Thursday, November 27, 2008

Hurrah for the Pumpkin Pie!

We had fun this year for Thanksgiving. We invited the missionaries and a few families from our ward over for the feast. And oh what a feast it was! I think we should have Thanksgiving at least three times a year! I made the turkey, the stuffing, jello, green beans, a banana cream pie and little finger food appetizers (oh yeah, and "gravy" with help from McCormick and REAL gravy with help from the Turkey & Andy). Karyn made 2 amazing batches of mashed potatoes. Marjorie brought 2 YUMMY homemade pumpkin pies, marshmallow yams and rolls. We had a wonderful time visiting with our friends and watching the kids run wildly around. A fun day indeed!

On Friday Annaliese and I went to a special kids ballet/dance performance at a local theater with Alli & Karyn. Cute girls! This was Annaliese's first time to go see a real live show like this and to see the big stage, red velvet curtains, golden balcony, fancy schmancy art carved in the ceiling, etc. We loved the traditional ballet the most but they had all different types of dance. It made me want to go see a real professional ballet. I think next year we'll take everyone to see The Nutcracker. The best part of the show was during intermission. Annaliese and Alli joined a bunch of kids in the aisles to dance together. Annaliese has some moves! It was just too funny and cute! I wish I had video!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not a morning person....

I like to share funny parenting stories every now and then. I figure if it's funny to me now, maybe someday my girls will also find them funny. =) Here is one of the latest starring Avrie.

Wednesday morning Avrie woke up on the wrong side of the bed. She did not want to get dressed, she wants to be naked. I let her be naked while I get the other girls ready for the day. The other two are now ready and it is now Avrie's turn to cooperate. I have to physically push each of her limbs into her clothing as she resists and screams. Finally dressed. The girls all have on their winter coats and hats and they pile into our nifty triple stroller and off we go to take Annaliese to school. Avrie cries the entire way there, no screams. We get looks from other mom-looking people we pass that seem to say, "I've been there, glad it's you and not me." We also get a few looks from some young professionals that seem to say "What is wrong with your child!?" or maybe "What is wrong with YOU, what did you do to that poor devastated child?" That 2 blocks we walk seem to take forever. Luckily we make it to school just as my friend Karyn was arriving with her little Alli. I pass Annaliese off to Karyn who takes her in to school for me and then just keep that stroller going right on back home. Avrie still screaming (I think I hear her say something about not wanting to get dressed). We get home. I get Avrie out of the stroller, she runs to the corner of the garage. I get Adeline out of the stroller and take her in to the house. 2 minutes later I go back out the garage to get Avrie....she's standing there, not crying. Good, she's chilled out. Wait, her shoes and socks are not on her feet, nor are her pants or diaper where they ought to be. Hat off too. She is tugging at that darn jacket that won't come off - the zipper is jammed. Folks, it's 40 degrees! =) I tried so hard not to laugh! I pick her up and bring her inside. I think she thought I was going to punish her. Instead I take her jacket off, take her shirt off and pull out the potty training seat.
The rest of the day went much better thankfully. She had her first day of potty training and a good long nap. Whew.

Kermit has been away this week as he is every fall for annual partner meetings abroad. I've gotten used to having him help me in the mornings to get Annaliese to school. I've been spoiled. At night he is usually home in time to help with the bedtime routine. This week not the case. Boy do I miss him more than ever! Clearly they do too.

Oh one more story from the week flying solo without Kermit. This one stars all three Annaliese, Adeline & Avire!

Thursday afternoon we are invited to a friends house for a play date. The friend lives just 2 blocks away. I figure stupidly that we can walk. Long story short...we stay too long and the twins are nap deprived and overtired. When it came time to leave....lets just say that walk home was torture not just on them, but the entire neighborhood. The twins were crying, "hold me mommy, hold me!" Not just whining, crying. Annaliese got upset that the twins were upset. All three were crying, sitting on the sidewalk not moving. What's a mom to do without her stroller?!!! I had about 3 people offer to help me. I declined but we finally made it. All three girls were in bed and asleep before 7! Whew. Moral of the story...go nowhere without a stroller. Also, don't stay out "late" with overtired kids. Note to self! =)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Going Private?

Hi everyone,
I'm thinking about making this blog private in the next couple of days. Going private means that only people that I invite via email to view my blog can access it. I'm not sure if I have an updated email list or not and I don't want to loose touch with you all just because I've gone private. Please email me or comment here with your email address so that I can send you an invitation!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Birthday Party Pictures

Addie & Avrie with their cupcakes.
Making butterflies.

Tired Girls! 3 hour naps for both 3 year olds!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Three years ago....

