Sunday, August 28, 2011

Twice is Nice!

There are many positives and sometimes negatives (enter sad face) to having multiples. One of the wonderful positives is being a part of the BAMOM (Birmingham Area Mom of Multiples). One event that the BAMOM club host twice a year is a ginormous consignment sale. Not everyone in the club sales but those who do pull items, wash, dry, enter, print, tag, hang, pin, load, unload, place items at building, work, work some more, eat, work some more, chat, laugh, vent a little frustration, tear down, grab your stuff and go home! Oh then sleep a ton. It is hard work but we have multiples so we are used to hard work 24 hours a day. Making a little or a lot of money and meeting some new friends along with sharing stories about our births and kids adventures is really amazing and special.
While hanging and sorting some christmas clothes (and cute ones at that) I was chatting with two other moms. We all tend to ask each other these questions and in order...
1. How old are your kids?
2. Girls? Boys? How many of each?
3. How many weeks were you?
The last question tends to lead toward your story. Believe it or not there are more miracle stories than you can believe. It is truly amazing how God creates these tiny double, triple, etc. blessings in our bellies then grows them and helps get them in to the world.
One mother told of her mono twins (which are babies that share the same sack and one cord). How one of her boys didn't have a complete cord and the doctors told her to terminate because it would eventually die. After leaving that physician she went to see the MFM who I had seen as well when carrying the twins. Each week he told her the news and how it wasn't necessarily good but that they would keep keeping on. 37 weeks later the doctor amazingly chose to stop by her room to check on her and they did a ultrasound. One of the babies was in distress and they immediately took them. Now they are wonderful happy healthy boys. A God thing... YA THINK?
As my shift was winding down I was signing out one of AAAAMMAAZZIINNGGG mothers of multiples. She is battling and has been battling cancer for several months now. She has twin boys who are small. She goes back and forth between Birmingham and MD Anderson in Houston. She will be having a transplant soon. She came and worked all weekend like a hero then at 9:30 p.m. at night after working all day had to go home and flush her ports which take 1 hour. Wow! God is providing time, money, and ENERGY for her and her family. Can you imagine having twin boys and having cancer. You are amazing in my eyes.
Another m.o.m. had cancer when her twins were a little over a year old and went through chemo and radiation while managing motherhood.
With all this said the twice as nice sale is not only a way to rid your attic, garage, closet, etc. of items that are collecting dust you also meet wonderful women who truly define what a MOTHER is! Although my dogs were barking I enjoyed every minute.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The wheels on the bus go round and round....

The wheels on the Moran bus starting rolling at around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning heading to Cincinnati, Ohio. The trip started off well. We hit a few tantrum and crying bumps along the road, but in general it was okay. Stopping several times for diaper changes and bottle feedings and then once at a rest area where we threw out a blanket and let all three of our little piggies roam. Since Kentucky has decided to do road construction THROUGH THE ENTIRE STATE it literally took us 5 hours to get through it which is UNEXCEPTABLE! This sort of put everyone over the edge. Finally we saw the cities bright lights and saw our sign for Mason, OH which is about 20 miles outside the city. The Bradley's were ready and waiting to unload, take kids, entertain, and feed! Pot roast and mashed potatoes did the trick for sure.
Bright and early the next morning Jeff, B, and I loaded up and headed to Children's for her MRI. It always brings back memories walking in to a place you used to roam multiple times a day. You see staff that you used to encounter and those you just recognize their face. It is nice to be entering with a healthy baby.
Once back in the radiology we waited a bit for them to get started. The nurse took Blake and paraded her around the nurses station as she showed everyone her many faces and smile. Then we said goodbye and off we went to our standard spot at the patio in the cafeteria. She was given gas then a IV and sedation. The scan took about 2 hours and another 30 minutes in recovery. When the nurse called us back she was holding her giving her a bottle of apple juice. She was in and out but dead weight. The scan went well and then we headed back to the Bradleys.
Blake slept most of the day so we hung out at the Bradley's, played outside in the nice weather, napped, and ate dinner. Oh and lets not forget yummy Raspberry Chip Graeters! On Friday we again headed out to the hospital to meet with her surgeon Dr. Lim. He met us up at the clinic and took us over to the Fetal Care Center where it all began. We made small talk and he seemed genuinely happy to see us. Commenting every so often about how her smile is illuminating and that she is so happy. The nurses and staff at the FCC all came out of their offices to see us. I had not seen them since I was large and in charge. She put on a show for them by clapping, smiling, shouting, and doing her "ta-da" trick. They ate it up.
Dr. Lim showed us her MRI images and explained to us what we were looking at. He said her anus was still a little off but that was expected and that she had minimal scar tissue and everything looked nice. Her spine was wonderfully aligned (our chiropractor would be happy) and all organs looked to be in place. He then did a internal exam. He felt her bone and he said it felt smooth and that he didn't feel anything unusual. Our plan is to continue AFP blood work every three months and then we will head back to Ohio next August for another MRI. This routine will continue until she is 3, then we will re-evaluate. Such a wonderful report and exactly what we wanted to hear!
He said time will only tell about her bowel and bladder control. We will start to potty train her around 2 and see from there. I would like everyone to pray that she will be one of the rare few that are not plagued with these issues. When she is 3 we will meet with a plastic surgeon to examine her and give us a rough idea of when and how plastics will take place. More than likely she will not have any type of surgery until she is 5 or 6. It will be a long process from our understanding. Dr. Lim said he would refer us to a world class surgeon which two of them happen to be at Children's Cincinnati right now. Jeff and I have decided we will go to any length to get her the best butt money can buy-ha!
After a wonderful weekend of fellowship with old and new friends (especially at the celebrating healthy babies social), a little retail therapy, and delicious food we headed back early on Sunday morning. The trip home was much easier due to no road construction. Glad to be back in Alabama but I always miss my Ohio family. Can't wait to see them soon.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Birth Day

