Monday, December 03, 2007

Three Years

Don't you just hate it when your life gets in the way of your blogging??? Let me just tell you that this has been a crazy, hectic couple of weeks at our house. I can't believe it's already DECEMBER! I guess that means it's not going to get any more relaxed around here until after the holidays.

The girls had their 3-year NICU graduation/due-date birthday on November 17th, and I've been meaning to do a post about what they are like as 3-year-olds. I haven't gotten around to it yet because we've been weathering some sickness. The girls had colds just before Thanksgiving. Holland had it first, with worse cold symptoms, then Eden caught it and didn't eat for a week which is totally just as bad. When Eden gets a cold we always notice an increase in her reflux, more vomiting, and a major breakdown in any progress we thought we had made in her eating. To say it sucks would be a complete understatement. I cannot believe how stressed out we (John, me, my mom) get when she stops eating. Every time I tell myself repeatedly that it is temporary, but I still freak out. It's no help to anyone and we need a better game plan. She really does bounce back pretty well once she feels better, but during this time of year when it's one thing after another we sometimes don't even get a chance to bounce back!

This past Thursday I woke up at 4am with a NASTY stomach bug that lasted about 12 hours. We were so terrified that the girls would catch it, so my awesome husband stayed home and quarantined me to the bedroom. He took the girls downstairs and kept them fed and entertained the entire day, then sanitized the entire house after they went to bed. He also brought me each meal according to the BRAT diet, and didn't get upset when I could only eat a few bites. So far, the girls haven't shown any signs of catching it. Maybe the quarantine worked.

So, what ARE the girls like as three-year-olds? I'll start with Holland, who will always be my baby A. And, of course, I'll start with eating and growing, since that what we spend the vast majority of our days focused on...

Holland is eating pretty well now and has gained over three pounds in the past 4 months. She FINALLY hit the chart for her real age around the 3rd percentile at 25 1/2 pounds. She is just about at the 25th percentile for height at 36 inches. So, she may still be skinny for her height, but I am perfectly happy with those numbers, especially considering her genetics, history, and the way she is eating lately.

Holland LOVES spaghetti, and it is hands down her favorite meal. She gets the high calorie version with ground beef in the sauce, butter, parmesean, and spritzed with olive oil. We eat it at least once a week. With leftovers, she probably has it at least three times a week. Spaghetti, and Ramen Noodles, are probably the only things that Holland will actually feed mostly herself. Oh, and broccoli. Most meals she starts feeding herself, but after a few bites loses interest and we have to take over. She still eats in front of a DVD, and we feed her the vast majority, but she almost always eats without a fuss and actually enjoys it. Three pounds in four months proves it!

Eden has also gained some weight in the past 4 months...about 2 1/2 pounds actually, putting her at 22 pounds. She is not close to the chart for her age, and I truly wonder if that is even a realistic goal. On the CP Growth Chart she is about the 20th percentile for weight, and above the 50th for length at 35.25 inches.

It's hard to talk about how Eden's eating is going, because it can vary so much from one day to the next! Today was a good day. On a Good Day Eden can seriously pack away some food. I am not kidding. Some days you might wonder where she even puts all the food she eats. She will eat everything offered to her for an entire day and we might even stop offering her food because we're afraid she might make herself ill. Then, the next day, she might not eat a thing.

I think the Prevacid Solutabs might be a wonder drug for Eden, as we saw a real significant improvement in her eating in first couple of months after we started it. I only regret that it took us 3 years to try it. I'm also beginning to think we might need an increase on the dose. In addition to the Prevacid, we started the Periactin, and the jury is still out on whether that works for her as well. It's hard to tell because the times we've stopped using is just happened to correspond with a sickness, so I don't know if she stopped eating because she was sick, or because we stopped the Periactin. We're going to renew the prescription another month and see what happens.

Eden's favorite meal is fajitas from Chili's. She LOVES her some Mexican food, just like her mama. She eats the fajita chicken with sour cream, shredded cheese, and especially avocado and guacamole. We've started buying bulk in avocados and she eats at least a few slices every day. In fact, she likes it so much that it works great as dessert after she eats something else. You know, after you can't get her to eat another just bust out with the avocado.

Don't get too excited about Eden's eating though. I don't. We still have some really rotten days when she WON'T eat a thing and we go crazy worrying about what could be wrong. I am noticing that bad days almost always correspond to an increase in the reflux, which almost always corresponds to a sickness or teething, even if it's not immediately apparent. Luckily she and Holland both JUST cut their very last tooth, so we don't have that worry anymore. Eden's was her last two-year (haha) molar on the top left, and Holland's was that second tooth from center on the top right that I had pretty much resigned myself to thinking must not be there.

