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.