John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My day...

My adorable school secretary, Pat Connor, asked me today, "What do you do all day?" FUNNY she asked, here is the run down of my day!

Boys awake at 5:30am...nurse them, eat my breakfast (combo cereal with Honey Bunches of Oats Vanilla/Cinnamon Clusters!) in my quiet,peaceful house before the "Crew" wakes up!

Wake up girls..get them dressed..make lunches..check backpacks..make breakfast..brush hair..brush teeth..give kisses/hugs..send them out the door with DADDY!
Workout for 45 min. to my "FIRM" tape (It is so awesome if you ever just want a good toning video!)
Shower and get ready (from head to toe...make-up and hair..uh!)
Nurse the boys again..pack up the car..head to Wal-Mart (looking for white fur for Claire's rabbit costume for the talking zoo tomorrow)
Drive to my school, OMIS, to take my class picture with my super cool fourth graders.
Leave school, head towards Rob's office...stop their to nurse the boys AGAIN, and pick up Rob.
We go to the Thrift Store (looking for a fur jacket..aka..snowshoe rabbit)..then off to the Fabric store to just buy some stupid FUR!!!
Then to the Honda dealership to pick up my van (brake check)..
Off to Target to exchange a beach cover up and buy some sunblock for the beach TOMORROW..AHHHH!
Stop at the bank to deposit a couple of checks..find a shady spot to nurse the boys AGAIN!(are you keeping up with how many times I have to stop and feed them in the car "on the go"????..seriously!!!)
Off to the post office to drop a package for delivery..then to pick up the girls from school. Claire and Ellie first, then go get Jenna!
Stop on the way home at Subway (cause I just got way too much stuff to do tonight to cook dinner)
Arrive home...nurse the boys AGAIN, make Claire's rabbit costume (hot glued the fur to a smock), freshen up on my second grade math (Perimeter and Area! Ha Ha!), bathe Ellie and Jenna, help the girls make special birthday cards for Dr. Amos (markers, glue, stickers, stamps EVERYWHERE!) rotate laundry, start gathering things I need for my trip, bake cookies and make dips for my sweet volunteers coming tomorrow, nurse the boys AGAIN, story time and prayers, tuck in the girls, take a long, hot shower, finish packing my things, check e-mail, update the blog, now I am off to wake up the boys for a quick bath, nurse them once more and hopefully have them (along with myself) in the bed by 12:00am! LONG day, GREAT day, FUN day, BUSY day, MEMORABLE day, BLESSED day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Packing My Bags...

I don't know how, but they are becoming more adorable every single day. A couple of stud muffins...

So I am finally at the point of packing my bags for my girls beach weekend. I really can't believe I am actually going to be spending three nights and four days vegging out on the beach with my best buddies. I have NEVER been on a beach trip with "JUST THE GIRLS"...I told Jenna's teachers today that the last time I had been to the beach for just "rest and relaxation" was my honeymoon TEN years ago. So now that it is time to really pack up and prepare to leave, I am wondering if all the effort (IT IS A LOT OF EFFORT) in organizing my family to survive while I am away will be worth! I believe so. Here is the plan:
Thursday morning: Rob will attend Claire's "talking zoo" performance, take Jenna and Ellie to school. My precious neighbor, Christy and my totally "supermom" old roommom from a couple of years ago will be taking care of the boys throughout the day. Daddy will return home about 4:00 (taking off early for me..thanks hun!) and Mamaw will be picking up Claire, Ellie, and Jenna. Darlene (a.k.a. Mamaw) will more than likely help Daddy with afternoon routine, as you can imagine, it is completely crazy. Claire is suppose to have a softball game Thursday night, but I can't forsee how to get her there and back home without total disarray, so she might be missing ONE game. Friday morning, Mamaw will take the girls to school, Daddy will wait with boys until Linda Templin, Maggie Dunaway, and Kelly Hazelwood come to his rescue. They will be taking care of the "miracle babies" that day. The girls will ride to Lee Fogle's house where Jenna stays and wait their until Maddie Cleary picks them up and takes them to her house until Mamaw get there to pick them up and bring them home. Daddy will take off early again and arrive home by 4:00 to relieve our sweet friends. Saturday should be interesting, Claire has cheerleading registration at 8:00am, a game at 1:45pm. Mamaw will swap the girls for the boys on Saturday and then probably reverse the swap mid-afternoon. The girls will spend the night with Mamaw Friday and Saturday night to allow Daddy total concentration with the boys. Don't even get me started on the preparation of over night bags and diaper bags for the visits to and from Mamaw's house. (sigh)...Are you tired yet???

