Tuesday, July 28, 2009

ECI Tuesday

For those of you who aren't familiar with the above acronym, Early Childhood Intervention is the long version...and they showed up today. Fellow triplet and preemie mommies should be more than familiar with ECI. If you aren't, do some research. This is a free service provided by the state/county and your children will benefit from their services. If your children appear developmentally delayed or if they were born prematurely, simply call ECI and request an evaluation. It's never too early. We started when the girls were less than 4 weeks old, corrected, in Texas. Today was our first evaluation since arriving in Ohio and we are very excited about the therapy our daughters will be receiving over the next few months.

The evaluation starts off with a question/answer session between the parents and the developmental specialist. In our case, this included questions regarding milestones achieved, verbal and non-verbal communication, eating habits, etc. In the midst of the question/answer session, the developmental specialist also works with each child individually, utilizing toys and objects to help determine how a child is progressing. Following the evaluation, the developmental specialist will then assess the information and determine the child's developmental "age". Based on the results, the child may qualify for occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, a nutritionist, etc.

Our evaluation went a little better than we expected. 29-week preemies are generally expected to reach milestones 2 to 3 months later than full-term babies born on the same date. We therefore only consider our daughters' due date in calculating their age when it comes to milestones. For example, although our daughters were born on October 29, 2008 and will be 9 months old tomorrow, their due date was actually January 11th, so their corrected age is 6 1/2 months. That said, they should be reaching milestones for 6/7 month olds right now. Fortunately, Makenna and Lauren are doing so well that they have not only reached milestones for their corrected age, but have also reached quite a few for their actual age. In other words, they are doing better than we expected. Olivia is behind her sisters, but is generally where she needs to be for her adjusted age. This was even pretty good news.

Makenna is doing so well that she requires no intervention right now. Lauren, however, needs to work on her attention span and focus when it comes to social interaction. Additionally, she has trouble initiating tasks where she is required to pick up and hold small objects. We have to pry her hands open to help her understand what she needs to do. Occupational therapy should help with the latter. Olivia will receive OT and PT to help her develop muscle strength so that she can gain more control over her movements. She rolls over fairly well and is technically very strong, but she is floppy.

So, that was our ECI experience for the day. If you feel your child may not be meeting milestones and especially if your child was born prematurely, please get in touch with your local ECI office. Do your child a favor and get an evaluation ASAP so that he/she may benefit from therapy sooner than later. For a general overview of where your child should be developmentally, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/index.html

Friday, July 24, 2009


We'll just call this another obligatory post. It's Friday night and I'm sitting alone on the sofa and taking advantage of the DVR. Livy is asleep in her bouncer, which is sitting right at my feet. On one side of her bouncer is Jake, on the other side, Chloe, and right behind is Riley. Lauren and Makenna are sound asleep in their beds upstairs and Paul is in the office working on logic games (ie, studying for the LSAT). I'm exhausted, but cannot sleep, so here I am updating the family blog.

So let's see....the girls are still completely toothless and I have been advised to enjoy the gummy smiles while they last. I'll take teeth, thank you very much.

Makenna is a little shit. In a good way...but also a very naughty way. Sometimes I stick her in the jumperoo or walker just so that I don't have to chase her all over the place. She hasn't even bothered to perfect her form when it comes to crawling because in Makenna's world, speed is paramount. So long as she can quickly get from point A to point B, it matters not how good she looks while getting there. Lauren, on the other hand, must value appearances because all she does is work on her form. Little Lauren pushes up into this perfect crawling position, then rocks back and forth...and just when it looks like she is ready to move forward, she collapses to the ground and has somehow moved back a few inches. Olivia just rolls around and although she tries to pull her knees up, she isn't yet strong enough to work on any sort of crawling.

All three are still insanely vocal and as of this past week we are finally hearing new sounds. Their volume is collectively increasing, as well, which is really awesome, I must say.

So I have been seriously considering making some baby food for the girls. By "seriously considering", I mean that I picked up some veggies and they have now been sitting in the fridge for three days. I haven't even bothered to look for recipes...that's how lazy I am. I wonder if I really need a recipe, though? I am generally 95% successful in the kitchen when it comes to adult food. I don't use recipes for that, so do I really need them for baby food? Perhaps a brief consultation with one or two recipes will do the trick. Speaking of yummy adult food, who wants my recipe for guacamole??? Oh, and I guess I might as well throw in my chicken marinade since so many people ask about both. Disclaimer: I DO NOT USE MEASURING CUPS...I wing it. That means my "recipe" is really a list of ingredients and loose suggestions for the amount of which to add. My food is tasty. If yours isn't, it's not because my recipe is flawed. Here goes:

3 avocados
1/4 cup sweet onion
jalapeno to taste
1 to 2 tomatoes (spring for the good ones...the ones on the vine, preferably)
a handful of cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime
1/2 orange
garlic salt
season salt
onion powder

Add all ingredients EXCEPT tomatoes. Use potato masher to mash everything together. Then add diced tomatoes and stir. Yummy!

