Friday, August 31

Four Eyes...err....Eight Eyes

We had our 1 week check up at Riley's today!
I have to admit I was a nervous stressed out mess.  I so badly wanted everything to be ok so we would not have to schedule another sedation exam.
After such a long day yesterday, the boys were pretty tired still this morning and that made me even more nervous.
Good News!
The boys' eyes look wonderful! They are healing great and they said the surgery was a success!
Eli's eye pressures: 9 and 15  (Used to be in the 40's!)
Blake's eye pressure:  6-- wasn't able to get the other eye
Those numbers are so fantastic!!
They wanted to dilate their eyes to be able to check the very back of their eyes...
Blake's right eye has been turning in a lot- making him look really cross-eyed. They checked to make sure there wasn't something else going on inside the eye- and more good news, Everything looks great in both boys!!
They also checked to see how their vision is (Didn't even know this was possible before they could read/speak)

Turns out both Blake and Eli are near-sighted.
Honestly, who isn't near or far-sighted anymore!

Blake was around a -5
Eli was around a -9
The doctor said in 2 weeks, she would expect them to go down a little...
IF Blake's comes down to a -3, then he will NOT need glasses anytime soon. 
IF it stays around -5 then he will probably need glasses in the next few months.
She basically said she does not expect Eli to come down from a -9 to a -3 in 2 weeks...and is almost POSITIVE that he will be getting glasses in 2 weeks.  :(
I hate how much this news bothers me.

I am so incredibly grateful that their Glaucoma is solved and their pressures are down. I can obviously tell a major difference.. almost as if I have 2 totally different babies in my house..
I can't believe i'm going to admit this, but I'm so worried about people making fun of him.
I know I shouldn't worry about it or even care.
My baby can see and that's all that matters..
But a 7 month old with Glasses? ..BLah.
Like I said, I hate that I let it bother me.....Hate it.
Hopefully getting glasses will help Eli a lot.
He has almost NO motivation to crawl towards anything...he sits on the floor and will stare at a toy for 5 mins straight...
Maybe he has no motivation because it's not clear still!
One more step in the wild process.
We will be going in for check ups Once a month for the next 6 months probably...once they know their eye pressures are stable, we will just be going in once a year.
I'm so thankful that the surgery was a success!
3 Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 30

6 Month Fly-By

Whew! This week has FLOWN by!
I have been working my butt of trying to get these 'Thank You' desserts made and looking perfect!
I'm making some AMAZING Lemon & Cream Cheese Cake Pops for the Pediatric Opthamology doctors at Riley Children's Hospital.

*I know it's not enough for saving my baby's eyes..but they are super tasty!*

This will be the first time I am putting my name out to strangers and showing them that I can, and do, make amazing desserts.
On top of making the desserts, I had to finish my 'Bakery' website and create my Business cards and box stickers!
So, here it is!::
I'm so proud!

Brad helped me create my logo/card and I love it!
What do you think??
Well... I know my most recent posts have been nothing but happy...
I'm sorry to say, but things are still getting better and better!!
These crazy boys haven't been napping very much...but I LOVE it!  Today, we spent the day at Grammy's house so we could receive a package for her. 
There are 2 pack 'n' plays at her house and they are right next to eachother.
Well the pack 'n' play sides are mesh, so they just sat in those laughing and talking the entire time they were supposed to be napping!  
They took a 1 1/2 hour nap in the morning, then in the afternoon, they took a 10 minute nap on the drive home...
So, From 11:45am - 7:00pm, they slept for 10 minutes.
How Crazy!
This is so strange and new to us! They played and played allllll night long! We are having SO MUCH FUN every night!!!!
and BIG NEWS---
Eli is officially crawling now!
He is exactly 1 month behind Blake on crawling.
Their eyes seem to be recovering great. We still have to give them 4 drops a day in their eyes (an antibiotic) but they take them like champs.
I didn't ever think that their eyes were cloudy, but now that they are perfect, it's amazing how much better they look.
Tomorrow is another big day for us,
We have our 1 week check-up since the surgeries.
They are going to try and get pressure readings on all 4 eyes and look in them as much as possible.
If all goes well, we will be done for a month!
If they are not able to get a good enough check on them, or good pressure readings, we will need to schedule another 'exam under sedation' just to be 100% sure everything is healing well.
Either way, as long as it's all good news!
Tomorrow they are Officially 7 Months Old!!!!
This past month has been so busy and so emotionally up and down...I can't believe it is over already!
Today, I fed them so 'puffs'.
Eli is getting his skills of picking up tiny objects and putting them in his mouth.. I believe they call it the "pincher" skill.  :)   That means he will be feeding himself soon!
And, Blake was standing up-- On his own-- Not hanging on to anything... WOWOWOW
*It wasn't for very long..but he did it! Then he just plopped down on his butt! Then he got right back up and stood up again!*
Both boys are also saying 'DaDa'.
Drives me nuts! I try everyday to get them to say 'MaMa' and they look at me and say 'DaDa'... It seems like some sort of cruel joke they are playing on me! lol
6 Month Stage has been a Wild Ride!
Not only for their health reasons, but learning to:
 crawl, talking Non-stop!, staying up so long during the day and shortening their naps, getting into the dog food, chewing on dog toys, Top teeth pushing through-super swollen gums, our first diaper rash!(Ouch!), Jumping all over their crib, pulling themselves up on objects and in their much happened!

