Monday, January 28, 2013


That's right!  My little boy has officially entered the Terrible Two's!  And we couldn't be more excited!

We are so lucky to have our little feisty Jaden in our lives.  There is literally not a day that goes by that I don't just stare at him in awe and wonder.  Here are some fun facts about our miracle boy:

*He doesn't like to hold his morning/nap time/bedtime bottle.  He likes you to hold it, and then he likes to play with your fingers.
*Favorite TV shows: Thomas the Train and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
*Favorite Movies: Lion King (this is a new favorite and I think I have watched it about 50 times in the last week and a half), Finding Nemo and Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
*He is going through a Cheese-It phase.  That's all he wants to eat.  Thank goodness for multi-vitamins!
*He is a very quiet kid (comes from Jake) but has just started to hold long conversations in complete gibberish (comes from me).
*When he wants to show you something he will grab your finger and drag you over to see it.
*He is completely fascinated by his belly button.
*He spends a good portion of his day watching home movies of himself.  Vain child (comes from me).
*He loves to take baths.  He will take two baths a day if he can talk us into it.
*Jaden doesn't say "yes".  I mean, he can say it, but he doesn't.  He just says "ok!" instead.
*He is obsessed with dogs, and more specifically, dogs licking his face.

So here are the obligatory photos!
Jaden in the NICU
6 months (I love that you can see his apnea monitor wires at the bottom - we had taken him off oxygen for the pictures and kept putting the nasal cannula back in his nose in between pictures)
1 year
18 months
2 years!!! (ish - this was actually taken in November, but it's close enough)
Happy Birthday Jaden!  We love you more than you could ever know!  We are eternally grateful you were willing to fight to stay with us!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whew! That's a lot of updates!

Between Christmas, my anniversary (6 years!!!), celebrating the New Year, Jaden's surgery, my birthday (28!!!), having my mom here (which has been nothing short of awesome!), getting ready for Jaden's birthday (2!!!), planning a family reunion to Disney World (including a Disney Cruise!), and preparing for a move (more about that in a future post), there just hasn't been the time to update the blog.  But I pushed it to the front of my list today, so enjoy!

Jaden's Surgery

Jaden had surgery on January 4th.  He had to be circumcised  and he also had some reconstruction work to be done "down there".  Things didn't form quite right, and we've known since birth that this surgery would have to be done.  We waited until now so that he was old enough to handle the ventilator (and more importantly, come off the ventilator ok, since that was such an issue in the NICU) but young enough to never remember this!  It was a same-day surgery, and the surgery took 1 1/2 hours.  Here we are in our surgery prep area:

 We made sure to bring a lot of Thomas DVD's and trains.  The hardest part was that he kept begging for milk/juice/snacks but we couldn't give him anything and he was miserable!  He didn't get taken back into surgery until 10:45am, and he was starving!

After surgery, they had us wait to go back and see him until he had woken up from the anesthesia.  But by the time we got back there, he was sedated again.  Apparently he tore out his IV 3 times and wouldn't stop rolling and thrashing around on the bed so they had to sedate him again.  I guess kids do better after waking up from sedation following anesthesia.  The nurses couldn't stop talking about how incredibly strong he was - it took three of them to hold him down!  Also, the nurse anesthetist told me that he completely freaked her out - right after she extubated him (pulled the breathing tube out) he sat straight up on the operating table!  Like, he was knocked out cold from the anesthesia one second, and the next, sitting straight up!  Something straight out of a horror movie if you ask me!
They had me crawl on his post-op bed to calm him when he woke from sedation.   He was still really disoriented when he woke and he wanted nothing more than to get that IV out!  We watched cartoons for awhile and then let him have some apple juice, which he kept down just fine.  Then they let us go home!

 They gave him a nerve block in addition to the anesthesia to help with the additional pain.  They said it would relieve his pain for about 6-8 hours after the surgery.  They lied.  Almost as soon as we walked in the door, Jaden started screaming.  And I mean, the kind of scream that you never want to hear your child make.  Blood curdling doesn't even begin to describe it.  That entire night was just a blur of awfulness that I want to forget.  The doctor had given us a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine  but that barely took the edge off the pain.  It was a long night.
The next morning he woke up at 4:30am.  As soon as we got downstairs, he wanted to get down to play with his trains, but as soon as he put his weight on his legs, he started to scream!  I quickly picked him back up and went and brought the trains to him.  He sat with me until 6:30am when he asked to be put down again.  I hesitantly put him down, and he ran off to play with his toys without even looking back!  It was like regular Jaden for the rest of the day!  Except we could always tell when he was peeing: his body would stiffen, he would hunch over, and then he would whimper in pain.  But then he would straighten up, smile, and run off to his next adventure.  He still had awful moments (like most diaper changes) but things have gotten progressively better.  I think we are almost done with the pain at this point.
At the end of the month he has his follow up appointment, and if the doctor is happy with his healing, he will discharge him from Urology, which means that Jaden will no longer have any specialists or therapists, just a regular pediatrician!  And we are also really happy realizing that this has been Jaden's only surgery since birth, which all things considered, is pretty amazing!

