Saturday, January 30, 2016

One Year Follow Up

Some of you may remember how traumatic Rylee's life was during her first 3 months.  She was an extremely unhappy baby due to a hemangioma that became ulcerated on her bottom.  I first posted about it here, but it was the post "Is This an Urgent Matter?" that really detailed how hard that time really was.  We were so afraid that the pain she was going through during that time would affect her developmentally, or that she would grow up being just as miserable.

The ulcers on her bottom eventually healed, and we have been very diligent in applying butt paste and doing our best to prevent any other diaper rash from forming.  She took medications throughout her entire first 13 months of life to help shrink the hemangiomas.  In addition to the one on her bottom, she also has one on the back of her neck that is about the size of a large grape.

The one on her bottom has mostly disappeared, leaving behind a large scar that covers almost her entire right cheek, with only a little part of the hemangioma remaining on the inside of the cheek next to the anus.  The one on her back still sticks out quite a bit, but isn't near as bulbous as it once was.  It is however, very visible and we get asked about it frequently by both adults and children.  Rylee doesn't really even seem to know it's there at this point.

On Thursday, we made the trek up to OHSU for Rylee's one year follow up appointment with the pediatric dermatologist.  The doctor was very pleased with how the hemangiomas are looking.  He said the one on the back of her neck should continue shrinking, but will be very prune like in appearance and will most likely need to be removed, which typically happens just before starting school.  He advised us to continue using the butt paste, a zinc paste, and/or Vaseline on her bottom.  He also said we should be putting Vaseline on the other one, just to keep it nice and soft.  That's not something we've been doing, so we need to remember to start doing that.

Waiting for the doctor.
We don't have to go back for another 2 years!  At that time we will discuss and make a plan for having the one on her back removed, which will require a surgery with anesthesia, but it will only be a day procedure and not an overnight stay.  If the hemangioma is still on her bottom at that time, they will most likely do a laser removal of that as well while they are at it.

All done and ready to go home!
It was a long day in the car with it being almost 3 hours away, but Rylee was a trooper!  I'm so grateful to my sister for watching Ayden for me, because I know he wouldn't have been near as patient with the drive.  I also know it would have been impossible to focus on Rylee during the appointment because he would have been into everything in the doctor's office!  He had a great day playing with his cousins and my sister's other day care kids instead.

We are so incredibly happy to get such great news and that we don't need to make that trip again for another 2 years.  Mostly, we are beyond grateful that Rylee is healthy and happy!

I went back and read those previous posts I mentioned above.  It's amazing to really see how far we have come since then.  I'm including the pictures from that time, to share with you, because it's not something you can really fully grasp the severity of without seeing for yourself.  They are kind of graphic, so if you get grossed out easily, you may not want to look.  I will scroll down before posting the pics, so you can just sign off here if you need to.

This is the original ulcer that developed within 2 weeks of being born.

These smaller ulcers formed just shy of Rylee's 2 month birthday.  They actually grew much bigger, so that this spot was just one giant ulcer eating away at her poor little tushy.

I'd post new pictures of what her bottom looks like now, but it doesn't feel right at this point to take pictures of her 2 year old butt and share them on the internet.  lol, maybe I'm just weird.  Just know that it looks nothing like this anymore!  It mostly looks like one giant scar, still the same size, and no longer raised from the skin except for the very inside part in the crack.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Twin Love

The twin bond is an amazing thing.  The fact that these two have had each other from the very first moment inside the womb, that they have somebody to play with every single day, that they are never alone, that they understand each other better than anyone else ever will...  

From the very beginning, they always seemed to reach for each other and needed to touch when they were close.  They were holding hands before they even knew what that meant.  There were so many moments during their first year that they seemed to always reach for each other's hand.

Kangaroo time with Daddy in the NICU.

Then there's the moments when they put their arms on or around each other's shoulders...

How sweet is this???

Or when they lay down together and just cuddle....

Snuggling together on their one month birthday.

Watching tv together.

And my VERY favorite is when they hug and give each other kisses without even being prompted to do so, which has been happening a lot lately.  When I see this, it melts me into a big giant pile of mush.

This happened just today!

Of course we have moments like this sometimes too...

But we pretty much feel like we hit the jackpot by having twins.  We had prayed for even just one, but we got lucky and had two.  When I watch them together, I am so extremely thankful for not only us, that we get to have them in our lives, but that they have each other.  I hope that they will always be able to consider each other best friends.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Microblog Monday: Gymnastics Round 2

I was much more mentally prepared to be more patient with Ayden at our second gymnastics class on Saturday.  We made sure not to arrive early, so there wouldn't be as much waiting around time.  We also talked a LOT with Ayden that morning and a little bit in the days prior, about going to gymnastics class and having to take our shoes, socks, and jackets off once we arrived.  We talked about it on our way there in the car, and I reminded him again as I was taking him out of his car seat, so he would be prepared to having to wait instead of just running out on the floor.

