Friday, December 12, 2008


Pre-surgery Two hours post surgery One day post-surgery

The previous pics are before, after and one day post-surgery. I certainly can tell a big difference in her left eye! It's even been more noticible today and it really warmed my heart when Lindsey said, "I just love how my eyes look straight, mom!"

As for the surgery itself yesterday, all ended up going as planned. We got there, the anesthesiologist listened to her lungs and said they sounded fine so we were a GO! When we got there, we all got stickers to wear, "Lindsey's Mom, Lindsey's Dad and Lindsey's Sister". Lindsey got her bracelet and her bear, Snowy, got a matching bracelet too!

Linds and Snowy have matching bracelets!

Next, we had the prelim vitals, etc., waiting to head to OR. I got to go in with her and lucky me, got to dress all up 'like a snowman' or as Lindsey said, "You look just like Snowy, mom!"

Getting a little "arm hug" Modeling her gown and slippers
Pre-surgery markings Mom and Lindsey getting ready to go back to the OR.
Linds was glad her sister was here too! How do you like my cap?

Sydney was so concerned about her sister, constantly asking when she was going to be done, if she was okay, etc. When we got back to the recovery room, Syd ran right in and said, Lindsey! I'm so glad you're okay. I love you so much! She continued to gush over her the whole time and the nurse asked if they were always like this, and I told her, yes, pretty much!

Water, please... Post surgery

Happy to be going home

Sydney SO glad that her sister is okay!

I'm just so proud of how Lindsey handled it all. I was quite worried about it, but she really surprised us. She's been a trooper. The doctor resectioned approximately 6 mm of muscle in each of her eyes. They will continue to be red for weeks, gradually getting pinker and then back to white. We're doing antibiotic/anti-inflammatory drops in her eyes three times a day for a week. We have a follow-up appointment with her doctor on Tuesday. She's already cleared to go back to school on Monday. She's experienced really no pain at all. We've just been giving her Tylenol, regularly on the first day, but now, as needed. Actually, it's been really hard to keep her resting and not jumping around!

Of course, after we came home Thursday, we had to do something fun that night! Dad made sugar cookies, so the girls had fun frosting them! YUUUUUM! Happy Holidays!

Lindsey eating her work!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Time for Surgery...

We knew the time would come and now it has. Lindsey will be going in for Strabismus surgery this Thursday. It has come up fairly quickly. We had originally planned to wait until the new year to do this, but then we found out that our health insurance is changing (not a bad thing, we decided to make a change). Now, though, we feel it's better to have Lindsey's surgery this year. So, I called last week to see about scheduling and they had this Thursday open and we took the slot. The scheduling worked well, as you know, the girls have school M-W-every other F, and this is a 'no school on Friday' week.

We need to be at the surgery center by 9:30 a.m., surgery at 10:15 a.m. Our pediatric opthamologist will be doing the surgery. She calls the night before and talks with us again in the morning before the surgery, as well as, the standard talks with the nurses and anesthesiologist. I will be able to go back to the OR with her until she falls asleep. The surgery itself will take about an hour. We expect to be back home mid-afternoon, armed with some pain meds. The whites of her eyes will be red and she could possibly have some swelling and discharge, BUT they "say" she should be good to go back to school on Monday. Amazing.

We have been using a combination of patching (3 hours a day) and eye drops (3 days a week) over the past year and half, switching back and forth, and using all sorts of bribery and manipulation to get Lindsey to keep doing those things. She really hates wearing the patch now and at first, welcomed the drops, so as she didn't have to do the patch, but now, they are both a PITA, for ALL of us!

This was all done, along with her glasses, to treat her Amblyopia and while we've had good success with bringing her vision more equal between her two eyes, her muscles still need some adjustments, thus the reason for the surgery.

I'm a little nervous about the surgery. Not so much, the surgery itself, but how Lindsey is going to react after it's over. She tends to be quite stubborn and get herself worked up into fits that frankly, sometimes it's really hard to snap her out of. She responds really well to information up front, so we've been talking a lot about the surgery, what's going to happen, how her eyes will be red, etc. She's been quite calm and inquisitive about the whole thing. Maybe she'll surprise me. I'm thinking that a lot of her calmness has to do with the knowledge that Sydney's been through this before with her heart procedure and now she feels it's her turn. I don't know though. It could also just be the fact that she knows she probably won't have to patch or use eye drops anymore.
So, if you could spare a prayer or some positive thoughts for us on Thursday, we'd appreciate them!

Happy Holidays! The girls sure loved decorating the tree! I just love their Christmas spirit!

Sydney is into decorating the tree! Lindsey loves decorating!

Monday, November 24, 2008

We're here.

I just hate how time gets away from me. Now it's been over a month since I updated. Lots of updates to be had too. We are gearing up for eye surgery for Lindsey. More on that next time.

Just to tide you over a bit, we have our first lost tooth! It went quickly. I barely knew it was even loose and then it was out! Here is the proud girl, Sydney.

First lost tooth

See my new tooth!

Big Smile! LIttle hole!

