Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Language Update

Today Cameron said the word sock and bubble correctly!!!

Evan is signing the word more correctly.

Happy Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy :-)

Monday, October 12, 2009


We have been so incredibly busy with our social calendar. Add to that the regular OT, Speech, PT, Rollie Pollies, Story Time, Toddler Time at the Park and doctors appointments, and all the new development milestones the boys have been making, PLUS the dropping of the morning nap and only taking one two hour nap during the day and still not sleeping through the night and well... That's my excuse for not making more frequent posts.

As for the developmental milestones the boys are rockin' and rollin'. They walk and now they are climbing. They climb everything. EVERYTHING! (Thanks Chris, I really don't want to now what comes next because it's always an immediate self fulfilling prophecy the next day.) The boys can go up stairs, but not down yet. They can go down small slides on their own. Evan has earned the nickname "Frank" short for Frankenstein because his walk is not very fluid yet and he is very stiff legged and stumbles head first quite a lot still. Cameron is much more comfortable with movement and has become very adventurous and is super quick. They both can draw scribbles with crayons better now.

For communication Evan knows the signs for "more" and "mine" or "my turn". He can say the words Ball, dog, Daddy, Mommy, and Hat. He can shake his head when you tell him to but does not use it in the context of the word "no" yet. He is fascinated with petting the dogs and is really very gentle with them, if only they would sit still or at least slow down a great deal for him.

Cameron can say the words No while shaking his head, and is very clear when he means No. He also says the words Puppy, Dog, Ball, Hat (and will pat his head or point to the hat he wants), Mommy, Daddy, Fan, and Star. He's trying to tell us lots of stuff and has whole conversations with us, Evan, the dogs, no one in particular, but we don't speak the language and have no idea what he's saying. He shrugs and tilts his head and is very expressive when he does this too.

Cameron has about 8 teeth right now and holding. Evan has 10 teeth, two of which are molars and are the reason no one has been getting ANY sleep in the last week.

It had been so nice this last month that we needed to get out and go to the park. And just any park would not do, we needed to go to the best park in the area complete with award winning playgrounds, beautiful green hills and woods and a dog beach and a view of the river. Gotta love Quiet Waters.

On our monthly Preemie Get Together we got to meet our friends MHop, her awesome hubby and her beautiful preemie daughter Campbell who visited all the way from SC! It was so great to finally meet them in person and can't wait to see them again. Campbell was born at about the same gestational age as Cam & Ev so we have a lot in common. On our get together we went to visit the Washington DC National Zoo for the first time and had a blast. It's a great zoo and it was a perfect day. We're really looking forward to visiting the zoo again.

We got to pet our first set of goats. Practice for visiting Uncle Ray & Aunt Jenny's house.

And elephants...

Marino, my little Evan, Campbell, and Mario's dad big Evan:

All the preemie moms and their kids:

Just before we loaded up to go home both boys had a puking fit so we decided to spread out the blanket in the grass along the fence line where there was a bike path and a very busy road. The guys enjoyed waving bye bye to all the bikers, runners and cars and everyone passing by gave us big smiles, waves and a few even honked at the boys too. They do not like grass, here's an example of the typical response to grass:

Evan, where's Roar?? On my belly Mom! See?

Daddy reading our favorite book of all time Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins.

One of our favorite things to do now that we know how to crawl upstairs is to go into Mom & Dad's room and climb into Bridget's dog crate. Bridget is not crazy about this idea.

Evan getting fitted for his fancy suit:

Cameron after a long day at work:

Our newest favorite obsession are hats. Specifically the wonderful craft foam hats I found at the craft store. We have a cowboy hat, pirate hat, construction hat, safari pith helmet, and will probably get the top hat later on too. Super fun, super durable (they can be stepped on and balled up and they pop back into shape) for just a couple bucks each. My favorite thing to see them do is wander around the playroom playing with toys and an oversized hat upon their little heads. So adorable.

Even Granny Cathy gets in on the hat action:

One one of our weekends we took our first long distance trip up to PA to visit our friends Uncle Ray & Aunt Jenny, their sons and niece at the Renaissance Festival. This was a fabulous day, perfect weather, good things to see and do and really great friends to hang out with. Another perfect day!

We also spent some time trying on one of our pre-made Halloween costumes. Ready for some cuteness?

The next big event we had was getting the boys circumcised and to possibly fix their chordees and hypospadias and any inguinal hernias that might still be there. The surgeries went well but it was a very long day. We went to the hospital at 6am and got home around 3pm. Cameron went under the anesthesia in hysterics and as expected he woke up that way and took a very long time to fully wake up. His turned out to be a simple circumcision and a very minor hypospadia correction. Evan went under in a great mood and despite having more invasive procedures done to him because he had significant chordee and hypospadia he woke up in a good mood pretty quickly. The recovery over the course of the following week the boys were completely uncooperative during every diaper change, but finally at the end of the week they were feeling better and not fighting us as much.

The boys running around the surgical waiting area at 5:30am.

Daddy reading our favorite book Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins to calm us down. The boys had all the nurses wrapped around their little fingers.

Our best friend Tim and his fiance Te were getting married the following weekend after the boys surgeries and we were very anxious about the whole weekend because it would be our first time away from home over night and we would be gone two nights plus meeting a lot of people and probably not getting as much sleep as we usually do (ha!). In fact we got slightly more sleep than usual. The hotel was very nice but completely toddler UN-friendly. Within seconds the boys found the first big unsafe object, a badly mounted very large full length heavy mirror. We had to unhook it from the wall and slide it under one of the beds. Then they found the luggage cart.

