Friday, June 14, 2013

Feeding Day Program: 10 Thoughts About Week 1

1.  This is going to be a lot harder than I thought it would be.  I really wasn't worried about this summer.  Now I am!

2.  This is proving to be harder on Abby than I thought it would be.  Abby went basically mute for the first 3 days, probably from the stress of all of the sudden changes, but she appears to be easing into everything and has started talking again.  She is definitely more like her old self, and I am SO glad!  It was really hard watching her like that and I was so fearful that she was going to regress in speech when we have worked so hard to get her where she is!

3.  Potty training when you're not there all day is super hard!  She's being taken a few times during the day, and then I'm on her all evening.  I'm still not real pleased with the playroom staff's approach or lack thereof to potty training, but this is an improvement over Wednesday when I was told that they had too many kids to be dealing with going to the potty.

4.  Abby definitely responds best to the talkative, bubbly personality when it comes to eating.  She loves when people interact with her and the toy she is playing with (usually the iPad).  The ones with soft voices and even-keeled personalities don't do it for her.  I have also learned that "Big Ahhh" sips are extremely varied, depending on the therapist. Some cheer if she even puts the cup to her lips, and others make her take a gulp (like we do).

5.  She loves the "Talking Friends" apps!!!  The dog, Ben, is her favorite.  She will talk and play with him the entire meal, and it's really motivating for her.  Some of the therapists think Ben is creepy because he repeats whatever you say in a weird voice, but Abby loves it!  We've downloaded them onto my phone so that she can play with Ben at every meal.

6.  I've been pretty impressed with her willingness to try new foods, considering that she has had trouble at home with that.  She has eaten a good amount of chopped up spaghetti and meat sauce, several bites of a cream cheese sandwich, and a few (tiny) bites of mac and cheese.  This is all in addition to her regular purees and lumpy purees.  She is downing yogurt like a champ now, so I went to Whole Foods and bought the full-fat yogurt--33 calories per ounce!!  (That's more calories per ounce than her Pediasure, so I was super excited!  It's hard to find full-fat yogurt in regular grocery stores because most people want non-fat!)

7.  I successfully left Abby at the hospital for about 2 hours today...and we both made it!  :)

8.  I met another family here at RMH whose son is doing the feeding program at KKI.  He is about the same age, and they got along fabulously after bonding over both having "tubies."  :)  Unfortunately for Abby, her boyfriend is inpatient at KKI because his health conditions require him to be closely monitored before and after feeds.  He gets to come to the House every now and then though, so they'll get to see each other.

9.  At the end of week one, I wouldn't say I have learned much about how to feed her.  They are basically doing the same thing that I have been doing (and I feel like I'm the one teaching them, sometimes!).  I think that I will learn from them in the coming weeks, but right now we're still in transition.  But I have learned what kinds of food to feed her to get the most calories per bite.  We're starting to stray away from the Gerber stage 3 foods and focus more on yogurt, cream cheese, mac and cheese, pasta, etc.  Seeing different kinds of food to offer to her has been helpful.

10.  My daughter will be destined to live a life devoid of fruits and vegetables, unless they are covered in cheese or dip.  Their philosophy is not to waste time with those foods because they are such low calorie.  The vegetarian in me is very sad about this.  I still give her fruit.  Shh!

I'm excited to have my girl to myself for the weekend.  I've really missed her, but I think it will be especially hard next week when I don't have either one of my great kids during the day.  I had Caleb to keep me occupied this week!

1 comment:

Raelyn said...

Julie....
All caught up!! ;-D
"Abby went basically mute for the first 3 days, probably from the stress of all of the sudden changes, but she appears to be easing into everything and has started talking again. She is definitely more like her old self, and I am SO glad!". This was an incredibly huge adjustment for such a little girl to make. An incredible change!! Moving into Ronald McDonald House, with live-in therapists and activities!! It sounds like Summer camp. But with more work!! ;)
Abby has eaten a good amount of chopped up spaghetti and meat sauce, several bites of a cream cheese sandwich, and a few (tiny) bites of mac and cheese?! Yay!! She is downing yogurt like a champ now, so I went to Whole Foods and bought the full-fat yogurt--33 calories per ounce?! Keep it up, Abby!! ;-D
You are starting to stray away from the Gerber stage 3 foods?! That is awesome!! ;-D
--Raelyn