Friday, January 31, 2014

Weekend Links 1/31/14

Stupid Vs. Cancer - The Art of Simple
The questions that will save your relationships - Glennon Melton via The Huffington Post
The Day I Stopped Trying To Be Superwoman - Crystal Paine via (in)courage
50 tips for new moms - as shared by you - Lisa Jo Baker (love, love this list!!)

Eating Disorder/Mental Health/Self Esteem
Controversy: The Nenuco Doesn't Eat Doll Promotes Anorexia? -
Resolution 2014: A Year Without Dieting -
Plus size barbie on modeling site sparks debate over body image - Huffington Post
8 types of negative thinking - Surviving Anorexia (When I was deeply struggling with my ED, I was a total "all-or-nothing thinker.")

And just because I'm back in the stage of "I can't stop taking pictures of my sleeping newborn & her silly faces. . . "

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Clara 20 months

Clara turned 20 months old on January 2, 2014! Time keeps on passing us by. . . quicker than I would like to admit. Seems to be the case every month, for every parent, no?

So what's going on in Clara's world at 20 months? She currently has therapy four days a week (OT 2x week, ST 1x week and ECI home therapy 1x week) and she also attends a little Mothers Day Out Program 2x a week (per recommendation of each and every therapist she sees on a regular basis). She is one busy girl, but is making great, great strides. We are so proud of her!

I'll let the following videos do most of the talking. . . And yes, I pretty much cry any time I watch these.

She is learning how to walk behind a walker & is showing more and more bravery in her steps. She hasn't taken a step unassisted yet, but we are hopeful it will happen. A few times she has been cruising around our ottoman and, in an attempt to get to the couch, let go and balanced for a few seconds prior to falling down.

We been working hard on teaching her how to use a sippy cup. She's getting the hang of a straw cup slowly but surely! She also held her bottle by herself and lifted it to her mouth FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. See below. (Still using the bottle some as we transition fully to a sippy cup).

We have also been working with her on how to use a fork. She successfully got it to her mouth once!!  Did you know that for toddlers a fork is easier to teach, before teaching how to use a spoon? Therapist enlightened me on this and it's proving true thus far! For some reason I always thought opposite.

Also been spending lots of time outdoors on the trampoline this month. . . she loves it!

(That's my dads voice in some of the videos just FYI - for those of you thinking that it doesn't sound like Brandon, ha!)

Other areas of development:
She is (now) a rock star eater! She will eat pretty much anything we give her, with the exception of meat. She even ate a pb&j and grilled cheese sandwich recently. We still have to cut everything in tiny bites, and hand them to her a few bites at a time, but don't care because she is eating regular food!

Her glasses are proving to be a great decision. We truly believe one of the reasons she is coming so far in different areas, simultaneously, is due to her improved vision.

She has started making more sounds/noises. I wouldn't call it babbling, but it is encouraging to hear her be more vocal in general. We are working on baby sign language and a few times she has signed "more" and "all done." Other signs we try to use frequently are "milk, ball, swing, mommy, daddy, help, blanket, sleep, bath and eat." Her therapist has started experimenting with an augmentative electronic device. Clara has done well with it so far, so this might be something we implement in the near future. Many kids with Cohens Syndrome have such a device to help them communicate.

Oh, and she became a big sis this month!! She is pretty much unfazed by Camille, unless, heaven forbid, Camille starts crying and then Clara has a meltdown (the noise. . . a sensory thing). So. . . it's not uncommon for both kids to be crying at once. Which pretty much breaks my heart every single time, since I am still not allowed to lift/pick up Clara (due to the c section recovery). I am sure Clara will become desensitized over time, but I'd be lying if I said this issue isn't just a little overwhelming/heartbreaking all at once.

Checking out her little sis . . .

Not too many in our near future (hello life with a newborn) but we "met" a family that lives in Katy, Texas who also has a 20 month old daughter with Cohen Syndrome. How amazing is that? We are both members of a FB group for parents with a child who has Cohens. We have messaged back and forth quite a bit, and we hope to meet them, in real life, sometime over the next few months. We cannot wait!

Until next time. . .

Monday, January 27, 2014

On pregnancy weight gain & an ED past

I have had several women email and ask specifically how I was able to healthfully deal with the weight gain that comes with not only one, but now two, pregnancies. I have hesitated writing on this topic because honestly, it really was a non issue for me. And for that I am beyond thankful.

I know this is not the case for many women who are in recovery, or even for those who consider themselves "fully recovered."

