Therapy Update

I haven’t written about the girl’s therapy sessions lately, so thought I would update.

First, Nadia’s physical therapy (PT). I think it’s going really well. When we started Nadia was barely sitting and now she is sitting very well, army crawling all over the house, and getting close to getting herself out of a sitting position to army crawl on her own. Well, I guess I should say without face-planting. Oh, and just in the past few days she has been reaching up, like toward the couch, or even my legs.

Nadia’s PT sessions are once a week for 45 minutes, although usually she is worn out after 35 or 40 minutes. And the past few times the therapist has been taking her back without me, and for the most part that is going well, even though Nadia is very much in the ‘clinging to mommy stage’ and ‘crying when I walk away stage’. When the therapist brings her back out to me she usually tells me what to work on until we see her again. This week she wanted us to get some type of one foot high step so we could work with Nadia on pulling herself up to it, and supporting her while she kneels next to it. I very much see the value in PT, but maybe it’s because I see progress. I’m not sure I can say the same for speech and feeding.

Speech with Nadia is once a week but only for 30 minutes. And of course it’s never scheduled next to another appointment of ours, so it’s a pain to drive all the way there for an appointment that seems to go really quick. For the speech sessions the therapist usually takes Nadia back alone for the first 20 minutes and then gets me for the last 10 minutes.

So…. I’m probably gonna sound like a really bad mom for saying this, but I really want to quit these sessions, at least for the time being. Three sessions ago the therapist blew bubbles and said ‘ba ba ba bubbles’ to Nadia for 30 minutes. Two sessions ago she got out this toy and turned it on and off while saying ‘stop’ and ‘go’ for 30 minutes. This past week Nadia was kind of upset and didn’t really want to be near the therapist, so she played peek-a-boo with her for 30 minutes. Now I realize I’m not trained in this area, but I can certainly do these things with Nadia on my own without paying for each of these sessions. I did ask the speech therapist if we could come every other week, and she didn’t think that was a good idea as Nadia already doesn’t know her, so she thought the more she sees her, the better.

Nadia’s one year check-up was Friday, which is another post in itself, but I did ask our pediatrician about the speech therapy… And she was fine with us stopping for now. She said since Nadia has two words, mama and dada, at about 10 months adjusted, she wouldn’t necessarily consider her behind at this point. So, we’ll see. I haven’t cancelled any appointments yet. Mommy guilt.

And finally, Nora’s feeding therapy which is once a week for 45 minutes. I kind of want to cancel these as well… Each session is very much the same. We bring three foods she will eat and three foods she won’t eat. They alternate back and forth, the foods she likes being a reward if she tries or makes some interaction with a food she won’t eat at home for us. The therapist is very very very happy and outgoing. (I want some of whatever she is on!) They basically play with the food, like asking her to ‘clean your spoon’ when she was trying applesauce, ‘lick it like a puppy’ when I took some yogurt she won’t eat, and ‘make a moon’ in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Again, none of this is rocket science, and now that I know what the therapist does, I can easily replicate this at home.

Maybe I’m being too hard on these therapist, I don’t know. Or maybe we just need to find different therapists. And if we move back to Cedar Rapids, we’d be forced to anyway.

