Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Self Help Skills

Trying to encourage our kids to use their self help skills can be a slow and challenging experience. After all it is faster and easier just to do it ourselves, but our kids not only learn to do things for themselves but also gain self confidence from attempting to do things for themselves. With this said, an already challenging experience for mom and child turns out to be more challenging when you have a child who has a disability. My son Reese has a hearing disability and wears bilateral hearing aids. Like with most toddlers, we try hard to build our children's vocabulary by playing and having conversations with our kids. With Reese, it's so much more challenging. His first resort in communicating for things he wants is to whine, cry, or scream. I try to encourage him, after assessing the situation, to use his words. I even give him words to use, in case he is having a hard time coming up with some. This process usually involves a massive temper tantrum followed by a waive of the white flag of surrender. (Most of the time on his part; Sometimes on my part.) I try very hard, even though I too want to cry, to stand firm and wait for him to use his words. I know that its one of the only ways to foster his growth in vocabulary, but I also hope that eventually it will end the temper tantrums. I want him to know that tears are not the way to get what he wants or to ask for help. I know, I know...this isn't that unusual for a toddler, but it feels more frustrating with him. Sometimes I am not sure if he's making this so much more challenging because he just doesn't understand what I'm saying because he's not hearing me clearly or if he's just being a typical toddler. Oh the dilemma. I'm not giving up though. My kids will know how to use their words with confidence. They will also know how to do things for themselves. I'm rebooting this blog now that I'll be home more often. I'll be writing about some of these self help skills that the boys will be working on and about the new baby GIRL who will be joining our family any day now. Until then, let life happen!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Product Praise


While preparing the boys for daycare, I remembered that one of the requirements is that every bottle sent has to be labeled with the current date, time it was prepared, contents, and child's name. This procedure was required even back when I worked with infants. What I remember from back then was that the labels would fall apart in the warmer and leave a sticky residue on the bottle. Yuck. So I was on a mission to find a product out there that would fill the bill for bottle labeling without falling apart or ruining my bottles. The product I found and love is Baby Bottle Labels from Coolpacifiers.com. It looks like a personalized silicone bracelet for bottles and sippy cups. It's different from other sites silicone labels because they leave you room on the back of it to write (with a ball point pen) date, time, contents and even allergies! It washes off each time and is dishwasher safe. Since we've purchased them we've received plenty of praise from the boys' caregivers at school. This site also has super cute personalized pacifiers too.

First Day of School...or Daycare.

The boys' first day of school was on August 1st and had a great day. I'll admit I had the "you're doing everything wrong" freak out on their caregivers mainly due to my guilt and anxiety of being away from them. It's all good now. I put myself in check and got over myself.

My mom called me that night to ask how it all went and I was super sad because I now get, maybe, two waking hours with them a weekday. She asked if I took pictures, which I did. Not because I wanted to mark this huge event, but to have a recent photo for the police if they were kidnapped from school. They're super cute. Who wouldn't want to steal them. (My mom laughed at how messed up this was. I'm glad she has a sense of humor.)

They've been in school a while now and seem cool with it. I hope they still feel this way tomorrow, Monday, because they are being moved to the big kid (mobile babies) room. I'm actually excited for this. They'll be in a room were they'll sing more songs, paint, and play outside more. Woo Hoo!!!

Here's the boys' "Lost Twins Poster"...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Product Praise

I want to give a shout out to mesh fresh food baby feeders. When I registered for this item a lot of people told me how horrible they were and how difficult they were to wash. I do not agree. This product has been a staple at our house lately and a life saver. Let me explain...

Both boys are teething, super cranky, drooling profusely, and chewing on everything. Some things that we have found that work; so far, cold wet washcloths, orajel for day and night, and the mesh fresh food feeders.

(Munchkin Fresh Food Feeder shown)


How the mesh feeders work for us is we slice up bananas and freeze the slices. When we're ready to use the feeders we pop out a frozen banana slice, put it in the feeder, and let the boys chew away.

Here's Brady enjoying his banana slice.


Here's Reese enjoying his banana slice.


Here is a fun and yummy recipe with frozen bananas that is more for big kids and adults.

Frozen Banana Treats

Ingredients:
One Banana
Magic Shell Chocolate Syrup
toppings (Sprinkles, chopped nuts, dried fruit, etc.)
aluminum foil
craft stick (optional)

Directions:
Peel the banana and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in freezer.
Once banana is frozen, immediately cover with Magic Shell Chocolate Syrup and roll into desired topping. (Magic Shell will hardened quickly so these step must be down fast.) Now enjoy!
(Picture provided by Kraft Foods)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Funtastic Fourth!

Without going into great detail of our weekend, I'll only highlight the really exciting points. One of them being a visit with my good friend Nicole. For those of you who don't know my friend Nicole, she is a stay at home mom with SIX children, all her own. She has five boys and just recently gave birth to her first girl. Now, I've always had this reputation with her boys as "Mommy's friend that's my girlfriend." The boys love me and have kissing wars over who gave me the most kisses. Not a single one of them has ever given me a hard time or has rejected me. Of course, this didn't prove to be so with her first girl. As Nicole handed her off to me she explains what a good baby she is and that she never cries. She cried or fussed anytime I held her. It has to be a girl thing or a sign...perhaps I should be satisfied with my two boys and not try for a girl.

The rest of the weekend was spent swimming and barbecuing at my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's house. They just put in a very lovely pool/splash area. I honestly don't know how they don't play hooky from work everyday. I had a blast! I think we all did. You can tell in the pictures.

Brad, the boys, and I


Reese


Brady and Papa


G-ma, the boys, and I

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OMG...

Lately I've been slacking in the world of blog. I've had ample time to write, but instead choose to relax. If you had twin infant boys, you'd probably do the same. So what's new here? Well, let's see...Father's Day happened and yet again keeping a gift for Brad a secret is near impossible. When a holiday with gifts gets close he searches the bank activity everyday and boxes that come in the mail for clues. He always knows what's coming and it drives me CRAZY. I was determined to avail this time by being sneaky and getting something for him from Shutterfly since I shop there all the time lately. Needless to say, it didn't work. He's a nosey snoop and I'll just have to live with it. For all of you who are curious on what the boys and I made at Shutterfly for Brad, we made a Photobook with pictures of the boys and daddy. The book was titled, "My Daddy's First Father's Day," love Reese and Brady. It was so cute and Brad was complaining how he didn't have any pictures of the boys at work, so now he does. I thought about making him a tie with a picture of the boys and I on it, but I reserve that corniness for my own father. Which, by the way, he wears proudly. He wore the tie with little Adrienne heads all over it to many of my pageants, both graduations, and my rehearsal dinner.

On a different note I'd like to address the need to get out of dodge, aka my hood, more often. This could be better stated...

Five Signs Adrienne Needs to Go Back to Work.
1) I was designing a sticker to stick on all the cars in my neighborhood who very rudely park their cars, blocking the sidewalk.
2) I created my own daytime soap opera based on the comings and goings of a very married neighbor and a very single neighbor who spend entirely too much time together at weird times of day at the single neighbor's house. Bum Bum Buuuuum.(Do I sound much like Cam on Modern Family)
3) I made a weekly lesson plan for my children and scheduled out their ENTIRE DAY.
4) I made a pie chart on my kids daily in put and out put.
5) I've been having weekly hour long chats with my local Jehovah's Witness door to door lady. I'm sure she's convinced that she has a converter on her hands, but I'm just desperate for adult conversation.

I'm sure there's more crazy I could mention, but I'll leave that for another day.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My first NIGHTS away from my babies...

This past weekend my younger sister, Sarah, was married to Gabriel. Like most weddings there was a rehearsal and the wedding. Two days of celebration and organized chaos. AND...two nights away from my cute adorable babies. They spent the weekend with G-ma and Papa B. Let's just say I'm happy my night as a glow worm is over and that I'm back with my kiddos. Weddings are stressful, even when they're not your own.

Where should I start? Well I should first state that I was without a motor vehicle. I had to rely on my parents for transportation. My dad forgot this little fact and left me at the hotel the morning of the wedding. We were supposed to be at the church for pictures at noon. It was 1:30 before anyone noticed I was missing. My gown still didn't fit well, so during the ceremony, right before the vows I had to walk up stairs to the couple carrying the brides bouquet and my own. What do I do? I step on my dress. I tore a huge whole in the dress and yanked it down in front of everyone with NO hands to catch the dress and pull it back up. Thank goodness Sarah had a huge bouquet, because it covered the things that needed to be covered until I got back to my seat. Right about now you're probably thinking, wow, what a crappy day...let me stop you there because it gets better. After the ceremony, but before the reception, the bridal party crammed into a limo and drove around town getting pictures taken. At this point I was feeling really yucky. My blood sugar was dropping really fast, which was weird because I ate a two cut up apples with caramel sauce and a Turkey Tom sandwich from Jimmy Johns prior to the ceremony. By the time we finally reached the reception location I was shaking really bad and felt like I was going to be very ill, hopefully not in the direction of the bride, at any moment. My dad thought I was drunk, probably because everyone else in the limo was, but I digress. We get inside and sit down on a platform for everyone to see. My mom and a bunch of other people rush over to see if they could help me out. What do I do? Well it wasn't pretty and I did manage to do it in the opposite direction from my sister the bride. However, everyone saw it and everyone I'm sure thought I was drunk also. I wasn't, just needed to eat. My Matron of Honor speech was terribly short. I hadn't anticipated this happening to me. I could barely stand up I was shaking so bad. I'm not even sure if my shortened speech made sense. I just wanted the food to come out asap. After I finally ate, I was perfect, like nothing happened at all. It was SO weird. I'd really like to say that was the end of my crazy day, but just when things couldn't get anymore interesting, a groomsman's wife (who was beyond drunk)gave me a striptease and TWO lap dances. The highlight of my night. I was very flattered. I was waiting for her to start making out with me because she kept telling me how much she loved me and how beautiful I am. (Did I mention I just met her.)After that my night was pretty boring. Here's a picture from the festivities...

Me as the head glow worm and showing off one of the many holes in this dress.