Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Fun

We stayed in Fayetteville this Christmas to celebrate with Matt's family. 
My grandmother and Maddie
My parents went to North Carolina to visit the other half, so we convinced my grandmother to come stay with us for the holiday. 

Aunt Margaret and Kate
On Christmas Eve we always have gumbo at Matt's aunt and uncle's house. The table seems to keep expanding year after year! Kate and Maddie did great skipping nap, and were happily entertained by cousins, aunts, and uncles. We ran home for a quick nap, then to church for the Christmas Eve service. 

Christmas morning was SO much fun with Kate and Maddie. I know as they grow older, it will only become more fun! Santa brought big floor pillows and stocking stuffers. Pretty sure they would have been more than content with their toothpaste, bath toys, crown, etc. in their stocking! They also opened clothes and one toy each. Kate got a Little People Bus, and our animal lover got a veterinarian kit. 

After breakfast and a quick nap, we headed over to Matt's parents to join the fun there!
Maddie and Amps 
Maddie is a little attached to Aunt Carolyn!

Kate and Matt's dad

Matt's brother bought Kate and Maddie and all-terrain wagon for the "farm." Maddie's expression shows exactly how much they love it! 

Finally convinced my grandmother to sneak in a picture! She is 92, and unfortunately I don't think I have any of her amazing genetics! ;) 

Matt and I have said over and over how enjoyable Christmas was this year. Kate and Maddie's age made things much easier, and we enjoyed quality time with family. I'm in awe every year as I look at the girls, that our Savior came just like them into this world. As a baby, toddler, child, and adult to make the ultimate sacrifice for us. What else do we need?! 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

What we've been up to!

We had an appointment for weight checks and flu booster shots mid-November. Kate has yet to break the 17lbs mark! :( She has grown in length quite a bit. At this point Matt and I have decided to just take it for what it is, and not worry too much. She eats well, drinks well, and is growing. We tried Pediasure with her...but to our assumption she hated it! Kate won't eat sweets...not cookies, not chocolate, definitely not Pediasure! Maddie weighed in at 18lbs, and made the growth chart! Woohoo! :)

Drawers, cabinets, boxes, closets...nothing is out of their reach! I'm almost certain they will enjoy the paper and boxes at Christmas far more than the presents!

(Yes, the girls' walls are still lime green...January is the goal of painting!) My good friend Jordan gave Kate and Maddie these cute hats for their birthday. They are obsessed with them, especially Maddie! If they see them, they want them on. I'd say they are pretty cute myself! :)

We traveled to Jonesboro for Thanksgiving to visit my family. We broke up the trip in Little Rock to pick up my grandmother, and say hello to some friends. It made for a much happier trip! We had a wonderful time in Jonesboro, and the girls really did great...until the last night! Kate decided she wanted to scream at midnight and would NOT go back to sleep...finally I just laid with her in the guest bed, so that my family could sleep. (Cutting molars is the worst thing ever! I would scream too!)  Neither Matt or I slept any that night, but we are thankful those types of nights are few! 

One of our dogs, Lily, had to go with us to Jonesboro. She has heart worms...long story, but on our second round of treatment. She can't exert herself any. Instead of getting to stay with the big dogs at the farm, she was stuck with us! 

Kate woke up the other day with crazy hair! Matt said she looked like Kramer! With her crazy personality, it was very fitting! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Patch

A few weekends ago Matt's youngest sister, Carolyn, was in town from college for the weekend. We decided due to her visit, the nice weather, and season we needed a trip to the pumpkin patch. After looking we discovered Farmland Adventures. Not just pumpkins, but animals too! The girls were in heaven (and Matt was too!)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

1 Year Stats

Kate and Maddie have come a LONG way from here!!

3lb 12oz............................................4lb 6oz


My very first memory of you is seeing your TINY bottom! You were so small, and still are our little, bitty Kate-Kate. Since I first laid eyes on you, I thought you looked just like your this day you still do! From your first days in the NICU, you have been active and determined. You are into everything, and quickly figure out solutions to problems. Everyday you are doing something silly that makes us laugh! You are a JOY, and have the CUTEST crinkled nose smile! Kate you are independent, a talker, and I pray you do great things!

-16lb 5oz (Weight check in 4 weeks. Our pediatrician is not too concerned about where Kate is. If she doesn't gain well in the next month, then we will discuss other options. She is just our petite girl!)
-27in long
-10 teeth! ;(
-Dad says you caught this from Lily, but you often crawl quickly, with your tongue out, and make a panting noise! haha
-You constantly point to things and say "dis," translated "this." So we name EVERYTHING around!
-One of the reasons you aren't walking yet is you don't know how to SLOW DOWN! haha When you push the walker around the house it's at lightning speed. Same when we hold your hand to walk. I'm afraid once you are confident taking many steps, I'm going to be chasing you even more!
-You finally eat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise the LORD! You LOVE all meat! Recent favorites are pork chops, curry chicken, spaghetti, grapes, and green beans. You still have a strong love for peas! 
-Obsessed with being outside, and you get VERY unhappy if we can't go out! 



