Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving
from Jason and Kevin

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving one and all,
It's been an amazing year and this Thanksgiving I (we, actually) have a huge number of things to be thankful for.

Starting with Joe, an amazing, loving and doting husband who did absolutely everything (and I do mean everything) enabling me to have a healthy and stressfree pregnancy. On top of being a wonderful husband, Joe is an amazing, loving and doting father. Jason and Kevin are very lucky little boys.

I'm thankful that I survived what wasn't an ideal childbirth and am thankful and grateful to the amazing staff at NWH without whom this blog might be the tale of a single parent.

I'm thankful for 2 healthy wonderful boys who bring delight, love and joy into my heart every day. (Also, thankful for the amazing staff at the NWH NICU.) Jason and Kevin are a joy I'd never known before.

I'm thankful for my Dad's good health, after a congestive heart failure and several operations, he's been given a clean bill of health delivered by his cardiologist earlier this week.

I'm thankful for the love and support of my family.

I'm thankful for the love and support of Joe's family.

I'm thankful that Sue is part of our family and lives and am grateful for the joy and love she gives to Kevin, Jason, Joe and I.

I'm sorry if I've left anyone out. This year has been a full one and there are so many more things that I thank God for on a daily basis. So, I'll cover the rest with him later.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Moving and Shaking

Here's our Jumpybear modeling his new winter hat. Pretty cute, eh? Very Elmer Fudd. The J-bear surprised us last week by hatching a new tooth and keeping the news all to himself. I managed to get a peek into his mouth last Friday during bathtime and that's when I discovered a new pearly white popping up from his lower gumline.

The increase in saliva and rosy red cheeks tells me that another one is on the way.

Kickybear has his own big news to share. He's crawling. Real up-on-all-fours crawling, don't-turn-your-back-on-him-and-leave-the-room crawling. He's not Speedracer (yet) but he is quick.

This is our Browniebear having fun with his pal, Al the worm. As you can see, the Kickster loves his fuzzy friends. All stuffed, fuzzy friends are greeted with a big hug and are immediately smooshed into his face. He likes to give hugs to people too. You do need to be careful if he's grabbed your hair in the process however. Sue and I both have some small bald patches courtesy of Kevin.

If We Knew Then What We Know Now

1. Kevin would be nicknamed Jumpy
2. Jason would be nicknamed Guy Smiley
3. Kevin's wrestling name would be "Heels of Steel"
4. Jason's wrestling name would be "The Growler"

Curious as to why? Kevin and his johnny jump up doorway bouncy thingy have formed a deep meaningful relationship. Kevin loves to bounce, to an excessive degree. If you stand him up on his feet, he immediately starts to bounce. (Tigger would be a good nickname too.) He has fallen asleep in the JJU not once, but twice. No, I didn't put him in and forget him. I sit with him while he bounces. But he bounces so much that he tires himself out and actually falls asleep while bouncing. While we're discussing the little master, if he were to suddenly get a wrestling contract from Vince McMahon....his stage wrestling name would definitely be "Heels of Steel". He has crazy hard heels and he slams them on the mattress or the playmat or the carpet and man oh man, it's loud and hard.

Jason is our smiley guy or Guy Smiley, either way. He's perennially happy. He assumes a pretty funny pose when you whip out the camera. Or, on any given day he could be called the Growler. He makes a funny growling noise. Sue has been teaching the boys about animals and the sounds they make. Jason seems to favor the bear growl.

Neither boy would be nicknamed the following:
Chief Likes-a-Nap
Mister Sleeps-Until-8
Sir I'veGotDryMouth
Master TrustMe-I-Won't-Bite-You

Both boys still enjoy being read to and eating the occaisional book. Kevin's favorite book is a picture book about a red truck. Jason's favorite is Hello Bee, Hello Me. There are a few others in their top 5: Helen Oxenbury's books (All Fall Down, Tickle Tickle and Goodnight Babies), the fuzzy bunny book (sorry, no title on this, just a fuzzy cover), the top of the list: Bert and Ernie. J + K love it. They love the faces on the covers.

Kevin has an obsession with our Sirius satellite radio. Jason is very focused on how things work. Kevin likes lights and flashy, shiny objects.

