Friday, December 14, 2012

Developmental Clinic, Hearing test, and Neurologist visit


Weight Check

William – 23lbs 2oz
Aaron – 22lbs 6oz

We've had three fairly significant appointments in the past two weeks, so I thought I’d post about those now rather than waiting until the end of the month.  We will be super busy with Christmas and getting ready to move!

Developmental Clinic

We have been to developmental clinic several times now, but this is the first time we've done the Bayley Scale of Infant development.  The boys were exactly 14 months adjusted the day of the test, so ideally they would score at 14 months for each category.  They were visited by the occupational therapist, speech therapist, and physical therapist, and asked to do a bunch of activities like stacking blocks, point to certain items, and color with a crayon.  Stephen was with Aaron during his testing, so I’m not sure exactly how he reacted.  I was with William, who was being a little stinker the whole time.  First of all, they undress the boys and sit them in a highchair in their diapers, which is completely unnatural for them.  With William, they started by putting a bunch of toys on the highchair tray and asked him to pick up the baby, spoon, cup, ball, or book.  He was first asked to pick up the book, and instead picked up the cup and ball, and was fixated on showing the therapist that he can put the ball in and out of the cup.  Then, when the next therapist came in and showed him a book with pictures, he was asked to point at a picture of a book – he immediately looked at the book they had taken from his highchair and placed on the table, but wouldn't point at the picture of the book she was holding…I’m surprised he scored as high as he did with his lack of cooperation, but almost everything they asked him I KNOW he can do at home.  Because of this, I take the results with a grain (or ten) of salt.  The only score that I completely do not agree with is Aaron’s expressive language – he does say mama and dada, and a few animal sounds (and since the appointment he has been saying bye bye and hi), but he was scored at an age that isn't supposed to be saying any words at all.  So they got that one wrong.  However, we do agree that he could benefit from speech therapy, which we've already discussed with our early intervention program. He’ll be evaluated when we move to Hanover and start in their program.  We will also have Hanover evaluate William for speech and occupational therapy based on these results, as it’s better to be proactive, but I’m not 100% sure they’re needed.  After that test, I’m not completely sold on the value of the developmental clinic since they only see the boys for 15 minutes every few months – they surely can’t know my kids and everything they can do.  The early intervention program seems to be much better for that purpose for us.

Here are the results:

Cognitive: William – 12 months, Aaron - 14 months
Fine Motor:  William – 13 months, Aaron - 15 months
Gross Motor:  William – 14 months, Aaron - 14 months
Receptive Language:  William – 14 months, Aaron - 16 months
Expressive Language:  William – 12 months, Aaron – 8 months

Hearing Test

Because they were born so early and had the brain bleeds, the boys are at risk for progressive hearing loss.  As a result, we were expected to follow up with the audiologist every 6 months or so until they turn 3.  The guidelines have changed, however – they just need to pass one diagnostic test and one follow-up before they are 2.  The boys have now PASSED the diagnostic test and two follow-up visits, so they are good to go.  We will still see the ENT because of Aaron’s tubes, but have crossed the audiologist off of our list.  (Yay)

Neurologist

I am a huge fan of our neurologist.  From day one, he has given the most realistic and grounded insight and advice regarding the boys' brains and potential future delays (or, in our case, probable lack of future delays J ).  It is his job, of course.  Based on the boys' activity and reflexes he saw in his office – standing, walking, playing, talking, he sees no real potential for future disabilities due to the brain bleeds.  He will see them one more time when they turn 2, and then we should be able to remove him from our list as well.  They may still have some issues with more of the fine motor dexterity based on the location of the brain damage – may not be future piano concerto players – but only time will tell. 

William and Aaron continue to be happy, loving, playful little boys who seek attention and affection.   We couldn't ask for anything better this Christmas!

William & Aaron

Thursday, November 29, 2012

17 Months!

We have several big appointments coming up in December, but there were a few to report this month as well.  I thought all of the appointments would have thinned by now, but no such luck!

Dentist
We brought the boys to their first dentist appointment this month.  We started taking Anna around 2.5 (excluding the time she knocked out a baby tooth!), but I read somewhere that the recommendation with preemies is one, or as soon as they have teeth.  William now has 5 teeth and 2 more coming in, and Aaron still has 4.  One of the concerns with preemies is a high palate due to intubation, but both boys seemed to be "normal," which is good.  William's enamel is thin, so the dentist did comment that he may more easily chip a tooth, but that's common with little boys.  He is also about 2 months ahead of Aaron in tooth development, so we'll get a preview of Aaron's mouth through William.  I am already budgeting for braces in my head, as at least one of the three should need them given my history.

