4th Annual Hope in Grace Family Fun Run/Walk

Posted by Tony on January 29th, 2013 filed in Home
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The date has been set for this year’s Hope in Grace event.  It will be on Saturday, April 20th at Lakeside Commons Park in Blaine.  We will once again run an online auction beginning a week prior to the walk, as well as continuing to have a silent auction at the event.  For more details including ways you can volunteer or sponsor, please visit www.hopeingrace.org

Newborn Crosby and Amelia pics

Posted by Tony on June 5th, 2012 filed in Home, Twins
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Ok, so these were just a bit overdue, considering they are turning ONE on Friday. But I just felt the blog needed SOME pics of our little treasures. Coming soon will be updated pics from their first birthday!

Crosby & Amelia near their FIRST birthday (and other news)

Posted by Tony on June 5th, 2012 filed in Home
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Ok, I will be the first to admit that we have become VERY slack in updating this site.  With picture upload to facebook easier than on here, we’ve focused most of our energy on uploading pictures to our individual facebook accounts than on here…where you can find almost ALL the pics we took of the Trips.  Over the next little while, I am going to concentrate more on updating THIS site more.

So, some catchup on our lives over the past few months.  I cannot fathom that our little twin wonders, Crosby and Amelia will be ONE on Friday.  It seems like just yesterday they arrived…how fast time flies.  I am LOVING the interaction they are having with their elder siblings…as Tyler has already proven to be the pied piper, getting the two of them to laugh at pretty much anything he does.  There seems to be no jealousy from the older pair to the younger pair, and I hope it stays that way.

April brought us our 3rd Annual Hope in Grace walk.  Despite the TERRIBLE weather, we once again were able to donate $17,000 to the UofM Amplatz Children’s Hospital in Grace’s name for 2 separate funds (pediatric cardiology research and excellence in neonatal nursing).  Over the life of our organization, Hope in Grace has now raised over $54,000…a WONDERFUL accomplishment and all of our friends, family members, and community should be proud.  We are always looking to expand and promote our purpose, so please SPREAD THE WORD!  Ultimately if ONE child benefits from the money we’ve raised, then we have been successful. 

Sophia and Tyler are finishing up their spring swimming lessons this Wednesday.  More and more each day, they are becoming more comfortable around water, getting their face wet/submersed. Tyler is a big fan of wearing goggles, and both he and Sophia LOVE their after-lesson “treat” of Dilly Bars.

We hope all is well with everyone, and sooner or later I will update this site with more PICTURES so you can see just how big Amelia and Crosby have gotten.  Take care.

Clear out the Tumbleweed

Posted by Tony on January 13th, 2012 filed in Home
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Yah, so ok…having 4 kids at home has made us a bit “lazy” when it comes to updating this blog.  With the advancement of things like ShutterFly, Facebook, etc…the blog has been taken to the back burner unfortunately (not that anyone reads this anyways, right?). 

So here is the bi-annual update 🙂

Sophia and Tyler turned 3 in September, my how time flies.  We once again met the Kelley’s at Wisconsin Dells in early November and the kids enjoyed themselves a little more than the first time…thanks to Aunt Melanie for providing some much needed help and support.  November also saw our first trip as a family to Indiana for Delaney Doffin’s baptism.  We would repeat the trip AGAIN in early December for the Doffin birthdays and to celebrate an early Christmas…let’s just say we are world…ok regional…travelers now. 

Amelia and Crosby are getting bigger by the day…they are 7 months now already (we are averaging 1 post every three months of their life, I guess).  Crosby is already army-crawling every which way and is super close to cutting his first tooth.  Amelia has stayed perfectly content laying on her back, staying still, playing with her toes, and sticking out her tongue.

Over the course of the early 2011 we finished our basement and have just recently furninshed it with a couch and TV, so we spend a majority of our time down there now as the kids have a MUCH larger area to play in to coincide with the ridiculous amounts of toys/games/books that they have.

As far as pictures that used to be posted here, continue checking facebook, shutterfly, etc.  We have to be better on posting them…we continue to take them, just not share them so much 🙂

Talk to you again this summer 🙂

LONG Overdue…

Posted by Jaclyn on July 19th, 2011 filed in Home
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…and I don’t mean the babies!  This post is LONG overdue as the twins will be 6 weeks old tomorrow!  Crosby Robert and Amelia Pearl were born on Wednesday, June 8th at 3:12 and 3:14 pm at 37 weeks gestation.  Crosby weighed in at 6 lbs, 8 oz and 20 inches long and Amelia was 6 lbs, 7 oz and 19.25 inches long.  Both are beautiful and healthy and we couldn’t be more grateful.

