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Like a superstar

I have no pictures from today but given the negativity in recent posts, I felt like I should post something positive. Raya had a pretty awesome therapy day today. We went to another summer movie this morning. This time it was Horton Hears a Who, which wasn't as appealing to her as Happy Feet 2 from last week. (crazy girl, Horton is WAY better!) As I was getting her out of the car at the theater, I noticed that she had 2 different flip-flops on and they were both for the right foot, as in, no left shoe. It made her walk crooked but she was proud of herself. :)
She refused to sit down most of the way through the movie and as long as she wasn't bumping into anybody else's seats, I didn't force the issue. This time she didn't spend the whole movie shoving popcorn in my mouth. She actually ate some herself. I always feel funny using the words "eat" and "ate" in reference to Raya because to me, that means biting, chewing and swallowing. Raya's usually missing at least one of those things. Anyway, she ate some popcorn and after about 20 minutes, she looked at me and pointed at her teeth and mumbled something. I asked her if she needed to spit out the popcorn and she shook her head yes, so I got a napkin. Let's just say that a 1-ply movie theater napkin was no match for 20 minutes' worth of popcorn hulls. It was pretty gross. She did manage to drink a decent amount of my lemonade too but I put a stop to that as soon as I had to pinch the straw to keep her popcorn from going down into my drink. Gross.

After the movie, we left the big kids with friends and went to her occupational therapy appointment. I'm pretty sure she was asleep before we even got out of the parking lot which explained some of the restlessness at the movie. She's smart enough to know she was tired and that if she sat still she'd fall asleep so she kept moving. :) Getting her out of the car when she's fallen asleep is a little like playing Russian roulette. You never know how it's going to turn out. This time she was snuggly so that was pretty exciting. She was really excited to see her therapist, as always.

At first she seemed like she wasn't going to do very well in the swing. She was clinging and had a few moments of panic but I don't think her therapist even noticed. After the swing, she jumped on the air mattress for a few minutes. She likes to jump back and forth across it between her therapist and me. There was another little girl on it with her for a couple minutes and Raya liked that. She loves big kids. :) Once her friend got off, Raya put the heavy ball through the basketball hoop a couple times and then moved on to the scooterboards.

First, she sat on the smaller scooterboard and went back & forth picking up puzzle pieces and scooting across the room to put them in the board. When she finished that, her therapist put her on a larger scooterboard with her legs crossed and had her pull herself across the room with a big rope. When I realized that's what they were going to do, I honestly didn't expect her to be able to do it at all. Shockingly, she pulled herself all the way across the room 4 times. Unbelievable. She needed a lot of help because the scooterboard didn't want to go straight and she kept losing her momentum on the carpet but she did awesome. I've never seen a 2 year old do that before. It wore her out though! She was totally ready for her massage today. :)

After OT we picked up the other kids from a friend's house and headed home for feeding therapy. I banished the kids to other rooms to entertain themselves for a while so they wouldn't distract Raya but I don't think it would have really mattered today. She was uncharacteristically focused on what she was supposed to be doing. Her feeding therapist had me get out 2 foods that we know she likes (plain Greek yogurt and Froot Loops) and one that I wanted her to try (the chunky cinnamon applesauce from last night).

We've never EVER found anything that we could reward or bribe her with that motivated her to chew & swallow but today, mini M&Ms worked. She tried one to make sure she liked it and once her therapist saw that she liked it, she told Raya that she could have 3 M&Ms after she had a bite of yogurt+Froot Loop and cleaned her mouth. She gave Raya a bite, reminded her to chew, put the M&Ms on the table where Raya could see them, and Raya chewed and swallowed and got her mouth clean. Once she had eaten the M&Ms, she had another bite of yogurt with a Froot Loop on it. She cleaned her mouth, had more M&Ms, and repeated the process. After all was said & done, she'd had about 8 bites of yogurt & Froot Loops with M&Ms as her prize each time she cleaned her mouth. It was by far the most successful bite/chew/swallow attempts she's ever had in one therapy session and I know she's never eaten that nicely for me.

We wanted it to end on a positive note so we stopped while she was still interested and gave her extra M&Ms after the last bite. Then her therapist remembered that she was going to try to get her to eat some of the applesauce. As soon as Raya saw it, she shook her head no. :) She got a little bit of applesauce on the spoon and held it out to Raya and she leaned forward to try and kiss it like I'd had her do yesterday but that's not what her therapist was going for so she took the spoon back. Raya said, "I nee-a SISSit!" meaning "I need to kiss it!" :) As soon as there were more M&Ms on the table in front of her, she reluctantly took a bite. She had a pretty solid yuck face on the whole time it was in her mouth but she swallowed it. She took 2 bites without any chunks of apple in it and then her therapist threw her a curveball and put a chunk of apple in her mouth. She immediately spit it out. She tried it one more time and Raya spit it right back out so that was the end of that. She had a drink of water and she was all done. It was a great therapy session!

Overall, she's had a really good day. It's been a really nice break from the way she's been the last 2 or 3 weeks. It all started when we got her up to 4 oz of liquid milk per day. I think it's finally out of her system and she's feeling better. Today was a good day and things seem to be calming down again (knock on wood). :)

On another note, I've had to laugh at myself this evening. I've been babysitting my friend's 10 month old baby, and when I lifted up her shirt to change her diaper, I had a moment of, "Where's her tube?!?" panic. :) Then a little while later I looked over at her and saw her scooting across the floor flat on her belly and panicked again thinking that she was going to get her tube caught on the carpet. :) *sigh* Such is the life of a Tubie Momma. :)


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