Saturday, May 31, 2008

School's Out for Summer!

Jared had his last day yesterday! When I was in school I never would have thought that my teachers enjoyed school being out. I mean who would they torture in their spare time? :) I now understand that they probably enjoyed summer more than any high school student could have ever imagined! I am so excited to have some more hours with Jared. He, like most teachers, works in the summer but he will be home after work instead of working more. I took the boys to the school yesterday while Jared cleaned up his room a bit. Here are some pics of their fun!

Please continue to pray for the families that I mentioned in my last post. Angie's blog continues to have the most recent information. While in college a speaker said that as Christians we should have a symbol of God's presence so that when things are difficult or we need a physical reminder that God is there we have something tangible. Mine is the wind on my face. Not every wind that passes of course just at certain times . I thought of this today as I was playing with the boys in our front room with the door open. A huge wind blew through the room and all 3 of us were stilled by it. The boys stopped playing with their toys, I stopped what I was doing and we all focused on the wind. I began to cry because when this happened I had been thinking of all that these families are going through and God took the time to remind me He is present. Thank you Lord. I also put together that my Alex loves the wind on his face too just like Mommy. I hadn't ever thought of that before. Maybe it is his symbol too, who knows?

Instead of waiting on God Alex takes matters into his own hands and enjoys the "manufactured wind" on his face :) If only this was as effective.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Prayer Request

I debated mentioning this here as it is usually ramblings about the boys but this is what is weighing heavily on mine and Jared's hearts and minds right now and I would love for you to join us in prayer for my sister Molly's husband's family. Her sister in law Nicol lost her 10 wk old son, Luke, the night before last to what they believe was SIDS. This in itself is a horrible tragedy but in addition to what they are going through Nicol's brother, Todd, and his wife Angie lost their daughter Audrey 7 wks ago a couple of hours after her birth. I cannot comprehend what their family is going through but am committing to prayer for them each time they come to mind which right now is constantly. They are an amazing family who love God and they are hurting. I am attaching the link to Angie's blog that was created for their daughter that they lost Audrey. She is updating everyone there and asking for more specific prayer requests. If you'd like to put a face with your prayers here is Greg and Nicol's website. Thank you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

lifes simple pleasures

This wknd was full of them so I thought I would note some

Evenings relaxing on the porch with Jared

A Sunday morning family stroll with caffeine in hand

Realizing that the boys diapers had been changed when I went to put them down for naps and I wasn't responsible (Thank you church nursery)

Clothes shopping (by myself) for over 2 hours

The boys playing together in the blow up pool and loving it

Watching their cousins have a water fight

An 80 degree day in Michigan on Memorial Day (today is in the 50's) :)

Snuggling up on the couch as a family and watching an entire 20 minute Baby Einstein Video (They were exhausted)

Being surrounded by friends and family that you genuinely love

The swarm of people at church that offered to baby-sit
(look out you may be getting a phone call) :)

AND......for the grand finale

The boys sleeping in until 8:20 this morning!!! (All wknd Eli woke up at 6:30) I have truly thanked God for this morning's sleep in about 1/2 a dozen times already. I hope that everyone had great Memorial Day wknds!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Week in Review


By: Alex and Eli

We got outside when we could
Hung out with our Mom and Dad
Grew some teeth in our spare time
We watched our cousins baseball games
Had our pictures taken professionally
Played in Mommy's kitchen cabinets
Mom watched Allie and we snuck into her room and woke her during her nap
"I said bye-bye to Aunt Mindy on Monday.
That really threw her and Mommy for a loop". Alex
Other than that just the usual week for us!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Self Feeding

Yes, this is our attempt to self feed.
Not a single bite hit their mouths but they had a blast!

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Stage "They" Call Toddler Hood

Can't you see the gleem in his eyes?

