Monday, April 30, 2007

Praise You in this Storm...

It was nice to have a somewhat uneventful weekend after all the events from last weekend. So, we did a little yard work (okay dad did, not me), a little house work and ran some errands. Have I mentioned that it is so nice to be able to get the babies out and about now?

We are having the girls’ dedication at church in two weeks on Mother’s Day Sunday. It will be the first time the girls have gone to church since they were in my belly. We have just been given the “okay” to get the girls out and about, but we haven’t taken them to church yet. I think we are afraid of them being so close to so many other babies and children and getting sick. But, we need to start sometime because we want our girls to be raised in church, and they are going to get sick eventually, right? We are still extra cautious though.

I came across a song over the weekend, which I know I’ve heard before, but I guess I’ve never really listened to the words. The song is “Praise You in this Storm” by Casting Crowns. It was really powerful to me. The video is below just before pictures of the girls.
It is so easy for me to say “Praise God” now that our girls are home and healthy. But, did I praise Him through the storm? I know that I prayed a lot during the two months that the girls were in the NICU. I think at times my prayers to God were more of me begging God to make our girls well. I am reminded of the story of Job where everything is taken from him, but he continues to praise God:

"As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause; who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number: he gives rain upon the earth and sends waters upon the fields; he sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.” Job 5: 8-11

I strive to be more like Job, whose faith in God was unshakable. I want to praise God through the storm and not just after the storm when I know that everything is okay. God’s grace and mercy have been revealed to me through our experience with our babies, and to Him be all the glory.

Here are a few pictures of the girls lately. They are getting so big! B is trying so hard to crawl, I think. She lies on her stomach and pushes up her knees and almost stands on her toes with her face planted into the ground. Then she tries to push forward but just rolls over onto her back. It won’t be long until these two are scooting all over the place. I better rest up now!

Bailey patiently waiting her turn in the middle for some rice cereal

Both girls smiling for the camera - rare! A - left, B - right

A is not cooperating for this shot!

B says, "hurry up and take the picture!"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Children's Story...

A cold March wind danced around the dead of night in Dallas as the doctor walked into the small hospital room of Diana. She was still groggy from surgery. Her husband, David, held her hand as they braced themselves for the latest news. That afternoon of March 10, 1991, complications had forced Diana, only 24-weeks pregnant, to undergo an emergency Cesarean to deliver couple’s new daughter, Dana Lu Blessing. At 12 inches long and weighing only one pound nine ounces, they already knew she was perilously premature. Still, the doctor’s soft words dropped like bombs.“I don’t think she’s going to make it,” he said, as kindly as he could. “There’s only a 10-percent chance she will live through the night, and even then, if by some slim chance she does make it, her future could be a very cruel one” Numb with disbelief, David and Diana listened as the doctor described the devastating problems Dana would likely face if she survived. She would never walk, she would never talk, she would probably be blind, and she would certainly be prone to other catastrophic conditions from cerebral palsy to complete mental retardation, and on and on. “No! No!” was all Diana could say. She and David, with their 5-year-old son Dustin, had long dreamed of the day they would have a daughter to become a family of four. Now, within a matter of hours, that dream was slipping away.But as those first days passed, a new agony set in for David and Diana. Because Dana’s underdeveloped nervous system was essentially ‘raw’, the lightest kiss or caress only intensified her discomfort, so they couldn’t even cradle their tiny baby girl against their chests to offer the strength of their love. All they could do, as Dana struggled alone beneath the ultraviolet light in the tangle of tubes and wires, was to pray that God would stay close to their precious little girl. There was never a moment when Dana suddenly grew stronger.But as the weeks went by, she did slowly gain an ounce of weight here and an ounce of strength there. At last, when Dana turned two months old, her parents were able to hold her in their arms for the very first time. And two months later, though doctors continued to gently but grimly warn that her chances of surviving, much less living any kind of normal life, were next to zero, Dana went home from the hospital, just as her mother had predicted.Five years later, when Dana was a petite but feisty young girl with glittering gray eyes and an unquenchable zest for life. She showed no signs whatsoever of any mental or physical impairment. Simply, she was everything a little girl can be and more.

But that happy ending is far from the end of her story.

