Look Who's Walking! (Well, with assistance)

Aunt Christina & Uncle Blaine gave this to the kids for Christmas. Finally it was time to break it out. Quinn mastered it within a week. Ryan is still a little less sure and likes us to be behind him holding him up. But Quinn is up and moving. No tile floor for this thing yet - I have a feeling she would just fly down that thing and careen right into the door. Carpet only, please.

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First Easter Pics

Another first - and I think their "last" "first", save for their 1st Birthday. Sob. Sob.

The babies spent their first Easter in true style at the church nursery. Another first. Because of cold/flu season and repeated warnings from our doctor, Quinn was not allowed in any sort of nursery or childcare environment. So for the past 10 months, Matt and I have switched off every Sunday going to church while the other stays home to parent. The lone exception was Christmas Eve and their baptism day and they stayed with us in "big church" the whole time. Anyway, now that most of the bad season has passed and we made it through relatively unscathed, Quinn is now allowed back in the nursery at least until about 4 weeks prior to her surgery date. So we are going to be living it up as a family on Sunday mornings. Finally!

Except for the fact that it is REALLY hard to get 2 babies dressed in their finest while attempting to get my hair dried and some semblance of an outfit put on that's not yoga pant-inspired.
Anyways, from the reports of the nursery folks (unless they were just trying to make me feel better & knowing that I am "staff"), the twins did really well. In true fashion, Ryan apparently spent most of the time in the middle of the floor clapping and smiling. When he wasn't cuddling on someone's shoulder.
And Quinn - well, my little explorer apparently spent the hour crawling everywhere like a wild banchee and only smiling occasionally when she took a breather from her expeditions.

Sounds about right.

I have to say I was pretty proud of them. They have never been in an environment even close to that with 7 or 8 other babies plus new surroundings. Whew - I wasn't exactly holding my breath during church service but I was keeping a pretty close eye on the projector screen where they roll across the names of the unfortunate parents who need to come get their child from childcare. I need not have worried.

Anyways, Easter was pretty low key around here. Mostly just church and then some pictures and playing with Gigi's Easter presents. And I feel I failed on some part as a parent - we didn't even get their pictures taken with the Easter Bunny :( With Matt traveling the week before and my new job, time and energy have been difficult to come by. Next year the Easter Bunny for sure. We tried to make up for it by having an impromptu photo shoot in our side yard with Easter baskets and eggs from former years. That's right. We didn't even buy them new Easter eggs this year. Parents of the year. But what was I going to put in them? Diced carrots? Sweet peas? Ooooh Cheerios.

(Have I mentioned that the wind hasn't stopped blowing here for 10 days straight?? It has been crazy. Poor kids, it has just been way too windy to have them outside for any amount of time. Ryan has horrible allergies, so last time we took him out, his face immediately broke out into hives that took 2 hours to disappear. Easter was no different, super windy & the kids were dealing with little colds and/or allergies. That explains the swollen and watery eyes. And snot bubbles galore. Who needs bubbles from the Easter basket when you have Quinn, the snot bubble-making machine? Evidence below.)

What's with the wind, Mommy?

Not so sure about picture day

Getting happier

Clap, clap, clap. It's what we do best

And again.

Well, that's enough clapping for now. Geez.

Loving her bunny.


How many of these things can I  hold?

And it's the snot bubble.

Would it really be Easter if you can't stick a baby in a basket?

Quinn was may more excited about the basket

2 babies in one basket. Tight fit.

I just love the look on her face. So excited.

Ummm, is it over yet?

C'mon sissy, let's make a break for it.

I done. I done. I DONE.

Reading cards from Gigi

Hats to match Team Quinn tshirts!

She'll grow into it. Thanks, Gigi.

Hope you all had a blessed and wonderful Easter!

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Random Thoughts of the Week

This week has been incredibly busy - so busy that I have barely opened up my people.com window - so I really have no idea what is going on in the world of the stars. I know, it's critically important.

So here are just a few oberservations & random thoughts:

1. Two almost 11 month olds are HILARIOUS. They make me laugh every day by something crazy that they do. Today Quinn climbed up and then sat flat on TOP of a toy in order to reach the "promised land" that is the dvd player. Can we say Daddy has more baby proofing to do this weekend???

2. Two almost 11 months olds without Daddy is HARD. (But Daddy is home now, with a big shot gun under his bed and pistol in the drawer in case you had any ideas) But we all missed him. I missed his energy at the end of a long day. I missed being able to escape into a little world of my cooking oblivion for a moment. And the kids for sure missed him. And the dog misses him the most when he's gone. That's mainly because Matt is in charge of feeding Max and pretty sure I walked over to the water bowl today to find it bone dry & no idea how long it had been that way. Clearly I am not ready for a 3rd child.

3. I am blessed with just about the best girlfriends here. They keep me going in weeks like this. They drop by to stay hello and visit with the babies and me and just help the time pass. They meet me for girls night out when I can't stand it one minute longer. They bring lunch in the middle of the day just so we can chat for an hour. I don't know what I would do without them. For a long time, I was sort of anti-girlfriends...I mean, I had a handful of friends but I wasn't exactly sure who I could trust. Now I know. I guess that comes with age. And I feel so blessed to have these amazing, sweet, supportive girls in my life.

4. I have eaten way too many baked cheetos this week. I have eaten sandwiches pretty much every meal for the past 4 days. I have permamently stained orange/yellow fingers now. Awesome and well-balanced diet I have going.

