Proud Grandpa smiling with the boys having a great time...
BTW their shirts say "We do all our stunts"
Collin has SMO ankle braces to help his feet alignment and a Pediatric Walker at home to encourage him to get off all fours. I tell you what though, that is the fastest crawler ever! No wonder it has taken him so long to want to walk, he is almost as fast as Cyrus is running- almost. He is getting therapy three days a week, Speech, OT, & PT. He likes the walker and uses it especially outside, and is pulling himself to standing in the middle of the floor on a regular basis and taking a few steps at a time. He is very driven and motivated and I am so proud when I see him fall down, smile, and then get right back up again. He is vocalizing so much more now, vowel sounds and a few consonants. He occasionally says: more, up, mama, and nana. Most of the time he uses simple sign language, points and grunts, or nods and shakes his head. He understands so much and I have used flash cards with him and asked him to point things out in books so I know he gets it. He just cant say it. Collin is so sweet and polite, he is always offering things to Cyrus and gets upset if Cyrus is upset. He has his moments of revenge where he pushes his brother over but overall he is just a sweet, happy little boy.
I am still waiting on the Nutritionist with ECI to come back from maternity leave, then we may get some more info on Collin's eating problems. Some things are done out of necessity, others out of convenience, and still more because there is nothing else to correct the problem. Collin's problem with food is not just that he doesn't want to feed himself (I know the desire is there, the coordination may be low), but he doesn't understand that essential correlation between food and hunger. This probably goes for both boys. Here we are at 2 1/2 and they still take bottles at naptime and bedtime of Pediasure because it is the only way to keep their weight up. They do not feed themselves more than a few bites of food, and that's only if they will eat it to begin with. Cyrus is a stubborn and picky eater, but he will eat you out of house and home of bacon. "Bacon Please!! Please! Bacon! Great!" And I just want to say that my wonderful boys are weird... I cant force them to eat donuts, Collin wont eat most sweets including chocolate (Cyrus loves chocolate and so we occasionally give him some of Grandpa's sugar free chocolate), Cyrus will cry if you try to feed him pizza, and they think club soda is a treat (ok, that last one is my doing since I do not want them drinking sugar packed sodas...).
Cyrus is a piece of work. He amazes me everyday with what new phrase or words he las learned. He speaks in short sentences and phrases, knows his shapes and colors, counts, and takes great pride in identifying and many things in the room as you will listen to. He tells me when he is hurt "Mommy, fall down! Blankie please... thank you much! Fall Down!" Once I asked him where it hurt and he just cried "I don't know!" It was so sad and cute all at the same time. He is a charmer and good at changing the subject when he gets in trouble. A tactic that I didn't think could be genetic, but it clearly runs in the family...
We had a scare back in the beginning of April where his shunt tip was embedding itself into the brain matter and had to be replaced- again. But the procedure went smoothly and he and I spent the whole afternoon and most of the evening wandering around the halls, going for wagon rides, coloring, playing in the main floor play area, and finally asking the nurse to give my son some Tylenol just so both of us could get some sleep! He has been just fine ever since, but every surgery scares me. The average shunt gets replaced every 5-7 years, so far Cyrus is averaging one every year. Three shunts in less than three years just doesn't sit well with me you know?
All in all however, I have to say that the boys are doing wonderfully! I am so proud of them and their resilience to all sorts of changes and stress to still be happy and fun loving boys. They have pillow fights in their cribs sometimes at naptime, they are good at sharing, they help each other and get upset if the other one is hurt or in trouble. They laugh and giggle and cuddle... I love to watch Cyrus standing over Collin and mindlessly play with Collin's hair while they watch TV together. They are two of the best things that ever happened to me and have been critical in making me the strong person I am today. I owe it to them for teaching me not just how to be a good parent, but I am learning how to take care of myself too.