Saturday, September 9, 2017

Spaghetti Faces

We introduced Eli and Maddie to spaghetti this week, and they LOVED it! And of course, it was just as messy as we expected it to be :)

And yes...this is an entire post dedicated to photos of our babies covered in spaghetti :)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Eli + Maddie :: 10 Months

This was the best we could get...these 2 do NOT sit still anymore. We were lucky to get ANY photos today haha :)

Eli & Maddie, 

This month has been SO fun with you two! While it is absolutely crazy with 2 babies heading in opposite directions ALL the time, it has been fun to follow you on your adventures! You move with lightning speed, are starting to cruise along the furniture {hinting at walking}, and are into everything you can possibly get into. You have kept me BUSY to say the least, but I am loving every minute of it. You are both so expressive, and we love seeing your personalities blossom. It's fun to watch you discover your world, process the new things you are learning, and attempt to understand what we are telling you. We love to watch your little minds work! It's probably going to be scary when you put your minds together, but until then, we will just enjoy watching you two enjoy each other. Our absolute favorite thing is bedtime giggles. When we lay you on the nursery floor to sing to you and get you in your pajamas, you just have to look at each other and you both just erupt into giggles. And it's the absolute best. thing. ever.


E L I J A H      W I N N

Stats :: 20 pounds 3 ounces

Loves :: the height chart in your nursery {seriously, you make a beeline to it EVERY time}, Sasha's water bowl...but really, you just love discovering new things.

Dislikes :: when you're not being held {you are in a bit of a clingy phase right now}

Eat :: you have started eating about 5 to 6 ounces five times a day {lessening your intake a little}. you are eating solids all 3 meals of the day and we have kind of opened the floodgates a bit on food. this month, you tried rice, blueberries, cheese, baked potato, peaches, cantaloupe, pumpkin, pears, spinach, cottage cheese, fish, Cheerios, watermelon, and grapes. and you are absolutely loving it all! you are a bit more of a meticulous eater, carefully selecting each individual morsel to eat.

Sleep :: you are still sleeping consistently through the night, but we know that you wake up several times during the night. not because you are fussy or upset, but because you are kicking. you kick your legs against your mattress and make such loud thuds. we often wonder if maybe you are even doing that in your sleep?? thankfully, you ended your nap strike, though you can still have a random day where you decide not to take your morning nap. 

Play/Development :: you are ALL over the place! you have mastered crawling and are surprisingly quick. you pull up on everything to stand up, and you have finally mastered how to lower yourself back down to the ground. you have started making a few steps {still holding on} as you cruise along the window sill, the fireplace, the ottoman, etc. you even stood for a full second without holding on and watching the realization in your eyes was so fun! you are starting to understand the word "no" and we can watch your little wheels turning, deciding whether or not you're going to listen. you are starting to try to clap, which is really fun. but still NO teeth!

Unique to You :: sweet boy, you are our sweet and sensitive boy. we think one of your love languages is going to be physical touch and/or quality time. you just need to know that one of us is near. you "check in" constantly before going about whatever you were doing. it can just be by briefly placing a hand on our leg, giving our arms kisses, or you may need to crawl up into our lap and bury your head in our chest for a moment...but then you're happy and ready to go about your way. you are freely doling out the full mouth kisses {and even discovered the noise it can make when you blow...hilarity}, and you just love to be close. you have discovered the baby version of whining, and are not hesitant in sharing your discontent with us. but I think {and hope} that will subside the more you do your little "check ins" and trust that we are going to be right there with you.

M A D E L I N E      G R A C E

Stats :: 23 pounds

Loves :: food, chasing your brother around the house, tickles from daddy

Dislikes :: being left out! we knew from when you were little you had some serious FOMO, but it's funny even to see it just want to be where the action is!

Eat :: you are still eating 6 to 7 ounces five times a day. you are eating solids all 3 meals of the day, and we have kind of opened the floodgates a bit on food. this month, you tried rice, blueberries, cheese, baked potato, peaches, cantaloupe, pumpkin, pears, spinach, cottage cheese, fish, Cheerios, watermelon, and grapes. and you are absolutely loving it all! you still opt for the "shovel in as much as you can all at once" approach, and make a huge mess, but it's still stinkin' cute :)

Sleep :: you are still sleeping consistently through the night, and apparently seem to sleep through your brother's kicking :)  you still rise early and talk and play quietly in your crib. you are still a good napper, and still love that quiet time before dinner where you just lay in your crib for a little bit.

