Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Happy, Happy, Birthday, Birthday

Everything in doubles! It's just more fun that way... two cupcakes, two party hats, two little boys to CELEBRATE! I am so happy for the love and joy they both give me and for the milestone we hit... ONE year! Crazy. Everyone says time flies when you have little ones... it is almost unreal! Looking back was just a blur... survival at times! And now... I don't have babies anymore?! They will always be babies in my eyes, because I am NOT ready for another one! :)

On our way to take down our sign that has hung on our front door since the boys came home. It read: DO NOT PASS GO IF, you are sick or think you may be sick. Have come in contact with someone who has been ill in the past week. If you are under the age of 12. Blah, blah, don't forget to wash your hands. SIGNED... 'The Germ Nazi' :)

Luke took it down for us! It doesn't mean that we now can expose our boys to foreign disease, it just means that after a year of (for the most part) good health, we are now ready to move beyond that stage! Hurray!

Getting ready for the party! I did picture boards for each boy. Pictures of the past 12 months.

Birthday Boy (B) Max!

Birthday Boy (A) Luke!

Luke was not doing so well with adjusting to waking up to a room full of people. The poor boy took a nap right before his party, and then wasn't really up for all the commotion!

Ready for their cupcakes!

Blowing out the candles... thanks AGAIN to Aunt Rach for taking all the photos of the party! She did a great job!

Max had no problem DIGGING in!

Luke warmed up to the idea with Daddy's help.

"I'll take another one, Momma!"


It was great... everything! Great memories, from a great first birthday!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Birth DAY story...

Luke Joas

Max David

… and so it continues. After five days of bed rest, five LONG days, the boys were DONE. The preceding week of bed rest brought on much fear, excitement, anxiety and more than anything… an overwhelming sense of the unknown. I was able to remain unbelievably calm, thanks to the prayers sent my way.

It was Friday, May 21st, 2010. Long before the boys were expected… which was August 29th. My doctor, Dr. Carr, came to see me before she headed out for the weekend and said that she was excited to see me Monday, pregnant. I had told her that I had felt a little funny that morning, almost a little nauseous, but we both wrote it off as effects from all the medication I was on to stop my contractions. I was being monitored at least three times a day at this point, so when my morning round of bungees around my belly came I was curious to see what it would read. Sure enough, I was having pretty significant contractions. They immediately upped my dosage of some drug and the contractions stopped again and I felt so good that I took a nap and sent Caleb home so that he could feel free to get some work done.

About an hour later my mom came to spend the afternoon with me and my contractions were back, and this time hardER. I had a feeling it was it when the topic of our conversation switched from what we were going to have for lunch to what are we going to name these babies! My labor was progressing quickly at this point and there was not much that the doctors could do to stop it anymore. I still was convinced that things were going to be ok so I took my time to call Caleb to get him back up to Duluth.

Then the feelings of panic started to set in… an extreme tension fell over the nursing staff in the next hours. I knew the boys were coming for real this time… no stopping them! I frantically tried reaching Caleb, but couldn’t because he was out of service, working. I was quickly wheeled into a labor/delivery room on the other side of the birthing floor. (Funny thing… the birthing rooms have a lake view, but not the post-birth/bedrest rooms?! Really, during birth you are going enjoy the view… NOT!) At this point my labor was really picking up and my back labor was excruciating. Caleb was now on his way, but not soon enough. He had left the house around 5:15 pm and I was just starring… watching the clock. My mom was now my stand in coach. And not by her choice. She did the best she could, but man… it was rough. I wanted a big, burly hand to squeeze during contractions, but instead I had a mother with the most petite hands possible, sweetly kissing me on the forehead… a lot! Ha! My contractions continued to become more intense and I saw new nurses (NICU nurses) bustle in and out of the room preparing for the boys. At this point I was ready for a vaginal labor… and so was the staff. And I was begging, pleading with my nurse to let me lay on my side because my back was KILLING me, but I couldn’t… I had to lay flat on my back, still, so that they could keep monitoring the boys.

I continued to progress and now they decided to wheel me into the delivery/operating room. It is protocol to have twins delivered in an operating room regardless of vaginal vs. c-section… for safety. Thank God! As I was being wheeled down the hall, I looked my dad in the eyes and said… “If you can’t get mom to hold it together, I am going to need YOU in there!” I was so heartbroken that Caleb was still an hour away at this point. I made it into the delivery/operating room where I finally got the burly hand I had been searching for… in a wonderful female nurse that helped me from passing out and kept me lying still as the contractions started to thrash my body. I was watching the clock at this point and I knew that there was no way Caleb was going to make it… They decided to do one last ultrasound before I began to push. The doctor immediately yelled… “Baby B just went transverse! Emergency c-section!!” My mom was kicked out due to me having to go under and having to have emergency surgery. I was lost without her. There were 14 people total assembled to take care of me, Baby A, and Baby B. I took my last glance at the clock around 6:30 pm and at 6:42 pm Baby A was born and at 6:44 pm Baby B was born.

