Monday, November 30, 2009

Never a Dull Moment

Both boys have been sick last weekend and Karter is still running a low grade fever today. However that has not stopped them from being the little boys they are.

This post could also be titled why I love 3 year olds.

While walking by the Christmas tree today I notice this. I'm not sure who did it but they were sneaky about it. I supposed they felt it needed a little something else. I also need to add that both boys decorated the tree this year. They put almost all the decorations on. Here's the kicker I haven't moved a one. I left them were they put them. I figured once they were done I would move the clumped up ones around, but they boys were so proud I have left them.

The little green bulb came from this. It was thankfully sneaked(I thought it was snuck, but evidently there is no such word) out with nothing broken.

I found this in Kolton's room. A little blue watering pot with plastic dinosaurs and cars in it.

 This was also in Kolton's room. Drawn on his chalkboard.

And last, but I'm sure not least, was this little addition to the entryway table. It was not there when I left to run to the store.

I find stuff like this around the house all the time. Just today I had to dump hot wheels cars out of my laundry  basket before I could put clothes in it.

I love my little three year old's both of them and all their crazy, little things they do.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chocolate Thunder

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm of course thankful for all the normal things, my family and friends. However, I'm also thankful that I am able to have a home over my head and food on our table and no major worries. Some cannot say the same this holiday.

I'm also thankful for this cake recipe, which I'm going to share with you. It is very, very yummy!

Chocolate Thunder Cake

1 box German Chocolate cake mix
1 14 oz. Eagle Brand Low Fat Sweetened condensed milk
1 16 oz. Cool whip(can use low fat or no fat, it's still good)
2 8oz. Heath or Hershey Candy bars crushed
1 8oz. jar fudge ice cream topping

Bake cake in 9x13 pan as directed on the package. Let cool 25-30 mins. Poke hole in cake with wooden spoon handle. Pour sweetened condensed milk: spread evenly. Wait 5 mins. Spread fudge topping over that. Wait 5 mins. Spread cool whip over the cake then sprinkle with crushed candy bars. Chill thoroughly before serving

Makes 16 servings.

This is what I'm taking to the family dinner tomorrow. I don't have to cool anything else this year, just eat.

Have A Safe and Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One of Farmer Ted's Friends

My son, Kolton reminded me of one of my all time favorite shows today. While digging around in daddy's stuff one of the boys came across this headband light(not sure what it's really called). Kolton rediscovered it today and put it on. When I looked up at him I immediately thought of Farmer Ted, from Sixteen Candles and his nerdy sidekicks Bryce and Cliff.

Farmer Ted(center),Bryce(left),Cliff(right)

There is a scene in the movie, to which I can not find a image of, where Farmer Ted goes by his friends house late at night to have his picture taken with the blond and the Rolls Royce. If I remember correctly Cliff has a headband light on his head.

While we are on the subject of Sixteen Candles I have to address two things.

Firstly, was this not the best scene ever? Sam runs into the church to retrieve her drugged up sister's wedding veil thinking everyone is waiting for her. However, when she returns almost everyone is gone, until she see him. Jake Ryan, Lord have mercy I has the biggest crush on him when I was young and I LOVED that car. I'm a car girl. When the last car, full of her family is loading she see's him. He mouths "hey you" and Sam looks behind her, totally something I would do too.

I still get a giddy stupid grin on my face when I watch it, like totally.

Secondly, this scene always stressed me out. I'm not sure I would do this no matter how romantic it is. I might have to opt for the floor or the chairs. I've always worried every since I was young that that stupid glass table is going to break or Jake or Sam are going to catch on fire or smash the cake. Mostly I worried about the table. Still love the scene though.

And of course, Jake says "make a wish" and Sam says "it already came true."

And last but not least here is a picture of Karter because he said "hey you forgot to take a picture of me."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight For Preemies

This post is in participation of the Bloggers Unite/Fight for Preemies.

Some memories fade and some remain fresh forever. June 26th and July 17th 2006 will forever be fresh in my memory. June 26th was the day that I went into preterm labor. Being pregnant with twins I knew that it was a possibility, but I was hoping I would be one of those who carried to term. My babies were only 26wks 6days old, way too soon to be born. I was sent to my local hospital, one who tried to stop my preterm labor, but one that was not equipped to handle infants that young. I was medi flighted to a hospital 30 mins away that had all the capabilities to handle infants 26wks and younger.On July 17th after a month of hospitalized bed rest and many medications to stop contractions my babies still came early 10 weeks early.

This is me at 26wks, just days before I went into preterm labor. This is also only one of a few photo's I have of me pregnant. After this point my mind and efforts were focused on keeping my two boys inside and safe.

Kolton day 3

Karter day 3

The fear, the worry, the uncertainty. No one will every know how it feels, unless you have been there yourself. Your children very small, on all kinds machines, the sounds, the the beeping of machines the swoosh sound of the oxygen, the crying parents, the silent sick babies.

