Monday, August 06, 2007

Can you believe they are THREE?!

So, I survived after all! Despite my fluctuating mood and underlying feelings of sadness and guilt, we managed to have a couple of great parties, and enjoyed some really fun days celebrating the lives of Holland and Eden.

I absolutely cannot believe that they are three years old. How can that be? Where did the last three years go? It is very weird, because in some ways so little has changed, but in other ways they have grown so much. I just finished putting their three-year pictures in the frames, and was looking back at last year's photos. Holy smokes, they really have changed! I can't believe how much like little girls they look now. Choke. Sob. They aren't babies anymore.

So, they had their physical with the pediatrician. Holland weighs 22 1/2 pounds, and is 34 3/4 inches tall. Eden weighs just over 20 pounds, and is 35 1/8 inches tall. Holland is officially on the chart for her "real" age in both height and weight, though not for the height to weight ratio. Eden is on the chart for length, but not weight. Big surprise there.

We have decided to keep plugging along with the eating, and not to do anything drastic right now, including no invasive testing. I am sure that Eden has reflux, although no official diagnosis has ever been made. We tried Zantac in the past, but the taste of the medicine was so horrible that it would take Eden a half hour to recover, and I felt it was actually making things worse because it was so upsetting. We decided to give Prevacid a try, but have had very limited success so far because she won't take it.

The thing is this...the medicine comes in a packet of powder, that she is supposed to drink mixed in water. The doctor said that we could try mixing it in apple sauce or yogurt, but it is always really iffy as to whether Eden will eat these foods anyway. Well, so far nothing has worked. She is totally on to us. The girl LOVES juice, but has figured out to reject anything that we try to put that powder in. I am definitely open to suggestions if you have any...

The new reflux medicine was the only thing new that came out of the 3-year doctor visit. I personally worry and stress about the fact that the girls still drink two bottles a day, and aren't anywhere close to potty training, but the doctor didn't seem too worried. She said that the calories from the milk/formula are more important right now than weaning from the bottle. I'm not sure I agree, but I don't feel like struggling with it right now. They are FINALLY to the point that they love their bottles. They actually ask for them and enjoy them. It's the only thing easy about getting nutrition into them and I am reluctant to give it up.

When it comes to potty training...I'm just lazy.

In terms of their cognitive and social/emotional development, they are growing in leaps and bounds. Holland is speaking in full 7-8 word sentences, and makes really smart connections that amaze us everyday. She has a great memory and a funny sense of humor. She is always asking "where's that come from?" and "what's that for." She remembers where she sees something, and if she sees it somewhere else, she'll say "that's like Barney does" or "it's like Jenna's." She is singing more and more, and knows the words to many songs, nursery rhymes, and books. The other day she was acting silly and dancing around, and she calls out to me "Mom, sing that song about HAVING FUN!" She also LOVES hats and picks one out almost every day that she will wear most of the day. If she's in a cranky mood (much of the time) she will try on several hats and get very mad and throw them across the room if she doesn't think they are fitting just right.

Eden has picked up quite a few 2-3 word phrases over the past month. Her conversations go a lot like this:

E: Here you go!
Me: Thank you
E: You're welcome!
E: Here you go!
Me: Thank you
E: You're welcome!

Me: Here you go!
E: Thank you
Me: You're welcome!
Me: Here you go!
E: Thank you
Me: You're welcome!

You get the picture. Most of the time, she is giving me pretend food which I am supposed to eat. If I give her pretend food, she also eats it. Funny how both of my children love so much to PRETEND to eat...

Eden's vocabulary has grown to the point that I've kind of lost track, but some of her best and favorite words or phrases are:

"Look at ____" (She uses this a lot to get us to look at whatever has her attention), "Hi Daddy!", Apple, Ice Cream, Uh Oh, "I dropped it", "Oh No!", Holland, Zippo, Papa, Nana, Banana, "Open door", knock knock, Hello?, "I hear it", Book (with sign), Barney, Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar, Grover, Cookie, Eat, More (with sign), Doggie, Kitty (with sign), Meow, All done, All gone, Walker, up-a, drink (with sign), star, circle, and many more...

