Happy New Year!!

2011.  What a year for this family.  I can honestly say this has been one of the most challenging and emotional years of my life.  I feel so blessed to have added our precious boys to our family.  They bring all of us so much joy.  Our lives have changed enormously in the course of this year and as I sit here a few minutes from midnight, I am so grateful for everything God has blessed us with this year.  I look forward to what 2012 brings. 

Happy New Year!

Maybe Next Year

So.....despite my best intentions...Bunny got sick too.  He got croup.  Thankfully, he was tough and is back to his sweet little self.  Daddy and I never fully caught anything so I am very thankful for that!

Once everyone was healthy...about 3 days before Christmas.... I was staying up late making gifts and wrapping presents.  Then my computer got sick!  I still don't have it back.  All of my editing software is on the other computer, hence the lack of posts.  Not that I took any pictures.  What is my problem?  Baby's first Christmas and I got nothing.  Seriously, not one picture.  I am a terrible mom.  I think Auntie took some when she was here so hopefully she shares.

I suspect the exhaustion from the sickness kind of killed Christmas for me this year.  I am bummed.  Fortunately we have made up for it this week.  Daddy's home for the week and we have spent lots of family time together.  Today was the big spaghetti and meatballs night.  Daddy, Boogie and Baby spent the day in the kitchen making our feast.  They did a great job and the dishes!  What a treat for me!

It's going to be very hard for me to get back into the swing of things next week.  The boys are on a fabulous sleep in and take a long afternoon nap schedule (doesn't mesh with pickup and drop off. boo!) and I have had a partner to help me feed a baby this week.  Next week it is back to super mom again.

Bunny and I did manage to finally get his blood taken this week for his thyroid test so I now I am just waiting for the results.  I am so squeemish when it comes to blood.  I was scared out of my mind.  I pulled out of the driveway and immediately began shaking.  I did not stop until we were done.  He did great though.  I was afraid his veins would be too small and it would be traumatic but they found a good vein in his arm and it was a breeze!  He barely cried and I shielded my eyes and never saw blood.  Phew!

I promise to post more and get more stories up soon.  We never did get around to taking 9 month pictures.  Fail again! Now it seems silly to do it because they are practically 10 months.  I think I got a few pictures of them this month so I will just have to choose one as an official 9 month picture.

Until next year...


On Hold

Sadly our 9 month pictures and updates are on hold while we try to get healthy.  A nasty something or other has been beating us down this week! 

Boogie had a cough last week but she never got a fever.  I finally kept her home on Friday because she had been up all night coughing but she seemed okay otherwise.  Then Baby started in.  First a cough then a fever and runny nose.  Baby tends to have everything go straight to her lungs so I have been whipping up home remedies right and left hoping to avoid bronchitis.  I think we licked it.  She seems almost herself today.  Very slight fever and barely a cough.  She sounds like she has a cold and I think it's adorable.

Buddy also caught it and the poor guy has been miserable. (sorry for the crappy camera phone shot)  Fever, slight coughing and major runny nose.  And he is teething...finally.  It has been a hard week for him.  My independent boy has been quite clingy.  He even skipped breakfast yesterday and we know that is not normal behavior for Mr Piggy.

Bunny has avoided it so far but he is making me nervous today.  He has been happy and charming all week being a very good sport and playing by himself while I try to play nurse to everyone.  Today he doesn't havee a fever but he is grumpier than normal and he sounds congested.  I'm praying he can get rid of it quickly because I don't want it to get out of hand and us to end up in the hospital. 

I have been able to stay somewhat healthy all week.  I have been drinking a concoction of Green Tea, Bragg's apple cider vinegar, raw honey and cayenne pepper and every time I start to feel congestion it wards it off.  I feel pretty bad today but I think it's because I did not get a good nights sleep.  I was jumping out of bed every time Buddy made a noise and finally ended up letting him sleep with us.  I seriously cannot afford to be sick.  Being healthy is important with 4 kids and ultra important when they are sick!

Hopefully, we can all get it out of our system before Christmas!


9 Month Appointment

Today was our first appointment with our new doctor.  I was up late last night stressing and writing my lists of questions and googling to make sure I had all the right questions.

This morning was a whirlwind.  I knew I had scheduled our appointment optimistically early for our 40 minute drive but  I didn't think it would be a big deal.  And it probably wouldn't have been too bad except that I remembered in my 30 minute window between dropping off Boogie at school and leaving for the appointment that Daddy had mentioned yesterday that we were out of espresso.  Didn't this just happen to me a few months ago and I swore it would never happen again?

