Thursday, March 28, 2013

School Easter Egg Hunts

Today was the day for school Easter egg hunts.  I went to Camdyn and Cade's school first to watch them hunt eggs and then headed to Brenna's school for their Easter egg hunt.  I was glad that they were at different times so I could go to both.

Cade was more interested in riding the tricycle than looking for eggs.


Camdyn liked collecting eggs for her basket.

  That's my little diva posing for the camera with her Easter basket.

Their teacher gave them confetti eggs.  They weren't sure what to do with them until their teacher told them they could crack them with their fingers.

She then told them to pour it on their head or their friend's head.  Cade chose to put his on Camdyn.  It doesn't look like Camdyn liked it from the picture, but she thought it was really funny.  Cade did too.  He said, "That was FUN!"

Camdyn wanted to crack hers on her own head.

I had to show her this picture to show her that the confetti was in her hair.  I asked her if she thought it looked pretty, and she agreed that it did.  

What could be cuter than a class of 2-3 year olds lined up with their Easter baskets?

Well, maybe a class of kindergarteners wearing bunny hats they made themselves.  It's a tough call.

Brenna loved hunting eggs with her class, and she loved that I came to watch.  I'm going to miss this when she doesn't want me to come to school anymore for her class activities.  I asked her last night if she wanted me to come watch her hunt eggs at school.  Then I told her I was going to wear my best Easter dress and Easter hat and I would bring my Easter basket and hunt eggs with her friends.  She got this really worried look on her face and told me she didn't think moms were allowed to do that.  It was so funny because she was trying not to hurt my feelings.  I went on and on about how excited I was to get dressed up to hunt eggs at her school and how I would wear a big Easter hat.  Finally she realized I was joking and said, "Mommy, you're so silly.  You can't hunt eggs.  You're big.  But you can come and just watch all the kids."

Friday, March 22, 2013

Room Air

Not that long ago, I can remember asking myself, "Will I ever get over it?"  Their prematurity, that is.  I still don't know the answer to that question, but I feel a sense of relief that the thought no longer plagues me like it once did.  I still think about their prematurity every single day, and I am not exaggerating.  It's usually just a fleeting thought sweeping its way in to my consciousness and then quickly dissipating.  Rather than causing a post-traumatic feeling (which does still happen on occasion), the thoughts instead serve as reminders of how far they have come and how blessed we are.  I never thought I would say this, but I rather welcome the thoughts now.  How many people are reminded every day how lucky they are?  I can honestly say that I am.

Take last night for example.  We took the kids out to eat pizza.  We sat outside and watched the kids run and play together as we waited for our food.  Here's a look inside my head at that moment, "Thank you Jesus that they can run.  Wow!  We are so lucky."  Then back to normal.  "Cade, don't poke that stick at your sisters.  Kids, come back closer to the table!"

Later the pizza arrives.  The kids come running to the table.  "My want pizza!" Camdyn asserts.  "I hung-wee," Cade adds.  We load the kids plates, and watch as they scarf down the pizza.  Camdyn eats 2 whole pieces - as much as Brenna.  Cade eats 2 whole pieces plus 2 rolls!  Once again in my head, "If I could have only seen this when we were tube feeding them, when Camdyn took 45 minutes to drink 1 oz of milk every single time, when Cade gagged on everything that touched his mouth, when I made myself sick with worry about getting a g-tube for Cade, when we fed Cade drops of milk from a syringe to get him used to the idea of anything in his mouth, when I felt completely out of control not being able to feed my kids."  And now, it is so easy.  I ask Jim, "Did you ever see this happening?"  He answers that he could always see it.  He always is more optimistic than I.  I couldn't say the same.  I didn't always see it.  I had no idea if Cade would be devouring pizza or still be tube fed at age three.  In preemieland, nothing is certain.

So, will I get over them being born 16 weeks early and enduring a 4 1/2 month hospital stay full of scary news and endless fear?  Probably not.  Fortunately, for me, the memories feel different now.  To make a preemie comparison, I felt like I was on a ventilator for their first year.  I pushed through fighting for a chance to come up for air.  The first year was loaded with uncertainty and struggle.  By year two, I had moved to CPAP and eventually cannula.  Breathing became easier, but I was still fighting - fighting for therapy, fighting insurance, and fighting my fears.  Now as we are approaching year three, I finally feel like I am at 21% (threw that one in there for all you preemie moms out there who know exactly what I'm talking about.)  It's room air - what we all breathe.  I'm there folks; I'm at room air! 

