Sunday, November 13, 2011

Training My Daredevils

The day after the boys started crawling, I bought a baby gate to put in the hallway that leads from the living room to the kitchen. I was trying to cook and was a nervous wreck because they kept getting under foot. I kept picturing myself knocking the pot of boiling grease off the stove right onto them. Very few things really freak me out even as a mom, but them being in the kitchen while I cooked really freaked me out. But I took care of that problem:)

Now, I knew that once they started walking and pulling up on things that the baby gate would become a new challenge for them. Well, today was the day. They both decided to see how far up they could each get. Titus made it the farthest. He made it all the way to the top and was hanging halfway over before I realized what he was doing. Now, I have to add not climbing the baby gate and staying out of the kitchen to the list of things that we're training them not to do.

Sometimes I feel as if I'm referring to dogs when I say that I'm training them. But that's what I'm doing, and there's no other way to say it. They're beginning to learn that life is about actions and consequences, whether they're good or bad actions. If they climb the baby gate (a bad action), there will be a consequence to follow, one they won't like. However, if they listen and obey (a good action), there will be a different kind of consequence, one they will like. If I don't train them now, they'll find it harder to understand life. They'll have to learn everything the hard way: that a hot stove is a bad idea and that cleaning chemicals can be deadly.

Friday, November 11, 2011

If My Head Weren't Attached!

If my head weren't attached, I think I'd forget where I put it. I can't remember anything lately. When the boys are awake, I don't have time to remember to do things; and when they're napping, I'm too tired to remember to do things other than laundry and dishes. So, blogging has once again taken a back seat to life. Which means, I have some catching up to do:)

The boys 15 month well check up was last week. Peter weighed 20 pounds, 14 ounces and was 30.5 inches tall. Titus weighed 23 pounds, 14 ounces and was 31 inches tall. The 3 pound difference sure feels like more!! Peter's finally gaining weight which is good, but he also hit a growth spurt. His toes started poking out of his 12 month sleepers last week; so, I had to buy new sleepers. He kind of looked like Red Skelton's "Freddy the Freeloader" character (if you know who he is) with his toesies sticking out:)

They're "running" now and tackling each other. Actually, it's more Titus tackling Peter and laughing hysterically while Peter fusses. Then, they roll around of the floor for a while. It's exciting seeing their imaginations develop. Sticks have now become wonderful outside toys with endless possibilities, and dirt has now become their best friend. Fortunately, they haven't discovered how to put anything in their pockets yet; so, the laundry is safe for a little while longer:)

They also recognize people now and have their favorite's at church. Peter absolutely loves Breauna and Dani at church, and Titus's favorite person is Aunt Karissa. There are two exceptions for them though; if Pa or Uncle Stephen come in the room, they both switch places.

I think that covers everything, but I'll definitely be blogging more often again. Here's an updated picture too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kidnapping Worries

I've been a lazy blogger for a few weeks now. It's definitely time to get back on the old horse:)

One of my worst fears has been for someone to break into the boys's room at night. Then, I read about Lisa Irwin's disappearance (I'm praying for her safe return); and now, I am really fearful of someone breaking into their room. At night, I keep the baby monitor turned up, and I hear every little sound. So, my night's sleep has been restless to say the least. I have even woke Dan up a couple of times to check on noises which is totally out of character for me.

Last Friday, my kidnapping paranoia hit an all time high, for a very good reason. I went out of town to a Ladies Retreat at Bill Rice Ranch (it was awesome!!); and since Dan works all day, my brother Stephen volunteered to watch the boys during the day. He was brave enough to take them out by himself because he was bored sitting at home all day. Well, Friday, he had gone to Peachtree Mall to look for a birthday present. The unloading and loading process is always time consuming since neither boy can buckle himself in yet. During the loading process at the mall, he took Titus out of the stroller and walked around the van to put him in his seat which left Peter in the stroller on the other side of the van. He walked back around to get Peter, and a woman was bent over trying to get Peter out of the stroller. Of course, he hollered at her and reached for his gun (but he didn't pull it out). She told him that she thought the baby was abandoned. Now, she had to have noticed that both sliding doors were open and the hatch was open. Obviously, someone else was there. Stephen made a small scene, and she walked away. The incident did cause people around him to notice what was going on, and they said he should have laid her out cold. I told him that in that instance the man not hitting a woman principle does not apply. Stephen is now kicking himself for not doing more; in fact, the more he thinks about it, the sicker to his stomach he gets. But at the time, he just wanted her to get away from Peter. Needless to say, I'm on high alert making sure the boys are by my side or someone else's side that I trust. Stephen has learned a valuable lesson too. I think he might have been worried about me hurting him:) Don't worry, I still trust him with the boys! He loves them too much to let something happen, and he knows now to never leave the stroller on the other side of the van. As for the woman, I hope she's not successful if she tries something like that again. And if we're out and Stephen recognizes her, IT'S ON!!!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Silly Boys!!

I have two very crazy and goofy sons. Life is never dull and is the farthest away from boring that you can get, which is why I'm still up at 1:00 am. My youngest son just will not go to sleep. He's not crying, just talking. I've done everything I can: milk, playing, rocking, etc. Now, I'm just giving him time to see if he'll finally fall asleep this time. While waiting, I dumped all the pictures from my camera, and I couldn't help but chuckle as I remembered what was happening when those pictures were taken.

