Wednesday, December 26, 2012

6 months old

Yesterday was Christmas and we had such a busy day. The little dragons had presents to open, lots of visitors drop by, and of course, gifts from Santa. Overall we feel very loved - the sheer generosity and graciousness of our families was so prevalent this Christmas, our first with Maisie and James.

***
We received gifts of dressy outfits and did baby modeling for a bit yesterday also. Although we couldn't go out to show them off, we figured we'd better do something constructive with them. What better way to celebrate six month birthdays than capturing the silly, smiley, happy and serious faces of the little dragons?

Jimmy and I have thousands of pictures of the babies on our iPhones. We are getting pretty good at capturing their looks and have to be resourceful due to our limited discretionary means and doctor's restrictions. Therefore, we had a pretty good set up yesterday for the photo shoot: four outfits, two holiday tablecloths, water and hairbrush, headband, two iPhone cameras, lighting, diapers, wipes... Everything was in place.

The babies were in between meals of banana brown rice cereal (yummm!!!) and their lunch bottles. We did not want to risk spit up on these great outfits. Halfway through, Maisie was so hungry that if her red dress were edible it would have been devoured. We took a lunch break and the babies rested before their next outfit. Luckily we did not have any spit up in the second half.

Everyone was cooperative and the biggest fuss we had was when Maisie got overheated in her winter fuzzy jacket that came with the second dress. It was adorable but had to come off after only a minute because she was miserable. Maisie is definitely her father's daughter! We also had a pants fiasco with James's suit. Because we have twins we have plenty of clothes floating around; the best matching item went on James and we proceeded to take photos. We only subjected poor James to Maisie's skinny black jeans with the bum ruffles for a few photos and then Jimmy couldn't stand it any longer. James did the rest of the first shoot sans pants - everyone was much happier if you can imagine.

***
Just another day in the lives of our little dragons. Happy six months, babies!







Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, Little Dragons

The little dragons know all about Santa thanks to a book from their Great Aunt Joanna called "Where's Santa?". It has been a favorite these past few weeks.

Last night while we were relaxing, Jimmy was watching the Santa tracker on the iPhone. When it appeared that Santa was only a few thousand miles east of here and on his way, we told the babies that they needed to get to bed before Santa came. James finished his whole bottle in a matter of minutes and started fussing until we took him upstairs.

Every time we mentioned Santa coming, James would giggle and laugh, smile and coo. He knows all about Santa. Every time we delayed in putting the little dragons into their Christmas onesies or got held up in the bedtime routine, James would start fussing and crying instantly. It was like he was so worried about being in bed and ready for Santa to come. As soon as he was tucked in and wearing the proper outfit, James was giggling and smiling up a storm. Maisie was wide eyed and expectant. It was absolutely a night we will never forget!

***
Today we will spend the day at home in baby quarantine. Our families are coming by in shifts so we don't feel too remote from the festivities. We've received gifts from near and far for the little dragons, from family and friends and of course from Santa. We are so thankful for these precious moments we have with our sweet babies. Tomorrow they hit a big milestone: six months old! We have so much to celebrate and be thankful for.

We hope your holidays are as joyous and happy as possible. Thank you for sharing in our journey. With love, Erin, Jimmy, Maisie, and James

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The purée parade continues

Nanners? LOVE 'em!
Apples? Meh.
Avocado? The new favorite!
Sweet Potato? On deck, we will see.
Rice cereal? Old reliable, but nothing to write home about.

The consensus is that these little dragons have expensive tropical taste. They would be right at home on an island - which is not surprising if you think about where they spent their first few months.

It's been fun to try new foods, watch their facial expressions, and see how their tastes develop. When the babies were in the womb, we ate extremely well and ate lots of fruit (the only thing I craved). Hopefully they will have good palates and be willing to try lots of different foods along the way.

***
In other news, we've been continuing on our extended /amended vaccine schedule of 1 per week as directed by Dr Jim. We weighed in this past Friday and are happy to report that the little dragons are getting big!

Maisie: 10lbs 9oz
James: 9lbs 4oz

They have been sleeping 10-12 hours at night, which is great for all of us!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

$3,744,304.61

That's the total of billed healthcare services for the little dragons. Our insurance gets a discount on services and it brings the cost to about $2.5 million, which is a luxury home's value over our $2 million annual maximum. I'm thankful for Medicaid for taking on the rest of the costs for the babies. Also, there are still 12 days left in 2012.

I just got word from Premera that we are cut off.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Living under a rock

When the little dragons were in the NICU, I hadn't heard about the Aurora shooting until a week after it happened. If it didn't happen on a monitor by the bedside, I didn't know about it. We were completely submerged in the life of the NICU.

Friday we were so busy that by the time I'd heard about the school shooting at Sandy Hook, the day was over. We don't watch television with the babies and any news is seen on our iPhones. That being said, we miss things sometimes.

I don't know how to feel about this tragedy. I'm so numb - and perhaps it's because we aren't too far removed from that constant feeling of teetering on the edge of life and death. It's terrible beyond belief that the momentary actions of one person can forever detriment the life of another.

***
The little dragons have had a blast eating nanners and are so happy when its "nanner time"! They've been eating like tanks. In fact, when they are sleeping 10-12 hours at night, it seems like they eat all day long.

