Saturday, October 5, 2013

2 Years Adjusted!

 Weight Check
Both boys are around 28 lbs

The boys were due October 5, 2011...we've come a long way since then.

The only doctors' appointments we've had since the last post were the neurologist and the ophthalmologist.    The neurologist spent time with both boys and was not concerned with development for either of them :)  At the last visit, he still saw the Babinski sign with Aaron, which is a potential indicator of upstream neurological issues when still present after age two.  Aaron is now two...and it is gone.  The doctor did talk to us about an increased risk for ADHD when they are older and a few other general preemie potential issues, but didn't see any indicators currently.  As a result...we have been released from yet another specialist :)

Aaron's vision is holding steady at a very strong near-sighted prescription.  He does really well with his glasses and asks for them when they aren't on.  The eye doctor didn't see a need for action right now with William's strabismus.  His right eye does turn in frequently, but he still didn't see it during the appointment and wanted to see if the glasses have any effect.  William is wearing his glasses on a regular basis now (finally), and also asks for them when they are off.  For the most part, his eyes are straight when he is wearing them.  I do still see the turning in enough to foresee that some action - whether it's surgery, patching, or eye drops - will be in his future, but we're not quite there yet.

The developmental therapist through Early Intervention is still seeing the boys once a month.  Their yearly evaluation is in progress now, and it looks like we may just be monitored going forward, but we'll find out next month.  I don't want their services to be completely dropped just in case something comes up, but it does feel good to know that they are meeting all milestones of a full-term two year old.


No personality changes since the last post :)  Aaron is still the more laid back of the two (actually, of all three), and William is the more excitable.  Here are a few cute stories....

Within the last month William has really started to conversate- he has full sentences, not always grammatically correct, and most of which start with "I want":  I want more milk please mommy, I want scoot up please, I want more crackers please, I want, I want, I want!  At least he's polite about it :)   He also sings - he will repeat choruses of songs and sings "Elmo and I know it!".  I sang "Jesus Loves Me" to the boys last week for the first time in a long while, and he became very excited and made the sign for Bible and sang "Bible" and "Me! Me! Me!" along with me.  I'm not sure if they are singing it to him in Sunday School or daycare, but it was super cute.  William is also Mr. Helpful - if there's something he thinks he can do for you, he'll do it.  This is more information that I need to share on the internet, but I'll share anyway because I think it's funny - if I say I need to go to the bathroom he gets excited and will walk me in there, try to pull down my pants, hand me toilet paper, flush the toilet, and then will pull out the stool to the sink and wash his own hands.  We're not officially potty training yet but trying to give them exposure...he's not interested in doing it himself, but he understands the process, haha.  He also tries to wipe Aaron's nose and change his diaper.  William is also very loving.  Anna started Kindergarten last month, and he yells after the bus "I love you, Anna!" after she leaves every morning.  When he's in a good mood, he's great entertainment.

Aaron is definitely quieter, but he's more of the thinker.  He seems to grasp and verbalize concepts faster than William even though he's not stringing the thoughts together in sentences the same way.  He does have a few 3 word sentences like "I'll get it" and definitely has the vocabulary for things, he just isn't as vocal.  He has the sweetest smile and really is generally an all around good kid who is easy to parent.  The only thing that really makes him angry is when someone else has something that he wants :)  The kids all have personalized place mats for the table, which are exactly the same except for the names.  The other day, William brought Anna's place mat to his spot and put it under his bowl and cup that were already on the table.  Aaron took one look at it, shook his head and got upset and pointed at Anna - "No, Anna's!  Anna's!".  He's so smart :)  Also, we almost always grace before dinner at home, but one night when Stephen wasn't home I forgot...Aaron reached his hand out to me and it took me a second to realize he was saying "Amen? Amen?" reminding me to say the blessing...also super cute.

They are definitely interacting more with each other, and with Anna, these days.  I watched the boys have a whole conversation with each other tonight that consisted mostly of random thoughts like "Anna, bus!" and "No more! All gone!" but they seemed to be enjoying the talk.  They like to do things together around the rearrange furniture and push the kitchen chairs across the room, sneak into the office and take all of the books off the bottom shelf and then look angelic when they tell me they're reading, open the few cabinets to which we allow them access and pull out every single thing in with two two year-olds is fun!  It actually is more fun now to be able to take them more places.  They require an adult per kid just because they refuse to sit in the stroller and both are always on the move, usually in opposite directions when we're out and about.  We have a busy fall - we've been to the State Fair, Field Days of the Past, Touch-a-Truck, and a reunion, all within the past month...and have the pumpkin patch, their great-grandma's 100th birthday party, and hopefully a few other things in October....very busy!  Because of that, and because I don't foresee any need for any type of developmental update, it'll be a few months before I update again.

