Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the cat's out

This time of year is a wonderful time, but it also brings with it many memories and a certain sadness. It was just two years ago yesterday, I lay on the table getting my 20 week routine sonogram of my third pregnancy. It was then, in the presence of my husband and our then three year old daughter, that the tech informed me very blatently that "you do know there are two babies?" WHAT?? You've got to be kidding!

That was two years ago. I had already decided that with the third pregnancy, we would stop there and our family would be complete with three kids. The joke was on me that day as God revealed to us that he had other plans. After a few days of the news sinking in, I readily accepted the challenge and began to prepare for the soon to be family of six. Little did I know that just 4 weeks later, I would find myself in the hospital unable to stop the birth of our twin boys Nate and Noah.

The last couple of years have been a whirlwind of emotions. I have often felt like something is missing from our family. In the fall of 2007, I found myself once again pregnant, only to have it end in miscarriage. I have spent the last year in prayer as to the direction of our family. Is this it? Or will there be more? Whatever God will is for our family, let me be content with that and move forward.

With all that being said, and if you are still here with me, let me be the first (or the third) to tell you that God has spoken to us and I now know the answer to my prayers!

We are expecting again, in May (seems to be a magical time of year for us!) and are excited to finally announce comfortably to all who care to know! So there you have it - in case you haven't heard elsewhere.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

no more appointments, please!

So, the other morning we were out running some errands and when we returned home, there was a message on the phone from a little girl for Grace. Apparently, one of her classmates was calling her to "chat" or something. Seriously, does this really have to start already? I told Grace that the girl had called, then I told her that she just needed to wait until she saw her at school and find out what she wanted. I don't know this girl at all, she might be really sweet, but really, they are just 5!

Sam has really been enjoying preschool and I am anxiously awaiting one of the other high schools to open up their registration for the spring semester so he can continue to go. I have had several reports from various groups/classes he attends and apparently, he is quite the good little boy in all accounts. I have been told that he is so helpful cleaning up and follows directions, is polite, and very enjoyable. Is this the same boy we live with? Anyway, it is always great to hear good things about your children.

Nate continues to get better in the gut department, but I am worried that he may be coming down with something else now. He has had a lot of mucus lately and is very off balance (he will fall down very easily) and has been having trouble going to sleep lately. It always seems like its something, doesn't it?

Last week, he had a speech evaluation done with a different therapist to see if he qualifies to receive speech services as well. Today, we had a meeting with the service coordinator to review his current goals and discuss the plan for the next 6 months. To my surprise, he did qualify for the speech services and will begin seeing the speech therapist in our home once a week. In addition, we will continue to see the special instruction, occupational therapist and the nutritionist on a monthly basis. Pretty much, this means that we will have someone coming to see him approximately twice a week. In addition to that, we also go to the pediatrician once a month for his Synagis shot (protects against RSV). Let's pray that he stays healthy and we don't have to have any other appointments in addition to all of this.

Life is busy, whether I like it or not! I am positive that there is no turning back now, because I have heard that it only gets worse as the kids get older. I guess I should enjoy it now, while I can!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A well formed update.

Probably more information than you ever wanted to know, but I am thrilled to announce that we have formed turds now! I won't even post a picture, but I am beside myself. For the first time in over a month, I haven't had to change Nate's bedding and clothes as soon as he wakes up in the morning as he has had poop all over everything. I am so hoping that we are on the road to recovery! Not only has Nate had the poop issues, but so did Sam. Now Grace seems to be the only one in the house with any remaining traces of the runs. At least she can take care of herself.