Play/Development :: you are ALL over the place! you have mastered crawling and are surprisingly quick as well. you pull up on everything to stand up, but are still learning to lower yourself down to the ground {and opt for having mama or daddy help you}. you also try to CLIMB onto everything {giving me constant heart attacks}. you have also started mimicking sounds, or at least attempting to. you are starting to understand the word "no" and we can watch your little wheels turning, deciding whether or not you're going to listen. you are starting to try to clap, which is really fun. but still NO teeth!

Unique to You :: lady bug, you are just so full of joy! you certainly can have your upset moments, but for the most part, you are just our happy, smiling girl! you love exploring and especially exploring with your brother. you want to go and be wherever he is. you have developed a fascination with our ears, which is so funny. you will use all of your strength to physically turn our heads to the side, just so you can see and grab our ears haha. and those curls...your hair is usually out of control {mama's fault}, but the back always seems to settle into cute girly curls!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

{iPhone Rewind} :: August

And we're FINALLY holding our own bottles!! #twinmamawin

Baby jail. They're not a fan.

Eli and Maddie got have a play date with Granny and Grumpz.

They LOVE when Mike plays the guitar...

Eli waiting for Daddy to come home

LOL. Maddie makes this face ALL the time, and it makes us laugh EVERY TIME.

One handed is such a breeze.

Brother and Sister...melts a mama's heart!

These baby loves found a new favorite spot to hang the window!

She's such a silly girl :)

True story.

"Chasing" Grandma and Grandpa around the room via Skype

Grandma came to visit for a few days, and this girly finally warmed up to her!

Eli is such a good "helper"  :)

Maddie is our supervisor of quality control over the lawn crew. She takes her job very seriously :)

He is quite skilled with his Cheerios.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

That Time Jesus Healed My Tumor

I briefly mentioned a couple of months ago that I have had some more health issues come up. And I promised to update when I had some more information. Sorry it has taken so long, but there were a lot of doctors and tests to get through. Everything has come back, and I am just in awe of all that the Lord has done in 4 short months!

So just a little background on what has been going on...

In April, I had some blood work done after I had been experiencing some postpartum issues {completely unrelated to this and resolved separately}. It showed an elevated prolactin level {and I was no longer breastfeeding}, so my OB sent me for an MRI. At the time, I thought it was overkill, but my husband {who was right} made me go, because I didn't think I needed to :) 

The MRI showed that I had a pituitary macro adenoma, a large tumor on my pituitary gland {mine was 12mm}. Tumors sound scary. Tumors in your brain sound even scarier...and trust me I was scared! So the next 4 months were filled with appointments; I saw a neurosurgeon, an endocrinologist, and a neuro-opthamologist. I had multiple hormone and vision tests done. 

Along the way, I learned a few things about pituitary tumors: 
  • They are not actually classified as brain tumors {the pituitary gland is at the base of your brain, behind your eyes}
  • They don't really know what causes them; they're just abnormal growths. 
  • 99% of these tumors are benign, so cancer was never part of the conversation.
  • The concern is more for headaches, vision loss, and impaired pituitary function {which can cause other major health problems}.
  • Prolactinomas {prolactin-producing tumors} can be treated with medication; non-functioning pituitary adenomas are usually treated with surgery.

Thankfully, all of my testing came back normal; I wasn't experiencing any vision loss and/or underlying hormonal issues. I also learned that mine was not a prolactinoma, so medication was not an option to treat it. My elevated prolactin level could have been from the tumor pressing on my pituitary gland {stalk effect}. I was sent back to the neurosurgeon to discuss next steps.

I had a repeat MRI a few weeks ago to check the status of the tumor. Because all of my hormone and vision levels came back normal, I was gearing up for a conversation about surgery. These tumor are usually slow growing, but we didn't want my headaches to increase or my vision to be affected. I had done my research, and Mike and I were preparing for what recovery would look like {with 2 babies}. I had already made my peace with what the Lord had laid before us, and really was just ready to get the surgery date set and done.

