Thursday, May 19, 2011

Emma's Precious First Phrase

When I came home early last night, just in time to tuck them in, Emma looked up and said, "Hello my mama!" It was the cutest thing I've ever heard. This girl is suddenly trying to say all sorts of things, but this was the first phrase. She looked so proud of herself when I reacted in disbelief at what I just heard.

Julia started being my echo about a week ago, and now Emma's doing the same thing. Everything is being repeated.

Ada now says words like "huis" (house), while Emma amazed me today when she said, "yellow!" clear as day. We were actually looking at a page full of yellow objects, but then she wouldn't repeat it for her dad, so who knows if it was coincidence.

We've had a few rough weeks. At first, I thought the girls had a cold, but now, after about 3 weeks of sniffling and sneezing, it's finally dawned on me that it must be allergies. It only struck me when they started rubbing eyes when they weren't tired. Tree pollen does me in every year, so it's no wonder that this is the time of year they're struggling too. Oy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why I hate Aetna

I'm so furious right now. I just found out Aetna will not cover the Mirena IUD. As you can probably ascertain from the fact that we have both male and female infertility and had to do IVF with ICSI twice, I've never needed birth control.

Now while I completely understand that birth control is not always covered by insurance plans, I find it incomprehensible that Aetna would not cover this simple in-office procedure when it is medically necessary for Endometriosis patients.

Aetna would rather fork over $30,000+ every few years for me to have an operative laparoscopy to remove bilateral complex cysts and endo adhesions than to pay less than $1,000 to curb the bleeding for 5+ years. They would rather pay for all the ultrasounds leading up to the surgery, reproductive endocrinologist's visit, the surgeon's time to perform the surgery, the time for a GI specialist to be on hand, the anesthesiologist, the surgery suite and related hospital costs, all of the nurses before, during and afterwards (in the PACU), the pharmaceutical expenses, etc. etc.

If I had to do the math, I'd say it's a questions of:
60,000+ every 5 years for surgery
1,000 every 5 years for the IUD

I'm dumbfounded by their stupidity and shortsightedness. It makes NO financial/business sense, no personal sense and it just infuriates me beyond reason.

Why is Endometriosis so misunderstood, and why does it have to be such a battle? As if dealing with the never-ending pain, infertility and emotional issues aren't enough.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Observant kids make associations

Post from 4/12. Still trying to catch up!



I showed them a photo of a carrot in a book with images of fruits and veggies. This book only has foods in it - no animals. Suddenly both Emma and Julia brought their fingers to their mouths and pretended to nibble like a bunny. Wow!

I've often showed them how a bunny eats when we play with their soft toy animals, and I've told them verbally that bunnies like carrots and other things, but none of their books have bunnies with carrots. How mindblowing is it that they not only comprehend the animal and the veggie, but that bunnies eat carrots, and how they nibble them? That level of understanding - out of context - simply blew me away.



There's an Afrikaans song about a bunny that hops, and has droopy ears. I sang this song to them once, a week ago. Tonight when I sang it, both Julia and Emma's little hands flew up to their heads, and they closed and opened their hands to show me the "droopy" bunny ears.



I'm constantly stunned by what my kids notice and pay attention to.

Ada saw me bring out their sweaters and shoes from the nursery to the living room before naptime. She said very adamently, "tatta tatta tatta" (to go bye bye).

I explained we were not leaving yet, and that she needed to take a nap first. Thirty minutes later, she's still whining, and I start to wonder if she has a dirty diaper. I go in to check on her, and her diaper is fine, but the first thing she says to me, is "Tatta!! Tatta!!" as she reaches up to ask me to pick her up. Again, I explain that it's naptime, that we'll be leaving later, and that she should quiet down because her sisters are sleeping. So instead she whispers, "tatta tatta tatta tatta!"

I walk out of her bedroom giggling and shaking my head at this determined child. She screams bloody murder for a few minutes. Another halfhour passes. She continues to whine, but not as intensely.

Then I go pick her up, and she says in a really excited voice, "TATTA?? TATTA??" And I say, "Yes, we're leaving now. Let's get your shoes and sweater on." She happily "helps" me dress her, but then doesn't want to leave my sight.

My folks tried to get her to play outside on our enclosed deck for awhile while I got her sisters up. Being outside is her favorite place to be now that the weather has turned, but she watched me like a hawk to make sure I'd make good on my promise. And I did. The place we went to has a huge ball pit, every ride-on toy imaginable, a large gym to run around in with a big indoor slide, and pretty much anything a little kid would enjoy.



At this same fun place, there's an office adjacent to the room we were in. High up on a shelf in the office, was a little bear facing away from us. At different times while we were there, all 3 of my kids walked toward the office, pointed up, and said, "Beer!" (bear) and "Teddy!"


SEEING THE LIGHT, pun intended

Julia noticed the light and said the Afrikaans word, "lig." 3 days later, Emma pointed to it and said it too.



We often read and sing the "Ten in the Bed" book and song.

"There were 10 in the bed and the little one said, 'Roll over, roll over!' so they all rolled over and one fell out, There were 9 in the bed..." and so forth.

Now, before I get to the end of the countdown where the little boy is all alone and asks all the soft toys to cuddle up with him in bed again, Julia said "cold," and both Julia and Emma hugged their knees like the little boy in the book. They love to get ahead of things and I'm learning that I'm often too "slow" for them. Get to the end, already! Ha ha. They often page to the last section of their books while I'm still reading, and then says, "Klaar!" which means, "All done!"



