Ethan has been sick for the past week, hence this photo of him actually sitting still. If you see him lazing about on the couch then there is usually some sort of physical ailment involved. Poor guy. He sat and watched his signing time videos while I continued to research and prepare for his big diet change. I've made a few trips to Whole Foods and might have to get a part-time job to finance this thing. I don't think it will be that expensive overall, I just needed to restock my pantry with new flours and oils and that should get us through a few weeks. The gluten free aspect isn't as hard to tackle as the casein free portion of this diet. I also have to avoid feeding him soy (he has an allergy to it), which rules out an entire genre of possibilities both in solids and liquids. There are also a handful of foods to avoid due to his acid reflux: corn, tomatoes, and citrus are the biggest culprits. I feel like I'm getting some kind of dietary college degree for all the research this is requiring.
Ethan has always been a very resistant eater. He doesn't eat fresh vegetables, fruits, pasta, rice, or anything creamy. He only likes crunchy. He likes strong flavors and is much more likely to try meat over any other food group. He gave us a wonderful anniversary gift this year by finally eating (and enjoying!) a fruit. The boy now loves fresh blueberries. He's been eating them dried for months but has always squashed them and gagged when I've introduced them fresh.
He also said the word 'doctor' this week, twice in fact. We were in the examining room waiting to be seen. When the nurse entered the room he started signing the word 'nurse' several times. Then she said that the doctor would be in shortly and Ethan signed and SAID doctor, twice in a row!
Ethan and I met with our public school again today for the play-based observation. I am so impressed with these individuals; we haven't even had the IEP meeting and they have confirmed that Ethan would have a one-on-one interpreter, a preschool teacher who signs, and a teacher of the deaf! Regardless of where he ends up, I still want to take advantage of St. Rita's parent support group and sign language classes, and God willing, use my connections there to find a baby-sitter :-)
I'm feeling more hopeful and optimistic than ever when it comes to all things Ethan. Thanks so much to all of you who have emailed me and cheered me on in the comments section for the past few weeks, arguably the most stressful time in my life. It has meant more than words can express.