Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Back in September, I was a little concerned because I thought he should have a decent vocabulary after turning 2 but he was only saying maybe 5-10 words. I enrolled him in speech therapy at school alongside Alex and slowly words trickled in. Still, nothing major. Then, the more people I talked to didn’t really seem to think it was a big deal. They kept telling me he will get there. Just give him time. He also has the “twin” factor; He and Alex spoke to one another and I think for a long time that is all he needed. Now that he has been in school for 7 months, his vocabulary has expanded and he is finally taking off!
I like to think of him as my little firecracker!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
When I was in Georgia a few weeks ago, things didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. In the end, I think it became a good thing because my sister in law (SIL) was able to observe me. One of my last days there, I flat out asked her: "What am I doing wrong?" Her response has given me a whole new perspective.
She didn't believe I was doing anything "wrong" per say but said that I expect too much out of my kids and that I am very high strung. (That doesn't look very good in writing, but the way she said it made sense!) I took a moment and thought about that and I began to see what she meant. First of all, I already knew I was high strung so that wasn't a surprise. That is who I am, but I know things aren't going to get better until I learn to relax a bit. Second, I expect my kids to do a lot of the same things when they are clearly two different people with two different abilities. I can see where that could cause some problems. I didn't really see this until she pointed it out. Finally, I feel like some days all I do is yell and I don't want to be that kind of parent.
She explained how my stress and frustration tends to spill over into the boys. They feel it and react when it's around. It was clear as day AFTER our trip to the aquarium and AFTER I spoke with her. I looked back at that day and saw all of it. Alex was super whiny and I couldn't find anything to make him happy which in turn stressed me out and got me frustrated. I felt like I couldn't enjoy myself so my SIL took over. I went off with Evan for a bit and when I came back, Alex was in the stroller perfectly fine. He saw me a couple of times and would get whiny again. Throughout the day it was back and forth and didn't get much better. On top of that, Evan doesn't listen to me for anything so I was reaching my breaking point. My SIL decided to keep the boys while I took my niece to a dolphin show. I was worried and stressing the whole time because I felt bad for leaving them with her. When the show was over we found her outside and they were BOTH in the stroller completely content. I didn't think much about it at that moment, but once I talked with her and thought back to that trip, I saw it clear as day. My stress and frustration totally affected them and they reacted the only way they could...by being upset and acting out. They were upset because I was upset and that isn't healthy.
She also told me that it's ok that the boys go through life not experiencing the same things all of the time. I guess because I have twins, I have always made it a point that they both do certain things and that has caused a lot of stress because they are two different people that aren't always going to want to do the same things. I am sure I wouldn't be doing this if there was an age gap between them. It's not fair to force either of them to do something they aren't interested in. I think this happens more to Alex than Evan. If I see Evan doing or enjoying an activity, I feel like Alex should be there right along side of him doing it as well. More times than not, Alex could care less. He would be much happier doing something that he enjoys. I think another reason I do things this way is because I never want Alex to feel excluded. I want him to experience as much as he can in life despite his disability, but that's no good if he isn't happy. He will enjoy things more if it's what he is comfortable with and what he likes and I am not stressing over him not enjoying it! Sometimes I think I hold Evan back if Alex can't participate and that isn't fair either. Evan is a very determined and independent little boy, so it's important for me to let him explore and do things he enjoys.
Coming to this realization has already changed a lot for me. I think it has helped me in allowing the boys to do what they want as individuals and if they end up doing something together and having fun, then so be it. Today Evan wanted to play with his playdoh and Alex having no interest in playdoh, was completely content in the other room playing with his toys. The house was actually peaceful for a bit because they were both happy doing what they were doing. I know I should have realized this awhile ago, but it is what it is. I am glad my SIL gave me some good insight to things I can change to help reduce some of my stress and I want to Thank her for that.
This past week a friend and I also attended a Toddler, Transition and Tantrum seminar to see if that could help. I wanted a better understanding of how I can deal with the meltdowns Evan is having. It was pretty informational. You don't realize how many emotions a two year old goes through and how they don't understand how to deal with them. Allowing them a little bit of "power" with choices helps as well.
Between the seminar and the talk I had with my SIL, I am going to be making some changes to make things better for all of us. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but at least now I feel like I have some sort of direction. It's important for us to be a Happy and Healthy Family.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
|Evan and Alex|
|Evan with Aunt Tappy|
|Before the cows saw us|
|Here they come!|
|Myself, Tappy and Mindy (and the cows)|
Tuesday was our trip to the Georgia Aquarium. For me it was a stressful day with the kids but we all had a really nice time. I got to see a little bit of Atlanta and the boys really enjoyed seeing all of the fish.
|Evan and a Stingray|
|Bailey, Evan and Madison|
|Alex enjoying the fish|
Our last full day in Georgia was very laid back and a little chilly compared to the previous two days. Mindy came over with the kids for lunch and since we didn’t have a chance to do the Easter egg hunt on Easter because of the rain, we did it that day for the kids. It was cute seeing Evan carrying his basket grabbing the eggs! That evening we had dinner at home which ended with a second Tractor ride for someone….ALEX! His Uncle Matt took him on a tractor ride the second night we were there and he absolutely LOVED it, so he was promised a second ride on our last night. Evan stayed on the porch the whole time and when we asked him if he was going next he would say “No” and run away! I guess I know who my thrill seeker is!
|Uncle Matt giving Alex a tractor ride|
|Alex, Mindy, Myself, Jessica, Ethan, Tappy, Annamarie, Kellsie, Brook, Madison, Bailey, Savannah and Evan|
|Evan at the Aquarium. Such a neat shot|
|Anna, Evan, Alex and Annamarie snuggling and watching Mickey Mouse|
|One of my favorite pictures of Alex. Such a big boy!|
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
|Niece Samantha with Alex, Bailey and Madison|
|Evan with his basket full of eggs!|
|Samantha helping Alex|
|Evan climbing the slide|
|Madison and Evan|
|Evan coloring his egg in shaving cream and food coloring|
|Alex not interested in coloring eggs at all.|The boys enjoying their Easter baskets
Evan giving Alex a taste of a root beer dum dum! Me with the boys and nephew Ethan Evan kissing on Madison Me and the AK-47 Shooting