Saturday, November 5, 2016

September 2016: Part I - Allison's Final Days of Babyhood

Allison loves when Nibbler joins her for a diaper change. It makes it about 1000 times more difficult for me to change her, but she is just crazy about the cats. Tyler was too at that age, but he was quite a bit louder and rougher with them than she is. Nibbler will usually put up with more “petting” from her before he runs off.

My girl loves toys! This middle picture was from a day that Allison really fought her nap. She just couldn’t stop playing with her crib toys, but eventually her body caught up with her and she fell asleep still partly sitting up. I was concerned for her neck, though, so I went in to lay her down flat. She noticed, but by then she was so exhausted that she didn't put up a fuss.
This was a very amusing night of daddy teasing Allison with a carrot. She giggled a bunch trying to pull it out of his mouth.

Here's my adorable little Allison falling asleep on me in the mother's room at church. I have to turn white noise on on my phone and keep rocking her the whole time, though, or she will wake up as soon as I move, but it gets her enough of a nap to make it through church. I love that she will still do this. That was not our case with Tyler at church. Nap was a constant fight and only Oscar could get him down after a lot of struggle.

In the first week of September, Allison pulled herself to stand and cruised for the first time on Tyler's bed. I was putting him down for nap with some of his bedtime toys, and she came up to get them.

On labor day weekend we took the kids to Jetty Island for one of our last nice days of the year. The sun was blinding and the tide was high, so the pictures aren't great and there wasn’t as much wet sand for them to play with as usual.

But they still had plenty of fun. Allison enjoyed pulling up a bunch of seaweed to play with. Another little boy came over to play and grabbed a bunch of it, saying "that's a lot of seaweed!" This upset Tyler for some reason and he yelled “that’s not your seaweed. That’s my seaweed!” though there was more than enough to go around, and Tyler hadn't even been playing with any before the boy got there. Ty's definitely going through a possession phase. The other little boy's mom and grandma came over and told us they were actually from Whidbey Island, but they make a trip over to Jetty Island every labor day weekend. While we were talking, something brushed up against me in the water. I grabbed it out and they said "that's our shovel! We thought we'd lost it for good 30 minutes ago. The tide brought it back."

Oh my sweet little pink cutie with her adorable little head bob! Tyler’s always trying to take her toys (they’re so much more appealing when someone else is using them), so she gets super excited whenever she gets free reign of his Legos.

The next day we took the kids to Edmonds city park to check it out before the nice weather ended and the splash parks stopped running. This is an awesome park! I wish it weren't so far away. They have this huge splash area for big kids and a smaller area for little ones, and these little fountains are something I’ve never seen before at a splash park. They were perfect for Allison, who loves to just sit and splash, and for Tyler who doesn't care much for water falling on him from above but still loves playing with it.

Tyler particularly enjoys controlling the water from these standing squirters. He got me good at one point.

Though Allison loves playing in the water, she makes it pretty clear when she's done that she wants nothing more to do with it. Once she reached that point I warmed her up, changed her outfit, and took her swinging. She is just too cute on the swings!

I decked the kids out in patriotic gear for labor day.
Little miss can’t get enough of her books (even if they're upside down). She’s definitely her mommy’s baby.

Tyler made this (including the garbage) and told me it was his garbage truck pet. He loves the new construction set of Lego Duplos we bought for him. Heaven bless the makers of Duplos! I've never seen Tyler so good at entertaining himself.

Twof Allison’s favorite things these days are cookie monster toys and closing doors. She loves closing the door then having us open it and say "peek a boo!" Oh the giggles! They're so intense her little cackle comes out.

A friend of mine needed all day babysitting for her son Mace for 3 days, so Tyler and Allison got a new playmate. Mace adored Allison and warmed up to Tyler. He initially came in shy and scared, so I told him we had Paw Patrol on upstairs, and that perked him up a bit. After that he started playing. Tyler would get jealous and try to take his toys, but Mace is about a half year older, so he was able to hold his own against him, which was new for Tyler. He's used to being able to take Allison's toys easily. We stayed inside since the weather was yucky on the first day, and they got a lot of good play time together. By the next day Mace came running in excitedly ready to play.

Seeing Mace and Tyler playing so nicely together those three days made me really happy because Tyler had just been banned at the gym for 3 weeks. I got the call not long after I took these pictures while they were all playing together in Tyler's room. Tyler had shoved an airplane into a smaller girl's chest after running across the room, which I realized is just Tyler's far too rough version of playing tag or "got you." Because he laughed about it afterwards, they got the idea that he was some sort of budding sociopath that was too dangerous to be around other children. The only other time they had to ban a kid, his parents had to put him in professional help. I knew that was not Tyler's issue, though I didn't know what was causing the inappropriate behavior either. I thought about it a lot and realized the behavior isn't the issue - the behavior is a symptom of overstimulation. Tyler likes big reactions, and when he gets overstimulated, he intentionally does things to get attention. If I felt he was a danger to other children, I would get him professional help because I'd be terrified for Allison, but he's never given me any reason to feel that way. He's super sweet and loves giving and receiving hugs (even if he inadvertently knocks other kids over trying to hug them), and he doesn't get upset if he gets hurt either. One time he cried out in pain after stepping on a Lego, but then said "Elmo wants to kiss it better," put Elmo's mouth to his foot, told him "thank you!" and continued playing. He gets over pain very easily and has a super high tolerance for it, so I don't think he understands when he hurts other kids. He just finds their reaction to it amusing. Allison's certainly gotten hurt while playing with Tyler, but that's because he doesn't know his own strength and plays far too intensely at times.  I have never seen him try to hit her because she took a toy or did something he didn't like.

Later that evening when I looked up signs of overstimulation in three year olds, I actually found another mom concerned that her daughter was laughing after hurting other children. The therapist replied "don't worry about the laughing. When children are overwhelmed and overstimulated, they have to laugh it out or cry it out, so her laughter is simply a natural coping mechanism for a child her age." Since then I've started targeting the overstimulation rather than the behavior, and we've had a lot of success. I keep him at the gym for less time and I provide puzzles and a "look and find" book so he has something to focus on if he gets out of control. I've also asked him to help find ways to "be a hero" and make the other kids happy. Tyler responds so much better when directed to actively do something rather than being told to stop doing what he's already doing. His energy can't be stopped but it can be redirected for good. 
The next day was nicer, so I took the kids to play at Silver Lake park. Tyler and Mace were absolutely adorable together! This was just further proof to me that Tyler does have good social skills and does know how to make friends and play nicely with other kids. I think the problem with the gym is that there is too much going on at once (lots of kids/television on/the castle play area/books,toys,games on demand), which is not what he's used to at home. I keep things much more orderly (now it's time for puzzles, now you can have a show, now it's time to play with these toys, now it's time to play upstairs, etc), and I do not allow TV on in the background while he's doing other activities or playing with noisy, interactive toys (I don't care if he holds a stuffed animal while he watches a show, but I don't allow him to play with toys that are really going to draw his attention while the TV is on). I also noticed that the vast majority of the times they've had trouble with him at the gym were towards the end of of visits, so I've started shortening the amount of time we're there overall to prevent the overstimulation from occuring in the first place.

Allison used to just sit up and play with wood chips at the park, but now she wants to move. She got pretty dirty crawling around in the damp playground. I put her on the swing, and Mace joined her there. Ty doesn't care for it much but enjoyed pushing the other two.

He did like the tire swing, though. An Asian lady was there with her son and she sang them a song I didn't recognize in her native language. Ty asked me to sing her song, but I didn't know it, so I sang Twinkle twinkle little star when she was done, and she chimed in in her own language.
I'd told the kids we weren't going to get in the water but could play with it with the water toys and make sandcastles. Allison had other ideas. I put her a fair distance away from the water but she immediately crawled down to it while I was helping the boys find the toys they were looking for.
My little splash lover! She tried to crawl in the water at first and drinking it at first, so I sat her up and let her play. It looks colder than it was that day. It was gray but in the mid 60's.
Everybody had to have their clothes changed when we were done. I hadn't realized Mace's boots had an enormous tear in them, so I figured his feet were probably alright since he never went deeper than his boots, but his socks were soaked through. I later gave him a pair of flip flops mom gave Tyler that Tyler can't wear because his feet are too thick for them. After the park we went to Costco to shop and pick up hot dogs for lunch.I had a full cart that day! Two in the front and Tyler in the basket.

