Saturday, October 30, 2010

Emerson is a dancing fool...

video

Both Eli & Emerson love to dance, but they both have very different styles. Eli's dancing style is very controlled and rhythmic. He bends his knees and bounces up and down.

Emerson on the other hand is more of a free spirit when she dances. She jumps and throws her hands everywhere, often leading her to fall down. We've been trying for awhile to capture their dance moves for awhile but they seem stop what they're doing when they see the camera. You can get a little sense of their craziness.

Notice Eli in the background. Walking on his knees is his new favorite trick and he's so pleased with himself that he figured it out. He also briefly does his bouncing dance move. (And please ignore my annoying voice ugh.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

At least it's worth something...

Last night I was asked to speak at a workshop for individuals who are training to become caregivers. The topic for the evening was all things dealing with reproduction and since I only had about an hour I focused in on a few different areas. I spoke about pregnancy as crisis, infertility, prematurity and postpartum depression. The first area pregnancy as crisis isn't something I've personally experience but I do have training in this area for providing care.

During grad. school I volunteered with Planned Parenthood (which may seem weird to some since I was also going through infertility at the time) but I'm a huge proponent of reproductive justice across the entire spectrum from the ability to choose all the way through infertility treatments and options. So I was able to speak to this group using my past training and experiences.

The other three ares, infertility, prematurity, and postpartum depression all things that I have researched and also experienced. It was empowering for me to use my own struggles in these areas to help educate others. As much as all of those things really sucked to go through I am grateful that I am now in a position where I can bring education and awareness about these things and help instruct and teach some ways that caregivers can be supportive to individuals going through these things.

Everyone was really receptive to the presentation and the leader of the training actually already asked if I would come back in the spring and give my talk again with the new class of trainers. They also asked if Marcus would come and give a male perspective on all these things since he too went through the infertility, prematurity and lived with me during the worst of the PPD.

I would love for him to do that but I laughed and little and let them know that Marcus isn't much for public speaking especially about himself (he's incredibly shy). When I asked him last night his immediate response was "no way". I totally respect him for that and I also appreciate that he's okay with me being so public about some of these things. (Although I didn't mention our IF diagnosis last night).

I would never choose to live any of these experiences but I am grateful that they can now be worth something and I can perhaps in someone help others going through similar situations.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's nice to hear...

Marcus is really sick. I went to work for part of the day but came home around the time I knew the babies would be waking up from their nap to give him a break.

I got home and immediately told him to go downstairs and rest. We have some really huge pumpkins sitting in our living room from my dad's garden so I decided it would be fun to sit them on top of them. They both loved this game. Eli would shriek with happiness and clap every time I lifted him up, because the other fun part for him was to slide down off the pumpkin. It was hysterical and I made up some song about sitting on pumpkins (because that's just what I do I tend to make things into songs).

Emerson on the large pumpkin. I tried to get a picture of Eli but I only had my phone and he kept sliding off before I could get one. He just looks like a blur in his.

As we were playing I got a text message from Marcus that said, "You're a good mother and I love to listen to you playing with them. Love you."

Such a simple sweet message that means a lot to me, especially since I often question my own skills at motherhood. It's been a really huge struggle and I was recently informed by one of my sisters that all I do is complain about the babies, which only further spoke to my fears.

I suppose it's just nice to know that my counterpart in all of this thinks I'm doing an okay job.

The doctor...

So I'm going to vent and whine about our ridiculous health insurance/medical care stuff. So if you're tired of this just feel free to move on. As I mentioned a few posts ago we could not find a pediatrician who would accept medicad. We called 20 different doctors/practices and we found one who would see us. So due to the lack of options we booked an appointment with the doctor.

The whole experience was just kind of odd.  The office was nice and brand new and they had only been seeing patients since May. We were the only patients scheduled for that entire morning and I got the sense that the doctor was incredibly bored. First he helped his nurse input the babies vaccination records (I've never seen a doctor actually do this). Then when he was doing the exams on the babies it took forever. Over an hour for each one. Plus he was really adamant that he needed to look at Emerson's throat. She panicked having the stick in her mouth, was gagging and then threw up. She was hysterical for the entire visit. Checking her throat was really not necessary.

