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Saturday, March 31, 2012

My week in phone pics!

Here is my week, summed up in the photos I take each day with my phone.  I'm not one of the cool kids with an iPhone, but I'm using the pixlr-o-matic app on my droid to have some fun with the pictures, an I'm loving it!

Now that the kids are feeling better, I'm back to snapping photos frivolously, so there are a lot more pictures this week!

Playing jump-out-and-peek-a-boo from the tent is hours of good fun for my sneaky little twerpies!

And, Austin getting in some snuggles with Scout.  Scout looks unexcited, but he is crazy about these moments.  I think he was a lap dog in a past life and doesn't understand why he doesn't get to curl up with us on the couch.

My new little walker and I were dancing our booties off in the kitchen.  It's sort of Daddy's thing to blast some tunes during meal times and teach the kids table manner that my grandmother would shaker her finger at.  Earlier this week, I stole a page from his book and we wiggled and giggled all over the kitchen "dance floor" to everything from Brittany Spears, to Pearl Jam to Bob Seager!

Midnight snack anyone?  After the hubby worked an unexpected 17 hour day, I made Chicken Alfredo for dinner at eleven at night, and it was delicious!

 We go to Target just to play dress up!  Happy Easter, from my little bunnies!  Normally we just play dress up and take adorable photos for Facebook in Target's Dollar Spot, but these ears were too cute to pass up and came home with us.  If I can keep them on them, they are going to make for some ADORABLE Easter pictures!

And, we walk.  Trying to keep up with my goal to take the whole gang for a walk each and every day.  Mostly, I've been failing miserably, but this week, we've made it on a record number of walks...4.

The twerpies settling in at what was there first time at  a "daycare."  Earlier this week, I came to the conclusion that I was not going to get to work out unless I had a gym that also had a daycare, so I took my too chubby butt down to the local Tennis Club to see what it was all about.  Turns out, I'm totally, madly, in love with everything but the membership dues.  They agreed to give me a 30 trial pass to make sure that I could make a routine of it with the kids and make sure the kids didn't mind being left at the daycare, since they've never been to anything like that before.  So far (three days), it's worked out really well, the daycare folks say my kids are angels (DUH!) and I love having the two hours each day to work out and getting a longgggg shower.

One very happy little boy is finally himself again.  His new trick is stomping his feet all over the house.  It makes him giggle, especially if I join in!  In the background you'll see all the things turned on their sides or upside down, which is evidence that he is finally back to his usual self!

We've been having some strange moody weather.  A bit humid, always looks like it's about to rain, and just when you think it's going to start pouring, here comes the sunshine!  Yesterday, we took advantage of the little bit of sun we got and went outside to play.  Makayla fed what little birdseed was left from our last outdoor playtime to the dog, and Austin scavenged for new rocks and twigs.

That's it for this week!  Hope you all have a nice week and a better weekend!

Friday, March 30, 2012

What We're Reading

Austin is finally feeling better and back to his usual active, destructive self, which means he has little interest in the books Makayla and I are reading, because he'd rather run the dog over with a plastic lawn mower.  But Makayla and I are still enjoying exploring our little library, and this week we're reading Five Little Ducks (Raffi Songs to Read).

This book was a hand-me-down from I-can't-remember-where and nothing I'd ever heard of before, but I grabbed it on a whim the other day and started reading it to Makayla, and she loved it.  Again, the colors are bright and bold, so they are easy for her to see and she loves to point out all the little baby ducks for me.

Well, we were happily reading it all week, then Makayla's Vision and Physical therapist came for their regular visit, and next thing I know, without them even knowing that we had the book, they are singing the words to the book with Makayla and Austin!  Now that I know the book is supposed to be read in a melody and has hand motions and everything, Makayla REALLY loves it!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ohio A Go-Go!

Ohio-bound in just over two weeks!  (You can catch up on all things Ohio, here, here and here.)

Thanks to our amazing, and generous family, the hubby will be coming with Makayla and I to Ohio, while Austin stays home in the loving care of his Auntie Jenny.  It is such a huge relief to know that Joey will be coming to Ohio, not just for the extra set of hands, but because this doctor visit may be the most important doctor visit of Makayla's little life!

