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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Twin Update & Thankful Thursday

The boys turned 6 months old this month and had their doctor visit this week! They're still growing!

Jeriah went from 13 lbs 9 oz to 15.5 lbs and from 25 3/4 in to 26 3/4 in.

Jace went from 15.5 lbs to 17.5 lbs and from 25.5 in to 26.5 in.

It's crazy that they each grew exactly one inch and gained 2 pounds!! The doctor said everything looks great! They're hitting all their developmental milestones and then some!

They're both sitting up on their own. Jace does awesome at sitting up! He's got it down! Jeriah still likes to lean back a lot, lol. He seems more interested in wanting to stand. I wouldn't be surprised if he skips crawling or only does it til he can pull himself up so he can walk. Monica and I joke that Jeriah wants to be a big boy, while Jace is content being a baby, lol!

We can start introducing meats and feeding them table foods! We started last night at Texas Roadhouse with bread and sweet potatoes. Jeriah did great and loved it, while Jace gagged and spit it out. Haha! They are so totally different in almost everything they do! It's so funny to watch!

The only downside is for the past 2 weeks they've had stuffy noses. We've had to suction them A LOT. Recently it started turning yellow, so they are getting their first doses of antibiotics :( I thought I would be a lot tougher and that suctioning, etc. would be easier than it is. I hate it. They cry and do not like it! I completely understand. It's the equivalent of being NT (nasotracheal) suctioned for adults. That's where we as RT's put a suction catheter down your nose into your lungs and suction. To get all the mucus, we have to put the bulb syringe really far into their little noses, especially Jace. His congestion is worse. They can't sleep good, because they can't breath and they have trouble eating as well for the same reason. It's hard to watch them be so uncomfortable. On top of the congestion they got 4 shots yesterday and were running some pretty good fevers for 2 days after. Poor little guys are having a tough go these past couple days!

Today the congestion seemed a lot better, and they seemed more back to themselves! Hopefully them and daddy will all be back to our normal, healthy selves next week!

The only plus knowing their little immune systems are getting stronger. For that we are thankful!

Speaking of thankful..... It's Thankful Thursday!!! We have so much to be thankful for! Life is full of blessings, big and small!

To add to the Thankful Thursday aspect, I got to meet a neighbor of ours this week. Monica has been driving my blazer to work so I can have the car in case I need to take the boys anywhere. I forgot to mention to her that my gas gauge is broken. Uh-oh! Thankfully it didn't run out of gas on her, it ran out on me, lol! I was on my way home from getting the boys medicine, and it broke down about a mile from the house. I was walking to the house when a car passed me, turned around and stopped to offer a ride. It was a neighbor who had recently moved in. We hadn't had the chance to introduce ourselves yet. He gave me a lift back to the house, and along the way we had a short conversation about our families and lives. I learned that his wife has cancer and is halfway through the chemo/radiation process. They have a son, under 1 year old, and he had to quit his job to work from home so he could take care of his wife and son. Obviously they are going through a rough time. I wouldn't have guessed it by his demeanor though! He is in good spirits and seems to be a great guy! I'm looking forward to getting to know them better! Please keep them in your prayers!!!

Afterwards, Monica and I were talking about how awesome God is and how He works in mysterious ways. I was slightly annoyed when I ran out of gas and how bad the timing was (as if there's ever a good time to run out of gas, lol). As they say, hind sight is 20/20. If I hadn't run out of gas, I wouldn't have met my neighbor. Who knows when we would have introduced ourselves. God wanted us to meet and he used my blazer running out of gas to do it. He has reasons for everything! It's exciting when God puts new people in your path!

So, what are you thankful for this week?!?!

P.S. Here's some recent pics of our boys!

Sitting up like big boys

Jace off in "Jaceland" and Jeriah high on applesauce

Already posted this once but it's an all-time fav

Their new winter hats

Posted this one already too, but it's a good one in their mummy outfits

Snoozing, holding onto his toy :)
You can also see his first little cut on his eyelid.
He was playing with his aunt and got a little rowdy!

