Our Family

Our Family
"These are the children God has graciously given to me. (us)" - Genesis 33:5

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Rebekah

Yes, she IS royalty in this house. The crown is a present from her older brother. He was very excited to give it to her, as he made it for her on Monday at therapy. He also saw it fit to be the one in charge of keeping it on her head...at all times!
We can't believe our little girl is two years old...technically yesterday...but since we are doing her cake tonight, she got her crown and a post on the blog. She has been practicing her "blowing out the candles" technique over the past few weeks by attempting to blow out our Advent candles each night. We'll see how she does tonight!
In a house FULL of boys, this little girl has managed to live up to her "pretty little thing that no one will mess with" reputation. She is all girly on the outside, but inside she's a fierce bear that when riled, will strike out quite un-girly like...and smile when she's all done.
Having a birthday not only around Christmas time, but just before the New Year is proving to be difficult for us. There really isn't a good time to do any kind of party the way we do for her brothers, so instead we are celebrating with those who dare to venture out tonight to come to our house and bring in the New Year. We couldn't think of a better way to start off 2009 than by celebrating our little girl!

Happy Birthday Rekekah! We love you!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who? and How?

Who's that girl?

How is he doing that?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday Ethan!

It's hard to believe that 6 years have come and gone since we brought our first born home. We couldn't have imagined the journey that tiny little baby would have taken us on. In some ways it feels like only yesterday, Mike and I we were sitting on our couch staring at his little body, wondering what he would be like, sound like, look like as he got older. Now, as we see, (and hear) what he has become, we couldn't be prouder or more excited about what is yet to be. In other ways, we feel like he's been part of our lives for so much longer...how did we live before him? :)
Happy Birthday Ethan. I know it's a little late here in "blog land". Mommy was a little behind at party planning, and getting it all together to celebrate for you. At least you got to enjoy a cake and the company of the people who love you, on your birthday.
We love you big guy!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Santa...Meet the Ouellettes

Believe it or not...it only took 7 pictures to get this one. Even Santa was impressed. Thank goodness for that John Deere wagon...Joshua didn't have to touch Santa at all! Of course Eli decided it was a great time to yak up his previous meal...but Santa was a good sport! The Elf said we had the best prop, (the wagon) she's ever had in a photograph. We weren't thinking of it as a prop so much as a way to keep some of our kiddos contained with minimal screaming!
Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 28, 2008

One Of Those Days

Some days, this is exactly how I feel. I just didn't think the world needed to see my belly. Ethan's belly is looks soo much better.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time of quiet reflection...an annual reminder that God has, again, been ever so faithful. The solid and simple things of life are brought into clear focus."
- Charles Swindoll

Friday, November 21, 2008

Got It!

Here's the other cutie pie! Just love those smiles. Tell me...do you think they have the same smile? Do you know who is who? :0)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Fab Five

Yes, it's been awhile since I've given updates on our kiddos...but you try getting near the computer for any length of time with the brood I have!! I'm lucky to use the bathroom during the day! :)

Having said that, I actually have some moments here and there, so bear with me as I try to get the info. out there.

ETHAN - We couldn't have given this child a more suitable name. It means strong...and this kiddo is certainly that. He has had a rough go of it lately, but still remains our lovable Ethan.

He had his GI appt. last week, and we are happy to report he is again thriving. He weighs in at 34 lbs which keeps him at the 1st% for weight. His height is 40.67" (or 3ft. 4.67in.) which also keeps him in the 1st%. As Dr. Hofley put it..."he's back on his own curve again!" She looks at the overall more than the little gains and since his BMI is in the 22nd% she is happy.

We have had setbacks though in other areas of his life...mainly the therapeutic ones. Due to many insurance snafus, he hasn't had regular OT since June, nor has he had HIPPO since August. It is showing, and is difficult for everyone in the house right now. It is amazing though how forgiving a soon-to-be 6 year old can be. Every night when I go in to tuck him in, I kiss him and tell him I love him...and he ALWAYS says it back to me. Even on the roughest days. We hope to start up his schooling again as we took the summer and most of the fall off due to the arrival of the dynamic duo, and both he and I are anxious to get things back onto a more predictable schedule. The unpredictability of our days is getting to me as well! I will do more posts on Ethan another time. I do have 4 other children to talk about!

JOSHUA - My "Trying Three Year Old". I know that moms out there will agree with me...2 year olds are NOTHING compared to 3 year olds. OH MY GOODNESS! This child will be excellent at any profession that involves a strong will, and a charming personality. He is the reason for my gray hairs right now, and I am eternally sorry to my parents for my third year of life! Wow, what a trip!

