Posts tagged talking

My amazing kids

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So I’m sure everyone has heard about the infamous stomach bug going around. It’s not just in Tennessee- I have friends in other states who have come down with it as well! And let me tell you, it’s awful. Just awful. Nathan came down with it a week and a half ago, and then John and I both came down with it last weekend. Whew. It’s been about four years since I’ve had one, and if I never have another stomach virus again, it will still be too soon.

In other news, Nathan is still totally rocking the school thing. He’s in the Accelerated Reading programs and is finally being challenged in that area. His teacher says he’s one of the most fun-loving students she has… Always smiling and grabbing the other kids in giant bear hugs. (He doesn’t get the whole personal space thing, but so far the other kids seem to be ok with it.) in fact, when any of his classmates see him at the school functions we’ve attended, they shout his name and come running to him for one of his giant hugs. I love seeing that!

Baby John is doing great as well. Can you believe he is already almost 21 months old? It’s insane how fast the time goes, I tell ya! He’s in Tennessee’s Early Intervention Program. He has a few delays and is developing some sensory issues. Nothing we can’t handle though, considering we’re used to it now after all we’ve been through with Nathan. So he has an in-home teacher that comes out once a week and works on things like his sensory issues, learning sign language until he’s starts talking, and stuff like that. He’ll also be going through speech therapy and some feeding therapy as well to help him with his eating issues (such as aversions to certain textures), which are fortunately pretty mild.

So things here are going pretty well! John’s therapists think he’s gonna be caught up in no time. Life is good!

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The things kids say…

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Sometimes kids say the darndest things. When I pick Nathan up from school, we all drive through the front and a teacher walks them out and helps them get into the car. When I picked Nathan up yesterday, the teacher was helping him into his carseat and Nathan asked if Daddy was home.

“Not yet,” I replied. “He’s still at work.”

Then, with all seriousness and a completely straight face, he looked at me and said, “Is Daddy wearing clothes today?” The teacher busted out laughing. I told Nathan that yes, Daddy was wearing clothes today. Just like he does every single day of the year. (No one in my house, including the kids, walks around without clothes on. Well, come summer time, I may have the baby in just his diaper because let’s face it- naked babies in cloth diapers are only the cutest things ever!)

Through fits of laughter, the teacher told me that they’ve learned to not believe anything the kids tell them since they say the most bizzare things. Thank goodness she understands because that might have been a little awkward trying to explain to her that we do indeed wear clothes.

In other news, Nathan had his first ear infection ever. Nathan was fine when I dropped him off at school on Thursday, other than a residual runny nose and cough from a lingering cold. However, when I picked him up from school that day, l could tell something was very wrong. He was crying and holding his little ear, tears streaming down his face like miniature waterfalls. The teacher who brought him out told me he’d been complaining about his ear hurting that day, but it had apparently gotten worse in the last hour or so.

I asked Nathan where he hurt, and he said (obviously) that it was his ear. I asked him if he put anything inside his ear and he said a balloon popped in his ear. Since he’s on the tail end of a nasty cold, I was worried about either an ear infection or a busted ear drum since he said a balloon popped in his ear. Nathan was screaming and crying so hard that he couldn’t talk, so I immediately called his doctor.

I know I’ve said this before, but I have to say it again- I LOVE their pediatrician. When I told the receptionist what was going on, she asked how soon I could be there and I said five minutes. We get there and waited only long enough for me to take Nathan’s coat off before we were called back. Nathan was screaming the whole time and his ear was bright red. He was so pitiful, in fact, that everyone we came across at the doctor’s office tried to offer him words of consolation. “Poor buddy, don’t worry we’ll get that ear taken care of,” “Aw bless him,” “It’s okay little man, we’re going to help you,” among other sweet things.

The doctor took one look at his ear and confirmed it was an ear infection. And while he was looking at his ear, Nathan asked the doctor to get the balloon out. Fortunately, there were no balloon pieces in there. Nathan’s ear drum was bulging from the ear infection, however, but the doctor said since we caught it so early, he was going to be just fine. Administering the numbing drops was another story. They know about his sensory issues, and bless them for being so accomodating. The nurse explained to Nathan exactly what she was going to do and what it would feel like, but he still panicked once she put them in.

