Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kissy Kissy

Even though today was actually Elenaor and Adam's second Halloween, it really seemed like their first. Last year they were in the NICU and had just had their first picture taken together. They were just over a month old and had these little pumpkin hats that someone had knitted for them. Adorable, yes--but HUGE. So we taped them and rolled them up and the twins had their first taste of Halloween.

It's funny, I thought they looked so big in the photo from last year, but really they were still scary tiny. This year, the Hershey's Kiss costumes fit much better! Just for the record, Eleanor was 21 pounds 4 ounces last I weighed her, so she barely fits into the costume. Who knew that when I bought them in August (I was a little excited) that she would be that big a couple months later.

We live on a street with only about 10 houses, so we just stuck to a few houses there for trick-or-treating, then Alex who was a chef this year, went on to do the real heavy duty stuff with his dad and cousins. Alex only likes to wear costumes that are of real people. He's been a baseball player, a doctor, and now a chef. I wouldn't care if he wanted to be all scary and monster-like but he just doesn't like it. One of these days he's going to want to be a mummy or something difficult and I'm going to be sorry I mentioned it!

When Alex comes home, he separates out all the candy he doesn't like--which incidentally is all the really good stuff--and donates it to his dad and me. Then he makes long lines of each type to make a sort of bar graph on the floor. He's going to be just like his dad and LOVE math. Adam and Eleanor were not that excited about this whole dressing up idea and would have much rather been playing on the family room floor. I don't know why, but Adam was engrossed in It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Perhaps it's because on more than one occasion, family members have called him "Chuck" noting his similar apppearance to one Charlie Brown. Hee hee.
Last year's Halloween photo:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It's Always Adam

The last week or so, we've noticed Adam's right eye crossing in sometimes--not all the time, but it never has before so it was noticeable. At first I thought I was seeing things, just because I thought we had already passed by the eye issues for the time being, but when my Dr. brother-in-law came over to check out Eleanor (she got a rash on her chest which I'm pretty sure is from the MMR vaccine) he said something about his eye.

So I called and got an appointment right away and sure enough, his right eye is definitely crossing in sometimes. Poor kid--everything that happens seems to happen to him while Eleanor just cruises along. The doctor gave us a few eye patches for him and I just ordered some other cute ones online and we have to keep his good eye (left) patched for 2 hours a day. Sounds like no big deal. Two hours--not so bad. Then you try to put the thing on him. I have started putting it on during his first nap so when he wakes up it's already there and isn't as bothersome to him. It seems to be working. We go back to see the doctor is 6 weeks and we'll see if there has been progress. She did say that for him we could try glasses before talking about any corrective surgery. I hope these patches work. Also, Adam started acting funny about a week ago. Just foggy and less happy and responsive than his usual self. I called the ped GI and asked if there were any side effects to Prevacid. The nurse said she had never heard of this side effect so it must not be it. He didn't get any better three days later so I took him in to the pediatrician and she agreed with me that the only thing that had changed during this time was the Prevacid and to cut his dose down to half. Three days later, Adam is his old self again. I knew that was it. I don't understand why some doctors don't listen to parents--I watch my kids like a hawk, and I know their behaviors. It's like if it hasn't happened before, it can never happen. Say a little prayer for Adam if you think about it.
Eleanor has decided that she is one-year-old and shut up about this adjusted balogna. A and E have this Fischer-Price house they got from us for their birthday and she loves to play with it! She opens and closes the window over and over, she turns the light on and off, and she presses the buttons to hear the weather. She also pulls herself up on the door and the drain spout and giggles, just to make sure everyone around looks at her. I've caught her kind of waving, but not at the correct times, so I'll have to see what that turns into. She has cruised from the exersaucer to the couch and moved a couple steps down the side of the couch. SHe has also let go of whatever she is holding on to for 3 or 4 seconds and just stood there before crashing to the ground. I can't believe how quickly she is advancing from one milestone to the next. Anyone want to place bets on the day she takes her first step? We're pretty sure it will be by Christmas.
Sorry for the delay in posting...Alex and I have been sick. We think he may have pneumonia. He has a chest x-ray tomorrow, so I'll let you know.

