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Thursday, December 27, 2012

A WHITE Christmas!

     What an amazing Christmas 2012 we had!! We left for Louisiana on Sunday and that night we were blessed to get to be a part of Saint Rest Baptist Church's Christmas Party! St. Rest is where I grew up and is still home to me in so many ways. I also love how much the friends and family there love my bambinos! 
Santa made an appearance and of course L&S wanted nothing to do with him! They  hid head deep in momma and daddy's shoulders. Like I said last year, maybe next year they will like Santa?!?!
     After the party we took a quick trip to Ruston to see one of my friends Christmas lights! Jennifer does her lights herself and has a beautiful display of about 30 inflatables! The girls LOVED getting out and looking at all of them! They were most impressed with the Hello Kitty one, of course! We then had to go for a Sonic run per L&S's request!
     Monday morning we got up and went to Dubach to see Santa on the firetruck. This has been a tradition as long as my momma has been alive and I knew it would so fun for her to get to experience that with the girlies!  I even remember being in college and living in my grandparents house and my mom knocking on my door on Christmas Eve. When I answered and asked what she was doing she said "coming to see Santa on the firetruck." So that we did! The girls atleast looked at him! They were on mom and D's shoulder's so I guess that made them a little more brave:) We them had to make a trip to Johnny's as no trip home, Christmas or not, would be the same without one!
     Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. Growing up we would go to my grandparents and then go across the street to my great-grandmothers where the WHOLE family would get together in a little house. Time with my family. Time with a lot of people who are spending Christmas with Jesus now. Now that my grandparents are in heaven, we have Christmas Eve at my Aunt Lisa's. Now we grands have babies! This is where they make those amazingly special memories that I have of Christmas Eve. My girls sooo enjoyed their gifts...but I KNOW they enjoyed playing with P-man, Jo baby and Ty so much more! After stuffing our faces, opening gifts and saying goodbyes we headed back to Arkansas. We wanted to spend Christmas Eve in Louisiana but wanted the girls to wake up at our home on Christmas!
     I guess the getting home late, even though the slept almost the whole ride home, was tiring! My girls had to be woken up at 9:45 AM on Christmas morning! 
We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and then the girls started in opening presents!   
We then told them that Honey and Papaw and Lollie and Pop had sent gifts with Santa because they were too big for them to bring! 

Lollie and Pop were able to find a ROLLER COASTER
 and sent it with Santa!!! 

Honey and Papaw sent a TRAMPOLINE!
These are some blessed babies and we, as their family, are so very blessed as well! 

We had plans to go to Bauxite for Christmas Day but the weather changed our plans. Just two hours after these pictures were taken the rain and then freezing rain started! The 11 inches of snow fell right behind it!

Syd LOVED the snow!! She was fearless and had so much fun!!! We had three layers of clothes under some onesie pajamas! Most folks in Arkansas don't have snow clothes! 
This picture sums up Lex's feelings on the white stuff! She really didn't care too much about it! She just wanted to play on her trampoline and roller coaster!!
What a fun snow day we had!!!
If this is what the rest of the winter will bring, we might need to invest in a snow suit!


Friday, December 7, 2012

My precious Boppy pillow

When I was about 10 weeks pregnant my mom, Aunt Lisa and I went shopping for some maternity clothes. We went into Motherhood Maternity where I found not only clothes but an awesome pregnancy pillow. It was called the Boppy Cuddle Prenatal Pillow. I never knew how much I could be attached to an object! Seriously, that thing went EVERYWHERE with me. At the hospital, I would even make sure it was in the bathroom with me when the housekeeping staff came in to clean. I wasn't worried about my Macbook Pro...but I was worried my pillow was going to go missing! 
But come on, being comfortable in the bed when you are pregnant is difficult! Especially pregnant with twins! 
I'm not sure if my attachment comes because I spent every day for 4 months with it or just because it was a great pillow. I definitely cried many tears into that pillow! 
The problem currently is that I still can't give it up! The hubs and I bought a new mattress and amazing pillows not too long ago and he said "pick out a replacement for that nasty boppy." Its almost 4 years old and is verrry ragged. I picked out a very expensive pillow for replacement but it just wasn't the same! I broke into a hot sweat and was having palpitations one night when I thought it was missing!
I'm not sure if I will still be snuggled up with my boppy when the girls are about to start kindergarten, high school or perhaps even college! I do know I love that ole thing and I will probably never give it up without a fight:)