I can't wait for the next 6 months!!
*I'm sure they will be saying 'MaMa' by then!*

Tuesday, August 28

Words Fail Me.

All day I have been thinking about the next blog post I was going to write.
And I could not seem to think of what to say.
How do you write words of joy...
How do you explain on 'paper' how life has done a 360 on you..
How can I tell you all how HAPPY life is without you all seeing it for yourselves..
These past two months have been so bad in our house.
We made it though, survived.. but I was seriously starting to question my abilities as a Stay-at-home Mom.
My babies were always crying, always sleeping, never happy..
I was clearly not doing something right, and having that feeling as a mother KILLED me.
I thought I was failing.
I honestly cannot explain how different things are after exactly one week.
*The boys are now only taking 1hour naps. --Their naps used to last 2-3hours.
*They are staying awake 4hours at a time-- They used to only make it 1 - 1 1/2hours
*An entire day with NO crying, meltdowns, fussing, whining..from any of us
*An entire day of the boys laughing at and with each other..playing with each other
*An entire day without ANY Tylenol needed! -- usually, they were getting it 3 times a day.
I feel like a normal family again!
Don't get me wrong, they are not all the sudden perfect angels, they didn't lose their voices...
They still cry... they are still teething..
They stayed awake for 4 hours today playing and having a blast... They went so long, that I had to put them down for a nap instead of waiting for them to cry for a nap.. So strange!
Then they ended up only taking a 1 hour nap..
So, by 5pm, we had some tired, tired boys.
Brad and I pulled out all the tricks in our arsenol and they made it till 6:30pm for bedtime!
Not a bad night..a normal night.
I just can't say how happy our house is, enough times.
Tonight I tried a new recipe!
Thought I would share!
We made homemade BBQ Chicken Bites and Au Gratin Potatoes.

BBQ Chicken Bites

1/2 cup Mayo
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
1 TBL Dijon Mustard
1 lb. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup Breadcrumbs

Combine the 3 sauces.  Cut the chicken breasts into nugget pieces (I used kitchen scissors! So easy!).  Dunk the chicken breasts into the sauce mixture. Then coat them in the bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 mins.. until the chicken reads at least 160degrees on the inside. *I flipped mine over half way through.

You could omit the bread crumbs and have great grilled chicken too!
I also made homemade Au Gratin Potatoes
3 Russet Potatoes
-Slice in half. Boil until they are 1/2 way cooked- about 20-30 minutes.
Let the potatoes cool for about 1 hour in the fridge.
Once cool, slice to your desired thickness and place in a 9"x9" pan.
I made my own cheese sauce...
2TBl butter
3 TBL flour
2 cups Milk- Boiling
1/4-1/2 cup shredded cheese OR Velveeta
Combine butter and flour and stir continuously in  saucepan. Do not let it turn brown.  Mix in the boiling milk.  Stir with a whisk contantly. Bring to boil and continue to boil for 1 minute.
Add in your cheese and keep stirring.
1/2 cup diced onion.

Toss the onion in with the potatoes.  Pour the cheese sauce on top of the potatoes.

Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 mins -_Same amount of time as chicken!
Season with salt and pepper.


Monday, August 27

Happy Days!

Well...I figure I owe everyone an update on our Breakfast Adventure.
First time in a sit-down restaurant with two babies...and everyone knows how nervous I was.
I feel like this is the time that you 'insert foot in mouth'.
It went great!!
I packed a lot of toys and our mesh teethers.
Those mesh bags were a Life saver! I ordered a side of fresh fruit and those boys chomped on honey dew and cantaloupe almost the entire time!
If they weren't eating, they were standing up on the chairs bouncing up and down laughing so hard.
The other diners around us were smiling and laughing at the boys!
They were never once a disturbance, in fact, they were the highlight of the restaurant!
We couldn't be more proud of how they acted and handled the noise, new faces and being 'trapped' in our arms haha.
I feel like we can offically venture into restaurants with a little less stress on us!
After the restaurant we went to Brad's parents to hang out more with Gma Shirley.  It was so great seeing her. She looks so wonderful and healthy!
Both boys took great naps, but Eli made me a little nervous. He took a 4 hour nap...
But, he must have really needed it. He was so happy once he woke up.
And, Eli is soooo close to officially crawling!!
He can take 2-4 crawl 'steps' before collapsing on his belly. They he would get right back up on all fours and take a few more steps. 
He just needs more of a reason to move.. no toy is enough motivation haha

*I really think Eli is just too smart.. he sits there and just thinks about if it is worth moving or not...  I honestly think he might be the kid that starts walking BEFORE he crawls.. For those who think that's's not.
While Eli took his 4 hour nap, Blake was outside playing by Gma's waterfall!
It was so great seeing him outside playing and not being miserable.

We found out Saturday that Eli LOVES football :)   Daddy can't wait to watch football with his boys!!
Sunday evening when we got home, the boys were still in great moods so we are taking advantage !
If they are happy and playing, then we let them stay up and play! It's been so rare that we have had so much time to play with them and they stay happy, that we are LOVING every second!

