Thursday, September 24, 2009

All About Eating


Jack has been a big eater from the very beginning. I don't think he ever threw up any of the nasty formula that he had to start with
.
When I got him home and my milk finally came in, he nursed ALL THE TIME. I think alot of it had to do with his breathing. He seemed to have to take a break to breathe every now and then. The whole breathe, suck, swallow routine was hard for him but he chugged right along.

As he got older, his diet expanded beyond milk from Mama
.
He used to love love love chompin on some bananas. Strangely enough, he now has an aversion to their texture. If we mush it up or manage to help him realize he likes the taste BEFORE he spits it out he's still all about it but don't let him just touch a banana to his tongue or it will be spit back out at you.

As he continued to grow and we added peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to his menu, he realized that he had to tidy up after eating
.

At some point, we introduced hamburgers and apple pie. It did not take long for him to figure out how to hold an apple pie just right so that you don't squish out the deliciousness before you get to eat it.

.

Because of Jack's fine motor difficulties and his disinterest in eating foods with utensils, it took us quite a while to get him to independently eat with a spoon but he's a pro at spoon feeding now.



Back to the original topic.....Jack is a good eater although he is still very particular about textures. If we can get the food in, get him to taste it and realize it's pretty good, he will eat it but getting that far can be a battle. So what's a Mama to do? Right now, David and I try keeping most of his foods at a soft texture but we slowly try to add other textures. We can get Jack to eat most anything if he gets a bite of a roll or cracker with it. In this way, he eats quite a wide variety of foods. If Jack really just won't accept the textures, I can get him to eat practically anything that you can mash up, mix with mayonnaise and put between two slices of bread.
Jack's teacher, Ms. Sunny, reports that he will try most anything he can pick up when he is at school so she is going to keep encouraging that. They also eat different foods at school than we usually eat at home so it's great to expand his repetoire.
Then I learned from this post by Alisa at http://www.onefrugalfoodie.com/ that you can add spinach to a fruit smoothie without changing the taste. She pointed out that blueberries make a good cover for the spinach but I put Jack's "fruit drink" in a colored glass anyway and he doesn't care what color it is. I vary from her recipe. I generally use water instead of milk and I use frozen blueberries so no ice. ***Edit add on. After I posted this, I realized that I don't really follow Alisa's recipe exactly. I use a whole banana and I don't add as much water. Also I don't usually measure the blueberries. I just keep blending until it looks good and add water until I get the right consistency.***I don't add sweetener and Jack and I love these "smoothies". I have found though that kids that are used to those ice cream/yogurt/milk smoothies that are sold commercially do not love our fruit drink like we do so you'd probably have to modify the smoothie a bit if your kids are used to the other stuff. Anyway, if we eat junk like hot dogs and fries or hamburgers for dinner, it makes me feel better by giving Jack one of these fruit drinks. He likes it and I know that he has had some fruit and veggies for the day.
We are working on encouraging Jack to use a fork but he's not real keen on it yet. With Ms. Sunny saying that he is willing to eat anything he can pick up at school, I'm wondering if we should back up and allow more finger feeding for awhile. Maybe we could finally get him to eat things like sliced raw apples, carrots, and celery. I don't know if it's just hard for him to chew this stuff because his teeth aren't all in and they are not lined up well or if it's just a texture thing or just unfamiliarity. You got any ideas? I'd love to hear them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dinner Recipe

This is my first blog tour/blog carnival post. Kelly at Kelly's Korner has invited bloggers to share their dinner recipes. It's a dinner recipe yes but it's still about Jack. During the summer, we like to spend alot of our time in the pool and outside and not a whole lot of time in the kitchen and as little possible time in front of a hot stove or oven. I wanted an easy, make ahead dinner worthy dish that was somewhat healthy and that Jack would eat so it had to be dairy free too (back before the allergy tests). Jack also eating it meant that the texture had to be right and it had to be something he could and would chew. So I made up my own shrimp pasta salad. This recipe feeds David, Jack, and me dinner twice with enough for somebody to have lunch leftover.

