard Connor REALLY cry for the first time today during his shots. He rarely cries, but when he's serious! Connor calmed down quickly after a cuddle with me, and Brandon did too as soon as Eric cuddled him. Hopefully they will rest for the afternoon and not be too fussy for me. I need a nap!

It's hard to believe that Brandon weighed only 3 lbs 10 oz and Connor weighed only 4 lbs 1 oz just 4 months ago. The time they spent in the NICU is a complete blur now! We are in a really good grove right now. I'm getting plenty of sleep and feel confident about being able to care for them after Eric leaves. Keep us, especially him, in your thoughts over the next 15 months. Even though he's leaving and will most all the boys' "firsts" I'm very thankful he didn't leave in March as originally planned.

I'm currently planning my trip to KY in August. I'm going to interview a couple house/pet sitting services in the area to see if that might be a good thing for Jade and Rena. My very tentative plan is to come to town maybe the second weekend of August, my cousin's wedding the 18th in MN, then spend some time with my sister Annie and my Grandparents, and finally head back to NC the weekend after Labor Day. It all depends on what kind of arrangements I can make for the pups. I'll keep everyone informed as soon as I make some firm plans...especially Mom & Dad, the Hannans, and the IL Trames.

Everyone have a great weekend!

Monday, May 28, 2007


My girlfriend, Trish, came over today so the boys could have a playdate. Playdates for 4 and 5 month old doesn't consist of much, so I guess it was more of a playdate for the moms! The boys were born exactly 4 weeks after Lucas!!! After they were all fed, we strapped them up and took them for a walk.

Here are the boys all locked up and ready to walk! They aren't so sure about those hats!!!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Brandon's Narration

Brandon was in such a good mood last night that he asked us to take pictures of him so he can narrate a story to all of the dedicated blog readers. He narrates each picture UNDER the picture....

HI! My name is Brandon. Mommy just took off my clothes to give me a bath. We went to the brigade picnic today and she put yucky sunscreen on me. She also made me wear this STUPID hat. She thought it made me look cute...but I'm not so sure.

Here's my brother Connor. Mommy also stripped him down for the same reason. You're probably wondering why I'm smiling so big. LOOK AT MY BROTHER'S FAT ROLLS...aren't they hilarious????

Ok..I can't stop laughing at Connor's fat rolls. Mommy and Daddy were laughing pretty hard too. Even though Connor has fat rolls and I don't, I still love him.


All smiles

Connor LOVES the floor gym
Brandon was being really smiley after he ate the other day...yes...I said he was HAPPY after he ate!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tummy time

One of the things the occupational therapist suggested to us was more tummy time for the boys. Reflux babies tend to arch their backs (like a superman fly) to raise their heads. The result of that can be weak tummy muscles which can lead to bad posture when they start to walk. So, I try to do tummy time with them a few times a day. They seem to be the most awake right after they eat.

Here's Connor trying to hold up his big head!!! He usually falls asleep during tummy time, but he did really well this morning. Connor's strong point right now is laughing and responding to different stimuli. If you look in the upper left hand corner of the picture, you can see Rena watching him!
Brandon does SUPER well with tummy time. I think his neck is just a little stronger than Connor's. Brandon is much more active overall than Connor. Each boy has their strong point.
The end result of tummy time. This is what usually happens when they're done on the tummy. Brandon was being fussy yesterday, so I flipped him on his tummy in the Boppy and asleep! Oh yeah, for some reason, Brandon went BALD this past week. He used to have long hair all over his head, but it all fell out except for what's on top. The dr said that was totally normal. It's just weird to see clumps of baby hair on the back of your baby's shirt!!!!

One other really interesting thing we learned at their developmental appointment was that walkers and exersaucers are a no-no. I was planning on getting one of each, but not anymore. Those toys can force incorrect muscle development which could cause problems when they start to walk on their own. On a positive note, I don't have room in our itty bitty house for those big toys anyway! The therapists also said that holding a baby up to let them "pretend stand" on your lap or on the floor is also a no-no. To me, that's a totally normal thing to do! You pull them up by their arms and let them try to stand on you. That's a no-no for the same reason as the walkers and exersaucers. Once the boys start to pull themselves up, it's OK to help them stand on your lap. I don't know how much of these little tidbits apply to just preemies or to all babies. I'm not knocking these toys at all...they are just toys that won't be the best for our boys.

