Monday, February 28, 2011

going the distance...

I wrote a letter to the President (yes, of the United States), months ago concerning David's health care (or lack there of). It was a last resort - I really didn't have anywhere else to turn. Anyhow, today, I received this letter on White House letterhead via email...

February 28, 2011

Dear Heather:

Thank you for writing. I have been moved and inspired by the stories of Americans struggling with health care, and I appreciate your perspective. It is because of the many men and women facing frustration, hardship, and financial burden in addition to significant health problems that we worked so hard to get health reform done.

After a century of striving, after a year of debate, and after a historic vote, health care reform is no longer an unmet promise to the American people. It is the law of the land. While some reforms will be put in place later, a host of desperately needed reforms have already gone into effect. To learn more about what health reform means for you, visit or

As we work together to improve the lives of all our citizens, please know the trials and triumphs of Americans like you motivate my Administration to work even harder to overcome the challenges before us. I am confident we will emerge from these tough times stronger than before with a renewed promise of a better future for all.

For more information on resources that may be available to you, please visit or or call 1-(800)-FED-INFO. Those seeking assistance with health care can also call the Department of Health and Human Services at 1-(877)-696-6775.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I wish you all the best.


Barack Obama

I realize that it doesn't actually say anything at all really - nor does it have an official signature. However, someone did read my message to them - as the response does refer to health care, etc. and it is addressed to me (or some other Heather). So, I'm going to conclude that someone did in fact have to press "send" and possibly make a few more clicks to get this note to my inbox - and that makes me happy.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dancin' machines!

We have been working on our dance moves during the day but nothing tops the rhythm and beats of daddy time in the afternoons! Brent turns on a classic rock radio station and the babies go to town! Mary Louise is perfecting some hand motions while David has begun to incorporate a twist in his jig. Yesterday, Brent got a video - and although the babies are a bit distracted by some serious strawberry munching, they did pretty well with their multi-tasking!


Monday, February 21, 2011


Brent and I were begging for mercy from Mary Louise after 2 nights in a row in which she woke at 1am and stayed up - without blinking I swear - until 4am. We were both exhausted. Last night went a bit better - of course I just went in their room at about midnight and opted to stay...

The culprit? I'm sure by now, you can guess their teething again. Mary Louise's 4 I-teeth are just starting to surface while David's don't appear to be too far behind. These are the last few baby teeth that have yet to come into the front of their mouths.

All of this after only about a 6 week break from the last teething marathon! Honestly, with the rate at which their teeth cut, I don't see a proper break any time soon. So it seems, for now, teething behaviors will become our norm - upset tummies, super clingy and whiny, fussing and fighting and biting, crying hysterically followed by laughing hysterically and sheer exhaustion from restless sleep - and Mary Louise and David should be a barrel of laughs as well (just kidding).

Brent made some eggplant Parmesan for lunch yesterday - the babies tired and LOVED it!! They are branching out quite a bit with their eating and we are just so thrilled to introduce new and exciting flavors! So far so good as far as tolerance goes. They haven't shown sensitivities to anything yet!

We went to Sam Houston State park yesterday afternoon and had a really good time. We hadn't really been there since our move at the end of the summer - but with a day so gorgeous, and babies so very very fussy, we were desperate for a change of scene...and we've been to just about every park in town in the past week! There is a small playground sort of hidden amongst the campsites that no one really uses or knows about, so we went there and had the whole place to ourselves. We walked a short trail - allowing Mary Louise and David to properly break in their new (and very grown-up size 5!!!) kicks. They chose them all by themselves at Target a few days ago- their first pairs of sandals!

When we came home, we played a bit more outside - playing in pots of soil and crocks of water is a favorite - and most dirty - past time here. We all arrived at bath time essentially covered from head to toe in dirt - which of course is the only way to arrive at bath time - right?

A few photos MaMere sent from the half marathon weekend...
Mary Louise and David Feb. 2011


Friday, February 18, 2011

December 2010

Photos from December - not including Christmas. It's hard for me to believe I've gotten this behind with them...but it is amazing to see just how much Mary Louise and David have changed in just a couple of months!

December 2010

Houma with Collin Dec. 2010

I'll add more here as they upload.


Chasing Kuylen

We really had a great day today. Errands this morning - and we even made it out before 10 which means we made it in and out of the 2 stores we needed to go to just as they opened.

I have been so antsy to run but have been taking it easy since the half marathon. Today. was. gorgeous. I couldn't take it any longer so I put the kiddos in the stroller and we set out to run down by the lake. I haven't been that way in awhile with all of the cold weather so I was SUPER excited to really enjoy a moment's peace, and be with my thoughts for a bit.

