So Matt had all week off and we were planning on having fun doing things around town. We went to the zoo and relaxed at home and Matt worked in the garage building a little play fridge for the girls (he made a stove for them at Christmas). On Wednesday morning, I thought way don't we go someplace maybe Mackinaw? I proposed the idea to Matt who said no way, but you can look into it. I found some hotels and Matt said maybe, by 5pm he agreed. We booked a room and packed to be ready to leave in the morning! Yes, we left the very next day! Had to borrow a friend's pack-n-play, mine was at my mom's, pack, load, and we were off! Who says you can't be spontaneous with two kids? Well, it might have been a little easier and we could have planned better, with more advanced planning, but we had fun. The five hour drive was killer. Elizabeth didn't nap until the last 45minutes of the trip. So I was back and forth to the back seat. We drove Matt's CR-V with better mileage, so the back seat was a very tight fit with me in the middle of two car seats! Our hotel room was right on the beach and Ava had fun in the sand building her first sand castle and throwing rocks into Lake Huron. We stayed in Mackinaw City and took the ferry over to the island Friday morning, we rode on top of the boat. It got a little chilly and very windy; we decided to ride inside on the return trip! It was a prefect day! The crowds were light, the weather beautiful! Some highlights were taking a carriage tour of the island, Matt didn't like it but I did. For those who don't know Mackinac Island doesn't allow any motorized vehicles, only hoses, bikes, and feet will get you around. Ava and Elizabeth both liked a butterfly house we went to. Ava was thrilled when a butterfly landed on her green bow.
We also rented a tandem bike with a kiddie trailer on it and biked the 8 miles around the island. Ava loved it, Elizabeth wasn't very comfortable until the last few miles we we realized that we could but our back pack behind the seat and it propped her up a bit. My seat was up too high, so I had a few uncomfortable miles until we stopped and Matt adjusted the seat. Other than that we loved the great views of the lake and scenery all around the island. Saturday morning we went to the Mackinaw Fort. It is a recreation of the British fort from the 1700's. Ava and Elizabeth didn't think too much of it, didn't you just hated it when your parents made you go to boring history stuff on vacation!?! After that we headed home. The only blip of our quick little get away was the food. We had bad luck with food that was just OK. Over all we loved our quick get away, it had been a long time since we have been anywhere. With everything we have been thru this last year I felt like we owed it to ourselves. Although I don't think we will be in any hurry to take another road trip anytime soon! Never mind that we have some more trips planned already to visit friends in family.
Matt & Ava getting ready for the carriage ride. A bicycle built for four?
We spent the day at the zoo and Matt thought that it would be fun to stop for an ice cream cone on the way home. It was a great idea, but messy! Elizabeth had her first taste. She loved it and kept going in for more!
Elizabeth has been busy too. She got a great evulation by both her PT and Speech therapist. I heard that the general rule for preemies is to add one year for every month they spend in the hospital to reach the age where they should be caught up to their peers. Elizabeth is blowing that out of the water! She is on target for her adjusted age (if not ahead) in her gross and fine motor areas. Climbing the stairs, cruising around furniture and using the pincer grasp to pick things up off the floor with.
Elizabeth helps Mommy fix green beans
Elizabeth is a little behind in her verbal skills, but not much and she will be reviewed again in the fall. It could be that she is so focused on moving that language is taking a backseat right now. I do hear a momma and dadda, but haven't decided if she is indeed talking yet.
Eating continues to be a struggle and a stress. The vomiting has stopped but low volume of her formula remains. She has started to enjoy table food more and likes yogurt as long as she can feed herself. Obviously this means it is served for dinner on bath nights. Don't let the picture of her holding on to the spoon fool you, it is for show only, thou she did get it into her mouth a few times!
Ava had her first Gymnastics meet on Saturday. It was really the end of the year show, but it was a great time and was in a University of Michigan gym which was fun. Notice the Purdue banner next to Ava? Ava and about 50 other three and four year olds showed their stuff on different gymnastic equipment. The highlight was the end when all the gymnasts got their very own gold medal! Ava was so proud, she ran and showed her medal off to all the teachers who were still out on the mats! It was so cute! Way to go Ava!
We are in the grove of summer and enjoying the hot weather. Ava loves the water and Elizabeth is starting the think that it is fun. Vacation Bible School is next week and Ava is really excited to go and have Grandma come for the week to see her. Ava told me that I do something that makes her feel good. When I asked what it was, she squeezed herself and said "give me good hugs" she can be the sweetest thing. No so this morning when I had to carry her home from a friends house screaming. Such is the life of a 3 year old. Elizabeth is doing well, no improvemnt of the eating but the vomiting seems to have stopped.
We found out yesterday that Ava has a serious anaphylaxis food allergy to kiwi. After doing a scratch test and seeing that she did have a reaction to the juice on her skin her doctor didn't want her to eat any in the office as we had planned. Ava was very mad about it, I had been talking it up for a few days to make sure she would actually eat it when she had to. We have to carry her epipen with us just in case she comes in contact with kiwi. The good news is that kiwi is really easy to avoid. We need to read labels of fruit punches and juice boxes and watch any fruit salads. We are very lucky it isn't nuts or dairy; something that is much more common. After the doctor appointment we of course stopped for a visit at the NICU, we just can't stop ourselves if we are in the building! Elizabeth showed all her tricks and impressed everyone. They couldn't believe how well she is doing and were very happy to see her so busy. She drew a big crowd of admirers!
Elizabeth was born weighing just 1 pound and 3 ounces. She spent 109 days in the NICU; coming home one week before her due date. She spent a month a a ventilator, then moved toCPAP, and was on oxygen for 5 months. She had a PDA ligation, Grade 1 IVH, ROP laser surgery, multiple blood transfusions, and a sepsis infection.