Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Irrational fears of everything

Maisie has always been as tough as nails. I can only think of a handful of things that have ever bothered her, scared her, or irritated her. 

While in the NICU, she learned early on that the thermometer being shoved under her armpit was not a pleasant experience. Later on, she and James would melt down on demand at the first few notes of their "Night Night" song. They dislike it to this day. Then Maisie went through a time where she was afraid of ghost animals but it was short lived.

Currently several things are on Maisie's list of fears. Dust, fuzz, zombies, vampires, pirates, picture taking, bugs of all kinds (especially ants, spiders, moths, ladybugs, and flies), monster ball, etc. 




The other morning we were getting up and the little dragons both happened to notice a beam of light in their room with specks of dust sparkling in the air. They both became hysterical, crying, and trying to make sense of this new revelation. They've been frightened by dust, or the concept of it, ever since. 

Maisie is so terrified of bugs right now she can barely go outside without several shrill cries. She is even more paranoid if a bug happens to get in the house. One night a moth got in while we were bringing in groceries, and she was hysterical while Jimmy tried to transport it outdoors. She was so traumatized she can still tell the whole story, weeks later. 

I'll never understand how a child can go from eating spiders and pincher bugs to being petrified beyond belief about a ladybug. She used to come up to me saying, "here mommy" and hand me a spider. I was the jumpy one- not her! This girl was in tune with the bugs. Now they are encroaching on Maisie's world and it is not a pretty sight. Part of me feels like she's being overly dramatic, but I am coming to understand that these are credible fears. I'm hoping she'll get over it, but I'll be okay if we never revisit the pincher bug-eating or spider-sharing shenanigans. 

***
In other news, James is doing an awesome job with his walking sticks. He loves to stand up holding onto them for balance in the middle of the room and watch anything related to hot air balloons. If you haven't seen a hot air balloon festival / race timelapse, those are his absolute favorite to watch and they are awesome. James can stand with these sticks alone for several minutes. He's working on building his balance, stamina, and core strength, and it's awesome to watch the progress being made. James is incredibly built in the upper body and abdomen, while other muscles in his hips and calves have been used less frequently due to the nature of his development. This exercise is great on a lot of levels - James is working lots of muscle groups and reflexes, and he is testing his limits independently.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

36 months old, Tiny Town and 4th of July

We've been busy celebrating the 4th of July holiday and finishing up birthday to-dos.

On Friday we spent the day with Auntie Michelle, who graciously took our whole family to Tiny Town for the little dragons' birthday. It was a first for most of us even though it is just down the highway. We spent a couple of hours exploring a village of miniature houses, several of which the kids were able to climb in and around, and even rode the train. It was a great adventure as the houses have lots of details inside and out, and the little dragons found things of interest all over the place. Maisie loved running, jumping and finding tiny porches to sit on. James did a fabulous job walking with our help through most of the village, but his favorite part was finding a tiny globe in a school house no bigger than a ping pong ball. After a train ride we headed to town for some lunch at our favorite go-to and the land of the red balloons, Red Robin. Being that it was a holiday weekend, it was busy and a long wait for food - but we had fun visiting with Michelle and left with a few balloons.


Saturday was the 4th and we had a very busy day planned. We started off with the Harvard Square BBQ, which is an annual tradition for us. We spent the afternoon catching up with friends and former co-workers, who have all been very supportive of the little dragons since day one. They rode ponies and a wagon, got balloon animals, and had a blast splashing each other in an impromptu water fight. 

We then headed over to Grandma's to relax for a few hours before a family fireworks party. The kids refused to nap with the exception of Maisie's ten minute snooze in the car. When we arrived at the party, the little dragons spent the night playing and exploring, eating, making S'mores, watching fireworks, and being wild. We headed home late and got to bed just before midnight - much past their typical 8pm bedtime. 

It's Tuesday and we've been through a few days of wild nights and naps. I really don't think we've fully recovered from the late night over the weekend. We are so lucky that the little dragons sleep well and nap most of the time, but when there are variations to the schedule they sometimes have a difficult time adjusting. It's mostly been manifesting in super late naps that run into dinner time and push bedtime later at night. 

Today we met with Dr Jim for the three year Well Child Checkup. The little dragons are doing great and right on target for where they are supposed to be, given their individual circumstances. We are very proud of them and happy with our care team. Dr Jim as always is such a caring and professional physician, and he makes the kids feel such at ease. They were actually begging him for more tickles and participated in the questioning about their health and routines. 

Following the appointment we went home for late naps, and then the little dragons helped make their first full dinner (stacked enchiladas, which were amazing). They followed instructions very well and did a good job sharing the tasks. I am so very proud of Maisie and James for everything that they strive towards and achieve. 

***
Three years ago, we had the worst night of our lives when we were given "the talk" about James, over and over again. We were encouraged to take him to the room where babies go to pass away. The options were not to continue to fight, but how to surrender. Yet James hadn't thrown up the white flag, and he was not done fighting. He was struggling, that was evident. The one thing he needed was someone to believe in him, someone to choose to fight for him and act creatively with the options available. We are so lucky that on that horrific night, James held strong. We are so lucky that on that next morning, Dr Hanson showed up to be his doctor and he changed the game plan. We are so lucky for our families, who stayed by James's bedside cheering him on and have never, for one moment, given up on him. We are lucky that James continued to be the biggest "dirtball" throughout his 124 day NICU stay, and came home on minimal support. 

On that night, so many of our thoughts went to the future and what it would hold. I have to admit that while there are still so many unknowns, we are not worried about our son. He is intelligent and strong, kind and sweet, and determined to the bone. He will fight, and he will do it his way. There's no predicting this boy except to say that he has survived the impossible and will continue to do great things. 

***
3 year update:
Maisie:
Book: Baby Beluga or Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Song: anything by Caspar Babypants or Disney princess music
Words: You name it, she can say it. Yesterday she declared: "I'm a leg of lamb, baa baa". 
Toy: Disney Magiclip Princesses
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: Chalk Preschool time
Activity: climbing, jumping, twirling, dancing, and running
Color: pink, purple
Clothing Size: 18-24 month tops, 18 month PJ's, Pants 12-24 months (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 James and the Red Balloon
Song: The Globe songs (see below) and Caspar Babypants
Words: James is increasing in vocabulary every day. His favorite subjects are balls, balloons, and roll call of toys and/or people. 
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: 18-24 month tops, 18 month PJ's, Pants 12-18 months (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
Number of Teeth: 20