Saturday, May 21, 2011

To blog or not to blog...

I thought I had given up this blog for good.  I don't have the time to be on the computer for any length of time in order to properly edit photos and write on any regular basis.  I am a perfectionist and am unhappy just throwing something together.  I'm not going to be a professional blogger.  It's decided!

Just in trying to write this short entry, I've been interrupted to get Jillian an orange, explain why we didn't have the oranges Jillian prefers, endure a temper tantrum, break up two sibling arguments, change a diaper, and answer various questions from my dear husband.  

I will never be a professional blogger!   

Although I do realize this blog is a great tool.  I have been told by so many friends and family that they miss my blog and hearing about Jillian's daily struggles and successes.  And there is always something to write about where she is concerned.  It will be good for me to journal and for others to hear how she's doing.  Is she using her spittoon?  Has she eaten meat yet?  Where will she be going to school? 

I have so much more to say, but it's time for soccer.   Why am I writing again when I can hardly finish one entry?  No promises!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Little Cousins

Jillian is surrounded by big kids.  Her sister is a big seven year old who gets to attend school every day.  Ella gets to have sleepovers with friends, can rollerblade, and is able to get her own snacks from the pantry and fridge.  The kids in our neighborhood are big kids too.  They run fast in games of tag and ride their bikes effortlessly up and down our street.  Jillian is physically shorter than all of them including a three year old friend next door.  I think it must be tough for her to be the little kid in the hood.

This weekend Jillian had the opportunity to be the "big girl".  We spent the weekend with the girls' cousin, Ailie. 

Ailie is one year old.  She's a sweet little girl and my kids adore her.  Ella spent time reading to Ailie.  Jillian spent the weekend telling Ailie what to do.

"Stop, Ailie."

"No, no, Ailie!  You can't go in there."

"Put your shoes on, Ailie."

"Don't put that in your mouth, Ailie."

Jillian LOVED spending every minute following her cousin around the house making sure she didn't get into trouble.  Afterall, at a little over four years of age, Jillian was the big girl.  She had so much fun helping to feed her cousin and even helped to change a diaper.  I did have to rescue Ailie a few times when Jillian got a little overzealous in her discipline, but they really got along very well.  And I think Ailie enjoyed having Jillian be her shadow.  I may have that wrong, but she didn't complain too much.

I think it's important for any younger sibling to get a chance to play a different role occasionally.  And no, it's not time for me to have another child.  That ship has sailed!  Jillian will just need to get her fix from frequent visits with Ailie.

Friday, March 11, 2011


My children aren't perfect listeners, but sometimes I think they are better at this task than some adults I know!  I played bunco last night with an amazing group of ladies.  We've been playing bunco together for years and I always look forward to the glass of wine and great conversation that goes with the night out.  But one thing always amazes me.  Some adults can not listen!  They are expert talkers, but listening is not a talent they possess.

Here is a hint....if you leave an event without any information about the people you were with, you did not listen.  On the other hand, if you found out about one friend's car trouble, another friend's vacation plans, or laughed hysterically hearing stories of children and/or husbands...congrats!  You have mastered the art of listening.

So this is the goal.  See how much information you can get from others.  You may need to ask a question or two.  Just the basics...  

How are you?

What have you been up to?

Nothing complicated required, but what follows is really important.  You will need to shut your mouth and listen to the answers.  Listen without thinking about something else or what you want to say next.  Listen with the idea of paraphrasing what the other person has said.  So this is my lesson to my children today.  Ask a question, and listen.  Why?  It makes other people feel good.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It's okay to spit at the table.

This post may fall under the category of TMI...too much information!  It might make you a little queasy.  It made me queasy just to join my family for dinner tonight. 

There is an activity in my favorite eating aversion book, Just Take A Bite. The activity is about making a "spit bucket".  What in the world is a "spit bucket"?  But really this is ingenious as are many of the activities in the book.  The idea is that children with severe eating aversions due to autism, developmental disabilities, food allergies, or medical issues related to the mechanics of eating, need to take small steps towards accepting new foods.  The steps to eating a new food go something like the following, but please note that even though some of these behaviors sounds comical, this is very serious.  Children with severe food aversions don't even like to sit at the table with new foods.

  1. Screams and refuses to sit at the table when the new food is on his/her dinner plate.
  2. Calmly sits close to the new food. 
  3. Smells the new food.
  4. Touches the new food with a fork or spoon.
  5. Touches or "plays" with the new food with fingers.
  6. Kisses the new food. (our therapist worked hard on this step)
  7. Licks or tastes the new food.
  8. Puts the new food in his/her mouth and then spits it out.
  9. Swallows the new food.
So in relation to step number 8, there needs to be a way for Jillian to spit her food out without making the rest of us sick.  Thus...the spit bucket.  We took the girls to our favorite place to paint pottery and let Jillian pick out her very own spit bucket to decorate any way she desired.  I really wanted something with a lid and luckily, Jillian loved this ice cream cone with a removable ice cream lid.  Perfect for hiding the partially chewed food.

Painting was fun!

Ella painted a mug and wanted to make clear it was just for hot chocolate and she wasn't going to spit anything it her creation.  Good plan!

Tonight we picked up the finished pieces.

It's really unbelievable, but tonight I ate dinner sitting across from Jillian and her ice cream cone spit container.  She was excited!  Her eyes lit up at the mention of trying the rice that was on her plate with the option of immediately spitting it out.  She didn't use it tonight and did not try the rice, but she understands the concept and is excited about it.  For now, that is good enough for me! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mommy Successes

It's the little things in life!  As I placed a healthy breakfast in front of my kiddos this morning, I felt like I was the best parent in the world.  For some reason, the act of not only putting healthy food on the table, but having them eat every bite, makes me feel like a total success.  Like I said, it's the little things that make my day.

Here is a list of more little things. I feel like a total Mom-success when....

my kids are clean.

I remember to give my girls their vitamins.

game time doesn't end in a sibling smackdown.

Jillian says her tummy is full.

Ella exhibits kindness and empathy for other children.

Jillian hasn't hit Ella with some sort of makeshift sword for a whole day.

the kitchen floor is just washed and no one has spilled anything yet.

the sun comes out and I gather all the children on our street for an improptu trip to the park.

I watch Ella engrossed in a new chapter book.

my husband is out front with all the neighbor children leading them in a game of Red Light Green Light or trying to teach them to play hockey.

Ella finishes her chores.

I can find matching socks for both girls.

I send both kids off to school with hair combed and teeth brushed.

we take a trip to the library and when I ask if the girls want a movie they say, "No. Just books."

we have hot chocolate on a snow day.

we are ontime to any activity.

Jillian tells me she wants to do it herself.

I remember to give my girls hand sanitizer after being at the indoor park or other germy locale.

I am able to pass off something healthy, like a berry smoothie, as dessert.

I sneak into my girls' rooms late at night to place their little limbs back under the covers and they sleep so soundly they have no idea I was ever there.