Not only do we have the best family, but, the wonderful people at the Ronald McDonald Charity House have offered us a room to stay in while we are in Ohio.  They are located right across from the hospital and provide meals to the families staying with them.  The staff seems very friendly and warm, and from what I understand, a lot of the families that stay there are there to visit Dr. Hertle, so it sounds like we'll be in great hands and good company.

I've spent all week on the phone with Makayla's current doctors making sure I have all the most up to date medical records.  When Makayla was diagnosed with Nystagmus and we started visiting so many different specialists, I started a binder that has all of her medical records, including the reviews I get from her Vision and Physical therapists.  I also keep all of her doctors' business cards with contact information in the binder.

After we saw the second or third specialist, for Makayla, I realized I was having trouble keeping my doctors straight, and sometimes when they would ask all the normal health history background information, I couldn't remember who did what when the twerpies were in the NICU.  This binder keeps my sanity, and when we see new doctors, they always appreciate that I can whip out a specific page for them to copy.  This also means, that they can answer more questions right then and there on the first visit, instead of having us come back later once they've requested the relevant medical records they need, from the other doctors.  This binder has been so useful, I am considering keeping one for Austin now too, and think that any new mom should keep a record for their new baby.  You just never know when something that seems so benign, may be useful to your doctor.

I am making a mental list of all the things we need to get done in time for Ohio, and what we need to take with us.  Having Joey along will be very helpful, but, I am still a little worried about traveling with Makayla (shhh, I'm trying to play it cool with the hubby).  Makayla is a shrieker.  High pitch screams...and that's when she's HAPPY!  I hope the people on the flights done mind us too much.  We'll have a short layover in North Carolina on the way there, so the day before Makayla's appointment will be a very longggg tiring day of traveling, and I worry she won't be rested enough for all the testing the next day.

I am determined to make the best of it.  I don't expect anything will go according to plan or be easy, but we'll just roll with it and hope for the best.  Makayla is crazy about her daddy, and I'm counting on the fact that no matter how tired she is, between the two of us, we will keep her in a good mood for her visit with Dr. Hertle.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My week in phone pics

Everyday I take entirely too many pictures with my phone, mostly of the kids.  I should really use a real camera more often to get some great quality images, but the camera phone is ALWAYS there and so easy to grab before the moment passes.  The problems with the camera phone pictures, aside from their sometimes less than spectacular quality, is that except for a few facebook uploads, most go unseen or shared, until now!

With Austin being so sick lately, I have had time to snap too many pictures, but here's the few I took.

Makayla steals the show!

Austin laughing at my dance moves and Makayla being silly with her lunch

The view of this morning's sunrise from my backyard.

Friday, March 23, 2012

What We're Reading

The kids are finally into books! Well, Makayla is.  Austin is way too busy to slow down and sit with a book, but since he's been sick, he does like to curl up on my lap and have a book read to him.  I don't think this will continue once he's feeling better.

Both of their grandfathers are big readers and I feel a great deal of responsibility that I raise eager little readers.

Up until this point, books were for gnawing at, and tearing to confetti sized pieces, a sight that would probably send my father into cardiac arrest.  But in the last few weeks, something changed. 

Our thoughtful friends whom threw our baby shower asked each guest to bring a book to help start our kids library.  Everyone wrote a sweet note in the cover telling Austin and Makayla why it was their favorite book.  Since that time, I've continued to collect books for them, making sure to snag the board book copies that are much more difficult (but I assure you, not impossible) to ruin.  And just a few weeks ago, they discovered the book shelf that's been in their room since they were home from the hospital.

Now that they are interesting in books, I thought it would be fun to share what we are reading each week and why it's our favorite, or not so much.

This week's (actually, for the last several weeks) book is an undeniable classic: The Very Hungry Caterpillar. 

This is a book I remember reading with my dad.  I can't imagine anyone hasn't heard of this book before, but in case you haven't, it's a story about a little caterpillar that hatches from it's egg and eats through many fruits and other foods, counting all the way through his meals. 

The story is quite simple and a bit repetitive for my taste now, but Makayla LOVES it!  The bright, bold colors are easy for her to see, and the tiny holes where the caterpillar eat through each item are the perfect size for her little fingers to explore.  The page with the strawberries and oranges are her absolute favorite.

