Friday, June 19, 2009

The Twelve Month Check-Up

So by now we all know that the babies are 12 months old by the calendar, but their corrected age is actually just about 9 months. Overall, they look great -- especially considering their early start and all the risk factors that generally apply to 25 weekers. Mercifully, medical appointments are no longer a weekly or even monthly event. Although the kids still receive a weekly visit from an infant development specialist, that happens at home, and visits to the pediatrician and pulmonologist happen every few months now.

Since the babies just crossed the one year mark, they did go in yesterday for their annual check-up and to receive some much-loved vaccinations. The latest numbers are just below.

Maddy & Mr. Bear - June 19, 2009

Maddy weighed in yesterday at a respectable 18 lbs. 2 ozs. She was 28.25 inches long, and her head was 43 cm around. As a side note, she can't go out in the bike trailer until her head is at least 48 cm (the minimum helmet size) - ditto Milo.

Milo & Mr. Bear - June 19, 2009

Milo is still trailing his bigger sister. He was 16 lbs. 8 ozs. He was 27.5 inches long, and his head was slightly bigger than Maddy at 44 cm.

In terms of other exciting developments:

After only 6 short months of teething, Maddy appears to be getting her front teeth! Nothing yet for Milo, but should be any day...

Both babies now sit up for pretty long periods of time and are now captivated by their toys. It's nice to be able to set them down and just watch them play for a few minutes while daddy gets a beer :)

Crawling is still painfully elusive. Both babies can support themselves on their hands and knees and Maddy even crawls backwards a little but no official crawling. They are pretty ingenious about getting around, though -- lots of rolling and shimmying seems to do the trick.

On the eating front, as previously mentioned, the babies feed themselves Cheerios and really love them. They now prefer to feed themselves, and we've started to work with them a bit on that. This morning they shoveled in scrambled eggs, bagel pieces, and prunes. It's tough with Maddy, because she's slow, she hates getting help, and she also doesn't like eating cold food. It makes for a lot of reheating. Milo, on the other hand, takes the bulldozer approach -- he grabs as much as he can shoves it in his gob. He has about a 60% efficiency rate. The rest ends up in his bib.

Both babies love banging things together, and Milo really likes to clap his hands. Both babies have also developed "object permanence." That means that if you show them something and then hide it, they know it still exists. It was amazing to watch that change -- about a month or so ago they didn't have that skill. If you showed them the remote control, they'd immediately reach for it, but if you put a cloth over it, they just stopped cold. Now they lift the cloth and grab the remote. Kinda' neat.

Here's some video of this morning's playtime. Exciting stuff. Be sure to watch for Milo's big finale!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First Birthday Shin-Dig

Pre-Party playtime.

Maddy lookin' pretty

The family. This was Elaine's first crack at making a cake completely from scratch.

Left to right: Bill & Kristen & Molly; Milo & Maddy; and Crazy Uncle Jeff.

Left to right: Elaine; Anthea & Milo; Stuart & Carolyn with their children Adella & McKinley; and of course, the lovely Olivia Alexander.



Milo & Dad. Milo missed his afternoon nap, so he spent about half the party asleep in the baby carrier.

Maddy & Renata

Top to bottom: Milo, Cameron, & Jon.

Kristen & Molly (left); Melita, Nicola, & Derek (back); Elaine & Maddy (front)

Good times!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Almost a Year...

It's difficult to believe that Elaine was still pregnant a year ago. Obviously much has happened since then and almost none of it according to plan. (Almost?) But, I'm going to avoid any big attempts at a cathartic, long-winded post about the "long journey." Well, maybe just a little. And speaking of old times, there was another article about the kids in the Alta Bates Community Connections along with some nice photos.

Milo is sitting in his swing right now, and I'm looking over at him. He's grinning. He supposed to be napping, but he woke up after 30 minutes. So now he's downstairs with Dad, while Mom is upstairs trying to catch up on the hour of sleep she lost last night when Maddy woke up hungry. Thankfully, midnight awakenings have become less and less common. And I remember right after the babies were born -- when we had no idea what was going to happen -- wishing so badly that I could see a year into the future and know what the future held. And here I am. The future is here and the babies have beaten the odds by and large. How I wish I could travel back and let everyone know it's going to be ok.

For old times sake, I just took a spin around the internet to look at the statistics on 25-weekers like M&M. I used to Google these stats almost every day -- just look back at some of the early blog posts and you'll get a sense of how much time I spent online. The percentages are still all over the place. Some peg survival as low as 50%, some as high as 90%. Some peg permanent disability as low as 25% some as high as 75% and all define disability differently. If only I could look ahead a couple years and know everything is going to be ok.... For now, Milo has finally fallen asleep in his swing, and things look pretty good. Enough ruminating.

So here's a terrible picture of Maddy & her brother but it's important nonetheless. Take a look at the Cheerios on their trays. That marks another important development for the babies -- they can now pick up the little Os with their fingers and pop them in their mouth. True, most of em' end up buried in the bottom of the high chair, or stuck to their clothing or the floor, but many of em' also make it in the mouths.

Yesterday, M&M attended their first birthday party in advance of their own. Their friend and former NICU buddy Molly turned one. Maddy in particular was mesmerized by Molly.

Giant Molly the birthday girl with her Mom Krista. Molly is enormous and has a very impressive set of teeth already.

Molly's Dad Bill hangs out with Madeline. Interestingly enough, Maddy showed none of the usual stranger anxiety.

Milo enjoys his favorite activity in the world during the party, riding the swings.

Elaine and the babies hang out and celebrate.

The babies and Mom and Dad are finally over a long string of colds that have plagued the house for the last few weeks. We really haven't been able to get out too much, so other than a few outings, it's been playtime at home an awful lot of late.

Maddy munches on her toy cell phone. She likes it, but not nearly as much as the real thing. Ditto remote controls.

I love this shot because it's one of those terrible pictures that makes Milo look like he's had a few. Yah, I know that's bad, but it's hard not to laugh a little.

A slightly better Milo photo. The boy hanging out in the living room during a play session.

That's right, big smiles, everybody's happy.

Maddy and Dad.