Monday, April 20, 2015

Two little dragons jumping out of bed

Maisie has been able to climb in and out of her crib for a while. She also likes to climb in and out of James's when the mood strikes. Luckily her attempts to do so are few and far between; most likely she has been dissuaded due to a few accidental falls out of the crib during prior escape attempts. She has never been injured thankfully but Maisie now has a steady appreciation for the right time and place to "monkey around". 

When Maisie sleeps she is wild, thrashing and flailing around, asking for waffles, pancakes and "big ones" aka brownies. She has to have a collection of stuffed animals or toys with her at all times. Currently she has Mickey and Minnie, Nipa/Peepa/Teepa, a Winnie the Pooh book, baby doll, and of course her favorite blanket "Silky/Fuzzy". 

James is the polar opposite of Maisie. He is definitely not as bold with escape attempts and to be honest, we still have not lowered his crib to the bottom setting. He enjoys throwing out his blankets and pillow, listening to "Globey" play music, untying his "Marri Blankey", playing with the blinds, and chewing/sucking on his most favorite blanket "Bainie". 

When James sleeps he is very still and barely moves an inch. He will roll onto one side, Bainie in mouth and stay there for the remainder of the night. James is old faithful and has done a great job adjusting to wearing his SMO's (supra malleolar orthotics) and knee immobilizers at night and naps without a complaint. 

James has never, not even once, made an escape attempt. That is, until this past weekend when he brazenly attempted to rescue Globey off of the dresser. James fell out of the crib, landed in a laundry basket full of clothes, tipped it over, and managed to trap himself inside (it fell next to a wall and the opening was blocked). 

James fell and yelled loudly. Jimmy was the first to get to him and couldn't locate James for a few moments. He wasn't in the crib and any other obvious locations. Another cry for help led Jimmy to determine that James had indeed fallen out of the crib and into the laundry basket, knocking it over and trapping himself inside. Jimmy pulled the basket upright, grabbed a pretty shaken up James out, and set him back to bed. Needless to say, he did not succeed in acquiring Globey but he has not attempted to escape again. 

***
With these two little monkeys/dragons jumping out of their beds, we know the time is coming where we will have to move to toddler beds. For us, that time is not yet. We have a few options until then, such as moving their mattresses lower and even to the floor. For now, the cribs are the safest place for both of them. However, before we know it the little dragons will be ready for big kid beds and all the responsibility and lack of sleep that comes with it. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

March for Babies 2015 / Moochers

Please join Team Little Dragons at the 2015 March for Babies Denver on April 25th at City Park in Denver. Registration starts at 9am and the walk begins at 10am. This is our third year and we are proud to be a part of the walk yet again.

Please pre-register and/or donate at Team Little Dragons

***


We have managed to stay out of trouble lately; aside from the little dragons playing a lot and eating us out of house and home things are pretty much status quo. 

I am consistently shocked at how much food these kids can put down in a sitting or in an entire day. It completely changes how we cook and how we buy food, and I have a feeling that it will only get worse as they get older. At two the twins eat more than most adults. 

We keep a gluten free household as I have celiac disease, so the little dragons are on a gluten free diet. They haven't had the celiac genetic test done yet but will likely get it done before school age. So, to accommodate this we buy bulk GF pasta and a 25lb bag of Pamela's GF Baking and Pancake Mix through Amazon Subscribe and Save, which auto ships every few months. We save lots of cash buying in bulk this way and time going to the store. Otherwise, we don't regularly buy gluten free substitutes, except for the occasional loaf of bread or box of GF waffles. We make cookies, waffles, pancakes, muffins, and quick breads / desserts from scratch. 

Breakfast choices consist of breakfast rice (milk, butter, cinnamon, and sugar / agave), pancakes, eggs, waffles, toast, potatoes, fruit, muffins, etc. A typical morning would be 3-4 pancakes, a half banana or blueberries, and applesauce. It isn't unusual for them to eat three eggs each plus a few muffins. This morning they ate two pancakes, blueberries, and a cup and a half of breakfast rice.

All of this means being prepared, making double or triple batches of things - and getting creative with foods I can make ahead and freeze. I am not a short order cook but they are usually so hungry that I have to have a few extras available, especially at breakfast. 

When I finally get a chance to eat, generally later - both little dragons come right over and start "mooching" for bites of my food. This in-between meal and snack chowdown is a favorite of theirs. 

Today we made quinoa and egg protein muffins before dinner. The little dragons had just finished a late lunch of guacamole, chips, cheese, beans, rice- and they were done. I was making muffins to freeze for later and they wanted to help- so I set them up with stirring, adding ingredients, and putting the muffin liners in the tin. They went on about their business, playing with balls and dancing while I cooked. 

By the time muffins came out of the oven, the kids were ready to eat again and were running around chanting "quinoa!". So, while I finished them up the little dragons went to town eating the muffins. They both ate three and still had enough room for dinner an hour later. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

33 months old

We've enjoyed being outside during the warm spring weather. The snow has melted (mostly) at our house and one of the only good enticements to take a nap is a promise that playtime outside will follow. The little dragons are growing and learning new things every day. We still encounter the terrible two's pretty regularly, but at least the tough days are few and far between. 

