wordless wednesday

We took Aiden to his friend's birthday party on Sunday.  He found this pink ball and didn't let go of it the entire time.  How appropriate that it matched his shirt.  My boy has style.
Momma & Ryan trying out our new carrier.  So comfy.  I think he likes it. 



It seems I'm having some trouble keeping up with A&R's monthdays.  I've been late the last few times...whoops!  It's crazy how time slips away from me these days.  But I guess three days late is better than never.

Dearest Aiden, 

My attempt at a 16 month photo shoot with you was a complete failure.  You were not feeling me on this day.  All was not lost however, because I did manage to capture your new trick in the last two frames - you've learned how to play peekaboo!  It is the cutest thing, especially when you do it unprompted.  

At 16 months you are a human hurricane.  You don't sit still...ever.  You love to touch anything that is dirty and/or unsafe.  You have a fire in you that is only quieted for a few small moments each day.  You love to play independently and explore all on your own.  You are going to walk any day now.  You fear nothing and have recently started to let go of whatever you're holding onto and stand independently for a few seconds at a time.  You have this fake laugh that you know grabs our attention.  You love to watch your family having a good time.  You clap your hands, say uh-oh and you have recently learned how to wave goodbye.  You've also said "hi" to us a few times.  You love your doggie, Penny, but unfortunately you have not yet learned how to show that love properly.  Your yanks at her fur are met with a loud yelp and we are working on teaching you how to be gentle.  

You have 6 teeth and one more on the way.  You love to eat anything we give you.  You prefer to hold your own bottle, except right before bed when you like to snuggle for a few minutes while watching your beloved giggle bellies.  You fall asleep on your own, as long as we bring you upstairs and give you a 60 second hug before we put you down.  

You are the light of our lives.  

My sweet, sweet Ryan,

You hate sleep.  For the last 2 months or so you have been dealing with so much.  You have 8 teeth, 4 of which have been giving you grief for quite a while.  Recently, a cold had been plaguing you.  You fight sleep to no end, and when you finally do go down it is only a matter of time before you wake up to hang out for 2 hours.  Only you don't realize that 4am isn't appropriate hang out time :)  It's ok.  Momma and papa are tired, but we know, you're working on big things.  

Your appetite is growing by the day.  Currently you enjoy shoveling fistfuls of food into your mouth, only to gag yourself, throw up and then be ready to eat in a few minutes.  We are practicing self control.  

You watch your busy brother a lot and it is apparent that you would love to crawl around and get into trouble as well.  Don't worry, you'll get there soon.  And when you do, brother will be there to show you the ropes.  

You shake your head no and smile as you do it.  You are slowly getting the hang of clapping your hands and even waving goodbye.  You have entire conversations with us and anyone who will listen.  You like to smirk at us and it always looks as though you're hiding something.  Like you know more than us.  I'm curious to learn your secrets as you grow older.

You are such a sweet boy and you, too, are the light of our lives


five [moments] for friday

This morning we...

said hello to our brother
played for a little while
waited patiently for breakfast
hesitated for a moment
decided to eat
and tried to steal mommy's camera

Ok, that was six moments. 

Happy Friday all!


thankful thursday

We all have things going on in our lives.  Things that sometimes make us pose the question, "Why me?".  We are sad, lonely, angry, frustrated, tired, stressed, anxious.  You name it.  It's so easy to get blindsided by all these emotions that we end up going through the motions of our daily lives.  And what happens?  Before you know it, it's a new season.  Time flew by.  You missed out on the last few days, weeks, months.  Time to rotate your winter clothes for spring clothes.  Time to shut off the heat and open the windows.  Time for your kid to graduate from high school, or in my case, you turn around and your kid isn't an infant anymore.  It's heart breaking when you actually sit and think about this:  the fact that the time that has passed will forever stay there, in the past.  For this reason it's important to be thankful.  Even if you have to designate a specific day of the week to consciously think about why your life is good.  Why you are happy.  Why it's worth it to seize the day.  