During the time spent in therapy, while simultaneously pursuing fertility treatments to get pregnant the first time around, this very topic is something my therapist and I discussed and worked on, in order to mentally prepare for what would come in the form of extra pounds.

Because let's face it. . . for someone who had worked SO, SO HARD to gain a significant amount of weight, the thought of adding on an additional 25-30+ pounds on top of an already established healthy goal weight, can be downright scary. Terrifying actually.

Thus. . . prep work was needed.

And it worked. No doubt. When I got pregnant with Clara, and Camille for that matter, I was at a normal BMI based on the chart below. And for both pregnancies, without being overly restrictive or overly indulgent, I gained right around 30 pounds each time.

My therapist helped me shift my mindset and thus my mental focus during those nine months was WHERE the pounds were going. I was not gaining weight because my diet was spiraling out of control. I was gaining weight because I was growing a baby. A human being was depending on me to grow, thrive and survive. And with that in mind, I knew I needed to give it my best effort. 

Pregnancy weight gain does not = I am getting fat. 

Pregnancy weight gain = I am using my body, that God has entrusted me with, to provide proper nourishment to this teeny tiny baby. This teeny tiny baby that is depending on ME, each and every day of pregnancy, to ultimately make an appearance in this world. 

We also walked through charts like the one above, to see just how the pounds break down during a pregnancy. 

So while this sounds short and sweet, I know in reality, it is not a short and sweet process.

It takes time.

It takes work.

It takes a lot of mental preparation. A lot. 

And for some, like myself, it takes months of assistance from a therapist who can help work towards a healthy mindset of pregnancy weight gain. So that when a pregnancy does occur, the foundation has been laid, and instead of fretting each and every pound that creeps on, one can sit back and enjoy the wonder of a changing body and the growing of a human life.

Has anyone had experience with this? Did you struggle mentally and/or emotionally when gaining weight during pregnancy? What helped? What didn't? Please share. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Weekend Links 1/24/14

A few links for your weekend reading, from around the world wide web. Enjoy!

When your day is interrupted - The Art of Simple
I miss my actual life - Jen Hatmaker
Upside Down Thinking - Writing Chapter Three
A love letter: To all the tired mamas everywhere - Lisa Jo Baker
The difference between political correctness & community - Life Rearranged

Eating Disorder/Mental Health/Self Esteem
Build yourself a support team - Surviving Anorexia
Not just small adults: eating disorders in young children - ED Bites
The Thin Ideal and Anorexia Nervosa: Case in Point - Dr. Sarah Ravin (I think this is such an interesting case and agree that the thin ideal really impacts us as a group of people, whether one is in recovery or not!)

And because I couldn't leave without posting a few more pictures of both my babies. . .

Lots of baby snuggles and swaddling going on in this place. . . 

 Clara having fun with her aunt and cousin on the trampoline. . . Love the cousin hand holding. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My girls. . . at one day old

My two girls
Each on the day of their birth

Clara on the left: 5/2/12
Camille on the right: 1/14/14

At first glimpse of Camille during the C-Section, I thought she looked exactly like Clara did at birth. The nurse, who had met Clara earlier in the hallway, even exclaimed after seeing Camille, 

"Oh my goodness, she's a Clara mini-me!!"

But after that first day, I began to see some distinct differences in physical features,
and most family members agree.

What do you think?
Look a-likes? Not so much?

Happy Wednesday! 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Camille Elaine

Camille made her arrival Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 7:45am. . . and for a second time, at that moment, by God's sweet grace, our world changed forever. . .

7 pounds, 15 ounces & 20 inches of sweet baby perfection. . .

We were admitted to the hospital Monday night, 1/13/14, to be induced. Baby girl was getting a little too big for her living quarters if you know what I mean. Induction started that evening as planned, but when my Dr came to check me bright and early Tuesday morning, we learned Camille was, again, breech. C-Section was scheduled for an hour later. Talk about a whirl wind. . . We learned she was breech at 6:15am, walked into the OR at 7:26am, and Camille was born 7:45am.

We had lots of family eagerly waiting a sneak peak of our second girl. . . 

Big sister not too sure what to think about little sister. . .

Sharon, my Dr's wife, and a dear friend. . .

Clara was more interested in walking the halls . . .

And a few pictures from home sweet home. . .

There are really no words to describe how blessed & thankful we feel this Sunday morning, as we look around and take in our little family of four. Great is His faithfulness.
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