Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good Eats

Over Christmas, I met up with an old high school friend and took Parks to the 4 Way Diner located in historic Cartersville, Georgia. It is a place I have frequented for a long time. It has a modest 11 stools lining a large counter in the front and three stools accessed through the rear entrance that hearkens back to the Jim Crow laws of the past. All are welcomed in either entrance now, but you might get asked to get up from your seat if you are reading the paper and line has formed behind you. It was dubbed the 4 Way Diner in 1931, although a soda stand selling burgers has existed there since the turn of the century. It serves homemade southern breakfasts in the morning and greasy burgers, dogs, fries, and apple pies in the afternoon. It is a place to rearrange you schedule around...as I often have done. Parks made his maiden voyage on the Dec 26th, and here are some pictures. CAUTION: Graphic food content.The little red hut: I once had these burgers shipped to me in Lake Tahoe, CA.
Two hamburgers with chili, onions, mustard, cheese and cole slaw. Not shown, were the gravy fries and fried apple pie with ice cream.Parks, me, and my buddy, Byron waiting to eat.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our First Christmas At Oma's

We have finally returned home after a whirlwind trip to squeeze in as much Christmas as we could. We were able to share Christmas with both Randi's family and mine, visit with friends, look for houses, and even go to a doctor's visit for Wyatt. We made the four hour drive up to Randi's parents on Friday, celebrated her Oma's (grandmother in German) 82nd birthday on Saturday, and did Christmas with her whole family on Christmas Eve. The boys did great although all of the travel was pretty hard on them, and on mom and dad, specifically between the hours of 2 -3 am each morning. We are looking forward to next year, when we can begin some of our own family traditions and can celebrate Christmas morning at our home with our little family. All in all, we had a wonderful first Christmas with the boys. Randi and JMom with our twin boys and her triplets.Since Parks has started to roll, we can't seem to stop him...
even while getting his diaper changed.
Wyatt and Parks in their Christmas outfits going to their great grandmother's house.A very tired Parks looks on as wrapping paper is shredded around him by his cousins.Wyatt holding close to mommy amidst the chaos of 25 people opening gifts.Wyatt, his baby rattle and his distorted reflection.Parks playing in his favorite Christmas present.
No more daddy having to hold him in the bath.

Monday, December 24, 2007

All Wrapped Up

After a day of large meals and present opening at Randi's grandmother's house, we returned to her parents tonight to exchange gifts with them. The boys were real troopers, but there was only so much they could take. We were way off our normally scheduled program for the day. At the end of the evening, we were trying anything to keep them entertained. We realized that Parks had been in the Jumparoo for 30 minutes with a dirty diaper, #2. It was all up his back and out the leg. So, we stripped them down and let them start playing in the tissue paper. Before long they were covered in it. It was impromptu, but it looked like a great photo op.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Some New Pics of the Boys

Above is a video our nanny took of Wyatt laughing out loud while trying to still suck his thumb. I know I'm a little partial, but he is so cute. Anyways, we also attached some pictures of our recent "goings-ons."
Wyatt....laid back in the cut
Our little "elves in training" or, at least, that's what their sleepers said.
It must be Duke basketball time. Maybe one day one of our boys might go to Duke so that my fanhood may be legitimized. Until then, I will remain a closet fan.
Parks (right) with baby Elliott almost 4 months younger than Parks. They both weighed 5 pounds at birth. He is aspiring to be as big as Parks one day. They grow up so fast.Me with my hands full...in every sense of the word.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy Seven Months Parks & Wyatt!!

