Monday, January 17, 2011

Obstacles. And my new favorite snack.

Our obstacles are minimal. We are lucky. Alexis had her fair share when she was first born: surgery at 2 days old for duodenal atresia, a 67-day hospital stay, and open heart surgery at 5 months old. And because of those events, everything else seems pretty minor. Her vision deficit can be corrected with glasses and the biggest obstacle there is simply keeping the glasses on. Her hypothyroid is managed with a single pill a day with no noted side effects so far. We realize we are blessed.

Alexis's biggest obstacle right now is feeding and putting on weight. And it's not that she isn't eating at all. She has no problems drinking from a bottle and eating baby food--even textured baby food (although she has choked on the occasional chunk of carrot. But so do I. Vegetables. Ugh.) It's also promising that she does like to try to use the spoon herself.

But developmentally, she should be transitioned, or at least transitioning, to sippy cups and table food. (We have found one single table food that she will eat if it is crushed up very fine: Cheetos.) It doesn't help that I'm not as consistent as I should be with the sippy cup. But the other problem is that she isn't putting on enough weight, and if I use the sippy cup and not the bottle, it results in significantly less calories that she will ingest. We've added Carnation Instant Breakfast to her milk (it seemed a bit healthier than adding butter) for the extra calories. And I need to look into some other recommendations from the doctor. Alexis had her 21 month check up this week and she is holding steady at 19 lbs, 8 oz. I had thought at a previous appointment she had finally hit the 20 lb. mark, but it was a different scale, with the diaper on. So no. She's still a teen. Thank goodness she looks healthy and in proportion and perfect to us.
But we may have found the culprit for the inability to swallow table foods. The next picture was taken several weeks ago, and about a week after being diagnosed with a double ear infection:

You can imagine my reaction when I zoomed in really close.

Her tonsils are enormous! The poor girl looks like she has tumors in her throat. They don't usually look quite this bad, but they are still huge. We have an appointment with an ENT on Wednesday.

In every other area, she is doing great. She crawls at lightening speed (if she'd slow down, maybe she wouldn't burn so many calories!) She pulls herself up to standing and nothing is safe. I had finally trained the boys to keep their Legos off the floor. But now that Alexis can reach things that are left on the tables, no little Lego pirate man is safe from her grasp. Luckily, she doesn't really put anything in her mouth--that's the bright side to our feeding issues.

Alexis may not say much verbally (it's still just "hi", "bye", "dada", and "brother") but she is signing up a storm. Sometimes we can't even keep up. And it can be a bit confusing since "more" looks like "shoe" and "milk" looks like "no". And sometimes we just look at her trying to tell us something and ask, "anyone remember what means?" and we'll finally realize she's telling us she wants down, or that she needs her diaper changed. Yes, she will occasionally tell us "diaper". My boys never told me that at 21 months. I think she's brilliant.

I'll be curious to hear what the ENT has to say on Wednesday. For now, I'm off to crush some Cheetos. (For me, not her. They should make Cheetos in pixie stix form for the salt lover.)

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