Thursday, March 25, 2010

You either love em or you hate em

Mashed potatoes.

I personally love mashed potatoes. I could eat them every day.

I have one baby who loves them.
I have one who hates them.

Would you like to venture a guess?

We have tried them 4 times now. The last time I made them for lunch, after the 3rd bite, Adam shuddered and spit them out. You should have seen the look on his face. It was a cottage cheese look. I ended up making him a separate bowl of oatmeal to go with the green beans. Sara polished off the potatoes no problem, saying yum with every bite!

I guess we'll try again another day. You can't go through life not liking mashed potatoes, right?

Look alikes

Megan stopped by last Friday night. She's the parent coordinator for the NICU and would check in on us often when the kids were in the hospital. Any questions we had about processes or something was unclear about the doctor's information, she could get answers. She's also in charge of the Family Advisory Board for the NICU that Shannon and I volunteer for. The nurses were switching over to an all electronic charting system and Megan was rounding up comfort food to help them survive their "Go live" day. I made some S'mores bars and included a picture & note from the kids to say thank you and Megan was picking them up for the next day.

Kids, it's been a long time but you remember Megan, right?

Blank stares...a few tears.

Megan replies, "Wow, I have never seen twins where one looks like each parent before!"

We both laughed and Shannon asked her which of us they look like.

"Sara looks like Shannon and Adam looks like JoLynn."

We laughed again and reached for the baby pictures we posted a few weeks ago. Shannon set the picture of me next to Sara and Megan asked who that was. I said that was me.

"I changed my mind!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reunited...and it feels so good!

Sunday night bedtime was not a good experience for Adam, maybe moreso for me! I was exhausted and didn't have much patience. They didn't take a very long nap in the afternoon and seemed really tired that night. Considering I had to get them up about 45 minutes earlier than they usually wake up Monday morning to make their physical therapy appointment, I tried to put them to bed a little early. Every time I laid Adam down, he looked exhausted, sucking his thumb and hanging onto his puppy blankie. I'd walk out the door and he'd pop up and crawl over to give Sara CPR. I fed him more. I rocked him. We kept trying. He was just wound up! After over an hour of trying, I got out the pack n play and set it up in the nursery.

Not exactly how I wanted the separation process to go.

Monday night I decided I would leave them together but if there was another major problem, I already had it set up and I could make use of the pack n play. Not a peep out of them. In fact, I checked on them before I went to bed. Adam was laying on Sara's feet so I slid her sleep sack out from under him. He stirred and put his arm around her waist.

Last night they were so exhausted after refusing to take an afternoon nap that they both zonked out.

I know there are people out there who think I should separate them now or should have already. I know who a few of you are! Shannon and I have always agreed that we would separate them when they tell us they want to be separated, and to me that means an interruption of sleep. And we feel as parents that one night of difficulty here and there does not constitute a pattern that warrants change. Lastly, of course, you just have the mom in me that will struggle for a bit seeing them no longer together. And that's probably normal.

Wow, I'm not sure the last time I was considered normal!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

A few days late but at least the pictures were taken on the exact day!

This was Adam's 2nd green shirt for the day - the first didn't make it off the changing table. Must have been rolling around too much and breakfast worked up a little. Good thing we had a plan B!

It is such a challenge to get the kids to sit still for group photos any more. Sara seems to get the idea. Adam seems to see the camera, smile like a ham, and look away quickly.

So we went a different route. I pulled out the little wagon that my aunt Robyn brought down for us to borrow. This worked much better and gave Adam something to do. I was thinking it would be good timing anyway so Adam could practice pulling up and pushing to walk. Of course Sara loved the ride. See our Picasa website for all the documented fun!

Can't you just picture her out on the open road, her hair blowing in the breeze, one arm out the window, one hand on the steering wheel? Beep beep!

Thankfully the wagon is about the size of a Mini Cooper so she can't haul too many of her friends!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let me out!

The other morning the kids were playing on the nursery floor while I was picking clothes for the day. They emptied the laundry basket onto the floor. Who cares, right? Really, what's the harm? No sharp objects. Nothing poisonous in their mouth when they chew on it. Anyway, I dressed Adam first and put him back on the floor to play. While Sara was on the changing table, I heard this strange noise behind me.

Poor guy had trapped himself and was crawling all over the nursery in his little cage! I know, I'm such a terrible mom for running for the camera instead of freeing him right away. :-) Some of these moments will never happen again and I think it will be fun to revisit when the kids get older. And maybe when I have days I am ready to pull my hair out because they are tag-team testing me, I can look back and celebrate how much we have laughed together.

Speaking of crack...

Sorry, I just couldn't resist...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Adam, you crack me up!

I'm not sure what Adam even does sometimes to make Sara laugh.

Shannon faces them toward each other in their high chairs and she just cracks up.