The boys are really starting to smile, coo, and laugh a lot. Sometimes it's hard for me to see how advanced other babies are who are about the same age as the boys. I have to keep telling myself that they are really only 2 months old developmentally because they were born 8 weeks early. Most other 4 month old babies can already hold their heads up with no other support. The boys should be caught up with other babies the same chronologic age as them by the time they are 2. For now, they are developing as if they were born on my due date, and I'm very thankful for that!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

You know you're a new mom when...

You know you're a new mom when you go to Kohls to try on new shirts and after you put your old shirt back on, you notice spit-up all over the left shoulder!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Just an update

The fact that the boys scoot towards each other every night, never gets old! I mean look at their heads...they are SMOOSHED together! We love to look at them after their naps and in the morning...they are SO cute towards each other. I put them on their floor gym together and it looks like they hold hands sometimes. I know they aren't really holding hands, but I like to think they are.

Brandon is doing MUCH better! He still fusses at his 10 pm feeding, but at least it's not ALL feedings. I think he fusses then only because he's tired. We took him off breast milk and the Neosure (preemie high calorie formula) and put him on Enfacare. Enfacare is the Enfamil version of preemie high calorie formula. He used to spew out of his mouth and nose at least every other day, and he hasn't done it since we switched! He rarely spits up at all, eats his normal 4 oz, and seems happy after he's finished. He had a slight ear infection and that looks much better since he's been on the antibiotics. When the nurse weighed him this morning, he gained 6 oz since Friday. He was OBVIOUSLY hungry! Thank goodness for Mother's Instinct!! We're going to add breast milk back in soon and see how he does. I think his problem was a combination of the Neosure and the slight ear infection he had. If we add the breast milk back in and he starts getting mad and throwing up again, then we know the problem is my breast milk. It's good to have a happy baby again...happy baby = happy mommy!

Connor is doing well. Fat and happy!!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Brandon at the doctor AGAIN

As most of you already know, we've been struggling with Brandon and his eating lately. He screams while he eats and therefor doesn't eat as much as he has been eating. At first, I thought he was colicky in the evenings, but now that he's progressed to screaming during every feeding, I knew something else had to be wrong. We went to the pediatrician's office today. I told her everything I've tried, and she said that I've tried everything she would have suggested. So, she is referring me to a pediatric gastroenterologist at Duke. I HOPE HOPE HOPE he can get me in before Eric leaves, but that's a long shot since his normal wait time is about 2 months. In the meantime, he told me to give Brandon 1cc of Maalox before each feeding to try and coat his throat and esophagus while he eats. I've also stopped warming his milk and have started giving it to him cold...he seems to eat a little better. I expressed concern to the dr about dehydration too. There have been 2 days in the last week that he's woken up in the morning with a dry diaper. There's no way his diaper should be dry after 7-8 hours of sleep. I'm also being referred to a speech pathologist to have a swallow study performed on him. Maybe there's something wrong anatomically that can be fixed with a little "therapy." Finally, I switched to Dr. Brown's bottles, and he seems to suck a little better with those. I feel a lot better after his appointment and will push to get an appointment with the Ped. GI guy at Duke very soon! I'm going to play the "single mother and military wife whose husband is deployed" card. I'll update y'all when I get any more info. Right now, both boys are laying on their floor gym smiling and kicking their toys! I love it when babies aren't crying!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The boys are ON TRACK!!!

With Eric being active duty military, we have SOOOOOOO many awesome opportunities and benefits offered to us...usually FREE!! One of those benefits is FREE health care. Womack Army Medical Center has an Early Developmental Clinic that tracks children who may have or do have developmental issues. Since the boys were preemies, they automatically qualify to take part in this program. They will see a speech therapist, audiologist, occupational therapist and physical therapist for the next 18 months, at least. Each boy saw the audiologist, occupational and physical therapists today.

