Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

It's been a year?!

Geez.  I just happened to find my way to this blog today and saw it's been exactly one whole year since I've posted an update.  Of course, it's two in the morning and not the best time to try to write about everything that's happened over the past year, but I will put it on my list of things to do ASAP!

In the meantime, I guess the least I can do is update his most recent picture...

Striped polo shirt (on backwards) and plaid shorts - at least he's dressing himself!

Maybe he'll start a new fashion trend?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's Cayden been up to the past 7 months?

I can't believe I  haven't posted anything new in SEVEN months!  Honestly, my intention was to wind this blog down about the time he turned three - that's the age we were told he would be 'caught up' and we would stop using adjusted age and thinking of him as a preemie.  My plan was to have this blog turned into a book that I could keep for him to see when he was older, and to finally let go of thinking of him as a preemie and move forward with thinking of him as just a normal kid.  Well, I still haven't printed out the book, so I guess I don't feel like I can have closure on this blog yet?

For the most part, Cayden IS a normal little boy.  He was sick probably a dozen times over the past year, which is more than a 'normal' kiddo, but he also started preschool and I'm sure that contributed to a lot of his illnesses.  Despite being sick so much, he is SUPER high energy!  He literally talks nonstop and cannot sit still.  He drums on anything and everything, even in the air.  Any time a song is playing that he knows, he'll air-drum along with it!  I think a lot of his behavior can be attributed to his sensory issues.  The nonstop talking and moving are likely verbal and physical "stimming", a form of self-stimulation common in people with SPD (sensory processing disorders).  We're going to start occupational therapy in a few weeks to work on regulating some of these sensory issues, and hopefully that will help him to be able to focus a little better.

Picking up on where I left off on my last post, just before Christmas...

We had a nice Christmas at home before taking our first big family road trip to Arizona the week of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  Both boys did amazingly well on the 16 hour drive!  We visited with Grandma Elaine and GGBea, went on a hike in the White Tank Mountains with Great Aunt Kathy and Great Uncle Joe, picked and ate oranges right off of trees, visited the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, and had fun swimming in the pool at the hotel. I'm so thankful we were able to make this trip and give my Grandma Bea one last chance to see the boys (she passed away a couple weeks ago, on June 27th, 2014.)

Opening Christmas gifts from GGBea
Hiking in the desert!
Picking oranges off of the tree in Grandma Elaine's yard
Jason was supposed to leave to go back to Nigeria for one last round soon after we got home from Arizona, but he slipped on a small patch of ice in our driveway and broke his leg.  He needed surgery to repair it and ended up being laid up for over three months.  The boys enjoyed having Daddy home all that extra time, but it sure was tough on me taking care of a broken husband AND two crazy preschoolers!

In February, after two months of being cooped up in our house, we took advantage of a four day mid-winter break from the boys' school, cashed in some frequent flier miles, and went to visit my family in the Pittsburgh area.  The boys got to meet their second cousin (or is it first cousin, once removed?), Bennett, who is the son of my cousin, Chris, and his partner, Erica.  All three little boys are right in the same age range and they had a BLAST playing together.  Naps were foregone, rules were broken, and much fun was had!
Tasting and enjoying a real treat - a Mac's Donuts cream-filled donut!
Kisses from Nonna Lena!
Doing a synchronized nose pick with cousin Bennett, right, and Momma, Erica, and Aunt Vickie in front
Scarfing down one of Nonna's yummy cream puffs
Ever since his last birthday, Cayden has been fascinated by and excited about birthdays.  He will tell anyone who listens that his birthday is "No bem ber nine teen" and is constantly asking how long it is until his birthday.  He got to go to a classmate's birthday party in April and several of our friends' kids' birthday parties over the past few months.  Another cute thing he's picking up on is the whole Santa thing.  It's helpful that we can use "Santa is watching" and "Santa told you you have to share your toys" in certain situations.  And whenever he sees something he wants, he'll say, "Santa can bring me that!"  We'll see , kid...

In April, Team Cayden Ferguson participated in the March for Babies for the third time and raised over $1300 for the March of Dimes.  Daddy even walked with us, the farthest he's walked since his surgery!
Cayden and Jamison, ready to March for Babies!
Cayden charming some of his favorite NICU nurses, Kirsten and Megan, with Jason and Bridget
Team Cayden Ferguson

We went to see the Railbenders and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers play for the fifth year in a row at the Denver Day of Rock in May.  Since this year's festivities were spread out over two days, we got a hotel room close to the action in downtown Denver and had lots of fun that whole weekend.  Cayden did MUCH better with the loud music at the concert this year - we brought headphones for him to dampen the sound and that helped tremendously.  He even got a personal wave from the Peacemakers' drummer, P.H., in between songs while intently watching P.H. beat the skins!  Oh, and can't forget the "Cute kids!" compliment from the Railbenders'/Peacemakers' Jim Dalton!
Hanging with Daddy during the Peacemakers concert, much happier this year than last year!
Well, happy at least until it started raining.  Aunt Bee is still happy, though!

Cayden finished up his first year of preschool in early June.  He did so well, socially and academically.  He charmed all of his teachers, therapists, and classmates and really loved it.  I don't think he really gets the concept of Summer Break - I'm pretty sure he can't wait to start back again in mid-August!

Jason healed up from his ankle surgery by about the beginning of April, but he wasn't able to go back to his contract job overseas, and the class he was supposed to start with United Airlines in February ended up getting pushed back to late May.  When he finally started his class, it took the boys some time to adjust to Daddy being gone again.  Thankfully, Jason was here in Denver for his eight weeks or so of training.  He stayed in a hotel during the week so he could study in peace and quiet (heaven knows there is NO peace and quiet at our house!) but he was able to come home on weekends, so that made it much easier for the boys.  We even got to meet him at his hotel a couple of times, where the boys took advantage of jumping on his bed and swimming in the hotel swimming pool.  We even got to watch Fourth of July fireworks from the hotel, which was only a block or two away from one of the big displays in town.

Both boys still have swim lessons once a week.  Cayden is slowly improving, but he is the littlest, youngest guy in his class and his classmates seem to be much farther ahead of him.  His instructor says he's doing fine for his age, and that he shows potential to be a good, strong swimmer.  He kicks like a madman and is putting his face in the water blowing bubbles for longer periods of time.  Still not a fan of going underwater, but he loves to jump in if you're holding his hands.

As for the rest of the summer, we've been keeping busy and trying to keep cool on a budget (six months without a paycheck will force one to look for cheap and free things to do!)  There is a new gymnastics place that opened recently - the boys call it The Foam Pit Gym - and they absolutely LOVE going there during open gym once a week.  We've had a couple pool dates at friends' pools and play dates with water activities in our yard with other friends.  We've been to the zoo, different spraygrounds and playgrounds, the Plains Conservation Center to 'hike' and dig in their giant sand pit, and to a couple fun festivals.  We hit the library about once a month and have been doing kid's projects at Lowe's and Home Depot a couple times a month.  They also love playing at the gym daycare when I go to exercise - everybody wins there!

Jason graduated from his training at United and starts his first real flying trip tomorrow, so hopefully that will be the beginning of a new routine for us.  Even though he will be gone for a few days at a time, I think it will be much easier on the boys having Daddy come home for a couple days in between trips, rather than being gone for two months at a time and then home for a few weeks. School starts again in a month (but who's counting??!!), and that will be another good routine to get back into.  Momma needs a break!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy 3rd birthday!

I'm about a month late, but I wanted to share a few words and pictures from Cayden's birthday on November 19th.
The night before his birthday, he did not sleep at ALL - not because he was excited about turning three, but because he was getting sick and coughing incessantly.  I tried EVERYTHING to soothe his cough so he (and I!) could get some sleep, but nothing helped.  Around 2 a.m. he was coughing so hard, he threw up.  Finally, around 3:30, I called the Children's Hospital nurse advice line.  The nurse suggested I give him another dose of albuterol (I had already given him one before I called) as well as a dose of FloVent that we had on hand, but given his history, she suggested I should bring him in to the ER.  My gut feeling was that he didn't need to go, so just to be sure, the nurse paged the on-call doctor to follow up with me by phone. 

I finally spoke to the doctor sometime around 4 a.m.  In the time it took for her to call me back, Cayden's coughing had eased up somewhat, likely in response to the second dose of albuterol and the FloVent, so she felt comfortable telling me that it would be o.k. to wait it out until morning.  Months ago, I had scheduled Cayden's 3-year well-child check up for that afternoon, so worst case, we would see Dr. Rosenberg that afternoon.

I kept him home from preschool that day, but we took Jamison to drop him off at school.  Cayden and I came home and spent the couple of hours at home alone together unwrapping his gifts.  He got an awesome Hess truck and airplane from his Grammy Janene and Poppa Dan, a very cool magnetic puzzle with different colored shapes and designs to copy from Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay, a Magna Doodle from Mommy and Daddy, nice cards with gifts of money from Grandpa Ray, Pau Pau Xian, and Aunt Vicky and Nonna Lena, and cards and letters from Aunt Karin, Uncle Jeff, Tera and Ryan and GG Bea.  He thoroughly enjoyed everything, but I think his favorite item was the singing Elmo birthday card from Grammy and Poppa!


After he finished tearing into all of the presents and cards, it was time to go pick up Jamison from school.  The three of us had a nice little lunch at home then we all tried to take a nap before leaving to go see Dr. Rosenberg. 
Dr. Rosenberg examined Cayden and said he had a nasty respiratory virus, and prescribed Mucinex and continued albuterol and FloVent.  He said Cayden could go to school tomorrow as long as he didn't have a fever (which he never did have).  We had our Nurturing Parenting class that evening, and he said he should be fine to go to that as well.  So after our appointment, we drove across town, had dinner with our Nurturing Parenting class friends, and shared birthday cupcakes with everyone.  Cayden had his after we got home from class:

The meds the doctor prescribed worked wonders and Cayden slept well that night!  The next day, he went to preschool and that evening, we met Laura, AKA Aunt Bee, at Gunther Toody's to have a birthday celebration dinner:

Oh, and just to follow up on the rest of Cayden's check up, he weighed 31 lbs. 4.9 oz (which is near the 50th percentile UNadjusted!!) and is 3 feet, 1 inch tall.  :-)

After the birthday celebration came Thanksgiving.  Despite the fact that Daddy wasn't home, we had a nice dinner with my dear friend, Becky, and her husband, Jim, and another friend of hers named Becky.  I think Cayden ate his weight in turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie!

Daddy came home on December 16th and Cayden was beyond happy to see him.  We've been enjoying the time together as a family and getting ready for Christmas.  We took the boys to see Santa a couple days ago.  Cayden wasn't shy or afraid, but he didn't ask him for anything specific.  Jamison spoke up for him and asked Santa to bring him a violin (??!!)  and to please bring a banjo for Cayden (??!!) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Riding the Wave of Fall Fun

I thought I was going to make it through this birthday without any of the flashbacks, panic attacks, or bouts of crying that seem to infiltrate the days and weeks surrounding Cayden's birthday, but it just caught up with me.  At least I made it all the way up until the night before his birthday before it hit.  The waves of tears are flowing, so I'll try to distract myself with happy thoughts of all the fun things we've done over the past couple of months so as not to ruin what should be a joyful celebration of three years of a living miracle!

Daddy was gone from mid-August through mid-October, but we kept ourselves busy up until he came home, then, for the two weeks he was home, we kept even busier!

Unfortunately, Cayden got sick four times in that two month period, and it appears he is coming down with his fifth cold this fall as I type.  One of those colds progressed into an ear infection, but thankfully no croup or anything worse has ever developed.  <knock on wood>

All the colds are no surprise considering how many different play groups/daycares Cayden visits!  Before Cayden started school himself last week, he would come with me to drop Jamison off and pick him up each day at his pre-school.  Of course Cayden had to run into the room and touch as many toys as possible in the few minutes we were there, so there's germ exposure number one for the week.  Then, Cayden and I would often head to the gym so I could exercise and he could play in the gym daycare - germ exposure number two. 

On Tuesdays beginning in September, I started going to a Nurturing Parenting class at a local community college.  It's a 16-week course that basically teaches parents they need to nurture themselves so they can in turn nurture their kids.  Each week, they provide dinner for all of the families, then the kids go to the daycare for two and a half hours while the parents have some adult interaction.  (Germ exposure number 3.)  It's been a great learning experience as well as a wonderful support system for me, and a nice social outlet for the boys.

MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) started up again in September, so every other Friday, we head to the church so I can socialize with other moms and the boys go to Mopettes (child care).  Germ exposure number 4!

We've continued swimming lessons and three weeks ago, Cayden graduated from the parent and tot class to being in the big pool by himself (without Mommy or Daddy, but with an instructor and a few other kids in his class.)  He hasn't been too keen on participating and keeps telling the teacher "No!" or "I don't want to!" when she asks if he wants to do something.  I finally had to tell her that she can't ask him, she just has to tell him - this is what you're going to do!  Yesterday, he got into the pool without too much resistance and no crying, so hopefully he's getting used to the idea.

Before Cayden started pre-school himself, he and I got to tag along with Jamison and his class's field trips.  In September, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Jami's class was studying dinosaurs, so we met at that exhibit first but were free to explore the rest of the museum.  It was our first visit, but we will definitely go again soon!  The boys had a great time, especially in the AstroTots section of the Space Exploration exhibit.

In the cockpit of the Space Shuttle!
Mr. Mule-Eared Deer Ears
In October, Jami's class visited Nick's Garden Center for their Fall Festival.  The boys had fun jumping in the bounce castle, riding the haunted train, washing their pumpkins, playing in the hay maze, racing pedal carts, and taking a tractor hay ride through the Tunnel of Terror.

High-fiving Daddy after racing Mommy and Jamison on the pedal carts
 In late October, we had a joint gymnastics birthday party for Cayden and Jamison at the Trails Recreation Center.  All the kids had a total blast playing games, doing the obstacle course, playing with the parachute, and eating pizza and cake.

Playing on the parallel bars

Taking charge while blowing out the candles on their cake

Testing out Jami's birthday present from Mommy and Daddy (Cayden got a cool Tonka dump truck, but couldn't resist getting on the bike!)
The week after the party, we let Cayden and Jamison each choose a special thing to do for their own Special Birthday Day.  Jamison chose to go to "the Farmers' Market", as he called it.  Over the summer, I often took the boys to our local Farmers' Market at a nearby mall to buy veggies and then they'd play in the fountain after we finished shopping.  Technically, I think that's what Jami wanted to do, but since the market was over by then, we told him we were going to a different 'Farmers' Market' and went to a REAL farm.  We saw lots of animals and took our own private hayride out into the fields where we picked our own veggies - corn, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, and pumpkins!


Carrots, fresh from the Earth!

He couldn't get enough of this tractor

For Cayden's Special Birthday Day, he chose to go to the zoo.  It was the first time all four of us were able to go during the day (we went last year for Zoo Lights, but didn't see the animals.)  They loved the train ride and feeding the lorikeets and pressing all of the buttons on the displays.  (I think they enjoyed seeing the animals too!)

All aboard!

Feeding a lorikeet with Daddy

Then there was Halloween.  Cayden was a fireman this year and he just LOVED the whole experience!  At the first house, he rang the doorbell and when they answered, he tried to go inside their house.  A couple times early on, he tried giving some of his candy to the person who answered the door.  Then there are those people who stick a whole bowlful of candy in front of an almost-three-year-old:  of course Cayden started grabbing handfuls of loot and stuffing it into his Elmo bucket!   But by the end of our block, he got the hang of it and would say, "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" right on cue. 

Ready to ring some doorbells and score some goodies!
Potty training is still a work in progress.  He's back to wearing a diaper full time because he absolutely will NOT poop in the potty.  He had the peeing part down, but for some reason, he won't go #2 in there.  He loves sitting on the potty and will pee on it any time you ask or remind him.  The first couple of months, we were very good about asking him all day long and he hardly ever peed in his diaper, but I have to admit I've been lax about enforcing the issue, so we haven't made much progress toward wearing Big Boy Underwear. 

I guess that covers about everything we've done around here lately.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for the Birthday Boy!   And just as I hoped, recounting all of the fun things we've done lately has helped me smile and made me feel better.  :-)

School Daze

My intention was to post another update a couple weeks ago while Jason was home (and well before Cayden's third birthday, which is in two days), but we packed so much into those two weeks Jason was home and I just never had a chance to sit at the computer and type!

In my last post, I mentioned that we had Cayden evaluated for physical therapy again.  Our Developmental Pathways coordinator, Alex, and the therapist who joined her for the evaluation both agreed he'd benefit from PT services, so we were re-approved for two visits a month.  The therapist turned out not to be very reliable - she cancelled, had to reschedule, or walked out in the middle of five out of the seven visits we were supposed to have, and I think we only ended up actually seeing her three times.  And during those visits, I don't think we accomplished much - she wanted to meet at the park for our visits, and all Cayden really did was swing on the swings, slide on the slide, and ride on the teeter-totter, all things I could have done without her.  Her observations and advice were inconsistent and pretty much useless, so that whole experience was a disappointment.

However, we've had a better experience with the occupational therapist he saw three times in the past month.  Here's how that came about:  The Early Intervention services provided by Developmental Pathways are only offered until a child turns 3.  As their third birthday approaches, the child has a "transition evaluation", where they are evaluated by a team of professionals through the child's school district to determine if the child needs ongoing services. 

In early October, I took Cayden for his transition evaluation, where he was assessed by a special education teacher, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist, all from the Cherry Creek School District, during a play-based evaluation.  Alex, was there as well.  I had mentioned my concerns about his clumsiness and his inability to self-regulate, and they kept this in mind while they observed and interacted with him for an hour.  It didn't take them long to agree that he would absolutely benefit from ongoing services through the school district.  Apparently, all of these behaviors that have been confounding us and really trying our patience - the bouncing nonstop from one topic to another, the constant chattering and nonstop talking, the clumsiness, the not listening and not following directions, the hypersensitivity to criticism or discipline, the stuffing his mouth when he eats, the hyperactivity in general - they are all signs of sensory processing disorder.  Although the school district doesn't give a medical diagnosis, their observations convinced them that he qualifies for pre-school services through Cherry Creek School District, and they highly encouraged Alex to put in a request to restart occupational therapy sessions through Developmental Pathways up until Cayden started school.

Apparently, these "sensory issues" are very common in preemies and usually start manifesting after their second birthday and can greatly benefit from occupational therapy.  Cayden was discharged from OT just before his second birthday because at that time, he was meeting all his milestones.  If we had kept OT going, they would have noticed the emerging sensory behaviors and maybe we could have gotten a better jump on reigning Cayden in, but I'm glad it's been recognized now and that we're getting the services we need.

So after the transition evaluation, we were able to squeeze in three home visits with an occupational therapist and I am so grateful!  Within 15 minutes of meeting Cayden, the therapist said, "Oh, yeah.  He's a classic sensory kid!"  She's given us all kinds of tips and exercises and things to do to help manage Cayden's behavior and get him on the path to self-regulation.  In people with sensory processing disorder, sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses.  They can have issues with any or all of the senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch, movement - and they can be over-responsive or under-responsive.  Cayden is an under-responder.  A quote from the Sensory Processing Diorder Foundation's website sums him up perfectly:  "Children (with under-responsive SPD) exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive."  There is way too much to go into detail about in this blog, but if you're interested, check out the SPD Foundation's website here.

As a result of the transition evaluation, we had Cayden's IEP meeting the first week in November and they suggested we start him in pre-school just before his third birthday.  It all came about so fast and honestly, I wasn't quite ready to let him go!  We barely had two months of Mommy and Cayden time during the mornings Jamison was in pre-school, and I didn't feel like we got to really take advantage of that time together.  But the bottom line is that Cayden was SO ready to go to pre-school and the sooner we continued on with services through the school, the better off he would be.  Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to start him at Aspen Crossing Elementary last Thursday, November 14th.  He's at the same school as Jamison, but there are two different pre-school classes, and they're each in a different class with different teachers but they share the same specialists.  Cayden will be getting occupational therapy while he's there, as well as working with a special education teacher and speech therapist.  (Side note:  during the transition evaluation, everyone was blown away by Cayden's advanced, articulate, thoughtful speech, so there aren't really any concerns on that end, it's more the receptive speech skills - or paying attention, focusing, listening, and following directions - where he needs help!)

