Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reunion Time

Well Heather and the Babies are in St. Augustine Florida with MaMom visiting Granny and Papa. I will join up with them on Saturday afternoon for the annual Bowe / Wages reunion. Uncle Kyle, Uncle Collin and I will take that long 10 hour drive over there all day saturday. I hope that it is uneventful, since I have had my far share this week. Heather drove the same 10 -12 hours with the babies on wednesday with mamom to help out. Can you imagine 12 hours in a car with 2 two year olds. I made that ride with Heather home last year when the babies were one, and I thought I was going to go crazy. Heather is sure stronger than I will ever be.
So this past weekend we went to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for a family reunion for my dads side of the family. It was great, and I got to cook a 5 gal pot worth of Jambalaya for everyone. On Sunday I was going to cook 15 lbs of catfish, and burned my hand and foot with hot grease after the first batch came out. I was out of commission, and my dad finished it off for me. Pops is a much better fish fryer than me anyway. The babies loved the beach and all the attention they got form family that has only read about them on this blog for two years. David is fearless when it comes to the water. He runs straight into it and throws himself down and giggles. It is cute for a second, then a wave comes in and smacks him in the face. Don't get me wrong he is still laughing, we are just paraniod with him swallowing too much water. Mary Louise follows suit shortly after since it looks as if david is having fun. They are just to much fun to watch. They are growing so fast know (mentally). They are trying to communicate all the time. Mary Louise is great at putting words together, just hard to unsdestand her. You can ask her to repeat it, and she looks at you so matter of fact and repeats it. Too cute. she even rolls her eyes when you don't understand her.
So my week began with getting burned frying fish, and on tuesday my company truck overheated, water pump went out, and caused a cylinder in the engine to quit working. The mechanic wants $4500 to fix it, and I am waiting on my company to make a decision on what they want to do. This was a loaner truck while the one I ordered in March is waiting to be delivered to Houston. I just hope I can finish out this week without anymore issues, get to florida to see my Beautiful wife, and awesome children, and of course the rest of the family.

Heather will update soon

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cavity Free!!!!

Can you even believe it?! We've avoided a cavity for 26 months!!

Mary Louise, David, Mommom and I made our way to the Dental Depot yesterday afternoon. It was amazing. The office is filled with artwork, and electric trains, tons of toys, and is just a happy place in general. We were able to play for awhile and get the babies comfortable, then were called to "the back" where Mom(mom) and I sat in the dental chairs while holding Mary Louise and David on our laps. David began to fuss, opened his mouth to yell, the Dr. took a very quick look-see inside and announced his teeth were beautiful, NO CAVITIES!! and he has 16 in so far so we should expect 4 more (molars) over the next year to a year and a half.

Mary Louise was a little more upset about the whole thing - but the doctor was just as efficient and made a similar announcement for her - with the exception of a (very) light staining line on her front tooth secondary to her prematurity. She was fine post exam - and even leaned in to give the doc lovies on the cheek before leaving.

In short, he (the dentist) is not only unconcerned with Mary Louise and David's dental health at this time, he is excited that Brent and I have obviously been so diligent about cleaning their teeth. I have been so very worried about this last area of health - preemies, and especially micro preemies who have been exposed to weeks of TPN (total parenteral nutrition) as well as other medications known to wreak havoc on developing teeth and enamel, have a host of considerations to monitor in dentistry.

The dentist even thanked me for being so aware and diligent about their oral hygiene. (umm - ok, the words "kooky" and "slightly crazy" may have been used - but in a good way)

I'm so very thrilled!!! Next check up in 6 months. (and a HUGE thank you to Mommom for making the trip to help me there, and with a few things around the house this week!)


Monday, June 20, 2011

What we've been up to...

Mere and Pops came for a visit...
June 3-5, 2011

As did Nanny Zoo (we've tweaked her "name" a little), Uncle Colly, AND we had a quick visit with Nanny Pan and Mike at Mommom's house!! Phew! We've had a busy busy couple of weeks!!

Brent is doing well with work - traveling tons but budgeting time and getting into a little bit of a routine.

We've had a really wonderful time with family and are gearing up for some HUGE doses of extended family over the next month or so. (EXCITED!!!)

