Sunday, August 29, 2010

Snot-Nosed Kid

Crew hasn't eaten much of anything at all since Monday. At least I understand why his appetite had been decreasing previously. He woke up on Monday with his face encrusted in boogies. I think he may have caught one of our friend's "allergies". We cancelled our PT appointment yesterday. He's been up at night, though nothing like the drama of teething when I thought he could benefit from an exorcism. He's not too feverish today and even ate breakfast. That's an improvement over the last few days. He seems to be on the mend and I have great hopes of sleeping through the night tonight. Fingers crossed.

Some people were really grossed out the last time I posted pictures of Crew with boogies. So I'll refrain this time. I guess. (You're totally missin' out, I'm tellin' ya...)

Boo Hoo Crew

I really hate Operation Fatness. This calorie-counting, baby-stuffing thing is sending us around the bend. We just finished our third day in a row of really disappointing intake for the pampered prince.

I feel twitchy.

You know, I have a sneaking suspicion that Operation Skinny Thighs might be starting at a very bad time. Stress, frustration, and anxiety make me hungry. In fact, the less Crew eats, the more I fantasize about sausage, egg, and cheese mcgriddles...

Saturday, August 28, 2010


After a nice week of eating, the little emperor has just finished a second day in full food strike. 650 cals per day is... not even enough to maintain his weight.

Have I mentioned how much I hate counting calories for a baby???

Friday, August 27, 2010

Nice Knees

Check out that knee action. No, he's not crawling yet, but he is beginning to use those beautiful knees for leverage once in a while. He has even been known to pause over a bent knee now and then. Don't you just want to squeeze him? I would squeeze him myself, but he's sitting at my feet in a seriously stinky diaper. Yuck.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You Say Potato

You may call this a mess. I may call this a mess. Our Feeding Occupational Therapist calls it a "successful exercise in sensory exploration."

Julie brought in a new recruit to our team: Becca. We actually won't be seeing Becca very often because Crew is doing so well. She saw wonderful things while she was evaluating us over lunch. She also made me feel a lot better about my method of persuasion, letting me know that I'm not unduly coercive in my efforts to feed him and that "force feeding" is not an accurate description of what I'm doing. Phew! I've worried about that a lot.

We're settled into Operation Fatness. It's been a... transition, to say the least. We all pretty much hated life that first week; he and I were in tears almost the whole time. Justin, Kinley, and Tanner gave us a wide berth. It was emotionally draining and extremely time consuming. I thought I was losing. my. mind. I am still regularly pureeing in my nightmares, and my tracking spreadsheet is a neurotic marvel to behold, but things are better. Much better.

Balancing nutrition, fluid intake, maximum calories, nutritional variety, appealing taste, and workable textures; researching, brainstorming, planning his menu, preparing, measuring, mixing, remeasuring, dividing, calculating, pureeing, remeasuring, redividing, recalculating, feeding (ak!), remeasuring, recalculating, recording, and cleaning up are no longer the only things I do throughout the day. Did I mention the tears?

The good news is that we now know that he can grow. That means we can pretty much scratch metabolic and genetic disorders off our list. Oh, and Primary's... :)

Scare of the Day

I let Crew and Tanner play in the playroom upstairs while I was busy preparing my preschool lesson this morning. Tanner played Wii and Crew dumped out toys from buckets, threw blocks across the room, and banged cupboards open and closed. The playroom door was supposed to be closed, but someone went potty and forgot to close the door again.

While I was cutting out an unflattering picture of a man's hairy nose for our body books, I realized that in my peripheral consciousness I was hearing happy little baby chatter much too loud, much too close.

I raced to the stairs and spied a very happy little baby teetering precariously on the brink of death or maiming.

Now, just imagine this picture without the protective arm of an older brother and with four more stairs that were cropped out of the picture, and you'll get a feel for why my heart is still racing.

Sneaky Sneaky

Favorite yogurt for breakfast... 120 calories

Whole-milk ricotta cheese and half an avocado hidden inside the favorite yogurt + Mickey Mouse Clubhouse... 300 calories.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Of Course

The good news: We think that Crew has chosen his first verbal word.

The bad news: It's "no". As in, "no, I'm not going to eat it".

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Such Naughtiness

Crew's new schtick is to pull off all the vent covers and drop toys down the chute. He tried to climb into one himself a few weeks ago and got stuck.

Little stinker.

Mobility rocks. So does cognitive development.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fat Baby

Thank you so much to those who have been praying for our little guy. It has definitely made a difference.

I have exhausted every bit of creativity and patience in the mommy-arsenal as I have pushed Crew to the limits of his abilities and desires. We have radically changed his diet in both variety and quantity. It has been extremely difficult for him and very stressful for us but we know we are doing the right thing by him.

I drove him to P-town this morning for a spontaneous voluntary weigh-in; I needed some sort of validation on our efforts. My nerves may be in tatters and my house in shambles, but my baby has gained 10 beautiful ounces in the last 7 days!

And that makes it all worth it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Crew enjoying the fresh air, even though it was also very windy air.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tales of the Tiny Tyrant

How can a child of mine not LOVE eating? It's just unnatural.

In case you can't tell, I've been a bit of a headcase about Crew's food for the last several days. Monitoring your infant or toddler's intake feels so wrong. It goes against all of my mothering instincts: if the child is hungry, feed him. If he's not hungry, leave him alone. Apparently that only works if they actually continue to grow on what they are willing and able to eat. Ah... the fine print of the parenting license.


