Getting caught up

I've already written about the Gorman's and how much they've done for us during our trips to Dallas, but I haven't had the chance to post the pictures from our get together at their house. It was an awesome day for us - they welcomed us into their home where we were able to hang out and relax a few days before Aiden's cranial surgery. I've said this a million times, but each time I'm with them I feel I have to say it again...we've only met each other a couple of times, but our time spent together is so effortless that it feels like we've known them for years.

First, we just let the kiddos crawl around while we took pics. Then Tate made margaritas for the ladies (yay!) and we decided what to order for dinner. While we fed the kids, the boys went to pick up our take-out (I decided Mexican). John reminded me so much of Ethan as he began discarding his unwanted food onto the floor much to April's dismay. And Rory Cate wriggling in her highchair as April cleaned up John's mess again brought that familiar feel of home. There was no pressure of trying to keep the dinner table clean like if you're at a kid-less friend's house. It was all very natural. Comfortable.

They gave their kids a bath, got them in their jammies and settled them in bed. There was no rush - we know the routine well. And although it was probably very monotonous for them, it was then that we started to remember why we were there and began to wish for our own monotonous routine at home once again.

April set up their pack n' play for Aiden and we changed him into his jammies as well, laying him down with heavy eyes. For the next hour or so we were able to eat our dinner and get to know each other better. When Aiden started to stir, we headed back to the hotel for the night.

With Aiden's surgeries out of the way, I truly can't wait to head back to Dallas in June. Fingers are crossed that Ethan is well this time around and we can get together as planned for a "rain check" with April, Tate, John and Rory Cate. I know that we have great friends in this family and I look forward to many more get-togethers with them in the future!

During our trip, we were also lucky enough to meet up with the Hurd family from Shreveport, LA. Anne and Sean have a son, also Aiden, with Apert syndrome. Their Aiden is almost 10 months old and had recently gone through the cranial surgery that our Aiden just had. We've been in touch through the Apert listserv and following eachothers websites so it was nice to finally meet them in person. It is amazing what the internet can do to bring people together!

I can't say enough how absolutely adorable their little boy is. He is living proof of how well these kids bounce back from major surgeries - crawling around like crazy, happy as can be. And his parents are also a testament to how strong couple's can, and do, become through the tough times. Nobody asks for this journey. We don't know about it in advance. But it is the ones that choose to embrace it and give it everything they have that truly inspire others to do the same.

Thanks for meeting with us Hurd's! I hope we stay in touch!

Finally, the boys are both doing great. Aiden's eyes continue to open gradually. We are finally starting to see what he is going to look like as the swelling goes down. It is still hard to gauge at this point because Aiden's big beautiful blue eyes aren't like they normally are, but I'm coming to terms with the differences in the shape of his head/forehead. Seeing his personality emerge through the brusied skin only highlights how strong he is and how much I love him!

Ethan has been so sweet and gentle with his little brother the past few days. It makes me hope that we are actually doing a good job raising him to be a smart, compassionate human being. There is nothing I love more about being a mom than him running up to me in the middle of the day and for no apparent reason throwing his arms around my legs saying "I love mommy". It reaffirms this whole motherhood thing ten fold.

And as if we haven't taken on enough in the past few months, I'm going to add another huge task to my list. A good friend of mine from college (and old roommate), Anna, has offered to help put together an event to raise money and awareness for Apert syndrome. We've started to gather ideas and are hoping to organize a silent auction/dinner type event to benefit the Children's Craniofacial Association. We already have a lot to work with - so I'll keep everyone posted as we develop this further. I'm counting on my friends and family to participate!

Other than that things should be relatively calm with the Skees family in the coming weeks. (Aside from me starting a new job, several family/friends weddings, Ricky picking up more responsibility at work and STILL trying to sell our house). But hey, we're used to it by now!

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