Then we were doing the medical history for Emerson and mentioned her heart murmur. We saw a cardiologist for it last year and at that time it was determined to be just a small benign murmur that should close on its own. He checked and he could still hear it so he decided that an EKG was in order (I'm telling you this doctor was bored).

So off we went to attempt an EKG on a still hysterical Emerson. At this point Eli was worried about his sister and kept pointing for Marcus to take him to her so he could make sure she was okay (He also started crying when the doctor was looking at Emerson's throat).

I don't know much about medicine but according to Marcus (who is in the know about cardiac stuff) there wasn't really much that a doctor could tell about a murmur on the EKG especially since she was screaming hysterically).

So that was fun. Then it was Eli's turn. We mentioned that Eli had a fever the night before but he was fine today and that he tends to get fevers a lot. This crazy doctor decided that maybe this is a result of a neurological temperature instability.... huh?

I once heard on Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy the line, "When doctors hear hooves they should think horses not zebras." (You can see where my medical info. comes from). Implying that doctors should start with common causes you know like viruses before jumping to neurological issues.

So the doctor left the room to do some "research" and came back with a bunch of questions related to this neurological issue. Bottom line, turns out Eli probably doesn't have this neurological issue, Shocking, but if we wanted we could do an MRI... um for what?

Then we moved on to the Synagis shot for RSV. He saw the babies had it last year so he wanted to get it for them again. Which I actually appreciate but I'm 99.9% positive that they will not be approved this year (which I told him). That didn't stop him though, with us still waiting he proceeds to call somebody for approval and subsequently gets put on hold forever. (Again why didn't he do this on his own time and give us a call with what he found out).

The whole thing was just odd and if we had any choice at all in the we would not go back to him. We were there for over 3 hours and we just didn't feel overly confident in his care.

It just makes me so mad that because we don't have $20,000 to spend on the babies health coverage that we are expected to get subpar care. How is this even legal? The whole health care situation in this country is just infuriating and I feel guilty that they are getting less than the best because of our inability to financially provide the ridiculous cost for health coverage.

Some stats they were 17.5 months old and Eli weighed 21 lbs even and Emerson weighed 21 lbs 2 oz.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall Fun...

We had another busy weekend. The babies went to see a new pedi. on friday (more on that later) and then we drove to our hometown for a quick visit. We stayed the night with Marcus' parents and I love watching Eli & Emerson interact with their grandparents. The both just adore their gram and granddad and they are also starting to get familiar with their house.

My MIL has a drawer on an end table that Eli is obsessed with. He almost immediately goes over to that drawer and starts pulling out the contents. My MIL knowing this put a few Halloween objects inside of him. Emerson also remembered the slot machine in the garage. So she ran over to the garage door and signed "more" and pointed. That girl loves to gamble haha.

Then Saturday on our way back home we stopped at a Farm with a corn maze and pumpkin patch and met up with some of our friends from high school. They were so much fun this year. Last year they looked like this...
They couldn't sit up and had no awareness of what we were doing. It's crazy what a difference a year makes.
Of course getting a picture of the two of them looking at the camera is impossible. They were both staring at a group of kids in this picture.


Emmy would not smile for the camera she wanted down.

And so did Eli, he's actually in the process of getting off the hay in this picture.

They were way more interested in the rocks than all the pumpkins.

Finally looking at a pumpkin

Emerson and Marcus (She's pointing at a dog)

This was perhaps one of the worst ideas we had. I asked if they thought they could handle this ride by themselves and was told yes. So we buckled Eli in...

And Emerson (notice how loose her seatbelt is)

And then decided that the seatbelt in Emerson's wouldn't work so I climbed in to, but I was still worried about Eli. We took off, on this bouncy ride pulled by a wagon and I watched Eli in front of me sliding down and being bumped everywhere. In about two seconds he was screaming (luckily the woman driving the tractor was very aware and immediately stopped). Poor baby. She looked at me and said, "Is this one your too?" And then she put him on my lap as well.

So here we are in the third one back. Me and the babies bouncing all over in a contraption that was not built for an adult. They both had fun on my lap and every time we passed the goats Emerson shouted, "hi". I think we were all relieved when the ride ended. Maybe we'll try this again next year. 

Heading into the corn maze with some of our friends from high school. Marcus, the crazy guy that he is tried to convince me that we didn't need the stroller. I made him go to the car and get it no way was I going to carry a baby all the way through the maze. They were much happier in their stroller eating
crackers....
and playing peek-a-boo...

