Sunday, February 15, 2009

8 Months!

The twins turned 8 months old today. That's calendar age of course. Maddy celebrated by sleeping in late and Milo celebrated by getting up early. Yah, pretty much the regular routine as far as the twins are concerned. How much have the babies changed over the course of the last month? The main thing is that they are developing far more personality. They are much better at expressing themselves and their feelings and they are starting to interact more with each other.

Above: Maddy and Milo hang out in the crib this morning. Notice that we were lucky enough to find Maddy another piece of pink leopard apparel -- it was on sale too! The twins are no longer co-bedding. That came to an end a couple weeks ago. The babies got too big to fit in the same crib without banging into each other with their flailing limbs. That, and we were tired of them waking each other up. These days, Milo sleeps in the Pack-n-Play in our room and Maddy gets the plush crib to herself. That's basically because Maddy sleeps through the night and Milo typically wakes up at least once.

Above: Milo shows off his retinopathy-free peepers. As previously mentioned, Milo had his last eye appointment a few weeks ago, and his eyes are in good shape. He's still at-risk for nearsightedness - but then again, he was bound to need glasses based on genetics alone. Elaine (especially) and I both have pretty lousy vision. That said, the boy definitely got mom's blue eyes.

Milo has gotten a lot stronger over the last few months. During his last weigh in about a week and a half ago, he tipped the scale at 13 lbs and was about 24" tall. He's probably put on about half a pound since then. The boy props himself up with his arms pretty well these days. He stands and sits well with some support, and he loves being held up in the airplane position. He also giggles a lot, especially when you say "me, me, me, me, me" really quickly in a high-pitched voice. Hey, who doesn't, right? Unfortunately, lately Milo's also taken to making this noise which sounds a lot like a cross between an old, alcoholic, smoker clearing his throat and the monster Mothra from the Godzilla movies. It's absolutely horrid, but he loves doing it for no apparent reason - super! In fact he's making the noise right now.

Above: Milo mugs for his monthly shot with Mr. Bear. As you can see, Milo's at the age where he tries to get everything in his mouth. That includes Mr. Bear. In other news, Milo is pretty well healed up from his hernia surgery, and best of all he remains RSV free.

Maddy is doing great too. At last weigh in about two weeks ago, she was 15 lbs even and has probably put on a pound since then. She looks great even with her tongue out - probably better. Like Milo, she likes to grab hold of things and either put them in her mouth or shake them back an forth violently. She is also able to sit and stand with a little support. Of late, she's started to lift her head completely up and lean forward. Hopefully she'll be sitting up soon on her own. Also notable is her hellacious gas -- definitely Grampa's progeny.

Maddy snuggles up with Mr. Bear and Mr. Duck. She's getting bigger, but she still hasn't outgrown her love of Barry Manilow. She loves it when I sing "I Can't Smile Without You." Then again, she also likes old Run DMC and she especially likes the song "I Like Farts" from the Family Guy see (could there be a better kids song?).

It's pretty amazing how much she's grown! Although it's not terribly apparent, her hemangioma is also starting to reduce.

After a couple false starts, Maddy now enjoys eating (somewhat) solid foods. She also likes to smear food all over her face and head. I've probably seen photos like the one here a dozen times, and I pretty much just rolled my eyes. Of course, now that it's my kid it's a whole new ballgame. By the way, Milo is uninterested in eating by spoon. Elaine tried to feed him some banana the other day and Milo just pushed it out of his mouth and then gave her the same look I give when I realize I may need to use a porta-potty. Not too promising. I suggested he might not like bananas, but Elaine assured me that all babies like them. I tested the theory by breaking off a piece and holding it near his lips. Sure enough, he licked it a few times and smiled. Maybe next week...

Here's a fairly long video clip of Maddy eating from the spoon that's bound to bore all of you. ;). Maybe the kids will be advanced enough to do our taxes by next month. Let's hope so.

Above: Lisa Goines (just behind Elaine) attends to M&M on September 15, 2008.

And now for the complete bummer. The babies' very first primary nurse, Lisa Goines, passed away a few days ago on February 6, 2009. Lisa's obituary appears here. The obit is relatively brief, but it mentions her work as a neonatal nurse for 20 years at Alta Bates. During that time, I can only imagine how many babies she nursed back to health. I remember meeting Lisa the day after Elaine gave birth to the babies. I practically slept walked into room 11 and Lisa was right there attending Maddy (whose skin was still gelatinous at the time). Very few people can do the type of work required of a skilled neonatal nurse, and Lisa was among the most talented out there. She helped us pick our first primary nurses -- who were the A Team as far as we're concerned, and she also gave us tremendous support during the most agonizing time in our life. It's a terrible shame that the world has lost her. Before leaving the NICU, Elaine and I bought several prints by Wanda Goines (Lisa's mother) for the babies' room. They are a beautiful reminder of the contribution Lisa and her family made to the lives of our children.


Heather said...

"It's absolutely horrid, but he loves doing it for no apparent reason - super! In fact he's making the noise right now." Classic, Rob! My smile for the day!

This was a great blog post. The babies look awesome! It's great that they are doing so well!

So sorry to hear about Lisa though. That's a shame. I remember you talking about her.

Sarah V said...

Hey there Stiles family! I was just checking the blog again. Have to say that Auden loves looking at pictures of M&M and particularly loves the videos. In the pic of Maddy with Mr. Bear she looks particularly like Rob-- something in the expression. I was also noticing Milo's exquisite blue eyes. Both your kids have beautiful blues, actually. I love hearing the updates and seeing the pictures and am so delighted to see all the normal baby stuff coming out. The noises are the best! I love them. Now Auden is into making up words-- something I am sure your kids will love, too.

So sorry to hear of the loss of Lisa. That is such sad news. I hope her family will always find some comfort in knowing how many babies she helped to keep in this world and how many families will forever be greatful for the care and attention that she gave to their babies at the most fragile and difficult times of their lives.