Thursday, December 3, 2009

Due Date

Although the "babies" were two in August, I still think of their due date as a significant milestone.  Today is the day that they are officially 2 years old in my mind.....so, Happy Due Date Ashlyn and Caelan!  If you have had a baby born early, you know how hard it is to stop correcting their age in your own mind.  I have realized in the past few months that I have finally stopped doing this and I believe that they have finally caught up to their age-matched peers.  At their official weigh-in with the pediatrician this week, Ashlyn finally made it onto the weight curve (5th percentile, but she made it!) and Caelan was solidly sitting at the 25th percentile.  They are doing everything that other 2 year olds should be doing and we are so very happy that they are progressing so well.  Hooray! 

Monday, October 12, 2009

Laity Pumpkin Patch


We ended a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with Grammy and Grampy by going to the Laity Pumpkin Patch.  It was such a beautiful day and the kids had lots of fun....milking cows, petting animals, walking through the corn maze and checking out the pumpkins.  And of course, no Pumpkin Patch visit is complete without a ride in a wheelbarrow!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Caelan's first surgery

Caelan returned to Children's Hospital yesterday for his first ever surgery. Ashlyn has already had 2 general anaesthetics (heart surgery and g-tube), but Caelan has so far been lucky despite his rocky start to life. It has been known for quite some time that he needed tubes in his ears to help drain the build-up of fluid, especially in his right ear, and to hopefully help his speech and hearing. We got the call a couple of weeks ago and he was booked for September 8th! Perfect timing because Johnny and I had already booked the time off work and would be available to look after him and the two girls. My biggest worry was the fact that the surgery was in the afternoon and he had to fast from the night before. I thought this would cause major melt-downs, but he was fantastic. I kept him out of the kitchen while the girls ate their breakfast and then we went to the park to play before taking him to the hospital. We arrived for our 12:15pm check-in time and he happily played in the waiting room while we waited for our turn. I wished I had brought my cameral to take a picture of him in his cute little yellow gown, but I forgot. Johnny took the girls for lunch and played with them out in the hallway during our wait. Caelan was finally called to go at 2:30pm. I was able to take him into the OR and play bubbles with him while they started his IV. I was told by the aneasthetist that "although his (medical) chart is not quite as big as he is, it is still very impressive!". Not what you would expect from an otherwise healthy 2 year old coming in for a minor surgery I guess. They had difficulty starting his IV due to the number of scars he has on his hands from previous IVs but they were finally able to gain access on their last attempt. Once the meds were given, he was "out" immediately and I was escorted out of the room. I was told it would take 20 minutes to finish, but when I came back to the waiting room 15 minutes later, I had already missed the surgeon and Caelan was already in recovery. Despite Shaylah's pleas, she was not allowed to come in with me to see him, so I went alone. He was awake and crying desperately for a cuddle....which I was all to happy to give to him. He refused to eat the popsicle they offered, but did take a few sips of apple juice. We stayed for another 1/2 hour and we were out the door by 4:00pm. The 3 nurses he had (pre-admit, recovery and post-surgical care) were all nurses I used to work with many years ago when I worked on the surgical ward at the hospital. It was great to see such friendly and familiar faces! Today he is back to his old self. Running, laughing and causing trouble. You would never know that he had surgery yesterday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Babies!




Ashlyn is Two!















Ashlyn is my delicate little girl. She is constantly coming to me to kiss her "owies" and to make everything better. She is becoming more easy-going as she gets older and loves to laugh. She is quiet in her bed and I only ever know she is awake if I hear her moving in her bed....she never cries or makes noise, unlike her loud brother. Ashlyn loves to sing (songs that she makes-up) and bounces to the music whenever it is on. She is learning new words weekly now and has even started to put 2 words together. She has come to me a few times to let me know that her diaper needs changing, so I guess potty-training will be in the very near future. While she is still unsteady on her feet, she has amazing climbing abilities. She weighs 21 pounds and is wearing size 18 month clothes and size 4 shoes.

Calean is a BIG boy now!
