Monday, December 3, 2012

In Memory of Uncle Darrell

On Tuesday, Dustin got a phone call from his mom with the news that his Uncle Darrell had suddenly passed away. We were all in shock. His wife, Maizie, said at Thanksgiving that he wasn't feeling well but wouldn't go to the doctor. 
Even though I only got to see Uncle Darrell for family events, I can tell you he was such a smart and witty man! He always seemed to know a lot on any subject that was brought up. He was an  explosive specialist in the Army..even dealing with nuclear bombs! 
We said goodbye to him on Saturday and what a great service! He had several friends from childhood and some from his service days share some great stories! His daughter, Laura, also spoke beautifully about her father and her love for him was evident. 
Uncle Darrell will most definitely be missed by all his family and friends!

From his obituary:
Darrell Lewis Walden, M/Sgt, U.S. Army Retired died at his home in Benton, on November 27, 2012. He was born May 10, 1940 in Bauxite to the late Ed and Nedgie Croxton Walden. Darrell retired to Benton after his career in explosive ordnance disposal in the U.S. Army, during which he traveled the world with various government officials as part of their guard detachments. He served in this capacity during the Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter debate in San Francisco.

He will be missed by his many friends and loved ones for his dry wit, his love for all kinds of music, and his willingness to help whenever needed.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Clarisonic Clean

Every now and then I am going to show you guys some of my favorite products! I am a product princess! Just like most gals, I find myself trying the newest and greatest to see if their truly great! I have a handful of products and gadgets I just can't live without! I will be sharing all of those on my blog! 
Above  is a pic of the Clarisonic Plus.  A lot of my Facebook& Instagram friends know I got one for my birthday and have asked me my opinion on it so here it is!
I compare this to a sonicare toothbrush. If you have ever used one, you know how much cleaner your teeth feel than with just a regular brush! After using a Clarisonic, your face will never feel clean unless you are using it! 
I purchased the Plus due to my twins having keratosis pilaris (where keratin forms plugs in the hair follicle and causes little bumps that look like goose bumps).With the Plus, you have the large body brush attachment and I thought this could help with their KP. It also could help get a good buff in before self tanning!
If you are just planning to use it just for your face I think the Mia 2 would work great(and it's a little cheaper). 
 If any of you have one, let me know what you think too! I know my readers would love to hear! 


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sweet sickly sister love!

Due to prematurity, both of these sweet bambinos battle asthma. Lexie, by far, has the most flare ups and trouble:( Monday afternoon Lexie was coughing her baby head off  when I picked her up from daycare. She was not feeling good at all:(! Dustin took her took the doctor Tuesday  for new inhalers and steroids. Fun, fun...or not. I hate when these babies have to be on steroids. IT IS AWFUL. Last night at 10:30 pm she was still standing up on her bed shaking and crying. She can't sleep and all she wants to do is cry. Its pitiful. Will definitely break a momma's heart. My sweet momma(Honey)and awesome Aunt Lisa(Lili) came up yesterday and are going to take the girls back to Louisiana for the weekend.  The girls were so happy to see them! I am also so glad they didn't have to go to daycare so Lexie could try to recover! Lili hasn't been up to see us in forever. We are soo glad to have her here for a few days(and her precious baby pup Griff:)! 
This picture above was taken Tuesday morning when Sydney knew Lexie was going to the doctor and she was going to go to preschool by herself. She def wanted to make sure sissy was ok:) As you can see, Lexie loves her sissy taking care of her. After all, isn't that one of the reasons God gave us sissys! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Our Journey: Finally put down on paper!

A year after the girls were born I tried to write my pregnancy story and I just couldn't do it. Several months ago I was able to sit down and get what I wanted to remember and recorded for the girls down on paper. Many people have asked me for it and I couldn't do it until recently! Here it is..hope this brings hope to all those who are on a TTTS journey. 

