Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, November 19th, 2011, was Cayden's first birthday.  I can't believe we made it.  In some ways, it seems like ten years, but in other ways, it's gone by so fast.  I think I lean more toward the feeling like ten years, though.  The (permanent?) bags under my eyes, the ten extra pounds on my belly, and the multitude of grey hairs on my head support that theory! 

The day before and the day of his birthday, I was constantly watching the clock, thinking back to what was happening at that time one year ago.  Doing so brought about many tears - of happiness, relief, amazement - and a couple of anxiety attacks.  I've heard that some parents of preemies can suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and I can understand why.  When I think about what I went through, it brings back those feelings of  "How am I going to get through this?  How are we going to make this work?  What is Cayden's long-term outcome going to be?"  I think back to the blog entry I made months ago about juggling (See When Daddy's Away from 1/20/11.).  I feel now like I'm rid of so many of those heavy and awkward items I was juggling - now I'm down to just juggling, say, maybe three 8-pound bowling balls.  I can do that!

So on with the details about Cayden's big day!  He woke up in a good mood, as always.  Had a nice breakfast of apples, yogurt, and formula before playing with the new presents we and his Grammy Janene and Poppa Dan got him:  a toy cell phone, a Winkel ball, a Crawl Along Snail, and some pop beads.  Jamison had lots of fun showing him how to use all of them.  After another bottle and a nice long nap, we got ready for our guests.  Although we wanted to celebrate with the world for our accomplishment, we kept the gathering very small to keep Cayden's exposure to germs limited.  Besides Jason, Jamison, and me, it was just a few of our closest friends:  Laura, Becky, and Jim. 

I made a yummy "Secret Chocolate Cake" with marshmallow butter cream icing.  The secret was that it was made with two cups of pureed beets!  (You really can't tell!  The beets make it nice and moist, kind of like zucchini does for some baking recipes.)

Of course since he's only 8.5 months adjusted age, he had no idea what to do with the candles, so big brother and Mommy helped him blow them out.  But when it came to eating the cake, he figured that out right away!
Going in for the kill

The aftermath
 He really didn't make much of a mess of himself and he finished off the whole piece we gave him.  (Must be trying to bulk up for his one-year weigh-in on Tuesday!)  Oh, that reminds me...he had his first RSV shot of the season on Friday.  The nurse weighed him and he was 19 pounds on the nose!  I can't believe how BIG he is!  I mean, Jamison is only 25 pounds and a year older.  Absolutely amazing!

So back to the party...Cayden played with his balloon and entertained our guests for awhile, showing off his sitting-up-for-minutes-at-a-time skills, before everyone left. 
It was a happy, emotional day and we're just overwhelmed with joy and love for our little man.  Celebrating this milestone also made me think back and remember all the help we got from friends and family to get us to this point.  We can't thank everyone enough for all they've done and know that we couldn't have done it without your love, support, prayers, and good thoughts.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

World Prematurity Day

"Honor the million babies worldwide who died this year because they were born too soon, and the 12 million more who struggle to survive. November 17 is World Prematurity Day and when we focus everyone’s attention on the serious problem of premature birth." (March of Dimes' website)

Seeing as how today is the day set aside to honor preemies and their caregivers, I thought I should post a little something.  How about a picture of those two new teeth Cayden is sporting?
He's really enjoying his cereal--can you tell??

He's also been "picking up" on picking up bits of finger food:  puffs, Cheerios, little pieces of bread or banana.  Apparently he's meeting his fine-motor skills milestone, seeing as how he double fists stuffing food in his mouth!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Trick or Treat!

A little late, but I wanted to share a picture from Cayden's first Halloween...
It was a surprisingly mild evening - 50 degrees or so by the time we got out the door - so we decided to take Cayden with us trick or treating.  We put him in the stroller and headed out with Jamison on foot, but Cayden didn't last long.  I don't know if it was all the noise or the other kids' costumes, but he cried pretty much from the minute we got started.  Jason ended up taking him back home and leaving him with our dear friend, Laura, who came over to hand out candy for us so we could both go out with the kids.  Jason came back out to meet up with Jamison and me going door to door, and Laura said Cayden did just fine during the hour or so we were gone.  Hopefully next year he'll enjoy it more!