Oh Yes, We Call Her the Streak!

She’s just in the mood to run in the nude!  Guess you could call it unique!

Okay, enough with the Ray Stevens reference for now.  (For those of you not familiar with Ray Stevens or The Streak this will help you understand the humor.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtzoUu7w-YM)

It’s been a “clothing optional” week for A.  Yep, she has decided that clothing is offensive to her tactile system.  On the upside, she has not yet stripped in public.  She has tried a couple of times, but I have so far managed to successfully distract her.  At home though, she has so problem stripping down and running out yelling, “NO UNNIES!”

Okay, you can stop giggling now.

In addition to this new development, she has had a noticeable increase in expressive language.  It’s been amazing to hear her actually use two word “sentences” when she wants something or when she’s trying to tell me something.  Right now, her favorite phrases are “me too” and “no unnies!”

Yes, my daughter is out of pull ups except at night.  She woke up a week and a half ago and loudly proclaimed that she did not want a pull up, she wanted “Unnies!  Ninnie Unnies!”  So we, gave regular undies a try and so far, so good.  She has decided that she wants to be a big girl and I am quite okay with that.  It has definitely made things easier in some respects, but public bathrooms are still sometimes tricky.  That’s what earphones are for though!    So, while potty training is mostly done, we still have to work out some of the kinks, especially on her sensitive days.

On an even happier note, with the return of the school year, A will be resuming occupational therapy and with that listening therapy.

Wait, what?  What is listening therapy?

That’s about the reaction I had initially. I’m still not sure I can explain it very well, so here’s a link for the company that makes the headphones used for the theraputic listening program,  http://www.vitallinks.net/pages/About-Therapeutic-Listening.php
I think they can explain it much better than I can at this point.   I still have a lot to learn.  I am hoping, since everything I have heard is positive, that it will help A.

In the meantime, we will just have to continue to work with our little Streak  in all her uniqueness and continue to be patient!

Happiness is….

So, honestly, how many of you started singing the song from You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown?

I had to ask since I’ve been singing it off and on all day.  It’s a cute song and good when you need a quick reminder that small things can bring the most happiness.  But that’s not really where I was going with this particular post.

We have been following the Olympics fairly regularly, except my husband that is.  It’s been a great learning experience in sportsmanship for G and A has been attempting to increase her vocabulary while watching with us.  It has been absolutely wonderful and amazing to hear sounds that she has struggled to connect come together.  Even though she doesn’t fully understand why Mommy is so happy, she is excited because Mommy understood what she was trying to communicate.

The big bonus to this upswing in communication is that potty training has started moving along quite nicely.  She is able to spend most of the day, when we are home, in cloth training pants instead of pull-ups, which my wallet greatly appreciates.  When we are out, A has started letting me know when she needs to go and that is a major step forward from where we were just a few months ago.

We’re still struggling with the eating issues, but I’m still hoping that once we get into therapy things will start heading back in the manageable direction.  Until then, I have added in smoothies as a regular part of A’s diet.  While it may not seem like much, one smoothie snack a day, it does seem to be having a positive effect.  In the two weeks since starting this “smoothie experiment” we have noticed an increase in A’s endurance and she feels heavier to me.  I’m hoping this means she has actually gained some weight and will now be able to build and keep some muscle on her tiny little frame.  I think that has been the hardest part of all of this.  Knowing that A was struggling to build up her muscles (especially in her legs) but that her body was not able to maintain it because of the lack of calories coming in.

Her nutritionist had recommended milkshakes (homemade) but I really wanted something a bit healthier.  Hence the smoothies.  Thankfully they are not hard to make.  The hard part though is finding yogurt that isn’t fat free.  So far, our best bets have been the Cabot Greek style yogurt and Liberte Yogurt (Mediterranean style).  Both are higher calorie and thicker than regular yogurt so they make great smoothies.  As far as add ins, we had been staying fairly basic: bananas, strawberries, blueberries, and I just added peaches this week.  All of these went over well so I decided to get a little adventurous and try something new today.  I added Cheerios.

Okay, stop laughing.

No, really.  You can stop now.

This is a big deal when it comes to A.   For all I knew, I would be cleaning smoothie off various surfaces in the kitchen about two seconds after handing her the cup.  She has a tendency to toss food she doesn’t like, which is something we are still working on.

Thankfully, she and G both loved it.  So the banana, peach, blueberry, Cheerio smoothie is officially in the smoothie rotation.  In fact, it went over so well, that I’m thinking about being even more daring and trying a new fruit.

So, all in all it’s been a pretty good week.  We survived with minimal tantrums, increased success with potty training, increased communication, and increased caloric intake thanks to the daily smoothie break.

Yeah, the Peanuts gang got it right; “For happiness is anyone and anything at all that’s loved by you.”

One Small Hop for a Munchkin…

One giant party for Momma!  Yes, my two and a half year old daughter who could not jump, did so today.  It was a small hop but both feet left the floor and she didn’t fall on her little butt so it counts as a victory in my book.

On the downside, we’re still struggling with food.  I made the sweet potato pizza for A but she didn’t like it very much.  Okay, she didn’t really like it at all.  Given the nature of the dough, it stays rather soft and A didn’t like that.  G, on the other hand, did.  He thought it was really good but said that in needed veggies on top to give it a better flavor.  Oh well, at least one of my kiddos liked it.

After a weeks worth of extra visits for feeding and occupational therapy evaluations and a visit to the nutritionist, I have learned that we are on the right track.  Despite A’s limited tolerance for a variety of foods, we have still managed to give her a somewhat balanced diet.  Is it ideal? No, not really since she neglects whole food groups, but through liberal use of homemade fruit and veggie smoothies she is still getting what she needs.  All we have to do now is up her caloric intake.  Thankfully, it is doable if A cooperates.