Connor is a FAT BOY weighing in at 12 lbs 8oz, and he passed all of the tests they put his through with flying colors. The only concern for him is that he tends to turn his head to the right more than the left. We have to watch how his head falls when he sleeps and make sure to keep him looking to the left. They don't want his head to get flat and, more importantly, they don't want the muscles in his neck to be stronger on one side than the other. He smiled up a storm and even passed gas on the PT...way to go buddy!!!

Brandon finally tripled his birth weight coming in at a whopping 10 lbs 12 oz. He gained 1/2 pound last week alone!!! Unfortunately, he did not pass his hearing test in his right ear. The audiologist said he has fluid in his ears which is most likely the result of his reflux. He has had a few bad reflux spells the last few days, so I'm not surprised about the fluid issue. He's not deaf, and this is not a cause for concern. I'm going to take him back in 6 weeks to have it rechecked. We'll talk to the pediatrician about it at his 4 month checkup at the end of the month. The OT & PT gave us some awesome insight on his colic. While in the NICU, the nurses really limited the amount of time Brandon was held because holding him burns calories and can overstimulate him. They felt that he's being overstimulated during feeding times and not necessarily colicky. They gave us a few different things to try with him, and so far, they are working. Sight, sounds, and touch and really stress them out, so adjusting HOW we feed him has helped.

According to my due date, the boys are only 1 1/2 months old. Developmentally, they are right on target. Connor is a few steps ahead of Brandon on a few things, such as tracking with his eyes, but Brandon is by no means "behind." I'll take the boys back in mid July for another checkup. This is such an awesome program to be a part of. I'm not trained to catch any developmental issues, so it's nice to have someone watching out for the boys.

On a sad note, Eric is set to deploy on June 7 for the better part of 15 months. I attended a deployment briefing last night and obtained TONS of beneficial information. I'm starting to get just a little nervous about being a single parent, but I have plenty of support around here and I'm sure the boys and I will be just fine. If anyone wants to come out for a visit, let me know!!!
Time to catch a cap nap before their next feeding in 2 hours. They are still sleeping through the night, so please keep your fingers crossed that it will continue!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Visit from the PA Grandparents

Eric's sister graduated from dental hygiene school this weekend in Goldsboro, NC which is only about 2 hours away. We packed up the boys and headed up there on Friday for the boys' first day trip away from home. They did SOOOOO well! I was surprised! On Saturday, Dan and Dorie came to Fayetteville to spend the day with us and the kids. Brandon started out the day dehydrated and throwing up...yay fun! Needless to say, he slept most of the day and I'm pretty sure he's feeling much better now. Pedialyte is a wonderful thing.

Of course Grandparents have to come with gifts...including large stuffed bunnies!!!! As soon as we put Brandon on his, he put his arm behind his head and instantly fell asleep. I'll have to keep that in mind the next time he starts having a bad colicky spell! We left him sleeping on Mr. Bunny for about an hour...once again...we don't wake sleeping babies!!! Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for the clothes, dinner, and the over-stuffed bunnies!!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Their first pictures

Well, we finally made it to the portrait studio to showcase the boys. Eric made an appt at J C Pennys for 12:20. We arrive about 11:45 only to realize they were running about an hour and a half behind. That's worse than the wait at the doctor's office. With two babies, we don't always have a lot of wiggle room when we schedule things. I walked to the other side of the mall to Sears and was able to walk right in! SO, we packed up the boys and made our way over to Sears. Not only was the photographer really nice, but she captured some awesome pictures of the boys as you can see below.

Brandon smiling so cute!
Connor trying to stay awake
Our sweet boys

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Feeding Time

Some of you may be wondering how you feed two babies at once...well here's how!