I had hoped to have a more positive birth experience than I had with the triplets, (With the triplets I was sick the entire day they were born and wasn’t able to hold my children because they were in the NICU, etc.) but unfortunately, the reason why I had my c-section on the day I did was because I had low platelets.  The low platelets posed a risk for bleeding with a spinal block so I had to have general anesthesia instead.  Not being awake for the birth of my children was nothing short of devastating, in the moment, but having two healthy babies and being able to hold them, have them in my post-partum room and take them home with me when I was discharged was pretty awesome.

Over the last 6 weeks we’ve been working on adjusting to what life is like with 4 children in our home and continuing to honor Grace’s memory as a member of our family as well.  Life is definitely chaotic and challenging, but simultaneously wonderful.  We are so grateful for our children.  We are also grateful for all the family and friends who have supported us.  Thanks to each and every one of you!

I promise that pictures of the twins will be coming soon, but right now I have to get some rest!

Full-Term Babies!!! (37 week belly update)

Posted by Jaclyn on June 6th, 2011 filed in Pregnancy
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Twins at 37 weeks

So the platelet chase continues…this morning’s lab results were stable compared to this weekend so I was told to go home again.  Initially the plan was just to come back on Wednesday and check AGAIN.  I was less than thrilled with continuing the pattern of the last week so I asked to speak with my doctor directly.  Our current plan is if Wednesday’s blood draw shows stable numbers that I will deliver on Friday!  YEAH!  Of course, if the numbers are decreasing, I could deliver on Wednesday.  Regardless, our “end date” got moved up by 3 days and that means that, at most, I have one more doctor’s appointment prior to delivering the twins!

Today also marks 37 weeks which is a HUGE milestone in terms of the health of the babies.  Babies born as late as 36 6/7 weeks are called “late pre-term infants” and apparently the hospital protocol for caring for them is drastically different than for full-term babies (babies born at or after 37 weeks).  The doctor and nurses on Saturday made a big deal about this as they encouraged me to go home and cook these babies for a little while longer.  I am still not opposed to doing just that, but the events of the last week have definitely changed my thoughts and feelings.  The nearly daily monitoring and NPO status is intrusive and annoying, not to mention a serious emotional rollercoaster.

We’re almost there!  Only 4 more sleeps…at most! (Hopefully I actually CAN sleep…that’s the tricky part at this stage!)


While we wait for the twins arrival…

Posted by Jaclyn on June 6th, 2011 filed in 2+, Home
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….Tony and I have very much enjoyed our time with Sophie and Tyler.  Below are some photos of some of our activites over the last couple of months, along with a few random shots thrown in.  Sophie and Tyler took a trip to the zoo with Gavin, we had a beautiful day for an Easter egg hunt at Aunt Jolene and Uncle Mike’s house, we visited Grandma Gurine and Grandpa John at the farm and got to see their new farmhouse, went to Teddy Bear Park with Grandma and Grandpa (on the day Mom ALMOST delivered the twins) and went to the Daninger Farm open house with Grandma Joan and Grandpa Jim….to name a few events I haven’t already covered on the blog.

Platelets, Platelets, Platelets

Posted by Tony on June 5th, 2011 filed in Pregnancy
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That is definitely the buzzword around the end of this pregnancy.  Delivering or NOT delivering the twins has completely centered around Jaclyn’s platelet level in her blood.  Ever since Jaclyn was hospitalized about 4 weeks ago for dehydration, this platelet count level has become center of attention.  If it’s too low, she could become pre-eclamptic and it would be in everyone’s best interest (Jaclyn and the twins) to deliver the babies to avoid any further complications to Jaclyn’s health.  Unfortunately, this platelet level has been its own little roller coaster…causing a whirlwind of emotions for both Jaclyn and I.  One day its normal, one day its borderline low, yada yada yada.

This all came to a head this past Friday.  Jaclyn’s most recent blood draw showed lower than normal platelet levels, so Dr. Syal decided that now was the time to deliver the twins as they were nearing 37 weeks and were far enough along that there was little risk in doing so.  Giddee yup!  Both sets of parents were around to watch over Sophia and Tyler, I was able to leave work, cancel all patients for Saturday and the upcoming week…it’s go time!  We arrived at the hospital a little before 4:30, Jaclyn was prepped for surgery, she got her IV put in, they dropped off the scrubs for me to put on, brought in the anesthesiologist to go over the spinal block procedure and what to expect…we just now waited for the most recent blood draw results to arrive and for Dr. Syal to arrive at the hospital.  Family members were prepped, I put a global message out on facebook, and everyone now waited patiently for the word that our family had now increased by two.  Around 5:30 (just about an hour after we arrived and literally about 20-30 minutes before the c-section) Dr. Syal arrived, mulled over the most recent results (which showed platelets again back to a “normal” level) and came in to our room and told us to GO HOME!!!  WHAT?!?  ARE YOU KIDDING?!?  With platelet levels now normal, there was no medical “reason” for the babies to be delivered and we were to head home and Jaclyn was to return in the morning for more blood work.

