Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry and white

We had a white Christmas here in Denver!  It was cold but beautiful and we couldn't have asked for more in a holiday...daddy was home with us, both boys are healthy, we had good food, gifts under the tree, phone calls and Skype to keep in touch with those we love but couldn't be with. 

Cayden LOVED the Little Tykes car Santa brought him, and he also enjoyed sneaking onto the drum kit that Santa brought for big brother Jamison. 

Merry Christmas to all who have followed our journey through this blog.  We hope your family is as happy and blessed as ours is!

Monday, December 17, 2012

In other news...

Time to catch up on all the other stuff that's happened (besides the big second birthday) since my last post...

I think I mentioned that Cayden has already had two colds this season.  Well, he got another one soon after that second one!  Throw in a short bout with a stomach bug, and I was afraid we should go back to isolation for the rest of the fall and winter!  Once again, the fact that Jamison also shared these same illnesses made me feel better about Cayden's immune status, so we're not on lock down - yet.

I started going to a MOPs (Mothers Of Preschoolers) group in September.  It's a great opportunity to socialize with other moms, and because they provide daycare, the boys get a change of scenery and get to socialize too.  I was worried Cayden wouldn't go for it, but surprisingly, he hasn't been the problem child - it's been Jamison who's cried so long and so hard that I had to go retrieve him and leave the meeting early!  Cayden cries when I drop him off, but before too long, he stops and I think he actually has fun with the other little ones.  

A few weeks ago, I also signed the boys up for daycare at the gym.  Considering I was paying a nanny about thirty bucks each time I wanted to go work out for an hour, it was a deal!  I'm paying about thirty dollars a month for both boys, and they can go for two hours a day every day of the month!  They have a great big, fun-filled area to play in, so I figured they'd love it.  Ha.  Sounds great in theory, but I haven't gotten to work out for more than ten minutes yet.  The first time we went, the Kids Club closed five minutes after I got them signed in.  Cayden was crying when I left him but was happy and smiling when I came back five minutes later.  The second time we went, Cayden screamed and cried the whole ten minutes I left him there, so they had to page me to come get him.  We're going to have to work on this because mommy really needs to get back in the exercise groove! 

Cayden saw Dr. Rosenberg the day after his birthday for his two year check up and was given a clean bill of health!  He weighed 26 pounds, which is in the 25th percentile for his actual (not adjusted!) age.  We are beyond happy with that, especially considering that's right about where Jamison has always been.  Everything else looked good and I was once again assured by the doctor that we don't have to worry so much about germs this winter.  He reiterated that his immune system is strong enough to fight things off normally now, and to some extent, he needs to be exposed to things like all 'normal' kids would.  He got his last Hepatitis A vaccine and we were on our way.  We don't have to go back for another six months, just to check in!

As I mentioned in the birthday post, we had company for Thanksgiving.  Jason was still in Egypt, but my grandma, dad, step mom Xian, and little sister Victoria all came to spend the holiday with us.  Both boys absolutely LOVED their Aunt Vickie, and they got close to PauPau and Grandpa very quickly too.  Of course they always love their Nonna, so it's no surprise they were happy to spend time with her!
Going down the big slide with Aunt Vickie
Story time with Grandpa Ray
More story time with Nonna Lena

Technically, this was Cayden's third Thanksgiving, but it was the first one where he could really indulge in all the yummy food, and indulge he did!  He ate two helpings of everything we made: turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, carrots, and pumpkin pie.
Round one...
Of course the thing I'm most thankful for every year is Cayden's amazing good health.  We've been so lucky.

In early December, we had our 6-month review with our Developmental Pathways coordinator, Alex, and our physical therapist, Deb.  Everyone is just so pleased with and amazed by his progress, and since he's reached all of his developmental milestones, Deb released him from physical therapy.  Since he hasn't had a speech evaluation yet, Alex agreed to arrange a speech therapy consult just to be sure Cayden is progressing satisfactorily in that area as well.  No one is really concerned there will be any issues, but we'll find out for sure this Wednesday at his appointment.  If that goes well, Alex will sign him off and he will be all done with everything!  They do recommend we get in touch with our school district for an evaluation before he starts kindergarten, just to be sure no learning disabilities show up between now and then, but then he'll be in the hands of the public school system and they can help address any needs he may have at that point.

