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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Ride

It's been awhile since Monica or I have written a post. There's really not anything new or exciting going on. That is until yesterday! We purchased our first minivan!

When we found out we were having twins, we knew we would need different vehicles. Monica was driving a 2-door 2000 Toyota Solara and I have a 2-door 2000 Chevy Blazer. Neither would be suitable for toting around two infants. So we starting looking for a new vehicle and bought a 2002 Chevy Malibu from the original owner with only 35,000 miles! A HUGE blessing! It is the newest car we've ever owned and has the lowest miles of any car we've ever owned. It will be a part of our family for years!

Shortly after the boys were born we realized we had outgrown the car. It's okay for running around town when we won't need the stroller. However, between the boys' car seats and diaper bag, the backseat is full, and with the stroller in the trunk there is no room for anything. It takes up the entire trunk. Not to mention, because I am 6 feet tall, my knees are almost in the dash because of the rear-facing car seats, lol. We knew eventually we were going to need something bigger.

I always said "I'll NEVER drive a minivan." I've realized that every time I've used the phrase "I'll never" I eat my words, haha! After looking at SUV's we realized we would still be in pretty much the same boat, with a little more wiggle room. Actually I really wanted a Ford Excursion with a 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. They have more room than a minivan and can run over/haul anything! Buuuut, they're pricey because they don't make them anymore and diesel engines often require a lot of tinkering. I am clueless when it comes to working on a diesel engine. So a minivan was the most logical choice!

It's funny to see how much things change. I found myself gawking at new Toyota Sienna minivans, pointing them out to Monica saying, "It would be so awesome to have one of those!" Haha! My new dream vehicle is a 2013 Toyota Sienna! What has the world come to!

Anyways, the van we bought is a 2001 Dodge Caravan! It's blue (one of my favorite colors) and we got a sweet deal on it! $400!! It has well under 200,000 miles on it and only needs a few minor things. It runs great! It is such a huge blessing!!! We're going to Branson in December and Colorado in January and will need to drive to both. It would have been a loooong 18 hour drive in our little Malibu!

I'm really extremely excited about it! You have no idea!!!!

That's the most excitement we've had in our lives the past week. Sorry I haven't posted in a while! I always feel silly posting about dumb stuff. I always think to myself "Who would read this, and if they did, how would they stay awake?!" Oh well, hope you're still with me! I almost forgot. We did have professional pictures taken Sunday. We'll post our favorites as soon as we get them!

Here's a sneak peek:

On the left is the week they were born, the right is them right now (7 1/2 months old)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday: PFT Results, Man Time & Nursing

It's Thankful Thursday! I'm excited to do a Thankful Thursday post! I've missed a couple in the last several weeks. This week we're excited to talk about a few things we're thankful for. If you're new to reading this blog, we do a post every Thursday where we talk about things we're thankful for. It's not just for the month of November, but all year round! It helps us to realize that we're surrounded by blessings everywhere we look, and hopefully helps us not to take anything for granted. There's always something we can be thankful for. Without making you wait any longer, here's our lists:

Monica's List:
I'm thankful for heat! As it's getting colder I am thankful for our furnace and the heat in my car. I'm more of a warm weather girl and tend not to like being cold. I was just thinking this morning about how in the past people had to keep fires going to stay warm. I am thankful it is just a click of a button away for me! Ahh technology!

I am thankful for Jeremy's jump in his PFT's! I can breathe a little easier now knowing he can breathe easier! ;) Whew... was I holding MY breath this whole time?! haha!

I am thankful for breastfeeding! Don't worry if you are squeamish about that stuff, I am not gonna get all weird and detailed! I am just thankful for the opportunity to nurse them! It definitely wasn't always easy but it's paid off in the long run! The boys nurse so good and fast now! There are many reasons I am thankful for breastfeeding: the bond is so strong, it's so convenient (always the perfect temperature, ready, and sterile), I don't have a ton of bottles to wash, they usually eat in less than 5 minutes, $$$ (I always joke, when people comment about them being breastfed, that we couldn't afford formula for twins anyway) :) I shed the baby weight Very fast, and I know that they are getting the very best I can give them! I plan to wean them around a year. They are already 7 months and time has already flown by! I know it's gonna be a blink of an eye and then they will be done nursing, forever. I am thankful for this beautiful stage in life, with my babies, and I'm trying to treasure every moment of it that I have left!