I don't know if I'll ever actually claim to be a runner. I run - but every step is a tiny split second decision for me. None of it is easy. Mind over matter...and I get a HUGE bonus for running. It...I'm not kidding about one of the only times in my day that I am totally, 100% focused...then it happens...every time...Kuylen. My sweet boy is just there. I feel his weight in my arms, I see his smile. I can even trace his velvet soft skin over his cheeks, his little nose. It has crossed my mind that I may not be breathing properly and a little low on oxygen - but I don't care. It's our moment and when it's over, I can't wait for the next. Don't get me wrong, I hurt, I ache, I try my hardest to cling to his every feature. The lump in my throat is terribly hard to swallow - and many times I just let the tears fall.

I've learned, over time, to be ok with this. It's the best I can do. I miss him, I always will. It makes me smile that I can remember him so clearly and have a way of being with him - even if I do appear to be a bit of a nut sniveling and running through town.

I did 6 miles today. I only ran a small portion and enjoyed a brisk walking pace for the rest. We stopped at a little park by the lake - just down from the spot where we released Kuylen balloons and notes last year. I let the babies out and we played in the slides for about 20 minutes. I was so very proud of us! It was the first time I let them play on a playground without anyone else there to help me. They behaved so so well and seemed to almost understand that I needed them to stay close to me.

We walked home, I made a quick tomato basil soup from scratch and Brent walked in from work. We decided to go back to the lake (I'm serious when I say this was beautiful day) and let the babies play in the fountain for the first time. They have been eyeing this thing for months now! It was a whole heap of fun - and I got tons of photos which are currently downloading.

A MAJOR picture purge is a-coming folks! Stay tuned!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

odd hapenings of the day...

David had a doctor's appointment this afternoon. He has an awful lot of scar tissue (as does Mary Louise) in his heels and one little bump became a plantar's wart - likely unrelated to the scar tissue - but when he began walking on his toes again after being flat footed for awhile, we thought it best to have the little guy (wart) removed. Off to the dermatologist we went - today was his 3 week check-up. All went well, I am to file his heel tonight after his bath and we'll see if the nasty has left the building...

We left the office and opted to go to the park. Brent had come straight from work to meet us at the doctor (he almost never misses an appointment)so I took advantage of the fact that we were out, and had 2 sets of hands...

We went to the park closest the doctor - one we've been to once before. It's very nice, clean, and has a fence around the toddler area so we can relax a bit and allow our little ones full run of the place. When we got there, we were one of 2 families...until...we heard a terrible yell, "TANNER!!!!" A dad raced across the rubber tiles that floor the play area. His son was climbing to a high-ish slide and had fallen, backward, through a crawl hole - about an 8 foot drop. His mother, I kid you not, scolded the dad for yelling and told her son he was "just scared by his dad's loud voice". The kid had dropped squarely on his left arm with his wrist under his, was holding his arm in close to his body, and screaming inconsolably - things may or may not have been broken - but I assure you he was more than scared of his dad's voice...

Moving on.

We were alone and enjoying ourselves when a pudgy girl with a dirty face marched onto the playground with her dad behind her. Mary Louise, very curious, walked right up to the little girl and they both stared intently at one another for awhile before I asked Mary Louise if she'd like to wave hello. The little girl's dad said in a soft voice, "she don't talk much...autistic." The little girl began to grunt, Mary Louise smiled, the little girl laughed...they were really sweet together. We went back to playing but Mary Louise and then David were just so curious about this one girl. Her dad was very patient with the babies when they walked up and said it was ok as I backed them away from their space - mostly because they would stand directly in the way of the poor child as she was trying to climb on the equipment. Then...the little girl's mother arrived...

Oh it was straight out of an old western movie I swear. This burly woman with her hair dyed fire red rolled out of her Saturn (ok - western movie - but in the suburbs). She stomped out her cigarette with her bare foot (ok, she had shoes on, but had she been bare foot, it wouldn't have surprised me any more). The scene would have only been better had she hocked a huge tobacco luggie onto the side walk. She huffed over the playground, called the dad over, and proceeded to let him know each and every thing she wasn't happy about - which apparently, was an awful lot. He yelled, "well, if you'd have gotten your fat a** out of the car in the first place!!..." but didn't get to finish his sentence as Big Red ripped into him further. The poor little girl first walked over to a fountain to have a look, then, as her parents got louder, she began to pace between them and make advances toward the car. It really was a pathetic scene...

but it's not over just yet.

As that argument was happening stage left, a new man entered the gates, sans kiddos, and proceeded to yell into his phone that, "no, what I ACTUALLY said was..."


I felt as if we'd walked into some tilted dimension.

We left - and opted to play outside (at home) for a bit, then end our evening with a ride around the block in the wagon.