She can count to ten, knows a few of her shapes and colors, and fills in missing letters when we sing the alphabet. She also loves to sing and dance, and we often catch her singing to herself. If you listen very carefully you can often figure out what she is singing. She has also made up a few cool dance moves, which involve moving her arms, and I think it is quite beautiful to watch her bust a move when we are out and she hears music. I'll have to get some of her dancing on video so you can see how cool it is.

Eden has a special place in her heart for her Daddy. They have a connection and I admit I am a little bit jealous. Holland has always been a Mommy's girl, and she is often so demanding of my attention. Holland throws a fit for Mommy, and Eden is happy to go with Daddy. Over the years this has translated into a really sweet relationship between Eden and her Dad. Holland and I have an equally nice relationship, but sometimes I wish we could even it out a little more.

Holland really knows how to push Daddy's buttons. Everyday he comes home from work and she screams and cries at him and runs to me. She'll even say, "NO DADDY, EDEN DADDY, HOLLAND MOMMY!" We're always working on it. We take turns at bedtime, so we can have time with each girl, but it is still something we have to make an effort at, much to Holland's dismay.

I know I say it all the time, but I'll say it again... They are totally awesome, sweet, interesting, cool kids, and I feel very lucky to have them!

At the same time, let's keep it real. They are a pain in the butt to feed and although it has gotten slightly better, it still drives me crazy. They are eating more, with less of a fuss most meals, but I still have to sit and feed them every bite and it takes over an hour for each meal. It's excruciating.

I am also beginning to see what them mean when they say that three is actually a more difficult age than two. They certainly have minds of their own, don't they! They also both know how to work the drama and tears when they don't get their way. Lest you think it is all fun and games at our house, I'll leave you with this video showing one of our not-so-fun moments... Enjoy!


Unknown said...

I cannot believe they are 3! They look so happy at their bday parties! I wish I got 3 parties for my bday. ha ha The older they get, the prettier they get!

I was cracking up laughing at the video of them crying! When I think I have it rough with one, I will remember you. ha ha It was so cute to see them both crying together. You are soooo patient! I would've been crying with them :)


Cora said...

I looked like you guys had a wonderful week of birthday celebrations--well deserved, I might add. That last video...oh boy! And through it all you are this pillar of calm. Remember, each stage eventally will pass, and in 20 years, you'll look bad on these same days longingly.

Also, re: prevacid...Amelia is on it too (and it has been a wonder drug for us) but we use the solutabs. They dissolve in liquid super fast. 1 tab is 15mg, and only takes about 2cc of liquid to melt it down to little strawberry flavored beads. Amelia just loves it. I put the pill in a syringe, add water, and down it goes. It at least would be a lot less volume than the powder form.

baby james said...

I agree with everyting you said and I must thank you repeatedly for talking about feeding and weight. And how comforting it is to me to know I am not alone. I only have one child but I tell ya on those bad days it is like 6!!! Feeding is such a work out at our house both mentally and physically. I have heard that it is supposed to get better with age but so far not so much. Happy 3rd Birthday girls YOU LOOK MARVALOUS! Tracy

Jacqui said...

Oh Billie. Great videos. If it makes you feel better, I have those times too where all three can be going.

Jimmie said...

Both of my boys have reflux. I agree with Cora about the Prevacid Solutabs - it only takes a little bit of water to dissolve them & Andrew just loves the Strawberry flavor - he's only 11 weeks old, but he has learned the time of day he gets his Prevacid & will cry if I'm late. As far as the Zantac style of medications (H2-receptor antagonists), there is a newer one named Axid that is sweeter and bubble-gum flavored. It doesn't have alcohol in it, so it doesn't have that taste like Zantac.

Jacolyn said...

What a wonderful week! Your family is such an inspiration.

Ivanna said...

happy birthday to your lovely girls and best wishes for a fantastic year!

My daughter is still on Zantac and Prevacid (reflux was causing repeated pneumonias last year: 3 in 4 months). We use the 15mg solutabs, and dissolve it in a teaspoon with.. a teaspoon of water. She just takes it from the teaspoon, and it is such as small amount that it is nowhere close to even registering that early in the morning :) The Zantac I mix with a medicine cup (I guess 15ml) of juice or flavored milk, or chocolate syrup in the beginning: the taste is still strong, but I guess she is used to it by now...


hallegracesmama said...