Thankful Thursday is something I learned from a group of fellow moms who have been a source of support for me in the last 16 months.  

Today I am thankful for heat.  
I am thankful for warm blankets and hot tea.
Thankful for the lives of my children.
For the fact that they are happy babies regardless of any struggles they may have.
And thankful for a husband who is there, who is my rock, who tells us it's ok.

What are you thankful for?


team Raiden

The time has come, yet again, to prepare for this year's March for Babies.  Last year we walked on a gorgeous April day with our nearest and dearest family and friends.  We raised over $3,000, three times our goal!  It was a glorious time spent with our gorgeous babies and we ended the day feeling that we, in some way, did our part to fight against prematurity.  

This year we hope to raise that and maybe more.  And we hope you all can join us once again.  I'm debating on tweaking our name a bit.  I'd really love to incorporate our blog's name into it, but I haven't decided on anything yet.  Click the button on the right to join our team or if you'd like to make a donation in honor A&R.

Just a quick note:  Last year we walked out of Manhattan but this year we will be walking out of Eisenhower Park in East Meadow.  The walk will be held on April 28, 2013 at 9am. 

And as always, thank you for your love and support.  


january twentieth

One year ago today yesterday, Ryan was discharged from the NICU.  After almost 4 months in the hospital, Ryan would be welcomed into not his first home, but his forever home.  I remember the day like it was, in fact, yesterday.  Butterflies in my stomach would be an understatement.  We had the house cleaned, the nursery ready, diapers and formula on standby.  And we drove 20 minutes to the hospital to pick up our baby boy.  

It was so surreal and a little bittersweet.  If you recall, Ryan would be leaving his big brother behind.  I think that was the toughest part for us.  Having them together in the hospital made us feel like they were never alone.  But leaving Aiden behind brought on feelings of sadness and emptiness that would fill our hearts for the next two weeks, even though one of our boys was home.  

We arrived at the hospital and were greeted with huge grins by all the staff.  At this point our kids were the oldest in the unit and everyone grew to love them as their own.  We had to feed Ryan one last time before we were allowed to leave and his doctor came by for one last check up.  We signed what felt like a million documents, got a few scripts for vitamins and instructions on a half dozen or so follow up visits to various doctors.  We dressed our baby boy in his going home outfit, and then it happened - they unhooked him from all his monitors.  Weirdest.feeling.ever.  Up until that point we relied on these monitors to tell us that Ryan was breathing, his levels were fine, no need to panic.  But now that was over and it was up to us to watch out for any signs of distress - dusty color in his face being the primary marker for low oxygen levels.  Holy shitballs.  We are not medical professionals.  And how am I going to know if my son is breathing?!  Haha.  I know this sounds ridiculous but I guess by my reaction you could tell what state of mind I was in.  

Of course all was and is well.  Ryan came home.  Did well on the car ride.  Took his feedings.  Never stopped breathing ever since.  Made us prouder and prouder each day.  

My big boy.  I can't believe how much you've grown.

Back then you were just under 8 pounds.  Today you are just over 18.
Back then you were so unaware of your surroundings.  Today you are a quiet observer.
Back then your only voice was a newborn cry.  Today you say mama, dada, baba, nana, ok, yea, boobooboo...the list is endless. 
Back then you were a formula eating, burp me every two minutes, I'll spit up on you anyway baby.  Today we are transitioning to cow's milk, you eat three real meals a day, and you throw up on us way less. :)
Back then you had a toothless grin.  Today you have 8 teeth.

Back then we were just getting to know you.  Today we know you through and through.



five for friday

1.  For the first time in about 5 weeks both of my children slept through the night!!!  Can I just say that is a dream come true?  I hope I didn't jinx us.

2.  It's way too cold out.  A couple weeks ago I was talking to a friend and I told her that I'm over the cold.  I'm done with winter.  I'm ready for the spring.  She quickly brought me back to reality and advised me that winter had only begun.  (I think the winter solstice had just passed).  Ugh.  

3.  Same friend is baking a bun in her oven.  You know what that means?  A special, new friend for A&R to play with.  The boys are so excited. 

