The Teall’s do the Indianapolis Zoo and Indianapolis Children’s Museum

Getting out of the house to the grocery store or to the park with three kids under the age of three is hard, planning a day trip full of activities, impossible – right?

 

Wrong.

 

Once I started doing some digging I found that we are smack dab in the middle of some pretty great kid getaways. There are places right in our backyard like the National Museum of the US Air Force and places far enough away to be real getaways but close enough to do in a weekend like the Indianapolis Zoo and Children’s Museum.

 

These trips sounded daunting at first but really once we looked into them we found a lot of them would be easier than a walk in the park for us…literally.

 

This past October we took an impromptu trip (planned the night before we left) to Indianapolis. We made it an overnight trip but it easily could have been a day trip. We chose to make it an overnight trip because A) we sadly had to cancel our original vacation to Hilton Head a few days prior due to Kevin getting very sick and wanted to “get away” B) we wanted to make sure to hit Indianapolis Children’s Museum and the Indianapolis Zoo and devote full days to those activities. We made sure to stay at a hotel with a pool which to the kids was an experience in and of itself.

 

We hit the Zoo the first day because the next day it was supposed to rain. Zoo’s are kid friendly enough as is but this one really was easy to spend the day at. There were plenty of places to stop and feed the kids or take a break. This particular zoo was very stroller friendly as well which as a mom we three kids (two of whom can’t walk) is a life saver.

Image

The exhibits were super kid friendly too. Noah could see the animals without having to be put on our shoulders and the twins could easily see the animals from the stroller, which was like a vacation for mom and dad’s arms!

Image

 

The exhibits were amazing, we particularly loved the lion exhibit. Noah was a little scared because the lion was a little…rowdy and pretty vocal but after we were a little further away and he felt less like he was being viewed as a lion snack all he did was roar and act like a lion.  Click here to see that rowdy lion in action, seriously it is worth your while I just can’t figure out how to get Instagram videos on my blog: Rowdy Lion, Roaring Lion

We loved the mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits. We visited on a perfect fall day and didn’t need relief from the heat or the cold but we made note of it because that is always a must for us with three littles plus it makes this zoo a great go to in the off season.

Image

 

One of our favorite indoor exhibits was the Dolphin Cave, Noah was so excited her ran around racing the dolphins. 

Image

 

Image

After spending the day at the Zoo we headed back the the hotel (right across from the Colts field which Noah and Kevin were ecstatic about) ate dinner, watched movies and swam.

Image

 

The next day we woke up bright and early and made our way to The Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

 

This stop was a hit from the second we pulled up, I mean hello….there is a gigantic Brontosaurus (Apatosaurus for you Dino Dan buffs) scaling and going into the museum. Dinos are a big deal in this house…the boys honestly could have skipped going in and spent the entire day marveling over their long necked friend but little did they know more dinos were inside waiting to be explored.

Image

 

Noah was mesmerized when we entered the museum. Giant dinos and a sky high transformer waiting to greet us…we were blowing their minds with this visit and it didn’t stop there. The kids were fully fascinated the entire trip.

Image

 

The biggest hit was the kid zone. While the entire museum is geared toward kids there is an exhibit, well I say exhibit but it is really more like an entire zone dedicated to the littlest Indianapolis Children’s Museum visitors. It is called the Playplace. It is in the perfect location as the twins were over being in the stroller and it gave Noah a place to run and be free as a toddler could want to be to get his mid day grumpies out (those grumpies were no where to be seen after we stepped foot in the Playplace!).

 

There are areas for babies (crawler friendly) which was a huge hit for us. I could let Aiden and Evan play in their foam baby pit all the while watching Noah explore rushing rapids, make music and practice his engineering skills at a ball wall obstacle course.

Image

Image

 

This zone was a huge hit. They had private cubicles for mom’s needing to feed their littles and diaper changing zones right outside the family restrooms located IN THE PLAYPLACE I could change the twins diapers all the while watching Noah. That might not sound like a big deal but to not have to panic about getting everyone in to the family restroom, watching Noah like a hawk so that he doesn’t touch anything in the restroom and spend about 20 minutes changing and redressing and accessing everyone was a life saver.