I have found them a couple times lately reaching over and touching hands. That makes her giggle, too!

I think Adam felt like he was being watched as he kept looking at the camera documenting his every move.

Bin full of toys

It's working pretty well lately to set the kids in front of a big bin of toys during playtime and just let them pick. Sara likes to pull one out, look at it for a minute, and toss it behind her.

She has also figured out how to get into the bin while she is supposed to be having tummy time. Hard to have tummy time when you roll over on your back and s-t-r-e-t-c-h...

As for Adam, he tips the basket over so all the toys fall in his lap.

Then he tries to pull himself up on said basket, until it tips over and he falls inside! "Might as well play while I'm here!"

Bare legged boy

Just when I was telling Shannon that Adam's jeans seemed like the waistband was getting stretched out...

I put the jeans back on. And while I was nursing Sara, he pulled himself up on the crib again. As he was kneeling, his pants fell below his waist, and he lifted one leg to step right out of them! Smart boy knows how to get out of a pair of pants that are getting in his way!

Friday, March 12, 2010

#5 for Adam

I figured out this morning why Adam has been a little cranky lately. He has tooth #5 poking through - his right eye tooth on the top! He is chewing on everything, including his crib. Shannon will be stopping by Target tonight to buy a cover for the rail to guard off more damage from our little beaver. And he'll pick up the 2nd crib mattress while he is there so we are stocked up and ready to have a 2 crib room when the time comes. Probably not too much longer but so far they don't interrupt each other's sleep or naps except maybe once every other week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Physical therapy update

Adam had another physical therapy appointment last Friday. After asking multiple people if they could go with me, I had resigned to the fact that I would be handling it on my own and would make the best of it. Thankfully, Ashley came through and was able to join us--what a big help.

Sheri reviewed the report she had prepared from the previous visit. Unfortunately, I still haven't received my copy and have asked it be sent again. Adam was 10 months old at the time of that appointment so she was assessing him based on a 7 month corrected age scale. In Sheri's words, compared to a 7 month old, "he's rockin' it!" When I get my copy of the report, I can share the detailed results. At this point I am going off memory. There were about 6 categories that Adam was assessed in. There were 2 categories that she scored him at 6 months. Even though that is below his corrected age, it is not enough to consider him developmentally behind. One area that received a 6 month score was reflexes. When tested if he would put his hands out to catch himself if he felt he was falling, he reacted but not strong enough to support himself. That is considered to be an emerging skill - he is showing signs but has not mastered it. I think 2 categories he received an 8 month score and the rest 7.

The most assuring comment about her evaluation so far was that she felt without a doubt that his tone issues will not only NOT hinder him in life, but that they will resolve with the work we are doing. That's exciting news for a mama's ears!

When she started evaluating Adam this time, Sheri's first comment was that she could already see improvement over just 2 weeks ago with his balance while sitting. Unfortunately, he was more shy at this appointment and cried off and on for probably half the time. That made working with him a little more challenging. The most important thing that she wants to know at each appointment is whether he is progressing with his skills. Is he crawling further distances? Um, yeah! When he first started he went a few feet. Today he crawled through the dining room and into the kitchen to find me. I told her that as I do Adam's stretches, it seems like his left leg is more stiff than his right. She worked with him while I distracted him with some toys and came to the same conclusion.

At the end of the appointment, Christy joined us - our coordinator through the Early Intervention program. Julie also listened in through the phone - she will be coming again in May and is in charge of assessing Adam's global development. The point of the meeting was to review Adam's prior goals in the program and set new goals for the next 6 months. His prior goals were in relation to the weakness he had with one side of his neck muscles. We are long past accomplishing improvement in that area. His new goals are to be able to pull himself to standing and walk alongside that item while holding on. As parents, we are to partner with him in the process to help him accomplish those goals and continue to work toward being a thriving member of our family. We need to do his leg stretches a few times a day to keep his ankles, knees, hamstrings, and hips flexible. We need to challenge his crawling skills by giving him obstacles to climb over. And we need to hold toys over his head to encourage him to stretch his arms in a full reach.

Honestly? I think he is going to blow those goals out of the water and be walking...running 6 months from now. Over the weekend he started pulling himself up on everything!

I asked Sheri if she felt twice a month/every two weeks was still a necessary timeframe for recurring physical therapy appointments. She indicated that is pretty common and she would like to stay on that path.

