Monday, January 31, 2011

January Kid-isms

NOLAN:
  • We were in the middle of a restaurant and Nolan asked, in his normal doesn't- know -how to -whisper -voice, "Mom, how come even though the babies don't drink your milk anymore your...a word I'm not supposed to say...you know, your things are still so much bigger than daddy's or mine?"
  • Nolan was in the bathroom with Brian combing his hair and he saw my hair bobby pin with the jewel on it. He asked “What is this for?”Brian told him it was to hold up Mommy’s hair since her hair is long. He laughed and said “Mommy’s not Rapunzel!”
  • At school they were talking about angels. He told his teachers, "I have an angel, its my mommy!"
  • We told Nolan he had to go jump in the bath and he said, "I can't do that! If I jump in the tub, I might get hurt."

JOSEPH & DANIEL:

  • Both boys have a very defined, and adorable, "Uh-ohhh." They especially like to say it when they throw food on the floor on purpose.
  • After every nightime lullaby, Joseph claps.
  • When D became more aware of his surroundings after surgery, he was very definite in his "yes" nods. He had done this before, but it was a HUGE help post surgery ("would you like a drink? Are you hungry? etc)...
  • Post surgery, even when D was still drowsy, he began blowing me kisses almost immediately. For my baby who is the least cuddly of them all, this was a very, very special gift from God.
  • J & D both can nod yes, or shake their head no.
  • They can sign "I love you." There has been about 3 times in the last couple days where Joseph, UNPROMPTED, has walked up to me and done the sign for "I love you." Makes all the frustrating moments in my day more than worth it.
  • Nolan leads us in grace at dinner and we always hold hands. The babies are now both participating, by grabbing our hands. We now have a full family circle of ten hands interwined and at the end when N claps and says, "Yay God! Yay, Jesus" the twins happily clap and giggle proudly.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Daniel's Home

I'm waaay behind on blogging. I know that most of you follow me on facebook or know from personal calls/emails that Daniel came home Monday. But on the off chance you didn't know and were perhaps worried, I'm truly sorry that we didn't update sooner!

Here are some pictures I was able to take while we were still at the hospital. It was so amazing, so humbling and so amazing to watch the process of Daniel healing.
This was in the ICU. He was awake and watching cartoons (Nolan thought that was the coolest). Grandma and Daniel:
My first time holding him post surgery. Later this afternoon (Thursday) he was released out of ICU to the regular floor.
A picture from Nolan, Grandma & Joseph, hanging in his crib.
This is a picture taken Friday, when he was awake, not quite smiling and himself, but starting to feel better.
Slowly feeling better...enough to want a toy to play with. This was Saturday. After a VERY long Friday night dealing with bowel movements that were slow and unbelievably painful for Daniel, Saturday was a good, good day and the start of better things to come...and here's a smile to prove it! By Saturday afternoon he was completely off oxygen and doing GREAT! I got him dressed and Brian, his parents and the boys came to have dinner with us. We got pizza and ate in a family/game room on the main floor. Daniel loved seeing everyone and was able to walk with some assistance. We had cookies for dessert, courtesy of Tammy, Scott and their clan! They sent us a cookie bouquet!! So so awesome and the boys LOVED it!!
See how cute the cookie bouquet is??? Thank you so so so much Tammy & Scott!!!
By Sunday D was chowing down! And loving this "eat in bed & watch TV" thing. And one on one time with Mommy. And flirting with nurses. He probably would have been released, but they wanted to watch his tummy and make sure there were no more issues.
Ice cream at every meal...totally deserved, my sweet friend!!!
This is how D cruised the halls!
I wish there weren't a glare, but you can see D standing. He would walk around this and was also caught trying to do summersaults. This was Monday, by the way, but even Sunday he was a wild man in his bed.
Shortly after this pic was taken we got released to go home. I'll have to do another post on the transition and how Daniel has done, but overall, its been great. I want to thank each and every one who has prayed for us, thought of us, fought for us, supported for us, remembered us, called, emailed, passed a kind word along with one of our parents. Each means the world. So often people ask, "How do you do it?" Well, I could indeed write a whole post about how you just do...how do you breathe? You just do! But that being said, I certainly couldn't do it well without the amazing support we recieve. A special and huge thanks to my wonderful mother and father in law for staying with us and taking care of things at the homefront so we could focus on Daniel. So many thank you's to be said...but especially, thank GOD for one each day with our family. Thank you, thank you, thank you.....
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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Daniel is doing well, but still not awake. We were hoping to have him awake last night, but things often change in the ICU. He has "wet lungs" which sounds scary to us, but apparently is very normal with all the fluid they gave him yesterday. We are hoping and praying to wake him soon and get him off the breathing machine.

