Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving is Over??

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!

The biggest news of last week was definitely Will taking his first steps last weekend. He is taking a few more each day. Most of the week we have had to tempt him with a toy in order for him to take some steps. Yesterday he took off for the open dishwasher though, so he is slowly walking a little more each day. Before long I won’t be able to catch him!

Monday Lindy had occupational therapy with Lisa. She was once again pleased with Lindy and excited to hear that she has sucked on the straw. Although she is not doing it consistently, at least we know she can. Lindy showed Lisa how she can go from her back to sitting up by herself. Lisa clapped for her and so Lindy thought she should do it again. She fell over to the side and sat back up. Lisa clapped again and before long this was a repeating cycle for Lindy. She is very proud of herself for getting herself up!

The other news of note about Lisa’s visit was that she briefly checked out Will. Because he surprised us with his last swallow study and his aspiration of the straw, she looked at him. She said he has good chewing patterns but she did not see elevation in his tongue. After talking about all the sounds he makes, she realized that most of the sounds he makes do not require any tongue elevation. He does not make the d sound, one sound that does require tongue elevation. He has never said anything close to dada, which we all heard he would say first. Anyway, she said he has low tone in his tongue and gave us a few exercises to work with him. Will got his first electric toothbrush this week to help out with some of the exercises, along with it helping to clean his teeth!

Lindy had her deaf and hard of hearing teacher on Tuesday. It was a good visit, nothing out of the ordinary.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving with my parents. My father brought his smoker so we had smoked turkey. It was yummy. The babies have eaten lots of Thanksgiving meals since Thursday. I even broke down and gave them some pumpkin pie. It might not have settled so well with Lindy though. Friday night we experienced projectile vomit like we’ve never seen. It went right over my shoulder and hit the hall carpet. Drew’s Dad said pumpkin pie gives him horrible indigestion so we wonder if Lindy was having a bad case of reflux that evening.

Last year on Thanksgiving, Will had been home a few weeks and Lindy was still in the hospital. What a difference a year makes. They have grown and changed so much. We are thankful everyday for their will and determination to fight and overcome their preemie tag. Without it, they wouldn’t be where they are today. We are thankful for all the people who have prayed for our babies the last year. We are most thankful for our families for all the support they’ve given us in the caring of two very premature babies.

My mom and I were among the crazy people who went shopping on Friday. We were at Target at 6am and didn’t get home until 5pm that evening. I was able to get most of my family done which is so good for me. Feels good to have Christmas presents! Now if they would wrap themselves! We were also among the crazy people who sat outside in the rain at the Wake Forest game Saturday night. The babies had fun with two of our youth from church who babysat.

So another week and another holiday has gone by. This week we will work on the Christmas decorations. I’m very nervous about how a Christmas tree and a little boy named Will will get along!

Lindy's crazy hair is fun to play with in the bath!
A couple of cuties!

The babes and their Nana.
Two turkeys we are very thankful for!
Nana and Papa!

Lindy and her Thanksgiving dinner.
Will and his Thanksgiving dinner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Official.....

Will started taking steps on Saturday, November 22, 2008. Check out the little man below!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Snow Surprise!

We woke up to a surprise this morning! SNOW! They had talked about a possibility of flurries so I looked out the window at 6am and didn't see anything. When I got the babies up at 7am and opened their blinds, there was snow! Either I missed it at 6am or it snowed in that hour. We bundled the babes up, and took them outside for a photo op. Who knows if it will snow again. They looked so cute in their little mittens and toboggans!

We have had a pretty good week at the house with some good things happening. Last Sunday Will drank from his last bottle. He had been doing so well with the straw sippy cup that he wasn't needing any extras from a bottle! I found this strangely sad. I guess because this really means he is growing up. As much of a pain as it was, I still kind of liked holding him and giving him his bottle. The last few days he hasn't been drinking quite as good but he's drinking enough that we haven't had to return to the bottle. He's just making it a little more difficult for everyone involved.

Monday the babies went for the second Synagis shot and second follow-up booster flu shot. Poor babes got 3 shots that day (they are so big they have to get the Synagis in two shots). I do not think I've ever actually explained what Synagis is and why it is important. Preemies are often born before getting enough antibodies from their mothers to help fight RSV and other viruses. But preemies are also at greater risk for severe RSV disease because their lungs are less developed and their airways are narrower than those of full-term babies. Synagis helps preemies by providing more infection-fighting antibodies to help protect their vulnerable lungs from RSV.

