Wednesday, July 30, 2014

All About Kailey

While I do often talk about Colin AND Kailey on this blog, a lot of times my posts focus on Colin because of some of the unique challenges we face with him.  However, even though some of the things we deal with Kailey are more "typical", she certainly has her "things" as well. 

Kailey has become our little bossy pants of the family.  She can often be found scolding Colin or running to us to tell us something he is doing (regardless of whether it's something good or bad).  Unfortunately, there are a lot of times she instigates by telling him NOT to do something (even though he isn't currently doing it) and then he WILL do it simply because she told him not to.  A lot of times she looks at Colin with a little Mommy look on her face and scolds him for doing something and then will turn to me and say "We don't do _______, right Mommy?".  We are working on this with her because there are times when it's helpful (like when she told me he was emptying my wallet all over the couch) but a lot of times, she just takes disciplining into her own hands, even when it's not warranted.  (And yikes do I see myself in her sometimes when she's doing this!)

We have noticed that she has really come out of her shell in the past 6 months or so.  For a long time in public, we often used the phrase "she's shy" because she wouldn't answer questions or talk to anyone when conversation was initiated with her.  However, this has been changing and now there are many times when we can't get her to stop sharing information with people as she has become quite chatty.  I really, really enjoy this aspect of her personality because it makes for some fun conversations with her and it's quite interesting to hear the things that come out of her mouth sometimes.  It's amazing the things she retains and then repeats back.  If we do find her being shy, we just have to set up the conversation for her by saying something like, "Kailey, tell so and so what we did today..." and she'll often take over and then start chatting. 

She can still be considered very dramatic though and if something doesn't go the way she likes she immediately drops her head and starts pouting.  This used to ALWAYS bring about tears as well but that seems to be better as a  lot of times it's just moping instead of crying.  While she is doing pretty well with the "share" concept, this is certainly not great and is often the reason why the tears come when playing with Colin or other kids. 

She is quite the loving little girl and it is my favorite quality about her right now.  She will often come up to Chris or me to give us a hug and just to "tell us that she loves us".  She knows when to use that though and if you have to scold her or you get irritated with something she is doing she will use the phrase "but I love  you Mommy/Daddy".  She is plentiful with her hugs and kisses but the best part is when they are unprompted out of the blue ones. 

It has been really fun to see her relationship with Colin really bloom as they have become the best of friends.  They have been playing really nicely together, which is often led by Kailey, however, she has been relinquishing some control and allowing him to take charge (which is also really good for him as well).  She really loves her big brother and takes care of him (when she's not bossing him around).  There's no doubt as to how much she loves him. 

I have really been enjoying watching her grow and change and despite the drama, she brings the perfect amount of sass and spunk.  She loves having an audience for everything she is doing (yesterday my friends had to watch for 4 hours every time she jumped in the pool..."hey guys! excuse me! watch me!").  She loves taking care of her babies and I can't wait to see what she's like when the new baby gets here.  



We love our sweet, sassy, spunky and beautiful little Kailey!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

NJM, the SONJ, and the Somerset Patriots

Last night we had another great opportunity because of the fundraising efforts of New Jersey Manufacturer's Insurance Group for the Special Olympics of New Jersey, to be a part of a check presentation and with the kids throwing out the first pitch.  As I've mentioned in an earlier post, my dad works for NJM and they are a big sponsor for the SONJ.  This is the second fundraising event that they have hosted this summer among their employees by selling tickets to both the Trenton Thunder and now Somerset Patriots baseball games.  It was an honor to get asked again to be a part of the check presentation and the kids were MORE THAN THRILLED to be able to throw out the first pitches again (frankly, I think they might be spoiled now to attend any other baseball game!). 
The kids were so excited when we told them about their opportunity and from the moment we got to the game, asked quite frequently when they would be throwing the baseball.  They had a great time out on the field prior to any of the events occurring.  It's funny because with all of the little behaviors we deal with with Colin, one thing is for sure, he knows how to "work a crowd".  He will shake hands and introduce himself without being prompted and is very polite.  
After a little bit, the NJM CEO (with his daughter) along with some NJM employees (my dad included), the manager from the Somerset Patriots (Sparky Lyle), and the president of the SONJ (along with his son Zach) participated in the check presentation where the money raised from the game fundraiser was presented to the Special Olympics.  

After the check presentation, the kids were given their balls for the first pitch and they were SO EXCITED.  
They were put in line and walked out to the "mound" to wait their turn for their pitches.  Colin even told Chris to walk away because he and Kailey could do it by themselves. 



That was great until the mascots came out and then Chris had to go back to calm Colin down (he can't stand anything big and furry).  However, he rallied and they did great! 

It was a great experience and as always, we were honored to participate!

 What a great night in support of the Special Olympics of New Jersey!

I made a mistake before uploading and forgot to cut out all of the "extra" filming I did (meaning, never turned record off) so you only need to watch the video for about 20 seconds to see the first pitches.  PLEASE stop after that otherwise you will hear my silly voice and see lots of just grass. 
MVI 6805 from Kelli Tobin on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Cwimbing Up" and "No Thank You"

Despite the fact our firstborn was a boy and in addition to all that we have heard that boys tend to be more rambunctious, we managed to avoid the toddler stage where Colin climbed up on everything.  In fact, for the most part, he was pretty easy for many years because he was very tentative as his strength was developing.  That's not to say he didn't get into trouble in his own ways (he often would get stuck in precarious positions) but the one thing we never had to worry about was finding Colin climbing on furniture or other items.  However, that all changed very recently and we seem to have reverted back to that old toddler stage.

As Colin's strength has greatly improved, so has his confidence and he has been trying to climb up on EVERYTHING.  I am having a really hard time with it because on the inside, I am laughing and cheering and am so happy that Colin is finally able to do many of the things that other kids his age can do with ease, but on the outside, I have to remain stern and remind him why he can't climb up on everything and anything. 

When he is reprimanded for doing this, his response always is, "but mom, I want to cwimb up!".  Just yesterday alone, in addition to the pictures around the house in this post, I also found Colin trying to scale our shut french doors, get on top of the playhouse outside, sitting on the computer desk (which isn't very big) and various other window sills.  He knows exactly what he is doing too (and that it's wrong) because he often calls me to the scene by saying "Moo-ommmm! Look at meeee!!".  I'll give him that much; at least he is proud of what he is doing and is letting me know he is being naughty!  
The thing is, I AM proud of him even though I can't show it because it's hard work for him to be able to do some of these things and it has taken a LONG time to get where he is.  I see this improving strength pay off in places like playgrounds and indoor bounce places where it requires a lot of climbing to get to the top of things.  His ease, independence, and speed at which he accomplishes these things is very quickly improving which is allowing him to be just like the other kids.  In addition, he isn't afraid to try a lot of these things which is exciting for us (even though it can still make us nervous, but in a good way!).  

Another area we have been working on is Colin keeping his hands to himself and instead, use words to voice his displeasure with something or to tell someone when he isn't interested or doesn't want to.  For example, his quick response a lot of time when someone would try to hug or touch him would simply be to push them away.  However, we have been working on this for a long time to replace using his hands with words like "no thank you".  Unfortunately, these words are backfiring on us because he is using them ALL OF THE TIME when he doesn't want to do something we ask of him. 

For example,

"Colin, it's time to go potty!"
"No thank you!!"
"Colin, it's time to clean up your toys."
"No thank you!!"

But, we are also seeing him using these words in good situations with Kailey where she will tell him/ask him to do something and he doesn't want to, he has been using words more often instead of his hands. 

There's no doubt about it, he's a little stinker.