He did a very good job of being patient while we took off their shoes, socks, and jackets.
We still had to wait a few minutes for our teacher to be ready to start class.  Ayden was antsy, but he waited without much fuss.

Once class started, he actually participated a little bit in the toddler appropriate stretching exercises without much fuss.  When it was time to do the obstacle course though, he only wanted to do one station and that was it.  He had a hard time waiting his turn and wanted nothing to do with the other stations.  However, he didn't throw himself on the ground and throw a tantrum.  He just whined and complained about it.  A lot.  Still much improved from the week before.  He did okay, not great, with the trampoline part.  They are supposed to each have their own trampoline, but he insists on joining other kids on their trampolines.  When it came time to walking on the balance beams, he did it once and then wanted to run around doing his own thing.  All of this came with much whining at not wanting to follow directions, but I still consider it a win.

I ended up taking him out to the car about 10 minutes before class ended.  He had a snack and hung out in the back of the car and was happy.  All in all, much better than the crying fits he threw the week before.  Maybe third time's a charm and this week will be even better!

For more #MicroblogMonday posts, click here.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Day in the Life: Winter 2016

It's time for the first DITL post in 2016!  This is a quarterly link up with My Life in Transition.  If you'd like to participate, you can click here for the link, but hurry!  The deadline is fast approaching.

I was going to do a weekend post this time around on Saturday, but it ended up being such a rough day with Rylee waking up at 4:57am and then Ayden's meltdowns at gymnastics, that I bagged it and went with Monday instead.  So, welcome to our Day in the Life from January 18, 2016.

Tony: age 42 (only until tomorrow!)
Me: 41
Rylee: 2
Ayden: 2

6:00am - Tony's alarm goes off.  I have to nudge him to get him to actually turn it off.

6:18 - I hear Ayden start to wake up.

6:20 - Tony's second alarm goes off.  I wait a few more minutes and then roll out of bed and head into the bathroom to pee.  I come out and tell Tony he needs to get up.

6:28 - I go in to get Ayden out of his crib.  He's in a good mood and gives me a snuggle and a morning kiss.  I change his diaper and end up getting him dressed for the day because he soaked through his diaper.  I hear Rylee waking up in the room next door.

6:35 - Ayden runs into Rylee's room to say good morning.  Not really saying it, but he is excited to see her.  Tony says good morning to the kids on his way by the door.

6:38 - We all go out to snuggle together on the couch and watch Curious George, while Ayden and Rylee drink their morning sippy cup of milk.  When Rylee finishes her milk, I change her diaper.

6:55 - Tony goes to get ready for work.

7:15 - I go in search of snack cups that are laying (hiding) around the house somewhere from the day before.  Once I fill them with Cheerios, Ayden grabs both cups and bangs them together and on the counter top a few times.  Then he gives one to Rylee.

7:25 - I remember I planned on documenting my DITL today, so go find my notebook and start taking notes of our morning so far.

Watching Curious George

7:30 - Curious George comes to an end and I turn off the tv.  Rylee hollers "Pooh!  Pooh!" (for Winnie the Pooh), but I turn the tv off.  She quickly gets over it when I don't turn it back on and they both go play, while I continue making notes for this post.

He knocks this table over at least once/day, if not several times.

 7:50 - Tony leaves for work after a discussion of where to buy his new Keurig coffee pot that he's getting for his birthday.  He doesn't want me to order it online, "because then he has to wait for it."  Rylee and Ayden say "bye bye" several times as he leaves, and Rylee also says "love you" loud and clear (with prompting).  So cute!

7:57 - Ayden gets himself stuck sitting on top of stacked drawers we use for their toys.  Rylee wants to climb up there with him soooooo badly!

 8:02 - I start getting breakfast together: scrambled eggs, leftover waffles from the day before, and raspberries.  While the eggs are cooking and they are miraculously keeping themselves occupied sitting across the table from each other having a conversation, I quickly put a load of laundry in.

Conversation over.  Now they are just waiting for breakfast.

8:17 - The eggs are done, but I have to change Ayden's poopy diaper before we eat breakfast.  I herd them both into the bedroom, making a game of chase out of it.  There's no way I'm leaving one of them in the living room by themselves anymore!  They know I'm busy when I'm changing the other's diaper, and it never fails that they get into something during that time.

Climbing into their chairs, but stopping to shake them a bit first.

8:25 - We finally sit down for breakfast.  Rylee doesn't like the fresh raspberries (even though she loved them last summer!), so I give her some frozen blueberries instead.  Of course Ayden has to have some of those too.  After eating my breakfast with them, I take advantage of them being in their high chairs and load the dishwasher.