The next thing I remember was waking up in the recovery room with a very sweet male nurse that was trying to talk me out of anesthesia. The first thing out of my mouth… “Are my babies alive?” (I was quite relieved when I found out that I was going to be completely sedated during the birth because I was so scared to deliver still babies. The whole time I was laboring the thought of having babies that would never cry was haunting me.) The nurse went and checked for me and came back with a little slip of paper with the boys’ weights and heights on it. He said that the boys were just fine and ready to meet me. I saw Caleb and some of our family as I was rolled into the hall and right into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I met the boys… we named them Luke Joas (baby a) and Max David (baby b) and our long journey in the NICU began.

I am overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness when I think about all we have witnessed, survived, seen and experienced over the last 365 days with our boys. The journey God has taken us on is not what is “typical” but it has been perfect. My love for my boys wouldn’t be the same and my appreciation for life and the God who gave it to me wouldn’t be comparable if not for the past year.

A letter to my boys…

Dear Luke Joas and Max David,
Today you are a year old. Today marks a huge accomplishment in your and momma and daddy’s lives. A year ago today you came into this world with lots of excitement but also with lots of fear surrounding you. God gave you a strong spirit and you both have fought for every ounce of weight and breath of life. Amazingly enough, despite your start in this world you both are flourishing and already becoming two delightfully, enjoyable, healthy little toddlers. You light the room up with your smiles and giggles and you bring more joy to your momma’s life than you will ever know. You are more important to me than anything else and I promise to do the most I can to raise you the best I can. As Psalm 139:13 says… For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb… I have seen this verse become reality with my own eyes. Long before you ever hit your due date you both possessed many of the same traits you have today… Max with your fervor for life and exuberant personality. And Luke, with your sweet spirit and laidback demeanor. The God who made you, loves you. Never forget that! Happy birthday, sweet boys. Can’t wait to celebrate many, many more!
I love you both.

Friday, May 20, 2011


So tomorrow is the big day... tomorrow marks one year of life for my baby boys. WOW! If I think about it too much I just get all sappy and emotional... so I'm not going to go there yet. Yet! Today, however, we are very excited because Audrey, our NICU buddy, is going to come all the way from Duluth for a visit! It will be so fun to catch up!! Some pictures of lately...

New morning routine... Daddy getting some play time with the boys before he heads out... for a LONG day!

Max loves to look out the window. Well they both do, but he can climb up to see out a little better than Luke at this point.


Watching Aaron mow the lawn. They were fascinated!!

Hands free momma... but a very sore momma after about 10 minutes. OUCH! I made supper like this that night... and then asked Caleb for a shoulder rub!

Tomorrow marks a very HUGE accomplishment in my eyes. A year ago I wouldn't even allow myself to look this far into the future... to be honest is scared me. But wow, God is so good and we have been blessed beyond measure! Thank you Lord for all You've given US! :)

Tomorrow night I will post the 'to be continued' of the birth story!


Monday, May 16, 2011

And so it began...

(Many of you may already know my birth story, but I thought it was time to get it recorded for the boys' baby books... before I forget it all!)

One year ago today it all began. It was May 16th, 2010... a gorgeous summer-like Sunday. It was the day of my baby shower. The day before we had went down to the cities for our friend Brennan's wedding and I was super uncomfortable the whole way down. I rode backwards on the seat, because my back was killing me! I just figured that the boys were moving around and sitting on some nerves. That night I didn't sleep. I couldn't. My back pain persisted and then stomach cramps set in. I really just thought I must have ate something funny (like hot dogs... loved them while I was pregnant). After spending most of the night on the couch so that I wouldn't wake up Caleb I decided we were going to early service... why not? I wasn't sleeping anyway!

We got into church that morning and sat next to Angie and Lonnie. I purposely made Caleb sit between Angie and I because I didn't want Angie to know that I was feeling yucky... since she was throwing my shower later that day! Caleb decided to time my 'pains' during church, because he no longer believed they were just gas... my logical conclusion! At that point they were 5-7 minutes apart, which only confirmed in my head that they were gas! I kept thinking... how in the world could I be 25 weeks and having contractions 5 minutes apart and not know it? Impossible!

