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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hallie at the Drive In

Wow. It's really spring. What better time for a quick zip over to the Drive-In (Home) Theater and a few hundred episodes of Sesame Street? At least that's what Hallie thinks!

Anyway, today was gorgeous--around 70 degrees--and even if I had to work, and got home on the typical late side (around 7pm), Sharon got home early enough (kind of has to, in order to relieve Ami) to take Hallie to the park to hang out with the neighborhood kids. It had rained this morning and early afternoon, so the slide was wet and Hallie stuck to it (making it harder for her to use her blossoming pushing-off skills) but apparently she had a great time and tuckered herself out (despite her three hour nap this afternoon). It seemed like Hallie had a great day, and we'll know better in the future when Hallie can actually tell us something about it.

But we're not complaining. Hallie has been imitating like crazy this past two weeks, and especially over the past few days, and we're (ok--at least I am crediting this (in part) to adding one capsule of Nordic Naturals EPA to her two capsules of Nordic Naturals 3-6-9, and constant speech drilling. Hallie has been saying the following words, on command, this past week:

"kitty" (her favorite, never has lost this one), 'teddy', 'diaper' (sounds a bit like 'pah' sometimes), 'good' or 'good girl', 'cookie' (another favorite), 'buh' (big bird), 'seh-see seet' (sesame street), 'buht' (bert), 'eh-die' (ernie), 'day-dee' (baby), 'am-ma' (mama), 'igg-ee' (piggy), and of course, 'wah-dah' (water). There are probably others, but those are the ones that come immediately to mind. And the thing is: the repetition and imitation is fluid and on command. This has never been the case before, and we certainly hope that it lasts. (And none of this has replaced signing; in fact, tonight, Hallie signed an entire book -- Goodnight, Baby! -- to me as I read it. It was way cute. And very smart, since she has consistently chosen this book as the book she'd like me to read to her when she wants to go upstairs to take her bath and go to sleep and we moms are dilly--dallying).

In this photo, Hallie is saying 'buh'.

Doesn't she have a great pout? I am certain that she will use it against me!

Anyway, we are heartened by the speech gains and are hoping that the SLP with whom we are trying to work privately does manage to get us approved by our session on Sunday. If not, we'll call out the big guns (our fab pediatrician will write all sorts of letters and make every effort to use his diagnostic tool bag to get us services). But we are hoping that Independence Blue Cross doesn't make us get ornery (or cross) with them. It ain't pretty when the mamas get their feathers all ruffled.

In other related news: the eating is getting a bit better. Hallie has thrived on her diet of Veggie Stix (those meltable snack food items and NOT carrot and celery sticks in the raw) and has mastered the art of making it through about 20 of these at a dinner time seating, meaning that we get to sort of eat as a family these days. And even more impressively, she ate 5 whole Scooby Snacks graham cracker sticks tonight at dinner. This is a whole 60 calories, folks, and replaced an entire jar of baby food puree. And even her purees are getting a bit more sophisticated (she ate two jars of Stage 3 this week). So maybe we're seeing some oral progress across the board. Who knows, perhaps we will free up that big shelf filled with tiny jars some day? I'm not going to run away with my fantasy of having more space in our cupboard just yet, but I am pleased that Hallie does seem to be making a bit of progress in terms of texture and that this progress has gone on long enough for it to seem real as opposed to totally fleeting.

And, finally, sort of in terms of progress, I do have two more vomit free days to log in to our tally, one in the month of March and one in the month of April. Hallie did well on Saturday AND Sunday (making it another one of those two-in-a-row sort of victories), but Monday ended up being a wash out (huge post dinner vomit) for reasons utterly unknown. Today was a good one, however, and so we got to start off the month of April on the right foot (or mouth...). The kiddo is still not pooping up to our standards (or her GI tract's standards, at least) and so this continues to be of concern. We have her on Reglan, Miralax, Pear nectar, and taking a pretty large dose of flax seed oil. We are also giving her Calcium/Magnesium and the fish oils. All of that should promote easy pooping. Yet not in our girl (who will be embarrassed to read this some day. Sorry, baby!)

We're hoping that our eagerly-awaited upcoming visit to the Allergist (what the hell kind of parent can't wait until an Allergist pricks their kid's skin?) will shed some light on what's going on here. And it might provide some insight into the small patch of dry skin/eczema that Hallie has on her thighs and, more intermittently, on her eyelid. It's hard to know what's setting this off, but we'd like to get some insight into this so that we can nip this problem in the bud. There's a strong family history of allergies, asthma, and eczema (and all three seem to go hand in hand and are to some extent related to diet), so I am not sure we can place the blame here on microprematurity. But whatever is going on, we mamas really want to get at the root of things so that we can fine tune our very fine toddler.

1 comment:

Byrning Bunny said...

I've not read the beginning, so don't know the whole history here, but thought I'd let you know that our son's life was CHANGED when we discovered he was allergic to milk, wheat, soy and peanuts. The change in his diet has done away with the GI probs, personality probs ;), and eczema.

We're still working on the speech stuff!

Good luck!