Picky Eating

Adrian is a picky eater. We even have a series of YouTube videos all about him trying things and (almost always) hating them. He was picky before he went on Adderall, but he was picker when he went off. It’s been over a year since he stopped taking it, but the number of foods he’d eat was getting smaller and smaller. So we decided to do something about it.

We went with an idea usually used for toddlers. We got him a tray with six spaces in it. Every dinner, we fill up those spaces with a variety of foods. At this point we’re only putting in things he likes. If there is something on the table that he’ll eat, that goes in one of the spaces. As time goes on, we will gradually add things he doesn’t currently like in the hopes that over time he will begin to accept more foods and flavors (so far it appears to be working).

Medicine and Babies

One of our foster babies was sick a couple weeks ago and needed to take amoxicillin twice a day. The first couple days were a disaster. He’s scream and fight and spit it out and even projectile vomited it up once. But having never dealt with a baby fighting taking medicine before, we were at a loss of what to do. Until Ani came up with a genius solution.

One person would feed the baby while another person stuck the tip of the syringe in his mouth next to the bottle nipple and squeeze in the antibiotics a little at a time. He didn’t love it. In fact, he regularly gave the medicine pusher some epic side eye. But, he didn’t cry and didn’t spit it out so he swallowed all of his medication and got all better and is now back to his usual very happy, smiley self.

Fritz, the Baby Whisperer

We’ve known for a while now that Fritz is like magic with toddlers. They love him and will do anything for him. Some people jokingly call him the toddler whisperer, he’s that good.

Well, it turns out he’s got the magic touch with babies as well. The foster babies adore him. They seem Fritz and they only have eyes for him and get so excited when he plays with them or holds them. If a baby is sad and having trouble settling, they are instantly calm in his arms.

One day last week we baby-sat a two-year-old and 6-month-old. Somehow Fritz managed to get both 3-months-olds and the 6-month-old down for naps all at the same time and within just minutes.

All we can figure is he’s so incredibly calm that little ones feel that and absorb that calmness into themselves. Whatever the reason, we’ll take it. Bring so amazing with babies and toddlers is a pretty awesome skill to have!

I’ve grown my second complete human

Yesterday Cameron turned 18. We joked about kicking him out now that he’s an adult, but agreed it would be very strange for him to live somewhere else and come home for school every day so I guess we’ll keep him around.

The car, by the way, he saved up and bought with cash a few weeks ago. He loves it. He also loves that it has a manual transmission and he has now successfully learned how to drive a stick. He’s trying to come up with a nickname for his car and I, of course, suggested Sally. He, however, does not like my very excellent idea.

It’s been a rough summer for Ani…

When Ani applied for her mission, she was in a great place health-wise. Her medications were stable, she was totally functional, and everything seemed to be going well for her. That was in February.

In March, things started going downhill. Several of us got sick and Ani never bounced back. By the end of April she was barely able to eat. She was having abdominal pain pretty much no matter what she ate.

I took her to the doctor the beginning of May and she was sent for several tests. They didn’t show anything wrong. She had an ER visit in there, too. The end of May she saw her rheumatologist and he put her on an anti-spasmodic which did help some.

But her pain kept getting worse. It started up between her shoulder blades as well as the upper right quadrant of her abdomen. We went back to the doctor. He sent her for yet another test (which came back fine) and a medication to try (didn’t work; actually made it worse).

She started her mission the end of July. She tried really hard to complete all her duties, but more and more by the end of August she was having to back out of her commitments or leave early. She was just in way too much pain, could barely eat and not at all without pain, she was losing weight. It was bad.

Back to the doctor we went for the third time of the summer (not counting the rheumatologist or ER). This time the doctor said even though all the tests did not indicate gallbladder, her wanted to send her to a surgeon to be evaluated for gallbladder removal. Her symptoms and how she reacted to various medications really pointed to gallbladder in his opinion.

Ani comes from a long line of women who have had their gallbladders out. Me, my mother, my grandmother, and my great-grandmother. Before her I guess they just suffered because gallbladder surgery wasn’t a thing yet. My grandmother in particular had a rough time. Her local doctor though it was gallbladder, but the big time doctor in DC said the tests did not show it to be gallbladder. Twelve years passed and she eventually formed stones and had her gallbladder out which fixed all the symptoms she’d been dealing with for over a decade.

Two weeks ago tomorrow Ani saw the surgeon. He agreed that it sounded like her gallbladder needed to come out. He said he takes out 30-40 a year that don’t have the “right” test results and in over 90% of the cases, the issues are resolved through removal. For the rest, and for Ani if it didn’t work, he then refers to a GI doctor (he gave us the option of going to a GI doctor before surgery, but we opted for surgery first).

And so, a week ago Friday, Ani had her gallbladder taken out. She’s had surgical pain of course, but she felt better within hours of surgery than she had in months. She can eat anything without pain. It was clearly her gallbladder that was the culprit over this long and painful summer.

So now she’s almost all the way healed and ready to resume her missionary duties and able to do so in a way she just hasn’t been able to do since the beginning. She’s smiling and talkative again. We had forgotten just how much she usually talks. She was so quiet and miserable all summer. It’s amazing what problems a little organ like the gallbladder can cause!