Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tidings of JOY!

Merry, Merry Christmas to all!  
This was obviously a very special one for us!  It was so much fun to add babies to the mix.  We allowed the babies to "help" open two of their many presents.  And then we were pretty much over that, and opened all their gifts for them.  After 4 family stops in 5 days, let's just say we may have all the Fisher Price and V-tech toys made for up to age 18 months.  

If you didn't get a card from us, it's probably because I don't have your address written down.  If you didn't get it, here it is (above).  And if you got the card, you either thought Luke's upside down photo was strange, or you figured out the 3 photos spell out "JOY."  Good times:)

Chris has been enjoying his most prized gift of the year, a Wii and Guitar Hero Aerosmith. I may not be able to talk to him or walk between him and the TV for months to come:)

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, I am reminded of the verse on our card from last year: 

John 12:46 Jesus has come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in Him should stay in darkness.

May you all have a holiday season filled with light!  God bless!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On the move!

Okay, I'll add a picture or video to this post in a few days. . . . Today, for the first time, Bowen started crawling!  He's been on all fours rocking since before Thanksgiving, so we've been anticipating every day this new skill.  And I almost missed it!  I was walking back into the living room as his crawl began.  Motivated by a toy several feet away, he made his first hand-slapping, slightly uncoordinated crawl.  Luke's occupational therapist, Shawna, also witnessed it.  And I was quick enough to get some of it on video.  He had to repeat the performance (as my friend Keri said today "Dance, Monkey, dance!") for Aunt Beth (who baby-sat for a little while) and Papa.  And of course, after work, for his Daddy.  I guess it's time to quit procrastinating all the child-proofing. . . .

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Give Thanks!

As we celebrate Luke & Bowen's first Thanksgiving, we obviously are very aware of all that we have to be thankful for this year!

There are just not words to express the gratefulness in our hearts for two healthy, happy baby boys in our home.  This year's Thanksgiving causes us to reflect back on the first few trying months of their little lives, and thank our heavenly Father that the time in the NICU is all a distant (and somewhat blurry) memory.

Dear Father God - You are always good no matter what happens in our earthly lives.  Thank you for your incredible grace & mercy so evident in the events of this year for us.  Thank you for the blessing of these two darling boys, and for all the wonderful friends and family who share in their lives.  We rejoice & praise you as our incredible Creator, and as the amazing Father who loves us unconditionally.  We are full of gratitude for You, and pray that we would not take any good thing in our lives for granted.  Amen.

Give Thanks! . . . with the families

But first things first - FOOTBALL watching! . . . Then pass around the food and the babies . . . .
The men of the family (Uncle Shane, Chris, and Papa Bowen) catch the LSU-Arkansas game.

Too much turkey for cousin Abel.  Thank heavens for Nana to help with naptime.

Chris & Bowen up close.

Luke with his Great Uncle Gary Cathcart (& Great Aunt Shirley).

Grammie & Pop Cathcart get their turn holding little boys.

Aunt Beth helps feed Bowen his very first sweet potatoes. . . . 
and then wash them down with some milk.  Nana jumps in for this part.

Luke cheeses for his Aunt Beth.

Bowen enjoys the exer-saucer at his grandmother's house.

Luke loves to "forehead bump" - it's one of his favorite things to do!  He enjoys a bump with his Great Aunt Carol.

Brayden gives Bowen the 4-1-1 on how to crawl.  (Bowen has been on all 4's rocking, so any day now!)

Bowen likes to grab face parts - here he gets his grandmother's mouth.  Careful, Grandma - you might lose some skin!

Practice??? (he, he) - Uncle Mike feeds Luke after getting pointers from Chris.

Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Mike pose with Luke.

Great Grandmamma Porter enjoys a moment with Luke.

Cousin Melissa feeds Bowen.

Cousin Kelly hangs with a happy Luke. . . . 
and her bro, Lee Michael, gets some laughs with Bowen.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Be sure to scroll down . . .

as there are 3 new posts as of Sun night, Nov 2. . . . Enjoy!

First Football Game!

Louisiana Tech U's homecoming was Saturday, Nov 1st.  I tried to explain to the boys that this is where Mommy & Daddy met, but I don't think they get it quite yet.   We did not get to stay for the whole game because it started at 1:30 pm and was way too hot for little babies (or anyone, for that manner).  Whoever thinks mid-day football games are a good idea in the deep south is quite mistaken! . . . . 

So I got some really great up close photos of their cute little rub-on tattoos and onesies that Nana monogrammed with bulldogs.  Unfortunately, they are on our new video camera, and technical difficulties prevented me from uploading them yet.  If I get time, I'll try to upload them again and add them to the post.

Oh yeah, and if you haven't seen me in several months - yes, I got a new 'do.  Not so crazy about it at first, but now I love it as it takes me only 5 minutes to fix!  And Chris loves it too - anything that helps me to get ready on time . . . . 

Go Dawgs!! (PS - They beat Fresno in the very hot sun.)

Ba-a-a-aD Boys go Trick-or-Treating!

You have to double-click on this first pic and see it enlarged.  Totally worth the 2 seconds! . . 

The boys strolled with their trick-or-treating cousins as bad biker babies, complete with spikey hair (mohawk for Bowen!), rub-on tattos, glued-on piercings, and faux leather studded jackets (thanks to Nana for making).  

Luke was a bit tired as the evening started (thanks to his recent decision to not take full naps in the daytime).  Note the heavy eyes . . . he's still a bad biker dude, nap or not!

Yes - this is Bowen's real hair.  His sweet little curls transformed nicely with some "Big Sexy" root pump, a blow dryer, and hair spray.

Chris and I used to carve a pumpkin every year while we dated, and the tradition has been reignited with having kids.

