Well, what can I say? This has been quite a year! 2010 has brought many changes in our family...for one thing, we added two new precious little beings to our clan. After being hospitalized at 34 weeks and having to stay there 8 days for high blood pressure, they finally let me go home on bed rest until I was 37 weeks and then induced me. I prayed during my entire pregnancy for a vaginal delivery knowing that I would recover quicker, and could be on my feet pretty quickly to take care of those precious babies. God answered my prayer! We welcomed Hannah and Olivia on July 6th, 2010 at 3:38 and 3:43 pm. Olivia weighed in at 6 lbs. 9 oz. and Hannah was 5 lbs. 10 oz. It was an amazing delivery (I was in labor for 6 hours and only pushed for twenty minutes total!), and I am so grateful to all of you who prayed for our family during our journey! Poor Olivia ended up being hospitalized in the NICU for 6 days after their birth. They suffered from Twin to Twin Transfer Syndrome (TTTS) and Olivia received too much blood and Hannah didn't receive enough. She was anemic but didn't have to be admitted thankfully. We feel so blessed to have them in our family!
Since their birth, we have been quite busy and I have not had very many opportunities to update my blog. But we have adjusted quite well to becoming a family of five and I am so in love with my role as a mommy to three precious blessings! Jackson has been a great Big Brother, helping me by getting me things while I nurse the girls and being very patient when mommy has things to do and can't play with him. He has his moments daily when he has had enough and just wants our undivided attention, but who can blame him...he had it for three years and is not going to let go of that very easily. He is growing so fast and amazes us everyday with the things he knows and says! I am loving his age right now! He CRACKS US UP! Not long ago I told him to stop screaming in the car because it was distracting and I needed to concentrate while I drive. He now tells us he needs to concentrate while he goes to the bathroom and to stop "distracting" him-then abruptly closes the door! He is also starting to really get into playing board games and I told him that he needs to listen and follow instructions. So the other day he said "Mommy, Daddy and I played the re-memory game (Memory Game) and I listened and followed his constructions"! LOL! It was quite cute!
As for our little girls, they are doing great! They just turned 8 months old! We recently had a rough couple of months with sleep issues and trying to get on a better schedule. Then as they began rolling over and starting solids, their sleep has been disrupted even more. I know this is normal for babies, but when you have two, the issues are MAGNIFIED!!!! We have worked hard at getting into a good routine and mommy is now enjoying longer chunks of sleep! I don't get out much since I want to keep them on schedule, but hopefully as they are getting older I will be venturing out more often. Their personalities are really shining through now! Olivia is so much like her brother, expressing her likes and dislikes and showing her frustration when she can't get to something. She is a ball of energy and is gonna be a handful, but I can't get enough of those chubby cheeks and chunky thighs!!! Hannah is so sweet and definitely has some attitude, but is more reserved than Olivia. She is a mama's girl and is quite happy to hang out with me for long periods of time. She is so funny though and LOVES to be upside down! Olivia is crazy about her daddy! She lights up when he walks in the room and also is quite fond of her brother who always makes her laugh! Olivia is sitting up and little Miss Hannah is right behind her. Hannah has gotten two teeth in the past couple of weeks, with Olivia remaining all gums!
Andy has been traveling quite a bit since the girls were born and we miss him terribly when he is gone (not to mention mommy who really needs her hubby to help her emotional state when all the kids decide to gang up on her!). We are praying about our desire to be together more and hoping God, in his timing, will lead us to a work situation where that is possible.
We also welcomed another person to our family in 2010. My mom married Bill Collier in September and we are so happy for them! We love Bill and his three kids Jenny, Will, and Leah!
Also in 2010, my sister Katie graduated from UGA with a Fashion Merchandising degree. She has looked around for jobs in the field, but has decided to go back to school to pursue a Nursing Degree where she thinks her heart really is.
My wonderful Father-in-Law retired from being Deputy Director of JROTC for Atlanta Public Schools in December. He took a part time position with them and is enjoying chauffeuring around all of his grand kids now! Just kidding Pop!
We are now looking forward to Spring and warmer days where we can get outside and breathe the fresh air! Jackson is about to finish up preschool in May and we are planning to begin homeschooling for Pre-K this summer. He turns 4 in April (I'm not gonna cry!) and in July the girls will celebrate their 1st birthday (again, not gonna cry!). Then we are off to the beach with the Torberts. I am hoping to do better at keeping you all up to date on our crazy life with three kids! It has taken me a while to come up for air since having the girls. There have been very challenging times in the past 8 months and many wonderful times as well! God has blessed us so abundantly that we feel so unworthy of his gifts. It is only by His grace that I can even accomplish half of the things He puts in my path! I have learned so much about who God wants me to be through this amazing twins journey, and I still have a long way to go. But I am enjoying the ride so far!!! :)
I know, I know I have taken WAY TOO LONG to update you all on our adventures. Things have just been very hectic and I have been very tired. Getting on the computer in the evenings and uploading photos is last on my priority list these days.
