This is the amazing story of our micro preemie, John Craig. He was born on November 30, 2005 at 24 weeks and 5 days gestation. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. John is a true miracle and an inspiration to all that meet him!
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29.11

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thank You!

Where do I start? Since the day John was born we have received an amazing amount of love and support from our family and friends. It's hard times in your life when you realize who your good friends are..........and we feel SOOOOOO incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful friends and the BEST families in the world! There are no words that can describe how grateful we are and how comforting it's been knowing we are not alone in this journey. Everyone has gone above and beyond to help us! And, now those same friends and family members..........and complete strangers.......have once again pulled together to help us raise money for the March of Dimes in honor of John! Our hope is that by playing a small part in WalkAmerica we will play a larger part in finding both the cause and a prevention for today's biggest threat to babies' health. There's nothing more important than to give every child a healthy start in life. So, once again we thank you from the bottom of our heart...........Go Team John!!!!!

As of today we have raised $2825 for the Arizona team and $680 for the California team.......UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!

Here's a little video I found to get us all pumped up for the big day!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Button Day:('s the BIG day. We'll be heading down to Phoenix Children's hospital in a few hours. Wish us luck!

I'll update this evening but for now I'll leave you with a few VERY cute pictures of the man!

Look hands!
He does this ALL the time:)

Yes, I have a Halloween bib on and no, I don't care that it is March!

UPDATE: We survived the button changing ordeal and surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I thought......even though I made Daddy hold his hands and I looked the other way. The funny thing is, John was so happy while we were waiting in the room. He was laughing and playing and destroying the paper that they lay on the table and then as soon as Dr. D walked in the room John took one look at him and started crying.........John's no fool, he knew exactly who he was! Anyhow, he only cried for a second (he cries more when he gets his synagis) when they pulled his Bard button out and he was back to his happy self in a matter of minutes. We are VERY relieved that this is over and we are extremely pleased with his new nutriport button.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Break!'s spring break and I have the week off! I really can't complain considering I only teach a few days a week anyways. Anyhow, John has a busy week. Today was our only day off and that was because his follow up eye appointment was rescheduled at the last minute. That was fine with us because we went to Grandma and Grandpa's instead...........much more fun! The rest of the week is filled with PT, ST, his DDD annual review, and a trip to PCH to have his button changed:( I am dreading the button changing appointment.........I have canceled and rescheduled this appointment two times now! Anyhow, it supposedly is a quick procedure...........the surgeon will pull out the Bard button that he currently has and will replace it with a Mic-Key button. Please pray that the procedure is quick and does not cause John too much discomfort..........and pray for Mommy to be brave as well:) I HATE seeing my baby in pain and wish so badly that I could take his place.

Anyhow, here are a few of John's latest tricks:
  1. He finally has noticed the cats and he LOVES them. As soon as he sees them he bolts after them..........unfortunately they take off right when he's about to grab/bite/pat them!
  2. He is talking up a storm.
  3. He is on the verge of actually crawling..........on all 4's (not army crawling.) He can lift one arm and move it forward without collapsing. A little more strength and putting it all together and he's gonna be off!
  4. He LOVES to eat water from a spoon. He'll take anywhere from 5-15 spoonfuls per meal........and he swallows it. Today he actually ate 4 spoonfuls of cream of chicken soup!!!!
John's moving in for the attack!
John loves bath time. I can't wait to get him in the swimming pool..........I hope he likes it just as much!

Trying out his new tooth brush! Any tips on how I am supposed to brush his teeth..........with his oral aversion?

This is part of our nightly routine..........he's got to stop and smell the roses:)
Every night after I get him out of the tub we have to stop at the flowers on the counter and grab them and kiss them for a few minutes!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Wonderful Weekend

We had a great weekend.........the weather was GREAT (80's), Daddy didn't have to work, and we spent time with family and friends!

Friday night we went out to dinner with our very good friends......Kurt, Kim, and their son Connor.....OH, and their other son in Kim's tummy:) We sat on the patio and enjoyed a great meal and great company!

The Boys!

Jamie and Kurt........with their mini-me's! It's crazy how much these boys look like their Daddy's

Saturday was a pretty lazy day. We just hung out around the house. After John went to bed Daddy went to Kurt's to play poker and I watched a chick flick!

Today we went over to Grandpa and Nana Birtch's! John and Grandpa had a fun time playing together!

I LOVE facing forward!

What a happy boy!

Check out my new shoes! Thanks Auntie Shernaz:)

Look at how long I am!

John and Grandpa
The two cutest boys in the did I get SO lucky?

Watching Grandpa pick Mommy a bag of grapefruits.

My lil homeboy!

Friday, March 23, 2007

My Man!

The tongue helps me balance!

Where did my clothes go?