Another Friday

Lots of random updates…

  • Nora had her second feeding therapy session today. The three foods we took she won’t eat were scrambled eggs, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and strawberries. The therapist got her to lick the eggs, take a bite of strawberry and spit it out, and take a torn off piece of the sandwich, put it between her teeth, and drop it out onto the table. Apparently that was good. It doesn’t feel good to me, it doesn’t feel like progress. I don’t see how we will ever graduate from this program. When Nora will eat anything I put in front of her? When we aren’t still giving her bottles of Pediasure? Feels overwhelming to me. I think part of the problem might be that Eric is rarely to never home to share a meal with us. Even if he is home from work early, his idea of early is 7pm. I’ve certainly fed the girls dinner before 7pm, as that’s about Nora’s bedtime. The therapist keeps telling me that the foods I bring to work on in therapy should be foods that would make our home life meals easier, things I make a lot that I really want her to eat. Well, I don’t really have a lot of those types of things. Lately I make her the things I know she will eat, and I eat whatever, as Nadia has baby food. Any suggestions as to things your kids eat that are somewhat healthy that perhaps I could try with Nora? Sometimes I wonder if I’m causing her picky eating behavior by offering her the same things over and over.
  • Nadia seems to be babbling a bit more, kind of trying to spit and make sounds with her tongue. Not sure it’s due to anything I’ve done to help her though. I tried to teach her ‘more’ in sign language, but now she’s just clapping all the time. Our next speech therapy session is Monday, I’m anxious to see how that goes.
  • As for Nadia’s physical therapy, she’s still not crawling, but definitely moving around more, turning circles during tummy time and such, and rolling more. Slowly but surely perhaps.
  • I inquired a little bit through Early Access Iowa in regards to someone coming to our home to help with therapy. Apparently we make too much money, and neither of my girls have documented disabilities, therefore they don’t qualify. I wasn’t really looking for state offered help, but that’s all I’m finding so far. So, my next thought is maybe putting an ad on care.com and just seeing who responds, be it students or professionals with an interest in coming to my home.
  • Speaking of state offered help, Nadia’s Medicaid review is due in a few days. I doubt we qualify, as now that she’s a year old it’s based on income rather than her status as a premature infant who has spent 30+ days in the NICU. I want to just throw the form away and allow her Medicaid to lapse, but our insurance is forcing me to reapply, which means gathering tons of data regarding our assets, liabilities, income, etc.
  • Baptism is in the works. I guess. Still not excited about the day, which is sad for me. I assume Liz will be in attendance, as Eric isn’t giving me a choice on the matter, which hurts. The baptism will be at our Catholic Church, and then we’re hosting a luncheon at the country club here. Strangely enough, Eric’s family is not at all religious, but yet we’re inviting all of his aunts, uncles, and cousins. Fewer on my side are being invited. Who knows who will actually come though. Maybe Liz will decide she doesn’t want to drive herself here. God I pray. I still need to order a cake, and figure out what all of us are wearing. Where does one get baptism dresses? I assumed the girls would be in matching white dresses since Nadia is now in 12 months and Nora can still fit into some 24 month size clothing. What else am I forgetting to plan? The baptism prep class is the evening of August 2nd, maybe that will help me know what else I need to do to prepare.
  • Next I need to start working on plans for Nadia’s first birthday party. AHHH.
  • Today is the last day with our current nanny. Feels odd to just be like, okay, see ya later. I mean, I will call her if we need a sitter on a random evening or something. I feel like I should have gotten her a gift, but what? And it’s kind of late now! I scheduled an interview with a prospective nanny tomorrow morning.
  • I’m so tired I could fall asleep writing this. Nadia wakes up three or more times a night. Sometimes to eat, sometimes just because she has a burp or her binkie fell out. Eric claims he doesn’t hear the girls. Don’t even get me started on this. Remind me to post on this topic separately. Well, him getting up with the girls, and him going out after work, when he already works like 15+ hours a day.
  • If you’re looking for a good book to read, my book club just finished “The Weathering of Sea Glass.” Really good story, but I will say, the author really, really needs a new editor. Lots of errors throughout the book. Oh, and it’s part of the Amazon Kindle Unlimited Reading, if you’re familiar with that program, so another bonus.
  • I mentioned Eric’s new schedule right? How he will have every third week off starting in August. Well, next week is August, and he’s supposed to have the first week off. So far I know he scheduled a case on Thursday. So we’ll see how this all goes…

Do I always have to title these posts…? This one is random….

Sitter is back today, so finally a minute alone after a week. Ah… So nice! My book club I started meets later today, but for now I’m catching up on emails at a coffee shop. I need to schedule nanny interviews as our current is finished this Friday, fill out some paperwork for Nadia’s insurance, and possibly order baptism invites. Well, if I knew where the party was being held. And who was being invited. Don’t even get me started. It’s still not settled. Drama, I tell ya. And my blood boils every time I even think about it. I originally thought maybe I would combine the baptism and Nadia’s first birthday party, but now I’m thinking maybe it would be better to focus on each separately.


