October 30, 2012

happy birthday hannah!

Last week we celebrated Hannah's 4th birthday and had a blast making her feel special.  I was so worried that she would feel overlooked with all the attention Olivia needs from Jason and I.  But my mom was gracious to come spend the day with Olivia on Hannah's birthday so I could take her to lunch and just have some Mommy-Hannah time.

We started our day at Barnes & Noble so Hannah could spend some birthday money she got from my grandparents.  Hannah loves books and playing at Barnes & Noble!

After her book purchase, we went to lunch at Chick-fil-A and then to pick up her cake for our family party.

We kept things really low-key this year because we don't want Olivia around lots of people right now.  My parents and Jason's parents came over for pizza and cake and it was a perfect evening for our first baby girl!

Present time! (Always Hannah's favorite part of ANY party!)

Hannah got a big girl bike from my parents and was SO excited! She is doing remarkably well with it and I can't wait to do some family biking next spring.

I let Hannah pick out her cake this year and of course she picked out a princess cake. :)

It was a fun day celebrating Hannah and hanging out with family.  I can't believe our first baby is FOUR!  Hannah is turning into quite the little girl and though I LOVE this age, I am a little sad at how quickly the last four years have gone by.  Time seriously goes way too fast!!  Hannah is such a joy to be around and I love the conversations we get to have every day.  She loves her friends so much and is becoming the best big sister!  It is so fun hearing Hannah talk about her life...everything from playing pretend to dressing up like a princess to talking about Jesus....I love her heart and can't wait to continue watching her grow into the little girl God created her to be.

October 29, 2012

official 2 month check up

Today we had Olivia's official 2 month check up with our regular pediatrician.  Olivia got her first round of shots and did decently well.  Now we just wait and see how her body responds over the next 48 hours.  So far, things have been good.  No fever, just a little fussiness when she moves around probably because her legs are sore.  Several people have asked why we didn't/couldn't separate the shots and do a more delayed schedule if the doctors are a little worried about her reactions.  The doctors believe there is actually a higher risk for Olivia if we were to spread out her shots.  By getting all the necessary shots at once during each well-baby check up, her immune system is basically jump-started and her body is forced to create anti-bodies.  If we were to spread the vaccines out, she may never truly produce all the anti-bodies she really needs to fight off these viruses.

The nurse spent some time talking with Olivia before giving her the shots.  Olivia enjoyed her little chat and had no idea what was coming. :(

Overall, Olivia's check up was great except for her weight gain.  She has only gained about an ounce in a week.  The doctor is a bit concerned so we will go back in two weeks for a weight check.  Hopefully by then Olivia will have gained weight and we can let her sleep more and go longer than three to fours between feedings.  I absolutely hate having to wake her up when she is sleeping so peacefully.  We will also begin adding a bit of formula to her bottles to help with her vitamin deficiencies so hopefully that will also help with weight gain.  Thankfully, we recently invested in a baby scale for home so we can also keep up with her weight gain since she is still struggling with reflux quite a bit and not always finishing a bottle and obviously not gaining like she should. 

Olivia has spent most of the day sleeping and I have enjoyed the extra snuggles. :)
Praying for a restful night, no fever/reactions in the coming days and good eating with weight gain in the coming weeks!

October 28, 2012

happy 2 months!

My how time flies!  How is our sweet Olivia already 2 months old?!?  To be honest, it has been a semi-rough two weeks since Olivia has been home but we love having her home with us. 

Olivia isn't a fan of sleeping at night so we are pretty sleep deprived right now and praying that passes soon!  Jason has been a tremendous help with the night shift and we just split up the night....I take the late night hours and he takes the early morning hours and that seems to be working for now. As hard as it is to be awake at night, I sure do love the quiet snuggles I get with Olivia while everyone else is sleeping.  It is a sweet time with her and I know I will miss it when she does start sleeping more. ;)

Olivia also isn't eating as great as she was when she first came home so we are really having to monitor her intake and can't let her sleep more than 4 hours at a time.  It is also hard because it takes about an hour to feed her and then she is awake for about another hour after eating so really we only have about two hours between feedings to get sleep or get things done around the house.  We go to the pediatrician tomorrow so hopefully we can change Olivia's feeding schedule a little bit so we can all get more sleep!

It has definitely been somewhat of a challenge adapting to life with Olivia at home but it is so refreshing not having to be at the hospital all day, every day.  We are loving figuring out how to do this whole two kid/family of four thing and making memories together!

