Monday, April 28, 2014

Picture Day

My neighbor friend took these pictures of the boys in their Easter outfits. I think they are pretty stinkin' cute and I can't believe how fast these boys are growing up. I wasn't intending to get my picture taken, hence the purple wool socks and "just rolled out of bed" hair, but I'm glad to have pictures with my boys!

 {I love this one of him, it is so him. A wise soul who thinks everything is "so cute!"}


Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Spring cannot come fast enough around here. With two busy boys who like to play outside, we are always desperate for spring. Non-rainy, cloth diapers drying in the sun, playing at the park, chalk on the sidewalk kind of weather. We've been working on our yard a bit and trying to spruce the place up. The boys love to "help" which usually involves eating dirt or throwing rocks.

 Today we went on a little outing to a local park and Cohen had a blast. He was free to run around without us having to worry about cars or him getting away. The park has nice trails that we can use our new (to us) double jogging stroller on! I see much more of this park in our future. A little hidden forest, quiet and calm.

We tend to get a little cramped in our small house, so outings are necessary. Bring on the nice weather!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Reality of Not Catching Up by 2

Don't worry, preemies catch up by age 2. 

Well, that's what they say anyway. I've been struggling with the fact that Cohen, in theory, should have been "caught up" by the time he was two. He will be three soon and he's not caught up. Oh sure, he's on the charts now and when people ask us if he's "normal" now, we generally say yes. Because he is normal to us. 

Last month we took Cohen in to the doctor to express some concerns we have with some of his behaviors and lack of fine and gross motor skills. Today I was wandering through the notes from his pediatrician and there it was...sensory integration disorder and developmentally delayed. For some reason, it hit me hard. Really hard. It's a hard pill to swallow. We've known that Cohen isn't where his peers are. Knowing it yourself and then seeing it there in black and white is different. His doctor has recommended that we take him in for a comprehensive evaluation, which we will be doing in June along with a few other appointments prior to that. 

My sweet, sensitive boy who has overcome so much is delayed. Trust me, I know it's not the end of the world. I know that things could have turned out so differently, I don't need to be reminded of that. The labels don't make a difference to us. It's just hard for this mom's sensitive, protective heart to see those words. To see confirmation of what you've known but have been hoping you were wrong about. 

Cohen has always been "delayed". This is why preemies are given an adjusted age, to account for the fact that really they weren't supposed to be born until weeks or months later. But remember? "They" say he was supposed to catch up by two. And yet, here we are. He lacks a lot of motor skills. He grunts or yells at kids, even though he has the words, he can't always seem to make sense of them or use them appropriately. Some days, everything is a battle. Not just because he is exerting his 2 year old need for control, but because in his brain, he can't focus and can't process many of the things around him. I struggle with knowing how to help him. 

As parents, we just want to protect our children. We don't want them to get made fun of on the playground or feel like they aren't good enough. We are starting to realize that the things he was supposed to grow out of as he became an ex-preemie, may be things that he struggles with for years to come, maybe even a lifetime. I don't need Cohen to be the best at everything he does. He doesn't need to have straight A's or be the captain of the football team. I just want to be able to teach and guide him to be the best Cohen that he can be. However that looks, if he catches up now, in the future, or if these are things he will deal with his whole life. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter! Danny's parents came up yesterday and we all went out to lunch. Our first time ever taking both boys to a restaurant (and probably the last time for awhile). 

We spent our day extra early, going to church, coming home for naps and then over to my parents for Easter lunch. It was supposed to rain all day, but surprisingly it didn't and we even got a little sun!

We made small Easter baskets for the boys, Cohen got one egg with candy in it and he opened it, shoved them all in his mouth, and then threw them back up. Yum. 

The kids had their annual Easter egg hunt with the cousins after lunch. This year they each had a certain color egg they were supposed to find. Cohen discovered there was candy and surprises in the eggs and had to open each one he found. Towards the end we told the kids that the rest of Cohen's eggs were up for grabs so they scurried around the yard grabbing up the rest of them. Once they open up all the eggs, they sort their loot and then trade with each other to get all the things they want. 

 Since I've been gone so much, Ezra has decided that he prefers to nap with me. He's cute so I'm okay with it. Check out those post nap curls in his hair!

Hope you all had a wonderful day with family and friends. He is risen!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter is Coming!

Over the last few years, Easter has taken on a new meaning for me. My faith has been challenged and strengthened in so many ways. In the midst of crisis, when you have nowhere else to go, you are faced head on with deciding whether the things you have said you believe really are true, or they're not. Life is hard and unfair but it doesn't change who God is. Either God is sovereign and in control or He's not. I don't have the answers for why things happen the way they do and I probably won't until I get to heaven (although I'm not sure it will matter then).