Last week, I gave the boys their sippy cups of water and went into the other room to finish something. I heard them maniacally laughing. If anyone has more than one child, especially of the same age, you know that you need to check when you hear that laugh. I walked in the room, and Titus was spitting his water all over himself, the floor, and Peter. He would take a big gulp of water and, then, spew it EVERYWHERE! Of course, I cracked up. How do you get onto them when you're laughing hysterically? You can't; so, I just took the cups away. Well, the cups had come right out of the fridge when I gave them to the boys not five minutes before the spitting began. So, not only were they soaked, but they were freezing. Titus was waddling behind me hoping I would change his clothes soon. I did let him stay in them a few minutes to hopefully keep him from doing it again. But, don't worry, it didn't work:)

Soaking wet Titus:)
Then, last week, when I was at Mom and Dad's, Dad came out to the van to tell the boys, "Hey!" He opened the door and asked what was on Peter's mouth. I looked back there, and he had been eating his shoe!! He didn't just chew on it; there were actual chunks missing from the flip flop and were being chewed in his mouth. I have no idea what possessed him to eat his shoe, but now, I have to remove his flip flops while he's in the car seat.

I've also decided that I have absolutely no idea how they sleep and don't wake up with back pains. I went to check on the boys before I went to bed a couple of nights ago. I always check on them and find them in super funny positions, but that night was definitely the strangest I've seen Peter sleep. He fell asleep on his side with both legs hanging out of the side of the crib and through the same slat. He had to have gotten into that position while awake and then fell asleep that way. There is no way that I could have fallen asleep, but he did.

Yeah, my boys are silly but ever so adorable!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Titus's Update

YAY!!! Titus's doctor's visit went well:) His chin bump is just a hematoma. It'll take a couple of weeks for it to clear up completely. I just have to put warm compresses on his chin during nap time and bed time. I'm going to have a lot of fun keeping that on his chin:) He uses the entire crib while he's sleeping. I just hope by the time he gets married that his sleep has settled down some.

Also, his congestion and cough came back; so, since we were already going to the doctor for the chin, it worked out for his congestion. And (I know is going to sound bad) he was actually running a fever while we there:) Which means, they actually were able to help his congestion and prescribe something for him. Normally, I would make a doctor's appointment; and by the time of the appointment, he wouldn't be running a fever anymore. Then, I feel awkward taking my fever free child to the doctor. Hopefully, this new medicine will clear him up completely and quickly.

Same Birthday - Different Personality

Tomorrow, I get to make another doctor's visit run with Titus. He fell in the bathtub on Saturday and hit his chin. I checked him but didn't see anything. Monday, I felt something under his chin; he has something protruding from his chin that feels like bone. It's not breaking through the skin and is leaving a red spot where it's been rubbing. Fortunately, it doesn't hurt for me to touch it, but it does hurt when he falls and hits it. I watched it Tuesday just to see if it would go down (high hopes), but it hasn't. So, I called the doctor today, and they told me to bring him in Thursday for them to check it out.

I promise Titus does all these things to himself without any help:) He knows no fear and is like a bull in a china shop. Tonight, he wanted to be where Peter was sitting. What did he do? He climbed on top of him and pushed him out of the way. He just goes for things. I have a feeling that he's going to be a "go getter" in life. I just hope that he's a "go getter" with fewer hospital trips. Not long ago, he got a thank you card from Columbus Regional!! A thank you card from the hospital!! If he gets a Christmas card, I think I'm going to cry. My brother has spent so much there that he receives Christmas cards from them:)

Peter, on the other hand, has not had doctor's visits except for well check-ups. He's a little more timid and thinks things out before he does them. You can see the wheels turning in his head as he's watching. He's going to be my thinker. It takes him longer to learn to do things than it does Titus, but he usually does them better than Titus once he starts. It took him longer to learn to roll over than it did Titus; but once he got going, he would roll from one side of the room to the other.

Sometimes, it's hard not to compare the two, even at just 13 months. But, just because they're the same age doesn't mean that they are the same. I catch myself wondering what's wrong with Peter because Titus has already done it weeks ago or what's wrong with Titus because Peter's never sick or hurt. They are two very different boys that will excel at their own pace. More than likely, Titus is going to make things happen for himself; but in the process, he's going to make a lot of mistakes from rushing into things too soon. On the other hand, Peter is probably not going to make as many mistakes as Titus because he sits back and thinks about things, but he's going to have more missed opportunities than Titus because of him thinking things through too much. It amazes me how different my boys are. It reminds me of how great God is. Even when He gives you 2 at a time, He gives them each their own personality and special skills. Yes, they may be twins and share a birthday, but God made them wonderfully different:)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

"Gone With the Wind"

So, the boys have effectively learned how to take their own diapers off no matter what happens to be inside them. The days of letting them run around in just their diapers are "gone with the wind." I use to take their clothes off, put them in their beds, and then get their clothes out of the closet. In less than 30 seconds, both boys can have their diapers off and out of the crib on the floor. Fortunately, they haven't played with the poopy ones:) Peter took one of his poopy diapers off today and brought it to me which is a good thing for me. However, once the diaper comes off and the cold air hits, you never know what will happen!

Saturday night, I was bouncing the ball on the hardwood floor next to the front door. They think it's hilarious, and we were having a good ole time. I looked over, and Titus's diaper was laying on the floor. Somehow, he had managed to un-velcro his diaper and wiggle it out the leg hole of his romper. Just as I noticed it, he started relieving himself. As I hollered for Daniel, both boys lock eyes and think, "Let's splash in the puddle!" Dan arrived with the paper towels and cleaner just in time to see both boys splashing in urine as I'm trying to pull both of them away from it without getting the carpet wet. AHHHH!!!! Needless to say, bath time got bumped up an hour, and our entry way was spotless soon afterward.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twins the 1st Few Months

Once I found out that I was going to have twins, I began reading everything about multiples and asking everyone with multiples as many questions as they would answer. To my chagrin, I read and heard a lot of horror stories. Very few articles and even fewer people had stories of the good times. I was terrified and contemplated how to keep them inside longer. Once they came, the first few weeks were difficult; but once we established a routine, it's been pretty much smooth sailing. Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of bumps in the road, but nothing compares to the stories I was told. So, here's my attempt to help women who just found out they are having twins.

