Monday, April 27, 2009

Kickie Monster

Yes, we know Will is too big for his infant bouncy seat. Yes, we know that you can hear the seat creaking when he kicks while sitting in the bouncy seat. Yes, we know it appears as though he's about the catapult himself out of the bouncy seat. Yes, we know he doesn't have good posture while sitting in the bouncy seat.

But how can you deny sheer joy? And how could you say no when you hear this kid giggle? Talk about exercise!

On a side note, this seat is the one that the Duke biomedical engineering students are replacing with their newly-designed big kid bouncy seat... more appropriately sized and less squeaking :)

For anyone getting this blog update in email, I'd recommend that you go to the actual blog on the web ( to see the extremely poor quality video.

Its tough to get a video of Will that Luke doesn't somehow walk through... twins!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Like mother, like son?

For anyone wondering, this is Cover Girl's new LashBlast waterproof mascara in Brownish Black.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Weighty issues

Sooo... we had an appointment with Will last week at his cerebral palsy clinic. We love the doctor, he's very friendly, thorough, and always takes time to ask about the family and when Nate and I went on our last date. He's also the one who recommended that Will start on Pediasure to gain weight. We go roughly every 4 months to see him.

Will has gained about 2 pounds since we started the Pediasure, putting him a little over 22 lbs. He's really long, though, at about 89 centimeters. One of the typical tracking measures that they do on Will is his length-to-weight ratio. Because he still isn't putting on that much weight, his ratio continued to get more out of whack. He's clearly growing, but its too much 'up' and not enough 'out'.

This was kind of tough to hear, because we've been working so so hard. But its a struggle to get Will to take more than 20-22 ounces of Pediasure by bottle every day, and his intake of solid food (with Benecalorie and cereal for added bulk) is random and inconsistent. We can't force him to eat or drink more.

So Will has 4 months to put on about 5 lbs to get back on the right length-to-weight ratio line. If that doesn't happen, he is going to have to get a surgical gastric feeding tube. Nate and I have been fighting this since the boys left the NICU. But what the doctor explained to me was that Will essentially is malnourished... wow that was sobering to hear too. He's just not getting enough nutrients, and the first 5 years of life is the most important time for brain growth, development and nourishment. He needs the calories to give his brain the best chance to recover and thrive after its traumatic beginnings.

We have now moved from Pediasure to Kid Essentials Boost 1.5 (vanilla with fiber), which actually has 50% more calories than Pediasure. Will is tolerating it well so far, but of course, insurance doesn't cover it. Ouch!

If Will gets the gastric feeding tube, he will continue to take as much food and beverage as possible through his mouth, but we'll start paying more attention to the actual calorie count of what he takes in a day, and then overnight, we'll make up the calorie deficit for the day by giving Will formula right into his stomach - through a pump and tube overnight while he sleeps.

This is not a permanent solution for him. If Will put on a ton of weight over the course of the next year and was taking a lot more by mouth, they would take out the tube. Actually, strangely enough, we could be the ones that take out the gastric tube... if it were to randomly fall out at any time, the hole would actually close up on its own in 2 hours!!

Think good thoughts for Will and his appetite. We're going to need as many well wishes, good thoughts, patience and persistence as we can get.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chop job

Time for summer hair cuts! It was all very dramatic, though Will did a lot better than last time we trimmed his hair. Luke, on the other hand, threw the temper tantrum to end all temper tantrums. But the end result is great, good scissor work, Daddy!

Will's new 'do

I am home this week with the boys during the day while Oma is in Rome. We've been getting to know all of our new therapists, unpacking boxes and running errands. The rain seems to have stopped for a while, so we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon on the deck in the sun!

Luke's smile returned the day after his haircut

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where we've been

I know, I know... too long between posts! This feels like the first chance we've had to breathe in the past two weeks, so I thought I'd tell you all what has been going on.

Will was released from the hospital two Thursdays ago... upper GI and swallow study revealed little in the way of the cause of his vomiting. So we had an appointment for an outpatient allergy test and a non-vomiting little boy on the way home, for our last night together in our old house!

