Monday, March 3, 2008

"Gabriel is transforming...

"...into a seven-year-old!"

That's what the Transformers birthday party invitations Gabe and I made said, putting Gabe into a full-faced grin with each card he worked on. Together we designed them and printed them out, and he decorated them with Transformers stickers.

On Friday, I baked a scrumptious cake, chocolate-chocolate chip and blew up some balloons and ordered some pizza. Only three of his little buddies were able to show up, but he didn't care. He had a blast just the same, as did all the rest of our crew. I'm really not that great at organizing and hosting a blow-out kids party. And even though I'm going to post a couple of pictures of the party, please don't look too closely at the cake. I wish I had my dear friend Jeny's talent of crafting magical birthday cakes that really are too pretty to eat! I just slapped on some icing and arranged a Transformers toy on top, and that was all Gabe wanted...and about all I could really handle this week in the cake-decorating department. And party games? Well, the kids and I "transformed" long skinny balloons into swords and hats. And we "transformed" some styrofoam parts into flying airplanes and launched them about the house. (The planes came disassembled...3/$1!) And then after present time, we pulled out the boys' bucket of Transformers and they played and transformed machines into robots and back again while watching an episode of "Transformers, Roll Out!" as they waited for the parents to pick them up. I'd say it was a successful party, even with the pitiful...but delicious, if I must say so myself...birthday cake. (It went perfect with a cup of hot coffee the next morning!)

Some of you may not remember, but when Gabriel was born seven years ago, he made his entrance in the world three weeks early and as fast as a race car. His lungs were filled with fluid, and he spent the first week of his life in the NICU. That first day, the doctor told me that Gabe's recovery expectancy was about 50/50. I was so much in shock and I totally didn't believe him. Rob called our pastor, Pastor Jeff Hossler...we miss them!!!...and he immediately started the church's prayer chain. A few hours later a neonatal specialist burst into my recovery room and was so excited she was out of breath. "It's like he's a completely different baby! His lungs are clearing and he's out of the woods!" God had worked a miracle in my sweet little baby boy's life. Gabe still had to work a little more fluid out of his lungs, and then he had to learn to eat and breath at the same time. He was born on a Saturday, and he was not allowed to eat until the following Wednesday! We weren't able to hold him for the first four days of his life. Then he fought off a raging case of jaundice that nearly required a complete transfusion of his body's entire blood volume. But exactly one week after his birth, to the very hour actually, we were rolling out of the hospital to our home with a healthy, albeit goldenrod yellow, baby boy. What a gift from God is our little boy!

Gabe, hours old, fighting for his life.

Caleb LOVES his new baby brother, who is only 9 days old here.

I'm totally in love...again! (No, I'm not choking him; I'm burping him! His cheeks were just so chubby they sprawled out everywhere. Oh, how I loved to kiss those sweet jowls. Maybe I kissed him too much, which explains why I have to chase him down for kisses now!)

Seven years later...

Happy Birthday, buddy!


jeny said...

It cannot be seven years already. I had forgotten how tenuous his first days were, and maybe I never knew how bad it really was.
That picture of you holding your new little boy is absolutely stunning. Your eyes speak volumes of what you had just been through to bring him home.

jeny said...

My head is not with me today . . . I also wanted to comment on what a fun birthday party you describe. Everything a boy could want: his friends, his family, toys, games, gifts, pizza! Kudos to you :)

silent_ramblings said...

Happy Birthday Gabe!

When Kylie was born she came 3 weeks early as well. A few days after she came home we took her to the doctor and she had to be admitted for jaundice. She was in one of those boxes for almost a week! I never left her side. And now she won't stop growing!