Thursday, April 18, 2013

Ladies' Man

 From day one, Cade had all his sweet nurses wrapped around his teensy, tiny finger.  Lindsay particularly loved Cade, and we loved her!  Every time she was working, she took care of Cade.  I took the kids to visit the NICU to show the doctors and nurses our big 3 year olds now.  (post on our visit coming soon)  The nurses asked Cade if they could take a picture with him, and he ran right over to them with his flirty little grin.  Lindsay is on the left.  They all told me what trouble he was going to be with his love for the ladies.  He kept smiling at them all and giving hugs. 

I already knew I had a ladies' man on my hands, but I didn't know it was this bad.  We went to a basketball game where some of my students performed.  The cheerleaders came up to the stands to say hello to our group.  I asked Cade if he wanted to take a picture with the girls, and this is the face we got!  Hilarious!

And if that wasn't bad enough, wait until you hear the next part.  I took the kids with me to Target, and while I was shopping, I hear Cade say, "Look, Mommy, I got lotsa boobies for ya!" as he is holding a dozen bras.  Ha!  This boy - what am I going to do with him?  But he sure is a cutie!

Then my mom tells me about watching Price is Right with Cade.  Their conversation went something like this:

Nanny: Look Cade.  Do you see the red boat?
Cade: Ya, Nanny.
Nanny: Look at the motorcycle. What color is it?
Cade: Nanny, look at all the pretty ladies!

Geez!  Aren't 3 year old boys supposed to be more interested in boats and motorcycles than "pretty ladies"?

Mickey and Minnie 3rd Birthday Party

Camdyn and Cade celebrated their 3rd birthday with tons of friends at their Mickey and Minnie Mouse themed birthday party.  We had lots of little ones present, so it was a bit crazy but tons of fun!  

We started out by dancing with poms to "Hey Mickey!"  I made a playlist with a bunch of different Mickey Mouse songs for the party.

Then we searched for the Hidden Mickeys.  I printed little Mickey Mouse pictures and taped them to the mats, walls, barres, and floor of the dance studio.  The kids had a lot of fun looking for the Mickeys.  This was a nice, simple game for 3 year olds.

Here's a picture of our friends hunting for the Mickeys.

We then marched with instruments to "Mickey Mouse Club March," but it was a little too wild to get any pictures.  The kids loved playing all the different instruments.  Then we lined up for Pin the Nose on Mickey.  Luckily, my husband is artistic and could draw a Mickey head for us.

Camdyn sticking the nose on Mickey.  We didn't even blindfold them.  We thought it might be a little scary for them, so we just spun them around and let them dizzily walk to the Mickey to stick the nose on.  

All of our friends sitting at the table ready to eat some yummy cake that Aunt BB made.

Camdyn blowing out her candles on the cake.  There's one additional candle to grow on.  The other ear was Cade's side. 

Cade's turn to blow out his candles.  Cade's Mickey shirt says, "Here Comes Trouble" which I thought was absolutely perfect for him.

My mom made this fruit bowl to look like Mickey.  She asked if there was anything she could do for the party.  Instead of saying, "Sure bring some fruit," I said "Well, actually I saw this really cute fruit bowl on Pinterest.  Do you think you can make that?"  She might not offer to bring anything next time if I'm going to ask her to create Pinterest projects when she volunteers to bring something!

Our 1/2 Minnie and 1/2 Mickey table.

Jim and I spent hours making these Mickey and Minnie headbands for the kids.  They looked really cute, so I guess it was worth it.

Camdyn and Brenna had matching Minnie outfits.  I bought the tutus and then sewed on white felt dots.  They both got ears with big bows.  Don't they look so cute?

I always say I'm going to throw a simple party this year.  Then I start thinking of all these different things that would be cute, and before I know it, I've made it much more complicated than necessary.  Funny thing - On this here PREEMIE blog, the kids' birthday parties get the most hits.  Confession: I'm kind of already planning their parties for next year!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Beautifully Ordinary April 1st

April 1 - It's my least favorite day of the year.  The fact that it also happens to be April Fool's Day makes it worse.  It's the day I went into labor 17 weeks early.  It marks the beginning of when things went terribly wrong.  The day before all was right in the world.  Then, unexpectedly, all was wrong.  All in a day.  It's a lot to process.  