So the boys stayed up playing until 7pm, then we fed them and put them to bed.

This ended up working in my favor because I got to sleep in until 7am this morning! YAYA!!
(Sounds pathetic, but those extra 30minutes rocked my world.hahaha)
For the first time in MONTHS..well maybe ever... They stayed awake, playing, happy, laughing until 9:00am... that's 2 whole hours with no crying, whining, meltdowns... OH MY.
I haven't been able to stop smiling all morning.. It's amazing that you don't realize how much stress their pain and moodiness can put on you.. until you don't have those in your life anymore.
Is this what having 'normal' babies is like??
When I put them down for their nap..they both pop right up to standing and start jumping and laughing... Again- can't stop smiling.  :D
SOoo.. 10 days after Surgery #1, and 6 days after Surger #2..
We have two TOTALLY different baby boys.
It's amazing, a miracle, a God send.
We have been BLESSED.

Saturday, August 25

Liar Liar...Pants on Fire?

Brad and I have had a few chats about telling our kids little white lies.
Honestly, we are preeetty excited to get to that stage!
I'm curious about how everyone feels about telling their kids white lies?
I've been doing a little research on it and how it affects children and their mental state..and all that wonderful psychology.
I really don't believe that telling white lies is going to be the end of your child's normal state of mind..or sanity.  And quite frankly...we've all been 'lied' to!
So, here is my list of White Liest that I am looking forward to sharing with my boys::
1. The ice cream truck only plays it's music when it is out of ice cream
--really, those guys are so creepy, and if I can keep my kids from spending a few bucks on his dirty truck ice cream, I will.
2. Your fortune cookie reads...'Your bedtime will be 15 minutes early tonight'...
--obviously only until your kids can read, but c'mon, what parent doesn't want 15 extra minutes at night!
3.  The car won't start until everyone is buckled! (As you jiggle the key in the ignition)
--i'm not a parent of older kids yet, but I do know that kids like to live on the wild saying anything that will keep them safe is fair game in my book.
4. If you eat the watermelon seeds you will grow a watermelon in your belly!
--There is nothing educational about this, or for safety..but it's HILARIOUS. I was told this as a child and I have never purposly eaten a watermelon seed in my life!
5. Santa won't bring you presents if are a bad boy (and it's only January!)
--Absolutely. Kids should be rewarded for good behavior.. mommy will remember if santa doesn't!  ;)
6. Don't cross your eyes or they will get stuck like that!
--there's really no explanation for this one. It's just fun!
7. You will go blind if you sit too close to the T.v!
--Yea not really....but we don't want our kids to look like zombies ..
Well, those are all I can come up with right now..
I would love everyone's versions of white lies they tell their kids or they were told as kids!!

Multiples Sale

There is an organization in our area that is specifically for Parents of Multiples.
Southside Parents of Multiples
They have monthly meetings, Mom nights out, playdates with other multiples, activites, snacks ..etc.
Twice a year they hold their Parents of Multiples Sale
TONs of people donate any and all of their baby and kid, bath items, clothing, swins, gates, feeding supplies, Anything you can think of!
My mom went with me to the first Sale back in April..I was pretty clueless back then. I wasn't sure what size the boys would need, when. I didn't know if it would be cold or warm.  And honestlty, I'm still not too sure, but I do have a better idea of what I need now..and a better idea of how much the boys will be moving at certain points this year.
So today was their second Sale! My momma and I got there at 7am to get in right away. They always let the Parents of Multiples get in at 7am and the 'Singleton' Parents get to go in at 8am.
I feel like we scored some pretty great deals!
I got the boys' Halloween costumes!! And their winter coats. LOTS of onsies that should get us through the rest of 2012 and some P.Js!
This is definitely the place I will be selling all of my baby stuff once we are officially 'done' having kids! You can make some good Moolah! $$
The boys seem to be in great moods today! When I got home they were playing and laughing with daddy!  It's so nice to get out of the house and come home to happy babies and a happy hubby.
Their schedule is still super jank.. they are working on a new nap schedule and i'm trying to let them figure it out...I will go along with whatever schedule they want or need-- as long as there is a schedule!
I am making sure to keep them on their regular feeding schedule- so even if they are sleeping, I wake them up to eat and put them back to bed... I'm sure by next week we will have figured out a good napping schedule.
While the boys napped I took the chance to make some of my FAVORITES!
Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!
This is my best, most precious recipe!
Amanda's Prized Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
1 cup Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
2 1/4 cup Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp.  Salt
2 cups Chocolate Chips
Cream the butter and sugars.  Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients separately. Slowly add in the dry ingredients.  Stir in Chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 for 8 mins.  Turn the pan half way through.

I have a few Oranges that I really need to use up. I've been diligently reading Julia Child's cookbook every night.
*I have to admit though that I might have skipped to the desserts section a little early!*
Julia has a few recipes that sound simply devine that uses oranges. Like a
Molded Orange Bavarian Cream.
Sounds amazing.
I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful but warm Saturday!!