Wow! I can hardly believe it's already been 7 months since the boys were born. We have had a busy month with our first Thanksgiving, meeting Santa for the first time, and our first trip to the beach. Both boys are still growing like crazy. Parks is now 19 lbs and Wyatt is closing the gap at 17 lbs, the smallest difference since birth. We have been experiencing lots of "firsts" this last month. They are both doing great with solid foods. We have added yogurt and puffs, and although unsure at first, they seem to like both. Parks has started to sit up unassisted, roll from his back to tummy, and is generally becoming more mobile. It is very obvious that he is ready to go and Todd and I know we are in trouble as soon as he starts crawling. He has also begun to cut his two bottom teeth. He's drooling like crazy, but it doesn't seem to be affecting his mood. Thank goodness. Wyatt has been doing exceptionally well with his milestones too. Just in the last week he has started to roll consistently from tummy to back and is getting stronger everyday. He's needing less and less assistance with sitting up. We are working with him daily so he doesn't get too far behind brother.

Although, two babies can be tough to handle at times, all in all we are having a blast. Both boys have very distinct, but fun personalities and we are enjoying watch them discover the world around them. God has truly blessed us beyond measure!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Day at the Beach

We decided to take the boys out for their first trip to the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of December in pants and holiday sweaters for Christmas photos...too bad it was sunny and a blistering 78 degrees outside.Randi and the boys on the Emerald Coast.
Amongst the sea oats.Note: We put Wyatt in the foreground to make him look bigger than Parks.
Parks and I getting our toes wet.

Monday, December 10, 2007

It's a Festivus Miracle

It's an amazing thing to be living in a miracle and to recognize it. We feel that way everyday about our boys, especially Wyatt. I wanted to update everyone on some unresolved issues and bring a few things to light that may not have been addressed in this forum previously.

In addition to Wyatt not having hypoglycemia and requiring no medications, we recently found out that he no longer has an inguinal hernia, where a small portion of the bowels bulges into the groin, an umbilical hernia in his belly button, nor a hydrocele, which is a fluid-filled sac surrounding a testicle that results in swelling of the scrotum. We thought that we were going to have to have surgery to correct this, but praise God it has resolved on its own. We also corrected his torticollis through physical therapy. It's a condition in which the head is tilted toward one side. Once this was resolved, it has helped improve his plagiocephaly, a malformation of the head marked by an oblique slant to the main axis of the skull. He also underwent a CT scan to find out that he also did not have Craniosynostosis, or the premature fusion of the sutures of the bones of the skull, which would have required surgery to correct. It is sometimes an extensive procedure. Thank you Google and Wikipedia; I am not that smart. That was a lot of big words.

What is still unresolved - since, we waited before having surgeries for the hernias, Wyatt still has not had the snip-snip on his manhood. I joked with Randi that we could have one boy with and one boy without, but that would be a cruel joke that would play out in the years to come. Wyatt still showed some white matter loss on his original brain MRI in the NICU. We may have another MRI down the road to check on that, but we may not. We found out yesterday that Wyatt has a case of Duane Syndrome, a rare, congenital disorder of eye movement. We will continue to also follow up with this over the next 6 months, but it doesn't appear that it will negatively impact his vision. We continue to work with a physical therapist and a infant development specialist, each once a week, to make sure he doesn't get too far behind his brother developmentally. They both should be hitting some big milestones in the upcoming months - sitting up, crawling, walking, etc - and his size puts him at a little disadvantage.

Other than that, he's is a healthy little boy. He went for his 6 month checkup yesterday and is now in the 10th percentile for weight. He is finally getting there. Before I say this I want you to know that we are not militant or anything, we have not gotten either of them vaccinated. It is something we are not comfortable with considering their prematurity, Wyatt's white matter loss in his brain, statistics that 1 in 93 male children are now Autistic, etc. We are keeping them relatively quarantined to large numbers of outsiders and are going to get them eventually, on our own terms, not on the required schedule. Randi was a pharma rep, we know how those clinical trials are conducted. Also, frankly, I do not want to tempt fate. They are developing very well, and we do not want to do anything to adversely affect that.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Our First Visit to See Santa

We were not really sure what to expect when we took the boys to see Santa at the local mall yesterday. It was a real testy day already, but we decided that it was now or never. We went as early as we could to get towards the front of the line. Who could know when the boys would decide that they had had enough. We had our new "My Tiny Hands" labels on their carriers just in case any stray hands found their way to pinching our children's cheeks. We were, as you would guess, quite the spectacle with innumerable "are those twins?" questions. I don't know how triplets, quads, or John & Kate + 8 do it.

