Thursday, August 30, 2007

Another successful eye appointment for Lindsey

Lindsey had another follow-up appointment with the pediatric ophthamologist on Tuesday. Things were looking good. Her right eye tested 20/20 and her left (the amblyopic one) tested 20/25 for the second time in a row. Her doctor said it's time to start weaning her off the patch, so we are going down to three hours/day now and we will go back in 12 weeks for another follow-up. She'll continue to wear her glasses full-time.

In other news, the girls and I went to dance class registration last night. This dance class is called Just for Kix. An overview of the program reads:

Just For Kix was established over 25 years ago and provides excellent dancing and performing opportunities for young people. Just For Kix oversees dance team programs in over 150 communities and provides instruction to over 20,000 dancers throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Just For Kix motto, “doing your best is more important than being the best,” puts the prime motivation on team work and self-esteem.

I'm wondering a little on how this is going to go. Some of you may remember that we signed up for this last year and we gave it a good try for two months before withdrawing. The program is a no-distraction one, meaning that no parents in the room. I think that's great and the girls did fine with that. It's just that when they were in the room, they never participated. I'd go in after the class to get them and there they would be sitting on the side in a folding chair. We tried a few different tactics over the two months, even splitting them into separate classes, thinking that one might have been sitting out because the other one was sitting out. That didn't go over very well either.

So we are trying again. They are another year older and probably one of the oldest in this Tiny Kix class, whereas last year, they were definitely the youngest because they hadn't turned four yet. Another positive thing is that they ran into our next door neighbor's cousin who is three almost four. They had played with her last weekend when she was at our neighbor's home for a party. The girls hit it off and I think it was good that it was fresh in their minds. She's going to be in their class too. So, send some positive thoughts this way that all goes well. I'm not that big on kids being in a ton of activities, but I'd like to do something. I'm really trying to encourage them to participate, to help overcome some of this hesitance they have. It's not that they don't enjoy the class. Last year, we would come home after class (after not participating) and then proceed to sing and dance the whole thing. They liked watching and learning, I guess.

I'll leave with a few recent pics. The girls were helping their dad in the garage one day and he got them all set up using his tools!

Helping dad in the garage. Lindsey's helping too!

Here they are before bed. Nothing better than a story read by daddy!

Bedtime with dad!

Oh, and school is going great too!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wordless Wednesday


Wordless Wednesday HQ or 5 Minutes for Mom

I was going to use a couple of our first day of school pics, but changed my mind. If you're interested, see below!

Monday, August 27, 2007

First day of Pre-K!

Yep, today was the start of the new school year. Since Lindsey have an October birthday, they miss the cut-off by five weeks, and thus, they have another year of preschool. Fine by me! This year, however, they are going three full days, 8:30-3 p.m. (last year they went three half days).

The public schools here don't start until after Labor day (it's the law!), but we go to a very small private Lutheran school. Lindsey and Sydney were very excited to see Mrs. P again. Being that is a small school, they have a joint preschool (ages 3-5) and one teacher. It was nice to have them excited to go and know what to expect. They were very curious when we arrived because Mrs. P rearranges the room each year, so even though it was familiar, it was also different.

We were a little rushed this morning and I forgot the school supplies. Ooops! Normally, I have very early risers...I mean, they are like clockwork 6-6:30 a.m., but today Miss Sydney decides to sleep until 7:30 a.m.!

We love school mom!

Hey Mom, Look at us!

YAY! It's back to school for us! A Kiss for Good Luck!

They sure look a lot different than last year, don't they?
I can't believe how little they looked then.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

After we got to school, we had an opening service and the girls and I headed to their classroom, checked out their cubbies, gave some kisses and hugs and off I went. One of their new classmates was crying. It was her fist day in school and Lindsey told me, so matter-of-factly, that "she's crying because she wants her mom".

A hug from Mrs. P!

Later, when I picked them up, they were having a little snack out on the picnic table and they could stop talking about their day. I'm SO happy that they had such a great day! You can view of all of our first day pics HERE. Check them out! There's a few more cute ones!

It was quite a busy day. While the girls were in school, I went out to the shop and did a little work, paid a few bills, did payroll, etc. Our church is celebrating it's sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) in a few weeks and my mom asked if the girls would sing one verse of a song. Then she said, hey, you should sing with us too! So, I said okay. Then she informed me that we had choir practice tonight. We're singing a couple of songs, "Children of the Heavenly Father" (the one the girls will be singing) and "We Have Come This Far by Faith". I'm excited about it, and also glad that they are low. I'm an alto, but on one of the songs, I'm going to sing soprano. It ought to be interesting considering that I haven't sung in a choir since 10th grade! Practice went well though. I really have to practice the one though. People hear it if you mess up, because there are only seven of us.

