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Home of Bryan, Samantha, Asa, & Elijah

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Updates on Asa & Eli

 

Oh Boy!  Let the updates begin...again!

Nov 27th-- Happy Birthday, Daddy!  Happy Thanksgiving!  We had a great Thanksgiving Day with the Thompson Clan at the Loud's house in Marietta.  Aunt Leigh cooked a wonderful meal - and mind you she was 8 months pregnant and two other little ones running around!  Daddy had a nice birthday too! 

3 Generations of Thompsons

                  

On Sat the 29th, we made it to Athens while Aunt Sherri and Uncle Teebee and Cousins Chris and Mike watched the boys.  However, it was not too much fun watching the DAWGS lose to our in-state rivals in the cold rain!  Oh well...there's still a bowl game.

And on Sunday the 30th, we had Thanksgiving with the Kirby side.  Great-Grandmother and Aunt Jennifer made it, and Aunt Jenn even brought her "friend" Todd.  We had another delicious meal at their house too!

 

 

              

           Chunky Monkey Eli                          Chunky Monkeys                    Chunky Monkey Asa

    Daddy and Boys on the Square                        Mommy and Boys on the Square               Trick-or-Treating at the Wynns

  Loud and Kirby Cousins                                     Nana and Boys                                            TeddyGram and Boys

  October 31st--Well, of course, not really, but we're back-tracking as usual.  On the 30th, we went to the Carrollton Square and trick-or-treated.  Actually, we walked around opposite of traffic not getting candy because the boys can't even eat it.   The boys had a great time just looking around at all the people and costumes.  They ate dinner an hour and a half late and didn't even say a word about it - had we been at home, they would have said more than a word if dinner was 5 minutes late.    On Halloween, we made it to Marietta in the morning to be part of cousin Maddie's Trunk-or-Treat jungle scene.  Asa was a little cranky, so Nana wheeled he and Eli around the parking lot.  Eli sat in the stroller and was a little trooper the whole time.  They made it into the scene a few times to enjoy the bouncing zebra.  Aunt Leigh lost her crown as reigning two time best scene queen.  How could anyone beat our scene with two live monkeys and a lion?!  Then, we surprised TeddyGram at the airport when she came home from a trip and went to Newnan to trick-or-treat.  We wheeled around in the Kirby wagon which the boys wanted to stand up in the whole time, more Asa than Eli.  Eli was pretty content to sit there and be wheeled around, which is his personality.  He's a lot more timid than Asa.  On the way home, they fell asleep in the car, but transfered straight to bed without batting an eyelash.  We were all sufficiently worn out!

October 9th--Another Asa made it into the world last night!  Happy Birth-day to Asa Jack Knutson!  The proud daddy is our great friend from Augusta, Nathan...boy do we miss all those friends from our days in Augusta too!  We have wonderful friends all over the country now, but it's hard not to see all of you!  Sorry, just a little nostalgic! 

To continue our updates....Dad made it to the second UGA game with his Dad since we missed our vacation to Myrtle Beach while Asa was in the hospital (we'll always have that to hold over his head).  Mom couldn't bare to leave Asa yet, so the Loud gang came to spend the day with her and the boys.  We did make it to the Georgia Aquarium though and had a good time.  However, Asa decided he hadn't had enough of being sick yet, running a little fever all weekend.  Low and behold, he had croup and an ear infection.  We think our poor little guy is going to get every little sickness that he barely comes in contact with (although we knew of no one else who had croup and it was a little early in the season to get it).   Then, we went to Columbia (South Carolina) for the UGA vs. South Carolina game another weekend.  We enjoyed a tailgate with our good friend Michelle (from our days in Augusta), and Dad and Chase went to the game.  Mom and the boys tailgated a while and then went back to Michelle's house to watch the game.  It was our first night in a hotel with the boys.  Very interesting.  They loved all the new surroundings and just wanted to play...not go to sleep.  Of course this was when Ike was hitting Galveston, so we wanted to be glued to the TV / radio for updates.  We had to take the boys back in the car to get them to go to sleep.  It wasn't too bad though.  Speaking of Galveston, all of our friends and our church had extensive damage.  None of them can live in their houses now...they are having to pretty much gut their houses.  Anything that was touching the floor is totally ruined, the floors are destroyed, and sheet rock is having to be replaced.  It is so sad to see the pictures...it just breaks our hearts.  You all are in our prayers!   We also made it to the UGA vs. Alabama game in Athens...not too much to say about that.  Seeing the Blackout in the stadium was awesome, but then the game started.  But, we are sure the Dawgs will finish the season strong!

Helping (?) Plant Flowers

Tailgating in Columbia

In Athens for the Black Out           

 

Softball      

Brotherly Love

 Now for what you've really been waiting for, updates on our precious boys!   They had their 15 month appointment with Dr. Eubanks.  It went well, but both the boys had some reactions to their shots.  They had minor fevers and rashes.  We also were referred for another echocardiogram - results that Asa's heart looks fine and Eli still has a little PFO.   We also were referred for a speech evaluation which we went to this week.  We think we were a little harsh on the questions they asked us, but they still fell in the "normal" range.   We were a little concerned that they were only saying 4-5 words each.  But, they are all fine!  Thank God!   Last week, Asa, Eli, and Mommy ventured back to Egleston again to see Asa'a pulminologist.  It's really strange to valet park at a hospital/doctor's office, but it was easy and about the same price as parking yourself.  His medicine seems to be working (Flovent), so we'll keep him on it for the winter and then consider pulling him off of it.  The pulminologist hopes that Asa will grow out of it by age six but, unfortunately, he has a mommy with asthma.  Since mommy had adolescent onset, we are praying his will be different!  As you may have noticed, the website was updated Tuesday and Thursday of this week...right when the boys are at Mother's Morning Out!  They began that last week.  It's really strange to be at home without kiddos, but we are able to get lots done.  The boys seem to be adjusting to it well and aren't even crying now - they're easily bribed with food!  Mom is also going to Bible study on Wednesday mornings, so the boys are with the same ladies during that time too.  Due to these events, they now take just one nap a day.  When we don't have a phone ringing or a dog barking, then they sleep about 3 hours.  We've been going to church on Sundays, as much as Daddy's schedule will allow, and we've gone on a couple of Wednesday nights too.  That time is a little rougher on the boys as it is beginning to be bedtime, so we may have to wait a little longer to go to that.  Dad has also been playing softball with the church.  The boys enjoy watching Daddy play.  They also love the skate park right by the fields.  They love to watch all the tricks that the skateboarders, scooters, and bikes do.  They've mentioned that they want to watch Cousin Michael do his tricks too (hint-hint)!  Our yard project is officially finished as of last Friday when the dumpster was finally removed.  We'll get our "end of project pictures" taken soon and post those.  We've been enjoying the new kitchen and dining area out there, and use it just about everyday.  We had a great evening cooking out the other night, while the boys toddled around in the grass and playing in their sand and water table.  After dinner, our neighbors' little girls came over and played with the boys and threw the football on the field with Daddy.   Asa had a great time splashing in the water and getting everyone soaked.   The boys enjoy playing with their bubble machine outside, but the best of course is crawling up and down the stairs.  They're also learning that rocks and grass and many other items are not food.   The boys had to have their first haircut too.  We went to a kids hair cuttery and that was very helpful.  They weren't too sure about it, but they did well and look so cute with their new haircuts.  The stylists cut their hair at the same time, while we tried to video tape and take pictures.  If they were alone with the stylist, they were not happy.

Elijah:  still a bundle of fun.  He is the funniest little guy.  He makes the most precious faces and is very talkative.   We're working on his walking.  He still will only walk between mom and dad, mainly to get the praise - he eats it up.  He walks at first, then starts diving between us, then will crawl back and forth smiling and giggling the whole way.  He is a very fast crawler though, so he probably believes it's just faster than walking and therefore pointless to switch away from.  He got a tooth the day after his 15 month appt.   He loves to wave, touch his head, and clap.  He used to do the cutest clap where he hit one hand against the top side of the other forearm, but he's learned how to do it the correct way now (but we miss the other way).  He still loves to lean to one side and then the other in his high chair.  He also will lean way over to get in your line of sight, so cute.   The words that he says are: dada, all done, upstairs, downstairs, uh-oh, and he's beginning to mimic more and more of what we say like achoo (sneezing), I love you, hello, etc.   Eli weighs about 26.5 lbs and is 31.5 inches tall.  He's a monster!

      

Asa: our mover....he is walking everywhere.  He walks more that crawls now and is getting more steady.  He is very graceful at falling though and lands on his "bahoonkas" (bottom).  He loves to crawl under everything...the high chair (he hid out under it the other day with the snack cup so he wouldn't have to share), the bar stools, the bed.  He also touches his head, claps, and waves (sometimes whole arm and others a finger bend).   Asa can say: dada, quack-quack, knock-knock, uh-oh, and is working on others.  He's much more of a mover than a talker.  He now has three teeth, two on the bottom and one coming in on the top, but not the middle one!  He is now trying to stand to go up and down the stairs, luckily with no major falls yet.  He still has quite the little temper and will beat his head on the floor or door when he's mad.  Asa now weighs 24.5 lbs and is 30.5 inches tall.  Stay tuned! 

         

October 7th--Tomorrow, the boys will be 16 months old.  As always, time sure does fly.  So we're going to try to back track a little to fill in some of the blank spots over the last few months.  It may take a few days, so continue to check back in for updates and pictures.

                      Jackson                                                                                                                                           Stella-Bella

We had some visitors back in August.  First, Chase and Reagan came to visit, along with their two kiddos Jackson and Stella.  Chase was set to be deployed to Iraq, but by the grace of God, was deemed medically unable to go due to back problems.  Chase was ready and willing to go, but thank goodness he does not have to go.   We were able to christen the grill with them.  Yummy steaks!

         New York City

 

Then, Mom and Dad had their first vacation away from the boys.  We went to New York City to see Yankee Stadium before it closed.  Some of you may know, and others may not, that we would love to see all  the ballparks around our country.  Well, it was a true New York experience.  First though, we had another action packed stand-by Delta flight, and we somehow made it on a 5:40 flight even though we arrived to park at 6.  It was raining in NYC, so flights were delayed.  We literally got the last two seats.  Before the game, we were able to spend a nice relaxing day in Central Park.  That was the best part of the whole trip.  It is a beautiful place with lots to do.  Later, we road the subway out to the Bronx, and we were greeted at the door in the pouring down rain with "no backpacks allowed."  We had to go to a random bowling alley across the street and check our backpack for $5.00.  Now, that's a business we should tap into.   Also, the ticket taker only wanted Bryan to go, but he was not about to leave Samantha alone in the Bronx.  The ticket taker had a few words to say about that, but he did let us back in a few minutes later with a few more comments.  We had to wait an hour and a half for the game due to rain.  And little did we know that we were with the "Bleacher Kretchers,"  and that's a nice description of them.  Apparently, they're so unrulely that the rest of the stadium is blocked off, so in our long wait, we couldn't even walk around the stadium.  We did meet some nice people from Texas though.  Of course, dad wore his Braves hat, so we got a few comments about that.  Mom just tried to stay under the radar.  One neat thing the bleacher kretchers do though is as the game is beginning, they go through the whole line up and chant each person's name until they wave.  So, we were waved to from all the Yankees.   After the game, we were locked out of the team store even though we were supposed to be able to get in.  Then, it took us two hours to get back to our hotel!    The next day, we "tried" to take a bus tour of the city.  Wow...a whole lot of traffic makes it hard to get around the city to see it and to catch other tour buses.  We did make it to the Statue of Liberty, which was great.  We also made the night tour, which was pretty as well.  Our hotel was in the best location to see Ground Zero.  We were literally on top of it.  We were on the 42nd floor and looked right down on all the new construction.  Our hotel was right across the street!  Needless to say, it was a very busy weekend.  We are also now masters of the NYC subway system - The Metro.  We knew how to hop on and off and how to squeeze in with a ton of other people, but we still looked like tourists.  We did have fun, but we don't think we're cut out for all the hustle and bustle of city life.

The next weekend, Catherine and her son Maddox (and baby boy on the way) came to visit.  They are mommy and daddy's great friends from Texas, but Chad couldn't come because he had to work.  We had a terrific visit playing outside and cooking out.  The weather was so nice, overcast and high 70s.  We sure do miss our Texas friends!!!  Then, Chad and Catherine went on a Mediterranean cruise the next week and Chad got pancrititis!  Poor guy!  This was also as Asa was in the hospital.  We had lots of prayers being lifted up again.  God is great and answered them!

September 24th--Well, a lot has happened in the past few days.  Three days ago, Asa Walker officially became a real walker!  He can take as many as ten steps, can stand up by himself, and can even walk beside you holding your hand when he wants to (which isn't as often as we would like).  Elijah today got his first tooth.  Asa got his first about a month ago and got a second while in the hospital.  Elijah can also walk, but rarely wants to so he hasn't really practiced more than 3-4 steps at a time.  However, when Mommy and Daddy practice with him (letting him walk from one of us to the other), he absolutely loves the praise and attention!  When he uses the little Winnie the Pooh cruiser, Eli actually looks more comfortable with walking than Asa so who knows how quickly Eli will catch up and probably pass Asa when he gets the motivation to do so. 

September 14th-- Please pray for all of our friends in Galveston.  Despite what the new channels are reporting (that it wasn't as bad as they expected), it's still significant.  They are not reporting a lot from Galveston because they still can't get to all of it.  All of our friends' houses were flooded.  It may be at least a week before they can get back on the island, therefore all of their worldly goods are sitting there wet.  Also, mold will get all in the walls.   We think our old house had about 3 feet of water in it.  We watched a video online and could see our house, but it was blury.  Pray for their homes and emotional strength right now.  Please also pray for a few of our friends that are still on the island, as they are firefighters there.  Pray that they will have food to eat and a soft place to rest... Our hearts are breaking here, but we lean on God still... "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." I Peter 5:7

September 2nd--Just thought i'd drop a quick note to say that Asa is as normal as ever except for a little soreness that seems to affect him far less than it would his parents.  He's still a little "clingy" but is completely back on his schedule, which was something that his parents worked hard to reestablish in the last days of his hospitalization.  Thanks again!

Asa drinking from a straw for the first time ever!

September 1st--We made it!  The Kirby family was reunited today at lunchtime after being released from the hospital at about 10:30am (the new team decided to round a little late on Labor Day I guess).  Dad had the bags packed early and the Tahoe loaded ASAP after our discussion with a new and much more pleasant pediatric pulmonologist.  We got home and Mommy and Daddy realized for the first time just how exhausted they really were!  Therefore, Teddy Gram was not relieved of her baysitting duties until a lunch on the new back porch and a healthy 2 hour nap were done!  Man, it's nice to be back home!  Not really sure of how the next few days will go but we're sure glad they'll be spent at home.  You know, we really found that there are times when you need a major academic hospital and there are times when you need a local hospital.  If not for the CHOA PICU (sounds like a Mayan temple or something, doesn't it?), Asa might not be with us at all or might have serious neurologic damage from such poor oxygenation for so long.  The good docs and nurses in the PICU used research and theories developed even since Daddy started medical school in the past 5-10 years to greatly improve Asa's chances of a complete recovery, which he will most likely have.  However, as soon as we were out, we longed for the personal touch and reasonable approach of Tanner Hospital back in Carrollton.  The level of care we would have received on the floors there would far exceed that of CHOA.  Both Momm and Daddy, with their different perspectives and professional experiences taking care of children agreed on that.  That's not a plug for Tanner but really just a statement of fact about local hospitals where the doctors are less paralyzed by a fear of their mentors and more completely trained.  When Asa had to be transferred to CHOA, it was only about 15 minutes before four pediatricians from Children's Healthcare of West Georgia, one surgeon, and two anesthesiologists were on the scene to help.  Now, I realize that we have a connection there with Daddy working in the OR, but it would have happened to some extent with any patient.  At CHOA, we felt like we were more of a burden that had to be managed than a friend that had to be helped.  I'll simply finish by thanking all of you for your prayers to get us to this point.  We have seen first-hand and have documented on this weblog now two shining examples of the power of prayer.  Asa and Elijah are in such good shape right now because of the Lord's will upheld by y'all.  Thank you and God bless you.  We are in your debt for a good prayer at any time day or night.