Daddy came home from Egypt the first week in December and both boys were SO happy to see him.  A few days after he got home, we took a trip to Arkansas to visit Jason's family, and Cayden certainly charmed everyone there!  He got to meet his cousins, Tera and Ryan, his Uncle Jeff, his great-grandma Grover, and his great-aunt Pam all for the first time, and got to spend plenty of time with his Grammy Janene, Poppa Dan, and Aunt Karin.  We had an early Christmas celebration, and came home with a suitcase full of gifts!
Loving his cousins!
Getting the hang of ripping open presents
Sneaking a bite of Tera's yogurt bar
With Great-grandma Grover and Daddy
We spent a few hours at the Discovery Museum while we were there and the boys had a ball!  They also spent an evening with Grammy and Poppa babysitting so Jason and I could go out for dinner and a movie.  Of course both boys were complete and total angels for them, doing things without a fuss that they would NEVER do for me.  I think we need to visit the grandparents more often!

Cayden is talking like crazy.  It seems he picks up a dozen new words a day lately.  He's still hard to understand a lot of the time, and he gets a little frustrated when we don't give him what he wants or acknowledge what he says.  He seems to be steadier on his feet and not quite as clumsy.  He's still a fearless daredevil, and his latest favorite thing to do is hold onto the side of Jamison's toddler bed and bounce up and down like a giggling madman!  He's trying to jump off of things now, but he doesn't quite have that skill mastered yet.  It's more of a slide/step/flop, but he keeps trying!

While we were out of town, we noticed that it looks like Cayden has one for sure and maybe two or all three of the other two-year molars poking through his gums.  He's been a little fussy at night with slight fevers at random times for a day or two, and my guess is that his mouth hurts.  Hopefully they'll all be in soon and we can get back to sleeping hard all through the night.  One can dream, can't she?

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Happy (belated) second birthday!

As I mentioned previously, I've been wanting to post a couple entries here for awhile now, but other things just kept taking priority.  I feel bad that I'm almost a month late in my birthday post - bad mommy!

So to make up for it, I'll dedicate this entire entry to Cayden's 2nd birthday, and I'll save the other news and updates for another entry.

Cayden's birthday was on a Monday this year, during the week of Thanksgiving.  With each year that passes, I find myself more and more grateful and thankful on his birthday and during Thanksgiving.  We have basically come through our ordeal unscathed, beating impossible odds, ending up with a perfect, healthy toddler.

Nonna Lena came to visit us for Thanksgiving, and arrived early enough so that she was with us for Cayden's birthday too.  I wasn't sure I could pull off a full-on party without Jason's help, so I was just planning on making a cake then inviting over a few of our adult friends to help devour it.  Since Nonna Lena was in town, she offered to up the celebration by making homemade lasagna to go along with the cake.

In the morning, we had breakfast-by-Skype with Daddy (who was still in Egypt), then opened presents and cards.  Cayden got a fun dump truck from Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay, some cool plush cars from Grammy and Poppa, a plastic bear filled with animal crackers from our nanny, Adela, a new toy drum to destroy and a toy vacuum to clean up all the mess from Mommy and Daddy, and assorted cash and gift cards from Grandpa Ray, PauPau Xian, Aunt Vickie, Nonna Lena, Aunt Karin, Uncle Jeff, and cousins Tera and Ryan.  He also got a hand-written, heartfelt letter from GG Bea, which in my opinion, was the best gift of all.


After lunch and a nap, during which Nonna cranked out homemade noodles and assembled the lasagna while I baked and frosted the cake, we set the table and waited for our guests to arrive.

We were joined by my best friend, Laura, (aka Aunt Bee) and my old college friends, Matt and Andie Roth and their 2-year-old son, Evan.  The lasagna was to die for, as always! 

