Mary on October 13th, 2012

Puck, Alex, and Dom with Megabloks

Puck, Alex, and Dom pushing over their Megablok tower. (Oct. 9, 2012)

We’ve had a quiet but busy week. There has been little personal down time this week, and we have all been pretty tired. We went to see our primary care physician today (she’s wonderful) and took the boys. After the initial discussion and letting her meet our little guys in person, I took them out to play in the waiting area. We didn’t expect anything major from this appointment, but it was a gateway appointment to a future neurologist appointment. After his discussion with the doctor, Puck had a good way to describe what happened. Everybody basically has a password that would trigger a seizure, but some are easier to guess than others.

Two Very Peaceful Days

Alex and Dom with their doggies

Alex and Dom snuggled up for a little “Shaun the Sheep.” (Oct. 6, 2012)

Monday and Tuesday Dom and Alex were on their best behavior. On Monday morning, Dom, Alex, and I all snuggled on the couch under a blanket after nursing and watched a little “Shaun the Sheep.” Puck joined us, and we were one happy, snuggly family. It was a lovely moment.

Puck slept and rested most of the day–recovering from everything the day before, but he made a point of helping with the reading and songs at naptime and bedtime. The boys and I took really good naps too with the boys sleeping 3 or more hours and me 2-2.5 hours.

Dom, Alex, and I had a very pleasant, relaxed two days with just a few disagreements over toys and a little pushing. Overall, they played well together, and I loved when they were running around the sofa with their buzzy bees and stopping every time they went by to say “Hi,” get a kiss from me, say “Bye,” and go for another circuit.

The boys also sent all their cars racing down the slide. They played in their new fire truck tent (I pulled it out Sunday for the boys to play with while I was at the hospital with Puck), and they put all their zoo animals in the tent to go for a ride too.

Alex helped me do laundry–taking clothes to the couch, pushing clothes into the dryer, and putting clothes in the washer. Dom helped a little, but he wasn’t as interested. After we played with megabloks, Alex also came over and helped me “build” in the plastic tub to put them all away before their lunch. It gave the perfect amount of time for their mac n’ cheese to cool. (Dom and Alex will both often help put the Megabloks away these days.)

When I nurse the boys with this cool weather, I put a blanket over my shoulders and cover them with it to keep them warm in the morning chill. Tuesday, Alex and Dom put part of the blanket over their heads and declared themselves ghosts. Then I had to get under the blanket and be a ghost too. It was very cute. They really like ghosts right now.

I tried something different with washing their hair during their bath Tuesday night. I wet their hair with a washcloth and shampooed it. Then, I got Alex to let me lower him “down” into the water with my arm beneath him so his head rested on my hand, and I rinsed his hair without water getting in his face. He was very anxious about me lowering him down, but he eventually let me do it. After I rinsed his hair, he fussed at me a bit, but he quickly returned to playing happily. Dom had seen the process and was less resistant to being lowered. He too fussed at me a bit but was soon playing happily. I think with some repetition this could become a cry-free process! But next time I won’t wear long sleeves.

Wednesday: The Boy Who Wallowed in Tears

Alex and Dom share their rocking chair

Alex and Dom share their rocking chair. (Oct. 7, 2012)

For Dom, the world was a sea of sorrows, and nothing was going his way. All you had to do was listen to his wails and slosh through his river of tears to know it. While on a normal day, I could count the number of extended crying streaks on one hand, Wednesday morning it seemed I could count the number of extended times Dom wasn’t crying on one hand. Mid-morning I dosed him with Advil on the premise that it was probably his molars, but it didn’t seem to lessen the tears.

At one point, I was holding Dom and asked him what he wanted. He said, “leche” (‘milk’)–the word we typically use for nursing, so he and Alex had a bonus round of nursing. (Ah…a moment of quiet in the storm.) Later, I got both Dom and Alex to come sit on my lap to read “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” together. (Ah…a little happy sharing.) In the late morning, I achieved another breather from the tears by packing the boys up in the wagon with a tractor each and going for a walk. It was a very long morning.

Fortunately, after a long, restorative nap for all three of us, Dom awoke in a very good mood, and we all had a good afternoon.