I tried to leave early and hit a Starbucks drive through but the 2 on the way were too busy for my tight schedule.  So I went in uncaffeinated and haggard.

BUT I LOVE our new doctor so far.  He is organized and competent and he listens and he doesn't try to tell me what to do.  I told him my children don't get the flu shot and he said "okay" and not "you are going to bad parent hell!"(my old Dr didn't actually say that but I'm pretty sure she thought it).  The issues he didn't know about he said he would look into.  I believe him too.

Buddy is doing great.  The best news of the day was when the Dr said he sees NO HYPERTONIA.  You can't even imagine how happy that made me.  I'm actually tearing up as I type this because I have worried about him for so long.  I know that he used to be stiff so I don't know if it was the baby yoga or he just grew out of it (yoga is my guess) but I am so relieved.

When Bunny had his evaluation, his social worker commented that Buddy still holds his hands in a fist at times and he STILL isn't crawling with his belly off the floor but the Dr says he is perfectly fine and that he is just excitable and is probably faster on his tummy. (and more comfortable because we have hard floors).  He is not worried at all.

And just because we were talking about it Buddy crawled to me with his belly off the floor tonight.  He has been pushing things around while on his knees the last few days so maybe something clicked.  Oh yay...now he will be even faster.

My main issue for Bunny was to get his thyroid test.  Babies with down syndrome are supposed to get a thyroid check at birth, 6 months and a year and then every year after that.  I read that before his 6 month appointment and then the dr argued with me that he didn't need it and said she would look into it.  Obviously she never did because I never got a call and it is standard protocol.  You can see why I changed doctors.

We are going for the blood work on Wednesday.  I am not excited.  I am a baby when it comes to blood and add to that my tendency to cry when my babies get shots and I know it is going to be an ordeal.  But we need to get it done.

Bunny has had that annoying rash on his face for weeks and I have driven myself crazy trying to find the reason.  He says it is just a "down syndrome rash".  He says it does not look like an allergy to him and to not worry about cutting more things out.  He also told me a few more things to try.  Hopefully we can get him cleared up!

We also got our OT referral and will be getting an audiology referral.  Bunny passed his hearing test in the hospital but they like to stay on top of it because a decline in hearing could mean fluid is trapped in his ears which is a very common thing because  babies with down syndrome typically have teeny tiny ear canals.  If he can't hear he can have a speech delay so we need to be vigilant.

Overall he said he looks great and is in perfect health.

Both boys had a nice big weight gain.  Buddy is in the 50% for height and 30% for weight (up from 10-25).  His head circ is 60%.  I told the dr that he is growing into his Swedish head nicely and he should be at 90% at the next visit like his sisters.

Even little Bunny who is below 1% for height and weight (but still hanging onto the typical chart for dear life) has a head circ of 15%.  You just can't keep a Swedish head down.

I have to say, the older the boys get the trickier these well baby visits get.  By the time the Dr came in the room Buddy had the paper on the bench torn to shreds.  I held him and sat on the bench while I talked to the Dr and Bunny was on his back next to me.  5 minutes in he decided to flip over and nearly gave the Dr a heart attack.  I know he is not going to flip off the bench but he sure didn't!  Once he was on his belly he kept trying to eat the shreds Buddy had created for him.  Then while the Dr was examining Bunny, Buddy was screeching at him trying to get his attention because he was so jealous.  Oh and Baby was there too.  Quite a zoo.  I'm glad we only have to do this every few months.

Pictures and updates later this week!


The AG

We have a theory in my family on my dad's side that we all possess the "annoying gene".  I believe my Aunt R is the one that discovered/named it but we all agree that we seem to possess an innate need to annoy/pick at people.  In a playful way of course.  In fact, my dad prefers to call it the "playful gene". 

The gene makes us want to come up behind someone and tap behind their knees so their legs turn to jello or tickle them when they least suspect it.  We just can't help ourselves and I'm afraid I got a double dose.

Boogie has become quite aware and self conscious this year at school.  She has told me that she will no longer wear her hot pink coat I bought her last year because it makes her stick out (They wear uniforms).  She wants me to get her a new plain jacket.  (This actually breaks my heart because she looks like a big adorable valentine in her pink jacket.)

