We’ve been pretty busy over the last couple weeks. In between planning for the NICUversary party and having the party, we had the twins 15 month check-up, and we decided to go visit my Dad’s side of the family in Michigan. Gotta cram everything in before the summer ends!
First things first…the check-up. The boys have been doing really good health-wise, apart from a little runny nose. They’ve been getting quite a few teeth, so we’re going to chalk it up to that. My little guy just got released from physical therapy (big woo hoo) because he is now sitting unassisted, pulling up, and cruising, just like his twin brother. They will be evaluated for development at the hospital in a few weeks, and they will also determine if they need any further therapies. We were lucky to have the therapist come to our house, but if we need any more, it will be outpatient. Yuck.
Anyways, apart from the waiting for shots part and the actual shot part, the doctor visit went well. Both boys made it on to the regular growth chart! My big guy is now 23.4lbs (50th percentile) and my little guy is 19.6lbs (7th percentile). Heightwise, they are pretty short, only my big guy being in the 10th percentile….but they still have plenty of time to catch up.
And speaking of catching up, we finally got to catch up with all of our friends at the twin’s NICUversary party. A lot of the people at the party hadn’t even met the twins yet! We haven’t been hiding them or anything, but with their prematurity and the severity of cold/flu season, we’ve been keeping them pretty isolated. Up until now, most of their excursions have consisted of doctor visits or a quick trip to Grandma’s house. We did take them out to a neighborhood party for the 4th of July, but other than that, this was the most people they’ve seen at one time.
It was a Zoo themed party and I did most of the planning/work myself. I made collages with their pictures, a “Zoo” sign, and got animal print balloons, streamers, and even a rug. I also found some super cute zoo animal beach balls to hang from our tree. The party was from 2pm to 4pm, so I made cupcakes, cookies (well, grandma made them, but I decorated!) and assorted snacks. My mom also helped me make a healthy cake for the twins to dig into themselves. It was banana bread made with whole wheat flour, applesauce instead of oil, and frosted with cinnimon cream cheese. They seemed to enjoy it! I don’t think I’ve ever seen my little guy eat so much in one sitting. I also found really cute zebra and giraffe sand buckets to give the kids as party favors, along with animal bubbles.
I have to admit that I really enjoyed the planning and decorating. Maybe when the twins are older, I can try out a little party planning business. I will NOT, however, be making any of the food for those parties. Shopping and decorating = FUN Baking and decorating cupcakes = Big Mess I can save money and find unique decorations like nobody’s business, but baking and making food, not so much. At least I know my limits!
The party was just the right amount of time, and I think everyone had a good time. The twins didn’t cry or fuss at all, and really liked watching all the people. We had invited many of the people that were really supportive both during my pregnancy and during the twins NICU stay. It was a really rough patch in our life, and to find people that can stick through that with you is pretty amazing. We even had one of our primary NICU nurses come to the party. She was still able to tell the twins apart!
We didn’t open presents at the party because it was such a short time, and we wanted to spend it visiting with everyone. It actually worked out really well because it gave us something to look forward to on Sunday. Everyone was really generous and thoughtful, and many of the cards brought tears to my eyes. Even though we did lose some friends on this journey, the ones we have with us now are very special.
So, after the party and 15 month check-up, it was time to pack up for our road trip to Michigan. My husband couldn’t come because he had to work, so it was going to be me, the twins, my older guy, and my parents. My dad rented a Minivan, and we were going to see his side of the family. We have been going every summer for the last 4 to 5 years for a reunion of sorts. Last year we didn’t make the trip because we were just getting out of the NICU, so all our family was anxious to see the babies.
It was about a 5 to 6 hour drive, and the babies were really good, considering they’ve never been in the car more than about 20 minutes at a time. I sat in back with my older guy, so I could keep an eye on the twins, who were in the middle seats. I feed them, talked to them, and finally we all sang to them. I think they slept a total of 20 minutes. Me and my mom then changed spots, and in order to calm them, she would just feed them. They probably gained about 5lbs just on the way there! Our car was jam packed, and I think I packed everything but the kitchen sink. However, I forgot the baby formula. Of course. Luckily, we had begun the milk transition since we got the ok from the pediatrition. Instead of slowly making it from formula to milk, they were thrown right in…and they did great!
We arrived at my Aunt’s house in the early evening, and she had dinner waiting. She is an amazing cook who owns a restaurant and has written her own cookbook. She also does catering, which her daughter runs. Her son owns a chain of pizza places, and a lot of properties, including the one we were going to stay in. My brother and his family, who actually live in our neighborhood back home, met us there with their kids.
Friday all the cousins and second cousins went swimming, then Saturday we went to a parade (It was the Mint festival) and had the reunion at my Aunt’s house. All of my Dad’s siblings were there….his two brothers and sister…along with their kids, so it was a full house. Everyone loved the twins, and the twins never had so much attention or food before. It was really a nice time. Sunday, we woke up early and drove home. Again, the babies really did good, and so did my 3 year old. Hardly any crying, and only two stops. Amazing, if you ask me, for a first road trip.
I can’t wait for next year!