Our micro-preemie son's journey

Update – Fall 2012

Wow. I don’t even know where to begin. Grab a drink and a snack. This is bound to be long, as I try to cover quite a few things.

Back before Cayden’s party, we discovered that Cayden was suddenly starting to say more words. By the time his party rolled around, he was trying to repeat what we would say more often than not, but was unable to really engage in “conversation” or really “talk” to us. Then somewhere over the summer, he all of a sudden had a HUGE vocabulary and we could understand most of what he was saying.

Then we discovered that he had quite a large sight word vocabulary that has steadily been building. He loves to recall the sight words to “read” to people and is building on his basic reading skills.

Before the summer was over, he got his SMO’s and they have drastically improved his alignment, which is helping his balance and ability to do things like increase his speed to not quite running, and working towards jumping.

He has had a few really bad ear infections from allergy/sinus mess. It’s hard to watch him so miserable.

On October 12th, we said goodbye to Mr. Kitty, Cayden’s best kitty friend. He has always been there for Cayden since we brought him home, acting like a daddy figure to him every step of the way. He was amazing. It was horribly difficult to say goodbye and explain it to Cayden. He still talks about him and has told us on multiple occasions that he loves Mr. Kitty and that Mr. Kitty loved him. We always validate his feelings, even if it brings up some tough emotions on our parts.

Cayden has seen neurology, had an EGD, had a follow-up with GI, and physical medicine.

The EGD showed that he had mild reflux, possibly slow motility, and maybe even an allergy. We had to do the blood work for Celiac and it came back negative, so we aren’t going gluten free at this point. However, Dr. K thought it would be a good idea at this point to try an appetite stimulant to get Cayden to eat more, in hopes that he will gain some weight. He is barely holding at 25 pounds at almost four years old. He is growing, but it is definitely on his own curve. He can wear a size 12 month in the waist, but needs a 2T/3T for length everywhere else. He is just small. We hope that with increased weight gain, that the reflux will finally “go away”, but are prepared to go back on medication if need be, which looks like a possibility again now that he is eating more.

Neurology last saw him when we were really focusing on sign language and I was still “bobby”, not mommy. Dr. R was incredibly impressed with Cayden’s speech and how far he has come. He feels like even though he is slower at gaining in his motor skills, which has also affected his speech, that he will probably continue to make progress because he is still progressing. Of course, time will tell. Dr. R played with Cayden and even let him pretend to order pizza on the phone in the room. It was too cute!

Physical medicine is glad to see his braces doing what they are supposed to do. We are to follow up in the time frame and just keep an eye on his braces for adjustments as needed. He was quite a ham and showed off to them.

We had his annual ARD for school and it was a great meeting. Mommy is having to face the fact that her little boy is growing up and that is tough. He has mastered almost all of his previous goals, far faster than any of us expected, especially speech. He has lots of new goals, including working on math skills, reading skills, improving his motor skills, and working out some of the severe anxiety and learning coping mechanisms for his sensory issues at school. We are exploring the possibility of psychology services for his anxiety because it can be debilitating for him. The biggest change is that he is going to the higher level PPCD class that will become a co-teach Pre-K class after the first of the year. I know it’s the right spot for him, but it’s hard to watch him leave Mrs. Perry’s class where he has just blossomed. Of course, my worry is just that, mine, because he is doing amazing in Mrs. B’s class.

Cayden has developed quite the little attitude and is SO funny! He is always surprising us with new vocabulary and sentences. His new thing is telling us we are “mean” when he doesn’t get his way or is being disciplined. I was “mean” for making him eat two, yes two, bites of his dinner the other night! LOL! He talks about his sister all the time and his little imagination is exploding. It’s fun to listen to him role play with his toys. We play McDonald’s all the time, and he “rescues” people, his cars, and makes conversation between his toys. He’s trying to learn more self help skills, but is seriously lacking there. We are encouraging him to be more independent, yet, at times, it sure back fires on us.

All in all, he is just amazing. The improvements this year have blown us away over the last eight months. We just know he is going to continue to amaze us.

-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Houston Zoo! (11-17-12)

Gamma did such an awesome job while she was here with Cayden. We wanted her to have an actual outing with him, besides Ikea, and decided to head out to the Houston Zoo. The weather was beautiful and the animals were fairly active. The older he gets, the more he enjoys at the zoo. It was fun watching his little face light up as he rode the carousel, saw the giraffes up close, played the drums in the African exhbit, the elephants up close, and most importantly, riding the train through the park by the zoo!¬†Click the picture to see Cayden’s Zoo fun!



-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Lorelai’s Baby Shower (11-10-12)

Aunt Kim and Aunt Jennifer kindly hosted a baby shower for little Miss Lorelai! We are so thankful to everyone who was able to come and celebrate the pending arrival of our new family member.  We had a great time catching up with everyone, especially those friends and family that live out of the area and drove in just to be with us.

Cayden gave his sister some gifts and received a few as her big brother.The favors had three colors of purple nail polish, lip balm, and a fantastic umbrella measuring tape. Aunt Kim had a gorgeous diaper cake made and we had some super yummy cupcakes. Our guests also decorated onesies for Miss Lorelai. She now has a personalized wardrobe!

We are very blessed!

Click last picture for more.

-Tami

P.S. As soon as I’m finished with her nursery, I’ll get pictures and post them!