I remember the first time I was able to hold you (for 5 minutes!). I've never loved someone so much, that I didn't even know. You have the sweetest grin that could win anyone over. I think you know it can charm us! Oh, how you are strong willed, and maybe a little on the stubborn side! ;) I know those traits will come in handy someday! You love to cuddle more and more! Maddie Grace you are tender-hearted, spirited, lovable, and a joy!!

-17lbs 4oz
-27 1/2 in
-9 teeth
-You LOVE cats!!! (We will not be getting one). If I need to cheer you up, I just say "cats" or name Matt's parents' instantly smile and giggle. You squeal and chase the cats around for hours!
-Still few words...but you sure know what we are saying! ;) I can now say, "let out the water" in the tub and you pull the stopper up to let it out. You sure love to babble to Kate in your twin language!
-You make a fish noise when we ask what a fish says
-Standing up in the middle of a room is your new trick! You are so proud of yourself!
-You haven't been as interested in food lately. You have almost fully transitioned to whole milk. New food favorites are sweet potatoes, curry chicken, pork chops, spaghetti, and brownie! ;) 

Matt and I both agree that this has been the hardest, yet greatest year for us! From the high-risk pregnancy, NICU stay, feeding issues, growth problems, and just the chaos of twins it has been tough! But there have been SO many joy-filled moments, and we wouldn't change it for anything! 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

1st Birthday!

I'm SO behind on blogging! We celebrated Kate and Maddie's first birthday a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, both girls were dealing with a stomach virus the whole birthday week! Kate struggled to get well, and was not herself during the party! It was sad to see her so upset, but we all know the stomach virus makes you feel horrible! 

We are so thankful to some friends and family for making this day special! The girls so graciously gave the stomach virus to Matt's they were unable to make it. We felt so bad the way everything happened!

My parents and grandmother got the girls Cozy Coupes! They are obsessed! We have used them in the house a lot, because it has suddenly turned to winter here! Ugh!

Aunt Sarah made the trip! 

My dad and Kate
Our good friends, Joe and Mavis (okay probably Mavis picked it out!), sent the girls new dresses and sparkly shoes. Maddie has been obsessed with adult shoes for some time...Once she discovered there are shoes her size, she was SO happy! Maddie would not take them off, and pitched a FIT at bedtime when I wouldn't let her sleep with them! haha

As we predicted Maddie LOVED the cake...Kate was less than thrilled about it! ;(

Matt and I can't believe how Kate and Maddie are already 1! We are so thankful for those that love our girls and made this celebration special! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The other half

I mentioned in the previous post how the chaos of last week was very difficult for Maddie also. Whether you have twins or just multiple children, scary events can traumatize all those around.

When Kate started seizing, I was carrying her around. Matt had grabbed Maddie and was on the phone with 911. I don't remember her being upset until we were in the garage. When Kate started to get worse (we were probably more tense too), Maddie started becoming very upset. As Kate was placed in the ambulance, Matt tried to have a neighbor take Maddie in...nope not gonna work. She was HYSTERICAL! You often hear twins (especially identical) say they sense when something is wrong with the other. It was very clear that Maddie knew something was wrong. Matt's mother arrived quickly and is a familiar face to Maddie, but it even took his mom hours to calm her down. Matt's mom texted Matt and said Maddie had thrown up a little on the couch from getting so worked up...well she was being was a lot. Maddie crashed eventually and I woke her early the next morning to head to Little Rock.

It's hard to describe how different Maddie was acting. To those of us that know her best, she was not herself. It was as if she was lost, she didn't "talk" much, hard to keep occupied, and the saddest was that she would sometimes crawl around fussing as if looking for Kate. 

Maddie was with my mother majority of the time. She adores my mom...maybe even prefers her over me sometimes! haha But, even my mom had a hard time keeping Maddie content. It didn't help that Matt and I were in and out, trading shifts of being with Kate and Maddie. 

Kate was discharged after Maddie had already gone down for nap. Kate had fallen asleep in the carseat, so we brought the carseat into my grandmother's house. We put it in a different room from where Maddie was sleeping. Maddie woke up from nap, and it was the strangest thing. She was fussing and whining, like she sensed Kate was there. We asked, "Where's Kate?" and she kind of babbled. Matt then showed her a video of Kate talking on his phone...Maddie's face was priceless. She grinned big, pointed, and started talking. Soon Kate woke from her nap and I was excited to see their reaction. It took Maddie a second, but then she grinned big, kept touching Kate, and talking. They were together again! Her whole demeanor change, and she soon became the Maddie we know!