Then there's Eli who has the innocent look down pat (kind of frightening) :)

I had an official toddler mom moment last week. I took the boys to the grocery store by myself which is not out of the ordinary because I only had to get a few things. I pushed the stroller and used some of my re-usable bags to stow the baby food in while shoving the rest of the things that I needed into the bottom of the stroller. As a side note: you can also pull a cart behind you while you push the stroller in front of you but if the store is crowded this approach is a bit daunting. Anyways, as I am loading the boys into the stroller in the parking lot Alex begins uncontrollably screaming kind of like the dinosaurs on Jurassic Park. You get the picture. I look at Eli who is laughing (he tends to think Alex crying is kind of funny) and notice that he has hairs in his hand. I try to console poor Alex who is quite shaken by his new found baldness (I may be exaggerating a bit but bear with me). As I am comforting Alex I am telling Eli "no, no that hurts bubby" and a lady starts peering at me from around her car. Yes, she thought I was "disciplining" Eli and he was the one screaming. Once I assured her that my children were safe in my keeping we headed into the store. I will not bore you with a ton of details but by the end of the shopping trip we left without Alex's binky that I had already picked up 3 times and washed off to give back to him. I had picked up their sandals no less than 1/2 a dozen time and naively kept putting them back on. Although, in my defense, it did take them some time to pry them back off and chuck them to the floor. The kicker was on the way out when Eli (I swear he is not normally a bully) realized that he could kick the back of his brother's seat and watch him fling forward and then after repeating this method several times his brother would do his aforementioned pterodactyl impression. I was literally sweating as I placed them back in the car and headed home. Score one for the twoddlers (I'm not sure what they call twin toddlers nowadays). I will do it again but I am now prepared for their evil toddler schemes.

One of the other things that made me aware of toddler hood was when Jared and I cleaned the kitchen Saturday. I swept under the high chairs and cleaned under the vinyl cover thing on the seat only to find a meals worth of puffs, cheerios and scary crumbs that I swear I could hear mocking me. Another one of their favorite games right now is the refrigerator scramble. It goes like this: Mommy opens the refrigerator, one of them quickly crawls in front of the door so that I cannot close it and tries to starts removing the condiments (this is just a distraction so that while I remove him they go in for the kill). So as I move him out of the way and close the....oh wait baby number two is now in front of the door I will just move him while stopping the other one with my foot and ... ahhh shut the door. The same thing goes for when they sneak into the bathroom, office, and our bedroom. Twin moms warn me that toddler hood is rough but I thought they were just being big downers. Now I am starting to think that they were just attempting to prepare me for this stage in the game. The beauty of it all is that they also do great new things like dance, and have fake conversations and squeal with laughter and explore their new little worlds. I definitely hold to my belief that NOTHING is as hard as the newborn stage but this toddler thing is no cake walk. So is our plight, it should make for interesting reading ;)

Friday, May 16, 2008

We're UP!

So tonight as I changed Alex for bed I looked back at Eli, who was already in his crib, and lo and behold Eli was on all fours. Eli has been "crawling" for a long time but it is an army crawl. He never lifted his belly off of the ground but he did tonight and I had to document it so that I don't forget the date. It was really cute he just bounced there showing off for all to see. Jared and I kept yelling "yeah, Eli" and he was just so proud of himself. I wish I had a pic but I will try and snag one tomorrow! Until then, Goodnight!
This pic is the next day! Go Eli!

A Typical Day

I thought that in the future it would be interesting to look back and see what a typical day was for our family presently. I wish I had this from when the boys were first home because I am still secretly (well, until I shared it here) impressed that I fed them every 3 hrs. even through the night and that Jared and I survived the cranky periods that sometimes lasted hours on end. Jared helped me with the 7 and 11pm feeding and then I did the 2a., 5a, and the rest of the day (when he worked). He would do all the feedings with me on wknds. This picture is how we fed them when we fed them by ourselves. I wish I remembered more from this period as it was a complete daze. This is one of the reasons I started blogging. Anyways back to the present.

Here's a typical day:

7-7:30 Boys laugh and play in crib while I lay in bed determining when I should get up. I then make my bed and head to the kitchen to make bottles.
7:30a Get boys up, change them, bottle feed them (which is getting SO easy now that they hold their bottles), feed them breakfast (usually yogurt, oatmeal and fruit).
Boys play with their favorite toys: Globe, Door (as seen in bottom pic), Leap Frog Activity table, Books.
10-11:30 Nap
11:30 Bottle and solid feeding (usually veggies and cereal)
Usually when we will run errands if necessary or walk or play outside.
2pm-3:30pm Nap
3:30 Solid feeding (meat, veggie, fruit)
7pm *within a 1/2 hr Bottle/Bed

and then it starts all over again!