I was getting the wee ones ready for a bath and stopped short of actually putting them in the water to make their bed - because I do things all scattered like that most of the time. So, they ran around upstairs without any duds on for a little while. Mary Louise was very interested in what I was doing and was ready to help at any given opportunity. David, on the other hand, was quiet...

Then, after a few minutes of quiet, he walked up to me proudly, held out his hand to give me "something". I put out my hand to take the "something". He dropped it into my palm with a grin and scampered off to "play" some was mud...of the human variety.

I don't think I've ever actually thrown up in my mouth a little bit...until today.

Super. I'm going to go ahead and say that today, was a rather odd day.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

One more down...and just!!!!

Synagis: both the bane of my existence - well my day anyhow - and the crux of my safety net concerning the health of my kiddos. I love and appreciate that we were approved for a second season - a bit of a surprise considering their generally excellent health - but UGH! shot day has become dreaded for sure!

Our nurse is incredibly sweet, patient, LOVES Mary Louise and David, lives right around the corner and, I swear, would come in the middle of the night to do their shots if I asked her to - BUT - Mary Louise in particular panics when she walks in the door now! Their weight dictates the necessity for 2 shots - one in each leg- now and this season has been horrible for them as far as the shots themselves. But we get through as best we can.

Today, the nurse called to come by just as Mary Louise and David were waking from their naps (they actually decided to take one today). So, I said, "why not!" and told her to come by when she asked if "now" would be a good time to give them their monthly dose.

Mary Louise and David are both 29 and one half inches tall, their heads are both 17 and one half inches in circumference and David is 19 pounds 10 ounces and Mary Louise is 20 pounds 10 ounces.

They really tolerated the shots as best they could and with the amazing weather outside, I immediately directed their attention to the dirt, grass, bugs and flowers. After playing in the yard for a bit, they were still pretty fussy, so I opted for a more drastic approach...dun, dun, dunnnnnn: a walk around the block in the wagon (with cucumbers and strawberries for snacks)!!

We had a really good time -as I said, the weather was gorgeous - a few of our neighbors were outside - one who has a baby girl of about 15 months. We played and chatted for almost 2 hours! So it really turned out to be a nice afternoon.

The babies seem to be feeling well this evening - hoping it stays that way and we get through this round better than the last - they are typically pretty sore and sometimes run a very low fever...


Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Kyle and I participated in our very first half marathon on Sunday!!!! We had 3 goals: 1. to finish the race...check; 2. to run the entire 13.1 miles...CHECK!!; and 3. to finish the whole thing in under 2 and a half hours...CHECK CHECK CHECK!!!!! 2 hours, 24 minutes and 39 seconds was my official finishing time.

The real kicker?? After 2 days with aching knees - but certainly not out of commission by any means, I feel fine today - no more sore than I would feel after a good workout at the gym!

This particular event (the New Orleans Mardi Gras Marathon and half marathon) was the last full marathon my dad did - he was 50. Kyle and I were really excited to make it our first...

Here's to hoping Dad is proud of his kiddos. We miss you so...


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ring around the... Food game

I knew I spoke too soon when I proudly mentioned removing soy and cow's milk out of Mary Louise and David's diets. No sooner did I press "publish post" did they go on yet another food strike which ended last night around dinner...they took in hummus, veggies, fruits, seaweed salad (a new favorite believe it or not) and 4 serving of purees only to have David drink some water, choke and puke his portion right back up all over me and Mary Louise. Of course he didn't want to eat any more solids after that so he made up the difference last night with my entire supply of breast milk plus some soy...I'll catch up again someday - at least I know there is something that works to make their tummies feel better!

They have gone back to their original schedule and, alas, I must start again with the weaning. The positive to all of this is the fact that their bellies seem to be a-ok so far. After a weekend with Pops and MaMere, and the travel involved, they have remained ok as far as their "ins and outs" go.

This evening (Tuesday - sorry, I'm so behind with all of this!) they ate well and went right to bed. They have been bucking nap time wholeheartedly - though they seem exhausted...we are making it through as best we can and I'm am very very thankful that the frost seems to have thawed and we've had a beautiful day or 2 around here.


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bath time at Mommom's

I LOVE bath time at Mommom primarily for 2 reasons: 1. there are glass doors on the tub, so I can take a nice bath, see the babies, they can see me - which means all is well on both ends of our world!

2. The tub is a large Jacuzzi tub...meaning...the babies can go swimming!!! they love it!! They have learned to spread out on their bellies and kick kick kick. They laugh, they splash, they play. It's really fun for them - and for me. They are doing very well with their make shift swimming lessons in general and have learned to put their faces in - at least partially - kick, splash with their hands, and they can do assisted floating for very short periods.