4.    I often play on Pinterest.  If you want to follow me, just click the button all the way on the bottom right.  There are so many cool ideas out there.  Some of them work, some are a crock of shit.  However, this week I made my own coffee creamer based on this pin.  Seriously, it was the most delicious coffee creamer I have ever tasted.  And I lurve my coffee.  

5.  The boys want to say hi :)

Ryan models his new eye patch.  Aiden steals Ryan's glasses.  Aiden poses with his bottle.



cerebral palsy

"While cerebral palsy (pronounced seh-ree-brel pawl-zee) is a blanket term commonly referred to as “CP” and described by loss or impairment of motor function, cerebral palsy is actually caused by brain damage. The brain damage is caused by brain injury or abnormal development of the brain that occurs while a child’s brain is still developing — before birth, during birth, or immediately after birth.

Cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. It can also impact fine motor skills, gross motor skills and oral motor functioning."


Today is January 17th. 

Today is three days before the anniversary of Ryan's homecoming. 

Today, Ryan was diagnosed with CP.

I mentioned that Ryan had a big doctor appointment coming up.  Well this was it.  We took him to see Dr. Suhkov, a physiatrist.  Physiatrists are rehabilitation professionals who specialize in illnesses or injuries that affect how you move. 

At 15 months old (12 months adjusted), Ryan has never rolled over on his own.  He does not sit.*  He does not crawl.  He does not pull up to stand.

When I was put on hospital bedrest and was at risk for delivering the boys extremely early, we were told about the risks the boys would carry of having CP.  When the kids were born, we were reminded about CP.  When their brains bled, again CP.  When they were diagnosed with Hydrocephalus.  CP. 

The brain injuries that Ryan sustained as a result of his early birth (and nothing more) coupled with his struggles in meeting his milestones gave Seamus and I a pretty good indication that Ryan has CP.  However, no medical professional had ever confirmed our suspicions. 

In an effort to be proactive in our child's medical needs, we seeked out the advice and professional opinion of Dr. Suhkov.  After today's appointment, we found that these days doctors are not quick to label a child as having CP.  The main reason for this being that parents don't like the stigma that comes with such a label.  After all, labels mean nothing, right?  Having a document stating that our child has this condition will not change who he is, or what he does, or where he goes in life.


We pushed for the diagnosis.  Dr. Sukhov examined our child, gave us a gameplan, and was going to let us walk out of there without even mentioning CP.  But we pushed.  We pushed because giving Ryan a label gives us the tools we need in order to get him the Early Intervention services he deserves.  Having this diagnosis will help him get approved for the physical/occupationl/speech therapies he needs in order to meet these important milestones he has so far missed.

Though we have a preliminary diagnosis, this is just the beginning of our journey with CP.  Ryan will be evaluated by a team of therapists who work closely with Dr. Suhkov.  You see, CP comes in many forms.  These evaluations will give us a greater insight into the type of CP we are dealing with.

There's so much more to say, but it's hard for me to organize all of my thoughts at this point. 

I will say that we are not saddened by today's events.  Ryan is a smart, outgoing and sweet boy who just so happens to have some hurdles in his future.  We love him no less than we did 24 hours ago.  It is our job to make sure he works hard so that one day he will be able to run, jump and play with his peers.  And we will.  And he will. 

*I put an asterisk next to this fact because while Ryan "does not sit", he is working on it.  And working hard.  He can hold this position for around a minute now,  and is getting better every day.  

aiden's cleft

I know I'm weird.  I'm dedicating an entire blog post to my son's birth defect. 

Disclaimer:  This post is not for the squeemish.  If you consider yourself squeemish, click here instead.

I remember the day I first saw Aiden's cleft palate.  He was only a couple weeks old, probably less than 3 pounds.  He was intubated at the time and his mouth was so small that the breathing tube didn't allow for him to close it at all.  I caught a glimpse of the roof of his mouth and I saw a hole.   I thought to myself, "Hmm, that's weird.  Does he have a cleft palate?".  I quickly dismissed the notion, sure that if he did have a cleft, his doctors would've informed us.  I didn't even mention it to Seamus.

