Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Summer Update!

It has been a while since I posted, but I thought I would check in an give everyone a little update on life in the Snyder house.

On July 4th, Janae and Esther had their casts cut off. This was a most traumatic and long day for the girls (and Mommy and Daddy) resulting in lots of tears and screaming, some confusion as to instructions for the new braces, and some really good naps in the car on the way home (for the girls, not the parents :) But, the casts are off and the girls are really adjusting well to their hip abduction braces (also known as Rhino Cruiser braces). These are made of one piece of long plastic to which are attached pieces of soft foam that go around the thighs and waist and are held in place by velcro straps. They are really easy to put on, and more importantly, take off!

The girls will be in their braces for a while, though we are going to slowly start weaning them off of daytime wear this week. Then they will only wear them for 12 hours at night, though we aren't sure how many weeks this will be necessary. They are both sitting well on their own, both in their braces and out. Janae is crawling all over the place and really wants to stand - once the braces are off, it won't be long before her and Leah will be playing tag I am sure!

Speaking of Leah, she is having a blast this summer. As I write, she is out with Daddy picking blueberries. Most days she can be found outside playing with her babies, the wagon, or her new play centre (this was the girls' birthday gift this year).

Daddy is really busy with work, but is managing to get some work done around the house and spend time with his girls too. The veggie garden looks great thanks to his watering and fertilizing efforts, and the new trees are thriving under his care.

Mommy is surviving on little sleep and lots of house work, but is having a good summer too. I am getting geared up for the Fergus Scottish Festival in a few weeks (August 10-12) and working on some holiday planning for the big Germany trip in September.

And yes, it does take a long time to plan, organize and pack a family of five for such a big trip - can't leave that one until the day before!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


I have been informed that I missed some very important birthday buddies of the girls.

So, please add to the list of people born on July 5th:

Great Uncle Doug Scott

Cousin Sean Harkins

And wishing them both a very happy birthday next week as well :)

One Week to Go! Some Statistics...

Well, we are down to the last week, and I thought I would share some interesting stats about my girls and other things in general.

1. By the end of the day on July 4th, Janae and Esther will have been in their casts for exactly 12 weeks, 84 days, about 2016 hours and 120,960 minutes.

2. The girls have been through collectively:
3 cast changes (Janae 2, Esther 1)
7 x-rays
2 CT scans
About 1000 size 1 diapers

3. Since getting their casts on, they have both cut 5 teeth - Janae has 7 teeth total and Esther has 5 (soon to be 6).

4. "Approximately 1 out of every 20 full-term babies has some hip instability and 2-3 out of every 1,000 infants will require treatment." - International Hip Dysplasia Institute

5. The girls will now be going into Rhino Cruiser Hip Braces, 24 hours a day for the first 6 weeks, slowly reducing the amount of time a day after that. It will likely be November at the earliest before the end of the whole process.

6. July 5th, Janae and Esther's first birthday is the 187th day of the year (in this leap year)

7. The girls share a birthday with:
Cecil Rhodes (1853)
 Robbie Robertson (1943)

8. It is independence day on July 5th in Algeria, Cape Verde and Venezuela

9. Slaves were emancipated in New York City on July 5th, 1827

10. The Salvation army was founded on July 5th, 1865

And 11. July 5th, 2011 The Snyder family welcomed two beautiful girls into their growing family.

Can't wait to celebrate!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

9 Weeks In...

Well, we are nine weeks into this chaos and finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Three weeks I can deal with. Especially since Hubby is almost done his afternoon shift stretch, the weather is gorgeous, and I have the girls' first birthday to plan as well.

I am just stunned and amazed, as I am sure you all are too, that my little babies are going to be one year old. It seems like just yesterday I was waddling around, getting pitiful looks from friends, family and complete strangers alike. The first few days are kind of a blur, but I remember all of the love and support we received in those days (and still are receiving every day!) and I am so thankful that we have such great friends and family and neighbours too!

