Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Eve part 2: Baking Cookies

This month has been crazy at work, and just about the time things finally started to slow down a bit, I got sick. Nothing serious, but I felt pretty rotten all the same. So it wasn't until Christmas Eve that I was finally feeling up to baking some Christmas cookies.

I had hoped to watch the Polar Express like we usually do on Christmas Eve, but Bitty had other plans and Cuddlebug and Bearhug were busy with their video games. I decided it wasn't really worth the possible meltdown to pull rank on Bitty and insist on watching a Christmas movie (haha) so we baked cookies with World of Zoo in the background (on the Wii) instead.

Bitty likes to be my "counter helper" so he sat on the counter and helped pour the ingredients into the bowl and stir. Once the dough and frosting were made he went back to his game while I rolled out the cookie dough. Bearhug and Cuddlebug came by every few minutes to help cut out the cookie shapes. I was sooo amazed at how carefully they cut out the shapes so they wouldn't overlap, something I usually have to repeatedly remind them to do. They got a little impatient whenever the cookie sheet would fill up and they had to wait to do another one (I had two cookie sheets going so at any given time we had one baking, and another either cooling or being filled up with new cookies, so the wait wasn't *too* long).

When it came time to frost all three of the boys wanted to help with that, so I brought a couple of plates of already-cooled cookies to the table and set them up with bowls of frosting.

Normally it takes quite a while to bake and frost the cookies, and often even longer when I let the boys help. This time, I was amazed at how quickly all the cookies were finished with all three of them helping. It was great! (and the cookies were so yummy!)

After we finished the cookies and cleaned up, I asked Bitty if he wanted Santa to come to our house. He looked like he'd seen a ghost. I had to ask a couple more times before he answered with a soft, almost whispered but emphatic "No!" He's not really into Santa (obviously) and I guess the idea of a bearded stranger coming into our house was not so appealing to him. I had to actually promise to tell Santa to skip our house; then he relaxed and went back to his game.

Lucky for us, Bearhug and Cuddlebug aren't into Santa either so they didn't mind my telling Bitty that we'd ask him not to come. Cuddlebug informed me earlier in the day, "I don't believe in Santa, Mom, I believe in St. Nick." As in, St. Nicholas from history.

Letting the boys stay up to help with cookies also helped them get a little more tired so it was easier to get them into bed :). Everyone was excited for Christmas morning, and Bitty reminded us for at least the 1000th time "you ca' open you pwesents on Sa'urday December 25!"

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Eve part 1: The Christmas Story


I have long wanted to start a tradition of reading the Christmas story with the boys on Christmas Eve, but so far they just haven't had the attention span. Sometimes we read one verse of the story from the Bible, but we've never been able to actually read the whole thing.

One year, the boys got upset when I tried to *tell* them the story, so I ended up working it into a Thomas story (what can I say, I was desperate, lol). In the book, Thomas was trying to deliver a package and had to ask many of his friends for help, so in my "revised" version, Thomas was trying to deliver a package and told all of his friends about Jesus being born. Lucky for me, the boys didn't mind the revision, as long as Thomas was still the main character, hehe.

Anyway, so this year I decided to try again. We gathered in front of the tree with our Scriptures (Cuddlebug and Bearhug each have their own set that they got for their birthday last year) opened up to Luke 2. Bitty wasn't really interested but he *was* intrigued by the pictures in the middle of his brothers' Scriptures so he borrowed one and entertained himself by looking at those. We each took turns reading the verses and actually made it through verses 4-20. Bitty didn't want to read a verse, but wanted a turn reading and chose to read the description of one of the pictures he was looking at. It had absolutely nothing to do with the Christmas story, but that's ok :), we just moved on from there.

It was great! We're definitely going to do this every year now :).

After that, we let each of the boys open one of their presents, and then while they were busy playing with those I started baking Christmas cookies...

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Cuddlebug and Bearhug were arguing over which video game to play. I suggested they take turns and play one now and the other one after that.

CB: (sighs) Ok, we can do one race on Monster Trucks.

BH: ok, then we're only doing one race on Mario Kart.

CB: (bigger sigh) Okaaaay! We can do ten races on Monster Trucks.

BH: Ok!

CB: But I'm NOT gonna have FUN.

lol :)

Of course once they got started, he DID have fun ;).

And they even managed to switch back and forth between games without any further disputes.