Image

Image

As a mom I thought this zone was ingenious. It was obvious a lot of thought went into the planning and creating of this zone. This zone was made for little kids to feel like they could explore, play and learn at their pace, their way and not be in the way or making a mess or breaking any rules. As a mom all I had to do was keep an eye on them and enjoy watching them have fun and for me that is priceless. The twins actually played so hard in the playplace they took an extra nap! 

Image

We walked the entire museum and did the Dinosphere twice! We’ve got a little paleontologist on our hands we couldn’t resist going through twice (plus they have a wonderful food court WITH Starbucks drinks offered!! Parent power up!!)

ImageImage

Image

The trip was easily planned, it was a super easy drive, relaxing, refreshing and one that we wont soon forget. Kevin and I felt like we broke our every day routine and got to “get away” to Indiana and it was our first out of town experience as a couple on our own if you can believe that.

Image

The boys were happily exhausted by the end of the trip and slept the two hour car ride home and we left early enough they slept almost the entire way there too.

Not to mention this trip is crazy affordable and there are always great packages available through VisitIndy.com to suit your trip!

We can’t recommend this trip enough and can’t wait to do it again!

Our boys were all smiles!! 

Image

 

 

 

 

Our visits were sponsored by The Indianapolis Zoo and The Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

DIY wood pallet important dates or best days of our lives sign.

Due to an overwhelming response to my latest DIY project I shared on Facebook and Instagram I wanted to share with you all how easy it is to make your own best days of our lives sign.

Image

 

I had seen a lot of important dates signs floating around on Pinterest and Etsy but none of them were exactly what I wanted for the space I had.

 

We have a large area next to our fireplace that needed filed. We already have two gallery walls, so instead of risking the chance of that corner of the living room feeling cluttered I wanted something large but meaningful.

 

I wanted something that would make me smile and make me feel grateful. When I came across the important dates signs I knew that was it.

 

That was about a year ago.

 

I don’t own a Cricut (as much as I wish I did) and I didn’t want to buy a stencil to do it, nor did I like the look of stencils. 

 

So I just kept lusting after all those signs that came through my Pinterest feed…then one day a link to how to transfer ink popped up in my feed with just regular old printer paper and a jet ink printer.

 

My husband knows the way to my heart and luckily he came home that week with a perfect pallet for the project. All the slats were already next to each other and with cutting it down a bit it would be perfect.

 

All that I had to do was pick out my fonts, dates, wording and format the printing for the project.

 

The project took me about two hours to complete or in my world 1 extra long miracle triple nap from the boys, plus 30 minutes of patient toddler crafting while I finished it up.

 

First I picked the dates and wording.

 

I started out by making a mock up in Word on my computer.

Image

I kept it small at first so I could see the over all look and played with the fonts.

 

I knew I wanted to use something more industrial for the numbers and something that resembled calligraphy for the wording ( I used Courier New for the dates and Eyes Wide Shut for the script).

 

I finally got everything formatted the way I liked it and was ready to print.

 

This step shouldn’t have been as tedious or hard as it was.BUT I have a cheepy ink jet printer…like it costs $20 with the ink in it.

 

To get the ink to transfer to the wood you have to make sure the ink will be touching the wood…the way you do this is to print the wording in a mirror image.

 

Normally this is just a setting when you go to print and option you can chose in the settings or properties…I was not so lucky.

 

There was no mirror image option.

 

So I busted out my good old MS paint skills. I did screen shots of my font and pasted and cut them in MS paint then used the flip horizontal option under rotate on the tool bar and printed from there.

Image

 

Since I wanted my font to be pretty big (size 300) I had to do it by sections.

 

Once I had it all printed I went about figuring out the placement by laying it all, like a rough draft.

 

Once I figured out my spacing I started the process of transferring.

 

I laid the paper ink side down and used a wet paint brush to dampen the paper.

 Image

You want to get the paper wet but not soaked enough that the paper will dissolve.

 

Once I wet the section of paper I wanted to start transferring I used the back side of a plastic paint brush to run the ink areas to get the ink to transfer.

 

The ink transfers really well (not to gloss paint or glossy surfaces though!) you can leave it as is (black) or go over it with paint as I did. You just have to make sure to rub all areas of the font, when the paper is wet it is easy to see where the letters and numbers are (that doesn’t show up well in pictures!).

