Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Little GRADUATE!

7 head molds and 8 helmets later we said good bye to Cranial Technologies forever! All four were "diagnosed" with moderate to severe (severe being Brody) positional plagiocephaly in July of 09. Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin graduated out of their DOC bands back in November and yesterday was Brody's long awaited BIG day! Most babies wear their bands from 4-8weeks.... Brody sported his for nearly a year. Poor dude broke records with his and has worn it more than half of his life! Brody has a total of four molds that we were able to keep. It's amazing to hold and literally feel in your hands what his head WAS like and what it IS like today - huge difference!
My Big Man with his Certificate! Congrats Brody!
When Brody grew out of his last helmet we questioned whether or not to do another. His head surely needed it, but the question was is his head still moldable enough for the helmet to help. We thought the helmet could only help and it was (thank God) covered 100% by insurance so we went for it - helmet number 5. Just weeks after he got the new band we went on our vacation to Kentucky. While there we spent A LOT of time outside in the blistering heat therefore Brody didn't wear the DOC band. Once we got home we put it on him and within minutes he had figured out how to take the dang thing off. After many attempts at making him wear it we came to the conclusion that it was time to throw in the towel... Brody's DOC days were over.

Below are some images of Brody at the beginning of his DOC band journey (on the left) compared to this week at his final appointment. Although his head isn't anywhere near perfect it is MUCH MUCH MUCH better! (Ignore the random finger. Brody had torticollis as well making it nearly impossible to hold his head straight.)


In the pic below if you look to the bottom left of his head, you can see his shunt. The shadowed part on the right side of his head was significantly flat and caved in which now looks much better!
and a view from the top!

When the others graduated I got a sweet little group picture of them sitting together with there certificates... THIS was all I got this time around... ridiculous man! We tried and tried and tried again to get them to stay still and it just didn't happen!

Our last goodbyes to our friends at Cranial Technologies. Baxlyn leading the pack with a big wave!
Thanks to all of the staff and therapists for taking such good care of our babies over the past year! We GREATLY appreciate everything you did for us!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

1 Hungry Set of Quads and 1 Brave Momma!

After seeing the above picture, I know you already know where this is going...

Spoon Feeding. I've been trying to avoid it but know that eventually I have to teach them. With encouragement from their therapists I put aside the clean freak in me and gave it a whirl... and holy chef boyardee... IT. WAS. A. MESS.

Baxlyn was the only one who KNEW what the point was and did her very best to come through. I'm tellin ya this girl is a perfectionist and likes things to be done the proper way. Poor girl would work SO SO SO hard to get a noodle on her "spork" only to have it fall off if it even got on at all. (please ignore her gigantic snot bubble. they're impossible to get rid of the past few days)
If one way didn't work. No problem, she would put her fork in her other hand and give it another whirl...
...and when that didn't work she would turn the fork around and try the other end.
75% of the time it just didn't work out like she had planned and she'd pick it up and eat it like the others. "A" for effort baby girl, you did your best!
The others... a completely different story. Noodles flyin', sauce slippin', bowls slidin' everywhere!


Can't I spoon feed them forever please?

Friday, August 20, 2010

18 Month Check Up & Scottish Rite

We took Kylee for her long time waiting appointment at Scottish Rite Hospital this week. Upon arriving I thought of the many times we have taken Brody to Children's. The view from the parking lot was filled with bright colors, huge crayon sculptures, and a massive playground open to their patients - a child's dream! As we walked through through the door we were welcomed with friendly smiles and the staff greeted Kylee with a stuffed animal she could take home. The hospital itself was incredible, almost like one huge museum for children with gigantic kaleidoscopes, toys and activities to do everywhere!

Kylee playing in her exam room while waiting for the staff!

Kylee was seen by a nurse practionioner, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist and an Orthopedist... all which had different things to say about Kylee's braces. There are sometimes conflicting issues and opinions between the medical professionals and therapists Kylee sees on a regular basis that leave me, as a mother, torn on what to do for her, treatment wise. I was hoping the team at Scottish Rite could give me a clear black and white answer on what's best for her since they do specialize in orthotics, but unfortunately I didn't get that and it looks like it's a "time will tell" type of thing. The Orthopedist explained her braces are a "temporary assist" and that the problem with her feet turning outward is a neurological issue (which we knew). The braces will not prevent or solve a problem but will "help function".We will hope that she will "neurologically mature" and that her feet will naturally fall into a more normal position. If not, there are things we can look at in the future if needed like surgery, botox or other types of orthotics. For the time being Kylee can wear her braces when needed or when doing things in which the braces help her. Overall our visit to Scottish Rite was great and I'm extremely thankful she was accepted! For now, we wait and pray time will reveal what's best.