Chicken marinade:
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup teriyaki glaze
3 tbsp honey
1/8 to 1/4 cup brown sugar
juice from 2 or more oranges
chopped green onions...an entire bunch
ginger...fresh or powdered
sesame seed oil (just a wee bit)
season salt
2 cloves pressed garlic
onion powder
cut with water if you need more volume

Update complete.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It's 5am. I'm awake. Livy woke up for a 3am bottle. We're okay with that because she's itty bitty and we prefer she not be. So when Livy gives a 3am hollar, I come running, bottle in hand. So at 3am she stuffed herself silly and took a trip back to dreamland. I didn't. I couldn't really, because I had been sleeping since 8pm and just couldn't fall back to sleep. So I decided to hang out in cyberspace. Do people even say "cyberspace" anymore?

4am rolled around and Makenna started chatting to herself. That chatting turned into crying pretty quickly. Why did she awake at 4? Probably because Paul and I gave up early and put them in bed at 7, rather than 8, last night. We were both too exhausted to keep them up for another hour and, frankly, so were they. So I did the bad mommy thing and gave her a 5am propped bottle in bed. She is now asleep.

Lauren, however, is kicking. She lifts both feet in the air and slams then down into the mattress. She does this while sleeping, but eventually will awaken herself with these little earthquakes.

Hopefully now that Makenna has been fed, she will sleep until 8am. I have places to be in the morning, so it would be really fantastic if they slept in while I shower and prepare their bags. Paul and his mom are taking the girls to the Neurologist while I attend a 2-hour meeting. I'm just hoping my appointment ends in time for me to meet with them at the doctor's office. This neuro appt is just a regular follow-up being that they were preemies. We expect to answer questions regarding their development and if all goes well, we shall never return. Fingers crossed.

Makenna is still walking with assistance. I'm not sure why this amazes me, but it does. I'm in awe everytime she takes a step. When we returned home from the family festivities on July 4th, she actually walked about 8 feet around the living room. She just took off and kept going, one foot right after the other, in a matter of 15 seconds, maybe. Her face absolutely lights up when she's on her feet...it's adorable.

Okay, so it's now 5:15 and absolutely quiet. I'm gonna go ahead and attempt to crawl back into bed now....

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mobile Makenna...

At this very moment Makenna is on the floor next to me, wriggling her way over to the printer and grabbing EVERYTHING in her path.

So it's really cute when babies learn how to roll over, and then learn how to hold their heads up, and then learn to push themselves up into crawling position. That's about when the cuteness stops and is replaced by sheer horror. I have a mobile Makenna and I'm kind of happy that I don't have a mobile Lauren or Olivia. But it would be my luck that the first baby who starts moving all around would be the one who will pose the biggest threats to my sanity, her own health, and every object in her destructive path. Fortunately, she moves at a turtle's pace right now and I have time to start babyproofing, right?

So what exactly is she doing? Well, she can move 360 degrees in a heartbeat, she can roll her way around a small area, and she can army crawl a few feet. But all of that seems to take too much effort, so she would rather just stand up. Well, now when she stands, she bends over at the waist, does lots of squats, and lifts her foot forward in a marching motion...and then lifts the other foot...and then lifts the first foot again! Last night she took 4 steps. Oh my God, she's trying to walk. Thank goodness she has terrible balance right now and cannot even stand in place without holding onto someone...and although she can stand up while holding onto the sofa or other pieces of furniture, she hasn't figured out that if she lets go, she will fall....hard. So it's like her brain hasn't caught up with her physical strength. Right now, the girl is all braun and no brain. Well, wait, I take that back. She actually is very inquisitive. Now when she crawls over to objects, she looks up and actually lifts her body so that she can reach up and touch them. So I imagine pretty soon she'll be grabbing onto things and pulling herself into a standing position. It all just happens so fast with her!

Our other two sweet darlings are a bit behind Ms. Makenna. Livy did just start rolling over regularly a few days ago. She hates being on her tummy, but she's doing better and better now that she is making the choice to roll from her back onto her tummy. I actually gave up on tummy time with her a while ago because I learned with Lauren and Makenna that once they learn to roll onto their tummies, they have no choice but to be in that position...and at that time, they will gain fantastic upper body strength. So why rush it and force lots of unnecessary tears? So, Livy is a roley poley (how does one even spell that phrase?)

Lauren is just content to lie on her tummy and watch the world. She does try to push up into a crawling position, but she doesn't make much effort with actually moving forward.

Any predictions on when Makenna will start walking on her own?

And any predictions on when we may see some teeth out of these girls???? 8 months and not one tooth. This is driving me NUTS!