Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's OVER, Yay!

Surgery day is here and soon to be gone. Jared just called and told me that my sweet baby boy is in recovery and there were no complications. YAY!!! I thought I would post about Eli's Big Day.


It all started last night when I began to pack all of the 2 year old necessities minus snacks for obvious reasons for Jared to take to the hospital. I may have gone overboard but I knew they would have to wait a bit before being called back to surgery and I was right. He got there at 10 and was called back at noon.


This morning when he woke at about 7:30 I dreaded those three little words "I want Milky". They never came. I am still in shock but it is just one of the small ways that God was telling me "I've got this under control." He didn't even ask for breakfast. Now if that isn't a modern day miracle...

Alex cried when Daddy and Eli left because he wanted to go with Daddy in the car. This is also the first time that I didn't go with Eli for his surgery. I thought I would stay home with Alex since Eli will be needing some extra attention for the next few days. Overall, we had a good day and even baked cookies. Alex was a bit difficult and it seems that he may have been a bit pre-occupied with thoughts of Eli. He kept checking his bed because the only time they are apart from one another is when they sleep.

pre surgery

Jared FINALLY got home around 4 and I was SO excited to see Eli. He smiled when he saw Alex and then spent the next few hours until bed watching TV. He actually wanted to run around but was still unsteady from surgery. Trying to get a two year old boy to sit still for that long is next to impossible. Trying to get another two year old to be careful and gentle around his brother is also equally impossible. Things should be interesting over the next few days. The surgeon actually said no running/lifting/climbing/rough-housing for two weeks. That is not likely but I will do my best.

post surgery

Jared reported that Eli did well and although they were both exhausted he was glad to be at the hospital with him.

Today (Thursday): He slept until about 4 am this morning and I gave him some more pain meds and he fell back to sleep. So at this point pain management has been minimal. I hope that it continues. I hope this makes sense it is VERY early and it may not. :) I started posting this yesterday and finished this morning so the time frames are a bit off. I didn't feel like correcting them and really the main point is that Eli is doing quite well and I feel blessed to have all of my guys safe and at home snug in their beds.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Multiples and More Interview

I am featured today over at Multiples and More. Click on this link if you'd like to read the interview. Thanks for featuring me today ladies!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Our Chair

I recently read the book "The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections" by Amanda Blake Soule and found several great ideas that I plan to do for and with the boys in the future. One of the things that she encourages people to do is take pictures of areas of your home that are your children's. She makes the point that as an adult she wishes she could look back at what her room looked like when she was a child or a special place that she sat at and read, etc., etc., I thought she made a great point and here is my first installment.

our chair

One of the first places that I thought of that brings special memories to mind for me is our rocking chair. I remember shopping for the perfect one. Walking around the store with swollen feet and plopping my tired, pregnant, self into chair after chair in order to find the one that would best suit me, Jared and the two babies growing inside me. I remember looking at it longingly after coming home from the hospital without the boys. I remember Jared sitting in it with both boys just minutes after we brought them home from the hospital. We've read "Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb", "Goodnight Moon", "I Love You Through and Through" and numerous other books to them in this chair. I rocked and sang them to sleep in it every night for a long time. I sit in it and try to read a bit while they play on the floor in front of me. Some days I plop into it exhausted from the raising of two year olds. They've sat in it for their "chair pictures". There are a lots and lots of memories in this chair. I don't anticipate ever getting rid of it. It is stained and already a bit worn but it tells a story, our story.

their feet

whether it contains piles of feet

little readers (the chair)

or pajama clad, inquiring, young minds

it is one of my favorite places in our home, our chair.

Friday, September 25, 2009


It is so easily gained when a child becomes sick. My friend Mariah's daughter Hannah is very sick. She has been on and off a vent for the past 24 hours. She has been fighting for her life. She has been gaining small victories for the last few hours. She is in the first grade. She needs to pull out of this.

