Friday, June 30, 2017

{iPhone Rewind} :: June

When you have sick and fussy babies, you do what you have to do...we hung out in the bathroom with the hot shower running to help clear sinuses.

She wants everything I have haha {this is empty and tightly closed}

Crazy hair lady :)

I went to put Maddie in the nursery and came back to get Eli and found this...that's one way to play with the play mat!

Admiring ourselves in the mirror :)

Sasha had her yearly check up at the vet and was given a clean bill of health! Other than being a creaky old lady, she's pretty healthy!

Family lunch at Cowboy Chicken

So this is where we are this month: baby jail :)  

These 2 make my heart so happy!

Sasha is really popular around our house these days...and she is loving staying close for extra treats :)

Love my best friend :)

Play time :)

We got to hang out with Grumpz and Eli had lots of fun!

This girl has no shortage of sleeping positions...but the thumb. The thumb gets me every time. 

Eli loves hanging out with Aunt Christa on Sunday mornings.

Flowers from my love...when Daddy takes the babies to Target, Mama gets flowers. Deal.

She loves her daddy...despite her indifferent expression here :)


He was trying to focus on something above him, but just ended up looking like he was rolling his eyes.

Mama and Maddie

She LOVES her little stuffed monkey!

We sent my dad Tiff's Treats for Father's Day, and he was pretty excited about it!

These two...I love that they're starting to play more with each other!

Our little thumb sucker...

Mama and Eli

Cutie Pie! :)

Sam's carts are made for twins :)

The cutest laundry I ever did see!

The carseats have become too heavy to click in and out of the car and stroller, so we have transitioned into the actual stroller seats. They seemed to enjoy their "new" ride :)

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Shades

The other day, we had a photo shoot of sorts; it was National Sunglasses Day haha. I am having to get more creative with keeping the babies busy and occupied, so I decided to have a bit of fun. Because isn't part of the fun of having kids being able to dress them up for silly {fake} holidays? :)

Babies in hats and sunglasses are just too cute, and these 2 just make life fun. Enjoy!

Yay for summer!

Friday, June 23, 2017

High Five for Friday!

So glad it's Friday, because Friday = reinforcements!  :)

{one} We were so excited to celebrate Mike's first Father's Day this past weekend! Eli & Maddie got him a photo coffee mug, Jimmy Fallon's book Dada, and these cute first Father's Day onesies. I made Mike homemade enchiladas with roasted tomatillo sauce, and we were able to enjoy the day as a family. The perfect way to celebrate the best new daddy!

{two} I have had some more health issues come up recently, so I had more doctor appointments this week. Right now I still don't have too many answers, as we're waiting on lab results to come back. But as soon as we know more, I promise to share more details. It's just never ending; there always seems to be something with my health. Definitely looking forward to that new glorified body in heaven!

{three} Eli is still going to see the chiropractor every week for his torticollis and plagiocephaly. He does really well with the chiropractor, and we have been SO thankful for my aunt who has been able to come with us to the appointments. She is the master of distraction, and she keeps him happy while the chiropractor works on him. Somedays I think his head looks better, and some days I think it looks about the we'll see how much longer we have to go and if it makes a difference. I really hope it does!

{four} This little one has been practicing sitting up and she is doing so well! She can sit for long periods of time and play contentedly. She hasn't quite figured out how to get herself into a sitting position, but if I put her down, she stays for a long time. She's also working super hard on starting to crawl, but right now, she's just on all fours rocking back and forth with her cute little tush in the air :)

{five} This week has been hard because I ended up with a cold that I was unable to keep from Eli and Maddie. So the 3 of us were a snotty nose mess! So we are definitely glad that it's Friday and that Daddy can be home with us for the weekend :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Specialists :: Endocrinology + Neuro-Opthamology

Today I had my appointments with both the endocrinologist and the neuro-opthamologist. I just wanted to record a quick update from today. I actually have more questions than answers from today, but at least we have the process started to hopefully start getting some answers in the near future.

The endocrinologist asked a lot of questions and really tried to get a solid understanding of my health history. She seemed to want to truly understand what caused the tumor to grow in the first place, which is a good thing. She did a sonogram on my thyroid, and that looked fine. She is sending me to have labs done, and I will meet with her in another few weeks to learn the results of those tests. She obviously couldn't provide solid answers without getting those tests back, but she did throw out a few ideas:
  • It's possible that my attempts at breastfeeding could have caused the tumor to grow {since my prolactin levels have been affected, and prolactin levels rise when you breastfeed}
  • She does not believe that the medications I took for our frozen embryo transfers {estrogen and progesterone} could have caused it
  • She believes it could be treated with medication, which would help it shrink {the neurosurgeon had told me not to take medication because he said that it makes the tumor more fibrous and more difficult to I will have to do some more research and find some more answers on that}

The neuro-opthamologist checked my visual fields and all seemed to look fine. He was able to confirm {like we already suspected, since I haven't had any problems with my vision} that the tumor is not pressing on my optic nerve at this time {good news}. The concern is that it could press on my optic nerve, causing me to begin losing my peripheral vision. Even though everything looked good now, I will have to get my visual fields tested again in another 3 months to make sure that's still the case. 

