Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sesame Street Live...

Last Sunday (March 24th, 2013) We took the girls to see Sesame Street Live--Elmo makes music at the Murat Old National Theatre.  The girls were so in love and had a great time!

I made the mistake of telling them weeks in advance that I got the tickets.  At least ten times a day for the two weeks prior, they would ask me how long until we could see Elmo.

The day of, they were so fired up!  Surprisingly, we pulled right up to the Murat and found a metered parking spot right in front of the theatre.  This worked in our favor, especially after the show was over and it was snowing something fierce!

The girls had a fantastic time....minus the 90 minute drive home due to the snow!

Waiting for Elmo...not sure if she is more excited about the show or her box of popcorn??

Not the best photo, but the only one I have of the three of them.

Alexis seriously didn't sit down the entire show.  She was up dancing around.  Here is a small video:

Friday, March 29, 2013

Easter Egg Hunt....

This past Saturday (Marchl 23rd)  we attended my in-laws subdivision Easter Egg hunt.  Luckily the weather was halfway decent but the threat of blizzard warnings was looming for the next day.

We prepped the girls to be looking for the "golden eggs".  There were 20 golden eggs, each of which would get you a special prize.  There was also a limit of  twenty eggs per child.

We were fortunate enough to find two golden eggs fairly quickly.  Once the girls had collected their twenty eggs we decided to take a seat and check out their loot.  Alexis was so excited that she got a little plastic ring.  This made Addison mad.  She was upset because she didn't get one.  Thankfully their was a lady next to us with a boy who didn't want his ring.  She gave Addison her sons ring and saved me from listening to her complain the remainder of the day.

The girls took their golden eggs over to the prize table.  Alexis picked out a princess tea party set.  Addison picked out a playdough waffle maker. (Which is pretty neat, I have to admit) 

After getting their prizes we decide to just walk around for a little bit since it was relatively nice outside.  While walking around, I managed to find another golden egg!   The rules stipulated only one golden egg per child.  We decided to give our third golden egg to the lady and the boy who helped mitigate our plastic ring dilemma. 

Here are a few pictures:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter Eggs...

The evening after we visited the Easter Bunny we decided to go ahead and dye our eggs.  The girls were really excited about this although I'm not sure they really understood what we were about to do.

Alexis insisted that they put on their aprons which in hindsight was a great idea!

Here they are helping me prep all the colors. 

They were so intense while coloring the eggs, being so careful not to break them.

And here are the finished eggs.  We have (had now) a lot of eggs that have "A's" on them. 

And again to my surprise, the girls love eating the hard boiled eggs.  Last year I couldn't get them to touch them, now they are asking for them as a snack.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Easter Bunny 2013....

A little over a week ago (on Saturday, March 16th, 2013) we took the girls to the mall to see the Easter Bunny.  They were pretty excited to see him.  While prepping the girls that we were going to see the Bunny, Alexis kept telling me that bunnies are not supposed to be inside and that they are supposed to be in the woods.  She was concerned as to why a bunny would be indoors.

Alexis was slightly apprehensive at first, but she warmed up to him after a couple of minutes.  Surprisingly, Addison went right up to him and started talking. 

Impossible to get them both to look at the camera and smile at the same time!!

Getting their suckers!

I love this picture!  Even though you can only see their backs, I remember the intense looks of their faces while talking to him.

Alexis kept checking him out in great depth. 

After leaving the bunny, Alexis told me that she was sure that this was not the "real" Easter bunny.  I asked her what made her think that.  She told me that it was a man in a costume because she could see his eyes.  I love that she tries to analyze everything but I also hate that she is questioning things this early!!

And here is my $18 picture.  In order to be allowed to take my own photos I had to purchase one of theirs.  Kind of a dumb rule but I understand they have to make money too!!

Several times after we left Alexis asked me how the Easter Bunny got to the mall.  She knows Santa drives a sleigh and she wanted to know what mode of transportation the Bunny uses.  My response when she asked how the Bunny got to the mall.....I said he hops!  For now, that was a sufficient answer. 

She was also very concerned about the Bunny's need for glasses.  Terry said "maybe he has cataracts".  Alexis responded with "what's a cadillac"?  I intervened and said that maybe he is just tired....reminding them that Mommy wears her glasses when she is tired instead of wearing her contacts.  Once again, for now that answer was sufficient.

Addison really couldn't of cared less about seeing the bunny.  She was more excited about the free sucker.

Stay tuned all week for several more Easter themed posts!!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I'm going to apologize in advance if this posting is a little all over the place.  I have some thoughts in my head that I want to document.  I also just need to get them out, as means of therapy for myself.

I have spent the last several weeks doing a lot of worrying.  I've been stressing over things beyond my control and things that I can not change.

Many of you know that over the past several years our family income went from being over $120k+ to slightly less than half of that.  I feel fortunate to have a good job, while so many are out of work.  Even still, we still struggle to manage with all the bills each month.  The price of everything has gone up while my paycheck doesn't change.  I'm working a full-time job and two part time (work from home) jobs on the side to help make ends meet.  We still have well over $12k in outstanding medical bills from the girls NICU stay. (Keep in mind those original balances were well over $50k) Thus, adding to my stress level.

Also, Addison has recently started to develop some early mild signs of autism.  As any good parent would, you worry about your child, their future and how these things will affect them.  I will share more late once we have these concerns professionally assessed but I've spent a lot of time and have lost a lot of sleep trying to figure out how to deal with these issues.  I only want the best for my baby girl! 

