Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yes, I Finally Added a New Post!

First, May 6th was National Nurses Day. If you look back at our old posts, you'll see just what a tremendous role nurses played in saving M&M from all the numerous pitfalls of very early birth. If you are impressed with how well our 25 weekers turned out, the nurses at Alta Bates deserve a considerable share of the credit! Thanks. Thanks very much to all of you!

It's been a while - as Auntie Janet has recently reminded me. In fact I think this is the longest I've gone without posting an update to the blog. Consequently, this post is long. Very long. Maybe my longest yet. Maybe not. Of late there just hasn't been much time - between the 15+ doctor/evaluation/IEP/assessment appointments we've had over the last 5 weeks for the kids, along with the usual work schedule and so forth we've been busy. Really, really, annoyingly busy. Here's hoping that things slow down a bit with summer on the way!

We did manage to find time over the last few weeks to have some fun with the kids. On the home front, Elaine got bold and decided to setup the kids' easel outside for an afternoon of painting. The kids loved it and some of their works will no doubt fetch a tidy sum at the next big Christie's auction. M&M dubbed the collaborative work below "No! noooo! myyyyy paint." It now adorns a wall in my office. The asking price is $5,000, but all reasonable offers will be considered. Dig deep people.

M&M at work. April 2011

The aftermath. (Taken approximately 35 minutes after the above photo.)

Of course, April is also Easter time and the kids enjoyed their first ever Easter egg hunt down in the southwest meadows of our palatial estate. Maddy and Milo's older friend Callie showed the twins the ropes. Maddy was a quick study. Once she figured out that the eggs contained candy, she became a well-oiled egg-seeking machine. Milo doesn't have much of a sweet tooth. He filled his basket easy enough, but he was more impressed with the colors and just puttering around the yard.

Maddy & Callie - Easter 2011

Milo checks his booty.

Maddy shares a little with Mom. The little girl loves feeding people.

Callie, Maddy and Milo on the hunt.

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The search is on.

Later on that day, we joined Callie, Ellie, and their Mom and Dad for Easter dinner. That's Maddy on the far left wearing Callie's princess dress. Elaine and Lara are toiling in the background prepping the beer glazed ham and various cheesy potato dishes. A delicious, low calorie meal!

Unlike Milo, whose hair grows in fast and thick, it's taken the little girl a while to grow her blond locks out. It didn't help that the poor kid got a butchered back in late January. Her hair is now long enough to require barrettes. And she definitely digs the barrettes!

Above: Maddy admires her look. If you look in the center right side of the photo, you'll see M&M's potty charts. It's a work in progress. Really, the potty training is largely a work with little progress so far. We had a few big moments several months ago when Maddy put together a few wees on the pot. Since then, nada -- not a poo, not a tinkle, not nothing! Meanwhile, diapers only get larger and more expensive, and the poop only gets bigger. I'm hoping that - like a lot of other kids - there will be a tremendous break through one day (soon!). That's always the way it seems to go with them, so it would make sense.

My dad tells me he got me using the potty by putting a small rubber ducky in the bowl and having me aim at it. Maybe we'll try that. Elaine just noted that I don't appear to have any strange duck peeing fetishes, so what's the harm? (Elaine also just asked me to delete the bit about the duck peeing fetish but I think it's pretty funny. Feel free to post a comment letting her know how funny I am and how my wit and irreverent humor keeps you all coming back for more!)

Another cute barrette shot.

Milo tries on Daddy's work shoes. May 2011.

Above: Milo enjoys one of Mommy's famous pancake breakfasts. Usually Elaine and I trade off on who gets to sleep in late on the weekends. Whoever gets up early usually makes breakfast. I generally make french toast; Elaine leans pancakes. You really can't wrong either way.

A couple weeks back, we managed to pull a few hours together to drive the kids down to Happy Hollow in San Jose. Despite the lame name, the place is probably my favorite children's theme park in NorCal. That's saying something, because I've been to pretty much all of them over the last couple years. I just wish the place was a little closer to home!

Above: Maddy loves the merry-go-round! Milo talks a big game alright -- pretty much every day he says, "I go ride tiger. I go ride tiger. I want merry-go-round!" But when we go to the park, he chickens out and sits on the bench with Mom or Dad. It's pretty amazing that the little guy will jump from ridiculous heights, loves to rough house, and especially likes me toss him in the air as high as possible. Yet, the fake tiger on the merry-go-round and his "Very Clever Crocodile" Pop-up book both scare him (though he still asks for them both every day). Fair enough.


Above: Milo climbs a steep, five foot rock wall at Happy Hollow. This bit was amazing! Milo spotted another older child climb this wall and he demanded to try it for himself. It took a couple tries, but he managed all on his own. He pulled himself up on the step in the top center, then he ran up the flights of stairs and took an enormous, enclosed slide down. I followed behind, but he took care of business without help from Dad. Pretty solid for a 2.7 year old!

Happy Hollow Slide Park. M&M did them all. The place also has a nice zoo, rides, a petting zoo, and a whole bunch of other great attractions.

Maddy keeps on trucking.

Milo - May 2011. Munching on snacks in the Happy Hollow Zoo.

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What else do the kids love besides big shoes and hats, candy, and amusement parks? Singing and dancing of course - the standard toddler array. Here M&M sing ABCs with Mom. You'll see Milo strumming his guitar, which is easily his favorite possession.

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Maddy's favorite possession these days is her tricycle. Since getting this new model, she's really taken off! The other day she rode down the street with me to a friend's house and back. It ends up being about a 1/4 mile round trip. Not too shabby! Milo can ride the tricycle, but he's not as nimble. He usually gets frustrated, jumps off and runs around on foot as fast as he can. Makes sense.

That's all for now. See you next time. Please, don't forget to tell my wife how funny I am.


4 comments:

Brian said...

Elaine - I just wanted to post a comment to let you know how funny Rob is and how his wit and irreverent humor keeps me coming back for more!
-Brian

Mom said...

Sorry Elaine, I gotta agree with Brian, Rob writes funny and yes Rob, it is your wit and irreverent humor that makes me come back. Oh, and my interest in how the kids are doing because a. they were Loki's example, b. we just love to know how your family and c. I am still an early interventionist with a passion for preemies. That said, you guys want to hangout when we visit in fall? Perhaps Happy Hollow Zoo? Really, is that the name?
Kat

Dani said...

Here, we (Matthew) puts cat food in to toilet to pee on, so a duck seems not so unreasonable. At least less expensive. He makes occasional trips to the potty, but no big breakthrough for us either. Sounds like the kids are pretty amazing. Maybe we will get to meet them some time.

rstiles said...

Thanks folks! You're the goods!