Wednesday, December 28, 2011

and so this is Christmas...

Christmas was pretty awesome. The weekend before Christmas, we had the Lawrence get together which was nice. There are lots of kids now on that side so it was full of Christmas cuteness. Christmas Eve we went to Justin's Mom's house, then my parents. The food was great. Have I mentioned my kids are just a little bit spoiled? Gabe was pretty into the wrapping paper and being the center of attention. The kids got some clothes and toys. Gabe's Playschool basketball hoop is the favorite so far (also a good toy to coax him into doing some physical therapy without knowing he's doing it). The big gifts were a zoo and museum center pass. Thanks everyone!

Christmas Day was full of extended family. It was nice to introduce everyone to Alyssa. Her Christmas dress was pretty awesome. Alyssa is still waking up at night every 2-3 hours. She's starting to drink larger volumes from her bottle, so hopefully they will start to be spaced out more. She still breathes loud when she drinks her bottle, but is in no distress. Gabe continues to call her "fussy baby" all the time. She is having more wakefull periods and I've gotten a smile here and there. I go back to work in 4 weeks so we're trying to start a bedtime routine with her....we'll see how that works out.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Way behind

So I am way behind on blogging...sorry, I have 2 kids now and I'm learning some things just aren't going to get done and sometimes we are going to be 10 minutes late and I have to let that go.

Alyssa has been much happier lately. About 2 weeks ago we had a really rough night with crying, back arching, and a very unhappy baby. Justin and I were both beyond exhausted the next day and I decided I couldn't wait till the doctor's appointment in 5 days...I had to change her formula now. She was on Neosure which is a 22cal formula for preterm babies. Regular formula is only 20cal so this is why there was some pressure to hold off switching formulas. Eliminating milk in my diet hadn't helped too much and since my last post I dried out and have stopped nursing. Apparently my body can lactate if I pump 7-8 times a day, but not if I pump 4-5, so that is done and has made things a little easier on me. Anyway, we changed to Similac sensitive for gas and fussiness and I think it has really helped. The lactose in the formula has broken down some and is easier to digest. She still gets gassy and has fussy periods, but she overall seems much better. Her weight at the doctor was up to 8.5lbs which is great. Alyssa is still a very noisy eater and makes a squeeking noise sometimes. The doctor said again that she thinks she has some tracheomalacia (sound familiar?...not nearly as severe as Gabe's was, but I still hate that word). Anyway, it means she has a little floppy tissue somewhere in her airway that gets irritated with feeding, but because it doesn't seem to bother her and she never appears in distress, it doesn't warrant an ENT referral and she'll grow out of it as she gets bigger. Works for me...either way, I feel like I need to warn others who may feed her that she likes to be noisy with her bottles. She is sleeping better and starting to learn the difference between day and night. She is having more wakeful, eyes opened periods during the day. She still wakes up around 11pm, 2am, 5am, and 7am to eat, but goes back to sleep pretty easy. She only drinks 2-2.5oz per feed typically. I think she wants to drink more, but her stomach is still small and she'll vomit if she takes more than 3oz in an hour. Hopefully she'll drop an overnight feed as she is able to take more volume during the day. We are able to tag team it so I am getting at least 6 hours a night which makes me functional.

Gabe is such a 2 year old lately. He thinks Alyssa's name is "fussy baby" and calls her that all the time. He is talking up a storm. He has pretty much mastered nouns and action words and we are starting to work on adjectives. Our speech therapist said he is the most verbal 2 year old with down syndrome she has ever worked with. Other families have asked us how we work on speech with him to get ideas. It is nice to hear that he is advanced in an area since we are working on catching him up in other areas (drinking from a cup and walking). As far as speech goes, Gabe has always loved books and flash cards with pictures on them. He loves making animal noises. We did sign language and he loves Signing Time videos. We also do lots of physical therapy activities in front of a mirror. Gabe is really into mimicking everything we say (the good and the bad). As far as motor skills go, Gabe took 3 independent steps about 2 weeks ago. This is huge. He is getting braver with his movements. The PT told us to really start letting him fall because he needs to learn to catch himself. This has resulted in a busted nose and black eye for Gabe the past 2 weeks. As far as eating goes, Gabe's weight is about the same (actually slightly less) since we dropped a feed last month. He is eating very well, so I was hoping it would be up. He only gets one tube feed a day and I was hoping we would be able to drop in and just focus on drinking from a cup before the New Year, but I don't think it's going to happen. Maybe the big holiday meals will help chunk him up a little bit. Drinking is about the same 8-10oz by mouth a day...needs to be about 25 oz per day. Gabe had an opthalmology appointment last week. His eyes are good. We go back in a year. We are trying to figure out how to discipline Gabe. We are starting "time-outs" on the stairs. I'm hesitant to do this with feeding issues (throwing/spitting out food) because we want it to be a positive thing and getting out of it would actually probably be more of a reward for him. When Gabe throws or spits out his food he is usually trying to get our attention. We sternly say "No Gabe, that's bad. You do not spit out your food." and proceed to put whatever he spit out back in his mouth. He says and signes "sorry mommy" and it melts you heart...only thing is, he'll do it again 2 minutes later. I don't think he knows that sorry means you don't do it again. He just knows it makes mommy happy. He's definitely a charmer and knows how to work his cuteness.

Have I mentioned I love Christmas? My decorations are kind of pitiful with just a wreath this year, but we still are enjoying the season. Gabe is really into trains so we took him to the Children's museum to see the trains and I think he really enjoyed it. He also met Santa...he didn't cry, but was kind of indifferent about him.

Justin and I got a night out at his law firms Christmas party 2 weeks ago. It was a nice time and was a treat to get a date night.

More Christmas photos to come!....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Week 4

The days are just flying by. I need to finish my Christmas shopping. I'm thinking it's going to be a giftcard kind of Christmas. Alyssa is still the gassiest baby ever. Last night was pretty good though. She was uncomfortable during the day, but was much better at night (I think she worked some stuff out). We go to the pediatrician next week to talk about a formula change. I am continuing to pump 3-4 times a day. I've discovered that more than that is nearly impossible with 2 kids. Gabe is doing great stuff lately. He finally started cruising and is becoming more confident with his movements. For so long he was afraid of falling, but now he is quite the daredevil. Hopefully this is a precurser to walking. Gabe is also doing great with his communication. Talking has always been his strong point, but he has really taken off lately. We were singing "Old McDonald" the other day. Gabe fills in the blank as to what animal is on the farm. We went through cow, pig, horse. On the fourth round we sang, "Old McDonald had a fam, ee, i, ee, i, oh, and on that farm was a _____". Gabe paused for a minute and yelled "fussy baby". Talk about hilarious...Gabe already wants to ship Alyssa off to the farm.