Thursday, February 28, 2013

Eight months old

The little dragons are eight months (and two days) old.

It's hard to compare twins. They each do things at their own pace, and figure things out by experimentation and watching others. Sometimes they are very interested in each other and sometimes they are anti-social. Most of the time, however, they are obsessed with touching each other and would be content having a hand on one another at all times if they could. Maisie especially likes to keep a protective arm across James's chest.

I'll outline the things they do best right now from a skills perspective. I will only award one twin a skill in each category below. It could change at any moment but its pretty fascinating to see.

Maisie: standing, tummy time, holding toys, passing from hand to hand, raspberries, screaming/screeching/howling/growling.

James: sitting unsupported at his piano mat, rolling, talking (bub-bub, gug-gug), holding conversations, eating, bath time.

The best part about twins? They love each other and they have one another to play with, learn from, and be challenged by.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snowy Sunday

We're getting socked in with the biggest snow of the season thus far. We have about a foot already and it's still coming down. Thankfully we aren't going anywhere for a few days.

Our day started off like any other. Diapers, bottles, baby food (peaches)... then we got to FaceTime with Auntie Ca and baby Giblet in Washington. After another diaper change and a nap, we decided to pull out the snow suit that fits the babies and take turns going outside.

One thing we've been realizing is that these little dragons are in a growth spurt. They did not really fit in the snow suit- especially Maisie, so it was a good thing we were just in and out. They will shortly be out of the 0-3 month clothes and into 3-6. Anyways, we made a quick trip outside and the babies seemed to really enjoy the sensory change.

Once we returned to our normal day to day (aka the living room), we got straight to bottles, pears, diapers, playtime, and naps. We are sure glad our time on this snowy Sunday can be inside and not out in the weather.

On a side note, the March for Babies is two short months away (April 27th). We are miles away from our goal of $626. If every reader of our blog donated just $5 we would be there by now. I don't want to beg, but would you be so kind to give up one Starbucks and sponsor our team? You'll hardly miss it, I promise. Thanks a million!

PS- if you walk with us, you walk with the little dragons!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The flying banshee

Maisie loves to squeal at the top of her lungs right now. It's very high pitched, and LOUD. This new banshee cry is kind of like singing but it is very tough on the eardrums. She loves to do this especially during tummy time when she pulls her head up, then bravely lifts all limbs off the floor and starts squealing like there's no tomorrow.

James has learned to blow raspberries and is very cute about it. Our methodical thinker baby, James first learned to stick out and hold his tongue out, then worked on getting saliva for a few days, and spent the rest of the week figuring out how to blow. It's like he knew all the steps, and spent the time mastering them before moving on.

Here's an overview of what the babies are doing and loving right now.

Maisie: standing, trying to stand without help (and falling), sitting, blowing raspberries, laughing, throwing toys, squealing, her feet, tummy time, nanners, green beans, being a drama queen, being a social butterfly, her mohawk, shiny things, her snuggly, her Violet, winkel, tag blanket, links, bears, ducky, and of course lambie toys, sleeping, daddy, and getting rid of horrible socks!

James: standing, sitting, roll, dive bomb, and dive bomb with flip (new trick), eating anything on a spoon, the piano mat, music, magic beads, eating, cuddling, talking, laughing and giggling, eating, being tickled, blowing raspberries, his Scout, lion, bears, winkel, froggy, and of course Puppy toys, eating, bath time, messy lunch time (before baths), sleeping, mommy, and moving / grooving however he can!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Incredible friends

Today we had another appointment down at PSL. We met up with several of our old friends, though we missed a few heavy hitters (we're talking to you, Nurse M and Nurse H!). Maybe the stars will align and we will run into them at some point.

We got to see so many good friends and the babies were able to cuddle and socialize with their former nurses. Two highlights of course were seeing the lovely Nurse J and our favorite doctor, Dr Hanson (aka Dr Hawkeye).

Dr Hanson and our primaries took exceptional care of our babies - especially James, given his predispositions. They always believed in them and never gave up. Our little dragons are here and thriving because of the monumental efforts of these incredible people. We will forever be indebted to them for all of their hard work and dedication, taking care of our little dirtball/cupcake babies day in and day out for 124 and 83 days in 2012.

When James came down to PSL on the overnight shift of June 26th, no one really knew what kind of a ride we were in for. We've set a lot of records and made many waves in that NICU. We are thankful that it was Dr Hanson that took James in that night, essentially saving his life and ensuring he had the tools to move forward though it was an uphill battle every single moment. Ten days later, when we were told over and over again to let James go, Dr Hanson came in and saved the day again.

The grief of our situation is still fresh but we celebrate our journey, especially what we have overcome and the people who helped us get there.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Seven (and a half) month stats!

We met up with Dr Jim bright and early on this Saturday morning for the seven month checkup. Everything is going wonderfully with the little dragons and as usual he is very happy with their progress.

Maisie: 12lbs 3oz, 23 inches long
James: 11lbs 1oz, 23 inches long.

After we went through the developmental milestones, Dr Jim chuckled and said that they had been scheduled for a nine month visit even though they are only seven and a half months old. So, we had gone through the whole development chart for nine month olds. On many levels, the babies are beyond their actual age for development!

Normally preemies are somewhere between there actual age and adjusted age (which for the babies would be four and a half months). We are so proud of them. There are still things we are working on, like sitting and motor skills, but for the most part the little dragons are kicking @&$ and taking names.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

It's a big world out there

The little dragons don't go anywhere except doctors appointments. In fact, they are so stationary that I was just contemplating the practicality of having a diaper bag the other day. We barely use it and it just takes up living space... but I digress.

