Friday, August 31, 2007

I have twins. His brother is at home.

That is what I found myself wanting to say today when I went to Lowes to get these just Karter and I. Jimmy and I try to have one on one time with each of the boys. Several weeks back I took Kolton somewhere it was Karter's turn this time. Each time I go with just one of them, I think to myself, these people don't even know he has a twin at home. They think he is just one of one and not one of two. I don't know why, as much as I hear "are they twins" you would think that it would be nice for people just to talk to him because he's such a cute boy and not because he's a twin. However when the woman was speaking to him at the check out line I had this overwhelming urge to just announce out of the blue that he was in fact a twin and that his brother was home spending one on one time with his daddy. I am proud to be a mother of twins, maybe it's just that even though it's nice to spend time with each of them alone, there is a feeling that something or someone is missing.

Now for some pictures. For those of you who don't like pictures of kids with food on their face, well you just might close your browsers now. I agree it's gross on most kids, but these are mine so it's ok. To clean the mess up however was not ok, and they didn't like it either.

Mmmm! Ravioli

"I said I was done now, didn't you hear me?"

Funny how he managed to get it everywhere except around his eyes. Looks like he had glasses or something on and has taken them off after the fact.

Just let me put a little here, in my ear, to save for later.

And now after all the cuteness, something sad. We had to put Rufus to sleep on Wednesday. He was not getting better. In fact I had requested on Monday to have his feeding tube removed in hopes that it was he just hated it and would want to eat without it. No such luck, he did not eat for two days. He acted happier and purred and seemed content, however I could not just let him starve to death, which is what he would have done. So I made the dreaded appointment with the vet. I had every intention of taking Rufus myself. You see I believe that in the end we owe them to be there for them as they leave this earth. I have seen this done many a time when I worked at the vet. I even stood in for those owners who just couldn't be there either emotionally or physically as their best friend passed, but I had never had to do it for one of my own. I had taken care of Rufus through all of this, but I just couldn't go down there and do it. I knew what was going to happen I knew all the steps the vet would take and besides I told myself this was actually Jimmy's cat and he needed to be with him when he went because Rufus loved him more. The vet ended up asking Jimmy if he could do an autopsy to see exactly what it was that was killing him. He called with the results that it was lung cancer. Huh? Lung cancer in a cat who had never been around smoke or anything harmful to the lungs for that matter. The vet later called back and stated that he was not entirely comfortable just calling it lung cancer that another disease displayed the same signs and he would like to make sure it was not this other thing, Histoplasmosis that killed him, because as he told me and as I later searched it is contagious to others, people included, even though it's very rare. So, we are waiting for those results. With all that said I have handled it rather well, I loved Rufus, but he was Jimmy's cat more than mine, I do however feel I failed him in someways. I believe that I would have made an awesome vet. I really do think I would have rocked at it. Evey since I was 5 thats what I wanted to be. I don't know why I never did it. I have a very good instinct about animal things. I asked several times if we should do x-rays just to see it there was not something else there, like CANCER. The doctor just kinda shunned if off saying it would not tell us much about the liver, which is what we thought was affected. I wish and next time I will be more persistent with the things that I really feel need to be done. It did not stop me for asking him again if we should do them, however I figured he's the vet he knows what he's doing. It don't blame the vet, he treated him correctly for what we thought he had, but I do feel guilty for not insisting when my gut was telling me differently and for putting him through the feeding tube and antibiotics all just to prolong his death. To end this rather long post, I learned several things from this. One being next time I will follow my instincts. I've done it before and it usually proves to be correct. My three legged kitty is a testament to that. Follow my instincts whether it be with my kids or my animals. Two know when to say when. Several times through this ordeal I felt the doctor was giving me hope that Rufus could make it. My heart told me differently. And now as I look at the last picture I took of Rufus I can tell he was tired and weary and I feel awful for failing him. I'm sorry Rufus. We had 9 good years with you even though you were a weird cat we loved you.

About 6 years ago

4 or 5 years ago

2 days ago

Thursday, August 23, 2007

13 month update..

Of course I'm late getting this done, but it has been a busy couple of weeks. On the 15th,16th 17th we had March Of Dimes kickoff meetings we had to attend. The boys were very well behaved. However on the last day I asked Kolton is he was ready to go bye bye and he shook his head no. They are usually excited to go places, but I suppose they had had enough. Then today we had the last March of Dimes kickoff. Next will be the walk, which we are excited for. So lets get started.

