Friday, July 30, 2010

Anticipation.....

I have been anticipating this for a few weeks now.

With Cohen's swallow study coming up on Monday, we have been praying and hoping that his future has bottles (or possibly baby food) in it! Please keep Cohen in your prayers----we believe the study will show improvements! Then he can begin to wean from the G tube and hopefully be able to eat/feed normally by his 1st birthday. That was the "goal" from the beginning.

Another thing going on with us--Calee's eye doctor in Nashville is ordered a brain MRI on Tuesday to make sure the blood vessel issues in her eye are not connected to any other problems. This is really just a precaution, but I am glad he is going to check and be sure. I am not at all worried about this, since she is not having any issues with her eyes or anything else for that matter. But, in the same breath, I would rather be safe than sorry.

With all this and school starting this week, we are keeping pretty busy!  It feels so funny not to be headed back to work this school year. However I am now sure its the right decision for our family since I can't imagine leaving Cohen anywhere yet!

Love to you all and I hope you have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cohen + Emma Claire= Cuteness!

We had a great visit with the Warren's this weekend. Emily brought Cohen and Emma Claire the cutest matching onesies with their names----we tired tirelessly to get a good picture of them. It was a sight to see, let me tell you!


We laughed and had such a good time! I was so sad to see them leave. Emma Claire and Cohen are both such sweet and good natured babies. They cooed and smiled the entire time!


Here are some of our "attempts" at getting a good pic.........

It started out really well...then Cohen grabbed EC's hair.


Guess who had to jump in front of the camera=)
It went downhill from here.....
Awwww...look at Cohen leaning on EC! So sweet!
They love their pacis!
I thought this was a cute pic of Emily and Emma Claire
It took alot of baby equipment and formula to get them through the photo shoot!

Last minute visit from Brazil!

I got a awesome surprise last week from a dear friend of mine from college. Stefani, who now lives in Brazil, just happened to make a last minute visit to Nashville with her family. I was beyond excited to see them! It has been way too long!

We are planning to visit them in Brazil as soon as things settle down for us here. I already miss her!

Here is me, Stef, and her precious daughter Gianna.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Ames!

I wish I could put his smile and laugh in a bottle and keep it forever.

The joy Ames has brought to us cannot be put into words. Justin and I had almost given up hope that we would be able to have a baby. I was pretty nervous through most of the pregnancy, trying to be overly cautious and do everything right.

 I don't know who was more excited the day he was born....me, Justin or Calee. It was one of the best days of my life, followed by one of the best years ever. We literally fought over who could hold him. He was one of the sweetest, funniest babies you could ask for. (and that red hair----geez!!!)

He slept all night at 8 days old....rarely cried...laughed and smiled constantly..etc, etc. Ames was the type of baby that made you want to have many more just like him=)

Now, he is 2 and a big brother!

He is still a happy and sweet little boy. He makes us all laugh and smile everyday. I truly get excited when I hear him start to wake up in the morning....(even when it's 5 a.m.) I am so happy to be his mom. I can't wait to see what he does with his life-

Friday, July 23, 2010

July 23rd--7 months old!

Today, Cohen is 7 months old. Tomorrow Ames will be 2 years old. The day after that, my mom, (LuLu)  is having a birthday. (I won't divulge her age, but she is entering a new decade=)

So we are celebrating the 23rd, 24th, and 25th. Then my brother Chad has a birthday on the 31st, and I also had a birthday on the 14th. 

Needless to say, July is a busy month with many opportunities for thankfulness in our family. I am always excited to see July come and sad to see it go! (except for the heat)

This morning we took Cohen's cast off and he finally got to take a BATH! He loved it and was so very excited. After that we headed to Nashville for his brace fitting. We are thrilled to report the brace looks great and is much smaller than we anticipated! He is supposed to wear it 23 hours a day, so he will be able to have a bath everyday and a possible dip in the pool=) I feel like moving into a brace from a cast is awesome progress!

