Monday, June 28, 2010

Seventeen Months

Our little guy continues to do well after his latest surgery. He is learning how to play and maneuver toys without being able to grab them.

Noah's current stats:

Weight: 26 pounds 10 ounces
Length: 33 inches
Mr. Man is just such a happy guy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

When Mama's away...

...the boys get together to play.

As the story goes, Charlie tried to convince both Noah and Daddy-O that they needed to get tattoos...just like his. Daddy-O was unsure of having such a large tat on his chest and Noah thought putting I LOVE NOAH on his chest was a bit strange. Someone commented on how Noah's wrapped up arms remind them of Popeye the Sailor Man and I guess one thing lead to another...
When I got home from Portland, I was picked up at the airport by Charlie,
Daddy-O,
and my little Noah Man.
I am so glad my guys had a fun weekend together but I'm a bit nervous to see what they do the next time I leave them alone.

And...yes, there will be a next time. Not only did I did survive a night without my boys, I actually had a FANTASTIC time with Amy, Brian, Owen, Grace and family. I might have to get away again soon.
Noah's not quite sure about that.

Friday, June 25, 2010

482 Nights

It was bound to happen. Something that could not, nor should not, have been avoided. The inevitable has happened, and yet I still somehow feel off-guard.

My little man has been alive for exactly 508 days. Aside from the 26 nights he spent in the NICU, I have put him to sleep every night and been there when he woke up every morning. That's exactly 482 good-night kisses, 482 bed time prayers, 482 sleepy snuggles, and 482 bright morning wake-ups. All of that, however, is about to change.

Tomorrow, I am flying up to Portland for an amazing honor. Several years ago, I was asked by my dear friend Amy to be her son's Godmother. It was so wonderful to stand up and witness Owen's baptism in the same church that she and I grew up in. I was, once again, asked to be Godmother to her daughter Grace. I am so excited to spend some quality time with them, finally see their home, attend their church, and witness the baptism of their amazing little girl. All that being said, I am SO sad that I will be missing one night with both of my guys.

I know Kc will do an awesome job as a "single Dad" and Noah probably won't even recognize that I'm gone. I know that one night spent away from my family is not a bad thing. In fact, it might even be a good thing...refreshing my spirit and re-energizing my soul. I know that when I am picked up from the airport, there will be hugs and kisses aplenty. All this I know...yet why is my heart so heavy?!?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

All Wrapped Up

Well...here they are...as promised. Noah is all wrapped up, from the tips of his fingers to just below his elbow. Last night was still pretty rough {or ruf} because every time Noah moved around, he would inevitably hit or roll on top of his hand and wake-up in tears.
The only thing that gives him comfort {aside from sleepy cuddles from the parental units} is his Camo Charlie. Kc and I have been trying for over a year to find a "lovie" for Noah. Early on, Noah was never far from his Wubba {pacifier}, but as quickly as that love affair started, it abruptly ended. We have subsequently introduced Noah to various blankets, stuffed animals, dolls, trucks, cars, whatever we throw at him, without any luck. He never took any interest in anything...until Charlie.

When I was a little girl, my Mom {AKA Nana} made a Raggedy Ann doll for me. She even embroidered I LOVE BECKY on Ann's stomach. She has subsequently made Raggedy dolls for many other family members...accept for her very own third child...sorry Drew. When all three grandsons were together last week, she presented each boy with their very own twenty-first century Raggedy Andy on steroids - Camo Charlie.
Charlie has the fiercest camouflage shirt {with a Peter Pan collar} and wicked black shorts over forest green striped socks. His chest is even tatted with each boys name. Once Noah was introduced, it was love at first sight. They have been INSEPARABLE since then.

Charlie was able to accompany Noah in the operating room on Monday and we knew they were looking out for each other. Once we saw them in the recovery room, we recognized that they were two Bandaged Brothers. The nurses had wrapped Charlie's hands just like Noah and had even given them matching booties. Too cute!
I look forward to seeing the relationship between Noah and Charlie unfold...and to more sleep in the nights to come.

Backpack

I have recently started selling adorable bags and gifts from a company called Thirty-One. When I saw this Toddler Backpack, I couldn't resist getting one for Noah {of course I can also use it as a demo during parties}. The first time I put it on Noah, he didn't quite know what to think.He kind of reminded me of a cat chasing their tail...he kept going around in circles trying to see what was on his back. Once I stopped laughing, took the backpack off to show him, and put it back on, Noah thought he was pretty cool.Here he is all packed and ready to go to Nana and Papa's house so Kc and I could go on a double date with my brother and sister-in-law {our third annual double date}.Noah is getting to be such a big boy. Where has the time gone?!?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ruf

Ruf...that describes yesterday perfectly...ruf! Let me back up and start from the beginning.