Friday, August 24

Got to Admit- It's Gettin' Better

Today was a weird, weird day in our house.
Not bad, not amazing.. just weird.
The boys have still been pretty sleepy lately. Which is totally understandable. 2 surgeries, 4 trips to the hospital, dozens of eye drops, and a cold on top.
So, I let them sleep! What else is a mom gonna do.
You know the saying..."Never wake a sleeping baby". 
Those people knew what they were talking about.  It's NOT a pleasant experience. hah
So, they sleep. I bake. Everyone is happy! :)
Both boys have really been struggling to eat since their second surgery. Which makes me a little nervous.  
They haven't eaten ANY solid foods since Tuesday. Eli has only been taking about 3-4oz. of formula before bed..and he is still sleeping all 12hours!  During the day, they are only taking 3-4oz of each bottle too!  So weird..are these still my chunky little boys?!
** I will say that since the first surgery, Eli has lost weight..He is under 18lbs now..*
But, what do you do? You can't force them to eat. It just pisses them off more and stresses me to the max! I attempt to give them food and that's all I can do.
"You can lead a horse to water.... blah blah we know the rest.."
Well, I pulled out my MD coat and Googled it! 
We've been waiting on these darn top teeth to push through for FOREVER... Well, it seems like it is about to happen!
-Change in appetite
-Diarrhea (I know TMI, but this is a blog about babies...c'mon..)
-Obvious Drooling..when I say drooling I mean SOAKING outfits
-Chomping hard on anything that can get into their mouths..and NOT letting go
etc, etc.....
So, I take a look at their gums.. turns out they are SWOLLEN. Poor babies.. recovering from surgery, fighting a cold and horribly swollen gosh these are some tough baby boys.
From what I have read, when they start refusing foods, the teeth are only about 4-7days away.
Fingers Crossed!!!
Blake outside.
They are still pretty sensitive to light... I am hoping that's because they are still recovering from being cut open lol.  Blake was NOT a fan of today's sunlight.

Eli feeding himself...What a weirdo.  Only I can say that because i'm his mom..but really? What kid holds his bottle with his feet?? I mean, are his arms THAT tired? Or is he lazy? Or smart? hahah.
So silly..I was laughing so hard!
The good part about today is that we are slowly noticing the boys feeling better and better.
It's not a big improvement everyday, but it's enough that today- 3 days after surgery, we can tell a difference! And that is unbelievably exciting.
Brad got home from woke super early today - which means the boys got more daddy play time! They LOVE playing with daddy (seeing moms face all day gets boring! haha)
Even Brad and tell a BIG difference in their attitudes.
It's really hard right now because of the nasty teething, they still have their fussy moments.. but it is NOTHING like what we have been dealing with.

The last month, at bedtime, it would be non-stop Screaming matches and crying and trying to get them to calm down just to eat a little bit and Nothing we did seemed to work, and Brad and I would cry and argue, and sing, and bounce and walk, and Laugh...We tried Anything to calm our babies down.
Now, 3 days after their surgery, Bedtime feedings are...
It's like they are 2 weeks old again..(Except they won't fall asleep in our arms while feeding, and when they are done they jump up in our laps and they climb all over us and are laughing and talking..)
But it is so nice. Nobody can possibly understand what it's like fighting two babies every night and not having a solution...then One day, it's better!
I think a lot of people take it for granted how "normal" their babies are..
We are almost to that stage.
I couldn't be more happy with the results we have seen already. And I can only imagine how happy the boys are that we FINALLY fixed their pain and listened to their cries for help!
How do you Thank all of the Doctors that have played a part in helping our babies???
The only thing I can think of is to send them some fresh, homemade baked goods with a big
Thank You Note!
I'm sure every doctor likes cookies, cupcakes and brownies..right?!
Hopefully we will be seeing a little more improvement each day, to the point that going outside is not a big deal.
Continued prayers are always welcome as we continue our recovery process!
Have a wonderful weekend! We are looking forward to more play time with our sweet babies!!

Dinner for Four...To go.

