Our micro-preemie son's journey

3.5 Birthday Party (6-30-12)

A Seussical good time was had by all at Cayden’s three and a half birthday party! (For those that just started reading our blog, we do his party in the summer since his birthday is smack dab in the middle of cold/flu/RSV season and the holidays)

The house was decked out in Dr. Seuss fun, from books, to streamers, cut outs, and balloons, including an awesome birthday sign-in book!

For added fun, we had a photo booth area with props. It was fun seeing the kids dress up and the adults giggle like little kids when we convinced them to dress up too. (Click this picture to see more of the photo booth and party fun!)

Despite the rain and the threat of heavier rain, the party goers were able to go swimming.

Everyone snacked on finger foods and had cake push pops.

The favor boxes were full of fun from candy all the way to fake mustaches!

Cayden LOVED all of his gifts and only stopped playing with them when he was passed out from pure exhaustion.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who was able to make his party such a success! We enjoyed seeing you and can’t wait until next year!

-Nate, Tami, and Cayden

December 23, 2012   No Comments

That Big Pop!

We were out and about Friday before Cayden’s party getting supplies, food, and running errands. It had been a pretty long day and we were ready to just go home and relax some.

We pull into the driveway after and this white car whips in behind us. Nate had his hand on his gun, ready to pull it if needed, as he cautiously approached the car.

I could only see a big guy with salt and pepper hair from where I was at. I kept thinking, “Why is my dad driving a rental car when he has his own truck?”. Right about that time, I hear Nate talking to someone in a completely shocked voice. I round the back of the car and realize that it’s BIG POP!!!!

Yes, Big Pop flew in from Ohio, rented a car, and did not tell any of us!!

Nope, not a single person knew, including his wife, Gamma. She didn’t believe us until she saw him for herself…hehe.

I quickly grabbed Cayden out of the car, well as quick as you can when you have to unbuckle a car seat, and excitedly told him that Big Pop was here to see him. He wasn’t sure what I was talking about until he got to see his Big Pop.

To say we were all shocked was an understatement. I told Cayden that he didn’t know it now, but one day, he would realize just how much he is loved. His Big Pop came all the way out here to be with him for a weekend because he loves him and misses him SO much.

Nate and I couldn’t be more touched that Big Pop pulled the ultimate surprise just for our little boy. It’s certainly something we’ll always remember. We sure love you Big Pop!


July 25, 2012   1 Comment

Gamma, the airport, and Dr. K.

On the 27th, Nate’s mom, Cheryl, aka, Gamma, flew in from Ohio. Cayden experienced his first time in an airport while we waited for her at luggage claim. He was fascinated with the people and told us he was going to get on an airplane in so many words. Alright, little buddy. =)

Cayden talks to Gamma via FaceTime multiple times a week, so he is used to seeing her in the “box” on the iPad. His little face was priceless when he saw her walk up. Just total disbelief, like, “wow, she’s really here!” kind of face. It was so sweet. He walked over to her and had this HUGE grin on his face.

After the airport, we hurried over to TCH for Cayden’s appointment with Dr. Krishna. Cayden weighed in at 23 pounds and was 35 inches tall! He’s gained some weight, which is excellent. Of course, Dr. K was concerned about him needing to gain more weight, but was pleased that he did gain weight. We made a joint decision to stop Cayden’s reflux meds that he has been on since he came home to see how he does. If we feel like we made a bad choice or start to see some serious signs again, we’ll go in and do an endoscopy to make sure we aren’t missing something before putting him back on high dose reflux medications. Fingers crossed that this is the right step for Cayden!


July 16, 2012   1 Comment

Swimming Lessons

Cayden has always LOVED the water. He has never shown any fear of the water, as far as getting in, etc. Each year his bravery increases and our fear of an accident soars. Swimming lessons were a must this year.

A local woman, named Mrs. Mary was recommended to us for swimming lessons.  She had some cancellations, so we were able to get in the week of June 25-28th for lessons. Each lesson was from 6-8 PM with a small class of about seven kiddos. Mrs. Mary taught with Mrs. Katy.

The first night Cayden cried and screamed for almost the entire two hours. It was gut wrenching. He only stopped crying when it was his turn to swim with the instructor and he was moving in the water.When asked, he indicated that there were too many people and it was too loud. Basically, he was in sensory overload and had a very difficult time processing all the noises and sounds around him.  (This is because of his auditory sensory processing disorder.) All the other kids were SO sweet to Cayden, trying to engage him and checking on him.

We made it through the first night and came back the next evening. He was upset at first, and cried off and on through the lesson, but he participated more and was far happier.  He was doing so great and even “swimming” under water! Everything was going well, until right at the end and he decided to jump off the stair without his instructor to catch him and attempted to swim. He was doing okay and then started to panic. They rushed over right as I was about to jump in the pool and get him. He was fine. No loss of oxygen or anything, just scared and he swallowed some water.

Needless to say, the next night was a bit trickier because he was a bit swim shy. He came around and did great the rest of the week. Each night I had to sit in front of him or stand next to him for him to be comfortable. If not, there would be a serious meltdown. However, it didn’t stop other meltdowns, but it certainly helped.

