Sunday, July 27, 2008

All about Ethan..

This entry is all about Ethan. It is written just for Bronti (who's two years old and loves ethan).... we hope you like it! A similar story about Benji is coming soon.
Ethan is talking...
video
Ethan is getting ready to have his nappy changed.

Ethan is about to get dressed for the day.Ethan puts his t-shirt on.Ethan puts his pants on.Ethan puts his jacket on.Ethan sits in his chair.
Ethan plays with his blocks

Ethan looks at Henry the Octopus.
Ethan looks at his ball.
Ethan reads a book about ducks.
Ethan and Mummy sing 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'.
video
Ethan goes for a ride in the car and has a nap.
Ethan pokes out his tongue.Ethan sits in his chair and smiles.

Ethan plays his piano
video
Ethan has a bath.Ethan is about to get wrapped for bed
Ethan is ready for bed.
Good night boys.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Health Check

We took the boys to the baby health clinic to get some advice. Benji's eczema on his face is getting worse, and it's really bothering him at times. He gets very irritable and attempts to scratch near his eyes. Some days it's good, other days it's very red and angry looking. He mostly gets it on his face, but when it gets very bad it appears in the creases of his ankles, elbows and back of the neck. We think it's a food allergy. The problem is, we're not sure what specific food he's allergic too.... there's so many choices. We're planning to swap him to a soy-based formula for the next 2 weeks and not give him any breast milk for that time. In 2 weeks we have an appointment with the paediatrician, so we'll see what happens with his skin in that time. If his skin gets better we will know for sure that he's allergic to something. At that point, Tracie will go on an elimination diet and Benji will go back on breast milk. Tracie will slowly introduce one food at a time and we'll see what he reacts to. If his skin is still bad in two weeks when we see the paediatrician, we will have to ask the doctor for a hypoallergenic prescription formula that is specifically for allergic babies. Once his skin clears up Tracie will start the elimination diet. If his skin never clears up we'll have to search further for the allergen.
Benji is also having issues spitting up his food. He has several small vomits after every feed. He is still going through many outfits per day as he vomits on himself :( poor bubba. The nurses suggested we use a thickener in his milk to help it stay in his belly. We'll buy some tomorrow and see how it goes.

Ethan is still having digestive issues. We think it's a heartburn/gas type sensation that causes pain when his belly starts to get full. He will suddenly start to cry either while he's drinking, or after drinking, when he's resting. It's like the pain catches him suddenly because one minute he's fine, and the next he's screaming. He will also be reviewed by the paediatrician in 2 weeks. Poor baby :(

When we were at the health centre we weighed the boys. Benji weights 5.3kg with clothes on and Ethan weighs 6kg with clothes on. All previous weights have been naked. Last time we weighed them both clothed and naked. Their clothes seem to weigh about 300g, so they probably weigh about 5kg (11lb) and 5.7kg (12lb 9oz). Ethan is gaining weight faster than Benji, but Benji eats more..... weird!

Friday, July 18, 2008

11weeks old

Wow, the weeks are flying by. Sorry we dont update as often as we used to, but Sal is now working full time, and Tracie is kept very busy by 2 little boys all day long.

Our boys are changing every day. Ethan has discovered his voice, and is very chatty at times. He coos at us and we coo back, and can have a cooing conversation for several minutes. It's so funny. He is also discovering his pointer finger. He points all round the room. He is also trying very hard to copy the hand actions to 'twinkle twinkle little star'. For those who dont know..... basically you hold your hands up and wiggle your fingers. We sing to him and he tries to move his hands and fingers. He hasn't mastered it yet, but you can see him looking and learning and concentrating very hard. It's very amusing and he will get it soon. Ethan has also mastered the skill of poking out his tongue, something Sal has been doing to the boys since they was born. He keeps poking it out, and looking at us and smiling..... cheeky boy!

Benji just keeps on getting smilier..... he does great big smiles and laughs often. He still loves to lie on the change table and smile at his Winne the pooh friends. Benji is also very chatty and laughs at us when we copy his words.... he likes to say a word that sounds like 'nn-guy-ah' and also 'nn-geg-an'. We haven't worked out what they mean yet, but apparently they are funny, cos he laughs a lot when we say them to him.

