Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In other news....

In other news....

Boys are doing great and at that age where they are into everything!!! Alex is army crawling and getting faster every day. He amazes us with his strength. I just love the look on his face when he's determined to get somewhere, with an open mouth smile and a cute little tongue peering out. Just too precious for words so here's a video:

Nicholas has been pulling up to stand on everything and is terrifying his parents by starting to furniture walk. (We are NOT one of those parents who is in hurry for their babies to grow up). He started out hanging on for dear life and not really moving except to sit down, then stand back up, and well you get the idea. But is getting braver with lightening speed. Tonight he had the biggest devilish grin on his face as he side stepped the whole length of the ottoman to get to the cat (so sorry kitty).  I wish we could have gotten his moving and grooving on video or his non stop laughter when he realized the cat was LETTING him bother her for a change but even without that, its still adorable. This is at the "tail" end of all of that when mommy and daddy thought "oh boy , we should REALLY be trying to get this on video!"

Nicholas is also officially into the temper tantrum stage. I thought one year was bit too soon? Don't people talk about the terrible twos? Shoudln't we have more time? ha,ha. Well whatever its "supposed" to be I suppose doesn't matter. These boys have always been on their own time table. Nicholas threw his first temper tantrum as he tried to climb the diaper champ this weekend and he almost went over with it. After A LOT of trying to distract him to EVERYTHING else in the room, that darn thing had some sort of magnetic field to him and he could not stop trying to scale it. I finally sat him on his bottom and told him No (in that voice that means I'm really not kidding anymore). Well he didn't stop at just sitting down but instead threw himself all the way back on the floor quite dramatically, cried and persisted to kick his feet. I just couldn't help it. I laughed. I laughed HARD. It was just so cute. Although in hindsight this is not exactly the type of response you want to give when you want to show him whose boss (or who pretends to be anyway). And just in case I thought HE wasn't serious about this stage, he continued to have a handful of these episodes throughout the weekend to test the waters. I tried to put my "not paying attention face on", and several times had to walk out of the room to smile so he wouldn't see, but I expect the amusement factor will drop quickly and I will get better at the poker momma face.

  1. "you talkin to me"?

Knock on wood that Alex isn't showing these tendencies (yet). In fact the opposite, any time his brother fusses or cries, Alex immediately joins in and I think cries out of compassion. Its heart breaking and sweet. To be fair, Nicholas DOES go over wherever Alex is and tries to "tend" to his brother whenever Alex cries. Unfortunately Nicholas's way of "tending" to Alex usually involves touching his face or pulling his hair which Alex for some reason does NOT find comforting and only seems to escalate matters.

Don't you worry though, Alex can hold his own!
look at HIS mischievous face just a couple minutes later!!

On the medical front we would be grateful for any positive thoughts and prayers being sent the boys way over the next few weeks. No emergencies but a few things coming down the pike that are making mommy and daddy just a bit anxious. Alex will be going for his sleep study in a few weeks. The ones that they have tried at home have not gone as well as they would have liked and have only prompted more questions. They want more specific testing now to see if he's having obstructive or central apnea. Without oxygen on at night, he drops his sats more frequently than they like. They don't THINK that he should still be requiring oxygen since his pneumonia back in March and I'm guessing if it was just his over all lung function and BPD, he'd still be needing it during the day which he's thankfully not.

He will be going into a clinic over night where they can hook him up to all the bells and whistles and monitor everything that happens with his breathing, oxygen needs, etc. We are hoping that he will be a very boring student and that they won't unearth any new issues. His appointment is not until Sept. 2nd but he is on a cancellation list so we are hopeful that we'll get a call sooner to get it done and over with.

We also got his surgery date scheduled for Sept. 24th where he will be having the first out of two urology surgeries. They are expected to be several hours worth of surgeries each, delicate work ofcourse, but should be outpatient and can get him right back home.

Alex is also scheduled to get his AFO's (braces) next week and his first major piece of equipment (a stander). We talked a little about this here. I feel mixed emotions about this, mostly positive because I know it will be a very good thing for Alex. The hard part is knowing once the equipment starts to come, it will be a reminder that Alex does indeed have a disability, something that really all during these "baby days" we've been able to blissfully ignore. Please don't get me wrong, I am MORE than thankful that we live in a day and age where there are all of these services and equipment to help him get stronger, more independent. Its just having some of these things stares you in the face even at times you don't want to acknowledge that your child has and will have challenges. I don't know that I'm doing a great job explaining this so I'll just leave it at that for now.

Lastly the boys are having some trouble with dairy products. Not uncommon these days as we understand it. Two months ago we tried giving the boys just some yogurt which they seemed to really enjoy but they both had some skin reactions to it. To be cautious, it was suggested we wait until they were one year corrected age before we tried it again. Well that was this weekend and we're anxious to start trying milk, cheese, etc. The doc suggested we start out just with a skin test. We took it slow and just put some yogurt on each of their arms and a spot on their faces. Alex did better this time and only developed a circle of redness where the yogurt touched his face but Nicholas broke out in hives on his whole cheek. hmmmm. We spoke to the doctor who said this is highly suspicious of some sort of milk allergy and to hold off trying any more introductions until we get some allergy testing done. The puzzling part is that before this last "test", I have been a little less careful with giving them some foods that do contain some sort of milk ingredient in them and they seem to handle it just fine so I'm not sure. I'm kind of disappointed that we might have to juggle one more specialist now and concerns of possibly more reactions in the future. I pray that if thats what it is, they will be two of the lucky ones who can outgrow it when they are older.