We are also having some of our favorite people coming to visit us this weekend---The Warren's!!!!! Yeah!  Cohen is so excited to play with Emma Claire-----we will be posting lots and lots of pictures, so stay tuned!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Special Visit

We had a wonderful visit with Meredith on Friday. As most of you know, Meredith was our primary nurse at Baptist, we met her Cohen's very first morning in the NICU, and I don't know what it was, but I trusted her immediately.

I won't go on and on, because I know she wouldn't want me too, but I am so thankful for her role in Cohen's life, and mine as well. We spent many hours and days together in the NICU, and no matter how Cohen was doing she always gave me comfort and encouragement.

What a blessing to be able to get together and finally meet her sweet daughter Claire!  Have you ever seen more beautiful eyes than little Claire has?


Cohen meets Crescent!

It took almost 7 months, but tonight we finally took Cohen to church! It was wonderful. We have been pondering rather he was ready or not the last few weeks, and we decided taking him on a Sunday night would be best. It's a little less crowded and lower key.

He did really well. He loved the singing (like his mama), and was very interested in the ceiling fans!

Taking Cohen to church is a really big milestone for us. So many people from our church have prayed for him during this time.  We are forever grateful for our church family for the love and support they have shown our family.  We love you all and are SO happy you finally got to meet Cohen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Quick Update

Just wanted to give a quick update about Cohen's week.

This is the first week since he has been home that we don't have a Vanderbilt appointment! (I have been hesitant to mention this, didn't want to jinx us!) He does, however have lots of other things going on---

We have a TEIS (Tennessee Early Intervention Service) teacher coming out this morning to start working with him from a cognitive standpoint.

Then, we are going to Special Kids this afternoon for a physical therapy session. ( I am taking all the kids with me, so this should be interesting!)

Nurses for Newborns also came earlier in the week to do his weekly check. He is doing great!

I am also still looking for Cohen sturdy shoes for his brace, I have had no luck yet!

We have a visit planned with a very special person on Friday =), I will do a post on that after the fact.

On a less exciting note, I have a 2 hour dentist appointment scheduled later in the week. Needless to say, I would rather be doing almost anything else!!!!! I am such a baby about the dentist!


Hope you all are having a great week! Love to you and yours!

Friday, July 9, 2010

As if she could add to her AWESOMENESS.....

Calee has continually asked to learn to feed Cohen. I finally just thought, "why not?" So today she did her first G tube feeding all by herself.

After she was finished, she said this----"Mama, you know how I want to be a Broadway star when I grow up? Can you be a doctor and a Broadway star?"

I love the way her mind works.


Final Cast Change

Cohen had another appointment for a cast change this week. This should be the last one for a while. He also got fitted for his brace.  It will be ready in about 2 weeks. He will have to wear it all the time, except for during a bath. They said I need to get him a sturdy pair of shoes to wear with it-------I have no idea where to get sturdy shoes this little?? If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

The casting nurse said the only color they had this week was red. I just could not do that again---so, we got white and Justin wrapped it in his favorite color when we got home! =)

Cohen's new toy!

Cohen is quickly becoming a big boy-----and quickly becoming "bored" with many of his toys. The swing and bouncer seat just don't provide the action he is looking for!

So, luckily Ames' friend Drake, loaned Cohen his excersaucer! He is truly in love with it-- I don't know how we made it without one!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Back to where it all started!

We were in the Baptist Hospital area this afternoon for Calee's appointment, so we decided to stop by and visit the place where this incredible journey started almost 7 months ago!

On December 8th, I was admitted to the antepartum floor at Baptist. I remained there until Cohen was born on December 23rd. He was in the NICU at Baptist until March 1st...we were transferred to Vanderbilt that day for the swallow study, that turned into the MRI, G tube....etc, etc......