Three years ago (tomorrow to be exact) my twins were born. How grateful I am for these dear ones. I wanted to share a few excerpts from my journal written in June of 2006 when the twins were 7 months old. I always want my girls to know the story of their birth and a few of the many miracles we saw that allowed them to be with us today.
Avrie & Addie together for the first time since birth...
Approximately 2 weeks old.
June 2006-
"I’ve been wanting to write the story of their birth for some time now and share my thoughts and feelings. I almost can’t…..the whole experience almost doesn’t seem real, but when I start to think about each event that lead up to their birth and their recovery home….I shudder to think how lucky I am to have these two little girls.

I’ve always heard that a twin pregnancy had more risks involved….The word “risk” never meant anything to me before. I understand now…I’m glad those risks were taken obviously or we wouldn’t have our two baby girls but I don’t know I’d ever take those risks again. Life is too fragile and I love my babies too much to put anybody at risk.....

My whole pregnancy was a cinch. I actually didn’t gain that much weight and sometimes wonder if that had anything to do with this but I’ll never know. My body felt great.....I went in for a routine 30 week appointment for an ultrasound…all tests previous were normal….I thought it was strange when the tech kept asking me all kinds of questions about diabetes, amniocentesis, etc. It was a Friday. (I'm pretty sure this was the day of Grandma Bev's funeral, which I obviously missed.) My doctor was concerned and said it was serious. I thought she was being dramatic. She had me go in for a repeat test on Monday. That weekend I got a blessing before Kermit went out of town for the week to Boston. Mondays test came… I knew something was really wrong by the way the tech was acting. I was waiting and waiting to see the head supervisor/doctor but then after waiting forever they just told me to go see my regular doctor. She wasn’t in so I saw Dr. A. As soon as he looked at the report he said, "you need to go to the hospital right now. Baby A is very sick. She has fluid all around the outside of her lungs and heart compressing them. Fluid should not be there…this is called hydrops and it is very serious…call your husband you are not going home." Kermit was in Boston and caught the first flight home.
He stayed the night with me in the hospital. Megan our babysitter, stayed at home with Annaliese. That night I started contracting! I was given some medicine to stop contractions. I was given steroid shots to help strengthen their lungs because it was looking like they were coming soon. We waited, the contractions stopped. I was there for 3 days and they watched very closely little Adeline’s condition. It seemed to be stable. The fluid was there and not going away but she wasn’t showing signs of being stressed. Her heart beat was great. We made a deal that I could go home if I agreed to come in everyday for ultrasound and non stress tests. I did that for 1 1/2 weeks. The fluid did increase very little at first but then tapered off. I had gotten comfortable going in to the hospital every day, expecting that I would hear the same news I had heard previous day....that "the fluid was there but it wasn't any worse, Adeline is fine, go home and rest, come back tomorrow." I was convinced that I could get to 36 weeks... Then on November 17th I went in for my daily routine checkup…the fluid had gown substantially. Now Adeline had fluid under her skin on her head! They said her heart was still strong but wanted me to go to labor and delivery just to keep an eye on her heart. I was calm…I was exactly 32 weeks. I was huge and uncomfortable. I fully expected to be able to go home to Annaliese and Kermit.I sobbed when the doctor came in and told me that they needed to induce me. Adeline just had to get out if she was going to get better. I sobbed. I had been so tough and kept my faith…but the reality of delivering a baby that was so sick truly was frightening to me. Adeline needed ME! As long as she was in me her heart could beat and she didn’t need her lungs. After birth she would have to rely on her own heart and lungs that were in such critical condition. I cried and cried. Kermit was in Racine, WI on business. He cancelled his meetings and headed home.

It was evening by the time he arrived if I remember. They had given me my pitocin…that I actually didn’t really need…my body had already started labor again on its own. When it came time to break my water…whew…that was the hardest ever…there was no turning back these babies were coming and I was freaking. I couldn’t have done it with out Kermit. I was so embarrassed to be crying the way I was but I couldn’t stop. It was the most awful feeling I've ever felt. These babies weren’t ready! Neither was I!

I got my epidural shortly thereafter. At 11pm my doctor came in to check on me. She said she had been up all night the night before and that she really needed to go back home to sleep….that we didn’t want her there on such little sleep. I was so sad because she had been so cool to us all along and had been such a support. She had taken time at the end her exhausting days to visit with me during her rounds while I was in the hospital…she loved Annaliese and was great to Kermit. She tried to help us come up with names…etc. Now when it was time to deliver she had to go home to sleep. I labored all night and into the morning. At 5 am (now November 18th) I felt the need to push. The nurse said no way, you were a 4 less than an hour ago….I asked her to please just go get somebody to check me…I had to ask a couple of times and she finally did…it was time!!! I was a 10 and ready to go. They wheeled me to the OR where 20 doctors and nurses were…. I’m not even kidding. Dr. M (my doctor) was one of them! =) She got the call and came straight over….5 hours was enough sleep for her she said. What a woman! Dr. H was also there…he had delivered Annaliese so I knew he was good too. There were nurses attending then about 5 doctors and nurses for each baby…add that all up and yep…about 18-20 people. I pushed with all my might to get Adeline out. I think it was about 20 minutes of pushing. At 5:35am Adeline was born. They held her up for me to see then went straight away to the doctors waiting to save her life. She looked like a chubby little cherub. A lot like the way I remember Annaliese looking at birth. I remember saying that I thought she looked like Annaliese. Avrie was transverse so the doctor with the smallest hands (a resident) reached in and grabbed her feet and pulled her out 3 minutes later! Whew! Avrie was so little. She was beat red. TINY and RED! She was also whisked away to the other side of the room where her team of doctors were waiting.

