Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

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!!