Friday, March 27, 2009

Tubby Turns Two!

Saturday, March 21 Two years ago today, the most perfect little baby in the world was born. As I was wheeled into my hospital room after more than two hours of recovery, I saw my baby for the first time, held lovingly in the arms of my husband. It was one of the most precious and beautiful sights etched into my mind that shall never be erased.
Thomas was perfect from day one...perfectly formed, perfectly beautiful, perfect little cry, perfect little boy. He has remained as such (minus a few "toddler moments" lately) throughout his little two years. I feel so blessed to have been awarded the opportunity to focus on nearly every moment of his babyhood and enjoy this fleeting season in time. From his little baby cries, to smiles and giggles, moving and grooving to the beat, running and climbing, talking and thinking, each little step has been cherished.

It was fun to celebrate this little boy's birthday. He has been so much enjoyed by everyone in this family, so excitement surrounding this day has been high. Everyday is special with Tubby was EXTRA special.

We had beautiful weather to celebrate his special day with. Allowing for outside play, as well as lots of plasma cars, kitchen, and rice table play in the basement, there were lots of things for all of the little kids to do. Along with grandparents, aunts and uncles, twin cousins, and siblings, we had the other twin friend Thomas and his family here too! The two Thomases were born only 22 hours apart, and they even have the same middle name! Even funnier, is that they are both now going to be big brothers to little sisters who are due to be born in June only three days apart.

Tubby was pretty oblivious to all the fuss given him today. He even was content to let everyone else help open his presents, and seemed to enjoy having all those little people surrounding him. He did a fabulous job blowing out his two candles on his Firetruck cake....with, or course, two Dalmatian "woof-woofs" positioned on the seat of the truck.

Tubby chose Grandpa as his special playmate throughout much of the afternoon. Grandpa was a good sport as he followed Tubby onto the deck, and even crawled into the Barbie playhouse for a cup of afternoon tea. After most of the festivities and pizza feast were over, Tubby snuggled with Grandpa on the rocking chair as he drifted off to sleep with happy birthday dreams, no doubt.

(photo courtesy of Alison)

The main round of visitors exited during Tubby's late evening nap, while a new round arrived. Tubby spent the rest of the evening playing with his new toys, while the adults and older kids played a riveting game of poker. So many cars and toys, Tubby was in new toy heaven. Wearing his brand new CARS pjs, he perfected his golfing skills, mastered the art of remote control driving, and began to figure out exactly what Wedgits are (incidentally, this is our new classic favorite that we will be giving to everyone we know in the future).

Wow, what a day! Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baa, Baa Little Lambs

Friday, March 13
Finally! A beautiful spring-like day! The younger kids had the day off of school due to conferences. I had some fairly early time slots (8:20am and 9), so that left the rest of this day free. We decided to take advantage of this opportunity to go down to Grandma and Lyle's farm to visit the baby lambs. They have had several already, and goodness knows they do not stay little for very long.
The kids had a great time. Melissa and Crispy fed the baby lambs bottles of special lamb formula. Tubby and Laura cried most of the time we were in the barn. No surprise with Laura, but Tubby caught me off guard....he usually LOVES animals! I sat with them on a hay bale in the middle of the room where it was impossible for any sheep of lamb to touch us over the pens. The neighbor girl enjoyed herself too, but shied away from bottle feeding at the last minute. She focused her attention instead on feeding the momma sheep some fresh hay. This gave the other kids a bit of courage to try the same, and soon all the adult sheep were just as well fed as those little babies.
We had some lunch back at the house, and spent a few hours just hanging out with Grandma. The kids like the change of scenery though they pretty much just play with the same toys that they play with at home. Though it was sad to see Grandma move from Waconia, it has been a great joy for the kids to visit her on the farm.

Monday, March 23, 2009

One of the Boys

Before I get to Tubby's 2nd birthday (I need to find my camera first, as it has been missing since the hockey banquet on Sunday evening, and I am beginning to get worried....all of his birthday pictures are still on there!), here's just a quick recap of some of his preferences as of recently....