If you remember from my post last week, we went to the SICC clinic and they told us that Lindy weighed 17lbs 5oz. I was a little disappointed that she hadn't grown much but what could I do. Well 4 days later she was weighed at the pediatrician's office before she got her shots and their scales said 18lbs 5oz! I couldn't believe there would be that much difference in scales. Will's weights were a lot closer together than Lindy's. Then Drew tells me that he thought they had read the scale wrong at the SICC clinic but he had never said anything. Anyway, Lindy really weighs 18lb 5oz and grew over a pound in a month! She's packing on the weight and trying to catch up with Will!

Will's 5th tooth finally broke through the surface on Monday as well. His one shining upper tooth is about to be joined by 2 more soon. He's working on more, I just can't really tell where they are coming in.

We have seen a lot of changes in Will this past week. Some good, some bad. He has really started having temper tantrums, which I consider to be very bad. I usually block off the living room area with our coffee table but he has fought all week long to get around it. I finally had to move it to start giving him a little more freedom. That means baby proofing other areas but he does seem a bit happier. Now he is mainly just throwing fits in his high chair. Meal times with Will aren't too quiet or fun anymore. He's eating, I guess that's a positive but he's protesting something. The other changes are that his comprehension seems to be really shining. One day this week he took a book out of the toy basket and he returned it to the changing table where we normally keep it. Another big thing I've noticed is that when I say, "Where's Jack?" or "Where is your car?" or "Where is the clock?" he looks in the right direction. He looks at the wall for the clock and goes and gets his car. He looks for Jack all around the room. It's fascinating to see their little minds working and starting to understand. Now he just needs to take the long awaited step and say the long awaited first word!!

Will did get evaluated by our early intervention specialist on Thursday. He was right on track with his adjusted age of 12 months in all but one category. In the adaptive skills category he was actually on track with his real age of 15 months. Way to go Will! We are proud of him.

Enough about Will, onto Lindy! Most of her appointments were cancelled this week. She has had a couple positive things this week as well. Finally last Sunday she sucked from the straw bottle! After months of offering her the straw bottle and squeezing a little bit at a time in her mouth, she finally sucked!!! Then she didn't do it again until Wednesday. The last day or two she is doing it a little more consistently. We are still a ways from getting her off a bottle, but she made a huge step in our endeavor!

The other developmental step she took is that she has figured out how to sit up from laying on her back and belly! She figured out how to do it on the changing table last week but that was easier because she has the side to hold on to. We've worked all week with her and on Thursday she finally made it up by herself! She has to work pretty hard at it but she has done it numerous times since. Actually another step she's made this week is to figure out how to go from sitting to her belly. Neither of these two movements are very pretty, but they work for her and she'll only get better with time! Of course we are proud when Will does new things but I think our hearts almost burst with pride when Lindy does new things. There was a time not too long ago when we weren't sure she would be able to do these kind of things. She constantly amazes us.

That sums up our week here at home. We bought the babies their big Christmas gift today and they are so cute! You'll have to stay tuned until Christmas to find out what it is! Enjoy our pictures.

Will's temper tantrums mad face.
The Little Cowboy was happy in his high chair this time. A rarity these days. "I'm still a rock star, I got my rock moves," sings our Little Pink Rockstar.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Is It Sunday Already?

Last week turned out to be another busy week, which is why I’m writing my post on Sunday afternoon.

Monday started with Lindy having occupational therapy with Lisa. It went well and she thinks Lindy is on the verge of sucking. We’re still waiting for her to get the hang of it! Wednesday Lindy had her deaf and hard of hearing teacher here. She seems really impressed with Lindy and her hearing. She was very excited to see Lindy clapping to patty cake. You can just start singing it and she starts clapping. Because we aren't clapping, just talking, she is obviously hearing us. She hears us and understands it and knows to clap! Very exciting!

Thursday was a long, long day with 5 appointments. I think I scheduled them all on one day back when gas was $4 a gallon. I need to remind myself not to do that again. It started off with a hearing check up for Will. He did great and passed with flying colors. For now he’s been cleared of any hearing issues from being premature. The pediatrician will do hearing checks on him when he’s older.