 It was also this time last year that Hubby and I celebrated our fifth anniversary. Hubby whisked me away for an amazing getaway just the two of us in Collingwood - it was the most thoughtful and romantic surprise he has ever given me. It also gave us some much needed down time together. Something we could really use this year for our sixth anniversary! 

But have no fear, we are going to get some hours to ourselves this weekend - the kids are taken care of and we are going out! No idea what we are doing or where we are going, but I really don't care as long as it is just the two of us and we can eat our food hot, hold each other's hands and walk at our own pace.

Here are some updated photos of the girls - have a great night!
P.S. They have leg warmers on - Janae's new cast is green and Esther's is rainbow!

Friday, 1 June 2012


It is the 1st of June and it looks like April out there! at least the corn is up and my garden is looking great so far (just ignore the weeds :)

Sorry I haven't written an update in a while!

Last Friday, Janae and Esther had their casts changed - which means we are half-way! Well, now we are over half-way, 7.5 weeks in. The girls are looking good in their new casts and their hips are where they should be! Janae is sporting a new bright green cast and Esther is gorgeous in a colourful rainbow pattern - you gotta see it to believe it! I will work on posting some pictures soon (once I can get a good shot that is!)

We also were given the date for their final cast removal! July 6th! So, the countdown is on. This is the day after the girls' first birthday, so we will have two things to celebrate that week - we'll most likely combine the two events in one big party :)

They did just fine at the hospital and seem to be comfortable in their new casts, though I am a little concerned about space for growing, especially around their legs. But we'll monitor their feet and make sure circulation is good for the next 5 weeks.

Janae has figured out how to "crawl" in her cast and is having fun pulling herself around and pushing herself in circles. Esther is less enthused about being on her stomach, so she hasn't ventured there yet. It will be fun to see what mischief these two will get into when they are really able to motor around!
I can't wait!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

The First 6 Weeks

Well, it is hard to believe, but it has been six weeks since Janae and Esther got their casts on. What a wild ride so far!

I would have to say that generally, overall, they have been pretty content. Thanks to the wonderful chairs Daddy made for them, they have some independence, they can feed themselves, and they don't seem to have sore backs. These chairs really are a life saver!

Tooth update: The crankiness has been worth it! Janae now has four teeth and is working on her fifth
and Esther is in the process of cutting her first two top teeth! At least there is a reason when they cry!
I am so glad to be half way through the first part of this process, though I have to admit I am dreading the next six weeks already. The main reasons: 1) The weather is getting warmer and the stench from all of the sweat, pee and poop is not going to get any better, even with the cast change this week. 2) Matthew will be on afternoon shift for three long weeks. 3) The girls are getting tired of their toys and they want to move! Because of this, I am getting more tired trying to keep them entertained.

And probably the hardest thing to deal with right now is Leah's behaviour. Some of it I know can be attributed to her age (she's 2.5) but I know that all of the attention we've been giving the twins (and deservedly so) is taking a toll on her. She is a tough kids, but lately she breaks out in tears at the smallest perceived misdemeanours, or all out wails when she doesn't get what she wants. I so want to help her, and be patient and react the way I should every time, but the truth is my nerves and my brain just can't always do that.

One thing I am learning though, is that her actions and reactions are directly influenced by my actions and reactions. If I raise my voice with her, I can expect a yell or scream in return. If I am calm and quiet, often, but not always, her reaction is much more subdued. Now if only it would always work like that. But then we wouldn't be a normal family with three small kids!

Anyways, Janae and Esther go in for their cast changes on Friday, so we will have a full day in London, while Leah hangs out with Grandma and Grandpa. Then, it is Memorial Day weekend in the USA, and it is Life Celebration Memorial day weekend for the Scott/Whiteley clan as well, with my Papa's memorial on Sunday. The photo board is looking great.

So many great pictures of Papa with my girls!

