27 May 2010

So the glasses

As we've had the glasses now for a week I suppose I should update how things are going. I imagine you have a fairly good idea, given that the girls are wearing them in all the recent photos and I haven't been whinging about the glasses.

The girls are really good about wearing them, they even ask for them when they get up in the morning or from a nap. When they get tired they do start taking them off and that is then a sign for us to start getting ready for bed. That they have taken so well to their glasses shows me that they do see a lot better with them and that they really are necessary (RATS!!).

The only problem we've had so far is at playgroup, one of the other little girls keeps ripping them off Ciara and Enya's faces. They'll have to learn to defend their glasses!

In other news Enya now has whatever bug Ciara had on Monday, so we had a morning just for us while Ciara went to playgroup. Enya and I bought the rucksacks for kindergarten which are adorable and have the breast strap so the shoulder straps won't keep sliding off during the Wedensday rambles. We followed that up by going for hot chocolate which turned into a cuddle and then nap session as the fever really began to hit Enya. Poor little mite is now curled up in her bed sleeping after a dose of para.cetamol. Ciara didn't do too well either at the playgroup as she missed her sidekick. They said she needed lots of cuddles and was very tearful, she perked up though as soon as she saw Enya and myself coming early to collect her.

Hopeful it will all be back to normal tomorrow for play therapy!

26 May 2010


Shh! I don't want to jinx it, but I think we've cracked the potty training! Enya is definitely finished with nappies during the day, she does everything in the potty or when we are out, she goes on a normal toilet! Ciara has the most amazing bladder control and only needs to go on the potty a couple of times a day (no, she is not dehydrated she drinks way more than Enya does!). Ciara hasn't quite worked out pooing in the potty yet but we're well on the way there.

There were 2 parts of motherhood that really concerned me, starting solids and then potty training. You know that solids were a bit of a nightmare with Enya not tolerating any texture or really solid solids for the longest time, so that just notched up my worries about potty training. I can however say it has really gone brilliantly. The month break between our first attempt and this time really paid off, at some point during the break it clicked with Enya that pee belongs in the potty (remember I was putting them on the potty at nappy changes if they were interested and Enya mostly was), and from Monday when we put her into panties she has been asking for the potty. Ciara didn't get it initially but through observing her sister and one accident it very quickly made click with her too. I've heard from other moms that they found potty training very stressful and the hardest part of parenting but it just all seemed to flow for us (perhaps because we have no carpeting to worry about?!).

Now don't get me wrong, Ciara and Enya are still having accidents but a maximum of one a day and we are only 9 days into this. The pull ups are only for night and naptimes and they are even staying dry sometimes during naptime. Although if we do have any long car journeys (this weekend we are going to Z's dad- 2hour drive away) I'll probably put pull ups on as well.

So in summary, my mom was right, the girls were ready to potty train and it has been a very successful painless transition. I am incredibily proud of how well Ciara and Enya have done and hope that this post doesn't jinx it all! (we learnt early on in the NICU not to praise the girls as everything usually went to pot after!)

25 May 2010

The rest of the long weekend

This weekend was Kultur Pur in Siegerland, it is a festival with live music acts, comedians and various street performers and that's just in the tents! The setting is a sports field in the middle of the forest. In the grounds surrounding the tent complex there are other forms of entertainment available, especially for the younger visitors (labyrinth or clowns etc.).

WE decided to take advantage of the glorious weather we were having and met up there with friends on Sunday afternoon. It was absolutely heaving but we had a great afternoon in the fresh air nonetheless. I was especially proud of Ciara and Enya as we survived the whole afternoon (including a fairly long walk from the car to the festival and back again) without the pram and we didn't lose the girls once! I did however put both girls into pull ups for the visit as we had a long drive to get there and the toilets, from past experience, often have long queues-my girls when they need to go, need to go NOW!

So without further ado: some photos from Kultur Pur
Enya meeting "Francois Blanc"

Enya in the Chime Labyrinth-all doorways had different objects hanging in them

Magnetic attraction between girls and dirt?

