Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Garden

As expected, Royce has done a fantastic job with our garden this year.  Our first meals were actually the weeks that the twins were still in the hospital.  It was nice to come home to meals with fresh lettuce, arugula, and broccoli.  This was our first year with broccoli and it turned out delicious. 

The picture below was taken when Royce harvested the broccoli about 3 weeks ago. 
In the back of the picture the tomatoes are on the left and cucumbers & cantaloupe on the right. 
Sweet corn lines the fence on the left, and then moving right we have 3 rows of green beans, the broccoli, and lettuce.  Pepper plants are hidden by the broccoli. 

The next picture below was taken today.  You can see the corn, tomatoes, and green beans have grown substantially in 3 weeks.  The lettuce and broccoli are done, and our cantaloupe and cucumbers in the back are growing as well.  We had our first green beans last night and I forgot how good they are!  We have also had a few tomatoes already, but they were pretty small and Chloe & I just ate them ourselves.  The tomatoes and cantaloupe have SO many blooms right now!

I appreciate all the work that Royce puts into the garden.  I was a much bigger help last summer than I have been so far this year but hopefully I can get my hands dirty in there a little more often now.  We both enjoy the produce so much and I like that our kids can be involved in the garden as well.  But none of it would be here without all of Royce's work. 

And this is just a cute picture:)  Amelia isn't much bigger than our remote! 

A weekend of firsts

What a fantastic weekend we had.  Saturday we got up and headed to Ransom for the wheat harvest.  Chloe and Isaac got to go last year while Royce and I were at a concert.  But Royce and I both grew up with harvest during the summer and he and I both needed a harvest fix as well.  What great memories I have growing up of harvest at grandma's.  Riding in the combine, riding in the dump truck with my cousins, playing in the wheat that was in the dump truck, and finishing the day off with one of grandma's meals.  Ahh, the hot & sunburned memories.  I wouldn't trade them for the world!  We thought since the twins are now the old age of 4 weeks that they had better get in on the harvest traditions as well.  Okay, so they slept most of the day.  But they were there! 

I wish I had a picture of Isaac at the start of the day.  He had on a straw hat, Buzz Lightyear sunglasses, his outfit, and his boots.  He calls all of that his "Partner" stuff because that is what cowboys would wear while saying "Howdy, Partner!"  So cute.

Chloe rode in the combine with Uncle Marlin for hours.  Last year she rode with him for a couple hours and he said she jabbered the whole time asking question after question of "Why does this do that?"  This year she claims she sat quietly.  From what Royce could see in the field he believes her, and Uncle Marlin didn't have anything to report either.  Evidently she is a 'pro' at harvest now and has no more questions to ask!  Isaac rode in the dump truck with Papa Ron and said that he would ride in the combine when he is four.  He was still a little intimidated. 

I love the fact that my kids are getting to know harvest the way that I did growing up.  Grandma's farm, Uncle Marlin in the combine, the dump trucks, baby kittens in the chicken house, and amazing homemade food.  Royce grew up with harvest on their family farm and it was a big part of his life as well.  Our family farms are a big reason we moved our family back to Western Kansas and so far our expectations have been completely satisfied. 

I think the kids would stand and shoot the breeze with Uncle Marlin any day!

Sunday after church Royce grilled pizza for lunch.  Y-U-M.  A new summer favorite for sure.  And what better to do on a summer afternoon than go swimming!  We went to the country club pool and the twins came along for their first trip to the pool as well.  They sat in the shade while the rest of us enjoyed the sun and water.  Royce took the twins home after about an hour and Chloe, Isaac and I stayed a while longer.  It was a perfect pool day. 

We came home, took naps, and headed to a baseball game.  Another first for the twins (I understand most things are firsts for them, but it's still fun since we had such a great weekend).  The Hays Larks were playing last night and we had a lot of family there as well.  Again, the girls slept most of the time.  Chloe and Isaac love the games and especially the 25-cent popsicles! 

Everybody slept well last night after the great weekend.  Royce and I feel so fortunate to be able to do so many things with our kids.  We are an active family and now we are blessed to share our adventures with two new little lives.  Oh, the things we will do! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Announcement pictures

I can't get enough of these little flower butts! 

Here are some pictures I took for the girls' announcement. 
They were pretty easy subjects to photograph. 

Amelia below

Caroline below

All snuggled into the blankets that Grandma Sandy made for them.
Soooo cozy!

Chloe is such a good helper with the girls.  Here she is burping Caroline.  Caroline loved being nestled into big sister's neck.  She was so comfortable! 

 Chloe has also played 'nurse' a lot since the babies have been home.  She wears her scrubs and is ready to help when needed.  Here she is making sure the binky stays in place! 

First visitors!

June 11-13 my friend Jessica and her daughter Kaylin (2) came to visit from Tonganoxie.  We had such a nice time while they were here and the babies were well snuggled:) 

Sunday evening while they were here we made s'mores with the fire pit.  The kids played and played in the backyard and I think everyone slept well that night. 

 This girl is always smiling!

 Royce loaded all the kids in the wagon for "train rides" as they called it.  He was running with the wagon, turning quickly, and bouncing them the entire way.  Of course, they laughed so hard it was hilarious to watch.  Thankfully nobody fell out of the wagon and Royce didn't sprain an ankle in the process!  So much fun. 

Thanks for visiting us Jessica and Kaylin!  Come back soon!