I had done it. I had had a “normal” delivery with no complications just as I had been promised in a blessing I had received. I kept remembering that. God had promised me a normal delivery and I had had one….Now my babies would be blessed to make it and that promise would also be kept.

Dr. H kept going over to where our babies were being worked on to try to give us an update. Adeline’s chest tubes had been placed and fluid was beginning to drain…it was straw colored. That is all we knew. We had no idea that the team of doctors working on her little body didn’t know if they would be able to save her. It was bad.
They wheeled her off to another area of the hospital without saying goodbye. A few minutes later Avrie wheeled by and paused to say goodbye before heading up. It was up to recovery for me.

I didn’t go down to the ICU to see them. I felt the doctors would do better without the blubbering mother over their shoulders. Kermit’s brother Gabe happened to be driving through town with Kermit’s mother to move her out west for the winter. Just as they arrived at the hospital our Bishop showed up as well. The three of them (Kermit, Gabe & Bishop) went down together to see the babies and to give them blessings. I remember asking Kermit to tell me what the blessing said…he said he didn’t remember.

Next it was my turn to go see the babies. Dr. Beverly R. had told us everything they had done to try to save Adeline. (I took comfort in her name. It was a reminder that my Grandma Beverly in heaven was near and caring for my babies as their angel.) Dr. Bev explained that she had placed the chest tubes and had given her air but she had seen Adeline “posture” or show signs of oxygen deprivation and seizure. The fluid was draining. Adeline was the sickest baby in the nursery. Dr. Bev flat out told us she didn’t know if Adeline would make it. They were doing everything they could. Tests were being done to see if they could figure out the cause of the hydrops. Things did not look optimistic.

Kermit and I finally went down to see our girls. No pictures were taken. It felt like too sacred a moment to photograph. Adeline was right at the first bed as you entered nursery 7. A huge oscilating ventilator was shaking her whole body as it pushed tiny puffs of air into her frail lungs. She was on a sedation medication that paralyzed her keeping her from moving. She had an IV that fed her veins straight to her heart. Her knees were up and open like a W. Naked sitting on an open diaper. Tubes from both sides draining fluid little by little. She looked lifeless. She was so pretty. Her skin beautiful. Her chub wasn’t chub though…it was the ademia or swelling from the fluid. She had to live. It was surreal.

Avrie was so little, so red, on no pain medication, wiggle, wiggle, mad. She seemed to respond to my voice. I cried. She wore goggles to cover her eyes, she was under lights for bilirubin. Her legs were like a pincushion. Doctors tried and tried to get a central line in to her premptivley but could never get a good vein. Her ventilator was down her throat as well just with normal air flow rather than like Adeline’s. Avrie looked mad and so uncomfortable. She cried but no sound could be made with the tubes down her throat. She only weighed 3 lbs. 5 oz. 16 inches. Little. Neither girl looked good.

The next day we met again with a different doctor with a new update. Dr. __(Can't remember his name)___ had told us that in the teams had pulled out every trick they knew to help Adeline make it…he said that usually when they have to use these “tricks” as he called them they are able to tell immediately which intervention was the one that makes the difference…in the case of Adeline…they weren’t sure which one of their interventions caused her to turn around. Adeline was rallying beyond belief…stunning all those who had been present at her delivery. We know which intervention it was…her blessing. Though Kermit doesn’t remember the words he uttered in her blessing…he remembered that he felt she would be healed. She indeed was on her way.

It wasn’t more than a few days before Adeline was taken off the oscillator ventilator and moved to a nasal canula. It was a few weeks before she could be held due to the chest tubes….finally they came out and she was able to be held. She was getting stronger day by day. She was passing Avrie up in breathing and before long eating. She was started off on Portagen…a formula easier to digest than breast milk. Tests came back…no cause for the hydrops could be found. No evidence in brain scans of seizure, her heart strong, this little girl was strong and going to make it!

