Saturday, February 28, 2009

Prayers for Asher

Don't worry, Asher isn't sick, or hurt, or anything. But this morning, when I got up, Nathan had the boys up on the kitchen bar in their bouncers while he was making breakfast. Asher was on the side closest to the hallway, so I walked up to his bouncer and started talking to him. His head was turned towards Nathan in the kitchen and no matter what I said or how loud I talked to him, he wouldn't turn towards me. That got me worried, so we started kind of testing the waters. So far, he has yet to turn towards our voices, startle at any loud noises, be soothed by our voices, or anything. But as soon as he catches sight of us, he's all smiles. So we're fairly worried about his hearing, especially since through all of that, Levi has been responding to everything.

So we need your prayers, big time. We plan on calling the local audiologist on Monday and getting him in for an appointment as soon as possible, since they do infant hearing screening. Both of the boys were screened while still in the NICU before they were released, and both passed, but that doesn't mean something couldn't have changed in the past few months.

We'll keep you posted. We took a day trip to Nampa this afternoon to go spend Nathan's birthday money and give ourselves a distraction from all of this, which was nice. It was fun to have that time in the car to just talk with Nathan and enjoy his company.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Here's Looking at You Kid(s)

I'm a bad mommy. I didn't get around to posting about my beautiful boys yesterday. And why, you might ask, was yesterday significant?

They turned five months old yesterday. (sigh) Five months! They are now less than a month away from being half a year old. I don't think I can handle that.

Yesterday I was looking through pictures of the day they were born and there was one picture in particular that just blew my mind. During my first time visiting them in the NICU, someone (me? my parents?) got a picture of Asher's tiiiiiiiiiiiny hand holding Nathan's pinkie. Another one was a picture of Nathan holding Asher for the first time...I simply can't believe how small Asher's head looked on Nathan's chest, especially compared to how they look now.


And now look at the little buggers!

It does a mommy proud.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Caution: Do Not Read Without Kleenex

The kleenex mentioned is not needed for this post, specifically, but rather for a new blog I've added to my "Other Blogs I Love" list, titled "Love in Abundance". The blog was created by Alyssa and David Henry, who live here in Baker. I went to school with the Henry boys and was ecstatic when I learned that Alyssa and David were due to have twin boys in April, which would mean they would be in the same grade as Levi and Asher. Not long after learning about their twins, however, an ultrasound showed that the identical boys were going through Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome, where one twin gets all the nutrients while the other receives hardly any. I know that's a very simplified explanation and there's a lot more to it, but the heartbreaking result was that the twins needed surgery to reverse the TTTS, which ended up putting Alyssa into labor and they lost the boys, Quintin and Speedy.

While reading their blog, which includes some photos of the hour or so that the boys were alive, I bawled. I clutched Asher to me and bawled. It just hits so close to so easily could have been us. And then I had to look at that reaction. Was it selfish? How can I make Alyssa and David's story about me, about our boys? Does that cheapen what they're going through? Until I realized that, underneath the thought, "it could have been us" was the profound gratefulness. God saw fit to give us two bright, beautiful, perfectly healthy boys. And reading the Henry's story has served as a reminder to not take that for granted. It reminded me to thank God every day for the two amazing blessings that are currently in their bouncers beside me, cooing and smiling at me as I write this. Acknowledging how blessed we are honors the Henry's story.

David and Alyssa, my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are in our hearts and prayers.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For Your Consideration

Tulips, compliments of my mom. No flash used, just really bright kitchen lights and my trusty super micro point and shoot digital.

Wait...those aren't tulips! But they ARE two cute boys! (Asher left, Levi right)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Ahh, Sunday

Can I just tell you how long it's been since I've...we've...had a lazy day. Today was one of those glorious stay in your pj's, get nothing done, take naps type of day. Mmm, yummy.

We got up at 6:30 this morning in order to go to church with my parents, since today was the day that they headed out to Portland in order to spend some time with my grandparents before they fly to Mexico on the 18th. That gave them one more chance to squeeze on the boys for a while before being gone for the next 3 1/2 months. Unfortunately, as a result of my unplanned mid-afternoon nap yesterday, I was unable to get to sleep until around 2 am last night and then Levi decided to start crying at about 4:45. So while Mom and Dad held the boys, Nathan and I attempted to not fall asleep in church.

