I took this photo of the girls last night. It's not as easy to see as it was in real life, but I walked into the girls' room after their baths and found them all cuddled up, Grace with her head resting on Faith's shoulder.
Cuteness factor on a scale of 1 to 10: 907.
And a Devin's Doozie for you...
As the girls slept peacefully in their crib yesterday evening and after Devin was tucked securely into bed, Todd and I settled in to watch our favorite TV shows, "The Office" and "My Name is Earl."
We were interrupted numerous times, though, as Devin kept coming to the top of the stairs to give us an update on what his friends were doing in the yard outside of his window. He couldn't stand it that they were all out there playing while he was in bed. Who can blame him?
At one point, we thought he'd finally gone to bed for good, but heard a voice from the stairs. There he was, sitting on the steps (for Lord knows how long), watching the TV with us. We told him, AGAIN, to go to bed and he was silent for awhile. Moments later, though, he spoke again.
"I have stinky on my finger."
*Laughter from Mom and Dad*
Todd: "Why do you have stinky on your finger?" not really sure what it was he was talking about.
Devin: "Because I got poop on it!"
My wondeful husband went to investigate. I owe him.
Have a great weekend!
PS - The girls did two (count 'em, TWO) five-and-a-half hout stints last night. One from 9 pm to 2:30 am and one from 2:30 am to 8:00 am. I feel like a new woman!
An hour or so later...
I was going through some photos and realized that I have quite a few cute ones to share. Why not just post them now? Enjoy!
Have you ever seen more identical identical twins? We have to paint Faith's toenails to tell them apart.
Life in the Boppies.
Feeding time at the zoo.
My very glamorous life (check out the hair and makeup, too. Aren't I a beut?).
Friday, July 28, 2006
I took this photo of the girls last night. It's not as easy to see as it was in real life, but I walked into the girls' room after their baths and found them all cuddled up, Grace with her head resting on Faith's shoulder.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
I just had to make sure I found time to blog today because I have exciting news: Grace made her first of many delighted squeals!
Each night, we bathe the girls, one after another. While the first one is bathed, the second is placed in the crib to watch the crib toys and wait patiently (hah!). Then, we switch.
Well, tonight, Grace went first. After her bath, I lotioned her, diapered her and jammied her. Into the crib she went, and Faith came out.
I got Faith bathed and as I walked from the bathroom into the nursery, I heard Grace let out a screetch. I braced for the usual onslaught of screams that were sure to follow, but nothing but silence ensued. I turned toward the crib to see her, and she was just happily watching the crib aquarium (thanks Beach family -- thank you note is forthcoming, I swear!). I laughed, thinking it must have been a fluke, but two more times while I was getting Faith ready for bed, the same sound was uttered from behind me! She was happy with her aquarium and was telling us all about it!
I called Todd and Devin to come in, but when Devin ran into the room, he scared Grace and her happy coos turned to angry screams. So much for that. But it was sure fun while it lasted.
In munchkin news...
I took the girls for their upper GIs today (more on that later) and while I did, good friend and neighbor, Gina, took Devin for me. But she didn't just watch him -- she took him to Six Flags Fiesta Texas! She, Devin and her three girls (ten-year-old twin daughters McKenna and Jordyn and six-year-old Alyssa) all ventured to the theme park and rode all of the kiddie rides! Devin was a trooper, from what I hear, and was ready to try everything! He came home around 1:15 and was so tired that he never gave a fuss to taking a nap. He just marched up the stairs and climbed into bed without so much as a, "But Mommy..." Nearly for hours later, returned downstairs and told me, "I had a good nap!"
The upper GI outing was a hoot, too. I got the girls there at 9:00 and, as promised, they had been fasting for more than five hours. Needless to say, I arrived with some pretty angry babies. The nurse immediately took me to the back where the girls could scream without bringing everyone in the waiting room to their knees. While back there, the nurses flocked to them like ugly on an ape. At one point, the doctor came looking for his nurses because they were all in the back cooing over Faith and Grace. Even in a bad mood, they still charm the socks off of everyone they meet.
They were taken to the exam room, given their Barium bottles (now I know why they wanted them to fast - no one would drink that stuff unless they were famished) and were studied beneath the x-ray. The doctor said all looked fine, which was great news. Hopefully, the reflux can be treated with medication and be put under control soon.
When we returned home, it was only 10:30. Knowing that Devin wasn't due home for another two hours or so and having some pretty sleepy girls (they cried themselves into a hungry frenzy and tired themselves out!), I settled into the couch. I watched some TV, read my book, dozed off, had lunch, dozed some more, read my book and then greeted Devin. It was awesome! It was the first, peaceful, to-myself day I have had in a long, long time. It was just what I needed. I'm feeling good.