8:56 - I get them cleaned up and help them out of their high chairs.  They run into the other room to play with their kitchen.

9:06 - I put the clothes in the dryer from the washer, and another load in the washer.  Then I grab the vacuum cleaner and vacuum the best I can, while battling with them over the cord.

My helpers

9:20 - "We" put the vacuum away and then I chase them both into the bedroom again to change Rylee's poopy diaper and get her dressed.

I get a text from a friend (M), asking if we want to meet up for a nature hike by the lake.  We arrange to meet at 10:30.

9:35 - I quickly run to get dressed, knowing I have very little time before trouble ensues in the other room.  I throw on pants and a t-shirt and get back to the kitchen.  I find Ayden on a chair at the kitchen counter with Daddy's coffee spilled all over himself and the floor.  I yelled.  Not my finest moment.  I got them both back into their bedroom again, changed Ayden's clothes and put a fresh diaper on him.  Then I closed them both into their room to play while I went to brush my teeth.  I should have just done that to begin with.

9:55 - I change dinner plans because I don't have time to put our planned dinner in the crockpot and still meet our friends in time.  I take some hamburger out of the freezer to thaw instead.

10:05 - Change another poopy diaper for Ayden.  WHY must he always poop in the fresh diaper I JUST put on him?  Oh well, I'd rather change it here than at the lake.

10:10 - Get them both ready to head out the door.

10:28 - Finally pull out of the driveway, running late.

10:35 - Arrive and park, but get back in and move the car when I realize that I have to stand in a large mud puddle in order to get Rylee out of the car.

The kids think it's the best thing ever to be outside and explore, and they are all super excited to see each other.

Nothing better than jumping in puddles.

The best picture we got of all four of them.
Photo courtesy of M.

Bottom two pics courtesy of M.

Walking hand in hand = ADORABLE!
Left photo taken by M.
This is the designated swimming area during the summer.  Now it's just a fun place to explore!
Photo courtesy of M.
Puddle jumping while waiting for me to buckle Ayden into his carseat.

11:45 - We are all loaded back up in the car and headed home.

11:57 - We're back in the house.  I throw all the muddy boots/shoes in the garage, along with their rain suits, then I help them wash their hands at the bathroom sink.

12:09pm - They jump on the couch while I make lunch.

12:25 - Lunch is served!  Ham and cheese sandwich, mixed veggies, and milk.  I give them plates for their lunch, but within seconds they have their food dumped on their trays and hand me the plates back.  Sigh.

Plates.  No plates.
 While they are eating lunch, I remember to switch the laundry around.  I throw the basket of clean clothes on my bed and put the clothes from the washer in the dryer.

12:45 - Give them their multi vitamins and get them cleaned up.  Immediately after getting down from their chairs, they both lay down and slide underneath one of them.

12:53 - I round them up and chase them into the bedroom to change their diapers.  I changed Rylee first because I realized that there isn't anymore diapers in the house for Ayden.  Once I'm done with her, I close them in the room and run out to the garage to grab size 5 diapers.  I restock the diaper basket when I get back in their room and then change Ayden.  While I have him there, I also trim his fingernails.

Then we head back to the living room and we get their teeth brushed.  First I brush their teeth, then it's their turn.

"Another picture, Mom?  Really?"
1:15 - They find their blankets, Rylee grabs her baby, they give each other nigh-nigh kisses, and I put them down in their cribs.

1:20 - I lay down on the couch.  Ahhhhhh.....  And I scroll catch up with people on Facebook.

1:30 - Both are asleep.

1:57 - I get up and head back to my bedroom to go through clothes that I know don't fit me anymore.  There is a family in town here that had a house fire and someone is collecting donations for them.

2:28 - Done going through the clothes.  I found several items that will work for the mom and teenage daughter in the family.  I send a Facebook message to the gal that is collecting items and arrange for pick up.  Then I spend the next frustrating 20 minutes trying to get our computer to connect to the internet.  I'm mad that it won't work because I had plans to write my #MicroblogMonday post and start on this one!

2:51 - I give up on the computer and lay back down on the couch catch up on more social media.

3:20 - I hear Ayden waking up.

3:26 - I go in to get him and change his diaper.  Then we snuggle on the couch to watch Kipper, one of his favorite shows.

4:10 - Decide it's time to wake up Rylee so she'll still be able to go to sleep at bedtime!

4:15 - Snack time while watching the last few minutes of Kipper.  It's Veggie Straws and fruit snacks.  There's a short battle when Ayden tries to help Rylee eat her snacks instead of his own, but he goes back to his own chair after only a brief scuffle.  They both dump their snacks on the table.  When will this stage end?