Fast forward 6 weeks or so, Aiden is still on a lot of oxygen support.  He is 9 weeks old and he hasn't ever been able to breathe on his own.  At all.  At this point there was a new neonatologist on his case.  Dr. Cho.  The first time we met her, she jumped right into Aiden's care and had a new "plan" to get him off oxygen.  She told us that she felt his cleft palate was allowing air to escape through the roof of his mouth, instead of going through his nose (he had prongs in his nose that were resposible for delivering the oxygen) and into his lungs.  She said she would tweak the machine a bit to benefit him more, and that he'd likely be weaned off oxygen in no time. 

Me & Seamus:  "Umm, what?"  "What cleft palate?"

Dumfounded, I tell you.

So yea.  No one told us about his cleft until he was 9 weeks old.  It likely slipped through the cracks because at 9 weeks in the NICU we were on doctor number 4, I think.  I bet each doctor thought the first one told us, and so on and so forth.  Honestly, at that point it didn't matter.  Didn't change things.

We were briefed on the surgeries that Aiden would need in the future.  The struggles he would likely face with speech and facial development.  Hearing loss.  All that good stuff.  To be quite honest, I knew nothing more about clefts than what I saw in magazines...you know those ads that ask you for donations so that a child in a third world country can have their cleft repaired?  Yea.  Naturally I was a bit in shock.  I never knew someone in real life with a cleft.  And I just figured that it wouldn't happen to us.  I had great prenatal care, took my vitamins & folic acid.  A birth defect?  My son?  No way! 

It was hard for me to look at for a while, I must admit.  The stigma that comes with birth defects in our society doesn't do anything to help a parent facing one cope.  I regret that I wasn't more educated about these things before and I'm ashamed of my initial feelings toward my son's cleft. 

I actually found a blog post written by a woman whose son had both a cleft lip and palate.  She wrote about her feelings after her son's initial surgery to repair his lip and she said she missed his wide smile.  My reaction to this was shock.  I thought, surely, she was glad to have his lip repaired.  Why would she miss his cleft?

Now I get it. 

Aiden's cleft is a part of who he is.  Who he's been from day one.  The reason his voice is raspy.  His cry is low.  And his laugh is gentle. 

I've looked in his mouth many times and seen the opening.  I often try to get him to laugh for various doctors so that they could get a look at it.  He even got a cube of cheese tuck in there once and my sister and I tried to figure out how to get it out without the risk of it coming out through his nose.  Yucky, I know.

Anyway, the reason for this post is that Aiden will have his cleft palate repaired in less than a month.  His voice and laugh are sure to change post-surgery.  I must remember to record him often from now until February 15th.  I never want to forget that little boy I first met way back when. 


doctors, doctors and more doctors

To say that this year has already been busy for us would be understatement.  At 16 days into the year, we've had 7 doctor appointments and it doesn't look like things will be slowing down any time soon.  While I hope this isn't an indication of what's to come this year, I am thankful to live in a time where my babies can get the help they need.

We started the year off with an appointment at the high risk clinic.  I've spoken about this before.  The boys see a developmental pediatrician that is affiliated with the hospital in which they spent their first 4 months of life.  The doctor asks us a series of questions about the boys health and development since our last visit and then she runs a series of tests to see for herself what they can "do".  It's a 2-3 hour appointment and very draining on both parents and babies.  Both boys scored at around a 10 month level for both fine motor skills and speech.  (To us, as parents who see our children every day, this is highly inaccurate.  Both boys were cranky because it was during their nap time and didn't want to "perform".  We see daily that Aiden is a little more advanced in fine motor than Ryan and vice versa for speech.  So we took this with a grain of salt).  They don't score for gross motor but we were told that Aiden is right on track.  He is pulling up to stand, cruising and walking with a walking toy.  Ryan, on the other hand, is significantly delayed and they recommended increased services for him.  We are in the process of requesting PT, OT, Speech/Feeding and a Home Teacher for 3x/week.  Hopefully Ryan will be approved and he can get back on track.  Another thing of importance:  I've mentioned his lack of use in his right arm.  Well they said his right arm is at the level of a 3 month old.  While that news sort of weighed heavy on me, it is something we live with every day and it is something we already knew.  I guess it's just hard to see on paper.  At the end of the day though, the boys are making progress.  And progress is all I ask for.