August 31st--Well, our hope for today was to have a successful night on water seal, get an early chest X-Ray with a positive result, and get the chest tube pulled out.  All of these things happened.  Well, I should say that he did need to go back on oxygen overnight at about 1/2 liter per minute.  Again, we are suspicious that it simply because he hurts so much when he breaths that he stops himself before the breath is completed.  This actually helps keep his lungs somewhat collapsed in what is referred to as "atelectasis."  Therefore, the reason we are so eager to try to pull the chest tube out is becuase the pain it's causing is actually keeping him from full lung function. So, the young surgery resident pulled out his remaining chest tube around 2 pm after a little prodding of the nurse by Daddy to get the show on the road.  The bad part would be that the resident had nowhere near the comfort level with painkillers that Daddy does so she ordered nothing for the procedure (he got essentially put under general anesthesia for the first removal with 1 mg/kg of Ketamine).  Since we really had no options because Daddy is not allowed to order meds at CHOA, Asa just had to bear with it for about 30 seconds while she cut sutures and for about 5 extremely painful seconds as the chest tube was pulled from his chest cavity, over his ribs, and out of his skin.  Brutal and inhumane in our opinions!  We immediately snatched him after the dressing was on and held him close, and he cried for several minutes before we put him back down in the crib.  Wouldn't you know that it was a matter of seconds before he was sitting up, then standing, then bouncing and talking like good ole Asa!  Success!  Man, were we thrilled.  Now, if Asa's lung could just stay healed up enough to not deflate, we would be out of the woods.  We would have to wait 6 hours for the follow-up chest x-ray to see the lung size, and we would be watching him clinically to see if he desaturated on his oxygen monitors.  Well, it was sort-of difficult to do that last one since he wouldn't stay still and wanted to stand, crawl, and pull his way all over the room.  We tried taking him for walks aroung the floor, to the playroom, and even to the beautiful lobby and our little man was back!  In fact, he was back so much that we thought we might actually need to have the chest tube replaced so we could keep up with the 5 days of pent-up energy that was now on display.  Aware of what the answer would be, Mommy and Daddy called one of the pediatrics residents to request a prompt discharge in the morning or even this evening.  We were ready if they weren't yet!  Of course, this is a teaching hospital and it was 9pm by now, which meant that the residents were flying solo without te aid of faculty, except in an emergency.  Add to that the fact that no resident had bothered to come see Asa for about 2 days now and that a new team would assume his care on the first and you have all the necessary ingredients for no special requests being granted.  No matter, we knew Asa would sleep well without oxygen and began packing our bags for the morning.  And he did!

August 30th--Well, we sort of had a setback today but were able to mostly recover.  Before we went to bed last night, we were able come off our oxygen completely.  However, overnight we had to restart it at about 1 liter per minute.  By the time he awoke, Asa was in a good deal of pain.  We tried to give him Tylenol alone without any codeine because of what we thought was an insufficient cough the night before (which we thought had led to Asa needing to be put back on oxygen).  Well, Tylenol did not cut it,  so when Elijah, Teddy Gram, Papa, Aunt Leigh, Uncle Age, and cousins Maddie & A.J. all showed up at thesame time with Asa in such pain, things were just not going well.  Daddy never handles crying babys very well, especially when it's due to pain that he knows how to care for.  So he thought he might give Asa an intercostal nerve block to take care of his chest pain definitively for about a full day.  When the pediatrics resident showed up and heard Daddy recommendation, let's just say she was reeling since she now had a pneumothorax that she didn't know how to make heal faster being treated by a chest tube that she couldn't manage causing pain whose defintive treatment was completely foreign to her.  Later, the pediatrics team came by and sort of upset Mommy and Daddy when the pulmonology faculty doctor challenged Daddy about telling the pediatrics residents how to manage Asa's chest tube.  Since he had only suggested some pain managment techiniques for Asa but was not dictating the disposition of Asa's chest tube, Daddy was a little put off by the insinuation.  Thankfully, this pediatrics team was beginning to recognize that Asa was no longer a pediatrics problem and they decided to consult the general surgery service.  Meanwhile, Asa was still hurting from only getting Tylenol and the nurses said he couldn't get anymore Tylenol/Codeine combination medicine until after lunch.  This is when it was nice to have a doctor in the family as Daddy told the nurses to call back the pedatric resident and have them write a one-time order for codeine syrup, to which the nurse responded "we'll see if we even have any."  Well, the afternoon trudged along after Asa got some better pain medicine.  Since Mommy and Daddy couldn't use their tickets to the UGA opener at noon vs. Georgia Southern, they listened to the game on the radio while Daddy got their laptop up and running.  Papa was going to record they pay-per-view broadcast but found out that it would cost $120 and wisely backed off.  Well, in what was probably our best break of the day, it turns out that ESPN360 was available for free on the hospital wi-fi.  So, Asa, Mommy, and Daddy got to watch the game for free on the laptop!  Asa began to use the bathroom better and we even got his diet up to his regular food, except he still gets juice instead of milk (a nice treat for him since he doesn't get much juice at home).  When the Loud Gang got back that afternoon, they took Mommy out for a well-deserved dinner while Daddy and Asa finished up watching the second quarter of the UGA game.  During that time, the resident surgeon came by and told us that he felt that we could put the chest tube on "water seal."  Asa seemed almost energized by the news, coming out of his frozen and endless pouting and beginning to talk, play with the computer buttons, and generally act a little like the rambunctious Asa we knew.  Before you knew it, he was also completely off oxygen again.  So, Mommy came back to a pretty nice surprise there.  We finished the evening with more playing from Asa, certainly more than Clemson did in their game against Alabama that we were watching.  Mommy cuddled up in the crib for a pretty cramped but quiet night, though we did have to go back on 1/2 liter per minute of oxygen. 

August 29th--  Well, progress evidently will be occuring somewhat more slowly today, as we again start our morning in the PICU.  Asa is still on high-flow nasal cannula in the morning, but we got his chest tube pulled today by a pediatrics resident.

August 28th--We had our biggest moment of the week thus far when we staggered into the PICU this morning to find our Asa off his BiPAP completely and on a high-flow nasal cannula.  His continuous albuterol nebulizer treatments had been stopped, and his sedation was cut in half!  This is an unbelievable development as we had not expected any of this for another day or two. As the day progressed, his sedation was progressively weaned off and his left lung appears to be fully healed.  Therefore, it has been placed on off suction and on "water seal," the first step towards pulling it out. 

August 27th--Today began with such an inauspicious start that we all should have known just how black a day this would be.  Daddy came in to find Mommy and Asa completely exhuasted and Asa was really laboring to breathing with near constant grunting.  The previous day, Dr. Ogden (one of Asa's pediatricians) and Daddy had looked at Asa's chest X-Ray and noted that his lungs seemed very full of air.  In fact, Daddy even made a comment to one of the nurses that, in the SICU, Daddy would normally actually sedate patients like Asa so their lungs would have time to deflate between breaths.  Well, as Dr. Ogden and Daddy were concerned about the previous night, Asa's chest X-Ray Wednesday morning showed that both of his lungs had ruptured and that air was so packed into his chest that it was spilling into the well-protected area aroung his heart and trachea.  The air was even flowing underneath the fat under his skin and could be felt as you touched his now-bloated neck, chest, and stomach as if someone had placed Rice Krispies under his skin.  Cool for a medical student, very disturbing for a parent.  Well, this was quickly escalating to a problem that only a very large academic hospital could handle comfortably.  Therefore, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta accepted Asa's case and sent an emergency team to pick him up.  He would have been lifeflighted by helicopter to Atlanta but the skies were too overcast.  Before they would agree to the trip, however, they insisted that chest tubes be placed through Asa's skin into his chest cavity to pull out all the excess air that had acculmulated.  They simply thought that the odds of something terrible occuring in transit was so high that something needed to be done while a surgeon could be accessed.  Well, of course one of our more aggressive surgeons had already been by and was reluctant to do anything just yet.  Now, he had to.  Word of all this trickled down to the OR because this was getting to be quite a serious situation and because these procedures are typically done with some weak anesthesia in the patient room since it's so difficult & expensive to get an anesthesiologist to do such a quick case.  Well, that was not the case in Daddy's hospital and two of Daddy's partners quickly came up to assess the situation.  One of the busiest ORs was halted and Asa was brought down to breathe on some anesthesia gas that is occasionally used as a last resort to break status asthmaticus, the state where Asa's lungs are seemingly intractably constricting.  If it's not obvious already,  status asthmaticus caries a mortality rate of about 8% (21% if they need to be intubated), and is more likely if the patients blood is very acidic with high CO2 levels.  Keep that in mind for later.  Well, the surgery went relatively well, despite the fact that the ideal equipment for this procedure on a 1 year old is not typically stocked at Tanner.  The gas, Sevoflurane, did break Asa's wheezing, but it returned as soon as it was turned off at the end of the procedure.  In a very atypical situation, Asa was rolled out of the OR and was immediately placed on a gurney to be put into the specialized ambulance without the usually mandatory 30-45 minutes of recovery time in the post-anesthesia care unit.  Daddy rode along in the ambulance while Mommy drove behind.  Not 10 minutes into the ride, the ambulance had to pull to the side of the road.  Asa was doing so poorly that he needed to be placed on continuous albuterol nebulizer treatments, intermittent ketamine doses, 20 cc/kg fluid bolus, and BiPAP.  BiPAP is a mode of mechanical ventilation in which the machine senses when a patient begins to breathe, then forces air into his lungs by way of a mask that fits tightly over the mouth and nose.  The idea is to conserve the strength of the muscles of breathing, ensure an adequate amount of ventialtion, and yet still avoid placing a breathing tube into the lungs to completely take over the breathing process.  When we arrived to the PICU at CHOA, we were told that his pH was a very acidic 7.16 (normal is 7.4, less than 7.0 rarely survivable) and his pCO2 was in the 60's.  Since these numbers are very bad and he was fighting the BiPAP (despite the ketamine sedation), more had to be done.  There fore, the PICU team started him on a maximum dose (2 mg/kg/hr) ketamine drip, intermittent versed (another sedative), and Heliox, a specialized and infrequently used gas that is made of varying concentrations of helium and oxygen.  The idea here is that the viscosity of gas in the atmospheric air or in pure oxygen is low, making it more likely that when it tries to pass through a very narrow tube such as the lungs of an asthmatic it will begin to swirl and not effectively continue to move towards the ends of the lujngs where contact with blood vessels allows exchange of oxygen to the blood.  With helium (and it's very high viscosity) added to oxgen in Heliox,  there is a better chance of good oxygen exchange.  He was started at 50:50 Heliox, a very high concentration in Daddy's opinion.  Another chest x-ray now showed what could be pneumonias in his left lower and right middle  lung field, so he was started on two very strong antibiotics, Zithromax and Cefotaxime.  His BiPAP was increased to 20/5, a very high pressure for a 200 lb. adult.  Daddy would probably refer to this high of a level of a 14 month old as borderline safe and experimental,  so he was quite eager to see it turned down a bit.  Unfiortunetely, our long afternoon, evening, and night ended with only the Heliox being weaned off by 1:30 am.  Daddy tried to sleep with Asa in the PICU while mommy got some much needed rest but he was feeling much too sick himself by this point and had to drive to the pharmacy to treat himself before also crashing in the sleep room.  We are prepared for slow progress and target leaving the PICU by the weekend. 

August 26th-- Well, there's maybe nothing that I hate more than to go to the Lord in prayer only in difficult times, but it does seem to happen far too often.  Well, we have had to do that again this week in asking many of you to keep Asa in your prayers.  I'm going to take a few minutes here to fill in everyone and make sure I'm keeping all of you who are in prayer up to date.  All of this began on Sunday afternoon as Asa began to have a mild runny nose.  The next day,  he added an occasional cough.  By Tuesday afternoon, he was looking more sick.  Daddy listened to his lungs and thought he might have a touch of pneumonia, even though his temperature was only 99.5 degrees.  So, Mommy and Daddy decided to give him an albuterol nebulizer treatment to see if it would make him feel better.  Instead, he began to look lethargic.  So, deciding to be conservative since we have good friends @ West Ga Pediatrics, we took Asa in to be evaluated for some antibiotics.  Instead, they were very worried about Asa's wheezing and gave him oral steroids and several breathing treatments before eventually deciding that he needed to be admitted to the hospital.  Daddy was in a meeting while all this was happening and was very doubtful when he got to the clinic that this was really necessary.  Thankfully for Mom, Eli had been an angel in waiting in the stroller 2+ hours for all this to happen and was an absolute delight when Daddy came to finally play with him before taking Asa to the hospital.  Well, that evening was quite difficult, as Mommy stayed with Asa for most of the evening as Daddy tried to get ahead on some work so he would be more available for the next day.  Well, poor Mommy and Asa had maybe their most difficult night together ever as Asa wheezed and grunted and twisted and cried ALL night long.  He receieved lasix, rocephin and breathing treaments roughly every hour with albuterol, ipatropium, xopenex, and epinephrine.  Despite all this, his oxygen saturations stayed in the high 80's, even on oxygen.  No rest for more than 15 minutes for anyone, except of course Daddy who went to bed at about 1 am and slept fine.  Don't worry, he'll pay his dues later!

July 12th--  Hello everyone!  SO long, no blog!  Well, things continue to go very well.  We're enjoying our summer, but still don't have a complete yard to play in yet.  The yard is coming along though, so hopefully it won't be much longer.  Let's see...we had our one year appt with Dr. Eubanks.  The boys weighed in at 22.5 lbs and 29.5 in for Asa and 23 lbs and 30 in for Eli.   Elijah has taken over the lead again.  And to think that he's half as tall as mom already!  Their shots went as to be expected...some crying, but not for too long.  We will venture to the opthamologist this week, which we pray will be an uneventful appointment.  The boys still have no teeth.  They're not walking either, but we are mad crawlers.  Both of them book-it for any place that they know you don't want them, like the pantry, the stairs, and mom's secret room.  By the way, they both figured out that when the gate at the bottom of the stairs in not snapped shut, that they can open it, hold the self closing door open, and begin the climb up the stairs!  Smart little cookies!  Asa still mainly says "da-da,"  but Eli will say "ba," "ma," and "guh." They continue to eat more and more foods.  Asa doesn't turn down a morsel.  Eli is a little pickier; the first time he tries anything, he makes a funny face.  He has also learned to spit food out when you are not looking, so you're likely to find a pile of food in his lap when he's done.  He also the messiest eater there ever was.  He smushes and smears everything all over the high chair and his face, but fusses at you when you clean him up, of course.  Asa continues to find new items to climb; he now made it into Mommy's rocking chair in his room and on top of the wings of the rocking airplane.  For the 4th of July, we went to Teddygram and Papa's for a steak cookout, yummy.  Mommy tried to take pictures for scrapbooking, but it is beginning to get harder and harder to take pictures of them...they are too mobile.  We have lots of pictures of their heads and of them squirming.  Things Mom and Dad love lately: Eli sighing, Asa wanting to be chased, Eli snuggling, Asa touching everyone's belly buttons, Eli's messy face after eating, Asa's latest climbing adventure, Eli's love pats, Asa wanting to be tickled, Eli's dancing, Asa jumping in bed, Eli's enunciated talking, Asa holding his tongue out...and on and on....               

 4th of July Cuties

Little Squirmers

On July 9th, Mom and Dad celebrated their 15 year dating anniversary (with no break ups).  Then the very next day, July 10th, we celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary!  What a wonderful bunch of years it's been!  We love each other tons, and can say with all honesty, that we are very happily married.   "True Love Forever" as our wedding rings state!   "I love you more today than yesterday but less than tomorrow!"  God knew what He was doing when he put us at the College Park pool at 18 months and we fell in love at first sight!

Dad had a wonderful mission trip to Mexico.  He had a uplifting experience as always, good for the soul!  He served with Medical Campus Outreach from Augusta, GA (the group that we went with to Venezuela while Dad was in med school).  It was neat to experience the difference from going as a student a couple of times to going as a provider this time.  The medical students liked to remind him that he was much older than them, and he laughed at them knowing the road they had ahead of them as mere students!  He went to Guanajuato, Mexico and served the spiritual and medical needs of the people in a couple of small towns.  He was able to check in with mom on a daily basis, but for less than 1 minute as to not run up the phone bill!  He enjoyed working with the medical students and being able to mentor them in spiritual and medical ways.  He also learned to better appreciate our living quarters in the USA, as he slept in a semi-enclosed bunk room and had mostly cold showers!  While Dad was in Mexico, Aunt Tiffany and Cousin Caoilinn came and spent a couple of days with us.  We had a nice visit and played in our blow-up pool.

                        Daddy In Clinic                                                                         Asa Posing in the Pool

   

 

                                                        Eli in the Pool                                                Caoilinn Playing in the Pool

                                                                                                                             Maddie Shortcake

What else?  We've had more Birthday Parties.  We celebrated a surprise 80th birthday party for Great-Grandmother back in June.  She was very surprised and we enjoyed it a lot.  It was fun to have all of the Kirbys together again...twice in a year is good since several live in Chicago!  We also had Cousin Maddie's 4th Birthday Party with a Strawberry Shortcake theme.  We went to the Little Gym and had lots of fun.  Daddy had to work, so mommy, Uncle Age, and Aunt Leigh had lots of fun chasing around 3 one year olds, AJ, Asa, and Eli.                                               

                                                                                                                      (not so sure of all of the singing) 

                                                                Our Little Climbers

                                                                                                                                                                        

 

                                                                                                                       Ever seen Georgia red clay?

