Friday, October 26, 2007

Fun Times, Good Friends

Luckily before the boys got sick we were able to visit with some friends. We had to cancel Disneyland twice with our friends the Webbs:( We're sad we never made it to hang out with you guys and the kiddos.

Thursday morning the boys and I headed to one of our favorite breakfast spots (well, besides Chick-fil-A)...Panera Bread:) YUM! If you've never hit them up for breakfast before, you sure are missing out. The various egg souffles are to die for. One of our favorites is the spinach and bacon...mmmm. Of course the bagels are great too. The boys however are partial to the chocolate chip cookies, yes even for breakfast! The only thing missing from this gathering this Thursday morning was Heather :( They had just moved to GA on Monday...we barely missed her.

I still remember and am very thankful for the early mornings Jamie and Heather would meet me for breakfast while the boys were just babies. I would show up tired and run down, thinking there was no end in site. They would take over and love on the boys while I ate, and cried, and realized how very thankful I was for their support and encouragement. There were many mornings the summer and fall of '05 spent this way. I will always cherish this time with them. They were a great source of encouragement and love. They helped pull me out of my tunnel. Thanks for the memories girls!

Back row: Summer, me, Tammy (Ethan's mommy)
Front row: Jamie, Parker, Ethan, Peyton

Eating breakfast with my very good friends and twin support crew. Girls, I couldn't be where I am today as a mom if it weren't for each of you! They wrapped Chris, I and the boys in love and gifts as we muddled our way through many tough times. They were there for the new store, the early birth of the boys, the slow summer of sales at the store, our marriage counseling, and sending us off to the other coast. We can never fully thank them enough. I can not count the hours they spent watching our boys...often over night, cleaning our house, and bringing us food. We are blessed.

I still remember the nights Summer and Neal would load up in the van with Chris, I and the boys and we would head to Sonic...The things you look for that remind you of home. They were from Alabama and craved Sonic just like we did. Clearly we were not going to find any real Bar B a Sonic slush was the next best thing. We would drive 40 minutes to the only Sonic around. No one appreciated it like they did!

Friday night the boys and I made it back to our old neighborhood to visit with our friends who lived several doors down from us. When we left CA, Rory was just a baby. Now she is One! What a cutie and so social:) Thanks for letting us stop by Ryan and Sarah. Sorry we had to cancel on you Saturday night... I'm glad we didn't share our germs!

"Baby" Rory

Sarah and Rory

Ryan, Sarah and Rory

We owe them countless hours of babysitting! A few overnights too!

Uh Oh, the Parker scowl....easy boy, she was just trying to love on you!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ribbons and Bows

I think their faces say it all. They are a little less than thrilled! Peyton is looking to Parker as if to say "Is she for real about this?". Parker is thinking "I'm afraid so brough". Every time you ask them if they want a brother or sister you usually get a big NO! Occasionally you will get "sister"...well that's a good thing cause that is what were having!

Aren't the boys outfits just lovely? It's Monday, It's raining, the boys are sick and Chris is out of town... this is about as close as it got to getting dressed today:)

After coloring in the sign so you could read it better, Parker decided he had had enough.

Peyton's thoughts on our news:)

OK. For those of you interested (mainly family) here are some 20 weeks pics. We've been slack up until this point and these are the first pictures this pregnancy. Wish I could find my 20 week pics with the boys. I think my mom has them on her computer and I will have to get them. I started out showing much earlier this time around...11 weeks and was looking bigger than with the boys up until around 18 weeks. Now I think I am a bit smaller (shew) at this point than with the boys. We shall see how it ends up!

A kiss for sister (a zerbert really, they think it is hilarious!)

Above are my first ultra sound pics of the boys, at 10 1/2 weeks. The one on top is before they found #2. You can see #2's foot to the right but in the pic the Dr. kept you can only see one baby. In the bottom pic you can clearly see the two babies! But, you can also see in the upper right hand corner where they originally labeled the ultra sound "single".

Above is still one of my favorite shots of the boys! This one was at 12 1/2 weeks.

Our newest little bean at 8 weeks...clearly there is only one! Trust me...3 ultrasounds later and there is just one!

Clearly you can see we were having two boys in these pics. No doubt about it!

And what, you may ask, do you see when you are having a girl? 3 glowing lines of course! Clearly there is no "knob" here. Though I am still waiting for a phone call telling me they got it wrong after all:) It's just "too good to be true"!

Now for the 3 profile shots. Of course the boys look similar...but she has the same nose as the boys! That came from me (Martha). You can also see how much bigger she is at 20 one is stealing her food! The boys shared a placenta so they've been hording their food since day one:) Poor things have always had to share everything. The pic on top is Parker and the pic on the bottom is Peyton.

Only time will tell who she looks like. She already is much more active than the boys...I'm guessing because she has more room to roam!

I can't wait to dress her in all those cute smocked dresses and little outfits. To pull her hair up in pigtails and bows:) I'm so excited it's a girl because I most likely only have one summer left to dress the boys in the Jon Jon's and smocked outfits. Chris has been gracious so far. It's a good thing my mom can sew and smock...those outfits cost a fortune! Plus she will have "one of a kind":) My mom has already pulled out my dressed she smocked and even a dress my grandfather wore. So much fun!

Our first stop...the Beach!

So now that we have landed, retrieved our luggage and loaded our rental car...where do we head first? The beach of course! We thought we would give the boys a chance to run around after being couped up all morning. They were doing amazingly well considering it was past lunch time and nap time on the East coast. We headed to one of our favorite beach spots, Huntington Beach. I am sure the boys do not remember any of their other trips here. We visited this same spot the day before the moving people loaded up our house on the truck. Oh, the memories!

Chris and Peyton checking things out.
Parker: "I spy...a truck!"
Parker finding his shadow for the first time
It does just what I do! He amused himself for the longest time:)
Mommy and Parker walking away from the sea gulls...they were terrified of the birds! As usual the water was FREEZING! The boys were not pleased with that. I don't think I ever made it very far in the water the entire 3 years we were there. I quickly learned why most of the surfers wear wet suits.

The highlight of the boys morning at the beach? The firetruck of course!

As we were leaving to go get some food...lights, sirens...a FIRETRUCK! The boys were delighted, and it was coming right their way. In less than 5 minutes they saw a firetruck, police car and an ambulance! What a dream.

The highlight of Mommy and Daddy's day? Lunch at Fred's! Our favorite Mexican restaurant at Huntington Beach. Not to mention a great view of the ocean. The chips and salsa are yummy and the fish and shrimp tacos.....oh they are soooo GOOD!
Shrimp tacos while in CA...check
Huntington Beach trip...check
Sunny perfect weather...check
The boys were delighted that Luke had his very own train track to play with! They spent many a mornings and nights right here. Luke was so wonderful at sharing his toys with the boys. They invaded his space, played with his things and claimed his cars and trucks as their own! Thanks Luke for being so sweet with your toys.
We finally made our way to our friends house in Riverside. Thankfully traffic on The 91 was not too bad. It can be a bear and you just never know what you are going to get. And yes, they call their freeways and interstates out there "the". Here in GA it would be The 85 or The funny but we got used to it and it was hard to revert back to I 85.
We were at their house less than 5 minutes when we heard an all to familiar sound...and then felt it! Yep...a shaker:) It was a good one too. Loud and long enough to grab your attention. We were outside in their driveway...the boys just looked at us like, "what was that" and then started laughing. Yes, you really do hear them coming before you feel the ground/house shake. It is really weird and erry. It sounds like a big truck rumbling down the road...then the ground when it last for just a short time:)
Earthquake while in CA...check

and We're Off!

Despite how our trip ended, we really did have a wonderful time. It started early Tuesday morning the 25th of September at the ATL airport. Wow, soooo different flying with the boys now than it was a year ago....Maybe we weren't quite as prepared as we hoped. Can you ever be with 2 two years olds?
Our luggage for the week...4 suitcases, 3 overstuffed carry on bags, 2 car seats and one double stroller...not too bad?
The boys were entertained by watching the airport buses and planes take off as we did curb side check in. Yes, it was very worth the tip to check our bags here and not have to lug them inside and then to security.
Clearly a great idea at an airport terminal. We found this fun play area across from our gate:)
A snack and more bus and plane watching before boarding the plane
Daddy and Parker playing cars during the flight. I thought it would be a great idea to have some new cars for them in their bags....until they would drop them and roll to the seats behind us with a sleeping traveler:(
Peyton listening to his earphones as we tried to convince him that watching the movie "Cars" on a plane was as much fun as it is in the car...Not on his life! We thought we were going to have it made...movies on a plane: The Wiggles, Cars, Thomas, Bob. Nope, too much new stuff to see and explore. Thankfully the plane was half empty and we had 6 seats to ourselves!
Parker making his artwork display for a spot on LA out Carlos, you've got some competition. Maybe Hannah does animals too?
FINALLY! Some peace and quiet:) We brought the car seats on thinking we could keep them contained better...nope, they are now tall enough to annoyingly kick the seats in front of much fun.

I was never so glad to be on the ground as I was when we got to Orange County, CA! Next on my list...trying to convince our friends to adopt two really cute two years olds. Clearly I was NOT going to fly with them again. I guess this meant we were staying in CA...careful what you wish for!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Out with a bang!