Hey Billie. I only have a second...Halle takes the Prevacid soulutabs (1/2 twice daily), though we just let her eat them. She thinks they are strawberry candy and loves them!

Kathryn said...

Hi Billie - great videos.

The girls are doing so great. Eden's gross motor progress is amazing! I am glad you got through it all. That last video... tough having two when there is only one of you. The girls are so beautiful and doing so, so well. I really think it will get easier as time goes by. I found three really, really hard age with Ellie. She went from pliable little sweetie who would try anything in terms of play and food to the Ellie who would not do anything without screams. It was really hard. But now that she is 4 she seems to be going back to a more balanced place where I can work with her more.

Developmental stages I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful video. They are both superstars. Eden has come so far just in the short while I've been reading your blog. Look at her go! I wonder if the girls would eat more if they got to "help" make meals. No knives, of course, but they can sprinkle cheese, pat dough, stir, scoop (love those measuring cups!), tear lettuce. Just a thought...

Jessica said...

Happy birthday girls!!

Have you tried the Prevacid SOLUTABS? They come in 15 and 30 mg. My kids are/were all on these. They are super easy. They look like an itty bitty kids tylenol and taste like strawberry. Very easy. We just stick them in the girls mouth and they dissolve. Worth a mention to the doc.

Anonymous said...

I love, love, love this post! It has to be my all-time favorite. The videos...sooo cute! I live the girls playing outside with the tubs of water in only their diapers. Also, all the great info about Eden being a Daddy's girl and Holland a Mommy's girl, how they both have such cool personalities, I could go on.....


Jill said...

We travel about 40 minutes north in order to have our Prevacid prepared into liquid form at a compound lab that is attached to a pharmacy. They also add grape flavoring, so the baby has no problems taking it. We didn't have success with the powder form either. The liquid goes into a small syringe and we squirt it in his mouth. Your pediatrician should be able to call in the correct dosage for the compounding. We give our guy 2.5 ml of Lansoprazole 3 MG/ML.

I hope this helps! It's done wonders for us!

Your girls are DARLING! What a fun weekend with the beach, ponies and cake! You guys are awesome parents.

Stacy said...

Like Jilly Bean we had the Prevacid prepared at a compounding Pharmacy. When we had it done locally it wa not covered by our insurance and cost $68 per month. They added a banana flavor that James loved. My insurnce has thier own compunding pharmacy and once I switched to them it was covered. The insurance pharm used a different flavor but James still liked it. I preferred the compounded version over the solu tabs because we were able to give a smaller more precise dose. But, the compounded version only lasts 30 days and even if you have some left over you have to toss it as t is no longer effective. Good luck!

Lisa said...

I want to agree with all those above me... Prevacid solutabs! I put them in the mouth and the dissolve almost instantly. (for infants, put them in the cheek). My girl also thought they were candy.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Prevacid Solutabs all the way. Both of my boys take the solutabs. My oldest (18 months) takes it like candy and my youngest (4 months) takes a small syringe with water and the solutab. I also have a wonderful Pediatric GI I could recommend. I live in your area. He is recognized nationally. My oldest was a 28 week preemie and has been seeing him since he was 4 months old. There are many other medications out there as well.

Anonymous said...

BEAUTIFUL post!!!!
And after that last video, I have to ask, "When is Mommy's turn to tantrum??!!" You did such a wonderful job of maintaining your composure and staying calm, at a time when most of us would like to to the exact opposite!

Sarah Furlough said...

Biilie: I had to laugh at the last video. It reminds me that although your girls are amazing, they ARE still little kids. Your patience amazes me. I think I would have thrown myself on the floor after those tantrums!

Bird's Eye View Photography said...

Oh I have the same tantrun at our house-- Henry wants mom when I am holding Sam. He tells me to put him down... I know the drill with that one!

They are still adarable... and sweet! ;)

Billie said...

Yippee Doo! The solutabs worked! Thank you all so much for the idea.

Eden is sick. She woke up from her nap last night with a fever (101.8 under her arm), she was up at 6am again with a fever so I called and took her in to the doctor this afternoon.