I have had a number of opportunities to assist other mothers in their plights to successfully pump for their little ones. I can only share my experiences, and am no expert...but am diligent, and honest and feel I have something to offer (and happily give freely) on this topic. In consequence, my blogging has suffered. (frowny face). I'll get back to it - but feel this is an area that demands some attention right now. If I can help one mom to get that "good stuff" to her baby just a little longer, it's well worth it!! It's amazing the amount of misinformation - or total lack of information - existing and even bombarding women out there - and much of it is from the medical community in spite of extensive and involved publications on the issue. Having said that, the sometimes over - inflated expectations of breastmilk are perhaps equally as amazing. I could go on...I am very thankful for the opportunity to share my story (pumping, NICU and parenting)and relish the idea that someone might benefit from any of it (even if it's just a good laugh...or a commiserating vent).

Back to our current activities...
We've been practicing ZUMBA (just like Mommom!) (I would like to direct your attention to "the Diva's" shoes - which are in fact David's shoes...which she has insisted on wearing for 2 full days now.):

We are at an absolute standstill with (pre) potty training (because let's not kid ourselves, the horizon of actual potty training is no. where. in. sight. and Mary Louise and David are proudly sporting size 4 diapers now!):

Other than that, yet another non-sleeping phase has begun. I am, under no circumstances, allowed to leave the room of Mary Louise and David. Seriously, Brent has made every attempt to give me a break on this, but Mary Louise (moreso than David) seems to have taken a turn toward "Mommy's girl" and is giving the concept a determined go. She has quite literally slept on my chest, kicked me in the boobs (this fact only made more awesome after all those gals have gone through over the past 2 years), kicked me in the face (yes, face) and sometimes slapped me with her froggie in the mouth (P.S. she too has decided that she cannot sleep without one...after 2 years of not caring) for about a week now. David, though he was sleeping sound at first, has had a rough couple of nights...

The consolation to all of this (well, sort of consolation) is that I've learned after over 2 years of this that a year of baby time is about like 5 to 10 minutes of adult time. Honestly, it feels that fast. At the absolute tippy top of my frustrations, a year may slow to feel like a week or so (is this making sense??) but otherwise zooms by so very quickly that I fear if I didn't have it written and recorded somewhere, I could effectively swear it didn't happen at all. In short, this too shall pass - faster than the speed of light. So, in my heart of hearts, I'm exhausted, but absolutely LOVING the snuggle time.

Upcoming event: our first visit to the pediatric dentist. Heaven help us all...


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Mary Louise and David have been making more and more progress with their expressive speech. Favorites this week (in no particular order) include (but certainly are not limited to)...

"zizshi" - Lizzie
"ow-tide" - outside
"tester" - Chester
"dada" - Daddy
"baba" - bottle
"bowl" - bowl
"dog" - dog
"cack" - cat
"Pop" - Pop
"Mommom" - Mommom
"Momma" - Mom
"Kyle" - Kyle
"uh dat" - What's that
"ball" - ball
"More" - more
"cado" - avocado
"hot" - hot

We work hard every day to add expressive words to their vocabulary. Regardless, they certainly pick up all that happens around them - and regularly surprise me...

While cooking dinner this evening, Mary Louise and David started talking up a storm...

We went to the local gymnastics place to try out a toddler Karate class this afternoon. You read right - Karate. Now let me explain...

I went last week to ask about toddler gym classes over the summer. They didn't have any options - I'm limited in classes as I'm one mom, with 2 toddlers, so the "mom and me" type classes are kind of out for us unless the instructor can take a baby all class - the offer has not been made available as of yet.

While there for the inquiry, I met the Karate instructor who told me he was just trying out a simple class for younger children - no sparring, no contact (I was assured - after multiple eye surgeries, the LAST thing I need is for Mary Louise or David to get knocked in the noggin thereby increasing their very real risk of retinal detachment). The classes were about hand eye coordination and balance. The enrollment was very low (uhem - 1) and I was allowed to try it out for free.

What did we have to loose??

In short, I'm quite sure David just isn't ready for the class atmosphere and structure. He wasn't just glued in utter panic to my chest but refused to even face forward for more than half of the time we were there. Once forward, he wanted NO part of communicating with the teacher directly. Mary Louise warmed to the idea with a little time - and would likely do well with a few lessons...but is still a bit immature for the whole thing. We'll try again in 6 months or so - maybe the fall when they start gym classes again.


