Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The "Issues"

This seems to be a pretty challenging time for us right now as we are falling into one of those "phases" where you almost forget about it when it's over, but when you're in it, it stinks.  There are a few common themes we seem to be dealing with when it comes to Colin and at times they can be really tough!  

1.  Behavior:

This seems to be one of the most challenging things we deal with on a regular basis.  There are times when Colin and Kailey will play together so well, and others (like tonight), we are keeping Colin from literally trying to wrestle her.  The general issues with behavior that we deal with are how he plays with Kailey and the fact that there are times he just. won't. listen.  

For example: (this is a real example) Colin, don't lick the window.  (He proceeds to look at me, look at the window, and then lick the window).  Colin, Mommy said don't lick the window.   (He proceeds to look at me, look at the window, and then lick the window). Colin, do you want to go to time out?   (He proceeds to look at me, look at the window, and then lick the window). 

Don't get me wrong, he knows EXACTLY what he is doing most of the time, but that's what makes it so frustrating!  We can say things over and over and over again to follow through and he will continue to do whatever it is that he is doing (and this includes doing something to Kailey).  

When it comes to Colin's behavior, I can pinpoint some of the triggers that make it particularly worse and the number one of those is whether or not he is tired.  We went for a walk tonight around the neighborhood and on a limited nap, lots of beach and backyard play, he was exhausted.  He ran with Kailey for a bit, but then wanted to sit down in the middle off the road to rest.  If she would start running, his little temper would flare up and he would yell "No running!" at her as loud as he could.  If he got frustrated with her because HE didn't want to run anymore, he would run over to her and yell at her and then push her.  Another trigger is boredom/inability to really put together his own activity.  For example, throwing the puzzle pieces today when he didn't want to do it anymore.  

We try really hard to keep the consistency and follow through (I made him pick up all of the puzzle pieces he threw tonight) but on 8, 9, and 10 of doing the same thing and straight up not listening, it's hard to keep your cool.  

2.  Sensory Issues

One of the other common issues we deal with with Colin is the "sensory" issues.  I put this in quotations because I suppose these things can be lumped into sensory seeking, but not in the "he can't handle them" aspect.  

Colin's feeding therapist said that the fact he eats sand, dirt, mulch, gravel or licks windows, licks sunscreen from his arm, washes his hands with soap and then licks the soap, etc. are all ways to seek sensory input.  I understand, but at times, don't understand this.  I cannot understand for the life of me how these things provide "input" when they have no nutritional value or more importantly, good taste!  These things are frustrating for us and while I "get" there is a "cause", I have to try and keep my patience with it.  These are things I am still seeking answers for better understanding.  

3.  Potty/Feeding:

I am lumping these 2 together because I have blogged separately about them and will continue to be ongoing.  

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


It's always fun for me to compare the photos from the first day of school to the last to see how much has changed in that period of time.  In looking back, the changes that we see are not just the physical ones, but the ones that describe who our children are, how they behave, what they have learned, their likes/dislikes, and makes them happy (and in Kailey's case, it's more like what makes her UNhappy).  

Colin's first full year of the preschool program came to a close yesterday and we are so happy with his placement and his team.  He has made so much progress with his communication and his teacher has said that his volume in talking with his friends and in front of his class has also increased.  His speech therapist found that what motivates his communication the most in their one on one sessions is to use pictures of his family.  She uses the ipad a lot with him and originally I was emailing her photos to use.  However, I have since shared the blog with her and now she accesses that to work on specific things with him.  Phyiscally, it's hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that he still was not walking yet because he has taken off with running, jumping, dancing, etc.  We have also seen that his little temper is blooming as well (unfortunately, Kailey suffers the most from this) and managing behavior is something we are ALWAYS working on.  What we are finding right now is that he is deliberately (and at times, continuously) doing the things we ask him not to, and although I am finding that this is also an age appropriate thing, we also see with Kailey that she wills top much sooner than he will.  

