Saturday, January 30

New year, new things!

I thought it'd be nice to update the blog background and etc for a fresh start to the New Year. On our agenda lately we've been trying to do some decorating to the house. We've been here 2 years and haven't done much since we've been a little busy. So, we've done some painting and moving things around. And, we've been doing a lot of organizing- which I love so much- I'm being serious about that too! It's a good feeling to know that everything has a place, and it makes keeping a straight house so much easier. I think I could make a career out of organizing as I enjoy it that much. I want to start taking pictures of the before and after to mainly see the finished rooms, so maybe I’ll start to post those. We’ve finally finished the 1st room in the house, and it’s Austin’s room. It would be good to have pictures of his nursery one day when the room is different and he is grown.

We’ve all been fighting a cold this week, and after another long sleepless night Wed. night we took the boys to the doctor. Bradley an ear and sinus infection and was put on oral antibiotics. Austin had a bad double ear and sinus infection. His doctor decided to give him 2 shots of Rocephin, a script for oral antibiotics, and refer him to the ENT for tubes. She said the ENT may decide to remove his adenoids too. We go see the ENT on February 8th. Bradley had tube at 10 months, and it was an easy outpatient procedure. We weren’t concerned at all, but Austin is a different story due to his medical history. So, please pray that his lung issues don’t complicate things and we don’t wind up in the PICU again overnight. In the next month Austin has several big appointments coming up in addition to the ENT. He’ll have an ECHO done to see if his PFO has closed. Patent Foramen Ovale is an opening in the heart that should close at birth, but Austin’s didn’t due to his prematurity. He had it last checked at 6 months old. He has an ophthalmology appointment scheduled, follow up from summer, to see how his eyes are doing since he had ROP (Retinopathy of Prematurity). We’ll have his last Synagis shot, of the season, for RSV. And, in addition to his weekly physical therapy and biweekly early intervention appointment the speech therapist will come out to see why he hasn’t improved with his feeding issues. Speech therapy not only follows speech problems, but any oral issues such as feeding. Austin is talking more and more everyday, so his speech isn’t a problem at all. His vocabulary is up to about 15 words now; it’s just amazing!

Bradley’s soccer season will be starting up in the next couple of weeks. Chris is helping coach again, and there are a lot of the same players on the team as this past fall. Bradley is excited. Practice will start week after next, and the 1st game is on Valentine’s Day. His jersey is white with black, the opposite of last season. And, we’re celebrating Bradley’s birthday early this year to make sure he has a party before Cameron is born. So, that is the 13th and he is super excited about it as he says. He wants a Diego party, because he saw a Diego cake with a compass . . . and that is the whole reason for that theme! Ha ha He also has named off tons of things he wants for his birthday; it’s a little ridiculous considering how much stuff he just got for Christmas.

Every thing continues to go well with Cameron and the pregnancy. My weekly appointments start this Thursday; every Thursday afternoon will be spent that the doctor’s office until Cameron arrives. Still on insulin and doing well with it; slowly having to go up on the dose but that is expected as she and the placenta grow. The kick counts are going well too. I have a ‘Big E’ antibody in my blood, so my titers are drawn once a month to make sure that Cameron doesn’t need a transfusion while in utero. I acquired this by carrying Chris’ child during one of my previous pregnancies; it could have been a live birth or a miscarriage. The titer starts out at 1:1 (it doubles, such as right now it’s 1:2 but next time it could be 1:4) and if it gets to 1:16 you have to have the transfusion or deliver the baby. When I received my transfusions when delivering the triplets they not only had to make sure that I was getting A + blood but it has to have the big ‘E’ too. So, it’s low right now and that is a blessing. We’ve already found out I’m Group B positive, but that hopefully won’t be an issue to due a planned c-section. I’m still taking my weekly progesterone shots (given by Chris in my hip and I swear doctors DO NOT give the best shots! ha ha) to help avoid preterm labor and keep my uterus calm. So, all in all things are definitely going well. I measured 35 weeks, at the appointment this week, so that is 4 weeks ahead since I was only 31 weeks. I’ll be 32 weeks Monday! YAY!!! Bradley continues to talk to Cameron, kiss my belly, and loves to feel and watch her move. He is an awesome big brother! We’ve received Cameron’s bedding, pictures for her wall, her rocking chair, and curtains. We’re waiting for the lamp we ordered and are ordering letters for her room as well. We love the way the room is turning out; it’s bright and cheery!

We’re hoping for some winter weather this weekend. We are going to stay home, snuggle up, and try to all get better! It’s a new year, and it’s going to be great as we add a new addition to our family. We pray the boys continue to grow and thrive. We will assume that our family is complete (unless God leads us in a different direction down the road); we can just sit back and enjoy life, and find our new normal. We even scheduled our 1st family vacation since Bradley was a baby for this summer in Hilton Head. We’re looking forward to picnics, trips to the park and zoo, and the everyday fun of life that we’ve been missing. I want to find a new hobby too, because my current hobby of baby birthing is probably over. Anyone have any ideas? I’m interested in learning to sew, continuing to organize things, love to cook and bake, and open to any suggestions. And, of course we’re anxious to get back to church and hoping that Austin’s restrictions will start to ease up this spring. I want my children to grow up active in all the church activities as I did too. So, stay tuned to the whereabouts of the Wickers!

Friday, January 22

Austin is ONE!