 Our Journey 
     After dating for almost two years and being married 9 months, my husband and I decided we wanted to start our family. We had talked about this so very often while dating and knew we both wanted to be parents! I stopped taking the pill and a month and a half later we found out we were pregnant! We went to our first prenatal appointment and left with shock and tears. I would have never ever ever imagined. We were pregnant with triplets! I was more scared and shocked than I have ever been in my life. All I could think about was how in the stinkin’ world are we gonna handle this? I felt so guilty for feeling scared because I had so many friends who were dealing with infertility and would be over the moon excited to have THREE babies! I am a worrier! I was worried about the financial side as well as all the things that could go wrong! 
On a Friday night, around 12 weeks, I became very sick to my stomach. I was ALWAYS sick to my stomach but this was different. I began running fever and having an unusual amount of vomiting.   I never passed anything weird and woke up Saturday and felt much better. I had my first high risk appointment on the following Monday.  They began doing the ultrasound and I heard some hum’s and huh’s while they were doing it. I haven’t seen too many ultrasounds but I knew what I saw.  They then told me what I was realizing, we had miscarried one child. I was so overwhelmed by the thought of three children but had come to realize it was a huge blessing and finally accepted it and fallen in love with all three of them.  So many emotions came up that I would have never imagined I would feel. I was heartbroken. I saw those amazing three heartbeats and now there were two. This also made me so fearful of something happening to the two precious children I was now carrying. This journey was already exhausting and what little I knew what that it hadn’t even gotten started yet.
     Several weeks had passed and it was time for our “big ultrasound.”  We were so very excited! My husband and I had felt for several weeks that we were having girls!  They had already told us that our babies were in one sac and shared one placenta (Mono/Di). So, we knew they were identical; we just needed our suspicions confirmed. After the sonographer measuring each little precious body part we found out, as we suspected, we were having identical twin GIRLS! We were so very excited! Then our perinatologist started looking around my belly himself.  I will never forget his next words. “I need to show you something.” He went on to explain something called “twin to twin transfusion syndrome” which I had already goggled and educated myself on. This is a possibility in all mono/di twins, twins that share one placenta. I thought things were going ok because the girls weighed very close to the same according to the ultrasound they had just done. He then went on and showed us the amniotic fluid discrepancy. Sydney had a significant amount of fluid and Lexie looked as though she was trapped with saran wrap. With mono/di twins they are separated by a thin membrane that moves based on the fluid on either side. Due to Lexie not having much fluid at all, she appeared trapped. He then told me not to get on the internet. He said not to read anything. Really? I knew he was doing his job by trying to protect us from the possibilities but telling an educated person especially a Registered Nurse not to inform themselves on TTTS was unrealistic. TTTS  can be deadly for both children. The donor (who "gives" all the fluids/nurishment to the other twin) can go into renal failure and multi system organ failure because they have no amniotic fluid to keep those kidneys functioning. The recipient (who has all the fluid) can go into congestive heart failure due to the workload of the heart to pump ALL that extra fluid. It is very scary and life threatening for both twins. After crying the entire way home, I had to know possibilities. I broke down. The thoughts and possibilities were so much to absorb. I then emailed Mary from the TTTS foundation and spoke with Shannon Barringer, a genetics specialist, at UAMS. I just needed answers. Answers that no one could give me right then. I was sent down to my knees in prayer. As a Christian, I knew that none of this was a surprise to God. He knew this was my journey and He was going to be there every step of the way. I was given such a peace about our girls. I still had some days that were trying after that, but I never felt him leave my side. I always had a “peace that passes all understanding” about my babies. Now I needed a plan. Where do I go from here? What do I do? Is there anything I can do? This journey wasn’t getting easier, but I needed to know what this fight was going to entail.
     After putting a prayer request on the TTTS page, Mary sent me an email that night.  She called and spoke to me that night.  Mary works with Dr. Julian Delia. Dr. Delia is a TTTS specialist and the first surgeon to ever perform intrauterine laser surgery.  They mailed me information and helped calm so many of my fears. At 16 weeks I was put on left sided bed rest. This is something that Dr Delia stated was crucial and my perinatologist was onboard to do whatever it took to get our girls here healthy. I was also told to drink 3 Boost drinks each day. Due to the unusual amount of amniotic fluid I had because of TTTS, I was never hungry and ALWAYS nauseous.  But, if drinking these drinks and lying on my left side 24/7 was going to help, I was willing to do it! 
     Our fluid levels stayed pretty consistent until 26 weeks when Sydney had a huge insurgence of fluid. I was also contracting. They admitted me to UAMS. They were preparing me mentally for a C-section. I knew this was not the day! These girls were not ready and they needed the biggest shot for survival! They needed more time! They started me on Magnesium, the drug from hell. After 6 hours my contractions finally calmed down. They preformed an amnioreduction. They removed 2 liters from Sydney’s side and I felt so much better! Little did I know that this fluid would take no time to build back up. We were at TTTS stage 2/3 right now. After 26 weeks, they no longer would perform the laser surgery due to the high risk of the surgery. From 26 weeks until I delivered, they removed 1-2 liters of fluid every other day from Sydney’s side. This lowered the risk of her having heart complications as well as lowering the risk I would contract and then go into labor.

