Thursday, October 9, 2014

Our One Year Olds

I think I'm still digesting the fact that our babies are a year old.  I just re-read the blog from this time last year and just thought "Wow!"  I'm sooooo glad that I decided to write this blog because I can barely remember those days already and it's only been a year!  On October 8th, 2013 I was just coming off the worst night in the NICU where I did a solo shift with the babies with a subpar float nurse.  If you too want to flash back in time, check out the Flying Solo post about that night!  But a year ago yesterday was also a great day because it was our first day with all the babies together in one room because our big guy (weighing in at a whopping 5lbs & change) was officially discharged from the NICU and spent the night with us & his sisters in the "demo room."  We just got an invitation in the mail a couple weeks ago for a NICU "reunion" at the end of the month and I sent them a couple of their one year photos for the slideshow.  I am so thankful for the care the babies received there, but even more thankful that we only had to spend a week in the NICU.  Today marks the one year anniversary of bringing our babies home!

These three babies have grown so much in the past year.  I just started seeing a little preemie for work who is just now tipping the scales at 5 pounds and he just seems soooo tiny and fragile to me and I can hardly remember our babies being that tiny, even though it was only a year ago.  I do still have a gut level memory of what it was like to be in the NICU for that first week and to be so anxious about every little thing, every fluctuation in heart rate, oxygen saturation, breathing rate, bilirubin level, weight, etc.  And I am beyond thankful that those days are now a distant memory.  We are so fortunate to have three healthy and thriving babies who keep us on our toes every day.

I decided we are done with the froggy/rugby ball monthly pics because they won't hold still for a second any more, but I still wanted to do a quick blurb about each of them with pics so we can catch you all up one what they are doing and so we can remember!  All of them now have two teeth which, like many things in development, has it's pros and cons!  The pro is that they are able to bite things like crackers now and the con is that they are able to bite things like nipples now!

She is NOT this tall...she has climbed up on the
bag of duplo blocks! And is clearly quite pleased with herself!
Avery continues to be the "alpha baby" leading the charge in pretty much all areas of development despite being the smallest of the three.  She is into everything and once she decides to do something, look out because she WILL figure it out and once she does she'll do it over and over and over!  We got a new couch on their birthday because our old leather couch was starting to peel & they were eating the leather!  Anyway, Avery decided she HAD to climb up on the new couch and since she decided that she has probably completed her couch climbing circuit 100 times.  She climbs up on the side table, over the arm of the couch, stands up & looks over the back, and then slides down off the couch on her belly and repeats the whole process at least five, often ten times.  Avery is also able to stand by herself quite confidently now and when she's done standing she just slowly lowers herself to the ground.  She is pretty good at walking with only one hand held now as you can see in this video. (She'll be walking in no time!)

Avery really likes rough & tumble play like being flipped upside down.  We got a new small futon on the floor in their room to make a reading spot and she loves it when we help her do somersaults on it.  She gets herself into a down dog position and waits for help, though a few times she has tried to do it herself and rolled sideways which is really cute. She makes some pretty hilarious faces, scrunching up her nose a lot.
She has also really started trying to communicate.  She now points to things and wants you to label them for her and is pretty insistent about it!  We gave Avery credit for her first word a couple weeks ago when she pointed to the water cup and said "wawa" and was very pleased with herself when we gave it to her.  She has been repeating things like "up" & "mama" since about nine months, but this was probably her first independently generated & clearly intentional word.  She actually has quite a few "words" now, though most of them sound like "ba."  She likes to point to or show us things constantly and she will try to say "ball," "book," & "flower," but unless she is showing you that thing in the moment you'd never know that was what she was saying. She REALLY loves flowers and points at them all the time wanting us to say the word.

 She's also pretty into books and particularly likes to pull them all down off the bottom shelf!  She is also starting to sign "more," "all done," "dog," & "help" though her consistency varies with her mood.  If we ask her if she wants more of a specific food or if she wants to do a specific thing she is pretty consistent with shaking her head yes or no and almost always means what she says (i.e. pushes away food or gets mad if you don't read the book she says yes to).  And man oh man, can the girl give some seriously long, slobbery, tounge-filled bedtime kisses! Avery also started clapping this month and does it all the time now!


