The Terrible Twos Are Real!

Our two older daughters never prepared us for the “terrible twos” since both girls were quietly playing with their dolls, coloring, drawing, watching cartoons and doing typical girly activities with minimal mess. Our six year old still loves to clean, whether it’s her mess or not. Lets just say, we were spoiled! We were in denial! The Terrible Twos Are Real and they’re here to stay! This is Vincent’s show and we’re just in the audience.

The other day he taught himself how to drink out of the faucet in the bathroom sink and was loving every second of it. We watched him in awe as he drank the water, smiled and laughed, getting all excited with each time. We took a few photos, as we do every time he learns something new. My husband went to the front door to grab the mail and I turned my back for not even a minute to order dinner and when I walked back Two toddler children with toothbrush standing by the toilet in the bathroom at home.into the bathroom, Vincent was standing INSIDE the toilet! Yes, that’s right! Inside! And he had the biggest smile on his face when he saw me, as if to say “look what I can do mommy”. I finished placing my order, made sure to take a photo to show his future wife one day, scooped him out of the toilet and brought him up to the bath. This is truly a typical day in our home. Sure the toilet incident was so far a one-time deal but Vincent getting into a mess that results in a bath is truly a common occurrence and expected. He especially loves to do mischievous things in front of his father just to see what theatrics daddy will perform.

He loves to climb, jump, throw, run, laugh, play, smile, and hug… he’s loud, makes a mess and loves to explore. To some people this might seem overwhelming but not to me, I’m loving every moment with him. Every new milestone is celebrated, every moment is absorbed and etched into my brain. Vincent is learning at his own pace and his journey has shown me that life is not a race but a stroll so stop and smell the roses.

And that’s exactly what I’m doing!

 

The Start To Healthier Days

Vincent is an energetic, fearless little boy who’s into everything and anything, so when he catches a cold and is out for the count for a few days, our hearts break. The past year he has been getting sick more often and taking longer to get better. I noticed one day during a typical meltdown that his tonsils are extremely enlarged and as time goes on, even with medicine his tonsil never shrink. They’re always enlarged, two huge round fleshy balls just back there, taking up what little space was available. Vincent snores loudly, worse than a grown man and is a mouth breather which results in many shirt changes throughout the day. Did I mention he’s a poor-eater???

So I made an appointment with the same ENT who removed our middle daughter’s tonsils and adenoids the year before. She also had the same issues of being sick often and snoring, so the surgery helped improve her health, eating habits and sleep routine. The appointment was last week with Dr. Boruk and after just one look, she knew he needed to have his removed as well. Her staff made me an appointment for a sleep study at Methodist Hospital.

Methodist Hospital has an amazing sleep center and they’re great with patient care but I’m extremely worried to have the test done since Vincent has sensory issues and will not like the wires all over his body and head. I know he needs this test to move forward for surgery since it will determine if he needs to be in the ICU for recovery or in a regular room during his overnight stay, so we’ll brave it. We’re in for an interesting night.

To be continued….

What’s New?

Well it has been awhile since my last post, mainly because daily requirements have a way of controlling every aspect of my life. So lets see where I left off… Vincent had just finished his first two months on the Nemechek protocol and we had seen many gains but no new sounds or words. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely frustrated, cried occasionally and did so much research on Google that my fingers were cramping. But none of this was going to give me the answer I was so desperately searching for to the question every parent dreads asking, “Is my child on the spectrum?”.

Yes he was given the diagnoses and receiving Early Intervention but does this really mean he’s on the spectrum? or could it be sensory processing disorder? or could he have oral apraxia? Well he had an MRI last month and the results came back that his scan was unremarkable, so if it was oral apraxia it would have shown up on his scan. He does have some sensory issues, exhibits some signs of ASD and motor delays but loves to cuddle, extremely affectionate with everyone, loves to play with other kids and animals, has amazing eye contact but can doze off occasionally. Answers to his name but then again he will ignore you while his favorite show is on. So what does this all mean… I have no clue! All I know is the spectrum is so wide that the odds of him being on it, even in the slightest way is highly possible. So to hell with labels! My main focus is helping our son overcome any obstacle that might come his way and giving him as many hugs, cuddles and kisses in the process.

That brings me to the past month… Vincent is still on the protocol but I increased his inulin from 1 tsp to 1 1/2 tsp and the same for his olive oil. I also increased his fish oil but went back to his original dosage since he was having severe diarrhea and irritation. Vincent has been without a pacifier for 2 weeks now and is satisfying his oral input by mouthing his hands and objects. A stage I am hoping he overcomes quickly and praying he doesn’t realize he can suck on his thumb in the same manner as the pacifier. With him improving his food intake, we decided to switch him to Almond Milk but he still needs the rice in his bottles to fill his tummy. We’ve had many gains this month resulting in our little boy smiling and laughing more. He has been very whiney lately but I contribute that to the increase in the inulin and know it will pass in a couple of weeks. He exhibited the same behavior when he first started the protocol and when I increased him for the first time.

