Friday, December 30, 2011

Ended 2011 with a bang!

Steve and I both had the week after Christmas off so we did our very best to tire out the kids.  The surprisingly warm weather allowed us to hit the Milwaukee Zoo the day after Christmas.  The next day we hit the Museum of Science and Industry with the whole Wold family.  The boys were all about the trains there.  They also have a person sized hamster wheel that Evan managed quite nicely.

Friday, December 16, 2011

So Much Change in a Year

The boys actually sat on Santa's lap this year.  If I had to bet, I would have bet that they would start crying and run like they have the past two years.  I would have happily lost that bet this year!

Evan even told Santa he wanted something Dora (he still has a Dora obsession).  Sean happily took his candy cane and smiled.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Small Victories

It has been a long week back after the crazy week we had last week....  Evan shocked me tonight by asking for some of Gretchen's apple at dinner.  I know that seems minor but Evan has never really asked for a fruit and ate it.  He likes yogurt, he likes applesauce but he ate a raw apple.  I am smiling.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Roller Coaster Babies

In order to combat Evan's Dora obsession, we have allowed the boys to immerse themselves into their next favorite thing:  roller coasters.   It seemed to me anyway that Evan was the more committed roller coaster devotee.  We couldn't pass one at Six Flags this summer without Evan commenting on it.  Grandma started showing them YouTube videos of roller coasters, then we started showing them YouTube videos and DVDs.  This month I got books from the library with pictures.  The boys have all of the names memorized.  Now Sean seems the most committed as he cries when we turn off the DVD after over an hour of watching it.  Too bad they aren't ready for video games.....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Gretchen went as the bride of Frankenstein while the boys got to be football players.  This was really their first year of trick or treating where they even understood the process.  Last year I don't think they went to more than one house.  This year, they were were all about it!  Evan and Sean followed Gretchen from door to door to pursue candy.  Their stamina for the evening was better than Gretchen's when she was three.  I walked them as long as I could.  At one point Sean started sitting in driveways to get a rest.  Evan had me carry his candy pal because he was so tired.  Next year I will let them pick their own costumes now that I know they get it and will remember it.  So much fun and yet I'm glad it's over!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Growing up fast!

Just a quick update on the boys!  They seem to be doing well in Early Childhood (with speech and occupational therapy).  We separated the boys into different classes to give them both a chance to become independent.  I had been more worried about Evan in this scenario because he really looks for Sean and Gretchen when they are not in the room with him.  Evan is doing well however but it doubles the amount of paperwork I get in their backpacks.  It's a challenge to keep their papers and assignments straight along with Gretchen's stuff. 

Evan is talking quite a bit - his latest thing is telling me he can't like something.  For example:  I can't like cheese.  Or I can't like a nap.  Now I'm asking him about school and his answer to those questions is yes.  It doesn't matter what I ask, he says yes.  Me:  Did you roast marshmallows at school?  Yes.  Did you color at school?  Yes.  We have been working on the dialogue between us and the boys.  I ask Evan what he did at school every day.  For a few weeks the answer was "I colored"...  Then it was "I play centers" (their stations of play at preschool).  So... we're getting there.

Sean is also talking more.  He seems to speak up more when asked questions.  He really likes to sing and we can often get him to sing songs.  He likes the songs he's learning at church and on his favorite singing show "Fresh Beat Band".  He actually tries to dance and sing while watching this show which is the only reason I tolerate it.  Steve calls it the "Glee" for preschoolers....kinda true...

We've been working on potty training so the boys can go to Gretchen's old daycare.  It hasn't been easy.  Sean seems pretty close but consistency is still an issue.  Only in the last week or so has Evan gotten aboard the potty train.  He gets more excited when he uses the potty which is very very cute to me (look!  I made tinkles!)...  Over the summer I locked the boys out of the house so we could try them in underwear but they did not get it.  We took a break and started again... I've tried treats (rewards) and underwear underneath the pull up but they will be ready when they are ready I guess.  I know, I know.. they won't be in diapers in kindergarten....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Day of School

First Day of School with New Backpacks!
The boys started at Gretchen's grade school in the Early Childhood (Special Ed) program.  They will get the speech and occupational therapy they need at preschool.  It will the first time they are in a structured setting but we are hoping they will adjust.  In preparation we have been trying to potty train them but it has not been successful.  One day last month I had them outside (locked outside) in t-shirts and underwear to try to train them to use the toilet.  It was not successful - I was a bunch of underwear and had to hose down the deck a few times.  Once they get potty trained, we can send them to Gretchen's old daycare for before and after their preschool.  We decided to separate them at Early Childhood so that they each get an opportunity to do their own thing.  Once they go to daycare, they'll be together so it's not a huge separation.  It should be interesting to see how it works out!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Summertime Gauntlet

We were very very busy this summer.  We must have hit Six Flags at least a dozen times to make our membership worthwhile.  We did Milwaukee Zoo a couples of times.  We went camping twice (once at the Zoo).  We went to the Cubs game twice (once in Milwaukee and once at Wrigley).  And we swam as much as we could before the erratic weather of August hit us.  If there was a theme to our summer it was grind the kids down!  Hee!  No really, we did what we could to minimize the time spent sitting around the house and I think we were successful.  Check out the pictures.....

