Monday, September 28, 2009

eating update

Rhys has made some major strides with his solid food eating. He is willing to try just about anything (that he can feed himself) you put in front of him. We're introducing new flavors and textures, and though he has preferences the only thing I've noticed he wont grab is an apple slice. I think it must be the temperature/texture because he definitely likes the taste when you hold it for him. He discovered cheddar cheese crunchies today and giggled like he thought it was the best thing ever. There are many things I've been wanting to give him (like cheese, it isn't Gerber and doesn't dissolve), but I'd been holding off for fear he'd choke. I decided to go ahead and give him these things, in tiny pieces, to see what he'd do with them. He only has the two bottom teeth (still!) so there isn't much his chewing can accomplish. But, he is attempting to chew, which is incredible for him. He will take small little bites, mostly by accident, but instead of immediately gagging he tries to munch on it first. This doesn't always result in him swallowing what is in his mouth, but again amazing progress for him considering prior to two weeks ago he would immediately stick his tongue out trying to get the food off. I'm really hoping a few more teeth will get him over the hump and allow him to really eat. What a relief this is. Every time I get incredibly frustrated by his snail's pace he surprises me like this.

We're also seeing some progress with the spoon! His ST has never thought he had an aversion per se, but he clearly did not like eating from the spoon even though he'd chew on it. We are mostly sticking with the stuff we know he likes (which is only a couple of things) for now in order to get him accustomed to willingly accepting it. So far this seems to be working. He is much more receptive to eating from the spoon and even will eat a decent amount at a sitting. We've come to the conclusion that jarred baby food isn't the least bit enticing for him so everything he is getting is "adult" food. Tonight we tried mashed potatoes, and though he ate a few bites I think the texture threw him for a loop - it wasn't his creamy yogurt.

Since the table eating is just starting to make progress Rhys continues to get all his nutrition from the bottle. His daily volume is largely unchanged from what it was day one, but nixing the cereal has lowered his caloric intake. He hasn't lost any weight in the last month, but he hasn't gained any either. We discussed it with the nutritionist and we feel like he still has a little wiggle room where his weight is concerned and at this point the benefits (of his increased interest in table food) outweighs the zero weight gain. We will readdress this at next month's visit to see if he needs to have his formula calories increased, or be switched to a higher calorie toddler drink like Pediasure. I'm not super crazy about Pediasure because (a) it has a ton of sugar and (b) it is incredibly expensive in this application, but if that is what it takes we'll do it.

Now if only Rhys would try to be interested in sitting. My most recent effort resulted in him sitting on the floor, hunched over at the waist with his head between his legs, screaming at the top of his lungs. He has having none of it!!

Today I am: 1 year, 2 months, 1 week and 5 days old.
Adjusted I am: 10 months, 2 weeks and 6 days old.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

baby Benjamin

Baby Benjamin now has a blog. For those interested, please take a look and leave his parents an encouraging comment. As all of us micro-preemie parents know, the blog is an unexpected blessing while living the NICU. I know Cody and I were comforted many a night by the support we received from the blogging community.

Friday, September 25, 2009

prayer request

To all of you prayer warriors out there, I have a prayer request for a new micro-preemie. A friend of my sister-in-law recently delivered Baby Benjamin, at 24 weeks. I don't have much information on him other than he is about 8 days old and is currently on the oscillator. Please pray for him and his family if you are of a mind to. I will post more details as I get them. Much thanks and love to you all!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I scream, you scream

So, now we have discovered two things Rhys will eat with a spoon. I'd even go so far as to say Rhys likes to eat this with a spoon. He was opening his mouth immediately after swallowing.

I had to hold his hands out of the way so I could get to his mouth. The boy couldn't get enough.

I fed him as much as I was comfortable with him eating, though he would have kept going. It isn't the most healthy food, and he'd probably not have gotten it this soon were we not desperately trying to find something anything he'll eat. But it does have lots of milk fat.

But does anyone know a single soul that doesn't like Blue Bell? If they exist, it appears that Rhys will not be included in their number.

Today I am: 1 year, 2 months and 4 days old.
Adjusted I am: 10 months, 1 week and 5 days old.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Are you ready for some football!?!?

College football has arrived and Rhys is so excited to watch it with dad for the first time! Did you have to ask which team he cheers for?!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

my happy boy...

....who always has a smile for everyone,

and now likes to "feed" himself, but still hates the spoon.

And who has the potential for some seriously crazy hair, front cow-lick included!

