Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Time flies

Time has a tendency to fly by sometimes.  We have been busy with work and therapy, and also preparing for an upcoming vacation to Seattle. Our month is pretty busy before we leave, too. While we are very much looking forward to spending the better part of June on vacation, there is a lot of work that goes into making that happen from a logistics point of view. 


Luckily when we visit Auntie Ca we literally don't have to bring any of the baby/toddler stuff- car seats, pack and plays, feeding supplies, etc. She has it all and this makes it very convenient, and much lighter to travel with twins. We appreciate having a vehicle to use and a place to stay. 

That being said, this will be the longest time the little dragons are away from home and we think they will do pretty well considering we've visited several other times. The surroundings are familiar and they have built-in play dates with their cousin. What will be tough is integrating therapy and making sure we don't lose progress while we are gone. 

***
Here's a synopsis of what happened in the last week or so...


James had a diaper explosion in the night and got it all over his crib. Maisie is very much into chewing her fingers. They both love jumping and playing on the sunroom couch. James is obsessed with balloons. Maisie loves to wear her princess dresses- even over pajamas. James wore one of Maisie's princess dresses - and Maisie exclaimed "we are two princesses!" James and Maisie have been attempting potty training, no luck yet. Maisie orders food and then doesn't eat it- over and over again. James saw a picture of Maisie at Halloween and said "beautiful Maisie". Maisie and James have both picked up calling Jimmy "sexy Daddy" - although they will call him "Beardy Daddy" too. Maisie informed us that while James's favorite color is green, he is actually white. James told grandma, who was looking for her glasses - "your glasses are right there, on your head".  Maisie and James decided they work at preschool and make $2. 


Monday, May 11, 2015

Walking sticks

Mother's Day was very low key around here. We got more snow over the weekend (and for the record we're over it!) and stayed in without any major incidents occurring. Above else, we appreciate everyone staying healthy and staying out of trouble. They most enjoyed calling their Grandmas on the phone and wishing them "Happy Mothers Day". 

Physical therapy is a big part of our schedule currently. We are wrapping up Early Intervention and working with private PT for James. We try not to think about therapy as repetitive and monotonous activities without purpose; James especially does so much better if motivated by things he enjoys and is interested in. Maisie is close to graduating EI all together but still has some skills she is working on - mostly her clumsiness and coordination in gross motor. We are also working on directions and listening skills with both kids. 

James has made tremendous progress. He can stand for a few seconds independently and has taken a few steps. James spends more time walking with help or toys and is staying upright longer than ever done before. James mostly uses the shopping cart and the big red ball to get from one room to another. Another thing James is becoming really proficient with is using the "walking sticks". Sure, they look like plungers; James calls them walking sticks and likes to wander all around the house with his Bainey (blankie) around his shoulders while using the sticks for support. We help by controlling the top of the dowels and ensuring he doesn't tip over, but James moves them independently and very gracefully. He also does a great job getting up by himself using the sticks and standing in the middle of the room. 



Both of our kids are a little gravity challenged. They take tumbles, often, and this is something we continually work on. Sometimes falling is purposeful and they love things like "Ring Around the Rosy" and other games where they can fall down for fun. 

We try to make therapy exercises into playtime so there is more of a willingness to try new things and explore. Sometimes that is challenging with twins who often want to play with the same things yet don't want to play together. It's an ongoing learning experience for everyone. 

For example, Maisie loves to scare James into giving up toys. We are trying to teach James to stand up for himself. The other day James was fighting to stay in the car and use it as a jungle gym. Maisie kept trying to throw him out. James was not thrilled. 
James was much happier when Maisie lets him have the car. Maisie, however persists and was not gone for long. 
Now everyone's happy! Maisie got to ride inside the car, and James was happy to call Grandma AND push Maisie around. 



Thursday, April 30, 2015

34 months old

This past weekend we attended our 3rd March for Babies and it seemed to be bigger than ever before. We met many friends, old and new, and saw so many pProm survivors and their families that it was simply awe insipiring. 


We thank everyone for their participation and support of Team Little Dragons. They are here because of the technology spear-headed by the March of Dimes and  we love to be a part of this event. 

***
Every single day the little dragons inch closer to 3. They know when their birthdays are, their full address, how to count to 20+, the full alphabet, dozens of songs in entirety, and much more. Their vocabulary has exploded along with their expressive language skills and reading ability. They can identify most letters and their numbers, and even read the numbers correctly off of the pulse oximeter (eighty-six, ninety-nine, etc). 


