Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

If I had to sum up 2012 in one word I would say it’s been a “Trying” year. I think as a parent it’s been rough on me. I am still learning as I go – as most first time parents do. I don’t know if having twins makes it harder or if it would be just as hard with one child or two children at different ages; that I will never know. It’s been tough, but we made it through and I am determined to enjoy my life a little more in 2013. That’s my resolution.

As a family we went through some changes this year. The boys of course are another year older and with that comes lots of crying, whining, screaming and temper tantrums. Eric changed jobs which is always stressful and an adjustment for us, but I think it was more so this time because he was in the middle of his semester at school, having to live without health insurance and without a paycheck right when we needed it for Christmas. We made it through like we always do though.

We took our first family vacation to Florida which was a blast (especially with two 19 month olds!). Summer was a lot of fun with the swing set, sandbox, trips to the park, splashing around in the kiddie pool and walks around the neighborhood in the wagon. Alex and Evan turned two in July with a Mickey Mouse themed Birthday party and we took a day trip to the Columbus Zoo in Ohio.

Fall is always a lot of fun with our annual trip to the Cider Mill, Halloween (the boys went as pumpkins) and cool crisp days. Alex and Evan attend school once a week now (part of a special education program) and they love it. Different toys and different people; plus they get to ride the school bus home!

Christmas was fun this year with the boys. Evan had a blast opening presents and Alex could play with the wrapping paper all day long. They got a lot of really nice things from family and friends.

Evan is your typical two year old. He loves to get into everything and anything. He is loud and determined and wants to do everything himself. He has a mischevious look to him, but if you catch him at the right time, he can melt your heart with his eyes and smile. He is also very smart.

Alex has come a long way this year. He has done close to 100 days of therapy this year. I didn’t realize how much he has done until I really sat and thought about it. We are so proud of him and all the hard work he does. We know it isn’t always fun but we know how important it is, that’s why we push it. He still isn’t anywhere near walking. He rolls and can sit pretty well but can’t get into that position without assistance. We are thankful to have use of a stander for him and just three days ago he got his walker. The gait trainer we have been waiting 8 months for finally came in. I think 2013 will be a great year for Alex full of many more milestones and accomplishments. He has the best smile and his super cuteness gets you every time!

Although it’s been a “trying” year and more stressful than years past, I am thankful for everything that God has blessed me with – most importantly my family. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am today without them. I love them all so very much.

Happy New Year to all of you and your families.
May 2013 bring hope, happiness and strength to all of us.
The Best Family in the World

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Here we are finally, Christmas Eve. One of my favorite days of the year. I always looked forward to this day when I was little. The anticipation of Christmas morning with an abundance of gifts under the tree. My parents weren’t made of money growing up, but boy did they ever make Christmas good for my sister and I. I had never seen so many presents in my life as I did under our tree growing up. They would come out so far from the tree that you couldn’t even touch the tree. It would take us most of the morning to get through everything. It was as if it was never ending. Now as an adult, I know there is more to Christmas than just gifts, but as a kid it’s hard to see it any other way.

I feel very fortunate that I am able to do the same for my children. Now, we aren’t to the point of that many gifts just yet, but I enjoy shopping and buying for them so much already. You don’t realize until you have kids of your own what you are missing out on.

Just the other day, my mom was over baking cookies with me and she mentioned how much she misses Christmas morning with us as kids – which is what sparked me to write this post. I want her to experience that again through my kids, so in a year or two when it’s really exciting for the boys, I want my Mom to share in that excitement all over again. You don’t realize how much things change as your grow up not only for you but for your parents as well.

I am trying to set traditions as an adult that I want to keep in the family – like baking cookies with my Mom.  That was something that I always enjoyed growing up – so I want to continue that with her. Reading a Christmas story; watching a Christmas movie; buying a special ornament for the tree each year. Just last night we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. It’s these little things that mean so much and I am so thankful to have my own family to share these memories with.

There’s a lot that goes into Christmas. From shopping, buying and wrapping gifts, cooking and cleaning to entertain the family, but in the end it’s all worth it. I enjoy every bit of it and I don’t ever see it getting old.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mom Moments

   Evan is a very vibrant and independent little boy. He only needs me when he wants to need me. He isn’t much of a cuddler unless it’s on his terms so when moments arise like last night, I take full advantage. He’s been a bit under the weather for much of the week like myself, but he hasn’t really asked for much in terms of comfort.  Last night however, he awoke in the middle of the night and wasn’t feeling so hot. I could tell he wasn’t comfortable, so I sat on the floor in his room with my back against his crib and cradled his 30 pound body in my arms. I stroked his hair and he just laid there looking at me like he couldn’t have asked for anything better. Tears fell down my cheeks because in that moment, I was taken back to the first day I ever held him which was 5 days after he was born.