My babies are almost 7 months old and a LOT has happened in their little lives so far!
One thing that hasn't happened....Dining out.
As a new mom and a new mom of twins, I cannot seem to conquer my fear of taking 2 babies out to eat.
So, We have ordered food to go, gotten take out and had pizza delivered whenever we feel like eating out. And frankly, I've been ok with that!
We have avoided public meltdowns, screaming fits and embarrassment.
But, it seems my avoidence streak will end this weekend.
We have family coming into town and they want to go out to breakfast.
Of course there is nothing I want to do more than seeing family and enjoying a wonderful breakfast with them! My first we have to bring the boys?
Simply, Yes!
Who wouldn't want to see these adorable baby boys, especially family who has only gotten to see them once since they were born.
So, I've been on a search for tip and tricks from other moms of multiples on how to survive this adventure.
*I will say that since the boys have had their surgeries, I am a little more hopeful that meltdowns will be to a minimum since they are no longer in pain!*
Here's a few tips I have read...
1) Be Prepared – Bring whatever you need to to soothe the savage beast. That could be a favorite blanket, a stuffed animal, a special toy or my personal fave – candy to be used as bribes! Whatever it takes to keep them quiet while you enjoy that gourmet dish that you’ve been craving.
    ** This, I can do. We have a million toys-- but obviously candy is a no-no.
2) Feed ‘em First – Not kidding. really, feed them something before you get to the restaurant. Most of us parents know that young kids have a penchant for not liking practically everything that is put before them, and complaining about it when you try to get them to eat. In the worst case scenarios, the meltdowns occur, with full-out tantrums and screaming fits being experienced by not only your family, but the whole restaurant. You will not be looked upon positively in these situations, so spare yourself and feed Johnny before you step out on the town. You can always get them a dessert or something when you’re there, if they start acting up and demanding food.
    **Again, Can do! We will pack their bottles and try to feed in the parking lot! It is breakfast though, so we will be leaving our house early to drive we'll see how hungry they are at that time! Luckily they LOVE fresh fruits so mommy will be ordering some fruits for them to chew on!
3)Be a Family of Early Birds – Go early. You will have less traffic in the restaurant, more attention from the staff and less of an opportunity to annoy a large group of people. If you can coordinate an early evening dinner or early lunch, do so and you will feel a lot less stressed.
    **Great idea! Doesn't quite fit our senario this time, but will keep it in mind!
     **Our boys are too young for this tip, but I don't think I would have a problem with the 'threats' part when they get older ;)
5)Plan Your Getaway – Similar to when traveling on an airplane, you should always know the locations of the emergency exits. Having small children may necessitate an emergency exit. Accordingly, plan your course of action and hope, like being on a plane, that you won’t have to use it but be assured that you can if you have to. And quickly.
       **Too bad there isn't an attendant that points out all of their exit doors when you arrive--or even a floatation device, if needed!
6)Diversion Tactics – Can you say iPhone? Okay, how about any similar device that will keep your kids occupied and rapt while you dine in peace? I’m all about TV-watching (or smart-phone watching in this case) if it will keep the kids quiet for a little while. Load up some of little Johnny’ favorite programs on your device and make sure the battery is charged.
   ** The boys LOVE my iPhone, this will definitely be in play!
7)Team Huddle – Whether you are going with your child’s father, your mother, a favorite aunt or close friend, you should use the “team” philosophy and plan ahead what the play-by-play strategy should be. Huddle before the big event, make a game plan, delegate who’s doing what and be ready to rumble…if need be (the rumbling might be with a three-year-old, mind you, but be ready nonetheless).
      **Thankfully we will be with a lot of family-- having the Team will help a ton!
8)Wait Staff Allies – Be very friendly with your wait staff. Very friendly. They can be your allies or your adversaries while you attempt to have a bit of a life by eating at a decent restaurant. They may even help you entertain your kids – your choice. You set the tone as soon as you get there, so you might as well make it a positive one since you’ve taken the jump and brought along the family. Oh, and be prepared to leave a very substantial tip, one that will compensate for the crème brûlée that’s ground into the floor.
  ** I must say I am one who is ALWAYS extremely courteous to the wait staff. I've been a waitress- I know it blows and the last thing they want is a shitty parent with a cranky baby.  Enough said.
9)Bring Restraints Seating – If your kids are small enough, do not forget the stroller or booster seat. When the going gets tough, the tough sit down…and make their kids sit down as well.
   ** Not sure about this one. The boys are still so young.. They do NOT like to be stuck in their carseats anymore..hopefully they are big enough for the restaurant high chairs. I think they will enjoy sitting up with everyone and playing. 
10)Check Yourself – Ask for your bill as soon as you order. That way, if you have to make a speedy escape (see tip #5), you can do so more quickly.
  ** This one just made me laugh.  I'm sure if you follow #8- they will understand when you need the check quickly  :) 
Those are just a few I have gotten from fellow moms of multiples-- I'm curious.. Anyone out there that is reading this, do YOU have any tips on Restaurant Etiquette with babies??

Thursday, August 23

Worries Post Surgery

Yesterday my mom stayed with the boys and me all day. Which was great! Since Eli is sick, he has been a lot more fussy than normal and i'm sure adding surgery on top is not the easiest thing to deal with.
But, both boys seems pretty normal all things considered.
They didn't stay awake very much, but when they were, they played and giggled.
They doctors check-up went great. They were able to get a read on Blake's second eye- and his pressure was down to 9! Couldn't ask for a better read the day after a surgery!
Eli was impossible to read, especially because he wasn't feeling good. :(
We have our next appointment set for next Friday, so we will be able to get good pressure checks on both boys which will tell us what the next move is for us (normal life, more surgery, etc...)
Today started out a little rough.
Eli woke up and ate and was immediately crying. Never once opened his eyes...So, I put him back and in bed and he went right back to sleep.  He slept from 8:30am - 12:30pm! I was freaking out. The time he was awake from 7-7:30, he didn't open is eyes ever.. So, once he was asleep I called the doctor...
'Let's wait and see how today goes, if he doesn't seem to make improvements then we will bring him in tomorrow so you aren't wondering what's going on over the weekend. It is pretty normal after surgery for them to not want to open their eyes.' --Sounds fair.