1. Remember it will get easier. I guess, it's really not a step, but something to remember as you read through the rest of the steps. The first few weeks feel as if they will never end, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not the train barreling towards you:)

2. Be organized. If you aren't a naturally organized person, ask someone to help you get organized. It's during the times of total chaos that the world seems to be falling down on you. You need to be able to get your hands on whatever you need quickly, and having to hunt for what you need only makes you more frazzled. This was easy for me because I am a very organized person, usually:)

3. Color code as much as you can. For me, each boy had a different pacifier strap color, and I was a stickler for making sure the right pacifier was on the right baby. The first thing that I wanted to accomplish was that each boy had his individual things. I want them to be considered individuals and not one entity. The second thing that I wanted to accomplish was a way to tell who was who. For the first couple of months at church, everyone would look for the pacifier strap to remember who was who. Peter had the blue pacifier strap, and Titus had the orange one. I also color coded their sippy cups and baby blankets.

4. Label as much as you can. Since many times one baby is bigger than the other(s), labeling comes in very handy. Gallon size zip-loc bags are the easiest to label things in the diaper bag. If they are in different size diapers, put the different sizes in the bags and label them with the correct name. Also do this with extra clothes in the diaper bag. This saves you time and the person who may be helping. You won't have to sort through a big mess in the diaper bag to find what you're looking for.

5. Remember size difference affects everything. I didn't think about the size difference until I went to put them in their car seats for the second time. The first time was no big deal because we had to adjust the straps to fit them. Then, I went to put them in their car seats the second time and had to guess which one was adjusted for Peter and which was one was for Titus. After that fiasco, I attached a monkey rattle to Titus's car seat and a zebra rattle to Peter's car seat. This was also another way people remembered who was Peter and who was Titus. Also, many people have a tendency to throw away the hangers that baby clothes come on. Don't! This is a quick way to make sure that you are picking up the correct size. Ever since the boys were around three months old, Titus has been wearing clothes a size or two bigger than Peter. Since I kept the clothes on the hangers they came on, I'm able to pick out the sizes better.

6. Let people help. If they offer, let them help. Of course, there will be those times that you'll have to ask, and most will be more than willing to come help. The first few months are when you will need the most help. My mom came over around 9:00 am, a friend relieved her after lunch, and my husband got home around 5:30 pm. I wasn't by myself very much the first few months. Some people even came over just to clean and bring dinner. Now, I like my house cleaned a certain way with certain products used, but I had to allow them to help in their own way. Which means that I had to allow them to clean their way and not stand over them and make them do it my way.

7. Don't let yourself be trapped. If you feel trapped, your twins will feel it too. Go somewhere; do something, even if it's just a quick trip to Wal-mart. Of course, going places is easier with an extra pair of hands, but I can go places by myself with the boys and come out unscathed. The trick is to feed them right before you leave the house. Full babies are happy babies! I was talking to a cashier at Wal-mart a couple of months ago, and she said that she didn't go out with her twins by herself until they were two years old. Don't let yourself be trapped by your twins. They aren't trapping you; they're adding spice and adventure to what was a rather dull life. Take them out by yourself and see what happens, just be prepared for all the questions from inquisitive minds.

By no means, have I been totally stress free and made no mistakes over this past year, but I have done a lot of trial and error that I can help you avoid. Raising twins is definitely a lot of work; but if they're your first like me, you don't know how hard you really have it:) And check back regularly for more tips on raising twins.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mobility Breeds Accidents

I feel as though it's been forever since I've written. Now that the boys are fully mobile, it seems as if my days fly by without me even realizing it. In the midst of saying no and pulling the boys off of things, I have forgotten so many things; and unfortunately, blogging met the same fate. I have resolved though to get my time back. They get 95% of my awake time; I think I can take a few moments for myself:)

As I mentioned earlier, the boys are FULLY MOBILE!! Walking is now their second preferred mode of transportation; being carried by mom is still their preferred mode. Although, I do make them walk as much as possible now because they are getting too heavy, and I can't just carry one at a time:)

Of course, increased mobility breeds increased boo-boos. Last week, I got Peter out of the van and put him on the sidewalk so that I could go get Titus out of his seat. I glanced back and noticed him trying to step off the curb. I told him, "No!" and he stopped. As soon as I turned my back to finish getting Titus out, I heard a thud. Peter listened but, then, decided to do his own thing once I turned my back. He tried to step off the curb on his own but, instead, landed nose first on the pavement. Needless to say, crying and bleeding followed shortly thereafter. I got them both inside and cleaned up Peter. I put a bandaid on his nose knowing it wouldn't be on there long, but I wanted it to keep the blood from getting on me. And true to form, Peter yanked the bandaid off but soon decided he wanted it back on his nose. With the bandaid in his fist, he started punching himself in the face trying to get the bandaid to stick back on his nose, and he then looked up at me with a face that said, "Why won't this stay?" Don't worry....I laughed at my son:)

Later that night, I didn't laugh and actually felt really sorry for him. I laid Peter on his back and gave him his sippy cup of milk like I do every night. Peter reached for it but didn't have a strong grip on it. It slipped through his hands and landed completely on his already tender nose. Normally, Peter just starts crying; Titus is the one that usually has to be dramatic about crying and suck in air for thirty seconds before finally letting out a scream. However, this night, Peter sucked air in for thirty seconds and finally let out a blood curdling scream. Don't worry...I didn't laugh:) I picked him up and held while he cried it out. I know it had to hurt. Of course, if I'd have hit my head like he did earlier in the day, I would have had a headache all day long. So, I guess he did pretty good.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thinking in the Quiet

I was just noticing the time stamp on all of my blogs. They all end in a.m. but come before 5:00 a.m. It's just so quiet and peaceful around the house at this time. No one needs me for anything! I can sit here and contemplate. Sometimes it's good, and sometime it's bad.

