Thursday, May 12, 2016

Illness and everything else

Someone has been sick in our home since the end of February. We've dealt with pneumonia, laryngitis, ear infections, sinus infections, pink eye, norovirus, RSV,  and more. They definitely have a knack for timing illness to hit our important days, including our anniversary, birthdays, and holidays. As you can see below, Maisie and James are giving us their "No" hands and are ready to feel better. 

We are officially fed up with being sick. Maisie is still on oxygen at night and has not returned to baseline. We'd like to put away the nebulizer and corresponding meds but we aren't there yet. 

Sickness is not fun for anyone. We are thoroughly exhausted and would love nothing more than to take an uneventful vacation away from here. We are hoping things improve soon. 

That being said, we have managed to partake in new and exciting experiences whenever possible. A few things we've done lately:
-Saw Annie at the Venue Theatre and it was awesome
-Attended a fancy Tea Party with our cousins and Aunt, complete with delicious food and fun games
-Voted in the caucus and the little dragons both tried their hardest to participate 
-Ate dozens of "Quesadilla Rollups" and other variations of a tortilla and cheese
-Visited the preschool, met the teachers and worked on admittance paperwork
-Made lots of GF Rice Krispie treats - our favorite is a creation with peanut butter, marshmallows and chocolate chips
-Watched movies and TV- Peppa Pig, Daniel Tiger, Cinderella, and Inside Out are the favorites
-Visited Red Robin for chicken, fries, "dip", and red balloons
-Went wild and crazy at the mall with Grandma
-Enjoyed ice cream at our local shop; Maisie loves Chocolate Chocolate and James prefers Cinnamon

-Exhausted ourselves at the playground
-Dyed Easter Eggs and participated in a hunt in our yard
-Developed a hand sign for "no" (see first photo)
-Played with lots of toys
-Went to the doctor too many times
-Troublemaking, including: coloring on the wall with crayons, falling out of bed, falling into a laundry basket, refusing to go potty, tripping dozens of times, participating in snowball fights, eating stale Lysol vomit bunny crackers, fighting over everything, refusing to listen, engaging in many temper tantrums, taking lots of crazy selfies, and more

-Spent time with all of our friends and family, and loved every minute of it. 

Even with all of the illness and medical stuff going on right now, we've managed to do a lot and stay very busy. It's been tough but worth every minute; especially when the little dragons give love and cuddles and tell you, "I love you the MOST".  

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Shiny Blue Wheels and March for Babies

This week James's wheelchair arrived. At first observation, it was the tiniest chair I've ever seen. James was initially not too impressed but soon figured out just how well he could get around using his wheels. 

We've been on a few adventures the last few days- the store, in the neighborhood, out on the deck, the mall; and James has been a rock star figuring out how to maneuver his wheels around. James is so happy and proud that he lights up whenever we use it. Most people see wheelchairs and feel pity or disappointment; we see ability and freedom to move without limits. He's pretty amazing and we are very proud of him. 

We walked in our fourth March for Babies. This year was quieter than prior years but we still had an opportunity to see our friends and celebrate our preemies. 

James took his wheels and Maisie walked until she was dragging and then rode in a stroller the rest of the way. We spent a good amount of time on the playground and enjoyed the cloudy and overcast weather. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April Blizzard

In Colorado, April is a heavy snow month. We've been slowly heading into spring, with a few light rain showers; trees and flowers were beginning to bloom. Our winter snow had mostly melted with only a few small patches of icy and dirty snow left around the yard. Maisie loved to jump in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig.

Unfortunately, spring was not here to stay as a huge storm was projected to hit our area over the weekend. On Friday morning, we had marginal snow flakes but no accumulation. By Sunday, our property was buried in nearly four feet of snow. 

The little dragons loved to watch the snowfall and enjoyed a few trips outside. By the time it stopped snowing, the snowfall was well above their heads and play areas were extremely limited. We spent the majority of our time inside, watching movies and playing. 

