So...It has been some time since I've updated this blog! Unfortunately, my wonderful husband was laid off in May and still hasn't been able to find employment. As you know, we were a single income family, but his job was always enough to keep us very comfortable. I've had to work in order to keep us afloat, here. So I've been pulling shifts at the gym daycare (which I absolutely love but I miss my baby a lot), booking tons of photography sessions, and selling Scentsy (which I've been quite successful at). I don't think that I could ever match what my husband was bringing home, but it does help us to keep this roof over our heads! On top of all of that, I'm also in school, online, completing my Psychology degree. All of that plus trying to be the best mom I can be to my two precious boys. It's exhausting, to say the least! So you can see why I haven't had the time to update. However, we've come across an issue in our home that will require some journaling on my behalf so it may bring this blog back to life, just with a slightly different topic.
Just a little backstory: Elias was born almost 4 weeks early and he had the typical struggles of a late term preemie, but didn't require extensive care. He gained weight quickly, but of course always stayed on the lower end of the growth chart (He's 9 months and 16lbs now, at the 5th percentile). That was never a concern for us though b/c he nursed like a champ and now that he's eating solids he eats well. However, he seems to always get sick :( The Dr just associated it with him being a late term preemie. We found out at his 9 month well visit, though, that he's severely anemic. His Hg came back at 5.5 when normal range is 11 or above. The pediatrician simply recommended PolyViSol daily. I'd been struggling with anemia as well, and since I still breastfeed, I know that my lack of iron contributed to his. I found it strange that the Dr didn't recommend an iron rich diet since his levels were that low. Surely, he (and I) would benefit from it! This made me seriously evaluate the way we all eat at home. As I was thinking, I was overwhelmed by the fact that if Elias and I are both anemic despite the variety in our diets, then Jayden HAS to be deficient in so many areas b/c his diet is so limited (picky PICKY eater) and has been that way
since he was 2.5 yrs old.
I had been planning on putting Jayden in what I was calling "Food Boot Camp". I KNEW that Jayden had to start eating a wider variety of foods, but I was always waiting for the right time b/c I knew it wasn't going to be easy. Since he was 2.5, Jayden's diet mainly consists of (I'm embarrassed to share, but it's time for healing so I'm putting it all out there)hotdogs (we got him jennie-o turkey dogs to make me feel better),french fries, turkey rolls, beans&franks, and Nutella sandwiches on GF bread. For a while, he was on this vienna sausages kick, but I cut that out a long time ago b/c it was out of control. When I was sick and pregnant with the baby, I believe Jayden lived off turkey rolls b/c it was the easiest thing for his dad to feed him. Oh I forgot one...Fruity Pebbles cereal. It's like crack to him.
There you have it. That's what Jayden has been consuming for the past 3 yrs :*( Horrible. Junk. We expressed our concerns with the Dr and she would say that he was still on the growth chart so we should just give him multivitamins daily :eyeroll: Don't get me wrong, I love the boys' Dr but doctors in general do not give nutrition the credit that it deserves in our health and well being. She did refer us to a nutritionist who simply told me that it was a phase all kids go through and to give him pediasure. After 3 yrs of this, I think it's safe to say that this is not a phase and pediasure is not going to cut it when it comes to getting him all the nutrients and vitamins that he needs. So I knew it was time for a change. I had my butt kicked in to gear on Wednesday of last week though when Jayden's kindergarten teacher sent a letter home from school. It said that he's having a hard time keeping up with the kindergarten classwork. That he has a hard time understanding the instructions and cannot complete his assignments. He had been coming home with incomplete assignments or assignments that he'd done completely incorrect (i.e. number search to circle only the number 2, he'd circle every single number). We always made him complete the assignment or do it correctly at home and he has no problem doing it, without our help or instructions. I asked him why he couldn't do his work at school and he told me "It's too loud. They make my ears hurt." and he also says "I can't listen." which to me means, I can't focus. I know he has a huge nutritional gap that's causing these issues so I went in, head first, doing the research to heal both of my boys.
Elias has been pretty straight forward, as I've just been giving him naturally iron rich foods and he's eating them just fine (pancakes made with prune juice, apricots, bone broth, lentils, spinach, etc). Jayden, on the other hand, is going to be a process. That's why I wanted to use this blog to journal his progress.