June 12th-- Well, we had a very eventful weekend.  Unfortunately, we never made it to the aquarium due to our yard project.  But, we did make it to the pool Thursday night.  That was a lot of fun.  Asa was hilarious.  As soon as he got in, he started kicking and splashing.  He just loved it.  Eli liked the water, but was not having near as much fun as Asa.  On Friday, we had an exciting trip to the granite store (ha-ha).                                            

                                                                                                                       Our Backyard                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Rocking UGA Airplane & Horse from Sweet Pop-Pop

On Saturday, we had the best birthday party ever!  Seriously, we had a good time.  The boys loved seeing all of their family!  They weren't too sure what to think about all of the presents and action.  Now the cakes, Eli enjoyed these a lot more than Asa.  He dove in an gobbled it up.  Asa, not so much.  He ate a little.  We also gave them bites of their ice cream cake, and Asa liked it a little better, but still not like one would expect.  Thank you to all who came and for all of the gifts!  Our boys will be the best dressed in Carrollton all summer.  They are enjoying all of the new toys, but most of all, Asa is enjoying all of the new boxes.  He climbs all over them. 

                                            

                          

                 Asa the Giggle Monster!                                                                   King of the Castle!               

What a ton of gifts!   

 

                 Daddy celebrating with Eli                                 First Birthday Cake                             Opening our gifts with Mommy

And finally, on Sunday, we went to the Braves game with the Loud gang (Aunt Leigh's family).  It was of course miserably hot.  We quickly took the advice of the seat attendant and moved to the shaded area.  It worked out better because we had a place to walk with the boys right behind our seats.  Did we mention it was bloody hot!  Before the game, we went to "The Varsity" to dine on some fantastic hotdogs.  After the game, we went to Steak and Shake to dine on burgers.  We had a wonderful American day!  The boys did very well with two restaurant experiences and a ball game. 

 Our funny of the week: Asa thinks its tons of fun to climb one step to the gate that blocks the rest of the stairs.  He then proceeds to hold on tight and jump, and he attempts to climb it.  All the while, mom and dad are telling him "no."  He, of course, thinks that's too funny.  So, he laughs away.  Eli sits and watches to see what we're going to do.  He'll look back and forth from mom to Asa.  Asa will get upset when you try to redirect him.  So now, you just have to pick him up, walk him around the house, and find a new location to play - until he remembers the stairs / gate again.  He also likes to put toys between the gate and the step and then attempt to get them back out.  He'll occupy himself that way for a few minutes, until, once again, he remembers to jump on the gate.  As usual, mom and dad try to keep straight faces and sound very stern.  He laughs more, so we don't think it's working too well.  Asa is also our little chipmunk.  We've discovered that 10-15 minutes after he's eaten, you'll spot bits of food in his mouth.  He especially seems to do it with fruits.  They are eating more and more.  They've now had their first whole milk and grilled cheese sandwich.  They are noticing more and more when / what you are eating, and they are rather vocal about letting you know they'd like some.  Eli has always been our talker, but Asa is finally beginning to say more than "ah."  "Da-da" is officially the first words for both boys!  They both love to say "da-da" over and over.  Now for the stats: on their 1 year birthday: Asa 23 lbs 28.5 inches - Eli 23 lbs 29 inches. 

         Asa & Eli get their marks on the measuring stick

 

June 8th--7:04 pm HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ASA WALKER!!!

                7:20 pm HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ELIJAH JOHN!!! 

 

 

Our Little Characters!

June 2nd-- Little Explorers!  That's what the boys are now - all over the place!  They are most definitely little boys.  They climb all over and crawl all over.  They love exploring in the office and the pantry.  Sprite cans are lots of fun and Gatorade powder cans too.  We've been very lucky as they haven't figured out how to open the purple powder yet!  Crawling around with something in your hand to bang on items as you pass is lots of fun too.  Asa is teaching Eli to be less timid and Eli is getting there.  This is really surprising to us, as Eli seemed to be the one that would not have fear, but he is much more cautious.  It's taken him a few weeks to get comfortable with transitioning from knees to standing or sitting.  He was so funny; he gets so upset once he's standing up because he can't remember how to get back down safely!  Asa is a climber.  He climbs all of the stairs and stools that he can find (mom is short, so there's many stools around the house!).  Asa is cruising all around, especially using the Pooh learning table.  Asa has always loved to play with his feet.  Well, he's rediscovered them during diaper changes and has decided to put his toes in his mouth.  He just loves it and laughs up a storm.  Eli has become the easier one to feed finally.  Asa decides he wants to play and takes off with half a bottle left.  He does this at all three feedings now.  Eli is the funniest when you're feeding him puffs or something of the like; he puts as many as he can in his mouth.  You have to really watch him!  They're getting more consistent in their napping, taking two two hour naps.  We think they are getting more tired out after all the crawling and climbing.  Both boys frequently decide that they would like the toy that the other one has, so they just take it away.  It's funny to watch their reactions...sometimes they just look stunned and other times they fuss / cry.  We took them to get their first ice cream on Sunday.  It's really funny to watch their faces when they try new foods, especially Eli.  He always makes a sour face until he decides he likes it, which is basically everything.  They liked the ice cream okay.  We think it may have been too cold for their liking.  For their Birthday Week, we're going to the Georgia Aquarium.  Then Saturday, we're having their Birthday party.  The theme is big trucks, like firetrucks and bulldozers.  And on Sunday, their birthday, we're going to the Braves game.  Very exciting and very busy.  This will be a very emotional week as we remember all of the details surrounding their very, very early birth!  Mom tears up everytime she thinks about all of it.   Mom's been busy scrapbooking to get most of thier first year done by their b-day party.  Dad's on vacation this week, so he's busy with projects!  We're finally starting the yard renovations this week, so we can't wait to show you before, during, and after pictures.  We've also been to church (finally!).  We've gone to the same church twice now, and we like it.  They seem to have a real passion for God!  It's a contemporary, non-denominational church.  The boys have done well in the nursery too...or that's what we've been told.  They haven't paged us out of church anyway!  They have a nursery worker whose maiden name was "Kirby," so she's already attached to them. 

 

                                                Princess Maddie Soccer Player                      Cousin AJ's Party     

Other news:  we had cousin AJ's first B-day party a few weeks ago.  He had a lot of fun and was spoiled with gifts by his whole family.  He also gave his first hug and kiss to Asa!  The boys got to have their first cake too.  Cousin Michael graduated from high school too!  Way to go, Mikey!  And today is Cousin Christopher's B-day!  My baby nephew is getting so old - 22! 

Our New Pet - no, not really

When mom told him he had over 4 acres to go to get back to the pond, he decided to take a nap for a while!  He was over a foot in diameter.

 

 

 

                

Eli picking out 1st B-day presents                                  Riding Cars                                                    Asa about to stand

May 12th-- Well, we now have 2 crawlers and a stander.  Asa is a fast mover and is learning very fast about standing.  We know he'll be cruising soon.  He brings one leg up and pushes up to stand.  At first, he'd end up in an L-shape, but now, he can walk his legs in to stand straight up.  It is also funny to watch him when an obstacle is in his way.  He goes over / through things and not around.  He used to get stuck, but now he can go over pretty easily.  Eli started really moving last Sunday, May 4th (also the day Asa started standing).  Unbelievably, Mommy took a 1/2 day off to be with Aunt Leigh for a little break and missed alot of the action!  That figures, huh? Anyway, Eli's getting faster and faster.  He is trying to stand, but can't quite put it all together.  He'll sit on his kness and then try to pull one leg up.  He hasn't figured out how to put his weight all on that leg and stand.  He also gets stuck while on his knees and doesn't know how to get back down.  You know he wants down when he starts fussing.  Mother's Day was fun.  Asa and Eli decided to spend all day with Mommy which included lots of crawling and climbing all over her.  And often both at the same time.  It was very amusing, but also tiring!  Speaking of hands on, Eli loves to tackle his brother.  Mom and Dad were eating the other day as the boys crawled around on the floor.  We hear a boom and go running, and low and behold, there's Eli on top of Asa's back laughing as usual.  He thinks its so funny everytime!  As for eating, they are eating more and more.  Mom and Dad try to think of new things for them to try.  Asa has become very independent in eating.  He does not like help in eating finger foods.  He's very good at figuring out how to get bites in his mouth.  He will get it in his hand, study where it is in his hand, and aim accordingly.  Very cute!  He's been doing it for a few weeks now.  Eli, however, was very content with letting you feed him.  He'd just sit back and wait and grunt loudly when he wanted more.  But Mom worked hard trying to get him to feed himself, and now he is!  He has a different method.  He puts the food in the palm of his hand, balls it in a fist, and squeezes the food up.  Asa is all better now after his cold.  He had to have some breathing treatments, which he did well with.  We kept trying to imagine how on earth we'd make an 11 month old sit still for a treatment, but he did it all on his own.  By the way, yes, they are now 11 months old!  How time flies!!!!  We are planning their first Birthday party.  We were thinking about having a big one since most of our friends have never met them, but we think we've decided just to do a family party.  Maybe later in the summer we'll have a cookout for all of our other friends.  As for other milestones, they put their arms out to be picked up and they can high five.  We're working on waving and clapping.  A few weeks ago, they both all of a sudden figured out "in and out."  Any of their toys that work on those skills, they just started putting the shapes in and out.  They also have big boy carseats, and we've mostly baby-proofed with gates and plug covers.  They love to go after cords, so we're hiding all of those too. 

Classic Pictures Precious Eli

Our Adorable Asa

 

Other news in our family:  Aunt Jennifer graduated on May 3rd from North Georgia with a degree in Chemistry.  Cousin Maddie just finished her second soccer season, and might a proud aunt and uncle add that she's just the prettiest little soccer player you'll ever see.  Cousin AJ turned 1 on Saturday, May 10th.  His party is next Sunday, so we'll add more pictures then. And today, May 12th, is Aunt Jenn's 26th Birthday. 

And for the news you'e all been anxiously waiting for:  DAD PASSED HIS BOARDS!  He's now a board certified anesthesiologist.  YEAH!  Way to work hard dad.  We are so proud of you and love you tonsssss!    (this was Dad all tuckered out after the boards)                  

              Elijah Standing (sort-of)                               A Visit with Caoilinn                                               Asa Standing

 

May 11th-- Happy Mother's Day!

 

10 Months

April 23rd--No teethies yet, but we've got a crawler!  Asa Walker is crawling and is becoming very fast.  And boy does he book it when he tries to get to something of yours!  He looked at the camera and was moving as fast as he could to beat mom to it.  In just a few days, he's improved so much.  It was wobbly and just a few movements at a time, but not anymore.  He can go where ever his heart desires, and for some reason, his heart currently desires to play under the exersaucer.  He will put a toy under it and crawl on the tray in search of it.  He loves it!  Too funny.  Elijah John is not far behind.  He can make just one crawl at a time and rocks back and forth.  Eli is still up to his same old shinanigans of kicking everything.  While eating last night, he managed to kick the start button on the ball popper.  Next thing you know, little plastic missles were flying at everyone.  We think he thinks of new trouble to get into.  We've had to switch his highchair often due to him laying over the side looking for Foxy or at the bouncey seat.  Now, we've had to move his chair due to him finding it fun to wipe his hands all over the wall.  Yesterday, he also found it fun to turn his head around and lick the swing!  Gross!  Eli thinks that Foxy hung the moon.  She is just the funniest thing to him.  Whenever she walks in the room, he laughs.  She'll give them kisses and tolerate a pet or two a day, but otherwise, she stays up high where they can't reach her.  Asa has managed to get another cold.  It's not bad, but the poor baby's nose won't stop running.  We're also watching him for signs of asthma...or should we say more signs.  He's had a few times when he's wheezed, so we're watching him.  Mom's asthma is worst when she's sick, so we're praying his is not!  Asa is our drool monster.  He can soak through a bib in a matter of minutes.  It's hard to keep him dry.  As for eating, they are eating more and more solids.  They like "people" food, but they do not like the stage 3 baby food with bits of pasta or veggies in it.  They just spit it right out.  But they eat a variety of big people food now: waffles, cheerios, puffs, dried fruit, bread, cheese, cottage cheese, avocados, etc.  They're still about the same in weight: Asa 22.5 lbs and Eli 22 lbs.  Thank goodness it's finally leveling off.  Most children are supposed to triple their weight by their first b-day, but ours our going to 10x their weight!  Yes, we know they're not normal, but still, that's a lot.  They are already in 12 month clothes now!  It's so fun to watch their little personalities developing.  And they are totally different.  For example, if Asa barely touches his head to something or someone, he cries.  As for Eli, he bangs his head purposefully on items with no crying.  However, they both do laugh when they are told "no."  We pray that ends soon!  Half the time, you're trying to keep a serious face because whatever they've done is pretty funny, and then they start laughing.  You just have to clinch your teeth and look serious while saying "no" repeatedly.  They are just precious!

              Asa After a Nap                                 Eli in the Morning                         Asa Under the Exersaucer  

                                                            

Mom and Dad got to have a fun day in Athens going to the G-Day game (spring football), but don't fear, we studied in the car.  We fondly walked around campus in the rain and ate at all of our favorite restaurants.  We also acted like freshmen again in the campus bookstore finding everything we could.  Luckily, we found the clearance rack!  However, we found the boys some wonderful UGA crocs!  Can't wait 'til they can wear them.  And of course it was great when the DAWGS won the game!

 

Cousin Ashley came to stay with us on her spring break.  It was at a great time for mom because Dad was studying so much.  Ashley was great help and we had lots of fun.  We hope she wasn't too bored with us old foggies who couldn't really do very much!

Dad took his big test last week, and thinks he did pretty well.  We pray he passed, and we'll know in about a month or so.  Thanks for all of the prayers.

 

March 23rd--Happy Easter!  Asa and Eli had a wonderful day visiting with Dad's side of the family.  They were spoiled by their cousins (who knows 3rd or 4th or how many times removed - just cousins), Ashley and Brittany.  It was a nice break for Mom and Dad.  As soon as we walked in the door, they just took over.  The boys also enjoyed their Easter baskets from the Easter bunny.  They are totally amazed at bubbles and just sit and stare at them.  As you can tell from below, they hunted eggs to put in their mouths, not their baskets!  We had a wonderful time reading books to teach them about the true meaning of Easter - Jesus' death and resurrection and thus forgiveness of our sins and ultimately our salvation!  What a joy it is to teach them about the grace we've been given and a wonderful reminder for us!

Elijah 

   Asa

   

March 19th-- We moved from "Hurrican-iston" to "Tornado-ville."  Growing up in Georgia, we don't remember this many tornadoes, but in the last month, we've had at least 5 "tornado warnings" - not watches, actual warnings - and several have actually hit within a few miles of us.  Now, before we had children, we would not have paid a lot of attention to all these tornadoes (maybe why we don't remember them), but now with children, you think a little differently.  SO, at 5:30 am on Saturday, there was mom in front of the TV watching to see if we needed to run upstairs, get the boys, and proceed to the basement.  Luckily, the little circles on the weather maps jumped over us, after looking as though they were headed straight for us.  Of course, we're in the western most part of the state - funny, because 5 years ago while living in Augusta, we were in the eastern most part of the state being just a mile from the border - so everything on the news talks about us first and often after it's too late and has already passed through here.  Anyway, we were fine, but the ATL was hit pretty hard Friday night and Saturday too.  But once again on this fine Wednesday, Mom will have to keep the TV on to monitor the weather as more storms/tornadoes are in the forecast.  We've listened to whistling wind all morning, not much different from Galveston.  Yesterday, Mom and Nana took the boys for their Easter pictures.  Very funny as the photographer had real live bunny rabbits!  Not only are you trying to get two babies to pose, but also two rabbits.  Asa leaned forward trying to pet the rabbits, while Eli slumped and kicked them with his feet - but of course!  Then, we took them for their 9 month appointment with the doctor.  No shots, but a toe prick to check iron levels.  They didn't seem to notice the prick at all, yea.  The appointment went very well.  The boys look great and are in the 25-50th percentiles for regular 9 month olds!  Their milestones seem to fall around 7 month olds though, but at least not at their adjusted age of 6 months.  They weighed 21lbs12oz (Asa) and 21lbs4oz (Eli).  Eli is finally catching up.  Eli still remains the taller one at 28 in and Asa at 27.5.  We can also drop a feeding!  Yippeeeee..... They'll now eat just three times a day and a snack, amazing.  Once we feel like we have a good schedule and really get in the swing of it, it has to change again.  Oh well.  So, mom will now be working on what/how/when to do everything - again.  

