Made of Gray

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Holly D Gray5 Comments
Things are relatively moving along great with Caleigh right now. She is eating more and more each day. We are up to about 5 ounces of food each feeding. Practice does make perfect. I feel like all I do is prepare food and feed Caleigh. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I've been dreaming of this day for a long time. We've been out at appointments or visiting family here lately during feed times. Caleigh doesn't do as well in these situations. Our regular routine seems to work better for her, but I guess all kiddos get distracted when the routine is broken.

I've had so many requests asking how we got her to eat and drink from a bottle. Apparently we aren't the only ones out there! So here's what works for us. You may recall, Caleigh took a pacifier for the first 6-7 months until her abdominal distention and reflux became too much. Every now and then we will give her a pacifier and she will take it. It's not a staple though. We have also always touched, kissed and messed with her face and mouth. I think those two things have a lot to do with our success. With Caleigh I mix a lot of food together. It's gross, but I read that kids don't have the discrimination that we do against certain foods going together. Caleigh does better as she gets used to the taste. So switching foods in the middle of a feed doesn't go so well. There is still a lot of gagging and retching, coughing, & tongue blocking. It's not perfect. Caleigh doesn't like fruits. I know, probably the only kid out there! I hide the fruit in oatmeal, rice cereal and even in vegetables. She also likes everything to be heated up and refuses anything cold, including her bottle. Give Caleigh something cold and you've got a huge retching situation. Texture is also a biggy. She likes to chew even though she only has two teeth. We've started stage 3 foods with pasta and small chunks. I also mix half a hard boiled egg in her lunch everyday. She prefers things that are thick & chunky compared to smooth liquids. The biggest thing that we will have to overcome is the fact that I have to hold her while I'm feeding her. I've got it down pretty good, but it would be a lot easier if she would eat in her high chair. A new high chair is on order. One with better posture and a tray that will fit around Caleigh's tummy. I'm praying this will work. My back and arms are praying it will work too. When I started feeding bootcamp a few weeks ago, it would take Caleigh about an hour to finish about 3 oz of food. Now it takes about 30 minutes for 5 oz. It's getting better. Also, I sing a lot or have music playing. Distraction is key to feeding time.
Caleigh once again lost a few more grams this week. I put in a call to the GI doctor and their dietitian called us back. I was worried Caleigh might be needing 900 or so calories a day so I wanted to make sure the 500-600 I was giving her was a enough. It was enough. Anywhere from 550 to 600 calories until we go for our next appointment in a few weeks. Caleigh is getting taller too and her hair is growing like crazy. I think she is more active wiggling around so that has a lot to do with the loss.

I know everyone is wondering about Caleigh's poo {sarcasm} I haven't talked about it in a long time! Caleigh's stools vary greatly. She still has 4-8 bowel movements a day, but the consistency really depends on what she eats and how her body reacts to it. She hasn't had a diaper rash in a really long time. All signs that things are working like they should.

Caleigh's development is slowly getting better. She's making lots of noise and putting different sounds together. Still no mamamama or dadadadad but she can definitely get our attention! She can roll from her tummy to her back with more ease now. It's hard for us to keep her on her tummy at times, but she really enjoys tummy time now. She still can't roll from back to tummy. Caleigh's head control is increasingly better since starting tummy time. Visually she seems to be seeing better and her strabismus isn't as strong as before. The only time I really notice it is when she is tired. Caleigh's balance is still off for sitting independently. In the right position she can sit unassisted for 30 to 60 seconds. Caleigh's main struggles right now are in her shoulders to elbows. It seems hard for her to work through the tone in her arms. Enough so that she has so much trouble bending her arms. When relaxed and really concentrating she can do it. She has even been able to put her hands in her mouth frequently recently. It takes a lot of work. Teething is great motivation. So we are all hoping that over time she can find a way to work through it. Reaching for toys doesn't happen in a tummy position, but she has been using her arms in a seated position to grasp toys.

In an effort to stimulate Caleigh's vision I bought a kit from The Institutes of high contrast flashcards, large type word flashcards and checkerboard posters. Caleigh loves them and we surround her with them all the time.

It took three people, but Eric, Grandpa & I finally pieced together an incline ramp for Caleigh. The thought process behind the incline ramp is this: a newborn is light weight and any movement the newborn makes causes he/she to move triggering a connection in the brain: Hey, when I move my arms and legs I move forward. Caleigh is 22lbs and when she tries to move her arms and legs she doesn't go anywhere. Gravity is against her. Making the connection in the brain: Hey, when I move my arms and legs I don't go anywhere, why should I move them? So the incline ramp gives Caleigh the chance to move forward with any movement she makes. She has great alternating movements with her limbs. It's been working and she really does move down the ramp. Our goal is to do this at least 10 times a day.Starting Line

Half Way There
Finish Line
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