Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If you're a redneck.......

Our house has an open floor plan...the front living room (aka grandkid's TV room), dining room, kitchen and den all flow together. There's enough space so the two TVs don't compete with each other but we could see what the grandkids were up to without much trouble. It worked for us.

Enter the walking/crawling Duo. First rule of business was buying the highest TV cabinet we could find so Lyss couldn't crawl in it and pull out

all the paraphenalia for the satallite system. That fixed the den but the other living room had a low TV stand so the older kids could work it. The Duo loved to work it too. That room also had a radiant wall heater we used in really cold weather. I shopped for toddler gates but they were only for a little wider than a single door width. I put dining room chairs across the doorway so I could hear the screach when the Duo moved them to escape but that meant I was never allowed to go to the bathroom unless another adult was in the house. Enter my hero, Chuck the solver of all carpenter problems (hehe) at our house.

While I was gone grocery shopping he screwed a large unfinished piece of board across the opening. Problem solved....big people could step over it, heat could pass from room to room and of course, it added so much to the decor!! I'm so proud.

History of the Duo 106 (part 6)

Premature babies have so many strikes against them. Even with great prenatal care and a drug free habitat, which unfortunately, the Dynamic Duo did not have, there are problems. The twins never had the lung problems that a lot of preemies do. They were breathing on their own from the first and never had a setback....that was a huge miracle in itself. They were responding to sound in the hospital and subsequent hearing test showed no problem. The twice a month eye exams in Oklahoma City were normal but later exams have shown problems that hopefully, glasses will correct. I can't get my mind around having two, less than two year olds, in glasses! I have problems finding two pairs of shoes at one time. Glasses are going to be a nightmare.

At a few months old, we realized Kayla was not progressing as well as Lyssa....nothing showed up in capital letters, just little things. She didn't "talk/coo" as soon, she couldn't grasp and hang on to toys, and one eye was drifting to the left, most of the time. Doctors' offices were our second homes. A patch on Kayla's good eye for a month corrected her drifting eye and she's never regressed. The developmental specialist thinks that her fine motor skills will catch up soon. It seems the kind of drugs she had in her system linger in the muscles. She's been slower to walk and still wobbles a little. The good news was that her thinking and processing part of her brain was fine. Things could have been so much worse.

For some reason, something the doctors explained as the "A" baby being in the position to be more susceptable, Lyssa has not shown the same problems as Kayla Bug. Being second is best sometimes, I guess. Lyss started out as my clinging velcro baby but now she is Miss Independent. She's mischievious, the climber and a loving child who is always ready for the tickle spiders to get her. They speak their own language and think they need to be together most of the time though they are getting more independent.

When people tell me their child was potty trained at eight months, I just smile and think, someday we'll get there. Some things are just not as important as I used to think in my "before Duo" time. We are just glad to know where belly buttons, noses and toes are, right now. The other stuff will fall into place with some nudges....later.

to be continued....

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday continued.....

Kayla's therapist came this afternoon. Kayla likes to see her but Lyssa LOVES to see her. She has all kinds of neat toys in her bag that Kayla Bug gets to play with. Lyssa is so jealous. Today, it was too cold and rainy for Lyss and me to go outside to play so she got to have therapy too. She wound up in the therapists lap, afraid she might miss something. When Kay was ready to leave, Lyssa just decided to go with her. She's never done that before!! That bag is really nifty....

Lyssa has cleaned the floor with a slightly used diaper.....cleaned up apple juice with a dirty washcloth, THEN washed Kayla's face with it and spilled a glass of tea all over her, the floor, couch and Kayla. The day is not done yet.

Kayla, thankfully, has had a quieter day. I'm just hoping she is not watching and learning. One of her favorite sayings is, "Lyssa!! No! No!" I wonder why?? I think Kayla thinks that is Lyssa's full name.

Tuesday's this and that

If you need to know how many kleenex are in a big box, don't ask me.....but Miss Lyss can probably tell you. I put her high chair a little too close to the table this morning.

How anyone can hold out against a little ones raised arms is a mystery to me. This is probably why not much gets done around here except holding one or the other. Kayla came to me begging to be held, so the dishes will be waiting on me later. She doesn't usually get rocked to sleep....there's fierce lap competition here....but today she wanted to just rock

and doze.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Dancing With The Stars is the Duo's new favorite show. It's right up there, maybe passing Yo Gabba Gabba!! They've twirled, done serious head banging and run each other over, giggling like crazy. They may never be dancers but they might have a career as wrestlers. Of course, Lyssa also could be training as a stripper. I can't leave the room without her taking off everything she can. When we are getting ready to go somewhere, she can strip faster than I can dress her. Hopefully, she won't decide to do this at Walmart or church. Thankfully, all Kayla can handle right now is taking off her shoes but I'm sure Lyssa will teach her all she knows soon.