After her appointment she, Bret & I went to lunch at Chili's...

where Kylee evidently saw the biggest fry she had ever seen in her life...

We also had the babies' 18 month well check up this week! Other than the boys breaking the bottom drawer, emptying out the drawers, clearing the toy box from the bottom of the exam table and almost pulling the blinds from their hinges, the babies were on fabulous behaivior! They each got their Hep A shot and Korbin was the only one to cry (and just a tad at that)!

My little champ after his shot!

Here are their 18 month stats:


Brody:

24lbs (23rd percentile)

30 3/4 inches (10th percentile)

18in head circumference (5th percentile)

Baxlyn:

21lbs 12oz (13th percentile)

30 3/4 inches (23rd percentile)

17 1/4in head circ. (not yet on the chart but no concerns)

Kylee:

21lbs 9oz - YES Baxlyn is a tad bit bigger! (12th percentile)

31 3/4 inches (36th percentile)

17 1/4 head circ. (not yet on the chart and not maintaining her personal growth curve)
*I had mentioned a while back about Kylee's head not growing like it should. The doctors are getting more concerned and are in the process of ordering and MRI and other testing for Kylee to try to find out what's going on. Please pray we find answers quickly so we can help our sweet baby girl thrive like her brothers and sister!*


Korbin:

23lbs 13oz ALMOST caught Brody! (22nd percentile)

32inches (39th percentile)

18 1/4 head circ. (13th percentile)


Developmentally Korbin and Baxlyn are goind well but lag behind a bit in speech. Brody and Kylee are still trying to catch up and measured up to 11months and under. Will will be adding a speech therapist for Brody and Kylee as well as an OT for Kylee. We're told over and over that "2" is the magic age that preemies generally catch up... at the rate we're going im not sure if "2" is our magic number but nonetheless I know they will continue to thrive and be just fine! PLEASE continue to keep our sweet babies in your prayers!

Thanks, Bret & Heather

Monday, August 16, 2010

18 Months!!!!

Really? Already? It's so hard to believe the babies are already 18 months old. It seems time has been slipping through my fingers since they were born at an early 28weeks gestation. I remember when they were two weeks old saying "OH MY GOSH, THEY'RE ALREADY TWO WEEKS OLD!!!!" Now here we are in our early days of, dare I say it.... toddler hood! Forgive me if I continue to call them my "babies" until they're 30 please.

In what was supposed to be their birth order - Brody Baxlyn Korbin & Kylee
"Soo.... where do we stand at 18 months you ask???"
"Let's start with me, Brody, shall we?! I'm not walking yet but I am a professional crawler. I can walk a few steps slowly behind a walker. I love to growl and snort. I love to play chase with my mommy. I get really excited when someone throws a big blanket or sheet over my head and lifts it up again! I have 6 teeth and can sport a mohawk like no other. I love my Mickey mouse more than I love food. When Mommy opens the lid to the box so I can pick my own cookie, I take a very long time. After snorting with excitement and looking at each one VERY closely I slowly put both of my hands in the container to try to take two, hoping she won't notice. I can say "please" and "more" in sign language. Although I'm not talking yet I do like to imitate words like "Mama. Dada. Bop Bop & Baba". I am really close to saying "Uh-Oh" but the "Oh" part is a little hard for me to learn. I love to clap my hands & dance. I can show you where my bellybutton, nose & hair is. I currently wear a size 4/5 shoe. Mommy guesses I weigh about 23.5lbs but we will find out for sure when I go see Dr. Reyes this week. I have been doing really well in therapy and cooperate most of the time. My therapist and developmental pediatrician both agree I would benefit from braces similar to what Kylee has. The doctors will be working on getting me into Scottish Rite soon, along with Kylee."


"Baxlyn here! I'm for sure the hardest for Mommy & Daddy to keep up with these days. I like to wander off on my own and when you call my name to come back I run further away. I love to climb and balance on things like the couch, the slide, even small things like a wipe box or tiny container. Won't be long and I'll have these baby gates figured out too! I LOVE to help others, especially my brothers and sister. If Brody is across the room and his Mickey is on the other side, I reunite them as fast as I possible can. I also like to make sure Korbin has his Monkey and Kylee has a blanket too. My favorite things lately are blankets, not any certain one, just any random blanket. I am starting to talk and learn new things. I can say "Ball. Lala. Dada. Uh-Oh. NO! Heh-low. Mama. Mimi. Bop Bop. Row Row. Up & Down." I can say "Please. More. & Jesus" in sign language. I can point to my nose, eyes, tongue, hair, head, bellybutton & teeth for you. If you'd like me to, I can point to all of yours too! I currently wear a size 2-4 shoe (depending on the brand). My hair is slowly growing, Daddy even put it in a ponytail when we were in Kentucky. Mommy quickly took it out when someone mentioned it looking more like a stinger than a ponytail :( I have 4 beautiful teeth and I love to brush them everyday! I am for sure a water baby. I love to take baths and could be in the swimming pool all day long! Mommy assumes I have finally hit the 20lb mark maybe even 21!"