Chance meeting

I went to order a glass top for our dining table last week. Brent waited in the car while I ran into the store. Jolie and Kyle were home with the babies. About 30 minutes later, I made my way back to Brent - in tears no less...

I run past this place with the babies in tow multiple times weekly. When I walked in, the woman at the counter made the connection quickly, asked how old the babies were now, said how big they were getting, and we laughed as she told me she'd watched them grow through the window over the past year or so. Then of course, "the" question came...twins???

I smiled and said they were surviving triplets born very early. She thought for a moment, and gave me an understanding smile. Her adult son was born early years ago - and spent 45 days in the NICU. I knew that look - the genuine ache she felt for me and for herself - 2 members of a most unfortunate club. Then, with tears in her eyes, she told me one of the "boys in the back" (the warehouse) had a baby boy born at 23 weeks 6 days - and at the time, he was 3 days old.

I burst into tears, apologized, she took no notice, smiled and said the baby was only 1 pound 6 ounces.

I finally blurted out that the babies she'd watched all this time were just less than a week older in gestation than this new baby; that the size was the same as Mary Louise's birth weight. Ecstatic, the woman begged me to talk to the new dad - to reassure him - to give him some hope.

My heart absolutely ached for this new family - I felt as if I'd been punched as I remembered so vividly the morning of David's emergency surgery...he was 10 days old and still weighed less than a pound. We had already cradled our sweet Kuylen as his heart stopped beating in our arms. I pleaded with a higher power that David would come through the surgery and that I would one day be able to hold him. I desperately begged that our babies one day breath on their own - poop on their own - I said that we would be so very proud to have that much. SO PROUD to have kids that could toilet and breathe!! I also made a totally unrealistic but absolutely heartfelt request that we be the last - the last ones to be thrown into the NICU abyss...obviously not...

What on earth was I going to say to this man - who mind you had tried for 10 years with his wife to have children? What wisdom could I bestow? The answer? none. NONE! I gave him the same gift a NICU nurse gave to me - just after David's surgery...she asked, "How are you doing?" As I rattled off the week's stats on the babies like some sort of zombie, she put her hand on my arm and asked again - a little more forcefully - while pulling up a stool and guiding me towards it, "no, I said how are YOU doing?" It was the first time I really cried after having the babies. It had been almost 2 weeks. I was alone with this nurse in the NICU and I sobbed and sobbed while she stood quiet and smiled.

Sometimes, all that is needed is a pause. I let the man talk for awhile, gave him my number, invited him or his wife to call or come by anytime, and left. Regardless, they will be in my thoughts and I wish them the very best NICU experience (if there is such a thing) life has to offer - and may they be able to hold their sweet boy soon...

And all of this started with the order of a glass table top...


How does your garden grow?

Our vegetable and herb gardens have taken off despite the rather devastating drought around here. We have been able to harvest many Japanese Eggplants and there are lots of tomatoes ripening on the vines. We are still waiting on the bell peppers and cucumbers, but the flowers are promising.

The babies have enjoyed it all - and are beginning to pick up with their eating once more. They LOVE Brent's eggplant medallions - lightly fried with a homemade bread crumb crust.

For Memorial day, we cooked a large pot of good old jambalaya and corn maque choux all from scratch using fresh veggies and herbs (from our garden when possible) and local meats. I never thought I'd get past the first taste with Mary Louise and David - who BEGGED for a little bite...3 bowls EACH later...I was very pleasantly surprised...

But they didn't stop there! Happy with their new found food freedom, they have requested a whole tomato (thanks to Nanny Zoo for bringing some GORGEOUS heirlooms over during her weekend visit!!)...

and also, have sampled loads of other treats and eats. (fresh berries, salads - all parts, hummus, crackers, cucumbers are a current favorite, and of course Mary Louise's beloved "cado" - avocado)- all in the past few days alone.

We are so very proud of our little guys for their open minds and use of autonomy with their eating. It's frustrating at times, but in the long run, they have well shown us that they know what is best for their bodies. Way to go (and grow) guys!! Let the yummy eating continue!

Washing down their snacks with a bit of organic apple juice - THANK YOU for making toddler sized juice boxes!! (note the diva's fashion statement of the day...socks and sandals...I'll blame that faux pas on Daddy! ha!)