Monday, October 31, 2011

happy halloween!

happy halloween!
cole was a cowboy this year for halloween and we went to our church for the 
festival that they put on instead of trick or treating in the neighborhood.  
here is a picture i snapped with my phone before getting in the car.  
 and here are some  from my camera.

 here is a a picture of cole's favorite activity from the church- a large inflatable slide. 
to say he loved this was an understatement.  we had to pull him away from it crying.
and here is the video!

hope your halloween was just as fun!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

an unusual day.

don't you love lazy saturday mornings where you don't have to be anywhere and you can just lounge around in your pajamas?  
we did that today.  starting at 5:30 am.  
not cool, kid. 
cole had a nightmare and woke up at this unnatural weekend hour. 
brenner was in houston yesterday and today for a conference on creationism
so i slept down in the guest room to be closer to cole.  after he woke up, 
i tried to get him to go back to sleep with me in the bed but after a very long hour of no one sleeping and lots wrangling, we got up.  

for this reason, cole took two naps today instead of the usual one but each time i put him down, he screamed and cried.  this NEVER happens in our house.  cole has always been a great sleeper
and he goes down to bed so easily, always has.  but i think maybe he missed brenner (he is very aware of when brenner is gone overnight) and was maybe scared of having another bad dream. 

all that to say, i got to hold my baby as he went to sleep twice today.  we both squished onto the couch in his room and i held him until he was out, which was not even 5 minutes.  
it really was such a sweet time.  for each nap i ended up just holding him for over 30 minutes.  
i mean, this kid never slows down, and really the only time he is still-ish is when we are reading books.
he gives lots of hugs and kisses but always on the go.  
i cherished those minutes holding him, knowing that they are so limited.
and i would have stayed there the whole time if my pregnant body would have stood it.

oh yeah, and cole also learned how to climb out of his crib today.  i am kind of surprised that it took him this long, but am very thankful too.  he did it at the beginning of his first nap when he was crying before i went in and held him.  and he tried to climb back in when i walked in the room.  
this better not become a regular thing. 

with brenner gone, i wanted to do something fun, so we went to a local CSA, the world hunger relief farm, where they were having their farm day today.  when we were going to do cole's birthday party today i was sad to miss this, but obviously things worked out.  and it wasn't as big as i thought so it was easy for us to get around and not too crowded.  

cole got to pet some animals and he really loved the goats.  he also liked the turkeys but
kept calling them flamingos, since they did not look like the turkey in our thanksgiving book.

they also had world map with containers of rice and beans as well as little wooden people.  
it was designed to be educational, but cole just liked to play and stack the container up to build towers.

it has been a long day and we are glad that brenner got home earlier than expected!

Friday, October 28, 2011

color love.

i few weeks ago i bought some markers for cole.  
up to that point, he had only been coloring with crayons or colored pencils because 
i did not want to have to deal with marker clean up. 
but seeing as the boy loves to color, draw and imitate what we draw, 
i thought i should explore a new medium. 

enter the pipsqueaks (crayola's small, toddler friendly markers).
once i showed cole how to put the lids on the back while you color and then to cover them up 
when you are finished, he has done an amazingly good job and concentrates hard when doing it.

then i told him he had 5 more minutes and he began hoarding.
 trying to leave the kitchen without me noticing.
(the kid thinks if he closes his eyes i can't see him)
finished work of art.  cole also LOVES stickers, as you can see his pumpkin stickers here, and we have to limit his daily sticker consumption.
i love my little artist. 
 i also love that i can drag a pillow into the kitchen and lay down with him while he colors for 30 minutes.  it is a preggo-mommy friendly activity.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

21 weeks

here is my 21 week photo.  
 we had another check up this morning and the girls are still looking good!  they are holding out at the same fluid levels and are continuing to grow and move a lot!  they are SO active, every ultrasound technician comments on it, and that is not only a great sign, i love feeling those movements all the time.  

at one of my appointments this week, i talked with the doctor about delivery.  he said that with or without any procedures done, if things go well, he will be happy if i can make it and deliver at 30-32 weeks.  this is another really scary scenario to think about.  30 weeks is so early!  i know that survival rates are fairly high at that point, especially for twins since they develop faster in the womb than a single baby, but it is still another overwhelming thought.  

so right now, i am focusing on each day and enjoying each baby kick!  i am even trying to embrace my back pain and sleepless nights, knowing that they will not be forever and that they are for two great causes.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

good and bad.

the GOOD
we had an appointment yesterday for the girls and everything continues to hold steady.  
the girls look good and there are no significant changes so we are thankful for that.  
we are trying to take things just a couple days at a time around here.  

i am trying to rest a lot these days, which means more time laying on the couch than i have done in years.  i have learned to play with cole in all sorts of new ways while laying in my new spot.   
it also means i do not have to cook dinner as much, clean as much or do any other unpleasant jobs that i don't feel like doing.  i have been able to catch up on blogs, pictures, emails and pinterest.  

while trying to rest a lot, i am still trying to get some exercise.  i had been walking a couple miles a day up until a couple of weeks ago but when we thought i might need the surgery, i stopped.  now i am back to exercising a little but not as much.  but i am glad that i can start walking this guy again.

