Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Adventures in Undies, Day 1

Evelynne is really interested in Jeremiah's potty training. She loves watching him go and has been asking to "go pee pee" on the toilet the past few days. She hasn't actually made a movement in the toilet, but her willingness to sit on it is a step in the right direction.

Anyway, I decided to buy her her own little undies today, because Jeremiah started learning the quickest how to control his bladder when I let him run around in underwear. Evy was THRILLED to pieces to have her own undies. She spent 20 min playing with them in the cart at Target (and I was a nice mommy and didn't take pictures of her pink Yo Gabba Gabba undies on her head!). I put them on her at home, and within 2 minutes I hear her start to cry "oh no, yucky yucky!" with tears streaming down her face. Yup, she had an accident. Poor baby! Later on that afternoon she brought me another pair of her undies, excited to try again. The same thing happened again less than 2 minutes later. Oh well, she'll get the hang of it soon enough :) If Luis had it his way, she'd stay in diapers forever, because "she's a baby, and babies wear diapers." She will always be my baby....but I can't wait for our diaper expense to be cut! It's already gone down a bit with Jeremiah being in undies only when we're at home, but at night and out in public he's still in pull ups.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Crazy Kiddos!

I am so excited to be blogging again! It is great getting back into the swing of things. I especially love it when my readers reply to my entries even anonymously. I know it seems like all I write about are my kiddos... but they are my life! As a stay home mom, (who is actually now a work at home mom- more on that later!), Jeremiah and Evelynne occupy every moment of every day for me. Whether it be playing with them, teaching them, getting things ready for an outing/meal/bath/bedtime/etc. or thinking ahead for the next outing/meal/bath/bedtime/etc. So, apologies are in order if I have nothing but my babies to write about :)

Today I'm going to be doing a quick "catch up" on the kiddos- how they're growing and what they've been up to!

Jeremiah Luis

Jeremiah has been my busy bee! He has been in preschool since his third birthday (Dec. 2). He absolutely LOVES school. He goes 5 days a week, 4 hours a day. Last year he was in an autistic class at Maizeland Preschool, and adored his teacher, Ms. Lincoln, and even made a few little friends. This year things are switching up a bit- he will be in a special needs class with kids of various disabilities, and 3x a week "typical" peers are brought in to work on social skills. Luis is excited because his preschool class is on the same campus as his old elementary school, Aeolian. He starts on Tuesday!

Jeremiah is such an active little boy, always on the go. He loves playing outside, getting dirty,and playing in the water (give him access to the sprinklers or the hose and he's a happy camper, or better yet, take him swimming!). He loves watching TV (what kid doesn't?!) Favorites include Toy Story 1 and 3, the Leapfrog DVDs (he knows ALL his letters and their sounds, and can count to and ID all numbers up to 20), Special Agent Oso, Sesame Street, and Finding Nemo. He also loves, loves LOVES birthdays. Birthday cakes, birthday parties, birthday presents, and especially candles on birthday cakes. He loves to find things around our house (ex: my hair brush), pretend it is a cake with candles, sing the birthday song, blow the candles out and cheer. I can't wait for his 4th birthday- he's going to have a blast.

For the past two weeks we have intensively been working on potty training my big boy. He's done SO good with it! His accidents are minimal (if at all) for #1! We have him in undies if he's at home or at my mom's house; pull ups are only for long outings and overnight. #2 is another story...but we're working on it :) I swear if he poops in the toilet I'll buy him a Lexus :) In the beginning we were giving him pieces of ice cream sandwich as an incentive for going #1, and on the second day, Evy caught on to this and was cheering him on when he was sitting on the toilet. She got up in his face and yelled "pee! pee!!" So cute. He's absolutely fine now with just verbal praise (although my princess misses her ice cream!) On Thursday Jeremiah had a big break through and went 3 times at Disneyland- he has yet to use a toilet other than ours and my moms until then. Yay!! Only a mother would get more excited about 3 pees in the toilet at Disneyland than renewing passes :)