Well, Devin has built a space ship out of pillows on my bed and apparently I am the next passenger on the trip to school (he isn't quite aware of outter space yet). I must hop in for my trek.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
This may be an all-time low for me. Ten days since my last post. Ugh. I'm so ashamed.
Just like all of my other too-long-in-between posts, my lack of information is due to lack of information. Things are going along just swimmingly around here with no real news.
The girls are doing great. They had their two-month check-up last Friday and Faith weighed in at 7 lbs, with Grace weighing a whopping 7.5 lbs. They weigh more now than Devin did when he was born! I'm very proud!
Both are experiencing a little bit of reflux that is causing them to spit up and cry after just about every meal. Fantastic. They are on reflux medication and are having Upper GIs done tommorrow morning just to check and make sure it's not something caused by an anatomical defect. I'm not worried.
The past two weeks have been tough, though. I'm starting to get a little stir-crazy around here. All day long, I either have someone crying for me or whining at me. I rarely get more than 15 minutes of silence (that's total, not at a time) and by the end of the day, I'm ready to pull my hair out. I don't see Todd very often, as all of our time in the evenings is spent tag-teaming with the girls while getting Devin ready for bed and getting them bathed. It usually takes from around 5:30 when Todd gets home until around 8:30 or 9:00 to get everything finished that we need to get finished -- just in time for him to go to bed so he can get in a few solid hours of sleep before his shift starts around 3:00 or 4:00.
I have to admit, I'm a little frustrated. Wait...I'll take that back. I'm a lot frustrated. I know this isn't forever, but I'm the kind of person who can really appreciate some good quiet time. Obviously, quiet time isn't something I get much of and it's starting to get to me. This is more than a full-time job (what did I expect?) and I'm pretty burned out already.
I have to keep reminding myself that it won't be like this forever. These fussy, colicky days aren't around forever and, when you look at it on a time line, three or so months is a tiny blip on the radar. But when you're in the middle of it, having not slept in your bed in over a month, it seems like an eternity.
Please don't get me wrong, here, though...I wouldn't change this for anything. I love my girls and my little boy. I love my husband and my title. I wouldn't change anything. It's just weird to be so happy and so miserable all at the same time.
Anyone got any happy pills? I like the ones that say "Prozac" on them. :)
Luckily, I have the support of great friends and family. Todd and I went out on a date on Saturday while friends Tyler and Linda watched the three devils...er, children.
We went down the street to Trilogy Pizza and Wine Bistro where we had a glass of wine and split a salad and a pizza. Bliss. No interruptions! They are a cool little place
Afterwards, we headed next door to my favorite place in the neighborhood, Copa Wine Bar and Tasting Room. This place has an enormous selection of all types of wine and is one of these establishments with big, cushy chairs and comfy couches. It has a relaxed atmosphere, but one that is sophisticated and warm. Jeff and Angie, the owners, know their regulars by name (should I admit that I am one of them?) and are always willing to give you a few tastings to help you find the wine of your dreams. I could live there. Check them out at www.copawinebar.com.
After a glass of wine and a slice of cheesecake, we drove north toward Spect's Store, a typical Hill Country restaurant with live music on the weekends out on their big patio. But as we walked across the gravel parking lot, we heard the lead-singer of the band say, "Good night! You've been a great audience!" Nevermind.
We headed home and enjoyed the few moments left of silence as we approached the house. It was a great night out. I loved reconnecting with Todd and having a conversation with him that wasn't interrupted by anything more than, "Another glass of wine, ma'am?"
I guess that's all for now. I'll try to be better about posting, although between the spitting up, the crying and the whining, I don't have much time these days. But I'll do what I can. Thanks for the patience.
Devin was playing on one of the ottomans in our living room last night. In true three-year-old style, he got a little rambunctious and fell of the ottoman, hitting his foot on the end table that sits nearby.
Of course, crying ensued and Todd picked him up to comfort him. Through the sobbing, he looked into the kitchen, saw the fruit sitting on the counter and said in a miserable, more-tears-than-necessary voice, "I want a banana to make me feel better!"
Sunday, July 16, 2006
It didn't really occur to me to post today. In fact, the day has seemed pretty ordinary to me. Church this morning, come home, have some friends over for a Sunday afternoon bbq, take a rest, have dinner, bathe the kids and relax. Seems like a typical Sunday to me...
I just talked to my dad, though, and as I was going through my day, I realized that this is not really such an ordinary day at all.
First of all, today (or tomorrow, depending on who you ask -- Dr. Harden or Dr. Higby), would have been the girls' due date. If I had gone 40 weeks, they'd just now be arriving. Instead, they were born shy of 32 weeks and yet, are still perfectly healthy young ladies. Two of God's miracles.
But even more profound was Mass today. It was our first church outing with the girls. The doctors recommended that the girls not be taken out in public for a few weeks. We dutifully kept them in, but I asked our pediatrican on Thursday (who is also a personal friend, parishioner and ACTS sister) if we could take the girls to church and she said, "Oh yes...they're free to go wherever!"
