Monday, August 31, 2015

5 Months and Counting

Monday, September 21

I blinked and summer is now over and I'm back at work. That means my time as a temporary stay-at-home mom is over too. I was spoiled to be home with the kiddos for so long. It is nice to have some grownup conversations on a daily basis though!

Ellison and Brylee are wonderful! I can't believe how big they are getting! They are such good babies. We are very thankful for them being such good eaters and sleepers! They sleep through the night regularly and rarely fuss.

It seems like time goes by quicker with your second child....or in our case, second set of children. Is that true for anyone else? We're already almost halfway through their first year and they'll be crawling soon. It doesn't seem possible.

5 months old!
(from August 27) 
Ellie in pink, Brylee in orange

Ellie Fun Facts:
  • barely fits in her 3-month clothes (I'm waiting for Brylee to catch up a bit before switching)
  • first to start rolling over, but doesn't do it very often
  • is very strong...she is starting to sit up with very little assistance
  • wins the award for the best sleeper- sometimes we wake her up because she's slept so long!
  • loves to play with her feet
  • did NOT enjoy the first attempt at rice cereal
Ellie was the first to roll over!

Brylee Fun Facts:
  • is still the runt, weighing about a pound less than Ellie
  • rolls from back to tummy, and back again
  • wiggles like crazy and spins around when she lays on her tummy
  • is the screamer!
  • likes to chew on her hand or suck on her fingers
  • did NOT enjoy the first attempt at rice cereal
Devyn "helping" Brylee roll over

Devyn loves her little sisters!

Devyn is doing great and talking like crazy! Her gibberish is finally starting to sound like English. It is so much easier to deal with a two year-old when you can communicate! She is turning into quite a little monkey. She can get in and out of all the cribs in the house (yes, we have 4) within seconds, pushes furniture around as she pleases, and has even tried to climb the walls. Luckily, her attempts to become Spiderwoman have failed so far. I did catch her trying to push her baby stroller up the wall yesterday, however.

Devyn Fun Facts:
  • loves to color (even on the walls and furniture)
  • dislikes wearing shoes 
  • would stay outside all the time if we let her
  • recognizes most of her colors and numbers to 10
  • announces that she's done eating dinner just so that she can return minutes later to eat everything on our plates
"What do you mean this chair is for the babies? I fit in here just fine, Mom." -Devyn

Devyn, our bathing beauty

Look who can get upright all by herself!!!

Sweet Kinley has made some great progress in the past few weeks! She can now push herself up into an upright, kneeling position. She has also started pulling herself up (onto her knees) to the coffee table or her activity table. And with assistance, she will attempt to stand as well.

At her last neurology appointment, her doctor decided to run a genetic test to rule out any additional factors that may be causing her developmental delays. We know that the brain condition from her premature birth is the main culprit. No one actually expected to find anything, so we were heartbroken to learn that she does, in fact, have a genetic problem. The doctor calls it a "genetic deletion," which basically means that one of her chromosomes is incomplete. With the particular chromosome affected, there is a connection with a severe form of infantile epilepsy. However, we are very thankful that there is no evidence of that in Kinley. Affected children usually develop the condition shortly after birth, and Kinley has never showed any signs or reason for concern. This does mean, however, that Kinley has one more obstacle to overcome in her development. We have been referred to a geneticist to discuss her condition and get more information. Geneticists are few and far between, so it will be a while before she can be seen. So, we continue to work with her and love her for the perfect little girl she is:-)

Kinley Fun Facts:
  • loves to listen to us sing to her  
  • recognizes most of her colors and numbers to 10
  • enjoys playing in the water table
  • would watch the baby channel all day if we let her
  • cheers for herself when she "sits up"
  • loves the words "up" and "down" and will make us copy her as she demonstrates them
They LOVE the water table! Notice that Devyn uses it as a kiddie pool. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Where did Summer Go?

Sunday, August 30
July 27, 2015
Ellie on left, Brylee on right
Note to self....don't start a blog post and then wait a month to actually finish it. You won't remember what was going on in your life a month ago:-(

I started this post exactly 30 days ago. So, needless to say, I have very little recollection of what I SHOULD be posting about. What I do know was that at the beginning of August the girls were still enjoying summer: playing in the backyard, making messes, attending appointments, and growing like weeds! Actually, the only thing that has really changed is that on top of all of that, I am now back at work.    

Thing 1 and Thing 2 (Ellie on left, Brylee on right)
I'm still looking for the same photo of Devyn and Kinley wearing these outfits.

This is how one parent takes all 4 girls to Kinley's physical therapy appointments. We carry Kinley and harness Devyn to the stroller so she can't run away.

Devyn the monkey.

Devyn took a tumbling/gymnastics class this summer and loved it! It was right up her alley: lots of running around trying out all the different stations. The balance beam and this pull-up bar were her favorites. Her least favorite part was practicing patience when she had to wait for another kid to be done.

Devyn and Kinley were in swimming lessons as well. Devyn seemed to enjoy them, although not nearly as much as Kinley! We definitely need to get them in the big pool more often.

Swim lessons with Daddy!

Devyn hanging out in the baby carseat while Kinley was in her lesson.

Ellie watching her big sisters play in the backyard.

Melts my heart!

I thought I was catching a sweet moment between Devyn and Ellie. Instead, I caught this...

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Stars and Stripes

Thursday, July 9

4th of July
Wish we could have been in Minnesota to celebrate our Nana's 90th birthday!
What a difference a year can make!
2014 (above) 2015 (below)

Everyone tells you to enjoy this parenthood journey because it goes by so quickly. I admit there are times when I am perfectly ok with that! For example... when Devyn pooped in her closet after bath time, or when all four girls are screaming simultaneously for seemingly no reason at all. During those times, I'd be ok with hitting the fast forward button. But, of course, those times are few and far between. And when I look at the photos in this blog, I can see how time is flying by!

