July 10th

Wow, July 10th. I haven’t written in over a month. I have no idea how that is possible. The month of June somehow flew by, but yet each day felt like 17 years.

June was basically the same as May, only hotter. We played in the pool a lot, see some pictures below, as we still aren’t going out in pubic. It’s been somewhere around 119 days in isolation. I keep saying I might lose my mind. Perhaps I already have. Today is especially bad, it’s near 100F so we haven’t been outside much… and they are obviously sick of being stuck inside. They fight. Nadia is quite physical. I feel like I keep pulling her off Nora. No amount of sending her to her room does any good. I suspect a lot of Nadia’s behavior is sensory related, more on that in another post, but regardless, we need to discipline. And I have no idea how, as nothing I have tried works. I know we can’t stay inside forever, but with cases rising again, I’m just not all that comfortable taking the girls out yet.

In other news… WE BOUGHT A HOUSE. Eric keeps teasing me that it’s our annual real estate purchase, as we seem to move every one to two years lately. It’s a really pretty house, I’ll post a few pictures once we are moved in. We close July 27th but the movers don’t come until August 8th. I guess I should be packing.

Nadia had her first occupational therapy (OT) session last week. They gave us a reoccurring appointment, every OTHER Thursday for 30 minutes. I’m annoyed. I don’t feel like it’s nearly enough time, as I can hardly tell them my concerns much less have them work on anything with her. I feel like they are just too busy to really give any patient the attention they need. Maybe I still need to consider another therapist in another nearby city. Nadia also has a speech therapy appointment at the end of the month. She was in speech, and actually physical therapy also, when she was younger, but I feel like she still needs some help with speech. She doesn’t talk much, although can, but sometimes she acts like she wants to say something but can’t think of the word. Other times she will make a noise or point for something she wants. We’ll see what they have to say.

I can’t think of what else is new… since we don’t leave the house much. We did go to my sister’s house for the 4th of July which was fun, lots of good food! Otherwise, same old same old here playing LEGOs!

Laundry and Catch Up

I’m playing catch up this week, lots of laundry, emptied out my voicemail, returned a ton of calls, rescheduled some doctors appointments for the girls, you get the idea.

Nadia had her 18 month (15 ½ month adjusted) check-up Wednesday. She is now only three pounds behind Nora!

At Nadia’s appointment we talked a bit about her development, revisiting the idea of speech and physical therapy. Nadia is obviously not at the level of an 18 month-old, but we don’t expect her to be at this point. Our doctor was a little concerned though, so she asked we work with her at home and re-evaluate in a few months. Problem is, I have no idea what to work on! The doctor gave us a few suggestions, but beyond that, I’m a bit at a loss… Our pediatrician said Nadia should have 15 words, with meaning at this age. Hum… she definitely has way more than 15 words, as she will repeat most words I say, but I’m not sure 15 of them have meaning to her. Our doctor said she should be walking up stairs, with help, at this point, throwing a ball with a forward hand motion, rather than just dropping it, and now I forget what else. Ugh. Sometimes I think maybe getting her back into speech and PT would be easier. I mean, I know it’s two appointments a week, but at least then I’d know what to focus on each week.

Also, Nadia still isn’t sleeping through the night consistently. It seems she wakes maybe every-other night, and whines/cries in her bed until I take her a bottle. She’ll suck down 7 oz and then go right back to sleep. Our doctor suggested trying just water instead of the toddler formula I’ve been giving her, but I assume because she is worried about the sugar from the formula sitting on her teeth all night. Honestly, maybe that should be my concern, but I’m just happy she is growing well, and I contribute that to her nighttime bottles. She does eat well during the day, but she is obviously hungry at night, or wouldn’t want the bottle, right? I know we need to ditch bottles soon though… Maybe one day I just throw them away and not look back!

I should go… I planned a playdate at my home tomorrow morning. Do I frantically clean the entire house? Or let them see how we really live? And Eric left this morning for another week on-call, so it’s just me and the girls for the next seven days. I guess I should do some kid-friendly meal planning!

Motivation

I’m finding it harder and harder to write these days. It’s not that I don’t want to, or need to. I have the thoughts in the head. I just seem to find myself filling my time with other activities… Maybe once we get back into a routine I’ll find more time. Below is what’s going on in our lives!