Both boys are having issues with tummy time. They dont like tummy time anymore, and whinge and cry when we put them down. We even sit with them and rub or pat them on the back, talk to them, sing to them and try putting a rolled up towel under their chest..... none of these things makes them happy with tummy time. Both boys need tummy time. Benji still has weak neck muscles and can't hold his head up properly. Ethan has very good head control, but still prefers to look to the right, and we need to encourage him to look to the left.
Benji will tolerate lying on his tummy on the change table after a bath. We lie him face down and dry his back and massage cream into his back. He is very good for about a minute, and he lifts his head and chest off the table. Last week he was in this position and managed to roll him self onto his back.....TWICE! What a clever boy!

Both boys are having a growth spurt at the moment, and are very hungry and irritable. We have had to upgrade both boys to the '3 months+' bottle teats that have a faster flow than the newborn ones they have previously been using. The boys were getting so hungry that the slow flow of the newborn teats was frustrating them and they were squirming and crying while trying to drink. They are happier with the new teats, but because they get their milk much faster it seems to make their bellies upset. Ethan keeps getting belly pain, wind and indigestion that makes him very upset about 10mins after he's eaten. Benji keeps spitting up his food. Last night we had to feed them twice in the night because of this growth spurt, and Benji threw up many times, and ended up using about 5 jumpsuits because he kept vomiting on them. Poor baby.... he doesn't get upset about vomiting.... but he hates getting changed. We put bibs on him, but somehow he still gets himself wet!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

10weeks old!!

Our sweet little boys are 10weeks old and getting bigger, stronger, smarter, funnier and more grown-up every day.

EATING:
Both boys are little piggies who SCREAM bloody murder when they are hungry and have to wait for their food. Ethan eats about 130mls (4.5oz) at each feed and Benji eats about 150mls (5oz) at each feed. They feed about 6-7times in 24hours. Sometimes through the day they prefer to graze and will eat half as much twice as often..... little terrors are very time consuming when they do that!
They are both being bottle fed breast milk through the day and having 1 or 2 formula feeds at night (depending on how much breast milk Tracie has produced that day). They still like their own bottle, and will make a funny face and spit out the bottle if you give him the wrong one!

PLAYING:
  • Ethan is starting to discover that his hands can do things. He sits in his chair and can now hit the toys and likes to watch them move. We also bought the boys a toy that's like a piano for your feet. They lie on their back and kick it and it plays music and lights up and stuff. Ethan really likes it and smiles lots when he plays with it. Benji has been a little tired lately, and hasn't shown much interest yet (we only bought it 2 days ago). Benji likes to lie in his chair and look at the toys.
  • Both boys ABSOLUTELY LOVE the Winnie the Pooh stickers that are stuck on the wall next to the change table.... they always look at them and give great big smiles when they have their bottoms changed.
  • The boys like to listen to music and smile and dance when we play the Wiggles. They like it when we talk and smile at them, and reward us with great big smiles many times every day.
  • Both boys love to go for a walk in the pram, and will now stay awake a lot longer and look around at the sights.
  • The boys like to look at bright coloured pictures and toys and they like toys that make noises and are discovering different textures.

SLEEPING

The boys are getting better at sleeping at night. We try to keep them awake for a couple of hours between about 7-9pm. We feed them at 7pm, have some play time or have a bath and then feed them again at about 9pm and put them to bed. If they tolerate this routine, they seem to be able to sleep for 6-8hours. They have had big sleeps like that about 5 times in the past 2 weeks. We are getting closer to sleeping though the night. The other night they slept between 10pm and 6am. Benji often wakes after about 4-5 hours and has a little cry. We put a dummy in his mouth and he falls asleep again.

Through the day, the boys are spending more time awake, and having shorter naps between feeding and play time. They seem to think they need to feed when they wake up, even if they at an hour ago (hence the grazing).

HEALTH

The boys had their 8week vaccinations last week. They had all the shots on the Tuesday morning and Sal had to work Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. We took them to the local community health centre for a free vaccination clinic. Sal held the boys while they got their shots (medicine in the mouth, and one needle in each leg - poor babies). Both boys cried, but we had a nice warm bottle of milk ready, so they settled pretty quickly. On Tuesday evening they started to get a little sick and generally unsettled. Tracie had to deal with two crying babies at once while Sal was at work. On Tuesday evening they had a mild temperature and Tracie gave them some Panadol (same as Tylenol in the USA). Tuesday night they slept well but woke early and spent most of Wednesday being very unsettled for Tracie while Sal went to work and worried about what was happening at home. They cried and whinged all day and Tracie spent the day with 2 unhappy boys in her arms. Ethan had diarrhoea and both boys had high temperatures. Tracie gave them Panadol every 4-6 hours through the day with a good effect on lowering their temps and making them feel a little better for short periods. Neither boy got much sleep that day, and got very overtired by the evening. In the evening both boys had very high temps, and one hour after Panadol and being very unsettled they both still had high temps. We decided to take them to the medical centre as the information from the immunisations said we can expect unsettledness and low-grade temps.... but these were high temps and Ethan was off his food. Benji was eating fine. The doctor took their temps (which was totally normal in his office) and both boys were very well behaved in the office so he was of the impression that they were fine! He checked them out anyway, and said he was confident it was a reaction to the immunisations and we should continue with the Panadol and give them a luke warm bath to settle them if they get high temps again. We took them home and Ethan cried for about an hour and still had a temp! Poor babies.

