Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bah Humbug

Back into the house of germs we go. That's what I get for even thinking the other day that we were on a nice healthy streak and hadn't needed the bulb suction in quite awhile. Max is coughing...a lot with some buggers. N is looks just miserable with her runny and stuffy bugger face and wasn't acting like she was feeling too well. R has picked up a wheeze the other day and I've had Noemi increase the breathing treatments, but he had what sounded like a group cough right as he fell asleep, but at least for now seems like the healthiest of the lot. Oh joy. I'm pumping so I can go to bed earl because tonight has all the potential to be a long, bad one. Blah!

In other good news, even sick (or maybe because he wasn't feeling well) we had a much improved dental visit for Max today. He told me on the way that he was going to be a good listener. And, he was. I didn't get one I don't want to go, I don't like the dentist. There was no screaming, crying, having to hold him down. They were able to even get his first x-rays. So, so much nicer when your kid isn't screaming the entire time. For everyone. We improved from a "fair" to a "good". I challenged Max to see if we can get an "excellent" in 6 months, which insidently I signed up the twins to join us for their first visit.

Now, if you will all join me in a community meditation for improved health and not too miserable of a night/go round with this latest germ fest we have going on.

The construction project

Because I'm so proud of it and because the kids had such a good time and the teachers were so impressed they asked for details and are going to do it again, I'd thought I'd talk about the construction project we did in Max's preschool this month. I don't have any pictures as I was leading the effort and actively involved, but the teachers did and I hope to get copies at the end of the year.

Station 1 - I bought some peg board (has holes) and bought a few all purpose screws and bolts that I cut into smaller squares with a jg saw. Each child had a chance to screw bolts through the holes with either large or small or both screws/bolts. They loved it, especially the girls.

Station 2 - Got some small pieces of wood, precut and some nails. Brought in a few hammers. Used the extra peg board to protect the tables and each child was allowed to "build" something. The loved it, especially the boys. Next time, I'd get either smaller longer nails or bigger wood as it started to split in a few cases.

Station 3 - Got some PVC of two different sizes that I cut up into smaller varing lengths and had different types of joints for each size and the kids could use it to build.

Then, there was the unoffical station 4 of the work bench with the toy version of everything that I fixed and brought back.

In addition, I brought in various screw drivers, wrenches, and a tape measure for the kids to touch and use and hold. They were a big hit, especially the tape measurer. We could have used another 1 or 2 of those.

Fun, easy, stuff. A little bit of prep work, but worth it. They loved being able to touch and use real tools.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"My Daddy" - Edited

If I hear, my daddy told me that or my daddy said I could or some such comment from Max again, I think I'll scream. Okay, just kidding on the screaming thing, it doesn't really annoy me, but he has been on this daddy kick lately. Insisting that he does too have a daddy and he's at work or at his house or going to come visit or whatever. And, he's REAL not PRETEND. At first, I was a bit concerned and tried to correct him getting the push back that he is real and how dare I say otherwise. Concerned enough that I thought about talking to someone who specializes in early childhood development. I know that he knows that it isn't true. In fact, when in his classroom setting up for the construction project, I heard him tell someone that he doesn't have a daddy. I still might try to run it past someone if I get a chance, but realized that he has two pretend friends as well that I've always gone with the flow with and probably should just do the same thing with the pretend daddy. So, that is what I have been doing. It's amazing what this daddy of his says and lets him do. Most of the time he is an ambulance driver. Sometimes he is a fire fighter. Sometimes, I'm the daddy (but, not often anymore). Sometimes, he's the daddy. When playing with his "people", he assigns various roles to them such as mommy, daddy, brother, sister, engineer, conductor, garbage man, etc. I'm sure that he hears the kids at school talking about their daddy and wants to talk about "his daddy". I hope he doesn't feel like he is missing out too much by not having one. I've almost convinced myself that this is age appropriate "playing house" stuff and hope I'm handling it the best way possible for him by going along and pretending with him like I do his imaginary friends. If I get some time, maybe I'll try to research it out or follow up with someone to be sure. I don't want to make it controversial by continuing to tell him he doesn't, because he was pushing back very strongly. So, I"m going to let him pretend for now and see where it goes. However, anyone listening who didn't know the story really would think he had a daddy the way conversations have gone lately.