1st Day of School: September 2012

Last day of School: June 2013
1st day of School: September 2012
Last day of School: June 2013
 Kailey's physical changes are the most obvious in her pictures.  She went from looking like a little baby to such a big girl.  We get asked a lot if they are twins because she grew so tall so fast that she just about caught up to Colin.  Educationally, Kailey has grown so fast as well and we are often amazed at the things she says to us (she has quite a little vocabularly and is speaking in full sentences) as well as the things that we find she can do.  Her counting, shape identification, alphabet recognition and even writing skills have drastically (and quickly) improved.  We also find that HER behavior needs some improvements as well because most of how she handles things is to throw herself on the ground and cry and scream about things.  I am often annoyed, but try  not to be, at this because some days it's just really tough to take.  We keep our consistency in dealing and managing it, but it can be rough at times!  Unfortunately, I found out at the dentist yesterday that ALL of her 2 year molars are yet to come through so I have a feeling we have some tough times ahead!  Aside from that, she is growing into such a big girl in many ways!

1st Day of School: September 2012
Last day of School: June 2013
1st Day of School: September 2012 (Some things do NOT change)
Last day of School: June 2013
Colin and Kailey's relationship TOGETHER has also changed in many ways.  They have learned how to play together more often than not.  Kailey is little Miss Bosspants and tells Colin what to do, where to go, and how to do things.  He enjoys following her lead though because when given the opportunity, he often will pass it off to Kailey.  As much as they have learned to play together, we have really had to keep the two wrestlers apart when they aren't getting along.  Colin doesn't tolerate her tantrums very much and we often have to keep him from screaming "that's enough!" at her.  She doesn't like it if he interrupts what she is doing and will make that very clear to him.  

1st Day of School: September 2012

Last day of School: June 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Potty Training

I should have fixed the title to say potty "training" since it's not going as I would have expected at this point.  We have been pushing along in the same scheduled way we have for a long time now and I think we have regressed a bit.  For awhile, we were seeing good progress where he would *mostly* stay dry on his hourly schedule but in the past month or two, we are finding that it does not matter how often he goes, he is often at least a little bit wet and at other times, worse than that.  His demeanor is ok, meaning, he doesn't put up much of a fight when it's time to go but it's like he hasn't "bought into it yet".  

One of the reasons I think we find him a little bit wet most often is because he never fully goes or empties his bladder when he is sitting on the potty.  He can really start and stop his stream like no other.  I am not sure if it's impatience or his muscle control as I know that his low muscle tone may cause some difficulties with this.  I find that most times I am frustrated because I thought we'd at least be further along in this process but then other times I understand the reasons this may be taking a long time.  

I also don't think we are going to see more progress until he can communicate to us efficiently when he has to go because that's something he's not doing at all right now.  So, we will keep trudging along with hopes that we will start to turn a corner and see more change over the next year.  I know timelines are not something I should hold in my head (especially since this one was lost a LONG time ago) but I would really like to see this as something that's under control before he heads off to kindergarten in a year.  

The difference I am seeing with Kailey and her progress with the potty is that she does communicate (mostly) when she has to go or if she already went.  She does really well for her teachers at school but not as great at home (but that's like anything right? Everything is always better at school.) and when she will put on her underwear will stay pretty dry throughout the day.  I thought that once she really got into it, it would help motivate Colin more but he's definitely still on his own timetable.  

...and just something cute from dinner.  Kailey really likes pickles lately but is getting pickle confused with freckle.  She keeps calling her pickle a freckle and her freckles (she has a few on her hand that she always points out) her "pickles".  Cracks me up...

To have a little fun, I joined the kids for ice cream at the "little red table".  I can't wait for the fun that's JUST around the corner this summer (my last day is Thursday!!).  

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Weekend

This weekend was the weekend to celebrate Chris for the great Daddy that he is to Colin and Kailey.  It was particularly nice because he had been away for most of the week last week for work, so it was really nice to spend quality time with him and the kids.  

On Saturday night after a day at soccer and then the beach, we walked down the street to the local restaurant and had dinner out on the deck overlooking the river.  It just recently reopened after the hurricane so it was nice to have something we could walk to.  

While we were there, Colin started winking with the man at the table next to us which sparked a conversation with them.  They complimented Colin and Kailey on how well behaved they were which was nice, especially since they had just missed Colin throwing his crayons and markers off the table before they got there.  