At six o'clock in the morning, the Jacksons arrived at Children's Hospital...bright and early and ready for surgery. Here is Noah, just hangin' out, wearing his cool gown, and relaxing on his gurney. The first procedure Noah had was another scope of his trachea. After only forty-five minutes in the OR, the Dr. came out and showed us pictures. He, once again, looked at it from the top through Noah's mouth as well as from the bottom through his trach hole. The Dr. said Noah's case is quite challenging and he would prefer to send him to the Children's Hospital at Stanford to have the tracheal reconstruction. We are eagerly awaiting a call to let us know when our first appointment is.

Once the ENT left the OR, Noah's plastic surgeon came in and proceeded to separate the syndactyly {webbing} between his middle and ring fingers on both hands. This was an incredibly tedious procedure, because once the Dr. separated the fingers, he had to take skin from the side of Noah's palm and graft it onto each newly separated finger. This second surgery took over three and a half hours, but we were thrilled when the Dr. came out and told us everything went well.

Noah spent about an hour and a half in the first recovery room before being transferred to a room where we could see him. Our little man was in QUITE a bit of pain and spiked a fever of 102 degrees. We spent several hours holding our "drugged" Stinkpot before we were allowed to take him home. Once home, however, the excitement had only just begun.

After spending almost eleven hours at Children's Hopsital, we were relieved to finally be home. Noah was still in a tremendous amount of pain and, although taking Tylenol with Codeine, he had trouble sleeping. He was up every hour to hour and a half needing some cuddling and loving {and additional drugs} from his Mama and Daddy-O.

Hopefully tonight will bring a better nights sleep for all three of us and I promise to post pictures of our Little Man all wrapped up tomorrow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!!

Dear Daddy-O,

Thanks for being the most awesome and wonderful Dad I could have asked for. You have taught me about love {by watching how much you love Mama}, you always put family first,
you help me to learn new signs {and recognize when I sign them}, you get up with me in the middle of the night when I just need a cuddle, you play a mean game of tickle monster, you never push me to do more than I'm ready for, and you gave me the most awesome curly hair {just like you promised Mama you would}. For all these reasons and so much more, Happy Father's Day! I love you!

Love,

Noah

P.S. Sorry about the lack of sleep last night. I promise to try and make up for it tonight.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Life's a Beach

On our way home from Paso Robles, the Jacksons, Iowa Smiths {with Gramma and Pop Pop}, and Akinas headed over to Cambria for some play time on the beach and lunch overlooking the surf. Unfortunately, the dreary weather, tired parents, and cranky kids made for a quick trip to the rocky shore followed by a hurried lunch. Even though the trip was not what we had envisioned, it was still fun to spend time with friends.

As we've talked about before, Noah does not do well with new situations. It takes repeated exposure for the little man to feel comfortable with anything out of the ordinary. For instance, we've been putting him in Nana and Papa's sandbox almost daily for the past month and he is just now tolerating the sand on his feet without crying. Unfortunately, Noah did not associate the beach with a very large sandbox. Once we stood him on the rocky shore, Noah instantly began to cry. He even had shoes on so his feet were not actually touching the sand, but it was still a new and unusual situation and therefor caused stress for my little man.

After some reassuring cuddles from Mamawe tried sitting him down in the sand. For some reason, this was a bit more tolerable for Mr. Stinkpot. He gave Kc just enough time to snap a few picts before starting to cry. Here Noah and I are showing Daddy-O how big the ocean is.
Before leaving the shore, I thought it was an absolute MUST to sink our toes in the sand. I quickly took my shoes off and showed Noah that it wasn't all that bad. As soon as I took his shoes off, however, he quickly disagreed with me. Mr. Man immediately picked up one foot as high as he could and curled his toes under the foot that was still touching the detestable sand. I felt like there was a flamingo standing between my legs. Noah learned the unfortunate lesson that no matter how hard you might try, levitation is just not possible for mere mortals.

All in all, it was a fun day full of new experiences, laughter, and yummy sweet potato fries. We're going to have to plan another trip to the beach...soon.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Park in Paso Robles

Last Friday, shortly after I said good-bye to my first grade kiddos and officially started summer vacation, we piled in the car and headed over to Paso Robles on the central coast. We were fortunate enough to celebrate the wedding of Stacey and Jared Gerbrant at the beautiful Robert Hall Winery. What a gorgeous place to start your life as husband and wife!

