Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sweet or Mean?

I often find myself surprised at the things I'm saying these days.  Most of my comments are aimed at Cade because my sweet boy is, well, not so sweet.  He is a handful!  When people see me with my 3 kiddos and tell me that I must really have my hands full, I think, "No, just this one boy makes my hands full!"

Things I have actually said in the past few weeks:

1.  "Cade, where are you going with the bathroom rug?"

2.  "Cade, give Camdyn her foot back!" (as he is holding on to her foot sitting next to her in their car seats just to watch her squeal with this accomplished smirk on his face)

3.  "Cade, quit hitting your sisters in the head with the hairbrush!"

4.  "Cade, quit coloring on the walls!"

5.  "Cade, quit coloring on the door!"

6.  "Cade, quit coloring on the desk!"

7.  "Cade, why did you take your diaper off again?"

8.  "Cade, why are you wearing your sisters' dress-up shoes?"

9.  "Cade, give Camdyn her doll back!" (as he is running through the house taunting her again with the accomplished smirk on his face)

10.  "Camdyn, go get your doll back from your mean brother - be tough!"

and the list goes on and on and on  . . .

I can't believe I have to say things like "give your sister her foot back," and while it is really annoying at the time due to all the squealing, I find myself laughing moments later when I realize what a wonderfully chaotic life we lead full of very normal sibling squabbles.  I have 4 sisters and no brothers, so I'm assuming that it's a brother's job to torment his sisters.  Cade is quite good at that, but for all his meanness, he has equal parts sweetness.  Just look at this most adorable kissy face!  He could fool anyone into thinking he is 100% sweet with a face like this.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Neuro Exam

Our appointment at the neurologist went great today.  The nurse practioner was wonderful.  She went through Camdyn's whole history with us and talked about any concerns we might have.  She then did an exam of Camdyn and found nothing out of the ordinary.  Most importantly, we got a letter from her stating that speech therapy is "absolutely required" in Camdyn's plan of care.  Hopefully, we will have no more problems with getting speech therapy covered by insurance.  We plan on starting therapy back again very soon.  I felt very relieved to hear that there was nothing concerning besides just being extremely premature and having a speech delay because of it (which we already knew).  Thank you all for saying a prayer for Camdyn.  We are so blessed.

I saw a friend's link on Facebook to a blog written by some close friends of hers who just had premature twins at 25 weeks gestation.  The little boy, Drake, is fighting an infection and having problems with his kidneys.  Please pray for this family, their twins, and especially Drake, that his kidneys will start functioning properly.  You can read their story at

Monday, July 9, 2012

Neurologist Appt. tomorrow

Here I am - up late again dwelling on the fact that a big appointment awaits us tomorrow.  I do this every time we have a big appointment the following day.  I should be sleeping, so I can actually get all three kids dressed and looking presentable, loaded in the car, and arrive to the appointment early enough to fill out the packet of paperwork which takes a good while with their history.

I wrote about adding more "ologists" to our collection of specialists in a post back in April.  After their 2 year check-ups, our pediatrician wanted Camdyn to see an endocrinologist for her small size and a neurologist for her speech delay.  We are seeing the neurologist tomorrow (well, actually the neurologist's nurse practitioner).  I really think these are precautionary measures given her history as a micro-preemie.  She has made a lot of progress in speech in the 3 months since we scheduled the appointment; however, she is still very delayed. 

I always think they are both doing so well because I see how much they have progressed, but then we get together with other 2 year olds, and I realize how much "catching up" (don't really like that term) they have to do.  Let me debunk that myth here.  No, micro-preemies will not be "caught up" by the age of 2.  Just think about what an unfair race that is anyway.  Put a bunch of big full-term, healthy kids on the starting line.  Now, go several miles behind the starting line and line up the 1 pound micro-preemies.  Put about 100 hurdles in the way - ventilators, collapsed lungs, feeding tubes, heart surgeries, etc.  When those little NICU athletes finally jump those hundreds of hurdles with all the courage and strength their frail bodies can muster, they've only made it to the starting line.  In the meantime, the full-termers who just arrived at the starting line ready to run their race with healthy hearts and lungs have already made it around the track several times.  It will take years to "catch up".

