Monday, June 23, 2014

Missy's Wedding

My only cousin on my Dad's side, Missy, got married this past weekend in Des Moines.  We met my parents at the Hilton Garden Inn on Friday night.  The kids were wound up and excited to be staying at a hotel.  It was like they had never been in an elevator before as excited as they were!

On Saturday morning, one of my best friends from college, Brooke, and her husband, Aaron, brought their kids, Avery and Eli, to the hotel to swim with our kids.  It was SO nice to catch up with Brooke and Aaron!  It had been way too long!  I definitely wish we lived closer to them so we could get together more often.  After we had lunch, Brooke and Aaron left and our youngest two took a nap (Kayley was wiped out from all of that swimming!).  In retrospect, we shouldn't have let Kayley take a nap.  We had to wake her to get ready for the wedding and it wasn't pleasant for anyone.

The wedding was at Happy Apple Celebrations, an apple orchard.  It was a beautiful ceremony and the bride looked beautiful!  Unfortunately, all of my pictures of Missy were blurry or too far away.  I'll wait until she posts some on Facebook!  The wedding was a little warm though as it was in the 90s and an outdoor wedding.  Ryan and Kayley didn't handle the heat very well so Andy took them back to the shade during the ceremony.  Kayley came back halfway through and had a mild (but relatively quiet) freak out about a grasshopper that was near her.

Ryan wasn't too interested in sitting at the table during the reception so he and Andy spent a lot of time outside.

Ryan in the shade during the ceremony

Posing in front of the tractor on the property

They loved the hayrack

I am pretty sure Andy missed his calling
as a professional photographer

Andy forcing Drew to hug him

My selfie with Ryan (first ever by the way)
Grandma and happy Kayley!
Sunday morning involved more swimming before we headed home.

Really happy after a good night's sleep!

Ryan is excited to get in the water

Andy is a great dad.  He spent hours in the pool
with Ryan on Saturday and Sunday

Andy, Drew and Ryan in the background
and Kayley practicing her backstroke in
the foreground

Still practicing!

"Mommy watch!"

Splash from Drew
It was a fun weekend and great to spend time with our family!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy Father's Day!!

We spent most of Father's Day weekend at the ball fields for Drew and Kayley's games.  Drew and Kayley had fun playing, Ryan had fun eating snacks and running away from us and I got fried.  I put sunscreen on the kids, but didn't put any on myself.  Yes, I am an adult and yes I know better.  I just thought I would get a little sun.  I didn't really appreciate how long we would be out there.  To make it even better, we have a wedding to attend this weekend and I have some amazing "tan" lines.

After the games, we came home and Ryan napped and Andy made homemade strawberry jam.  When Ryan woke up, I took the kids to the church that is basically in our backyard for their Father's Day celebration.  Two important points - we do not belong to that church and we didn't bring Andy to the Father's Day celebration.  I felt like a wedding crasher and it was even worse that we didn't bring dad with us to the event for fathers!  Now, in my defense, Andy was still making his jam and didn't want to stop and my friends belong to that church and told us to go.  That makes it ok, right?  Anyway, the kids had a great time!

Toddler bounce house area for Ryan

Barrel train rides

Checking out the Cat car

Running the police robot

The kids gave Andy their Father's Day gifts on Sunday morning.  Here are my favorites (see below for what they said):

1.  My Dad is ____ years old.
     Drew: 36
     Kayley: 36
2.  He likes to wear_________
     Drew: shorts
     Kayley:  underwear
3.  He loves to eat ___________
     Drew: chicken, steak and pork chops
     Kayley: hamburgers
4.  He is smart because he knows__________
     Drew: math
     Kayley: everything
5.  My dad works hard at ________
     Drew: work
     Kayley: work
6.  Dad gets mad when __________
     Drew: do something naughty
     Kayley: Drew and me do not pick up
7.  Dad is happy when __________
     Drew: we do something nice
     Kayley: Drew and me pick up
8.  If he could go on a trip, he would go __________ and he would take __________
     Drew: to Disney World; the whole family
     Kayley: to church; girlfriend
9.  My Dad always tells me _________
     Drew: that I am awesome
     Kayley:  to pick up
10. The best thing about my Dad is ________
     Drew: he plays baseball with me
     Kayley:  he is awesome

I was definitely interested in Kayley's answer to #8.  When I asked who his girlfriend was, she told me it was me.  Whew!!!!  :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Happy 6th Birthday, Kayley!!

