Monday, August 25, 2014

The Big Fat ADHD Adderall Post

It has been 8 months since we first started Ellie on Adderall.  If you are new to this blog, please read here and here to get the full background as to how Andrew and I came to this decision.

After trial an error, we finally found the right dosage in February.  As in the first two doses did nothing.  Nada. Zip.  It was like giving her a sugar pill.  So girlfriend is a bit tolerant.  Eh, no surprise.

Anyway, AMAZING things have happened since then.  It is as though a cloud has unblocked the sun and my Bear is thriving.  To think that we were so scared to take that step and now I wonder why we didn't start as soon as she turned 4 years-old?

For starters, this happened!

This would be before she decided to practice her artistic skills on our living room chair.

Because she is able to sit still without eating the writing implements, we have seen great progress in her fine motor skills. She can actually grasp a crayon or marker perfectly.  She is still scribbling, but we are starting to see some purposeful horizontal and vertical lines.  At the end of the school year, if her OT placed her hand on top of Ellie's, she was able to write her name!  Now, coloring is a favorite activity of hers.  No paper or writing utensil is safe from her little hands!

Another major advancement is her communication!  Because Ellie now has the ability to attend for short periods of time, she is able to learn signs and tries to string them together.  She is now able to watch our mouths and try to imitate sounds.  It is all very garbled and her "hi" still sounds like a scream, but she tries to say bus [*ss], juice, cracker, car, ball, baby, bye, dada, mama, cat [ack], mouse, Mickey [icky], and yes.  Oh and the all important "cookie".  The word "open" still sounds like "a-baby" which I still don't understand why, but at least we know what it is.

As the school year drew to a close, Ellie was starting to progress cognitively.  This is because the main goals in school were no longer to stop her incessant, purposeless climbing or to get her to sit for 5 seconds in group.  With the Adderall, she could attend and therefore absorb her surroundings and learn during circle time.

Doesn't everyone keep flashcards in their backpack?

A big concern for many parents is "will this make my kid a zombie?" or "will this change her pseronality?"  For Ellie, the answer is no.  Girlfriend is still very sassy, spunky and quite ornery.  She loves to get into trouble.  She practices her selective hearing when she doesn't want to do something.

That would be our electric bill

We still see this, but it is purposeful and without a possessed look about her.

The main side effect that we have seen is decreased appetite.  She did lose 1.5 lb initially, but was stable up until a month ago.  Her most recent weight loss is related to her GI issues.  Pre-GI, she wouldn't eat until the afternoon when her medication would wear off.  She would eat a large afternoon snack, a large dinner, and a large bedtime snack!

We have tried drug holidays on the weekend and it was disastrous.  For her (and for us).  She would be outside and want to play in the sandbox, but she just couldn't.  She had to run, climb, and spin around.  She would keep returning to the sandbox and then frustrated because her mind would tell her otherwise.  It was devastating to watch.  It was as though she finally knew what she was missing.

The school year will start in just a few days.  With her late September birthday, she will have another year of Pre-K.  I am really excited to see what this year brings!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Giving Your Child a Voice through Sign Language & Signing Time Live

Moving on to the Ellie Bellie Bear!  Chunky Chicken has recently been trying to talk.  This is huge!  Up until now, her primary mode of communication has been American Sign Language or ASL.  This has given her a means to express her wants and feelings.  Providing a child with a way to communicate decreases tantrums and decrease frustration for both the child and the parents.  Still, even with her emerging speech, Ellie signs and does pair the signs with sounds.

We starting teaching Ellie sign language when she was just 9 months old.  Now, Andrew and I did not know any signs.  All 3 of us were learning.  Rachel Coleman's Baby Signing Time was recommended.  Catchy songs featuring babies and toddlers signing capture Ellie's attention.  While she had great difficulty signing due to her fine motor delay, at just 9 months old, she was able to understand sign language.  As she got a bit older, we started to introduce more than basic signs through Signing Time!  Another Rachel Coleman Series.  This series was featured on PBS and we recorded all 26 episodes.  To this day, Ellie still requests to watch them.