Way back when, when Nadia first started physical and speech therapy, Eric asked me if I wanted to hire someone to come to our home to work with her. At the time I was like, oh heck no, we don’t need that. Now, weeks later, and with the addition of Nora’s feeding therapy, I’m wondering if maybe that was a good idea. I’m not sure how that works though. I assume we just pay for it outside of insurance, which isn’t a problem. But how does one find such qualified people? We would still go to the official appointments too, right? Anyone know a lot about all this? I certainly don’t!

But there is a caveat to this… I would feel incredibly guilty hiring someone to help the girls. I guess I have in my head that’s it’s my job as their mom to do everything I can to support and help them, including working on our therapy ‘homework’. But honestly, this is so far from my natural talents. I have no training in this area, and let’s face it, I’m not one of those SAHM who is down on the floor with their kids every minute, dreaming up new ways to entertain and grow their children’s young minds. It’s just not me.

 

Feeding Therapy Evaluation

I feel like I live at the Pediatric Therapy Clinic. We (I had to take Nadia too) went this morning to Nora’s feeding evaluation. I had no idea what to expect, but they asked me to bring three foods she will eat, and three she won’t. The first half hour or so was just information gathering, we discussed Nora’s premature birth, acid reflux as an infant, her breastfeeding issues in the NICU, her posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie, how even after correction she still took forever to finish a bottle… I gave a list of what Nora will eat, how we still rely a lot on Pediasure and toddler formula, the how she spits out a lot, even before she’s really had a chance to taste.

The therapist really wants to see Nora twice a week, but we’re already there once a week for Nadia’s physical therapy, once a week for Nadia’s speech therapy, and now once a week for Nora’s feeding therapy. Adding three appointments a week to our schedule is enough for me, I can’t do four. I feel bad, but I can’t, not now anyway. Maybe in a month when I get a new sitter hired and we’re into a routine.

I was able to see a little bit of the actual therapy today…  The therapist started with one of the foods that Nora likes, sour cream and onion goldfish crackers. A few were put on a plate for Nora, and the therapist put a few on her plate at well before going on to talk to Nora about how crunchy the crackers were when chewed. She made a big display of it, and of course Nora thought it was hilarious and then wanted to crunch them as well. Next they moved on to a food Nora doesn’t like, pumpkin banana snack bars from Plum Organics. Again the therapist took a bit of the bar as well, talked to Nora about how it was soft, didn’t make noise when she ate it, could be smashed with her fingers, etc. She asked Nora to first touch the bar, then kiss it, etc. until finally asking her to ‘send it down to her tummy’. Apparently they aren’t supposed to always or even often use the word ‘eat’… This process went on with the other foods I’d brought, almonds, fruit snacks, yogurt, and bits of actual fruit.

The therapist seemed to focus a lot of Nora’s acid reflux as an infant, suggesting perhaps Nora has learned that eating is actually painful and thus she has somehow learned what she can eat, a very limited variety of foods, that won’t cause her reflux. I’m not sure I believe this theory…

One of the questions I was asked was whether or not Nora is overly concerned with her hands being messy. I’m not sure on this one. She does ask me to wipe them off if she gets a lot of food on them, but she certainly doesn’t freak out about it. Looking back though, I never really let Nora eat with her fingers… You know that spaghetti picture everyone has of their child? We never did that, rather tried to teach Nora from a young age to use silverware. I more blame giving up on the idea of baby food so soon for the issues we’re having now. Nora spit out a lot of baby food at first, and being a first time mom I figured she didn’t like it and quickly moved onto baby led weaning. Having seen Nadia spit the baby food out a few times before liking it and figuring out how to eat it, I now think maybe I just didn’t give Nora enough time. Who knows… Can’t go back now I guess.

