Monday, March 3, 2014

Birthday Boys

Garrett turned ONE in January
Hayden turned FIVE in February

For Garrett's 1st birthday, we had a lot of family fun and did a lot of family firsts.  We went to the new Austin Aquarium and we went bowling for our first time.
 The Aquarium is new and we all got to go thanks to Kiki & Bear Paw's Christmas gift family pass!
 Argh, Garrett did not like his birthday glasses.
 Garrett loved that many of the displays were just his height.
Hayden worked hard on standing to touch the sting rays.  Hanna would have gotten in and swam with them if we let her.

 After the Aquarium, we swiftly went bowling with Seton Adaptive Sports.  On Saturday we had the pleasure of meeting, Larry Turner, who worked many years organizing fun sporting events for families like us who wouldn't have the opportunity to gather collectively otherwise (basketball, sled hockey, bowling, tennis & many more we have yet to explore).

The very next day, we learned that tragic news that Larry suddenly passed away while playing wheelchair basketball.
It is with gratitude that we had the pleasure of meeting him.  His legacy through his good works will continue on for years to come.

All of the kids had a wonderful time bowling.  This is something we must do again! Thank you for the introduction Larry!
 Hanna & Hayden loved the ramp!
 Hayden with his bestie Josiah.
 Garrett may have been a little to young for this one.
Best of buddies, Josiah and Hayden.  Bowling buddies for life!

To end the whirlwind of a birthday, we finished off with birthday cake.
 Garrett decided he loves chocolate cake as much as his big brother.  He even wanted to share some with his big sister & big brother.

Hayden had an extra special birthday this year.  Since he was hospitalized several times this year, we were told about a great non-profit that makes cakes for especially ill children. They take the stress away knowing that if you end up celebrating your birthday in the hospital (with a child with multiple diagnosis and repeat illness you don't know when this may be), you will still have a fancy cake and a celebration.

At the time that we contacted them, we weren't sure what the medical situation would be.  Actually, the day that they contacted us to asked for details about the cake, we were on our way once again to the ER.

Icing Smiles
Hayden was honored to receive a Thomas the Train cake of his little chocolate dreams!  He was so excited he talked about it for days!  A fantastic baker, Laurel Taylor, of Georgetown, Texas through Icing Smiles, baked this deliciously moist, buttercream, chocolate train perfection!

What makes this especially special, is that for the months that Hayden vomited daily, he developed an aversion to eating food.  Everything made him gag.  It is a real break-though that after having g-tube surgery just 6 months ago, he was excited to eat his birthday cake.

Special transportation was made to deliver it safely to the new Austin Children's museum, the Thinkery.
The hardest part about the party was keeping our number small to just 10 children as that is all they allowed.  Hayden has so many special buddies, kids and many adults, that helped him through his ferocious year of being four.

We tried to find food that the pickiest, possible-allergy, eating kids would like.  Pirate Booty, pre-packaged apple slices, cheese, turkey & cracker trays and water.

The museum theme was all things about Dinosaurs.  Don't these boys look dynamite with their matching outfits!
Thrilled by his friends at the party!

Oh yeah that is the face of an excited 5 year old boy!
Personalized water bottles & treat bags to keep everyone with their own germs:)

Hayden was thrilled with his old Rise School teacher, Mr. D visiting, his two physical therapists, shout out to Gil and Ruth, and his occupational therapist Emily, all there to help him celebrate his new fantastic turning five.
Hayden was very pleased with himself and his work on melting his dinosaur out of the ice cube with salt, water and food coloring.  The museum is wonderfully accessible and wonderful for children of all abilities.  Thank you Thinkery for being a heck of good time!  link to the Thinkery
Lastly, this post is lengthy, and we will have to do another to document our journey to Mexico for Stem Cell treatment.  Through many generous birthday donations, Hayden had enough funds to make a deposit and secure a date 6/26/14 for treatment.  You can follow this journey at & Donate to/stem-cells-for-hayden

We also are working out the details of hosting a hamburger & hot dog bbq in the park for anyone that would like to help support being a pioneer for stem cell treatment that is not offered for spina bifida pediatrics (yet).  This information is soon to follow as we sort through red tape and wait for creative inspiration...

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