  • Thanksgiving was fun! Eric and I hosted at our new home. He smoked a turkey, I made some sides and my mother brought a bunch of food as well, and my sister too. It was a small gathering, just 6 adults and 4 kids, but it was nice, and fun. But in true form, the day went way too quickly. And I was so busy I didn’t take a single picture the entire day. Ugh. As you know how much I love pictures. On to Christmas I guess! I better start shopping!
  • Speaking of our new home… I’m still in the process of unpacking and decorating. It’s supposed to be fun, right? Why does it feel like work?? Our Christmas tree has been up almost a week, and yet still stands with only lights… Maybe today?
  • I went yesterday to get some ideas for window treatments. What are your thoughts on shutters? We have white trim, so probably something similar to this picture. Would you do the entire house in these? Bedrooms too?fullsizeoutput_17b9
  • Nadia had her 15 month (12 month adjusted) checkup this past Monday. I’m totally mom of the year, she has an ear infection and I had no idea. She’s been teething and cranky lately, but I guess I just figured it was her teeth and nothing more. I did ask her pediatrician about continuing physical and speech therapy. Her thoughts were… lets hold off for now. Nadia is babbling more, and says a few words. Also, she is close to walking, as she currently walks around furniture quite a bit. Her recommendation was to see how well she walks once she does. Our PT in Cedar Falls thought she felt some tightness in one leg, but our pediatrician wasn’t able to find that. So for now, I guess we’ll see. I trust our pediatrician, as she has lots of preemie experience but I also recognize she is not specifically trained in physical or speech therapy.RX99vTMmVzPUA1jdGrQ
  • At Nadia’s checkup we also discussed the cyst on her foot again. It started on the bottom of her heel shortly after birth, but now as her foot is growing it seems to be positioned more on the back edge of her heel. Our ped and Eric both agree it was caused by so many heel sticks in the NICU for blood tests. My understanding is its dead skin cells stuck under the skin. It seems to be getting larger so needs to be removed, otherwise the fear is it will bother her when walking with shoes. Problem is… with children, they like to put them out, as it will involve cutting and stitches. Ugh. Eric wants to do it at home. I said no way!
  • Girls are healthier this week and back to ‘school’ as we call it. Nora seems pretty excited to go each day, although is still a little weary of me leaving. Nadia on the other hand, screams as soon as we walk into her room. Yesterday her teacher did send me a few cute pictures of her playing. So she must not cry the entire day! Neither of the girls are napping well there, in fact, Nora hasn’t napped at all this week. So bedtime is fun. And she isn’t doing as well sleeping through the night either lately like she used to. I hope we all adjust soon.
  • Eric has been gone since last Friday, and even with daycare help, parenting alone is hard. Really hard. A part of me hates all this responsibility. I have so much anxiety toward the girls eating, especially Nora. We are still relying on some bottles of Pediasure. Nadia is still taking a few bottles too of toddler formula, but she loves eating much more than Nora ever did!
  • I’m struggling with figuring out my purpose… This probably needs a post all its own… My original intention with daycare was to get the girls some socialization with other kids a few days a week. Everyone tells me though, that the girls will adjust much better if they have a consistent routine, meaning they should go everyday. Do you all agree? And if so, what the hell do I do all day? I can only decorate this house and consider working out so many hours a day. A job is the obvious answer. But I’m scared that would take me away from the girls too much, as I still normally get them from daycare late afternoon. And with Eric off every third week, I don’t want to be working during that time, as then I would never see him. I need a really flexible job. But no clue what that would be!

I’m sure I’m forgetting a million things I was going to mention, but I’ll leave you with a somewhat amusing story…

Yesterday morning I spent several hours remaking our bed. I had purchased a new memory foam mattress topper, a gel mattress pad, and new pillows. So I washed all the new stuff and put on a clean set of sheets as well. I was worn out, so I threw all the dirty stuff into a basket in our bedroom, vowing to do laundry soon. Yesterday afternoon the cleaners came. And put all the dirty stuff back on the bed and piled all the clean stuff in the laundry room. Only in my life, right??

House Hunting

Tomorrow I’m meeting my cousin who is a Realtor in the Cedar Rapids area to look at a few houses. I’m excited, but nervous too. I hate being in Cedar Falls, but the idea of being further from Eric the weeks he’s on call is a little terrifying too. Like tonight, he left to drive to Ft. Dodge a bit ago. If he was leaving from Cedar Rapids he might have wanted to get on the road sooner, and would be home later tomorrow evening. Ugh. I wish someone could tell me what to do, or I could see the future.

In preparation for tomorrow I’m trying to make a list of things I dislike about our current home… things I want to make sure are different in the next house we purchase.

  • I do like a somewhat open floor plan, but our current home is basically one huge room for our kitchen, dining, and living room. It’s very difficult to arrange furniture. And since Nora can always see the kitchen and eating area, she constantly wants to eat, then wants to get down and play. This repeats every ten minute the entire freaking day.
  • Our current kitchen pantry is basically a tall cabinet. It sucks. We need more space!
  • Same goes for our laundry room, which is really a hallway which is also our mud room. Way too cramped. 
  • It’s a pain in the butt walking through our entire house with groceries as the garage is on the opposite side as the kitchen. 
  • Currently the girl’s bedrooms share a wall with the kitchen. Horrible, as after they go to bed I tend to clean up and do dishes, and they can hear it all. And entertaining with the girls sleeping is out of the question.
  • We have a fairly good sized finished basement, but it’s not a walkout, which I really want in the next house, both to make letting Kona outside easier, and for playing outside with the girls. Our deck off the kitchen has a ton of stairs down to the yard, so it’s hard for Nora to walk down them alone.
  • I really need a neighborhood with sidewalks, a place for the girls to ride bikes, or even just take them for walks. There are empty lots on both sides of our current home, thus our sidewalk doesn’t connect to anything. It’s annoying as I don’t really want Nora playing in the street, even though it’s not busy. 