All righty then, no more potty talk from me. On to other business. Have I mentioned how great Nate is doing developmentally? Since getting his tubes in his ears, his speech has taken off in the last couple of weeks. He isn't really talking yet, but just to hear him babbling all the time is definitely a step in the right direction. I have always wondered why he has been such a quiet baby. Was it because he was on the ventilator for so long and never really cried or used his voice for several months? Maybe we cater to his every whim and he doesn't feel the need to ever whimper about anything. Whatever the case, he has always been extremely quiet, not much of a cryer or noise maker at all. He just got a speech evaluation this week to see if he qualifies for speech services in the First Steps program. He can say the b, d, m sounds pretty good and has quite an extensive vocabulary of words all beginning with the letter "b". He is now able to make some animal sounds and has become quite the chatterbox. He has also been stacking blocks quite nicely and likes to put anything "in and out". He has even taken up scribbling on paper. Most of these types of play are associated with children that are younger than him, but it is good for us to see a natural progression of skills. It eases me when these skills come naturally and that we haven't really seen much of a plateau of developmental milestones that we should worry about his future. He will catch up eventually, I'm sure.

Some pictures that I haven't posted. Halloween, which Nate was starting to get pretty sick, and some of our leaves from last weekend. Have a great one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home Sweet Messy Home

We are home again! Nate was discharged on Tuesday afternoon and nothing was ever determined to be the cause of his sickness. I am still going with my theory, but I do think that he was dehydrated and did need a lot of fluids that we weren't able to get in him. He also received three rounds of antibiotics for "whatever" it may have been as a precautionary measure. I sure was glad to get out of there, it made me more uneasy the longer we were there, as I was sure we would pick up something else in that germ infested place. As for now, we will practice handwashing and sanitizing and pray that this thing will be gone!

Life has resumed and I am trying to catch up from being at the hospital for a few days. The house is a disaster (what's new?), I am going to try to actually cook dinner tonight for a change, and we are still in our p.j.'s. I can only do so much, you know! It was nice for a change to not have anywhere to be today.

Thanks for checking in and I hope to have some cute pictures and more exciting things to report in the next few days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bugs, Bugs and more Bugs

Did I mention in my last post that I am up to my eyeballs in #?&# (aka poop)? I sure hope we are on the the way to ending this bug! Anyway, things have been rather crazy around here as of late. Nate has been ill for quite some time, I believe he probably got some type of rotavirus or something and has had the poos. Sam also has the same thing, only his started two weeks ago instead of three. Then on Tuesday last week, I think Sam and Nate both contracted some type of flu bug and both were puking. That only lasted for a day, thank goodness. On Wednesday, I took Nate to the doctor and was ordered to collect samples of poo and bring them in to be cultured for various bugs. In the wee hours of Thursday morning, I woke up puking and spent the day in bed. On Friday, Nate woke with a temperature that I could not get to go away. I was able to get the poo turned in on Friday afternoon. Saturday, Nate still had the fever and was really acting sick. We went to urgent care and waited literally all day until it was so late at night, they were going to admit him to the hospital. We declined and decided that we would rather him go to a different location. At 10 p.m., we took our babe to Children's Mercy downtown and he was admitted. He was a little dehydrated and they wanted to continue to look for the cause of infection. After receiving fluids, x-rays, a catheter to gather urine samples, swabbed in his throat, a tube shoved up his nose for a sample of what's in there, a spinal tap to test for meningitis, nothing has shown up. Luckily, today, his fever has broken and his IV fluids have been decreased. He has started a round of a broad spectrum anitbiotic being given to treat whatever bug he might have.

Personally, I think all of this is a virus and the drugs aren't going to do a whole lot, but I guess it's worth a shot. Funny thing is that all of this started with bunches of poo, and since going to urgent care on Saturday, the kid hasn't pooped again! Go figure! All right, he did finally go last night, so they were happy to get a sampling of that as well. We are making it right now, but things are a little chaotic. Someone needs to be at the hospital at all times. Sam has preschool and Grace has school and we also need to disinfect the entire house! Luckily, the weather is beautiful and I am able to open all the windows and doors and air out the place.

We are hopeful that Nate will be discharged tomorrow, but have been told that he needs to be eating and drinking more before they will let him go. He has received so much IV fluids, that his eyes are almost swollen shut because he is so puffy. No wonder he doesn't want to drink anything, you wouldn't either if you were so bloated. He is pretty much being held captive to his bed, as the IV tubing and the other heart/lung monitor cords are very short.