Yesterday we loaded up the car and took the babies down to PSL to meet with some old friends. Our appointment was James's three month follow up with the neurosurgeon.

The babies, especially James, were fascinated by the office. There were lions and tigers on the walls and lots of exotic jungle d├ęcor to take in. Seeing as how it's winter and RSV season this may be the closest to the zoo we get. Outside, looking west towards the city center there was a giant crane working on the new St Joseph's hospital. James couldn't keep his eyes off it! It was very similar to James's view from the 7th floor graduate NICU.

Luckily for James he impressed the brain surgeon so much we don't have to go back for another three months.

Maisie, on the other hand, tested my theory of not needing a diaper bag. She projectile vomited all over herself, me, and the office. Of course we didn't have an extra set of clothes in that huge bag - we never go anywhere! Why on earth would we do such a thing? Lesson learned.

On our way out, we took our smelly selves to the NICU to say hello to our old friends. They were extremely impressed with Maisie and James and could not get over how adorable they both were! Equally impressive was the fact that they were off of O's. Dr Irish K and Dr Z were there and both said they looked fantastic. It was definitely a compliment because I know how much trouble everyone went to in order to get us two healthy babies. They had to put up with a lot from us and them. We'll be back next week to meet up with nurse J and a few of our other favorites after another appointment.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time Flies

One year ago, we drove to an appointment very early on a Friday morning. I was so sick, having been glutened by one of our favorite restaurants. We still made our appointment - but barely. We got settled and quickly heard the following:

"There's one flutter... and there's another flutter." Flutter meaning heartbeat, and heartbeat meaning we were carrying twins. They were the size of blueberries and a half an inch long each. Their heartbeats were 155 and 145 beats per minute.

I was high risk because of my complicated medical history and multiple gestation. We arranged to see a high risk perinatologist, Dr Heyborne, who was recommended as the best. We couldn't agree more after the fact. When we left the office that day we headed straight to the Pharmacy to get Zofran for my sickness. In the car, I proposed the name Maisie Angeline and Jimmy said James Douglas. We knew then and there that we would have a boy and a girl, though it wouldn't be confirmed until June.

Our whole world changed that day. Little did we know that it would change again and again and be tossed upside down more times than we could imagine... but here we are a year later and things are quite normal once again.

The little "blueberries" are still Maisie and James and weigh 12lbs 2oz and 10lbs 12oz respectively. They've made our lives so much better. It's been a very tough road but these babies have brought a lot of hope to the world.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Show offs

The little dragons are learning and getting stronger every day. They pick things up every second it seems.

For example, James would stand for a few seconds before his legs would collapse under him just last week. Last night, he stood for several minutes and you can tell he is so proud of himself.

During tummy time Maisie has two sides: banshee or sphinx. If she's banshee, she will roll over and get frustrated very easily. If she's in the sphinx mode, Maisie sits propped up on her arms for a long time taking things in. While standing, she will let go of one hand and lift one foot off the floor and balance quite well before she goes "bonko" and starts the whole process all over again.

James definitely watches Maisie intently and tries to do what she can do. Right now he's loving sticking his tongue out and trying to be a sphinx too. He is still most content hanging upside down and would absolutely love it if we could feed him like that.

We joke that Maisie is the one that will be jumping off the roof when James is on the ground deciding whether its a good idea. Maisie is the doer and James is the thinker. Nonetheless, these babies are pretty fearless overall though they may have very different ways of getting their adrenaline fix.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday with Mommy

The little dragons and I had a nice, "quiet" day at home today. I tried to catch up on chores and they tried to catch up on shenanigans.

8:00am: Maisie is climbing around her crib on her side using the crib rungs as leverage. (I'll certainly be glad when we are totally off of O's).

9:45am: After breakfast, Maisie climbs out of her rocker to retrieve lambie, who fell to the floor. I caught her hanging there, a centimeter off the floor but very content.

10:30am: James is devouring Maisie's hand and vice versa. You would think we starved these babies!

10:45am: Maisie throws up on James's hand and arm. Mommy dragon gets a photo of the puke in progress - but barely catches Maisie before she starts blowing bubbles and licking James' arm.

11:00am: James rolls over from back to belly! Maisie sees this and gets very angry as she has been working on this for a while.

11:30am: Baby nap time; mommy chore time.

12:30pm: Lunch for babies and dinner in the crockpot for parents.

1:45pm: Baby nap time; mommy taxes time.

2:30pm: Snack. James ate a whole bullet serving of sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes. I tried very hard to keep him clean but he was giggling the whole time and trying to get messy. Maisie tried sweet potatoes and fell asleep after the first bite - that is one of her tactics to get out of eating. James ate her serving.

3:30pm: Piano time - James loves making new tunes on the piano play mat. Meanwhile, Maisie and I worked on standing.

4:30pm: Maisie vs Giraffe. A few days ago she would have been growling and attacking Giraffe but now she is kissing, blowing bubbles, and slobbering on Giraffe. A love/hate relationship, I presume? James is still playing on the piano and singing "bub bub bub".

I could watch the little dragons all day. They're so darn entertaining!

It may seem far away but we still need your support for the March for Babies! Join our team or donate today.
Team LittleDragons - Denver March for Babies

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mission (50%) Accomplished!

The results are in.

The little dragons are off oxygen - during the day. They still need support at night because their saturations were not as high as Dr Jim wanted to see. We will reevaluate in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, we can relax for a few more weeks and work on growing, eating, playing, learning...

Maisie has learned to blow raspberries that are very slobbery. She is rolling over again and will very soon accomplish the back to front roll. James continues to eat us out of house and home. He's standing better with support and getting stronger every day. He giggles and laughs and loves to hang upside down. These babies are determined!