Pictures, pictures everywhere. Wednesday, Jun 6 2007 

An update? What? With pictures? Are you nuts?

Here’s some pictures from Memorial Day weekend. There may be some more coming soon – Mom hasn’t gotten me the other 400 or so pictures that I took that weekend and put on her computer.

Enjoy!

In case you get confused (it’s easy when they have little hair) – this is Molly.
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This is Michael, the Serious.
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This is sibling love.
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This is Molly concentrating.
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This is Michael concentrating.
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This is Alexis. Alexis was a bigger ham that the babies.
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Here we go again! Friday, May 25 2007 

I know, I know, we’re awful. I never keep up with this thing, and I really need to. Has it really been more than 9 months since we updated? Yikes. Sorry! Okay, so let’s catch everyone up, shall we?

Alan started working in October as the manager of a local community center. He’s been preaching, oh, it seems like every Sunday, even though I know it isn’t, at churches in the area (“the area” meaning 30 minutes away for the nearest, and I think 8 hours away for the farthest, although he generally preaches in the New Orleans area, about 1.5 hours away). Any more than that, he’ll have to divulge!

Alexis finishes up school tomorrow with their awards ceremony. It’s been a long year. She hasn’t been happy at the school for a long time now (her class has serious discipline – or lack thereof – issues), and she keeps telling me that she wants to homeschool again. So, we’re looking into that. Other than that, she’s been doing a lot of hanging out with her friend, who I’m starting to think is growing an attachment at the hip. Have no doubt, this is a good thing. We love the little girl, and she’s so definitely becoming part of the family, as is her mom.

Michael is our “thinker”, as Aunt Kathleen likes to call him. He likes concentrating on things. He was my snuggler for a long time, but not so much anymore. He doesn’t kiss or hug, but if you ask for one, he’ll give you his forehead. Oh, and if he really likes you, he’ll bite your clothes. Yeah, he’s a biter, but just clothes. He doesn’t generally go for skin. He still has the most beautiful blue eyes.

Molly is our giggler. She can laugh and laugh and laugh. She’s also a monkey. And an escape artist. She’s the one who, when you hurt yourself (or she hurts you by digging in those ridiculously pointy elbows), she’ll run up and kiss you, and hug you while patting your back and saying “awww, awww.” She’s a kisser. Oh yes, she is. She’s also learning that she can pull Michael around by the back of his shirt, tackle him, and love him. Loving him looks an awful lot like Greco-Roman wrestling.

As for me, well, I’m me. I stay home a lot. But I have a wonderful husband, good friends, and I’m living in a house that I mostly grew up in. What can be so wrong with that?

I’m heading to bed. Pictures forthcoming, I promise!

Pinkly and Boo-Bear. Saturday, Jul 8 2006 

Alan’s sister gave the babies these cute little shoes, and tossed in a couple of tiny bears as lagniappe (a little something extra, for those who don’t know). They’ve turned out to be one of the toys that the babies play with most often.

Here, have a look:

Crinkle Bears

Aren’t they the cutest? They’re only a few inches tall, and flat. They’re made by the North American Bear Co., and they crinkle when you move them. The babies love they way they sound, and chew them constantly. Have I mentioned that they’re machine washable, and just keep getting softer? I figured I’d post a picture to tell everyone what wonderful little bears they are, and if you find them, they’ll make wonderful gifts for folks with new babies.

The babies love the crinkly sound. I mentioned that, didn’t I? Well, Alan’s brother and his wife gave the babies an octopus when they were born, one where each leg does something different (zips, velcros, ties, snaps, you get the idea). So one of the legs will crinkle!! It has a star on it, too.

The other day (and today too, this is why I’m thinking about it), Michael was reaching for the octopus, turning it around to try to find the crinkle. I wasn’t sure that was what he was doing, but he definitely was seeking something. When he found the star, he made it make the crinkly sound, and then looked at me and smiled. Then he reached over, grabbed Pinkly (cause see, his crinkly pancake bear is the pink one, Molly’s is the blue – they exchange from time to time, but that’s the status quo), made her crinkle, and looked at me and laughed. He held it out to me, then put it down, then made the crinkly sound with the octopus!

Okay, okay, maybe it’s one of those moments that only a Mommy can understand and enjoy… but my Buglette is learning! It’s an amazing thing.

Oh… and he started sitting from a prone position yesterday. Just poof started doing it like Molly did – only better. He’s already as good as it took her a few days to become. Of course, Molly is now crawling officially on almost just hands and knees, and we can’t keep up. She also seems to want to pull herself up to standing, but thankfully, she’s still just able to pull up to knees most of the time.

We’re in so much trouble.

A-doctoring we will go. Thursday, Jun 29 2006 

Since we haven’t really kept in touch with anyone, I figured I really needed to make a post about what’s going on medically with the babies, particularly Michael.

 First though, Molly. She’s ridiculously healthy. According to the doctors, she’s currently (as of this past Tuesday) weighing in at 18 pounds 8 ounces. I fogot to see how long she was, but I’d figure somewhere in the 26 inch area. She does have a slight bow in one of her legs, but, unlike what they made Alan do when he was a little one, they now wait until between two and three to refer babies to orthopaedists for that condition. So we’re probably not looking at something that’s going to interfere much with her walking, if at all.

 Now, Michael. Where do I start?

Starting around 2 months, I noticed some similarities in his demeanor and movement to my cousin who had severe cerebral palsy. At the babies’ four-month appointment, I mentioned to the doctor that I had noticed some definite stiffness and jerkiness in comparison to Molly, and that I noticed those similarities to my cousin. He said he trusted the mother’s instinct, noticing the stiffness himself, and referred him to a Pediatric Neurologist.

