Friday, February 25, 2011

"Roots and Wings"

There's a saying that I have on a cross-stitch: "Give your children two things: One is roots...the other wings." Today my (not so little) son is spreading his wings in his first solo flight from the nest. As a proud mama bird, I am sitting back and letting him go. It's not easy, and it is, oh so, bitter-sweet. He is my first-born, my first baby. He has made a few smaller solo flights before, and each one of them has been such a success. Now he is grown into quite the young man, at such a young age too. He is ready for this big solo flight. I trust his roots, I know they run deep. They will keep that internal compass heading him in the right direction. I trust those fine, feathery wings to carry him aloft and far on his journeys, and always to have the strength to make it home.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Advocacy on both ends of the spectrum

Well, today I put my "advocating for the highly gifted" hat on, and took off, momentarily, the "advocating for the special needs" hat. We'll see where I get with it. My 6th grader just started science (they teach 1 semester history, 1 semester science in middle school). He could pass the 8th grade Science SOL before 6th grade science began. His science teacher is very excited, but also limited in what she can do. The range of knowledge in the students in her classes is rather w - - i - - d - - - e. So we brought in the guidance counselor who is very supportive of differentiating somehow (we all haven't quite figured out how yet), and now we are on to setting up a meeting with the principal who is very open to discussing this. I'm not sure what that means yet, but it does sound promising.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Get out and get moving - enjoy this spring like weather!

Today is a swim team day, but unlike other days this year, Ellie will not be hanging out at the nursery in the YMCA. I cancelled the family membership, well, changed it to a student only membership for her big brother, the swimmer. Ellie and I will be outside today. It's gorgeous outside and since she feels better I am putting my new plan into action.

I am packing some bubbles, a soccer ball and a change of clothes! We are going to have our usual picnic dinner in the car, but then we are going to the playground with our balls and our bubbles so that Ellie can work on some oral motor and gross motor skills. In addition, she can just get moving and work on losing some weight :) Next month she starts soccer, and I want her to be ready!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Stomach Flu or Food Poisoning - either way, you lose weight

Well, a line from a favorite movie of mine "The Devil Wears Prada" is "I'm only one stomach flu away from my goal weight." Or something close to that.

Friday night after Kids Zumba and chick-fil-a, Ellie fell asleep in the car on the way home. She woke around 11pm with some running stools. Ok. I should have warned you that this was going to be gross. Sorry. You're forewarned now.

About 30 minutes later she woke up, and started the vomit-o-rama. For the next 8 hours the poor thing couldn't keep anything. anything. anything. down. Not even the tiniest sips of water. Bless her heart, she was able to indicate to me when we had to race to the bathroom or grab the trashcan. She didn't miss once. I did. I fell asleep somewhere between 3:38's retching and the next call to the can. I tried to pick her up but couldn't make my body move. We'd already been to the bathroom about a dozen times, and at 54 lbs, low tone, and extreme fatigue. Well, my body had stopped being able to lift her easily. My dear, sweet husband got all the laundry started and helped lift Ellie on one side while I supported her on the other for the next few hours till her tummy finally stopped revolting.

The next few days were quiet and she didn't eat too much. The net loss has been over a pound. This is not the way to lose weight, but I guess every small step counts.

I calculated her BMI today:

Age: 6 years 2 months
Birth Date: December 02, 2004 Height: 3 feet 6 inch(es)
Date of Measurement: February 16, 2011 Weight: 53–1/4 pounds

Based on the height and weight entered, the BMI is 21.2 , placing the BMI-for-age at the 98th percentile for girls aged 6 years 2 months. This child may be obese and is likely to have health-related problems because of weight and should be seen by a healthcare provider for further assessment.

Monday, February 7, 2011

How far do we have to go?

Well, I just finished calculating her BMI using my handy-dandy children's BMI calculator (from CDC, thank you!). Turns out we have a LOT of small steps to take in order to get Ellie out of the "may be obese" category, and into the "may be overweight" category. At this age and height Ellie needs to weight 47 lbs 0 oz. in order to get to a "may be overweight" BMI category. That's a net loss of 7.2 lbs. Okey-dokey, let's get to work mom!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Back after a long break

It was a busy fall school season, and I did keep track of Ellie's weight. It went up and down a little bit, but by the end of the holiday season she was about 56 lbs again. As I started a new year, I had to start a new plan.

Last fall I didn't add many veggies. I meant to. I had good intentions. Something was lost in the process of making menus and getting to school and swim team. I ended up making the same thing most days. Since Elllie doesn't eat salads, there weren't many vegetable choices for Ellie.

2011 brings a total change for her, and for all of us. As of this morning she is back down to 54.2 lbs. She has also grown a little bit more topping the chart at 3 foot 6 inches. The combination has moved her BMI a little bit to 21.6. This is down from September's low of 22.6. Yes!!

This is why the blog is called Small Steps. Slowly. Ever so slowly, we are making progress. It's taken us 5 months, but that BMI is starting to budge. I have a lot of faith in our ability to make it budge a whole lot more this year.

How are we doing it? It's really simple, common sense. Less in (and better choices of food), and more activity. We have cut all school lunches. The sodium, calories and fat content were just unacceptable. Ellie drinks milk 3 times a day: with her cereal at breakfast, at school for lunch, and with me every night at dinner. She never drank sodas, but really loved her orange juice. Even with the calcium added, it's not as healthy as a glass of skim milk.

What else? I measure foods, especially carbohydrates. Ellie loves her carbs, so until I get that BMI to a healthy number, she is going to have limited carbs - 4 servings a day. Since I can't eat lunch with her at school, I send a healthy lunch I know she will eat. While I include a fruit or vegetable, they usually come home uneaten. At dinner it's a different story. I insist on veggies at every dinner. She has to eat them before she eats the stuff she likes. After a month of disagreements, it turns out she actually likes some of the veggies!

I have been trying all sorts of new foods, and not just for Ellie. The whole family has taken a trip on the vegetarian train. We still eat fish and poultry, with the occasional serving of pork (once a month). The red meat is out the door, as Rajiv on Outsourced says, "Please don't touch the cow." We purchased a pressure-cooker after the holidays and with the help and encouragement of some Indian friends we have learned how to make several dals (lentil dishes) and a great marinade for chicken. This week I will try some chole or chana (chick pea) dishes and a few other new recipes. I made a slow-cooker Indian Chicken and vegetable stew that both kids loved!

The last part of our plan of small steps to a healthier weight is more activity. Ellie is moving and grooving more at home through games with her brother, dancing with mom and just generally being encouraged to get up off the chair :) It's slowly working, and I'll keep you posted.