Early Intervention Assessment
No more physical therapy for Aaron!  When he first started walking, one foot would slightly turn in and the other out.  This seems to have corrected itself with time and the little man is now actually running.  He is also wearing his glasses fairly regularly, finally.  Because he is still lacking in the word department, we will have him evaluated for speech therapy when we move to Hanover.  Since the appointment, he has started to repeat sounds more and I'm pretty sure he's saying "bye bye" and that he has said "woof woof".

William is walking more, but he does still qualify for physical therapy.  His walking is not yet as fluid as Aaron's.  He can go straight from crawling to standing and walking, and stop and pick up toys, he's just stiffer in the legs and I feel like he still holds his legs in a wider stance than desired.  Nothing to worry about, though.  He is really starting to repeat things back to us, which is fun, like "Night Night".  Super cute.  The coordinator is still concerned about his right eye crossing at times.  The next eye doctor appointment is in March, so we'll make sure it's looked at then.

Synagis
We were approved for another season of the RSV vaccine, Synagis.  I feel incredibly fortunate for this, although it does mean a painful monthly set of 2 shots which really breaks my heart for the boys.  I did discover the healing power of the lollipop at the appointment though, which helped to put those pieces back together :)

Urologist
William had an extra follow-up from his circumcision and all is well.  This isn't really noteworthy, just another appointment to cross off the list, and another doctor to hopefully remove from our repertoire for good.

The boys have been battling colds for the past few weeks thanks to the sudden leap into winter, which are hopefully on their way out.  We may be absent from church until spring if this continues, as the nursery has a no runny nose policy. I'm a fan of the policy, but it does limit our participation.

Everything is moving forward with our new house - we close NEXT WEEK (still can't believe it) and will move in January, after the holidays and painting and carpeting.

Next month:  We have hearing tests, developmental clinic, neurologist, and more shots.  I'm very curious and slightly nervous as to what each appointment will bring.

Pictures

William

William walking

Aaron & William

Aaron

Aaron running


Friday, November 2, 2012

16 Months :)

We've been busy!

The boys are now BOTH WALKING!  Look out, world!  Aaron is off and running.  William is getting there - he's not covering long distances yet, but he thinks he can do it and gets frustrated when he falls.  He's been watching Aaron for over a month and has a good model :)  Aaron can walk, pause to bend down and pick up a toy, and keep rolling.

Their vocabularies are still about the same as last month, but they do babble a lot, are making more sounds, and communicate when they want something or are tired.  William will sometimes sign "more" to me while he's eating, which is fun.  We're doing the usual baby sign because it's what we do, not because we think they'll have any difficulty speaking in the future.  Anna is especially enjoying the sign language, and it's a good thing I remember a lot of words from high school because she's picking it up well and wants to know more.

The boys love music and any musical toys, and now partake in our dance parties with Anna.  When I sing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" with the hand motions, William will do the "twinkle" hand motion and open and close his fingers, and will keep continue with his cute version of singing after I stop, wanting more.  Again, super fun.

Aaron's glasses finally arrived.  He is super cute in them...but won't wear them unless his hands are completely restrained so that he can't pull them off.  Several people have asked why I didn't go with the Miraflex - while they are (somewhat) cute and I know they are virtually indestructible, I think the strap on the back would just give William something else to grab and yank.  I opted instead for the Nickelodeon brand with the flexible frames and cables that wrap around the ear.  If anyone has any tips as to how to get him used to the frames, please send them to me!

The boys definitely have their own personalities.  William is more excitable and either shrieking with laughter or screaming because he doesn't have what he wants ... Aaron is usually very happy go lucky and laid back - when he cries his whole face drops and he looks like someone just stole his best friend :)  I love, love, love to just sit and watch them play with each other.  They already are learning how to share with (and steal from) each other while playing, and can make each other laugh just by looking at each other.

