Saturday, December 31, 2011

Road to Recovery

Addy is still working her way toward full recovery from whatever this nasty cold is that she's had.  Her constant sharing of all things visible and invisible has, of course, included sharing her germs so both Mommy and Daddy can now fully appreciate just how miserable she has been over the past 10 days or so.  At least Addy is getting better!  She's even perkier than she was yesterday and has been eating a whole lot better today than she has pretty much since she started getting sick.

Other than being sick, Addy's hair is finally long enough for ponytails and pigtails.  So super duper cute!

PigtailsPebblesPigtails 2

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Forward Progress

Addy is way perkier today than she has been. She's still super congested and having an extra gaggy day, but it's a definite improvement over yesterday. Whether it's the nebulizer or just the normal progression for this virus, I don't know. All I know is she's getting better.

In other exciting news, Addy was sitting on my lap tonight while I was eating a bowl of baked apples for dessert. She kept leaning over, reaching to get at my food, so eventually I took one of the apple slices and offered her a bite. She nibbled a little piece off and chewed and chewed until she finally swallowed it down, at which point she opened her mouth and leaned forward toward my hand to get another nibble. It took about 20 minutes and she had one small gag threat, but she managed to eat about half the apple slice. Yay!

The Weapons In My Battle With The Barf

I am determined to come out victorious against the hyper-sensitive gag, so I am working on acquiring some tools to assist in that endeavor. In order of likelihood that you have them in your kitchen, my arsenal so far consists of:
* Knife and cutting board: so far, not very useful. But I keep hoping there will come a day where all Addy needs is for her food to be chopped up into bite-sized pieces!
* Mesh strainer: the tool of last resort when I can't deal with trying to feed her one more gaggy bite. The goal is to not use this any more (not for this purpos at least).
* Food processor ("full size" and mini): not really my favorite tools for this stage of the game, though both are certainly useful outside the realm of baby food. By the time things have been chopped small enough, we have purée and not textured food.
* Leftover plastic baby food containers: reduce, reuse, and recycle. They're already the right size for portioning home-made (or at least home-mushed) baby food, and they go into the freezer with no worries.
* Potato ricer: it's quick, it's easy, it goes in the dishwasher and generally comes out clean, it's a good size for mushing up a toddler-sized portion of food for one meal, and it does a descent job of mushing up the food while sifting out some of the extra big offending textures. But it only makes one texture, so I'm thinking its days may be numbered. (If you've never seen one before, a potato ricer is basically a gigantic garlic press.)
* Food mill: it's so old school it's almost cool again. Almost. A pain in the neck to truly get clean some times (food gets caught in the grinding disks really easily) and really too much tool for dealing with a single meal's worth of food, it actually does the best job of achieving texture like the OT would like, and has three grind sizes to choose from. It's also a great tool for making up a big batch of baby food to put up in the freezer. It is, however, more likely than the ricer to be garage-saled in a couple of years. I just have no desire to ever make home-made apple sauce or tomato sauce again, but heavenly whipped potatoes are definitely going to be served again!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Doing Something Feels More Productive Than Just Sitting Around

Took Addy to the doctor this morning; apparently her cough is slightly concerning, but her extra-hyper extra-sensitive extra-gaggy reflex is just going to have to be lived with. On the up (?) side, we now have a nebulizer to address the slight breathing problems caused by the gunk in her chest. It does seem to be helping, but ask me again at midnight when we have to get Miss Sunshine up for one of her treatments.

Merry Christmas

Merry second Christmas, Addy! She had a mostly good Christmas--still not quite a present-opening fiend, but definitely interested in playing with her new loot once someone else has removed the pesky wrapping paper. Poor thing still has a yucky cold and is having a lot of issues with post-nasal drip that tickles her (apparently many) throw-up spots. Made for a less relaxing visit with Grandma and Grandpa Gottlieb, though I'm not sure they noticed.

Now, 3 days after Christmas, Addy's cold has moved from runny nose to yucky cough. We're still having fun with the extra yucks it's causing. Unfortunately pediatricians generally don't want to treat a cold in a youngster; just let their little immune systems do their thing and spare them the what-ever-down-side-there-is-to-sleeping-through-the-night-and-also-not-having-a-coughing-fit-that-causes-the-kid-to-throw-up-several-times-per-day. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to over medicate my kid and put her at future risk for developing asthma or ADHD or whatever else is linked to tots who take cough syrup. But I think I'll be calling the pediatrician later this morning to ask for an exception in this case.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not-so-imaginary items

Poor Addy has had a cold yesterday and today and is a complete and total snot monster. She was sitting on Miss Cindy's lap this morning, getting her shoes on, when she turned around to try to hand Miss Cindy something invisible. Only, it turned out that what she was trying to share wasn't just a figment of her imagination. It was a fist full of snot. So! Gross!

Tomorrow we get to start giving Addy some Prilosec to see if addressing the acid reflux that I'm pretty sure she has will also address her gag reflex. It was such a nightmare trying to get the prescription filled that I'm really hoping it will work miracles. (We're using an uncommon powdered formulation that is normally given to patients with an NG tube, since I'm concerned that an ODT will only exacerbate the gag reflex instead of help resolve it. But because it's super unusual, it's also on the insurance company's "Deny claim" watch list, so we had to get a pre-authorization form submitted. Like I said: "nightmare.")