The same day we went to Aiden's hearing clinic to have his hearing aids adjusted (since his last test showed that his hearing improved) and Ryan's opthamologist.  We were instructed to patch his right eye for 2 hours a day until our next appointment in April.  The idea is to stregthen his weak eye, so we patch the "better" eye.  He's tolerating it well and we usually patch as soon as we wake up to get it out of the way.

Next up that day was a trip to their pediatrician for their monthly RSV shot.  We will be going every month until April.  Poor babies cry bloody murder.  What's worse is that it is two shots (one in each leg) so we can't pick them up immediately to soothe them.  Instead they cry their little eyes out all the while thinking, "Momma/Papa, why the hell aren't you hugging me yet?!"  And then they're hit with the second shot.  At this point there is no sound coming out of their mouths, but they're still crying.  Ugh, breaks my momma heart every time.  Poor little guys.

The next day I took Aiden to see a new ENT.  His current ENT is fabulous and we will continue to use him.  However, Aiden is having his cleft palate repaired in February.  During the procedure an ENT will be placing a new set of tubes in his ears because the left one has fallen out.  We're opting to have this done during his cleft palate repair in order avoid sedating him more than necessary.  Since our oral surgeon is out of NYU, that's where the surgery will take place, so we had to find an ENT to place the tubes who works out of NYU (our current one works out of LIJ).  Logistics, I tell you.  I should embark on a new career in HR.  Anyway, the appointment went smoothly.  The doctor was super cool.  Gave me him email address and instructed me to email him to confirm the surgery date.  Easy peasy.

Early this week we had our 15 month well baby visit.  Everything went swimmingly.  The boys are growing nicely according to their own curve, and even though they're still under the 3rd percentile for their actual age we aren't concerned because they fall between the 25th and 50th percentiles for their adjusted ages.  We got vaccines and the doctor got a bunch of dirty looks and crocodile tears in return.  Oh yea, and we got the okay to transition to whole cow's milk.  Halle-frieken-lujah.  That means that instead of spending roughly $17 a can on formula that lasts us a day and a half, we will be spending anywhere between $4-6 a half gallon on milk that will last us about a day or so?  Not quite sure yet. 


Today, we took Aiden back to the hearing clinic because we had a feeling his left hearing aid was set too high.  He kept messing with only his left aid, and so we thought he just needed an adjustment.  Needless to say the whole trip out east at 6pm on a weeknight was a waste.  They wouldn't adjust his hearing aid because they said it's already set really low and that he's probably just being a toddler that won't leave his hearing aids alone.  Hmm.  We go back in March for another hearing test and another hearing aid check. 

So that's what's been going on with us lately.  Tomorrow is another appointment, this time for Ryan.  It's a big one but I'll fill everyone in after.  So stay tuned.  And please send us any positive thoughts you can spare.  As always, thank you for reading and thank you for praying.  We are so blessed to have our boys and so lucky to have so much support. 

Sleep tight. 


sleep is overrated

Those are not my words.  Those are the words of my children.  Although they can't speak.  But if they could, that's what they'd say.

You might remember when I posted about A&R not sleeping well.  That was three weeks ago.  And while we did have a couple of days of relief, we still aren't back to normal sleeping habits. 

Let's just rewind to when I was pregnant with the boys.  If you have ever expected a child you know that the #1 thing you will hear from been there done that parents is, "Enjoy your sleep now!".  While Seamus and I rolled our eyes at this notion in the past, I think our experience in the last three weeks has turned us into those been there done that parents.  And it is hard guys!  For real.