It has finally arrived. A much thought about and anticipated day has come without fail. Each child's birthday is a special day. Whether it is the 1st or the 31st. It was the day that they arrived into the world and stated a fresh moment in time. So, obviously with the twins birthday having arrived I am so happy. My babies are growing up. This year has flown by and I'm not sure that I am happy about it (insert sad face). I have enjoyed having babies around again. Their sweet hearts and cuddly little bodies is wonderful. I will miss this stage just as I miss each stage we blow through.
Jeff & I stood in our kitchen this morning while the girls laid in their nap nannies drinking their morning bottle. He reminded me that we had JUST fallen asleep after having a long long night one year ago. The night I went in to labor was extremely long, tiring, and scary. We were placed in a broom closet for one and it was about 100 degrees in there. I was pumped full of medicine that made me feel terrible and then became physicially sick from the pain. Vomitting while pregnant is about as fun as having a splinter. I knew that I was thankful to see the sunrise! Then I fell asleep. I don't remember anything after that until my grandparents arrived which was about 8 hours later. Thank goodness for lack of memory, right. This day one year ago was the most emotionally exhausting day I will more than likely ever experience. Jeff & I would remind ourselves over and over again just to think of the future and how we would look back one year later. I have never been more confused of my emotions at any moment than the moment the doctors told me they were beginning to cut. It was a feeling of terror+peace+relief.
Standing there with Jeff I stared at Blake in amazement. When you think back to the day she was born, knowing she was lifeless and broken, knowing she probably wasn't going to live one day past her birthday, dreading the 1 year mark if she hadn't made it, it truly is a miracle to see her even smile. More less crawl, stand, laugh, and play. They were so tiny and fragile. Looking at their 20 some odd pound chunky bodies now it is hard to imagine a once so tiny body that your fingers could wrap around their legs and your hand stretched almost the length of their body.
I am so glad that I am singing happy birthday to a set of twins this year instead of only one and visiting the others grave marker. The Lord provided our family with a blessing two times over. He knew that we needed a deeper understanding of the value life, love, and true friendship from others. Instead of him teaching us a lesson he blessed us. Looking over it now, one year later, it is so obvious to see. Funny how that works,huh.
I want to thank each of you for your kindness and prayers over this last year. I know some of you and don't know some of you but you all are precious friends in my book. Our family is blessed! Happy Birthday to my girls Blake & Palmer. You are little miracles.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Grace's Kitchen

As I posted earlier in the year, Grace's Kitchen is a food mission organization here in Birmingham. The founders are members at Hunter Street where I attend church. Every week on Thursday morning bright and early, volunteers to to a nearby local park and feed the homeless who gather while also sharing the gospel. For the summer months instead of the usual turkey sand. we have been making yummy trail mix!

This is my week to make my share! I so enjoy doing it and it gives me a sense of pride knowing my efforts make a difference to someone. As a stay at home mom of three it is very hard to get out into the community as much as I would like too to assist others, so this is a great way. Plus the trail mix is super yum and I always have left overs that I tend to munch and munch and munch on until whoops its all gone. If you buy all generic ingredients from Walmart it will make 30 bags filled with about 1 cup each for around $20.00! That will feed 30 people.

I am posting the recipe below for everyone. For those of you in the Birmingham and surrounding areas who ever feel led to make granola or turkey sand. for Grace's Kitchen please feel free to contact me and I can put you in touch with the right lady.

Honey Trail Mix

6 cups corn chex (half box)

1 1/2 cups roasted salted almonds (half of a 16 oz. bag)

1 1/2 cups cocktail peanuts (half of a 16 oz. container)

1 6 oz. package dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups golden raisins (half of a 15 oz. bag)

3 cups tiny twist pretzels (half of 16 oz. bag)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

3/4 cup honey

16+ zip top sandwich baggies

**This amount of ingredients makes 15 bags**

1. Combine all dry ingredients

2. Melt butter

3. Combine melted butter and honey together

4. Mix honey/butter mixture with dry ingredients

5. spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet

6. Bake at 300 for 30 minutes

7. Place on wax paper to cool for about 2 hours.

8. Scoop 1 cup into baggies.