Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Easter together…

Easter weekend has come and gone and the children have come down from their sugar highs. It was nice to finally spend Easter together as a family of 5 rather than split our time between Mercy and our house and we actually got to go back and spend it with the rest of my family which was really nice as well.

Saturday was a rough start to the weekend which I worried was going to carry over into Easter BUT thankfully, it did not! I sometimes wish life was like the movie “Click". When Braden was in the NICU at Mercy I wanted desperately to have a fast forward button so we would know what Braden’s future held. The days where all 3 of my boys are playing and laughing with each other I want to push pause and bask in the happiness of having all 3 of them together making memories with each other, then there are days like Saturday where I want to click the delete on the DVR to erase that day and start over! Saturday demanded a re-d0!

Friday night Adam and I camped out on the floor since we didn’t have nursing coverage. I awoke at 5am Saturday to Braden pooping his pants. I went to go check on him and change his pants and when I turned the light on I saw Braden shaking and crying like he does right before he spells. I yelled for Adam to come help me and we started trouble shooting. His alarms hadn’t gone off yet but as Adam came to the crib everything started screeching. I went to bag him because he started turning dusky but as I took the vent off him to connect the bag, Adam yelled “grab a trache" because he wasn’t moving air at all through the trache he had in.  We quickly put the new trache in and Adam said he immediately heard air being passed through the new trache so we cranked up the oxygen and put the vent back on him and he pinked right back up. I grabbed the trache we had just pulled out and the end of his trache was completely webbed over with a mucous plug. Somehow, in the middle of the night, he occluded his trache and woke up with out an airway. I can’t imagine how horrifying that would be to wake up to. I felt horrible for him but was glad he bounced back as quickly as he did.

Not to be outdone, Jacob, who has been battling allergies/cold, woke up choking on his own snot and barfed all over the floor about 15 minutes after Braden’s episode. THIS is where I would have hit the “delete” button and started over….BUT OH NO! Evan didn’t want to be left out. At 6am he woke up to all the commotion and came down for the day. While everyone was occupied Evan decided he wanted to kick around his new soccer ball in the kitchen and went to kick it, completely whiffed on the kick and somehow the ball knocked his feet out from under him and he face planted on the kitchen floor. SERIOUSLY???? Luckily the rest of the day was uneventful but man did the 1st half of the day stink. I was on the lookout the rest of Saturday for the other ball to drop and get Adam or I…of course this was also the day Adam and Seann decided to cut down a 50 ft tree in our yard. Thankfully no one was injured except for the evergreen tree!

On a happier note, the boys have had a great time playing together now that Jacob is more mobile. Evan, the good brother that he is, always makes time for Braden, and brings him toys to play with which is a nice change for the B-man since he’s used to having Jacob come snatch whatever he has out of his hands.

IMG_0699     IMG_0701

P.S. I DO dress my children they just choose NOT to wear them once they get home from daycare…OK… EVAN chooses not to wear his clothes, Braden gets too hot, and Jacob usually tries to bathe in the dog water/toilet bowl requiring me to undress him…so there!

The boys really enjoyed Easter and the LOADS of candy the Easter bunny and their grandparents gave them. We attempted to do Easter eggs for the first time this year and the boiling of the eggs should have been an indication of of things were going to go. I started boiling the eggs before the boys got home and somehow in the midst of the chaos that is my life, I COMPLETELY forgot that they were boiling and when I went to get Braden’s food ready for his 4 o’clock feed I thought “that’s weird, why are the windows steamed over….HOLY CRAP!!! The eggs have been boiling for 40 minutes!!!!!” Needless to say our house smelled like rotten eggs for 2 days straight. I refuse to eat them but Adam has and he hasn’t died yet so that’s a good sign right? I laid out towels on the dining room table and let Evan have at it dying the eggs. Good thing they were SUPER boiled because his idea of putting them in the dye was to slam them into the coffee mugs. Then, he would pile them 3 eggs high in each color. After the snafu of boiling them, I didn’t really care at this point. Some of them turned brown after all the colors he put them in but hey its all about creating memories right :)