Part of me cannot believe that it has been 6 years since Kayley was born.  Her birth is still so vivid in my mind that it feels like it was yesterday.  I remember what I was wearing the day my water broke at work.  I also remember exactly where I was when my water broke - outside my boss' office talking to his secretary (thankfully he wasn't in his office otherwise I would have been in there!).  I remember my friend driving me to the hospital.  I remember the shock and fear I felt when the nurse confirmed that my water had broke and then told me I would be in the hospital until I delivered.  It was May and I wasn't due until September.  I didn't fully understand or appreciate how serious the situation was until that moment.  I remember breaking down in tears when Andy arrived at the hospital and again when I saw my OB for the first time.  I remember more crying when the neonatologist came to my room and explained to Andy and I what our daughter would be facing if she were born that day (25 weeks 4 days gestation).

I remember how awful I felt while I was on magnesium sulfate and how we picked Kayley's name and the spelling while I was completely drugged up on the magnesium sulfate.  (I love the name Kayley, but I am convinced there is no way she would have been named Kayley if we hadn't had to come up with a name so quickly as it wasn't even on either of our lists!)  I remember doing hours of research on my laptop about preemies.  During that research is when I first landed on the March of Dimes website and learned so much about what the March of Dimes does for babies.

I remember Andy, Drew and my Mom leaving my room on June 8th when I was getting ready to eat dinner.  I remember eating my dinner and watching college softball.  I remember the nurse coming in and telling me I was contracting and needed to go down to labor and delivery.  I remember calling Andy and telling him it was time and he needed to come back.  I remember sitting in labor and delivery as my contractions got worse and worse and getting more and more scared.  I remember the overwhelming scene in the operating room with more doctors and nurses than I could count.  I remember that the NICU team introduced themselves to me and told me they would take good care of Kayley.  I remember the moment she was pulled out and how the room was very loud, but very quiet at the same time because there was no crying from my baby.  I remember the anesthesiologist assuring me that she had good coloring.  I remember the doctors and nurses gasping when they saw how much she weighed (3lbs, which is HUGE for a 27 weeker!).  I remember the NICU team leaving with Kayley in the isolette.  I also have very clear memories of Kayley's first weeks in the NICU.  I remember being scared and overwhelmed by the machines in her room and the monitors and IVs she had.  I remember when I finally got to hold her and how it took two nurses to move her because she was intubated.

While all of those things are very clear in my mind, I look at Kayley now and her birth and the NICU seem like a lifetime ago.  She has come so far and you would not know she was born so early if you were to see her today.  She amazes us every day!

At 6 years old, Kayley is sweet yet ornery, caring, stubborn, funny, and smart.  She did very well in Kindergarten and is right on track with other kids her age.  She is learning to read.  She has to work at it and isn't always in the mood to work at it, but she is making steady progress.  She is also very well behaved at school.  They do a color system where green is good behavior, purple is above and beyond good, yellow is a warning and red is bad.  She was on green and purples all year.  To be perfectly honest, it was a little shocking to us that she was so well behaved every day!  But, we are very proud of her!

Kayley takes very good care of her baby brother, Ryan.  She is a little mother to him.  She reads him books, plays with him, feeds him snacks, helps him wash his hands, helps give him a bath, etc.  Ryan is getting more independent and is less appreciative of her help now, which is sometimes hard for her to understand, but overall she does very well with him.

Kayley is VERY stubborn.  I am convinced that is from her dad!  Once her mind is made up, she digs her heels in and there is no convincing her otherwise.

Kayley's favorite things right now are The Sound of Music, Frozen, her American Girl doll, My Little Ponies, all things art, and wearing dresses, rings and necklaces.

We celebrated Kayley's birthday on Saturday.  Before she opened gifts, we went to Drew's game.  It is amazing how much better the kids are this year compared to last year.

Taking a turn at shortstop

First at bat

When we got home, Kayley opened her gifts.

After she opened her gifts, we went to Double A's for dinner.

