Monday, July 29, 2013

Baseball and Butterflies

Getting ready to feed our butterflies and add fresh flowers

Checking out the butterflies

Luke and Liam's T-ball team for Summer 2013-The Blue Baboons

Getting ready to bat

Luke and Liam (and another Luke on far right)

Luke hitting the ball

Liam and Luke in outfield

Trying to get Daddy out

Good game!  Score was 98 to 1 and Blue Baboons won!
Aiden at the park this week

We have three butterflies this week!  We had three caterpillars that changed to a chrysalis and then all three survived and became butterflies.  The boys have been helping to feed and care for the butterflies all week.  We will likely let them go later this week.   We had some really odd weather for July over the weekend and it was almost a little too cool for the butterflies who prefer the temps to be around 70 degrees.  It should warm up this week so that we can let them go in the backyard.

Luke and Liam played their first team sport over the summer.  They have done a few little camps here and there at the fitness center, but we decided to try t-ball this summer.  We missed the first two weeks, unfortunately, because we were on vacation but we picked it up at the end of June and all of July (twice weekly).  They loved it.  I am not sure they learned a lot, but they had a great time and got to see what it is like to play on a team.  They worked on some basic skills and practiced playing in the field, playing against another team, hitting, catching, running the bases, and a few rules of the game.  The name of their team was the Blue Baboons!

Overall, I am certain their favorite parts were: 1) Parents vs. Kids game, 2) Getting a hat and t-shirt for "free" and 3) Going out for ice cream a few times.  John played in the parents vs. kids game on the last day and the boys thought it was the best thing ever.  They were so excited to beat the parents by a score of 98 to 1.  All of their other "games" ended in a tie so they really wanted to win one of them.  It was a lot of fun and both boys agreed they want to play again next year so they must have enjoyed it.

Aiden is still progressing.  Not walking yet, but his crazy personality is back so its more of a job to keep him busy.  We are trying to help him become comfortable with walking again.  We practice standing, coasting a little on furniture, and taking maybe 3-4 small steps.  He is still very fearful and his leg still doesn't feel normal to him.  It is going to take a lot more work on his part and ours to get back to normal for him. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Little Look at what we have been up to Lately.....

Aiden and his stickers outside while the big boys are swimming
Lots and Lots of coloring, crafts, play-dough, and other activities at the kitchen table
Aiden loves his stickers, new markers, coloring books, etc...Thanks to so many that have sent him special packages.  Luke and Liam have not minded the new things to play with either!
Caterpillars and Butterflies!  We received our second set of caterpillars in the mail on the day before Aiden's accident. 
Checking out the caterpillars

Luke and Liam in the backyard pool.  We did this everyday last week since it was so hot outside.  I was fine as long as I could sit in the pool with Popsicles or frozen water bottles.  We had a fan outside under the deck for AJ and he enjoyed spraying the boys with the water guns and eating quite a few Popsicles.

Our summer activities came to a pretty sudden halt when Aiden had his accident.  It not really possible to take him many places yet.  We have been out a few times with John, but it really takes two people since it is very difficult for me to move Aiden around very much.  Keeping up with Luke and Liam, getting doors opened with Aiden in the wagon, moving Aiden in and out of the car, etc...this has all limited our trips anywhere. 

So, in exchange for our typical outings in the summer, we have been filling our time with lots of fun things at home.  It was fairly hot and humid for Minnesota last week so we took advantage of a lot of time in the pool.  Aiden was pretty comfortable outside as long as he had Popsicles, water guns, crayons, coloring books, and various things to keep himself occupied.  He has been relatively content to sit and color or play with stickers so that has been nice.  For people who know Aiden, he is typically in constant motion so having him sit for long periods of time is quite unusual. 

