Saturday, June 26, 2010

Visit with Sally & Rowdy

I haven't given up on blogging, we just got super duper busy with doctors appointments, specialists for Daniel and still getting settled. I'm way behind on updates, but I will catch up! On our drive to Boston, which feels like many moons ago, we stopped in DC for a snippet and stayed 2 blocks from where Sally & Rowdy live. They had us over for dinner and of course spoiled us rotten! It was so awesome seeing them...the 4 of us haven't all been together in over 4 years! They're place is amazing and I can't wait to go back!
Sally & Rowdy:
Sally gave Nolan a GIGANTIC bowl of ice cream! He of course loved Sally!
Group shot. Um, minus Rowdy.
Even Tootsie had a special doggy bed at the hotel:

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Big Brotherhod

Nolan amazed me, humbled me, and honored me from day one of being a big brother. I remember calling him to tell him I was staying at the doctors to have the babies. I was expecting a big excited reaction, considering he asked me constantly at the end if it was time. But he just said, really quietly, "Okay." Then, "But I want you to come back here [to grandma & papa's]." It was only later that I realized he thought he would be there, be a part of the birth. I am so grateful to my in-laws and to my parents for bringing Nolan to the hospital. He was certainly a handful, but his reaction to it all was priceless. The other thing that struck me was one of his first questions. "Where is Baby Daniel?" His face was the saddest thing. I can only imagine what he thought, even though we tried very hard to prepare him for what was to come. I wish upon stars I could have seen him meet Daniel that night, but I'm glad he got to see him right away and have his fears put to rest. But here are some moments with Joseph that I did get to witness...and even though the first few moments with D were not witnessed by me, I have a year and a heart full of memories of them!!

Look at that proud smile!
He was so curious, so gentle, so loving. That's exactly how he is now...haha hahaha! ;)
So sweet!! I constantly found Nolan doing this, checking on them. At first, he would often climb in with one of them. But for at least 6 months we could not get him to stop "checking" on them!

Daniels Room

Looking at these pictures is still so intensely surreal to me. I constantly felt like I was watching myself go through all of this, like it all couldn't be happening to our family, to our son, and to me. I think what kept me rooted was the guilt. The guilt that Daniel couldn't eat until after his surgery. The guilt that the nurses seemed to know more about him than I did. The guilt that I thought of getting back to Joseph when I was with Daniel. I'll never forget a nurse that gave me one of the best gifts imaginable. She had 8 year old twin boys and had fun chatting with me about her experiences. The second day I met her, out of the blue, she said, "I used to feel so guilty because when I visited my son in the NICU, I felt helpless. I couldn't wait to get back to my other son to feed him and hold him and feel capable." I felt like she had just opened up my heart and revealed every fear I had. Anyway, Daniel was absolutely so loved and taken care of in the CICU. We loved the staff and his "home" in the hospital. When Brian wheeled me to Daniels room this was my first view. I started crying immediately at the care someone had put into this. And the fact that seeing his name made him sooo real and I was about to MEET him! This was painted in his room. Still gives me goosebumps.
The monitors were completely overwhelming to me, but Brian learned every detail about it, to the point that the staff assumed he was in the medical field. I only had to look at Brian with a question in my eye and he'd answer my question.
That's Daniels little bed. The IV stand had all his wires attached, more than I could count and so when we held him, we had to be in position to not rip any of them out. I was convinced I was going to move wrong and all the alarms were going to sound and the nurses and doctors would run in screaming, "You are a bad mother...give him back!!" I'm only half kidding.
That's our sweet boy. The night before surgery. Oh my word, wasn't he the tiniest little guy? But such a fighter, even then. Thank you God, for letting me be his mommy.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

The countdown begins...

So...a week from today my babies turn one. One year!! No way can it have been one year. Even though I have lots of current pictures to catch up on, I really feel inclined to reflect on this time last year and what it has meant to me. You never get it back, you know? That first year... I always tell people I know it was special and I hold it close to my heart, but you couldn't pay me to relive those first few months. And yet, even now, my heart aches at how quickly the time has gone. are some pics from last year that I never got around to posting. Maybe some repeats, but good times nonetheless.

Brian's parents took Nolan and I to the zoo after visiting the doctor one day. Brian was back in FL and not happy that I was walking around, but the doctors had assured me it was okay. I was 34 wks and actually felt pretty good until the end of the day. When I was done, I was D-O-N-E. I love how Nolan always loved on the babies, even in my belly:

Sweet Emily, Brian's cousin, was pregnant and due about the same time I was, about 2 weeks after me. For the people who said "I didn't look I was that big" or "having twins"...well, here ya go...I was HUGE (and I totally loved every second)!!! How adorable is Emily and her cute belly? Her son Max is just as cute!!!

Two things have struck me as I look back at the pictures and videos, most of those which I never got around to sharing. One...Nolan was my baby. He was so little and innocent and even though I knew it would happen, he didn't realize how much his little world would just turn upside down. He has been simply amazing. He is the best little guy and best big brother in the entire might think I'm biased because I'm his momma, but I'm telling ya...its the truth. The other thing is the raw emotion that these pictures bring out in me. I hope to share them in the coming week because I want to remember. I want to share it, to share what a year ago I was afraid to share. That being afraid would somehow make me weak. So, that being said, here is my first meeting with my Daniel. A day after his birth, still breaks my heart that I couldn't be with him from the start, but God has big plans for him. I just know it.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Paula, I love you!!!

Our first stop on our trip to Boston was in Savannah. The entire time we lived in Florida we had hopes of taking a trip there, but never got around to it. I'm so glad we stopped and look forward to going back someday. It is such an awesome town, from what we saw. The main reason we went, of course, was to go to Paula Deen's restaurant, the Lady & Sons. I absolutely love everything about Paula...her personality, her story, her honesty, her hard work, her love of family...and her COOKING! I was a little worried that after all the hype and talking up and looking forward to it, I may be disappointed. I was happily wrong. The food was delicious. Amazing...mouthwatering, southern-buttered-fried goodness. We all loved it!! Daddy & Joseph: Daniel and I. I was making this face because I was soooo stuffed....thankfully we did a ton of walking before piling into the vehicles for more driving.
We went down the street to a train museum. Then we got stuck in a rainstorm, but that's a whole different we kept saying...always an adventure with our family!!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Farewell Bash

Before we departed Florida our wonderful friends, Erin and Evan, threw a Farewell party for us. It was perfect, because the last few weeks were so hectic we didn't get to get together with friends nearly as much as wanted to, so I was grateful to see everyone one last time. It was very bittersweet, of course, because we were so blessed with a fantastic group of friends. I am sure I could have survived those first critical months with the twins without them, but I'll be honest, I don't think I would have wanted to. From meals, to help with Nolan, to babysitting, to just plum listening and getting together for play dates and moms nights out to keep me sane...these folks are part of our history of being a family of five. I'll miss each of them dearly. I didn't take nearly enough pictures that night, but I am glad I spent the time chatting instead!

Lilly always loved the twins and was so nurturing to them. Good thing, as she's a new BIG sister!

Lots and lots of kiddos having lots and lots of fun!

Kelly (Lilly's mom) and Daniel:
Joseph, Daniel & Mallory, Nadia's daughter. She was born a couple weeks after the boys:
Our hosts, Erin & Evan:
Finally, a picture of Erin and I! I am so grateful for Erin's friendship. She moved to town while we were in St. Louis having the babies and prayed for us before she met us. Then we met and discovered our boys would be in the same preschool class...then the boys decided to be best friends and were the wildest pair imaginable. Yay for redheads!! Nolan, Simone & Griffin: