Monday, December 10, 2012

Just a media update

No time for a proper update right this minute, but wanted to post the photos and videos that I've had ready for several days!  Hopefully a proper update before the holidays.

November 2012 photos:

Videos (there are a lot!)

Julian's silly noises:

Julian rocking out:

Julian driving the train at the park for the first time:

Teddy singing his ABCs:

Teddy singing Twinkle, Twinkle:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

October 2012

Another month gone by!  Here's a quick update:

Not too much new in Theodore's world this month.  Still enjoying preschool, playdates, etc! Coming soon, we will be dropping his private speech therapy, but he will still have therapy twice a week through the school district.  We are all so impressed by his speech development, however.  His physical skills keep improving as well - last week he climbed up the slide for the first time!  He did enjoy Halloween - he was obsessed with pumpkins all month and is sad they aren't in stores any longer.  He did very well trick-or-treating.  We only went to a few houses but he said trick-or-treat and thank you, and was not scared or shy.  

Julian is now nine months old.  He is still wearing the helmet.  It's going well, though at our last checkup he hadn't had any significant change.  Grow, little head, grow!  He got a clean bill of health at his doctor's visit as well, though once again the Biggs genes are asserting themselves apparently, as he got longer but his weight has dropped down to the 3rd percentile.  He is starting to eat better and so we are just giving high calorie, high nutrient options and seeing what comes of it.  He is incredibly active, meeting all his milestones, vocalizes a lot, and very happy, so we are not worried.  In fact, he officially graduated from physical therapy this week!  

We've had some lovely weather lately, so are enjoying as much outdoor time as we can before winter.  We had a great visit with Auntie Suzie (who is Teddy's new best friend) and Cathy this week, and Auntie Suzie will be back on Thursday.  We had a fun party for the election last night and are looking forward to Thanksgiving in a few weeks.  Other than that, life continues as normal!

Here's the photos and video!

Busy busy:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Catching Up

I got September's photos posted a while ago, but haven't had time to write a blog post - apologies!

The big news for Theodore, of course, is that he turned three last month! He was super excited about this and loves telling people how old he is now.  His actual birthday was a Friday, so he went to preschool as usual, and then in the afternoon we went for frozen yogurt and to the park.  The next day we had four of his friends and their parents over for a little party.  Everyone had a fun time!

He has also been going to preschool for just over a month now, three mornings a week for three hours (9-12).  He adjusted to this really well and seems to be enjoying himself quite a lot.   They have a great outdoor play area, music twice a month, circle time, and a nice group of teachers and kids.  In fact, at pick-up recently one of the teachers, Miss Linda, pulled him aside specially to tell him he was one of the sweetest, most fun, and most gentle kids there.  That warmed this mom's heart!

As I mentioned last month, he was also assessed recently for services through the school district due to turning three and aging out of the Early Start program.  He qualified for speech therapy so we are now attending that twice a week.  It is meant to be a group program but so far he is a group of one...the therapist is working on it!  She's very nice and seems to be making good progress with him.  His vocabulary continues to expand rapidly, so we are really working now on articulation in particular.  He is still doing private speech therapy as well, though we have just changed to a new therapist because I changed all our days around a bit after letting our nanny go (once Theodore started preschool, I didn't feel we needed her help any longer).

Julian is 8 and a half months old now.  He has mastered the "traditional" hands-and-knees crawl and is astonishingly fast!  He is also pulling up and getting back down easily, and cruising along furniture.  He is our very bold and adventurous baby for sure. He is starting to eat more solid foods, especially if it's puffs - we dip them in purees and a reasonable amount gets in that way.  He likes to feed himself - he is a very independent child in general!  It's been so interesting to watch his personality develop in comparison to Theodore.

As you can see from the photo, he is now wearing the helmet I mentioned in the last post.  Everything has gone very well with it.  He adjusted quite quickly to wearing it, and now wears it 23 hours a day, with a one-hour break at dinner time (all the better to smear food into his hair!)  After two weeks we went for a check-up, and he had already had 1mm positive change in his head shape.  The measurements refer to the asymmetry on the diagonal of his head - 0 would be perfect, but since no head is perfect, we are aiming for 5mm or less of asymmetry.  He started the treatment at 10.5mm, so the change so far is great.  He does get a little itchy when it is off, and for a while was sweaty, but overall he barely notices it (though we are already, despite our best efforts at cleaning, noticing a slight funky smell - they warned us about this, but I can already imagine how it will be by the end of treatment!)