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's day to all of my favourite Mommys!
I love you all and you all do such a great job, every day (and night)!

And to my own Mommy, I love you so much and I am so glad that I have you here to help me, support me, laugh and cry with me, pray with me, sing with me,
cook with me, eat with me,
hug me and just plain love me.
I only hope that some day me and my own girls will be as close as we've become.

I love you!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

In Memoriam

The end of April is a time of remembrance for me. So I thought I would share about the three people I think of most at this time of year.

On April 21, 2001 my Poppy, Art Hoy, passed away. We had only known him for a few years, as my mom was given up for adoption as a baby and we never knew who her parents were until the late 90's. The time we spent with Poppy was sweet. He was a very generous and loving man and I am so glad that we got to know him before he passed.

On April 28, 2006 (two months before my wedding) my Grandma Barbara Scott passed away. This was very hard for me, as she was definitely my grandmother to whom I was the closest. We spent so much time together, I shared some secrets with her, and she was always took great interest in me and all of my cousins and our lives. I think it was also very hard because I knew she had been looking forward to my wedding while she was sick, as an event to look forward to, and she was greatly missed by me on the day. But I know she was there, and in the six years that have passed, I miss her greatly, but I also have so many fond memories with her to look back on.

Then, this past Thursday, April 26, 2012 we said goodbye to my beloved Papa, Richard Whiteley. He had been sick for some time, and had reached the ripe old age of 96, so it is with mixed emotions that I think many of us said goodbye. I am happy that his pain is gone, that he lived such a full life and that he got to know my children and see the person that I have become. He told me he was proud of me the last time I saw him and I will never forget those few moments we had alone together and every word he said.

Leah loved him too - she ran and gave me a big hug when Daddy told her that Papa was gone. I know she doesn't understand really, but I will always have the memories of the times she got to play with him.

Well, enough tears for one afternoon. There will be a memorial for Papa May 27th at the Canadian Legion, Waterloo Branch 1-4pm.

It will be a celebration.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Our Newest Nephew!

Yes! We are still alive! We've been having some sleep issues, but they seem to be slowly on the mend. We're not sure what is bothering the girls more: not being able to roll around and get comfortable in their casts when they are sleeping, or the fact that they are still teething and no pain killers seem to help for long. Either way, things seem to be slowly improving, though I am still not getting enough sleep. This too shall pass!

On Monday we welcomed a new nephew into the Snyder clan. Jonah Elias was born April 23, 2012 weighing in at 9lbs 7oz and 21.5in long. We haven't been to visit him yet, but from the pictures I think he looks a lot like Caleb did. We'll see as he grows!

It will be nice to have another boy in the cousin group. The girls were taking over! Now they are almost equal, 3 boys and 4 girls. I love having so many nieces and nephews - they are so much fun and thankfully all of the cousins get along pretty well. They have their moments, of course, and I am sure there will be some vicious cat fights as they grow up, but they will always have each other!

Now that my girls have cousins of their own, it makes me think of my cousins and makes me wish that I saw them more often. We are all different ages, and spread out across much of Ontario and into the States, but I always look forward to the times we can come together and see how things are going. We have one new baby on the Scott side, and another cousin is expecting on the Whiteley side; it is amazing how the numbers grow!

Twin update: Janae and Esther had their 2 week check-up on Monday and the x-rays look great! The hips are where they should be and we are all booked in for the half-way cast change on May 25th. I am looking forward to it already - it is amazing the food that accumulates on these casts! I understand now why all the websites talked of using essential oils to hide any odours from the cast - with all that sweat, food, pee and poop that somehow gets trapped inside, it's no wonder! But we are doing our best and the girls are in good spirits!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Post-Op Hospital Pictures

Janae (Purple Cast)

Esther (Pink Cast)

Four Days in...

Well, we're four days in and I think we're surviving pretty well.

