Saturday, March 13, 2010

March for Babies '10 at OneTrueMedia.com

It's that time again, please consider sponsering us, as we raise money and awareness for prematurity!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Back to "NORMAL"???




When I was pregnant with Dane our lives were a constant buzz of coming and going, I was serving God at our church and through YoungLives, our life was so full of family and friends, and life was, well...full. But for the past two years, we had to take so many precautions with Dane (which paid off!) that I almost forgot what our life was like before Dane! Well, I can officially say that we are back to normal, or a new normal, because we do have a two year old running around! Last Sunday we all got up and went to church, I had a full house all day (our own 5 plus 2 more kids), we played Wii, played pool and as I was in the kitchen cooking up a scrumptiously unhealthy (yet inexpensive) dinner of biscuits, sausage, gravy and scrambled eggs. I so enjoyed the old sounds of a full house of people enjoying our humble home...I felt so thankful to have finally reached this place one again! We are once again able to open our home up freely to friends and family, with out making them scrub down prior touching anything or having to leave their own kids at home. Chad and I are actively serving God at church and in our home where we are leading Jr. High youth group...which is going fantastic, because I know you were wondering! Yes, life is back to normal and the conclusion to this discovery: IT MAKES ME HAPPY!!! :)


As for the star of this blog, our little Dane is doing fantastic! He is officially released from physical therapy, and we are getting ready to have him tested for developmental preschool. IF he tests into the school it will most likely be for speech. Though he talking a ton, using full sentences and all that jazz, his articulation is could use a little work. As far as his health, he still needs a puff on his inhaler when he runs around, but we continue to see his stamina get better and better. He is so much fun these days, the other day he had been bugging us to put his TV show on, and when I finally turned it on...he jumped up and down and shouted "I LOVE YOU MOM!" like I had just given him the biggest and best surprise ever! Today we were at Target and sang Jesus Loves Me over and over through out the entire store, which made everyone smile when they heard him...of course I wanted to be like..."Do you know how amazing it is that he can sing this song??? It's not just cute, it's a miracle!!!", but I didn't of course say that, but I wanted to! Dane has shown an interest in drumming since I can remember him being old enough to bang on stuff, and now he has a drum set...not just a little kid, Fisher Price style drum set, but an official drum set (child sized of course!) This adds to the loudness of our home, but we have gotten used to...I LOVE to hear him playing! He also loves to play his harmonica and pretend to play the piano, he loves all things music...but he is still 100% boy and loves to dig in the dirt, jump in the mud, pick up ants even though he gets bit every time, and torment Molly (my Mom and Dad's golden retriever).

That's about it for now...I will try to do a better job of posting, but I can't promise anything! I am working more hours, and quiet time at the computer continues to be more of a challenge. I am on facebook, which I find easier to keep updated...because you can be in and out within a couple of minutes!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Busy, busy, busy!

Wow, what a busy April and May we are having! We survived another RSV season and we are so happy to have made it another winter without any major health/lung issues! This meant that we got to bring Dane for the first time to the church nursery, do you know that I have dreamed of this for the past two years??? Getting to go to church as a family and drop him off in the day care like a normal family was a day that we knew would come, and we had to celebrate with this photo of Dane in his new shirt and his hair combed for his first day! Getting a decent picture of this child has proven to be more than a difficult task lately, but we did get one decent one with his eyes open...and here it is! Unfortunately I do have to report that he cried the majority of the time and we had to go get him half way through service! He isn't used to being around little kids his age, and I think that if we would have put him in the 5th grade Sunday school class he would have done better! But we are going to try again to ease him in, it will just take some time!

Of course we had the March of Dimes walk which was so amazing, but that day also brought Gage's senior prom! Gage and Jordyn looked gorgeous, and had a great time at prom...thanks to my Mom and Dad, Dan and Kelly, Jordyn's parents, and a little something from Chad and I, they were able to go with out breaking the bank! We all pitched in to help with the cost of prom...I can't believe how expensive it is for these kids to go, it's actually quite ridiculous! But we all made it happen and we were happy to get to see them all dressed up, they are good kids that both work hard and deserved to go and have fun!

Dane had great time at Easter, we had an egg hunt and he was very excited to see that these colored eggs had candy in them! Jake had to make sure to hold him back...Dane was going in for a closer look at Jake's Easter basket!






The rest of this month bring lots of new things for us...starting with Gage's graduation this month! I can't believe that he is graduating and having to decide what to do in life, we have heard rumblings of joining the reserves or maybe even enlisting...time will tell, but we are very proud of the man that he is becoming!
Chad and I have been given the opportunity to lead our church's Jr. High youth group! This means that we will have a house full of Jr. Highers at our home every Wed. night, we will be planning lessons, games, and activities for this high energy group! If I think about it too much I get a bit of anxiety, because it really is a lot of work...but we feel that God has given us this opportunity to love on some kids and share with them what God has done in our life. Now, we have hosted a weekly Bible study in our home, but this is totally different! We will be doing monthly activities as well as planning "Jr. High ditch day" at church the first Sunday of every month, so please say a little prayer for our family...this has the potential to be a huge blessing for so many and we don't want to mess it up! If you ever went to youth group as a child and you have a great memory that you can share with us, we would love to hear from you! (We need to as many ideas as possible...and we ain't to proud to beg!)





Monday, April 20, 2009

2009 Team Great Dane!!!

WOW!!! What a turn out we had! Our team had over 50 walkers including all the kids! We have so far raised a total of $2800...and we are still collecting money, so if you haven't had a chance to donate our team is still web page will be open until the end of May. We had a lot of fun, and we were once again humbled by all the family teams walking in memory of their babies that didn't make it. My favorite part of the day was when our entire team crossed the finish line together...with our team captain, the great Dane, walking across the finish line first. The little boy born 14 weeks early who suffered so much brain damage that he wasn't supposed to walk...led his March of Dimes team across the finish line at the age of two!!! God is good, and we have much to be thankful for!

I know that Dane looks exceptionally happy in this picture...okay he looks like he is shooting poison darts from his eyes...but I wanted to let you know that he was soooo happy to get out of the stroller and run around, and I cut his fun short by making him sit down for some pictures. I know, I am a big old meany.

















Thank you so much to ALL of you who made this possible, I had so much support this year! My entire Starbucks team walked! My Mom, Kelly, Karin, and Tracy all stepped up to make this walk a success! To everyone who donated money: THANK YOU!!! Together we are fighting against premature births, and helping all babies have a healthy start!
I'll post again soon, we have lots going on to tell you about...Easter, Gage's prom, Dane's first day in Sunday school, and Chad and I's new ministry adventure! Stayed tuned...






Monday, March 23, 2009

March of Dimes t shirts!

My friend Karin, who I have known since the 7th grade, has really gotten behind the March of Dimes this year...she was the first one to sign up and walk and was the first one to raise money for team "great Dane"! She asked her friend, Kathi Buss, to help us with the art work this year for our team t-shirts. She generously donated her time and talents to our team! (Dane got the nick name great Dane while in the NICU, and that is what we named our team after...in case you were wondering!) I was sooo excited when I received this in my email today!
This is original picture that I took of Dane:





And this is what she was able to do with it! This is the front of our shirts:




And this is the back...notice the little dog prints and baby prints?!?:



Aren't they so cute!?!

Thank you Karin and Kathi!!! This is the link to Kathi's website in case you want to check out what else she does! http://www.kathibussphotography.com

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's that time again...and yes, I know that we are all feeling the effects of the current conditions of the economy. Chad's business is officially no more, so we are feeling the crunch in a huge way too...but God is bigger than all this and I have faith that we will still have a great turn out for our walk this year! You all know why we support March of Dimes, but I would like to tell you why this year is different. As we are all too aware, the State of Arizona is experiencing its largest budget shortfall in its history. A few of the programs important to the March of Dimes are faring well in these turbulent times. Kids Care, a program that provides health insurance to approximately 65,000 kids was facing cuts from the budget, but thanks to the March of Dimes and many other organizations, this program has been reinstated. The March of Dimes is still waiting to hear the latest on the New Born Screening programs. We’re hopeful for good news about this program. We thank you March of Dimes for all of your efforts for babies and children! The state has most recently cut therapies for many, many children in the state...Dane is one of those children. It is big advocates like the March of Dimes that will be there campaigning against these cuts.

We ask you to prayerfully consider donating to our team, and even better to sign up to be a walker! We had a blast last year at the walk, it's only a 4 mile walk, and it starts early so it won't take up your entire day...I think that we were home last year by 11:30am!

If you would like to donate please click on my March of Dimes badge on the right!

Please enjoy this video!!!





Monday, February 23, 2009

Dane's 2nd Birthday...and more!

My big two year old!!! CUPCAKES!!! Yum!

Opening gifts



Our budding young carpenter!
His new Radio Flyer trike!!!


What a month we have had! Lets' start with my Bday weekend (Jan.31st), Dane spent three days with Grandma PapPap while the rest of us took a mini vacation to the happiest place earth. It's the first time we have left him for more than an over nighter, and he did great. Three days of undivided attention at Grandman and PapPap's...which to Dane is the happiest place on earth! So we all had a great time that weekend, though we all missed Dane a ton, it was so nice to spend some uninterrupted time with Gage and Katie! (and the fact that were riding Space Mountain didn't hurt!)

On February 9th Chad and I celebrated our 18th anniversary, and then came the big day...February 10, 2009...Dane's second birthday!!! Chad was out of town and I had to work, so we celebrated on the 11th, but I am sure that he didn't mind! We are smack in the middle of a very nasty RSV season, so we opted to not have a party for him. I have several friends that are pediatric nurses and they have told me that the hospital is full of VERY sick RSV babies...so we have been very strict with him going out anywhere or having people over. We did have Grandma and PapPap over for dinner and cupcakes, he opened his gifts, and considering he didn't get to celebrate with all of his cousins and friends I think that he had a great 2nd birthday. I did promise him a big party when he turns three, so we will look forward to a house full of friends and family for next years bday party. Someone did give him a special present for his birthday, I don't know who gave it to him or when on his birthday he actually opened this gift, but we know that he received it...AN ATTITUDE!!! This gift has enabled him to test us repeatedly on his limits and show us that he would rather go into time out then do what is sometimes asked of him. So, if anyone out there would like to send me the receipt for this gift we would like to exchange for something else!!! :)

Dane had an evaluation with an occupational therapist, actually someone from our old church who knows Dane and has been praying for him (which is too cool), and he said that he was border line for needing services...which I think is a great thing! He said the same thing that we really already knew, he is weak on his left side and if we continue to work hard with him we should continue to see improvement. We opted to do some home therapy with Chad and I, then have him re-evaluated in about three months. He is getting physical therapy twice a month, where we are working on balance and strengthening his left side, and stretching out his left side too. He is still doing great with speech, and I think he has mostly caught up to his peers in this area! He still has choking episodes, mostly with saliva which his speech therapist thinks mostly has to do with his left sided weakness that affects his tongue and mouth. But the choking continues to happen less and less, so we are thankful for that.

Dane is soooo smart! He knows his colors and most shapes, he knows to say "sorry" if he bumps into you, he loves to watch NOGGIN and when it is not on he will say, "Noggin, pul-ease!" followed by, "remote go???" so we can change the channel. He is a Daddy's boy for sure, he loves his Daddy and is easily heart broken when his Daddy has to scold him. Me, on the other hand, could scold him all day with out much notice. He also loves coloring and playing with play-doh, and playing with his trucks too. He loves to dance, though when he dances it looks like he has a 30lb weight on his head...it's actually very funny, I need to catch him on video!
We are enjoying some beautiful weather and playing a lot outside, Dane loves going to the park. He is totally fearless which can be challenging as I run around the jungle gym from side to side in case he falls! His favorite way to go down the slide is head first, which I know is a no-no, but before I have a change to yell...there he goes again...head first. Look out Evil Knievel...here comes the 'Great Dane'!
We are getting ready to return to the March for Babies event on April 18th, we are excited to possibly have more walkers join team Great Dane this year! I will be posting more details very soon, as well as sending out emails to kick off my official fund raising!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blessings

WOW. I have the best parents. As I look back now through the eyes of a mother to three children, I can say that and mean it whole heatedly. As I mentored teen Moms a couple of years ago, I started to really realized how lucky I was. My Mom and Dad always provided a loving and safe place for me to lay my head...even through the dreaded teen years and even through my own teen pregnancy, no matter what the circumstance I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that my parents would always be there for me. I didn't know that everyone did not have that same blessing, I didn't know that there was sexual abuse, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and physical abuse. I didn't know that some parents cared more about there own needs and not the needs of their children, I didn't know that some kids came home to empty dirty homes with no food...I just didn't know. I hope that some day my kids will be able to look back and say that they too always had a safe and loving home to lay their head each night, and that no matter what we would always be there for them too. So, yes, I have been richly blessed to be born into my family! Over the past two years my parents continue to provide for me...when I was too sick to be by Dane's side in the NICU, they were there. When Dane came home, they (mostly Mom) bravely learned how to operate his monitors and deal with his oxygen requirements and home health care nurses. They learned all of Dane's exercises and helped with his physical therapy. They provide us a safe place to go during flu season and they have always made sure that during the last two years that Gage and Katie never felt less important. They have baby sat on a regular basis so I could continue to work since Dane could not be in day care. Recently they have given us yet another HUGE blessing...they gave us their van. Now they could have and probably should have used it as a down payment for their new van, but instead offered it to us. This enabled us to give my car to Gage and for me to have my a vehicle to drive...not only did they joyfully give it to us, but gave it to us with a full tank!!!! It's just too much, Chad and I don't have words to say how thankful we are so we will once again say "Thank you for everything!"



