Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mira!

Mira turned 4 years old today and it was only fitting that after having a week of brutal humidity and upper 90's temperatures, some relief finally arrived, with the weather and with Mira's eating. I say that because after 4 or 5 days of not eating more that two bites at every meal, Mira finally relented and ate a jar of food over lunch. I think we had some good vibes from Tom, Nikki, Sophia, and Siena who were visiting from Saint Louis for the weekend. Mira started one of her hunger strikes earlier this week and has been very, very irritable since. She falls into one of her viscous cycles of crying because she's ravenous, yet refuses to eat patterns until everyone is exhausted and frustrated. Hopefully she turned a corner today and will get back on the eating train.

We have a party planned for Mira on Friday, but in the meantime, we had a small celebration with just Sarah, Eli, Jonah and I, with cake from Avelluto's. Mira quickly snubbed the cake and ultimately ended up in tears. She didn't care much for dinner either, but ended the day on a good note.

The one thing that Mira will consistently respond to is the Bunz (her pull-string bunny) only the original Bunz is in need of serious repair. The string is worn thin and pulled out of its socket, only playing a few seconds of the song before needing to be pulled again. Sarah managed to find a hippo (which is pink like the Bunz) and plays the exact same song! Tonight was our first trial with the faux-Bunz hippo and she loved it. Again, it is one of those moments that Sarah and I enjoy every evening where we know we can get a smile out of Mira at the end of a long and often trying day. If we are really lucky, we get to see 'the dragon', where Mira sticks her tongue out and makes a funny breathing noise when she is really happy - you can barely see a small faint 'dragon' face about 45 seconds into the video I posted.

We did have a great weekend, despite Mira's eating woes - a huge thanks to Tom and Nikki for coming up to hanging out, the birthday gifts, and for watching the kids last night, so Sarah and I could escape to celebrate our 9th anniversary (which was almost 2 weeks ago) at Le Fou Frog. We loved seeing all of you and really appreciated getting out of the house!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gerber Goop

If there is one thing we have discovered over the past month is that we should do some serious investing in Gerber stock. When I was a kid, we called it Gerber Goop. It looks terrible, smells strange, and is all around, pretty bland. Mira’s typical diet up until now has been fairly predictable. Sweet potatoes, oatmeal, warm bottles of milk, and the occasional pureed leftovers. We found months ago that Mira loves warm oatmeal, with maple and brown sugar being one of her favorites. That has been working well for her. Breakfast typically goes off without a hitch, topping the morning off with some warm milk mixed with protein powder to get her day going. After breakfast though, everything is hit or miss with her. She can go on a hunger strike that may last for days, with little food wise that will spark her interest. Until now.

Sarah was out of sweet potatoes a few weeks ago and was desperate around lunch time for Mira, when she figured she would feed her one of Jonah’s baby food jars. Mira gobbled it right up and several more jars right after it. This could not be any more convenient. The next day, we loaded up on various 6 ounce Gerber concoctions, including spaghetti and meat sauce, chicken noodle dinner, squash, and anything else that wasn’t green or just didn’t deserve to be pureed and jarred. Through trial and error, we found that Mira’s new found Gerber love is the chicken noodle dinner, which she is now known to throw back 3 jars in a single sitting.

Why she loves bland baby food is beyond us, but she has been consistently eating it for a few weeks now, with a whole lot less hunger strikes. Baby food is bland, but we think she enjoys the texture. Whatever the case, I must admit that it is EXTREMELY convenient. Instead of constantly cooking, reheating, and preparing food that she may or may not eat (which becomes embarrassingly wasteful and expensive), we just take a few jars of Gerber Goop with us and go. We will continue to experiment with some less expensive alternatives, seeing if she might try some canned soups and vegetables. The stage 3 jars can sometimes run $1.50 a piece and Mira easily eats two jars at a sitting, sometimes three.

We also discovered a good organic ‘off the shelf’ milk that Mira is really enjoying. We have always struggled with warming up milk for her and trying to keep it at her desired temperature when we are out running around, but now we can just take the prepackaged milk containers with us. We found them in bulk at Costco over the weekend. Yet another convenient way to keep Mira happy – room temperature milk that won’t spoil on the go.

As far as seizures are concerned, Mira is still having a few involved ones every day. We had lunch in Lawrence this afternoon and she had one at the table that lasted less than 30 seconds or so, but the ‘aftershocks’ and twitching went on for several minutes afterwards. She has a lot of subtle jerks and twitches throughout the day, but typically only 1 or 2 longer seizures.

We are still struggling some days to keep her happy and today was no exception. Mira was pretty cranky all afternoon, so I took all three kids for a walk after we got back from Lawrence (hey Aura and Ware, did we mention we had La Familia sweet salsa and Free State Beer?!?!); I think Mira enjoyed just getting out again. I could tell, since the minute we came back in the house, she started crying again. It’s difficult to keep her entertained all the time, but we try to break up the day for her with trips and outings.

We managed to take a brief road trip last weekend to Saint Louis and were able to watch the Royals snap their losing streak against the Cards at Busch Stadium. (They are since back to their losing ways at Kauffman Stadium.) It was a beautiful day at the Cardinals game and we managed to meet up with some family before, during, and after the game. We also briefly met a mom (who is also named Sarah) at the game who has a daughter nearly identical to Mira, from her age, to her medical history, and whose daughter continues to struggle with seizures, just like Mira. It is great for us to run into other families who you can immediately relate to and know exactly what you are dealing with. You always seem to make an instant connection with them.

Summer break is officially here, with last Tuesday being Eli’s last day of Kindergarten. I cannot believe this year has flown by so quickly. Eli is getting so tall and by my estimation, he is going pass me by the fourth grade. He also talks nonstop. I bet he spits out 25,000 words a day. Some days, I seriously wish he had a pause button so I could get a few words in. His new favorite love these days is playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii; amazingly he is capable of talking nonstop while playing. He is a great kid with an unbelievable amount of energy.

Jonah is also getting enormous. He has been getting his fair share of tummy time in an effort to entice him to crawl, walk or just throw his weight around so he can understand his potential mobility. It hasn’t really motivated him to either crawl or walk, but once you put him in his walker, he will flatten your toes in 2 seconds. Sarah and I wear heavy shoes around the house when he is on a tear in that walker, since he knows no boundaries.

The house project is finally moving forward, after a lot of ongoing frustration with our lender. Unfortunately, the frustration and anxiety has not subsided completely with the bank, but it will all fall into place this week. The good news is that we did actually start construction this past Wednesday. Currently, we have an enormous partially dug hole to show off, but that is about it. While the foundation was being dug, we had a few dilapidated trees removed from our back yard. This week, we are having some electrical work going on and the footings are supposed to be poured by mid-week.