my baby's curls.  i was so afraid that when we got cole's haircut that we would cut off all of his curls.
but it appears that cole has the campbell family curls (which skipped brenner).  
these curls make me happy.

the BAD
we cancelled cole's 2nd birthday party.  i was really sad about this at first but when we made the decision, it was before we even knew about last week's possible surgery and with all the uncertainty that each week holds, and will continue to hold, it was definitely the best decision.  there is no way i am up to prepping for a party.   

i don't like resting as much as i though i would.  sure it is nice at times, but i really do thrive on being busy.  not too busy, but good busy and with a purpose.  whether it be working in the school last year or having a full play day with my little man.  i like cook dinner.  i like to clean my house so that it is exactly the way that i like it.  i like to take cole to the zoo and park and play with him.  it is crazy to say, but when i can't be busy, i actually kind of want to.
brenner has been great in chipping in but the poor guy is SO busy right now!
cole is helping some too since he is at the age where i can say, 'go get mommy's phone from the table' and he will do it.  usually.   

i feel like i am 8 months pregnant.  i didn't get truly uncomfortable in my pregnancy with cole until about the 8th month.  i didn't sleep as well, i couldn't bend over well, my feet and back hurt.  well all these things are happening now at 5 months.  and honestly have already been happening for a while, especially the bad sleeping and back hurting.  my belly is already so big! (picture to come soon!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

my boys.

nothing like a sunday afternoon watching a little football with my boys.  
even if it is the dallas cowboys.   

Saturday, October 22, 2011


we made pumpkin cookies tonight.  
this was cole's first cookie decorating experience.  
the hardest part was keeping him from eating the cookies before we even started.  

we may not have a future in cookie decorating but we had a lot of fun!  

Thursday, October 20, 2011

some good news

brenner and i got home from houston today.  we were all ready to proceed with the surgery but after our very in depth evaluation yesterday, the doctor feels that we do not need the surgery right now.   
while there continue to be some concerns, both of the girls are doing well and all of their organs are stable and healthy as well as both are maintaining a healthy weight.  the fluid imbalance around the babies are not at the extreme levels that would indicate either baby is in distress.  this doctor feels at this point, we are in the very early stages of the twin to twin transfusion syndrome and that it is too early to proceed to surgery (and this doctor is a specialist in twin complications). this really is an answer to prayer.  while we were, and still are, braced for having to do this surgery, we are thankful that we do not have to do it now.  the longer that we can wait, the better.  
 it was  great to hear some good news about the girls.  they both have good blood flow through all of their organs.  they both have three blood vessels in their placenta cords which is the best.  they look like they are sharing the placenta equally, which is really important.  they both have the same size bladders, which i know sounds weird, but it means that even the smaller baby is getting enough fluid and swallowing enough.  there weights were within 12% of each other, which is totally normal.  
praise god. praise god. praise god.  

we are also becoming ultrasound experts.  i have had 6 prenatal appointments in this pregnancy.  i have also have 6 ultrasounds.  the one yesterday was crazy.  it lasted 2 hours and 20 minutes.  not the appointment, just the ultrasound!  they looked at every hand and foot, they measured every arm and leg, they looked at each side of each brain and studied all four heart chambers in each girl.  they studied their cranial features and the blood flow in and out of each girl.  it really was amazing. 
 i will start going to ultrasounds and checkups twice a week now , some in waco, some still with the specialist in dallas or maybe back down to houston, but this way we will monitor things very closely.  the doctor feels that there is a very good chance we will need to do the surgery later on, so we are definitely not out of the woods yet.  
we know that god is working.  he is hearing the prayers that are being lifted up by so many people and we are beyond thankful for everyone doing so.  the peace that we feel and the stable report of the girls are truly answers to prayer.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

is anything too hard?

for those of you who do not what what has been going on with us over the last couple of weeks, read here

we had another appointment on monday and unfortunately, the fluid around each baby did not equal out like we had hoped.  one baby still has too much fluid around her and the other has too little.  therefore, we are heading to houston on wednesday.  our appointment for wednesday is to get a comprehensive evaluation and make sure and the girls and i are ready for surgery.  the surgery, or laser procedure, will take place thursday morning and will last about 1 1/2 hours.  they will go into the placenta and laser some of the blood vessels that are causing this problem.  i will stay the night in the hospital and we will be home either friday night or saturday morning. 

this is obviously a little overwhelming.  

when we found out that we were having twins, i was overwhelmed with the idea of feeding two babies at once, at needing a new car, at not sleeping through the night for a year, at our budget, at the stress and tiredness that i would feel.  

and now all of that has shifted.  
i want sleepless nights.
i want the stress of feeding two babies at once.  
i want tantrums and fits and whining.
i am desperate for the crying and wailing. 
i long for the struggles of potty training and picky eaters.
i couldn't ever imagine having twins and now i can't imagine my life without them.

a sweet friend sent me an email this morning claiming this verse for our family this week:

god is so in control of this situation.  there is nothing too hard for him, which is so encouraging because this is way too hard for me.
thank you for your prayers for these sweet, precious girls.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

pumpkin patch.

