Isabella Danielle, born at 24 weeks and 1 day, 1lb 11oz, 12.5in

Zachary Michael, born at 36 weeks, 5lb 13oz, 18.5in

Alexander Charles, FULL TERM, 7lb 1oz, 20in

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Toddler

Chris and I have decided our little girl is no longer Baby Bella, but Big Girl Bella. She is doing so many new and intriguing things every day. Oh, and the big one...She's WALKING. She took her first three steps by herself a few weeks ago. Of course this was prompted with food. After that feat, we decided to keep encouraging her with food. Even though sometimes I felt like I was training one of the dogs to do a trick, it really seems to have worked. Now she is venturing away from furniture on her own and enjoying walking what few little steps she can at one time. There were some days I thought that she would crawl until she was two or older. She has so much more confidence crawling. But it appears that her confidence in walking is beginning to emerge. On top of the walking she is beginning to communicate with us in her own little way; letting us know when she does and does not want something, she approaches us to snuggle when its time to sleep, makes gestures when she wants to sing a song, and laughs preciously when she thinks something is really funny.

ECI (the group in Texas designated to help children with developmental delays) evaluated her a few weeks ago because she has been in the program for a year. When she was evaluated last year a month after we got home, putting her actual age at 5 months, she graded as a 2 month old; which was close to her adjusted age (if she had been born on time). At the year evaluation she was right over 17 months and for a preemie born at 24 weeks she has made remarkable improvements. She scored as follows:

Cognitive = 18 months
Social/Emotional = 16 months
Adaptive Behavior = 15 months
Communication = 13 months
Physical Development = 11 months (this was for not walking!)

All in all, these signs of development along with her recent walking tell us that we now have toddler on our hands!

Little brother has officially made it farther along in the womb than Bella did. That mark came and went this past Friday. I was full of emotion...fear, anxiety, Friday came and went. Luckily I had a doctors appointment on Friday with the OB and everything looks normal. We will keep up the appointments and shots as is for now. Once July hits we will probably get a steroid shot and stop the progesterone. God continues to bless us each day that little man stays put.

Crazy hair after my nap!

Time to go to the pool!

Playing with my Monkey-in-the-box!!

Reading one of my many books!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

First Baseball Game

Friday night Chris's company had a picnic at the local minor league baseball park. I love baseball, so this was a big treat for me. I was super excited to be able to take Bella to her first baseball game. We didn't stay very long, the weather was quite chilly as the sun set. But we were able to take in the ball park food and the first three innings.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there! We hope you have a fabulous day and get spoiled rotten.

Many blessings to everyone!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Swim Lessons and Little Man Update

Big Sister
Isabella started swim lessons last night with daddy. It was the cutest thing. Of course, like most baby swim classes, this is to get her used to the water and to know how to react to it. She loved splashing her arms, reaching/holding on to the side, and especially jumping into daddy's arms. I can only imagine that her little head was thinking, "The big guy will catch me!" Each time Chris would set her on the edge she would dive right for him.

Some of the new things Bella is doing:
1. trying to say new words like mouth, turtle, clap
2. clapping - it has taken some time, but she is finally clapping her hands
3. reaching for the sky - it is so cute because she really does it when we sing Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle
4. stacking and collapsing blocks

The walking took a step backward with her stint in the hospital and week of getting back to feeling normal. It seemed as though she was so close before getting sick. Now we are back to focusing on standing, weight shifting and finding spacial awareness.

Little Man
Zachary got measured today at my perinatal visit. He is charting at 21wks 2days and weighs approximately 15oz. According to the doctor, everything about him looks beautiful. They will keep me on progesterone at least until 34wks and may do a steroid shot at 26wks. Please continue to pray with us that Zachary stays where he is for as long as possible!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

March for Babies

Yesterday was our local March for Babies walk. Overall the Midland/Odessa area raised $325,000. The most exciting news for Team Wonder Bella is that our little girl raised the most money in the family team category for Midland. Once again, THANK YOU for your support of this great organization and the pursuit to give premature and babies with birth defects a better start in the world.

The weather was windy and cold, but Bella and Daddy had a good 4 mile walk (I sat at the volunteer table and sold beanie babies). Bella fell asleep on the way to the walk, woke up briefly for the start and was back asleep by the end of the first lap.

Napping before we get started...

Waking up to partake in stretching and invocation...

And the walk begins...

Celebrating a joyous day...

Love, Peace & God Bless to you all!