The Hands

The Hands
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

sleep study

Last week Gavin had a sleep study done at Scottish Rite. This is a test where with a lot of wires, electrodes and cables they determine how well you are holding your oxygen concentration levels while you sleep. We scheduled this study because months ago when he did it he was still on oxygen and they decided that he needed at the time during sleep. Of course we have been off oxygen all together for awhile now but the home health company wont pick up the tanks until he had the test again and it came back clear. The pulmonologist weaned him off his oxygen and we have been spot checking his levels and they have been great. so we all had no concern about the test. One of those things that where God is showing us we don't quite have all this figured out because much o our surprise, and the doctors, he failed his test. He dropped his 02 sats 7 times during the test as low as 81%. Not good. So they put him back on oxygen while he is sleeping. To me this feels like a huge step backwards. I know it doesn't seem like such a big deal but I was so excited about waling into his nursery and it looking like a baby's room, not a hospital room. about it looking "normal". I was so ready to get rid of everything. But here we are. It is not permanent and in the end I just rocked a miracle to sleep so I feel blessed, no matter what challenges we face. That being said, Gavin with oxygen now and Gavin a few months ago, totally different. He now has such a personality and opinion and he is strong. He hates it! He pulls it off repeatedly.  This is going to be a long few months!

Also happening in life right now Ethan and Aiden started to school. Aiden is in preschool (2yr old class). I can't believe how fast he is growing up. He is so proud. He walked bravely into his classroom and hasn't shed a tear. He comes home and races to hang his freshly made picture on the fridge still wet with paint or dripping glue. He is glowing with pride to be big just like Ethan. Of course Ethan is doing great and is adjusting very well to the new school and new teachers. He loves it and the teachers have already said he is ahead. Thank to his willingness to learn at home. He is being such a good big brother and encouraging Aiden. It truly is so heartwarming to watch and bittersweet to see them getting bigger. Aiden went to school both days in underwear and kept them dry.

This week has been one of those where each day has been undoubtedly touched by God. We have been praying earnestly about our fiances and family schedule. having 2 preemies is expensive and we just don't ever seem to be catching up let along getting ahead. I had applied for a few jobs unsure of just what I thought we needed to do. God opened a door with a company and I explored the opportunity. I was excited about it yet afraid of making the change. I was praying that God would really show me his will. And through one of my labor pts he exclaimed it loudly. My pt out of no where told me she thought I would make a great pediatric nurse and went on to tell me about an awesome company that came to her house to help take care of her son. It was the exact company I had just interviewed with. as soon as I walked out of her room they left a message on my cell offering me a job. I took it! I went to orientation and I have feel  in love with it. I am going to be caring for a preemie little boy who I feel is a perfect fit for me. I dropped down to 2 days a week in labor and delivery and picked up 2 days a week in home health. It will give me an extra day of pay and also allow me to work 9-5 on my home health days eliminating dragging the boys out of bed at 5:30 am and taking them to the firestation or work with me. I feel so good about the decision and affirmed by God. Also we have recently dwindled down our breastmilk supply and we have been stressing about the cost of formula. In the past week I have gotten 12 cans of powdered formula and 46 ready made bottles of formula for free. God is good and shows us he is always in control.

Stollen from Kelly Hampton, one of my favorite blogs:


"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: That we are here for the sake of others...for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” Albert Einstein

Monday, August 16, 2010

Aiden's NICU journey

It took me awhile to take Aiden's journal I made him while he was in the NICU and type it all up into a blog with pictures. Here is it. My little man, such a miracle. Going back and reading the whole journal 2 1/2 yrs later makes me remember just how lucky we are. He is so perfect and amazing!

http://aidenjosephhand.blogspot.com/

Stuck in the house...

This was one of those where between the budget and heat outside we were stuck in the house. Gavin woke up with a low grade fever so I didn't think he was up for a pool day but overall he seems fine, just a runny nose. So we spent the day coming up with activities to occupy our time. For some reason boredom leads to mischief, which leads to me going crazy..... So I try to keep their little minds occupied.

