Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Those Burdorf boys are rolling! Actually they have been for a couple weeks now, but I'm just getting around to blogging about it.

The week of Blake's one-month check-up we were at Aaron's baseball game and Bowen rolled over. Kinda. Sorta. With a little help from a little slope of the hill. I got excited and everybody sitting around me agreed we could count it as the first time he rolled over. But, he really and truly rolled over at home the next day.

With Blakers being in the hospital so long, we figured he might lag behind physically, just because he was laying around more. Exactly one week later Aaron texted me at work to tell me that Blake had just rolled over. I couldn't believe it!

The nurses figured that once Blake rolled over he wouldn't do it anymore because of his G-tube and PD catheter. Doesn't phase the kid a bit! In fact, he rolls over more during the day than Bowen.

Just like with Jenna and Brody, every little milestone is so exciting. The first year of life is such an amazing journey!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Project for the Twins' Room

Once in awhile I like to do something a little crafty and I knew I had to make some personalized for the twins' room. I did two different things for Jenna and Brody's room with their names on it, so I headed to Hobby Lobby (I SO love that store!) for some inspiration.

After walking through the aisles I found some wooden letters, a wooden backplate, paint and baseball scrapbook paper. That's it! Bonus: everything except the scrapbook paper was on sale! :)

Here's what the letters and backplate-thingy looked like to start:

My two best helpers! Kids just can't resist paint, can they?

Here's what I did. I wanted them each to be in different colors, so I decided Blake's would be blue and Bowen's red. I had the kids paint the letters and then I painted around the edge of the backplate. Once that dried, I traced the scrapbook paper around the backplate to fit perfectly. I then modge-podged on the scrapbook paper. After that dried I used wood glue to adhere the letters on.

The finished product:

I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! Super-easy and cheap! :)

Story Time!

Chances are, if you: 1. Have small children. 2. Live in Iowa. 3. Watch PBS - you know the guy pictured above. His name is Dan Wardell and he does all the kids things on Iowa Public Television.

During the summer, he travels around Iowa doing programs at libraries and he happened to be in Marshalltown, so I took Jenna and Brody over to see him.

I have to admit, when you see him on t.v. he appears a little on the dorky side (to an adult). In person, you realize that that's what makes him so awesome at his job! His program was so good! I told Aaron when I got home, you know if somebody does a good job if the kids never interrupt and keep their hands to themselves. Dan kept the kids so engaged at all times. I asked the kids what their favorite part was on the way home and Jenna said, "All of it!" Definitely a morning well spent. :)

Iowa City One Month Check

About a week and a half ago we were scheduled for Blake's one month check-up in Iowa City. We had to see the nephrologist (kidney doc/staff in dialysis unit) and urologist that worked with us while Blake was in the NICU.

The dialysis check-up went well. They put you in one big room and there's a lot of people in there (doctor, nurses, dietician, etc.) and they do vitals, look at his growth, ask us a ton of questions about how things are going and anything remotely related to him. Bowen went with us and they were so happy that the boys are about the same height/weight.

After we got home, the nurse contacted us and said Dr. Jetton (our main doctor for dialysis) wanted to change Blake's prescription for the dialysis stuff because his blood pressure was a little high. So, we had to increase his fills from 220mL to 240mL and he's now on it for 10.5 hours instead of just 10. He seems to be handling it just fine.

We had to meet with urology. As you remember, they didn't think Blake was going to be able to pee on his own because of all the damage sustained in utero. He does, which is great! Now, they aren't sure how he'll do when he get to potty-training time, if his muscles will be shot or what. We won't worry about that for now.

Here's what we did learn, courtesy of a really horrible test where they stuck tubes/hoses in every possible spot "down there." I had to hold him down and I wanted to cry for him... Anyway, his bladder can't hold a lot. The urologist, Dr. Kiernan, compared it to a hard suitcase. Once it's full, it's full and it isn't going to hold anymore, whereas Bowen's is like a soft suitcase, the more he gets in there, the more it expands.

