Monday, December 13, 2010

One year adjusted

Today is the girls' one year adjusted birthday. Dec. 13 was their due date.

For the past 4 days, all of the girls are on whole milk. We switched Emma back to formula for a week or so (upset tummy), but it turns out it had more to do with the teething than the switch to milk. We weaned them very slowly by adding an ounce of cow's milk per week.

The girls are completely off of Pre.vacid and their reflux is under control. After all the struggles, this is an amazing milestone.

I was nervous about decreasing the Pre.vacid, adding whole milk, and switching to sippy cups all in one go. Staggering it made more sense to me. Just a few weeks ago, the girls weren't strong enough to hold their sippy cups. They couldn't lift their arms above their heads, let alone tilt their heads backwards. We played the following games to death to get them to lift their arms and build their strength: "so big," peekaboo, high five, pat a cake, wearing funny hats, played with sweaters with hoodies, even put small toys on their heads! We made them reach above their heads for anything they wanted. And it worked.

I was becoming very discouraged, because we tried every sippy on the market, including several different straw cups. It was stressing me out, and as badly as I wanted them to move on, they just weren't ready.

In the end, we had to work with transitional cups (with handles and bottle nipples) first, and then we moved to straw cups, and then to sippies. The only way they're able to drink out of the sippy cups is if we take the no-spill valves out (eek! messy!) Now it's finally going very well.

You know, I never thought I'd take their struggles as personally as I do. It's almost impossible not to. Whenever something doesn't just come naturally to them, I feel like I'm failing them. Like there's something I should be doing to make it easier for them. Motherhood is beautiful, but crazy hard sometimes...


They're still taking their glass bottles first thing in the morning and just before bed (we help them hold those), but the rest of the day they're using sippies for water. With their lunch, they drink milk from the tiny little bottles we got from the NICU. Their glass bottles are just way too heavy, and I can't deal with the mess of milk in a sippy cup without a no-spill valve. One step at a time, as I said.

This progress is good enough for me, considering where we were just three weeks ago. We'll be cutting out the morning bottle next, and then take on the last one before bed. Chelle, if you're reading this, I'm right there with you. When kids have feeding issues and were premature, taking it slow seems to work. One battle at a time maxes out my sanity.

With the teething (eye teeth, and first molars simultaneously - oh, the pain!) they are still waking at least once per night. Julia and Emma have started banging their heads as they rock themselves to sleep. We've tried everything to discourage that, but nothing is working. As other moms are removing crib bumpers, we had no choice but to add them. *sob* If you have advice, or can commisserate, please leave a comment. We'll be forever grateful.

Nobody has tried to climb out of their cribs, but we're in the market for crib tents, because, you know, we like to be ahead of the curve. (Yeah, right.)

Emma is walking about a dozen steps at a time. Very controlled, with turns. Yesterday, she stood up without her hands touching the floor. It was mindblowing.

Julia wants to walk so badly. She's taking about 6 steps at time, and runs rather than walks, and then leaps when she gets close to us. She is fearless.

Ada has made tremendous progress. In just 2 weeks, she has gone from pulling up, to starting to cruise. She manages to stand without holding on for a few seconds at a time, and often holds on with just one hand barely touching the object she's holding onto. She has been moving much more freely. Whenever we switch the music on, she looks like she's conducting an orchestra. She sways from side to side, moving her head with the music, while waving her arms, and turning her hands back and forth. She has also started to crawl just a few steps at a time. It's pretty cool.

Ada has the best belly laugh. Her sisters are much more subdued. They crack up, and smile, but don't laugh out loud as often. Emma has been much more pensive from the get-go, and definitely more sensitive in general. Julia seems to need more cuddling. She'll often be the first to walk/stumble to me, her dad or her grandparents and "claim" a hug.

Happy "real" one year birthday, kiddos!


Amber said...

This is wonderful!!!

We're working on the sippy cup with my little one. It's just crazy how many different types are out there!

Shelly said...

As for the bumper pad issues....we switched to breathable bumpers for peace of mind, plus it has a little cushion for the head bumping.....Sounds like they are making wonderful progress! I enjoy following your blog.

Michele said...

Congrats!!! Sounds like everything is great! Have you tried Camelback bite valves? Bobby and Maya love theirs (they are 15m old now and have had them since 9mo and LOVE them).

M and M Mommy said...

YOU BETCHA, I am reading this! :) I take all the bumps in the road very personally too.

The girls sound like they are thriving and growing so fast.