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"  :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Eli + Maddie :: 9 Months

Eli & Maddie, 

Nine months! How on earth is 3/4 of your first year already done?? This was such an exciting month for you two! You are both fully sitting up on your own, and you have started crawling...we are officially on the move! In some ways, life is a little bit easier now that you are a little more independent. But in other ways, we have some new challenges as you are still learning how to move and aren't fully stable. Like everyone said, you are always headed in opposite directions :)  You started taking baths in the big tub, you had your first swim, we had to lower your cribs because you have both started pulling up, and we made a trip to San Antonio to meet your great grandparents. You seem less like little babies and more like little people. Which sounds silly, but your little personalities just keep blossoming, and it has been so fun to continue getting to know you. You are just so fun! You are starting to play games with us and each other, and your giggles still melt our hearts. Life is always busy with you two, but it is always exciting and fun!


E L I J A H      W I N N

Stats :: 19 pounds, 30.5 inches

Loves :: Sasha {you try so hard to get her attention!}, your little stuffed black puppy, reading books

Dislikes :: when sister takes a toy from you

Eat :: you are still eating 6 to 6.5 ounces five times a day. you are also eating solids for breakfast and dinner, with a snack {usually teething wafers} for lunch. but you're probably close to having full solids for lunch. we tried a whole bunch of new foods this month! broccoli, cauliflower, plums, chicken, turkey, mangos, beans. and your absolute favorite? yogurt. buddy, you can pound the yogurt haha. you also tried a pickle once {and loved it}, but then mama realized it probably had too much salt for you right now, so we'll bring those back a little later. you also started holding your bottle on your own {yay!} 

Sleep :: you are still sleeping consistently through the night {yay!} naps are starting to even out a little bit, but you have recently been going through some nap strikes. that has been really hard because you are just SO tired by the time bedtime rolls around. you have completely dropped that third nap, only taking a morning and afternoon nap now {when you're not on strike}, but it can be a little bit of a stretch sometimes to make it to bed time even when you nap well.

Play/Development :: you are officially crawling! for a long time, you were doing what I call "leap frog" crawling, where you would rock back and forth on all fours and then do a little leap forward in an effort to crawl. a lot of times it ended with a face plant, but that never seemed to deter you. you just got right back up and tried again. while your crawling is still a little rudimentary, you can get from point A to point B pretty quickly, and when you see something you want, there's no stopping you! we have started using the word "no" more often, as you tend to beeline to wall outlets and opening dresser drawers. right now you think it's funny and aren't really deterred yet. you just recently started pulling up on things, but aren't really standing yet. you are banging all of your toys on everything, loving all the loud noises. you really enjoy music, often moving along to the beat in what looks like early hints of dancing! you definitely seem to be "talking" more. you seem to have more purpose in what you're saying, and are having more and more babble conversations. we THOUGHT you were teething, and we can see the bottom ones under the gums, but they haven't come through yet.

Unique to You :: sweet boy, we think you are going to be our overly friendly but sensitive soul. everyone you meet is a friend, and you share your smiles freely. you are still bouncing ALL the time, and we are amazed at your endless energy. you are a typical boy and already think that toots are funny; you will toot and then look around with a smile on your face to see if anyone else heard it haha. you are SUPER ticklish on your inner thighs, which is so random, but you just cannot contain your giggles! you have become a bit more clingy this month and have started whining a bit more, sharing your displeasure over things, but you have become the BEST little snuggler. seriously, you will lay your head down on our chest or shoulder and just snuggle in's SO sweet and we LOVE it.

The only shot we got with him actually ON the blanket haha

This is what the photo shoot looked like most of the time :)

M A D E L I N E      G R A C E

Stats :: 22 pounds, 29.25 inches

Loves :: splashing in the bath, making raspberry noises, playing with your tongue, eating books :)

Dislikes :: when brother takes a toy from you

Eat :: you are still eating 6.5 to 7 ounces five times a day. you are also eating solids for breakfast and dinner, with a snack {usually teething wafers} for lunch. but you're probably close to having full solids for lunch. we tried a whole bunch of new foods this month! broccoli, cauliflower, plums, chicken, turkey, mangos, yogurt. and your absolute favorite? beans! you also tried a pickle once {and loved it}, but then mama realized it probably had too much salt for you right now, so we'll bring those back a little later. each time you try a new food, you make an unhappy scrunch face, like you don't like it. you literally snub your nose at it...but then you eat all of it haha. so I think you are just wary of anything new, then realize it's not so bad :)  and girlfriend, you have adopted the shovel-as-much-as-you-can-all-at-once method of eating, and it's super entertaining to watch haha. 

Sleep :: you are still sleeping consistently through the night {yay!}, and you are still our early riser, but are also still content to talk and play quietly in your crib until it's time to get up. naps are starting to even out a little bit, with a consistent morning and afternoon nap. you haven't quite dropped that third nap, still requiring a little bit of quiet time in your crib before dinner. sometimes you catch a catnap, sometimes you just lay quietly in your crib.

Play/Development :: you are semi-crawling haha. you definitely can, but tend to move backwards more often than you move forward, and often scoot along the floor on your belly rather than actually crawl. kind of like an army crawl. but you still get where you need to go just fine. we started doing baby races {where mama sets up a tower of blocks and lets you both crawl to it to knock it down}, and that has helped you practice crawling a bit more. you also were the first to start pulling up {but are not quite standing yet}. you love to drop toys and let us pick them up for you...over and over again. you are making more and more sound effects, and seem to interact more deliberately in "conversations" with us.

Unique to You :: sweet girl, we think you are going to be our little ham. you love all the silly noises your daddy makes, and you are quick to try to mimic them. you have the most adorable scrunch for when you're unhappy and one for when you're happy. you are making all kinds of sound effects, and you just love goofing around. which is funny to me, because you are so serious around other people. all new people are suspect, and they have to prove that they are safe and worthy of your smiles and affection before you will offer them. you outgrew your infant car seat and are now in a new convertible seat. you also have A TON of hair, which is super fun and really cute...but you also have a legit cow lick, front and center on your forehead. which makes for a lot of crazy hair days and mama wondering what she's going to do with it :)

We're on the move, so gone are the days of simple photo shoots :)