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.