Thursday, September 29, 2011

5th annual Small Wonders Miracle Walk

There are a few things that get on our calendar and stay there permanently. The Children's Hospital of Illinois Neonatal Intensive Care Unit's Small Wonders Miracle Walk is one of them. This year's walk is on Saturday, October 15.

2 1/2 years have gone by and some of the little details surrounding the twins hospital stay start getting fuzzy. But I will always remember the Thursday morning that I was supposed to have my 28-week doctor appointment and instead I was timing contractions 5 minutes apart. And I will remember the first time seeing my 2lb 12oz son across the room on a small bed with a team of people surrounding him and hearing the words "he's so tiny" being whispered from my mouth. My daughter matched my amazement with her 2lb 9oz cry. It felt like I was holding a feather the first time I cradled her, one week into her life. I will certainly always remember the 3am phone call that I got from Dr. Picah as I jotted notes quickly on a small yellow tablet beside my bed. Adam. Heart rate above 250. SVT. Of course I can close my eyes and picture standing next to Adam's incubator, Shannon on my left, facing Dr. Makwon, as he carefully explained the news that an ultrasound of Adam's brain revealed a Grade III IVH. Bleeding that had penetrated the wall of his brain. Follow up with Easter Seals would be certain. Risk of cerebral palsy would increase from 10% to 35%. And then the tears came as I sunk into Shannon's arms.

With so many things stacked against tiny little babies, there were 2 things in their favor - the best NICU in the country and the biggest God watching over them. Paired together, we have watched our kids grow from fragile human beings who needed medication to help them remember to breathe to running, giggling 2 1/2 year olds. Adam has graduated from Easter Seals and physical therapy with no signs of cerebral palsy. Both kids are solidly on the growth chart, developmentally on track with their peers, and talking up a storm! Not many days go by that we don't marvel at what they are learning. We know things could have turned out so differently if we weren't blessed by the team of doctors and nurses that were part of their journey.

That is why we participate in the Small Wonders Miracle Walk. Because we remember like it was yesterday. Because we don't want to forget where we have come from and how far we have come. Because we want it to be part of our kids' legacy.

Won't you consider joining us, in some way, in that celebration?

Here is the link for information about the walk: http://www.childrenshospitalofil.org/body.cfm?id=549

If you have Saturday morning, October 15 free, come on out and walk with us!

If you feel passionate about it, a financial gift would be greatly appreciated! Last year they raised over $28,000 that went directly to support the NICU by providing things like teaching opportunities, a computer for parents on the unit to share, and equipment. You can complete the registration form and mail it in as a "virtual walker", which means you will be walking in spirit and donating a gift. Please note "Team Project Little Mo" on the form. A second option that removes your anonymity is to forward your gift to either myself or Shannon and we will submit our total pledge gifts on the morning of the walk. Checks may be made payable to Children's Hospital of Illinois (CHOI).

Thanks for helping us say thanks!

Friday, September 23, 2011

New molars for Adam

Part of Adam's crankiness lately must be due to his last 2 bottom molars poking through.

Back to tied on the tooth tally. Just the last top 2 molars left for both of them. I've been waiting a long time to see evidence of them coming in for Sara. She's had her fingers in her mouth and actually told me her teeth hurt off and on for about 2 months.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Out of the mouths...

Both taken from last night's conversations...

We were discussing what medications the kids needed before bedtime. I called to Shannon and said "no honey for Adam, his cough is better." Adam argued "I need honey." Then he fake coughed twice and explained again how he needed honey. Shannon deemed him drama boy and now he is walking around telling us his new name.

A short time after I put the kids to bed last night, Sara got fussy. I went in there and it was pitch dark. Adam has been making me cover up the light on the wipes warmer lately. I'm not sure why but it feels like a cave and I can't see my hand in front of my face, let alone where the kids are in their crib to comfort them. I located Sara and picked her up to snuggle. Adam surprised me that he was also standing in his bed to see what was going on and asked "Why you crying, Sara?" Sara thought for a moment and answered "I don't remember."

Lastly, we headed over to the neighbors tonight to chat for a few minutes while their daughter was out playing basketball. Adam follows their son around like a puppy dog. He just adores Kyle. Kyle got out his "new" used golf clubs and Adam was helping retrieve the balls. At some point, we overheard Adam say "I'm freakin' out!" I'm not sure what it was about but we did a double take and asked him to repeat it to make sure we heard him right!

Another one from last night that totally cracked me up was at dinner time. Shannon had some water go down the wrong way and was coughing and sputtered out "I'm choking." At the same time, the timer went off on the oven. Sara totally ignored the urgent choking and piped up "Time for brownies!" So my daughter...

First ear infections

A week and a half ago the kids started with runny noses. That was a Wednesday. I thought it was just allergies but when Adam's turned yellow the next day, I knew better. When Sunday came, I was trying to decide if I would take the kids to the doctor to make sure nothing more serious was going on. Adam's nose was yellow and green for 4 days and they had low-grade fevers off and on the entire time. Many nights they were sleeping terrible. One night I was up from 12-1:30 with Adam and numerous times after that until they got up for the day. Another night I was up every 40 minutes from midnight to 6am. Yesterday Sara was up for the day at 4.

Anyway, last Monday came and Sara hadn't slept well overnight. I moved to the couch with her at 5. At 6:30 she tossed and turned and moaned and cried. I should have known by the moaning - it's usually a sign. She threw up all over me. While Shannon rocked with her and I showered, she threw up again. Thankfully, we got in with one of the doctors that morning. Adam had a diagnosis of just wait it out, even though his nose was awful. Sara seemed better other than her tummy and she had an ear infection in both ears. I was quite surprised because she wasn't showing any other symptoms. Antibiotics for Sara and she goes back on the 26th for a recheck of her ears.

Both seem to be feeling better now, with the exception of the high level of crankiness. Holy cow. Sara is napping better or at least napping. She had 5 days in a week's time that she didn't nap at all and then couldn't even stand upright by the time bedtime rolled around. But she keeps getting up for the day at 4, 5, or 6. Some have asked if she is ready to cut afternoon naps so she sleeps longer. If you saw her, you would disagree with that. We have tried pushing bedtime a little later because they don't need quite as much sleep but it's such a battle because they get so tired.

I would have to say the past week or two are some of the hardest I have had in a long time. Lack of sleep...or extremely interrupted sleep...is wearing on me and I just feel behind on everything because of the schedule being off. Welcome to the world of being a mom of 2 year olds, right? Then with twins, I'm not sure what the multiplier would be but it's definitely not just double!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Out of the mouths...

Yep, another update on the classic things my kids say. Honestly, I could have this post every day and list multiple things. I'll keep it to the best of the best so as not to bore you!

It's interesting to me that I noticed last week that the kids are now conversing with each other. I guess I never noticed that they weren't before until it was different. For example, at the dinner table, Adam said "Sara's crying." She turned and looked at Adam matter of factly and replied "No, I'm not."

Yesterday Adam found our video camera tripod in our bedroom, hauled it out of the corner, and started setting it up. Then he began giving Sara instructions--"Sara, stand here. I take picture of you. Say cheese." She complied, smiled, and said "Cheese!"

If you know me very well, you know I don't like discussing "bodily functions." But this one has to be my favorite from the past week. Sara tooted in her high chair very loud and very long. I looked at her and she had a big grin on her face. Adam exclaimed "Oh my, Sara! Say excuse me."