He had his GI checkup as well, and is continuing to thrive quite nicely. Unlike his brother though, he is gaining in leaps and bounds. He weighs in at 27 lbs which places him in the 5th%. His height is still in the 1st% at 34.76 " (2 ft. 10 3/4 in.) Unlike his brother his BMI is at a whopping 55%! Needless to say, his visits with the GI may soon be a thing of the past. Dr. Hofley has placed both boys on a 3 month checkup instead of every 6 weeks, so we will see how things go.

We have also had some surprising, (not-so-surprising) news about Joshua. I may have mentioned back in the spring that he was receiving Early Intervention for a speech delay and that he was continuing on with HIPPO after he became 3 years old to help him along. Well, we had him further evaluated by Easter Seals for Sensory Integration Dysfunction, and he now needs to have at least an hour of OT a week like his brother. Because of the very same insurance snafus mentioned above, Joshua hasn't had his regular HIPPO therapy since August, and it is showing with him as well. He had been making excellent progress, and now has regressed a bit. We're looking forward to January 1st when our insurance starts all over again! In the meantime we've been doing research and filling out more applications to see about getting some financial assistance to help out when this happens again next year! The good news is that his Pediatric Neurologist feels that with therapy, Joshua will be able to catch up and learn what is needed to lead a typical child's life. (whatever that is! :)

REBEKAH - Ahh, little Miss Rebekah...she is everything a little girl should be...and Mike and I are glad she is in the middle of all these boys. Not that she will need the protection from them, but that it will hopefully keep her from becoming tooooo girly! I was a tom boy myself...and didn't have any brothers...so we'll just have to wait and see.
She will be 2 years old next month, so I don't have any updates on her right now. Besides, she is the healthiest one in the house...in both her general health and her development, so there wouldn't be much to write about in those regards. However, she is my daughter, and we never have a shortage of the many things that are Rebekah.
Precocious doesn't begin to describe my little darling...(as you can see from the picture on the right). She is full of "it" and she knows it. She will not only keep her brothers in line, she will out do them in any thing they try. Most people say to us..."oh the poor little thing, stuck in the middle of all those boys!" I say, "oh those poor boys...on either end of THAT little girl!" The stories we have to tell, and she hasn't even hit her second birthday. I'm not afraid to tell you that I'm a little apprehensive about her turning 3...yipes!

CALEB AND ELIJAH - Mike and I still find ourselves staring at them in awe of their presence. We even joked about having twins when we first got married. We agreed we wanted a big family, but by that we meant 3 maybe 4 children. We then said that we would decide to have the 4th child only to find out that we were instead having twins...who knew we'd be right?? Very bizarre. In any case, it still catches me whenever I say that I am the mother of 5 children. In fact, I had a good friend remind me the other day, that I am actually the mother of 6...with my Michaela up in heaven. It is amazing how God blesses us...

In any case...these two are now 2 months old. My how time goes by when you are so very sleep deprived. I have never, in my 33 years of life...including my college years...have experienced such sleep deprivation. It is amazing that I'm able to type this out and have it sound (mostly) coherent! Thank goodness for spellcheck!

As for the boys, they had their two month checkup and are growing quite nicely. Caleb is 9 lbs. 3.5 ozs. and Elijah is 9 lbs. 12 ozs. They are even on the charts, with Caleb in the 5th% and Elijah in the 10th%! WOW! Developmentally they are right on track, and unless you know they were born prematurely, you wouldn't know it looking at them. We were very happy with their checkup. It's so great to hear that all of these sleepless nights, and non-stop breast feeding days are paying off. I try not to think about future sleepless nights and the solid food filled days...just one sleepless night at a time!

What a Smile!

Isn't that beautiful? It only took 9 pictures too! Now, if I can just get his brother to cooperate...

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Snuggly Twins

Just too cute, aren't they?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Two Babies...One Mommy

So, how does one mommy carry two crying, needy babies??
With the help of a Moby of course!!

I had purchased the Moby wrap when I had Rebekah and remembered that there were directions on how to wrap it and carry twins. At the time, I was using it just to carry Rebekah around and never considered that I would be using it to carry my own twins!

Friday, September 26, 2008


As you can only imagine...the answer is YES! It's funny how it's one of the first questions that people ask following the question of how the twins are doing..."are you getting any sleep?". How does one answer that?

As any new parent, (whether it's your first, second, or fifth child), can attest to, being tired is just a matter of course when you have a new baby in the home. Never did I imagine just HOW tired parents of twins would be. If either one of us stops for longer than 5 minutes, we will be asleep. I have never been like this. I used to be amazed at how Mike could fall asleep so easily. Just sit down, close your eyes, and before you know it...sound asleep. For me, it's always been a process...tough to wind down long enough to actually get any restful sleep. Now, no problem! If my body is at rest for any amount of time, I'm asleep.

