Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cold or allergies--what's the difference really?

Addy either has a summer cold or allergies right now. Whatever it is, she's still mostly pleasant, but her nose goblins have almost balanced out all of her cuteness.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Good yogurt is good

It turns out that what Addy didn't like about the yogurt on Saturday was that the fake peach flavor was yucky. Organic, whole milk, vanilla flavored yogurt, however, is quite tasty.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

What vinyl table cloth?

With all of Addy's "experiences" lately, I decided we needed a highchair cover that could be scrubbed clean without the use of a washing machine.  1 vinyl table cloth and a couple of hours later and we now have a spare cover for ground zero.  (Which bring up the philosophical question: is it really a spare if it's now the primary one?)

Unfortunately, we were able to prove its cleanability this evening when Addy experienced yogurt.  (Yogurt was part of item 4 of the great "Un-Yack Addy Project."  It is now part of the "Things To Only Feed Addy If Syrup Of Ipecac Is Needed And Not Available" list.)  The seat cover proved quite durably cleanable.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The puke post

Disclaimer: This post is about puke. Not dainty little baby spit-up. No.  I'm talking about barf, vomit, up-chuck, throw-up. I will also briefly mention poop, but there's no lengthy discussion of it. It's mostly about puke. If you have any sensitivity to these perfectly natural, normal biological functions, then I suggest you move on to a different post.  Consider yourself fully warned.

Addy has always had what we called a "hair trigger gag reflex." It's actually pretty common for people who have central nervous system issues, such as the spina bifida that Addy has. It's always been kind of an annoying, but mostly livable, part of life at our house. Perhaps you'll recall the month that Addy spent wearing socks on her hands instead of her feet.

A couple of months ago, we started giving puffs and Cheerios to the Red-Headed Wonder. Usually she does fine, but sometimes she doesn't quite get the cereal mushed up enough and it hits the back of her tongue just right, causing her to gag and throw-up. I had hoped that she just needed some more practice and patience and that she would work through the sensitivity on her own.

Unfortunately, she has figured out that we take puke--and it's warning signal, the gag--pretty seriously and that when there is barf, pretty much whatever else was happening is quickly stopped in favor of a bath. So if she doesn't like the flavor of the baby food du jour, or she's tired of eating, or she doesn't care for the texture of something that's in her mouth, or she's tired of being in the nursery at church, then she makes her gag noise. And sometimes she does it with a little too much gusto.  And then she barfs.

Last week, I finally decided that it wasn't getting better on it's own (and it was, in fact, getting worse) so I called Addy's Early Intervention case manager to ask for an evaluation with an occupational therapist to see what we can do about all of the up-chuck.

The OT feels that Addy vomits because 1) she has spina bifida, 2) she has unregulated constipation, and 3) she's bored. To address these causes, we're supposed to 1) use a toothbrush to brush her lower gums, 2) feed her from the side (as in, while not facing her straight-on and by stuffing the food between her gum and her cheek), 3) not make eye-contact when she's threatening to spew, 4) aggressively manage the poop, and (my personal favorite) 5) encourage Addy to have more sensory experiences, especially during meal times and most especially by giving her a spoon to play with and by dipping her toys in her food and letting her suck on them.  Yes, give the child with a sensitive gag reflex a spoon, and then don't watch while she barfs when she sticks it down her throat.

This is what happens when a 9-month old "experiences" sweet potatoes:

And this is what happens when a 9-month old "experiences" prunes mixed with pears:
Note the spoon and pile of toys on the floor.  Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit to adding the war paint stripe across her forehead.  The rest of the art work is an Addy original.

This whole thing is driving me crazy.  Why?  Because, for one thing everything within about a 50 foot radius of Addy--INCLUDING THE CAT--has to be thoroughly scrubbed after she has "experienced" her food.  For another thing, Addy spends the whole time sucking on the toy that was dipped in food instead of eating from the spoon.  It now takes more than an hour to feed her what used to take 25-30 minutes.  Add to that the hour of clean-up that's now required post-"experience," and you're looking at more than 2 hours spent on a single meal.  By the time it's done, it's time to start over with the next one.

I remain skeptical that this will accomplish anything other than perhaps sending me to a psychiatric facility.  I guess if it helps with the barf then maybe it will be worth it.  Maybe.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The X-axis is just as exciting as the Z-axis

Addy has started clapping! She has been doing "gimme 5" type claps on our hands for a while now, but in the past couple of days she has started clapping her own hands together. Yay!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Destined for management

Addy has always had the slightly disturbing ability to sleep with her eyes cracked open--you know, so she can keep track of what all is going on, even when she's not actually conscious. I just wish she would pick a sleep phase other than REM to do it.

She's been doing a lot of practice crawling over the past couple of days. It's still mostly going backwards, but she'll get forward figured out once it's no longer interesting just to be moving. She's also doing a lot more rolling over, including from back to front. For some reason she hasn't figure out that if she keeps rolling over, she could cover quite a bit of ground. (I would give her about another 3 days on that one; she's kind of scary smart some times.) This weekend should probably be "put the safety locks on all the cabinets" weekend...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Telling time

Addy's internal clock seems to be set about 10-15 minutes fast. Exhibit 1: She knows that I get off work at 4:15, so at about 4:05, she starts calling "Mamamama!" Exhibit 2: Yesterday Addy had PT at 9:00, so I had planned to get her up a little earlier than usual so that she would take her morning nap a little earlier than usual, so she would be awake and ready for therapy. The alarm was set for 5:45. Addy woke me up at 5:30.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I still don't like FaceBook

I joined the rest of the lemmings at the bottom og the FaceBook cliff this week. I still maintain that FB is mostly evil, but it's a point of contact for entirely too many people. Those of you who think that FB has the ability to change the laws of time--and you know who you are--will just have to live with your disappointment. When I have time and a story worth sharing, I will post it here. Why? Here is where the comments are turned off and here is where you don't need a FB account to read about the red-headed wonder.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

What is this thing you keep calling "gentle"?

I am so ready for Addy to understand the concept of not yanking on my hair when she has it wrapped around her fingers. I'm pretty sure the cats agree with me on this, too.

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Little Mermaid

Addy has a pair of "shorts" that I refer to as her "funny therapy shorts" because they're mostly for her physical therapy work. (They're homemade "Hip Helpers"--basically bike shorts with the legs sewn together to help with Addy's extremely loose hips.) Lately the shorts haven't been working as well because the legs kind of ride up, and her loose hips just aren't kept in check like they're supposed to. So Mommy the Craft Diva made Addy some mermaid pants in the hopes that they would at least keep her knees together and help with the crawling and rolling over. Well, they work pretty awesome at keeping Addy's legs together all the way down to her ankles, but they also greatly reduce the friction between her legs and the floor, so she got herself scooted along the floor pretty well with them on. However, she finds it easier to push with her arms instead of pulling, so she went backwards across the floor this time... Our poor little mermaid will have to work on finding her way out of reverse.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I dub thee Sir Addy

We're working on helping Addy learn to kneel this week. It will help build up her thighs and trunk so she can ultimately work on walking, but it still makes me think of someone being knighted.