Thank you Lord for all of our many blessings, we have had some doozies this year!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Holidays

We had a very nice Christmas, unfortunately I was very sick and to prove how sick I was I didn't even take any pictures! Dane was more interested in boxes and wrapping paper but he did have a great time. New Years Eve was spent with my friend Jill and her family, we played games and hung out...we were home by midnight because we are big nerds! Dane rang in the New Year sleeping at Pap Pap and Grandma's then Mom and Dad came over for dinner on New Years Day, it was nice and quiet and I loved it! Before I start telling you about Dane's milestones, our family celebrated another milestone with Gage's 18th birthday! This is a picture of him, and yes, that is his cutey girlfriend sitting next to him!
It was surprise party and I think that he had a great time! Happy Birthday Gage!

Dane's language continues to take off! He is doing a great job with speech...as a matter of fact his speech therapist has discharged him from speech! Wow! Way to go Dane! We had another evaluation with Phx Childrens and she scored him age appropriate for ALL areas! She was very impressed with how well he continues to do and now he can be followed by the developmental pediatrician if my insurance will pay for it. We have bumped up his physical therapy to twice a month, when Miss M was here last week she noticed some left side weakness and she feels that with his age and ability to follow simple directions he will allow her to get some good exercises in to help strengthen his left side. I am waiting to get a referral to go back to the Neurologist to discuss getting Dane's MRI done, now that he is bigger I feel more comfortable with the thoughts of him going under anesthesia. Though he is doing really good, if the scan shows something then we can have a diagnosis of mild cerebral palsy which would qualify him for more services. Not that that is what we want, but the reality is that once he is out of the states birth to three program we won't qualify for the states help...unless we have some sort of diagnosis. We don't want him to start to struggle with his fine motor skills when he is like 4 or 5 and not have the help available to him. What we are hoping for is that the scan shows nothing (which would be yet another miracle...but hey, my God is in that business) then we just go about raising our little blessing like any other little one...except no matter what happens I'll know the truth of how blessed he has been!
We are going to continue feeding therapy, he eats like a champ but still has choking episodes. He an episode this morning and ended up vomiting...no fun for anyone involved. He seems to choke mostly on saliva, but hopefully she can give us insight. She comes this Thursday so we will see how it goes.
I love this picture, I know for those of you that aren't in family you can not fully appreciate this raised eyebrow look...but it cracks me up! He looks like my brother David in this picture!
There is my happy boy!


This was Dane running laps around our kitchen island! Before he could maybe run two laps before the coughing and wheezing, but now he can run for about five minutes before we have to have him take a rest. He is only doing one breathing treatment a day, and we haven't had to give him the albuterol treatment in months...those little lungs are starting to toughen up! We are entering into the bad part of RSV season, so please pray that he stays healthy!
We are gearing up for the big March of Dimes walk coming up in April, we are hoping to have an even bigger team than last year! Details to come...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Spreading some cheer!

We are one of the mission families for the March of Dimes, we attended a "jail and bail" event last week at one of the local restaurants. Danes personal info was on all of the mailings that went out, so it was great for Dane and I to meet the people that showed up to raise money. My Mom came and helped too, it was an awesome experience and volunteering really keeps me passionate about prematurity. I met a couple that had just recently lost triplets, they were born at 24 weeks and they all passed at different times. It was heartbreaking as she looked at Dane coloring at the table and started to cry, I am sure that she was thinking of what may have been for her babies. It was a swift kick to me, Dane is doing so well I almost forgot of what could have been for him too. Okay...on to the cheer I promised in my title!!! This is a picture of Dane posing with the restaurant managers. Yes, the look on his face was like, "Mom, who the heck are these people?"



