Thursday, April 29, 2010

March for Babies Walk

Last Sunday we walked for March for Babies. I've been seriously sleep deprived the last few days and haven't been put together enough to post pics until now. We've been super excited about our first year supporting MoD and with all your help we raised $2,500! The weather was gorgeous for the walk and we ran into many other preemies/parents we've either spoken to via blogs and/or have become friends with through our preemie networking. It was very overwhelming seeing so many people supporting this cause. I was unprepared for the enormous turn-out. It was amazing!! We hope to make this a yearly event to further the goal that all babies be born healthy and whole.

Sorry about the quality of some of these, many were taken from cell phones.

(Zoe and cousin, Parker, who were born 3 days apart)

Friday, April 23, 2010

therapy, therapy, therapy

My little man is 21 months old. He is such a nut. I love his personality. He is so lovable and sweet and aside from the fit-throwing is such a happy little guy.
I bought him some markers at the store last week. He isn't able to "color" but I figured he could start learning to scribble.
The whole time he was playing with them I was secretly sending up a prayer that the washable aspect of the markers was legit. I should have had more faith in Crayola's product line because Rhys was covered, Cody was covered, as was their clothing, and it all came out with no problem.

Today Rhys had a speech/oral consult with a speech pathologist (SP). Not to be confused with the occasional speech therapy he's been receiving from the OT. As always, we're trying to make sure we cover all bases and aren't missing some area Rhys needs help in. From way back when Rhys had problems properly sucking his bottles. We've been able to make do, but that improper sucking is now hindering his ability to use a sippy cup or straw. He also has a limited diet. Partly because he can't seem to adequately chew some things and in lesser part because he is a moody toddler. Again, we've made do but we'd love our little guy to eat "normal" toddler food instead of only oatmeal, yogurt and Nilla wafers. I wasn't expecting much from the visit, however I think any therapy is beneficial to Rhys regardless of what it is so I went with it.

The SP got here and I gave him Rhys's background. He was very interested in what I had to say. Okay, so we're off to a good start. Once we were done he had me give Rhys cookies so he could evaluate his eating. He watched Rhys eat and felt around in his mouth and on his neck. Which Rhys did not appreciate at all. In a few short minutes the SP spouted out some things Cody and I have noticed, plus some other things we weren't aware of.

To begin with, Rhys's right cheek muscles are weaker than the left. So now I'm pretty sure this guy knows what he's talking about because I had forgotten (how??) to tell the SP about Rhys's brain bleed! In addition to the weaker cheek muscles Rhys has an under bite. If we didn't have these other issues the under bite probably wouldn't be a problem. Lastly, Rhys chews up and down, but not side to side. It is more like a reflex than it is conscious chewing in an attempt to break down the food. All these things are making it difficult for his mouth to coordinate all the movements. And why Rhys has problems sealing his lips around a nipple or straw to suck. Rhys uses his tongue to move food around in his mouth, and he's doing a good job, but his tongue can't compensate for the lack of coordination. He is unable to identify food size and will try to shove the whole cookie into his mouth if you don't break it up for him. So if the bite is too big and doesn't break down enough when chewed it doesn't register with Rhys, his tongue tries to move it to the back of his mouth to swallow, it gets stuck and Rhys starts to choke.

Despite these difficulties the SP assured me Rhys is "200, no 500 times better" than most of the other kids he treats. He thinks once therapy gets started we should see progress in about 8 weeks. And he thinks Rhys will have no problem catching up and eating like a regular toddler without choking and puking. The therapy should also help him transition to a straw/sippy cup and help his speech. OMG, is that for real?!? It's almost too much for my little brain to take in. Cody and I have always fought very hard with Rhys's eating. First to make sure he consumed enough milk to grow properly and not require a feeding tube (which incidentally the SP told me would have horribly exacerbated the oral defensiveness), then to spoon feed and now to introduce new foods. We've always been of a mind that Rhys would outgrow it in time but never gave much thought to something being able to speed up that process. So I am super excited about the potential of this helping Rhys!

And now for Grammy's Zoe fix. She is now 7lbs 11oz. She actually slept for 5.5 hours last night. I'm in love with my kids, they are so great!