The bad news is that she has a sore throat/virus, so there is nothing we can do except wait it out and give Tylenol. The good news is that I asked about the solutabs and got a new prescription. She spit it out the first couple of times, but let me put it back in and ended up swallowing it all!

One more thing, about the tantrum video...I have to fess up. I only kept my cool until I turned off the camera. Then I had my own meltdown and cried on the couch!

That's what is so nice about the internet. People only see what you WANT them to see:)

Anonymous said...

Children are generally a joy but sometimes they aren't! You just learn to grin and tolerate it. Sometimes grinning isn't all that easy to do. But time passes and then you have the memories. Memories are a lot more fun. God bless you. Connie W.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I just found your blog. Your girls are absolutly beautiful! It looked like yall had alot of birthday fun. I have 2 year old twin girls. One of them has CP. If you want to go check out thier blog you can:

Allison said...


Great entry! I love all the pics, videos, and writing. I seem to have many days as yours' appeared in the last video. Then I put them to bed at night, have a glass of wine, gain my energy back for the next day and realize how lucky I truly am!

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,

I enjoy your blog and find you very inspirational. You are a great mommy and those beautiful girls are so blessed to have you and your husband. I have 3 year old who is a terrible eater. We've cruised the 3rd percentile his whole life for height and weight. My latest pediatrician said some words to me that really took the weight off of my shoulders...I was much like you describe yourself...agonizing over every bite and stressing hard over how much, how often, fat, protein, veggies or fruit...ARGH! Here's what she told me: "It's not your job to make him eat. It's your job to provide a nutritious, balanced meal and he will eat what he wants and needs." Sounds simple, right? It has made me not feel so guilty when he eats four bites of food all day long. She also told me that he is probably never going to be the quarterback, but more likely the kicker and the quicker I accepted that, the happier we'd all be. It is true. I hope this helps. These kids (mine included!) may be little but they are super smart. Try to relax. They seem healthy and they certainly seem happy...I hope you are proud of yourself!

Kendra Lynn said...

I wish I'd been there to hold one of them, although nobody is the same as "mama".
Love you. the way...I'm having a yard sale this weekend at my mom's if you or Missy want to stop by.
Lots of love,

Jessica said...

YAHH! I am SO glad the solutabs work!! They have been our savior, as far as getting the kids to take the Prevacid.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Eden and Holland! I love the music choice on their birthday video.

When my son, who was already pretty skinny, had a 2 1/2 week tummy virus, he got "scary" thin. Once he was feeling better, I bought the Carnation Instant Breakfast packets and would make a shake with whole milk, ice cream and 1 Carnation packet. I can't remember exactly, but I think I calculated it to be 500-600 calories? I gave it to him just before bedtime, so it wasn't a meal substitute. Within a couple of weeks I could see that had gained some weight back.

I know it won't help with their pickiness, but it might help them gain a little weight? Normally I subscribe to the theory of "it's my job to provide a healthy meal and their job to eat what they want/need." But, I don't know of that applies for Holland and Eden.

BusyLizzyMom said...

Give the Prevacid a try. We give omeprazole to Elizabeth and hide it in her night time bottle. Once Elizabeth started on omeprazole she wanted to eat, before that every mealtime was such a stuggle. I remember wanting to run down the street screaming and pulling out my hair with each meal. It is so hard not to worry about what they are eating especially when they are so tiny. We did also try Ranitidine but it made Elizabeth's reflux 100% worse she threw up and gagged constantly.
I loved the girls birthday video, they are so sweet. It really is amazing to see how far they have come (of course with tons of work and heartache).
I can't even begin to imagine how busy and overwhelming it would be with 2 at home. Elizabeth keeps me busy enough.

Christina said...

Beautiful post! Your girls are beautiful! I can't imagine any preemie moms can hear that song without tears though. Really beautiful. You should publish your journal as a book someday!

So sorry to hear about the feeding problems. I am struggling to feed my 15 month old "25 weeker." It's gut-wrenching. I actually have heart palpitations during feedings now! For all the well-meaning people who suggest that you should "offer nutritious food and they'll eat when there're hungry"--it's just not that simple with preemies.

