27 December 2009

Gifts

If you are unfortunate enough to be caught in the NICU during the Christmas season, various groups, persons and staff will try to make the holiday a little bit brighter for you given your set of circumstances.

Two years ago when we found ourselves stuck in a never ending cycle of ringing alarms, blood draws and vent changes, I would invariably arrive at Liam's isolette to find unexpected, random packages festooned in holiday adornments. Sometimes the gifts would be cheap and cheesey (little resin angels, stuffed animals) and at other times the gifts would be very useful and practical (gift cards to the cafeteria). On one of those days, one of the gifts I received turned out to be one of my most favorite gifts. Ever.

I had arrived at the bedside to find a simple, plain glass ornament that had been turned into a beautiful reminder of my son's first Christmas out in the big world. On the front were his tiny, barely an inch long feet, stamped in red. On the back were the words "Liam's First Christmas 2007".



This ornament is so special to me that it takes a prominent place now in our Christmas decorating. It even has it's own stand so it doesn't get lost in all of the other special ornaments on our tree and it is prominently displayed on our tv stand.
It's a precious reminder of so many things, but most important to me is it's unexpected arrival and the heartfelt sincerity behind it.

This year for Christmas, I received another unexpected and heartfelt gift. While pregnant with my boys I had joined a message board just for twin moms to be. A few of those moms have continued to follow in Liam's journey and wanted to help. Imagine my surprise when I opened up my email on Christmas Eve. They sent Liam $215 for Christmas in order to help pay for his next round of therapy (we now have $700 of the $3000 needed). To say I was blown away is an understatement. I am very grateful to my fellow twin moms and appreciate so much their willingness to give to Liam. I would thank you all personally but since I don't know who everyone was, I will just have to resort to a generic thank you here.

Thank you so very much.

I am truly grateful for your thoughtfulness!

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22 December 2009

Shop 'til you drop*

We have this neat little seat that we bought online from a grandma who makes neat little things for babies to play, sit or sleep in. The seat we bought is actually specifically made for special needs kids.

I bought it a long time ago with the hope that Liam would be able to use it. He wasn't ready for it when I got it, but he is finally able to use it now. He can sit in the front seat of the shopping cart and look all around while I shop (he's fond of the lights). He'll still drop his head once in a while, but with the back rest he is able to rest his head and sit up for long periods of time. Just look at how much he enjoyed our shopping trip today! =)


*pun intended

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19 December 2009

Receptive language

Liam's comprehension of what I say to him is really starting to pick up. I have numerous things that I can say to him and he knows what I'm talking about (games, songs, stories, etc...). But it seems that he is picking things up quickly now and with just one word. It's like he is enjoying listening to us talk and is understanding things better.

For example, he learned yesterday what I mean when I say the word 'raspberry' (or 'razzberry') and he loves for me to give them.

He also likes it when my hands are cold and I ask him if I can warm them on his belly. =) He thinks that is pretty funny.

And he started making consonant sounds this week! He has always made open vowel sounds but he has added in a few consonants this week. It was funny to hear him say blah. So, I am hoping some babbling is right around the corner.

Now, if I could just find a speech path around here to help me out with it all.

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15 December 2009

Whatever works

Now that Liam is bigger and stronger he is doing a better job standing in his stander.

Cathy got it all readjusted today and after plopping him down into it, he proceeded to watch some tv.

Whatever works, right?



Well, not really 'tv'.



His favorite Baby Einstein DVD.

Which I hear isn't 'educational' anymore.

But it educates Liam just dandy.

It's teaching him to keep his head up. =>

And look how well he's doing!

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09 December 2009

Blessings

Liam is doing very well. He has made some wonderful changes since doing HBOT. As one always wonders, was it the HBOT or would he have done these changes anyway? And I can say that I don't think Liam would have made these changes so quickly without the oxygen. Things for Liam normally progress at a snails pace. But look what all he's done just the last few weeks:

  • He is consistently picking up his head and holding it up while I carry him on my hip. And when I say consistently, I mean he keeps it up all the time now. He used to cuddle in on my neck because he didn't have the strength (or desire?) to pick it up. But now he wants it up and although he is still not a pro at it, he is doing it! Did I mention he does it consistently? He doesn't hold his head down anymore when I carry him. I love it!
  • Liam rolled from back to belly all by himself on a hard floor. And dang it all if I didn't even see it! That's how he prefers things I suppose. I didn't see him roll from back to belly on my bed either. I came back into the room to find him on his belly! This time, he was on a rug on a hard wood floor and I left him under the watchful eyes of my father-in-law and brother-in-law and they casually mentioned it to me later on after it had happened. They didn't think any thing of it because they thought it was a normal occurrence! Man, I wished I would have seen it! I hope he does it again soon. We work so hard on rolling around here.
  • Liam is consistently bringing toys to his mouth while laying on his back. This is a big deal because he has always had issues with his arms. He doesn't realize he has them in order to use them. So, not only is he realizing he has these amazing appendages, he is also realizing he can use them to play. Getting him to play independently with toys would be a huge deal and that's our next step.
  • Liam is now standing in his stander for long periods of time and holding his head up. He still drops it once in a while, but geez, it's a start! He's looking really good it in lately and with all the standing he's been wanting to do, it will help him with his weight bearing and extension for getting his noggin up.
  • Liam is very fascinated with my babbling as of late. He just stares at my mouth while I make open vowel sounds in various tones. He's always been interested in certain mouth movements, but this time it's different. It's like he's studying my mouth and trying to figure out how I'm doing it.
So, these are big changes for Liam. And we don't take any of this progress for granted. We take joy in each new step and appreciate everything for what it is....a blessing.

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03 December 2009

See, boys do like baths!

Don't miss out.

This video is worth every second of the next two minutes of your life.

I promise.

And if you don't laugh...

Well, then that's just sad.

Cuz we all think this video is

H I L A R I O U S !

And you will too.

I promise.

Oh.

And please don't mind the slight bit of baby nudity in here.

Liam didn't care.

Honest.



video