Thursday, April 29, 2010

BIRTHDAY PARTY PART 2

What is a birthday party without clowns and face painters?  To my surprise the girls really didn't mind the clowns.  Here are a ton more pictures...

Alexis and Grandma.  Alexis wasn't quite sure at first.

Addison didn't really mind the clown, but it was obvious that she was definitely trying to figure out what the heck was going on!

The clowns that we hired were amazing!

Addison with her Aunt Sandy giving the clown a high five.

Day-Zee the clown doing a hand painting for Aunt Kathy.

Cousin Georgia, sporting a super cute butterfly.

The other set of twins in the family....Amelia & Greta.

Timmy the pirate.

Daniel the pirate.

Grandma gets her face painted too!

Abby rocking a butterfly face painting!

Lauren proudly displaying her butterfly and modeling her lady bug tiara.

Terry "maning" the grill.

Not sure why, but I love this picture of Alexis walking with the help of her Grandma.

Aunt Paula getting some grub.

Robin holding Alexis.  Sherri & Robin's daughter Gabi.  Notice Alexis' outfit...lady bug outfit #2 for the day.

Sherri and Alexis.

Alexis not really enjoying wearing her tiara.

Addison cooperating just long enough for me to get a picture.  By this point the party was pretty much over and they were very tired.

Ok, I promise I will get the cake pictures up soon!!  Trust me.... I've saved the best for last!!!

Birthday Party Part One!!! (of probably 3)

Let me preface this post by saying I have dreamt about planning the perfect birthday party for my girls since the minute we were allowed to bring them home from the hospital.  I imagined, hoped and prayed that my girls would make it to their first birthday.  Back then, we weren't so sure.  Today we have two beautiful and healthy baby girls.  Not only was this a celebration of their first birthday, but a celebration of making it so far.  Terry and I wanted to have a "surviving the first year" party.  In my mind, I would host the perfect party for my girls.

Just like everything else since we decided to start a family, we were thrown a curve ball with the weather.  My dream of having a beautiful day at the park was crushed.  I was devastated.  I wanted every little detail of their party to be perfection.  I spent hours looking for the perfect ladybug plates, napkins, party favors etc.  Yes, I realize that the girls will have no recollection of their first birthday party, but I felt that it was my duty as their Mommy to make sure that everything was flawless.  Mother Nature decided otherwise.

My husband quickly reminded me that I was being petty and stupid.  He reminded me of how far we have come and regardless of the weather and regardless of where we have the party we have a TON to celebrate.

Ok, ok, I know you have all been waiting for the pictures.  Let me just tell you that thanks to our awesome neighbor Trina, I have a ton of pictures to share.  I felt like I spent all day running around like a chicken with its head cut off.  I only took 80 pictures.  Thanks to Trina for taking all of the pictures that I meant to take!! MWWAAAH!!!  Get ready for a picture overload.  This is why I'm breaking this up into two or three parts.  By the way....If you see your picture posted on here and you don't want it to be, please let me know and I will remove it!  I also can email you copies of any pictures if you would like.  Just let me know!

Jynxie decided that she would help supervise the decorating.



Our house became totally infested with lady bugs!!

A big thanks to Aunt Sandy (pictured above) and Aunt Paula for helping us decorate!!  Aunt Sandy is also proudly displaying her lady bug party hat/tiara!


The girls got the chance to meet a lot of their family.  We feel very blessed that a lot of our family traveled from as far as five hours away to help us celebrate.

Above:  I think Addison is asking Auntie Sandy why her high chair is in the front yard.

Above two pics:  What's more fun than playing with your Great Aunt's jewelry?  Addison is exploring her Aunt Anna Marie's necklace. And yes, the girls did have lady bug outfits on as well.  You can attend your own birthday party and not be dressed appropriately right?

The girls also got to meet their Great Grandma Flanigan.  Sadly this is the best picture that I was able to get of them.  Addison left, Alexis right.

 
Alexis and her Great Aunt Theresa.

Addison and her Great Aunt Kathy.

I think the girls were getting tired of taking pictures.  Aunt Kathy left, with Addison and Aunt Theresa right, with Alexis.

The girls and their Ga Ga.  Addison left, Alexis right.

Auntie Gretchen (left) with Alexis & Uncle Adam (right) with Addison.


Above three pictures:  I'm not sure what is going on here, but it looks like Addison and her Aunt Paula are having a pretty good time.

Ok, that's all for now.  I promise I will get to the rest as soon as possible.  Between working, taking care of the munchkins and taking care of Terry since his surgery, I've been pretty busy.  Thank goodness my Mom was able to stay and help us out.  Thanks to everyone for your calls, emails and well wishes for Terry's speedy recovery.  He seems to be doing well.  He's still very sore and is really missing being involved with the girls.  I just have to share a real quick story.  When Terry was wheeled into recovery, the anesthiologist, the surgeon, a nurse and two other random people came in to talk to me.  Everyone asked me, "How many kids do you have?"  I thought that this was rather odd, but apparently during Terry's surgery, Terry was constantly talking about his "little girls".  During the surgery, they would knock Terry and out and then bring him to, so that they could ask him questions regarding the placement of the nerve stimulator.  They said that they did this several times.  Just to make sure that he was coherent, they would ask him a random question and Terry would always respond with something regarding his daughters.  I thought that this was very sweet.  My girls are so lucky to have such an amazing Daddy!  I know his surgery has been hard on all of them.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Party Preview!

Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who made our birthday party so special!!  I will do a complete post in a few days.  I feel like I haven't slept or relaxed in over a week.  I don't have the energy right now to give this post the time that it deserves.  Here is a quick preview of some of the pictures and videos to come.  Terry is having back surgery tomorrow so it may be a few days until I can get to it.  I just wanted to say thank you again to everyone!  I wish I would have had more time to sit around and talk to everyone.  I feel like there are some people I didn't even see.  Thank you so much to everyone!  Hope you enjoy these pictures until I have the time to dedicate to a full birthday posting.

Isn't this cake incredible?  The two little lady bugs on the sides were the smash cakes for the girls.
These pictures are just a tease.  Wait until you see the full on messy face pictures!!
Addison on top & Alexis on bottom

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Steps....

The last week of so, as I put the finishing touches on my girls birthday party, I've been looking back to the past year and reflecting how far we have come.  How we beat the odds when dealing with infertility, how our family survived 12 weeks in the NICU, how my girls have surpased all the statictics for preemie babies (knock on wood) and just generally how my life has been a series of baby steps the past few years. 

I don't remember my parents teaching me how to walk when I was little.  I don't remember taking my first steps, but I never will forget how these past few years have taught me how to "walk" in a different way.

When we struggled to get pregnant, month after month I would see that huge "NOT PREGNANT" light flashing at me on the digital First Response test, I wanted to crawl into a hole.  We wanted nothing more than to have children.  Terry held me hand through every appointment with our fertility specialist.  As we walked through those huge glass double doors, I remember Terry telling me "this is just one step that have to overcome to being parents".  My husband, My rock....he walked me through everything.

When we found out we were having triplets, I will never forget being scared to death!  A close friend told me, "This is obviously the path that God has chosen for you to walk.  HE would never lead you astray."  She told me the same thing when we lost our third baby girl.  Come to think of it....she told me that numerous times during our pregnancy.

When my girls were born and were immediately whisked away from us, I remember thinking that I didn't have one more ounce of energy left.  I wasn't strong enough to deal with this.  Those first few days, I couldn't find enough energy to pull myself out of the hospital bed.  I know I've said this before, but I credit, my Mom for teaching me how to walk again.  She forced me to get out of bed and made me realize that I was a stronger person than I ever thought I could be.  She showed me how to put one foot in front of the other again when I couldn't do it myself.

As I watch my precious Alexis toddle through our living room, and my darling Addison's strong will as she continues to be determined to walk.....I can't help but reminded of my favorite scripture:

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. 
Plans to give you a hope and a future."


God's has a plan for all of us.  Every step, stride, pace has all been a part of the road map that he has for us.  Sometimes we will fall, sometimes we miss a step.  But in the end, He will be right there protecting us.

I'm confident that His plans, and His protection is what allows our family to march,
through this crazy path of life!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rain Rain GO AWAY!!!!!

Ok, so the way it looks now.....we are fairly sure that it's going to rain on our parade this Saturday.  I'm still praying and crossing every part of my body that will cross, in hopes of a beautiful day.  Being the planner that I am, I know that we need to incorporate a "plan B". 

Here is our new plan:  If it is raining at noon on Saturday, the party will be moved to our house.  This is not an ideal situation, but we will make it work.  Since there are a large number of people coming, I just want to try and make everyone aware of our back up plan in case we do get rained out. 

I'm trying to keep a positive attitude and hope for the best.  Ever since the girls were born, we've been thrown curve balls and obstacles to overcome.  This is just another one of the curve balls.  We will roll with the punches and do the best we can.  What doesn't kill us makes us stronger!!  We will enjoy this celebration of life with our closest family and friends regardless of the weather!!

I will be sending out a mass email soon.  This will have directions from the hotel to our house.  If you are planning on coming and know others who are as well, please help me by passing along this information.  We continue to be optimistic and are hoping for a great day, but we also need to be realistic and form a back up just in case.

Monday, April 19, 2010

What I LOVE about Costco.....

DOUBLE CARTS!!!
It's so much easier to shop when you have a shopping cart built for two!!!

Yes, I am slacking in my blogging lately, I know!  I'm working on an update from the girls one year physicals that I hope to have up in the next day or two.  I've been very busy putting the finishing touches on the girls party.  Please pray for beautiful weather this Saturday!  What was I thinking planning an outdoor party at a park?  This is stressing me out!!  Please Please Please let the weather be nice!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

WE MADE IT!

Well, it's official....Terry and I survived the first year!  It seems so surreal to me that I'm writing a blog entry about the first year already!  I'm not going to lie....this past year has been probably the hardest of my entire life.  But on the other hand it has been the best and most rewarding year of my life. 

I'm surprised that this day has been so emotional for me.  I never expected to be dealing with a morning full of the water works!  The day started just like any other...my alarm went off, I hit the snooze.  I laid in bed for a little bit.  I checked my email on my phone and checked my Facebook page. I was surprised that at 6:30 in the morning I already had four emails wishing the girls a Happy Birthday, all of which made me a little teary eyed.  Then onto Facebook.  I was just looking to see what kind of crazy status updates my friends had from the previous night, and I came across my sister's status update......

"It is amazing what can happen in a year!  A day to day fighting battle for life!
Not knowing whether a precious lil baby is going to make it the
next day, hour, minute!
Happy 1st birthday Addison and Alexis!
You two are my little heroes!

BAM!  I couldn't fight back my tears.  I had a full on cry fest!  I hopped in the shower and bawled like I haven't in quite some time.  I heard my phone ring a few times during the ten minutes I was in the shower.  I checked my voicemail and had two more messages wishing the girls a Happy Birthday!  One of those messages was pretty sentimental to me and again...bring on the water works.  It was at that point that I decided today was probably not the best day to go all out with a lot of eye makeup.  Thank goodness for waterproof mascara!  My girls are definitely worth every single tear that I've shed over the past year.

If I could thank each and every person individually that has helped us out along the way, I totally would.  I know that we've had thousands of people praying for us and those prayers have definitely been answered!!!  I remember back to those early days of standing around the NICU.  I'd hover around my girl's isolets just praying for God to watch over them.  Many days when I didn't think I could take much more, we would arrive home and we would receive letters in the mail from churches all over the United States.  People had signed prayer petitions stating that they were praying for our family.  We received letters from Missouri, Illinois, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Maryland and probably a couple more that I'm forgetting.  There were literally people all over the world praying for our two precious girls.  I found peace in knowing that God was watching over our family.  I'm confident that all of those millions of prayers are what allowed us to survive this past year.  God has surely blessed us with two amazing miracles!!

There's nothing like holding two tiny precious babies after many weeks of bed rest.  I am so grateful for my precious angels.  They are two miracles that I never take for granted.  I have loved every second of being their Mommy.  While I may feel robbed of being a normal Mom, I will take the good with the bad.  The 12 weeks in the NICU and the 10 hour days that I would spend there....the every 3 hour 'round the clock feedings X2.....the 12 diaper changes a day, the sleepless nights, it's all been  100% worth it to call myself your Mom.  Addison and Alexis I love you more than life itself and I wouldn't trade my life for anything in the world.  Happy Birthday Babies!  You've come a long way since that early Monday morning on April 13th, 2009.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shop 'til you drop?

