Saturday, June 29, 2013

32 Weeks? Where Did the Time Go?

At my appointment Monday I found out I was 32 weeks along. For some reason I thought I was only 30. I freaked out! I'm starting to get in nesting mode. So much to do before the baby gets here! Baby is healthy and very active, and I'm on target for weight gain, surprisingly, considering that I'm not eating as well as last time and rarely exercising. Must be all that chasing after Caden, jk.

It is so stinking hot today I feel like I'm melting. Ugh.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Oh, Caden!

It always seems that right before his birthday, Caden will push all sorts of boundaries and be quite the handful.

*He wants to climb on everything and everyone, rough house all the time, throw tantrums, hit, kick, push, and pull. Time outs aren't working again.

*After coming home from CA, Caden suddenly became deathly afraid of the shower, although nothing happened there or here that can explain why. Justin and I took turns getting in with him the first couple days. Then I just stuck him in by himself and bathed him really fast. He wouldn't take a bath either. Finally I tried the infant tub. The first time he still cried, but ever since then he is fine with taking a bath in the "baby battuv" while I blow bubbles.

He's slept like that since a baby. Unfortunately, I couldn't find another photo like this.

*He also became afraid of the dark. The first week was a nightmare. Nothing helped. Not nightlights, glow-in-the-dark stars, leaving the light on, rocking him to sleep, letting him sleep with us, etc. He would finally fall asleep late from exhaustion but still wake up in fear a few times at night. I asked for help on Facebook and only received one answer from a friend. I even contacted my hero, Elizabeth Pantley, but felt like her advice was more for a 4- or 5-year-old. Even his nap time was affected. It's ended up being something we've just had to wait out. We've progressed to leaving his door open and the living room light on, with him tucked in with his giant monkey and Elmo. Hopefully in a few more weeks he will be back to normal.

*On the up side, he is back to letting me sleep in every morning. He either plays or falls back asleep on the couch. 

Napping on the couch under his monkey.

*He is getting his molars. I decided to try giving him a teething ring again and he loves biting it!

*Caden loves to be read to. His favorite books right now are Goodnight Moon and Go, Dogs, Go! He also likes Dr. Seuss. He doesn't want to read baby board books anymore. I instigated the change after taking him to family reading time at the library one day (instead of baby reading time) and noticing how well he listened to the longer, big-kid books.

*Yesterday morning it was awfully quiet in his room, so I went to investigate and this is what I found:

In his closet.

*He is obsessed with photos of himself. Whenever I write family blog posts, he climbs into my lap and wants to look through all the pictures.

*He repeats everything and talks so much. My favorite things he says are "Ha be (I'll be) right back!" and "Drive Daddy nuts!" (while running around crazy). He also loves listening to Michael Jackson, particularly the song "Rock with You," which he sings along to during the chorus.

I still can't believe my little baby is going to be 3 in a couple months!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Zoo Again

Thursday morning we took our neighbors with us to the zoo. Now that it's summer, the zoo is less crowded. We got to see the tiger find and eat his breakfast and the monkeys were really close to Justin and the others in the Monkey Village. Caden and I were at the water play area. It was really neat, with a cave, waterfall, slide, splash pad, and little stream. Caden loved it and was very upset when we moved on. In fact, Justin and I had to chase him down!

The kids played at various playgrounds. This time Caden wasn't afraid of the statues at all. I think that happened last time because of the baby komodo dragon (Justin got it to attack again! I didn't get to see though).

Animals we saw this time that we didn't see last time were the orangutans and giant Galapagos tortoise. We ended with the other splash pad that wasn't as cool as the first but which the boys still loved.

Afterward we got some ice cream. We walked a lot! It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be until the last half hour. It was fun and Caden conked out for over 3 hours once we were home. Although I felt fine that morning, I think the sun and exercise really took their toll on me because I didn't feel good for the rest of the day and yesterday. Sometimes I forget I'm pregnant!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Guest Post: Intentional Speaking during Discipline

Today's post is by my intelligent, skilled friend Francine Sanchez, who works with autistic children. She has shared some advice about the language we use when disciplining.

The detail in which I talk to kids varies depending on age, but there is a lot of common ground. Intentional speaking during discipline can be organized into three stages: pre-consequence, consequence, and post-consequence.