Let me give you a glimpse into our most recent horrible night:

7pm:  Kids go down
Between 7pm and 12am:  Kids wake multiple times and need to be coaxed back to sleep only for a few minutes
1am:  Aiden wakes to eat.  His cries wake up Ryan.
2am:  Both kids are fed (but Aiden barely because he only took an ounce or so) and finally back asleep.
3am:   Aiden wakes to eat.  This time he eats an entire bottle.
3:20am:  Aiden is back to sleep.
4am:  Ryan wakes up hysterical.  Thankfully he doesn't wake Aiden but refuses to go back to sleep.  Refuses to eat.  Refuses to sit quietly while momma and papa sleep. 
4:30am:  After half an hour momma takes Ryan downstairs so he doesn't disturb the rest of the house.  He proceeds to whine.
5:30am:  Ryan finally agrees to eat a bottle and falls asleep.  Momma gets to go back to bed and sleeps until 7:30am.

A human was not meant to function on two hours of sleep!

So my analysis of their sleeping habits as of late brought me to the conclusion that they are going through a grow spurt, a sleep regression, and teething all at once.  Holy hell, when will this end?  As a matter of fact, Ryan went from having 2 teeth to having 6 teeth in a week and a half. 

They don't tell you about all this crap when you're pregnant.  They probably should, because it came as a big shock to me. 

In an effort to get our sleeping babies back (they used to sleep from 7pm-7am every night!) we did something a little different last night.  Instead of putting them down at 7, we pushed bedtime to 8 o'clock.  This way we were able to get one more bottle into them, hoping they wouldn't wake for a nighttime feed.  As a result, Aiden slept through the night!  Ryan did wake up and want to party from midnight to 2am, but I'll blame that on teething.  He didn't wake after that and he didn't need a bottle in the middle of the night.

We are on night two of this new bedtime.  And so far so good.  I put the kids down at 8 o'clock and no one has woken up yet.  Cross your fingers and your toes, and anything else you have to cross that we are on the path back to normalcy.  Momma needs her sleep.

**Disclaimer:   This post was written on Friday night.  I definitely spoke to soon.  Ryan was up from 12-3, thinking it was time to party.  When he finally went down, Aiden woke up for a bottle.  Ah, the story of my life.  **

And then last night was worse than ever.  Ryan only slept if he was being held from 9pm-4am.  Ugh, I'm too tired to even finish this post.  Off to make some more coffee.


15 and lately

The boys turned 15 months on Christmas Day so I'm a little late with their "monthday" post.  Please excuse my extreme tardiness...guess I'm a bad blogger.

Christmas Day - 15 months old

At 15 months our world has seriously been turned upside down.  The kids are so fun and active, but that also means that they require a lot of attention.  Even so, this phase of parenthood is so much more rewarding than the newborn itty-bitty phase.  While they sleep a whole lot less and require much more stimulation, nothing is better than being greeted with a "mama" or "dada" (though we're not totally sure if they know that we are mama & dada) or walking into the kitchen to find your boys holding hands in their high chairs.  Melt!  So yea, that's where we are right now.

Aiden is officially cruising and yesterday he used a walking toy for the first time.  It's so funny to see his little body upright, trying to walk.  His favorite thing to do is touch or play with anything that is dirty or unsafe:  Penny's doggie bowls, the diaper trash can, Daddy's shoes...you get the point.  We are currently in the process of Aiden-proofing our Living and Dining rooms.  This translates into:  We placed an order on Amazon for a bunch of baby proof items and we are awaiting their arrival.  In the meantime, there's a lot of, "Aiden, no!  Aiden, be careful!  Aiden, why do you have to touch everything that is dirty?"...and of course a lot of redirection.  

Aiden loves to clap and we're in the process of teaching him how to wave goodbye and blow kisses.  He's officially self-feeding his bottle, which makes life a whole lot easier.  All we need to do is plop him down on his boppy, give him his bottle and he is good to go.  Although at the end of a feeding he is usually covered in milk, because his favorite thing to do in between chugs of milk is to turn his bottle upside down. 