The next appointment turned out to be very disappointing. Both babies had swallow studies and we were very hopeful that one (or both) of them would get off the thickener. Neither did and in fact Lindy took a step backwards. The good news was that both babies were fine on the purees and solid foods. This is actually a step forward for Lindy. 3 months ago she was penetrating (not full-on aspirating but letting a little bit go into the upper part of her airway) the purees. Both babies have currently been on what they call nectar consistency. Actually I think I usually make Will’s a little thinner and Lindy’s a little thicker than nectar. We tried Will with the bottle and he did fine with that. Then we tried him with the straw sippy cup and he was aspirating like crazy. It went down past his vocal cords which is pretty serious aspiration. We were shocked. So many people have told us that kids usually do much better with the straw than a bottle. We tried him at the regular nectar consistency (a little thicker than I had been making it) and he did fine with the straw. Miss Lindy, well who knows what she was doing. We tried her on what I usually give her and she clearly aspirated it. The next step is going to a honey consistency (which she had been on for awhile but 3 months ago had improved to nectar). She was actually penetrating the honey a little bit. She basically completely regressed. Instead of getting either off the thickener we are making both thicker. I really was very disappointed. I went with really high hopes and came out with them dashed. We go back in 4 months to see how they are doing. I’m not getting my hopes up next time.

That afternoon we went to the neonatology clinic that has been following their progress. Will weighed 20lbs 9oz and Lindy was 17lbs 6oz. Will was 29inches long and Lindy was 27 1/8 inches long. They did a developmental assessment on them since it was around their one year adjusted birthday and Will is pretty much right on target with his adjusted age. Lindy, well Lindy is nowhere near being on target with her adjusted age. This isn’t news to us. We know she is delayed; we don’t need anyone to tell us. But we are consistently seeing Lindy do new things and we know she is progressing, it’s just at her own rate. I don’t think it’s fair to put her on some kind of time table since kids with vision and hearing losses are known to develop late. As long as we see her move forward then we’re happy.

We ended the week with Lindy having a physical therapy appointment on Friday. Although she is very pleased with Lindy we are going to move her from every other month appointments to monthly appointments. She is on the cusp of some big movements so we are going to give her a little extra help with those. The best news of the week is that so far no one feels any cerebral palsy in either of them. We are getting closer to being out of the woods on that front.

We ended our week with a trip to Raleigh for what we termed the baby tour. Friday we visited a friend of mine from college, Nicole, and her new baby girl, Madison. So sweet! I’m sure Madison does not want me to come back as I accidentally knocked her head with Lindy’s. She cried so hard and I felt so guilty! That evening we spent the night with my best friend Carrie. Her 3 year old, Anna, loved the babies. Saturday afternoon we got to see 3 more new babies. Drew’s two roommates from divinity school have both had babies recently. Todd and Amy had twin daughters, Atha and Nora, in August and Kris and Katie had baby Claire in September. And of course we saw Claire’s big brother Micah. It was fun to see all the little ones. It’s hard to remember when ours were that small and it wasn’t that long ago.

The babies (well maybe Drew and I) are trying to catch our breaths from all the running around. The babies (well maybe Drew and I) were pretty tired this morning and not in great moods. Good naps today are helping them catch up on their sleep. Have a great week!

Property of Mom Forever (Remember this ladies)

Lindy has been wearing some hair barettes this week. They look pretty cute. Until Will comes over and takes them out. He has also discovered her hearing aides. I've caught him pulling them out of her ears. She doesn't need any more help in that department.

One of my new favorite outfits!
So sweet.
This was Thursday morning before the long day of appointments. No one was smiling when we walked in the door that evening!
Thre is a lot of clapping going on these days in our house.
A funny picture of Lindy getting Will. It's usually the other way around!
Will never has any interest in this toy until I sit Lindy in front of it. Then he takes over.
Nicole and baby Madison (after she stopped crying!).
Lindy, Anna, and Will
The Hope Valley Road gang and their offspring. That's a whole lot of baby in that picture! Our get togethers have drastically changed!
Me and Claire, Drew and Lindy, Todd and Nora, Amy and Atha, Kris and Micah and Will
Lindy and her new girl friends. Funny to think she is the biggest and oldest! Claire, Lindy, Nora, and Atha.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Lindy and Will!!