ETA: I had a chance to talk to the director of the preschool today who is an expert in early childhood development about the whole daddy thing. It was an interesting conversation about pretend vs. real, alive vs. dead, and figuring things out. Totally age appropriate as I expected and agreed with how I'm handling it, but will also start to add in more about distinguishing about pretend vs. real and realizing that the push back on saying the daddy is pretend may actually because he "wishes" it to be true and angry that it isn't. She also suggested that I start asking him what makes something alive, why is that real or pretend, etc. And, we had a good laugh at how helpful it was (NOT) that I responded to Max's question about what makes things alive is that they need/breath oxygen (like that really helped clarify it for him :). Keep on allowing him to feel what he feels about the situation and acknowledging those feelings. She also said something that I hadn't thought about, but really resonated. She asked me how I felt with him asking the questions to which, I'm fine. It was my decision and that I just hoped that in time he didn't feel too much of a loss as a result to which she replied, that parents make decision that affect their kids all the time (divorce, have another child, to move, etc). I had never thought of it in terms of that before, but true. So, just keep on keeping on helping him to figure things out and allowing him to feel what he feels. Glad I asked.

The Stats

Working my way through stacks and stacks of paperwork. Making progress. Taking a short break. Found the measurements for the twins the last few months. The got weighed each month to calculate the synergis dosage. Yeah for the end of the monthly visits and the almost $200 in expense each month for those shots although they basically did their job and kept us out of the hospital (except for that November visit for Ray which liekly would have been worse without the shot and it was bad enough as it was).

...........Jan............... Feb...................Mar
R........15lbs 6 oz... 15 lbs 15 oz.... 17 lbs 4 oz

N....... 16 lbs........... 17 lbs 3 oz......18 lbs 4 oz

In March, R's weight was 5% unadjusted and 30 adjusted. He was 26 3/4 in. tall with a head circumferance of 17 1/2.

In March, N's weight was 27% unadjusted and 75% adhysted, She was 26 5/8 in tall with a head circumferance of 16 5/8.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

More or Less

When I found out I was pregnant with multiples, I was a bit freaked out. For many reasons. Money being a big one. I know several people who have an older child and then went on to have twins as a single mom by choice. They all have/had live in help and needed every minute of it, plus it tends to be cheaper. I looked into moving or adding on to the house and decided I couldn't tackle either while pregnant (and feeling so darn miserable) and that in the long run it would actually be more expensive to either move/build on than have a live out with longer hours. I ran the numbers and financially it would be tight, but doable to have someone from 7 - 7 and I had a back up plans A and B if money started getting tighter than planned.

Fast forward and the economy is in the toilet and a scenario that I hadn't planned on was to actually make less money and not wanting to touch plans A or B because of the poor economy. All this to say, that after being pissed off and angry and running through a few situations and weighing everything I needed to weight, I ended up cutting Noemi's hours during the hardest time of day for me....dinner and bed evening hours....and she is now leaving at 5:30 pm instead of 7. I have to have her still come at 7 because I have work meetings starting at 7 am at least 3 if not more days of the week.

And, the weekend Sunday sitter I have been using from 4 - 7 after going solo all weekend has canceled the last two weekends.

I keep telling myself that less is more. More time for me to spend quality hands on time with all of the kids. I remind myself that many a women through the ages have done it and survived and their kids survived and they lived to tell the tale. One of my moms closest friends had twins and was a stay at home mom with and older child (two actually I think) and then had twins with a husband that was off working and not around. Several moms in the parenting class I took or that I have met (in an acquaintance sort of way) do it as well. Granted, they are married and not attempting to work full time so not exactly the same, but I remind myself that it can be done. Be strong. Enjoy the time. Bond as a family. Work it out.

And, that's what I have been doing. Working it out. Enjoying it is probably too strong a sentiment, but mostly it is going better than I thought. Mostly being when Max doesn't jump off the chair onto his two siblings while I am getting their dinner ready and other such behavior. It can get a bit much sometimes, but I've got a pretty good schedule going for the most part and it is working out. It's hard and harder on the nights that I have to work a few more hours after the kids are all in bed. I feel like I'm constantly tired and behind on all but the most essential and critical things. I wake up tired and remind myself that this time goes by so fast and to not wish it away. And, I'm busy and tired.