September and October so far were busy but fun otherwise.  We had a nice visit from Grammy Eileen that the boys loved, especially a trip to the train shop!  Unfortunately Grandma Carole and Granddad Bill were not able to visit as planned because Granddad suffered a heart attack two weeks ago.  I'm happy to report that he is doing very well, and we are talking on Skype every day to keep in touch instead.  We have also kept busy with playdates and outings, such as taking both boys up to the city for the first time to visit with my old friend Jeanette.  The rainy season started up last week, but before that we had a heat wave (over 100F one day!) and today it is warm and sunny again, so we are spending as much time outside as we can until winter sets in.

As always, here are photos and videos.  I put the photos up a while ago, as I mentioned, so they run through the end of September only (and my videos seem to be a little out of date too). I'll try to do October's photos and a blog post for them in a more timely fashion in a few weeks!

Julian just after learning how to sit up, early September:

Feeding himself squash, also early September:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Monthly Update

Another month gone by, another update!

Big news for Theodore: he is now potty-trained!  I decided to do the 3 day potty training method with him last week.  This involves going straight to underwear and consistently reinforcing that the child tells you when they need to go, and being very involved and positive for those three days.  Well, after a handful of accidents the first day, he got it, and was completely pee-trained by the end of the first day!  He is so proud of his accomplishment, and we are too. He especially loves all his new undies - I got fun  Thomas the Tank Engine and Mickey Mouse ones.  He also liked collecting stickers and chocolates while training - we did the second day same as the first, to reinforce, but he was done already!

In other news, he will be starting preschool next month.  He will attend a small Montessori school in Mountain View three mornings a week from 9 to 12.  I think he will love it, though it will definitely be a change.  We hope to do a visit or two before he starts.  He loves being around other kids though, and we also hope it will help his speech development continue to blossom.  On the speech front, he is about to graduate from the Early Start program due to turning three.  We thus had an assessment this week with the school district to see if he will qualify for extra speech services through them.  He is really continuing to improve so much, though he has a ways to go with vocabulary and articulation.

Julian is now almost seven months old.  He did great at his six month checkup, weighing in around 14 and a half pounds, and keeping fairly steady on the charts.  He has had his first tastes of solids, though he's definitely not keen on them yet.  He tolerates sweet potatoes, and absolutely freaked out at fresh homemade peas!

He has three teeth through, and they are sharp!  He is also still army crawling everywhere, and is very fast.  He also gets up on his hands and knees and rocks back and forth, but can't quite get anywhere that way yet.  He abandons it often because he just wants to catch up to Theodore!  He absolutely adores his big brother.

On more serious news, we attended a clinic at Stanford and were told that he does indeed have plagiocephaly as we suspected, which is where his head shape is asymmetrical and flattened.  This is due to the torticollis we have been attending PT for.  At his age, given that he never spends time on his back anymore, it is unlikely to further fix itself, so we have opted to get a cranial remolding helmet.  It was a hard decision, but we think it will be for the best.  The asymmetry is quite noticeable, and the doctors also noted that one ear is pulling (shearing) forward, and his forehead is more prominent on that side as well.  So, we have our consultation/scanning appointment next week, and he will be fitted for the helmet on September 12th.  I will be sure to post with more information after the appointment and pictures when he is fitted.

Other than all that, we keep busy with playdates, park time, and continuing PT and speech sessions.  As seen above, Julian now loves the swing, and Theodore has graduated to the big boy swing!  He can't swing himself yet, but loves being pushed on it.  We have also had some fun family outings, like to the Day Out With Thomas event, where we rode on a real steam train with a replica Thomas engine.

Overall, an interesting and busy month!  Now we are just preparing for the start of school, and then looking forward to a visit from Grammy Eileen later in September, and Grandma Carole and Granddad Bill in October.  As always, here are photos and videos.  Rather too many photos, apologies, but hope you enjoy!

Slideshow embedding is not working...and leaving a big blank is a link to this month's photos instead!
July/August 2012

Julian and a roller toy at a play place last week:

Boys chatting and rolling:

Julian blowing raspberries (and trying to grab the phone!) a few weeks ago:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Quick Update

Hello!  Just a quick update to try to get up to speed here.

We had a great time on our trip to Canada.  Both boys loved being doted on by their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  I put photos of the trip on Facebook, and it's really too big of a job to go back through and put them on Picasa as well, so I will just link those albums:  Brampton and Ottawa photos; and Montreal/Wedding photos.  The boys were good fliers, and adjusted quickly to the time change.  Julian spent his first significant amount of time in the car, and did quite well, particularly on the Ottawa to Montreal drive! We were able to visit lots of friends and family, and in particular Theodore was able to have many playdates with children around his age.  He especially loved all the time he spent with his cousins Austin and Alexandra. And both boys were wonderful at the wedding - Theodore had a three hour nap that afternoon and then stayed up dancing and partying until 10:30 pm!