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Continuing Adventures of Puke Man

For the most part, this week has been uneventful. At our house, that is happy news! Jim and I got to go out to a friend's wedding last Saturday and even came home after midnight. Both grandmas babysat and Adam didn't even throw up for them. The Prevacid has been a pain in the neck so far. Adam won't take it mixed with water since he has texture issues with thin liquids. So in the end, it was actually starting to make him throw up more than he was before--plus we had to give him 2 or 3 pills before any of it stayed in him for more than 30 seconds. I called the nurse and she said go ahead and dissolve it and mix it in the a whole container of baby food if that's what it takes. We may not notice a difference immediately, but he's on a BIG dose (15mg 2x a day) so it should still be fine. The jury is still out on this stuff. It may not help the vomiting, but at least it won't burn his esophogus. The good news is that he weighed 19 pounds this morning. He's holding tight to the 3rd percentile (unadjusted). Strangely enough, I'm still as worried as I've always been about him. I looked at what the 50th percentile is for weigh of a 1 year old boy. Twenty-three pounds! I shouldn't have looked. In other stress-out-Michelle-news, I noticed little lumps on Adam's neck tonight and flipped out. We called my brother-in-law the pediatrician (isn't that the BEST?!) and he came over and looked at him. There are actually little lumps under his armpits and on the back of his head, too--wherever there are lymph nodes. We think this might be a small reaction to the MMR vaccine he received about 10 days ago. Thank goodness he came over and calmed me down. Thanks, Dan!
Eleanor has become a little giggle queen. She giggles all the time now. At the TV, at Alex smiling at her, at a paper plate we gave her to play with while we tried to eat dinner, at her dad walking by in the hallway. I love seeing her so happy.

I had gone to get her bath ready and when I came back, this is what I found--the little stinker standing right up in her crib. A year ago yesterday she had her PDA surgery on her heart. When I look at the pictures, it's just incredible how much both of them have accomplished in such a short amount of time. This is Eleanor one year ago with my hand. Can you believe she was already on a cannula at only 3 1/2 weeks? She's been going beyond what was expected of her from the very beginning.

Her favorite thing to do is to pull herself up on the end table and reach like crazy for my iPod, or pull herself up on the exersaucer while Adam is in it and play "Who Can Hold on to the Toy the Longest". Another preemie mom, Kim (see Ava and Jackson's blog!) mentioned that kids this small aren't supposed to play together--they more or less do their own thing and bump into one another once in awhile. But her twins who are several months ahead of Adam and Eleanor are doing the same thing, only more involved. The research must be different for twins because they are obviously interacting while at play.
This is Adam one year ago on his best friend and worst enemy, the CPAP. He was on CPAP forever.

When I take a good look at those photos I realize that it's no wonder the little guy doesn't like anything on his head or in his mouth--look at all that stuff! I can't believe how far he's come.

Note from Adam to Cole: Hey, Cole, you gotta get yourself a pair of these flannel lined courderoy overalls my grandpa and nana bought for me. I look like I just packed on an extra five pounds. I hoping they won't make me eat for a day or two this way. What?? You live in Arizona?? Shoot, maybe you could make them into shorts...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It's Snowing!

The high today is supposed to be 39--I was already excited about that. But then, this morning, is snowed! I don't mean a few little flakes in the air either--they were those big, wet, stick to the bushes kind of snowflakes. (This is out my back door.)

I was so excited I took pictures. Eleanor thought it was quite interesting and kept jumping up and down on my lap shrieking. Guess she takes after me. Adam could have cared less and continued to try to stuff the yellow box that comes with the shape sorter into his mouth. But it put me in such a good mood. Then it snowed twice more. WooHoo! Of course it's melted already, but I'll take it anyway. Good thing I already bought Alex a winter coat to wear to school...
Not much new news. Adam has a discolored tooth coming in. It's on the top to the side. It looks like it will be a yucky brown color. I called the doctor and although the nurse kinda flipped and made an appointment right way, it's really nothing. Since he was on TPN (total parenternal nutrition) for several weeks when he was born before he was able to digest milk, he ended up with high direct bilirubin levels. High indirect bilirubin results in jaudice and can be taken care of with the bili-lights. Direct bilirubin isn't the same and can only decrease by digesting food. I remember this was a careful balance in the NICU of the bilirubin levels and when he was old enough to be tube fed. Anyway, the high levels can cause damage to the baby tooth buds and cause them to be discolored. He may have more teeth like this, he may not. Eleanor may also have the same thing happen. The good news is that it's temporary and their adult teeth will be fine. With all the problems we could have, this one isn't one to worry about, so I was quite relieved!