Yes, we are getting some sleep...usually a 3 hour stretch at some point at night, followed by another 2 to 2 1/2 hour stretch after the 3 am feeding...obviously it's not enough, but it's amazing how psyched we are when we wake up to find we have been out for 3 hours!!

It's only a matter of time before we find ourselves having longer stretches of sleep. This period in our lives is really a very short one...but it has become even more obvious to us just how much sleep we were getting when we thought that wasn't enough. Besides, it's all worth it when we look down at those two little miracles to see this...

Aren't they sweet? A little brotherly love from Big Brother Caleb, to his Little Brother Elijah.

Friday, September 19, 2008

more pictures

here are a few more pix.

i have more to convert so give me a few.
let me kow how they load - kinda big.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

little update


mike here.

it has been a crazy first 4 days for caled and elijah. after a sucessful extraction and a few hours with us they had to head on up to the nicu due to some respiratory issues. nothing out of the ordinary just 36 week premi (is that how you spell it) issue. after that cleared up they started with the blood sugar isuue, the body temp, now it's jaundice and weight gain. it's funny how one is resolved and the next pops up.

they are doing well though the IV's have been removed and the glucose tests have stopped. now it is weight gain and jaundice. which looks like it is moving in the right direction as of late. so that is where we stand right now.

michelle is doing well. after a tought night the boys are back on track with eating and michelle is feeling better. jeez i though we were tired with 3! holy cow! me thinks i have coffe for blood.

i am going to try and post a few pics.

more updates as time permits!

oh and thanks to everyone who has baby sat, visiterd called, prayers and even some of that irish canadian luck!

we could not have done/do it without all your help!

onto some pix!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Just a thought...

Sometimes we get sooo caught up in a I-didn't-accomplish-anything-today frame of mind, that we don't take into account the everyday accomplishments. Sometimes a part of motherhood, is just making it through the day, ending it with a much needed "good night I love you" to your children as you whisk them off to bed so you can enjoy an hour of peace and quiet.

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."
- Robert Louis Stevenson

Kind of helps those of us Type A personalities keep it all in perspective! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just a few pictures of the boys...

...horsing around...

...pirating the house...
...and in general "driving" me crazy! (see the slippers haha)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

More Twin Updates

Since I'm seeing all of these doctors so often, I'm able to have constant updates on their growth and my progress toward "Double D Day"!

The specialist, Dr. Johnson, is a perinatologist and he deals with high risk pregnancy's. Since there was a slight concern regarding the weight difference between the twins, (a 1/2 lb.), the docs decided it was in our best interest for Dr. Johnson to take a look at things. His ultrasound room is really cool...from the comfy recliner bed, to the 30" HD screen on the wall so that I could really see everything they were seeing.

Twin A is VERY low in the uterus but vertex (head down) and weighs in at around 4 lb. 5 oz. He has a head of hair, (yes we could really see it), and likes to have his feet wrapped up around the head of his brother. Twin B is quite the opposite and is VERY high in the uterus, still breech with his head and body almost transverse but not quite. He weighs in at 4 lb. 13 oz, also has a head of hair and likes to kneel on his brother's head. They refused to look at the "camera", so we couldn't get any good pictures to show you...stubborn little guys. It's safe to say they have already run out of room! AND, they are only going to continue to get bigger. That's right...I have 9 lbs. 2 ozs. of baby in there already and they are only going to get bigger. Let's recap the size of my other kiddos...shall we? Ethan: 7lb. 1 oz...3 days early; Joshua 6 lb. 11oz...2 weeks early; Rebekah 7lb. 4oz...2 weeks early!!! I'm not quite sure where I'm going to put these babies!

Anyway, even though they are still about 1/2 lb. different, they are both growing well and staying on their own curve...so at this time no worries with regards to their health. The biggest dilemma right now, is delivery. If they stay the way they are by the the time I have my next ultrasound at 36 weeks, I will have to schedule a c-section for 39 weeks. If I go into labor before then, (please, please, please), then they will do one more ultrasound to determine again where the babies are, and if they aren't BOTH vertex, then they will do a c-section. Only if both babies are vertex will they allow me to do a VBAC. Again, completely out of my hands...not something this type A personality can deal well with...but I know that there is a plan and God will make sure that things turn out the way they are supposed to. (Ask me again tomorrow and I may not be as optimistic and faith filled, but I can blame it on the hormones which are raging out of control on an hourly basis...just ask my poor husband!)