As a parent, suddenly, the "stress" of 2 two and a half year olds feels like a tremendous blessing. Suddenly Alex still being awake at 10 pm turns into a chance to laugh with him and play "guess, what? chicken butt" not one but approximately 2 dozen times while he belly laughs and smiles with his eyes. Suddenly, the 3 am cries that are keeping me awake turn into chances to have a giggle fest with Eli. Suddenly the fact that I am still awake and feel as if I may not get a good's nights rest until the boys are 35 seems like it is just fine with me. Suddenly I am so completely aware that I am blessed to have a husband, sisters and friends that I can cry with for our sweet Hannah and know that we are all praying as if it were one of our own children in that hospital. Lord Heal Her!

edited to add @ 9am: Hannah seems to have turned a corner and is doing well off the vent for about two hours at a time. Hoping that her progress continues to head in the right direction.

Here is the link to all the good news about Hannah and the roller coaster ride that they are happy to be off of. Praise the Lord.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eli the Snuggle Bug

Recently I was reminded of the sleeping habits of my Eli. The boys slept together until they were 9 months old and as they got bigger we used to put them on opposite ends of the crib so that they wouldn't smoosh one another. We would come back and they would be back together like magnets. Eli was the more cuddly one, although now it is Alex. Eli came home and snuggled right up to his bubby like he had missed him.

Our NICU didn't practice co-sleeping with their multiples and quite frankly by the time Eli was well enough to do it Alex was already home but when Eli got home he absolutely THRIVED. It was amazing. Jared and I did a lot of kangaroo time with the boys (plan to explain this in a future post) and as I mentioned he was glued to Alex. I believe this had a hand in his recovery along with God's plan for Eli. We started checking specialists off of our lists on a regular basis. The first to go was the cardiologist. I started crying in his office. We thought he'd have heart problems possibly forever and possibly require surgeries and God had other plans. Next, I believe was the opthamologist who actually laughed when he check Eli's eyes and said "so much for the oxygen affecting this one". You see Eli was on oxygen for about 6 months and this would make him more susceptible to problems with his sight. Next was the endocrinologist, developmental specialists, pulmonologist and we are on a once a year schedule with the neurologist. Very exciting.

Oh yeah, back to the sleeping. Part of the reason that I was recently reminded of his sleeping habits was that he has been having some rough nights as of late. He cries and says "I scary, Barney" or just "I scary". One night I just gave up and put him into bed with Jared and I for the last two hours before we had to get up. He kept snuggling so close to me. I kept moving over because I didn't like his face being buried and if I would move an inch he would scoot (while sleeping) right back next to me. It was so sweet and reminded me of him and Alex cuddled up so close. I can see why parents let their children sleep with them and have trouble breaking the habit. It is really a precious time. Since his fears we picked up a tykelight and he is doing fine but I may have to snag him to take a nap with me one day just to have him snuggle up again. :)

This started out as a post about Eli's sleeping habits and turned into a "preemie" post but I needed to remind myself of all that God has brought us through. Eli has his 3rd surgery on Wednesday and as any Mom would I am starting to feel the nerves and anxiousness. This morning the worry crept into my mind and heart the moment I opened my eyes. I combated it with the verse "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." (Phil. 4:7) I used to have this verse up when the boys were in the NICU with pictures of them and I referred to it regularly. It encourages me and helps me stay calm. I am guessing in the next week I will be quoting it to myself on a regular basis.


Here he is trying to take his oxygen out. I am not sure that I've ever mentioned how Eli was his own neonatologist at times. He decided when he wanted his vent out by wiggling until the Dr.'s had to remove it and then gave him a chance off of it to see how he would do. He did well never to be put back on the vent. He removed his feeding tube and the nurse that was on decided he was going to figure out this bottle thing or else :) and he did. He decided he would come off oxygen so he pulled out his nasal cannula and he did well and eventually came home. When he was back in the hospital for one of his surgeries after he'd been put on home oxygen he removed it and satted well so the pulmonologist decided to try him off of it and he was never put back on again after that appointment with her. He definitely has a mind of his own, this one.

daddy and eli

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Superhero

my hero

Unfortunately Superman had an accident and had to borrow jammies while at a friends house. He was pretty happy about it to be honest and even showed off his muscles in this picture. :) I must say he is precious, isn't he? Dirty face/ feet and all!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Simply Saturday

ring around the rosie

ring around the rosie

pocket full of posies

pocket full of posies, ashes ashes

we all fall down

we all fall down!

eli and tanner

Hanging out with friends without a care in the world is one of life's simplest pleasures!

