Saturday, March 27, 2010

Three More Years of Cali!

As many of you may already know, we finally got word this week that my next assignment will be here in the Bay Area. On one hand, this is great news because it means M&M will get to remain with their present medical care givers. We were definitely not looking forward to finding a new pediatrician, pulmonologist, physical therapist, occupational therapist, child development specialist, and infant follow-up clinic. Not to mention, new employment for Elaine, childcare, and a new house. So yeah, this works out pretty well for right now. Besides, the kids had a tough first year and didn't get out much, and it will be nice to stay for a few more years so they can get to know their home state. (I'm even thinking of selling my beloved Cherokee for a VW camper van to get us out on the road more often.)

On the other hand, we thought we might get a few years in the Northeast close to our old friends and family. Well, for those of you back east, now you have a good reason to come out and visit.

By the way, for those of you still surprised by the number of specialists the kids are seeing, no need to worry. M&M are doing quite well. A couple weeks back they turned 18 months (21 months calendar age), and they are doing a great job of catching up. Maddy is about 22.5 lbs now and Milo is finally over 20. Both kids are physically strong; usually eat like horses; they both have near 20 words and understand several others; they are adventurous and are getting more and more coordinated. Milo in particular has bizarre baby strength: he can grab onto a bar and hold onto it (hanging in mid air) for over 20 seconds -- by then he's usually giggling so much he lets go. Pretty impressive for an 18 month old, eh?

20 March 2010

Last week the Stiles crew hosted a visit with the famous Loki Sky and his mom and dad Kat and Jesse. Loki was born and admitted to the Alta Bates NICU the day Milo came home. I've mentioned him previously -- fantastic little guy who has overcome a hell of a lot. Read his blog if you get a chance (

March 2010

Milo is still a snuggler for the most part, especially when he's tired or not feeling well. Otherwise, he's developed quite an independent streak. He's still not particularly interested in playing with other kids, but loves figuring out how things work and generally messing with things.

Milo & Lucy

Overall, the little guy is very good with the cats. He can usually stroke them gently for 10 to 15 seconds before he ends up going all Lennie on them and tries to pet them to death.

March 2010

We live within walking distance of the beach, and both kids enjoy playing there. Maddy especially likes seeing the water and chasing sea gulls.

Milo often just naps but that's fine too.

Maddy with log.

Maddy with twigs.

Not unlike Mom and Dad, the kids also get cabin fever and prefer to be outside as often as possible. Milo can now open most doors in the house, including the front door, so we have to keep it gated to keep him from taking an unsupervised dip in the fountain out front.

Milo shows off his 8 teeth. Teeth have been a long time in coming, especially for Milo. He seems to be getting his at a snail's pace. Apparently that's pretty common for early babies. Maddy has most of hers now, but the little guy has a ways to go.

Milo and his rocket car. The car looks cool, but it's pretty hard for him to get much speed up on it. He actually prefers riding around in his wagon at high speeds .

Few things make the boy as happy as racing around in the wagon (which is truly brutal on my back). He then likes to take it apart.

Milo takes in the view at Crown Beach during a a chilly, windy Alameda day. That's San Francisco in the background.

Few things make Maddy as happy as fleece against her face and sand toys.

Except maybe the slide... Here Maddy eye balls the scene before making her first trip down the big, twisty slide at Franklin Park.

Maddy gives me one last smile before taking the plunge.

Doing it her way. Maddy alternately goes down upside down and backwards, head first, side ways, or the strangest, kneeling. It doesn't matter how you try and place her on the slide. No matter how often she gets bumped, she immediately tries to race back up for another trip. Milo is the same, but swings are really his thing.

09 March 2010 - Maddy on the beach.

Part of the reasons for all the beach visits, besides the obvious, is that walking in the sand is actually good therapy for the kids. It's tougher and gets them to pick their feet a little higher -- something that Maddy needs to focus on. She's doing a pretty good job though.

March 2010

Dad chases Milo around and tries to keep him out of traffic.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Moppin' Maddy: The Kids Start Earning Their Keep

13 March 2010

The funny part is that Maddy dragged out the mop all on her own. Tune in next week to see Milo give cat box cleaning a go! ("No! No! Those aren't Tootsie Rolls!")