Image

 

I was tempted to leave it black but I thought white would work better with our living room.

Image 

I just went in with some left over white paint and I had the look I was going for!

Image

 

I trimmed down the pallet after the paint dried and that is it!

 Image

I love that the sign is a constant reminder of how much a day can change your life and I can look and see all the best days of my life and be reminded just how blessed I am!

Since this sign is pretty big we haven’t hung it yet, I want to make sure to get anchors but I was eager to share it all with you before! 

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions and share your signs if you decide to give it a try!! 

 

The moments of toddlerhood I never want to forget.

 

  • In teaching Noah how to talk I always say, “go get a book”, “get a book”. Over and over. So now he calls books, abooks.
  • Noah would pick apples and tomatoes over any candy or cake any day. He goes crazy when he sees them in the store. I always have an apple in my purse. We took Noah to Ikea a couple of weeks ago and my purse apple was our saving grace.
  • Noah calls Kevin, “add” trying to say dad. It is adorable. When he wakes up in the morning to check if Kevin is still home he yells out, “add?……add?” . He waits after every call to see if Kevin will come into the room. Lucky for him (and me) three days a week “add” is home in the morning.
  • When Noah is done being somewhere he starts blowing kisses and waving goodbye. He usually wont stop until we leave. Such a polite way of saying, “I am over this.”
  • When I wake up in the morning and go to wake Noah he smiles and gives me a kiss and a hug around the neck….could there be a better way to start the day?
  • On the other side of that, sometimes Noah wakes up first and a couple of times he has woken me up by blowing in my mouth. Nothing like CPR to get your day started….it is a terrifying way to wake up by the way.
  • He break dances. Really. He saw it once on tv and since then he adds floor spins and putting a leg in the air while he is on the ground to his awesome dance moves. He must have gotten his dance skills from his aunt Amy because Kevin and I can’t bust a move for the life of us.
  • Noah is more upset when the twins get shots than when he gets them. He’s a very protective big brother. We have home health care nurses that come to give them shots and when they come he pushes them out the door and tries to close the door on them and tells them no.
  • He usually has 3 or 4 binkys at all times. He likes to stack them and carry them around.
  • He “crickets” his feet when he is falling asleep. He rubs them together, usually against me to fall asleep. He got that one straight from me. As Kevin put it, “pay back for all those years of you ‘cricketing’ me.”
  • He is a little actor. Everything is dramatic. We put socks on him the other day in the bedroom in the back of the house…he then belly crawled from the room, through the hall, through the dining room, through the living room unable to walk with his socks on. But then once we put some music on he was magically able to dance. If he bumps his head and no one is around to see it/react to him he finds everyone in the house and reenacts the incident very emphatically…it usually involves him putting his hand on his head, squinting his eyes and “fainting“. I think we have a soap star in our future.
  • Whenever he is about to do something bad he closes his eyes while doing it…like we can’t see him since his eyes are closed…the deep dimples and giggling give his plan away too.

These are just a few of the things I don’t ever want to forget….the things I wish I could freeze time for. So I figured I would write them down so one day when books aren’t abooks and I am not woken up with kisses and smiles and sometimes the beginning of CPR I will still have these moments, none of them forgotten.

 

the apple of my eye

the apple of my eye

Welcome Home Aiden.

Dear Aiden,

I have started this letter many times. But I never finish it because I always choose to put the laptop away and hold you.

I breathe you in because once what feels like so long ago but at the same time just like yesterday I almost lost you.

You and I have always had a strong connection. I can’t explain it but I knew you before you were born. That is why we chose your name Aiden, it means little fighter or little warrior.

our fighter

our fighter

I knew you were a fighter, I never could have imagined the battles you would have to face. I knew your spirit and you my baby are strong.

seeing you for the first time

seeing you for the first time

You’ve moved mountains little one.

You’ve shown me what it means to be strong.

just a few seconds old

just a few minutes old

You gave me strength on my darkest days. You reminded me strength doesn’t come from what the statsitcs say. You showed me that percents don’t matter. You showed me the power of prayer. You tested and renewed my faith in God. You showed me the power of love.