Thursday: Two Gleeful and Giggly Little Boys

Dom and Alex building towers

Dom and Alex building towers. (Oct. 9, 2012)

We finally made a trip to the grocery store to restock the refrigerator. Dom and Alex fussed a wee bit, but overall we had a good outing together. They tried a few new foods and smiled at lots of people. When we went to checkout at CostCo, there were long lines but one short line that was being inexplicably unnoticed by the other shoppers. A pleasant surprise!

After Puck got off work, the boys were pushing their toys around the sofa and up the hallway, and I set up a tickle trap by leaning over the back of the sofa and tickling them as they ran by. Then I would turn and reach for them as they came around the other side where they would swing wide giggling to avoid me. Puck set up nearby, and Dom and Alex would run over to him for hugs and tickles before continuing their circuit. They laughed, giggled, and squealed with delight, and they kept coming around for more.

Friday: Errands and the End of a Long Week

Dom and Alex building towers

Dom and Alex building towers (Oct. 9, 2012)

This morning before heading off to the doctor’s I took the boys for a walk in their wagon and then with their monkey backpacks, so they could be out and about and then stretch their legs before our car trip. Alex and Dom enjoyed being outdoors, and they had a pretty good time exploring new places at the doctor’s and getting to see a mail truck up close.

In the evening we had a tougher trip than normal to the grocery story, and I didn’t realize until after we got home that the Dom and Alex were hungry. I was distracted and didn’t realize that even though we didn’t get the boys from their nap until 4, we didn’t do dinner until 6:30. Thus, in our pre-dinner outing, they were getting hungry which explained them feeling a bit fussy. They also had some hysterical laughter–hitting themselves in the head with boxes of mac n’cheese and shaking the boxes. When they started hitting each other with the boxes, I separated them with one in the grocery cart and one in the wagon, but Dom wanted to be in the cart. After a bit, I switched them out, and peace was restored. At checkout, one of the workers helped take our groceries out, and she was kind enough to wait until I was putting the second boy in the car and even put the wagon in the back of the van for me.

Puck made us a delicious and hearty spaghetti with spaghetti squash and some yummy green peppers. While he was cooking and before we headed to the store, I put some “Mythbusters” on for Puck, and Alex and Dom were completely fascinated with it. (The episode showed a car hitting a cement wall at 50 mph and another at 100 mph. Yowsers! I think every teenager should have to see that episode to respect the dangers of speeding.)

When it was time to eat, the boys came running to climb into their chairs. The boys were super eager to eat, and when Alex went to bring their bowls, Alex called out, “Dada, eat!” They both ate all of their spaghetti with Alex even asking for more, and afterward we had another laid back evening routine with the boys getting to wear some of their new PJs.

A Few Thoughts

It has a been a long and busy week. I am so thankful to have my boys and husband, thankful for full nights of sleep and long naps, thankful for ending the week less exhausted, thankful for having a little me-time here and there at the end of the week, and so very thankful for our friends and family.

Mary on October 7th, 2012

This has been one crazy weekend. On Saturday, I was volunteering at the Sacramento Mothers of Multiples Clothing and Equipment sale. I left the house before the boys woke up and came home after they were already down for their nap. Unfortunately, Dom and Alex (and thus their Dad too) were having a very difficult day–perhaps they just woke up on the wrong side of the crib or missing their morning nursing threw off the rest of their day. They had a fussy morning with Alex even throwing his bowl of food off the table (with food in it). They hadn’t settled to sleep for their nap when I arrived, and once they heard my voice, they cried until we finally decided to go ahead and get them up.

Puck was exhausted from his morning, and I was headachy and tired too. I sent Puck off for a well-deserved nap. The boys and I had a pretty good run in the afternoon, but they were definitely more of a handful than normal. By the end of the day, we were all a bit tired and cranky. Alex was crying after we put him in his crib, so Puck sat in the room with the boys for awhile. I decided to lie down and fell asleep until the middle of the night when I woke up (because one of the boys fussed a bit) and stayed up for a few hours.

Today

This morning started out smoother. We got to sleep in with the boys acting like a snooze button that occasionally let us know they were awake by calling out “ahhh” or giggling. We finally got up at 8 AM–a fresh start to a new day. The boys were cheerful when we went to fetch them from their cribs, and the morning was passing in a sort of happy playfulness. Puck decided not to head to fencing and to instead spend today recovering from our very stressful day yesterday, so I asked him if he wanted to do something special with the boys as a family this morning. We decided to head to the Southside Park with its space theme.