1/2-1 whole package Publix frozen salad shrimp (It's a big bag but I don't remember what size. I use 1/2 bag for just us and a whole bag if I am feeding a crowd)
1 16 oz box of small shells
1-2 cans Lesueur Very Young Small Early Peas (1 can for the fam and 2 cans for a crowd)
1-2 cans sliced carrots
1/4-1/2 bottle Ken's Steakhouse Light Olive Oil Vinagraitte
Enough Hellman's Mayonnaise to make it creamy

Thaw the salad shrimp by putting in the fridge the night before you plan to assemble your pasta salad.
Cook shells to your level of desired firmness.
Rinse shells in cool water.
Place in container large enough to hold all ingredients and have room leftover for mixing.
Add canned veggies and shrimp to pasta.
Add the salad dressing and mix it up. Just add enough that everything has a light coating of the dressing on it.
Refrigerate for several hours allowing the flavors to "marry".
Add as much mayonnaise as you like to get the level of creaminess you prefer.
I usually like to let it sit again in the refrigerator for several hours but I have in the past forgotten the mayo until the last minute and served it right after adding the mayo. I just think this is one of those dishes that is best after it sits awhile.
Serve over mixed salad greens with bread of your choice.
Enjoy!

Now that we are no longer dairy free, we sometimes sprinkle parmesan cheese on the top before serving.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ick, Ick

It's an icky, blicky day. We are tired of the rain but honestly Jack has the cutest raincoat ever and we'd play outside in the rain BUT there's also been thunder. I have not actually seen lightning but I'm not taking the chance with my sweet boy. So today, Jack was all about "walking, walking". He said that he wanted to go shopping which really meant he wanted more space than our house to walk around in. We headed to our local mall since there's plenty of room to walk and as an added bonus, they have a carousel! Jack enjoyed the carousel at Disneyland so much I thought it would be fun. And even if we did not ride the carousel he would get to walk. I was fishing through my purse for token money and wondering if I could just buy the token at the service desk rather than fidget with the token machine. The younger lady at the service desk poked the older one and said something to her. While I was still fishing to see if I had two ones, the older lady said, "Oh he rides free" in a very sweet cheery voice. In a much much harsher tone than I meant to, I said, "Oh NO HE DOESN'T." I thought her reply was "All ages ride free." I repeated what I thought I'd heard (ready to argue because I saw other people buying tokens) and she repeated, "All angels ride free." I was going to argue but honestly I don't know if it's the blah weather or what, I just did not have it in me and instead I sort of mumbled, "Thank you."
The thing is he IS an angel but she doesn't know that. She doesn't know anything about him or us. All she did was look at us.
I talked with my church tonight and then later tonight with David after he got home from work. They all had excellent points such as...GranJoy's "You're depriving her of the blessing of helping someone else." and Donna's remarks about the lady probably considering that we've been through a lot and will probably still go through alot and wanting to make things a little easier. I liked what Steve said about Jack having such a strong will and determination that he would not allow other people's low expectations to keep him down. Like me, David is a little torn about the whole thing.
It is JUST A CAROUSEL RIDE but then again it's not just a carousel ride. It's just the kindness and generosity of two mall employees (and apparently mall policy) but it could be about perceptions and the attitude that accomodations must be made. It's just a $2 token to allow Jack to have a bit of fun or is it pity from people who don't know that he has been through a bunch of stuff but he has a pretty good life?
Like David pointed out, some of it is just me. But the question is is this part of the good weirdness of me that makes me a great advocate/cheerleader/Mama for Jack or is this baggage that I need to let go? I'd love to hear your perspective.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The FLU

