Not a ton has been going on since my last post, but there was something that I was going to write about, and now I don't remember what it was. I'll just start writing and hope that the thought comes back to me.
One really big milestone that Elsie passed this last week is her very first sleepover away from Mommy and Daddy. For a Father's Day gift for Clayton, I booked a weekend away for the two of us at the Homestead Resort in Midway. It was nice to get away for a night to ourselves, and we are so lucky to have Grandma Linda and Auntie Mona to watch our girls for us. Elsie had a bit of a hard time sleeping in the middle of the night, but Grandma handled it like a pro, probably because she is one! Thanks so much for watching our kids.
Elsie is still maintaining her weight, but possibly gaining AND losing weight, if you trust our scale, which I currently don't. It's very up and down. So who knows how much she actually weighs right now. I am trying to pay less attention to the scale and more attention to what is being swallowed, which is improving every single day. Yesterday for lunch, she ate three child-size portions of Ramen Noodles (aka Crazy Noodles) with peas, carrots, butter, and an egg cooked in for extra nutrition and calories. She also ate two portions of applesauce, a handful of animal crackers, and lots of water. I'd say that she probably swallowed about 80-90% of the food, which is really huge for her. Don't get me wrong, that's not a typical meal for her, she usually eats a lot less than that, so I was pretty surprised at this huge meal. But she's eating when she's hungry. She is two, and eats like a typical two year old. At least, a typical two year old in my family. Big sister Evje has never been a huge eater, but again, she eats when she's hungry.
One thing I was thinking of that has been affected by Elsie's tube wean is brushing her teeth. Before weaning, brushing teeth was a fight; she hated it, and we compromised with me only brushing her teeth for three seconds. I would count to three while we brushed, and she only tolerated it because she knew that when I got to three, the torture was over. Her aversion to nearly all things oral was just too strong for any serious teeth brushing. Now, things are different. She doesn't mind brushing her teeth at all. Of course, like a typical two year old, she insists on brushing her own teeth and will only grudgingly let me help her after she has brushed her own teeth. But it's no longer a fight, she'll willingly brush her teeth, and for longer than three seconds. That's pretty awesome.
Another cool thing that we've been able to do since weaning is swimming lessons. I waited until the end of the summer to schedule our Mommy and Me swim lessons, because before weaning, I was nervous how she would do if she choked on water in the pool. It has been our previous experience that Elsie choking on water in the pool quite frequently leads to Elsie vomiting in or near the pool. There is a pile of rocks at the Seven Peaks in SLC that I will never look at the same way, because that's where she puked last summer after choking on pool water. Anyway, I was a tiny bit nervous when we started lessons this week, but of course Elsie has handled everything like a champ. She hasn't vomited in such a long time (at least, a long time for Elsie!) that I'm now very confident that any choking in the pool would not result in puke.
Overall, things have been going well. We haven't used her feeding tube at all since the weekend we spent in Arizona (July 10-12) when I was slightly panicked when she was super grouchy one afternoon. Turns out it was probably just the pain of three of her canine teeth poking through that was causing the unhappiness. Before that time, we hadn't used the feeding tube since June 28. So not counting the time when I was a panicked mother, we haven't used her feeding tube in ONE WHOLE MONTH. One month. I can't even believe it. One month and ten days ago, she was 100% dependent upon her feeding tube for food and liquid and medicine. Tonight, she was a bit fevered and still having pain from her canine teeth. I filled a syringe with children's ibuprofen, gave it to her, and she calmly placed the syringe in her mouth and squeezed the medicine into her mouth and swallowed it. No problem! One day this week or next when I get time, I'm going to put away all of her feeding syringes and paraphernalia. We're not going to be using it again. There's no doubt in my mind.