Sunday, January 8, 2017

November 2016: Starting to Get Festive!

In November Allison's climbing skills improved significantly. She giggles happily while climbing onto Tyler's bed, and he giggles back at her. 
Here's a time lapse video of Tyler and I making zucchini pasta spirals. The best part is watching him voluntarily eat raw vegetables.

Allison nearly ate a bee early in November. It flew onto her open hand, and she immediately tried to put it in her mouth. I saw this happen out of the corner of my eye while I was putting groceries in the car, and thinking it was a dirty twig from the banana she was holding, my ninja mama reflexes kicked in and I grabbed it and threw it on the ground. Only then did I realize what it was and smooshed it promptly. Disaster averted!

While motherhood can definitely be stressful, in many ways I really have nothing to complain about. For example, both of our children just happened to sleep in for daylight savings. I was so surprised I assumed the clocks on our phones must not be updating correctly. Allison initially woke up at her usual time, but thinking it was an hour earlier, I rocked her until she fell back to sleep. If I'd realized the time I was looking at was accurate, I would have just gotten her up.

That month Allison figured out how to slide along the floor on flat things like lids, diapers, and books. They recently caught her doing it on books at the library and posted about it on their Facebook page.

Tyler enjoying a Wendy's lunch with daddy before heading over to Home Depot.

Here's Allison's sheer delight when I put Grandma on speaker phone. If I give it to her she'll usually press the red button, which turns it off, so I try to keep it out of her reach but still nearby.

It can be difficult to get Tyler down for his nap because he's so easily stimulated. If the room is messy, he won't nap, but cleaning the room can take 20-30 minutes (it'd take 10 minutes if children weren't making more mess while I try to clean it). This often results in him falling asleep too late or not sleeping at all because he's missed his sleep window. One day I figured out the perfect solution - I covered his toys in blankets. When he came upstairs he saw it and said "the Legos are going to bed" and knew he wasn't allowed to play with them anymore. It worked like a charm!

I don't have a picture since it was always too fast for me to get my phone out, but on November 11th Allison started pulling herself up to stand for a couple seconds at a time without needing to hold onto anything. Mom bought her this little grocery cart to motivate her to stay on her feet. Unfortunately it's too light and the cart will topple over if she leans on it too much. Tyler loves it though!
The little boxes inside were essentially useless since they just got destroyed, but for Christmas the kids received toy fruits and veggies that fit in the cart perfectly and weigh it down nicely.

Church selfies in the mother's room with my sweet girl. One when she fell asleep and one just after she woke up. She took her own selfie in the middle picture.

Our gift to the Kawaguchi family last Christmas was an adventure for 5 in the Real Escape Conundroom. We successfully stole the Mona Lisa with 11 minutes to spare and only required one of our four allotted clues (it was that the globe Lia's standing next to is the same as the one in the painting on the wall. We all felt silly for missing it).

I put up Thanksgiving decorations for the first time ever, and on the other end of our main floor I put up our Christmas tree. It took me several days, which is less time than usual. Both kids are better at entertaining themselves these days than Tyler was as a baby and a young toddler. It really helps me get stuff done. 

What's funny is I purchased the Thanksgiving decorations at the dollar store in the middle of October. By November 1st they'd completely converted to Christmas and the Thanksgiving decorations were nowhere to be found.

Allison loves playing on this little piano.

Allison will have a bunch of cereal left on her tray after eating, so I'll take her out of her highchair just to have more cereal fall off her butt onto the floor. She immediately proceeds to pick it up and eat it. Food is so much more appealing when she finds it than when it's on her high chair tray.

I could tell it was going to be a fun day when I looked at Allison's baby monitor and found this site... She also had a monstrous blowout in church the Sunday before Thanksgiving. I didn't get to sing with the choir since I had to stick her in the sink and bathe her, which was awful for her since the water was so cold. Thank goodness Oscar had taken Tyler that day!

Sweet girl! She looks good in spite of the eye infection she had at this time.

This cute girl and her kitty! I put the cutest picture in black and white because I accidentally had my flash on while taking this shot and it gave her red eye. Google photos has tons of editing software, yet they don't have red eye removal, even though they used to. What's up with that!

For a long time I believed preschool was an unnecessary waste of money if a parent could be home with their child. I figured I'd be able to provide for Tyler whatever preschool could just by doing a bit of internet research and putting in a little effort. I will happily admit that I was wildly wrong about this. Now I'm incredibly grateful that Tyler is in preschool on Thursday and Friday mornings. He started attending Our Savior's Lutheran preschool in the middle of November and is really thriving there. He needs the themed lessons, activities, and structure it provides. I find I struggle and stress over providing that for him at home, particularly when I have Allison and her very different needs to worry about. I really appreciate all the effort his teachers put into his education. It gives me a little break from him too, but I wouldn't do it purely for the break. If I just needed the break I'd just take him to the gym. I have to allot 30-40 minutes to drive there and back to drop him off, do it again to pick him up, and it often conflicts with Allison's nap, so it's not terribly convenient for my schedule. It's totally worth it, though, for everything he gets out of it and the stress it takes off of me.