***
Maisie:
Book: Baby Beluga
Song: Maisie is really into Raffi right now. She also loves the songs from Frozen.
Words: She is very interested in memorizing songs and books, and knows perhaps a hundred by heart. 
Toy: varies. Sometimes it's princesses. Little people, or the "tunnel" (a kid sized tent). Other days she loves stuffed animals and her dolls. 
Food: cheese, cookies, pancakes, waffles, eggs, avocado, fruit snacks, blueberries, beans, rice, tortillas, quesadillas, Indian food, chips, brownies
Animal: dog, kitty, monkey
Time of the Day: taking a "blath" or playing outside
Activity: climbing and running
Color: blue
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 months. 18 month PJ's. Shorts are 9 months and up. 
Shoe Size: 5.5-6
Weight: 21lbs at last checkup on 3/2/2015
Height: 32 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+

James:
Book: Baby Beluga or Hop on Pop
Song: The Globe songs (see below), Raffi, and Caspar Babypants
Words: James knows so many words and surprises us sometimes. He is also learning songs, and can sing many (less than Maisie but a lot still). Today James spelled rainy. 
Toy: The globe (it plays world music and lights up), Play Doh (homemade) or balloons
Food: grapes, meat of any kind, pancakes, waffles, snickerdoodles, chips, fruit snacks, peaches, applesauce, pasta, rice, pizza, chili, tortillas, cheese, Indian food. 
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: playing outside
Activity: putting away toys
Color: green
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, some 18-24 tops. 18 month PJ's. 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 extra wide. We are actually getting new AFO's made so hopefully they fit in our existing shoes. 
Weight: 20lbs at last checkup on 1/22/2014
Height: 31.5 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hooligans

The little dragons are definitely pushing their two-going-on-three boundaries. They can be loud, wild, and unpredictable; hilarious, sweet and cantankerous. They manage to get into a little trouble here and there. 


Here's what they've been up to lately.

-Screaming matches at the top of their lungs, enough to cause some degree of hearing loss. It's usually temporary, thank goodness. 
-Maisie found the largest knife in the kitchen and brought it to me. She was not harmed thank goodness but it scared the living daylights out of me. Note to self- do not leave anything on the counter. 
-James loves to play with the mini blinds, guitars, and drawers. 
-Food throwing is always a blast. The kids are usually required to pick up their food, clean it off the walls or other places where it is stuck. We try to keep it to a minimum but sometimes the little dragons get the best of us and the entire kitchen is a disaster. The only way out is to remove the perpetrators. 
-Helping with the laundry is so much fun. The little dragons throw socks all over the house if you'll let them and clothing too. 
-They love to empty the pantry, especially all of the toddler cups/bowls/utensils and hide them throughout the house. Sometimes they are "cooking" applesauce, sometimes eating "soup". We are lucky that they've yet to get into the rice or our 25lb bag of GF flour. I should knock on some wood. 
-They both love to open and close doors frantically. We've been lucky to only have a few minor incidents so far. 
-Lots of hitting, punching, kicking, etc- the little dragons are definitely exercising their ability to handle things physically. 
-Lets not forget the verbal altercations. While there isn't name calling (yet) aside from stern "Maisie!" or "James!", the little dragons use a lot of "stop it", "go away", "don't touch me", etc (we think that one came from "Frozen"). They are great at keeping each other in check and also letting us know that their twin is into something bad. That is, unless they are both in on the shenanigans and then we don't hear anything. 
-Nap anarchy: we all depend on consistent daily naps to function. The little dragons are exercising their independence with nap time. Most of the time it is fine but other times they do nothing but play and scream and pass the time giggling up a storm. Following non-naps, the kids are tired and emotional. They spend the afternoon and evening collapsing in fatigue and exhaustion or fighting off fits of tears and rage. It's pretty clear we all still need nap time. 

But for all the toddler craziness, there is a lot of love in this house. The little dragons are full of tenacity and love. They have a strong connection and never hesitate to show their care or concern for one another. Perhaps this is the best part about having twins, even when they manage to test your parenting abilities. 



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Back to normal

Everyone is getting over RSV. Maisie is feeling much better and no longer needs oxygen during the day or night. She does get easily winded with exertion but this is expected. She is pretty much back to her old self, with the exception of being very grown up right now. Sometimes I look at Maisie and wonder where my little 1lb 11oz baby went, because she is just so grown up. 

James is doing really well too. He has been getting stronger physically and we are still working towards walking and standing independently. He is close to taking a few steps on his own. With James, it's slow and steady wins the race. He does things deliberately, thoroughly, and plans everything out. He is so incredibly smart and I love watching him communicate and learn. 

We are doing fine - just tired - and trying to recharge from the last month of procedures, sickness, doctors, and hospitals. It's hard to recharge your batteries, so to speak, when you are a parent. We are lucky that the little dragons are good sleepers, have great appetites, and have adapted very well to the chaos of being sick and out of their element. Schedules are everything with toddlers and they managed phenomenally well through it all, then made it back to their normal routine without incident.  