Ryan is still working on sitting unassisted, and while he isn't totally there, he can sit for a few minutes before he face plants :)  His language is really exploding and his favorite time of the day to talk is in the middle of the night.  Last night his monologue lasted from midnight to 2am.  His favorite words are mama, dada, nana, baba, aga, ok and yea.  

We are teaching him how to clap, though this proves a little hard just because of his lack of awareness of his right hand.  Though he gets the idea of clapping, he just needs full use of his hand to actually complete the gesture.  He is improving with this every day.  Yesterday Daddy reported that Ryan actually used his right hand to pick up a puzzle piece, rather than his left.  This is unheard of in this house.  

Both boys are getting better at self feeding.  We've even been giving them large pieces of food to chomp down on.  I was nervous about this at first, and of course we supervise at all times, but they are doing really well.  




Anyone see a trend here?  Ryan is usually examining the food while Aiden scarfs it down.  Needless to say, I have one picky eater.  Hey, you can't win them all. 

They're also interacting so much more.  Since Aiden is mobile and Ryan isn't, you can almost always find Aiden pulling up on whatever surface Ryan is sitting in:  his bumbo seat, his high chair, his rock and play.  It's the sweetest thing.  A couple weeks ago Ryan was whining during tummy time and Aiden came over and laid down next to him.  Loves his brother.  

On the flip side, though, he also loves to torment his brother.  Steal his toys, pull his hair, take off his glasses.  While I'm sure this isn't malicious behavior, just curiosity at this point, we do a lot of redirecting and using the word, "no".  Baby boy has to learn to be nice to his brother.  

We recently started bathing the boys together.  They really love it because this means that they get to play in the bath a bit longer.  We keep Ryan in the infant tub because he still can't sit up on his own, and we throw Aiden in the big tub in there with him.  This came at the suggestion of a fellow preemie mom and it really works great.  

 We also had our first haircuts on their one-year-adjusted birthday.  Yes, on January 6th, they were supposed to have been a year old.  This day was sort of a big deal for me, and while we didn't have a party (because that would probably qualify as me having officially lost it) we did make the day special.  We took the boys out for pizza (side note: it's awesome that they eat table food now because it makes outings so much more relaxed) and then we got haircuts.  The kids were so well behaved and only whined a few times, but no crying!  Then we ended the day at home with some ice cream cake...any excuse in our house to have ice cream cake is a good excuse.  

 Here are some more randoms of the on-goings in our house as of late:

The boys met Santa.

So handsome on Christmas Eve

Aiden must play the guitar at all times

Ryan's Conan hair before we chopped it

Learning how to color = FAIL :)



a very late wish and a reflection on a dozen magical months

As I sit here contemplating how to begin this post, I am acutely aware of my tardiness in wishing you all a holiday season filled with joy, love, laughter, friends, family & good food.  So I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that you had all that and more.  And as I think about what I'd love for this year to bring to my family, I'd like to wish you a fresh new start.  A year filled with health, happiness, warmth and magic.  May you take this opportunity to start new and fill it with all your wildest dreams.  May you grow and be the person you want to be.  And may you not resolve to do things, but to love and be loved.

For us, 2012 was a year filled with wonderful, small moments.  Moments that, when strung together, became a phenomenon called parenthood.  Yes, we became parents in 2011, but 2012 brought our children home to us.  And when we began caring for them under our own roof, on our own terms, was when we really got a taste of this whole mommy and daddy thing.  For me, anyway.  

Won't you join me as I reflect on a dozen or so small moments?

January - A&R were reunited in the hospital

January - Ryan came home from the NICU

February - Aiden's last day in the NICU
February - Reunited at home

March - ready for hockey

April - brothers hanging out

May - Mother's Day
June - Father's Day

July - A&R were baptized

August - Just chillin.

September - A&R turned ONE!

October - Halloween at home!

November - Thanksgiving at home!

December - Christmas morning at home!

Here's to many more small moments in 2013.  Moments filled with health, happiness and loveAnd most of all, progress. 

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