The End

by Kayte

I originally started this blog to keep our many family and friends in the loop when Max & Lola were first born and things were changing so quickly every day. While they were in the NICU it became a daily therapy/outlet; a way to organize my thoughts and feelings, and to record all the medical minutia. The blog continued to evolve when they came home, becoming a celebration of their triumphs and a journal of our daily life. It also served as a way to keep in touch with far-fetched family, a medical record book, and a reason for me to organize the thousands of photos I take.

But in the past months I have found it harder and harder to keep up with as life starts moving faster around us. Lately the blog has felt more like an obligation than a fun hobby, and I feel guilty whenever I don’t post. To top things off, this week I was offered a job and will be going back to work! So with a heavy heart I have decided it is time to say goodbye to the blog. Thank you for being part of our journey these past five years – your support and love kept us afloat through some of life’s hardest moments, and we will forever be grateful to our loving community.

I would like to continue sharing photos privately with those who don’t mind being inundated with kid photos, so just leave a message in the comments if you’d like to be added to our shared private album. I will also leave the blog online for the time being, and there’s a fun little “Memories” widget on the right sidebar >>> where you can look at past posts from today’s date. And because I like to leave things nicely rounded out, I’ve gone ahead and finished up the posts in the month leading up the kids’ birthday:

Thank you for everything!

Much love,
Kayte, Brody, Max & Lola


Five Years

by Kayte

Five years ago Max and Lola came into our lives unexpectedly and tumultuously. We set out on a parenting journey that we weren’t prepared for, but it has taught us so much about love and strength and who we are and what we are capable of. In the years since their birth we have celebrated countless victories, overcome unimaginable adversity, experienced unconditional love, and felt our hearts break into a million pieces.

In the early days I naively thought that “this NICU thing” would be over when we finally brought Max and Lola home from the hospital, but I have since realized that this is something that, for better and for worse, will shape us for the rest of our lives. I’ve often wondered if I would go back and change things if I could, and I think as parents we would do anything to protect our kids, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

We remind ourselves that we are incredibly lucky to have our family together; thriving, happy, mostly healthy. Every day together is a miracle, even in, especially in, those most mundane of moments when things just feel ordinary. Happy 5th birthday Max and Lola. We are in awe of you. We are SO proud of you. We Love You.


Birthday Bikes

by Kayte

After the birthday party at school, Brody surprised the kids by coming home early and unveiling their big birthday present: new bikes! We had hidden them next door since they had to be preassmbled, so we had a little mini celebration with the neighbors. After present-opening we took the kids to early dinner at a teppanyaki restaurant where a chef chops and cooks all the food on the grill right at your table. The kids got a big kick out of it. It was a perfect celebratory, joyous birthday day.

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PALs Birthday Party

by Kayte

Max and Lola got to be royalty for the day as their classes joined together for a big birthday celebration. Everyone sang “Happy Birthday” and I brought strawberries and whipped cream for a snack. We have really gotten close to the preschool teachers and families these past two years and I’m already starting to feel sentimental about the end of the school year. It’s been a great experience.
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Easter 2017

by Kayte

We had a busy few days with the kids being on Spring Break last week, Brody spending some time in the ER for a hernia/heart murmur Friday (long story short, he’s ok!), and hosting Passover Seder yesterday, so Easter today was a fairly mellow affair. We went through the motions of egg dyeing and egg hunting, but no one really had their heart in it.

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Passover Paintings

by Kayte

We hosted a Seder dinner for our family and neighbors this year, and the kids were in charge of the decorations. Lola was in charge of taste-testing the brisket – she is a carnivore!


Kite Festival

by Kayte

With Lola’s love of kites we thought that the kite festival in Santa Monica would be a perfect weekend activity. The kids were initially impressed with all the kites, but ended up more interested in the sand and water. There was a craft set up so both kids got to make their own kites and fly them with the big guys. We also took a ride on the ferris wheel which I had never done in all the years I’ve lived here. It was windy and chilly and a beautiful view of the ocean and the kites.


PALs Egg Hunt

by Kayte

The kids’ classes both celebrated Easter in their last few days of school before spring break. They dyed eggs, made their own baskets, and went on an egg hunt. We sure are going to miss these classes at the end of the year.


Kite Flying Day

by Kayte

Lola loves her kite and asks to play with it any time there is even a hint of a breeze.