Jace's "I just woke up and I'm trying to sort life out" face

Sleeping holding a toy again

First time sitting in big boy chairs at the restaurant

There were too many distractions to get them to look at us and smile, lol

Monday, October 28, 2013

Home Sweet Home

I made it home today! Man, oh man, does it feel good to be back home! I was starting to get used to being in The Hole, but there's no place like home! Staying in the hospital for a week wasn't as bad as I would have thought. The days were mainly taken up by breathing treatments and get hand clapped. The only down side is the hospital's new policy on not letting patients leave the floor. I was unable to get out and go for walks/jogs in the park because of this new policy. I understand why they put it in place, but I think we (the CF population) are an exception. The only exercise I was able to get was walking on a treadmill.

I'm excited to be home so I can get some exercise in! I want to see my PFT's up to at least 64% when I go back on Monday. I'm gonna work my butt off this week to make sure that happens!

On a side note, I was released before 10am! This has never happened before. Usually they want me to stay for my 2 o'clock dose of meropenum and then I can leave. Today they got me out fast!

Thankfully, Monica and our families were able to make sure I got to see my boys almost every day! That was by far the worst part of being in there for a week. Not getting to be with my boys all the time!

So far, everything seems to be going good! I'm still coughing a lot more than usual. I'm hoping it's just because stuff is loosening in my lungs and that I won't need a 3rd week of antibiotics. We shall see!

Here's a few more pics from my visits with the boys!

Enjoying the view

Jeriah wondering what I'm doing

Jace wondering what I'm doing

Now both looking back to see what dad's doing

Chillin on the couch with Aunt Kara (Jeremy's sister)

They wore their mummy outfits to church and came to see me after

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hole Update & Visiting Daddy

Thought I'd give an update from the Hole. It's Day 3 in here and everything is going smooth! I've only cultured pseudomonas! At one point I was culturing MRSA, stenetrophomonas, and pseudomonas. So, it's awesome that I only have one bug in my lungs!! Only having one bug means being on less IV antibiotics too. 

At the hospital I stay at we get manual CPT. Getting clapped 4 times a day is really moving some junk! I've been crackling and wheezing (not normal for me at all) and with the hand clapping I'm coughing a decent amount of stuff up. 

I did talk to my physician about staying longer and he was totally on board. He was actually glad I mentioned it. He was going to discuss it with me. With the boys at home, life is busier and there are a lot of distractions. So they said I can stay as long as I want. Monica and I agree a week would be good. So, I'll be out of here Monday! 

One thing is for sure, the days go by much slower in here than at home, lol!

Thankfully I've had visits from my boys to help pass the time! They also remind me why I'm here and doing what I'm doing! Here's some pics from their visits!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Trip to The Hole

Looks like its time for a tune-up, which means a trip to "The Hole." It's been over a year and a half since my last admission! I'm very proud of this and it proves that hard work pays off. I've been faithful to two treatment sets a day and exercising (although the exercise hasn't been consistent). 

However, my admission this time is proof that sometimes, even when you're doing everything right, CF still can get the best of you. No matter how many treatments or hours spent exercising, admissions and exacerbations are inevitable. That's CF. 

It seems unfair, it can be frustrating, but it is what it is.

I'm going in with a smile! I'm like Forrest Griffin after he takes a beating in round 1, standing in his corner smiling at his opponent. As if to say, "Yea you got that round, but I'm coming for ya now!" Makes me think of the Disciple song "Game On." So, touché CF, touché. After some IV antibiotics and a couple weeks of intense treatments I'll be back where I was and hopefully higher. My goal is still 70%. I know I can see 70% again, maybe higher. I was getting close. In may of this year I was at 66% after almost a year of rising PFT's! My FEV1 this time is 56%. 

This time is different. Usually when I need an admission or antibiotic pills it's because I had a bad sinus cold that turned into a chest cold and caused a drop in my PFT's. This time feels more like a true CF exacerbation. I don't have any cold symptoms. My PFT's are just down. 

I knew this was coming. Most of us do. I have my own red flags. 

