Recently, the family attended the 2nd NICU reunion. It was held at Nash Farm, and the boys had a wonderful time. They did it up big with a bounce house, pony rides, lots of food, and Ryan's favorite - choochootrains.
Here are our three hanging in a tree. They had such a good time running around and exploring everything. It took Michael a bit to warm up to the bounce house and the pony, but I'm pretty sure all three had a great time.
Bob, the kids, and I took along our posse to help us corral the kids. Mom, Faith, Jim, and Kathy made sure that it was all hands on deck. We got fingerprints from the Grapevine police, and Ryan was definitely the best at getting printed. Hopefully, he'll only need to be printed again for something fantastic like being admitted to the bar or for security clearance for the CIA.
The bounce, or lay around and let others bounce you, house was tons of fun. The boys really liked jumping. At first, only Ryan and James would go in, but on our second time around Michael actually climbed up on his own. I had to grab him out quickly to pull off his shoes. I guess he just needs time to warm up to the idea of something new.
James is a first rate jumper. He likes to land on his butt and bounce. He also likes to jump jump on the bed as well. All three of the kids have just learned how to jump. For the longest time, they would say jump, lift their arms and kind of bounce on their toes, but now they can actually leave the ground - especially in their beds. Those crib rails make fantastic holds for crazy jumping. You can hear the springs on the bed squeak as they go higher and higher. I'm pretty sure one of them is going to vault out and do a flip in the air cementing his prowess as a fist class gymnast.
The horse was definitely a hit with Ryan. He loves to ride his horse at home, and he was fascinated by the actual horse.
James enjoyed his time on the horse. He did such a great job holding on. I can't believe how grown up they are getting. It wasn't that long ago that I had to hold on to them for dear life when they rode the carousel, and now they can ride a pony without assistance.
There was a ton of food, and we fed the boys well. I was so excited about the cupcake, but one of the kids dropped mine icing side down on the floor, so I was denied the tasty goodness. James loves the icing on cupcakes. I'm pretty sure he doesn't care one bit about the cake, but the icing he's all over. Michael did enjoy eating and drinking juice, and after we had a little snack, his attitude started to change.
Michael makes an appearance in the bounce house while Daddy watches all the tricks the boys can do - like standing up and sitting down.
James goes rogue and checks out the cow behind the fence. I tried to get a picture but neither James nor the cow was willing to pose.
Daddy takes a turn escorting the pony. James cried and tried to return to the pony when we made him get off. Thankfully there were tractors to ride for a distraction.
Michael did NOT want to go on the horse. The guide told me that we should just try walking around and he would settle down. It worked, but when the ride was over, Michael didn't waste much time dismounting.
Tractor time! The tractors served as a great entertainment while we waited for our turn on the choo choo. James will drive anything with a wheel just like Ryan will play anything that he can pretend is a guitar, and Michael will count whenever possible - he can make it all the way to 4 by himself.
Ryan is always poised for action. Even when sitting on a tractor, he's always about to take off for some new adventure. He absolutely loves riding in the car identifying all the trucks and cars which he says byebye to as they pass us or we pass them.
A tip of the hat from farmer Michael. The boys got these hats from Baylor, and they love them. Michael likes to make our horse at home wear the hats when he's done wearing his.
Aunt Faith takes the boys for a ride on the train (James is between Ryan and Faith - you can see his legs if not his head). After this first ride, we went several times as the crowd thinned out and lots of room became available.
Last year, Faith took the kids on this same train, but she had to take them one by one and hold them. This year, all four of them rode together and the boys loved every second of it. We probably wont be in town for next year's reunion, so it was wonderful fun to see everyone. I saw my neighbor from antepartum that ended up back in the hospital with a blood clot in her leg after her beautiful little girl was born. We were so happy to see each other and to see how wonderfully well all of our kids are doing. Looking around, you would never guess that those kids started life off a little small and in need of lots of care. It just makes me realize how wonderful it is to live in a time where kids born months early not only survive but thrive. How blessed we are!