We are also watching our caterpillars become a chrysalis and then a butterfly.  We did this last summer and boys really enjoyed it so we are doing it again this year.  Right now, we have two butterflies and one that is still a chrysalis so we will see if it makes it or not.  We just made it to the part that the boys love as the butterflies begin to fly and we get to feed them sugar water and fruit before letting them go in a week or so. 
Here is a fun activity that I saw on a blog and we tried.  We froze some little toys in a Tupperware container and then popped the ice out and the boys chiseled the toys out with little hammers.  They enjoyed it so much that we already have toys in the freezer for next time.

Aiden has a wooden hammer (not a real one) and it took quite a bit longer for him to chisel his toys so that was a bonus.  He has started sitting on the floor some (rather than just the couch) and he is taking his brace off from time to time.  The swelling in his leg is much better, but he isn't bending his leg very much yet. 

Monday, July 15, 2013


Have you ever had a time in your life where you wish you could take back the last 10 seconds of something so you could change the outcome?  Wednesday evening was one of those times for us.  We were enjoying dinner on the back deck on a beautiful evening in Minnesota.  The boys were having a fun week and enjoying Vacation Bible School at church.  After we finished dinner, the boys went out in the backyard to play with the neighbors while John and I sat on the deck watching them and talking.  

Aiden was sitting at the top of a 5 foot slide and playing with other kids when he flipped off the side and landed on the left side of his body.  I was one of the only people who saw him fall and I can honestly say that I knew instantly that he either broke his arm or leg.  There was a thud when he landed and he didn't move, he just rolled and screamed, "Ouchie, Ouchie, Ouchie" over and over again.  John and I ran down the stairs and John picked him up and carried him carefully inside where we determined that his left thigh was already swollen.  Aiden was inconsolable. 

John drove Aiden to the ER at the Maple Grove Hospital where Aiden was born.  They were greeted by security and Aiden was quickly stabilized and given an IV for pain.  After an x-ray revealed a spiral fracture in the mid shaft of his left femur, we began to discuss the options.  I got Luke and Liam ready, packed clothes for Aiden and John, and left for the ER.  Later that night, Aiden was transferred via ambulance to Children's Hospital in Minneapolis where he was seen by an orthopedic surgeon who determined that he would operate in a few hours (it was around 1:00 am by the time they were in a room for the night). 

Aiden and John spent a sleepless night in the short stay unit of Children's and Aiden went in for surgery the next morning.  On Thursday morning, I dropped off Luke and Liam with our close friend Kirsten and headed to the hospital.  The plan was to do exploratory surgery to determine whether or not Aiden was a candidate for titanium rods rather than a spica cast.  If you have never heard of a spica cast, you should google it and you will understand why I got no sleep the night before surgery.  Its barbaric and would be a huge deal for us with my limitations, the new baby in a few weeks, for Aiden and his comfort level, etc...

John spoke with the surgeon right before the procedure and explained our situation.  We are so thankful that the surgeon was willing to consider another alternative to the spica cast.  The rods are typically not used in children under the age of six, but thankfully Aiden was a candidate.  They placed two titanium rods in his left femur.  The rods will be removed in six months.  After surgery, Aiden and John spent a second night in the hospital to try and get Aiden's pain under control so that he could go home. 

Aiden's surgery was a success and they do not expect any long term issues.  He is free to walk and do activity as he is ready.  He really has no limitations.  Right now, he is wearing a removable Velcro type splint on his leg, but thankfully no plaster cast so he can still bathe and is able to move his leg somewhat.  We are very thankful for the doctors, nurses, and their expertise.  And, we appreciate the prayers we received from our church, friends, and family. 

It has been a rough couple of days trying to manage Aiden's pain and assist him with everything, but he is making progress.  He is not walking yet, but we are hopeful that it will only take a few weeks.  He has been able to remove the splint a little bit and let his skin breathe.  He still has a lot of swelling in his leg and still has issues with pain from time to time when he moves from one place to the next, but overall he is doing well and is quite the trooper!!  I took very few pictures this week that I will post, but not a whole lot.  Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks.  If adversity builds character, then I am certain this accident will change all of us in many ways, particularly Aiden.

Aiden riding in the wagon at the hospital to pick out a stuffed animal in the gift shop.  He was looking a lot better shortly after surgery.
Finally home and playing on the ipad.

