Jan 7, 2009

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Kathryn and Emma...what an adventerous life you have already led up to this point. You are a year old today. You have defied more odds and proven more people wrong than is even believable.

I will never forget the day I found out I was pregnant with you. At that time, I thought there was just one of you. The absolute shock I felt when I found out there was two of you is indescribable. Oddly enough, I always wanted twins; I just never thought I would get them.

My shock of discovering there were two of you was then overridden by an even bigger shock. Something was wrong with "Baby A"....that was you Katie. You had a growth on your neck that indicated that you would most likely be born with trisomy 13, 18 0r 21. I was sent on my way to a specialist the very next day. I wrote about my feelings surrounding that devastating news here. The specialist also believed that "Baby B"....that was you, Emma....wouldn't even be around by my next appointment.

Immediately, you were covered in prayer from all corners of the globe. You would not believe the outpouring of love and compassion you received by people who didn't know me...didn't know you....but prayed for you anyway. I spent several torturous weeks not knowing what the outcome would be regarding your futures, but loving you nonetheless.

The amniocenteses finally arrived and the next 24 hours were the longest I ever lived through. I finally received word from the doctor that "we don't know how this is possible, but your babies have no genetic abnormalities. You have two healthy, twin baby girls." But I know how that happened. And so do the rest of the people who prayed diligently for a miracle. Your miracle.

After being put on bedrest two months prior to your due date, you were delivered 7 weeks early and had to stay in the NICU for the first month of your life. You were tiny, but you were perfect. 2 lbs 15 oz and 3 lbs 5 oz respectively. You had overcome insurmountable odds and arrived on this earth ready to take it on. Miss Emma.....the feisty one inside of mama's belly.....you were not impressed with having tubes of oxygen sticking in your nose and after the first 24 hours, you had enough and decided you were just fine to breathe on your own.

You came home one month after being in the NICU barely over 4 lbs. And from that moment on, your mission in life was to prove to the world that tiny doesn't necessarily mean incapable or weak. Despite being two months early, you have hit every milestone when you should, slept through the night earlier than your sisters ever did and endured the trials and tribulations of big sisters who sometimes forget that you are human babies and not baby dolls.

Your life has consisted of millions of kisses, stares, "oohs and ahhs" and comments to your mama and grandma that include, "Wow! You have your hands full!" "Are those all yours?!" and constant camera flashes. You probably have some little inkling of what it must be like to be a celebrity with paparazzi following your every move.

Precious beyond belief does not even begin to cover who you are. Even though your doctor was concerned about your stiff muscle joints and even said at one point you may have cerebral paulsey, you took that as yet another challenge; you were sitting up within a couple of weeks after that. Even though he was concerned about your weight, you now weigh in at 16.5 and 15.5 lbs respectively....just shy of what your sisters weighed in at when they turned one.

The stories you tell me every day amaze me. And believe me.....I speak baby and I know every word you are saying. You are great story tellers already.

Your mama adores you; your sisters adore you; your grandparents adore you.......every one who you come in contact with adores you. You have an unexplainable magnetism. And every time I look at your beautiful little faces, I melt a little more. How could one mother be so incredibly lucky? Blessed. That is the only word I have. I am blessed beyond words. You wear me out, little girls, but better you wear me out than not be here at all!

What would I do without you girls? I would never want to know. You are (almost) walking little miracles. And a cherished addition to our family. I look forward to continue watching you grow, learn, and become the wonderful people you are destined to become.

Happy Birthday sweet, sweet baby girls!!! I am so glad you are here!!

All the love in the world that I have....

Your Mama

Jan 6, 2009

Extreme Irritation and Agitation!!!

Well, here I sit at 11:30 p.m. on the verge of posting a beautiful tribute to my darling daughters who turn one in 1/2 hour and I get the message of death on my computer: "Internet Explorer has encountered an error and has to close." GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!

I spent a good two hours preparing this post and now it isn't going to be there for my precious girls by their birthday. I could cuss right now. And I don't think I have it in me to start over at this point in time.

I hate computers. I hate the internet. And I guess I will go to bed.

But I.WILL. get that post up. Because they deserve that post for cryin' out loud!! So check back again soon.

I could cry.

I love you babies! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANYWAY! Mama loves you more than words can ever say!!!