I have lots more 3-year-old blog fodder running through my mind, but I am out of time for tonight, so I'll try again later in the week. I have so many cute stories and funny-things-they-say to tell you about! Will post again soon:)


Anonymous said...

I too had a very challenging eater (who ended up with the reflux surgery and a surgical feeding tube), although she now (at almost4) is finally in the 20th percentile for weight, and eats mostly by herself. I so well know how horribly stressful it was on the days that we were afraid she wouldn't eat/drink enough to get hydrated for the day and we would be back in the ER. And how hard it was to watch her stop eating every time she got sick (which was about every month), worry that we were going to go back to the feeding tube, and have her lose the 1-2 pounds we had just spent months getting on her. In any event, I wanted to ask you what is probably a really stupid question -have you ever tried putting Carnation Instant Breakfast into their milk? I'm sure you have already thought of it, but in case you haven't, it has a ton of calories and a whole bunch of vitamins, and it makes it taste so good that they want to drink even more of it. Yes, probably a lot of sugar, too, but I never had the luxury of worrying about that. Anyway, just a thought.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME to hear about them again!! congrats on the 3 year mark too!! *hugs* from California, could you possibly post that recipe of spaghetti Holland likes to eat? Also, I'm with Eden and the Avocados, I could eat them every day if you let me!! I hope you and the girls, and your mom, and your wonderful hubby continue to have a great rest of the year, and happy december!!

Sarah Furlough said...

It's so hard to believe that they are now 3 years adjusted! How quickly time flies!!

I am glad they are making progress with eating, I know that is a HUGE source of stress for you. I hope maybe tinkering with Eden's Prevacid dose will do more to help.

Hooray for Holland making it on to her growth chart, that is a great milestone!

Brooklyn said...

I adored this blog post. I feel like I know your daughters through your blog. They are so adorable, thank you for sharing your story. Brooklyn is a "lightweight" too. I have recently found a new juice she loves though anf is packs on 300 calories a seving, it is called Enlive and Brooklyn loves it. They have apple and I think peach but the apple is working so I do not want to mess with a good thing!
Take Care!

Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,

I just wanted to mention some things we're doing with my son. He's almost 3.5. We used to give him 1 solutab (15 mg) of Prevacid per day and it wasn't helping much. Even though it's not recommended to give higher doze of Prevacid for kids under 50 lbs, our GI doc said he participated in study where they were giving higher Prevacid doze to kids and didn't see any sideeffect. We now give to my son 2 solutabs (15mg x 2= 30mg) of Prevacid per day (in the morning and in the evening). He's eating certainly better.
We however also give him Instant Breakfast strawberry with his milk. And he likes it too. We split one Instant Breakfast package b/n two bottles.
About Periaction. We used to give it to him. The thing is after a while it stopps working well as he gets used to it. So we would start the med and after effect is gone, stop it. Than start the med again and stop it. We dropped the Periaction completly now.

Your girls are doing really well!

Sheila said...

Congratulations on this latest milestone! I love the picture of the girls with their birthday cake. They really have come such a long way, and you and John are doing a super wonderful job as their loving parents. Way to go, all of you!

BusyLizzyMom said...

Yeah for weight gain!!! Elizabeth sounds like Eden as soon as she is sick she either stops eating or vomits (last week it was 8days straight of barf d/t a phlegmy cold). I have stopped trying to feed her when she has a cold and give Anytime Breakfast (Carnation)with homo-milk she loves them and I am not panicked by her lack of intake. For Elizabeth teething is a huge problem with her reflux as well. It is good to hear that things are getting better on the eating front. As you know there are still lots of trying days but now there are a couple more good days too. Elizabeth will be 3 soon too and I am beginning to think that 3 will be the more challenging year as she is becoming quite sassy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates. Great about Holland's weight gain. When can we go to Chili's together??


Kendra Lynn said...

Wow...i cannot believe how big they are getting! Its amazing. I love you all...big hugs!


Katy said...

My little one went home with a feeding tube. He's a great eater now, but whenever he's under the weather he eats less. I freak out every time because I'm so scared they're going to want to put that feeing tube back in. It sucks, and we're doing OK as far as percentiles go.

krissy said...

Bille, your girls are adorable. Maybe we could do lunch sometime. We will see you at christmas. Love you all Love, Krissy Harper

Anonymous said...

I can't believe your daughter also likes avocado. My daughter is extremely picky and has severe reflux and avocado is one of the few things she has always tolerated. Everyone thinks she must not be fussy since she will eat avocado but it is one of the only things she will eat pretty regularly. The funny thing is she won't pick it up, doesn't like the texture, but I can feed it to her. Gosh the quirks of children.