Kayley wanted to get dressed up for dinner!

When we got home, we sang Kayley Happy Birthday and had more cake a Frozen-themed cake.

Kayley's first tee ball game was yesterday.  She did great!  I was so nervous for her because she sometimes gets a little bored, but she paid attention pretty much the entire time (she may have been adjusting her hat when a ball was hit to her once, but she also stopped two other grounders) and had a lot of fun.

Warming up with Coach Dad

Ready in the outfield

First time up to bat

Playing third base
And here is her final at bat - a "home run"!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Ryan!

My baby is TWO!  After all the heartbreak we went through before we got him and knowing he is our last baby, his turning two has been bittersweet for me.  I love every stage he enters more than the last, but it is also hard to acknowledge I no longer have a baby and won't have another one in the future!  Recently, I have had several friends ask if we would have more kids if we hadn't had the trouble we had with Kayley and Ryan.  A year ago, our answer would have been absolutely.  Now, I think I speak for Andy too when I say, probably.  On the one hand, I can't imagine adding another baby to our crazy, busy lives at this point with all of Drew and Kayley's activities, but on the other hand, I love the crazy, busy life we have and always wanted a big family and would love for Ryan to have someone closer to his age to play with.  But, it isn't in the cards for us and we are perfectly happy (and busy) with the three we have!

At two years old, Ryan loves books.  He wants us to read to him all the time and it doesn't matter where we are or what we are doing - at a ball game, while making dinner, while doing laundry, out to eat, in the car, etc.  His favorite book right now is "Brown Bear Brown Bear What do you See?"  Andy, Drew and I can read it without even looking at the words at this point!  

Ryan is funny.  He loves the reaction he gets when he does something that makes any of us laugh.  Fortunately (or unfortunately), Drew and Kayley are easily entertained and laugh at anything Ryan does, which only makes Ryan do whatever it is more.  Usually, it is during dinner!

Ryan is talking nonstop now.  At his 15 month check-up I was concerned because he didn't meet the criteria of having at least 4 words in addition to "mommy" and "daddy."  He wouldn't even use those words correctly!  The only thing he was saying was, "uh oh" and "whatisthat?" (as one word and only because Andy taught him to say it).  But, about a month or so later, he had a  bit of a word explosion and it hasn't stopped.  His most common phrases right now are, "Can you help me, Mommy/Daddy/Drew/Kayley?" when he wants something from one of us, "Don't fall" when he is walking down the stairs and "Don't touch the stinky butt," which is something we said to him when he used to try to grab his butt when we were changing a poopy diaper.  He gets it because we say it, he laughs, repeats it and pulls his hands back.  It has also turned into a game for him.  He also says, "No bark, Sox!" when Sox starts barking outside.  If she doesn't stop, he yells it louder.  He may have picked that one up from me.  Another recent favorite is, "Mommy/Daddy/Grandma/Grandpa watch!"  This past week he added, "I don't want to," which he usually says in response to us telling him to eat his vegetables, it is time to go inside, it is time to take a nap or anything else he doesn't want to do.  I just love his little voice!  

Ryan is also super affectionate.  Hugs and kisses for anyone and everyone!  He even kisses his own owies.  On the other hand, he has quite the temper and his temper tantrums rival Kayley's at this age!  

He is a little attached to his pacifier.  Or maybe a lot.  But, he only gets it at nap and bedtime (and in the car once he gets crabby on a long car ride and occasionally other times when we are out and he is past his bedtime).  So, hardly at all!  I am not sure if it is because he is our third kid and we are less rigid or because he is our baby and I am subconsciously trying to keep him a baby?  Not sure!  But, we have big plans to cut him off starting next weekend.  I'll report back on how it goes!  

My mom, dad, brother and Andy's dad all came for Ryan and Kayley's birthdays.  We celebrated Ryan's birthday on Friday.  Happy birthday, Ryan!!

Bubble machine!

A new book!

More bubbles!

Trying to open unassisted


Elmo book with drums.  What was I thinking?  :-)

His new truck

All 4 kids liked the water table!

Drew spraying Kayley and Ryan trying to climb in

Still spraying Kayley and still trying to climb in

Micky Mouse!

Happy birthday to Ryan!

First bite

I think he likes it!