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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He's in our bed now coughing a lot.
All he'll tell me is that his toe hurts...
I'm holding him in our bed.
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
Got him back down in his bed and he's not crying anymore. Hope it stays that way
He's not crying but he's not sleeping either...
So much for no nap meaning he'll sleep great at night
He's finally asleep at nearly 10:30...