Wednesday, January 02, 2013

2013 is going to be our best year yet

I am terrible about organizing our photos. I take many shots and videos, but I am bad about uploading them to our costco website and even worse about printing and storing them. I think I have 3 photos of Will printed. None of Porter. I was inspired by this presentation at TED and have been taking daily video footage of the kids, just for a minute or so or less. You would be surprised at how rich and informative a second a day of video for a year is. I feel like 2012 was the best year yet, and 2013 will only be better. It will be awesome to have the year encapsulated into a few minutes of footage. Also it will be proof to the kids later that we really do fun stuff all the time, though I fully intend to include footage of them just walking down the hall into their classrooms or watching our movie per our Friday Night Movie Night tradition, or people throwing tantrums, because that is all our life and I want to remember every bit.

Today and tomorrow Andrew is the only kid not to have school. We spent our alone time together mostly at Porter's school this morning, but tomorrow I want to do something more special just for Andrew. These two mornings are the only days alone we have had since Will was born, really, unless you count when Will napped, which would make it 3 years ago. Andrew has had a tough couple of months--the feeding program routine was hardest on him, surprisingly, but it has been amazing and wonderful to watch him bloom back into his happy, agreeable, hilarious little self under the steady glow of lots of positive attention and praise (thank you, applied behavioral analysis theory). I know I don't know zillions of 7 year old boys, but I think Andrew has an unusually hilarious and sophisticated sense of humor and that it is going to be a lot of fun living with him as he grows up.

Porter, at school today, loaded up his baby doll into the baby seat of the grocery cart, donned his safety goggles, and set about shopping in his classroom. He would periodically pick up his doll to kiss her or pat her back. He told us her name was Claire. I allowed myself some moments of pride that Porter was demonstrating a sweetness and affection he learned from me, from how I treat him. At a later point that day he also smeared bubble potion on his face, informed me that he was putting on makeup, and asked me whether he looked pretty. So I model that, too. It has only been a few weeks of Brigham spending more time at home, but perhaps later his influence will be observable soon, too.

I feel like I have approached each new year the last few years with a sense of sadness that the year closing had been difficult and stressful, and that I wished (not hoped) the year to come would bring improvement. This year is so different. Will is still not easy to feed, but he is feed-able. Andrew's difficult behaviors have disappeared, and when things flare up in any of the kids I feel confident that it perfectly handleable, not some dire red flag. Brigham has done as well professionally as he possibly could, and he has now kept his commitment to be home by 7pm most nights (see also Andrew's improved behavior). I have some personal and family goals that I am excited about, and which we are taking a day at a time to slowly check off the to-do list. I finally feel like I am turning into the mom and person I want to be. (Sorry older kids!)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

healthy eating 2013

Our time at Kennedy Kreiger did a lot for us aside from getting Will on track for tube weaning. One of those things was to change the way I think about food from primarily thinking about it as a way to get full and feel satisfied to the way most people probably think about it: fueling our bodies to function best. My new mindset makes it easier to eat better, since I now believe that the food we eat affects our health (aside from weight issues).

Here is one recipe for Salmon Fajitas that I loved that was simple to make and everyone liked. I just buy salmon and chicken frozen in bulk from Costco and defrost piece by piece in water when I want to use them. I used to not buy much fresh fruit since it often went bad before anyone ate it, but now that I am including fruit at every meal, after explaining why it is important and that everyone must try one bite of everything on their plates, it is getting eaten. I used plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream as a topper and it was so so delicious. I actually preferred the taste; I would choose it over sour cream even if it were not way more nutritious.

We have also been eating orange pancakes, which I make with white whole wheat flour and plain greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. I experimented with making orange syrup instead of using maple and I liked that, too (just reduce orange juice with sugar in a pot until it turns to syrup).

I started making chicken quesadillas by sauteing costco mickey mouse nuggets, slicing them and stuffing them in the tortilla with the melted cheese and sprinkling in some taco seasoning. Not brain surgery, but I had always contemplated much more complicated recipes and was happy to see that the kids loved it.

I have been trying to find easy, simple, nutritious recipes that are kid-friendly through internet searches but I would love to hear some tried and true.