2018 Starts out Fierce!

It’s been a pretty busy start to the year! So many things going on! Biggest on our agenda is teaching Kiley and Jack to roller skate. Actually, learning to skate is secondary to the need to establish some routine sense of order in this tiny home of ours. We are on an award system here. Good behavior, rule following, and over all shiny disposition leads to the earning of stars. 10 stars a week gets us to Tuesday night $2 skate at our local rink. Side note, I broke my tibia and fibula on the floor here during a roller derby scrimmage. I’m recovering from a little PTSD, but I play it cool for the children! Rollhaven will always be one of my true loves! Kiley and Jack are killing it. Roller skating for them is mostly little tiny tip-tap steps on skates with overly tight wheels, but they have something to look forward each week. It makes disciplining more fun and they get the big payoff. PLUS physical activity. The photos below tell a fateful story of our first night on skates.

Kiley is clearly a Xanadu muse and Jack is much more apprehensive. I predict by summer, I won’t be able to keep up with them.

All in all, the award system is working for now. Bartering with these children is actually the smartest thing I’ve done yet.

Hello world!

Ah! This is it! This is my new blog!

My name is Jen, but at home I’m called Gigi. My grandkids, Kiley (age 5) and Jackson (age 4) live with me. Jackson has Phenylketonuria (PKU) and Kiley is a self-described vegetarian.

What’s PKU you ask? Well, let me break it down for ya. PKU is a rare inborn metabolic disorder. All babies are tested for it with a heel prick at birth. 1 in 10,000 to 15,000 newborns are diagnosed each year in the United States. But what does it meeeaaaaan? Phenylalanine (PHE) is an amino acid in protein. PKU means that Jackson lacks the enzyme that is necessary to metabolize phenylalanine. ¬†Build up of PHE can lead to undesireable cognitive and behavioral consequences.

So, to manage PKU, everything Jackson eats must be measured and monitored. Almost every food has a bit of PHE in it. Every 2 weeks we test Jackson’s blood levels. He nails it, every time.¬† Continue reading “Hello world!”