The other fun thing I get to do are non-stress tests, NST's, twice a week!! Every Tuesday night and Friday afternoon I have to get hooked up to the monitors so they can evaluate how my placenta is holding up to the nutrient exchange and demand from the babies. It's not too bad, as I get to lay back and relax for an hour, it's just trying to find that hour where I could get away to do it. As long as the test results are "reactive", we know that my placenta is holding together well. Reactive means, the babies are moving at least 2 times every 20 minutes, and with that movement their heartbeats go up about 15 beats and hold for at least 20 seconds, before coming back down to a resting beat. If the test is "non-reactive", then they will repeat the test the next day, and if the results are the same, then they would determine whether the babies need to be delivered ASAP to keep them healthy.

Who knew there was so much to think about with twins? Just when I thought I had gestation and delivery down pat, my body decides to throw in this interesting twist, you know, to keep me guessing. One thing I know for sure, Mike and I are getting more an more excited to meet these little guys. We can't wait to lay them side-by-side, stare into their little faces, smile and say hi!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just a Quote

"Children are comforted when they're held in their parents' arms. Hugs help sparkle up a day."

-Gary Smalley and John Trent

Friday, August 15, 2008

Twin Update

No startling news...just an update.

I have to visit the docs every week now, and at every appt. undergo a non-stress test. For those of you who don't know what that is...I basically sit upright in a bed or chair for anywhere from 20 -45 minutes with two heartbeat monitors as well as another device that monitors contractions, attached to my belly. For me, it's actually quite relaxing as I have to sit still and relax for a set period of time. For the twins, they take the invasion of there ever decreasing space personally and bring forth an onslaught of punches, kicks and movements unlike those they do on a regular basis. So much to the point that one of them ended up with the hiccups towards the end.

Mike and I were in stitches, (which kind of ruins the whole "non-stress test" part of the test) because you can actually hear them beating on the monitors along with their heartbeats and hiccups. It really felt great to hear them and laugh over the fact that we really do have two little incredibly active, healthy babies in there.

The results of the test basically told us that I'm experiencing numerous braxton-hicks, and that the babies are dealing with that tightening just fine. Due to the lack of space, I have to be monitored to make sure that both babies can handle what my body is about to do to them when I go into labor. Sometimes one baby won't be able to deal with the contractions due to placement in the womb. Which is why we meet with the perinatologist at Dartmouth Hitchcock next Wednesday. He will do a more specialized ultrasound to determine size, placement and my ability to deliver them...which still remains undecided.

We've been able to discuss, quite openly with the midwives what our wishes are, knowing ultimately we will do what is necessary to help these babies come into the world safely. It is more a matter of trusting the will of God, as well as the experience of our incredible midwives.

The ultimate goal...aside from getting week to week, we'd like to make it to September 2nd as that will put me at 35 weeks. At that point, any signs of labor will be allowed to progress how is seen fit at that time. The average delivery for twins is 36.3 weeks...which would be around the weekend of September 12-14. I am currently 32.3 weeks, but measuring at exactly 38 weeks...about 6 weeks ahead. Most twins measure about a month ahead, so we're growing well. Having said that, I've only gained 35 lbs., but both the docs and the midwives are happy with that weight gain as the babies, so far, have achieved their appropriate weight gains for their gestational age. So, we will continue to eat, rest and prepare as best we can. Please pray for our little guys, as well as the rest of our kiddos because things are about to change like we've never imagined...and we can't wait!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

My Crafty Side...Thanks Gram!

When I was in high school, my grandmother moved in with us. It was a little crowded to say the least, and it always felt like we had two mothers yelling at us to do different things. At the same time, it was nice to have her there because she would teach us how to do all sorts of really great things that only grandmothers can do.

Before she moved in, when we'd visit her, we'd learn how to do just about anything that had to do with crafts or cooking/baking...as well as numerous types of games, (just ask Mike about how "good" she was at card games...hehehe) So, when she lived with us, we were able to continue doing a lot of the same things. I can't begin to go into how much she taught me with regards to cooking, baking, and ya...card games, but I did want to share with you a craft she taught me, that to this day I try to do as often as possible so as to teach my daughter how to do it. It's called crocheting.

My grandmother would never let me forget how very difficult it was for her to learn how to do it, every time I would complain that I just couldn't get it right. See, she was left handed...despite how many times the nuns would rap her knuckles whenever she tried to write lefty! The person who taught her how to crochet was not only right handed...it was her only hand. That's right. This lady would crochet the most magnificent blankets and clothes with only her right hand and her left elbow...(she had lost her left hand up to the elbow when she was a child).