Janae and Esther have really adjusted well so far to their Spica Casts. I can see them moving their little feet all the time, make circles with their ankles and I think they are just happy that they can at least do that with their feet. Janae jumps up and down in her cast like she thinks if she justs jumps hard enough she will jump right out - she looks like a little turtle bobbing her head in and out of her shell.

I think the hardest part of the whole two-day process of waiting, surgery, recovery, medication, hysterics, dopyness, fasting, second surgery, CT scans, x-rays and teething has been the powerlessness I feel as a mother. They are my babies and I hate seeing them so restricted, especially when they were just becoming so independent, moving around and grabbing the toys they want. I know development-wise this won't harm them at all, and if anything their fine motor skills will develop that much quicker. Lots of people talk about how much work it will be when both of them are running around and I have to chase them in two directions, but in all honesty, I was looking forward to it. It is so much fun, playing tag, chasing each other, rolling around and having tickle fights; now I am looking forward to that day so much more!

Thankfully, my husband is the handyest guy I know and he has made awesome tables for the girls to sit at while they are playing and eating. It has already made a world of difference and I can tell the girls are so happy to have a bit of their independence back.

Hubby is back to work tomorrow and "real life" begins again. Thankfully, I have a great support system set up and I know that between us, we'll keep the girls comfortable, Leah looked after, my sanity intact...oh, and maybe some house work will get done in our "free"moments. Ha!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Leah's View

I was trying to explain to Leah today what is going to happen to the twins tomorrow. We were in the car driving home from Grandma's and I was trying to get her calmed down after not wanting to leave. So we started talking about things to look forward to, like a sleepover at her cousin's and a playdate the next day. She wondered why the twins weren't going to be with her:

They are going to the hospital. Why? Because they need to see the doctor. Why? Because they are going to get something fixed. Do they have a hole? No. One of their bones needs fixing. Why? Is it broken? Did they fall? No sweetie, it just needs fixing.

A long pause.

Mommy, I need my bones fixing? (In a timid voice). No sweetie, you are fine. You don't need your bones fixed.

Another pause.

I get to sleep at Emanuel's house? Yes. You are going for a sleepover at aunty's house.

Followed by ten minutes of happy babbling about her cousin, her aunty's house and all of the fun things she is going to do there.

I love her so much.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Two More Sleeps

The twins started crying tonight right on schedule, about 2 hours after bed time. Normally this is followed by feelings of dread, frustration, hopelessness and fed-upness. Why can't my babies be those "angel babies" who just sleep on their own from birth, letting their mommies get their much needed rest to restore their energy for those full days ahead?

But tonight, those feelings left as quickly as they came. I found myself looking forward to going into the twin's room, picking each one of them up, craddling them in my arms and nursing them until they fell back to sleep. And when they cry again at 1am, 3am, 5am and finally wake up for the day at 7am, I may be exhausted, but right now I really don't care.

You see, there are only two more sleeps until the "groove" that we've settled into will once again be turned on it's head and we will once more face the unknown. We've faced lots of those in the last 3 years. Living abroad. First-time parents to our two and a half year old Leah. Finding out that we were expecting twins. Adjusting to life with three children under two years old...

And now the latest unknown. Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip (DDH). It basically means that both Janae and Esther's right hips are dislocated and need to be put back in place before the hip bone and the joints can grow correctly. The procedure will be followed by 3 months in Hip Spica casts, which means their little bodies will be enveloped in hard casts from their armpits to their ankles.

If we didn't do anything, there is a very good chance that the girls would have pain in their teenage years, be unable to do sports, and could require a hip replacement in their forties. So, we as parents, will do the right thing and entrust our children's tiny bodies to those who make it their jobs to make things right.

So tonight, I am going to enjoy my cuddles; their tiny bodies wrapped around my body. Their little feet tucked against my ribs. The feel of their soft bellies breathing against my own. Who cares that it's once again the middle of the night, and once again I am out of my bed, when there are such precious moments to enjoy?