Maisie loved pretending to be Elsa and James was astounded at the amount of snow. He kept exclaiming "that's a really big snow pile!" - and he was right. This one was a storm for the record books. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

RSV times two - again

On Easter evening Maisie started to come down with something. As is common for her, the first signs are usually a fever and low oxygen saturations. We put her on oxygen and patiently waited for things to take their course. While we were able to manage things for a few days, by Wednesday morning she was coughing, retracting, and not really responding to breathing treatments with the nebulizer.

After a rough morning we went to the pediatrician, who advised us to get to the hospital. At the ER, we expected to be admitted for a few days at the very least. Maisie had bronchiolitis due to RSV amongst a few other maladies that required more oversight than we could provide at home. 

Luckily the stay was pretty uneventful. Maisie enjoyed brownies and movies, lots of steamy baths and lemonade. She was a trooper for dealing with an IV and constant respiratory treatments for four days. By Saturday her oxygen requirements were down to a half liter and we were given the okay to return home. 

James started to get sick while Maisie was in the hospital, and by the time she came home he was right in the middle of his illness. Luckily he was well enough to stay home. Both kids required oxygen, breathing treatments and medications regularly, and we were beyond exhausted. 

At the end of week number two, we were pretty much weaned off of oxygen except at night and our nebulizer treatments became less frequent. At nearly three weeks we are finally getting to the point where everyone is sleeping, eating, and with energy levels nearing normal. Maisie is still on her o's at night for the time being. 

These last few weeks of RSV have been tough; juggling work schedules and appointments with just one car, two very sick kids, lots of medical equipment and medications. Luckily our jobs are really flexible and understanding about our situation. After it all, we definitely need a vacation. But more than anything, we hope that the little dragons grow out of their propensity to get very sick with upper respiratory infections and bronchiolitis. 

Here's to hoping that this is our last encounter with RSV. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

It's been a while

I apologize for the scarcity of posts recently. Our busy schedule, along with ongoing editing problems in the blogging software are mostly to blame. 

We've been busy recently. The cousins came into town from Seattle and we've spent many days and nights adventuring and entertaining each other. The kids love to get together, but they are still toddlers so there is a lot of mediation going on. We're so lucky that our family can stay with us and vice versa- but it is a lot of work to have four kids under four in one place. 

We've also started the process for preschool in the fall. Both of the little dragons are being assessed to see if they qualify for services due to their ongoing medical conditions and our usage of Early Intervention services. Our goal is to ensure the kids can attend the same school, in our neighborhood, with a schedule that works for everyone. We hope that we can come up with plans that will address their individual needs along with those of the family. 

James was assessed for a wheelchair to help him get around better for long distances. We ordered a very tiny pediatric chair in bright blue with lots of bells and whistles. Insurance approved our request and it is being constructed at this moment. We hope to receive it in the next few weeks. While some may feel like this is not necessary and that it won't be helpful in getting James to walk independently, I feel like it will liberate him and allow him to do what he loves without over exerting himself. James works really intensely at every activity and he is getting stronger by the day. The strongest part of James's personality is his stubbornness, which has gotten him where he is today. I have no doubt we are headed in the right direction but at times it feels like we move at a snail's pace. 

Maisie and James had their follow up vision appointments and both did an amazing job. Maisie completed the whole exam without prompting, while James through a few fits but managed to get the job done. They don't need glasses at this time which is a relief. 

For the most part, we've just been enjoying the moments. The wild language, stories, laughter, growth spurts, and fun. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Adventures in Cooking

The little dragons love to cook. 

It sometimes gets a bit hectic as they both want to contribute and stand on the same step stool, fighting over their jobs and location. 

For the most part, they have been able to follow directions well and are eager to do anything they can to help cook breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert. 

A while back Maisie and I set out to make my grandmother's family recipe for Tea Sticks. The recipe is difficult to make, and even moreso due to the adaption to gluten free. It's a twisted cardamom bread topped with walnuts and vanilla glaze. 

Maisie was determined to help me do absolutely everything. We mixed the ingredients together, crushed the cardamom, used our dough hook with the mixer to incorporate all of the ingredients together. I separated the dough into two balls and we began to knead. 