For all you moms out there reading this, imagine you are just past the middle of your pregnancy.  You've heard your baby's or babies' heartbeat.  You've seen their little limbs moving on the sonogram machine.  You've felt a few kicks.  You get the weekly e-mail telling you about their development that week.  It says, "Your baby weighs about a pound.  Her lungs are still not producing surfactant.  Her eyes are fused shut.  Nerve cells are in place and will begin to join together.  The pancreas begins developing."  In other words, your baby is not ready yet.  You haven't set up a nursery.  You may have thought of a few names you like but probably have not decided on any.  The baby isn't ready yet and neither are you.  After all, you have 4 more months to prepare.  They have 4 more months to grow and develop.  Or not.

The time between April 1 and April 5 every year is strange for me.  It's no longer hard on me, just strange.  Before April 1 of 2010, I was convinced I would carry my twins to at least 37 weeks since I carried Brenna to 41 weeks and had to be induced.  Between April 1 and April 5 of  2010, I was still convinced I would stay pregnant for several more weeks.  I would be like those other women I had heard about who managed to stay pregnant for months on hospital bed rest.  I would lay there, and they would continue to grow.  Or not.

Even after their birthday passes, I continue to think back on their time in the NICU from April to August.  When May rolls around, I think about how I was finally able to hold them after a month of only touching them through the isolette opening.  As June approaches, I remember Brenna meeting her baby brother and sister for the first time at 3 months old.  In July, I recall how frustrated I started feeling that my babies had to live in the hospital.  I wanted them home with me.  August was the best of times and the worst of times (to steal from literature here).  In August, we were told Cade may need a tracheotomy for life.  By that point in our NICU stay, I couldn't handle any more bad news.  For three days straight, as soon as I got home from the NICU, I just laid in my bed and cried and cried and cried.  I finally pulled myself together realizing the only thing I could do to change things was pray.  My kids needed me to be present rather than crying in the bed.  Then came a day I will never forget - their homecoming day!  After 133 days in the NICU, my precious little miracles were able to come home.  It was a joyous day!

I've linked my posts for this day for the past two years below, mostly for any new parents of preemies out there.  I always hated when people would tell me, "Things will get easier" when they had no idea.  I know they were only trying to be nice, but it really bothered me.  How did they know?  Honestly, it has taken 3 years for things to get easier.  The first year was filled with specialist appointments, medical tests, feeding struggles, and therapy.  The second year was still full of therapy appointments and insurance fights.  As we approach year three, life is so much easier for us now. 

April 1, 2011

April 1, 2012

This April 1, I had two cute lunch dates.  I watched them eat their big kid sandwiches with such joy in my heart.  It's the little things.  It's a former tube-fed kid eating a sandwich.  It's a sweet little girl who was in speech therapy for 2 1/2 years telling me, "My eat my big kid samich all gone!"  How can I dislike a day that allows me to have this pretty awesome lunch date?  So April 1 of 2010 was awful, but April 1 of 2013 was a beautifully ordinary day.


We had a busy Easter weekend.  We went to 3 Easter celebrations in just 2 days.  It was so much fun to watch Camdyn and Cade hunt eggs this year because they really understood what to do.  Below are my kids with their cousins, Colin and Brylee, at our family reunion - our first stop on Saturday.

Brenna hunting eggs with her cute Easter bunny ears on.
I love this picture.  I told Camdyn to kiss Cade, and they actually kissed each other.  Usually when I ask, they say "noooo" and push each other away.  They can be sweet - sometimes!

Cade hunting eggs at Grannie Stahmer's house - our second stop on Saturday.

Brenna posing for a quick picture between hunting eggs.  I love this adorable outfit Aunt April got her.  She looks like such a big girl.

 Camdyn checking out her Easter loot.

"That's my egg!"  This is a more realistic picture than the kissing one above on how they get along.

Jim's family is huge!  My kids always have so much fun going to family get-togethers because there are tons of kids.  Grannie Stahmer has 14 great grandkids with 2 more on the way (not from us!)  The kids all went to the park about a block away while the Easter bunny came.  When they got back the ground was covered in eggs and candy. 

 My 3 little Easter cuties.

Cade was torn between hunting more eggs and checking out what was in the eggs he already had in his basket.

Jim's side of the family.

On  Sunday morning, we went to church.  This was the best shot we could get of all of us.  It's never easy to get a picture with everyone cooperating when you have two 2 year olds!

After church, we headed to my Granny's house for Easter.  On the way, we stopped to pick wildflowers to make Easter nests.  Camdyn is showing me the "putty fwowas" she picked.

I think this picture looks so pretty of Brenna.  Her hot pink dress looks great with the pink buttercups.

Camdyn making her Easter nest at Granny's house.

All of the kids showing off their Easter nests.

On the way home, we had some really tired kids.  They were exhausted from all of the Easter festivities.  It was a great Easter!