Wednesday, August 23, 2006

So Many Blessings

All three our kids were baptized on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and the kids looked great. We are fortunate to have wonderful godparents for all of them who I know will always be great influences on each of them. For me, as a parent of micropreemies who were given a 30% chance of survival, I think that days like that are particularly meaningful. The first photo has the kids' grandma (my mom), great-grandma (my grandma), and Uncle Kevin, along with Jim and me. The second is their grandpa (my dad), nana (my stepmom), and Aunt Stephanie. The thrid is their grandma (Jim's mom).

To have Alex bapized with them was even more special. Now my husband is surrounded by Catholics... We had everyone back to the house afterwards and fortunately my mom and grandma came by the day before to help us clean and hold the kids while Jim and I worked around the house. Adam had an especially good time as shown by the photo with the Corona. No silly, he didn't really drink any. Think teething...though he once went after a margarita at Chili's...

It was also Alex's 8th birthday, so we had a party for him, too. I thought I'd just post a bunch of photos since so many were taken that day. And an 8th birthday definitely deserves blog space!
Eleanor has really blossomed in the past few weeks. Wow, her personality is obvious. She is just starting to move her little legs one at a time, as if she may be getting the concept of crawling. Dan, Jim's brother, put her on the floor and coaxed her with his cell phone to get her to move along. Anything that Eleanor knows she isn't supposed to have is exactly what she is interested in. Phones, remotes, shoes, magazines, balloon ribbons from the party, whatever. Forget all the learning toys, the stuff that says the alphabet, the textures. That's all old news to her. If I would have known we could just throw a couple pairs of flip flops and some old Pottery Barn magazines on the floor to entertain her, I wouldn't have spent all that money!
Adam is as adaorable as ever, but the whole eating thing is just awful. He's thrown up some more again, though now it is from choking on solids. He gets tired and just opens his mouth and lets the food slide back. Once it hits the back of his throat, it's almost inevitable that it's all over. We're still feeding him most of the formula off a spoon, though he's been taking a few ounces here and there from the bottle. It's so time consuming that my priorities in life have entirely changed. Let's just say that if you stop in unexpectedly, I may still be in my jammies and the house will be a disaster. Oh, well. There's always time for cleaning later.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Shhhhh...It's a Secret

Serves me right for thinking everything was going so well. Adam has been doing great as far as the reflux goes. Now he just won't eat from his bottle. At all. Unless he's sleeping of course--but that doesn't really count. I don't know if we're back to the teething problem again or what because it just sort of came out of nowhere. He is getting another bottom tooth, so we're crossing our fingers that once it breaks through, he'll be back to himself. Meanwhile, I'm being creative. He will still eat solids, so I've made his cereal soupy so there is more liquid, I've added scoops of formula powder to his sweet potatoes or green beans or whatever to add calories, and I've used a little espresso mug as a cup to have him drink from it. He isn't very proficient (to say the least) but he swallows some. I'm also feeding him formula from a spoon. Kinda like you're scooping up the milk left over from your Cocoa Puffs--but no chocolate. This has been quite successful! I get so stressed when he is like this... I keep trying to look at the big picture and see that he does weigh quite a bit for a preemie at his age, and he will eat from a spoon. But it doesn't usually help for long. On the bright side, he has really started enjoying the illegal Jumpster that we put up this week. I say illegal because physical therapists can't stand them. Nonetheless, I regiatered for it and received it as a shower gift. And he is in his glory in that contraption. He sucks in his bottom lip and grins like crazy while he's looking at me thinking, "Why didn't you crack this thing out earlier, Mom?" We don't put Eleanor in it at all since she can tend to walk on her toes, but it is worth it for Adam. Just don't tell anyone, ok?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A MUCH Better Week