Alot of work on behalf of a lot of selfless, loving people is the only way I am able to go on my trip. I am truly appreciative and plan on having a much needed quiet time, as I rejuvenate myself to come back and continue to love and nurture, teach and impact all the precious little people in my life God has allowed me to be "Mommy" to.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

ANOTHER birthday party...(sigh!) Two down three more to go!

We celebrated Ellie's birthday today at Jump Zone. She had a blast with all of her buddies. We think her most favorite gift was a Hersey's Cookies and Cream Bar...go figure! Here are the pictures from today:

Daddy and the girls getting ready to slide

Mommy and Ellie Bug

The birthday girl proud of her fudge brownie with fudge icing ($2 brownie mix way cheaper than a $50 birthday cake....HaHa!

Here's my whole family...Daddy, John David, Ellie, Claire, Jenna, Mommy, and James

Also, this past weekend, I was blessed to be able to spend the night with Katie Willoughby (my friend from the NICU that delivered twin girls, Libby and Maggie) Libby passed away a week after birth due to a brain bleed. Maggie was scheduled to come home about a month ago and the final three days (when the baby moves to a crib), she got NECK (a terrible intestinal bacteria) After the doctors got it under control, she contracted meningitis. Katie told me last night that the doctors didn't think she was going to make it. She had to go back on the respirator, start major strong antibiotics, stop all feeds, and ended up with a central line because all of her veins used for IV's and picc lines had blown. She was so very sick. Little Miss Maggie is a fighter and I am thanking God today for her precious little life. She definitely has a purpose to be in this world. She was due March 20th and just arrived home last Tuesday, April 21st. She is beautiful, a head full of black hair, and weighs 6 pounds now. Please keep Katie, Taylor and baby Maggie in your prayers please. Pray for Katie's strength and Maggie's health. Pray the Maggie will thrive and grow healthy and Katie and Taylor would be strong to endure the ups and downs ahead. And of course, thank HIM for creating her in the most perfect way and blessing Katie and Taylor with Miss Maggie Root!

Lastly, this week I am scheduled to go to the beach with my three best friends. We are due to leave Thursday and return Sunday. I have several volunteers planning on helping my family out. Linda Templin, Maggie Dunaway, Christy (my amazing neighbor), Donna Gove, Maddie Cleary and Lee Fogle. I am so thankful for their friendships and their willingness to help me. I am looking forward to some quiet time away. I am taking my swimsuit, a t-shirt, toothbrush, journal, chocolate, and my Bible. I am going to spend some really good quality time reading, writing, and meditating. Please keep my dear husband in your daily thoughts.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here are some pictures from this morning. The boys are most definitely the happiest in the mornings. I love my time with them so much. We snuggle and love every morning after their 8:00am feeding. It is my most favorite time of the day.

James Daniel with his big ole smile!

James laughing..all I said to him was, "Good morning precious boy!"

James Daniel sitting up against my pillow like a BIG BOY!

John David

John David waving at me....not really, but it does kind of look like it!

John David showing off his handsome little guy smile.

Don't they just look like they are going to be best buddies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Ellie!

Ellie Bug turned 4 today! She had a special day and seemed to be on a total sugar high by bedtime. I try to make birthdays really special around here. They only come once a year..right? For those of you who know Ellie best, knows that she has a passion for FOOD, especially SWEET FOODS! She picked Jumbo Cinnamon Roll for breakfast and chocolate milk (we only allow her to have chocolate milk once a year..her birthday!) I made blue cupcakes for her special school snack (with sprinkles and cool whip topping) and then after school she wanted our family to go to Ci Ci's for her special birthday dinner. Five pieces of pizza and a brownie and sticky bun later, she was an itty bit hyped up. Great day and great fun for her today, and all I could think of each hour was the day of her birth. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Birthday breakfast...BIG Cinnamon Roll and Chocolate milk! She was happier about her food than her gift!

Ellie at school during her special birthday snack. Notice her cupcake wrapper is empty..she devoured it before I even arrived with the cool whip topping.