If you think about it, please say a prayer for our sweet girl tomorrow.  We will begin her immunizations and we have no idea how her brain will tell her body to respond to the shots.  Also, if her fever gets too high, she is at a high risk of seizures.  We've been told she could get really sick/have severe reactions to the shots but we won't know until this first round is done.  We are praying against anything more than a sore leg and no fever reactions.  We believe that God will protect her from anything severe and are trusting the doctors to make the best decisions regarding this area of her care as we don't want to visit the hospital with this baby girl anytime soon.

October 21, 2012

ozark corn maze

Before we brought Olivia home, we took Hannah to the corn maze.  It was one last little thing for our family of three to do and it was some special time with Hannah before life got a little crazier with Olivia at home.  We all had so much fun!

Hannah loves the cow train!

This girl is going to cause us some grief when she is a teenager ;)  Look at that sassy pose!

Pony ride!

Finally made it to (and through) the corn maze!

Going to the corn maze and pumpkin patch is something I look forward to every fall.  It is one of my most favorite memories to make each year with our children.  I absolutely love fall and love doing things like this with my family!

October 18, 2012

10 year reunion

It is so hard to believe I graduated from high school TEN years ago!  That makes me feel OLD! Ha!   It's crazy how much has changed in ten years but also how much is the same.  But I am so thankful for the friendships I had in high school because those girls are still some of my best friends and we can always pick up right where we left off no matter how long it has been between visits. 

This was our first time out since bringing Olivia home.  It was nice to dress up and go out with my sweet husband.  (HUGE thanks to my parents for keeping Hannah and Olivia so we could go!  I debated most of the weekend whether or not to go and I'm SO glad I went!)
LOVE all these girls SO much!
The "Husband Club" :)
Did I mention I was supposed to help plan this reunion??  Obviously my contribution to the reunion was another little one but I am so thankful for these three amazing friends who put together a super fun reunion and picked up my slack! (I owe y'all BIG time for the 20 year :))
Class of 2002 ;)
I am so glad I decided to go and catch up with all these sweet friends!  God truly blessed me with some amazing friends in high school and some great memories to go along with those friendships.  We had lots of laughs looking at old pictures and remembering the high school years.  I can't wait to continue to do life alongside these lifelong friends.

October 16, 2012

our first week at home

Well it's been one week since we brought sweet Olivia home and hard to believe how fast time goes!  It has been a week of not much sleep, lots of bottles and LOTS of snuggling! :)  We've had a pretty uneventful week just trying to figure out Olivia's likes, dislikes, schedule and personality. 

We quickly learned that Olivia does not like the cradle.  We think this is in part due to her reflux and laying down may be too painful.  She sleeps mainly in the Nap Nanny (thanks Mom & Dad for the wonderful gift!) or her bouncy chair.  But she likes to party from about 1am to 4am and doesn't like to sleep during that time unless we are holding her.  I'm thankful Jason and I can split up the night shift so we are at least getting a few hours of sleep.  Hopefully this phase will pass soon....but she sure is precious sleeping!

Olivia was introduced to bedtime stories with Daddy.  I can't wait for both girls to be cuddled up in bed listening to Jason read books. :)

Olivia was also introduced to College Gameday on Saturday.  She spent most of the day snuggled with Jason on the couch.  Girl better like football because it's the only way to survive the weekends in this house!

Big sister Hannah wanted to show Olivia all about Praise Baby.  We love the Praise Baby DVDs in our house so I was super excited when Hannah suggested this!

The girls (I love saying that!) also spent some bonding time together on the play mat.  Olivia isn't too interested in it just yet but Hannah sure has had fun with it!

Olivia had her first doctor appointment with our new pediatrician.  Olivia is now up to 7lbs 13ounces and 20 inches!  We are so thankful she is growing because feeding time is definitely a struggle.  It takes about an hour for each bottle and she has been spitting up quite a bit the past few days.  But weight gain is good so I will gladly struggle through feedings to make sure she is growing adequately.
It's been a fun (and tiring) first week at home!  Our families have been a HUGE help this past week in making this transition home as easy as possible on all of us.  I am so thankful to live close to both our families during times like this. 
We have several more doctor appointments and therapy evaluations in the coming weeks that will further determine what life will look like with Olivia during the next several months.  I'm a bit anxious about it all but I know God is in control and every day of Olivia's life is already planned out.  We trust that God's plan is perfect and we have been put with the best doctors and therapists in our area.  Thank you for following us on this journey and praying for our family.