In other news, we put our house on the market near the end of September and had an offer that couldn't be refused in just over a month.  My goal was to move before Anna starts Kindergarten next September, in anticipation of a long ride on the market, but we were very lucky!  We have found a home in a nice neighborhood in Hanover on a beautiful lot  and plan to be settled there early next year.  If any of your kids will be attending RPES next fall, let me know so that we can arrange a play date :)

Pictures!

Aaron, William, Anna

William and Aaron...I just think this is funny
Aaron's glasses!
William & Aaron
William the turtle
Aaron the turtle
The pictures below were actually taken at the end of August, but I have neglected to share them.  We responded to a request for a 4 year-old girl to model for a fall ad for Hildebrandt Photography in Ashland, and she decided to use the boys as well.   Very nice pictures :)

Anna, Aaron, William
William, Aaron
Aaron, William
Anna





Monday, October 1, 2012

15 Months!

Weight Check
William - 22lbs 8oz
Aaron - 23lbs 4oz

The little guy has overtaken William in weight and is off to the races!  Well, almost...

The boys will be one year adjusted on Friday of this week - their due date was October 5th.  Yay!  They were baptized today, which was awesome, and I was happy to have our family and friends there to celebrate - as well those special people in the congregation who have been supporting us and praying for us over the past year and three months.

Medical updates:  The boys were circumcised this month and Aaron had tubes put in.  They both had the follow-up eye exam - William is still farsighted, Aaron is still nearsighted, and still only Aaron needs glasses.  His eyes are almost as bad as mine were before I had Lasik.  I do have the prescription now but still need to find a good place to bring him - which takes our insurance -  to get the frames.  Miraflex are supposed to be pretty much unbreakable, but I don't really like the look, and they were the only brand available at our eye doctor.

The boys have both been released from the pulmonologist, which is great.  We do have everything started to get the Synagis shot (RSV vaccine) next month, and hope to not need the lung doctor again.

Developmental updates:

William continues to cruise around furniture, and is finally able to go from crawling to sitting.  He was just going from crawling to kneeling, which was a minor concern.  I feel like he'll be taking steps within the next month or two.  He has the larger vocabulary of the two, and now also says Hi, Bye, and Boom.  He's started to put things together well, like putting toy balls in a whole in one of his toys to make the ball go down the ramp.  It's really fun to see those connections being made.

Aaron is TAKING STEPS.  My little grade 4 brain bleed miracle whom we were told had a high chance of never walking, talking, etc, is close to walking.  I'm so super proud of him, and at the same time still have the urge to go back and kick those doctors for ever telling us anything negative.  (That's wrong, I know).  I know they were speaking to worst case scenarios and making sure we were prepared for anything, and I do think it makes me more appreciative of every little bit of progress the boys make.   Aaron is also babbling more, but not yet saying identifiable words other than Mama and Dada.  They both are great eaters, and we are currently weaning them off of the Enfacare and on to whole milk.

Instead of pictures, here's a video taken about a week ago - it's probably about 3 minutes and 14 seconds of boredom for most people, but does show how far they've come :)  Ignore me talking in the background!  Aaron is the first one in the video, and on the left when they play at the table.  William pushes the table across the floor, and Aaron walks along the couch, then crawls to me - you will see him take a little unassisted step at the very end of the video, from the couch to the little ottoman.  It was taken with my cell phone, so the quality isn't great...but it's still my favorite video of the boys so far :)


video






Thursday, August 30, 2012

14 Months!

The boys are 14 months as of earlier this week!  They are still amazing little boys :)  They should be close to 22 pounds now, but we haven't had their weights checked in about a month.

They continue to become more and more mobile - both are cruising along furniture with ease, and will let go for a second and stand on their own.  Aaron is super close to walking by himself - he likes walking with the push toys across the room, and seems to have a good sense of balance.  William is getting there, he's just always been a little behind Aaron in movement.

They still babble a lot, and say Mama and Daddy, and possibly a Grammee and Grandma and Anna...but it's hard to tell if they really mean what they sound like :)  I'm waiting for the speech to pick up more - they are on track, though.

They have their own little personalities.  Aaron is super, super cute - he makes the funniest faces and has the cutest grin.  He's more laid back and pretty much takes everything in stride.  William is the pretty boy, and acts like a puppy :)  He's very vocal when he wants something or isn't happy.  He's also more of the mama's boy, for now at least.  They love to make each other laugh, which is the best sound ever, and enjoy doing things like head butting each other for entertainment.  Silly boys.  

