Monday, October 31, 2011

1/3 done!!!

Our little Suga is one third done! Happy 12 weeks (yesterday) little guy or gal!

Awkward pics post hard nap - but 12 week pics nonetheless. Hopefully, I'll get about 26 more weekly tries to get the perfect pregnancy photo.

We met with a perinatologist today...I'll try to hold back my excitement. Let's just say we weren't all BFF during the triplet pregnancy and the idea of seeing them again just about did me in in terms of stress. After today? Guess who else is not nor will it ever be my BFF? The speculum. Yeah. That thing is just wrong in all sorts of ways. Seriously. I'd rather have a urinary catheter placed again than have a cervical exam like that. Ok - I'm bordering on too much my sarcasm could flow for days over this one...ok, I'll spare you.

So, a speculum assisted, and digital exam, with the added exciting bonus of getting all friendly with my newest mechanical family member: the vaginal ultrasound wand thing (doesn't that make you feel all sparkly?), and a very long conversation later, Brent and I left a little more confused than relaxed after hearing the peri's opinion.

The basics:
1. I have a "tilted" uterus which effects the position of my cervix.
2. My cervix is on the long end of average - not short at all.
3. Though things look a little weird on physical exam, this is NOT a reason to place a cerclage.
Bottom line: considering my pregnancy history and current physical state, there is no medical reason to place a cerclage.

I am to follow up with them in 3 weeks for a recheck to ensure that things are still stable.

I spoke with my regular OB this evening. His new treatment plan (after reading perinatology's report) is to have me come into his office weekly from now until at least 20 weeks for cervical ultrasounds. If there is any indication of shortening or funneling of my membranes, I am to immediately have a cerclage placed. I am currently at 4cm (40mm). So, that is where I need to stay to keep the red flags from flying. In addition, at 15 weeks gestation, I will start weekly P17 injections to reduce the risk of preterm labor.

So, here's how I feel (other than tired - emotionally, physically, mentally - I just don't want to be messed with anymore and honestly, it's taking everything I have for me not to attempt to crawl under a rock and hide for the next 6 months): nervous. I am trying to remember why I had such an issue with the cerclage in the first place. I've gone through the babies' delivery and events leading to it in my head so many times...I smelled the soap at the peri's office today - the same as the soap in the hospital...I thought I would literally drop to my knees for a minute...

So here it is:
I had more cervical ultrasounds than I could count during the triplet pregnancy. Never once was there a concern. The evening of the day we found out we were loosing Kuylen, I began bleeding (not spotting- this was profuse)- I later found I was in the beginning of labor- and having contractions. My kidneys were failing, my liver enzymes were critical, I was severely anemic. I measured the week before with a fundus of over 50 cm (as in over 50 weeks of pregnancy). Kuylen was in total distress and David was in the beginning of serious trouble. They were both dropping. With medication, the labor would not stop, and the babies were doing very poorly. I was delivered - for countless reasons. I was also in labor...for countless reasons - any one of the critical circumstances could have initiated it. With no other signal or sign ever of an incompetent or weakening cervix and without the classic "painless, asymptomatic dilation", there really isn't a medical reason to have a cerclage.

This is what I thought when the possibility was first mentioned. This is what the perinatologist said. After reading today's report, my regular doctor is respectfully nervous (as am I) but also quite wary of doing an unnecessary procedure. Close monitoring is what we are doing for now.

Happy happy 12 weeks little one. Hang in there!


Happy Halloween!

Mary Louise and David have officially participated in a Trick or Treat holiday! (and I'm pretty sure, they'll be disappointed tomorrow when I have to break the news that Halloween is in fact only one day out of the year.) Our dear neighbors will not be on their door steps nightly just waiting for them to walk up with "book-its" (buckets) so that they may dump sugar into their eager hands.

Mary Louise and David had a GREAT time.

We went to our church first as they were having a small "Trunk or Treat" - mostly put on by parents and children associated with the school there.

Mary Louise and David are not into wearing things on their in, currently, I am not allowed to even think of trying to put pigtails in Mary Louise's hair and Lord help me if I try to use any sort of bow to pull the front out of her eyes (it would seem another haircut will occur in the near future). So we went the (very) easy route with costumes this year and made them...dun dun dunnnnn! SLEEPY SKELETONS!!! YAY! (note the slippers - and the skeleton pj's given to us by a friend of ours (seen in the end of the album - Ms. Karen)...

