Friday, July 31, 2015

Alex's First "Successful" Trip to the Dentist

We have had two failed attempts at taking Alex to the dentist the past couple of years, so I looked into a Pediatric Dentist a few months ago. I was able to find one that also specializes in children with special needs. I have to say, that we deal with a lot of doctors and specialists and this office staff was by far the nicest I have ever encountered. His experience was such a success that I just had to share! She was able to polish his teeth, scrape the tartar, floss and give him fluoride. He was even saying "Ah" for her. We had to pay out of pocket because our insurance wouldn't cover it, but it was worth every penny for my happy boy!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

From Heartbreak to Joy

In the back of my mind, I knew as the boys got older Evan would begin to ask more questions about Alex. He has asked the basics like why can't Alex walk or talk like him, why does Alex go to therapy or why does Alex need help with things.

I have been very fortunate to have a child like Evan. He has always been a very independent player, extremely helpful and never asks for much. But then there is a part of me that feels like he is overshadowed by Alex's disability. Having twins didn't allow for much one on one time with the boys when they were infants. I was committed to having a schedule and sticking to it for my own sanity. 

For five years Alex has depended on me and he probably will for life, but once Evan started showing signs of independence, I let him run with it and maybe even took advantage of it at times. To be fair, I wanted him to learn the importance of helping someone in need whether it be Alex or a Grandparent or a stranger.

Obviously Alex gets more attention with his needs, but I always try my best to give Evan the attention and one on one time he needs and deserves. I strive to never turn him down when he asks me to do something - whether it be build train tracks, play a game or play catch. He always seems to enjoy our time together.

Yesterday I realized that I am not enough and there is something missing in Evan's life. Something I have cried over and over about. It is the one thing I wish more than anything I could give him and the one thing I question as to why he had to be robbed of it. Everyone is always looking at Alex and seeing what he is missing but I don't think people see how it affects Evan too.

The other day we were in the car on our way to the beach when out of the blue he told me I need to have another baby in my belly. (He has been asking about another sibling for a few months now, but it is highly doubtful that it will happen) A sister he said and when I asked why, his answer broke my heart into a million little pieces. He said Alex can't walk or talk and he wants someone to play with. Thankfully I had my sunglasses on and he couldn't see the tears as they fell down my cheeks. I had to get my composure so I could answer him.

I went on to explain the different ways that he and Alex DO play together and all of the fun stuff they do together. I reminded him of the friends he has that we have spent a crazy amount of time with this summer that he has to play with and how he will have new friends at school in the fall. He seemed OK with my answers seeing that he didn't continue to push the issue. Once we got to the beach with their friends, all was forgotten. I don't think he realizes that me having a baby isn't going to give him an instant five year old playmate that he desires, but I wasn't about to get into that! It took most of the day for me to piece my heart back together. It is not easy to recover from something like that.

Just this morning, Evan mentioned again how Alex can't walk, but then he quickly followed up with how he can walk in his walker and when he is bigger he will walk. (More Tears). The hope he has in his heart is already prominent even if he doesn't understand just yet. It brings me great joy.

The other night I found out that he mentioned this same thing to Eric one night last week, so Eric took them on an "adventure" in the back yard where Alex and Evan had to work as a team. Evan had to find certain things and give them to Alex (who was in the wagon) to hold onto. I bet people don't realize the lengths we go to as parents to do things that regular families take for granted. When Eric told me this, my heart melted. This is why HE was picked for ME and why WE were picked for Alex and Evan. It takes a special kind of family to do what we do. It is hard, it is challenging but more importantly it is rewarding. I love my family. Our life is different than most but I am not about to sit around and allow these difficult moments bring me down. I have to pick myself back up and keep moving forward.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Birthday Number 5

It has been a busy week or so with Alex and Evan's birthday last Thursday and then the big celebration on Saturday with our family and friends. Everything turned out so nice and we even turned the party into a pool party for the kids because it was so hot that day. To no surprise, that was a hit!