We started the day with Ethan's school work after breakfast. I started teaching him addition today and he got it on the first day. He completed 9 worksheets in 25 mins (which is 4 days according to the lesson plans) I guess this home school thing will not be as hard I think. Ethan has an amazing work ethic so he is my easy to teach child. Aiden on the other hand, might need mobile learning, that kid never sits still! Over the summer we accomplished teaching aiden his ABC's and counting to 10, which were our goals! Ethan is such an encouragement to him because he gets Aiden to repeat after him. Of course Ethan is way cooler than Mom and Dad. Then I went to take a shower during Gavin's morning nap and this is how they occupied themselves. I had set them up in my room watching Sid the Science Kid. Needless to say, the episode ended before I came out of the bathroom. They are too funny! They walked around in my shoes and played in the laundry hamper for an hour.


"Mom take a picture of my crazy face..... I am teaching Aiden." You learn all the important life skills from your big brother.


After they proceeded to empty a capri sun onto my newly cleaned floors I decided we needed another activity. Art time. Ethan taught Aiden how to use the scissors today. Which lead to numerous small bits of paper all under my kitchen table. But it allowed me to get in some physical therapy time with Gavin so I guess I can't complain.


Look mom!
Working on our sitting. Looks more like a lounge chair to me than physical effort, but hey who's judging : )
He was way more interested in eating every toy I gave him then being encouraged to sit up on his own. Something about the third child makes me totally not neurotic about him being behind. Maybe because he is my last and I enjoy his babyness, or maybe because somewhere along the way you learn that they will do it when they are ready and not a day sooner. Who cares if your friend's kid walked at 9 months, at 2 they are both walking and running no one knows the difference.



Tummy time last long enough to see him push up, exclaim how proud he is, snap a picture and watch him role right over to his back. Since he has master the role he could care less how long you want him to remain on his tummy, it's too much dang work and he likes his back. Anyways, who can watch TV from that angle, the back is way better. (He watches TV from across the room all the time. With his serious face and amazing attention span to the TV you would think he knew exactly what was occurring in the show.)

Of course the day ended with tae kwon do at 4. Ethan got his red stripe on his belt for learning his form so he proud to tie his belt and strut his stuff. His instructor gives them little pieces of tape on the end of the belt for each thing they learn. It encourages them to move forward in their learning while completing what they need to test for the next true belt color. Ethan is now ready to test and will in a few weeks. Then they lounged in the bath dyed pink by bath tub colors. It looks like a murder scene in our bathroom now from all the pink water splashed about. And no night with mommy is complete without popcorn in my bed. Which I will sleep on until I break down and change the sheets. Who and I kidding, Ben will change them : )

And at 7:30 everyone is tucked tightly in bed with prayers and water and stuffed animals. And because Ethan took this picture today, here is one of Luke and Charlie. He couldn't get Leah to pose with them.

It's a hard life being a dog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

zoo day

Since Ben was working a double Friday and Saturday I decided to take the boys to the zoo today. Of course my usual partner in crime came with with her crew. All the boys had fun. It was overcast and even drizzled a tad but it was a welcomed reprieve from the hot days we have been having. Mandy and I stood at the car deciding if we should bring our cameras in or not because of the rain. I decided I could put mine in my waterproof bag because I can't stand to go anywhere without it. She decided against bringing hers. Of course as soon as we walked in the park I whipped out the camera to get my first shot and realized I had not gotten the camera card out of my computer and therefor the camera was useless. These pics I took on my phone so they are not so great. Oh the little joys of life! Ha. Not having my camera is like missing a child. Okay, maybe that's a little exaggeration but I am glued to that camera. Best investment of my life!

Our course starts with the "Mingos". One of Aiden's favorites!
Here is Mr. Gavin hanging out in the stroller. He lasted the first hour in the stroller and then decided he wanted me to carry him where he could see while I pushed the double stroller. That was a task. Those are the reasons we need Daddy for these adventures!
Next came the meerkats. I do love watching those little guys! As I was taking these pics all I could think of was that Aiden was going to get his head stuck in the display, thankfully he did not.
Aiden and Caden checking out the turtles. They wanted so bad to reach down and pick him up!
Gavin checking out the lemurs, He was laughing out load at them!

The Gorilla was posing so perfect for a picture, it killed my not to have my zoom lens camera but the kids sure enjoyed watching him
Reptile house- Always Ethan's favorite, gives me chill bumps!
Of course we made a gift shop purchase. 2 matching snakes with sticky tongues. Mommy was happy they managed to pick a toy that was only $3.99! We had a great day. Ethan has been working diligently on his home school program on the computer and is making an ABC book with pics of animals so we will have to go back so we can get more pictures. Have to love a season pass!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ethan...

Ethan turning four made me go back and look at his birth pictures and flip through his scrapbook. I sat and looked and them, cried, laughed. It is unbelievable it has been four years, then again, I feel like I cannot remember life without kids. The day he was born was planned, an induction, but could not have been more full of surprising feelings. Everyone said I would love him more than anything, but words do not describe the feeling you feel when you see your child for the first time. It's like life starts at that moment. I saw the whole world differently and loved without boundaries or fears.
One little man that stole my heart forever. takes my breath away everyday.
And seeing the love of my life holding OUR son.....
Then bringing him home and loving him. Thank you Ethan for showing how to love unconditionally, how to see the world without fear and the faith of a child.
All the nights I watched you sleep.... You taught me that no matter what people say, there is nothing wrong with a baby loving to sleep in your arms, or on your chest.

You walked and talked and turned one before I realized how fast my baby was growing up.
And there is nothing like watching you explore the world with all its wonder. Take it in drop by drop like you might miss something spectacular.
You welcomed brotherhood with open arms, teaching us all just how big you were.

You are so full of wonder and never afraid to ask why. You teach me something everyday. I quickly learned that in parenthood, I was going to learn more than you were.
I cannot believe how fast the past four years have gone by. It is teaching me to live in the moment, enjoy today and love each day, not wishing it away for the next. It felt like you would always fit in my arms. You have outgrown them way too fast.
Before he went to bed tonight Ethan looked through these pictures and lots of his baby pictures and asked me how come it takes so long to get big like daddy. I told him it would be here before he knew it. He then replied, well just so you know I am not moving out. My wife and I are living here. <3 The love of a child. I hope he feels the same way in about 14 years.
Watching the boys just be brothers is one of the most amazing parts of my day. The unrelenting love they have for each other and the joy that only they can bring.
Aiden spent so much time reading and teaching Gavin ABC's and Gavin laughed and "talked" through it all. It is so amazing to see Aiden, my 2 lb little wonder, take on the role of big brother. It seams like only yesterday he would fit in the palm of my hand.

He now dresses himself, goes potty, has no passy, sleeps in bunks with his brother and starts preschool in less than 3 weeks. Where does the time go! I told him today we were going to Grammy's so to go get dressed. He came out like this exclaiming "all ready!" ?(He has on no underwear either)
While Ethan was at Tea Kwon Do Friday night Aiden helped me bathe Gavin, dry him off, give him his nigh time snuggles, dress him and put him to bed. He was so proud of himself!

On Saturday while Ben was at the firestation I took the boys up to see him. They love to go up there, it's a playground to them. Who can turn down free fun with daddy!

All my men together in one picture, takes my breath away.....
Sometimes I even let daddy hold the camera : )
In the locker being silly. Never cease to make us laugh!
Smiling up at daddy...
It was a fun day. The boys enjoyed it and watching them always reminds me how lucky I am.