Thursday, April 29, 2010

This just in...

Well, David is CRAWLING!!!!! Ha - I went to the kitchen to make their oatmeal, turned around, and David was half way across the room! In the video, he doesn't get very far, but you get the idea...

Amazing - after this, he went to the sofa and tried to pull up. Next week, they'll be riding a bicycle or something!


Would you like some cheese with that whine?

Mary Louise is. teething. UGH!!!!!! Her first tooth is coming in on the bottom right. I noticed 2 days ago. In hindsight, it's likely been coming for awhile. She's been clingy, had a few very mild rashes that went away within 24 hours, a little bit of an upset stomach. Of course all of these symptoms can very easily be explained away by our daily outside time and birthday excitement...

So I was doing her OT exercises and felt the little bud. Otherwise, I honestly wouldn't have known. The top was already mostly through and has since come completely out though it's very hard to see (sort of opaque). She's been playing just fine, sleeping ok, etc...until last night.

We'd been playing outside all afternoon. They didn't nap at all yesterday as when I finally got them sleeping, the phone rang 10 minutes into their slumber. Once awake, it was all over as far as nap time. So, I put water in their little pool to warm in the sun and we played under the carport for quite a while. As such, they were exhausted so they went to bed a little early - at their old bedtime.

At about 7:30, the fiasco started. Mary Louise was absolutely wild. Needless to say, she woke David who was really none too pleased about it all. He actually watched her for awhile in astonishment before really getting upset though. She would laugh, then burst into tears wailing so loudly. She would cling to me to the point that if I wanted to hand her to Brent, I would have to actually pry her off of me. In between clinging, she would throw full blown fits complete with slapping and flapping around.

We rocked, and bounced and sang. I tried teething tablets, cold bottles, warm bottles, ice, frozen apple slices. She went on until midnight before finally wanting Brent again and pooping out on his shoulder...only to wake up at 5 am (for good - she woke up at least 3 times before that.)

I should have known I would never get off that easy...the only thing she isn't doing, is drooling! (ha- perhaps for the first time ever).

In other news, she is definitely able to stand for a few seconds on her own now - and she looks so proud when she does it!

Sweet David is now getting into crawling position and looks like he really wants to get around. So, he's making wonderful progress. He can also get from crawling position back into sitting position which is wonderful. Where eating is concerned, he is actually chewing rather large slices of banana without difficulty. Funny that he is the one who had the tongue problem and no teeth as of yet but is chewing and eating just fine.

They are both doing very well with eating yogurt. David loves it, Mary Louise has good days and not so good days - but usually eats some. I've also started them on a dose of flax oil daily. It helps digestion, heart health, and adds an extra 100 calories to their daily diets.I mix it with pears and oatmeal and they actually seem to like it. The yogurt and flax oil have pushed them both to fill out a little more - David has a tiny wee belly for the first time ever! They also seem more satiated than before as they were going through another phase in which they were miserably hungry all the time.

Keep up the good (hard) work my lovies! You're growing and developing beautifully! We're so very proud of you! Umm - Mary Louise? How about a nap?


Sunday, April 25, 2010

So many blessings...

Mary Louise and David had their official blessing in church today. Father Jack recounted their actual baptism (the service today was a baptismal service - but without the water) where he dropped a tiny drop of water through an eye dropper on each of our 3 little ones' foreheads just after they were born. We were all petrified. I was devastated...

Today was absolutely beautiful. Mary Louise wore Auntie Zoo's baptism gown and looked as if she belonged in a 1920's Victorian style photo. David wore Brent's gown and, though his dear dad was none too pleased at the feminine implications of his boy wearing a (uhem) dress and bonnet, he looked perfectly angelic in Ma Mere's gorgeous handiwork.

The service (amazing) was followed by a fabulous reception and birthday celebration complete with a surprise table of gifts and cards and too much food and cake to devour.

After my dad passed away so suddenly in October of 2007, Brent really started to encourage me to turn to the church for support. At the time, I'd been frequenting a different location and though I enjoyed the traditional flow of the service, I felt like I was missing something there - for lack of a better and I'm sure much longer explanation. To poke me along- as I'd become rather ambivalent in my personal crisis- Brent went with me, and one day suggested we try our current church. I walked in, smelled the familiar wood wax, incense, just old church smell, saw an old friend, and was home. That was it, just that moment, just those few steps through the door. The decision was made. We spoke to Father Jack quite often, but really sort of came and went rather quietly otherwise.

