Monday, February 7, 2011

The Twins' 1st Birthday

The day before the twins' first birthday was their 12 month "well check" visit with their doctor. After finding out that James's head is in the 93rd percentile (go James?!), they both got their booster shots. FIVE pokes each. Then we stopped by to visit the first person to ever see them - their birth doctor, Dr. Crites (not to be confused with zombie gynecologist) who was great through the last hard months of my pregnancy. Unfortunately the twins were still pretty cranky from the shots. (Note to self: what was I thinking getting their vaccinations the day before their birthday?)

Julia recognizes her birth doctor.

James making the same face as the last time he saw this doctor.

The next morning James had a slight fever when he woke up. I slept in and when I entered the family room a few hours later, my mom started telling me that James felt really hot. And then before I could even cross the room to him she said, "He's not focusing!" James's eyes stared straight ahead, totally blankly, his mouth was pursed together, sort of making fish lips that opened and closed very slightly. He was totally non-responsive. Thankfully I had looked up fevers in What to Expect: The First Year when James first woke up that morning, and I had read the section on febrile seizures. This was a classic febrile seizure, which don't always involve convulsions (neither did James's), and the book said as long as the seizure didn't last more than 5 minutes it was basically harmless. We took off his clothes and put a cold wet washcloth on him (a cold wet washcloth is actually what NOT to do when someone has a fever because their shivering can increase the temperature). After about 3 minutes, with the seizure continuing, I called 9-1-1. An ambulance and fire truck arrived a few minutes later, and James seemed to snap out of the seizure when the EMTs got to him, which meant the seizure lasted about 6 minutes.

The EMTs wanted to take James to the hospital, so I rode up front in the ambulance. I felt guilty taking pictures but I didn't take any last time (yes, James rode in an ambulance in July) and I knew by this point he was okay. The driver gave him a stuffed spider monkey, which technically was his first birthday gift. I'm guessing they keep a supply of stuffed animals for little ones. However, someone should educate them that they shouldn't be giving ones with choking-hazard bead eyes to babies under three. Or maybe it's their way of drumming up more business?...

New Year's resolution: No more trips to the emergency room for my babies.

By the way, we live three long blocks from the hospital and the ambulance trip came to $1399 before our insurance covered the whole shebang. (The two hour hospital stay came to $6131, and we only chipped in a $50 co-pay.)

James's temperature was 105.3 when we arrived at the hospital. The febrile seizure was due to his fever rising too fast, not the actual high temperature number. Febrile seizures are genetic and his Uncle Michael had one when he was three. James had an x-ray and some blood tests to rule out a viral infection, and with medication his temperature significantly decreased so we were discharged. In the meantime, we overheard the nurses at the nurses' station chatting about how cute James was, and Mark delighted James by throwing him into the air.

That night James's temperature rose to 103.6, but came down again. Most of the doctors thought that James's fever was due to the vaccinations but they changed their minds when Julia and I both came down with fevers five days later. We probably caught whatever it was that Uncle Michael gave to Grandma who infected James who passed it on to Julia and me who gave it to Mark. Thanks, Uncle Michael! (And Michael thought what he had was allergies...)

"Fever, schmever. Throw me in the air again, Daddy!"

The original plan for the twins' birthday was for them to open presents, go to the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo, and destroy some cupcakes. We only had time to have them open some gifts just before dinner. They were much less into ripping open wrapping paper than we expected.

Julia is thoroughly unimpressed by her gift of Busy Balls.

"This box is definitely better than the Busy Balls."

The next day the babies got to eat smash the snowman cupcakes that we had purchased at Whole Foods. Julia didn't really want to eat hers or smash it, and seemed uninterested in the whole thing. James on the other hand, took some time to warm up to it, but took to smashing his like a fish to water. (Or like The Hulk to smashing stuff.)

"Hulk just want opportunity to smash cupcake."

The birthday cupcakes

At first James doesn't seem interested but then he gets the hang of it...

...some might say too much so.

"If you think I'm a slob you should see Julia. Oh you did? Okay, yeah I'm a slob."

But he's a cute slob!

Before the cake smashing began, Mark smartly chose Julia's cupcake as the one he would finish eating.

Meanwhile, I got left with this.


  1. Well, that's definitely a memorable 1st birthday story! They're so cute!

  2. Thanks! I was stressing on how to celebrate their birthday in a memorable way and then the trip to the ER happened. Presto! Memorable!

  3. The pictures tell the whole cupcake story. Good Job !

  4. how scary for you all- but happy belated birthday to them both.