The March of Dimes is near and dear to my heart. For the March of Dimes is just one element that helped my babies live.

Our family was honored to be the Ambassador Family for our towns Walk for Babies in September 2007.

Each year after we have participated and raised money to continue the March of Dimes research and to educate those who do not know of prematurity.

Allow me to share the speech I prepared and gave as the Ambassador mom to two preemie boys.

Hello, I’m Brandy, 2007 Ambassador Mom and mother to two adorable one year old boys. I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share with you their story, their struggles and their triumphs. We are honored to be this years March of Dimes ambassador family.

Before the boys came along, I had heard of the March of Dimes I knew they helped babies, however I didn’t know to what extent they helped them or all the research they have done. Unfortunately, I would find out the hard way. In January 2006 my husband Jimmy and I found out we were pregnant, we were excited and scared. We experienced all the normal feelings a couple feels when they learn they are to become parents. On February 28, 2006 on my first doctors visit, we found out we were having twins; we were shocked and very excited. Although, we had not thought of twins we where very happy to welcome two little ones to our family. My pregnancy progressed normally with no problems until June 23, 2006. I had been really tired that day and was feeling what I thought was the babies “balling or bunching” up. I know now that they were contractions. Fortunately, I worked in my OB’s office so I was able to be seen right away. I found out that I was in fact dilating. My greatest fear had come true. I was in pre-term labor. At 26 weeks and 3 days I knew it was way too soon for my little guys to enter the world. Sure I was excited and anxious to meet them, but I wanted to do so under better circumstances. I was immediately sent to the hospital and started on medications to stop my contractions. When it was thought that the medications might not work, I was medi-flighted to a hospital that had the capabilities and equipment to handle infants that are born pre-term. After an intense 4 days on all kinds of medications to stop contractions and labor, it appeared that the doctors and the medicine had succeeded. I was however told to expect to stay on hospitalized bed rest for the remainder of my pregnancy. After 10 days in the hospital it seemed that all had calmed down and it was decided that I would be sent home with strict instructions to rest and not move around much. I did this for two days, and then I noticed that one of the babies was not moving around as much. I called my OB office and was told to come in. At that visit it was found that one of the babies was very low in the birth canal and it was best to be sent back to the hospital. There I stayed for 6 more days and then again was sent home for two days on strict bed rest. On July 17, 2006 one day shy of 30 weeks, my water broke at 5:00am I was rushed to the hospital once again that was equipped for pre-term births. I was once again given medications to stop my contractions, however since my water had broken, the doctors felt it best, for my labor to continue if the medications did not work. At 10:50 that morning the contractions intensified and I was rushed to the OR to deliver. At 11:30am Kolton Wayne, twin A was born by natural delivery. Twenty-seven minuets later at 11:57 Karter James twin b was born by c-section. I did not even get to see Kolton, but they held Karter up for me to see for a few seconds before he was whisked away to do life saving procedures on him. Jimmy and I were so scared. We knew they were small but didn’t know at that point how small. Once everything calmed down and I was recovering in my room we were told that Kolton weighted 3lbs 1oz and Karter 2lb 11oz. I was unable to see them until very late that night.

After all numbing medications wore off and I was able to stand on my own I was allowed to go by wheelchair to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit or NICU to see my babies. When we arrived it was very late, we were required to remove all jewelry and scrub our hands up to our elbows with soap and hot water for 1 minute. We would have to do this each time we entered the NICU. The first baby I saw was Karter. He was very small and pink. He had a tiny diaper on him. As I looked him over I noticed that the cartilage in his ears were not completely formed yet, I had read about this in one of my many books about babies and what to expect about their growth at 30 weeks. He was hooked up to the ventilator which was breathing for him because his lungs where not yet developed enough to breath on his own. He had wires and tubes all over him and he was hooked up to a machine that would alarm if his heart rate went too low or too high, if his breathing slowed too much or if his oxygen saturation was too low or too high. Through all the tubes and wires I saw a beautiful baby boy that I was so in love with. Next I was taken to see Kolton who was in another room. He was tiny as well, but a bit bigger than his brother. He had dark hair and lots of it for such a tiny baby. I remember wondering how much he would have had, had he been born full term. He too was hooked up to a ventilator, due to his immature lungs, he also had tubes and wires all over him, but he had one thing different that Karter did not have. He also had the addition of a big lamp that was know as a bililight. This was being used because he was jaundice. He would have the light for a week or more. While on the light he had to wear goggles to protect his immature eyes. Because he was on the light for so long I rarely got to see his tiny little face for the first few weeks. Even though he was a strange blue color due to the lights, and even though he was hooked up to all the same machines as Karter I feel in love with him too. We began to affectionately call him our little monkey.

