Saturday, March 29, 2008

A good thing...

Goods for Girls
I wanted to tell you about a great organization that I found. It might sound a little strange to you at first if you haven't been introduced to the world of cloth meunstrual products ( i know I probably just lost any male readers that may happen to be reading this:), but it really makes sense in a lot of ways.

In parts of the world, young girls end up having to miss school because they don't have the resources for when they have their period. Many of these girls use rags or newspapers but don't go to school because of the fear of these products not working. Several disposable products are being sent to these girls from major companies here in the US (you have probably seen or heard the commercials), but that makes for a huge environmental issue for these countries with out the proper way to dispose of these goods.

This wonderful organization has started to send cloth menstrual pads to these girls that can be cleaned and re used. Many women here in the states use cloth pads too, including yours truly. I buy mine from a company called Glad Rags(who have a "Goods 4 Girls" kit that you can purchase and they will ship it directly to the organization) and I love, love, love them. Give them a try girls!
Anyway, there are two ways you can help out. First off if you sew, the site has several patterns that you can download and make pads to send to these girls. If you are like me and much better at shopping then sewing, there are several websites listed where you can purchase pads and have them sent.

Lastly, if you have a blog, you can add their logo to your blog and send more traffic to them.

Check out this site, it is a good thing! Jen

Thursday, March 27, 2008


The most thorough fake cry performance by Amelia Brooks Hunt on record:)

Why was she so very upset? I was breast-feeding Sam in front of her instead of feeding them both at the same time. How dare I?!

Oh Amelia, how you make us laugh.

Big, fat snowflakes.

I guess spring needed a day off because when I opened the blinds this morning to let the sunshine in I saw instead snow covered branches and big, fat snowflakes falling down. Sammy, being the studier that he is, loves for me to stand him on the windowsill and let him watch those mysterious flakes falling, falling from the sky:)

Anyway, as the babies are napping and it is so cozy here on the couch watching winter outside, I thought I'd take a few minutes and tell you about our guests we had staying with us last week.

Evan (AKA "Knappy") is a good, good friend of ours from Hawaii. He and Joel were OR techs together and he became like our little brother while we were there. He went to church with us, did youth ministry with us, and he and Joelie spent lots of time hiking, laughing, farting, talking..... Then we moved back to Texas and he to Ohio. He came and visited in Texas, driving all the way from Ohio on a whim, just because he could:) This visit last week, though, had a purpose. He is applying to PA school at the University of Utah! So, he and his girlfriend came and spent the week. They checked out the school, explored the city, played with the babies, and hopefully had a grand ol' time. It was so fun to see how we all have changed over these past few years. He has been learning about and experiencing community living with other Christians and it's obvious that both he and his girl have developed such a servant's heart. There wasn't a dirty dish in my sink the entire time they were here--they jumped in without asking and met needs and honored us before themselves.

So, we had a great visit and would love to see him get into PA school here and be our neighbor again! I hear little noises coming from the nursery so guess I better close for now. Here is to good friends, Jen

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is it that time already?

Time for her to start exploring, crawling, pulling up, falling down? Time for me to want to intervene, to keep her from any harm and yet have to let her go and find her bit of freedom? I think she is a little ambiguous about the whole thing as well because she has never been so needing of affection, of closeness, of attachment as she has been since starting crawling. We are loving having a cuddly girl, and truly, we are enjoying the awe of the everyday changes and growth and strength of our Amelia.

You may be asking, "What about Sammy?!" Well, Sam is slowly starting to show signs of wanting to reach and move towards things, but for the most part he is more than happy to sit and watch his sister and play with whatever is within his reach...

Our little mellow fellow:)

We just adore them both! Love to you guys, Jen

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Dear Sam and Amelia,

Happy first Easter!

What fun to have you two to share such a special day with. I have such wonderful memories of my Easter days growing up. Three sleepy eyed kids running into the living room to see our beloved Easter baskets full of thoughtful gifts from our mama and dad, and then breathlessly running outside into the country air to, search for the eggs. I will also always remember shopping with my granny for the perfect dress that would turn a little ragamuffin girl into a picture of daintiness:)

We can't wait to make those memories with you little ones. Most of all, though, our greatest hope is that you will know the joy of Christ and the significance of His birth,death, and Resurrection.

