Ryan & Quinn's First Photo Shoot

I'm lucky to have a great friend who is not only a fabulous person, but also a very talented photographer. Many months ago it was decided Kendra would take Ryan & Quinn's newborn pictures. Of course, we had a few hiccups along the way --- we kept thinking Q would get released so we would schedule a shoot, then cancel, schedule, and then cancel.

Finally, we heartbreakingly decided we just needed to get Ryan's done first before he got too big and not so "newborn-like". So in early July, we took Ry's pictures. However, I could hardly bear to look at the pictures until Quinn came home. It just seemed so wrong to just see the 3 of us, and not the family of 4 that we truly were.

In late July Quinn came home and we were able to get hers done, as well as our family ones. Quinn was not quite as in love with the camera as Ryan was, but Kendra demonstrated immense patience during the entire 4 hour (yes, 4!) shoot. I think we were able to get some great pictures --- and now I think it's really special that each twin had their own special shoot and have their own individual pictures with Mom & Dad. We are already looking forward to taking more pictures in the late fall when the twins are bigger and happier to pose for us!

And because I lack patience like my sweet daughter, I won't even attempt to upload all of my favorites to this post. Instead, my sweet friend has already posted her favorites on her site. Thanks, Kendra!

See below!

Some family pictures

Ryan pictures

Quinn pictures

Babies Arrival #1

Babies Arrival #2

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Has it really been 5 years?

Tonight I don't have much energy to muster out "an ode to 5 year anniversary Katrina" post. I read back through my last year's post and felt I said much of what I wanted to say today. http://clanahanfam.blogspot.com/2009_08_01_archive.html

In many ways, it seems like a lifetime ago --- we've come so far. We've evacuated, we've been homeless, we've been temporarily relocated, and then permanently relocated to Houston. We've lost parents, we've faced incredible challenges, and now we have two blessed children. The number 5 can seem so small, so insignificant, but for us it represents an old chapter, a different life. We are fortunate to have lived it because on the other side of the destruction came immense blessings.

So farewell Katrina, we will always remember you. But we are letting you go now, closing the book on that chapter in our life. That past has brought us to our amazing present lives and will shape our future. But the storm will not have control over our future --- we move on. I pray for all of the other many, many, many families affected --- that they will soon be able to close the book on Katrina and continue writing the new chapters in their lives. post signature


Mommy's Intuition

Well, it's been one heck of a day. My blood pressure has shot through the roof on numerous occasions and has since been controlled by a well-timed cocktail. Or two. However, many of you may have seen my post on FB regarding Quinn's scare today. This is the basic gyst and I'll try to keep it as short and sweet as possible. But then again, it's me writing it, and I typically don't do short and sweet. I like to think you appreciate all of the minute details. Which you probably don't, but oh well.

Quinn has been on a compounded type of Prevacid (liquid form) since a couple of weeks prior to her release from the hospital. Before we were discharged, we picked up her prescription for the Prevacid to give to her at home. Of course, in 4 weeks it was due to expire, so I worked with a case manager to get the prescription couriered out to our pedi's office so we wouldn't have to drive to TCH every time to pick it up (it has a very time sensitive expiration and you have to pick it up virtually within a couple of days it's compounded --- and with 2 11 week olds, that can be difficult to make that trek down there). (Oh and it should be duly noted that the compounding pharmacy for the new prescription was NOT Texas Children's, but a different compounding pharmacy that they use).

Friday the prescription was due to expire and conveniently we had a Q weight check scheduled that day so I was able to pick it up on time. When I got home, I opened the bag, threw it away, pitched the old bottle and put the new one in the fridge. When I went to give her the meds that night, I noticed that it looked different and had a different consistency. However, when I looked at the label, I saw that it had the genereric form of prevacid listed instead. So I assumed that was the difference. So I gave the child the med and proceeded to hear my child scream in pain and spit up volumes, exorcist-style that evening for 2 hours.

For most parents, I guess that would have been a red flag --- but Quinn is "predicatably unpredictable". She has good nights and bad nights. And she's always a little fussy. And she always spits up. This was just kind of taking it up a notch --- so in my naive mommy mind, I was thinking "great, now my child is colicky. Awesome.".

