Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lots of Updates...

We had our big 8 month follow up clinic yesterday in Duluth. (8 months adjusted age). It went well, but man, it's a LONG day! Hard on the boys. Our appointment was scheduled for 11:30 and we didn't even get checked into a room until 12:30! Unfortunately the boys we so happy and ready to see everyone while we waited for the first hour and then kind of went downhill from there. They did okay though, and we made it through! Best part, as usual is visiting all of our NICU staff friends. I still miss them all!

The stats... Luke is now 15 lbs 3 oz and Max is 16 lbs 12 oz. I can't remember their lengths. I will have to check that and get it up here soon. Overall, they were pleased with the boys' progress. It was nice to hear that the boys are big enough! So nice when you go to a clinic that specializes in preemies and they give you the percentile for height to weight ratio instead of just weight percentiles. Both boys are around the 30th percentile for their height to weight ratio. They might be little, but they are growing steady and they are proportionate at least! The neonatologist reminded me too that the percentile charts are based on formula fed babies and said to remember that breastfed babies are generally smaller, so not to get discouraged. Phew! :)

In other news from the visit, they once again addressed Luke's high tone issues. He is tense, really, an easy way to put it. The therapist gave us some tips and tricks to work with and we will just be patient and see how he does! She was pleased with the boys' other skills as far as fine motor skills and other cognitive things!

As of this week I should also be reporting that Max is working on his forth tooth and his new trick is that he can sit on his own. By that I mean he can get into a sitting position from his tummy, he's been sitting unassisted for a few months. I found him practicing today, as you can see by the picture below. He was crawling around making a mess of my nice folded laundry and then I found him sitting under the coffee table. He thought he was pretty tricky! :)

Their favorite 'new' toy from their cousins' stash!

All ready to head to Johnny's for his big 1st birthday celebration! We had a blast!

We took the boys SWIMMING for the first time tonight! They did great and LOVED the water! Luke did a little better than Max. He had fun splashing everyone!

The boys in their sweet speedos! Luke was not nearly as terrified as he looks here... just anxious to get back IN!

Max with his Aunty Rach...

Happy boys, ready for bed after a swim!

I love being a mom... way more fun than I ever imagined!!! It's almost as if you get to experience life for the first time... all over again! Everything is just that much more exciting through their eyes. I am just thankful daily that God has blessed me with these two perfect little boys. I can't help but think that things could have turned out so much worse... as we were driving in the parking ramp on Tuesday a flood of emotions hit me. It almost felt like I got punched in the stomach. It is hard, bittersweet really to return to the hospital for visits. I feel like I go back to last summer immediately. So many good memories, the feelings of being a mom instantaneously, and the struggles of how things would turn out, but also the anticipation and joy that came with it all. I can't wait to have a summer this year. Feels so strange that I was literally in a hospital last year from the middle of May until the middle of August. Can't wait to enjoy the summer with MY family! All I can say is... the power of prayer and God's provision is amazing. GOOD NIGHT! :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Take Me for a Ride in Your Big Orange Tractor...

Just a bunch of pictures...

Max, modeling the look Grandma Cookie dressed him in. She put his hat on goofy, we ALL thought it was funny?

Rachel and Luke hanging out together, oh, and our soon-to-be buddy, baby Kreyer in there! :)

Took a bunch of pictures of them today. They looked cute, so why not!?

This one cracks me up, looks like I have a couple of mafia babies... old one eye and round-houser! "Eh, ma, whacht you lookin' at, huh!?" YIKES!

I love Luke's little profile here!

Max knows that daddy is about to get him here! Haha!

"Who needs disposables, ma?! Dad got me all fixed up!"

The Boys' first tractor ride, with Grandpa Paul at the cabin!!! They LOVED it, and I think Grandpa had fun too.

Grandpa and Luke

I'm sure those boys can't wait to drive that big tractor! :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April Snow Showers...

... are to be expected. Yes, it is WELL into April and it is still snowing. And last time I checked, we still live in Northern Wisconsin, so yup, I guess I can't expect any different. I usually don't get too upset because I never expect much more than that until about Memorial Day, and even then its iffy! Ha! BUT... I did just check the weather and tomorrow is supposed to be 55 and mostly sunny, so we will be walking!

Aunt Kathy came Monday and Tuesday for a nice visit. Always so fun to have family here and to have an extra hand around. HUGE help, as always... and just fun to catch up!

Oh... new baby stats... Max has a tooth coming in on top. And yes, the whole "teething" thing is a little more noticeable with this tooth than the other two. Poor guy! Max is still working on the whole crawling thing. It is not exactly fluid yet. And Luke, he is still scooting... backwards! :)

"Ah ha ha ah! Dad, you are SO funny!" (for the record, it doesn't take much)

Put together our wagon that we got from Grandma and Grandpa Yoder for Christmas. Maybe we can try it OUTSIDE tomorrow!?