Which Emerson is getting quite good at.


And a family picture. Where 3 of the 4 of us are smiling and we're all facing forward. This is due in part to a woman who saw us posing for a picture. She went behind my friend and starting being really ridiculous which made Emmy laugh and i think it just confused Eli.

It was a really fun day. They're so much fun these days and so full of personality. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The new challenge...

So after 2.5 months of fighting with the state about the babies medical coverage we finally got a resolution to that. The next task finding a doctor that accepts medicaid. We only had to call 20 different pediatricians before we found one that would see them.

Good lord. What good does it do to have any kind of coverage if no one will take it? Arggg!!! I am so annoyed by all of this medical health insurance nonsense.

I hope we like this doctor because it doesn't appear as though we have any options. They're going on friday for their 15 month appointment (only 2 months late).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Busy Weekend...

This weekend I got to assist in the baptism of my brother-in-law and my nephew. I was also able to preach a message that is really important to me about the LGBTQ community and it seemed to be pretty well received. I'm too tired to really write anymore about the weekend but here are a few pictures.
My my BIL and my nephew

Me and Isaac my nephew

I just think this picture is funny. Emmy was flipping out so I sat down so she could come sit by me and she was immediately quiet. Except she reached up and pushed Isaac over. Apparently she didn't want to share her mommy, and Isaac just sat there calmly taking it all in. 

Then since I was sitting the rest of the family came and sat too so we could get a group shot. This is 4 of my 5 siblings, my BIL, SIL niece, nephew and mom. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Finally!!

We finally have progress on the health care drama. Yesterday I was just fed up with waiting so I called the office (and after being on hold for 30 min) I spoke with someone who was completely unhelpful. So I decided I just need to talk to the caseworker in charge (of course getting the caseworker information is top secret). The woman I was speaking to informed me that she wasn't allowed to transfer my calls but she would leave a message, and wonder of all wonders that actually worked.

The case worker called me this morning, I faxed over one last piece of information and by the afternoon I learned that we didn't qualify for the month of September, but who cares since October is half way over, but the babies do qualify for medicaid going forward. Finally, it only took 2.5 months of nonsense but the babies are covered.

Although I did have to laugh because my next question was how the whole thing worked, finding providers etc. Her answer, "I have no idea." Good lord woman that's your job, so our next task is to find the babies a pediatrician. Yay for progress!!

:::

We had an appointment with a nutritionist this morning to talk about Eli since we still have concerns about his eating and making sure he's getting enough of what he needs. It was a really helpful session since feeding the babies is such a stressful thing for me. Most of the advice has been, "Feed the babies what you feed yourself" except that doesn't work since I'm among the pickiest eaters in the world. I know they need to eat way differently than I feed myself.

She gave us several specific ideas that we had never thought about and she was really affirming of what we've already been doing. Eli is small for his age but still on his own growth curve and nothing to be concerned about. He weighed a little under 22 lbs today which was at the very bottom of the chart. Although his head is in the 97%, our Eli has always had a rather large head.

:::
And just because they crack me up some pictures. They're obsessed with baskets and they like to try and sit in them (even though the baskets are too small) and then Emerson who lacks some of her brothers coordination gets stuck and screams. Fun times.

Eli sitting in his basket.

Emerson trying to get in hers.

Emerson looking at her brother for some tips on how to get into the basket. 

Emerson deciding that Eli's basket must be better than hers. 

Emerson finally got into the basket but then Eli decided he needed to stand in two. 

Marcus and I were really entertained watching the whole thing unfold. It's also funny because Emerson needs to hold onto something in order to step into the basket. So she'll pick the basket up and place it where she thinks it needs to go, but she can't judge distances, so the basket is usually really far from the object she wants to hold onto. She repeats this process 4 or 5 times before her basket is finally close enough to the couch or coffee table. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

A day of Appointments...

We had a busy day around here especially since it was my day off and I still don't feel well (more whining from me just a warning). I had the first appointment of the day at the insane hour of 8 AM Marcus had to force me out of the bed because I did not sleep well last night and I was exhausted.

