Monday, November 29, 2010

The Secret to Spoon Feeding

Don’t we all wish there was some magic bullet to learning a new skill?  You know, like one magic exercise that makes our kids sit, or walk, or eat, or…?

Well, my friends- I’m imparting to you evidence of the secret to spoon feeding!

We made waffles for breakfast on Saturday.  Usually, Piper wakes up starving, so we haven’t made a good breakfast on the weekend in quite some time.  This weekend, I decided to go ahead and feed Piper, and figured that she’d get to have some of ours afterward, too.  It worked like a charm; I just withheld some of her Kix (her new favorite cereal) so she wasn’t stuffed. 

Confession?  I LOVE to cook blueberries to have with waffles.  With whipped cream, of course.  So, that’s what we did (because, really- when you crave waffles it’s not about the waffle, it’s about the toppings…).  So I cut some skinny strips from mine to give to Piper.  And then I thought that she’d like to dip her waffles in the whip cream- sounds easy enough, right?

Unfortunately, Piper was using them like a spoon instead of biting off the waffle with each dip of cream.  She’d rather lick it off the waffle instead.   Yummy.  And it made for quite a mess.

So then we got out her silverware (this, by the way, has been a battle- most have handles that are just too big for Piper to be comfortable with- either that, or the bowl part of the spoon is so big it doesn’t fit in her mouth- finally found that the really expensive and fancy Take-n-Toss toddler pack of forks and spoons is pretty darn good…) and let her play.

She LOVED it!  She had so much fun dipping them in the cream, or stabbing the waffle with the fork. 



While the whipped cream was a big hit, it was NOT the magic piece to spoon feeding….

The magic tool?

A great big, giant spoon.


It works.

Quite well…





I used to think it was funny to give my brother a big spoon when setting the table for dinner.  It usually came with a remark along the lines of “Big spoon for your big mouth”.

I’m suddenly regretting those days…

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Puppy Love, Version 2.0

My family has always had Boston Terriers.  I love them.  Apparently the level of desire is genetic.

Mom’s current Boston, Stitch, has provided endless hours of entertainment and laughter from Piper.  It’s a nonstop laugh fest when the two are together.  And if dogs could talk?  I’d put money on Stitch laughing, too.

Making pleasant small talk- you know, to be polite before the more… intimate?…  interpersonal behaviors begin.P1080806

The pursuit (although this only shows one version- at least half the time it’s Stitch coming at Piper with a sneak attack)P1080796

…and Stitch’s favorite part- sharing snacks.  Piper usually gets in trouble for this, for the record.  Also?  Piper shoves a whole handful in her mouth at once.  But when feeding them to the dog, she makes them eat one at a time.  P1080828

…Piper’s very giving.  She even took this puff out of her mouth to share with Stitch.  Such a nice girl.  (And yes, we were ROLLING on the floor after this…)P1080830

Stitch approved of the snack.  And left some on Piper’s cheek for later…

Visit with Pat Winders


I’m a slacker again.

This time, though, I’m going to blame it on my lack of a working camera.  Which also means that I won the Mother-of-the-Year award for not having a camera on Sunday when we celebrated Thanksgiving with my family…

I also won’t admit that I was blaming Piper for playing with my battery charger and hiding it somewhere.  Only to find it in the back of our van in a sack of stuff.  Whoops.

Anyway, I guess there hasn’t really been anything BIG going on, and it’s been wonderfully, amazingly, quiet and, well, BORING.  And it’s been wonderful!

Today we went back to see Pat Winders, the Ds PT guru.  We saw her back in June, and because I had a lot of questions about what some of the “games” she has in her book are supposed to look like, I tried getting an appointment about a month ago.  I didn’t figure we’d get in any time soon (last time it took three months), but figured maybe by Christmas time we’d be able to see her.  They said she was booked until January, and they didn’t have a schedule for her up yet.  I was a little bummed, but that’s what happens when you want to see ONE person.  About two weeks ago, I got a call from the clinic saying that Pat had opened up a window for us to come in so that we didn’t have to wait.  Can you believe it?  So we got in today!  I was super excited.