Something about a moist, dense, buttermilk cake sounded so good, so I made a white buttermilk cake with dark chocolate frosting.  Unfortunately, baking in Denver with our high altitude has its challenges, and though the cake tasted o.k., it wasn't what I was hoping for.  I'm pretty sure it could have been made out of sawdust, glue, and sugar, and Cayden still would have eaten it! 

As expected, Cayden downed a good bit of lasagna but still had plenty of room for cake.  We sang Happy Birthday to him and he smiled through the song, but when it came time to blow out the candles, he couldn't quite finish the job.  Big Brother Jamison helped, then we all enjoyed a piece of cake and some ice cream.  

After dessert, Cayden and Jamison both ran around like sugar-fueled, drunken hyenas, laughing and just enjoying the sugar high.  Aunt Bee laughed out loud when Cayden ran into the kitchen while we were cleaning up, stopped suddenly, giggled hysterically at seemingly nothing, eyes rolling around, head swerving like Stevie Wonder, then tore on out of the room again.  She commented, "Everything that goes up, must come down!", and it made me laugh!  It took the boys a good while to wind down, but I was finally able to get them into bed. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Two years old!

I have a couple separate, lengthy blog entries I want to make, but I just don't have the time to do it right now.  Hopefully soon I can find the time, but I at least wanted to mark the occasion of Cayden turning two on November 19th, 2012 with a picture...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Time flies!

Once again, time has gotten away from me and it's been longer than ever since I've blogged.  Seven weeks, to be exact.  I'm not sure I can even remember all that's happened since then!

The most exciting thing for all of us was that Jason was home for two whole months this last stretch, so Cayden and his brother got lots and lots of Daddy-time.  Jason went back to Cairo on the first of October, and although he'll miss Thanksgiving with us, he should be home for all of December and the holidays.

Unfortunately, Cayden caught ANOTHER cold barely more than a week after he got over that first cold of the season he had.  I would have been really worried about his ability to fight off infection and concerned that maybe we should voluntarily subject ourselves to another winter holed up at home, but Jamison got sick too.  So I guess if Jamison and his "normal" immune system got it, it isn't anything to be concerned about.  I hope. 

Just before Jason left again, we took a little trip to Anderson Farms, north of Denver, for their Fall Festival.  The boys got to see, pet, and feed goats, bunnies, a donkey, chickens, cows, and geese,
Silly goose

they rode on a barrel train,
This one cracks me up!  Talk about not being able to see over the steering wheel...

played in a hay bale maze, took a hay ride,
Squirming on Momma's lap

and wandered around a giant pumpkin patch
So many to choose from!

where they picked their very own pumpkins!
With Daddy, struggling to contain a wiggly boy and four roly poly pumpkins

We had a great time and wished we could have stayed longer!

The first week in October, Cayden took his first trip to the zoo.  It was a beautifully warm, fall day, and I had help from our friend, Kathy, so it was manageable with both boys out of the stroller!  Cayden especially liked the monkeys and banging on the bongo drums in the little play area.

Checking out the monkeys with Kathy
In mid-October, Cayden got to meet his Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay for the first time!  They came to visit for a few days and we had an absolutely wonderful time.  Cayden really took to both of them so quickly, which is unusual for him, so they (as I've known for years) are truly something special!
On the playground with Graunt Kay
With Jamison, Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay
Developmentally, Cayden's vocabulary is blossoming and he is chattering non-stop.  My favorite thing he says is "See dees?  See dees?" - as in CDs - as he waves one around in my face.  He excitedly repeats it over and over as he pulls CD after CD off of the shelf and jams them by the dozen into the 5-disk CD player.  It's adorable the way he gets so excited about a simple CD, but it drives me bonkers having to fish them out of the (now broken, I'm sure) CD player and then arrange them back on the shelf with the hundreds of others.  I think maybe it's time to put everything onto an Ipod and throw away the actual CDs?!