After church, we indulged in some breakfast from McDonald's, and then both Nathan and I managed to get naps while the boys continued to sleep in their carseats for a little bit. How lucky are we that the boys love their carseats so much? I woke up about the time the boys start waking up to be fed, and then just hung out while Nathan fed the boys, after which I took over baby duty while Nathan made an early dinner of homemade chicken teriyaki. Yum! I got some great photos of the boys sitting in the recliner (those later) and a couple of videos of them smiling and giggling (also later).

During dinner, the boys sat in their bouncers next to the table. It's been so much fun getting to interact with the boys more and more each day, and dinner time tonight was no exception. Every time we looked at them, they would giggle, smile, and wiggle like crazy. It makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. After dinner, Nathan and I each took a boy, plopped ourselves in the comfy chairs, and dozed in and out with the boys snuggled in with us. After that, it was feeding time at the zoo again, while Nathan took another nap (he's on baby duty tonight since I work tomorrow). Now the boys are taking naps in their swings, and Nathan and I are going to partake in some Mario Cart Wii. But!

Levi being a flirt.

Asher smiling.

The boys chillin' on the recliner. Asher left, Levi right.

Levi showing his...gums...again.

And the video!

Hope you enjoyed your Sunday as much as we did!

PS. I forgot to tell you that the boys had a Synagis appointment on Friday and they both weighed in at 11 lbs 1 oz!!! No wonder they feel so stinkin' heavy in their carseats!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Baby Step 1 COMPLETE!

Through a series of fortuitous events (getting paid more than expected, some bills being less than expected), we have officially completed our first Baby Step of our Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover! (Baby Step 1: Create a $1000 Emergency Fund) And we even managed to do it a month sooner than we expected!

Unfortunately, we won't be able to start Baby Step 2 (start Debt Snowball) until the end of March because Nathan's mom bought us tickets to see Wicked in Portland on March 28th (that's not the unfortunate part, that's the exciting part) so we will need to use the money that WAS going into our emergency fund, and WILL be going towards our debt snowball, for gas and food for that trip. But hey, we got the first step done!

Other than that, things have been fairly insane here, for various and sundry reasons. On Monday, we celebrated both of my parents' birthdays by going out to Earth & Vine, the new wine shop that was opened here in town by our friend Mary, and then to Barley's for dinner. My mom's birthday was on the 9th and my dad's is on the 12th. Yes, they're literally only 3 days apart in age. Several of their/our friends showed up and good times were had by all.

Last night was Homebrew Club, where we uncorked a bottle of the Pinot Noir wine that I made and had our first 'public' tasting of it (not counting Nathan, my parents, and I). While it didn't receive exactly rave reviews, everyone did say that it tasted good, which is a far sight better than the vinegar concoction the first bottle tasted like about a year ago. So I was pretty dang excited! The rest of the past four days have been spent running around like chickens with our heads cut off.

But the good news...Nathan's best friend Johnny, and his new wife Laura, are coming to visit us and will be here Saturday through Tuesday! And even better, the house cleaning that my mom gifted me for Christmas begins on Friday, which means that I don't have to clean my house in preparation for guests!!!! All I have to do is tidy a little bit, which is no hardship.

And that, in a nutshell, was our life for the past four days. Exciting, no?

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's Official

Our boys are amazing sleepers. It's been almost a week now, and they have been consistantly sleeping 7-8 hours every night. They usually have their final feed of the night at around 10 or 11 each night, and then they sleep until around 7 am. Yes, we are well aware of how blessed we are. I know I've said this before, but dear GOD, this is blissful!!! Please don't let it change!

Speaking of the boys, I FINALLY got all of the photos of the boys edited (kind of) and uploaded onto our online albums. Sorry it took so long, don't hate me. I also stole a few off of my parents' camera...somehow my mom manages to catch the most hilarious photos of the boys ever. Observe:

Ha ha, hee hee, ho ho. Ahem. That cracks me up every time. Asher's on the left, Levi's on the right. Tee hee. Giggle. Love these boys!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dare I Jinx It?

It's been three (four?) nights in a row now that the boys have slept for six to eight hours non-stop. Bliss, people. Pure bliss. Of course, this means that they're eating every two or three hours during the day, but that is a-ok with us!

I'm just a little worried about what this will mean when I go back to night shift in March...Nathan is going to start going into work for a total of a day and a half during the days that I'm off duty and I'm really not sure what that's going to mean for my ability to get good sleep in. Especially since my parents are taking off for Mexico on the 16th of this month. Eeek.