Saturday, July 30, 2011

3rd Birthday

It has been a crazy July but we managed to fit in 4th of July at Six Flag's, Gretchen's birthday party, the boys birthday party and a Cubs game!  We had a small party for Sean and Evan with close friends and family.  The boys had fun - Sean is still not interested in cake but Evan definitely has a sweet tooth.  He likes cake, ice cream, candy, donuts, etc.....  Gretchen had her annual Gretchenpalooza but maybe for the last time.  The boys are due for a big party and we may do that next year.....  No matter how big the party, the cake is always fun. I was going to do two cakes but I think two candles was plenty!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


For the second year in a row, we spent the 4th of July at Six Flags.  The boys missed the fireworks at the end but we awake the rest of the time.  Gretchen watched the fireworks but did not stay awake for the short drive home from Great America.  All in all they had a great time.  They can ride so many things now that we have really gotten our money's worth.  A down side is eating at the park.  We have been getting away with bringing in food for the boys but it's not always easy.  The best deal is the popcorn bucket for $6 that you can refill all year long for a $1 each time.  We had to buy two buckets since all five of us kill the first bucket really quickly... 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Words Words Words

"Mommy!  Look!  Rollacosta (rollercoaster)" is a weekly exclamation from our little Evan.  His words are really coming now and sometimes more often that we would like....(not really).  He is quick to remind me if Gretchen or Sean are crying.  He is quick to say "ow, it hurts" to pretty much anything.  He has told Gretchen he loves her on more than one occasion.  For sure, he is going to be a little charmer and if his present behavior is any indicator, a bit devilish.  He is singing a lot more too - Dora theme song and Laurie Berkner songs.  He has come a long way in the last nine months and we are so pleased.

Sean, too, is talking more.  He is very good a mimicking television (Dora, Diego, Timmy the Sheep) and books that he loves.  He started seeing an occupational therapist which I think is helping him a lot.  I still worry about his prognosis (is he autistic?  slow talker?  what?) but I am kind of waiting to see how the next six months go since he is doing a lot of things Evan was doing six months ago.  Both of them are transitioning out of Early Intervention programs into Early Childhood...which means new evaluations and testings.  They are going to get their vision and hearing tested in addition to checking their developmental progress.  We are pretty sure they will qualify for special education again so it should be an interesting year as we look to getting them potty trained.  Sean has gone on the toilet.  Evan went on his potty in his room this week so we may be close to that project very soon!

We will not be doing a big summer party for the boys' birthday but we will for Gretchen (July 9th - save the date!).  Instead we will do a small family gathering and some friends to celebrate their 3rd birthday.  It seems like just yesterday I was crying about having to leave them at Lake Forest NICU.....  I will try and keep the blog more up to date.  Check out our pictures from spring!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Darth Vader Time

Sean getting a breathing treatment at the ER
Well, we have been so lucky to not have any major sicknesses this winter that I knew it could not last....  Sean and Evan both have bronchitis and Sean has an ear infection that is getting treated with a second set of antibiotics.  Last week the breathing issues came to a head and Steve was counting how many breaths per minute for each boy because they both had labored breathing.  We called the pediatrician and Sean was sent to the ER.  Because of Sean and Gretchen being hospitalized for RSV in the past, I had a sick feeling in my stomach that we were about to spend the next five days in the hospital with a sick child.  Then something amazing happened:  they sent us home (after Tylenol, Advil, albuterol and prednisolone).  We dutifully gave them breathing treatments (machine sounds like the Darth Vader mask) and we administered steroids and antibiotics as needed and just prayed for the best.  We took the boys on Monday for a follow up where I swore they were going to have to bump us up to pulmicort because the wheeze was still there but nope!  Wheeze gone... Chest congestion yes but no wheeze...  Even though I'm now on a antibiotic for a sinus infection and taking some prescription strength cough syrup for my own case of bronchitis, I went to bed with a little piece of mind that my boys are growing stronger with good productive coughs.  Since their precarious birth, I have secretly feared so many issues that happen to premature kids that I never feel at peace, never relaxed about my little men.  Sure, they still need speech therapy and occupational therapy (Sean) but these little interludes give me hope that they will have a "normal" life.... that they won't be singled out for being different...  Maybe they will... who knows but for now, I know those lungs are working!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My little Tomtens!

We had a very busy holiday season (just look at Gretchen's blog for a list)!  The boys were not up to sitting on Santa's lap this year but they did smile at him.  This is their first real holiday season as boys (toddlers) and not babies.  So we did boy/kid type things!  They played out in the snow although reluctantly at first.  They opened their presents though Sean did not get into it as much as Evan.  And they really, really enjoyed their presents.  Aunt Sharon bought them a jumpolene and boy did they jump!  Christmas Eve we have a play where the girls dress up as St Lucia.  The boys got to be tomtens (elves) in the play.  Sean enjoyed doing it more I think but he likes wearing hats and snacking more than Evan does. 

They are going up so fast!  Both Evan and Sean are improving in Speech.  We had a review of their IEPs with Early Intervention in December and it is likely they will continue to receive speech services after they turn three.  We have seen a lot of improvement in both of them and are hoping for the best.  Evan has more words than Sean does (I lost count now how many) but Sean repeats most of what he hears.  I'm hoping he'll start using those words he repeats for himself soon.  Grandma continues to take them to gymnastics and they are close to being out of their cribs.  Evan threatens to climb out of his more and more.  It looks like 2011 is going to be action packed for all five of us!