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. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

40 months old and Happy Halloween

Time has been flying by! The little dragons had a great Halloween and have been enjoying fall. They went to a few pumpkin patches, helped prepare their pumpkins for carving, and are very into Halloween this year.

We gave both a choice in costumes but at the end of the day, both decided to be dragons for the third year in a row. It's the last year of our 12 month size dragon costumes but they enjoyed having a little more bulk to keep them warm during Trick or Treating. The evening itself was very blustery and cold, but they were troopers and came home with two buckets full of candy. 

We also went to a Harry Potter themed Halloween party and the little dragons decided to be Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. They helped with their costumes, picking their magic wands from Ollivander's (aka finding sticks from the forest). They learned several magic spells and did a great job representing at the party.

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

Maisie:
Book: Spooky Wheels on the Bus
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants or Disney princess music
Show: Peppa Pig
Words: Sometimes Maisie resort to gibberish, but her vocabulary is strong. She told Jimmy that his shirt said "18", which it did, and she is able to recall several phrases from books, clothing, movies, etc. She is also fantastic at singing, and has great pitch as well as recall for words. 
Toy: Magiclip Princesses, dress up clothes, magic wand
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: Helping with chores (cooking, cleaning) and anything else she can do "by myself!"
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: Everyone around James will agree that his language has taken off. He is SO talkative and asks hundreds of questions a day. He is also very persuasive and knows how to charm people. He's not afraid to say "I love you, you're beautiful Mommy, now where is my balloon?"
Toy: Globey, seahorse, Scout, his ball collection, and any type of balloon.
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: putting away toys, helping with chores (cooking and dishes), and climbing
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 occassional poo accidents because he is too busy playing. 




Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Jamesie Day 2015

Today marks three years since James was released from the NICU after 124 days, three months on the ventilator and seven surgeries. His bill for the bed alone was well over two million dollars, and that doesn't even account for the doctors, surgeons, procedures, equipment, supplies, or testing that was billed for regularly. 

Today we celebrated James and his accomplishments. James has been talking up a storm lately and has a very charming personality. Additionally, he has been doing phenomenally well with strength training and mobility. James's flexibility has been improving every day. We think he is doing a great job and are incredibly proud of everything he has accomplished. 


Today we had an appointment with our orthotist who was ecstatic at the improvements James has made in the past few months. James met a beautiful young french woman and impressed her with his charm, some basic French and a few "ooh la la's". He requested a dinner of steak and fries with cheese sauce and practiced trick or treating with his walking sticks while we prepared everything. We watched "Elmo's World: Balls" and some "Peppa Pig". After dinner James and Maisie got really wild, laughing and dancing. They went to bed thoroughly exhausted and fell asleep within minutes.


Days like these make the NICU seem a world away. I remember feeling like James would never break out of PSL jail, but in reality he was only there a few months. He has been home officially 1,095 days now; that's 36 months or 3 years. What a ride it has been!




Thursday, October 22, 2015

Snow is falling

We had our first substantial snow today, and I was lucky to be working at home while Grandma came to watch the little dragons.

Living at such high altitude, we have had a few moments of random snow so far this fall, but nothing substantial enough to play in. By mid morning we had about 8 inches of wet and sticky snow, and the storm was continuing steadily. The temperature was mild so we decided to take the kids outside for a quick adventure.

We went to the front closet and pulled out all of our winter gear. Thankfully they both still fit in their winter clothing that is going on a third and likely final season. We pulled on snow pants, boots, coats, hats and gloves; then proceeded out on the deck to check out the snow. James had his walking sticks and insisted on bringing a beach ball outside.

Maisie loves to make snowballs and snow angels, so she did a few of those. James trampled through the wet and slushy snow using his walking sticks for support; they were very durable and he did not slip one time. James also liked beating the beach ball to oblivion using his sticks, which along with the cold air helped to deflate the ball pretty quickly.

After exploring the deck, we headed out to the driveway as the storm continued on. We cleared snow from the branches of some low trees and bushes, and stayed out front until everyone was so wet and cold that the only option was returning to the house to get warm. The little dragons loved watching the snow plows go by and chasing the beach ball around the yard. When we decided to come in to get warmed up, Maisie and James were not thrilled about their snow adventures being cut short.

Grandma promised the kids that they could have chocolate once inside, and subsequently they both headed inside without incident. We all warmed up by the fire while eating Hershey Kisses.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hot air balloon

Saturdays are usually pretty low key for us. They consist of pancakes or muffins, playtime, and letting Jimmy sleep in. On a few rare occasions we may leave the house, but definitely not before noon.

This past weekend we were invited by a few friends and our realtor to a fall festival in town. It started early - 8am to be exact, as there was a pancake breakfast, pumpkin patch, and tethered hot air balloon rides. We loaded up the kids and the car and arrived just past 8:30am. The whole event was packed with hundreds of people and we barely found a place to park. James had his walking sticks and we were without the stroller - which may have been a stupid move on our part - but our agenda was to get a hot air balloon ride. 