Dr. Kiernan showed us pics they took of Blake's bladder/ureters when he first got to Iowa City. What a mess! It looked like a tornado and the doctor said she has never seen a case of posterior urethral valves so bad (that's what caused the kidney/bladder mess). Today, his bladder looks so much better. Dr. Kiernan said she couldn't ask for it to look any better! We will meet with her again in October for a check-up. She did say when Blake gets his transplant, she will use part of his ureter and make his bladder larger with that so he can hold more.

Blake continues to impress the doctors (and us!) with his fighting spirit and we hope he continues to do well!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The way I see it...

Sweet Season
Baseball season at West Marshall is officially over. With that means the end of a chapter of our lives at the Burdorf house. I’m sure everybody knows, but just in case you missed it my husband was the head baseball coach for the Trojans the past six years. Because of our family situation with Blake and having four kids instead of two and also because he wants to finish his Master’s degree (that got put on hold for the summer), he decided to step down. Aaron has always said that family has to come first and it was just the time to step away.

Decisions like that are never easy. Since the time we learned of Blake and dialysis and transplant stuff, we had been discussing it. I love, love, love baseball! I think probably as much as Aaron, if you can believe that. It was so hard, but like we said, it doesn’t mean he’s never ever going to get to coach again.

Anybody that’s coached or been around someone who has, knows it’s a tough job. You don’t do it for the pay check, you literally do it for love of the game and the players. My dad, who was a head softball coach for 25 years always says, “If you want everybody to like you, don’t be a coach.”

My dad is pretty smart like that. There will always be kids that get more playing time than others. There will always be parents that are on your case about their kid not playing enough. I have learned, growing up with two parents as head coaches and now being married to one, that parents have blinders on when it comes to their children. We’ve all seen that crazy parent who thinks their kid is an all-star and should have a starting position, but they’re just not. To me, that’s difficult. You’re going to upset someone. That’s just a nature of varsity athletics.

What I personally will miss is the players. What a great group of guys that always seemed to be out. I may even miss those nail-biter games! Games where my stomach was in knots and I was pacing like a crazy coach’s wife down the third baseline hoping that they could pull out the win.
With my dad coaching softball, my mom playing college softball, my family always likes to say we have “summer blood” running through our veins. We LOVE baseball and softball.

I grew up on softball and didn’t know how I would adjust to baseball games. Now, I can’t imagine NOT being at the field for every game. I consider baseball an “acquired” taste. Some people find it slow. Some people find it boring. I personally could sit and watch it for hours. I realize it’s something you have to get into to really appreciate.

The skill sets for baseball players are so, I don’t know, different than any other sport. The hand-eye coordination you need is unbelievable. It’s pretty brave to have a pop-fly coming at you, confidently putting your glove up to catch and having enough hand-eye coordination that the ball actually goes in your glove and not on your eye or over your head. I’ve also heard that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports and I believe it.

So, another chapter has closed in our life and another one begins. Thank you so much to all the boys and their parents for this past season. Thanks for checking in to see how Blake and Bowen were doing. Thanks for holding a baby when I needed help. Thanks for letting Brody help you rake the field after a ballgame. Thanks for making this season so fun and so memorable, our family will miss it next year, but that’s just the way I see it.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

3 months

My twins baby dolls are three months old (sniff, sniff). Man oh man, I just can't believe it! I don't want to say I feel "cheated" because Blakers was in the hospital, but I kind of feel that way. I know we got to spend time with each other, but it just wasn't the same as being HOME.

Anyway, we're home now, where we've been for about a month and I have been terrible about updating you all on the boys. This is going to sound hard to believe, but I'm a little short on time these days. :)


Blake is doing so well! Honestly, things have been going great since he's been home. We've been doing well, along with him, on the dialysis stuff. A couple of alarms have gone off, but we've been able to troubleshoot all of them.