The flu has hit fast and furious this year. It almost feels like the last flu season never really ended but just took a short leave of absence before returning to make so many people sick again. Jack was the first victim in our home.
He woke up Thursday morning not quite himself and he was shaking. What had been a slight cough seemed worse. His nasal drainage was again green. He would not eat and then this is when we knew that he had to be sick....
He agreed to lie down AND he actually agreed to put covers on! This was a picture of him laying in the middle of the living room. Dave took his temperature and BINGO! Time to call the doctor!!! Tamiflu was called in and we were told to start it ASAP. Fortunately, for us, it did not take all that long before Jack was ready to give Irish* a spin. (*We did not give McCahill's Irish a seperate name like Irish two or McCahill's Irish. Irish is simply Irish although we have popped Irish in plain sight so we all know this is a new Irish.)
No one recovers from the flu quite that quickly! Jack is such a trooper and he plays hard. His Aunt Mary has always said that she has never seen anyone work quite so hard and so seriously at playing. :) He had spurts of energy which would be followed by much lying around. His fevers subsided by sometime Saturday and it looked like he was going to recover in time for school on Monday. Unfortunately, on Sunday evening, as my sweet cherub was falling asleep for one of his short little not quite over the flu naps I saw green goo in his left eye. David and I had actually noticed Saturday night that the left eye was a bit red and appeared swollen but this is the eye that remains partially open all the time and we just thought it might have gotten overly dry. I made sure to put extra Lacrilube in his eye that night. Sunday I did notice that the eye seemed to tear up a lot but again that is a sign of being overly dry and I thought we needed to keep it better moisturized. Only when I saw the green goo did the tumblers click in place and my brain finally said, "Oh no! Pink eye!" I cried. Really. And I prayed a very honest prayer that went something like this--"pink eye! Now he has pink eye too?!!? This isn't right. Make him well. Just make him well. Enough! He's had enough! Just make him well. Please please make him well!" Right about there I realized that I was being more than over the top dramatic about Jack getting pink eye and my prayer from that point went more like this--"This isn't really a big deal and I don't know why I'm so upset about this. I've probably watched too much tv today. But I really don't know why he has to have pink eye too. Please don't let him get really really sick from all of this. I just worry about him. You gave him to me to love and I do." I massaged his eye to get all noticeable goo out and really it looked much better after I got quite a bit of green goo out. It was still obviously tender as evidenced by Jack wincing every time I touched anywhere near the eye. David came home and we looked at it together and Jack had a bit more drainage though not quite so green. We decided to keep him home on Monday and take him to the doctor. Diagnosis:Clogged tear duct. Non-infectious! Treatment: Warm compresses to the eye and massage the tear duct to get out any blockage. Prognosis: He looks great and he can go back to school. Actually, our family doctor had a very big grin on his face as Jack interrupted our conversation trying to tell me to sit down in the chair so we could play. Dr. Aizenman was obviously happy to see Jack's development.
Since Jack was out of school, we took some time to play. Well, first Jack's old car needed some work
Gotta keep those tires rotated and balanced!
He decided to take her for a spin and see how she was running.
Geez! Still pullin to the left a bit.
Look how big he's gotten compared to this.
Next we headed to a local park.
Can you say "Wheeeeee!"? Jack can!
The next few pictures were a real treat for me. It's amazing how much Jack has continued to develop. There was a time when, for safety's sake, I could not have taken these pictures because I needed to be right next to Jack to make sure he did not step off a platform into the air and hit some climbing apparatus on the way down.
Did you notice how he held his hand out and reached out to see where the next platform was exactly? Really, if I had not known it myself I never would have guessed that this was a child with any kind of depth perception or vision issue as he climbed around this particular slide. (Now, on other climbing equipment later in the day as he reached out to try to grab a rung that was not where he thought it was it was a bit more obvious. To be fare the other climbing thing that I am referring to was a chain ladder thingy. Yeah, I'm real descriptive.)
He decided to go up again only this time from a slightly different point of entry.
Jack had to take the playground car for a spin too.
But he started to get tired so we headed over to the swing for a break.
I wasn't able to catch all the playing in pictures. Just trust me. We had fun! Jack was good and tired tonight. I'm praying that we all rest well and are ready to return to school and work tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And you thought we knew how to party.....