Even as I write these things, when ever I start to feel a little overwhelmed at one more set of tests, another specialist to see, I think back to watching them in the NICU. All the cords, tubes, plastic that separated me from my babies. I remind myself that if future Holli would have told me then that we might have to deal with a milk allergy when the boys were older, or braces, a stander, four therapy sessions every week, extra doctor appointments, etc. I just know I would have laughed and said "bring it on, no problem." Thats what I have to remember. I have my boys and they are doing incredibly!!! Not one SINGLE day goes by where I don't feel simply blessed!

Here's a few to hopefully make you smile.

ohhh look, its me!!

let me get a closer look
yep, still cute!

our ham
lately loves when we put things on his head

Alex thinking "a little further down, a little more...."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One year (again)

It might be silly but July 23rd is an important day to me. This was the day that the boys official due date was one year ago. I know that their birth date is May 2nd and thats the true BIG deal. Still that date in July was something we dreamed about and held onto for many months of our pregnancy. Even when it became clear we would never get that far, that date stuck in my head and even now my heart. The boys doctors still look at the original due date as a way to determine if the boys are developing "on track" for these first two years. They call it their adjusted or corrected age for any one who doesn't speak "preemie".

So July 23rd the boys are officially one year again. I wanted to celebrate this, as silly as it might seem; make a cake, do something special but life gets in the way. And thats okay, because honestly looking back 15 months ago now to their arrival, every day I get to spend with them is special as it is!!! Another day and I'm reminded how blessed we are!!!!

Life is good!!! I LOVE how where ever one is playing, 
you can almost always find the other one right there too

They are VERY curious about each other
Its just one of my favorite things about this age
Its also a fancy way of saying
 they are in the stage of trying
to poke each others eyes out, and pull the others hair

and I love that a box can BE the toy!!!

I love watching them study each other

We get comments about how challenging it must be to raise
two at once. and it certainly has its moments. especially
the eye poking, hair pulling, toy stealing moments..
when neither is old enough to understand right from wrong just yet.
or when you're comforting one and the other wants you
right then and there and you can't explain it will just be a minute
and it will be their turn. Or when they are both trying to get
into every thing at the same time. 

BUT I LOVE LOVE that they have always had each other
and always will. I hope they grow up to be the best
of friends (at least most of the time)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer fun

I LOVE summer! It is my favorite season for sure!!! The days are longer, warmer, and every one is getting outside and getting together after months of hibernating. We sure do cram a lot into these couple of months but thats part of the fun!

The boys are trying out all kinds of firsts this summer. Even though they are over a year old, this time last year they were both still in the NICU so every thing we do feels like a bit of a celebration in comparison. We have finally shaken off the stress of "isolation" and worries of the dreaded winter cold and flu season (until next season anyway), and we are simply drinking in the company of our family and friends.

We tried out our first swim of the season at Grandma and Grandpa's house.
Grandma and Grandpa got them these frog and shade floats
They weren't sure what to think of it but no tears at least so thats a start!!
Here's our Aunt Becky and Aunt Paula showing them how to splash about.

Nicholas--a.k.a "mini" Mark

The days have been so hot we decided to try out a little water at our own house too

Nicholas insisting he didn't want to touch the water with his hands

until he decided he wanted a drink
and then said "oh the heck with it"

Alex says "hey I'm thirsty too".

lounging around

thanks to hubby for getting these pics
there's usually a primary person who does most of the picture taking
(many times the mama) but its always nice to get a few
with you in them once in awhile. 
Yep, see I really was there during your childhood too :)!

and here's a couple for the boys to know:
Your daddy was never reluctant to change diapers,
do feedings, help with baths
OR just get on the floor and be silly with you!

and yeah forget the rest
this is by far your favorite time with Daddy!

More summer firsts:
our first trip to our favorite ice cream place!!!!!
Boys can't have dairy JUST yet
but they got to try italian ice instead.
(the one I took of Alex didn't come out :(
but both had a VERY similar expression!!!

Neither was a big fan. Can you say brain freeze?

thats okay. the boys also got some serious loving from 
our good friend Julie. Alex ofcourse wouldn't
give it up for the camera but Julie had him non stop
giggling--the best sound ever!!!!

We also had some very good friends come to play.
a very sweet celebration indeed as these
are our friends from the NICU
and they are all doing amazingly!!

Seeing double?

This is Nicholas's pal Colden. He was born just a few hours after us.
They have the same build and coloring that when they
were scurrying around, it was hard to tell
them apart!!! Nicholas kept following him around all day, sooo cute!!!

Alex is such a guys guy. 
He LOVED being doted on by our friend Rob,
even cried when he eventually was put down!!

Here's Noah born just a few weeks before us.
He shook off his "preemie-ness" in no time flat!
Go Noah!!!

How many kids can we fit in the pool?

 so in case you are wondering whats with some of our outdoor pics
with tires in the background of them?
Our yard is without proper shade from the sun.
so sometimes especially when its hot and we have the kids out
we improvise and we roll out the grand awning of our camper.
and sit underneath.
classy right?

oh well, the boys don't know any better anyway
I know I am just a little bit biased
but can't get enough of these gorgeous toothy grins!!!

Bye for now!