We had such a nice time on this particular weekend with our friends Steve and Steph and their 5 kids. I never thought I would let the boys near a trampoline but we did. We only let them jump with Tanner. The older kids weren't allowed to jump with the boys so they compromised with a fun game of ring around the rosie. It was so fun to watch them play together and just to be able to sit back and enjoy their company.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fun with Friends


Ellen and I met to walk and take the kids around the village and found that our children matched. Perfect photo op!

fence protection

a fence for protection

I thought it was cute how long Alex stayed standing on the fence. Plenty of time for me to get a good picture. It was when I started to walk away that I truly noticed his face. He was scared to get down because of the chickens. Oops, poor kid!

plowing the field

Eli didn't have time to chat. He was off to plow the fields. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he was doing it backwards.

The highlight of this particular visit to the village was the dirt. Yes, it is the world's greatest history attraction with cows, sheeps, cars, trains, etc., etc, and all 4 of the kids enjoyed throwing dirt. Oh well it gave us plenty of time to chat. Any Mom knows an un-interruped conversation is priceless whether baths will be needed afterward or not! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

lack of posting

I have been so focussed on all that I love about Fall that I forgot what else it brought with it.....

fall begins

such as colds and breathing issues. We made our first middle of the night trip to the ER. Well Jared did with Eli, actually, and then we spent a week or so out of commission. I was sick along with both of the boys. It wasn't fun but it is o.v.e.r. At least for now. We started with the boy's daily breathing treatments which will keep us out of the emergency room and hopefully help the boys stay healthy throughout the Fall and Winter. So far, so good.

We also separated the boys rooms. This has made nap and bed times SO much easier and they are much better rested. This however has made blogging difficult because my computer that I upload and edit photos on is where Eli sleeps so it is just requiring a bit more planning. I used to blog during their naps, or before they got up, or after they went to bed and now all of those options are gone unless I use our old lap top which has turtle like speed. :)

I have lots of things to blog about and plan to knock out a few posts now on my friend the turtle.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Big 3-3!!


Yes, it is official, Jared, tomorrow you can no longer talk about how you are the younger man. We are the same age! :) Welcome to our 33rd year. It's looking good so far!

Alex and Eli, Your Daddy is the baby of his family. He was born 8 years after Uncle Steven and 14 after Aunt Kimmy (I think). He was no "accident" though. He was planned and longed for just like each of you were. On a side note: when Nani told Aunt Kim that she was going to have a baby her 14 year old self replied "I'm happy the way things are!" Apparently when Jared was told that Aunt Kim was moving back home when he was a pre-teen he responded the same way! :) Anyways, he was a wild man and I'd like to share a few of his childhood stories with you.

Here are a few of my personal favorites and let me assure you there are many more.

The first one your Aunt Linda tells beautifully but I will attempt to re-create it here for you. She was babysitting your Daddy like she often did. I should preface this story with the fact that Nani and Papa came home to crying babysitters on more than one occasion. Aunt Linda was one of his victims. He came in the house in the middle of summer and asked if Aunt Linda knew where his snow boots were. She asked why he would be needing them to which Daddy told her he was shooting flaming tennis ball out of a soup can. I am SERIOUS! He was a quick one. At least he was taking safety into account. :)

