Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Pictures... are coming!

I have lots of pictures from my family's Christmas to get up... but Grandma Cookie has them all on her computer, so I don't have them yet. G-Cookie (her "cool" grandma name) also got a video camera from Grandpa, so after she got that on Christmas Eve I don't think there were any more pictures taken... just 3,439 minutes of video! haha! (That's what grandparents do... they never took video of their kids so now they are making up for it with their grandkids, I'll forgive them since it's my kids!)

We had a great Christmas with my family last weekend. It was relaxed and overall, just a great time. Good food (steak and king crab legs), lots of baby cuddling, games (GREAT games, mom, ha), and just time together - the best part! I am really excited for Christmas this weekend with Caleb's family. It is kind of nice to spread it out... I love Christmas so I'm happy it's not over. And then I don't feel so guilty about leaving my tree up longer!

My laundry helper... Luke!

Have I mentioned how fun the boys have been lately!? They are so, so, so much fun! They love to be tickled, and rough-housed (by their dad), and they giggle lots now! I just love them... ah! It seems dumb to almost say that, so obvious, but I do... from the heart of my bottom - as Caleb always says!

I will do a post of just pictures soon, of both Christmases! Happy New Year!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

'Twas the morning before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Mommy (not santa) soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of flowing milk danced in their heads...

So nice and peaceful in the house right now. The boys are down for their morning nap and Caleb and I just had some oatmeal and now I have about twenty minutes to do what ever I please, since I already finished the laundry! :)

I've been wanting to take some time to reflect on this past year, but I decided that I would rather reflect on NOW instead of then. I am, in many ways for the first time ever, very content with life. I am usually always striving for or wishing for the next stage... when I was in school, I wanted to be graduated; when we were dating, I wanted to be married; when we were married, I wanted children... but now, I just want to be HERE. I am completely, head-over-heals in LOVE with being a mom. I must say, though, that it came in time. Even when I was pregnant I felt that I was unsure if I was ready for this journey of complete selflessness. However, it is quite the opposite. With selflessness comes much joy. The boys give me immense purpose, happiness and gratification daily. And, more than anything, I think God has done a work in me and has filled me with more peace and joy than I ever imagined. I just love being a mom and a wife, and I am thankful for that feeling!

Ok, enough serious stuff. Wanna laugh??? I have some pictures for you!!! I decided to get creative with the boys' burp clothes...

Photo 1: Biker Dudes

Photo 2: "I don't wanna play this game ma!"

Photo 3: (Back in character with smiles) Two Little Russian Orphans I adopted

And... my favorite....

Photo 4: Mr. Chiquita Banana!

Photo 5: Cha-cha, cha-cha, cha-CHA!

This picture of Luke cracks me up. He was just crying and then stopped quick to smile while I took a picture! :)

The boys' new favorite thing (and Grandma Cookie's) is to stand up and look over the back of the couch. They think they are so big!

Mr. Luke... such a sweet little man, with a great smile and disposition!

SIDE NOTE: You can see in this picture the difference between the appearance in the boys' skulls. Luke's is so much narrower... hence the fusion of the plates.

I LOVE the back view!

Amazing what a little milk in the tummy can do for the mood!

Merry, Merry Christmas! Can't wait to celebrate with our families and... for the first time... our children! :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Follow Up

We just got back from our follow up appointment in Duluth. The boys are seven months old today and at the end of the month they will be four months (adjusted age). The appointment is designed to help assess where our boys are and to make sure that they are doing well. We saw a nutritionist, neonatologist, and an occupational therapist. Overall, the feedback was positive. They were all pleased with the boys' development thus far...

The occupational therapist said that she was pleased with their cognitive skills, was impressed with how social they were, and she gave us a couple quick tips and tricks to help keep them on the track to catching up... meaning hitting goals that a seven month old would or getting closer to developing based on their actual, not adjusted age.

The nutritionist was also pleased. Even though the boys are small, they are adequately proportional... their weights match their lengths well and they are gaining on a steady, consistent growth curve. She was also happy to hear that we were still breastfeeding and she warned us to wait as close to six months (adjusted) to start any solid foods. Mainly, she just reminded us that we, well I, shouldn't be so worried about hitting percentiles and other marks. I need to remember that they were a little over a pound at birth! Makes sense.

The neonatologist, who was one of my favorites from our NICU stay, well I really liked them all, saw the boys today. He was very pleased with their overall growth and development and was very encouraging about me breastfeeding, which feels good to hear. However, he did have to deliver some bad news. Not quite sure how to explain it using correct terms, but basically Luke's skull fused together prematurely in the front of his head (forehead). Praise God that it is not affecting his brain growth, at this point it is just cosmetic. BUT, it will be significant if we elect not to have him have surgery. Plainly... the back of his head will continue to grow and expand and the front will not unless we have surgery to correct it. So please be praying that God gives us wisdom with this decision. We see a neurosurgeon and a plastic surgeon to decide what to do. Other bad news... with the boys having mild colds, he warned us again to keep them away from anyone who has a cold or any other type of sickness this time of year and that we are to wear masks (Caleb and I) if we get sick. It is just so easy to act like they are just fine, almost treat them as if they are full term babies, but it was a good reminder for us, to say the least!!