Now that we finally have an appointment after 3 months of waiting, we are definitely going.  I just hope and pray that they do not give me any bad news.  Please pray along with us for no news which is always good news!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Time Outs

We have introduced "time outs" around here recently.  I couldn't resist grabbing my camera to capture my two very dramatic two-year olds.  I would say the idea has not been taken well.  What do you think?

July 4th!

Will I do this at every holiday from now on?  Think about where we were 2 yrs ago, 3 yrs ago, 4 yrs ago, and so on?  I'm pretty sure I will, and I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing.  The flashbacks are becoming fewer and less invasive these days.  It seems that I am now able to pull them up at will.  Occasionally, some traumatic memories will still show up unexpectedly, but for the most part, I'm able to live in the moment and look back when I choose.  On the 4th, I thought back to when the twins were in the NICU.   As I passed isolettes on my way to bed 23 and 24, it was like a little July 4th parade of NICU babies.  The nurses had covered all the babies with handmade flag blankets.  They all looked so patriotic! 

Camdyn and Cade were 3 months old in the NICU for their first 4th of July.  They were off of ventilators, CPAP, and cannula by this time.  They both had ng tubes.  Aren't they so sweet here?

2 years later - healthy little toddlers playing in the pool of the slip-n-slide.  It doesn't get any better than that, folks!

We had friends over for a 4th of July party.  The kids all had a blast playing in the sprinkler and slip-n-slide.  Classic summer fun!

I found this cute idea on Pinterest to make firework paintings.  I twisted pipe cleaners into firework shapes, poured paint on paper plates, and let the kids stamp fireworks onto their paper.  It was a bit messy but lots of fun.  I think they turned out pretty cute too.

I made these fruit and sponge cake skewers for our party too.  

We all sat out on our back deck and watched fireworks at night.  It was a great way to spend the 4th - with family and friends.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lazy Days of Summer

The lazy days of summer have been anything but lazy around here.  We've been quite busy but in the best way possible.  We have had so much fun this summer.  The twins are now old enough to enjoy playing in the water a lot more than last summer.    It's over 100 degrees every day in Texas, so we find plenty of opportunities to be in the water.

The easiest activity is probably playing in the sprinkler in the front yard.  I don't have to load anyone up in car seats or pack a diaper bag!

My 3 cuties lined up at the pool.  We love the twins' new Puddle Jumpers.  They are coast guard approved and work amazingly well.  They can just bob around in the pool.  They are awesome!

The kids love climbing on this rock feature at our neighborhood pool.  They also love jumping off the side to Daddy.  The only problem is that now the twins try to jump off of everything - the couch, the changing table, etc.

Brenna jumping in!

We've spent a few evenings lounging on the back deck.

Jim and I took Brenna and her cousins, Brylee and Colin to the Round Rock Express baseball game.  They had a blast!

Cotton candy monsters!

We met my friend Andrea and her triplets, Madily, Anson, and Reagan, today at the splash pad.  We met them in the NICU.  All of the kids had fun filling and dumping their buckets and running through the splash pad.

Camdyn giving Madily a hug when we left.  Madilyn is so sweet and asked for more hugs which gave me a chance to grab my camera quickly.  How sweet are they?

We're having so much fun that I don't want the summer to end.

Swim Lesson Videos

For the family - videos of our swim lessons.

Swim Lessons

We've started swim lessons for the summer for all 3 kids.  I was mostly concerned about swim lessons for Brenna because she isn't able to swim yet.  We have a private swim instructor meet us at our neighborhood pool once a week.  She works with Brenna the majority of the time and then spends about 10 minutes each with Camdyn and Cade.  They have only had 2 lessons so far, and I can already tell a big difference.  Brenna can swim a few strokes but still stands up to breathe.  I think she'll be swimming by the end of the summer.  Camdyn and Cade both impressed me in their lessons so far too.  They both love gliding along with the kickboard through the water.  Camdyn can crawl along the edge of the pool with her hands on her own!  I was so surprised by this.  I didn't think her tiny little arms were strong enough to do that.  It is so cute!  Cade can hold his breath to pick up objects off the steps too.  I think I am babying them a little too much.  They certainly have proven me wrong with my expectations of their swim lessons.  It looks like I am going to need to raise my expectations!