Another favorite of mine involves your Daddy getting a brand new expensive pair of shoes that were corrective when he was a toddler. He came into the house and Nani noticed that he was leaving white footprints everywhere. She followed his tracks to find that he had stepped into a 5 gallon bucket of paint that Papa had in the shed. He tracked through the lawn onto the porch and into the house. Thankfully, Grandma and Grandpa were there and they scrubbed those shoes until they were like new. It took hours I am told.

jared with santa

Why do parents torture their children like this? Poor Jared looks scared to death. :)

Another time Nani looked out her kitchen window and kept seeing Daddy's head bob up and then disappear. She went outside to find him and the neighbor girl using a 10 foot ladder over the fence as a see saw.

serious jared

I had to add this serious faced 6 year old Jared. In my opinion he is the perfect cross between both Alex and Eli. So cute.

I am pretty sure I shouldn't be telling you these stories because I can already hear you using them against us but it is part of life I am sure and some day I will tell my grand kids about the crazy stuff you have done so revenge will be had :)

Most importantly your Dad is an amazing husband and father. You are SO blessed and I hope that he never loses that sense of adventure that he has had since a child. I hope that it passes on to each of you although I may regret that sooner rather than later! :)

So thanks to Nani and Papa for deciding to have "just one more" even though at times it felt like a dozen! :) Alex, Eli and I are forever grateful!

I love you Jared, Happy, Happy Birthday!

Uncle Steven sent this and I had to add it:

At times Jared would not revel in forced baths by his older brother, Steven. One day before the rinse cycle Bear (Jared) hops outta the tub bright pink and lathered in soap, down the stairs, out the front door and down the street in all his glory. At least this is how I remember it! Favorite memory was when he'd spend his school vacations with me at UofM around age ten. It all makes me smile. Happy Birthday, Bear! Steven

Monday, September 7, 2009

This Summer we ....

added a lot of words to our vocabulary here are some recent phrases words and conversations between my boys:

Eli (while playing with their trains and track): "I on da bridge".
Alex responds: No, tunnel (points to tunnel) this is bridge (points to bridge).

Well thank you, Mr. Smarty Pants! I sat there in shock that he knew what a tunnel was AND that my children just had such a big boy conversation. I explained the conversation to Jared when he got home and he said "I told him what a tunnel was last night." Amazing. I recently read an article about how when fathers make it a point to talk to their children it greatly increases their vocabulary because they will talk to them about different things than mom just based upon different interests. SO COOL!

Recently, I watched Mindy's two girls and Eli took a liking to Kayla's teddy bear. He slept with it, had snack with it and watched his video. I had to draw the line at bathing with it.


While we sat and had yogurt for snack teddy sat on the table and Eli said "You get your feet off the table, teddy, right now!". He has also placed many more demands upon Teddy. Poor Teddy is barked at on a regular basis. This makes me feel bad but they are two and I am having to redirect and correct them often right now so I guess it is only natural that he re-enact this with his teddy bear.

They are also encouraging one another which warms my heart. Alex laid back in the tub last night and kind of floated on his back and Eli said "good job Alex!" They also tell Jared and I this. Jared drank from his glass recently at dinner and was told "good job, Daddy!"

In the midst of all the "MINE, MINE, MINE's!" they are sharing from time to time although infrequently and we are attempting to learn about taking turns.

I guess all the "no, no's" pay off but yikes sometimes I feel like that is all that I say. They have started to parent one another with these words. "No, no alice (Alex)" is Eli's most commonly used phrase currently.

Another phrase that they have gotten down pat is "I not like it" or Eli's statement this week was "I can't like nappy noodles (naps), I can't like it". :)

A few other words they are saying incorrectly that I thoroughly enjoy are:

nola bar~granola bar
(this quickly became the way that Jared and I refer to the granola bar also)
habit- as in "I habit?" (have it)
shoes tennis~Eli held a tennis shoe up to me and declared this.

I recently sang "tee dum tee dee a teedle dum tee day" to them from Peter Pan and they think it is the funniest thing they have ever heard.

