John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Thursday, January 28, 2010

One Year Ago TODAY...







Our family welcomed home two miracles...James Daniel Pate and John David Pate. These two guys are so happy and healthy one year later. I will never forget the moment leaving the hospital (after 49 days at Brookwood NICU) and thinking to myself, "Wow, my heart is so overflowing with gratitude and love"...It may sound trite, but I am so thankful for the journey God took us through with their lives, and continues to take us through today. I feel that I am probably living out some of the absolute best days of my life. If you are laughing at that last comment wondering how I could say such with the insurmountable chaos and business that consumes my day, think of the alternative...

I am quick to point out to people when they "bless your heart" for having so many kids or "don't ya know what causes that" because we have such a large family, that GOD alone ordained it to be and I am determined to do my best to for HIM and all the precious lives he has entrusted to us.

So these two little guys are growing and thriving. They are learning so much each day. They are becoming such cute little toddlers and the baby days are passing us by.

The last year has been amazing and we are forever grateful to GOD for his mercifulness and graciousness in our lives.


John David


James Daniel


MY FAVORITE POSE! and no, i am not sure who is who in this picture!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Praying for my Step Mom...


This post is to ask my 95 followers to pray especially for my step mom tonight and tomorrow and even Thursday. She is having some pretty serious abdominal issues and will be going in for several test tomorrow and Thursday. She has been battling these issues for a long time. You'd never know it though because she is strong as steel. I admire her in many ways, especially her love for my dad and the infatuation she has for my children. Rosey is one of a kind and I'd love for her to make it through all these tests and procedures without any complications. My constant prayer for her has been a healing and peace to comfort her. If you guys would join me in praying for her health right now, I would be grateful.

Father God, I pray for my step mom Rosey. I pray a shield of safety around her as she begins more tests and procedures to hopefully find answers to her health problems. I ask for a blanket of peace and assurance be wrapped around her tightly so she not waiver in her strength in You but find a total rest peace of mind knowing YOU are in control and she not need to worry. Thank you for Rosey and what she means to our family. Thank you in advance for taking care of her. AMEN...Isaiah 41:10.."Do not be afraid for I am your GOD, do not be dismayed for I am with you, I will strengthen you, I will up hold you with my right hand"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Perspective...

SO...6am the day begins and 9pm it is at its end....I am POOPED! Not that my days aren't packed full on any occasion, but now that my sweet Jenna girl has a cast from her thigh to her toes, my physical demands have increased substantially. This morning was rather tough. On my way to the hospital I tried to mentally prepare myself for what was about to occur...

ME taking Jenna to Children's Hospital to have her broken leg casted.

Now what makes the day extra hard are the two twin one year olds who obviously require my constant attention. And to throw into the mix now, my very independent two and half year old, Jenna Boo! I could give you the boring details of the day; from pushing the boys in the double stroller while at the same time pulling Jenna in a wagon, toting backpacks and water bottles, cereal bags, my purse, blankets, jackets; all the crap that goes with three toddlers under the age of three...as well as the feet of getting them from the hospital all back home for lunch and naps before 1:30 to then load them all back into the van AGAIN to leave and pick up Ellie, stop by the library (because I PROMISED we'd go on Monday) and then swinging by Publix for milk and veggies (this took an hour..two carts, four balloons, two cookies and a potty break), to then rush through traffic to get Claire picked up from the bus by 3:00. And then make it home to handle the evening routine (supper, homework, bath time, Bible time)and land them all in the bed by 7:30pm...now, are ya ready to laugh...


DADDY HAD AN OFFICE MEETING TONIGHT! So after the longest day with the boys, and Jenna...my precious husband didn't even get home until 9:30! (SIGH)...