Caelan has become such a big boy these days and he seems to be growing up overnight. He loves to cuddle, wear his mother's shoes, carry a bag around to put all his treasures in...and generally just wants whatever Ashlyn has in her hands. He goes to bed easily for his naps, but likes to talk to Ashlyn for quite a while before succumbing to sleep at night. He enjoys picking up rocks when we go for walks, he loves to be chased or tickled and he thinks the game of keep-away is the funniest game ever. He is wearing size 24 months clothes and size 5 shoes and weighs 27 pounds.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Just an update

I have no pictures to post because our computer has not been working for the past 2 weeks...we are hopefully getting it back today in working order! I thought I should write a little update on the kids so that I don't forget this stage they are going through. They will be 2 years old in only 2 weeks and I am not sure where the time has gone!

Ashlyn - continues to amaze me. This is a little girl that had a grade IV intra-ventricular hemorhage at birth and she is now walking and talking. Grade IV means that the bleed was so large that it leaked out of the ventricle and caused further damage to the white matter of her brain. There are no higher grades. We were initially told that she would be profoundly impaired and that we may need to make decisions surrounding "life vs quality of life". I am so glad that God chose another path for her. There are definitely signs of of her brain damage, but she continues to surpass all my expectations. She is still quite unsteady on her feet and falls frequently...she has more bruises and scrapes than any child I know, but it does not slow her down. She gets right back up and keeps going. Her strengths are definitely in her fine motor skills and cognitive skills. Her favorite phrase lately is "Oh No!" and she says it very frequently. Other new words include, shoes (for which she continues to have a fetish), milk, juice, nose, and others that I can't think of at this moment :). She finally knows the difference between her g-tube scar and her belly-button, she likes to give kisses and hugs and she is starting to walk up and down the stairs instead of crawl. She is becoming a very sweet little girl.

Caelan - is definitely all boy. He has become a bit of a bully toward his younger sister lately, which does not make me happy. He wants whatever she wants and pushes her out of the way to get it. He laughs if I scold him and he thinks everything in life is a big joke. He loves it when he sees a plane in the sky or hears a train. He now says "wooda" for "What's that?" and "hi", but the rest is all jibberish. He walks up and down the stairs, loves to rough-house with his big sister Shaylah and loves to eat. He is becoming such a big boy so quickly and has a very fun personality.

Monday, July 6, 2009

New discoveries


Things we learned this weekend.
1. Caelan hates being dirty
2. Ashlyn loves being dirty
3. Caelan will not wear a hat no matter what you do
4. Ashlyn asks to wear a hat...but it has to be the one that she (not you) chose to wear




Raspberries


As with everything Ashlyn does, the raspberries went down much more slowly and neatly than her brothers.
Ashlyn's stats:
Weight: almost 21 pounds
Favorite foods: pasta, berries
Favorite game: Peek-a-boo
Favorite book: anything with animals
Personality: independent, fiesty
New skills: walking, talking
New words of the week: More, banana, night-night, Ashlyn, book, balloon
Hates: when someone tries to help her do something
Favorite activity: climbing

Caelan loves raspberries (almost!) as much as his Mama does.
Caelan's latest stats:
Weight: 27 pounds
Favorite game: Chase
Favorite foods: Fruits and Vegetables
Hates: Long sleeved shirts, wearing shoes
Personality: Very affectionate, loves to laugh, easy
New skills: walking up and down the stairs, starting to run
Language: lots of pointing and vocalizing, but no words yet

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thanks Carmen!
















We have a very hard time getting pictures of us as a family. Usually it is either Johnny or I behind the camera and the kids do not stay put long enough for us to get set up. We have many pictures of the kids, but very few of them all together. So before they got too big....we thought we would call in an expert! Carmen is an amazing photographer and someone I have know since highschool. She was able to capture our family in photos that I did not think were possible. Please check out her blog to see a sneak peak of our photo session and look through her portfolio to see more of her amazing work!

http://carmenvandyckphotography.com/blog/two-times-the-fun/

















Thank you Carmen for coming across the bridge and spending the morning with us. It was so great to catch up with you and we are so pleased with the pictures you have taken.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

She's walking!