And oh, baby, yes, he senses the stress oozing out of my every spoon-wielding pore. I try to put on my "chill" face; I laugh lightheartedly and offer him tasty bites in my nonchalant voice, pretending I couldn't care less whether he eats his breakfast or slimes me with it. Unfortunately, I'm not fooling him. At all.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better eating day. He did so very well on Saturday and Sunday. Fingers crossed.

Why the crisis attitude? Because we have deadlines. Deadlines, I said. If he doesn't eat better and/or start gaining weight immediately, our life is about to get turned even more upside down. We'll be diagnosed with "failure to thrive" and we'll be referred to Primary's for further intrusion, opinions, procedures, etc. Say what you want (but not on my blog and not to me); I'm desperate to avoid that scenario.

At this point, no one really thinks he has anything genetically or metabolically wrong with him. We honestly think he is simply still unable/unwilling to eat enough calories to grow. (The math says he needs about 900-1000 per day and he takes in about 700-800--P.S., counting calories for babies is stupid and I hate it.) But why he doesn't eat enough is a mystery. He doesn't have reflux. He seemingly enjoys eating (most of the time). He can self-feed on occasion. Aside from some texture issues and taste preferences, there is nothing obvious inhibiting him from eating "enough". He's a tiny guy with a tiny belly, and he gets full. And eating is hard work for him. We're actually extraordinarily lucky that he does as well as he does. And he has improved greatly over the months.

If the genetic and metabolic tests come back ugly, it's a different ballgame. If we can successfully bump up his calories and he still doesn't grow, I'll be looking anywhere for help (even Primary's). If his electrolytes and kidneys are off, we're over our heads. But if our suspicions are correct, he's so borderline with his issues and so close to his ideal caloric needs that it seems really extreme to start involving GI's and Primary's and a comprehensive team of "failure to thrive" specialists. I don't want to be put in any kind of intrusive treatment pipeline if I can help it.

PT Julie came today. I was in tears when she arrived because Crew called a food strike this morning. She's bringing out an OT that specializes in eating issues to observe him. I welcome her. Gladly. We're also due for our neonatology follow-up clinic appointment and we have a nutritionist and an OT there. Why is that different and more palatable than Primary's? It just is.

I need him to grow. STAT.

Am I overreacting? Absolutely. It's part of my charm. Ask me if I care.

Comments disabled. So I guess you can't ask me if I care after all.

The Little Stinker Ate

For PT Julie.

Just like he ate for Kinley last night.

Starvation Roller Coasting

Crew has had three amazing eating days in a row. I've been so relieved and hopeful, fantasizing about our next weigh-in.

Today.... today....

He drank 4 ounces at 2 a.m. He won't eat or drink anything now.



Sigh... please, little guy. Eat. Something.

I don't know if he's sick. Or sick of eating.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Growth and Stuff

Justin took Kinley and Tanner down to a BYU football scrimmage and then miniature golfing. It's a good thing that I plied them with ample sunscreen this morning. My only regret is that I have no pictures of their adventures together.

Crew and I have spent some mommy-critter alone time discussing growth goals. I think we have come to an understanding. We have each committed to bringing a more adventuresome and creative spirit to the table. Let's hope it shows in the thighs. His, not mine.

I said, "Crew, you are awfully sweet and awfully cute, but it's time you weighed more than the average four-month-old". Yes, you read that right. An average 4 month old or a very small 7 month old.

He is as tall/long as an average 13-month old or a very small 18-month old. That's reassuring at least. His head is also small, but it's growing on a nice, steady curve. He's a long, lean, green bean. P.S. green beans have practically no calories. I just thought I'd mention that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dr. Doom

2.5 ounces.

That's what Crew has gained in the last three months. I'm just glad he hadn't pooped yet this morning before his weigh-in.

It's a very long, complicated story that I don't want to get into right now.

The Gist:
He has three months to start growing before our doctor ships us to the "Failure To Thrive Clinic". Awesome, huh? Not for Global FTT, just the isolated weight gain failure.

In the mean time, we'll be doing blood tests to rule out thyroid dysfunction, liver problems, cystic fibrosis, absorption concerns, and other genetic disorders.

I have a headache.

We're increasing his calories. Again. In ever-more-creative ways. Balancing maximum caloric intake, hydration, nutritional content, volume tolerance, taste preferances, bowel considerations, and texture issues is more complicated and frustrating than it sounds. I promise.

Monday, August 9, 2010


The Favorite Dolly fell asleep in his sister's arms. She laid him on the floor and tucked him in with a blanket and a stuffed puppy.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Brothers Go Fish

Normal Naughtiness

Odd, I don't remember being quite so amused when Kinley and Tanner wreaked comparable havoc in their heyday...
Our entire family really gets a thrill out of watching Crew do things that "normal babies" do. Having him take the wipes out of the bucket one at a time was cause for celebration and a phone call to Daddy.

In further naughty cognitive development, Crew has really taken a shine to reaching for the wall socket ever-so-slowly when he knows that Daddy is watching. He raises one eyebrow and wears an unmistakably mischievous grin as he sneakily leans toward the forbidden zone.

His personality continues to expand in happy, increasingly independent ways. He is soft and squeezy and sweet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Pioneer Day weekend, we took the children to Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake.

My favorite people! Kisses!The grounds were sensational. I took dozens of flower pictures.