Saturday arrives, I go to work with virtually no one on my schedule because we cancelled everyone, and Jaclyn’s morning blood draw showed just slightly lower than normal platelet levels, so she was ordered to not eat or drink for 4 hours and return for yet another blood test.  Once again, we prepared for delivery by packing up everything for a long stay, getting my parents to watch Sophie and Tyler, and again notifying immediate family members that this could be “it”.  This time, the platelet numbers came back almost the same as they did in the morning…but we were once again told to GO HOME.  Now, the doctors are seeing that we are so close to 37 weeks (Monday), that we need to wait til then so that the twins won’t require any “special” treatment afterwards.  So the rollercoaster ride continues….delivery, no delivery, more blood tests.  Jaclyn now gets Sunday off and will return to the hospital again Monday, exactly one week before the actual scheduled c-section at 38 weeks.  In the end, this is all good news for the babies, as they continue to grow and are not in any way in distress through all of this.  Jaclyn has been remarkable through this entire ordeal, but is getting more uncomfortable because of the weight of her belly.  Will Monday be the day?  Only platelets will tell….

Stay tuned

Sophie & Tyler have a new cousin!

Posted by Jaclyn on June 2nd, 2011 filed in Home
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Welcome Luciana Grace Stodola, born to parents Jim & Emily Stodola on Thursday, May 26th @ 5:14 pm.  6 lbs, 13 oz. 20.5 inches long.  Beautiful & Healthy!

Tony and I are very proud to be uncle and aunt again and Sophie and Tyler adore their baby cousin!  We were able to visit the new baby, proud parents and adoring big brother Gavin at the hospital the night Luciana was born.  She is so precious!  When asked about his new cousin the next day, Tyler said, “She’s so tiny.  I had to be gentle.”  The kids and I visited them again today at their home and Sophia gave Luciana very nice, gentle kisses and patted her head.  She was hoping Luciana would be up for playing with her or at least reading some books.  🙂

No Labor By Memorial Day…

Posted by Jaclyn on June 2nd, 2011 filed in Home, Pregnancy
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…It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as “No Labor By Labor Day”, but it is still just as exciting.  While we had a “No Labor By Labor Day” party when the triplets weren’t born by Labor Day, 2008 (33 weeks), there wasn’t a “celebration” on Memorial Day, 2011 when the twins weren’t born yet either (36 weeks).  Instead we had a nice, relaxing day as a family.

On Wednesday, June 1st, I had my final growth ultrasound and the babies looked great.  Baby D weighed in around 6 lbs, 2 oz and Baby E at 6 lbs even.  Baby D is breech and enjoys kicking me in the left hip and Baby E is transverse with his/her head to my left side….in other words, I’ll be having a c-section.  Both babies are still moving a ton and seem to really be healthy and thriving.  We learned at my appointment that the prior Friday’s blood test results showed my platelet levels back down to 92,000, once again below that crucial 100,000 level.  Although everything else has remained normal, my doctor was immediately concerned and sent me to the hospital lab for a STAT blood test to check my platelets again.  I was instructed to not eat or drink anything, go home, pack my bag and wait for her call.  A little more than an hour later I received a call back that my platelets were slightly better at 98,000 and was told to go back again on Friday for another blood draw….narrowly escaping delivery.  She said that if anything changes for the worse on tomorrow’s blood draw that tomorrow will be the day we meet our twins.  YIKES!  Although we know that at this stage (36+ weeks), the babies are likely to do very well and even come home from the hospital when I’m discharged, it is still not what we were anticipating or had planned on.  You’d think by now, with everything we’ve been through, that we’d realize that things don’t always go as planned, but we’re still adjusting to the possible change in plans.  It is also still entirely possible that the babies won’t be born for another 11 days, but we’re pretty much day-to-day now….it could be anytime!

twins 36 weeks

35 week belly update

Posted by Jaclyn on May 26th, 2011 filed in Home, Pregnancy
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Twins 35 weeks

Thankfully, we had an uneventful week, pregnancy-wise.  I got a call from my doctor on Monday morning with last Friday’s blood test results: platelet levels are staying stable.  We also discussed the fact that preterm labor is no longer an issue…if I were to go into labor at this point, she wouldn’t stop me.  So although I have been contracting, not isn’t something I have to monitor as closely at this point.  I’m sure I’ll know when the contractions are close enough to indicate active labor.  I go back to the doctor tomorrow and next Wednesday will be our final growth ultrasound.  Thankfully, Tony will be able to go with me this time.  Wednesday is also June 1st which has been my goal date all along.  Although I am very tired, my energy level is very low and my belly is extremely heavy to carry around, I am still thankful to be pregnant.  I have a feeling that after June 1st, or shortly thereafter, my attitude might change as I approach 37 & 38 weeks and the risks continue to go down for the babies and my chances of taking the babies home with us when I’m discharged go up.  My motivation to stay pregnant may go down.  I’m not sure…I’ve never been there before.  I’ve always had to work so hard at staying pregnant.  It would be amazing to get to that stage.  It is coming up SO very soon!