Luckily I mustered up some energy and went off. I actually really like this doctor. She was very thorough with my medical history (which can be a little bit ridiculous). She gave me are referral for a G.I for my Crohns, gave me the name of a therapist in town, and wants to reexamine the fibro. stuff since it all got kind of sidetracked with the pregnancy and all that followed.

She however was not so helpful with my current illness. I've had the worst headache for the last 5 days to the point that I literally cannot function. I can't move, it hurts to stand etc. She told me it was probably muscular?? and it should go away and I was probably still fighting a viral infection. I don't know what it is but it needs to go away right now. It's unlike any headache I've ever had (and I have heads all the time).

After my appointment Eli had two appointments. One for his speech evaluation and an evaluation with an OT. So that took two hours of our day. They both were really well behaved though considering the amount of time it took.

Then they wouldn't nap, and Emerson learned how to take off her diaper. When they finally fell asleep I found Emerson without a diaper and found the diaper in Eli's crib. I'm not so impressed with this new skill. Then after nap time Emerson had here E.I appointment but luckily that one was in our home so we didn't have to go any where.

I'm so exhausted and wish I felt better. Not a very relaxing day off.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baby Sitting...

Last night we watched my two month old nephew. I was a little bit nervous about the whole thing because last time I held him and he started screaming I had a weird flash back/anxiety thing (PPD/PTSD or something I don't know). Luckily all was well.

There was a moment when Eli and Emerson were both yelling for dinner and Isaac was crying and I was thinking of all of the MoM's who actually have twins Eli & Emmy's age and a new baby and can't imagine how they do it.

Eli and Emerson are so intrigued by their cousin. They both would walk up to him and say, "Hi, hi, hi" and Eli kept wanting to touch his head.

Marcus is so cute with babies. He used to be so nervous before Eli & Emmy and now he's just a natural. He would have more kids in a heartbeat (although he adds the footnote that we should have one at a time).

And of course we had to get some reading in while Isaac was over.

I will say that I have absolutely no desire at this moment in my life to have more kids. Isaac was fun for a few hours but I just can't imagine doing all of it over again. Maybe in 5 years I'll feel differently. He's a really good baby though. 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

17 Months!! (One day late)

My babies are 17 months already. Honestly there's not too many new developments in their lives since 16 months. No new teeth, no new words. They are insanely active, the laugh and play together, and argue over things.

We started doing some baby sign language at the request of EI and they can both sign "more" and "all done". Eli is making a lot of progress in the eating department but he still doesn't really chew his food which is concerning.

They're crazy, adorable kids, and we love them.
Emmy wouldn't smile for the camera (Marcus did her hair he's improving). 

Where as Eli loves it. He's starting to learn that a camera means smile.

And they are actually both facing the camera for once. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Story time attempt...

This morning I was feeling a little bit ambitious and decided we should try out story time at our new library. The ages for toddler story time are 18 months - 3 years and since the babies are 17 months today I figured close enough.

There were so many kids and Eli & Emerson were by far the youngest. It seems like most of the others were closer to three. At first they both hung back nervously. Emerson clung to us and Eli just stood right by his dads feet looking.

It started okay because they were both willing to sit on our laps but then Eli decided that it wasn't so scary and he didn't want to be contained. Since most of the other kids were sitting by themselves we just let him go. Eli marched right up to the lady reading the book, in front of all the other kids and parents and reached up and tried to take the book right out of her hands. I was holding Emerson so Marcus had to go to the front and get him, and if you know Marcus you realize that walking in front of a room full of people is really not something he enjoys and his face was bright red.

Although in Eli's defense when we read books at home he gets to hold them, help turn the pages, and touch the pictures. So he was just trying to do the same at story time. Haha it was hilarious especially Marcus' face.

Then it was time for some musical numbers and each kid was given a shaker with bells on them. Eli and Emerson both loved this, except Eli decided he needed more than one, so once again off he marched to the front of the room, reached up onto the chair, and tried to take another shaker out of the box. I was able to pry him away with only a mild screaming fit on his part.

Things were okay for a moment (except Eli got hit in the face by another kids shaker) but those things happen. Then it was time to return the shakers. Well Eli and Emerson were not having any part of that. They wanted to keep them. So Eli proceeded to throw his very first public tantrum, while Emerson just screamed with huge tears running down her face.

Marcus and I decided at this point just to call it a day and as soon as we made it to the parking lot we both just burst out laughing. Holy cow taking these babies places is a lot of work... and Eli... well he certainly isn't shy.