Kolton-Still no walking. He can do it, he's so close, but he just does not have the confidence yet. He is getting two more teeth on the bottom. This brings his total to 8, he may have some coming in on top but he hasn't let me check lately. Kolton says a couple more words now. In addition to bye, bye bye, Dad,Daddy, Mama, uh-oh, all done, now there is kitty or kitty cat and lots and lots of words I can't decipher. He talks up a storm to whatever or whoever will listen. He uses his little hands and holds them up in the air and looks you in the face. I have no clue what he is saying, but he seems to know and it's so cute. Tonight I caught he doing that same thing to his brother and touching his arm trying to get him to do something or go somewhere. Karter just acted annoyed and crawled away. We are done with formula and are drinking out of a cup, except for they are allowed to have some water in a bottle to go to sleep but most times Kolton doesn't use it. He loves orange juice and other juices, loves fruit, especially Mandarin oranges, but likes all kinds. Loves waffles and eats the most days for breakfast. Eats everything we eat and likes it all except eggs, which neither one likes in any form. He did start something that I have not seen before. Just before his birthday he started wanting a binky and now he wants one a lot. I found it weird but didn't fight it too much since we where weaning from the bottle I figured he was using it as a comfort item. However now he has two. He has his binky and his blankie, which he usually only gets when he is sleepy. When he's ready for a nap and just before bedtime he will find his blankie and binky and come to one of us and wants to be held. I figure in the near future we will work on only having binkies in bed and then eventually take them away and replace it with his blankie or something else. I'm not too worried about it now. Our schedule usually works great, they like schedules. I think their time in the NICU has something to do with how well they adjust to things. They know what's going to happen most days and when and that's the way they like it. Bedtime is 7-7:30 and they get up at the same time in the morning. Kolton sleeps through the night, but I do hear him wake up on the monitor once or twice but he moans or talks himself back to sleep. He mimics daddy when he play growls at him and is big on sticking things into other things and taking them back out again. They have started getting the "mommy don't leave me" syndrome and I can't even walk out of the room or try to cook without both of them coming after me crying. I will be glad when this phase is over and they can play more independently cause I don't get much done during the day this way. With that said they have started being able to play on their own or with each other for a few minutes or two. Kolton also likes music on the TV. He takes off to see the tv when the opening song for Backyardigans comes on, but could care less about he actual show right now. No weights this month but they are getting heavy and I can tell they are growing. They have grown out of their size 3 shoes that fit them just weeks ago and some of their 12 months clothes are getting too small. I actually bought them 18 month jammies the other day and they fit. Kolton is such a delight always ready with a smile, he likes women and likes to bat his eyes and flirt, he really a little ham. I can't wait to see what the coming months bring.

Karter-Still not walking either, but is also so close. He had 8 teeth with another trying to come in on the top. Karter says bye, or bye bye, mama, daddy, kitty, Papa, Kolton says this also, and I'm sure their are a few others I don't remember right now. He likes to mock you as well. If you blow raspberries so will he if you growl so will he. He comes up behind me if I'm sitting on the floor and will pat my back and lay his head on me. He has an obsession with the phone and I can barley talk on it now without being attacked and him whining the whole way through my conversation. A couple of weeks ago he managed to get the phone and call someone, then he hung the phone up. The only reason we knew is because the person called us back asking if we had called. Oops. He also wants what he wants when he wants it and will bow back or stiffen his legs in protest. He's my strong willed one, however Kolton can be pretty stubborn. Several times he has decided he is done eating and i am not moving fast enough to get him out of his chair. He will bow back and pop the back of his plastic booster off, this really ticks him off and he has a look of surprise. He also eats what we eat, does not like eggs, loves juice and usually likes his milk. Karter had a harder time giving up the bottle. He was a big middle of the night bottle boy. Slowly we added water to his formula until is was almost all water. He protested at first but we keep on and now he only has water in his bottle, which he drinks every night. I was and still am a water drinker in the middle of the night. I always as long as i can remember have a glass of water by the bed. He comes by it honestly. Karter is a bit more clingy than than Kolton is not as interested in tv and would rather be by my side. He too likes women and is a flirt as well and flash is best dimples smile. He likes to scoot things across the floor, anything, cars, phones, chairs, pots, pans if it will scoot he scoots it. When he flashes his toothy little grins it just melts my heart. I look forward to see what each new day brings.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Getting all fancy Smancy

After seeing the walk video several times I decided to make my own. This is the journey of Kolton and Karter.

March of Dimes Video

We just completed our third day of meetings for the March of Dimes. For three days now I have been taking the boys to my previous place of employment and giving my speech and they have been kissed and hugged by all kinds of nice people. This is the video that has been shown at each of those meeting. It always touches me because I know what it's like, how scared those people are. Thankfully I didn't loose one of my twins and I don't know that hurt, but there are those who do. I warn you the video is emotional. I hope you enjoy and don't forget to donate or walk in this years WalkAmerica.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Most frequently asked questions and comments.

I thought I would answer some of the most frequently asked questions and reply with an answer to the most frequent comments. I figured if strangers are wondering these things then I'm sure my blog readers are as well. Notice I didn't refer to you, blog readers, as strangers for some reason I feel like you are some sort of distant friend or relative I suppose it's because I read about your lives and can relate to most of your experiences. Does that make me weird? Probably, but oh well!

