Each day is a new adventure

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two Years Old!

This past Saturday, the twins turned 2!!! This is the “magic” age we have been told about for the past two years. When babies are born prematurely, they face many gaps physically and developmentally. During the first two years of life, they play “catch-up” and then by the time they turn 2, they should usually be on the same page as their peers. When they were born, it was hard to imagine that our little 3 lb. miracles, born 10 weeks premature, requiring oxygen support and 7and 8 weeks in the NICU would ever close the gap, but God knew the plans he had in store for Brooklyn and Tayden. Today they both weigh 30 lbs. and are getting taller each day! Both babies have closed the gap and have bright, healthy futures ahead of them.
In Brooklyn’s short little life she has overcome her share of obstacles. Her amniotic sac became low on fluid around week 27 of my pregnancy. At 29 weeks, I was admitted to the hospital because the fluid was continuing to get lower. At 30 weeks and 1 day she tried to kick her way out – leading to an emergency c-section. During her NICU stay she started having terrible reflux that would cause her to stop breathing at times and delayed her homecoming. We did bring her home on a monitor after 7 weeks. The reflux continued for almost a year. Two months after coming home, she was hospitalized again with the flu for three nights. Our biggest concern for her developmentally was her lack of speech. She now talks non-stop which is music to my ears!

Brooklyn McCarty 3 lbs. 3 oz.
Tayden has also faced and conquered many “giants.” He struggled to breathe at birth and was put on a ventilator for less than 24 hours. He required minimal oxygen for the next few weeks, but couldn’t seem to part with his nasal cannula. We brought him home after 8 weeks. He also was hospitalized two months later with the flu and stayed two nights. At our first pediatric cardiologist visit, the doctor noticed that he had an extra vein, which had disappeared when we had a return visit six months later. We initially started ECI (Early Childhood Intervention) because of his torticollis (twised, stiff neck). Our biggest concern with him was his head size. He started seeing the Neurologist and has had two MRIs with good reports. His body has caught up to his head, his neck is straight, and all is good!

Tayden James 3 lbs. 5 oz.
Throughout this journey I have found that I truly see and recognize God’s blessings and miracles the most when I reflect on the past. I know He walks beside us every single day, but in looking back I am able to see how far He has brought us. I am not suggesting that we should live in the past or dwell on it for that matter, but I feel like if we don’t embrace, revisit, and celebrate each small step, we cannot fully appreciate where we stand today. I think of the past two years as a climb up a very tall mountain. We all know I never have been much of a climber, but it is the best analogy I could come up with. We started our hike scared and unprepared, with no idea what to expect. There were many times that the “hiking” exhausted us emotionally, physically, and at times even spiritually. God knew our hearts and strategically placed amazing family and friends (pit-stops) along our path to keep us motivated and focused on the finish line. The pit-stops filled our backpacks with prayers, encouragement, and support. Some of these pit-stops we had known forever, and others we met simply because we were both walking the same path. There were even pit-stops that we had known forever, but gained a much deeper relationship with because of our journey. We could not have made it without our pit-stops! We love you and appreciate you more than you will ever know! Now that we have finally reached the top of the “two year” mountain the view is incredible and indescribable, but part of what makes it so amazing is to look back over our shoulder and celebrate the long distance we traveled to get here. The destination would be insignificant if not for the journey.  Our journey definitely transformed us as Christians, people, and parents. It renewed our faith and reminded us that we serve a God of miracles who loves us very much. It enriched our marriage and revealed strengths that we never knew we had. It revealed to us, both the fragility and pure sweetness of life, and it gave us a deep appreciation for healthy babies – a factor that we will never take for granted. Now, as we look ahead, our hearts are full of hope. We can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us this year!

For the twins’ birthdays we rented the Playscape at the Hills Church – Southlake Campus. This was the perfect place for toddlers to run around and play while the older kids (husbands) played in the arcade. We picked Sesame Street as the theme since the kids love it so much. I will admit that in planning the party (one of my favorite things to do) I easily became addicted to Etsy and Pinterest. I had a list of ideas (big surprise) to make sure that the party was a success. It was quite an undertaking, and I must thank my mom for all of her help with my “projects” in the nights leading up to the party. I will also admit that I do realize that the twins will probably not remember this party. However, we wanted it to be special because this was the first time many of our friends would meet the twins or see them in over a year (due to our hibernation). Despite the rain, we had a great turnout and the twins had a wonderful time! We waited and let them open their presents later that night. They received so many great things that we were inspired to get rid of several old toys that they no longer play with. They also got the most precious clothes ever!!! They now have an entire Spring wardrobe!!! We are so grateful to every one that came from near and far to celebrate Brooklyn and Tayden with us!

In the days leading up to the party, we would often talk about who was going to be at the party. We would go through and say everyone’s name. Well, on Saturday night Brooklyn did not want to go to bed. I was exhausted so I put her in the bed with me to calm down. She then proceeded to say, “Happy Mommy, Happy Dada, Happy Rooklyn, Happy Buddy, Happy SueSue, Happy Grandma, Happy Mimi, Happy Jojo, Happy Payton, Happy Yubby, Happy Lolly, Happy Craig, Happy Malley, Happy Landon …….” naming everyone that had been at the party. As tired as I was, I couldn’t help but smile and laugh. Tayden is still singing Happy Birthday and inserting random guests’ names each time. Their excitement made it all worth it. I am sure the view from Mount Everest is amazing, but it is nothing compared to the view from where I’m standing!
The invitation

Brooklyn's cake


Tayden's cake

G is for goldfish

C is for cookies

Character sacks for table decor

F is for fruit - thank you Lovey

J is for juice

V is for vegetable

Tayden playing air hockey

His challengers - the Simon twins Alex and Will (our friends from the NICU)

Getting some pointers from dada

Simons developing their game plan

Birthday girl


Birthday boy

Sweet little guy

The Rodriguez family

Lili loved her cupcake

Part of the Williams family

The Anguiano family

The Russell twins in action

Singing Happy Birthday

Tayden's turn

Uncle Dean and Landon - Hilarious

Aunt Lolly and Aunt Mimi

Mommy and Brooklyn

cupcake time

Aunt Lolly

Payton and Aaron

Uncle Craig

Checking out her presents

The Heath men vs. Landon

Our one family picture

These were the cookie favors.  I got the idea from a website and spent weeks getting them right.  I tried three cookie recipes and three icing recipes before finally finding the right one.

Finished product

Favor boxes

Had goldfish crackers, bubbles, and crayons inside


New chairs

Doll house

Sesame Street bus

Dump truck

Brooklyn's purse

New puzzle

Awesome books

Helping Tayden open his present

Fire truck

Brooklyn hugging her Yubby (Lovey)

Tayden's truck

Brooklyn's tutu - she loves wearing it all of the time

Her 1st Cabbage Patch

We put the books away and he found them.

Playing in SueSue's "kitchen"
trying to clean her baby