Southside Park

Alex and Dom had a great time at the park. They climbed, explored, rode little rocking mini-rockets, and slid down new slides. They balanced on the shaky ship and went for walks. Alex got super-excited when he saw the rocket in the sky (the camper with wings), and he ran over for a closer look. At one point a little boy in a Captain America costume fell from the top of the play structure and hit the ground pretty hard near where Dom was climbing a ladder. Several parents nearby stopped to check on him, and one mother was going to try to find his parents (as they weren’t forthcoming) but her daughter was still up on the play structure. I offered to take him in search of his parents since I could simply whisk Dom off the ladder and carry him with me. It wasn’t long before the tearful little boy and I found his parents.

Split Paths

Later, Alex and Puck headed off on a sidewalk path toward a more open field section of the park. Soon after Dom and I headed that way too, but once we came within view of the field, I couldn’t see Alex or Puck. Dom headed off to the right around the big pond, and I followed him while keeping an eye out for Alex and Puck. As we got further around the pond, I texted Puck to let him know where we were, and we headed on to complete the circuit of the pond. As we were getting back within sight of the play area, I got out my phone to text Puck again and saw that I had a voicemail from him. I called him back, but someone else answered his phone. It was confusing and scary. Puck had had a seizure. What about Alex? I picked up Dom and ran back to the play area and over to the fire truck parked nearby. I called again, and the guy directed me to the fence around the pond near the rocket in the sky….

The Seizure

Puck was lying on the ground still disoriented while the firefighter first responders tried to get him to keep his oxygen mask on. It was scary, but there was also so much to be thankful for… the bystanders who noticed Puck staggering to get over right beside Alex before he collapsed with the seizure (which was crucial to them realizing that the little boy was his), the one who knew about seizures and what to do (and not do), a fellow named Dave who found Puck’s phone and started calling numbers until he got me, a fellow named Fernando who was holding Alex in his arms when I arrived and stayed with me until both boys were safely in the minivan, the ones who called 911, the kind lady who checked to make sure we had a vehicle and hadn’t come to the park on the bicycles that were nearby, the sweet gentleman who gave me an apple in case Puck needed something to eat after the seizure, and of course, the firefighters and later EMTs who arrived on the scene and knew what they were doing.

Of course, when we headed out this morning we decided we didn’t need the wagon or the monkey backpacks since we were both going to be there. Fortunately, in exchange for all the fussiness and contrariness endured yesterday, Dom and Alex were on their very best sweet behavior today–not resisting holding hands, not fussing, not sitting down and refusing to walk. No, they were super-cooperative as we made our way to the hospital emergency room, and they sat and ate their snack while we sat with Puck and I tried to contact friends who might be able to watch them.

Again, I feel so fortunate. One set of our friends and their son agreed to meet me at our house and watch Dom and Alex in the afternoon while I would head back to the hospital. Another of our friends arrived at the hospital at the perfect time to help me walk the boys back to the minivan and get them belted in for the ride home. Then, he and his wife also came to our house to help with the boys. It was such a huge relief to leave our boys in the care of four amazing friends and with a playmate too. Alex and Dom had missed their nap again today, but they were happily playing when I headed back out the door.

In their tests and scans, the hospital did not find any particular cause for the seizure. They have started Puck on anti-seizure medications and prohibited him from driving until cleared by another doctor. We’ll have another visit or two with doctors and hopefully no more seizures. Puck was utterly exhausted by the time we were able to head home.

Home Again

We arrived home to find Dom and Alex happily eating dinner and the house smelling delicious thanks to a low-carb, gluten-free lasagna that one of our friends had made for us. They agreed to stay awhile longer so Puck could go to sleep and I could head to a 24-hour pharmacy, and I came home to find our boys in their PJs with their diapers changed and chatting happily away. Our friends headed home but made sure we knew we could call them if Puck had any more problems tonight or in the coming days. (We are so thankful.) Dom and Alex were in a great mood all through our bedtime ritual even though I was getting them to bed at least an hour later than normal. They cooperated with brushing their teeth, put their toys down even before I asked them to, and were ready to crawl into my lap for a book and their songs. Alex cried briefly after being put in his crib but settled down before I even made it back to sit with them after going out of the room to fetch my phone. I checked on Puck to make sure he was fine in bed, and he was sleeping peacefully. Then, I sat down and enjoyed two heaping bowls of the delicious and hearty lasagna–relishing every bite.

