Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Making and Baking!

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One of Paprika's favorite things to do is bake. And when she's "making" (as she calls it), you'd better get out of the kitchen!

I have no idea how she learned to bake. She throws a lot of things in a bowl, and mixes them together, and voila. It's sometimes edible, and always interesting! I stay out of her way because Lord knows, I am no help in the kitchen!

Flour, eggs, oil, milk, sugar, butter, baking powder...somehow she finds things to throw together. This cake was one of her more edible creations. Her oil, butter, and strawberry salad she made the other day was NOT!

I usually try to steer her towards the expiring/expired things in the pantry, or at least the things that are easily replaceable. When she reaches for the vanilla extract, real maple syrup, or cumin, I quickly redirect! Haha!

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Now if only we could get her to eat those creations we'd be getting somewhere! Paprika is still having a lot of trouble with eating, and with all her sensory stuff in general. We took her to a pediatric clinic a few months ago for a thorough evaluation with a pediatric occupational therapist (OT). Long story short, the therapist was not a good match for Paprika. He was a young guy with no kids and they just didn't connect.

We followed our instincts and instead hired a private (out of network) occupational pediatric sensory and feeding specialist to come to our house to work with Paprika on a weekly basis. She is amazing - I can't say enough good things about her and the miracles of what the right Occupational Therapist can do for a child!

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One thing she noticed right away is that Paprika does not move her tongue at all when she eats. She does not move it from side to side. She does not push the food around. It makes it extremely difficult for her to eat, and so she has learned to only eat a few "safe" foods that she can control easily in her mouth and eat with very little effort. This probably goes back to when Paprika was an infant and had silent reflux, so eating was painful for her, and she learned to associate food with pain.

I know the occupational therapy process is long, very long...but I am hopeful that we will see some real results before too long.

Paprika has some very real sensory issues that we need to address before she can start school. Right now being in a classroom of 20 kids would be way too much for her. She has a really hard time with crowds, lights, and noise, for starters.

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We have a really quiet home, and it is a calm little oasis for her here. But when she gets into an environment with distractions, she literally shuts down. I really started to notice this with her school assessments. At home, she can whiz through the Brain Quest books for Kindergarten and do all the problems in her head. But at school, she cannot even identify basic body parts she's known since she was two.

Paprika's pediatrician, occupational therapists, pre-k teachers, and even her piano teacher have pointed out to me how hard a time Paprika has in group environments and with sensory stuff. So, it's not just me being a worried mom...which is actually what I thought for the longest time! ;-)

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The good news is that she is happy and healthy, sweet and loving to her baby sister and everyone else she meets. Can you really hope for more?

Speaking of that "baby sister" - she is turning 23 months tomorrow. I have no idea what we're doing for her birthday! Tick tock! I think she'll be happy with anything. Even though she asks for a dog every single day (as does Paprika), I just don't think we're ready to go there yet. Anyone have a dog we can rent for a few hours? Haha!

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6 comments:

Lost in Space said...

I so love her creativity.

You are an amazing mom, Erika, and I know with you always doing whatever it takes to address her sensory issues that she will be just fine.

Sheila said...

Paprika is a darling girl and I'm happy you've found someone who is in tune with her nature to help her navigate through this.
I understand the desire to be in an environment that isn't assaulting your every sense all the time. A little goes a long way with me.
When did we become such a frenetic culture?


I'm sure if you look online locally you can find a dog related activity for Ginger. Does Mr.Mustard have access to anyone who trains dogs for TV? Some areas even have "dog circuses". You are such a creative parent I'm sure whatever you do for her birthday will be wonderful and tailor made for Ginger Sunshine. What's wrong with a doggie shaped cake or cookies, dog movies,plush animal and face painting to look like a doggie? Paw print clues for hide and seek games (total rip from blue's clues). Charlie loves dogs, big ones and his Dad is allergic. I understand the dog dilemma. He goes and "visits" dogs of friends.

Paprika's creations may not be edible but they are lovely to look at. She has an artist's eye.

Lauren said...

Again, I have to point out what a cool mom you are for letting Paprika whip up whatever she wants in the kitchen! She must have so much fun with that. That cookie she made looks good!

Glad to hear you found a good OT to work with her!

Erin said...

I agree with Lauren! You are SO COOL to let her cook what she wants! Clearly she has a future in cooking (unlike the two of us!). :) LOVED your bathroom re-do. And I LOVE that you started scrapbooking! So fun. You'll love it! I always get such a sense of accomplishment when I finish an album. Something tangible that shows your work and efforts!

Hope Dancing With The Stars ends soon!

Sheila said...

How did I miss that you are scrapbooking? That's great! I'm currently working on a scrapbook for Jackson. He's obsessed with Bowling! That's right, he's all about the PBA and he'll be 3 in 3 weeks. I'm so thankful for the internet. I've been able to download pictures of his favorite bowlers. I'm getting quite the education. I'm also making him a "bowling" T-shirt. I hope he'll get a kick out of his present.

ferfischer said...

You're very brave with the baking - but then again, with our new kitchen, I think we'll be all over it. I'm so glad you have some therapy going for Paprika - you're so right, therapists come in all kinds, so I'm glad you found someone that was a good fit! Our next task is all four therapist types in our home and I have to start OVER!!!! Ugh! Keep us updated on some of this sensory stuff - interesting.