30 Dec 2009

new year plans and miscellaneous

Having survived the rare visit to my FIL, we are now getting ready to visit Z's closest friend for New Years. I love visiting them, not least because with 2 young boys in their house, everything is already kiddy proof and I don't have to worry too much about the destructive duo wreaking their normal havoc.

The wife has also just informed us she is unexpectedly pregnant again and I think now all my german friends are pregnant or have just had a baby in the last month! Even the non german friends are falling like skittles! I wish them all the best but wish that I could skip the next year or two!

JS had her baby girl last month and is having a hard time this time round as the baby is colicky. Last night we met up for an evening out in the sauna and she started whinging about how "it was hell at home" and she "didn't want to go home". After hearing that for the third or fourth time I'm afraid my leash on my tongue slipped and I had to remind her that a year ago she was crying on my shoulder because she wasn't pregnant, she wanted this child so now she must pick herself up and get on with it! It really irritates me because she knows how much I want another child (we discussed it often and at length last year when she was trying for this baby) and now she comes to ME to whine about how hard she has it with 2 children! People can be insensitive sometimes...

26 Dec 2009

a belated Merry Christmas to all

A wonderful quiet Christmas at home was just what the doctor ordered! This Christmas was the first time where the girls opened their presents alone and were actually more interested in the presents than the wrapping paper.

Our christmas tree. Please note no glass ornaments, only felt, wood and silver decorations on the tree and just as well! The girls are constantly fiddling with the deco- the string of shiny beads only lasted 24 hours on the tree, now they are in a pile on a window sill as Ciara was convinced they were a (her) bracelet.

First presents
What can I say the girls LOVE smar.ties

Planes; train and automobiles was the theme this year

Enya and the police car

Daddy and his girls

23 Dec 2009

The things kids say

Ciara and Enya are still very firmly in the 2 word sentence phase but they have a couple of quirky things that they say.

Ciara calls a belly button " a peter button", and as far as both girls are concerned other small children are called Anna. As in when we are looking at a book and there is a child illustrated there, it is pointed to with an emphatic "anna". I have got them to give a little on this point and when I say it is a boy, they will then grudgingly call it "neenus" (a friend's son is called Linus). However when we are out and about and see another child in a buggy, calls of Anna still resound. I think a continuation of this is that they refer to each other as Enya, it sounds kind of similiar and as often as I call the wrong name they feel it refers to both.

Any other moms out there who have the same problem, i.e. continually refer to their children by the wrong name? I know who I'm talking to and the name I want to say, unfortunately it is often not the name that comes out! At least I don't have any pets so can't call them by the pet's name like my mom used to do to us.

22 Dec 2009

So how was your Monday?

I was playing on the computer while the girls were having their midday nap when I realised I could hear water running (it sounded like a tap running). As I walked past the bathroom door I realised it was coming from there and when I opened the door I discovered it was raining from the ceiling.

We'd had -20 C (with a balmy -12 C during the day) over the weekend and some pipes in the flat upstairs had frozen, the expected thaw set in yesterday and the pipes burst. No one was home upstairs so it only got noticed when I heard the rainfall in the bathroom.

Fun was had by all, especially when we discovered water running down Z and my freshly painted bedroom walls! We are now waiting for the insurance representative to come and check out all the damage and to find out if the bedroom walls are going to need stripping too. The ceiling has already been dismanteled and we now have a warehouse look going in our bathroom- open joists and dangling open bulb.

Can I skip christmas this year please!!

18 Dec 2009

Winter Wonderland

Playing with the frozen ball

Snow splashing Ciara

Eskimo Enya

So much for the snow starting on Sunday! It's been lightly snowing all day today. Hopefully they are aqually wrong about the thaw coming just before Christmas as I'd love to have a white Christmas.

The girls loved the snow although Enya doesn't like the cold wetness on her hands. She kept slipping her mittens off and then crying when she touched the snow. I had to fight to get them to come back inside after about three quarters of an hour outside. If the snow keeps up we have a snowman building day coming up this weekend.....

16 Dec 2009

Day 4...

...and still no shouting !

I've had a really relaxed day with the girls at home. After an unusually warm November we finally had a few snow flurries today, unfortunately the snow didn't really settle despite below freezing temperatures. The girls were quite intrigued by it though and kept saying "snowing" while peering out the window. I'm looking forward to this weekend as they are predicting proper snow that stays on the ground, I can't wait to let the girls loose on the snow, their reactions will be priceless (either horror or delight!), hopefully I remember to film it. Some of the weather services are even predicting a white Christmas which would be a first for me.