I am so very grateful today. The thought of every single act of kindness by strangers, friends, and emergency/hospital staff brings tears to my eyes. All of those people who came together to help Puck, keep Alex safe, and reach (and help) me warm my heart. I wish I knew who they were and could tell them how much their kindness was appreciated. (I did give Fernando several hugs and thank him profusely for holding onto Alex for me and helping me with the boys.) Our dear friends dropping their plans for the day and selflessly coming to our aid made such a huge difference and was such a generous act. I got in touch with them right as the boys were starting to get restless, and it meant so much to know that they were safe and being well cared for while I was at the hospital. This afternoon was full of stress, but it was also a day to count my blessings. I’m teary-eyed even now just thinking about it. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Mary on October 5th, 2012

Dom and Alex NamesDom and Alex can now read both their names! They cannot only identify the names but anticipate the next letters as we set them out and read them when written or spelled out with letters from puzzles and other things. I’ll be even more excited when they can arrange the letters themselves to spell their names!

I’m pretty sure that Alex has his two bottom 2-year molars coming in right now–which explains how snuggly he has been–and Dom at least one bottom molar. This probably also explains them them waking up a bit more at night and in the early morning recently. Puck spent time helping Alex fall asleep tonight.

Apparently, putting your hand over your face turns you into a robot. Alex showed me. Then he made me a robot and next his brother a robot long distance.

I pulled out their little red coupe and their rocking chair, and they had a good time with both for much of the morning. Eventually, the coupe became an issue between them and got a timeout, but the rocking chair remained popular to sit on, turn over, climb through, and generally explore.

Mary on October 3rd, 2012

A New Park

Alex (top) and Dom

Alex (top) and Dom take a nap in their new beds. (Oct. 3, 2012)

We headed to Carmichael Park in the morning to meet Jenica and her daughters Elena and Elyse. It was a lovely little fenced in park with lots of shade and a play structure that was pretty ideal for Dom and Alex. They enjoyed all the new ladders and slides, plus a tunnel with peek-holes and a plastic bubble to look through. Alex really liked walking around on the “balance beam” curb after he saw some older kids doing it. Dom especially loved the bubble when people would beat on the outside of it while he beat on the inside; he also copied his brother later by walking on the “balance beam.” A preschool class of 4-year-olds came out to play for a half hour or so while we were there. The boys seemed to enjoy that and watch them, but after a bit, Alex decided he would rather walk around the perimeter fence by himself while they were outside. Alex climbed all the way up a tricky yellow ladder, though he did drop down once to hang from the top bar (at least halfway on purpose), and Dom later climbed to the top and then dropped through to hang. The guys enjoyed having a new place to explore with friends.

An Almost Nap

I thought after our outing that the boys might nap well, but I’m not sure they ever fell asleep. They did rest quietly–sometimes talking or laughing for about 2 hours. Then, Puck and I got them up. Both of them wanted Daddy to carry them into the living room, and they both gave him kisses.

Afternoon Activities

Dom

Dom and the C hat. (Oct. 3, 2012)

In the afternoon we danced a little, jumped a little, and colored robots and dinosaurs. Dom pulled everything out of the hallway cabinets and then wanted to climb inside. Alex soon joined him, and they pretended to sleep and had fun opening and closing the doors. They also put the letters “C” on their heads as “hats” and tried to give me a C hat too. After work, Puck got to join in on the coloring. We also read “The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything” right before dinner, and Puck got to see how the boys do the gestures and tell us what comes next. Alex was particularly engaged.

Dom and Alex

Dom and Alex play during the presidential debates. (Oct. 3, 2012)

After dinner we played with megabloks while watching the presidential debates. Dom and Alex had a good time building and destroying towers, and then they also helped put all the pieces back together inside the tub. Dom even picked up a bunch of the tractors, cars, and trucks and lined them up on the shelves.