yeah!  It is time for pumpkins again!  i am obsessed with fall and all things pumpkin.  
we went to the pumpkin patch late this year but there were still plenty to choose from.  it just didn't feel like fall yet and i kept forgetting that it was time to bring out the fall decorations.  
my dad came in town for the day on friday and we went over the pick our pumpkins.  
brenner used to be a youth minister at the church where we go so it is fun to see some old friends and help support the church.  

cole is definitely not a huge fan of pictures.   maybe it has something to do with the fact that i have shoved a camera in his face since the day that he was born? no, that couldn't be it. 
but the little guy hates to look at me and actually give me a real smile.  i mostly get candids.
so, i didn't get any great photos with the pumpkins, but some are fairly cute. 

 favorite activity?  pushing the pumpkins over.  not my favorite activity.
 poppy hiding from cole in the pumpkins
 brenner contemplating the meaning of life

 my one picture with him smiling.  i asked his to say cheese and he wouldn't, but when i asked him to show me his teeth, this is what i got!

we ended up with 2 big pumpkins and one little one.  
hopefully one of these days i will have the time to make pumpkin cranberry bread!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


we have several counting and numbers books of course and cole can say most of his numbers, although he often does not get the right order.  

this morning i was sitting on the floor and we were talking about the babies and we have been trying to tell him that there are going to be 2 babies.  whenever we talk about babies, he likes to lift up my shirt to see my belly and says "baby!" while patting my belly.  this morning i asked him how many babies are in mommy's tummy? and he replied, 5, 6, 9! 
i laughed and laughed and thanked god that we only have 2 babies and were not going to become the next jon and kate plus 8.  

cole has done very well with counting in spanish too.  
brenner really wants cole to be bilingual and so he interjects spanish words throughout the day.  
i am sure cole will be bilingual any day now.  
but he does like to count in spanish, as long as we count with him.  we start with uno and then go back and forth.   so basically cole only says the even numbers to ten.  
once again, i am sure his spanish skip counting skills are going to come in handy one of these days.  
here is a video of cole counting in spanish with brenner. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

blessed be your name.

many of you are aware of the things going on in our life right now.  
but in case you have missed it, here is an update:

last week at our ultrasound, our doctor failed to see a dividing membrane between the babies, indicating that they may share one inner sac.  this is very rare and can have many complications so we were referred to a specialist in dallas to get a clear answer.  the good news is that the girls are in two separate sacs, yet do share a placenta (meaning they are identical), which is called monochorionic/diamniotic twins.

the bad news is that the reason we were unable to see the two separate sacs last week was because of the high amount of fluid in the placenta.  today we learned that the fluid/blood is being unequally distributed to the two babies.  our doctor believes that we have what is called twin to twin transfusion syndrome.  this means that one baby will get too much and the other will get too little unless treated.  right now, both babies are strong, are a good size, have all functioning organs and were kicking the entire time today.  however, if things to not normalize, we will have to do something.

we are going back on monday morning, to check to see if the fluids have equalized some.  If they have not, then we will go to houston for a procedure that goes into the placenta to help severe the blood vessels that is taking away from the smaller baby.  this does have a high success rate, especially when caught as early as we have.  

obviously, this is a little overwhelming.  especially when i have pregnancy hormones, which means three times the amount of estrogen in my body.  hello.

on our way to our appointment on monday, one of my favorite songs came on the radio.   it goes something like this:
blessed be the name of the lord, blessed be your name.
blessed be the name of the lord, blessed by your glorious name. 
you give and take away, you give and take away.
my heart will choose to say, lord blessed be your name.  

i love this song, and god speaks to me through it every time i hear it.  while i am overwhelmed at points throughout the day, i also know that god's plan for my life has never been what i thought it would be.  ever.  it has been better.  it has not always been easy, but it has been what i have needed and he has drawn me closer to him.  god's track record is perfect in our lives.  and we are choosing to say blessed be your name, lord, blessed be your name. my heart is choosing to follow you no matter where you take us.  
please pray for our little girls.  our god has the power to heal!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

we are having...

we found out yesterday that we are having two little girls.  honestly, brenner and i both thought that we would be having at least one boy, i don't know why, and so we were surprised when we were told that they are both girls!!!

here are a couple of pictures of the babies:

baby a:  this one seems feisty.  she kept kicking the other baby in the head when it wasn't her turn!

baby b: she was arching her back

so what did i do as soon as i found out they were girls?  
i went shopping of course!  i  moseyed on over to  target and found a couple of precious outfits.  

these outfits are for when they are 12 months, so it will be a while before they can where them, but they were too cute!  
things are about to change here in the campbell house!

Monday, October 3, 2011

trip to the zoo.

we go to the zoo frequently here in waco because we have a season pass.  we love our zoo, since it is a natural habitat zoo and it is beautiful, shaded, and you can see all of the animals up close.  
here is an example:
here is cole about 3 inches away from a cougar.  
and he has been this close to a bear, lion, otter, an orangutan and more.  
cole is obviously unfazed by the large feline next to him as he munches on a pretzel.
we love the waco zoo!