Friday, October 7, 2011

What does a 3 year old look like?


(I think this is the start of a new tradition to take pictures of you when you wake up on your birthday--insert evil mommy laugh here)

Dear SD:
You are three years old today and we can't wait to celebrate with our friends and families this weekend. You are thisclose to 30 pounds and are over 3 feet tall (you are literally more than half of me!).  You are just awesome and make Daddy and I laugh every single day.  You are still very well behaved, although you do have to visit time out every now and then.

Your favorite things right now are:

  • Your UNC basketball that plays the fight song
  • Your NC State football that plays the fight song (I'm seeing a theme here...)
  • Basketball & Football
  • Pushing the button to make the garage door go up & down
  • Playing outside on S & S's "park"  (also known as their awesome play set in their backyard)
  • Yo Gabba Gabba and Elmo
  • Lime Popsicles
  • Slides
  • Pizza and mushetti (spaghetti)
  • Brown Shoes (these have been on the favorites list for more than a year and we're on your second pair)
  • Getting food and running from Lucy so that she chases you around the house
You have been discharged from the Special Infant Clinic & Surgery.  You still see Nephrology, but only once a year.  The only therapy you currently get is speech therapy, which is to help you overcome the speech delays due to your hearing loss (the tubes fixed the hearing loss).  

You are such a goofy kid.  You climb on anything you get the chance to climb on and love to jump.  Your laugh is contagious and you crack up about everything.  You still love to sleep and let us know when you are ready for bed; you nap 3 hours a day (making many parents very jealous).  Your smile and dimples light up a room - especially when you bat your eyelashes and flirt!

You've recently met a lot of very scared mommies & daddies with babies in the NICU and have given them so much hope.   Your story continues to amaze and surprise people because there's no indication now that you were given a less than 30% chance at survival at birth.

You continue to be our most favorite thing in the whole world.  You are the best thing that's ever happened to us.

Love you more,
Mommy & Daddy

P.S.  The only bad thing about turning three is that you now have to spend three minutes in time out rather than two!
Here's Mommy & Daddy on their 3rd Birthdays
(don't let the Wonder Woman in Daddy's hand go unnoticed)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Hubs.  Six years ago we had the best party of our lives got married! The weekend was filled with touching moments like those below.  I think we should get married every year just an excuse to get all these people back together again.

Hubs and his bestie dancing

My Dad: "Is it over yet???"

My Dad and Hubs: "She's all yours now, son - good luck!"

No words....

Parents of the Bride & Groom

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

where has the summer gone?

I don't know where the time has gone.  We spent a lot of time and effort and sprouted many gray hairs over the process called "purchasing a short sale home."  In the end, we are thrilled that we stuck it out and we LOVE our new home and neighborhood.  It was certainly worth the wait.  The weekend that we chose to move, it was 105 degrees outside, but we survived!  

Super Dude + Lucy on the porch of our new house

Super Dude's new room

SD also was moved up to the next class at preschool, along with several of his best buds from his previous class.  It was bitter sweet because we love his previous teachers, but the new ones are wonderful, too.  This class is more structured and they work on potty training more actively.  Woohoo!

And, here's a video of him jamming to our amazingly talented friend, Melanie, on iTunes.  [Her website is and her songs can be purchased on iTunes if you like what you hear]

Saturday, July 9, 2011

monkey did it

Super Dude has been known to color on the walls if we don't watch him closely when he has markers.  After his surgery, monkey became his constant side-kick.  He even helps monkey color his own pictures!  One day, we discovered a large circle drawn on the wall and when asked "Who did that?" SD replied, "Monkey did it" which was partially true because the markers were physically in monkeys hands!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

just like daddy

This is hubs, when he was a wee-one.  When I asked Super Dude who it was, he said "Me!"

And here's Super Dude wearing a hat I found in the attic.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

football sticker

Before we left for the hospital on Monday morning, Super Dude was playing with stickers and when we arrived, he was wearing a small football sticker on his hand.  During pre-op, the anesthesiologist noted that the football was perfectly placed on a juicy vein and we joked around about how the dude was just trying to help him out.

When the nurse came to remove the dude's IV today, she removed the dressing and guess what was under the dressing, sitting atop the IV?  The football sticker!  (yes, there was another layer of sterile dressing between the sticker and the actual IV)  I guess the anesthesiologist got the last laugh :)

super dude amazes again

"Courage is being scared to death...and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

Super Dude is the bravest little dude I know.  He had surgery this week to repair an abdominal muscle, to have ear tubes inserted, and to have a bronchoscopy and laryngoscopy.  2 days later, he was discharged from the hospital because he was doing so well! We've been delaying this surgery because we were terrified.  After everything SD has been through, we did not want to see him in any more pain.  When he was an infant, he didn't understand what was going on, but this time, it was different.

