Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Update from yesterday's oral motor appointment

So, yesterday we went to KKI in the morning for an oral motor appointment.  I was frustrated getting there because the kids were a pain getting out the door, and then I hit several red lights on the way.  Add several stupid drivers and pedestrians walking/driving in front of my car, and we were late.  It was in a different building, just one block over, but the entrance wasn't where I thought it was, so that threw me off.  I also hadn't explained it to Sarah as well as I thought I had, so I had to deal with a whining, teary Sarah too.  She saw the building where we normally have appointments, and kept telling me to go there.  Anyway, despite the rough trip, we managed to get there in enough time to still get our appointment.  Barely, but I guess what matters in the end is that we still got our appointment.

It's a good thing, too, because Sarah did GREAT! We were asked to bring five foods that we'd decided would be a good idea at Sarah's follow-up appointment to try and see if we can up the texture of her meals.  Now, we are not yet changing the texture of her meals because her speech pathologist needs to discuss how our appointment went with behavioral psych, but I'm optimistic that there will be a change soon.  Anyway, we brought french fries (this kind, perfect for an appointment because they were microwavable), cheese (Kraft singles), cucumber slices, canned carrot slices, and a banana.  I also brought ranch dressing because Sarah LOVES to dip diced cucumber into ranch dressing.  She ate quite a few pieces of diced cucumber at my Mother's Day lunch at Outback this past Sunday and did very well with it. She chewed them well and didn't gag.

Anyway, so we spent a lot of time helping Sarah put the foods on her teeth, reminding her to chew them at least five times as it's still a habit of hers to swallow things whole, etc.  Her speech pathologist and I took turns helping Sarah properly place the foods in her mouth.  We had a few minor gagging incidents, but no vomiting at all.  She spit once or twice, and a few times the food fell out of her mouth because she moved her tongue wrong.  Overall, though, she did awesome!  She chewed for probably half an hour and didn't seem to tire.  She also seemed to really enjoy the food.

The recommendation is one snack per day of regular textured foods.  We're obviously not talking sourdough pretzels, or nachos, or peanut brittle (she's allergic anyway), but foods like the ones we brought.  We are to continue the oral motor exercises at least three times per week with the oral motor tools.  Once her meals are about half regular textured foods, we can stop using them.  I can handle that for sure.

As far as meals are going, it's still kind of touch and go.  Abby in Wonderland became a tad less motivating for her, so we changed DVD's again.  I got a few at the library, and oddly enough, she's hooked on this one.  It's awfully cute and has a lot of cute Cookie Monster videos, including "A Cookie is a Sometimes Food."  I find it pretty funny myself.  Anyway, she's lately declared war on oatmeal.  The problem started with me getting a generic brand.  This stuff is definitely thicker than what she's used to eating.  She'd been handling it okay, but I guess our latest box of it must not be going so well.  Add to it that she was pretty annoyed on Sunday that Daddy was feeding so Mommy could have a break on Mother's Day, and it wasn't pretty.  She had gagging issues with it Monday and Tuesday too.  So, I said to heck with it and bought the brand name.  Really, the savings isn't worth it if she really doesn't like it.  I'm picking my battles here.  Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to be stricter with her to show her she's going to have to suck it up and deal.  She gave me a rough time this morning.  She wanted me to heat it up more in the microwave.  I'd been doing that with the other stuff, thinking that may have been the issue.  I gave in today (stupid and off protocol, I know), but I won't do that again as it didn't improve her behavior.  Then, it was her usual ridiculousness of refusing to feed it to herself.

On the bright side, though, we do seem to have gotten back some foods that were giving me a fight.  Green beans were causing an argument, and now she's doing fine with them.  Peaches were 50/50, and now she almost always eats them without fighting me.  Beef stew goes very well too.  I did a taste session on fork-mashed cheeseburger.  She did okay, but I don't feel comfortable putting it in a meal yet.  I did one on lasagna, and I feel that way about the lasagna too.  We've done a couple with creamed corn, and she's doing okay with it, but I think we need a couple more sessions before I feel confident enough to put it in a meal.

Oh, and for those keeping track, I'm STILL waiting on the e-mail with the protocol to deal with the self-feeding issue.  Tomorrow it will have been an entire month since our clinic appointment.

In non-feeding-related news, and this is NOT for the squeamish to read, Sarah has pooped in the potty TWICE in the past week.  TWICE!!!!  Thursday, she'd been gassy for a while, and I had meant to put a diaper on her.  I didn't get to it, but I caught her in a weird squat.  I asked her if she was pooping and she said "yes."  I asked her if she wanted to try and poop in the potty, and she said "yes."  I ran her to the bathroom at top speed and noticed she had only gone the tiniest bit in her pants.  I sat her on the potty and figured we'd see what happened, but didn't hold out much hope.  We'd done this before, only to have nothing happen and then she'd go in her pants or a diaper five minutes later.  I saw she was trying, but struggling.  I remembered from training her brother, that a stool under her feet sometimes helps.  I slipped a stool under her feet to support them, and started to coach her.  I said "Push, push, push with your tush!" I'm sure anyone who doesn't have kids likely thought I'd flipped my lid, but whatever.  It WORKED, though!  She did it and was SO proud of herself.  I showed her when she was done and told her she'd done such a good job and that Mommy was so proud of her.  I cleaned her up and let her pick a prize from my stash of dollar store stuff I keep for these occasions.  Well, these and for lost teeth.