Last night, I was once again up late cause I couldn't sleep, and I started reading people's updated blogs. I read other blogs in order to be better at blogging, and I ran across a blog started by a mom who lost her four month old daughter to SIDS. Needless to say, I was in tears. I've been praying for this mom all day because I cannot even begin to know what she's going through, but I have a wonderful, loving Heavenly Father that does. No amount of words on my part can comfort her, but I have been praying that she can come to know the peace that only comes from the Lord. I don't know whether she is a Christian or not, but I do know that God can bring her to Him through this situation. Please pray with me for Kellie. Maddie died six months ago; however, it seems like just yesterday for Kellie.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


For those of you who frequent my blog, you may have noticed a stamp of approval in the right column. Yes, I have been approved by the Twin Multiples Club. I submitted my blog about two weeks ago and recently received their stamp of approval. Yay!! Someone approves:) It's a small step for my writing, but it has made me excited to keep writing.

The Twin Multiples Club is a "free international resource for families with twins and multiples." They compile pregnancy support, preemie support, multiples bloggers, multiples merchandise, and much more concerning multiples. Raising multiples is definitely hard work, but they try to help parents of multiples find the advice and support that they need.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still Awake!

So, I've decided that being, in southern terms, "plumb tuckered out" at the end of the day makes for funny stories. I was beat last night and could not wait to jump into bed. However, an hour after being laid down, Titus still wasn't asleep. He wasn't screaming; so, I was just letting him work it out on his own. About 10:30, I finally decided to see what could possibly be the reason for his sudden desire to go stay awake at bedtime because we never have a problem with bedtime. I slowly cracked the door to their room expecting to see him staring at me. Instead, he was in the corner of his bed burying his head into his blanket with his little rump up in the air. And, right then, I realized why he was not sleeping. The poor boy was trying to bury his head in his blanket because he wanted to go to sleep, but his "plumb tuckered out" mommy had forgotten to turn the overhead light off as she was walking out the door! Of course, Peter can fall asleep at the drop of the hat; so, he was already passed out, sprawled out on his stomach, and completely engrossed in his dreams. Titus, on the other hand, was trying to go to sleep, but I kept him awake. Oops!! I turned off the light and shut door. About five minutes later, Titus joined his brother and dreamt the night away:) Unfortunately, it was another hour and a half before I was able to join them in dreamland.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

One Year Fun!!

Well, we made it through one year check ups and shots. Or, I guess I should say that I made it through one year check ups and shots. This was the first doctor's visit that I took both boys by myself and I was wore out by the time I got home. You should have seen the sympathy looks:) But don't worry, it wasn't any shorter of a wait for the doctor even though they could hear the cries of frustration from the boys. They didn't appreciate having to stay in the stroller, but they are just WAY too heavy for me carry into the building with a diaper bag and sippy cups. Shots came, and tears flowed, but they were both real troopers. I was very proud of my boys.

My little Peter weighed in at 19 pounds and 4 ounces and measured 29 1/2 inches long. He's in the 6th percentile for weight and the 35th percentile for height. The poor boy is too tall for pants that fit him in the waist; he wears six month pants in the waist and nine month pants in the legs. So, if I get them to fit the waist, he's flooding; but if I get them to fit the legs, they fall off him. A couple of days ago, I put a three month onesie on him to see if it still fit, and it did! He may be the oldest, but he's far from being the biggest. While we're out, I get asked all the time who's the oldest as they're pointing to Titus; and then, they don't believe me because Peter is so much smaller than Titus. Of course, I bite my sarcastic tongue and politely reassure them that I know who the oldest is:)

My brute Titus weighed in at 23 pounds even and measured 30 inches long. He's average for weight and above average for height. I promise he's not eating all of Peter's food. Peter has learned to fight back and won't let him touch his food or toys, and Titus doesn't appreciate it:) Titus's clothing problem is completely opposite of Peter's clothing problem. If I get pants to fit his waist, they're too long; but if I get them to fit the legs, they're too tight. He's shaped like his uncle with a long torso and short legs. Thank you Uncle Stephen!

They're birthday party went well too! We just had Pa, Grandma, Aunt Lee-Ann, and Aunt Karissa over. I contemplated having a bigger party, but I decided to save the money and spend more on a birthday party when they're old enough to remember it. We had their favorite food, pizza, and cake, and, of course, presents! I did splurge on the cake and ordered a Phineas and Ferb cake from Publix. They also gave us two baby cakes for them to smash. Peter loved his baby cake, but Titus didn't enjoy eating it with his hands. He liked it better once we gave him a spoon. In retrospect, I should have just cut him off a piece. The baby cakes were kinda big for them, and I think he was just overwhelmed with all the cake:)

They woke up from their nap and found presents!

Phineas and Ferb - "It's 104 days of summer vacation..."

Titus with his spoon:)

Peter pigging out!

It's been kinda smooth sailing around here lately; so, I should have known that something was going to happen soon. Tonight, I'm washing dishes and suddenly hear my husband yell, "Oh no!! Gross, gross, gross! You gotta be kidding me! Stephanie!!" I walk around the kitchen counter into the living room, and there it is. Peter had gotten his diaper off which is really easy for him to do since even diapers don't fit him well. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that he pooped after he got the diaper off! I didn't see anything in the diaper; so, I'm assuming that the poop on the floor had to have come after the diaper was off. Now, if he had just pooped on the carpet, it would have been a relatively easy clean up; but no, he then had to walk through it on his way to the couch to sit with Daddy. Which means that I had to clean up poopy foot prints embedded in the carpet. You know, I was thinking the other day that I didn't have a poop on the floor or in the crib story like everyone else did. I was actually patting myself on the back because I thought surely my kids are already out of that stage. Boy, was I wrong!! Of course, Dan offered to bathe them because you know he's not going to clean poop out of the carpet. I will say that I came out drier than he did:) We definitely made up for our lack of disasters!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Attention Hog!

