Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Quite Simply, Very Complicated

This, is my baby girl.
She's getting bigger everyday, but we still call her Baby.
She's, amazing!
She loves animals...
Petting a horsey for the first time.
She can climb on practically anything, the more precarious the better!
She loves dolls, and is a very good little mama...
As long as they don't wear any clothes.
She has the wispiest curls ever!
She LOVES water! She can literally play in it for hours.
 That makes her a very good helper with the dishes!
She also LOVES to play outside! Swinging is her favorite, but sliding and digging for buried treasure are also awesome
So then, it makes perfect sense why she is a huge fan of the beach.
Outside, water, and lots of sand castles to raid and destroy! 
She also gets very excited about bubbles! She's still trying to learn how to blow them, but she's an expert at popping them!
She likes unusual toys. Like hangers in the bathtub. She puts them on her legs and says:
"Wim! Wim! Wim!"
That means 'swim' in baby.
She sees the world a little differently.
She notices things that others might miss.
Like how Auntie's magnetic picture frame looks way cooler with ladybugs in it than plain old pictures! 
Or how nice my candles look on top of the basket instead of crammed together inside it. 
She delights in pretty things, like glass beads, marbles, and anything that sparkles or spins.
She is especially fond of lining up her treasures. They look prettier that way.
Wouldn't you agree?
She also has a sweet spot for shapes, which includes letters and numbers! This probably means she'll be much better at math than me. I can live with that, because it also likely means that she will easily learn to read, and that is a passion I love to share with all my family.
  She is bright, funny, curious, sensitive and...
Yes, my bubbly bundle of joy has both some extraordinary gifts, as well as some challenges due in large part to High Functioning Autism.
Now that we finally know, we can continue to embrace and foster the gifts, and better learn to identify and hopefully sooth some of the challenges.
But I think that along this journey, she is going to be doing a lot of the teaching. So I hope we prove to be good students.
And, most important, really good listeners. 
Because what she has to say...
 ...comes strait from her heart.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Grace Gets the Blues

Grace wanted to do a science experiment Wednesday. This one is an oldie, but a goody, and we somehow never got around to it with Zak, so it was new(ish) to both of them. Zak had read about it and knew what happens and why, but he hasn't seen it with his own eyes.

Grace picked orange and blue for the colors. She stirred them in, placed in the flowers, and then was grumpy because, "that was too short!"

She was cheerier when she could start to see results just a few hours later. Not even 24 hours later the entire flower was an unearthly azure! The orange was much more subtle, but still very cool to observe.

Happy scientific-ing everybody!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It All Boils Down to...

More specifically, the lack of it.
Some of you may have noticed that my frequency in posting has dwindled in the last couple of months. To a complete stand still over the last few weeks.
I have about a million and one things I wish to write about, but my brain simply refuses to function without the minimal requirement of sleep. And that, up until the last couple of weeks, was not something that I was attaining.
Yes, after weeks of work to get Kit used to sleeping in her bed for large portions of the night, we had finally all been settling down and snoozing happily (mostly) in our own places.
Then her molars started coming in. And are still coming.
It took over two weeks of her waking nearly every twenty minutes (on the worst nights), and being squirmy and restless when she was asleep, and wanting to nurse (pacify) from the moment I lay down to the hour she finally awoke for the day, before I finally put it all together. And sure enough, when I checked, there were two angry white knots at the back of her lower jaw. Poor baby.
By this time we had moved back to the couch, because only she is comfortable when she is in bed with us. Victor and I wake sore and grumpy. Well, we are both sore, but I get very grumpy. Not a fun way to start the day. Plus I have found that she and I simply both sleep better at those times when she simply must be held, if we are on the couch. I can cuddle her at an angle that doesn't make me ache for days, and she gets squished just right between me and the couch pillow. Usually.
Anyhooo...it was sapping more and more of my already limited energy. Then we got hit with that nasty stomach bug. I pretty much just ceased almost all functioning. My brain and body were maxed out. I was a scatter-brained, emotional wreck.
It's no wonder that sleep deprivation is used as torture. That is very nearly what it felt like.
I was at the point that I was actually staying awake all night on purpose to avoid being awoken over and over and over. Something seriously had to change.
Victor and I discussed options. And since Kit had a couple very intense panic attacks the few times she had awoken in our bedroom with the door shut and me absent, even with Daddy right there, that wasn't going to work. So Victor suggested him sleeping in the living room with her and me sleeping in the bedroom.

This seemed much more possible. She was already used to falling asleep with him in the living room. And there have been many times when she will wake, orient herself, and then go back to sleep, still on his lap. So we thought that waking up on the couch and having Daddy there probably would be ok after a little while too.
We were right. She cried herself back to sleep several times the first night, but not panicky, just tired and missing Mommy. Then each night got a little better. To the point that she is only waking once or twice, and can easily be put back in her place after drifting back off, and no more tears.
We had company on and off for several weeks, during which I slept on the couch with her while the air matress was being used by our varoius guests. But things have settled back down, and Daddy is back on the baby night shift.
We think that another couple of weeks and the two of them, hopefully, can move into the bedroom again. I'll move to the couch until she seems settled into her routine, then I'll move back into the bedroom again too. Then we'll all be back where we belong. Again. Hopefully, for a very long time!
It took about five nights before I finally started sleeping through the night again. And insomnia still suffers me here and again. But for the most part, I'm doing much better. I can put words and sentences together again. And I can plan father ahead than a single afternoon once more.
Neither Victor or I are in love with the current arrangement, but we are confident that it is temporary. Even if it becomes occasionally necessary to revisit it from time to time.
Whomever came up with the phrase "sleeping like a baby", obviously had NO children.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Following the Footprints...Little Ones

Funny thing about toddlers...they don't seem to care that mom is trying to rest, or have a laid back/light work load kind of day. Nope, they just carry on with their big plans. Because, you know, isn't it really all about them?
Who exploded flour all over the kitchen?
Just follow the footprints. The ittly bitty ones.
The suspect was covered from head to tiny toe!
Then not even two minutes later!
"Look Mama! Somebody spilled pretzels all over the floor!"
"I'll help."
Hmmm...wonder how this happened...
They always return to the scene of the crime!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Day of School!

So, we sort of accidentally ended up taking two months off this summer. I knew we would be taking about three weeks off at the end, but the rest was unexpected. But I know I needed it, and it certainly didn't hurt them a bit.

But as of yesterday we are officially back on track! And it was one of the best days we've had all summer, which, quite frankly, has not been our fondest. But it had it's highlights, some of which I'll share more of soon.

I recently assembled (and laminated!) two copies of our new family routine. I hung one in the kitchen, and one in the kids room. Then we all did absolutely nothing about it whatsoever for another month. But now that all major summer events are behind us, it was time to get serious.
So, yesterday morning...I slept in.

But! When I got up, we dove right in anyway, and despite our late start, we got almost everything on the schedule done. All the really important stuff got done. And it felt really good. 

Some of us were more excited than others.

Even Kit has somewhat of a schedule now, kind of.
Lunch was a little extra special too.
And science experiments are always awesome!
Ice cubes in tap-hot water make very cool looking tornados when spun around!
Hot, room temperature, and ice water.
 Which one will dissolve sugar sprinkles fastest?
Now lets play with color!
And eat as many sprinkles as we can!
It was a very fun day! Hope everyone else's was too!