It was the next day that the doctors began to tell us of all the medications they were on and what to expect in terms of their care while in the NICU. On that day July 18, 2006 I heard of surfactant for the first time. The doctors explained to us what the medication was and how it worked and that our boys would more than likely be getting two doses of this. Later when we had the chance we researched exactly what surfactant was and what it was used for. That is when I found the March of Dimes website. I learned that surfactant, which is a soapy substance found in lungs is already present in full term babies and that when they take their first breath their lungs open up and the alveoli or tiny little air sacs stay open afterwards and are ready to receive each breath, however in pre-term infants, when they take their first breath their lungs open but with each exhale their alveoli or air sacs collapse making breathing harder and harder. This is also known as Respiratory Distress Syndrome or RDS. Both Kolton and Karter had this due to their prematurity. What surfactant did for my boys and for many, many preterm infants is it allowed their lungs to balance the pressure on the outside with the pressure on the inside of their lungs and remain open to incoming air. According to the March of Dimes website, surfactant began to be used in the 1980’s developed by Dr. T. Allen Merritt. Since its use the number of babies that die from RDS, has gone from 10,000 per year to less than 1,000. My boys fit into this statistic. My boys where saved not only by the doctors, but also by this wonderful discovery of surfactant, it literally allowed my boys to breath another day.

As the days went on we began to learn the ins and outs of the NICU. You are told up front that it is going to be an emotional roller coaster, and it is. Everyday is different, one day things are going good and the next something is not right. You began to think of each day as one step closer to going home. Karter spent 3 days on the Ventilator, Kolton spent two, and the next step after the ventilator is CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. CPAP does not breathe for you like the ventilator but it does create enough pressure when you inhale to keep your airway open. Kolton spent 2 days on CPAP and Kater spent 4 days on it. After CPAP is the nasal cannula. The nasal cannula is used to provide supplemental oxygen to a patient. Kolton spent 5 days with the cannula and at 11 days old was breathing room air on his own. Karter would stay on the cannula until he came home and after being home for one month he was able to breathe room air on his own. The boys spent 48 days in the NICU, while there both received many medications to help their heart rate regulate, head ultrasounds to check for brain bleeds, many X-rays to check their heart and other organs, blood transfusions due to low blood counts and the inability of their little bodies to keep up. Light therapy for Jaundice, heel sticks to check their blood gasses. Numerous IV’s in the head, legs and arms and a scar for each of those sticks.

This has all been as described to us by the nurses in the NICU, a rollercoaster of a ride, but the end result are two beautiful boys, that to this date have no lasting effects from their prematurity, they are healthy and thriving and we are so thankful, thankful to the March of Dimes for all their research, thankful for the Doctors and nurses that played a part in their survival and thankful to you, those who donate and volunteer in the quest to save babies.

Thank you again.

Aside from slight asthma for Kolton and an undiagnosed PDA for Karter that was closed in March 2009 my story ends well, many do not.

Please consider supporting the March of Dimes.

Kolton (Baby A) at 3 years old.

Karter (Baby B) at 3 years old.

Brothers Forever

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fight For Preemies // Bloggers Unite

Fight For Preemies // Bloggers Unite

Posted using ShareThis

Since I didn't participate in the Walk for Babies this year, I decided to join the Fight for Preemies by writing a post along with hundreds of others on November 17th telling our story and what the March of Dimes has meant to us. I know most of you have heard it before however it's an important cause and one that is near and dear to my heart. Feel free to visit were you are likely to see photo's of the boys in the hospital and pictures of them now in all there three year old glory.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Just A Pic

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Happy Halloween 3 Days Late!

We started talking about Halloween at the beginning of October. Kolton decided he wanted to be a chicken. When I asked Karter what he wanted to be he said "nothing, I don't want to dress up." When I said well you have to dress up to get candy, it will be fun, he replied, "no, you can just go to the store and get some." He was dead serious. He didn't want anything to do with going door to door asking for candy, he figured we could just buy some at the store and by pass the whole ordeal.

As tempting as that sounded, Kolton wanted to trick or treat, and I wanted him to have fun, so I just told Karter he didn't have to dress up and he could stay in the car with me if he wanted, but that he would not be getting Kolton's candy.

He thought about this for a week or more and then one day he just decided he wanted to go too.

Thankfully I had bought two costumes, fire fighters, Kolton choose them.

We looked for a chicken costume, and I supposed I could have made one, but I procrastinated and didn't give myself enough time. When he saw the fire fighter get up he was all for it.

Halloween night Karter began to get a little scared and told us he didn't want to go, he said he was afraid someone might steal him. Daddy told him he would be with him at all times and he could sit in the car with me if he wanted. He decided to be brave and go on. That's all it took once he figured out you ring the door bell and get candy, he was literally running from house to house.

The both said they had so much fun and are already excited for next year.