Easter has, in the past, been a time when we celebrate spring! And baby chicks! And life! And Jesus going to ascending to heaven! But it started with death. A death that wasn't deserved. This death makes a difference for me in my life. Because of what Jesus did on the cross that day, dying a sinner's death and being raised from the dead, I am free. I'm not perfect, most of the time I'm not even good enough. It doesn't matter because the blood of Jesus covers a multitude of sins. My sins. And? That means that I get to go to heaven and spend an endless amount of days in His presence. And in the presence of those who have gone before me and will go after me. I will get to meet my creator, my hope, and the one who has received, and held in his arms, my baby until I can see him again.

In the midst of your Easter egg hunts, family time, and sugar highs, I hope you think about what He has done for you.

I can't wait for heaven. Can't wait. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soulWorship His holy nameSing like never beforeO my soulI'll worship Your holy name
And on that day when my strength is failingThe end draws near and my time has comeStill my soul will sing Your praise unendingTen thousand years and then forevermore
(Matt Redman - 10,000 Reasons)

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold onto you always.

(Jeremy Camp - There Will be a Day)

  1. My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
  2. And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
  3. The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
    The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
    Even so, it is well with my soul.
  4. (It is Well)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This Season

1.5 weeks down as a full time working mom. A few more weeks to go. It's been hard, really hard. I certainly respect those moms that work full time. I know this is just a season of our lives, but it is a challenge. The days feel like a blur of wake up get ready get babies ready fly out the door drop babies off hope to get to work on time. Work. Leave work pick up babies get dinner ready eat dinner play with babies get ready for bed bedtime pack bags pack lunches maybe clean house fall in bed. Sleep. Repeat.

I miss my boys. The snuggles and play time are sweeter, but there isn't enough of it. My heart aches a little when Ezra clings onto me when I try and lay him down for bed. I wonder if we've made the right choice. When Cohen gets rushed to bed because we are tired and have things to do to get ready to do it all again the next day, I wonder if it's all really worth it.

I know God has put us at this place in our lives for a reason. I try and remind myself that it's not forever. I don't mind working, but I don't like the feeling of not having enough time for my kids. I just miss their grimy hands dirtying up my clothes, their constant requests for food, and their warm snuggly squirmy little bodies giving hugs and kisses throughout the day.

There has been more than one occasion in this week alone that I have gone in to watch them sleep. Or gotten them back out of bed when they are crying for their mom and dad. Kept them up a little past their bedtime just for a few more snuggles. Maybe even taken a pair of their pajamas with me to bed.

Being home with the boys is comfortable and enjoyable. Being away from them, at a new job, in a vulnerable place as "the new person" is not always comfortable or enjoyable. But, I mean being stretched in new ways that will be good for me. I'm learning new skills and re-learning old skills that will be good for my career. I'm doing something for me.

It's a challenging season of our lives. The good thing is, it's only a season. We've faced challenges before though, right? These boys though, they will always have my heart no matter where I am. It's also possible that I may have already forced my new coworkers to look at pictures of them. I can't help it!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lawn Man

We've been trying to get some things done in our yard, as we pretty much didn't touch it after we moved in. And it's time. Cohen has been "helping" with the flowers and weeds and has been loving it. He had a blast watering the plants today, they might be slightly overwatered, but we are more about the experience than perfection.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Changes Ahead!

Our lives are about to get a little bit crazy. I have taken a part time job at the hospital working in the recovery room. I love PACU nursing, it's what I've always done and I probably won't be changing anytime soon. I had no intentions of looking for another job, but this popped up. I applied late at night (without telling Danny until after I applied), got an interview, and was offered a job. 

The thing is, they are wanting to get me into hospital orientation next week.  Yikes. I was expecting to have a little more time than that to get everything in order, but here we go! I'm also keeping my other part time job, so between hospital orientation and training and my old job, I'll be working full time for at least the next month. 

I have been a ball of anxious worry this week over the boys, how we will keep everything from exploding, and whether I will still be sane at the end of it. I've been trying to get some meals in the freezer, clearing off our schedule, and getting childcare lined up for the month plus someone to take Cohen to OT while I'm at work.

I have been laying pretty low in the job department since getting pregnant with the boys. I have needed jobs where I could only work part time and for the most part, choose my own schedule. I didn't work nights or weekends as is common with a lot of nursing jobs.  They were perfect, low stress jobs for when I needed them. 

Now, I feel like I'm ready for a little something more. I'm ready to be challenged a little, to get back into the "excitement" of higher acuity patients. The last few years have, necessarily and rightfully, been about everyone else. Growing babies, fighting for babies, supporting my baby in his time of greatest need, throwing myself into helping others to help manage my own grief. This is going to be hard, and I'm nervous, but it will (hopefully) be good. 

Since it's kind of one of those things that has fallen into my lap, I think that it is God leading me in a direction that he wants me to go. One of our major goals for this year has been to pay down/off our debt. We are lucky that we don't have any credit card debt or anything, but we both have school loans, hospital bills, and an now an unexpected car payment. This job will help make that a realistic goal. 

I'm trying to remind myself that it's only for a month. We can do anything for a month, we've done much harder things before. And we can eat off paper plates for a month, right? If you don't see or hear from us for awhile, now you know why! 

(It's going to be good, it's going to be good, it's going to be good)