Our precious boys...

Our precious boys...

Friday, July 29, 2011

ANGEL BABIES IN HEAVEN, Charlie & Savannah

Last month, we sold our double strollers, infant car seats, etc. on Craig's List to a woman named Heidi, who was expecting twins. I looked her up on facebook and was surprised to find we had a few mutual friends. After emailing back and forth, we realized that her and Nick were freshman in the same dorm complex in college and were acquaintances. We also had another mutual friend whom I just met last summer at a church convention! And we both did IVF at the Mayo Clinic as well. I felt an instant connection with her and was excited to keep in touch with her twin's progress.

The day after she bought our items and we met in person, she found out the sexes of her babies, a boy and a girl! But after some complications and almost 4 weeks of bedrest, trying to keep the babies in as long as possible, on July 28th, Heidi's two precious twin babies were born and passed away one short hour later. Charlie and Savannah were born at 22 weeks gestation. Savannah was 1 pound and 11.5 inches long. Charlie was 1 pound, 2 ounces and 11.25 inches long. They joined their 5 previous siblings that died in previous ectopic pregnancies.

Dearest Heidi,

Words cannot begin to express my heartfelt compassion for you and Aaron. Even though I've only known you a short time, I can't help but feel a connection to you. Please know that you are not alone and that I feel with you and for you. I have prayed for you everyday since we met and I will continue to. I don't know what it's like to lose one baby, yet alone now 7 as you have, but I do know what it feels like to long so desperately for a baby. My heart is breaking and aching for you. I wish I could take away all the hurt and pain for you.

I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what to do for you. And I wish I knew why this had to happen. I don't know any of those things, but there is one thing and that I am sure of. I know that your precious angel babies are safe in the arms of Jesus. He is keeping watch over them until one day when you and Aaron will be reunited with them in heaven FOREVER! This life on earth is just temporary, so keep holding on to the faith that one day you will all spend forever together.

Whenever a loved one of mine passes away, I always imagine them dancing with Jesus. So as I think of precious little Charlie and Savannah, I picture them dancing with Jesus in heaven. They are safe, they are loved, and they are side by side with each other and their other 5 siblings.

Bless you sweet baby angels, Charlie and Savannah. You may have only been on this earth a short time, but you will live on forever in the hearts of many. Your mommy and daddy love you so much. Your tiny feet have left big imprints on my heart. I will never forget you.

Heidi & Aaron, every life no matter how fragile or brief forever changes the world. Thinking of you and remembering Charlie & Savannah.

All my love,
Amy

Thursday, July 28, 2011

TOY JACKPOT



Look at what I purchased this morning! All of these awesome & clean toys were $24 total! Yahoo!!!!!

Thankfully I had time to run to one garage sale quick this morning and as you can see, I hit jackpot! Garage sales are so hit or miss for me. It seems like I either find absolutely nothing or hit jackpot, such as this! Thank you www.owatonnagaragesales.com for allowing me to view what people are selling ahead of time, so I don't have to waste my time on sales that don't have what I am looking for right now...which are boy clothing and toys, toys, toys!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

FELICITY

Meet Felicity. She is Ava's (Eli and Will's oldest cousin) American Girl doll. She's super sweet and super fun. :)

*Please note cousin Cora's little foot/feet in both of the photos. Hilarious!

This photo was taken when the babies were just 3 weeks old and barely longer than little Felicity. (Felicity was reserved the day of this photo and dressed in a conservative dress and bathrobe. She must have just showered.)


This photo was taken last week while the babies were 10 months old and umm...a LOT longer than little Felicity. (Felicity has become a little more sassy with age and in this photo is dressed in her little flapper outfit! You go, girl!)


That's a whole lot of growing in just 9 short months between these photos! I will continue to be amazed at how fast babies grow in their first year of life. Incredible and almost mind boggling. Good thing God totally knows what He's doing. :) Our God is an awesome God!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

CELEBRATE. REMEMBER. FIGHT BACK.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude for those who donated to the American Cancer Society in this year's Steele County Relay for Life. Because of your support, I raised my highest amount ever of $1100 for the ACS, with this being my 6th year participating! That is amazing!! Together we can and WILL make a difference.

