Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Wordless" Wednesday

Testing out Daddy's gear, all systems Go!

and this is how we treat our guests, we beg for food..

and we even share our food with their dogs...

Come on over for a visit! ;-)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

4th of July (?) and the pregnancy

I know this post is WAY late, but we got some cute shots of Peanut on July 4. I've had them ready to post, just lacking motivation to do so. I have 3 weeks left of school so I'm pretty convinced that once school is over I'll have time to re-enter blogger reality.

Here she is swinging, swinging, swinging. Although she seems to be enjoying herself, her favorite part of the swing is spinning around and around and around.

And next we have her laughing uncontrollably. She's saying uh oh for falling on her bum!

We participated in the annual July 4th bike ride at Peanut's daycare. The teachers decorated her bike.

M's bike is electronic so it has all sorts of buttons for pushing and exploring. Her bike was all the rage with the boys at the school. Look at that crowd!

And here's lil Miss just looking cute as can be, checking out the scene. I tell ya, this little girl just lights up my world.

And the pregnancy, I'm 22 weeks along now and feeling pretty good, aside from exhaustion which I think is a fair trade off for growing 2 babies. We had yet another ultrasound a couple of days ago. Both boys weigh about a pound which is a perfect twin weight and look to have good heart health. We are trying to get a referral to do a prenatal Echo though, just to get a better look at the smaller details that can't be seen in the Level 2 ultrasound.

I have s stash of cloth diapers prepped and folded for the boys. We have some gender neutral clothes that I stole from Peanut's bin of clothes. Unfortunately, most of Peanut's outfits aren't transferable to boys. So, I'm looking forward to a consignment sale coming to town in September that I'll be spending our money at on clothes and other "essentials". We live in a 3 bedroom house, with the 3rd room being the office/guest room. I have big plans for this room, just waiting on Bradley to move some furniture around so I can get to work nesting the way a good mama would.

There's a lot on our plate right now, but we are feeling beyond blessed. M is growing by leaps and bounds, even trying to walk and talk, and we have 2 little boys on the way that are bound to keep us on our toes. Life, it's good. Thanks be to God for giving us these opportunities to witness your love for us!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Talk Tools

So, it's my 200th post! It's been a busy month since I last posted about cloth diapering and the news of expecting twin boys!

I recently attended a Talk Tools workshop in Charlotte. It was a feeding therapy symposium that focused on a sensory-motor approach to feeding therapy presented by Lori Overland.

I've been waiting to do this post for an "okay" from Talk Tools to write about what I learned as I didn't want to infringe on copyright. Although they agreed that it would be okay to do this post, they also warned against using their exercises without knowing why you were doing a given exercise. I'm not a speech pathologist, just a behavior therapist (in training) and a fairly dedicated mama to ensuring my daughter is as typical as her peers. If you're interested in learning more about the exercises I mention, feel free to send me an e-mail and I'll give you more details as I understand them. I also suspect that if you contact Talk Tools directly, they'd be willing to give you more information as well.

There was a review of factors that influence feeding such as sensory issues (smell, taste, hearing, touch, etc.) It was mentioned that individuals with DS or even those with low tone may be classified as hypo-sensitivities. Hypo-sensitive feeding means the individual may need a little more input such as bitter foods (pickles), spicy (hot sauce), or sour (lemon) to name a couple. Don't be afraid to try new foods with your child, you never know what they'll like. Also, present foods multiple times to increase exposure and familiarity. If you have a picky eater, think about changing just 1 item at a time. Maybe change the type of sauce that's on the pizza, or the brand of chicken nuggets. Keep changes small (if need be) to increase success for you and your child.

There are 5 pre-feeding exercises that lead up to a chewing hierarchy. These exercises should be completed prior to feeding, depending upon the the specific skill you are targeting. The exercise and goal are listed with each. There's massage (midline orientation, mobility through upper lip and cheek), tapping (toning, midline, rounding), upper lip mobility (spoon, cup, straw drinking), lip rounding (cheek contraction), and cheek mobility. Be these exercises while your washing your child's face, use bean bags, or even while applying sunscreen. The chewing hierarchy's goal is to "teach a graded, lateral chew with tongue-tip dissociation and movement across midline."

Since the conference I have been watching Peanut like a hawk and I'm happy to report that I think she's an excellent eater. Peanut's tongue lateralization (the way she moves food back and forth) looks great, her lip closure is spot on, and her tongue protrusion is only noticeable when she gets really tired. Tongue lateralization and lip closure, I happily give credit to her excellent feeding therapist that has been working with Lil M since she was about 9 months old. The tongue protrusion, I've been prompting her tongue back in her mouth from the beginning. I prompt her tongue back in by applying a slight pressure to her tongue when it's protruded. Each time I would physically prompt her I also verbalized, "tongue back in". I can now prompt her verbally if I see her tongue sticking out and she'll pull it back in (most of the time).

Since the symposium and even before, I knew that Peanut was lacking in her straw drinking skills. I never really put too much thought into it simply because she drinks from a sippy cup just fine. However, I learned that sippy cups are just not good options for any kid and that essentially, they were developed as a convenience item for parents. Makes sense because I sure love that Peanut can send her cup flying and there's not a gallon of milk on the floor after the toss. So, I've placed an order for a jiggler, a recessed cup, and a honey bear to start a straw drinking program. There's a large assortment of tools that were presented for use with each of the pre-feeding exercises.

In this picture here, you'll notice that she has a little stream of red (from her bomb pop) running down her face. Compared to her typical peers, Peanut was the cleanest little toddler there. I was bursting with pride! And as a bonus: bomb pops are yet another item you can use for lip closure...straw drinking. :-)