THEN, while at practice, I got asked to be the Sunday School teacher for the little kids. I had sort of been thinking about it (my mom had told me they were looking for someone), so I said yes. I'll have about 5-6 girls (4-5 years old). Should be a fun time, eh?

Well, I hope you enjoyed the pics of the day. Tomorrow we are off to Lindsey's eye appointment to follow up on her Amblyopia. I'll keep you posted.

Oh, and I've been tagged for a meme. I'll be getting to that soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2007 aching back!

No lie! My back went out. Or I should say that I'm in some major back pain right now mostly due to a combination of things: genetics, six hours in the car on Monday and carrying my notebook around in its backpack while slung over my right shoulder. You would think I would learn since this has happened several times in the past. I can always tell. If it just wasn't for that darn hereditary stuff. It's on my mom's side. We all seem to have a problem with our hips getting out of whack, which in turn aggravates our lower backs. I'm walking very crooked and all hunched over, but thankfully, the icing and ibuprofen is keeping in check until I can get to the chiropractor. He's not open on Thursday's and I couldn't get in on Wednesday, so I am the first appointment tomorrow at 8:45 a.m. I know I will feel some HUGE relief after the appointment. I know I'll have to go for a few days after that too. Tomorrow cannot come soon enough!

And of course all this happens when I have tons of stuff to do. It's the last week off before preschool starts on Monday. I had all these plans and all kinds of stuff to do. The girls have a project to finish that their teacher brought out during their home visit and I need to have a recent picture of each of them for them to glue on the project. So, I needed to get to the store to pick those up, as well as, getting all their school supplies (mostly classroom supplies). I need to get their backpacks ready to go. I'm not sure I even have an outfit picked out. But, the girls are ready and excited!

One of the causes of my back issue this week I mentioned above; six hours in the car. On Monday, the girls and I chauffeured my grandma three hours north to Minong, Wisconsin to visit with her cousin who she hadn't seen in quite a few years. The trip was for for two reasons, really. One, for the two cousins to visit and two, for my genealogical purposes. This is the last living cousin of my grandma's and Norma did have some new information for us. We really had a wonderful day. We picked great-grandma up and of course, made time for a picture:

We're off for our day of family research!

Lindsey & Sydney ready to go

Then we were off. Honestly, I have the best travelers EVER! Each took a very short little snooze, but for the most part, they just read their books or we sang, things we normally do in the car. And not even any potty breaks, well, except for ME! I think I drank too much coffee. The girls and I had talked about what we were going to be doing there and they were just so good! I guess I wasn't surprised. They usually are, but we do have our moments. We were there about four hours and I had brought books to read, Leapsters, and markers and color books, which kept Lindsey & Sydney occupied for hours. Towards the end of our visit, we turned on the TV for a bit and of course, Sydney picked Animal Planet. The Meerkats were on!

Norma, my grandma and I visited and looked at old photographs. I read through the info that Norma had gathered, but the most fun, was just listening to her and my grandma reminisce. They were telling all sorts of stories from when they were younger, from living on the farm in Minnesota to moving to South Dakota and back again, and about their mothers (and why they hated storms) and their grandfather (which would be my great-great grandfather and how he hid hard candy in the trees for them to find when they came for a visit). I'm so glad that I was able to do this for my grandma! It's just been such a wonderful thing to be back here in my hometown and able to spend time with the family.

Chatter Chatter Chatter Cousins, Norma & Marcy

"You don't say..."
You don't say! was a fabulous day, and even though I got a sore back out of it, I'd do it again! (And I probably will! I think our next little adventure will take us to South Dakota.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

One of my favorite's...after a surprise shower...


Or view it Large.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos, go HERE and HERE.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Daddy!

It's been a banner day here! Today is B's 48th birthday! The girls have been so excited all week for daddy's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad was the first thing they said when they woke him up this morning.

B was supposed to be golfing today, but it was cancelled yesterday, due to the rain coming. And it is...a rainy day. So, the girls asked him if he could go "run some errands". It was so cute. We had all these plans we were going to do while he was golfing, but he accomodated us and "ran some errands".

So, first off, we got out the construction paper and craft materials to make cards. I forgot to get pics while we were making them, but here they are with the finished product. They had a little help with some of the writing.

So proud of the birthday card's they made!

Next, we moved on to the cake baking. I had one that wanted chocolate and one wanted vanilla, so we settled on a marble cake (just from a box, but still fun!). And then we did half and half on the frosting, half chocolate, half white. The chocolate is from the store, but we just made up the white with some butter and powdered sugar! YUM! My favorite!