Ellie is just a silly goose. She really is a goofball and this month she has adopted this hilarious laugh. One day we went for a run and she was in the stroller just laughing and laughing.  It really sounded like she was playing around with the way different laughs sounded and the one she seems to have settled on sounds like a cross between and evil mastermind a fake theatrical laugh.  Another hilarious thing she did this month is her "bonk" move.  When she would bump her head we would say "bonk!" or "Ellie, you bonked!"   She quickly learned what that meant and seemed to think it was funny.  So she would bump her head, we'd say "bonk" and then she would smile and seek out another bonk intentionally bumping her head on whatever she could find (the floor, a wall, our head, etc).  This video actually shows off both the laugh and the bonk. =)
Ellie also enjoys dancing and has a great shoulder shimmy dance move (see video below).  Ellie has also started standing on her own a bit more.  She can balance for maybe ten seconds, but she also really likes to dive into me so she usually only balances for a couple seconds before intentionally launching herself into me.  Ellie also really likes the futon in the bedroom and will do an "Ellie flop" and just throw herself on the futon on her tummy.  She also likes to do "flips" with help.  Ellie has really enjoyed playing chase with Mama too.  Michelle says in a silly deep voice "Ellie...I'm gonna getcha" and Ellie laughs and takes off crawling as fast as she can and laughs and laughs when Michelle catches her.  Ellie is also communicating a lot more now.  I think she was the first one to point with a whole hand.  We got this great new white noise machine from our friend Kim and it has a projection function that projects an underwater scene on the ceiling.  She loves it and one night she pointed up, we said "look, fish" and she totally tried to say "fish" (though of course it sounded more like "dssssh").  For a couple weeks she would point up to the ceiling and say "fish" wanting us to turn on the fish though for the past week she hasn't said it once.  Ellie is our sign language girl. She babbles a lot, but other than "fish" she hasn't tried to say many words.  But she likes to sign and pretty consistently signs "more," "all done," & "milk."

Ellie still loves to eat, but she has really started to get opinionated about what she is eating.  Ellie has two teeth now too, but they are not the same as the other two.  She got her bottom right tooth first, but the second one to come in was not the bottom left, but rather her top right, one spot over from the center.  And it's coming in at a bit of an angle so we call it either her vampire fang or her snaggletooth.  And it looks like the top left off center is going to be her third one & then she'll really be a vampire baby! She is still our biggest cuddle bug and loves to snuggle into our chest and suck her thumb.


The eleventh month was a big one for Isaiah for motor development.  At the beginning of the month he still had his goofy belly flop crawl going on, but he is now crawling on all fours and is pretty fast about it.  For the past couple of weeks he's also been working really hard on standing by himself, trying it over and over again.  He can stand for 3-5 seconds at a time, though usually only a second or two.  We decided to get a speech and OT consult for him this month because he was still lagging behind the girls and not really pointing or imitating and his grip and play was more immature.  I'm glad we did it because it's great to have another set of eyes on him, giving us things to focus on.  I don't think there were too many things they suggested that we weren't already doing, but it definitely brought our attention to a lot of things and made us really work on a few things with him.  And he has really been making nice progress over the past couple of weeks.  He's starting to imitate things now which is great.  He does this silly flirty head tilt and now if we do it back to him, he continues the back-and-forth turn-taking.  
cheesy boy
Around Michelle's birthday, Isaiah started waving "hi" and it earned him some friends at a local winery.  He's been selective about the waving lately though and we haven't seen it very often.  Isaiah enjoys playing with a magnet toy on the fridge and spends more time than the girls actually trying to fit the pieces together.  He is our easy-going guy at meal times and will almost always eat whatever we set in front of him, without complaining or yelling for more! more! more!  Though for a week or so he's been weird about some soft textured things like mashed potatoes, sticking his tongue out and letting the food just fall off into his bib. Isaiah has been taking cues from Ellie and has become quite the little dancer lately.  I love his little head shake, arm waving dance that he shows off in this video.

He has been the best about really paying attention to books most nights at bedtime.  His favorite book is still Goodnight Moon, though he does occasionally branch out.  Isaiah & Avery continue to struggle with nighttime sleep and this past month has been full of ups and a lot of downs as far as sleep goes.  In order to salvage a bit more sleep and save our sanity Isaiah has spent a number of early mornings (say 5-7ish) in bed with us, snuggling with me.  Though it's not a long term plan for us, I have actually really enjoyed the baby snuggles especially since Isaiah has been a mama's boy pretty hard core for a few weeks now, whining and throwing fits when he can't have (or has to share) Michelle.  The annoying thing about it is that he often even whines when she is holding him!  The other day he threw an all out temper tantrum for a good 15 minutes when I took him to the bedroom to get out of his jammies and Michelle stayed to feed Ellie.  Oy!  It's going to be interesting as he gets closer to two if he's already throwing tantrums like this!  But the great thing about his tantrums now is that while they are intense, they are often short lived and a minute later he can be laughing hysterically.  And boy does he have a great laugh!  This video was taken last night when he was tantrumming about getting his diaper on & Hope broke him out of it by dropping Avery's onesie on his head.  Such a silly boy!

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