David spreading and counting his loot:

Yep - they partook in the chocolate feast - see? I can relax!

After the Trunk or Treat, we took a walk around our block. So, not only did we get to meet a few neighbors, but Mary Louise and David got to experience a bit more of their new favorite time of year!


Halloween 2012 - first trick or treat!

Friday, October 28, 2011

We're so uncool

Mary Louise and David went for a 2.5 year check up today at their pediatrician's office. What? Never heard of a 2.5 year check up? Yeah - me neither...just another look-see to make sure I'm feeding the little buggars. They're doing well. Mary Louise: 25# 34 inches tall. She is in the 5% for her actual age for height and 10% for weight! David: 23# 34.5 inches tall - Mr. Slim. He still isn't on the charts for weight but continues to follow just below on his own curve. He is in between the 5th and 10% for height. The doctor was pleased with their progress in speech as they answered his questions (with one word responses or nods) and even allowed him to pick them up, do an exam on the table and put them down! I got a little advice on David's digestive issues - and voiced my concern that he has slow gastric motility (which is all fancy talk for the kid gets constipated no matter what I do). Meds and diet are our only options...that and keeping up hope that he will in fact one day out-grow it all. A daily dose of breast milk helps immensely - but as I'm not pumping or producing for the remainder of this pregnancy, I need something in the interim to help him along. Afterward, if needed, he can have a daily dose of the good stuff (don't make that face...yeah - I see you) just like he would take any other medication. Bonus: immune boost among other things. Win. Win.

We made it to the Halloween party at Mary Louise and David's private therapy facility. They spent a good portion of the time there in a bit of shock as children giggled and yelled and milled around "trick or treating" by knocking on classroom doors. It was fun - a little busy - but really nice of them to have all of us there and put out such a great effort.

And finally, Mary Louise has, as of this week, officially informed both Brent and I just how uncool we are - yeah - only took the kid 2 years to catch on right? The following are actual quoted conversations and life lessons courtesy of our darling Mary Louise. (I absolutely got permission to use the ones involving Brent - it took him a week to give me the go ahead.)

ML: Momma. Night Night?
Me: Daddy is going to night night with you this evening. Why don't you go choose a book?
ML: NOOOO!! Dada no night night!
Me: Mary Louise, it will be fine - you always love when Daddy reads to you and stays until you fall asleep.
ML: NOOOOO!! Dada no night night! (shaking her head AND her finger furiously with a very worried look on her face)
Me: Mary Louise. What is the problem? You ask for Daddy all day but don't want to night night with him?
Me: Well why not?
ML: Dada toot toot!
Me: bahahahahahahaha!
ML: No Dada night night toot toot! (still concerned)

So apparently Brent passed gas - in a particularly loud and long sort of way - while doing bath time. I've told him about these things - I've said that the lax behavior around here will catch up with all of us very soon. We are knocking on the door of total public embarrassment teaching our kids all these confounded words. No more secrets here folks - and that's for anyone who'll listen.

The next night Brent was to "night night with them" he was giving them a bath. He warned Mary Louise:
B: Mary Louise? Dada is going night night with you tonight. What book would you like to read?
ML: NOOO! Dada no night night!! (head shaking / finger wagging) Momma night night! (head nodding)- she's pretty animated
B: What? Why not?
ML: Dada too big! Too big Dada!

Yep - in the same week Mary Louise told Brent he stinks and is fat...

She was marginally kinder to me...

David playing music on one of his toys...I start dancing in the kitchen doorway so both kids can see. I'm grinning - and laying the silly on pretty thick. David smiles and laughs a little...Mary Louise is standing in the kitchen with a stone cold look on her face. I dance some more to David's tune and ask her if she wants to join. She continues to stare...then the kicker- her fatal blow is dealt: "no. no Momma." Very seriously said as if I were about to give her a kiss after walking her into her first day in high school.

I knew this moment would happen - we would fall from grace and glorious heroism and be our kid's source of utter humiliation eventually - but really, I thought we'd at least make it through preschool!