So like everything else… this too shall pass.

 

 

 

 

Week 8

Supplements given: 1 tsp of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (First Cold Press) 1/4 tsp of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Lemon Flavor and 1 tsp a day of NOW Foods Inulin Prebiotic

March 14, 2018 – I decided to increase Vincent’s fish oil from an 1/8 of a tsp to a 1/4 – so far so good. He had normal bowel movements but more frequent which I feel has to do with the increase in fish oil.

March 15, 2018 – Vincent woke up at 2:30am to have a bottle and some how found my phone, so needless to say he didn’t go back to bed until around 6am. My day started 30 mins prior to that, making it one long drawn out day for work. He’s so lucky he’s cute!

March 16, 2018 – Surprise Surprise! He was up at 2:39am for a bottle. I can’t wait for him to eat more solid foods so his tummy stays full throughout the night. So thankful my family is able to function on minimal sleep because I have a feeling this is going to be an ongoing trend for him. He is tolerating the increase in fish oil but now has a bowel movement about 30 mins after finishing his supplement bottle. I decided to give him the B12 supplements again because I noticed more of his hair turning white since I stopped giving it to him when I started the protocol. He doesn’t eat enough to give his body what it needs so I need to continue the vitamins to make up the difference.

March 17, 2018 – Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Nothing out of the ordinary today excPlayground. Kids at the playground.ept for the increase in fish oil definitely taking his body by surprise and needing to adjust. I saw many gains in the beginning of this protocol but the one I am desperately hoping for is hearing my baby speak. I know language is down the road but boy am I desperate to hear his words. He understands when we speak to him, physically communicates his wants and the usage of 5 words. I’m grateful to the protocol and his therapists for getting him this far.

March 18, 2018 – Sunday Funday with the family is always a great time. Vincent and his siblings played beautifully with their cousins. The house was filled with laughter and Vincent’s laugh was the loudest and heartfelt. I love watching him play! I’m mesmerized by how far he has come in such a short time. He took his older cousin by her hand and walked her over to his favorite toys so she could play with him too. Vincent’s growth brings tears to my eyes.

March 19, 2018 – With Mondays being our longest day in the week, it’s always a rough start in the morning so when you couple that with little sleep… bring on the coffee! Another early wake up from my baby boy but this time it was from a dirty diaper. Apparently the supplements are lingering in his system and giving him bowel movements later in the day. After a bottle, a few cartoons and many laughs later, he finally passed out giving me all of 30 minutes before my alarm went off. My husband said he was good for the rest of the day but slightly cranky.

March 20, 2018 – We slept! Finally! Vincent slept through the night and his bowel movements have regulated. I’m sure anyone who changes his diapers will truly appreciate this. Boy could he clear a room! Vincent is now on the supplements for two months and we see a huge difference in him, but since the gains are now coming in slowly… I’m going to only write about them as they happen as oppose to the daily journal I’ve kept for the past 8 weeks.

Summary: Despite the lack of sleep, this week was a good one. He is becoming more involved with the world around him. Vincent plays appropriately with his toys, engages with the people around him and his eye contact is off the charts! This little boy amazes me every day and I thank God for blessing us with him.

Week 7

Supplements given: 1 tsp of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (First Cold Press) 1/8 tsp of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Lemon Flavor and 1 tsp a day of NOW Foods Inulin Prebiotic

March 7, 2018 – Snow day, or at least we thought it was going to be a snow day. I was truly hoping to go outside with the kids today but unfortunately it’s wet and slushy out. Vincent and Ella spent the day playing with their toys and working through his sessions with positive outcomes. He’s improving with his spoon-feeding and crying less provided he is distracted with the iPad or watching cartoons.

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March 8, 2018 – Vincent woke up happy this morning. We love his laugh… he even has a new one and laughs more often. Unfortunately, this morning he had a little constipation but it was quickly rectified with his breakfast since it included his supplements. I swear the olive oil in his bottle helps keep his bowel movements consistent. His older sister hates changing his diaper so she was really quick to pass it off to me before I left for work. Yay me! His lead ABA therapist updated his programs and he adjusted to the change pretty nicely. Usually he has meltdowns in the beginning. Since the protocol his meltdowns have been minimal to almost non-existent. The rest of the day was typical until I came home from work and saw my little daredevil climbing on his trampoline while it was tilted to the side. This little boy has no fear! He will truly be the reason for my grey hairs.

