Friday, December 31, 2010

Together 1/365



So this is my first picture. Why? Well because I love the way that Josh is looking at Emma. And I love babies in snuggly warm buntings (notice how Josh's left arm is out of his sleeve? He does this and then runs around with the arm flapping, its so cute) But I like this picture of them because they are together. Twins. Brother and Sister. Now and always.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

TIDWTFT

The last Things I Don't Want To Forget of 2010- crazy!


Emma:



1. She has major obsession with me right now. If I am home and not with her, she is trying to find me. The other day, she was pushing on the bedroom door to try to get to me. The second I come back in the room, she beelines towards me and plops into my lap. It makes it hard to get anything done but it is nice to be loved



Joshua:



1. He loves to open and close things. Some of his favorite are the door the the nursery, the doors to our entertainment center and his toy tool box. Im worried about his little fingers getting stuck when he closes things but its so cute to watch him open the door, peak at it and then use all of his force to close it.


Both:



1. We had to duct tape over the power button on our TV because both of them liked to turn the TV on and off. And on and off. So now our TV has a huge piece of duct tape over it, but they do leave it alone!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Eczema Updates



I wanted to provide an update on Josh's eczema. I've gotten a lot of emails from mom's who are also dealing with eczema and I think its so important for us all to share info and stories so that we can work to get our kid's better!

Josh's allergy testing came back today and he showed two allergies- egg whites and peanuts. The egg white was very low and the pediatrician said that we don't have to eliminate everything with eggs in it, just not to give him an actual egg. (Which he hasn't had yet anyways) The peanut allergy came back higher (a 2 out 4) so she wants us to avoid peanuts for now (again, he has not had actual peanuts or peanut butter) and they will continue to allergy test him every 6 months until he is 3. At that time, we can consider further allergy testing.

She did, however, say that based on the fact that he has not had substantial exposure to either of these items, she does not feel they are the culprits of his eczema.

Our next step is a pediatric dermatologist on the 24th of January. Hopefully we get some answers there. Until then, we are continuing the last 3 days of steroid cream and 1/2 tsp of Zytrec each night.

I also asked her about using Cerave because of the alcohol in it and she recommended continuing it, as long as it was not irritating his skin. He seems fine when we put it on so we will continue using it versus the Aquaphor (because of the lanolin)

As for his skin right now, it looks amazing. The puffiness and scaliness has went away but there is still some red spots. I guess we'll see what happens when we discontinue the steroid cream.

Thanks again to everyone for their advice and insight. I will continue to update about his eczema.

And just because he is so cute, here is a picture of Josh playing with his little sports center. He loves to dunk!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho Merry Christmas!


Well we survived our first Christmas with toddlers! Last Christmas was actually easier compared to this year.

Last year:



This year:


Its funny, I thought last year was so hard. I had two little babies and we didn't always know what we were doing. It was hard to get up every 2 hours and pump and even just go anywhere with them. This year, it was hard in a different way. Emma and Josh are into everything, they whine and cry when they don't get what they want (which is all the time) and both of them are pretty clingy right now.

Of course, there was a lot of good parts of Christmas, too! We had both of our families over for Christmas Eve and then went to my parent's house for Christmas Day. Emma and Josh got tons of great presents including Little People sets, V-tech Train, an Elmo riding airplane, a Little Tikes basketball hoop and picnic table, books and tons of clothes. They still aren't really into opening the gifts but they loved to play with them when we came home.

Here are some pictures from the two days:


Our entire families

Emma and Josh left out cookies for Santa

My mom reading to Josh

Josh in his Christmas Eve outfit

Emma in her Christmas Eve outfit

Emma and Josh with their presents from Santa


Josh at my parent's house

Opening gifts


Emma, my dad and her new doggy


Josh opening a present from my sister

Emma with all the presents

"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."


Thursday, December 23, 2010

TIDWTFT



Before I start my post, I want to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and suggestions about Josh's eczema. I am so grateful to be able to get advice from people. We are on day 4 of the steroid cream and antibiotic and we are seeing a big improvement with his skin. His face looks a lot better but his back still has a lot of redness, its just lightened. We are waiting anxiously for the allergy test results and pray he continues to get better.


Onto my TIDWTFT!

Emma:



1. She loves to climb. She is able to pull herself up onto the couch and up onto the ottoman. She also loves climbing on big boxes and stood up on one of her presents on her birthday.

2. She has had a fever the past couple days (I am guessing from the shots) and was so tired by 6:00 both nights. Last night, she just laid on the floor and fell asleep sucking her thumb, it was so precious.

Josh:



1. He loves playing with his Mega Bloks but prefers to take apart things we build. He can pick up blocks and put them into the Mega Bloks wagon, too.