Penguin shakes his head "no" in Eric Carle's book, "From Head to Toe." Today, Ada saw a pic of a goose, and started to do all the stuff associated with the penguin in the book (shaking her head, "no" and saying, "no no no.") When I explained that this picture was in fact a goose and not a penguin, I added that a goose "honks." She must've heard it as "oinks" because then she started snorting like a pig each time she saw the goose! So there you have it: a penguin masquerading as a goose in pig's clothing.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cerebral Palsy can kiss my behind

I'm so far behind and have too many posts floating in my head to ever catch up. In an effort to journal their progress by date, I'm going to go all incoherent on you without any bridges. Please bear with me.

This post is from 4/9/11:

We've started to give them old magazines to page through and oh my, are they loving it! A fair number of them simply get torn and wrinkled, but it has bought me 10 minutes of sanity at a time. They love looking at the babies in Parenting magazine, and the animals in National Geographic.

They point to any human female, and Disney Princesses, and say, "Mamma!" and all the males are "Pappa." They once pointed to a chimp and said, "Pappa" and I about died laughing at the contrast of the Disney Princess that is their mama and the chimp that is their papa. Don't worry, I know I'll be cut down to size soon.

Now, Parenting magazine also has an ad for K.Y. J.elly. Ahem. And they point to the two adults in the picture and innocently say, "Mamma!" and "Pappa!" which leads to funny quick-thinking responses on my part, and flash forwards on how we're going to deal with all THOSE questions in the coming years. "Answer only what's asked" is the advice I've always heard, but man oh man. Did I laugh when I saw Julia Sweeney's presentation at TED.

I know I said there aren't any bridges, but I thought this was a good segway, given the above topic. They all know "bum" or rather the Afrikaans, which is "boude." It's the cutest thing to watch a toddler hold their booty with both hands when you go through the body parts and ask them where their buttocks is.

When I say "doek" (diaper) they bend down and pull on their diapers, so they're starting to make that connection now.

They're also saying, "pee pee" when they go. It's adorable to watch them gain awareness of their bodily functions. It's always said like a proud declaration. LOL.


Julia, Emma and Ada all say "choo choo" when I show them a pick of a train or when I use the word, "train."

One longsleeved t-shirt that I have has the letter "T" on it. They point to it now and say, "T!" They also know, "O" because we call Cheerios "Ohs" in our house. I'm not teaching them the alphabet yet, but these two letters just naturally stuck. We drove by a bulletin board with a big "O" on it, and Julia said, "Oh! Oh! Oh!" I couldn't believe it.

She was barely 17 months old (15 adjusted) at the time and I think it's a pretty big leap to make from a Cheerio to a swirly "O" in a typeface on a billboard ad, but there you have it. Cerebral Palsy can kiss my a$$. These kids definitely have unimpaired cognitive function, for which I'm eternally grateful. They have lots of other gross motor struggles, but hopefully their intellect will compensate.

Emma said "padda" and when I asked her where the 'frog' was in the toy box, she went straight to it and grabbed it from the pile of soft toys.

They know the frog, "jumps." Thank you, "Jump, Frog, Jump" book. It was one of the first words I knew they understood, because when they were in their exersaucers and jolly jumpers around 6-9 months, I used to say the word all the time and suddenly all three would start jumping and laughing. Now they sometimes try to jump and actually manage to become airborne on occasion. Jumping requires quite a bit of motor planning and coordination, so I'm delighted that they're starting to figure it out.

We went to a gymnastics place for unstructured playtime with their PT, and toward the end of the session, all 3 had figured out how to truly jump on the trampoline. Amazing to watch their little faces light up when they nailed it!

The other day, I sneezed in the kitchen. Julia heard it all the way over in the nursery and started fake-sneezing. When I opened the nursery door, she belly laughed, giggled, and kept fake-sneezing to entertain me. "a-choo!" and then "a-cheet" and "a-shee". So funny.

Ada has a very strong sense of order that I've written about before. One of the Parenting magazines had tear-off cards with the alphabet printed on them. Ada put them all into a box, one by one. She managed to gather them from all over the playroom and get them all into a box, except for one that her sister was holding onto. She tried several times to swipe it from Julia to put it in the box with the rest of the cards, to no avail. This ended with Ada in tears of frustration, and me cajoling Julia to place it in the box to appease Ada.

We bought a couple of Cozy Coupes for them on April 3. After only two days of practice, they were climbing in and out more successfully. They still get stuck sometimes, or turn themselves around and want to slide out from underneath the car (so not working), but I'm sure they'll get it in short order. All three now say "car" and "brrm" and know how to honk the horn and turn the wheel. It's too freaking cute to watch them. They can go backwards self-propelled, but not forward.

Emma just loves to point out horses in all of the animal books. She can say, "neigh" and it's her favorite thing in the whole wide world to ride the rocking horse. It seems to be very soothing to her. She ROCKS that horse, if you know what I mean. When I ask her, "Hey, Emma, where are you headed?" she says, "Tatta" which means to go "bye bye." She makes lots of tongue clicking sounds to mimic the sound of hooves on the ground, and gives me beaming smiles while she's riding.