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The speech therapist that has been working with Reagan has been encouraging us to take her to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist. So we finally did. I had imagined that they would find nothing unusual and we would work with her more on pronouncing those tricky B and P sounds.

I was a little shocked to find that she does have a physical problem. A Bifid Uvula and Velopharyngeal insufficiency. "How do you pronounce that?" I may need a speech therapist for that one.

What this means to lay people like myself is that her uvula, that little thing hanging down in the back of you mouth, is split in two. If it had been worse it would have been a cleft pallet. Because of this her soft pallet doesn't close off her nasal cavity completely when she swallows, that is the Velopharyngeal insufficiency.

I was a little distraught at first learning this, but now I am more in the "deal with it" mode. The doctor says that surgery is rarely needed and there are few doctors who perform that sort of procedure. It could even make it worse. Apparently more speech therapy is the best/only option. The speech therapist that we have been working with is due to come over on Friday and she will discuss options with us. She suspected that there was some sort of physical problem with her speech because of the particular words that Reagan was having trouble pronouncing.

Rylee Madison and Jordan are all still a little under the weather. Madison is on the last day of steroids for croup. Jordan just has a bit of a cold, but is coughing pretty badly. Rylee still has a fever and is eating and drinking very little, but we have been able to keep her fever under 101 degrees for more than 24 hours. I think she is on the mend.

I am posting right now because I don't know what else to do with myself. Kari has taken Rylee to the ER with a 105 degree fever and I am holding down the fort. Just waiting and not being able to do anything else is kind of tough for me. So once again I am just typing in my own form of self therapy.

I know that 105 is pretty high and I am concerned, but I really have no idea how bad that is and wonder if I am under or over concerned. I mean, is 105 life threatening? Does the brain cook itself at 106? Or is that just a high fever and it will go away and not much to really worry about? At any rate I think we made the right decision to take her in. I say "we" but it was Kari telling me "Rylee has a 105 fever and I am taking her to the ER." I didn't argue.

We had decided just 15 minutes before that we would take Rylee and Madison in to the doctor tomorrow. Every one has been sick, but Madi and Ry are the worst. All four girls have had fevers over the last several days, but never over 103.5. And they have all responded well to Tylenol and Motrin, till now.

I thought that they were all on the mend until today. Rylee has been a wreck all day. And Madison sounds like a baby harp seal. Nothing sounds more pitiful than your baby crying when she has lost her voice. The sobs only being interrupted by coughing fits. No fun at all. Rylee spent the day shivering and napping on the couch. I suspect that they have some form of the flu, but I am not exactly sure. Madison had a 103 fever this morning and was dry heaving so hard that I thought she would spit up the Motrin that I just got down her throat. Reagan and Jordan seem to be weathering this the best. They slow down and get quite, which is a big red flag that something isn't right, we take their temps, give them some Tylenol and 20 minutes later they are back to normal.

Today wasn't all bad. Reagan and the twins played outside for a good long time. That is always fun to watch. The twins have spent so much of their lives indoors that they just have a field day any time they are released. And now that it is getting warmer they really enjoy playing with the water table and the hose.

Reagan especially likes to play with water. It is great that you can turn the hose on and she will amuse her self for an hour or more, but there are some draw backs to that.

First, she insists on removing every stitch of clothing. That isn't so bad except that she will come in, dry off, put on more clothes, then decide to go back out, dump the fresh clothes on the wet ground, play for a few, come in, dry off, get new clothes, go back out, repeat again and again and again.

Second, you have to kind of keep an eye on where she is spraying the hose. I don't really have the time to sit out back and watch one kid for hours at a time. So today I trusted her alone with the hose while I went in to do some laundry. I had taken the dry cloths out of the dryer and was starting to put the wet cloths in when I heard the rush of running water. I heard it clearly, as if it was in the same room. It seemed like my mind took minutes to deduct the source of that sound, but it was probably only seconds.
"Reagan? Reagan has the hose! She shoved the hose in the dryer vent!" The though jumped into my head. I dropped the laundry, whirled about, sprinted through the kitchen, flung open the back door, slipped on the wet pavement, possibly pulled something in my groin area, shoved a patio chair out of my way, and moved quickly to where Reagan was happily filling the dogs water bowl.
"Hmmm, maybe I was wrong." I thought to myself. So I peered in the dryer vent. It was hard to tell. So I stuck my hand in the vent. Yep, there was A LOT of water in there.
"Reagan!" I snapped. She looked up. She was still smiling, but not as big as when I burst out the door and slipped.
"Reagan, do not EVER put water in here. That is a NO NO!" Now her smile was gone. At least now I had her attention. She frowned a little more and then with an impish little smile, turned the hose on the back of the house and into the weep holes in the brick. She glanced back up at me for approval.
"No. In fact I don't want you to spray water on the house at all. You are getting water in the house!" I said, just a little exasperated.
"Sawee Daddeeeee." She said, the frown returning. She is really too cute for her own good. She is going to get away with many many things that she shouldn't in this life with just that look and just that smile.
"Ok, no more water on the house, right?"
"OoooooKaaaay." She replied. The smile was back and all was right with the world.