If Lindy, Will, and Adam had made it to our original due date, November 10, 2007, then today would have been their first birthday! But we didn't make it anywhere close to our original due date. We celebrated their real first birthday back in July!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Enjoying the Fall Colors and Leaves

While Drew and I were having a great time in Florida last weekend, the babies got to spend time with all their grandparents. My parents, Nana and Papa, came on Thursday night and watched them Friday until Sunday. Grandbob and Suzette came up on Saturday to see them too. Papa went with Grandbob to the Wake football game and Suzette helped Nana babysit. Then on Sunday morning Mimo and Aunt Anna came and took over watching the babies until we got home on Tuesday. Lindy stayed up a bit late a few nights but otherwise we heard they did great.

I called home on Saturday and my mom said, "Lindy's doing so well at patty cake." Excuse me? When did Lindy start to patty cake?! Even though I work on this all the time, it took a fresh face for her to start doing it. And boy is she cute when she does it. Will has been clapping but had never actually done it in response to us saying patty cake. Not to be outdone, he decided to clap to patty cake last weekend as well. We've been patty-caking a lot this week!

There hasn't been too much excitement this week. Lindy had her vision teacher here on Wednesday and that was our only appointment. Drew and I have been trying to play catch up all week from being gone for those few days. We've enjoyed a trip to Hanging Rock State park this week. Hiking over 2 miles is much more difficult with 18 pounds of baby strapped on you! But we saw some pretty leaves so it was worth it. We've been out enjoying some warm temperatures and playing in the leaves when possible this week. Next week looks a lot busier with appointments.

Hiking at Hanging Rock
Checking the view from Wolf Rock.
Checking out a turtle we saw on the trail.

A silly girl playing in the leaves in our front yard.
Will was a little freaked out by the leaves. For awhile he wouldn't touch them and he wouldn't put his left foot down. The foot up in the air was so funny. As usual he got over it and had fun playing in the leaves. And I just noticed that Lindy is trying to eat the leaves in this picture!
A cute picture of Will.
Doesn't Will look a lot bigger than Lindy in this picture? (Left foot still in the air!)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Will's One Year Homecoming Anniversary!

One year ago, November 6, 2007, we brought Will home after 100 days in the NICU. He was over 3 months old. We had been at Duke with Lindy that morning and we rushed back and went straight to the hospital. We got all the discharge stuff done and we walked out the door around 2:30pm. It felt so strange to be walking out the NICU door with him in tow! We couldn't believe we were finally bringing our first baby home. He was (and still is) such a good baby. He was the most laid back baby I had ever met. He quickly gained the nickname "Chill Will." He has gotten much more opinionated about his life in the last year but he is still a great baby.

We'll never forget the day we brought our first baby home. As happy as we were to have him home, we really missed Lindy. Especially since she was 2 hours away at Duke. The next month and a half Will spent time with either just me or just Drew as one person was always at home and one person was always in Durham with Lindy. Good thing he was a great baby! We both got crash courses in taking care of babies by ourselves.

It is hard to believe he has been home a year! What a great year it has been! For old times sake.....................

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fun in the Florida Sun

Drew and I went to Florida last weekend for a wedding and a couple extra vacation days. We had a wonderful trip. Drew performed the cermony for our friends Scott and Kelly. Would you believe that I forgot to take my camera to the wedding? It was in the beautiful courtyard of the Ringling Art Museum in Sarasota, FL. We had a great time seeing Wake Forest friends.

Sunday we went to Turtle Beach and got to kayak and just relax on the beach with Drew's friend Davis. It was the first time I've ever touched the Gulf of Mexico. We were also able to go see the white sands of Siesta Key beach. The sand is white and powdery. Very neat. Monday we went shopping and back to Siesta Key beach to watch the sunset. It was so gorgeous.

Although we hated to leave FL we were very ready to come home and see our sweet babies! We really missed them!

Drew kayaking in the Sarasota Bay

Drew and Davis, one of his roommates from Wake.
The white sands of Siesta Key Beach.
A self-portrait with the sunset.
The amazing sunset at Siesta Key Beach.

On some other websites I had seen where people had written their children's names in the sand. This website does it for babies who have passed away. I went to the beach on Monday knowing I was going to write Adam's name in the sand and try to get a pretty picture. I decided I should do Lindy and Will's names as well.