Just 'A Swingin'... (anyone know that song?)

 

March 17-- Top 'O the Morning to Ya'll!  Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!  We officially gave our Irish lads their first St. Pat's Day with green milk and all green foods...just kidding.  But Mom and Dad did celebrate with a corned beef brisket, cabbage, potatoes, and a little Irish soda (if ya know what I mean!).  Eli looks Irish with his blonde hair and blue eyes, but we think their Galveston Aunts rubbed off on our Asa and he doesn't look very Irish with his brown hair and dark skin (you girls know who you are!!!).

        9 Month-A-Birthday

March 14-- Another few weeks has flown by again.  We're beginning to get nicer weather, so we've been able to go for a few walks.  We also made an addition to the back yard -- two swings down by the water.  Since our last visit to the park, Asa has become more comfortable with them and Eli was holding on tight and making funny faces!  Other new developments.... they can sit up on their own!  We still don't go far from their sides and we try to put blankets or pillows around them.  The other day they sat up for ten minutes straight.  They've also officially outgrown their yellow bear sponges in the tub.  For Christmas, they got a fun Winnie the Pooh blow up tub from Aunt Leigh.  Eli isn't too sure about it.  He has been rather upset the last couple of nights.  We think it may be because he's having to sit up and, of course, you know our Eli....he knows it's bedtime.  Eli is our little comedian.  As you can tell with many of his pictures, he makes lots of faces and comes up with funny things to do.  The other day while eating, he thought it would be very amusing to try to make mom feed him sideways.  So, he continuously leaned his head to the side and laid it down on the high chair.  He realized he was doing it kind of hard, so he then started doing it softly so it wouldn't hurt.  Everytime, he gave a huge smile.  Mom contained her smiles (barely), and held the spoon where his mouth was supposed to be and told him he had to sit up to eat.  He'd raise up, take a bite, and lay back down with another huge smile.  Thank goodness it was the last feeding of the day and he forgot about it the next day.  He is also very coordinated with his feet.  When Mom bottle feeds them together (always, in order to save time), she has had to feed him in the boppy and Asa in her lap.  In their bedroom, we have a playmat right there, so Eli has learned to eat and play with his feet.  This morning as Mom laid in bed, she all of a sudden hears music on their monitor, and there's Eli kicking his musical turtle with his feet.  Eli will be our soccer player!  Asa loves to push the button on his rainforest bed toy too, but hasn't learned to do it with his feet!  They can't reach them with their arms/hands yet.  Elijah is very aware of his surroundings and is always looking around (we think to plot his next adventure).  At their 9 month picture visit last week, we had to wait a few minutes for the photographer.  Asa played nicely with a toy, while Eli looked at all the pictures on the walls.  Asa is our baby that follows all the rules.  He sleeps when he's supposed to and is low-maintenance.  He's very sweet, as Mom thinks he have her a hug and a couple of kisses.  Boy were they wet!  He likes to practice standing up too.  As for crawling, it's hard to deem what is actually their first crawl.  Eli now rolls across the room, while Asa turns in circles and moves backwards.  They definitely move, but their legs aren't totally involved yet.  That's why we haven't exactly decided if they're crawling.  Also, you can still leave the room with them on the floor--they will have moved, but not so much that you have to be worried.  Speaking of moving, we've moved their play area upstairs to one of the extra bedrooms.  We decided we could contain them better and there's carpet, not hardwoods in that bedroom.  However, we've already learned that Eli can't be playing on the floor when Dad is downstairs studying, as the playroom is directly above his office.  Eli beats his legs up and down constantly no matter whether he's on his back or tummy.   Dad is in high gear studying, as his oral board exams are now about a month away.  Please keep him in your prayers, as he keeps reminding all of us that this could be his last major studying ever!  Finally at age 31!!!

   

 Elijah                                                                           Asa

                                                                                                                                                                    8 Month-A-Birthday

 February 22nd--Our babies are cruisers!  So we had to get more diapers at BJs and we had to move to size 3!  Can you believe they've gone from preemie XXS to size 3 in 8 months?  Wow!  Not too much is new.  We don't have any cute pictures from Valentines because there just aren't that many cute boy's outfits out there.  We have some other cute pictures we'll share in just a bit.  Mom and Dad celebrated Valentines at the hospital as they had the opening of their new cardiac wing.  The boys are steadily growing still....we thought they would level off eventually, but not yet.  We are now at 21 and 20 lbs.  They had another synagis shot; only 2 more of those.  Eli has become our very good solid food eater.  He opens wide for everything.  Asa tight lips the blah oatmeal and rice, but Eli takes in all of it.   He even says, "mmmm."  They are still so close to crawling.  It won't be much longer.   The funniest is to bathe and get them ready for bed, especially if you're by yourself.  We sing "Chase the Rolling Baby" to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon.  You'll get a diaper on one and then chase the other other one to get a diaper on him.  Then we repeat again with putting on lotion and their sleepers.  Eli likes to roll over anywhere you put him, so he can no longer be left unattended, especially  on changing tables.  We have a big couple of weeks coming up with a visit to the doctor and two appointments for pictures. 

                        Don't tell Dad we're all on the nice sofas!                                 Eli peaks over the changing table at Asa!

                                                               Playing!                                                                       Valentine's Day!

 

February 7th--We had another first:  Asa had a little cold.  He woke up with a runny, stuffy nose, a little cough, and sneezing, but that was luckily the worst of it.  For about a week, he just had the stuffy nose.  He never seemed to be bothered by it, thank goodness.  Eli mangaged to stay well.  Here and there, his nose would run just a little, but he never had the stuffy sound like Asa did.  This past weekend, we had beautiful weather in the 60s, so we decided to venture out to the park.  The boys got to swing and go down the slide!  Eli thought swinging was the best.  Asa liked it, but then got nervous.  He didn't cry, but he grabbed the chains to hold on and just rode it out until Eli was done.  The swings were a bit big, so we put them both in one.  It was pretty comical, but Asa liked that a lot better.  They've gotten much better at liking tummy time.  You can't walk away from them without them rolling over now.  They are starting to move around too.  They have different methods: Eli uses his legs by bending them and pushing forward, but Asa uses his arms to pull forward.  They can both turn in circles too.  While on their tummies, they will both reach for items and crane their heads around to look at us or a toy.  They still love their jumperoo tons.  They haven't found a food they dislike yet.  For the past week, they have been waking up early for some reason, so we've added a little oatmeal and fruit with their last feeding.  We haven't figured out how babies are supposed to eat all this food!  The experts tell you 6-9T of oatmeal/rice, 32 oz of milk, and 5 servings a day of veggies/fruit...that's a lot for our little guys, but we're up to 4 now.  The boys are up to 19 and 20 pounds with Asa still leading. 

Giggle Monster attacks Eli                                                                 Tandem Swinging

                            

                                                A Happy Asa!                                                      Somewhere under the bumper is Elijah's head

January 25th--Another big week at the Kirby household!  We had a first and a second this past week:  SNOWSTORMS!  The boys were excited that they could stay home from school until we told them they didn't really go yet anyways.  The boys got all bundled up with Daddy and went out for a few minutes to try to catch some snowflakes on their tongues (see Eli below).  They had their last physical therapy session last week, and the therapists thought they were making great progress.  We're still having to work a lot on sitting up and staying on our tummies without getting frustrated, but every day is easier than the day before. . . usually.  Mommy and Daddy have a new game they like to play: How To Outsmart a 7-Month Old.  To play this game, you must first get the baby asleep.  After about 30 minutes, you quickly replace his pacifier with a bottle of milk and see if he wakes up enough to notice.  Sometimes he does,  sometimes he doesn't.  We were winning this game for a few weeks, but now Elijah has caught on.  So we're scrambling in the War Room trying to come up with a new strategy.  Their weights are now as follows:  Asa Walker Kirby - about 19 pounds, Elijah John Kirby - about 18 pounds.  They are eating solid foods three times a day and have a large variety that they enjoy.  For breakfast, they get oatmeal and a fruit (bananas, prunes, pears).  For lunch, rice cereal and a green veggie (green beans or peas - although we think they starting to dislike the green beans).  And for dinner, rice cereal and a veggie (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash).  When they take their first couple of bites of the rice cereal, they like to gag, but don't buy it!  They'll eat it, but when you get to the fruit/veggie, they open their mouths wide and gobble it down.  All right, now for the stuff ya'll really came for:

    

Daddy and the boys practicing sitting up (with Foxy's help, too)

    Eli tries to catch some snowflakes                  Eli and Asa cuddle up             

January 12th--Where to begin.... Let's go back to December first.  We began rice cereal!  The boys took right to it.  They eat it right up.  Eli has even started opening up his mouth, but Asa still does his tongue thrusting.  Now, they have begun veggies - we began with the greens.  So far, they like both peas and green beans.  Next week, we'll begin squash and then carrots and sweet potatoes.  Back to December again, we had a busy Christmas.  On Sunday the 23rd, we celebrated with Dad's immediate family.  On the 24th, we celebrated with Mom's family, but Dad was also on call.  He was in and out, but mostly in.  On Christmas, Dad was still on call in the morning, and got called in for an epidural.  Santa visited, but we didn't get to open presents because Dad wasn't there.  We then went to Dad's cousin's house for a big Kirby celebration.  Of course, over those three days, the boys were showered with tons of gifts.  Many thanks to all of you!  It was a very tiring three days.  We were all worn out.  The boys are creatures of habit and do not like their schedule being off - especially Elijah.  They let you know all about it.  For New Years, Mom's family came over to celebrate her birthday.  We then watched the Bulldawgs have a fantastic win in the Sugar Bowl...you can't spell Sugar without UGA!  Go Dawgs!  The whole house is now in withdrawal.  Today, the boys knew it was Saturday and didn't understand why they couldn't watch the Bulldawgs, but they still insisted on wearing their gameday outfits.  Last week, we changed their schedule.  Mom had lots of suggestions from all of her "Baby Wise" friends and took bits and pieces from all of them.  Thanks to all of you - we loved all of your sweet suggestions!  Now, they are on a four hour schedule...eat and wake time for two hours then sleep for two hours, except for the last cycle when they sleep about one hour.  So, they wake up around 7:30 and go to bed by 8.  They only eat four times now - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.  They eat oatmeal with breakfast, but for lunch and dinner they have rice cereal and veggies.  They have already decided that the rice cereal is blah compared to the veggies.  So it's now a guess as to when to finally give them the veggie, so that they still get the rice but aren't too full for the veggie.  They won't eat the rice cereal after that, so mom has to mix it in with the veggie.  They can both sit up now for short periods of time.  They can also roll over both ways!  Eli loves to talk, but it's more of a loud squeal.  It will crack you up.  Asa's voice is still soft and cooey.  He can squeal every now and then.  They can both laugh..it's a precious belly laugh.  We can get them both laughing by kissing their tummies.  They will laugh when you toss them in the air too.  Their favorite present, or Asa's at least, was the jumperoo.  It would suffice it to say that Asa now just tolerates his other toys until he can get back to the main event.  He is the cutest thing in the jumperoo, though.  He jumps straight up and down and flaps his arms.  If you walk away, he'll stop and take a break, but when you walk around the corner, he smiles and jumps as high as he can.  He gets the biggest smile on his face - absolutely hilarious.  He's such a showoff!  As for Eli, he likes it as much as his other toys.  He experiments a little more and will jump side to side and alternate feet and such.  Night time is still a little hard with Eli, but every night is different.  It's just a guessing game trying to keep him happy.  Our newest trick is singing to him - mom and dad are learning lots of children's songs and dad likes to make fun of mom's singing voice and lyrics that she may make up.  Asa is still very easy going.  He does what you want him to most of the time.  He very rarely cries and is happy all the time.  Eli is happy until the evening.  We also think they are beginning to teeth.  We've tried a variety of teething rings and chew toys, but nothing lasts for long.  We're open to suggestions on that too - e-mail if you have any miracle solutions!  Asa tends to just chew on his fingers and doesn't get too upset.  Eli often seems to be in a lot of pain, but more towards the end of the day - his cranky time anyway.  He chews on his fist.  We can get him to use the teethers and toys more than Asa.  And finally, we know you're dying to know their weights....Asa 18# and Eli 17#4oz !!!  Just huge babies!  Dad described them well the other day when we were watching them try to sit up by themselves:  they're like little eggs that you're trying to balance on end, always falling over immediately.  They need some more length on them, so they can balance better.  Tune in soon...we'll get back on our at least weekly schedule of updating the site.

                                                                       Asa's Favorite Toy                                Eli's Already Driving

January 8th--It's Asa and Eli's 7 Month-A-Birthday!  So sad for them...they had to get the second part of their flu shot.  Asa cried a good bit, but Eli hardly said a word!  Unfortunately, they have their synagis shot again on Monday.

January 1st--Happy New Year!

                                                                    Cousin Dawgs                                     Kirby Sugar Dawgs

 December 25th--Merry Christmas, Everyone!  Sorry we haven't updated lately...we'll work on that pronto...but Asa and Elijah had a fantastic Christmas!!!                                

                                                               All the Boys' Gifts                                        Kirby Family

                                                                                                                  Elijah Claus                                 Santa Asa

December 14th--We've had a busy week here at the Kirby house.  On Monday, Dad had to go on an over-night trip, so mom had the pleasure of taking the babes to their 6th month picture session.  We think their individual pictures will be great, but their together pictures didn't look that great.  We'll see when the proofs come in.  On Tuesday, mom had another pleasurable experience -- taking the boys to their 6 month doctor's visit.  It was at 8:15 in the morning in a neighboring town, so we could see the doctor we wanted to see.  It was also at an office and a town that we'd never been too!  Fun-fun.  We made it out of the driveway by 7:50.  We arrived at the hospital (the office is in the hospital) at 8:13.  Of course, mom had asked twice on the phone where exactly the office was.  She repeatedly was told, "It's connected to the hospital."  It would have helped to know the front or the back.  Of course, she chose the wrong one.  So, hauling two car seats with huge babies in them, she made it around 8:19.  Not too bad!  Of course she was a nervous wreck because she can't stand being late, but she survived and told herself she did a good job.  The appointment went well.  The pediatrician says the boys are right on track for 6 month old babies - their real age, not their adjusted age!  Asa weighs 16#6oz and is 24 inches long.  Eli is 15#6oz and is 24.5 inches long.  They received their next round of vaccinations and  a flu shot, but it is a two-part series, so we'll go back for the other half next month.  Eli's umbilical hernia is just about gone also.  On Wednesday, dad was back at work and mom had a brunch.  Also, dad managed to get sick on his trip, but the boys have stayed healthy - thank God!  Then, on Friday, they had more shots - RSV.  Asa had to have two this time due to his enormous weight, but Eli got lucky and had just one. 

December 8th--Happy 6th Month-A-Birthday Boys!!!

  ASA   WALKER                                                                                       ELIJAH  JOHN

  

December 6th-- We are officially decorated here at the Kirby abode.  The boys love to look at the lights and the ornaments. We've also been working on our Christmas card, but mom hasn't found the exact pictures yet.  Expect it before too long though!    In the meantime, check out the Kirby Elves at http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1182200335 - be patient...it takes time to load.  Many thanks to the Conners for showing us this site.

Dad went back to work this week in the pre-op clinic, so he has to work a little later than usual....4 or 5 pm.  Asa and Eli had PT again this week, but the PTs don't plan on seeing them again until next month, most likely the last visit.  They have accomplished most things that 3-5 month old babies should!  They need to practice rolling, keeping head in midline when tilting side to side, and grabbing their feet (kind of hard with all the fat in the middle).  We learned something new....how to sit up!  The boys can both sit up for short lengths of time (seconds).  Then they tumble over, which is scarey for them!  We've had a couple of loud cries due to being scared from falling over.   They have figured out the exersaucer too....they can now turn the wheels and hear the noises that they make.  Eli gets very excited and squeals.  Both boys have just found their hands and have begun sucking on their fists.  Asa has also found his bib and pulls on it often.  Our monsters now weigh 16 lbs (Asa) and 15 lbs (Eli).  We're working on playing with toys and holding them.  And our latest pics:

                                Look at them sitting up!                                                                         Our little goofballs!

November 27th--Happy Birthday, Daddy!  Today is Bryan's b-day.  Luckily, Dad is on vacation this week, so he gets to spend the day with his little boys, but tonight, we'll go on a date without the boys.  Before that though, we get to go see Santa Claus!  The boys are going to dress in their Santa suits and go tell Santa what they want for Christmas.  They also wrote letters to Santa last week that will be in our local paper.  We've also been busy putting up decorations.  We're not quite done yet, but we'll post some pictures when we are.

