Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Birthday, Random Yammering, And A Recipe!

First, I finished the heart and it is now hanging in the window...
And today is Ryan's birthday! He's 12 years old. TWELVE! hhhh, makes me melancholy. He was such a tiny baby -4 pounds. I had such guilt over him - I basically evicted him at 34 weeks because my blood pressure had been going crazy and he wasn't thriving. Such a scary time. It's very rare for a woman to have preeclampsia with a third child when there was never a blood pressure issue before. He was so tiny. He looked like a 90 year old man. He had absolutely NO body fat - just skin and bone. He was covered with a fine fur. He couldn't cry so he made this strange little squeak sound. The nurses would bring him to me in the morning and say "He's squeaking I think he wants his mommy!" He was 4 pounds and 17 inches. We put a long sleeved undershirt on him as pants and then another one on as a shirt. It was so cute. Poor Mark missed the birth. The doctor told him to run and get something to eat because the cafeteria was going to close - I told him not to leave - I had very very quick labors. They induced me and had me on seizure medication. Mark left (because the threat of no food other than vending machine food was more than he could stand), about 10 minutes later - one push - hello Ryan. Mark comes in the room 10 minutes after that and I'm sitting there holding a baby. He was really really upset. Hate to say I told you so... I had had the shots to speed up the development of his lungs so he was fine that way, but he couldn't eat - what a nightmare that was and it went on for four months. His mouth just wouldn't work right - it always took several tries before his mouth would be able to drink. They (and I) wanted him breastfed which was impossible for him until he was four months old, so I would pump and then feed him a bottle. I would be able to get the bottle into his mouth eventually (he just didn't have the skills or the energy to latch on) but we would both be crying (him screaming, me sobbing) by then. Feedings were a nightmare. He was too weak to wake himself to be fed so I would have to try to wake him with a cold washcloth (and keep him awake long enough for him to drink). He only took 2 ounces at a time so it was basically every two hours he had to be fed. Between the no sleep and the pumping and the waking and the trying to feed and having two other small children it was so overwhelming! Thank God he wasn't my first child. I don't think I would have survived it. He was slow to develop. Everything was delayed. But his speech was the worst. The only sound he made was mmmm. He had therapy to teach him sign language and to work on sounds. Finally at age three he started making more noises and by age 4 he was talking fairly well. And by 5 you would never know he had had any issues. Comprehension will always be a problem for him though. He will eventually get how to do things, but it takes him a lot longer. His therapists explained that that part of his development will never catch up. I remember trying to explain this to his third grade teacher and her response was "oh, he'll be fine in my class - I teach in a way that the kids all get it right off." He wont get it right off. "Oh! Sure he will." Needless to say it was a bad year because he didn't get it "right off" and she couldn't understand why and wasn't patient enough to give him the extra effort. The crazy thing is that he is obsessed with Lego. Other than cars, it's all he plays with since age three and he can make anything. He will go online and print out a photo of a WWII tank and another photo of the mechanics of it. Then he will build it in Lego with every compartment and moving part. The guns fire, the axles turn, the top turret spins and the gun can be raised and lowered. It's crazy how intricate it is. CRAZY! He has been able to do this since he was very small. But he has trouble reading and math is a nightmare! Isn't it strange how the mind works? So anyway here is the funny part...
He knew that I had ordered his Lego's for his birthday on Monday. I told him I did express shipping so that they would be here by his birthday. Well, Tuesday he comes into my room holding his stomach..."ooooh, I am so sick. fake cough, fake cough. I need to stay home from school." You're going to school. "I'm sick! fake cough, fake cough." No you are not sick - go brush your teeth." In the bathroom moaning, fake coughing, big sighs...He comes downstairs all bent over holding his stomach and fake coughing and I tell him that I checked and the Lego box will not be here until Wednesday afternoon. Complete, miraculous, instantaneous recovery! Off he went to school just as happy and healthy as ever! :O)

He was very happy to see the box when he got off the bus yesterday. Because Mark wont be home today he sort of celebrated yesterday. He didn't even wait for me to wrap the gifts! :O)
Today we are going out to eat with my parents and then tomorrow when Mark is home we will have Ryan's choice of dinner (tacos) and his favorite cake (Jello Cake). This is the best cake ever! Really more for spring, and definitely summer, but Ryan loves it so he always has it on his birthday. Here is the recipe...

Jello Cake

3 oz box of ORANGE Jello (I have tried other flavors and they just aren't as good as the orange)
3/4 Cup boiling water
1/2 Cup cold water

Make this up and set it aside on the counter while you make the cake. Make a Yellow cake (Betty Crocker is the best) in a 13 inch x 9 inch pan. When cake is cool, pierce it with a meat fork or the end of a small wooden spoon - you want holes, but not giant craters. Pour the jello over the cake so that it runs into the holes.


3 oz Box of Vanilla Instant Pudding
1 Envelope of Dream Whip
1 1/2 Cups of Milk
1 tsp of Vanilla Extract

Whip with a hand mixer until it thickens (I think it's like 4 minutes). Spread frosting over cake and keep in refrigerator. Yum! It is so good for a cookout! Try it - I've never had anyone not love it.


Levin (and Emily) said...

happy birthday!
what a story - it must have been so difficult for you - especially as you had no idea that anything bad was going to happen. so glad to hear all worked out well in the end.
we have the same yellow lego digger! louis got it for his birthday this year. enjoy your tacos - we had them last night :)

misschris said...

What a rough beginning! That story just broke my heart, and I'm so glad that everything turned out ok. Sounds like you have a model builder on your hands. How cool would it be for Ryan to work for a movie production company that builds replicas and scale models of everything?? Pretty sure they don't use legos ;) though, so maybe not.

Enjoy the birthday dinner! xo

Kris said...

See, that's the thing. We all have a talent. For some of us that talent is reading, or math which means that our society rewards us by telling us that we are intelligent. Of course, to be able to look at a photo and reproduce it with lego also takes great intelligence and talent, but isn't really recognised by society. Thanks for sharing Ryan's story. I loved reading it because I could imagine what I was doing while you were struggling with Ryan. (I have a 12 year old too, so I would have been feeding her, changing her etc, etc!) Happy Birthday Ryan! (My kids love lego too. They spent all day today playing with it.)