Apparently the bottom one next to it is pretty loose now too. She's excited for the tooth fairy to come again.

Oh, and a little funny story about the first lost tooth...I had set the tooth on the kitchen counter, and let me tell you, it is teeny TINY! Later in the afternoon (she lost it right away in the morning) I was cleaning up the kitchen and totally forgot about it. When her dad got home, we went to get it and it was gone! Sydney was pretty understanding and kept telling me, 'It's okay, mom.' I felt TERRIBLE! I told her that it was okay though, because we didn't get to keep it anyway, that the tooth fairy took the tooth and we would just write her a note. She accepted that.

I knew it had to be in the garbage, so I started digging. I couldn't find it. I mean, the thing is like half the size of a tic-tac! I took a break and thought to myself, please just let me find it, I KNOW it's here! Lo and behold, the next time I started digging, I FOUND IT! She was so HAPPY that she could show it to her dad when he got home! Of course, I received many Thank You's!

Lindsey's patiently waiting to get a loose tooth too!

Getting ready.... Get set.... Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Happy Fall Y'all! Oh, wait, it's almost winter now and we have snow on the ground!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday to my precious daughters!

I've been trying to compose this entry for awhile. I've been somewhat emotional leading up to their birthday this year. They just seem so grown up. Has it really been six years? Maybe it's because they are in Kindergarten now and that is such a big step. Elementary school.

I look at their pictures back when they were first born, through the NICU, through their first year, second year and as hard as all that was, sometimes, I just want to go back! I've loved every stage of their life and have always been excited for the next, but I see those pictures and I think to myself, 'Where have my little girls gone?'

It's funny because each year as we get close to their birthday, I always tell them that "I don't want you to get {insert age}". This year was no different. Yesterday, they were telling me that they were going to be seven next year and I said, "No, I don't want you to get seven. I want you to stay six!" And Sydney looked at me with her hands on her hip, rolling her eyes a bit and said, "Mommm, we're going to be SIX for a whole YEAR!" I said, "You are absolutely right, Sydney! It's going to be a great year!"

My words are starting to sink in with them too. When I'm feeling nostalgic like this, they can tell, and they proceed to tell me that 'they'll always be my little girls, no matter how big they get' and that 'I'm always with them, no matter where they go'. These are things that I've told them over and over and it's really neat to hear it back, that they KNOW this!

Our girls are growing and changing.

Happy 6th Birthday Sydney!Sydney is getting a bit taller than her sister now. We just measured yesterday and she is 43.5" tall and is about 38 lbs. She's a very laid back, go-with-the-flow kind of girl. She can be stubborn, but that usually comes out when she's tired, along with the whineyness. She seems a lot like me. She doesn't like the limelight, can be quite reserved around people, but in small groups, one on one situations, sometimes she never shuts up and gets quite animated. She is extremely reliant on her sister, feels her every hurt, cries when she cries and sticks up for her if she feels she's getting the raw end of the deal. She's very compassionate, about people, animals, you name it. She likes to play outside, shoot hoops, play tennis and she loves puzzles, loves to figure things out, color and draw. She loves reading books. She tells me she wants to be a big sister and a mom when she grows up! She's very even-keeled and a joy to be around.

Happy 6th Birthday Lindsey!Lindsey has made some great growth strides this year, finally reaching a healthy BMI. She's 42.5" tall and about 36 lbs. Her personality is more extreme. I've always called her my girl of extremes. She's either the sweetest, kindest, gentlest girl OR she is sassy, stubborn and determined. There's not a lot of inbetween with her. She's definitely the leader of the two. She can be reserved at times, but mostly she's fun to be around, talkative and engaging. She, too, cares deeply about her sister, and when they are separated, she's sad. Lindsey learned how to ride her two-wheeler bike this summer. She catches on quickly, loves to color and draw, read, listen to music and sing. She is a great helper, always willing to whatever I ask of her, saying, sure mom! She still wants to be a dog! LOL! She also told me she wants to be a mom. We've had some challenging moments this past year, but she has grown so much and is such a sweetheart, I can never stay upset for long!

They are both in gymnastics now and are really enjoying it and thriving! The past two years, we did dance and the first year, they lasted two months. Last year, Lindsey made it the entire year and Sydney withdrew with two months left. So far with gymnastics, they have always wanted to go and are excited every time! That did not happen with dance. I always had to be very encouraging. It's been a nice change to see them so engaged with an activity!

I've just spent the entire morning putting together a little slideshow of the past six years. What a journey! I've enjoyed every minute and as I sit here with tears in my eyes, I just want to say, I love you so much, Lindsey and Sydney! You are my heart!

By the way, turn up your volume!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

School update and new looks!

Well, three weeks have passed since my last update. School is going well. The first few days that they were separated were a little rough. Lindsey & Sydney would see each other at lunch and burst into tears. As Sydney tells it, "Mom, I was just so happy that I saw my sister!" Their favorite part about school is lunch, recess and gym, all times when they are together. By the end of the second full week, they seemed to get into a stride, being excited about what they're doing in class, meeting new friends and they both love their teachers. I'm volunteering on Friday's for each of their classes, helping during center time.

