Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kid-isms and doings - 2 1/2 yrs :)

I"m trying to think about things the kids do or say that I need to record before I forget.... I may come back to edit or add to this :)  lol this is my lame attempt at journaling... 

The first thing coming to mind for Ashlyn is
"Scratchy water!!"  took me a little while to figure this out... it means "splash in water"

This girl talks.. A LOT.  There are times we have no clue what she's saying- but a "okay! wow!" will make her happy enough to think we understand.  

She loves princesses.  We have a disney castle that has songs of a bunch of the princesses and she sings along to every one.  

Ashlyn LOVES to sing!  She knows all 3 verses to "I Am A Child of God"  It is the cutest thing.

She loves saying the prayer.  

She has sort've given up napping... so now we do "quiet time" and if she falls asleep- even better.  Quiet time consists of having a nightlight right next to her bed, books, a magna doodle drawing pad thing ("draw") and she gets to pick out "friends" from her "friends bucket".. aka: stuffed animals.  

"daddy feet" - when we skype with Jon at night she always asks to see his 
"what happened??"
"so-and-so funny"
"s'okay mommy (daddy, alton...)" she likes to tell us it's okay when something is wrong.. sometimes she'll come over and pat my back.
she says sorry all the time.... "I sorry I sorry I sorry"
Ashlyn likes to sign all the words she knows
Loves to help and for the most part- she will do what we ask ie "Ashlyn, can you go get Alton's shoes, please?"

He is still only a 1-2 word phrase kind of guy :)

His longest phrase is:  "watch baby signing time"  

When he says "watch" he makes it into 2 syllables lol "wat-ch"  

He LOVES pointing out birds.  He'll sign bird too.  It's so cute!  "birrr!!"

Just learned how to jump last week and he is so excited about it!!!

Obsessed with trains, cars, mickey

Still loves hugs and "kiss kiss" lol

"yuh woo"  aka: love you

He sleeps with a monkey, cookie monster, 2 puppies (one has a hat).  He loves going to bed and taking naps.

Loves baths- splashes like crazy.

He attempted to say the prayer this week at dinner and was all proud of himself.  Good start :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

So, you wanted twins?

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with someone that I had just met in a store.  Face it, when you have kids with you at a store- people sometimes think you are more approachable.  Anyone else feel this way or is it just me?  Well, with that said, I think that combined with having twins- makes people even more curious and it makes them want to talk to you.  I get it- they're twins- it's a little different.

Anyways, this conversation we had has been on my mind.  It was a woman probably in her 30s if I had to guess.   She approached me and asked how old the nuggs were.  She then told me she had a few kids of her own.  Then she started talking about how she wished she would've had twins (this is something I hear all the time- esp from strangers).  Then started the questions of "were they natural?" and "do twins run in your family?"  I never know what to answer to the first one.  Were they natural?  I know they're fishing for infertility information but it gets weird.  I won't lie, there have been times where I answer "yes" and don't bring up IVF because I don't want to talk about it any further because I'm trying to get myself out of whatever store we're in haha.

I thought for a moment about how I wanted to answer- did I want to bring up IVF?  I had some time and I said "well, they do run in my family, but we went through infertility treatments."  Normally, people just drop it there- but she went on.  Her next question caught me off guard a little.  She asked "Oh, so you wanted to get twins then?"  I'm not an easily offended person- it takes a lot for someone to really ruffle me.  But this, this ruffled my feathers a bit.  I knew that she didn't mean to offend me- but it did bother me. I had to keep my cool and really think about my response.  So all I said was "all we wanted was a healthy baby and we were blessed to get two healthy kids"

This pretty much ended our conversation and we parted ways.  Ever since then I just have been rolling over this conversation in my head and I wanted to write about it.  It has been a long time since we were going through infertility treatments so a lot of the little details of knowing what different acronyms mean or what numbers mean what when looking at blood tests are a bit fuzzy for me.  However, the experience will always be very fresh in my memory.

My infertility never defined me- it still doesn't.  It's a part of me- but it's not the only thing about me.  We went through so so so many different procedures to get pregnant.  There were times I wanted to just give up because it was just too taxing on me emotionally and physically.  Jon and I wanted a family.  We wanted kids.  If that meant we only had one kid- we would've still been over the moon.  So the question "Oh, so you wanted twins then?" really got to me. I know most of my friends who have been through this would probably agree with me that we just wanted a healthy baby.

Did we know that multiples were possible- yes.  Did we also realize how crazy hard it would be (during pregnancy and after) to have multiples?  Well, we had an idea of course- but no one ever knows what multiples are like until you have them.  That being said- I want to answer another question I get asked a lot.  "You implanted two embryos- were you planning for twins?"  We knew the possibility was high- but we implanted two embryos because the day we were scheduled for IVF only 2 out of the 9 eggs that fertilized had reached the stage where the doctors implanted them.  So we had a choice.  Implant 1 embryo and freeze the other or put both in.  The first choice could mean we could lose the first one and then we'd have to do a 2nd IVF and use the frozen embryo.  With only putting one embryo in lowered the chances of getting pregnant.  So this is why we did the 2.  Our odds of getting pregnant were much higher.