But you know what...I AM SO THANKFUL FOR MY EXHAUSTING DAY BECAUSE IT MEANS THAT I HAVE A HEALTHY FAMILY TO LOVE, LAUGH, AND LIVE WITH EACH DAY. AND MIGHT I ALSO ADD, THAT I AM THANKFUL MY HUSBAND WORKS HARD FOR OUR FAMILY TO PROVIDE FOR US, AND I AM EQUALLY THANKFUL THAT WHEN HE IS NOT WORKING, HE IS HOME SPENDING TIME WITH US.

Seriously, I don't have any real reason to complain. I have friends right now that are experiencing tragedy in their lives...burring their husbands and babies, losing their houses, jobs, marriages that are completely falling apart, family members who are battling terminal illness. When I start to feel overwhelmed with the "daily grind" I honestly stop myself and whisper a prayer of thanks to God for another day of what has become my "normal" now...I am truly grateful!


Here are some pictures of Jenna from the weekend and today. Thank you all for your well thoughts and special prayers. She has done remarkably well considering her injury. I would probably be pretty whiny too if my shin bone were cracked!



Jenna had a visit from her best friend Ella Mayfield. She was so happy about the balloon that Ella brought her.





Ellie made Jenna a poster card that said, "I hope you feel bedder, I made dis for you and love you"...too sweet:)



Jenna Boo was not feeling good here. She was so uncomfortable..Daddy suggested "the floor"...this was Sunday morning.









Saturday, January 23, 2010

And the boken leg goes to.....

JENNA KATHRYN!









Why is it that the moment an accident happens you think...CRAP!!! I was about to call them inside to leave. Claire and Jenna were jumping on the trampoline (a daily ritual in this family) and I was preparing to pack up the van so we could leave to pick up Claire's friend to spend the night, to drop Jenna off with Mamaw and finally meet Daddy to go out for supper. As you can pretty much imagine..total madness when I realized Jenna had broken her leg. But as a great friend of mine always says, "IT IS WHAT IT IS" and so here we are, with ANOTHER broken bone! I tell ya what, Children's ER should send us a complimentary dinner voucher to our favorite restaurant for continuing to keep them in business. I guess when you have five kids the odds are stacked against you...

We will be visiting the ortho doctor Monday morning. I am anticipating the next four weeks being pretty challenging around here with THREE babies to carry around. But hey, you know me, I love a challenge..makes you a stronger person in the end..right?!?

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers. The boys both have all the RSV symptoms so I am a little on edge about that as well. James especially is showing signs of breathing difficulty.

I will update with more later. Right this moment as I am typing, I have James crying pulling my leg, Jenna screaming "Mommy, my leg is burning and I need my strawberry milk", and John David jumping in his bed whining and saying "mama mama mama"...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just some random...


We have a new routine each night now. Kinda funny how it all started. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to wean the boys from breast to cup. They rarely nurse to sleep now. (Yes, it makes me incredibly sad), but they are growing up and now go to bed awake and then fall asleep on their own. However, around 8:30, before we put them in their beds, they both crawl into the kitchen and hover at the pantry door for cookies and P-NUT BUTTER! It is really cute and the picture of me with the boys was from tonight, we sat in the floor by the pantry door and ate animal crackers and a spoonful of peanut butter.










Here are some pictures from Monday when the kids were out of school. They had a blast but everyone was so tired from our play date at IJUMP (inflatable kid park) and Veteran's park and jumping on the trampoline for an hour, playing softball outside, and running a mile.









Here are my two kitchen helpers from last night and tonight. Ellie helped to prepare spaghetti with fresh peppers and salad. Jenna helped peel apart broccoli, mix garlic and tomato paste, scrape out spaghetti squash and wash and clean mushrooms. I always enjoy their questions as we are preparing supper. Tonight Jenna says, "Should I turn off the light, it will be more peaceful"...haha! and Ellie asks me if everything we cook has to "stink" because we like vegetables too much in our family. I asked her what she would want to eat if it was her choice and she said, "Just honey buns" and then she continued, "I would want four honey buns cause I am four"


Jenna practicing writing her "J's"...I told her how proud I was of her and she said, "yeah, I am proud of you too mommy, you do good J's"...haha!


