I'm not a mind reader

Dear Evie,
As much as I'd love this superpower, Mommy is not a mind reader.  When you are sitting in front of me asking for music, I do not know what song you are thinking of in your head.  I ask you if you want "The Cat Came Back,"  "Rocketship Run," or "Stand Up Sit Down," but you just growl at me and get frustrated that I can't read your mind. 

So I am doing something about it. 

Love,
Mommy


I am making my own personalized Evie PECS board.  PECS stands for Picture Exchange Communication System.  It is very useful for helping nonverbal people to communicate.

Evie has matching communication books made of PECS pictures at school and at home.  But when it comes time for what song she wants to be played, the field is open.

Evie's school provided a Communication Book for home to match her book at school. It even has pictures of each of her classmates and teachers and therapists!

Evie's song menu choices in her school communication book.  Note the dinosaur sticker I added because there was no choice for "We Are the Dinosaurs" by Laurie Berkner.

We Are the Dinosaurs is a crowd favorite, and it's not a choice at school!  So it's time for the big guns.  Enter Evie's song menu.
Laurie Berkner and Patty Shukla. 
I ran out of songs I really wanted to hear over and over again, so added favorite books and activities.
Some Rachel Coleman, nursery rhymes, Bible songs, books, and activity choices
I'm putting these in sheet protectors to use until her song selections change.

If you're interested in making your own, here is the link to a free template: https://pecsusa.com/free-materials/.  Under Worksheets and Checklists, there are two differently-sized options for PECS grids. In preparation, I googled each song that Evie liked and found an image that she would recognize for each song.  I saved them all to a folder, and then opened the template in Word and inserted a picture in each square.

Hope this helps someone else cut down on the need for mind reading!


Evie's Favorite Blends

This post is dedicated to Evie's first boyfriend JJ, who lounged next to her on the carpet as they g-tubed peacefully together at the same time at the ripe age of 6 months.   He has moved onto greener pastures and now tries to sit on every woman's lap possible.  At the age of 3, he is a lady killer! We love you, JJ!  <3

I wanted to share some of Evie's favorite blended foods.  It's a tough balance when we have to fatten her up, but I have to make blends that taste good by mouth too.  Whatever she doesn't eat orally is thrown in a blender with some formula and put into her tummy by g-tube.  She eats 3 meals a day orally and gets supplemental formula/blends to help her with her growth rate.



We just had our most successful Nutrition visit yet since trying to lessen the amount of Pediasure!  Evie doubled her growth rate from 5 grams a day to 10 grams a day!  I wanted to take a picture.  Hearing "well done" at this visit is enough to make a tubie mama cry out of sheer joy and exhaustion.

So here are some of my favorite blends that taste yummy and feel yummy by mouth or by g-tube!

Beef Bolognese Ravioli
Ingredients:
1 package of Trader Joe's fresh Beef Bolognese Ravioli, cooked
1/2 package of Trader Joe's buttered mixed vegetables
3-5 T of avocado oil
Heavy cream, enough to go 3/4 up the height of the food already in the blender

Blend everything together well, depending on child's tolerance of textures.  Freeze in cube trays for later if desired.  Defrost 2 cubes for 35 seconds in microwave and add 1-2 oz of Noosa yogurt with Duocal and avocado oil and mix together.

280 calories in 1 cup of the ravioli!


Mac and Cheese

1 box Annie's mac and cheese (made in Instant Pot in 2 min!), made with heavy cream instead of milk and add 2 T of butter
1/2 package of frozen sweet peas, thawed
fresh spinach or kale as desired
heavy cream, up to 3/4 of the height of the food already in the blender

Blend everything together and freeze as desired.  As always, add 1-2 oz of Noosa yogurt (Evie likes the honey flavor) and mix with Duocal and avocado oil.  

270 cal per serving!
Overnight Oats

Soak 1 cup of old fashioned oats overnight in a square tupperware full of heavy cream.  Add sliced bananas or whatever other mix-ins you like in your oatmeal to soak overnight as well.  You can cook the oatmeal or just blend as-is in the morning.  Add avocado oil and Noosa honey yogurt generously in the blender with the oats mixture.  Add a splash of cinnamon.  Blend as desired.  You can also add in a a pouch for flavor. We use Happy Tots Super Morning apple or blueberry blends for flavoring.  This one impressed our Nutritionist with how we worked in the heavy cream for more calories.

Spinach Tortellini

Ingredients:
1 package of Trader Joe's Spinach Tortellini, cooked
1/2 package of Trader Joe's buttered mixed vegetables or frozen sweet peas
3-5 T of avocado oil
Heavy cream, enough to go 3/4 up the height of the food already in the blender

Blend everything together well, depending on child's tolerance of textures.  Freeze in cube trays for later if desired.  Defrost 2 cubes for 35 seconds in microwave and add 1-2 oz of Noosa yogurt with Duocal and avocado oil and mix together.

Sound familiar?  That's because it's the same recipe as the one for Beef Bolognese Ravioli!  I love Trader Joe's!  I'm planning on doing the same with the frozen Chicken Alfredo from Trader Joe's!


Evie's First Trip to Disney World

Hi everyone!  We just got back from my first trip to Disney World!  My mommy didn't know if I'd like it because I get scared of lar...