Each day is a new adventure

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Monday, September 26, 2011

1st Trip to the Zoo

Black and White Monkey




The friendly turtles

Brooklyn's mode of transportation

Tayden looking at the snake

The snake we pet

Not sure at first

Love it!

Mommy and Tayden

Tayden sat down for a minute

then changed his mind

petting zoo


trying to eat the tag

with the football

neither of them are smiling, but it was one of the few shots of them together

Another great weekend has come to a close!  On Friday we talked with our ECI interventionist as well as the staff at Our Childrens' House and we set-up an occupational and speech evaluation for both babies in October.  We feel that having a second opinion would be very beneficial at this point.  Tayden will continue to receive services from ECI and then if the evaluation gives us any new insight we will begin therapy in those areas as well.  I was able to speak with one of the district audiologists and she was very helpful.  She said that by age 2 children should know 200 words.  That seems very overwhelming, but as my mom reminded me, they still have five months until they are 2, and already they are both talking more and more.  Tayden says, "Momo," for Elmo and can name every object on their touch flash cards.  He is saying more of his letters and numbers and often times they are in the right order.  Brooklyn started saying keys, jump, shoes, and a few more words.  While we were counting this week she said 2 and 3!  I strongly believe that they both will have a "language explosion" in the coming months and will close the gap.

I completely forgot to mention some more health updates in my last post.  Tim and SueSue took the twins to Dallas for a follow-up with the pulmonologist back on Sept. 15th.  He was blown away with how much they had grown and thrived.  He does not need to see them again EVER!!!!!!  We definitely loved how great he was with the twins, but will be happy to not make the journey to Dallas anymore.  He did recommend that the twins get the synagis shot again this year each month from November - March (RSV season).  He said that if they don't get the shots we should plan to hibernate again, but if they do get them we can continue going out and about.  It is now in the hands of Blue Cross Blue Shield to see if they will cover it. Last week Tim took Tayden to the neurologist for another follow-up.  He said that everything looks good and that his soft spot is closing nicely.  He does want to do one more MRI in December to monitor the benign cyst they found in the first MRI.  He suspects that everything will be fine and just wants to take one final look. 

On Friday afternoon we took the twins to the zoo for the first time.  From the minute we entered the first exhibit, Primates, Brooklyn started crying (flashback to the aquarium).  She wanted no part of sitting in the stroller and so Tim carried her or she walked for the rest of the trip.  Tayden was fearless and would walk up to the glass and point at all of the animals.  He loved looking at the fish, snakes, and turtles.  In the reptile exhibit they had a snake you could touch so Tayden and I both did.  One of the more interesting things we saw were two turtles mating.  The male turtle was making a dreadful sound as many children and adults gathered around to see what the fuss was about.  HILARIOUS!!! 

We rode the carousel - another first.  Brooklyn enjoyed it, but Tayden was terrified from the time they rang the first bell.  He clung to me for dear life.  We went to the petting zoo, but most of the animals were napping.  Brooklyn could make the sound of every animal we saw, even the snake.  Once the kids lost interest we ate an early dinner at the Old South Pancake House before Tim headed to work.  On my way home he called to inform me he had been in an accident.  Thankfully, he is fine, but his truck is not.  He went ahead and went to work, but won't be driving the truck anymore until it is fixed.

We are thrilled that football season is back.  Our weekends are now filled with family time, football, and sushi.  The twins rocked their new Steelers outfits tonight as we narrowly defeated the Colts.  I would like to add that Tim has played Fantasy Football for the almost 9 years I have known him and he has never asked me to join his league, so this year I started my own - yes, I am the commissioner of a fantasy football league!  That will look great on my resume right?  Tim has kindly given me advice about who to play and who not to play, but this week my team played his team and I was on my own.  I stuck to what I know and created a spreadsheet so that I could determine who to play and guess what - MY TEAM WON!!!!!  He keeps reminding me that we will play each other again.  Victory is sweet! 

I hope that everyone had a restful weekend and that your week will be full of blessings!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

19 Months Old

Pardon the huge mess in the background

Hiding spot #1

The aerial view

Brooklyn with her new see-saw from the Basses

Loving Minnie and Mickey

A picture that includes Brooklyn

My precious Nana and PawPaw

Things are hectic as usual in the Russell household.  Tayden and Brooklyn turned 19 months old yesterday!!!  Tim has settled into his new job and the twins and I have settled into our new nightly routine.  We love the weekends when we can all hang out together!!!  The twins do new things every day it seems!  They are both talking more and more.  Tayden tries to repeat so much of what we say and it comes out so cute.  He loves to throw out random letters - usually vowels.  We will be in the car and he will saw E-I-B.  He is starting to say more of them in the correct order.  Tonight he was watching Sesame Street and starting singing E-I-E-I-O.  He loves to find secret hiding spots.  Brooklyn is perfecting her acrobat skills.  She has figured out how to climb into the window which she tries to do quite frequently.  She loves to draw on her Magna Doodle and has drawn somethings that look like actual pictures.  They both love singing and I have introduced them to "Baby" by Justin Bieber.  They love the chorus and will sing, "Baby, Baby, Baby."  I snap when we sing and they try to as well.  It is hilarious to watch! 

Brooklyn was evaluated for speech today through ECI and did not qualify, because her verbal score was too high.  She did qualify in a few other areas which Tim and I did not exactly agree with.  We talked about it a lot this afternoon and we are going to have them both evaluated by Our Childrens' House at Baylor Grapevine for a second opinion.  We have greatly appreciated all of the help ECI has provided, but their assessment tools are not the most accurate - for example, they asked Brooklyn to throw the ball.  She didn't throw it within the "structured assessment time," but did throw it later - but it didn't count.  The old assessment included parent feedback and the new assessment does not.  I spoke to the evaluator on the phone today and she told me that the results of the test are usually not super accurate, but it is the state required assessment tool.  Children will do many things with their parents or family members that they won't do for strangers, and it is counted against them.  We know that Tayden will not qualify for speech if Brooklyn didn't and that is good news.  We just want to get this second evaluation of their developmental progress to have a comparison. 

We hope everyone has a great week!