Disagreements like this can dissolve into an all-out brawl in the blink of an eye around here, so I was *extremely* impressed that they both stayed calm, used their words, and found a compromise they could each live with. Yay!

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Monday, December 27, 2010


(Taken about a week before Christmas)

Bearhug sat quietly in front of the tree and his brothers joined him. If anyone started to talk, he gave them a quiet "shhh." Dh and I were rather amazed to see the three of them sitting so calmly together, we stood behind them just watching (and obviously I grabbed my camera). After a minute or so, Bearhug got up and said he just wanted to take a few minutes to look at the tree and think about how grateful we are for Jesus and all the blessings in our lives.

Words can't express how grateful I am for these precious boys.

With the Christmas season we've been trying to focus on the reason we celebrate, the greatest Gift of all.

Sometimes it's hard to tell if they're listening.

And then they do something so sweet and simple like this, and I remember that sometimes I am the one who needs to do more listening. :)


I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. ~3 John 1:4

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

(painting by Simon Dewey)

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Jud├Ža, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

Luke 2:4-20

My family and I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas!

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Friday, December 24, 2010

Send thanks to our troops

My MIL sent this link to me, Xerox has set up a website where you can choose a thank you card and they will print it and send to our troops stationed overseas. The designs are all from artwork submitted by children around the country, and they have some really cute and patriotic ones over there :).

Just wanted to pass this along, it only takes a minute and it's free! And you can visit as often as you like and send as many cards as you want.

Let's Say Thanks

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Random Christmas Joy

This is beautiful. I love the reactions of the shoppers :). Merry Christmas all!

From the description on YouTube: "Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ - the world's largest pipe organ - the OCP (Opera Company of Philadelphia) Chorus and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store (Macy's) as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's "Messiah" at 12 noon, to the delight of surprised shoppers."

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Shutterfly Christmas cards!

I have seen these on a couple of my friends' blogs and they are super cute.

So when I saw that Shutterfly was offering free cards to bloggers for spreading the word, I had to go check it out! (and barely made the deadline, eek)

I'm still trying to decide which is harder - choosing from the huge selection of cards or getting my three rowdy boys to sit together long enough for me to snap a current picture (or a few) to actually put ON the card.

So here we go...

Step 1: scope out the options. There is no shortage of possibilities over there - they have folded cards and flat ones, cards that include one photo or 6+... you know, in case you can't decide which photo to include ;).

Step 2: obtain Christmas-card-quality photo of the above-mentioned hyperactive boys. I have no shortage of photos of my sweet and handsome guys, but photos of the three of them *together* in the same shot - that's something of a rarity. The three of them together, with all three actually looking in the general direction of the camera with a reasonably pleasant expression... I can probably count those on one hand. With fingers to spare.

The majority of attempts look like this:

Or this:

Oh who am I kidding? Even getting two of them together is an adventure, lol:

But hey, did I mention you can put over six photos on one card? So lacking a photo of all boys together is NOT a deal-breaker! I can just include individual photos, woohoo :).

Step 3: narrow down the choices and make the final selection. Yikes!

I'm still working on it. And hoping I can wrap it up in time to get the cards out before Christmas. But hey, getting Christmas cards in January is great too, right? I mean, that might make them stand out amid the crowd of December-arriving cards. Ok, maybe not so much...

They have some great deals going on right now and there's still time to have your order arrive before Christmas. I should warn you, when you go to check out the cool holiday cards, you'll also see links to create your own photo books, calendars, and other great gifts. Super cool :). I may or may not have spent a fair amount of time checking those out too (but even if I did I can't admit it here because someone reading may or may not be the intended recipient of those gifts and I wouldn't want to give it away. I've already said too much!).

So back to the cards, I managed to narrow it down to these. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

TTTS Awareness: What you need to know

World TTTS Awareness Day

December is TTTS (Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome) Awareness month, and today is World TTTS Awareness Day. TTTS is a disease of the placenta that can affect identical twins who share one placenta. The babies themselves are healthy, the issue is with the placenta and the circulation of blood between the babies and the placenta. (More about TTTS at the bottom of the post). I have shared our experience with TTTS with our boys previously. For today I want to focus on what you can do to help, and what you need to know if you or someone you know is pregnant.