------- we wait for more answers. I have recently started having more frequent headaches. At first I ignored them, because I thought I was just being paranoid and that it was just a coincidence {you tell me that a tumor could cause them, and then all of a sudden I'm getting them...}. But they have been pretty frequent {several per week}, and they can be pretty intense. So I can't ignore this. Not that an MRI showing a 12mm tumor near my brain isn't enough, but there's always that hope of it just shrinking on its own...wishful thinking.

There is still the risk that this will affect our future embryo transfers, which right now is my biggest concern. I cannot be on the tumor-shrinking medication when I'm pregnant. So I will have to find out what taking medication would look like, how long before the tumor shrinks {the neuro-opthamologist mentioned 2 years}, etc. If I have surgery to remove the tumor, I have to wait 6 months to 1 year before we can attempt another transfer. But I also can't just leave it alone and let it grow, because I can't risk losing my vision. So there's that. 

I am praying that the test results come back with some more answers on something hormonally that could be out of balance that caused the tumor to grow. Because then I feel like we can treat that imbalance. I am really struggling with all the "what if's" right now, and I am having to work on trusting the Lord with all of those details. He wasn't surprised by this tumor, and He knows we still have 2 more embryos waiting for us. I have to stop trying to control every aspect of this process and just trust that His timing is perfect...even if it doesn't look like it to me right now.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

To the Daddy Hearts

Today is a day for which we longed, prayed, and waited: getting to celebrate Mike on Fathers' Day with babies in his arms. Just like me, he "celebrated" Father's Day for the past 2 years in a different way...the first as an adoptive father to 6 tiny embryos, and the second as a daddy-to-be of twins. Both times he was waiting to hold his babies in his arms, but his daddy heart still beat with a love for the babies we adopted, the ones we lost, and the ones we were still waiting to meet. 

I think that the guys get forgotten too often in the infertility/loss journey. Because pregnancy and carrying a child is such a motherly desire, the guys too often get pushed to the background. While Mike wasn't grieving in the same ways I was {the ache of wanting to carry a child in the womb}, I can assure you there was still grief. He wanted to be a daddy before we got married, so when the Lord seemed to be closing those doors, it was really hard. There was also the difficulty of watching me struggle through the grief. He felt so helpless and so frustrated that he couldn't give me the child we wanted. 

Today, I praise God for the blessing of celebrating Mike as a daddy. It's a day we were not sure we would ever see. But to see him now, love, care for, hold, play with our little still my heart! Seeing him as a daddy has been one of my greatest joys. Mike humbly joins the ranks of daddies who will be honored and celebrated today. And we don't want the daddy hearts who are still waiting and crying out to God to be forgotten today.

So to the daddy hearts who desperately want to have kids, and who are lovingly standing by their lady through the ups and downs of infertility and/or loss, we know this day can be hard for you too! It's not just the moms who struggle in this journey. We know you may not express your grief the way your wife does, but we know the hurt and the questions are still there. You carry an extra burden of caring for your beloved wife, often setting your own grief aside to attend to hers. We know your sadness and your sacrifice, but more than that, Jesus knows it. Lean into Him and trust His good plan for you both. Because I promise He has not forgotten you.

To the daddy hearts who are missing their beautiful babies today {however old}, I'm sorry for your loss{es} and that you are missing your baby {or babies} today. We are often extra mindful of mama on these hard days, but you lost your precious one{s} too. There is nothing quite like losing a child, and we pray that God comforts you in ways that only He can. May you feel the peace that passes understanding from your Heavenly Father.

To the daddy hearts who are faithfully loving their sweet ones with all they have, be encouraged that you are providing them with a picture of their Heavenly Father that will help them to better understand who He is. Thank you for working hard to provide for your family, and for being such a good daddy. I pray that you feel honored and loved today. I pray that you receive encouragement and affirmation for the sacrifices you make for your family on a daily basis. Give those babies a big daddy hug and wrestle with them because they LOVE it.

