Thursday, October 02, 2008

a lot of things

First - our sailing trip was great. It was way easier than I had feared. I guess when you're used to handling twins at home, and you're used to handling a boat, then combining the two works pretty well.

I think the babies liked it, they liked the confined space, the movement, the fresh air. So many new and different things to look at. They were very engaged all day, and slept great for naps and bed time. We kept the days short - only traveled a couple hours each day - and that worked great. That way we weren't underway for more than one nap or meal cycle each day. I've posted some updates and pics on my other public blog for those of you that have the link. If you don't have it - send me an email and if I know who you are I'll send you the link.

Now... we're home and trying get settled back in. My nanny has been out sick for two days. So the plan of having her work through the mountain of laundry hasn't worked out. We're getting by, Jim and I splitting days between working and watching the kids. But the house is getting more and more disorganized by the minute. So we'll be spending the weekend trying to catch up. We love this nanny, she is great with the kids and is a huge help around the house and is very flexible. But she's a little unreliable and that's wearing on me. Not that I will give her a hard time for getting sick - that happens to everyone and that's why she has paid sick days. (although I think she doesn't take very good care of herself, but that's a whole other topic). It's just that the being out sick on top of the rest is what makes it a little annoying. The bigger problem is that she is basically never on time. Really, never. She's supposed to be here at 8:00, and she never is. 8:15 is the earliest she makes it. Some days that's no big deal. Other days it's a very big deal, if I have work to do or meetings, and I can't get my day started until she gets here. Some days she's as much as 30 or 45 minutes late. The babies generally eat breakfast around 8. So my ideal schedule that she gets here at 8 and can take over and feed them breakfast while I get myself dressed and fed. We've talked to her about it many times, every day she has an excuse. Every week she says next week she's going to try a different route, or a different morning routine. But it hasn't improved. I have felt bad giving her too hard a time about it, because she's so great in every other way, but it's getting to a point where it's really frustrating me and I think we're going have to have a serious sit down soon.

I guess there's no such thing as the perfect nanny. The last one was very prompt, but she had other issues...

Next topic...

I recently read this book, and it has me in a real quandry. It's a lot about the american diet, where our food comes from, how it's produced, etc. I've always considered myself a somewhat healthy eater. I don't eat fast food (ok, the occasional In 'n Out burger when I'm in California, but otherwise I've been totally off fast food since I read Fast Food Nation - not that I ate very much of it before that anyway), I eat very little sweets, and very little of what I would call junk food. And lately I have been trying to buy more organic. I buy mostly organic food for the babies, and as much for us as seems reasonable and affordable. But this book. man. it's got me looking at everything in my pantry and freezer as if it's got a big skull and crossbones on the label. I don't know what to eat any more. I feel like everything that's not organic is poison. And even some of the organic I've been buying isn't all that great either. I've got to totally re-think our approach to food. First step I think is that I'm going to sign up for one of these services that delivers a box of organic produce to you every week, from local organic farmers, there are a number of these in my area. And we need to be eating more veggies anyway. Second is that I think I have to stop buying my animal products (meat, eggs, etc.) from big stores (example: the organic meat and eggs and chicken I've been buying from It seems that just having an organic label on the meat leaves out a lot of info, and I need to know more about where my animal products are coming from (for a lot of reasons. read the book). So gotta rethink that. I could ramble about that for a long time. But I'll stop for now, and I'll update you more as I figure this thing out.

Related to diet and eating....
I have an appointment next week with a nutritionist. Specifically this is to help me look at my kids diets. Danny is still pretty under weight. At their 12 month checkup last week, he is now at the 92nd percentile for height, but down to 30th percentile for weight. He's skinny. But I think he eats pretty well. The ideas I'm getting from the doctor about adding fat to his diet are pretty much all focused on dairy - add more butter, cream and cheese to everything your kid eats. But I don't think it sounds very healthy to have your kid basically living on a totally dairy focused diet. I want him to at least have a well balanced diet, and possibly even less dairy.

The other doc we've been seeing (the one doing the cranial-sacral therapy) wants me to take them off dairy completely. She thinks it's impacting his digestion and impeding his development. She says his development will speed up when he's off dairy. I don't really understand the reasoning behind that, but I guess I'm willing to try if it will help.

So if I take him off dairy, then I MUST replace the fat for him. And so that's mostly what I need help figuring out - how to reduce the dairy without reducing (and hopefully increasing) the fat and calories. The nutritionist is next wednesday. I'm very interested to see what she has to say. I didn't go with the nutrionist that the CS doctor recommended, because she's independant and does it in her spare time. I got a name from my pedi for one who has a larger practice, and that way she is covered by our insurance.

Danny is still way behind in his develoment. And it seems to us that the gap between the two babies is getting wider and wider. Callie is more and more mobile every day, more verbal too. She seems to be understanding larger concepts more now too - like giving you something you ask for, putting things in things, understanding who and where people are, etc. Danny does none of this. He also still does not roll over, crawl or pull himself up. He can sometimes get himself on his hands and knees and rock back and forth. One time he got from his belly up to a sitting position. And he has figured a very crude kind of army crawl that gets him forward if he really wants something. But he gets frustrated so fast, and really seems to lack motivation to try.

