Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Davis vs. Solids Part II

Davis had his feeding evaluation appointment yesterday morning. I had no idea what to expect at the appointment. It was a very long day but in the end I feel encouraged and more confident that this stage for Davis is temporary. His appointment was at 8am at Scottish Rite (a hours drive from home). We got up really early and headed out. My mom met me there to pick up Lily so that I could focus on Davis' evaluation. The therapist (specifically a speech therapist) watched Davis for a few minutes and interacted with him a little so he would get used to her. Then we started his breakfast solid feeding. The therapist actually did the feeding. The evaluation lasted about an hour and a half with her feeding him normally and then trying different techniques to see if they helped Davis swallow more. Davis' main problems are that he seems to have a hard time realizing that he needs to swallow, almost as if he doesn't really recognize that there is food in his mouth. He also doesn't use his tongue very well to push the food back in the mouth to swallow it. He also doesn't really seem hungry enough to put the energy in to eat. Something I didn't even realize is that Davis takes the bottle extremely slow. The therapist pointed out that he is having to work really hard to get his milk and that may be causing some frustration as well. She also noticed that Davis doesn't seem to register hunger pains very much and is able to ignore them more than other babies. She thinks that he has some nerve/sensory issues in his mouth where basically his nerves aren't telling his brain that there is food in his mouth which he needs to swallow so he just holds it there. So those are a lot of the problems, what are the solutions?

Well, the therapist said that Davis is basically borderline as to whether he needs therapy or not. So we are going to do a month of strategies at home to see if he improves and progresses and if he doesn't we will then get him started in therapy. Some of the strategies that she has me doing are the following:

1) Pigeon bottle (this is a bottle made in Japan that is often used for babies with a cleft palate.
Since Davis has a hard time making a seal to suck as well as possible low muscle tone to suck efficiently this bottle will help him get milk easier)

2) z-vibe spoon (help develop his nerves and senses in his mouth to recognize food and then to practice swallowing better) This spoon is basically a spoon tip attached to a wand that vibrates that tells the nerves in Davis' mouth to respond and "wake up."

3) Texture and Flavor (offering more texture and flavored foods to do the same thing mentioned above). The therapist said that a lot of times baby food is super bland and some babies that need more oral stimulation need stronger flavors and varying textures to help the nerves recognize the food.

4) Offering more finger foods that are don't come apart easily to promote chewing and oral stimulation but without the risk of gagging or choking.

So, we will be trying these things for the next month in hopes that Davis improves with his eating. He is way too active to not be getting more and more calories during a feed so I want to do anything and everything to help him be as successful as possible and for it not to be traumatizing. Thank you everyone for your prayers for his appointment yesterday. Please continue to pray for Davis that he would progress in his eating between now and next month so as to avoid having to start Davis in therapy.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Davis vs. Solids

I started offering Davis solids (rice cereal initially) when he was about 4 months old. When we first started he didn't seem interested and he basically sat there and let the food drain out of his mouth, down his chin and onto his bib. I chalked it up to him just not being ready to eat solids. I didn't push it too much, I would offer cereal once a day for several weeks. He never really seemed to progress but I wasn't worried. I mean he was still young, a lot of babies don't even start solids until 6 months so I knew we had time. When he turned 6 months old and we went to his check up I told his pediatrician (whom I absolutely LOVE, she is wonderful) how he had been doing with solids. She didn't seem too concerned either but she thought it was possible that he was still having reflux issues making him associate eating with pain which would lead to him not swallowing. She prescribed him his reflux medication combo that he was on previously in hopes that that would help encourage him to eat. About $100 later (with insurance) I started giving his medication again. Honestly, I didn't notice a bit of difference but I kept trying. After a month of what seemed like no progress I decided not to refill his prescriptions (I am not really all that fond of medicine if it does not have an obvious effectiveness). Now we are almost 2 months out from his 6 month check up and there has been minimal progress. Davis probably takes about 5 bites of whatever I try to feed him. I have offered all the different types of fruits, veggies, grains, oats, etc. I really don't think he minds the flavors and tastes of things it honestly just appears that he doesn't get the concept of swallowing. So, what does all this mean? Well, I called back his pediatrician a couple weeks ago and updated her on Davis' progress and she was disappointed. She felt that at this point it was necessary to go ahead and have Davis evaluated for his feeding issues, specifically swallowing. We have an appointment with a specialist on Tues, December 15th at Scottish Rite. I am very anxious to help Davis be a more successful eater for several reasons: 1) So that when Josh and I leave for our ski trip in 2 weeks that my mom will not have to endure the frustration of feeding him 2) So that the poor little guy will get some more calories and vitamins into his super active body and 3) So that we can graduate to some finger foods before or around his first birthday like I did with Lily. I will definitely post an update about how his appointment goes on Tuesday. Prayers for his appointment are appreciated greatly as well as general prayers for Davis' eating ability!