14 Dec 2009

Christmas spirit rising

Slowly I'm getting more into the christmas spirit. I've only a few more gifts to go (we'll just ignore the fact that I STILL have to send them to England where most of my family and friends live). I gave into my du.plo urge again and now after christmas the girls will be running all public services in the City of Z (we're only missing the police!).

Shopping was fun with the girls today as Ciara has taken to serenading us, she sings: "lalalala light lalala bus lalala star" as she sees things she can identify. When we are at home she will often come into the kitchen and ask for the "music" (radio) on. She definitely doesn't take after me in this regard! Enya has become a real cuddle bug and will often come and press herself against our backs nad rest her head on our shoulders if we are down on the floor playing with them both. Enya has also taken to greeting us in the morning with a kiss when we lift her out her cot, these displays of affection are priceless, especially as they are completely spontaneous.

In the meantime Z is limping along on crutches after spraining his ankle on Friday night (I told him not to go to volleyball, would he listen though!! Instead I get a phone call at 22:30 to be told he's being taken to hospital and will be home late). I get to be chauffeur for the next few days but am getting my revenge by administering the anti-thrombus injections- my infertility experience pays off, sub cutaneous injections are easy.

12 Dec 2009

2 days and counting....

... and it's actually been easier than I thought. If they get up to mischief I'm just telling them no firmly and then redirecting (or trying to) their attention. Z laughed when he first heard my challenge but today I noticed he was also not yelling in circumstances where normally he would. So double goody!!

I'm particularly interested to see if they listen better at the end of the 30 days. Right now we tell them no, they look directly at us and then do precisely what we told them not to. Let's see if reducing the volume increases the auditory uptake. I live in hope!

11 Dec 2009


I feel like a fishwife. I seem to spend the whole day yelling at one or other child not to do something or for doing something (or for not listening!).

Last night as I was doing the blog jumping thing I came across a blog talking about yelling at children (as usual I can't find it again so I can't link it). Now obviously I knew that yelling is not exactly beneficial to the child, but I've always thought it less harmful than hitting on those days where the frustration levels just keep rocketing. However this blog really put into perspective that yelling alone is also very destructive. The sentence that remains with me and kept me up late last night was along the lines of ....the intent of yelling is to frighten and terrorize the child. Do I really want to be terrorising my precious girls? I think we all agree the answer is a resounding NO!

So I'm setting myself a challenge: 30 days without yelling at Ciara and Enya. Wish us all luck!

9 Dec 2009

Eyes: good

The title says it all. We had the 2 hour appointment at the Eye Guy today and again nothing needs doing. I had to sit on Ciara so that they could get the eyedrops in and the Eye Guy could only make a guestimate with her eyes as she screamed and flailed around during her eye exam so he couldn't get a really good look (that was with no torture instruments, just shining a light to look in her eye). Enya also protested strongly to the eye drops but cooperated brilliantly with all the other tests and exams.

As we were already in the city we had a lovely wander around the centre and so long as we kept moving the girls were happy. I love walking around the shops at Christmas time, it kick starts the festive feeling seeing all the decorations. Somehow I really need that this year, as I haven't really got the Xmas feeling at all yet. It was especially nice to get out the house again as the last week the weather has been so wet we've only been outside for doctors and therapy visits.

Talking about therapy, we finally had our Speech therapy assessment yesterday. The therapist (Hr H) was really battling to engage with Enya, hopefully that will get better as she gets used to him. Yesterday though she watched him with a very serious suspicious look on her face and kept moving out of his way when he wanted to touch her for exercises. We have another appointment in 6 weeks and in the meantime a load of exercises to do. The theory is that she has reduced sensation/awareness in/of her mouth and this is the reason she stuffs her mouth so full and pockets her food in her cheeks and under her toungue. So the exercises are aimed at increasing her oral awareness. Z's reaction was to laugh so I guess once again the exercises will all just be done by me.

Rainy day entertainment: unpacking the plastic drawer for the 20th time in a day

6 Dec 2009

Happy St Nikalaus

For the last few weeks Ciara has been waking between 2-4am and unfortunately Z is quite hard of hearing so I'm the one that goes through to settle her down. The fact is, she often just wants to check that it is still dark outside and then after a sip of water goes back to bed without any fuss. I, on the other hand, then toss and turn for the rest of the night and am getting a little bit snappy again due to lack of sleep.

