Saturday, December 13, 2014

Silly Selfies: Little Bro is Eighteen Months Old

Little bro is finally 18 months old. He is 20 pounds 2 oz (4%) and 32 inches long (33%). He continues to struggle with gaining weight even while calorie packing and g-tubing him several times a week.  To our surprise he still has to sit rear facing in his car seat.  As for feeding him lately, Sadly, he throws up a couple times a week from either burping, coughing, crying too much, feeling full, playing, laughing, or other unknown reasons. It's also frustrating that he refuses to eat sometimes. I think with all the throwing up he has developed another oral aversion. There are days when I just dread feeding him because of the daily battle of him either refusing to eat or drink or throws up. As you can imagine, his eating behaviors causes me a lot of grief. There are days when we both are in tears during meal time.  I've found that it calms us down when we listen to classical music or distract him with toys during meal time. Thankfully, he has a g-tube, which we have been relying on lately. I'm grateful for the support from is dietitian and feeding therapist. They are exploring all kinds of ways to help him such as having him tested him for celiac, which came back negative. Next, we are using some antibiotic medication to help him empty his stomach quicker. We will know in a few weeks if that medication will make a difference. As for other developmental milestones, he is delayed socially and not speaking yet.  Little brother has extreme separation anxiety from his family members and rarely will interact with anybody outside our intermediate family. I'm hopeful that when little bro attends nursery at church on a regular basis he will be able to develop some healthy social interactions.  Additionally, in January he will be doing a music playgroup at Kids on the Move. As far as communication goes, he started signing "more" and grunts while pointing at objects.  I am confident that he is understands us and is very intelligent. For example, he will retrieve an item when we ask him to get something for us and seems to understand us even though he cannot communicate to us. We will be following up with a genetics specialist in March to see if he can determine if Zach has any other syndromes. 

Scattering Service Jars

Service Lesson: Scattering Kindness Jars
A lesson on service is a perfect December achievement day activity.   For my lesson and discussion, I made an interactive visual aid. I taped a Christmas tree similar to an advent calendar using a brown paper bag, white card stock, scrapbook numbers 1-12, and hand written quotes inside.  I basically folded a rectangle into a square, used a glue stick to attach the circle numbers and quotes.  I got the Advent numbers from Pinterest: DIY Advent Calendar I also made a star and glued gold glitter on it. 
First, I had the girls take turns picking a number and reading the quote. Then I asked each of them how they could serve others? After they shared their idea, each girl helped me decorate a small Christmas tree with paper ornaments while my co-leader wrote down the ideas on the chalk board.  I got the Advent Christmas ornaments from Pinterest: Christmas Advent Wreath, which I used a needle and thread to hang them on the tree. These are the following quotes I used for my lesson:
Service Quotes:
1. “Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service.   He taught that each of us should follow Him by denying ourselves of selfish interests in order to serve others.”  -- Dallin H. Oaks
2. “As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness.” --Dieter Uchtdorf
3. “The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.”-- Gordon B. Hinckley
4. “The greatest service we can provide to others in this life, beginning with those of our own family, is to bring them to Christ.” --Todd Christofferson
5. “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” --King Benjamin Mosiah 2:17
6. If we could look into each other’s hearts and understand the unique challenges each of us faces, I think we would treat each other much more gently, with more love, patience, tolerance, and care.” – Marvin J. Ashton
7. “As we give, we find that sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, and in the end, we learn that it was no sacrifice at all.” -- Spencer W. Kimball
8. “He who gives money gives much. He who gives time gives more. He who gives of himself gives all.”  – Thomas S. Monson
9. “No one has ever become poor from giving” -- Maya Angelou
10. “Fill your life with service to others! As you lose your life in the service of Father in Heaven’s children, Satan’s temptations lose power in your life.”-- Richard G. Scott 
11. Find someone who is having a hard time or is lonely, and do something for him or her.” -- Thomas S. Monson
12. We can give the Savior gifts, by serving others. Fill a jar with slips of papers with ideas. Each morning, close your eyes and pull out your service idea for the day.” – Dieter Uchtdorf
Credits: Designed by me using Shabby Princess' Christmas kits. As for the fonts, I used That's Font Folks and 2 Pea's Heart Delight.
I summarized the lesson by sharing some of my favorite memories of serving others and reading the following quote: “Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another: a question concerning a person’s family, quick words of encouragement, a sincere compliment, a small note of thanks, a brief telephone call. If we are observant and aware, and if we act on the promptings which come to us, we can accomplish much good.” – Thomas S. Monson  (see above image that I made for this).  Afterwards the girls, decorated their jars with a label my co-leader made "U Love Who U Serve and wrote down several service ideas on folded pieces of hearts from pretty scrapbook card stock paper. We used markers to color them and tied ribbons on the top of the jar. Here are some service examples that the girls and leaders came up with.
Acts of Kindness Slips in a Jar 
Pick up trash
Give flowers
Help make dinner
Say “thank you”
Do an extra chore
Donate toys or clothes 
Write a letter and mail it
Hold the door open
Send a care package
Write to a missionary
Smile at 10 people
Bake cookies for a neighbor
Teach Family Home Evening
Call a relative
Make a card
Give a Hug
Make a new friend
Share a treat
Rake some leaves
Collect food for a shelter
Share your testimony
Read a book to a small child
Babysit for free
Feed the birds
Give a compliment
Send a card to a solider
Leave a surprise on the doorstep
Make a dinner basket
Visit a nursing home
Paint your Mom’s nails
Help an elderly neighbor
Donate hygiene kits to a shelter
Give a treat to your mail carrier
Pray for the sick
Make somebody’s bed
Write a note to your teacher
Make a fleece blanket for a new baby
Make breakfast for Mom and Dad
Clean the windows
Say ”I love you” to all your family members