I learned a lot today, which really makes me happy.  We learned to run with her as fast as her legs will pretend to take her to get her stride more regulated (she takes a little bit longer steps with one foot than the other).  She LOVED the idea of the walker, which also was a little relieving (you know that feeling when you hate to have someone rain on your parade when you find something you think is working???).  She was really happy that Piper looked so good standing and transitioning between skills.  Everything she’s doing, she’s doing correctly.  Woohoo!

Did you know that you sometimes have to teach our kids to waddle?  Seriously.  I had no idea.  One of our new exercises is to support her in front of our calves, support one arm, and walk, getting her to go back-and-forth, left and right.  This, in and of itself, may help give her the stability and ability to walk independently.  Go figure.

We’re also supposed to practice the lunging steps up higher, like shoulder-height, instead of waist height, where we’ve been practicing.  It keeps her balance UP instead of her reaching forward.  Another of those “duh” moments on my part. 

We’re all fairly convinced that she’s going to learn to walk before she learns to stand independently, but I also learned how to support her in learning to get into standing.  It worked!  Yeah!

I wanted her to look at her ankles (to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t sure what pronation really looks like, and there’s been some question with our PT about her ability to pronate) and get an idea if AFOs are in our future, or if it would help her where she is.  She has NO qualms about her posture, and does NOT think that she needs them.  Woohoo!  Of course, once she starts walking exclusively, we’ll take another look to be sure, but things look really good now.  We also talked about shoes- she’s definitely in the world of no shoes if your at home, and ultra soft shoes when your not.  I hate the debate of supportive shoes vs. natural movement, but knowing that she’s not pronating, I think we’re going with the natural approach.  This is my favorite pair that we have right now because of the nonslip grip, but completely soft sole- too bad I don’t like any of the current styles.

The best news of the whole day?  We should have a walker in the first part of the year.  WOOOHOOO!!!

After therapy, Piper took her walker for a cruise in the lobby on the pretty floor.  How cute is she???


Took Piper to Chipotle afterward.  They, by the way, have the world’s best kid’s meal- for less than $3, you get a quesadilla, a serving of rice and beans, a bag of chips which is perfect for ME, AND an organic milk.  Piper finished ALL of her food.  The kid was bushed!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Piper decided that her red-with-regular-tennis-balls walker was just too, well, regular for her tastes and asked for an upgrade.  What’s a mom supposed to do?

Appease her, of course!

I found pink tennis balls (I’m not against cutting up breast cancer balls, apparently) and hung pink and white tassels from the handles. 

Just when I thought she couldn’t get any cuter…


P1080776  P1080774

She walked the entire perimeter of Costco last night.  Literally.  The whole way around the store.  The kid can cover some serious distance.  She’s starting to get a lot better at steering (her problem is that she leans the direction she wants to go, which makes it go the opposite direction), if she’s paying enough attention.  And she’s still laughing the entire time she’s walking, which just cracks me up. 

Not that that’s saying a whole lot- the kid spends most of her waking hours keeping me in stitches.  She’s good to me that way.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What do you do…

When your kid is screaming at you for dinner, but it’s still a half hour away from being cooked?

Is it sad that banging pans grated on my nerves LESS than her yelling at me?  Hey.  Whatever works. 

And never mind the one-sock-and-one-leg-warmer look- Piper picked it out… P1080760


Monday, November 15, 2010

City Girl turned Tractor Driver

We got to go to White Fence Farm with Luke’s family last weekend.  It’s a fried chicken place that’s really good.  I was really hoping that Piper would enjoy all the farm animals that you can pet there, but the wooden fences made it too hard for her to see.  And then the cow sucked on her finger a little bit, which sent her over the edge (only to keep wanting me to go back after I picked her up, where, after he sixth or seventh time, the cow proceed to eat my skirt, but we won’t go into that…), so the animals were a little bit of a bust.

But she enjoyed the food- she ate, literally, half of the giant chicken breast I had, tons of the bean salad and cottage cheese…  But her most favorite was the fired corn fritters that are rolled in powdered sugar.  As an appetizer, of course.  I swear she ate almost as much as I did that day.  How she maintains her slow-and-steady growth rate, and wear her 3-month dresses, I’m not quite sure.P1080679

Anyway, before we left, she was really interested in the John Deere outside.  So, of course, we let her “drive”. 