When we woke up at 12:30, he was actually in a pretty good mood. Sitting up and a little chatty.
He ate, and he FINALLY opened his eyes! YAY! 
He ended up playing for about 1 1/2 hours in a really good mood until he was ready for another nap.
I'm going to take it that because of this cold that he has, that's why he is sleeping so much. I know when I am sick, all I want to do is sleep..
I've been doing a lot of reading of other blogs from parents with infants that have Congenital Glaucoma.  Sounds like it takes about 2 weeks until you babies are 100% back to their normal selves.--Which again, sounds reasonable. Nobody likes surgery and I can't imagine how it feels in your eyeball.
BUT, I will say, when the boys are awake and playing, they are SO SO much better. Even at night time we can tell a huge difference. They don't seem to be so fussy- they don't seem to want to hang out in their dark room..and if they are tired, they keep pushing through it just to play a little longer.
This all might sound silly, but when you usually have your kids awake for 45mins-1hour at a time before they want to go back to sleep, then all of this is truly a big deal!
Hopefully in the next week we will see even better improvements and maybe start taking them on walks without being totally covered by a blanket..  Fingers Crossed!
Today I was in a big time Baking mood.
My mom brought over some Raspberries and Blackberries. and she talked about how she made some Baked oatmeal at home.. Yummmm Doesn't that sound amazing!
So, here it is-- Thanks to the Martin Family Cookbook (again)
This recipe is from Marlene Zimmerman (Grace)-- But, I did Add and Subtract a few ingredients, so here is my version:
Baked Oatmeal
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
6 cups Oatmeal
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
3 cups Milk
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 cups Fresh Fruit ( Blueberries, Raspberries, Apples.....)
Preheat Oven to 350degrees.
Cream Oil, Sugar and Eggs.  In separate bowl combine oatmeal,baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Combine milk and vanilla.   *I find this is the easiest way to add so much liquid*...add 1/2 the milk to the oil/sugar/egg mixture. Stir, then add 1/2 the oatmeal mixture.  Mix and add remaining milk, stir and add remaining oatmeal. Stir in choice of fruit.
Grease a 9x13" pan. Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 30-40 mins. Until it is not liquid in the center and golden brown on top. 
**You can freeze 1/2 of this for later. Keep in fridge. When you eat it for breakfast, I warm mine up in the microwave and pour some milk over it.  
mmmmmm So delicious!
Almost Friday!! <3

Tuesday, August 21

Second Surgery

Today was another big day in the Waits household!

The boys had their second eye surgery this morning.

We had to check into the hospital at 6:15am! Eaaarrly. And of course I could NOT sleep. I think I ended up getting 2 hours of sleep. :(

Blake was scheduled to get his surgery first at 7:30am.
We had a different doctor doing the procedure this time. This doctor is head of the Pediatric Ophthalmology department at Riley. That always makes you feel a little better!

Blake was in and out in no time. Way, way faster than the first surgery.  He was done and in recovery around 8:40am. They said the surgery went great and everything is looking wonderful! They checked the pressure in his eye that had surgery last week, and the pressure was at 5!! Holy Moly.  That's actually a little too low, but they said that while recovering from surgery, it is very normal for it to drop that low.  They keep a close eye on us this next week and it should slowly level itself out to a normal pressure level.

Eli was taken back at 9:00am.  It stinks that Eli has a cold right now. All he wanted to do was snuggle and sleep. Poor kid really just wanted his bed :(  But we are so thankful that he wasn't too sick to get his surgery today! The last thing I wanted to do was make another trip back to OutPatient Surgery Center for another surgery day.

Eli was in and out of his surgery as well! He was back in my arms taking his bottle by 10:20am.

Again, the doctor said everything went so well.

They didn't do an extensive exam this time, so we really aren't sure exactly how bad these eyes today were, but once the eyes have fully healed we will find out more info.

We have our check up tomorrow for the boys to get their eye patches off.
Then we will have to come back in a week for another check of their pressure levels in their eyes.

If that check up goes well, we won't have to come back for another month.
Then, if that month's check up is good..then we will be done for a long time!
But, if they aren't able to get a good read on their levels, then we will come in for a sedated exam again.
So we will wait for about a month and hopefully they can get a great read just in the office and we won't need anymore sedation!

The boys are still sleeping. Poor guys have been through the ringer this week.

 I will say that after the surgeries, the doctor was Preeety confident that these surgeries were so successful that they will probably not need anymore surgeries. Again, the waiting game for one more month, but more than likely this will fix it!
Which also means no more drops!

Fingers crossed that they will be done with this for a long, long time.


Monday, August 20

Amish, Eh? No Way!

After looking back at my previous posts, I've realized that I have been starting them the exact same recently..

"I'm Not Sure....."

Seems to be a lot of that in our lives right now.

Well the title of this post might seem odd.. But we have been living and breathing Canning in this house! I have NEVER seen or cleaned so many tomatoes in my LIFE.

We had about 20lbs of 'maters from our own garden, then this past Sunday Gma and Gpa B came down and brought another 30-40lbs **From Christina and Randy--THANK YOU GUYS!!!!***

We officially have:
 7 quarts of Salsa
6 quarts of Marinara Sauce
8 pints of Condensed Tomato Soup

Because of this amazingly full cabinet, Brad feels like we are Amish.
hahahahaha. I personally feel Menonnite. lol 

After blanching all of the tomatoes and getting their skins off, and seeding all the tomatoes and juicing all of them- we were exhausted last night.
So today, during the boys' nap times, I finished the process!

We used the 'meat' of the tomatoes for our Marinara sauce and we didn't want to throw all of that juice away- but we both HATE tomato juice, so we figured the best way to use every bit of these 'maters is to make tomato soup!!