When SD was an infant, Dr. H repaired his diaphragm by taking several layers of the abdominal wall and creating a diaphragm (remember, he was born with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia).  Over time, the abdomen began to really poke out and we thought he had a hernia in the weakened muscle.  Well, it turns out that the muscle had become paralyzed, not herniated. Dr. H, the pediatric surgeon who has done all of SD's other surgeries, performed this repair, which lasted just over 2 hours.  The care we received, once again, at this amazing Children's Hospital was the best.

Pre-op: He was so sweet and brave. The nurses gave him some bubbles and let him blow them in the exam room.  Dr. H even joined in the fun and tried to catch bubbles with Super Dude! I went back to the OR with him and as he was breathing in the anesthesia, he started giggling and flirting with the nurse.  The hubs didn't go because only one parent was allowed and I jumped into the "bunny suit" before he could.  [You may recognize "monkey" in this picture.  He's been SD's side kick since he was born.  He watched over SD when he was in the NICU and on ECMO.  We certainly didn't let monkey miss out on this one - he even went back to the OR with Super Dude.]

 Post-op: When we were finally called back to the PACU, the nurse was very concerned and said he was having a rough time.  He was desatting (his O2 was dipping into the 40s) because of the pain.  They couldn't give him pain meds until he maintained 95% O2 so we had to get him to calm down.  After about 30 minutes of holding him and singing to him, he finally drifted off to sleep and we were able to get him some relief. 

That first night was hard.  None of us got much sleep.  It was very difficult to get his pain under control so he would clench down and hold his breath, desat and then turn purple.  He was so pitiful and whined most of the night.  This is how we slept, frozen, because he wouldn't move.  Around 4am, he woke up and said "monkey's crying" in this soft, sweet little voice and then went back to sleep.  I think the medicine was talking. The respiratory therapist he had that first night happened to also be the RT who put Super Dude on ECMO and he was absolutely amazed by how well he has been doing.

 Post-op Day 1: Once we got his pain under control, the hubs got SD up and moving about.  Having an occupational therapist for a hubs is a great advantage ;)  The dude was terrified to move, but he saddled up and did everything we asked.  In no time, he was walking the halls.  We went to the play room in the Children's Hospital and he colored a picture, which he gave to his nurse when we returned to the room. Several of his nurses and Neonatologists from his NICU stay stopped by to check on him.  

This face brought to you by oxycodone.

The hubs brought out the bubbles which SD thought was hilarious!

Post-op Day 2: He scarfed down a whole bowl of cheerios and a container of apple sauce for breakfast.  When surgery rounded they were amazed by his turn-around and said we could go home if we were comfortable doing so.  Home?!?!  2 days after major abdominal surgery?  

And this is Super Dude, post-op day 2 after we got home!  Look at that smile.  The most amazing this is, when asked "Do you still love Dr. H?" he says "Yep!"

Thank you to our family, friends and strangers who supported us during this.  I can't believe how many people love our dude and it's very touching.  Who knew that someone so small can have such a large impact?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Nana got Super Dude and his Super Cousin caterpillars that changed into butterflies.  We set them free today!

Daddy, Super Dude and Super Uncle

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

adventures in potty training

"It's been said that adults spend the first two years of their children's lives trying to make them walk and talk, and the next sixteen years trying to get them to sit down and shut up.  It's the same way with potty training: Most adults spend the first few years of a child's life cheerfully discussing pee and poopies, and how important it is to learn to put your pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty like big people do. But once children have mastered the art of toilet training, they are immediately forbidden to ever talk about poop, pee, toilets and other bathroom-related subjects again. Such things are now considered rude and vulgar, and are no longer rewarded with praise and cookies and juice boxes. One day you're a superstar because you pooped in the toilet like a big boy, and the next day you're sitting in the principal's office because you said the word "poopy" in American History class (which, if you ask me, is the perfect place to say that word)."  
— Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants And The Preposterous Plight Of The Purple Potty People)

Super Dude has been exposed to the potty for a while and he loves it.  He's not afraid of it (whew!) and thinks that flushing and washing his hands are the best things ever!  The few times he has been successful, we danced and we sang...and he just laughed.  Best. Entertainment. Ever!  His preschool teachers told us that he's exhibiting the signs of "readiness" (whatever that means) and they've been working with him consistently on potty training.  The problem is....mommy & daddy. We're not consistent because we are clueless.  And if he's only getting consistency 3 days a week when he's at school, he's going to be in diapers until he's in high school.  From what I remember of my high school days, it's not cool (that's probably not even a cool word anymore) to wear diapers. 