We had not been back since he went to Vandy. We were thrilled for the doctors and nurses to see how great he is doing and how much he has grown.

It was really strange to be there....to see other babies in Cohen and Emma Claire's spots!!!! We saw several teeny babies, many that were just over a pound . I don't care how many little babies I have seen, I am still  amazed at the sight of those little miracles. I was also shocked at how quiet it was-----I don't think it was ever quiet when we were there! (much due to us and the Warren's =)

Going back is a great reminder of how far Cohen has come. I pray every night that I never, never, ever take for granted the gift we have been given. No matter how tired we get, how many appointments we keep, how many worries we may have....it is all SO worth it. Cohen is such a blessing and today was a beautiful reminder.

I did manage to snap a few pics of our visit.-Cohen with Suzanne (aka Barbie), one of our awesome nurses...and Cohen with Dr. Haynes, one of the NICU doctors that we love dearly. (he loved looking over her shoulder as you will see in the pic) One thing I don't need to be reminded of is how blessed we were by the Baptist NICU, they are true testaments of love and compassion. WE LOVE YOU!

Calee's Eye Appointment Follow-up

Today was Calee's follow-up appointment with Tennessee Retina (for her eye issue). We originally saw this doctor at the Murfreesboro office in early June. They requested we come to the Nashville office for this visit, so off we went.

Calee has been super apprehensive about this appointment. She was truly upset last time that the doctor did not give us more information about the spots on her eye. She was distraught that they could not tell us what it was---and to be honest, I was too.

So our doctor consulted with some other colleagues and they diagnosed her with a Cavernous Hemangioma. This is a mass of abnormal blood vessels. For now, there is no course of treatment. It is not affecting her vision, and they do not believe it will (thank goodness).It is possible that the blood vessel could burst, and she would have to have a laser surgery to remove it---but that is rare and the worst case scenario.

So all in all, it was a good visit. Calee was relieved and I am so thankful for that. She will have to keep an "eye" (no pun intended=) on this her entire life, but hopefully it will just be a dormant problem that will never cause any issue for her.

Here is a picture they took of her eye. You can clearly see the trail of "blood pockets" or "spots" on her retina.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

July 1st/ Vandy Appointments

Cohen had a couple of appointments at Vanderbilt today. First we had a follow-up appointment with the ophthalmology specialist, to check his eyes. They dilated him and looked to make sure his eyes had developed correctly since the last check (he was just a few weeks old then). The doctor said they looked perfect! We are extremely relieved and grateful for a good report. Preemies are at risk for lots of eye related issues, so we are glad this is one area we don't have to worry about.

Our next appointment was with pediatric surgery, for a check of his G tube. Of all the specialist we see, this group is one of my favorites. If you remember, this is the nursing staff that waited over an hour past office hours when Cohen's tube flew out our 2nd night home=) They are so sweet. Most of the visit was spent with them holding, cuddling, and playing with him---they also were crazy for his big red cast!!! He laughed and smiled and really showed off for them. They thought his G tube looked great, and didn't need changed out for another month or so. Since we got the new "mini" button a few weeks ago we have had zero trouble with this---truly a blessing!

This has been the best day of appointments we have had. All good news!

Every time we walk through the doors at Vandy I am reminded of how lucky we are to have Cohen with us. I am so thankful to be taking him for a short visit instead of going to visit him in his room. God is so good.

Here is a silly pic of Cohen after his eyes were dilated-----he actually LOVED wearing these!

Everyone needs a CALEE!

Calee is such a great big sister. They boys adore her....and she's pretty crazy about them too.

Hand-me-downs

One of my favorite things about the boys being so close in age (17 months apart), is the hand-me-downs! I LOVE dressing Cohen up and finding a picture of Ames in the same outfit. Justin seems to think this is an odd fascination........I guess I just think it's so sweet!
Ames was about 1 month old in the top pic, and Cohen is 6 months old. The outfit is a 0-3 month size.