I forgot to mention that half way through the bag of Target diapers, they started leaking for I've switched back to Pampers once more - but this time in a size 3. They look huge to me - but seem to work wonders during the day and night. We haven't had a mess yet and it's been over a week. I feel rather silly - but apparently, the diapers I was using were too small?? ha - go figure.

Uncle Sean (who I might add, loves the Fugees) made a little video with some recent photos of the babies. I thought it was also showcases Uncle Kyle's hairdo which he sported for a few hours...until he was literally begged to undo it.

Anyhow, thanks Uncle Bean for the fun video!! Maybe I can learn to do know, in my copious spare time!!


Monday, February 7, 2011

That time again...and some pumping info...

So, true to the race day format, I am apparently required to get sick approximately one week prior. This time?? I am the very lucky 7 or 8 time winner of SHINGLES!!! woot woot!! Yep - on my forehead just above my left eye. No, I did not run into a door frame. The babies did not in fact punch me, claw me, slap me in the face (nor did Brent by the way). No, that's my dear friend, shingles.

I would say that they appear when I'm stressed. But I'm usually pretty stressed - and I've been horribly numbingly stressed and they didn't come. (see birth of babies...)

The first episode almost coincided exactly with the beginning of nursing school. During clinicals alone I had them 5 times. The last time, I just let them run their course because it was in the middle of finals and the medication needed has many many side effects so the doctor won't prescribe it to me unless I come in. Anyhow, letting it run its course is probably the best thing I've done so far. I have them now every other year or so rather than every few months. They are also MUCH less severe. They are uncomfortable and make me feel run down, but compared to the miserable-ness they used to be, this is about as irritating as a mosquito bite.

Anyhow, I'm 3 days in - so a few more to go and I should be back up and running - literally.

Pumping: I can't count how many times people have asked me if I'm still pumping, when I'll stop and how I keep it all going...

As to the how - mentally, it's just a part of our day. With the amazing health of our little ones - and their phenomenal recovery from the one or 2 sniffles they have managed to get, I simply can't justify giving it up just yet. As to how long - as long as they need. They wean themselves every so often. Right now, their breastmilk is still a huge part of their nutrition. However, as they wean, it will continue to be a huge part of their immune system.

The babies are doing well. I have been able to pretty much stop giving them soy or cow's milk which has helped their digestion IMMENSELY!!! We've had such a time with constipation and having to supplement their breast milk has only made things worse. There was a little relief with the switch to soy but the relief was rather short lived...

So right now, they get juice once or twice per day, water whenever they want it, and about 20 ounces of breastmilk divided between 3 servings. They have weaned their nightly intake down a bit which allowed me to cut out the extra milk supplementation.

I am continuing to pump 4 times a day for a total daily time commitment of about 3 hours. My most important and longest times are first thing in the morning - about 45 minutes and last thing at night - about 45 minutes. The other 2 times are whenever I can manage during the day - once before Brent gets home between 12 and 1 and once more after the gym before their bedtime.

Brent is in Orlando this week at the annual golf show. So far so good - he seems to be learning alot and enjoying himself. We miss him terribly and Mary Louise in particular wakes up every morning with a HUGE grin and says, "Dada?" I reply, "Dada is at work lovie." She nods, seems to understand, then goes right back to asking for him...

So we're hanging in there - and I'm trying to get through this darn writers' block that has absolutely plagued my brain for the past few weeks...


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Heather!

On this day in 1980 on the front passenger seat of a blue Ford LTD, Heather Marie Bowe was brought into this world. As her father so nervously drove to the hospital and her mother so convincingly calm, Heather decided she would not wait for the cozy warmth of the hospital to come into this world. Needless to say, to this day Heather still carries a certain fear or nervousness for the doctors office as a patient. I know, Kinda funny since she is a Nurse. Heather still does things the hard way, not to say she likes doing it that way, it is just how the cards fall for her, but she every so calmly rises to each occasion and overcomes it.

I know everyone that knows Heather will agree with me. She is the toughest woman I know. She is strong willed, and determined. She becomes this crazy woman when she sets her sights on something. For example, she is training to run the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon on February 13th. She trains almost daily by running while pushing the babies in the double stroller for 5-9 miles, then meets me at the gym to switch out gym time, and works out for another 1.5 to 2 hours before coming home to help me finish getting the babies ready for bed. This is her daily outlet. She takes two fussy, sometimes screaming babies for a short trip around the block, again and again, and did i mention Again. Heather hates birthdays, and what they represent (getting older), but she still has this youthful beauty about her, and most certainly does not look old. She may feel old, but chasing Mary Louise and David around everyday can do that to you.

So, now I ask you to join me by wishing the Amazing Heather a very
Happy Birthday!!!!