You can’t hear her, but I’m pretty sure she was saying “whoa.”P1080687


Ooo!  What’s that?P1080694

“I think I’d like to touch that”--(and thus ended the photo opportunity- I didn’t figure the restaurant would approve of headlines in the news along the lines of “Toddler strangles on steering wheel”)


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Piper, Piper Pumpkin Eater

I hate the smell of fresh pumpkin.  Hate it.  The only pumpkin-flavored dish that I like is pumpkin cake (but who doesn’t???), and that’s about it.  Anything in the gourd family is not my idea of a good vegetable.  Period.

When it comes down to carving pumpkins, I have never enjoyed the craft.  I particularly hated digging the guts out.  So when Luke decided to roast the seeds last week, it was his job.  And since I wasn’t going to be any help, he enlisted Piper’s support.

Get ready…P1080696

The initial analysis:



…and now for the true test of fun-ness:  Taste! (which truly brings tears to my eyes thinking of the horrendous taste, and god awful texture, of raw pumpkin…)



The verdict?P1080710

That’s my girl.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Walker: Day 1- a HUGE hit!!!

Got some questions about her walker:  Our PT is letting us use one of theirs.  She has a supply of them apparently in her garage and we’ll get to use this one for a while.  It really worked out well because we didn’t have to mess with insurance to get one.  And why buy one (or make the insurance buy one) if it’s for the short-term, right?  Besides, we got it quickly this way, which was a big plus.  I did find it, though, here on Walmart (go figure- my least favorite place in the world) for about half the price it is anywhere else…  I’d have been willing to just buy it, frankly, if I needed to.


Took Piper to the mall today.  There’s a play area there that I thought she’d like, mostly because there are always a TON of kids there (I just tried to ignore the idea of germs, but we won’t go there).  I went with a friend of mine, and while her little guy was finishing his Happy Meal in the food court, I got her walker all set up for her and let her walk around, just to get used to it.  I thought it would take a little bit to get her back in the groove.

Aaaaand I was wrong.

The kid ran.  Seriously.  Her feet were travelling as fast as she could get them to move, and she was squealing in delight.  She found an older couple (she’s a sucker for grandparent-like figures) who she walked up to and just waited for them to notice her.  It worked, as if that’s a big surprise. 

I made her walk toward the play area, which included a 15’ ramp (maybe a little longer) that’s at a pretty good angle.  I figured I’d have to help her, but thought I’d see what she would do.  I kept my leg behind her just so she didn’t fall backward and spook herself, but she got up the whole thing.  All by herself!  She ran into the kid area and was so very proud.

She got the attention of most of the kids- some of the bigger kids asked why she had it, then thought it was pretty cool.  The little kids, however, fought over it.  One little dude came up and smacked Piper in the face because he wanted to play.  The mom apologized profusely as Piper showed her very exaggerated lower-lip action.  Another little boy kept trying to crawl into the walker with her, which was also quite entertaining.  Piper enjoyed all the attention, which was exactly what I was hoping for. 


She was on the move, without stopping to sit, for at least an hour, and probably closer to about an hour and a half. 

My reward for the trip?


As I’m sitting here writing this, Piper’s standing in the thing trying to decide what to do.  Just hangin’ out.  Luke just said he thinks Piper’ll dream of walking tonight she’s been doing it so much today.  We are so very excited!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Piper’s 7 weeks post op this week.  And, as far as gross motor skills go, I feel like we’re where we were about a month BEFORE she went in.

It’s been frustrating.  And I keep having to remind myself that I wouldn’t be wanting to do my normal stuff after having that kind of insult to my body, either. 

I’ve said before that 90% of Piper’s refusal to do new things is her lack of confidence to do so.  She accidentally does things long before she purposefully does them.  Unfortunately, this experience has made it even worse.  She’s been very overprotective of her body (again, not that I blame her, for sure) and won’t do things that she thinks might hurt.  We couldn’t practice her big skills, like walking and standing, because the way you give support could pull her chest funny.  We couldn’t even use her walking stick- we tried once, and she slipped and scraped it the whole way up her chest.  Now she refuses. 

So, her confidence is broken.  And she’s even more dependent on others than she was three months ago. 

