“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your feet!”

062sozo062-2.jpgSophia is still trying to master clapping her hands (although she’ll hold ours while we clap), but she is a master at clapping her feet together when she’s excited! Zoe is a master of collecting lint between her toes (who knew there could be so much lint in feeted pajamas?).

On the subject of feet, it has been an ongoing mission to try to find a way to cover Sophia’s feet while she sleeps. They apparently don’t sell feeted pajamas bigger than 9 months (something to do with walkers and pre-walkers being safer in bare feet). We have seen a few with zippers, but zippers are hard with Sophia’s pump, since we’d have to keep them unzipped past her MIC-KEY button so the tubing could get out in a place where she can’t grab it. Grandma offered to replace the zippers with snaps or reverse the zippers, but that seemed like a lot of work, so instead we put a hole in one pair for the tubing, and it has seemed to work out okay. We just have to get the pump all set to go when we put her to bed. Pajamas without feet don’t really work because she takes her socks off (and it probably keeps her awake, trying to get them off), and two-piece pajamas are hard because I change her diaper in the middle of the night.

The girls took part in their first garage sale this weekend; Grandma is getting them trained in early to get a good bargain (or give a good bargain, in this case).

Friday night Sophia pulled her MIC-KEY button out for the first time: Yikes! I was trying to get Zoe to sleep after she’d become too overtired and cranky with the garage sale, etc, and John was getting Sophia’s bath ready. She had a few seconds of unsupervised naked time, and there it went! She screamed of course because the balloon was full and it had to have hurt coming out. We ran around to get a new button in before anything came out (or it started to close, that apparently happens really quickly). It all turned out fine, but it was a reminder to us not to let her have unsupervised naked time (so far she doesn’t really tug at it when she has a shirt on, even if it isn’t a onesie) and made us think about putting a spare in our diaper bag just for these types of situations.

I also checked in with the sleep clinic this week because they asked for follow up. I asked if they had any ideas for Sophia’s crying spells after she falls asleep. She’ll fall asleep for anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes (usually about 20) and then wake up screaming. She isn’t consoled by us talking to her or touching her (normally if she is crying before she goes to sleep, she’ll stop crying even when we just open the door). The nurse seemed to think it was a “confusional arousal” which is apparently something many kids go through as they mature. I guess there is a transition from the really deep sleep kids start out in and sometimes they get stuck there and then have this partial awakening. Sophia doesn’t really thrash like most kids do, but she is certainly in her own place. We’re supposed to stop touching her and just talk to her until she works herself out of it. Luckily, this happens only once or twice at night, but it is so sad because cries really hard and isn’t any happier to hear our voices. I guess it gets worse if they are overtired. Unfortunately, she is always very tired when we put her down because of her short (if any) naps. We can’t really put her down any earlier than 5:45 or it seems to take her a lot longer to get to sleep. Hopefully, she’ll grow out of these soon. At least she seems to sleep well after she works through them, and they say she won’t remember it in the morning.

In PT this week, Sophia practiced standing and holding on to the chair and then sitting back down on her little bench. She wore her nylon around her thighs to give her extra support and was able to stand on her own for a short time and even sat back down once on her own. She needed just a little help to stand back up again. She loves to listen to Blue from Blues Clues read the “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” story, so that is a good motivator to get her to stand. My friend Amy that I taught first grade with found it for us, and Sophia loves it! We hadn’t been putting Sophia in her nylon very much because she doesn’t really like it, but we really need to help her strengthen other muscles, so have started doing it in the mornings when she’s happiest. (It also works well to keep her from being able to scoot over to poke her sister in the eye if we need to step away for a minute).

Sophia can crawl about 3 feet forward now (our PT book calls it crawling when they are on their bellies and creeping when they are not; I would have thought it was the opposite.) Sophia has also started trying to help us pull her shirts over her head; what a day that will be when she can dress herself! Zoe’s new thing is sucking her fist and sometimes her thumb. That should eventually keep us from having to put her pacifier back in her mouth constantly. She is also starting to coo.