Lindsey adds some water... Next, crack the eggs!
Lindsey mixing Pour this batter into the small bowl
Stir it up, girls! Can't forget to lick the bowl!
The cake is cooling...

After the cake, we moved on to decorating. They wanted balloons and streamers, so I dug some out. They tried really, really hard to blow up the balloons, had to do it. And made me dizzy!

Come on Lindsey, you can do it! Blow really hard, Sydney!

Dad's home from his errands! SURPRISE!


Happy Birthday Dad!  We love you!

And last, but not least, Lindsey & Sydney couldn't wait to sing to dad! I think they really were interested in the cake! LOL!

Thank you, honey, for all that you do for me and for our family! I hope you enjoy your day with all your girls! We love you so much! Or as the girls tell you every day...

"You're the BESTEST daddy EVER!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sydney's second annual heart check-up...

...and everything is fine!

Last Friday, Sydney and I ventured into Minneapolis for her annual heart follow-up appointment. As a refresher, Sydney, at one time, had a VSD (ventricular septal defect) and an ASD (atrial septal defect). After she was discharged from the NICU, we had follow ups with her pediatric cardiologist. At her one year appointment, her echocardiogram showed that the VSD had closed on it's own. We weren't surprised, as it was quite small. Her ASD, however, was still open, and quite a good size. We were told that at some point she would need to have it surgically closed, but they wanted her to get bigger first. This was the first time we were told about a device called an Amplatzer, which is a device they use to close the hole in the atriums. They said at that point, she looked like a good candidate. If we didn't want to go that route, they would have to do open heart surgery.

We had two more follow ups and in 2005, her cardiologist decided it was time to have it closed. Her echocardiogram showed that she was still a good candidate for the Amplatzer. We were amazed by this technology and felt very comfortable with the doctor performing the procedure. The Amplatzer was developed by a local company and some of the clinical trials were done right at the same hospital that Sydney would have it done at.

Two years ago, we headed off to the hospital in the early morning. I was in awe that the procedure would only require an overnight stay. Lindsey was staying two nights at her aunt and uncle's house while we were at the hospital. Sydney was a champ. I think the hardest part for me was going back with her while they put her to sleep. They had told me to just hold her face and look in her eyes, and I began to sing, "Lullaby, and goodnight...go to sleep, little baby.", a song I sang every night to her. It was a very emotional few moments and then she went out. The procedure only took about an hour. Here are some pictures from two years ago.

Modeling the lovely yellow jammies Pre-op...checking our pressures
Post surgery...needed some pain meds. Back to our room
I'm feeling better!

And back to last Friday and our appointment...first off, it was quite a lot of drama to be going to the appointment without her sister, Lindsey. Syd wasn't happy about it and cried that she'd miss her so much! Look at those watery eyes! I tried to get her to smile.

We dropped Lindsey off with dad and they did some fun things together while Sydney and I went to the appointment. She got her pressures checked collected her stickers, not without asking for some stickers for her sister. She is always SO thoughtful!
Getting my blood pressure checked. Good pressures!

Elevator rides are always fun...Then it was time for the echocardiogram and she followed all the directions perfectly. Next, we went to another office where we waited for Dr. Bass and two other residents/students (it's a teaching hospital/clinic). Everything looked great! Just a small, inconsequential heart murmur that she'll probably outgrow. And we made our appointment for next year. Then we were off, back to our car and off to McDonald's and then to pick up Lindsey!

It's been a fun day with with just me and mom!

And here's a picture of my heart! Oh, and check out this cool picture of my heart!

What a fun day with mom and Blue Bear! Note Blue Bear in the picture from two years ago. She got this bear from the doctor when she was admitted to the hospital and it has been her special "Blue Bear" ever since!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Are they still preemies?

During some emails that came through on my PreemieBlogMoms Yahoo Group recently, someone posed the question, "Won't they always be a preemie or do they out grow that term when they are all caught up or what?" She was asked if her daughter was still a preemie or when would she no longer be considered a preemie. How do YOU answer that?

For me, my girls will always be considered preemies. I know some say former preemies or ex-preemies, and to me, that is the same thing. It is a label that I will always carry with me in regards to my girls. How could I not? It's what has totally defined them from before they were even born. Even now, though they seem like happy, well-adjusted almost five year olds with no special needs; every illness or health problem, every behavior issue that comes up, even different personality issues, I question and wonder if it's somehow related to their early birth.