Maisie:
Book: Baby Beluga
Song: Maisie is really into Raffi right now. She also likes Disney Princess songs. 
Words: She is very much into the "I want" phase currently. 
Toy: Currently clothing. She really likes sparkly dresses. 
Food: cheese, cookies, pancakes, waffles, eggs, avocado, fruit snacks, blueberries, bananas, muffins, beans, rice, tortillas, quesadillas, Indian food, chips, brownies
Animal: dog, kitty, monkey
Time of the Day: taking a "blath" or playing outside
Activity: climbing, jumping, twirling, dancing, and running
Color: blue
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 months. 18 month PJ's. Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 5.5-6
Weight: 21lbs at last checkup on 3/2/2015
Height: 32 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+



James:
Book: Baby Beluga or Hop on Pop
Song: The Globe songs (see below), Raffi, and Caspar Babypants
Words: James likes to describe what is going on with his ball collection, where they are and what they are doing. 
Toy: The globe, big red ball, green ball and balloons
Food: grapes, meat of any kind, pancakes, waffles, snickerdoodles, chips, fruit snacks, peaches, applesauce, muffins, peanut butter, pasta, rice, pizza, chili, tortillas, cheese, quesadillas, Indian food. 
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: playing outside, especially basketball
Activity: putting away toys
Color: green
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 tops. 18 month PJ's. 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 6.5-7 extra wide.
Weight: 20lbs at last checkup on 1/22/2014
Height: 31.5 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+





Monday, April 20, 2015

Two little dragons jumping out of bed

Maisie has been able to climb in and out of her crib for a while. She also likes to climb in and out of James's when the mood strikes. Luckily her attempts to do so are few and far between; most likely she has been dissuaded due to a few accidental falls out of the crib during prior escape attempts. She has never been injured thankfully but Maisie now has a steady appreciation for the right time and place to "monkey around". 

When Maisie sleeps she is wild, thrashing and flailing around, asking for waffles, pancakes and "big ones" aka brownies. She has to have a collection of stuffed animals or toys with her at all times. Currently she has Mickey and Minnie, Nipa/Peepa/Teepa, a Winnie the Pooh book, baby doll, and of course her favorite blanket "Silky/Fuzzy". 

James is the polar opposite of Maisie. He is definitely not as bold with escape attempts and to be honest, we still have not lowered his crib to the bottom setting. He enjoys throwing out his blankets and pillow, listening to "Globey" play music, untying his "Marri Blankey", playing with the blinds, and chewing/sucking on his most favorite blanket "Bainie". 

When James sleeps he is very still and barely moves an inch. He will roll onto one side, Bainie in mouth and stay there for the remainder of the night. James is old faithful and has done a great job adjusting to wearing his SMO's (supra malleolar orthotics) and knee immobilizers at night and naps without a complaint. 

James has never, not even once, made an escape attempt. That is, until this past weekend when he brazenly attempted to rescue Globey off of the dresser. James fell out of the crib, landed in a laundry basket full of clothes, tipped it over, and managed to trap himself inside (it fell next to a wall and the opening was blocked). 

James fell and yelled loudly. Jimmy was the first to get to him and couldn't locate James for a few moments. He wasn't in the crib and any other obvious locations. Another cry for help led Jimmy to determine that James had indeed fallen out of the crib and into the laundry basket, knocking it over and trapping himself inside. Jimmy pulled the basket upright, grabbed a pretty shaken up James out, and set him back to bed. Needless to say, he did not succeed in acquiring Globey but he has not attempted to escape again. 

***
With these two little monkeys/dragons jumping out of their beds, we know the time is coming where we will have to move to toddler beds. For us, that time is not yet. We have a few options until then, such as moving their mattresses lower and even to the floor. For now, the cribs are the safest place for both of them. However, before we know it the little dragons will be ready for big kid beds and all the responsibility and lack of sleep that comes with it. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

March for Babies 2015 / Moochers

Please join Team Little Dragons at the 2015 March for Babies Denver on April 25th at City Park in Denver. Registration starts at 9am and the walk begins at 10am. This is our third year and we are proud to be a part of the walk yet again.

Please pre-register and/or donate at Team Little Dragons

***


We have managed to stay out of trouble lately; aside from the little dragons playing a lot and eating us out of house and home things are pretty much status quo. 

I am consistently shocked at how much food these kids can put down in a sitting or in an entire day. It completely changes how we cook and how we buy food, and I have a feeling that it will only get worse as they get older. At two the twins eat more than most adults. 

We keep a gluten free household as I have celiac disease, so the little dragons are on a gluten free diet. They haven't had the celiac genetic test done yet but will likely get it done before school age. So, to accommodate this we buy bulk GF pasta and a 25lb bag of Pamela's GF Baking and Pancake Mix through Amazon Subscribe and Save, which auto ships every few months. We save lots of cash buying in bulk this way and time going to the store. Otherwise, we don't regularly buy gluten free substitutes, except for the occasional loaf of bread or box of GF waffles. We make cookies, waffles, pancakes, muffins, and quick breads / desserts from scratch. 

Breakfast choices consist of breakfast rice (milk, butter, cinnamon, and sugar / agave), pancakes, eggs, waffles, toast, potatoes, fruit, muffins, etc. A typical morning would be 3-4 pancakes, a half banana or blueberries, and applesauce. It isn't unusual for them to eat three eggs each plus a few muffins. This morning they ate two pancakes, blueberries, and a cup and a half of breakfast rice.

All of this means being prepared, making double or triple batches of things - and getting creative with foods I can make ahead and freeze. I am not a short order cook but they are usually so hungry that I have to have a few extras available, especially at breakfast. 