Ciara in the music garden, all "instruments" are made of everyday objects like pipes or pots or wheels

Poor old Ciara has one weakness and that is her stomach, on Monday she woke up with a temperature and was not herself the whole day, thank goodness it was a public holiday so I had help. She was exceptionally cuddily, hardly ate anything and kept saying she was sick. Finally last night she threw up after asking for the cough cough bucket, our warning sign that an eruption is imminent. She is incredibily good about telling us beforehand and usually gets everything in the bucket, for which I'm extremely grateful! She is still off colour this morning though.

22 May 2010

Fashion statements

I am not responsible for these fashion statements, blame my husband and daughters!

Yup we've hit the age where Ciara and Enya no longer wear what I choose but have their own ideas what is fashionable. Please note the wellies!

this is Enya's preferred method of swinging

Sisterly help

Ciara on the otherhand prefers the more traditional method of swinging

We took advantage of the wonderful weather and started weeding our front garden to the delight of the terrible two. Needless to say we went straight from weeding to the bath!

Nappy time (night time nappy)

All in all a lovely Saturday!

21 May 2010


After phoning the neurologists practice for the 4th time, they finally admitted to having the results of Enya's blood test. The first 3 times they kept promising they would phone me with the results as soon as they got them, which was in the end a lie (they couldn't find the results the last time I phoned, although everyone there knew that they had come and there was already a medical letter written for our paediatrician so they had obviously been around for a while).

They wanted me to start dosing her up with thyroxine and then recheck her TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) levels in 2 months. I have however learned to be a bit careful about this practice in the past (the doc trying to convince me that Enya had high tone in her legs when in reality she is low tone all over!) so I arranged to get copies of the lab reports and made an appointment with our own Paed.

After picking up the letter this morning before play therapy I was very relieved to see that the TSH levels were the high end of normal (my research on Dr google had informed me kids normal values were 0.7-5.5, adults 0.3-3.0, the normal levels quoted in the letter were the adult values). After play therapy we had our paed appointment and he AGREED with me! So another worry is swept off our plate, Enya doesn't have any thyroid problems YIPPEE!

Why the other practice is using adult values for kids, I don't know. The scariest thing is they also are a paediatrics practice so I hate to think how many of their kids are on unneccessary hormones. As my paed said, once you start on the hormone supplementation path it can be very hard to get off it again. He has had more than one discussion with this particular practice about this issue but as yet no success in getting through to them. Thank goodness we don't need to go back there again.

20 May 2010

They're here!!

Yes I know you all want to see them on the girls' faces but first I have to convince the girls to keep them on! Shall we just say so far I'm not having a lot of joy.

19 May 2010

Kindergarten report

May I just repeat that I love love love the Kindergarten (for the americans here Kindergarten = nursery school in German) we've chosen for our girls!

We went yesterday for our first orientation visit and to meet the other new kids. Ciara and Enya will have three nursery school teachers in their group (2 of them are part time) looking after 20 kids. There are 3 other new kids starting and every new child has one older kid as a mentor. They are allowed to move freely around the Kindergarten building and can even join the 2 other groups for playing/activities if they wish (they have 60 kids in total and start taking kids from 2 years). Happily though there are the basic rules and regulations regarding only one toy at a time and cleaning up after themselves that we have at home. We have weekly visits now planned so that the kids are comfortable with the teachers, other kids and the daily happenings when they start full time in August.

We received our shopping list of things we need to buy(rain trousers, rain jacket, wellies that stay in the Kindergarten, rucksack for Wedensday walks, breakfast box and bottle etc.) and they couldn't emphasize enough that everything EVERYTHING must be labelled.

