Two Milestones

September 30, 2008

Just this morning PJ hit two different milestones.  The first happened as I was changing his diaper right after getting him up.  He started rubbing his head and told me, “Head hurt.  Bumped my head.”  I knew full well he had not bumped his head, so my best guess was that he had a headache.  We’ve all been fighting an allergy attack, and BabyN kept us up for a good portion of last night because of it.  It’s entirely possible he had a headache from the allergies, or from the sleep deprivation.  I never would have known something was wrong and that I should give him Tylenol if he hadn’t said something.

That was a first for him, to tell me something hurt when it wasn’t obvious, like if he really had just bumped his head.  And he managed to communicate that without screaming or any tantrums.  I like that milestone.

Then at breakfast, BabyN was fighting me feeding him.  He often puts his hands in front of his mouth or scratches his nose to let me know he doesn’t like a food or isn’t hungry anymore, but today I couldn’t tell if he was scratching his nose because it was itchy or if he was just not hungry anymore.  He finally started crying a little, and again I was trying to decide whether to wait him out or quit feeding him.  PJ started making funny faces at his brother and smiling at him, getting him to stop crying and start babbling happily instead.

Then PJ looked at me and said, “Gaga says he want down.  Gaga all done eating.”  (Remember he calls his brother Gaga.)  I tried a few more bites of food with BabyN, and he fought each one of them.  I finally gave up, deciding PJ was probably right.

He had translated for his brother.  How crazy is that?  Not only was he communicating using more words in a sentence than I had heard in a long time, but he found different ways to say it–and it was infinitely more complex than telling me what he wanted.  And he helped his brother communicate.  I’d say that was a pretty big deal.  I’m so proud of him, especially after how yesterday morning went.


September 29, 2008

That’s it.  I’m calling shenanigans on all these tantrums.  (By the way, anybody know where that phrase comes from?  We use it all the time around here, and I can’t remember what show we stole it from.)

I KNOW PJ can talk and ask for what he wants.  There is no reason for him to throw himself on the ground and scream and whine and yell until my ears ring just because I can’t read his mind to get him whatever he wants.  So that’s it.  I’m not playing his game anymore.  I’m not going to guess, I’m not going to offer him something–anything!–just to get him to quit it.

I may end up bald from pulling out all my hair and I may end up spending naptime in my room crying with my pillow over my head, but I’m putting an end to it now.  He’s turning into a spoiled brat, and I’m not going to let it happen.  Better fix it now before the damage is irreversible.

I started it this morning after not liking how breakfast went yesterday.  Basically yesterday he was bribed to quit throwing his tantrum with the things he probably wanted.  We never discovered for sure if that’s what the tantrum was about because the bribes did the trick and stopped the screaming.

Today?  I wasn’t buying it.  I asked him whether he wanted juice or milk to drink with breakfast.  When he didn’t answer, I told him I wasn’t going to get him either until he asked for it.  He was too busy throwing a tantrum because he’d wanted toast for breakfast instead of the waffle I’d already fixed.  Then when I didn’t read his mind and get him juice, his tantrum got louder.  I guessed that he probably just wanted juice, but I didn’t know that for sure since he wasn’t telling me.  He had everything he needed–a waffle and water–and he could eat if he chose to.

The tantrum continued until I bodily moved him to the table.  Then he started hitting the table to emphasize how upset he was.  He knows better than to hit, so I gave him a warning and then moved him to time-out.  He only screamed louder.  I did the usual three minutes, and when he started to calm down even a little, I got him back out.  Apparently the time-out proved how serious I was because the second I walked up to him, the tears and tantrum ended.  He asked for his waffle and then juice, which I happily got for him since he’d asked nicely, and then he ate contentedly.

In other words, I won.  He learned that the tantrum got him a time-out, not whatever he wanted.  The words got him what he wanted.  I am so proud of my first victory and my patience in waiting him out.

I know it’s not going to be easy to stick to this and convince M to do so every time as well, but it has to happen.  He’s almost three now, and it’s long past time for him to learn that tears are not a manipulative tool.

Funny Friday

September 26, 2008

Lately I’ve been having problems finding pants that fit.  I have one pair of capris that I wear just about every day because they’re the only pair I have that aren’t too tight or too low-cut.  Unfortunately they are a bit more low-cut than I would like, and I have to be very careful when I lean down or crouch down around other people.  Sometimes I still end up showing a little more lower back skin than I’d like.

M has taken to teasing me about it a little, teaching PJ to say “plumber’s crack” when I lean down.  PJ thinks it’s hilarious, especially the way it makes both of us laugh every time he says it.  Oh, yeah, and he doesn’t say “crack” right.  That’s why now, every night as we leave him in his room at bedtime, we get to hear him say, “Sleep tight, plumma’s crap!”

I just hope he doesn’t repeat that one at naptime at MDO or the next time we visit the grandparents.

Oh, yeah, and thanks bunches for helping me through yesterday’s TV dilemma.  I hadn’t even thought about the premieres being re-aired later.  I’ll set up to record Survivor when it’s on this weekend.  Just nobody tell me anything about it until I’ve had a chance to watch!  And I have yet to watch anything we recorded last night.  We were too busy doing other stuff all evening to watch TV.  Guess what I’m doing during naptime today!


September 25, 2008

Stupid Thursday night TV.  Or stupid DVR box, I guess that’s really to blame.

See, here’s my problem: There’s too much good TV on tonight, and I can’t record three shows at the same time.  We’re already scheduled to record The Office and Gray’s Anatomy.  But I also want to watch Survivor, which is still playing at that time.  I can watch or record the first hour, but what’s the point if I can’t watch the second?

Or I could just not record Gray’sThe Office is not debatable since it’s for M as much as me, but the other two are my own guilty pleasures.  How do I prioritize?  Which will I choose?

M had the suggestion to look up online whether any of the three shows will have streaming episodes or will be playing them online in the next day or so.  I like how he thinks, but I can’t find any info about that on their websites.  Do any of you know anything?  Will I be rescued from my dilemma?

What would be your own personal choice here?  Or do you have another guilty pleasure that’s even more shameful than Survivor?

Still Talking about Talking

September 24, 2008

We had PJ’s full special ed evaluation this morning.  It was scheduled to happen a week or so ago, but some wind or hurricane or something closed all the schools down for a week which obviously delayed our appointment.

It went relatively well.  BabyN (NR? LilN?) was in his typical chipper mood, which helped matters considerably.  After a while, though, we were asked to leave, but very nicely.  The problem was that they were trying to record PJ talking to analyze more later, but BabyN kept cooing and banging on the table, making it more difficult to pick out PJ’s voice on the recording.  I get the feeling the one lady was frustrated I had the baby with me again, but it’s not like I had anything else to do with him, especially when I only found out about the new appointment time yesterday.

PJ was–well, PJ.  He was extremely cooperative–when he wanted to be.  The diagnostician used the same words I’ve heard before in reference to him: He “had his own agenda.”  I suspect this is going to make determining his eligibility for the program difficult.  It’s possible he has deficits in the areas he did not cooperate, but there’s no way to know that for sure because of his lack of cooperation.

M and I have come to agreement that he’s probably the most special ed GT student ever.  He behaves much like a gifted/talented kid would, so focused on excelling in their best areas that they tune out everything else going on around them.  These are kids that often don’t care to do anything they feel is beneath them and will do only what they feel is worthy of their time.  That’s exactly what PJ does, if I can guess at his motivation.  The talking may or may not be a symptom of this.

I’m curious to see what they decide to do about PJ.  I got the feeling from their reactions after the evaluation that they were kind of confused.  He doesn’t fit neatly into any box, so it’s going to take a little more analysis and observation to make any decisions.

Honestly, I’m not sure what I want the result to be.  As much as I don’t want him to have the special ed label, I want him to get the help he needs.  But I don’t know that they will be able to provide the help he needs, if he even truly needs any.  I guess this is the best attitude to have, so that I’m not disappointed with whatever they decide.

Nursing, and Not the Medical Kind

September 23, 2008

Thanks for the suggestions on new names for BabyN.  I’ve been considering using his initials like I do with PJ, but NR doesn’t have the same ring to it.  I’m looking into something that conveys a little of his personality.  Not easy but better than a movie rating. 🙂  I’ll let you know if I come up with something.  In the meantime, keep the suggestions coming!