History of the Duo 105 (part 5)

The girls were thriving.  They should have......they were the only ones getting any sleep.  Every day were changes....little things like grasping a toy, the smiling recognition of our familiar faces, and the first garbled coo.  These were big things because the list of possible defects still were lurking over our shoulder.  And then there were the dreaded monitors.  It seemed like no matter what I did, those blasted things were squealing.  There's just nothing like that scream at three in the morning to get your heart pumping.  The machines checked their heart and breathing at all time.  Their baths had to be timed so they didn't go over the alloted time for the monitors to be off them.  I began to hate....  Then finally we got to take them off after months.  This strange thing happened......I missed them.  It had been a comfort to know if one of them quit breathing, the alarm would go off.  Now we began lying in bed listening for their breathing and getting up dozens of times to check on them.

I've glossed over a lot in the last blog. We were "visited" at least twice a week, not counting phone calls from various agencies.  I looked up one day to a women peering in our front window, watching the twins in their playpen.  When asked, she said she was just checking on us and she had a cold that she didn't want to spread it to the twins.  I was told the twins could be put in foster care in several conversations.  Talk about Big Brother!!  

Chuck and I came to the understanding that as long as our daughter had custody of the twins, they were in jeopardy.  Though she didn't want the day to day responsibility, she wanted the title of  mother, so I prepared for a battle.....that never happened.  She signed her rights over to us with very little problem.  I really don't know what we would have done if she would have fought us but I do know, we weren't letting the twins go anywhere.

We had nearly a year of stress and uncertainty before the adoption was finalized.  The girls spent their first birthday with diva crowns, their family and new names.  Kayla Elizabeth Roye and Alyssa Grace Roye (I won't tell you their original names and have that seared  forever in your brain) were here to stay. 

to be continued.......

History of the Duo 104 (part 4)

I have to backtrack a little more at this time.   Even though I had four children at this time....they were all adopted.  The youngest was two when adopted so I missed all the little stuff.   I knew very little about formula, diaper, feeding schedules....and the dreaded suction thingy.  I really grew to hate that thing.  I had told the authorities in OKC that I had experience in raising four children.......I just didn't go into any details.  We were entering uncharted territory and I was being watched closely. 

I had planned on taking two weeks off from work and then go back to real estate, part time after that.  My fantasy was to take the granddaughter to school, work a few hours then come home.  Our daughter was living with us so we could help her with the babies.  After just being gone an hour to take said child to school, to find the Duo unsupervised for the second time changed all that.  This was winter and Chuck was feeding hundreds of head of cattle.  He was stopping in, trying to check on the babies but this situation just wasn't working.  I realized I was the one who was going to have to give up on a career.....we didn't depend on it, but we definitely depended on the ranch to make us a living. 

This was probably my lowest time.  I'm a people person and my job really suited me.  I never knew where I would be or who I would talk to.  I'd spend one day rushing to get paperwork done on time and the next day, I might be walking a field or sitting, having tea with some of the nicest people.
And.....I was good at it.  Enough of that....but like I said, it wasn't my best time.

It was also becoming evident that "helping" the daughter take care of the children wasn't working.  Chuck and I were up around the clock for three hour feedings with no help from her on top of his regular job and me taking care of the seven year old.  It was time for a showdown.  We asked her to leave.  I was thinking this would be a wake up call to her and she would realize she was going to have to change.  The only thing that changed was that she realized she wasn't going to be able to do it and didn't think she ever would be able to.  Believe it or not, this was a relief for her to say that.  The unknown was becoming the known.  We were going to be more than grandparents to the Duo.

to be continued........

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Duo Sunday

Sunday mornings are a wild time around here.  Getting two little squirming ladies ready to meet their public is always a challenge but for some reason, Sundays just go in slow motion. 

Finally off to church, after I have to go back to get a soapy washcloth to clean all the  places that were missed the first....and second time.  It seems like the first time I really get to see them is when I've got them penned up and tied down in their carseats. 

Church was good for me and no one told me about any catastophe so I guess the nursery is still standing too.  Lyssa has to walk in to church by herself now and has to peep into every classroom on the way to her room.  Kayla deems to be still carried.......everywhere, if I will.  Her room is in Drama Queen decor....I wonder why???

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping.  Even I tried to take one...but alas, it's just a waste of my time.  I usually just lie there thinking of a hundred things I could be doing.....could, not would. 

The Duo got up to play in the hogpen which means taking every toy out and spread it over the den.  Tornadoes have nothing on the Dynamic Duo. 

Tomorrow will be an exciting day of grocery shopping where Lyssa will get to wear her new fashion accessory, her harness . She has learned how much fun it is to run....away.  Then home again to shovel all the toys back in the pen.  Kayla's therapist comes Tuesday and it is always nice if she can get in the den without having to turn sideways.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Duo Day

Today has been a rough day for Lyss.  She's scraped, bruised and pinched. (only once and by Kayla not me!!)  I think she is going to be our adventurous one, though it seems to change every month.  She was my shy one that hung on to she's the one walking down the church aisle by herself, high fiving everyone.  If you can't tell which twin is which, just look for the one with the quick grin....that's Lyss.

Though Kayla is the a minute, maybe, she is definitely the baby of the family, and fights daily for that position.  Why walk when you can be carried??  She has the sweetest smile and the funniest little belly laugh.  Right now, she probably has the biggest vocabulary but that changes day by day.  One of these days she might even sleep the whole night before she gets old enough for kindergarten.