We had developmental clinic at the beginning of the month.  Both measure at their adjusted age, with William slightly ahead of Aaron due to the better fine motor skills (he has a better pincer grasp than Aaron, who still does a lot of the raking motion when picking up small items).  Aaron has better control of his overall upper body, though.  Both of William's legs are still slightly tight, and his trunk, so we have stretches to do at home to help with rotation.  The tightness in his trunk is keeping him from moving from a crawling to sitting position, but he has learned to go from crawling to a kneeling position on his own.  It'll come with time.  

Aaron is tighter in his left leg, which we need to stretch so that he can stay symmetrical.  With the tightness just on one side, there's a chance that the other leg can get longer.  Also, because he's stronger on his right side, his left foot tends to turn out and his right foot turns in (so they're parallel to each other, just not facing straight out).  This may/should start to correct itself as he gets older and walking, and I've found it to be better since the clinic noted it at the beginning of the month.

We do have a few visits in September - Aaron, and possibly William, should be getting glasses on the 10th.  Aaron is also getting tubes that week, because he has had a few ear infections this year, and we were able to arrange the circumcisions at the same time as the tubes so that Aaron only has to undergo anesthesia once. 


So, we still have some things to work on and continue to have a barely manageable load of doctors' appointments between all three kids, but really...who could ask for anything better?  We are so, so lucky that the boys are doing this well, and I know it makes me appreciate the quality time I have with them that much more.

Now that the boys are no longer under quarantine, we've been able to attend a lot of family functions this summer, which has been nice. I'm looking forward to next summer when the boys are running around and we're able to do even more :)  

A couple of pictures

William & Aaron

Aaron & William

Aaron


Monday, July 30, 2012

13 Months

Size
They were both just over 21 pounds, and about 28.5 inches at their one year check-up in early July, with Aaron now slightly ahead of William in weight and length

General updates

The boys are now 13 months – they’ll be 10 months adjusted this weekend.  They are doing GREAT.  They are both standing up and cruising along furniture and toys.  They babble and make lots of fun noises, including “mama” and “dada” (although I'm not sure if they really mean "mama" and "dada" yet).  William will sometimes repeat what you say to him, and he is very, very vocal when he wants something.  If you have any type of food or drink he gets very excited and screams at you – you better give him some J  William is more vocal at home, but Aaron tends to be more talkative around other people.  We're still waiting for more real words, which will hopefully start to come soon.  Both are very social, and Aaron is definitely the little flirt with his sweet grin. 

We took them to the Children’s Museum in Short Pump this weekend with friends, to crawl around in the baby area, and they both are unafraid to go over to other kids and adults and seek attention.  Aaron had the first tooth and now has the other bottom one coming in, but William now has more – all four front teeth started coming in at once.  Aaron has started clapping now as well (William has been doing this for a while) – and when you sing “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” – he claps!  They’re fun babies!  They love peek-a-boo, they love to laugh, they love to eat, and they love attention.

Health updates

Both boys had ear infections at their one year check-up, but were showing no symptoms.  William’s went away, but Aaron has pretty much had one since March, so we have a consult for tubes for him in August.  It would be nice to be able to schedule the tubes and circumcision together (have both heads worked on at once...he he) since both require anesthesia, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible.  Anna has had two sets of tubes now and we know how much they have helped her, so I’m not worried about the tubes. Other than that, they have both been healthy.  

Our early interventionist seems to be concerned about William's eyes turning in sometimes...the boys have an eye doctor appointment in September, so we'll see what he says at that time.  At the last appointment, William's eyes were great and Aaron needed glasses.  They'd both be cute in glasses :)

We have the developmental clinic at St. Mary’s on Wednesday, and I’m curious as to what they will think.  Everything seems to be right on track with no issues – hopefully they will say the same.

Pictures
Aaron ...are you looking at ME?

William

Anna

Aaron & William...they won't look at the camera at the same time!

Aaron & William

Aaron

Aaron & William...trying to break into the play room

Aaron found a girlfriend at the Children's Museum

Aaron & William

Grandpa giving William away to a bear

Aaron ... Birthday Cake!

William.. Yummy!

William stealing Aaron's cake, after he devoured his own :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Birthday Boys!

