Greyson started a preschool program on August 20. He's currently enrolled in the The Gardner School. I know it's important to give Grey certain opportunities that we cannot provide at home. At the very least, he will acquire the socialization skills necessary to prepare him for Kindergarten and beyond. During his last visit with the NICU follow -up clinic, which was 5 months ago, the Pediatrician and Behavior therapist both recommended a structured pre-school environment a few days a week. Even though we've all coddled G and I worry about his tender soul, I think this experience is valuable. Well, at least I tell myself this in my weakest moments. We still have a lot of legitimate concerns with our little man. G managed to only gain 1/2 a pound all summer. He's still only weighing in @ 24 lb., which honestly is the weight of many 12 month olds. He wears mostly 18-24 months in clothes, which makes us all a little sad. Gigi is convinced he will be pushed around by the heavy weights in his class. I know he will be okay, according to his teachers, Grey is a cheerful, outgoing leader. I pray his teachers will provide the love and safety that we give him each day. More to come on the pre-school experience. Favorite Character: Diego Favorite Food: Chocolate Chip Granola Bar Favorite Saying: "I'm just a baby"
So the blog is more than overdue for an update. We just returned from vacation so I have a few new recent photos to share. We spent the week in Watercolor Florida and we had a wonderful time! The weather was perfect and the beach was timeless. Honestly, I could sit in beach chairs for eternity just watching the ocean and listening to the waves. I feel like Watercolor, along with Seaside is a secret treasure found among beach life. I absolutely adore this graceful, old fashioned beach town. Matthew and I could spend hours looking at the colorful architectural designs of homes found among this town. I can’t go here without fantasying about a beautiful, simple beach life. Anyway, I’m beyond fortunate for the time I got to spend with my family. Emily, Haley and Taylor even spent some time with us @ the beach. Taylor and Grey loved the pool, golf cart rides and ice cream! I already miss their laughter.
It actually snowed today… I guess this is proof that old man winter is still alive. Of course we had to run outside and snap a few shots of the first snow of 2012!
I decided today that I should update the ole blog. Everyone deserves to see some updated pictures of Mr. Grey. You might be just as surprised as myself… he’s growing right into a little boy. He talks all the time, did I mention he talks ALL the time! Today he’s been constantly rambling about Wonder Pets and saving a duck! We’ve had a couple long conversations about trucks too.
So, I should update you all on our no pediasure diet. This has definitely proven to be a wise decision. The random vomiting seems to be issue of the past. Grey now drinks high calorie soy milk from Bright Beginnings. He still takes a bottle in the mornings and usually another in the late evening. No, it’s not ideal to have our almost 3 year old still drinking out of a bottle, however, milk in a cup just isn’t working for us at the moment… sometimes you simply have to roll with what is working for you. Grey’s been in feeding therapy for almost 3 months and it’s unfortunate to report that we haven’t seen any true improvements in the weight category. I’m not really sure what I was expecting from this form of therapy but I can say that I’m a bit disappointed. I’ve learned a few techniques and tips but I think it’s time to part with our weekly feeding therapy. I’m actually going to call Monday and say thanks for your effort and time but we are going to continue on with our lives, which will not include a Friday surrounded by constant rushing and long commutes to and from Vanderbilt to end with Grey wiggling out of a booster seat and throwing all vegetable items that hit his tray. At times these visits were entertaining but they all ended with the same conclusion… the toddler has eating issues.
Grey weighs close to 23 pounds. We’ll continue to do our best and dedicate special attention to his diet. He actually ate multigrain Tilapia for lunch today, which is a big deal in my book!
Life is speeding by and I’m neglecting my blog… Is it really December in 2 short days?! It seems like Fall came and went before we even captured the beauty of the leaves. Old man winter is knocking at the door – I’d love to keep him away a little longer.
I’ve been thinking about this blog entry for about 3 weeks. One of the main goals of my blog is to provide support and real life advice to families with preemies, while allowing you a few glimpses into our everyday life as well. As you all know, Greyson and feeding continues to be a challenge. Like many micropreemies the battle of weight gain is constant. Greyson was sick with a mean stomach bug at the end of October. He vomited for 5 days straight and after laundering every blanket/towel/rug in my home I decided to listen closely to our pediatricians’ advice and introduce Grey to the BRAT diet. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, apple sauce and toast. Grey’s BRAT diet was made up of sweet potato cereal puffs for infants, apples and crackers. Most challenging was removing Pediasure from his diet. It was hard to mentally deny him the bottle that I value so much – this is his main source of calories and fat. It was also difficult to ignore his pleas for a “Baba.” However, after 2 days on the BRAT diet, it was obvious to many of us that Grey was truly hungry and interested in food. He even said several times “Let’s eat!” I have to admit, I was shocked to hear him make this statement. He was hungry and willing to put anything in his mouth. On day 4, I maintained my strength and did not give in to the Pediasure - I was allowing Grey to drink soy milk. I didn’t want the dairy to upset his stomach and cause further vomiting. I eventually found Bright Beginnings Pediatric soy milk at the grocery and bought a case – what appears to be Pediasure’s equivalent in soy form. Here’s what I know – Grey’s appetite has increased in 3 weeks. We’ve had one vomiting spell since the switch. Many of you know that we struggle with vomiting and this has been going on for too long. I’ve discussed this issue with many of the health care providers that make up Grey’s team. No one has ever recommended that we stop the Pediasure or that Pediasure may be related to our intermittent vomiting spells.