If you think about it, say a prayer for him to start feeling better and for all the bugs to vacate our premise!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Little of This, A Little of That

Time has gotten away from me, once again! Things have been hectic and it looks as though it might not be slowing for a while, especially with the holiday season rapidly approaching. So here's what has been going on lately . . . .
  • I haven't been feeling good and spent the entire day on Sunday on the couch -- what an awesome husband I have to take and care for the kids, while I rested. I'm sure he was more than ready to go to work Monday morning.
  • Our bathroom (at least one of them) remodeling project is slowly on its way to being finished. The workers are done with their part, now it is up to us to finish up with some of the details. One more coat of paint left and a few other odds and ends.

  • We missed MOPS this week since I still wasn't feeling that great. I was bummed as this is becoming a highlight for me as it is about as much adult interaction I seem to be getting lately.

  • Nate is pooping like there's no tomorrow. I don't know how he can possibly be putting weight on, when he is having such enormous amounts of output. I used to smile, very smugly, when my mom friends would talk about their children blowing out of their diapers. My children never did this -- until now! It is horrible. Needless to say, I have been doing a lot of laundry, diaper changing, gagging, and praying that this last tooth will make its way in soon.

  • Nate will be seeing all three of his therapists in one week, so we have lots of appointments. He also has his follow up appointment at the ENT on Wednesday.

  • Speaking of Nate, we were approved by insurance to once again receive the synagis shot for one more year to protect him against RSV. The shot is given once a month and the dosage is weight dependent. Last season, his February dosage alone was almost $7000!! Praise the Lord for insurance! We also seem to have an easy time meeting our deductible early on in the year as RSV season is November through April.

  • As if the poop thing isn't disgusting enough, Sam woke us up this morning at 5:15 a.m. screaming. I guess his tummy wasn't feeling too good and he had vomited all over his bed and himself, including his hair (?). After giving him a shower and changing his bed and doing yet another load of laundry, he was up and ready for the day. Thank goodness he is resting now and letting me have some down time as well. Tis the season!

  • Grace is healthy (as of today) and will have her last soccer game on Saturday. We have been so fortunate with awesome weather for all of her games this year. She really likes her team and seems to enjoy playing - although, I'm not so sure about her skills yet!

  • My sister living in Guatemala will be coming home for Christmas. It's so hard to believe that we are already beginning to make holiday plans, but I am super excited and have a few holiday surprises in the works. Should be a fun year!

O.K., pretty boring stuff (mostly gross), but this is the season of life we are in right now! I will leave you with a few pictures of other random things. Have a great week!

Surely we didn't think the children were eating our pumpkins?? Turns out we have some of the fattest squirrels in the neighborhood, as they have been spotted thoroughly eating our pumpkins! We are now storing what's left of our pumpkins in the garage.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Memorial Service 2008

Each year, the local children's hospital puts on a memorial service for all the children that have left us behind. This was the second year we have attended. It wasn't any easier this year from last year. Sitting in a room full of people, families, parents, knowing that all of you have in common the loss of a child, is not ever a place I imagined myself to be.

Someone recently asked me how I could even go (this is also a mother who lost her son after 4 short weeks), and I guess I just feel like this is one way I can publicly honor and remember our Noah. As time goes by, his name is hardly ever mentioned, even though he is with me every day.

Each year, families who lost a child are able to contribute a quilt square to be made and hung at the hospital. At the memorial service the previous year's quilt is unveiled and put on display before being permanently hung in the hospital. Below is a picture of the 2008 memorial quilt and the next picture is Noah's square, lovingly made by my aunt Margie. It looked great and if you are ever at Children's Mercy, stop by and see it!

At the end of the service, everyone is given a box containing a butterfly. We all go outside and after a few words, we release the butterflys into the sky. The kids really love this part and I'm sure the butterflies enjoy it as well!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

parades, pumpkins, princesses and preschool

Be prepared: This is going to be a group of posts all rolled into one!