Family Trip to Mayfield Dairy

One of the Mayfield Dairy plants is very close to our house. They bottle milk at this location and they have a cute gift shop and they sell some of their fantastic ice cream. What's even better about the ice cream is how cheap it is. We ordered 3 single scoop cups of ice cream and it only cost $4.50. That's a great deal. So, a few weeks ago we took a little afternoon outing to get some ice cream. They have a big cow (and when I say big, I mean MASSIVE) that Lily isn't all that fond of but she has gotten better about getting near it. We took some pictures, ate some ice cream and just enjoyed one of the last few warm afternoons of the season! Here are some pictures of our family outing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pics of the Family

Where are all the ducks?

We have tried nearly 10 times to find ducks at a pond or lake nearby to go feed. Every time we think we found some ducks we show up and they aren't there. Some friends of ours live in a neighborhood that backs up to a park that has a pond. So, the other day we got together and walked to the pond only to once again not find a single duck, I mean shoot, we would be happy with some geese, but there was not a water floating bird to be found. Oh well! Here are a couple of pictures of Lily while we were on our walk.

Belated Halloween post

So, I am a little behind in posting some of these Halloween pictures. I think I had a momentary apathy for posting blogs but that feeling has since subsided so I am going to try to play catch up here.

The week before Halloween we had several events that involved getting dressed up! First, we went to a playdate with some of the other moms from our new church. We had a great time and Lily had fun playing with all the other kids. They did a tree craft, ate lunch, and then ate cookies with icing. It was optional to dress up in costume but Lily had such a good time wearing her SuperGirl costume that I found every opportunity to get her in it (besides at home).

A friend of ours through a family Halloween party on Friday night where the whole family dressed up. The kids played some cute games and of course there was eating involved (when is an event not centered around food?!). Since the entire families were there moms and dads dressed up too. Josh went as a referee unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him. He looked authentic though. Black pants, black and white striped refs shirt, yellow foul flag, and completely shaved head (and I mean Mr. Clean shiny shaved)! I went as a snow skier. Free costumes are my favorite, mine was a tossup between a snow skier and an equestrian (I didn't want to wear the spandex pants and reveal all my flaws so I stuck with the bulky ski suit). Lily was SuperGirl and Davis was a lobster. Since he is crawling his costume was not really practical. I bought it at a consignment sale long before I knew that Davis would be an early crawler. Needless to say, he didn't wear it for very long.

Lily got to dress up for preschool one day too. I guess since it is a church preschool and they don't celebrate halloween but still want to let the kids dress up they called this particular day, "Favorite Book Character" day. I guess I could have let Lily wear her Super Girl costume again but I took the book character thing literally. So, Lily dressed as a mouse. She basically was Angelina Ballerina (a ballet mouse). People thought she was a cat though which is probably my fault, either way though she was cute!
We had planned on actually going trick or treating this year but other plans came up the week before. Elon University's (our alma mater) football team was playing Wofford's team. Wofford is in Spartanburg, SC. Several of Josh's buddies were planning on meeting up and going to the game. Some of the guys had their families come too, so we packed up our whole family on Sat morning and drove up to Spartanburg. The weather that day was not so great so the guys went to the game while the wives and kids stayed at home and let the kids play and nap. That evening the group of us got our kids dressed up (we borrowed a Tinkerbell costume for Lily since we weren't planning on being there in the evening) and we went to a church festival where the kids dressed up and got candy and food and played on big jumpy slides. It was a lot of fun but probably one of the most exhausting days I have had in a very long time. Thank goodness kids are resilient because Lily and Davis bounced back the next day like always. It took me a little longer to recover though!
Lily as Angelina Ballerina on her way back from preschool's Favorite Book Character day.

cat/mouse, whatever.

Lily and her good friend McKenzie at Jenny's family Halloween party. Kenzie had purple color in her hair.

Halloween playdate at Jessica's!
Too bad I didn't know that her costume says to spot clean ONLY. I mean come on, a toddler costume that can't be washed? Mac n Cheese is not friendly to the clothes of toddlers.

You can't really tell, but Davis is wearing a skeleton shirt. He was just content to crawl around the whole time.

We sprayed Lily's hair with blue sparkle spray for the family Halloween party at Jenny's. It looked so cute and washed out super easy.

My snow skier outfit and Davis as a lobster.
Marco with his daughter Madison (middle), McKae (right) and Lily dressed up and ready go get candy.
Lily, Brady, Madison and McKae (Lily, Brady and Madison are the same age all born Aug/Sep 07).

The only picture of Trevan that he would allow. Trevan, McKae and Brady are Brannon and Kelli Rice's kids. Madison belongs to Marco and Shannon.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Davis 6 month Stats

Weight = 15lbs 3oz ------------> 12%tile
Height = 26.5 in ---------------> 65%tile

The Dr. was very impressed with Davis' crawling and pulling up. We spent some time talking about Davis' eating issues. We started Davis on solids back when he was 4 months old. He had trouble from the beginning but I just chalked it up to him being young. I figured with time he would get better (time being a couple of weeks). Well, two months later and he is still having trouble eating solids. Basically, you can put the food in his mouth but he doesn't swallow it unless he puts his thumb in his mouth and that helps him swallow. If you don't let him use his thumb the food just drains out of his mouth. He doesn't gag, he doesn't push the food out, he just doesn't swallow.