Our next feeding therapy session with Nora is this Friday, so rather soon. We were given a few instructions to work on at home in the meantime:

  • continue our usual routine, sticking with the Pediasure and toddler formula for the time being
  • during family meals prepare for Nora foods we know she likes and will eat, even if that means mac and cheese and fruit snacks for every meal; the goal for now is just to make sure she is eating with us
  • during family meals talk a lot to Nora about what we are eating, meaning about the foods we want her to eat; for example if I’m eating a green bean tell her how it’s soft and green, doesn’t make a sound when chewed, can be cut into smaller pieces, how yummy it is, etc.
  • plan time for one-on-one therapy meals with Nora, perhaps when Nadia is napping (ha); during these ‘meals’ introduce Nora to new foods but also incorporate familiar items she likes while completing this feeding log Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 3.02.28 PM
  • the idea with the log is to start at the top and attempt to move down the list by encouraging her, playing with the food, doing these things myself with the food, etc.; if she won’t move down the list, go back to the top and start over

So… this all sounds great and wonderful, but ah, finding the time, and preparing new foods to try is already a bit overwhelming to me, not to mention also finding foods to take to the actual therapy sessions, oh, and going to the therapy sessions. I know, this is just one more thing I’ll look back on and think, oh, remember that? But still, right now it feels like a lot for me. Especially since my specialty is accounting, not playing with kids and their food!

Sticky

I hate to complain about the sticky weather, but can the humidity climb any higher?? Yuck. Feels wet just walking outside!

The girls and I ventured to story time at the CF Library this morning, well, actually, we went to meet a friend and her two boys, and just happened to arrive mid-story time. Nora was quite disruptive, but she seemed to somewhat enjoy watching the other kids. After that finished we stayed to play while I attempted an adult conversation with my friend. It’s always difficult with kids, but it was really good to see her. And nice to get out of the house. I stopped on the way home for a Happy Meal for Nora, which she is actually eating now. Surprise surprise. Maybe all the activity wore her out and made her hungry. Next will be her nap, as it’s after 1pm.

Update on that house in Hudson we made an offer on… Our realtor texted me last night that the sellers could now make 600k work. Interesting, since our final offer was 585k. I guess I’m giving up on it. It’s not that we can’t afford 600k, more than we, and our realtor, don’t believe the house is worth more than 585k, mainly since it’s outside of town. So the search continues. Maybe it’s a sign. Makes me wonder if God is trying to give me more opportunities to realize we need to move back closer to Iowa City.

Eric didn’t get home last night until close to 9pm. I’m not sure exactly when he finished his clinic in Ft. Dodge, but he made time to have lunch with his grandparents and mother after. It shouldn’t annoy me, but it does. As him having a late lunch/early dinner with them meant he didn’t start his 90 mile drive home until 5:30pm. He could have been home by then. And to make matters worse, he got a call from the ER on his drive home that he needed to come see a patient. Ugh. It’s never ending. I despise bedtime alone. Nadia is getting her top four teeth, thus she is always fussy, bedtime being no exception. I stopped reading to Nora in her room five times to go calm Nadia. Which never actually did calm her. Nora was finally in bed around 8pm at which point I just stopped fighting bedtime with Nadia and brought her out to play a bit more. In the end, it all worked out, but it totally stresses me out when both are screaming, both need me… I never quite know how to separate my time. Neither want to wait, Nora crying just as much as Nadia if I walk away from her. 

As for Nora’s eating, I’m going to call her pediatrician this afternoon and ask for a referral to feeding therapy. There is a therapist at the same location where I’ve been taking Nadia for speech and physical therapy. Ugh, the thought of going there three times a week overwhelms me, but… Nora isn’t gaining weight. I hate picking her up, she’s just bones. Even her face seems sunken in lately. Or maybe it’s just my imagination, I don’t know. Meals are just so stressful for me. I actually avoid taking her out places because it’s so stressful if events fall over mealtime or involve food. I hate this feeling. I’d at least like them to evaluate her.