Friday, January 25, 2008

Riley's First Day with his Walker

Hi, everyone! Once again, I apologize for taking so long between postings, but the boys and I got hit with another wave of tummy bugs and colds. The picture above was taken last weekend when we all felt pretty blah......but the boys still looked adorable in their pj's! We are all getting much better now and I hope we can get out and have some fun this weekend!

As many of you know, Riley's low muscle tone has caused him to have some delays in his gross motor development. He has been working on crawling up on all fours, instead of on his belly, for nearly 8 months now, and is still having a tough time. He has been able to pull to stand and cruise for a while, but he always leans his trunk against something for support. This low tone in his trunk means that, for right now, he can't support himself while standing, and therefore can't walk on his own. However, the boys are now 18 months old and he is developmentally ready to explore the world in an upright position. So, our fabulous physical therapist suggested that we let him try to use a walker for support, to see if he is able to move around with it. She arranged to borrow one to try, and said that if he is able to use it, we can pursue getting him one of his own through our insurance.

During his therapy session today, she introduced the walker. It is a reverse walker, which means that he needs to stand upright and pull it along behind him. He needs this type because a traditional walker, which he would push in front of him, would allow him to lean his trunk against it and avoid using his trunk muscles. I called home after his session, and heard that he didn't do very well. Apparently, he kept flopping to the ground and resting his armpits on the handles. I was a little disappointed, but figured we would keep practicing and see if he could do it.

Then, I came home from work and stood him up in front of the walker and .....he took off! For some reason, he "got it" at that moment. It was so exciting to see him walk and be so independent. Over the next hour, he made a continuous lap from the front door, across our living room, to the end of hall and back. He never stopped, and seriously must have made at least 50 trips across the room. Initially, he was a little frustrated when he reached a wall, and we helped him to turn around. After only about 15 minutes, though, he figured out how to turn around with just a tiny tap on the walker to remind him to go backwards and then turn. He executed three point turns perfectly!

I took these videos at the very start of the hour, so they don't even show how well he was moving after just a little more practice! Amazing! (That's Katie, the boys' nanny, helping him get started.)

I am just so thrilled! Of course, the twin mommy in me is feeling all sorts of guilt because I don't have a video of Ross walking yet. He is making great progress, too, and is now taking 6-8 steps on his own many, many times each day. I tried to get a video of him walking this evening, but he was just too darn tired. I think it may have something to do with his total refusal to sleep through the night anymore. But that's another post....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Afterschool Fun ***EDITED***

I'm sorry it has been so long since I've posted! There really isn't too much new to report, but I wanted to share Riley's trick of the day with all of you! While I was at work today, he learned how to crawl up on to the coffee table all by himself. As you can see, he is quite proud of himself! (I'm proud of him, too, but I think I just sprouted ANOTHER gray hair!)

****EDITED**** Ross is never one to let his twin outdo him! He woke up early this morning, at 6am, and the very first thing he did was crawl up onto the coffee table by himself. So, now I have two kiddos who can get up there (and fall off) all on their own!

One of the best things about having twins (there are SO many!) is watching them interact with each other. Yesterday, Ross kept pulling Riley onto his lap, pulling up his shirt, and trying desperately to stick his finger into Riley's bellybutton. It was amazing to watch and see just how long it took Riley to get annoyed. He was surprisingly patient about it!

Lately, Riley has been suddenly saying "Head! Head!" and then tackling Ross and rubbing his head with both hands. Again, it's amazing to see how many times Ross will allow him to do that before he gets tired of it.

They got these cute new chairs from Grammy and they love to hang out in them to watch Sesame Street. In this pic, Riley looks totally relaxed and completely unaware that Ross is scheming and planning a way to steal the toy he is holding right out of his hand. I didn't get any pics of what happened next because I was referreeing. You can use your imaginations!

And then, of course, there are my favorite times, like this one:

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

Happy New Year, everyone! I wish you all a year filled with health, happiness and peace! The boys and I had a wonderful winter vacation, and I am so sad about going back to work tomorrow. It has been so nice to have all of this time to cuddle and play.

Riley has been doing so much better with crawling up on all fours, rather than commando style! That is great news and means that he is gaining important strength in his trunk. He has also been extremely cuddly lately. Every few minutes, he crawls or cruises over to me, smiles, and says "Mama, bup, bup" (his version of "up, up"). It's so cute! He has also perfected this move:

He does this whenever he is proud of something he has done and fully expects applause each time. He does it a zillion times a day, and of course, I applaud each time.

Ross is making slow but steady progress with learning to walk. He takes 4-5 steps on his own now, and he does it many times each day. He still prefers to crawl because he gets where he wants to go so much faster. He has been organizing and sorting his toys lately. I am not sure what system he is using, but he is quite serious about it. He gathers a huge collection of toys and picks up each toy, one at a time, tastes it, turns it over in his hands a few times, and very thoughtfully places it into one of two piles. He focuses on this intently until the entire collection is sorted into two distinct piles and then he shines this gorgeous smile:

Both boys have been working on learning to use cups instead of bottles, but it has been hard for both of them so far. They have been practicing during occupational therapy and are slowly getting better. It's especially hard for Riley because his lower tone in his trunk makes it hard for him to sit up without using one hand to support himself. He tends to fall over when he lifts both arms up to use a cup. He can use a straw cup when he is in his high chair, but otherwise its much easier for him to drink from a bottle. It's been hard for Ross, too, although I admit that I have been letting him still use a bottle because he sees Riley with one and wants the same thing. However, Ross has now learned a new "trick" and I am thinking that bottles need to be a thing of the past for him. Check out this video to see what I mean. Look closely to see what he is doing. In this clip he is drinking a bottle of water....imagine what happens when he has milk!