Sure enough, Cayden's first day of school saw him running through the door, leaving me holding his backpack and jacket, waiting for a hug or a kiss or at least a "Goodbye, Mommy!", but I got nothing of the sort.  He ran straight to a table full of other kids, sat down, and started coloring.  I had to yell his name several times before he finally looked up so I could take his picture on his first day of school:

I'll be fine, Mommy - I love it here!

With his backpack on, SO excited for his first day!

Go Marmots!!

Well, I had intended to catch up on all of the other fun stuff we've done over the past couple of months, but it looks like this post ended up being long enough just talking about the transition evaluation/OT/PT/SPD stuff.  I guess I'll end this for now and hopefully post again soon with pictures and details about all of our other adventures in September, October, and November!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Promises, promises

I promised in my last post that I would write again in the next couple of days, but lo and behold, that didn't happen.  I am sitting at my computer in the basement, scarfing down my dinner while the nanny gives the boys a bath and gets them ready for bed.  I have 37 minutes before she leaves and I know I can't finish all I want to say before she leaves, but I am starting it with the intention that this will force me to come back down here to the basement after I go up and tuck the boys in (instead of collapsing on the couch or tending to other things that only get done while the little angels are sleeping!)

So where did I leave off last time?  Looks like the last thing I talked about was the March for Babies at the end of April.  Jason went back to work (this time, in Nigeria) a couple days after the March, so the boys and I did our best to keep busy.  It was a difficult transition because Jason was home for almost three months and the boys really got used to having him around. 

At the beginning of May, we started both boys in swimming lessons again.  They took a two-week course last summer, but now I think they're ready for more.  Cayden is in a parent and me class and Jami is in a class with his teacher and three other kids.  Kiddos have to be in the parent and tot class until they turn 3, and Cayden is the oldest in his class.  He doesn't follow directions very well and really just wants to splash around and do his own thing.  He got to do the classes with Mommy for the first two months, but once Daddy came home in July, Daddy had the pleasure of getting in the pool with him.  Seems like Cayden did a little better with Daddy than he did with Mommy.  Now that Jason is gone again, I've been back in the pool with him and it seems like he's a little more cooperative, but still not great.  These lessons are continuous and year-round, so we're going to keep going for as long as it takes him to learn to swim!  Once he turns 3 in November, he can go into a class like his brother is in and I'm hoping he'll do better with listening to an instructor without Mommy or Daddy around. 
Being a fish with Daddy

Over Memorial Day weekend, I took the boys to the Denver Day of Rock to see the Railbenders and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  It's an outdoor concert put on by Concerts For Kids, a local charity that helps support over 50 child-focused health and education organizations through its multiple fundraising events and community service projects.  This was Jami's fourth time and Cayden's second time, but it was my first time taking both boys without Jason's help.  Thank goodness for some of my best friends, Laura and Bridget, and for so many of my other "Rocky Tonk Union" friends who gave me a hand.  Cayden started screaming and crying and pretty much had a full-on panic attack/meltdown as soon as the first band started playing.  We were kind of close to the stage, off to one side, so we kept moving farther and farther back until he calmed down.  (Never mind that we were now six miles away from the stage...)  We inched closer and closer and he finally decided he was o.k. with all the ruckus, so long as he was perched on a pretty girl's shoulders...
The best seat in the house!
Hanging out with Aunt Bee

Getting comfy with Bridget
 In early June, we went to the Centennial Airport to see a restored World War II B17 aircraft.  We walked through the hangar and onto the tarmac just as the plane was taxiing in.  Cayden freaked out.  Once it came to a stop and the engines stopped, he calmed down a little.  He ended up having a great time driving around in the little metal airplanes that Wings Over the Rockies (one of the sponsors of the event) had there for the kids to play with.

