Friday, July 31, 2009

July's Nolan says the Darndest Things

  • I mentioned this in passing in an earlier post, but Nolan pronounces Joseph "JOE-FUS." It absolutely melts my heart and is one of the reasons I fell further in love with that name choice. We would routinely ask Nolan to pronounce names we were thinking about. In fact at one point during my pregnancy, weeks after we had run through names I asked him if he liked a certain name. He said yes. I said, say Daniel and (insert name here). He did, but then said, "No Mom, it's Daniel and JOE-FUS!" I was shocked and so was Brian. He also would play with cars and trucks referring to them as Joefus and Daniel. So it was rather shocking that of all the times people asked if he knew the names he never spilled the beans about the babies' names!
  • Nolan likes to bring us a toy, but he puts it behind his back and wants us to guess which hand it's in. He says, "Guess which hand is in it?"
  • He still refers to yesterday as lasterday and last night as lasternight.
  • He asked me today for a blue flushie. Luckily we were at Sonic and I knew he meant slushie.
  • I was explaining middle names to Nolan and telling him his brothers' middle names. I told him his name is Nolan Richard. He looked at me very seriously and said, "No Mom, I'm only Nolan Richard when I'm bad!"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So long, Farewell!!!

Goodbye to Daniel's NG Tube (feeding tube)!! At least until next week!! We went to his pediatrician's today and he weighs 6lbs8oz, gaining 7 oz in one week! The doctor told me that was like an adult gaining 20-30 lbs and it was great success. He then said, "lets get that tube out and see if we can get him used to eating with a bottle only."

It's really ironic, though, how much I've come to depend on that tube. It's a love/hate relationship. I hate it because it's a pain and it hurts my baby (makes him uncomfortable at the very least). But I like that it guarantees he's getting proper nutrition and gaining weight. He now weighs more than Nolan did when he was born!

So we are going to trust God that this is the right move and ask for your prayers that Daniel continues to gain weight and really gets the hang of sucking from a bottle.

Hopefully this is the last picture of him with his tube...ironic that he is frowning...he really does hate the tube and pulled it out every few days!
And here he is tube free...doesn't he look happier? And look at those cheeks!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Family Outing (and more)

Well, last week Brian took a week of leave so we could finish the nursery and get into a routine of sorts. I was able to catch up on some MUCH needed sleep and also chose last week as the last of my pumping/breast milk days. As sad as it makes me, on a must have 3 hour feeding schedule (for Daniel anyway), it's about impossible when I'm by myself. Not to mention I really want to start getting all of us out and about when Brian's at work or Nolan and myself will go crazy! It also gives me extra sleep time at night which is fantastic.

In other news, at the twins' check up last week, which we were an hour and a half late for thanks to me (I got appointment times flip flopped) Joseph weighed 9 lbs 9 oz and Daniel weighed 6 lbs 1 oz! Both are gaining great, although we would have liked to see a bit more from Daniel. That being said, now that we're weaning him and giving him more formula I swear he's plumping up! We'll find out Thursday when we go in for another weight check and to chat with the pediatrician about a plan to finally be done with the feeding tube!! Yay!! Joseph is in the 25% of weight, borderline 50% but in the 75% of height! Crazy! Joseph is also sleeping longer stretches at night. Last night in fact he went to bed after eating (and eating and eating) around 8:30, was up for a feed at 2:00 and then slept through until 8 AM when I had to wake up to feed him (I probably may have let him sleep, but we had to be somewhere)! But the boy really does eat all day long.

Anyway, last week we also had our first family outing, which I have to admit I was pretty nervous about. We were driving down to Target (about a half hour) and it was around lunch time so we "braved" lunch too. And we even were gutsy enough to go somewhere that didn't offer happy meals. TGIF's. All 3 boys behaved beautifully! Then we went to Target where we fed the twins' for about 45 minutes (while Nolan fed on Target popcorn). Then we shopped for well over an hour and the twins' weren't fussy until the very end, but fell asleep in the van. It was a HUGE accomplishment. Then we did church on Sunday and that went great too. I'm starting to feel human again! :) Albeit exhausted, but human!