We celebrated Austin's 1st birthday a little late since he was born so premature.  How much fun would an 8 month old have at a 1st birthday party? We wanted to make sure he would enjoy the celebration. So, after all the holidays were over we had a small get together; keeping it small helped ensure that Austin wouldn't get sick. We had some yummy food, a delicious cake and ice cream, opened the many presents, and enjoyed some time with loved ones. Austin really seemed to enjoy the special attention and although he couldn't handle any chunks of cake he loved the icing and small smashed pieces.  He was able to eat some vanilla ice cream too.


Christmas 2009

We spent Christmas Eve at home, just our family of 4 (almost 5 :-) ). It was very relaxing and a new tradition that we'd love to start. It was cold and damp, so we cooked this awesome new italian dish.  We enjoyed some time by the fire.  The boys exchanged presents between the 2 of them.  Then, it was off to bed for the boys.
Christmas was busy as usual, but we did manage to enjoy Christmas morning just the 4 of us.  After the boys checked out their presents from Santa we feasted on Dunkin Donuts which is a tradition that Chris and I have always enjoyed. Afterwards, the boys opened presents from us and even Cameron had some things too.  Then, after Austin's morning nap the Hawkins side joined us for lunch.  We enjoyed Hudson's BBQ and hash, and it was so yummy.  After exchanging presents, the boys went down for their afternoon nap while Chris and I got ready for the next crowd, the Broome side.  We had Beaufort Stew with them and then exchanged presents yet again. We celebrated with the Wicker side a few nights later .  Too many presents! We're still trying to figure out what to do with all the new stuff!

Christmas Eve

The stockings were all hung by the chimney with care . . .

Christmas morning
Presents from Santa

The boys were excited to see the special things waiting on them

My boys on Christmas

Austin's 1st Christmas at home

Bradley was too busy playing with his new toys for a pictures

The Wicker Family

Wednesday, January 20

The favorite “senses” of Motherhood

Bradley learned about the 5 senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch) last month at preschool, so we’ve been talking about those some at home. I realized that most of the time when I explain one of them to him that I list my favorite things. Who wouldn’t want to think about their favorite senses instead of least favorite ones? My least favorite ones, in my day to day life of being a full time mom, certainly include: smelly diapers, crying children, and sticky messes. However, my favorites greatly outweigh my dislikes.

Sight: My children smiling and happy, watching the boys play together and watching them grow are definitely some of my favorite sights of being a mom. I love being able to see them all day, everyday. Seeing Cameron move inside my stomach and during the ultrasounds has been a favorite too as they have with all 5 of our children. (See below to read an update on my pregnancy) Another sight I love is watching the boys reach developmental milestones, especially Austin since we didn’t know what to expect when he was discharged from the hospital. He is doing so well with them; he is pulling up, cruising, crawling and creeping, and just all over the place. He has even stood a few seconds on his own. He seems very cautious, so I think he could do more than he shows us. Bradley was very cautious too. Bradley’s big things he is doing, is driving the Gator that they received for Christmas like a pro. He weaves in and out of things with only one hand on the wheel nonetheless. He can run, jump, stand on one foot, and throw and catch balls well too. Also love riding his bicycle (with training wheels) and little Hot wheel.

Hearing: Austin’s vocabulary has really started to grow. He is saying about 10 words; Ma ma, Da da, done, hey, no no, uh oh, and something for Bradley are just a few. We never know what he is going to say next! Bradley speaks in full paragraphs now and carries on complete conversations with us. I certainly love hearing him tell me that he loves me, and he often tells us when he wakes up that he missed us. Bradley tells us the craziest things; he always makes us laugh. The sound of Bradley and Austin’s laughter certainly warms my heart too, especially when they are laughing with each other.

Taste: Cookies and other food cooked with Bradley taste so much better than other foods. Slobbery kisses given by both Austin and Bradley are awesome. Austin will give us open mouth wet kisses when we ask and he is willing.

Smell: Freshly bathed children rate among the top of my favorite smells. Then, them all “lotioned up” and in clean clothes is great too. We love being outdoors as a family, so the smell of fresh air is a favorite scent of motherhood too.

Touch: Holding and cuddling my children has to be my favorite “touch”. I love holding their hands too. I cherish that I have my children with me 24-7, so I love being able to have them close to cuddle anytime of the day.

Pregnancy/Cameron Update: I’m 30 weeks along in this pregnancy! Since I’m insulin dependent now (gestational diabetes) my doctor is thinking of pushing out the c-section date. The original plan was to take her between 36-37 weeks. A side effect of the insulin is that Cameron’s lungs may not be as mature as a baby whose mother doesn’t have to have insulin. So, she may have another 9 weeks or so to grow if all goes as my doctor is hoping. We just have to see how big she gets; if she reaches close to 4 kilos (8.8lbs) he’ll take her. I’ll get to see her lots, starting in a few weeks, as I’ll have weekly BPP’s and nonstress test. A BPP is an ultrasound that measures the baby's heart rate, muscle tone, movement, breathing, and the amount of amniotic fluid around the baby. A nonstress test checks the baby’s heart rate to see how it handles the baby’s movement. Both of these tests are done when insulin dependent to ensure that the baby is healthy to avoid complications related to diabetes. My last ultrasound was 2 weeks ago, and everything looked good. They checked my cervix, which was doing well, for the last time as after 28 weeks all women begin to have changes and there is no way to gauge what they mean. Cameron weighed in at almost 3lbs and measured about 1 week ahead of her due date. I’m doing nightly “kick counts” as per my OB’s request since I’m high risk. I must feel her move 10 separate time in less than 2 hours. She usually gets them all in about 30 minutes; she is a very active little girl!