I was sharing some of my dilemmas with a friend the other evening.  Sometimes you just need someone to bring you back down to earth and put things into perspective.  After talking with her I realized I was in need of a serious attitude adjustment.

  • “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.  Matthew 6:25-27

Her words were just the smack in the face to realize how fortunate I really am.  Not that I take one second of my children's life's for granted.....but sometimes it's just so easy to get off track!  It's definitely easier to have a crappy attitude than to choose to look at the positive in everything and everyone.

I've quickly realized that there are some people who come into your life for specific reasons, and there are definitely people you chose to avoid for obvious reasons.  No, I will never get over my girls being born prematurely!!!  That is not something you just "get over".  It becomes who you are and will always be a part of your life.  And shame on you to the person/people who have told me I need to "get over it".  You know who you are and yes this is directed at you.  I will not let you get me down and I will not spend one more second of my life worrying about you. 

I choose to live my life with each day to the fullest.  I am very fortunate to have two beautiful, healthy girls.  I'm very fortunate to have a huge support system that will pick me up when I fall.  I've spent too much time worrying and not enough time realizing how great my life really is.

Thank you to my girlfriend for making me wake up and see the light.  Thank you to all of those who continue to support us unconditionally.  Thank you to the teachers who guide my children and treat them like they are their own.  Thank you to my sister in law who keeps my children clothed.  I could continue on and on thanking numerous people for all their blessings on our lives.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.....It's about learning to dance in the rain!!  I'm a pretty crappy dancer, and I've had some pretty heavy thunderstorms lately.... but I've got two little ladies who make me look good.  They smile and laugh when Mommy dances and that is all that matters!!!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

My little Leprechauns!!!

Top 'of the morning to ya!!!

Thank goodness for digital cameras and cell phones that don't require I pay for photo developing!  I took 14 pictures of the girls this morning.  Sadly, these were the best.

Today we are decked out in our green to celebrate the day!  The girls are even sporting green fingernails!!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

First Play Date....

Today the girls had their first official play date that wasn't with one of their cousins or a family member.  The girls were so excited to go to Josie's house!!  Josie is in their class at school.  I have been briefly conversing with Josie's mom on Facebook about scheduling a play date for several months now.  She offered to host the first one at her house.  Terry dropped the girls off this morning.  Thankfully Josie's mom was able to sense my apprehension about their first play date and sent me several pictures of the girls playing together.  From the looks of the photos....all three of them had a great time!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Braver than Batman.....MY VERSION!

I recently read a blog posting from a fellow preemie Mommy entitled Braver than Batman. (You can read it Here....)  It inspired me to write my own version in honor of Parents of Preemies Day (March 10th).


The first thing the doctor said to us when each child was born was “SHE'S ALIVE!” not the typical "IT'S A GIRL OR IT'S A BOY" that most parents hear.

The first time I got to touch each of my girls they were three days old.  The nurses cautioned us to be very gentle.  We shouldn't rub them.  We shouldn't caress their tiny bodies.  When we pulled away we needed to be very slow and delicate, as not to rip their skin.

The first time I physically held my children in my arms they were 10 days old.  I held them on my bare chest and their tiny little bodies barely covered the palms of my hands.  I cried tears of joy but also tears of guilt, blaming myself for not being able to carry these tiny babies full term.

The first time I got to dress my girls they were 27 days old.  American Girl Doll clothes were too big for them. 

The first time I saw my girls beautiful faces without any tubes, wires, IV's, NG tubes or OG tubes they were nearly two months old. 

As a first time mom, I didn’t have anything to compare these experiences to. It was normal for us.
But… it’s not normal!!!. We’ve had to do things that other people can’t even imagine. Being a preemie parent gives you super powers. You are braver than Batman: you learn to push on in the darkest times. You are tougher than Superman: you learn to say “Well, I think she will recover" or "We continue to be cautiously optimistic” when a doctor says “This might be the end.”  or "your daughter will probably never be able use the left side of her body.""

You are more adaptable than you can ever fathom: you learn to hold your baby in a nest of wires, and ventilator tubes, and IVs.

You are a preemie parent; you are a superhero: you learn to hold your baby so you don’t rip their skin!!  You learn millions of medical terms no parent should ever need to know!  You hear medical machines beeping and chiming in your sleep.  Hearing the microwave beep off freaks you out for months after bringing your children home.  You know how many cc's make an ounce.  You can translate your child's weigh from grams.  You get really angry when you hear a pregnant woman complaining about wanting to have their child at 28 weeks or 30 weeks.....knowing that you would of given your own life to be able to carry your child full term.  You are on a first name basis with your pediatrician.  You still talk to several of your NICU nurses on a regular basis....they are like family members!

I could go on and on.  But I will stop there....

Most days I don't actually feel like a super hero.  But any parent who has gone through what we have definitely deserves super hero status!!!!  In my eyes, my kiddos are the super heros... they have overcome so much!!!!!  Not one day goes by where I don't thank God for blessing my life with these miracles.  Not one day goes by where I don't continue to feel guilty for not being able to carry them full term.  Addison and Alexis are the super heros....not me!!

March 10, 2013 is Parents of Preemies Day. It’s “a national day of awareness recognizing the courage and commitment it takes to stay strong and resilient when premature birth turns a family’s world upside down. Each year, 13 million babies are born prematurely across the globe to parents who never expected their birth stories would be so challenging. Though medical breakthroughs continue to improve outcomes for preemies, experts are only now beginning to understand the intense psychological effects that premature birth has on moms and dads.”