Saturday, April 25, 2009

Garden Gnomes (and some video that only a grandparent could love)

A happier and healthier M&M this week!

Illness number 1 is now behind us and the twins did just fine. No major issues -- in fact M&M remained pretty much their normal selves throughout. There was the coughing, and we did have to give them the occasional shot on the inhaler, but all in all it could have been much worse. Many preemies need to hit the nebulizer or head back to the hospital. Our good luck may have had a lot to do with their regular Synagis shots.

On that note, we've decided to tote the lil' buggers to some of the big attractions around the Bay Area. We're good for about one trip a week. The plan is to gear up and lug the kids to at least one cool spot each week and of course take the standard "garden gnome" shot. Our plan was slightly foiled the first two weeks when we forgot to grab the camera, but we managed to remember it during our last two outings.

M&M sit unimpressed in front of the Golden Gate Bridge - 04/19/09.

Elaine strolls with the twins across the what's-it-called bridge. It ends up being a decent walk -- 3.4 miles for the round trip, plus another half mile or so to get to and from the car.

Briones State Park -- 04/25/09

Above: M&M hanging with their fat dad. Today's trip involved a much-needed long-ish hike at Briones. The several mile hike was mostly up hill headed out, and was a nice chance for me to try and shed some of the 20+ lbs I've put on over the last several months. I'd like to call it sympathy weight, but it's mostly just my inability to stop eating at the delicious Coast Guard galley -- which is even nicer than most public school cafeterias.

In other news, Maddy is now pulling herself up on to her knees. Maybe crawling is on the horizon?

Smiley Maddy hanging with Mom.

M&M during a morning play session.

Milo proves he can reach his feet just fine.

Maddy gets an evening bath -- one of her favorite things.

Milo feeds himself

Alrighty then... A few of you (grandparents mostly) have requested video of the twins. I finally figured out how to use the webcam, so here you have it -- a very long clip of the twins eating breakfast. Watch with fascination as Maddy nearly puts her breakfast bowl on her head (a la Aunt Heather). Be captivated as Milo nibbles dry toast. Well, you get the idea.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

10 Months! (and the first illness)

Milo & Maddy - 15 April 2009

The big news is that the twins are now 10 months old by the calendar, and they'll be 7 months corrected age on the 26th. They continue to make big steps forward -- Elaine and I were particularly impressed when Maddy completed our taxes and secured us a very tidy refund. She's just so advanced! We're also proud to announce that Milo has just mastered his second foreign language, and is being considered for early admission to Stanford (he wanted to stay local). OK, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole, but the kids are doing well overall.

The big news this week is that both babies are weathering their very first illnesses. Maddy developed a fever last Sunday, and although it didn't appear too serious the doctor asked Elaine to bring her in just to make sure. By the way, any time you mention the words "25 weeker," "compromised lungs" and "fever," you usually get a very quick call back from the pediatrician. Maddy was successfully fighting the virus, though, and other than a little Tylenol and an occasional hit off the inhaler, she's doing just fine. As these things tend to go, Milo caught the same bug, and by Tuesday he was registering the same symptoms as Maddy. The good news is that both babies went for a follow-up visit to the doctor this morning, and it looks like they are doing just fine. It's pretty nice to have the first illness more or less behind us.

In other news, Maddy continues to develop impressive fine motor skills. We've been trying to get her to wave hello and good-bye, and she seems to be taking to it. Occasionally she waves both arms together and it looks like she's conducting an orchestra.

A bigger Maddy - 15 April 2009

As the pictures show, Maddy is getting bigger and bigger and more and more smiley. Her reflux seems to be well under control now, and her disposition is much, much happier than in the early days. To be fair, she had plenty to complain about.

Milo - 15 April 2009

Taking the bear photos is usually a relatively easy lift with Milo, but the little guy has been pretty ornery this week due to the virus. He's typically all smiles, but this was as good as it got yesterday.

A couple more shots of the little guy from earlier in the week. By the way, we haven't given either of the babies a hair cut yet, that's just the way Milo's hair grows. It looks a little like he's wearing a toupée, doesn't it?

Parting Shot

Our primary nurses Janet, Annette, and Donna wished M&M a happy 10 month birthday and sent along this picture of them in front of Room 11 in the NICU. Those of you who have followed the blog for while probably recall that the babies called Room 11 home for the first few months of their life. It's where we first held them, bathed them, fed them. It's where both babies had their PDA operations and so much more. Pretty remarkable place in our lives, and these are three of the remarkable people who helped M&M to get big and strong.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A New Friend & Milo's Best Ever Picture

The latest stats:

16 lbs 8.5 oz
27.25 in.

14 lbs 9 ozs

As you can see, Maddy continues to dwarf her brother in the size department, but we've discovered one area where Milo has it all over Maddy -- eating solid food. The little guy can pack it away. The babies are eating two solid meals a day now -- breakfast and lunch -- Milo takes pretty much whatever we throw at him. Maddy is a bit more picky, and she gets particularly cranky if we don't allow her to have a lot of control over the spoon. Milo is pretty content to just let us shovel it in for him, though he get impatient if we don't keep it coming. This morning he knocked down 2 tbl spoons of oatmeal, 3 tbl spoons of prunes, and then he took another tbl spoon and a half of yogurt. Maddy ate about 4 tbl. spoons total. Even more surprising is the fact that Milo is actually a pretty clean eater. By comparison, we pretty much need to get out the fire hose after Maddy finishes.

Maddy eating her prunes in a quest for regularity.

Milo working on a third bowl of food.

Despite Milo's eating skills, Maddy is definitely more advanced with her fine motor skills. She loves playing with blocks and is very good at picking things up and moving them from hand to hand. Maddy will also play with two different things at once. (Right now I'm watching her hold a block in one hand an look at it and shake a rattle in the other.) Milo can change objects from hand to hand too, but he does it less often -- mostly he just grabs things and tries to shove them in his mouth. He does like to hold up things and inspect them too though.

In the last week or so, I've discovered that the babies like riding on my shoulders, Milo especially. The little guy gets up there and holds on to my ears like handle bars. Maddy likes it too, but just before we took the picture of her, she spit-up all over my head. I suggested taking the picture anyway, but Elaine wasn't so hot on the idea.

This weekend, M&M had their first playtime with another baby. Our friends Melita, Derek, and their 5-month-old Nicola visited the house, and the babies got a chance to roll around on the mat and size each other up. It's hard to imagine, but in just a few more months, their playtime will get a lot more interesting.

Milo, Maddy & Nicola hanging out.

Melita & Maddy

After visiting, we all headed out to the local beer garden for a Sunday afternoon tipple (and the world's greatest baby photo).

Derek, Melita, Elaine & Milo

That's my boy and a nice, tall Duvel.