We didn’t do much for his birthday.  Obviously the cake I labored over came out pretty well.  Okay, so it was out of a box and the frosting was from a can, but I’m the kind of cook that can even mess that up.  I was pretty happy with how it came out, and all my boys seemed to enjoy it.  PJ’s compliment was certainly the best, though: “Mmm, birfday cake good!”  I think it’s safe to say he gets the whole birthday thing now, even when it’s not his.  And does it really matter whose birthday it is when you get cake?

I am glad to say that BabyN is now over a year old and still nursing.  In the early days of nursing PJ, I was surprised that I made it a full two weeks and then six weeks of it.  It wasn’t easy at all.  I think that’s why once we found our groove, I was reluctant to give up when he hit a year old.  I kept making excuses to continue, even though I knew a lot of people thought it was weird to nurse much past a year.  I finally threw in the towl and weaned him when his adjusted age was a year.  Good timing, too, since I found out I was pregnant three days later.  Still, I feel like I weaned him because of pressure from others, not because we were both ready.

I’m not caving to that (probably imagined) pressure this time around.  As much as I would love to have my body back to myself, I’m not in any hurry to wean BabyN yet.  He’s still nursing three to five times a day.  It’s the way to comfort him back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  It’s the only way he takes fluids right now since all my work getting him to take a sippy or regular cup isn’t working yet.

It’s also one of the only times I can get him to stay still and cuddle with me.  As plans for a third are as of yet non-existent and could remain that way, I want to cherish every minute I get to hold and snuggle with my baby boy, even when he is so quickly growing into a little boy.  He seems to love those snuggle times as well, so I’m not about to push him into giving them up yet.

Right now my plan is to follow his lead.  If he acts like he’s ready to move past the breastfeeding days–and will drink from a cup of some sort–then I’ll start working on weaning.  I may give up another few months from now and slowly wean him myself, but I don’t think that’s likely.  I’ve already made my first goal of nursing for a year, so now I’m headed for my secondary goal of fifteen months.  It doesn’t matter as much to me whether or not we make it there, but it would be nice.  Either way, I think I’ll probably cut him off at eighteen months if we make it that far.  Then again, I may change my mind by then.  I hope not, though; fifteen months is plenty long enough already.  Still, I’m just playing it by ear now.

One Whole Year

September 22, 2008

I did it.  The old Afterthoughts is gone.  It was remarkably easy, a little too easy even to erase all that recorded history.  Anyway, I have yet to see whether it accomplished my main purpose, but I have no reason to believe it didn’t.

In other news, my baby is one today.  Excuse me while I go cry.  And make cupcakes and wrap presents (cause I’m on the ball like that).  I could and probably should write an emotional post about how I can’t possibly handle being the mother to two toddlers and how my baby is all growned up and my reluctance to wean and how all of a sudden I want another (ok, not that sudden).  But those posts will wait for another day.  I have enough scheduled into this day already.  Besides, the summaries kind of speak for themselves, don’t they?

Ooh, oh yeah, one thing before I go bake cake.  BabyN isn’t a baby.  I NEED a new name for him.  I’ve asked for suggestions several times already and have gotten squat.  My creative juices are non-existent right now, so I need help.  Ideas? Please?

Some Business

September 19, 2008

I think I’m finally going to do it…I’m going to delete the old blog, the one hosted by blogspot.  I know most of you didn’t even know it was still there, but a few of you make it here that way (so my stats page tells me) so I thought I would give you fair warning so you can fix your blogrolls before it’s gone altogether.

So I guess Sunday will be the day.  That’s two full days, which should be plenty.  By the end of the day Sunday, the blogspot address will no longer exist.

Why, you ask?  For one, it’s pointless to stay there.  I transferred all the old posts here when I started this blog, so it’s not like I want to keep it to remember all those early posts.  Also, I’m considering using PicasaWeb as my new flickr-like picture sharing site because of how easy it is to get pictures from Picasa online, since I use Picasa anyway.  But my PicasaWeb site automatically includes pictures from my blogger blogs.  It seems that is the site that hosts the photos.  If I share that page with family, they will be able to see pictures from ALL my blogger blogs.  Yup, even the old Afterthoughts.

So if I want the site to be shareable with family, Afterthoughts at blogger needs to go.  Of course, I’m only going by theory that deleting the blog will delete that album from my page.  It’s the only way I can find to get rid of it, so I’m going to try it.  Like I said, it’s not serving any purpose by taking up its little corner of space on the web.