Hang in there Billie! You are doing a great job!

abby said...

Happy birthday again! The girls are beautiful, and expressive, and amazing. You are blessed.

I loved the birthday composite video and the tantrum video made me realize what resides just around the handled it really well (even if you admit to a post video breakdown). I'm not sure that I'd even have 3.45 minutes of poise when I'm in your position!

The solutabs sound great. We're having a lot more success with the capsule form of Prilosec but it sounds like prevacid in the solutabs might be the way to go in the future if the prilosec isn't cutting it (jury is still out on this one).

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you have the reflux med thing figured out. But, if you have a problem in the future giving meds, we had great success giving Spencer his meds while he was sleeping. I"d just go in his room, shoot the medicine into his cheek with a syringe and he'd swallow... it was brilliant. That worked for all of his baby and toddlerhood. For a while he would take meds willingly, but now that he is three, we are back to sleeping meds. 3 sucks... but the development is awsome to watch!

Anonymous said...

our girls are adorable...

but the reason I'm here is that I have a question (you're the first hit on Google when searching micro preemie). One of my teachers (young reader here :)) just had her baby at 24 weeks... and I want to do something to help the family (they have an older daughter). I don't have much money/time to do much, but what are some things that you would have liked people to do to help when H and E were in NICU?

Anonymous said...

Girls are cute as ever! Happy 3rd Birthday!
Can I ask where you took them to ride the Ponies?

Billie said...

We rode the ponies at Elizabeth Park in Trenton. There's a link here: brother and sister-in-law invited us. It was great, because you get a 20 minute ride on a shaded pathway rather than the ponies chained to a wheel. Also only cost $4 each kid! We will definitely be going again!

Mel said...

You are an amazing mother Billie! My best friend here has twin boys not quite a year old. Like you she is patient and amazing, a necessary trait when dealing with two at once. Your doing a great job:)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help but laugh through most of that video clip. It SO reminds me of my house! They are worse at age 3...why doesn't anyone tell us that BEFORE they are 3? Lol! No one ever says how hard pregnancy is, how miserable labor is, how painful nursing is, and they sure don't say anyting about the terrible 3s. What a kick! I stopped trying to make my 3 yr old happy. I find myself saying, "If you're gonna cry about it, then go to your room!". She storms up there and then a few minutes later she emerges saying, "I all better now." I say, "Good! Are you ready to ask nicely now?" and most of the time, it's a "no." ...she doesn't want it anymore.

Ideas for her meds:
"A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down."

It isn't the healthiest of stuff, but if you have to give 1 T of meds, mix it with 1 T of sugar. If that doesn't work, try making Ice-Cube Popsicles out of the meds and sugar. Things taste so different when they are ice cold.

Over time, I slowly reduce the amount of sugar until there is very little. But starting out with a lot of sugar makes her not fight me.

Would her doc recoment Malox or PeptoBismol? or how about her just sucking on TUMS? Find a flavor (wild berry, orange juice, etc...) that she'll really like, and then try to pass it off as candy. Just thoughts.

Best to you!
Herriman, UT

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,

The videos are great :-) yey, birthday girls. The crying one tho - whoooooo. That cannot be easy.

I'm glad to hear the solutabs are working. How great that you have so many friends to share their advice. Sorry to hear that Enid is under the weather. I hope she is back in action soon.

Please give the girls kisses from me, and I will be seeing you in a few weeks. Yey!

Patyrish said...

I found your blog through Lisa'a (new monkey) and this video cracked me up. Poor babies, you need a few sets of arms mamma! I can imagine that gets very hard some times. Glad I found your blog and I will be keeping up with you guys. Savin in my favs!

Anonymous said...

Your girls are adorable! best wishes to them (and Mommy and Daddy).

Anonymous said...

I used to babysit a little boy with extremely bad reflux (he was a preemie twin as well.) I was wondering if the girls liked ice cream, and if so....would you be able to let the ice cream melt a bit, mix in the powder, and then freeze it back up? This could work for popsicles, etc. The twin I watched also looooved those cups of liquid yogurt, because we told him they were milkshakes :) Maybe that would work as well.