Since I last posted, we have celebrated Jackson's 3rd Birthday. We kept it simple with only family coming to eat finger foods and open presents. Jackson had a blast playing with his cousins and got some great gifts!
We also visited a farm in Cartersville, GA with Jackson's best buddies next door, Carter and Caleb. They all had a good time feeding the camels and chasing the chickens. The parents were more concerned with keeping them away from the electric fence...YIKES! Luckily it was very low voltage so it didn't do anything to Jackson when he decided to disobey and touch it. One of his big gifts this year was his new big boy bicycle! He was so excited when we gave it to him and was riding it like a pro within a week!
Easter this year was nice. We went to church and then down to Barnesville, GA to visit at Nanny's (Andy's grandma). We had some great southern food and then hid some eggs for Jackson to find. Uncle Johnny put some money in some of the eggs to make it even more exciting and Jackson was stuffing the money into his "pockets" as he found the eggs. It was pretty funny! Jackson made out like a bandit with the Easter baskets. Apparently the Easter Bunny not only visited our home, but also both sets of grandparents! We had enough peeps, bunnies, and jelly beans to last us until next Easter!
At the end of April, Andy's mom, my mom, and Andy's Aunt Carol threw me a baby shower! It was so much fun! We played some different games, like diapering a baby doll with a partner and one hand behind your back and musical chairs with TWO baby dolls, (I am having twins after all). The food was awesome and I got the most adorable clothing and gifts! I am still in awe of the generosity of family and friends. I am so blessed! :)
A few weeks later, at the beginning of May, my bible study girls hosted a "Spa Night" for me. Can I just say how fabulous it was? Briahnna was the main host and had the house scented with candles and different stations set up for facials and mani's and pedi's. She had my favorite movie to watch and served me my favorite ice cream (mint chocolate chip in case you were wondering). We put masks on and laid cucumbers on our eyes. They also made "baby friendly" cocktails for us to enjoy and served delicious hors d'oeuvres. Then they had me open the most precious gift, a custom-made necklace with an engraved tree and my family's names around the outside edge. I was so touched and I absolutely LOVE IT!
May 18th marked the end of an era and the beginning of gray hair and wrinkles for my wonderful husband. That's right, he turned the big 3-0!!! He is also reminding me that I also turn 30 at the end of June, so the old man jokes won't be so funny as I begin to hear how old I am! But I am having fun in the meantime. I mean a pregnant gal can only do so much as far as entertainment goes, ya know? Speaking of entertainment, Andy received his birthday gift early this year when I surprised him after a business trip with Beatles Rock Band! Man was that money well spent! We have had a BLAST playing that together in the evenings. And by we I mean Jackson too! In fact, he knows more Beatles songs than I do. And his favorite...Yellow Submarine. It is not uncommon to hear him belting it out as he lays in bed at night. And he has been spotted more than once turning a baseball bat or random stick into a microphone. Yes, we have created a monster. We joke all the time that it would be nice if they would come out with a Christian version of Rock Band so that it might encourage Jackson to sing praise music instead of music written by folks who are, shall we say, sub-conscious at the time the song was written.
Some other things we have done this summer so far is...POTTY TRAINING!!!! That has been quite an experience. Andy and I have both been "hosed" more than once. Ha ha! Jackson is doing pretty good so far. He is not completely potty trained (number two has yet to make it into the potty), but is pretty consistent with number one! He has a treasure box that he gets to pick out a prize for going in the potty and he is cleaning us out! My little man has been quite patient with me and my growing belly through these past months, but it has been a challenge keeping him busy and entertained lately. We have been swimming ALOT! Jackson is taking swimming lessons with daddy on Saturdays (so mommy can sleep-in), and is doing great! He is quite the little fish, (but he calls himself a "diver"). So if you have a pool, and we will find out if you do, be prepared to see our smilin' faces! We are hittin' up everyone we know who has a pool so we can cool off this summer!
Stay tuned for more updates! I don't know if you noticed, but I am about to deliver TWINS in the next month or so. Belly pictures and more info. on that to come!
Andy and I met our freshman year of college and quickly became smitten with each other! Little did we know that 5 years later in 2003, we would get married and embark on a great adventure. We started our family slowly adding our dog Jake soon after we were married and then our other dog Sophie. Our family continued to grow in April 2007 when we welcomed our beautiful son Jackson Thomas into our clan. I love being a wife and mother and feel blessed that Andy allows me to stay home and cherish every minute with our little boy. Although life is stressful, it is also so much fun! To unwind after a long day with a toddler, I love to sew and scrapbook too! Thanks for taking a glimpse into our lives! We hope you will be abundantly blessed this year!