Anyway, my aunt and uncle were in town that weekend and somehow the morning feeds were thrown off and she never got her meds. So she didn't get her next dose until Saturday evening. Repeat of Friday evening, only worse. This time, my nerves were completely shot and I ended my night with tears just rolling down my face, feeling completely helpless to fix this little baby who obviously has just such severe reflux and a horrible case of colic.

But still in the back of my mind, something didn't sit well with the meds. We decided to again forgo the morning meds, see how she would do with the day and then try again that evening. If anything worse happened, Monday morning was right around the corner (and yes, we know there are 24 hour places you can take a child, but I really wanted to be able to speak to my dr. And I still wasn't 100% convinced that it was the meds. I thought I was just getting into the really difficult baby stage with her --- but the meds were just kinda nagging on me)

So Sunday was a total repeat. When we finally got in bed last night, I could hardly sleep because now I was 100% convinced that the meds were wrong.

Woke up the next morning and immediately called the case manager. I told her these meds were clear, sweet and sugary smelling --- and our old ones were of a white milky substance with no stickiness/sweetness to be found. She said she would look into it and figure out how to get a new bottle out to us soon.

In the meantime, I had already placed a call to my dr because I wanted to tell him the story personally and get his thoughts and to see what he wanted us to do in the interim while we weren't giving her the prevacid.

During this "waiting period", I decided to dig through Q's discharge paperwork and see if I could find the info sheet from the TCH pharmacy so I could at least compare labels. Score one for mom! I found the label and ran over to the fridge with it. Grabbed her medicine bottle out of the fridge and almost fainted ---- on it, it had the same medicine, but one was written for 3 mg and one label had 30 mg. Guess which one was the new one? Yup, the 30.

So TEN TIMES the dosage. When I furiously dialed the case manager back with this new information, she told me that label could have been referring to the 30 mg tablet that they used to compound the liquid. I am not 100% sure that I believed that one --- so I had her call them again and verify the prescription. Of course, everything they have there says "3". But I'm not there to look at it, so who knows. She also mentioned that it could have just been compounded differently --- different pharmacies use different ingredients. I personally think they should be pretty damn consistent when mixing infant medication.

But basically through this entire scenario, we can guess that one of three things happened....

1. She was given a dose that was 10 times what she was supposed to have in her system.

2. It was compounded with a different ingredient, one that made the mixture clear in appearance with a sweet stickiness to it (as opposed to the milky white we had previously)

3. OR It's not even infant prevacid at all. I'm kinda leaning towards this one for some reason.

All I know is that somewhere along the line balls were dropped - labels were misprinted and medications were not the same. My daughter suffered because of it. Thank God she didn't have an allergic reaction to it and she's doing just fine now.

But we will be sending it out for independent testing to see what the heck is in the bottle. In the meantime, Q is on the same type of tablet prevacid as R --- she's big enough now that she doesn't necessarily need the liquid kind.

Mommy's heart is now in recovery. I feel terrible that I didn't follow my instinct the first time but I guess I was just trusting that since so much special care had been taken to get her the meds, then they would be correct. I won't be taking that chance again. We will be checking and double-checking all of our meds from here on out. A good reminder for us all. People make mistakes. I just thank God that it's not something a load of laundry and Resolve carpet cleaner couldn't take care of. It could have been so much worse.

Stay tuned to find out what was in the bottle.... I know I can't wait to find out --- and then we'll see if we need to take any additional steps with some head-rolling.

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Quinnie August Health Update

Before we launch into Quinn health update, let me just say in the past week I was introduced to te beautiful creation of pretzel M&M's. And oh, my, lord. Wonderful.

In the same week, I also have had to come to terms that I am allergic to the deliciousness that is pretzel M&M's. Seriously??? Who is allergic to those??? This girl. I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it took me a few days to figure out why the horrors of teenage acne had returned around my mouth and my hands and eyes itched uncontrollably.