Avrie plugged away…breathing was never easy for her, eating never easy, keeping warm wasn’t easy. She was little. She wasn’t ready to be born but had to make due. One thing every nurse that cared for her said…this little girl is a wiggler! YES, I know! My ribs would agree! Every visit to the hospital Avrie always greeted us with wide eyes busy checking us out. Adeline was always asleep. The same is true today…Adeline my good sleeper…Avrie too busy looking around to sleep! =)

One day they were off their “ohio beds” and in to an incubator! =) There for a few weeks and then into open cribs! They were being fed every 3 hours around the clock. They were both now on Breast milk but bottle fed. What ever they couldn’t finish they would tube the rest through their NG tube (Nose). I would pump milk at home and bring it in to the hospital each day. Each day I would visit for a couple of hours. Hold each baby an hour each then go home. It was so hard. I felt the need to be there all day but just couldn’t. Annaliese needed me at home too. I was so worried I would have babies that were emotionless because their mommy couldn’t be there the way others mommies could be. I think I missed one day in 8 weeks…I couldn’t handle not seeing them….I had to go everyday. What mom wouldn’t.

Its late right now..I’m exhausted…but I wanted to get some of this documented before another 7 months slips away. I feel so blessed to have these dear babies. Its been a challenge everyday but one I am grateful for. Twins isn’t easy but is happy. I love these girls with all my heart. I thank the Lord for their safe arrival to our family. The priesthood is real and we have been blessed by its power. "
I know that God hears and answers prayers. Thank you so much to our family and friends who prayed continually for their recovery and our comfort. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Twins Birthday Recap

Yesterday we celebrated the twins third birthday. What a great day! I hope it will be one they both remember. We had a little butterfly party with just a couple of their friends. We made a little butterfly craft, played a little butterfly game, ate a little cupcake with little butterfly decoration in them, tah dah!

I don't think I have ever seen Avrie more excited. She's just been bursting with joy over turning three. It is a pretty big deal to her. When she came downstairs for the first time in the morning she was so excited to see the decorations set up for the party. She did a little dance and just squealed and then plopped herself down on the ground making a super silly face and wiggled some more. She was thrilled!

Addie was cracking me up all week. She's been busy singing, "Happy Birthday to me" or "Happy Birthday to US" all week! =) She was very involved in making the cupcakes that we made the day before. Keeping those cupcakes away from her until the party was quite the trick. I literally had to keep the cupcakes hidden in the cooled oven to keep her from devouring them before the party.

I have to say that these girls are about at the peak of cuteness! They melt me and I love that I am their mother. Happy Birthday to sweet Addie and Avrie! I love you both forever!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Just what I needed

Have you ever had a week of stress that just builds and builds? It's been one of those kinds of weeks around here. (Long story for another day.) Yesterday the girls and I were at a friends house for a little bit of fun and my friend commented how she liked Avrie's shoes. Yes, she is wearing two left feet, one that is at least 2 sizes too big! I still can't stop laughing! When I took this picture I could barely hold the camera still and had to quickly run to the restroom before I peed my pants.

I suppose it's really not that funny, but it was definitely just what I needed! =)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Fall in New England

It seems that when ever we travel, it takes me at least a month to get the pictures posted. I wouldn't want to break with tradition....(I'm actually writing this on Nov. 16)

The first week of October we took a spontaneous trip to Massachusetts to visit Kermit's mom. This rural New England town is one of the best places to be for a week in autumn. It is just so gorgeous and peaceful! Kermit and I have wondered if we lived there would we feel the same way about it. Is it the contrast from the city that we love? Is it the fact that whenever we are there we are on vacation and so we only associate good feelings and good times? Does it matter? The fact remains -We love it! We had a great time and had PERFECT weather! Ahh. It makes me happy thinking back on the fun we had.

Twicker Tweak 2008

Here are some highlights from our "Twicker Tweaking" (as Addie calls it). The weather this year was just perfect! Oh how I love a balmy fall day topped off with a balmy Halloween night!
Annaliese's class at school had a Halloween party. The twins always love the chance to visit her at school. School got out early so we had Alli and Ruby over for lunch and a play date for the afternoon. No Naps for the twins....I did try. They weren't going to need one anyway with all the sugar that would soon come. =)

At Annaliese's school party.

Alli the Pirate and Ruby the Princess with an elf hat and sunglasses!

The trick-or- treaters love our street because street traffic is blocked off for the night. The crowds are always huge but this year...WOW. We kept plenty busy just trying to keep track of our three. I think we only went missing one of them a few times, not bad. (Just a little stressful.) There were just SO MANY KIDS!

The girls were thrilled with their candy haul and thrilled even more that Michele and Daniel spent the evening with us. Michele's costume was so great! She got lots of attention. Some stray kids even tried to "solve the puzzle" - Um... please don't touch. It was so cool to be able to walk down the street with a Rubiks Cube! Thanks Michele & Daniel for coming! We had such fun with you!

I just loved this costume of Galinda the Good I took a quick picture. She looked great from the front too! Her costume was also very popular! =) he he!