And to those who are missing their own dads today, due to distance, broken relationships, or loss, I personally don't know your sadness and hurt, but I am praying that you also are comforted today. Mike and I are both blessed with great fathers, so we cannot even begin to imagine losing them or having a fractured relationship with them, so forgive me that I don't have all the right words for you. But we recognize that today must be a hard day for you too, and I am praying for you on this Father's Day.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Eli + Maddie :: 7 Months

Eli & Maddie, 

This was such an exciting month for you two! You both started rolling all over the place, more like an actual mode of transportation. You ditched the sleep suits and transitioned into footed pajamas like a breeze. There were so many firsts, and everything seemed to just happen so fast! We had so much fun this month; from your baby dedication to your first road trip...we are just loving our time as a family of four! You two are laughing ALL the time now! The giggles...oh man, they are the absolute BEST. You still are not playing together, but you are starting to notice each other more and more. We pray daily that you both come to know Jesus at a young age, and that you will love the people around you well. I am constantly amazed at the precious gifts that you both are. While there are definitely days that caring for both of you is just plain hard {just because you outnumber mama}, your Daddy and I can't imagine our lives without either one of you. You bring us so much joy, so much life, and so much love. We love you both so much!


E L I J A H      W I N N

Stats :: 16.8 pounds*

Loves :: bouncing, growling at everything and everyone, the wipes package

Dislikes :: the bulb syringe and rectal thermometer {don't blame you, buddy}

Eat :: you were eating so well, until you got sick, sweet boy. on a normal basis, you were eating 6 oz 5 times a day. we also continued baby led weaning, but just stuck with breakfast. we moved away from purees and moved to actual solid {soft} foods. you have loved avocado, sweet potato, apples, carrots, butternut squash, and bananas.

Sleep :: you were the first to transition out of your sleep suit. it was out of necessity, as you started rolling in your suit. the first few naps were a bit rough, but you made the transition fairly well and became an instant tummy sleeper. because of that, you started leaking through your diaper, so we had to make some adjustments with overnight diapers and extra padding. you are still sleeping like a champ through the night {except when you were sick, when you were waking up every 30 minutes to an hour throughout the night}.

Play/Development :: you started rolling over with purpose pretty quickly. you would set your eyes on something and then get to work to make your way to it! while I can't get too excited about your words yet, you definitely are starting to repeat the "mamamamama" sound on a consistent basis. you haven't started crawling yet, but you kick your legs all over the place. you are getting better at sitting up, but still topple over without support. you reach out for everything now.

Unique to You :: buddy, you are our little Tigger :) you bounce ALL. THE. TIME. you don't even have to be in your activity center to bounce. you bounce while we hold you, while we feed you, pretty much anywhere haha. you have started growling all the time too, and it's so funny! you are also {still} our little drool machine. for serious, are like a faucet; the front of your onesie and the sleeves of whoever is holding you are constantly sopping wet. we keep looking for teeth, but no sign of them yet. unfortunately, you were the first to get sick, complete with fever and snot. your full mouth kisses have started to become more intentional; you focus your attention on our faces, grasp our face in your hands, and just go for it. and we LOVE it :)

"I can't decide if I am happy or sad"

*buddy has been sick the past week, so his appetite has been negligible. we're just now starting to build back up, so hopefully he'll start packing on the pounds again!

M A D E L I N E      G R A C E

Stats :: 20 pounds

Loves :: when Daddy plays the guitar for you, the music/lights panel you got from Granny

Dislikes :: being tired, being left alone for even a second

Eat :: we also continued baby led weaning, but just stuck with breakfast. we moved away from purees and moved to actual solid {soft} foods. you have loved avocado, sweet potato, apples, carrots, butternut squash, and bananas. you also started holding your own bottle! it's still a work in progress, and there are still many times when you prefer mama and daddy to hold it for you, but you do seem to like doing it yourself.

Sleep :: you transitioned out of your sleep suit about a week after your brother. we expected that you would struggle with the transition, but you made it even easier than your brother! when you are ready for sleep, you are ready for sleep. you rub your eyes and stick your thumb in your mouth, and you are READY. you also decided that you prefer to sleep on your tummy, which is funny, because you still hate to be on your tummy when you're playing. you are still sleeping like a champ through the night, and we are so glad! 

Play/Development :: you have started rolling over both ways a lot more, but you still tend to dislike being on your tummy. you have started playing the "drop my ball on the floor" game and you think it's pretty funny. you haven't started crawling yet, but you kick your legs all over the place. I have also found you with your butt in the air when I go in to get you from your naps :) you are getting better at sitting up, but still topple over without support. you reach out for everything now, and you want everything that mama has, particularly what I'm eating or drinking.

Unique to You :: lady bug, you became very attached to mama this month. you started to realize when I wasn't around, and for a lot of the month, you just wanted to be attached to me. aside from being fussy when I am too far away, you have just been such a sweet and happy girl! you are still spitting up quite a bit, which isn't super fun, but it doesn't seem to bother you one bit. while we can't get too excited about your words yet, you definitely are starting to repeat the "dadadadadada" sound on a consistent basis. and the best thing that came this month? the real snuggles and hugs. you hang on tight and bury your head in our chest, and it's just the BEST :)

"I'll pose, but I will not smile"