Monday, April 9, 2012

2012 Easter Highlights

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter with our family. I won't bore you with every detail, but just want to tell you about a couple of highlights that occurred with Ethan.

1. Easter Egg Decorating - On Friday Night, our little family of three went over to my husband's side of the family to have dinner & decorate Easter eggs. Dinner consisted of grilled items (yummy!) so Ethan's choice for meat was hamburger or hot dog. Well, neither of these are something that Ethan will easily eat, so I was already preparing myself for either a battle of wills with Ethan or caving & giving him just chips.....which I really didn't want to do. So, I cut up 1/2 a hamburger, complete with his beloved ketchup for dipping, and several chips. For every bite of hamburger, he was able to have a chip....this is our standard for encouraging Ethan to eat more options. And it worked!!!! He ate his WHOLE PLATE!

Then, came the egg decorating. Last year, Ethan made one egg, and then he was done. I think this activity is challenging for him for several sensory reasons. Not only is there a lot of noise & commotion that happens when 7 kids & many more adults are coloring eggs, but the smell.....oh the smell.....I think that is what bothers him the most. We all know how eggs smell when they are boiled. Then add the smell of vinegar, and you've got yourself a real treat! Luckily this year, my in-laws had it all set up in their garage since the weather was so nice. This helped A LOT with the odor as well as gave us a lot more room. Ethan colored one egg & then declared that he was all done....just like last year. Typical, I tried to coax him into doing more while Corey basically told me to pick my battles. Luckily, Grandma Holly took Ethan to the end of the table farthest from the noise & smell, gave him several eggs on a towel (to keep them from rolling), and gave Ethan several sheets of stickers. He made four more eggs!!!! They were covered in stickers & no dye, but he stayed in the room with the rest of us & participated in the activity! I was over the moon excited!!!!!

Ethan putting stickers on his eggs....awesome fine motor development activity!

Ethan & his cousin working on their eggs at the far end of the tables.

Grandma Holly encouraging Ethan.

More stickers! Look at the concentration!

Here you can see the tables & the amount of people (more are out of shot). Do you see Ethan in the back? It was really great to have him at the end of the tables & away from the dye cups.

2. Church Service - On Easter, our church provides a Sonrise Service...even though it as at 8am. During this hour service, there are no children's activities provided. So, like all parents, I backed a bag of things to keep Ethan as quiet as possible. He was fine during the music portion because he had his sound-proof headphones on...AND he was reading the words to the songs on the big screen. Now remember, Ethan doesn't realize how loud he is...and then you add the sound-proof headphones....and that makes him talk even louder! Similar to us talking to someone while we are listening to music with ear buds in our tend to be loud....same kind of thing. During a lull in the music, Ethan says in a VERY loud voice, "Why do we celebrate Easter, Mommy? Because Jesus is ALIVE!" It was soooooo cute!!! Everyone around us had a good chuckle too. :0) AND, Ethan made it through the whole service without a meltdown! YEA!!!

3. Easter Lunch - Ethan was able to sit for about 8 minutes of my side of the family's lunch meal before we finally released him to back to playing with toys. During those 8 minutes, we had his lap pad on him, and we did the same eating dance. If he ate mashed potatoes & corn, then he was able to have some chicken doused in ketchup. He was doing pretty well with that, so I decided to stretch him & try a new food. We call it Green's cool whip, pineapple & pistachio pudding powder all mixed together. I love it. I just had Ethan lick it, and he made a horrible face. So, then he was able to fluff or mashed potatoes.....he chose the potatoes.....and then we let him be all done. I swear that kid would never eat & instead play with toys all day. But I am thankful for those 8 minutes of family meal time.

PLUS during our family discussion, my sister's husband came up with a thought. He suggested that maybe the reason he doesn't like to eat certain foods is because of the taste/feeling of the eating utensils! Brilliant! Silverware does have a bit of a metal-ish taste to it as well as a nails on the chalkboard kind of feeling, I guess. My husband can't take it when people bite on their forks as they eat, so this would TOTALLY make sense to me that Ethan would have a similar response just intensified. And I do use a lot of toothpicks on Ethan's food in order to have him eat it. I just thought it was because it was a little different & therefore made it fun. But maybe Uncle Scott is onto something here!!! I'm going to get some plastic ware & try that with Ethan. We will see if this helps him eat more.....brilliant!!!!!

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