You my baby, are a miracle.

My miracle.

first time holding you

first time holding you

Dr. Goodwin your surgeon said you made it because you had some angel squatters watching out for you up above.

The day you got sick in one of the few moments I got alone with you before surgery I prayed to those squatters.

My sister. I know she was there. I too was a twin Aiden. But my sister died at birth. I begged her to help you, to protect you, to do whatever she could so Evan didn’t have to miss you like I miss her.

I prayed to my little brother Adam who had been in the NICU and passed away to help comfort you through battles he sadly knew all too well.

The power of that prayer, all the people that were praying for you around the world, you family, the doctors and nurses and those angel squatters was tangible in that room.

the day after your first surgery

the day after your first surgery

No one can believe how good you are doing.

I myself cannot believe I can look into your eyes and see my Aiden.

you wide awake this morning

you this very moment

I can see that spark. I recognize that little one that was in my belly.

I look at you now, laying in my lap, studying my face, my fingers as they type, smiling when I make a funny face.

This moment could have been lost, you were almost lost.

Your dad asked one thing the day we almost lost you, he down on his knees in our room in the NICU asked the angels to please not take you away.

I am so glad they chose for you to stay.

I am so glad you are mine. I am so glad you are ours.

You Aiden are my hero. I can only aspire to be as strong as you.

I am so proud of you.

When we took you home, I was depressed. While you were free of wires and monitors to me you were still tethered to diagnosis after diagnosis.

aiden1

One of the last things a nurse practioner said to me that hurt my heart was, “you aren’t just bringing home a baby to feed, love and hold.”

It broke my heart a little. It felt like you went into the NICU a baby and came out a list of diagnosis, not a baby but a permanent patient.

But one day laying with you on the floor of your nursery I realized I had to remove your diagnosis from you.

Yes, you have appointments and medications but you aren’t Aiden PVL/NEC/LOW BIRTH WEIGHT/AUDITORY NUEROPATHY Teall like you were in the NICU.

You are Aiden Everett Teall. You love funny faces. You smile when you eat. You laugh at Humphrey our pug (he is pretty funny looking). Your obsessed with your binky. You would be held forever if you could. You have a funny, sweet, strong little personality.

aidenhome

You were brought home to feed, love and hold, you were brought home just a baby, just like your twin Evan and just like your older brother Noah.

You were brought home to be loved.

you and evan sleep exactly the same way

you and evan sleep exactly the same way

That is far better medicine than any doctor can offer.

And truthfully having you home has been the best medicine for our family, having you home is healing our battle wounds from the past 6 months.

So here we are Aiden.

I remember seeing you as a little jelly bean on an ultrasound swiggling around with your brother.

Now you are swiggling around on my lap with your brother.

You are still the fiesty one. You are just who I thought you would be.

You are who you were meant to be and I am blessed to be your mom.

You are my spirit to be strong little one.

us

Aiden Everett Teall, welcome home.

With so much love,

Mommy

I am not meant to handle this.

I don’t mean this post as a rant. I also hope that it doesn’t offend anyone but I have to be honest here. It is a place where the good, bad and ugly can come out.

While I use to have the luxury of editing and quietly writing these posts now they seem to come when my brain is over flowing and consuming itself and I need a place to let some of it to come out. They are usually raw, full of errors and at some points I am sure I am the only one that knows what I mean.

One thing you wont hear as a NICU parent is it gets easier. The absence of that advice is advice enough.

It doesn’t get easier, it gets harder. 

What you are told is one day at a time and at times that it too much.

That is where I am hanging right now. I am taking each day hours if not minutes at a time.

In this struggle I keep getting hit over the head with the sentiment, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.”

But I am telling you plain and simple He does.

No I am not dead, I am technically “handling” it but I can tell you right now this is more than I can handle.

I don’t understand how this is meant to be comforting.

How is this supposed to comfort people who have lost a child, lost a spouse, are going through divorce, loosing their home or even dying?
One night, a sleepless night, the night after Aiden’s surgery I cried out to God angry.