Time is such a funny thing. It seems like ages ago we spent 82 days straight visiting the girls in the hospital, and yet, it seems like just yesterday that I spent so many days snuggling them at home on the couch during my maternity leave.

Here are the annual bathtub photos of Devyn and Kinley. These are the tubs we gave them their baths in during their NICU stay.
About 3 weeks old
1 year old                                 2 years old

About 6 weeks old
                                                one year old                                   two years old

Our baby girls are over three months old already! Brylee and Ellison are doing great! They are such wonderful babies. They are good eaters and very good sleepers, which make Mommy and Daddy very happy! They are growing like weeds! I can barely get Ellie's size 1 diapers on her anymore. And she's only been wearing the 3-month size clothing for about a month, and they're tight on her already.
3 Months Old
(June 27, 2015)
Guess Who!
Ellie (left) Brylee (right)
 Last weekend we took the girls to the Springs Preserve. The girls enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit the most.
Brylee won the staring contest, but Ellie looks like she lost her battle with the T-Rex.
Dino-Devyn is obsessed with coloring lately!
Kinley and Daddy getting a ride!

Devyn and Kinley are still taking Gymboree class on Saturday mornings. Kinley enjoys circle time where they play with bubbles, sing songs, and play with a parachute. Devyn prefers to run around the entire time and play on the equipment.
And just because I love this pic...
 Love her smile!
Devyn has decided that she enjoys sitting in the water table.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Thursday, June 25

We officially have two 2-year-olds and two 2-month-olds. Wow! The big girls turned two last week and we celebrated with a beach themed party on Friday.

We had lots of friends and family join us for the celebration. It was HOT! The little ones enjoyed the kiddie pool, splash pad, and water table. The rest of us did the best we could to not die of heat stroke.

 Kinley relaxing in the pool and Devyn enjoying the splash pad.
 Devyn and Elle
 Sandcastle Fruit salad or Seashell Chicken Pasta Salad anyone? 
Kinley knows how to stay cool! 
Kinley playing in the water table...while Devyn tries to get in!
I'd rather play than eat Mom!   -Kinley
Our big girls!
Look who's two!
Kinley is our quiet and calm girl. Well, at least when compared to Devyn.   She prefers to play by herself, especially with puzzles. She is such a sweetie. She rarely gets into trouble, unlike Devyn, so when she is told, "No!" she gives you the saddest face you've ever seen and cries. If she keeps that up, she'll get away with murder as she gets older!
Kinley continues to make progress with her therapy. She's a hardworking girl getting on average three, sometimes more, sessions a week from either PT, OT, and/or ST. She is still army crawling to get where she wants, but she loves to stand and walk with our assistance.
Kinley fun facts:
Hobbies: listening to songs, counting, stacking things, watching the Baby First channel
Favorite Words: more, counting to 10 but skipping 6 and 7 (the "s" sound is too hard!), yay!
Weight: 24 lbs
Favorite Foods: hot dogs, pasta, blueberries, bananas
Dislikes: when Devyn steals her toys

Mmm..this is pretty good!  -Devyn
Devyn is a big helper!
Devyn is, and probably always will be, our wild child! She rarely stops moving. She is mischievous and stubborn (surely she takes after her daddy!), and also loving and creative. She is very interested in her little sisters, and likes to "help" with them. She is often seen shoving a pacifier into one of their mouths.... especially when they're already sleeping. But she gives them plenty of hugs and kisses too... again, usually when they're sleeping.
Devyn Fun Facts:
Hobbies: drawing, coloring, playing outside, watching the Baby First channel
Favorite Words: No, Momma, all done, purple (every color is purple)  
Weight: 28 lbs
Favorite Foods: hot dogs, French fries, carrots, scrambled eggs
Dislikes: bananas, being patient, picking up her toys

Co and her "Fab Four"
June has been a very busy month! We've had lots of visitors...which means we could actually leave the house! Aunt Deb, cousin Courtney, and finally Grandma Carol have all come and gone, as well as Grandma and Grandpa Marsh who came for the birthday party.

We've been on all sorts of adventures the past couple weeks! Courtney and I took Devyn and Kinley on a zoo trip with a number of my coworkers and their children. They weren't too impressed with most of the animals, but they did seem to enjoy feeding the camels. We took our second trip to the Discovery museum with the Hinton family as well. The girls absolutely love the water room there!

 Coloring with Co at the Discovery museum.
The water room! 

Devyn feeding the camel at Roos N More zoo 

 Kinley feeding the camel

The monkey really liked me....however, the feeling wasn't exactly mutual.

Many of the parks here have splash pads with big water fountains and sprayers. We took the girls one evening, thinking it would be better than being there in the midday heat. Turns out, it was a little too cool to be playing in the cold water, but we got in a little bit of splashing before they froze.


 I signed Devyn and Kinley up to take a few classes through the Park and Rec centers in town. Both girls are taking a Gymboree class on Saturday mornings, and Kinley is taking a music class on Mondays. Next month, Devyn is enrolled in a tumbling class and both girls will be taking swimming lessons.
                      Devyn catching bubbles.                       Kinley was not in the mood to climb the mat.                                               
Gymboree class is a two person job! Miss Lily came the first week.
Don't forget about us! Brylee on left, Ellie's smile on right.
Godzilla....I mean, Devyn attacks again! Brylee is under there somewhere too!
Just chillin'
Kinley figured out that sunglasses are a MUST outside!
Devyn getting some alone time.