Search

The Art of Running in the Rain

"To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift." -Prefontaine

Tag

parenting

Helping The Picky Toddler With Meal Time

I rarely bring my speech/language pathology training into the blog, but I’m just so proud about what I’ve done for Mira in this last week (and how it’s impacted meal time) that I felt it was too exciting not to share. Here’s a little bit of the back story: As many do, our toddler is having a hard time with food. She used to eat pretty much anything and everything that we put in front of her (or at least would try it), and then about a month ago all that changed. We would get ‘no, no, no’ or ‘all done’ and the dish/bowl would be pushed off her tray onto our table (at least not the floor, amiright?). This is a super frustrating phase, and it’s especially frustrating when you love cooking. As you know from the blog and from my stories both Dave and I really enjoy cooking, and seeing Mira take a bite of something, make a gagging face, and say ‘all done’ can be soul crushing.

IMG_7371.jpeg

I decided that rather than lament and get frustrated with every meal I would try something that would give her autonomy within a structure of our choosing. I decided to make some ‘Individual Graphic Symbols.’ I always refer to these as ‘PECS,’ but I know that technically that’s not accurate as PECS is a specific communication system, and what I’m doing is much less structured. When you are using ‘Individual Graphic Symbols’ for an individual with a communication disorder you are using a low tech augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) system to help the person express themselves. They may not have the spoken word to communicate what they want, but they have the pictures (and sometimes that awareness comes first). For us we wanted to give Mira access to images of a variety of foods that she likes to eat, giving her the independence to choose what she wants. At the same time, we needed to keep these choices within a small set that we are willing to make and/or have on hand at a given time.

47aNIalrRC232gmBeJR1cQ.jpg

When I was working in early intervention many parents expressed concern that using an AAC system (e.g., baby sign, PECS, Individual symbols) would negatively impact their child’s use of speech and I am here to say that that is NOT the case. Research has shown us again and again that using these supplemental systems only helps facilitate language development.

bTzEVyjpS7ax5LcLDSUrDw.jpg

Mira can say many of these words already and if she doesn’t know them on her own she will readily imitate; however, she is unable to recall most of these foods independently when sat down at a table and asked what she wants to eat (as I wouldn’t expect many 18 month olds to be able to do). So having these images helps her recall things she’s already seen and helps her associate the food with the word.

Here’s what you need to make a an individual graphic system: a mini binder (or large, depending on how far you want to go with your food choices), laminator (I have this one), laminating sheets, velcro fasteners, couple pieces of white paper, printer (I have this one), and a word processing system.

WeHTVylbTHSUwmH+knj5%w.jpg

Assembly: First you will need to make a list of the items that you want pictures of (I find that this list is ever expanding). Then you will search for images of the items you’ve listed and copy and paste those images onto your word processing system. Once the image is on the word processing system resize it to be about 1.5-2.” Continue until you’ve filled the entire sheet, and then print. Cut each picture out and arrange them on your laminating sheet (making sure there is space between each picture so the laminate will completely seal around the image). Send the laminating sheet through the laminator and let it cool. Now it’s time to make the pages of the binder (where the images will be fastened to), cut an 8″ x 11″ paper in half and send them both through the laminator. Apply the velcro hook to the page and the loop to the images. Organize your images however you choose (I tried to separate meal type, snacks, and fruits/veggies).

lO0cv+iWSK6IeQFYGMt96g.jpg

The ultimate goal of giving her autonomy when it comes to food choices has definitely been accomplished. I can feel the tension releasing at meal time, we are worrying less that she will never eat vegetables and she is enjoying making her selection.

mira choosing

As with all things related to raising a child, this phase will pass and we will be onto some new challenge, but I hope that I can always find a middle ground between bringing what I’ve read, learned or heard to the table for Mira and accepting who she is as a human.

Be well.

Pump and Post I

You can thank Dave for that creative title 😉 I have a feeling it might turn into a recurring theme so I’m making this the first installation.

So now that you know what I’m up to atm, I thought I’d fill you in on the last little bit of my life. Something about the number three is sticking in my head today so I’m going to share three things from a few categories of my life.

Favorite Third Trimester Workouts:

I. Body Pump – Up until week 39 I was able to do 2 body pump classes a week and it felt great! The energy that lifting gave me was so helpful and I think it definitely helped me through my labor.

IMG_3967

II. Walking – It’s been a family tradition to complete bloomsday every year and I wasn’t going to let pregnancy hold me back from that. It was the slowest bloomsday I’ve done yet and I had to stop four times after mile 5 due to some horrible cramps (TMI, but I was having some digestive issues that I believe added to the difficulty), but I DID IT!

IMG_3953

III. Spin – It’s interesting how the difficulty of spin evolved throughout the pregnancy. During the second trimester I felt some pain in my hip flexors and then in the third trimester it became hard to sit on the seat. It was never too painful to do though and I’m proud of myself for getting myself to classes up until the very end.