Very First lemonade stand with our buddies

We sold some lemonade to the mail man and were so excited!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July

We decorated a flag cake for the 4th

Shortly after these pictures, John came home from work and I failed to take a picture of the final product, but you get the idea (strawberries for the red stripes and blueberries for the stars).  It was quite tasty too!

Riding bikes early in the morning on the 4th.  It was a cool and beautiful morning.
Smoke bomb that the boys thought was great!
We had a few basic fireworks like sparklers, pop things, smoke bombs, etc...Its illegal to sell fireworks that shoot into the air in MN.

Trying sparklers for the first time


Aiden's sparkler.  It doesn't get dark until around 9:30 pm during the summer so the firework shows start late!!
And this is why we don't want to get all the baby stuff out too early before the baby actually arrives.

Standing on a huge pile of mulch that John distributed all over the flower beds over the weekend.  The boys thought it was great for about the first 30 minutes and then we found something else to do.

We had a very nice 4th of July holiday and long weekend.  I am not sure what it is about boys and fireworks, but this was the first year that the boys really went crazy about the fireworks.  We bought a few very basic ones and tried those in the front yard and they were crazy excited.  In Minnesota, it is apparently illegal to sell fireworks that shoot into the air but that didn't stop several of our neighbors from putting on a fairly elaborate firework show with some fireworks they purchased in Wisconsin.  It doesn't get dark in MN until around 9:30 pm during the summer, but the boys stayed up late and watched the fireworks with John.  Aiden went to bed before all the chaos started since he doesn't really sleep past 7:00 am yet.  I think Luke has asked almost nightly if we can either watch or do more fireworks.  He even picked up some already used fireworks in the neighborhood in hopes that we could set some of those off.  I am pretty sure they are expecting bigger and better fireworks next year.  We hope you enjoyed your holiday!

We have started the countdown for the arrival of Baby #4.  I think at last count we were at approximately 44 days (due date is August 17th).  We have started to get all the baby stuff ready and the boys are getting excited to meet their new brother.  The heat of the summer is a bit uncomfortable, but the boys and I have managed to spend many days at the pool and thankfully I keep reminding myself that it honestly does not get that hot in Minnesota (its nothing like Arkansas....).

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Life is like riding a Bicycle

Liam and Mommy practicing without training wheels

Liam thought is was so cool to ride without training wheels

Luke and Daddy without training wheels.  Aiden is in the background (with hands on his hips) talking to a neighbor friend and most likely telling him what to do and how to do it!

There he goes!!


Liam is off and riding.  They did not take very long to catch onto the process.
Waiting for a turn on the slide

Getting ready to head down the slide with our neighbor friend
Luke and Aiden
Aiden and his best friend, Maddie

Luke and Liam learned an important skill over the weekend.  After talking about it for several months, we took the training wheels off their new bikes.  This was a big step and they were both so excited.  Considering how quickly they learned to ride a bike with training wheels around the age of 2.5 years, John and I didn't think riding one without training wheels would take too long.  Thankfully, we were correct and they picked it up within a few minutes.  More importantly, we had a neighbor who was outside with his two boys and he offered to snap a few pictures since John and I were both helping one of the boys and taking pictures seemed virtually impossible at the time.  The hardest part is still getting the bike started from a stopped position, but they are getting better and finally remembering to keep pedaling and steer! 

We also had an impromptu party in the backyard "waterpark" on Sunday.  The MN weather is finally warm enough to swim outdoors without turning blue (unless you are Liam, of course) so we got out the slip and slide for the first time this year.  We had some black tarp left over from the hockey rink so John attached it to our regular slip and slide (the striped plastic one in the pictures) and made a much longer, much improved slide.  The boys were crazy and never stopped running for at least an hour.  We paid for all this activity the following day because they were so tired, but we had so much fun with the neighbors who joined us.  The slide was well seasoned with liquid dishwashing soap and water and the boys were a soapy, grassy, wet mess at the end; however, they had a blast!