I wanted to know why God would have this as part of Aiden’s plan. How could this be the path for such a perfect innocent baby? It was bad enough that he and his brother were brought into this world far too early and have had to move mountains since their birth but to drag him to deaths door and make him fight his way to survival as a frail innocent child unleashed an anger in me that I can’t put words to.

As we sat in his room the days before his surgery, when he was almost guaranteed to die I just kept asking people, “why would God bring Aiden in this world only to live such a short life full of pain?”

The idea that God is giving AIDEN this, giving ME this, giving our FAMILY this because we can “handle” it infuriates me.

And I know that even if this is a part of a plan and God did choose this for Aiden and for us he would understand my anger as Aiden and Evan’s mom. I am their protector this is my job as their mother.

What I feel, what I WISH people would say is this isn’t yours alone to carry.

What I wish people would say is that you AREN’T strong enough to handle this, let God carry it for a while.

This may be part of a plan.

This may have be “given” to us.

But with 100% certainty this is more than any of us can handle. It is bigger than us.

Even if God did give this to us, we were chosen for this struggle, please don’t say it.

It does sound warm and comforting until you are the one wondering, “Oh, God why?”

I can tell you with certainty holding my son last night, a week with out food in his belly, 6 days out of his third major surgery, hooked up to monitors and tubes down his throat, wild eyed and crying out in frustration, pain and hunger rooting around at my chest instinctually begging me for food and then having to leave him was last night more than I could handle. 

The phrase, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”, isn’t in the Bible.

Actually in the Bible time after time people are in fact faced with much more than they could handle.

What always rings true though is that even in the darkest hour God is there for us.

So please before you offer what we know ultimately is well meaning comfort know that we aren’t handling it because we aren’t meant to handle anything alone and that is ok.

Image

trying to comfort aiden last night

Welcome home Evan.

Dear Evan,

I am so proud of you.

I have been dreaming of writing this letter to you since you were born.

You are home.

You right now are sleeping peacefully on my lap, smiling in your sleep.

It makes me so happy to see you smile, even if it is just in your sleep because of the nightmare you have survived. I am glad your battle didn’t rob your happiness.

holding hands

If anything, all I can hope besides for your health is that this burden you and your brother have had to go through rest on your dad and I’s shoulders and you both will leave this journey far behind you, never knowing how strong you both had to be.

1 week old

1 week old

I can’t believe how far you have come…you the youngest…the littlest Teall.

so small so strong

so small so strong

I prayed hard the night before you came home that all that you have been through would be left at the hospital doors and bringing you home would be a second ‘birth day’.

This birth day, unlike your actual birthday, is a day to celebrate you fighting so hard to be in this world, it will forever resemble just how strong you are.

You are so loved.

safe in daddy's arms

happy in daddy’s arms

Having you home, to hold, kiss, love, hug and just get lost in staring at your sweet face has filled half the hole in my heart that has been empty the day your first home became the NICU.

our home away from home

our home away from home

While your NICU journey was a roller coaster filled with fear, heartbreak, terror and concern. And those sleepless nights that were supposed to be from your newborn cries were from the ache and worry in my heart leaving you and your brother there, I want you to know there was a lot of love and happiness entwined in that journey.

There are men and women there who saved your life, who love you and cared for you and filled in our roles as mom and dad when we could not be there for you.

They held you, sang to you, cuddled you. They changed your diapers, fed you bottles and bathed you. They also measured and weighed you, took your temperature and watched you ever so carefully. They xrayed you, hooked you to IVs and PIC lines and administered many medications to you. They made diagnosis, they made medical plans and eventually they discharged you, to many of them it was bittersweet. They were happy to see how far you had come and that you were finally going home but you wormed your way into so many of their hearts and they were going to miss you.

They were everything we wanted to be for you and everything we couldn’t be.

I read a quote the other day, “sometimes super heroes don’t wear capes”, it couldn’t be any truer. You and your brother were cared for by super heroes and I plan on telling you that your entire lives, their titles don’t serve them justice. I can just see you both telling all your friends on the play ground in elementary school that you were both saved by super heroes as babies and it makes me smile.

We will forever be thankful for those super heroes.