Another thing we like is library storytime. Tyler has been rocking it lately and Allison dances and plays adorably while we're there. She just loves excitement and being where the action is.

I absolutely love seeing the teachers and librarians plan and execute crafts because I've discovered it's just not something I do well. It causes me far more anxiety than it's worth. Let's say for example, that I wanted to plan a Thanksgiving craft. First I'd go to Pinterest and get overwhelmed by the many, many websites there are, distinguishing between the ones that are essentially just advertisements trying to sell me a product/service and the ones that are actually useful to me. Assuming I don't find that too daunting and manage to find a cute craft like the turkey costume above, I'd have to go somewhere that has paper bags, buy construction paper too, and cut up all the little pieces that go into it. Then I'd do all the preparation and have it ready for Tyler only to have him decide today's a day to be completely uninterested in it. In the end I decide against even looking up a craft worrying that it's just going to be a complete waste of my time and energy.

Allison's love of blankets terrifies me a bit sometimes. I worried a bit that she wasn't even in her crib when I saw the middle picture, but then she moved a bit and I could see her in the one on the right. Tyler only used sleep sacks until he was over two years old because blankets worried me, but Allison insists on it. She likes to be wrapped up in one and have a crochet one to hold onto when I put her down.

Here's a picture of Tyler looking bored watching TV, though of course he'd scream if you said "you look bored" and turned it off.

After Halloween Tyler kept wanting to play trick or treat. He wanted me to say "trick or treat" while he held a laundry basket full of blocks and handed one to me.

One time while we were cleaning his room, Tyler said "I want to be disobedient, please."

I hear Tyler's communication improving so much these days. For example, he'll say "I want is as loud as it can be" instead of just "loud," or "louder," or "more loud" like he used to.
Fry peed in the bathtub while a bunch of Tyler's toys and Legos were in there, so we decided to wash the pee off and give everything a bath. The kids found it very amusing.

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Malia's house and brought eggnog cheesecake with gingersnap crust, mashed potatoes, candied yams, and homemade rolls. They provided a great spread and we all had a tasty meal and a good time with Chang's family.

Tyler was excited to pose for these pictures then started taking his pants down for some reason. He pulled them back up too, so I think he was just so full of energy that he needed something to hold onto. At least he gave me some great smiles.
Oscar took Allison to Home Depot where Santa and Mrs Claus just happened to be visiting.

Kids being cute during FHE at the Valenzuela Family House. We do this about once a month.

We offered Tyler naptime or quiet time. He chose quiet time...his body chose otherwise. It's happened several times now.

It became clearer to us in late November that Tyler was ready to be done napping. He used to get a nice 2.5 - 3 hour nap, sometimes longer after a particularly active morning, but he'd always go to sleep around 8 or 8:30 each night, even if he woke up from nap after 5pm. In the fall we started noticing from his room camera that regardless of what time we put him down, he wasn't falling asleep for the night until 9:30 or even as late as 11. He was also waking up from nap crazy full of energy, which I was finding difficult to burn now that the weather had changed and he'd wake up after dark. Everything I read on the topic led me to the conclusion that his nap either needed to be shortened or stop entirely so that he could fall asleep earlier. I started giving him quiet time instead of nap, which had happened here and there several times in the past, but now it's the norm. .

The good news is that the research I did has proven accurate for Tyler. He is much more manageable when he doesn't get a nap (a small nap is also fine, but he'll only do that in the car). I still get the same nice break because of the quiet time, I no longer have to worry about the time or effort it takes to get him calmed down and ready for nap, and he's not nearly as exhausting in the evening as he used to be. He's also easier in the morning because he's waking up after a longer period of sleep. He still fights bedtime and quiet time, but he does so with less energy than he used to. The only detriment is that he is absolutely miserable if he is awake after 8:00pm on a no nap day, so we might have to say goodbye for awhile to fireworks or anything else that requires staying up late.

It's not always perfect though. One night Oscar was out home teaching on a no nap day, Tyler fell asleep at 7:30, Oscar left at 8:00, and this happened. Below are my texts to Oscar, who wasn't getting them for some reason. His phone gave them to him all at once long after I'd sent them.

Tyler's been crying non stop since you left.
1 hr
He's in our bed now coughing a lot.
50 min
All he'll tell me is that his toe hurts...
34 min
I'm holding him in our bed.
26 min
I tried to sleep with him in our bed but no matter how still I held he just squirmed and cried and wouldn't settle down. I've left the room now and he's not making any noise. Hoping he gets some sleep
18 min
Got him back down in his bed and he's not crying anymore. Hope it stays that way
13 min
He's not crying but he's not sleeping either...
9 min
So much for no nap meaning he'll sleep great at night
He's finally asleep at nearly 10:30...

1 comment:

  1. So many wonderful pictures of the grandchildren, and I loved your blogging that carries through the activities throughout. Great read sweet daughter