Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Whew! We did it. We have returned from our first road trip with the twins without any major complications. The minivan was packed, including the Stow and Go sections--Alex sat in the back row and watched movies while the twins snoozed most of the way up north. Of course a trip that used to take and 4 hours now takes six or so, but we expected that. To feed Adam, we would stop at rest areas, get the bouncy seat out, find a place under a tree for some shade and feed him. That is a 50 minute adventure in itself. I'm glad we were in the right frame of mind and didn't expect to travel too quickly--it ended up being a beautiful trip up. But that 95 degree garbage on the way home had to go. We were all cranky and it was hard to find a cool, shady spot to feed them--since cool, shady spots were at a premium. Eleanor had an encounter with some squash that we will not repeat again. Every five days, I've been adding a new vegetable to their repetoire, and on Saturday it was squash. She started screaming about 10 minutes after I finished feeding her and would only stop if she was laying on her tummy on us. This went on until at least 10 pm when she fell asleep for the night. Neither of them really cry unless they need something or something hurts, so I knew it must have really bothered her. Needless to say, we are skipping over squash and we have started green beans. I tasted that stuff and it is disgusting, but they seem to enjoy it. Eleanor is continuing to roll over every time I put her on her back, so it wasn't just a fluke! I personally think her main motivation for rolling over was to be able to sleep on her tummy--she hates sleeping on her back. I keep rolling her back to sleep on her back, but it's a losing battle. Now if she could just motivate Adam. He has figured out how to bounce his own bouncy chair. It's almost as if he might think that catapulting himself out of the chair would be just as useful a way of moving around as crawiling. He doesn't get much tummy time because he throws up every time we lay him down on his belly. With his reflux he has to sit up so much of the time, he doesn't get the exercise that Eleanor does. But we'll keep trying!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Week of Firsts

So the feeding schedule has gotten even busier. Adam and Eleanor have started on solid foods officially and have one meal a day now of rice cereal and some sort of vegetable. Yesterday Eleanor ate 4 tablesppons of rice cereal (made with 2 ounces of formula) and an entire container of baby food. For those of you out of the baby food circles for awhile now, the food now comes in little plastic containers, not jars. I added it up and that was over 150 calories! She is already gaining faster than Adam and has hit 16 pounds. Check out her cheeks! Adam eats very well, too, and especially likes sweet potatoes. He weighs 15 pounds 12 ounces. Eleanor beat him during the month he decided food wasn't really his thing. They have also had carrots and squash is up next. Our pediatrician likes to start them on vegetables and then go to fruit--since sometimes they will like the fruit so much they won't eat their veggies. They might end up taking after their dad in the veggie department. I'm still trying to tell him that corn really isn't a vegetable, but he won't have it. Anyway, I'm hoping that all three of his kids will gang up on him someday and have him singing asparagus' praises.
Antoher first this week is the twins' first trip to a store. That's right, they had never been inside a store until this week when we went to Babies R Us. No one tried to touch them or anything which was good--everyone's fingers stayed intact. Adam actually slept through the entire thing. He slept all the way there, all through the store, and all the way home until Ford Rd. Typical boy. Eleanor got to look around a little more. Down side? I think I spend more on them when they are there with me looking all cute in their stroller.
And the other first won't happen until tomorrow. We are going on our first mini-vacation up north to my dad and stepmom's condo. I'm trying to make sure I don't forget anything by laying it all out on the bed, but I'm sure I'll forget something--like all their clothes-- and we'll have to stop at Birch Run to shop and buy more. Darn. That would be terrible. I'm sure the trip will take an extra couple hours and Alex will have to do some entertaining, but they sleep in their car seats a lot, so hopefully that will be the case. The condo has all the comforts of home, plus a Wal-Mart nearby, so we're safe as far as supplies go. Now if we ever get to actually leave the condo to go into Petoskey, it'll be a miracle. We'll be sure to update you upon our return!
Another first just in! Eleanor rolled over today both tummy to back and back to tummy. Of course I was paying no attention at the time since she has been rolling to her side for weeks now, so I missed the back to tummy part. I just knew I put her down on her back and when I looked up again she was on her tummy. She's been trying so hard for so long, I'm glad she was finally successful. Now she just wants to keep doing it over and over. Hmmm...locomotion. This changes everything. Have a beautiful and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dad's turn blogging

Hello everyone, this is dad taking a turn updating the blog. I think people may notice quickly in the writing style it is an engineer writing.