So, with this added guilt, (remember I was a "know-it-all" teenager) I did my very best to learn this crafty skill. She tried to teach me how to "read" the patterns, but because I'm more of a hands-on-learner, it was easier for her to show me how to do a stitch and then learn the names for them as I went along. It wasn't until recently, as a matter of fact, that I taught myself how to read patterns.

I've never gone on so far as to say that I'm an excellent crocheter, as the patterns I pick out are generally the easier ones. I think that's mostly due to lack of time to work on them. I need something that I can sit down and do without much thought. So, about 6 years ago, I found a very simple pattern for a baby blanket, and kind of tweaked it to make it my own...something else she taught me how to do.

I had decided that for each of my children I would make them a lovey blanket that would be their own. (Scars from my childhood blanky being passed down to the next sibling pushed me on with the gestation of each child, sorry Mom!) So, when we learned we were expecting twins, I knew my time would limited trying to make two of these lovey blankets before they were born.

Well, I succeeded, and completed Caleb and Elijah's blankets this week!

(L to R: Ethan's, Joshua's, and Rebekah's lovey blankets)

(L to R: Caleb and Elijah's lovey blankets)

Thanks Gram for teaching me this awesome skill. It's something I've been able to use from the day you taught me to not only find a wonderful way to show my love to my children, but to hold on to a cherished memory from time.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Her First Haircut

Hair? She doesn't have any hair!

Yes, we know. However, when you run your fingers through that extreme lack of hair, you would have found that what she did have was actually quite long, fine and kind of ashy brown in color...so it's hard to tell.

Since I was getting my haircut though, we figured it would be a great time to have her introduced to the scissors and comb. We've been doing the boys haircuts at home for quite sometime...they both had their first haircuts BEFORE they were even a year old! So, I'm sure we'll do the same for the twins. But, I had decided a while ago that I wasn't going to try and touch Bekah's hair...at least not yet. Besides, maybe the trim will help encourage it to grow in a little more! :)

She did great. How could she not? With a huge mirror in front of her, and both myself and the hairdresser paying all of our attention to just her, really, how could she not find it enjoyable. It only took 19 months for us to get her first haircut, but it actually does look a little different!

Friday, August 01, 2008

HIPPO Therapy

On July 11th we began the boys on a new therapy called HIPPO therapy. No, it doesn't involve hippopotamus', although that would be pretty cool too, it is a type of speech and/or occupational therapy that is done on horseback.

Toward the end of Joshua's early intervention therapy his therapist, Jenn, recommended HIPPO therapy as a form of treatment that she felt would not only help strengthen Joshua's core, but also help his speech develop clearly. She also felt it would be great for Ethan as well...having been around him with Joshua's home therapy, and knowing that children with Asperger really do well with this kind of therapy.

So, we did an evaluation through HorseTalk Hippotherapy with Toby Freeman, in Bedford. She does in-office speech therapy at her Bedford office, but the actual HIPPO therapy is done in Bow, NH at an indoor arena that she rents specifically for this therapy.
The boys absolutely LOVE it! It's amazing to see how different they are on the horse. For Josh, it slows him down, and I can clearly hear him see, "Hi Mama, I ride the horse!" every single time he goes by me. For Ethan, he has finally been able to identify smells. For the first time, while on the horse, he said the words, "I don't like that, it stinks!", when they were trying to get him to blow a bubble with that really smelly goo-on-a-stick stuff. Then, this past Saturday he commented on the smell of the pancakes that Mike made for breakfast by going into the kitchen and saying, "Mmmm, that smells good daddy!". He even commented on the stink he makes in the bathroom now...again, he's never commented on any smells...ever!
Anyway, they enjoy their half hour on the horse...pictured below are the boys riding Summer...a beautiful horse.
Joshua with Miss. Toby his speech therapist, riding Summer the Horse
Ethan with Miss Toby, his speech therapist, also riding Summer the horse.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ahhhh....High School

The good ol' days...hehehehe....yup, it's embarrassing to look back at how we dressed, wore our hair, acted, etc....but it can also be a wonderful trip down memory lane.

That's what I did last night. I met with these four ladies last night to not only discuss the plans for our high school reunion (finally...sorry class of '93), but to hang out with some great friends.

Our school was incredibly small...our graduating class...according to the picture I found...was 33 people. One of whom was a foreign exchange student named Soren...do you guys remember him?? Ya, I found a few other people in the picture that we need to track down as well. Fifteen years may not seem like a really long time ago...and even though there weren't a lot of us...we had a tough time trying to come up with all of the names last night. I think we hit 26 of them...which isn't too bad!