Weight Check
Still just under 21lbs :)

The boys turn 1 tomorrow!  I can't believe it!  I thought about reflecting back on the events from one year ago tomorrow that have led us to today...and decided not to go there :)  (It's all in this blog anyway)  Here's where they are today:

William

  • Crawls on all fours
  • Pulls to standing
  • Cruises on furniture a few steps
  • Claps
  • Waves bye bye (sometimes)
  • Says "Da Da"
  • Eats baby foods and cut up soft foods like a champ, and prefers to feed himself
Aaron
  • Crawls on all fours
  • Pulls to standing with frequency and ease
  • Cruises on furniture a few steps
  • Attempts to climb stairs
  • Says "Ma Ma"
  • Can go from floor to sitting position by himself
  • Eats baby foods and cut up soft foods like a champ, will also willingly eat FROM the spoon (unlike his brother, who tries to attack/eat the spoon)
  • Cutting his first tooth!
Appointments from this month:
  • Audiologist:  Hearing tests passed!  It was also incredibly cool to see conditioning at work - with the hearing test used on Aaron, a toy animal clapped cymbals whenever the audiologist spoke.  This trains the child to look at the toy whenever he hears a noise - there is a different toy in each direction, but with children so young they become conditioned to only look at the first toy.  William tolerated the ear buds, so his test was different.  Stephen sat with him on that one, so I'm not exactly sure how it worked.
  • Neurologist:  Everything looks good! (okay, Aaron still has a Babinski sign on his left, but whatever...it doesn't matter even if it doesn't go away, he's perfect and mobile, and sometimes they can be present until age 2.  At the last appointment, we were told to expect another MRI for Aaron, but we decided that it's not needed or desired at this point.)
  • Pulmonologist:  Lungs look good, except they were getting over colds during their visit and therefore left with a round of antibiotics, pulmicort, and albuterol to be safe.  We also want to make sure that we have as much documentation available as possible to support the Synagis shot (RSV vaccine) this fall, which can be hard to clear with insurance and incredibly expensive without it.
  • Urologist:  All clear for the little snip, which they were unable to get when they were younger (this is not up for debate)...and actually, by all clear I mean the rather ambiguous and indifferent doctor said that he "guesses" he would be comfortable doing it now, but William does have some fat pockets.  We could wait until he slims down some or move forward.  We plan on moving forward because he may not slim down until he's 5...or 12...and for his sake we're not waiting that long!  We also need to make sure the pediatrician clears them for the anesthesia, given the ASD/VSD/IVH history.
I'm so proud of my little men.  They are happy, loving, funny, fun, sweet little boys with really great temperaments...we really couldn't ask for a better outcome from their traumatic start.  We're still watching their language development and are aware of longer term issues that can be seen in preemies, but I've learned not to dwell on any of those potential risks.  We'll cross those bridges when/if we get there...for now, we're just enjoying them and everything new they're doing every day.

Pictures

Aaron

William


Aaron

William


The crawlers!



Monday, May 28, 2012

11 Months

Weight Check
Both boys - about 21 pounds

We have a creepy crawler!  Aaron has mastered the belly crawl and is ALL OVER THE PLACE.  He is super fast, and into everything.  He does get up on all fours to try to crawl, but straightens out his legs instead like he's trying to stand.  William gets up on all fours and rocks back and forth and back and forth like he's going to launch forward, but he doesn't actually move forward yet.  He rolls around pretty well to where ever he needs to be, and pivots on his belly like a clock hand.  I'm amazed by Aaron, because Anna didn't crawl until she was 9 months, and he started right around 7 months adjusted.  So proud of him :)  They can both stand when given something to balance on and hold!

We are enjoying the freedom from quarantine, and have taken the boys several places, including church, the river, and a kids festival. I hope this weekend is not an indication that the summer will be 9000 degrees every day, because I'm really enjoying being outside with all three kids.

The different personalities are definitely emerging.  William is more laid back and content to play with one toy, whereas Aaron is nonstop moving from one place to the next.  They both love attention, but Aaron is more of the flirt and wants attention all the time.  They are still both super sweet and good babies.  Everything else is proceeding as "normal" - they are eating solids, puffs, teething but no teeth yet, etc.

William met with the physiatrist again this month, and has been dismissed from his services unless needed again.  He is right on track for his adjusted age, and any tightness doesn't seem to be an issue.  Yay :)  We have a slew of appointments next month - audiologist to check hearing (preemies are at risk for progressive hearing loss), pulmonologist check up, urologist consultation for circumcision, neurologist, and lastly the pediatrician for their one year check up...