Some of the activities/outings we enjoy right now are:

*The Library, Greenfield Village, visiting Daddy at school, walks around the neighborhood and at Heritage Park, visiting with our cousins, aunts, Grandma and Grandpa, sitting on a blanket on the grass and playing with toys, bubbles, being read to (Alex comes and hands you books now if you sit in the rocking chair, Eli crawls over when you start reading to Alex).

**Oops, I forgot to mention that Jared and I typically have dinner after they go to bed but lately (o.k. twice) we have been eating as a family. The boys have teething biscuits while we have dinner. I have to say that these are awesome too because the boys sit there quietly and gnaw on them forever. WARNING: said biscuits are the messiest things you will ever have to clean up BUT in my book it is worth it. Just save them for bath nights.

I highly recommend this toy and the instruments seen in the Mother's day post. They are to this stage what the swings/bouncy seats were when they were newborn and the exersaucers were to the post newborn stage. It helps me stay sane by keeping them busy for quite a while.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Mellow Week

Not much going on here hence the lack of posting. It has been pretty gray and I am not complaining because I am getting some much needed things done around the house and to be honest I like a good rainy day every once in a while. The sun did make an appearance all day yesterday and it was beautiful. My sisters and I bravely took our children on an outing all together to Greenfield Village and had a great time. There were 1 day old lambs that were adorable. I would show pics of the outing but being my scattered self I left my camera in a different bag in the car. I was expressing to one of my sisters that I feel like no matter how organized I get I am at my core scatterbrained. I was hoping I would grow out of it and I guess at this stage of my life I could chalk it up to "mommy brain" but who am I kidding? Oh well!

One of the projects I am working on is uploading my pics to Shutterfly (I haven't done this since September) so that I can put them in an album. I think this is my "old school" self that needs to do this . I talked to Molly and she pretty much digitally stores her photos and they've begun to make really cool photo books for the outstanding photos. I know that there are a million creative ways to store photos nowadays and am asking all of my readers (I know you are out there b/c my counter claims that people actually read my ramblings) to share with me how you do it. Even if you don't have much of a system stop by and say "Hi!" Thanks in advance for the info. I do want to do this photo storing efficiently and am not sure whether photo albums are where it is at. So please leave me your tips in the comments section over the next week or so. Thanks!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Feels like home to me..

My feeble attempt to get a pic of Alex after being at church all morning.

I got some of that much needed "me" time, that I was talking about,today! I told Jared I think Mother's Day should be monthly and he wasn't that into it. I don't know why??? He woke up while I lounged a bit. He fed and changed both boys while I gave myself a manicure, showered, make-up'd and dressed. Thankfully I have a husband that is helpful all year round but I still thoroughly enjoyed playing the Mother's Day card today. The boys even gave me the gift of a long nap. Jared also complimented this by giving me beautiful flowers, both to plant and put in a vase and cooking dinner. As I say often I am a blessed woman.

Baby dedication went wonderfully and I felt unbelievably overwhelmed to be able to be in church today. It was like pulling on an old, comfy sweatshirt. It is where I feel at home. It is my constant. It is where I can be me and worship the God who loves me for being who I am. My pastor had an amazing message about Mother's. It was so encouraging and it felt like a stamp of approval on all that we do on a day to day basis. It was like a huge pat on the back which is what mother's day should be about I guess. A confirmation that you are in fact appreciated. I look at all of the Moms around me and feel so thankful that they are in my life. I believe that they have all helped shape me into the Mother I am today. Thanks ladies, you know who you are.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day To All!

I know what you're thinking. She's lost it, she's taking pictures of their clothes. Well I was ironing their outfits for baby dedication tomorrow and it just made me appreciate this role that I get to play as Alex and Eli's Mommy. I know that in this day we are supposed to be our own person and we need ME time and all that PC stuff but I think in the life of a Mom there are times when all of that is unrealistic. There are seasons where it is ALL about them and you know what? I still love it. I love ironing their little clothes and even folding them (most of the time). Last year at this time I was about to be heading to baby dedication without my babies. It was Mother's Day and the boys were in the NICU and I was bummed about it. This year I am ironing their outfits. For that I am extremely grateful.

