Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

The last couple of weeks have been "interesting" and I am being shown in each moment of my day how extremely blessed I am to have a husband who is a shared partner in this parenting thing. We found out Tuesday that he will be off of his feet for 4 more weeks. I am comfortable (well, for the most part) in admitting that, YES, I have been overwhelmed. You see Jared not only helps parent he also cleans. I mean, seriously, the boy can organize like nobody's business and he's been know to help vacuum, wash dishes, do the trash (that I do not like to do), take all (16 bags) of the leaves out to the curb (I have to pat myself on the back for accomplishing that one), pump the gas and bring home the bacon and...well, the man has limits, he does not cook nope not even bacon. Regardless, I am spoiled and love it although I am not sure that I realized how much he was doing until the injury. I will not pretend that it is a lesson that I am skipping my way through and enjoying but I am aware that it is an important lesson none the less. This week, however, all of "the cousins" entered my world and blessed me greatly.

We had a few get togethers with Jared's family this past week and I realized how much I need some older children :) Everyone says how great it is that I had twins first because I don't know any different and typically I agree, however I am realizing I would Kill (maybe that is a bit extreme, maybe) for a teen of my own (minus the teenage angst) right about now. Let me paint a picture for you. I pull up to Nana and Papas and prepare to take the boys into the condo by myself, one at a time, and then lug in all of our belongings that go along with our dear children. But wait, what is that in the distance? Could it be....5, yes 5, glorious figures waiting for us so that they can carry my children and our belongings into the house, get them out of their coats, shoes, hats, gloves AND THEN, dear friends, yes, it does get better.....ENTERTAIN twin, 19 month old, boys for hours people, HOURS! This happened not once, but 3 times in the course of this past week and I am THANKFUL. All of the aunts and uncles and grandparents helped also and it was greatly appreciated but I am just impressed with young people being such servants. You go Amanda, Andrew, Nathaniel, Allie and Teddy! You are huge blessings to me!

Monday, November 24, 2008


At church, yesterday, the message was about contentment. If you were to ask me whether or not I am content I would answer with a resounding YES! 1) because I know I am supposed to be (yep, I am the queen of "Sunday School Answers") and 2) because I truly feel the most content I have ever been in my life. This is not always apparent however in my day to day life? We are in such a consumer driven world and the idea of MORE permeates our lives on a daily basis. In order for me to stay content I definitely have to remind myself, often, of how blessed I am personally and how blessed we are in this country. Unfortunately, my heart of gratitude can be fickle. Some days a little freezing rain can steal my gratitude while other days it is just a cranky child (well, two actually) or a "something" (today it was a nanny AND a housekeeper) that I NEED. This is one of the reasons that I was so encouraged by the message yesterday. I thought one of the best points was that contentment has to be learned. We don't wake up feeling content but it can be learned.

Alex and Eli won't understand much about thanksgiving this year, although I know they will enjoy the food but in the future I hope to creatively remind my children that there is MUCH to be thankful for, not only on holidays, but daily. So, today, even if they are only thankful for the fact that they got to use crayons to make turkeys (they were thrilled and did not give them up willingly) I guess it is a step in the right direction. May we all learn to be content with what God has given us today.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Winter Outings

I have been thinking since Spring about inexpensive winter outings. The boys are pretty easy to please but I have found that after a few days in the house they are a little, let's see, how should I put this........?, annoying? O.K. that is a bit harsh "challenging". :) I love my children dearly and feel beyond blessed that I have the privilege to be home with them but let's face it they can get a little squirrely, while in hibernation, as can I. So today we hit Target (for Mommy) and then Barnes & Noble to play with their train set. They had a great time and this is definitely one of our free (minus the Target "necessities") outings we will be going on this Winter. The other sanity savers are the Henry Ford museum and story time at the library. I hope to come up with more but this is a great start and Jared and I also set up a pretty cool play room for them in the basement that has allowed me time on the treadmill (which is desperately needed) and I am caught up on laundry (while in the basement it is difficult to avoid it's beckoning stares so I gave in). I guess so far Winter is going well, which is great since it officially STARTS in about a month from now (Dec 21st).

Then again, maybe Alex has the best idea of all. We will just cuddle up under a blanket and read some classics. (This morning he climbed into the rocker with a book and wanted me to put the blanket over his legs.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

19 months

It seems like I just sat down to write the 18 months post but it was a month ago and here I am again, the day after (oops), you turned 19 months to write what the two of you crazy boys are up to.