The boys will be ONE next month!  I can't believe it!

Obviously, things are going very, very well for the boys and we are beyond blessed.  I do occasionally think back to the day when we were first told that William may never walk or talk and may be severely handicapped, and then the worse day when we were told that it was more likely that Aaron would never walk or talk, etc, and I'm still coming to terms with the emotions from those days.  There are times when I want to take the babies back to the doctors who thought it would be in our best interest to utter those words, and I want to dance them in their faces as a big "You were wrong! Take that!"  I know they have to protect themselves and give parents all possible scenarios, and we've been very lucky, but I think the presentation of the news could have been different and more positive.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so very thankful for everything they did and I know they will be beyond happy for us the next time they see the boys, but still...  :)  I'll stop rambling now.  Our babies are perfect.

Funny quote from Anna:  "Mommy, what was daddy's name when he was lost, before he got married?"

Pictures
The school pictures are from March, but they were given to us very late. The bathing suit picture is from yesterday, and the standing picture from a few weeks ago.







Sunday, April 29, 2012

10 Months!

The boys are 10 months as of Friday!  They will be 7 months adjusted next Saturday.  Aside from their normal 9 month check-up at the beginning of the month, they have had NO doctor's appointments this month!  April has been Anna's month - she turned 4, and has had her own set of doctor's appointments.  She is now 42" and 38lbs - 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight.

William and Aaron are rolling all over now, and are able to sit (when placed in that position) for as long as they desire.  William does a great job getting up on all fours and rocking back and forth ...then he rolls over. Crawling is definitely forthcoming, whenever he figures it out.  Aaron scoots and rolls at will to objects all over the floor, and covers a good distance.  It's now a race as to who will crawl first!  They are both babbling and making good sounds.  We've always been able to tell their cries apart from each other, and can do the same with their babbling.  Aaron's is a little higher pitched with more "oohs," "aahs," and "gggs."  He's just starting to do more of the "bas" that William has been practicing.  William also has some "das" in there.  They're both very vocal with us, which is a good thing :)

William has an appointment with the Children's Hospital in a few weeks, and then we have the neurologist in June.  I'm enjoying the lessened appointments, and the increase in freedom.  We took the boys out of "quarantine" this month, and have been able to take them to a few small functions and out to dinner.  We are still going to be cautious - no events with smoking, for example (for those that know me, if you thought I hated smoke before...I have even more reason to stay away from it now) but overall we are looking forward to having a social life again!

Friday was also the first birthday of our NICU friend, Harper.  She was born at 24 weeks and has overcome many of the same obstacles as the boys, plus some.  She's been our preemie inspiration since the beginning, and we are so happy to see her growing so beautifully!

William and Aaron

Birthday Girl

Saturday, March 31, 2012

9 Months!

Okay, I'm a few days late on this!

Weight Check
William - 19lb 6 oz
Aaron - 18lb 14oz

As you can see, there are no issues in the weight department!  The boys are now 9 months old, and almost 6 months adjusted.  They are still short for their adjusted age, but 75th-90th percent for weight.

We do have some news this month... we'll call it super cute news.  Aaron will be getting glasses some time in the fall.  This is appropriate because he's always been our little professor :)  He is nearsighted, at -3.75 in one eye and -4 in the other.  As with full term kids, nearsightedness tends to get worse as the child grows - but should still be correctable with glasses, then contacts if he chooses, and maybe eventually Lasik when he's an adult.  The nearsightedness is not due to the ROP - the retinopathy of prematurity is completely gone for both boys (another thank you to Avastin!).  Prematurity itself can cause nearsightedness, but genes probably also play a big part because my eyesight was worse than Aaron's prior to my Lasik last month (yay!).  The eye doctor examined William last, and his first remark was "Unbelievable!"...I had to sit there for several seconds with quick, fleeting, negative possibilities running through my mind before he interpreted the remark.  Surprisingly, William is slightly farsighted at +1, which is completely normal for kids. We will keep an eye on him as well though.  I'm a touch concerned about strabismus with him, as he sometimes will go cross eyed, but that is also normal for young babies and is constantly getting better.

