In a homeschooling house full of 7 kids & 3 guniea pigs....there is never a dull moment! A lot of people show genuine concern for us and want to know how we are doing, as the road we've left behind was not a pleasant one. So, here I am, to tell some of our stories...share some of our days...and open up a part of our world to you! Come join us on our journey so you won't miss the moments that take our breath away!

Monday, February 28, 2011

On the road again...goin places that I've never been...

One of the wonderful parents in one of our homeschooling groups organized a "Flat Traveler"  project and we are so excited to be participating in such a wonderful opportunity.  We can not wait to put our map and geography skills to work as we mark all the places we've visited on our world map.  We will learn about so many different places and cultures and we are already meeting new friends from around the globe.  History lessons will "come alive" for us and we will even start a collection or two...maybe three (postcards, stamps and magnets). 

We packed up our passports and grabbed our travel journals, weather diaries and a few recipe cards.  We quickly....well, okay, actually it took quite a while, a week or so...but nonetheless, we loaded up our Tour Busses, pets and all.  The kids and pets anxiously departed at around 8:00pm tonight.

Our "Flat Travelers" and Passports

The boys are headed off to visit Hooksett, New Hampshire, and boy do they have an exciting trip in store for them.  The cost for their departure was a whopping $1.22.  They should be arriving to their destination no later than Friday.  They have plans to go to the Circus and a Monster Truck show...if they are lucky, they may even get a few autographs.  Our host family will have their hands full, as the boys are lucky enough to be one of three families making this trip to Hooksett!

Boys Homeschool Adventure Tours Bus

The girls are headed overseas to visit our friends in Stockport, England!  The cost for their departure was a mere $2.92.  They will arrive to their destination in 4-10 days!  We had a last minute change of plans and we are visiting a different family than originally planned, so we have no idea what's in store for us there, but the girls could not be any more excited!

Girls Homeschool Adventure Tours Bus

Our first visitor will be arriving in just a few days...we have some great things planned for them as well!  I won't blog about the places that we go with our visitors, although, I admit, it will be so hard not to and I assure you that they will not be disappointed at all! 

We will keep you posted on our adventures and tell you about all of the wonderful things we get to see and do on our trips.....we're on the road again...goin places that we've never been.............

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dropping like flies but still flying the friendly skies!

We've had a sickly if Type A flu, ear infections and upper respiratory infections and possible pneumonia a few weeks ago wasn't enough....we are sick again around here.  This time it's a lovely stomach flu. 

Duckling was the first and she was so very sick and unable to hold anything down for an entire day.  At least by the end of the day she was able to hold down some momma's milk.  That was a few days ago and she still isn't 100%...just laying around more than usual and not eating or drinking a lot (but that seems to be a problem lately anyways).  Macaw was complaining of being nauseous that night.  She carried the "bucket" around and finally fell fast asleep on the couch with her poor little face in the puke pan. 

She never threw up.

That night I camped in the family room with the little ones in fear that one of them would be sick through the night...I don't deal well on this type of clean up duty, so I wanted to be near them to avoid as much clean up as possible.  No one slept well and with that and the dogs, I was up most of the night, but at least no one got sick.

Eagle woke up with it on Friday and he was miserable all the way up until midnight, then he woke up Saturday morning feeling like a new person. 

We had a day of Basketball games on Saturday and somehow everyone was well, so we went.  Emu surely wasn't himself, he was much too still and I was so worried that he was going to get sick.  He complained and whined of his belly hurting most of the afternoon and evening, but he never got sick.  Hawk has complained off and on about not feeling well, but he's never gotten sick either.  Cardinal must have an immune system built of steel because I've heard not one work out of her.

Today, the weather here was quite nice.  We decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and we headed out to fly kites.
What fun is flying a kite, if it doesn't get stuck in a tree!

All of our flights were not successful, we got tangled up a time or two...and what would a kite flying adventure be, if at least one kite wasn't landed in a tree?