Alex you are beginning to walk but definitely prefer the crawling method because you are scary fast when you crawl. You have also gotten a bit more adventurous with your climbing which makes my heart skip a beat but I am determined to let you explore (within reason). You are also starting to sing little tunes that I am not familiar with but I love to hear you sing every note in your sweet voice. You are STILL loving your newborn pacifier and I am hoping to break you of it by kindergarten (yes, I have set my standards quite high). You continue to love sleep and last night as I cleaned your room before bed you just gave up and laid down with your binky and blanket. I felt like you were saying "Mom, can you just do this tomorrow? I've had quite a day and I am exhausted."

Eli, you are cruising around with your walking toy and getting really good at it. I am sure you will be walking soon. You demand to be walked over to the refrigerator after each meal so that you can look at the pictures and you let me know that you want to do this by saying "Eli, Daddy, Eli, Daddy". There are pictures of everyone up there but you and Daddy seem to be the focus. I was careful previously to use the word, demand, because that defines you right now. You are pretty demanding but we take the fits as they come and I am sure you will eventually learn that, that is not the way to get things done. You do this funny thing at the end of each song. When we sing "Oh, How I Love Jesus" and the "A,B,C's" they both end with "Me" and I end them by doing a dramatic "me-EEEE". Well you now add this "EEEE" to the end of every song. For instance, "Jesus Loves Me" end with "the Bible tells me so" and you sing "tells me so-EEEE"! It is so cute and now Alex does the same thing.

These are, as usual, just a few of your new activities. I feel so blessed every evening as I crawl into bed and think of the funny, and even the not so funny, things you've done throughout the day. Daddy and I love you guys! Happy 19 months!


Thanksgiving is approaching and I am constantly being reminded how much I have to be thankful for. I have talked on this blog about the boys tendencies towards breathing issues (due to prematurity) and when they are sick it tends to become serious quickly. This fact landed us in the ER several times in the past several months BUT, and this is the beautiful part, they have been healthy for 4 and a 1/2 weeks, not a cold, not an ear infection, not a wheeze, nothing!! This is a blessing that I do not take for granted. I am thankful for the Dr.'s who decided that daily management for these past illnesses was the best way to go and that these breathing treatments seem to be doing the job. So, today, among a million other things I am thankful for the health of my family (even though one member is a bit gimpy at the moment ;) )

Ephesians 5:20 "always giving thanks to God the Father for everything"

Daddy's Back To Work

I am glad to say that Jared was able to go back to work today. I am glad in the sense that he is well enough but I have to say I loved having him around more this past week. I know a lot of the time he was knocked out but there were also times like these in the picture when he just got to snuggle his boys and enjoy the calm. This past week was also a huge reminder that Jared does A LOT around here. I am always quick to say how helpful he is and I do appreciate it but this week I have developed a much deeper appreciation for my husband. Thanks, honey! I look forward to having his help again in the next 4-6 weeks (please, let it be 4) but in the mean time he is a support to both me and the boys in a million other ways and for that we are grateful.

Monday, November 17, 2008


...the number of steps I last counted Alex taking. I figure when you stop counting it means that they are officially a WALKER!!! He started taking a step a couple of weeks ago (I know, I didn't blog about that.. What kind of mother am I?) and then we were up to 4 more recently. Last night he started walking around his playroom in the basement like he owned the place. I was screaming numbers of steps upstairs to Jared and he was disappointed that he was missing it (given his injury and all). Well, Alex decided to come upstairs and show off for Daddy after that and we are pleased to say he's rockin' it! I am so excited about this. Eli will not be far behind I am sure of this. He was walking around the basement tonight pushing an exercise ball (hey, at least someone is using it) with great ease. I don't know if they will ever hit a milestone without me thinking of the rundown of possibilities (I should say limitations) I was given when I was told they were going to be born at the 26 week mark (it ended up being 27). It was grim and I still had a peace in my heart that God had other plans for these boys. My sister, Missy and her husband Chad, had the boys in the nursery yesterday at church and she said they had an absolute ball with them. She told me how they had everyone cracking up and they are such happy babies. Everyone tells us this. Complete strangers at the grocery store, their friend, April, at Starbucks (it alarms Jared that we know her by name), their grandparents (obviously), along with friends and family. Missy commented that she knows God saved them with a special plan in mind and she can't wait to see what it is. The do seem to have this unique gift of bringing happiness to those around them. I am looking forward to seeing God's plan for them and I do think that it will be amazing but this also reminds me that He has a special plan for each of us and he saved every one of us for a very specific reason. Thank you Lord, I am again humbled by your grace and mercy in my life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bones, Tendons and Screws...OH MY!

Night Before Surgery (check out the difference in the size of his ankles). For the record although this was pre-surgery it was post heavy duty medication hence, the mellow look.

