We’re both 1!

Well, we are a little behind in our attempt to do weekly entries.  Between staggered illnesses and my work schedule, there didn’t seem to be time to sit down and write.  So, I will try to catch up on the last 3 weeks (what I remember of them)…

Zoe celebrated her first birthday on the 12th.  We took advantage of the fact that she really doesn’t know it is her birthday yet and had a low-key, stress-free family celebration.  She got to try orange juice and multi-grain Cheerios for breakfast (which she loved).  For morning snack, she had key lime pie (or basically, whipped cream) when the Comcast man finally left.  Since we still aren’t completely sure if she is allergic to egg whites, we stayed away from the more traditional cake.  For afternoon snack, she got to try vanilla ice cream–a big hit!  Sophia even ate some with her, too.  Grandma brought a gift for her to open (which was nice since we’d opened everything else already thinking staggering was good).  Unfortunately, she was not so happy to go down for a nap after dancing around, so Grandma ended up holding her while she slept (after she finally got her settled down).  Luckily, Grandma is always up for a good snuggle (but I think she may have been a little tired after walking around with a 22 pound baby for so long).

Zoe started her own ECFE class the day before her birthday.  She sort of eased her way into the room, staying at the first table for quite awhile.  She eventually went in and was all smiles when she found her “bestie” in the mirror.  She loved touching the other kids’ faces and trying to give them things.  As it turns out, she is the only one in the class with a sibling, and it’s pretty evident in her behavior.  I think she was a little miffed that all the other kids got to eat raisins at snack time, and I wouldn’t let her have any (yikes, I’m already the mean mom!).  Given that she only has one set of teeth to bite with and our book says to wait until age 3 for raisins, I figured it was probably best not to have to do the Heimlich (or whatever they call it now) on her on her first day of school.  She did get to try a graham cracker, which she loved.  She was really cute sitting in her little big girl chair chewing away on her cracker.  She’s having lots of fun with those teeth; she bites her Cheerios into 3 pieces, now, just to play.

At some point later in the week, Zoe had two or three nights in a row of fitful sleeping, waking every 10 or 20 minutes and needing a back rub to calm back down.  I assumed she was getting more teeth, but didn’t see any.  Later we realized she was sick; presumably something she got from school (no surprise with her putting everything in her mouth, including the grains in the sensory table).  She had a really bad runny nose and a periodic cough.  It is just now getting better; she must have had it for a good 10 days or more.  The doctor saw some fluid in her ears at her 1 year check-up, but it wasn’t infected, so we have to check back in in 6 weeks to make sure it is cleared up.  I think it is already better as she tolerates laying down much better lately.

She missed her second day of school, but was able to go back this week again.  She warmed up slowly again, but did start exploring the toys and checking out the other kids. She always makes sure she can see me, but does leave to play with the teachers and other kids.  She had the cutest little game going with her friend Naomi.  She’d touch Naomi’s nose; I’d say “beep, beep;” and Naomi would giggle.  It must have gone on for close to 5 minutes.  Zoe seems right on track with her peers in this class.  Only one walked at all before he was a year and few have any words (one says “poop”).

Zoe is having fun walking with two-hand support.  She usually walks 5 steps and then wants to be held.  She’s great at the stairs (when we let her).  One morning I’d gone upstairs to brush my teeth and left the gate at the bottom of the stairs open because we didn’t think she could get over the edge of the gate.  I heard a little sound and looked down and she was halfway up the stairs with a great big smile on her face.  I can’t believe she crawled all that way in her sleep sack (a little zippered dress like thing she sleeps in)!  I had to run down quickly without alarming her so that she’d fall; needless to say, we always shut the gate now!

I think all of this activity is helping her sleep better.  For the last few days in a row, she’s taken “big girl naps”:  two a day, for an hour or two at a time.  It’s kind of amazing to have both girls napping at noon.  In some ways it’s nice to have their awake times staggered so they get more individualized attention, but it is also nice when they sleep at the same time.

Zoe has learned to ask for “more” in baby sign language.  It usually means “more Cheerios,” or “more vitamins,” but she’s getting the hang of it.  It’s funny that she loves her vitamins now, and we had the hardest time getting her to keep them down when she was an infant.  The doctor was right that it really helps to let her have the dropper in her mouth.  She also likes to say:  “nyum nyum” when she eats, again, Cheerios are her favorite.  We were reading a story with cookies in it the other day and she said “nyum nyum;”  I guess the Girl Scout cookie Papa gave her made a bigger impression than we thought.

She seems to be understanding things more and more, for the most part.  She tickled her toes at the part in a book where the Mama tickles the baby’s toes.  One day I started singing “This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth…” when I gave her her toothbrush.  Unfortunately, she apparently remembered that we usually sing “This is the way we brush our hair, brush our hair…” (same tune) to Sophia when we are getting ready for bed, so needless to say, she thinks she is supposed to put the toothbrush in her hair (which of course is really too short to need brushing at all).  I guess it balances out Sophia chewing on the hair brush.