Temper, Temper

Jason, when distracted or discouraged from an object or activity that isn't age appropriate, slams his fist or feet down and throws back his head and howls and raises a ruckus. You know for sure he's unhappy. But, then, he gets over it and that's it. Kevin, looks you dead in the eye, smiles and proceeds doing exactly what he wants/you don't want. Sometimes he'll puddle up and wail if truly unhappy, but so far, he just ignores you and your efforts to get him to change direction. Unless you have a flashlight or other shiny distracting object.

He's Wicked Smaht

For the past 2 weeks or so, Jason has been refusing dinner. This kid has tight lips that even Churchill would've been proud of. No secrets getting out of there. Somewhere around day 4, I realize (after discussions with Sue and Joe who assure me that he eats a great breakfast) what's really going on. And, even then....I realize only after his lunch appetite drops off. Jason, smart infant that he is, is holding out for dessert. He knows the sweet stuff comes at the end of the meal. So, why bother putting up with the green and white stuff? (Green beans/peas and rice, in this example.) Our boy Jason is practicing that time tested nugget "Eat dessert first, you might not make it through dinner."

I'm sure that there have been a myriad of other changes. I might miss some here or there. Here are the ones I can recall w/o benefit of caffeine:

Kevin loves LOVES Pat-a-cake. His favorite part being "roll it and fold it" but we do "roll it and roll it" as he loves the motion of rolling one hand over the other. You'll sometimes see him sitting there by himself doing the rolling motion. Very cute. He also loves clapping and has been practicing/experimenting.

Jason loveloveloves to play an imitation game. This is how it's played: Jason makes a noise, Joe or I imitate that noise, Jason makes a new/different noise, J/K then imitate that noise. Then Jason will make a motion as if he's made a noise but no sound has been made, so Kathy/Joe makes a small movement mimicking Jason's and also, no noise. This can go on for a few minutes or 15. He always bursts out in laughter and thinks it's pretty funny that Mommy/Daddy are a buncha trained monkeys doing whatever he wants.

More pix

Jason in extreme closeup. Kevin in his standard photo pose. For some reason, our former male baby model has become "Earl" (as in My Name Is Earl tv show). In recent photos he either: has his eyes closed, one eye closed or he's making a squinting, blurry, bizarre mouth open/eyes half closed pose. He's a cute boy, so what's the problem? Maybe it's just a phase while he's teething? Maybe he doesn't feel like smiling?

Speaking of, did I mention that he got 2 more? For a grand total of 8. 4 Uppers and 4 lowers. The post-dinner toothbrushing is going well. Jason now likes his toothbrush (it has a lion on it) and puts it in his mouth and rubs it around his teeth. Yay Jason! Kevin loves his toothbrush. It has a turtle on it. So far, so good. I'm hoping that brushing their teeth becomes an ingrained habit so that someday when they can talk and ask questions that I struggle to answer.....hopefully they won't ask "why do I have to brush my teeth". Maybe it'll be like breathing or any other autonomic response....and they'll just assume it's a daily thing that they do w/o thinking about it. Yeah. Right.

Well, I must run. 4 o'clock bottle time.
Muah. Love, Kathy

Monday, November 17, 2008


Choppahs the New Englandah way of saying "choppers". That word hints at what our little Kickybear has been up to lately. On Friday, Kicky (who was out of sorts and not his typical charming, sweet and smilely self) had two brand spanking new bottom teeth start to break through. The teeth are still working their way to the surface and poor Kevin is trying to take it in stride but he's in pain and he's sharing that with everyone.

What did parents do before children's Tylenol?

The boys have been brushing their teeth after dinner. The first time I gave each boy a toothbrush pretty much captures the differences between the 2 boys. Kevin grabbed the brush and immediately shoved it in his mouth and began chewing. Jason wouldn't take the brush from me. After a bit, I convinced him that a toothbrush is pretty cool and that he could have as much fun as Kevin if he'd give it a go. He took the brush into his hand but stared at it as if it were an alien. It took roughly a week before Jason would put the toothbrush into his mouth.