Since the days of my risky pregnancy, their birth, and nicu stay I have always feared losing one of them. Not for me or Matt, but for the twin that is still here. They have a bond and connection that is obvious at this young of age. 

It took Maddie over a week to feel comfortable again. The situation seemed to cause her separation anxiety to get worse. She would have breakdowns if Matt or I left them room, even if one of us was holding her. Slowly but surely she has returned to her normal self!

Friday, September 20, 2013

In an instant...

You always know that life can change in an instant...we experienced it this past Monday. 

Kate had fever off and on Monday. It had been as high as 103, so I kept her on regular doses of Tylenol/Ibuprofen. She had played most of the afternoon, but towards bedtime was getting fussier. I gave Kate and Maddie a bath, and realized Kate was getting fever chills. I took her out, and we sat and laughed at Maddie for a bit. We began the regular routine for bedtime bottles, and within seconds I knew something was wrong. Kate started blankly staring and not opening her mouth. I called for Matt and we both knew something wasn't right. There are always kids or families on our street at night, so I walked out with Kate to see if their was a pediatrician on our street. Our neighbor suggested running her up to the clinic because at this point she was just lethargic. Within seconds of starting to get her in the carseat things got worse. Her body stiffened, head turned sideways, and started grunting...Matt and I both knew she was seizing. I ran to the tub to pour cold water over Kate, while Matt called 911. We talked back and forth about what she was doing and monitored her breathing. We walked to the garage to wait on the ambulance, the seizing was getting worse, then came foaming, then vomit. I lost it...Our precious neighbor ran across the street and helped get Kate on her side. I couldn't feel her breathing as well. Our neighbor stepped in, and I remember her saying, "It's very shallow." The 911 operator then asked for them to say breath every time they felt her breathe...I could hear her say breath........breath........breath. Too long between them! It was at that point I thought, "I can't lose my baby right here in the garage." I was begging God for mercy...

The ambulance arrived very quickly! They started working on Kate in the ambulance, and said, "She is coming to." We thought all was improving. During this time, Maddie was HYSTERICAL! Not only did she probably sense something was wrong with Kate, Matt and I had to pass her on to neighbors and then Matt's mom. We made the decision that I would ride in the ambulance. Kate was still seizing during the ride. At one point the EMT began to give her oxygen, and told the driver, "We need to upgrade." The sirens came on...not what you want to hear...

A sweet firefighter carried Kate into the ER. He unfortunately left before I had the chance to thank him. He advocated for Kate once we arrived at the ER, and insisted calmly on them acting quickly. Kate continued to seize for almost 2 hours, they became more spastic, and her breathing was more irregular. She wasn't responding to anything. The ER doctor informed us we were "going to Children's" and they were going to have to intubate her. From then on is a blur...

Matt and I made the difficult decision for him to go with Kate on the helicopter, and I would drive down with Maddie in the morning. I've never been so torn in my life. I knew Maddie needed comfort and stability, yet I couldn't let Kate go. 
Throughout the chaos Matt kept saying, "She's not ours...she's His." As much as I didn't want to hear those words, I knew Kate was His long before we knew her. I knew in those moments that I had no control over the number of her days. I knew that God was/is sovereign, but that doesn't always mean good. Before they took off, I told Matt, "don't let them lose her." But, I was also begging God that I would see her again. 

Matt's dad and I watched as AngelFlight took off. I was elated later that night to receive this from Matt.

No more seizing, no more intubation (She tried to pull it out! Kate is tough!)

Kate spent 2 nights at AR children's hospital for observation and testing. The days and nights were rough. She was VERY upset when awake, groggy from the large amounts of seizure and sedation meds, and probably very sore from seizing for 2 hours. The neurologists finally diagnosed it as a complex febrile seizure. Typically febrile seizure last 5-10 minutes or will stop on their own. Kate's was a little more alarming due to the length of seizing. An EEG showed nothing abnormal and all blood work came back clear. 

When you are in a children's hospital, you are reminded just how blessed you are. Kate was in the PICU for one day. We watched as families showered, heated up food, and practically lived on that floor with their sick children. It puts into perspective our "hard" days are nothing compared to some families. People kept asking how Matt and I were doing. Both of us were running on little sleep and lots of adrenaline. We arrived home yesterday and it was the first time I became emotional. It was this moment that made me cry.

To watch her play in our home brought me to tears. On Monday night I didn't know how long it would be until she was home again...I didn't know if I would bring her home. God is so good...