When I started having trouble with the pregnancy, I'd never seen a parish so ready with a helping hand. It didn't matter that we weren't born here, didn't grow up here, were just that couple in the back most of the time. They became an extension of our family. Immediately. As if they'd always been there. We've had so many cards, visits, meals cooked and quietly dropped off, and the prayers, my goodness, we'll never know all who sent happy thoughts, healing words and prayers our way...all with such intense and insistent compassion.

To our church family. You have made such a difference, such an impression, such a beautiful mark on our family. To put it simply, heartfelt, honest, soulful: thank you.


The following is quite a mix of photos and videos. I didn't quite realize how much I'd been slacking on the uploads...

Birthday and Kuylen's Special Day

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful Day for an Angelversary

Our families made it to us safely last night and we had a wonderful meal cooked by Chef Brent before everyone turned in a little early in preparation for our day today. Last night and this morning was so muggy, dreary and rainy. Then suddenly this afternoon, the sky cleared completely, the humidity lifted and we were left with an absolutely gorgeous spring day to celebrate the all too short life of our little Kuylen.

We went to the lakefront spot Brent and I had scoped out earlier this week - a large patch of green with some small trees providing just enough cooling shade to spread a blanket for our Mary Louise and David. We sat and played until Brent and Nanny Pan arrived with the balloons.

Amanda said it best when looking at the now crystal clear sky and whispering, "it's almost as if you wished this beautiful day."

We had our moments and with each balloon I let go, a little release and calm resulted. We never had a service for our little one. The first time I left the hospital since walking in 5 weeks prior was to sign papers for the release of our Kuylen's ashes at the funeral home.

After quite a bit of reluctance on my part, the balloon release turned out to be some much needed therapy for me. It was absolutely beautiful. It was time.

My Kuylen, I will hold your memory in my heart always. I know your playful spirit smiles down on us constantly. I miss you terribly. I miss you for who you were and for all of your many many possibilities. My angel. Thank you for carrying our thoughts, hopes, and love over the trees, into the vast and beautiful sky and into the heavens. Forever in my thoughts and dreams. - Mom


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It's already Wednesday?! (I think it's Wednesday anyhow)...We had a really fantastic day for the babies' birthday. We spent the day as a family - Brent stayed home from work. We got ourselves together and went to the hospital - sounds funny right? We brought cupcakes to the Labor and Delivery nurses and the NICU staff and let them see our little ones.

It was so surreal to walk back in - a year later. The smells, the sounds, the door where we would wait and wait to go into the NICU...the dark corner I'd be happy to never see again on the personal side of things - professional? who knows... There were plenty of nurses there who knew our story - who contributed immensely to our babies' success. We were so proud to hear, "they look so good!" over and over.

Brent and I stopped at a little patio bar and grill on our way home for a quick bite to eat. With a baby on each of our laps, we took a little time to chat, giggle, smile, and enjoy that moment - the one in which we were all there, all healthy, all ok.

As we tucked our precious bundles to bed that night, we stared a little longer than usual, smiled a little larger than usual, and sighed a little louder than usual at our 3 sweet angels- 2 snug in their beds and one safe in our hearts- how lucky lucky lucky we are.

We have tons to do for the weekend as our families are both coming out to enjoy the blessing and Kuylen's afternoon balloon release. Of course we won't get it all done, and I will have to just let go of the unimportant things as I've learned to do by the hardest. But, we can try anyhow...

One day I'll get those stinkin' photos up that I keep taking!


A Letter From Dad

To my dearest Kuylen,

I still can not get over that it has been a year since you, Mary Louise and David were born on the evening of Sunday April 19, 2009. This year has been tough without you here. I miss you my little jelly bean. I feel as if a part of me is missing. I think of you every day, and that is what helps me get through the tough days. I miss that I will never have the chance to see you smile, laugh, and cry with your first broken heart. I will miss not being able to teach you to cast a fishing pole, throw a baseball, kick a football, or hit a fastball. I will never have the chance to be a dad to you and help you grow into a handsome young man with honor and dignity.
I do have a request for you. Please help your sister and brother as they grow up. Please be their guardian angel and help lead them away from danger, and to stand up for what is good and moral. I am going to need help, because if they are like me they will always do the opposite of what I suggest or warn against. I am counting on your help with this.
I hope you have found your grandfather David, and your great grandparents, Mommom, Poppop,Grandma Jeanne, Grandpa Charles, and the rest of your family. Tell God I am still bitter he took you from us so sudden and soon, but I understand that he has a bigger plan for you.
Son, I just want to tell you that have been a huge inspiration to me, and I am lucky to have had those few days with you. You are the strongest little man to fight so hard to be with us. I will always cherish our 5 days. I love you Kuylen Stafford LeBlanc, and you will always be in my heart.