The best part of the day was seeing all of our old friends on Birthplace and at the NICU! It is amazing that for the time we were there I really feel like we made many strong, lasting bonds! Now... time for some pictures!!! I almost forgot... their weights!!! Luke is now 11 lbs 10 oz and Max is 12 lbs 8 oz.

Aunt Kathy and Sue came to visit!!!!!!

Luke loves his auntie!

Kathy and Santa

Photo shoot after a bath. Why do they always look so cute when they are all clean?!

I came downstairs the other night and Caleb had the boys on their tummies on a blanket with onsies on... and nothing else! So cute! They loved it! :)

Can you tell that Max likes to be naked!?

Boys are both sleeping after a long day and I am going to try to wrap some present quick! :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa Baby

I have a bunch of fun photos I have to get up... but I thought I would just start with a Christmas batch quick, then I will add the others when I have more time.

Max in his Santa suit from Grandma Cookie.


Family Photo!

Grandma and her boys...

(I think the boys are humoring Grandma in this picture... ok, how long until we can take these dumb outfits OFF!)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

All three...

So I have about 15 minutes tops to update here. I just took a few pictures and got this as one of them...

Dad with his boys... new trim was just put up yesterday. Now I have to stain the inside of the window.

Then, about two minutes later...


Which is great. Because now I can update quick. We go in a couple of weeks for our NICU Follow Up Clinic. It is back up in Duluth and we will be meeting with a physical therapist, a nutritionist and one of our neonatologists. I am excited and anxious for the visit. I can't wait to see all of the nurses and others that we fell in love with up there, but I am just hoping that we receive good news on the boys' progress. Either way it will be good to know how they are doing. They will be four months adjusted age when we go up there. Seems crazy!

Hmmm... lots of sleeping Daddy pictures... you can tell that landscaping season is over. The hibernation begins! ahaha! He deserves a little R&R. Caleb works so hard for us!

Cousin Trevon and Max, just chillin'. I promise they were having more fun than it looks!

Morning smiles are the best... nothing better to wake up to than my boys. Honest. If you ever get up on the wrong side of the bed, come on over. We'll cheer ya up!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December, already?!

I can't believe that it is already December! Seems crazy. I am slowly working on decorating the house for Christmas. I just love this time of year!

I had a great bath tonight... as my mom and Caleb gave the boys their bottles before bed... the only real feeding I can sneak out of. It was great! I sat in the tub and ate some chocolate kisses and read my new book... The Preemie Primer. Great read so far. It was written by an OB/GYN that was pregnant with triplets... delivered one at 22 1/2 weeks that died and then carried the other two until 26 weeks. Crazy! So interesting though. It is great to have a resource like that... where she tells her story as a mother and then gives advice and shares information as an MD. I did find out tonight that I should have been taking twice the amount of prenatal vitamins and should have gained more weight during my pregnancy... but who knows if that would have really made a difference. At this point the boys are making strides forward, everyday!

Reading some of the book did bring back so many memories though. I am just dumb-founded most days at the success of our babies' development. It is just amazing. AND I am amazed at the grace God gave me when we were walking through the journey in the hospital. I really believe it was all the prayers offered up on our behalf! It made me also think more about our story and my birth story, which I am planning to get on the blog sometime soon. I never really wrote it out, stage by stage and I want it on the blog to have record of it for their baby book. Soon.

I am anxiously waiting to get to the chapters on 'Preemies at Home' from this new book. That is really the reason why I bought it. There are lots of books out there on premature birth, preemies and hospitalization, but not enough on preemies at HOME! So, the information in this book (I'm hoping) will be helpful. I am so grateful that I can stay home with my boys. I think God really has had his Hand in all of this... because I think it would be hard if I couldn't take the time I know my boys need with me at home, everyday.

Brotherly love... before their bath. Luke sharing his fingers with Max.

Morning smiles :)

Talking to each other

Uncle Jake entertaining the boys while Grandma and Grandpa cook dinner.

Grandpa and Uncle Jake

Oh.. almost forgot! The boys had their six month well child visit on Monday. They are doing great! They are back on the growth chart where the doctor wants them... Luke is now 10 lbs 10 oz and Max is 11 lbs 12 oz. We still have a long, long way to go to catch up, but we are back on track.
Love this picture... Luke is YELLING at Max!

Max... all smiles!