We are most thankful right now for the health of our children. We continue to pray each day that the boys (and the girls) will remain healthy and free from sickness during the winter months.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Hanging out at Veteran's Park on such a gorgeous day.


Here is the first picture of both boys standing at the same time, however James couldn't really be still long enough to snap the picture so it is a bit blurry.



Crazy boys...new trick this week...opening the pantry door and helping ourselves to some animal cookies. John David is the notorious one for doing this. If the pantry door is not shut completely, he is definitely invading and having his way with the big Sam's tub of animal cookies...by the way, anybody want to take a guess as to how long a big tub of animal cookies like that lasts in our home with five small children eating out of it EVERY SINGLE DAY???

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Oh the Places We Find Them!!!


John David pushed his chair against the end table.


James Daniel decided to explore the FOURTEENTH STEP of OUR 16 step HARDWOOD STAIRCASE...and yes, I was watching him, and had only taken my eyes off him one minute.


James deciding the pantry is a cool hang out...he seriously stood there the entire 30 minutes I was cooking supper.


And of course, John David climbed up on the dishwasher door as I was putting away dishes one night...my little dishes helper...this kid LOVES to play with dishes; spoons, bowls, cups, Tupperware!!!


Of course these are only a few pics...too bad I didn't have my camera when John David was fishing in the toilet or James was stuck under our kitchen chair (yes, he crawled UNDER the legs and couldn't crawl back out) I had to lift the chair UP over him...

This new stage of development is sure to give me gray hair..another monthly budget honey, hair dye...because I am WAY TOO YOUNG to be gray!

Just wanted to share a few pics with everyone!

Yall have a great weekend:)

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Hands Full" ....A New IDEA??

I seriously get this comment EVERY SINGLE DAY.

"Oh my, bless your heart..you have your hands full"
"Boy do you have your hands full"
"Ha Ha Ha...you have your hands full"
"Goodness girl you have your hands full"

SO FOR ALL THOSE MOMMAS OUT THEIR RAISING KIDS (1, 2, 3, OR FIVE)...

DON'T WE ALL HAVE OUR HANDS FULL.....

Here is the basis of a day in the life of "mommy"....

WAAAWWAAAAWWAAAAA...(babies and or toddlers crying!@!!!)
"Mommy, i pooped, help me"
"I want two cookies cause i am two"
"Can we go jump"
"Stop,_______ (fill in the blank with a siblings name), it's MINE"
"RING RING...phone mommy!"
"DING DING...its the 'ups' man mommy, No honey that is the United Parcels Service man dear!"
WWWAAAAAWAAAAWAAAAWAAWAA....
"Nap time, everyone upstairs, potty, get lovies, and jump straight to bed"
"I don't like vegetables, I want a pop-tart"
"Mommy, the boys are climbing again"
"Stop,_______(fill in the blank with a siblings name), it's MINE!"
***Here is a very important part of the day...it is about NOON and the COFFEE POT IS ON....AGAIN!!!!**** Amazing the difference a tiny bit of caffeine will make for mommy:)


You get the picture...and if you are a mom who just got dressed for the day (during naptime) welcome to the world of SAHM..stay at home mom...OH yeah, and I should mention here that I am only a "temporary" SAHM...I will return to my teaching career (and real clothes) next school year:)

Now you see why I run marathons and dedicate some much needed ME time to myself each day. If you don't you won't make it a week with a bunch of little ones before wanting to cry,whine,pitch a fit,eat junk food,and become irritable with everyone who speaks to you..sound familiar??? YES....hello mommies, i am talking about your toddlers who if they don't eat well, play and exercise,and rest sufficiently they become ILL!!!

This Momma's best advice for having your "hands full" is to not forget to take care of you..

Not telling you to indulge in Kentucky Fried Garbage, or "sleep it off"...I think a bulk of broccoli and a cup of joe with 30min. of activity is a better recipe for feeling whole again.