Monday, April 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Lovies!

First birthday...CANNOT believe it!

Mary Louise: crawling, pulling up, can stand for a few seconds. Tried yogurt for the first time. Liked it ok - ranks as high as sweet potatoes. Does not like strangers, but is otherwise completely fearless as far as we can tell. 26 inches. 12 pounds 11 ounces. Says "Da Da Da" as many times as you'll let her.

David Oliver: starting to squirm in a crawl-like fashion. Eats anything that doesn't eat him first - including at least one attempt on Chester's nose. LOVED yogurt. Does not mind strangers - especially of the female variety. Studies everything for a long time. Says "Ma Ma Ma" all the day long. 26 inches (about). 11 pounds 10 ounces.

Mom: can bend backward a little now without scar pain- not ready to get back to full back bends, but progress is progress. Blood pressure normal without meds the vast majority of the time. Has been breastfeeding (pumping) for one year and counting!!! Just over 10 pounds left to go to get back to pre-pregnancy weight (UGH!)-again, progress is progress. Still married to Dad (phew!).

Dad: talking seriously about getting back into regular tri training!! Working very very hard. Muddled through his dream trip of going to The Masters Tournament - had a great time - but missed you guys TERRIBLY and called every day - multiple times - to tell you so! Still hanging in there with your dear old Mom (double phew!).

Us as a Family!: Getting through, hanging in there, sometimes thriving, but always, above all else, there for each other to hold, support, and love love love no matter what. Each moment we have together is so much sweeter after all we've been through together. Our little Kuylen, his lessons, and his endless possibilities live in our hearts and weigh on our minds. Though Mommy has shed far more than her allotted tears for him, we know that behind the sorrow for such a heartbreaking loss lies a smile in thanksgiving for the tiny moment in time we had together...never to be forgotten.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

On Saturday...

Brent cut the grass and began pressure washing the house. So, the babies and I were left to watch and play on our own for the day...

Mary Louise is more and more busy each day. She pulls up on truly absolutely anything. Rather than fussing if I walk off, she simply crawls after me - usually quietly. When she catches up, she pulls up to a stand on my pants leg, grins up from between my knees, and sometimes - well pretty often - LETS GO! Ha - fearless little one. She is absolutely desperate to walk!

David is suddenly happy about his progress with crawling. He seems to have realized that doing so would in fact give him some independence where toys and puffs are concerned and is practicing more and more. He hasn't gained any weight over the past couple of weeks, but I weighed him yesterday and he was up 5 ounces! Wonderful! So that makes him 11 pounds 10 ounces. Mary Louise is 12 pounds 14 ounces. Always maintaining their 1 pound gap...

We had a really wonderful day cheering Daddy on with his toils and playing outside in the front yard. Mary Louise and David ate a full half of an avocado, 3/4 of a fresh pear, and 6 servings of purees between them - not counting the breast milk and cereal! By the end of all that, WE were the ones in need of pressure washing! They also played in a large Tupperware container which I filled with water and toys. It was really a grand time! The flowers are all in bloom here. There are bugs and lizards and butterflies everywhere to look at - so much to explore!

By the end of the day the little ones were so tired that they went off to bed at their old 6pm bedtime! They've had a decent night so far and we hope for more fun in the morning!


Friday, April 16, 2010

PT and OT = one wild week!

I can't believe another week has flown by! I've barely noticed the days turning into nights with busy busy babies going non-stop 24/7. Mary Louise met with the Occupational Therapist yesterday. She has made HUGE progress in all areas of development since last month. The OT assured me - over and over - that they are going to be "just fine" which is always so nice to hear!