The snow outside today, early, so there's more now! Daniel in the waiting room yesterday morning: Daniel after the oral sedation, playing with a car. So sleepy, so sweet. my good-bye to him. Way harder than I thought it would be. Danny last night:
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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Update on Daniel

Brian and I got to the hospital with Daniel this morning around 7. Shortly after, we took him back so he could take his oral sedation. It didn't take long for him to get sleepy, but he held on like a champ, big sweet heavy eyes batting at us, then the nurses, as he played with a little toy steering wheel. He kept revving the engine and giving a half smile. The doctors were joking that he fit in as a Boston driver perfectly. I was right, this good-bye was much harder than sending him off to surgery when he was 4 days old. I wanted to crawl into his little bed with him and go with him so I could hold his hand the whole time. Speaking of which, I guess Brian and I were feeling just emotional enough that we snuck into Nolan's room late last night and brought him into our room, the reality of not seeing him for a few days hitting us hard. We watched him sleep and let him snuggle up to us, even though he never woke up. Gramma said when he woke up he was super excited to wake up in our room. That makes me happy. We are so grateful that the snow storm is not hitting today and that we didn't have to battle blizzard like conditions to get Daniel to the hospital. Thank you GOD! I do think that means we won't get to see the other 2 boys until at least Thursday. I know its not that big of a deal...I mean, if I were on a cruise or on a girls trip, I would be like, "Oh they'll be fiiiine." But I wish in my longing to hold Daniel I could have Joseph and Nolan climb into my lap right about now. Brian tried, but we got some funny looks. Ahhh, my humor remains the same, even if I'm the only one who thinks I'm funny. Anyway, we are waiting, praying, reading and yes, eating, because every nurse keeps telling us to! The staff is truly wonderful. But not as wonderful as our family and friends. Thank you all so, so much. We love you and we'll keep you updated. If you have facebook, I'm updating that first and probably more often. Thank you again for the continued support, prayers, texts and love. Photobucket

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Big Day

Tomorrow morning is Daniel's surgery. We spent most of the day at the hospital today doing all the pre-op work. Daniel was amazing and such a trooper through all the fasting and poking and prodding. I'll try to update facebook and our blog throughout the day as we get and know info. Thank you all so much for the support, emails, phone calls and especially prayers for Daniel and our family. We are so humbled and grateful.

Here are some cute pics my friend Jess took of our family this past weekend. We will be sporting our shirts tomorrow in honor of Big D. Unfortunately it was windy and cold and the kids were NOT happy to be outside for an impromptu photo shoot. Regardless, Jess did a great job and I'll always cherish these pictures!!

Don't you love Nolan's face? He was super cooperative...

Gramma, Paw Paw & Daniel.
The gang!
We took this picture then took Daniel inside and stopped making him pose for pictures!!! This is a video we made for Daniel. I hope you enjoy it and I would be honored if you would take a moment to pray for Daniel, all the beautiful kids we had the opportunity to meet today with heart defects, and all our children who have mended hearts. video
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Friday, January 07, 2011

Rhode Island

A few days after Christmas, and post-blizzard, we were lucky enough to head to Newport for the day to visit my cousins! They are such wonderful people! When I was a freshman in high school they flew me out to visit them in Conneticut for my first vacation without my parents. They spoiled me for a week and took me on so many fun adventures and its a trip full of memories I still hold close to my heart. Court is my mother's cousin and they spent years of their childhood growing up together on the east coast. This is Court & Jane at lunch, where they treated us to awesome chowder and fish and chips. Seriously delicious!! This was Court and Jane's idea. They have a picture of my great grandmother, with my great aunt. There's a picture they have of the two of them in this very spot when they came for a visit in their youth. It was so crazy to stand there (far from where I was born and raised) and know my great grandmother, whom I never met, stood in the same place!
Isn't the architechture beautiful? Court & I:
It makes my heart so happy to see Court and Jane and mended some of my homesickness. Its the first place we've been stationed to have family nearby. We're looking forward to more visits in the coming year!
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Monday, January 03, 2011

Its Creeping In...