I think as Mom's it is important to attempt to enjoy all of the seasons of our lives. So whether your are in a season where you are thankful for a shower and a fresh t-shirt or you actually get to have a bit of me time once in a while. Enjoy it you are doing a great job! Some day we will all get that much needed me time and we will miss being the center of their little lives. I have to admit I don't always look at things this way (ie last weeks post) but that is motherhood we live and learn and have good days and bad. Today is a good and I hope it is for all of you Mommies!

Thanks boys, for making me a Mommy!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My letter to Alexander


You are ONE! I cannot believe it. I also cannot believe how precious my first born (by one minute) is. You are intense and I love that about you which is funny because it is something in myself that I don't often see as a positive but in you I can. You laugh as intensely as you cry or scream whatever the case may be. Your smile lights up a room and is in your eyes as much as on your lips. You have this belly laugh that I get to hear almost daily. You don't hold it back for the truly hysterical moments you release it with great abandon. You are so sweet the way you hold hands with your brother melts my heart. I love how you laugh when Daddy lifts you over your head. I love your deep little scary voice that you do because you like to experiment with all the cool new sounds that you're learning. I love that you LOVE kisses and when people stop kissing you you crane your little neck so that they will do it again. Your favorite thing to do right now is look out the front door and the weather has been nice enough for you to stand there and just enjoy the birds, the grass and yesterday the thunder. You were a bit confused when you first heard it but then you adjusted. I think part of why you like to stand there is because you can feel the wind on your face. You love this sensation and each time you feel it you giggle. You love your solid foods and will just open wide for anything. This is one of the few areas that you are like this. Other things you want to examine and study and give yourself time to take it all in. This is just one of the may contradictions of your personality. You were born early and we feared for your life but you are a fighter. I will never forget the first time I held you. I was scared to death and reluctant because you were hooked to a lot of machines and I felt like I could break you or hurt you somehow. I try to value your life knowing that the following is true. I can hurt you and will because I am human and we make stupid mistakes but know that I will try my best to be the best mommy to you. God picked me for you and I am SO grateful that he did. You have an amazing Daddy who God chose for you too and you love him so much and think he is so great. So please remember that when you go through that stage where you think he is being hard on you just because he can. He loves you so intensely that he has to protect you. God has called him to it. He is a faithful man and will do this so that you can grow up and be just as honorable. I love you. Thanks for helping make me who I am. Thanks for this first year. I look forward to the rest. You have brought much joy and laughter to this family!

I love you!


My letter to Eli Henry


You are one and I cannot believe it. You are such a sweet, strong, little boy. You just had surgery and came through it like a champ. Your strength truly astounds me. You definitely roll with the punches and keep a smile on your face. You have the sweetest dimples and you squeal when you laugh hard. It is adorable. You LOVE your baths and splash until I am soaked with water. You love your bottle and I dread having to take it from you in the next few months. You tend to dive right into things whether it be smiling at a stranger, swimming in a pool or climbing through a box you are "all in" all of the time. You have crazy hair. It is mainly growing on top and you are getting it cut this wknd. I will miss that tuft of hair and how soft it is. You love to play with your hair while you drink your bottle and when you are tired. You seem to like to make noises whether that means with your mouth or banging measuring cups on the floor. You were a sick baby and I still remember being afraid to touch you because of all the machines and your frailty at the time. We rarely received good news about you while you were in the NICU but since you've been home you have thrived. You have been checking specialists off of your list left and right and we are down to the Neurosurgeon now. I am so thankful that God let us keep you. You are such a beautiful picture of His grace. I appreciate each little moment of your life and your brothers because of you. Speaking of that brother of yours, you loved sleeping with him and when you came home and we put you in the crib you snuggled right up to him. We would put you further away from one another and come back to find you stuck together again like magnets. You never wanted a binky because you were content to suck on your brother's fingers, hair, arm, whatever was available. You loved your aquarium bouncer and would smile at the fish as if they were your friends which is typical because you already make friends easily. Your Daddy and I love you more than we can express and I don't think a day has gone by that you haven't made us smile with that magnetic smile of yours. I am so glad that God chose us to raise our little li-li (pronouced lie, lie). Thanks baby for who you've helped me and Daddy become.

Love you ,


Things are looking up!