I have this disturbing suspicion that Pediasure was causing our previous issues with vomiting. We are on our 4th week with no Pediasure and Grey continues to show a new interest in food. He eats chicken nuggets now! I used the word “disturbing” because I am truly troubled that I may have been causing many of Grey’s feeding issues with the everyday Pediasure consumption. I have this idea in my head that Pediasure was causing him to feel sick and many times causing him to be physically sick. I am not confident at this time that my suspicions are factual but I am going to continue to monitor his progress closely. Here’s what I do know, I spent some time researching Pediasure and I’m not the only mother of preemie who has experienced these vomiting spells. I read another parent’s blog and our experiences are almost parallel. Her son was started on Pediasure and then began randomly vomiting after 4-5 weeks. After she stopped the Pediasure her son’s vomiting also stopped. I continue to pray that we too may have found a contributing factor to our many feeding issues.
I’m also thinking about having Greyson tested for food allergies. Many people that witness his intermittent vomiting mention it makes them think he has a food allergy or intolerance that is causing such a harsh response. He literally projectile vomits – it’s like someone pushes back a flap in his esophagus and squeezes his stomach of all its contents (the visual was probably unnecessary).
I realize that writing an entire blog entry on vomit may seem extreme and leave you with an unpleasant feeling. However, I need to share our trials to educate others. I will continue to post about our NO Pediasure diet. We are 22 lbs today and I’m praying Grey continues to tip the scales. We need a WIN!
Yes, I’m still spending lots of time in the kitchen! I feel compelled to share good recipes with friends. So the other night I made mini pepperoni pizza. Not only were they tasty but they were fun to make too! I feel so much better about actually making recipes instead of throwing freezer foods into the oven. So, for all of you that have little ones who like pizza or big ones that like pizza this recipes is worth a try.
Here’s what you need:
• 3-4 Tortillas • A jar of marina or better yet pizza sauce • Mozzarella cheese • Mini pepperonis that you now see popping up @ your local grocery • Italian spices like basil and dried oregano to spice up your sauce – I also added parmesan cheese to my sauce which enhanced the flavor.
1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees 2. Using the top of a jar – cut out circular crusts using the tortillas – I used the top of a Ball jar and got 3 crusts from one tortilla and I was using smaller tortillas too. 3. Place the bottom of your crusts in a muffin pan – they should fit nicely with a little tortilla covering the sides. 4. Add a spoonful of pizza sauce (with added spices for flavor) and parmesan cheese to thicken the sauce 5. Top with mozzarella and mini pepperonis 6. Cook until done – probably about 12 – 15 minutes (I can’t remember how long)
Wah-la! Delicous little homemade pizzas.
*I did not invent this recipes, I either read it in a magazine or on a cooking blog*
Here’s a little update about Mr. Meddler. Grey is healthy and active like any other 2 year old. He is still significantly underweight and I received a call last week letting us know that we have made it to the top of the waiting list for feeding therapy. Wow, that took about 7 months. And it is projected that it will take an additional 4 weeks for insurance to confirm that G actually needs the therapy – of course being born 15 weeks too soon isn’t enough evidence.
So, I’ll wait for the call from my insurance company. My expectations for this therapy are low; however, I’ll take the slightest gain as an improvement. We definitely have some work to do in the eating department. Grey is 27 months corrected and weighs 21.4 pounds. Honestly, it’s an everyday battle and I personally think we should qualify for family feeding therapy! I’d have to bring in Gigi for a much needed therapy session. Her dedication to Grey’s health and weight is endless.
I guess it’s important that we recognize there is a difference between being a picky eater and actually having a toddler with sensory food aversions. You might be thinking, so what are the symptoms of a toddler with sensory food aversions. I’ll describe some specific characteristics of Grey, which puts him into this category. G consistently spits out food, he is bothered by the textures of foods and refuses certain foods like purees. He’s disruptive a meal times and prefers to destroy his food instead of eating it. Many children with food aversions prefer a diet of sugary foods which is true for G as well – he’s always up for a cookie or a handful of M&Ms. I must interject here and say we have seen an improvement. He eats better @ Gigi’s when his cousins are present and eating. I usually put him in his highchair @ dinnertime and give him a few food items, which I know he prefers and I walk away and completely ignore him. He becomes hypersensitive in his feeding chair – doesn’t like anything to be on his hands, if I ask him a question he spits out whatever is in his mouth – this one drives me crazy. I find chewed up food balls all over my house! Lots of half chewed raisins and pepperonis.
Anyway – I hope this feeding therapy helps – I really do.
Here is a recent pic of G and Matt – they just happened to be dressed alike on this day so I snapped a quick picture.
I’ve been thinking about turning my blog into a baking blog! I'm not being completely serious but something about Fall weather drives me into the kitchen and I can’t seem to stop researching delicious baking ideas.
Recently I whipped up some mini snicker cheesecakes for Matthew and Grey. I made a mint cookie recipe for Matthew and I must say they were good! I’m documenting my baking trials so we remember our favorites. Below are some shots from the kitchen.