Zac turned 3 years old yesterday.
For his birthday, he got his 15th safe food: baking soda.
It doesn’t sound like much, but we are ecstatic!
Baking soda doesn’t add much to his diet, really, but it makes everything he already has much better. Pancakes are fluffier, cookies are more real, waffles are possible, muffins aren’t thick. Things that were good before are now great!
I can’t believe he is 3 years old already. Two years and ten months ago, our lives seemed to grind to a halt with his FPIES diagnosis.
Somehow, though, the time has just flown by!
Honestly, I thought that by 3 years old we would have a far larger diet for Zac than the mere 15 foods we can now claim. I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed.
However, since I know exactly how arduous those 15 foods were to obtain, I am beyond grateful he has as much to eat as he does. And I’m grateful that he is such a BIG eater!
Truly, I’m staggered by the differences between Zac and Jed, appetite-wise. Jed has a limited diet, too, but in comparison he can eat SO much more than Zac can! And Jed regularly refuses to eat at mealtimes, wanting to eat only the same few things over and over and over again.
Zac, on the other hand, is incredibly limited in his diet but will scarf down huge quantities of almost anything I put in front of him. The child regularly packs away TWO steaks all by himself at dinner time, plus some sweet potatos as a side!
I’m sure it’s partly due to personality differences, but I also suspect it has a little to do with the fact that Zac was so very young when he had the majority of his reactions that he hasn’t associated “food” with “pain”. Poor Jed has made that association. It worries me about him…but that’s another story.
Thanks to Zac’s healthy appetite, though, he is currently weighing in at 32.2 pounds, solidly in the 75th percentile for weight!
For an FPIES child, especially one as sensitive as Zac and with as many triggers as him, that is a downright miracle.
He’s not just weighing good; he’s measuring 36.25 inches tall, which has him at the 49th percentile for height.
Since overall growth is important to measure with food issue children, not just weight, these two numbers have me breathing a sigh of relief and relaxing with the knowledge that, limited though his diet may be, he is doing very, very well.
For his birthday, we kept it simple. We’re planning a double birthday party for both boys in a few weeks, so yesterday we simply had a little cookout, made a modified quinoa cake and some banana ice cream for Zac, and sang Happy Birthday to him.
My parents did give him a toy tractor and a balloon, which thrilled him to no end, but the rest of his birthday celebration will come at the party.
Unfortunately, poor Zac has a little cold right now. It’s not too bad, but it’s bad enough that we skipped church in the morning and wrote off the two imperfect diapers he’s had this weekend as “sick kiddo” diapers instead of “FPIES reaction” diapers.
Still, the fact that I’m going to be at work all week is actually a good thing this time. It means we can let him ride on the baking soda for another week, just to be absolutely sure it is safe for him. (When I go to work, we don’t start food trials until I will be home for a few days. Less risky that way.)
In other Zac news, our TEFRA application is being processed as we speak! The unfortunate, terrible, rotten incomptent and thieving American Airlines debacle meant that filing our taxes for 2014 was delayed (due to missing tax paperwork), but we finally managed to get the taxes off to our accountant last week.
I’m anxiously awaiting their return, for two reasons: 1. we should get a NICE refund and 2. TEFRA requires the first two pages of the 1040 to complete the application!
As soon as I have those taxes in my hands, I’ll be faxing those forms over to TEFRA and, God-willing, Zac will be approved.
Once approved, speech therapy can resume at limited cost to us. Whew!
Speaking of speech, Zac is just a chatty little jay bird these days. Every day he seems to take leaps and bounds in his ability to say what he wants.
Oh, don’t get me wrong; he’s still speaking at about the level an 18-24 month old would speak. Maybe even younger.
But it is SO much more than he ever has, and we couldn’t be happier with the progress.
Nowadays, when he wants something and points and grunts, when we figure out what he wants we explain to him what he should say to get it.
Every single time, now, he at least attempts to repeat what we tell him!
It’s not always clear; “soup” and “shoe” sound disturbingly similar, as do other words for him, which makes for some confusion at times!
But he walks around babbling, tries to tell us stories, gets SUPER excited when we can communicate via words, and – get this! – two days ago, said his first ever 3 syllable word!
It. Is. Adorable.
And it helped us decide what our next food trial will be!
Hey – a food trial that might result in a safe, nutritious food for him, while also encouraging him to use words to ask for what he wants sounds like a win-win to me.
(Now I just have to think of ways I can feed him blueberries for two weeks straight without driving him crazy. Any ideas?)
All in all, Zac is doing extremely well as a newly minted 3 year old.
I’m thrilled with the personality I’m seeing finally able to come to light with his new vocabulary, proud of the sweet little boy he is, relieved at his physical growth and speech development, and more in love than ever with my adorable Snuggle Bear.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ZAC!