Mostly random pictures taken within the last few months

What does the fox say, William?

Aaron gives the firefighter statue a hug.

Aaron & William
Aaron, our hired lawn help

Aaron & William

Anna - the obligatory Kindergarten 1st day photo!

William & Aaron

Cookie Monsters, William & Aaron

William & Aaron, waiting to walk Anna to the bus stop

William wearing my jacket

Monday, June 17, 2013

Almost Two!

Weight check
Both boys are about 25.5 lbs

Developmental Clinic
The boys missed their appointment in March due to a snowstorm, so we were curious as to what the clinic would think of their progress.  To be honest, this appointment is not one we enjoy.  It's tough to watch people who don't know your kids judge their development in a purely clinical setting - sitting in just their diapers in a cold highchair, being asked by strangers to respond to commands.  At this appointment, in typical toddler fashion, Aaron would laugh, shake his head, and just say "no!" to easy questions from the speech therapist that I knew he could answer.  Thankfully, he warmed up after a while and proved that he can, in fact, talk.  After each met with the pediatrician, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, and almost with a dentist until we told him they have already been to the dentist twice, we were cleared to go- for good.  I don't have the detailed assessment yet, but they both tested between 20 and 23 months for everything, which is perfect and amazing and awesome.

In related news, Aaron no longer qualifies to receive speech therapy - his vocabulary is exploding daily.  Both boys will be monitored by early intervention monthly, but no services are needed at this time. Yay :)

For two little boys who look a lot alike (at least to people outside of the family), they are very different. Aaron is much more even tempered, laid back, and easy going.  He is generally happy and easy to please...unless someone has something or someone that he wants.  His little temper will flare quickly and often results in biting, which we are trying to stop.  His attention span lasts longer than William's, and he loves to sit in your lap and read.  He's also fascinated with anything with a wheel, and we foresee hiding the keys when his legs are longer so that the car doesn't disappear in the middle of the night :) You can tell he is always thinking about things and figuring them out.  Don't get me wrong, I love all three kids the same, but I'd consider having more if they were all like him.

William, on the other hand, is the more demanding and harder to entertain.  He reacts more instinctively- if he's hungry, tired, bored, or frustrated, he is quick to let you know and will keep letting you know until you fix the issue.  Like his sister did when she was younger (and actually, he's a lot like Anna was at that age), he will bang his head on the floor when he's mad.  He seems to be getting over that phase, which his forehead appreciates.  When he's happy, though, he's super fun and energetic and loves music and dancing.  He's also the sweetest, cuddliest, and the first to share.  When we were at the Children's Museum a few weeks ago, he grabbed two baskets from the apple picking area and handed one to me.  I started to put it back, and he told me "No!", grabbed it back,  and walked it over to his brother so they could both use one in the rocks.  I love the kindness.  He has also just started to say "I'm nice!" which is really cute and funny.  He is starting to wear his glasses more, but I still have a feeling he will need the surgery to correct the right eye crossing inward.  His next eye doctor appointment is in a few weeks, so we may know more then.

They turn two in less than two weeks, which is hard to believe!

A few no particular order, as Blogger isn't letting me rearrange them at the moment :)



Aaron & William

William, Anna, Aaron

The baskets - William, Grandpa, Aaron


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eight Eyes

Weight Check
William - 24lbs 2oz
Aaron - 24lbs 4oz

As expected, William now has glasses to help with his eye occasionally turning inward.  The technical term is intermittent esotropia, a form of strabismus.  His is neurological based and not vision related - his eyesight has actually slightly improved since the last visit, and he is just barely farsighted.  Because of his extreme prematurity and/or the brain bleeds, there are times when his brain isn't quite telling his eyes how to line up correctly. Luckily it's not constant, so his depth perception should be able to develop normally, although he is slightly behind Aaron in that area according to the ophthalmologist.  The glasses should help, but probably not fix, the issue.  At some point down the road we may discuss eye muscle surgery to correct it, which was mentioned previously by our pediatrician.  I waited to post this until the glasses were received, so that I could post adorable pictures of the boys in their glasses together...however, William will not yet wear them.  It took a good two months or so for Aaron to wear his consistently, so I expect it will take at least that long for William.