March 9, 2018 – TGIF! Truly excited for the weekend … my husband and my father’s surprise birthday party is tomorrow. So much planning has gone into this special celebrations and I pray it goes off without a hitch. Our children absolutely adore their grandfather, as do all of us and we’re so blessed to have him in our lives. Our son has come a long way in his relationship with my dad. Vincent looks for him to help with his activities; this behavior was non-existent 8 months ago, but ever since he started the protocol things have drastically changed. Vincent is more interactive with everyone around him, observant of his surroundings and engages in appropriate play. A huge gain all around! We decided to order shrimp fried rice and Lo Mein for dinner since it’s Lent and we abstain from meat on Fridays. Well, Vincent loved every second of his meal time and when he was finally finished eating his food, he took my hand, placed the remaining pieces in my hand and then pushed my hand away. This is a new way for him to communicate he is finished with his meal since he is unable to say the word “finished”. Like I said, we’re seeing huge gains lately and I’m grateful to my therapist for telling me about the Nemechek Protocol.

March 10, 2018 – Party Time!!! Well the surprise party was a huge success! My hubby and dad we’re shocked and we all had a great time, especially Vincent. He played with all the children, loved the clowns.com preformers and was definitely the life of the party with his mischievousness. At one point he walked into the kitchen at the restaurant, only to be escorted out by the manager. Vincent’s face was priceless! He played so much that he passed out on the way home, napped for 2 hours then woke up to eat and went to bed for he night an hour later. I’ve never seen him enjoy himself so much before.

March 11, 2018 – I’m thinking about increasing his fish oil supplement from 1/8 tsp to a 1/4 tsp since he’s been tolerating the taste just fine. Not too sure when I will start this increase but most likely on Wednesday since that will be his 8th week on the Nemechek Protocol. I love Sundays because it’s a great time for the family to get together and catch up while the kids play. We decided to BBQ and all the kids played in the living room until it was time to eat. Vincent enjoyed the extra playtime and decided to show-off on his trampoline. He loves to jump on it but only shares when the mood strikes him to.

March 12, 2018 – With Mondays being our longest day in the week next to Fridays and losing an hour of sleep from the daylight savings debacle, everyone was dragging their feet today.  According to my husband, Vincent napped a few times today and did very well in his sessions. He drank all his supplements but needed a few times to finish the bottle. He unfortunately is starting to get a cold so drinking a bottle while being congested is difficult. This means, Vincent will be in rare form for the next few days.    Hooray for me!

March 13, 2018 – Today was a good day, he drank his supplements with no issues. Vincent is still not feeling 100% and will eventually need to revisit his ENT about his chronic congestion and enlarged tonsils… but that’s a battle for another day. He attended to his lessons and played very nicely with his sister until the dog got involved, stealing their toys.

Summary: The week started off strong and with no issues but then the common cold decided to visit and all hell breaks loose. Feedings are already an issue so trying to get Vincent to eat while be congested takes a lot of creativity and patience. 

Week 6

Supplements given: 1 tsp of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (First Cold Press) 1/8 tsp of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Lemon Flavor and 1 tsp a day of NOW Foods Inulin Prebiotic

February 28, 2018 – Vincent has words!!!! Sure they’re the words he lost before starting the protocol but that’s ok with us. He is becoming more vocal and speaking with purpose. A couple of months ago he spoke BABA, BOBO, MAMA, MUM and the occasional DADA (stopped around October 2017) but only Mama and Mum was with purpose, directed towards me all the time. He woke up this morning saying BABA while pointing to his bottle. I cried full-blown tears! Could this be a just a one-time occurrence? I truly hope not.

March 1, 2018 – Thankfully the whining has officially come to an end since he hasn’t done it in the past few days. He is communicating beautifully. As soon as I walked through the door from work, he looked at me with perfect eye contact and said “Mum” and then lifted his arms for me to pick him up. I was floored. I’m loving this new side of Vincent and really feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter with every passing day.

March 2, 2018 – Vincent is starting to realize that his words mean something and get him exactly what he wants. I guess he was hungry and didn’t say anything to anyone or maybe everyone was wrapped up in their own world because this little boy did something he’s never done before. He went into the kitchen, opened the step stool, pushed it up against the cabinet and climbed up so he can reach his bottle. Once he got his bottle he walked over to the couch and laid down to drink it. Can someone say independent!?!?

March 3, 2018 – Vincent is becoming more exploratory with his foods. Today he ate 3 mini Oreos and loved it. He vocalized his wants regarding his bottle and bobo as well as when he wanted me. He is still receiving his supplements in one bottle in the morning and his bowel movements have been more frequent but I feel like that is normal since he is eating more.

Playground. Kids at the playground.

March 4, 2018 – Today was amazing! Vincent played all day with his cousins and loved every second of it. A couple of months ago he would’ve just played by himself but now he is in the middle of the chaos. He’s loving his trampoline, playing with all of his toys and running around with the kids. Who could ask for anything more. This little boy played from 9am to around 8pm with just a 90 minute nap around noon. No meltdowns or temper tantrums because of the noise either.