When I say birthday bash, I really do mean birthday bash and I think that everyone has a good time at our parties. Well, our so called friends* very dear near to our hearts keeping up with the Jones's* friends could not let our humble little backyard pool party go down as the best birthday party of the year. No way, nothing doing...Sophie and Sidney share August as a birth month. This year Sophie is one and Sidney is three. No humble little backyard party for them, unh uh....
There was a train
AND a bounce house
AND a clown who was hilarious and made the most amazing balloon creations all out in their front yard!!!
Jack and I arrived slightly more than fashionably late because well I don't remember and then he fell asleep in the car about 10 minutes prior to our arrival so this is how he spent our first 30 minutes or so at this fabulous birthday bash . He was relaxed with his dog in his lap, the air conditioning on, and listening to Beethoven while in a peaceful slumber. After his nice rest, it was a topsy turvy world as the normally very personal space conscious Sidney kind of gestured as if to say "Hey man, how 'bout a hug?" Jack was still in his I'm not quite awake yet mode. It was really surreal to see Sidney try to give Jack a hug and see Jack trying to get away. It's usually the complete other way around. I think Kyle got a better picture than me but this is what I got....
Sidney was such a cool little host at his joint birthday bash with his sister. And why wouldn't he be? Did I mention the train?!!?
Here is Sidney ringing the bell....
and just hanging out enjoying the fact that there is a train in his yard .
Of course, Jack and I rode the train. I forgot to ask someone to get a picture of us riding but this is the picture I took while we were on the train. We rode in the back.
And the bounce house was a ton o' fun. Here's Jack saying, "Wawa gt ih [Mama get in]".
We jumped and ran and bounced in that thing until I thought surely I can move no more. We literally bounced in it until the guy took it down. I wish I could have gotten pictures and us and Sidney and his Nana jumping together. I am quite the veteran of bounce houses since Jack loves them and loves the company of his Wawa in them. This thing was a quality bounce house. I was telling Sidney's Nana how fortunate we were that it was so well constructed so that we did not have to work so hard to get a good bounce. I was trying to give her tips on energy conservation so that you don't get hurt before the kiddo wears out but I think she hurt her shoulder from all the bouncing. Don't worry though, Pat! Sidney had so much fun in that thing that I think you'll get plenty of bouncing practice in the future! :)
Sidney and Sophie both enjoy opening presents so they had a great time getting into all their loot....
Look what somebody made for Sophie....
She was so prissy walking around in that thing! So A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!!
Sophie liked the bag that we gave her
and Sidney enjoyed the play food we brought for him .
It really was a great party. I think every kid there had a huge smile on his face nearly the entire time. Thanks for the invite, spotlight stealin' Rock star wannabe* friends!
*Y'all know who you are and you know we love you to pieces. Our lives would be incomplete without you but quit trying to show us up! Just kidding. Smooches!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh no Irish!

Oh the agony! It happened as if it was slow motion. I told Jack to hold tight to Irish while Mama went to get him some bug spray. I turned around to get the spray out of my trunk while Jack sat with Irish on our driveway. Jack spun Irish and Irish got just beyond his grasp and rolled down our inclined driveway out into the street. Irish bumped up over the sidewalk and I thought we were in the clear but then just as our neighbor pulled past Irish darted back out into the road under her rear tires. I was hopeful and thought maybe Irish would end up between the rear tires and roll out the back where the neighbor behind her would see him and stop. Alas, the deafening loud pop let us know that Irish was severely injured.
I was in shock. I wanted to cry. Would Jack be okay? Irish goes EVERYWHERE with him. Irish is his lovey. Irish comforts him even at school.
After the cars passed, I grabbed Irish and examined him. He has a severe laceration. I wanted to try supergluing it back together but after consulting with David and Grandma I gave up that idea.
Sweet, sweet McCahill called and said that he heard about Jack's Irish and he wanted Jack to have his ball--an Irish twin. What a great solution! I started out telling Jack that Irish was hurt and we needed to fix him but that felt soooo wrong.
I had a little talk about the difference between people friends and pretend toys. I reminded him that he knew that Irish really isn't a person and that we only pretend that Irish is a person. I told him if Irish was a person then Irish would go see a doctor or go to the hospital to get taken care of. Since Irish was a toy that was broken and there was no way to fix him, his cousin McCahill was going to let Jack have his Irish and we would buy back up Irishs in case anything happened to McCahill's Irish. I emphasized that Irish is not a real person because I felt it was important for Jack to understand that Mama and Daddy did not think people who have hurts/injuries/problems were replaceable like a basketball.
So what would do you think?
What would you have done?
Comment away!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pictures from California