So Sunday it is.  Fix those blogrolls now if you’ve been as lazy about that as I have been about cleaning up behind myself.

Because I’m a Blog Slacker

September 18, 2008

You know the only problem with normal?  It’s boring.  It was kinda fun blogging about being in a hurricane, but now that things are back to normal, I have nothing to say.

Here’s a funny story.  On Friday as the hurricane was starting to blow in, PJ looks up at me and asks to use the potty.  Just like that.  I laughed out loud and informed him that he’d chosed a particularly bad time to decide to potty train, what with not being sure we’d have indoor plumbing in the morning.  And possibly because I didn’t respond to his cues when he was ready, he still hasn’t peed in the potty yet.  Sigh.  That’s about right.

I’m also getting a cold.  It’s not that bad yet, but I’ve been fighting it for three or four days already and it gets just a little worse each day.  M fought it for well over a week.  At least I wasn’t sick with it during the hurricane, though, like my dear husband.  Can you imagine waking up to whistling wind outside your window and driving rain…because you had to cough and couldn’t breathe?  Otherwise he would have slept right through it.  He’s definitely a trooper to deal with all that mess while feeling pretty awful.

BabyN turns one on Monday.  On Monday!  How is it even possible that he’s been here for a year already?  Naturally we still have presents to shop for and cake to buy.  And naturally there are still very few stores open around here where we can get presents and cake.  He may get one of his gifts as a little brother gift at his brother’s party in a few weeks.  Luckily he’s too young to care.

Ike, the Aftermath

September 14, 2008

It’s late, and I don’t feel like writing another post about it at the moment, so here is a (nearly) cut-and-paste from what I wrote on our family blog:

I apologize for the silence for the last few days, but as expected, the power went out. It happened sometime during the night Friday night, when Ike was blowing his hardest. The wind was quite scary. I spent a fairly sleepless night listening for noises out of the ordinary that could signal problems. Then I was awake because of the heat in the house after power went out.

On the bright side, we woke up to much calmer weather Saturday morning. The worst had passed, and by late morning the rain was a mere drizzle and we were able to assess the damage. It was minimal, thank goodness. Our area and neighborhood fared quite well, much better than the scenes you have been seeing on the news.

Personally, we have some roof damage from the winds, but nothing that will leak during rains (this morning’s thunderstorm tested that already). I am sure that our roof issues are very low on the priority list for repairs. We also had one small section of fence blow over and some minor damage to our air conditioner. Considering how bad things seem to have gone all over the area, we were very lucky. Even one of our neighbors had a huge section of their roof down to just plywood and already have six different leaks in the roof as a result. Another house in our neighborhood in the progress of being built, just a frame and plumbing, blew over entirely onto the (uninhabited) house next door.

This morning our power attempted to come back on. When M went outside to inform our neighbors who were enjoying a breakfast in the relative cool of their porch, he watched as a nearby transformer blew up, shooting sparks and bursting into flames. Coincidentally–or not–our power immediately went down again. That’s when we made the decision to try a post-hurricane evacuation. We were tired of living like refugees on peanut butter and jelly and bottled water, unable to even shower and wilting in the heat.

We are now with my parents, among many other refugees who got out before the hurricane. We have air conditioning here, as well as cold food and ways to heat food again. It’s amazing how much you appreciate such simple comforts after living without them for a few days. Naturally we found out when we were nearly here that power had returned to our neighborhood sometime this afternoon, but we decided we would be better off staying put here until things had returned to a semblance of normal down there, when we could get things like milk at the grocery store again.

The boys are doing about as well as could be expected after the uncertainty of the past few days. They both slept like…well, babies through the hurricane but have had troubles napping every since because of the heat. Any little change from his normal routine, like not turning on his fan at naptime, has thrown PJ into hysterics. The last hour of the drive today had both boys reaching their melting point, and all M and I could do was laugh at the simultaneous tantrums thrown by inconsolable boys in our backseat. What else was there to do?

And now we are just planning to sit tight for a few days. You can be sure we’ll be watching the news carefully and talking to people from back home to find out when things in our area are back to normal. It will probably only be a few days for us, not the weeks or months like people who live farther south. I’m sure you will find out shortly after we get home and what we see when we get back there. Hopefully things will seem a little more normal then than they did when we left.