Monthly Archives: April 2010

Hide and Seek

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Generally, I am not a fan of the childhood game of hide and seek.

In fact, I am strongly opposed to any child of mine/any child under my direct supervision playing the game.

I don’t know if my strong dislike for the game stems from the ultra paranoid parental side of me OR the fact that I know personally a mother whose child died from hiding in a hot vehicle.

Yesterday, however, Adam and Megan and I were having a WONDERFUL time playing at the park. I told Adam to go hide behind a tree and Megan and I would look for him. Adam, who like me does not approve of hide and seek, was reluctant, but went and hid anyway. Megan wasn’t a big fan of the hunt, but liked when her papa jumped out from behind the tree, startling her and sending her into a fit of giggles.

Next Megan wanted to take a turn hiding. And, I have to say, I have no problem playing hide and seek if this is the way she always hides:

She just stopped in her tracks and covered her little face with her even little-er hands.

We would walk around saying, “Megan, where are you? Are you behind the tree??” in a silly sing song voice. She would never remove her hands from her eyes, but she would call out “No! I’m over here!”

No, they don’t come any cuter.

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Another Step.

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Just wanted to share the good news that this happened this morning:

She fed herself every bite!

For those of you who read my last post, you will remember that Megan has never fed herself. Yep, a girl who is 3 years + 9 months old…is still spoon fed.

I am hopeful that what happened this morning will continue. It was clumsy going to start, but not as slow a process as I had imagined that it would be. There were a couple factors that really motivated Megan to feed herself:

1. Breakfast was a little late this morning so she was really hungry,
2. We began a new breakfast menu this morning (she actually picked a cinnamon roll for breakfast, but I motivated her to have cereal because it was later in the morning and the cinnamon rolls would have taken a while to bake), and
C. I can’t remember the last time she had fruit loops. She was so excited when I told her that if she picked cereal she could have fruit loops.

What a great start to a beautiful day!

Way to go Megan!

FOOD For Thought

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I have gone back and forth about writing this post. Not because it is controversial or radical or anything outrageous like that. Instead, it’s because I just don’t know how to do the situation of which I wish to share: justice.

It is no secret that we have struggled with Megan’s eating habits. From the moment she was born, eating was the last thing Megan was interested in. I often read of mothers boasting or celebrating that their newborn slept a solid four or six hours through the night…well…Megan slept through the night (8 to 10 hours) every night for the first week and a half of her life (a trend that would surely have continued had we not been forced to intervene). Surprise, surprise, she had no interest in waking to eat.

As Megan continued to drop weight, our doctor encouraged us to wake her in the night by first placing our hands in the freezer and then by placing them on her bare belly. Without fail, she would awake. Then I would struggle to keep her awake as she lazily ate. I finally learned that if I got up before she did, pumped a full bottle and then woke her, I could get her to down the bottle in five minutes. I continued that routine for the first few months of her life; until the doctor gave the go ahead to let her sleep through the night without eating.

Fast forward almost four years. Not a day has passed wherein we have not struggled with mealtime. I am sure that there are many who have witnessed our feeding routine who have criticized me or blamed me for the battle which ensues which very often ends in my relenting to Megan’s will. And yes, looking back, I often think “maybe if I would have done this” or “maybe if I would have tried that, then things would be better”. But honestly, I did the best that I could at the time. And until you have been where we have been…until you have a child that will go days without eating if allowed…or who has major meltdowns when forced to eat…or who knows how to make herself gag and in turn UPHEAVE anything she has eaten…then you really have NO IDEA the position we are in.

Almost a year ago, I was introduced to the disorder: hyperlexia. If you follow and read the attached link, you might as well be reading a description of Megan, with ONE HUGE exception. Hyperlexic children fall on the autism spectrum. And it has been determined that Megan does not have autism. So she does not qualify for a diagnosis of hyperlexia.

However, I have tried several of the techniques and teaching methods that are used with hyperlexic children to see if they would help Megan in many different areas of her life. And guess what? They have worked.

How does this apply to Megan’s eating habits? Well, children like Megan LOVE the written word. They are fascinated with letters and words and reading. I have used this fact in many ways to help Megan with various struggles. In the past, I have made list after list of things we were going to do throughout the day (including when we would have mealtime and what we would be eating), and since Megan saw that it was written in stone…so to speak…she was more willing to follow through. Recently, however, making a list of daily activities has become less effective as Megan wants to make more choices on her own and can communicate better her wants and her needs. Therefore, my system needed to be revised.

I very much believe that sometimes the ideas that I come up with to help Megan are nothing short of inspiration. I have a degree in psychology (with emphasis in child psychology) which has very much helped me when it comes to child behavior and discipline, but nothing could have prepared me for the great and weighty mystery that is my daughter. I continue to do plenty of research and search for help from other moms, but there are definitely some things, that have been a great benefit to our family, that have just popped into my mind as if from no where. As much as I get overwhelmed and frustrated with the difficulties that Megan presents, I can not overlook the fact that I have received much help from my Heavenly Father.

My this has gone on much longer and much more in detail then I ever intended. I appreciate those who are taking the time to read. Anyway, so back to what I am so excited and anxious to share.

Megan’s eating habits have improved SO MUCH in the past few weeks. I’m talking like one-hundred-and-fifty-percent. Somehow I came up with the idea of making Megan a mealtime menu. Novel, I know. But what I do is write down a list of possible meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacktime. Megan gets to pick which item she wants off the list…and then here is the big thing…we then cross it off, so she can not pick it again until the list has been exhausted in its entirety. The list contains things that are very much Megan’s favorites…like pizza and chicken nuggets…but it also contains things that she has NEVER before willingly eaten.

I was nervous and apprehensive at first as she picked item after item that she was familiar with. I thought for sure that she would throw a fit when all that was left were things that she hadn’t tried or didn’t like. But guess what? She has eaten every item. She has not cried or thrown a tantrum even one time. There have been a few things that she has been less enthusiastic about, but she will eat them until mommy is satisfied. And in most cases, she eats much more than I ever expected.

The lists will change a little each week as I work to incorporate more nutritious and diverse foods. But what a wonderful and glorious change this has been! She still has NO interest in feeding herself, so I still have to feed her every bite…but we are taking it one step at a time. I am so grateful and humbled by this blessing. There are no words that really do my emotions justice…which is a surprise since this post is so very long!

I love this girl with all my heart. Even amidst her delays and struggles. But I don’t think I have ever loved her more!

Happy Easter, Love Megan

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We woke up this morning to a layer of fresh fallen snow.

It was so beautiful.

Although we had Megan wear her Easter dress to church last week, and we took her “Easter Pictures” then, I decided to get her back in her beautiful dress and get some real Easter Morning pictures.

Megan had a wonderful Easter weekend. She woke up to a jelly bean trail leading to her basket, and loved finding Easter eggs hidden all throughout the house. She loved hearing about the reason for Easter and about her brother Jesus. I just love my sweet girl.

Happily Ever After

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This past week we have had many conversations with Megan about Easter. We have told her, in many different ways, why we celebrate Easter. We have explained that Jesus died and was resurrected so that when we die, we too will live again.

Of course we included Jack in our conversations. We also talked about Megan’s Grandpa Marshall whom she did not get the chance to meet in this life. We talked about how we will surely see them again someday. We explained that our brother Jesus made this possible through His atoning sacrifice.

After a particularly deep conversation on the subject, Megan sat quietly for a moment.

Then she asked,

“And they lived happily ever after?”

Yep.

We hope you all had a wonderful Easter. We hope that admist the candy and the presents that you remember the sweetest gift of all.