Curse You Pinterest!!!!

I have stayed away from Pinterest for a LONG time because I knew I would be addicted to it and I couldn't afford to be addicted to it.  But then one day, I received a call from a friend in the ward who was in charge of our Super Saturday (a day where the women in our church get together and make crafts) and she told me not enough people had signed up to teach a craft and she needed me to teach something.  Of course I agreed, but as soon as I hung up, I broke out in cold sweats.  I am not a craftsy person.  At all.  In fact, most of the time I try something, I like it, and then I think "and if I add this or change this it will be even better!" and then I add or change it, and it's awful.  How was I supposed to teach a Super Saturday worthy craft to people that could do everything better than me!?!  So, I gave in to the dark side and created an account to Pinterest.

Almost immediately I found the flat glass marble magnets that I eventually ended up teaching (simple, cheap, and even Jake could make them), but then I realized the black hole that Pinterest is: step-by-step tutorials with pictures for each step.  These incredibly talented people lead me to believe that by following their "simple steps" I can recreate their amazing things.  And I totally bought into it.  I kind of went "crafting crazy", as it were.  My crafting supplies went from being able to fit in a shoe box, to being crammed in two HUGE rubbermaid totes.  I discovered the awesomeness that Hobby Lobby is.  I finally figured out how to cut vinyl on my Cricut.  And I decided to do some homemade gifts for Christmas.  The results, I am pleased to announce, turned out awesome!
Honestly, the picture doesn't do it justice.  I also made several other things, but didn't take pictures of any of them.  I have since calmed down a little and only go on Pinterest every now and then.  It can be a great tool, but also a great distraction!

Christmas 2012

*It's really dark and has a hard time focusing, but worth it!*

So obviously all of the planning and buying things months in advance (I was done with Christmas and Jaden's birthday shopping by the end of October) was in vain, because all he needed and wanted was the train table.  But as my grandma said, at least I found something that he absolutely loves!  And the best part - I got it for free!  In fact, everything he got for Christmas and birthday cost less than $75, and that includes all of his new 12 month and 18 month clothes!

I got Jake several things, one of which was a carpet cleaner I picked up for next to nothing at a yard sale.  It didn't work as well as we would have liked, so Jake decided to make a project out of it to see if he could fix it:
We couldn't get it working the way we wanted it to, but I think he had more fun taking it all apart and trying to put it back together!

The Stockings Were Hung...

After setting out all of the presents on Christmas Eve, I looked at it and thought that we had done pretty good!  Not too little, not too much, but just the right balance:
 Then I looked at our stockings and realized I may have underestimated the amount a stocking will hold (the bags behind the stockings were the "overflow" stocking stuffers.  Mine was empty but Jake filled it later).
 Then I turned around and saw this, and realized we may have gotten him too much stuff after all:
And then I stumbled into the hallway and had that sinking feeling of "what have we gotten ourselves into!!!"
Lesson learned: LESS IS MORE!!!

Ward Christmas Party

Our ward had a Christmas Party this year where the youth put on a live nativity.  They had the nursery kids dress up as animals (with any animal costume they had, so we had a duck (Jaden), a shark, a lion, and some sheep - you never knew how diverse the animals were in Bethlehem that night, did you!), the primary girls dress up as angels, the primary boys dress up as shepherds (I will never again allow my CTR 4 boys to have large sticks.  Ever.), the young men and young women were Mary, Joseph, the Narrator and presented special musical numbers, and the bishopric were the 3 wise men.  We never practiced, but with the help of leaders shuffling them around to where they needed to be, it was really fun!  Jaden pooped out about halfway through, which was good because by that time I was on "don't even think about hitting him/stop twirling your staff in the air/stop hitting the ground repeatedly/the nursery kids are NOT for drumming on" shepherd duty.