Thursday, October 13, 2011

Featured



Heeeeey!
Paige's old room was featured on TLC's "Parentables" blog in their nesting section. Check it out!
Of course, she's in a new "big girl room" now and I'm brainstorming how to finish decorating the new walls. It's taking forever to figure out something unique that we like. Hmmm. I'm eager to get it done; but I've just been in a sort of design block. We'll call it "busy with mothering a toddler" block. Yeah, that's it. Don't even get me started on baby boy's nursery plans. SIGH. It all resides in my head...getting it all OUT is the challenge. :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Singing

I had to share this video; Paige is really coming out of her "shell" and using her language. We're really proud of how hard she's been working! Early Intervention has been such a great program. Woot!!! (she'll be 2.5 at the end of this month...a few more weeks!)


Friday, October 7, 2011

23 weeks

Hi friends!
We're 23 weeks along and doing well! Little boy is doing well in there and his growth is on track. Since I have a T-shaped uterus (they call it bicornuate) I go in every 6 to 8 weeks for an ultrasound to track his growth and progress. I can tell you now, he moves around a lot; mostly at night. Makes me nervous for when he arrives! :)

23 weeks

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Un-friendly

Hey there!
So, here's the story I teased yesterday:
Monday was a HORRIBLE day. It sucked ass. Paige was in tantrum city and I was exhausted and cranky by the end. I won't go into particulars but you know the drill.
Chris came home from work and said: Let's go someplace fun and silly...I'll take you to Friendly's for a simple dinner and ice cream. I felt too tired to go, but thought it might be fun and redeem SOME part of the day. Off we went.
So, we waited forever to get seated even though there were TONS of open seats. Anyway, we ordered our drinks and waited. After a time, I heard the waitress approach and I heard Chris go OH CRAP! Just then, a felt a glass of soda land in my lap. And the other splashed over my leg. Huge glasses. Of soda. Full of ice. Emptied all over me. I never saw it coming because she approached from behind and the tray wobbled...thus sending the drinks over my right shoulder and into my lap. My entire sweater and pants were SOAKED THROUGH. I was dripping. And shivering. And had ice inside my pants. My almost-six-month-along-belly was shivering. I just sat there and said: "Well, this day has sucked so bad and that was the cherry on top." The girl was a teen and it was her first day. I then felt bad for her, so I told her everything would be fine and these things happen all the time. I even made up a story about how I'd done it during my waitressing days. Needless to say, I didn't have a change of clothes with me. But I wanted my grilled cheese, dammit! So, we sat there. I was so embarrassed because the whole restaurant had stopped to stare and gawk. But at least everyone was looking sympathetic. Too bad the girl brought the wrong drinks the next time around and I had to send them back. And then, she brought Chris the wrong dinner. We had to wait for a new one. SIGH. So much for the fun night; but at least it made for an amusing albeit chilly story. I was happy to get home to my warm shower that night; of course laundry had to be done right away lest any stains set in.
They took 20% of the price off the bill and gave me a little voucher for a free entree for the next time we came in. Doesn't it seem like more should have been done? Nobody apologized for the wrong drinks or entree. The girl wasn't even nice about that. Anyhoo, they announced yesterday that they are going bankrupt. The branch we went to never does a good job, so I hope they close that one! :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Progress

Hi!
Just checking in to let you know that we're nearing the end of our 3rd day without TV or media! Monday was hard and horrible, but Tuesday and today were great! Paige hasn't even asked for TV today and she's been more present, clear, playful and imaginative. Her eye contact is great and has lengthened and she's been making up elaborate play schemes; even making up different voices for the different characters she plays with. She's been much more chatty in the car and is able to answer my questions and tell me about things we just did. Score!
I'm much more tired at days' end, but it's been worth it so far! We'll see how the next few days go.
I'll be back tomorrow with a funny story from the other night; it involves being out to eat at Friendlys with Paige and Chris...and the waitress who accidentally dumped all the drinks on me. :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