Developmentally, they are still socially ahead.  They love to be held and cuddled, and love interaction with family.  They have the best little belly laughs and are easily entertained.  Aaron is the fussier of the two, but he's still a good baby.  Aaron is also more responsive to strangers - he is a complete flirt, with men and women, and has the sweetest grin when people look at him.  William is the wild man.  He attacks anything and everything he can get his hands on...and puts it straight in his mouth.  Sometimes we'll catch them sucking on each other's hands, which is super cute.

Physically, they are also doing great.  Aaron has the advantage here, as he rolls over better and can sit propped better.  William has the better extension in his back when sitting, but I think that because he's a little more rigid, he falls over more easily.  Aaron's posture is slightly slumped, but he can balance pretty well in the sitting position.  We are still working on William's tightness, Aaron's extension, and also tightness in Aaron's neck - his head leans to the left a lot, so we're trying to get him straight :)

We've also started giving them baby food, which is fun.  They're still young, so this is more for the practice than the nutrition.  William, the monster that he is, will attack the spoon and shove the whole thing in his mouth, so we have to restrain him a bit, and he LOVES it.  Aaron doesn't welcome it, but is starting to open his mouth for it more and makes the cutest looks of slight disgust as he chews it.  He actually does a better job keeping it in his mouth and swallowing, even though he doesn't like it as much.  No teeth have yet made an appearance in either of them, but teething is still in full force.

On a side note, I did accept a new position with a different company a few weeks ago.  I miss my coworkers, but the new position will be better for the family as far as benefits/time/stress are concerned.  I was hoping to win the Mega Millions last night in order to resign from the working world and enter into full-time mommyhood and volunteering, but that plan didn't quite work out :)  Maybe next time!

Aaron & William

William & Aaron

William

Aaron

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

8 Months!

Weight Check
William - 17lb 13oz
Aaron - 17lb 2oz

They're monsters!  The boys are 8 months old today (Edit:  It was "Today" when I started the post but not when I finished it!) :)  We continue to have a ton of appointments, but nothing of major significance.  They have seen the neurologist again, and the Developmental Clinic.  Both are on track for their adjusted age!  Both still have tightness in their legs - William more so - but are still on track.   Aaron tends to look down when he's in a supported sitting position, so we're also working on that issue.  He does still have some torticollis, but it could just be that his head is so heavy he can't hold it up as well.  He does great in tummy time and he swivels his head in a 360 to find the TV, so we know that he CAN do it, so I think it's more of the heaviness factor right now.  (Don't worry, we don't let him watch TV).

After the visit with the neurologist, both now have weekly PT.  I am happy with this, as previously mentioned, because I want to be as proactive as possible.  They can both roll from their tummy to their backs, and their backs to their sides - I think they'll be rolling around like tornadoes in no time :)  Aaron is already wiggling where ever he needs to go. We're so happy with where they are right now.

They've managed to remain mostly healthy this mild winter.  The nebulizer is now a mainstay, with daily doses of pulmicort, but other than the mild congestion there have been no issues.

I'm not sure if anyone remembers (or if anyone still reads this!) but at one point I posted the song that helped me get through the tough times during the NICU stay - Strong Enough by Matthew West.  As it turns out, one of the new friends that I have made during this journey is his cousin by marriage, and I was blessed to be able to actually meet him and Casting Crowns (!!!) during their concert this month.  Starstruck, I am :)  One of the opening acts was a young band called Royal Tailor - I already knew and loved one of their songs, but am now completely impressed by their clarity, vision, articulation, and message (and dancing :) ).  It's easy to say that it's a small world, or what a coincidence, but the way that the song came around full circle for me makes it clear that it was something I was supposed to hear and feel and believe.

I don't have much else to report at the moment, or at least that I can think of at midnight :)  We are planning on putting our house on the market sometime in the next few months (I hope).  This was a plan that was postponed last year when we found out we were having more than one, as we wanted to wait and see what we would need with three kids.  I'd really like to be in Hanover before Anna starts school in the fall of 2013. I know King William would be fine for her for elementary school at least, but I'd like to get her settled in one place and Hanover will have better resources for the boys if they need them.  We'll see what happens, as we know the selling market is not great. (Anyone want to buy our lovely home, on an acre, with a great garage? ;) )

Pictures!

Aaron & William

Aaron & William

Big boys!  William & Aaron

What is my sister doing to me??