The time is coming that the worry and fear is creeping in. The what-ifs are starting to haunt me in my inner most core of my own heart. What if...the surgeon comes out and says Daniel didn't make it? What if...I have to tell Nolan something terrible? What if...Joseph loses his best friend? Am I even allowed to have these thoughts? Is it tacky to write about them? Probably, but I swore I would be honest. And there is a part of me that feels like if I don't visit the worst possible what-if scenario, I'm not preparing myself fully, I'm living in denial and I'm not allowing God to nuture these great and vast fears. He is the only person who can carry this burden for me, but first I have to acknowledge it. Then I have to allow him to pry this worry from my clenched fist, give it to Him and let it go. Let it go...

The truth is, in some ways I feel like I'm just getting to know Daniel. I hope I don't sound like a broken record, because I know I've said this to some of you, but it feels wrong to admit it in writing. Loving Daniel was alway different. I am no physchiatrist, but I know that some part of me put up a wall when I first saw him, attached to all those wires, unable to hold him without fear of hurting him. But I do know that even then, when I sang to him, as he lay on that table, wires going every which way, he turned his head towards me. Every time. And I knew then, saw the tiny shimmer of hope, that my son knew I was his mommy. But we still had so long to go, such a long road ahead of us, and a part of me never let myself believe he would ever come home. And then, thankfully, he did. And still, he seemed so fragile, so weak, so...angry!!! I had so much to learn about what being a fighter meant. My little warrior. My little man, with a frown and a cry for most of the first months of life, constantly screaming at me. It still makes me so sad that he was in so much pain those young months, unable to tell us why. And then, just like the dawn after a terribly cold and long and scary night, little signs of progress. A beautiful smile. Grabbing for toys. Miracles beyond my wildest dreams. Its mind blowing to me that he was walking by 13 months. Its mind blowing that he can keep up with Joseph and that he, with one look, can have the rest of us roaring with laughter around the dinner table. It's mind blowing that God picked ME to be his mommy. I feel so unworthy.

So, now I begin trying to open my clenched fists. To give my son over to God once again. I pray that he will give us countless years with Daniel, the boy I love so much it makes my bones hurt. I pray that for each of my children. But the truth is, I don't know what tomorrow or next week or next year will hold for us. So today, I thank God for how far we've come, the lessons I've been blessed to learn, the memories with each of my boys and my husband. And I hope. I hope for so much.

"The Lord your God is with you,

He is mighty to save.

He will take great delight in you,

He will quiet you with his love,

He will rejoice over you with singing."

-Zephaniah 3:17 Photobucket

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

What can I say? I love fresh starts. I love that every year, I get to look back at where I was, where we've been and the memories that have accumulated throughout that time. The truth is, for me, it doesn't take the new year to do this. Birthday's, anniversaries, random dates that mean something to me...they send me down memory lane. For example, its crazy to me that a year ago the twins were 6 months old. Tiny, tiny babies, requiring more time during my day than I physically had. This year, its much the same, but with a different spin. I absolutely feel like I have more of myself back. My days, though hectic, lean towards a schedule...most days! I am grateful for the start of this new year, the amazing past year and for a fresh start and what I think most of us want. A chance for me to be a better me. The best me I can be, so that my boys are raised by not perfection, but by a mother displaying grace and goodness and kindness. So my goals are large this year, but I know, not impossible. My first resolution is the most important to me and if none of the others work out, I would still be happy. A better relationship with God. Gotta go back to square one here, Lord, its been too sparatic for me lately. More quiet time spent reading His word, letting it filter into my heart and be my compass during these hectic days of raising 3 young boys to someday, hopefully, be respectable, honorable men. Secondly, I need to take better care of myself. More exercise and definitely more rest. I need to be a better arguer with my husband. I need to say sorry first and realize his plate is as full as mine. I need to thank him more often for being the kind of father that he is and the loyal, loving husband he is. I want to change my attitude to be more positive, all the time. Not phony-fake, but positive attitude that springs from a constant grateful heart. More play time with my boys and less worrying about housework. And lastly, more writing in my journal. There you have it, folks. My new years resolutions. Its a balancing act, and I don't want to strive for perfection, but if I can baby-step my way to a better me, that makes me happy. And grateful that God not only gives me each year to re-evaluate, but each morning the sun rises and I have another chance. Here's to a year full of laughter, love, memories, forgiveness, miracles, friendships and hope. Photobucket