Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kyler's 1st Birthday...A Celebration

Sept. 1st, 2010

Happy birthday Kyler. It’s 5:15 AM, thirteen minutes after Kyler was born one year ago today, time to get up and get ready to fly to Las Vegas. My bus leaves Ferndale for SeaTac at 6:40 AM, with stops at the airport, Bellingham, Burlington, and Stanwood. The Bellingham airport is closed for three weeks for improvements to the runways so it is either take the bus or have Larry drive me to and from SeaTac.

Larry is staying home to take care of Ally and Deuce, and prepare for his fall class at WWU, while I fly off to celebrate Kyler’s 1st birthday.

Kyler was 2 pounds 15 ½ ounces and 15 inches long when he was born eleven weeks early. He was a strong baby from the day he was born, determined to survive; he is almost 7 times his birth weight at a little over 20 pounds, and twice his length. He is healthy, happy, and loved. He is trying to walk, crawling everywhere, and into everything. Praise God.

A year ago when I was desperately trying to get to Las Vegas as fast as I could, I didn’t know if my daughter Kelly survived the emergency c-section or if baby Kyler was alive. For a few hours it was the most excruciating torment I have ever gone through. When I arrived in Las Vegas and was taken directly to the NICU at Sunrise Hospital to see Kyler, I looked at his tiny little body and how perfect he was. Next stop was to see my daughter Kelly and hold her. My son-in-law Kyle was deployed and Kelly had gone through the anguish of a premature delivery and then not being able to even hold her son because he was transported to another hospital. Eleven weeks after Kyler was born, he was big enough to go home with his mom and dad and begin life as a family.

Now a year later we are celebrating Kyler’s first birthday. To look at him, you would never know that he was premature.

I closed my eyes after we left Bellingham and a half hour later we arrived in Burlington for a short stop. I dozed on and off all the way to SeaTac and had time after I arrived to get a cup of coffee and find some lunch to take on the plane with me.

Kelly said she was awake at 5:02 AM but Kyler only made a soft baby sound in his sleep and never woke up to celebrate his birth till several hours later. Kelly and Kyle sang happy birthday to him. They always sing to him so he might not have realized how special this day is to his parents.

Kelly and Kyler picked me up at the airport. When I opened the back door to the SUV to put my luggage in the car, Kyler could see me and smiled. A quick stop at Whole Foods to pick up the makings for dinner and a special birthday cupcake for Kyler and then home. Kyle was already off work and waiting for us. Kelly fixed seasoned baked chicken chunky taco salad. She is such a good cook, and creative.

Birthday presents for Kyler and then the birthday cupcake. Kyler liked playing with the cupcake but he doesn’t really have a sweet tooth. More fun to crumble it in his little finger and throw it on the floor. Bath time and bed time.

Such a miracle.

6:00 AM Revelry 9-2-2010

It’s going to be 1030 in Las Vegas today. I woke up to find baby Kyler getting ready to have his morning bottle and Kyle leaving for work. Playtime, bottle, nap…short nap, and then it was off to the grocery store and then home again for lunch and another nap.

We spent the afternoon running errands for the birthday party on Monday. Old Navy was a bonus stop for Kelly. She doesn’t usually shop for clothes because Kyler is with her and into everything. We met Kelly’s friend, Abby, and her baby, Ryan, at Target and leisurely wandered up and down the aisles of the store where it was cool and the moms could talk, shop, and the babies were fascinated by all there was to see.

Kelly showed me around North Las Vegas before we came home and she fixed pigs-in-a-blanket for dinner. Beef hotdogs, wrapped in butter, garlic croissants. I haven’t fixed these since all my kids lived at home. Kyle grew up with a different version of pigs-in-a-blanket: meatloaf wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked in a tomato sauce. I’ve never heard of this and after a little research when I returned home, it appears to of German or Hungarian origins and a favorite of Northeastern Pennsylvania where Kyle is from.

We all headed off to Costco after dinner for picnic foods for Kyler’s birthday party on Monday. Not thirty feet into the store was a designer t-shirt display. So I need to find room in my suitcase for an extra shirt and the travel mugs for Larry that I bought (no they don’t carry those mugs at our Costco at home). I bought a supply of ready to drink Starbucks while I was in Vegas and a few other things to fill up my cart--not to be confused with the kids' shopping cart.

Back home it was dinner for Kyler, bath time, and a bottle before bed. He could barely keep his eyes open on the way home.

Kelly and I cut 600 miniature marshmallows to look like popcorn for the cupcake topping decorations. A can of PAM for the scissors and an hour later we were done.


Wake up grandma. Kyler crawled over me, snuggled with me and then curled up with his mom to finish a bottle. A new Sesame Street video to sort of watch while Kelly and I worked on water bottles filled with candy and prizes to be used as favors at Kyler’s birthday party.