I succumbed to the bizarre "puff" movement - finally. I did find a happy medium by seeking out some organic, low sugar, low sodium green veggie puffs though. The little guys love them of course and using them as bait for David to reach and get into crawling position seems to have given him that extra little reward he's been looking for. So, he is finally showing some interest in crawling - though he seems to be much more interested in just skipping that part and going straight into some form of walking. None the less, I (and his PT) would like him to crawl at least a little for the upper body strength and overall muscle development that it offers.

Physical Therapy was today and the therapist was very surprised and pleased with our little Mary Louise who is not only crawling, but pulling up on everything, letting go, and cruising along furniture. So, our homework is to work on WALKING with her!!! (gulp) and crawling as well as cruising furniture with David.

David has been quite the little grump this morning. The PT said it very well when she smiled and stated, "looks like his personality is back to normal." It took awhile, but with a little tata-ing and time, he warmed up to her and did quite well with his therapy while Mary Louise crawled in circles around us and pulled up on anything that wouldn't move away from her.

Well, it seems naptime has been short lived- both babies are already fussing, so must run!


Monday, April 12, 2010

professional photos are up!

The last session we had (about a month ago), has been posted...

Go to Mary Louise and David's name and click on them. The password is LeBlanc.

Also, if you are planning on taking part in little Kuylen special balloon messages, please send me your little note by the 20th so that we can have time to prepare them to fly! For family, if you are bringing a note with you, please put it on a small piece of paper (small enough to not weigh down the balloon). I have received quite a few messages so far...I don't really have the words to explain how much your thoughts mean to us.

Thank you so much.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The master is home!

Brent returned home from The Masters golf tournament last night. It sounds like he really had a wonderful time. Things were of course hectic as always but went really well here overall. Mommom and Uncle Sean even gave me a few nap breaks during the week, time to cook - twice and a little more for a quick haircut one day which was quite a treat. Laundry done; house essentially clean - not too bad I'd say. One of the top questions I get asked (right after "are they twins?" and "are they identical?"- which is forever amusing...) is "how do you do it?" To be honest, I don't know. When I have moments with an extra set of hands, I wonder myself. Days bleed together - the other day I truly thought it was Wednesday all day until Brent came home and informed that it was in fact Good Friday (that's right, I even got muddled on a holiday week!). So, the bottom line is, they need what they need and I'm the one that's here. Therefore, (I hope) it (whatever it is) gets done. That being said, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to meet everyone's needs tomorrow - but I'm currently gathering up all of the sense of humor, deep breaths, and arm and back strength I can muster in preparation!

Damon (my older brother) came here last night as well for a triathlon this morning. We all got it together early to go to the state park for the event. He did very well competing as did the babies cheering on the sidelines. It was a beautiful morning and we set up a little play area on a picnic table for them to stretch their legs and play before heading home for a quick nap time.

All extended family got back on the road this morning leaving our little nuclear one all to ourselves once again. A few errands this afternoon and we've had quite a busy day!

So many thanks to our families for their help, thoughts and support over the past year- and especially for easing Brent's mind just enough to allow him to enjoy his special dream trip!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My little Acrobat...

With the increase in movement, and the eve of crawling, we've quickly realized that our little Mary Louise, though slow to warm to new situations and people, is not in fact afraid of anything...

The babies "slept through the night" last night and the night before. Meaning: Monday night, they slept from 7pm to 4am, and last night David slept from 6pm to 6am and Mary Louise slept from 9pm to 6am. (Mary Louise was a booger to put down.) Brent has gone to the Masters golf tournament (his dream trip) with some friends and business associates so I think Mary Louise was just a bit put off that her Daddy time got cut short and wimpy old mom was all that was left (Brent rocks her to sleep absolutely every night).

In case you're wondering why David is sleeping so well...he has been increasing his meal sizes for quite sometime, but the bedtime meal - my goodness...last night between about 3 and 6, he ate 8 ounces of peas, a few bites of sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons of oatmeal and 5 ounces of breastmilk. That would be well over 200 calories - for an 11.5 pound baby. He also eats about 10 ounces of milk during his sleep - but doesn't really wake up to do it- just rolls around, grunts, finds his bottle, eats and shoves it away - almost like sleep walking. During his last glutton phase, he grew in length a little over an inch - but surprisingly did not gain weight. The doctors have warned me of how fast preemies grow, but really, this is wild. I feel that if he sits still for a moment, that I can almost see him growing!