We finally got to the front and handed Parks and Wyatt over to Santa Claus. They were like deer in headlights, as the pictures below show. There was no screaming, no crying, only utter disbelief that we would hand them over to a complete stranger and dangle toys in their face to perform. They looked at us like, "okay, what am I suppose to do now?" After a few minutes in the big guys lap, we paid for our pictures and left without incident. We were both relieved that they were both so tolerant.

The final product.
A live action shot.
Parks all dress up to go to town.
Wyatt, a little man in full.
Not the best photo from this night, but I love their faces.
The boys with a rare double smile captured on camera.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Bumps, Bruises, And A Rug Burn Rudolph

After a couple of incidents this last week, Randi and I were recounting the several mishaps we have had with Parks and Wyatt over the six and a half months since their birth . Not too long after we brought Wyatt home and in the height of sleeplessness, I was feeding Wyatt during the 2 a.m. feed and deprivation got the best of me. I was sitting up in bed with him in my arms and dozed off for just a second. My grip loosened, and I dropped him onto the bed next to me, remember he is not much more than 4 pounds at this point. I immediately snapped out of it. It shocked me more than him I believe, and I had to explain myself to Randi when she woke up to him crying. Yet, another time we were playing on the sofa, and I was trying to get him to practice sitting up. He was doing well...for a while, before doing a nose dive into the arm of the sofa, which is luckily well-padded leather. Again, my shock was greater than his.

Just yesterday, Randi placed Wyatt in the swing in the living room. She did not fasten him in because I was in the room, and she was only leaving for a moment. I went into the kitchen for a second, not knowing that he was not fastened in, and heard a thump and a scream. Sure enough he had scooted his way out of the swing and was laying perpendicular to it on the rug. We checked him out and everything was okay. We could not even see where he might have fallen. It didn't take long to figure it out. A few minutes later, his nose had turned red. Thus, we deemed him the rug burn Rudolph. Hopefully, we will not hold all of this against us in adolescence.

Okay, so looking back, most everything has happened to Wyatt. I really can't think of too many times that anything has happened to Parks, but this is also the kid who loves to be thrown down onto the bed and tossed up into the air. He's a brute. Furthermore, Parks is now 18.5 pounds and 26 inches long and Wyatt is not far behind at 15.5 pounds and 25 inches long. That 3 pound gap sounds a lot better than the one between 2 pounds and 5 pounds at birth. They are becoming much more self-aware and it is starting to get really fun.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Gobble, Gobble, Gobble

video

We took the video above of Parks laughing out loud one night recently. Wyatt actually laughs like this more, we have not gotten it on video yet. It's pretty funny. Also, here are some pictures of the boys recently and photos from Thanksgiving with family.

My parents with all their grandchildren.
Parks asleep in the jumparoo, still bouncing the whole time.Wyatt give out in the exersaucer, too much tryptophan.
Parks, ready for the Auburn vs. Bama game.

Friday, November 23, 2007

WE ARE THANKFUL...

I have wanted to post for sometime, pretty much since the boys were born, about all we are thankful for. As I continue to procrastinate, the list gets longer and longer. It seemed fitting to finally post during this Thanksgiving holiday. Of course, I had hoped to post yesterday, but it seemed Todd and I drove all over the state to ensure that everyone in our extended family were able to spend time with the Parks and Wyatt. By the time we got them to bed, it was all I could do to get myself into bed, not to mention the fact that Todd's parents have a dial-up internet connection. We had a wonderful day, first with my family and then made the 2.5 hour drive to conclude the day with Todd's family.

