Friday, July 30, 2010

Bye, bye bottles

For those with typically developing children the bottle is usually left in the dust around their first birthday. Brett, who has cerebral palsy, has had trouble with his suck, swallow and breath coordination since the day he was born. It used to take him an hour to finish a few ounces of a bottle at which point we would have to stop because he was burning more calories than he was taking in. But he is a really hard worker and while his brothers have been drinking from straw/sippy cups since they were one, Brett made the complete transition from bottle to sippy cup last Friday night!
He has been drinking fairly well from a sippy cup for the last few months, but he needed to be able to take at least 4 ounces per meal/snack and get his medications so we gradually replaced bottles with cups until Friday night. I fed him his last bottle Thursday night. While it is a major victory for Brett because he is drinking in an age appropriate way it is cause for celebration for me and Tate because, frankly, we will not miss the Dr. Browns bottles and all the pieces that go with them (although we are forever grateful to whoever Dr. Brown is for designing this amazing bottle that helped calm Brett's reflux).
When the boys were infants Tate and I made about 36 bottles a day and 2 years and just shy of 3 months later we are free of bottles!
Brett and I had some one-on-one time Tuesday and had a special celebration we ate chocolate pudding and he helped me clear the last of the bottles from the cabinets and throw them in a storage bin.

Earlier this month Brett also celebrated another milestone. He was turned to facing forward in his car seat. The law is that you have to be one year of age and 20 lbs. To be honest, I don't know if Brett has yet made it to the 20 lb. mark (although he was 19 and change at his 2-year appointment and I swear he feels heavier every day!) But Brett hates being in the car. He always has. When he was an infant and extremely colicky people would say to take him for a ride in the car and I would cringe thinking of how loud he would scream and cry in the car. He has improved as he has gotten older, but Tate and I prayed and consulted with his therapists and finally decided it was worth a shot to see if turning him around would, well, turn things around.
I would love to say it has, but it was not the miraculous change I prayed for. But he mostly just fusses and rarely cries, which is a huge improvement. We moved his seat so we can turn around and see him and he can see us and just that seems to calm him down when he is unhappy. He also has the world's most annoying mirror that lights up and sings. I dream some days of throwing it out the window, except I would rather listen to the annoying sing songy lady recite ":In the yellow house puppy's ready to go" (to the tune of "Up on the rooftop reindeer pause") than hear my little boy cry.

Brett's next big move will be to his own room. He used to sleep in the same crib with both his brothers, but that didn't last long as he began to stretch out and we later realized his kicking arms and legs were part of his spasticity. When he had infantile spasms at age 7 months he was moved into our room so we could monitor him more closely in case he had more seizures. Thankfully he has never had another. We tried putting him in the same room with his brothers, but he would wake up many times during the night and we were never very successful at sneaking him out without waking the other boys. After much effort we have gotten to the point where Brett will sleep through the night but wakes up for the day at 4:10 or 5:10 a.m. He has to stay in his crib until at least 6:15 a.m. which requires some musical toys to keep him amused. So, please pray for Brett to make a good transition to his own room and for me and Tate who will struggle with the separation and trusting that God will keep him safe through each night.

Celebrating a century

Me and my amazing Grammy!

Last weekend we had the privilege of celebrating my Grammy's 100th birthday! Longevity runs in her family as her dad (my great-grandpa) lived to 105. My Grammy is an amazing women in many ways but as an adult I think I am most grateful for all the time she spent caring for me and my sisters when my mom was recovering from cancer surgery. She kept up with 4 teen/preteens in her 70s and made it seem effortless.
A party was held in her honor at the retirement community where she lives and the turnout of family and friends was amazing. God blessed us with a sunny day with a cool breeze so Grammy was able to spend the entire party outdoors in the gazebo. Since I was chasing the boys I didn't get a lot of time to visit with others, but loved seeing my mom's cousin's children's children (I think I got that right). Anyway many of them I haven't seen since we were young and, like me, are all grown up with families of their own.
The boys had a blast running around and playing with their cousins and my cousins' children. They loved giving kisses to Great Grammy. When you asked how old she was going to be on her birthday Jackson would say 1-hundred!!!
Special thanks to my Uncle Tom and his family and my mom and sisters (and everyone else who pitched in behind the scenes) for all the time and love you put into making the party so enjoyable for everyone!
Here are just a few of the pictures:

Grammy and her grandchildren

Great Grammy with her great grandchildren (except the newest addition who was born the day before!!!)

Cousin Becky keeps Jackson & Peyton smiling with her artistic skills

Jackson & Brett give Great Grammy birthday kisses

Peyton giving birthday kisses

Jackson & Peyton climb their first tree with the help of cousin Matt and his boys Peter and Mitchell

Jackson loving his tree time!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Say ahhh!

We survived our first trip to the dentist. In hindsight it wasn't too bad. The visit really shows how very different their personalities are, which was kind of interesting to see.
Tate and I started talking up the dentist a few days before and immediately Jackson said "no dentist" he did not want to go and for the life of me I cannot figure out how he would even know what a dentist does. I don't remember encountering it in a book or TV show. Peyton joined the chorus of "no dentist" and somewhere along the line it turned into "no dentist come over". I don't know why they thought he came to the house, but we explained we were going to visit him and it wasn't until I said they had toys in the waiting room that they seemed ok with the idea.
All the books and magazines tell you to bring your child to the dentist at the eruption of the first tooth. This seemed a little early to me so I took them when they had most of their baby teeth. Plus I had a few concerns about the discoloration on Brett's teeth and the spacing between them. I had trouble finding a dentist with experience with children with special needs who was taking new patients.
We couldn't have been more impressed with Dr. L. His office called to tell us he was running about a half hour behind and had us come a little later. When we walked in the door we never waited. They greeted us at the door and got us right in!

The best part - 3 boys with 16 healthy teeth each!!!

When the dentist asked who was going first Jackson said Peyton and Peyton said Jackson. I volunteered Brett. He has been to a lot of doctors so most things don't bother him much. He did great up until the end when the doctor had to scrape his teeth a bit to get rid of some discoloration. But he started giggling when they put the water and suction in his mouth. He loved the sound and feel of the water suction!

Reluctantly Peyton went next. He was by far the best with the dentist. Once Dr. L. gave him a high 5 and showed him on his fingers how he was going to count his teeth Peyton was relaxed.

Peyton showed the dentist how he brushes his teeth and said ahhhh whenever asked.

When I stood up to get Jackson he said "I no want a turn" and tried to squeeze behind Tate's chair and said "I want to hide." The second I picked him up he started crying. He tends to be our dramatic one which is why I didn't want him to go first. But once the dentist started counting his fingers he realized everything was going to be ok and did a great job - although he did say "all done" about 5 times during his checkup.

Even though the dentist's office was on the first floor the boys wanted to take a ride in the elevator (or as they call it the alligator). They were so well behaved I couldn't say no. We went for two rides on the elevator taking turns pushing the button. Peyton was a little perplexed that it wasn't glass and you couldn't see outside the elevator. I told him that was the elevator at the mall he was thinking of and he kept saying "I can't see the mall" - so funny.

Since Tate and I were both off work for the appointment and the boys were so good we had a snack at a nearby park and played. Then Jackson & Peyton went to watch trains with daddy while Brett and I went to his swim therapy. Who knew going to the dentist could be so much fun?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Celebrating independence

Brett, Jackson

Thanks for the super cute outfits Grammy - we miss you!

We had a great Fourth of July. Something so fitting about independence and toddlers!
The boys got to see Grandma & Granddad who just got home from a trip and Auntie Kiki, Auntie Nancy, Uncle David and Auntie Mo.

We let the boys stay up for fireworks this year. They have a 7 p.m. bedtime and there were more than a few times until the show started at 9:30 that I almost put them to bed, but their Aunties did a great job keeping them entertained and they really seemed to enjoy the show and to understand it was something special to stay up with the adults.
The downside is they woke up at the same time as usual (6:30 a.m.!) and started the morning off fairly crabby. The upside is Tate & I both had the day off so we were able to keep them somewhat happy until nap time (although I realized we might be more crabby than then are :)

The boys received motorcycles for their birthday and we waited to crack them out of the boxes and this was the perfect day for it. So the boys enjoyed playing on their new toys and playing "catch" in the front yard.




Jackson in awe of the fireworks

Nancy keeping Brett entertained to keep him awake!

Grandma and Jackson snuggling

Granddad and Brett celebrating together

Me trying to supervise some decorating - apparently they are more fun to wave around!

Brett helping put flags in the ground

Peyton the ham.

Jackson very focused on his task.