I was blessed today to be able to share the "boys' story" with a total stranger...it made me stop and somewhat relive all of those raw emotions from two years ago. It is funny how "life moves on" and without even realizing it, you kind of forget the past in a simple way because you are so busy living the NOW of life..I promised God that every single opportunity I had to share HIS miracle work through our boys' lives with other people (believers or not)....that I would most certainly share! So, as I explained the miraculous journey our family witnessed with James and John David, I was reminded of God's pure and selfless grace, that we don't deserve at all. This man looked at the boys and said, "Well, that is amazing, cause they're here and look to be doing very well!"....OMG, you have know idea how truly amazing...for those of us who have watched the growth and development of these two, teeny-tiny, two pound babies into the twenty-two pound, tenacious, toddlers...is nothing shy of a miracle.
Here are James and John David watching Elmo ABC rap...
The boys are 21 months old...starting to talk more and more each day. Both boys are saying about 35-40 words now. Communicating their likes and DISlikes wonderfully. Their teachers at school are teaching them their ABC's and James does an amazing job of pronoucing several letters. John David actually had a "first sentence" yesterday....We were snuggling on the couch watching Elmo ABC rap (at least 20 times) and pulled up Barney to show him something different and he said, "Uh oh Momma, no no, uh oh, Elmo!"....I started clapping and yelping...he was a bit stunned, not sure why Mommy was freaking out, but when I told him way to go big boy, you are using BIG words talking, he just smiled huge at me...precious moment..priceless moment...another moment when I see the face of our Maker!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Mamaw with the boys.
Mommy having some sweet love time with her boys. They rarely sit still long enough for me to just love on them, and this moment was nice!
Claire and James sporting the AU hats...WAR EAGLE!
Ellie was thrilled with her cookie creations...this girl LOVES to cook...especially sweets...
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
My goodness where do I even start....
I won't how incredibly BUSY we are in our family. Raising 5 kids all under the age of 9, working a full time job, and trying to maintain our home is completely over-whelming at times, unbelievably exhausting, yet, totally satisfying and very humbling to say the least.
I have to admit that some days are so busy that I forget to "stop and smell the roses"...But I think no matter where you are in life, being busy and stressed with the day to day obligations we all have, leaves us feeling wilted......
I don't ever want to forget the "little things" in our days that bring such joy to my heart and smiles to my face...so let me refresh for a minute (since I actually have five minutes to do so) and catch you all up on the Pate Family (moreso the Miracle Babies)
Claire and Ellie recently paricipated in our local Lil Miss Oak Mt. beauty pageant...such fun and copletely hilarious to watch the little ones walk around looking like little lost sheep....Ellie won Best Hair" and "Miss Photogenic" and Claire won over our hearts with participating in something that required her to walk on stage in front of a huge crowd..(she is VERY timid and shy)....
Jenna and the boys started their new home daycare this week. What a pure blessing that is. Although adjusting to a new routine AGAIN for the third week in a row IS NOT fun, the fact that we are now back together with our Oak Mt. teacher kids in a home with the most amazing, loving, caring, Godly, educated women helping to raise our children....is well worth all the effort in change and re-adjustment. Please be in prayer for God to continue to bless these women (Lee Fogle, Maddie Cleary, Jenn Goode, Peggy, and Joan Brock) as they truly do impact the lives of our sweet little ones.
In just a few weeks, as the boys have been in school, learning amongst the "bigger kids"...I am stunned with how much they are learning. Yesterday in the van, I heard in the background, "We will, we will rock you" (by John David) and then I heard, "UH OH, no no bubba" (by James)...they are talking so much. In the bathtub last night, one of them (not even sure who) picked up a blue stacking cup and said, "bu"...OMG...I said, "Where is the yellow cup?" and the other one picked up the yellow stacking cup....AHHH, so apparently they know their colors...well, blue, yellow and green that is....the red and orange were never identified. OH, what a blessing to see them learning. I always worried with the notion of whether they would have huge gaps in development from their prematurity, and obviously that worry was a waste of time. Sure they are still smaller than average and appear younger than their peers, but not by much. I have noticed the boys doing more than some of their peers at the YMCA when we go play in the childwatch. I think having three girls (very typical, sometimes advanced) before preemie twin boys makes me worry about them more. But from all the moms of boys I talk to, they all tell me the same thing, "boys mature slower than girls".....Regardless, I am so thrilled with the boys' learning and development right now...so very thankful.
Tonight as I prepared to put them to bed, I stopped for a minute and just stared at them, looked deep into their eyes and and burned the sweetest image into my mind...the smell of their coconut shampoo heads, the sound of "momma peas" (asking me to read a book in our chair together), their (kind of) chunky toddler fat thighs, and lastly the feeling of them laying together on my chest breathing into my neck while I sang "Please Papa Daddy" song to them....just absolutely priceless....
