Sunday, February 5, 2012

Van Nostalgia

So we got a new van this week.  Our old van was out of warranty and having some problems, so it was time to trade.

But I can't help but feel a little sad.

Its kind of like moving out of your old house into your new house.

Its exciting to move, but its also sad to leave the memories behind.

Which of course is silly, because you get to take your memories with you too.

But still, its easy to slip into the nostalgia.

We bought our old van in anticipation of the arrival of the twins.  Which turned out to be a huge lifesaver!  Because as it turned out, both girls needed to travel in carbeds instead of carseats.  And had we not had a van, we would have had to go everywhere in 2 cars.  (You cannot put 2 carbeds in the same row of seats.  They are designed so that they will only fit on the passenger side back seat.  So had we not had the third row of seats, they would not have been able to ride in the car at the same time.)  The only places we took them were doctor appointments, but trust me we had a lot!

This is me getting Lenay buckled her carbed in the day we left the NICU. 

She was 6 and 1/2 weeks old and still only weighed 3 pounds 15 ounces!!!  Craziness.  I don't know how we ever did that.

That van helped get our little babies around to the places they needed to be.  It not only brought the girls home from the NICU.  But when Campbell got pneumonia a month later, it brought her back and she stayed on PIC for a week.  It also brought Lenay to the hospital for her heart surgery when she was 6 months old.

It took Noah to swim lessons, soccer practice and games, baseball, basketball.  It carted his friends around.  It took us to Wisconsin Dells for Spring Break last year.

So many memorable moments.

But isn't my new van so pretty?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hearts, Eyes, and Preschool

We are heading back to the cardiologist this week.  Both girls will be seen.  Lenay will have an echocardiogram.  I double checked with the doctor, and she doesn't need to be sedated this time.  We will be looking at her heart to see if it has grown.  To see if there is more space for blood flow. 

We are praying that it has and there is.

She is currently on 3 cardiac meds.  One to thin her blood, one to help her heart squeeze harder, and one to lower her blood pressure.

The blood thinner is actually a quarter of a low dose aspirin.  She's been on it since her surgery (when she was 6 months old.)  Until a few months ago, we would crush it and dissolve it in water, but now I just give it to her whole and let her chew it up.  And she does fine with it.  I actually think she likes the taste.  Every morning after I draw up the other 2 meds, she asks for her "piece" - its so cute!

I just realized that I haven't posted anything about Campbell's glasses.  She has had them for several weeks now, and she is doing great with them!  I have to say I am very surprised.  When the eye doctor first told me she would need them, I asked him how the heck I am supposed to keep glasses on a 2 year old's face.  And he told me that she would realize that the glasses are helping her to see, and in turn she would leave them alone.  I was like, uh yeah right.  See, I got my first pair of glasses at age 3, and I constantly broke/lost them, consequently costing my parents lots of money.  But the doctor assured me that nowadays, glasses for little ones are made differently.  They are more comfortable, fitted just for them.  And therefore they leave them on.  Really?  I was skeptical.

He was right!  At first, she did say, "Hurt. Ear."  But after a quick adjustment, they fit her perfectly.  The nose piece is made specifically for little ones, and it is very comfortable in case she falls asleep wearing them.

Her need for glasses has nothing to do with her prematurity.  Like the doctor said, it is a result of my bad genes!  Which, believe it or not, I find comforting.  I was concerned about the fact that she was on oxygen until she was 7 months old, because I had read articles about kids on O2 having eye problems down the road.  But he explained that those problems have to do with blood vessels at the back of the eye, and that we are past the window of opportunity for those problems to arise.  She is however, farsighted.  And her left eye doesn't always track exactly with her right.  So these glasses will help both problems.  And the doctor thinks they will just be temporary. :)

A question I am asked constantly is "How can the doctor tell she is farsighted?  She can't read an eye chart."  Well, the best way I can explain it is that the doctor holds different strengths of lenses up to her eye and shines a light through the lens.  He can tell what her prescription is by observing the way her eye reacts to the light through the lens.  Pretty nifty, eh?  I find it amazing actually.  And I have really noticed a change in her activities since she got her glasses.  She will sit and color for much longer now.  And she looks at her books with new intensity.  Being farsighted, she probably feels like she is seeing them for the first time.  Before, when she would quickly move from one activity to another, I figured she just had a short attention span.  But now after observing her since she got her glasses, I can see that everything seems to hold her interest longer.  Plus her OT is already very impressed with the improvement in her fine motor skills!  And her PT thinks that the glasses will help with her goal of walking up and down stairs as well.  Her depth perception was probably thrown off before.  It all makes sense.  So grateful for the advances in technology that allow my daughter to see and in turn, progress through her milestones!  Go Cam!

We met for her semi-annual IFSP meeting last week with all of her therapists and her Early Intervention care coordinator, and we learned a little bit about transitioning into preschool.  Which just seems crazy!  But at age 3, her services will be handled by the school district.  So we have an appointment at the school in March, where she will be evaluated for services. 

My babies are just growing up way too fast!

Friday, January 20, 2012

From a Different Time

Hello 2012.  How did you sneak up on us so fast?  When I was in high school (class of '97!) and the underclassmen started wearing letterman jackets (do they still have those?) that said "00" and "01" on them, I remember it looked so WEIRD.  I remember it was a hard concept to wrap my small brain around.  Yes.  Time is marching on.  Right into the 21st century.  It will be ok.

Now my 7 year old giggles when I talk about my childhood.  You know, back in the 1900s.  And I've realized that not only will our kids find us to be the regular kind of old you just automatically think of your parents as being, but throw in the fact that we were born in the previous century.  And the previous millenium. 

Yep, we are officially ancient.

My mom tells this story about her grandma, who was born in the 1890s.  She was raising her family in a tiny country town in southern Illinois during the 1920s, when some people came down their road, offering to hook up electricity to the different houses in the neighborhood.  And great grandma didn't really think they needed it.  I mean, what would they do with it?  See it was enough voltage to light ONE LIGHTBULB.  Who cares?  We have kerosene lamps for that.  Duh people.  No thanks.

So Noah is listening intently to this story.  He can't imagine it.  So my mom is telling him.

See Noah, they didn't have refrigerators, or phones, or air conditioners, or televisions or computers back then.

His response?

"Are you saying they didn't have iPods?!"

No Noah.  Sadly there were no iPods in the 1920s either.

So as crazy as electricity seemed to my great grandma, Noah found it equally as crazy that great grandma couldn't buy Plants vs. Zombies in the App Store.

At a recent PTO meeting, we were discussing how to spend certain funds on new technology for the school.  And we had a technology expert come and speak to us about our different options.  And talking about the future, he said that as crazy as it sounds, down the road he sees our kids having all their textbooks loaded onto an iPad (or similar device.)  There would be no need for actual textbooks.  No backpacks.  No paper.  Everything you need is right here on this device.

I left that meeting thinking - Wow. 

I felt a little closer to my great grandma that night.