"Cool-Dude-Korbin here! That's right, I was supposed to be born 3rd BUT Kylee had other plans and made her way into Dr. Leveno's hands before I could, therefore I am "Baby D". I am still pretty easy going and am very similar to Baxlyn in a lot of ways. I see her do things and I quickly follow. I too, have learned to climb on the couch and love the slide. Mommy will be the first to tell you I am all boy! My number one nasty boy moment was when Mommy caught me sucking my pee out of the carpet in front of me after a bath and then finding a dead roach and chewing on it just moments later - yes that's right I AM GROSS! I have a tendency to randomly fall sometimes hitting my head on the corner of a wall or on the hard floor leaving bruises for the world to see. I still love my monkey, especially at night. My 3rd and 4th tooth are making their way in so I can eat more meat like Daddy! I too like imitating sounds like "Mama. Bop Bop. Dada & Lala". Although I really enjoy the bathtub, I am not a fan of swimming. I really love my Mommy lately and love to go up when she's not expecting it to hug her, it melts her heart :] I love to dance to the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song and the Hot Dog song. I enjoy going to The Little Gym on Saturdays with Mommy & Daddy and the other babies, it gives me a chance to roam, explore and be independent. I like animals but get very nervous if they get too close to me."


"Last but not least, Kylee! Big news for me - I learned how to CRAWL this week!!!!!!! WOOO HOOOO!!!! I have been so close for so long and a week ago today it clicked and I have been crawling ever since! I am getting much better at balancing and think it's really fun to stand and let go of Mommy & Daddy. I can clap my hands and point to my eyes, nose, hair, head and belly button. I'm not quite talking or imitating just yet. I like to babble sometimes and my favorite word is "Eeesshh?". I am one of the biggest Daddy's girls you will ever see and I shriek LOUD when I see him! I am overall a very happy girl, easily amused, love to giggle and you rarely will see me without a smile on my face! Mommy thinks I am a BIG sweetheart. I still struggle with this dang reflux so the doctor put me back on formula to give my digestive system a little more time to mature. I am in the lead, teeth-wise with 7! Korbin & I are usually neck and neck as far as weight goes and Mommy guesses we're both around 22-23pounds!"



Happy 18 months babies, we are SO proud of you!
-Mommy & Daddy

Monday, August 9, 2010

Kentucky 2010


Well we're home from a very successful family vacation to Kentucky! Most of Bret's family lives there and we missed our annual trip last year due to the babies just coming home from the hospital. I was so excited to go and let most of them see the babies for the first time, but in all honesty I expected the worst. I was worried about the 14hour overnight drive with the babies, the new environment they would be in, having them sleep in something other than their cribs, scheduling..etc. To my surprise the babies were, for lack of better words, THE FREAKIN' BOMB! I seriously have to brag on how good they were, it was almost too good to be true. I kept asking Bret how we were blessed with such awesome little beings!



Bill & Anita (Bret's parents) left for Kentucky a few hours before we did and had more than enough room to take our 5-car choo choo wagon, the stroller and it's accessories, 4 pack and plays, 4 booster seats, a huge basket of toys, baby bedding, food, diapers and much much more. Without them, we would have had to rent one MEGA uhaul, so thank you Mamaw & Papaw! To make the looonng ride down their easier for the babies we turned their car seats forward facing to they would have a new new view on things AND stocked up on lots of videos that they could watch on the DVD player, again very new to the babies. They ended up sleeping 90% of the trip and didn't get out of their seats once. As we arrived I breathed a sigh of relief and thought to myself "ok we lucked out on the trip.... now for the hotel."


Forward Facin' & Kentucky Bound!!!

We had made reservations at a nearby hotel a couple of months ago and Bret told them "We need the BIGGEST room you have in the place, we're bringing 4 babies". I think I asked Bret a hundred times on the way there if he had warned them we had quadruplets! Like I said, expecting the worst. I had in the back of my mind that the hotel would be completely booked and we would have a small (average) sized room available to us or that their "big" room wasn't big at all. Again to my surprise the room was P E R F E C T! No joke, the babies had more room to roam inside that hotel room than they do here at home! We transformed the huge living area in a nursery with a wall lined with the 4 pack and plays for the babies to sleep in. The 2 beds in the room were around the corner in a whole little area of their own making us out of sight from the babies. The bathroom, good gosh, the bathroom was the size of a bedroom and easily stored our stroller and still had plenty of roaming room. It was great bathing the babies without having to squeeze between a toilet and tub! Although the babies were good, lets face it, there's 4 of them and they were LOUD. You could hear their cries and shrieks of laughter all the way down the hallway. I knew for sure if it was possible to be kicked out of a hotel for loud babies, it would happen to us, but it didn't, no complaints (that I know of!) or anything! Kylee had a rough night the first night, waking up every few hours, but by the second night they acted as if they were at home. They were happy in the pack-n-plays and went to sleep with no problem at all.... again I was shocked! The babies slept each day until 10ish am which was soo nice for Bret and I. Apparently the darkness of the hotel room = keep sleeping to them!