Emu did not have a good time.  He is still complaining of a belly ache, though he has not gotten sick at all.  He wanted to be carried the entire time, even when the kids played at the playground, he did not want to participate.  He begged nearly the entire time to go home.  This is definately not my Emu!

Macaw, proudly flying her kite

 Macaw had a wonderful time, she was so proud of flying her kite so high.  She also like trampling around in the mud, often acting like stepping in a big sloshy puddle was an accident, lol.

Duckling stayed under Cardnal's wing the entire day.  Hawk wasn't with us this afternoon, he was playing video games with his friends.

Even still tonight, poor Emu is STILL complaining of his belly.  He often just throws himself on the floor and lays down where ever he happens to be.  I hate when I start wondering if "something" could be wrong.  Of course when he points to where it hurts, he points exactly where his abdominal surgery was a few years ago.  That spot never seemed to heal the way they said it would.

She was so thrilled with how high her kite was

Cardinal keeping Duckling under her wing

Emu wanting to be picked up...AGAIN!

Poor Duckling, still not feeling well

Still under Carndnal's wing

So, we must bid farewell to our sickly weekend, but we are so glad we were able to enjoy some of it anyways.  We don't get very much family time, so it was really nice to get out and play...even though I had housework that very much needed to be done.

We have an exciting school week ahead.  We should be caught back up on all our studies and we are participating in a "Flat Traveler" project and we are so very excited about it!  We are looking forward to some fun outings over the next few weeks.

We should be getting Emu's Hormone Study Test Results back this week.  I am so anxious about it...the waiting is so terrible, I'm so nervous for the phone to ring.  I know when I see that it's them calling, my heart is going to sink to my feet.  I don't know what to hope for and I'm sure no matter what, I won't be happy with whatever the results are.  As always, I try to take it day by, was a good day.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Friday, February 25, 2011


So, I have had a horrible day.....Duckling came down with a stomach bug yesterday, I was up the entire night last night.  This morning, Eagle came down with it.  Our dog has been a royal pain in the hind he usually is...we didn't get much school done today, my house is a complete mess and so, I sit down to blog as I do when I've had a bad day.  It's always such a good release for me.

I have been trying for a week to edit and add pictures to Ducklings birthday post....and in doing so....i've messed up nearly my entire blog!

I'm trying to load pictures and when I click on my picasa albums, the pictures will not load so that I can see them.  There is just a moving circle where the pictures would be.  If I click on one and say to add the picture, it will put "a" picture on the page, but even if I count and think I'm chosing the right isn't always right.

So, I thought if I deleted some of the pictures in my album it would be, I went through and deleted a bunch of I see that all of those pictures were also removed from my blog.

I put so much work and time into it and now it's ruined and I still don't have the pictures of Duckling on here that I wanted and numerous posts are now missing pictures that I will never have time to go and put back in.

This has been a very bad and frustrating day and now my release....the one thing I do to ease a bad day.....has blown right up in my face! do I move my blog somewhere else...and keep my followers?  This picasa problem is nothing new, I've just not had too hard of a time dealing with it until I had more pictures.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Duckling turns 3

Wow...I can't believe it!  My baby girl turned 3. 

Now, I haven't blogged about my mother, so unless you know her, you couldn't have a full understanding of the relationship she has with Duckling.  Someday, I will blog about that part of our story...but for now, I will say that my mother is very fond of Duckling and we'll leave it at that ;)  

Duckling was quite clear in what she wanted for her birthday.  A Horse.  Nothing more, nothing less...that girl wanted a horse.  While living at my parents for the first two years of her life, she knew nothing more having horse pastures against her back yard.  We often fed and pet the horses and there was nothing better than hearing the "neigh" of those horses to start your morning.  So, Duckling...knowing no different, grew quite fond of horses.  She gets it honest...I was quite a horse lover when I was her age too.  So, it was very important to my parents, mostly, my get Duckling a horse just like she wanted.  We searched for months and we were finally able to find her a Fur Real Pony.  She was amazed and immediately in love with the horse that she named, Rylee.                                       

Adoring her new horse
It seems like just yesterday, I was in a panic, trying to figure out who was going to go to the hospital with me and who was going to watch my other kids.  I had unexpectedly became a single mother just seven weeks before.  There was so much going on that it never dawned on me, that I hadn't made arrangements.  Normally, I had a plan A, plan B and a plan C in place months before a due date...but I also never had to pack myself and my kids up to move into a Rape and Abuse Shelter just weeks before I was due and I never had to request a change in a court date because my husband's indictment hearing was scheduled too close to my due date...I never had to schedule my delivery, so that I could be assured the capability to show up in court.  I never had to do a lot of things that I had to do around the time Duckling was born.
I had never planned a home birth, this time I did.  Just weeks before I was due, I made the decision that it was best to deliver in a hospital.  I needed to be closely monitored at the end of my pregnancy, as the stress I was under, put a lot of stress on my little duckling.  She was not nearly as active and sometimes she was downright still.  I lost 15 lbs. in a two week period.  I was physically sick and couldn't hold any food down.  Just a few weeks before she was born, I had literally "lost" my pregnant looking belly and was left with a slight hint of a bump.  I didn't get to do my belly cast because I didn't even have enough of a belly to do it.

I entered the hospital late in the evening.  The amount of security I had there, made my life feel like something you'd see on tv.  I wasn't listed on the hospital registery, so anyone who called to check on my was told there was no one by my name in the hospital.  It was also very difficult for anyone coming to visit me to actually get back into my room.  I had security outside of my door and pacing the hallways making sure that we stayed safe.  I had my mother and Cardinal by my side, but in a way, I still felt so alone.  My labor was extremely fast...only really lasting a few hours.  I was induced, but I was able to make it through labor and delivery without the need for pain medications.  There was a point where I did change my mind, but it was too late.  I remember little about Duckling's birth.  Cardinal video taped and took pictures, my mom cut the cord.  Duckling was small, but she was surprisingly healthy.  She did have problems regulating her body temperature on her own, so she did spend some time in NICU. in the arms of her mighty protector!
A bond that will never be broken

A ray of sunshine, to brighten our darkest days

In our state, as part of a newborn's screening, they receive a hearing test.  Duckling failed!  She showed no nerve response in her right ear.  She was deaf.  I took the new surprisingly well.  Actually, I was completely unphased.  I really "didn't care".  She was here, she was healthy and that was all that really mattered.  She had made it through so much already...her being unable to hear seemed so minor! 

I had never stayed my 2 days in the hospital, this time I requested it.  The next morning, I received a phone call from my sister-in-law, who said two of my kids were up sick the entire night.  I felt my kids needed me and so, I requested to leave.  I hadn't named Duckling yet and I was not allowed to leave until she had a name, so we were stuck there for a few hours.  It had snowed and I scraped my own windows, so that I could drive myself home from the hospital.  My sister-in-law brought my kids to the hospital and then she took my mom home, so that I could drive my son to Children's Hospital, as he was very sick.  We were permitted to spend the first night at "home" before we had to return to the shelter. 

At the shelter, we slept in a room that was only 48 degrees.  When Duckling went for her week check up, she had lost a lot of weight and only weighed 4lbs. 8oz. so she was admitted into the hospital.  She was released 3 days later, at which time, we left the shelter and moved in with my parents.  I will never forget my in-laws walking in unexpectedly that day while I was waiting for her to be discharged.  It was nearly one of the most uncomfortable and uneasy times I have ever faced.  It was the first day that I had an overwhelming fear of her safety.  This is a fear that will carry everyday for the rest of my life.

4lbs. 8oz. but yet the biggest bundle of joy!