An ultrasound is encouraged within the first three months to determine whether there are multiples, and if so, whether there is a shared placenta. TTTS only occurs in identical twins with a shared, monochorionic placenta. Monochorionic means one placenta and one outer sac, and there can be either one or two inner (amniotic) sacs. Twin pregnancies can be any of the following:

Dichorionic / diamniotic (two placentas, two amniotic sacs)
Monochorionic / diamniotic (one placenta, two amniotic sacs)
Monochorionic / monoamniotic (one placenta, one amniotic sac)

Once it is determined that there is only one placenta, extra precautions can be taken to monitor the pregnancy and watch for any potential issues.

From the TTTS Foundation website, here are the 15 most important questions for parents expecting twins to get answers to (the link has a more detailed explanation for each question):

Confirm at First Ultrasound (preferably by 10-16 weeks)

1. Is the placenta monochorionic?
2. Are the babies the same sex?
3. Can you see the dividing membrane?
4. Is the placenta anterior or posterior?
5. Do the cords have 3 vessels or 2?
6. Are the cords fully attached to the placenta?

Ask at Weekly Ultrasounds (Starting at Week 16 to Delivery)

7. What is the largest vertical pocket of fluid for each baby?
8. Can you see the bladder of the donor baby?
9. What are the weights of the babies in grams? (every 2-3 weeks)
10. Are the dopplers normal for both babies?
11. Is the heart of the recipient baby enlarged or thickened?
12. Does the recipient baby have hydrops?
13. What is the measurement of your cervix, is it long and
closed or thinning or dilated?
14. Is the smaller baby growing at the same rate?
15. What is the fundal height?

And for those who may not be familiar with TTTS, here is an overview, also from the TTTS Foundation website:
What is TTTS?
-Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) is a disease of the placenta (or afterbirth) that affects identical twin pregnancies.

-TTTS affects identical twins (or higher multiple gestations) who share a common monochorionic placenta.

-The shared placenta contains abnormal blood vessels which connect the umbilical cord and circulations of the twins.

-The common placenta may also be shared unequally by the twins

-The events in pregnancy that lead to TTTS are all random.

-TTTS is not hereditary or genetic, nor caused by anything the parents did or did not do.

-TTTS can happen to anyone.

And from the Fetal Hope Foundation website:
TTTS or Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome is a disease of the placenta. It affects pregnancies with monochorionic (shared placenta) multiples when blood passes disproportionately from one baby to the other through connecting blood vessels within their shared placenta. One baby, the recipient twin, gets too much blood overloading his or her cardiovascular system, and may die from heart failure. The other baby, the donor twin or stuck twin, does not get enough blood and may die from severe anemia. Left untreated, mortality rates near 100%.

The cause of TTTS is attributed to unbalanced flow of blood through vascular channels that connect the circulatory systems of each twin via the common placenta. The shunting of blood through the vascular communications leads to a net flow of blood from one twin (the donor) to the other twin (the recipient). The donor twin develops oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid) and poor fetal growth, while the recipient twin develops polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid), heart failure, and hydrops. If left untreated, the pregnancy may be lost due to lack of blood getting to the smaller twin, fluid overload and heart failure in the larger twin, and/or preterm (early) labor leading to miscarriage of the entire pregnancy.

Some general treatment approaches consist of using laser energy to seal off the blood vessels that shunt blood between the fetuses. Because the surgical approach is via an operative fetoscope, there is minimal risk to the mother. Laser therapy for TTTS has been shown to provide improved pregnancy outcomes compared to alternative therapies. Although all treatment options should be discussed with your fetal surgeon.

TTTS Resources
TTTS Foundation
TTTS resource @ Twinstuff - written by a father of twins who survived TTTS
Fetal Hope Foundation
Club Deb Radio Interview - TTTS
World TTTS Awareness Day
Matthew and Steven TTTS Walk for the Babies

Reposted from last year with minor edits

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

The gift of voice

I've been thinking a lot lately about how far my boys have come in terms of their ability to communicate. Not just speech, but communication. As many of you know, having speech isn't necessarily the same as being able to communicate. I am so grateful for every word, every thought expressed that I don't have to guess. And I'm grateful for any clues our boys can give when the messages they're trying to convey are hard for me to understand. The ability to communicate their needs, wants, and ideas is something I will never take for granted.