 

March 5, 2018 – Well someone was absolutely exhausted from all the fun he had yesterday. We dressed him and brought him downstairs but he gave us such a hard time to wake up. Eventually he woke up, had breakfast and went through all is sessions just fine. Mondays are always my longest work day so I was thrilled to see him still awake when I came home at 7:30pm. I love my quality time with him! Vincent was playing with his sister on the floor and got up to walk over to me. This sweet little boy probably sensed I needed a hug because he gave me the best hug ever and then removed his bobo to give me a kiss. Yes! the perfect ending to a long day.

March 6, 2018 – Vincent is doing amazing in his ABA sessions and truly loves sitting with his therapists to do his programs. Throughout the day we give him small programs to help reinforce what he did earlier in the day. “Wave bye-bye”, “Touch head”, ‘Blow kiss”… he can do them all but sometimes gets a little confused when he wants something we happen to be holding. He ends up doing everything all at once just to get the Apple iPad, cell phone or Samsung tablet. He had OT later in the afternoon making this one of his longer days but he got through it like a champ.

Summary: Vincent amazes me every day with his ability to problem solve and adapt to his surroundings. He will find a solution to whatever problem is in front of him as long as it serves his purpose of climbing and making a mess. Typical two year old behavior if you ask me. He has managed to spill countless drinks on purpose even if we tell him not to and then runs away laughing. I love that he understands but I’m so tired of picking up the garbage can a bunch of times or having to shampoo the living room rug twice in the same week. He is continuing to be vocal about his wants and needs. He even gets louder with his words if his needs are being ignored, like when he wants his bobo during a therapy session. We’re trying to ween him off the bobo so the therapist removes it during his lessons. He’s become more exploratory with Netflix and now has 3 new cartoons he absolutely loves, Thomas The Train, Spirit and Octonauts. 

Week 5

Supplements given: 1 tsp of California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil (First Cold Press) 1/8 tsp of Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega Lemon Flavor and 1 tsp a day of NOW Foods Inulin Prebiotic

February 21, 2018 – Today I decided to increase his inulin and he tolerated it just fine. His bowel movements have been consistent but on the softer side after taking his supplements. I’m now putting all his supplements in one bottle for breakfast since we’re trying to limit his bottles and spoon feed him more now that he has shown enjoyment in eating by spoon. It’s still an ongoing challenge but he eventually shows genuine interest after a few minutes of pushing us away.

Children hands close-up

February 22, 2018 – Vincent is loving the one bottle a day instead of two bottles of supplements and it’s making my life easier too! He’s doing very well with his therapy sessions. Much more attentive to his programs even though the receptive id protocol upsets him. We’ve noticed he is eating so much more than usual and he has begun whimpering more when going about his daily activities. I spoke with my girlfriend about it and she mentioned her son is doing the same thing; both boys started the protocol around the same time.

February 23, 2018 – Vincent is truly so playful lately. He is interacting with everyone is the house and even looking to play with the dog.

February 24, 2018 – I woke up this morning to Vincent clapping! He had the biggest smile on his face… truly from ear to ear and CLAPPING!!!! I’m sure some people are reading this and thinking “He’s 2 yrs old, he should be clapping all the time”… But not this little boy! It took months of therapy to finally get him to understand that clapping is enjoyable so for him to wake up and lay in bed with a smile on his face while he’s clapping is truly music to my ears! Today was a great day all around.

February 25, 2018 – Ahhh Sunday Funday with the family is always the best! It’s a day that we can dedicate to the kids and not focus on schedules and structure. We can literally let the kids dictate how the day plays out and that’s OK! Our kids need the chance to explore and express themselves since that’s not always possible with our busy schedules revolving around work, school and therapy sessions. Vincent played so nicely with his sister. This is one gain that I see improve a little more with each passing day. I’m even thinking about involving him in a few group activities with other children.

February 26, 2018 – I’ve noticed giving him his supplements in the first bottle of the day has made a world of difference with him. He actually finishes every last drop on the first try. Vincent has been more attentive to his therapy sessions and showing more interest in his surroundings. He’s even more vocal! I contribute this to the increase in his inulin dosage.

February 27, 2018 – We had shrimp and spaghetti in olive oil with garlic. I always try to give him a taste of what we’re having for dinner since eating is an ongoing issue for him. He loved it! The more flavor, the better! I would say today was a great day since we have another dish under his belt. It’s truly the little things that mean the most during his journey.

Summary: I’ve increased his inulin from 1/2 tsp a day to a full tsp a day and have seen great improvement in him. We’ve seen many gains with Vincent since starting the protocol but the most gains were seen once I upped his inulin dosage. He is becoming more interactive with each passing day, playing appropriately with his toys and his sister. He wants to be out and about and playing with other children which is outside of his comfort zone.