One blistering afternoon in the summer of 1996 near her home in Irving, Texas, Dana was sitting in her mother’s lap in the bleachers of a local ball park where her brother Dustin’s baseball team was practicing. As always, Dana was chattering nonstop with her mother and several other adults sitting nearby when she suddenly fell silent. Hugging her arms across her chest, little Dana asked, “Do you smell that?” Smelling the air and detecting the approach of a thunderstorm, Diana replied, “Yes, it smells like rain.”Dana closed her eyes and again asked, “Do you smell that?” Once again, her mother replied, “Yes, I think we’re about to get wet. It smells like rain.”Still caught in the moment, Dana shook her head, patted her thin shoulders with her small hands and loudly announced, “No, it smells like Him. It smells like God when you lay your head on His chest.” Tears blurred Diana’s eyes as Dana happily hopped down to play with the other children.Before the rains came, her daughter’s words confirmed what Diana and all the members of the extended family had known, at least in their hearts, all along. During those long days and nights of her first two months of her life, when her nerves were too sensitive for them to touch her, God was holding Dana on His chest and it is His loving scent that she remembers so well.

Whether or not the names and places of this story are true...I can tell you, with 100% confidence, that I would not be surprised at ALL to hear the above words from my girls one day. The NICU sees Life and Death daily...Angels came in and out of that place daily! I didn't post this story to get sympathy, but to tell y'all that when you see Mom or Dad smiling - it is because we have already been so blessed.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Baby Baby...

We had a pretty busy weekend. The post below was just from Saturday’s festivities. We walked 5 miles for March of Dimes (okay, 2 miles) and went to a baseball game on Saturday, and you would think that would be enough for one weekend. But, Sunday we had plans to meet up with lots of babies! We took a multiples birthing class when I was pregnant back in July (I think). There were two other couples in our class: one couple pregnant with twin girls and one couple pregnant with triplets (2 boys and 1 girl). We were all at different stages in our pregnancy, but ironically, all the babies were born within weeks of each other. So, on Sunday we had a reunion of sorts at the Arboretum. It was lots of fun! A & B got to meet Payten & Lainey (twins) and William, Jackson, and Addison for the first time! It was funny to see people’s reaction to us! Now, we get lots of attention when we are out and about as it is, but add another set of twins and then some triplets, and it just blows people’s minds. Pretty funny! So, we took our blankets and hung out in the grass admiring all the flowers and the gorgeous weather and of course all 7 babies! We really drew a crowd when we decided to put all 7 babies on one blanket to take pictures. Needless to say, it’s really hard to get 7 babies to stay still long enough for a picture! We are definitely going to get together at least once or twice a year with all the babies – it was really lots of fun! Here are some pictures from the day:

Twins in the back (Payten, Lainey, B & A), triplets in front (Jackson, Addison, William). They kept rolling all over each other! And poor William in the front on the right - A & B kept kicking him in the head.

We took lots of pictures, but there really aren't any where you can see every babies' faces.

The triplet bus!

Little Jackson with his daddy, Al. How cute is that little face!

Here we come! Move over everyone - 7 babies coming through!

Yep, that's me being a butterfly.

You can see how enthused the girls are at this point!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Walk This Way...

The dog owes us BIG TIME after the bladder stone surgery fiasco of last week! So she has agreed to do some blog entry stuff to pay me back!

Team A&B!!! Doesn't Dad look hot running with a big old pink jogging stroller. Sorry ladies, I am taken!

This image stretched for miles in front and behind us. Some $3 Million was raised. Thanks to all the donors to Team A&B - you guys are a blessing!

There were signs placed all along the trail at White Rock lake showing preemies that the March of Dimes has helped. What a blessing that we were walking "In Honor" and not "In Memory" as many people were yesterday.

"B&B" on the DART heading back from the race. They girls enjoyed the whole thing. Ah shoot, who am I kidding - we turned around at Mile 1.5 because A couldn't stop crying!

A quick video of some of the 25,000 people out walking to save babies! Very humbling!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

I'm Free...

A & B are definitely enjoying being past RSV season because they are getting to get out and see the world a little more. Well, maybe not the world, but any place other than home is always a good thing! They’ve gotten to go to the mall, Target, Garden Ridge Michaels and Babies R Us. Fun stuff!

The babies started sleeping in two separate cribs two nights ago! Kinda sad for mom and dad. I suspect A likes it because B is such a crazy sleeper and ends up sleeping all over A. They look so little in their cribs all by themselves. But, it had to happen someday, so we decided it was time. Of course, dad and I get up about 10 times each night to find one or both of the girls sleeping face first into the crib mattress. So, we turn them over only to find them back on their stomachs shortly after. They love to roll over! It’s their new favorite thing to do. If you put them in the floor and walk out of the room for a minute or two, they will be a good 5 feet from where you put them. B has started pulling up her legs when she in on her stomach and scooting forward a little bit. Could this be the beginnings of learning to crawl? Not sure we are ready for that. Gotta do some child-proofing around the house.