2. He refused to sit properly in his Land of Nod chair. He likes to sit on it but he tries to sit at the top of it, on the arm, or he pushes it over and then lays on it. Such a boy!

Both:



1. They got this basketball/football/baseball toy from my parent's for their birthday. It comes with these little basketballs and I hold one and say "dribble, dribble, dribble" and both of them do the same thing, so cute!

2. They went down to one bottle on Sunday and are doing great with the sippy cups. I try not to worry that they aren't drinking enough and just continue to offer them milk or water as often as I can.

Can't believe tomorrow is Christmas Eve. We are having our families over for appetizers, should be fun! Hope everyone has a good day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Josh's Eczema

I know that my posts are usually pretty light and fun but this is something that I want to blog about for a few reasons. One, its on my mind a lot. Two, I am hoping that I can share the info that I have so far with other people. Finally, if anyone has any input or advice, Im all ears.

Around 6 months, Josh developed some eczema. It was mostly behind his knees and in the crooks of his elbows. At his 6 month appointment, the pediatrician prescribed a steroid cream and the creme kept it under control. When it started happening, I switched to "Free and Clear" detergents but after awhile, I went back to regular detergent.

At 10 months, the eczema worsened. It started on his back and on his chest and the patches showed up on his arms and on his legs. We got out the steroid cream and used it again. We also started lathering him up with Cetaphil and Aquaphor twice a day.

Just after 11 months, the eczema moved to his face but mostly when he would eat or when he touched his face. It was hit or miss- sometimes it would be on his face and sometimes it wouldn't.

Fast forward to now and his eczema is out of control. Before I go any further, Im going to share two pictures of him, just so you can see the extent of the eczema.



In addition to the red spots, he has now started to itch often. He actually rubs his body up and down on things to scratch himself. The face has started to get worse in the past couple days, although it was ok a few days last week and was not too red on the day of his party.

The pediatrician wants us to do the following:

1. Initial allergy testing with blood work, which we did today. They are looking for allergies to "normal" things like milk, peanuts, wheat, soybeans, dust mites and mold.
2. Zytrec, 1/2 tsp each night to help with the itching
3. Oral antibiotic for 7 days because he does have a couple of the spots that are open from him scratching. The antibiotic is a precaution, in case he has any infection
4. Steroid cream- once a day for 10 days
5. Hydro-cortisone cream- once a day for 10 days

She also suggested we switch from Aquaphor to Cerave to make sure he isn't having any adverse reaction to the lanolin in the Aquaphor.


I will continue to share this journey with all of you and ask for your prayers as we deal with this. I would take every last red mark and every last scratch away from my baby if I could. It pains me to see him deal with this.

And like I mentioned, if anyone has any insight, Im all ears.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Party Time

We had Emma and Josh's birthday party on Saturday. We had 17 family members there, including Dan and me. The party was so much fun and the story can be told with the pictures.


Emma and Josh got up right when people were arriving. I dressed them in their birthday onesies and let them come down the hall.



Josh seemed overwhelmed by all of the people (which is so not like him) and he wanted to be held a lot. He was ok if he was eating or opening up presents though.


Emma wore a pink tutu and seemed to like all the people. She walked all around the living room to see everyone and only cried when I first brought her out.

We had some appetizers to eat. I made spinach dip and my mom brought stuffed mushrooms. We also had a cake for everyone but Emma and Josh had cupcakes with cute Sesame Street candles in them.

Emma and Josh got tons of cute presents including a Riding Toy that looks like a Bee from my sister, Land of Nod chairs from my parents and a kitchen set from Dan's parents. They helped me open some of the presents...

...and some they just played with!


After presents, we had cake. We sang happy birthday to Emma first and then to Josh. I put their cupcake in front of them and was amazed to see that Emma dug right in!


Josh looked at his cupcake for awhile and after some prodding, he started eating it too.


They both couldn't believe I was actually letting them eat it!



We stopped to take a family picture before we cleaned them up.


After the cupcakes, we spent the rest of the time hanging out with family. It was such a nice day!


Emma and my dad

Josh, Dan's dad and my grandpa

Emma and Josh trying to steal my grandma's plate

Me and Emma

My sister, my mom and Josh

My mom and Emma

Me, Dan and Josh

Here's to surviving the first year! We're on to Year #2!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Emma Sophia

I normally make posts about Emma and Joshua together but I wanted them to each have their own for their birthday. Its weird to wake up this morning and remember that a year ago today, I was sitting at the hospital waiting to be induced. I can still feel the nervousness and anticipation that I felt that day. Anyways, here's Emma's post:



On December 17, 2009 at 5:21, I became a mother to a beautiful baby with pink little lips and sweet little eyes that she kept closed most of the time so that she could get her beauty sleep.