IMG_0688  IMG_0692

IMG_0692  IMG_0696

Easter morning arrived and the boys woke up and were ready to hunt eggs! Evan had a good laugh when I told him that the Easter bunny delivered their eggs the night before and I woke up to Squeak, our cat, batting them around the living room.  I think she liked the sound of the jelly beans sloshing about in the eggs! Evan of course hung back and let Jacob do all the dirty work. I wasn’t sure Jacob would be into an egg hunt but he was a rock star at finding eggs. He would crawl really fast to get one as Evan waited in the shadows and then he would swoop in for the kill and snatch the egg out of Jacob’s hand. Luckily Jacob didn’t care too much that Evan stole his loot! We also found out that even though Jacob has only 4 top and bottom front teeth he CAN successfully eat jelly beans! They also got marshmallow bunnies in their eggs from Gma and Gpa Byersdorfer. Jacob got his open before I could grab it from him and I WISH I would have had his reaction caught on video. He literally shoved the blue bunny in his mouth, gave me this look out the corner of his eye and would not let me within 3 feet of him. Anytime I took a step towards him he shuffled like a sidewinder away from me like a rabid raccoon all the while never taking his eyes off me. It was hilarious. The mess it made was ridiculous though. He was one hot sticky blue mess.  Also, daddy got Braden involved in the festivities and put an HME on his trache so he could “sprint” for a bit and be a wireless baby like his brothers. Hes getting better at that. He went as long as 10 minutes at my grandparents on Easter Sunday! Showoff ;)



IMG_0714  IMG_0718

Braden enjoying being a wireless babe                      Evan offering Braden some of his jelly beans

IMG_0723  IMG_0724

Evan finds one!!!                            Evan lying in wait while Jacob does the dirty work!

IMG_0733   IMG_0740

Evan spilled his Reese’s pieces and Jacob comes to “Help”

IMG_0744  IMG_0747

IMG_0746  IMG_0757

                                     BEFORE                                                         AFTER

After the egg hunt and candy overload, we packed into the van and headed back to Waterloo. Braden wasn’t a fan of the ride to the Loo so Adam had to take him out and give him a breather. We think he just got extremely hot and sweaty in his seat and then after a quick break he did great the rest of the way. The boys enjoyed hanging out with everyone and enjoyed all the attention. Sara and Jordan were nice enough to help Grandma get an impromptu egg hunt together for Evan and my nephew Phil. They had so much fun the first time around that they did 2 more hunts after. Evan REALLY loved the 3 eggs he found that had money in them! We even got to meet my cousin Joe’s girlfriend Voska who was super sweet and so nice. She even told Adam that her sister used to whip her head back and forth like Braden does when he’s tired to help put herself to sleep. That was kind of nice to hear considering we never really know for sure why Braden did that. It was great to finally meet her after hearing so many great things about her! The food was great, the company was great, AND it was my grandparents wedding anniversary so that was nice to celebrate as well!

Hope everyone had a great Easter weekend with their families!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Well, its official. I am the mother of a three year old <<SOB>>. And might I add he is an amazing, sweet, generous 3 year old to boot. I have been looking forward to his birthday all month and have been talking about his birthday with him and he had been asking everyday up till Saturday when his “Sticky” Spiderman birthday was going to be. Many people have asked “Why is he called “Sticky” Spiderman?” Why else??? He has a sticky web. And that’s exactly what Evan refers to him as :) Pretty clever if you ask me.

Well the day started off with a blustery trip to the VEISHEA parade on ISU campus. We had hoped to go as an entire family but Braden is NOT a fan of wind let alone 30 degrees plus 25-30mph wind. I shouldn’t complain too much. Our friends just an hour north had an inch of snow to wake up to so we will take the crap cold/wind. We bundled Jacob and Evan up and went to the parade with Uncle Seann and Aunt Wendy where Evan made it big with candy. Poor Jacob’s teeth began to chatter so Adam ended up taking off his coat and wrapping it around him for the majority of the parade. We also ran into our friends Rob, Kym, and Baby Mo-to-be and saw our friends Shorty, Allison (Baby Kempers-to-be), and Skippy in the parade so that was a fun bonus to the super cold day!

IMG_0527   IMG_0528


After the VEISHEA festivities we headed home to get the party started. I let Evan open one of our presents and he HAD to wear it of course. Aunt Shelly came through with his Spiderman/Batman balloon he had requested as well. The only problem with these is that Jacob is ALSO a fan of these and Evan constantly reminds him “DON’T POP MY BALLOONS JACOB!!!!”