So with that said, I was kinda tinkering with an idea???

I would like to start another blog (not that I can even keep up with this one as is..) but one with "Just the GOODS" advice that is for raising babies, multiples, kids, husbands (oops..sorry honey), and being the absolute best woman of God we all desire to be. I am thinking about it. It would be short and purposeful. It would be goal driven. Yes, I actually have goals in my day and week and even year that I would like to accomplish. It would be interactive (if I had some friends to participate) and I really think we'd all enjoy it. I am going to continue this "miracle babies" blog because I owe it to my boys and their story to keep it going. I love documenting our family experiences with our children, but I have a few ideas and bits of advice I'd like to share and of course advice I search for as well.


Just thinking.....

Yall have a great day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More new tricks...more video included!

A picture can be worth a thousand words...but so can a video. I was fortunate enough to capture two videos...the first one is of James. He was amongst a pile of toys when I noticed he picked up his hammer and peg board. He looked at it thoughtfully (usually they just hit randomly EVERYTHING around them) but this time he totally "figured out" how it works. He was trying to hammer down the nails in the bed board. Of course once he hammered them down, he got frustrated trying to turn it back over to hammer them again and shows his frustrations..which is also cute:)

I know you must think I am a little over the top here for posting James playing with a toy (momma with too much enthusiasm) but I find myself so thankful and rightfully giddy when the boys reach a milestone of such. He also (on the same night) learned the process of "drop it, pick it up"...he just watched himself over and over pick up a bottle and throw it down on the hardwood floor to "see what would happen", he did the same thing with his new favorite toy that Mamaw gave him for Christmas (a tow truck), he raised the bed of the truck up and then down and watched it so intently. I will stop rambling now and just post the video...Just wanted to share the joy I felt last night watching my boys reach another milestone in development.

The second video is of both boys signing "more" at dinner. They were enjoying some nutritious beanie weenies and both started signing "more". Of course by the time I got my camera they stopped, but we did get them to do it a few more times. The funniest is when they start signing more while I am trying to prepare the food...kinda like clapping "hurry mommy hurry mommy"

Oh yeah, and remember to mute the sound of the music on the song playlist at the bottom right of the page so you can hear the chaotic sounds in the background of the dinner video...Rob says our home sounds like a daycare...I wouldn't have it any other way...

video
video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Tricks..VIDEO included~!


This picture ( I have several of this pose) makes me want to cry each time I see it. It reminds me of what it must have been like inside the womb when they slept at night. This is the only time they ever fall asleep "together" and it is usually after I nurse them at night. It is one of my most favorite moments with them both together.



James Daniel playing with a tub instead of toys..go figure!


John David driving his Spiderman car!



James putting the ball in the monkey tree toy...


So these little guys are rapidly growing and developing. I am still so amazed (and probably will be forever) when I sit back and really take it all in. These guys are not even gestationally one year old until the end of February but yet they are closer and closer to their typical peers in development it seems daily. Tonight, both boys figured out how to "put the ball inside" of one of their toys. We have shown them a few times, but tonight, the switch flipped and they "figured it out"...such a proud moment! I guess I have to be honest in that with our girls, I never really thought much about them "learning" those first few "tricks"..you know, waving bye bye and blowing kisses or simply playing with their toys the correct way. But watching the boys learn these milestones just makes my heart swell with such joy. It kind of gives me a peace each time they do something that shows cognative development.


So I had the opportunity to share the boys' story with Dr. Goodson's office staff today (as we were patiently waiting for 2 hours) but when I shared the story, many of them couldn't believe how healthy and well the boys were. One lady said, "you can't even tell they were 2 pounds" and another lady said, "they are proof that God still works miracles" Well yes mam, I couldn't agree with you more.