I can see this book being one that we continue to love and grow with for it's obvious education purposes.  No wonder it's a classic!

Reading her favorite "strawberries and oranges" page.

Showing mommy her favorite book, nad how happy it makes her

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Time for a new pediatrican...

Our twins' pediatrician isn't the warmest friendliest woman; however, I have insisted that we keep her as our twins' doctor because she is the doctor that has seen them since their time in the NICU, and because I was grateful for all the information and resources she provided me with after Makayla's was diagnosed with Nystagmus. I felt that, since the kids are so young, sugary-sweet isn't that important, right now...at least she's thorough. Well, that was before this last week.

Last weekend I noticed that my very busy little boy was a little lethargic. This kid is always going, going, going; so, when he just laid down and watched me play with Makayla, I knew something was wrong, and by Wednesday it was clear that he had caught Makayla's recent bug.

He had a nasty cough and was really congested, so we weren't surprised that he was not interested in eating or drinking, and was having trouble breathing, so we took him in to see his pediatrician, to see what we should do for him. She took a quick listen and said he had asthma and sent us home with several prescriptions to use with a nebulizer and said his appetite will return as he starts breathing better.

Getting an Albuterol breathing treatment in the ped's office 24 hours before going to the ER
The breathing treatments did help for very short periods of time, but we were told to only give it to him every six hours, so I laid with him on the couch all night, sitting upright to help him breathe, listening to him pant as his tired little body tried to sleep. His breathing scared me, but the doctor said that there was nothing more we could do but give the treatments time to work.

By morning, he still wasn't eating or drinking and he still had a dry diaper.  It seemed like his breathing had gotten worse. I called the doctors office and a nurse said that their regular pediatrician was out that day, but to come in right away. Within seconds of entering the office, they had Austin on oxygen and Albuterol, and had called 911.

Every nurse and doctor was in the office with us and before long the whole fire department and the paramedics were there too. In the middle of all the madness I tried to call my husband at work to let him know what was going on, but over the loud machines and all the people, I think all he heard was "hospital" and "ambulance" and then he hung up and text me that he was leaving work ASAP.

My sick baby in his hospital room after transferring from the ER
Once at the hospital, we learned that Austin had pneumonia and his oxygen levels were very low and his heart rate very high, and that we probably should have taken him to the ER the day before. At first I blamed myself, and I am still kicking myself for not trusting my gut the night before when I listen to him pant and cry, but I feel so let down that his pediatrician didn't spend more time listening to him. The ER doctor was immediately concerned that there was pneumonia because they could hear the crackling in his lungs...why didn't his doctor notice that? Not knowing anything about pneumonia myself, I swear I could hear that crackling that night that I laid with him on the couch.

That's ok, maybe she couldn't hear the crackling because it wasn't as bad 24 hours earlier when she saw him, or maybe he wasn't breathing deep enough for her to notice...There must be come explanation, she's normally so through...

Austin responded really well to the treatments he received in the hospital and after two long days, they sent us home just in time for the in-laws to arrive and for my dad's birthday.  With the family in town, we went out to the store to pick up some easy dinner fixes, and I bumped into our pediatrician.  She saw me first and said hello, and waved at the kids, and then went about her shopping.  I can certainly respect that no one wants to talk about work outside of work, but it seemed so cold to me that she didn't even say that she hopes he's doing better.  Admittedly, she wasn't there the day that the paramedics came, but I have a hunch that the paramedics and fire department doesn't get called all that often, so I would assume she would have heard about it the next day, especially since it was her patient....but, I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt (again), even if she didn't know about it, we had just been in to see her a few days before, why wouldn't she at least say that she hoped he was doing better, or that he looked better?  Even my OB was checking in on Austin while we were at the hospital!

So that's that.  I don't think we'll be seeing that pediatrician again.  For Austin's follow up visit, we went in to see another doctor at the practice who was there the day that he left in an ambulance.  We have seen her a handful of times before and my husband and I both liked her very much.  She is very sweet and friendly, and always asks about Makayla's Nystagmus when we see her and wants to know what her other specialty doctors think.  That's the kind of doctor I want for my children.