When I finally get a chance to eat, generally later - both little dragons come right over and start "mooching" for bites of my food. This in-between meal and snack chowdown is a favorite of theirs. 

Today we made quinoa and egg protein muffins before dinner. The little dragons had just finished a late lunch of guacamole, chips, cheese, beans, rice- and they were done. I was making muffins to freeze for later and they wanted to help- so I set them up with stirring, adding ingredients, and putting the muffin liners in the tin. They went on about their business, playing with balls and dancing while I cooked. 

By the time muffins came out of the oven, the kids were ready to eat again and were running around chanting "quinoa!". So, while I finished them up the little dragons went to town eating the muffins. They both ate three and still had enough room for dinner an hour later. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

33 months old

We've enjoyed being outside during the warm spring weather. The snow has melted (mostly) at our house and one of the only good enticements to take a nap is a promise that playtime outside will follow. The little dragons are growing and learning new things every day. We still encounter the terrible two's pretty regularly, but at least the tough days are few and far between. 

***
Maisie:
Book: Baby Beluga
Song: Maisie is really into Raffi right now. She also loves the songs from Frozen.
Words: She is very interested in memorizing songs and books, and knows perhaps a hundred by heart. 
Toy: varies. Sometimes it's princesses. Little people, or the "tunnel" (a kid sized tent). Other days she loves stuffed animals and her dolls. 
Food: cheese, cookies, pancakes, waffles, eggs, avocado, fruit snacks, blueberries, beans, rice, tortillas, quesadillas, Indian food, chips, brownies
Animal: dog, kitty, monkey
Time of the Day: taking a "blath" or playing outside
Activity: climbing and running
Color: blue
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 months. 18 month PJ's. Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 5.5-6
Weight: 21lbs at last checkup on 3/2/2015
Height: 32 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+

James:
Book: Baby Beluga or Hop on Pop
Song: The Globe songs (see below), Raffi, and Caspar Babypants
Words: James knows so many words and surprises us sometimes. He is also learning songs, and can sing many (less than Maisie but a lot still). Today James spelled rainy. 
Toy: The globe (it plays world music and lights up), Play Doh (homemade) or balloons
Food: grapes, meat of any kind, pancakes, waffles, snickerdoodles, chips, fruit snacks, peaches, applesauce, pasta, rice, pizza, chili, tortillas, cheese, Indian food. 
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: playing outside
Activity: putting away toys
Color: green
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 tops. 18 month PJ's. 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 6.5 extra wide. We are actually getting new AFO's made so hopefully they fit in our existing shoes. 
Weight: 20lbs at last checkup on 1/22/2014
Height: 31.5 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hooligans

The little dragons are definitely pushing their two-going-on-three boundaries. They can be loud, wild, and unpredictable; hilarious, sweet and cantankerous. They manage to get into a little trouble here and there. 


Here's what they've been up to lately.

-Screaming matches at the top of their lungs, enough to cause some degree of hearing loss. It's usually temporary, thank goodness. 
-Maisie found the largest knife in the kitchen and brought it to me. She was not harmed thank goodness but it scared the living daylights out of me. Note to self- do not leave anything on the counter. 
-James loves to play with the mini blinds, guitars, and drawers. 
-Food throwing is always a blast. The kids are usually required to pick up their food, clean it off the walls or other places where it is stuck. We try to keep it to a minimum but sometimes the little dragons get the best of us and the entire kitchen is a disaster. The only way out is to remove the perpetrators. 
-Helping with the laundry is so much fun. The little dragons throw socks all over the house if you'll let them and clothing too. 
-They love to empty the pantry, especially all of the toddler cups/bowls/utensils and hide them throughout the house. Sometimes they are "cooking" applesauce, sometimes eating "soup". We are lucky that they've yet to get into the rice or our 25lb bag of GF flour. I should knock on some wood. 
-They both love to open and close doors frantically. We've been lucky to only have a few minor incidents so far. 
-Lots of hitting, punching, kicking, etc- the little dragons are definitely exercising their ability to handle things physically. 
-Lets not forget the verbal altercations. While there isn't name calling (yet) aside from stern "Maisie!" or "James!", the little dragons use a lot of "stop it", "go away", "don't touch me", etc (we think that one came from "Frozen"). They are great at keeping each other in check and also letting us know that their twin is into something bad. That is, unless they are both in on the shenanigans and then we don't hear anything. 
-Nap anarchy: we all depend on consistent daily naps to function. The little dragons are exercising their independence with nap time. Most of the time it is fine but other times they do nothing but play and scream and pass the time giggling up a storm. Following non-naps, the kids are tired and emotional. They spend the afternoon and evening collapsing in fatigue and exhaustion or fighting off fits of tears and rage. It's pretty clear we all still need nap time. 

But for all the toddler craziness, there is a lot of love in this house. The little dragons are full of tenacity and love. They have a strong connection and never hesitate to show their care or concern for one another. Perhaps this is the best part about having twins, even when they manage to test your parenting abilities.