Other than that, no real news for the boys.  They are making great progress with speech.  William is putting two words together "not nice!" and Aaron is building up his vocabulary.  Our speech therapist believes he'll be caught up to the expectations for their actual age by age 2.  Developmental clinic was cancelled last month due to the late season snow storm and we're waiting to go back again until they're two.  I'll keep everyone posted with their progress...until next time, here are a bunch of pictures :)






William...stealing Aaron's glasses

William, Allee, and Aaron




Sunday, February 3, 2013

19 Months - with a video!

19 Months

William – 23lbs 10oz
Aaron – 23lbs 2oz
(as of the middle of January)

The boys are growing and thriving.  We moved this month to Hanover, and needless to say, we’ve been busy!  It is quite an undertaking to move with three little kids.  We did finish unpacking the playroom and kids’ bedrooms first, so that they have safe places to go while we finish unpacking the rest.

Everything went well at their 18 month check-up earlier in January.  Our pediatrician is antsy for the boys to go back to the ophthalmologist – specifically William.  While he has the better eyesight, one eye at a time (usually the right, but not always) will occasionally turn in (strabismus).  With his slight farsightedness, this will happen because of difficulty transitioning from looking up close to far away.  I pointed this out to the eye doctor in the fall, but he didn’t notice it and told us to wait until the next appointment and see what happens. Our pediatrician believes he will need surgery to correct it.  From what I’ve researched, this surgery on the eye muscle is one of the most frequently performed eye surgeries and he would recover quickly.  While I, of course, don’t like the need for any surgery or pain inflicted on my kids, he will get it if he needs it. We’ll find out in March.  This really wasn’t a surprise, as you can tell even from some of the pictures I’ve posted on here that his eye will turn in slightly.  The boys have had colds/flu/stomach bugs all in the past month or two (as has the rest of the family) and I am looking forward to nicer weather and at least a week of a healthy house!  I am very thankful that we are still eligible for the Synagis vaccine, as I credit this for keeping them away from RSV.

With our jump into the next county, we have moved out of the service area of the Rural Infant Services Program, the early intervention branch that covers the Northern Neck area.  Hanover County, as with most in the Richmond metro area, has its own EI service, which is one of just two in Virginia that are provided through the school system.  The benefit of this is that the boys could fairly easily move into Hanover’s preschool program after they age out of EI, if services are still needed.  The team from Hanover assessed the boys last week and determined that as of right now… Mr. William has no need for services, but will remain under their observation.  He was a ham for the assessors and is really starting to progress nicely with language.  He will repeat many words and is very, very social.  He’s our rambunctious little wild and musical man J  Starting next week, Aaron will be receiving speech therapy twice a month.  He is starting to say more though, especially “Bye bye,” and school has heard him try to say “push” and “pull” (concepts they are working on there), which are new. He’s definitely behind William in the verbal arena, but he’s getting there.  Aaron is more of the cuddler, who wants to sit in your lap and look at books or play, and is usually the more easy going one. He’s also more sensitive and seems to get his feelings hurt more easily, especially if a toy is taken from him, or someone else is in mommy’s lap J

Are all boys born with an innate ability and desire to wrestle?  William is more of the instigator, but they will head butt each other and roll around each other bumping heads and laughing.  It’s really funny and cute to watch, especially when Aaron is receptive to it instead of whining and pushing him away J I’m so happy that they have each other, and Anna to keep them in line J

We have another developmental clinic in March, and the next eye doctor appointment as well.  I may not update anything until then just because there’s no “news”, so just know that they are (hopefully) happy and healthy until then!


Aaron loved the snow!

William did not love the snow :)
William's "Cheese" face



William, Anna, and Aaron (taken in November)

William and Aaron (taken in November)


Be warned, this is about 6 minutes of craziness that only family and close friends may appreciate, taken right before we moved.  Although it ends with William in tears after falling on his bottom, no babies were harmed during filming of this video!