We discussed our concerns with the pediatrician. And she suggested that if we were concerned that we should go ahead and have him evaluated by a neurologist. She gave us a reco. I've left a couple messages at his office to try to get an appointment, but no return call so far. I think he's very hard to get in with.

Given our concerns about his delayed development, we declined to get their 12 month shots. I know this is a controversial subject. I am absolutely in favor of vaccinations. But it seems like he's got enough to deal with right now, and loading down his body with a bunch of extra stuff just doesn't feel like the right thing to do. I've also been doing some reading about delaying vaccinations, and it seems like there is a lot of support for this and very little risk in delaying. So we'll pick the schedule back up in 6 - 12 months, when we feel confident that his development progress is back on track.

ok. that's enough of a brain dump for now. As the subject said - a lot of things. There's even more on my mind, but I'll save it for later.


Thalia said...

Re the vaccinations, I will try to bite my tongue, but do hope you get them done soon. There is no age limit to who gets measles, and it's very very nasty.

Re Danny and food - for goodness sake feed him! Dairy, full fat dairy, is good for babies. They need the fat to grow the myelin that coats their nerves and builds their brains. They need the fat to make all the new cells they are growing. You don't need to worry about bad habits etc., he's a baby, he needs the calories and he needs to grow.

You can also give him stuff like avocado, olive oil etc. to complement the dairy, but please don't worry about a high dairy diet - it won't do him any harm.

cat said...

I am so glad the sailing trip went well. Kids seem to do great naps while on holiday - is it the fresh air, or the new routine?

My little L also have developmental issues - only gross motor wise though, and I am also struggling to get in at the neurologist.

As to diet - for building up weight (although we are also struggling with this) try avocado and banana mixed with olive oil added. Also put olive oil over all meals. Oatmeal is also great. Add sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, crushed to porridge. Also bulk up on protein and not just fat - lentils, beans, pulses etc. And I would get tests or confirmation that dairy is really a problem - kids need dairy, I think.

Heather said...

Glad to hear you had a great trip.

I totally agree with trying to make sure that your family is eating a healthy diet. And if you didn't mention your other concerns of Danny's development I wouldn't think twice about how thin he is, as long as it was consistent. My DD has been at the 95% for height but 25% for weight since birth. I swear she can't get above 25% because for one, that's supposed to be her weight for her frame and secondly she's so busy growing up, she isn't growing out. She's never had development issues though, except for being a late walker and she did see a physical therapist for that and got back on track.

Lots of luck!

CranioBrian said...

Have you considered raw milk instead of getting rid of milk completely? From the right source, raw milk is completely safe, better for digestion and is so much more healthy than processed milk.

Pasteurized milk is 'dead' milk to me and can put create inflammation throughout the body. Raw milk is whole milk and has healthy fat, natural probiotics, Vitamin D and calcium the body can actually absorb.

I have seen many people's digestive issues (and other body issues) go away when they switched to raw milk.

Just a suggestion ...

Helen said...

Our kids have been really similar in their developments for a while now. Nick is honestly only just crawling (in the past week) and only started sitting up a few days before that happened. I talked to the health visitor about it, and she said babies really do just develop differently.

I know it doesn't stop us worrying, though. I do, too - like you said, complex concepts aren't registering with my little boy, either.

And if you're not too sick of advice, ike Thalia said, as long as he's not allergic to milk, dairy him up. Avocado is also a good one, as is throwing cheese/yogurt into everything.

Isabel said...

Mayo and fish have oil content.

No raw milk! Goat's milk might be a good substitute, depending on why you got advice to limit dairy.

Good luck to you!

Sarah said...

whew, that is a lot of things!! i certainly don't have the answers so i'll just wish you luck sorting it all out.

i will tell you, in case it's any comfort, that my pediatrician recently said "they seem to grow on whatever we give them at this stage" and not too be overly worried if, for instance, she didn't eat anything green for a week. i keep offering new things of course, but mostly i want mealtime to be a happy time, to give her opportunities to explore what she might like, and let the food pyramid take hold in due time.

Bea said...

Quite a post!

Glad the trip went well, would love love love to see pics, I can't remember if I have your other address, could I trouble you to email it to infertile fantasies at gmail?

Good luck sorting out the food stuff. I was always of the opinion that you should worry about what you eat up to the point where the worrying is less healthy than the lack of goodness in your diet, IYKWIM. That said, I could probably afford to worry a bit more at the moment... nah, stuff it, I'll wait til he learns to self-settle, this settling business is tiring.

I hope the development issues sort out, too. It sounds like it would be good to go for that assessment.


Jaimie said...

I would love to hear what the nutritionist suggested since we have a dairy allergy. Jake is such a terrible eater and it is so hard trying to get everything he needs into him

kzucker said...

It's a lot of extra work, but I space my kids' vaccinations out so they only get one vaccination at a time. We have a great pediatrician who doesn't charge us copays for vaccination visits. They are often behind on their vaccines but never by more than a month or two; I talk to the nurse about how to time the vaccinations so as to get maximum efficacy (ie. they just had flu shots last week since flu season is rapidly approaching; prevnar is in two weeks). So far this system seems to work really well since neither of them has ever had a reaction to a vaccine.