WOW! I can hardly believe that they are two years old already. It is really interesting how time flies, yet in some circumstances it seems to stand still. When we were in the NICU I could not wait for the days to go by the time just seemed to drag on and on. Now I wish I could find a way to slow down the clock, they are growing so so so fast. Every day I look at them and I can not believe how big they are. It is truly sad that my memories of our time in the NICU and this time last year when Lena was so sick are so crisp and vivid, right down to the colors in the room, the noise, the sounds even the nurses faces. Yet, the memories of the good times, the best times are so fleeting. I wish that I could some how reverse this scenario and bottle up these wonderful times, categorize them by age, so that I can bring them out when I need them and take in all in again. But I can not.
This is why I keep this blog so that I can go back to the good times and the bad times, year after year and remember. I guess that means I need to be more diligent in my blogging too. Ahh the constant battle to balance the many aspects of our very busy lives. I can not believe that over a year has gone by.
The girls are changing and growing at an alarming rate. At our last weigh in Lena was 77cm or 30.3 inches tall and weighed 9.32kg or 20lbs 8 oz and Kassie was 81cm or 31.9 inches tall and weighed 10.5kg or 23lbs 3oz. Both girls have really developed very unique little (big) toddler personalities.
Lena is quiet, reserved and generally more passive than Kassie. Lena loves to laugh and smile, she is ALWAYS happy. When she is not happy she is either VERY tired or we know something is wrong. She loves to be tickled and giggles and giggles and giggles. Her laugh is infectious and heart warming, she makes everyone smile. Physically Lena is making leaps and bounds. She has really taken off in the past 6 months or so. She is developing better fine motor control and likes to target and grab anything. She wants to feed herself and is getting better at getting the spoon to her mouth (after hitting her hair, eyes, cheeks etc.) She has also started to eat cracker type foods and cheerios. Yeah Lena!
Like her sister, Lenais developing a mischievous side, hers is more sneaky than Kassie’s though. She loves to grab things off the kitchen counter next to her high chair when I am not looking. She is really coming along in her gross motor deveolpment too, making some serious progress sitting. She can now sit unassisted for several minutes (2+). Her success really depends on the tone in her hamstrings though. If it is too high she has trouble maintaining the position. She has also learned that there is always something to lean back on so she often leans backward so we are trying to teach her to lean forward when sitting, she is starting to figure it out. When she forgets it’s game over.
Lena is going to be the singer in our family, though she is the quieter of the two, letting her sister babble on and on and on, when Lena is alone with us or Kassie has a moment of silence, she loves to sing her little heart out always with a humungous smile. Our one huge hurdle is having trouble gaining weight, the gap that once was very small between the two girls is widening every time we go for a weigh in. Funny thing is, Lena eats fairly well most of the time and Kassie, who is having no problems in the growth department is a picky toddler who eats sporadically. Go figure.
Though when Lena eats she eats relatively well, we are still having trouble getting past the pureed foods and I count calories for her daily because she just can not gain weight lately. There are never enough calories and with our diet obsessed world it is getting harder and harder to find nutritious, high calorie foods. I used to think her feeding troubles revolved around a swallowing issue but after two feeding clinics and a swallow study that has been ruled out. For awhile we were all puzzled. She can chew, she takes bits of crackers and graham cookies but she won’t eat anything else solid and I can not put anything into her mouth, if I do get it in it comes right back out. So after many tears, much frustration and thoughts of a g-tube (when eating is good it is good when it is bad, it is really bad). I have come to the conclusion that most of Lena’s feeding issues are sensory. She has major facial texture issues and is very particular about what is put in her mouth (she can put almost anything in there but we can not. Fluid intake has also become a worry. She refuses a bottle if she is upright, she will only use a bottle laying down with her head raised. She will take small sips out of a plastic juice box but it is not enough. Consequently she also has poop issues. The life of a micro-preemie is NEVER dull, but it’s worth every minute.
Kassie is definitely not quiet, she loves to be heard and makes sure that she is the center of attention at all times. Lena is not allowed to have any attention, Kassie gets very upset and jealous, great fun. She “talks” constantly, though she still speaks in her own language that we have dubbed “Kassie-ese” . Her language is full of bugahhs and beedahs and ohhbadahs. Oh and when she really wants attention… mom-mom. She may not talk but she understands everything and is very emotional. If she knows you are upset she gets upset.
Kassie is going to be in the spot light when she grows up. She is such a ham. She loved to play dress up with Lorraine, our ECIP worker, when she brought over some pretty princess clothes, necklaces and funny noses. She thought it was great to see herself all pretty in the mirror. We had to buy her some pretties and a crown. When the camera comes out she is right there. When the camcorder comes out, she stops whatever it was that was cute she was doing to make sure you are taping her. Too funny. On a daily basis she has to have attention at all times or she gets quite upset. She is very social and needs to be around people at all times, if you leave the room, look out, its tantrum time. As first it was cute, now … not so much.
Kassie also has quite a unique sense of humor and a one of a kind personality, she could be a comedian. She catches on to jokes very quickly and loves to be funny and make people laugh. She thinks it’s hilarious when someone says OUCH!, she loves to pull off socks, hers, yours whatever. Kassie loves to play peek a boo, in fact it is a sure fire way to distract her when she gets upset. She has a huge infectious smile with an adorable deep dimple on the left side (one comes out on the right too if the smile is large enough) when she knows she has been funny or when she has done something good. Its all about the praise these days.
Physically Kassie has been amazing in the last few months. She has taken off like crazy. She is now a bum scooter and travels all over the house sliding aroundon her bottom. Kassie still refuses to stand on her feet and bear and weight through them in an upright position. She used to not put weight through them at all though, but since the bum scooting she has had to learn to push with her feet which forces her to apply pressure. She also uses the right side of her body more spontaneously now (more the foot than the hand but progress is progress), as well as on demand. Yeah Kassie!