(I'm going to do a separate post on Maddie. This has been extremely difficult for her also.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

11 Months!

11 months! Seriously?!? Can't believe it! The past months have flown by! I never understood why moms got teary-eyed thinking about their babies turning I get it! :)

What is life like with twins?!?...this:
-Weight/length: Maybe around 16-17lbs...still very light!

-8 teeth, and Dr. Bowen felt your molars coming in...ah!
-You are rarely called Kate still...usually Kater, Kate-Kate...and now Tots...(Kater-tot turned into just tots). I'm sorry again...
-Say bye-bye, daddy, "bo" (book), "bu" (Bula-dog), and other twin language jabber
-Clap, wave, and put your hands up when I say "Where's ______?" 
-Cruising some, walking with the walker, and standing alone a interest in walking while we hold your hand! 
-Love to lay on blankets or pillows...maybe you will cuddle eventually!
-Throwing things is hilarious...balls, toys, unfortunately food too...
-Going to bible study on have had a little harder time skipping a nap and being away. Last week you were all smiles!
-You used to eat you rarely will try anything besides cheese, toast, or peas...if it's too mushy or slimy you will not touch it. Eat little one eat! ;)


-Weight/Length: getting heavy! :) Plus a cute little roll on your legs! 

-8 teeth, molars coming too!
-We are just going to pretend you are saying things...haha...lots of twin jabber and when you really get talking the finger gets moving!
-You like to crawl over to the dog toys, wave your little finger, and jabber as if to repeat back to me "no, Lily's toys." 
-You are a biter...not when you are mad, you just put your face to everything and bite..
-Shoes are your favorite. You put your hands in them and crawl around...then I have to take them away after you start licking them...;)
-A little attached to Dad! :)
-They LOVE you in the nursery! You are a such a mess and love attention!
-Super messy eater! You spread your food everywhere and shovel it into your mouth. 
-Favorite foods: Avocado, banana, toast, puffs, cheese, peas

-Moving has been the best thing for Kate and Maddie's sleeping...maybe their room really was that loud in Little Rock, or maybe we have hit a consistent time in their development...either way I'm one happy, and more relaxed mom! (Or the lime green and neon pink walls of their new room may be calming! haha...will be changing soon!)
-Still morning and afternoon nap. Afternoon naps have been better, usually 1hr 30 minutes-2hrs. I've loved one on one time if Kate or Maddie wake up before the other. I can actually sneak in/out of their room!
-Down by 7:30 still...waking closer to 7:00...but Maddie decided to have a party at 6:00 two mornings lately! 
-They almost always talk/laugh to each other when we lay them down

-4 bottles still of regular formula. Usually 5-7oz. I thought they were starting to drop a feeding earlier, but have picked back up.
-Drink milk and water out of a sippy cup finally! I know I should start switching their bottles to sippy cups, but with as little as they are I want them to take in plenty of ounces! 
-Started to not take purees...then I switch to all finger SUPER picky about finger foods, and have had to go back to some purees...ugh! Trying not to stress about it and praying they will eat more as we get closer to 1 year!
-First reaction to foods. I gave them hummus the other day...both broke out in a rash on their faces. 

Our next monthly post will be for their birthday celebration! I will not be getting the mom of the year award for your birthday! Lucky to get invites out and have a cake! ;) 

Monday, August 26, 2013

The big move...

Bye Stonewall Road...

Well, it finally happened...we moved back to Fayetteville! This journey has been long and at times it seemed like we were "moving back to Fayetteville" for years. There were many moments where Matt and I thought God was moving us...but oh...he wanted us to wait...and wait...then wait a bit more...but now we are here, trusting fully that this is where we are to be. 

Matt and I met in Fayetteville after college. We have precious memories here and always talked about moving back. BUT then we found ourselves more and more settled in Little Rock. We had a beautiful home, wonderful neighborhood, and friendships that were becoming deeper and closer. As the reality set in that we truly were moving, there were tears...many tears. 

I am excited about the newness...yet scared at the same time. I tend to lean towards being introverted, and already have moments of craving sitting and talking with someone familiar. Matt and I have both prayed deeply for these years ahead and for new, deep friendships. 

Like any move it wasn't easy...the moving truck broke down on the way and didn't get here until 8:00 at night. Matt and I found ourselves at our limits, then add 2 babies, and 2 just wasn't simple. Thankfully, we are feeling more and more settled in. Kate and Maddie haven't skipped a beat and thankfully have been sleeping great despite the change of places. Our poor dog Bula has had the hardest time. She was the LAST one I worried about!

 I guess it will just take us ALL a little while for what feels like coming "home" to be "home" again...