IMG_0534   IMG_0536

All of our closest friends and family piled into the house to help us celebrate and (Thanks to the Bahl family) we had an awesome bouncy house set up for the kiddos. Luckily the wind subsided some and the sun came out so it was MUCH nicer than it was earlier for the parade. Evan and the kids LOVED the bouncy house and it kept them quite entertained.

207862_1758936928363_1087200584_31694152_187792_n  IMG_0550

We also had a piñata for the kiddos which was quite hilarious to watch. Probably should have bought the piñata where the kids pull the string but what fun would that be? I think each kid got about 20 good whacks in before Adam came out with a mallet and “helped” speed things along. It was cute to watch them run around hoarding candy.

IMG_0556  IMG_0568


Next it was time for cake…well cupcakes. Evan led us all in Happy Birthday. We had to ask first if he wanted us to address him as Evan or Sticky Spiderman ;)

IMG_0553          IMG_0554

I think he had an awesome time. At the end of the night, before he went to bed, he said “Thank you for my Spiderman cupcakes, the jumpy bouncy house, and my Spiderman outfit. I love you mom.” Ugh, just melted my heart…not to mention I think I cried a little bit ;) Here are some of my favorite pictures that my dad took…he’s a master at candid photos HA! BIG thanks to everyone who made the trip down and up to Ames to help make one little boys birthday SO very special and memorable to him and us!

205220_1758940328448_1087200584_31694161_7594750_n        208308_1758943648531_1087200584_31694169_709345_n



IMG_0606   IMG_0610

The picture below is Grandma Byersdorfer catching Evan cheating at Hungry Hungry Hippos!


On Sunday, Evan's actual birthday, he decided he wanted to go to Reiman Garden’s and see the “so very beautiful butterflies” so who was I to deny the birthday boy his birthday wish. Unknowingly to us, kids got in free AND they had an Easter egg hunt and bunny petting zoo (not sure which one he liked more). Enjoy the pics, I know I enjoyed watching him be a little boy exploring and taking everything in. Oh, and if you are wondering, he dressed himself in some of his new things he got for his birthday :)

IMG_0617  IMG_0630

        IMG_0644         IMG_0645IMG_0661

IMG_0667   IMG_0674

Hope your weekend was as good as ours!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Road trippin’ with the boys…

So this weekend was C-R-A-Z-Y to say the least. We packed up all 3 boys, sent the dog off to Aunt Teri’s and headed to Cedar Rapids. Braden was NOT having it in his car seat this time around but poor little dude was really battling his chest cold and just couldn’t get comfy. Not to mention once we hit CR we realized somehow his arm had gotten wedged under his leg and he had taken a massive deuce somewhere between Tama and CR so no wonder he wasn’t having it. Evan and Jacob managed to stay awake the whole trip too much to our surprise. We did survive though and made it to Adam’s grandparents so they could meet the boys for the first time. That was huge for us to get all 3 kids together and meet their great grandparents. I think Adam’s grandparents really enjoyed the visit too. They especially liked Great Grandma Pitlik’s chocolate chip cookies!


IMG_0433   IMG_0436


Next we went over to Adam’s cousin Larry’s house to see their new place and hang out with his family, his cousin Blake’s family, their friends Tiff and Chris and their little son Kaden (who is an amazing 28 weeker…you would never know looking at him now!), and Adam’s parents. Evan had a great time playing with his cousins Michael, Liv, and Q and even taught Michael a trick or too that I’m sure his mom was real thrilled about (See pic below-Parental Discretion Advised!!!!) Go figure the first time we go to Larry and Tracy’s new house Evan has to pee on it!


Sunday was spent at my parents house in Waterloo where the boys enjoyed some 80 degree April weather and played on “Papa’s playground”. My dad built an awesome swing set for the boys and my nephew and put all their names on it. I think Phil and Evan played on it all day…mostly screaming at the top of their lungs, going down the slide the wrong way, and pretending they were pirates on a sinking boat…oh and fighting over the one swing since my dad put up the baby swing for Jacob. BTW Jacob LOVED the swing and actually fell asleep at one point. The B-man even made it out for a bit but it was a bit warm and windy for him so he chilled out I the house with grandma.

IMG_0449      IMG_0446

IMG_0461  IMG_0469

IMG_0477   IMG_0489

The boys had a blast at Gma and Papa Boesen’s house…minus a few bumps and bruises. Poor Evan left with a huge bruise on his forehead from the toilet lid smacking him as he went to the bathroom in the morning and then woke up that night and must have forgotten where he was. He woke me up saying he had to go potty so I took him to the bathroom in the basement where we slept. Afterward he said “thanks mommy, goodnight” and then turned the corner and fell head first into mine and Adam’s suitcase. I think he thought he was at our house…poor kid…funny no less though!