Thursday (their actual birthday) we spent the day at the beach with Rachel, Lauren and Nathan.

From there, we met up with Eric at Rainforest Cafe to have dinner and then back home where we gave the boys their presents from us so they didn't have to wait.

Saturday was party day! This year we went with a Minion theme! It was truly fitting with how much they love the movies, and with the new Minion movie coming out last weekend, it was next to perfect. This was the first year I decided to buy a cake for each of them. I think it worked out nice. They each had their own cake and they each had Happy Birthday sang to them individually. Last minute, we decided to have a "water party" for the kids. We already knew they were getting a pool from Grandma and Grandpa, and we had gotten them a sprinkler so we set those up along with the kiddie pool and water table and let the kids have a ball for a couple of hours. After that came presents, cake and exhaustion! Everything turned out really nice and I think everyone had a good time. You be the judge!

Waiting on the guests to arrive!

Pool Time!

Casey and Alex chillin'

Laken eating a bun
Blake at the water table

Evan skimming out!

A big new pool and they all squeeze in the little one!

Having a ball!
Finally in!
Brayden and Laken taking a turn

Present time!

Minion Cakes!

Today, we took the boys to see the new Minion movie - which we all loved, then they were able to come home and have time in their new pool! It was a great end to a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Evan

Dear Evan,

I cannot seem to wrap my head around the fact that you are five today. It seems like yesterday I could hear you in the halls of the hospital screaming your little lungs away as I came for a midnight visit. Not much has changed, you can still be pretty loud, just in a different way now. Daily hospital trips were a way of life for me, for 48 days. Now look at you; so handsome and strong. You are full of energy, lovable and quite a curious little boy.

You are amazing in every way. I cannot believe how smart you are and how interested you are in so many things. You are always asking questions and wanting to know know know. Knowledge is Power, and I think you my son are well on your way.

Your inquisition is fascinating, your humor is contagious and your heart is full of love.

I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished these past 5 years. I admire you and I am so happy that I was picked to be your Mom. Happy Birthday Evan. I love you.


Happy Birthday Alex

Dear Alex,

I cannot seem to wrap my head around the fact that you are five today. It seems like yesterday you were my Itty bitty 3lb 9oz baby boy that was so tiny and fragile to hold. Daily hospital trips were a way of life for me, for 48 days. Now look at you; so handsome and strong. You light up every room you are in; people are drawn to you and what seemed like a devastating diagnosis so long ago has become a way of life. A life we have adapted to and come to know.

You are amazing in every way. I wish I could make things easier for you, I wish I could make it all ok, but I can't.That power is out of my hands. All I can do is help you in every way that I can and love you with all my heart. Two things I aim to do every single day of my life.

I have said in the past, GOD gave you to me for a reason and I am so glad he did. No matter how hard this journey may be for us, know that we will do it together.

Your strength is empowering, your joy is overwhelming and your heart is full of love.

I am so proud of you and all you have accomplished these past 5 years. I admire you and I am so happy that I was picked to be your Mom. Happy Birthday Alex. I love you.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Throwback Thursday - March 1986

Last night I was going though the totes and boxes in my basement trying to get organized. I came across a tote full of stuff from grade school that my mom had saved and had given me a few years ago. Inside, I found handmade birthday cards from my first grade class. Three of those cards were from none other than my girls, Stephanie, Rachel and Heather - all of whom I still see on a regular basis. So in true "Throwback Thursday" fashion, here they are. I love each and every one of the cards just as much as these girls. I am very lucky to still have three friends from grade school in my life that mean so much to me. Love you all!!

Rachel's Card
A cake on the front and inside! With lots of balloons!!

Steph's Card
Is the cake on an ice cream cone? I love how she ran out of room
signing her name!!

This one is my fav. In the hearts it says, Hi Keri, I like you Keri
and the third heart just says Hi. LOL!!
Heather's card