Quick post to THANK everyone who supported our March for Babies fundraising. We wound up not making the actual walk (the weather was just too cold and rainy that morning, and we had a few other plans for the day as well), but I'm happy to say we SURPASSED our goal and are so glad to support the March of Dimes any way we can. I'm hoping to get some pictures from the Wall of Hope and the NICU reunion quilt, which I'll post if/when that happens.
'Teacher Randee' style by celebrating with their ECFE Friday class. Their friend Kiki was born two days before them (and actually spent some time in the St. Paul Children's NICU too) so she went first. After Kiki's turn Randee asked if anyone else was celebrating their birthday. Ella jumped up and almost sang 'I am and so is my sister!!!'. It was such a fun morning -- Zoe & Ella are definitely Big Girls now!!
Ella in the birthday hat she chose, putting three candles on her cake.
Singing with Teacher Randee about her vanilla birthday cake.
And loving the moment when everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' to her.
Zoe in the birthday hat she chose,
putting three candles on her cake.
Listening to everyone sing about her CHOCOLATE birthday cake.
And running over to me after we sang Happy Birthday to her.
Ella LOVED it all --- is that a surprise?
Zoe loved it too -- but she was more quiet in her glory.
You two are my little loves, and always will be. You are a part of my heart and so very important to me. I can't believe you are now THREE years old. It still feels like yesterday Dr. Grande was telling your Dad and me 'today is the day you're going to meet your babies', and at the same time it seems like you've always been a part of our lives. Your Dad and I waited a long time for you two and you've filled the past three years with so much happiness and joy. Being your Mommy is even better than I imagined it would be. You've made me the 'Happiest Mommy in the Universe' (except when you're both on a whining jag, but we'll talk about that later . . .).
I still look at you two with amazement, each day. You were so tiny but perfect and so strong when you were first born, and now you're getting to be big girls, doing big girl stuff, and are still so strong and so perfect.
You two truly made my dreams come true and I feel so special being YOUR mommy. When I found out I was pregnant I was on top of the world. I LOVED being pregnant with you guys. I loved getting a bigger tummy because I knew that meant you two were getting bigger. I loved feeling you move (and you moved a lot) and when other people didn't know you were moving I felt like you were my own little secret. I loved seeing you in ultrasound pictures and I loved telling people our great news. I was very excited and happy, it's as simple as that.
It was scary when you came so early, but all along your Daddy and I knew everything was going to turn out all right. The light that surrounds both of you is so bright, Ella and Zoe, always remember that.
I have many, many wishes for you two, but mostly I hope that you're happy and that you love laughing with me as much as I love laughing with both of you.
When you were babies and would reach for me and only want me, or look for me if I was in another room, I felt like the most important person in the world. Now that you're older I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I love when you tell me things you're thinking, ask me a question about something you're curious about or sing me a new song you just learned (or an old one that's a favorite). I almost burst inside when I watch you two coloring pictures (inside the lines even), 'doing work in your journals', being loving Mommy's to your dolls and stuffed animals, putting puzzles together (that have so many pieces they even puzzle me), or running around the backyard with such strong legs and huge grins on your faces. When I see you being kind to each other and other people, and look out for each other, my heart gets bigger -- I really think it does.
I am very proud of the little girls you two have become and I look forward to watching you continue to grow, and being a part of your amazing lives. Being your Mommy feels so right and I love you both very, very, very, very much. And I always will.
The Children's Museum is less than a 10 mile trip for us and Como Zoo is less than 5 miles away -- so they're both places we enjoy visiting. A lot.
A few weeks ago Ella, Zoe and I spent a morning at the museum where the girls took care of business . . .
They practiced their dishwashing skills
They rocked out with their back-up singers
And they hung out with Clifford and Emily Elizabeth
The above pic was taken right before Ella climbed to the top of Emily and then fell off backwards. She was fine but I am still recuperating.
Then last Friday we went to the zoo with some of our ECFE friends, Girls Day Out, and had a super great time . . .
. . . even though Ella cried when we left both places, the whole way home. We're working on that. But hey, another reason why living so close to so many cool places to visit is such a benefit -- the drive/cry time is relatively short.
After trying and waiting for a long time, June 26th 2006 was the estimated due date of Baby A and Baby B. We were thrilled. But a little over 10 weeks early our doctor decided it was time for us to meet the babies. On Wednesday, April 19th at 6:49 pm, Ella Marie was born. We named her after Tom’s mom, Della Marie, and her name means 'Light'. She weighed 2 pounds 14 ounces, was 16 inches long and was perfect. At 6:51 pm, Zoë Dianne was born. We named her after my mom, Dianne, and her name means ‘Life’. She weighed 3 pounds 5 ounces, was also 16 inches long and was perfect too.
Both girls stayed in the NICU for almost 2 months and did really well, especially considering all of the 'what could have/should have beens'. It was a 'one step forward two steps backwards' type of dance those first few weeks, but after 47 days we brought Zoe home and 10 days later brought Ella home. FINALLY, we were all four under the same roof, and were ready to start the next exciting chapter in our lives . . .
Ella and Zoe turned FIVE this April and are THRIVING. They are fun, funny, naughty and sweet. The joy they bring to our lives is immeasurable. They are also really fun to take pictures of : )