Friday morning rolled around too quickly. I dropped the boys off at Oma's apartment and headed back to the house. The movers were already there working! They were efficient, but under-equipped when it came to moving boxes. In order to save time, we had them leave some things behind. We got all of the heavy furniture, kitchen contents, and nursery contents moved into the new house just before the sky opened up. I think we got about 2 inches of rain in about 30 minutes.

The house wasn't quite ready for us to move in, however... Craig and Bob were still working on the flooring in the kitchen downstairs, and guest room and bonus room upstairs. Thankfully, the master bedroom, hallway and nursery were all done and painted, so we could move into those rooms. The rest of our stuff stayed in boxes in the living room and attic! Craig and Bob stayed with us for the next week working on the house; Luke, Will and Otis spent that week at Mom's apartment during the day; and Nate and I spent that week going to the old house every day at lunch to pack the random things that were left behind.

By last Friday, Craig and Bob were on their way back to Wisconsin (see the pic of the "crew" above) and our old house was empty with the exception of the furniture that we left behind to stage it. Crissy came over to babysit for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday, so Nate and I started to clean (me) and paint (Nate) the old house.
On Saturday the 4th, we took a break to celebrate a friend's birthday at Monkey Joe's. What a blast! Well Nate and I thought it was a blast... it took the boys a few minutes to get used to all the bouncing! Monkey Joe's is an indoor place where they have all these bouncy houses set up. Its loud and kind of crazy because there are a lot of different ages of kids, but we found a couple of more quiet places where the 4 of us could play together. Here are a couple of pics... Luke loved the slide, but Will didn't really care for it. Will loved to bounce, but Luke wanted to keep his feet securely on the ground. Go figure.

Last week, the new house was "done" enough for Oma to stay there with Luke, Will and Otis. We went to the old house every day at lunch again to continue cleaning and painting. After work, we'd hang out with the boys, Oma would come back over, and we'd head back to the house again to do more painting and cleaning. Are you sensing a trend here?

On Monday the 6th, Will had his allergy test done. He did wonderfully, but in a bit of odd news, Will is allergic to cats! When we started thinking back to all the days that he randomly got congested, gagged, and ultimately vomited, he was being held by people who own cats. So what it appears is that Will is following in a long line of Baldauf family allergic folks (thanks Grandpa Harry!), and when he is around cats or people with cat dander on their clothes, he gets congested, the snot makes him gag, and he ultimately gets sick from the retching. They also took some blood to do some further allergy testing, just in case there is more. Will had no other reactions that Monday, though, and they did test him for ragweed, trees, grasses, dogs (phew! Otis doesn't need a new home!), etc.

By Wednesday of last week, the old house was pristine. We met with our realtor, signed the paperwork, and left the first house that we ever owned, the house where we brought the boys home from the NICU to, and the first home the boys have ever known. It was kind of sad, although I know this move is the right thing for our future. Driving from the old house to the new one was strangely reminiscent of the drive from Binghamton to Durham when we moved to NC in 2005. I was in the lead car surrounded by our plants, Nate was behind me in the truck with the back of the truck full of stuff, and it was dark. Ironically, Sheryl Crow's "This is Home" was playing on my iPod for both trips.

We've been trying to unpack and feel like we live at the new house over the past couple of days. We've got the boys' nursery all ready, with the exception of hanging things on the walls. Our room and the living room are done without things on the walls as well. Next we have to clean the kitchen and unpack that... one room at a time :) Will got back to the pool this past Saturday after a hiatus, and we spent a wonderful Easter with friends.
This week Nate and I are trading time at home while Oma is on vacation to see Opa in Italy for his mid-tour break from Iraq. We're excited to also be getting back to a normal schedule with the boys' service providers. Will's speech/feeding therapist has already been to the house, and the boys will meet their new physical therapist this week. Things feel like they're finally getting back to "normal" -ha- who am I kidding! Our life isn't normal, that's why you're hooked to our blog!