History of the Duo 103 (Part 3)

I don't usually ask my church for prayer...right or wrong...that's just me.  The odds where not good for the twins even though they seemed to be doing extremely well.  The strong medications they had been swimming in for so many weeks had the possibility of causing long term damage.  Brain damage, muscle control, breathing problems, hearing and eye sight damage were all discussed at this point.  They weren't out of the woods by a long shot.  I started calling my church and other churches to get a prayer chain started.  We needed a miracle.

During this time, our daughter was still saying she wanted to keep them but in the next sentence would say she didn't know how she was going to handle one, much less two babies AND a seven year old.  I began to get a very sinking feeling. 

The doctors told me the twins would be in the hospital for 4 to 6 weeks at least but probably longer.....maybe we could take them home by Christmas. Since I was working and also taking care of the seven year old grand daughter, I had to go home, leaving the daughter to watch over the day to day care of the twins.  This was a very conflicted time because I could not call and talk to anyone in authority.  My daughter was actually in charge of all information and that information wasn't being passed on in it's entirety.   I finally called the head nurse and told her I realized she couldn't actually tell me anything but if she ever thought I needed to come, to please call.  She called the next day.  I drove to Oklahoma City to find the authorities had been notified and things were pretty dramatic.  We had a very real chance of the twins being taken straight from the hospital into foster care. I've never been in a situation where I had to grovel but I was more than happy to promise anything they threw at me to keep the twins in our care.  That is actually when the twins became real and so very important to me.  I went through all the classes that a new mother goes through to learn to take care of premature babies....overnight.  The authorities decided to let me take the twins home if I would be responsible for them and keep them in our home AND they had to have monitors on twenty four hours a day.  Of course, then the authorities in our county took over to make sure I was going to keep my word.  I don't blame them.....I was really glad that they took the situation seriously but it was still a very scary time.  I knew I would never hurt these babies.........but what if I made a mistake???

After a month in the OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City, the Duo came home.  They weighed quite a bit less than five pounds each but were....thank you Lord!!...healthy.  That was such a miracle.  We found out later, four sets of twins were born at the hospital that week......the Dynamic Duo were the only ones that both survived. 

to be continued.......

History of the Duo 102 (2nd part)

After calling Chuck and telling him he better sit down, reality set in.  One baby's chance of survival wasn't good...with twins, it was virtually nonexistent.  I could not allow myself to visualize them as actually babies...that was my way of coping.  The only thing in their favor was they had longer to grow since her delivery date was set as December. 

In September, she was put in the hospital in Oklahoma City, mainly because no doctor in this area would touch this ticking bomb.  The presciptions she had taken and continued to take while pregnant were all extremely harmful to the fetuses.  She still was not "showing." I had not bought so much as a diaper and this black cloud was with me constantly.  Chuck and I discussed cemetery plots.

I had to do all the gloom and doom to get to this part.

One day it hit me right between the eyes.  This was my life.....I could go through it thinking "why me??" ...or I could find my sense of humor and hang on with both hands, and refuse to be drug down.  If I was going to believe that God could and would get us through this, I had to quit worrying because that negated my belief and trust in Him.  ....So....I quit worrying...just like that.  That's not to say I didn't wonder where we were heading but I just let it be.....and it was.  Believe it or not, that was the most peaceful time.

The Dynamic Duo were  born October 11, 2009, breathing on their own and at about 2 1/2 lbs. each, looking like perfect little china dolls.  They had lasted 29 weeks of their 40 week gestation...that was pretty dynamic.

to be continued......

History of the Duo 101 (or whatever)

I guess I need to start before the Duo were actually born.  I had just got back from a trip to Europe and was planning trips to New York and Ireland in the near future.  Life was good.....Chuck and I were talking about semi retiring and traveling more.  Since we live on a cattle ranch in southeastern Oklahoma and ranching is in my husband's blood, semi retiring was as good as it was ever gonna get.  So getting back to those days of yesteryear.....June was good, by July a little speck of suspicion had taken up residence in the back of my mind but easily ignored.  August came in with the bomb "pregnant" word and was not so easily ignored.  We were going to be grandparents again and the circumstances were not good. 

The first time I saw the blobs before they became dynamic was the ultrasound.  I was not happy to be there and was bound and determined not to take any active part.  My daughter "thought" she might be eight months along but didn't know, so I was so absolutely furious and just wanted to be somewhere else having a root canal.  When the very nice lady that I was doing my best to ignore, first touched the tummy, two little white balls appeared.  Now I'm thinking (from across the room), that can't be what I think it is..... By the time I came back to my senses, I'm leaning over the technicians shoulder nearly nose to the screen with white spots dancing before my eyes!! 

to be continued.........

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Duo Day

Today is a quiet day for the Duo.  Kayla Bug decided to stay up all night. (So happy Chuck does night duty) Miss Lyss has danced and sung along with Sesame Street but was glad to see her bed and thumb for her nap.  My plan is to go back to the very beginning....nearly two years ago when the twinkling of the Duo exploded into our lives.  I still whine and pine for my planned trip to Ireland but life has a great sense of humor sometimes.