Since he took his first breath of fresh air, Titus reigned as King of Drama. Accidentally scratching him with your fingernail is equivalent to cutting off a finger. It never crossed my mind that he could reach a whole new level of drama. Now, his status shows both Drama King and Attention Hog.

This past Friday and Saturday, Mom, Karissa, the boys, and I went up to my Grandma's house. It had been a while since she and Aunt Kim had seen the boys; so, I wanted them to catch up with the boys. (Last time they had seen the boys, they were barely crawling.) While we were there, we ate dinner upstairs with everyone at my Aunt's. Well, Aunt Kim has a hard flooring throughout her living areas which makes for slippery surfaces for new walkers. Peter fell and hit his head really hard on the floor. Of course, since Great-Grandma Fields, Grandma, and Aunt Kim were there, everyone rushed to his side. I picked him up and patted his bottom while everyone else tried to comfort him too.

As soon as Titus crawled down from the couch, I saw it in his eyes. Peter was getting all the attention, and that just could not happen while Titus was around. He looked around, got down on his hands and knees, and lowered his head to about an inch from the ground. He turned his face towards everyone and then...tap...just barely a tap of the head. He began to cry as he crawled into my lap and tried to push Peter off as he laid his head on my shoulder. Now, he wasn't really hurt because he was smart enough to only tap his head on the floor; he only wanted the attention, not the pain:) Talk about a rolling on the floor laughing moment! I could not believe what I had just witnessed! It was a deliberate attempt to fool me into believing he was hurt. My, my, my!

People often say that babies don't know what they're doing. However, Titus is proof that they do have thinking skills beyond what we beyond what we give them credit. It makes me wonder how many times has he already pulled the wool over my eyes. This serves as a reminder to never underestimate your children. Deceitfulness isn't taught; it just comes naturally.

What he didn't realize is that I would have held him without the fake tears:)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Boys!!

Exactly a year ago, we went from a family of two to a family of four. I cannot believe that it has already been an entire year since they took their first breath of fresh air. It really just seems like yesterday.

Monday, July 26, 2010, I went in for a routine prenatal check-up. My enormous belly itched so badly that I scratched even in my sleep (what little sleep I was able to get). Dr. Simpson took one look at my red, itchy belly and said, "You're ready to deliver, aren't you?" "ABSOLUTELY!!" was my quick, excited answer. He said that Pupp's Syndrome caused the itchy, scaly skin, and there were two ways to cure it: steroids or delivery. At thirty-five and a half weeks, I was going to meet my boys that I had only seen in grainy ultrasound pictures.

We got to the hospital at 6:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 27. Anticipation and my OCD self only allowed me a couple of hours of sleep the previous night, and the lack of sleep was quite evident on Daniel. For those of you who know me, I had to make sure everything was washed, dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed before I could leave for the hospital. There was no way that I was coming home to a disaster. The lack of sleep hadn't kicked in for me yet. To be perfectly honest, fear and anxiousness had their nasty grip on me. Ever since I found out I was pregnant with twins, everyone had to tell me their horror stories. Moms of singletons even told me their horror stories of not getting showers everyday with only one child. They said, "How are you going to handle two at one time!" This horrified me because I have to have at least two showers a day. I can't function with less than two. I did try one day to only take one shower, and it was like I was going through withdrawals; I was fidgety and nervous and had to take a shower during my lunch break. They also told me about how my house would never be the same. From here on out, it would be a disaster. This scared me because I can't function in chaos. So, in my mind, I was going to be an unshowered wreck that can't function. All of this was running through my mind as I waited to be taken back for my c-section which also caused plenty of worrying.

At 9:00 a.m., the nurse came and took me back to get the prep work done. The funniest part of day happened during the prep work. She gave me some medicine to drink that would keep me from getting nauseous once the spinal was administered. Well, there is only one flavor that I can't stand to taste or smell. In fact, it has made me throw-up on occasion: GRAPE. And you guessed it, the medicine was grape flavored. So, I started gagging on the anti-nausea medicine:) Kind of ironic, huh? Daniel thought it was hilarious; of course, he wasn't the one gagging.

They wheeled me into the O.R. at 9:15 a.m. The spinal was administered, and things progressed rather fast after the spinal. Daniel was able to join me, and Dr. Simpson began his work. At 9:29 a.m., they pulled Peter O'Neal Slavy out. He didn't cry at first. While it seemed like forever to me, it was really only about five minutes or less before he started wailing. At 9:30 a.m., Titus Alexander Slavy took his first breath of fresh air and screamed for the first time (and hasn't stopped much). It was so cute when they first started crying because they sounded puppies. (For the first couple of months, their cries were so quiet and squeaky that they sound kind of like puppies. The cute only lasted about a week or so; after that, it was still puppy like but more annoying at 3:00 a.m.) They brought them over for me to see then whisked them away. Because they were four and a half weeks premature, extra care was given to make sure everything was functioning properly.

Once I was out of recovery, Peter was brought to the room. They told me that Titus needed to be monitored a little longer, but Peter checked out perfect. Peter seemed so tiny at five pounds, eleven ounces and eighteen inches long. His ten skinny fingers and ten very long, skinny toes were perfection. I instantly fell in love with this beautiful baby.

Holding Peter for the 1st time
What I didn't know is that Dr. MacLeod, their pediatrician, was concerned about Titus. He contemplated for a little bit about sending him to the NICU at Medical Center but gave him some time to see if his breathing would even out without intervention. Now, I was so out of it because of the lack of sleep and medicine that I don't think I could have comprehended what was happening. Daniel made sure Titus was being taken care of and that I was kept calm and able to recoup. He proved himself to be a wonderful daddy and husband. He definitely was my rock and comfort! Around mid-morning, Daniel announced that Titus, praise the Lord, began to breathe evenly on his own, and Dr. MacLeod gave the word that he was to stay at Doctor's Hospital. However, he had to stay in the nursery for the rest of the day to be monitored just in case things changed.

