Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Big Sister!

LilliAnne with Wesley and Talitha.
LilliAnne is loving being a big sister!  She is always giving them loves and calling them sister and brother.  She used to call them baby A and baby B.  She is such a big help and is even willing to put dirty diapers in the garbage.  We are so blessed to have her be Wesley and Talitha's big sister!

A True JOY!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

4 weeks and still going

Adjustment. Bringing two new lives into a crowded home, especially one that hasn't seen anyone new for 5 and a half years and has reached an equilibrium, can really shake things up. We have witnessed our pets be more needy or more independent depending on the day. Both of the dogs have really perfected their "poor me" looks, Ty especially. They know there are two new beings here who take a lot of our time. Ty spends a fair amount of time moping on his bed or in the living room. Zoey spends even more of her time under Laura Jane's heels. She is also a lot more alert as to things going on in and around the house. The Border Collie in her causes her to pace more. She is constantly trying to keep tabs on all 5 of us now.

The cats have also become more vocal in their desire for attention. Both Max and Tabor will climb up trying to get attention when we are eating. Tabor has really come out of his shell even letting LilliAnne pet him on occasion (desparate times call for desparate measures!). Tucker enjoys that the bedroom door is open a lot more and the big bed is available for napping. He often spends large portions of the day lounging on our bed or sitting in our open window. Lucie, on the other hand, has decided she doesn't need us as much. She still greats us, but up until the last couple of days, she didn't try climbing into our laps. Prior to the babies coming, she was Queen Lap Kitty.

LilliAnne is doing her best to be helpful, but is also struggling with the loss of attention. Up until now, she had our attention whenever she needed it. Now she is learning that sometimes we both have to give the babies attention at the same time (usually during feedings and diaper changes). That is a hard change for her.

On the flip side though, she has been a big helper and loves holding the babies and giving them kisses on the forehead. She tries to get them to smile (we don't have the heart to tell her that's a couple of months away still).

LilliAnne finished two weeks of swim lessons at the local country club where she learned to dive, swim with her face in the water, hold her breath appropriately and swim under water, and learned to float and kick, amongst other things. Bath time has now turned into practice swimming time. :-)

Laura Jane and I are both working on getting by on 2 hour naps. On occassion we'll alternate sleeping through a feeding so one of us can get a little more rest, but because we only have 2 bedrooms, we still wake up during the feedings. It is amazing what the body can do though on naps.

We have been blessed with help and meals from family and friends over the last couple of months. It's a fact that we'd be pretty hungry and wiped out without it. It certainly takes a village.

A special thanks to Ann Appel for the photos of Wesley and Talitha. She has many more here.
(password "Twins")

Friday, July 8, 2011

Coming Home!

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July 8, 2011!  The day they were scheduled to arrive turned into the day Talitha and Wesley got to come home.  All three of us were so excited this morning. We could hardly wait to get to the hosiptal to do all they required to let us take them home.  The nurse that discharged us had been our nurse for three days and one night so it was a bit sad to say goodbye.  She had taught me, Laura Jane, so much.

Before we made it home we stopped by Matt's work, 2020 ENGINEERING.  They were thrilled to see them and had even written them a funny story, "Mad Libs" style, about what this pregnancy has been like.  Matt's co-workers have been so very patient this last 8 months thru many doctor visits and a few emergency visits including a month plus on bed rest.  I am so very grateful for their patience and support through these last 8 months.

We are home and loving it.  LilliAnne is very excited about being a big sister and wants to be very helpful.   Now it is getting into a routine, remembering to eat, drink and sleep.  Glad we are here and excited to watch them grow!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What's in a name?

Some of you have asked how we came up with the names Talitha Nicole, Wesley Samuel James, and LilliAnne Joy. Well, now you'll know.

Talitha was the name of a very special girl whose father Laura Jane looked up to. Talitha was their first born. They wrote letters back and forth, and Laura Jane was able to see the heart of gold she had as well as her faith in God. Talitha's family was called to the missionfield when she was a teenager. Unfortunately, she came down with cerebral malaria and passed on to be with her heavenly Father. In her short life she left a wonderful legacy for our Talitha to follow. We hope and pray that our Talitha is blessed with that same heart for others.

The name Talitha is actually an Aramaic word for little girl. In Mark 5:41, Jesus raised the little girl from the dead by saying "Talitha koum".

In choosing a middle name for Talitha, we asked her namesake's family for an idea. In so doing, we came upon Nicole, which means "Victorious People". We really liked that. We also found out at the same time that Talitha went by Niki in Africa because the people had a hard time saying "Talitha". So not only were we victorious over infertility, we were able to honor, doubly, a wonderful girl.

Wesley has always been a boy's name we have liked since we started talking kids nine-plus years ago. On a side note, we thought about naming Talitha "Buttercup" like the Princess Bride (if you don't know, her true love was named Wesley). That thought only lasted about 30 seconds.

The name Wesley really doesn't have an historical meaning other than being linked to the founders of the Methodist church, John and Charles Wesley, English preachers in the 1700's.

The book of 1 Samuel begins with the story a barren woman named Hannah who prayed to God to heal her womb. In exchange for a child, she promised to give him back to God for His work. The name Samuel means "God has heard". Boy do we resonate with this story. We'd have chosen Samuel as a first name, but know too many Sam's, Sammy's, and Samantha's.

James is Laura Jane's step-dad's first name. We chose to honor the legacy he left in her life by adding his name to Wesley's. James is also a hero of the New Testament. He was a "don't mince words" kind of guy who spoke the truth (read the book of James in the Bible).

LilliAnne is a combination of two of Laura Jane's favorite names "Lilly" and "Anne". A Lily is a flower that symbolizes innocence and purity. Anne means grace or favor. It's also the name of Laura Jane's favorite movie character, "Anne of Green Gables." LilliAnne was an answer to our prayer for a child. In her life, God granted us a beautiful and pure favor.

Joy, LilliAnne's middle name, describes the feeling that we both felt when we found out she was going to be ours. In fact, Laura Jane says her heart lept inside when she heard about her.

And now you know, a little bit about why we feel so blessed to have 3 wonderful gifts.

By the way, unless these two fail their car seat test, they are coming home tomorrow (Friday)!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Day 4

Here's a quick update to go with the photo's. Laura Jane was let out of her hovel, I mean hospital room, yesterday. She is now splitting time between the NICU and our bed. The pets really missed her. I don't know how many times Zoey and Ty licked her or did a dance in the last 24-hours. Both the dogs and cats seem to know that something has changed with her belly as the dogs haven't tried to jump up to greet her as they typically do after she's been gone overnight. And only Lucie has climbed onto her lap, avoiding her belly.

The babies are doing great. They are a little "jaundicy" so they are being watched to determine whether they need to spend some time under the special lights. They are both nursing well, getting a few direct feedings from mommy and being supplemented through their feeding tube. The big news though is that the IV's are out. Now their hands won't look like they had a major injury.

LilliAnne is absolutely excited to see the babies. She is taking to the big sister role well. She has also enjoyed swim lessons this week and the one on one time she has had with friends and family. I think she went to two birthday parties this week, which means two pieces of cake. Good thing we didn't have to deal with the sugar effects afterward!

This weekend will consist of splitting time doing things around the house and hanging out with the babies. We're looking forward to it. The babies will get to spend the holiday celebrating their independence from the cozy confines of mommy's uterus as well as the independence that made this country the best in the world.

Our first week

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