Conveniently, the symptoms would start about 10 minutes after R&Q's late night feedings --- which I always started with a handful of M&M's --- you know, for energy and stamina. Anyway, I am now sitting here typing this blog post with a green "cooling" mask on my face, which conveniently matches the green bed I am sleeping in and the green shirt I am wearing. I like to coordinate.

And why I felt compelled to start off this blog with the boringness that is my allergic reactions, who knows...delirious perhaps? Actually, I don't even have tiredness or delirium to blame this on --- the babies have been sleeping very well in the past week or so. Well, for 11 week old preemie babies, they are sleeping well... last night we had a stretch from 8:30pm to 3am and then again to 7am. Not bad. I must thank my baby whisperer for assisting us on getting them in a better schedule. Yes, we had a baby whisperer, aka night nanny, for the past 2 weeks. I feel extremely spoiled to be able to say that --- but it was worth every dime. When Q came home, I felt very anxious about her gaining weight and ensuring she got the calories she needed to gain weight - that meant that she needed to wake up every 3 hours at night to eat. And balancing that with another infant who was starting to sleep longer at night --- well, it was just a tough go. So we were blessed to have D come stay with us at night and by the end of it, the babies were on a much better (and manageable) schedule. And if I was rich, I would totally have her for another 2 weeks. But that's neither here nor there...

Anyway - to Quinn... we saw our cardiologist last Monday for a little check in. They did a weigh in, a chest xray, and took a pulse ox on their machines. (I must say that Q blew me away with how GOOD she was the entire time. She was pretty much a complete angel --- she must have recognized the smell of the hospital and felt right at home, ha!)

And then we met with the doctor who seemed overall pleased for where Q is at the moment. Her vitals have remained stable (in the 86%-91% range). Basically,we just plan to meet with him in another month for a re-check and also to perform another echocardiogram to see how the blood flow is doing. At that point, he will present our case to the cardiac surgery team and get her on Dr. F's schedule for surgery. We are still looking at the 4-6 month of life window, which means surgery could take place sometime in October, November-ish.

The main thing now is that Q continue to gain weight. She had gained 18 ounces in 14 days when we checked in with our pediatrician last, so that was awesome news. We will take her for a weight check every 2 weeks until her surgery time from what I understand. Our cardiologist just really wants to get her to at least 10-12lbs before her surgery. I just don't see that being a problem, especially now since she is starting to eat much, much better. Almost 2 weeks ago, she was 8lbs 2oz, so I fully expect her to be almost 9 when we go again on Friday. However, if her growth stunts at all, the cardiologist will put her on even higher calorie formula (she already is on 22 kcalorie and would be increased to 24). Hopefully we won't have to go there --- it's harder on the digestive system, not to mention wayyyyyy more expensive. But if that's what we have to do, then we'll do it.

We will see the pulmonary doctor in 2 weeks as well, where they will repeat her OCRG test and see if she is still experiencing apnic spells and how many desaturations she is having. I'm by no means an expert, but I would say that her apnea is either very, very minimal or non-existent at this point. I just haven't had any big scares where her alarm went off for 20 seconds or more -- and she wasn't crying or thrashing around that was making the monitor malfunction. The test is way more accurate than these home pulse ox monitors though, so we'll see. For now, I am very much at peace with her bells and whistles --- most of the time during the day, unless she is down for a nap, she is monitor free. Better for both of us, I think. I usually just pop it on her once or twice a day when she is awake, just to get an idea of where her levels are trending. So besides almost killing myself and the child multiple times tripping over cords and wires, we really are doing well with all of that.

So for now we remain in limbo --- getting her all fattened up for the impending surgery and just taking it easy. It was the doctor's recommendation that we really not introduce Q to the "outside world" - besides the doctors' offices and hospital. Thus, most of the time we are home bound. Not to mention it is 800 degrees outside with 150% humidity and to drag 2 infants with all of their gear somewhere either takes a lot of courage or complete stupidity.

I apparently erred on the latter yesterday and today because I JUST HAD TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. So, we did. Made a quickie trip to Gymboree one day and then a quickie trip to another kid's boutique today. And now I see the beauty in the drive through. I always appreciated it before, but always thought it was perhaps a bit lazy to just drive through when you could just walk inside. But now I totally get it. And I totally took advantage of it. Twice. Or maybe three times.