IMG_3926

Baby Shower: 6/3/2017

I. Friends – Thank you to these ladies for throwing an amazing baby shower (and to my mama, who also helped out a TON but I didn’t get a photo with her)

Baby shower ladies

2. Cugina – Kate helped from afar by getting this beautiful cake, she was missed for sure, but the cake was delicious! Also, did you see the donuts? My mom and friends know me so well 🙂

IMG_4037

III. Shower dress – In general I haven’t LOVED Target’s maternity section but I found this dress and it was amazingly comfy and pretty cute!

IMG_4035

Labor: 6/15/17-6/16/17

I. My labor team – Dave was an amazing support during labor. Him, my doula, and the labor and delivery nurse really helped me through it all.

IMG_4080

II. Partial drug free labor – Though it didn’t go exactly as planned I worked so hard for a drug free labor and I’m proud to say that outside of a few doses of fentanyl I stuck to it. My nurses face (Pauletta was literally the BEST) says it ALL! I am also proud to say that I was the loudest person in labor that night 🙂

DSC_0012.JPG

III. Dave’s tears – If you know me then you know I’m a crier, but I guess I don’t cry at major life events (e.g., weddings, child birth). But I love that my husband does, I’m so happy Mira will grow up knowing a man that shows all his emotions.

DSC_0016

Mira In The Hospital:

I. The Five A.M. Crew – Mira was born at 4:23am on Friday June 16th, so need I say more about the people who stayed up until five a.m. to meet our new little human. Nonna brought the nurse’s donuts too, she’s the besht!

DSC_0032.JPG

II. Family of three – Although I felt I could have left the hospital in the evening on Friday they had us stay until Saturday. It ended up being nice spending those first 24 hours in our little hospital room nook with my newly expanded family.

IMG_4096

III. Watching the love of my life become a dad – people talk about how amazing this is all the time and they definitely aren’t exaggerating.

IMG_4091.jpg

Favorite Post-Partum Items:

I. First Forty Days – This book is amazing. It is primarily a recipe book and everything Dave has made so far has been delicious, I’m just so glad that he’s always enjoyed nourishing me with his amazing culinary skills. I have also really enjoyed the lifestyle portion of the book. They talk about the Chinese traditions/philosophies for the first forty days post-partum and all that goes into setting yourself up for the best healing possible. I highly recommend it!

IMG_4213.jpg

II. Belly Bandit – I haven’t had it officially diagnosed yet but based on self assessment I experienced some diastasis recti, which is when your rectus abdominis separate due to the tissue thinning. Although the belly bandit has not been scientifically proven to bring the muscles back together (I’ll be doing my deep core workouts to help promote that) it feels good to wear it and I feel it has helped assist my uterus in contracting and bringing my belly in.

Belly Bandit

III. Nipple Whip – This stuff is literally the best, the end.

nipple whip.jpg

 

Mira’s First Few Weeks:

I. Holding her ciuccio – I mean when it’s you and your chooch against the world you gotta hold it tight!

IMG_4194.jpg

II. Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play – Mira really enjoys sleeping in this thing, of course she prefers being held (who doesn’t???) but this thing has been really nice for naps.

DSC_0064

III. First Bath – the actual bath was a real upset for little Mira, but I really wanted you to see the adorable towel picture when she was so relieved to be out of the water.

DSC_0051.JPG

Parent Judgements – I have to preface this one with my love for growing as a person and admitting/working on my faults. Before becoming a parent there were silly things that I looked at and judged, now that I’ve lived it I definitely still have some judgements 😉 but there are a few things that I have a better understanding of, so here they are:

I. Riding in the backseat with your baby – I have no idea why I hated seeing parents do this, but now I know that in the first few weeks of your babies life it’s hard not to want to ride with them. For me it had to do with anxiety about how she was sitting in the car seat. People like to say shit like “Oh just wait, the worrying only gets worst” but I have to say that for me the level of anxiety has decreased in just the last week of getting used to her. Also, I can’t wait until I can work out again (which ALWAYS helps me with my anxiety).

IMG_4233.JPG

II. Bed Sharing – I understand why it’s not for everyone and why it wouldn’t be safe in all situations; however, it works for our family and it’s so nice to get 4-5 hour stretches of sleep 🙂

IMG_4186

III. Okay, so Dave and I have been sitting here for the past five minutes trying to think of another one and I can’t think of anything. I turned to him and said “I don’t think there is a third one,” he laughed and said, “it’s just that you judge so much.” HAHA my husband knows me.

So I’ll leave you with a few pictures of Mira meeting her nonno, nonna, and grandma.

DSC_0053

nonna.jpg

DSC_0059.JPG

Be well.

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: