John David Pate-3years old

James Daniel Pate-3years old

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Officially 2 years!

So yesterday was special in my heart of hearts. Two years ago yesterday, January 28, 2009, we brought two precious little baby boys home from the Brookwood NICU. I remember it all so vividly. It was bitter cold, we were so over-joyed, yet petrified to think of the responsiblity of caring for those very tiny special needs preemie babies. James weighted on the dot 4lbs (I almost think it was 3lb 15oz) and John David was 4lb 5oz. They were 36 weeks gestational age when we arrived home. They look like baby dolls in their car seats. Anyone who has brought a newborn baby home,can atest to how tiny they seem at 8 or 9 pounds, so imagine bringing home a baby HALF the size of a typical newborn.

I can laugh about it now, but the first night home I literally DID NOT GO TO SLEEP AT ALL. I sat next to their bed and watched them all night. If I began to nod of into a sleeping stupor, I'd walk outside in the 20 degree weather to WAKE UP. Then resume my post of 'watching them sleep'....I know it sounds insane, but I was completely terrified that they would stop breathing and I wouldn't know so without the hospital monitors.

SO, now as I tuck them in at night and cross my fingers they don't crawl out of their cribs, I will never forget the first night home with those boys watching them sleep, as they take in and release every single breath.

Also too, I remember the over-whelming joy of knowing that they were in a safer place free of GERMS, but nonetheless, I didn't allow anyone to visit our home with small children until April 1st. I demanded nurses to come to my house to administer RSV shots instead of taking the boys into the doctor office. Yes, I remember several heated conversations with nurses and insurance companies over the battle of RSV shots for the boys. When my girls arrived home from school, I immediately took them up stairs and bathed them. How funny the day when we were all ready for bed time at the ripe hour of 4pm. I actually remember telling my mom and mother-in-law to wash their hands with soap and water before holding the boys. The audacity I had when it came to telling people what was and wasn't allowed with the boys, still makes me giggle when I think about it.

SO, as I reflect that special time two years ago, I am still standing in AWE of what a miracle God bestowed upon us. The story just continues. Not only did they beat the odds with the pregnancy, the NICU hurdles, but now as typical, healthy, thriving, developing two year olds.

I picked up those little stinkers yesterday from school (after thinking all about the NICU days and bringing them home), and I just savored a really special moment when I picked them up from school....

I approached the fence at Joan's to find John David sitting at a pic-nic table with his friends, eating snack, and as he looked up and saw me, he said, "Hi Mommy!"....and then jumped up to show me the kitty running through the yard. He said, "Ook Mommy, its Doan's (Joan's) titty tat!"....and I almost had tears. Just to see them so healhty and whole and loving their sweet days at Mrs.Joan's house with their buddies (and their sister), brings a great deal of peace to my life. I thank God for it.

Lastly, I wanted to mention the Early Intervention therapist that have been keeping an eye on the boys since about 6 months old, to watch for concerns. They left me a message after "re-evaluating" both boys yesterday because they DON'T see a need for continuing services....WOW...I talked with Joan about it briefly (because she has amazing background/experiences working with special needs pre-schoolers from our past Eclipse program at Oak Mt. Elem) and she said, "I think they are doing wonderfully, and on some accounts they are doing many things that older toddlers who were not preemie and are typical aren't even doing."

I am grateful for how wonderfully they are growing and learning, but part of me still wants to keep them in a nice padded bubble with lots of extra help and support! I will update as soon as I receive the evaluation from Shelby Arc.

And for those of you who had to endure me, two years ago when we brought the 'miracle babies' home....THANK YOU FOR ENDURING ME....I can only imagine how neurotic I was....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Two - 2yr olds TALKING...funny boys!

I wanted to share a video with you guys of the boys "talking"...funny little guys. They know all of their colors, some of their shapes, most all typical animal sounds...and even know how to pray (my favorite)....They know between 75-100 words, and are speaking to communicate their wants/needs...even with each other. It is hilarious to hear them talk to each other. I know it sounds so cliche..but we are SO THANKFUL for how wonderfully these boys are developing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Becky and Rosey...2 weeks of bliss!!!!