Note the hole in the wall for the dryer vent. The cover for the vent mysteriously became dislodged at some point.


I honestly can't recall if I have written a blog about this before. It may be another symptom of the child induced insanity from which I suffer. And I am too lazy to go back and read all my posts to see if I have. So I apologize if I am repeating myself, but I had to be certain that this was included in my journal.

I had always heard that identical twins have a special connection to each other. Some sort of mental bond. Thinking the same thing at the same time, that sort of thing. I never thought too much about it and really was a bit skeptical. But maybe there is something to it.

A couple of weeks ago Kari was in the kitchen looking out toward the living room. Jordan was playing happily in front of the TV. She was climbing up on an overturned laundry basket to reach the coffee table. Madison was two rooms away, in the dining room, admiring the fish tank. She was also content.
Jordan took a misstep and rocked forward, bashing her little noggin on the coffee table. At the same moment Madison let out an ear piercing shriek. Parents will know the one that I am talking about. The kind that says "I am really hurt, this time." Kari had seen Jordan bump her head and and rushed to pick her up. Jo had not even started to cry before Kari was moving toward her. She was, however, shrieking pretty loud by the time Kari reached her. As Kari was cradling Jordan and kissing her head, Madison came running in from the other room holding the exact same spot on her head and screaming just as loud.

What do you make of that?

I used to think that observing that kind of connection between the twins would be really neat, but I now seems just a little creepy. Kari tells me that the whole episode gave her the goose bumps.

It has been interesting to watch the different personalities emerge with the twins. What the doctors said about Jordan being more active, still holds true. She rarely sits still for more than a few moments. While Madison insists on being held, almost all of the time, Jordan is pretty happy playing with Reagan or just doing her own thing. However, every 10 minutes or so Jordan will come over grab you finger and try to lead you somewhere. If you don't comply fast enough there are tears. I am not certain that she even knows where she wants to take you most times. It was very cute at first, but often she comes up and latches onto your fingers right when you are in the middle of tending to another child. There is nothing better than changing a nasty diaper while listening to a tantrum.

Kari and I are realizing that we have still been babying the twins. It is difficult to switch from catering to their every need to forcing them into behaving. We have started to give them time outs and generally are not putting up with the whining so much. Madison was quite put out by this change at first, but seems like maybe she is coming around. When she starts really throwing a fit, I will take her into another room, set her on the floor, and tell her that she can come back when she gets done crying. She used to carry on for a long time, but now she gets over it much more quickly.

Purple Nurples

Reagan was sitting on the couch the other night, just watching a little TV. Madison was amusing herself by by vaulting over the arm of the couch, landing on her face, and then swinging her feet back to the ground to do it again. I am not sure if Reagan got kicked, but something rubbed her the wrong way. She caught Madison at the top of the armrest on her next circuit and with an angry look on her face gripped Madison's nipple and twisted.

Now where did she learn to give titty twisters? I have never seen Boots give Dora a "purple nurple." I can assure you that Kari and I didn't teach her that. I can only assume that it is an instinctual behavior. Do you think it developed in the caveman stage? It must be some sort of survival skill.

I am still amazed by how sweet our kids can be to each other and by how mean they can be, not five minutes later. A couple of nights ago I was sitting on the couch and Reagan came over carrying an arm full of toy dolphins. Madison and Jordan started fussing and so Reagan gave them each a dolphin to sooth them. A couple of minutes later she was trying to shove them off the couch with her feet.

The girls have changed dramatically in the last several months. The twins are really trying to speak more often. I remember being very pleased with Rylee and Reagan when they began speaking, but it seems like a bigger deal with the twins. I guess everything they do seems like a huge triumph after what they have been through. Reagan's speech seems to be improving a little at a time, but there is still much room for improvement.

Sorry to family and friends that have been relying on this blog for the latest updates. I guess I have been on sabbatical. I was taking a little time to wallow in self pity and was not wanting to whine too much about it on here. Everyone was sick, the cars needed work, the oven quit working (just to name a few) and we were unable to do much about any of it at the time. It was just a bit overwhelming. I was just a little too busy counting my problems instead of my blessings.

"Its okay" is our new mantra. Just keep repeating that and it seems to get a little better.

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