Surprisingly, Signing Time is how my daughter first learned to Sight Read.  Rachel posts the word on the screen before introducing the sign.  I believe this is what helped my daughter learn to read.  If I write "school" or "cat" or any other word down, she will sign it or try to say it.  She can also read the names of the episodes when we scroll through them on our computer screen.

Ellie at Signing Time Live!

This weekend, we had the privilege to take Ellie to see Signing Time Live! with Rachel Coleman.  To say that Ellie was mesmerized is an understatement.  All morning we told Ellie that she was going to see Signing Time in person at a auditorium.  I don't Ellie really got it because she kept bring me the TV remote and asking for Baby Signing Time.

Signing Time Live! Austin, TX

As we watched Rachel, it became apparent just how many signs Ellie knew and that she truly had the songs memorized for she signed each song.  I also enjoyed the performance and was shocked that I too had the songs memorized!

This video is rather embarrassing as you will all get the privilege of hearing my "excellent" singing.


For those who are interested, I will be holding another fitness challenge in September.  Pick your program.  These lovely ladies used the 21 Day Fix with Shakeology.  Email me with questions: annatheurerfitness (at) gmail (dot) com

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beachbody & Post-Baby Weight Loss through the New Mama Fitness Group

As I am sure you all figured out, I have drastically change my lifestyle.  My activity level.  My eating.  This has lead to not only weight loss, but better sleep and decreased anxiety & depression  and you all know my upward battle with anxiety and depression.  Also, I have a lot more energy to keep up with the Bear.  She is a wild little thing!

Check out my friend's guest post on her weight loss journey after having 3 kids!

Here I am nearly 5 years post-baby and I just now got my pre-pregnancy body back and now my college body back.  It just goes to show that it is never too late to change your ways.  Taking that first step is the hardest and yet, is the most important.  I could not have done this without the encouragement and support of my friends and other beachbody coaches.

I still cannot get over my transformation. 

This is why I am so excited that we are starting a Baby Mama Fitness group on Facebook.  This is a group for all moms no matter how old your children may be.  There are brand new moms with wee little bambinos and then people like me who are nearly 5 years out.  We offer support, fitness ideas, recipes, and tons of encouragement because let's face it, we all fall off the wagon!  You do not have to do beachbody workouts or purchase any programs!

All I ask is that you create a FREE beachbody account with me.  I promise that I will not try to sell you anything.  As a coach, I want to help you reach your goals in the best way possible.  It is not about pushing products!  Creating an account with me helps me to keep track of everyone :-)

Here is the link to create your free account and to get added to the New Mama Fitness group:

If you have any questions or if you would like to purchase beachbody products such as Shakeology, 21 Day Fix, PiYo, T25, etc., please do not hesitate to contact me at or visit my Facebook page at


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ellie Antics, More Updates, Memory Lane

Pity Part Post on top.  Bear antics at the bottom.  Throwback Ellie photos throughout the post.

When I left off on Monday's post, I was waiting for two doctor's offices to call: the pediatric GI and my physical rehab doctor.

Ellie's GI called after hours and got the low-down on Ellie's Sitzmarker test results (her care was managed by the on-call doc that week as her doc was on vacation).  They decided to keep her Miralax at the high dose and to use 1/2 square of Exlax w/ Senna daily for 2 weeks.  Um, right.  They do know that slow transit constipation won't go away in 2 weeks, right?  Still, let's just say it is working.  Our washing machine is constantly going and I need to buy stock in Huggies.  And baby wipes.  Not so sure Costco can keep us stocked.  I also now have the perfect excuse to buy more clothes for the Bear as some of her clothing have met a disgustingly untimely trip to the trashcan.

I've been going through old photos :-)


My physical rehab doc, while nice (and good looking) sucks at telling the nurse the plan of care.  She isn't so hot at calling back.  I called first thing Monday morning about my sciatica being so bad and then nothing from their office all day.  Just before closing, I decided to call again and surprisingly got the actual nurse and not the voicemail.  I am to be resting for 1 week with Lortab around the clock and start Neurontin for nerve pain.

Since Monday, I have discovered two more things:
1. Either my back/hip/leg can find relief or my hamstring but not both.
2. My husband is a rockstar!  I hit the jackpot ladies and gents!  Be jealous.  That's right folks as not only did I get a sexy hunk of man, but I also got brains and housekeeping!

I mucked up my hamstring.  I take full responsibility.  I went Sunday and Monday without the crutches.  I may have squatted a few times to pick up something or change the Bear's britches.  Apparently, this was not a wise move even though I was cleared since last Thursday to stop the crutches and return to PiYo (another nurse call that was not returned)

PAIN.  Pain with walking.  Pain with driving. Pain while sitting.  Pain while laying down on my back or side.  Not too bad while on my stomach but then shooting nerve pain across my back and down my leg!  I have had strains/sprains before but not this.  I am thinking that I might have partially torn my hamstring.

I called the doctor yesterday [Tuesday] and felt like a real goof.  "Dr. K. when I told you yesterday that my hamstring was better, I lied.  You see, it is worse.  I am resting for my back and lortab works but apparently it does nothing for the hamstring. Can I jump off a building?  Use my crutches some more?  Wail like a banshee at the unfairness of it all?"

Supposedly he didn't like that message as I received no return call.  This morning I called back.  No answer.  I thought to call the emergency number.  I got a real person!  Only she transferred back to Dr. K's nurse, but not before telling me it was Dr. K who never got back with her.  So, I have left yet another voicemail.

I am not going to lie.  I am going stir crazy.  I NEED more coffee!  I NEED to go to the store.  I NEED to play with Ellie Bear.  I NEED to get out of the freaking house!!!!!

More than anything, I feel helpless with mama guilt.  I had these big plans of fun (and educational) outings to do with Bear.  We purchased a Children's Museum pass.  We have gone once.  I got a group on for the indoor playscape that has air conditioning.  We have not gone at all.  Cancelled playdates.  Canceled meet-ups at the splash pad.  I cannot even get down on the floor to play with her.  The TV is a constant companion.  It sucks.


Okay the pity party is over.

The Polite Patient

On Monday Ellie had her annual blood draw to check her thyroid levels, vitamin D, electrolytes, CBC, etc.  As we walk into the room, she starts to scream "nooooo!  Go go go GO!".  She fights.  She kicks.  She screams.  After 4 large vials of blood, she is done.  She claps and then profusely thanks the phlebotomist "Ank ou  ank ou  ank ou". "Bye bye  bye bye!" and sashays out of the clinic, but not before demanding a certain color Coban (bandage). Crazy girl.

The Tortilla

We have been dropping Ellie off at Kidspa which is a drop in day care that doesn't give a flying rat's patootie that she has Down syndrome and isn't potty trained.  In fact, they love her.  Anyway, I packed girlfriend a tortilla for her lunch since it is one of the only foods she will eat right now.  The daycare thought that she ate her tortilla until they saw her with it in the play area after lunch.  As they approached her, Bear shoved the entire tortilla down her pants!  Way to go, Bear!

The Thief

Ellie seems to take great pleasure in scribbling.  Since she has been on Adderall, she is finally able to sit still and focus.  She also no longer eats writing implements.  My pens have been going missing.  Along with paper.  Receipts, school reports, and utility bills.  Sometimes we have a receipt situation at a restaurant.  She takes our copy of the receipt but starts to color on the merchant's copy.

Lately she has decided toothbrushes are really cool.  Our toothbrushes.  She insists on carrying all of them throughout the house and out in public.  I have no idea why because she fights daily dental care with all of her being.