I also recently introduced them to the "guess what? chicken butt! guess who? chicken poo, guess why? chicken thigh" thing (mature, I know) to them recently and they broke into fits of laughter. I knew they'd LOVE it but the funny part came when I over heard Eli in his room saying "guess who? chicken butt!" and then laughing hysterically.

Recently I heard the boys in their room doing what I can only imagine is the toddler version of "tastes great, less filling" Eli yells "Hot dog" and Alex yells back "ketchup". They did this several times. Um, O.K.

This past weekend we were at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Jared found the massage chairs. I turned a corner and spotted my husband enjoying one and of course hopped into the one next to him while the boys were both in carts. When Jared got up I tried the one that he was in and I declared "ohhhh Mama!" Eli corrected me by saying "no, he NOT mama, his name is daddy." It was cute.

They are big into loving things. They regularly declare "I lub (love) pizza", "I lub Daddy" etc., etc,

They also donned boxes on their heads this week and we taught them "I am a robot, I'm talking like a robot".



Yeah, I definitely have a love/hate relationship with this age. It is hysterical at times but sometimes it leaves me hysterical :)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

This Summer We...

This Summer we mastered the art of sibling rivalry


This picture speaks volumes about what I am up against. :)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

This Summer we ....

conquered the slide


we climb up ourselves


and swing from the bar (this is the part where my neighbor winces and goes in the house). I have twin boys and I have gotten somewhat used to it.



We also discovered how much faster you go wearing pants!

Friday, September 4, 2009

This summer we .....

Summer doesn't officially end until September 21st but Jared is back to school and most call Labor Day the last day of Summer AND it has been in the 70's for the past week or so which makes it feel like it is o-v-e-r. I thought I'd count down some of the last days of summer with some fun summer memories.

This summer we enjoyed our backyard much like last year. We specifically enjoyed the big-boy swing.




Eli LOVED pushing Alex and Alex loved Eli pushing him..


which is apparent in their faces.


the fun took a turn when not only was Eli pushing him from the front but he wanted to push him by the neck! Brotherly love!


"How did Daddy tell me to do that?" Eli was attempting to pump his legs in this picture.

They still love their baby swings so that I can push them REALLY high but I am sad to say that by next summer they will want us to convert all the swings to standard ones because they are in fact big-boys.

I plan to take some time to blog today and then have them automatically over the weekend. We will see if I get that accomplished. Have a great Labor Day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Daily Organization

I love lists. Love them! My problem seems to come with the following of the said lists. BUT for my "Works for Me Wednesday" organizational tool I thought I would share my lists: where I find them and where I put them!

First of all I have found great downloadable lists at the following places.

I started using these daily dockets . I found them a bit rigid for me but I know they will work for others. These along with her other downloads are incredible. I love simple mom for home management and other simple family life information.

I then moved on to these for days that I feel I need to map out my "to-do's". I also use her menu planner (I use the 2nd option.) and have found this system to be my most successful. I have actually stuck to it for a while.

On a regular basis I refer to a master daily schedule which I made and it is just a hour to hour list of how the day usually goes. I also use the weekly menu planner regularly along with my cleaning schedule. On days when I feel like I have a lot to accomplish I will use the aforementioned to-do list/daily planner on Project Girl's Website. I write all of my appointments, play dates, etc. on my dry-erase calendar.

Now onto my personal organization station.


I am totally kidding but isn't that space gorgeous!!! Thank you, Pottery Barn!

Seriously though, I love my home but I don't have that kind of wall space so back to reality. :) Here is where I put my lists:

IMG_9554IMG_9552 IMG_9558

on the side of my refrigerator. My daily schedule is on the bottom left with my weekly cleaning schedule next to it and then above it is the grocery/menu plan. Next to my meal plan is a coupon holder that I put diaper coupons in (when I remember to). When you look to the left on the wall that is my monthly calendar.

I hardly ever stick to the schedule. Some might question why I bother with them then? Because 1) as I mentioned I love to make them and 2) I like a basis from which to work. I am one of those people that likes to have a "rule of thumb". So that is what "Works for Me".