P.S. Bridie (my dear internet preemie mom friend who has coddled me and come to my mental rescue more than she knows) brought up some good points in her comment on the last post. So in answer: My regular OB would actually perform the cerclage. He has 35 years of OBGYN experience and has never had a complication or loss carrying out his technique (which is the Shirokar rather than the McDonald - a little more complicated and invasive but delivers a little higher success and hold rate - and the bottom line is, he is my doctor, this is his technique and what he is comfortable with). So, if the cerclage is to be done, I feel he is the person to perform the procedure. That said, I'm interested to hear the opinion of perinatology - because I feel I can never throw too many expert opinions in the hat. So, I'll see what happens Monday, and go from there...I'll get over this as soon as I know one way or another and should the cerclage be placed, I get through the few days following sans complication. Hanging in there- and keeping the suga all warm and snuggly as the temp drops outside.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ultrasound #2

Brent and I made our way back to the doctor (OBGYN) yesterday to have a second ultra-sound, discuss the possibility of a cerclage placement and have a cervical measurement done. The short story is: my doctor feels the cerclage SHOULD be done, my cervix is currently 4cm and doing well - looking great which would provide optimal conditions for the placement of a cerclage, and our sweet little butter bean suga is doing really REALLY well. He (just a formal term - just as we did with our triplets, we are not finding out the gender of this baby either) has grown to about 2 inches in length. For comparison, 1 month ago, he was about 1/2 inch in length. We got to see his little legs kick, make out a tiny foot wiggling around, and seemed to get an approving head nod at one point - ha! His heart rate was 168 (very good!).

For a second opinion on the cerclage and some reassurance, I am scheduled to see the perinatology group this Monday. Afterward, I will discuss the results of THAT ultrasound and exam with my regular doctor and a final decision will be made on the cerclage.

So I'm nervous...and after all of the discussing and milling with doctors we did over even the possibility and/ or safety of having another baby, I'm still wondering how this was missed...realizing, of course, that this would really cover all bases...and that if I do really have a weak cervix, finding out later and having to do an emergent cerclage - if it was even possible - would drastically reduce success in the stitch. Beyond the risk of the actual procedure (breaking the amniotic fluid sack, infection - low risk), it would eventually provide a little security - another issue safe guarded as best it can be.

So, Monday, we'll find out more.

Moving on...

I caught Mary Louise "mothering" today - it was so cute...(she's feeding her baby green bell peppers)

Mary Louise and David have been doing so much together lately - really working together. I LOVE it (even when their powers are used for mischief). They frequently give one another hugs and kisses, have been known to hold hands while walking up the stairs or while playing, and team up to accomplish whatever they set their minds to do.

Today, David spent his full hour with his home speech therapist by himself! A first for him as Mary Louise and I typically stay with him during the sessions. He was happy, and the therapist told me he said at least 10 three word spontaneous utterances as well as his typical repeating and parroting whatever you ask. We are still keeping an eye on his shortened frenulum as well as his use of facial muscles (or lack there of)...but right now, he is doing really really well and making great progress.

And that is that. Mary Louise and David have a Halloween party to go to tomorrow!!! YAY!!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Great time (again) on the weekend!

After a busy week - mostly apart - Brent and I got up with the kiddos early on Saturday and decided on an impromptu visit to the zoo. On our way, Nanny Zoo gave us a call and said she would meet us there. It was a wonderful day - even though Mary Louise suddenly decided that she was afraid of quite literally all of the animals there...except the reptiles??? She giggled at the snakes and consistently LOVES turtles and tortoises.

Riding the Safari Train - Mary Louise's face just cracks me up...

It was great to get away for the day - and even better that we ended up with an extra set of all too eager hands thanks to Nanny Zoo. We heard, "Bye Bye Zoo" and "Where Nah-nay??" All the way home.

David had his first real haircut on Friday. Don't get too excited - it's barely noticeable (did you notice in the above zoo pics?? hmm?) It was getting a bit frazzled at the ends from many a night of noogie-ing and he has an unfortunately sensitive scalp that makes combing a bit of a job. Anyhow, it's neater and his ends are healthy. Most importantly though: he was FANTASTICALLY behaved. Not one tear! In fact, I'm not sure he even noticed that much. He sat on my lap the whole time and Pilar (my hair stylist) was so quick and fun, he just grinned and giggled. He even sat around for about 30 minutes afterward so that I could get my ends trimmed too! The other people there said things like, "is he always so easy going?" and "if babies really acted like that, I could have 10!" ha! He really was so well behaved!
Before - a bit scraggly - but soooo cute!

After - cleaned up but still super cool! (what can I say, I adore those goldie-locks!)

Last weekend (I know, I'm way behind) we met friends at the nearby Pumpkin Patch. It was Mary Louise and David's first visit ever to such a display. They were excited! They've been seeing the pumpkins at the grocery, working on learning colors, doing fall projects during speech sessions and on and on - when we told them we were to visit a big pumpkin patch, they were beside themselves excited. "Puh-kings!!!!" they yelled all the way there:
Daddy is sooo silly:

Wagon ride with BFF Ally:

I love this picture:

And this one:

The album (Desi-gate photos at end):

The Pumpkin Patch 2011

And finally, with the end of warm weather nearing, Mary Louise and David (and I) have frequented the parks more than ever. We will still go in the cold (provided it's not just ridiculous of course) but scenes like this will be tucked away as memories until next year...

At the park during Mommom's recent visit (I totally need to stop photo hoarding...)

David's tough guy shot:

Here's hoping you had a wonderful weekend too!! Happy 11 weeks to our sweet Suga!!!!

(so excited!!!)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

While "Dada" was away...

Brent went on a 3 day business trip this week. We were busy in his absence:

1. I "HUTH" (hung up the horns - can you believe there's an acronym for ending pumping?) I may talk more about this later...Mary Louise and David were also introduced to goat milk. It's a win.

2. Mary Louise and David opted out of their regular sleeping patterns and instead tried their hands at a "no sleep at all" pattern...Mary Louise after sleeping 4 hours one night (it occurs to me that I should have videoed myself after all of this, but that would be sad - rather than kind of funny...)

The above awesomeness continued until nap time that day.

This is what happens when David misses his nap these days...

And yes, that would be a Pringle hanging out of his mouth like a duck bill - I'm a sucker sometimes.

3. We cleaned. Alot. We washed about 10 loads of laundry including all of Mary Louise and David's winter clothing and their sheets. We folded, sorted, and switched out summer clothes, packing them all neatly (sort of) to be stored, we cleaned the entire downstairs - they helped dust and wipe down the kitchen - they also helped pick up toys, vacuum, and mop. Yep, they're fantastic...but sometimes, when Mommy takes out the trash, they remind me just how devious they can be...(little buggars)

It was pretty funny though - and made for a great bath time...but I'm pretty sure Desitin is impossible to remove so their precious skin is now forever protected.

4. It has been 4 years since my dad passed away. I don't have much to add other than it still hurts terribly and I expect it always will. I don't even have the energy right now to write a letter to him...maybe tomorrow. It's hard to believe how much he's missed...and how much I will continue to miss him as I attempt to manage and learn from such a void in my heart.

We are all so glad to have "Dada" home.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life in general

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day across the world. We would like to invite you to take part in the global 'Wave of Light'. Simply light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died during pregnancy, at, during or after birth.

I have been in quite a funk lately...
Pumping is continuing to wind down as I approach 31 months. It probably sounds a bit odd to some, but the thought of my love/ hate relationship with my dear pump coming to an end makes me feel very nervous, somewhat guilty and a bit lost. This has been a major part of my day for just over 2 and a half years now- and stopping, especially during the fall / winter months with cold and flu season knocking on our door has me unsettled to say the least. Having said that, even if I was "allowed" to continue, my milk is drying up - as is the natural flow of pregnancy - the norm seems to be to go "completely dry" around 14 weeks. I am approaching 10 (can you believe it?!?!) on Sunday. 

More about that pregnancy: 
Overall, I feel fine...ok, not really, but I don't want to take on a complaining tone on here. I'll list my prego grievances quickly - with the thought that ripping off a Band-Aid all super fast like somehow lessens the pain involved. 

I am having quite a bit of ligament pain associated with moving (especially turning over in bed during the night). I am in between sizes - you know - it's fat time - not ready for maternity clothes, but certainly out of my skinny jeans. Err-go I am in yoga pants and t-shirts the majority of the time. Ok, I wore that the majority of the time before getting pregnant - but now it's actually because absolutely nothing fits.

I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out a good dosing schedule for the multitude of medications and supplements I need to take: nausea related to meds is not my friend and does not do any sort of wonder for me getting through the day taking care of 2 toddlers, 2 dogs, etc. 

I was crying - alot - like in public - spontaneously crying. It was quite awful. Of course with a new pregnancy, the horribles, the awfuls, the unspeakables from the last have cropped up, so some of the crying was well warranted - and quite fruitful. However, this brought new meaning to sad sack. I started an extra B vitamin and it actually seems to be helping. I feel much better. (I started the vitamin this week).

I was having trouble sleeping soundly - or sometimes, at all. I assure you it was not because I wasn't tired - or trying. But, there are no "A's" for effort where insomnia is concerned. Again, after starting the extra B vitamin, I am able to settle down a bit better as well. Weird. I know.

Last: I'M ITCHY. Holy cow. I woke one morning and my leg was actually bleeding from scratching in my sleep (umm - maybe this was also contributing to the insomnia??) I have tweaked my skincare routine -and it has helped - but if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears...excepting anything Neutrogena, or Oil of Olay (I'm allergic)- and if you recommend that damn Aveeno oatmeal BS I might hunt you down and give you a good talking to - with my finger pointed and waving. Yeah - my itchyness laughed at that mess.

Ok list done. 

In other news, I'm enjoying food again (and you know I LOVE to enjoy my food). I am cooking all the time - and am having a bit of fun playing with recipes to reduce or eliminate the sodium content. Cooking is no rocket science - nor does it have to take all day. With a little understanding of spices and the knowledge that anything that comes in a package or especially a can can be cooked from scratch - sometimes without much more effort than opening said can and dumping the contents in the pot - it can be fun to cook. I love that Mary Louise and David have caught on and even though they don't eat everything we cook together, one day they might - and the knowledge that healthy cooking can be so easy that they were able to help at the age of 2 will hopefully carry them through adulthood. It is my theory that everyone strays from their "norms" at some point, but they typically "come home" to food and (some sort of) religion given a good, happy, and strong base in both areas.

Speech is continuing to go well. Mary Louise and David are working hard on learning colors, shapes and numbers as well as how to name various pictures, etc. in their story books. They have also started to "read" to us at times. 

So, October hasn't been the easiest month - and with another ultrasound coming up and cerclage decisions to be made, it will be unsettled for the majority of it's remaining time, but we are all hanging in there. 

First trick or treating this year!!!!

A few photos from Mere and Pops' recent visit:

October 2011


Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm that Mom - guest post:

McCall and I have been friends since...we've been friends forever - seriously, we were in Pre-K together. We've lost touch a number of times over the years only to reconnect as if no time at all had passed. She's my definition good friend. One of the when she asked me to guest post on her blog? I said, "sure!!" Ok, that was a lie. She did this series last year and tried to talk me into it, I didn't do it - more because I'm a huge procrastinator than anything else. But this year, I decided, "what the heck" and buckled down and committed. I was only 1 day late turning in my entry (and I'm pretty sure McCall put me on Friday because she knew this would happen). So, without further ado, I give you the link to my guest post - and invite you to read more of McCall's happenings over at her blog. She's fabulous. Really.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Run-Down

1. I have photos from our first ultra-sound. They are bit blurry. I have yet to scan them...

2. Mary Louise was about to hit David today. I said, "MARY LOUISE!" and made "the face". It's taken me two and half years to perfect, but this morning, I apparently portrayed a little something extra. Miss Priss stopped in her tracks and stared very quietly for almost a minute!! (I am Mom. Hear me roar.)

3. I have begun the week in a rather muddled fashion. I got the speech schedule totally wrong (as in wrong days). Can I blame this on baby brain already?? (or should I continue to blame it on exhaustion?)

and finally: the real run-down...potential issues or areas of concern with this pregnancy (more a list for me, again, I have trouble keeping things straight upstairs lately):

1. Chronic hypertension: a non-concern at this moment. I went into this pregnancy with a well controlled b/p. My blood pressure is behaving beautifully and I check it obsessively twice daily and take a low dose of labetalol (50mg) twice daily to make sure it stays that way. I also take a baby asprin daily to help reduce the risk of clots and pre-eclampsia. I will get extra ultrasounds and monitoring throughout the third trimester to ensure the baby is growing appropriately and isn't in distress (chronic hypertension and pre-e can cause both of the afore-mentioned complications)

2. Pre-eclampsia: I've had preliminary labs done and they will continue throughout the first trimester. During the second, lab work will slow unless my b/p creeps up. During the third trimester, I'm sure I'll have some lovely 24 hour urine tests done...(if those are not started earlier).