Today has been touch and go with the boys.
On the plus side, their eyes are looking AMAZING!! We can see their eye color again and they are opening them much much wider!
That makes me one happy mama!

But, Eli is terribly sick now.
*Not quite sure where he picked up this cold, but he sounds like a barking dog when he cries or coughs..and everytime he coughs or sneezes he farts!!*hahaha

I'm almost positive the Anesthesiologist will NOT allow him to be sedated for over an hour when he is this sick.  :(
But, Blake is still healthy and should be able to go ahead and get his second eye procedure tomorrow!

This mama is so exhausted mentally and physically. I'm SO ready to move past all of these doctors appointments and get onto the fun times!

Well, i'm off to relax and watch my trash T.V. of Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef!!


Saturday, August 18

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I've been interested in making my own laundry detergent for a while, but honestly i've been a little chicken.
Well, Thanks to Pinterest, I believe I have found a great 'recipe'!
So, here it is!!

Homemade (Cheap) Laundry Detergent

1 (4lb. 12oz) Box of Borax
1 (3lb. 7 oz.) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3lb) Container of OxyClean
2 (14.1oz) Bars of Soap--Really any kind is ok- Because I will be cleaning the boys' clothes with it, I found a Sensitive Skin soap
2 (2lb) Boxes of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
1-2 (55oz) Bottle of Pure Crystals Fabric Softener  *I only used 1 bottle, but if you would like a stronger scent, then you can use 2!*

You need to grate your bars of soap with a cheese grater.

Then, in a large bucket combine all the ingredients. 
**It is much easier to mix if you layer all of the ingredients**

****You can get FREE buckets from your local Supermarket's Bakery department-- I got 4 free buckets from Kroger tonight!

If you save your Purex Crystals Bottles, you can fill that bottle with  your soap so you do not have to have a huge bucket sitting out in your laundry room!

For a regular size load of Laundry- it takes 1 TBL of this detergent
For a large size load of Laundry- it takes 2 TBL of this detergent

So little soap! Which means it saves you a TON of money!!

**this soap works PERFECT for HE washers. Because you use a bar of soap, it does not make many 'Suds' at all!

Let me know what you think if you try it!!


Me Oh My.

I don't know how many ways I can say this or how many times I can say this, but parenting, motherhood, raising babies is the single most DIFFICULT thing I have ever done in my life.

Marching 16+ hours on a football field then squeezing into a bus seat for 15hours--- Easy.
Running 13.1 miles in the cold weather--- Easier
Keeping up a house/maintaining finances---Easiest

Taking care of 2 babies who cannot tell you what they need/want, or what is hurting them, how much pain they are in..what they are feeling.. Hardest and Worst feeling by far.

If only these sweet boys could have told me from the start that they were having constant headaches.
If only they could tell me now that they would like more tylenol because the surgery is still hurting them.
If only they could say, 'don't worry mom, it's just my teeth that hurt'
If only....

I'm trying my absolute best to hold it together.
That in iteself is incredibly tough.

How do I know that these past 2 days of bad sleep, lack of food and surgery to the eyes isn't what is taking it's toll on their little bodies?
Or how do I know that those top teeth I see pushing through isn't the reason for their fussiness?
Or, just what if, the fact that Eli's eye has a LOT of blood in it, isn't the reason that he is sleeping so much right now... what if something is terribly wrong..and what if I choose the wrong symptom and something worse happens because of my choice as a mom...

It's amazing to realize that I went from laughing and smiling when I wrote this blog, to crying almost everytime.. replaying these past few days is so mentally exhausting..

I'm trying so hard to put all of my faith in the hands of God and trust that there is an over-all plan.
This is so much harder than I ever could have thought it would be.


Thursday, August 16

Surgery Woes

I'm not sure where to begin this blog.
I'm writing all about this so I can avoid re-writing this 1,000 times.

We checked into Riley Children's Hospital at 7:30am this morning (Thursday, August 16th)

Blake's exam and surgery was scheduled for 9:00am
Eli's exam and surgery was scheduled for 10:15am

Blake was taken back right at 9am. It was SO unbelievably hard to hand off my baby boy to some stranger to take him doing god-knows what to him, without being able to see, hold or comfort him.
I cried. Hard.

Blake's exam was finished at 9:40am- they came out and told us they were about to start the eye surgery on Blake's Left eye.
Eli was supposed to go back for his exam at 10:15... 10am came around and Blake was still in surgery, 10:15 came and Blake was still in surgery, 10:45 came and Blake was STILL in surgery.
FINALLY at 11:30, the doctor came out and gave us the report on Blake.

She had gone in to clear our the extra tissue in his Left eye and just could NOT get it. So she tried another area, and she was successful in getting 100% of the tissue that was blocking his drainage system, off

She describes the procedure like;
"If you think of a sink drain, water usually flows right into it and out of the sink, but in the boys' eyes, there is a lot of tissue that is built up on top of their drainage area, which is causing their eye fluid to build up. All of that backed up fluid puts a TON of pressure on their eyes (like an over-blown up beach ball). " --So she was surgically 'scraping' off all of that tissue from their drains.