See, his brain processes sensory information differently than that of a typical person. Sensory input (such as the wind in our hair, textures, sounds, etc.) that may be annoying or even pleasant for us can be excruciating for him. Even showers are painful for him. Because of his autim, he doesn’t (or can’t) tell us how it feels, but judging from his reaction, I suspect it feels like needles jabbing at his skin. So anyway, the feeling of the cold medicine dripping into his ear caused him to start shrieking and flopping around, but the nurse handled it perfectly. Ironically enough, he really enjoyed having the cotton in his ear, and even asked for another piece when the first one fell out. He was still reeling from the drops when the doctor returned with the prescription, but he was able to calm Nathan down and even solicited a laugh or two by giving high-fives and “missing” a few of them. After the numbing drops and some ibuprofen, we left to drop of a prescription for antibiotics.

After further questioning in the car, Nathan said the balloon popped by his ear at home. I remember that- it happened a week or so ago. When it happened, I remember telling Nathan that we have to be very careful with balloons next time because having them pop by our ears can cause ear pain among other problems. So apparently when his ear started hurting, he thought it was because of the balloon popping. My sweet boy.

Nathan’s on the mend now and back to his old self. I hated seeing him in such pain. This is his first ear infection ever- and after seeing firsthand what kind of pain it causes, my heart really goes out to kids who suffer from numerous ear infections. Sweet Nathan. I’m glad I got him in when I did before it got worse! And I hope he doesn’t have to deal with something like that any time soon!

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Our beautiful life

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It’s been busy, busy, busy around here. From still getting up 1-3 times a night with the baby, to driving Nathan to and from school, to cleaning and organizing, to reorganizing the baby’s room and Nathan’s room, and just about everything in between! Nathan finally got himself a big boy’s bed (as in, a regular twin-sized bed) so we took the toddler bed and turned it back into a crib for John. Nathan loves that John’s taking his daily naps in it! I cleaned and reorganized Nathan’s room from top to bottom and am in the middle of doing the same with John’s room.

It’s crazy how hard it is to get seemingly simple tasks accomplished when you have two little ones. Here’s a look into a small fragment of my day. Take mopping, for example. I am loathe to admit how long it’s been since I’ve mopped. Why, you wonder? Well, first I pick up all the toys so I can sweep. After I’ve done that, the baby invariably needs a diaper change or whatnot. After that, he’ll decide he’s hungry, so I feed him. In the meantime, Nathan’s dumped out his legos, brought me plates of food from his kitchen, and scattered clothes and an assortment of toys all over the place. Me telling him to clean up after himself turns into a battle of wills; he ends up getting sent to his room for refusing to clean. Out of principle, I refuse to clean it up for him. I start a load of dishes. Nathan keeps coming out of his room, whining about how he doesn’t want to be in his room, to which I remind him all he needs to do is clean up his mess and he can come out. He stomps out anyway and throws a fit, so I carry him back to his room. He tells me he doesn’t like me anymore. I tell him that’s fine and he can have his opinion, but if he backtalks again then he’ll get more time. He says he wants to be bad and not mind, and when I ask him if he’s sure about that, he screams yes so I give him 5 more minutes in his room. Then the baby starts crying because he needs another diaper change, then after that, John wants to eat some solids. After we’re done, I hear Nathan throwing toys in his room. I go in there and tell him to clean up his mess and he tells me he doesn’t want to mind. I add another two minutes to his room-time. John then starts crying because he wants to be held and hugged, so I spend some cuddle time with him. When he calms down, I go in the kitchen to do dishes, only the water has gotten cold. I empty the water and start over. So at the end of my day, it appears as if nothing has been done.. and it’s driving me crazy because I spend all day long going and going and going.

Don’t get me wrong, Nathan is still an incredibly sweet and loving little guy. He’s simply going through the same phase every single other kid on the planet goes through. It doesn’t make it any easier,  but I do know that eventually this will pass and he won’t be so damn hard-headed. Oh wait. Maybe that won’t pass… ha ha.

As for the baby, I can’t believe he’s is EIGHT months old already… where is time going? Oh, that’s right. I’ve spent the last few months in a sleep-deprived fog. Don’t get me wrong, John’s smile make it all totally worth it, but let’s face it. Getting up to take care of the little fellow 1-3 times a night is draining!

Guess what? He said Mama just the other day! No kidding. I walked into the room, held my arms out to him and said, “HI, JOHN!!” He grinned from ear to ear, kicked his legs and flailed his arms and said just as plain as day, “MAMA!” My heart may have melted considerably as I looked at his toothy grin (he has six teeth now!)

He’s loving solid foods. I’m still making them for him as well. Peas, prunes, and pears are his absolute favorites. He’s ok with green beans, can’t decide if he likes bananas, and so far he HATES sweet potatoes. I don’t know why- sweet potatoes are delicious! Hopefully he’ll come around soon. He’s sitting up quite well unassisted, only ocassionally flopping over backwards or to the side. He loves to stand up! He has strong little legs. They’re long and thin, but they can really throw a kick. He’s outgrowing his clothes faster than I can pack them up and get out the next size. Size 6-9 months doeslln’t fit at all, and he just started busting out of his size 9-months. We have a big boy on our hands!

I’m simultaneously looking forward to and yet dreading when he becomes mobile. It’s amazing watching him grow, but I am SO not looking forward to chasing him around, wresting objects he shouldn’t be playing with from his spit-soaked little hands, making sure he doesn’t chew on anything that could hurt him, and basically following him around everywhere, whisking him down from the tables and chairs he’ll attempt to climb, putting everything back into the cabinets that he drags out… oh there won’t be a dull moment for sure in this house!

Nathan is an AMAZING big brother. He really loves John and likes to help him when John cries. Anything from making silly faces to handing him toys to dancing and singing for him. And you know what? Everytime I see it, my it feels like my heart is going to just explode from all the love I feel. And Nathan being so sweet and doting to the baby (whom he calls “his baby”) makes Nathan’s backtalking totally bearable.

Even with all the chaos and a seemingly constantly messy house, I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. Paul and I really love our lives, and we feel blessed beyond measure. I love being mom to my two boys. And I can always catch up on the cleaning when they’re older… right? Right??

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I love our conversations!

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Nathan and I had a fabulous conversation last night. Sometimes it’s really hard to connect with him- whenever he talks to me, he’s not all there per se. It’s like there’s a bunch of clutter in his sweet little head, and it’s sometimes hard for him to push through it and connect on a level to where he actually “gets” what I’m saying. At any rate, when he has one of those moments where he connects with me and can really hear what I’m saying, I try to take advantage of that.

So I was in the bedroom getting things in order and straightening up when Nathan came in. He asked what I was doing, and I told him I was just cleaning up a little. He asked if we could sit on the bed together, so I sat down with him. He gave me a big ole bear hug, so I grabbed him close and hugged him fiercly. I asked him how school went that day, and he told me he was very nice to the other kids and didn’t call anyone names. (We’ve been having issues with him calling other people “stinky” and “poopy.”) So I told him I was very proud of him for being so nice. His eyes lit up like diamonds.

“You’re proud of me?” he asked.

“Oh honey. Absolutely! You make me proud all the time!”

“Thanks, Mommy!”

“You’re very welcome. You know I love you very, very much, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah. Even when you’re not nice to me or other kids, I still love you. No matter what you do or what you say, I will never, ever stop loving you.”

“Even when I say shut up?” he asked.

“Yes. Even then.”

“Even when you say shut up? You said shut up last week.” Hmm. Shut up is a bad word in my house. I don’t like it and rarely, if ever, say it. At most, I say hush, be quiet, and when I’m super angry, I’ll say hush it or shut it or shoosh it. Much to my chagrin, sometimes it’s so hard to not lose my patience when he’s backtalking me and being defiant. I’ve been talking to him a lot about taking responsibility for things we say, so I wasn’t going to argue with him about it and lose the moment. He has an insane memory, and for all I know, maybe I did say shut up and just don’t remember it.

“Honey, sometimes people say things they don’t mean when they get frustrated. But that doesn’t make it okay. Sometimes Mommy makes mistakes, and I’m so very sorry.”

“Yeah,” he said. “It really, really, really hurt my feelings. It made me so sad.”

“Oh, my sweet boy,” I said as I put my hands on his face. My eyes started to water. “I am so sorry I hurt your feelings. I love you, Nathan.”

“But why?” he asked.

“Because you’re my boy. I grew you in my belly, and God helped you come out. I loved you from the  moment you started growing in my belly, and even more the first time I ever held you in my arms. You’re so smart, beautiful, and sweet, and kind, and loving.”

“I love you too, Mom!”

“Oh yeah? Why do you love me?”

“Because you make lots and lots of good milk for baby brother so he can get bigger and bigger and BIGGER! And then he’ll be so big and then he’ll eat food and won’t need your milk and your milk will go away.”

I’m not even kidding! HE TOTALLY SAID THAT! It was hilarious and SO hard not to bust out laughing. I’ve never told him that my milk will eventually “go away” once John weans himself. He’s a smart kiddo, and he’s always saying things that completely crack me up. And who knew that me making milk for his baby brother would be a reason Nathan loves me? Ha ha. I so love that boy.

 

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