After church Caleb took Angie's two boys home with us so that they could hang out together while us girls were at the shower. I decided to just run into the emergency room really quick to get checked out so that I didn't have to be worried at the shower... and I made Caleb stay home, obviously with the boys. I didn't even bring my purse with me! As soon as I walked into the hospital they got me in a room and started monitoring me. The nurse asked... do you feel that? Me... sure, I can feel a little something. Nurse... well, you are having a pretty significant contraction. And before I knew it the doctor came in to check me and I was already 2 cm dilated and 80% effaced. This is when I panicked!

I called Caleb and by time he rushed to the ER I was already on the stretcher, waiting to be wheeled into the ambulance. Caleb rode with and after the LONGEST ride EVER to Duluth... we made it. I was immediately hooked up to several different IV medications... my favorite being the magnesium sulfate (sarcasm) which makes your body feel like it is burning from the inside out... no really, that is a legitimate side effect. The other side effect, it stops labor... which it did. But not for as long as we wanted it to...

So remember the shower? It went on. I didn't run in to the hospital until right before and well, after Angie and Candy received the news it was a little late to call the whole thing off. There was an amazing turnout... nearly 40 ladies! My heart so longs to have been able to enjoy the company of everyone and the food and decorations Angie prepared... but instead I got a few pictures... and the BEST gift of all - prayer. I remember Caleb coming in to my hospital room to let me know that Angie had just called to check on me and said that all the ladies were praying for us... and I knew it, I could feel it. Like really, really feel it. In my situation the best thing to stop labor was to relax, and I was able to.

Some pictures of the amazing ladies that attended the shower. Thank you ALL for coming and staying!

STILL bummed I missed out on this spread! :)

In less than 5 days my babies will be one year old. The story will continue then...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Garage Sales

We survived the weekend... I say survived not because it was a bad weekend... but because it is HARD to be away from our kiddos! I decided that the best part of leaving is coming home! ha! I really did have fun though, and I found some great deals! And more than anything, even if it was hard to be away, it was important for me to get away. My husband did awesome with the boys too (with help), and even had the house clean when I got home.

We spent our time in Lakeville, MN (south of the cities). They had citywide sales Saturday, and get this... over 200! We didn't even make a dent in them, and we were pooped by the end of the day! We found some good kid/baby clothes and way more toys than I needed... Calling Grandma Candy and Grandma Sophie - need toys for your house? :)

And then... after hitting up garage sales all day in the cold and rain... we were able to relax at our hot-stone-massage pedicures. They were a great end to a great day. (not nearly as good as a hug and kiss from my boys when I got home... but don't tell my hubby who bought me the pedicure that!)

Thankful for these girls...

Amber, Dawn, Me, Angie

Tyler's mom, John's mom, Luke & Max's mom, Marshall, Trevon, Sammie, Kaydon's mom! :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

My first Mother's Day was this last weekend! Now for a tour with pictures... :)

Max and Grandpa rough-housing around the camp fire!

Luke kept laughing... he thought Max beating up Grandpa was pretty entertaining!

Daddy making some s'mores!

Grandpa showing Max the hay-wagon he is going to make someday... SOMEday??

I love these chairs my mom got for the boys... so sweet!!

Now jump back to Saturday night... campfire at OUR house... doing our own little pre-Mother's Day celebration!

They LOVE playing together!

Momma throwing Max up... notice our siding... we are getting there! :)

Me and my boys...

notice the lack of siding... I said we're getting there! ha!

Eating Coop's Pizza on the deck... yes, I know there is NO railing, don't look Grandpa!

Max with his infamous bear crawl. Hands down, legs straight!

Thanks for the cute jammies, Aunt Judy! :)

I had a great Mother's Day. We spent time with family, both Caleb's and mine and we had a nice relaxing day. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Next weekend I get to go with two of my best girlfriends and my sister-in-law to the cities to hit up some garage sales! I am super excited, but a little nervous because I have never been away from the boys overnight. I'm sure they will be just fine, I am more worried about Caleb! ha! I'm even extra excited though, because on Saturday after our poor little feet are exhausted from shopping we ALL get to go to a salon and have a fancy stone massage pedicure... thanks to our wonderful husbands as a Mother's Day gift. I am waiting for that... and will be all week long!

The boys have started to get into everything. It has begun! They are both crawling really well and Max pulls himself up on everything and not so gracefully falls and kind of throws a fit. So, hopefully he can learn to improve his dismounts soon, before he ends up with too many more bumps and bruises! AND... my new favorite thing... the boys play together! And really quite well... and even better than that??!! They laugh at each other! It is the sweetest thing you will EVER see! They will be sitting on the ground or in their Johnny-Jump-Ups and will just look at each other and giggle. I can't get over how cute it is! And, unfortunately I haven't gotten anything on video yet... but I hopefully will soon!