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by Kayte

Happy Birthday Papa Ed!

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Brunch Potluck

by Kayte

Today we met up with our LA family for a brunch potluck in the park. It was a beautiful overcast (re: cool!) day to play outside. We noshed on bagels, fruit and salad. The little boys immediately found sticks to play with, while the big boys tossed frisbees. Lola was feeling a bit under the weather so she just cuddled the whole time.


Bike Trailer

by Kayte

We’ve been debating how to get the entire family out on bike rides, and Brody opted for a new bike trailer rather than a second bike seat. That way he can take them out by himself and a they won’t outgrow it any time soon.

As with the seat, Max loved it and Lola needs some time to get used to it. She cried the first lap around, and was better the second. I hadn’t been on a bike in a long time myself, and found it lots of fun to pedal around. Hopefully we get more use out of the trailer than everyone else we’ve talked to who tells us they only used theirs a couple times before getting rid of it.


Sting

by Kayte

As if Lola weren’t getting enough pokes and pricks this week, she was stung by a wasp today. We’ve seen them flying around lately and I was stung a couple weeks ago, so I feel her pain. I’m actually surprised she didn’t cry more than she did. Tough cookie.

Since we like silver linings…I was talking to my parents about my sting and they said it’s always good to know whether you’re allergic or not. So at least we know now that Lola is not allergic.

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Kissy Kissy

by Kayte


Growth Hormone

by Kayte

Today was Lola’s first growth hormone injection. We went to the hospital where we spent 2-1/2 hours learning how to properly mix and inject the medicine. After many, many practice pokes on a rubber model, it was finally Lola’s turn. She was so brave and didn’t even cry. I hope the rest of her daily shots go as smoothly.

We received the shipment of medication in the mail a few weeks ago, and I have to admit it was pretty intimidating. We got a big insulated box with the special injection pen and a one-month supply of medicine, needles, alcohol swabs, bandaids and a sharps disposal container. The pharmacy will be sending us a goody box like this every month. The medicine itself has to be refrigerated at all times, which definitely has some implications on our lifestyle. It sort of took me a step backward closer to our high-equipment NICU days, although I’m sure as with everything this will just become another part of our new normal.

The nurse took baseline measurements of Lola’s height (31.5″) and weight (19 lb 13oz) and we have a follow up appointment in 4 months. The doctor will be able to tell if the growth hormone is going to be effective or not within that timeframe. Crossing our fingers. Grow baby grow!

Weight: 19lb 13oz
Height: 31.5 inches


Playgroup

by Kayte

I signed Max & Lola up for a weekly playgroup at our local community college this fall semester. It’s run by a neighbor friend of ours, who has been trying to get me to go since the babies came home. At first I was way too freaked out by all the germ sharing, and then we were way too busy with therapy. But now I feel like it’s finally the right time for us, both physically and developmentally. I mentioned before that our OT wants Max & Lola to have more social exposure, so she’s agreed to do our therapy session at the playgroup. This works great for our schedule (we still have therapy 5 days/week), and it’s nice to have an extra set of hands to help at playgroup.

Last week was the first playgroup meeting. Since Max & I were out of town, Brody & Lola went by themselves. This week I took both kids. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was so much fun. Max and Lola just wandered around and explored everything. There were all sorts of new toys for them to play with. And they were encouraged to get messy! Painting, a water table, even a wading pool. Max spent almost the entire time at the water activities. They did warn us to bring a change of clothes.

I think playgroup will be a good experience for all of us. I tend to be a bit of a homebody myself, so this will be a good excuse for all of us to get out and socialize a bit more.


Mommy’s Boy

by Kayte

Max and I just got back from a trip to western Illinois. We had a great visit with Auntie Karen and Great Grandma. It was great to spend some one-on-one time with my boy and see our family.


Brooms, Hoses, and Vacuums

by Kayte

Oh my.

Who needs toys? Max’s ideal career is leaning toward janitor/gardener.


    


MLI > LAX

by Kayte

Today we said our goodbyes to Karen and my dad and made our way back to LA. It was a great visit, but it’s always good to come home. Max and Lola’s reunion wasn’t out of the ordinary, just lots of laughing and happy yelling. They definitely missed each other, but the separation wasn’t traumatic. Brody and I both enjoyed our one-on-one time with each kid. We’ll have to take another trip soon and switch up the pairings.


Milkshakes

by Kayte

Today was our last day with Great Grandma. We decided to take her on a big adventure: out to lunch! She doesn’t get out of her retirement community very often, so it was a special treat. We met up with my Cousin Jessie at a Chinese restaurant and had a very nice meal together.

We went back to my Grandma’s for the afternoon activity: “Cooking Club.” We made milkshakes and listened to the activities director play the piano. After that it was time to say good bye.

