Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Introducing… 5 Little Fish!

Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin had a great birthday party (which will be blogged about later this week)! Bret and I, along with Chris and Bethany, had planned all week to take them to one of their favorite restaurants, Shogun, that evening for dinner. What the quads didn’t know was that Daddy had gone the night before and bought a fish tank and that we were going to take them after dinner to pick out their own fish! Needless to say they were thrilled (and slightly confused) when we walked them in to Petsmart and broke the news to them! We asked the employees, who I think were just as excited as we were, to point us to the fish that wouldn’t eat each other and that wouldn’t likely die within a few days. Excuse the blurry pics…

quads fish1  It took Korbin a matter of seconds to pick out the one he wanted…quads fish 7

…while it took a bit lonnngger for the others to choose. It’s an important decision, ya know!

quads fish 4

Once home, we waited (and waited and waited!) for Bret and Chris to put together the stand we bought and then move the tank into place. We all watched while the quads contemplated on what to name their fish. Here they are surrounding Korbin who is proudly holding their new pets in a bag, ready to meet their new home!

quads fish 3

quads fish tnak

Again, excuse the poor quality in pictures. I’ve come to realize the ONLY thing harder to photograph than my five children are their fish.

Introducing “Cliffy”, Kylee’s fish. She chose him because he looks like Chris & Bethie’s dog, George. 

quads fish 5 Next we have both “Al” & “Chicken Hawk”. Al, with the black, is Blade’s fish. Due to a wicked diaper rash, our little man wanted to stay in the upright position as much as possible so we skipped making him sit through dinner and let him stay back with Granny Linda. Chicken Hawk, the solid orange, belongs to Brody! From my own observations, I’d have to say Chicken Hawk is quite an odd fish. There have been multiple occasions when I’ve thought I found him dead, but nope he’s always alive and well….just hanging out at the top of the water…very still…in the corner of the tank…until Bret gently pokes him…

quads fish 6 Korbin’s fish “Fishmo” we’re told is our only female fish. We were also told that she was already pregnant when we bought her. Slightly intrigued and thinking it may be cute to have a couple of baby fish swimming around, I asked the lady just how many baby fish Fishmo would likely have. Her answer? THIRTY to FORTY. I suddenly felt like an amateur when it came to the whole having multiple babies thing! The nice lady assured me that most of her babies would likely be eaten and there wasn’t too much to worry about. Nice. Reluctantly, we still agreed to take her home. She has yet to have any babies but we’re keeping a close eye on her ;)

quads fish 8

Baxlyn went a different route and chose a sucker fish. This was the only fish in which they could not tell us the gender. Baxlyn named it “Wally”! Thanks Wally, for being so still, allowing me to get a decent picture, unlike your other tankmates!

quads fish 2

All five of the kids love to sit and watch them swim around. I won’t lie, I find myself sitting and staring as well. They love to help feed them, although I’ll also admit, the kid in me loves to feed them too! Here’s to hoping they stay with us for a while before umm… going to Heaven :)

Stay tuned – Birthday Party, 5 Year Stats & TEE BALL!!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday Cox Quads!!!!

Five years ago four little lives were born and our world changed forever :]

Happy FIFTH Birthday Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin!

cox quads 5th birthday

We love you!

-Mommy & Daddy

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A letter to our NICU family…

 To the Medical Center of Plano NICU staff,

Five years ago, February 16th 2009, four little lives were born and my world was changed forever. As we approach Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin’s 5th Birthday, the emotions of where we were 5 years ago overwhelm me. I’ve had so many opportunities to thank you over the years and take every chance I get, yet it seems it’s never enough. It will never be enough. Bret and I could never repay you, never express our gratitude and never come close to letting you see how truly thankful we are for your dedication within those walls of the NICU. This letter is just one more attempt to let you know just how much you are appreciated.

After several weeks on bed rest there at the hospital, our sweet babies were born at an early 28 weeks 5 days gestation. Being in our unique situation I thought I was prepared. I was prepared to deliver early, I was prepared for our family to spend a good amount of time in the unit, and I was prepared to walk out of those doors hundreds of times without my babies until they were healthy enough to come home. In reality, I came to learn that nothing can prepare you for such a journey. Next to my faith in Christ, you were the ones to hold me up during the rough times.

I remember a care conference with one of our doctors and being given the option to “discontinue support” on our sickest baby. I went immediately, opened the small windows of his dark Isolette, placed my hands on his fragile body and begged him to fight. I sat there and cried tears as I quietly prayed alone for a miracle. While praying someone came and placed their hands on my back and joined me. To this day I have no idea who that was and it’s not important that I ever do. What matters is that in that moment someone else cared. Someone else, who could also do nothing to heal my child, hurt with me. You took the time, while caring for my babies, to care for me. One of you in particular would always look me in the eye and ask “Heather, how are YOU?”. You made me feel like I mattered. I wasn’t just a number, just a mother, just another person to report to. I was a patient as well who needed unending emotional support. You offered prayers during the hardest of times, you offered kind words to lift my spirits and you gave hugs when words could not be spoken.

Some of my fondest moments in NICU are their first baths, my first time seeing them all lay next to each other all in the same open crib, placing them inside their Easter baskets and standing them in their huge little Converse shoes for pictures. So many fun times I’ll always remember. Whether placing a fake rat next to the nurses desk to scare the one coming our way or helping Bret and I swaddle a fart machine in with one of our babies just to get a hilarious reaction out of Dr. Jain, many of you were always there to make sure there were fun days in the NICU in addition to the hard ones.