You also have a lot of people who love you and have not met you. They love you through pictures and cling to updates. You have only been lucky enough to meet your Grandma’s and Grandpa’s because of how frail and fragile you are. Even though your uncle’s and aunt, your great Grandma, family near and far and dear friends who have said countless prayers have yet to actually meet you – they love you and even though you being home doesn’t change the fact they can’t visit you and hold you like they would want to they are so thankful you are home.

evan morning

Your journey in the NICU has reminded us how quick life can change and that it rarely takes an expected path.

Because of that we look forward to the future with you and your brother but more than that we are thankful for the right nows.

And right now I can’t express to you just how thankful we are that you are home.

evan_squished_2

So here is to your birth day, your fresh start, your new beginning, we are so excited to see where you will go.

Today I cut your hospital band off my wrist. I kept it on all this time because it symbolized our bond from the day you were born. I promised myself I wouldn’t take it off until you were home safe and sound. Whenever I felt weak I drew strength from it, inspired by you and your brother. Before you could know love, laughter, joy and peace had to be strong and because of your strength the rest will follow. I have no excuse to be weak…you were born at 28 weeks, 2lbs 10oz and you are such a warrior.  You are an inspiration.

band

Welcome home love, we missed you.

welcome home

With so much love,

Mommy

living for the right nows.

I have really missed writing these past few weeks.

It has been a stressful few weeks. We all came down with the flu, our washer broke and I had several doctors appointments I couldn’t put off any further. So between squeezing in time for the laundry mat, being sick as dogs and squeezing in blood tests and pharmacy, doctor and urgent care trips on top of my pumping every two hours and once we were better trips to the NICU…it has been crazy.

Add to that Noah broke our laptop (he figured out how to unscrew his sippy cup and drowned it in apple juice) and it destroyed all of my half written blogs and thoughts as well as all the billions of pictures I had saved on there. I just couldn’t bring myself to draw on new ideas or try to rewrite those words.

I didn’t care that he broke the laptop…this entire journey has given us perspective. Noah was ok, laptop wasn’t…only one of those things matters.

Writing has always been cathartic to me, but even more so now. It helps make it normal. Everything in our lives is so abnormal. Putting our experience out there gives it a place, a voice and helps stop it from consuming us. At times it feels like this experience is eating us alive.

When we were pulled into this black hole of becoming not just mom and dad but becoming preemie parents our entire perspectives changed as parents.

Instead of dreaming of our children’s future, what sports would our boys play… rather would they even play sports or would they join the choir or band….or would they be book worms and get lost in books instead. What would their first words be? What will they dream of being when they grow up? Who will their friends be…who will their first loves be?

Now we can’t look that far ahead. Being a preemie parent you are forced into the present because if you wonder too far into the future you’ll lose your mind.

Thoughts into the future are no longer viewed through rose colored glasses as they were with Noah. We worry will Aiden be able to play sports if he wants to? Or will he be in a wheel chair? If he is, will it break his heart to see his brothers, his twin brother running around? Instead of dreaming of first words, we worry if he will be able to even speak. Will Aiden be able to dream? Will he be able to make friends? Will he ever find unconditional love outside of our family?

These are our raw fears. No matter what his future holds, wheel chairs, PVL, cerebral palsy, it doesn’t matter. He is perfect. But as his mother I can’t help but want him to never struggle. To never have to overcome such hurdles. With Aiden’s brain injury (PVL) due to becoming so critically ill we have no idea what his future holds. He could have very mild effects to completely debilitating. They can only tell us that early intervention is our best resource in battling whatever challenges lie ahead.

So instead of focusing on all the what ifs we have to focus on all the right nows and things we know.

Right now he is breathing. He smiles when I sign to him. He loves his pacifier. He is feisty. I know he dreams because of the sleep smiles he makes when he drifts off in my arms. I know that he is strong and I know that he is loved.

We will celebrate all his milestones. Every single one. Every single piece of good news…heck we even celebrate no news…because it isn’t any truer than in the NICU sometimes no news is good news. Today he went up .5mls on his feeds! Every .5ml he gains is as exciting as when Noah took his first steps. Way to go Aiden!! You are up to 13mls buddy!!!! You are doing such a good job!! I can’t wait until you are eating us out of house and home and you roll your eyes when I tell you (again) how I celebrated when you made it up to 13mls of food an hour!