One of the high schools had their homecoming parade about a week and a half ago. Schools got out early and we loaded up to go watch. Most of the clubs/organizations/teams had a float and were throwing candy from them (probably the reason we went). We went with our friends and everyone had a good time and now we have enough candy to last us until Easter.

Even Nate enjoyed his very first sucker!
We decided to hit the pumpkin patch early this year, as last year, all the pumpkins in the field were pretty much rotten. I also thought I would take advantage of our warm weather and go on a nice day instead. Much to our surprise, we were sweating heavily out in the patch as it ended up being over 80 that day! Didn't get a lot of pics, probably because my mom went with and I usually let her take the pictures, but here are a few from the wagon ride out to the field. By the way, when we got out there, most of the pumpkins were rotten and very picked over (so much for my theory of going early).

Last weekend, after soccer, Grace and I attended a princess party, a fundraiser put on by a group providing free dental care for children. This year, she decided to go as Ariel (the mermaid), and I went as myself! We listened to princess stories, visited the wishing well, decorated cookies, got the royal primping, face painting, visited the tooth fairy (whom Grace knew was not the "real" one, because the "real" one is much smaller -- small enough to fit under your pillow and all), did crafts, got her nails done, and listened to the "real" princesses in concert! It was a busy day. Grace is sure that Aladdin must fly in the "real" princesses (high school girls dressed up like the Disney ones) on his magic carpet all the way from Florida. I don't let her think otherwise! Several friends were there also, which made it a fun day for all.

Today was Sam's first day of preschool. It is held at the high school, and is put on by the child development classes there. He was so excited and loved being a big boy. He walked in, put his backpack in his cubby, put his lunch in the fridge and began playing. He might have looked up to say "bye, mom", but I don't even know if he did that! He has no problem being away from me!

And finally, around 4:45 this afternoon, he is alseep like this, worn out from his busy day.

We are also in the process of renovating our bathrooms, in which work began today, hooray! Most all of the demo is done and now we (I mean, Dave, our workman) start to put everything back together. I can't believe I forgot to take "before" pictures (well, actually, I can believe it), but I will definitely take some now and also after the work is complete.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It is well, with my soul.

Just an update to let everyone know that Nate's surgery went very well and he is back to his sweet self already. I was so relieved when anesthesia informed us that he would not be getting an IV, but instead, just a mask with the anestetic gas to breathe. As Ed handed him off to the nurse, he was sound asleep and when they came for us less than 30 minutes later, he was handed back to us still asleep. I don't think he ever knew what he went through.

Already I think he is feeling better. I have been somewhat concerned about his appetite of late, as he won't eat much of anything for the last couple of weeks. This morning alone, however, he ate 2 regular sized pancakes and a handful of cereal. He seems to be eating better and he is much happier in his temperament. He has been so clingy and fussy lately, and while I love holding and snuggling with him, it has really started waring on me. He has been altogether pleasant and not really fussy at all. My hopes are that this will be his last surgery for a very long time and that he will continue to thrive as he has to this point.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers yesterday. Ed and I were very calm and not consumed with worry throughout the whole morning. Glory to God for watching over us during this time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oops, I did it again!

I ran across this picture and wanted you to see that this is indeed a common occurance in our household. This time, however, since all the paper was in the hall, I just scooped it up and trashed it and started a new roll.

We have been busy lately. I thought once summer ended, our calendar would slow down. No such luck. Our weekends are filled with soccer each Saturday and then usually some other event. Grace enjoys playing, but I don't think it will ever amount to anything more than just recreation (which I am secretly glad). She has been caught on tape running by us and waving at the camera, all the while the other team is scoring! That really made her daddy proud -- and speaking of her daddy, look who got in on the coaching action a couple of games ago.