I held Peter all day, but I still wanted to see Titus. No sleeping would happen that night until I saw my Titus. Nothing was going to keep from seeing him in the nursery and holding his tiny little hand. I knew he was six pounds, five ounces and nineteen and a quarter inches long, but I hadn't been able to count his fingers and toes. I amazed the nurses and climbed out of bed and into a wheelchair on my own the day of my c-section. Everyone was shocked because theoretically I was supposed to stay in bed till Wednesday a.m., at least. But never, ever, ever underestimate the power of a mother!! At 9:30 p.m., I was able to hold Titus's hand and count his ten fingers and ten toes. It was once again love at first sight.
Seeing Titus for the 1st time
Much has changed since then. Peter is eighteen pounds, and Titus is a whopping twenty-two pounds. They're beginning to walk and express themselves, but my love for them remains stedfast. Each morning, I walk into their room and am greeted by two smiling faces. God has certainly blessed! Even though Titus has unfortunately been to the emergency room twice, it's been pretty much smooth sailing. God gave me a wonderful husband who through it all has remained my rock. I could not have remained sane at times if it were not for him. God also gave me wonderful parents. My mom has helped even when she didn't feel like it. It's not always easy for her to do what she wants, but she has many times helped me remain sane too. Without the support of them and an awesome church family, raising my twin sons would be much more difficult. As someone recently stated, "They're the church's babies!

Titus on the left
Peter on the right

And last, but not least, "Happy Birthday to Peter and Titus!!" Mommy loves you very much and can't imagine life without you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Time Flies!!

It's hard to believe that a week from today the boys will be 1 year old. Can you believe it? I was told and read over and over again that because they were preemies they would more than likely be behind. We were told to expect to see milestones reached around their "corrected age." So, since they were five weeks early, we should expect them to be about a month behind other babies their age. Well, so far, that has not been the case for my beautiful boys. In fact, Titus took his first steps Tuesday (July 19); and Peter took his first steps Wednesday (July 20). This is very much within the timeline for their actual ages. It's hard to believe that this time last year I was worried about when they would come out because I knew they would be preemies. I was overwhelmingly worried that they would be behind other babies their age; but God, once again, proved that there is no need to worry, no matter the outcome. Well, this one is short, sweet, and to the point. I just wanted to brag on my boys:)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Goodness of the Lord

If it weren't for the ups and downs of life, God's wonderful grace and goodness would never be seen. We would have no need for God's goodness if life were always perfect. Oh, how we would miss many blessings if we never had to depend on God during the tough times of life! How small God would seem if we never experienced Him during these rough times of life! I often hear people say something like this, "God has blessed me because I have good health and healthy children, etc." However, I believe that I am more significantly blessed during the chaos of life. I get to see God's mighty hand mold the life that is before me.

This week, I experienced another rough patch of life. I found out that my baby is in the presence of his (or her) Creator. He is experiencing what I have spent my entire life reading about. Yes, it has been a sad week, but I do take joy in knowing that the only thing this baby will ever know is the perfection of Heaven. He will never have to experience this old, sinful world in which we live. Praise the Lord!!

I also take comfort in knowing that I will see him again. I was more emotional before I learned the final outcome of my doctor's visit Thursday morning. Some have asked if I have grieved over the loss because I haven't cried much. I feel like King David felt in 2 Samuel 12. He fasted, prayed, and wept over his sick child. Once he learned that the child had passed away, he cleaned himself up, put on clean clothes, worshipped the Lord, and ate something. His servants were amazed at the change in him because they thought that he would be worse after he learned of the death. King David explained it this way in 2 Samuel 12:22-23: "And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me." Praise the Lord!! Because of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and my acknowledgement of His free gift of salvation, I will see my baby for the 1st time. And as my dad so eloquently stated when speaking about his own children in Heaven, "I can say that I have perfect angels in Heaven." I'm sure that he has already met his great-grandparents in Heaven. I know Pete, Pa, & Grandmother are already telling him all about his mom and grandparents. He's also meeting his aunts and/or uncles that I never knew. And, one day, we'll all be together in the presence of our almighty, gracious Lord and Saviour.

I feel blessed to know that God has chosen me to show His goodness through. I feel blessed to know that I have seen His grace once again. I have seen His goodness once again. I have felt His loving arms once again! Praise the Lord that He has counted me worthy to suffer loss! But to not only suffer loss, but to also know his grace and goodness!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

New Adventures!

Dan's grandfather passed away several days ago, and we went to Virginia for the funeral. It was my first time visiting Virginia, but it was also my first time meeting his dad's family. It's always a nerve-wracking time meeting extended family members for the first time. Even though we've been married for four years, I felt like we were courting again. You know what I want to make a good impression and feel accepted. So, basically, I had the girlfriend jitters again. But don't worry, it all went well, and I didn't embarrass myself (at least I don't think so). Of course, the boys help make good impressions; they tend to get most of the attention:)

This morning, the boys woke up in wonderful moods, and Grandpa was finally able to get on the floor and play with them for the first time. The last time he saw them, they were still too small to be much fun with him. I came out of the bedroom after finally getting myself ready and saw toys scattered all the over the living room floor. Right in the middle on the mess, Grandpa, Titus, and Peter sat in their own little world. Grandpa tried extremely hard this morning to teach Titus to say ball. And to my surprise, he has almost gotten ball down. Although, it sounds more like bah than ball, but he's getting there. Now, Grandpa can always say that he was the one to teach Titus how to say ball.