Blake is growing very well! He is 25 inches long and weighs 12 lbs. 14 oz. The doctors are so happy about that. They said we gave him the gift of "good genetics." Blake spends his days sleeping, eating (still only about 2 oz. at a time), kicking his legs and smiling (you sometimes have to work to get it out of him). He is definitely our laid-back twin.


Bowen is doing great too! I call him my child of extremes. He smiles easily, but can also get really fussy, really fast. Bowen isn't a big fan of laying on his back, but he's getting better since we bought one of those mats with all the stuff for him to stare at and grab at.

He is also about 12 lbs. 14 oz and is 24.5 inches long. Great news that the twins are growing at the same speed. Bowen spends his time sleeping (he sleeps more during the day than Blake), eating (about 4-5 oz. at a time), kicking, lots of kicking and smiling a lot (he even giggled today).



Here's one of the best things about the boys: they sleep at night!!! People come up to us all the time and ask if we get any sleep. Um...yeah. The boys go down about 9 PM and will sleep until about 6 AM. At that time, Blake usually fusses and I go in there and they are both usually up. Blake usually filled his diaper for me, but will go back to sleep. Bowen usually is ready for a bottle and likes to spend quality time with us and won't go back to sleep for awhile, which is ok.


They really are just so much fun! We can't wait for the coming months and look forward to posting more pictures and stories of Blake and Bowen.

We're going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo...

How about you, you, you? Sorry...I made the kids listen to that Raffi song the morning we headed to the zoo. I really love that song!

Saturday we headed to the Blank Park Zoo and had a great day for it. We packed a picnic and had lunch before we walked through the zoo. The zoo in Des Moines is nice because it's not too big and the kids can walk through the entire thing without tiring out too much.

Brody loved the penguins! Here he is imitating the sounds they were making:

The boys did great! Slept the whole time. :)

They had a really neat dinosaur exhibit on display. The dinosaurs moved like they were real. This is Jenna trying to imitate them.

All six of us...

The 4th...finally

Let's just pretend it's only the Tuesday after the 4th, ok? :) We had a nice 4th of July weekend. My dad and Linda spent a couple days with us. Friday nite we met them in Ames for some yummy Chinese, which I'd been craving since the boys were born.

Saturday, my dad suggested we go to the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines. It was a gorgeous day and we had a lot of fun (I'll post some pics in a different post).

Ever since we lived in Armstrong, Aaron and I feel like it's the thing to do to go to a parade on the 4th. Ames has one every year, so we headed over there. It was a beautiful day and we even scored a spot in the shade!

Following the parade, we headed out to our friends Jay and Renee's house for some lunch, squirt gun fights, rides on the gator and swimming in the pool. We had a great time and the kids were exhausted!

The nite ended with two very tired kids getting to play with sparklers for the very first time. They loved them, even though Aaron and I were a little nervous the entire time. Here are some pics of the kiddos from the 4th:



(Bowen on the left; Blake on the right) They can't lay next to each other without smacking each other in the face, which often leads to... of them crying!

Me and my boys at the parade

Jenna and Brody sporting their red, white and blue waiting for the parade. Brode just couldn't keep his eyes open!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm behind blogging! I have 4th of July pics to put up and a bunch of other stuff, but I'm going to go out of order because I feel like it's the thing to do in this case.

Thursday night, in the last regular game of the baseball season, Aaron got his 100th career win! It didn't come easy, that's for sure. It was a back-and-forth game that came down to our #4 hitter hitting a 3-run walk off home run in the bottom of the 10th inning! Whew. I'm sure Aaron won't forget that game anytime soon.

He came home emotionally exhausted, but he was happy about the accomplishment. He's been the head coach at West Marshall for just six years, so I would say that's pretty impressive how fast he got to #100 and I'm so proud of him!

District play starts on Saturday. Each game from now on could be the last for him (did I blog on here that he resigned effective at the end of this season? Hmmm....I can't remember if I did or not). Anyway, between Blake & family stuff, taking master's classes in the summer, it's just a lot. I don't want to think about life after baseball because it is our life in the summer, so for now we'll just keep cheering on the boys and hope they continue to win.