34 week belly update

Posted by Jaclyn on May 20th, 2011 filed in Pregnancy
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Twins 34 weeks


Twins 33 weeks

Twins 32 weeks

Twins 30 weeks

You won’t see any more belly comparisons to my triplet pregnancy…I wasn’t pregnant at this point any more!  Delivery day for the triplets was at 34 weeks, 1 day which was on Tuesday for this pregnancy so I am now more pregnant than I ever was with the triplets…unless you consider that I delivered 13.5 lbs of baby weight and I’m probably “only” carrying approximately 10 lbs of baby at this point.  I’m such a slacker. 🙂

Today it has been 2 weeks since we had our big scare when we were told we might have to deliver that night.  Thankfully, my doctor waited to get more information rather than jumping on one abnormal lab result and delivery our babies at 32.5 weeks.  It seems like she caught a lot of grief from her colleagues for not deliverying me that night.  Believe me, I have thanked her for that!  It seems that the level of concern has gone down considerably as my platelet levels have stabilized just above 100,000.  Everything else has remained normal as well.  This week I only had to go to the doctor 2 times rather than last week’s 4 visits and now I don’t have to go back for a full week!  My doctor feels that at this point there isn’t any reason why I shouldn’t make it to my scheduled delivery date at 38 weeks…3.5 weeks away!

Thanks for your your continued thoughts and prayers!  We appreciate all your support.


33 week belly update

Posted by Jaclyn on May 11th, 2011 filed in Home, Pregnancy
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Twins 33 weeks

Triplets 33 weeks

So after a SCARY weekend, we made it to 33 weeks!  I had really hoped that things would continue to go smoothly a little further into my pregnancy, but I’ve decided to just be grateful that I am still pregnant and I will continue to be grateful each day that I am.  Besides, I was able to make it almost 9 weeks further than with my triplet pregnancy without any major complications, interventions or significant bedrest so we have that to be thankful for as well.

This week my platelet levels have risen above the 100,000 mark and my doctor is continuing to watch closely for changes in that as well as several other factors involved in pre-eclampsia.  I am technically on bedrest, but have been allowed to continue to take care of my kids…as long as my blood pressure doesn’t start to rise.  Thankfully, the White Bear Eye Clinic has been overwhelmingly supportive as I had to stop working ~3 weeks sooner than planned.  Not having to worry about what is going on at work has been such a blessing, considering there are plenty of other things on my mind at this point.

I’ll go back to the doctor for a blood draw tomorrow and an office visit on Friday.  If things continue to improve or stay stable, hopefully I’ll be able to cut back to weekly visits for the remainder of my pregnancy…assuming we don’t have any more scares like last weekend.  The longest I have to go is less than 5 weeks.  We do have a c-section scheduled for mid-June, but my goal all along has been to make it to June 1st, at which point I will be over 36 weeks and the chances of getting to take the twins home from the hospital with me when I am discharged is pretty good.  That sounds AMAZING to me, considering my past experience with the triplets and not being about to hold them or barely even see them for the first day and not having Sophie and Tyler come home for 18 days and Grace for 2.5 months.  Although I know having twins isn’t as “normal” as life comes, I was hoping for a fairly normal birth experience this time.  Ultimately, I would really like to meet our new niece before our twins.  She is due on May 31st. 

We’ve kicked it into high gear when it comes to getting ready for the arrival of the twins.  Tony ran several errands today to get things we’ll need when they arrive.  We had a visit from my Uncle Jeff, Aunt Pam and my grandparents tonight as well and they were very helpful with getting the nursery organized and getting some other furniture moved and baby supplies out of the attic.  Hopefully we’ll be ready by the time the twins are ready to arrive!  Now we just have to figure out what we’re going to name them! 🙂

Basement Update

Posted by Jaclyn on May 8th, 2011 filed in Home
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We have carpet! 

The basement is nearly complete.  With the exception of a few finishing touches (and some furniture), the basement project is almost done…at least this phase.  We’ve chosen to wait on finishing the bar and the bathroom for now.

Here are some pictures:

32 Week Belly Update

Posted by Jaclyn on May 8th, 2011 filed in Home, Pregnancy
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Triplets 32 weeks