Daddy & Nolan at Friday's. Nolan's helping Daddy pay the bill:

Joseph & Daniel enjoying some time at lunch: This was when we got home, celebrating our day on the town:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

4th of July

Our original plans for 4th of July 09 were made well over a year ago. We were finally going to make it in town for my side of the family's annual get together at the lake. My aunt and uncle have a beautiful house coined Camp Bunky, right on the water, and a boat. Some folks stay with them and the rest stay near by and spend all the time at Camp Bunky. We had reservations for a 2 bedroom cabin, on the water. Then, as fate would have it, we FINALLY got pregnant...and our due date was July 6th. There was no way for us to know we would end up being in Missouri anyhow, and we really wish we could have gone to the lake, but it just wasn't in the cards for us. The great news is that we have two beautiful babies in place of a trip to the lake, so I think it's a fair trade! Since both babies were home and we couldn't go far, my parents came over for a low key BBQ and Nolan was able to shoot off lots of fireworks. It was a good time and we look forward to next year when we won't be quite so sleep deprived!

Nolan with a sparkler: My parents and the boys:
Our family of FIVE (still very surreal to me)! I'm holding Joseph and Brian's holding Daniel (and that is Brian's parent's dog, Snoop, who insisted on being in the picture):
Here you can really tell their size difference.
But big and small, they both steal our hearts everyday!! (Joseph's on the left, Daniel right)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Brian's Birthday

Brian's birthday was at the end of June and about two weeks after the babies were born. They were both home from the hospital at the time, so we didn't get to have any big wild parties for him. But we did manage to celebrate a little. Gramma and Grandpa M were awesome enough to watch the babies while Nolan and I took Brian to lunch at the Crab Shack. This was actually more for Nolan because we really wanted to give him some alone time with us during all the craziness. For dinner we ordered Imo's, a St. Louis classic, and had some cake. And then pulled an all nighter. By all nighter I mean up all night feeding babies! Happy Birthday to the greatest daddy and hubby. We adore and love you!!!

Daddy & Nolan at lunch: Nolan helping Daddy blow out his candles: Okay, this isn't birthday related, but I love this pic of Daddy & Joseph...Joseph sticking his little tongue out! Joseph was about 3 weeks old here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

We're Home

Hi all, just wanted to update briefly that we are home and safe! We arrived Sunday evening and have been trying to settle in as much as possible. Brian went back to work Tuesday, but will be taking next week off to finish putting the nursery in order and get loose ends tied up around the house and just help with the family transition.

Here's some odds and ends updates:
  • Daniel was doing great taking almost all full bottles before we left St. Louis. They increased his milk intake amount and that combined with all the travel, we think, has caused somewhat of a relapse. He's now finally starting to complete bottles again. The doctors told us we can take the feeding tube out whenever to 'test' if he can manage without, but Brian and I know it's pointless unless he's drinking more bottles by himself on a consistent matter. Please continue to pray that he learns this skill quickly, this in itself is a huge time consumer and is my number one stress causer!
  • We have a pediatrician appointment next week, so we have to wait until then to see about weight gain, but Brian and I both agree Daniel's diapers (he's in preemie size) are getting snug, and his onsie this morning was a perfect fit, compared to being baggie a week or so ago. Praying he is gaining lots of weight. Joseph, I have no doubt, is gaining like a champ and continues to eat well and often.
  • Nolan is ecstatic to be home and for the most part is well behaved all day. Around dinner his tolerance for sharing our attention runs out and he's very difficult...this isn't really that surprising considering long before babies were in the picture his most difficult time was from dinner to bed...we just weren't so exhausted in the past! :)
  • This week Nolan has been going to Vacation Bible School. It's 3 hours in the morning. I brought him the first day (Tues), my first day solo with the kids and by the time I took him, got home with the babies, pumped, fed them, I literally had to get back in the van to pick them up. I had decided it was too much, but we have wonderful friends who have volunteered to take Nolan to and from (thank you Nadia, Drew & Kelly!!!) It's been literally the biggest blessing as I learn the ropes of all of this and get into the swing of things.
  • I have pictures I want to upload, but I am lucky to potty and/or eat (usually I have to choose one or the other), so even this update is daring 0n my part. Next week while Bri is home I'll try to update better.
  • I knew this would be difficult, but part of me never let myself truly worry about how hard it would be to take care of two babies at the same time because of Daniel's heart condition. I felt I didn't have the right to worry...and worried that worrying would somehow make me seem ungrateful, so I pushed concerns to the back of my head and knew in my heart I would be blessed to have these trials. I still feel like I am blessed to have these trials, but more than once a day I tell God he got the wrong gal for this. I have never known sleep deprivation like this. Last night, thank God, by some strange turn of events I got some decent sleep. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary and then I get really sad because I'm so busy trying to make sure both babies are fed, changed and then pay attention to Nolan that I feel like I'm losing out on just ENJOYING this time. I feel like I hurry hurry hurry all the time. Anyway, speaking of hurrying, I feel guilty even taking time away from all of them. But Brian and I continue to be eternally grateful to the support we have been given in so many ways. Thank you thank you thank you...a thousand thank you's will never be enough, but thank you! And even though I sound tired and like this is all a bit too much, I'm also loving this and thank God daily for this. There are so many amazing moments all day that I wish I had time to share or remember for that matter. For better or for worse, this time too shall pass...