December 23, 2012   1 Comment

“Seeing” Lorelai (11-3-12)

We scheduled Lorelai’s 3D/4D ultrasound when Gamma would be here and right at the “suggested” time. She did so awesome, allowing us to get some AMAZING pictures of her. Cayden was in awe watching her on the screen and reading the captions the U/S tech would type on there. It was fun watching him see his sister in a way that only technology could allow. We got to see her pout, try to suck her hand, moving like crazy, and just being absolutely adorable.


Click picture to see more!

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Halloween 2012

The night before, we let Cayden and Emily help Nate carve a pumpkin for the first time. They were both grossed otu by the insides, but Cayden did eventually get over the texture to touch them. Here are some of those pictures:


Originally, Cayden was going to be Doc McStuffins from Disney Junior, just his own version, Doc Gallop.

Well, good thing I didn’t just start making that costume because when I asked him again, he decided he wanted to be a monster. Specifically a “scary monster” that was “red and blue”. Uhm, okay. Mind you, he’s three. His version of scary (even though he loves it) is Monsters, Inc. type of monsters.

So, we go to get his materials to make his costume. He decided at that point that he wanted to be a black monster. Great. Way to put mommy on the spot. He picked out some different colored fleece at JoAnn’s and I got to designing his costume with his approval.

Here is the final version. I finished just. in. time. Literally.



He had a fantastic party at school on Halloween that his daddy attended. He was able to wear his costume as part of red ribbon week, but I didn’t want to take chances that it would get messed up, so I made him a monster shirt to wear to school. Here are some of his party pictures:


His cousins, Emily and Troy, came over with their cousin, Lilly, to trick-or-treat this year. Cayden refused to ride in the wagon. He insisted on pulling. Stubborn child. They did SO well this year saying “trick-or-treat” when they went to the doors and using their manners, saying “thank you” when they were given a treat. Emily decided to run from her mom and fell face first onto the pavement and busted her forehead. Scared the crap out of all of us, but she was okay in the end.

Cayden even got to see his teacher, Mrs. Perry, during trick-or-treating! It was so cute to see his face when he saw her. He sure loves her!

They made us super proud when they picked apples over the M&M’s at the last house. Trust me, that’s a big deal because Cayden LOVES his M&M’s! It was an exhausting night, but quite a bit of fun for all of us. Click on the picture to see how his Halloween adventures!

-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Gamma Arrives! (10-27-12)

Gamma’s here! She flew in to watch Cayden for us while Megan was out with Mr. Luke. She’ll be here for at least three weeks. Cayden was really excited to see her when she got into town! I’m sure they are going to have a LOT of fun together while mommy and daddy are at work. Thanks Gamma!

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Pumpkin Patch (10-19-12)

Cayden had a great time at the pumpkin patch this year. Aunt Kim and Uncle Mike met us out there since we were already going to be in the area for lunch with them. He really enjoyed picking out pumpkins this year and pushing the buggy. It was pretty funny to see him try to pick up a pumpkin three times his size. Cayden picked out lots of pumpkins. Thankfully, we were able to convince him we only needed four. One for each of us, including the little miss still baking!

Click picture to see more!

-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Baytown Special Rodeo (9-8-12)

Nate and I became involved with Baytown Special Rodeo the year Cayden was born. We were on the board that year and hosted a booth for the first time and have hosted a sensory booth every year. Who knew that we would have a little guy with special needs, including sensory?

We chose not to sign him up this year because we weren’t sure he would do well. He was excited to play when we got there, wearing his head phones, of course, so we signed him up as a participant and took turns taking him through games and running our booth.

He only had a few meltdowns, which was rather amazing, and had such an awesome time. I don’t think he could have smiled bigger and more than he did.

He actually ate cotton candy for the first time, which is wild considering the texture usually throws him and he spits it out. He captured the hearts of the firemen and the paramedics and LOVED the emergency vehicles. He especially enjoyed riding the horse and meeting new people. He even “danced” with the Rodeo Clowns and one of the HLSR Representatives!

He passed out before we ever made it out of the parking lot. We look forward to taking him next year as a participant and getting volunteers to help with our booth.

Click the picture to see more of Cayden’s fun!

-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Houston Museum of Natural Science (7-5-12)

Before Gamma went back home, we took her to the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Cayden wanted to see the dinosaurs and Gamma just wanted to spend time with the little guy, so it was a perfect solution!

Cayden loves maps and carried his map of the museum around with him the entire time, periodically stopping to look at his map. One of the staff members thought he was absolutely adorable and gave him a little flashlight/laser light to look at his map with. He carried that around like it was a treasure using it to look at his map and point at the dinosaurs.

He had such a great time and left with lots of little dinosaur souvenirs.

(Click the last picture to see more of our museum trip, including the dinosaurs.)

-Tami

December 23, 2012   No Comments

Old McDonald’s Farm (7-2-12)

It was great having Big Pop here for a visit. Unfortunately, he only had a short time. So, before he left, we made sure to take him and Gamma to Old McDonald’s Farm with Cayden so they could have some more quality time.

Big Pop faced his fear of large birds just for Cayden!

It was really hot, so we stayed long enough for Cayden to feed and pet the animals he wanted and ride the pony!







After our visit in sweltering heat to the farm, we headed out for frozen yogurt.

Telling Big Pop “thank you” for his yogurt.

Then it was time to say our “byes” to Big Pop. It was really hard for ALL of us to watch Big Pop give Cayden his hugs and kisses while he fought back the tears.

See you soon Big Pop!

Click here to see the rest of the pictures from our trip!

December 23, 2012   No Comments