Monday, November 29, 2010

Update on Us, Since I Don't Do much of That Anymore

He just finished the local production of Willy Wonka. He wasn't any particular part, but he was in the background and helped with the scenery and props. He got to pull Augustus Gloop through the pipe. We took the boys to see the play and both boys were excited to see Daddy. Cam even got to see it twice, once with us and once with his school class. Steve loved it, and I think it made him happier. I don't want him to NOT be happy, so I have decided to not fight him on his plays.
He's still working hard for our family. I love him so much.
He's in the DACC class at a new school. Most of his old friends are back, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. His one friend is not always nice, and I worry that he might follow her example. Thankfully, he's still a sweet boy who is always concerned about others.
He's doing fairly well on his Ritalin and since we started giving him a small dose at bedtime, he hasn't had the screaming/fearful problems that he's had in the past.
He's still doing speech therapy and occupational therapy, and seems to be doing well at both.
His new love is Skyping with a friend on a weekly basis. We have missed a few times, but when we do get the opportunity he just laughs and laughs. (Mostly the conversations between the two 10 year old boys consists of farting noises and covering the camera. Such goobers!)
This little boy is VERY busy. His favorite thing to do is push buttons. He tries to push the buttons on the computer, microwave, tv...anything that has buttons and is at his height.
Jake also LOVES playing outside. Lately we've had a few blizzards blow through, and that hasn't stopped his love of being outdoors. Grandma has outfitted both boys with snow pants, waterproof gloves, hats and boots. They love to help shovel the sidewalks, although, Jake puts more ON the sidewalk than was there to begin with. We even got him his own shovel, one that is JUST his size.
Jake is also a little talker. He repeats almost anything he hears, which has led us many times to the bad word discussion. (Not just from hearing those words from the tv...*blush*) He LOVES to say prayers and if given the opportunity will bless "gamma" over and over. Needless to say, Grandma LOVES his prayers.
Jake has also been having some coughing/breathing issues. I've taken him to the doctor's office TWICE to see if there's anything we can do. After discussing it with the doctor, he thinks that Jake might have asthma. It seems to make sense, but we're taking a wait-and-see approach right now. I can control his cough for the most part, except when he's sleeping. Then he coughs so hard he can't breathe or sleep. It's been a rough few weeks, but I think we're coming out of it.
One more fun update on Jake: He's now sleeping in his big-boy bed! I let him try it out one night, and he's LOVED it. We only have problems with him sleeping there when Big Brother Cameron gets grumpy with him and yells and cries. Jake's learned that sleeping on the big-boy bed allows him the opportunity to come to mom and dad's bed in the middle of the night. I always wake up when he comes in, but I'm so tired and lazy that I just bring him into our bed to sleep. Steve wakes up and wonders how Jake got there.
I've been crafty. I've learned a basic stitch in crocheting. I never knew that I would love to crochet like I am, but I do and I've made 4 scarfs in 3 weeks. I want to learn more and more. It's almost a sickness, but a good one.
I've been working on a new parenting program with the boys. It's supposed to be a seven week program, but I hurried through it (because it was a "free program" where you pay them, and once you send back the completed survey you get your money back....I needed my money back, so I hurried) and learned a LOT. The program is the Total Transformation and I'm here to tell you that it WORKS!
One night, the boys were fighting, and my usual response is to yell up the stairs for them to be quiet and go to sleep. This night I was actually listening to one of the lessons and I decided to put it into effect. I called Cameron down to me, since he seemed to be the most distressed, and I asked him what was going on. He then complained that Jake was hitting the metal bars on the bed and keeping him awake. So I asked him what he could do about it. I reminded him that Jake might not stop, what could he do the next time Jake beats on the bars. He said, "Ignore him." I said that his idea was great and to try it. Then I talked to Jake. I told him that it wasn't acceptable to bother his brother. I sent them off to bed. I heard more noise, so I got up and went upstairs. I turned on the light, and told Cameron, "Remember, you were going to ignore him." Then to Jake, "Hitting the bed is not acceptable. Stop it now." Then I turned and walked downstairs. No fighting, no negotiating....nothing. There wasn't another PEEP out of that bedroom for the rest of the night.
I was in shock. Are you telling me that this technique WORKED!? On MY boys!? Oh, my goodness, I must do more.
It's fantastic. It teaches parents how to help their children take accountability for their actions and how to solve their own problems. Seriously, it works and I LOVE it.
Our family is doing well. Steve and I have gotten our Christmas shopping done (for the most part, a few small-ish things left, but really, we've got the boys covered and our other big ones as well!) The boys are excited for Christmas, and I'm debating about putting up the tree right now. I know I will HAVE to put it up eventually, but I'm not in the same hurry I used to be in years past. I've learned that our house needs a successful Christmas by not having presents under the tree until Christmas Eve. So I haven't wrapped the presents or put up the tree. Lack of motivation is to blame, I think.
So there's our family update. It's been a busy last month, and we're excited for December and all the fun things to come.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Do You Feel It?