Family (All seven of us) at Ci Ci's for some scrumptious pizza...

Ellie posing outside of Ci Ci's..

I also wanted to share a story with you today that was emailed to me from a girl named Catie. She is pregnant with identical twin boys and the doctors feel that she may have twin to twin transfusion. They are monitoring her very closely, she is 28 weeks now, of course scared to death and has been told she may deliver one stillbirth if the transfusion of nutrients continues. I am going to post her email so you guys can join with me and pray for her. Please pray for more "miracle babies" so she can testify to the world how mighty and gracious God is. This is from Catie:

I am pregnant with identical twin boys. Mine are not the rare mono mono that yours are, but they do share a placenta (with separate sacs). That gave us our share of fears as we started visiting a specialist at 19 weeks who talked about TTTS and stillbirth of one twin and other scary things. (Funny side note: After she described all of this to us she said, "but don't worry"...Seriously, not worry at that point?!) So we have continued to be monitored very closely- specialists one week, my regular ob the next. One of my babies (John David actually) was measuring a lot smaller than the other (Timothy). There was a difference of 23% between them that then grew to 35%. I was terrified and began to put myself on partial bed rest each day. And PRAY! My husband has been a rock of prayer throughout this pregnancy as I have become so overwhelmed at times. Well, as of last week, John David had grown and the difference between the babies has shrunk to 18%. Praise the Lord!! We have faith that they will both continue to grow at healthy rates and we are really hoping to make it to 36 weeks now. I am 28 weeks and 2 days today.

I am hoping to connect with her and continue updates on her twin boys. Thank you in advance for praying with me for her and her unborn baby boys.

Last picture I wanted to share is of Great-Grandfather James Daniel Pate holding grandbaby James Daniel Pate... I will have it framed and placed in James' room.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Here are a few pictures from Friday night. Pizza and ice-cream sandwiches in the driveway. Daddy ran 5 miles, Claire and Ellie and Jenna and the boys and I went for a stroll. We enjoyed waving to neighbors and chasing Jenna up the hills. We have fabulous neighbors and everyone is always delighted to see the Pate Brood out and about.

All the Pate Kids!

Boys all bundled up. Under those big blankets they had on their footie pj's and their swaddle wraps, a hospital blanket wrapped around their torso's and the big blanket on top. They LOVED the stroll!

The easiest picture to take...Claire!

Ellie can't hardly smile for the camera without putting her hand on her hip and tilting her head..

I said, "Jenna can you smile for mommy..PLEASE" She is totally TWO years old. I have officially nicknamed her "Little Miss Challenge"

Also, Friday James had his final kidney ultrasound. The results were great. He has two perfectly formed, functioning kidneys with no fluid or abnormalities to report of. Praise God. Early on we were told that their was a possibility of him having kidney problems and then in the NICU the ultrasounds they performed several times showed fluid on both kidneys. As of now, they are perfect- NO CONCERNS!!! YAY! People remark all the time that God has been so good to these boys and I always respond..SO very GOOD!

Love to all and Good night!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Four Month Check Up!

James Daniel smiling at the nurse while she was weighing him. This is unusual because they generally hate to be cold and "exposed", they are much happier warm and bundled up. But for some reason, James was really happy about the scale and smiled at the nurse every time she talked to him.

John David "talking" to the nurse. It was so funny, I wish I would have had video of him cooing at her.

The girls and I went to get ice-cream after school to celebrate Claire passing her rocket math test, and then we went to the Brook Hills playground (fenced in, safe equipment, no grass or bark, and it is even shaded!) The girls had a fabulous time eating ice-cream and playing on the playground. I fed the boys in the van AGAIN! Then we all played until about 5:30, then headed home.

James Daniel in his BUMBO seat. He loves it way more than John David does. John David tries to arch his back and straight up tell you he doesn't want to sit in it.

