Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Adorable Baby Moments...

Quick baby update...a home health nurse came to visit Piper & Phoebe on Tuesday.  I love that Mission Hospital offer this service as a free courtesy.  While the nurse was at my house I got to ask a ton of questions & I got great answers.  The best part was she weighed the babies.  I was thrilled to see both girls are growing SO much.  Piper was 6 pounds & Phoebe was 5 pounds 7 ounces.  Good job little ladies, let's keep it up!

BIG day at Rancho Capistrano!

Last Sunday was a very, very big day at Rancho Capistrano.  It started out with not one but both of my younger sisters getting baptized by James.  What a cool experience to see my sweetheart baptizing MY very own sisters.  Natalie went first so she could help James baptize Hillarie.  I am so very proud of my sisters and the huge commitment they made.

After the baptisms James and I had the privilege/honor of introducing Piper and Phoebe to the 11:00 am church service at Saddleback Rancho Capistrano.  James was so cute, he had everything planned out for the morning so that the babies would be safe and not exposed to a lot of germies.  Trish (one of my most amazing volunteers/people I have met in my life) and I each had a baby and were waiting behind the stage for the band to finish up their singing.  As we waited I thought for sure the extremely loud music would either scare the babies or wake them up.  Well my dear sweet Piper slept through the music without even a little flinch.  Phoebe, who I thought would be scared, because she freaked out at the garbage truck the day before, did pretty well with the music.  It wasn't until James got up on the stage and started his announcements that she decided to start fussing.  I was trying so hard to keep her quite so she would not interrupt Daddy's job.  It was actually too cute.  Then the time came and James had us bring the babies out.  We were greeted with applause and an outpouring of love that was indescribable.  I LOVE my church family and feel SO honored to be apart of something so amazing.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Where's my Hair??

"Where's my hair mommy?"  That is what I think Phoebe and Piper are thinking in their precious little heads in these pictures.


Today we had another great visit with Auntie Natalie.  I have no doubt in my mind that Phoebe and Piper are going to be very spoiled girls from the ladies in my family.  Auntie Natalie, Grammie and Auntie Hillie-Bear were cracking me up today when they were fighting over who could hold which baby and who's turn was next.  My girls are very lucky to have so loving and caring people in their lives.  It was nice not to have to change a single diaper all afternoon (thank you Grammie and Auntie Natalie)!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Auntie Natalie and Uncle Mikey

Auntie Natalie and Uncle Mikey flew in this morning from Maryland for a 10 day visit.  I have seriously been counting down the days for this visit for months.  I miss my sister very much and wish she didn't live so far away.

In preparation for this visit I made sure to pick out clothes for the girls that Natalie and Mikey bought them.  The outfits are newborn and still a little big but Piper and Phoebe are getting there.  Both girls are working hard to pack on the pounds (I am a very proud momma)!

Piper sucking on her sister's finger

In honor of Natalie's visit we decided to go out for Mexican food (For those of you who don't know my family and I we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Mexican food.  Natalie and Mike have only yucky Mexican food back in Maryland so she always gets her fix when she comes to visit).  I have never taken the girls out (expect for our quick trips to the pediatrician) so I was a little nervous to say the least.  We chose a local restaurant that I know the owners and know it is not crowded.  I loaded the girls in the car and we took off for some yummy food.  I kept the girls covered up in their little car seats and it went great!  Phoebe and Piper slept the entire time, my food was delicious, I was so glad I went.  Most importantly it was so nice to get out and be a "normal" person.  Being inside all day can drive a new mommy crazy. :-)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Double Feeding!

Last night was great, both girls were on the same schedule and they slept for 4 hours at a time!  James and I only had to get up at 3am and 7am.  The sleep was great!

Then this morning I was feeling adventurous so I tried to feed both babies at the same time (with a little help from James to get positioned).  I was thrilled when it worked!!  It worked so well that I did it again later that afternoon when my good friend Theresa had stopped by to help me with Piper and Phoebe.

Auntie Laurie and Phoebe
Megan and Piper

Theresa and Piper

This week has been fun, Piper, Phoebe and I have had some nice visits from some of my dear friends and family members.  We are all so blessed to have these wonderful ladies in our lives.  Thank you for the visits, we love you all very much.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Phoebe & Daddy Go to the Doctor

Today was Phoebe's first appointment with Dr. Ball.  James and I packed both girls in the car (this time I thought to bring a diaper bag with all the baby essentials which I totally forgot when I brought Piper to see Dr. Ball) and we were off.  I knew I was tired when I pulled up to a building, James and I got both girls out of the car and only to realize that we were at the wrong building.  So James and I laughed really hard and put the girls back in the car, drove down the road to the next building and repeated the whole process again (it was good practice since we are new at the whole car seat stuff).