I wish the next picture wasn't so blurry, but Kailey was offering her pizza to Colin to share.  She was saying "Come on Colin, want a bite?" in her cute little voice.  Since all of their moments aren't so great, we really appreciate the ones that are.  

We spent most of the day today putting together our new patio furniture.  It literally took hours since we had to put every little piece together (I won't necessarily do THAT again) and thankfully, the kids played pretty well in their pools and with their other toys around the yard.  After christening it with dinner, we decided to treat the kids with a trip to the boardwalk.  They were so excited to go on the rides (we get asked almost daily about them) so it was worth the treat.  

I think the next picture is almost exactly a repeat from last summer on the train (I'm going to have to try and find it) but they loved it.  

I think out of anyone, Colin has really enjoyed having his buddy Daddy back home again...

I've been so blessed in my life to have grown up with a father who is so incredibly loving and would do anything for any of his children.  I have now been doubly blessed to have found a husband who would do the same for his kids.  Watching Colin and Kailey with their daddy has been so much fun because they just love him so much...

Thank you Chris for all you do to make sure those 2 feel loved every minute of their days...

We finished the night off with a walk along the boards and then a treat before heading home.  One nice thing about the boardwalk is that it sure tires them out!

Happy Father's day to all of the Dad's out there....including my father in law, my dad, and my kid's Daddy Chris.  I am so thankful to all of you!  

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pizza "Adventure"

I was inspired by my friend Deanna at Everything and Nothing from Essex to start thinking about adventure.  She has a really neat blog post here where she talks about creating adventure for her kids and making it a challenge for herself.  With less than a week left of the "serious structure" of a school year, I thought that this was a challenge that would be fun to take on.  She says to "think outside the box" and find ways to look through the eyes of toddlers to create fun adventure.

So tonight, instead of heading home to a dinner without Daddy, we decided to hit up the pizza place up the street for some slices to make dinner a bit more fun.  Aside from Colin and Kailey thinking it was a good idea to lay on the floor while I waited to pay (although, maybe that's their idea of adventure?), we had a really good time!

Thanks Deanna!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Recap of our Ups and Downs

Today has been one of those days that I don't feel great about anything in the world of parenting.  It is quite evident these days that parenting has it's way ups and it's way downs, but doesn't always feel like there's much in between.  

I have talked about Kailey's behavior/attitude lately, but today reached an all time low when I found out she had to hang out in the office at daycare today for a little bit because she was so upset/worked up/having tantrums today over everything.  You name it: she wanted to put her dirty wet underwear back on, she wanted this, didn't want to do this, etc.  I know she's been tough at times lately and the teachers and I can usually joke around about it, but today I actually felt embarrassed.  

From what everyone says, these are things that "will pass", but right now in the "heat" of it, it doesn't feel like that!  We are doing everything we can to remain consistent, reprimand when we need to, and not give her what she wants when she wants it.  However, it amazes me how different the same kind of parenting is reflected in two different personalities. 

Just to give you an idea about how quickly she can change....

She's actually happy with my dinner choice for her, we're all chatting and enjoying dinner.  

I really like this Mommy, can I please have more?  Sure Kailey, that's great!

But I didn't WANT you to cut my big spaghetti noodles into shorter noodles so that I have an easier time eating them!

I can't believe you did that so I'm going to give you the pouty lip.  

Stop taking pictures of me!! I don't want little noodles I want "bigs" noodles!!

Well, fine.  

I guess I have no choice but to eat the little noodles even though I really wanted them to remain "bigs".  

Later: Mommmmm-mmmyyy....I want what's on YOUR plate.  No, Kailey, you have your own.  

I can't believe you're so mean.  Stop looking at me.  

I mean it! Don't look at me!

I cannot believe you're still taking my picture! "No cammm-rraaa Mommm-mmmy!"


Now I want some of the potatoes that are on your plate that I originally said I didn't want but I guess they are better than I thought.  

Pllleeassseeee mommm-mmy!

Now my milk is empty!  I want milk pleeaaasssseeeeee!

Sooooo happy laughing with Colin.  

Less than 5 minutes later mind you....Happy as a clam!

Seriously, it's so up and down.  Let's hope this passes SOON.