Since then we have just been settling back into our normal routine.  Billy had five days off work around Independence Day, which was fun for everyone.  We are doing PT once a week now for Julian and speech once a week for Theodore, and Theodore also has a gym class once a week.

Speaking of speech, Theodore has made huge gains in his vocabulary recently.  His word list is now well over 50 words long, probably even more as he has so many new ones, I can't keep up!  He is also able to put words together to form simple sentences: he will say "help please", for example, or his new favourite, "train time!"  He is much more willing to try new sounds and words, and is even refining words he previously had (such as saying train rather than just signing, or saying "eh-mo" for Elmo instead of how he used to just say "eh-eh-eh").  He will also tell you about his day in sentences - we just don't understand all of it yet.  But most of his words are quite clear, and we're extremely proud of his progress.

Julian is also developing wonderfully.  He started rolling when we were in Ottawa, and hasn't stopped since!  He can roll all around to get wherever he wants, and has also started army crawling.  He's definitely on the loose.  He's a very smiley, happy baby who loves his brother and desperately wants to put all of his brother's trains in his mouth, haha!  He will be six months old next week, so I am getting ready to start feeding him solids. He has actually been 100% breastfed from the tap so far - no bottles of expressed milk even - I am pretty proud of that achievement.

As always, here are some photos and a video. I will try to update after Julian's 6 month appointment with his statistics!

Theodore talking:

late June/July photos:
late June/July

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Pictures and Videos

Really just a media update today - I wanted to get caught up on photos and videos before it got out of hand again, and also before our big trip!  We leave on Friday for Canada - a week in Brampton, a week in Ottawa, and a few days in Montreal for Auntie Catherine's wedding. 

Things are going well here.  Julian is now four months old and growing every day.  He is very active, alert, and talkative.  He is still doing physical therapy, however, he has made great progress and we are pleased with his improvement.  Theodore is also well, adding new words to his vocabulary very quickly these days, such as a word or approximation for the numbers 1 to 10.  We also just finished a 10 week music class.  While Julian just looked around a lot, Theodore really absorbed the class and learned quite a bit!  We also made a new friend at class and are having a second playdate with them today.

Okay, here's the pictures and videos.  Will update again after our trip! Have a nice June!

Julian talking last week:

Theodore dancing (and singing a little, too):

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I'm very behind on updating this blog - apologies! Life, as you can imagine, has been busy, plus due to my own incompetence I've gone through several phones recently, and have had to dig them all out to import and sort photos. Anyway, let's get to it!

Julian is now three months old. He is a truly wonderful baby. Overall he has a very chill personality, and loves to smile and laugh. He will hang out contentedly on his mat or in his swing, which is a nice change from Teddy's more high needs infancy. He loves his big brother and enjoys watching him. He is also a dedicated thumb sucker, which amuses his big brother to no end! He nurses well, and is gaining weight well. At 3 months he weighed in at 11 and a half pounds. As I mentioned previously, he had to re-do his newborn hearing screen, and he passed with no problems.

We have been dealing with one small issue however - he has mild torticollis, which means that he doesn't have the full range of motion in his neck/head on one side - in his case, his left. It is not severe, though because he tilts to and favours the one side, when lying down pressure on his head is not evenly distributed, and so his head shape is a little lopsided. We decided to pursue physical therapy to be proactive about the issue, and because we have a relationship already with Teddy's former therapist who we love and trust. We have had four sessions, and definitely the head shape is improving and we are working on stretching and strengthening the neck muscles. Unfortunately, Julian rather hates the therapy, to put it nicely, though at his latest session he enjoyed himself for 20 minutes before realizing he was supposed to be angry about us manipulating him! We will probably go for only a short while, so it's not a long-term problem.

Theodore is now 2.5 years old. He celebrated his half birthday in March with cake and some new trains! He is really blossoming and doing very well. He graduated from physical therapy in March, though in reality had not needed it for a while, but we love his therapist and he had so much fun we thought we would keep on. He runs, (almost) jumps, dances, and loves to kick his soccer ball around. He has really built muscle strength and loves to move his body, which is wonderful to see. He is still attending speech therapy, though only once a week at this time for scheduling reasons. While he still has a pretty severe delay he is making progress. He has several new words since I last wrote, and also is signing words very consistently and using these words and signs to truly communicate with us. For example, he will regularly sign "eat" when he is hungry, and when he goes on outings he comes home and tells us via signs and words that he saw trains, birds, etc. He has a word for all the colours and enjoys using those in particular, and is especially proud of his "bus", which is extremely clear and said often, with pride! He continues to love his trains and books most of all his toys, though he also enjoys art, playing outside, and music. He has started taking on chores around the house and really likes being a big boy who helps out: he will put away the cutlery from the dishwasher, throw things out in the garbage, and put dirty laundry in the basket. He is a funny, sweet kid, and while he can be stubborn and mercurial (hey, he's two!) we really enjoy him and his personality.