We hope to find them all so we can see everyone and catch up. Some of the classmates had been going to school together since first grade...while several of us, me included, were "add-ins" along the way.

So, here's to the Class of '93...I hope we can find all of you so we can open up our time capsule and see how far we've all come over the last 15 years!

By the way ladies....I found "The Contract"...hehehe :)

(L to R: Me, Cammie, Cary (the tall one), Amanda and Tammi)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Last Night...

...we let Bekah sleep in her Big Girl Bed for the first time...

...obviously she decided that under her bed would be more comfortable!
(Sound like someone else we know?)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reality Sets In

Need I say more?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Ian!

As some of you know, Mike's brother Dan and his family have moved to Ireland. Our nephew Ian is celebrating his birthday today in Ireland. In order for his cousins to wish him a Happy Birthday, we thought it would be cute to post it on our blog as we know they can check it out whenever they want to.

So, Happy Birthday Ian! We love you!

From: Ethan, Joshua, Rebekah, Uncle Mike, Auntie Michelle and the Twins!

A Prego Life

I feel like I've been pregnant for years!! I've come to realize...I don't make a very good pregnant woman. Some women LOVE being pregnant. Not me. It's not the weight gain...I really don't have any issues with my weight and happily report I am 169 lbs. I was 142 when I started this pregnancy...so my weight gain has been great! According to everything in print...I probably should be gaining more...but so far neither my midwives or the OB/GYN have said anything about it...trust me...I eat! :)

I think it's just how much it limits me physically. I find it very frustrating having to rely on someone else to get things done. I've always been a type A personality, a "gotta get it done now and in this way" person. When I've made up my mind that it needs to be done...then it needs to be done. I don't like waiting for someone else to do it...and I especially don't like having to ask someone else to do it. In addition to all that, I also have MY way of doing things that I think is a more efficient, multi-tasking way to do it...and to LET someone else try their hand at it...well...very difficult for me. :0)

A friend of mine recently told me something that I had been thinking...quietly to myself of course...that maybe this is God's way of telling me: slow down, trust in others, rely on others, ask others for help, etc. I've found myself questioning why God chose us to have twins. For those of you who know my kiddos...I've had many a rough day wondering how it is that I'm to handle all of the things that have come my way as it is. Then to add twins to the mix...?? Why us? How am I going to handle all that comes with the kiddos I already have...PLUS all that comes with having twins?? I know God has a plan for me and Mike...it's just been overwhelming to say the least.

My emotions have been both hormonal as well as overwhelming in nature. I can go from feeling unbelievably blessed and excited over the thought of holding these two little boys, to feeling overwhelmed and anxious at how I'm going to hold these two little boys with the other three constantly needing me...all in about...5 minutes! Especially if I have to have a c-section...I can't imagine how that's going to work out. Needless to say every prayer I have for my twins includes one about them both being head down, with an uncomplicated VBAC delivery!!

It has been difficult to "enjoy" my pregnancy just because for most of the day I'm trying to fend off two very clingy toddlers. I haven't much room left in my lap...and their elbows and knees are sharp. My belly is pretty firm most of the time, as the boys are taking up all of the available room I have...which I have to say isn't much. So, when I do try to let them sit with me...it doesn't last long as someone (both inside and outside of my womb) usually throws an elbow or foot into by belly! At night, I'm able to sit back a little and just feel their movement and talk to them a bit...but even then I'm so exhausted, it's not the same.

As for how the pregnancy is going: well I'll be 28 weeks but look and measure around 32 weeks. I have been having more contractions and general tightness whenever I go from sitting to standing, climb stairs, do too much and at the end of the day. Most of the time they aren't painful, just uncomfortable and as long as they continue to go away when I sit or lay down, then we've nothing to worry about! I had a test done that confirms with a 99.2% guarantee, I will not go into labor within the next 2 weeks!

The boys are incredibly active, and from this point on I'm supposed to do "kick counts" to make sure that each baby is moving about 10 times each in a one hour period of time. From the doctors stand point, they want me to make it to at least 35 weeks, otherwise they will stop any pre-term labor. After that point...whatever happens, happens. We pray that the babies are at least 4-5 lbs. each so that they will have a better chance of not needing to go to NICU. There really isn't any way to prevent pre-term delivery. But, if they can slow it down...they want to try to give the babies as much time in utero as possible. My second glucose test came back normal...yeah!...so I don't have to worry about gestational diabetes. So far all signs are good that I will deliver close to my due date. I'm comfortable with any time after Labor Day!! :)

I have another ultrasound this coming Saturday to check the size of the babies, as well as their position. They also need to check on the placenta and other membranes. Pray that they are head down and stay that way!! Last ultrasound one was breech, and the other was transverse, but the OB told me on Friday that it felt to her like they were both vertical and side by side...we shall soon see!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday Joshua!!

