Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just Playing Around

It seems like every week, the twins invent a new game or just do something silly that makes them giggle. They still like to play with their hats, and now they like to put them on and take off each other's heads:

They also love to roll around on our down-filled lap blanket - if one of them starts, the other has to join in!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Tricks

I mentioned last week that Gavin was making progress with his sippy cup. He is doing really well with it, drinking water whenever he gets thirsty. He has also figured out that he can take a mouthful of water and then just open his mouth and let it all dribble out. He thinks this is quite hilarious - so that is why we are sticking with water for now!

Here he is:

The kids also know to hold the play phones up to their ears. Here is Evie getting a call:

Never mind, she decided it's for Dad!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Evie Update and Silly Uncle David

On Christmas Eve, we were able to speak with Evie's regular cardiology nurse here in Naperville. She gave us some good news: Evie's cardiologist and her surgeon had a meeting that day to discuss her case. She also told us not to get too worried about the opinion of the doctor who performed Evie's angiogram, because he does not have the years of experience of her cardiologist and surgeon.

We were glad to hear that the mutual opinion of Evie's cardiologist and surgeon was that she is doing very well! We still have many questions, however, so we are going to meet with the cardiologist on January 15 to figure things out.

Here are some pictures and videos from the weekend before Christmas, when Uncle David was visiting:

Gavin was very mellow before his nap:

The kids (well, mostly Evie) did some Christmas dancing:

When Evie woke up from her nap, she was in a very silly mood. Put her with her uncle, and you never know what they'll do! (and yes, those are Starbucks lids; what can we say, but that Francis is a Starbucks Gold card holder--thanks to our friend Christian--and that there are lots of them lying about!).

Giggling with her uncle:

"Today I decree that we shall all wear coffee lids on our heads!"

Evie has spoken, so Uncle David obliges!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

On Christmas Day, our camera broke and our garage door broke, but other than that we had a great time! We started out by meeting up with Nana and Grandpa Cermak and Auntie Clare at IHOP. This was the twins FIRST ever trip to a restaurant! We timed it so they weren't due for a nap or a feeding, and they did REALLY well.

Don't they look ready to give the waitress their order? "Two plates of Mickey Mouse pancakes, please, with extra whipped cream!"

They got tired of sitting in their high chairs, and tried to grab everything on the table, but that is just typical 14-month-old behavior. Here are Clare, Grandpa, & Evie:

Grandpa entertained Evie by making pyramids out of the coffee creamers; she loved knocking them down!

Gavin wiggled around a lot in my lap. Nana and I were constantly moving things out of his reach:

Back at our house, we started opening gifts. The twins each got a new cell phone - yes, this is their third set of phones this year, but the twins are very tech-savvy and they must have the newest products! What will they be like when they're teenagers?!

Gavin is pleased that he has a signal in all rooms of the house:

Three generations: Gavin, Francis, and Grandpa with one of Grandpa's gifts - an Elvis record and custom CD Francis made for him:

Evie decided that Grandpa didn't need all of his hair. "You know, if you used some volumizer Grandpa..."

Clare and Nana open our gift for them: a "2009 Legendary Twins" calendar. We've been working on it all year!

Here is the big hit of the day: the Fisher Price Learning Home, from Auntie Clare.

It kept the twins and Grandpa amused for hours!

Francis saw a deal on a Walk-n-Ride toy on Amazon, so he bought a second one. I had started keeping the first one in the basement because it just caused a lot of tears. Gavin would take it away from Evie or else try to run her over with it. I am not sure if a second one will work out, but I am willing to give it a try. Somehow I predict a lot of car "crashes."

Here, the kids are very interested in helping to put it together:

Evie plays with another new toy that has pop-up animals Grandpa and Nana picked up for them. Nana said that Francis loved playing with nearly the exact same toy when he was a baby too:

It was a great Christmas, and we cannot wait until next year when the twins will start to understand Santa and we can start teaching them Christmas traditions!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, we headed over to Grandma & Grandpa Cordes' house to get together for dinner with them and Auntie Di and Uncle Kevin, and Uncles David and Brad. The twins were impressed with the big, lighted tree, but they quickly moved on to the stacks of presents.

We tried to get them to unwrap some gifts, but they weren't always up to it. Gavin was happy to tear into this present from Di and Kevin, though!

We tried to remember to bring everything we could possibly need, but we forgot the portable high chairs. Evie got fed by Uncle Kevin while sitting on Dad's lap:

Grandma & Grandpa had one portable high chair at their house (donated by a friend of Grandma's whose grandkids have outgrown it) so we put Gavin in it:

Evie cuddled up to her Uncle David:

All of us:

Sometimes the twins only want Mom!