I'm not at all concerned how Ciara will adjust, we had to go looking for her a couple of times during the introduction (literally all 3 teachers and myself were searching the building) as she had gone to play with the other kids in another group. The fact that they have bobby cars at the Kindergarten just sealed the deal for her! Enya on the other hand stayed close to me pretty much the entire 2 hour visit, although at one stage she did go and sit on another mother's lap to read a book with her. The teachers were pretty impressed with how both girls could concentrate on an object that they were playing with. Yes, you read that right, my flighty girls were complimented on their concentration skills!

The girls even got one of the other newbies calling cars "cars" instead of "autos" (german), we may have to speak a bit more german at home for the next few months until they start Kindergarten ;0).

18 May 2010

Another mega picture post

Sorry, just downloaded my camera again, so you get the photo overload again. First of all
happy faces

and then
my orally fixated daughters

we also had Father's Day in Germany last week and Z got a Bollerwagen from his girls, as the weather on that day (Thursday) was dreadful, we took it out for it's inaugral trek on Saturday instead- a few shots from the walk

A bollerwagen is usually filled with kids or beer and is hauled out on public holidays, when as previously mentioned pretty much all of Germany goes walking ;0) (we went with the first option obviously)

17 May 2010


I am so proud of my two little monkeys!

You all know we started playing around with potty training about a month ago. I had them in panties (or nekkid) for a couple of afternoons while it was warm and we landed up watering the garden ALOT (they even once fertilized with more solid waste!). Well then I took a break as the weather turned cold and wet so we couldn't spend the day out into the garden and I wasn't sure if they were ready yet anyway. During this time I just tried to get them to sit on the potty during nappy changes. At some stage about 2 weeks ago something went click with Enya and she began weeing most times when she sat on the potty, until a couple of days ago when she suddenly stopped. I was having a chat with my mom last night about this and she said I had to be careful Enya didn't land up getting confused with potty and nappies and to just bite the bullet and put her into panties. She also suggested I start with just Enya, as Ciara was showing absolutely no interest in the potty at all, most times she refused to even sit on the potty. So the decision was made to start potty training Enya from today and to leave Ciara for another few weeks.

Fast forward to this morning: after breakfast, I was enjoying my tea before I went to get them dressed, when Enya walked in with Ciara's nappy. Ciara followed soon after, nekkid from the waist down and mentioned she wanted panties. My reaction was okay we'll do them both together then and so the serious Potty Training Day (PTD)began. Enya is a frequent but low volume "pinkler" while Ciara holds on for over 2 hours but then wees copious amounts. Despite me rolling up all the carpets (thank God for tiled floors) and blocking off the beds and sofas, they only had one accident all day (Ciara before she peed for the first time in the potty) and were both asking to use the potty without me having to remind them. A resounding success of a PTD which has left me incredibily proud of my girls.

I think my mom was right, I think they are both ready for this!! Although we still have a few big hurdles to get over (no one did big business today) it looks like we're heading in the right direction. I only hope tomorrow goes as well, as we have the kindergarten visit tomorrow afternoon and I don't want to put them back into nappies during the day again (well except for naps of course).

15 May 2010

Busy busy

My baby sister is here for a visit and we've been very busy doing nothing much. Baby sister is being called granny and we were asked if she was my twin (she's ten years younger than me!) so I don't think she feels very complimented-medical school obviously drains the life/youth out of one;0).

C and E are being delightful, exhausting and exuberent as befits nearly three year olds. They were discharged from cardiology last week! WOO HOO!! Both of their ASD/PFO's have closed. We're almost rid of all our specialists now!!

Our program for next week involves the first visit to kindergarten for a trial session (with parental accompaniment). I'm intrigued to see what is planned and how everyone (read Enya) copes with the session. I'm really excited about them starting kindergarten as I believe they will gain so much from it. I have already seen how much they pick up from the older kids when we have visitors and I can't wait to see what they learn when they are exposed to other kids everyday.

Gotta take my baby sister to the airport tomorrow very early, this week has really flown by !