Am I asking for too much?

Oh, forgot to share… Last Wednesday at Nadia’s speech therapy appointment the therapist suggested stopping our sessions for the time being. Nadia does nothing but cry during the sessions, although I blame this on them wanting to take her back alone. And technically she is making a lot more sounds and says mama and dada, so they are thinking it would be okay to hold off on more therapy for now. They said to contact them in maybe four months and we can have another evaluation to see how she is doing at that point. I’m thrilled to knock off one therapy session a week. Hopefully she progresses well with us helping her at home over the next few months.

And then there is Nora. Eric is so hard on her sometimes. I feel like he expects so much out of her, considering she’s only 30 months. Should she be counting by now? Eric works with her constantly, and she knows a lot, but counting is something she gets stuck on. I have no idea why, but when she counts she says 1, 2, 6. She refuses to say 3. And it drives Eric up the wall. Like he actually gets mad at her. Maybe I’m too easy on her, but I let it go. I correct her, but I don’t hold it against her. I guess I feel like at some point it will click with her. Right?

Although, more another time, I’m exhausted and need to be up early to shower and get ready before the girls wake. Good night!

Therapy Update

I haven’t written about the girl’s therapy sessions lately, so thought I would update.

First, Nadia’s physical therapy (PT). I think it’s going really well. When we started Nadia was barely sitting and now she is sitting very well, army crawling all over the house, and getting close to getting herself out of a sitting position to army crawl on her own. Well, I guess I should say without face-planting. Oh, and just in the past few days she has been reaching up, like toward the couch, or even my legs.

Nadia’s PT sessions are once a week for 45 minutes, although usually she is worn out after 35 or 40 minutes. And the past few times the therapist has been taking her back without me, and for the most part that is going well, even though Nadia is very much in the ‘clinging to mommy stage’ and ‘crying when I walk away stage’. When the therapist brings her back out to me she usually tells me what to work on until we see her again. This week she wanted us to get some type of one foot high step so we could work with Nadia on pulling herself up to it, and supporting her while she kneels next to it. I very much see the value in PT, but maybe it’s because I see progress. I’m not sure I can say the same for speech and feeding.

Speech with Nadia is once a week but only for 30 minutes. And of course it’s never scheduled next to another appointment of ours, so it’s a pain to drive all the way there for an appointment that seems to go really quick. For the speech sessions the therapist usually takes Nadia back alone for the first 20 minutes and then gets me for the last 10 minutes.

So…. I’m probably gonna sound like a really bad mom for saying this, but I really want to quit these sessions, at least for the time being. Three sessions ago the therapist blew bubbles and said ‘ba ba ba bubbles’ to Nadia for 30 minutes. Two sessions ago she got out this toy and turned it on and off while saying ‘stop’ and ‘go’ for 30 minutes. This past week Nadia was kind of upset and didn’t really want to be near the therapist, so she played peek-a-boo with her for 30 minutes. Now I realize I’m not trained in this area, but I can certainly do these things with Nadia on my own without paying for each of these sessions. I did ask the speech therapist if we could come every other week, and she didn’t think that was a good idea as Nadia already doesn’t know her, so she thought the more she sees her, the better.

Nadia’s one year check-up was Friday, which is another post in itself, but I did ask our pediatrician about the speech therapy… And she was fine with us stopping for now. She said since Nadia has two words, mama and dada, at about 10 months adjusted, she wouldn’t necessarily consider her behind at this point. So, we’ll see. I haven’t cancelled any appointments yet. Mommy guilt.

And finally, Nora’s feeding therapy which is once a week for 45 minutes. I kind of want to cancel these as well… Each session is very much the same. We bring three foods she will eat and three foods she won’t eat. They alternate back and forth, the foods she likes being a reward if she tries or makes some interaction with a food she won’t eat at home for us. The therapist is very very very happy and outgoing. (I want some of whatever she is on!) They basically play with the food, like asking her to ‘clean your spoon’ when she was trying applesauce, ‘lick it like a puppy’ when I took some yogurt she won’t eat, and ‘make a moon’ in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again, none of this is rocket science, and now that I know what the therapist does, I can easily replicate this at home.

Maybe I’m being too hard on these therapist, I don’t know. Or maybe we just need to find different therapists. And if we move back to Cedar Rapids, we’d be forced to anyway.