Monday, May 31, 2010

May birthdays

May is a busy month for birthdays. My best friend (since kindergarten), two more really great friends, my cousin, my nephew. And last, but certainly never least, Cody. He joined the dirty thirty club last week.

Zoe telling Dad happy birthday.

This is me and Rhys playing at his cousin's birthday party. Rhys didn't like it or dislike it. It was a little hot outside and there was a lot going on so I'm not sure he was paying much attention to the jungle gym. Yeesh! Seeing this picture has made me seriously motivated to lose the last of my baby weight. My pre-pregnancy bottoms still don't fit really well and I'm tired of wearing maternity clothes. Even though they are maybe the most comfortable thing on the planet aside from PJs.

Our little porker is starting to show her personality. She's s paying more attention to her surroundings and is beginning to watch the mobile and toy bar on her bouncy seat. We're in that period where she is increasingly awake more but isn't able to do much. So she wants to be held. She has made a bit of a schedule for herself recently. After bedtime of about 10 p.m. she usually sleeps between 5 and 7 hours, wakes up to eat and then goes back to sleep. This pattern continues for most of the day. Around 5 p.m., luckily when Cody gets home so I have help, she is a pill. She is completely awake and is a wild woman until bedtime.

Rhys got his first (of many I'm sure) scrape last weekend. He fell on the concrete while sitting on someone's lap (who was sitting on the ground). It wasn't too bad but it still upset me. Because of his not so great motor skills he didn't catch himself and hit the side of his face. If he'd been running and tripped it'd be different. But this is my baby lacking the ability/know-how/whatever-you-want-to-call-it to prevent that from happening and it is incredibly frustrating. Even by preemie "standards" he is horribly behind. But, I can't let myself compare because he is doing good things. In addition to banging toys he recently began putting items into a container. And he has also started reaching across his body with his right hand to grab things. He can sit for brief periods of time, but when his attention is focused on an object he quits concentrating on sitting and he topples to one side or the other.

Because of Rhys's delays we have him in every therapy we possibly can get for him. We have a standing PT appointment weekly, vision every other week, and the new speech pathologist will be once a week when that gets started. On top of that we see the ECI coordinator once a month and the nutritionist every other month. That's a lot of therapy. I'm not complaining but that is our life. Constant therapy, with the therapists themselves and with us all other times. But despite of all the therapy he gets, and it's a lot, I sometimes feel like he needs more. Since last summer I've been wanting to get Rhys into equine therapy. I've heard fantastic things about it. But, the earliest they will start is age 2. Our neighborhood has a horse stable, and they offer equine therapy, but not the type Rhys would require. So I'm going to call around and see if I can find another location that isn't across town that has it. I don't know if Rhys would enjoy it, but I'd like to see what it could do for him. We've always been willing to try anything and are always looking for something else to help Rhys.

Have any of you had any experience with equine therapy? I'd like to get some feedback if anyone has any.

Friday, May 21, 2010

mom and the kiddos

I think this is one of the only pics we've taken of me and kids. I still can't believe they're both mine. I think I'll keep them!
With Rhys's blond hair and pale complexion he hardly looks related to Zoe with her dark hair and more tan skin tone. Except they do share a few of the same features. They have the same chin and the same nose. The jury is still out on whether Zoe has dimples. She is starting to smile, but not long enough for me to tell quite yet. She also has blue eyes. For now at least. My brother was the blond-haired, blue-eyed child with dimples. I wasn't. I got none of the three and always thought it horribly unfair so I'd love for Zoe to have the latter two since it doesn't look like she's going to be a natural blond. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Rhys is still chugging along with his development. He is horribly delayed in some things and not quite as delayed in others. He's sort of doing everything all out of order, but he's maintaining his pace and that is really what matters. He recently started grabbing toys, one in each hand at the same time. Last week he started banging them together. This is typical behavior for a 8-9 month old, but we'll take it! Not that I'm excited about it, but he's begun sticking his finger his nose. Ha. Coordination is coordination so we'll take that too! Rhys is also using his right arm a bit more. Most things are still typically automatically lefty, but I'm beginning to see him reach across his torso with his right arm. His vision therapist things he's doing great. He's definitely got strong opinions about what he likes, toys included.

His PT has started talking about shoe inserts to assist with his walking. I believe she's formulating a plan of what exactly it is she wants to do. Rhys is beginning to weight shift when standing, and even tries to take steps. Because of his tone Rhys points his toes when stepping and crosses one foot in front of the other. Sort of like a tight rope walker except more exaggerated where the stepping leg crosses the the stationary leg to a larger degree. He typically steps on the toes of the foot that is planted on the ground. But we're working it! He's taking steps and that in itself is progress. We bought him a new, taller walker and he is starting to move forward in it. I want to ask his PT about her thoughts on a gait trainer for Rhys. I don't know that he will or will not need one on a permanent basis to walk, but right now it seems it would at least allow him to be somewhat mobile. The walker works on a limited basis. It is a bit wobbly and is not designed for a 25 pound toddler. But I'll have to see what she says since I don't know much about that type of equipment and she might not feel it'd be worth the cost.

Zoe is now 9.5 pounds. Eight weeks into it and I still can't wrap my mind around a baby that likes to eat! She's filling out and now has two chins and some seriously chubby cheeks. I'm seeing a bit of lazy left eye in her, much the same as Rhys, so we might be visiting Dr. H again before all is said and done. Rhys has a ton of weekly ECI appointments so we've mostly been keeping to the house lately. My double stroller came in today though so I'll now be able to get the kids out of the house during the day, and work on getting rid of these last 15 pounds I'm carrying around. The neighborhood pools opened this month so I'm looking forward to taking Rhys for his first pool visit!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

sleepy head

Rhys slept so great all last week. So great that I was feeling the need to wake him up by the time 10 a.m. rolled around. He didn't even wake up at night as he frequently does. One morning, about 10 a.m. or so, I went in to get him and this is what I found.

As a side note, in case you're wondering, that is not his bedding. We layer his bed with sheets and lap pads for easy cleanup should Rhys make a mess (i.e. throw up) and the turkey sheet is left over from the NICU when he had themed bedding for every occasion. Thanks Nonna.

Anyway. Rhys loves.loves.loves that lovie blanket you see on his head. Aunt Amy bought it for him way back when he was in the NICU, before he could appreciate it. Now it is an absolute requirement to fall asleep. He has become so attached to it we felt the need to buy a back-up lovie. You know, for when lovie #1 needs to be washed (for those nights Rhys throws up), or goodness forbid if something happened to it. Because our little guy is smart. He knows which lovie is the "real" lovie and can pick it out of a pile without pausing to think about it. We limit the lovie use to bedtime only, so I'm hoping we can prevent him from wanting to drag it to kindergarten with him!