Monday, February 27, 2012


Every day gets a little more action-filled at the McNeil house.  Ava is now officially crawling.  She started late last week and is getting better and better at it every day.  And Reese...well, she has officially learned how to shake her head no.  Luckily at this point she doesn't really have meaning associated with it but thinks it's really fun to do! 

The other event around our house is nap time.  We are attempting to have Ava take her nap upstairs in the nursery with Reese instead of in her crib on the main floor.  We figured that eventually they will sleeping in the same room and it's probably a good idea to get them acquainted with this situation.  This is only day two of the trials and the normal 2-3 hour nap has turned into 45 minutes.  Let's just say we are still working on this!

 Here are a couple videos and pictures of them in action!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Keeping Up

I knew it had been a long time since I made a post on the blog but I didn't realize the last post was January 20th!  Sorry for the delay!

Well, these days mommy and daddy are working on keeping up!  The girls are just getting busier and busier so mommy and daddy are having to pick up the pace.  Reese is still crawling all over and pulling up on everything.  In fact, she wants to see what is going on EVERYWHERE and wants to get her hands on EVERYTHING.  The pictures below pretty much sum it up.  She is a handful in the highchair where she likes to spit things out to be funny.  Not everyone finds it funny though.  She has gotten her orthodics for her feet and doesn't mind them too much.  We eased into them, just wearing them for a couple hours a day at first but now she wears them all day except when she's sleeping.  And don't worry...they are pink so they match a lot of her outfits! 

Ava has been doing new things too.  She still isn't too interested in crawling but she pulls herself up on things quite a bit.  She has been a rockstar in the highchair taking table food.  She started out slower than her sister when we began feeding the girls baby food and table food but now Ava does better than Reese lots of the time.  Some of the girls' favorites are avocado, greek yogurt, applesauce, ritz crackers, toast, sweet potatoes, and potato soup.  Ava has also been spending most of her waking hours off the ventilator.  In addition to that, she has been spending 5-15 minutes on a new valve on her trach called a passy-muir valve.  This allows air to come in through the trach tube but closes when she exhales, causing the air she breathes out to pass through her vocal cords.  That means she is able to make more sounds.  She was already making some sounds since she has an air leak around her trach tube but now she is getting used to the feeling of having to exhale through her mouth or nose.  We will be increasing the time she spends with this valve little by little as she tolerates it.  Our last vent clinic was on Feb. 13th and things went well.  They once again lowered her ventilator settings and the ENT surgeon came to do the upper airway scope that was supposed to be done the last time we were there.  The ENT doctor was pleased with what she could see of her airway and said her vocal cords look good but she also said that she can't get a good look at everything until we do a full bronchoscopy.  That will more than likely be scheduled for late spring. Oh and by the way, the results from Ava's steroid/hormone levels came back normal and showed that her glands are now producing appropriately after all the time they were suppressed when she was on steroids.  That was great news!

As for Zack and I...we are enjoying our time with the girls more than words can express.  We often see each other as we are "passing the keys" but it is all worth it.  We love the week nights and weekends we have together as a family of 4!