Saturday, January 26, 2013

It's the Simple Things

First trip ever to Baskin Robbins was a hit....I split a triple scoop with the kids and discovered a good diet plan: share ice cream with twin toddlers. I think I only managed to get about four bites myself....

 Notice he has ended up with a spoon for each hand....

My little talker says "ice" for ice cream

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Cali Weekend

5 days ago we were in the snow, and this weekend we were enjoying the warmest weather yet of 2013 in San Clemente....we started the day at the pier and ended it watching a gorgeous sunset

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Birthday Weekend

For my 30th Birthday we took a too-quick trip to Utah. I got to try snowboarding for the first time and had a great time (only one remaining bruise left from the excursion) - looking forward to giving it another try next winter. I took one picture as proof. Couldn't take my gloves out to take any more because the day started at -10 degrees and didn't get above 5:
The rest of the weekend pictures are of how much fun JD & Maia had playing with Grandma & Grandpa, although Grandma & Grandpa were taking the pictures and didn't end up in any of them!
 The thought all the "new" toys were so fun....little do they know their mama and aunts used to play with these too. :-)
 Too cold to go walking outside so we went walking at the mall and stopped to play at their cool treehouse playground:

Below is JD's pure joy face :-)

"Grandma, we are so cold, can you take this picture fast and let us go back inside?!?"

They loved climbing up and down the stairs, which they aren't allowed to do at home (our stair's are spiral and have big gaps they could fall through)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Maia Update

Just wanted to say that in December we finished our annual checkups following Maia's 2011 surgery to correct her lipomyelomeningocele, which was a huge success. She gave us a little scare by waiting about 6 months after JD to start walking - by about JD's fourth month of walking, when she wasn't really even trying, we were a little anxious about whether this was a sign of hard times to come. A couple months later, though, in July, she just stood up and started walking, about a dozen steps the first time she did it. When she was ready, she was ready. :-)

Any signs of further complications will likely start in her feet, so she is seeing a pediatric orthopedic doctor who specializes in spina bifida quarterly just as a precaution. Her bladder is another place symptoms of needing another surgery could occur, so she is having a bladder ultrasound at the children's hospital 2-3 times a year to monitor how her bladder and kidneys are functioning.

The result of the annual checkups though, including seeing her neurosurgeon (someday in the future we'll do another MRI, but her doctors determined no reason for it this year), is that she is completely recovered and has made remarkable process, and for the time being, is living as though she never even had the condition to begin with.

I visit a few online sites for parents who have kids with her problem, so I know how easy we have it so far. I've met a few moms online who have children around Maia's age who aren't walking well and need lots of physical therapy, or who have to be catheterized several times daily.

The monitoring is mainly because it's likely her spinal cord will tether to the scar tissue from the procedure, and that will need to be cleaned out in the future to prevent neurological damage. Probably between age 5-8 for the next surgery, which won't be as complicated as the first one, but will still require recovery time since her spinal column would be opened up again. She is spunky and stubborn and strong-willed (hmmmm wonder where she gets that from) and I know she will do just fine, whatever medical procedures come her way.

Pretend City

In my previous-public-accounting life I had a client who financially supported a kids' place in Irvine called Pretend City. I ended up with a couple of free tickets and have been holding on to them for about a year, waiting for JD & Maia to be old enough to enjoy it. A couple of coworkers and I decided to go last weekend and I LOVED this place. We were there for close to 3 hours, which is a pretty good attention span for both kids, and the layout of everything was such that I could reasonably keep track of both kids simultaneously.
Here is Maia in the pretend library with real books. There was a checkout area with a pretend computer where JD spent about 20 minutes just hitting all the keyboard keys (he's not allowed to touch the computer/keyboard at home).

The "central square" 

The grocery store - this was one of their favorite places 

 They both LOVED all the little cars, motorcycles, and other riding toys

 Maia filling her car up with gas - she actually knew to put the nozzle in the right place on the car and made her "sssshhhhh" noise like she was pouring liquid. Smart smart smart.
 JD loved watching the baby chicks at the pretend farm area. He even said 'cluck cluck cluck" without any prompting, which surprised me because these baby chicks don't look a whole lot like those in his animation-style farm books. Also smart smart smart. :-)
 Maia in the checkout line at the grocery store with her "purchases"
 Picking out produce....
 Weighing our produce....
Digging in the garden. Yes, JD was possessive and a little scary with the rakes.....the pictures stopped here because his jedi-fighting-style of playing with the rakes required some serious intervention

Friday, January 4, 2013

Truck games

Dear Grandma and Grandpa, thank you for the Cat truck you gave me/us for Christmas. Maia and I both love it and spend a lot of time riding around on it every day. My new favorite game is to put the lego container over my head and ride my truck blind. I'm happy to push myself around without being able to see, and I'm happy to let someone else push me while my whole head is covered. Don't worry, I don't personally run into anything - the truck takes the brunt of any collisions I have. Love, JD

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Growing Up

I was re-arranging the toys and cleaning up a bit tonight, and was actually putting all our puzzles away because I didn't think the kids were old enough for them. I started separating out the pieces so they were at least organized when I put them in storage, and suprise, Maia picked one up and started putting the pieces in. She has to turn each piece quite a few times before it snapped in but she did this one about five times and a couple of others as well. She would bring the completed puzzle to me every time she finished one and was so proud.
Other cute kid moments this week........they won't eat avocado but they inhaled the guacamole I made on New Year's Eve. I am pretty sure they are both saying "ga-ga" for Grandma and Grandpa. JD has been afraid of the pier the past few times we've been there - he seems to have realized he's up high and there is water underneath. We've been trying to teach him it's ok, he's safe, etc. Today I went the tough-love route and told him I wouldn't carry him, he either had to be in his stroller or walk on the pier. That solved it.....he likes being carried but not stroller-confined. He jumped down and walked, no problem. Smart kid.