Thursday, July 7, 2011

Balancing Act

I was really stuck at one point trying to come up with something to write about this week.  Usually it's easy;  I just start spouting off about what has happened lately.  But, what has happened lately?  We have no new medical results as we have been in a blessed appointment-free lull  since our last trip to the ENT.  That, of course, ends next week as a new round of appointments begins with our Family MD on Monday (inoculations... ack!). No rushing around or potential mix ups in the meantime.  This quiet time has also made it possible for me to collect my thoughts and realize that we have had no follow up or interventions yet.  I'm sure that I'm probably jumping the gun here but Wyatt (and Zoe) will be 5 months old in a handful of days and I'm not sure how early "early intervention" starts or what they will be looking for. As far as I know, there are no "summer programs" starting, but as of this morning (after my phone call, imagine that!) a worker will be coming out on Monday to evaluate Wyatt. 
Wyatt - 4+ months
What I do know is that he continues to keep pace, or be just behind his sister with his development.  He is still a chatty guy with his pre-canonical babbling (adding consonants to his vowel sounds).  In comparison, Zoe is more of a gurgle-r (and screamer).  I'm really working with him to get his head steady, which is give and take, depending on the day.  I was happy to see a few toys that I picked up on a list of toys for "delayed" kids.  The Oball and the Oball Rattle seem to be getting a response out of both of them, along with simple things such as "keys" and the like.  Since his muscle tone is lower (hypotonia - but not too bad, to be honest), I've started working with him when he has floor time.  Added to his tummy time push up attempts, we also started a new game with the Oball Rattle or a similar rattle toy where I initially tapped his feet with it.  Then later, when he raised his feet, I'd tap the ball on the soles.  Now we are working towards a move where I tap his feet and hold the ball up and hopefully he'll lift his feet to it.  The goal here is lifting leg (and arm) reps.  So far he thinks it's pretty fun;  we'll see if it has any results.
Lying Around
I can find my thumb just fine - Zoe and Wyatt lying around

His fine motor skills are pretty good as he can (and has been from birth) grasp anything within reach.  Right now he's at the hair grabbing stage along with his sister.  Add to that the postpartum hormones and it's no wonder why my hair is a little thin in spots. I was a little concerned as he is not a soother-baby like his sister;  he still has a little trouble keeping it in.  This only concerns me as the extra sucking would help build his oral-facial muscles which will help him with his speech later on.  I was very happy to learn today that his thumb will do and since that is in or near his mouth constantly, it should help him immensely.

One of our biggest challenges has been (and I fear, will continue to be) the balancing act between all the kids.  Having twins in itself is a daunting task as you try and wade your way through two schedules, two sets of diapers, clothes, feeds and dirty bottles (and do we ever have dirty bottles!)

What My Sink Looks Like Every Day...
What my sink looks like every day...

I have to find time to work with Wyatt around his sister's [screaming] needs... Then there is the active 5 year old older brother who needs his time too.  Motherhood may be a juggling act for some;  around here it is a three ring circus.  As ringmaster, I have to make sure that my top acts aren't all on at the same time.

I had to have part of the talk with Quinn yesterday (which was backed up by Hubby later in the evening).  We haven't kept much from him; he knows that Wyatt has a heart problem and has to go to many different doctors.  However, after another morning of telling him "no" and "stop that" as he bounced around and did various things around (and to) the babies, I had to do something. I explained that Wyatt had a condition and that he was not like other boys.  I fielded his questions as best I could, including "will he be a Daddy?" which just about did me in.  Quinn started to cry a bit too.  In both conversations we made it clear that we did not know what the future would hold but Wyatt would be our son and his brother (and Zoe's too) first and foremost.  I'm not sure what permeated, but he looked thoughtful at a couple of points so I think something might have actually stuck.  We will see what questions come our way in the next few weeks.
Little Boy Blue
Our wee guy...

Another major step coming our way is separating them at bedtime.  Although the 2nd crib is set up and we use it as another place to set them while I am fixing up the crib they currently sleep in (and I had it ready in case one of them caught my bug the other week), they continue to sleep together.  It provides comfort for both of them and you can hear them cooing to each other sometimes through the monitor.  It may sound a little bit like sentimental nonsense, but every time we put them in the crib, we set them at opposite ends.  When we come back a short time later, they will have wiggled their way together so they are touching.  Somehow, in some way, there is contact.  If you come back an hour or so later, you'll find them snuggled together.  It's fantastic and adorable all at the same time.  However they are growing and rapidly becoming too big to put together across the crib (and there won't be a lot of room lengthwise now that Zoe has learned to roll over).  Just in case there are sleep issues, I am going to wait until the weekend to put them down for the night separately.  Wish us luck...

I am often reminded of the old saw where life is like juggling:  the trick is knowing which balls are rubber and which are glass.  The rubber balls around here are self evident:  laundry, dishes, garden, housework.  Once in a while tho', something rebounds and I get to incorporate it back into the routine.  Regardless of how tired you are, you keep going, trying to improve and be the best parent that you can be. It won't always be perfect, but you will soon realize, just as I have, that this is in fact the greatest show on earth.  I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Balancing Act
It's all about the balance...

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  1. OMG I love that picture, it's hilarious and fits the post so well. And 'the talk', have you continued on with other little talks since then, or has he not asked any more questions?

    1. Quinn has asked lots of questions since then. We've just answered them as they have come up. You always wonder what sticks, but we got our answer one day. My brother and sister in law were by for a visit and Quinn had recently dubbed Wyatt's hypotonia as "floppy-gitis". Thinking it was really cute and that my bro would get a laugh out of it, I told Quinn to tell his uncle what he thought Wyatt "had". Patiently, Quinn looked at me, turned to my brother and said very calmly "Uncle ____, Wyatt has DOWN SYNDROME". We all fell about the place. :)

  2. What a brilliant post. I love your pictures :) Siblings have a hard time, and ask some questions that really ache to answer - but they need to know and I think you've done really well to be so honest with Quinn.
    Good luck for the crib changing x

    1. Thanks very much! As with almost everything, the anticipated problems are a breeze and the other disasters sneak up on you. The crib changeover was no problem at all. I think they were relieved.

      As an update (as I am such a slacker and am just getting to these comments now), they like to coo and babble back and forth at each other whilst in their cribs. It's as cute as hell. :)

  3. Such gorgeous children! Loved the photos. It is hard to balance everything, you're right, most of the time life is just a juggling act.

    1. Yes ma'am it is. Just have to keep in mind which ones are glass and which are rubber.


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