Duckling had so many health problems and so many challenges!  I'm sure that I can't even remember them all!  She often had ALTE's where she would stop breathing, go limp and be unresponsive.  There was one particular time, when I truly thought she was dead and it was like I was living through a nightmare.  My parents witnessed a number of these episodes as well and they too know what it feels like to think Duckling was dead.  When she was 4 months old, she also often projectile vomited about 10 minutes after she ate solid foods.  It was later determined that these things were the result of severe food allergies.  She developed a feeding disorder and received therapy to basically learn how to eat.  She struggled with her weight from day 1, so she was followed very closely by a GI specialist and was put through every test you could imagine.  It took 5 months to get a proper diagnosis on her hearing loss (Enlarged Vestibular Aqueduct) at which time, she received her hearing aid and entered into speech therapy.  She was late on every milestone.  She spent the first few years of her life going to speech therapy, physical therapy and occuptional therapy.  Whe was so tiny, her high chair had to be specially adapted for her by one of her therapists.  She did roll over, but later regressed and at 9 months old, she was just rolling over for the first time.  She sat up by the time she was 12 months old, then she progressed very quickly.  By the time she was a little more than 2, she had caught up to all of her peers...only lagging behind in Language (surprisingly, not speech).

Now, at 3, her progress has been remarkable!  We are awaiting her speech and language evaluation, but considering she speaks in paragraphs...we have no worries.  Developmentally, she has stayed on target.  At only 22lbs. she is followed closely by a new GI specialist, Nutritionalist and an Endocrinologist.  She is tiny, but she is thriving!

Duckling entered into such an unfair world of uncertainty.  She was truly born during the darkest time of our lives!  She was the best dose of medicine my ailing mother could ever have!  She has been the brightest ray of sunshine anyone could ever ask for.  She has brought so much joy and happiness to every member of our family.  She is truly a gift from God and she could not have been sent to us at a better time!  She has come a long way and she has proven that she is the most stubborn little fighter you could ever meet!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our precious Duckling, thanks for all the memories so far...

My new hearing aid at 5 months
8 months

10 months

1st Birthday (6-9mo. pants)

1st Birthday Jello Cake (food allergies suck, but I didn't seem to mind!)
My new glasses - 18 months

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Emu's Hospital Day

Today was a big day for Emu.  A day that will hopefully be a turning point.  A day that hopefully means that we are not far from getting answers.  It's a bittersweet kind of day's a day that also means life may never be the same for him/us.  A day that could bring the unexpected.  A day that could bring answers that we don't want or a day that means our worst fears may soon come true.  We fear the unexpected...but we fear the unknown too.  So, hopefully, in a few weeks we will at least have some answers...some sense of direction.

As you know, Emu has been closely watched for more than a year, as he has literally not grown since his 2 year check up and most recently, he has had a borderline abnormal bone age scan and was then refered to an Endocrinologist.  His initial workup from the Endocrinologist indicated that he has a Growth Hormone Deficiency because his IGF (insulin growth like factor) was extremely low.  So, today...he had his Growth Hormone Study done.  He spent 1/2 a day in the hospital having a Growth Hormone Stimulation Test in which they gave him 2 different drugs to stimulate his pituitary gland to release growth hormone.  A GH-releasing hormone was given to him through his iv, the other drug was given to him orally.  Then, his blood was drawn every 20 minutes for...I think it was actually 2 hours, maybe a bit longer.

Last week, we went to the $1 store and he got to pick 6 things to take in a hospital "goody" bag.  He was suppossed to choose from these items throughout the day, both as a distraction and as a reward.  He had one backpack of fun things to do and another for his special "goody sack".

Apparently, everyone didn't get the memo, because he was fishing long before he was ever poked!

They drew his initial blood, then gave him his meds.  Then we had some waiting to, we had some time to play :)

We counted!

We smiled

We counted some more!

We fished some more...not allowing his "unbendable" arm to hold him back!
During his second blood draw, he seemed "off".  He wouldn't say that anything was wrong, which it's normal for him to not talk sometimes, so I didn't think anything was actually wrong, but thought that maybe having the blood drawn was bothersome to him.  He went on to play, so he seemed ok. 