Nana & Papa (Bowen grandparents) with the boys and their Thetford cousins (Abel front left, Brayden on the right).

And with their Cathcart granparents - all smiles!

And we stroll . . . 

First stop, at our neighbors' house, the Johnsons.  They admire these big growing boys.

Stopping at the Cathcart grandparents' front porch.  Luke finally got his nap in!

A great up-close shot of Bowen's piercing (one 11-year-old trick-or-treater thought it was real - his comment "He must have really cried when you put that in!").

And the night catches up with Bowen. . . . 

And an up-close shot of Luke's spikey do, while playing with his Nana.

Sadly, no candy for two little boys this year.  We still are introducing vegetables to their palate.  So maybe next year!  . . . Happy late Halloween, everyone!

Puppy love!

The pictures & title say it all!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Patch & Puppies

Life has slowed a bit.  Chris has settled a month into his new job.  It is MUCH less stress.  We are all happy about how this change has turned out.  

Aunt Beth & I took the cousins to St. Luke's annual pumpkin patch.  It's a very popular fall photo shoot setting here in Shreveport.  I preface this photo with the fact that I had subconsciously imagined this day (or hour) to consist of propping sweet, happy smiling babies up against fat pumpkins, snapping adorable shots in the morning sun.  That was not so much how it went.  Instead, we caught intermittent photos in which one or both babies was not crying.  Apparently sitting on scratchy hay is not a baby's idea of a good, happy time.  Nonetheless, we got a few okay photos, one  of which is below.  Hopefully Beth got better ones!
PS - True to our word, we do not dress them the same but very rarely; I love these little onesies that one of our friends gave us, so occasionally they will wear the same outfit.  (But note the different colors of fleece pants:)

The rest of the photos below were taken by Chris, trying to get a shot of the boys in their bumbos.  We love these little seats for spoon feedings, until they are able to sit up a little better on their own and graduate to a high chair.  In Chris' quest, the dogs apparently wanted to take the opportunity to give some sugar and inspect the area for the possibility of dropped baby food or milk. . . The dogs really do love their babies!

Note below, Beau-dog gives Luke a little sugar on the ear.

So the boys continue to grow.  They have (finally, with some hopeful prayer on my part!) settled into a great routine with very predictable naps and feeding times.  Bowen continues to roll like a champ, and Luke stays just a few weeks behind his bro in development.  Bowen is progressing so well (and actually a little advanced in a few areas for his adjusted-age), that he has been discharged from occupational therapy for Early Steps.  Luke will continue therapy for (hopefully just a little while) longer.  However, Luke is definitely the champ when it comes to spoon feeding.  From the first spoon feeding, he's acted as if he always knew what to do with a spoon.  (Yes, that surprises us too!  We thought for sure that little fat Bowen would be more aggressive with eating.)  

Now that life has slowed a little, we'll hopefully have some updates about once every week or so.  Take care!

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Tricks

Hello All,

We are past due for sure for new photos & videos. My life should slow down a little in a few weeks and I'll get around to it. But for now just reporting that the boys had their NICU follow-up clinic appointment last week. Our little boys who are supposed to be like 4-month olds now weigh 17 lb 3oz (Bowen) and 15 lb (Luke). Both have found their feet. Bowen found his hand ~2 weeks ago. Luke is starting to roll, and Bowen is now definitely rolling from back to tummy and trying to get his knees under him. I'm getting a little scared! They are both reaching for toys and Bowen likes to reach and touch your face when close enough. They are so sweet, and it is exciting to see them develop. . . . Thanks for following, and hopefully I'll have up photos soon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Baby Dedication

(authored by Chris & Darla)
The boys made their first trip to "big church" this morning for their dedication.  Pastor Chuck held all 33 pounds of babies at once.  Bowen is on the left and Luke on the right.  Both sets of grandparents, the Cathcart greatgrandparents, Grandmomma Porter, and Aunt Beth and cousin Brayden all watched.  (This was also cousin Brayden's first time to sit through big church, and he did so great at 3.5 yrs old!)  Uncle Shane was turning on people's electricity (he works for SWEPCO and was working thanks to Ike) and Uncle Michael and Aunt Sylvia are finishing up their trip to Europe, so they couldn't make it.

It was so great to reach yet another "normal" milestone.  We forget how amazing our boys are.  We were reminded by the collective gasp when Pastor Chuck announced for the crowd their birth weights of 2lb & 1.5lb.  We continue to say that God is always good, but in the case of these boys, He was also very gracious!  

BTW - Today's date (the 14th) is the day that last year we had our very first prenatal visit and discovered we were having TWINS.  Little did we know how much our lives would change!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Could I be a Gerber baby?

These are the pre-pea pics from Thursday night before the first trial of veggies.  Our fat naked babies are so cute, I had to share . . . WHO'S CALLING ME A PREEMIE NOW???


Luke . . . 

Well, our mommy thinks we could be Gerber babies!  (Oh, and of course our grandparents and Aunt Beth . . . )

Peas, please!

As of last night, we added peas to the boys' menu.  We have been feeding them rice cereal by spoon for a few weeks now off & on, so it was time to move onto something new.  They are pretty good with the spoon for about 5-10 minutes, and then they cry for their bottles.  But it's a start!

Bowen (below) did better today with eating peas.  Last night, I thought perhaps he might like peas as much as his daddy does (which, is not at all).

I'm also trying homemade baby food, which is not very difficult to make.  I hear it's less expensive, and obviously cuts a lot of preservatives/additives from the wee diets.  I can prepare quite a bit at one time and freeze ahead small portions in ice trays.  And as my mom said, "That's all we had when you were a baby!"
Next week - on to carrots!