My Family

My Family

Friday, October 19, 2012

The "art" of trying to find normal

We survived another week of doctors.  The one thing I have learned so far is that the more doctors you see the more different opinions that they will have.  Sometimes I don't know whether to wag my ears or listen with my tail (not that I have one but that is not the point).

We went to her PCP Wednesday and they pronounced Cary a fine specimen of babyhood and told me to keep up the good work and gave her five shots.  I felt great.  Then we went to the GI doctor today.  I was once again reminded that I had a medically fragile child and when did I want a G-Tube installed.  Say what???  I patiently informed the doctor that she was eating just fine orally, thanks.  He brought up that she was choking on food and informed me of the danger of it.  I once again told him that I had worked with a few kids and was well aware of the dangers of choking, but Cary is just learning to eat and she has poor oral skills.  Seeing that he was not going to get me to sing and dance for the joy of G-Tube installation he let me go with a prescription for reflux, constipation and tests ordered to track her digestion which is what I wanted in the first place.  I do have to go back in a month to see if she is growing, gaining, and not choking.

So I was a little mad (alright a lot mad).  Cary was sleeping after being up since 3 a.m. and I really needed to do something normal.  I didn't feel like scrapbooking (my normal love but I was too cranky and afraid I would mess up more than make nice things) and I was too full to feel like baking after eating a ton of red pepper hummus and crackers.  So after reviewing my options I decided to make art for the kids.  I made home made play dough.

If you are ever looking for the world's best art blog I highly recommend The Artful Parent.  She is one of my all time favorite blogs and I use her play dough recipe time and time again. If you go to her blog on the right hand side part way down is a directory and you will see play dough and clay.  Click on it and you will get the recipe and great ideas.  I tweaked it a bit for fall and Halloween.  I added Pumpkin Pie spice and tried to food color it orange.  Unfortunately, it ended up a bit more brown due to not enough food coloring and the pumpkin pie spice.  It makes a ton as you can see here.

I have two whole bags and it smells great!   After I made it Cary woke up.  I fed her and had to place her in her chair for sitting practice and to combat reflux she started getting fussy so for something new and different I put some play dough in front of her.  The goal is to get her eyes and hands to work together and to feel new textures.  It worked!!  She not only touched and felt it she ate it!!!

I was so excited to see Cary do something a "normal" kid would do.  A little frustrated that I can't get her that excited about solids but so happy to see this.  She explored and tasted for quite some time.  It was great!

Then I set up an area for Marvin.  I used random items as well as some old candy that was getting ready to go in the trash as we don't eat the stuff.

Here is the set up.  Note the shiny aluminum place mat.  Yup, I go all out around here.  Marvin was so excited.  He also insisted that I set up a work area as well and join him.  I was happy to do that.  I still felt the urge to pound on something.  So here is Marvin and some of the stuff he made.

Play dough and paints are favorites at our home as they can be very open ended and I feel he needs that after a day at school to decompress.  He spent about two hours with it and made pumpkins, monsters, and pretended to be a star on the Food Network with his own cooking show.

Here are a few things I made as well.

I found that the more time I spent with this the more normal I felt.  It was fun and I got to do normal family activities and feel not so grumpy.  I also know that art can be extremely therapeutic and good for kids and adults as well. So I am going to try to incorporate more art into our lives and more normal family activities in hopes that I can strike a good balance and teach the kids to explore their creative sides as well.  And just have fun for goodness sake.  We have not had this much fun in a long time and that is a mistake I plan on correcting.  I want to enjoy the little moments and have some happy memories so I am willing to put the time and effort into it.  It is so worth it!

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