Happy 14 months, buddy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

stinky old socks

This is my latest attempt to make encourage Rhys use his right hand more... Cody's (clean) old socks.

It's working somewhat... working to tick him off and make him focus on removing the sock from his hand. But, it is also making him use his right hand more, which is the goal! We're also pinning his left arm beneath the high chair tray when he eats. Everything is automatically lefty for him, so his right hand still doesn't have the same level of coordination. He can use it, and does use it, just not nearly to the same extent. Rhys can now grab and firmly hold onto his blocks with his left hand, which is fantastic. Ever since he's started "feeding" himself more his motor skills in that regard have increased significantly. Thus why we're now doing more to use the right hand... I don't want him forgetting he has it!

And the answer is yes... for those who are asking if Rhys spent the whole day in his PJs. That's how we roll around here unless we are getting out of the house. :o)

Today I am: 1 year, 1 month, 4 weeks and 2 days old.
Adjusted I am: 10 months and 1 week old.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

holy moly

Where did my good little boy go? He's been replaced with a screaming, whining, crying little mess. I'm reporting him missing, so if anyone finds him please let me know! Sigh. Rhys is resisting our tough love. He's been so super cranky, because he's always starving, but he still refuses to cooperate with the spoon. His latest is that he keeps is mouth open and tongue out to let the food slide out of his mouth instead of swallowing. Again, sigh. He is much better at picking things up to eat on his own, though he more licks it than actually eats anything. Still progress though, nonetheless. Since the cereal has been gone (from daytime bottles), so has gone my great little napper and 12-hour a night sleeper. The last three mornings Rhys has woken up between 3-4 a.m., despite having cereal in his nighttime bottle. That has never happened since he started sleeping through the night. He is getting increasingly more frustrated in general, but we aren't rescuing him. I am hoping that if/when he gets mad enough he will start to figure things out out on his own. He needs to figure things out on his own. He is much more capable than he's letting on. Lastly, the only cute thing he's done recently is that he's starting to repeat syllables when he talks. He is big into yayayaya, babababa, and I swear I've heard a dadadada in there though not in relation to Cody.

Today I am: 1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks and 2 days old.
Adjusted I am: 10 months old.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

smarty pants

Rhys loves the computer. He is mesmerized by the mouse/pointer and follows it around the screen as you're working. I don't know what it is about kids and electronics, but he also likes our cell phones and the touch screen TV remote with all the colors and buttons.

Cody got back from his second Africa trip last week so we've been enjoying some time with him back in the house. It's hard to get readjusted to having a helping hand after you're accustomed to doing it all yourself for five weeks. But you wont catch me saying it isn't lovely having an extra set of hands again. I've actually been really lazy while Cody has jumped in and taken Rhys on some trips around town. He also took Rhys to PT today, which was a nice break for me. Rhys is getting more bits and pieces of the sitting, but he still has very little interest in it. I really think if he wanted to sit he could, because he will do it for seconds at a time. But he really has no desire and gets angry most times that you make him try. Cody asked his PT about equine therapy today and found she is a big advocate. I'd previously had that in the back of my head as something to look into for later on, but my SIL mentioned it the other day so I thought I'd ask our PT. The PT said she thinks it would be great for Rhys all the way around, but wasn't sure at what age they can start. She then took Rhys to the "mechanical horse" (apparently an apparatus that mimics the movements of a horse) and Cody said that was the only part of PT he didn't scream and cry through. Our neighborhood has a stable and they offer classes so I'm going to look into it and get some more info.

Rhys started making some new sounds today and has thrown in the "w", "b" and "bwa" into his jabbering. Still no words yet but sometimes when he's really upset you can hear what sounds like "maaaaaaaa". In an effort to get Rhys to eat, like we know he can, we are dealing a little tough love in our house. We have taken the cereal out of Rhys's milk thinking that will make him more hungry. Sure enough, immediate confirmation that the cereal was keeping him full 24/7. Not sure why we didn't think of this sooner, though when we first started the cereal it didn't make any difference in the volume or frequency he ate. So, he now only gets cereal in the bottle before bed. I learned the hard way that plain milk only keeps him asleep until about 4 a.m. This really hasn't done much to make him want to eat from a spoon, but he does do it a bit. He will tear up his biter biscuits though, which is a good thing.

Today I am: 1 year, 1 month, 2 weeks and 3 days old.
Adjusted I am: 9 months, 3 weeks and 4 days old.