We had a great visit with cardiology on Monday. Zoe and Sophia were both wonderful, and our cardiologist said that she didn’t need to see us again for 18 months. She said Sophia made her day because she was doing so well (and didn’t need to be hanging around cardiology anymore). Before she came in to examine Sophia, John had been trying to keep Sophia entertained on the exam table. He reached into a basket of different medical tools and grabbed a string of wooden beads. When the docs came in, the cardiologist suggested to the Fellow and the Resident that they not tell us what the beads were actually used for, and that endocrine left one of their toys behind. Well, the Fellow did stay behind and explained that it was an orchidometer and is used to measure testicular size! Great toy selection, Papa! We are also able to get off the diuretics, so have two less meds to give, slowly, but surely…

Tuesday, Zoe had a much happier visit to work and made it through two meetings. She was all smiles for one of my male co-workers. It made me realize she really needs a Grandpa, so we’ll be in the market for an eligible Grandpa to adopt. Sophia also had a good day with some one-on-one time with her Papa. Since they were in such good moods, I thought the afternoon feeding would go well. Sophia hadn’t napped, but she was doing okay for the most part. Well, after I put Zoe down for her nap, she didn’t quite settle down. Sophia and I would go upstairs to put Zoe’s pacifier in or turn her music on to try to get her settled again. Sophia has never really liked it when I give Zoe attention like this. I have to hold Sophia and her tube in one arm while I reach into the bassinet to insert the pacifier or pat Zoe or whatever. She usually starts complaining and squirming and pulling on her tube, but I don’t really have a choice but to bring her in with me. Well, that day she decided she’d yank on my hair to let me know that she didn’t appreciate this. We’ve been really working with her (unsuccessfully) to understand that is “owie,” and she shouldn’t do that anymore. At first I let her do it thinking it was good for her to reach and grab, etc., but after a few headaches and a few pulled out hairs, it seemed that she could learn those skills with toys instead! We don’t want to over use the word “No,” but want her to learn the concept. Well, I decided I’d try it with this hair pulling thing since she seemed to be doing it to express her frustration instead of to explore and nothing else seemed to be working. I mustered up my best stern teacher look and said firmly: “No!” She immediately pouted and scrunched up her little eyes while tears started coming out and then started wailing! I felt so horrible; this discipline thing is going to be rough. She stopped crying pretty quickly when I started saying “peeeek-a-boo,” but she wasn’t convinced she was happy again. Of course she continued to pull my hair, as she is a toddler and had had no nap, but I needed to be consistent, too. Every time Sophia would cry, Zoe would start crying too, so I’m sure the neighbors had a peaceful afternoon tea! In the end she kicked her syringe out of my hand, sending milk everywhere (it doesn’t go in well when she is hollering, so it had taken me a long time to feed her). I just disconnected her then and set her on the floor and tried to get Zoe back to sleep while John cleaned up . Then I put my hair in a pony tail, recognizing that this wasn’t a good teachable time. I picked her up and hugged her and said teasingly, “Can we be friends again?” She reached right back and gave my ponytail the hardest tug she could muster; I guess her answer was “No.” This morning, however, she stroked my arm so gently while I changed her diaper, so I think she’s over it for now. There’s been more foot clapping, so I think all is well. My new strategy is to ignore the pulling so she doesn’t get any attention for it; I’m not sure that is working either.

On Wednesday they had a play date with Hillary. Sophia really loves interacting with little people. I thought she’d be into the “shadow play” they talk about, but she wanted to either hug Hillary or reach for whatever she was holding. Hillary kept saying, “She’s taking everything from me.” Hillary got lots of big sister practice and didn’t even object when her hair got pulled (twice). She was also a good helper carrying (dirty) diapers.

We continue to experiment with ways to get Sophia’s morning feeding to stay in better. Today, I fed her at half the speed with the pump while she sat in the high chair and we practiced eating orally. Her speech therapist thought it might be a good idea to have her stomach filling up while she was having oral practice, so that she began to associate it with satisfying her hunger (if she has any). It didn’t work to do the gravity feeds while she was sitting upright, but the pump worked out okay (although she still spit up). I’ve also been experimenting with using a syringe to get liquids in her mouth for her to swallow. The biggest thing she needs to learn is swallowing without gagging, so I thought it would be good way to get it in her mouth since she’s mostly been spitting things out lately (or moving her head so much that the spoon is too dangerous). It works okay; she doesn’t swallow right away, but when she swallows just because she swallows, the liquid generally goes down too. Today, I tried it with her pureed carrots, and it really seemed to work. I realized it was probably a little perverse that I was excited that her burp rag was orange from spitting up carrots (they got into her stomach!) Maybe tomorrow we’ll try something green…


  1. Cousin Kelly says:

    I feel your pain with the ‘hair pulling’…Landon is all about slapping my head and face, all awhile with a huge grin on his face! They are lucky they are cute!!!!

  2. Aisling says:

    Great to see the four of you yesterday and the grandma’s. Y’all have your hands full! Siobhàn is so very much looking forward to spending a few days with her girls this summer. Thanks for taking her.