James is scheduled for tubes next Thursday. He has had three months worth of infections and/or fluid on his ears. That is plenty long enough to wait before getting tubes. We are hopeful this procedure will help to keep his ears clear and free of infection and also help with his "listening ability"... the audiologist said he couldn't hear clearly and that could be why it seem he is not listening to us...or could just be the boy has my personality and seems to only hear what he wants to hear. I am hopeful it is not the latter...hahah!

John David has learned a new trick this week. Not one to be proud of though...he is BITING...and biting ALOT. The cute thing about it though is, that when you ask him or tell him "no bite" he breaks down and starts crying. He completely understands the word "bite". When I was feeding them lunch today, I said, "James you want a bite" and John David started whimpering as if he were in trouble...too funny.

The boys also answer to each others names. If you say James, they both look. If you say John David, they both look.

James is getting really close to walking. He can stand alone for about 5-10 sec. and he is crusing along everything. John David tried to "growl" like a tiger with me tonight. Too cute.

The most precious moment yesterday at the kitchen table during snack time was after I had tried to get them both to "wave bye bye", James waved and John David said "bye bye"...Claire laughed and said, "Mommy that is crazy how one of them said it and the other one did it!"....

We are all crossing fingers for SNOW tomorrow. I doubt we will have any to play in, but if we do, there's "Snow doubt about it" you can bet I am gonna bundle up FIVE kids and have a blast. Here is a math problem for all my students who still read my blog....

Five kids times two pairs of socks each plus one set of gloves each plus sweatshirts, jackets, scarves, hats and sweatpants per child equals one very busy laundry queen....ME!


video

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Holiday Break Activities!



MOVIE...we watched the new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie with some of our best buddies.



Yogurt Mountain...DELICIOUS!











So what did we do after Christmas during the "Holiday Break"...played at the park of course. SO what if it was 40 degrees...kids don't care if it is cold. I also took the girls to Bath and Body Works to choose a favorite lotion (of their choice). My dad and step mom sent the girls an "after Christmas surprise"...a Bath and Body Works gift card. By the way, the aroma of coconut, springtime flowers, and apple pie permeated the interior of my van. Each girl shopped for their favorite lotion and then received their own special bag to carry their lotion in.


We splurged one day and joined some of our best friends at the movie theater. It was grand fun. After the movie, we enjoyed some frozen yogurt at Yogurt Mountain. Claire chose cheesecake with Reese Cup and Brownie (smart girl), and Ellie chose peanut butter with chocolate sprinkles, Jenna decided on peanut butter with Reese Pieces. It was YUM!!

We also had a store credit at Kohl's so after the park, I took them to shop at Kohl's. My favorite memory of our shopping days, is one in which Jenna stops an elderly man and says, "Hi, my name is Jenna and we share in our family"...I guess the poor girl hears it so much that she just naturally thinks of it. We are constantly reminding our children that if you are going to be a member of our family, sharing is just not optional...we share everything in our family.

The random stranger she started talking to, was intrigued with "how I take five little kids shopping"...so I had to share my secret...BENEDRYL!! ha ha ha...just kidding. I told him I talk to God all day. I ask for more patience each day, I ask for forgiveness when I lose my temper and become aggravated, I ask for physical strength to take care of everyone each day, I praise God for my healthy happy children and meditate on the blessing of that to keep me focused on "the bigger picture". It is super hard to not "sweat the small stuff"...but every single day I TRY my darndest to raise these babies the best I can in a way in which God would be honored and look upon me and think..."job well done"!!! And by the way, shopping with five little kids is really hard to do. It is almost like teaching school. You have to "plan" ahead of time. You have to be "prepared". You have to have your materials ready (snacks, diapers, bottle water, crayons and paper, books)and you have to watch your "time management" and be ready to "discipline"....It all works out but it is not easy. I have always said, that I don't want my children to not enjoy experiences in life because it is "hard on mommy", so if my day is a little more challenging than most, that is fine with me. I will take the challenge and do my best.

I love my children and thank God every single day for loaning them to me. They are all uniquely individual and God has a great plan for each of their lives. I am just really thankful He chose me to be their mom!