His walking and running are much steadier now.  He's climbing like crazy, loves rocking on the rocking horse, and likes to hide in the one tiny kitchen cabinet that doesn't have a lock on it.
Peek a boo!
Just a couple days ago, I noticed he has one of his two-year molars poking through!  Maybe that explains why he's been a bit cranky and fussy and always wanting his binky lately?  Poor little guy's mouth probably hurts!  He's still got quite the appetite, however.  I'm so curious to know how much he weighs next month at his 2-year check up!

Friday, September 7, 2012

First cold of the season

Our temperatures have still been in the 90s, but Cayden has caught a cold.  Thankfully, it's been quite awhile since he's had one.  To be honest, I can't remember the last time he had one, so we've been lucky.  It doesn't seem too bad - just your run-of-the-mill runny nose, coughing, congestion, restlessness, and slight fever.  Jamison caught it a day later, so we've got double the fun!

I am reminded of a funny poem I heard years ago:

Do not kiss your honey
When your nose is runny.
You might think it's funny
But it's snot.

Despite Dr. Rosenberg's assurance at his 18-month check up in May that Cayden's immune system was "caught up" and able to fight off infections like a "normal" kid, I still have anxiety that it could turn into something worse.  Yesterday afternoon while trying to get him to nap, he got so worked up, coughing and crying, that he started making a distinct whooping noise every time he inhaled.  It took both Jason and me a good half hour to calm him down, and by that time, the doctor's office had closed, but my instant reaction was to want to run to the phone and call them to see if it was possible he could have whooping cough, even though he's been vaccinated.  He sounded fine after he calmed down, and Jason listened to his lungs and said they sounded clear, so that was reassuring, and I forgot about calling today to ask the doctor's opinion.

Although his appetite wasn't great today, his demeanor seemed good, so hopefully this will just be a typical fall cold.  I do wonder if I will ever get over the anxiety of thinking it's going to turn into something worse?  Jason is leaving again on Sunday (for just a week this time), so I wonder if that looming prospect has anything to do with my heightened concern? 

I forgot to mention in my last post that we went to our second (annual) NICU Graduate Preemie Picnic on August 4th.  It was the day before Jason got home, so I took both boys by myself and met up with my fellow mom friend from the NICU, Jessica, and her NICU grad daughter, Bianca.  For those of you who have been following my blog since way back when, Jessica is the amazing mom I mentioned who had to perform CPR on Bianca soon after they came home from the NICU.  Poor Bianca had a rough time for the first few months she was home, but I'm happy to report that she is doing GREAT!  She's growing and developing on track, healthy, and beautiful!

So back to the picnic...it was a nice day - one of only a few days this entire summer we've had where the temperature was less than 90 degrees - but I was so disappointed to only see a couple people we knew.  Two nurses, Carrie and Yvonne, and we also saw Dr. Rosenberg, but we see him pretty often, so that wasn't such a big deal.  I saw a couple other familiar faces, but couldn't recollect their names.  I guess after a year and a half, your memory fades and all those things you thought you'd never forget, you forget.
Riding the train at the picnic with Jamison
A few weeks after the picnic, Cayden and I stopped by the NICU to drop off a book for a new preemie mom I found out about via Facebook.  I passed along my Preemies book that was an invaluable resource to me that first year.  I hope she gets as much comfort and information from it as I did. 

Anyway, while at the NICU, we were able to see two of my favorite people - lactation consultant, Virginia, and our primary nurse, Megan.  These two ladies had such a positive influence on my whole NICU experience.  They were warm lights during a very dark and scary time, and I will forever be grateful to them.  It's been over a year since either of them have seen Cayden, so it was wonderful to show them how far he's come and remind them how their hard work and compassion pays off!

After saying hello again to a couple old friends, we said goodbye to another.  Cayden had his last occupational therapy session with Amy Jo on August 29th.  It's such a great feeling to know that he no longer needs that therapy.  Not only is he doing what he should be for his adjusted age, he is doing everything and more than he should do for his actual age!  He'll still see his physical therapist, Deb, but the frequency of those sessions are being cut back and he should be done by the end of the year.  In fact, Deb said he could be done now if I wanted to stop, but I'm not sure I'm ready to let go of all of my professional help quite yet!  There are still a few milestones he has yet to reach, like jumping and walking down stairs, so we'll continue with physical therapy once a month for the next few months, just to make sure he stays on track.

