So our girls turned 12months adjusted age a few weeks ago! This is exciting on many levels, but the coolest part is that they’re no longer compared to kids 3 months younger than them on the growth charts. That’s right. They’re rollin with the BIG KIDS now. Compared to other 15 month-olds, Nora is now kickin ass and takin names at the 25 percentile, and Bryn is kickin exactly 3 percent of those 15 month olds’ asses. We’ll take it, baby girl!
Hitting the one-year-from-when-they-were-supposed-to-be-born mark also meant their first annual NICU follow up appointment. When we walked into the testing room and saw 2 little tables and 2 little chairs, Nick and I just about busted a gut–did they really expect them to SIT in CHAIRS at TABLES and take TESTS?? Bahahaha. Our visions of Bryn playing endless table-peekaboo and Nora trying to flip the chairs over like a mini WWE wrestler were quickly silenced by…. our 2 babies sitting at the tables and taking tests for 30 minutes–like tiny little grown-ups. There might be nothing cuter.
After that magical 30 minutes, not surprisingly, Nora went rogue with the testing materials. She even yanked her socks off first as if to give us all fair warning (or maybe because she wanted better traction for her stunts).
We tried to get Bryn some extra points by showing the therapists this video, but no dice:
Both girls checked out at about 12 months in all their developmental areas (fine & gross motor, language, cognition, ability to exhaust their parents, etc), which was amazing news, and we are humbly aware that not all preemies are as fortunate. We were super surprised after the testing to have The Famous Dr. Hoekstra, Children’s Neonatal Physician extraordinaire, evaluate the girls.
Thankfully, our girls were never “critical” enough during their NICU stay to warrant a visit from Dr. Hoekstra, but after spending 3 months there, we had heard his legendary name a few hundred times and seen pictures of his tiny NICU patients and their accompanying (healthy!) senior photos lining the long hallway we walked daily to go see the girls. He also wrote this amazing book,
that completely changed our view of the preemie world and the medical professionals who care for these tiny humans. How often is it that a doctor walks into your exam room and starts off by telling you that your children’s great health and development is a testament to the power of God’s love, even though he’s dedicated his life to doctoring sick babies, and probably ALL of his patients’ families consider him a miracle worker? Huge chunks of this blog are dedicated to extolling the virtues of the NICU and the doctors and nurses who cared for our tiny nuggets outside the womb, when they should have been inside it for 3 more months. But Dr. H never once mentioned any of this during our leisurely, warm, not-at-all-like-a-doctor’s-appointment, appointment. He talked about how excited he was to finally meet the girls, made “famous” amongst the neonatologists from their appearance at the Star Gala, asked if we would take HIS picture with HIS iPhone holding Nora and Bryn, and said he couldn’t wait to see them again in a year. He showed us pictures of a wedding he recently went to of one of his NICU patients who was born at 24 weeks (25 years ago!) and talked about his son who’s a teacher like us, and how he has so much respect for teachers. I’m sure he doesn’t have a lot of play time to keep up with patient blogs, but we’ll go ahead and apologize for this not-so-awesome picture we’re posting of him here–I used all my good iPhone photographer talent on the one I took with his phone I guess–gah!
We also got to celebrate the girls’ second Halloween this year. Their first one was a little different than this one, so we were really excited to get them dressed up (and Nick was really excited to eat all their candy). Grandma W hooked them up with some practice costumes that they wore to the Halloween Parade at the Mall of America.
And also contributed several pieces of our costume brainchild for this year (which in hindsight, may have been a little overzealous for 15 month olds). Here’s what it was SUPPOSED to look like:
We had higher hopes for the homemade walkers,
but they were clearly not built to code, and resulted in several crashes in the test drive phase, and an eventual refusal to use them come Halloween night. No big deal. They were easy to carry around the neighborhood in addition to 20lb babies wearing dresses 3 sizes too big, while trying to pick up the foam rollers they were pulling out of their hair and tossing all over the street.
The girls have enjoyed their first fall OUTDOORS. With our doctor’s recommendation that we keep them semi-quarantined for one more flu season (sob), we’ve been pretty much living outside, even if it’s meant we’ve had to wear our bear suits.
Bathtime in the big tub has become quite the adventure, and we’ve somehow managed to avoid any concussions thus far. We usually start out each session with a reminder lecture on the importance of staying seated in the tub, especially since when we walk on DRY LAND we’re about as steady as little drunk monkeys.
Nora is like a bath addict, and is drawn to the water like a drunk monkey to banana schnapps.
I’m happy to report that we’re slowly getting better at Peekaboo.
I’ll close with this video. Somebody get this girl some glowsticks.
PS–one more video.
We wouldn’t need the big, scary animal Dyson if you weren’t such dirty little animals.