Two weeks at home

We are enjoying being home so much.  Everything has been calm and collected for the most part.  Chloe and Isaac are fantastic with the babies and really try to console them when they are unhappy.  Chloe is doing pretty well at telling them apart, and Isaac just guesses Amelia's name first and asks if that is correct.  Hey, he has a 50-50 shot!  Isaac has grown up on us so much with the arrival of the babies.  What a big boy--both physically and mentally.  He is just so good.  I expected Chloe's good behavior with the babies but Isaac has surprised us.  He is a fantastic big brother and even makes funny faces at the twins when they are crying to try and cheer them up! 
 Isaac and Amelia (both above and below)
 Chloe and Caroline (below)

Caroline cracks me up in the pictures with mom.  She was so alert and hilarious.  In the first picture I imagine her striking a dance pose and yelling " Ole' ! "

 Now those are big peepers! 

We also had another new baby over for a visit!  Isaac's daycare provider was due June 5th and Hannah arrived fashionably late on the 7th.  She was worth the wait!  Such a beautiful little girl and another little personality we will get to watch grow over the years.  Hannah only weighed 8 lb 6 oz but at full term she appears so much larger than the twins.  I think they will catch up soon! 
Chloe, Jacob, Isaac
Caroline, Hannah, Amelia
 I believe I can speak for Julie as well when I say that we couldn't be more proud of our beautiful children.  They are such good friends and we look forward to many years of playing ahead. 
 Sweet girls!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Home. Sweet. Home.

We are home! June 10, 2011.
Thirteen days of the NICU. Ten days of driving back and forth every three hours for feedings.
Home sweet home.
No cords, no monitors, no tubes.
Just us.
Very blessed.
Amelia on left, Caroline on right.

Amelia's birth weight: 4 lb 9 oz. Discharge weight: 4 lb 12 oz.

Caroline's birth weight: 5 lb 7 oz. Discharge weight 5 lb 9 oz.

Here are a few more pictures from when we were in the hospital.

The following two pictures are of Caroline. The same day she had the velcro circles on her head to hold her light-therapy sunglasses on she also had snaps put on for her hearing test. She had tape, snaps, and velcro--we could have fastened her to about anything!

You can see how well she liked it.

These pictures are of their little flower butts.
Doesn't get much cuter than preemie flower butts.
How on earth were both of these babies in my body?!?!?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Delivery Day Details!

Here I am at the hospital--sitting in my puddle of water!
Saturday, May 28, 2011
We started out the day getting geared up for Memorial weekend. The Purinton family was having a lunch gathering on Saturday and the Pfannenstiel family reunion was scheduled for Sunday. We woke up, loaded up the car, and headed to WaKeeney to start our weekend. The Purinton lunch was fantastic, great food--which I ate a lot of, and great family. Everyone left Wayne & Sandy's house around 2:00. By 2:30 Isaac was ready for a nap and I was too. I had a full tummy & hadn't been sleeping well for a couple weeks at this time.
So Isaac and I laid down for a nap together at 2:30. It didn't take either of us long to fall asleep and then suddenly I felt the 'pop'. 2:45pm. My eyes shot open, I had to think if I had dreamt the pop or if it actually happened, and then the proof was there. I ran and jumped into the bathtub not knowing how big of a mess I was going to make. Upon realizing that I was the only one in the house other than sleeping Isaac I had to start yelling for Royce. Luckily Sandy had her windows open in the house and they were able to hear me on the front porch. Royce was on the phone, annoyed that I was yelling for him, until I told him that my water broke. He was on the phone with Ron getting ready to go golfing! Change of plans, honey!
Everyone stayed calm, I wrapped a towel around me, and we each grabbed our bathroom bags and got in Sandy's car to drive back to Hays. Chloe and Grandma kept working in flower beds and Isaac stayed asleep. Wayne & Sandy had carseats in our truck to bring the kids and dogs home later in the day. For a spontaneous labor things really couldn't have worked out any more smoothly. Robynn ran by our house to grab our hospital bag and video camera. She met us at the front door as we were arriving.
We arrived at the hospital at 3:25pm. I was dilated to 5 cm! My doctor was the one on call and he arrived quickly. As we knew it was going to be a C-Section there really wasn't much to wait on. I walked into the operating room and began my epidural right away. Boy was I ready for it at that time! I think if we wouldn't have known about the c-section it would have been a very quick labor & delivery under normal circumstances.
Here I am--texting a few people with the news of the girls on the way.
And they're here!
Amelia Ann
4 lb 9 oz 17.25"

Caroline Renee
5 lb 7 oz 18"

Baby B - Caroline
Baby A - Amelia
Amelia (below)
Caroline (below)
Caroline (below)
Amelia (below)
Amelia looking at mommy (below)

Sweet Amelia
Caroline and mommy (below)
Precious Caroline
Amelia was delivered before I really knew that the c-section was full underway. When she was pulled I didn't feel a whole lot. Caroline was a different story. She stuck out her arm and leg at the same time trying to come out sideways. That doesn't work sweetie! So Dr. Lloyd had to keep sticking her back inside until he got both feet out at the same time. But evidently she was still holding onto my ribs or something because he had a hard time getting her head out. I noticed every bit of his tugging and pulling!
Once both girls were delivered the empty void in my stomach (along with the HUGE lunch I had eaten) was too much to bear. The kind nurse held up the itty-bitty basin for me to allow my lunch to leave my body and I really needed something much larger with a backsplash with all I had to give! The sheet in front of me along with my whole arm were covered. Hey--puking while laying flat on your back isn't the easiest thing. Oh well, it was bound to happen.
The operation went really well. The team was absolutely awesome. I had a great nurse, the OR nurse had left his kids' birthday party to be called in, and the anesthesiologist was super. They were full of humor and I was too. They even changed my gown so I wouldn't have to have pictures taken with lunch on my arm :) I couldn't have asked for a better experience *under given circumstances* to have these babies. And according to the anesthesiologist my uterus was "gigantic". I believe him. The void in my stomach post-surgery was way more painful this time than after Isaac's operation. I suppose it had to do with 10 lbs of baby missing!