Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

We decided to get the twins' swimming pool out today.  I had to run some errands this morning, and when I got home, Tim had R&R sitting in their pool (in the living room) eating a snack and drinking their milk.  They were having a great time!  

After lunch, we took the pool outside to the back yard.   When we put Rhys in, she was not sure about the water.....

But after about 30 seconds, she really started enjoying herself!

 Learning how to splash water!

Rhett stayed pretty chill the whole time he was in the pool.  He did spend a lot of time trying to eat all the pool toys, but hey, he was happy!

He was having a great time splashing himself, and even got his entire face wet.  He didn't cry....instead, he laughed!

They stayed still for a few minutes and just splashed, played with the toys, and kept on laughing at each other.

(notice Rhett is still trying to eat the toys....he is teething right now)

Then R&R figured out they could actually move around in the pool.

Rhys thought it would be fun to get out of the pool, then back into the pool, then out again, etc.

She even took a break from swimming to go and swing with daddy.

It wasn't long, though, and she was ready to get back in! (And we have lost the bow at this point....did you really think she would keep it on her head the whole time we were outside?)

And she's back in again.

It was getting close to nap time, so we brought the little ones in to get them changed and ready to sleep. We didn't have any swim diapers, so we just had them in regular diapers in the pool.  Look how nice and fat this diaper is!  We couldn't stop laughing at how big it had gotten.  I think that thing seriously weighed 5 pounds!

After long naps, we headed out to run some errands.  We needed to go to the Apple store at the mall, so we took the twins to Chik-Fil-A for dinner.  This was their first time to eat Chik-Fil-A and they loved it!  Did you know that you can order grilled nuggets on the kids' meal?  The twins gobbled them up, along with the fruit cup and squeeze applesauce they got with their meal.  Once they finished their kids' meals, they were still hungry!  WHAT??  So they ate 4 of my nuggets, along with another squeeze pouch I had in the diaper bag.  I guess that swimming really does work up an appetite.  LOL
big kids at the table waiting for daddy to get our food

 yummy dinner!

 Rhys with her "prize" from the kids' meal (a book)

These two were worn out and ready to get home!

We had a wonderful Memorial Day, but definitely want to remember the meaning of this holiday.  We are especially grateful to the military personnel who have died in service to our country.  We are also thankful to those who have and who are currently serving.  Happy Memorial Day!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

New Helmet Design and Update on Rhett

I haven't posted on here much lately about Rhett, and so I wanted to give an update on how things are going.  But first, have you seen Rhett's new look?  We designed his helmet for the upcoming summer months.  I mean, if your head is going to should at least look cute, right?  

Tim and I ordered the helmet stickers from our friend Coree with Bling Your Band.  She does great work!  We love how they turned out.

 wave on the side

 back view:  flip flops, palm tree, and crab

 other side: surfer dude on a wave

front view:  Rhett's name on a surfboard and a smiley sun (hard to see in this pic)

For those of you new to our blog, Rhett has been in a DocBand helmet for the past 8.5 months.  He was born with plagiocephaly and torticollis, and his head was flat on one side.  This is our third, and final, helmet.  We have seen great changes in Rhett's head, and are very pleased with the results.  We are still using the helmet to try to correct more of the shape of his head.  Rhett still has flattening on the back left side of his head, and his ears are still misaligned.  He will never have a perfectly shaped head, but we are going to use his band to get as much correction as we can until he outgrows it.  We are driving to Austin every other week right now to get the helmet adjusted.

Rhett was diagnosed with Developmental Dyspraxia when he was 11 months old.  We are still learning about this condition, but know that developmental delays and sensory issues are common.  Because of this, he is in physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Therapy is going well.  It is such a part of our life now.  (Rhett has been in physical therapy since he was 4 months old!)  His physical therapist, Lauri, works with Rhett on gross motor skills like standing, pulling up, cruising, balance, and strength.  His occupational therapist, Kelly, works with him on fine motor skills like poking, pushing buttons, pulling, reaching, and using both his hands at the same time.

We have seen amazing progress, especially in the last month or so.  We are thankful for the support and encouragement of our therapists, family, and friends.  We do not know what the future holds for Rhett, but we do know that we have a healthy, happy little boy who has already overcome so much.  God has given us such peace and we know that He has a plan for Rhett (and Rhys, too!).  

Prayer Requests:
*That Rhett's head shape will continue to improve (we have about 8-10 more weeks in this helmet)
*for Rhett's ankles to get stronger (therapists are concerned with the way he puts weight toward inside of his ankles....watching this closely right now)
*wisdom for Rhett's therapists as they continue to monitor his progress
*motivation for me to continue to do the exercises and stretches with Rhett daily

13 Months

I have been wanting to sit down and write the twins 14 month post, and when I got on the computer tonight I realized that I never did a 13 month post!  Where does the time go?   So, here is what was going on at 13 months...

R&R enjoy playing together, and really don't like to be very far away from each other.  Favorite activities include reading books, emptying containers, opening/closing doors and cabinets, and exploring the house and yard.

 early morning book reading

When the twins were little, I would bathe them one at a time.  It was easy enough to do.  I would put the non bathing twin in a bouncer, jumper, or exersaucer and then we would switch.  As they got a little older, they didn't really like to be "confined" so I would let one play in the pack n play with a few toys. Then they started hating that, so around 10 months, I started bathing them together.  It was okay for a couple of weeks, but then Rhys started trying to pull up in the tub.  She was trying to stand up and it would make me nervous trying to keep her from falling.  At this time, Rhett also wasn't sitting very well on his own, so I was anxious about him falling, too.  I was stressed and exhausted and dreaded bath time.  Then we got these amazing bath chairs from another mom of multiples and they have changed my life!  

we love bath time!