Click the last picture for more swim lesson photos!

Swimming with Mrs. Katy

Next year, we will call starting in November to book summer lessons (as recommended). It’s extremely important for my little water bug to be water safe!



July 16, 2012   1 Comment

Summer Swimming

Cayden LOVES the water. Always has. As a matter of fact, when he was in NICU and got his first “real” bath, he was so calm and peaceful. The nurses all commented on how unusual that was. I wasn’t surprised because he was most active when I was pregnant when I was in the water.

Last year, he wasn’t into trying to “jump” off the ledge of the pool or things like that. This year, he throws himself off the side of the pool and travels around the pool in his puddle jumper. He LOVES to “stand” in the water and yells “everrrboddeee” when he does, and is thrilled to play “Shamu”, but “tossed in the water” and “go fast”! He is far more brave than we anticipated and although, it can be quite scary (like when he tried to swim without his floatie), it sure is a joy to watch him become a little fish.

Here are some pictures of him so far from this summer in his element! Click picture to see the others. I’ll add more pictures to the linked album as the summer rolls on.


July 7, 2012   No Comments

Little Gym Show Day

On May 26th, The Little Gym had their Show Day for the Super Beasts class. Cayden wasn’t so sure at first because he had to wait to make his grand entrance and be announced, which was a little different than normal. He doesn’t usually handle too many changes well. He was shy about playing at first because of the people in the room, but warmed up and had a GREAT time!

Here are two videos taken from my phone that day and then finally a picture of him with his medal.

We are super proud of ALL the progress our little guy has made. When Cayden first started little gym, he spent the majority of time crying and refusing to participate. Now he does many of his warm ups without us, tries to play with his friends, and even says his name during the beginning singing and introduction. A HUGE thanks to Mrs. Chelle for all of her hard work with Cayden, support, and dedication to our little guy.


July 7, 2012   No Comments

Cayden sings!

Cayden has only been really verbal for not quite six months. We love his little voice and lately, he has been “singing” songs that he knows the words to. It’s hard to hear him, because he isn’t very loud, but this was taken May 27th in the car while he was listening to his ABC song.

As far as his speech goes, he is making remarkable improvements and is quite a mimic these days. He still struggles with expressive language and communicating the right things to you, but the progress he has made is just amazing! I’ll try to get another video of him talking soon, so y’all can see how far he has come.


July 7, 2012   1 Comment

Last Day of School 2012

Cayden’s last day of school this year was the morning of the 30th! He was a bit emotional getting on the bus, but had a great day. We talked about school ending for a while because he is just going to miss it and his little friends.

He wore the Harley shirt his Grandi bought him to the last day. The day before, he had a water day and I hear had a blast! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to be there for that. PPCD sure knows how to make school fun!

Cayden came home with his summer activities to continue to work on his IEP goals (speech sent theirs the week before), and a “Fun Dip” Award!


A HUGE thank you goes out to Cayden’s bus driver, Mrs. Samantha, the bus aide, Mrs. Denise, his teacher, Ms. Roberts, the paraprofessionals, Mrs. Mary, and Ms. Alma, the volunteers at his school, the SPED Department, his PT, Mrs. Meredith, and his speech teacher, Mrs. Corrine. They gave my baby boy such an amazing semester at school where he just blossomed!


June 20, 2012   No Comments

SMO Fitting

On the 30th of May, Cayden went for his SMO fitting. Ed watched Cayden walk and play and then measured his little feet. He was a bit terrified of the actual measuring tool at first, but then was okay when bribed with Angry Birds and his vReader. Technology is a lovely life saver in moments like that!

Cayden picked solid blue SMOs with blue straps. We were told that we would get two calls, one for how much we owe, and the other when they come in.

While we were there, we ran into Mrs. Donna, Cayden’s previous speech therapist! It was great to see her and Cayden wowed her with his talking, by saying “Hi, Miss Donna”, promted of course!


June 20, 2012   No Comments

Physical Medicine

Cayden had an appointment with Physical Medicine to look at the possibility of shoe inserts or some form or braces for his feet on May 2nd. He saw Dr. Collier and she was wonderful. He was a little skeptical of the evaluation at first, but opened up and acted like his silly little self. We took a letter of information from his PT at school and answered a TON of developmental questions. During the exam, Dr. Collier asked Cayden to open and close his hands like a lobster. He was having a hard time, so she got him to do it by showing him and saying “surprise”. Well, that got his attention and EVERYTHING, I mean everything, was “prise!” after that. We were all giggling so much we could barely talk, especially because every time someone did speak, Cayden yelled “prise!”. Silly boy.

Cayden was diagnosed with a Gait Disturbance and prescribed a lower limb orthosis, specifically Supramalleolar Orthosis. Cayden tends to roll his ankles in and his feet point out for stability. We will see Dynamic Orthodics on the 30th to be fitted for his SMOs. This is the same company that fitted Cayden for his helmet all those years ago.

Dr. Collier also gave us prescriptions for therapy in hopes that we can get Cayden into some therapy outside of school.


June 14, 2012   1 Comment