1. When I lay down at night and I cough a bunch as soon as I lay down. Normally I lay down and go to bed without coughing any. When I'm gettin sick I cough a lot when I lay down for a couple minutes. 
2. I cough a lot more all the time. I always cough, but when I'm sick I cough more. People who are around me start to notice my increased coughing too. 
3. I get winded doing things that shouldn't cause me to get winded. Such as carrying the laundry upstairs, going up  a couple flights of stairs at work, and when I exercise having to take breaks or go at a much slower pace. 
4. I am grumpy and irritable. Unfortunately my wife notices this one the most. I get complainy (if that's a word). I become a "negative Nancy" whining about work, people driving, and other insignificant stuff. 
5. I am more tired. Usually I'm up for hanging out later with friends and doing stuff in the evening. I don't want to spend my life being a fuddy-dud. I want to enjoy every moment! When I'm sick, I never want to do anything. All I think about is staying home and relaxing. 

So, I'll be spending the next few days to week in the hospital getting my IV's and taking treatments. Then I'll be at home finishing them up. Ideally I would like to stay in the hospital the entire two weeks or however long it takes. While I'm here I'm forced to focus on my health. When I'm home there are a million distractions that prevent me from taking 4 treatments a day and focusing on my health. With the boys now, it would be very hard on Monica to be home alone for 2 weeks. Granted she'll have help, but it's not the same. So, We agreed that I should probably spend a week in. My CF team usually only wants me to stay for 2-3 days and then go home. They're reasoning is that I'm at risk for catching another "bug" while I'm in here. It's a very valid point. However, I'm here 40 hours a week when I work. I'm already highly at risk. I think the benefit of 4 hand clap treatments and no distractions outweighs the risk of getting more sick. We shall see! I'm not good at being outspoken and expressing my concerns. It's something I'm working on.

I'll be posting updates and hopefully some videos (the boys will most likely be in them :)) 

Thanks for reading to long-winded post!

View from my room on the 13th floor

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

6 Months Old

The boys turned 6 months old 2 days ago on the 12th! It's really hard to believe they are getting so old! They develop more every day! We notice them doing something new almost on a daily basis. It's so crazy!

If you've been reading any of our other posts, you already know that Jeriah has 2 teeth now. They stick out more and more all the time! Jace has been chewing on everything! We expect his teeth to poke through anytime. They are becoming more mobile. They aren't crawling yet, but they have figured out how to twist, roll, wiggle and grab the blanket/mat to pull themselves all over. They are close to scooting! They both will put their face down, push with their feet to get their butts in the air and push with their feet. It looks like they're trying to climb, pushing one foot after the other, but they don't go anywhere, lol.

They've gotten much better at sleeping!! In fact, Saturday, the day they turned 6 months old, they slept from 9:30 until almost 7 without waking once!! (angelic noise) It was wonderful! We can pretty much lay them down almost wide awake and they will fall asleep on their own without much of a fuss. They're such good boys!

We go for a check-up at the end of the month where we'll find out how big they are! I'll be taking wagers if anyone is interested! Haha!

They have learned so many new things, I feel like I'd have to go on and on and bore you to death. So I'll mention a few and leave it be. They are really watching each other and even more than that, starting to interact with one another. As parents Monica and I think this is one of the coolest things ever! They will laugh at each other and they're starting to babble to one another. This afternoon when I got home from my study appointment, I went into the kitchen where they were sitting with momma and made some funny faces at them to get some laughs. I got the laughs, and right after they laughed at me, they turned and looked at each other, like "Did you see dad being silly?" It was awesome!

Last night we had a birthday party for my father-in-law. Monica's cousin's fiancé (lol) was ducking behind me and popping back up, playing with Jace. When she would duck behind my other shoulder, he would lean over my back, look to see where she went, and then laugh really hard when she popped back up! We had never seen him leaning to look for something like that before. He did it again today with Monica. It's too cute!

Last one, Jeriah has gotten so fast with his little ninja moves! If anything is within reach, BAM, he's got it! He is a fast little booger! It's almost as if he's always waiting for something to get close so he can pounce on it, lol. He's got some quick reflexes.

Alright, I guess that's enough. Enjoy the pictures and videos!

We have the most good-looking boys ever!

Sleeping on grandpa

Sometimes he zones out... :)

Fuzzy head

Shopping is tiring... I felt the same way.

The following pictures were taken in order of how they happened.
It serves as an illustration of how mobile they are becoming.