Can I complain about insurance once more? The RSV shots were finally approved. Great. For the last week, I've been trying to fill Adam's Prevacid prescription. BCN (grrr...I love my insurance from teaching, which of course I don't have right now) says they won't fill it and to try Prilosec OTC. Did anyone bother to look to see that he's one?? Here Adam, will ya just pop this pill real quick for Mommy? So I had to go through a bunch of red tape for the last week. I called this morning and it was finally approved so we picked it up this afternoon. I was so excited to finally give this stuff to Adam thinking maybe we'll at least see an improvement. So what does he do with the first dose? Throws it right up. Thank you, Mr. Miller, for teaching me irony in 9th grade.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pediatric GastroEnterology

Adam has his pediatric GI appointment Friday. Before we get into that, can someone tell me where the I in GI comes from? I discovered it is spelled "gastroenterology" which has not one little I in it, so I am baffled. Remember, I teach English and have my little grammar/spelling obsessions, so humor me. The doctor changed Adam's medication to Prevacid and a pretty big dose at that and also has us start using hypo-allergenic formula. Ok, I've complained about the 22 cal formula before but this is outta control. It's $24 for one of the small cans. I think it'll last us about 2 days, so that's $360 a month in formula. I'll do anything to stop Adam from vomiting, but wow, I was shocked. (Check out the bottom teeth...he's getting 2 more on top.)The preemie parents have lots of conversations about the drug Reglan. It is given to many preemies with eating issues because it affects the motility of the stomach/intestines. This doctor does not like the stuff AT ALL because of the neurological side effects. Only if it looks like Adam would need surgery (he doesn't think he will) would he try Reglan--or if I request it. He definitely wants to see what happens with the Prevacid and told me, "Don't worry too much," about Adam. He may keep throwing up but as long as he's growing, even if it's not at the ideal pace and he is weight/length proportionate, he isn't that concerned. He also said, "He doesn't look skinny." Ok, great. Maybe he could take over some of the feeding shifts here at our house and perhaps do the grocery shopping. That would help. On the other hand, it's nice to know that the doctors aren't too worried about him. Maybe with that vote of confidence, I can weigh Adam every other day instead of every day. Hmmm...yet another obsession.
I called our case worker at the insurance company (she's wonderful) and she got the RSV shots approved for us. One little call. No nasty, sarcastic comments needed. And I was so ready.
On Monday, Adam gets a weight check and they both get three vaccinations. Then they get flu shots soon and RSV shots after that, toward the end of the month. They are going to learn to hate the doctor's office soon, but I'm glad there is so much out there to protect the little ones.
Eleanor is ful fledged crawling all over now. No more army crawl. She is also pulling herself up on furniture and looking quite proud of herself for it. Check out her little face in the photos. I love how she does something new and then looks over at us as if to say, "Do you see how faulous I am? You do know how fabulous I am, right?"
We went to the NICU reunion yesterday afternoon. Of course, it was during nap time, so the twins were alternately social. The doctors coudln't believe how big they were--even Adam. It was nice to see some of the people we were in the NICU with and chat for a while. We had to leave a little early to go feed Adam. Too much to distract him there--and no bouncy seat. Someday, he will feed himself, right? Adam has a good time trying to pull on the pigtails of one of the little girls there (Eden's--for those of you who know her!). A flirt already. Kindergarten should be interesting at this rate!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

All About Adam (Finally)

So I'm sort of glad that I put off writing about Adam for a little while because in the last couple days, he has started sitting up unassisted! I was starting to think it was going to be about Christmas before it happened, and them yesterday he decided he has it all figured out. Isn't that how it seems to work, though? One day, he's toppling over constantly, and the next he just sits there and plays like he's never done anything else. He rolls all over to get toys he wants and pivots, too, most often to defend his toy from the grasp of his more mobile sister. He's showing the beginning signs of crawling by scooting his knees up under himself and getting up on his arms. Every few days I notice he can stay in this position longer, and now does the cute little butt wiggle thing on his knees. You can tell this all still takes work and concentration for him, but we are so proud of his accomplishments. It seems like once Eleanor could sit up, her development really took off, so we're hoping to see that with Adam as well.
Eating, well that's another story. Pretty much still the same situation. Both babies have had colds, though, for the last few days (since the night of their party...) which they have in general handled quite well, but Adam has vomited more with all the drainage down his throat. He was up to 18 pounds 11 oz., and then was down to 18 pounds 2 oz. yesterday. He's starting to feel better today, so hopefully he'll pack those ounces right back on. That's the problem with him walking this line he is on--he has no reserve weight, so illness really affects him. We were at the pediatrician yesterday for their one-year check up. The NP was a little concerned about his weight, so we're going back in a week for a weight check. I'm not too worried. We have our pediatric GI appt. on Friday, so maybe we'll finally have a plan by that time. Otherwise Adam looks great and the NP was totally impressed by their progress this year. Unfortunately, they are doing so well that our insurance says that they don't qualify for RSV (Synagis) shots this year. I want to remind them that they were born at 23 weeks only one year ago, no matter how well they are doing now. I don't know if that will help, though. What it does mean is that our hibernation will be even more strict that we had thought it was going to be. Basically, I should say, "See you all on April 1" at this point. The shots are $1700 each, so that's $3400 a month for 5 months. The math speaks for itself when it comes to insurance companies. You'd think they would realize they have already invested about 1.5 million dollars in these two kids and they could spend a few thousand more to keep them healthy, but I have the impression they don't think like I do.
Enough of that--back to Adam. Adam has become quite a mommy's boy and will lean over to have me hold him whenever I get close enough to whoever is holding him at that moment--usually Jim. He also loves to be (read: must be) rocked to sleep now, where he used to thrash around if you tried to hold him while he slept. I guess I shouldn't get him into that habit, but I love it--and he's only this little for such a short time. He talks to you most when his diaper is being changed and "mmmba" and "gegegegaa" are his favorites. Alex is his absolute best friend/brother and will make him laugh harder than anyone can. I wish I knew how to put video on here because his chortles, guffaws, chuckles, and squeals are something to hear! Speaking of Alex, he made the twins wonderful birthday cards for their first birthday and Adam's says, "To a fabulous brother who is 1! You squeal, you jump, you make me happy when I am sad. You are fabuous. Happy 1st Birthday" I cried when I opened it, so I couldn't even read it out loud. Eleanor's says, "To a talented sister who is 1! You get up on your knees, you scootch yourself around, you go up, up. You are talented. Happy 1st Birthday." I put all birthday cards in scrapbooks, so these are going on page one.
Have a great week--I'll update again after the GI appointment.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Birthday Party

We had a great birthday party for Adam and Eleanor yesterday. All the grandmas were there, as well and aunts uncles, cousins, and many of our friends who now have kids as well. All in all, about 45 or 50 people came, so things were pretty busy around our house. It wasn't nice enough for the older kids to play outside, so Alex's room was Lego/K'nex central for them. There were babies everywhere, too! Both A and E loved the great amount of attention they received and Eleanor even got to take naps on both grandmas. Talk about heaven. When cake time came, Adam was quite enthusiastic about the frosting on his cake and smeared it everywhere. I even found it on the under side of the highchair try. Nice work! Eleanor on the other hand, put her hand in it and you could almost hear her say, "Eeww, this is messy. Can I have a knife and fork, Mom?" I think they both tasted a little frosting, but that was it. By the time we got to the opening gifts section of the agenda, they were soooo tired. Adam had even skipped a feeding. (Can you hear him thinking, "Hey this party stuff is great. A kid can skip a meal and get away with it!") Their gifts are fabulous. So many fun toys and cute clothes! Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ron got Eleanor a shirt that says, "I'm in charge around here. The parents are just for show." That's exactly how the little girl thinks. She is pulling herself up on all objects lower than the couch, and can crawl right over her daddy's legs, just for fun. Adam's favorite gift was an envelope from a card, and he kept tasting the sticky stuff where it seals. Figures. I know I owe you all an "All About Adam" post. Since the birthday stuff preempted it, I'll make it next. A highlight of the day was the cards from their brother, Alex. I'm going to try to take pictures of them to post. He is such a sweet little boy. What lucky twins to have such a wonderful brother. We had a ton of help from the grandmas and Bernadine with cleaning up, so at the end of the day, it wasn't looking too bad around here. I wish I had had time to talk to everyone more, but I quickly realized that when you're trying to take care of 2 babies at a party, socializing comes last. Thank you to everyone who was able to come and celebrate with us! We are so blessed with love and friendship.
Sorry for the delay in photos...I was too tired :) Also, a little plug for my talented husband--he made the table and chairs in the photo of the decorated kitchen.