Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Letterboxing !

Rebecca finally had her check-up and she did fine. She received about 4 shots including the flu shot. We have had a very busy month with lots of Birthday parties. I think we averaged more than one per week (including Daniel and James’). Rebecca continues to grow by leaps and bounds and is so happy all the time. James and Daniel are enjoying her more as she becomes more mobile and interactive.
November has been on the mild side, I don’t think we have had a single snow flake so I thought we would take another stab at “letter boxing” before everything freezes up. The boys are a little young for this and haven’t created their own stamp yet or anything but I thought it would be fun to try and locate a local letterbox, I am curious myself. It was a little cool today (low 40’s) but it felt like it was freezing out,
I guess because we are not use to it yet, so we bundled up in our winter things. I downloaded the clues to a Bellingham location and we headed out to the town common where we were met by a Christmas tree in the town Gazebo, which turned out to be our starting point. The clues took us all around the common and we took a few breaks as we passed the slides, rock wall and swings. Daniel and James enjoyed the whole idea of going on a treasure hunt,
although I am not quite sure they fully understood what is was all about and are still a little young for this. Daniel and James must have said a dozen times “Papa this is fun, I like Treasure hunts”, “Papa What’s a treasure hunt? Where are we going? ”I figured if I saw a few letterboxes we could get a better idea of what we need to do and what other people have done, whats buried etc.
The boys may be old enough by next spring (when things thaw out) to enjoy searching for hidden treasures and maybe create their own stamp over the winter.
Well the clues took us a distance away from the main common and down a desolate path. The path got so rocky at one point we had to ditch the stroller and I carried Rebecca the rest of the way. When we got to our last clue we searched and searched and were very disappointed that we didn’t find anything.
Maybe someone took it or we took a wrong turn but we believe we dug in the leaves near the tree where the clues lead us. Oh well we had fun and learned a little more about letterboxing in the process. I will leave a link in case anyone is interested and we will pick it up again in the spring.


Jeanine came home and needed to go to the mall for some new contacts so we tagged along. Thought I would add a photo of Jeanine on the carousel since she didn’t make the last trip with us, Daniel was a little camera shy. Rebecca and I were ordering Dinner.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

(Guess The blog wouldnt take anymore photos today)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gorilla to the rescue

Well the sugar levels have been going down in the household. All candy has been placed on upper shelves. We all get 5 candy corns for finishing all of our dinner. As a result Daniel and James have been much more manageable, less time outs, less fighting, sleeping longer at night. Their attention span has increased by an order of magnitude when it comes to reading or doing games/puzzles together. They just seem so much calmer over the past couple of days. I also stumbled across this Gluten free cereal which Daniel and James (also Rebecca) just love to eat (now that candy has been phased out as an option). I think it is more the story that comes along with it than the cereal itself. It has a picture of a Baby Gorilla on the front and the Gorilla (named Kureba) who lives in Rwanda near a Volcano!! Now Daniel is going thru a huge Volcano phase so this has overshadowed his candy corn addiction and he thinks the cereal actually comes from inside the volcano (His idea not mine, although I am guilty of enabling this type of thinking by not disagreeing with him). James likes them too but isn’t as excited as Daniel and doesn’t buy into the whole Six degrees of separation theory and still prefers the sugar items so I have introduced more fruit options in his diet and he seems to be taking hold of that a little more each day. I do realize that I am probably just fooling myself into believing that they are capable of change (detoxifying from sugar) this quickly and that they have happily adjusted to my above changes. This has become painfully apparent at times as well as embarrassing when they ask strangers, or anyone who comes to visit, for specific food items which contain sugar or inquire as to what they presently have in their mouths. I guess we will take it day by day.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Children's Museum

Autumn is in full swing and November is the cloudiest month of the year here in New England. It was a rainy day so I talked Jeanine into taking the day off and going to the Children’s Museum in Providence. The morning was a little hectic trying to get everyone fed and dressed. As usual James and Rebecca ate a big breakfast and Daniel only wanted Candy Corn (which wasn’t on the menu) and refused to eat anything else,
so yet again we are entering a new hunger strike and rejecting anything that has even a hint of nutritional value and doesn’t contain at least 50% sugar.
We finally got it together and headed out about 10:00 am, the only glitch was that we had some trouble getting into the museum. We have a family pass for the year but our name didn’t appear in their data base for some reason.
I guess we looked honest (or the girl felt sorry for us) and let us go in with the promise that someone would call us to correct the problem. Rebecca missed her morning nap but held up well for a few hours. James headed right for the Pilgrims sail boat and Daniel, Rebecca and I checked out some skeletons. Daniel had the opportunity to practice writing his letters. It is tough to get him to practice at home but he was willing to practice freely at the museum for some reason.
The water area was a big hit this time;
the boys could have spent the whole day there. But Rebecca couldn’t fall asleep in her umbrella stroller and was getting cranky so we headed out a little earlier than we intended.
Daniel held out all day without anything to eat with the exception of 1 banana. He finally ate some dinner which was motivated by dessert for those who finished. We had Spiral pasta and sauce, Daniel managed to eat around all the pasta. So it looks like I/we need to rethink our approach on meal time and providing (or not providing) options/rewards.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Candy Corn