Due to rain storms and flooding on Friday afternoon, the Relay was postponed to Saturday night. And then the heavy humidity on Saturday (the heat index was around 100) made an interesting Relay this year. We were HOT! But that wouldn't stop us. We still gathered to celebrate, remember, and fight back! As of last night, Steele County raised over $93,300!


In case you are not familiar with the Relay for Life, it is a family-oriented event that involves teams of people who take turns walking or running around a track all night long…because cancer never sleeps! It is a unique celebration of life in honor and in memory of those who lives have been touched by cancer. It's a party-like atmosphere with fun activities, food, music, and entertainment!

The Honorary Chair of this year's Relay, Jim Miller, who has been cancer free for 3 years, gave a very heartfelt speech. He said, "I said to God, 'If it’s your will for me to live, then help me through this.’ I turned all the worrying and stress, and I left it in God’s hands. It seems as though I’m looking at life through a whole other dimension today. I hear the birds. Everything looks three dimensional to me. I’ve grown very strong spiritually, stress and worry is just not a part of me any more. It’s gone. I’m able to experience the moment and live for today. Forgot the statistics. Listen to your doctor, but, put your life in God’s hands and just get ‘er done. Don’t let anybody tell you you’re not going to make it. Make your own trail, and be the statistic that makes it."

LIVE FOR TODAY! He talked about how he takes life one day at at time and wants to be the best person he can be because we never know when it will be our last. Oh, how wonderful it would be if we could all do the same! I'm going to try to take life one day at a time and LIVE FOR TODAY! Even though I couldn't be as involved with the Relay as much as I have in the last few years because of two little new people in my life, I am still so very passionate about it. If you have not participated or been to your county's Relay for Life, I highly encourage you to do so. Your life will be inspired!

Walking among the 3,500 beautifully lite luminary bags is always touching. Even with the extreme heat and humidity, it was, just as it always is, an amazing night to reflect, honor, and celebrate everyone affected by cancer. CELEBRATE. REMEMBER. FIGHT BACK!

So, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Amy



Extremely hot, but still smiling at the Relay for Life! (Don't look too close at my frizzy hair and sweat drenched body!)


My dad, Alan, a cancer survivor, walking in the Survivor Lap.


My dad, a cancer warrior!


Eli cooling off in the kiddie pool!


The Cox family! (Minus Barry, Erin, Josh, & Corrie - we missed you guys!)


Walking a lap among the track of 3,500 luminary bags! (It was just too relaxing for Eli and he fell asleep. Either that or he passed out from heat exhaustion! But Will's going strong!)


A close-up of our little sleeping Elijah!


Luminary Bags in honor and in memory of...

My Dad (testicular cancer SURVIVOR!)



My Uncle (died of testicular cancer)



My Grandpa (died of prostate cancer)


My Grandpa (died of bladder cancer)


My Grandma (died of breast & lung cancer)


The American Cancer Society Relay for Life has united communities for a quarter of a century to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Relay for Life supports the ACS’s work to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. Together, we’re creating a world with less cancer – and more birthdays.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"I HOPE THAT WAS CHOCOLATE"

All I can say is, "I hope that was chocolate!" Let me explain...

I am just having one of "those" days. Nothing seems to be going right and as a result, I have turned into a mega mega crab. It's been just one thing after another all morning long. I'll spare you the details, just know it hasn't been going well. Plus it's been a dark, rainy day and that just never helps to brighten a mood.

So, it was 1pm: naptime! Alleluia, momma gets a break! I checked diapers as I always do to make sure no one is poopy before going to sleep. Eli was in the clear and Will was a stinky little dude. I changed Will quick and all was good to go. On a "normal" day (what exactly is a normal day anyway?), I lay Eli down with his pacifier and blankie (his MN twins tag blanket that I sewed!) and he's out within 5 minutes, not making a peep. (Which I am tremendously grateful for!) While Eli is falling asleep peacefully, I hold Will for about 5-10 minutes, while he squirms and fusses a bit. I then lay him down and pat his butt for another 5 minutes until he's completely asleep. (Yes, it's not ideal, but whatever, it works.)