1. Did you use fertility drugs?

No, we did not use fertility drugs. I suppose those who know us that have asked us this assume so because Jimmy and I waited so long to have children. We waited 10 years. Early in our marriage neither one of use were sure we wanted children, but after 10 years and getting to do everything we wanted to do earlier on , travel, have sports cars, spend money on just ourselves, it seemed like the next step, one we did not take lightly and one we are very committed to. This question insults some and I can see why, however it has never insulted me. I assume maybe if I had used fertility drugs I might feel different but I doubt it.

2. Do you have twins in your family?

Yes, my great-grandfather was a twin. They were both boys as well. My grandmother says they are identical, but my own personal opinion is that they are not, not after all I have learned about twins. Grandpa was I believe 95 when he died, just about two years before I had the twins. I wish he would have gotten to see them, he would have been so proud. From what I understand from the doctors and what I have read is that fraternal twins on the mothers side can be hereditary, however identical twins are just by chance.

3. Are they twins or are they brothers or cousins?

This statement is usually followed by, "well they sure don't look anything alike." No they don't because they are not identical, they are fraternal, which is just like having two children at different time, however I had them at one time. They are brothers they look like brothers would look at they been born at different times. Most fraternal twins don't look identical although some do, for example Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are fraternal twins, but look very similar.

4. Bless your heart, your got double trouble there!

Well yes, but I'm already aware of that. Do you want to come over and babysit so you can confirm this? Now I wouldn't really say this and it's usually older ladies that make this comment, but I do sometimes get tired of hearing it because it is said numerous time on the same day when we are out and about.

5. Are they twins? Well where did all your hair go?

This one is usually directed at Karter. Karter has hair, it's just lighter than Kolton's. He does not have as much as Kolton's however once again they are fraternal not identical so I don't know why we are so worried about Karter's hair.

6. How do you do it all? Do you have help?

I don't know what having one child is like, I had two at one time. When put in this situation one learns to adapt and fast. I won't lie it was hard at first, but as they age it gets easier. I do have help, my husband is a huge help and very, very involved. I think this is more the norm, with families with multiples. I also have family and friends who are always ready to babysit, however we haven't taken many people up on this. It may be hard to believe but I actually like spending time with my kids. I don't want to miss anything. That is however not saying I never get tired and need a break I do, but 99% of the time I would rather be with them and the hubby, than out and about.

Then I also get many, many stares and most the time people smile or say "what a double blessing" others kind of look horrified.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Updates-Rufus,March of Dimes and an overdue thank you.

Rufus Update: Rufus has Feline Hepatic lipidosis also known as Fatty Liver Disease. You can read some about it here. Hopefully we caught it in time. He did have to stay at the Vet's for 3 days for fluids and assisted feeding. I then picked him up and feed him at home by mouth with a syringe. I did this for a week and he did begin to eat for me somewhat on his own, then he stopped. So we decided, as his last chance, to do the Esophageal feeding tube. This tube, as I understand it, was placed in his neck with the feeding part of the tube ending at the end of the esophagus, so that the food goes into his stomach. I looked for info on this on the web, but was unable to find pictures and a description. Rufus's tube then runs from the spot of insertion on his neck, around to the back of the neck, around his ear and then at the end there is a little port that I push food through by syringe. I'm sure glad I worked at my vet clinic for 5 years, I not only have confidence in the doctor, since I worked with him, but I am not intimidated very much by what is required to care for him. He seems comfortable right now. My hope is in 4 to 6 weeks he will eat on his own and the tube can be removed and he can get on with his life.

The clear tube over his ear it part of the feeding tube.

Long over due thank you: I am embarrassed that I have not done this sooner, much sooner, but somehow it escaped me until recently. When the boy were in the NICU, the support we had was awesome, for that matter when I was on hospitalized bedrest my support was awesome. Friends and family pulled together and supported Jimmy and I to the fullest. One of those people who checked on us regularly via my dad, are a couple of friends he rides motorcycles with. They sent their kind words by my dad and it was much appreciated. One friend, Cathy P. even went so far as to make the boys these very nice blankets with cute little bugs on them and the boys names and dates of birth in the middle. I was touched to say the least, someone who had met me but not my boys had taken their time out of their day to make my little guys something so nice. Cathy I'm so sorry it has taken me so long to say thank you so much. The boys enjoy the blankets and like to scratch around on the little bugs, thank you again.

I'm not sure what Kolton has gotten on his, but I hope it comes out in the wash.

March of Dimes update: Thank you so much to those of you who have donated so far, we still are a long way off from out goal, so don't forget to donate, any amount, it all goes to help babies. I've rounded up some family members so far to have them place the little coin donation boxes at their place of employments and to their churches. I want my whole family involved somehow, all they need to do it remember why we are doing this and look at Kolton and Karter to see why I am so passionate about it.

Who could resist the two faces?

Addendum: This family needs prayers. I heard about this on the local news and thought it was an awful accident and how sad it was, then I was told today that the little boy is my aunts nephew. This was a horrible freak accident and the whole family needs your prayers.