Love you two with all of my heart,

Friday, March 21, 2008

"How can you see something that's always so close?*"

Today the babes and I went to a great little store called Oneity. When we got there I saw that they had a new play area with toys and soft bean bag chairs for kids and I thought, "Wow, they could actually play in there. I can't believe they are big enough to do something like that!" Immediately when I saw the toys my first thought was germs, but then someting came over me and I walked over and took Amelia out of the sling and Sammy out of the stroller and sat them down amidst the toys.

Something in me just craved seeing them play like healthy, normal babes in an outside situation. And play they did. Immediately Sam picked up a piece of leather with bells on it and started shaking it and smiling his big ol' smile. Amelia crawled over to one of those wooden boxes with big, round beads that you can push around. She pulled up on it and started to push them. How did she know how to do that? I started to walk around the store to try and casually browse, but I couldn't help peeking at them through the clothes about every, oh, two minutes. They looked so big, so independent, so....normal. Then a mom walked in with her big germ, I mean two year old, and sat her down to play. I was frozen and the thought of RSV moved to the back of my mind. I had to see this. And so I watched as both babies craned their little necks to watch this big girl play. They stared in awe. Then Amelia crawled right over and pulled up on the drum the little one was playing with. The girl smiled, I felt tears come into my eyes, and the girl said, "Is that your bwudah?" over and over again as she pointed to Sammy. I looked over at the other mom and wanted to say, "Oh this is a big moment. A BIG moment!" But, of course, to her it was just a cute little interaction between babes.

This was a first to me to see Sam and Amelia play with an unfamiliar girl in an unfamiliar place. It was to me a reminder that they were about to start entering the great big world. It was a moment to see them like another random person two,cute babies playing in a store. All at once I felt such a stab of love, of thankfulness, and a bit of sadness as I see the days of our "baby bubble world" changing. Maybe this all sounds so strange to you.

I was reading a novel the other day called juno and juliet. While I'm not in love with it by any means , I read these lines and they stuck with me and may help you understand a bit what I mean."

"I began to know Juno much better in those conversations. It sounds stupid, when she was my twin, when we'd live in the same house and often the same room for all of our lives. But how can you see something that's always so close? My picture of her grew clearer against an unfamiliar background. I had loved her absentmindedly. I began to love her more. "

All for now, Jenny

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One mama, two babies, six doctors....

It wasn't a pretty four hours! Yesterday the babes went to another neonatal follow up appt. where preemies get to meet with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, audiologist, neurologist, nutritionist, and pediatrician to mark their progress. Until they are 18 months of age the doctors at the clinic chart their progression according to the babies adjusted age(9 months old in Sam and Amelia's case).
But, no matter how old a baby is, four hours is a loooong time to be kept awake, being poked and prodded, held by strangers, asked repeatedly to show off their skills, etc. Overall they were such troopers! It was one of those days where I had to just look at it as a challenge and be determined to succeed and laugh at the bloopers. Oh, there were plenty of bloopers.

I woke up and was reveling in the sound of the rain outside before I realized that I had left the double stroller outside and it would be soaked! Ahhh! That meant I would need to use a single stroller and sling to navigate from office to office, getting the sling babe in and out,in and out. It wasn't the easiest way to go, but thankfully it turned out OK and maybe even better as Amelia really isn't a big fan of the stroller these days.