We didn’t do dress up for Halloween. We were supposed to attend a party, for the kids, at our church that afternoon but we were all sick, James was running a fever so we stayed in. I ran out and got some candy for the kids that would stop by. The door bell only rang about 4 times so we ended up with a lot of left over candy, Nestle crunch bars (my favorite) and Peanut butter cups (Jeanines). After 2 days I noticed the candy dish was almost empty and a jar of candy corn which we had just opened this past weekend was almost gone. Jeanine and I don’t really eat them so I suspected that maybe the boys had gotten into them. But the dish was kept up on the counter out of reach and in plain view and I would have known if they were eating candy during the day because Daniel and James tend to drop stuff all over the floor unless they are sitting at the table. So I let it go and a couple of nights later Daniel came out of his room and asked if he could go to the bathroom and I said okay and walked down with him to turn on the light. About 10 minutes later he asked for something to drink and I said no and that he needed to go back in his room and go to sleep. Jeanine and I were talking when I noticed the door to our room closing (very slowly) and I said “Daniel what are you doing?”. Daniel said “Oh, I thought you would want your door closed because it is windy in the hallway.” Jeanine and I started to laugh and told him we were fine and to go back to bed. We were very tolerant of this because normally Daniel stays in his room and falls asleep. A few minutes later we saw him moving very slowly past our door, with his hands covering his face (so we wouldn’t see him). We told him we could see him and he went back into his room. This was so funny to me that I had to get a picture, so I grabbed my camera, which was on a high shelf next to some Nestle crunch bars which I placed there for safe keeping and returned incase he tried again. Sure enough he tried getting past us using a book to conceal himself this time. I also knew something was up because this wasn’t like him to want to sneak down a dark hallway at night. So the next day while I was straightening up their room I was putting all his stuffed animals in the corner of their room when Daniel said “Brown bear wants to stay there”. I noticed “Brown Bear” was wedged tightly between the wall and his bed and I said I didn’t think he would want to be there and mentioned that he looked uncomfortable so we should move him. So Daniel said okay and added that “Brown Bear likes to be on his head”. So I pulled him out and just then I remembered that “Brown Bear” was also a hand puppet so I turned him right side up and out poured “candy corn”. I said “Daniel, why is this filled with candy?” “You know you are not allowed to have food in the bedroom and you shouldn’t take things without asking………………” Daniel quickly interrupts me and says: “Papa, do you remember when James threw the pillow off the porch and it landed in the mud?” I am not sure at this point if I have a firm grasp on parenting and am questioning if I am taking my job serious enough because at that moment I just wanted to start laughing. I couldn’t believe he was trying to change the subject and deflect the focus onto his brother somehow and all this with a straight face.
This explains why he didn’t mind his timeouts in his room over the past week and was so tired during the day.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Testing and Schedules

We had a group of people from Early Intervention come to visit us and Rebecca was tested against established milestones for her age group and she did very well. She was a little behind in her gross motor and social skills but this was to be expected since she was in an institution for 9 months with limited time to move around and develop and has only been home a few weeks. But she is moving ahead very quickly. Rebecca is becoming more and more vocal. She is letting us know when her needs are not immediately met.

I have received many emails from people, getting ready to travel, who were interested to learn about what the schedules were for infants while they were in the baby homes, Rebecca’s schedule at the Baby House was the following:

6:00 am Wake bottle (formula 200 grams)
8:00 – 10:00 am nap
10:00 am wake Breakfast
12:00 – 2:00 pm nap
2:00 pm wake Lunch
4:00 -6:00 pm nap
6:00 Wake Dinner
8:00 pm Bed
10:00 pm Bottle

When I got home this just didn’t work for us and our schedule so she is now on the following schedule:

6:30 am Wake
9:00 am Breakfast
10:00 am nap
Noon wake
2:00 pm Lunch
3:00 pm Nap
5:00 pm wake
6:00 pm Dinner
7:30 Bath
8:00 pm Bottle bed
10:30 pm Bottle

This has been working very well for us and she seems to enjoy the consistency.
James had Pajama Day at school today and as I was getting him dressed he Kept insisting "We cant put on our Pajamas without taking a bath first"(which we had no time for anyway) But, wow, James really likes to keep to a routine. He had so much fun running around outside...... as I was putting him on the bus I noticed James was the only one in his Pajamas. I just hope I got the day right !?! I am sure I will get a call from the teacher or DSS if its not the right day.