Many children and adults must find their voice in ways other than the spoken word (as our boys once did and sometimes still do). One technology that can be extremely helpful is the iPad with special communication software. The cost can be prohibitive for many families, so this Christmas season the HollyRod Foundation is working to help provide this to both children and adults who would benefit from it.

To find more information about how to donate to this effort or how to apply to receive an iPad, visit the HollyRod Foundation website.

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Spoiled kitteh

Had the sewing machine out and came across a little scrap of soft fabric that was too small to use for what I was working on but just the right size to make a little pillow for the cat. So I did. I think he likes it :)

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you and your family a beautiful day filled with happiness and gratitude. ♥

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Cuddlebug: "You know what my problem is?"
Me: "you have a problem?"
CB: "yeah, I can't find my DS charger." (for his Nintendo DS)
Me: "isn't it supposed to be in your DS case?"
CB: "Some FOOL took it out!!"

I actually burst out laughing at that one, the way he says things cracks me up :).


Whenever I take Bitty to the bathroom (in public) he comments on the sign that says, "Women" (which he pronounces "woh-men"). I have repeatedly made a point to tell him that with me, he goes into the "woh-men" bathroom even though he's a boy, because I can't to into the "men" one, and that with dh or his brothers he can go into the "men" bathroom. I want him to understand that boys use the "men" one so when he's old enough to go by himself he won't just keep going into the "women" one out of habit.

We recently took the boys to a barbecue place where the doors said "Cowboys" and "Cowgirls" in addition to smaller signs saying "Men" and "Women." Dh took Bitty to the restroom and I could hear him shouting loudly, "Not da COWBOOOYS!! I WANNA BE A COWGIIIIRL!!!" (translation: "I see the 'women' sign over there and I want to go in there"). I wish I could have seen dh's face, hehe.

What's funny is that now whenever I take him to the bathroom he says, "woh-men... cowgirls." lol of course no one else has a clue what he's talking about it but it cracks me up every time :).


We were out and about on Saturday and Cuddlebug told me, "Hey Mom, didja know I have a fake name."

me: Really?
CB: yeah, it's Sparky.
me (stifling a grin): Sparky, huh?

Bearhug: I have a fake name too! It's 'Bearhug' (not actually 'Bearhug' but his real name). It's the same as my real name.
me: that should make it easy to remember. (lol, he loves his name)

Cuddlebug: yeah, so whenever we're in public, you should call me by my fake name.
me: ok.... why?
CB: because you never know when someone might try to steal your name.
me: you mean, like identity theft?
me: oh, ok. I'll try to remember that.


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

To my angel... I love you

Today is six years since my baby angel's due date... it was two days before Thanksgiving that year too. We nicknamed him "Baby Turkey" because of the date. I call him a "he" but we really don't know for sure, as he was only 8 weeks along when he returned to heaven.

I came across this song and it says so perfectly what is on my mind (with the exception of "maybe there's a heaven"... I KNOW there is, and that I'll see my baby again). Until then, sweet angel, know that you are deeply loved and missed. ♥

I know how common pregnancy loss is, so this is for all the moms out there who have babies waiting for them in heaven. (((hugs)))


In my dreams, you are alive and well
Precious child, precious child
In my mind, I see you clear as a bell
Precious child, precious child
In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart, there is hope
'Cause you are with me still

In my heart, you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

In my plans, I was the first to leave
Precious child, precious child
But in this world, I was left here to grieve
Precious child, my precious child

In my soul, there is a hole
That can never be filled
But in my heart there is hope
And you are with me still

In my heart you live on
Always there, never gone
Precious child, you left too soon,
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

God knows I want to hold you,
See you, touch you
And maybe there's a heaven
And someday I will again
Please know you are not forgotten until then

In my heart you live on
Always there never gone
Precious child, you left too soon
Tho' it may be true that we're apart
You will live forever... in my heart

"Precious Child" by Karen Taylor-Good

Monday, November 22, 2010

Magic Marker Monday: Thankful

From Bearhug:

I know what you're thinking, I had the same question.
Bearhug smiled when I asked him. "Yeah, they're so cute!"
me: "ummm... you mean girls?"
(confused expression)
me: "you mean baby chickens?"
(the smile is back)
(whew, what a relief! I'm so not ready for that!)

From Cuddlebug:

He really liked that pumpkin bread. He's right about the Kit Kats too, hehe ;).

I love his poems. Love'm. :)

From Little Bitty:

(please excuse the color quality, I had to play with the settings to get his drawing to show up as it was done in light pink).