The transition to two children has been going quite well. Theodore is, in general, pleased with his baby brother. There are definitely challenging moments, but those are usually resolved with snuggling up on the couch with a Thomas the Tank Engine video while I nurse the baby. He really enjoys lying next to Julian on his mat and holding his hand and looking at him. We still try to do lots of outings, and are currently enrolled in a Music Together class, which was appealling because I was able to bring both Julian and Theodore. Theodore loves the class and we all have a lot of fun at it every week, and listening to the CD at home!

To help me out during the day, we have hired a nanny, Myisha. She comes twice a week, currently on Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 8 to 5. She takes Theodore to his speech therapy which is a big help for me, and does activities, outings, and lunches and nap time. She will also watch Julian so I can shower and nap! She is a very fun young woman and Theodore really enjoys spending time with her, which is great.

Other than those sorts of updates, life continues on daily. Billy was able to stay home from work for one month after Julian's birth, which was wonderful. After that, my parents came to stay for two weeks to help out. We definitely appreciated that! Since then we also had a short visit from one of my oldest friends, Nigel, and have had various friends over for visits. In June, we will be travelling to Canada for three weeks, going to Brampton, Ottawa, and then Montreal for Billy's sister Catherine's wedding. It will be Julian's first trip!

Time to finish this update and post it, finally! A huge slideshow follows - all of February, March, and most of April. I also have one short video of Julian from March. Hopefully in the future I will update more frequently and then the photo albums will be less epic!


Chit-chat in March:

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Julian Emmanuel Biggs is here!

Theodore's baby brother Julian was born on Friday, January 27th at 11:18pm. He weighed 7lb 3oz, and was 20" long.

So far everything has been going very well. Julian is a good nurser and has an easy-going personality. He had his first check-up yesterday morning. He had dropped to 6lb 10oz in the hospital (normal amount of loss) but had already gone back up to 6lb 14oz yesterday. He's a lovely pink with no hint of jaundice. The only issue to date is that he didn't pass the newborn hearing screening on his left ear, but we've been told that is very common. We'll be going in for a follow-up screening in two weeks and I will post about the results at that time.

Theodore is pretty calm about the whole change in having a baby around the house so far. He did wonderfully with our (amazing!) friends from Halflab who came to stay with him over the weekend while I was in the hospital, and has been pretty chill about things since Julian came home. We are lucky that he is so good about it all!

We are all, obviously, tired, but doing well. The birth was uncomplicated and we were discharged Sunday morning. Billy is on paternity leave for a month or so, which is wonderful. I will try to update again soon, but for now here are photos from the first 5 days of Julian's life.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Catch-Up Photo Post

With the new baby extremely imminent (due in 3 days!) I thought I would try to sneak in a small photo update here. While I've posted pictures from Paris, Brampton, and Theodore's second birthday, there are obviously lots of other pictures from that time period that I haven't put up. So this post is to link to a collection of photos from August 2011 through the end of December 2011, including Christmas photos.

Quick notes on Theodore: he is now 28 months old, and doing great. His speech is really improving - he has a sound or sign for tons of different animals, and a 'word' for most colours. He is willing to try new sounds out, and definitely now says 'cat', 'da-da', and 'ma-ma' very clearly. His other reliable words are 'ba' for bus and 'uck' for truck. He still uses his signs as well, especially for milk and train. Trains continue to be a huge hit in this house! We continue to do speech therapy twice a week, and he enjoys it. We are also still doing physical therapy once a week, though he doesn't actually qualify for it any more - but the insurance keeps paying and we adore Jyoti, our therapist, so we keep going! He does still have lower muscle tone than other children his age, but otherwise he is generally at age-level and in particular has shown no ill-effects from his foot anomaly so far.

Enjoying physical therapy back in August.

He is very interested in his baby brother - he loves to pat my tummy and snuggle up to it, and pat my breasts where baby brother will get his milk. We will see how he feels when a real, live baby is in the house, but so far we have read and talked about it a lot, and he seems very excited! He is still such a sweet child - he definitely has developed opinions and can be contrary and stubborn, but overall he is easy-going and a delight to be around.

When the new baby arrives, I will hopefully continue to update about both boys here on this blog!

Here are the photos; I haven't uploaded any videos lately, but hopefully will catch up on that soon. Just getting through five months of photos was work enough!

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