Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How I became a ‘short order cook’ to my kids

We all remember going to our little’s well-baby check ups & hearing the doctor tell us, ‘Don’t be a short order cook.’ Despite their advice, over time - I am just that. Here’s how it happened & why I am perfectly content with it:
When our oldest was a baby, he ate everything! He loved fruits & veggies. Even though Daddy & I did not, we offered a large variety of foods to him, because being a picky eater is definitely not easy - plus it is extremely annoying and frustrating (still as an adult). It was after Aaden’s 1st birthday when he abruptly stopped eating just about everything he once enjoyed. We assumed it was a stage & reintroduced at a later date. Aaden was not having it. That is when things started to change for us. We honestly just wanted him to eat. Multiple trips to the store for different things, ways to camouflage healthy foods, to literally sticking with 4-5 main things he would eat. If you have had a child refuse everything you put in front of him - then you get it. If not, this may be hard to understand. Frustating does not cover the surface because you know your little was just begging for those yummy strawberries just the day before, & months before that...
We got to the point where we were tired of seeing him turn things down & we knew he was hungry. We stuck with those selective foods for a while & started re-reintroducing. Nope. Rejection. Again. By this time we have just about given up - who thinks feeding a little should be this hard, take this much work - we were researching different things to do all the time. So, I became a short order cook for my 2 year old, & by that point, I was ok with it. I was relieved to see him eating, even if it was the same thing everyday. I was happy there weren’t huge fits at each meal & snack time. He was enjoying eating again - & I was enjoying a happy little man.
*Disclaimer - I understand picky eaters do not all have differences*
By the time we were able to get a good list of foods together about 6 months had passed and we started noticing some behavioral things. We had an early diagnosis of OCD - which definitely explained some of the issues with eating. Months & years went on and our evolving diagnosis has grown tremendously. We currently have Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), & Aspergers. After learning many things of SPD, we have pin pointed the culprit.
Once we started speech therapy, one of the first questions asked by the therapist was, ‘Does he only eat light colored food?’. Honestly, this was something I never put together. Aaden’s foods are: Cheese (sliced, shredded, string), yogurt, goldfish, chips, fruit snacks, bread, chicken nuggets, cereal, pizza, macaroni & cheese (only elbow noodles though ;)  )... It all of a sudden made sense.
I definitely just got a little deep with you guys - but my point is: short order cook, at home chef, non picky eaters, you have to do what is best for your family. What works for you may not work for others. While ideally I would love to cook one meal for my family of 4 - that just isn’t possible at this stage of our life. I still think there may be a time when that happens, but for now - I am good with how we handle feeding time. An extra few minutes in the kitchen to avoid a 30+ minute fit is worth it. 100%. It is what works for us & keeps my kids healthy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Afternoon refresh

Hi guys!!! It's been forever, right?! 

I want to get back to blogging, there is something about a virtual journal that is amazing and therapeutic. 

I figured I would start blogging about our 2015 Park Challenge!!  Then of course some more personal feeling goodness I come up with and need to get out. 

Lately we have been living on the go... From Evan working 6 am to way after the sun goes down <oh yeah, he got promoted!!! Yay! But there are lots of things to be fixed and that requires a lot of time. His company has also grown, like X4!!!> so the boys and I have been trying to stay busy, keeping up with school, starting soccer, therapy, spring break. Just life in general with 2 boys... 

Around Christmas time Evan and I decided we would definitely be moving from our 'baby house', as Aaden calls it and into another 2 story. We need the space, our guests need the space. The single story was very much short lived. (Hehe no pun intended- I'm just being dorky). Well now the owners of the home we are in want to sell. Which means- we HAVE to move. Which makes my anxious heart a bit cray. We are having a hard time on where to buy, if we want property, maybe we should build, maybe we should wait another year and save more money- so we can really get what we want, oh let's wait another year and see what oil is going to do. So many grown up decisions but ultimately, we will probably lease again. I think in another year we will be able to get more of what we really want in a house, on a nice piece of property with chickens and goats!! I have lost my mind- but happen to be really excited about the goats. Wish us well!!! 

The boys have been boys. They are loud, hyper, fast, loud (did I say that already?), and they fight. Non stop!!!! I told a friend a few weeks back I didn't understand how the police haven't been called on us, they are seriously that loud, which makes us THOSE neighbors. 

School has been great- Brady adjusted extremely well and Aaden, until last week, has only progressed in huge huge strides(just some behavior issues)!!! 

Since we have been so close together in our 'baby house', Daddy has been at work, and we hold tension in until we get home (I won't say any names, but his name starts with an A), I decided we would head to the park today. While my intentions were to get out the house so I didn't harm a kid (joking, kinda), today turned out to be so much more!!! We had a rough start because we weren't getting our way and there is only one of me. We finally decided on snacks and a hike. We took a fairly easy trail the first time, to the pond at Castroville Regional Park. I had no idea the pond was literally 20 feet from the playscapes. We missed our turn, took a very long trip around the other side of the park- which meant we explored, we came up with plans, we let Callie lead, we talked about 'what would happen if'. 

When we made our way out the trails and I thought we would head to the park- Aaden said he wanted to do another, and Brady agreed. (YALL this is huge!!! They agreed, without me being a referee) So we took the next set of trails. We had 2 options. 'Scout Trail' (fairly flat and easy) or 'Determination Trail' (who had a huge labeled sign that said 'CHALLENGING'). Guess what we picked?! Yep, Determination it was. It was freaking hard. Callie even sat down for breaks. My little minis are troopers, y'all. It was all up from there, literally. We helped each other, A helped BB, BB helped A, we all helped Callie. And it was just awesome. I may or may not tear up thinking about how awesome they did. With every aspect of the day. 

What I thought would be a quick trip to the park, turned into a huge lesson for me. I get so caught up in the 'things'. I forget to let my littles be little and be boys!! I am thankful for today (even for the screams that started our journey). Today was a blessing of a reminder of what really matters. The only thing missing was Evan. But we have a whole summer ahead of loads of fun things ready for him!! 

Until next time...