Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bona Fide Toddlers

It's pretty amazing how far they've come, and even harder to believe that in just 3 more months, the "babies" will be 3 years old. Of course they haven't been babies for a while now, but it's still hard to get used to the idea.

Much has happened in the last couple months. I returned from a 20 day kayaking trip on the Grand Canyon. An amazing trip by all accounts, but it was also the longest I've ever been away from the kids. We've had a steady stream of visitors for the last 3 months and the trend will continue through May. Of course, Grandpa came to visit over Christmas. Dad's buddy Matt came for 9 days in January. The day after he left, we had Kieron and Kirst come over from England to stay with us and join Dad on the Grand Canyon . In February, we had Michael and Rachel, who were kind enough to babysit too (THANKS!). Uncle Nathan and Aunt Anna will be dropping by this evening for dinner while in town, and then our friends Jeff, Laura, and their daughter Ella will join us for the week. Very nice to have visitors and the kids are really enjoying the new faces!

February 19, 2011 - Dad just returns from the Grand Canyon and joins M&M for breakfast. Note Dad is still sporting the remnants of his once mighty beard.

March 2011 - Maddy contemplates her bagel.

March 2011 - Milo hangs out in the backyard. You'll notice he's almost always wearing this fleece pullover. He's loves the thing and never wants to take it off.

On the medical front: During February Milo had his speech evaluation. Speech is probably the little guys weakest area. Recall that Milo had ear tubes inserted a couple months back too - this has definitely helped with his hearing, but he still has about a 30% delay in his ability to speak and understand. It's hard to say how much of this might be hearing related. At times he seems to hear quite well and it's tough to tell if he's just ignoring us. (Imagine a toddler ignoring the commands of his parents?)

Both kids recently had a follow-up with the pulmonologist and appear to be do doing quite well in the lung department overall. As you may recall, Maddy's vocal chords got nicked during her PDA ligation way back when she was only two weeks old. As a result, Maddy's voice is a little bit lower in tone, quieter, and raspy than most girl toddlers. Some vocal chord damage or paralysis is actually a common side effect of a PDA ligation -- see here. Milo's voice is also a little bit quiet and "airy" which could also indicate some damage, albeit minor. The pulmonologist is going to do a broncoscopy in order to have a good look the kids lungs and determine the extent of the vocal chord damage. It's possible that some surgery may be required to address the problem, but more than likely speech therapy will do the trick.

Once the kids are 3 years old, they will no longer be eligible to receive early intervention services from their current provider, Regional Center of the East Bay. Instead the Alameda school district will take over providing services for M&M as needed. This means another round of assessments which should give us a good idea of how much the kids have caught up to their peers.

February 26, 2011: Maddy takes the tricycle tour of the backyard. She's actually gotten quite good at riding the tricycle around and even manages to maneuver around the yard furniture. Pretty impressive stuff! Milo isn't that into the tricycle, but he absolutely loves water. Maybe Maddy got my cycling genes and Milo got the paddling genes.

After a couple of unsuccessful tries, we finally made it to the Children's Discovery Museum in San Jose. Lots of fun! The kids had a great time driving the fire truck (above), playing with the water, practicing making pizzas, and just generally running around in the grass. Good times!

Milo loving the water.

See you next time!