Running when it's cold! They both slept the whole way!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thankful Thursday: House, Hero's & Weather

It's Thankful Thursday everybody!!!! Another week has passed us by and is recorded in the history books of time. It's the perfect time to reflect on this past week or our lives in general and pick out some things we can be grateful for! There's always something we can be thankful for! So here we go, our Thankful Thursday lists:

Monica's List:

I'm thankful for nights out with friends! Tonight, Jeremy is going to stay home and watch the boys (with help from his parents) while I go out with a couple of my girls! I only get to see these girls every few weeks if that. So, I'm always excited to see them and can't wait to catch up and laugh... A LOT! We always have a blast and I really enjoy spending time with them!

I'm thankful for nice weather! The weather lately has been beautiful! Yesterday I was doing some cleaning around the house. It was so nice out, I turned the AC off and opened the windows. I was cleaning some stuff outside, so I had the boys in their jumpers on the front porch (if you could call it a porch). They were happy as could be, jumping and watching all the cars drive by! A neighbor of ours who we rarely see or talk to saw us and came over to chat. It was nice talking to her and she just went on and on about how cute the boys were! It was great getting to be outside, as I grew up spending a lot of time outside and love the outdoors!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for beautiful weather! It's been a bit chilly on the drives into work, but it's been amazing when I leave! It makes me so much more anxious to get the work day over with, seeing how nice it looks outside! It's been awesome out! I like this time of year!

I'm thankful for a clean house! Yesterday when I came home from work, Monica had cleaned every square inch of the house! It looks AMAZING! She put out our fall decorations (most of them I didn't know we had) and had cleaned everything.... even the trash can! Our house looks awesome and festive!

I'm thankful for getting to meet cool people at my job. Working as a respiratory therapist in a hospital you meet new people every day. Mostly patients, as you get new ones every day. They often have me precept new employees or students at work. This week I had the opportunity of meeting a really cool guy who was a respiratory student. He was my age and an army vet. He had been hit by 3 IED's and fell off the roof of a 2-story building during a spec-ops mission!  He obviously got injured but finished out his 15 month tour and 4 year contract, before leaving the army with 100% disability and his GI pay (both of which he completely earned in my opinion after hearing about just some of the stuff he went through). This is the part that makes this guy so cool and a true hero in my opinion. He donates 100% of his disability money to the Wounded Warriors Project!!! He told me he has virtually no family and doesn't need the money. One of the reasons he donates to the Wounded Warrior Project is because this past weekend 5 soldiers died in combat overseas. Because of the government shutdown, the gov't won't pay to ship the bodies of these young men back home, nor will they pay for any funeral arrangements. That's where the Wounded Warrior Project steps in and is paying for it all. I have a new found respect for the Wounded Warrior Project and feel honored to have met a true hero of our country!

(On a side note, if you know who I'm speaking of, please don't say anything to him about this. He's the kind of guy who doesn't like to get credit for his good deeds. Even though he deserves some!)

So, what are you thankful for this week?!?!?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sticking to the Program

Yesterday was Day 3 of working out since I started my one year commitment. It went great!

The whole thing started off bad on Monday when I barely made it to 1.5 miles with really bad pain in my right knee. This was the 3rd time it had happened to me and forced me to stop running way before I should have. I couldn't run at all the rest of the trail.

Going into yesterday I was very hesitant about running. My schedule is to run Monday and Thursday and lift (P90X) on Tuesday and Friday. I've been having a lot of headaches lately and have had no appetite at all. So, yesterday when I got home, I had a pretty bad headache and waited to run until after dinner and the headache had subsided. By then it was dark so I ran on the treadmill in our basement. I usually hate running on a treadmill. It seems like you run 3 times as far as you really do and the mental aspect is hard because of the boredom. I've found that if I stick a movie in, I can zone out into the movie and just go!

I made it 3.1 miles with no pain in my knee! My time was horrible (35 minutes) but I got it done. Usually I could care less about running exactly 3.1 miles, but there's a 5K in 2 weeks that I'd like to be able to run in. My running form is always bad on a treadmill so I felt it a lot more in my calves and Achilles tendon than normal, but my knee was good. I wore different shoes to run inside too. Whether it was the shoes, the bad form, the treadmill, or that my knee is healed, I had no pain in it. Awesome! Hopefully it continues to do fine so I don't have to see a doctor about it.