Jeremy's List:

I'm thankful for rising PFT's! If you've kept up with my blog, you'll know that I was recently admitted with an FEV1 of 56%. After 2 weeks of IV's it dropped another 3%. This was a huge shocker for my family, myself and my CF team. I was kept on IV's for another 4 days. They added cipro (an oral antibiotic) and prednisone. They thought I had some pretty bad inflammation in my lungs. I went back yesterday for a follow up PFT. And drum roll please.... My FVC was up from 77 to 85% and FEV1 went from 53% to ................... 64%!!!!! Needless to say I'm ecstatic! I can't wait to see what they'll be in February! Starting at 64% and continuing to do treatments and work out I'm really hoping I can see close to 70%. We were a little nervous for a while, but hard work and being dedicated to my health paid off. 

I'm also thankful for fall! I don't like cold weather, but I do enjoy fall. The colors of the leaves are shades of red, yellow, and orange all around our house. It really is beautiful. Plus, I know I'll get some good exercise in when I have to clean out the gutters and rake the yard. It'll be the perfect backdrop for the boys pictures in a couple weeks! 

I'm thankful for comradery and man time! Deer hunting season is upon us! I honestly could care less about shooting a deer unless it's a trophy buck. Besides, a CFer, coughing his head off in the woods hardly makes a good hunter (one of the reasons I probably see very few deer, lol).  I do like deer sausage and deer tenderloins though! Is goo! I enjoy hanging out with just the fellas. Building a bonfire every night, and hanging out. No showers, no shaving. You can belch and fart whenever you want with no regard to manners, lol! The part I enjoy the most is sitting in the woods. Alone with God's creation. It's so peaceful! You sit for hours admiring the woods and nature. It's awesome! It's one of the most relaxing experiences ever. Alone with your thoughts and God. If you've never done it, I encourage you to find some woods and sit in them for an hour or so in the fall! If it's during deer season though make sure and wear some blaze orange! Safety first!

So what are you thankful for today?!?!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

7 Months Old

The boys are 7 months old today!!! It's so hard to believe it's been 7 months. They grow up so fast (sob sob). It is truly astonishing to see how fast they develop. The human brain is incredible! To watch their motor skills and memory develop every day is just plain awesome!

They're getting close to crawling! Monica thinks Jace will be the first to do it so we'll see! I'm anxious to see them crawl! It's gonna be adorable! At the same time there will be some sadness as it means they are growing up even more. AND, it will mean that nothing in the house will be safe with two little monsters discovering their freedom! Haha!

We're doing a photography session in a couple weeks with them! Can't wait for it and to post those pics on here! Now that they sit up like pros, and develop more personality every day, it should be a fun photo shoot! Hopefully the weather will cooperate and it won't be freezing outside. We live in Missouri so it could be 80 degrees and sunny or -10 and snowing. Who knows!! Lol!

Our boys are getting bigger and more adorable by the second!

Our life is amazing and we are blessed beyond measure!! Blessed with two bundles of wiggles, giggles, tickles, and poo!! (I meant they are full of poo, not that they are poo, fyi) Speaking of which, here's some up to date pics of the two bundles!


Somebody's happy because they have daddy's favorite soda!

Trying to drink daddy's favorite soda
Now that their hair is getting longer, they have crazy hair in the morning.
Notice the curly cue behind his ear?

Curly cue again!

Jeriah's curly cue!

Happy boy in the morning!
His Dumb & Dumber look

Fun with his hair in the tub

He likes his ducky!

Look at those rolls!

Jace - "Just so you know, you have something on your head."

Why do you always have that thing in front of your face mom?