As we got to the registration table we were firmly told that they weren't taking any more people as they were maxed out for the day. The organizers didn't feel as though they would get through one hundred groups ahead of us and they had been turning people away for a while. 

Disappointed, I mentioned in passing that James loved hot air balloons more than anything. We would have to come earlier next year they said, perhaps at 7am, to get our name on the list and ensure we got a ride. The little dragons headed towards the pumpkin patch with James stopping every few feet, pointing his walking stick in the sky at the hot air balloons. He kept talking about the hot air balloons, as he is more persistent than any person I know; it has paid off for him on more than one occasion. He has persuaded several people to give him their personal balloons, so he definitely has a gift of stubborn persistence and persuasion beyond the average 3 year old. 

Maisie went about picking a pumpkin while James was being a stickler for the hot air balloons. He told everyone around us about them, pointing in the sky. We attempted a few pictures in the pumpkin patch but it just wasn't working; too many kids around, and our kids not paying attention, etc. 

Out of nowhere a man ran up to us, and said, "If you want to go in the balloon, we have to go NOW", and so we grabbed our stuff and quickly followed after him. He took us to the very front of the line. "I want to make his dream come true," the man said, before disappearing into the crowd. We were told the kids would be too small to go in the balloon, and that we wouldn't be able to go up together - but a consult with the balloon pilot revealed all of these concerns to be false. 

After a brief wait, Jimmy and I loaded the little dragons into the hot air balloon and went on a brief tethered ride up at the park. It all went by so fast and before we knew it, we were on stable ground once more. The kids absolutely loved it and want to ride again. We are so grateful for the guy who gave us a chance to let our kids do something they've only dreamed of. 



***
Following our hot air balloon ride, we picked out pumpkins and caught up with some old friends. James met a lady with her own walking stick and Maisie danced to the music in the park. We went to the farmer's market for fresh vegetables and fruit. For the rest of the morning, we adventured around Lookout Mountain, climbed rocks and watched paragliders, then headed home. 



The little dragons were so hungry and exhausted they devoured the better part of a 10 inch pizza for lunch, then ate a whole steak with potatoes for dinner. I thoroughly hope to see the scale tip past 22 pounds at next weigh in. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A spider visited me

James was getting up early one morning, ready for his first PT appointment of the week. He was half dressed, shirtless, and walking through the kitchen with his forearm crutches when he stopped and started whimpering slightly under his breath.

I went over and asked James what was wrong, but he didn't look too distressed. I went back to getting things ready for the day. A few moments later I looked over and he had still not moved from the spot in the middle of the kitchen. Maisie was right next to him drinking some water. Nothing could have prepared me for what happened next. 

I noticed that James had a dark spot on his neck, slightly under his chin. Initially I thought it had to be leftover chocolate that we had missed from last night's dessert. That is typical James. He loves to save food for later.

Then I got down to my knees and noticed that it was a large spider about the diameter of a nickel. I screamed and swatted it off of his skin, and it flew across the room. Maisie screamed and jumped. The spider ran to hide and we didn't catch up with it again. James didn't seem too upset, and because our PT was coming soon we got dressed and went about our business. 


Later on at breakfast time, James told me "a spider visited me". I asked how the spider came to him and he said "it went down from the ceiling" and was adamant that it "did not crawl up me". Maisie, who is not a spider fan at all, did not enjoy all the talk about spiders. She's getting better after watching Harry Potter a few times but bugs in general are not her favorite. 

James, on the other hand, said the spider was friendly and said that "he tickled me and gave me kisses". That kid is always an optimist. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

39 month update & Potty Training

What have we been up to lately? 

Our company left last week and we immediately began potty training. We started with a bare bum weekend for both of the little dragons. How did it go? Overall, pretty well. 


We had many activities planned so that we could keep the kids semi-contained while watching for any bladder and bowel activity. We did the whole weekend with one portable kids potty moved from room to room, and also used our one bathroom when needed. It was intense but full of results, and definitely worth it in the end. 

Maisie is a Wonder Woman who trained herself on days and nights in just one day. Since the first 24 hours, she has not had an accident. Her perfection is accompanied by a stubborn unwillingness to sleep for fear of accidents at night- but she has done an outstanding job overall. Her understanding of sleep and natural urgencies is improving slowly but surely. 

James has had about a 70% success rate in using the potty chair during the day. He prefers to use the little potty seat as it is less intimidating and more comfortable. He is doing better every day and grasping the general concept well. James still needs assistance with transfers on and off the potty so any progress we make is a step in the right direction. 

