Mary Louise and David were in bed with me this morning. They were waking up and I was clinging to my last few moments of sleep. I had tucked them in with me about 30 minutes earlier when they started to stir in their bed (which by the way, things are going pretty well since we moved and put them in their own little room. They stay there the vast majority of the time though we are in and out if needed. Anyhow, we've stuck to it and I'm pretty excited that it's working out.) Mary Louise giggled and began crawling toward the foot of the bed. I said, "Mary Louise, come back up here please. This bed is too high for you to play near the edge." I motioned with my hand for her to come to me. She turned, saw the motion, smiled a huge grin and waved back at me - so proud and sure that she'd "gotten" the response just right!
So, Mary Louise can officially wave - and boy does she do it all the time. Brent brought them to running club on Saturday morning and said she waved proudly every time someone ran past. We went to the store today. Each time someone passed us, she would grin and wave.
We have been working on waving and saying "hello" or "bye bye" for quite some time. But, it seems to have just really clicked. She'll do it with or without demonstration now. David grins at everyone, but hasn't quite put the waving thing into action with anyone but me or Brent. All in good time...
Last night was a bit better. No one moved until 1am when David needed a little ta-ta-ing and I needed to pump anyhow. Things got a little hairy when both woke around 4am when Brent was to get ready for work. I did get them back to sleep eventually though and they slept until about 7:30 once they were sound. There were a few needs between 2 and 4 though. Overall, it was better than the previous few nights and pretty typical for what we consider to be a "good" night.
A few questions have come up in comments...
FINGER FOODS: I started out with chopped soft fruits - bananas, peaches (peeled), pears (peeled), mangoes, melons, blue berries - I would squeeze them in their mouths just enough to pop the skin which made it a bit easier for them to manipulate the berry in their mouths to chew, steamed veggies (carrots, squash, green beans)- steamed to soft but not mushy so that they could easily be handled, chunks of peeled potatoes - white and sweet, avocado pieces and tofu chunks - the firm variety.
They have now been able to handle whole grain crackers, goldfish grahams, and whole grain cheese gold fish, whole grain bread and toast, I'll give them a wheat melba toast for teething - it turns to mush eventually and they can handle the bites, cheeses (cut in small pieces), and all of the things from the beginning - fruits and veggies- with the addition of skins on the soft fruits and grapes chopped in half.
I have tried various beans numerous times with little success. Mary Louise hates anything that even remotely resembles the texture of grits or white potatoes (though I periodically try things anyhow and every once in awhile she accepts a bite or 2).
PHOTOS: Kyle is coming this evening and I'm hoping he can show me how to free up some more space on my laptop so that I can down load the whole heap of photos I have been taking...I'll have some up ASAP.
CRYING IT OUT: ha - this has been mentioned to me numerous times. Believe me, with 2 babies and well, one me, they cry WAY more than I'd like them to when I'm doing my best not to let them. I feel it's important to meet their needs - all the time - even in the middle of the night. I've never known them to cry for no reason - even though sometimes, once I figure out what the reason is (fighting over a toy), they don't really like my reaction. They also have very different cries for given situations. They cry differently when hungry vs. a simple want for attention. I suppose I do Ferberize them to some degree during their naps when I know one is tired and I put them in their swing or on their palate. However, I know by the sound of their crying if they are going to calm or escalate...within a minute or so.
Mary Louise has a coronary artery fistula which is monitored every 6 months for size. It has been recommended by the pediatric cardiologist that we not put her in overly strenuous sport-like courses (i.e. soccer, gym, etc.) when she gets a little older without having her heart checked...by a specialist as she may not be able to handle the exertion well. Admittedly, the pediatrician feels differently - that the fistula is not likely to cause a problem. I choose to err on the side of the specialist - who has seen the babies and cared for them since their birth, and throughout their NICU stay and beyond. Accordingly, it is in the back of my mind that she should not be allowed to cry for extended periods (extended to me means more than 5 minutes) if it can be avoided. She does well with self soothing if she doesn't really need anything and I am satisfied that she has appropriate coping skills for her age and background.
David is not a self soother - regardless of encouragement. He does, upon occasion calm himself but is more likely to escalate completely out of control when left to cry. Once he passes a certain point, he will not calm without being caudal ed. He has had an extensive history of GI disturbances and relatively severe problems (perforation-repaired, complicated, communicating double inguinal hernia-repaired, and currently has a communicating abdominal hernia that we are hoping will resolve without surgery). In short, many of high nightly issues revolve around some sort of GI pain or moderate discomfort.
Couple their current issues with the fact that they were born under such extreme and traumatic circumstances and my feeling is that they are doing more than remarkably well with their coping skills and nervous system development.
Finally, I had an awful lot of time to "just be" in the hospital and I spent it hanging on to every movement, thump or tap of my little ones. I can say without a doubt, that even in utero, these kiddos were not sleepers. Kuylen was the only one who ever had periods of calm...
Anyhow, Brent and I have talked, at length, about the use of different methods to aid in Mary Louise and David's sleep. We tweak our routine regularly in an effort to provide the safest environment that (we feel) is conducive to their sleep. We would love (love love love) a full night's rest for ourselves, but feel we are doing what's best for our babies by answering them when they need attention. It's just what's best right now, for our house.
YAY! Uncle Kyle is here!!!