So since the last update there continue to be up’s and down’s. Adam and Eleanor went to their “4 month” developmental clinic evaluation. Both were evaluated to be in the “normal” range – but – it was noted that Eleanor’s legs were stiffer than normal. This is one of the early warning signs for cerebral palsy. They are not able to make a diagnosis, or give a prognosis yet. So we are stuck in limbo a bit. Since there is not an actual diagnosis – we can not get a referral for a second opinion, nor get referred to a physical therapist (PT). Feeling Eleanor’s leg, and her flexibility versus Adam’s, it is pretty clear there is a significant difference. Michelle has been spending a lot of time working with Eleanor and her flexibility. If she has CP, there is no cure, but PT can help manage it a bit.

The pulmonologist was concerned about Adam’s alarms going off at night when he slept for low heart rate. We were also concerned about the monitor itself – since it seemed to be acting up a bit. So Adam is back on oxygen at night only, we have a new monitor for him, with new settings. Since then – no more alarms. Is it due to the O2 or the new monitor?? Not sure.

On the plus side – it has been a lot of fun seeing how much they are developing so quickly. Eleanor is doing great now grabbing things (like her brother’s ear, and her brother’s toys that he is holding on to). Adam is really interested when we talk to him – really watching our mouths move then trying to “talk” himself, fun for hours. Eleanor is also known as “Miss Giggles” – since anytime just about you look at her and smile – she returns with a huge smile and often a series of giggles. Very rewarding.

Adam’s feeding is going better. He is taking more food now, and not fighting it. Michelle even started him on rice – and he ate a ¼ cup yesterday.

Adam, Eleanor and Alex have an appointment with the Doctor today. Michelle has painted Eleanor’s toe nails to get her ready. We are all quite interested in what the pediatrician has to say about Eleanor’s stiff legs. Look for another update soon.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ups and Downs

We have started putting the twins in the exersaucer. Ok, so technically it's too early. Eleanor's feet don't touch at all, and only Adam's toes hit the bottom. But they are holding up their heads well enough that I'll stick them in it for a few minutes as something new.

Most afternoons, we go from one thing to the next as they get bored. On their backs under the play mat, then in the bouncy seats, then on their tummies, then upstairs to look at the mobile, then eating, then held for half an hour until they fall asleep, etc. It just seems to go in circles like this all day. So the exersaucer was a change of pace. They both seem to enjoy it, but Adam actually plays with the toys, whereas Eleanor watches them wide-eyed. She much prefers Baby Einstein movies. She gets so excited her feet and arms get going and she'll squeal! It's really cute. And never mind that the American Pediatric Association says no TV until babies are two.

Whoever wrote that can either afford a nanny, or has never had a baby--particularly twins. I think waiting until 35 to be a mom has made me much more relaxed about that kind of stuff. Or maybe it's just the situation that cries out for throwing the "rules" in the circular file. I don't know. Any way you look at it, our kids (all three of them!) are happy, smiley, and lavished with attention.
On the down side of things, Adam and Eleanor's grandpa, Jim's dad passed away last Sunday after a battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. We are so fortunate that he was strong enough to be able to come to our house and hold the twins a couple months ago. We have wonderful photos that will be treasured memories forever. For those of you who didin't know him, Tony was a great person who was a fantasitic grandpa to four other grandchildren (including our Alex!), and I know he wished he could have seen the twins grow up as well. I've seen pictures and heard stories of him with Alex mowing the lawn together, making coffee, and picking tomatoes from the garden with him. It makes Jim and I sad to know that Adam and Eleanor will not have those experiences with their grandpa, but we will be certain to pass his memory on to them with stories and they will always love their grandpa.