This time of year, things get a little crazy at my house. My boys are on hyper-overdrive because they know Christmas is coming and they begin begging for all those toys they see in commercials. ("Mama!! I want THAT!" "I'm gonna ask Santa for that for Christmas!" "When can we write our letter to Santa?" "I'm so excited, guess why. 'Cause Christmas is coming!!")
We visit family and friends, trying to squeeze in quality time with those we love and care about. And then we eat....oh, how we LOVE to eat. The food tastes so fantastic we find ourselves stuffed to the gills and wanting MORE.
Thanksgiving for us was wonderful. We had a lot of people come from far away to visit, and we enjoyed our chats and got many laughs. I wish we could see everyone anytime we wanted's THAT fun.
I love the change in the air. The cool nights of fall change to the freezing snows of winter, and the sky takes on a different color. The people seem happier and there's love to be found almost everywhere. What a great time of year!
Oh, and it's official, I can now *legally* listen to my Christmas music. (I've been listening for months, but now it's okay...I won't be shot by the Christmas police!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I Cannot Win

Jacob is a button-pusher. I mean this literally as well as figuratively. He is constantly getting into things he shouldn't and making them do things they shouldn't.
While we were camping with my parents over Labor Day weekend, Jake managed to push the buttons in their RV in JUST the right way to over-ride the ENTIRE electrical system. It took 3 grown men a full day to figure out WHAT he did and to fix it.
A while back, I left him watching cartoons while I took a fast shower. Now, for me, a shower is no longer than 5 minutes...this includes shaving of the legs AND a full hair treatment. I take VERY quick showers. In that amount of time, he'd managed to lose our TV remote (which is quite important, we can't turn the blasted thing off without the remote) and play with my phone, calling my youngest brother. I got out of the shower just in time to hear that he'd transferred the call to the upstairs phone and hear it ring ONCE. I looked on my caller-ID and thought that he'd called back the last person who had called me. So I called my mom, only to find out he hadn't called her, and she hadn't called us. When I hung up with my mom, my younger brother called asking if I had called him. I told him apologetically that it was Jake, and I was sorry he'd bothered him at work.
Last week, two days before the time change, my alarm clock (which is FANTASTIC, it's an automatic clock, I don't have to mess with the time long as it's set correctly) changed time. Steve was getting ready for work when we noticed it was an hour slow. How did that happen?? Someone, most likely Jake, messed with the DAY setting on the thing. He set it two days fast.
Knowing all of the things Jake could do, I've taken a few precautions: Our TV has a plastic cover over the buttons, so he can't randomly change channels, turn up the volume unexpectedly, or turn the TV off while we're watching something. I put all remotes and phones up high, where he can't reach. We have a lock on our computer, and turn it on ANY time we're not on it. And I've pushed EVERYTHING back on my kitchen and bathroom counters. I've even taken off the latch on the dishwasher, so he can't make it run.
Again, remembering my little button pusher, I went to take a shower today. I took the phone and remotes and put them up high, and hid the upstairs remote before going into the bathroom. Jacob, my sneaky little boy, came upstairs and played with Steve's clock-radio. He turned the alarm on, the radio on and then pushed his book off of his night stand. When I was getting my hair dry, he found Steve's fancy lotion, like the expensive kind, and SLATHERED everything in sight, the alarm clock, the night stand, the sheet and comforter, his hands and his shirt. Then he came into the bathroom and proudly said, "Mom, I washed my hands!"
Jake is a button pusher, and no matter WHAT precautions I take, no matter HOW safe I THINK I am, he finds something else to get into and more buttons to push....mainly MINE!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Little Miss Homemaker?

Lately, I've been in a bit of a funk. Anything the boys do drives me crazy and I get the feeling that I've lost ALL control of my life and I turn into a screaming machine. I hate it. I'm pretty sure the boys hate it. And I've been trying to fill my life with busy things to keep me from getting depressed and REALLY upset.
Today I've been washing the blankets and sheets for our beds. It's SUCH a pain to haul all the bedding from upstairs to the basement, but it will be worth it to have yummy smelling blankies and sheets tonight. I haven't changed the comforter on my bed for a VERY long time. Now that it's fall/winter time I'm changing it to the darker blanket and the warmer stuff. I hope it will be worth it.
I'm also making HOMEMADE pumpkin pie. Okay, the only thing that ISN'T homemade is the crust, but I actually mashed the pumpkin by myself (this time using PIE pumpkins, so it's not nasty and stringy) and it smells SO heavenly. I can't wait to eat my hard work.
And with the cold weather coming I've learned a new skill. A long time ago, when I was 10 or 11 years old, I was taught a few crafty things in Primary. My sweet Primary teacher wanted us all to have the cutest things that we had created ourselves, and unfortunately for her, I was a bit of an impatient punk. We tried doing counted cross stitches, and I gave up on it before it was done. She sweetly took it and finished it for me. Then she taught us to crochet. I figured I would be FANTASTIC at this since my mom has ALWAYS been a crocheter, but it was NOT that way. I had no patience for crocheting. The only thing I ever retained from my crocheting experience was the hand hold and the chain stitch.
Fast forward to last week. I wanted to make my boys scarves for winter. I knew that I could do it, I have the determination, but I worried that I would give up like I had earlier in life. So, while I was at Cameron's annual genetics appointments last Tuesday, I had my mom show me how to make a simple stitch and a scarf. After several tries (pulling it all out after messing up) I got the hang of it, and had about a foot and a half of scarf for Mr. Jacob.
I took my crocheting with me to all of Cameron's therapy appointments, and began to get faster and faster. Then yesterday, after therapy, I finished a little scarf for my little man. I tied it all off and put strings on the end, and VOILA! I had crocheted AND finished a project!
I would LOVE to show you my craft, but sadly, my camera has decided to rebel against it's camera cord. I can't upload pics to my computer anymore, but I can upload at my mom's house. I just need to get over there sometime.
I'm just feeling SO proud of myself for accomplishing these rather homemaker-y goals! GO ME! :)