As the name suggests, this part of discipline occurs before the child gets the consequence. During this time, language should be clear and specific, focusing on what to do rather than not to do and providing a clear choice. This gives the child the opportunity to make good choices before getting in trouble and to know why the consequences are happening. Don't talk about the bad behavior at this point.
  • Ex. 1: Your child is rolling a toy car on the TV screen.
    • Offer a choice: "Do you want to roll the car on the floor or do you want to put it away and play with something else?"
    • If the child keeps rolling it on the TV screen, say "Okay, you want to put it away and play with something else." (By default, that choice was made).
  • Ex. 2: On a walk, your child is walking on the grass or curb and you are uncomfortable with it. 
    • You may just instruct your child to keep his or her feet on the sidewalk, or you can say, "You can keep your feet on the sidewalk and walk by yourself or walk with me and hold my hand." No wrong choices there. 
    • If the child doesn't respond, same thing, the choice is made by default: "Oh, you want to hold my hand - great! I want to hold your hand too," and you take his or her hand. 

There is very little talking at this part. If the child doesn't respond to your choices, you pretend like he or she chose the one with the consequence (as shown before).

If the child throws a tantrum, questions you, or whines, you can give one response, but no more than that. Sometimes, especially with argumentative kids, no response is needed. Your words were clear before the consequence and after the child made a choice. Any discussion should only take place when both the child and you are calm.

If the child is showing raw emotion, you can help him or her work through those feelings. Sometimes I narrate the feeling aloud for them: "You really liked that toy. I see your lips are turning down and your face looks sad - do you need a hug?" You can even comfort saying, "I'm so sorry the toy had to go away." (Stay away from taking responsibility for what happened. You did not take the toy away; the child made that choice. This helps with accountability. Don't rub it in his or her face, but just the phrasing "sorry that it had to go away" instead of "sorry I took it away" makes a difference.)

If the child is angry, wait for the post-consequence stage to talk about it. Sometimes narrating angry feelings can increase a tantrum. Furthermore, you don't want to give attention during a tantrum. I think waiting for the tantrum to pass without talking or giving much attention to it or following through on any rules is best. For example, if you see the child throw a toy from the corner of your eye, you can simply lead them to the time-out chair to calm down there, without talking.

This stage can happen right before releasing a child from a time out, immediately after, or an hour later. It should be very close to when the child first returns to a calm state, no matter how short or long it takes, because this is the best time to talk through emotions. Summarize what happened and point out the behavior you didn't like.
  • Ex. 1: Your child has a tantrum when you take away the car. After the tantrum is over:
    • Older child: "I didn't really like it when you rolled the car on the TV. It really could have damaged the TV and we may not have been able to get a new one right away. I think the floor is a good place to roll the car. Can you think of other places as well?" (maybe sofa, tile in kitchen). Praise the child for those ideas and then offer A) "Well, we're not going to play with the cars again until tomorrow, but what do you want to play with now?" or B) "Do you want to roll the cars on the floor/sofa/tile or play with something else?"
    • Younger child: "I like how you calmed down. Do we roll the car on the TV? Nooooo. Show me where we can roll the car." Praise the child for pointing to the appropriate places. If he or she points to the TV, help him or her point to the right place and then say, "The floor- that's right!" Then you have the same choice to wait until tomorrow to let the child play with the car or play again now. Most of the time, I say wait until the next day, but it depends on the child.
  • Ex. 2: Your child chooses to hold your hand, or defaults to that by not listening but doesn't seem to mind when you pick up his or her hand.
    • "I love it when you walk on the sidewalk. It scares me when you're so close to the cars. I like you safe with me." The discussion doesn't always have to be long.
During post-consequence, the child can ask questions if calm and if you are both honest with each other. Be honest with yourself too. You always want to follow through, but sometimes we make mistakes. Maybe it wasn't that big of a deal that he or she was on the grass or curb and you can admit that you got scared.

I like this discipline model because it teaches kids to make their own choices, get little attention during the consequence, and then talk through their feelings and find answers when calm (good lessons for conflict resolution with friends, in life/marriage, etc.).

Most of this came from Becky Bailey's Conscious Discipline, Applied Behavior Analysis and DIR: Floortime. I mixed up different methods over the years to include a mix of social, behavioral, and emotional development.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Baby Shower Gifts for Crunchy Mamas
Do you have a "crunchy" pregnant friend and no clue what to get her for her baby shower? Here are some gift ideas for the health-nut, attachment-parenting mama:
  • cloth diapers and accessories: cloth wipes, wet bags, safe laundry detergent
  • nursing accessories: cloth nursing pads, nursing cover, milk storage bags, nursing necklace, lactation cookies
  • essential oils
  • coconut oil (Nutiva is a good brand)
  • amber teething necklace
  • wooden, felt, or cloth baby toys and teething rings
  • wrap or sling for wearing Baby (extra points for buying the dad one too!)
  • baby-safe bath, hygiene, and cleaning products (check the Skin Deep Database; the lower the score the better)
  • co-sleeper
  • any book by Dr. Sears or Elizabeth Pantley
What are some other great baby shower gifts for crunchy mothers?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Justin's Birthday

Justin's birthday was Tuesday. We went out to breakfast and then went shopping at a new outlet mall. Justin found new shoes, and socks he's been asking for since Christmas but I was unable to find. I saw a Coach purse I loved. I'm not usually one to go for designer brands, but I have a soft spot for Coach bags.