I continue to try to convince Jason that brushing teeth is: fun, really fun, tickling his teeth, tickling his tongue, funfunfun, etc. He clearly doesn't believe me. Kevin, in fact, thinks it is fun and doesn't need me to sell him. Each time I get out the brushes, he grabs his right out of my hand. Jason willingly takes his brush but he likes to look at it and then maybe chew the end with the rubberized handle. At some point, he'll put it near his lips, almost touching his lips and then he makes a "this feels yucky" face. He clearly dislikes the feeling of the bristles. He doesn't buy my "it tickles" comments. At one point last week, he put the brush into his mouth, made a face, pulled it out and the proceeded to pull at the bristles. I guess he was trying to remove them. I'm patient. We'll keep practicing. After Jason is onboard, then we'll add toothpaste.

Kevin has been onboard with brushing his teeth from day one. Kevin has been onboard with any activity that involves something going into his mouth. Last week, Kevin managed to get to the tuner where he pushed several buttons and turned the volume down. Chip off of the old block. Sue says that Kevin stares at the basket where the remote controls are stored. He also stares at the satellite radio. I'm not sure what he's planning but we do change the channels frequently so that the boys are exposed to many styles of music. I see no coorelation between his staring at the radio and a particular channel. He seems to like the 50's channel as much as the 40's channel or the heavy metal one. Who knows what he's planning?


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Number 9

Kicky and Jumpy celebrated their 9 month birthday on Saturday. They celebrated by playing all day, eating cheerios and teething. Kevin, not to be outdone by Jason and his mouthful of choppers, sprouted 4 upper teeth in a 4-6 day timeframe. Both boys will bite if given a chance but don't worry, they get their shots so you're safe. Plus we keep a safety kit on each floor - lots of bandages, neosporin and alcohol (rubbing, not drinking).

The boys saw their pediatrician on Monday for a 9 mo checkup. The boys are doing very well. The doctor grilled us and Sue. "What do you feed them?" "Do you take them out?" "Where/What/When" etc. He complimented the boys and us, said we were doing a great job. Which is nice. I get the impression that he's not effusive with compliments. I did needle him a bit when the topic of juice came up. He asked what they drink. I answer water and formula and "oh, we will try apple juice this weekend."

Here's the rest of the conversation:
Dr: Oh, no. NO juice.
Me (looking at Dr and then at Joe and psychically telling Joe "Arg. Are you kidding me?" and then looking back at Dr and saying outloud): Are you kidding me?
Joe: Well, she's been saying no juice all along and then she reversed her decision.
Me to Dr.: I didn't want them to have juice but figured you'd think we were being extreme and that you'd say 'Moderation in all things' so I relented.
Dr: Wellllll, years ago pediatricans thought juice was a good thing but NOW we know better. There is no reason for them to have juice. It's sugar and water and it's bad for their teeth. As long as they are eating fruit, the don't need juice.
Me --- looking at Joe, subtly and psychically commenting to him "Can u believe this?" and then looking at Dr and saying: Ok

The part you've been waiting for....the checkup and the Stats
Jason went first and was a peach during the checkup. He sat and stared at the Dr. The Dr. kept saying over and over "He's staring at me" "Wow, he's really staring at me." "He keeps staring at me." Finally I said "Well, would you prefer the alternative of him crying?" Dr:"No"

He did end up crying however when the Doc stuck his scope in Jason's ears. But that was near the end and hey, Jason had already been quite the trooper so I don't blame him one bit.

Jason weighed 20 lbs and 3 oz. He measured 29 and 1/4" long. According to the fancy schmancy chart on the Doc's laptop, Jason is in the 80th percentile for height for a baby born on his birthdate and he's in the 50th percentile for weight.

Kevin was also a trooper during his physical. Of course, what you don't know is that there is a huge wall mirror alongside the table and Kevin didn't realize that anyone else was in the room other than that handsome baby lying next to him. Our Kevin does tend to admire himself. He didn't mind the Dr checking out his teeth or his eyes or his ears. All smiles and relaxed.

Kevin weighed 19 lbs and 5 oz. He measured 28 and 1/2" long. He was in the 50th percentile for length and the 30th percentile for weight for a baby born on his birthdate.

These stats are pretty impressive when you recall that they were preemies so their gestational age is 8 months. So the fact that they are right on track with true 9 month olds is terrific and reassuring to anyone who is a bit concerned.