   No mother should ever have to wait 5 days to hold her child nor should they have to leave the hospital without their child or children, but many of us mothers who have preemies know this all too well. I actually left the hospital to go home without ever holding Evan putting all my faith into women I didn’t know but had no choice but to trust.  The moment the nurse laid his little naked body against my warm skin, is something that I will never forget; that feeling of unconditional love. It’s something more overpowering than I ever imagined it to be and it’s the most rewarding feeling in the world.

   Life has become so busy and so hectic, that when “Mom Moments" like these happen to me, it allows me to stop for a second and truly be thankful for what I am doing. Raising two beautiful boys.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Riding the School Bus!

Alex and Evan got to ride the school bus home on Tuesday for the first time.  They must have enjoyed the ride (despite their worried looks) because neither of them cried or made a peep according to their bus driver Miss Debbie. They will be riding the bus home from now on in preparation for pre-school.


Evan's First Haircut

For any of you who know Evan, you know our little man didn’t have a whole lot of hair the first year and a half of his life. But 2012 was pretty good to him in the hair growth department and he went for his first haircut on Sunday December 9th. (I am a bit behind on posting this) I have trimmed it here and there, but this was his first “real” haircut. He had a ball sitting in the chair and was such a good boy. Check out the cuteness!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Strong Little Man Alex

Just a quick note to let all of you know that Euro-Peds is going very well for Alex. Although I am not in the room with him during his therapy sessions, I do occasionally peek in. He has his own playlist on my phone that the girls play for him while he is working to keep him happy. I was able to go in and see him in the "cage" the other day and snapped a few pictures. He really enjoyed jumping up and down but had a bit of a struggle with his braces on. They are a huge adjustment for him, but all in all you can see that he enjoyed himself. The last picture made me tear up a little because not only does he look older in the picture but he looks super strong.

His core is getting stronger each and every day and that makes me very proud because I know how hard it is for him to control those muscles and he has been doing an awesome job sitting lately. We still have to put the bean bag or some pillows around him because he will topple over, but his Therapist tells me that he is putting his arms out to catch himself when he is on the ball. Now we need to get him to do it on the floor! He is showing interest in new things. I would say he is coming along just fine. As always, we are so proud of him.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Double the Love: 1 year later

Yesterday was the one year anniversay of Double the Love. I initially started the blog as a way to get Alex’s story out there and keep friends and family in the loop. It has since evolved into more of a personal blog for our family because I want this to be something for Alex and Evan to look back on. I enjoy sharing our experiences on here because since having a family, my journaling has been put on the back burner and having this blog somewhat forces me to keep up on it.

To all of you who follow and take time to read Double the Love: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I try my best to make each blog enjoyable and somewhat fun for you to read. There are times when I just have to get my thoughts and feelings out about Alex and his CP. Even after more than 2 years, I still have my moments where I just don’t understand why things had to be this way. But because things are this way, this blog was born. Otherwise I would have never thought to do something so cool!

The year has gone by fast and the boys are growing and getting so big. Last year at this time, Evan had just started walking, both were still taking a bottle and could still pass as “babies”. That time has passed now, Evan is all over the place, building castles with his blocks, coloring in coloring books and taking ornaments off the Christmas tree when he shouldn’t. He can easily eat two pieces of pizza and loves dessert. Alex is rolling and sitting very well, and although his Farm is still his favorite toy, he has taken a liking to his box of shape blocks which he LOVES taking them out and putting them back in. He too loves pizza and favors white milk over chocolate.

As hard as some days are with two boys at two, it definitely has its perks. Almost every day, they make each other laugh in some form. Whether it be Evan running back and forth from the kitchen to the living room or Alex making a funny sound with his mouth, there is rarely a quiet moment in our house anymore. They love to have screaming matches as well as cry and whine at the same time.

I never in my wildest dreams imagined myself with twins, but it truly has been a blessing. It is non-stop from the time they get up until they go to bed, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I think my life would have been boring with one child. Guess I will never know right?

Looking back on this past year, it’s been a pretty good one. Thank you for all of your support! Hope you keep following us along in our journey.