If you search for "potty training" books on Amazon, you get 869 books; search for "potty training" in baby products, you get 1,214 items. What's a clueless parent to do? Why, turn to the blog of course!

Now's your chance to share your tips and advice.  SPILL IT!  Give us the secrets, oh wise ones. We're not afraid of a little self-humiliation or bribery, so don't hold back.   And if you peepee on the potty, you can have an m&m...oh sorry... got side-tracked for a second.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Now my mom-ma ABCs = now i said my ABCs, next time won't you sing with me

Uh-oh (followed by hysterical laughter) = the dude has taken off his diaper and is running around naked

Mommy pway = mommy please come in the playroom with me

Puh-puh = purple

PeePeePoo = Peek-A-Boo

Bye-Bye Crazy Hair = He says this each morning when we are combing his wild bed head

He can count from 1-20 perfectly, but when he sees 15 it's "five-teen" and 12 is "two-teen"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

doctors and teachers and cookies...oh my!

On Friday, we had an appointment with Dr. H, Super Dude's surgeon at Duke.  In case we haven't mentioned it lately, we LOVE Dr. H.  He was instrumental in saving Dude's life - he performed Dude's primary diaphragm repair and the intestinal containment surgeries.  When we were on the brink of consenting to Dude getting a G-tube because of his feeding problems, Dr. H encouraged us to wait and give the Dude a little more time; he was right and saved the Dude from an unnecessary surgery.  It had been a year since we last saw Dr. H, so the visit was bittersweet.  

He thinks that Super Dude looks great and couldn't believe how tall he'd grown.  We've known the next surgery was necessary, so this appointment was short and sweet.  He told us what he'd do, we signed the consent forms and then he sent us to pre-op to get all of that done.  Dr. H was very amenable to having the ENT insert ear tubes during the surgery and said he'd contact the ENT to coordinate their schedules.  Now, we're just waiting on the phone call to tell us when to show up!  This surgery will last 2-3 hours and will involve creating an incision at the end of the last incision/scar, which will wrap around toward Super Dude's back and be about 3 inches long.  He'll be admitted and we're asking that people not visit as only 2 people are permitted in the room and that only leaves room for mommy & daddy!

After the surgical appointment, we had our first parent-teacher conference at Dude's preschool.  His teachers said they adore him and that he's a wonderful child.  He has a best bud in his class, and apparently the two can just look at each other and burst out in laughter.  The teachers gave us some tips on potty-training, which we hope to work on soon at home.  The only issue they have with Super Dude is that he sometimes steals food from his classmates at lunch.  I find this hysterical since he was tube-fed the first year of life, and we tried so hard, for so long, to just get him to eat ANYTHING!  

Tonight we made cookies and I let Super Dude help put the cookie dough on the cookie sheet.  I turned around to check the oven for a quick second and when I turned back around, the Dude was in the same exact spot, but there was a cookie on the sheet with a bite taken out of it!  Sneaky little monkey!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

favorite things

I'm stealing this post idea from one of super dude's girlfriends.  Sofie's mom does a "favorite things" post every couple of months and I love it, so here it goes.

(1) Saying: "I do it" and "Nope!"  He has become VERY independent and wants to do everything himself.

(2) Purple shirts.  Every morning when we ask him what he wants to wear, he goes to his closet, points and says, "Puh-puh shirt, pweeze."  And when I ask him what I should wear, it's "Puh-puh shirt, mommy."

(3) Brown Shoes.  Nothing but THESE brown shoes.  In fact, I had to order another pair in a larger size so that we are never without the brown shoes.  He has several other pairs of shoes that look better with certain outfits, but in the grand scheme of things, it really doesn't matter which pair of shoes he wears, so he wears the brown shoes.  And if we attempt to convince him to wear another pair of shoes, he uses one of his two favorite phrases (see #1 above) and replies, "Nope!" while putting the unwanted shoes in the closet and digging out "brown shoes."

(4) "Pay-doh"

(5) Sleeping in his big-boy bed.

(6) Mini M&Ms.  Or in his words, "MMs"  We truly can bribe him to do just about anything with a few of these babies.  Plus, the tubes are a great size to stash in your bag and whip them out whenever needed - like in Target when he's "singing" loudly or when you're in a public restroom and need to distract him so he won't open the door and expose you to the free world.

.....and this is why we switched from larger M&Ms to minis.  Whoever said they "melt in your mouth, not in your hands" didn't have a 2-year-old!

(7) Blocks.  He loves to build "towas" with "bwocks."

(8) Playing in the water.  The only time he really gets into trouble at school is when he is supposed to finish washing his hands, but chooses to continue running the water and playing in the sink.

 (9) Playing outside.

(10) Uh-Huh!  The video speaks for itself!

If you're curious about what's so funny, you can view for yourself here:  UH-HUH!