The boys had their four month check up today. I am completely flooded with so many memories and emotions as I reflect over the past four months. I still vividly remember the drives to the hospital early on when they were so sick and seemed so tiny and frail. I'll never forget the feeling of bringing them home and the overwhelming apprehension of being responsible for taking care of them ALL BY MYSELF! I remember when their heads barely reached above the straps in their car seat. They are growing well and thriving wonderfully and we thank God daily for the blessing of their health. I am still amazed at their existence and how well they have done. Dr. Darby said today that they are already making gains toward "catching up" and that she expects them to be so by the time they are a year old. James weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce and John David weighed 10 pounds 4 ounces. James was 21 inches long and John David was 22 and 1/4 inches long. They are tracking with their eyes, smiling and cooing, and holding their heads up fairly well. Dr. Darby did mention that they need to spend some extra time on their tummies to strengthen their torso's. The boys got two vaccines (I am going to stagger their immunizations so they don't get 5 at one time!). Dr. Darby was very impressed by their growth and development and said as of right now, she didn't have any concerns or worries. I plan on calling the Bell Center (an early intervention center) to get some information on how we can get the boys involved there.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for these precious baby boys. They have a long way to go, but have already come so far in just four months. They should really only be about 6 weeks old, but instead they are 16 weeks old! It is hard to believe they entered this world 16 weeks ago at 2+ pounds!!!

Belive it or not...I am a ballpark momma!

So from my title you have to be wondering...ballpark momma???That is right, I am spending ALOT of time at the BALLPARK...Now for those of you who know me well, know that I am not one for red dirt, late nights, postponed and rearranged afternoon schedules...Claire is playing softball and it has totally disarrayed my "normal" scheduled life. I am learning to love the red dirt...UH!!! Here are some pics of the family this week as we were "ballparking"..

Of course another picture of the boys in the front seat of the car, as I had just finished nursing them before Claire's game.

Ellie and Jenna trying to be "mommy's helpers" with the boys. They were trying to shake the stroller to quieten the boys down. Of course I am shouting in the background, "take turns, be nice to each other, don't shake so hard"...and of course James was having a major meltdown. I was trying to round up markers and coloring books, baby dolls and sidewalk chalk. The game was about to start in a few minutes and Daddy wasn't there yet. The challenge is getting the FOUR kids under the age of FOUR to the field SAFELY. And then once I get there and think, take a breath and relax, Jenna starts whining, "Mommy I potty"...AWESOME! Let's go potty now, trekked all the way to the bathrooms, which woke the boys up and they started screaming (b/c 6pm is just NOT their happy time)then trekked all the way back to the field. I am purely exhausted and the game just started.

Claire was given the game ball. She had a couple good hits and had a great stop at second base and threw out Jay Barker's daughter at first base...and by the way, his daughter is incredible...she is a first grader playing with second and third grade girls.

The boys..hanging out in the stroller. They love the stroller when it is moving, they HATE the stroller when it stops, especially if it is breezy.

Claire playing catcher...funny stuff... she could hardly walk in all of her gear.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boys' first Portraits!

My precious baby boys!

John David

John David

James Daniel

My precious James Daniel...kind of smiling a little here!

James Daniel..pouty face...was not happy about taking pictures in his diaper. He really hates to be cold, definitely prefers to be bundled up and snuggled.

John David in his Daddy's hands!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter...this picture was taken at 6AM!!!!

She started eating candy at 6:30AM! Before we left for church, she had already eaten a Hershey Cookies and Cream bar, Reese Egg, Air Heads and Cinnamon Applesauce Pancakes (thank you Daddy).

Jenna was a little bit excited about the chocolate bunny!

James Daniel smiling at Mommy after his morning feeding. Such precious moments.

Me and my precious children...Claire, Ellie, Jenna, James and John David!

Daddy and his girls...teen years should be interesting!

It is nearly impossible to get 5 kids ages 4 months to 7 years to look at the camera at the same time and smile....but this is a pretty close one!

End of the day, after bath and pj's, Mamaw singing to the girls.

What more can I say than, "pictures are worth a million words"! We had a wonderful Easter Day. The Easter Bunny came by EARLY this morning and Rob and I were awoken to Claire and Ellie finding their Easter baskets. We attended early worship service at Brook Hills, ate an early lunch, had naps, and then headed to Mamaw's house for Easter dinner. The girls were CRAZY all day. We started eating candy, chocolate, JUNK at 6:30 am and finally called it quits at about 6:30 pm... I think Ellie ended up in time out at least three times. I have a belly ache from too much sugar and Jenna passed out when we got back home at 8:00pm from probably a sugar induced coma.

We surely did enjoy our day with lots of fun family time and a delicious meal prepared by Mamaw. I hope all of you had a great Easter as well.