Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Settling In

Now that everyone is home, we are trying to get into a routine here at the Hickok home. That is easier said than done, especially since on the first day that Jack was home for the whole day, Mairead did not go to daycare since Ms. Pat had a doctor's appointment. So, I had all three kids by myself for the first time. Honestly, it was nowhere near as tough as I thought- probably because Mairead was nice enough to sleep a little late and to take a long afternoon nap. And, it helps that the boys are really good babies. One good thing about the NICU, they get their babies on perfect schedules so that when they come home, they are already in a good eating routine. My guys are like little clocks. They want to eat just about exactly four hours apart. The only tough thing is that they both want to eat at that time, so I am getting good at feeding them simultaneously when I have to.

Here is the cute picture of the day- Jack is still so much smaller than Ben!

At the pediatrician today, Jack was 6lbs 6 oz. Ben has not been weighed since Tuesday when he was 6lbs 15 oz, and he has been gaining an ounce or two a day, so I put him at about 7lbs 6oz or so (which is what Mairead weighed at birth). On Monday, the visiting nurse will come again, so we'll have both boys weighed then.

The pediatrician thinks that Jack looks great and that he is recovering well. He will be more susceptible to colds and other respiratory illnesses, so we just have to be extra careful about hand washing, etc. Also, we have to be 'those parents' who are super cautious about keeping germs away from him. So, we apologize in advance if we keep asking you if you have been sick lately!

Mairead is adjusting so well to all of these changes. When the boys are in their crib, she keeps asking us to pick her up so that she can see them. When they are in their carseats on the floor, she tries to rock them (maybe a bit too vigorously), and she is constantly trying to share her snacks, toys, and shoes with them. She is adorable. She is also brilliant, if I may brag for a second. Yesterday, she totally surprised me with something she knows how to do. She had her picture flashcards (no, we don't drill her with flashcards, she just likes the pictures) and was playing with them in the kitchen. She took one or two of them over to the fridge where her magnets are, and very carefully held a flashcard to the fridge with one hand, chose a magnet, and placed it on the flashcard so that it would stay on the fridge. How the heck did she know how to do that? She is a constant surprise!

Here she is enjoying Miss Spider time with Daddy and Jack (I'm pretty sure it's Jack- how sad is that? In real life I have no problem telling them apart, but in pictures it is really hard!).

Judy sent this beautiful arrangement to celebrate the 'reunion' of our family- thanks, Judy!

Grampy got some quality time with both boys. This is Ben... I am sure this time because I know he was wearing those pjs.

Thanks to all of you for checking in with us. We hope to see all of you when Jack is a little stronger- let's hope it is very soon!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Home at Last!

Jack was finally reunited with his twin brother this morning when Dave and I finally were able to bring him home from the hospital. We are so thrilled to be finished with this long ordeal and we can't wait to settle in to a regular routine with all of our kids. Jack and Ben were very happy to be back together-- we could literally see them relax and be so comfortable when we put them together. Daddy finally got to hold both of his boys at the same time!

Ben is our big guy at 6lbs 15 oz, which is about a pound more than Jack who is 5lbs 14oz. You can really see the size difference between them, which helps us to tell them apart!

Poor Jack's skin is all broken out from the adhesive used to keep his feeding tube and oxygen tube on his face, but he is still adorable!

I love this one of my guys!

After hanging out together for about 15 minutes, Jack threw up on his baby brother- I'm sure this won't be the last time for that. The boys have to take these awful liquid vitamins and they never sit well in their little bellies. Ben didn't seem to mind, though. I'm sure he will return the favor at some point!
We are excited for Mairead to get home from daycare this afternoon so that she can see both of her brothers together. She is going to start thinking that we will bring home a new one of these every couple of weeks. She is so sweet with Ben, and I am sure she will be the same with Jack. Yesterday, she was 'talking' on her cell phone and then put it up to Ben's head so that he could talk. She also brought him a pair of her shoes and tried to put them on his little feet- she is so stinkin' cute!
Thanks to all of you who have been so supportive and generous for the last 3 1/2 weeks- we have relied so much on the support of our friends and family and we could not have made it through this without you. We will finally be able to send you all some pictures of our kids together!
I will try to keep updating the blog often- with three kids, I'm not sure how often that will be, but I'll do my best!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

No more oxygen!

This afternoon when my dad and I went to see Jack, there was something noticeably absent- an oxygen tube! He has been breathing totally on his own all day, and his oxygen saturation levels have been perfect. He has also taken his last three bottles totally on his own, so hopefully the feeding tube will be gone soon, too! We are thrilled with his progress in the last two days and very optimistic that he will be home with us soon.

Update on the Kids

Jack is doing well this morning- they repeated the chest x-ray after another dose of the medication, and they said that his lungs are "all but clear." We are thrilled to hear that, of course. He is eating a little better with each feeding and just has to work his way back up to the way he ate before he got sick. He is looking better with each visit- I will try to take some pictures next time I go to the hospital. We are thankful for each little improvement and we hope he will be back with us soon. Last night when I was leaving South Shore Hospital, I thought of how strange it will be to not go there again. Between everything with Mairead, my many pre-natal visits, and all of this time there with the boys, it has become routine to go there all the time. The doctors and nurses have been great, but I will be happy if I never have to go there again. Dave will miss their cafeteria, though... they have great ice cream.

Ben is also doing great. It took him a while to learn to eat well, but he seems to be making up for lost time. He is eating more than three ounces at each feeding. I don't think Mairead did that when she came home from the hospital, and she was about a pound bigger than he is right now. He is getting bigger each day! A Visiting Nurse comes tomorrow, so I will find out how much he weights now. I did get a couple of pictures of him with his eyes open- he is so damn cute! My grandmother, Judy, and Theresa came to see him yesterday and he was a very well behaved little guy.

Katie and Steve also came to visit yesterday and helped us out a lot with entertaining our guests while handling lunches for both Ben and Mairead. Also, Katie made us some fabulous meals and desserts-- that was such a huge help because the last thing we feel like doing is cooking, so we got to eat 'real food' for dinner last night!

Mairead is officially the cutest she has ever been. Every day, she does something new and even cuter than the day before. She likes for us to hold her up so that she can see into Ben's crib, and she tells us, "Shhhh..." when he is sleeping. She is also learning to blow kisses with a very exaggerated, "mmmmm, mah!" sound. Judy brought her a Cat in the Hat stuffed animal, and yesterday she was carrying it around making it 'talk' and 'dance.' She also took him for a little ride in the doll stroller. She is adjusting very well to all of the changes around here, and we know she is going to be a great (but probably bossy) big sister to our little guys.