Saturday, March 17, 2012

One Year!

Never thought the day would come when my babies would turn ONE!  They seem so much older now and are definitely quickly moving away from the "baby" phase.  This is such a fun time as we can really see their different personalities forming.  Yes, our hands are full, and yes we are super busy.  But we are loving it!

I love this picture, even though R&R aren't smiling, because I think they look so much alike.  They have the exact same color hair and the exact same blue eyes.

 holding hands for a pic

 The twins love playing together now, and sometimes that means sharing toys.  Well, we are learning all about sharing.  Even if we have 2 of something, they always want what the other one has.  Such is life as a twin....
"Rhys!!!  Give it back!"

But they also play really well together, too.  Here they are being highly entertained by the door stopper.  

taking turns making a funny noise!

Books have become very popular around here.  Of course, they like to take them all out at once!  But that is one thing that I don't mind cleaning up over and over again!  R&R have figured out which books make noise, and sometimes like to push all the buttons at once.

They do play well independently, but it seems like they are really interested in what the other is doing right now.  I brought this Jumper toy downstairs to put in the garage since they haven't really been playing with it, and Rhys decided it was her new favorite toy again.  Rhett just wanted to be a part of the fun, too, so he stayed right beside her the whole time she jumped.

 Once Rhys started really moving, we went ahead and "baby-proofed" the downstairs.  It is still a work in progress as these guys are really good at finding out new ways to get into things, but at least we are slowing them down.  :)

Rhys trying to get through the gate....she loves climbing the stairs!

The twins are so happy in the mornings when they wake up.  We love watching them on the monitor as they sing, talk, and play with their hands, etc. until we go in to get them.  They really love seeing their daddy in the mornings and get some good snuggles in before he leaves for work.  When daddy leaves, there is usually at least one, and sometimes two, sad babies crying next to the front door.

checking out our rose bush early one morning with daddy

I love this picture of my mom with the twins!  I think they look like her, especially Rhys.

Our schedule at 12 months:

7:00 a.m. - Wake and nurse
8:00 - Breakfast
9:00 - Nap
11:00 - Wake and nurse
12:00 - Lunch
1:30 - Nap
3:30 - Wake and nurse
5:15 - Dinner
6:00 - Baths
6:30/7:00 - Nurse and in bed

Yes, we are still nursing at 12 months.  I had originally thought they would be fully weaned by their first birthday but we are just starting.  Our pediatrician wanted us to wait until after their well baby check to discuss their growth, weights, and then begin the weaning process.  Our plan is to drop one feeding at a time over the next few weeks.

The twins are great eaters!  Favorite foods right now are black beans, mango, peas, and cheese.  Rhett is not a big breakfast eater, but makes up for it later in the day.  Rhys eats more at breakfast than she does the rest of the day.  :)  The twins are feeding themselves all finger foods.  The only thing I feed them is yogurt, oatmeal, soups, etc. (things that need to be eaten with a spoon)

A little about Rhys:
*19 lbs, 15 oz. (31%)
*28.25 inches (23%)
*9-12 month clothing
*size 3 shoe
*size 4 diaper
*has only 2 teeth (bottom middle)
*pulling to stand and cruises along furniture
*says "mama" and "dada"
*loves music
*enjoys  taking things "out" of a box, bag, etc.
*favorite activity is playing with tupperware in the kitchen
*thinks it is funny when she sneezes, but gets scared and cries when other people sneeze
*still sucks her thumb and seems to do it more regularly now (she used to only suck her thumb when she was tired or going to sleep)

big girl standing up

getting in mommy's cabinets

pretending to drink from an empty cup

 loves drinking from a straw cup!

one of her favorite toys

let me organize this for you, mom!

I see you...

I love my swing!


waiting for daddy to come home

 big girl pulling up on the ottoman

A little about our sweet Rhett:
*22 lbs, 2 oz. (40%)
*29.25 inches (32%)
*12 month clothing
*size 4 shoe
*size 4 diaper
*has 8 teeth (4 top and 4 bottom)
*just started pulling up to knees
*says "mama" and "dada"
*favorite toy is any kind of car or truck that he can push around
*is very silly and laughs LOUD
*loves to be scared, chased, and tickled
*would stay in the bathtub all day if we would let him
*loves being outside
*has physical therapy once a week and occupational therapy once a week.....getting stronger!

big smile!

having fun swinging!

 love those big, blue eyes

 look at me on my knees!

 love my cars

 what can I find in here?

 let me turn this tv on for you

The past year has been nothing short of amazing.  We love you, Rhett & Rhys!

Friday, March 9, 2012

There's Good News and There's Bad News...

So, what do you want first?  The good news or the bad news?

Oh, you want the bad news first so that you can get it over with and then focus on the good news?

That's what I thought you would say.  See, this is why we are friends.  I like your optimism.  We'll start with the bad news...