The days are going so fast..which seems so odd because I am so exhausted by days end and sometimes think, "will this day ever end"...looking back on pictures and videos from months past make me want to freeze time as all my babies are growing up so fast.
In church lately we have been talking about 'stress'...and term near and dear to so many of us. I yearn to be at a place with God where stress doesn't take root in my spirit. I have so many responsibilities in my everyday life, that I sometimes feel the 'stress to the limit' emotion and want to just have a total breakdown...but then I hear a song, see a verse, remember a friend from church battling breast cancer right now, see a precious face of a preemie baby boy that was near death, remember my bestfriend in the whole world who wants nothing more than to just hug her momma one last time but can't because she is no longer on this Earth, feel my children hug me and say 'I love you Mommy', hear my husband tell me how much he appreciates me....AND the stress doesn't seem so bad....seems more manageable...tolerable, even enjoyable!
I would like to end this post with a prayer request.
My stepsister, Cindy, has a little boy named Hayden who is approaching 1 year old. She just found out that Hayden has a form of cerebral palsy. Please be in prayer for God to open doors and take hold of this situation. Pray for Hayden to receive the help he needs and for Cindy to feel support from all around as she continues to raise her son and give him the best she can.
Friday, September 3, 2010
So here are the kids having a "spa bath" thanks to Daddy being in charge of bath one weekend night. They loved it, and what fun it was trying to dissolve all those suds...NOT!!!!!
Life is busier than ever before.
18 hours days...not kidding. Up at 5, teach 7 hours, cheer, meetings, tumble class, run after school, homework, supper, bathtime,housework, preparations for the next day, lights out by 11pm....
Wow, we are now approaching the fourth week of school and everyone has been so healthy and well..what a blessing! Thank you breastmilk for all of your wonderful, strength building, brain enhancing, immune enriching antibodies....The boys are doing very well. They are growing and learning so much everyday.
Who is this big ole boy...John David Pate...look at those teeth...
Daddy decided the girls needed a "Daddy Daughter Date night" so he took the girls out for dinner and a movie (and of course they had to dress up)...so sweet...they loved it.
Saturday morning cartoons...James looks so happy to be with his sisters on their sleeping bag...I love moments like these...
Sadly, we have just been dealt a pretty crappy situation though with the boys' school. Until yesterday, the boys (and Jenna) have been attending Learning By Design Daycare. Lee Fogle was the director and her staff (whom she brought with her from her home in the previous days when she kept the Oak Mt. teachers' babies) just recently resigned (or rather were forced to resign). I have never been associated with such shoddy treatment from a daycare. Yesterday morning, about 20 OM teachers dropped off their children as usual and by mid day, word traveled that our staff of trusted caregivers were basically gone...several upset mommas showed up at 3pm to a total disarray. Basically the "business man" behind the scenes (who has no idea how to run a daycare) decided the bottom dollar was more important than the well-being of our children so, he basically let the trusted, qualified women who have loved and nurtured and taught my babies since birth go so he could (I guess) bring in cheaper, under qualified staff to pinch a penny....there is so much dishonesty involved and deceit from the "man" that it just gives me a stomach ache. I know one thing, that daycare will completely dissolve as soon as word gets out...from what I heard today, DHR was there this morning evaluating....hummmmm....gotta make ya wonder!?!?!
But what was truly amazing, was to see the teachers rally around, stand up for Lee and the others (Maddie, Jenn, Peggy, Joan) and support them, withdrawal their children from that daycare and not even give it a second though. Of course, several teachers felt the need to share just how disgusted they were with him, and I for one, didn't think twice about removing my three babies as quickly as possible. It almost felt like some sick, twisted Lifetime Movie....(UHH)
SO, a new plan is needed...childcare for A LOT of teachers in our area. I know one door doesn't close without another one opening right behind it, I just hope for my family's sake, it happens sooner than later....:(
Funny how I was just speaking of how "settled" things were beginning to feel and how balanced the kids all are. Mommy is loving her days at OMIS teaching fourth graders and our family system is working well...sure as soon as I say it, something like this happens...
I have the most amazing teachers and friends though. Today, my best friend Aimee took Jenna for the entire day, fed her lunch, took her to the zoo, and brought her to me after school. Lori Lancaster and Rebekah Austin (two teachers from OMES) offered to keep the boys all day so I wouldn't have to take off. They did it all, lovingly took my boys, played with them, fed them, loved on them all day....I am truly a blessed lady..