The twins’ 4th birthday!

This past weekend, we made a trip across the state (literally) to spend some time with the precious grand twins. Hard to believe those two have turned FOUR already!  They are cute, smart, loving, lively, articulate, and oh-so-huggable! I think this is such a special age because they are still at the point where it’s really exciting for them to have grandparents come visit. Actually, I hope that never changes, but…. in all likelihood, it will.  So for now, I’m cherishing the fun times we have together.  This year was not a kids party, it was just all the grandparents getting together to wish the twins a happy day – and shower them with love, attention, and gifts, of course. Unfortunately, little Jake was running a fever that day and not feeling well at all.  He wasn’t as perky as usual, so if he looks a little tired, he was. I didn’t take many photos as I forgot my camera, and I’m not thrilled with the quality of pics that my phone takes.  Here are a few.

Happy BIrthday to Jake and Katelyn!!

Happy Birthday to Jake and Katelyn!!

 

Blow out those candles!

Blow out those candles!

 

"Is it your birthday today, Katie?"

“Is it your birthday today, Katie?”

 

Grammie Suz and Katelyn!

Grammie Suz and Katelyn!

 

We had a lovely visit with the twins, their parents, the other grandparents, as well as my brother, “Uncle Brian”.

On another note, our cat Jinx has been dealing with some health issues lately. He was recently diagnosed with IBD, “Inflammatory Bowel Disease”.  He was prescribed an antibiotic pill and a steroid liquid. First, let me say that I think he’s doing better.  We’ll know for sure next week when he goes in for a weight check – we hope he will have gained up from his meager 7 pounds.  Giving him the pill has been a total nightmare. We have tried nearly every method to get him to take the pills – from pill pockets, to hiding it in food, wrapping it in cheese, and just prying his mouth open and shoving it in.  Sometimes we are successful, but much of the time – not so much.  The liquid seems to go in easier and the steroid seems to have helped the inflammation in his gut.  One thing we are supposed to do is put him on a “hypoallergenic” diet. He will eat the special dry food, but NO WAY will he consume the prescription canned food. Today I got out my meat grinder attachment and ground him some cooked chicken thighs. He seems to really like it. I may be making more cat food in the future!

catfood

I made enough to freeze six zip-lock bags for future use. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to grind the chicken… I’ve had this attachment for literally years, and this was the first time I tried it!  Here’s hoping our Mr Jinx is up a few ounces – or even a pound – on his next vet visit.  🙂

* For all of you cat food purists out there – this ground chicken is just a supplement to his regular food. I realize it is NOT a complete food, with all nutrients necessary for cat health.  Someday I may buy the powdered nutrients that one adds to meat, to make homemade food into a complete cat food.

 

Snowflake Embryo Grandbabies

This week I’m linking up with one of my favorite blogs, Kelly’s Korner.   Her “Show us Your Life” Friday feature is for grandmothers 🙂  It was almost exactly one year ago that I became the grandmother of twins -long awaited, much loved and prayed for, special little people.  For several years, my son and dear daughter in law tried on their own, and also through fertility treatments, to have a baby.  They were finally told that it would take IVF (in vitro fertilization) for their wish for a baby to come true.  Son and dear DIL prayed long and hard about what to do…. and then one day they learned about embryo adoption.  It was truly an answer to prayer.  This was perfect for them!  It was not only less expensive than IVF, it would possibly give a chance at life to a frozen embryo (which we personally believe to be a little person).  Families who do IVF, sometimes have left over frozen embryos that they do not want or cannot use themselves and they may  have an option to put their “left over” embryos up for adoption.  Our embryos came to us through a Christian embryo adoption agency.  It is much like adopting a baby… you have a caseworker, fill out lots of paperwork, pass thorough background checks, have a parenting plan, and then you get “matched” to a family.  To make a long story short, the first try at transferring the frozen embryos was unsuccessful.  A few months later, another attempt was made and this time, everything was just right.  We rejoiced to learn that dear DIL was indeed pregnant.  We rejoiced even more a few weeks later when we learned -via ultrasound- that twins were on the way!  Here are a few photos…

twins at 9 weeks!

Isn’t it amazing to see both our babies at only 7 weeks along?