Three years ago today our little firecracker came bursting into the world 2 weeks ahead of schedule!! Ever since then Joshua has lived up to the everything the 4th of July is all about.

He is fiery and independent in ways we never would have imagined. His strong willed temperament is proving to be challenging now, but we know it will serve him well in the future. He is fiercely protective of what is his, not only materialistically, (as most toddlers do), but personally as well. His concern for his brother, and sister is easily seen. When he wakes up, he asks where everyone is and how they are doing. He is quick with a hug, kiss, smile and a snuggle...but just as quickly can make a noise that would make the ground quake, and dogs in the next state howl in pain!

Our love for you Joshua continues to grow with each passing day. We can't remember a time without you, and look forward to how you will continue to bless and change our lives over the next year!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Born To Climb

At least that is what his shirt says. I also noticed that the sign above him reads:
Everything Grows With Love

He just started doing this a couple of weeks ago...and now scales any of the doorways in our house. He can even get to the chin bar we have in one of the door ways, which is something we have used to help him improve his upper body muscle tone. Do you think it's worked?? :0)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Loophole

It never ceases to amaze me how children can find a loophole in ANY direction we can give them. Somehow, Ethan has become quite excellent at managing the "fine print" of the directions we give him.

For instance...

Lately, he's been feeling a little left out when it comes to sleeping in our bed. Joshua has been doing much better with sleeping elsewhere...namely with his brother in the twin bed. So, when Josh does wake up in the middle of the night to crawl into bed with us, it seems to wake Ethan up. (you know, the boy who can sleep through any thunderstorm or our house alarm going off!)

Naturally, Ethan decides that it must be far better to sleep in bed with mommy, daddy, and Josh than by himself in his own bed. Mind you we wouldn't have a problem with it, if the kid could SLEEP!! When Ethan comes into bed, it doesn't matter the time, he won't stop talking, can't quite get comfortable...and did I mention he doesn't travel lightly. Oh no...blanky, "norma" blanky, kitty, froggy and usually some sort of truck, train, or tractor. Did I also mention we have a queen size bed, I'm 24 lbs. heavier, (and rounder) than normal, and between me and my husband we have around 6 pillows in the bed?? :)

Yes. Over the weekend we converted Ethan's bedroom into a mini "dorm" room as it now has three twin beds in it. (We can't do bunk beds due to our cape style house having the sloping ceilings) So, I told Ethan that he now has two other beds in his room to choose from should he find his less than satisfactory during the night. I told him that he wasn't allowed to crawl into our bed in the middle of the night anymore, and that he could find more suitable sleeping arrangements somewhere else.

The loophole?? I never said he couldn't sleep under our bed. That's right. I discovered Ethan sleeping, with all of his many things, under our bed this morning. When I asked him what he was doing under there, he simply said, "well I was tired and your glider over there just wasn't comfortable anymore"!

Monday, June 09, 2008

When You Can't Beat The Heat...

...eat some ice cream. Well, we used to do this quite a bit more often...before we gave up dairy for the boys. Needless to say "ice cream sundae suppers" have been limited since last summer and the subtraction of dairy from the diet this past winter. We have been on a quest to find the "right" fit for our family as it not only has to be dairy free, but gluten free as well. Most of the soy ice creams have been a bust...both with the kids and myself.

I am an ice cream lover in the summer. I could eat it for just about any meal when it hits the high 80's and 90's as it has these past few days. However, downing a big old bowl of Edy's Slow-Churned in front of my kiddos just isn't fair to them. (Yes, I know I could eat it after they go to bed...but they know how to open the freezer and can recognize the container...just not a battle I want) Plus, I've noticed since cutting most of the dairy out of my diet, (except my recent addiction to Klondike Bars...thanks to the twins!) my asthma with regards to mucous in my lungs hasn't been bad at all! (ya, ya gross!)

I think we've found a winner though. It is made by a company called Turtle Mountain. They have a few product lines that you may be familiar with...So Delicious, and Purely Decadent. They recently came out with a new version of their Purely Decadent line of ice cream that is not only dairy free, but gluten free, AND soy free! And the taste is exceptional. It's called Purely Decadent with Coconut Milk!

Let me show you what Rebekah and Josh thought of it last night...