Friday, April 16, 2010

one month old

My original due date has come and gone, and today Zoe is one month old. No matter how many kids you have, I don't think you're ever prepared for how quickly time flies when they're young.

Zoe has been doing great. Except that for a few nights now she has been wanting to stay up for a couple hours after she eats at midnight. Can we say sleep.deprived? I try to take naps when Rhys takes his nap during the day, but my body does not always comply with that wish. Zoe is about 7 pounds now. She is really starting to fill out all that loose skin she had when she was born. Poor girl still only has a few things she can wear though. I am really looking forward to her getting a little bigger so she can wear some of the awesome clothes she's been given.

After 21 months of a healthy Rhys, he finally (not that I've been wishing for it) came down with something. According to the pedi he has the crud! He started coughing a bit last Saturday and by Sunday he sounded like he was hacking up a lung. So off to the doctor we went on Monday. I was pretty sure it was nothing serious but with Rhys's lung history, and a newborn in the house, we can't take any chances. His lungs sounded fine and we got some great Rx cough meds. Aside from his normal moodiness he acts like he's feeling fine. But the coughing is triggering his already sensitive gag reflex and has caused him to throw up several times. Yuck!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

picture perfect

Click here to see my beautiful babies... make sure you have your volume turned up.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

mac 'n cheese

Take a gander at what Rhys ate today for lunch.

It's only mac 'n cheese, you say? Is it that big of a deal? For our little guy, YES.IT.IS! Since I'm no longer limited by pregnancy we are renewing our efforts to expand Rhys's diet beyond his yogurt and oatmeal.

Rhys doesn't care for new (spoon fed) foods, and while textures aren't a total nightmare he still struggles with them at times. The last time we tried pasta it was a colossal failure. Today, not so much. He wasn't very receptive for the first few bites, but after I, um, sorta made sure the spoon got into his mouth he willingly ate very chunky (in Rhys's world) mac 'n cheese. Emphasis on the cheese, since I added several handfuls of cheddar to the box mix to make sure it tasted okay.

So here's to encouraging food exploration!

And lots more yucky food messes for Mom and Dad to clean up.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

gossip rags

Rhys loves to read books. And magazines. The latter usually end up looking something like this when he's done...

And yes, that was all Rhys. With no help from either me or Cody. Okay, so maybe Cody helped bury Rhys in the paper. But the destruction was all our little man! And maybe he had a little fun doing it.

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Only three weeks left to donate and sign up for March for Babies! Thank you, thank you to all who have donated. If you haven't had a chance to donate yet you can click the banner on the right side of the blog. Any and all donations help so don't underestimate that $5 you can donate in lieu of one morning's Starbucks run. :)

Happy Easter to all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

pedi with 2 kids

Holy moly, two screaming kids at the pedi's office was completely exhausting. Rhys is now caught up on his vaccines. We were only a little more than two months late getting his 18 month shots. :) This visit wasn't as bad as the Synagis clinic in terms of fit-throwing, however Rhys knew exactly what was happening as soon as he was put on the table. He "screamed" so hard his lips turned blue and there was no sound coming out. Poor little man! The pedi is very happy with his growth and development. He is on the chart for weight and height at the 25th percentile for his actual age. My baby is getting so big!

I had a bit of a learning curve with nursing so I don't think Zoe was really gaining weight until the end of last week. But, she is now back to her birth weight and the pedi said she looked great. Remember, we purchased a toddler scale when Rhys came home to track his weight gain so we've been using that for Zoe too. I'm actually not concerned about her weight gain like Rhys's, just want to make sure I'm not totally messing up in the milk department. But, the pedi said all was well and said some of Zoe's lack of appetite probably has to do with the fact that she was just a tiny bit premature. Zoe's appetite has really pickup up the last few days though so I think she's finally getting it. The onesie she wore at the hospital is now a tiny bit snug on her belly and a little short on her torso. The pedi said she was 19" long, so either she's grown a crazy amount in two short weeks or the hospital was a bit off on her length when she was born.

On Tuesday we had our newborn picture session with Zoe. This is the same photographer that took the pics of Rhys in the NICU, as well as his one-year pics so we're very excited to see how they turned out. Based on what I saw her take I think they're going to be awesome!