     After being in the hospital for 4 weeks, they finally let me go home! By this point I could tell them if my levels were high and needed an amnioreduction. I could usually guess how much Sydney was going to have by the way I felt!  The following Monday morning, July 2, I had a checkup. I was pretty sure that morning that I was going to have babies by that afternoon. I couldn’t breathe, was vomiting severely and just felt like my fluid levels had tripled. Sure enough, they had. They sent me to the labor and delivery unit at the hospital after doing an intrauterine ECHO on Sydney and noting that she had some thickening of walls of some of her heart valves.     They had given me steroids a few days prior for lung development in case I had to delivery early. I was ready.
   Lexie and Sydney were born on July 2, 2009 at 32 weeks 6 days. They were immediately intubated and given surfactant and extubated. They were only on a nasal cannula for 3 days! We are so thankful to the March of Dimes and their grants for research for this such as this surfactant!  Both girls were put on bili lights off and on for the next week. They were finally able to get out of isolette’s at 14 days! They could now regulate their own body temperature. Sydney was discharged from the NICU after 28 long days. Lexie was not able to go home yet due to apnea and feeding difficulties.  Lexie finally got to come home after 32 days.  I will never forget our NICU stay. It was by far the hardest part of this journey. 
     The night the girls were born I got a very unusual headache and lost my vision. I was also having bleeding along my c-section incision that would not resolve. When they checked my blood pressure it was 246/128. I had so much edema which I had not had the whole time I was pregnant. I started running a high fever and was having rigors. They put me on blood pressure medication and antibiotics that night. Due to the severity of my situation, I was unable to visit Lexie and Sydney for several days. When I first saw them there were so many mixed emotions. It was most definitely not the baby/momma connection you see on television or always dreamed you would have.  It was strange and heartbreaking. That day I was unable to hold them due to how weak I was. My body had been through so much.  The next day I was able to hold both of my precious girls at the same time. What true joy!  I had been waiting for this moment for so long!!
After both of my precious babies got home and in my arms I was complete! This was a journey like one I would never imagine or expect. It is such a blessing to know that none of this surprised my God. He KNEW this was going to happen. He also KNEW the outcome. I look at Lexie and Sydney and remind them daily how much God loves them. I can only imagine the plan He has for them. I also know that raising these sweet girls will probably bring a little tears and stress.  But I also know that just as my God was with my when this unfathomable journey started, he will be there until the end.
Our NICU stay and this journey taught us so much. Life is fragile and so very precious! It’s PEOPLE that matter most! Having these two little precious people in our life is such an amazing gift and what keeps us going!

almost 2013...

It is almost 2013!! I am starting early on my resolutions! New blog look with plans to do more updating and daily/weekly postings! I have gotten used to sharing on facebook but it's just pictures and tidbits and then I can't print it out! I am determined this time to follow through.
 These girls of mine are getting so big! We started preschool at UCA in the fall. We go on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we have a fabulous teacher who graduated from Louisiana Tech! GO DAWGS! The girls absolutely LOVE it! They can't wait to get ready and out the door! They will tell everyone they are going to "college" because they know UCA is also where there dad went to college. It won't be long before they are truly headed to college..Lord help me!
 I took this picture back at the end of June and found it recently while looking through pictures. It is so neat how this picture says and shows so much!
 Sydney is on the top. Sydney was the larger of the girls at birth and is my much more my independent child. Very much like her mother, one of her first sentences was "I can do it myself." She is the most expressive child I have ever seen!Expressive with words and with her face and hands! Such a free spirit!
On the bottom is my little Lexie. Lexie is my more needy child and I do love that one of them needs me all the time:) She is the best snuggler! Lexie is more emotional and gets her feelings hurt so easily which can break my heart! She ALWAYS wants to take care of her "sissy" when she is hurt or feels bad. She is most definitely a caregiver at heart! She is such a precious little soul!
 The moments I see with these two blow me away sometimes! The bond these girls have is the sweetest thing I have ever seen! I want a twin sister!!!!