BAD:  Rhett has to get a THIRD helmet.
GOOD:  His head shape has changed so much over the past several months.  Here are some comparison photos. (I couldn't get the PDF to upload, so I took a screen shot with my phone...not the best pics, but at least you can see the changes)

The percentage of kids with plagiocephaly and torticollis who have to get a second helmet is less than 20%.  The percentage of kids that get a third helmet is so low that they don't even have a count.  It is probably less than 1%.  I have to remind myself often that Rhett's head shape was in the "severe" category when we started this journey and it is now in the "moderate" category.  He will more than likely never get out of the moderate category, but the third helmet will continue (hopefully) to help shape that little noggin.

BAD:  I have to drive to Austin every other week for 3-4 more months.  Not just drive to Austin, but drive home too.  With twins.  In car seats.  All day.  Not fun at all!
GOOD:  I have a new, reliable, safe, nice vehicle to travel in.
BONUS GOOD:  I get to see my sweet sister and have lunch with her most trips....a breath of fresh air!

BAD:  Rhett's head stinks so bad at the end of the day.
GOOD:  I am mostly used to it since it smells just like Tim's dirty socks that I launder weekly.  Oh, and I discovered that setting it out in the sun for a few minutes each day really helps with the smell.

BAD:  We have to leave the helmet on 23 hours a day.
GOOD:  I don't worry so much about him bumping into things around the house.

BAD:  Rhett's head will never be perfectly round.
GOOD:  We don't care!  We love that boy and his crazy head!

BAD:  We get all kinds of looks when we are out in public.
GOOD:  We can decorate Rhett's helmet (and decorate it CUTE) and help educate the nosey public about plagiocephaly.  :)

Speaking of decorating....I never did post the pics from Rhett's 2nd band.  He got this band right before Thanksgiving, and we waited until after Christmas to decorate it.  Tim designed Rhett's new look, and our friend Coree at created the stickers for us.  We love how it turned out!

BAD:  I sometimes forget he is wearing his helmet and go to kiss his sweet little head....and get a mouth full of plastic instead.
GOOD:  I am thankful that I have that little head to kiss.  Plastic and all.

Yes, we are choosing to focus on the positive.  But I will admit that this journey has not been easy.  Honestly, I was really bummed out when we found out that we were going to have to continue with treatment.  I had been counting down the weeks and trips to Austin since I thought we were almost finished.  Since Rhett is older, his growth has slowed down, and there is no guarantee that we will see any more change in his head shape.  We struggled with the decision on whether or not to continue on.  Should we pay for another helmet, make the long trips to Austin, worry with the cleaning and care, etc. with the chance that it might not work?  Being a parent is hard sometimes, isn't it?  We did decide that we don't want to have any regrets, and of course want to do what is best for Rhett.  I know this is harder on us than it is on him.

Our visit with the neurologist this past month also confirmed that Rhett's torticollis, and consequently the plagiocephaly, was caused by his position in the womb.  The neurologist discussed with us that Rhett was basically stuck in one position and did not do a lot of moving around like Rhys was able to do.  Because of this, his neck muscles are still tight and will require therapy for many months to come.  A helmet protects the shape of his head while we continue to work on the torticollis.

So that is where we are right now.  Still in the helmet.  Still in therapy.  And still blessed.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Where I Belong

I'm missing my daddy today.

My heart aches at all the things I wish I could tell know, like the fact that Rhys stood up today without holding on to anything before plopping down on her diaper....Or that Rhett got stuck under the table when he was looking for his ball....Or that I am reading a really challenging spiritual book right now.  

I want to ask him for advice.  He always did have the best advice.  Not judgmental, and not pushy.  A good listener with experience and solid, Godly advice.  A wise man, indeed.

My heart yearns to sit and watch old Seinfeld episodes with him.  To hear him laugh at the same old jokes.  Jimmy loved him some Seinfeld!

I wish we could have run just one more race together.  Maybe another half marathon or even a full.  And with this would come eating a meal of pasta together the night before.  And having a peanut butter Clif bar together for breakfast the morning of the race.

I miss him.

Today my daddy's headstone was delivered to the cemetery in Brenham.  I could not be there, but my mom sent me a picture.

Isn't it beautiful?

Today I was reminded that this earth is not my home.  It is not where I belong.  

"But our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."  --Philippians 3:20-21

This song by Building 429 came to mind.  You can listen by clicking the "play" button in the center of the picture.

Here are the lyrics to the song:
Sometimes it feels like I'm watching 
From the outside 
Sometimes it feels like I'm breathing 
But am I alive?
I will keep searching for answers 
That aren't here to find

All I know is I'm not home yet 
This is not where I belong 
Take this world and give me Jesus 
This is not where I belong

So when the walls come falling down on me 
And when I'm lost in the current of a raging sea 
I have this blessed assurance holding me.


When the earth shakes 
I wanna be found in You 
When the lights fade 
I wanna be found in You

I am so thankful for the hope that I have in Jesus.  This is world is not my home.  I do not belong here.  And one sweet day I will be reunited with my daddy.  And this is good news.