Just a quick post to update everyone on our absence. Sorry I have no pictures to post. Chris has the camera with him. We have been in California since last Tuesday (9/28). Chris was out here working and the boys and I tagged along to play with our friends. Our travel plans included hanging out with friends, eating yummy So Cal food, visiting with Mickey at Disneyland and returning to GA this past Monday the 1st. We did many of the above but as usual when traveling with children, flexibility is the name of the game. Be careful what you wish for...we both were saying how we never feel like we have enough time to make all our rounds and have quality time with everyone. "It would be nice to have a few more days...". Needless to say we ended our trip with a bang!

We planned on seeing Mickey and friends last Wednesday. Nope...the boys were much too out of sorts to see Mickey on Wednesday as they were still on East Coast time and ready for bed at 5! Thus we moved our visit with Mickey to Sunday. We had dinner plans with friends on Saturday night but again...nothing is as planned with kids. Peyton woke up from his nap with a 102 temp and there went our plans. This was the beginning of it all:(

By Sunday am Parker had a fever. That night Peyton had a croupy cough and was wheezing while running around outside. To make a very looong story short. Both boys ended up with croup and for some reason it hit Peyton really hard. 3:30 am Monday I took Peyton to the closest ER to where we were staying. His breathing was awful. He had stridor so bad it woke me up. They gave him 4 breathing treatments in the ER, a shot of steroids and a dose of antibiotics just in case it was a bacterial infection in his neck. Needless to say none of it was helping and by lunch time the transport team from Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) was there to pick him up and take him back to CHOC. I was never so glad to see a team of nurses and respiratory therapist whisk my son away in an ambulance. It's really too bad he was too sick to enjoy the ride. Parker however was thrilled to see the ambulance up close but got a bit concerned when they put "brough" inside. CHOC is where I worked in the Peds Intensive Care Unit (PICU)/ Peds Cardiovascular ICU for the 3 years we lived here. I knew he was in good hands as I had worked with the people on the transport team.

He had a rough night on the general peds floor and by Tuesday am they moved him to the PICU to treat him more aggressively and watch him closer. Thankfully the big dose of steroids they gave him kicked in and he made a 180 degree turn around.

Parker in the mean time was home with a 104 temp and stridor too. Thankfully it never affected his breathing like it did Peyton. Our old pediatrician here saw Peyton in the hospital and Parker in his office. He gave me some oral steroids to give Parker to get us through the night in hopes he would not end up like Peyton. It worked like a charm!

The team at CHOC took great care of Peyton. I could not have asked for better care. It was such a blessing we were in a place where I knew his health care team. I didn't worry for a minute when he went to PICU b/c those Dr's, nurses and RT's I worked with are wonderful. It was nice to not have that added stress. Yes, it would have been more convenient to have been in GA and at home...but knowing the people at the hospital caring for him made this bearable.

Peyton left the hospital today (Wed 3rd) and is doing MUCH better. He is wiped out and very tired but holding his own. Chris and Parker were finally able to fly home today and Peyton and I are scheduled to fly out tomorrow (4th). It is going to be WONDERFUL to be home and in our own beds! I can't wait to have my pillow back:)

We have coveted many of your prayers. Our So Cal family has taken great care of us. I am so thankful we were spending time there and not on some random family vacation on our own. Brad and Kim so graciously had us with them for our planned stay and of course continued to host us after our trip was delayed. I think they are going to put a huge bubble over their house and fumigate the place. In the time we were there we had 4 kids all under the age of 3... three of which had times! Hey, misery loves company right?

I will post pics from our trip sometime next week when we get settled back into a routine. Having the kids give up goldfish and chocolate pudding for 3 meals a day is going to be rough. At least they have been drinking their milk right?

I think it would have been cheaper to go to Disneyland after all this. Forget saving for college. We are going to have to put a "sick" fund aside. It seems when our boys get sick they do it full out:) We are taking bets on how much the ambulance ride set us back. Any takers?

It could be something much worse. Thankfully it was only croup and he will have no lasting effects. I think he was the healthiest kid in the 24 bed PICU. It was great catching up with my old colleges...just not the way I expected.

So...this very long story to say "See ya real soon"! God has blessed us in many ways this extended trip and provided for all our needs. We are ever so thankful to our friends in CA and forever indebted to Brad and Kim. They have stepped up to the plate more times than we can count. This makes the 3rd time we have "lived" with them. They take in our boys like they are their own. Friends are so valuable and treasured in life. God has truly blessed us with wonderful friends everywhere we have lived. No place more evident and needed than the 3 years we lived in Southern California.

Counting our blessings,

Chris, Martha, Peyton, Parker...and baby Darley