Saturday, January 28, 2012

ISU Dance Marathon

Do you all remember me telling you that we were chosen to be a Dance Marathon family for Iowa State's Dance Marathon? Well, the big day was January 21st. What a day! It was, in a word, AMAZING! I cannot say enough good things about it. I took a boat-load of photos, so bear with me. :)

When we got to Memorial Union, there was music playing and college kids out in the hall and they were just crazy. Jumping around, dancing, just totally jacked up about the 15 hour feat they were about to conquer.

We were "Team Tiger". Here is Blake with his little name tag they made for him. So cute. The bummer part of the day was that Blake wasn't feeling good at all. You can tell by his eyes he was sick, but we felt like we really needed to be there.
The beginning of the day all the families got announced. The students made a tunnel for us to go through. It was dark, lights flashing, music blaring. I told Jenna they would probably give her high fives, so to just go with it. So she led the Burdorf family, giving high fives the whole time. It was so cute!

They had a room just for the families that had a ton of activities for the parents/kids to do. Brody and Aaron decorated a star.
Our very good family friend Emily Morgan was the one that asked us to be a DM family. She is awesome! We love her and are so glad that our first year got to be with her.
The first two hours of the day the students spent learning the Morale Dance. After they learned it, every hour on the hour they played the song and the students did this specific dance. It's actually a bunch of songs melded together and different groups took turns with the choreography. It was so cool to watch! Last year ISU even won an award for the best Morale Dance.
Inside the Great Hall, where the actual DM was held, in addition to the dancing, they had tons of family and student friendly activities going on. They had a bounce house, four-square, board games, karaoke, the joust. Brody and Jenna battled. They were so funny with their head gear on.
After he watched Jenna do the ring toss, Bowen gave it a try.
Daddy and Blakers
Mama and her twin baby dolls (Blake left; Bowen right)
This was a Brody favorite - video games! The college kids were impressed with how well he did.
After lunch and more activities we met with our team and told them our story. It's a way for the kids to really connect with the cause. I volunteered Aaron to do most of our talking, for fear that I would cry. Aaron did a good job and I added to the story when necessary. The students asked really good questions too.

After our talk with the team, we decided it was time to go home and let the kids rest. Bowen had had enough... :)
The twins had a nice nap and we decided to head BACK over for a couple more hours of the DM. I took a picture of Blake's sign that they made for him. Every single miracle kid had one and they were hung around the Great Hall. So cool!
Emily and Bowen
We also had some friends come over too! Our friend Jay (below with Blakers), Emily's parents, Brad and Sara, and Chris Davis and her daughter, Megan, came. Chris' son was also participating in the DM.
When in Rome...although we are Hawkeye fans, we can't say enough about these AWESOME, AMAZING completely SELFLESS, ISU students!! Cy made an appearance, so I thought, well, it is ISU's dance marathon, so I asked Cy if he held babies. He did, so Blake got his picture taken.
And then Jenna wanted one too. There was a huge fan blowing just to the left of them, which explains the expressions and the hair.
I found this room that said, "Why we dance," outside of it. Inside, I found all these different reasons that these college kids chose to participate in this event. I was in this room all by myself and I was tearing up. Some of them said, "To bring hope to the families." "I can when they can't." "For a brighter future." "To be part of an amazing cause."

Then, I saw one that made the tears spill over. It said, "Because my twin sister is in my life today." Wow. That hit close to home. I cannot in a million years imagine what our lives would be like without Blake. I thank God for him every single day.
I most definitely agree with this sign...
Our family - year one of our Dance Marathon experience.
These selfless students, who are helping miracle kids and their families that they may or may not ever meet raised over $380,000!! AMAZING!!
15 hours. 15 years. Kickin' it for the Kids.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Project 365 - Day 23

Who needs toys?! Bowen sure doesn't!

Project 365 - Day 22

All these years we thought Fred the monkey was a boy...Lol.

Project 365 - Day 21

ISU Dance Marathon. More about this to come.

Project 365 - Day 20

Brody's buddy. Our neighbor Jon. :)

Project 365 - Day 19

Blake (left) and Bowen's (right) favorite spot.

