Monday, July 26, 2010

Adding to the list of amazing-ness...

As you may recall, in the past month Avery has made a lot of progress in her physical independence. I would like to add to the list of Avery's amazing achievements! I have already told you that she has mastered getting off the toilet and has become quite proficient at climbing in and out of the bath, as well as general improvements in her desire to be independent, with a lot more independent pulling up to stand and walking up and down the stairs, etc. Here are some more of the exciting things we have seen, including a brand new one this past weekend!
  • In the past month she has suddenly been able to ride her tricycle totally independently! No braces, no foot straps to keep her feet on the peddles, just a regular pair of shoes and determination!
  • Avery now has the ability to take all of her clothes off by herself! Shoes (most of the time), socks, pants, underwear, shirt....everything! That is big news! This is a big improvement for a girl who until recently could only sometimes take off her socks independently, and only after a lot of whining and complaining!
  • She can also now put on t-shirts, underwear and pants all by herself, and even socks sometimes!
  • This past Friday, Avery needed to go to the bathroom, so I went upstairs with her and when we got there she said "Mommy, I'm going to show you how I can get on the potty all by myself." She then proceeded to do just that! She held onto the wall bar, stood up, pulled down her shorts and underwear, turned around, did a little jump up backwards and scooted backwards onto her potty seat! And she has repeated this several times since then! We're very excited :)

This is okay!

Avery has always had sensory issues when it comes to messy things on her hands and face. She has always liked to be clean. Nothing wrong with that! But it's meant that she's never been okay with having her face painted or anything like that either! So it's been sort of fun this past few weeks because I managed to convince her to let me paint her toenails and fingernails! Then, when it started chipping off, it was actually her idea to repaint them! So that was great! Not only did she let me do it, but she wanted to!
The only thing she insists on is that each hand and foot gets a different colour :)

A week or so ago we went to an event that included free face painting, so we tried once again to convince Avery to let the nice girl paint a pretty picture on her face, but she would have nothing to do with it! She was fine watching Brogan getting his done, but get quite upset when we asked her if she was ready to do one. Then the face-painting girl made the brilliant suggestion of having her hands painted instead, and Avery was okay with that!

She got a butterfly on one hand and a ladybug on the other, and thought they were beautiful! Gabe even let her keep them on that night when she went to bed, which turned out to not be such a great idea since she woke up freaking out about them in the middle of the night.... but still, it was progress!
Brogan, of course, thought it was great!! He got a basketball. The hardest part for him was sitting still long enough to have it done :)

I wish I'd got a picture of his face when he saw himself in the mirror when we got home!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Breakfast with the Animals

Last Saturday our local zoo opened early to do a little breakfast event. They provided some bagels and donuts and orange juice, etc, and then you could walk around and watch different animals having breakfast! Best of all, it was free to members :) So we met some friends there and had a good time :)
Some of the children snacked on the food for a bit....
...but the call of the tiger was too strong to resist for long!

Avery and Kayla :)

Brogan pointing out the goldfish in the pond.
Standing on the fence. I'm sure there are rules against standing on the fence, but look how big and strong she is :)
Brogan wants to be just like his sister :)

Brogan found Timmy's pacifier in the front seat of the stroller, and insisted that he needed it! Timmy did eventually take it...probably just to make the annoying boy go away :)

Kayla being helpful and bringing Brogan back after he ran off towards the cougar area.
Climbing on logs, enjoying the view :)
Brogan, Avery and Trevor.

Later on that day, we were all back at our house and the children did some painting in the carport.

Brogan was having a great time painting too, but then he started having a hard time resisting the siren call of other people's paint plates and he went and played in the sand pit while the girls continued to create masterpieces :)

Then of course it was trampoline time, which involved a lot of squealing and screaming!

Then, before letting them come back into the house, Gabe had to blast the sand off them with the leaf blower, which is something he'd been dying to try out for a while, apparently :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Brogan takes painting very seriously....

Avery has started experimenting with mixing different colours together. For the longest time all her pictures were monochrome, so this is nice :)

Yesterday Avery decided that she wanted to paint hats (I think maybe there was an episode of Kipper where he painted a hat...I'm not sure). So I made some hats and set up in the carport. They had a great time!

Brogan liked painting his hat until he decided that the water cup was much more fun! He kept on dipping his paintbrush into the paint and then mixing it straight into the water. Avery had a great time painting her hat though. Red is her current favourite colour.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Bedtime Antics...