We found a new hat for Caden for only $3!

Justin loves gaudy style. Caden approved!

We got lunch, chilled at home, and then went to the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center with our neighbors and the missionaries to watch the Joseph Smith movie. Caden fell asleep on Justin and wet them both, his first accident in a very long time.

It was a low-key day, different than how we usually celebrate due to certain circumstances. I made Justin his birthday dinner--stuffed peppers--the next night, and we went to Benihana's last night. Caden loved the shrimp!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

California Part 2

Thursday morning we went to Kohl's because we had a 30-percent-off coupon. I found 2 cute shirts on clearance for Caden, including one that says "Big Brother" for him to wear to the hospital after Baby is born, and my sister found a bathing suit after trying on about a thousand. That evening we went swimming with the Lyles family, and Caden was all over Koko (Uncle) James. Then James and Rocio took me out to dinner sans kids.

Friday was Sariah's 8th grade promotion ceremony. She was quite the star of the show, giving a speech and singing multiple solos and group numbers.

That evening Caden went to the park with Grandpa, and my friend Kaitlyn returned to say goodbye. The Lyles came over too for one last play time with Caden.

Saturday we went to the airport. Caden did great on the plane again, allowing me to sleep a little. Thankfully the plane was larger this time so I didn't feel sick like before, and Caden had a window this time. A couple hours after we got home, Justin did too. I missed him so much! And so did Caden. He wouldn't let Justin be until bedtime. I'm glad we went to CA for the week. It made the time go by so much faster and Caden got all the attention he could ask for.

Friday, June 7, 2013

California Part 1

Since Justin would be gone for the week for a Boy Scout trip, Caden and I visited my family in California. We left Monday afternoon. I was really nervous traveling with Caden by myself, especially while being pregnant. First, I forgot to take off my headband in security, barely escaping a pat down. Second, I forgot I had my kubotan--a self-defense weapon--on my key chain.

When Justin travels with me or I travel by myself, I always leave my keys at home, so I didn't even remember I had it until I was pulled aside. No one was mean, but of course I got emotional and was scared our trip would be cancelled. All that happened was the security guy copied my boarding pass and driver's license and a police officer asked if I wanted to check the kubotan in luggage or surrender it. Since I wasn't checking in my luggage, I surrendered it.

We had plenty of time still before our flight, and Caden sat contentedly playing with his toy airplane. He was so excited to be going on an airplane. He didn't remember our many flights last summer.

He did great on the plane. He ended up falling asleep the last half. I tried sleeping the whole time because I felt awful--no Dramamine while pregnant. (Anyone know of safe alternatives for future reference?)

More waiting for my mom to get there and then a nearly two-hour drive through traffic and heat (no AC in my mom's car). I was not a happy camper by the time we got home. Caden was a trooper and was rewarded with ice cream. He loved all the room to run around in at my parents' house and trying to get their cat to let him pet him.

That evening I went out with my three best friends from high school. We ate at a delicious Italian restaurant. As usual, we picked up right where we left off, not like it had been 8 months since we had last seen each other. I love those girls so much!

Tuesday morning I slept in while Grandma cared for Caden. We went thrift store shopping and Caden was content following Grandma around; I wish he were like that with me! I must be bad luck in CA, because on the way back we got stuck at a freeway exit that is normally not that backed up, especially at that time.

After Caden's nap we went swimming at the community pool. Caden was brave and learned to jump into my arms. He is such a water lover. We had fun swimming and splashing.

Wednesday we went with my sister, nephew, and their school to see Epic. It was just okay, but the animation was beautiful. Still don't get the title though. Afterward they had a picnic at a park, and for the third time we were stuck traveling in traffic and heat. (If I had had my way, I would not have been pregnant during summer again.) Caden had fun on the playground and was brave climbing up the high ladders by himself, which he usually doesn't do without asking for help.

Tomorrow morning we go home. I will finish our travelogue when I get back!
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