Thursday, October 27, 2011

Speech Therapy

Jesse started Speech Therapy through Early Intervention back in July at the recommendation of the Speech Pathologist with his cleft team. It's been going great and we really like his therapist. My sister works in Special Education, and Jesse's therapist works at my sister's school too.

His therapist thinks he's making progress and doing great. She knows we also work with him and can see that it making a difference.
Last month we had a cleft team appointment where Jesse was seen by the Nurse Coordinator, the Plastic Surgeon and the Speech Pathologist. Everything seemed pretty routine. The Speech Pathologist evaluated him. She gave the impression that Jesse was doing well. I remember her stating he was doing well and she wanted to increase his therapy to 2X a week to keep the momentum going. I actually thought that was a bit strange and I vaguely recall questioning the increase, but this is my cleft team and I am supposed to trust them, since they are the experts.

This week I got the report from the above mentioned Cleft Team appointment and I was shocked by the Speech Pathologist report. My initial shock came from the negetivity of this report. It seems to only focus about what he's doing wrong and does not mention any of his accomplishments. I suppose this would be because according to this report, he has not progressed since his last appointment, which is untrue. The report states that he's at a 13 month level (and he was 18 months old at the time), this makes him 5 months behind. He has never been that far behind, so this is telling me he's regressing? I disagree and his weekly therapist disagrees. The report has statements like "Phonological skills are significantly impared." and "It is also recommended that he have treatment two-three times a week as the one session is not providing adequite support for this child's language skills."

Not only does this bother me because it's about my child, who I want to excel, but I am bothered because I feel this is not an accurate evaluation. My son was seen in a doctor's office, by a woman he doesn't know (because he only sees her every 3-4 months). I would not expect him to be very verbal with her, as opposed to his weekly therapist, who he knows and trusts.

So now what? Do I follow the advise of the cleft team's Speech Pathologist by increasing his therapy to 2-3 days a week, or do I blow it off and follow his weekly therapists direction. This is so frustrating and stressful. I just want what's best for my kid.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Chicken Nugget

I have a new idea in the works to get a new camera. not just any new camera, but a good one! I hope I can make this happen.

So when I had Jesse I made a promise to myself and him that I wouldn't feed him crap. Meaning, I will not buy him fast food chicken nuggets, fries or anything of the like. There's no excuse to not cook his meals. Sure, I have given him jarred baby food and on occasion Gerber Graduates meals. That was mostly due to convenience for his previous daycare providers. I did make babyfood for him and froze it in ice cubes. That's what I gave him for his home meals before he started on solids.

I've been having feeding problems lately. Sometimes he just does not want to eat. I can usually get him to eat pasta, eggs (with spinach and cheese), yogurt and fruit. But that's about it. A kid can't live on those 4 things alone. Ok, he probably can, but I feel like I need to give him well rounded meals. Meals that include meat (or protein) and vegetables. Yes, eggs have protein and veg, which is why I started feeding them to him, but I am finding myself giving him eggs 4 times a week because he won't eat much else.

Today I finally broke down and bought a bag of chicken nuggets. I feel guilty! Not as guilty as I would buying him chicken nuggets from a fast food joint, but guilty that I am still going to give him processed meat. It's not like chicken nuggets existed 30 or 40 years ago, and those kids survived. I will jusify this a little. I have made him breaded chicken breast.... but he wouldn't eat it. Honestly, I have no clue why. I liked it!

For the past 6 weeks or so, Jesse started going to structured daycare. By structured I mean that he's going to daycare that's not just a friend watching my kid. He goes every day, gets fed there and has a schedule there. The lady that runs the daycare feeds several children, so she feeds the kids much like a daycare facility would; pizza, quesadillas, spaghetti, pbj, grilled cheese, corn dogs and yes, the chicken nugget. I am not completely opposed to these foods, I just don't want my kid hooked on fast food before he can even choose what to eat. But if he needs protein in his diet and a chicken nugget is a method to do-so, then so be it. It's not like I plan on feeding him chicken nuggets on a daily basis or anything. Oh and another point of justification, I at least bought the name brand that's 100% natural with no fillers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Reading Blogs

I read blogs at work because I have down time at various points of my day. I read decent amount of them too. They make me laugh, and cry and are a source for inspiration. Then I go home from the office and my busy life takes over.