Evelynne Arlene

I jokingly refer to this as Evelynne's "Am I pretty?" picture, taken purely by coincidence as she was stretching while I was trying to get her to smile for the camera. At 18 1/2 months, Evelynne is already such a girly girl. She loves playing mommy to her stuffed animals and dolls, carrying around her purse and putting things in it, playing with Little People (or other little figurines), coloring (everywhere. the walls. our sliding back door. the bed frame in our play room. and sometimes coloring books). And...as of today...she adores getting her nails done. She found a bottle of nail polish, ran over to me, plopped her self in my lap, handed me the nail polish and told me "okay!!!" She was thrilled to get pink toes! She wasn't a huge fan of getting her nails done before (I've painted them a few times) but this time she loved it- and sat still for almost all of it :) She also loves looking at the pretty dresses and Disney/Princess emblem clothing when we're out shopping...and thank goodness I have enough self restraint not to buy every pretty thing she sees and tries to grab for! Although I am very excited that she's just about outgrown all of her 18 month clothing so it's time to go SHOPPING soon! She'll finally get the Rapunzel shirt and PJs she's been eyeing.

Evelynne loves playing with Jeremiah, and saying "hi" to almost every kid she sees when we are out- picking up Jeremiah, at the park, etc. She prefers kids Jeremiah's size and up to kids her age, but she's getting better at socializing with them, too. One of her regular playmates, Ian, is a few months younger than Evelynne and therefore is smaller than her- and she has gotten very jealous on a few occasions where I have picked him up and held him. I'm praying this phase passes before February, when their first BABY COUSIN, Micah is born! That's right- I'm going to be an AUNTIE for the first time! My brother Joe and his wife Lindsey are expecting their first child, a boy, due just 5 days after Evy's 2nd birthday.

Evy has been a chatter box for a long time now. Her vocabulary well exceeds the expected vocabulary of a typical 18 month old. I think the norm is 6 words, according to books and her pediatrician, but I can't even count how many words she knows- and small phrases. All day long I'm hearing her talk, and now starting to link words together, rather than just standard phrases like "oh boy", "oh no," "all done," etc. As wrong as it is to compare your children, I think it's fun to see how a "typical" kid develops linguistically versus Jeremiah (who I am equally as proud of! It's just that the spot she is at right now is where he was at when he was 2 1/2 , almost 3). It's the cutest thing ever!

Monday, August 29, 2011

My Princess Met a Princess!

It's no secret that my kids and I love to go to Disneyland. A lot. I got my first pass when Jeremiah was 13 months old, and renewed it last September when he was almost 3 and Evy 6 months old. Originally I wasn't going to get my pass til closer to Evelynne's first birthday, but Jeremiah's OT recommended we get him one so that he could get used to being around big crowds, loud noises, and become desensitized to lots of flashing lights/colors/etc. You didn't have to ask me twice! I got the most basic pass you could get (which still cost an arm and a leg!), that only lets you go weekdays only during non peak seasons and is blocked out the rest of the time. I kid you not, when the pass isn't blocked out we are usually there at least once a week, sometimes twice (and once I think 3 time in one week!). Luis didn't get a pass because too much Disney and him do not mix, but next week he will be getting one :) We usually only went for the afternoon, and almost always met a friend or two there for play dates. Both of my kids absolutely adore going. And now that Evelynne is getting older, more aware of her surroundings and more verbal she knows exactly where we are headed! In fact, we pulled into the parking lot today and she yelled out "Oh boy! Minnie!" before you could even see ANYTHING Disney related; just the boring parking structure. I think I'm in trouble :)

Jeremiah's OT was right- getting the pass has worked wonders for him. Definitely the best money I have ever spent! Some of my friends and family are in a state of shock that I think it's way easier to take both my kids to Disneyland for the afternoon, just me and them without any help, than to the playground for 30 min. I laid down the law very firmly and VERY early on that you always always hold my hand, stay put, do not run, etc. and it has worked beautifully. Now that Evy is very mobile things are getting a little trickier, but she has always been better at holding hands, staying put and listening than Jeremiah was in the earlier years. So far so good.