Sunday, August 3, 2014

GI Update: Sitzmarker Study Results & Hamstring Injury

*I apologize in advance for some missing photos - I used Photobucket for free as a means to store my photos and they are now holding a few hundred pics of mine for hostage unless I pay for an expensive plan and I also managed to lose half my photos from my computer*

Sitzmarker Study Results

Last week we completed Ellie's Sitzmarker Study which looks for delayed colon motility as a cause for constipation.  Here I am, yet again, waiting to here from her gastroenterologist.

Two Thursdays ago, Bear swallowed 24 radio-opaque rings.  She the proceeded to have regular very loose bowel movements without her daily Miralax.  This, as you all know by now, is very atypical for Ellie and I was concerned that the test would be inaccurate.  The way Andrew and I see it, the 9 days of increased laxatives and extra laxatives must have finally caught up.

Last Monday, I took Ellie in for her X-ray.  This was the Day 5 X-ray for the transit study and they count the rings left in her colon.  Ellie had 19 rings scattered throughout her colon.  Less than 20% is normal, but her GI nurse told me less than 13.  Either way, Ellie's test results suggest slow transit constipation.  She went in for a repeat Day 7 X-ray last Wednesday and that showed 6 rings left (this is after 3 bowel movements so of course they were being expelled).  Rings scattered through the colon suggest slow transit throughout the entire gut whereas rings gathered in one area suggest a that there is a problem with that specific portion of the colon.  Ellie's rings were scattered throughout the large intestine.

We were advised to restart the Miralax.  Um, yeah, right.  Please see here and on how well Miralax works for Ellie.  She is on quadruple her normal dose and it has been 5 days so far.  As is par for the course, she is barely eating.  In fact, she barely ate last week consuming anywhere from 300-400 calories, 1/4 of which is from juice.  Last year she was a size 4T, now she is a 3T and I had to take in a few of those shorts this past week.  I am frustrated and I really want a plan.

Hamstring Injury

I goofed last Monday.  That night I was doing my basic stretches that have really helped my back and hip pain (I have two herniated & torn discs at L4-S1, spinal and right hip arthritis).  As I was in Warrior 1, my lower thoracic back spasmed.  As I started to fall, I decided that it would be prudent to brake my fall so as not to crack my head open.  Bad move, as I did something funky to my right leg that resulted in cracking and popping.  I thought "huh, but my hip doesn't feel too bad" and then I put weight on my right leg.  Bad idea!  Horrible pain.  Apparently, it was my hamstring that was popping and I now have a bruise along the backside of my thigh.


There are 3 grades of hamstring injuries with grade 3 requiring surgery.  This is called avulsion where the muscle actually detaches itself from the bone.  I do not have this, thank goodness.  I was fortunate enough that I had my physical rehab appointment the following morning.  As I limped my way in while in excruciating pain, I was told that I have, you guessed it!, a hamstring injury.  My back pain was put on the back burner and I ended up with a nice pair of. . .

Crutches!  Aren't they sexy?  I have learned two things from this experience:

1. People couldn't give a flying rat's patootie if you are on crutches.  Allowing doors to slam in your face is common.

2. Those who are in a similar predicament as me--boot on the foot, ace bandages, or limping--always try to open the door for you.

My faith in humanity is wavering.

As it stands, I have been mostly on crutches since Tuesday and I fully believe that this has caused my back and hip to flare up.  My pain is what it was before I ever got any shots.  Is this because I haven't been able to stretch and walk around?  Probably.  Is this because the crutches made me of kilter?  I am sure of it.

So, I am also waiting for a phone call from my Rehab doc.

Fun times in the Theurer household!  As my friend Mary W would say "forward with hope!".

I am hosting another Beachbody Challenge.  Starts Monday August 11th.
Pick your challenge--i.e. 21 Day Fix, PiYo, T25, Slim in 6, etc.
Personal support form me.  Group support in Accountability FB group.
Recipes, Meal Guide.

If interested, you can message me through:
thechroniclesofelliebelliebear (at) yahoo (dot) com


A mask for kids with Down syndrome

Do you hear crickets?  Yes, we are here!  We are alive!  We are safe and healthy!  We haven't been inside a restaurant or store since m...