Last week was a busy one with traveling to see our families.  It's a lot of work to try to pack up two kiddos, toys, food, diapers, clothes...etc.  We had a lot of fun, but it is tiring.  The boys got to see their Aunt Jenn again, so that was exciting.  We also learned how much the boys have apparently enjoyed watching the Bulldawgs play football this season.  When Uncle Teebee and Aunt Sherri babysat, they figured out that the boys calmed down when watching football.  On Thanksgiving, there was Asa watching more football.  Again, on Saturday, they watched more football.  We think Asa may be a future quarterback, except now, he's getting so big that he might have to be a lineman.  Not too sure about Eli.  We used to think he'd be a lineman, but he may be finding a new position too.

Another bit of good and bad news...Asa won't take a pacifier anymore.  Good...already weaned him of that habit.  Bad...lost one way to calm him when he's upset.  Luckily, Asa is very easy going.  He only cries when he's hungry or tired.  He pretty much goes right to sleep when it's naptime or bedtime.  He may tell you when he wants to jump too.  He's crazy about jumping and we're excited that they get to ask Santa for a jumperoo.  They need one!  Asa is batting at objects with his right fist and will play on the playmat for a long time.  He also loves the excersaucer too.  He can move around in it a little more now that his tippy toes can touch the ground.  As for Eli, he is a joy when he's had rest!  On Sunday, he was very cranky from the busy weekend and not resting.  He still fights sleep whenever possible, but more so as the afternoon and evening arrive.  His eating has been better though.  On Monday, he was in a much better mood (due to more napping).  He was smiling and talking all day.  He loves to give "toothy" smiles and talk to us in baby language.  He's a character!  His faces will crack you up. 

And finally, the latest weigh ins:  Asa 15# and Eli 14#!!!  They are monsters! 

Our Little Geniuses Playing On Their Baby Einstein Playmat

All The Thompson Grandkids In One Picture

November 22nd--Happy Thanksgiving!  We pray that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  As we're sure you can guess, Mom and Dad are thankful for their precious baby boys and their wonderful health.  We are also thankful for Daddy's new job and our new community.  GOD has truly blessed us! 

Last weekend, Mom and Dad got to go to the "New Physician's Party" at a neighbor's farm.  When we parked, we jumped on the hay ride down to the barns.  It was a lot of fun to get out and get to meet new people.  Uncle Teebee and Aunt Sherri babysat for us and said that the boys are definitly on a schedule.  Mom told them that they'd be hungry around 7 and you'd be able to tell due to their crankiness at meal time.  Low and behold, at 6:59, they were hungry.  The boys enjoyed their time with Uncle Teebee and Aunt Sherri.  On Sunday, we ventured out to Covington so the boys could meet their distant cousins on Dad's side.  We had a wonderful visit seeing Rick, Tracy, Ashley, and Brittany!

We also had some visiters from North Carolina, Chase, Reagan, Jackson, and baby on the way.  We had a fun time skipping rocks, helping Jackson after his busted lip, and eating some yummy food.

On Thanksgiving Day, Dad had to work.  He was on call, but didn't get called in until almost midnight.  He's on call again Friday and has several cases.  Mom and the boys went to Aunt Leigh and Uncle Adge's house to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Thompson side.  We had a great time and all of the grandkids were there.  It was so fun to see them all together and get some pictures.  Can't wait to share those with you too!  Cousin Maddie said this was the best Thanksgiving ever!  Mom made it back just in time for feeding - 7 - and bedtime.  And once again, you could tell it was time.  These boys love their schedule!

Aunt Tiffany and Caoilinn will come visit mom and the boys on Friday.  We hope to do some scrapbooking, but with three kiddos, that's kind of hard!  On Saturday, we will go to the Kirby's for Thanksgiving.  We will eat some more Turkey and watch the Bulldawgs beat up on the yellowjackets (again). The boys will also get to see their Aunt Jennifer again.  They haven't see her since they were a couple of days old.  They are so excited.

 

November 16th--Another week flies by.  We had a little rough spot - somehow, mom and dad got sick (we think from dad's work).  It just seems to be small colds.  So, Teddygram had to come help take care of the boys, of course in hopes of preventing them from getting sick.  Physical therapy went well again this week ,and they'll see us again in another three weeks.  We will now be working on strengthening their neck muscles.  We have more exercises to practice at home.  The boys also got their RSV - synagis shots again.  We're more prepared for their reactions, but it's still hard to watch.  Asa weighs 13#13oz now and Eli weighs 12#13oz.  Asa is a full pound heavier!  He looks and feels it too.  Eli loves to squeal and coo a lot, and Asa likes to bat at his toys.  It's fun to watch their development!   We're now gearing up for the holidays....mom's ready to put the tree up already.  Maybe next week.... 

    

                        Compare to the one below....                                        How Mom often finds them in the mornings

     

                                 Eli in the Exersaucer                                   Asa smiling (but we have tons of head shots of him now!)

 

 

November 8th--Happy 5 Month-A-Birthday!  Our baby boys are now 5 months...time continues to fly.  We've had another great week at home.  We missed our Georgia cold weather, and now we have it.  It's been wonderful to have Fall weather again (even with it getting to freezing the last couple of nights).  The boys grow fatter and fatter each day.  Wait until you see our Asa...big ole cheeks.  Aunt Leigh could not believe how big his cheeks had gotten!  We finally have a picture of Asa smiling too.  They are both becoming more and more social.  They love to smile at people and some of their toys.  They are both following objects very well with their eyes and getting more and more head/neck control.  Their PT is going well, and we're having to move their heads less and less to the left (we sneak in their bedroom at night and move their heads to the left).  Actually, they are keeping their heads more and more midline which is wonderful.  They'll go back to PT next week.  Eli has also been working very hard on rolling over, but hasn't quite gotten it yet.  Eli has been eating a lot better over the last week as well.  Asa, as always, has a great Kirby appetite.  Weigh ins on their Month-A-Birthday were: Asa 13#4oz and Eli 12#10oz.  Everything is going very smoothly.  Please pray that they make it through the winter without getting sick. 

 

Two Peas in a Pod

October 31st-- HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!  SORRY so long since the last update.  We were supposed to be writing more.... Well, Asa is a whopping 11#14oz and Eli is 11#4oz.  Finally, Asa has taken back over in the weight category.  He eats a full meal more a day than Eli.  Eli's eating habits are improving though.  He's all better during the day (but just not eating as much as Asa, but he's eating what he should be - Asa just eats way more than he's supposed to).  It's his last feeding that he still doesn't like because he knows he's going to bed and he's so tired.  However, he's improved at that time too.  Out of the last 9 days, he's only had 3 crying fits.  Also, it does not seem to be his reflux like we thought it was...he's been fine off of his medicine -- so it just seems to be him trying to fight sleep and stay awake to spend more time with mom and dad.  We think he's figured out that it doesn't work though since he's improving.  As for sleeping, they are still sleeping through the night at a minimum of 10 hours!  It's great.  Only once did Eli wake up at 3 to eat and that was over a week ago.  They slept 11 1/2 hours 2 nights ago!  The boys began physical therapy last week (they both turn their heads to the right more than the left).  That is going well.  We went again this week and get to take a week off since they are working so hard at home.  They practice various exercises throughout the day to stretch out their neck muscles, look to the left some, but ultimately to keep their heads straight forward.  Asa and Eli are both smiling a good bit, but only after meals when they are fat and happy.  Asa is camera shy, so we're still working on getting a smiling picture of him.  Eli is pretty close to giggling, and it's precious.  They have new activities that they love.  They enjoy bouncing, and Asa likes to "go fast."  They also love to straddle mom or dad's leg and rock back and forth.  They do most of it themselves, and we just support them.  Thus, they also have pretty good head control now.  You'll see in some of the pictures how well they hold their heads up.  Today, mom played a new game with Eli of just leaning back and coming back up.  While she was cooking dinner, dad was playing with him and he started doing it.  Dad was trying to figure out what he was doing.  They are such fast learners.  It's so fun to watch them meet their milestones and learn new things.   Both boys are always looking around and taking in their environment. Tune in for more sooner rather than later next time!

                                         ELI                                                      Great-Grandmother                                              ASA                            

                             ASA  (close to a smile)                                                                                                ELIJAH

FOXY enjoying a Bulldawg win over Florida!!!

Notice she thinks the boppy is her pillow!

 October 15th--Guess how much they weigh!!! 10 whole pounds....they are huge.  We weighed them before their bath and meal last night, so we can tell the nurse who will come give them their next synagis shot (RSV vaccination).  The boys are just growing fools.  They are both smiling also - we're working on getting pictures of that for all of their fans.  It's so funny to watch Eli smile.  He is still figuring out how, so he'll open his mouth really wide and then pull his cheeks back.  Asa has figured out how to smile in the past couple of days, but Eli has been doing it for a few weeks.    Also, they have both been working on their jumping skills.  When you bounce them on your lap, they'll bend their knees and try to jump.  They get the cutest excited looks on their faces.  Yesterday, we ventured out to Aunt Leigh and Uncle Adge's house where cousin Maddie anxiously waited for us in her princess dress.  She told her mom this week that she missed her cousins and wants to come spend the night.  What a sweet girl!   The boys did very well in the car....they slept!   Speaking of sleeping, they are still sleeping from 9pm to 7 am.  Mom's body is still trying to adjust.   She tossed and turned, but stayed in bed today.

Look at our little comedian on the left and our big roller on the right!

 

October 14th--The boys slept 10 hours!  We just had to tell you that!  On Thursday and Friday, they stayed awake a lot longer during the day.  Then, on Friday night, they slept from 9 to 5, ate, and went back to sleep until 8:30.  We were thinking that was great.  Mom was thinking, "Wow, if I go to bed right after the boys, then in the mornings, I can actually get some things done if they take a nap after that first feeding."  But then last night, Mom and TeddyGram put the boys down around 9.  Mom awoke at 3:30, but didn't hear too much upstairs (except for Asa's ususal grunts).  She tossed and turned for 30 more minutes, and finally got up at 4, figuring they'd soon surely awaken.  She warmed their milk, pumped, waited....sent some e-mails, and wondered what to do next.  Deciding that it was not a good idea to shop online (since she just had a recent shopping spree at Amazon, Baby Center, and One Step Ahead), she instead read the blogs of her friends (keep them coming - ya'll inspire me to blog more), opened the mail, flipped through a magazine, cut coupons, and waited.  Still nothing.  She finally decided to go upstairs in her secret room and sew.  She sewed for an hour before the boys woke up!  Yipppeeee.  The boys ate, and Eli even went back to sleep and Asa is swinging in the Pooh swing now.  So exciting that we had to share!  We'll write again soon and post more pictures.

 

October 8th--Happy 4 Month-A-Birthday, Asa and Eli!  Can't believe it's already been 4 months - boy does time fly.  Today was the dreaded 4 month doctor's visit.  It was as expected...Asa and Eli and Mom cried when they got their shots.  Mom and Nana consoled them pretty quickly though.  They received one oral vacination and three shots.  The pediatrician thinks they are doing wonderfully.  He's so surprised that they can do some things that a four month old does.  For example, rolling over and holding their heads erect.  Their weights were amazing: Asa 9#6oz and Eli 9#7oz!!!!  Woweee!  They were also 20.5 inches long.  Both boys will come off of their reflux medicines as well.  Our newest theory on Eli's eating is that he just doesn't want to eat on Asa's schedule.  So, when he starts crying, mom stops feeding him, puts in the pacifier, and waits about 10 minutes.  He normally eats better after that.  He's such an independent guy!  Asa decided to roll over again today!  It was his month-a-birthday after all.  Overall, a good visit.  They'll go back again at 6 months.

Our Miracles!

 

October 4th--Not too much to report this week.  Things continue to go pretty well, although Elijah is still having his eating/crying problems.  He's doing it about twice a day now.  Fortunately, we will be going to the doctor for their 4 month visit on Monday, so we'll see what the doctor has to say / suggest.  They both track sounds and sort of track objects.  We also think that they are close to smiling...how precious will that be!  We weighed them after their bath last night and they are knocking on the 9 pound door.  Wow...they will have doubled their weight since being home which will be two months on Tuesday.  Boy does time fly!  Asa has decided that he only rolls over on Saturdays, as he rolled over two more times last Saturday, but not on any other days.  We've had some cloudy / rainy weather this week, so we haven't been for many walks.  The boys seem to like walks and it can be calming too!  Wish us luck as we get their four month shots next week!

Mom mastering the art of feeding both boys at the same time (although Foxy helps too)

 

September 27th--Well, things continue to go well here at the Kirby abode.  Both boys are growing and growing.  They eat about 6 times a day at a minimum of 4 ounces.  After their bath last night, Asa weighed in at 8 pounds and Eli at 8 pounds 2 ounces.  Eli's cheeks continue to get bigger and bigger or rounder and rounder.  I've had many of you ask me about their similarities and differences.  Let's begin with Asa.  Asa has brown hair, blue eyes, and olive skin.  Asa eats more than Eli, although he weighs less.  He probably eats an ounce or two more each day.  Asa is a true believer in what goes in, must go out.  He's an excellent burper and pooper.  He'll definitly let you know when he's hungry.  When he is awake, he likes to be in the carrier walking around with mom and dad.  He's a big fan of moving around and will get fussy if you're not waliking.  Asa sleeps more than Eli and could possibly sleep through the night.  As for Eli, he is not a big fan of sleeping.  He has more wake time during the day and despises bedtime.  He sees nine o'clock coming and gets fussy.  We have to let him cry it out often at night.  We can't decide about his reflux.  Sometimes, it seems as though it may be gas, but at other times, we can tell he's in a lot of pain.  He tends to have these episodes during the last two feedings of the day, so we're wondering if it could be him not wanting to go to bed at all.  The other night, we put him down and he cried for a few minutes.  We thought he was asleep, but 45 minutes later when we went to bed, he was looking directly at the monitor.  He must be able to see the lights on it because if he's awake, he's looking at it.  Eli likes the pack as well, but will also sit in the bouncey seat and swing a little more than Asa.  Eli loves to hold his head up and look all around.  Eli has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a pale complexion.    We do have some exciting news: Asa rolled over last Saturday - two times, but has not done it since.  We have proof though!  He did it once for mom and she called for dad.  He ran and got the video camera and Asa did it again.  Eli is so close!  He'll hold his head up and flip it around.  He'll raise his hip, but just hasn't quite figured out how to roll over.  Here are some more cute pictures of our little ones.

   

                 Enjoying the Bulldawgs Beat Bama!                                                                                   Bath Time

            

          Eli having Tummy Time                                                                     Asa about to Roll Over for the 1st Time

September 20th-- Last week, we left you right before their doctors' visits.  Both of the visits went well.  The eye doctor said their eyes have improved and look like normal newborn eyes.  She'll see them back at 1 year to test for glasses.  The heart doctor said that Eli's heart looks perfectly normal, and Asa's has just a small hole that should close up soon.  Eli's reflux is still problematic, especially around his 6 pm feeding.  We haven't quite figured out why, but we're still working on it.  The boys also received their RSV vaccinations today.  It will help to minimize the illness if they get it.  They'll get this once a month through April.  That may be rough as Eli did not feel well from 5 pm on today.  He did at least fall asleep pretty easily tonight.  Speaking of sleeping, they are now spending the night in a crib upstairs all by themselves!  They still sleep together for now. They are only waking up once in the night to feed - somewhere around 3 am and they go right back to sleep.  They are so excited about next week as Daddy has a whole week off.  Here's a picture of Mommy treating the boys like little dolls for her to dress up:

Pooh & Tigger going for a walk on a blustery day!

                                                              Boys rolling around with Foxy                             Asa (top), Eli (bottom)

September 11th--The boys had another big weekend.  On Friday, they had a great doctor's visit.  Asa and Eli turned 3 months on Saturday, but also experienced their first bulldawg loss.  On Sunday, they had officially been home for 1 month.  On Monday, they had their three month pictures taken.  And today, they have two doctor's visits.  They are very busy young men.  As for their doctor's visit on Friday, they weighed in at 6#5oz for Asa and 6#8oz for Eli (although Asa eats more than Eli).  They are growing little boys.  They also get to come off their monitors - yeah - no more tripping over cords or sticky pads being pulled off our poor little boys and making them hurt!  Saturday, well, we just don't need to talk about that.  The trip to the photographer seemed to go very well.  Both boys were wide eyed and ready to be photographed.  We will get the pictures back in about a week.  We can't wait.  Mom and dad both got shots with the boys, so who knows how much money we'll be spending!  Today, we'll visit the pediatric opthamologist and the cardiologist.  Did we tell you that the boys have outgrown all of their preemie clothes?  Well, they have.  They are in newborn and 0-3 month sizes now.  We'll update again soon!