The picture to the right was taken today with Ariel- Evelynne's first time meeting a princess! I think she liked her.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Catching Up on Growing Up

Nearly a year has passed since the urge to blog has come. I used to blog a heck of a lot more when Jeremiah was small, and when I was pregnant with Evelynne. I had the best intentions of blogging last year, during her first year of life, but in the beginning I had the fall back excuse of "I'm so busy with having a newborn and a toddler!" Then as the year went on and Evelynne required less demands of me, the demands required of me from Jeremiah were growing so much more. Things that should have become easier as he grew up got increasingly harder, and were not getting easier. Last year was supposed to be one of the happiest years of my life- gaining another child, especially the daughter I dreamed of and prayed for so long and so hard for (especially after a failed pregnancy), Luis and I were doing well financially, and Jeremiah was growing up... yet it was one of the darkest times for me. One that I really had no desire to blog about.

I believe I posted that Jeremiah started receiving speech therapy and occupational therapy when he was 21 months old (September 2009). I went into his speech therapies thankful for the services provided for him, but thinking that he would "blossom" and not need the therapies within six months. I was wrong. I had a gut feeling deep down from the moment his pediatrician even suggested that I look into interventions for him that something bigger might be wrong with him than being a "late bloomer," and that feeling turned into stress. And fear. (Because what parent actually wants something to be wrong with their child?) And my worst fears were confirmed on October 5, 2010, when my precious Jeremiah was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism. It was not something I wanted to talk about, let alone blog about. Only a small handful of friends and even family members knew for the first few months. But now that nearly a year has passed since the diagnosis, I am finally able to talk about everything with confidence and pride, not discouragement, depression and anxiety. I've had to take baby steps- talking about it first with friends and family, then talking about it here and there on Facebook, and now actually journaling about it. It's not a secret anymore. I never wanted it to be a secret, but for a long time it wasn't something I could really talk about without tearing up. It's one thing to mention casually to someone in person or on Facebook about Jeremiah's interventions or progress; it's another to actually tell its story. And I'm ready to start telling our story again- because I truly miss capturing my children's childhood in words. So I'm back... I'm going to start blogging again :) The pictures above were taken just yesterday. Jeremiah is going to be four years old in just a little over 3 months, and Evelynne just turned 18 months old. I can't wait to continue sharing our story...but for tonight this is plenty for me. Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sibling Rivalry is Sinking In!

Jeremiah has gone from doting older brother to pesky older brother overnight. Gone are the days where he runs up to hug and kiss Evelynne all day long. Yes, he still hugs and kisses her; however it is usually after he takes a toy from her and makes her cry, and we scold him.

This morning, my sneaky little son truly amazed me. I saw him toss his basketball into his bedroom. He knew Evelynne would chase right after it, and sure enough, she crawled at breakneck speed into his bedroom. I saw the little guy grin, shut his door and yell "bye bye, Evy! Bye bye, Evy!", knowing that my poor little princess would not be able to get out.

One thing is for sure...kids with autism are SMART and CLEVER!


Thank goodness my daughter is no pushover! She is going to need every assertive bone in her body!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

New Years Resolution #1: Get back to blogging!! No matter how short the post may be, i want to make it a goal to update at least once a week. The past five months have been absolutely insane in my household, with lots of family changes taking place not only in our personal lives but also in our daily routines, so come the end of a very long and stressful day, the thought of blogging was absolutely not appealing to me at all. Time to get back into the swing of things. I certainly miss writing about my beautiful family! So keep your eyes posted for a few big updates very soon- there are a bunch of things I want to get off my chest :) Happy New Year!! (BTW- those huge kids you see sitting in our laps are now 3 years old and 10 1/2 months old!)