Once in the examining room Phoebe decided she was not happy and started to cry really, really loud.  It was actually kinda cute.  James and I got a picture of it to share. :-)  Phoebe has grown SO much and the scale proved it.  She is now 4 pounds 14 ounces.  That girl wakes up every 3 hours on the dot ready to eat.  I love her drive to grow and catch up to her sister.

While we were at the doctor James and I thought it would be a good idea for him to get his Dtap shot (this shot helps to protect Phoebe and Piper from getting pretussis) .  I got mine while in the hospital and they really recommend that all new parents get the shot.  James was very brave!

After Piper's first visit to Dr. Ball he wanted to see both girls in two weeks for another appointment just to weigh them.  Well I am SUPER excited to say that he told me to cancel that appointment because both girls were doing so well.  He was shocked when I told him how much they were eating at each feeding.  He was also very pleased that I have not had to give them formula yet.  That is something that makes me extremely happy too!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

One Month Old

Today Piper Rose and Phoebe June turn one month old (they should not even have been here until June 28th)!  I can hardly believe that a month has already gone by.  Time really does fly.  Both girls are growing SO fast and changing SO much.  Each day they are eating more and more and growing more and more.  It makes me so very happy to see them thriving so much.  After being in CHOC for as long as they were I couldn't help but wonder what things would be like at home.  I think the girls are actually thriving and growing more at home than they were in CHOC.  I thank God for my precious miracles each and every day.  I am so blessed to be their mommy!

1st Father's Day

Happy Father's day to the best new daddy in the whole wide world!  Thank you sweet heart for waking up with me in the middle of the night even when you have to go to work.  You are the best partner a girl could ask for.  This is only the beginning of our journey as parents.  I can't wait to see what the future holds for us.  I love you with all of my heart!

Also, I would also like to wish my dad (aka G-dad and Doggie Daddy) a very special Happy Father's day!  Thank you SO much for all of your love and support.  You are the bestest crib putter together I know. ;-)

Friday, June 15, 2012

More BIG news...

Phoebe came home today!!!!!  WAHOO!!!!!!!  After spending 4 weeks and 1 day at CHOC James and I were given the ok to take our precious little Phoebe home today.  God is good and we are so very grateful to have both of our little miracles home with us at last.

Bye-bye CHOC!

When we got home from the hospital my parents were busy putting together our swing and Auntie Hillie Bear was holding Piper (I think holding babies is Hillarie's new favorite thing to do.  She does it SO well).  James and I are so lucky to have such hard working and caring family and friends around us.

As I sit here now by myself (I am alone only because my sweet hubby is out getting me food) watching the girls sleep I am thinking good thing James and I have each other to navigate this first night having both babies at home.  They are both sleeping so soundly right now but I know once they get hungry it will no longer be so quiet here at the Valencia house (don't get me wrong it is a very good problem to have). :-)
Our First Family Photo

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Big News...

Monday was a very big day for the Valencia family.  Not only did Grammie have her retirement party but Piper was released from CHOC that day too!!!  WAHOO!!!  Prayers have been answered.  

Piper loaded up in her wagon on the way to the elevator.  Such a BIG girl!
I am thrilled to report that Piper has been doing AWESOME at home.  She is a great baby!  She sleeps the day away and only cries when she is ready to eat.  James and I could not ask for more.  The only bummer about the whole situation is that Phoebe is still at CHOC.  As of Tuesday James and I have started the major juggling act of being at home for Piper while trying to be at CHOC for Phoebe.  Thanks to both James and my wonderful mom, I have been able to do both.  Phoebe is doing really well and it should not be too much longer before she gets to join us at home.  I pray for that day and can hardly wait until it is a reality.

Today, Piper had her very first visit to the pediatrician, Dr. Ball.  She slept the entire car ride to and from the doctor's office and she was such a good patient while we were there.  The doctor said she looks great.  I could not ask for more.  She is now 5 pounds 1 and 1/2 ounces.  I can hardly believe she was once only 3 pounds 15 ounces.  That seems like such a long long time ago!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Grammie's Retiring from Teaching!

On Monday morning the parents in my mom's classroom got together to have a small retirement party for her.  There was not a dry eye in the house.  The room was filled with so much love.  My dad even got one of my mom's very first students to attend.  I was so happy that both James and I could be apart of this special day.
One of my mom's 1st students

For those of you who don't know my mom, she has been teaching for 35 years and is hands down the best teacher I have ever met.  She started her teaching career in Santa Ana, where she taught in both English and Spanish.  After several years there she transfered down to Capo Unified School District.  She taught at several schools in Capo which included opening two schools as a kindergarten teacher.  My mom has been and will continue to be my teaching inspiration.  Teaching was not just a job for my mom, it was her life.  She was constantly teaching and loving her students in ways that went far above what "normal" teachers do.