Okay, so yes, we do have the ultimate couch potato coffee table...it pops up so that you can eat while sitting at the couch and you guessed it... while watching TV too. Anyway, Dane thought that he would test the limits the other day by trying to crawl in.

And being the great Mom I am, I thought I'll take pictures and blog about it! I know that he is thinking, "I can't believe that Mom is letting me sit here...I better at least be cute"
Don't you know that if you are one year old no one can see you if you can't see them...This is what he did when I sternly asked him what he was doing in there. Clearly he can not be seen in this picture, where did he go?

"Here I am!" Yes, even after that big old grin, I still made him get out. I am so mean.

Here is little sample of what a little yapper he has become!
video

Friday, November 28, 2008

Exceeding my standards..already?!?

Lot's to be thankful for again this Thanksgiving, family, friends, a roof over our head, and a gracious God of course! We are thankful to share whatever we have with others including Dane's journey...which we have an entire new list of things to be thankful for this year when it comes to him! We have an amazing little boy who is walking, talking, smiling, laughing, (ummm...sometimes hitting and pinching too!) and darn determined to figure out the world around him! He just had a check up and he is in the 95 percentile for his height and in the 75th percentile for weight...and that is for his actual age, NOT adjusted!!! This is great for a preemie, it usually take two to three years for a 26 weeker to catch up to his peers...and he is exceeding them in under two years!
Everyone was healthy and we were happy to spend Thanksgiving with the whole family this year. We had a great time eating yummy food and catching up with everyone. Dane found his way to the piano, where he sat down and played while we poorly sang...hard on the ears but cute none the less!



Sorry about how dark the video is, it was taken with my camera's video option and as you will see it's not very good quality. I need to learn bring my camcorder with me more often!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I've lowered my standards!

I have come to the realization that posting on a monthly basis will have to be enough! I will try to post more, but once a month is my official goal!

We have had a wonderful month, thanks in part to some gorgeous weather. There is a small window after the weather gets nice and before the brown cloud rolls in...and that is what we are enjoying right now. Dane loves to play outside, he is especially happy to just roam around the yard with a stick and explore. He loves to look at bugs, and move rocks from here to there...then back again! His speech continues to be taking off, tonight Gage taught him to say "pound it" then do the knuckle bump! He is still using sign language, but less and less now that he can repeat most things, however refuses to say certain words that he has been signing...like "more", "please", "drink", and "thank you". He will sign them, but when I tell him to say them with his mouth, he just continues to sign only with his mouth open! It's very funny!


I have seen an improvement in his breathing since starting the treatments last month, he can play a few minutes longer before the coughing and wheezing start. Looks like we will not be approved for the RSV shots this year, not a big shocker to us. Our co-pay would have been around $800.00 every 28 days, and we couldn't afford it anyway...who could??? So, we are limiting his exposure once again. No more taking him shopping during busy hours, no malls, no day care, no being around other kids that are in day care...etc. We are all praying to keep him healthy one more winter, in hopes that he will out grow his lung disease. His physical therapist, Miss M, thinks that he is doing great and has basically almost caught up to his peers in gross motor skills! Amazing huh?

Enjoy a quick video montage of what he has been up to the past month...



Friday, October 17, 2008

Where has Dane been???

Sorry that it has been so long since I have updated the blog!! Hopefully I didn't loose to many readers in my laziness! Dane is doing great, but he is more than a handful these days! He is into everything and has no fear of anything...including me! We have cut back on his physical therapy because he is doing so great with his motor skills, we are so thankful to have had such a great therapist and we will miss seeing her every week! Dane's speech is taking off as well, he can say too many things to list here...and we couldn't be happier! Dane's lung disease has been showing itself lately, now that the weather is nice and we are able to go outside he hasn't been able to run and play hard for more than two minutes with out wheezing and coughing. So we are back on breathing treatments twice a day for the steroid and up to three times a day for the one that opens his lungs up. I can already see a difference, but it is another big reminder that we need to stay germ free another RSV season to give him the best chance of out growing the chronic lung disease. He hates his treatments and fights and cries the entire time, but this is one battle that he will not win! Enjoy our little montage!



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Monday, September 8, 2008

Munds Park (part 2)

Here is the kiddos at the park, Gage was so excited to get his picture taken by his Mom at the park...get over it Gage...I am still the boss! Gage was even more excited when I made him sit on the swings so that I could get a picture of all the cousins on the swings together!

