Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

9.5 months old - new pics

9.5 months old and getting even bigger. I was recently looking back at pics and videos of when they were younger. It's just incredible how fast the boys grow and develop.

Sal's mum likes to make quilts as a hobby. When she asked what the boys would like for x-mas Sal immediatly jumped at the chance to get some unique hand made quilts. They took a little longer than expected to make, but the boys recently got their quilts. They are fantastic, and the boys love them. Below it's Ethan's quilt. Ben's is very similar, but has green material between all the squares instead of blue. The quilts are about 70cm x 100cm big (approx 2 x 3 feet).

Zoomed in look at Ethan's quilt The other side of Ethan's quilt (both quilts look the same on that side)

Ethan kneeling at the coffee table

Ethan sitting at the coffee table
Ethan playing with water on his high chair (and making a huge mess)
Boys in our living room (playroom)
Boys again in the living room
Ethan in the washing basket
Benny about to stand at the coffee table

Benny standing at the coffee table

VERY cheeky Benny climbing on the coffee table (something he knows he's not allowed to do)
Ethan, Tracie & Benny

Benny, Sal & Ethan

Ethan and Benny attacking Sal's face

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Day at the Doctor

Brief History: Benny has had eczema since he was about 3 weeks old. He was taken off breast milk and milk-based formula at 4 months and his skin made an instant and dramatic improvement. He still gets occasional flareups, but nothing like it used to be. At 6 months we had him allergy tested and he has an egg allergy. They also assume he has some food intolerances, but told us you can-not test for them, it's just trial and error with his diet.
Ethan never really had any problems. He occasionally gets an upset belly and a small patch of eczema on his left cheek. He wasn't tested at 6 months old.
After their 6 month appointment we were told to introduce low allergy solid foods. Our boys ate pears, potato, swede, choko, green beans, rice, rice cereal, chicken and veal. They tolerate all of these foods very well, and are doing well eating them.

9 Month Checkup: On Wednesday we took the boys back to the allergy clinic for a checkup. Last time we only got Benny looked at, this time we got both boys tested. We only did Ethan because Ben has allergies.... We were shocked to find Ethan also has an allergy to egg. Benny still showed positive for his egg allergy, and did not reveal any other allergies.

We now start the long process of introducing a wider variety of food into their diet. In consultation with a dietitian, we have a plan so this is done in a controlled manner so we will pick up issues as they arise.
Our first step is to wean Ethan onto formula. Ethan has been drinking expressed breast milk since he was born. He did have some formula in the first few months when he was sharing the supply with Benny, but since we've taken Ben off the breast milk (5 months ago) Ethan has been drinking 99%breast milk (occasional formula if we're out for a long time). Ethan is currently drinking 4 bottles a day. We have already swapped his morning bottle to formula. We will swap one more bottle each week until in a few weeks he's on 100% formula. If Ethan tolerates the formula, we can also start giving him other dairy foods such as yogurt and (egg free) custard. Benny will try dairy after he's a year old.

Once Ethan is weaned to formula we start to introduce more food. This is our plan, which must be done in this order. We can only try to introduce new foods when they have had 3 eczema free days in a row.

Step1: Wheat. We will give them a basic egg free wheat pasta. If that goes well we can try bread.

Step2: Salicylate challenge. We need to give them a diet high in Salicylates to see if they react to them. This includes apples, stone fruit, mango, strawberries, capsicum, carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato, cucumber and several other fruits and veges (we have a long list). If they react, we stop, if they tolerate it we are then safe to give them these foods. - the dietitian expects Ben to fail this challenge and have a reaction.

Step3: Amine Challenge. We give the boys a diet high in amines. The list of baby suitable amine products is shorter. We can give banana, paw paw, pork and cocoa powder. Similarly, if they react, we stop, if they tolerate it we are then safe to give them these foods. - the dietitian expects Ben to fail this challenge and have a reaction.

Step4: If the boys fail either or both challenges we have to go back to the beginning and very slowly introduce the foods in small doses (one teaspoon a day) and gradually increase the amounts in the hope that we will be able to eventually tolerate them.

We'll let you know how it goes....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

9 months old - loving to stand up

I can't believe our little babies are 9 months old already. They wont be babies for much longer..... wow, toddlers soon. Their development has come along in major leaps and bounds in the last month.

Both boys LOVE to stand up and walk along while holding onto something. Benny has recently mastered the art of getting himself into a standing position. He now crawls around the room and stands up at various points, walks and explores as much as he can, gets down and crawls to the next spot. He's very pleased with himself and laughs a lot.

First is the video of Ben crawling up to the table. This was taken a few days ago.

Since taking the previous video, Benny has improved his skill and technique to get into a standing position. He can now stand up using almost anything. Thankfully he has also mastered the art of getting back down again!!

Below is today's video of Ben making a bee-line for the laptop. Notice the improved technique and skill..... and also see his other new trick. He now does a combination of army crawling and proper crawling. He started that a few days ago. He does about half-half now of army and proper crawling. He gets down onto his belly when he wants to go fast, and up on his knees when he wants to stand up.

Ethan is not yet able to get himself into a standing position, but he is working on it, and might master it in the next few weeks. Ethan really enjoys standing up, and often comes up to us and asks up to help him up. Very cute. He is getting very good at communicating his needs and wants with us. Below is a video of Ethan standing at the table, the toy he is playing with is one of the boys favorites. She is called 'Debra the Zebra'.

Benny and Tracie at the computer

Ethan at the coffee table

Ethan at the coffee table again

Benny playing on the floor

Ethan standing up holding onto Tracie

Ethan standing holding onto Sal's leg

Benny and Ethan playing with their new standing up activity table.

Benny standing at the couch giving Sal a cheeky look
Benny standing at the couch

Ethan playing on the floor

Benny at the activity table

Ethan crawling under the activity table

Boys again at the activity table

Ethan chewing on the activity table


Since we found out Tracie was pregnant with twins we've had the dilemma of what type of pram to buy. Initially we had to have a side by side pram as both seats needed to be able to fully recline to be suitable for very little babies. Since the boys have been able to sit upright we've been thinking of buying a different pram. Our first pram is great, but it's very heavy, takes up most of the boot and is quite wide and often difficult to push around small areas, especially at the shops. Today we bought a new pram. It's lighter, folds smaller than our other pram and isn't as wide. There are of course pros and cons to each style of pram, and we will continue to use both prams depending on the situation.
Below is our first pram we've had since the boys were born.

Below is our new pram. Ben in the front, Ethan in back