Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Birthday Pictures

Stephen's birthday was a good time had by all!  We celebrated his actual birthday on the 4th with cake and pizza with Nonnie and Papa (Billy's parent's) and then had a fire truck birthday party on Saturday with lots of family and friends and all of Stephen's buddies.  Despite the miserable weather, it was a really nice day and the best part of all…the local fire station came by with a fire truck for the kids to see!!!  They were all so excited and it was definitely the highlight of the day!!  That and the cool F-150 power wheels truck Stephen got for his birthday from Nonnie and Poppa!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

First Day of School

Today marks another big milestone for Stephen; his first day of school!!!  Stephen started daycare/preschool for the very first time!  It's been quite a challenge getting to this day, and I'm still a bit nervous about the whole g-tube feeding thing is going to work at school, but the hardest part is over with....the drop-off.  And I think it went really well (minus the fact our garage door was frozen shut this morning)!

We've been talking about going to school for weeks, and we visited a few times, so Stephen was well aware he was going today and that he would be there all day.  But of course, on the morning of the big day, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed and didn't want to go.  As I pulled him out of his car seat at school he even said, "Mommy, I don't want to get out of the car."  Ugh.  That's like a dagger straight through the chest!  But once we got inside and everyone asked him if he wanted to go play, he walked down the hall and into his classroom.

Once we got into his class, he became pretty hesitant and wanted me to pick him up, but his teacher came right over, scooped him up, I hung up his bookbag and coat, gave him a hug and kiss and Bill ushered me out the door.  Thankfully, he waved to us and said, "Bye Mommy and Daddy" with a big smile, so I felt good about our chances for no tears.

It's now 11:40 AM and I haven't gotten a phone call, so I'm assuming all is good!  I do have to go back shortly and give him his tube feed, so I'll be able to check on him, but honestly, I think he'd do better if I didn't go.  But, he needs those fluids to keep his kidney happy, so I don't really have a choice.  I'm hoping that once he gets acclimated to school and napping at school and his teachers feel comfortable enough, they'll be able to give him his feed during nap time.  Or even better, he starts eating and drinking more and there will be no need for the stinkin' g-tube at all!

For the first two weeks, Stephen will be at school every day, all day, and then after that we'll taper down to either two or three full days (depending on my work schedule and how he does).  But all-in-all it's just awesome knowing Stephen's healthy enough and so far beyond all of his delays that plagued him for over two years that he can be at school with the other kids his age!!


Friday, January 3, 2014

3 years old!!!!!

So Lindsey and I were just sitting here, on the eve of Stephen's 3rd birthday, discussing what we were doing 3 yrs ago today.    Ironically enough we were set to meet with our OB the next day (jan 4 2011) and we had decided to tell her one way or the other this baby needs to come out.   We needed to know one way or the other what was going to happen.  We were so scared, so unsure of what was ahead of us.    So Lindsey and I are talking about this tonight, and as we are talking, Stephen came flying around the corner chasing our dog Mabel with his dump truck (a hourly occurrence in our house), and the last 3 years came rushing back to me all at once.  We live this journey with our son, and I sometimes find myself having to be reminded of things that happened, almost as if I had only read about them and not actually lived them   It was as if everything Stephen went through, everything we went through, everything our friends and family went through was just a dream.  As if this perfectly "normal" 3 yr old was never sick...  Well, unfortunately we all know it wasn't a dream, and he was sick, and he did go through a lot, but everything he went through, everything we went through is all worth it when he goes flying by with his dump truck, trying to run over the dog.    Everything he went through and we went through is worth it when he stands at the window waiting for me to come home from work, then waives at me to "come in da house daddy".  Everything he went through and everything we went through is worth it, when I see the joy in his grandparents eyes when he runs and gives them each a hug and kiss, and makes them feel like they are the most wonderful people he has ever met.  Everything he went through and everything we went through is worth it when you see him chasing after his two beautiful little cousins (Norah and Chloe).   Everything he went through and everything we went through is worth it when, this past weekend he played all day with his buddies "baby g" , caroline, and charlie. (Greg and Ashley Callen's kids) in the park , and not once was looking over his shoulder for mom and dad.  Everything is worth it when, as I am typing this I look over and Stephen and Linds are chilling on the couch watching tv together.   

I need to clarify that when I say "we" I am of course describing Lindsey and myself, but in reality I am describing everyone in our lives who have lived through his journey with us.   We are extremely fortunate people, who have had unbelievable kindness shown to our family.    I would invite everyone who has followed along with Stephen's Journey to wish him a very happy and healthy birthday tomorrow, and also take a second to toast yourself as well, as you are all part of this special boy's journey.

Lastly I need to make special mention to Stephen's angel on earth, the wonderful and beautiful Kristin Freeman, and her wonderful and supportive family (Matty, Cameryn, Cailyn ,Cassidy).   Without her, and her family's love and support, I don't know where we would be.  I won't go on and on about Kristin because I know she hates the attention, but we are kissing our little boy tonight in large part due to her and as we celebrate his birthday, we celebrate you and the gift you gave us.

Happy Birthday Little Man

Love Daddy