To grandmother's house we go! Today was Landon's first trip out of the house since coming home Wednesday and it was a big one. We rode in the car for 2 1/2 hours all the way to grandma and grandpa Shrader's house. Landon has a genetics consultation with a geneticist on Monday in Lincoln, only 20 minutes from my parent's house. We took the opportunity to come up for the weekend and relax with family and friends. Landon had a long night last night between our regular 3-6 am fussy session, a seizure at 7, and half a dozen dirty diapers. A couple nights with a little extra help to let Karen and I catch up on sleep will be a relief.
Before leaving for Nebraska, I got up at 8:30 (after about two hours of sleep) to run errands that have been put off for a few days. After visiting the bank, vet school, and post office I came home shortly before eleven to nap. Karen was very sweet to take the 9, 12, and 3 feeding sessions to let me do chores and sleep. I woke up with the 2:45 feeding alarm, packed our bags, and loaded the car to head home. After a quick trip to the store for some Mother's Day flowers (we won't be home next week), we were finally on our way at 4:30. I write this out to emphasize how crazy life can get after you welcome a new life. Before Landon, Karen and I could have packed, gotten ready, and left in under half an hour. Now, the packing and double, triple, and quadruple checking for necessities takes half the afternoon. We still nearly forgot an emergency NG tube and lubricant. Once again, I'm beginning to realize how incredible each of our own parents are, running kids to practices, recitals, making meals, and doing laundry. I guess you have to be one to recognize how important it is to thank our parents on Mother's Day and Father's Day.
We arrived at my parent's house at 7:30 and were joined by my best friend Lance and his girlfriend Katie. It is almost insulting to call Lance only a friend and not a brother. He and my two other 'brothers', Marcus and Jon, are the faces I see when I think of my childhood and remain my closest friends to this day. Landon was even lucky enough to be born on Lance's birthday! Although I only get to see them all once or twice a year, their friendship has been there through good and bad and continues to see us through the difficult times we face now. Lance and Katie were able to visit until about midnight before heading home but their company was exhilarating and I'm so glad they were able to meet and hold Goat.
My parents have been generous enough to take care of Zeke and Charlie, our Yorkies, while we learn to care for Landon at home. It was wonderful to see them today and get to bask in their endless energy. They wanted nothing more than to cuddle with us and that is exactly what we needed from them. It is amazing how such energetic dogs can recognize the need to be gentle around Landon, stepping carefully around people holding him and not barking all night. Neither of them seemed very curious as to who or what Little Goat was until he started to cry. Zeke responded by a few quick sniffs before bounding off to play with his stuffed frog but Charlie was a little more concerned. He hopped up on Karen's chair and closely watched the crying baby until he was sure everything was alright, looking anxiously between Landon and Karen the whole time. Maybe he was more concerned about whether or not Goat would be stealing his spot on momma's lap!
Brandon and Mikaela also made time to visit tonight and brought their daughter Sophie to meet Landon. I might be a little biased but I think they are a pretty adorable pair of cousins. Due to the strict health standards of the NICU, Sophie was unable to meet Landon until today. At only 4 months old I'm sure she couldn't appreciate the moment but I know it meant a lot to me. Every time we see Sophie is such a blessing. She is beautiful and her little smiles make our hearts soar. Landon is a warrior and is fighting through some challenging obstacles in his life but this is a situation we would never want another baby to struggle through. Every little milestone Sophie achieves reassures Karen and I that the world is still a place for happiness and not only strife. If our time with Landon on this earth passes, I thank God for Sophie because she can show us the things Little Goat would be learning and doing. Our legacy here is our memory and if my little man passes, I owe her thanks for every time she can remind me of him.
"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children." - Kahlil Gibron