MY ADVICE: If you are staying in a hotel with infants make sure you bring the sound machine you use at home to block out the random odd hotel noises, a small nightlight because you will have to get up in the middle of the night for something, and painters tape. Why painters tape? So you can tape the dresser drawers, air conditioner control panel, and other things shut without damaging the finish or paint. I wish I had heard of that tip before our trip. Also, never trust the hotel to have a pack n' play for you because they don't usually have many on hand and if the hotel is crowded you may be out of luck. It's best to bring your own pack n' play.

And then they discovered the hinge on the room door covered in grease, the heavy sliding mirrored closet doors that pinch fingers, the heavier bathroom door that swings shut quickly, the dresser drawers that are sharp edged, have sharp drawer pull handles and also pinch fingers. We had to push the desk in the corner over top of one of the night tables, setting the desk chair on top of the desk and pushing the stroller into the corner of the room just to make room for two pack n' play cribs. Then we had to unplug the phone cord, computer lan line cord, the desk lamp. Thankfully they didn't discover the mini-fridge. But they did discover the joys of big fluffy hotel beds and cartoons.

Our first big wedding event was to go to the rehearsal at the winery where the wedding would take place, and then rehearsal dinner. The day was beautiful, weather perfect, the rehearsal fun. The boys were being uber-cute and I couldn't pass up taking some shots of them on the grassy fields just beyond where the actual wedding would take place. It's quite a view and I'd like to go back for a visit again one day. Inside we let them run around and stretch their legs.

I wish I could say I took this picture of Evan but I'm just thrilled someone finally got a great shot of him. This was taken by one of the super sweet bridesmades and her great digital SLR camera.

Cameron and Evan were none too happy about being plopped on a grassy hill. Especially when it came time to try and stand up. Cameron's solution to this was to put his hands on Evan's legs and push up on Evan so that he wouldn't have to touch the grass with his hands.

We went to the rehearsal dinner and the boys were moderately well behaved and only knocked one glass over and put their feet on the table a few times. And Cameron's timing was impeccable and he had a really horrible reflux attack right as everyone started to eat their main course. Sorry Tim & Te!

This next picture is my 2nd favorite shot of the whole wedding day. First thing in the morning everyone piled in the bed having a great time. Best family moment EVER!

Unfortunately the wedding day was a little chilly and quite rainy, but superstition I have heard is that's good luck for the bride and groom. It's just nature's blessing showing them one wonderful moment of their future lives together for each drop that falls. For me it meant keeping two toddlers content enough to be quite during a ceremony. Cameron only wanted to wander out into the rain to sit in puddles while Evan was content sitting in his stroller chewing on my camera so I wasn't able to get any good shots of the wedding itself.

These are my favorite family pictures ever. I just wish our camera was better suited for quick shots and manipulating the light better. The room was big and dimmed so it turned out dark and grainy, but the shot is still the best.

These two pictures actually brought me to tears. The first is impish Evan who was signing the word more so that I could give him more lemonade from my glass to drink. He loved it, but I think it was more the novelty of flavor and drinking out of Mommy's glass. Cameron did the same thing too, but in addition to loving the lemonade out of my glass he took my fork and several times licked my steak and then licked his lips for more flavor. I burst into tears then. Because it means that they can do it, even though we've been having NO LUCK convincing the boys to eat for the last month.

The happy couple:

Recuperating and watching cartoons the next morning:

And life started to get back to normal.

We went to a 2nd birthday party for our friend JuJu who is just a few months older than Cam & Ev and we also got to meet Uncle Ray and Aunt Jenny's goats. The boys also got to try their hand at driving a Cozy Coupe.

And we visited with Mommom & Poppop:

The boys reflux seems to have ramped up and we are having a really difficult time with all the vomit and pain and eating anxiety. But they will take frequent sips of water, apple juice or drinkable yogurt out of sippy cups which is a big deal even if they won't eat at all by mouth. They are willing to experiment with flavor on their own terms and will not try anything under pressure or coercion. Typical behavior of our family.

Next Friday Oct. 23 we have the first evaluation with the feeding clinic team up at the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hosptial feeding clinic day program. This will help them determine medically, behaviorally what they will do during the program to convince the boys to eat by mouth. This first session will be for Cameron only. Then we will do Evan's evaluation the following Friday Oct. 30 for the same things. Then we will hopefully have a better idea of when they will be admitted to the six week feeding clinic boot camp. I will post more updates on this as things happen, but for now I have just been collecting their medical records.

Now that the boys are mobile it has been a nightmare to chase after them especially when they are hooked up to their feeding pumps. The only way to deal with this if you are by yourself is to have eyes on the back of your head and to stand in the middle of the playroom and drag their pump backpacks back and forth as they crisscross the room, trying to keep them from tangling the cords, from stepping on the tubes, from tripping on the tubes, and from wrapping the tubes around toys. They are not aware of the fact that they are on a leash and will continue to pull even though it hurts a little and they get very upset that they are not able to move around while on the bags. This is why we try very hard to make sure they get bolus fed when they go down for naps. They are too small and too unsteady on their feet to have them wear the backpacks with the feeding pump and milk bag in it, plus the pump and milk bag are quite heavy compared to their own body weight and would be a nightmare to keep on their little shoulders. It is super stressful and super exhausting chasing after these kids. But they get cuter and smarter every day.