generosity times two

You may remember when I posted about a wonderful fundraiser my cousin, Gabriela, was hosting for the Cohen Children's Hospital back in December.  Well, in an effort to support our MOD walk this year, she is having yet another fundraiser.  All of the commission she makes on her sales through this link will be directly donated to our team.  Just another example of how our two miracle babies bring out the generosity of those around us.

If you have already jumped on the Scentsy bandwagon, won't you replenish your Scentsy bar supply through this link?  Or, ya know, Mother's Day is coming up and these make great gifts.

*Gabriela is also an Origami Owl Sales Rep.  Not sure what O2 is?  Check it out here.  I love, love, love the locket I designed for myself.  My preemie mommy necklace.

Thanks, Gabs.  For all the good that you do. <3




Today, you boys are 19 months old.  Over a year and a half ago was when I first met you.  You were so small then.  Fragile.  Your life and what you would become were uncertain.  You had to fight.  For every breath, every nap, every cuddle.  Nothing came easy to you, and it still doesn't.  But that's ok.  Sometimes life is a challenge.  It may seem unfair, but this often complicated aspect of your lives is what will shape you.  What has shaped you.  When I think of you boys, one word comes to mind.  Hero.  You are my heros.  And this is something that is reinforced daily when I see you making progress.  Progress that at times seemed unreachable. 

Aiden - today you are walking.  Crawling is still your preferred mode of trasportation.  But you can walk.  You've taken up to 30 steps at a time, and you're so proud when you do it.  You know that you've done something big.  Your speech has exploded since you had your cleft repair in February, and you try to repeat everything you hear.  It doesn't always come out properly, but soon it will.  You say "Hi!" when we walk in the room, and wave bye-bye when we leave.  You sign more, milk, eat, sleep & all done.  You love, love, love to eat and drink out of your sippy cups.  You give hugs and high-fives.  You like to wrestle with your papa.  You snuggle your baby when it's time to go to sleep.  And you can sleep for hours on end.  You are the joy that drives me to move forward each and every day.  I love you to the moon & back.

Ryan - you are such a wise ass.  Haha.  I'm sorry, but that's the first thing that comes to mind.  You are always smirking and have this look in your eyes that tells us you have a secret.  Once you start talking, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be the jokester in the house.  You have great hair.  A contagious belly laugh.  A really loud cry.  And you're so super snuggly.  The day after your brother walked for the first time, you stood.  You stood on your own two feet.  A moment that, for me, solidified your future.  A moment that I didn't expect to happen for months and months down the road.  You sure do know how to surprise us.  You love pretzels, graham crackers, muffins, waffles, bagles...basically anything that is a carbohydrate.  You still keep us up at night, but maybe it's because you crave one-on-one time with us.  You are a fast learner.  You say mama, dada, ball, green, baby, and apple.  When asked, "who's the baby?", you gesture toward yourself and say "me".  You are the light of my life.  The apple of my eye.  All those awesome cliches.  Yea, that's you. 



Ever since A&R were born, I've seen so much good around us.  Our family and friends, and even aquaintances and strangers, have done nothing but surround us with love, support and generosity. 

Today, I want to bring your attention to two people who have recently shown us their generosity.  Our dear friends, Joe & Brendan, owners of WeBleedBlue.com will be donating our team shirts for our MOD walk this year.  When they offerred to do this, I was seriously floored, humbled, touched. 

These are two people who took their passion and a kickass idea, and turned it into something big.  Their merchandise is like no other and their mission revolves around the fans. 

Do yourself a favor and pin their shop, like them on facebook, and follow them on instagram & twitter.

I was going to share the final proof of our shirts becuase I'm so frieken excited about them, but I decided to wait until I have them in hand.  I know you love the suspense. 

Edited to add:  While you're all up in there perusing through all their social media, go ahead and purchase some merchandise too.  Please & thank you. 