At times the two girls seem less aggressive toward each other, but when they are sick, they are really bad.  Luckily, Zoe got by this week without a cut lip (from the push cart) or a bloodied eye (from a book). They’ve both learned to pat their chests to ask for “my turn, please.”  Sharing is still, however, a highly supervised activity.  They don’t realize that the other person has to see them asking for a turn and I don’t think they really realize that when the other person is asking, they should share.  They do pretty well with voice prompts.  Usually, I have to stop Sophia from grabbing and once I remind her to ask for a turn, Zoe hears me say “Sophia’s turn” and hands it over.  Sophia then has it for a couple of seconds and hears “Zoe’s turn” and returns it.  If Sophia can’t actually grab it for herself, she will ask for a turn (usually for something Zoe has in the high chair).  Zoe does it with both hands and usually initiates it after Sophia has taken something of hers.  I’m not sure how functional this will be at school if other kids don’t know what they are saying, but hopefully it will reduce the grabbing.

Sophia also loves to tickle her sister and even seems to be tickling more gently.  She taught Zoe how to tickle Grandma today.   They love to kiss each other and swoop in giggling with these big open mouth kisses.  Mukwa doesn’t know what to think when the big open mouth kiss comes her way.

Sophia ended up with the cold, too (hard to avoid when she puts her mouth over her sister’s runny nose and steals her bottle and sippy cups).  She first had the bad cough and needed to be held upright most of one night in order to sleep.  She got the really runny nose after that.  Her symptoms have also seem to have cleared up.  The hardest part when Sophia is sick is her eating.  Her digestion slows down and she leaks a lot out of her G-tube, and she also spits up more.  It’s hard to keep her hydrated and get her calories in.  I thought she would have gained more weight back by our Friday doctor visit, but she only weighed 24 pounds (a pound shy of our goal).  It was the low-reading scale, but still.  Zoe only weighed 21.5 pounds and went from 75%ile to 50%ile (again, maybe partially from the scale and maybe just that she is moving around so much more).

We had their postponed birthday party this weekend–the Irish twins had a small St. Patrick’s Day celebration.   Again, it is nice that they don’t know yet that they are sharing a party.  Sophia loved touching her new clothes, and Zoe dug right in to her new toys.  They each seemed to really enjoy the attention of having lots of people around.  Once Sophia got over the shock of Grandma coming in with OrLou and Todd, she was scooting around tickling everyone (and everyone was a very good sport about pretending to laugh at our Tickle Monster).  Zoe’s favorite thing was beeping everyone’s nose.  She didn’t appear to have any stranger anxiety at all, which I hope is okay.  Her teachers sure aren’t worried any more that she isn’t seeking to interact with others!  The doctor seemed to think it would be concerning if she didn’t have any at all, and she seems to on occasion, but for whatever reason was happy with everyone at her party.  Our doctor thought she’d be really upset with him at her one year check-up, but instead she held her arms out for him to hold her (she must sense that he has 6 (yes, 6!) kids of his own).

The doctor was not concerned about Sophia’s weight, and told us we should try starving her one day a week to try to stimulate hunger and a desire to eat orally.  We’ll start next weekend and see what happens (he wants us to check back in in 6 weeks).  She was upset as usual with the doctor trying to look in her ears and listen to her lungs, etc., but after he’d moved on to Zoe, she was ready to start tickling him.  She loves to tickle people, which is great when they are people we know, but is a little concerning when it is the plumber or the Comcast man.  (Jane (PT) thinks it is great that she uses a positive approach to getting attention rather than throwing something or yelling.  She’s  good at this with everyone but me; she’s still biting me on ocassion (and breaking the skin through my pants or shirt), so we’ll have to work some more on the positive approach.)  I try not to give her too much attention for it, but also need her to stop and can’t pull her off without making it hurt worse.  Sometimes the “Ouch! Biting hurts.” refrain from her book unintentionally becomes:  “OUCH OUCH OUCH SOPHIA OUCH!”

We stopped the new, more concentrated food we were giving Sophia and will try a different brand once we get it delivered.  The other stuff was making her spit up a lot, so we are back to the Pediasure for now.

Thankfully, Sophia’s overnight bedwetting has improved.  We are beyond the 1 1/2 weeks where we washed the bedding every morning because she was having such bad diarrhea.  I experimented with some new plastic pants and some liners to see if then she could go all night in her Huggies Overnights (they clearly don’t make them for kids who eat all night long).  That didn’t work, so I was back to changing her during the night.  At first, she was waking on her own sometime in the early morning, so that worked really well.  The past couple of nights, she’s slept all night, so I’ll have to go back to setting an alarm to change her if she doesn’t wake up on her own.  Zoe often gets up, too, so that is another possible alarm.

Sophia’s been having fun at her ECFE class, too, when she is well enough to go.  She and John both walked in holding hands the other day; she’s getting so close to walking on her own!  A couple of times, she’s taken about three independent steps and can stand for a lot longer time without holding on to anything.  Our teachers keep telling us that they will both be walking at the same time… pure chaos is just around the corner!

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  1. Christine says:

    Hello! Happy Birthday Sophia and Zoe! Looking at the pictures was so much fun! The girls are so cute!!