videoLast Wednesday (June 17th), Ashlyn decided she wanted to walk on her own and she has not stopped since! She has been taking a few steps for the past month, but was still more comfortable holding onto the walls and furniture. Now, she gets upset if I try to pick her up or hold her hand....she just wants to do it herself and she is very proud of her new independence. Go Ashlyn!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ashlyn's update


Ashlyn is a little spitfire. She is extremely independent and prefers to do things on her own time. She is not walking independently yet, but that does not slow her down. She is the better climber of the two babies and I often find her on top of pieces of furniture when I turn my back for just a second. Ashlyn has started to speak and now has several words.....ball, bubble, hello, uh-oh, doggy, kitty, Jackie. She loves to read books about animals and will mimic their sounds. Her favorite is the elephant and she gets her arm going just like Mommy and Daddy! Ashlyn loves to play with balls and will point out anything that looks like one. She is still tiny and only reached the 20 pound mark in the past few weeks. This was a big deal though because we got to turn her carseat around to be forward facing like her brother and sister! Ashlyn has already developed a fetish for shoes...what will she be like as a teenager?

Caelan's update


I haven't updated anything about the kids in a while, so I thought I would briefly describe what they are up to! We have their big 18 month neo-natal follow-up clinic appointment at the end of this month and Caelan has an ENT appointment this week to check out his ears. He has had a few hearing assessments that demonstrate mild hearing loss...mostly attributed to too much fluid in his ears. I guess we will discuss the need for tubes in his ears. He does not have any intelligible words other than Momma and Dadda, but it is very easy to understand what he wants. He will bring you over to the object of his desire and point and babble unitl you get it for him. He has been walking well for several months now and has discovered how much fun it is to have someone chase him. He prefers to walk rather than being in his stroller and I let him walk most places we go now. He is extremely loving and sweet and I call him my "people pleaser". He is never far from my side and comes back to check on me and give me a hug every so often when we are at the playground. He is most upset when he knows that he has disappointed someone. He is happiest when he has food in his mouth. He has started to discover trucks and trains and loves to play in dirt and/or water.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Such a Big Boy

Caelan is becoming so independent. He has recently figured out how to walk down the stairs while holding the railing and to go down the slide on his bottom...both of which he used to do sliding down on his belly. He seems to be gaining skills so rapidly these days! He watches how Shaylah does things and then tries to imitate her. He is sure enjoying the summer-like weather we have had the past couple of weeks.





Monday, May 25, 2009

My Little Man!


Caelan recently got his first "real" haircut and, because of it, he no longer looks like my little baby boy.

Ashlyn and Charlie


Charlie is actually Shaylah's pet...a Telus animal brought home from work by Daddy....and he has been known as Charlie right from the beginning.




Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is such a mix of emotions for me. I am so grateful for my children and I feel so full of life and grateful when I hear them call my name. It is the best job in the world and I do not take one moment for granted with my three blessings.


...but there is also a sense of extreme sadness on the day that we are meant to honor our own mothers.


This is the fourth Mother's Day I have spent without my mom and it does not get any easier for me. I miss her to the core of my very being. She was such a giving and caring person; she never thought twice about sacrificing her own needs/wants for those of her two daughters. I would give anything to have just five more minutes with her to tell her how much I appreciated her and loved her.



I have been trying to talk to Shaylah about her Grandma and I am so saddened by the fact that she will never meet her. My mom had such a special bond with children and she always made a big fuss over the little people in her life. She constantly talked about how proud she was of her great-niece Faith and great-nephews Declan and Gabe (Jen's kids)....the closest she ever got to being the grandmother that she longed to be. Even after she had passed away, we found gifts for these special kids hidden away in her closet.



My mom was so supportive of me and made me believe I could do anything in life. She always had a way of making me feel better about myself, especially when I was feeling low.









With my mom in this world, I always knew I was loved. I miss the unconditional love that only a parent can give. I love you Mom!












Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swinging


This is from a while ago, but I liked the picture. She wasn't really enjoying the swing this day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

All Smiles!


We have finally had some beautiful weather and the kids are really enjoying being able to play outside on the deck. Here are a few shots of them from this evening.

Enjoying a beautiful spring evening