Okay, a little mommy bragging. Please humor me. ;)
I had Sammy's speech evaluated the other day, because he's had trouble with beginning sounds on a lot of his words and I often have to make him repeat himself (sometimes a lot) to be able to understand him. The result was not bad - work with him on a few of the sounds he's not getting (he can say all the sounds except "g", just doesn't always get them right at the beginning of words) and call them back after he's 3 if he hasn't gotten any more understandable.
The warm fuzzy for me was, they (school nurse, school psychologist, & speech pathologist) were all astonished at how smart he is. I had told him early that morning that we had some friends coming over and they were going to listen to him talk, and we could show them the learning wall. So as soon as they came in he went over to it and waited for them. One of them started asking him questions about it - what is that (eyes), where are your eyes (he points to them), what is that shape (diamond)... I asked him if he could spell diamond for them and he said "Oh, o-TAY!" and pointed to all the letters and spelled it as fast as 6th grade spelling be student would have. The one that was standing next to me looked at me with big eyes and said "How old is he???" During most of the observation, he used complete sentences when he was talking. At the end, they asked me if I had any concerns about any other areas of his development. I said no, that it was really just that we both get very frustrated when I can't understand him. That I thought otherwise he might be a little advanced for his age, but maybe I was just prejudiced because I was his mom. They all laughed and shook their heads, and assured me that it was not just me.
The only other almost-3-year-old I have spent any amount of time with was Rachel, (another baby genius!) who was pretty comparable in advancement, so I really wasn't sure...
Yesterday morning I was spelling dog for Katie and he told me "c-o-w spells cow." Without having anything to look at!!!
Now, I figured with two G/T, LSMSA-grad parents, our kids might be a little bright, but I am completely amazed at how smart this boy is, and how much he wants to learn letters, words, etc!
P.S., Be assured - his alphabet-singing, "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear" book reciting sister is not far behind! (MawMaw will appreciate that one, as A- she's the one who gave us the book, and B - I probably made her read that book to me a hundred million times when I was a toddler!)
P.P.S. I hope my bad grammar and lack of appropriate punctuation doesn't make Marie's head spin! (It's my blog and I can be as lazy and hurried as I want! ;)
My mother is still in the hospital. Her doctor told her she had a swollen gland. They have been giving her IV antibiotics since Monday. The swelling has gone down. There was some talk about a biopsy but then it didn't happen. No explanation was given as to what caused the infection. I think she's expecting to be discharged today.
Sammy did OK with the dental work. He didn't even flinch when they gave him the numbing shot, but he screamed every time they put the vacuum tube in his mouth. He got his 3 year molars sealed, some of the rough enamel polished off the top of his front two top teeth, and a cap on the molar that broke 1/2 off in June.
Don't know where we caught it. As usual the kids caught it first. All I really noticed with them is that Friday and most of Saturday they were super fussy. And slightly messy diapers, and a tiny bit of runny nose. Then yesterday it hit me. Crampy stomach... thanking God I don't wear diapers... then last night the runny nose. How did they manage to get away with a few tissues each, and I've already been through 3/4 of a box? Then I couldn't sleep until after 3. And Katie woke me up at 6:30 or 7.
It always amazes me that these things hit me so much harder than the kids. Is my immune system so much inferior? Or did God design nursing mothers that way?
I guess we will not be doing anything with Steph and her kids today. (This is David's 2nd of 3 weeks in town for a class.)
A friend from my LSMSA days, Spicy CPA Frog, asked this in response to a recent post. I know our parenting styles are radically different, so I thought it best to put some thought into the answer/insight into my thought processes rather than just glossing over it in a comment.
Here are some for the things that have entered or crossed my mind at some point:
When Sammy was born I had two fairly close friends, whose parenting style I greatly admired. I later learned both of them adhered to a lot of the principles of Attachment Parenting (AP). They had both chosen to nurse their toddlers, so I knew it was a valid (controversial in the US, but valid) parenting choice.
I did a lot of reading while Sammy was pretty small, mostly stuff on AP because that was what that made sense to my heart, and in that repeatedly came across the idea of child-led weaning. The more I read about it, the more natural and appealing it seemed.