 . . . And because no preemie comparison is complete without a few lasting effects.  Every now and then, we still break out the old nebulizer when times get tough, but we know that room air is just around the corner.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Surgery Updates & More

Camdyn's surgery went really well.  I knew it was a common procedure, so I didn't stress about it too much.  It wasn't a heart surgery at 10 days old when she still weighed under 2 lbs.  It wasn't collapsed lungs or brain bleeds.  I knew all of this, but I still cried like a baby when they took her away.  I kept a strong happy face while she waved at me from her little red wagon.  Once the nurse pulled her around the corner, the tears came.  I'm sure it had a lot more to do with post-traumatic stress than this actual surgery.  It didn't help that Daddy couldn't be with us because he was at home taking care of Cade's bronchiolitis.  

After about an hour, they brought her back to me.  We got in a lot of great cuddling.  Look at that sweet face.  She woke up after about an hour, and we were sent on our way.  She recovered very quickly.  She has had drainage for the past few days, but otherwise, she is doing great.

Because my kids have made a secret agreement to cause Mommy and Daddy the most possible stress they can all at one time, we also found ourselves at the orthopedist just a couple of days after Camdyn's surgery.  Brenna twisted her ankle in tumbling class, and it stayed swollen for a couple of days.  When the swelling wasn't going down, we decided it was time to see if it was more than a minor injury.  The orthopedist thinks it is a small fracture along the growth plate, but he couldn't see it in an x-ray.  He decided the best thing to do was to cast it, so she gets to sport a hot pink leg cast just a few months after she sported her hot pink arm cast.  We are now boosting up the calcium intake around here!

And even with all of that going on, Cade is still the sickest of the three.  I took him back for a follow-up because he is still coughing a lot and sounds pretty bad.  He has developed an ear infection on top of the bronchiolitis.  We are still doing nebulizer treatments every 4 hours .We are hoping the antibiotic will knock out the infection part of this quickly and the virus part of this will pass quickly too.  He does sound much better overall.  I hope my next post will include that all 3 are well.

P.S.  My guest post for this month is up on

Brenna's Ariel Party

Brenna  had an awesome mermaid party for her 6th birthday.  She is in love with Ariel right now, so it was the obvious choice for the theme of the party.  I loved creating the games and craft activities to go along with the mermaid theme.  She was so excited to get to celebrate with all of her friends.  We had 19 kids!

When all the guests arrived, the first activity was dress-up.  I set up the mats in the dance studio to create a dressing room.  The girls felt like movie stars getting dressed in their dressing room.

Camdyn showing off her princess attire with a little diva twist.

 Here is the finished product with all these little princesses looking fabulous!

Then it was time for "Pin the Tail on the Dolphin".  Since Jim is more artistic than I, he cut out a dolphin shape and lots of little tails.  Brenna is such a sweet helper.  She is helping Camdyn here.

Our next activity was making treasure boxes since Ariel loved finding treasures.  I bought gift boxes, laid out stickers, glitter paint, and markers, and let the girls create their own treasure boxes.

Once we had treasure boxes, it was time to fish for our treasures.  Again, I set up the mats to serve as the water, and Daddy supplied fishing poles.  The kids loved this game!  When they "caught" their treasures, they put them in their treasure boxes.

I loved how the starfish hair clips turned out.  We made one for each girl.  I was able to buy the starfish at a craft store.

We then had a little island fun with a game of limbo.  It was fun to watch all of them try so hard to clear the limbo stick.  Camdyn won, but I think she had a little unfair advantage.  Hey, you've got to use that prematurity in your favor when you can, right?  Being tiny works really well for limbo.

Brenna's Aunt BB made this super cute and super yummy Ariel cake.  I'm trying to soak up all of these princess-themed parties while I can.  I know it won't be long before she wants to go just hang out at the mall with her friends.  Tear!  My baby is growing up too fast.

Look how cool the cake was from the inside.  Aunt BB made it look like a beautiful ocean!

It was a wonderful party.  It usually doesn't take long for Brenna to start planning her next year's birthday.  For now, I'm on to planning the twins' birthday party.  Can they really be turning 3?