Maybe we'll have better luck next week if we're brave enough to try again.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Everyone is better...

except me. However, since I'm the only insured member of my family maybe that's for the best, and better me than the babies. I came home from work today and just slept and yesterday I left early and slept, and tomorrow... well tomorrow I HAVE to go to work I don't have a choice and I'm just hoping for some strength to get through it.

I did bite the bullet and call a doctor, she can't see me until Monday. Okay great. I'll just suffer for 4 four days no problem, the most annoying part is they had openings for tomorrow just no openings for new patients. I swear, insurance, doctors, etc. etc. I'm not a fan these days.

I feel horrible, thank goodness for Marcus, and that the babies have slept through the night the lasts 5 days.

And I do have other things to blog about I just haven't felt well so all you get is health updates and me whining about our health care. Seriously my senators are so getting letters from me.

Oh, and I was hired for the tutoring position. So I'll do training sometime next week, get assigned my students and add more to my already full schedule, such is life.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Emerson cried when she was born...

random title I know. I received copies of Emerson's medical records to day and learned that she cried at birth. Until this morning I never had that information and it always bothered me. (I was under general anesthesia) and I forgot to ask during all the NICU stuff because frankly it wasn't the most pressing issue.

When I read that this morning I almost started crying. It gave me such a sense of peace and relief to know that even though neither Marcus or I were "there" to witness her birth or hear her cry when she was born she was okay. I also learned she had APGAR of 9 and 9, and that she had renal ultrasounds because of her two vessel cord. This is all new information. I wonder why the NICU never shared that she was getting renal ultrasounds done. I was always curious why the 2 vessel cord thing was always part of the nurses report when they changed shifts. Guess I now know. Luckily, it seems all was fine (not that they ever told us).

I didn't get to read much before going to work but I'm glad to see and read the records and I'm eagerly waiting for Eli's to arrive.

On a more annoying note also in her records is a note from the doctor who did her hip ultrasounds. In this note it states that, "Emerson is a healthy baby boy." Um... yeah except she's not a boy. Seriously?? He took her diaper off to do the ultrasound not to mention the yellow dress she was wearing (yes I remember what she was wearing), and the rest of the records that indicate she's female.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Still recovering...

We're all still on the mend around here. Marcus and I now have whatever the babies have/had so we've all been pretty pathetic lately moping around the house.

I stayed home from work this morning because I felt like death but that's about all I can do for rest this week since I have a ton of work things to accomplish.

Marcus has a job interview tomorrow at one of the hospitals we're trying to think positive thoughts. Last week I interviewed to tutor high risk kids as a way to bring in some extra money. I should hear back about that this week and then if I get it I can decide if I'm insane to try and add more work on my already to busy work week.

Friday night I slept in a box in our city park with a group of 10 junior high & high schoolers. We raised money for a local homeless shelter. Honestly I slept better that night in the box than I did the previous night at home with the sick babies. Other than that we've been super boring around here.

Trying to sleep & rest, taking our medicine and trying to get better.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Last night was not fun...

I'm functioning on just a few broken hours of sleep because Emerson did not sleep at all last night. She went to bed okay but she woke up crying and with a higher fever and she only wanted me. So I took her downstairs and rocked her for about an hour. (She would sleep in my arms). When I laid her down the crying started again. So Marcus took her from me and if I leave her sight eventually she'll calm down with Marcus.

He got her asleep and laid her back in her crib and that lasted about 10 minutes before she woke up crying again. She was still burning with fever so Marcus gave her some tylenol and handed her off to be in our bed which is the precise moment she puked all over me, herself, and our bed.

We changed the sheets, threw some laundry end and the rest of my night was spent holding an incredibly sick baby who just wanted her mama. Just like Eli yesterday we're having trouble getting her temperature to go down.

I really wanted to stay home from work today but there was no way for me to do that because I was meeting with several people. Marcus told me that she threw up again this morning after getting her antibiotics.

On the plus side Eli slept pretty well last night and seemed better this morning. He is also very worried about his sister and when she just cries you can tell he wants to know what's wrong.

Marcus said that Emerson was napping this morning and Eli kept going over to her crib to check on her. I really hope they feel better soon and that Marcus and I can avoid catching whatever it is they have.