While we were home my dad made an AMAZING breakfast feast and had my grandparents over for dinner that night. YUM! Roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and rolls. God how I miss my dad’s cooking…soooooo good!!!! Wish they lived closer…we’d be over there every night which would solve my dislike of grocery shopping/dinner idea slumps/lack of dinner making motivation!

Monday was the big trip to Iowa City for all of Braden’s follow-up appointments and his first time meeting with the craniofacial doc. Of course, in Byersdorfer fashion, we have to be in crisis mode 24/7. Woke up at 4 am to Braden desatting due to all the junk his lungs from his cold, spent the next 1.5 hours trying to clear him, then hoping in the car to make it to IC by 8am (his 1st appointment) only to find out that Adam accidentally forgot to plug in the vent to the power source in the car (the battery lasts 4 hours). Adam spent the next 30 min talking to the RTs at The U of I Children’s hospital (who were great by the way) while they tried to track down a back-up charger to get us by till we left and could plug the vent in the car. PS we will NEVER make that mistake again….S-C-A-R-Y!

He met with ENT first because he was due for his ABR hearing screen. We of course forgot to stop his feeds as he needed to be sedated for his hearing test (FAIL #2) but I guess we didn’t screw up too bad since the ENT checked his ears and found fluid in both. A double ear infection = no hearing screen so I guess that saved our butts there. He ordered Augmentin for him and sent us on to the Craniofacial doc.

There we scheduled his cleft palate repair surgery. I have never felt so bad and proud for Braden than I did during his check up. He was so agitated and clearly upset to have her digging in his cleft palate but at the same time he LITERALLY signed “I’m done” and “Bye-Bye” to her once she pulled her finger out of his mouth. She didn’t take it personally :)  His cleft repair is going to be August 12 in the morning. He will probably have to stay 1-2 nights in the hospital depending on how well his pain is managed. She also said she will be putting tubes in his ears (most kids with clefts have difficulty with recurring ear infections) and she will also be clipping his tongue since she said he is on the more severe side of being tongue tied-might as well do it all while your in the OR right? The bad part about recovery is he will have to have his arms restrained on boards for 3 weeks to keep him from  digging in his mouth as it heals. Adam and I told her that he doesn’t really put things in his mouth and she said even the most orally aversioned kid will dig while their mouth heals. I’m NOT looking forward to that!

Next we were sent up to pediatric dentistry to have them take a look at his gums. The craniofacial doc thought his gums looked a little inflamed but the orthodontist took a peek and thought that it was just his molars coming through. She did instruct us to take a toothbrush and massage his gums to help with the swelling and I expressed my concern that Jacob has 7-8 teeth and Braden has 3 (2-bottom, 1 molar) and she said she could feel Braden’s teeth and thought they were just taking their sweet time. She also said that the fact he doesn’t chew on things or isnt eating by mouth may play a role in his delay but she wasn’t too worried.

FINALLY we were sent on to the pediatric nutrionist to discuss Buddha belly’s diet. She said he is no gaining appropriately for his age (8 grams/day) so she thought that now would be a good time to switch him to Pediasure, water, and a multivitamin (higher calorie feed but less volume as the formula). He of course is still “overweight” for his length but Eh what can you do ;)

He did OK on the way home and actually slept so that was good considering he was battling that nasty cold and wasn’t a fan of sitting up so by the time we got back to Waterloo we decided to give him a break for a bit before heading back to Ames. While Braden was chilling out, I took Evan to my dad’s fire station downtown and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience for him. ALL the trucks and ambulances were out and Evan freaked out. He was SO excited. He was really quiet during the visit but his eyes were HUGE. Once we got in the car though it was a different story. My favorite was “That BIG fire truck was REALLY REALLY so VERY AWESOME Mom!” Some of my favorite memories growing up was going to the fire station to visit my dad so I’m glad Evan got to make some memories like that of his own. Hes pretty proud of his Papa!

IMG_0502   IMG_0505

IMG_0510        IMG_0511

IMG_0516  IMG_0518


Sunday is Evan’s 3rd birthday so stayed tuned for the “Sticky” Spiderman breakdown :)