5. I have such respect for single moms. I couldn't do it. Matt is stuck with me. We better just figure a way to work it out (and NOOOOOOO we are not having problems, I'm just sayin' - if there is a problem, we better figure out to get past it and quick, because neither of us can do this alone)

6. I have spent a crazy amount of time trying to plan the twin's birthday party. I'll keep the theme to myself for now, but safe to say that I have been all over the internet trying to coordinate. I have no idea why I am doing this to myself b/c clearly I am not Martha Stewart and "precious table settings" are not my thing and kinda want to make me throw up. I suppose I just hope people go away saying "that was such a fun party" rather than "did you see the centerpiece. OMG precious." Kind of how I felt about my wedding really. And truly their party is soooo small. Literally just family and some adopted "aunts" and "uncles" and a couple of dear friends. But I suppose it is the milestone... I fully plan to be a blubbering mess about them turning one - so add waterproof mascara to my ever-growing list of things to buy.

That is all. TGIF. And bless you all : )

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Quinn Cardiology Update, Part 246

 Well, not really 246, but it seems I've written a lot of posts relating to Q's heart. I guess that's only normal. However, I will say I have been really glad not to have to post an update recently. We've really just been living life these past few months since her last appointment, save for some "It's My Heart" involvement. But her heart issue has not been on the forefront of my mind every single day, which has been a welcome and needed change.

Yesterday we had her cardiology check up to see how her sats were doing, blood pressure, weight, etc. Of course, all weekend the appointment was in my subconscious. I woke up almost every hour on Saturday and Sunday evenings just thinking about it. As I have written before, everytime I think I know what's going to happen with her surgery schedule, "my" plans are blown out of the water. (How does the saying go? God laughs when we make plans" or something like that). I have mentioned before that I may just be a tad bit A-type, so schedules and planning is seemingly important to me. I like to know what's going to happen - makes me feel in control. Which I need to get over, because these few years have shown me that no matter what, He is the ultimately in control. I am working on it. Anyway, a fellow heart mom gave me  some good advice --- she said "make like a jellyfish" when going to these appointments and having expectations with a heart baby. I like that a lot. I repeated that over and over to myself yesterday as I made the drive into town with my precious little cargo in the back.

(Have I mentioned before how strange it is to travel with just one baby in tow??? I feel like an appendage is missing or something when I unload one infant carrier vs two and pop out the single stroller and not my "boat". So weird. And it's weird not to get the looks that I have become so accustomed to when I have two babies with me. Strange as it sounds, I kind of miss the comments and looks! If nothing else, it makes our outings more interesting).

Ok, sorry for the sidebar. Anyway, we had our appointment and for once, all went incredibly smooth. We thankfully did not need an echo, so we didn't have to worry about sedating Quinn which was a huge relief. Walking into the waiting room, it was the least crowded I had ever seen it - shocking for a Monday morning. We got into a room before I could even break out my Food Network mag, had our weigh in, length check, pulse ox and blood pressure taken. I had a small heart attack when Q's pulse ox kept popping up at 75-77% but she was pretty squirmy. When she finally settled down, it settled into the 81-84% range which is normal for her and where it has been for the last 6 or so months. Yay!

The first thing our doctor said when he walked into the room was "Wow, look who must be eating!". Oh, goodness - I almost cried tears of relief that he could see how chunky & big she is getting. His big thing is that she gains weight to get that Pulmonary Artery to grow, so I always feel like I have to defend myself and her on her growth (granted, he is looking at everything from a heart perspective and just wants the best for her, so I am not offended, just stressed!)

Bottom line is that her sats are good (for her). Her weight gain & growth has been great. Surgery, while inevitable, is not emergent. We have time to schedule and hopefully get our surgeon of choice. Praise God! So the plan from here: he will contact me later this week to get me in touch with Dr. F's office. From there, we will schedule our consultation with him. We may need one more pre-op echo, or they may just forgo it since she's had so many and there is likely to have been little or no change. Once we schedule the consultation, we will also get on his schedule.

Our doctor's hope is that it will be July or at the latest August. He wants to get her finished and recovered well before cold & flu season. He gave us the full blessing to go on our family vacay in June without restriction. Yay! So, that's the plan from here. We will continue to just live life until it's time. Honestly, just knowing that we are only a few months out - while scary, is also somewhat of a relief. We are ready. Or as ready as we are going to ever be.

There still is the chance that this surgery will not be the lifetime repair that we hoped for. Her PA has always measured pretty small, so it will just depend on what it looks like once they get in there. If they are able to work with the "original equipment" and just repair versus replace, then her likelihood of not needing surgery later increases. If they replace, she will need at least 2 more surgeries throughout childhood. If they repair, there is always the chance for a leaky valve or for a catheter-tpe procedure to open up the PA later on. However, we will worry about that all later - this is the first big step in being able to get beyond this. Regardless, Quinn should prayerfully be able to live a relatively normal life, save for some extra doctor's appointments and annual echos in her childhood. She should be able to play soccer, dance, run, or do whatever her little heart desires. Thank you, God.

Thank you all for your continued prayers for Team Quinn. We are so blessed to have such an amazing support system all around us. God does hear and respond to prayer - we know that for sure!

In His Hands and Heart,

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10 Months in pictures

Finally some 10 month pictures! There are a lot :)

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