Yesterday Maisie was still hungry after a full bottle and nanners so she decided to eat James's hair. She may have had a dual purpose in trying to get him a new 'do. Her slimy tongue plastered his hair down on the side of his head, and it took two shampoos to get it clean. Sometimes I think Maisie thinks she is a cat - she meows and cleans her brother's hair. It's very strange - but cute.

James has a favorite game he likes to play called "Roll". It's where he does tummy time on your chest, and rolls off either side where you'll catch him. He could do this for hours. Last night after nanners all James wanted to do was to play Roll. I was a bit hesitant, seeing as how I love bananas SO much and lots of movement makes these little dragons throw up. But after a few of James's pouty faces I gave in, and he spent the next hour playing Roll. Luckily there was no spit up incident either!

Sometimes it's good to live under a rock.





Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nanners

Friday was a big day. We went to Greenwood Pediatrics for the Dtap shot, then headed over to see our amazing friends at the Swedish Perinatal Center, and we broke out the Baby Bullet.

The Baby Bullet is a food processor kit specifically designed for baby food. Everything is there to make and store your own baby food. As both of the little dragons seem to be having teeth coming in and are biting up a storm, we decided to try some homemade banana baby food on a spoon.

The baby bullet obliterated the "nanners" in a few seconds, and I separated the batch out into the storage cups and brought a tiny bit to Maisie to try first.

She loves nanners! However, Maisie's tongue is still getting in the way. She was curious though, got her hands involved and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the new taste. She got some down and licked the rest off her face.

When it was James's turn for nanners he blew the competition out of the water and was great eating off the spoon and swallowing. He's not so sure about the flavor though - maybe it reminds him of the medicine they gave to prevent thrush in the NICU. Anyhow, James finished his tablespoon and took a great nap afterwards.

PS - for those of you who know me - I detest bananas, especially the smell, and this whole experience was a stretch. It was the first time I'd ever purchased or peeled a banana. But I'm happy to say it was a success!




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Nom nom nom

Maisie is teething. Because of her macroglossia or congenitally enlarged tongue, it's difficult for her to use traditional teething rings and toys. However, she loves to chew on any part of human flesh she can get her gums on.

It might be James's face or hand, Jimmy's arm or finger - these are all Maisie's teething toys of choice.

James is incredibly patient with the whole thing and often offers his hand to Maisie for a little snack. I hope he continues to be so generous when that little tooth bud comes through.

At night lately Maisie has been a monster and she knows it. She turns into baby banshee and nothing satisfies her. Luckily she's still sleeping through the night, give or take a few nightmares here and there.

I genuinely hope Maisie can continue teething and eating with this tongue situation. We'll see what Dr. Jim has to say at our next appointment.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

I love my mohawk!

Last night after bath time Maisie had an absolute meltdown. I could not, for the life of me, figure out what she was baby banshee screaming on about. She had a fresh diaper, warm pjs, food coming up shortly... And then it dawned on me. She needed her hair redone.

Lately Maisie is all about the mohawk. She's definitely punk rock and a little bit prima donna - she's gotta have things her way. Maisie loves listening to daddy's favorite music, especially the heavier stuff. While she still loves her "Little Bunny Foo Foo", I figure our little dragon might be the one to turn it into a punk song one day a la Me First and the Gimme Gimmes.

***
I grabbed the brush really quickly because Maisie's hair was drying fast, and tamed her wild hair. Into the mohawk it went with little effort. She calmed right down, so I went into the kitchen to grab their rice cereal dinner.

When I returned, both babies were fast asleep. They didn't eat for another 45 minutes. Bath time sure wore them out!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baby tanks

Rice cereal is a big hit! The little dragons have both tried and love their new thick bottles of Neosure with gluten free baby rice cereal. They are a bit more fulfilled and seem to enjoy the new taste and texture. Another thing they enjoy? The faster nipple required to allow the thicker cereal to go through, meaning they finish their food in record time. We call the little dragons the "baby tanks" when it comes to eating because they demolish every bottle given to them.

I can't wait to start making homemade baby food with our Baby Bullet food processor and storage system, but that will be a little bit down the road. We will make our own baby food using fresh ingredients to save money, eliminate waste and ensure the babies are eating as well as possible.

It is recommended that for the first year the babies stay gluten free. Since we have a family history of celiac disease, we will keep a gluten free household and hope that neither of the babies ends up getting celiac too. What's interesting about celiac disease is that if you are never exposed to gluten, you will never get celiac and all of the complications that come with it. Luckily it's becoming easier and easier to eat gluten free and though I'm not sure how it will all work out once we get to school age, for now we have a plan. And the babies are doing great!



Sunday, December 2, 2012

8+ hours!

Last night marked the third night in a row that the little dragons slept through the night! I checked on them a few times and did notice that James had wriggled out of his O's (oxygen) but after a little maneuvering we all went back to sleep without a hitch.

Physically I feel so much better and more able to care for the babies. Restorative sleep is really important, especially when you're dealing with auto-immune conditions. Luckily the babies caught on that they are big kids and that they need their sleep as much as Mommy and Daddy do!

The last few days when they've woken up in the morning, James and Maisie just want to play and have the happiest looks on their adorable little faces. They wait patiently for their bottles and for me to get everything set up. Lately we have been eating in front of the Christmas tree so they can stare at the lights and colors while they gulp down the bottles. James is doing great with his dribbling and rarely uses a bib any more.

Happy Sunday from the little dragons!