The next time they drew his blood, he got pale and had the same "look".  I asked if he could be lightheaded and the nurse then explained to me that the drugs they gave him have one side effect...nausea and vomiting.  The other nurse quickly went and grabbed a puke pan and a towel, obviously she knew his fate.  Nurse 1 explained that sometimes they will get really pale...(yep, check there)...and their lips can turn grayish...(yep, check again).  He slouched over and was pretty much "done".  Not long after, I was cuddling him in the momma's boy kind of way when he started to vomit.  Falcon said that he never saw me move so fast...but by golly...we didn't miss his puke pan :)

A side effect of the med soon hit him...and he spent the next few hours like this

and like this (when he wasn't being snuggled and "babied" by Momma
Luckily, he was on an empty stomach, but he still vomitted for quite some time...a few hours actually.  He was able to sleep and rest, but never missed the pan. 

Once he had iv fluids going for a while, he started perking back up and he started playing again.  Soon after, he had his last blood draw and got an Icee treat.  He swore it was soda and needless to say, he was very happy. 
He deserved this treat, don't you think?

Feeling well enough to play darts :)
Then he was able to order something to eat.  I think he felt like a king getting to choose anything he wanted, then being served in bed.

Breakfast in bed

He got his "Certificate of Bravery" and went home feeling great.

Now, we anxiously await for when we will get the results that we pretty much already know...he is Growth Hormone Deficient.  What happens if it actually comes back normal, then what?  What happens if it comes back as abnormal as we think it is?  Then, why is he it a pituitary tumor, an infection, a syndrome, or no real reason at all?  What testing will they do next, what else will he have to go through, what are we facing then?  Do we take the risks (diabetes, cancer, etc) and chose Growth Hormone Therapy if it's simply a deficiency?  So many questions!!!  So much uncertainty and so much worry!!!!

At least we are one step closer.  We are either ruling something out or confirming what we think we know. 

All I know right now, is that I have one amazing, happy, smart and brave LITTLE boy!

He was such a BRAVE boy today!

Breath Away Wednesday!

Emu has this "way" about him.  For those who know him, they know exactly what I'm talking about!  He is the type of kid who can make you smile even on days you feel like there is nothing to smile about.  He's the one who teaches you something new each day and the one that reminds you that you have to slow down and smell the roses along the way and that if you miss even the smallest detail in something, you may miss the whole thing.  Everyday brings something new with him...something that makes you shake your head, grin and say, "that's Emu".

We spend all day on Saturday's at Basketball games for the three oldest kids.  We are usually gone from 9:30am until 6:00pm, so with 6 kids (3 of them toddlers) in definately makes for a long day.  Now, you must understand the amount of energy Emu has, so for him..being still for this amount of time is literally impossible!  He is usually very well behaved, but he likes to tease you and sneak out onto the court from time to time.  Almost always staying away from the players, he likes to dart out and come right back.  Then he gives you his priceless, cheesy little grin and flaps his wings, jumping up and down with that precious little laugh of his...that's Emu.

Last Saturday, during our last game..he was kind of ansy.  He insisted he had to go to the bathroom, so off we went.  As I was washing my hands, someone came in the bathroom and he darted out.  I went right after him and saw him go up the steps to the stage where we were sitting.  When I got to our seat, to my surprise, he wasn't there.  I looked all over for him, completely confused, as I was certain he went up those steps.  Just then someone said he was running out onto the court.  When I look up, he's running straight towards the players, coming from across the other side of the court running towards us.  I haven't the slightest idea how the heck he got over there and how he got over there so fast...but, that's Emu!  He was dodging the players and the players were dodging looked more like a football game at this point.  Finally, he gets knocked down and trampled on.  The refs blow the whistle and stop the game to get him off the court.  Of course, he was laughing, jumping up and down and flapping his wings...that's Emu!  Everyone laughed...not at him, but with him and the game went on.

Moments like these are only made possible by my Emu!  All I could do was giggle and shake my head at him, I really couldn't even get mad, as I just couldn't expect anything different out of him...because that's my Emu...and this was one of those moments, when he was making memories...memories that I will sit and share with his kids someday.  Memories like, the time he "robbed the bank" when I opened my bank account, lol...memories that stick like this...and of course, these are the moments that take my breath away!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Time4Learning Review Coming Soon!

