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.

 

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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!

Time for a big change

I have a funny feeling that our lives are about to make a big change.  It looks like the long awaited twins will be arriving sooner rather than later.  Possibly as soon as next week.  The huge worries about their health and well being, while not totally gone, are much eased.  The doctors  guess that the twins are approximately 4 1/2 pounds each.  Considering where they were back on January 13th, that scary Friday the 13th when dear DIL had to be transported via ambulance at 24 weeks to a Seattle hospital, we now have a couple of “big babies” on our hands!  There was one thing I decided NOT to mention to my son and DIL at that very scary time.  Someone at my hospital gave birth to 24 week twins that same weekend.  One died the next day, and I’m not sure if the other one survived or not.  By the grace of God, we did NOT have twins that weekend.

Now we approach the time when two new little people will enter the family.  Other than by marriage, we haven’t added anyone to my side of the family in 33 years!  It’s about time!! 🙂  I remember when I had my first baby.  Life was suddenly different, never to be the same again.  Now it’s my turn to sit back and watch it all happen.  It’s wonderful, exciting, tiring, miraculous, precious, exhausting, and unforgettable.  We’ve heard the term “the new normal” bantered about quite a lot these days…. in reference to monetary things.  Well, my son and DIL are about to slip into their own “new normal” –  which, lets be honest, equals CHAOS!  You will think you are the ONLY people awake in the middle of the night feeding two little babies.  You will shocked at all the diapers you’ll go through.  There will be times you will think… or say out loud…”I can’t believe ALL THIS came out of one tiny baby!!” You will be amazed at the amount of laundry two infants can make.  You will be surprised at how the days and nights fly by, with thoughts only of “the babies”.  Sometimes new daddies get pretty darn jealous of all the time the baby(ies) take from them.  Mommy’s focus must change somewhat, while the babies are little. New parents now have to face huge new responsibilities.  No longer is is just the two of you you’re looking out for.  It’s all a period of adjustment.  We’ve all been through it, and survived it… but it’s not too surprising that new parenthood can feel very overwhelming at times.  It’s also fun, and exciting, and terribly rewarding.  You are about to embark on a huge new journey… one that – contrary to popular belief – doesn’t end in 18 years.  Once you’re a parent, it never stops.  They’re always your kids.  No matter how old, no matter how far away they live.  This, my dears, is a journey for life…a journey you are blessed to be able to take.

A crazy week… in many ways….

I thought by now I’d have my first book review posted for the year, but it sort of slipped to the back burner this week.  A week ago today, I was attending an mandatory meeting at work and got a call from Son #2.  Dear DIL was (unbeknownst to all) having premature labor!  At 24 weeks, we knew this was not a good thing… to say the least.  I truly believe it was God’s hand that allowed dear DIL to have an appointment last Friday morning with a high risk OB specialist MD who had come to their community from Seattle.  He noted immediately that she was in early labor and that action needed to be taken – now.  I can only imagine how frightening this must have been for both my son and DDIL.  She was quickly transferred to an ambulance and taken to a hospital in Seattle, where I can guarantee you, they know how to handle premature labor!  After many tests and examinations, as well as an IV with MagSulfate, her contractions slowed, her cervix closed, and the bag of water from baby “A” which had been bulging – disappeared back to where it belonged!  Oh, the prayers that were sent up for these precious babies!!  And the joy that God heard and answered our prayers!!   Looks like our little momma will be hangin’ out with the folks in the big-city hospital for another 5 weeks or thereabouts.  I know it will be boring, but I also know it’s the best place for her to just rest and gestate!  Here is a photo taken early this week… of course AT the hospital.

Another development this week was the announcement of our babies names!  Now we know we’ll soon be meeting (well, not TOO soon!) Jacob Thomas (“Jake”) and Katelyn Macy.  🙂  🙂  When the parents-to-be asked me for input on baby names, I pretty much refused to give any.  All I said was… “don’t pick anything too weird and please, whatever you do, don’t name your little girl Bertha”.  My granny was named Bertha, and I loved her dearly, but I can’t say I was too fond of her name.

