So every day I think “I should really post something” and then a day later turns into weeks later, into months, and then here we are! Sorry bout that! We have been going non-stop here this winter/spring since it has been so nice out! We spend lots of time outside with the kids riding bikes, Braden in his walker, going on walks, and playing on the boys’ new play set that daddy built for them. We’ve had bachelor/ette parties, weddings, showers, birthday parties, visits from friends and family, holidays, you name it! So to recap things here (and not to bore you to death I will do a recap of each boy and then post some pics! It might be a bit disjointed considering I just realized I missed 2 whole months in between the boys’ birthdays!
Evan just turned 4 in April and I thought to myself “THANK GOD 3 is OVER!!!” Little did I know that year 4 brought along a whole lot of attitude and sass! Don’t get me wrong, Evan is one of the sweetest little boys around but behind that cute face and big brown eyes is a 16 year old girl trapped in a 38 inch body! I hear a lot of “Whatever Mom!” and “I don’t care” or my favorite “You keep saying you are going to spank me, why don’t you do it already!” I also have to remind him frequently that he did NOT give birth to Jacob so to leave the mommy business to me :/ Jacob gets it double time with Evan and I…a lot of “Jacob-I’m going to count to 3”-“Jacob-you can go to time out or listen, those are the rules!” or “Mom are you going to cut up Jacob’s food into smaller bites, he chokes on everything you know!” Bedtime and dinner are a constant battle and he usually ends up crying but I got some new tricks and advice from his pediatrician to try at his 4 yr appointment so we will see if they work!
He is a very active 4 year old, loves being outside riding bikes and swinging, and loves to do anything with his daddy! He may look like my side (my brother Dan to be exact) but he acts JUST LIKE his daddy! He loves being in the dirt as well and am desperate to find out the best way to remove layers of dirt from little kid fingernails! He also had his preview night for preschool last week! I can’t believe he will be going to school in the fall! Where did my little baby go??????
Jacob’s vocabulary is expanding by the minute and does pretty much everything that Evan does including asking “you stay here?” every time I go to work, asking repeatedly “can I - out timeout?” and wrapping his arms around himself while yelling “NOT FAIR!” He likes to irritate Evan as much as possible while doling out lots of hugs and kisses to Braden every chance he gets! Jacob is also really good at signing and I find him signing to Braden and asking “What color Bay-den” or “you suck-sin?” when he thinks Braden needs help :) Its very funny to see how Jacob and Evan can irritate the crap out of each other like normal brothers but they both seem to put that all aside and give Braden nothing but love and attention…he in return usually smacks them upside the head or chucks toys at them :)
Jacob loves riding bikes, playing tractors, and hoarding all the toys in the house. Adam calls him the “traveling hoarder” because he always has his arms loaded with toys whenever we go anywhere and usually sleeps with AT LEAST 4 tractors, an airplane, a few monster trucks, and the random tool. He’s still cute as a button but don’t let that face fool you, that kid is full of piss and vinegar! He purposely does things he knows he’s not supposed to and does it with a huge smirk on his face. He also is one of the most stubborn kids I know. Threatening him with going to bed doesn’t really have the same effect on him that it does Evan. Usually when I say “Jacob you have to eat that or you have to go to bed” he usually says “OK ni-night” and then gets down from the table and puts himself to bed. Well played sir, well played! He’s dang near as tall as Evan now too…in fact I actually got asked yesterday if Evan and Jacob were twins…poor Evan he doesn’t have a shot in hell at being tall!
Braden-where do I even begin? Since going to ChildServe in January he has just developed by leaps and bounds! He can sit up for long periods of time, loves scooting around in his mini-pacer, can sign over 50 signs, loves being outside swinging, can roll over, and can be off the vent for up to 3 hours at a time! Words can’t even describe how proud we are of that little man of ours. He truly inspires me to be a better person and to live each day to the fullest. I couldn’t be more proud to have been chosen to be his mama! The only real thing we are struggling with now is the oral aversion. We are getting there but he really refuses to put any food in his mouth. We have gotten him to put licorice, graham crackers, and Cheetos in his mouth but that’s about the extent…BUT it is progress considering he wouldn’t even touch it with his hands a few months ago! We will get there but it sure is frustrating. He can do though I know he can he just has to stop being so darn stubborn!
He is doing really well with all his appointments in Iowa City. His cleft repair looks awesome, he’s doing great with his 4.0 trach, he is able to sprint longer (his pulmonologists wants us to push him harder on the sprinting-we used to put him back on when he cried but he said to check his oxygen saturations and make sure he isn’t just throwing a fit because he is 2!) and we are watching and waiting on his spine because right now his vertebra are too small for screws yet. We are working also right now in getting him used to a motorized wheel chair in hopes to get him approved for one so that is pretty exciting!
I know I am missing a ton more information I’m sure but I’m trying to cram this all in so I can go outside and enjoy this beautiful weather sorry :) So before the pics I will leave you with one fun tidbit of being a mom to3! As most of you with kids know, they can be very “helpful” backseat drivers. Well I now have it to the power of 3! The other day I had the pleasure of hearing Evan-“Mom why are you slowing down? Oh its a red light you should slow down more!” Jacob “MOM! MOM! MOM!” Me-“WHAT?!?!?!” Jacob-“Red light! STOOOOOOOP!” and then out of sheer exasperation I look in the rear view mirror just in time to see Braden sign “Mom-Red-Light” OH DEAR GOD I was getting it from every angle! But as annoying as it was it was still pretty darn cute to see them all ganging up on me as a united front!
Ok enough of my babbling…here is 3 months worth of pics to catch you up! Enjoy!
OH! And before I forget! The boys were chosen as one of the few babies to be celebrated on the Mercy Miracle Baby wall in the NICU so we are very excited to see their story hanging up on the wall at Mercy! I know every time we went to visit Braden Adam and I would stop and read the wall hangings and gather strength and hope from the miracle babies and their success stories! We are SO honored to have our boys chosen to give back to future families and give them the hope they may desperately need during their stay in the NICU! Thank you Mercy for thinking of us (and to our NICU family-we love you, we miss you, and we thank God everyday for you because with out you we wouldn’t have the opportunity to have this blog and share all the wonderful things Braden is doing now…its ALL BECAUSE OF YOU!!!!!")
We went to the Kids Fest in DSM with their girlfriend Aubrie :)
Daddy built the boys a new play set…not sure who was more excited! Braden got his trial wheel chair. Miss Lainey, our friend with CD, came to visit, Evan’s 4th birthday, VEISHEA and Easter egg hunts galore!
Flying kites at the acreage (mind you the only memory they took from that experience was our dog killing a nest of baby bunnies…oh and we own 6 acres and Jacob got his kite stuck in 1 of 2 trees there!) And of course last but not least-my cousin Joe and Vaska got married! What an awesome weekend for an awesome couple!