John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Friday, February 27, 2009

6 pounders!

WEIGHT UPDATE!
James is now 6 pounds and John David is now 6 pound 10 ounces....YEA! We have finally made it to newborn size!

Here are some recent pictures.

John David waiting his turn to eat..notice he is in the front seat of the van...breastfeeding two in a car is NOT easy to do! I was in between Rob's office and the girls' school and didn't have time to go home to feed them before I had to pick up the girls. Did the best I could!




James was pretty content after his feeding. He didn't mind eating in the car



Both boys swinging in their cousin Sam's swing. Thanks Sambo..they LOVE your swing!




The kids visiting Mamaw and Papa's house for the first time. Daddy was working late so he had to miss out on the fun..bummer! We were able to visit with Nanny and Papaw and Uncle Jim as well.


The boys have made it to 6 pounds! Seems pretty tiny, but seems huge compared to the 2 pounds they entered this world at....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Just finished nursing the boys here. John David is on my left shoulder (sound asleep) and James is cooing, playing around. He is propped up against John David's hiney and legs. Too cute~





Boys napping in my bed on the Boppy. I love snuggling up next to them when they sleep. I love to listen to them breathe. I remember all to vividly how my heart would ache to leave them each day in the NICU. I know this precious time won't last long so I am savoring these sweet moments each day.



Sweet James sleeping in the Boppy pillow. This little guy loves the Boppy. Any position is fine with him.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Planning for SEVEN!

Planning for a family of 7 is interesting to say the least. It must be done with careful thought and a great deal of preparation. Yesterday our family drove to a nearby furniture store to purchase a BIG kitchen table. Leaving the house was an ordeal for sure.

I'll take you through step by step.
1. Daddy napping. ( I will wake him once the girls are all up and dressed and ready)
2. Claire and Ellie dressing themselves, I'm feeding James. John David is sleeping.
3. I finish James, go up stairs to wake Jenna, get her dressed and settled at the table (locked in her seat..hahah) to have snack.
4. I return to the boys to feed John David. Change James' diaper and snuggle him in his car seat.
5. Finish up feeding John David. Wake up Rob. Change John David and snuggle him in his car seat.
6. Jenna is finished destroying her snack bar, give her a wet paper towel bath and put her socks and shoes on.
7. Brush out Claire and Ellie's hair, check they have clean hands and face, send them to the van.
8. Grab a baggie of gold fish for the road and pack up the diaper bag.
9. Remind Rob to wake up because we are leaving NOW!
10. Dress myself (sweats and t-shirt) brush my hair and teeth (first time today) and put on my shoes.
11. Rob heads down to the van with Jenna.
12. I grab the trash, diaper bag, purse; turn off lights and we are heading to the van.
13. And we're off...driving down Hwy 11 (3 miles in) Jenna says, "Mommy, I need to potty!" We'll of course you do honey..I forgot to take her to potty after her nap! AHHHHH!
14.Gas station stop, take Jenna to potty.
15. On the road again.
16. Arrive at the furniture store.
17. Everyone out and inside...Hold hands, don't touch, be quiet and respectful.
18. I couldn't find the table I was in search of (quickly) so we proceeded to the back to "look in catalogs".
19. Here is the challenge: Keeping the girls quiet and calm while we looked through a catalog for the table I wanted. Yea right..that lasted about 2 min. Jenna was trying to take off BY HERSELF through the store, Ellie and Claire wanted to flip through the same book and started arguing over the book. Rob needed to go to the restroom, I was just ready to find the table and be on our way.
20. 10min. later the young man helping us said, "Let's look on-line, it will be faster"...Great! let's do that!
21. We find the table on-line, Rob handles the arrangements while I have "story time" on the sofa with the girls. (side note: for those of you who don't know me well, story time is my way of keeping my girls quiet and engaged so there isn't so much chaos...it works great!
22. Story time over, table purchased, Pates are out the door!
23. Travel back home (watching Punkey Brewster) and we made it...(sigh)!
24. Total time: 3:30pm-5:30pm

So it is final...my dear husband booked our plane tickets for our summer vacation for our family. We are scheduled to fly to Utah June 9th to visit the Howas (my dad's side of the family) and also to run the Bear Lake marathon. (I knew I would get him hooked on running..hahah!) Booking the plane tickets was quite comical to say the least. First of all, we had to make two separate reservations in order to get our whole family on the plane. Reservations can only be made for a maximum of 6 people and we have a family of 7 now! Rob's mom and Dad (Mamaw and Papa) are joining us on the trip so we were able to book John David with them. We are looking forward to our trip. The girls are absolutely giddy about flying to "Becky and Rosie's house" (side note: for those of you who don't know, my dad is called Becky by the girls. It started with Claire when she was 18 months old as we were trying to get her to say Grampie...Becky came out instead and she hasn't changed it since)

Precious Angels...These are the angel outfits my best buddies in Auburn gave me. Thanks Valerie, Noelle, and Tanya...yall are the best!