"What a week, huh?" Eli (8 months)

"I know I'm exhausted!" Alex (7 months)

Yesterday Eli's tube was removed and it was such a simple procedure and has made diaper changing SO much easier. Our refrigerator is fixed, as is our car and I had a delicious latte this morning. I am still a bit drained and realized this when I went downstairs to get the laundry out of the dryer to fold and discovered that I never turned the dryer on. Sadly, it is the 3rd time I have done that this week. After my last post Jared and I ran out that night to pick up some necessities for the boys and pizza for us since I was unable to put together a meal due to the frig. (yeah, this worked out in my favor). Anyways, we got home and realized that our house keys were in the car that my brother-in-law Kevin had lent us. This meant that we couldn't get into our house because we haven't done the whole hide-a-key thing. Jared decided that he will just hoist me up into our bedroom window that he discovered was unlocked. OK we have a ranch with a basement so the window is up pretty high. His plan is for me to step up on a lawn chair and then stand on his shoulders. Um, seriously? I alter the plan a little and manage to get my top half of my body into the window at which point I realize that I have nothing to land on once I go through the window head first. I pull my King size bed over and feel a bit more safe. I then realize that my hips are not fitting through the window and I begin to laugh so hysterically that I am paralyzed. Finally, I tell Jared to turn me sideways so that I can fit through. It worked and we got in but I laughed SO HARD and could not stop for most of the night each time it would come to mind. I later told Jared that God did all of this on purpose so that I could have such a good laugh. It is not as funny on "paper" but it just reminded me that God knows every small detail and has it handled. He even knows when we need to have a good laugh at ourselves. It definitely lightened the mood. Too bad it didn't lighten my hips :) Have a great day and I hope that you have a good hearty laugh today! I wish I had pics to share of this hysterical moment (ok I really don't) but here are some random ones of , you guessed it, my boys.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rough Week!

Here she goes again. I think she calls it "venting".
The boys are 6 months old here and I love their expressions.
I thought it fit the post :)

It has been quite a week and I figure people need to know that everyone has bad days. And since I plan to keep this for my boys to read some day I should be honest. So drumroll is a recap of our week.

Wed/Eli's surgery. 1:30a.m. Called urologist on call and requested pain medicine, he says Motrin I run to Walmart at 2a.m. Drop cell phone while getting out of car and it is missing. Come home and spill most of the Motrin on my dresser in the dark. Thankfully he had already had his dose. Head back out to the car and finally find cell phone.

Friday/nervous breakdown while changing Eli's diaper. (See diaper changing explanation in this post.) Called urologist on call AGAIN (they love me) due to the excessive bleeding and they say he's fine.

Sunday/a.m.-nervous breakdown after bending over to pick up a toy and nailing my head on the counter.

Me to Jared: I am so sick of having crappy days.

Jared to me: Honey, it's only 8 a.m.

This is when I realized I had to regroup and relax. I mean come on get things in perspective. He took me on a drive to Lakeshore Drive in Detroit along the water it is beautiful and the houses are truly stunning (check it out if your in the area). He also bought me coffee and a donut and for anyone who knows me this in itself would have cheered me up (yes, I know this is sad but it is true and that is what I am seeking to be in this post, truthful :) ) Sunday night we went to Greenfield Village which was nice also.

Monday/a.m.-We realize our refrigerator is broken.

Mon/afternoon-Neurosurgery appt that took a while and then I missed my exit on the way home and ended up in dead stopped traffic and my car almost overheated. We got home at 5pm and the boys typically eat at 4p.m.

Monday/evening-Jared takes car to be fixed and we realize the refrigerator is still broken (I think we were hoping that it would be healed) .

Tuesday/a.m.- discard gobs of food (including the milk for my latte which means there is no coffee in me as we speak) and clean the refrigerator so that it looks nice for the repair man (I think I have issues :) )

In the midst of this every time I change Eli he screams like a maniac (for good reason of course) and tries to pull out the tube. So I am lifting his feet with one hand, wiping him with the other and using my elbows to stop his hands from grabbing the tube. I sometimes wish I had octopus arms. Anyways that has been my fun filled few days. The tube comes out tomorrow and I am looking SO forward to it as is Eli.

Tonight we will grocery shop so that I have milk for my coffee and life will feel normal again. Tomorrow tubes out. The boys are getting their first hair cut this wknd, we have baby dedication, Linda and I get to shop for some kickin new outfits for the boys and it's my first Mother's Day with the boys home. Life is good just