They had a good sleep Wednesday night (that's the night they slept from 10pm-6am) and woke up happy and healthy and smiling. They have been fine since then and don't even have a mark on their little legs from the needles.

Things have been better since they got better and they have been very happy and smiling the last few days. They continue to LOVE having a bath, and the other day we took them in the big bath with us again. Ethan loves to float in the water and Benji likes to lie on his back and kick his legs and splash with his arms like crazy in the water. Benji often kicks Ethan between the legs with his enthusiastic swimming techniques...... Poor Ethan (but don't worry, Ethan got him back a few times too!)

Sorry about the lack of new pics, it's hard with Sal working full time. We'll get some new ones up soon.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sleep time & awake time

We are in the process of trying to work out how much sleep and awake time these boys need. When they were born, they would sleep for 2hours, wake and feed and fall asleep again..... but apparently, a baby that is about 3-4months old is awake for hours at a time during the day and has longer sleeps at night...... at some point, their sleep/wake cycles change... and it seems this time is now.

They seem to like some awake time in the morning with a little nap. Benji needs a longer nap than Ethan.... and sometimes will refuse to sleep if Ethan is not with him, but Ethan will scream if he's put to bed and does not want to sleep. It's tricky!

Over the weekend we had some family visit. On Saturday we took them for a nice walk in their pram down by the water. They looked around and were awake for a while, then fell alseep. It worked well, and they were very happy most of the day. We bought them home and they had a nice sleep in the afternoon and slept well that night.
On Sunday morning our visitors were still here. The boys were both tired, but ethan would not sleep. There was a party going on and he wasn't invited!!! We decided we'd take them to the park (as our family has kids that are old enough to play at the park) The boys seemed happy and were awake for a very long time before falling asleep right at the end. We got them home and poor benji was so over tired that he would not settle to sleep and kept on crying.... nothing helped.... he finally fell asleep after about an hour of crying and being settled and crying again. That was too much awake time and too much stimulation for them, and then we had a bad evening and a bad night sleep. We have to work out the happy mediums of sleep/wake time.

On a more fun note, our boys are becoming very smiley and we've even had some laughs! They love to smile at their mummies faces and voices and also at the winne the pooh pictures we have on the wall near the change table.

We're sorry we dont have any new pics to upload.... Sal has started work and life has become busier for both of us. We'll have to make an effort to get more pics on soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

8 Week checkup

We took the boys on monday for their 8week developmental checkup. All looks good. They are putting on weight and growing well.

ETHAN
Weight at Birth - 3220g (7lb 1oz)
Weight at 8weeks - 5150g (11lb 6oz)
Weight gain so far - 1930g (4lb 4oz)
Lenght at Birth - 47cm
Lenght at 8weeks - 55cm
Issues: Ethan likes to turn his head to the right more than the left. We have to encourage him to look the other way and give him more tummy time.

BENJAMIN
Weight at Birth - 2690g (5lb 15oz)
Weight at 8weeks - 4550g (10lb)
Weight gain so far - 1860g (4lb 2oz)
Lenght at Birth - 48cm
Lenght at 8weeks - 56cm
Issues: Benji still has excema on his cheeks and we do not know what's causing it. Some days it is very red, raw and angry looking and other days you can hardly see it. It always feels rough, regardless of how red or not it is. We are going to try several different skin care options of creams and washes to see what works. We are also going to try eliminating various foods from Tracie's diet that affects her excema to see if that helps. If it does not get better soon we will take him to the doctor to see if we can get him allergy tested. Apparently they do not usually allergy test babies under one year, but there is a strong family history of allergies and one of Tracie's cousins's baby has severe allergies, and got tested earlier. We will wait and see.