Survival mode

The posts are getting sparse, but only for a little while, folks. Ben’s going through a rough patch here, but I”m sure he’ll pull out of it soon. Nothing big, it’s nothing with his heart. Really, he’s healthy and doing fine. He’s just not sleeping well, which means none of us are sleeping well. Ben really has lots of trouble in the heat…he just hates it…and so when the nights get warm, he doesn’t sleep well. If Ben had his way he would sleep in a 60 degree room under heavy blankets all year long. He’s very much like his mom that way. Anyway…for about two months now, he’s been waking up in the middle of the night again. At first we figured out it was because he was “turtling” himself…that is he was rolling onto his back and couldn’t make himself comfy again (Ben sleeps on his tummy and has since about five months of age). Well now he is much more proficient at the rolling and moving himself into comfortable positions. Part of this may be from us positioning him on his side to sleep when he was in the hospital. But then it warmed up outside and now he’s unhappy again. We did finally turn on the air yesterday, and it helped somewhat. Why finally? Since our house is a tri-level, our family room is comfortable all year around…in the summer it is very nice and cool down there because it’s half underground. We rarely need the air except to sleep on the very hottest days of summer, so we keep the bills low by keeping it off. We have found that Ben will sleep in the pack and play down here in the family room at night…which is great. But then he’s up at first light singing to greet the day. Good during the winter when sunrise is at seven thirty. Bad in the summer when sunrise is at six. Since afternoons are so warm, Ben is not napping (he REALLY needs naps, too). There is too much going on down in the family room to put him for a nap there, so that’s right out. Oh, silly silly me for bragging about Ben’s sleeping habits for so long. I’m so foolish and proud. The good news is that I know that this is going to pass. I know that all kids go through phases with sleep, and it’s going to be fine. We just have to stick it out. But that’s hard.
A bit harder to take is Ben’s eating habits. He is going through another “I’m not going to eat phase” right now. I’ve become used to this. He eats like crazy for a week or two, then lives on air and milk for the next week or two. Until he went in the hospital a month ago, Ben was still on a whole milk/formula mix because he needed the calories. In the hospital they gave us straight milk, so that’s what we gave him when we got home. In one month he has lost nine ounces. It sounds like a little bit, but when you consider he only barely weighed fifteen and a half pounds and now he’s down to fourteen six, it’s a lot. Last week he was at the doctor for vomiting blood again (and still we aren’t quite sure why he does this occasionally, but we know it’s from his tonsils/throat, not from his tummy…small comfort) and they weighed him…today we went in for the fifteen month check up and weighed him again, no change. SO…he’s not gaining. His body uses each and every spare calorie just to live. So the long and short of this is that the doctor put him on Pediasure, which is high-octane. In addition to this, the doc said that although we are doing a good job of feeding Ben nutritious foods, if Ben goes through phases where he only wants to eat yogurt, that’s what we should give him…not try to get the veggies in. I always try to give Ben some balanced food choices, and if he won’t eat we just offer him food more often. But I don’t let him eat yogurt and fruit for every meal…but I can see the point of getting the calories in, so maybe we’ll try that. Ben LOVES yogurt. We buy a huge container of Vanilla whole milk yogurt at Trader Joes about every week and a half, and he just goes through it like crazy. So we’ll try that, and the pediasure and see what happens.
So the lack of sleep and fussy eating have just made for a fussy Ben lately, he’s been very demanding. Not that it’s a chore, but there are only so many hours in the day when we can shake rings at each other and sing about wheels on the bus and whatnot. Such is parenthood, right? There is good news, and fun news. Ben is really starting to get the hang of rolling…and I think he’s starting to roll to get things now…which is fun to watch. He is SUCH a wiggler! OH, and he is getting much stronger in his lower abdomen and hips. I put him in the Bumbo chair the other day when we were outside. Ben decided he wanted the grass, doubled over to get it…then fussed because he was doubled over in an awkward position, but pulled himself back up to sitting. This is a HUGE deal for him. I”m quite excited to see it. 🙂 We have signed him up for summer physical therapy, and he had his evaluation the other day. A frustrating moment: The therapist we will see this summer is the same one we see at school, since our district contracts out for their therapists. All year long I have been telling Ben’s teacher and his therapist that he is NOT good in the afternoon (when his therapy is scheduled) and he isn’t making good progress because he doesn’t respond when I have to wake him up from a sound nap to get to PT…We have to plan our day around getting him enough sleep to go to a half hour therapy appointment, and he barely makes it the whole half hour he’s so tired. Well, his evaluation the other day was at eleven thirty in the morning. His therapist kept telling me “he’s so active! I’ve never seen him this active! He’s so full of personality!” Um, hello? Morning person, right here…the tiny man…yeah, morning person. *sigh* Next year Ben will be in a group therapy setting, and that will be in the morning, so that will hopefully be better. And this summer we’ll go in the morning, too, so that will be very good. I hope it really helps him make some progress toward sitting and crawling.
Well, this turned out to be a long entry. I need to post more often than every two weeks, apparently. Cheers, everyone!
Oh yeah! There are

Happy boy
Ben loves to be outside.

Ben feet
Ben’s toes in the grass. He’s a big fan of grass.

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2 Responses to “Survival mode”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    High calorie food

    Kim, I’m wondering if you have tried to give Ben ice cream? That is a nice high calorie, cold food for those hot days.

    Thanks for the lovely post. I feel much better when I know what is going on with Ben, good or bad. James Patrick also has those ‘picky food’ times – then eats like a horse again. It’s just all part of growing up, I guess.

    I think of you, Scott and Ben every day. You are in my heart and in my prayers.
    ———
    Love
    Mary Ann

    • coffeemomma Says:

      Re: High calorie food

      You know, it’s almost a relief when Ben does something like, oh say, not eat, or not sleep, because it’s NORMAL….it’s something that ALL kids do. And I can’t complain too much, because it’s just Ben being a normal kid. 🙂
      Ice cream is a good idea, especially now that Ben will eat cold things. And Yogurt…as mentioned. He’s eating yogurt with EVERYTHING. Yogurt and Beef, Yogurt and sweet potatoes, yogurt and mixed veggies, you get the idea. 🙂

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