War Eagle Babies! These are the Auburn outfits a great friend from college, Phala, sent the boys. Her mom made them. They are one of my favorite outfits we received.



John David



James

Saturday, February 21, 2009

All in DUE time!

Just finished nursing, both boys so relaxed and peaceful...for a moment anyways.




I have finally made it to my due date with the boys. It seems so surreal that they have been in this world for 10 weeks and should really be entering the world this weekend. I am so proud of how far they have come. I praise God every single day for the miracle in their lives HE has performed.

Now that the boys are gestationally "newborn" we have made it to newborn diapers and clothes. In a crazy kind of way, I am going to miss the tiny preemie clothes and diapers. But so happy they are growing and chunking up!

I wanted to post some cute things I have noticed about the boys lately. Although they are identical twins and seem the same in so many ways...they are also showing differences too.

EATING: James: doesn't give warning that he is awakening to eat, he just goes from deep sleep to ear piercing scream when he is hungry. John David: will give you a bit of a warning when he is about to wake up hungry, he grunts and roots around, will fuss a little bit and doze back off to sleep for a short moment. So usually James eats first because I can postpone John David for a little bit. If not, I nurse them at the same time together. Which is quite comical, they snuggle their heads together on the inside of the Boppy pillow and actually start to suck simultaneously TOGETHER...it is hilarious. I swear they can sense each other and have their own way of communicating. They start out nursing the same and then usually John David picks up speed and James tries to catch up, then chokes and has to sit up to burp; which is difficult to do with one hand because brother is still going to town!!! But really to be so small (5 and 6 pounds) they are handling it wonderfully. I am secretly glad that they are nursing well together because it is much faster. Instead of feeding time taking 2 hours, it only takes 1 hour now!

THE PACI: James seems to be a bit lazy here, he wants it but likes to have you hold it for him or prop it against his face with a blanket. John David sucks his paci as if he were going to devour the thing.
SLEEPING: Both boys are excellent sleepers (thank goodness) They are going every 3-4 hours during the day and will make it from 11pm-5am at night. I have noticed recently though, that James really prefers to sleep on his belly (probably because of the REFLUX) and John David could care less. He'll sleep any position. James LOVES to drape across the Boppy and sleep and John David likes to be crammed in the center of the Boppy.

MEDICINE: The boys are on Zantac for Reflux and an iron supplement. We have to sneak in the iron while I am nursing them (funny to watch them stop and take a moment to "figure" out what I am doing) James seems a bit smarter on this task. He is harder to fake off. John David (after the 4th time of the bitter Zantac medicine still has a hard time swallowing it but does it and seems a bit clueless as to what I am doing) James (after the 4th time) has figured out he HATES that stuff and struggles much more with swallowing it because he knows what is coming.


I think the boys are finally "waking up". They do still sleep a great deal but are starting to have awake moments for about 20 min. after they eat. And by the way, any advice on REFLUX please pass along.

James' results from his liver function test all came back normal...Praise God! He is still a bit jaundice, probably from breastmilk.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SLEEPING ALL NIGHT!



AHHHHHH! I just woke up at 6:30 am and the last time I was awake was last night at 11:30pm....Of course I jumped up out of the bed in a delirious state (probably due to an over abundance of sleep at one specific time) and sprinted over to see the boys.....they were snuggled up sound asleep together. PLEASE LORD let this be a pattern. If they were to start sleeping all night I could actually become a functioning person again during the day. Imagine all I could do with a full nights sleep!

Yesterday the boys got their 2 month shots. OUCH! It was pitiful but they did great. Screamed initially and then by the fourth shot, they had calmed down and back to sleep in the car seat! I had planned on giving them some Tylenol after we arrived back home but the nurse said they don't generally give Tylenol to a baby less than 6 pounds. So I decided against the Tylenol, thinking to myself that it was going to be a LONG night with two screaming babies. So least to say, I am shocked that these little stinkers slept all night after FOUR shots yesterday afternoon.

By the way, I haven't slept that much in MANY months. Probably since early Fall. Definitely not since before I went to the hospital mid November.

SO hopefully we'll have a good day of happy babies. I am going to call the doctor today for James' liver function test results. Will post them as soon as I know something. I am a bit nervous about that, be praying for his little liver to be functioning properly. We are scheduled next Friday to meet with a pediatric surgeon to discuss their hernias. Other than that we seem to be doing great, just growing and thriving. It is such an amazing miracle to witness these little guys. I am in awe of them each day. God has been so graciously good to us and them. Thank you for your continued prayers for these special babies. Other than

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Big Weekend...BUSY weekend!