She didn't poop again until Monday night.  She got one out of four poops in the potty (I think she'd been a bit backed up and was clearing it, so I guess it's understandable), but I'll take it.  She got another prize for doing it.

I don't think we're going to push the bowel training too much until school is out, but anytime we can get her into the bathroom when she has to poop, you'd better believe we're going to do it!

Oh, and dance pictures came in.  Here they are.  I took the pics with my phone and used an app to make it look like I scanned them, so the scans could look better.



All three of us (sorry for the blur and crappy colors here) Note: Sarah is in her tap costume here, but refused her wear her tap shoes.  Ha ha! I love her pose and expression here, though.  It's too cute!

Thing 1 and Thing 2....err...Sarah and Sean together

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The latest here....still doing okay

A little of this, a little of that.  That's kind of how meals are right now.  Some meals she does great, others she decides she is going to throw a fit.  Usually her refusal is not self-feeding, but sometimes she takes it further.

Anyway, so we have some foods that generally don't cause a fight.  I feel like we are slowly adding to the list.  Any Chef Boyardee, peas, carrots, a mix of those two, mixed vegetables, yogurt, pudding, applesauce (any kind now, she used to only go for the flavored kind), and now peaches.  Every once in a while she gives us trouble with peaches, but she's gotten pretty accepting of them lately.  I'm working on getting her to accept more main dishes, but we'll see how that goes.  I'm thinking about re-introducing lasagna tonight, but we'll see how that goes.  I've been working with her on corn lately, and she's not accepting it well enough for me to feel comfortable putting it in a meal.

It's odd, really.  I started the corn because she's been asking about it.  She was telling me last week or so that she wanted corn and peas.  She started whining at dinner that night for them, and I wound up showing her that she was eating them in her mixed vegetables.  Seriously, I got the can out and showed her the picture.  I identified the vegetables in there for her.  I told her it had peas, carrots, corn, and celery.  There were lima beans in there too, but she doesn't really know what those are.  That made her more accepting of the mixed vegetables, and less whiny about the corn and peas.  Anyway, another time last week I caught her trying to pick the corn out of her mixed vegetables with her fingers to eat it by itself.  I looked away for a second, and there she was.  Goofball.  I told her to eat with a spoon, and she was fine.  So, I tried giving her corn in a taste session.  It was the regular kind that I tried to fork-mash.  That didn't mash very well for me.  She handled it okay for her five bites, but when I put it in a meal, she had an awful time with it.  I tried creamed corn with her last night.  She did much better, although she made quite a few faces.  I think we'll do a few more taste sessions to make sure she's okay with it before we put it in a meal.  She seems to really want to eat corn, but it's a tough food for her.  I'm sure she'll figure it out.

Saturday night was a nice night for us.  We got to go out to dinner without the kids, thanks to my sister-in-law. Sarah even ate nicely for her.  We gave her slightly easier food, and Sarah did great.  She was funny, though.  She was "coaching" her aunt.  She would tell herself to take a bite and then praise herself.  I guess she forgot that her aunt knows how to feed her.  Ha ha!  We had a nice dinner at a sushi place, and enjoyed some uninterrupted conversation.  Even if a fair amount of that conversation may have been about the kids.

Sunday, we had the ever so fun experience of Sarah deciding she was REALLY ticked off at us for not serving pudding or yogurt with her breakfast.  She sobbed and whined through the meal and refused to self feed all but the first few bites.  It was ugly.  Thankfully, she was over it by lunch and fine the rest of the day.

Sunday night, we had the family over for my birthday, and Sarah ate a bite of cake and fork-mashed the rest of it for herself.  Too funny!  She was SUPER excited to see her cousins.  She was jumping up and down with excitement when they showed up.  All the kids played pretty nicely together, and we all sat watching a ridiculously long Oriole game.  It was history in the making, though, and I'm kind of glad I watched it.  Well, as glad as someone who doesn't normally follow baseball can be.

In Sean news, I had his IEP meeting this past Wednesday.  It was really nice and I was pleased with how things went with his team.  I felt like the staff was really good about telling me the different options for classrooms for him, and we got a good one for him.  His teacher he'll have in the fall seems really nice, and we have an option to move him to a different classroom in the same school if it doesn't work out.  He finished his preschool program, although they do have a field trip tomorrow.  It's optional, but Sean and I are going.

I suppose that's about all that is going on around here.  Just busy with the usual.