We were fortunate that we did get pregnant.  I love our doctor and his staff- they were with us every step and through all the good and the bad.  There were a lot of questions during the first trimesters if one of the babies were viable or if we had lost one.  They were positioned in such a way where they couldn't get good readings off of them.  Thankfully, they both stayed put.  We were lucky.

Will I ever fully grasp why we had to go through what we did (and what we might have to go through again if we do IVF again)?  I'm not sure.  What I do know is that- Alton and Ashlyn were meant to be here together on this earth- together.  Even if I could get pregnant on my own- I don't think my body would be able to have twins "naturally" (I hate that word... my kids formed naturally.. just with help from a doctor).  I honestly believe that Heavenly Father knew this and this is why we had to do IVF.  There was no other way for them to get here together.  They are the best little buddies.  They absolutely LOVE each other.  It's such a wonderful thing to watch.  How they miss each other when the other isn't there and how they laugh together- it is very special.

So, did we do this to have twins? No.  But I can't imagine our lives without them.  They've stretched me pretty thin (and I'm not talking about my waistline- although, that would be nice haha) and shown me all the things I need to work on but our hearts are so full.   We have been blessed beyond what we deserve.

Infertility is such a hard thing.  For me, there were times where I wanted to be private about it because I didn't want the world to know what was going on- but then I got to a point where I needed to talk about it.  I was hurting and I needed to talk about it.  I found that it helped others too.  Even if was just helping someone understand what to expect when going to a infertility specialist- it was worth it for me.  There are those who don't talk about it and that's okay!  I just want those going through it to know that you are never alone!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

This little boy

Oh Alton.  What would we do without you?  We sure would listen to way less toddler music haha... but our hearts wouldn't be nearly as full and we would be missing out on all the hugs.

Alton is such a sweet boy and I am so thankful to have him.  Looking back at some old blog posts- he has changed!  That boy LOVES music.  LOVES it.  He doesn't call it music though.  He calls it "dance".  He somehow manages to make that word two syllables but you can understand it.  He is constantly singing songs.  It took us a while to figure this out though.  He'll randomly start to squeal... I can't say scream.. because that makes it sound like he's upset... but it's this high pitch squeal and then he'll say a word that you understand and you're like "oh.. that's definitely this song".  Currently his favorite song to sing is "row row row your boat"  However, it's one of those things where only I know that that's what he's singing.  "wo wo wo uh oat.... may may may may.  Eye-ff deem"... yeah... lol

I am a little worried about his speech, but that may just be being a first time mom with no idea.  He used to mimic everything we said- now it's very selective.  If he really wants something he'll use his words.  Or if it has to do with food.    At his 2 year appointment his doctor was a little worried about it (thanks for giving me something else to stay up at night for...).  She kept asking all sorts of questions to me  "What if he wants something?"   the answer to that is that he'll say "more" and make the sign for more too.  Or sometimes he'll say the word.  For example, we got him up one morning after they had been put to bed by a babysitter the night before.  Unfortunately, the sitter really didn't feed the kids dinner.  That is a whole other story... Anyways, so when we got him up instead of saying "hi!" or anything that he'll grunt or squeal.. all he said was "chicken??".. sorry.. "chickuuuuun" haha... so, he does communicate things to us.  It's just hard to know if it's laziness or something else.  Especially when you have Ashlyn saying 2-4 word sentences. "See friend day?"  day = today.  Or my favorite lol  "See elle-fant day??"  Alton doesn't do that.  He is a very one word kid.  Park, walk, slide, sky, sun...  well.. okay, the one two word phrase he says is "all done".  Can't go without giving him credit for that :)

If you are ever with him and you need him to cooperate with you- tell him he's getting "straws" and he'll immediately do anything you want.  These are veggie straws.  Don't be that fooled, they're not like amazingly healthy... just better than giving him chips :)   He begs for them constantly.  Last week I caught him eating Ashlyn's.  Whenever we run out of "straws" it's a bad day... kind've like those recent commercials where the kid runs out of those halo oranges?  lol...

Oh, and I'm convinced that he will be very like Jon in this one way (well, probably in a lot of ways, but i'm focusing on this one).  So, maybe it was the mission, but Jon is really good at figuring out where he is.  He can look at a map for like 5-10 mins and he pretty much has a large area memorized for the most part.  Alton has learned my routes.  Walking or driving.. he knows what direction we're going.  If you start heading in the direction to where we go to church but we don't end up going to church he starts going "church? church?" Or if we're walking and I make a turn that wouldn't end up taking us to a park (park isn't even visible) he starts going crazy "park! park!".  So, if you ever get lost, just ask Alton.. he'll at least be able to give you directions to a park, church or grandma's house :)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Ashlyn's Eye Appointments :)

This goes without saying, but I'm really slacking at this blog.  Sorry.

