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. 

Maisie:
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

James:
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



Monday, December 21, 2015

Meeting Rosie

We met up with Auntie Michelle who took the little dragons to the Butterfly Pavillion for an early Christmas present. It was a cold and blustery day but inside the Pavillion we were nice and warm. The first room was filled with insects and spiders, and the kids enjoyed looking at all of the Christmas decorations in each environment.

We thought it might be a little touch and go for Maisie as she does not like bugs or spiders at all, but the only eventful moment for her was when she saw the first spider (a small tarantula) and screamed bloody murder. Everyone in the room stopped what they were doing to look over at our group. Maisie refused to walk through the exhibit and insisted on being carried. 

James on the other hand, was extremely excited at the prospects of meeting Rosie, the Pavillion's resident friendly tarantula. We entered the line and after a brief wait, James was face to face with Rosie. 

There is a rule that kids have to be at least three years old to hold Rosie. A staff member was there to oversee the interactions and provide information as needed. James agreed to hold Rosie after telling the staff that he was three years old. 

James sat very still and let the man position his hands appropriately. While James waited patiently, Rosie clambered over the attendant's fingers and onto James's hand.

James's smile was unmistakable and he thoroughly enjoyed his time with Rosie. After a brief visit, James continued on to touch some spiky looking beetles.

Maisie was a model spectator but wanted nothing to do with holding or touching bugs. Once we moved onto the sea life part of the exhibit, she enjoyed petting a starfish and watching all of the fish swim around. 

We made it into the Butterly exhibit to find a pleasantly warm and humid environment filled with butterflies exploring tropical trees and plants.The kids wanted to adventure; James used his walking sticks to traverse the paths while Maisie enjoyed running, jumping and climbing. 


We saw many beautiful butterflies and flowers inside the Pavillion. After a bit, the little dragons were practically begging for lunch and they decided that Indian food would be delicious.



We loaded up and headed down the street to a quaint but quick Indian Buffet, where the kids were well behaved and ate lunch without causing a huge mess. From there, we spent the rest of the afternoon adventuring in the area, walking through the mall and finishing up a little Christmas shopping. 

It was a great way to spend a cold and blustery December day, getting out and about to try new things with Michelle. James can't stop talking about Rosie and Maisie is very proud of the "I Love Bugs" sticker she earned. 




Sunday, December 6, 2015

From the mouths of babes

Toddlers are pretty hilarious as they learn how to communicate and increase their vocabulary. We've had several hilarious statements and interactions with both kids recently. Here's a peek into the wild conversations we've had with the little dragons.


Me: "Guess whose birthday is coming next?"
Maisie: "Grandma's!"
Me: "How old is grandma going to be?"
Maisie: "She's going to be a mummy!"

French Receptionist at the orthotist: "Hello!"
James: "Ooh la la, pretty lady!" followed by a few air kisses.
Receptionist: "Oh, thank you, you are very sweet"

Maisie: "Oh no! Where is my neck?"
Me: "Attached to your head."
Maisie: "Wow! I have a neck! And a head!"
Me: "Yep"
Maisie: "Where's my body?!"

James: "I've got a wiener peener"
Maisie: "Where's my wiener peener?"
James: "You have a butty butt."
Maisie: "Don't talk about my butty butt!"
James: yanks Maisie's pants down as she screams and runs away.


Me: "What happened to Globey, James?"
James: "He doesn't sing any more, la la la".
Me: "Why? What happened?"
James: "I threw him and he needs to see the Globey Doctor."

Maisie: "My poop is an elephant poop."
James: "I have a cookie poop."
Maisie: "I have a lizard poop."
James: "Don't eat my cookie poop."
Maisie: "I need privacy."
James: runs off with Maisie's underwear

Maisie: "Mommy, you look like Elsa!"
Me: "Thank you! Do you like this outfit?"
Maisie: "Yes, I do. You have white hair like Elsa."
Me: "Really?"
Maisie: "And the blue dress, too!"

Jimmy: "Maisie, eat your dinner."
Maisie: "Is it chicken?"
Jimmy: "Pork Sausage; it comes from a pig"
Maisie: "Like Peppa Pig?!?" - followed by a horrified look of disgust.




Thursday, November 26, 2015

41 months and Thanksgiving

We had a busy Thanksgiving, filled with food and family. A snowstorm was in town but we still managed to make it to two dinners without incident. 

The little dragons started the day with Pumpkin Cranberry muffins for breakfast followed by a little TV time. They were really excited to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and we were lucky to catch part of it. James was most interested in the balloons, and was excited to see Elmo make an appearance. Maisie was very engaged and could not keep her eyes off the TV. She especially liked a performer who rode by on a pirate ship. When we started to get things ready for our day of feasts, Maisie came up to me and said, "Mommy, look! It's MY parade!" She heard the name and was certain that the parade was in her honor.

***
Here's what the little dragons have been up to lately...


Maisie:
Book: Spooky Wheels on the Bus
Song: Holiday music
Show: Peppa Pig
Words: Maisie loves to sing and is able to recall entire songs without trouble. She's also got great pitch.
Toy: Magiclip Princesses
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: Being independent. Maisie is very much into doing things on her own. She does get frustrated but is generally successful with her ambitions.
Color: pink, purple
Clothing Size: 18-24 month or 2T tops, 18 month or 2T PJ's, Pants 18 months to 2T (skinny waist and longer length), Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 6.5
Weight: 22lbs 3oz on 09/18/2015
Height: 34.75 inches
Potty Trained: 100% day and night




James:
Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants
Show: Elmo's World: Balls!
Words: James loves to direct Siri to play different videos or songs on his command. It's pretty hilarious.
Toy: Balloons, balls, Scout and seahorse.
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: 18-24 month or 2T tops, 18 month or 2T PJ's, 12-18 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: 22lbs 5oz on 07/07/2015
Height: 32.5 inches
Potty Trained: 80% during the day, with some occasional poo accidents because he is too busy playing.