By the way, I did get my menu planned for the week and went to the store today. This is the third week, now, how many times does it take for a new habit to be formed? I hope I'm on my way! Speaking of the store, as I was standing at the deli counter getting lunchmeat, Nate began screaming (out of character for him) and as I turned around and questioned the happenings, Sam explained that he had just bit him on the arm. This was just the beginning of the trip, but needless to say, I did get what I went for (it was a short list, thank goodness).

Now, as I sit here, both boys are in their rooms napping! I have fixed myself a sandwich and am hoping to get at least an hour to myself. Sounds nice, except I need to finish up a load of laundry from this morning, clean the kitchen, pick up the living room and finish my cleaning out of Grace's room.

Nate awoke early yesterday, but I let him just stay in his bed until I was ready to get him up. I guess for that, I got what I deserved. See, I went in and there was an awful smell -- yes, he had pooped, diarrhea, out of his diaper, down his legs, all over his bed. Yuck! Double yuck, that I didn't notice all of this until I picked him up and got it all over myself! Even after three babies, this still grosses me out. I guess it was time to change the sheets in his crib, after all, it has probably been at least a couple of weeks or possibly three (who's counting) since they were changed. What a way to start the day.

While I was trying to be productive this morning, the kids were watching t.v. (I hardly ever allow that)! Some movie was about to come on and I told Grace that if it was something inappropriate, she would have to change the channel. It ended up being a Garfield movie and they were so excited. They saw one once while we were on vacation. She said to me, "mom, the only thing bad about this is that sometimes Garfield burps." How lovely to my ears that she is still so innocent that this is cosidered a "bad" thing. Sometimes, I hate the t.v. I wish I could just get rid of it totally like McMama did with hers. I don't know if I could ever really do it, and if I did, it would have to be in the late spring/summer when all that is on is reruns or something.

Tomorrow is Nate's ear surgery. Please keep him in your prayers. We are to check in at 6:00 AM -- yes, that's right, at the children's hospital. Even though the surgery is relatively minor, I am very anxious about it. I am having a hard time with not being afraid that it might be the last time I ever see my child, which I know is probably normal after losing a child, but I still want to be at peace and not get so worked up. Hopefully, this will be the last surgery for a long, long time.

I really need to get back to my chores, as two little boys will be waking up before I know it. Have a great day!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Muffins and Makeup

Today was an early release day for Grace's school. I really think they are trying to keep me on my toes! When school is out early, the afternoon kindergartener's go to school in the morning along with the morning kids. So, not only do we have to get up and going earlier, but our bus number is different as well. On top of that chaos, today was Muffins with Mom day, where all the moms are invited to come and have breakfast with their child before school starts. Thank goodness Ed was able to go in to work a little later so he could stay with the boys this morning.

Knowing it would be an early morning for us, I made sure and prepped Grace for our busy day last night. Much to my surprise, she awoke extra early, got herself dressed and ready for school all by herself and came in and surprised me as I was getting ready. This is what she looked like!

I told her how beautiful she looked, then told her to go and show her daddy how pretty she was. Holy cow! Who taught this girl makeup application? Finally, after I came downstairs, I kindly let her know that her school did not allow girls to wear makeup. I washed as much of it off as I could. I then convinced her to change her clothes and comb her hair. She was so proud of her hair, as she even said, "mom, I even got my rooster tail to lay down".

She is growing up and becoming quite the little girl. I don't think that a career as a makeup artist is in her future, though!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teach, Your Children Well . . .

While Grace is at school, Sam has gotten quite helpful. He really is bored. I decided that it's never too early to teach them how to do the laundry. I have been blessed with a husband who's mother taught him to do laundry also, and I hope to pass that along to both my boys.

Who needs a gym membership when you can strap on an 18 pound pack and proceed to scrub the kitchen floor? I venture to bet that not many people still carry their almost 2 year old around in one of these! Nate has been very clingy lately, he just follows me around like a little puppy and whines. I usually can't resist picking him up and doing whatever it is that needs to be done. It does get quite strenuous at times, though!

Have a great Wednesday!