Ok, so this may sound a little strange, but it's our life.  The girls will be one year old tomorrow and have not been in a retail store until this weekend.  Honestly, they really have not been anywhere with the exception of relatives houses and the doctors' offices.  Ok, maybe once or twice we've gone out to dinner with them but for the most part we've kept them pretty sheltered.  We've done this for several reasons....(1.) RSV kills!!  I've been told that my obsession with the girls getting RSV is a little out of control, but I'm just trying to make sure nothing happens to my girls.  Preemie baby's lungs do not fully develop until they are 18 months old.  Something as simple as them getting the common cold can turn serious very quickly for a preemie.  YES, our girls will be considered and treated as preemies their entire lives, don't scold me for being protective!  (2.) Imagine how much faster you can get in and out of a grocery store if you don't have to unload two munchkins.  Just for convenience sake, we've always just left the girls at home.  (3.) My obsessive anxiety issues about taking the girls out in public.  I'm always afraid I'm going to be the Mom in the middle of the store trying to console a screaming child or in our case, two screaming children.

This weekend the weather was great and we need to start getting things in order for the girl's party.  I needed Terry's help making some decisions at the store.  I also think Terry was starting to get a little claustrophobic in the walls of our house.  We made the decision that we were going to take the girls shopping with us. 

Once again, my anxiety was all for nothing.  Why can't I just relax already?  Addison definitely has my shop 'til you drop gene and Alexis has my love for people watching.  Addison sat beautifully and kicked her little legs as they dangled from the cart.  She had a blast and as long as I fed her an occasional Gerber Puff she was happy as a clam.  Alexis was very into just looking at everything.  I could see it in her eyes that she was just taking it all in.  She seemed very curious as she glanced around at everything.  Both girls did an amazing job. 

I know that you all think that I'm nuts, but a trip to Wal-Mart with the kiddos was a big step for us.  As the girls get older, I'm starting to feel more comfortable venturing out and doing new things with them.  Yes, I will continue to Lysol wipe down the entire shopping cart before I put them in it, or the swing at the park, but I'm looking forward to more and more adventures with my big girls ( I can't exactly call them babies anymore).
Addison left, chewing on the container of Gerber puffs.  Alexis right, just hanging out, waiting until she can go home and play with the new purple ball.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tears of JOY!!

video


For about the last week, Alexis has been taking little steps here and there....nothing that I would really consider as walking. Tonight she decided that she was going to just up and stand up and then take off. She's taken at most about eight steps. I was able to capture her on camera just once. As soon as she sees me grab the camera she immediately tries to grab for it, so I haven't been too successful at videoing her yet. This was the best that I could do. Everytime I see her walk I get a little teary eyed. I can't help but think back to those days where we were told that our girls might not make it. We are truly blessed and I firmly believe that God is the only reason!

The girls have also loved playing with boxes lately. Some early birthday presents have begun to be delivered to our house. The girls are more excited about playing with the boxes than their actual toys. You can see in the video that Alexis is walking over to the box to play with it.

Here are a couple of pictures of the girls playing with the box.

Alexis in green--Addison in white.

Kind of like Jack in the box, but in this case....Addison in the box.

Alexis in the box.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

I have to say, that this Easter was so much better than last year!  Our two little blessings enjoyed a great day!  Here are a bunch of pictures to prove it!

My little snuggle bunny Addison.  She loved her bunny ears!


Above two pictures:  Alexis felt that the bunny ears made for a better chew toy than they did as a fashion statement.  She did not enjoy the bunny ears at all!

This was the best I could do at getting a picture of the two of them in their bunny ears.

Terry's parents treated us to brunch at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  Here is the four of us after.  I'm holding Alexis and Terry has Addison.

Addison loves her Ga Ga!

A very creepy looking Easter Bunny was also at brunch.  Alexis had a death grip on his whiskers but really didn't seem to mind him much.

Addison also didn't mind the creepy looking bunny.

Addison loving being outside with Cousin Georgia.

After brunch we went back to Terry's parents house for an Easter egg hunt.  Unfortunately, it had rained early this morning so the girls hunted for eggs inside.  Above:  Addison going for an egg.

Addison thought it was fun to bang her eggs on the window.  Yes, we did change their dresses because it was a beautiful day and they were warm in their Easter dresses.

Addison trying to figure out how to get her egg open.

Addison listening to her Pop Pop tell her where more eggs are.

Addison rolling around on the floor with an egg.

Alexis trying to sink her teeth into a jar of baby food that was in one of her large eggs.

Alexis making sure no one takes her egg.

Alexis finding more eggs.  LOVE this picture!

Alexis thinks plastic eggs make fun toys!

Alexis checking out her Easter basket!

And another one of my favorites.....Terry and Alexis.  Terry's not a fan of this picture but I love it!

Hope you all had a great Easter!