Kyler, Kyle and I stayed home this morning while Kelly had a hair appointment. Kyler and I played with his toys and he took his morning nap before our lunch outing.

Kelly, Kyle, Kyler, and I went to Hooters Casino to meet Kim for lunch. The girls in the restaurant sang happy birthday to him and I took a great video of him. Nikki was working and so was Jackie so they had their picture taken with Kyler. Kyler doesn’t know it but he is one lucky baby to have all these friends and former coworkers of Kelly’s who work at Hooters celebrate his birthday week long celebration. Kim surprised us all and bought our lunch today. Thank you again Kim.

It’s 1050 and the Friday afternoon traffic in Vegas on the freeway was stop and go. Kyle took all the short cuts to get us back home for naps and quiet time.

After Kyler’s afternoon nap Kelly and I went looking for a baby gate to keep Kyler out of the dining area. The problem is an extra wide doorway that is about 6” wider than any baby gate we can find. We have a couple of ideas we are working on. We were ready to check out and the lighter fluid bottle split open and got on Kyler. Kelly carries baby wipes so she wiped his legs down quickly, striped off his short, and she took him to the bathroom to wash his legs with soap and water. No reaction that we could see but we check out and went straight home to give him a bath. Scary!

Kyler is down for the night and Kelly made me a scarf. She makes several styles and this one is grey. I am hoping she will start selling them online soon because they are unique and fun. Can’t wait for everyone back home to see what she made me.

The next project of the evening was to make 75 white cupcake liners look like paper popcorn bags by drawing red lines in the creases of the liners. We taped twenty custom made candy bar wrappers that looked like Kyler’s birthday invitation around full size Hershey bars and we were done for the night.


This morning I heard Kyler talking softly and retrieved him out of his bed. He was waiting for me with a toothy grin and when I stretched out my arms to him, he raised his arms with an even bigger grin on his face.

Diaper change and bottle time. Just as Kyler and I snuggled up on the sofa, Kelly woke up and found us. Of course Kyler wanted his mom to feed him. We spent the next two hours playing on the floor with all his toys and a few minutes of Sesame Street. Morning nap time for the parents and the baby before we began our day.

I helped Kyle clean up his computer and Kelly baked cupcakes all afternoon.

Movie night out for Kelly, Kyle, Abby and Sean. The parents went to a movie and dinner, just like before babies, and I had grandma time with two little guys, although Kyler was already asleep when they left for the evening. Baby Ryan wasn’t sure about me being a surrogate grandma for the night but after we began playing with the toys he decided I wasn't too bad. I fed him a bottle after about an hour and held him until he fell into a deep asleep with his favorite blanket. Kelly still has the pack n play bed in their room so it was perfect for Ryan. When the kids (the grown up parents) came home from their evening out, Ryan wasn’t too sure what was going on but he was happy to see his mom and dad.

Abby is sweet and said Kyler can use her mom when she comes to visit as a surrogate grandma. It’s all good because babies need as much love as we can give them.

It was a very good day.

The predicted 1070 was only 1050 today.


Kelly and Kyle went to do a little shopping for some household items and Kyler and I stayed home to play. Abby and Ryan came over to help decorate the cupcakes and Abby was finishing up her fantasy football team.

Prep work for the party tomorrow.

check - Veggie trays and dip

check - Guacamole

check - Sliced tomatoes and onions

check - Cupcakes decorated

check - Cake finished

check - Drinks

check - Chips

check - Hamburger and hotdogs and buns

check - Condiments

Kelly fixed pizza for dinner and after a really busy day, Kelly, Kyle, and Kyler were all in bed by 6:00 PM. A quiet evening. It was 1050 again today, but I was inside with the air conditioner all day. What heat?

9-6-2010 Party Day

Kyler woke about 7:00 AM and it was his usual morning routine. Kelly and Kyle ran to get the last of the BBQ foods and ice…lots of ice.

Kyler didn’t really want to take a nap, but after talking in his crib for a while he finally settled down for a short nap.

Kelly and I finished up the food prep and loaded supplies into boxes to take to the park. Kelly and Kyle went to set up and decorate the park and I took care of the Kyler.

Party time. About thirty adults and children showed up. Kelly had more than enough food. The kids all gathered around while Kelly and Kyle helped Kyler open his presents. So many presents.

Next the piñata. A big blue #1. I had never seen a piñata with strings to pull instead of hitting one with a bat or stick. Each child pulled one string to see if it would open the bottom of the piñata. There were only a few strings left when it broke open and all the kids scrambled for candy to fill their treat bags. Kelly passed out the Hershey bars that were wrapped with what looked like Kylers birthday invitation.

