Sunday, June 9, 2013

Quad Update - Summer 2013

About four months ago, I wrote a very long, very detailed update on our quadruplets. At the time, I didn't realize how long it had been since I'd done a comprehensive update. So my goal is to try to write a brief update every few months (or when I remember. Ha!).

Caleb:
Socially, Mr. Caleb is really starting to thrive! While he still finds strangers to be "scary," he is warming up to different situations more quickly these days.

Developmentally, Caleb sees a Cardiologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Therapy. We have been able to bring his overall developmental level up to about 20 months old. It's slow going, but the progress is encouraging!

Verbally, we've started making some progress. We started speech therapy in January, and it seems to be helping. Of course, his favorite part of speech therapy is when Miss Tasha brings out the sucker so that he can practice moving his tongue. Mommy doesn't let him have candy otherwise! Right now, he can say, "no, whoa, uh-oh, whee, one, two, three, four, five, six." He is also attempting to talk with us now, even though we haven't the slightest idea what he is saying. Still, that's a huge improvement over the silence that we had to work past. We are getting there...

Physically, now that he has found his feet and is confident walking across the room, he bounces all over the place! He still doesn't see much need in exploring new milestones, but once he figures out how they work, he embraces them.

I won't rehash all of Caleb's heart issues that need to be fixed next year, but if you want a refresher on it, please feel free to click HERE. It will take you back to the last update I wrote. All of the info about his heart is still current.

Abby:
Socially, Abby is still a people person! While she loves new places, and new people, she still enjoys playing by herself. She's funny though, because without warning, she will run up and hug random people. The security system installer was very surprised to suddenly find a 2-year-old little girl wrapped around his legs!

Developmentally, Abby keeps up with her milestones pretty well! She is seeing the Occupational Therapist and Speech Therapist (and unofficially, the Physical Therapist is keeping an eye on her when she is here working with Caleb and Elijah). She's still considered to be delayed by a couple of months, but we should catch up soon. We have added an additional session with her occupational therapist though. Her extra session is scheduled for once a month during lunchtime. At her two year checkup the pediatrician told us that she would most likely be on Boost (nutrition supplemental shakes) for the next year. Our goal over the next few months is to help her learn to eat more foods from categories other than "carbs."

Verbally, we are finally getting some words out of this girl! We originally only had Caleb and Elijah signed up for speech therapy, but we added Abby to the line up when she wasn't speaking. I guess all it took was for me to sign the paperwork. She now says, "hi, bye, see you, oh Toodles (from Mickey Mouse), one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, show, done, socks and shoes." She also knows about 15-20 letters and can say her vowels. Goodness, once they get started, they learn quickly. She adds new words weekly.

Physically, we have been working on her balance. She has, what we like to call, "the drunken baby walk." She kind of...weaves...all over the room. It's hilarious, but a little concerning. She now wears ankle weights a couple of times a week, to help her find her footing. She also occasionally walks on her toes, and we aren't sure why since it's not all the time. Unfortunately, the ligaments in the back of her calves are starting to flatten and become more stiff, meaning that we will have a full-time toe walker if we aren't careful. She also constantly tries to sit in a "W" shape with her legs, which will cause hip issues as she gets older. She now does some exercises to stretch her legs out, along with constantly being reminded to sit with her legs in front of her. Between those and the weights, we are hoping to get on top of it.


Elijah:
Socially, Elijah is a little more reserved than Abby, but really enjoys greeting people. Ellie and Elijah are the first kids to yell, "HI!" when we walk in the door after running errands. Although he is constantly in motion, he does enjoy a good snuggle when he can find a vacant lap. Falling off of a chair won't make him cry, but if he feels like he has disappointed us, he bursts into tears. He is such a sweet, tenderhearted child.

Developmentally, Elijah is doing well! He sees the Occupational and Speech therapists. While he is still a few months behind where a full-term baby would be at this point, he is making great strides toward catching up!

Verbally, Elijah has made some great progress! At my last update, he was babbling and mouthing words. We are now getting some out of him! His words are, "hi, bye, done, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten" along with lots of "talking" in his secret quad language. He is obviously saying sentences. We just aren't sure what they are in English yet.

Physically, Elijah doesn't sit still. Like ever. His motto for life is, "Play hard. Sleep hard." He is working on walking up and down the stairs, but other than that, we are spending more time on the verbal development these days.


Ellie:
Socially, Ellie is still her engaging, personable self. She loves everybody and makes new friends in an instant. We love her outgoing personality!

Developmentally, Ellie is the furthest ahead cognitively. She works with the Occupational and Physical therapists. It's pretty exciting to see so much making sense to her. You can see the little wheels turning in her brain and connecting thoughts and ideas. Like the rest of her siblings, she is a bit behind in her physical development. While her brothers struggle more with the motivation to learn new things, Ellie is the opposite. She can't learn new things fast enough and she can easily get frustrated. For her, it's often times a physical hiccup that stands between her and learning a new skill.

Verbally, Ellie has the most words in her vocabulary, and if I were to list them, I would need to write a separate blog post. She is learning new words daily, and I often feel like we now have a parrot in the house. We have to watch what we say! It's very exciting though! The other day I asked her to get down off of a folding chair, and she responded with, "I'm stuck!" I said, "You're not stuck, Ellie. You need to get down before you get hurt." And she replied again, "I'm stuck!" Two things: First of all, that was my first real conversation with her! She was hearing and responding to what I said. Second, since when did she learn to talk back?!?!

Physically, Ellie is working hard to master the stairs. She doesn't trust her legs or balance to get her safely to the top and back down to the bottom. She obviously wants to learn and is working hard to reach this milestone. Daddy has turned the stairs into a game and she now proudly announces, "step-y!" with every step she takes up or down.

The other thing we are working on with her is weight gain. She is also on Boost, but not because she doesn't eat. She just burns too many calories being the little bundle of awesome that she is. Slow down, girl, and put some weight on!

In summary:
All of the kids are considered to be about 20-22 months developmentally based on the skills they have. We are still behind by several months but making some great progress and will continue to work with our occupational, physical, and speech therapists to reach that point.

We have also just finished our second winter lockdown. We are extremely happy to see summer! Unfortunately, we have all been sick for four out of the five weeks since lockdown ended, but that par for the course when preemie kids start entering the real world. We are hoping to build some immune systems quickly!

Thank you for continuing to pray for and love our family!

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the update! They all have such sweet little smiles :)

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  2. I love reading these updates! Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I'm a new blog follower here. Your kids are so cute and it sounds like they are progressing well. I read about Caleb's heart issues and the plan for a procedure at some point. My daughter, Reagan, had a PDA that was corrected at 18 months. I thought you might be interested in reading about our experience since it sounds like there might be some similarities. Good luck! http://thefarrell5.blogspot.com/2011/11/cutest-patient.html

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    1. Thank you for sharing your link and story! It's nice to know that other parents watch their kids go through the same thing. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

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  4. Nice to know a little about them and you! Visiting from our Facebook group! :)

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    1. Thanks, Roshni! I'm really enjoying our new FB group!

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  5. I think this might be from a very old post, but wasn't there a concern at one point that Ellie might have cerebral palsy? I am guessing that she doesn't based on this wonderful update. I am so happy to hear they are all doing so well.

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    1. Yes, there was a very real concern about that. While she still has the cysts on her brain, they are not affecting the part of her brain that would manifest as cerebral palsy. I cried when she took her first steps! An update on that part can be found in our last quad update linked in the post above.

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