Friday, July 25, 2014

Almost 25 months old

The little dragons will be 2 years, one month old tomorrow. 

This week we've thrown a wrench into our schedule because of my new job, and the little dragons are the most impacted. It's hard to see them struggle with where they're supposed to be or what they're doing for the day. For example, they've been going to the front door for the last few afternoons asking about "Anne" (our PT)- but she comes on Monday. Or, they wake up and ask if they're going to Grandma and Papa's house or if Grandma is coming to make "buckies" (pancakes). Their concept of time is all messed up right now. Eventually we will be reoriented to a new schedule, which includes telecommute days for me and everyone having three day weekends! It will be so worth it. 


Here's what the Little Dragons are doing and loving right now. 

Book: Five Little Monkeys
Song: "Nom a Nom", "Elmo's Song", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", & Caspar Babypants
Words: Maisie can say five words in a row. Right now she likes to say "monkeys jumping on the bed". 
Toy: Molly, baby, or her stuffed animals
Food: cheese sticks, cookies, pancakes, waffles, avocado, fruit snacks
Animal: dog, kitty, dragon
Time of the Day: Potty Time (she's gone #2 a few times in the potty chair)
Activity: playing outside, sharing with James and make believe
Color: blue or purple
Clothing Size: 9-12 months, maybe some 18 months but she can wear 6 month shorts 
Shoe Size: 3.5 wide
Weight: 19 lbs 3oz at last checkup
Height: 31.75 inches
Number of Teeth: 17+

Book: Baby Beluga & Hop on Pop
Song: "Nom a Nom", "Elmo's Song", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", & Caspar Babypants
Words: He loves to say "Maisie". He is adding a lot of words to his vocabulary. Just today he learned to say "beach ball", "Friday", "panda", "hippo", and "cream cheese". 
Toy: Any kind of ball
Food: He likes variety- but does not enjoy chocolate! (He says it's poop). 
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: meal time
Activity: playing catch, bounce, or other ball activities; sharing and make believe with Maisie; chewing on his green blankie
Color: green
Clothing Size: 9-12 months, maybe some 18 months but he can also wear 6 month pants 
Shoe Size: 3.5
Weight: 17lbs 9oz at last checkup
Height: 30.25 inches
Number of Teeth: 18+

Thursday, July 17, 2014

1, 2, 6

The babies are all about talking right now. 

For James it's "Maisie, Maisie, Maisie". He's turning into a little parrot and will repeat so much of what you say - but he absolutely loves talking about Maisie. He can also say "James" along with many other words and phrases. He is pretty sneaky so his language will catch you off guard if you aren't paying attention. He told me the other day, "water petunias". 

Maisie is a lot more unpredictable. She will chirp out things like "thanks" and "welcome" during meals and playtime, and even tell you about her "owie owie boo boo", then instruct you to "kiss it", even if it happens to be her poopy butt. It's quite hilarious and yet very adorable at the same time. She'll even count to six (one, two, six). 

They are really into playing together and sharing. At dinner tonight James bit off his "agogago" (avocado) and asked "Maisie bite?", then proceeded to give her the rest of it. Maisie stole James's cookies, said "thanks", and then when he asked for more "potato chips" she promptly gave him hers. Mind you - they prefer to feed one another straight to their mouths like newlyweds but as long as it's cordial I won't stop them.

This past week we've stayed busy. On Saturday we met up with friends for dinner and had a great time. Sunday we visited the Wildlife Sanctuary with Michelle and Alena, followed by an Indian food lunch. The little dragons were exhausted but absolutely loved their birthday present adventure day! 

Monday, as always is therapy and our therapists were just amazed at the burst of language and communication coming from the little dragons. They are very into pretend play and language right now, which everyone was thrilled to see. 
James shows off his ability to sit completely independently while watching a music video on the iPad. 

They also have been extremely emotional. I guess that comes with the territory of being two. A melt down could take place following a minor complication - like not being able to hear Elmo's Song or having to go Night Night - and it's pretty epic to see. 

James was upset about Night Night and was refusing the water bottle that he had just asked for. It probably wasn't in the right cup, and this upset him even more. 

Maisie believes our house is occupied by a shadow cat, ghost dog, ghost bug, etc. I'm not totally discrediting her, because she is seriously scared when telling us about these animals - but lately she's been perfecting the details of her dramatic performance. Maisie may very well have acting or speech and debate in her future. It's made life very interesting here!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Splish Splash!

After moments like this - avocado explosion - the only way to clean a little dragon is bath time. 

The babies absolutely LOVE bath time. They make tons of waves, throw balls all around the bathroom, and take turns giving me more gray hair. 

As they've gotten older, bath time is both easier and harder. We can do a dual bath and most of the time is spent playing. The toughest part is wrangling each baby to wash hair while making sure they don't drown (or drown their sibling) on accident because they are WILD!  They are so wild, in fact, that the only way I get a decent photo of the little dragons is to take a video and find a still photo later. 

This year has been one struggle after another with insurance. We were lucky to have amazing insurance for the babies' first 18 months with Premera Blue Cross. In Febuary we switched to Aetna due to an ownership transition at my work. The change was tough- higher cost, higher deductibles, higher out of pocket maximums and coverage that is seriously lacking in many areas.

Take James's orthotics, for example. Aetna believes that pediatric orthotics are not medically necessary, and they are not covered by our plan. I have the best plan offered by my employer and we are still looking at paying a cost of $1200 every 6-12 months for the ankle/foot orthotics James needs to be able to walk. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we are sinking. Every dime I make goes to pay medical expenses, and yet we make too much money to qualify for Medicaid disability, or any other assistance. The nonprofit aligned with my work cannot help us because we are a) employees and b) not underserved enough. It's miserable. 

So, as a family we decided that we needed to make a change to help protect our bottom line and help insure the family. Next week I am leaving a career and a business that I love - one that has been very supportive of our family - to a new job where there's more flexibility and better comprehensive health insurance. 

Here's to the future- more time with the little dragons and less time haggling with stupid insurance companies and medical bills!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Partying and Progress

On Sunday we had our whole family over for an afternoon birthday party for the babies. It was a beautiful day, albeit a hot one. We spent the better part of the afternoon playing outside and enjoying company at our home. It was the first time many of them had been to our house, and we were glad to share the day with everyone. The little dragons devoured their GF snickerdoodle cupcakes and opened presents.

Monday morning was busy with physical and speech therapy for the little dragons, followed by a nap in the car and a trip to the Aquarium. We saw lots of amazing fish, sharks, turtles, and of course the tigers. We even caught the Mermaid show! The little dragons ate a quick lunch outside before heading to the doctor for their two year followup. 

At Dr Jim's, the little dragons were weighed and measured. They are:
Maisie: 19lbs 3oz, 31.5 inches long
James: 17lbs 9oz, 30.25 inches long

Dr Jim said Maisie was doing great and he considered her to be caught up at an actual two year age. He said that James is doing extraordinary, given all that he has gone through, and he is very pleased with his progress. 
On a side note, it is amazing how much they've grown since our first appointments with Dr Jim in late 2012. 

The rest of the week was relatively calm; we laid low until today, when the whole family attended the 4th of July Celebration at my work. The little dragons rode ponies, did a horse-drawn wagon ride, ate lots of food, saw lots of wonderful friends, and more. 

We rounded out the evening with a BBQ and fireworks at GGP's. The little dragons played all night long and had a blast. Maisie even kissed a lizard and James loved eating every chip he could get his hands on, between playing with every ball he could find. 

Happy 4th of July from the Little Dragons!