We sang happy birthday to Kyler and Kelly and Kyle helped him blow out his one candle.

The cupcakes looked like little containers of popcorn. One little girl told her dad she didn’t want to eat popcorn when he tried to get her to take a cupcake. I told her it was really a chocolate cupcake and marshmallows on top and then she was okay. The moms were impressed with Kelly’s clever idea.

Next it was Kyler versus the fight ring cake. He looked at the cake. He cried. He fussed. He crawled away from the cake. The cake won…but not before Kelly helped Kyler to crawl through the middle of the cake.

The party was over and the guests were departing. We boxed up leftovers, dumped some leftovers, gave some away, and then Kelly and Abby took the babies back to the house for a bath. Now this was something both boys enjoyed. Splashing in the tub with toys, that’s what it is all about for babies. Kyler went down right after his bath and Abby took and exhausted Ryan home to go to bed.

Kelly went back to the park to help Kyle clean up and they crashed shortly after returning home.

So much to celebrate and be thankful for.


7:00 AM

Trying to let Kelly and Kyle sleep in a little I got Kyler up when I heard him talking in his crib. I had the diaper change done when Kelly heard us and got up. Kelly fed him a bottle and then he was ready to play and Kelly curled on the sofa and we talked.

Today it’s going to be 700 with thunderstorms, lightening, and clouds. Wow. Sort of like home! Except here that can mean flash floods...and of course in the dessert the weather changes so fast that by the afternoon they say it will be in the 900s.

Kelly and Kyle took all the toys out of the boxes and Kyler was a little overwhelmed at what to play with first. Toys that make noise, toys for the tub, race cars, books, and clothes.

Kelly and I worked on sorting and pricing Kyler's outgrown baby clothes for the consignment sale coming up in a week. Looking at the bags of assorted tops, pants, pajamas overalls, and sweaters, it is amazing how much one baby an go through in a year.

A few things were barely worn because Kyler was born almost three months early and when he came home newborn items still looked big on him. Things that were bought ahead of time based on how old he would be at a certain season didn’t fit.

The little guy decided he didn’t want a nap this morning. It was 12:30 PM before Kelly told him it was bed time. I think he just humored her because nap time lasted only about 45 minutes. Kyler has been fussing for days with a new tooth trying to come in and it really bothers him. This is probably why he can’t get comfortable and nap.

After Kyler went to bed, the kids rented a movie and we all curled up on the big sofa and enjoyed a quiet evening at home.


Wake up grandma it 7:15 AM and I let you sleep in. Kelly was sitting on the sofa and baby Kyler was crawling over me smiling. He is feeling better today but still no tooth. Early nap time at 9:00 AM.

Kyler is wearing his University of Texas shirt and pants. Grandpa Larry would be so proud to see him in this outfit. We all walked down to the park to play on the swings and slides. It is a little overcast with a warm wind blowing but the intense heat of the afternoon sun is not beating down on Vegas today.

After Kyler went to bed, the kids popped in another movie to watch. Another day in paradise. Home sweet home with my family.


Kyler has been awake since 6:30 AM but I got to sleep in till 7:20 AM. Play time. Nap time.

Kelly and I took Kyler to meet Abby and Ryan to shop and have lunch. We went shopping for hangers and safety pins. The consignment sale requires everything to be hung up and labels attached with safety pins.

Back on Nellis Air Force Base we saw 2 jets flying side by side, as one split away from the other, turned upside down and change direction 1800 we watched the other plane do exactly the same thing only seconds after the other plane.

I checked in for my flight home and then we all headed to Abby and Sean’s house to watch football and have dinner. We stopped at a stop sign and Kyle put the car in park. When I asked him what was happening he rolled down the window so I could hear the national anthem. It was 4:30 PM and everyone and everything comes to a complete halt while it plays. In the times I have stayed on base before I had never been out of the house at 4:30 PM.

Abby fixed an amazing chicken wing dip. Who needed anything else to eat? The New Orleans Saints won the game.


I’m leaving the sunshine behind and going home to rain...and my loveable Larry.

Kyler fell asleep on my shoulder for his morning nap and the Kelly put him down in his bed.

We stopped for lunch on the way to the airport and I found it incredibly hard to say good-bye to Kelly. I kissed Kyler, hugged Kyle, and gave Kelly one last hug. Quick--I needed to go inside before I cried.

Homes are cheap in Vegas right now! Larry is retiring. Maybe a winter home, or a big home with 2 master suites and we could just live with the kids a few weeks at a time???

I hate good-byes. Have I said that before?

I took the shuttle bus home with a quick detour into downtown Seattle to the convention center. I arrived in Ferndale just after 10:00 PM and Larry was waiting for me. It’s good to be home with Larry but I still miss my family.

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