Tomorrow we plan on staying put all day and Matt's cousin is coming over to visit with us. So glad to have some entertainment during the day and something to break up the monotony of watching Ellen & Rachael Ray.

Thank you as always for your prayers for our little blessings --- they continue to grow and thrive and my heart is full. I truly know I am experiencing God when I go in their room every morning to cuddle with them in a moment of silence before the madness of the day begins. It's just the sweetest and most fulfilling feeling and completely gets me through the day. It's seems like it may be cliche to say all the time, but God is truly Good. And I actually know what it means to say that now.

In Him,

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P.S. My sweet friend K and baby C that I spoke about in the previous post are both doing well. C has had a few issues but they are manageable and certainly not unexpected for a baby her size. K even got to put her hands on her yesterday, which in her words, calmed them both down immensely. Again, it's a long road, but we have complete and total faith that C is going to grow and be just fine --- and a year from now, Ryan, Quinn & C will have the cutest little playdates :)


Sweet Baby Girl

Today, Friday, August 13th at 12:55pm, a sweet angel was brought into this world. Only 29 weeks old and just 1lb 14oz. But she is here. And she is stable.

A few months ago I wrote about a wonderful friend who helped me secure the top pediatric cardiologist for my little girl. And today, she gave birth to sweet C.

God has amazing ways of working in our lives and bringing just the right people at just the right time. K is that friend to me. We met about 3 years ago at my brother's Halloween party in Austin. Her husband and my brother had been great friends at UT and had bonded over a love of college football and all things burnt orange. What can I say. It was just one of those times where you meet someone and feel an instant connection. And when we found out we both lived in Houston, a friendship was born.

Over the past couple of years, our friendship has blossomed --- dinners out with our hubbys, emails, phone calls, etc. We could, and do, spend hours talking.

When Q was diagnosed with her heart condition, K was one of the first people to jump into action, ensuring that we would have the best care for our daughter. And throughout my pregnancy, she would check in with me and see how I was doing. It was during one of these "check in" lunches that she shared with me that she was pregnant. Tears flowed (as they often did with us being incredibly emotional people!) and we talked about how our kids would be so close in age and hopefully grow to be friends.

Once Q was born, K was the best friend you could ask for during that time. She came to sit with me in the NICU and bring me lunch so I wouldn't have to be alone. We laughed, we cried, we took silly pictures of the babies. People asked if we were sisters. We just smiled and said no, but awesome friends.

K had a few health issues prior to pregnancy, but doctors were optimistic that she would have a healthy and safe pregnancy. God sometimes has other plans. The baby started having issues a few weeks ago, starting to show signs of slowing growth (basically a failure to thrive in utero). It seemed to correct and all was good for a little while, but then K got ill --- and eventually fell into the throes of preeclampsia, among other things.

Today, the only choice the doctors had was to deliver sweet baby C. And by His Grace, she is here and stable and K is doing well by all standards. They are in for a long road and had prepared themselves for that as much as humanly possible the last few days. But I don't think that anything can truly prepare you for your newborn child to be in the care of others and not in your arms.

I ask for your prayers this evening. For K and her wonderfully supportive husband, that they may find strength and comfort in trusting that God is in control. That sweet C will remain stable and start to thrive so we can get her healthy and into her mommy's arms as soon as possible.

God does some awesome things. He knew the road we were both going to go down and brought us together so we could share in this journey --- the good, the bad, the joys and distresses. Wow, He is good. I only pray that I can be as good of a friend to her during this time as she has been to me.

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R&Q Turn 2 Months (Aug. 3rd, 2010)

Playtime & cuddle cuddle

Someone was not a fan of the 2 month picture!!!

Ryan, you are 2 months old! This is what you have been up to:

You wear size 1 diapers now and weigh about 9lbs 13oz! Wow!

You can still fit in some newborn clothes but most of your onesies and sleepers are getting skin tight. Not a good look for you. I finally broke down and put you in a 3 month sleeper the other night and you looked precious in it. But it hurt Mommy's heart a little to see you growing so fast!