Jared had surgery today after destroying his ankle playing basketball. Long story short his ankle has been rebuilt and 2 screws hold it into place. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? He is doing well and has been sleeping due to some VERY powerful drugs and a nerve block of some sort that they used. Thank GOD for modern medicine. He is not in any pain since his surgery which was at about twelve o'clock today. This is Jared's second reconstruction, the first one was his knee. This got me thinking....I have had 2 surgeries, Eli has had 2 surgeries and now so has Daddy. I am hoping that Alex doesn't feel the need to "measure up" so to speak because I am much calmer when I feel like my entire family is well. I had a bit of anxiety leading up to this surgery as it was just last week that Jared uttered "Man, I need to get this paperwork in order because if anything every happened to me you'd be in trouble" (edited to add: not "oh no I am penniless", kind of trouble but "gee, where is that paperwork for ____ " kind of trouble. Just thought you should know we are responsible adults :) ). Anyways, we have been married 6 years and he somehow neglected to remember that I am a neurotic basket case when anything like this is even mentioned. SO when he hurt his ankle this week and I learned he would be intubated and given anesthesia for his surgery (as is usually necessary) I found it very necessary to eat my weight in chocolate in order to cope with my somewhat irrational fears. On a side note: Why, oh why, can't I be one of those people who just CAN'T eat when they are upset? WHY?? Moving on....I am home tonight with my dear, brave, husband (I swear he wasn't even nervous) and sweet sons (who had a blast with Nana, Papa and Aunt Kim, thank you, and truly didn't notice I was gone). The surgeon's say it will take about 6 weeks for Jared to recover and then he will have intensive physical therapy. All in all he came through beautifully. Thanks for the prayers from everyone who thought of us today! We are aware how blessed we are to have the friends and family that we do. It was mere ankle surgery and yet we have had and outpouring of phone calls with babysitting offers, dinner offers, etc., etc., You are all loved and appreciated!!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Little Moments

So much joy is found in these little moments. On this particular day we were just playing with the boys in their room when Alex had had enough wrestling and wanted a moment to snuggle with Daddy. :) As is typically the case with kids Eli was bored with all the toys and found great pleasure in playing in the diaper box. There is no doubt that these boys love their Dad. Yesterday when Jared was leaving for work Eli cried and said "I wanna go". As usual Jared and I looked at each other with puzzled faces. I think we both thought it was possible that he'd said this but we weren't sure. It was at this point that he repeated "I wanna go". Unbelievable. I may just have to send them along on "Bring Your Child to Work Day". Can you imagine???

Goodbye Fall..boy will we miss you!

In this picture Alex kept sitting on Eli and Eli would knock him down while they both laughed hysterically. They were definitely interacting like brothers.

It is so hard to believe that these pictures were taken last weekend. Michigan is so beautiful in the fall and we enjoyed another nice day at the Village. I remember I said to Jared that we had better go because it might be one of the last nice weekends before the cold hits. Michigan is unpredictable and I will not try but I think I may have been right. This weekend was MUCH colder and today the high is 39 degrees. I am not complaining because I am glad that the nice weather held out as long as it did.

I took the boys to Macy's Days which have now moved inside for the season and as we walked into the Museum Eli cried and when we exited he cried until he was warm and snugly in the car. I don't think he likes the cold on the little bit of his face that was exposed. The rest of him was covered with his gloves, jacket and hat but it still wasn't enjoyable for him. I hate to break it to him that: 1. we will probably always live in this cold climate and 2. He ain't seen nothin' yet (just wait until the cold takes your breath away and makes your insides hurt). Who knows, maybe he will grow to love winter sports someday and will make the best of the snow. Needless to say, today's outing made me realize that I was spoiled last year when I put them in their car seats and just had to zip up their bundle mes. It definitely adds a bit of time to your outing when you have to bundle them to get to the car and then have to unbundle them when you get in to wherever you are going and then of course you repeat when you want to go home. I still found today's outing to be worth it, however. I had a great time and ran into friends there so that made it even more enjoyable. It is always a blessing to have some interaction with moms who understand broken conversation and sometimes cranky children.

So, goodbye to Fall. You were fun and we enjoyed you thoroughly. My only desire is that you would take your leaves with you when you go so that there is not a mountain left in my backyard calling out to me and Jared.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008

Something about my little puppies strapped into their carseats amused me.

We had a great Halloween. It was complete chaos, as is the tradition, and we loved it. I think nearly every costume that was available for purchase was represented. There were around 20 kids along with their parents all at my dear sister and brother-in-law's house. Jared and I walked the boys around the block with their cousins but we will wait until next year to do the actual candy part of the evening. All in all we had a great night. The boys were a bit crabby today due to their late night partying but they are asleep now and all is well. I think I may go and join them :)