The little dragons are definitely taking advantage of our fatigue, probably unknowingly. Today I was resting following a root canal, and Maisie came over to take care of me and said she wanted to make me feel better. She brought over a baby wipe and held it on my forehead - and it felt great besides being so very sweet. It is amazing what kids pick up from all of their interactions and adventures. I sat there for a while with Maisie cooling my forehead and cheeks. 

After several minutes I realized the baby wipe was full of James's boogers. Ew!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

32 months old & finally home!


Phew! We are all together under one roof. Maisie was discharged today with amoxicillin, albuterol nebulizers and oxygen. She was doing pretty well on room air but at home Maisie needs between 3/4 to 1 liter of oxygen due to our altitude of 9,000 feet. 

Maisie is nearly back to her usually feisty self. She is a little short on energy and and only wants to eat junk food- but we will take it. James is doing great and had an awesome time with Jimmy's parents. They were so helpful with James, allowing us time to be with Maisie while attending to work and home obligations; during lots of crazy weather and many unknowns day to day at the hospital. The little dragons are both very happy to be home. James is enjoying playing with Maisie's Elmo balloons and Maisie is trying to not get caught up in the oxygen tubing. 

This was such a long week; actually, nearly two weeks now if we count when James came down with what we now know was RSV. We are thankful for flexible work schedules and family who was able to pitch in at a moment's notice. We are tired and fighting off the same infection that made both of the kids so ill. We are thankful for the many thoughts and prayers and well wishes for our family during this time. We feel loved and cared for, and we are very glad that Maisie has recovered enough to be treated at home. We are ready to sleep in our own beds, clean our house, and find normal again. 

***
Maisie:
Book: Berenstein Bears go to School
Song: She loves the songs from Frozen
Words: No, mine. She also has started to say some interesting words/phrases like "it's complicated" and "it's dangerous". Sometimes we have no idea where she comes up with things. 
Toy: Little people, dinosaurs, baby doll. 
Food: cheese, cookies, pancakes, waffles, eggs, avocado, fruit snacks, blueberries, beans, rice, tortillas, quesadillas, Indian food, chips
Animal: dog, kitty, monkey
Time of the Day: taking a "blath"
Activity: climbing and running
Color: blue
Clothing Size: 12-18 months, 18 month PJ's. 
Shoe Size: 5.5-6
Weight: 21lbs at last checkup on 12/11/12, but she probably lost some during this last hospitalization. We will see during the checkup. 
Height: 32 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+



James:
Book: ABC by Dr Suess
Song: "Stompy the Bear" by Caspar Babypants, Anna's songs in Frozen
Words: James is pretty talented with learning other languages. He can say "please", "thank you", and "yes" in French. He can say "hurry up, sister" in Italian. 
Toy: Currently James likes the click-clack ponies, his num-num balls, and any football. 
Food: pancakes, waffles, snickerdoodles, chips, fruit snacks, peaches, applesauce, pasta, rice, pizza, chili, tortillas, cheese, Indian food. 
Animal: dragon or bear
Time of the Day: bathtub time.
Activity: putting away toys
Color: green
Clothing Size: 12-18 months. James is wearing 18 month PJ's now, and we are getting to 12-18 month pants due to length. 
Shoe Size: 5.5, but with his fancy AFO's aka his "Green Ball Shoes" James wears a size 6.5 extra wide. 
Weight: 20lbs at last checkup on 1/22/2014
Height: 31.5 inches
Number of Teeth: 19+




Friday, February 27, 2015

Waiting

Maisie is still in the hospital. She was admitted Sunday night with a confirmed case of RSV and bronchiolitis. We thought for sure by now that she would be home, and while we had a few close calls to discharge, Maisie is still here. She is where she needs to be and we are confident in that. 

She spent the beginning of the week with high temps and 3 liters of oxygen and they were able to wean the oxygen down to 1-1.5 liters. At times she got down to 1/4 liter but that was short lived. Her temperature has been hovering around 99-100 and everyone expected it to be gone by this point. On room air, Maisie drops to the low 80's within a matter of seconds; and at this rate Maisie is not able to go home even with oxygen. She would need to have consistent saturations in the 90's and oxygen less than a liter here preferably before we are released. Today they started steroids in addition to albulterol and CPT to help Maisie overcome the roadblock she is at. We discontinued Hypertonic Saline as we can't administer this at home. 

To top off her respiratory complications, Maisie became very dehydrated over the last few days due to her RSV and the fevers associated with it. Dehyrdration causes Maisie to have trouble coughing and loosening the secretions in her lungs, which causes breathing trouble and low saturations. She was drinking moderately well enough but her fluid intake was not sufficient to compensate for the fluid loss. Her intake decreased over the week and yesterday we opted for an IV to help improve Maisie's hydration and help move the secretions from RSV. 

Finally, we found out that Maisie now has an ear infection so we started antibiotics. They are watching her closely. 

All of this combined means that we are still in the pediatric wing, at least for tomorrow and perhaps maybe longer. We really have no idea. 

And James? He has been having a ball with his grandparents all week and is feeling much better. It still floors us to think that his lungs are so much better than Maisie's, given his history.