The needs of a 1 year+1 day old child are really no different than the needs of a 364 day old child. So why should I automatically stop nursing a baby just because he/she has reached some milestone on a calendar?
The World Health Organization recommends that after 6 months of age "infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond."
When Sammy was almost 8 months old, I got pregnant with Katie. I was already having issues pumping enough milk to keep up with him at daycare (at that time it was a pumping problem not a supply problem) and then my milk started dwindling because of the pregnancy. I felt terribly guilty, after having decided to let him wean himself, that I might not even be able to nurse him through the first year like I had originally planned before I knew anything about gentle parenting. That guilt carried over for a long time, and was a big influencing factor in deciding to tandem nurse.
Shortly after I got pregnant with Katie, I read Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower, to educate myself as much as possible about nursing a baby/toddler during pregnancy and beyond, to try to figure out if this was something I wanted to pursue or not. I was really touched by all the stories, greatly comforted to know that LOTS of people have gone through what I was about to, and armed with new knowledge I re-made the decision to let Sammy wean himself when he was ready.
I wondered what God actually had in mind when he designed humans? How did people 100, 200, 1000 years ago feed their babies and toddlers? They certainly didn't feed them formula as infants and/or wean them in the first or second year.
In many other cultures, breastfeeding toddlers and preschoolers is perfectly normal, and weaning children before they are ready is considered weird.
..."in societies where children are allowed to nurse 'as long as they want' they usually self-wean, with no arguments or emotional trauma, between 3 and 4 years of age."
We did not have to deal with any sibling rivalry or the usual feeling-neglected toddler behavior when Katie was born.
He gets immunities from it. (Did you know children's immune systems don't develop fully until they're about 6?)
Who knows what other allergies I may have protected him from by nursing him. (And eggs, milk, and peanuts are certainly enough for me!)
It has to be better for him than any of the alternative (non-human) milks that are out there. (He does drink rice milk, but not in the quantities that he would if he were not nursing.) And certainly is much better for him than any of the non-milks he could be drinking (juice, soda, kool-aid, ...)
It's statistically better for his IQ and eventual emotional maturity
It helps him calm down REALLY fast when he is upset or hurt (like after his prick test at the allergist)
It makes him happy and helps him feel secure
Sometimes when Katie is upset she nurses better if her brother is there nursing with her
I didn't always feel this way. I remember a conversation with Chicken, Roomie, Roomie at our 30th birthday spa-day celebration. Since I was pregnant with Sammy, the conversation revolved mostly around parenting and raising babies. At the time Chicken was the only 1 with kids (I think they were 5 & nearly 3 at the time???). She was still nursing her youngest, which I thought was totally weird. I told them I remembered being 3, and it would be just too weird to have a kid grow up and remember nursing. (I now have no idea why I thought that!)
Near the end of our Bradley Method birth class, our class discussed nursing. I was determined to nurse for 1 year (AAP recommendation) and then wean because "anything beyond that is just weird." Another classmate didn't even really want to nurse, but was going to do it for a little while because of financial issues. Boy did we both change our minds when we met our kids and got to know them! Mine is (obviously) still nursing. That classmate and I remained friends after the class, and she was SUPER sad when her son weaned himself ~18m!
There have been times I've been very tempted, and a few times where I actually decided (for a day or so) to change my mind about child-led weaning, but they're usually PMS related, so I end up making myself stick to my original decision. It is not convenient or comfortable to nurse a toddler, especially one with bad teeth, but I believe it is best for him, so I continue to do it.
Sammy has been getting more and more independent lately. He wakes up before anyone else in the house and goes in his room to play until we wake up, or he gets so hungry he comes and asks "May-eye ave som'in a eat, pwease??" During the day he has played by himself for more than half an hour at a time lately. The other day at the zoo, he let "Aunt" Robyn push him in the stroller to see the penguins, hippos, and monkeys without me. (Did I mention this already?) Yesterday at the skating rink, he ran down the bleachers, down the full length of the ice, and then down the steps to the lobby area without once looking at/for me. I have waited for these things (well, OK, not the running away in a semi-crowded public place... but the rest!) for so long. What was I thinking?!?!?!?
We were nursing on the couch this evening. Sammy pops off, says "Mama's nursing two kids, Mama!" and goes back to what he was doing. Not sure what precipitated that comment. Did he think I couldn't tell? And when did he start referring to himself and his sister as kids?
We happened to walk through the primate exhibit at the zoo yesterday while the caretaker was on display with the baby orangutan whose mother rejected him. The caretaker was sitting down propped against a log while he slept on her lap. I was really disgusted to think that at the same time most people are excited that the zoo is going to such lengths to ensure the proper growth and development of this baby, I (and so many other AP moms) got/get so much flak for keeping my babies close to me for the exact same reason!!!
We went to the zoo this morning. It was quite a grand trip. Robyn, Rachel, her skating buddy we acquired for the weekend (his name escapes me right now because I am completely pooped; will remember it as soon as I click "Publish Post!!!"), her skating coach Claudia, Claudia's daughter Romalee (?sp?), Kerry, & Zachary... It was really fun. Sammy even opted to go on with the big kids to see the penguins & hippos while I sat on a bench to nurse Katie, and was away from me for 30+ min without even batting an eye (never thought I'd see THAT day so soon!!!). Feeding giraffes crackers. Pony rides. Unfortunately the train was closed and the carousel too! But still it was a great time. Running all around the zoo. With help I got Katie in a good back carry in my ring sling.
They wore themselves out. They fell asleep within 3 minutes of the truck leaving. That was at 2:08. THEY ARE STILL ASLEEP. In the truck. In their carseats. After yesterday (no nap for Sammy who went to bed at 5:30 pm, woke up 3-4 times to nurse but mostly slept until 5:30 am at which point he was starving; 35 minute nap for Katie between 5:30 & 6:05, who then did not go back to sleep until 11:30 pm!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!) I dare not wake them.
I drove to the post office and worked on some backlogged mail from the last 2 months (thank goodness for my Office In A Bag!), came home, cleaned out the truck, folded the laundry in the dryer, stuffed the rest of the clean diapers... I dare not go upstairs because the minute I do will be the minute one or both wake up. But Rachel and Luke (That's his name! Luke!) helped pick up, the housekeeper was here while we were gone, and there's nothing to do.
Katie has figured out that she gets uninterrupted reading time if she sits on the potty.
We played with Mr. Potato Head for art time the other day.
Can a mom ever have too many spaghetti-face pictures?
Homeschooling fun: we used snack time to help learn counting.
Rachel and her mom are here visiting. She has another skating competition this weekend, here in town. So they came up early to visit. The kids are extatic to have the extra attention. Now they can get stories whenever they want!
Can you guess why the little princess chose to dress in a pink shirt and blue jeans that day?
Yesterday we went for a stroller ride. When I was about to turn left to go home, I saw a sign for a garage sale on a road I knew was just a little to the right. I decided to check it out, thinking they should still have some good stuff since it was only Thursday. The road turned out to be a lot longer than I remembered, and the house with the sale was nearly at the other end of it. It was quite a long trek, up a steepish hill, pushing 54.2 lbs worth of toddler.
It was one of the few times I regretted not being in the habit of carrying cash in my wallet. Most of what she had was cute little girls clothes, 3m-2T. I did have $6, and managed to narrow it down to 2 favorite outfits.
Katie was asleep when we stopped, so she had no idea. Today she was in her room, looked up in the closet and saw a dress she didn't recognize, and immediately had to put it on. This was the same kid I had to chase to put her t-shirt and jean shorts on this morning! Once again little diva has made it clear that my casual tomboy style is totally inacceptable to her.
She was also more than happy to pose for the camera once she was suitably attired. Can you tell in which shots she's saying "sheeez?"
This morning at the chiropractor, Katie finally decided to get adjusted on the "airplane" (tilting table) like Mama and Sammy instead of across mama's knees.