So many things have been going on.

As many of you know, Jon has been traveling again.  He was put on a new project at work in November and has been traveling every week since around Thanksgiving.  This has been quite challenging for me.  He has traveled before for long periods of time, but that was before kids.  He has been on small traveling assignments over the last two years but not for very long.  Thankfully, he is able to come home late Thursday nights and is home over the weekend.  However, I'm being real here, it's hard and it's no fun.  But, we do what we have to and we are so very thankful for the job and all that it provides for us.

With all of this being said- I'm needing to spend a little time writing about positive things. :)  This post is about Ashlyn's latest eye appointments.

I wanted to write about Ashlyn's last eye appointment.  In January we went in and it was a horrible visit.  Eye drops and lots and lots of tears.  The nurse who put the drops in apparently missed and after waiting around for 20 mins, we had to have them put in drops again because her eyes hadn't dilated.  By this point she was just traumatized.  She kept begging for her glasses. "Glasses on!"  It was really sad.  Then, the doctor said she would need to do some patching on her left eye for 2 hours every day. They then told us as we were leaving that she would come back in March and they would do a few "games" to test her vision.  The main one is called the H-O-T-V test.  They told me it would be a matching game.  I really wasn't sure what that meant and I had a hard time finding a lot of information online... it probably has a different name.  Anyways, at that point I decided that I would start practicing letters with flash cards.

Every day we get out the flashcards while they eat or something (usually only when they're in their high chairs) and we go through them.  I started by showing a letter and say it and sometimes they'd repeat the letter sometimes they wouldn't.  Alton was the one who was most interested.  He picked them up so quickly.  He loves it when we do "letters".  His favorite letter to say is "M" and when he says "U" he points to me lol...  it's really cute.  Now, I just hold it up and they say it without me saying anything- there are a few times where I have to correct or remind- but they are doing really well with recognizing them.

Anyways, I didn't think that Ashlyn was really paying much attention.  A few weeks before her eye appt, she was starting to say some of the letters but she was mixing some of them up.  I just wanted this vision test to not be stressful for her.  Normally I wouldn't have worried so much about them getting their letters down because they just turned 2... but I was nervous for her.

We got to the appointment (March 13th- Jon's birthday) and thankfully, no eye drops.  We didn't have to wait long either- always a plus.  They show videos in the little exam room that have animals and she was having fun pointing out a few of them. Especially her favorite "elle-fant"  She loves elephants.  Anyways, the "game" came.  They handed her this large laminated paper with the letters H, O, T and V on it.  The nurse then said that we were going to play a matching game.  They would show the letters on the tv screen and then she would have to point on the paper which one she saw.  I immediately was a bit nervous.  Ashlyn can be very stubborn.  I was worried that she wouldn't follow the directions and decide that she was "all done".  So I kept saying "Wow! Ashlyn this is going to be so fun!".  The nurse was also promising a lot of stickers lol... so Ashlyn was a little excited for stickers.  Then the letters started to appear on the tv screen.  The first one the nurse kept saying "Okay, Ashlyn, what letter is that?  Which letter on the paper is it?"  Ashlyn looked a bit confused and started to point to "H" and then looked up and just said "H".  Then O came up on the screen.  The nurse kept encouraging the paper thing but Ashlyn said the letter.  It went like that for T and V.  I was a little in shock but wasn't letting that show.  Then Ashlyn was waving the paper around lol... so I just gave it back to the nurse and she kept showing the letters in different sizes and in different order.  Ashlyn did very well.  The nurse and I were cheering her on and Ashlyn had a huge smile on her face and as promised she was given 4 stickers :)  and one for Alton.

The doctor came in after this and expressed how well she did and how proud he was of her (I have to admit, I was proud of her too).  It's hard to do vision tests with toddlers.  IT's not like they can say what they can see more clearly... A or B? 1 or 2?  yeah... so this little "game" is the the easiest they can do.  It's not perfect, obviously, but it's better than nothing.  He noted that it seems like her vision is the same in both eyes and that we could reduce her patch time.  So now she only has to wear it for an hour/day.  Woohoo!

I'm so thankful for those flashcards! She still mixes letters up, but we will still work on them.  Best .50 I've spent in a while!  If we hadn't started "letters" I think that appointment would've been so painfully long and would've probably included tears because she would've been frustrated because of it.

Thankfully, this appointment was on a Friday and Jon was working from home and was able to hang with Alton.  I had planned for him to go to a friend's house, but Alton got sick that week and I couldn't send him over there with him only being a day or two out from when he first got sick.   Ashlyn ended up getting sick on the next morning in the car.. on the way to the zoo... thankfully we were only 5 mins out from home.  Ah, the life of having twin toddlers :)