So that was it. We planned on 9:00 Mass on Sunday.
And so, we were up and getting ready at 7:00 this morning. We were at church at 8:30 to make sure Devin got a spot in the all-too-crowded nursery and were in the pews at 8:45. As friends and fellow parishioners trickled in, people began to notice Faith and Grace. Lots of hugs, kisses and well-wishes. The couple sitting behind us, who we do not know, both gave us the Sign of Peace at the appropriate time, but along with saying "Peace be with you," also said to us, "And sleep too..." It was great.
It took us a long time to get out of Mass, as we greeted quite a few friends. We finally got into the van and as we were leaving the parking lot, Todd said something so profound.
"This was closure."
That statement rang in my ears all day. This really was closure. In February, our community learned of our devastating diagnosis and began praying for us feverishly. They sat with us as we cried, held our hands during scary doctors' appointments and begged the Lord for mercy. He heard them and He answered our prayers. The girls arrived safely.
But they arrived not without complications. Five weeks in the NICU brought more prayers and offers of help. Friends from all over came to visit and support us. Faith got sick and our community waited with baited breath as they wondered with us if she'd recover or not. Complete strangers who read this blog offered help, advice and love. Phone calls rolled in one after another as friends and family called daily for updates. We were surrounded and found out quickly just who our friends really were.
The girls came home and joy rang out in our house. But again, there were stipulations. Don't take them out in public. Restrict visitors. Don't let anyone touch them. We felt like it would never end.
But finally, today, our girls met the community that brought them here. I believe in God, I believe God and I believe in prayer. My girls are proof that it works.
I know that Faith's and Grace's Baptisms on August 6 will also be a meaningful and faith-filled experience for us ... but today, as we introduced our twins to the men and women who made sure they got here, I felt that same feeling that Todd expressed so perfectly: Closure.
All we can say is thank you...
I put up a post on Friday afternoon, but then Friday evening added another one. If you haven't read the post from July 14 and/or the one titled, "Urgent Prayer Request," please do so. Once again, my family needs you.
Oh, and Kathie Barrett -- I have your red bowl. If we don't set up a time for me to give it to you soon, I just may keep it, even though I know someone made it for you. It's so pretty and matches my decor perfectly! :) I may be persuaded to give it back in exchange for the recipe of the chicken-pasta salad that Charlie made to fill it...
Friday, July 14, 2006
Throughout my blog, I've written about my sister, ZZ, and have mentioned her daughter, Presley, who will be four in September.
If you haven't heard me talk about it, Presley has some behavioral issues. We've laughed about them for years, but recently it's gone far beyond funny. It's safe to say that she's out of control. ZZ and Brian became worried when Presley started to exhibit even more weird behavior: In the middle of a sentence or action, she'd stop everything she was doing and just stare straight ahead. She would be totally unresponsive for 30 or so seconds, and then resume what she was doing as if nothing had happened.
Our pediatrician, who thankfully is a personal friend to both ZZ and me, took no chances and immediately ordered CT scans and blood work on Presley. Both were done today.
As of this evening, Presley has been diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis, a condition in which calcium deposits form on major organs like the brain, eyes, kidneys, skin and heart. Presley has tested positive for deposits on her brain and more tests will be run to look for other areas.
Many, many people live perfectly normal lives with TSC, while others are profoundly affected. There is no way to predict how a person will be affected and there is no cure or treatment for the disease. Presley's behavior is positively linked to TSC.
So I'm asking for prayers for Presley and for her entire family - for healing, for peace and for acceptance. Presley was a gift from God four years ago when Brian and ZZ were desperate for another child. She was created by God for her parents and they never let a day go by without thanking the Lord that she became theirs. If you remember her adoption story, it almost didn't happen.
Please pray, too, for the doctors who will treat Presley. Hope is in their work.
Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance
My very good friend Alicia blogs every few days about the comings and goings in her household. She has an executive-by-day, volunteer-firefighter-by-night-and-weekend husband and two precious little boys. There is never a lack of excitement or humor in her house and I love to read her blog.
One of the things that she does is quote her oldest, JamesThomas, 3, in some of his more spectacular sayings. She calls it the "JamesThomas Quote of the Day." There are more than a few that have made me laugh out loud.
Well, I think the time has come for me to include some of Devin's funnier sayings, starting today. I'll title them, "Devin's Doozies." Thanks for the idea, Alicia.
Devin is currently being punished for taking a pen and marking on my solid wood footboard. Does anyone know what will get ballpoint ink out of maple?
So, in my need to make him understand that I am this close to killing him, I packed up all of the toys in his room and made him sit on his bed. As expected, he fell asleep, but woke up way too early when the trash truck outside scared him.