 

September 3rd--HAPPY DUE DATE!   Well, today was the boys' official due date!  Labor day, how appropriate!  Wow, what a ride it has been!  We are so thankful that everything seems to be going well.  This Friday, we go to the pediatrician and next Tuesday to the opthamologist.  Next Monday, we will have their 3 month pictures made.  So exciting!  We also had a huge weekend.  First, the boys had their first game day.  Our puppy dawgs loved watching football with mom and dad.  They were all decked out in their game day apparel.  On Sunday, we ventured out to the grandparents' house and visited with them and their great-grandmother.  We had a great weekend. 

As for the boys, we think that they now weigh close to 6 pounds!  Dad got on our regular scale and they both measured 6.4#, but with clothing and diaper.  We will soon be getting a scale from a home-health company.  The boys are going to get RSV vacinations once a month, and a nurse will come to the house to administer them.  The company is giving us a scale so that we can weigh the boys and let the company know -- so they can have the right dosage ready.  They boys montiors are going alright.  They are both a blessing and a curse; they provide us comfort in knowing we will be alarmed when something may be wrong, but a pain around the house.  The cords are constantly tangled.  We frequently have loose connections alarms.  The packs are really heavy.  The sticker that hold on the leads hurt our babies when we have to change them!   We did receive the data from the first downloads of them.  Asa had many alarms that were not real, but a few low heart rates that were real.  He also had one apnea  (holding his breath).  Eli had mainly apneas.  We are not sure how much longer they will have them, but pray that we just don't need them.  Our "Easy E" title is vanishing quickly.  In the last week, we think Eli is having more trouble with his reflux, poor baby.  When he's eating, he'll take a few gulps, come off the bottle, and scream.  Gas drops have helped some, but we think we may need to give one of his medicines 20-30 minutes before his feed.  We tried that today at one feeding and it worked.  The problem is that he only takes the medicine 4 times a day, but eats about 7 times.  We'll continue to trouble shoot until we resolve our poor baby's problem.  As for Asa, he seems to be pretty content.  He takes one medicine for reflux too (Eli takes 2), but we're not sure he needs it.  He continues to eat well and his sleeping has improved.  He doesn't grunt/whine as much.  Here are some pictures.  We'll update again soon, hopefully at least weekly.

Look how much they've grown!!!

Our Puppy Dawgs all tuckered out after tailgating!

     

                           Mommy and sons                                                           Dad and his boys taking in a UGA win

 

August 27th--Things are going very well at home now.  We've been through tons of diapers already!  We've learned not to change Asa'a diaper until after he has eaten, or else you'll just have to change it again.  Of the two babies, Asa is a little louder.  He likes to make little noises all the time, even in his sleep.  He also gulps when he eats.  Lately, he's been our little piglet, eating about every 2 1/2 hours and eating close to 100 cc now (a little over 3 oz).  Today, he's actually eaten over 100 and still acted hungry.  Asa is an excellent burper too!  When they first came home, they slept in our room in their cradles, but dad must get some sleep for work.  Therefore, they're now in the den in the Pack'N'Play.  We're not sure when we'll move them upstairs, as that is a long trek in the middle of the night.  As for Elijah, he used to be our good eater, but now he's slowed down letting Asa lead the way.  We've also found that Eli does not like to be burped too much.  He is our little lamb, often making baaaa sounds.  He's still our Easy E, although Asa is not difficult either.  During the day, we try to stay on a 3 hour schedule of eating and sleeping.  However, at least two times a day now, they each have some wake time.  They have taken turns having wake time which is nice to have some alone time with each.  In the evening, they'll stay awake a good bit, which has led to them sleeping for about two four hour periods at night.  Mom has enjoyed that!  We've found that the swaddle blankets work very well for them at night.  We are just enjoying this time with our sweet babies and thanking God for them many times daily!

August 13th--Hi everyone....we've been very busy here at the Kirby home as you can surely tell due to the lack of updates.  But, all is well.  The boys, mom, and Nana ventured out to the doctor today.  Both boys gained about 2 ounces since leaving the hospital Thursday!  Not too bad.  So, they weigh in at 4#10 oz for Asa and 4#12 oz for Eli.  At home, we're getting on a great schedule - the boys eat every 2 1/2 hours or so.  We get to change tons of diapers and the boys sleep a lot.  We've yet to figure out how to exactly get in some naps though.  When the boys are sleeping, we're busy doing all their laundry and cleaning up and going through medical bills.  As you can tell, we probably won't be able to update the website every day, but we'll try to do it often.  We thank you for your continued prayers.  Right now, our main prayer would be to keep them free of illness, especially RSV.  The doctor told us to basically stay at home and stay away from other children for the winter.  We already expected that, so we should be better e-mailers for a while!

August 9th--Well, today was the day!  Exactly 2 months and 1 day after their births, Asa Walker Kirby and Elijah John Kirby crossed the mantle to their new home.  This is a day that Samantha & I have been dreaming of for a very long time, so it's a little unbelievable to have two beautiful sons here with of us now.  We want to thank all of you for your prayers since their births and for the continued prayers that I hope you'll keep sending up to the Lord as they grow physically, mentally, and spiritually.  We owe you all immensely, especially those who sent us some meals   :-)  Lastly, I'll leave you with pictures that I was hoping to be able to post on the first day we decided to do this webpage:  pictures of the boys coming home and of their new nursery.  Thank you all again.  We cannot wait for you to meet the boys in person.

Asa & Eli ready to get home!

                   Their nursery                                                                        Their Winnie the Pooh Bathroom

August 8th--Happy Two-Month-a-Birthday to the boys!  Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but here's the latest.  Mommy has been staying in the hospital with the boys at her bedside, changing their diapers, giving them their medicines, feeding them constantly, and listening to their little whimpers,  and loving them tremendously.  The great task has been to get them to feed by mouth for all their feedings.  As it turns out, Asa just wants a bottle, while Eli is very content breastfeeding.  We asked for them to be different and have their own personalities, so this is our fault I guess.  We really do not care as long as they're growing and spending lots of time with Mommy.  The good news to report is:  They're coming home tomorrow afternoon!  The car seats have been installed, the nursery looks unbelievable (it's no exagerration to say it is exactly what we always dreamed of), and the parents are more than eager to get them home.  They'll be coming home with "apnea monitors" to alarm if their respiratory rate or heart rate decrease too low.  They've actually already had them on since Satruday, with relatively few alarms.  They'll probably need the monitors for about two more months, since you have to remember that their original due date is still nearly a month away and they're still immature.  Today, they've already gotten their 2 month vaccinations and are currently getting circumcised.  So, everything is coming together!  Their weight has definitely leveled off since starting the oral feedings, but that's okay for a little longer. 

August 4th--Cool day today as Mommy spent the entire day with the boys.  Since the doctor gave her the clearance to breastfeed "ad lib," Mommy went up starting at 5:30 this morning to teach the boys how to feed themselves.  While the first feeding was a little difficult, the successive feeding have shown improvement until this evening, when the boys have fed themselves like old pros!  Mommy will stay in the hospital tonight feeding and changing them, as well as dressing them in silly outfits.  This morning, Mommy spoke with a lady who fitted the boys with apnea monitors, which will detect if they decide not to breathe while they are sleeping.  Remember that this is a common problem amongst premies.  If they hold their breath, a loud alarm will sound.  Apparently, it's very sensitive and very loud, leading to its assocation amongst the staff with the term "parental abuse."  Well, keep praying.  Big steps towards coming home are happening!

August 3rd--Well, their weights are about the same, but otherwise we have some BIG news!  Mommy went in at ~6 am to feed the boys and talked to our doctor.  He said that he is ordering apnea monitors for the boys today in place of their current full monitoring.  Additionally, starting tomorrow, the boys will be getting every meal straight from Mommy.  Next week, they'll get their 2 month shots, get circumcised, and have Mommy and Daddy spend a couple of full days in the hospital completely caring for them.  The goal is for them to come home by Thursday! 

 

August 2nd--Asa's weight today was up to 2070 g, while Eli is all the way to 2135.  That's actually as big a gap between them s they've ever had.  Right now they're in the 10th percentile for head circumference and weight, but 50th in length.  That means they're tall like their daddy.  They are showing improvment on their feeding, but it's really important to get them awake.  In fact, the nurses have decided to call Mommy when the boys are awake around their meal times so that the feedings will be more successful.  Right now, we're just feeding twice per day.

August 1st--Both boys ate very well today.  All their bloodwork came back with good news.  We're going to watch their weight tomorrow to determine how they are nursing.  If all is well, then we'll go to nursing every other feeding.  Also, they hopefully received their last bit of caffeine this morning and will only have their vital signs checked once a day.  They are big boys now!  We hope to move to different monitors within the next week too.  It's so nice to be moving to less intrusive forms of medine and to be thinking about coming home.  We haven't been given any new timelines from the doctors yet, but we're hoping in a week or two.

 July 31st--Things continue to go smoothly.  Both boys made it to over 2 kilograms - about 4 1/2 lbs.  They are going to have some blood work done today as a routine and follow up on their newborn screenings.  As for their eye exams, they came back about the same as last time, and we'll follow up in another 4 weeks.  They continue to progress in their feedings too. 

July 30th--Another good day.  Asa weighed in at 1194 g (4# 6.3oz) and Eli 2004 (4# 6.7 oz).  They are also 18 inches long.  Wow!  What huge babies!  Over the weekend, they also had a hearing test, which they both passed.  Praise God! Please stay in prayer for their eye exams again....we should have the results back tomorrow.  Another bit of good news is that the doctors don't think they hear the heart murmers too much anymore.  Hopefully, they will have another echocardiogram by the time they leave (mom says this as she gets concerned about having to take 2 babies to many doctors all by herself!).  Mom also dressed them today....fun-fun.  They looked adorable, and we will put some more pictures up soon.

July 29th--We had another try at feeding today.  It was okay.... but, we'll continue trying tomorrow.  Asa went up in weight to 1947, while Eli went down to 1958.  We've found Eli to be rather vocal when he is hungry.  They continue to show more and more signs that they are ready for bottle/breast feeding - around feeding time they'll wake up, root, suck their fingers, etc.  The doctor also decided to up their feedings to 40cc.  We'll post some more pictures.

                  Eli sticking his tongue out at ya'll!                                                   Pudgy Asa

July28th--Asa weighed 1931 and Eli weighed 1966...not too bad.  The breast feeding went well for 34 week babies.  Eli fed very well, but Asa didn't do quite as well.  They were also tube fed afterwards, which led to happy babies.  We will see what happens tomorrow.  Other than that, not too much exciting...which is good!  They mainly eat, sleep, and poop like normal little babies.

July 27th--Good news!  Both boys attempted bottle feedings for one of their meals and both were successful!  Eli's had a little rice mixed into the milk and Asa's  will tomorrow, but both tolerated it without changes in their breathing patterns or heart rates, which is awesome.  The doctor was so encouraged that she was talking about the boys going home by the end of next week!  Right now that seems a little aggressive but we don't mind her shooting for the stars.  Their weights remained unchanged today, but who cares?  Our boys ate by themsleves!  And they're  getting so chubby, it's really quite funny.  By the way, they only attempted one meal because it tends to be a lot of work on them at first.  Tomorrow, we have planned a breast feeding,  so that is even more taxing.  Good work with the prayers!

July 26th--Sort of a slow day again, except for the fact that both boys are up in weight.  Asa is up to 1879 g and Eli is at 1917 g.  Daddy was trying to make a DVD of their video from their month at Grady but he became a little emotional at just how small his boys used to be.  But they're beautiful now, and starting to look a little chubby!  Tomorrow will be a big day as we attempt to feed them by mouth again.  That would be a big thing to have some prayers about.  Anyway, check back in tomorrow for an update on that.

July 25th--Today, both boys are up over 4 lbs by a good margin.  They both have been very stable and look ready to attempt another bottle feeding, but nothing will be tried for now.  Mommy & Tiffany stayed with the boys while they were awake in the morning, while Daddy spent some time with them while they slept in the afternoon.  Overall, today was simply a bridge day to bigger days at the end of the week.

July 24th--The boys continue to progress.  Their feeds have been increased to 36 cc per feeding.  However, Eli's reflux flared up again and the bottle feeding trial that was loosely scheduled for today was held because of it.  We're not sure if it will happen any time soon now.  On the good side, Nana and Pop-Pop came by to see the boys, and spent a good 2 hours with them after bringing them two beautiful bassonets that Pop-Pop had made.  The boys seemed pretty excited about those.  They passed the 4 pound mark for the first time today as Asa weighed  in at 1792 and Eli at 1814 g.  The last thing we'll leave you with today is another one of the thoughtful items the nurses from Tanner have given us to celebrate their 6 week birthday Friday:

Asa's feet

Eli's feet

July 23rd--Another great day.  Asa weighed in at 1748 (3#14oz), but Eli won again at 1785g (3#15oz).  Hopefully, they will both be 4 pounds tomorrow.  We had a bit of a surprise too.  Eli took a bottle during the middle of the night.  He ate the whole 33 cc (a little more than an ounce) and did well afterwards.  We are going to try another bottle feeding with both boys tomorrow.  Eli's feedings are going back to lasting just 30 minutes and both boys will eat 36 cc tomorrow.  On another note, they had some more visitors today.  Aunt Leigh got to go in and visit with them a while, and Cousins Maddie and AJ viewed them from behind the glass.  Maddie loved it and told everyone in the hall that they were her cousins.  She waved at them and blew them kisses.  We'll let you know how tomorrow's feeding goes as soon as we know....it will be in the evening!

July 22nd--Well, today was a better day.  Asa weighed 1722 g (the same) and Eli jumped up to 1756 g.  Eli did not have any flare ups of his reflux today - yeah.  Both boys are still doing well without oxygen, and they are using the bathroom like crazy.  They think it's pretty funny to keep going to the bathroom when you're in the middle of changing their diapers.  We can't wait to see all the diaper bills!  When mom and dad visited, both boys were awake and alert.  We had some good discussions about eating and such.  They are both going to try to eat from the bottle because they are very anxious to come home.  We told them all about their room and bathroom too.  They can't wait to see them!   Mom and Dad also went shopping to finish buying stuff for them.  It was a lot of fun.  When their room is finished, we will publish some pictures for you to see.  Later on, their cousin, Maddie, came to spend the night. 

July 21st--Papa and Teddy Gram came by to see the boys for the first time since they've been at Tanner, and everyone seemed to enjoy it.  Asa's bed got wet early yesterday, which led to his bed getting very cold, which then led to him becoming very cold.  Because of that, he had to  be put back into the Isolette warmer (along with Eli just to be safe) for about 2 hours.  The unfortunate result of all this was that their trial of bottle feeding was cancelled and probably won't be retried until midweek.  As for Eli, his reflux has begun to flare up again, so Dr. Eubanks has increased one of his two medicines for that.  Additionally, he wants to stretch his feeds back out over one hour.  He will also be monitoring closely because this actually could be a sign of occult infection.  He did draw some blood from both the boys just before Eli's reflux started flaring up, and it looks like the boys are getting quite anemic again, with Asa's hematocrit around 30 and Eli's around 25.5.  If they show any signs of distress such as a quick heart rate or breathing pattern, then they will likely get transfused again.  On the postive side, however, they put on a tremendous amount of weight as they both crossed over 1700 g for the first time (Asa: 1722, Eli: 1721).  Also, their feeds will be increased to 33 total cc per feeding.  Overall, they're doing well, but Mommy and  Daddy are concerned about the possibility of an infection or the need for a transfusion, as any parents would.  I leave you with more pictures!

               2 Peas in a Pod                                        Asa holding Teddy Gram's hand

July 20th--After yesterday, the boys took a day off to recoup.  Talking to their doctor today, he said he expects that the boys should go home by the 35th-36th week (gestational age).  Today, they are 33 weeks and 5 days.  We think we're ready, but what do we know?  The boys feeds were increased yesterday to 30 cc over 30 minutes, and they're tolerating it quite well.  However, they again dropped weight today to put Asa at 1622 g & Eli at 1610 g.  We attribute it to all the calories they're burning practicing sucking on their pacifiers in preparation for the next bottle test.  On that topic, we are going to try again tomorrow at noon, so that'll be exciting.  Alright, we better get back to getting their nursery ready.  See ya'll tomorrow!