I’m pretty bummed about the whole thing; I thought she’d be walking for sure by Christmas, but she’s got a lot of ground to make up and now I don’t see that happening.  Bummed.  She will take about 4 or 5 steps toward the chair with the cushion off (if there is sufficient motivation (ie Kix) on the chair), and she’ll mess on her baby walker during the day, but that’s about it. 

Anyway, so her therapist and I were talking, and we got her PT to come over, too, to try and get some ideas.

Now?  Now I’m excited.  We got a new toy- a medical grade walker.  That’s all of about 10” tall.  The cutest thing you’ve EVER seen.  And best of all?  Piper LOVES it.  I do mean love.  It takes her a little out of her comfort zone because she doesn’t have the bulk of things in front of her.  And it lets her get close to things, too.  She can sit down inside of it and crawl out if she wants, and she can get in and stand up all by herself, too. 

She was in it for about 45 minutes today, without stopping.  She’d stand up inside of it and play with something, then decide she wanted to go and explore somewhere else. 

We’re hoping that it’ll do several things for her:

-increase her endurance- we might as well be working on that as we wait for her to decide to walk.  The hope is that, by the time she is walking independently, we don’t have to wait for her endurance to catch up.

-show her what it’s like to WALK everywhere, and how much fun (and quicker) she’d be.  She’s already learning to run in the thing (which she thinks is very funny when she’s going after the dogs), so I’m hopeful that it’ll work on this front, too.

-increase her coordination, again, so that by the time she’s walking, this will be more natural.  The coolest part about the reverse walker is that it forces you to stand up straight, as opposed to the baby walkers where you lean forward to get your momentum to get moving.

-most of all, build her confidence.  Show her that she can go and that she’s capable of taking those steps. 

I’m not against using trickery, either.  One of the most powerful motivators for Piper is over-the-top, way exaggerated, so-crazy-your-neighbors-can-hear-you-through-closed-doors excitement.  And if loud and crazy don’t work?  Strangers telling her she’s cute is an easy second.  So tomorrow I plan on taking her to the shopping center to let her walk.  And hopefully get some attention for doing it.  Manipulative?  Probably.  But it’s for her own good so it’s okay, right???



Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Inappropriate Attire

It was 70-some degrees yesterday.  Blue skies.  Nice enough that we had to get out and enjoy it.

Mostly because we knew what was coming.

It snowed this afternoon; not a lot stuck because the ground was so warm from several weeks of way-above-average temperatures.  But it still snowed very cool quarter-sized flakes for most of the afternoon.

Piper got out of the bath and refused (and I do mean REFUSED) to let me put on her clothes.  It was much more fun watching the dogs run through the white-stuff-falling-from-the-sky, through a not-so-wonderfully-insulated door (by the way?  This is a great way to force her to stand unassisted.  She pushes off to warm up her hands not realizing that she’s standing.  I’m not above trickery…)P1080719

She was standing there so long she had fogged up the glass.  And then she thought it was funny to draw on the windows, in true kid fashion.  Naked the whole time. 

There’s gotta be some law somewhere that disallows nudy spectator sports when it’s snowing outside.  But apparently Piper missed that memo.

Monday, November 8, 2010

We interrupt this broadcast…

Weeny post tonight- the camera’s outside in the car, and I’m going to admit that I’m too lazy to go out and try to find it.

On that note, thought I’d share this deal for all those Signing Times fanatics. 

You can get the Series 2 set for about $36 (including shipping and taxes) from Best Buy online here and here.  The Signing Time website has them for $165.  Just an FYI.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Colin’s Coming!

Guess who WE got to meet on Friday?

Yup, Colin and his mama!  We had so much fun with the handsome little blondie.  And minus a few mishaps with the drumsticks, they had A LOT of fun together, too! 

And because pictures are just so much more fun than words, I leave you with these:


Cutest band around, donchya think??


P1080649They both enjoyed looking out the door at the dogs.  The dogs, however, weren’t as excited to look IN the house as the kids were looking OUT.


By the way?  I learned that trying to get two 18-month-olds to look at the camera simultaneously is a horrendous job.  Not to mention smile at the same time…

Thanks for coming by, you guys!  We had so much fun!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sneaking Sweets

P1080622You can see the wheels turning, can’t you???

Just. a little. fuuuuurther…

P1080623Woohoo!  Got it!

P1080620 Oh, it’s so worth it.