October 9, 2012

hannah (finally) meets olivia

After 6 1/2 LONG weeks for Hannah, she finally got to meet Olivia! It was one of the most perfect moments I have ever experienced. I cannot wait to watch these two sisters grow up together and become the best of friends.

Hannah just stared at Olivia when she first got home from school.  It was really like she couldn't believe Olivia was actually home. :)

I know it's blurry but I love the little smile on Hannah's face.  She is one proud big sister!

It didn't take long before Hannah asked to hold Olivia.  I can already tell this will be a daily thing and I love it!
I am SO thankful Hannah loves Olivia so much.  I know this is (and will continue to be) a huge adjustment for Hannah but today I am thankful she is doing so well with everything and really wants to help as much as possible with Olivia.  These girls are precious gifts to us and I don't want to take any of these moments for granted.

October 8, 2012

olivia's homecoming

Today was a day of rejoicing in the Kaundart home.  After 47 days in the NICU, we finally got to bring our sweet Olivia home!  It was a day full of tears and smiles as we said goodbye to our doctor, therapists and nurses at Willow Creek and said hello to our life as a family of four.

Dr. Lin came in a did his final evaluation of Olivia, signed the discharge papers and we were on our way home!

 Leaving the hospital!

Home Sweet Home

Our first picture as a family of four! (I'll share more later about the first moments Hannah saw Olivia.  It was the most precious thing I've ever witnessed.)

THANK YOU to all of you who have prayed for this day to come!  We are SO thankful for all the love, encouragement and prayers we have received during this part of Olivia's story.  We are beyond humbled by the love we have been shown these past 7 weeks.  Though our NICU journey is over, the real stuff is just beginning so we do ask that you continue to pray for our sweet Olivia as we have no idea what her future holds but we know God has the perfect plan for her little life.

October 7, 2012

NICU weekend update

This should be our last weekend update from the NICU!  As long as nothing crazy happens tonight, we will be bringing our sweet Olivia home tomorrow!  It's hard to believe this journey is coming to an end.  It is definitely bittersweet and I am beyond anxious tonight.  We have come to love the nurses in the NICU and Willow Creek has become a second home for us during the past six and a half weeks BUT we are beyond excited to begin life with Olivia at home.  I can't wait to see what this next week will be like adding this new little one to our life!

This weekend Olivia had several tests and evaluations to get her ready for discharge.  She started out with the 90-minute car seat test.  She looks SO little and SO confused in her car seat!

About halfway through, sweet girl fell asleep and was pretty happy about it. ;)

Olivia also had her OT evaluation with our awesome OT, Juli.  I've learned so much from Juli about infant massage and stretching and can't wait to start working with Olivia as soon as she gets home.  Hopefully this will help her muscle tone and development as she grows in the coming months.  And Olivia loved her massages from Juli and would almost always fall asleep during her sessions.

Olivia hasn't had the best weekend feeding so we are praying hard we do get to bring her home tomorrow.  But as long as the doctor and speech therapist give us the okay, Olivia will have a few last minute evaluations and we will finalize some paperwork and then hopefully we will be bringing this sweet baby girl home!

October 3, 2012

NICU...happy 6 weeks!

Six weeks ago we entered the world of the NICU, having no idea what to expect or what we would go through during that time.  I never thought our sweet Olivia would spend six weeks in the NICU.  I never thought this would be part of her story.  But it is and today we got the GREAT news that we will get to bring our baby home on Monday!  Words cannot describe how excited and nervous we are to bring Olivia home.  We have NO idea what life will look like but we are so thankful to be closing this chapter and beginning a new one.

Olivia has done so well taking the bottle this week!  She has consistently taken all feedings, completely, for 48 hours.  The doctor will continue to monitor her for the next five days to make sure she continues to gain weight and take all her feedings by bottle without the feeding tube.  As long as that continues, we will be home sometime Monday.  The nurse today also took out her feeding tube so she can't "rely" on that anymore and will have to work for all her feedings.

I've never been more excited about an empty bottle in my life :)

SO thankful and happy to see this little face without any tubes!

And I am forever grateful to our AMAZING speech therapist, Janna.  She is seriously the BEST and worked so hard with Olivia the past few weeks.  God has been so faithful to send just the right people to work with us and help Olivia make great progress.  We are SO thankful for Janna and her love and dedication to our sweet baby during our time in the NICU.