4:19 - The tv is turned off.

4:25 - I put in another load of laundry.  Ayden comes in to help throw clothes in the washer.

4:36 - Start making dinner.

4:41 - I realize I still need to change Rylee's diaper.  I grab one from the diaper bag on the counter because I don't want to leave Ayden alone in the living room.  Then I think maybe this was a bad idea too, when he grabs the wipes container and then lays on top of Rylee to wrestle.  But then he moves on to doing trust falls on the couch, so I am able to change her.

4:52 - Ayden pushes his MegaBloks truck into his room.  I know he's planning on using it to climb onto the changing table and get to the wipes.  I go after him and find that I am right.  I shuffle him out of the room and shut the door behind us.

5:27 - I see Ayden put something in his mouth and dig a leaf out that he had found on the floor.  I take their shirts off because it's time for dinner, but I have them pick up blocks first so they will be off the kitchen floor.  Once the blocks are all picked up and put in the MegaBloks truck, they push it to the hall and dump them all out again.  I make them pick the blocks up again.

5:35 - They are in their high chairs and dinner is served!  It's Cheeseburger Pasta and green beans for dinner, along with milk.  Ayden dumps his plate within seconds.  I scoop it back onto his plate, with his help, and ask him to please eat off his plate.  I also catch Rylee as she is about to dump her plate.

5:37 - They both dump their plates and I give up.

5:46 - Check in with Tony on the phone.  He's very excited about the fantastic deal he got on his big boy coffee pot.

5:50 - The gal knocks on our door to pick up those clothes.

5:53 - I give Ayden and Rylee some raspberries, but again, Rylee doesn't want them so I give her a graham cracker instead.  Of course Adyen gets one of those two.  While they eat those, I get the dishwasher loaded and started.

6:05 - Get them cleaned up and out of their high chairs.

6:08 - Daddy is home with his new Keurig coffee pot!

6:13 - I planned on going for a walk, but it is flat out pouring down rain, so I just finish unloading my car from my trip to Costco the day before and only walk to the mailbox and back.  On my way back in the house, I switch out the laundry, throwing the clean clothes on our bed and putting the other clothes in the dryer.  I hang up the items that need to hang dry.

6:35 - I put some clothes away in Ayden and Rylee's closet and dresser, while they start picking up toys with Daddy.

6:43 - We get them changed into nighttime diapers and pj's.  Ayden has another poopy diaper!  The kid is turning into a 3 times/day pooper lately!  Then we brush their teeth.

6:55 - It's story time.  We read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  Ayden makes the Baa sheep sound for the very first time!  Then Ayden and Rylee both show Daddy how they can now say their twin friends' names, which also happened for the first time today.  We try to get them to say their own names, but they just point at each other.

Family selfie
7:08 - We do our nightly ritual of reciting Good Night, I Love You, with Tony and I alternating lines from the book we have memorized.  We grab their blankets and Rylee's blanket, say bedtime prayers, give good night kisses, high fives, and knuckles.  Tony puts Rylee to bed in her room and I take Ayden to his room and put him to bed.

7:15 - Tony sets up his new coffee pot while I pick up more toys.  Then I jot down notes for this blog post.

7:38 - I make us some root beer floats and then we sit down to watch the second to last episode, of the very last season of The Office on Netflix.

8:43 - The show's over.  We both scroll through Facebook.

8:50 - I go fold most of the laundry piled on our bed, leaving the dishtowels and all the socks for the next day.  Tony gets ready for bed, but before actually laying down, he shows me how to fix the internet problem.

9:02 - I take a shower and shave my legs.  I HATE shaving my legs.

9:25 - Put my pj's on and mousse in my hair to help control the frizz, and put lotion on my face.  Then I go check on Ayden and Rylee.

I can't get a sleeping picture of Ayden because he was stirring and I did NOT want to wake him!  Back in the kitchen, I unload the clean sippy cups from the dishwasher to cool off.  Then I sit and catch up on Facebook for longer than I had intended.

10:15 - Finally sit down at the computer to write my #MicroblogMonday post.

10:53 - Finish and publish the post.  I remember a typo I saw in my post from the previous day and go back and fix it.

11:00 - Read an article that looks interesting, while telling myself that I really need to go to bed.

11:06 - Shut down the computer.

11:08 - Brush my teeth and go to bed, thinking that if the babies wake up tonight, I'm screwed.  If they sleep until 6:30-7:00am, I'm golden!

11:38 - Damn.  I remember that I had planned to screen shot my Fitbit results from the day.  I hit a record high (for me so far) of 13,000+ steps today!

*Ayden woke up the next morning at 5:07am.  Ugh.  Way too early!!!