I bought Sammy a mattress & "bunkie board" (similar in concept to a box spring but only 1" thick) for the twin bed frame in his room. He couldn't even wait for Daddy to get home to help me get it out of the truck. "Sammy need big boy bed!" He insisted on climbing in the back of the truck (with help of course) so that he could help me get it out right now, because "Sammy need big boy bed!!!" Did I mention that "Sammy need big boy bed!?!?!?" But is he sleeping in it? Noooooo. Perhaps that will change tomorrow when his Very Hungry Caterpillar sheets and comforter arrive.
Speaking of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, he can pretty much recite the whole book by heart. The other day he asked me to get an apple for his stuffed VHC toy to eat through. We didn't have one, so I gave him 3 plums instead.
Katie likes to sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider." Over and over and over again. Sammy can sing all of it by himself. His favorite song right now is Wee Sing's "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain (When She Comes - Toot, Toot!)" If we listen to that once in the truck, we have to play it over and over the entire drive. If he forgets to ask "wit-ten dis song a-gin", Katie remembers! This could get old when we're going all the way across town, except for the ear-to-ear grin in the rearview mirror, and the sound effects coming from the back seat!
While we were at the library today, I saw a lady walking around carrying her tiny baby (<2m?) in a carseat carrier, hood up. As she walked past, I saw his huge eyes looking around in confusion. I felt so sad for him. How could she not know he wanted to be snuggled up close to his mama's heartbeat? Or at least be able to see her face?
A gut feeling has had me wondering really hard about investigating some kind of gymnastics or other movement class for my kids, and today I came across Mamaebeth's post on Rae Pica & her work. Will definitely have to check this out.
While reading through Rae Pica's blog, I came across this post about tummy time and am now wondering even more if I have ruined my children by not forcing tummy time on them when they so vehemently objected it. I had been wondering this before, based on a conversation with my friends from my mommies' faith group, and the fact that neither of my children crawled, but rather scooted on 1 foot and dragged the other along. Was what everyone thought so cute and unique about them, actually the result of my inferior parenting? (Okay, to be fair to myself, ignorant parenting.) Are they going to need extensive Brain Integration Therapy? Or will Miss Ro's music class (which starts soon, yea!!!) be enough to fire up that inter-hemisphere communication?
On a more positive note, I felt validated in some of my more contriversial (AP-style) parenting choices after reading through Ms. Pica's blog and website a bit. I especially enjoyed this article about the importance of touch.
This morning was our first time using our new, laminated checklists. It went pretty well overall. We got distracted from them 2 or 3 times, but we did eventually check every item off, and having all this stuff done (mostly) first thing in the morning did make the rest of the day go much more smoothly. Here is our current version of the list:
Awesome Grammy bought us an awesome laminator for our school. I have been having so much fun with it! I've laminated the stuff for our learning wall, laminated the torn out/ripped up pages from the kids' favorite 365 Days of Baby Einstein book (also from Grammy!), laminated bedtime and morning routine checklists for the kids. (Sammy is REALLY into checklists right now, thanks to Steve's checklist in Blue's Big Magical Movie.)
Future project ideas include photo albums/storybooks for the kids, some personalized placemats, and some homemade Christmas presents for their aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.
I've about determined there is no such thing!!! Especially amongst the ones with the straws, which are the ones my kids want these days. The Nuby ones, just like their sippie cup counterparts, get the spill-proof part chewed out of the straw the minute I turn my head. The Playtex insulator sport ones, although they are easy for any todller to open and close, aren't spill-proof. The Dora & Diego straw cups by Munchkin seemed to be good at first, but they have started ERUPTING after sitting for a while (I guess as they warm up, they get too much pressure inside...). They also shoot out a bit of their contents every time you flip open the lid. Make that every time *I* flip open the lid, 'cause it's too hard for the kids to open it themselves.
If someone knows of a good spill-proof toddler cup that REALLY IS SPILL PROOF, please let me know.
Or should I just plan to live with eternal chocolate milk spots everywhere we go?
My darling husband (bless his heart!) took the kids for a long stroller ride the other day, to give me a little time to myself. I had a gazillion things I needed to get done kidless, but I also needed to relax, so I decided to return to my Oblivion game on his computer (mine is too old to play it). I was shocked to see my last saved game was from Feb 14th! I do remember that I had to stop playing when Katie got mobile, I just didn't realize it had been so long...