I would like to KISS the inventor of the Boppy Pillow. When Eric is either sleeping or at work, I feed the boys in their Boppies at the same time to keep them on their schedule. I have a lot of things mastered now...holding them both at the same time, feeding them both at the same time, keeping my patience with a colicky baby, keeping them on their schedule, and managing to still get sleep and the normal household work done. With Eric's 15 month deployment quickly approaching, I'm feeling more and more confident about being a single parent of twins.

A lot of you have asked when is the best time to try and call. The boys go down for their morning nap at about 830 until about feel free to call around 930 or 10. Also, they go down around 3 or 4 for their afternoon 4 or 5 is a good time. We do not wake sleeping babies around here!!!!

Try Again!!!

OK....we're giving you all another chance!!!! Here they are without their hats on. Some of you need to change your answers. Those who know the correct answer because I told you...don't give it away!!!

Sunday, May 6, 2007


Ok, I managed to get both boys to go down for an afternoon nap, so I thought I'd play around with YouTube to try and add some videos to our blog. I actually figured it out...I'm so proud of myself. Scroll down and look at the right side of the blog. You'll see the headline VIDEOS. Be sure to check them out when you get a chance.

A chance to redeem yourselves

Ok...we decided to have more fun with our blog readers!!! Try again to guess who is who!!!!!

It doesn't really matter who is who...because they are both adorable!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The results are in!!!!

I couldn't wait any longer to post the results to the Guess The Danko game. I thought it was interesting that everyone who posted a comment guessed the exact same answers. Well guess what...EVERYONE WAS WRONG!!!!!! The first one was Connor and the second one was Brandon. I can't believe we tricked everybody. We told the boys and here is what they had to say...


WE TRICKED YOU!!!!! The boys are smiling more and more and we love to see it. Brandon is still being colicky in the evening, but I think we're managing it better now. I bought some Gripewater at the organic food store that has Fennel in it. It's supposed to settle their little tummies. We haven't tried it yet, but have it on hand just in case.

Oh the midst of one of Brandon's crying fests, he rolled over in his crib for the first time on Wednesday. He'll roll over from his tummy to his back with no problem whatsoever! He did it 2 more times on Thursday as well. He seems to only do it when he's crying, but it still counts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Can you "Guess the Danko"

Strangers ask us if the boys are identical all the time. They are really surprised when we say NO and then wonder how we can tell them apart. Eric and I can tell just by looking at them!!! They have very different personalities, cries, and size!!! How good are YOU at telling them apart? Leave a comment trying to guess which is which. I'll give everyone about a week or so, then I'll post the answers in another blog post. DO NOT CHEAT and look at comments other people have left. GOOD LUCK!

Oh yeah...I expect PERFECT SCORES from the grandparents, aunt and uncles. hehe

All Smiles

The boys are really starting to smile at us and their toys. Connor was smiling at the home health nurse today and actually laughing at himself! It was SOOO cute. He'll open his mouth really wide, squint his eyes and laugh. I love it when they are in a good mood!!!!! We're still trying to really capture Connor's smile...this isn't the best one, but he's still a cutie pie

Brandon hasn't smiled much lately due to his fussiness. So whenever he does smile, it makes us breathe a sigh of relief. We think his medication for reflux is what's making him fuss. We're weening him off of it to see if he has outgrown the reflux and stops being fussy.

Bath Time

Bath time happens all the time around here. Either they spew on themselves, are fussy and need a bath to calm down, or it's just their bath day. Brandon likes to take showers with me, but when I can't fit that in, he's cool with a good old bath!

Connor fusses as soon as his body hits the water, but then loves it. I LOVE these bath sponges...what an awesome invention. THANKS TO AUDRA for those!

Can't we all just get along????

I make sure to have a little cuddle time with the both boys each day. It usually consists of a nap on the couch! I need the nap and so do they! The LOVE to snuggle...especially Connor.

Here they are really "exploring" each other. I think Connor is trying to steal Brandon's pacifier to make him mad. Brandon has been extremely fussy over the last week and Connor knows that if he pulls out that pacifier, Brandon will definitely cry. A few moments later...he did just that!