This weekend was packed full. Friday night, Rob took the girls for Valentine's date. Saturday morning Claire ran in the Kids Mercedes Marathon. Nurse Heather (from the NICU kept the boys at home Sat. while I took Claire downtown. Mommy and all the girls trotted all over downtown Birmingham for several hours. Then left from there to meet my mom for Ellie and Jenna to go to a friend's birthday party and then spend the night with Nana (my mom). Daddy worked until 12:00 pm (missing the chaos of the morning). Once home from the Kids Marathon, we ate some lunch (quickly) and off to Claire's softball practice. This was the boys' first outing since they have arrived home. We bundled them up good, they rode in their new stroller, slept through all of the activities! Saturday night, Claire was able to help bathe and feed the boys for the first time (really BIG moment for her) and we had our favorite dinner "Tazikis" in honor of Daddy's pre-marathon run meal. Sunday morning we headed back downtown for Rob to run the Mercedes half marathon. Lots of fun. Claire and I zipped around and watched the runners, found a yummy deli to eat breakfast at, and cheered the runners on as they crossed the finish line. Left there by 9am and drove to pick up Ellie and Jenna from my mom on the way back home, ate some lunch, CRASHED for naps, played outside, ran a couple of miles around the neighborhood, Claire's friend Harper arrived for a spend the night party, pizza dinner, and BED TIME! Whew! What a big and busy weekend the Pate family had.

The boys have a new "napping" spot. They love to cuddle up in their boppy pillow and snooze away. Both boys together equal a full size newborn at this point.

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Waiting for Daddy to arrive to take them out for their Valentine date. He rang the door bell, all three girls ran to the door screaming, "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!", Rob had a rose for each girl, then he took them to eat supper at Shogun and dessert at Dairy Queen. They had such a fabulous time. The boys and I stayed home in PJ's and slept! Awesome Valentine's Day this year....lots of love to go around at the Pate house!


Mommy and all the girls arriving downtown for the Kids Mercedes Marathon. We had to park under the interstate and Ellie and kept saying "But what if the cars fall down on top of us"...



Papa and Mamaw cheering Claire on in her first "marathon"...too cute!



Claire and her best friend Anna after they ran the Kids Mercedes Marathon! They did a great job and I was very proud~ Claire asked me if she could run the full with me next time I run it and I told her she might need to be a bit older, but that one day she and Mommy would definitely run a full marathon together. She and Anna ran the mile in about 12 min. Way to go girls!


Few minutes before the start of the Mercedes Marathon! Way to go Rob, we are so proud of you! Thank you for running for me this year. I am so glad I got you hooked on running. Now we can travel the country and run together (with our 5 KIDS!)



Claire and I enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast at Sophia's downtown while waiting for Daddy to finish his race.


1 hour and 53 minutes later, Daddy made it across the finish line. Claire was a little unsure of how sweaty and stinky Daddy was.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Handsome BOYS!

Here is a picture of the boys today while I was changing diapers...together. What is really sweet about this picture, is that prior to taking the picture they were both screaming (separately, one in the crib part of the pack and play and the other one on top of the changing area) and I needed to change both, so I decided to put John David up top with James while I was changing him, and they both stopped crying and fussing and became calm and quiet. It was super cool. I swear they know when they aren't together. Same thing when they are both sleeping in the bed side by side and I carefully remove one to feed, the other brother wakes up within usually 5 min. They are going to be such big buddies...I hope!


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Here is James Daniel this morning after his breakfast and bath!



First stroller ride...they LOVED it! I think they'll be ready for marathon training in June!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cute Video and Funny Story!

All the Kids! In birth order: Claire, Ellie, Jenna, James, John David





Today is the 2 week mark of having the boys home. It really seems more like 2 months since they have been home. I think I have left the house twice since their homecoming. For those of you who know me well, you have to be impressed that I have been "home bound" for such a length of time and haven't completely lost my mind yet!!! Or have I????

Last week, during one of the nightly feedings, I was changing John David's diaper and applied diaper cream all over his hiney. Well, John David doesn't have a diaper rash at all, I applied the diaper cream to his hiney because I thought it was JAMES' hiney!!!! Yes, I actually got them mixed up. Of course I realized this the next morning when I changed them and noticed diaper cream all over John David. You see, John David has NEVER had diaper cream applied, only James has because of his constant pooping. It was 3:00am and in the dark, they look so much alike.

Here, I am trying to take a picture of all the kids together, but realized I had my camera setting on video. Then I heard Ellie say "We have too many kids!" It was so cute.

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Sunday, February 8, 2009

I need more TIME!!!




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The title says it all...I NEED MORE TIME! I could accomplish so much more if I had a few more hours in the day. I'm sure many of you feel the same. But, like my best friend Jill says, "It is what it is!"

The weekend has been good though. I had some fabulous friends visit me over this weekend...Lea Smith came to visit and helped with the 6 loads of laundry on Friday night! Ashley Richardson stopped by on Friday afternoon and brought lots of yummy grub from the GRC teachers at my school. (You guys are the best; scrumptious veggie casserole, chicken, salad, bread and some insanely delicious peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies!) My BEST friend Elizabeth stopped by yesterday to visit (which was great, we had a chance to "catch up" and it and kept me from going crazy talking to myself during the day!) Mamaw and Papa took Ellie and Jenna to the park yesterday, which of course was super fun for them and gave me a couple of hours "off" duty with all FIVE kiddos. Daddy had to work yesterday from 7am-4pm so, early part of the day I was loving and tending to all 5 kids. LOTS of fun, but LOTS of energy keeping them happy and content! Most people ask me, "How do you handle five kids ranging in the ages of birth to 7, by yourself.." My response is, "It is all about management!" I think I could run a small daycare after tending to my family for this weekend! Ha! Seriously though, it has been amazing to see our family grow into what it has now become. I am honored to have my family and my heart is overflowing with love for them all!

Thank you all for your kindness in helping us out right now, God has used you in a great way to bless my life.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Check Up...Growing Boys...

The boys had their 8 week check up today. First of all I have to say that planning that appointment at 1:00 (feeding time) and on a day when the high only reached 31 degrees was just not a smart decision on my part. But, it is what it is and we survived. When I arrived at the doctor's office, Dr. Darby McElderry at Greenvale Pediatrics (Brook Highland), allowed us to come in through the side door to steer clear of the waiting area full of sick kids. One of her best nurses (neighbor Connie) met me at the van to help me in with both boys. What a hand full; me, two carriers, backpack, and purse! I was grateful for the special treatment.

James is growing well. Weighing in now at 4 lbs 10oz..almost 5 lbs. John David weighed 5 lbs. 4oz...both boys were exactly 18 inches long. Dr. Darby said they looked fantastic. She said to keep feeding them (they are eating about 3-4 ounces every 4-5 hours), schedule some shots for next week and at the end of February. Also, we will be visiting a pediatric surgeon on Feb 27th to consult about their hernias. James will have a blood test on the 25th to check his liver numbers. He is still a bit jaundice, so please be prayerful he is okay and his liver is functioning correctly.

We had some fun tonight with the camera. It is going to be really fun when they "wake up" and actually participate, but for now, I am having a blast dressing them alike and snapping sweet pictures with Daddy.


Daddy holding his boys after their feeding. He actually handled them both while I was tucking in the girls. So proud of him!



Brotherly love...


Here are James and John David sitting in their bouncy seats. This one is for you Holli Blass. Thank you so much. What is really funny is that initially when I put them in their seats, John David just sat back and chilled with his paci, James however, pitched a big fit until I turned on the vibration in the seat. Then he filled his diaper up with poop and fell asleep!


The girls have been so kind and helpful to Mommy. I can tell that Ellie is trying to take on a "mommy helper" role (which is totally opposite of her usual spirited self) and Jenna will do just about anything I ask if I promise her she can see the "brothers". Claire of course has been my right hand since day one. I have a feeling that these boys will be spoilt by three sisters and MOMMY and DADDY! Grandparents will probably chime in on the spoiling also!!

We are praising God today for a great doctor's report. So thankful for the blessing of health. Dr. Darby said today that she as amazed at how well the boys have done, I of course give that credit to the Almighty!

Good Night!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Day 5...and I'm still ALIVE!

James and John David had a follow up eye exam this morning to check for any retina problems due to their prematurity. Dr. Metz said they looked really good right now. We will need to have follow up eye exams every 6 months to monitor any refraction problems. He said premature babies sometimes are nearsighted. So great morning other than the weather..yuck! Thanks Uncle David for riding along with us and helping me get the boys in and out. Not much excitement I know, but I do appreciate your help!

By the way, I remember when it was alot of effort to get ONE baby ready to leave the house for a trip to the doctor's office, WOW do I have my work cut out for me now...TWO babies, TWO teeny tiny babies with TWICE as much to worry about and TWICE the effort...but DOUBLE THE JOY when I look into their eyes and think... "what a complete miracle you are"...I love these babies so much.

Sorry to be so short, but nothing much new, still eating every 4-5 hours and sleeping a lot, James still poops at least three times each feeding and John David hasn't pooped since his suppository Sat. night. I have one that can't stop pooping and one that can't poop!... I am sure they will "wake up" soon, so for now I am going to take advantage of their napping and go have a nap with them. At this point, I have to decide sleep or shower...definitely going with SLEEP today. Thanks for all the prayers out there. I still feel them, knowing we are in your thoughts helps me make it through another day.
Here is some video Dad and Rosie. Enjoy!

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Ellie holding James. She was so proud of herself. She looked down at him and smiled like she was so happy to be holding him. He looked around and was very still and quiet for her. It was a really sweet moment for them.