DaddyBriefs

A Glimpse Into a New Dad's World

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Surviving The Holidays

Well, we have officially made into the 2014 New Year.  The past few months have been busy for us, which is why I have once again neglected my blog.  As much as I would like to update the blog once a week, it doesn’t seem to happen.  Since the last time I wrote, we have had a few holidays and of course, holidays bring our family together for fun times.

He had a doctor’s appointment on his Birthday and they wanted him dress up in his costume.

This was Oliver’s third Halloween and like the previous two Halloween’s, we had a debate over what he should dress up as.  After looking through the Party City advertisement, I chose a Business Man outfit, which came complete with a cool hat! This costume was a great choice because it was a one-piece outfit, not including the hat, which made it simple to get it on and off.  Also, Oliver was a hit with the neighbors as we walked around and got his candy.  We knew he wouldn’t eat the candy but we were not about to pass up the opportunity to wear him down so we could all get a good night sleep.  Fortunately, the plan worked!  We ended the night on a high note with a ton a candy and worn out kid.  Consequently, we all got a full night’s sleep!  Halloween 2013 was definitely a success!

After Halloween came Thanksgiving!  This Thanksgiving was a low-key event but still a great time spent with family.  We usually do one Thanksgiving dinner with Nikki’s family and one Thanksgiving dinner with my family.  This way, we get to spend quality time with our parents and both sets of Oliver’s grandparents.  This thanksgiving, my parents chose to travel out of state so instead of doing dinner with them, we met them for breakfast at Cracker Barrel on their way out of town.  None-the-less, great times were had.

Christmas 2013

This Christmas was a fun holiday because Oliver was old enough to have a basic understanding of what was happening around him.  Like thanksgiving, we usually have two different dinners and gift opening sessions with grandparents, but then we have breakfast and a gift opening sessions here at our home on Christmas morning.  So, needless to say, Oliver makes out like a bandit on Christmas.  This year, Oliver got a ton of gifts including “Choo Choos” (trains), Planes, a bicycle, a tricycle, a Cozy Coupe, a kiddy Potty, and a lot of other gifts.  Even now that Christmas has come and gone, Oliver is still getting gifts from family and friends.

The holidays are definitely a time we cherish with our families. I am sure Oliver will continue to rake in the gifts as each Christmas passes, but of course, it is the time we spend with our families that really matters.  We are thankful for good times we had through the holidays and the time we spent with our families, but I am glad they are over.  I don’t think my bank account can handle another Christmas for a while.  So, here is to surviving the holidays and taking on the challenges the New Year brings.

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Cyproheptadine And The Beneficial Side Effect

Now that Oliver has turned two years old, it was time for his well child check up.  Since Oliver’s first appoint happened to be on Halloween of 2011, we have made it a tradition that Oliver sees his pediatrician on Halloween.  The doctor and her crew dress up each year and really go all out for the kids.  This year, they dressed up as the cast of Alice in Wonderland and they had some great costumes too.

With all funny business aside, the appointment went really well.  After several months of stagnant weight gain, I am pleased to report that Oliver has gained roughly two pounds in the past six weeks.  I credit the weight gain to the medication we decided to start him on called Cyproheptadine.

Cracker Barrel Rocking Chairs

Cracker Barrel Rocking Chairs

For those unfamiliar with this medication, this is a medication similar to Benadryl and other antihistamines.  Oliver does not have any allergies, at least not that we know of, but the side effect to this medication is induced hunger, which is perfect for Oliver’s scenario.

This medication has cause Oliver to eat a higher volume of foods.  Oliver primarily eats crunchy textured foods with an emphasis on Oreos and other cookies.  We both agree that this really is not the most nutritional diet for him, but at this point, we just want him to eat, even if it is only Oreos.  Before the medication, he did eat the cookies, but with the medication, he has begun to eat more of them as well be a little more open to trying other foods.  Needless to say we are pleased thus far with the results.

Part of me has that “if only I knew” feeling because The pediatrician actually recommended this medication a while back.  However, at the time, we were still doing the various medical tests and were reluctant to put him on any medication that he did not need.  However, as time progressed and the pediatrician recommended this medication again, we embraced the opportunity because we had tried just about everything else and were running out of options.  We were kind of like, “Why not?  We have tried everything else.”