You eat about 4oz each feed. We are about to have to move you up to the "big boy" bottles.

You are still eating every 3 hours during the day, but are stretching about 5 hours between feeds at night. I think we are getting closer and closer to you sleeping through the night. Maybe a few more weeks.

You wake up just like your daddy -- lovable and in a great mood. You usually will stir around in your crib for a good 10-15 minutes to let me know you are ready to get up - but you won't cry. Unless I let you go longer than that 15 minutes and then you are MAD.

You go right back to sleep after your first morning feed. You actually are a really good day sleeper and once you are done "playing", you fall right back asleep.

You are starting to nap in your crib for both your morning and afternoon naps. I think it's more comfortable for both of us!

You love to be on your tummy. We put you on your playmat for tummy time after almost every feed and let you go at it. You can pick up your head and turn it from side to side multiple times --- and you are trying to lift your whole body off the mat as well. Strong boy!

You are starting to give us more smiles --- and sometimes when you just look at us, we see your grandfather's face (Matt's Dad)

You have a definite cranky time at night - usually for about an hour before we bathe & feed you. I think it's time to move up your bedtime :)

You like to look at your sister when we put you both on your playmat. You will give her this look, like "what's up, Sis? Why are you crying?" :) "And where did you come from? I was an only child for 7 weeks!"

You are such a sweet, good little baby. I love you more each and every day. You make my heart smile.

Quinn, you are 2 months old! This is what you have been up to:

You are in newborn diapers and weigh 8lbs 2oz now! I love seeing how much you have grown these past 8 or 9 weeks. To see the pictures of when you were born, with pretty much just skin and bones, and to see now that you have a double (and even possibly a triple) chin now --- wow!

You still wear all newborn clothing, but even some of your sleepers are getting too short on you now. Guess I have to move you up to 3 months soon too :( Sob. Yesterday I cleaned out your closet and packed away all of your preemie clothes to save for one of my sweet friends (and your future new best friend!). I cannot believe that you used to fit in those -- and in fact, they were too big at first. You've come a long way, baby girl!

You are getting a little better at eating now. We always fill your bottle with 3oz, but most of the time you are taking around 2 1/2 or so. Mommy & Daddy were really worried that you wouldn't gain weight because you would eat so little and spit up so much. But you must be getting some nutrition because you can still put out some diapers!

You are quite the spitter-upper. You get an outfit change at least 3 times a day. So does Mommy. I feel so badly for your when you spit up because I know it must not feel good to have such severe reflux. You look so sad in your eyes after you have a big one :( We give you Prevacid twice daily but Mommy's not convinced that it's working at all.

You do not love your morning nap. At all. You are more of a fan of your afternoon nap and very often sleep for 2 hours or more. Thank you, Quinnie!

My favorite time of the morning is when I go into your room to get you up for your first feed. You are all cozy and warm, swaddled in your blanket with the sweetest and most peaceful look on your face. I have about 30 seconds to cuddle with you before you realize that you are awake and you are HUNGRY. And then you let me know about it in no uncertain terms.

You are such an alert and smart little girl! You look at everything! I think that's why you aren't a big fan of napping --- you love to just look around and make sure you haven't missed anything. You will actually close your eyes for a few minutes and then they just pop right back open to check things out. You love to play with the fish that hang off your bouncy seat. You will bat them back and forth and it will entertain you for minutes. I say minutes, because I think you are easily bored. I am running out of things to show you and capture your attention.

You are starting to smile more at us every week. It melts my heart. I think you would smile more if you weren't so uncomfortable with your darn oxygen tube, sensor on your foot, and such bad reflux. If I could take it all away from you, I would in a millisecond. But Baby Girl, it's all temporary -- and in a few months, you will be a healthy, well-adjusted child without all of your bells and whistles.

We love you, Quinnie. And by the way, you are SUCH a daddy's girl. You melt him and vice-versa. We are so proud of the way you have grown and the amazing strength you have shown through all of your adjustments in the last 2 months. We can't wait to see you grow!

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