By the way, our first born child (aka, Bailey the dog) is recovering well from her surgery. She is not wearing her halo hat anymore and got her staples out two days ago. I know you were wondering about her too, so I thought I’d reassure everyone that she is good as new. Well, as new as a 10 year old dog can be anyway. The good thing is that she doesn’t wake us up at 5:00 am every morning now. It’s amazing how much longer you can hold your potty if your bladder isn’t being taken up by big ol’ stones.

We are getting geared up for our 5 mile March of Dimes walk this Saturday. Pray for nice weather because we are brave (or crazy) enough to bring the girls with us. Should be a good time!

I know - who wants to see pictures of mom and dad? The babies are more fun to look at!

That darn jumperoo makes A so tired!

Must have caught them mid-sentence

Poor little A - just can't pick her tired head up!

Caught B about to tickle A

Just hangin' out in daddy's big chair

Friday, April 13, 2007

I Love a Rainy Night...

OK, Mom N' Dad have been given the all clear to come out or our "Tornado Closet!" If you live in the southern portion of "Tornado Alley" you know what I mean. Our soil is not sturdy enough to have storm shelters so we all have an interior closet space that we go to when the weather gets rough. Tonight we had the civil defense alarms going off and we had the babies in the closet and we were prepared with blankets, flash lights and a NOAA weather radio. So the people to the south of us got the Tornado, and all we got was about 5 minutes of pea sized hail. Can a father be to cautious? The girls first tornado warning!

Ever heard of "Mirror Image" twins?

Is that cleavage? How small do they make bras? What did I get myself into?

Both girls enjoying some good tummy time. Look at those faces! What's not to love? This is the 42 seconds an evening that the girls aren't crying!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'...

"A" getting her first taste of rice cereal. This is going to be rough!
"B" trying to figure out the whole rolling over thing!

"B"s baby blues!

"A" bringing baby back in trendy khakis!

The girls showing off their acrobatic skills. When placed on their backs it takes .2 seconds for them to roll over onto their tummies!

"A" getting her first "Shrek Ride!"

How Much is That Doggie...

A side note on our "other" child:

So Friday morning at about 4:30 am Mom takes Bailey to the emergency vet because for the last 7 hours she [Bailey] had been squatting to pee every 30 seconds or so. She is a perfect house dog and totally potty trained, so when she squatted to pee inside we knew she didn't feel well. Every time she squatted she would try so hard to push pee out, but nothing would come out.
SO off to the E-Vet Mom goes. Low and behold and close to $2K later we now have a dog with a lamp shade on her head and a jar full of quarter sized BLADDER STONES. One of the below stones was lodged in her urethra. I am sure she feels much better and my bank account feels a lot lighter. But Mom is happy, she has had the dog for 10 years, so everyone is good. Anyone got a good number for pet insurance?

Bailey after a rough night out drinking with the local pack!

In this jar is: A) a new fence B) 3 Playstation 3's C) a trip to Disney world D) Any of the Above

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Too Shy Shy, Hush Hush, Eye to Eye...

In between the girls crying and the NOAA weather radio going off with weather warnings all would be OK to say today was very eventful. We went to Mom's work and showed off our girls. That was fun...minus the one lady's finger "B" insisted on sticking into her mouth. I have to teach my kids about germs.
We then went to Dr BZ's office for the girls' six month check-up. That also meant that there were shots. Three each. Two in one leg and one in the other. Time two girls. "A" got the worst of the deal and cried for a good 10 minutes afterwards. "B" cried for a second or two and then laughed at the nurse! Very amusing. She is going to be our little daredevil.

Any takers on babysitting now????
Chunky Update
A - 15 lbs. 5 oz.
B - 14 lbs.
Looks like "A" winning the race to the dinner table by more than just a nose... Dr. Bz said that he is no longer going to adjust their age. They are now real-to-life 7 month olds. We were adjusting their age to term, which would have made them a little more the 4-months old. So instead of being monster 4 monthers...they are tiny 7 month girls. But the fact the Dr. Bz stopped adjusting is a huge deal. They are right on track developmentally with a 5-6 month old and can hold their own with a 7 month in weight and height.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Somebody's Watching Me...

I know what the first purchasers of color TV must feel like. I have this awesome digital camera that takes great shots, and all we use it for now is taking movies! Go figure. I could imagine myself in the 50's? sitting in front of the 3" screen in awe of the color picture all the while my 32" b/w TV gets no love!

Mom N' Dad are taking the girl's grandma to the airport today and then stopping by Dad's work to show the girls off. Should be fun!? If you are at work and reading this, the HAZMAT crew will arrive 30 minutes before we do to sanitize the area. If you know our office...that would be a TOUGH task!

Anyways...enjoy the moving pictures!

"B" in her jumper. Could you imagine a more happy child?
The girls talking to one another in the morning. It must be ingrained in women. Six months old and already gossiping!