Tomorrow is picture day. Auntie Kristy gave them haircuts last week. Sydney had been talking for a long time about getting her hair cut short. I'm not surprised she went through with it, because she really doesn't like wearing a lot of things in her hair. While Lindsey, on the other hand, decided to keep her hair long! She loves to wear a ponytail everyday. Ah, well, I was hoping for two short haircuts, but one is fine. Still less work for mom! I LOVE that they are choosing to be different! It's really fun to see. Lindsey was a little disappointed that "her sister didn't want to look like her", but Sydney just said that she "wanted to look like me!" Can't argue with that!

Lindsey's Befores and After

Lindsey - Before
Lindsey - Before

Lindsey - After

Sydney's Befores and After

Are you ready for your haircut, Sydney?Sydney - before


And my beautiful girlies together!

My beautiful girls

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I have Kindergarteners. I cried.

Yes. Yes, I did.

Honestly, I really didn't think I would. People have been asking me for weeks how I'm feeling, if I'm sad, and I really haven't been. I've just been so darn excited for them! I absolutely LOVED school as a child and I'm hopeful that my girls will love school too! I think my enthusiasm came through too, because there were no tears from them this morning, just pure excitement, over their new clothes, shoes, new backpacks, riding the bus, new friends, you name it!

They woke up to mom sticking a camera in their face. Nice, mom! But you can tell, they were already anticipating the day at that point!

Lindsey waking up! Sydney waking up!

They had a quick breakfast, got ready, and then mom had to take a boat load of pictures!

We are excited for our first day of school! First day happiness

Lindsey's taller with her tennis shoes on, Mom!

Sydney Lindsey

Then we walked over to the bus stop (next door neighbors) and we waited.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

And waited some more...good to have moral support!

Moral support

But it comes, mom!

Here it comes, mom!

...and then it's GONE!


And this is when I cried. I realized as the bus pulled away that I didn't even get any pictures of them getting ON the bus! But let me me tell you...I think the main reason that I started crying is when the bus driver said to me, "I've got them now, mom!" I'm SO HAPPY she is their bus driver. I've known her for a long, long time, since like sixth grade. She is a friend of my mom's and I used to babysit her kids. She's been driving bus forever and I'm just tickled that she's the girl's bus driver too! I love living in a small town.

As for the rest of my day, I basically wandered around the house and did nothing, glancing at their schedule every now and then to see what they were doing, just anticipating their happiness when they got home.

So, the bus did leave, but it also came back!


And it brought two smiley, happy girls...

Smiles all around It was a great day!

...who had a wonderful day, but were glad to be home too!

So FUN, mom!

It's been a very nostalgic and emotional day for me. I can't believe that it's already been just about six years since those tiny one pound babies were born...and look at them now!

I know I don't have to say it, but I'm going to anyway.

Enjoy every moment. They grow so fast and in a blink of an eye, they are walking and talking, and then getting on that school bus, spreading their wings and taking another step towards independence.

Enjoy. Savor. Remember.

Life is the journey...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More summer happenings...

I've definitely been more absent these summer months! I can't believe how fast time is flying by. I know this always happens though. Today was the most perfect summer day ever! I enjoyed it a bit by sitting on the deck and reading book, just enjoying the warm summer sun, bright blue sky and the best part...low humidity! Thankfully, we only get bursts of humidity here in the summer. It would not make me happy to live in an area that is humid all the time.

The first day of August was one of those humid days and we spent the afternoon over at great Aunt Sherri's house with Lindsey and Sydney's second cousins. They had a lot of fun floating around the pool and trying out the slide. We were intending on getting another week's worth of private swim lessons this summer, but time just ran out. Here are a few pics from that day:

Lindsey, Sydney, William and Ryan at Aunt Sherri's house

Sydney floating Lindsey floating

Sydney down the slide! Lindsey down the slide!

AwardsThen, later that weekend, we were invited to an Awards Celebration for the March of Dimes which included attending a Minnesota Twins game! We had the picnic right at the Dome and then proceeded to head down onto the field for a "march" around the basis. We brought Lindsey and Sydney's cousin, Chelsea, with us, as she is an AVID Minnesota Twins fan. We all had a wonderful day!
Getting our awards for Top Team and I was the #10 Top Walker in the State of Minnesota! When we first arrived, we picked up our awards for Top Team and I also received an award for Top Walker (#10 for the entire state of Minnesota)! We are very proud. We work hard, all of us. I'd like to thank our team for all the efforts as well! We couldn't do it without you!

More pictures from the day:

Chels, Syd and Linds heading into the Dome

Lindsey & Sydney with their cousin, Chelsea, on the field

Here we are walking down on the field, pre-game.

My name listed on the board at the game!

Happy girls!

Game over, Twins win and we had an AWESOME time!

Now, we are starting the countdown to KINDERGARTEN! Only eight more days! We had a parent meeting last Wednesday and we have Open House this Wednesday. They already know their teachers, but this will be fun to go in and see the classrooms again.

More updates soon!
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