Sometimes I feel like every day I could 'realize' another thing that I should take care of or think about or research or SOMETHING... Other days I feel like all is well in the world and I really shouldn't worry so much :)
And I'm not really a 'worrier' by nature. But I am a researcher. I want to do things the best way possible for my children and my family. I want to know what I can do to help them, I want to keep up with their therapies and their education, their social needs, their sensory needs, and I want to find out new ways to do it better. Ambitious, I know. And the follow through is where I'm lacking.
Because when it seems that every day there's 'another something', then it's hard to keep up with EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. And then the ball gets dropped or intentionally set aside for a time until it's time to revisit it.
So today's "issue" is one that looking at Emma I just couldn't ignore. She is THIRTY THREE pounds! That's not SUPER heavy, but she has put on TWO POUNDS in the last 2 months! That's a lot!! And she's no longer skinny. She's stocky. She has round little arms, a thick torso and chubby cheeks. It's adorable! But it's not healthy. It's not a good trend for someone "predisposed for obesity due to that extra 21st chromosome."
What do we do about it?
She LOVES to eat and has NO idea what 'full' means. We already use portion control with her... but maybe not enough? When she's at home she's scooting all over, pulling up on things, cruising, exercising. But the change the last 2 months? School. She's now sitting all day in her wheelchair or other devices in school. She is down just a few minutes in that 6 hour period. Somehow we need to make up for her inactivity, whether in diet or in exercise.
HOW do you do this with a child that doesn't walk? She's already pretty active when we're home... as far as just general activity goes. We can do 'strength building' exercises with her, but how do you do simply 'management' exercise? I'd say "let's go for a walk" but she doesn't walk. Swimming isn't practical on a daily basis though I know that would be a good solution... and the weather's about to turn cool here too.
How about portion control? Emma usually gets 1 4-oz container of a main dish, one of yogurt, one of a fruit, and sometimes a few crackers for lunch. She gets 2 drink boxes with 2/3 water and juice in them. Those are her school lunch. For breakfast she has a VERY small amount of cereal (like 8 honeycombs or something like that) here at the house with 1/2 cup of milk. At school she has some milk and cereal as well. She will be VERY unhappy to have to wait until school to eat since her siblings all eat here, but not eating at school isn't an option either. Dinner she gets a serving the same size as Kristopher's.
My other 3 kids all 'self regulate' their food intake for the most part... so maybe I just am allowing her too much food? I don't know!
There you have it- my thought for today. Tomorrow I'll be off to something new, but this one I cannot just ignore. I do NOT want to set Emma up for a life of obesity, especially since she isn't mobile and her daily care needs will be more difficult for her and us if we don't hit this issue early on.