The day was topped off by Jace being so adorable you could scream! He was laughing more than I've ever heard him laugh last night. At silly things too. He seemed giddy! He would giggle and giggle at everything and then belly laugh like I've never heard him do before! It was awesome! A great night!

Tonight I'm looking forward to working my shoulders, biceps and triceps! Or the glamour muscles as Tony Horton from P90X calls them, lol!

Thankful Thursday: Teeth, Hurting & Being Out Done

It's Thankful Thursday ya'all!!! It's been quite some time since I've done a Thankful Thursday post. You have my sincerest apologies! We've been pretty busy lately, but what else is new right? I know I always say that. Sometimes the daily routine does get exhausting and my blogging slacks. Wake up, treatments, work, treatments, play with boys, eat, exercise, relax for 30-60 min, put boys to bed, go to bed. Weekdays are pretty jam packed! Who'd have guessed that twins would be so much work, lol! Not me obviously! Haha! Life is still fantastic though! No matter how busy it may seem, we are always surrounded by so many blessings! It's so nice to step back and observe a few once a week! So here they are, our Thankful Thursday lists:

Monica's List:

to be continued....

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for hurting! Sore muscles from working out, hurting that is. I started my One Year Challenge this week. I ran Monday (and discovered I may have developed some knee issues) and lifted Tuesday via P90X DVD. Man, oh man did I forget how tough those are! I am really out of shape. I coughed a ton! I felt completely spent halfway through the DVD. Somehow I mustered the will power to finish it out, and I'm glad I did! It feels good to be able to "feel" my muscles again. There's nothing like waking up, trying to get out of bed and going, "Whoo buddy I'm sore!" Let's you know you're alive and accomplished something! I'm really looking forward to being in the best shape of my life at the end of this year long commitment!!!

I'm thankful for two little teeth! Our boys are growing up so fast! Jeriah now has two little teeth! It's so cute when kids get their first two teeth and are running around with two little teeth at the bottom of their smile! It's a little sad, as we're used to seeing gummy smiles up until now. It's getting harder to accept that they're growing up. I like the sleep on your chest, cuddly, baby phase. Jeriah is quickly growing out of that. It's a little easier since Jace still enjoys his cuddle time!

I'm thankful for a motivating wife! When Monday rolled around I was not feeling it. Usually I make up my mind to start working out or running and mentally I'm determined and strong. Not this time. Mentally I was not there. Not ready to run. Partially because I knew it was going to be hard, and partially because I knew I was going to cough like crazy! It was hard and I coughed like crazy! Monica was ahead of me the whole time and she was pushing the boys in the jogging stroller! How lame am I? Haha! She even sprinted up the hill at the end pushing them! She's a very determined individual and it's super motivating! I love her and am so thankful for her!

So, what are you thankful for today?!??!?!?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Jeriah Week: "Momma" & Teeth

Jeriah has had a "mom"umental week! He's said "momma" a few times before but usually while continuing to say "mum-mum-mum-mum" over and over. A couple times he just said "momma" but it sounded like more of a fluke. He's still less than 6 months old so maybe it is still a fluke, BUT it sounds pretty convincing to me!

Yesterday I had the boys by myself while Monica was at work. It's a lot of work but twice as much fun as it is work! While I was burping Jeriah after he ate, he was in a talkative mood so I jumped on the opportunity to try and get him to say momma and it worked! As you will see in the video he repeats it 4 times after I tell him to! and it's a pretty clear "momma" a couple of those times!

I also noticed he was a little grumpy yesterday. He was kinda fussy and whining which isn't like him at all. He had only taken one 30 minute nap from 8:00am until 4:00pm which I thought was the problem. When Monica got home today with the boys, she put Jeriah in my lap and said "Feel his gums."

He has TWO TEETH!!!!!!

They're both sticking out and you can feel them and see them clear as day! It was literally overnight! We thought it would be awhile for either of them. They kind of had bumps but not very big ones. Guess we were wrong, our little booger has teeth now!

I tried to get some good pics of his two little teefies. He doesn't like to hold still nor have fingers in his mouth trying to pull his lip down and hold his mouth open, lol! See for yourself!

P.S. Just because this is a post about Jeriah doesn't mean I can't put some adorable pics of Jace in here too! He's too cute not to!