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Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

Things they don’t tell you about Kindergarten: The teacher will host Pinterest-worthy parties, so you don’t have to. Graham cracker gingerbread houses? Nothing new about that. Just being able to show up and spend time with Apollo while he builds his graham cracker gingerbread house? Priceless.

Building graham cracker gingerbread houses in kindergarten.

All the fun and none of the work. It’s hard to beat that!

When we enrolled Apollo in Kindergarten, our goal was to normalize life for him and work on separation. We wanted him to be “just another kid” not a “sick” kid. And we knew he desperately needed practice in separating. The psychiatrist in the child development department down at Seattle Children’s told us not to expect him to separate from us all night long (i.e.: sleep through the night) if he couldn’t yet separate from us during the day. He has been sleeping better since starting school. I have no idea if it is the practice in separating, or if it is just exhaustion. Either way, I’ll take it!

Building graham cracker gingerbread houses in kindergarten.

He has been doing great in school. He has a 504 and an IEP (providing him with speech therapy). He has made it to school for only one full week so far this year. Every other week he’s either and doctor’s appointments, been sick, or too physically exhausted to go. He has come home early many days. I’m okay with that. If I had my preference, kindergarten would still be half day. He is also younger than a lot of the other kids. Having a late summer birthday (June 26th) many parents would have held him back a year. But I knew he needed this now.

Building graham cracker gingerbread houses in kindergarten.

Yesterday was a big day in his class…It was the day the kids got to make graham cracker gingerbread houses. It was also the day Apollo had an appointment scheduled for the Feeding Clinic. After very little thought I rescheduled his appointment so he could be at school yesterday. His feeding visits and official weigh-ins are important. But when you are five, building a gingerbread house in kindergarten is really important.

I feel like I am constantly balancing his health needs with his need to be a kid. To miss out on gingerbread house making day to visit a hospital? If it were vitally important, yes. If the appointment can be rescheduled? No.

It’s been a bit of a rough fall for Apollo. He has stayed relatively healthy (no antibiotics, breathing issues) but has complained of his “tummy” hurting almost every day. Only instead of pointing to his tummy, he always touches his upper chest. I am confused by both the persistent pain and the use of the word tummy since he knows that’s his chest. After seeing his doctor yet again about it, we started him back on reflux medicine. He’s been on the reflux meds for a month now with very little change. In addition, he has complained three different times (after physical activity) that his “heart feels weird”. When I asked if it felt like it was beating too fast (thinking he was just feeling it pumping) he said, “no, it feels like its beating too slow“. Also, he was still complaining if his heart feeling weird 30 minutes after the activity…

We have no idea what is causing the persistent pain. Reflux? Scar tissue? Compression? The doctor said he can’t think of any test to run that hasn’t already been run.

I am not sure what to do now. Right now we are taking things one day at a time. His 504 allows him to sit out of PE if he is tired. I am keeping up with the reflux medicine because, quite frankly, it feels better to do something than nothing.


  1. kat

    You probably already have, but have you checked his heart rate when he complains it bearing to fast or to slow? You can but a pulse ox in the pharmacy area at Walmart.

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      The second time this happened I ordered a pulse ox from Amazon. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet (which is a good thing!)

  2. Jess Guest

    Ugh, the joys of a heartkid! It adds suspense to your life that’s for sure. I cancel all our non-urgent therapies and appointments for December (our summer and Christmas) so Kaylee can just be a kid, we can just be a family and I can rest. It’s not easy, the list of things I’d like her to be doing is huge (hydrotherapy, an appointment to overhaul her communication system wit the SLT, re-evaluate her AFOs with the physio, reset her hearing aides with the audiologist, design activity bags with her OT….just off the top of my head) But instead we are sleeping later, staying home and going to Christmas BBQs and Carols by Candlelight. And lo and behold, the other day Kaylee PULLED UP TO STAND! After 4 years of therapy she picks our break time to do that. Therapy and appointments are so important, but downtime, childhood and memories are too so I totally get the gingerbread houses.

  3. Christina

    A 24-72 hour holter is the best bet, in my LO and me it has shown what does not show up on a regular ECG/ECHO. It found both of our arrhythmia’s, the holters are not fun but they get more data

    • Quinault

      Yeah, I agree that a Holter for a few days (maybe even a couple times over a few months even) would give a good picture. Our sick-kid had one done around 1 year old. He had an ECG after his first seizure, and they were able to compare it to his 1 year Holter test. It was abnormal in regular terms, but normal for him.

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