Also, this week we had some perfectly HORRIBLE weather.  All the predictions for snow came true, plus more.  It was all bad enough to keep us from making our flight down to Palm Springs this week.  What a disappointment, but what can you do?  Wait for it to melt and reschedule, I guess.  That’s what we did today!  Here’s a huge shout-out to Allegiant Airlines for refunding our money for the flight we were completely unable to make!  We will be going down next week to put the finishing touches on the vacation rental home… and, it looks like we have our first serious renter lined up for several weeks in February.  YAHOO!

Be watching for an update next week from our sunny place in the California desert!

Hello 2012!

It’s only taken me 12 days, but here I am, ready for my first blog post of the year.  At the end of last year, I stated that I’d be reviewing books under the tab of “Books 2012” as I’ve done in the past.   You may have noticed that the tab, “Books 2012” has disappeared.  Yep, I’ve changed my mind.  It’s all for a good reason – I’m participating in the Historical Fiction Challenge 2012 and as a participant, I need to leave links to my book reviews.  If I post all my reviews on the separate page, then every review will have the same link, and people would have to scroll through them all, each time.  So, it’s back to reviews in the body of the blog, where each posting has it’s own link.

Our Vacation Rental Home in Indian Palms Country Club

It’s been a hauntingly mild winter here so far…. but I’m afraid that’s all about to change.  “They” are predicting snow for this weekend and much of next week.  I used to love snow.  Now I hate it with a passion.  It’s all because of that nasty 88 mile drive I make weekly into Seattle for work.  Since I have no control whatsoever over the weather, I’ll just have to wait and see what happens.   On another note, next week we are headed to the Palm Springs California area, to work on getting our vacation/rental home ready for use!  I checked the weather forecast for that area, and YAY!  It’s supposed to be sunny and in the 70’s the entire time we are there.  Honestly, that place is heaven-on-earth this time of year. Recently, hubby pretty much finished and then published the website for our vacation rental home.  There are still some tweaks to be made and additional pictures to be added, but do feel free to check it out at:  MountainVistaPalmSprings.com

I also have an update regarding our twins.  Yesterday dear DIL went to the OB doc and was told it was time for her to quit work and be horizontal more than she is vertical.  They are not actually calling it “bedrest” yet, but her activities must be very limited.  She has another appointment on Friday with a “high-risk” OB specialist, so we’ll know more then.  We would sure appreciate prayers for both mommy and babies and for a safe delivery.  Here is last week’s baby bump photo.

It’s amazing how much we already love these babies that we haven’t even met yet.

On a completely different note, let’s talk about the football playoffs!  Okay, my team (Seahawks) didn’t make the playoffs – no surprise.  Normally I have little interest in the post season, until the SuperBowl happens…. but this year — well folks, there’s a phenomenon happening.  He’s called Tim Tebow.  I love this guy!  He’s young, he’s fit, he’s the quarterback for the Denver Broncos (a team I used to love to hate).  He’s not the best quarterback in the league, but he is doing his best to lead the team in his 2nd season.  He is very open about his faith in God, and frankly, it’s refreshing to see a successful young guy who is not afraid to tell the world where he gets his strength.  We’ll be watching Saturday night as Denver takes on New England for the next round of the playoffs.

Soon, I’ll be posting my first book review of the year!  More updates on our twins as they happen!

Books and babies

Here we are, nearly done with 2011.  Amazing.  I could write a novel about this past year, but I’ll spare my readers the ramblings – and cut to the chase!  By now you all know that Son #2 and Dear DIL are expecting twins, through the miracle and generosity of embryo adoption. Here are the two most recent baby bump photos:

Yesterday we found out the gender of the babies.  I was overjoyed to learn that we are having……. ONE OF EACH!  A boy AND a girl!!  Awesome!  Brilliant!  Can you tell I’m ecstatic?  Shoot, I would have been happy with two girls or two boys… but there is just something particularly lovely about having one of each.  We are all smiles here, that’s for sure.  And grateful.  And thankful.