Finally! I've finally got some camera pictures from Californina up! Enjoy!
The Redondo Beach Pier
Looking Back Toward J J's apartment
Tree Growth Affected by the constantly blowing ocean wind
The View from J J's Apartment
Looking Down at the Beach from J J's Balcony
J J's Pet Seagull
Somehow this seagull lost a foot. He stops on J J's balcony several times a day to get a snack. He patiently waits for J J to come out and feed him.
Snack time!
Snuggles with Crystal
The Canals in Venice
On a bridge over the canal

Crystal was quite the little poser
Here's a shot of her at Venice Beach.
Her Daddy says that she got all her posing from her mom but he's a pretty good poser, too, huh?
Venice Beach is a very unique place. I could see how some of its inhabitants really would feel this way.
It was nice to be able to celebrate J J's birthday with him. The cake was from a korean bakery. It was fabulous! Koreans like natural sweetness from fruits and stuff so this cake was so light and wonderful.
Can't go to Los Angeles and not go to Hollywood, right? There really is a lot of smog in Los Angeles. The Hollywood sign is behind us but you can barely make it out.
The LA docks looked like a city unto itself. J J said that sometimes boats wait for months to get unloaded there.
The Aquarium of the Pacific was a fun place. Jack really liked the demonstration of how run-off affects the oceans. He loved it when we made it rain. :)
Da dum Da dum...Jack loved loved LOVED watching the sharks in the tanks!
This kind of gives you an idea of how big those tanks were. We were a little surprised at how attentive Jack was in trying to see stuff in the tanks. In Jack's world of 2-D vision all the darkness and muted blending colors make it difficult to see. He was a trooper and really enjoyed visually searching for the fish we were trying to show him.
No one cuter has ever done this pose before!!! Isn't he just the cutest?
This is the shot that caused the lovely HUGE bruise on my leg. If you saw me shortly after our return, I am referring to the mega bruise that made you gasp and secretly wonder if I had an abusive spouse. I thought and told everyone I got the bruise when I tripped over this huge metal thing next to the rail when Jack and I were posing for a picture in front of the Queen Mary. How disappointed was I to go through the pictures and discover that it was just us in front of this lighthouse! On a great note, Jack saw the lighthouse, loved the lighthouse, wanted to get to the lighthouse, and repeatedly said, "Lighthouse, lighthouse!"
Here's the Queen Mary in all her glory. We did not board her although I think that would have been fun. Alas, she was too far away from where we were and we were all feeling lazy plus there was more of the aquarium still to see. The Queen Mary looks just like the ocean liner in Jack's video so he saw it and popped out with "Ocean liner." So cute!
Hai Fei took a picture of us all facing forward but we have not gotten our copy yet. Here we are getting settled in for a our trip via limo to Disneyland. There was obviously something fascinating out the window on Jack's side of the limo.
We got to Disneyland just before the parade started. It is really hard to capture the magic and fun of the parade from the sidewalk view. Jack did not love sitting around waiting as the floats passed by but he did enjoy it when they asked the kids to come join them and dance in the street. That was awesome! Of course, we were moving fast and don't have a good pic of that.
I think this is the moment that Jack realized that Disneyland is a magical place! We had been standing in line and had been telling him we were going to get on a ride and go "Whee!" up in the sky. Then, he saw it and was transfixed.
Team 1 ready for takeoff!
Team 2. Let's goooooo already!
After the first rocket ride, we split up from Simon and Hai Fei. Simon is 10 and likes the bigger rides. We headed over to Fantasyland where the rides and lines were a bit smaller. Our first ride in Fantasyland was the carousel.
Next we got on Dumbo. Jack really loved rides that went up in the air.
Spinning Teacups. Who did not know that this would be an instant fave?
It really is a Small World, after all. Jack liked all the moving dolls.
We kept trying to get a good picture of that sign. Did I mention the smog?
Jack really bonded pretty quickly with J J and Hai Fei.
Jack liked the planetarium okay. He apparently really enjoyed sitting next to this guy.
I think this picture taken off J J's balcony one evening pretty much sums up our "California feelin'". It was so nice to get away and relax. Thanks J J!