I think I may be the bald one, since I'm a little shorter than dh. :)

His handwriting is amazing. A year ago he couldn't write at all. When school ended last spring, he could barely write his name, but anyone outside of his family and teachers wouldn't have recognized it. And now he's not only writing but his latest milestone is he can do both upper and lower case letters. Go Bitty!

For more Magic Marker Monday, visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Battle of the pants

A cold front came in a couple of weeks ago, bringing with it the annual "battle of the pants."

It is the daily struggle to convince a certain boy that shorts are not appropriate for 30-40 degree weather and that coats are highly recommended for such weather conditions, especially when one insists on short-sleeved shirts. ack.

At least the resident 9-yr-olds keep any complaints to a minimum as long as I quantify it for them:

NOT effective: "dress warm, it's cold outside."

Effective: "wear pants, it's 43 degrees outside."

As for Bitty, there is no logical argument that will work, so we go for distraction and bribes as we attempt to get pants on without prompting a full-on meltdown and then get him out the door before he has a chance to pull his pants off and go running in search of shorts.

Easier said than done. He's fast.

Most days we manage to get the pants on, but the coat... we're still working on that. We mostly have to settle for making him carry it or stuffing it in his backpack.

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Communication tip #318: Expressing displeasure

Let's say your mom buys you a new package of underwear. She was careful to buy Thomas ones (and was happy to find them in your size). Unfortunately the only ones available have a different design than the ones you currently have, rendering them UNACCEPTABLE.

How do you convey your displeasure to your mom so that she thoroughly understands, with no room for doubt, just how unacceptable said underwear are?

Do you:

(a) toss the entire package out the front door and slam the door shut
(b) throw the package into the refrigerator and slam the door shut
(c) open up the package, take the offending underwear out, and bite them
(d) all of the above

If you answered (d), congratulations!! You've successfully made your point! Ok, you made your point after (a) but now you've DEFINITELY made your point. There is NO possibility of misunderstanding. None.


In my defense, I was aware that different Thomas pictures might be a problem, but that's all they had. I decided to live on the edge and give it a try. Crash and burn!

Sigh... I was actually going to take them back until that last one, but once the underwear has been slobbered on, there's no taking them back. Let's hope he changes his mind.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 in 8 babies is born too soon...

Today is Prematurity Awareness Day.

To learn more, visit the March of Dimes by clicking the banner below.

Click here to read our NICU story (Cuddlebug and Bearhug were born 6 1/2 weeks early due to severe pre-eclampsia).

Here's a repost of my earlier prematurity awareness post:


Did you know that 1 in 8 babies is born prematurely in the U.S.? In approximately 40% of cases, the cause of premature labor is unknown, and it can happen to anyone. I have shared our story before about Cuddlebug and Bearhug's premature birth, but I think it's worth examining what a difference it makes when a baby is able to be born full term. In contrast with his brothers being born 6 1/2 weeks early, Little Bitty was born 1 1/2 weeks late. Being pregnant with him a full 8 weeks longer felt like FOREVER in comparison, lol, but of course it was well worth every minute because I knew he was where he needed to be (and unlike the situation with CB and BH, it was safe for him to remain in the womb).

What a difference those 8 weeks made! Here is a comparison of their footprints:

I scanned them all together so they would be proportionally accurate. Every time I look at these I'm just amazed at how tiny Cuddlebug's foot was compared with Little Bitty's. The size disparity between Cuddlebug and Bearhug was due to TTTS.

In addition to their sizes, here are some other differences we experienced between our twins' premature birth and the full-term delivery of our youngest. I only have my own experience to draw from, so this may not be applicable to everyone, but I'm sharing it to highlight some of the benefits of full-term delivery and why prematurity awareness is so important.

1. Being able to hold your baby right away. We had to wait 8 days before we could hold Bearhug for the first time, and 2 days before we could hold Cuddlebug. I was able to hold Little Bitty within the first few minutes after he was born. It was an amazing experience!

2. Being able to bring your baby home with you. Cuddlebug and Bearhug spent 22 days in the NICU before we were able to bring them home. Some premature babies stay much longer, depending on how early they are born and their health. Some preemies have medical challenges ranging from mild to severe, while others just need a little extra time to grow.