3. possible incompetent cervix: so this is one I truly never expected. My primary OB was out of town at a conference when I was delivered with "the babies". Consequently, most of the information he knows about the actual delivery has come from me. I mentioned that I'd actually gone into pre-term labor just prior to delivery. We found out Kuylen was having reverse flow through his umbilical cord on Thursday. On Friday, I started bleeding. By Sunday evening, I was in an emergency section. I was checked after the bleeding started and found to be effacing. That's pretty much the only information I know - other than my fundal height was almost 55cm. during the week prior to delivery. (a physical measurement meant to represent the number of weeks of pregnancy - I was the equivalent of 55 weeks pregnant as far as size.)

I had numerous cervical measurements throughout the pregnancy and non were concerning - BUT the fact that I did go into pre-term labor - regardless of circumstances - is apparently cause for increased monitoring with THIS pregnancy. Accordingly, my cervix measurement was about 3 inches during the last (first) ultrasound. It was a fairly informal measurement - I asked the woman to do it out of curiosity and she went on about how the doctors wouldn't be worried about that now anyhow, blah blah blah. She muttered "a good 3 inches" so I was satisfied that all was forming well.

The plan: I will have another cervical measurement done during the next ultrasound at the end of the month. This will determine whether a cerclage is needed. If it is not, I will continue to have periodic measurements simply to ensure "all is well".

I have been given the go-ahead to continue with my walking - but have been advised to stop jogging (I was down to pretty much all walking anyhow). I will likely be asked to cut back on the walking later in the pregnancy as well but am hoping some type of exercise (yoga? stretching?) will be approved.

I have also begun to cut back on "the time at the mump" (David calls my pump "the mump"). Right now, I pump daily - in the morning. Down from 2 10 minute sessions daily. My supply is down to about 4 ounces per day and I will likely wind down with that over the next month. There would not really be an issue with me breastfeeding - as the older child usually weans during a pregnancy while the milk changes back into colostrum. The issue here is, the pump doesn't wean - and depending on time and uterine activity can cause uterine quivering and later on, softening of the cervix. In a "routine" pregnancy, this softening would most likely occur around 38 weeks when it wouldn't cause issue anyhow - but with THIS pregnancy, there are many many uncertainties...

Still hanging in there, but wanted to get all the info in black and white...

In other news, I am feeling very occasional thumps (and if it makes you feel better to think it's gas, fine - but I'll tell you that I felt very obvious movement with "the babies" before the first trimester was up as well - at any rate - it makes me very very happy.) The Sug was measuring at 2 days further than my calculations during the ultrasound and had a great heartbeat. It was amazing to watch the little guy (or gal) swim around a bit. The placenta implanted high and center (good and great) and my uterus has already "started to expand and fill" according to the doctor. (never thought I'd get so excited to be told I'm bloated - ha!). It's a little hard to believe how hard and how quickly I've fallen for this sweet bebe. With "the babies" I'm pretty sure I was in shock between being bogged down with clinical data and have small nervous breaks as we received difficult news over and over. This has been amazing - surreal - but absolutely amazing.

I've had a little nausea but not gotten sick. I've had some food aversions - mostly meat - so I'm being creative in eating a complete diet. (tonight was mega-veggie quiche- DELISH!!) I can focus less on weight gain (which was harped on a pushed for "the babies") and more on simple quality. (P.S. there is no data to support the notion that increased weight gain of the mother somehow increases the size of the baby (ies).) As long as Sug is growing, I'm happy - I'm so much more than happy - but the word happy is all I have right now...

Mary Louise and David seem to be maturing quickly - and speaking more clearly - everyday. I am so. proud. of them. We have been doing half of my miles, stopping at the park for 30 min to an hour, then finishing the miles. I can sit and watch them play at certain parks and they listen so well and stay where I can see them. We have lots of parks to choose from - so they get to choose everyday which we visit. They get so excited to see the park coming and relax a bit better on our rides knowing there is a big bonus in it for them.

Today, the father of the preemie boy born at the end of 23 weeks found us on our walk. I mentioned him when I talked about getting a glass table top a number of posts back. His son came home 2 months ago and is doing beautifully. I was so happy to hear the news. His little chunk is over 9 pounds now!!! It took Mary Louise and David almost a year to reach that!! The look of pride and love on this dad's face just made my day - absolute genuine and unconditional love - there is nothing like it.