Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

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!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pardon the huge gap between entries

Holy moly.  I can't believe it's been almost four months since I last posted something in here!  Bad mommy.  Busy mommy!  Does anyone still check in here and read this blog?!  I wouldn't blame you for giving up on checking in.

The kick in the butt to get back on here came from a conversation I had with my Grandma Lena (Nonna Lena to the boys) today on the phone.  She said something about how it's been so long since we've talked on the computer (I think she meant by Skype, which we do occasionally via my dad's (Grandpa Ray's) computer.  It reminded me that my dad and little sister (Aunt Vickie) will invite my grandma down to join in on those Skype sessions sometimes, and that they also show her whenever there are new entries and pictures on this blog.  Who am I to deny my 93-year-old grandma seeing pictures of her great-grandson?

I have to be honest, though:  tonight, I don't have the time to write or upload all the pictures I'd like to that will fill in the gaps with all we've done since the last blog entry. 

I promise I will try to get back here in the next day or two though.  For now, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from our trip to Keystone in July...

Getting cozy with Jamison in the bike trailer
Steering the paddle boat while Dad pedals and Mom and Jami feed the fish on Keystone Lake
Bungee trampolining!!!
Flying high and LOVING it!