The twins are now considered 6.5 months adjusted age (10.5 months actual). There have been so many changes in them lately! The physical therapist came today and was impressed to see Eleanor up on her hands and knees doing that cute rocking thing babies do as well as sitting up independently. She said that the next step is to practice transitioning from sitting to hands and knees and the reverse. I wouldn't be surprised to see her out and out crawling in the next three weeks or so. I was also thrilled to hear that she thinks Adam is doing well, too. His back muscles aren't as strong as Eleanor's since he hasn't been on his tummy much for fear of puking, but he is getting there. I can't tell you how wonderful this PT is who visits our house--she is just so sweet to the babies and they love playing with her. Next month we go visit the Developmental Clinic again at the hospital, so we will be skipping our monthly PT appointment. Depending on how Adam is progressing, they may not even need any more physical therapy--based on what the PT said. It is really quite amazing. The next thing to worry about is the speech/cognative stuff. Don't tell me not to worry--you know I will anyway. :)
An update on Puke Fest 2006 (thanks Kim!) Basically, it is over! Adam has only thrown up once in the last 10 days. We changed formulas to Enfamil Gentlease and he is a changed little boy. He is happier, doesn't throw up, no crying at night, has started babbling again, and enjoys tummy time. I'm not close to being ready to give up the Zantac at this point, but it's giving me hope that he may not have to be on it forever. He's even gained a little weight and is at 17 pounds 7 ounces. Adam is such a relaxed, easy going boy. He obviously takes after Jim. He laughs and laughs at Alex when he makes silly faces at him and loves when you sing songs to him, or tickle his tummy. He is such a sound sleeper and will sleep from 10 pm to 8am. He chews on EVERYTHING including Uncle Dan's beard and glasses. Jim still feeds him during the night, but not because he wakes up--we just want to pump all the calories we can into him.He still doesn't like to eat much, but we try. That's what I was doing in the sweet potatoes photo. Maybe if he can play with the food, he'll enjoy it more...
Eleanor has started to cry whenever I walk out of a room. And boy, can she belt it out. I'll try to talk to her from the other room until I get back, but I'm not sitting there next to her all day--it's just not feasible. As soon as I peek my head back in to check on her, a big ol' smile spreads across her face. She's such a faker. Did I mention she is 19 pounds now? She loves to eat, especially solids, and would much rather forgo the indecency of such a childlike thing as a bottle. I have explained to her that as soon as she masters the sippy cup, I'd be happy to pack away her bottles, but she doesn't seem to get it quite yet. She has so much character and knows just what she wants. I'm convinced that is why she is getting ready to crawl--the girl has an agenda. We also had a visit from my friend Alissa and her daughter Alaina. Alaina is 8 months and is crawling all over and pulling herself up on the furniture. I'm pretty sure she and Eleanor chatted and she gave Eleanor some ideas. The grandma's will be visiting again this weekend, so I'll be sure to post some new pictures next week.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Yucky Upper GI Info

Well, Adam had his upper GI this morning. I had no idea that I would just about be in tears three minutes into it. So here's what I want to know...
I'm taking Adam into the hospital to get an upper GI because he vomits often and doesn't really like to eat and we want to know why. Don't let the fact that he's holding his bottle in the photo fool you. So, why, pray tell, would they think, "Hey, let's strap this kid to a board with wide bands of velcro, put a foam block around his head, turn him on his side, and then try to feed him this disgusting white goopy stuff."????? I know the doctor doing the procedure didn't know Adam well, but for crying out loud, did they really think THAT was the trick to get him to eat? For those of you that know the bouncy-seat-Baby-Einstein situation, you will understand why this didn't work so well. He got enough down for her to get the pictures, but he screamed the entire time which is quite impressive for a kid who probably has a paralyzed vocal cord. I was just about in tears, too, but I drummed up my NICU bravery and held his hands (which were strapped above his head) and sang to him. The good news is that the doctor said there was nothing serious wrong with him--no malrotation (intestine twisted, I believe), which is mainly what I got the impression she was looking for. She did mention that his stomach was emptying very slowly, but it could have been due to the amount of stress he was under. We really don't have any conclusive results now. Next step, pediatric GI.
On a less medical note: Adam is rolling around like crazy now, and lifting his chest off the ground. Yeah Adam! This takes work for him since he doesn't have the hours of practice that Eleanor has under his belt. Today, I left the house with Eleanor and Alex to drop Alex off with my grandma and mom. Jim stayed home with Adam. When I got home and Adam saw me he leaned out of Jim's arms toward me, like he wanted me to hold him! Yet another reason to get all mushy. He had never done that before.

On to the little stinker Eleanor who is getting ready to crawl. She has no interest in staying seated since this offers no locomotive bonus, even though she has plenty of muscle strength for it. Just not the balance. Forget that, she just wants to MOVE. She has been spotted several times up on her hands and knees. Just for moments, but enough for me to start thinking, "Oh no--whare are those safety locks for the cupboards?" I'm so excited for her!