I also made a promise to myself to take more pictures, freeze time, have memories to actually look at. Notice there are like no pictures in my last several posts. That's because I don't even have a fully functioning camera right now. My Sony does this shaking thing randomly, but more often than not. Then my Canon Rebel takes a shit?!? Seriously? I really need a functioning camera, but no funds for one. GRRR!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The story of a rough night

Being a mother has it's challenges and rewards. Last night I had both. This happens often, the challenge in itself becomes the reward. Last night I got home from my softball game. Jesse had gone to bed and woken shortly before I arrived. I gave him a few minutes by taking the trash out and hoping the red lights on the monitor would be gone when I made my return, but much to my dismay, all 5 lights would light up every few seconds. I guess I should go in.
I entered his bedroom, which had become warm and muggy. I get his diaper changed and head out to the living room to offer him some milk and a snack so I can assess the problem. He's stuffy, but tht often happens when he's crying and upset. Hell, I get stuffy when I cry.
We hang out with him for a bit, try some soothing, but nothing seems to be working really. It was time for Paul and I to hit the sack, so I out him back to bed with some Tylenol and hope for the best. Mission not a success. I think he was crying hourly. Finally at 5am I get up with him and bring him out to the couch with me. He falls asleep on the couch, so do I. I was finally able to soothe my little man back to sleep. That right there is the reward, despite the fact that it's 5:20am. Shortly after I was asleep. Unfortunately his pleasant slumber was disruped when he rolled off the couch at 7:20am. He was fine, just scared the crap out of him.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Indian Summer

I know the term Indian Summer is not very politically correct, but you know, I don't really care. It's my favorite time. It's like fall with a splash of summer. It's when the leaves start changing. It's when it's cool and crisp in the morning and by lunchtime it's in the 70's and the sun is shining. To me, Indian Summer is perfect.

If I had more vacation time, I'd take this whole week off, because this week in the Chicagoland area, it's officially Indian Summer. I am, however, taking Friday off. What to do? Well, there's lots to do, but I am thinking we might head over to the arboretum. My MIL has a membership, which I will borrow from her. maybe we'll hit up a pumpkin patch too, we'll see how the day goes. Either way, I will be outside.

What comes with this time of year is tradition. I love fall traditions and I hope to expand on them in the coming years, now that I have a little guy to pass them along to. Since Paul and I brought our home 4 years ago, we've made it a tradition to decorate for Halloween. Each year we get something to add to the decor. We make it fun. We don't do anything over the top, but it's obvious to those who see our home that we love this holiday. Today Paul is on the hunt for inexpensive items to add this year. I am excited to see what he comes up with.

There's something special about this time of year in the Midwest. It's something many other regions don't experience. I feel it's important to keep traditions of fall in the Midwest alive and pass them on to my son. Like going to the pumpkin patch, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, apple picking, hot apple cider warming on the stove and filling the house with the sweet and spicy aroma, jumping in a pile of leaves, hanging out by a fire on a chilly night, carving pumpkins, roasting pumpkin seeds and scaring the bejesus out of children on Halloween... oh wait, I just ruined that picture I was creating, didn't I?

Here's to the start of a new season, my favorite season.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Work Hardening

Paul started work hardening 2 weeks ago. It kind of freaked both of us out. Does this mean they are preparing him to go back to work?? Of course Paul wants to return to work, but neither one of us believe he is anywhere close to being ready. After his first full week (3.5 hours a day M-F), he soon discovered what this really is. This can lead to preparing to get back to work, but for now, they are teaching him how to live life with a major back injury. He's learning how to bend, sit, stand, pick stuff up, etc. I think he's finally realizing that he's never going to be the person he was before his injury. He's been in a lot of pain since starting, which concerned us.

He started week 2 last week. Mid week he was told there was nothing more they could do for him, so they discontinued his program and set him up for a Functional Capacity Evaluation. This will measure his pain levels by his heart rate. They will have him do 4 hours of activities and determine what he can and can't do. Theoretically, this will determine if he's employable or not.

I suppose most people in this situation would not want to be employable, collect a settlement, sign up for permanent disability and live off that. Not Paul. Paul's a man's man. He loves to work. He's the kind of guy that won't reward himself until he's put in a hard days work. this has been so hard for him, not working. Being in pain and not woking for 2 years is definitley taking a toll on him. He feels almost worthless. It's sad, but there's nothing I can do for him as much as I wish I could.