Thomas has always been all boy, and continues to be as such. It is actually funny, because he spends most of his time playing with Laura, who is all girl, so where these boy ideas came from can only be traced back to genetics and natural gender alone.

He still loves hockey, and has really developed a wicked shot which he can aim and get to go anywhere he desires it to go. He has good form, and has a natural talent for this. He is especially cute as he shoots, then lifts his stick up and yells "Goh!" (for goal).
His latest obsession (and it is truly an obsession) is cars. He is no longer satisfied to have a small selection of cars at his disposal. He needs to have every single car in the house. What started off as a handful of cars in his Cars backpack that we would bring with us places, is now a bursting backpack full of cars weighing much more than himself. And he insists on taking this EVERYWHERE with him.....even though he can scarcely lift and/or move the thing. He even needs to bring it to bed with him. It's crazy.

He is loving the nicer weather and the chance to play outside with the other kids. He rides his cars (of course) around on the driveway, and is even cooperative enough to wear a helmet while playing on the ride-ons like the other kids. Probably because of his extreme stuffiness, he is rather unbalanced these days. Here is suggestion that helmet wear for Tubby may be recommended for any type of outdoor play:

I am trying hard to get him to latch onto his puppies and woof-woofs at bedtime. They are a much softer and lighter option for bedtime. And they don't hurt when they get thrown in my face in the middle of the night.
While his Thomas the Train bed beautifully awaits him upstairs, he still has yet to sleep in it. With his constant barrage of colds attacking his poor little body, and coughing so hard at night that he pukes, timing for sleeping in his own bed does not seem to be on our side. He's got to go though, before the new baby arrives....I do not want him feeling bad that the new baby is more important than he is. He's always going to be my sweet little baby boy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Purple Butterflies

OK....this is going to be SUPER FUN for me, but anyone who has an aversion to cutesy things had better not look at this post. Seriously. It is way over the top.

I like to do little projects around the house. When I get creative ideas. When I have money to accomplish those ideas. When I have time. My favorite project thus far is my Moo-Loo.....the bathroom near the mudroom that I painted white with large black cow spots all over the walls. I love it! It turned out so well!

This next one turned out well, also. It has been in the works for at least two years.....not because it was a difficult task. Not because it was too expensive. In fact, I have had all the materials necessary for the past two years, up in a corner of my bedroom. As with most other things, I simply did not have the time.

As a birthday present to me, Pam and Lyle solved that problem by becoming my worker bees. They painted the walls......a gorgeous shade of lilac. I added decorative touches. Lyle cut the fencing and applied it to the walls along with the wire flowers. I hung towel rings, put together an adorable step stool, and added just a few butterflies. What once began as the "Butterfly Bathroom", coined by my kids 5 years ago because there was ONE butterfly on the small garbage can......has now become a "Butterfly Bathroom" quite deserving of it's name!!! Thank you Lyle and Pam....I LOVE IT!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Miracle Girl's 5th Birthday

FEBRURARY 12,2009.....
Laura's story is one that will never be forgotten. It was wrought with uncertainty from the very beginning, which continued throughout 32 incredible and trying weeks of pregnancy, a birth surrounded in emergency and fear, and a little itty bitty baby who had been previously given only a 1% chance of survival in utero, upon entering the world, appeared to most certainly not able to make it through the night.
"The Whole Story"...taken by Chris M.

Our Little Peanut 2 days later!

In what could only be described by the Neonatal team of doctors as a miracle, Laura was off of the breathing machines and doing her own breathing without the assistance of even oxygen 4 days later. She was a stubborn little girl who from day one, was not going to let ANYONE tell her what she could and could not do. Her stubbornness is one of the persistent traits that makes up her delightful personality today as a spunky, funny, smart, helpful, kind, and creative 5 year old HEALTHY and NORMAL girl!