Dr. Jain, Dr. Kuforiji & Dr. Lucena, thank you. Thank you for not giving up on my Brody when he gave you EVERY reason to. The little blonde baby who was the picture prefect example of the “wimpy white boy” is now a happy, healthy, thriving, very talkative ray of sunshine to all who come in contact with him. Brody, along with Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin offer us so much joy that we’ll never take for granted. We are so blessed to have each of them with us today and thank God that He used your hands and expertise to care for them during those first few critical weeks.

I’ve never cried as hard and I’ve never laughed as hard as I did in that NICU. I’ve never felt so helpless and never felt so strong as I did in that NICU. Those few short months, that seemed to last an eternity, molded me. The foundation of who I am as a mother today was poured there. Each day while being a “resident” at your “workplace” I was offered encouragement. I was told I was doing a good job and that I would be an incredible mom on my own. Because of you, I left those doors on April 27th, 2009 a confident, strong, new mother ready to take on the world (and it’s many germs!).

I hope that this fresh reminder of how much you are appreciated leads you to walk with pride and your head held higher each and every day. I hope that you know you make a difference and one that will be appreciated by those you help for years and years to come.

Forever (and ever) Grateful,

Heather Cox

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Our Determined Daughter {Kylee Mae}

If you’re a regular follower of our blog, you know that Kylee was diagnosed with Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy at 11 months/8 adjusted. If this is new information, you can learn more history here and here. As we’ve been told by many docs that it would, her conditions are slowly getting worse over time. Her left leg, ankle & foot are our main concerns at this point in time. Kylee’s left foot has always turned inward and unfortunately an AFO (brace) won’t help correct it’s positioning due to her entire leg/hip being involved. Below is a picture of the bottom of her feet to give you a close look. Her left foot is also slightly smaller than her right (very common with Cerebral Palsy) as the bones often develop and grow at different rates. Her left foot fits a size 10 shoe and her right is a 11.5.


More pics to show the inward turn of her left foot…

kb7 newkb4 new

Not only is her foot turning inward more than it has in the past, she is now walking on the outside of her foot as well. It doesn’t seem to bother her at all but it looks awfully painful watching her run and it looks as though her little ankle could snap easily. As she runs, her body tenses up on the left side (arm and leg) causing that foot to turn inward even more. She ends up literally hopping over her left foot with her right.



(Click HERE to see a short clip of her run. Excuse the poor quality.)

Over a long period of time walking & running like this, her condition will likely worsen and could affect her overall posture, balance and spine as well. We recently met with a new neurologist, Dr. Acosta, at Cook Children’s in Fort Worth and plan on doing several more rounds of Botox on both Brody & Kylee, hoping to get deeper into the muscle in order to loosen things up to allow good stretching. Dr. Acosta also strongly believes Kylee has Tibial Torsion which is where the tibia/shinbone is rotated out of position. Kylee has also been referred to an orthopedic surgeon there at Cook Children’s to further discuss the severity of it all and possible treatments for her left foot. Surgery is sometimes an option to help correct a condition like Kylee’s but as always, it comes with risks. I’m trying not to stress the surgery option until we meet with the orthopedist next month.

Overall Kylee has a GREAT attitude and handles having a disability very well. Lately she’s been asking more questions about her left foot, her left hand, why she and Brody have to see so many doctors and why Korbin and B don’t. She sometimes asks why she can’t do certain things that Baxlyn can without falling and why she can’t walk in little princess heels and other cute shoes like Baxlyn. It hurts my heart as these are just some of the beginning realizations she will come to but yet I’m happy she handles it well. Sometimes it’s hard trying to explain such things to a not quite five year old, but I try. I desperately try to find that perfect balance between being honest and open with them about their birth and scaring them into thinking there is something “wrong” with them. I want them to know just how strong they were (and are). I want them to know that God has a plan for them. I want them to know that with determination they can do anything, despite a disability or diagnosis . I want them to understand some day just how PROUD we are of them…and I want them to be proud of themselves as well. For now they can understand that “they were very little and sick when they were born. The nurses and doctors helped them feel better and now lots of doctors try to help make sure they are healthy and strong.”

For the time being, we’ve had Kylee fitted for a new brace. We’re aware that the brace will not help the inward turning of her foot but we are hoping it will help the “rolling” of her foot causing her to walk on the outside of it. This will be Kylee’s 4th brace, the 3rd on her left foot. She’s become a pro at being fitted and it doesn’t bother her a bit these days!

Kylee being fitted for the first time in June of 2010

kylee first braces

 Kylee today :]


After anxiously waiting for a couple of weeks, we went to pick up her new brace yesterday. She was so excited to see how it turned out with the butterfly pattern she chose along with pink straps.


Here she was this morning ready to head off to pre-k and show off her brace. She insisted I roll her pants up so that all of her friends could see – melts my heart. I LOVE that she is proud of her brace and that it doesn’t affect her confidence. I can only pray she can keep that spirit as she continues to grow.


I’ll end by saying as Brody, Baxlyn, Kylee & Korbin get older I find myself questioning how much I should put out there for all the world to see. While I blogged just about everything when they were babies I find myself pulling back just a little now days. One day I know they’ll look back to read all I have written and I don’t want them to feel as if I’ve put their entire lives on display for the world. That being said there are SO many families who can learn from our experiences. I’ve received countless emails from parents who delivered premature babies, found our blog and saw a glimpse of hope for their little one. Whether potty training, trying to keep clothes on your kid who likes to be naked or seeking possible treatment options for cerebral palsy, sometimes another mother’s point of view can be helpful! It’s for that reason, for now, that I continue to share what I do!

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