The last thing we discussed at the appointment was Sara and her current status. Although she was born 12 weeks early, she never had any health issues that qualified her for follow up. I talked to Sheri about my concern that Sara really isn't interested in getting on her knees to show signs of crawling at all. On the one hand, she may just be going at her own pace. On the other, there may be some things that we can do to work with her. We have decided to open a file with Early Intervention on Sara. This is a free service through the state that we can take advantage of. She will be assessed by Sheri at the end of Adam's next appointment on the 22nd and Julie will come out to the house at some point to evaluate her overall development. They will then write a report that lists her assessed age in the various categories. From there, we decide if any further action is needed. It will be nice for her to receive some attention from the professionals, as well. I think it will just give me peace of mind.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

All better

It must have just been something from breakfast that didn't settle with Sara's stomach yesterday. She was her normal self today. Well, other than flopping all around the crib tonight when she was supposed to be going to sleep. She even reached through the crib and knocked the garbage can over! Seemed like she and Adam had traded places a little!

Monday, March 8, 2010

An off day

Just when I thought I would go to bed early last night and catch up on some sleep from having a crazy busy weekend. I put my water bottle in the nursery in preparation for the morning's nursing and could tell Adam had a dirty diaper. I don't think that has ever happened. Do I wake a sound asleep baby or leave him be and see what happens? I let him sleep. Until 3am when he decided he wasn't comfortable any more. We weren't up too long but then I laid in bed listening to him breathe to make sure he was back asleep. Then listening to Shannon snore.

I thought after that Adam would sleep in but raspberries came over the monitor at 6:30. I got up at 6:45 and put a stuffed animal blanket in the crib for them to play with. They chatted for a bit and let me nap for another half hour. Everything was typical until after breakfast. Sara was sitting on the floor while I was dressing Adam. She seemed fussy but I thought it was because she wasn't amused with where she was sitting. Adam was really tired so I laid him in the crib for a nap and dressed Sara. Shannon even came downstairs to see what was going on because she just didn't sound right. She was kind of moaning and seemed like she was in pain. I covered her with a blanket and snuggled with her. She fell right to sleep. Maybe she was just tired.

5 minutes later she woke up crying. I thought Adam was bothering her. I rushed in to find him in his own corner sucking his thumb, almost asleep. I picked Sara up to comfort her a little. She started moaning and then threw up all over herself and me. Four times. That was quite the experience watching my daughter vomit multiple times in my arms. I froze for a moment so shocked by what was happening. Obviously it was a little scary for her. Shannon and I got everything cleaned up and I snuggled with her for an hour while she slept. Another 2 hours of good nap in her crib. She was only up for an hour to eat lunch and then napped 2 more hours. Tonight she seemed back to herself.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

11 months!

I can't believe how fast time passes. Yesterday the kids turned 11 months old, 8 months corrected.

Their "unofficial" weight on the home scale was 17lb 7.5oz - that's right, they weighed the same two months in a row! I think Adam is looking thinner - he must have grown quite a bit. Sara isn't as long and has the rosy cheeks so it makes her look bigger.

I tried so hard to get good pictures but it is becoming more of a challenge when I have a son that doesn't want to sit still for a diaper change let alone for some pictures! With Shannon teaching a class for ICC, I had no extra hands to help either.

These are some of the outtakes...what happens when you try to hold Adam in place with one hand while holding the camera with the other, quickly letting go, and trying to snap a shot while he is reaching for the camera.

Here's some footage of how quickly Adam has improved his crawling skills!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crazy Houdini night

We had another one of those crazy Houdini nights with Adam.

The kids went to bed early, both asleep by 6:45. I laid Sara in the crib on the left side and Adam on the right. Typical.

When I went to bed, Adam had turned upside down but was still on the right side of the crib, Sara's left.

At 1:30, Sara woke up sounding a little annoyed. Not really crying but fussy. I laid there to see if she would settle down but no luck. When I went in the nursery, Adam was head up again, but had moved to the left side of the crib on Sara's right side and was tucked up in the corner. That must have been the banging sound of wood I heard from their room when I went to bed. 2 babies taking up about 1/3 of the crib doesn't leave much room for repositioning. Adam was trying to do just that and didn't realize he had his hands on Sara's chest instead of the mattress. I lifted him up and over Sara to give them a little more room and went back to bed.

4:00 and Sara is frustrated again. Adam had made his way back to the corner on Sara's right side and was laying on her arm. How does she sleep through Adam crawling over her but now that she wants that arm, she is bothered?

I think we need to borrow Grandpa George's wildlife camera and mount it in the nursery. He has it outside so when it's dark, if it senses movement, it takes a photo. They've got all kinds of things caught on tape - deer, rabbit, coyote, fox. I just want to catch my son leapfrogging over his sister!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dad is so much fun

It's so much fun watching Shannon interact with the kids. I love that he has his own fun games that he plays with them. You can tell they are enamored by him - they just light up when he walks in the room. Adam grins from ear to ear. Sara touches his beard and slaps his face when she looks in his eyes. I waited for so long to see Shannon be a dad. I always thought he would be great at it. But seeing all of them together...fills me.

These are a few of my favorite things

Adam has so many toys to pick from.

And what does he keep going back to?

Yep, the dog toys. I finally stood the container up. I should have known that wouldn't keep my boy out!