I told him that even though he was awake, he was expected to stay in his room, sans toys, until I told him he could come out.
True to toddlerhood, every few minutes he would arrive at the top of the stairs and ask, "Can I come out now?" My answer was a steadfast, "No."
A few minutes ago, though, I heard rustling in his room -- a sure sign of fun being had. I wouldn't have any of that!
I went into his room and saw that he had managed to get his Thomas the Tank Engine from one of the lower shelves in his room that I didn't think he could reach. Apparently, I was wrong, because Thomas was resting on his bed.
I asked Devin, "Why did you get Thomas down?"
Devin's Doozie is his response:
"Because I like him. He's a nice guy."
Enjoy your weekend!
Monday, July 10, 2006
Yes, I am aware that it's been a week since I last posted. But, as you know from the past, when I don't post it means that things are status quo. Such is the case this time around, too.
We're still adjusting to life as a family of five. The girls aren't exactly sound sleepers at night (but, of course, during the day they could sleep through a hurricane preceeded by a marching band), so we've been trying and trying to get them on a schedule that we can live with. For the last week or so, it's gone mostly like this:
8 PM: bathtime, bedtime
10 PM: evening meal
10:30 PM: screaming commences from one twin
1:30 AM: meal time
2 AM: whoever wasn't screaming at 10:30 starts screaming
3:30 AM: they both finally shut up
5 AM: meal time again
6 AM: Todd's alarm goes off
6:15 AM: Devin wakes up and demands to watch the Disney Channel
Rest of the Day: Erin and Todd try to sleep when they can
Obviously, this schedule was not going to work. So we set forth a new schedule last night. It goes something like this:
8 PM: bathtime, Todd goes to bed
10 PM: evening meal (after being kept up, not put to bed)
10:30 PM: Erin sleeps with or near babies in case of crying and/or screaming
1 AM: meal time
1:30 AM: Erin does what she can to keep both girls happy
3 AM: Todd relieves Erin and takes care of the next feeding while Erin gets some sleep
6 AM: Todd gets up and makes Devin happy when he gets up. Erin continues to sleep
7:30 AM: Erin gets up to feed the babies and see Todd off to work
Okay, it's not a perfect schedule and we've only been on it one night, but it worked well. We're also doing our best to keep the babies awake during the day so they won't stay awake all night long. They slept much better last night (as did Todd and I) and here's to hoping for more of the same. I feel like a relatively normal person today.
Aside from all of this, though, the girls are doing well. We took another trip to the hospital on Friday for more blood work and they both came back extremely anemic. They are now on grape-flavored iron supplements. Boy can that stuff stain. I have purple spit up on everything I own.
In other news...
Yesterday we celebrated Devin's 3rd birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's. In attendence was the Mylar Clan along with pals Ethan, Colin, Nate, Dale, Reid and Macy. Pa-pa, Nana (my parents) and Grandpa came too, while Grandma stayed with the twins.
Now this was a great experience. In the past, we've celebrated D's birthday with a bbq at home with the family. I mean, you don't have a whole lot of friends at one and two years old*, so it's to be expected. But this year, we needed to do something more than just have the cousins and grandparents over and boy am I glad we did.
For the past two years, we've purchased fajitas, fixins and sides for 15 or so people, cleaned the house to prepare for the onlsaught, spent numerous hours cooking and cleaned up after everyone left. It was a two-day event, at least.
At Chuck's place, all we did was show up. There was pizza and Sprite for each kid, along with game tokens and free reign of the place. The cake was provided, as was a personal appearance by Chuck E. Cheese himself. We got an extra table for gifts and they even cleaned up the wrapping paper during the gift-opening extravaganza. At the end, we just paid the bill (about HALF of what I would spend on a home party) and walked away. Ahhh...the sheer bliss. No cleaning, no endless bags of trash. Just the quiet solitude of the car.
So, the party was a success. Devin will officially be three tomorrow, so we'll do presents from Todd and me then, along with cake and a meal of his choice. I see chicken nuggets in our future. :)
As more exciting stuff happens in the Pruetz family, I'll post.
Love to all...
*My brother-in-law, Brian, has a short commentary on first and last birthdays that I'd like to share with you. I think it may ve courtesy of Jerry Seinfeld.
Your first birthday and your last birthday are almost identical. You're dressed in some outfit you didn't pick out and are wearing a diaper. Your family plops you down at a table with a cake in front of you and points to the people around you saying, "These are your friends..."
Monday, July 03, 2006
A blog quiz for all of you readers:
Who is the nurse whose name I told you to never forget? You remember the story - the wonderful woman who was less than compassionate shortly after my c-section? I told you to never forget her name. Did you?
Post a comment if you want to take a stab at it.
AND NO CHEATING! (This means you, Blake. I know how competitive you are...)