Each day was filled with family, fun and of course, food. The babies got to play with their cousins and meet the newest addition to the Cox family, Ella Rose! There were so many people around at all times, the help was wonderful! Aunt Karen was always the one ready and more than willing to feed the babies at each meal, giving Bret and I the chance to sit and eat ourselves. She was always one step ahead of me when it came to feeding them... I'd turn around and here she'd be comin' with a plate (or 3) of food! By the end of the week Brody would see her coming from a mile away and start snorting and drooling with excitement! She was just one among many who spoiled the babies while we were there, I can't imagine what it will be like as they get older!Throughout the week we had many visitors who have followed our blog from the beginning stop by to meet the babies in person. Thanks again to all of you for your support :]


The babies did so well with being in a new unscheduled world and adapted easily. They got to go swimming several times "floaty-free" thanks to all of the extra hands. As always, they enjoyed their choo choo wagon rides. I don't know what we would do without our choo choo, currently they are discontinued and when you do find one thet are very very expensive, but SOOO worth every penny. I know we put a ton of miles on ours over the past week riding through the feilds and across the creek day after day! Baxlyn learned a new word while we were there, "Heh-Looww"... imagine it in a sweet soft high pitched voice... oh my gosh so sweet! Korbin got to ride a 4 wheeler for the first time too! The babies also enjoyed hamming it up and entertaining everyone. Brody was happy to make anyone smile by doing his "nerd-snort" and Baxlyn has a new extremely-over-dramatic (but sweet) face she makes when you ask her to smile. By the last day we were there, Kylee had picked a cheeser face up herself! You'll see a few of Miss B's cheeser face in the slide show.... trust me, you can't miss it...




We said our long sad goodbyes Saturday night and headed home. As much as I missed our friends and family here, I could have easily stayed another week or two! The drive home went smoothly and Bret was a trooper driving 99.9% of the trip himself. Once home, he and the babies slept for 4 hours straight and I was able to clean, unpack, finish the laundry, & tidy the house. I was worried at how the trip would affect our daily schedule once we got home, but today everything is completely back to normal and we're in our normal routine!


To all you moms out there too afraid to take a road trip with your young kids for fear of...well everything I feared... DO IT! I was surprised in every way at how well they did. A few tips from me to you: 1) Be prepared and don't expect things to be perfect. 2) If they use it at home bring it. If you don't have room, bring a Mamaw & Papaw... just kidding. But really - we brought every blanket and lovey that the babies use at home, their night time lullaby projectors, their choo choo AND stroller...etc. It's worth the pain of loading it to make them feel more at home. *This includes a diaper genie. We didn't bring one and stayed in a hotel room that smelled like one big diaper all week... yum*. 3) Bring new things to keep them occupied in the car. DVD player if you can, light up toys, musical toys...etc. Use their plastic links to attach small toys to their car seat so you're not picking them every 32 seconds (this by the way, doesn't work with a Mickey). 4) Driving at night was the way to go for us so the babies would sleep. I was afraid doing this would completely wipe us out once we arrived, but it didn't. 5) If you have a baby and are able, formula feed. We took formula that way we wouldn't have to worry about having to go buy milk, keeping it cold, heating it up...etc. while in the hotel or on the road. This is what I found worked for us, this year and at this age. Next year may be a completely different story!


Between Jenn and I, I think we have nearly 1000 pictures from the trip! Here's just a few I put together for a slide show. Take time to watch, you'll enjoy I promise! I wasn't able to download music, so hum to yourself while you watch :]




video



Thanks again to everyone in Kentucky for having us and opening up your homes/arms/washer and dryer/fridge and everything else to us! We had a great time and can't wait to come back! Love you all!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

chugga chugga choooooo!

Just choo-choo-in' in from Kentucky to say we're doing good and havin' a great time!
Hope you are all havin' a great week toooooooo!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Road Trip

Call us brave, call us crazy,
but Saturday night we packed up and headed out for our first vacation as a family!
14 LONG hours later we finally reached our destination . . .
Stay tune for more pictures and details!
Special Thanks to our friends who are staying at the house!
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