So, back to my morning. David woke up first. He was laughing, and saying "mama mama mama" - so not a bad way to start the morning. He needed more food (ha). So, I took him with me to get a bottle ready. Mary Louise stirred a little but went back to sleep - or so I thought...Bottle made, we returned to the bedroom to find little Miss Mary Louise hanging from the edge of the bed -between the cosleeper and the actual bed- looking as if she were a burglar caught in the act of exiting through a window. Wide-eyed, she stared for a minute, wimpered, then grinned her huge sleepy grin. I picked her up as well and we went off to the playroom for our early playtime.

They did quite well. I am of course not allowed to even think about leaving the room. So, we all roll about on the floor playing together. I got the supplies to change diapers and proceeded with that chore. They sipped on their critter bottles (what we call the ones with vitamins and probiotics in them). I waited for the signs that they wanted a little something more - with squash and spoon ready to go. Then it happened...

I really should have known it was coming - I mean all that food had to go somewhere! You guessed it, David exploded. Seriously. This was no match for a wipe or 2, so I ran some bath water and readied the washcloth. Now, Mary Louise gets around very well - and very quickly now with her crawling. So, she followed me across the hall to the bathroom and fiddled around my legs after a brief reprimand for showing a little too much interest in the cat food (note to self: find another place for that stuff).

Things went rather smoothly. David was happy to get rid of the stench and squishies and Mary Louise played quietly down below...then I felt the tug...I thought it was a little high on my leg for her to be crawling...I looked down...she looked up at me, grinning (of course)...she was STANDING! She had pulled up on my scrub pants and was standing between my legs gripping to the soft cotton as if it were the rope railing on her flimsy bridge (she looked about that stable). So with David wet and bare behind (at least it was post cleaning, so it smelled a bit better), I tucked him under my arm and grabbed her before she lost her balance and risked a Humpty Dumpty moment.

Goodness, these kiddos really keep me on my toes!

After the excitement, we finally had some squash time, followed by immediate fussy and nap time (for which Mary Louise was strapped down with a 5 point harness that was double checked for strength and durability - and proper fit!).


P.S. Thanks so much to those who have sent little notes for Kuylen! They are incredibly appreciated!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

For Kuylen...

I may add more to this later, but I will just mention it now to allow time to think- that and I've been fumbling with the wording for this post for quite sometime...

We are going to release some balloons at the lake here for our sweet Kuylen. Our families will be here for the babies blessing (as they were baptized twice in the NICU, we are going to have a sort of blessing and celebration with our church family the week after their birthday.) So, that weekend, Brent and I thought we would do a little something special to remember our's where you come in...

We would like very much to attach a thought to each balloon released. It could be a little note to him or whatever you'd like. We learned so much from our few moments with him that we just can't let his immense contribution to our lives pass by without taking pause.

We would really appreciate your help! If you've done something nice with him in mind...if you've taken an extra moment with your little ones, given an extra hug, had a little more patience, or just taken a peaceful moment with yourself, we'd love to hear it.

You can either leave a comment, or if you would prefer emailing me:, you are more than welcome to do so. If you would rather us not read it, email me for our address and you can send your thoughts via snail mail in a sealed envelope. Our families can of course bring whatever they'd like with them for the weekend of festivities.

Again, we really appreciate your help on this!

Phew, I got through the rough draft with only a few tears, and the ache that just won't go away - of course I don't really expect it to...

Many thanks once again.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Last year for Easter, Brent painted my belly to look like a big egg...

I was still holding on for (all of our) dear life. Unbeknown st to us, in just a short few days, our worlds would change forever...

We made it to early church this morning - "better late than never" applied. The babies behaved beautifully really. Mary Louise (uhem) sang "Hallelujahs" throughout - most of the time alone- and David napped on his dear old dad.

When we got home, we had a photo session in the yard...
Easter 2010

Afterward, I took the little ones for a run while Brent mowed the grass (what a sport!).

I am thrilled to announce that I finally got some new running shoes! My days of excuses are numbered...I started to break them in today - slowly but surely.

So, we've had a wonderful - rather quiet weekend here and have really enjoyed just being a family.

Happy Easter to all!


Thursday, April 1, 2010


A few pics from Mommom's last visit...


Mary Louise walking with Mommom...

and truckin' along outside in her walker...

Playtime at "the table" (until they notice the camera)...

Photos from a wonderful visit with Nanny Pan and Palm Sunday...
last week in March 2010