As I alluded to in the previous post, we took another trip to Keystone in July after Jason came home.  Grammy Janene and Poppa Dan joined us for a nice long weekend in the picturesque mountain town.  On the way up, we stopped to ride the Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Cayden was not a fan of the noisy train and its loud whistle.  (Do you see a pattern here?  I'm a bit concerned he may have some sensory/overstimulation issues when it comes to noise, which is common in preemies.)  Over the next three days, we went for a bike ride, took a little hike and threw rocks in the creek, played in the village square and did the spider bungee!  Both boys have been crazy about jumping on Jamison's big boy bed, so we figured we'd try the bungee thing.  Jamison loved it, but we thought Cayden was too little to take a turn.  When the operator guy weighed him and said he just barely made the weight limit, we asked Cayden if he wanted to try, and he said, "Yes!"  He was a little quiet at first but by the end, he was doing flips and having a blast. (See the pictures in the previous post...)
Getting belly blows from Grammy while Poppa looks on
We took the boys to the Arapahoe County Fair later in July, where Cayden got to ride his first carousel and ate his first corndog (he loved both!)
The first weekend in August, we went to the NICU Graduate Preemie Picnic, where we saw lots of Cayden's old nurses and therapists.  He had a good old time checking out the fire engine, jumping in the bounce house, riding the train, getting a guitar painted on his arm, and eating lots of hot dogs and cake.  The best part was seeing Nurse Megan, one of our favorite primary nurses!
Ready to roll in the back of the fire engine

Sizing up his old NICU buddy, Miss Bianca

Giving Nurse Megan a high five
When the movie Planes came out, we thought it would be the perfect movie to take the boys to for their first theater movie experience.  Jamison loved it and watched the whole thing with Daddy.  Cayden was not the least bit interested and after the 20 minutes of previews, he lasted through about the first two minutes of the actual movie before I had to take him out in the lobby.  We tried going back inside several times, but he just kicked and fidgeted and squirmed and thrashed and yelled so much that we ended up having to leave again and again.  We missed the whole movie, and won't be trying THAT again with him anytime soon!
Cayden seemed to be showing a lot of interest in the potty, so we officially started potty training him toward the end of July.  He was so excited to wear big boy underwear and get a couple M&Ms for going pee on the potty!  He got the hang of the pee part very quickly, but six weeks later, he STILL will not poop on the potty - he keeps going in his underwear.  I am at my wit's end with him and am not quite sure what to do.  As of today, we've switched to using Pull Ups instead of underwear because I am DONE with washing poopy underwear four times a day!  We'll see if that does the trick.  It may just be that he's still too young to get it.  The good news is that Jamison (who we tried to potty train by himself twice before this) saw Cayden doing it and then he decided he wanted to do it too, so Jamison pretty much potty trained in two days!
I don't always poop in my underwear...sometimes I just let it drop right on the floor!  But I'm so stinkin' cute,
Mommy and Daddy can't be mad at me.  They just shake their heads, laugh, and take a picture!
On August 11th, Daddy went back to Nigeria for another two months.  The first couple days were really tough and both boys were acting out a lot, crying, throwing food at mealtimes, and just generally expressing their displeasure at missing Daddy.  As usually happens, they both adjusted to the change pretty quickly, although Cayden still cries, "Daaaa Deeee!  I want my Daddy" on a daily basis whenever I scold him or make him pick up his toys or deny him something he wants.
Jamison started preschool two weeks ago, so Cayden and I have three hours together in the mornings four days a week.  I thought it would be so nice to have time with just the two of us, but I've been selfish:  every day after we drop Jami off, I head to the gym to exercise and stretch for a good 90 minutes.  Cayden has been enjoying playing in the gym daycare and I get the mental break and physical exercise I need to function and feel energized, so I figure it's what's best for everyone. 
Earlier this week, we had Alex, our coordinator from Developmental Pathways, come back out to our house with a new physical therapist to evaluate Cayden.  He will qualify for these services until he turns three, so even though he was discharged from PT earlier this year, we wanted to have him checked out again since he seems to be pretty clumsy.  He often stumbles around like a drunk sailor and falls down a lot, especially when he's tired or really wound up.  Alex and the physical therapist both agreed he could benefit from some more PT sessions to build his core strength and address some other issues, so we'll be having home visits twice a month starting in a couple weeks.  They also said we may want to consider having an orthotic evaluation again to see if maybe some shoe inserts can help, so we may be doing that again soon.
Although the boys have been having fun at the spray grounds and splashing in our kiddie pool in the back yard, I think we're all looking forward to it cooling off some.  Fall is my favorite time of year, filled with birthdays and holidays, so it can't come soon enough!