Two weeks ago, we bought a new vehicle - a minivan. (The feelings that came with parting with my beloved Pathfinder and giving in to the stigma of being a minivan owner could be an entire separate post!) So to break it in, we took a little road trip to Winter Park. It was our first road trip as a family of four and the first time Cayden has been up to the mountains. When he was still on oxygen and his respiratory health was still questionable, we were told not to take him up in altitude as it could negatively affect his breathing. This was the first chance we've had to get up to there, and let me tell you, I sure missed that cool, crisp, mountain air, the friendly people, the peacefulness, and the beautiful scenery. Our dear friends, the Ericssons, let us stay at their condo in nearby Fraser, so we had a comfortable home base for the few days we were there. We spent most of our time at playgrounds and other places for the boys to have fun, but it was nice to just get away and relax a little.

It's TIME for a vacation!

Climbing the rock wall with Jami at the Grand Park Recreation Center.  This was after swimming in the pool for two hours!

Momma doesn't know how to use the camera to its full potential, so the beautiful mountains in the background are washed out.  That's o.k.  It makes you focus on the two handsome boys in the foreground, right?  (Cayden and Daddy)
Puppy love!

Pretty flowers at Winter Park Village

Oh, and one other thing that just happened yesterday:  Cayden is crawling out of his crib!  Jamison will be three years old in less than a month, and he only started crawling out of his crib a few weeks ago.  How the heck did Cayden figure this out so soon?!  I'll tell you how:  Cayden is fearless.  He is like a bulldozer.  Rough and tumble.  Loves to climb.  Curious.  Strong.  We're in trouble!

Friday, August 17, 2012

The BIG Celebration!

Happy days are here again!  Jason came home from his second two-month trip to Egypt on August 5th and we wasted no time planning and throwing a huge party.  Ever since Cayden was in the NICU, we talked about wanting to thank all of the people who came to our aid.  We wanted to do something special; saying 'thank you' over and over just didn't seem adequate.

We wanted to celebrate friendship, Cayden's miraculous good health, and also the fact that - after 20 years of chipping away at it - Jason finally completed his bachelor's degree.  We invited everyone we could think of who has been a part of our ordeal over the past two years, including family, friends, neighbors, therapists, and NICU nurses, then we stocked up on lots of great BBQ, beer, and sangria.  On Saturday, August 11th, we threw open our back gate and piled over 80 people into our backyard to eat, drink, laugh, socialize, and watch two awesome bands play (I'm With Her, from Denver and my old friends, Shurman, from Austin, Texas).  It's a day we'll never forget!
We hung these two pictures on the wall above the food table, just to remind everyone how far Cayden has come...
Then: 11/22/10 - 2 lbs. 0 oz.
Now: 6/29/12 - 26 pounds
While I was introducing Shurman, Cayden came up to help and got a round of applause.
The party was in his honor, after all!
Jason and me with some of our guests
Haley E. Rydell and Angie Stevens from I'm With Her

Shurman!  (Harley Husbands, Aaron Beavers, Clint Short, and Mike Therieau)

One of two yummy cakes we had
We even had two very special friends fly in from out of town for the big event.  Connie (who is a faithful follower of this blog - hi, Connie!) came in from Wisconsin and Steene (who spent over a week at our house last summer, helping out TREMENDOUSLY with Cayden and Jamison while Jason was out of town for work) surprised the heck out of us by telling us she couldn't make it, then she secretly caught a flight from Phoenix and showed up at our doorstep right before the party started!  It made the day even more special having them there to share in the fun!
Cayden with Connie

 I know there are lots of other things that have been happening since my last update, but my mind is still swimming with all of the party memories, making it hard to think back about what's happened developmentally in the past month or so!  Cayden is a lot more vocal - he's saying dozens of words clearly now.  One of the cutest things he does is say, "Some!" over and over when he wants something. 