For those of you who know us personally, you probably know that we are struggling with a lot of different things right now. I am currenlty unemployed, by choice, but not under the most ideal of circumstances and Todd is working hard trying to make a go of his own business. We are also considering a move to another state. The move makes sense in a lot of ways, but that doesn't make it any less stressful. The last year has been a roller coaster to say the least. I found out I was pregnant last October, was put on temporary bedrest in November, found out in February that one of our twins was struggling through the pregnancy and might not make it, was put back on bedrest in March and spent the remainder of my pregnancy in and out of the hospital until May 15th when our two beautiful boys were born. Yet, all of these struggles have given us more to be thankful for than ever. I could list every milestone, but what's most imporant is our two boys are extremely healthy and happy. The Lord continues to amazes me on a daily basis. I have never felt so blessed.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Solids

The boys will be six months old on November 15th. It will also be my (Todd's) 32nd birthday which makes it kinda fun that their "half" birthday will always be on mine.

We have started introducing some variety to the boys' diets and a new-fangled way of eating...with a spoon. As you might can tell from the pictures below, it is going to take some time to get them accustomed to this. It's hard to keep their attention, and for that matter, keep much of anything down. It's a good thing that we already instilled in them the flying hand and airplane noises that it makes early in their matriculation. Although, I did have to remind Randi that it is much more effective when it is a "vwhoooooosh"-ing sound and not so much, a "reeeooooorrr" sound.

They are becoming fun, laughing in full bellows, and they are also starting to exhert some independence. I'm sure it won't be long before they are mobile and start to learn the dreaded "NO."

Parks, trying his hand at some rice and pears.
Wyatt with a mouthful, inside and out.
Parks getting the hang of it.
The boys out for a walk in their monkey hats.
Me feeding both boys and Duke in a precarious position.

Post Script- Pertaining to solids, Parks has recently been pooping only once every 2-3 days. We have tried all types of remedies, but the one sure fire way to "get it out" is to hold, yes I said hold, a suppository in place for several minutes. After that, he lets out some rock solid specimens that any full-grown man would be proud of.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Halloween Night

Only because I know this will not be the case for years to come can I say this, we did not dress the boys up in funny costumes, we did not go trick or treating, we did not have anyone come to our door for candy, and both boys were sound asleep in there beds by 8:30 p.m. We did have a little fun with them earlier in the evening. It was my job to hollow out the large pumpkin we purchased on our trip to the pumpkin patch. We placed them inside of it a let them play around with the "innards" for a little while. Much later in the evening I used the pumpkin the carve their names in before discarding it the next day. Here are some pictures for our fun, peace and quiet style.

Parks playing peek-a-boo.
Wyatt hanging out.
Baby's First Halloween outfits on both boys.
Wyatt pumping some iron.
Man, I love the night-vision function on my camera.
At least its not a vein-ladened picture of Randi's belly during pregnancy (April 23rd post).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

On The Side: An American Champion

We recently found out that Duke is now an American Champion English Pointer, and we will be getting him back this weekend to meet the newest editions to the family. We are so proud of him. It's hard to believe that he has been gone this whole time. We will be curious to see how he interacts with the boys. One thing is for certain, he will not be as laid back as Dante . This could get interesting. Here is the web address for the breeder where we got him and Dante. If you are looking for a loving dog, I would highly recommend them. She has puppies and retired show dogs. Visit Solivia's Kennels.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catching Up, Part 2

This last weekend we went to a pumpkin patch at a local church down the street. We took the boys for pictures and to pick out a large pumpkin to have some fun with later. I've got some pretty good ideas for the pumpkin...we'll see what happens. Randi's mom and two aunts were also in town, got to see the boys, and help take some snapshots. Here are a few of the better photos.

Wyatt and Parks holding hands.
Look at all those melons.
Parks lost amongst the pumpkins.
Wyatt--look at those blue eyes.
Randi and the boys.
All of us together.