By the time we got to our first appt. it was time for the babies to eat. The Audiologist greeted us and launched into the most ridiculous forms of testing for babies, expecting them to sit still long enough for this little ear piece not to fall out for almost a minute while she studied their inner ear.. Riiiggghht. It took forever. Next, we went into the "Sound booth" where they sat on my lap and listened for her voice to come out of speakers on either side of them. If they looked in the right direction when hearing sounds they were rewarded with a lit up sesame street character and flashing lights. She was sure they would LOVE this once they got started even though I told her that it was time for them to nurse. Well, Sammy went first and did great until he could not handle his hunger any longer and got super fussy. Incredulously, her perky voice came over the speakers and said, "OK, let's switch babies!" Um, OK. Amelia was already fussing and as soon as I put her in my lap she started trying to nurse through my shirt. Meanwhile, Sam was writhing on the floor on a blanket next to us until I managed to one handedly get his bottle of apple juice out of the diaper bag and down to him. Needless to say, her test didn't go very well and right before I decided to ignore Big Bird and Cookie Monster and feed her right then and there, we were shuffled into an empty room to feed the ravenous babes.

The Neurologist used cheerios to test the babies pincher grasp skills. I warned him before he handed Sam a cheerio that this baby would be begging for more the entire rest of the session if he gave him one now.He didn't listen. Sam made his loud grunting noises for the next thirty minutes and the Dr. ad to keep giving him cheerios between every task.

The stern,older German pediatrician. The whole appt. with her was just funny. The babes and I were all so tired by that point that we were a bit loopy. Sam would not bend his legs for anything, Amelia couldn't be peeled out of my arms, at one point I was holding Sam in my lap while Stern Doctor checked his throat,etc.(all the while he was standing up) and so I was holding him with one arm while feeding Millie sweet potatoes with the other. Finally, towards the end Stern Doctor smiled and said what characters they both were:)

The list could go on and on my friend. Overall, though, it was great to hear how they were progressing and it made for lots of funny memories. Well, spring time is here and the babies are waking from a nap so we are going to head outside. Enjoy your day! Jen

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Perfect fit...

I walked by the bathroom the other day and this is what I saw. Amelia, in the sink. Joel had been holding her and needed to go to the bathroom and said it looked liked a good place to put her. We both got a great laugh out of it but Amelia didn't seem to think there was anything out of the ordinary about it at all:) All for now, Jen

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Goodbye Grandma/mom/mom-in-love Shari....

What a time we had! Thank you for every single thing you did for us while you were here...I know there were many things that went unseen and unthanked (?), and so we are thanking you now. Of course, the thing we loved most was seeing you adoring our babes!
Looking forward to next time, "That girl",Joel, Sam, and Amelia:):):)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Missing pieces...

Don't you just hate when you're reading a book or watching a movie and a part of the plot is introduced and then is never mentioned again? That is one of my big pet peeves and yet I feel like as the author (ahem) of "Our Story" I have done the same thing in a way by not updating you on several issues.I'm sure you all are just dying to have some updates on these missing pieces of info. So, here are a few questions I thought you might be losing sleep over or that some of you have emailed me about (be they big or small).

1) Is Joel still alive and did he ever finish PA school?
Great question! Yes, thankfully Joel is alive and well:) Sometimes we wonder that as well as he is like a ghost in the night coming home for a few hours of sleep and then heading back out into the brutal world of internship and study. He is now doing a rotation in surgery and also finishing up his senior project. He will graduate in August-hurray! We miss him around here--big time!

2) How old are the babies now and have they had any repercussions of being born sooooo early (29 weeks)?
Sam and Amelia will be one years old on April 11! In some ways I simply cannot believe it and yet in others their birth and time in the NICU seems like it was years and years ago. Thankfully we have not experienced one single serious repercussion of their prematurity since they came home from the NICU. Of course, their development is more along the lines of their due date (June 27) but that is expected and they should catch up by their second birthday.

3)How did the hammock work out for Amelia?
We still love our La Siesta hammocks! Again, they are obviously not a cure all for sleep issues, but Amelia does seem to sleep better as there are less distractions in the hammock than in our bed. Also, we bought Sammy one for nap times and it helps me immensely in getting them both down at the same time! I just stick them in and push and usually after about 5 mins they are both snoozing away. Sammy starts out his night in his hammock and then moves into our bed at his first night feeding. He and Amelia are opposite in that he sleeps MUCH better in our bed snuggled up against one of us:)

4) How are cloth diapers workin' for ya?
I would say we are using cloth about half of the time. That is mostly because I haven't forked out the moolah to get the next size up that they need, which is silly because I AM forking it out every week for disposable. Anyhoo, I still love them and get great satisfaction every time I throw a load in the wash and think about the money and landfill space we are saving.