A year later, she has grown into a sweet girl with a determined personality. She will let you know if she doesn't get what she wants and most of the time, she won't give up until she gets it.

Some stats on Emma:

- She wears size 3 diapers and size 12 month clothes
- She has 7 teeth
- She is really good at walking and moves fast!
- She has 2 6 oz bottles per day and 2 sippy cups of milk or water
- Her favorite foods are waffles, cheese, pasta and pears
- She loves to do "So Big" and can wave "hi and bye"
- She can say "huh, huh, huh" when I ask her what Santa says
- She likes to bring me things to hold but them promptly takes them away
- She sucks her thumb when she is tired and loves to hold her lovey to her face


I can't wait to see what the next year brings for my sweet daughter. I love her with all of my heart.


Then...



...and now!

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me
gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

Joshua Robert

When I decided to have Emma and Josh without a c-section, my OB told me "Oh don't worry, the second baby will come out right after the first" Of course, this didn't happen with Joshua! It was one hour and 9 minutes later that my son was born. I remember thinking how much smaller he was than Emma because he was 2 inches longer but weighed 8 oz less. He also kept his eyes open forever after he was born. I couldn't believe how long he stayed awake.

Here are some of Josh's stats:

- He wears size 3 diapers and size 12 or 18 month clothes
- He has 8 teeth and I am pretty sure his first molar is close to coming in
- He has gotten more ambitious with walking and can walk from one couch to another.
- He has 2 6 oz bottles per day and 2 sippy cups of milk or water
- His favorite foods are everything, he loves to eat! He really likes toast, chicken, peas and pears
- He is an expert clapper and claps all the time. Also can wave "Hi and bye"
- He can do the Santa thing too but can also do "Mooo" for cow
- He loves to bang things together, throw things out of his crib and wrestle with Emma.
- He loves to sit with Dan on the couch or on the bed and watch TV


Then...


...and Now!


Josh's smile lights up my whole world, he has a great smile. Im excited to watch him laugh and smile through the next year. I love him so much!


You make me smile like the sun, fall out of bed
Sing like bird, dizzy in my head
Spin like a record, crazy on a Sunday night
You make me dance like a fool, forget how to breathe
Shine like gold, buzz like a bee
Just the thought of you can drive me wild
Oh, you make me smile

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TIDWTFT the Video Version

On this day before Emma and Josh turn One, my post will be the photo slide show I created for them. Its 9 minutes long and I tried to shorten it but in the end, I figured that a slideshow that runs for 2 songs isn't that long when you consider it has pictures for two babies.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Almost time



In 4 days, my babies will turn One. I just went back and read my blog from one year ago today and its funny because I feel like I just wrote that post. I remember the weekend before I went in to be induced. I remember knowing my life would never be the same and I was right!

I have a party planned for Emma and Josh's first birthday. Its all family, about 17 people. I didn't send out invitations and there are no party favors. We aren't playing games and the decorations will just be bunches of helium balloons. But even though its kind of a low key party, I know it will be super special to us.

I just finished writing my letters to Emma and Josh. We are going to pack the letters away in the "Memory Boxes" I have made for them. In each box, I put their coming home outfit, a newborn diaper, cards, pictures and other items from their first year. We plan to seal the boxes and allow them to open them up some day in the future. Maybe at age 10, maybe older. Who knows!

The letters reminded me what an awesome responsibility it is to be a mom. There are so many things I put in those letters and over the next several years, it will be my job to make sure I teach those things to my kids.

So that's whats going on over here. Almost One Year Old. I can't believe it!


Conspiring about who knows what

Josh


Emma

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ho, Ho, Ho, Boo-hoo

We took Emma and Josh to see Santa for the first time and the title of this post and the pictures say it all. They were fine while we waited in line and as we got to the front, I asked the girl "So, do a lot of kids cry on Santa's lap" and she said "A few but not many, most like it!" I had a feeling that mine would be in the "few" category because, well, they aren't huge fans of being held. Also, they apparently aren't fans of men in red with white beards.

I put Emma on his lap first and she was actually ok. She looked a little upset but didn't cry. I put Josh on his lap a second later and he was not having it one bit. He started to wail, which in turn put Emma into hysterics. After a few pictures, I promptly removed both of them and tried to calm them down so that we wouldn't create panic amongst the other kids in line. (Which coincidentally, we didn't. The next baby sat up there perfectly and even smiled for the camera- go figure!)

By the time we got ten feet away from Santa, both Emma and Josh were smiling and laughing. I guess they weren't traumatized by the experience. Maybe next year will be better, right?


"OMG Emma, what's going ON?"


More panicked...

...Full freak out!