All and all things are going well. Last week was an especially busy and difficult week schedule wise, but good overall. N had a CT scan and follow up with the neurosurgeon. She's doing great and doesn't have to go back for 9 months, when she is 18 months. The twins had their 9 month peds appointment and are growing nicely. I have theirs stats someplace in some stack of paper that needs to get gone through instead of shuffled around. Lastly, the twins had their high risk follow up at the NICU/hospital they were born. The OT who did the eval said they are doing terrific and if they weren't already receiving services, she's not sure she would recommend it, but she will recommend to continue as is. As I said, all and all, things are going well. I find it hard to believe my little ones are already in size 4 diapers and will turn one in less than 3 months. They had steak and potatoes for the first time last night (pureed, of course) and loved it.

The change in evening routine has the twins going to bed a bit earlier than they were which affects the morning routine as well since they are then getting up a bit earlier in the morning. I'm not so much getting up earlier than I was most of the time, but I just have less alone time and gone are the mornings of pumping in peace. Ah well, this two (too?) shall pass. But, I'm bone tired weary at the end of the day. No regrets. Overall, I'm still sure it was the best decision I ever made and I love them, my family and my life even if the grind can get a bit tedious* and busy** at times.

* Today, while the twins napped, I played "cars" with Max. For an hour. It was like torture to me, but I sucked it up and did it and faked the fun. There were so many other things I would rather have been doing, but I hadn't sat down and played with him in awhile. I had to "self talk" a few times to keep into it and go with the flow. I've never been so happy to have a baby wake up from a nap so as to have a legitimate excuse to stop. Most of his toys or things he wants to play aren't nearly as tedious for me like building houses with blocks or playing train and such, but cars I'm just not into. It reminded me of when he was barely walking and we would go around the block and he'd spend a mind numbing amount of time touching and feeling and admiring cars and it was all I could do to not pick him up or rush him along. And, a few hours later when he came up to me and gave me stickers for playing cars so nicely with him and following the rules, I was oh so happy that I had.

** I've been getting into Max's classroom once a month for a few hours. So far, I've made cookies with them twice (Christmas cut out's and gingerbread), did a sand art project, read a Thanksgiving book, held a concert, and this month did a construction project. Max and I (and his teachers) all love it, but I am especially tired after wards. Two things made me laugh recently about this. One was that the teachers had a workbench that kept falling apart and when I talked to them about doing the construction project idea wondered if i wanted to take it home and fix it for them, which I did. Single mom of preemie twins. Like, what is the matter with all those fathers? And, the teachers take pictures and post them for various things and did two boards last week of pictures from the concert and the construction projects. They really do capture how much fun we had. As I was rushing through on Thursday dropping Max off and trying not to be late with the twins for their high risk follow up appointment one of the moms commented about how nice it was that I had time for that sort of thing. Ah, no, I don't have the time, I MAKE the time because I think it is important. And fun.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

9 months

Hard to believe the twins are nine months old today. Here are some pics and a short video (the one where Max is least obnoxious) from this weekend.





video

In other news, I still hate time changes. The last few nights have been brutal. Last night, all three of them were up at some point. Max for several hours. Ugh! N almost never wakes up and if she does is easily soothed and back to sleep. R must be in a growth spurt and/or is so active he needs more calories and is waking at least once or twice to eat, then goes back. Max, well, same ole' same ole. He gets me up the most by far. And, again, time changes are just awful for a week or so. Can't wait until everyone has adjusted.

The twins have been sick. Only a few more days of antibiotics. They still have a cough. R, worse than N. Breathing treatments continue.

The power cord on my laptop is basically shot. If you adjust it just so and hold it and make sure no one bumps it, it will work about 50% of the time. I'm taking that as a sign I need less computer time and actually read a book. That was nice.

The last day of the parenting class I'm taking ends tomorrow. It was/is hard to fit that in with everything else, but I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Double that

Double ear infections, double eye infections...times two. No fever. Just eye goobers. Good thing I took them in today before things got too out of hand. Yes, we were just there mere days ago for synergis shots. That Nora, she's a smart one for her age and has a long memory. She wasn't thrilled last Thursday...crying down the roof when we were put into the room. Then, she got the shots she didn't want. She was less than thrilled to be back so soon, shots or no shots today. Max went along for the ride and the treat (let's call it what it is, bribe for good behavior) and because I likely wouldn't be back in time to get him from school. The ped gave extra refills on the eye drops for when Max, Noemi, and I get it. She said half her day was spend diagnosing it and writing Rx's for it.

Monday, March 02, 2009

In Color

A warm, sunny, March 1st