Bedtime

The guys sat on Puck’s lap for their final book of the night “Big and Little,” and they seemed to almost identify the two words on the pages. They really enjoyed the book, and afterward I rocked Alex in my arms while Puck rocked Dom in the rocking chair. They sang along with him again for “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” After we tucked them in their beds and started to leave, Dom suddenly stood back up and said, “Help.” I asked him what was wrong, and he said “Diaper.” I didn’t think he needed a diaper change, but I went ahead and got him out to double-check him on the changing table. Sure enough, it was just a stalling technique, but he settled right back down when I tucked him in again. Funny little boy.


Dom in his megablok tower.

Dom in his megablok tower. (Oct. 3, 2012)

Alex and Puck build another tower.

Alex and Puck build another tower. (Oct. 3, 2012)

All my guys work on a tall tower.

Alex, Puck, and Dom (behind the megabloks) work on a tall tower. (Oct. 3, 2012)

Dom cleans up.

Dom cleans up. (Oct. 3, 2012)


Mary on October 2nd, 2012

Dr. Seuss and a Very Unafraid Little Old Lady

Dom and Alex

Dom (left) & Alex: Yummy homemade smoothies! (Oct. 1, 2012)

We read lots of books again today–a couple of Dr. Seuss books during morning snack “Hop on Pop” and one about a bear who wants to be in the zoo. We read the book about rockets, “Five Little Pumpkins,” the one about the bear who snores (they wanted me to do the a-a-a-choo about 6 or 7 times), “Felix the Fire Engine,” and a couple of other books. Puck read to them after work too–”Fergus Goes Quackers” and a Halloween-themed one with pop-ups about monsters in a house, plus some others.

We read the story about “The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything” in the morning. Both Dom and Alex joined me on the couch, and they did physical gestures with me to go with the shoes going “clomp, clomp,” the pants going “wiggle, wiggle,” the shirt going “shake, shake,” the gloves going “clap, clap,” the hat going “nod, nod,” and the pumpkin head saying “boo, boo.” They really enjoyed the repetition of these in the book, and later in the afternoon when I was changing Dom’s diaper, I was asking him about the book and what the different items of clothing did. Alex came over by the changing table, and they both told me (and did some of the gestures). I was very impressed that they remembered so much already as we’ve read the book fewer than 10 times. At one point in the morning, Dom was carrying the “Little Old Lady” book around on top of the blue car that they push around. It was like he was taking the book out for a walk.

Alphabet and Names

During dinner, Puck was working with the boys on their lower case alphabet and on their names. They continue to do really well with the alphabet, and I think they are starting to identify their written names. Tonight Dom seemed especially attentive and observant. He would even run his finger from left to right as he read “Dom” or “Alex.” Alex seemed to be getting it, but at a certain point, he started just saying “Dom” and “Alex” as he had a pretty good chance to be right part of the time. Still, it felt like progress with both. Go, twin daddy! Go, boys!

Other Tidbits

  • At one point today, Dom was lying on his tummy on the tile floor in front of the door with his feet tapping or resting against the door while he happily played on the little laptop. He just looked so happy, and it was a moment that caught my attention. Later, Puck came in the door–opening it carefully, and Dom got some attention from his dad too.
  • Alex was picking up trash on the floor today and bringing it to me. Yep, time to vacuum!
  • Got lots of laundry done and folded today. The boys helped a little with moving it from the dryer to the living room.
  • They wanted to play with both castles. They also had a great time going through the tunnel with me chasing them. I think Dom had brought the tunnel over to me to open. They peeked at me from one end, crawled in and giggled as I tickled them and grabbed their feet through the cloth.
  • We listened to the Fire Truck playlist on YouTube this morning, and I had added the fast-paced alphabet song. Alex sang along with the fast alphabet, and Puck and I were both impressed with how well he stayed up. The boys practiced balancing on one foot a little bit and jumping–they still do that little one-two jump without quite getting both feet off the ground at the same time.
  • At bedtime tonight, Puck slowly sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and the boys sang along with him as best they could. It was very sweet. The boys said goodnight to each other and to Puck and me with just a little prompting tonight. After they settled in their beds, Puck and I took turns exercising and cleaning.
  • During evening nursing, the boys raced a car and truck up and down my arms and over my head. Then they became my “car hat” and “truck hat.”