Project 365 - Day 18

Jenna's hair things. So colorful!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Third time is the charm

After we tried...and tried...we finally made it to Iowa City today for Blake's January check-up. Despite the cold and wind, the trip was just fine. On today's agenda was labs, a bone xray and dialysis.

The labs looked great! We've had days where his numbers are all out of whack, but today wasn't one of those days. In fact, Dr. Jetton actually decreased one of his meds, which I assure you, never happens.

The bone xray was short, but Blakers wasn't having it. He absolutely knows that when he is put on his back at the hospital, it's not a good thing. Blake screamed the entire xray, but the two gals that did it were awesome and we were done in five minutes.

After that we headed to dialysis where we meet with the nurses, the doctors, dietician, social worker and whoever else pops in to see the babies. They were all extra excited today because they got to see Bowen for the first time in three months. :)

The dialysis visit was pretty uneventful, which is a great sign. The dietician is adjusting his formula recipe to get him some more calories, but that was it.

Today I am thankful for cooperative weather and good doctors appointments!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Project 365 - Day 17

After taking photos outside in the snow I was almost inside and turned around and saw Jenna doing this. SO GLAD that I was able to snap this photo.

Project 365 - Day 16

Double the boys, double the bottles, double the cute John Deere onesies.

Legit Snow!

On Monday night/Tuesday morning we got legit snow! It was only a few inches, but here in Central Iowa that is a lot for this winter season. It was good and bad. Bad because for the second straight try the twins and I didn't make it to Iowa City for Blake's monthly check-up (Thursday, hopefully Thursday!). Good because the kids have been so anxious to go play in the snow.

Here are some pics of their time outside:
Brody got tired at the end. He kept telling me the snow was "too deep." He must not remember last winter... :)

Brody shoveling our neighbor's yard; Jenna doing cartwheels. Now we now: cartwheels don't even stop in the snow.
My random...
This swing is over at a neighbor's house. Jenna was all about swinging on it.
Just Brody, his shadow and his shovel...
I LOVE this. Their happy faces enjoying the season. :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Project 365 - Day 15

Blake's new favorite thing to do. Chew on socks. He doesn't care whose (this one is Bowen's). Must feel good on his teeth.

Project 365 - Day 14

Saturday afternoon the kids and I played I Spy, a new game Jenna got for Christmas.

Project 365 - Day 13

Comfy socks and footy pjs. Staples in our house in the winter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bad day...Good day

I had one of those days on Friday. I won't get into details. I will say I was mad and frustrated and pretty much at a loss. About mid-afternoon I made the decision I wanted to do something fun with the family that was a little out of the ordinary for us. Something I knew would lift my spirits.

We had our first ever make your own pizza night. We have this argument all the time with Jenna. She always wants cheese whenever we order/make pizza. We tell her to pick off what she doesn't want. This seemed like the perfect solution and the kids would love it.

But first important stuff... getting started on dessert. Brownies. What better than chocolate when you need a mood lifter?

Brody was all about licking that spoon.

Jenna took pizza making very seriously.

Our brownie sundaes for dessert. Yum-O! Perfect end to the night. :)

P.S...Jenna ended up putting pepperoni on her pizza. Apparently it is good when you put it on there yourself?!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Project 365 - Day 12

This is how I spent my cold, windy Thursday nite. Covering a wrestling meet. Unfortunately, the WM kid is not doing the pinning, but I like this photo anyway. :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Project 365 - Day 11

I had one of these for the first time in years. Ruby Red Squirt.

It was so good!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Project 365 - Day 10

Puzzle time in the afternoon. We love Thomas the Train.

Project 365 - Day 9

Baxter delivery day. Once a month they bring us dialysis supplies. It's a lot of boxes. And they are HEAVY.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Thanks Santa!

Santa was really good to us this year. He brought us (ok, the kids) a Wii. I was a little apprehensive because I'm not a video game person, but I'm really loving the Wii. We are all a little competitive and enjoying hanging out with each other playing.

Brody's favorite game is boxing
Our favorite dance on Just Dance 2...
Jenna likes to shake her groove thang. :)
Aaron just likes to move his hands and says that's good enough...

All in all, a great gift from the guy in the red suit! Can't wait to see how much more fun we can have together with the Wii.