I wonder how those 114 days in the NICU could not affect them in some way. And about the months on the ventilator and oscillator, the suctioning, the steroids and all the other drugs, the heel sticks and IV's and blood transfusions, the eye exams and eye surgery, the bright lights and all the noise, ALL when they were supposed to be snug and warm in their mother's womb, but weren't...I could go on and on.

It's true, my day-to-day worries when they were infants are gone, about the reflux and are they taking enough fluids, etc., and it was hard to let that try to treat them just like any other toddler. But to me, they weren't like other toddlers. It was very difficult to let the feeding worries go, let them eat when they wanted to and trust that it was enough. It took me several years and lots of research and reading, particularly the books by Ellyn Satter: "Child of Mine: Feeding With Love and Good Sense" and "How to Get Your Kid to Eat: But Not Too Much". Of course, lots of prayer, too.

Now I'm on to other behavior things, like them being overly shy and cautious, overwhelmed easily by lots of commotion and noises (although this has gotten much better over the years). Is it normal child behavior or is it something more? Is it anything to do with being a twin and their traits and behaviors that come along with that? I'm finding this much more difficult to identify. For example, we are planning a trip to Disney World in October. The girls will be five. They should really be excited about going, don't you think? Meeting the Princesses and Mickey Mouse? They tell me they don't want to go. They don't want to get dressed up as a Princess at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. What little girl do you know who wouldn't love this? And if it was just this one incident, maybe I wouldn't question it, but it's more than that, much more.
We love the shirts our friends sent us...
Cute girls
Wouldn't they make beautiful princesses?

These are some reasons why my girls will always be preemies. It's just part of who they are. I really try not to let my first thoughts always come back to prematurity. I don't know. Maybe my thoughts on this will change over the years. I have no idea what's in store. I just know that I will always be a strong advocate for them and whatever they need, vigilant, yet not smothering, always willing to explore with them...
...and I love them more than they'll ever know.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Weekend Recap...

The weekend is over. It was a typical summer weekend with lots going on. I can't believe it's August and there is only three weeks before the girls are heading back to school. Seems like we have lots to cram in before then.

Showing us their crafts from VBS..
Linds & Syd modeling their hats from VBS!

The girls attended Vacation Bible School all last week and really had a good time! They came home each day with their crafts, spouting bible verses and singing the cutest songs!
We're riding on the Gospel train for Jesus
And God is the conductor, so relax!
He treats everyone, a precious cargo
Climb aboard, we're making tracks!

On Friday, I headed to my friend's house for a little R&R. I met B at work and handed off the girls and then off to my friend's. We did a little shopping around town, out to dinner, and then back to her house for some late night chatting. We finally had to cut ourselves off and get to bed, as we were supposed to be up early the next morning. We were heading to the Cambridge Antique Fair early. Gotta get the good deals, ya know! Well, we didn't leave as early as we were intending, but made it in good time. We spent about four hours perusing the goods, made a few purchases (some vintage postcards of my home town for me!) and we learned a lesson in buying when we see something too. A couple things weren't there when we went back! Ah well... it was a great morning and the rain held off which was wonderful!

Back at home, it had been raining all day. Thank God, because we really needed it badly. B was playing in a softball tournament and had dropped the girls at grandma's in the morning. They spent the day there making cookies, watching movies, playing with the playdough! All fun things to do with grandma! I picked them up later in the afternoon and headed home. We were intending on going down to B's softball game (about an hour away), but I certainly wasn't interested in sitting out in the rain with two little girls!

B's team won their game, so they played at 10 a.m. on Sunday. The girls and I decided to see how they did on that game and when we found out they won, we headed down to watch the next game. We thought they had it, but in the last inning, our team ahead by one, the other team rallied scoring 13 runs! ACK! We lost! Then it was off to the teammates farm where we grilled burgers & brats and just had a nice afternoon. The girls loved the farm and made quick friends with another four year old, Gabby! They played in the yard, with the dogs, got rides on the four-wheeler, the big John Deere tractor and watched the baby pheasants that they raise for the wild. They were sad to leave! I'm supposed to be getting some pics emailed to me, but none have showed up in the Inbox yet! Darn!

This week, we have another session of swim lessons. I'm torn. I'd like it to rain and cool off a bit because we need it, but it's so nice to have hot weather for the girls in the pool. They have no extra fat on their bodies. They just seem to get colder than the other kids and I swear sometimes, I think their little lips turn blue!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend too! What did you do?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

I just love this one from last Christmas...

4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Sleeping at the church program...PRICELESS!

4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve...
Sleeping at the church program when they were supposed to be singing...

Please visit Wordless Wednesday HQ to view more priceless photos.
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