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning can be used as a homeschool curriculum, for afterschool enrichment and for summer skill sharpening. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

32/20 Takes my breath away

Last Wednesday was supposed to be the first of my new weekly "Breath Away Wednesday" posts.  I promised friends that I would begin blogging more and that I would post about at least one of those moments that take my breath away every week and I even invited some of my fellow bloggers to join me in my new Breath Away Wednesday.

Well, last week....I sure had no clue what kind of week I had in store for me, and while I did have a few of those "moments"...I sure didn't have time to post on Wednesday.

It all started by visiting my parents last Sunday.  My mom had been sick with an upper respiratory infection for a few weeks and was FINALLY feeling better that day.  We were there for most of the day and we had a really great visit. 

On Monday, our day started just as any other...but something quickly changed.  About 45 minutes after Eagle was awake, he began complaining of a stomach ache.  Then, I noticed that he was having what seemed to be an allergy attack.  His eyes were red and swollen looking and watering, his nose was running like a faucet and he was sneezing repeatedly.  I asked him if he wanted some Benadryl, as it was obvious something had him all stirred up.  He declined and said he was cold and went to sit on the heat vent.  He fell asleep sitting up with his head rested on his med pac.  After about 20 minutes, he got woken up.  When he got up, he looked awful!  He said he didn't feel good and he went to lay on the couch.  Within 30 minutes, he was running a 102 fever and 30 minutes after that he was complaining of an excruciating headache.  I suspected that he may have the flu.  I offered him some liquid Motrin in a medicine cup and he said "I can't take it".  When I asked why, he said he couldn't lift his head.  I called the doctor to get him an appointment and they wanted me to bring him right in.  When I went to get his coat on, his fever was up to about 104.  I put the Motrin in a syringe and tried to give it to him, but he couldn't even swallow all of it.  He was rushed to the doctor without even putting any shoes on him.  We left the doctor with a diagnosis of an ear infection, thrush (from his lung med and previous antibiotic he took for his ear infection), strep throat and the Flu. 

Now, they weren't going to test him for the flu because his strep test was positive, so they assumed that's all he had.  I pushed for a flu test because we were with my parents the previous day and if he had the flu...we needed to know, as I was so worried about my mother!  Now, if you don't know me personally, then you wouldn't know why my mother was such a concern.  Nearly 4 years, my mother suffered a massive heart attack and well, that's a whole blog post in let's just say, that honestly, my mother simply shouldn't be here today, but as you will someday learn, she is an amazing fighter!  So, each day we have with her is truly nothing more than a miracle.  With that said...her health is very, for her...something like the flu could very easily be life threatening.

Eagle, because of his lung condition, was the only one in our house to get the flu shot and oddly enough, he was the first one in our family to get the flu.  He has made it through his illness, with no effect to his lungs!  I ended up in the emergency room with three sick kids and in the doctors office one other time that week, all while being down with the flu myself...and believe it or not...this is not what took my breath away last week...

Remember that wonderful visit with my parents last Sunday, well, we unknowingly exposed my mom to the Flu that day (as the flu is contagious 1-2 days before onset of symptoms).  On Monday, before we left our own doctor's office, I was on the phone calling my mom's doctor's office in an effort to get her a prescription for Tamiflu.  I called them at 4:17pm...their office closed that day at 4:00pm.  So, I was on the phone the next morning. Later that afternoon, they finally called back and they wanted my mom to wait and see if she ended up with symptoms of the flu.  At 5:05pm, I received a call from my mom, who was crying.  She said that about 30 minutes after she had hung up from me earlier that day, she got violently sick and had been continually sick and unable to call any sooner.  Later that night, she was much worse.  Now, anyone who knows my mom, knows how she loves hospitals (input sarcasam here), but that evening she told my dad that he needed to get her to the hospital because something wasn't right.  In an effort to reassure her, he took her blood pressure.  Unable to get any reading at all, he called 911.  She was admitted into the ICU with severe dehydration, kidney failure among countless other things...and you guessed it, the Flu.  Unable to get a blood pressure on her, she had surgery the next morning to have an arterial line put in, so that they could monitor her blood pressure that was too low to be obtained through a blood pressure cuff. 