Last Monday Brogan switched from an 10:30am nap to a 12:30pm nap. Just like that! It was funny! But along with that quick transition, he also seemed to decide that he was too big to go to sleep at 7pm anymore. Not so great.
Brogan has never been the best sleeper. It's a good thing he wasn't my first baby otherwise we would still all be very sleep deprived! But the problem with his sleeping issues recently has been that when he wakes up at night, he wakes everyone else in the house up too by banging on his door, usually with something hard. It was making it very difficult to leave him for any amount of time because if I didn't go into his room the second he started banging on the door, Avery would wake up. So last week we decided to let Avery sleep downstairs in the guest room/laundry room for a while so that we could deal with Brogan's nighttime antics without disturbing her. She actually really likes sleeping down there, as long as Daddy sleeps on the couch next door (which is okay for him because our couch is really comfortable).
The first couple of nights, Brogan started screaming almost as soon as we left the room and closed the door. (We decided it was also time for our almost-2yr-old to stop going to bed with a bottle....I know I know, he's been too old for that forever, but we let him slip back into bad habits when we were in England because he was waking up everyone else in the house.) So on Thursday night Gabe suggested we try letting go to sleep with his door open, which I thought was a crazy idea, but we did it anyway, and he went straight to sleep! That was after trying to get him to sleep with the door closed for a while, but he really did go straight to sleep after Gabe left his door open! And although he did get up a couple of times that night, he never left his room, and he went straight back to bed after I gave him a bottle of 1/2 water, 1/2 gatorade. (We're working away from a bottle of milk to a sippy cup of water.) So I tried it again the next night but of course it didn't work. After finding him at the top of the stairs about 4 or 5 times, I put him back to bed again and closed the door, which he hated. He got out of bed and screamed and banged on the door, and after a few minutes he gave up and started playing with the sliding doors of his closet. Again, nice and loud, but Avery was sound asleep downstairs, and he wasn't screaming or angry anymore. At about 9pm, he'd been quiet for probably 20 minutes or so, so I went in to see where he'd fallen asleep. It was dark, so I couldn't see much, and I couldn't see him anywhere! I could hear him breathing, so I knew he was in there, but I couldn't see him in his bed, or anywhere on the floor! So I gave up and had to turn on the light, and then after a little bit more searching, I finally found him sleeping on the floor inside his closet, with the doors closed!!!

Looks comfortable, doesn't it???! Haha!

But he was sound asleep!! And I was able to transfer him from here to his bed without disturbing him too much!

Last night he did his now usual thing of crying/playing/shouting/playing/whining/playing between 7pm and about 8:30pm, and then he was quiet. So I went up there at about 8:45pm to see if he was in bed (a couple of times, he has made it back to bed before falling asleep), but as soon as I opened the door I had to call Gabe to come and see!

The theory is that he rocked himself to sleep like this!! We couldn't stop laughing :) So Gabe picked him up and put him into bed, and he slept pretty well for the rest of the night. He woke up once at about 2:45am, went back to sleep when we gave him a sippy cup of water/gatorade and slept until 7am. That's the best night he's had in a while, sad to say! But we're definitely moving in the right direction now...

Monday, July 05, 2010

Appointments galore!

Thursday and Friday last week was a busy time for doctor's appointments in our house! On Thursday I had my second glucose test followed by my prenatal appointment and an ultrasound. I had to be at the hospital at 7am for the glucose test, and they did a finger prick and drew blood from my right arm before I got to drink the sugar drink, which was twice as sugary and disgusting as the last one. Yuck. Then they drew more blood every hour until 10:30am, so that was so much fun. Especially since I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything. Hooray...! But the good news is that I do not have gestational diabetes, so YAY!
Gabe had taken the children to the pool (well, Avery went to the pool and Brogan went to the daycare, which he loves, so they were both happy), and when I got home at 11am I called and they were just getting ready to leave, so we decided to meet for lunch because I was starving and too hungry to make my own food :) So we met at Bastian's BBQ, which we've never tried before, but children eat free from the lunch buffet on Thursdays, so we decided to give it a go :) And it was yummy. By the time we were done there it was time for me to go to my next appointment, so that worked out perfectly :) Gabe took the children home so that Brogan could have his nap. The ultrasound showed that everything with this baby boy is still looking good! He is measuring between a week and two weeks ahead of schedule, but both my other babies did too. I'd like to think that he'll still weigh in at less than 10lbs, but I suppose we'll see...! Avery was 8lbs 1oz at 37 weeks, and Brogan was 9lbs 4oz at 42 weeks. So we'll see. The baby's ventricle measurements were at the large end of the normal range, but still within normal range, so that's fine. And we saw hair! I don't remember seeing hair on any of Avery or Brogan's ultrasounds, so this baby might have more hair than they did!

Friday Avery saw the ophthalmologist at 8am and the physiatrist at 11am. She had her eyes dilated at the ophthalmologist, which of course she hated. The doctor said that those optic nerves are still quite pale, but that her vision is remarkably good considering the fact that she has septo-optic dysplasia. He was disappointed that we still haven't taken her to see an endocrinologist, so I really need to get on that. In fact, I called our PCP the other day to get a referral, but Gabe wanted to speak to a friend of his first who's seen one of the local endocrinologists to see if they had any recommendations.

Even with 3 hours between appointments, we were almost late for the physiatrist appointment! They were not having a good morning there, so Laura, who normally does Avery's measurements, wasn't able to be there which meant that the Dr was the one to do it, which was sort of entertaining to watch! I don't know how much I trust the measurements he got, and I think there's a reason Laura normally does it! But it was fine. We told him about the ABM therapy, and how much progress Avery has made since going, which was fine. He was excited about the new skills she had (climbing in and out of the bath independently, getting of the toilet, etc), and he was pleased to hear that we were having a pretty positive experience with the baclofen. However, right at the end we mentioned that Carla (the ABM therapist) had suggested we look into a specific orthotist and orthopedist in New York who she thought would be able to help Avery, and the second we said that Dr Brown turned into a crazy person. He started out saying that the surgery the doctor did was exactly the same as the surgery everyone has been doing for 20 years (which it's not, but to be fair, we probably aren't the best people to explain it at this point), and ended up with asking how Carla would like it if he started recommending other feldenkrais therapists (even though we tried to explain how it was different to regular feldenkrais, he didn't seem to get it), then started slamming feldenkrais itself saying that it wasn't designed for cerebral palsy patients, and then said that if we saw those NY doctors then he wouldn't have anything to do with us anymore. So that was super fun.