Now for my end of year book reviews.  They will be short, they will be sweet.  Maybe not so sweet.  Here are the three books I finished recently:

This was the fourth or possibly the fifth in the “Irish Country Doctor” series by Patrick Taylor.  I have thoroughly enjoyed EVERY SINGLE ONE of these books.  I have listened to EVERY SINGLE ONE on CD and absolutely adore the reader/narrator.  This volume actually got specific in describing a few medical situations and of course I ate that stuff up.  Non-medical people might not be as thrilled as I was to read all those details.  I splurged and pre-ordered this one from Amazon.com.  Sure hope that the author, Dr Patrick Taylor (who now lives in Canada) will be coming out with another one VERY soon!

The Winthrop Woman, by Anya Seton… my first book by this beloved historical author.  This novel was written in the mid 1950’s and is set in both England and the New England (American) Colonies in the early 1600’s.  I enjoyed it very much, although it took me nearly forever to finish it.  I don’t often read books of this era, so a lot of the events and circumstances were fairly new to me.  Ahhhh, another reason I DO love reading historical books — I learn so much from them!  Okay, I said I’d keep this section “short and sweet”, so let’s move on to my final novel of the year….

Say When, by Elizabeth Berg.  Oh good heavens…. when will I learn?  I have read at least 3 Berg novels this year and none impressed me.  I guess I keep remembering some of her previous books that really WERE excellent.  Well, this one wasn’t.  I still do not understand the fantastic ratings most of her books receive on Amazon.  Maybe the women who read them and truly love them are lacking a few brain cells?  Well this was another novel that really lacked substance.  I most certainly DO NOT recommend this one…. it’s all about a couple who have been married 12 years (or thereabouts) and have a 6 yr old daughter…. the wife falls out of love with hubby, falls IN love with her local auto mechanic (lame!) and essentially how they break up and then make up.  End of story.  Blah.

I do plan to try and do one more post this year…. one that will briefly address my plans/goals (I refuse to use the word “resolution”) for next year… as well as a brief report on how I did with last year’s “plans and goals”!

Christmas and more….

I love the thought of an “old fashioned Christmas”… something sort of depicted on the picture here.  Do you have snow at your house?  We don’t.  I wouldn’t mind having about a foot of it arrive on Christmas Eve, and then depart on Boxing Day.  Have you ever been on a sleigh ride?  I haven’t.  I’d sure love to do that “someday” before I’m too old and would complain too much about being cold to enjoy it!  Have you put up all your Christmas decorations, got your home looking all cozy and Christmasy?  Not here.  Lots of reasons, but nope, it’s not done.  Every year I consider NOT doing it.  I highly doubt this will be my “year off” from decorating, but I’m sure not rushing into it.  Have you been baking cookies, making special candy, fudge, and treats?  These are all traditions from my own childhood… great memories of my mom in the kitchen EVERY day in December, baking something different,  making delicious homemade fudge, – and my dad’s favorite – penuche.  Well, I’ve thought about it, but haven’t baked a thing.  Got all your Christmas cards in the mail?  Not me.  I haven’t sent out one card.  Not one.  This is highly unusual for me, as I really DO love writing and receiving cards every year.  Have you got all your gifts purchased and wrapped?  Not done here.  Yes, I’ve got some stuff but I haven’t wrapped a thing.  Not one thing.   Don’t ask me why I have been dragging my feet all the way to Christmas this year.  My reasons are as lengthy as my husband’s long list of “Why I Won’t Eat Chicken”.   I’m hoping the spirit of the season hits me good and hard… and SOON!   We have all sorts of family members coming over next week ~ people who expect and DESERVE a merry Christmas family event.  I hope I can get in the mood, quick-like.

Time for another twin update!  Here are a photos from the past three weeks:

Still no word on the genders of the babies.  We will find out on December 27th after the next ultrasound.  I think it’s an understatement to say that we are all super excited to find out!  Tomorrow my dear daughter in law will be 20 weeks/5 months pregnant!  I’ll post that photo soon, and not wait for three weeks to show it.  I can barely put into words how happy we are, and thankful too that this has been a good pregnancy for her.  We are more than halfway there now… hoping the babies will wait to arrive until at least 37 weeks.   Be watching for gender announcement, coming in less than two weeks!!