6 May 2010

Babee and a discharge

Early morning this morning as Enya had a 8am appointment at the neurologist and she was DISCHARGED!! From a neurological point of view Enya is doing fine and her EEG was normal so we get to strike another specialist off our list. Unfortunately after our last appointment they gave me the incorrect results for her thyroid blood test (the values WERE abnormal) so we have to get it redone and it looks likely that Enya will be starting medication for her thyroid. Ask me why the neurologist is the one that noticed the signs and is the one leading the testing for this!!

I found Babee at the second shop this morning so that was huge sigh of relief. Ciara was delighted to see it when I gave to back to her after we got home and it is now tucked up next to her for naptime.

5 May 2010

Gardening days

We took advantage of the unexpectedly bright and sunny afternoon and got out into the back garden. Ciara and Enya decided to "help" our landlady with her planting of the window boxes, which gave me a few precious moments to catch my breath and do some gardening of my own!

Our terrace bed is now a riot of purple and pink flowers and the shrubs have been hacked back (warning: do not let me loose with garden shears, plants will be severely pruned) and all the weeds are history.

All in all a very satisfying afternoon!

Babee and the zoo

We've lost Ciara's Babee! We were at playgroup this morning and as we were walking out the room I gave it to her, but by the time we arrived at the car after a brief shopping foray it was gone. I've already phoned the centre where we were but they haven't found it. I guess my 3 free hours tomorrow will be spent hunting for the darn toy or trying to find a replacement!

On to happier things: after dropping Z at the airport on Sunday, the girls and I went to Frankfurt Zoo. I mean, come on, if we are going to drive an hour and a half to Frankfurt we might as well make a day of it. The Zoo was huge and a mix of old and new style enclosures, but was in all honesty not as nice as Cologne Zoo. Enya was really disappointed as they had no elephants but at least we actually got to see the lions and tigers here. The girls lasted until 3pm, when we started to drive home, before they both crashed out and then slept for the entire drive home. Huge relief for me as both girls delight in freeing themselves from their shoulder straps in the car seats and solo in the car with them I'd be pulling off at every rest place on the Autobahn (believe me it's what happened on the 6 hour drive down to the Mother-Child Kur.




as you can see by the looks of absolute fascination on their faces this could just as easily have been titled "time to go".

4 May 2010

and so it continues..

So has the universe smelled that Z is in the States this week and decided to pick on me. After the glasses bombshell yesterday, the next arrived this morning in the post.

We had applied for both girls to get a pension plan/invalidity insurance started a couple of weeks ago. We had to give medical details but part of the reason we were doing this now is the medical questionaire is supposed to be less detailed than if Ciara and Enya did this when they were adults. About a week ago we got the contract and I thought it was signed and sealed. Until this morning where I received a letter saying that they couldn't ensure my little nearly 3 year old Enya because of her medical history. Not only that but her name was going on a list the german insurance groups all have as having been refused this insurance. Which means even if we can clear some of the current issues on her medical sheet (for instance we're off to see the cardiologist next week to see if her ASD is closed) a new insurance company would still examine her application with a fine tooth comb and probably want extra details.

I knew there was a possibility of being turned down but I thought if they got turned down both would get turned down (the only major difference in their history being Enya's brain bleed). Now we have to decide whether to try find a comparable investment for Enya so she won't be disadvantaged, or if we look instead for something different for both girls so that everything is fair and equal.

The timing of this is the pits, I can't discuss this with Z until this evening so I'm going to be brooding over this all day!

3 May 2010

Just shoot me!

Remember when I said that I dreaded the girls needing glasses? Well we've just gotten back from an appointment with the Eye Prof (as opposed to the horrible Eye Guy) and BOTH GIRLS need glasses! I could just cry!

They are both long sighted and also both have astigmatism. The only plus about the entire visit was that we were out of there in next to no time as we were the only exam patients there, all the other were surgical.

Now I need to go spectacle shopping again. How the heck am I supposed to get them to wear the glasses and not break them. I've already checked a couple of shops and they only have metal glasses and as both Z and I have seen, the girls delight in bending even the hardiest metal frames.

This is so not FUN!