The Dr. thought that it could possibly be his reflux issues again. I stopped his medicine a couple months ago because it seems like Davis was feeling better and it was so EXPENSIVE. So she wants me to start Davis on the reflux medicines again to see if it helps him. She thinks that he was exhibiting some oral aversion. When I told her about how he sucks his thumb to swallow she thought he may have a high arched roof of his mouth which would be why he was compensating with his thumb. A final possibility is that he has some muscle issues with his mouth in which case she will refer Davis to a speech pathologist if things don't get better in a few months.

Davis has been on the meds now for about 10 days and things do seem to be progressing. I have also been letting Davis suck his thumb to help him swallow. We are up to 2 "meals" a day of solids. He is eating about half a jar which is not a lot but for him I feel like we are being successful.

That's what's new with Davis these days. He is just such a happy active little guy. ACTIVE is the key word there.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Early Crawler

Davis will be 6 months old on Saturday! Time has just flown by this year. Since Davis was about 4 1/2 months old he was getting on his hands and knees and scooting everywhere. The official crawl started in the last few weeks where he is on his hands and knees alternating back and forth. It really is quite funny to see because he is just so small and it doesn't look like he should be able to move like he does. He is also pretty daring. Once he was proficient at getting on his hands and knees he started to pull up on his knees. I didn't think him pulling up to standing would be so close behind but he has been doing that for about a week now too. All this is well and good except that he is still not real aware of his surroundings so he bumps his head on furniture a lot and falls over quite a bit too. When they are this young they don't have as much cognition to go along with the movements and so you end up with a little guy getting beat up as he moves him self all over the place. I keep thinking, what does the rest of his first year have in store for me......I am certainly not bored these days.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A church home!

For the past 2+ years we have lived in Auburn. When we first moved into our house here we didn't have any children although I was 7 months pregnant with Lily at the time. Before we moved out here we lived in Snellville and had been there for 2 years. During those 2 years we had gotten pretty connected to a local church. We, along with another couple started a young couples small group that allowed us to meet some of our closest friends. So, when we moved out to Auburn we briefly talked about finding a closer church but reconsidered when we thought about trying to "start over" in the friend department. Anyway, so we stayed involved at Grace until the beginning of this past summer. We knew that when Davis got here it would be much harder to drive back and forth to Snellville once or twice a week for church and small group. We actually tried commuting for the first month or two for church and it was just very hard emotionally and physically. We felt rushed every Sunday morning. As most of you know, Davis very much dislikes riding in the car so a 30+ minute car ride each way did not help that situation. It was just a stressful experience. We knew that the small group that we helped start was in good hands so we just left it up to God to help us find a church home that was close by.

Over the course of the 2 years that we have been here in Auburn we have tried several churches and didn't have any luck really in finding a good fit. I was hopeful but realistic that trying to find a good church fit for us might not be an easy feat. The first weekend that we tried a new church we tried a church called The Vine. I was a little skeptical honestly because I had always gone to either a Baptist church or a non-denominational church. Well, The Vine is a Methodist church. After going on-line and reading the mission statement and vision of the church as well as the background I felt like I should just throw out my bias and give it a try. Our plan was to leave Lily with grandparents while we tried new churches because we didn't want her to have to go to a new place each Sunday. Unfortunately, this particular Sunday we didn't have anyone to watch her so we ended up taking her and putting her in the nursery. Davis was so little at the time he just slept in his carseat on the floor next to me during the service. After that first service I think both Josh and I knew that this church was "it." It seemed like a good fit all around. Great message, Great worship, Lily loved nursery, Davis actually slept in his carseat (hehe, not a requirement but a perk), young families, lots of children, etc.....

It has been several months now that we have been attending The Vine and Josh and I have felt led to make a commitment and jump on board with what's going on at The Vine. We attended the membership class last weekend and we will officially be joining The Vine Sunday, October 25th. We are very excited as it will be the first time that we have joined a church since we have had children and we really feel like we are committing as a family to be part of the team there and to serve the Body. It's exciting for us. We already feel pretty connected to a good number of people in the church and have even run into people that we already know there.

We are excited about what is going on at The Vine. I think one thing I can say with certainty is that The Vine really wants to love people. I know from experience that you can't say that about every church. It is definitely a place where I think a huge priority is to Love people. Refreshing!

So that is a little update about where our family will be serving, worshiping and fellowshipping!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

At Home photo shoot for Lily

So, a few weeks ago I entered Lily into a Gap Casting Call on-line but didn't have any photos of her that I owned the rights to. So I decided to do a photo shoot of Lily myself. For a 2 year old she was actually pretty cooperative. Here are a few of my favorites:

Monday, September 21, 2009

West Hall HS 10 year reunion

Josh and I went to his 10 year high school reunion this past weekend. We had a great time. It was a lot of fun to see Josh reconnect with some people that he went to high school with. There were about 50+ people there. The food was good but the friends were better. Here are a few pictures of our night out: (The reunion was at the Legacy Lodge in Lake Lanier Islands).