John and Grandpa played and laughed all day.........I am sure Grandpa will sleep good tonight!

Grandpa, I am going to play you a song!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quick Update.....

.....and some cute pictures from John's (adjusted) b-day/St. Patty's day!

We went to the pedi. today for John's 15 month check up. I know we are a couple weeks late but his pedi has been out on maternity leave and we wanted to wait until she got back. Anyhow, she couldn't get over how BIG John is! He weighed in today at 21 pounds 12 ounces and is 30 inches long. She is also VERY pleased with his progress. She told him that she loves these kinds of surprises...........meaning he is doing way better than expected. That's my boy! I also asked her about coming out of hibernation and her reply was...........WE ARE FREE! She did say that we have to be careful and bring hand sanitizer with us everywhere and to make sure no one touches him (of course you can once you've scrubbed your hands for 3 minutes)......OK, you don't have to wash them that long:) So, if you see us out and about remember.........look but don't touch:):):) Hopefully one day I won't be as neurotic!

Who turned out the lights?

*Note to John: Grams did this to you, not Mommy:)

Looks like someone had too much green beer!!!

Grace, I got my hat now I am already to go to the zoo!

Happy Homecoming!

Dear John,

It was exactly 1 year ago today that you were FINALLY discharged from the NICU at Phoenix Children's Hospital........after 110 VERY long and VERY stressful days! Your Daddy and I had been waiting for what seemed like a decade for this day to come. We were so excited to be at home as a family and to start our life together!

You amaze us everyday with your strength, determination, and drive! You are everything we have hoped and dreamed of and we couldn't be more proud of you. You are a true gift from God and we will be forever grateful for that! You have taught us so love unconditionally, to live life to the fullest, and to accept others for who they are. You have opened our eyes to so many things and we are better people, better parents because of you.

We love you Bubba.....more than you'll ever know!

Love always,
Mommy and Daddy

*click on the link below to watch the video
View this video montage created at One True Media
Home Sweet Home!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy 1st (adjusted) Birthday!

John is officially 1 years old today.........adjusted that is! We had a small celebration with Grandma, Grandpa, and Great Grandma! We barbecued hamburgers and had delicious cupcakes (courtesy of Starbucks) for dessert. Uncle John (Jamie's uncle....who John is named after) and Aunt Barb were in town from Vegas so they were able to stop by and visit too! It was a fun day and well worth celebrating!!!!!

Friday, March 16, 2007

First Haircut.....

.......Celebrity style! Grammy's hairdresser was extremely nice and opened up the salon early this morning so she could cut John's hair before anyone got there (remember RSV season isn't over yet!) John did great.........other than turning his head to look at her every time she tried to cut his hair. As you know, he hasn't been around very many people so new faces are a little strange to him. Anyhow, he looks VERY handsome with his new do........but then again he looked handsome with crazy hair too:)

Daddy, where are we???? This doesn't look like a Dr.'s office!

Who is this women and what is she doing to me?

What do you think you are going to do with that?

Ok....I guess this isn't too bad!

No more curls.....kinda sad! little boy is growing up! And, what a fine young man he's turned into!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Pool Time

I went on a shopping spree at Baby Gap today (my absolute favorite store) because summer is in full effect here and John needs new, Mommy just likes to shop. Anyhow, I say summer as opposed to spring because we have completely skipped spring this year and headed directly to summer. This weekend the high is supposed to be 95 degrees. Good thing we LOVE the heat!

Here are a couple pictures of the big guy in his new swimming trunks..........AND, his matching hat!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

John's new tricks!

I keep forgetting to write down all of the new/funny/cute things that John is doing now. So, here goes:
  • He learned how to blow raspberries about a month ago and now he does it ALL the time....too cute!
  • He does a little wiggly thing when he's on all fours.....he'll just wiggly his entire body! I need to get it on video tape.
  • He says Dadadadadada all the time and a few weeks ago he was saying it and then all of a sudden he yells, Dad!
  • He also likes to say Mmmmmmm! So I say, how's Mommy's cooking and John says, mmmmm:)
  • Just this past week he has been shaking his head (NO)....really fast. Of course he doesn't know what it means. However, I just figured out today where he learned it from.....Good ole Baby Einsteins. They will say shake and one of the little boys shakes his head back and forth. See, TV's not all that bad......especially when it's the only baby interaction he gets.
  • He knows where your nose is.....if you say, where's Mommy's nose, he'll grab your nose! Grandma taught him that.
  • He'll give you a kiss........I mean a lick:) If you put your cheek to his mouth and ask for a kiss he'll stick his tongue out.

We are extremely proud of how far he's come. He amazes us daily!

Expect some VERY cute pictures on Friday!!!!! John's getting his first hair cut!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday Fun!

