Nutrition continues to be an issue for Anna (and for me but unfortunately I am at the opposite end of the spectrum). Anna needs somewhere in the neighborhood of 700-750 calories a day. On a good day we get her to take about 500 calories a day. I do not know what the problem is- is she just not hungry, is she too tired from coordinating muscles to eat, does she not like her formula, is it the bottle, is it the nipple? I am so frustrated. People say the dumbest things like- "Maybe you should try to feed her more often" or "What are you feeding her?" I just want to say "Nothing you idiot. Why would I feed my child? Thin is in!! We are prepping her for her upcoming swimsuit competition. We do feed her...tapeworms." Good heavens people, do I really look that stupid? (Don't answer that) "Have you tried any table food- like mashed potatoes?" "No, we started with steak and when that didn't work we went straight back to the milk." YES, I have tried baby food, table food, formula of every different kind- none of it is working. If she can get it down and likes it, she will inevitably throw it back up which puts me right back where I started. The only sensible advice it seems I get is from my friend whose son also has feeding issues. She suggested Polycose and the EI agreed. So, I ordered the Polycose on Friday. It is a formula fortifier that adds calories. 8 calories per tsp to be exact. So we are starting by making her formula 24 calories/oz versus the regular 20 calories/oz. So here I sit with Anna over my shoulder. She keeps waking up with gas. I am sure it is the polycose because it is the only thing we have changed and she hasn't woken up with gas in months. I will keep trying and hope her tummy gets used to it and stock up on Mylicon in the mean time. I commit to using it for a week and if things aren't better we will stop. What will we do if this doesn't work- who knows. "My child was skinny, too. She'll catch up." "Well yippee for your kid. Guess what, my kid needs extra calories just to maintain because her muscles are in high gear all of the time. And guess what, my kid started out behind and has yet to catch up. And guess what else, my kid's brain growth is behind and a little nutrition might help that , too. " I am not knocking those with normal kids. I have one of those also. She is a picky eater and that is ok. She eats chicken nuggets for lunch and dinner 7 days a week. I can deal with that. It is just that Anna is not a normal kid and she cannot be compared to one. My neighbor's niece was over here and out of the blue asked me "Jamie, why is Anna so skinny and tiny and why do her arms shake?" God bless this child, I can handle these questions from a child. The best part was that she just told it like it is and didn't sugarcoat it. I love children. If a 6 year old can see a problem then why in the hell can't a bunch of grown ups get it? Perhaps we should just sit tight and hold on while Anna falls further down the growth chart and then ends up needing a feeding tube. That would probably be the best idea, eh? Proactive- what's that? Reactive- yeah, that's what we should all be- whatever. Growth charts, who needs them? I'm sure they were just developed to help doctors learn how to graph numbers- they must not have any clinical significance. Weights and measures- all bullcrap, let's toss them too. Ok, I digress, I'm sure you get my point. So it is now after midnight and Carly is officially 4 years old. I cannot believe it. I am happy and sad. I am happy that she is happy and healthy and the most wonderful child I have ever laid eyes on (tied of course with her sister). She is beautiful inside and out. Sad because she is 4 and growing up so fast. Sad because I thought my pregnancy with her was so miserable and I had no idea how good I really had it. Sad that it is always later that I realize how sweet things were at the time, afraid I''ll always be that way with her. Afraid I am not a good enough mother for her. Afraid I am too hard on her. Afraid I do not spend enough time with her. Afraid she doesn't know how much I really love her. Afraid she never will. Can you tell I am a bit emotional tonight? She cracked me up earlier when she was watching tv and told me she could see the tv a lot better "if someone's big butt wasn't in the way." Yes, it was my butt she was referring to. I do not relish the idea of my four year old referring to my behind as a "big butt" however I could not stop laughing long enough to scold her. Kenneth is on duty tomorrow so we will celebrate her birthday at the station. Her party is going to be on the 12th. This is a holiday weekend and not a good time for a kid's birthday party so it will be next weekend. I took cupcakes to her school for today though and she is very excited about her Tinkerbell cupcakes. It seems I just heard the pantry calling my name, I must go. Goodnight.