Max was terrified of this bulldog sculpture. It took him three days before he could muster up the courage to touch it. He has statue issues

Facetime with Lola!


Senior Moment

by Kayte

Auntie Karen had to work today, so Max and I tagged along with my dad. After breakfast we drove to my Grandma’s place and spent the day with her. We stayed for lunch, which included squash grown in their very own vegetable garden. The activities director showed Max the piano, and I think he might be a natural. He didn’t bang on the keys like most two-year-olds, but used his fingers very gently. Time for lessons.

We finally got Max to nap in his pack-n-play this afternoon. He’s accustomed to 12 hours at night with a 3 hour nap during the day, so he’s been a bit sleep deprived the past couple days. Max was literally falling asleep standing up, but still fighting a nap, until Karen managed to auntie-whisper him. He was very refreshed after a solid few hours of sleep.

I still can’t get over the weather. Highs were in the 50s today and everything is so lush and green. We’re in such a severe drought back in LA, and it looks like we’ll be coming home to highs in the 100s. Ugh. Very glad I got to experience at least a couple days of Midwestern fall.

This is a year-later shot of the four generations photo we took last visit.


Great Grandma

by Kayte

Our first full day in Illinois we woke up early to the freshly-washed countryside. The air was cool and smelled so fresh – something we haven’t had in LA in a long time. After breakfast we made our way to the retirement community where my Grandma now lives. It had been over a year since Great Grandma had last seen Max. He was in fine form: running up and down the hallways, exploring outdoors, calling out Bingo numbers, and gobbling fresh apple pie. It was so nice to see Great Grandma and Max able to interact and bond.

Later that day my Dad drove down from Michigan to join the festivities. My mom and brother were unfortunately not able to make the trip, but they were much missed. We spent the evening exploring Karen’s huge yard/woods and Max bonded with her two dogs. We all went to sleep early again after full days and long drives.


LAX > MLI

by Kayte

Max and I left for a big adventure today to visit Auntie Karen and Great Grandma in Illinois. We decided it was a much more manageable trip with just two of us, so Brody and Lola stayed home.

Max was the perfect little travel companion. He was so excited to ride on a plane again and even remembered how to buckle his own seatbelt (drawback: he also knows how to unbuckle it). Somehow he managed to remain seated and entertained for two flights and 5+ hours of travel time.

At one point Max patted the seat next to him and said: “Lola airplane. Lola’s turn.” I know they’re going to miss each other…but hopefully not too much.

Max didn’t sleep a wink on the plane, but crashed immediately once he got into his carseat. He slept during the entire drive to Auntie’s house and was ready to explore when we got there. Karen cooked dinner while we settled in. We all turned in early that night, and were lulled to sleep by amazing thunderstorms. It felt great to be back in some Midwest weather.

 


Hot Seat

by Kayte

We went to the park today where Max & Lola took turns playing and riding the bike. We tried to get out early to beat the heat, but the heat definitely beat us. At least there was a nice breeze during our evening walking walk.


Waiting Room

by Kayte

Lola had her 6-month eye exam today. Everything checked out great. Her retinas are stable, the optic nerve is healthy and her vision is clear. The doctor also thought Lola’s upward-looking range of motion was improved. Although this was a subjective observation, it’s important because increased pressure on the brain can cause eyes to sunset downward, so she’s continuing to improve even a year past her last surgery.

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The only bummer is that we always have to wait forever at this doctor’s office. A 15 minute appointment takes two hours. At least they have a fun waiting room for the kids.

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Two-Year Molar

by Kayte

Lola is getting her first of the two-year molars. They’re the second set of molars in the way-back, and the last teeth to come in before she has a full mouth. That brings Lola’s total teeth to 17 – guess she didn’t like being tied with Max.

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Park Therapy

by Kayte

We doubled up on therapy today and met both our occupational therapist (OT) and child development specialist (CDS) at the park. It sure is nice getting out of the house with an extra set of hand(s) to help chase the kiddos around.

The new nap schedule is going great. Being at the park at 10am is SO much more pleasant (cooler) than at 1pm. And after a full morning of play, Max & Lola are ready to crash for a few hours in the afternoon.

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Another family was nice enough to let Us borrow this very cool push-car. Max & Lola took turns pushing and riding.


LA Zoo Day

by Kayte

We had a therapy-free day today and decided to take the kids to the zoo. I’ve noticed that the nap-free morning feels extra long unless we have an activity to keep us busy. And the kids sleep much better in the afternoon when we wear them out in the morning.

This was the coolest zoo visit so far. Max & Lola were so engaged with their surroundings. Lola preferred people watching, but Max was way into the animals. Some favorites were the gorillas, giraffes, jaguar, and, of course, turtles.