5) Are you exhausted?
Yes, I have been a little overwhelmed and have needed a recharge. Being unable to go into public places with the babies for a lot of November-March(RSV season) has been hard. Though we have had a cozy, fun winter for the most part and I have been more content than I could have ever expected, I still have been craving some time out in the big ol' world. With no family here to help and Joel being gone most of the time, we decided the time had come to find someone to come over a few hours a week and let me go to the grocery store, the library, the coffee shop, etc.

Enter Sabine.

She is from Haiti and moved to the U.S. only a month and a half ago. A mutual friend connected us and I am so thankful. I was really missing being around internationals (I taught ESL before the babes came) and so it is so fun to be around her and also to help her with her English. She and Sam really hit it off and he smiles this huge smile as soon as she comes through the door. I love hearing her laugh ring out as they play and play. Amelia is still wary of new people and so she sticks with me a lot. Still, it is helpful to be able to put her in a sling and get things done around the house and know that Sammy is having fun, or have Sabine take them for a walk and let me do a few quick errands.
Of course Shari has also been here for the past two weeks and that has been a tremendous recharge for me!

Tara and Echo are coming for a visit in April and Jennifer is coming for a weekend in May--yay!!!

6) How many teeth do the babies have now?
Sammy has six and is working on two more. Amelia has one!!

7) How is breast feeding going? Are you planning on weaning soon?
Breast feeding is still one of the most wonderful, peaceful parts of our days. I hope it continues for a long time to come, but I plan on leaving that up to the babes.

Okay, I guess that is enough for now. Let me know if you have any more burning questions:) Hope you all are well, Jenny

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A taste of spring...

Warmth, sunshine and family....can't get much better than that! This weekend Joel took the babes on a long bike ride and then they came home and we played in the backyard. We played with their new pony from their Grandma Shari and we basked in the sunshine. And while I'll admit that I did enjoy winter this year(and i know there will be a bit more to come), outside on a blanket is our favorite place to be. I laid on that blanket feeling more content than I have in a long time, thinking about this season that is almost over. Though Amelia and Sam have both had their little bouts of illness (Amelia currently has a sore throat and is pretty miserable:( , they have been spared from RSV and anything else dangerous and we are so thankful. When I took Amelia to the doctor today he said that by the end of this month we can start putting our guard down and take the babes out and about with little worry. What a welcome change that will be!

So here are some pics of our day outdoors, a glimpse of what is to come...
View this montage created at One True Media
Afternoon delight...

Monday, March 10, 2008

Attention photo lovers....

The February album is ready!
Feb 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

Class is in session.

Sam and Amelia and their good friend Vera:)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Three very good things...

The first good thing is that my Mother- in-love Shari is here for two weeks! Hurray,hurrah, yippie! It is soooo nice to have her here loving on the babes, serving us by helping with house work and a host of other things. I am so thankful for her companionship as well as Joelie starts out his surgery rotation and is rarely home. Such a blessing she has already been to our little family!

The second good thing is from one of you, dear readers. I don't know who because it was sent anonomously! Let me tell you, whoever you are, that it felt like I had won the lottery when I opened that envelope! I think I smiled for the next three days straight. So, please know that your gift was so appreciated. Do you guy want to know what it was? Well, let's just say that "the store that I hate (to love) " is going to soon have a raggamuffin mama enter their store, look at every single thing they sell with great scrutiny, carry about five things that I fall in love with around the store a million times making sure I didn't miss anything, compare the ups and downs of each item, and finally purchase something (with a gift card/not a debit card--yay!!). Then I will be in ecstacy about the new something, then I will have buyers remourse, then I will fall in love with it all over again. This is all before leaving the store of course:)
Anyway, I'll post the new something (oh what will it be?! A dress, a shirt, a house accesory, a favorite coffee cup?) when it is purchased. Thanks again you secret giver!

And of course, here are two of the greatest things ever....

Hope you all are having days full of very good things. Love ya,Jen