We went to the mall this afternoon, and boy, was it not much fun at the end. Dan and Grandpa were in the arcade while I took the boys outside and sat on a bench in the mall with the boys. You know things are going down hill quickly when passing shoppers offer assistance with sympathetic faces. I thought it would be a good idea to let them get out of the stroller and stand next to it. However, I didn't take into account that they move quickly now. They kind of look like human cockroaches. They scurry faster as you bend down to pick them up kind of how a cockroach scurries when you bend down to kill it. So, I wound up chasing them down in the hall of the mall. I was reaching my breaking point quickly, and the boys passed their breaking point many minutes before me. I really didn't want to bother Dan because he was having fun playing games with his dad, but he looked out and saw my frazzled self struggling to keep the boys happy. Needless to say, we left the mall. When we got home, they took the first nap they've taken in two days. Fortunately for me, Titus slept an hour, and Peter slept almost two hours. Thank goodness!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Long Day!!

What a day! What a day! I decided to make Father's Day dinner today for Dad since revival starts Sunday, and it would just be a frustrating time to cook. I had all of his favorite foods: fried pork chops, green beans with bacon, creamed corn, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, and turtle cake. Never did I realize how this afternoon would go down hill quickly.

Karissa came over to help me finish things up because with twins it's hard to get things done when they're not napping. For some reason, they like to be right next to me (not that I would trade it for anything in the world). As she walked out of the kitchen with their juice cups, I hear her ask, "What's that?" As I looked over the kitchen counter, my blood began to boil, and I could feel my blood pressure rising. Belle (my husband's stupid dog) decided that the kitchen floor was the place to do #2 instead of outside where she had been not that long ago. Now, the part of the kitchen floor where she decided to go was right next to the gate; and of course, guess who was holding onto the gate at the time? You're right...Peter and Titus.

I didn't immediately see anything on their hands; but upon further inspection, there it was. Peter had poo on his face and hands. I got it off Peter while Karissa cleaned up the dog mess; and then, she gave Peter a bath while I cleaned the carpet. While she was bathing him, she had another exciting surprise. Peter decided it was his turn to poo:) So, she had to clean out the bath water and finish bathing him.

Now, during this entire process, Titus was screaming in his bed because he was alone and Peter was getting all of the attention. So, I picked up Titus and handed him to Karissa to play. That's when she discovered it. He had poo on his shirt underneath his bib. Great! Another bath! Karissa gave him a bath too because I needed to finish dinner. Fortunately, all Titus did in the water was splash some.

Dinner wound up being about 40 minutes late, but it tasted great if I do say! And Karissa now knows why I'm exhausted at the end of the day. She has also begged for forgiveness for praying that we would have another set of twins:) Tonight, she realized how much work they truly are. Many times, I've told her that there's only one reason people joke about us having another set of twins: they don't have twins! She completely understands now:) I'm so blessed to have them, but I also think one set of twins is plenty.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pat on my Back!

One of the most dreaded parts of motherhood is always the weekly grocery run. You're always afraid that you're going to be "that mother." You know the one I'm talking about; she's the one that can't keep her children from disrupting everyone around her. Her children run around her knocking over everything and everyone in sight. They can be heard as soon as they walk through doors even though you're in the back right corner. As these children's screams pierce through your eardrum, you think, "I wish she let me have them for five minutes. I could straighten them out." If you're like me, you're always afraid that even though your children are normally even tempered, today will be the day that it all changes.

Well, yesterday was my dreaded weekly grocery run. The boys woke up from their nap, and I quickly feed them their lunch. I made sure to be ready to go before I fed them so that I would be able to leave right after I finished feeding them. They are always much more pleasant on full stomachs. But then again, what man isn't more pleasant on a full stomach? I pulled into Publix parking lot and began unloading the boys, praying for a good trip the entire time. I weaved through the door pulling a buggy and pushing the stroller while feeling the pity smiles as I passed other shoppers. The boys smiled and babbled to the pharmacist while we were waiting in the pharmacy line. So far, so good:)

As I began walking down the cereal aisle, I heard an older lady mumbling under her breath about someone having too many children. Then, I saw them. It was "that mother" and her children. Her children almost knocked the older lady off her feet. I followed the older lady down the next aisle as she mumbled about not having children if you can't make them mind. As I reach the halfway point of my shopping, I heard it. There was another "that mother" in the store. Her child was screaming and wouldn't be calmed. I smiled at my boys and said a prayer of thanks. It was about now when I started feeling like a supermom. People around me began telling me how good my boys were. One mom had 14 month twin girls that she left at home with their dad. She told me that she could never bring them out by herself. Others began telling me that I was obviously doing a good job. Yet another lady asked me what my secret was for keeping the smiles on their faces. I told her, "Feed them before you bring them out."

By the end of the grocery run, I was patting myself on the back. While I was patting myself on the back, I remembered the prayers that I had offered up before I began my grocery run. Not only did God answer my prayer about not being "that mother," but He also gave me some much needed encouragement. God answered my prayer with more than I asked. It's these seemingly small gestures that remind me that God will help me through this pregnancy while raising my two sons. He's also going to help me raise our new addition whether it is one or two (we find out tomorrow).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Society's Definition of a Mom