Austin is doing much better now (although, he did have a low grade fever again this morning).  The new pediatrician has us keeping an eye on his breathing and new fever and keeping up with the breathing treatments, but she thinks the poor little guy may have caught a new bug. *sigh*

Wordless Wednesday!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

For the birds

So far, the kids have not had much outdoor playtime.  We take them to the park, and for walks, but since Makayla is not yet walking, we haven't given them a chance to roam around in an outdoor area and get good and dirty, until yesterday.

With Makayla and Austin's friend over for the week, and the sun taunting us through the finger-paint-stained windows, I decided to lay out a large blanket for Makayla and set the kids loose on our gated, covered, patio. 

I brought out with us some small tubs of birdseed that Makayla's teachers left with us from a sensory play activity we did in the fall. 

As usual, Austin was not at all interested, but was VERY excited to be running around outside and sticking his fingers in all kinds of new messy places....giving me a near anxiety attack.   Here, Austin is mowing the obviously, heavily overgrown cement for us.  Thank you, Monkey!

Looking for goodies in the dirt.  He found what apparently is a very valuable stick.  The girls highjacked him for the stick later in the afternoon.

Makayla wiggles her little fingers in to the birdseed and swishes it around. 

Austin has a look to see what the birdseed is all about.
And that's that, there goes the birdseed! That's ok, turns out, it's almost as fun putting the birdseed back into the bin!  I hope Makayla keeps up this attitude towards cleaning up! (There's the stick again!)

 Makayla says, "Mommy, what is your foot doing in the tub of birdseed?"

Uh-oh...we don't eat birdseed!  How am I going to explain this to your mother???
Conspiring.... (He still has that stick!)


Stirring the birdseed with her magic wand.  You'll notice this is Austin's prized stick from his backyard exploration expedition.

 Makayla had so much fun with the birdseed!

And some birdseed that Makayla threw in Austin's hair.

I don't think the kids would have ever gotten bored out there.  It's not a huge space, but big enough for them to explore and get filthy doing it!  It's supposed to be raining this coming week, but I have a feeling we'll be spending a lot of time this spring and summer on that patio.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Look out Picasso!

I am happy to report that everyone is feeling much better now (and sleeping again)! 

Since recovering from her flu/cold, Makayla is working diligently to master the art of  temper tantrums.  And she's doing a beautiful job!  She certainly takes after her mother with that stubborn streak (did I just type that out loud?!).  Everything seems to be a trigger, from not getting her food first, to Austin tripping and falling too close (but not even touching) to her.

Austin however, is not big on tantrums.  Instead, he has learned how to get around some of the baby gates in our house.  Admittedly, the gates are not drilled into the wall, because we have some VERY wide entry ways and awkward angles that make babyproofing this home a nightmare, and Austin is going to use it to his advantage!  It seems that some of Austin's recent bumps to the head (he also takes after his mother, and frequently breaks his falls with his face (we just discovered this kid already has a chipped tooth!)) may have concussed him into forgetting what it means when mommy says, "No Austin, no, no!"  I give him my best, "I mean business" glare and head shake, he smirks and giggles....and off he goes.  Ugh...isn't that cute, but it is, but it's NOT!

With all this chaos, I'm excited that we have one of their friends with us for the next couple of weeks.  She is a total angel and seems to help mellow Makayla and Austin.  To all those parents I've heard say that having an even number of kids is best, I may have to disagree.  Having a third wheels seems to help diffuse some of the fighting.  I'm hoping she can teach them a thing or two, but if she picks anything up for Makayla and Austin, I'm going to swear to her mother that it wasn't from us!

Since having another little one around keeps us home more than normal, I decided to try something new today to help with the boredom blues.

I picked up some washable Crayola finger paints.  These were super affordable, even without a coupon.  Just $4.99 at my local Target.  And I put three colors in each of three zip lock baggies.

And I tapped the baggies to the window.  Before I could even get them up, Austin was eager to check them out! (Please pay no attention to the Dennis the Menace hair)

All fun and no mess! And totally safe for 15-month old's who LOVE to put their hands in their mouths!

Makayla enjoined this the most.  Singing and talking as she smushed the colors around, long after the other two lost interest.  We kept the baggies up and I'm hoping they'll keep playing with them after they wake from their naps, and maybe tomorrow.  There is almost no air in the bags, so they paint should me fun to play with for a few days.