Grocery shopping in the cold St. Louis weather

Pure adorableness!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Baby Games

The boys each have their own games we play with them that they think are funny. Jace likes to play a form of hide and seek. If he can't see your entire face he will lean, stretch or move however he needs to so he can see you. It's hilarious! We noticed it a couple weeks ago at a family birthday party. I play it a lot with him and he thinks it's super funny! Jeriah likes to do a balancing act on my hand, lol. I hold my hand out, put him on it and he will stand on my palm. He almost always grabs his hands and pulls them to his chest and makes the cutest face ever! It's sort of an I'm proud of myself/this is fun face. He scrunches his little nose and shines those two bottom teeth! It's usually accompanied by a giggle or squeal of excitement!

We have a couple decent videos that showcase their games! The one of Jace playing hide and seek is a longer video. He does it near the end. We were also trying to get him to look at his hand. For the past couple weeks, he'll be playing and will stop to stare at his hand while he's wiggling his fingers, lol! Like he's amazed that he can do it or something.

We hope to get better videos at some point. Anyway, here they are!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Clinic Update & Sleepy boys

Yesterday I had my follow up appointment after 2 weeks of IV antibiotics. It did not go at all how I had envisioned it. I saw myself going in, blowing an FEV1 of at least 62% and getting my PICC line pulled. I would leave with a smile on my face, go home and take a long, hot shower! (With a PICC line you have to wrap your arm and hold it out of the water when showering. Makes it hard to enjoy a shower.) Then get back to work at getting my PFT's into the 70's! I was almost there with a 66% 6 months ago.

When I went in, I kind of had a feeling it wasn't going to go the way I had hoped. I feel slightly better, and my cough has lessened. Usually I feel like a new man after 2 weeks of IV's. My cough hadn't changed either. It is still a harsh, dry sounding cough and it's hard to cough sputum up. The only way to describe it is that my lungs feel swollen, or my airways are tighter than they've ever been. So, since I wasn't feeling like a new man, my cough was still harsh and dry, and I wasn't able to bring up sputum easy, I figured something was still going on and I'd keep my PICC.

I blew a 53% FEV1. That's down 3% from before I went in 2 weeks ago! I was shocked to see that I had dropped. For a brief second my heart dropped. I've been working hard the last 2 weeks. As soon as I saw it, immediately my mind starts going to things I could have done better. I blew as hard as ever trying to get that FEV1 a little higher each time. It actually dropped with each attempt. I've been doing these long enough to know that usually my 2nd, 3rd and sometimes 4th attempts are my best. Another indication to me something else must be going on.

On a good note, my weight is up to 160! Maybe my FEV1 dropped from the addition of 5 pounds of adipose tissue. :)

Sooo, after discussing with my CF team how I feel and my symptoms not changing, they came up with a plan of attack. My physician thinks maybe I'm having an inflammatory response (swelling) in my lungs. Here's the gameplan:

1. Add oral Cipro to the mix for 2 weeks
2. Continue IV Meropenum through Friday
3. Add prednisone (if the blood work does show I'm having an inflammatory response, he would treat it with prednisone. So he wants me to start it now prophylactically.)
4. PFT's in a week to see if the prednisone had any effect. Follow up with the blood work results and go from there.

Am I concerned? Of course I am. Am I worried? Yes, slightly. Scared? Maybe a little. I'm not okay with that kind of decline and am not going to accept it as "the disease running it's course." I'm glad that my team is not accepting that as the case either. My physician told me not to worry that they were going to get me better. I guess he could tell I had a million things running through my mind.

Oddly enough though, I have quite a bit of peace about it all. Jeremiah 29:11 " 'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.' "

To brighten the day, Jace decided to have his first real belly laugh. I had just finished his bath and was drying him off and putting lotion and powder on him. Monica was feeding Jeriah in the living room. The Chase credit card commercial came on with the Katy Perry song "Roar." I randomly started singing it to Jace being silly and he thought it was hilarious!!! Every time I'd start to sing, he'd burst out laughing before I could get a couple words out. He just kept laughing and laughing and laughing! It was awesome!!! It was a textbook belly laugh, lol! Now we'll be trying to get it on video to share with you guys!

I'll leave you with a couple videos of our boys falling asleep after being tuckered out from a hard day of being a baby!