We tried the chocolate and the vanilla bean...these two LOVED the chocolate. But they also have coconut, mint choc. chip, and cookie dough...all gluten free!! Yeah! As for Ethan...he has a tough time eating extremely cold things, but I don't think he liked the choc. flavor. We'll let him try the vanilla one tonight...but if I can find the mint choc. chip, I know he'll be alright as that is his most favorite ice cream flavor ever!! :)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Name Game

Mike here, I know a rare appearance I know, and I am using capitals (see Cheryl I can use the shift key :) ).

Anyhow Michelle and I have been tossing around names for the boys. We agreed to not use cutsie names so we started to brainstorm. As many of you know name just one can be hard never mind two.

So here is a short list of names that Michelle has axed so far.

Calvin and Hobbes
Romulus and Remus
Pinky and Floyd
Obiwan and Kenobi
Bruce and Wayne
David and Goliath
CJ and TJ (it's a jeep thing)
Smith and Wesson
John and Deere (Ethan's idea not mine)
and last but not rejected names Dunkin and Donuts

I am still pulling for Calvin and Hobbes.


Monday, June 02, 2008

We've Been Converted

As any one expecting twins finds out...a lot of changes must be made in order to prepare for their arrival. If they are you first kiddos, then you basically need double of everything. If they are your 4th and 5th kiddos, then you may just need to borrow an extra of some things. Thankfully we know a number of people who have very young children and have begun to offer up items like bouncy chairs, swings, pack and play's, etc.

The one thing we didn't realize until we really tried to do it, was how much carseat space we were going to need. We've been driving a Dodge Grand Caravan for a year and a half, and it has been a wonderful vehicle for us as a family. Especially with the Stow n' Go seating, we've been able to have the space necessary to go and do just about anything. However, for those of you who are still in the carseat phase of children, you know just how big those darn things are. We spent over two hours at a dealership trying to find a vehicle that would allow us to get 5 carseats in, and still have room for a stroller, diaper bags, and...um...us! No luck.

Mike tried for another hour and a half, one night last week, to again try different combinations of carseats together. We measured, looked on line for carseats that might be smaller...everything...nothing worked. So, we left it in God's hands...and thanks to the very powerful prayers from my bible study gals...He heard them.

About a week after the carseat fiasco at Bonneville and Son, we got a phone call. A 2000 Dodge Ram 1500 Conversion Van had just been traded in, and our sale consultant Dan Reitz, (whom I HIGHLY recommend) snagged it so we could be the first to look at it. Now, I had no idea what a conversion van is, much less driven one. All I could picture was The Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo...well that plus a van that had been on That 70's Show a few times...you know shag carpet, mustard yellow with beige trim and maybe a disco ball...

I didn't know what to think when Dan drove this on to the lot for us to see. My heart skipped a beat as I immediately judged it, saying to myself..."well, it doesn't look as bad as I thought it was going to...maybe this is what we've been waiting for.

The gentleman who traded this in took meticulous care of this vehicle. Bonneville hadn't done anything to it...and it was spotless. It only has 60,000 miles on it, and although Dodge no longer makes these land yachts, were able to tell us quite a bit about this vehicle. First of all a conversion van is designed to fit the buyer. So, the old buyer had it outfitted with a $25,000 conversion package which included a remote starter, indirect lighting, a 17" TV with VCR, two skylights...and many more options that we are still discovering.

Needless to say, Bonneville not only let us walk away from our lease on the minivan...but gave us an unbelievable deal on this mobile living room. Our payments are still where they were before hand, and although we have to avoid parking garages, and most drive-thrus, it is now our new VANOKDS. Before we signed the papers for it, we asked Ethan what he thought about us trading in the minivan for the conversion van. His response..."can we watch the TV??" Ah yes, the TV...don't worry...he still gave the other van a kiss and a hug goodbye right on the hood.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

And then there were five...

...Ouellette children that is! As most of you, we had our ultrasound this past Friday...and much to everyone's surprise, we discovered not one healthy baby boy, but two!

Here is the first little guy...the more cooperative baby. The tech was able to get every measurement she needed from him without much trouble. He even held up his little "XY" chromosome for her to see that he is most definitely a boy!

This beautiful baby boy, wasn't quite as cooperative. He kept squirming away whenever she tried to get a good picture of his heart. Fortunately, after much moving around on my part, she finally did...both hearts look great! The boys are measuring exactly the same and seem to be growing well, despite my supposed small size. :)
If you look closely you can see it really is two babies. One baby's head is down in the lower right corner, and his brother's head is located underneath his spine, more centered.

Despite our shock, we couldn't be more thrilled at the prospect of this new adventure. We have been blessed already with three wonderful children...our hearts are excited at receiving TWO more into our family.