But today, of course, isn't a typical day. They both screamed and cried. So, after running back and forth between trying to nap two babies crying in two different cribs in two different rooms for 25 minutes, I was exhausted. I just needed a break! What was going on? Is that what the twins were doing awake at 1am last night?...arranging this clever conspiracy plan to DRIVE ME CRAZY!??! Well, apparently their plan worked, because I was about to lose it! They are little baby geniuses, I tell ya!

As I emerged triumphantly from the nursery after finally getting Eli asleep, I decided I needed a reward. A good one. And by reward I mean food because it's what makes me most happy. Thankfully a Hershey's bar magically appeared in the cupboard under piles of opened crackers and other junk as I frantically searched looking for that special something to make me feel better.

I sat down to eat my chocolate in peace with complete silence. I savored every moment. That chocolatey goodness just hit the spot! But it was gone all too fast and my break time was over. As I got up and walked to go clean up from lunch, I licked a piece of melted chocolate off my thumb. Just then it hit me...I forgot to wash my hands after changing Will's diaper!! A sick feeling engulfed my stomach and I thought to myself, "I hope that was chocolate!"

Yes, they look so sweet and innocent here. But don't let that fool you! Here they are eating a quick cracker snack...my sneaky diversion technique try to calm them down and keep them busy for a few minutes!

Will and Eli watch the rain outside the patio doors this morning as the river forms in our backyard.



P.S. Oh, and just so you know, it WAS.......chocolate. Whew!








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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 MONTHS OLD!

Seriously, how have TEN whole months come and gone? Ten months of big life changes and learning how to adjust. Ten months of dirty diapers, bottle after bottle, spit ups, and meltdowns. (Some meltdowns by me included!) Ten months of doing one thing and then doing it again. Ten months of my life TIMES TWO! Ten months of smiles, laughs, giggles, and cuddles. Ten months of learning how to be a mommy, how to manage "me" time, and how to stay moving forward with confidence through all the chaos. And I wouldn't take any of it back for a second. Oh, who am I kidding, I would definitely take back the nights of very little sleep continually interrupted by one or two crying babies. I love sleep and sleep loves me. We have a very special relationship and would like to be reunited. (Please hear my plea, oh little twin babies! You are 10 months old and should be sleeping through the night without a peep.)

Ten months of watching each baby learn and grow. Ten months of watching them accomplish milestones at different times from one another: rolling over, holding toys, sitting up, first teeth, babbling, holding their own bottles, picking up food and feeding themselves, etc. And our little Will just last week started crawling and also pulling himself up to standing by holding onto furniture. Don't worry, Eli, not too long and you'll be doing the same!

They both within the last two weeks have started saying "mama" and Eli also says "mom". (Of course they both have been saying "dada" for months even though I'm the one who slaves over them while daddy's away at work. HA!) Oh, it makes my heart burst with joy! My baby twins are growing up! They are becoming little people! This makes me so unbelievably happy, but naturally a part of me is sad to see my little infants grow into toddlers. (But if growing into toddlers means better sleep for all of us, then please be toddlers tomorrow. Like I said, I love sleep and sleep loves me.)

Happy 10 Months Elijah & Will. Your momma loves you bunches and bunches.

What am I doing still sitting here typing writing this blog post? I should be off planning their 1st birthday party. Only 2 months left. Yikes! Gotta go!

Will Clarence - 10 months old - 20 pounds 9 ounces


Elijah Kingsley - 10 months old - 20 pounds 0 ounces

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

STEPPING STONES



STEPPING STONES is a newsletter for the ministry of Bethany Christian Services. They offer christian support for couples facing infertility or pregnancy loss. I receive this touching and heartfelt newsletter. Each issue offers insightful articles, a book review, poetry, and features from experts in the field of impaired fertility. It's published six times a year (although 2 are sent via email).