 


5th percentile

by Kayte

Lola had another great 6-month check up at the endocrinologist today. She gained another two pounds which finally put her over the 30-pound mark for the first time, and grew another 1-1/2 inches. She’s in the 5th percentile for weight and the 31st percentile for height. I remember we were so unsure when we started this grown hormone journey, but Lola is doing so well and I’m glad it was the right decision.

 
Height: 41.5 inches
Weight: 31.7 pounds


Private Rooms

by Kayte

A big milestone this weekend – we moved the kids into their own rooms! They were starting to grow out of their toddler beds, and they were definitely starting to distract each other more and more at bed time, so we decided it was time. Max stayed in the room they were sharing and has a twin bed with a pull-out, and Lola moved into what was our guest room and has a big queen bed (that we may still use for guests from time to time). At first the kids were resistant to the change, but now they both really like their big kid beds and new decor. And this afternoon they both spent some time playing alone in their respective rooms, which is a milestone in itself. Previously the bedroom was just for sleeping and they usually played in the common areas, but I think they like the feeling of having their own space in the house.


Bike MS 2017

by Kayte

Brody rode in his annual Bike MS fundraiser this weekend at a new location: the Rose Bowl. The kids brought their bikes too so they could ride around while we waited for Brody to finish, and they were even able to cross the finish line with him!


Mismatch

by Kayte

Lately I’ve been ordering the kids’ shoes online at Zappos because I can order a bunch of pairs/sizes, try them on in the comfort of our own home, and then send back the ones we don’t want. MUCH easier than dragging the kids to a store. Last night I grabbed a few of their current shoes to compare sizes and order new ones, and left them in the office next to my computer when I was done. This morning I went to yoga so Brody was in charge of dressing the kids and taking them to school, but when he opened their shoe drawers neither kid had a single matching pair of shoes! Luckily I had taken a variety of lefts and rights, so Brody was at least able to find a shoe for each foot, but the kids went to school in mismatched shoes. hah!


Fire Truck Park

by Kayte

A friend introduced us to a new fire truck-themed park in the area so we spent the morning playing. This park has a great shade canopy and no sand, so we stayed relatively cool and clean.


Walking Field Trip

by Kayte

The kids’ preschool classes are introducing Walking Field Trips to teach the kids about street safety and expose them to their local community. There is a shopping center a half mile from their school where the kids all got ice cream before heading back. It was quite a sight to see 30 preschoolers and all their parents/teachers in a long line down the sidewalk.


Sock Sorting

by Kayte

Last fall the kids did a two-month clothing-themed study in school. They washed clothes, practiced closures (buttons, zippers, snaps), and sorted laundry. Since then Lola’s sock-sorting skills have really come in handy. She loves helping me with the laundry, and she can organize a whole pile of mismatched socks all by herself. Just recently she’s started working on folding them together too. Love my little helpers!


Patch Update

by Kayte

After our initial misadventure with the sticky eye patches, Lola and Max have adapted quite well to the fabric patches. The kids wear them for an hour each day during TV time (a good motivator) and sometimes Max even keeps his patch on for longer (up to two hours). I wonder if Max’s glasses are helping his vision more than Lola’s, because he is much better about keeping his glasses (and patch) on consistently throughout the day. Either way they’re both still doing better with glasses than I ever hoped two four-year-olds would do, and I’m hoping for a good report when we go back to the ophthalmologist in June. I never asked how long he anticipated the kids needed their patches (months, years?), so I guess we’ll find out then.


The Lighthouse

by Kayte

Max has been interested in storytelling lately – he tells us the story, and we write down the words. This story was inspired by backyard camping and a book we are reading about a lighthouse. Max even wrote his own name at the end!

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Backyard Camping

by Kayte

Our weather turned unseasonably warm this week (high 80s) and it felt like camping weather. We didn’t have it in us to get things together for real camping, so we decided to set up camp in the backyard. We pitched a tent on our tiny patch of grass, grilled burgers, ate dinner outside, toasted marshmallows on the grill (moderately successful) and tucked into our tent under a beautiful full moon. The kids were ridiculously excited about the whole thing. We woke up with the DST sun to fresh air and the sound of birds chirping. The campground amenities were great – running water, flush toilets, and a hot pot of coffee on a timer.

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Mountain Climber

by Kayte

One of Lola’s new favorite activities at PT is “mountain climbing.” She lies in this big, fabric swing and pulls herself to the top of a rope where she grabs a ring, then she has to let herself back down slowly and put the ring on a cone. The first time Lola attempted this she was extremely wary, but now she lets go of the rope from way high up so she swings all the way back and just laughs and laughs the whole time. It’s so good to see her comfortable in her body.

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