We went to Grammy and Papa's this morning to visit and to show Papa Daddy's new car! We stopped and picked up lunch on the way home and now we are all just relaxing, enjoying a beautiful Sunday! Ok.....let me re-phrase that......I am relaxing, John is napping, and Daddy is painting. Poor Daddy:(

John watching the Wiggles while Daddy went in to grab us some lunch!


UPDATE: John took a 3 hour nap today! YAAAAAHHHHHOOOOOO!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rule Breaker!

Yes, Mrs. Neurotic herself broke a HUGE rule tonight...............we went out to eat.......all three of us!!! Actually, all 7 of us.......the 3 of us plus Uncle Chris, Aunt Tracy, cousin Jack, and cousin Chase! It's hard to believe it's still RSV season when it's 90 degrees outside! Don't worry, I didn't go too crazy.......we HAD to sit outside of course! We played it safe.......and had a good time feeling "normal" again. John was a very good boy.........he licked a few tortilla chips, stole Chase's car, and pulled on Chase's shirt.........I don't think Chase was very happy with him but John sure enjoyed himself. We were such party animals that we didn't even get home until 8:00pm.........the latest John's stayed up! Hopefully, he'll sleep in a little bit tomorrow.......I am not holding my breath though!

Yea.......I am going out to dinner.....AND, I am facing forward in my carseat for the 1st time!

My 2 FAVORITE boys!

John and Aunt Tracy checking out the menu!

New Toys!

Here are a few of John's new favorite toys!
He loves mommy's day planner. As soon as he spots it, he crawls to it as quick as he can!

Hangers are GREAT entertainment while folding laundry......notice the picture is fuzzy.....he's just SO happy he can't sit still:)

He LOVES his book, close, open, close, open, close!

And, butt creme......the best toy of all!

Yes, I am a slacker.........sorry! Anyhow, all is well in the Birtch home. John is just about over his cold.......geez, longest cold I've ever seen. We've had a few sleepless nights this past week (that's why you haven't seen any posts) but I think the snot monster has finally left!
RSV season is just about over, the weather is absolutely AMAZING, and we have lots of fun and exciting things on our agenda:
March 15th: Uncle Craig arrives.......we can't wait!
March 17th: John's 1st (adjusted) Birthday......we'll have a tiny celebration!
March 20th: John's 1 year Homecoming!
March 23rd: LAST synagis shots.....yaaahoooo!!!!
April 5th: Aunt Alli arrives!!!!!!!
April 7th: John gets to meet most of his cousins for the 1st time.........egg decorating party at Aunt Tracy's.........SO excited!
April 8th: 1st "official" outing.........John gets to go to Church for the 1st time!
April 18th: Katie and Grace arrive for a 3 day stay!!!!!! Katie (one of my VERY best friends) hasn't seen John since he was in the NICU. She lives in California and flew out right when John was born and then again for my baby shower (John was still in the NICU.) We will be taking the kids to the zoo........John's first zoo adventure! Kate.......we can't wait!!!!
April 21st: WalkAmerica......we have around 50 people (not including kids......which is around 25 of them) walking with us and we've already raised $1360.00 ........Go Team John!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sleepy Saturday

All 3 of us were VERY sleepy today! Jamie didn't get home from work until 4:30am and the snot monster AND the tooth monster crawled into bed with John last night............and kept the 2 of us up! Anyhow, John and I loaded up the car first thing this morning and headed to Grandma and Grandpa's for the day...........I knew I'd be able to take a nap over there:)

The biggest news of the day was...........John drank water from a cup!!!!!!!! He swallowed it and all with no gaging. We're making progress!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Pulled an all dayer.... opposed to an all nighter! Yes, my little man went ALL day without taking any sort of nap. He woke up this morning at about 6:50am and I just now put him to bed (6:00pm.) Wow....I am tired! I keep telling myself that he doesn't nap for me because he just wants to play with his mommy all day......yea right! I finally figured out that his naps are off when he is teething.......and he is ALWAYS teething! How many teeth do babies get anyway.......hopefully just 7!!!!!!!!

Anyhow, things are great in the Birtch home. John still has a runny nose but his cold is just about over! Dad is working like crazy.......6 days a week.......can't criminals behave on the weekend????? Jamie doesn't mind too much though considering the overtime is helping pay for his new H1! And, I am still teaching a few days a week but am looking forward to Spring Break! We all are anxiously awaiting the end of RSV season and look forward to LOTS of play dates, eating out, and even grocery shopping! We have been very strict as far as taking John anywhere but it has definitely paid off and our lil man escaped the flu season with only one minor cold.

Below are a couple of funny mom was watching John on Thursday while I was at work. He was laying on his back playing with the toy in the picture. My mom went into the kitchen to answer the phone (it was me of course) and when she came back into the play room John was on all 4's with his toy on his back. Don't ask how he managed that! I tell you, the kid is talented:)