Everyday at drop off, the minute we enter the parking lot she tells me to turn off the music.  If Baby and I are arguing she tells us to be quiet.  She does not want any embarrassment when they open the door for her.  Well, I just can't help myself and I have started to tease her when we get in the parking lot.  I say "Baby!  Let's warm up our voices.  Me me me me me me me me meeeeeeeeeeeeeee"  Baby has quickly caught on and joins right in.  Boogie immediately freaks and screeches for us to be quiet.

I know it's the good ol A.G and I just can't fight it.  My child self would be so disappointed in me.  That would have horrified me as a child as well. 

I'm sure in 20 years or so Boogie will be doing it to her kids at their drop off.  She has a big dose of AG in her DNA.  I'm sure my own mom will get quite a kick out of this.  The story will sound all to familiar.


Bunny Update

I don't want to say too much about Bunny because his 9 month update is coming up but he did have his 6 month Early Start evaluation last week and I wanted to update his fans.

I am happy to say that he will start occupational therapy as soon as we get a referral from his new doctor.  I was hoping for more therapies so this makes me happy.  I do as much as I can with him but I feel like I need more direction.
I have heard that evaluations are hard but for this one was not too bad for me.  He is a few months behind in gross and fine motor but I am well aware of that.  I think having twins I have a unique perspective because every minute of every day I am faced with the reality that he is behind a typical almost 9 month old.  I am never caught of guard with this information.  It's just the way it is. 

I was so pleased that he scored higher than his age in the cognitive area.  If that is going to be his strength I am A-ok with that.  He will be able to figure out solutions to his gross and fine motor struggles.

I really wanted help with feeding.  He eats mostly the same thing as Buddy but I am more careful of chunky textures with him because he is not practicing chewing like Buddy does.  I just want direction because it is important to me (obviously) that he learns to be a good eater and I want to make sure I do everything I can now to help him.  Feeding issues aren't covered by Early Start but it can fall under occupational therapy along with gross and fine motor so it seems like a good fit.
We recently switched insurance so we now get a few sessions covered by insurance which is nice but we have to get a referral first.  I recently switched the kid's doctor because I wasn't comfortable with the way our old doctor was handling Bunny's needs so the poor new doctor is going to get barraged with questions and referral requests at the boy's 9 month appointment.  I might as well come in with guns blazing and get a reputation for myself right?

Personally, I think what he needs is a little more love.  You can tell he gets none of that around here.


Time is Flying

People keep reminding me that it has been a long time since I posted.  I know and I do have things to say I just don't have enough time to write them down coherently.  We had a schedule shift.

Part of the fun of having twins is the need to be flexible and change up schedules when something isn't working anymore.  I felt like all I was doing for a few months was feeding the boys (solids and breastfeeding) every five minutes.  Actually, I'm pretty sure I wasn't just feeling that way I actually was!  So, in the last few weeks I have been feeding them breakfast at 10 and then skipping their solids lunch and feeding them at 4:30 BEFORE I make dinner.  I was tired of being so stressed while I was making dinner because babies were yelling at me.  I give them larger portions and they seem to be just fine with this arrangement. 

It also means they go to bed earlier.  This is also nice but it means I save ALL my chores until children are asleep.  Which means I have less time at night for blogging and such.  By the time my chores are done (which includes my invoicing work) I am pooped and just want to watch tv and drool.

So the blog may be a little touch and go here for awhile.  My days are much happier on our new schedule so if I only post here and there until it shifts again then I'll just have to deal with it.

Some random facts to catch you up:

1.  Our Christmas cards were in my hot little hands by Dec 1st and yet they are sitting next to me still wrapped.  Best intentions people...

2.  In order to save money I am making lots of Christmas gifts this year.  We now have a nice large exacto knife slice in our kitchen table.  Oops!

3.  My mom has a way better phone than I do.  Hair too for that matter.  I need a haircut!!

4.  I'm obsessed with the fact that we need a water filtration system for the house.  Daddy basically told me when pigs fly.

5.  I hate being cold.  The 30's is like the Artic to me.

6.  My Christmas shopping is done.  Big fat pat on the back for that one!!

7.  I'm turning into my mother.  I now print coupons.  I actually saved her lots of money at Target yesterday! 

8.  Baby is obsessed with toe jam.  She checks the babies toes for toe jam 5 times a day. 

And on that note.....

I have a Bunny update that I will hopefully get to tonight.  I have to journey out in the frigid air to return something because I bought it online and then the next day I bought it in the store.  How is that for mom brain??