 We saw the Neuro at the beginning of June. She was really nice, funny, polite, and was great with Michael. She noticed that developmentally he seemed to be about where he should be for his age (which we knew), but that she also noticed some stiffness and jerkiness. She didn’t seem overly concerned, because I mentioned to her that had we seen her 6 weeks earlier – when we made the appointment – she’d have been looking at a different child. He’d made so much improvement over that time frame. In her words, “That’s what I like to hear – improvement.” His reflexes were great, he already had the main component in place even if he had CP (a loving a stimulating home environment) and because he seemed to be making progress, she simply referred us to a couple of other medical professionals, and said to come back in 3-4 months.

The first one was the dermatologist. Michael has a birthmark, which we love to refer to as his texture, which begins on the inside of his second toe, goes on the top of his foot, around his ankle, up the side of his calf, behind his knee, then on his thigh leading up to his oh-so-cute baby butt. Well, it turns out that this a nerve distribution line coming from the L2 or the L3 (I can’t remember which she said). Apparently, if you get a slipped disc in that area, where is birthmark follows is where the pain would be. The neurologist was terribly interested in that. The dermatologist, however, was a little less enthusiastic. According to him, the birthmark is on the nerve distribution line, but isn’t affecting the nerve – so we can’t trace any stiffness or jerkiness back to that. It’s simply an Epidermal Nevus. I’d give you a link, but everything you read online about it will scare you to death. There are tons of references to various syndromes associated with EN’s, but supposedly, none of that has any bearing on Michael’s situation. Which is good. Or it’s doctor’s dropping the ball – but I like to assume the first.

 The next person we got to see was a pediatric physical therapist. She came to the house and did an evaluation. I’m not exactly familiar with their grading scales, but Michael should have had a 39, but scored a 33 – whatever that means. Well, she said that it means that he’s still well within normal developmental ranges. At the time, he could sit up, but was very wobbly, and still very, very jerky with his arms. The PT stated that because of his size, that he could be having trouble with his balance or simply learning to hold himself, so his arm movements were suffering simply from less use. Although the neurologist wanted her to get Michael on a home program, she said it wasn’t really necessary, to just give him lots of floor time and sitting time, and play with him.

 Notice. No one has said “He doesn’t have CP.” No one has said “Oh, you’re just being a paranoid mommy, he’s fine.” This, of course, makes me a bit more paranoid, but when it comes down to it, I’m okay, and he’s okay. The reality is that even if he has CP, or any of the syndromes associated with the EN, or anything else really, it is for now a very mild problem. He is still very much on track developmentally, running just a few weeks behind Molly in most things, and right on track with her for others – and this is still well within normal ranges, because they were born so early, our ped tends to want to give them extra leeway for development even though we technically don’t use “adjusted ages”.

 Oh, I mentioned that Michael was a big boy, right? As of yesterday, he is 20 pounds 6 ounces, and 28 inches long. He’s completely off the charts – both the premie one that they were apparently using for them, and for the normal gestational age babies.

 Ah, other appointments. We had to see an audiologist to follow up on any possible hearing loss from the jaundice. All is okay on that front at the moment. I thought it would be because of possible brain damage causing interference in the signals from the ear, but apparently, the possiblity of hearing loss comes from the imbalance of sodium and potassium in their blood because, with jaundice, the kidneys don’t work as well because they are trying to process out the bilirubin. You learn something every day.

 And our appointment yesterday… Michael has an ear infection, totally out of the blue, and it’s apparently a pretty bad one. He was put on antibiotics, and the doctor wants to see him in 10 days to make sure it’s all gone (in the past with Alexis’ doctors, they generally have just said “come back if the problem continues” after they write the prescription). Because the antibiotics are so potent, and because he’s too young for yogurt, I went ahead and bought a probiotic formula to add to his food/formula every day. Hopefully we’ll be able to avoid a lot of the stomach problems and yeast problems (thrush, diaper rash, etc) that come with antibiotics. Oh yes, and both of his legs are bowed, and more severely than Molly’s, but like Molly, they won’t refer him out until near three to give him time to grow out of it unless it becomes a major hinderance to walking or crawling.

 So, here’s the rundown of medical visits to come:

  • July: Pediatrician for Michael’s ear infection – and hopefully that’ll be the end of it.
  • August: Oooh, we may have nothing in August…
  • September: Nine-month appointment for twins. Physical therapist for follow-up evaluation.
  • October: Neurologist for follow-up.
  • November: Dermatologist for follow-up
  • December: Audiologist for follow-up, Pediatrician for 1 year visit for twins.

That may be it. The audiologist wants to see Michael yet again next June as well.

And this is all for “probably nothing is wrong”. It makes my head hurt, I tell you.

So, because a picture is always better than a bunch of words, here’s my current favorite picture of the M&M’s:

 Oops! Busted!

Watermelon. Sitting. It was a big day. Monday, Jun 26 2006 

Michael and Molly both had their first taste of watemelon today. We're starting to think that they just don't like sweet things. They did great with cereals, and wonderful with veggies, but when we started feeding them fruit, something just didn't work quite right. They detested peaches, making their first (and only) head shakes of "no" to them. Applesauce, the blandest fruit there possibly could be, doesn't interest them. They'll eat it, but it has to be warm, and they prefer that it is alternated with cereal.

But surely, they must love watermelon! They're Southern babies! They must! But they didn't listen, didn't embrace their heritage, whatever. They hated it. We even caught Michael making his "ugh!" face on video.

 So then, we're hanging out in the living room, and I decided to video Molly crawling for the grandparents to see. Then suddenly, Molly decided to do a new little trick.

You're just going to have to watch the videos.