Movin' on up

The boys are on the move. Jason occasionally pulls himself up using common household objects like the exersaucers, the couch, etc. Both boys can stand up from a sitting position by themselves. This has been going on for about 2 weeks BUT....on Monday, Kevin, who was perched on my leg while I was sitting on the floor, stood up and headed off across the room. He didn't get far as his feet didn't get the signal from his brain as to what they should be doing. So, down he went. He didn't seem fazed and I was grateful for those little helmets that they both still wear.

If held up, both boys will walk and they are both good at putting weight on their legs. Jason does a little jig when you hold his arms and he starts to walk, very cute. Kevin, if held, will bounce up and down. I've never seen such a bouncy kid. Updownupdownupdownupdownupdown. He can do this for a verrry long time. Kevin loves to be in the johnny jump up. He laughs the whole time and he gets a kick out of spinning around AND jumping. If Delta happens to walk by, well, that elicits a huge squeal and a big smile. Not from Delta however. Today I co-walked Jason into our bedroom from the nursery. When we walked into our room and Joe said "Wow Jason, look at you walking like a big boy!" Jason's face lit up and he was all smiles.

Both boys tried Kix yesterday and they were a BIG hit. Sue and I took a CPR and infant safety class last night. A very good thing. Especially as Kevin tends to cram lots of things (cheerios, toys, etc) into his mouth. I've fished chunks of biter biscuits and wads of cheerios out of his mouth. You have to keeep an eagle eye on that one.

Lots more to post later.

Monday, November 3, 2008

News at Noon

Interrupting your Internet surfing with some news.

Kevin has 3 new teeth, all uppers, dropping down right now, even as I type. One has broken through and is roughly 1/8th of an inch long. The other 2 are just breaking through. Oddly enough, the top front right tooth broke through first and then the 2nd upper right started and then the 2nd upper left started. So just the frontmost top left tooth is not budging.
Before teeth, both boys were quick to flash a big old smile. Now that they have teeth....forget about it. Lots of grins and smiles but NO teeth. Good luck prying their lips apart. Of course, this means capturing a photo is nearly impossible so bear with me when viewing the photos.

Here's Kevin with his new smile:


Some day, he'll have a great big smile w/a mouthful of teeth. This is how we imagine it might look.
Getting a picture of either boy with a big ol' toothy grin is like getting a photo of Sasquatch or the Dover Demon. But, I'll keep trying. Keep checking back.
In Jason news.....he has said "Mama". Several times in fact. Kevin has too. I might not have reported it to you because we're not sure it means to them what it means to us. Kevin uses "mama" when he's in his crib crying and wants out. Jason uses "mama" when he has a temper tantrum. Last Thursday Jason decided he didn't want dinner, he didn't want to be in his high chair and a bottle of formula was ALL he wanted. He pounded his fist on his high chair tray and yelled "MAMA!" at the top of his lungs. Joe thinks they mean me when they say it and he counts it as a "first word". I kind of suspect that "mama" means "ARG!" or "GRR".
Still, it's nice to hear it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ghosties and Ghoulies

Another banner Halloween at Pokey Oaks. We got roughly 20 or so trick or treaters. Some very cute costumes. Here are pictures of our own little tricksters:

Kevin is mid-jump and Jason is mid-disco baby dance step. They sure are funny.
The boys went with a Halloween theme and Joe and I had costumes but opted to only wear the witches hat so as to not scare wee Kicky and Jumpy. By the time they went to bed, beggar's night was pretty much over so we bailed on dressing up.

You can see by Jason's expression how much he liked the witches hat. Oh well, hopefully he'll come around by next year.
Happy Halloween All!
Many thanks for the Halloween goodies for the boys. They wore their "1st Halloween bibs" and their light up Halloween socks (Kevin was fascinated by these..."Why didn't I notice my feet lighting up before?") The Halloween ducks have been a bathtime favorite and the Halloween shirts (can't see 'em here but they are wearing them) are adorable. We hung the Halloween cards by their high chairs so they could see them. Both boys were fascinated and it's been a game to see who can stretch and reach a card and then pull it down. The Halloween night light has also been of keen interest. It's been a help to us as when either gets tetchy, if you flip on the light, they both go quiet and stare at the light in complete fascination.
Well, election day is around the corner. Kicky and Jumpy will be voting at the McCarthy school after work. Hopefully the weather holds out and we can all walk up together. Actually, some get to ride, others get to push. Such is life.
Have a great night.