3. Getting a little more sleep at night. Like most newborns, Little Bitty woke up to eat about every 3 hours when he first came home. Because of their small size, Bearhug and Cuddlebug couldn't hold enough food in their stomachs to last 3 hours and needed to eat about every 1 1/2 hours. Add to that the fact that the effort they had to put into eating often wore them out before they were full, and sometimes we didn't even make a whole hour before they needed to eat again. That's a recipe for exhaustion for mom and dad (although well worth it of course!).

4. Less susceptible to illness. Cuddlebug and Bearhug needed 6 months of RSV shots as a precaution since they'd had respiratory distress early on. We had to be very careful about taking them out and having visitors. We were cautious with Little Bitty also, but the risk level for full-term babies is generally not as high.

For more information on prematurity, visit the March of Dimes. Did you know the March of Dimes is responsible for leading the call to develop Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU)? They also funded the research that led to the use of surfactant to treat respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). They have had many other successes as well, but for those two reasons especially, I will be eternally grateful to them!

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Friday, November 12, 2010


I was reading part of Cuddlebug's draft book report, in which he was supposed to list the main characters and write a sentence about each of them:

me: "Cuddlebug, this says, 'Nora is Linda's son'"

(having flashbacks to the days when he and Bearhug used to get "he" and "she" mixed up, wondering if we're somehow having the same issue with "son" and "daughter")

CB: "yeah"

me: "Linda's son?"

CB: "yeah"

me: "Nora's a girl, right? So shouldn't she be a daughter?"

CB: "I don't know how to spell 'daughter'"

LOL, I guess that explains it ;)

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still the one

Today marks twenty years since our first date :).


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Things I want to remember about this week

Bitty is really into shapes lately. So ice cream sandwiches are "rectangles," hot dogs are "cylinders" and the new block toy he found at a yard sale yesterday is a "cube." :)


Cuddlebug and Bearhug are into old-school video games ("into" is putting it way too mildly, lol). They've been obsessing over the dates various systems and old games were first published and they are constantly asking me questions about which video games I played as a kid (umm, I didn't have any video games when I was a kid... so deprived!! hehe). They've been asking for weeks for an old Nintendo 64, because "we like old things, Mom, because they're new to us!" We lucked out and found one at the same yard sale where Bitty found his "cube." Dh, who is a major technology geek, is pulling his hair out trying to figure out why they want to play Nintendo 64 when they have a Wii. LOL


When Bitty asked me for ice cream the other day, I asked him if he'd eaten all of his dinner. He got annoyed and huffed,

"I not a dinner friend!!"

hee hee :)

Side note: he's using "I" appropriately more and more now, instead of saying "you" when he means "I." Not all the time, but we're about 50/50 now. Yay! That goes a long way toward making it easier for people outside of his immediate circle to understand him.


I've been looking everywhere for Bearhug's Christmas list (technically it was for both Bearhug and Cuddlebug, but Bearhug was the one who actually wrote it all down)... I wanted to scan it to share because it was so cute. #7 on his list was "a Christmas hug"... how sweet is that?


The number fascination that Cuddlebug and Bearhug have always had lives on... it's just taken on a new dimensions. They can tell me the number of pages in their books (and sort their book series by # of pages). Bearhug is into copyrights and makes a mental note of the copyright year of any book or tv show he sees (I didn't even realize tv shows had copyright dates until he started rattling off a list of them for all of Bitty's cartoons one day). Cuddlebug can tell you the release date (year) of every Pokemon game ever made and a whole range of other games too.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

First trick-or-treat :)

First for Bitty, that is.

[Warning: this post contains images of extreme cuteness]

Cuddlebug and Bearhug were anxiously awaiting sunset, since we told them they had to wait until it was at least getting dark to go trick-or-treating. They weren't much into costumes this year. I kind of suspect they wanted the black capes (which I made for them, pretty easy compared to Bitty's costume) just to play "stick-battles" more so than specifically for Halloween, but the holiday just gave them a convenient excuse to ask for capes :).

Bitty was oblivious. He couldn't have cared less about Halloween or trick-or-treating (as usual).

Then the boys saw some other kids starting to trick-or-treat - in broad daylight! - and we couldn't very well keep them in at that point so we relented on our "wait til it's dark" and let them go put on their capes and head out. They joined some of our neighbors and their parents and were already way down the street by the time Bitty and I got outside.

