Monday, March 24, 2014

Back to Work and Other Updates

Well, once again it's been a while since I've posted. A lot has been going on, and I think I'll break it down by baby this time.

Evangeline is doing well. She's such a happy girl and growing like a weed. She's in the 95th percentile for height but she's skinny. Probably because she's boycotting almost every food right now. I can get her to eat grilled cheese, pasta, egg beaters, and kix. Sometimes fruit pouches and yogurt if she's feeling saucy. I guess the big news is that the pediatrician had a few concerns at her last visit, so we got her evaluated. If you know me in real life, I ask that you please keep this part quiet. Someone from the state came out to do the evaluation in the areas of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social/emotional, speech, and problem solving. She was fine in gross motor skills, but behind in the others (mildly except for fine motor. She's doing some things from her age group, but not enough to count as a "solid foundation" of 24 month skills), and the woman said she could see why the pediatrician was concerned about Autism spectrum disorders. We spent most of that day crying and just wondering why Evie would have issues. We knew her language was lacking a bit, but to think there was some big, underlying cause? We weren't expecting it. The next week the Speech pathologist came out (I'll refer to her as SLP) and did an evaluation, and we came out with a much better feeling. She said in her opinion, Evie has a simple speech delay. She said she doesn't have any of the big markers for autism spectrum disorders that she can see. She admitted that Evie doesn't follow directions, but she does think Evie understands. In her words, Evie is a "strong, independent female". She wants what she wants period. She said she has a big personality and is going to be a lot of fun to work with. She encouraged me not to stifle her, and to let her develop into an even stronger little girl. What was particularly interesting is that she was telling me phrases Evie was saying left and right that I didn't understand. She said she was certain of it because she's dealt with speech issues for so long. So I'm sitting there thinking Evie is seriously behind. Meanwhile she's sitting there counting "one, two, three!" and saying "ready, set, go!" and "Want that!" among others. She said Evie's saying a lot of phrases, she just wants to work with her on single words (which I've noticed she's already picking up on). I feel a lot better about that. I think we connected pretty well and she honestly believes it's just a delay. Woo hoo! We do have an occupational therapist coming to help Evie with some fine motor skills though. Andy and I think she has ADHD (which Andy has) and she has trouble concentrating to learn some of the skills like eating with utensils and using a cup. It's easier to use a sippy and eat with her hands and she doesn't have to focus on it. We'll see what they say on Thursday.

One cool thing about everything is that I've started really trying to pay more attention to Evie's language and so I'm picking up more of her words, which makes her happy, and helps me to translate for other people. She's also turned into a much more affectionate child. I can't say what's brought that on but I love it. She comes up and hugs people now. If I'm laying on the couch with my eyes closed, she comes up and curls up next to me, or puts her face on my face. She'll snuggle close and we'll give each other kisses. It's magical. And she adores her brother. When she comes downstairs in the morning the first thing she does is look for him. "Baby?" she'll ask. When she finds him she'll say "Hi baby" or "AWWWW baby"! She wants to snuggle him but he's little so I have to keep her away. She doesn't understand and it makes me sad, but he's still pretty fragile. When I pick him up and put his face to hers she gives him kisses, hugs, and just generally gets happy. She's such an amazing big sister.

Lately she's started to full on run very fast, jump with both feet, dance more, climb more, and try to help me with getting dressed and undressed. She knows when she needs a diaper change and is getting to the point where we can start with the potty. She starts daycare next week, which the SLP suggested to help with her speech. I think she's going to love it and she'll learn from other kids as well. Plus right now she gets too much TV since I have to take care of Andrew, so she'll get a lot more outside time and special activities. She's just such a joy to be around and I'm so blessed to be her mother!

Andrew is doing well. He's almost ten weeks old and up to 8lb 4oz. He can roll front to back! He holds his head up pretty well, too. He does not sleep very well. He's small, and he should only be 3 weeks old, and sometimes he acts like it. He's very sleepy, so he'll start eating and fall asleep before he gets enough, so he's hungry again in two hours. I'm exhausted because I don't get much sleep at night, but I'm getting used to it. I started back at work today and I'm still awake, so that's a positive. I think when he gets a little bigger he'll sleep OK. I do hope it's soon because I could use 3-4 hours at a time instead of 2. Unfortunately, like Evie, he has reflux. It was also causing trouble as he'd thrash and scream while eating and it hurt too much to take a decent amount of food. We started him on Zantac, and he's been doing much better.

It sucks so much to be away from my kids after spending so much time with them, but I know Evie is going to benefit so much from daycare, and it makes me appreciate being with them when I get home even more.