*Blake in his gown before surgery*

So, Blake's surgery went so well. She seemed very confident that because she was able to get all of the tissue removed, that there is a very slim chance that he will need another surgery on that eye. It should heal well and be much better!
*Blake after surgery*

Blake did get an extra shot of morphine to help with his pain so he was pretty out of it.
He has only eaten 1oz of formula since 2am.

*Eli in his gown before surgery*

Eli went back at 11:30am to get his exam and surgery.
They ended doing surgery on his Right eye.
Once his surgery was over they came back to talk to us.
*Eli after his surgery*

Eli's Right eye was his worst. His optic nerve is 80% damaged.
The front of his eye is pretty scratched up from being so cloudy.

What do you do, how do you react, what do you say..
when the doctor comes in and tells you your baby boy's eyes are so badley damaged already.

After thinking of questions I asked to get ahold of the doctor again..
Does this mean he is 80% blind?
Can he see anything?
Will he go blind in the future?

-No he's not 80% blind, it just effects his peripheral vision. He is still totally capable of seeing. He will not go blind, as long as we keep up on his appointments and get the levels of pressure checked constantly. If we can keep his pressure at a normal level, it shouldn't ever get worse, if anything it could possibly heal a little, just because they are so young.

Eli is clearly worse than Blake.
Blake's eyes are not very bad- bad enough to get the surgery but his optic nerves are  not damaged and he does not have scratching on his eyes.

We will be returning to the hospital for their check up tomorrow and to get their eye patches removed. Then, we go in Tuesday to get their second eye procedure. They will also be doing a thorough exam of their first eye procedure. (if it looks like they need more work done on the first eye again, then they will do more work on that first eye and schedule another time for the second eye.)

This is so hard. The hardest thing I have ever had to deal with.
How do you sit there and listen to a doctor explain how your baby might never have peripheral vision?
Why do our babies have to live with these limitations? Why. Why. Why.

We will continue to stay strong.
Babies are snoozing still.
I plan on waking them up for dinner and putting them back to bed for the night.  They are exhausted.

As am I.

Good Night. <3

Wednesday, August 15

100 Year Old Julia.

Happy Birthday Julia!

Obviously, those who know me know that I love to cook and bake.
Well, it just so happens to be Julia Child's 100th Birthday- and for thsoe who don't know..she revolutionized the American cook.

So in honor, the boys and I took a trip to the Library!
I borrowed her "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" cookbook as well as "Julie & Julia".

I will attempt to read this cookbook- and brush up on my Culinary lingo and skills!

" Cooking is not a particularly difficult art, and the more you cook and learn about cooking, the more sense it makes. But like any art it requires practice and experience. The most important ingredient you can bring to it is love of cooking for its own sake."

Tuesday, August 14

Zucchini Cake?..Nom Nom.

This girl LOVEs her chocolate.
And adding veggies to chocolate makes me feel much better about my obsession.

I've been wanting to make Zucchini Brownies all season and I was finally given a Zucchini!

So, here it is, from the New Paris Cookbook...

Zucchini Chocolate Cake

Cream together:
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Oil
1 1/2 cup Sugar

2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 cup Buttermilk ( 1/2cup milk + 1/2 tsp. lemon juice)

Sift together Separately:
2 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Cloves
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
4 TBL Cocoa

Stir dry ingredients into liquid mixture.
Stir in:2 cups Zucchini, grated
1/4 cup. Chocolate Chips

Pour into a greased 9x13" pan.  Bake at 325degrees for 40 minutes.


Today, Tuesday, I have to stop giving the boys their eye drops. I'm so NOT happy about this.  These eye drops have changed our lives these past 5 days.. I HATE that they might be in pain again for the next 48hours. 
The doctors want to make sure they get an accurate read on their eye pressure levels during their Eye Exam under anethesia. -- Which I definitely understand and want them to get everything right..but it's so hard to stop something that has been working so well.
I'm just praying the after Thursday, there will be a better more permanate fix, than eye drops.

These mornings this week have been B-E-A-UTIFUL out. Cool, crisp temps.
Perfect for a walk!

*Since they have been on eye drops they have been sitting up and looking around the entire walk! Instead of closing their eyes and sleeping :D

48 more hours until eye exam!!!


Monday, August 13


The Martin Family cookbook is possibly one of my favorite cookbooks that I own ( Second after New Paris cookbook!)

This salsa recipe is from Linda Martin (Naaman) --but we obviously had to add and subtract a few items to make it our own :)  and Brad and I thought it was fantastic!

Salsa for Canning

14lbs Tomatoes
2 large Onions
2 large Green Bell Peppers
2 Jalapenos (1 seeded)
1 cup Vinegar
1/4-1/2 cup Salt (I like Kosher)
2 tsp. Cumin
6 cloves Garlic
2 TBL Chili Powder
2 tsp. Oregano
1/4 cup Cilantro (Fresh or Dried)

Dice all veggies and place in HUGE pot. Add the remaining ingredients.
In a separate bowl, combine:
3/4 cup Cornstarch
1/3 Sugar
1/4 cup Water

*We did NOT add the sugar- I'm not a huge fan of sweet salsa*

Add the cornstarch mixture to the raw salsa.
Heat salsa on stove and bring to boil.

Pour into Jars and Can as usual.!

We got 7 quarts out of this recipe!

**In half of the recipe, we added a little more Jalapenos for a few jars of HOT salsa!