Then we watched dear DIL “blossom” as well….

20 weeks 28 weeks 33 weeks

The pregnancy didn’t exactly sail along in smooth waters…  at 26 weeks, dear DIL had to be admitted to the hospital for pre term labor.  She spent approx 6 weeks in the hospital on strict bed rest and then two weeks at home – also on strict bed rest.  Then…. when she was 33 weeks and 2 days, her water broke.  We knew the babies were coming early, but we were also so thankful that she had been able to keep them safely inside for 33+ weeks.  Let me insert here that I’ve been a neonatal nurse for over 30 years, and in my heart I knew that there could be ALL SORTS of complications  with babies born even 7 weeks early.  Thankfully, the twins had a typical and normal course in the NICU.

Jake and Katie 6 days old

Here they are, Jake and Katelyn, 6 days old.  They were both around 4 pounds and 6 ounces at birth, Jake being a few ounces bigger than his sister.   You can see they have feeding tubes in.  Premature babies need to mature before they can take all their feeds on their own, so this is very typical.

SAMSUNG SAMSUNG

Here they are, sleeping in their isolettes.

first week at home 022After about 3 weeks, we had our precious twins at home.  Grammie Suz went to spend a couple weeks with the new family – precious days that will never be forgotten.  Our babies thrived and grew and grew!  Even though they were preemies, they learned quickly how much they loved to nurse.  No, I won’t be posting a photo of that!  But it was impressive, how quickly they caught on and went from all bottles (and dear DIL so busy, pumping, pumping, pumping) to simply nursing and loving it.

2012-07-11_08-27-30_319Here they are at about 3 1/2 months old… growing and getting cuter by the day!

grammie and katelyn jake and grammieThen one day last summer, the twins (and their parents) came to Grammies house to visit.  What fun!!

Twins 8 moHere our happy babies are at about 8 months.  Absolutely precious!

Katelyn Jan 16Here she is, a couple of months ago, so proud of her new found skill – standing!!

jake standing1Here is our big boy, standing up and very pleased with himself!

In about two weeks, we’ll celebrate their 1st birthday.  On that day we’ll send up special prayers to thank God for bringing these special, darling, and oh-so-loved babies into our lives.  🙂  I can’t say enough wonderful things about embryo adoption.  What a wonderful answer to many prayers!

The twins arrived…. and I’ve been so bad at blogging!

Our twins were born on March 20th, just about 7 weeks prior to their due date.  Thanks be to God that they were both born healthy – with no real medical issues, other than being small.  Each weighed just a bit over 4 pounds.  They spent about 3 weeks in the hospital.  The day after Easter, it was time to come home!  Here are the happy parents about to take those precious babies home.  Suddenly their family grew from two to four!

Here is our new family, headed into their home together for the first time. Something they had hoped and dreamed and prayed for, for a long long time.

I was very lucky to be able to get some time off work to help out with the twins when they came home from the hospital.  We parked the “Granny Express” (AKA our Motorhome) in the driveway, which worked out great.  I had a place to escape to at night time!  Yep, Grammie loves to help out, but she determined she was just TOO OLD to be up during the night for feedings.

Here are Jake and Katelyn, right after they arrived home.  He looks so much bigger than her in this photo.  He IS a bit bigger, but not as drastic as it appears here.

I call this photo “keepin’ it real”… as we were so busy those first few days!  Not only were we busy, but the new parents were adjusting to life without much sleep.  Ahhhh yes, a fact of real life, especially when there are TWO babies in the house!   Now that the kids have been home for almost 3 weeks, I think mom and dad have figured out a system.  Not sure what it is, but it sounds like they are doing a little more sleeping than they did at first.  Which is a GOOD thing!

We didn’t seem to put them together all that often, but this day we popped them both into the same bassinet for a little while.  Gotta love these little darlin’s.

One afternoon, little Jake was wide awake and wanted to visit.  I took advantage of his alert state and snapped this adorable shot.

Here’s a cute one of little sister too.  I think she may be waving “hello” to everyone 🙂

I am hoping to get back over to see the rapidly growing twins sometime in the month of May.  I have this funny feeling these babies are going to grow up waaAAAyyy too fast!