Oh, wait, I’m asking for a two year old’s cooperation.  Nevermind.  This may be a bit of a challenge.  That’s okay.  It will just force me to be more creative.  Good exercise for my brain!

Well, I have been attempting to procrastinate again with this blog, but I am so tired after a long day of therapy (A’s, not mine people!) and more paperwork (that I still have to finish) that my spelling is becoming atrocious (thank you spell check for saving me) and my grammer isn’t to far behind.  So before I embarrass myself and anyone who ever taught me (especially my mother) I will leave you with the recipe for the sweet potato pizza if anyone wants to give it a go.

1 large or two small sweet potatoes  (app. 1½-2 cups prepared) peeled, cut into chunks
• 1½-2 cups flour (preferably whole wheat)
• 2 tsp baking powder
• generous measure of basil, oregano and thyme (or other seasoning to taste)
• app 4 Tbsp cold water mixed with 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil

  • Boil the sweet potato in a large pan of water for about 15 minutes until very soft. Drain well, return to the pan and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside to cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Place sweet potato in a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and seasoning.
  • Stir in the water and oil mixture with a large spoon until the dough comes together it should be soft and spongy. Knead lightly to form into a large ball – adding a little extra flour if the mixture seems too sticky.
  • Divide the dough into two equal balls and roll out on a lightly floured board into two circles around 2cm thick. Lift carefully onto two lightly oiled baking sheets. Brush lightly with oil. Spread one of the pizzas with your choice of sauce and toppings.
  • Place both pizzas in the oven, with the topped pizza above the plain base. Bake the topped pizza for around 25 minutes until well risen and lightly browned. Cook the plain base for 15 minutes until golden and cooked then remove and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, top with sauce and choice of toppings, cover loosely in foil and freeze on the tray. The next day remove from tray and wrap tightly in foil. To cook, remove foil, place on a lightly oiled baking tray and bake from frozen in a preheated oven at 400F for 15-18 minutes until hot.

Enjoy!

Hey Look! More Paperwork!

Do I sound excited?  I should.  After all, who doesn’t love a good dose of paperwork to fill out in the evening?  The kids are asleep, it’s raining, there’s nothing better to do right?

No, wait.  I think I could find a game on Facebook to play, or maybe send my sister annoying messages on Skype, or maybe clean my bathroom again, just for fun.  Well, skip the bathroom – I think I would rather do the paperwork.

What paperwork?  Oh, sorry.  I’m easily distracted tonight (Peanut Gallery – HUSH!).  Just more patient and feeding history forms for A’s feeding evaluation on Tuesday.  I’ve been spoiled recently by not having to do these when she needs a new therapy since the office we go to has everything already in her chart.  Unfortunately, the ONE feeding therapist in the office moved to a new satellite office so we have to go to the main ACH campus for feeding therapy now.  That, lamentably, means I actually have to do the paperwork this time.

Feeding therapy?  What’s that?  Yeah, I had the same reaction the first time we went down this road.  I mean, how do you do therapy on eating?  It depends.  The first time we had feeding therapy, A had an oral-motor delay, meaning she didn’t chew properly.  Actually, she didn’t really chew in the traditional sense at all.  So, her therapist taught her how to chew.  It’s hard to explain exactly how that worked but it involved a lot of sticking a Nuk brush (for those that don’t know what that is – http://funandfunction.com/nuk-massage-brush-p-505.html ) in A’s mouth and getting her to “chase” it with her tongue. We also worked to “desensitize” her mouth so she would tolerate the texture of solid foods.

This time, it’s mostly about her sensory issues and seeing if in a therapeutic environment we can work more intensively on getting her to accept a wider variety of foods.  She also needs help with “feeling” where food is in her mouth.  Sometimes, A has no idea where her food is in her mouth or how much she has in there causing her to either gag or sit there with her mouth open and tongue out until I clean the offending item(s) out.  Not so much fun for either of us, to say the least.

All this and a visit to a dietician somewhere in there!  Yay paperwork!  Okay, not really.  I admit, I’m using this blog as a means of avoidance right now.  “I don’t want to do the paperwork, so I’ll write on my blog instead.”  Works for me!  I had to switch over after I got done hunting up recipes to try on A and her brother, but I did find some goodies.

There is the fairly common Kale Crunchies – toasted, seasoned kale leaves; and of course, sweet potato crisps, but the one I was after was the sweet potato pizza base. And I found it!

It’s nothing fancy, just pizza crust made from sweet potatoes instead of the standard semolina flour, but I wanted to try it out since it would be a “sneaky” way of getting A to eat veggies.  Let’s face it, she loves pizza, as long as it is cheese and isn’t a piece so long that it sags.  Basically, if it’s longer than about 5 inches and anything other than cheese and light pizza sauce has touched it, she won’t eat it.  Rather funny, don’t you think?

Anyhow, it’s a fairly easy recipe and thanks to the personal size pizza pans my mom found, I’ll be able to make and freeze some so I have something on hand to feed A, just to add variety.  I plan on seeing if I can add other veggies to the dough if A likes the basic recipe. Things like carrots that can be cooked to mush and mashed up with the sweet potato so they won’t be too noticeable.

I hope.

Of course, never having tried this recipe I might find out that it’s absolutely horrid (to quote my son) and in major need of improvisation to make it edible.

But I think I’ll be positive.  It’s much easier.

Sigh.  Enough procrastination.  Back to the paperwork I go…or maybe I should just go to bed early tonight!

 

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