***
Here's what the little dragons have been up to lately...
Maisie:
Book: Princess Stories or Tumford the Terrible
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants or Disney princess music
Show: Peppa Pig
Words: I am so impressed by Maisie's ability to recall. She loves the Eiffel Tower and can identify it anywhere and tell everyone about how I was scared of going to the very top when I visited. 
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, monkey
Time of the Day: Cuddle time
Activity: Playing outside
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
Number of Teeth: 20


James:
Book: James and the Red Balloon
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants
Show: Elmo's World: Balls!
Words: James has a few jokes (he came up with them on his own). If you say "you're funny", he'll say "funny looking". When Maisie was using the restroom she told James she needed a little space, so he put his fingers in an open pincher grasp, reached out to her and said "here you go". He repeats both of these jokes frequently; he is such a little ham. 
Toy: The globe, rainbow, his ball collection, and any type of balloon.
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, meat
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: watching Elmo's World
Activity: putting away toys 
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
Teeth: 20


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Transient Erythroblastopenia of Childhood

For the last several months, Maisie has been battling intermittent fevers and fatigue. We began to notice that she was very pale with dark circles under her eyes. She also picked up a cold a few weeks back and needed oxygen at night to keep her saturations above 85.


We decided to bring her into Dr Jim's office, and they were worried about the array of symptoms. They ran labwork and ordered antibiotics, and directed us to start nebulizer treatments to try to improve her respiratory status. 

When the labs came back, we learned that Maisie was extremely anemic. These results were so concerning that Maisie was scheduled for an emergent appointment with an Oncologist at the Center for Childhood Cancers and Blood Disorders at Children's Hospital. 

At the appointment, more labs were drawn and the Oncologist personally evaluated the smears to determine what might be the cause of Maisie's anemia. Luckily her physical exam was unremarkable with the exception of a fever and pallor. The Oncologist strongly felt that a condition called transient erythroblastopenia of childhood or TEC was the cause. TEC occurs after a virus or illness and affects the bone marrow's ability to create red blood cells. It is normally a temporary disorder that only affects children, with the anemia lasting between 1-8 months typically. There is no treatment if the child's reticulocyte count shows recovery, as Maisie's does. 

We will follow up in a few weeks to make sure that Maisie's red cells are recovering from the TEC. As of now, Maisie is feeling better, regaining strength and color, and needing less oxygen support at night. Hopefully this is just a one-time bump in the road for sweet Maisie. She handled everything extremely well, but definitely does not like getting "poked". 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Maisie Day 2015

Three years ago we brought our baby A, sweet Maisie, home from the NICU. That same day we were able to hold our twins together for the first time, exactly 83 days after their birth at 27 weeks. James would not be discharged for another month and a half, and would endure several surgeries in the final weeks of his NICU stay.


Following Maisie's discharge home she has had several returns to the hospital for respiratory issues and she continues to struggle with chronic lung disease. This requires ongoing monitoring and oversight, and additional intervention during illness to keep her stable. 

Today we celebrated Maisie. We spent the day adventuring with our cousins, ate Arepas for lunch and dinner, and ate caramel brownie sundaes. She played with her Belle princesses and watched Peppa Pig and Elmo Ball.


Maisie wants to be a nurse when she grows up. She's definitely grown a lot since we brought her home weighing just over 5lbs.

Monday, August 31, 2015

38 month update

The summer is winding down. Many of our friends are starting the preschool journey and we've decided to stay home another year and start at age four. There's a lot of logistics involved in the decision- and while we would receive a significant benefit from the school district from both a therapy and a financial perspective if we put the kids in at three, we would also have to make a lot of other sacrifices that in our perspective just aren't worth it. So we are holding off on preschool until four, feeling immense pressure from every single angle and hearing every perspective in the book. It's amazing how controversial something like preschool really is. 

***
We have been incredibly busy lately between summer parties, family in town, work, and projects around the house. It's been interesting to watch how the little dragons take in all of the activity and how they are able to recall so vividly now. They often bring up specific details about our Seattle vacation or other interesting things that we've encountered over the last few months. It's so exciting to watch their memories and personalities continue to develop. 


***
Here's what the little dragons have been up to lately...
Maisie:
Book: Skeleton Hiccups or Ten Timid Ghosts
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants or Disney princess music
Words: Maisie is full of funny phrases. The other day we saw a free toilet on the side of the road and she said, "ooh, it looks so nice and clean!"; and while I couldn't disagree with her we did not stop to find out. She also likes to describe different objects as "thingers". 
Toy: Anything that isn't a toy. She is on a toy strike. 
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: Cuddle time
Activity: Playing outside
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: 5.5-6
Weight: 22lbs 6oz on 07/07/2015
Height: 34.75 inches
Number of Teeth: 20


James:
Book: Baby Beluga or Ten Timid Ghosts
Song: The Globe songs (see below) and Caspar Babypants
Words: James's vocabulary is growing every day. He convinced a random lady at the park to give him her blue balloon, and their conversation was hilarious. He was very convincing, polite and persistent. James is a kid who knows how to get what he wants and isn't afraid to go for it. 
Toy: The globe, rainbow, his ball collection, and any type of balloon.
Food: grapes, meat, 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: 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 6.5-7 extra wide.
Weight: 22lbs 5oz on 07/07/2015
Height: 32.5 inches
Teeth: 20