Cold and flu season has kept Hazel and Grant very isolated since they came home from the NICU, making it difficult to see some family and friends. They were finally able to visit Great Grandma and Great Grandpa’s house for the first time! Hazel and Grant had a very nice visit full of lots of smiles…and I think Great Grandma and Great Grandpa really enjoyed it too!
Happy Mother’s Day to Julie! Almost a year later, Julie was able to celebrate her very first Mother’s Day. The kids even signed their card to her (with a little help from Daddy).
Being able to get out of the house even meant their first time in a restaurant to celebrate Mother’s Day. We ate at a German restaurant and Grant really seemed to enjoy the accordion playing while Hazel slept. At a booth next to ours was a family with a 3-month old baby. As we got to talking, we learned the dad was a grown-up preemie well over 6’ tall. While they start out small, they can grow up to be just as big as the other kids!
Marissa’s birthday was May 14th. It was a difficult day for us but also happy. While we know she’s celebrating in Heaven we miss her deeply. Its hard not to wonder what she’d look like today, what her personality would be like and what she would be doing with Hazel and Grant. In memory of her and celebration of her brief life, we had dinner with family and had angel hair pasta for dinner with angel food cake for dessert. Marissa is loved. Marissa is missed. Marissa will forever be remembered by our family.
The highlight of our month!!! Hazel and Grant are officially one-year-olds and they are AMAZING!!! Finding out just 3 months after they were born that Hazel and Grant were not expected to survive…THEY DID IT – THEY SURVIVED! Their nurse practitioner that cared for them for their first 3 months while they were in “critical care” started calling Hazel & Grant “The Amazing Anderson’s” because after everything they battled they just kept getting better and better and stronger and stronger. A superhero themed birthday party seemed fitting. So, dressed like superheroes, they were on a mission to help others. With the help of their super friends and super family, they collected over 75 items (and counting) newborn and preemie clothes, blankets, lullaby music, board books and a bouncer. Their hope is that these items will bring comfort to families with babies in the NICU where Hazel and Grant spent the first four months of their lives. While the care they receive there is the best in the world, it doesn’t compare to being at home. Something else was very special for us on their 1st birthday: their Nurse Practitioner, Deb and one of their nurses, Nikki came to celebrate their big special day! Having Hazel and Grant in the NICU for 117 days and 132 days – that was our home for 4 months and ALL the staff became like family for us. So to have them there on their 1st birthday was GREAT, they too (among many others at Children’s Hospital) were part of helping Hazel and Grant be SUPER AMAZING!!!
On Memorial Day weekend we visited Great Grandpa, who served in Korea, and Great Grandma at the cemetery. It was very rainy so we didn’t spend as much time as we would have liked to, but we did get a photo.
It has been an amazing first year. There were many times when they were both at death’s door. At one point we were given the option to withdraw all medical treatment. We didn’t give up on them, and they fought on. They are our personal superheroes. They’ll face many battles down the road; but that … is for a different episode!