Hi friends.  It seems I've let two weeks go by without posting.  Never fear, I'm still here.  Two weeks is such a small amount of time in the real world, but up in here it can seem like an eternity.  I know, I know...I owe you guys like a million updates.  Forgive me, it's just that time has been slipping away from me. 

Things have been a little different in the hydrobaby household as of late.  I recently tweaked my work schedule a bit so that I have Fridays off.  This translates to a longer work day Monday through Thursday, but it's definitely worth it.  My main reason for wanting Fridays off was to quit having to take time off for the many specialist appointments that the boys have each month.  And as a result, I get some Friday freebies and some much needed family time with the hubs.  ::winning::

However, I must say that Fridays leave me pooped.  Staying home with twin toddlers is not for the faint at heart.  I've only been doing it one day a week for about a month or so and by bedtime I am done.  DONE.  If you take into account the fact that I'm not actaully alone with them until 1:30 when Seamus leaves for work, well you can see that I'm a total wimp.  But, I love these boys and it is super fun to spend some extra time with them.  My heart feels full.   

It's been almost 3 weeks since Seamus injured his shoulder.  He saw an orthopedic surgeon last week and if you prayed, your prayers worked because he managed to avoid surgery.  For now.  He was instructed to rest his shoulder (translate: not to use it at all) for a month.  Once he goes back to the doctor we will find out if he is healing properly on his own or if he will, in fact, need surgery.  Turns out he has a fractured shoulder after all and a torn rotator cuff.  Please keep Seamus in your thoughts.  He certainly has been a trooper through this whole ordeal and he could use some positive vibes. 

Other than that 3/4 of our household is sick and if you count Seamus' shoulder...well we are all technically out of commission.  I was just thinking the other day how nice it is to be out of flu season and to have two healthy kids.  Well not a day later Ryan started with a runny nose.  Soon followed by coughing and a fever.  Needless to say any headway we were making with sleep (which we did actually make a lot of progress, watch out for an upcoming post on the exiciting world of Ryan's sleep) has been shot to shit.  Poor kid has a faucet nose and it's keeping him up all.night.long.  Aiden seems to have the same cold, but he started with two bouts of vomiting on Sunday, which automatically got our gears turning about whether or not this is an indication of shunt failure. 

Side note:  Our lives are fairly normal.  Most of the time.  But whenever sickness hits, you question yourself as a parent.  Is this ER worthy?  Is it his shunt or just a plain old virus, or something he ate?  Then you bring in Dr. Google who only confirms that ANY change in behavior can indicate shunt failure.  This is enough to make you go bat shit crazy.  We're fairly certain his shunt is fine, but for a minute there we were in panic mode. 

So that's where we're at right now.  We have the MOD walk coming up on Sunday, and I'm so, so excited.  We have a team of 40 walkers this year.  40!  My heart weeps tears of joy when I think of the support our boys have had over the last two years.  And although we feel this support daily through our family & friends, it's nice to have a day to celebrate that.  We've raised over $3,500 so far, and I hope that by Sunday we reach $4k!  I also hope we all get past this sickness (myself included, I woke up with what appears to be Ryan's cold) so that we can enjoy the day. 

I'll be posting a lot more this week, including some updates about Aiden walking, Ryan's development & private therapy, and some other fun stuff we've been doing lately.  But before I go, I leave you with this: 

My boys on Easter Sunday.

My boys at the park.