July 19th--Huge day today as both boys came off their oxygen.  But they didn't stop there!  They're also holding their temperature so well that they' have been brought out into an open crib!  I guess everybody got so excited that we decided to also go ahead and start feeding them via a bottle, but it just didn't work out as they have not yet coordinated the sucking-and-breathing-at-the-same-time thing.  Oh well, 2 for 3 is really good.  Mommy and Daddy visited the boys several times and had the boys suck on pacifiers while they fed instead.  The nurses were very pleased.  Their weights dropped slightly to 1634 g for Asa & 1652 g for Eli.  We'll trry again tomorrow to let them feed themselves, so I look forward to giving you some great news soon. 

July 18th--We have some good news to report.  First of all, Asa & Eli are up to 1635 & 1669 g respectively.  Furthermore, the doctor is so pleased with their progress that she wants to stop their oxygen supplementation entirely.  It will be nice to have one less tube one their faces!  Also, they are going to stop heating the air arouind them because their weights are such that they may be able to hold their own temperatures.  Let's hope they can pass that milestone soon.  Also, we have started in the past few days training them to suck on their pacifiers while they have food pushed through their feeding tubes.  In fact, they are already swallowing some of their medicines by mouth!  This weekend we may try bottle feeding as a transition to breastfeeding by early next week!  Also, we found out that the eye doctor specifically said they have Stage I Retinopathy of Prematurity, which we were worried about and were praying about.  While we were hoping for nothing at all, Stage I has a 90% conversion rate to normal vision in adulthood.  Let's pray those good odds hold true.  Alright, time for more pictures:

All tangled up

July 17th--Another day of growth for our boys.  Asa is 1598 g, while Eli is 1631 g.  They are still doing pretty well and we're nearing severeal days in a row of nothing but good news.  Eli did have one episode of low oxygen levels in his blood but popped up on his own.  He seems to have done much better with his breathing since he was started on another medicine for reflux last Thursday.  The doctor will try to take them off their oxygen altogether by Thursday, so let's hope that goes well.  Daddy stopped in again several times today, while Mommy came and held them for over an hour.  Check out the funny guy squeezing into his brother's picture.  Expect more pictures like this over the next few years.

 

July 16th--Well, today was Daddy's first day at work, so he got to go see the boys 4 times as he brought different coworkers up the admire the twins.  Mommy came as well and held them both at once!  She did a little better job of balancing them this time than a few weeks ago when she first tried.  Asa actually dropped a little weight today, so the doctor is going to add some calories to his milk.  Eli is still gaining weight and now towers over his brother by 52 g.

Sleeping Peacefully                                                                       Look, mom, he's back!

July 15th--Well, all of the boys tests have come back and all were negative.  So, with that good news, we got to move the boys back into the same incubator today.  This is something you really have to see to understand, but they look so cool all snuggled up together in that thing.  You almost feel as if you're seeing what they would look like in the womb if they were still there.  If they were, today would be their 33rd week of gestation.  Their weights only went up a little bit today.  Mommy and Daddy spent some time with them this morning before heading back to try to get their nursery ready for their arrival home.  Of course, we don't know exactly when that will be.  But they're going to love their rooms when they do get home and are able to appreciate that sort of thing (probably around age 25). 

July 14th--Sorry for the short message yesterday, so let me get you up to date.  Asa is 1579 g today, and Eli is 1552 g.  Today Eli also got an echocardiogram for a murmur, and the result was the same.  The nurse got very worried about Asa's abdomen looking big again.  She called in the doctor who drew bloodwork and got an XRay but didn't stop his feeds, unlike Grady.  Unfortunately, they separated the boys into two incubators in case there is anything wrong with Asa.  The bloodwork has been fine thus far.  Daddy held Asa today after his big board exams, which was nice because Asa woke up for the time they were together.  We have some excellent pictures of  our big boys, so we'll try to get them posted on the site ASAP.

Can ya'll tell who's who yet?

July 13th--Our boys are fat! Asa went to 1516 g today, but Eli went even higher to 1536 g!  That puts them about a pound over their birth weights! 

July 12th--Once again, it is difficult to line up more than 3 good days in a row without a hiccup here or there.  Today, the doctor was concerned about Eli holding his breath too much.  She thinks it could be due to reflux and has added 2 medicines to treat that.  She also hears a murmur on Asa's heart.  This fact led her to recommend a cardiac ultrasound or "echocardiogram" to be done today.  Couple all this to the fact that we still don't have results on their cranial ultrasounds and that they may have their eye exams today and you get two parents that are also holding their breath.  Otherwise, the boys are continuing to grow and tolerating their feeds well.  Asa is up to 1479 g, while Eli is just behind at 1475 g.  Mommy has already held the boys for ~1 hour and will probably do so again later.  I'll let ya'll know if we hear anything.

(Part 2) Daddy went by this evening to watch the echo being done and read it with the technician, since "Gas Doctors" do echocardiograms as well.  He thinks that Asa still has a very small PDA (basically normal), a PFO (normal for now), no VSD (good), and a marginally tight preducatal aorta without any flow restriction (normal).  We'll get the official reading probably on Monday, but there's your unofficial reading.

July 11th--We visited our precious twins today and, yes, they are still the cutest babies in the NICU.  Of course, they are the only babies in the NICU at Tanner today!  Yesterday their was another one,  but he/she's gone now.  So, they've got about 4 nurses to themselves.  Both boys are up to 26 cc over 45 minutes on their feeds.  Elijah does seem to be having some reflux problems, as evidenced by the fact that his oxygen saturation seems to fall a little right after he feeds.  We hope he grows out of that.  Asa weighed 1466 g today while Eli fell to 1439 g.  It'll be kind of cool when they get to 1500 g, since that is sometimes sort of a milestone in the pediatrics books.  Tough to imagine that, at one point, these guys weighed around 950 g (~2 lbs. 1 oz).  Later this week, they'll have their first eye exams to look for damage from the oxygen.  Anyway, thanks for checking in.

Eli is a bed hog, just like Daddy!

July 10th--We got a wonderful anniversary present today: our two babies are just down the street.  At about 12:30 last night, the boys were brought over from Grady to a bunch of happy faces eager to take care of them here in Carrollton.  The boys were brought over in one incubator and even now are still in one incubator together, which is super-cute to see!  Both were pretty interested to see their new surroundings but, after having a feeding skipped due to the transfer, Eli became very hungry and as upset as we've ever seen him.  That was an easy problem to fix.  Both boys weighed exactly 1444 g this morning, which is pretty interesting.  Asa is up to 24 cc/hr feeds and Eli is at 25 cc over 1.5 hrs.  Anyways, here is a cute picture of our boys sharing their new bed (by the way, this is not a posed picture, they really both turned their heads to check out who was hogging all the covers in their new bed):

                   (Part 2)--You cannot imagine how cute it is to see these little boys snuggling, kicking, grabbing, and sleeping together in this incubator together.  The pictures aren't doing them justice.  Good luck finding a cuter set of babies.  We went back already and held them again, this time with the video camera.  One word: fantastic.   By the way, Eli is really starting to like that pacifier.

July 9th--Sorry for the late update, but today has been a little long.  First, the boys did have their ultrasounds today and, while the doctors are optimistic,  we don't yet have the results.  As for their transfer,  we just got back home (~10:00p now) after going to Tanner.  The boys were loosely scheduled to come at 9 pm, but a more pressing emergency has put their relatively low-priority move on the back burner.  We're absolutely thrilled, though, to be able to see the boys more often and more easily.  By the way, Asa got another blood transfusion yesterday.  His feeds have been increased to 23 cc/hr, while Eli's remains at 25 cc/hr.  Anyways, it's going to be huge to have them close to home.  Please continue praying for their physical, mental, and spiritual health. 

July 8th--Mommy went by to see the boys today, and there's some news to report.  Unfortunately, Asa's oxgen level still isn't staying high, so he's back on a little oxygen.  Eli was off for a while this morning, but he's back on now as well.  Actually, I say that they're on oxygen, but in reality they keep pulling it off every 10 minutes so who knows if they're actually getting anything.  Asa feeds have been increased back to 21 cc/hr, very near to the "full feeds" of 25 cc/hr that Eli is on that would make them both fully dependent on breast milk alone.  I should add that they get "fortifiers" in their milk, so I guess you could still acuse them of cheating a little bit.  Asa gained 10 g to get back ahead of his brother, while Eli stood pat.  It's interesting about that, though, because Eli looks longer and a little bigger, but Asa does have a little bigger belly and bigger thighs.  it's going to be a blast to see what they look like as they grow. Mommy signed papers today for their transfer, and it looks as though they may leave late Monday after their head ultrasounds.  Summary: tomorrow is a huge day.

July 7th--Mommy and Daddy didn't get to the hospital until very late today, but when they got there they found Eli still doing well but still on oxygen at a 1/2 liter per minute.  He looked very happy in his warmer and was smiling as much as ever!  Asa also looked great, but the doctors are still worried about his belly.  It wasn't made any easier for Mommy (Daddy was outside the NICU at the time) when she saw Asa's oxygen level fall low for several minutes, requiring a nurse to come over to his incubator to help him.  The doctors also think Asa is breathing a little fast, which may indicate an infection.  We'll watch and see.  By the way, the boys are definitely getting their head ultrasounds on Monday.  It would be a huge answered prayer to have a good result from that.  Also, both boys made it to 1400 g today, their highest ever.

Aren't they really starting to look different?

July 6th--Today was sort of a bridge day to some big days in the near future.  Asa continues to look as though NEC has not set into his little belly!  He's back at 18 cc/hr on his feeds, staying off oxygen, and holding his weight at 1360 g.  They've even stopped the antibiotics he was getting.  Eli is much the same as he has been all week: on 1/2 liter per minute of low oxygen, feeding on just breast milk at 25 cc/hr (though they're now fortifying it), and his weight is at 1330 g.  They added the fortifiers because he's not quite putting on weight like they would prefer.  In the next few days (read: not over the weekend but starting on Monday), the boys should get another round of intracranial ultrasounds, their first eye exams, and possibly even get sent to Carrollton to be closer to Mommy and Daddy.  The intracranial ultrasounds were very nerve-racking back 3 weeks ago when they first got them, and they will be again this time.  Bad results on the ultrasounds increase the risk that the boys will experience mental impairment as they mature.  Their eye exams will be the first of several to determine whether the oxygen that they have been needing has affected their long-term vision.  We have been having you pray against both these complications for weeks and the next few days will be even more critical.  Thanks for everything.  I would expect some pictures tomorrow!

July 5th--Mommy & Daddy came by themselves today and found the boys to be doing very well.  Asa continues not to have any further problems or lab abnormalities.  He was so cute today and has stayed off his oxygen just like we were hoping.  His feeds are still at 6 cc/hr but we hope that will increase.  His weight went up to 1370 g and his vital signs have been very good.  Mommy held both boys "skin-to-skin" on her chest today and they slept soundly the whole time.  Eli is still on a little bit of oxygen but he may be able to come off by tomorrow.  His weight dropped to 1350 g, meaning Asa has reestablished himself as the bigger Kirby boy!  Anyways, here are some more cute pictures of the boys.  As for the picture of Eli, there are pictures that make him look more relaxed, but the nurses have always had to keep pulling him up to the top of the bed after he slides himself down, so we thought we'd show one of those times when he's all rolled up in a ball at the bottom of his bed.

Our Elijah                                                                                 Peaceful Asa

July 4th--Happy July 4th!  Today the boys got another visit from Papa and Teddy Gram.  Asa is still the one we're a little worried about, but he's shown no signs of NEC today and his XRays and bloodwork continue to be normal.  His feeds have been restarted but are now all the way back down to 6 cc/hr (from 25 cc/hr before).  So, it'll be at least 5 days before he's back where he was.  However, he's doing well off his oxygen.  Eli was off oxygen but had to be put back on a tiny amount this afternoon.  His feeds are up to 23 cc over 1.5 hr.  Their weights are now: Asa 1350, Eli 1370.  Two big things here: both boys are over 3 pounds (in case you don't have your conversion chart handy), and Eli has passed Asa for the first time.  So, we had a lot to be thankful for today as Mommy held both boys for a long time.  See you tomorrow.  Enjoy the fireworks!

July 3rd--We have had a few good days now, so we were due for a bad one.  Late last night we received a phone call that Asa had spitup most of his 6:00 feeding.  The nurse also felt that his abdomen was enlarged & discolored and that he was a little lethargic.  The medical team was called in, an IV was started, an antibiotic regimen was begun, serial XRays were taken of his lungs and bowels, blood was drawn from his veins and arteries, a catheter was put into his bladder, and his feedings were stopped.  A similar response to some spitup occurred on June 24th with Eli, but to a greater extent this time.  The problem is that some of these interventions are not entirely harmless.  The feared problems are necrotizing enterocolitis (again) or a urinary infection.  That being said, our little cutie has been acting very appropriately throughout, not requiring oxygen and responding to visitors just as he normally does.  His bloodwork was all essentially normal and his XRays have not demonstrated any of the typical signs of NEC.  If he continues for the rest of the day and night like this, he could be restarted on his feeds by tomorrow.  As it is, he will not get food all day.  This is particularly unfortunate because they were being scheduled to be transferred back to Carrollton as early as today or as late as Thursday.  It now appears that could be delayed for another week.  Please pray for his health today.  As for his little brother, Eli continues to do well and is down on his oxygen flow to 1/2 liter/minute (just about ready to come off).  He was very active today and seems ready to go.  His IV will be pulled today.  Asa is down to 1325 g, while Eli dropped to 1310 g.  On the good side, Eli and Asa were able to sleep on Mommy's chest (skin-to-skin) for 30-45 minutes each.  For Eli, this was his first time doing that.  Obviously, that was a lot of fun.  Keep us in your prayers and pray that both of us trust God's plans to prosper the lives of these boys.  We owe you guys a great deal.

July 2nd--The boys would be at 31 weeks today if they were still inside Mommy, but they aren't so we get to hold them!  Nana & Pop-Pop came by the hospital.  Today, Eli actually caught Asa in weight and they're both 1340 g (2 lbs., 15 oz.).  That's good for Eli but we think part of that is that Asa is not getting any extra nutrition through his IV like Eli is.  Actually, Eli will have his IV pulled in the next day, as well.  Asa is all the way up to 25 cc/hr of breastmilk, while Eli is at 18 cc/hr.  Once again, Asa tugged at his nasal canula enough to make the nurse decide to try leaving it off.  We were there about two hours today, and he did just fine without it (remember, Daddy was nervous about this yesterday).  We think they may try to wean Eli off of it too!  The best news was that the medical staff at Grady agreed that we can begin to make arrangements to have them come back to our hospital here in Carrollton (Tanner).  That will be great but we need probably 3-4 more good days for that to happen.  If it did happen, it would mean that Mommy and Daddy could spend a lot more time with the boys.  Continue to pray for the boys guts and minds, as the medical team says that they will be entering critical stages in the next few weeks. 

Elijah John                                                               Asa Walker

Do these positions look comfortable to ya'll?

July 1st--Well, the boys held their weight again today, with Asa moving up to 1330 g and Eli weighing in at 1300 g.  Eli is on 21% while Asa seems stuck at 21-25%.  Mommy & Daddy would really like it if both boys could move away from that oxygen entirely.  Sometimes they even get a little nervous about the boys still needing it, so please continue to pray about that.  Elijah's feeds has been increased up to 16 cc over 1.5 hours.  Since Asa has no IVs, he was brought over to see Eli today (though he really slept through most of it).  In fact, the nurse brought Asa straight over to Daddy as he was holding Eli already and laid the both of them in his arms.  That was a great moment to hold 2 new lives at such a tender stage, and it was the first time the boys had touched (at their feet) since their days playing "footsie" in Mommy's tummy.  After a few minutes, Mommy took Asa and everyone spent about an hour together.  It was amazing to really see how different the twins look now.  Mommy later got her first chance to hold both babies at once, but it was a little more difficult for her smaller arms.  She'll figure it out soon enough!  Here are some pics from today:

Together Again!                                                        1st Family Portrait!

June 30th--Teddy Gram and Papa Kirby came by today.  This was actually Papa Kirby's first time touching the boys, so that was pretty big.  Speaking of big, both boys held their huge weight gains from yesterday, which we didn't believe at the time but do now.  Asa is 1310 g, while Eli is 1280 g.  Both boys were sleepy today, but Mommy and Daddy held them and prayed with them anyway.  Asa is going to have all his IVs removed today!  Eli's catching up as his feedings were increased to 14 cc over 2 hours today (6 more to go before he can have his lines pulled).  They both looked great!  Keep up the good work praying!