My new favorite of Luke... so, so sweet. And it is just so HIM. He is just a sweetie!

Enjoy SPRING tomorrow... warning... it might change again on Friday :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fun Weekend!

Kasey came home this weekend from college to hang out with me and the boys and help us out... A LOT! We made lots of baby food... 218 oz to be exact. Which I am so happy about. We now have lots of food stocked up for the boys. They are eating so well lately. Two time a day, sometimes three times. Their favorites are squash and sweet potatoes. But, really they do good with just about anything! (even broccoli!)

Kasey and Max... snuggling...

Check out this video... Baby Dominoes. I propped the boys up to take a video and before I knew it... down they went! As a pair! Haha! Too funny!

Grandpa came over on Saturday quick too... and it was a pretty nice visit. He put both boys to sleep for me. Without really even trying! Ha! They just snuggled with him and fell asleep!

And the fun continued... Yesterday I went to a baby shower for a close friend while Caleb and his family watched the boys. Then, Sunday evening Caleb and I took the boys out to the 40 acres we bought this winter to explore. We took them for a hike in their front packs around the trails and had a blast. We then went to a nearby farm to buy some fresh milk and Caleb insisted on taking me on a tour of the farm. He gets a kick out of the fact that I was never around farms, cows, poop as a kid and likes to see me uncomfortable. But... I must say... I did pretty good! And I really enjoyed it! It helps that a friend from high school was working there so I was able to ask her questions. The best part? Max's new favorite sound to make is "oooooOOO!" So, he sounded extremely smart when he was "oooOOOing" at the cows. I would say, "Max, what does a cow say?" And he would say "ooOO!" Baby genius, I tell ya! And Luke, he loved the cows! He is brave like his daddy, and was touching them. :) Overall, a great weekend. So thankful for the blessings of my life. AND... today... a birthday wish for our close friend JOHN! He's ONE!!! Happy Birthday Johnny! We love you and your mommy and daddy and are so thankful for your friendship. Can't wait to celebrate with you and watch you grow up with our boys.

(we need a new picture!)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen...

... we have a crawler! Yes, as of yesterday Max is crawling. Not everywhere or all the time, but he CAN! During physical therapy yesterday, Gwen (the therapist) asked how long he's been crawling for... and I looked at her in amazement and said, "well, for about 30 seconds!" Here come the gates and barriers, galore! :)

In other news, both boys are doing well. The physical therapist is pleased with their progress. Max can also pull himself up and stand on his own, but still needs to support himself with something... chair, couch, etc. Both boys are now saying "da-da-da." But, don't be alarmed, they are not saying dada before mama, they are just babbling! ha! Luke was the first to master that skill last week. Sounds so sweet to hear them "talk." It's almost as if I know what their little voices really sound like now!

Even though both boys are doing well, we still have catching up to do in order to continue to close the gap from their birth date to their due date. Also, Luke's stiffness, due to prematurity, has been a factor lately for his development. He is doing ok, but he does have a harder time coming out of sitting and just trying to reach for things, crawl, etc. I am praying he will overcome this obstacle just like the many others he has already encountered.

Max reading the other day... I heard him talking in the living room while I was in the kitchen and found him completely enthralled by this book!

So sweet!

Teething biscuits. A great distraction, but not sure if they are worth the mess yet?

The boys in sweaters knit by their Great-Grandma Clara. We LOVE them! They are our new spring 'jackets.'

The boys and I are loving this weather! We have been going on lots of walks lately. Had a great walk tonight with my mom. I was able to vent to her my struggle lately with just still adjusting and transitioning into motherhood. It is hard, amazing, rewarding, all-consuming, exhausting, fun, selfless, tiring, and my whole life... all in ONE! And that is the hard part. It is as if the day your child is born you strip away everything you once knew of yourself and you just survive. At least that was how it was for me the first few months. And now, now I am just adjusting to this whole new life. I am loving it, but let me tell you, I have my moments. There are days when I feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off... and my head is spinning around in the dryer... which reminds me... I left clothes in the dryer! The hard thing is feeling as if it never ends. From morning to night, and sometimes through the night. My job NEVER stops.

Anyway, it was good to talk with my mom and have her tell me that she had days like that when she stayed home with my brother and I. Days when she said... "that's it... I am getting a job, I can't do this anymore!" And then hours later she would say, "I could never leave my kids." I am not saying a job is bad, or wrong, just not for me or our situation. I have felt that God has entrusted me with these boys, for a reason. And I feel that I will never have a better opportunity than this to disciple someone to follow Christ. Things of this world will fade away, but the lessons I bestow on my children today will be eternal. Now, as I say that I must wipe the squash/peaches/apple sauce off of my clothes, and shower for the first time in two days. I know, motherhood is all glitz and glamour... let me tell ya, but oh, so worth it all! :)