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Little Gym

Well, it's been almost a month since these pictures were taken, but I'm really so proud of Nolan I can't help but post them...better late than never. Actually, there are quite a few things that Nolan and I did in the weeks preceding the babies' arrival that I have yet to post about. Even if it takes me a few months, I will continue to post about them because they were such special times for us. Before we left for Missouri I was on bed rest and felt like I didn't have much quality time with Nolan. When I got to St. Louis and the doctor here said I could be OFF bed rest, I took full advantage and loved having some final one on one time with my little man.

Anyway, when we got to St. Louis I really wanted to get Nolan involved with something that let him be around kids his age and that was something just for him. Something to look forward to and that had nothing to do with his momma having babies!! I heard about Little Gym from my friend Dawn (through her blog) and since there is literally down the road from Grandma & Grandpa M's house, we checked it out. Nolan was able to enroll in a class and I was amazed at how quickly he caught up with the rest of the kiddos, how well he kept up and how well he listened and participated. He immediately loved it and looked forward to "Little Gym" every week. The final class was the first week of June and his instructor, Mr. Mark, told parents to invite grandparents and friends to watch them. We were invited inside with the kids to see close up what they had learned and had lots of photo opportunities. Much to my dismay, when Nolan saw both sets of grandparents, myself and his cousin Maddie inside he was NOT very willing to participate (at first). I was so frustrated because being the humble mother I am, had bragged up and down about how well he was doing. But he just sat next to me pouting for the first 10 minutes. At last (and after some tears on my part...we'll blame the twin hormones) Nolan snapped out of it and joined his classmates for some fun and showed us his stuff. These pictures are from that day!

After his class ended my parents treated him to two weeks of Little Gym camp. Little did we know how well the timing would work out. We had him in two days a week and each day was 3 hours. The first week of his camp ended up being the first week the babies were here so we were so grateful that he had something extra special! The camps were awesome, as well, and Nolan got to make fun crafts and burn lots and lots of energy. For anyone with a Little Gym near them with young kids I highly recommend giving it a can even try a class for free!

This is how the kids got around, in a "train":

On the bars:I had to include this picture of Nolan on the balance beam because you'll notice my dad in the background chasing Nolan to tickle him. Yes, even during a gymnastics event, my dad is out to tickle.All the kiddos with their medals:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Twins' Birth Story

I know I'm backtracking here, but before time gets away from me too much, I want to record the boys' birth story. We had a scheduled c-section for June 22nd, which was nice because I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel and because I knew Brian would be there with me. Brian actually had a TDY in St. Louis from June 8-11th at Boeing, so he was in town that week, staying through the weekend. We had joked that it would be nice if the babies would arrive during that time, but it still was a bit on the early side and we never really thought that would happen.

Thursday, June 11th, was Brian's last day to work in St. Louis. The next morning I had a very early ultrasound appointment. Since Brian had a hotel for work that week through Friday, we decided to let Nolan stay with Grandma and Grandpa on Thursday night (all three of us had stayed in the hotel the rest of the week) so we could have a nice dinner out, as well as not have to back track early Friday morning by having to take Nolan back to Grandma's before the doctors appointment. Thursday Brian took me to dinner on the hill, at the very restaurant we had our first date at. I got to wear a pretty dress and we enjoyed stuffing ourselves and reminiscing over the years since our first date. We debated a movie, but decided to call it an early night and headed back to the hotel for the night.