Molecular Structure of Cyproheptadine

Molecular Structure of Cyproheptadine

Oliver has been on the medication for roughly six weeks and has gained two pounds.  This is a huge weight gain for him as was going months without any fluctuation in his weight.  He was twenty pounds for about six months, so any weight gain in a short amount of time is substantial.  Even with only a two-pound weight gain, he is already starting to fill out a little bit.  He is beginning to get some roundness in his face and is getting those little chunky baby thighs.  I am hoping as time goes on, we will be able to continue the medication and continue to see the weight gain.  Who knew an allergy medication would be the answer.

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Photos From The Party

Oliver’s second birthday party took place over the weekend and everything went off without a hitch.  I have made a slide show of some of the photos taken! Thank you to all those who came and thank you to all those who provided him with such wonderful gifts, including those who contributed to his college fund!

~Enjoy!

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2 Years Old Today!

Today is the little monster’s birthday which means he has officially entered the “terrible twos”.  This year’s party theme is Thomas the Tank Engine because the boy loves his “Choo-Choos” as he calls them.  Well, I have a house to clean and a party to get ready for, so I will keep this one short.  I just wanted to give a shout out to my rambunctious little boy Oliver.  Mommy and Daddy love you and we hope you have the best birthday a two-year old can have.  The only thing I ask of you as you turn two, is to go easy on us through the “terrible two” phase because I hear it’s a rough one!

Oliver Loves Trains

Oliver Loves Trains

 

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AzEIP – Therapies

The Arizona Early Intervention Program offers critical services to thousands of children, 0-3 years old, through out the state of Arizona.  This program brings together a web of government agencies, contracted agencies, providers, and families being served.  The purpose of this program is to provide critical developmental services to children, under the age of three years old, who have developmental disabilities or who are showing signs of developmental disabilities.

In Oliver’s case, the Arizona Early Intervention Program has proven to play a key role in assisting him in overcoming some of his critical developmental milestones.  After the intake process was completed, I met with a Developmental Specialist and Speech therapist along with a Service Coordinator, all of which were from the providing agency.  Shortly after this meeting, the speech therapist began visiting Oliver on a bi-weekly basis to work on some of the feeding difficulties we had with him.  She quickly noted some of his challenges and began providing new ways to deal with this issue.  For example, we put some bananas in a plastic bag and had him smash them up with his fingers.  He seemed to like this and as time progressed, he slowly began to touch the foods.

He likes chocolate and pretzels

He likes chocolate and pretzels

After several therapies of playing with foods of various textures, Oliver finally made it to a point where he was willing to touch and play with some of the foods.  During this time, Oliver also began to eat some foods, specifically chocolate and those foods of the crunchy variety.  With the recommendation of the therapist, we tried to use this as a building block, and by a stroke of luck, I got him to eat Oreos.  Oreos certainly lack the nutrition a child needs, but it was still a good leap in his feeding skills.  With everything that we have been through him, we felt that eating a diet of cookies was better than not eating at all.  Sometimes, you just have to go with you got.

As any family who works with therapists knows, these providers tend to come and go, and Oliver’s speech therapist was no exception.  She decided she wanted go learn Spanish in Central America, so we began working with a great occupational therapist.  I think at the beginning, she was a little in shock on how much chocolate he was eating, but she was open to using the chocolate and crunchy textured foods as a building block to move forward.  I am glad she was willing to utilize what we had instead of starting over with new methods.  This could have caused regression, which is something we definitely did not want, especially everything that we had been through already.

Working with the Occupational therapist through the summer brought some great results.  This therapist brought forward some great ideas and through out the summer, Oliver continued to make progress and is now eating more foods but more importantly, eating a higher volume of foods.  With the results that we have seen from the therapist who have been working with Oliver, we feel that we could not have expected anything better.

After the summer was over, the agency gained a new speech therapist that also specializes in feeding.  Due to his needs, Oliver made transition from the occupational therapist to working with this new speech therapist.  This new therapist has been, and continues to work with Oliver on his feeding and speech difficulties.  With the help of this therapist, Oliver is using more words and continues to make small, but gradual steps in his feeding skills.  From this ongoing experience, I would highly recommend to other parents to not be afraid to try therapies for their children who are showing signs of developmental delays.  These therapies have proven to be critical in Oliver’s overall development.

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