The issues that we are currently dealing with and hoping will be resolved with nutrition include:
*inability to focus
*little, to no appetite
We headed out to the health food store and the vitamin shop on Thursday, for supplements to begin giving him immediately. He was already taking a multi vitamin, but we added the other's as of Thursday:
*Multivitamin-Chewy Panda Vites (We plan to change these to Nordic Berries when we eliminate gelatin hopefully within the next month)
*Probiotics-Udo's Choice Infant Probiotics-I got the powder form so that Elias can take it as well. This is essential in healing the gut and keeping it healthy with good bacteria.
*Fish Oil- We usually get Nordic Naturals but we are trying Carlson for Kids tomorrow to see if he can tolerate the taste better. Fish oil is important in brain development and helps to improve concentration and focus.
*Topical Cream for Neuro support-Neuro-Immune Stabilizer Compound. This compound is used to help with mood improvement & stabilization, focus & concentration, and organization skills.
*Antioxidants- We are using two different antioxidants for Jayden. CellWise and Provex Plus which also helps with mental sharpness in addition to fighting free radicals. Antioxidants fight the free radicals (destructive molecules that damage your cells) in the body.
*Total Nutrition Drink Mix-X Balance Kid's Superfood. We make this into a smoothie for him and he drinks it once a day and loves it :) Gives him a full serving of fruit and veggies ;)
As for as his diet is concerned, it's going to be a work in progress for sure. I've started him on the E.A.T. program by Kelly Dorfmann It's pretty simple: Eliminate any possible foods causing reactions. Add one food at a time. Try one bite of this food each night for two weeks. So far, so good and it doesn't seem like we will need to drag each food on for 2 weeks. On Thursday night, I had a big talk with him about nutrition. I told him that he needed to eat more than just hot dogs if he wanted to grow up big and strong like "Spiderman". I also told him the honest truth, if you continue to eat only hotdogs everyday you won't be healthy. You'll be sick :( And always tired. I asked him if he would be willing to try new foods and he told me yes. That same night, I served him rice and brown gravy with some green peas. He eats green peas when we serve them to him. He just has a hard time eating rice, so I really only added that one new element to his plate. He was excited to try it and he even asked to sit at the big table with us for dinner (he usually sits at his small table beside us). Great idea! So he sat there and took 20 minutes to eat the tablespoon full of green peas that I gave him. He was eating one grain of rice at a time and he started to get frustrated when everyone else was done eating. So I helped him. An hour later, he had finished the entire tablespoon of rice and gravy. Sure it took much longer than that should have, but he ate it. Progress. And if I have to feed him to get him used to eating, I was prepared to do so. Friday night, I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he told me he wanted "real food", "no hot dogs"!! Woo Hoo! We ate left overs that night and he actually fed himself!. On Saturday, my mom cooked dirty rice (southern style rice dish), green peas, and baked chicken. I served Jayden a very small portion of everything and sat at the table prepared to help him. I asked him if he needed me and he said no, the proceeded to feed himself!! He didn't finish everything on his plate but he ate just about all of his rice! RICE!!! A food that he used to gag on! I was so impressed and I'm proud of him! He is going to do just fine :)
We've already started to eliminate some things such as artificial colors and flavorings, high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified foods, and processed foods. We plan to remove much more in the near future, but right now, getting him to actually EAT food is my priority. Once he is able to trust the food that he eats, then I will start to eliminate more.
As I update this blog, the updates will be based on his progress. Like I said, we started supplementing him on Thursday, My husband said that he noticed that Jayden was very calm and well behaved this weekend. I didn't think much of it b/c he hasn't been struggling with behavior much lately, so I just chopped it up to him having a good weekend. However, he got off the bus today with COMPLETED worksheets!! AND! AND!!! They were done CORRECTLY!!! He did it!! The teacher sent a note home that said "Jayden had a WONDERFUL day today. He did great in his academics!" She has no idea we started supplements so I don't see why she would make it a point to say that he did well in academics unless he truly did show her some real progress. Man, it makes me soooo happy! We are scheduled to meet with her tomorrow afternoon to discuss his issues with schoolwork and I plan to ask her if she did notice a change in his focus on today (and tomorrow) as opposed to the last few weeks. I expect her to say that she has noticed a change. Hopefully, he can adjust and be able to remain in his class with his friends and still be able to learn and do his work. I am very positive about his situation.