Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cohen's Room Tour

I realized that I don't think I've ever put up pictures of Cohen's room! The only pictures I have of his room are the ones we took the day he came home. We tried to get as much done as we could early on since we figured the twins would be early, we just didn't know how early they would be. By the time I went into the hospital, we had the room painted and the cribs set up and that's it.

After Carter died, we just didn't really have the heart to go into what was once our twins' room but would now only be Cohen's room. Most of this room was put together by my wonderful mom and sister. Once they found out Cohen was coming home, they went over and tried to finish it up a little and it was such a nice surprise! Most of the furniture is mismatched because we inherited it from various places. Our one splurge was the bedding that we got from P0ttery Barn Kids. I wanted the room to be calm and peaceful and I really like the way his room looks. Sorry I don't have better pictures, but these will have to do. I still want to get some pictures printed and framed for his room, but haven't quite gotten to it yet.

{The rocking chair in the corner}

This is probably one of my favorite little spots in Cohen's room. That picture on the left is a picture of Jesus holding a baby and I absolutely love it. It was given to me by my friend who also had a preemie. I like it because it makes me think of both of my boys. Carter who is being held in the arms of Jesus, and also how much the Lord has carried Cohen through. The Mariner bear was Carter's, we went to Build a Bear while I was pregnant and made a Mariner bear and a Seahawks bear for the boys. The little box with the two babies on top was a gift at my baby shower and I love that too.

{Little shelf by the changing table}

{This is in a frame on the shelf}

This shelf is on the other side by his rocking chair. A piggy bank, Danny's first home run ball in little league, Ken Griffey Jr baseball card, the little boxing gloves that hung in the NICU with Cohen, and Cohen's dinosaur room sign. 

{Cohen's friends waiting for him to finally come home}

 {He's finally here!}

 {Changing table}

{He loves those stars above his table, he would always stare at them while we changed his diaper}

{My brother made us this sign for Cohen's room and I love it}

Friday, June 29, 2012

Fess Up Friday

* We have to weed our yard

* You know those giant forks that come with your silverware set? I have used that giant serving fork to eat my dinner on more than one occasion when all the regular forks were dirty.

* After continually telling Danny it was okay to speed on the road to my parents house because I had "never seen a police car on that road in 20-something years", he got pulled over by the state patrol. There goes that theory. But seriously, I've never seen a police car on that road in all my days. Border patrol...constantly. Police, no. He didn't get a ticket so there's really no proof that he saw one either.

* We call our kiddie gate "the shin splitter"

* We make up stories about our cat...for example:  
Danny: "What if we saw Russell out riding a bike?"
Jana: "That's ridiculous, where would Russell get a bike?"
Danny: "What do you think Russell is out doing right now?"
Jana: He's probably out playing hopscotch with his friends 

* I like watching documentaries 

* Cohen gets to have "naked baby time" at home. While on vacation we let him have some nakey time and he proceeded to not only pee on the floor but also poop. Twice.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Really Random

This post is incredibly random and none of these things have to do with each other, just some things I've been thinking about.

I have the book "Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?" book sitting on my bookshelf and every time I see it I just want to throw it out the window. I'm not really sure why. It just irritates me.

For some reason I just haven't been able to let go of not being able to thank all of the people who have done so much for us over the last year. I just feel like it's unfinished business even thought there's no way I could ever track everyone down and thank them but it's still driving me nuts.

Cohen has some pretty good scars on his back from his skin infection. I know that a lot of preemie moms are proud of their baby's scars, but Cohen's make me a little bit sad. Around the age of 4 or 5, parts of my skin started to lose their color. Eventually, I was diagnosed with vitiligo. It's an autoimmune skin disease where your body attacks the pigment (what makes your skin color) cells in your body. I had large white patches of skin on my legs, elbows, and belly. People would constantly stare at my legs and ask what happened, if I'd been burned, or if I'd been painting (it really did look like I had just knelt in white paint). Anyway, I got made fun of and stared at a lot and got called things like "cow girl" and other mean things. I survived and I'm fine, but I just don't like the thought of Cohen getting made fun of for something he had no control over and could have cost him his life.

Lastly, I don't know when my tiny baby turned into a not so little baby. Some days I look at him and he just looks so grown up and I can't believe it. We are just smitten with this little boy (if you haven't noticed) and sometimes I just can't believe how much I really love him.

Ok, one more thing. Our microwave is broken and I think it's pretty safe to say that we have no clue how to fix it (or even what's wrong). Maybe we could just do without? The shelf space would be kind of nice...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Boy's Life

We have found the sun right in our own backyard. So, we're outside of course! Here's a few pictures of Cohen to hold you over...