The weather was gorgeous on Mace's final day with us, so we went to the splashpark after Allison woke up from her nap. The boys played with playdough and interacted to Tyler's favorite songs while Allison napped.
Mace started running around and Tyler had fun chasing him. It was a bit busier than usual since there was a birthday party happening, but the kids were junior high age, so no one was using the splashpark.
 Mace fell and scraped his knee about 40 minutes in. He was convinced it wouldn't get better without a bandaid, but I didn't have one and didn't want to take 3 wet kids to the car on the chance that I might have one there. Fortunately someone from the party gave us one, and Mace felt instantly better. Those bandaids are magical! What's funny is that whenever he looked at the bandaid he would start limping, even after running around happily on the playground.
After the kids changed and dried off, Allison and Mace got on the swings. Allison enjoyed being pushed by her big brother.
 Tyler was uninterested in swinging, of course, but he enjoyed chasing Mace on the playground.

On September 10th we invited the Kawaguchi family up to our house to celebrate Allison's and Hana's birthdays. When I told Tyler we were having a birthday party he said "I have to get my monkey." This confused me at first, but then he came back down with the monkey birthday balloon my sister had given me back on my birthday in March.

 At first Allison was only mildly interested in the cake. We were really hoping she'd finally feed herself once she had delicious cake placed in front of her.

But she decided to feed Tyler instead. He then fed her back, which she happily ate. She really liked the cake when we would feed it to her, and she would play with it and lick her fingers, but that was as far as she got.

Her standing skills really started improving that week. She loves playing this little piano.

That evening was the Mukilteo lighthouse festival with fireworks at the beach. I'd always wanted to go to it but never done it, so I decided Ty and I were going to make it this year. I so glad I did because the stars just aligned to make it an awesome night! First we scored some sweet street parking (I pulled in just as someone was leaving), Tyler was incredibly sweet and well behaved, and we just happened to run into Mace with his mom and brother. Mace was so excited to see Tyler that he ran up and gave him such an enormous hug that he almost knocked him to the ground. The kids played at the playground together for awhile, then we all went back to the beach to wait for the fireworks. Ty hadn't eaten much dinner since he'd filled himself up on birthday cake, so he got a bit hungry later in the evening just before the fireworks started. Luckily Eva had packed PB and J's and had an extra one her son hadn't wanted. To my complete astonishment, Tyler ate the entire thing. The kids had fun playing with a new sand/water toy Malia had given Tyler, and the fireworks were fantastic. Tyler was just absolutely adorable. He loved the fireworks but got a bit scared by the loud noises, so he sat on my lap and would just say "mommy, I need another huggie" and squeeze me a bit tighter whenever a big boom surprised him. He could enjoy them happily as long as he felt safe.

Here's my sweet little Allison ready for church in her gorgeous little dress. This is one of the few items of clothing I bought for her. I saw it at a Consigment sale and couldn't resist it. She looks like a beautiful rose!
I thought Allison would be a super stubborn baby after she'd resisted all attempts to turn her head down in the womb, but she's an easy going, snuggly little sweetheart. I'm so grateful my toothless little darling joined our family!
We'd saved a bit of cake for her to have on her actual birthday. She was super excited for it, especially the candle. She still wouldn't feed herself, but she did get a bit more messy and licked her fingers a lot.
Singing happy birthday!

Tyler got a bit messy too!

And a little video of Tyler running for daddy. He was bouncing off the walls after just eating a bunch of cake, so daddy took him outside to get his energy out. That definitely made getting things cleaned up easier for me.

1 comment:

  1. Stacy loved this wonderful blog and all of the pictures with their comments. You did a great job