I find some things in my life to be hard to explain.
The joy I find in squirting baby foods into Mallorie's g-tube.
The excitement of finding new things to use in nontraditional ways.
The things my children say.
I'll start from the beginning. I met a mom recently, who was very enthusiastic about feeding her little boy, who happens to have special needs, a g-tube, and some oral aversion issues. She showed me a pretty squirt bottle she had in her fridge, that she had filled with pureed sweet potatoes. I think the bottle was fuschia, which contributed to the appeal for me, because I love color. The bottle had a soft tubing at the top, and the mom explained that in the intensive feeding program she'd done with her son, they had taught her to use the tubing to direct some of the puree into the back pocket inside his cheek. She said that once the food's there, the child has no choice but to swallow it. I wondered about choking, but know I've seen some people administer liquid meds that way to their children, so I thought I ought to get some bottles like hers. The Zip-N-Squeeze bottles we use to give Mal liquids wouldn't have a thick enough tubing.
In Mallorie's next Speech Therapy I mentioned it to Becca, who explained about all the factors involved in the normal swallowing process, and how bypassing some of those can set the stage for aspiration. So I've canned that idea, but before I had spoken to Becca, I started looking for squirt bottles to use.
I never found any with soft tubings, but at Wal Mart, next to red ketchup squirt bottles and yellow mustard squirt bottles were these cool colorless bottles. I bought a few, and filled two with shampoo and conditioner, and now we have refillable squirt bottles for the shower. They look so pretty with the pastel blue and pink liquids inside, that I smile every time I look at them. So pretty that we filled squirt bottles with baby bath liquid for the bedroom and other places where we change diapers. We rinse paper wipes with warm water and use baby soap for diaper changes ... or we use those cool flannel wipes Matthew and I made, so we use a lot of liquid baby soap.
I kept trying to think of more things to fill those bottles with. Ketchup, mustard, honey ... so boring. Everyone does that. I thought about dish soap, and sent Carley to Wal Mart to get more bottles while I kept imagining things I could put in them.
She came home with some smaller bottles, that are for making candy, and I got the idea of using them for tube feedings. We have always used syringes, but after several uses, the rubber stoppers on the plungers tend to wear out. And some brands of syringes are harder on your hands. The bottles Carley found (2/$1.99) fit perfectly into the Mic-key extension tubing, and are effortless to squirt. They hold a little more than 6 oz, so we can fit 1/2 jar of meat and 1/2 jar of vegetable and a few oz of milk, shake, and have a feeding ready to set in a container of water to warm and give. We love them! Suddenly, it's easy to find help to mix up a feeding, because it's not like trying to suck puree up into a syringe, tap out the air, .... You just scrape the jars between 2 bottles, add milk, and you have 2 feedings in just a few minutes. And no one minds feeding her solids as much, since it's easier to push (or squeeze).
Eventually, we'll go back to trying blending fresh foods, but for now, the baby food option is working. We have been free of constipation for a couple of weeks, and I think the combination of fruit every morning and a magnesium-vitamin C powder I found at the health food store is the key. Well, of course, and avoiding ALL grains. :) It's the first time we have been successful giving solids for any length of time without inducing constipation. Yay!
And the things my children say.
It's been a particularly buggy year. I know it's not just our house that had trouble with fruit flies this year, because I bet 1/3 of the homes I visited (for work) had a handful of them flitting around. I know, because they always find me to bite! Unless Mallorie's around, and then they bite her. So we constructed all manners of cones taped to the top of jars, filled them with banana peel, oranges, etc. What ultimately rid us of the things was a beer-vinegar-molasses recipe I found online, and covering the jar we put it in with plastic wrap with a few holes poked in the surface.
And house flies. I'll just say that I hate them. Even if they don't bite. And with so many people, I'm forever singing out, "Shut the door," as people are going in or outside. Honestly, were they raised in a barn?? So I went online to try to find the recipe I found before for trapping flies. I really hate chemicals, and we live in a really buggy part of the country. It's not this way everywhere. I'm originally from CT, where things die off every winter; I know of what I speak. Yes, it's nice that we could feasibly garden something or other every month of the year here, but the bugs have also figured this out, and seem to be here to stay. Hard, when you're anti-chemicals.
So I found these ugly, but really effective products. They cleared up the fly problem in the yard, and the kids have been so excited about how fast they work. Well, most of the kids. Except Carley. She took this picture.
And said the fly traps were cruel and unnecessary punishment for flies.
I want to ask her why she's taking pictures of flies, and not Mallorie pictures for me to post, but I'm afraid I'll hear more of her animal cruelty theories. This is my child who coerces her brother to carry ginormous tree roaches outside before we can kill them. I probably should clarify that I am talking about what is known in Florida as Palmetto bugs and in New England as .... well, I never even SAW one of these things before entering the basement of my NY college ....
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