Subscriptions are free. But Stepping Stones depends on gift support from readers and Stepping Stones friends to meet the financial needs of this ministry. If you are able to support this ministry with a tax-deductible donation, gifts are needed and appreciated. Click on the link to learn more or make a donation.

http://www.bethany.org/A55798/bethanyWWW.nsf/0/83BD0A4B45EB547685256D6300679515

I have felt so much emotion by reading this newsletter during our infertility journey and even now after. It's amazing how it always seemed to come in the mail at just the right time and had articles that seemed to speak right to me when I needed it the most. I never made it through a newsletter without tears, (oh who am I kidding, I bawled through most of them) even now after I have my own children. It brings back all those feelings and I will never forget all the ups and downs infertility brings. The newsletter gives peace, encouragement, and hope. You realize you are not alone and God is with you every step of the way.

In every issue, they have a "memory & celebration" page. This lists gifts given in celebration of a birth or adoption. It also acknowledges gifts given in memory of precious babies, born or unborn, who are now with our Father in heaven. Every time I received the newsletter, I hoped and prayed that someday I would be able to see my own precious baby's name in this section. And in the March/April issue of 2011, my dream came true.

It reads, "In Celebration of our precious, miracle twin babies through IVF, Elijah and Will, joyfully given by Nick and Amy Vincelli."

Thank you, Stepping Stones, and editors, John & Sylvia Van Regenmorter, for your heartfelt words and stories of hope. You have touched the hearts of so many, including mine. I give thanks for you and your ministry. God is working through you!

Friday, July 8, 2011

SHOPPING CARTS

Look who's finally big enough to sit in HyVee's DOUBLE shopping carts?


This means I can actually buy a whole cartful of groceries rather than just what I can fit underneath the double stroller! ALLELUIA!

They LOVE sitting in the carts. I was worried they'd be trying to climb out, but they do such a great job. They just sit there and take it all in!

Thank you HyVee for having these awesome carts with room for two babies with two separate straps and slots to put their legs through! Now if I could only find other stores who have such wonderful shopping carts.

This photo shows how we used to shop. Anything I could fit underneath the stroller (which actually was quite more than you'd think) was what I could buy. You can tell it's a decent size compartment under there! Although, in this photo we have a cart there too because Nick and I were shopping together with the twins. One of us had the stroller and one had the cart.


This is how we shopped only a couple times with the babies. (This photo was taken in October when the babies were 1 month old.) We realized very quickly that when you have 2 babies in carseats in a shopping cart, there is NO room for items that you want to buy!


Since selling the infant car seats with the stroller they hooked into, this is how we have to shop at Target. (This photo isn't taken in Target, obviously!) But this is our new side-by-side double umbrella stroller. We had to purchase this smaller stroller because our side-by-side double jogging stroller won't fit through the door! You know you shop at Target a lot when you decide to buy a stroller based on the fact if it can fit through Target's doors or not! (If we had a Super Target this wouldn't be an issue. But don't even get me started on that topic!)



This stroller is nice, but unfortunately it doesn't have belts that go across their shoulders to hold them back. So, now I push this through Target with two babies practically falling out trying to pull each and every thing they can get their hands onto off the racks and shelves! That stroller is so wide they can both reach items in opposite directions off parallel shelves at the same time as I push the stroller down an aisle. It's actually more funny than frustrating to me. We'll see how long that lasts though!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Here they are on the morning of their first Independence Day!


We had a nice Fourth of July. We went to a nearby town's parade and met up with some friends. Poor Will about lost it when he heard the firetruck sirens. They are so loud. Poor little guy. He's never liked loud noises. But Eli did just fine. Then we went to another fiend's for a BBQ and campfire.

Happy Birthday America!



Here are Eli and Will at 10:30pm. They decided they didn't want to miss the fireworks and woke up to watch them at 10pm. Okay, actually it was more like the loud fireworks from the nearby fairgrounds woke them up. So we brought them outside to watch it since we'd have to wake them up bring them back to our house soon after anyway. Lucky little guys!