Gavin thought it was hilarious to rub his wet washcloth on his head:

Then he moved on to Grandma & Grandpa's cushy rocking chair:

With both ovens going, the house had gotten quite warm by this time, so the kids both ditched their pants.

"If you don't feel like opening a box, just climb on it!" Evie says.

"Hold my hands tight, Uncle Kevin - I'm still learning this walking stuff!"

Evie enjoyed pulling tissue paper out of this gift bag and trying to get whatever was inside:

Here are the twins and Uncle David, while I open up a sweater gift for Evie off camera. She seems to love it!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Evie Update #2

The doctor did not find what he had hoped to find in Evie's blood vessels yesterday, which would have been growth of the vessels. Instead, some of her vessels have narrowed, and there are some areas of her lungs that are not getting enough blood. Also since her heart is on the right side of her chest, it is pushing against her right lung, and the doctor was concerned about this.

He said she may not be a candidate for the surgery we thought she would have coming up next, but he is not the chief surgeon, so we don't know. I feel like we will be saying "We don't know" fior a long time! The cardiac team will have to discuss her case at their next meeting, and I don't know when that will be with the holidays coming up.

Evie is happy to be home though, and is playing with Gavin now. She did very well during the procedure itself and in her recovery. We just need lots of prayers for her!

Yesterday in recovery, Evie took a bottle from Nana Cermak:

Then she fell asleep on Daddy:

As we get answers about her situation, we will let everyone know.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Evie Angiogram Update #1

Evie was taken back for her angiogram procedure at 1:00PM. It's nearly 3PM now and we are told she is doing well. She went to sleep just fine and the doctors are still taking some images of her chest.

Apologies for the late post, but Evie wasn't taken back for her procedure until very late in the day. You always want to be the first case of the day (around 7-8AM), but there was a young boy with a more complicated heart problem who came in at the last minute and bumped us to the number 2 slot. He is 13 years-old and was born with half of a heart. We met his family in the waiting room and Evie enjoyed seeing his little sister for a little while this morning. So, my Mom and I got here at 8AM "just in case" they could take her early, but no such luck.

Evie was doing remarkably well for not having had anything to eat since midnight last night and not getting her regular nap. She will be out for about 1-2 more hours, then be in immediate recovery for an hour, and then it's a 6-hour marathon stint here at the hospital while she is monitored for any post-op problems. Since we didn't start until 1PM, we probably won't be leaving the hospital until 9PM.

Thanks, as always, for everyones' prayers. Here's some photos from the day so far:

Here's Evie getting bored in the waiting room:

Evie enjoyed the lullabye this toy played; Grandma Cermak received it from another grandma at her job; "grandma to grandma."

Keeping Evie entertained despite no feedings and no naps was quite a challenge. Here she is telling me just how unhappy she is with the whole situation.

We tried to get in a little nap time but no such luck.

Destroying last week's Entertainment Weekly was a great way to keep her mind occupied for the last 30 minutes or so of our wait. There might have been 10 or so pages left over from the "double size" issue.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

There's No Stopping Evie Now!

So, as I mentioned earlier, Evie took her first steps on Friday December 12. She didn't feel like doing it again until this past Friday, and she has really taken off. She walked for Uncle David on Saturday and for Nana and Grandpa Cermak on Sunday (today)! At first she would only walk toward one of us, but then she became confident enough to just stand up and walk wherever she wanted.

Here she goes:

She is quite pleased with herself - just look at the big smiles on her face!

Here she and Gavin are playing peek-a-boo around their bookcase, which Gavin has pushed out away from the cabinet:

Also, Monday morning (tomorrow) Evie will have another angiogram at Christ Hospital. Francis and Nana Cermak are going to take her. Unfortunately she is going to be second on the schedule, so she will go in when the first baby is done. It's always better to be first - it beats waiting around for the cardiac team to finish up with the first baby! She has to be there by 9am and we hope she can get started soon after that!

After the procedure she will be in recovery for 6 hours, so she and Daddy will get home after her bedtime. I will stay home with Gavin, as he has been VERY clingy with me and will still only take a bottle from me. (Yes, they still get bottles but Gavin is making great progress with his sippy cup - more on that in a future post).

Francis will bring the laptop to the hospital, so watch this space for updates!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Cuteness

I'm a little bit behind in my pictures - here are some cute shots from last weekend / last week....

Evie managed to fit all of her fingers into her mouth:

Evie informed Grandpa Cermak and Auntie Clare (aka Auntie Sassy) of the merits of frozen duck toys:

Daddy and Evie share a moment:

Gavin shows us where his tummy is:

Uncle David and Evie read a story:

This is what our house looked like when Francis got home from work one day. The twins pulled out all the videos and games, all the laundry, and all the blankets. Here's a quiz: can you find Evie in this picture?

Here are the twins playing by their pack-n-play: