John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cute pics! 7 months old...

Just had to share these photos from tonight. These boys made a huge leap today in development. James was trying to prop up on his knees during tummy time. He is definitely "moving" around. John David was jumping like a wild man in the Johnny Jumper and laughing so much. They are becoming so fun. Laughing all the time. Rob asks them to say "da-da" and they both laugh out loud it is so hilarious...kind of like they are answering him with a laugh instead of saying da-da!!

Nothing more, just wanted to share a few cute pics of them today. Good night!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

BIG update.....

This picture is so cute becasue they were totally fighting over this toy. James was being rather vocal and kind of yanking it from John David.

My computer crashed last week so I haven't been able to update until tonight (thanks to my generous mother who let me borrow her laptop!)

The Pate crew is doing great this week. We had some really good drama two weeks ago though. The boys got croup two weeks ago. Monday night (rather Tues. morning 4am) we had to take John David to the ER because he was struggling to breathe..sounded like he was suffocating....very scary. We had tried all the "old tricks", steamy shower, walking outside, even standing in the freezer door! Nothing worked and he had been really retracting with his chest for several hours. In the ER they gave him two breathing treatments that didn't work so we spent the entire day and that night in Children's Hospital. To say that I am one thankful momma to be back home with two healthy happy little boys is a complete understatement. I cannot imagine "living" there like so many families do. I met a lady as I was leaving that told me she had twins 4 years ago and they come and go quite a bit there. She said her twins were born at 32 weeks and had multiple surgeries the first year of thier lives. I told her our boys were born at 2 and a half pounds and have been incredibly healthy so far. She told me I was very lucky and I told her I was just super blessed. I don't discount the boys' health in any way. I know each day I wake up to healthy, growing, thriving, happy boys that it is just the undeserving goodness and grace from God alone that blesses us with it all.

Rob and I also celebrated our 10 year anniversary last weekend. Thanks to my mom and mother-in-law,we were able to enjoy a beach weekend together without kids. It was wonderful to spend a couple of days together and we really enjoyed it. We have been through quite a lot together in our 10 years of marriage. When I think back to the day we wed, I am flooded with emotions. Such love and admiration for my husband. Such pride in what God has blessed us with. We have a love like no other, it is not even describable. We are the best of friends, perfect companions for one another and I really couldn't imagine living life without him... we have been together 17 years this upcoming October. Which means we have been together longer than we haven't been together. We are 30 years old and have been a part of each others lives for 17 of them...I am proud of my husband. I am thankful for my husband. I know how blessed I am to have him in my life.

Everyone is healthy and well and we are so thankful. Summer is winding down and the girls are getting excited for school to start. I am so incredilby thankful I made the decision to keep the boys home this first year. After our experience with our first "cold", and ending up in the hospital, it all confirmed for me that I am definietly doing the right thing by keeping them home. It is not even "sick season" and we ended up in the ER with respiratory problems from something as simple as croup. I thank my husband for his incredible support in allowing me to stay home this upcoming year.

I will update the prayer request tomorrow. I am super tired right now. It is 12;15 and I have to be up early in the morning.

Good night all!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Look at these BIG BOYS...7 months old!

SO here are my SEVEN MONTH old baby boys. It just doesn't seem like they should be 7 months old. They are changing daily it seems. Once upon a time ago they SLEPT all day...well now they are in a new phase of development and they like to be AWAKE and ENTERTAINED most of the day. I am so thrilled that they both sleep really well at night. They have been sleeping from 9pm to 7:30am for a while now. Nap time varies but mostly mid-morning seems to be there best nap. A typical day for us now is way easier than it was three months ago. I am not discounting the business of my days by any means..oh no, I am just stating that moments of my days are becoming easier now that the boys are getting bigger. However, I can only imagine the curve ball that is heading my way once they become toddlers. I try to take one day at a time and not wish away the stages and phases all of my children are in right now. I am sure many of you can relate if you are a mom of little ones. Some days I wonder why bother with sweeping the crumbs off the floor, you know they'll be back to crumb it up even more the moment you do sweep it up. Some days I wish I could go to "time out" and wouldn't it be nice to "go to your bed"... Last week as we were leaving the YMCA (we don't miss a day by the way) the girls were constantly at each other, fussing, whining, crying, you know...just the typical emotionally meltdown of a GIRL!! And I actually made them all stop in the parking lot before getting into the van to say a prayer. Probably more for me than for them but you get the idea..We need Jesus all through our day...I do and they do. Once we said Amen, they all seemed to be in better spirits. I realize that I am the decisive element that will make or break our day. I am the breath of air that keeps us afloat. However, I do look forward to the days ahead when we can leave without snacks, potty break, baby dolls, stuffed puppy dogs, diapers, meltdowns, whining, and crying...but for now, I try to savor the sweetness of each day with them all. My heart is overjoyed to have these babies to love and nurture. I thank God for choosing me to be their mom. I ask God daily to strengthen me and help me. I wouldn't make it through my days without Him. I couldn't survive one moment of the days I endure without knowing that HE is in control of my life. It is hard to not fall into a frenzy with all that I have going on each day, so I try my hardest to stay focused on HIM and call out to HIM in the moments in which I think I am going to CRASH!