I love them because they are free to move around and turn side to side, but cannot stand up, knock each other down, hit each other, etc. (not that my sweet babies would ever try to do that....HA!)

It is also nice because I can make a phone call, read, or drink a glass of lemonade (or maybe something else....just kidding, mom!) while they play!  So instead of bath time being stressful, it is now a time we all enjoy!  We went out of town last weekend, and I didn't take the chairs, but neither one of the twins tried to stand up in the bath tub.  We are still going to use them for as long as we can though.

playing peek-a-boo 

We have also spent more time playing outside this month.  Since it has been getting so hot in the afternoons, we try to go out in the mornings.  R&R both love going outside.  This is what they do several times a day...

When we go outside, I usually take a blanket and a few toys.

 After a few minutes of playing on the blanket, they usually start exploring the yard.  I'm pretty sure Rhett ate a rock on this particular day.

"please can we swing, mom?"

 I love my swing!

happy girl

Our schedule at 13 months:
7 a.m. - Wake and nurse
8:00 - Breakfast
9:00 - Nap
11:00 - Wake and nurse
12:00 - Lunch
1:30 - Nap
3:30 - Wake and sippy of milk w/snack
5:30 - Dinner
6:00 - Baths 
7:00 - Bedtime

Our schedule stayed pretty much the same except that the twins seemed to require a little more sleep this month.  They are so much more active, and just wear themselves out!  There are many nights when we just put them to bed around 6:30 because they are just ready.  Seems really early, but it works for us!

We did wean the babies this month.  We dropped one feeding at a time, and then waited several days before dropping the next one.  We started with the afternoon feeding, then did the 11 a.m. feeding, then the morning feed, and finally (at 14 months) dropped the bedtime nursing.  The twins did great!  I think it was harder for me to stop than it was for them.  Rhys did cry the first morning that I didn't nurse her when she woke up.  She was just mad and threw a little fit!  But after that, they never seemed to care.  They didn't love their whole milk at first, but have gotten used to it quickly, and now gulp it down.  I had planned to give them their milk at the same times that they used to nurse (before meals), but they didn't want it.  So we just give them a cup of milk with each meal and their snack.  They drink water throughout the day between meals.

I'm a big kid now!  I drink milk from my cup!

The twins are great eaters!  I am continually amazed at just how much they eat.  Favorite foods right now are avocado, fish, cheese, strawberries, banana (Rhys), and butternut squash (Rhett).  The only thing they don't like is eggs.  

Rhett at 13 months:

*size 12 month clothing
*size 4 diaper
*size 4 shoe
*4 top teeth, 4 bottom teeth, and we see the signs of all 4 molars

Rhett is moving A LOT now!  He crawls fast everywhere, and doesn't like to stop or slow down for much.  He plays on his knees a lot, and likes to pull up onto his knees into a kneeling position.  He wants to stand up so bad, but doesn't quite have the strength or coordination to do it just yet.  He tries, though, and gets into all kinds of interesting positions!

 my new moves!

Rhett enjoys being held, being chased, being tickled, and being talked to.  He is very social!  But he also plays well alone, and can entertain himself with a book, a ball, or a car.  His favorite toys are definitely all of his cars and trucks.  He is fascinated by the wheels on them.

 reading my Veggie Tales book

Ever since Rhett started crawling, he seems happier.  He is so proud of himself and loves being able to explore and get into things!  Rhett is a funny little guy.  He gets really silly when he is tired and will giggle himself to sleep sometimes.  He is so cuddly and I love that sometimes while he is playing, he will crawl over to me, give me a little snuggle, and then go back to playing.

 happy boy

Rhys at 13 Months:

*size 12 month clothing
*size 4 diaper
*size 3 shoe
*2 bottom teeth, 4 top teeth coming in

Rhys has started walking, but is very cautious.  She likes to stand up and cruise along the couch, toy box, or kitchen chairs.  She also likes to have something in her hands when she is standing or walking.

 just me and my bunny

 big girl standing up

We went on several trips this month, and Rhys really liked the packing process.  Actually, she really liked climbing into the suitcase and sitting there.  She likes to get into small spaces and play.  A suitcase, her book box, a laundry basket, a diaper box, etc.  

ready for my trip!

 Rhys still loves her lovey bear and she still sucks her thumb.  Seeing the bear will trigger her to immediately put her thumb in her mouth!

Rhys is in a phase where she loves to share.  She will spend hours just handing me toys and books.  She will give things to Rhett, too, but he doesn't understand and so she gets frustrated.  One day, Rhys handed me about 50 blocks out of this little red bag.  Of course she gave them to me one at a time.

The nursery workers at church told me that she also likes to share with the younger babies.  One Sunday, Rhys crawled around sharing her puffs with all of the other kids.  I love that she is so generous!

 Rhett & Rhys, you are growing up too fast!  I'm so blessed to get to be a part of it all.  Looking forward to watching you change and grow this next month!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Little Bookworm

Rhys has always loved her books, but recently they have become her favorite activity of choice.  And as a teacher, this makes me very happy.

And although she does like to be read to, she prefers to just sit and read by herself.

 And now, she has discovered how she can empty the book basket and get in it!

Then she figured out how to get in the basket and read at the same time!

New favorite seat in the house!

Here is my little bookworm "reading" a book!