Nana and Papa traveled with us {THANK YOU SO MUCH} to watch the little man while we went to the wedding and reception. It was so nice to wake-up on Saturday morning and have plenty of time to play in Paso before we needed to get ready for the wedding. We walked around the adorable town square, found a cute craft fair, strolled up and down the old streets, ate at the delicious Thomas Hill Organics Bistro, and even found a cute park to play at.

We, of course, quickly found the swings and our little Stinkpot thought he was in heaven.Hold on tight!Noah has recently started to sign "more". Here he is telling me he wants to swing more, and more, and more.Noah was able to go down a slide for the first time.Noah wasn't sure what he felt about the slide the first time he went down, but soon learned to like it.What an awesome way to spend my first "official" day of summer vacation!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Cousins

Trying to get four kiddos, age two and under, to all sit still for a quick photo was a feat.

Little Miss Brooklyn was quiet and content...most of the time.
The three boys...all sticking various objects in their mouths. Haven't they changed SO much in six short months???
Can't wait to see what the next shots in December will be like!?!

Fire Station Field Trip

Noah has been receiving in-home services from our district's early intervention program, CitiKids, for almost a year. He was recently invited to join the toddler group which meets twice a week. During the summer, the group has field trips every Thursday. The first field trip Noah went on was to the local fire station.
It is quite impressive to look at the huge engines with their huge hoses and huge tires. Noah was quite overwhelmed with the loud noises, tons of kiddos running around, strange people, and huge fire fighters. He DID NOT let me put him down the entire trip, but seemed to enjoy looking at the blinking lights and touching the shiny metal dials. He even got to shoot water out of the hose and hit an orange traffic cone {he thought that was pretty cool}.
We look forward to many more Thursday field trips this summer!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

Ok, Ok, Ok...I know it's been eons {or at least a week} since I've blogged. We've been just a tad bit busy here. I finished my last week of school {I am officially a SAHM for 9 weeks}, Noah was discharged from his special needs pre-school, Uncle Drew, Auntie Nessa and Cuz Jonah flew out from Iowa, we all traveled to Paso Robles for a be-au-ti-ful wedding in the wine country, Uncle Adam, Auntie Mel, Cuz Hunter and Cuz Brooklyn drove down from Susanville, family time was spent together, we celebrated Cuz Jonah's first birthday, and today Noah had a doctor's appointment, his first toddler group through CitiKids, and we are meeting with an OT {occupational therapist} at Children's Hospital for an initial evaluation. WOW! I promise to post plenty of pictures soon...as soon as I can recover just slightly.

Oh, and Yippee Skippy, Kc was offered a new, full-time job {he's been part time since January}. The Lord has been so faithful and we are excited about this new chapter in Kc's career. More details to follow.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Jack Attack

Last weekend, the Jacksons were joined by the McIlhargeys at the zoo. It was a beautiful morning spent in the company of good friends and crazy animals.
Noah and Jack has such a great time together. It was fun to see them interact with each other and get a kick out of all the animals that were showing off.
Jack has recently learned to walk. Mr. Man is not quite sure what to think of this phenomenon, but hopefully a bit of competition will encourage Noah to take even more steps.P.S. Aren't those the most amazing blue eyes you have ever seen?!?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Splish-Splash

Noah LOVES his bath!!!! He continues to take his nightly bath in the sink - it's easier on Mama's back and knees as well as much safer for his trach.
Recently, he has learned the joy of splashing. Noah raises both hands above his head and lets loose on the water below.
Last night, there was more water on Mama, the floor, the walls, and the ceiling, than was left in the sink.
We're going to have to start taking baths outside!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Bang-Bang

A few nights ago, Noah decided to help Mama make dinner {hamburgers with Greek orzo salad}. He made sure to take out the largest {and loudest} bowl to do the mixing.

He carefully used a wooden spoon to toss the orzo with the chopped cucumbers, feta cheese, kalamata olives, and tomatoes.
He finally mixed the entire salad with olive oil, lemon juice and oregano.
Once the salad was transferred to a serving bowl, he washed his spoon and mixing bowl and put them away.
Noah was such a great help, I know we'll do a lot more cooking together in the future.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Old Friends

Last week, some very old and dear friends stopped in Fresno on their way moving from Pennsylvania to Nevada. Noah was fortunate to have two play dates with Ellie and Brody. He learned how to stack Legos, enjoy the sandbox, and clean-up the toys he spread all over the floor.

We were able to have a great BBQ with the Bucks on Friday! It was so nice to catch up, eat yummy food, and watch Ellie pull Noah around, and around, and around in the little red wagon.

Looking forward to more opportunities to get together now that the Bucks are back on the West Coast!

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