June 29th--Today was a good day.  We started with Eli.  Yesterday, he got a transfusion, and it sure seemed to make a difference today.  He was less pale, off of his CPAP, feeding at 12 cc over 1.5 hours (from 8cc over 2 hours!), and very awake when Samantha held him.  In fact, this was as active as Eli has been with us since his birth.  The best part was seeing his handsome face without that CPAP stuff all over it.  Additionally, his weight is apparently up to 1270 g!  Asa, not to be outdone, had a big moment as well.  He is feeding at 20 cc/hr, which for his size is "full feeds."  This means that he gets no additional nutrients via his IV.  He is dependent solely on breastmilk for his growth!  His weight is now supposedly 1330 g.  Let's hope those huge weight gains are correct and that the boys hold that weight.  Daddy held Asa today, who was also very awake initially yet fell asleep after about 25 minutes.  He could not be aroused again and was put back in his warmer.  Overall, the Kirby family had one their best days together ever!

Elijah & Mommy talking

 June 28th--Teddy Gram brought Mommy and Daddy to the hospital today to see the boys.  We started with Eli, finding him still on the CPAP.  Since Mommy has been growing tired of the CPAP squishing the nose of her pretty little boy who is saturating 100% for days, she decided to ask the doctors to take it off and they agreed.  Eli's feeds have been increased to 8cc over 1.5 hours, but his weight didn't change from yesterday.  As Daddy expected for the last 2 days, Eli needs a transfusion and will get one this afternoon.  As for Asa, Mommy held him again today.  WE changed his diaper beforehand and, while being held, he went through the gamet of emotions with his facial expressions from smiling to pouting to worried.  It was pretty funny!  He's still on nasal cannula @ 25%.  Here's Asa wide awake with us today:

 

June 27th--Uncle Teebie (Samantha's brother Stephen) visited the boys today still in his police uniform.  So, today was the boys' first (and last) run in with the police!  In any case, nothing new today, except that Asa put on 20 g while Eli dropped 30 g.  So,  Eli's weight probably didn't really go up by 70 yesterday (they were likely measuring some of his lines/tubes).  Still, that's an average of 20 g of growth per day over the last 2 days.  Mommy and Daddy are very hopeful that Eli can get off the CPAP because it's messing up his pretty nose.  He doesn't need it anyways.  Daddy saw that it was inappropriately applied during their visit (blowing air on his lips) and Eli was still 99-100%.  By the way, Asa had some discharge from his left eye but the bacterial cultures came back negative, so no need for worry on that one.  Stay tuned!

June 26th--Today was a great day. Both boys have made it over 1200 grams!  Asa was 1220 g and Eli was 1210 g!  What a jump for Eli - 70 grams!  We are a little unsure of that though (another nurse told us that was impossible!), and won't be surprised tomorrow if his weight is a little lower.  Eli continues to be on the CPAP, which we wanted off so that his pictures today would show you how cute he is.  However, he's only at 21% and is still saturating 99%...we hope he can come off of it soon.  Asa is still on the nasal cannula at about 25%.  Mommy switched and held Eli today, while daddy held Asa skin-to-skin on his chest.  Daddy really enjoyed feeling Asa's warmth and got to kiss him for the first time as well.  In fact, Daddy's heart felt warm for hours after!  As for feedings, Asa is all the way up to 12 cc/hr every 3 hours, while Eli is being slowly re-advanced and is at 6 cc over 2 hours still in case he still has reflux.  Continue to pray for their minds, lungs, guts, eyes, and especially their souls.  Now for the pics:

Eli on CPAP with mommy                                                  Asa on Daddy's chest

June 25th--Well, Mommy and Daddy were a little surprised/disappointed to see Eli back on the CPAP today.  It's the machine that somewhat simulates being on the ventilator without having to be intubated.  While it's not as drastic as it sounds and while we did expect him to go back on and off some during his stay in the hospital, it still was not a welcome sight.  Additionally, Eli's feeds have been drastically decreased to 4 cc over 2 hours, roughly half of what it was before he spit up yesterday.  The doctors seem to think he does have reflux.  We also found him on 29% oxygen yet saturating 100% in his blood, indicating that he has too much oxygen in his bloodstream.  Daddy couldn't resist playing doctor and found out he had been left like that for ~5 hours, and Daddy was not pleased because that's a no-no.  Let's say he's now on 21% on doing fine.  Both boys put on 40 g yesterday and it seems like they're picking up some steam in that department!  Asa is at 10 cc/hr every 3 hours on his feeds.  Mommy held Asa again on her skin and Daddy held Eli again.  Both were held for a long time and seemed to enjoy it.  As for pictures, we forgot!  I promise some more by tomrorow.

June 24th--Well, today was another up & down day.  Both boys did a fantastic job of putting on weight as each put on ~40-50g.  That's their best combined growth day by far!  Mommy got to hold Asa on her chest today without all the swaddling.  That was especially wonderful since Mommy was able to give Asa his first kiss on the head.  His oxygen is still 25-30%, but he doesn't have wide swings.  Elijah was at 21-25%, but his swings in his blood oxygen levels are much more pronounced.  We spent a lot of time with him but didn't pull him out of his incubator.  While we were talking and playing with him, he had some spit-up that didn't seem like that big of a deal, but the doctors decided to hold his feeds for a while and get some XRays.  Seemed a little overboard to us, but that's what they're paid to worry about!  Overall, Eli was at 7cc (over 2 hours) and Asa is at 8 cc over 1 hour with his feedings.  All in all, we're very encouraged with their growth but pray that their lungs and guts are maturing appropriately.  We really want those XRays to be negative amd for them to come off their oxygen altogether.  Thanks for ya'lls help in praying for them both!  By the way, we'll post some more pictures by tomorrow--we think you can start to see a difference in their appearance already.

June 23rd--The boys got more visitors today from Aunt Leigh and Uncle Adrian.  Both boys enjoyed seeing them again.  Madison & A.J. stayed in the waiting room, which drove Maddie crazy because, as she said, "my cousins want to see me."  In any case, both boys are still requiring 21-30% oxygen by their noses.  We were hoping they'd be off by now or soon hereafter.  They've also both been increased to 7 cc/hr every 3 hours.  Thankfully, it doesn't seem like Eli's potential reflux problem has amounted to much.  Let's pray it stays that way.  Mommy got to hold Asa, who dropped 30 g to 1110.  Daddy got to hold Eli, who had one of his best sessions ever with him being awake and not holding his breath.  It probably had something to do with the fact that he loves being held by his Daddy so much and missed it for the last couple of days!  By the way, he gained 10 g to get to 1060 overall.

June 22nd--Today, Mommy and Teddy Gram went to see the boys since Daddy had to stay in Carrollton for some appointments.  Asa is doing well, and his feeds have been increased up to 6 cc/hr.  His Hematocrit jumped up to 36.5 from 25 after the transfusion.  His weight went up 10 g to 1140.  Elijah's feeds have also been increased to 6 cc, but he's getting it over 1.5 hours to lessen the risk from his possible reflux.  Unfortunately, his weight actually dropped to 1050 g.  We'll pray this is not a sign of any underlying illness but more a hiccup in his growth or just a bad measurement.  Both boys are still on 21% nasal oxygen, now at 1 L/min. It also appears that both their bowels are working well, which is a great sign for avoiding the NEC we talked about earlier (esp. on the 19th).  Please keep praying for their growth, avoidance of infection, and organ maturity.  We'll keep ya'll updated.

June 21st--Well, Samantha and Bryan are learning lessons in patience right now.  We're so anticipating having the boys come home that we forget there will be many more days like today before that can happen.  Asa seemed to tolerate his transfusion well, but still was breathing a little quick with occasional periods where he held his breath, so they've put him back on oxygen through his nose at ~23%, which isn't too much.  His feeds have been increased to 4 cc/hr every 3 hours and he put on a whopping 40 g yesterday to get up to 1130 g.  Everyone that takes care of Asa seems to notice that he does not like to be messed with (but he does smile a lot when his mommy holds him).  Eli (or Easy E as we're now starting to nickname him) is a much calmer boy who generally doesn't like to be bothered but certainly doesn't go as far as his brother.  He really likes it when daddy talks in funny voices, smiling every time he heard them today (seriously)!  He put on just 15 g to get to 1070 g.  Also on the good side if that he has been increasedd to 5 cc/hr on his feeds.  However, he may be having problems with some reflux and ahs also been holding his breath, so he too is on nasal oxygen, though only at 21%.  So, overall, we are encouraged by their relatively good course but realize that we are going to have some small steps backwards on many days.  It would be great if they didn't need the oxygen for much longer and if Eli's reflux turns out to be very little to worry about.  See you tomorrow.

June 20th--Another back and forth day.  Both boys put on some weight, with Eli adding 15 g to get to 1055 and Asa adding 20 g to get to 1090 g.  Eli's feeds have been increased to 4 cc/hr every 3 hours, while Asa is at 3 cc/hr every 3 hours.  Mommy and Daddy spent most of today just admiring and talking to the boys, though both of us participated in Asa's diaper change before we went.  On the down side, it appears that the boys (especially Asa) have had a relatively quick breathing pattern for a couple of days.  The doctor's were worried about infection or anemia and checked some labs.  Well, it turns out that Asa needs a blood transfusion today and Eli probably will too by the weekend.  It's not the worst thing in the world but it would be better I guess if we did not need to it.  But we do and the treatment could be very beneficial for them, so let's hope they have no bad reactions to the blood.  Otherwise, we're pleased by their stability today and wanted to share a few new pics with you guys:

Asa posing for his fans                                     Elijah waving to everyone

June 19th--Well, we got a little scare today.  Eli was doing pretty well overall, gaining 20 g and getting up to 1040 g.  While mommy was holding him, he held his breath again and needed to go back into the incubator.  Not a problem really, since overall today his oxygen saturation has been in the mid 90's, which is very good for a newborn on room air.  His feeds were increased up to 3 cc/hr every 3 hrs, so ... yippee!  On the other hand, Asa had he feeds held and the doctors became concerned that he might be developing the early signs of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).  It sounds bad and it really is kind of bad because it could mean that he would need surgery.  He had not had a bowel movement for 2 days but, wouldn't you know it, right when the technician was performing an XRay looking for bowel problems like NEC, he had a VERY large bowel movement.  Normally I wouldn't be so excited about that to tell you guys but it was a huge relief for us since we were both very frightened by how the doctors were talking about him.  So, I don't know if his new weight of 1070 g is accurate after that little incident!  In any case, he is otherwise well, except that he has always breathed pretty quickly.  The team isn't sure what to make of that, but let's pray he's not getting an infection.  By the end of our long visit today, Asa was restarted on his feedings and should continue to do well.  By the way, here's another pic of our handsome Eli being disturbed from his slumber by another diaper change:

Does he look like Bryan or Samantha?  We're not sure.

June 18th--Today, the boys both grew a little bigger, which is our main goal.  Asa is now 1065 grams and Eli only 1020 grams.  Mommy held Eli today, while Daddy held Asa.  Both were very calm and slept the whole time.  We got to speak with one of the pediatricians, who stated that the boys had avoided almost all the problems they were concerned about up to this point.  She said that the main things they're focusing on now is avoiding infection and gaining weight.  On that note, both boys had their feeds doubled up to 2 cc per hour every 3 hours!  We excited to see if they can tolerate it.  Lastly, the pediatrician said that they may be transferred back to Tanner Hospital in Carrollton once they reach 1500 g, which could mean that they move in just 3-4 more weeks!

June 17th--Well, it was Father's Day today.  We had held off having Bryan hold the babies until today.  It was an unbelievably great experience.  Bryan got to hold them both.  Both boys have had their NG tube feeds increased up to 2 cc/hr every 6 hours.  Asa weighed 1045 grams today, passing Eli at 1010 grams.  Asa and Eli both seemed very comfortable in Bryan's arms, and Asa smiled mischieviously at Daddy the whole time!


            Elijah                                   Asa

June 16th--Today was again a big day  Samantha got to hold Eli, and we got some pretty good pictures and video of it!  Eli was very sweet when mommy held him and he too smiled at mommy.  Eli's PICC line had been repeatedly malpositioned, but finally was put in the right place today.  Eli weighed 1020 grams today, while Asa weighed 1015 grams.  Overnight, Eli had developed some bleeding in his stomach so his feeds were temporarily stopped and he was given Pepcid with good resolution.  Bryan got to change Asa's diaper for the first time today, which was full and very difficult to clean up!  In the middle of the diaper change, Asa tinkled on Bryan, which he thought was hilarious!  Asa's NG tube feeds were restarted at 1 cc/hr after it was stopped overnight due to abdominal distention.

                                                           Mom holding Elijah                             Daddy changing Asa's diaper

June 15th--The boys are offically a week old today.  Mommy, Daddy, and Chase came to visit and Mommy got to hold Asa for the first time.  He was crying before she held him, but stopped once in her arms!  He smiled his first smile at mommy, which we caught on video.  Asa's antibiotics were stopped today.  Both their weights shot up today!  Asa is now 1000 g, while Eli is 1005 g.

June 14th--Today, both boys had their central lines pulled out and PICC lines were put in their arms so they can continue to get nutrition through their veins.  We received wonderful news today that both of the boys had negative ultrasounds of their heads, meaning that there is no evidence of bleeding in their brains, which would have increased the chance that they may suffer mental impairment.  Asa came off all oxygen!  While Bryan was in Texas doing some paperwork to finish his residency at UTMB, Samantha, Pop-Pop, and Nana came to visit.  As for their weights: Asa is rebounding up to 990 g, though Eli is still 940 g.

Eli all swaddled up

June 13th--Today, both boys came off of the CPAP machine, which was good because neither seemed to like it very much and Asa continually frustrated the Respiratory Therapists by pulling his CPAP off every 5 minutes.  He seems to be the more high-maintenance of the 2 boys for the staff!  Asa continued to fall to 960 g today, and Eli also fell to 940 g.  We really are hoping that this is as low as it gets because they've now lost about 10% of their birth weight and could lose more in their first week (only 5 days old now).

June 12th--Mommy comes to visit for the first time.  We video the event and Asa immediately grabs mom's finger.  Later, mom changed both of their diapers.  When changing Eli's diaper, Eli tinkled right on Samantha!  Later in the afternoon, Teddy Gram came and visited.  She had a blast hanging out with the boys and talking with their nurses.  Today, Asa fell all the way to 975 g, which is more than we wanted.  Eli is now 1015 and holding his weight a little better.  Unfortunately, the medical staff has stopped feeding their stomachs because they're not moving the food along, which can happen as a side effect of all the drugs mommy needed before they were born.

Asa on CPAP and not liking it

June 11th--Bryan's great surprise was finding Eli joining his brother off the ventilator and just on CPAP at about 25% oxygen!  The staff at Grady attempted to feed both boys' stomachs through a tube, but Eli tolerated it much better than Asa.  Eli took in "a whopping 2 cc's," according to the nurse.  Doesn't sound like much, but it was music to our ears because it lowers his chance of his bowels failing from underutilization later.  Today, Asa weighed 1010 g, and Eli weighed 1005 g.

June 10th--Bryan & Aunt Jennifer came to visit.  Asa was extubated today and did not require any extra doses of surfactant.  He's now on the CPAP machine which makes it easier for him to breathe but doesn't require a tube in his lungs.  After Bryan left, Elijah was weaned from the ventilator without any problems.  Asa was under these blue "Bili Lights" because his unconjugated bilirubin level was a little too high, but not much.  It's a common situation for many newborns and shouldn't cause any long-term problems.

Asa under Bili Lights

June 9th--Asa and Elijah are stable in their new NICU.  Bryan and Aunt Leigh came to visit.  Eli's weight drops to 1060 grams.  Both are still intubated but on very little oxygen.  They have been started on nutrition via their IVs but not by their stomachs yet.  Overall, they're doing as well as can be expected.

June 8th--Asa Walker Kirby is born naturally at 7:04 pm, while Elijah John Kirby is born by emergent Caesarian Section at 7:20 pm at Tanner Medical Center.  Asa weighed 2 lbs. 7 oz. (1109 grams) and was 14.5 inches long.  He cried immediately and was very pink.  His initial Apgar score was 9 out of 10, however he soon started having difficulty breathing with his immature lungs and his next Apgar score was a 7.  He was intubated in the nursery and received surfactant before getting invasive lines and being transferred to Atlanta's Grady Hospital.  He was intially put on 60% oxygen but was on 30% by the time he left.  Eli weighed 2 lbs. 6 oz. (1068 grams) and was 15 inches.  He was pretty weak when he was born so Dr. Eubanks (friend of Bryan's from med school) gave him positive pressure ventilation.  His initial Apgar score was 5,  but impoved to 7 later.  He too was intubated once in the nursery and given surfactant.  A peripheral IV was placed and his initial oxygen requirement was also 60%.  He too was lowered to 30% by the time he left with his brother for Grady at about 12:30 am.