My dad, whom we call Becky (or Beck Beck) and my stepmom, whom we call Rosey (or Ro Ro), spent 2 weeks with us. I know what you are thinking..."I bet your kids were totally spoilt rotten"...YEP and "I bet they were worn out after 2 weeks at your house!"....YEP!

It was total bliss for 2 weeks having them around. My dad and Rosey 'tinker' with anything that needs improvement and within a week they had my front door fixed, dripping kitchen faucet fixed, entertainment shelves assembled, pots and pans cleaned to a new pristine, Claire's bike tire that has been flat since summer- now fixed!...the list goes on and on. Seriously though, it is just so awesome to have their presence around. They both have an energy that is contagious. When I am at my wits end, one of them will do or say something to make me every time. The kids are rotten, but in a good way. I am so appreciative for the special activities they do with the kids. Movies, park, ice-skating, gas station treats, playing outside, etc.

And of course like everything else in life...anyting really amazing and wonderful always comes to an end...and boy is it ridiculously sad. To listen to my girls weep themselves to sleep because they miss Becky and Rosey so much, hurts. But they will be back in 3 months. We try to focus on the fun we have with them and keep our hopes up and spirits going knowing we will be able to see them again in a few months. And for the meantime, we have about 200 pictures and an hour of DVD to remind us of "Beck Beck and RO RO"...

It is four days out from their departure and the boys still wake up and say, "Uh oh Momma, Beck Beck bye bye" and the other boy says, "Momma, I Ro Ro, bye bye"....

I think Ro Ro had as much fun at the boys' 2nd birthday as the boys did! So precious...Look at that face of joy!

Don't think for a second that Becky and Rosey don't dive into a foam pit if a grandkid asks them too....funny thing was watching my dad try and crawl out of that foam pit!

Enoying lunch at Mamaw's house after church Sunday morning, in honor of Claire's baptism.

So proud to be at Claire's baptism. And Claire was equally proud to have them both there.


Ginger Bread Houses!


Reading Books...James and Rosey talking 'colors'

Beck Beck and John David talking 'ball'

Christmas with Becky and Rosey...the boys LOVED their remote control was hysterical watching them chase each others' cars.

Cooking yummy sweets for Christmas with all the kiddos and Becky and Rosey at Mamaw's house....Daddy was home in the bed with a stomach virus, that we all eventually passed around. Rosey and the boys were the only ones who escaped the plague!

Jenna opening up her "PENGUIN PIGGY BANK"...hahaha..inside joke for those of you who know about Jenna and her 'penguins':)

Rosey and James finishing off their plate of Koosa and Eggs...James Daniel LOVED his Lebanese breakfast!

"Show me your guns boys!"

Cooking Koosa and Eggs for breakfast...two different pans going on here...mine has egg beaters, his has real eggs...mine has pam spray, his has oil...mine has no milk, his has WHOLE MILK....hahahaha...but the end result is YUMMY breakfast!

Claire and Becky making pancakes for breakfast...

Ice-Skating...this is such a special treat...ONLY Becky and Rosey have ever taken these girls ice-skating. THEY LOVE IT...even though my dad fell, which resulted in a mild concussion. Claire told me when he got up, he was asking where Dana was...and of course I had not even gone with them..I was home with the little ones!

Eating Mexican together...our last dinner together

Saying good bye the night before Becky and Rosey had to leave...hard tears here..but it just proves how much these kid truly love their grandparents. We feel so blessed to have had such an amazing two weeks together.

Christmas with Nana and Uncle Ryan!

Well, I am still posting Christmas pics and memories. I guess when you have four Christams gatherings, it takes a while. But what a blessing it is to have so much family to share the holidays with. We drove throught the beautiful SNOW on Christmas evening to spend time with Nana and Uncle Ryan! The kids had a great time and received some wonderful gifts. Ellie was super thrilled with her art set, complete with stickers and stamps....Jenna is now tagged as "twinkle toes" because my mom got her a pair of the Sketchers "Twinkle Toes" shoes....James and John David seemed most excited about their musical instruments and "bawl"....Claire has worn her white North Face jacket just about every single day since she opened it. We sure appreciate all the sweet gifts and special memories shared together this Christmas. It was a special treat to have my brother home. The girls (and boys) adore him...probably cause he does what good uncles are suppose to do...GIVE THEM CANDY AND MAKE EM ROTTEN!..HAHA!