Sunday, December 29, 2013
It's Been a While...
In honor of our tiny hurricanes turning three, we thought it was time for a blog update. We know it’s been a loooong time since the last blog update – but we’ll blame it on two three year olds, a new house, working full time and trying to get sleep when we can. On a side note, we used to call L&C “tiny tornados”, but that just didn’t seem to properly describe the amount of damage that the two of them can do in such a short amount of time. Hopefully we’ll never make it to the tsunami stage…
We are all happily moved into the new house in Urbandale and have made it our own. The process of moving with then two 17 month olds was quite challenging. They were great at unpacking, but not so great at the organizing. The first few days were a little rough for them as they didn’t know quite what was happening and where they were, but they quickly adjusted. We’re still incredibly grateful to all those that helped us move, we couldn’t have done it without them. Having so much more space is wonderful and a fenced in yard for the babes to play in is even better - (don't tell the kiddos, but sometime in March or April there's going to be a new swing set in the back yard too!!!). For those who have come to visit and enjoy a cocktail on the back deck, thank you. Hopefully those of you who haven’t been over can come over soon for a cocktail and a nice winter hot tubing!
Our new address is:
3918 125th Street
Urbandale, IA 50323
Developmentally, both are doing amazing. They've both been meeting milestones for their actual age (or older), and we haven't seen any delays - which we're beyond thankful for. We were so on track at their last NICU Development Clinic, that we no longer need to be followed. Great news!
As soon as we moved, Logan went from the part time drunken sailor walking, to full on sprinting. He now runs, jumps and climbs on everything. He’s 100% boy – always trying to open things, take them apart, and is very curious about the world. He is very observant – always noticing with something is out of place or different – and wants it fixed. He’s a sweet lovey little boy. He loves to help, please and knows exactly how to look at you and what to say to you to melt your heart. He loves cars, the color orange, construction equipment - especially cranes, airplanes, pancakes and Thomas the Train. He also loves the Chiefs, Jayhawks & Hawkeyes too. He's incredibly independent and does not want help with anything. And if you try, he wants to redo it himself!
Health wise, Logan has been healthy as can be. He had a milder case of RSV this spring, strep throat, an ear infection and a few bouts of croup. And how could we forget, a bad case of the stomach flu – which Caroline also got at the exact same time. Having two two-year-olds with a bad case of the stomach flu left mom and dad exhausted and scrubbing a lot of carpet. Luckily, the only specialist that is currently following Logan is the ENT!
Logan is currently in the 25th percentile (almost 30lbs) for weight and 89th for height - which makes him a tall skinny little guy. We're still having to supplement with as much fat in his diet as possible (so lots of whole milk, butter, etc).
Caroline is our incredibly independent determined little soul. When we’ve asked her lately how old she’s going to be on her birthday, she replies “fourteen” – and some days we think she may have the attitude of that fourteen year old. Preemies are known to be stubborn, and Caroline very much exemplifies that stereotype, and we’re thankful for it, as it’s what’s kept her alive. Miss Caroline also started her accessories collection by getting her first pair of glasses. Getting her to wear them was not an easy task, being one of our biggest challenges yet, but now it's part of her routine and she wears them and keeps them on. We're still surprised at the number of people that ask us if they're "real" glasses? Caroline loves puzzles, books, singing, animals (including trips to the zoo and farm) and eating goldfish. She's also quite fond of sassing and telling us she's the boss!
Caroline has made huge progress in her eating. After slowly making our way through feeding specialists in Des Moines, we were sent to the U of I in Iowa City to their feeding team. Our GI doctor sends the worst of the worst to them, and that, in his eyes, was us. When we started, Caroline would vomit at the sight of food due to a severe oral aversion - which made her 100% dependent on her g-tube for nutrition. Iowa City feeding therapy was not an easy or a quick process by any means, and we often had to remind ourself that it was a very slow marathon, not a sprint. And it's not for the faint of heart. It's a LOT of tears (for mom and her), repetition, diligence and determination. But we're happy to report that after a year and a half, she now eats like a normal three year old! Of course it didn't happen that easily, but we won't bore you or gross you out with all the details. And, in even better news, we're now g-tube free! Our GI doctor put her on a very aggressive plan to try and ween her from her g-tube and after 4 months off of tube feeding she was gaining weight without it. So last month, the tube was removed!! A HUGE milestone for us, and a day we often felt would never come. We go back to the pediatric surgeon in early February to see if the hole has closed on its own. If it hasn't, it will be surgically closed. Until then, it's bandaged, but causes no restrictions for her.
Caroline has been healthy as well. She also had a milder case of RSV, the stomach flu (that required a day in the ER for dehydration) and several ear and sinus infections. She got her second set of ear tubes earlier this year, that required an overnight visit on the pediatric floor after her oxygen levels struggled to get back to safe levels, but all was good. We still have a few specialists that follow us: Cardiology (holes in her heart that are slowly closing as she grows), Endocrinology (thyroid issues) & ENT (ears).
Caroline is still very tiny. At 24lbs, she is is in the 0-1 percentile for weight and 40th percentile for height. She's continues to follow her own curve on the growth chart, and doctors are happy with that. She is also on a high fat, lots of snacks diet!
Mom and Dad are doing well. We've been blessed to have such great support from our families, work, and friends... we continue to be so thankful for all that you do to help us out!.
We had some great news in the "help department" as Mike's parents have decided to retire to Iowa and have bought a home in Waukee - just 10 minutes or so away from us.
We're also going to tease you a little bit here... We have been the beneficiary of some unbelievable support and very soon will have another blog announcing a way which we are going to attempt to give back. And we're going to ask for your help. Stay tuned to this Bat-channel.
Since there was no way we were going to be able to squeeze a year and a half of photos on here... here's a link to some 800 photos that we're happy to share...
Thanks for following us on our journey!
May 2014 bring the very best to you and your loved ones!
-Mike, Melissa, Logan, & Caroline Vogel