He also likes to pull the head off of our life-size plastic lawn goose and then leave the head laying somewhere for me to find while he pushes the headless body around the wooden floor.  Often, he'll bring the head right to me, proudly shouting "GOO!" as he sticks it in my lap or face.  It's pretty funny, but a bit morbid when you stop and think about how it looks! 

He's walking and running like a champ.  Well, I guess he's still pretty tipsy when he runs, but he doesn't fall nearly as much and when he does fall, he just gets right back up and keeps on going!  One of his favorite things to do in the back yard is push his play lawn mower around.  If only I could get him to push the real one!

When Jason got home, we started both boys in parent and tot swimming lessons.  We went four days a week for two weeks in a row and Cayden LOVED it! 
Practicing kicking with Momma

Floating in a life vest with Daddy

JUMP!  Jumping in from the side of our pool with our instructor, Colleen.

Doing the Hokey Pokey with big brother Jamison at the end of class

I guess that's about all to update for now.  I'm sure I'll think of some more things as soon as I post this, so maybe I'll have another entry sooner rather than later!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Summer daze

Wow!  I can't believe it's been over a month since I've written!  The last time I wrote was the day Jason left again for Egypt, and he's been gone five weeks.

The three of us (Jamison, Cayden, and I) have been keeping busy and trying to keep cool.  It has been a long, wicked hot summer already, and the hottest couple of months are still ahead of us.  We broke multiple records in the month of June - several individual days' records were broken, the driest June ever, the overall hottest June ever, and twice we tied the record for hottest temperature ever recorded in Denver.  I'm sure I'll get very little sympathy from anyone else right now considering most of the rest of the country is melting too.  And it is true that at least we don't have the humidity to go along with the heat, so I'll try to stop complaining...

The good news is that this time around (with Jason being gone for another two month period) has been MUCH easier than the first time.  Since we can now go out in public with Cayden, a lot of the stress is relieved.  Not to say that it's easy being a pseudo-single mom with two under two, but it's easier

We wasted no time in setting up lots of play dates with many of the friends we've missed spending time with during our isolation over the past year and a half.  We've met friends at different playgrounds, at our house, at the "sprayground" (a playground that sprays and splashes water from different structures), and even ventured out to the Wildlife Experience - a sort of museum/zoo-without-live-animals, only stuffed (as in taxidermy stuffed) animals, with my old high school friend, Stacy, and her little guy, Brody.
- Chasing fish at the Wildlife Experience -
It's hard to tell in this picture, but there is a projected image of fish swimming on the floor,
and it moves and reacts when you step into the image area.  Pretty cool!

One afternoon, we went to Kidtopia - a weekly event put on during the month of June by an outdoor mall near us.  They have games, contests, and activities like face painting and people making balloon animals, all for free.  The week we went, they had a petting zoo. I took Cayden and Jamison inside the enclosure and surprisingly, Jamison was the one who clung to my leg, scared, while Cayden took off exploring.  They had at least a dozen pygmy goats, a donkey, little chickens, rabbits...Cayden loved them all and squealed with delight each time he pet something.  I wish I would have been able to get some pictures, but I didn't have my camera with me.

We've spent a lot of time cooling off at a few different friends' pools as well as in our back yard.  We have a little inflatable pool I bought a couple years ago that you can hook a hose up to and it will spray a sprinkle of water.  Cayden was terrified of the spraying water and did nothing but scream and cry whenever it was on.  He calmed down a bit when it was off, but still didn't want much to do with it.
Cute but apparently very scary crab-sprinkling-pool
So since it seemed Cayden wasn't thrilled with the pool, I bought a water table to play with.  He likes it and will stand there and play with it for a good long time, and he splashes enough so that he gets a little wet and cools off at least a little bit.