Cohen is definitely all boy. He likes eating dirt, getting into his little swimming pool fully clothed, playing with the remote controls, and basically loves anything OUTSIDE.

 {Sticks for lunch at the beach}

{"Helping" weed the garden}

{Going for a swim fully clothed}

{The remote}

{Proper table manners}

 {This boy climbs on everything}

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We're back! We came home a day earlier than anticipated. We had gone looking for sun and unfortunately, there wasn't much to be found. It was so nice to get out and have a little break, but some of the natives were getting restless cooped up in a little room so we decided to head home. Cohen is a trooper when it comes to traveling. We are happy to be home and in desperate need of a bath and clean laundry. Pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cohen's 1 Year Video

Happy first day of summer!! I have always loved summer, but I just realized that I haven't had a summer "off" in quite some time. I've been working in the summers since I was younger, probably the majority of summers from high school on. Now that I'm only working part time (and I get to choose my own schedule), it's like having a summer off. And so far, it's been wonderful. We haven't had that many nice days yet, but I'm hoping they are coming sometime. It's so nice to be able to look out the window, see the sun, find someone for an adventure and GO! I don't have to sit inside, working in a place with no windows and wishing I was outside. Having a little person to share it with makes it even better.

Anyway, we are taking a brief hiatus to find some more sunshine. I will leave you with this video for Cohen's first birthday, in case you've been needing an episode of Cohen.

As I was working on this video, I was overwhelmed thinking about the number of people that care about us and our boys. We have felt so loved and supported, so thank you, thank you, thank you for being a part of our lives!( p.s. You can click that little square in the bottom right corner of the video to make it bigger)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Party On

Thank you to everyone who came to Cohen's birthday party (and those of you who wanted to but couldn't, there will be another party next year I'm sure!) I have to be honest and say that I strongly dislike planning parties and such, it was a lot of fun and Cohen deserved it, but I'm glad I don't have to do it again anytime soon!

Cohen got a few toys, a few clothes, lots of stuff that he asked for to put in NICU Care Packages and LOTS of fabric for diapers! We appreciate your support for our ongoing projects.

We had a fun little party and the sun even came out for a bit! I did not take one single picture at the party, these are all from Karen!

{For NICU Care Packages}

 {Lots of fabric for diapers}

 {Auntie Cubby & Dave}

{Look who made an appearance at the party!}

 {Cohen & Isaiah}

{Auntie Eva & Uncle Bruce}

 {Cohen & Danielle}

 {Time for cupcakes!}

 {Fish balloon for Carter}

 {Getting ready to let balloons go}

{Happy Birthday, Carter!}

Monday, June 18, 2012


I don't know if it's the first birthday or what but for some reason I just have little things from Cohen's NICU stay stuck in my head. Whenever I turn down the volume on my phone, I get this little anxious feeling. When Cohen was in the NICU, I had the hardest time leaving him at night. It just isn't natural for a mom to leave her baby with someone else, especially at bedtime. Every night when I went to bed I would turn my phone volume up all the way and set it right next to my head. I would frequently wake up to check my phone and make sure I didn't miss anything (as if I could with the volume up loud enough to be heard in another country). Sometimes I would even get these really horrible feelings and call the NICU in the middle of the night to make sure he was okay. I remember so many nights of waiting to get "the call" telling us to hurry and come in because Cohen wasn't going to make it. I remember the first night I stayed at the home alone, I was so nervous that Cohen was going to need me and I wouldn't be able to get to the hospital because I didn't have a car.

Honestly, I don't know how we are still (somewhat) sane. I have been going through a lot of Cohen's NICU pictures. They have always just been normal to me but now, they kind of hurt my heart a little bit. Cohen, and so many other preemies, went through more than any little baby should ever have to go through. I have such a strong, brave baby and we are so glad to have him home with us. I am so thankful that there is absolutely no way that a human body and mind can process the magnitude of it all. I am thankful for "go mode" that keeps you on your feet in the face of incredible trials. I am thankful for the hundreds of prayers that carried us through it all.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, we love you! You have been so strong, patient, and forgiving over the last year. I am so glad Cohen has such an amazing dad to be an example for him as he grows up. I hope someday he is just like his daddy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Fess Up Friday

* Before Cohen left the NICU we had to take a carseat class. They told us to talk to our baby in really happy voices and to smile while putting them in the carseat and then they would like it. I have been practicing this while sweeping the floor in hopes that someday Cohen will really like sweeping the floor

* I usually take Cohen out for a walk at some point in the day and I usually change out of my pajamas into my "nice" sweatpants so that I'm presentable

* There are a lot of days I can't remember when the last time I gave Cohen a bath was

* Cohen got another new tooth (that makes FIVE!) and I didn't even know about it until I saw it all the way through yesterday when I came home from work. I didn't think I'd been gone that long!