Let's see...what else has happened since I last posted six (SIX?!) days ago?

Hang out night. On Friday night, Carly and Shem came over for pizza and Guitar Hero. Pizza = $20. Guitar Hero = ...nevermind. Fantabulously fun times with another young couple who understand what it means to have young children and values = PRICELESS! 'Nuff said. Thanks you two!

Babysitter. Great news! We found someone to watch the boys for a few hours on days that I work, so Nathan can get some rest. (We might have to throw a few hours in there for her to relieve me too.) Her name is Jan and we met her for the first time on Sunday, at which time she immediately glommed on to Levi and didn't let him go until she left. We're going to go see her place this evening, since we'll be taking the boys over to her when she babysits them as she also has her mother in law staying with her. The good news is that my parents have known her and her husband for years (they use to be some of my dad's patients) and I've gotten glowing recommendations from other people as well. All wonderful things to put a mommy's mind at ease.

Make-over day. On Saturday, my mom and I were pampered and primped at A'Diva salon, where we had our make-up and hair done before going out for a half-hour photo shoot with my photog friend Carly. We are SOOO happy with our photos...usually I hate (h.a.t.e.) photos of myself, but Carly managed to extract all of the cringe factor out of up close photos of my face. Love that girl! And can I just say how beautiful my momma is? Well, she is. B-e-a-utiful. I believe Carly will be putting some of my photos up on her photo blog today. The link to her blog is under my "Friends Who Blog" links, towards the bottom. Not to be confused with Carly Carlson Photography, her photo website. Although you should go there too...her work is great.

Superbowl. Nevermind. Don't get me started. Dang it, you got me started. Supid Steelers. Stupid Refs. You'd think the Steelers would like to win honestly. Right? Or that maybe the refs would be objective. No? Well phooey. Stupid Steelers.

Young Life. Last night, Nathan loaded up the boys and met me at the clubhouse for Levi and Asher's first (of many) experience with Monday night Young Life. Considering all the loud noises, they did an amazing job and actually fell asleep in our arms by the time we got to the last songs and Mike's talk. They're naturals, I tell you, naturals. Probably didn't hurt that they were exposed to YL insanity from the womb. During the medium speed songs half way through club (remind me someday to outline what a night at Young Life club looks like) I was standing behind the carpet-covered risers we have in the club house and was holding Asher in front of me, facing forward. The little he-man decided he wanted to stand, so I obliged, just barely holding him up under his arms. And then he proceeded to dance. Kid you not. He danced. And then cried when the music was over. Are 4 month (2 month) old babies suppose to be able to do that yet?

Oh, and did I mention that it was a ton of fun to have Nathan at club? 'Cause it was. Not to mention that it was nice to be able to be at club without missing out on spending that time with Nathan. Great compromise!

Budget Planning. I finally got our budget all lined out, and not a moment too soon either, since it's now February. WHAT?! So weird. Anyway, yesterday I call our natural gas provider about their budget pay plan, which entails them looking at your bills for the past year, taking an average of all of those bill totals, and giving you a monthly cost according to that average. With that one phone call, I will be writing out a check for $60 less than I did last month! WOOT! We're currently on Baby Step 1 of the Dave Ramsey Total Money Make Over (create a $1000 emergency fund) and will be able to complete that step in only two months and will then move on to Baby Step 2: Pay Off All Debt Using Debt Snowball. That one will take a little longer (warning: understatement of the century) and will be hard work, but will be SO worth it.

Oh, and did I mention that our pastor's sermon on Sunday was about debt. Well it was. Apropos, no?

Appliance Repair. For the past few months, our fridge has had a curious water leak into the main fridge area, which has resulted in constant puddles on each of the shelves. Which I have had to clean up on a regular basis and has meant wiping things off when we take them out of the fridge lest they drip all over the place. Highly annoying. So yesterday Nathan dissected our refridgerator. He took off the back panel. He took out our ice maker in the freezer. He attacked it all with a hair dryer. And managed to thaw out the mass of ice around and inside of the hose that drained the water from the freezer/fridge into the drip pan at the bottom of the fridge. And now? No water on the shelves of our fridge!!!

Oh, and did I mention that my husband is my hero? Well, he is. Hands down. My hero.

Ok, I think that's about it. As if that weren't enough. Thank God today's my Friday.