De-stimulation and simplification

Hi friends!
I hope you are all well! We've been doing just fine, thanks!
Last week, Paige had a horrible week. Each day seemed to be filled with tantrums, tears, whining, moaning, groaning, and overall grouchiness. Of course, there were some fun and happy moments too; but not enough to balance out all the crying going on! I was getting so upset and frustrated; what was wrong? (Besides being TWO) I realized that she'd been getting more television and computer time than I would normally like and some of her therapies had been cancelled so her routine was disrupted. Paige is easily overstimulated. She LOVES the television and the computer and would sit for hours and hours if I let her; but all the lights, sounds, and colors really do a number on her. She ends up acting wild and "hyper-drugged" for hours afterward if not another whole day. She becomes "unregulated" and unable to listen to and follow instructions. It's as if she's the only one in the room. She gets so hyper and jittery. Some kids can handle it; mine just can't. I try to limit it to a show or two, but it always ends up with her screaming for more like an addict. Some days I just feel so worn out and tired that the TV seems to be the only solution for me to get a little break. There it is.
I've done a ton of reading lately...trying to find ideas of what we can do to create a calming environment that soothes Paige while still being productive and fun. I stumbled upon some principles of Waldorf education in the home and the ideas instantly resonated with me. While I can't say I agree with the full Waldorf way, there are tenets that I believe can bring more peace and joy into our home.
One thing I found that I wanted to talk about were ideas of things to do without TV and instead of feeling like I have to spend the whole day playing the role of "entertainer." You know what I mean? I found this post over at The Parenting Passageway and it opened my eyes to including Paige in the daily routines of life. By doing so, I can get things done and she gets to learn new skills and gain self-esteem. We all know the work of keeping the home is plentiful. I find that these days, a lot of tasks are streamlined thanks to electric dishwashers, mixers, etc. But, I can still break things down and find little things for Paige to help with.
I can:
-Give Paige a basin and some soapy water and some silverware to wash. I can show her how to clean each piece and dry it off one at a time.
-Show Paige where each piece of silverware goes in the drawer so she can help put it away (with the help of a stool)
-Give Paige a whisk and she can beat the eggs for me (really WITH me) (at breakfast time)
-give Paige each dish and show her where it goes on the table (eventually she can set the table)
-have Paige clean up her plates and put them on the counter after meals and snacks. She can wipe her crumbs, push in her chair, and wash her hands and face with a cloth.
-Start showing Paige how to fold using washcloths and towels first, then build up to other things.
-Give Paige laundry to put away in each room. Perhaps even if it means only giving her one thing at a time. This will certainly kill a lot of time!
-Have her help me sort laundry and put it in the washer and then the dryer.
-Have her push the heavy laundry basket across the floor for me (heavy work is good for sensory input into her joints and helps regulate her system)
-Show her how to spread jelly on her toast/bagel
-Show her how we water the plant
-Let Paige give the dog her food
-Teach Paige how we make the beds and she can help
-Teach her to put items in the recycling bin in the garage
-Show her how to sweep and mop and wipe
-Give her a spray bottle of water and a little cloth to "wash the windows"
-Get cups and practice pouring from one to another. Perhaps we'll start by using beans from her sensory bean box?

These are all little ways I can include Paige in the tasks of home life and kill some time while we're at it. Perhaps the challenge of learning these new things will be just the thing to keep her feeling happy and challenged and NOT BORED. I expect that each thing would take a lot of practice to master; but when treated as an activity and not a chore it can become fun! AND I'd still be accomplishing things (albeit slowly). Better that than a cranky 2 year old who becomes impossible to please!

We are also needing to work on self-care skills such as hand-washing/drying, dressing/undressing, appropriate tooth-brushing, washing the face/body, drinking from a cup properly, using the spoon without spilling everything everywhere, brushing hair, eventual potty training, and so forth. These all take time, attention and practice too!

Between all these things and her regular free-play, art time, sensory play, outdoor time, story times, and whatnot the day should be pretty filled up and TV-free. I recognize that the commitment on my part is going to be much higher, but I think it will be for the best in the end. When I feel overwhelmed or discouraged I try to reflect on my commitment to be an at-home Mom and what it all means to me and why. I do my best to give Paige the things she needs to flourish amongst her developmental challenges. It is hard. Very, very hard. But it can also be rewarding. I think I'll be happier in helping her accomplish useful things during the day rather than my simply being her "entertainer." That routine gets old quickly. It is easy to burn out yet still feel like I'm not doing much...especially now that I'm not in the career world. But I also remind myself that this time will go by fast and it's simply a season of life. This is my current calling and I want to know that I'm doing my best. My best looks different each day, that's for sure.
I have more to say on the topic of creating a more soothing calm home, but I'll leave it at this for now. We'll see how we do with it all tomorrow! Be back soon!
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