Friday morning we made it to the doctors' by 8 am and we were very excited to have an ultrasound, see the babies and see how they were doing with weight gain. They had been growing so fantastically up till this point, we weren't all that worried. We knew "B" was smaller, but he always consistently grew. Well, not this time. The measurements came back with some not-so-great news. Baby B had barely grown at all, and they were estimating he measured only 4 lbs 9 oz compared to his brother, who was now a whopping 7 lbs 8 oz and had grown about 2 lbs since in the last month. I was immediately upset and I think part of me knew what was coming, but more than anything I just kept wondering if this meant that something terrible was happening to our Baby B. The doctor came in to explain that most likely his placenta was just not working anymore. And dropped the bomb...we'd be meeting the babies today. As soon as she left the room I burst into tears, completely angry at myself that the last night before the babies came we spent apart from Nolan. Looking back later, I realize it all happened as it should, but in that moment, I was heart broken and filled with guilt. And so so scared.

With Nolan it seemed like labor moved at a snails pace. I was in labor for 16 hours before he made his debut. Of course, c-sections are much different, but we were still shocked when they told us that around 1 we would have the c-section. They kept asking what the last thing I ate was, since I was having surgery, and I had to confess that it was, of all things, a cookie. For some reason I was really embarrassed about this. I had eaten a very healthy breakfast, but Brian had put a cookie in my purse for a treat later and when I went scrounging in my purse after the ultrasound the cookie was like a prize! But then I had to tell every single doctor that my last "meal" was a cookie I devoured at 9 am. Lovely! Anyway, before we knew it, it was time. The epidural was not nearly as bad as I had dreaded. In fact the IV I had put in my hand was WAY worse. After my epidural was complete and the curtain was in place, they led Brian in. And minutes later we heard Joseph's cry! Then a bit later we heard (though not as loudly), Daniel. I should add that in the craziness of it all, Brian got messed up and switched the names, telling the nurses Daniel was Baby A and vice versa. So from day one, we already were getting the confused!! I barely got to glimpse at each baby and that was extremely frustrating. Not only did I want to see them, I wanted to hold them!! And snuggle them. And love on them. But I had to be stitched up, I suppose. As far as the surgery, I felt nothing, nada. Not even when they said I would feel pressure, I didn't feel anything...that all came later and still is sore today. But worth it! Time was kind of fuzzy, but I would say it was about an hour or so before I was back in my room and they were giving me Joseph. It was so surreal. I was unable to meet Daniel until the next day when I could feel my legs again and sit in a wheel chair and be wheeled to him. For those of you not from St. Louis, I delivered the babies at one hospital, and the Children's hospital is literally next door, and there is access by walk ways. Daniel was taken to Children's immediately after birth. It was so strange that our parents and even Nolan were able to see Daniel before I was able to. I was also so glad to see Nolan that night when he came for a visit. I cried upon seeing his little face light up when he saw me. Concern passed over his face when he saw me in bed, probably not looking my best. He immediately climbed into bed with me for a kiss and to snuggle and I just can't express the beauty of that moment.

So that is the birth story and how our beautiful twin boys' came into the world a few weeks earlier than we all expected. I was very sad to be finished being pregnant, but so overjoyed to meet my sons and for all the big and small miracles that have followed their sweet little lives. I can't wait to live out the adventures and fun that our three little guys have in store for us. We truly are blessed beyond our wildest imaginations!!!

Here's me after getting into my gown, in total shock that this is my last pregnancy photo. 36 1/2 weeks. Still hard to believe my sweet baby boys were living inside of my belly!!

Brian preparing to join me in surgery! Dr. McHotDaddy:

You really can't see Daniel in this picture, but that's kind of how I felt! They wheeled him immediately to Children's hospital. On the way, they saw our parents and did stop so they could get to see their new grandson!

Joseph being weighed! Born at 7 lbs, but is already up to 8!