Little Bit started figuring out how to knee crawl just before her 11 month birthday. 2 weeks later, she still mostly army crawls but she's starting to knee crawl too.
We were able to get Raya fitted for a new medical stroller that will be similar to this one, only pink:
We have GOT to start putting baby toys in the diaper bag so that Piper doesn't have to keep playing with feeding tube supplies to keep her occupied during church. Although she probably prefers the feeding tube supplies anyway.
We had a run-in with influenza A last week and I was reminded last how much I dislike going to the pediatrician's office and why we avoid it like the plague. If we had hazmat suits, I would make all of us wear them when we go there.
We got the game "Scattergories" for Christmas and the kids LOVE it. We've had so much fun playing it with them. Raya is too young to play but she likes to sit at the table with us and write on a Scattergories paper just like the big kids. Since we always play after dinner, she usually falls asleep while we're playing. I just love sleeping children. Few things are as beautiful as a sleeping child. The past month has been a struggle for her (and us) in a different way than we've had before, so having her calm, quiet, and peacefully sleeping is a beautiful thing for all of us.
We've had a bit of a problem with a certain little redhead stealing her baby sister's special blankies. She has plenty of special blankets of her own, but Piper's blankets are "super soft and cozy" and she really REALLY wants them. The solution we came up with was for Raya to do jobs to earn money so she can go to the store and buy her own blanket like Piper's. It's definitely more work for me to supervise her with all these jobs but hopefully she is learning something. Her first one was to scrub a frying pan that the big kids had forgotten to wash when they did the dishes. She needed a lot of coaching but she did a great job!
Last week, we went to a friend's house after school and they just got a soft, fluffy kitty for Christmas. My child who thinks she is a kitty was beside herself and could not get enough of him! She told me on the way to school this morning that she wishes she had a magic wand so she could make herself a real kitty.
Speaking of thinking she's a kitty... Sometimes I walk into the kitchen and find things like this:
In other news, we have had some good meals lately where she eats enough calories that I should probably be counting them and deducting formula. I made beef stew for dinner one night this week and she ate about 1/4 cup of it. I absolutely LOVE when I am able to make something for dinner that she can eat along with us. It's not an easy task with the things she is allergic to but I'm working on it.
After some discussion about everything we learned from the motility testing last month and what we know about Raya after working with her for 5 years, her feeding therapist and I decided that now is a good time to start pushing her again. We are pushing her on the variety of things she is eating and pushing a little more on the quantity, although we are still sensitive to how she is feeling when she eats. This week, I brought a diced peach fruit cup for her to eat. She wanted a baked potato like always, but I really want to get her out of the baked potato rut so she doesn't end up developing a reaction to them. She likes peaches and she has eaten them before but I knew it would be a challenge for her. I opened the cup and drank half of the juice out of it so it would be easier for her to get peaches out without spilling.
I was right about it being a challenge for her. By the time we finished the session, she had eaten about half of the fruit cup, which was great, but it was really hard for her. She gagged a few times and if she saw any juice on the spoon with the peaches, she really struggled to make herself eat that spoonful. She did a great job though and we were both very proud of her. It's funny, the way I feel when I watch her have a good day at feeding therapy is the same way I feel when I watch one of the big kids nail their forms in a karate tournament. She has to work SO hard to make herself want to eat. On the way out of the clinic she was excited about the Rudolph stamp on her hand and was chattering on about how she worked really hard so she could make Miss Heidi proud of her and make me proud of her. It melted my heart a little but also made me think about the importance of teaching her that making other people proud is nice but that she needs to eat for nourishment, not to make other people happy.
Yesterday we had our first accidental tube pull-out since probably October or November. Raya thought it was pretty funny, but she thinks everything is funny lately. She was messing around, probably pretending to be a puppy or a cat, and pulled the whole thing out of her stomach. Thankfully it was in between a bolus and her continuous feed so she didn't leak stomach everywhere this time.
And then we have this sweet girl, whose skin is giving her troubles. Sad panda.
I had a friend tell me recently that she had seen something I posted on facebook about how well Piper was doing with eating solid food, and it had made her jealous/sad/angry. She has one child with eosinophilic esophagitis and a baby that is suspected to have it as well, and they have struggled with food with their baby. She didn't mean that she was jealous/angry at me, but just frustrated that they were going through much of what they'd gone through with their other child all over again and she wished she could say the same things I was saying about how great things were going. I totally get that. I remember feeling the same way while I sat in church watching my friends feed their kids Cheerios and crackers to keep them happy & quiet and not have to clean up vomit.
The truth is, I do have some concerns about Piper and she does have some issues, I just haven't been vocal about them like I have with Raya's because they're not to the degree that Raya's have always been. With Raya, it was clear and obvious that she had something very wrong and needed intervention. And truth be told, I've gotten enough unsolicited opinions in the last 5 years to last me a lifetime and I really don't need it this time around. With Piper, everything that has come up has been met with, "We'll keep an eye on that and see what happens." So that's what we're doing. I've been taking advice from sources that I am comfortable with and I think we've managed pretty well. Suffice it to say that my mind does not work the same way now that it did before Raya was born and that is both a blessing and a curse!