Jan 4, 2009

The Holidays

Wow, wow and wow. I don't even know where to start. It has been an amazing, crazy, eventful and wonderful two or three weeks.

Christmas vacation started right off the bat with an extra "guest" in my home. Someone you all know as Anakin, formally Anthony; my "step-son". How that came to be is quite a long story, however, that sweet boy whom we haven't seen in 7 months reunited with us for the majority of Christmas vacation and it was a wonderful reunion for he and his sisters. Anthony and I have had an interesting relationship for the majority of time we have known eachother (most of his life), but he seems to have formed a new appreciation and love for myself and his sisters after being separated from us for so long. It was difficult for him to leave us and return to the life he now knows and if it were up to him, he would reside with us on a permanent basis. I am not sure what is going to happen in the future with that situation, but please keep him in your prayers.

The Sunday before Christmas brought the arrival of all of the family on my dad's side. All of us who live here hosted various members of the family and I was lucky to host my cousin Teresa and her beautiful family as well as my cousin Karen. All in all, there were 11 people in my house (7 of those were children). While it was chaotic a lot of the time, it wash wonderful to have 4 extra adults in the house to lend a hand. Teresa's husband was great with the kids by helping with crafts, playing "monster" and generally keeping them occupied. Teresa has always been one of my favorite people in the world and my "partner in crime"....an infamous title we earned after an incident which I chronicled here.

The days were filled with various events such as sledding, skiing, shopping, etc...and the nights were spent in our church gym (the only place big enough to house so many people) where we all took turns preparing meals, playing and catching up. Several of us spent a day cross country skiing which was a great adventure. Here is a picture of myself and my partner in crime....(thanks, T, for the pic....hope you don't care if I ripped it off from your facebook!) ;-)

My Mom is doing a series on all of the adventures with the family and has posted some great pictures.

Following the departure of this group of family brought the arrival of my "MIL" and yet another week of adventures. A strange situation in and of itself, I won't go into great detail. But it was pleasant and chaotic as well.

As Teresa and her family left my home at about 4:00 a.m. their last morning here, she reminded me to please get on facebook so we could keep in touch better. I groggily promised her I would. And I did. This has added a whole new facet of internet obsession which I must get control over once classes start again. In one short week, I have connected with more people that I have missed over the years than I could even imagine. One of those people is my bestest friend from high school whom I completely lost touch with over the years and whom I have missed dearly. This past weekend, I was lucky enough to reunite with her. She lives less than an hour away and she came to my home, met my family and we got to go out to lunch together. She has invited me to a ski weekend in a couple of weeks and even has someone she wants to set me up with. Yikes. That afternoon left me feeling more alive than I have felt in years. I have missed her more than I could ever imagine and it was one of the best post-Christmas presents I could have received to get to spend time with her. And my girls absolutely adored her.
(P.S. I don't try to drink two coffee cups at a time....Katie was climbing up Laura's legs, so I had to take over her coffee cup!!)

I will definitely let you know how that weekend goes!

In baby news.....their last doctor's appointment was for their 9 month check up. At that time, their doctor was concerned about their lack of ability to sit up yet. They were technically at that point only 7 months old. He even uttered the words "cerebral paulsey" to me. Over the course of the past two weeks, those little stinkers have begun to sit up, crawl, pull up on furniture and can even sit up on their knees without assistance. Tonight, miss Kate pulled up on the big girls' Dora table and stood there for several minutes, only holding on with one hand. Hayley and Olivia are convinced she will be walking very soon. Their year check up is on Friday. I have decided that it is their New Year's Resolution to say, "Pooh on you" to their doctor and prove him completely wrong. I think they will be walking before my big girls were (at 14 months).

I love those girls more and more every day of their lives. They bring me more joy than I could even possibly fathom. And everytime I look at them and see their smiles when they see me, and see them reach out to me when they see me, hear them say "mamamama" (even if it is just baby babbling) and give me hugs, it just warms my heart a little more.

Raising those four little girls on my own is a full-time job. But I'll tell you what....the rewards far outweigh the challenges. After this holiday season (as crazy as it was), I feel like the luckiest person in the world.

I am counting on 2009 being the best year I have had in a looooong time!! I hope yours is, too!