To celebrate St Nikalaus Day today though, I was able to sleep in until 5:30am before the screamfest started and Z even got up to deal with Ciara so I actually got to lie in a bit longer. The girls and Z all got a little chocolate St Nikalaus figure in their bags, traditionally one is supposed to use stockings or shoes for the small gifts - maybe next year. I hadn't even had time to give the girls their bags before Ciara wandered through with half a chocolate man. She'd found the bag herself and unwrapped and devoured half the chocolate before I'd even noticed. Oh well, she followed that up by eating all her breakfast so no harm done.

We had originally planned on going to the local christmas market today but unfortunately it poured all day so instead we hibernated indoors. The monotony was obviously too much for the girls, they retaliated by scribbling on our cream leather footstool with red khoki. I knew the scribbling was going to happen at some stage but wish that they could have left our furniture out of it!

4 Dec 2009

Preemie follow up

Today we had the big preemie follow up (read the Bayley's test) to check what developmental age the girls are at at age 2.

As I've mentioned before the myth that micropreemies catch up by age 2 is very rarely the case and as expected our girls are not magically caught up to their actual age of 2 and a quarter years. Ciara has amost caught up to her adjusted age of 2 years though. She only needed one point more and she would have been graded as a 24 month old-if she hadn't been so tired she would have managed that point easily as she didn't manage a couple of tasks during the assessment that I've seen her do many times at home. Enya is still a bit behind (22 months) and I think her performance was an accurate reflection of her ability (she was assessed first and was so fresh and eager). I'm not disappointed as even the doctor said her progress since she last saw her in June is amazing. There is no way she could have sat and completed the test with Enya in June. Enya wouldn't have been able to concentrate even to complete one of the tasks, never mind for the whole test in one sitting which is what she did today!

Surprisingly we have to go back again for a redo of this test in about a year, I was told they only followed up to 2 years but they apparently follow up longer in the micropreemies. Next time though I will have the girls appointments on different days so the second child isn't disadvantaged due to the long waiting time.

We also have an appointment at an orthopod now for next year to get Enya's hips looked at. She still has a funny gait ( leg movement comes from swinging her hips) and her hips are extremely hypermobile so just for safety sake we're going for a check up.

Right now I think the GI doctors are the only "common" specialist that we haven't seen in the last 2 years, and God willing we won't need to either!

2 Dec 2009

Alone again

Z is off at a conference today and tomorrow which means I have the girls all to myself again. As they get older it is definitely easier handling them alone, although I can't wait for them to eat all by themselves as well!! We're going to have a couple of quiet days before a very busy Friday.

I also need to get going with preparations for Christmas, apart from an Advents wreath and a couple of pressies I have done nothing in that direction yet. At least we will be spending the big day at home alone so I don't have to worry about a fancy Christmas dinner!

1 Dec 2009

Neuro update


I was concerned as the neuro wanted to continue seeing Enya although she's discharged Ciara. Yesterday though I found out Enya's EEG is normal and has been for a while (I've asked before but I find the german doctors are really closed mouthed and it's difficult to get answers from them). She is only bringing us back as Enya is still receiving therapies.

For the first time since the girls were released from NICU, I got to hold one while blood was taken. I've mentioned in the past that Enya always has moist feet and the neurologist noticed this yesterday and wanted to check her thyroid levels (I love how the neurologist is the one noticing this and ordering this test!).

Apropro therapies: the speech therapy appointment was a wash out, our appointment was at 11am. We were there early (for once) and at 10 minutes to 11 I saw the therapist (Hr H) take another patient in to his room. I thought oops I obviously had the wrong time in my mind and the appointment must have been half past 11...but then our play therapist came to collect Ciara. We'd arranged for her to see Ciara while Enya and I were with the speech therapist so we wouldn't be distracted. Apparently Hr H was running late and so we all started off at play therapy. Unfortunately by the time Hr H came to pick us up at quarter to 12, the girls were so overtired they had hit the nonsense hyperactive stage (effects of spending 2 hours in variuos waiting rooms) so we had to cancel the speech appointment and have rescheduled it for next week instead.

Today I went to visit my old boss to start the ball rolling about going back to work next year August. Z and I now just need to sit down and calculate how many hours are worth working (the joys of tiered tax systems, I'd really resent working for more hours only to take home less money) as I'm going back part time. I also need to decide if I'd rather work fewer longer days or more shorter days. The good news though is that it looks like I'm going back to the hospital down the road from me so the Kindergarten will be 5 minutes walk from work.

It was great to see my old colleagues, although there is such a high personnal turn over there that not many faces were familiar, and to show Ciara and Enya off to them. I was especially brave today and for both the work visit and play group left the pram in the car- both involved quite a bit of walking but the girls are getting better about holding my hands when we are afield and if not, winter coats are great to grap and hold onto!