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about society's definition of a good mom. As a first time mom, I received many questions about my plans before, during, and after the birth of my twins. Many good intentioned people offered plenty of advice and scary stories. Most of their advice was based upon their definition of a good mommy. I had advice from how to shower to how to deliver to how to properly to feed to how to make sure they slept well. My first lesson learned was how to let unnecessary information go in one ear and out the other. Hot topic number one was always...drum roll please...breast feeding. I had no desire to breast feed. Now, don't get me wrong; I have no problems with other women breast feeding. I just never saw myself as breast feeding. Well, everyone seemed to find ammunition to fire at me. I understand the advantages of breast feeding, but I also understand the advantages of bottle feeding. Do I really want to breast feed when I know that I'll feel frustration and aggravation for "having" to breast feed? Well, I gave in and tried to breast feed. Finally, my husband said to stop stressing out about it and just pump which brought about another source of contention because I wasn't bonding with my sons properly. Why did certain people feel it was necessary to stress me out even more? It's my decision, and I'm sticking with it. Just because I see things differently than you does not mean that I'm wrong and your right. Don't harass me because I made a decision differently than your decision. I also made the decision to have a c-section. This was yet another source of contention. However, I had several moms of twins tell me to consider it for the health of the babies. One of these moms has a child with cerebral palsy because of lack of oxygen from the long delivery process. Yet, singleton moms felt the need to offer their opinions, and they still offer their opinions. I just recently discussed with a mom that the cord was wrapped around Peter's abdomen twice and Titus's neck four times. Every time I think about it, I still praise the Lord that He helped me make the best decision which ultimately either saved them from permanent physical disabilities at best or death at worst. This mom then proceeded to tell me that she would still have tried to deliver them naturally. Really? Are you still trying to tell me I made the wrong decision? Society has made it hard for mom's to be mom's. Society has put rules in place as to what the perfect mom is; and if you stray from this mold, you're a horrible mom. I have two healthy sons with no disabilities because of the choices I made before they were born. Society had nothing to do with the birth of my children. The Lord helped me make the right choices then and now. If I tried to keep up with society, I would go crazy. So, don't judge me because I made different decisions than you. I praise the Lord that your children were born healthy through a natural delivery. I praise the Lord that you were able to breast feed. I praise the Lord that you did not have to face the problems that I did while I was pregnant with multiples. In return, please praise the Lord for me and my healthy children and realize that your definition of the perfect mom may be different than mine. Now that I'm pregnant again, I know that many more questions are sure to come. But, I already know that the Lord will help me make the best decision for myself and my baby/babies:)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Teething & Questions

Yesterday was definitely a day that will live in infamy. Peter and Titus were both cutting teeth on the same day. Can you imagine what it's like with two very cranky babies? They were so cranky that after I put them down for a nap, I sat down and did absolutely nothing: no laundry, no dishes, no ironing, NOTHING. It's days like yesterday when I sometimes wonder what it would be like if there were only one of them. It's not usually like that, but I just wanted to pull my hair out. Then, I remembered that there would be only one voice saying Mama, only one set of arms for hugs, only one set of eyes staring at the door waiting for me to pick him up, only one precious little boy. I never want to give that up. It makes the six months of sickness & two months of bed rest well worth it.

Today was Wal-mart day. Let me just say that I'm already tired of questions, and my boys aren't even asking any yet. It took me an hour and a half to buy $35 worth of odds and ends. An hour and a half! Do you realize that was only four halfway filled bags?!?! There were no diaper breaks, and I didn't have to search for anything. It was having to answer all the questions. My brother, Stephen, hates going to Wal-mart with me anymore because of all the questions. Yes, I realize I have twins and that comes with the territory, but some of the questions are down right personal and unnecessary. I've been asked if they're twins, are they fraternal, are they boys or girls or boy/girl, did I have a c-section, do I have my hands full, and many more. I have had men ask their fair share personal questions too. I've been told about their sister's nephew's daughter's mother-in-law that had twins, and I've been told all about their twins that passed away (they told me those stories even before Peter and Titus were born, not a good idea to scare a woman pregnant with multiples). Today, someone told me that Titus looked like a girl, but Peter looked like a boy. Now, they're wearing similar outfits: one is blue and yellow stripes and the other is orange and white stripes. Really?! I had already told her that they were both boys, but she had to insert her opinion. I almost bit through my sarcastic tongue trying to stay quiet. Meanwhile, she's blocking the aisle, and the people stuck behind her are looking at me like I'm the bad guy. Well, that's my Wal-mart rant for the week. I did manage to buy some clothes for the boys: three pairs of pants for $2.50 and two shirts for $2. So, I guess it was a profitable trip:)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Should Be Sleeping

I really should be sleeping, but it's in the quiet of the night (after husband and boys are asleep) that my mind begins a journey. I'd like to say it's a journey into a mystical land where a princess finds her prince and they live happily ever after. But sadly, it's a list of the days shortcomings; the tasks not completed: checkbook not balanced, laundry not finished, diaper bags not loaded, juice cups for two not fixed, etc. With my mind racing, sleep menacingly evades me, taunting me with its ever closeness. My body is exhausted, but my mind is still running the marathon.

Today has been full of flashbacks to this afternoon. This afternoon, around 1:30, I decided to leave the boys in the living room while I attempted to climb the always present mountain of laundry. Peter and Titus are into everything, but I thought everything harmful was well out of their reach. (Never rely on the false sense of security that often accompanies your vigilant efforts to baby proof the house.) As I was throwing the towels into the laundry, I heard a choking sound in the other room. I hurdled over the baby gate just in time to see Peter throw up the contents of his stomach and a marble he had tried to swallow. Needless to say, my world stopped. I scooped him up and held him close as I made sure nothing else was in his mouth. (It's amazing how he found a marble that I had looked all over for but couldn't find. We should really employ nine month olds as detectives. They can find anything that they're not supposed to have.) Of course, Titus couldn't let his twin brother have all the attention; so, I held two precious nine month old boys in my lap on the floor next to throw up that needed to be cleaned out of the carpet. At that moment, I realized that I can handle problems without going spastic. Raising twins is definitely not the easiest job in the world, but it is manageable. God knew that Peter was going to try to swallow a marble and He knew that Titus was going to pull the folding chair over on him last week. He also knew that I was going to need a level head to handle both of them. Even when things don't seem to be getting done at the pace I would like, I'm able to keep my head on straight and my crazy inside. God has blessed me with two wonderful sons that keep me busy. He has also given me a wonderful husband who helps me everyday be the best wife and mother I can be. And when sleep evades me, I think of these wonderful blessings and try to wipe the slate clean and get some sleep.