It is hard to not ask for goals and timelines from the doctors. I am not a good ‘waiter’. When I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer the very worst part, above the radiation and surgeries was the waiting. That seems like a walk in the park as compared to the waiting that has come with Aiden and Evan’s journey in the NICU. Waiting is a cancer in and of itself.

I like to plan. I research too much on Dr. Google. I worry, a lot. I am scared.

This entire situation is forcing me to be someone I am not. It is forcing me, like a square peg in a round hole, to realize we ultimately have no control.

Which to me (a control freak) is paralyzing…especially since it is over my babies.

So instead of focusing (panicking) over all the millions of things I cannot control right now, I will focus on what little I can.

Because the little bit I can control is the most important part.

While I don’t have an M.D. after my name I am mommy.

And I think that I have the best medicine of all: love.

getting to hold Aiden and Evan together for the first time

getting to hold Aiden and Evan together for the first time

Aiden and Evan’s support page…please pray and share their story..there is no such thing as too many prayers.  We only ask that people keep them in their prayers and send them well wishes.

https://www.facebook.com/PrayForAidenEvan

A gift.

One of the hardest parts about all of this is knowing the other half of my parenting team has to go through this.

My husband is by far the best man on the planet.

I’ve known that since we met in middle school at 13 years old. He is a one of a kind.

If you met him you would agree.

He doesn’t hate anyone. He cares genuinely for everyone. He is so strong and brave. He is logical and level headed. He is the hardest, most dedicated worker I have ever met. He always puts everyone else ahead of himself. He is selfless.

He is an amazing father. Even after barely making it in the door after a long day at work, no matter how tired he is, no matter how bad his back or head hurt you would never know.

Within seconds he is on the floor rolling around with Noah or swinging him in the air and letting him crawl all over him even before he takes off his shoes.

Kevin is always my rock. From battling cancer to when I have a cold, he has been there.

I can’t help my mind from wondering every time I see him holding one of the twin’s hands or snuggled up with Noah taking a nap so peaceful, how could this happen to him?

No parent deserves this kind of pain, but oh my God why him?

He is perfect. He is so loving. So kind. He deserves so much more than to watch his children struggle for life.

This has tormented me since I was put on bed rest. He made at least a dozen trips to and from the hospital when I was on bed rest each day. Sometimes just making a trip so I could cuddle with Noah for 30 minutes, sometimes the trip to get him and back was longer than the visit but he never complained. When I was in the hospital he painted my toe nails so I wouldn’t feel like such a mess. No matter how little sleep he got or how hard his day was you would have never known, he was there by my side every second he could be.

When I had the twins, it was harder but he never lost faith. Even when I couldn’t pull myself together, he was there for me…even though I know inside he wanted to fall apart too. He told me one night when I told him it was ok to fall apart, “no it is ok, this is my job, I’ve got you, I’ve got Noah, I’ve got them, it is going to be ok.”

Then last night, watching Kevin and Noah play and run around the house I think I found some clarity.

Kevin has a gift with children. They flock to him, he is approachable to them.

In my mom’s day care when we would go to visit the kids would swarm Kevin who would sit on the floor and pay special attention to each and every one of them all the while entertaining the entire group. Normally shy little ones brighten up around him and come out of their shell.

Noah lights up in a special way when Kevin is around, he truly has a gift.

And maybe, as sad as it is, maybe that is my answer to “why him?”

Because Aiden, maybe even Evan will have needs to battles to overcome that will seem like nothing with a dad like him.

While Kevin is phenomenal with Noah, our “normal” crazy toddler I know his gift with children will end up being better than medicine for Aiden’s brain diagnosis and whatever the future holds for Evan.

So while I wish so much could be different for my babies and my husband I know that Aiden and Evan have someone extra special on their side that will get them through anything and they will be lucky enough to call him Dad.

And if I have done anything for my children it is give them the gift of marrying the best man in the world.

Daddy holding Evan for the first time

Daddy holding Evan for the first time

Aiden's first minutes of life and first time meeting Dad.

Aiden’s first minutes of life and first time meeting Dad.

Kevin and Noah at 3 months taking a nap

Kevin and Noah at 3 months taking a nap