After playing on a little outdoor plastic slide at a friend's house, I bought a similar one for the boys.  Cayden was climbing on it before I could get the thing all put together!  This guy has no fear and he is a CLIMBER.  I guess having been through what he went through in 111 days in the NICU, nothing scares him!
King of the mountain!

We went to my best friend, Laura's, brother and sister-in-law's house for the Fourth of July.  They have their own pool and we were the only guests there, so it was great to have the whole pool to ourselves. 
Hanging out with Aunt Bee on the Fourth of July

Happy birthday, America!
With all of this activity lately and all of these new adventures, Cayden has barely been making it until his nap time.  In fact, quite often, he passes out in his high chair at lunch before I can get him into his crib!
Too. Tired. To. Eat. Anymore.
Developmentally, Cayden is doing well.  He's walking all the time and is getting steadier on his feet.  He still falls quite a bit, but I think that's usually either because he's tired or because he's trying to go faster than his little legs can carry him!  He'll probably continue with physical therapy for a few more months, as there are still gross motor skills he may need help mastering, but he'll probably no longer need PT by the end of the year.

Amy Jo, our occupational therapist, says that he's doing so well with fine motor skills that we'll likely only need another month or so of visits from her.  His language and communication skills are developing rapidly and his vocabulary is exploding!  Two weeks ago, I was concerned that he was only saying maybe three or four words.  Since then, I've been keeping a list and every day, he adds a word or two.  He's up to more than 20 words now!  The Developmental Pathways coordinator said they'd monitor his progress and reassess in a few months to see if they think he needs speech therapy, but everyone is pretty certain he's right on track and should be fine.

Thankfully, this second time with Jason being gone seems to be going by faster than the first time.  I'm sure keeping busy has helped, and I know the boys are happy to be able to do and see more than just the inside of our house.  Jason is due home around August 4th, and we are counting down the days!  We plan on having a big party when he's home, so stay tuned for details on that!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Chick Magnet

Being the mom, of course I think Cayden is just the cutest thing ever, but I think I've been gathering enough evidence lately to substantiate my claim.  Everywhere we go, little girls seem to flock to and fawn over him!  Granted, until recently we haven't gotten out and been around little girls much in his 18 months of life, and maybe this is just what little girls do, but I think Cayden is going to be a little charmer! 

I first noticed it when we took our trip to Arizona and spent a day and night with my friend, Elaine, and her daughter, 8-year-old Brianna.  She was all over him and Jamison both. 

Most recently, we went to a birthday swim party for the son of my softball friends, Di and Johnny.  There were tons of little boys running around and playing in the pool, but Ashley and Bridget, two friendly 8-year-old girls, honed in on my little guy the second we got in the water.  Maybe it was his sweet ride - an inflatable police car - or his cool shades that attracted them,
but they swam straight up to us and begged me to let them push him around.  I was hesitant at first, but before I could say "Be careful!", Cayden giggled at them and off they went. 
I tried not to hover right on top of them, but I wanted to stay close enough so that I could catch him if he flipped over somehow.  The girls took turns pushing him all over the pool for a good 15 or 20 minutes and I don't think Cayden stopped smiling the whole time!  They are going to be great babysitters in a couple years!
Ladies love cool Cayd

In other news, the boys are having a slumber party tonight: 

We moved Cayden's crib into Jamison's room.  Although we have central air conditioning, during the summer, our top level (where both boys' rooms are) gets so hot no matter how low we set the thermostat.  We have a portable air conditioning unit (thank you, Sue and Brad!) that we used in Jamison's room last year to cool it down on hot nights, so instead of buying (and storing) another one, we're giving this arrangement a whirl.  We'll see how it goes and if it works, we'll keep them together for the rest of the summer.  It's not an ideal layout, so we'll probably move Cayden back to his room once fall rolls around.

Speaking of things not being ideal, Jason leaves for Egypt again tomorrow (well, technically I guess it's later today since I've been typing past midnight).  He'll be gone another 60 days and although no one is looking forward to it, I think it'll be easier on me and the boys this time since we can finally get out of the house whenever we want.  We'll miss you, Daddy!