The coolest part about my mom retiring is that she can now be a full time Grammie!!!  James and I are thrilled that my mom will be watching Piper and Phoebe this next school year when I go back to work. We are so blessed to have her.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Car Seat Challenge

On Friday the nurse taking care of Piper and Phoebe asked me to please bring in one of the girls car seats.  This was very exciting news!  It meant that Piper was ready for her Car Seat Challenge.  What is a Car Seat Challenge you ask?  Well I can tell you...before NICU babies can go home they need to sit in their car seat for 90 minutes with out any problems or issues.  I am very happy to report that Piper had her car seat challenge on Saturday night and she passed with flying colors.

Today, Piper had her last NICU test which was a hearing screening.  Again, I am thrilled to say that Piper passed with no problems at all.  All of this exciting news means that Piper is very, very close to coming home with James and I.  Wahoo, praise Jesus!  Now even though this news is super duper exciting it also poses a challenge for us.  Once a NICU baby is released they are not allowed back into CHOC.  James and I will have to juggle one baby at home and one still in CHOC for a bit longer until Phoebe comes home.  Please pray for us that we can figure out a good plan and that things don't get too crazy.


I could not leave our little Phoebe out of this post.  Here is my new favorite picture of Phoebe smiling with her Daddy.  I have a feeling these girls will be Daddy's girls for sure! <3

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No Feeding Tube

Hurray...Piper got her feeing tube out yesterday (Friday)!!!  Since Piper has been doing SO well with her feedings lately, the doctor ordered that her feeding tube could come out.  Phoebe is working hard on multi-tasking (suck, swallow and breathe) but it is a little harder for her.  I know she will get there as she grows and matures.  This milestone puts Piper that much closer to coming home with Mommy and Daddy.

In addition to this HUGE news my mom and dad (Grammie and G-Dad) spent the evening at our condo putting together our two adorable cribs.  Thank you guys for not giving up and working SO hard (I know it was not an easy task).  The cribs look amazing!  I can't wait until we have two happy, healthy, chubby babies in those cribs permanently.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

3 Weeks Old (37 Weeks)


It is amazing to think that Phoebe and Piper should still be in my tummy.  Today they would have been 37 weeks instead of 3 weeks old.  Don't get me wrong, I am glad the girls are here and healthy today, but it would have been nice for them to bake a little longer.

Today was another amazing day at CHOC.  Piper drank her morning bottle for me in 4 minutes flat.  Phoebe took some of her morning bottle and then got tired.  Both girls are working SO hard and making good progress, just on their own time schedule.  Then at the 2:00 pm feeding Piper shocked both the nurse and I.  Piper took a shocking 56ml from my breast!!!  This was going above and beyond what she should eat.  At this point Piper needs to eat a minimum of 40ml at each feeding and if she takes more that is just an added bonus.  Just when I thought things could not get more exciting, Phoebe breast fed 34ml and only needed 3ml of breast milk in her feeding tube.  I was so proud of my big girls!!

Speaking of "big girls" here is a quick weight update on the girls, Piper is 4 pounds 8 ounces and Phoebe (who is quickly catching up to her sister) is 4 pounds 5 ounces.  We still do not have a going home date for either  of the girls but James and I are fine with that.  We continue to see progress everyday and that is all we can ask for.  Knowing God is watching out for our little miracles and that we have so many people praying for them makes this whole process so much easier.  Thank you to everyone for praying, we love you all! <3


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

TWO Cribs!!

When I got to CHOC this morning Piper and Phoebe had two big changes.  The first change was in their location.  Prior to now Phoebe and Piper had their very own private room in the PICU.  Yesterday James and I were told that a set of sick twin boys needed our room so they were moving us to another part of the PICU.  I was very happy to give up our room to two babies in need but sad to lose the privacy.  The girls are now in an open area that is a lot smaller.  The great part about the move is that it puts us one step closer to the door (literally speaking) and one step closer to going home.

Another change, the most exciting change, I found was that Phoebe was in a crib and no longer needed her isolate.  Wahoo!!!!!  At this point all Piper needs to do is take all of her feeds from a bottle and then she will come home (she is getting closer and closer every day).  Phoebe has a little bit more work to do.  She has to be off caffeine for 5 days (she is on that to help develop her nervous system), today was day one and she needs to take all of her feeds from a bottle like Piper.

James and I are very eager to have both girls come home, but not before they are ready.  No dates have been set for the girls to come home.  Right now we are just taking each day to learn more and more from our wonderful nurses at CHOC.