Hi friends.  Happy Wednesday.  It is Wednesday, isn't it?  Sorry, my brain is in a fog from lack of sleep.  Yes, I'm still singing that tune.  Before I elaborate, let me give you a glimpse into my world:  I currently have an almost walker, a barely sleeper and an injured spouse.  Also, let me apologize for neglecting you.  I know that there are at least two people out there who anxiously await our updates and I'm sorry for not posting in the last two weeks.  Kidding...there are three.  Maybe :)

Moving on to why I am not sleeping.  No, it's not my insomnia.  Lord knows I do not have insomnia.  Just ask my doting husband who loves the fact that I can fall asleep at the drop of a dime.  Especially when he struggles to fall asleep many a night.  You may remember when I posted about Ryan's sleep troubles.  Well, things are better.  Not perfect, but better than they've been.  The most important thing I want to mention is that every few days Ryan grants us an entire night of sleep.  For him this usually means 8ish pm to around 5 or 5:30am.  I can deal with that.  Some other nights he only wakes once or twice, and is quickly rocked back to sleep.  

What the what?!  You rock your 18 month old to sleep?!  (That's supposed to be you, by the way).

Yes, yes I do.  I cannot imagine letting my child cry it out.  Not yet anyway.  And not because I'm a wimp.  We do it with Aiden.  But Aiden is different and we know that after 1-5 minutes (15 on the worst days) Aiden will just put himself to sleep.  But Ryan...well Ryan has this thing where he throws up if he gets too upset and that is the main reason we won't let him cry it out.  That, and my fear that his sleep issues are directly related to his neurological disorders and so I don't want to make him suffer for something that is not purely behavioral.  I'm sure you understand.  If he were able to move and maneuver his little body into the most comfy position for him, we may consider sleep training.  But at this point I think it's unfair.  Many times he wakes and cries out (as if in pain) only to calm right down once we turn him on his side or his back.  He just needs to be comfy.  

So like I said, things have been better.  We've continued Ryan's bedtime massages and swaddling him for the night.  And we purchased a fluffy mattress topper to make his bed a little more Ryan friendly.  I don't know if it's one or all of these things that have made a difference, but I'm glad to say that our household isn't sleep deprived every day now.  It's more like 2 out of 3 days.  I'll take it.  Hopefully as he gets older it will get better.  And seriously, when I rock this baby to sleep (sometimes, lately for 40 or more minutes) I can't help but melt when I look down to see this in my arms:

Sleep, sweet baby, sleep.  You have to grow big and strong. 

Moving on to Aiden.  Wow, this kid is ready to take off.  I know I've been saying that he's thisclose to walking forever.  But this time it's for real.  The last few days he's been standing up independently from a seated position without having to hold on to anything for support.  He will stand in the middle of the room for up to a minute, contemplating taking that first step.  And when he does, he quickly smirks and squats back down.  He just needs to gain a little confidence to know that he can do it.  We know he can.  He just needs to figure it out himself.  We're in no rush, but it's an exciting milestone that we are anticipating with great joy.  A milestone that a year and a half ago we weren't sure we would ever see.   A great achievement.  A step (pun intended) that will open doors he never imagined in his little toddler mind.  Boy are we in trouble.  Baby boy is a handful as it is.  A walking handful is something I'm not sure we're prepared to deal with.  But deal with it we will.  And with open, loving arms at that.  

Aiden's new favorite thing is wearing sunglasses.  He loves it even more when you call him a cool dude while he wears them.  Be still my heart.  Oh and the tongue?  That's new too.  Ever since he had his palate repaired.  It's like he doesn't have a place to put his tongue.  haha.

 Before I say goodbye for the day, I wanted to ask everyone for your prayers.  Not for my babies, no.  For my husband.  My dear husband injured himself this weekend and has found himself with a torn rotator cuff and a fractured shoulder.  He's in a lot of pain but he deals with pain like a real man so he's not complaining.  haha.  And he sees an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow to discuss treatment.  Please pray that he can avoid surgery.  Seamus is A&R's primary caregiver during the day, and you can imagine how having only one functioning arm can put a cramp in his style.  In his words, "Two mouths (to feed), two asses (to wipe) and one arm.  Great."  Sorry babe, I had to steal that.  It made my day and I truly laughed out loud.  Maybe it will make someone else's day too.  

Family photo from this weekend.  Although 1/2 of our family refused to look at the camera. 

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