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Addy has reached the "sharing" developmental milestone, where she hands us toys (or crackers). If she's in her stander, she'll hand us toys out of her basket, one by one, until she gets it all emptied out. Then she'll hand us invisible things, using the most perfect, pinkie-out, thimb-and-index-finger-pincher grasp you've ever seen. So cute!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First sentence

I've mentioned how Addy only likes to say "Mama" and "Dada" when we aren't around. She's also a big fan of being done with things (like meal time). So I've been teaching her about "gone," too (as in, "Look, Addy, you ate all your food and now it's all gone!"). Today she told her nanny "Mama?" Miss Cindy replied, "Mama's at work." Addy responded "Mama gone," and pointed upstairs where my office is. Oh, the daughter guilt is starting way earlier than I had thought it would!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Addy managed to catch Merry Cat this evening with her stander:
Addy + stander vs Merry

Eventually the cat will learn to run away when Addy points the stander in her direction!

In other Addy news, she tried a new flavor of baby food today: Sprout's Creamy Chicken and Veggies (I think that was the name of it). It smelled delicious but it had waaaaaaaaay too much texture going on there. It's actually the second one of Sprout's stage 3 foods that we've tried, and I have to say, their decision to use what seems like jerky instead of actual, tender chunks of meat is quite disappointing. It may be organic, but it's really kind of a gritty texture in the food.

Anyway, to try to make it more palatable for Addy, I poured it out on the cutting board and tried to chop up the chunky bits as much as I could with a knife. That wasn't smooth enough for the Red-Headed Wonder, so we tried adding it to some tay-tohs just to spread out the texture. Nothin' doin'. So we gave up at lunch time and put the leftovers in the fridge (she polished off a container of smooth, but somewhat gelatinous chicken and noodle dinner instead).

At dinner time, I tried putting the leftovers in the mini food processor to chop it up even more finely, but even that wasn't enough to convince Addy that we weren't trying to choke her with her dinner. The only thing left was to actually strain the stuff through a mesh strainer and try to remove all of the good, chunky stuff. She still wasn't really impressed, but at least she mostly stopped gagging. She does fine with food that's thickened with cereal and she does fine with food that has wheat germ "sprinkles" added to it and she does find with food that is both thickened and "sprinkled," but do not try to give the girl dried out meat chunks in her food. Can you really blame her?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Hot (pink) pants

Addy has a new pair of therapy shorts now:
Hot (pink) pants

These ones are made out of neoprene. They help to keep her hips in alignment, while still allowing her legs to move independently. No, I didn't make these ones. (Didn't you read the part about how they're made out of neoprene?)

Monday, December 5, 2011

AFOs v1.1

We took Addy (and, more importantly, her AFOs) to Nashville today to see about revising/returning the braces so that we can make sure they're really giving her the maximum benefit possible. I was a total weanie and just let the orthotist revise them this time. We'll be back in Nashville for SB clinic in a month anyway, so we'll take more drastic action at that time if we need to. On the up side, the braces do fit much better inside Addy's shoes now and I think her heel will stay in place better after the make-over they got this afternoon. And because of the way the orthotist took care of the extra bulk around the ankles, he was able to reverse the plantar flexion (toe pointing) in the right brace. Here's hoping this lasts a while longer this time!
AFOs v1.1AFOs v1.1

Also on a super positive note, Addy ate the best lunch I've seen her eat yet: a whole container of "chicken and rice dinner" plus an entire pouch of "spinach mango pear purée" with cereal (it looks like pesto, but mostly tastes like mangos and pears; Addy loves it) and about 2 oz of milk. But no crackers. She managed to eat about 6 Ritz crackers today between breakfast, a snack in the car and a snack at the orthotist's office. So when I offered her another one for lunch she gave me this look that said "Seriously? More Ritz crackers? They're good but they aren't that good." We switched to puffs for dinner.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Finished before she's even started some times

Addy has a new favorite word: done. Diaper changes are done before the clean diaper is velcroed in place. Meals are done as soon as the appetizer course (cracker) is gone, never mind the entire bowl of tay-tohs and turkey that still needs to be eaten. And books are done before they've even been opened. It was cute at first, but we're starting to question that whole "let's teach our kid to speak" thing that we've been working on :)

Speaking of meal time, Addy is continuing to make forward progress with resolving her gag reflex, though we still have quite a ways to go before I'll call it finished. The most surprising thing to me is the very strong correlation between her being just a little bit constipated and her having an extra sensitive gag reflex. It makes sense--I don't care what you're full of, if you're full, you probably don't feel like eating--but the extent of it boggles my mind. On a less poop-related note, Addy has a new-found love of graham crackers and is almost a pro at taking an entire cracker and nibbling it down to nothing using little bite-bites all by herself. Those new top chompers of hers are definitely coming in handy with that!

Finally, all of Addy's time in the stander has strengthened not only her legs but also her upper body as well. She is lightening fast at crawling around the corner of the couch so she can play hide-and-seek with us!