Still in the hospital, she is very slowly improving!  I'll spare all of the details, but I will say this...she never ceases to amaze the doctors and nurses that take care of her!  Her blood pressure was 32/20!!!  Her doctors can not comprehend how she never lost conciousness.  Anyone in the medical field will tell you that a blood pressure of 32/20 is simply not compatible with life! 

But yet, somehow, she always defeats the odds just one more time...
To say we are blessed that she is still here is an understatement...
Not just this time, but so many times over the course of the last 3 1/2 years...
it is truly a miracle that my mother is still here.

32/20 and she is still, that takes my breath away!

Every calorie counts...How to pack a big punch in even the smallest bite!

For some parents, getting their children to gain weight isn't a big deal...but for other's, it can be one of the most frustrating parts of parenthood.  Out of my six children, I have two that don't grow as they should.  One has an unconfirmed growth hormone deficiency (he will be hospitalized in a few weeks for further testing)...the other, our precious little Duckling, has undergone more tests than I could even remember over the course of the last 2 1/2 years.  Weight gain has been an issue with her literally since day one!  She has seen specialist after specialist and nobody can find anything "wrong".  She is not dehydrated or malnourished.  They have been unable to find any medical problem, syndrome, disorder or genetic abnormality to cause this issue for her, but yet, I have a thriving, active, developmentally on target, 22lb. little girl who will be turning 3 in less than two weeks!  She is monitored very closely by her pediatrician and her specialists.

Through the years, I have been given handouts by her speech and occupational therapists and nutritionalists who have treated her for her feeding problems in the past.  I have come to realize that the mounds of information and tips I was given are not very easy to come by, as I have not been given any such information by anyone who is on her current team.  A few weeks ago, I pulled out all of these handouts, as the need for increasing calories for her are once again top priority.  The main source of her calorie intake is her special formula, however, it seems that now that she is older...even her daily intake of those calories is not enough.  As we await her next visit with her GI Specialist...I fear a feeding tube may once again be in her future.  We looked at the possibility of that neccessity right around her 2nd Birthday, but she narrowly escaped that neccessity. 

In the meantime...I am doing everything I can do to increase the calories/protein in every little bite that goes in her mouth.  This is a task that many find extremely difficult and I know that there are other parents, who struggle with this same frustration.  I wanted to share the wealth of information that I have been given, in hopes that it will also help someone else.  There is a lot of information in these pages, some of it is repetitive.  Once you educate'll find that you start coming up with ideas on your own.  I no longer buy the convienent ready to eat puddings, but yet I make them myself...instead of using milk, I use half & half.  Everytime I cook something for them, I always try to come up with at least one way to add calories/protein to it.  I try to stay away from more unhealthy ways to add calories, such as butter and oils. 

Calorie Boosters that Pack a Punch page 1
Calorie Boosters that Pack a Punch page 2
Fueling with Food Group Variety
Fueling with Food Group Variety page 2

The following ideas all come from here

Adding Calories
Adding Protein and Calories
Adding Protein and Calories page 2

Super Snack Recipes
Super Soup Recipes
Super Main Dishes Recipes
Super Veggies Recipes
Super Drink Recipes
Recommended Resources for more recipes and/or ideas for promoting weight gain

Other ways to increase Calories for Children:
Page 1
Page 2
Helpful Hints!
Practical Ways To Increase Calories for Children
More tips on adding calories
Easy Ways to increase Calories

More Recipes
Good Nutritious Snacks with hidden calories Page 1!
Good Nutritious Snacks with hidden calories Page 2
More High Cal. Solids/textures

I wish that I could credit all of the resources from which all of this information came from, but since these were given to me as handouts...I just don't know where they came from :(

Here's hoping that you can rest a little easier knowing that you have some great ways to sneak more into every bite!  I'm sorry that this post didn't come earlier as planned...we have been down with the Flu at our know what they say....better late, than never!