We are approaching the 1 year mark when we found out we were having twins. This time last year I was heading to the doctor have a BABY AGAIN...and of course like most things in life, looking back on it now, it is funny to think of the day "we found out"...The freshness of those memories will never fade for me. I will never forget the moment I saw two beating hearts on the ultrasound screen. And then when the technician told me they were identical, I wept even harder. I think God had prepared me for the road ahead at that point because I had this inner feeling of being "chosen", especially when the technician said, "This is just one of those flukes in life." I boldly told her that 'this' was no fluke, but instead that it was the DIVINE HAND OF GOD!!!!

Lastly, I wanted to remind you all to keep Ian Ellis in you daily prayers. As of yesterday, he was having a pretty good day visiting with much of his family, still at this point they are waiting for "it" to happen or a miracle to happen. The Pate family prays every single night for "God to give Ian a miracle"....we truly believe in them. Psalm 66:5 "Come see what awesome miracles God performs for His people" We know in our hearts that God gave us a miracle with our baby boys.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

James and John David pay a visit to the NICU!

The boys got a chance to visit the NICU this week. I had an appointment at Brookwood so we decided to swing by on our way out. It was awesome to take them back to see the amazing nurses and doctors in the NICU that took such wonderful care of them. I must say, it was a very emotional visit for me. I haven't been back to the NICU since we departed from there back in January. To walk down the halls and enter the NICU just about took my breath away. Of course I cried! As I opened that door and saw the bright lights, beeping noises and even the sterile smell, I saw myself crumbled to pieces aside the issolette beds that James and John David lived in for 49 days. I vividly remembered all the heartache that I walked in and walked out with on a daily basis. I could easily feel the nervous stomach I had endured so much for those 49 days. And of course I saw several Mommies and Daddies aside their baby's issolettes, with "that look" is the look of disbelief and agonizing worry. It is a specific look that all who have been a part of a "NICU experience" know all to well.

It was great to visit with our nurses and doctors that took care of the boys. They mean so much to us and we will forever remember them and appreciate them for all they did for James and John David.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Fourth with Family and Friends!

Uncle Phillip hanging out with James Daniel at the Fourth of July Party!

Papa making John David laugh!

Rob hanging out with all the kids in the water slide inflatable (thanks Aunt Jill for letting us borrow your awesome toy)

We had a great weekend celebrating the Fourth of July. Rob's mom and dad had a grand get together with some family from Mississippi. We don't get to visit with them often enough, so when we do have the opportunity to share some fun times together we have a great time and hold on to the memories to cherish forever. I always value the time my children have with their extended family. It is special to me to see them create bonds with their uncles and aunts and cousins. We are hoping to take the kids to visit Mississippi sometime within the next few months.

Thanks to Papa we had the best smoked chicken and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs. Mamaw of course out did herself with all the trimmings...baked beans, potato salad, brownies! And thanks to my cool bestfriend, a.k.a. Aunt Jill, for letting us borrow her water slide inflatable. The kids had such a blast...and Rob didn't mind it either..ahah!

Aunt Katy lounging with Claire and Jenna!

All the cousins together after a LONG, FUN day of playing. Kyle is not all that happy about taking the picture..can you tell??? James and John David missed out on the picture because they were napping.

My children...precious and adorable...but I am a teensy bit biased!

This picture is after chuch when I had just finished nursing the boys. They always play "hands" with each other and this time they actually hand their hands and arms criss crossed. I thought it was really cute!

This picture is from Sunday night. Rob and I and the girls were all in the kitchen eating supper while the boys played on their floor mat, however, you notice where James Daniel is...NOT on the play mat but under the swing playing with it. That little stinker moved himself from the play mat all the way under that swing within 5-10 min. of me putting him on the mat.

After bath picture..just so stinking cute is all I can really say about this one.

After church picture. I was so shocked at how well Jenna participated and I didn't even offer candy!?!?!?! Maybe she is finally getting the hang of picture taking.