We worked the dough for several minutes when Maisie stopped what she was doing. 

"Mom, where is my boo-boo bandaid?" Maisie inquired. 

My heart sank as I realized that her bandaid covering the tiny cut on her finger was likely in the dough. 

I worked through both parts and eventually found it stuck to the side of her bowl. We finished the tea sticks anyways, and though the didn't give them away as intended- I have to admit they tasted okay.

James is really good at putting ingredients in and stirring. He is great at using cookie cutters, a whisk, and the hand mixer. James makes a very good cheese sauce and pasta with Italian sausage. He is never afraid to test our food and give an honest opinion. 

Maisie on the other hand, doesn't really like to eat what she makes - especially when baking. She's always enthusiastic and willing to help in any way she can. Her favorites are muffins, waffles, pasta, rice and cookies. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

3.5 years old & Happy Holidays

The little dragons have been very excited about Christmas this year. They loved listening to and singing holiday music and discussing their wish lists. We put up the tree together and both were very helpful.

Christmas Eve was spent with Jimmy's family and we were out late as usual. On Christmas morning, everyone slept in a bit longer than usual and eventually headed into the sunroom to open presents. 

Initially both were very excited and eager to see their presents. Maisie had to be restrained from opening everything, and James became very irritable and wanted nothing to do with opening gifts. He was not feeling well and was clearly not amused with our plans. 

James had the ultimate meltdown when opening a new "Globey" aka the Global Glowball; he was crying hysterically and it appeared that Santa's gift was not a hit. 

After a bit we decided to take a break from the presents and proceeded to eat breakfast. Things turned around after some waffles and we soon left the house for the rest of our holiday celebrations. 

First we attended Christmas brunch with my family and enjoyed great food and company. The little dragons were still a little moody, but after a while they warmed up and played for the better part of the afternoon. 

We then went to visit our friend Roger at his apartment, as he does not have family in town. The little dragons spent time chasing each other through the common areas and meeting lots of new friends. 

We then headed off to the final party of the day: a Christmas Dinner with prime rib and other delicious foods at Jimmy's family home. The kids were not thrilled about dinner but ate a bit, then relaxed on the couch until it was time for presents. 

We arrived home past midnight and were all extremely exhausted. 

Here's the monthly update for the little dragons at 3.5 years old. I can't believe how much they have grown. 

Book: The Night Before Christmas
Song: Holiday music
Show: Peppa Pig
Words: Watch what you say - Maisie will use all words she hears in a sentence, and it is usually correct. 
Toy: Princess dolls, dress up clothing
Food: lemonade, cheese, cookies, pancakes, waffles, eggs, avocado, fruit snacks, blueberries, bananas, muffins, beans, rice, tortillas, quesadillas, Indian food, chips, brownies, candy
Animal: dog, kitty
Time of the Day: Cuddle Time
Activity: Cooking and washing dishes
Color: pink, purple
Clothing Size: 2T-3T tops, 2T PJ's, Pants 18 months to 2T (skinny waist and longer length), Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 6.5
Weight: 23lbs 6oz on 12/20/2015
Height: 35 inches

Book: James and the Red Balloon
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants
Show: Elmo's World: Balls!
Words: James has a new joke: "Santa Clause is watching you poop". He is pretty hilarious. 
Toy: Balloons, balls
Food: lemonade, grapes, meat, pancakes, waffles, snickerdoodles, chips, fruit snacks, peaches, applesauce, muffins, peanut butter, pasta, rice, pizza, chili, tortillas, cheese, quesadillas, Indian food, candy
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: Elmo Ball time
Activity: helping with chores, throwing things, and putting toys away
Color: green
Clothing Size: 2T-3T tops, 2T PJ's, 18 months pants (skinny waist and longer length), Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 5.5, but with his fancy AFO's aka his "Green Ball Shoes" James wears a size 5.5-7 extra wide.
Weight: 23lbs 6oz on 12/28/2015
Height: 34 inches