She was only the size of her still beloved (and now very dirty!) "Baby Bear"

Perhaps it is because of the upcoming baby in June, but Laura was very curious about her own birth-day story this year. We have talked of it in bits and pieces over the years as various kids have asked questions about it, but this was the first time Laura actually listened and comprehended the incredible story that led to her existence. She wanted to see pictures and hear her story over and over. I think that she was mentally holding it together better than I. I have not looked at those pictures in the scrapbook I began for her years ago until now....and it brought back many memories, good and bad, of the extremeness of the whole ordeal. The constant wondering how things would turn out, complete bed rest for 4 months and the decay of my body as I prayed to save hers, being away from my family for 2 months and the challenges we all endured because of it (including the Grandmas and all others who so tirelessly helped us all), and not having the faintest idea when it would come to an end and what would occur at that finish line.

Through it all, the biggest piece I will carry with me forever is the encompassing peace I was enveloped in by abandoning all those fears and worries and trusting in God alone. It really did not matter what the doctors or nurses said, what statistics were given, how things appeared today or yesterday, or what was expected out of tomorrow. What mattered was the resounding words the Lord spoke to my heart..."It will be OK". So simple. So comforting. So very true. No matter what happened in the end. It was NOT a promise that my baby would survive and everyone would live happily ever after. It was the promise that NO MATTER WHAT occurred, He would be with us to help us get through it all. It WOULD CERTAINLY be OK.

These items remain arranged on my bedside table as a visual reminder of God's steadfast love, faithfulness, and miraculous power. And how would I feel if the outcome would have been different? I imagine great sadness would have been experienced, along with some very difficult and bumpy days. But the promise would have remained the same, and I would have been OK. How do I know for certain? Well, because I believe it to be true. And though it needed not been tested, it WAS, two years later when we experienced 2 extremely sad and frightening miscarriages for no reason that we could humanly understand. But we gave that all up and trusted the promise that we would be taken care of, all for our own good. And we WERE.

Five years later, we are here with our not so little girl anymore. She has struggled with respiratory issues that have become increasing less difficult as she has aged, and she works hard to overcome some general large muscle weakness. She is full of life and constantly on the go (whether it be physical play, creative play, or simply talking up a storm). She is incredible and fun, likable and sweet, a great big sister to Tubby, and yes, still stubborn, but in a somehow more "polite" manner these days. She is our amazing little angel....forever our miracle girl.


She LOVES all things girlie.....especially Tinkerbell and Fairies. Thus, the theme of this year's festivities.

She LOVES to play with her dolls....she was thrilled to get her first full-sized American Girl Doll, Emily!

She LOVES her new talking was a huge hit! The kids will sit on the floor and literally play for hours...including Tubby! Funny thing, I was just taking my old dollhouse to the basement a few days before her birthday, because the girls NEVER played with it while it has been sitting in their room for the past 5 years. However, I didn't even make it past the living room because all three girls (the neighbor girl included) grabbed onto it and have been spending 75% of their free time playing with it! They have been ecstatic to have two full houses to play with now!

We also celebrated Lyle's, Michael's, Crispy's, and my birthday at the same family party for Laura, a few days after her official birthday. It was a great day!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Well, hello there......anyone still out there? What a pathetic blogger I have become! Somehow, since our computer crashed and burned (literally) in mid-January, and I have really no pictures to speak of (I have not learned the new tricks necessary to use our new computer), blogging just seems so sad without the visuals to accompany the words.

But, there is hope!! I am making it priority in this coming week to get some stuff up somehow! Though we have basically been ill since the beginning of the New Year with GI illness, Influenza, and countless bad colds, there HAVE been some fun things going on as well. So stay tuned for entries including Miracle Girl's 5th Birthday, Purple Butterflies, One of the Boys, Baa Baa Little Lambs, and Pretty in Pink for starters!