Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pinteresting with W&D

So...morning naps are gone.  I tried to keep them around, for my sanity and the boys' midday meltdowns, but to no avail.  Sigh.  This means...no more quiet morning coffee while eating my breakfast and reading my devotion, no chance for me to sit and blog, no time to plan out the boys meals and snacks.  I am reduced to one 1.5 hour time in the day to...shower, prep dinners for adults and children, make "healthy" snacks for the boys, clean the house, fold the laundry, and search for developmentally appropriate activities to help Warren and Dean catch up.  Notice how there is no longer a coffee/rest time built into my day.  I miss it.  But I do love watching these little guys play, and it will be so nice once we are free to leave the house to not have such a small window for activities or park dates.

So, my goal for this year was to be more intentional with some of their play time.  To provide them an "activity of the day" which focuses on helping them to catch up developmentally.  It was a lofty goal, and one I am failing miserably at.  BUT, we have done a handful of fun indoor activities, thanks to Pinterest.  I love how every toddler activity comes complete with photos of said toddler grinning, slightly messy but not overly so, and just loving everything.  Where are these happy children??  This is what I got:

You would think I was torturing them, making them do all sorts of awful things.  They did eventually warm up to the idea of sticking their hands in slime, dough, beans, finger paint, and pom poms.

Here's some of our fun but non pinterest worthy pics

Warren would maybe poke his slime.  Not really a fan.

Dean, not surprisingly, enjoyed his.

"I will not touch that slime thing in my chair.  I will play with it for 20 minutes in the floor"

Next came cloud dough.  We love cloud dough.  It creates the biggest mess you've ever seen in my kitchen but keeps them happy.  Well worth the clean up.

Warren, much happier sitting with cloud dough than slime.

Beans.  There are an assortment of ice cube trays and containers with small holes on top to work on improving our fine motor skills.  The activity that won?  Sweeping.  Let's push the beans around with a broom.  If this carries over into real life and real cleaning, this is one happy mama!

Finger paints.  This was the second go around, much better than the first. Homemade, toddler safe, edible paint recipe here.

No need for paper here!

Sensory bin.  They loved pouring and scooping, a dream come true for these future chefs!

There it is!  Our January in review.  I'm so excited for them to continue to grow and develop, to quit putting it all in their mouths, and to learn so much more in the coming months!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Tipping point

When I think back over these past 18+ months, and particularly the 15 months at home, I hardly remember the monitors.  Yes, I remember re positioning the lead wires, the little pads around their tiny chests, strapping it all together.  I remember trying to hide the wires during their monthly photo shoots.  I remember the struggle of determining if that alarm was really significant or if Warren had just shifted enough so the pad moved away from his body for a moment...did he actually quit breathing?  He looks okay, maybe I'll just go back to bed.... "BEEP BEEP BEEP" crap.  Maybe I was wrong, as I go running back to his room again.  Nope, he still looks fine, sleeping peacefully.  Maybe I'll just rest here in this chair.  And on and on it went.  Apparently I remember more than I thought I did because, as I sat down to write this, I thought I would have a brief sentence to write.  But it's not in the forefront of my mind, just seems like a distant memory.

Regardless, it requires much thought about the monitors before I remember them.  I definitely remember those colic nights, but not so much the hassle of Warren and Dean hooked up to their bulky heart monitors for, wait for it, 9 months and 6 days.  Eek.  That is a really long time, way longer than it seems.  Our break even point is now approaching: Friday.  Yep, Friday will be the day that Warren has been wire free exactly as long as he had his wires.  It's hard to imagine my little man, running downstairs, pushing his train or his shopping cart or anything that moves, laughing and giggling, as every being confined to such a small area by his lead wires.  God is truly amazing as I think over all these boys have been through and overcome.  It's hard to see little Warren's chest struggling to rise and fall in the NICU, fighting as his oxygen requirements continued to increase, watching the fear in his eyes as he fought to breath a few of those times.  A nightmare, really, to know your child is not getting what they need and to be so very helpless.  And yet I am in awe as these pictures scroll across our screen (Apple TV is really a lot of fun), these tiny little boys God has guarded and protected from the very beginning.  Sometimes I let myself get taken back there, to those early days, to the uncertainty.  Dean seems exactly the same to me - confident, moving full speed ahead, never afraid to try.  Warren, more timid and unsure, requiring a bit more time to get there before deciding to take a chance.  I love these boys so much and am so blessed to be their mother, to get to stay home with them, to get to teach them new and exciting things as they explore their world.

And so we are rapidly approaching what I believe will be the last of these "break even" points, times in their lives where something difficult, challenging, or simply a nuisance, becomes equal to the time without it.  Maybe isolation will be another one, but that's over 2 years before we get to a point where they will have been out of isolation as long as they were in.  Anyway, one more little moment to celebrate as we approach Friday and 9 months + 6 days of NO wires or monitors for these little guys!