* I claim no responsibility for the things I do in my asleep or half asleep state, including kicking Danny to get him to go get Cohen on a night he had to work in the morning.

* I hate touching lunch meat and I am scared of sea creatures

* I still go in and snuggle Cohen at night while he is sleeping at the risk of waking him up. I can't help myself, he is growing up WAY too fast.
* I think I enjoy Cohen's giant bear as much as he does. It makes an excellent floor pillow.

* Cohen is a little spoiled well loved

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Where We've Been

This week has been super busy. I'm not even sure where it went actually! I have worked about 18 hours this week, which is a lot for me, considering I usually only work about 6. I'm tired and I have no idea how I used to work full time!

We've also been here at Life with Jack this week, Jack is a 23 week miracle who just turned three! We did a little guest post on Jack's blog.

And here at Project Sweet Peas - Cohen was chosen as their Sweet Pea of the month. Project Sweet Peas donates care packages to NICUs and also bereavement packages. We have donated some of our Teeny Tears diapers to one of the PSP divisions.

Whew, we're tired. I came home from work today and saw that Cohen has another new tooth (his 5th)! Was I at work that long!?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Few More...

A few more pictures of a cute little boy. I suppose you won't mind, no one has complained yet... :) 


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Summer 2012 - The Beach

We have crossed another one off our Summer list. We woke up to sunshine and saw that the rest of the week we were most likely getting rain so we knew we had to take advantage. Around here, you don't pass up going out in the sunshine because you don't know when you will see it again!

I texted Karen in the morning and she was game to go out to Birch Bay with us. We packed up our cars and headed out. The kids had a great time and played and played. Cohen spent some time on the beach blanket but was more interested in crawling around in the sand and water. I set him down in the wet sand and he immediately crawled over to one of the little tide pools and just tromped right through it. He thought it was great. Our beaches aren't exactly the white sandy beaches of Hawaii or California. I was following Cohen through the saltwater picking seaweed out of his hands the whole time and trying to keep him from drinking the water. But, he had a fun time and I hope to take him back again soon.(Check out Cohen's "Blue Steel" look in the 2nd picture)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Birth DAY

Thank you so much to all of you who had us in your thoughts and prayers for the boys' birthday. While there were bittersweet moments, we were able to enjoy the day. As has proved true in the past, the anticipation of the milestones is generally worse than the actual day.

 {Pre-birthday scone}

{MMM...I think he shares my love of scones}

The birthday boy was so excited that he got up at 5:30 am. Thankfully, he took a bottle and then went back to bed. When he got up for real the second time, Gramma was knocking on the door with a birthday present! Cohen got some jammies, a swimsuit, and some new jeans. He is all ready to go on vacation with us at the end of the month.

 After breakfast, we got dressed in Cohen's spiffy "Birthday Boy" shirt (thanks Jacob and Angie!) and headed to OT. We took his OT some pictures of when he was born so she could see how truly far he has come. He got lots of hugs and "you're a MIRACLE"'s which Cohen thoroughly enjoyed. He likes to impress people with the picture of his footprints next to a quarter.

{Aw mom, can't I just take a nap instead?}

From there, we drove to Mt Vernon and met up with our buddies Ciera and Eli to go to Jungle Playland. It's kind of like a giant McDonalds play place but they also have a little kids section. Everything was padded so it was perfect! Cohen had fun crawling around and going down the slide. He didn't appreciate the ball pit very much.

We made a quick trip to Wal-Mart for some party supplies and groceries. I knew Cohen was tired so I put him in the Ergo and after a little bit of a fight he gave up and slept the rest of the shopping trip.

We stopped at Safeway in Lynden to get some balloons for Carter. I told the lady I wanted 12 balloons and that I wanted green and blue. I was surprised when I found out how much it was, but that maybe I had just underestimated the cost of balloons. As she continued to blow up balloons, I realized she was giving us 12 of EACH color balloon. It was quite fun trying to get them all in the car. Since I had already paid for them I figured we would just hope they stay inflated for Cohen's party this weekend. Cohen was less than impressed with being shoved in the car with the balloons. We had one set in the backseat and one set in the trunk (we lost a few on the way home).

After a quick stop at home, we gathered up cupcakes and balloons to take to Carter. Our family met us at the cemetary and we had a nice time together. The kids let balloons go with notes attached and then we had cupcakes. I also brought the letters that I had written to both boys. It's one thing to write letters and let people read them, it's another thing to read them out loud. My therapist encouraged me to read them out loud and I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to. But, in the end I decided that I thought I could do it. I cried through the whole letter to Carter, but she was right, I think there was an element of healing in it.

Overall, we were able to enjoy the day and celebrate both of our boys and we are so thankful for that.