Bitty perked up when he saw his brothers running outside excitedly. I asked if he wanted to put on his costume and go trick-or-treating too. I may have mentioned that there could be "M's" on the trick-or-treat trail (he loves M&Ms).

To my surprise and delight, he said "yes" :)

So we got him dressed up and headed out. At first he didn't want to wear the hood, but I asked him to just wear it long enough for a picture (which he agreed to) and then he ended up leaving it on :).

We started off at our neighbor's house. Bitty knocked and rang the doorbell 5-6 times. After that I reminded him at each house "just once!"

When she didn't answer right away Bitty just opened the door and tried to walk in. (I'm glad we started with someone we knew, it was a good "practice" so we could work on proper trick-or-treat etiquette).

She offered him the bowl to look through, and he dug around looking for M&M's. When he couldn't find any, he turned to leave with no candy. She talked him into taking some Starburst.

Before going to any other houses, I took him home to have dh put some M&M's in his bag. I figured if he knew he already had some "M's" he might be more willing to take whatever kind of candy the other houses had. It worked (yay!)

After that, we headed out again.

He got the hang of knocking once and waiting patiently.

He kept saying "trick or treat!" to me as soon as he knocked or rang the doorbell instead of waiting for them to open the door, so I'd have to remind him to say it again (to the person answering, not to me), lol.

We passed a house with a "vomiting" jack-o-lantern which I thought was funny so I took a picture of it. Heh :).

After about 5 or 6 houses, Bitty was ready to go back home. He's not that much into candy so I guess he figured he had enough :). We caught up with Cuddlebug and Bearhug, who arrived back from visiting the whole neighborhood at about the same time.

Just because he was done trick-or-treating, Bitty wasn't ready to go inside. He took his scooter for a little spin before it got dark.

And then we went inside to check out the candy.


I carved the pumpkin for the first time this year (usually dh does it but he was busy looking for Halloween decorations). Not too bad if I do say so myself ;). I can't take all the credit though, Bearhug and Cuddlebug designed it. They each drew me a series of designs to choose from, so I used the eyes from one of Bearhug's designs and the mouth from one of Cuddlebug's designs. That super-original triangle nose was my contribution, lol.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy dance!

Bitty wore his costume today (yay!) and he was soooo adorable :). Maybe he was just waiting for the actual day to arrive? He actually went trick-or-treating for the first time ever. We went to about five or six houses and then he was ready to come home. He scored some M&M's so he was excited about that. :)

Cuddlebug and Bearhug took off ahead of us and made the rounds of the whole neighborhood along with their friend and his parents.

Pictures coming soon! :)
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pilchard costume

In years past Bitty really hasn't shown any interest in Halloween. I love Halloween, so I was pretty excited when I asked him what he wanted to dress up as this year instead of saying "no" or ignoring me, he said, "you want to wear Pilchard." Pilchard is, of course, Bob the Builder's cat.

I asked him several times for a couple of weeks to make sure he really wanted to be Pilchard for Halloween. His answer was consistent, and he even spontaneously told me he wanted to "wear Pilchard" several times. I checked around and could not find any Pilchard costumes for sale (not even online) so I bought the supplies to make one.

Bitty seemed excited when he saw me starting to make it. After several days (and late nights) of working, I finished it in time for the Trunk or Treat at church.

I made dh promise not to show it to him until I got home from work that day, because I wanted to see his expression when he saw it all finished.

Bitty wanted no part of it. Refused to even try it on. Sigh.

The next day was the Trunk or Treat, but Bitty was having an "off" day so we ended up not going. Hmm... if I'd known that I could have taken a couple of extra days to finish the costume and saved myself some sleepless nights. Oh well.

I'm still semi-hopeful that we may be able to convince him to at least try on his costume, but I'm not holding my breath.

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Pumpkin patch!

Last weekend we took the boys to visit a local farm to find pumpkins :). It was Bitty's first visit (I've taken Cuddlebug and Bearhug before). We ended up coming home with some yummy pumpkin bread, apple bread, and honey in addition to the pumpkins :).

Checking out the pumpkins:

Pulling a wagon full of pumpkins is good "heavy work."

These caught Bitty's attention - Pokemon pumpkins, who knew? :)

Exploring around the farm:

Bearhug feeding the fish.


Bitty found a big leaf (aka "lily pad" since he found it floating on the fish pond).

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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