So when the neurosurgeon walked in and said, "you are fine; this is nothing," I was shocked. And a little confused. This was not the conversation I was expecting, the conversation for which I had prepared. He said that the MRI was showing that the tumor was only 2 to 3mm and looked more like a cyst at this point. He said there was no need for surgery, and he wouldn't expect there ever to be a need for surgery. He was not worried in the slightest and told me that I shouldn't worry either. He wants me to have another MRI in a year, just to check on it again, but there was no need to take any action right now.

So I had a large tumor at the base of my brain 4 months ago...and now I don't.

The neurosurgeon went on with a lot of medical speak for why it might be a small one now, or it might not be a tumor at all, but none of it mattered. Because I know that my God healed it. I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but admittedly, I was. To be honest, I hadn't even really asked Him to heal it. Others had, and I am so grateful for their faithful prayers. Instead, I had just prayed for wisdom and strength to face this new health issue. It was just the next in a long line of health issues I expect in my lifetime. 

I never had any doubt that God could heal the tumor; I absolutely believe He has the power to do that. I just never thought He would. You see, for so long, I have prayed for God to heal my health issues {Crohn's, endometriosis, infertility, etc}, and His answers up to this point have always been "no" or "I have a different plan for you." I have processed through that with Him, and I am learning to trust that He is good, despite not receiving the answers I want. And I often daydream about the day when my body will be healed and whole. 

But somewhere along the way, I had just forgotten that sometimes He says "yes" and actually performs the unbelievable and allows us to experience the impossible. How great is our God??

If this post had been an update on the size of my tumor and how I was heading to surgery, He would still be worthy of all praise. He would still be God, He would still be good, and He would still deserve all the glory. But because I have personally experienced and witnessed the healing of a tumor, I will sing praises for my God as Healer. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Friday, August 11, 2017

High Five for Friday!

{one} Eli and Maddie are mobile now, so they are ALL over the place. And it happened FAST. Seriously, one day they were crawling from me to Mike a few feet away, and the next they were crawling all over the house. They love exploring, and for the most part, I just let them go. It's super cute when they get going together, because they just giggle as they're chasing each other around the house. Eli is also pulling up on everything, trying to stand on his own. So while it's a super exciting time around our house, it's also a new wave of exhaustion for this twin mama :)

{two} I mentioned back in March that I was wanting to practice a bit more of my hand lettering. Well...I have twins, so I haven't done much haha. It's so hard to find time! And my perfectionist nature has made me hate everything I have worked on. I want to be good on day 1 haha! I know that's not realistic, but it has kept me from really practicing or making any progress. Kind of like analysis paralysis. So I decided it would be good for me to go back to the very basic of basics. So I started the 90 Days of Drills challenge from Two Easels, and I'm LOVING it! It has been the perfect place for me to start, and I am actually excited about diving deeper and building my skills. It will be slow, well, #becausetwins. But here's to my lettering journey!

{three} I am also really excited about starting a new Bible study with Laura! I have desperately been needing to be back in the Word, and it has just been so hard with the twins. We listen to the audio Bible every morning during breakfast, and I listen to sermon podcasts throughout the day while I'm feeding the babies. But it's just not the same as sitting down and digging into the Word. I thought about going back to BSF, but now that babies are mobile, I can't keep them with me {and can you imagine that craziness, anyway??}, and they are just not ready to be left yet. So my sweet friend suggested that we do a study together. And I am so thankful. We have done studies together in the past, and I can't wait to dive deeper into Ephesians this time. 

{four} So this is completely random, but I thought it was funny. Another twin mom posted a Lost Sleep Calculator for Parents. When I plugged in our stats, I started laugh crying. 6 months. We have lost 6 months of sleep. Our babies are only 9 months old! Haha. But this is not an exaggeration. THIS is life with twins. We wouldn't change it, but hopefully this explains why we have disappeared from so many things, and why we may seem like weirdos these days.  :)

{five} We have a new niece! Charley Claire was born on August 7th, and she is beautiful! We are finally able to go meet her tomorrow, and we can't wait to snuggle with her. In particular, big sister Presley Kate is SUPER excited to introduce her baby sister to "E-why" and "Maggie"  :)