Saturday, November 24, 2007

Five Good Things

Got this idea from Mcewen, over at Whitterer on Autism

1. the sight of Boston, as the plane circles while landing at Logan Airport
2. the smell of my boys when they first wake up (usually)
3. steamed dumplings at Mary Chung's in Central Square, Cambridge
4. my husband's voice when he's making a puppet (or baby unicorn, etc) talk when he plays with J.
5. rocky out-croppings along the side of winding road

Friday, November 23, 2007

Three years ago this month

When it gets to be the holiday time of year, I go into a weird state of remembering the last months of my pregnancy with the twins. It was one of the scariest times of my life.

I've mentioned before that we had just accepted J's adoption referral when I realized I was pregnant. It was quite a surprise, but we were thrilled at the idea of a sibling for J.

During the same ultrasound which told us they were twins, we were told they were conjoined.The doctor could see two brains and two hearts, but below that you couldn't tell what was going on. He couldn't get them to move apart. After three weeks of that situation (there are not many support groups for parents of conjoined twins on the's almost the opposite of the autism situation in that regard) we found out they were not conjoined, but monoamniotic (sharing an amniotic sac and placenta, but with two umbilical cords, which were extremely tangled from the outset).

The ob said, "Don't go looking on the web, because you'll just get worried". When has anyone ever taken that advice, I wonder? The websites we could find all mentioned 50% survival rates for monoamniotic twins. If one twin doesn't make it, the second twin can't survive. There is not much you can do except monitor things, and then deliver the twins as early as is safe. The other parents on the website probably saved my sanity. There were stories of loss, but also a lot of wonderful stories with happy outcomes.

It was such a strange experience. I didn't feel the twins moving that much, which in a way was a blessing, because when they did move I kept thinking about their umbilical cords, and wondering if they were getting more tangled. On the ultrasounds, B. was very active, and G. seemed to be asleep. I'd have to drink a really sweet drink to get G. moving to the ob's satisfaction. We didn't choose names until right before my c-section, and we didn't decorate their room at all, because we felt superstitious about doing too much preparation.

Once the twins were born, and doing okay in the NICU, we just assumed everything was fine. And it is fine, but a complicated kind of fine, as you all know! But I think this time of year will always have a shadow for me, remembering all the ultrasounds and the waiting and wondering

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Junk Food as the Ultimate Motivator

This evening, after a complete failure of an attempt at giving the twins dinner, I was sitting around, holding G. in my lap. He was being particularly "engaged", which was nice since lately he's been very self-contained.

Out of the blue, he looked up at me and said, "socks". Then he said, "shoes". Next he said,"car", so I was beginning to get the picture. Finally he did the sign he's made up for french fries and said "fries". Looking back on it now, maybe I should have popped him in the car and gotten him some fries, because that's the longest original speech he's ever made! On the other hand, he is starting to say "chicken....fries" whenever I put him in the car-seat, so I am trying to cut back on the drive-through stops.

In the last week, B. has said two new words(!): "goldfish" and "candy".

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mimi and Granddaddy

My last post mentioned that my parents moved down here for six months when the twins were born. Thought I'd post some photos from that time:

during a colicky period, only a hair dryer and a front-pack would keep the twins happy!

My mom helping J. take some of his first steps

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The last week

My posts have been tending toward a Wordless Wednesday, Everyday kind of style. My parents were visiting for the last week, and I chose staying up talking to them over blogging. They lived here for six months after the twins were born, and I've missed our late night talks, attempts at the New York Times crossword puzzle, exploration of Texas ice creams and just the chance to hang out with them.

It was interesting to see that they both really connected with B. I think it was really good for them to have him come up and put his head in one of their laps, or touch their cheeks. I know my dad loved it when B. took him by the hand and led him places. G. tried to ignore them for the most part, and stuck to acting out scenes from videos using wooden alphabet puzzle pieces (this is new, and interesting to watch, but distracts him from actual live people).

This morning while waiting for the cab to the airport, my dad picked up a toy guitar and started strumming. B. stood and stared at him, and then started hopping around and making elaborate arm movements. My dad loved it, and kept up the strumming til B. finally wandered off to other things.

Last night was a dramatic end to their visit when my doctor told me to take G. to the ER, due to shallow, rapid breathing. Right before I left home, we managed to get a good dose of Tylenol in him. By the time we saw the triage nurse, he had made almost a full recovery. He ended up running around the waiting room, yelling his version of the Bob the Builder theme ("bah bah buh buh, uh ee ill ih" and so on). I finally took him home without having him seen. I did learn that a fever can cause rapid breathing, and that you can buy Tylenol suppositories, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Our other excitement this past week was a trip to the audiologist in the Medical Center. B. passed his hearing test, and G. failed his. The technician had given G. some stickers which he got all stuck to each other. I think a freight train could have gone through the room and he wouldn't have flinched, he was so intent on unsticking the stickers. He did respond to voices, but that wasn't enough to pass the test. Now we are scheduled for him to have a sedated test (ABR, I think?).

I am able to write this because I am letting J. watch a Disney Princess movie (!) on a little DVD player in his room. He is fascinated by all things "princess". I used to try to steer him to Diego or Cars, not wanting him to get made fun of, but I've decided I should let him be who he wants to be.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Two Tiggers and a Duck Farmer

G. struggled out of several costumes, so we just told people he was a duck farmer.

The twins really are very happy kids, but won't smile in front of a camera.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Yellow Block withdrawal

Regarding the last post, we seem to be doing well without the beloved yellow block. Red is the new favorite, and a plastic spoon (??) is running a close second.

Ah, the simple pleasures of life.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Have you seen these blocks?

Here I am, at three am, searching the internet for yet another of G's favorite toys (obsessive love interests, security object). Last time it was the little wooden penguins, another time it was a fire engine which we got at Sonic.

We lost G's yellow Fisher Price "Peek a Block", with a little dog in it. I found the set of blocks on the Fisher Price site, but they seem to have been discontinued. There are tons of peek a blocks on ebay, but none of the simple, primary color ones which G. loves. He walks around the house saying "yellow?" "please?". We left it at the ASA picnic on Saturday, and my husband drove back to look for it, to no avail.

I know he has so many other toys, but there's something about how he looks up at me and signs please that makes me turn to mush.

So, if you happen to have a set of these, I'll buy them at a premium price!