The boys after church in their precious smocked outfits that my wonderful bestfriend Elizabeth Studinka made for them. She is ridiculously talented in many ways, one way in which is sewing!

Hope everyone had a great 4th!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

And the broken tail bone goes to....


So I am pretty sure I have fractured my tail bone. This wouldn't be my first experience in cracking the buttocks though...back in my cheering days in highschool, I was dropped from a full extenstion (two girls holding me high into the air above their heads) and landed on my rump on the gymnasium floor. This time however, cheering was not involved. No, just my own ignorance. It was approximately 4am this morning and I had traveled up and down my stairs to and from JENNA PATE'S room to assure her that there weren't any tigers, puppy dogs, kitty cats, or spiders in her room. We had been through two rounds of screaming crying and threatening her before I finally said to myself, "I am going to sit right her on this top step until she calms herself down and drifts back to sleep." Well, I wasn't on the top step, I was a few steps down so as I plopped down (okay I admit it, I more like threw myself down having a teensy bit of a fit!) on the step, I landed directly on my booty bone and it sent fire through my entire rearend! I didn't think much about it (probably because I was so beyond exhaustion) so I went to bed and woke up unable to really move much. Throughout the day, my symptoms worsened to the point that driving the van was painful. By supper time I was in pure agony. Bending over, lifting anything heavier than a pound, walking up and down stairs, carrying babies, sitting in an upright position really feels like crap!!! I assume I have fractured my hiney, maybe it will just be badly bruised. I plan to go to the doctor tomorrow if I don't feel any better. However, I know the prognosis of a broken butt...REST and RELAXATION....HAHAHAHAHAH! Laught with me..HAHAHAHAH, go ahead, it is pretty funny that I, Dana Pate, in my own moment of a meltdown, did this to myself and the safe way to heal is to rest...which is not even an option for me. In case you haven't noticed I AM RIDICULOUSLY BUSY WITH FIVE CHILDREN EVERYDAY ALL DAY...!!!!

Recent pictures from our summer time play days.

Ellie getting her toes done for "Ellie Day"...she LOVED it, and of course she chose bright purple nail polish...bold and beautiful just like Ellie!

James hanging out at the pool...

Swimming with some great friends. Frank, Grace, Henry Studinka and Austin Dudley. Elizabeth Studinka and Carla Dudley are teaching friends from Oak Mountain and we had a fabulous time swimming togehter. And of course enjoyed the peace and tranquility that comes with taking 8 children under the age of 6 to the pool...hahaha!

Picnic lunch with the Studinkas and Dudleys!

Here are some more pictures from this past week of summer time play!

Claire and John David snuggling in my bed watching morning T.V.!

The boys hanging out in their stroller at Aunt Jill's house. It was incredibly hot that day, but they didn't seem bothered by it at all. The girls swam in Aunt Jill's waterslide play inflatable and the boys slept most of the day away!

Claire and Kate Mullinax (Aunt Jill's daughter) playing in the water. The kids had such a blast.

Jenna had a very special day with these sweet friends. Maddie Cleary and her precious daughters kept Jenna for a play day while I took Claire to a swim party. They took Jenna to Dairy Queen and painted her finger nails. She LOVES her "Miss Maddie" and I am truly thankful for her and her loving girls.

Enjoying our popsicles on a very HOT afternoon while playing outside.

Jenna posing in her car. I asked her where she was going and she said, "I am picking up Cannon and going to the beach to eat gummies!"

Positives to report....
The girls and I are having a fabulous summer swimming, playing with friends, eating popsicles from the "ice-cream man", learning, watching Punky Brewster (to the point that Ellie has episodes memorized!)and SLEEPING until at least 8:00am each morning.
The boys are growing and thriving in such an amazing way. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings daily. They smile at Claire each time she walks by and acknowledges them. They are lovin their baby food. Both boys are getting stronger each day and trying to sit up. They are super close to being "hip babies" meaning they can almost rest comfortably on a hip as you walk around with them. They are sleeping awesome (9pm-7am). They are healthy and well and we are so thankful.
Ellie will go back to Dr. Conklin in two weeks to take off the cast...YAY!
Claire will hopefully find out who her THIRD GRADE teacher will be this coming Monday. (Can't beleive she is going to be in third grade!)
Jenna is my most precious challenge of each day. I love her to pieces but we have to work really hard to not make it to the time out spot before 9am each morning. :)

Lastly I'd like to remind you all to remember Ian in your prayers each day. Tonight Ellie prayed that Ian could breathe like her tonight and not feel pain and be sad and for God to give him a miracle. The innocense and faith of a child's prayer should be heard and felt by all!