Tortoise and the Hare

by Kayte

Happy Halloween! I couldn’t pull it together for a family group costume this year, but Max and Lola’s costumes turned out really well. We went trick-or-treating in our neighborhood and visited with lots of our neighbors. Max & Lola had practiced pretend trick-or-treating in speech therapy this week, so they had the routine down pat. “Trick or Treat.” “Thank You.” “Happy Halloween!”

We actually had a cool, cloudy day in LA which felt totally like fall, but it got dark so early I didn’t get a chance to get very good pictures. We may have to do a re-shoot tomorrow.

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Cousin Anna held down the fort and passed out candy while we walked the neighborhood.

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As if the day weren’t busy enough between PT and Halloween, earlier we stopped by the St. Joe NICU to visit some of our favorite nurses.

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1 2 3

by Kayte


Boney Island

by Kayte

Can you tell we’re in the Halloween spirit? Tonight we went with some neighbors to Boney Island – a residential home in a nearby neighborhood that goes all out for Halloween.

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Halloween Party

by Kayte

This weekend we went to our second annual Halloween party hosted by our friends PJ, Beeta, and Ryan. I could’ve sworn there were half as many kids there this year, but PJ insisted we were just seasoned party veterans now. It’s neat to compare the pictures from last year and see how much Max & Lola have matured.

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Bye Bye Anna

by Kayte

For the second time in two years we’ve had to say goodbye to our wonderful cousin Anna. We’ll miss her here in LA, but she’s on to bigger and better things in NorCal. And there’s always a chance that she’ll be back!

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Pumpkin Decor

by Kayte

Today we carved and painted the pumpkins we picked at the farm last weekend. Max & Lola helped scoop the pumpkin guts and each painted their own pumpkins. It was good, messy fun.

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Growth

by Kayte

It appears that the growth hormones are working! Lola had her 2-1/2 year checkup with our pediatrician today, and in the last month she has gained one pound and grown one inch. She now weighs 20lb 11oz and is 32.75″ tall. Assuming all the measurements were correct (accuracy can be difficult with wiggly little kids) the 1″ is an especially big deal. Normal growth for toddlers is ~2″ per year so this would be a big catch-up. Our next appointment with the endocrinologist is in January so we will know more then, but it seems like we’re on the right track.

Meanwhile Max is 28lb 8oz and 35″ tall.


Pumpkin Patch

by Kayte

We made our 2nd annual family trek to Underwood Farms to celebrate the fall season. It was fun to see Max & Lola so engaged with everything. They’ve been especially aware of the Halloween decorations in our neighborhood, so the pumpkins were a big hit. Big machines are also a popular theme these days, so Max was very excited about the tractor-drawn wagon ride. Max & Lola loved seeing all the farm animals; petting the goats, riding the ponies, feeding the cows. Max was a little bit scared of the chickens though (and the scarecrows). Lola walked almost everywhere; she even picked out her own pumpkin and carried it to the wagon. They spent the longest time in the bean box – just pouring beans from one cup to another and back again. We also walked through the corn maze, watched pig races, ate fried food and got temporary pumpkin tattoos (which Max & Lola promptly attempted to eat off their arms [!?]).

Toddler endurance is insane. We were at the farm for over 5 hours, and after a quick nap in the car Max & Lola were ready to play some more…meanwhile Brody and I were ready to pass out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. Max & Lola are 2-1/2 years old today!


7 Under 3

by Kayte

We had another mega-playdate with our fellow NICU graduates. We managed to have a very nice time with 5 toddlers, 2 babies and only 3 moms. The kids all played really well together and the moms got a chance to chat. No major meltdowns, everyone ate their lunch and we even managed to get a picture of all the little ones. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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Security Breach

by Kayte

In just the past week, Max has figured out how to open all the doors with safety-knob covers, operate the double-locking system on our baby gates, and today he crawled out of his crib at nap time and walked out of the bedroom like no big deal. Containment has been the name of the game thus far…and this is really throwing us off our game. Guess that’s why they call it baby-proofing and not toddler-proofing. Maybe our new OT is doing too good of a job with those fine motor skills.


Monkey Boy 2

by Kayte

Last October Max first climbed the steps of his high chair…these days it looks more like this:

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October 2013 (left) October 2014 (right)


NICU Reunion 2014

by Kayte

Every two years UCLA hosts a big party for their NICU grads. Two years ago we were still in the NICU, so this was our first reunion as official graduates. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it was a pretty big bash. They had toys for the kids, a bounce house & slide, pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals, puppet shows, arts & crafts, a DJ, the UCLA marching band, a police car & motorcycle, an ambulance and tons of food (including an ice cream sundae bar). We saw lots of nurses and doctors who we recognized, and I found it to be pretty emotional seeing so many people who had such a huge impact on our lives. They told us there are 30-year-old graduates who still come back for the reunion, and we even met a family from Las Vegas who had flown in for the occasion. Of course the kids had a great time, and I look forward to coming back for many years to come.


Flying Alligator

by Kayte

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Second Molars

by Kayte

Not that this is news, but Lola is one tough cookie. I found yet another molar that had broken through, and she hasn’t been cranky at all. I hear so many horror stories about teething from other people, and here we don’t even notice it. This is her bottom-left which means she has both second molars on the left side. I bravely stuck an exploratory finger back there and it feels like the right side is not far behind.

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Morning Park

by Kayte

Since I had a helper with me today, we were able to make a quick trip to the park this morning before speech therapy.


Chaos

by Kayte

Guess this is Max & Lola’s not-so-subtle way of telling me nap time is over? If they can do this much damage from inside their crib, imagine what happens when I let them loose.

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Good to know Max can open the drawers underneath his crib.


New OT

by Kayte

The new OT that we’ve been working with since April suddenly took a leave of absence, so now we have a new new OT. Our first session was last Saturday and the kids and I really liked her.

She agreed with our old-new OT that Max & Lola are both doing great with sensory perception and are ready for more social interaction. However, I was surprised to learn how far behind Lola is with her fine motor skills. Her most recent evaluation put her fine motor skills in the 3-6 month range with spikes up to 10 months. That’s a pretty significant delay. I’m a little upset that we haven’t been focusing on that more these past months, but am happy that it’s at the forefront now. Max has good foundational fine motor skills, but they need to be fine-tuned to his age level.

The new-new OT is really great about explaining the why behind her therapy activities. She also helps us focus by assigning one specific task for “homework.” Last week Max worked on drawing horizontal & vertical lines (vs random scribbling) and Lola practiced opening a ziplock bag (which takes a lot of strength/coordination for her). This week Max is supposed to practice using one hand to stabilize something while his other hand performs an action (such as holding his plate while trying to stab with a fork). Lola’s homework is pretty fun – picking up coins and putting them into a piggy bank. She sat doing it today for a long time, and didn’t even try to eat any coins. Kind of amazing.

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Piggy hugs!


Train Day

by Kayte

It’s been awhile since we took the kids to Travel Town. Last time my parents were here my dad didn’t come with us, so today it was his turn to see the trains. We walked around the park, climbed in the cars, and took a ride on the train. It was a great way to spend the morning.

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Grandpa

by Kayte

Look who’s here for a visit!

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Hose

by Kayte

Nothing makes him happier…

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…except maybe the vacuum.