Anyway, the weather was beautiful and we all had a great time. The kids have been cooped up all summer (unless they are in the pool), so it was so nice to just be outside. Munds Park is gorgeous, maybe some day we can afford our own get away home...or heck I would live there year round!

Thanks to Gary and Dee for letting us invade their home up north! We had a blast!

And yeah to Dane's little lungs who handled the change in altitude like a champ! He is one resilient child!

Munds Park (part 1)

Chad's birthday was Friday, we were trying to plan a weekend up north to celebrate and get out of the heat. Chad's sister, Kelly, grew up with a family that has truly become "family" to her...and they own a gorgeous cabin in Munds Park. They were so generous and offered the cabin to all ten of us for the weekend! This place was amazing, tons of room, kid friendly...and way more than we could have ever enjoyed renting a cabin. This picture does not to it justice! They have two rhinos, that the boys (Chad, Dan & Gage) and kids had a ton of fun riding around the town in...this is one of them.
Dane and his cousin Mallary had a fun time playing together. Both the front and back porch were totally enclosed so we didn't have to worry about them getting hurt...They loved being there!
They even a had room designated just for the kids. They colored, watched movies and hung out in this room when they were not enjoying the outdoors. Dane looked so cute hanging out with the big kids.
The community that we stayed in had nice park where Dane loved being on the swings...the higher we pushed him the more he laughed!

High Altitude Test


Before planning for our weekend up north, Dane had to make some phone calls to make sure that his lungs were going to be able to handle the change.

We brought his nebulizer just in case, but after his long conversations with some of his preemie friends, we were assured not to worry!


So, we headed up to Munds Park. Elevation 6600! This was the highest altitude Dane has been in, last summer we were told not take him above 4000...and even then to make sure that we new ahead of time where the closest medical facility was...that was enough to scare us, so last summer we stayed in the valley. So, did he pass the test??? Yes, with flying colors! He was a bit more tired, but he did great!




Monday, September 1, 2008

Chim-chimney, chim-chemney, chim-chim cher-ee!!!

This is Dane's impersonation of Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins...not too bad, huh? We were rearranging my room (and yes, still cleaning it out) and Dane who has been known to be a garbage picker, found a candle that I threw out. I threw it away because the glass was full of soot and looked pretty ugly...Dane thought otherwise. This picture cracks me up, Katie's face is like "wooaahh..." "I don't know how my hands got dirty?!?"
"My Mom is over reacting and making me take a bath..."
"Okay, maybe I won't be a chimney sweep...I am way too cute when I'm clean!"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Strollin' down memory lane

For those of you who know me really well, you know that I am in a never ending attempt to clean and organize Chad and I's bedroom. I feel like my room has been a mess since I was little, I'll keep the rest of our house clean and somewhat organized but it all stops at our room. So, in yet another effort to clean out the clutter I ventured into a forgotten drawer where I was so excited to find all of Dane's NICU awards...well, they really are not "awards" but little signs that nurses would make and hang all over his tiny space to make it feel more home-like. I have one that says "Congratulations on being extubated...what a brave boy!!!" they would include the date, and are decorated with stickers and stuff too. They would always make them when we were not there and it was a highlight to come in and see a new sign up by his incubator. You could tell how long the little ones had been in the NICU by the amount of "awards" they had. Looking back now, I find it kinda funny...how many Mom's can scrapbook with a sign that reads "Congratulations on being extubated!" or "Congrats to Mommy for the first diaper change!" And yes, I deserved that award...it should have been statue award because changing a barely two pound baby's diaper was like doing surgery! I remember my hands were shaking, as the nurse lovingly said "make sure you lift his legs and hips together so you don't dislocate his hips"...nice huh? So, yeah, I am a little proud of my awards too!

But these are the two that I cherish the most. This one was taken when he was almost one month old. I put my cell phone next to it so that you see how tiny his hands and feet were. You could fit both of his hands and feet inside the perimeter of my cell phone with a ton of room to spare. He was heading towards the 3lb mark and I remember thinking he was getting so big. This one was taken on his two month birthday, I put a quarter on the picture to see the size (I thought of the cell phone after the first picture, then my battery went dead before I could take this one with the phone) This was a week before we had him transferred to a closer hospital.
I am so thankful for the reminders, they keep my heart in check when he is driving me crazy!