Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bedtime Battles... Almost finished

I am not ready to declare the bedtime battles over.  But by golly, they are so much better.  Laci was a great sleeper as a baby.  When she hit two, the bedtime ritual got a little bit longer and we started to rock a few minutes at night.  When she was two and a half, she moved bedrooms and got a big girl bed.  All heck broke loose at that point.  The battles began.  It was ugly.  For two and a half years, it was ugly.  It could be up to a two hour battle.  I can't say I always won the battle.  One of our struggles was that at daycare, she still took naps.  When she was approaching 5, she did not need naps every day.  Because she was napping, she didn't need to go to sleep early.  But I still needed her to go to sleep early.  I needed some me time.  Plus she needed to get up early for school.  It seemed like everyone else in the world had no problems with bedtime.  I usually am able to talk to my friends about our parenting problems but this one I hated talking about.  It seemed like no one could relate.  My only hope was Saturday and Sunday when she didn't have a nap.

Then kindergarten came.  I had high hopes for the magical age of 5.  It has not let me down.  She's not perfect and we still have our battles.  But I see more glimmers of maturity.  We have a really good bedtime routine.  She watched tv and plays from 7:30 - 8:30.  We read 2 books.  Then I tuck her in while she plays with her stuffed animals.  A few minutes later, she is asleep.  This is how bedtime is supposed to be.  This is what others have been talking about all this time.  It's wonderful.  Sometimes I need to go in there a few times to remind her to go to sleep.  But overall there is peace.  :)  On the weekends, she is even sleeping in until 7 or 8 am.  It's nice.

I love watching her tuck in her stuffed animals.  She has 25 (we counted) on her bed at all times and she knows exactly which ones are missing. 

We're moving Calvin over to a new room and big boy bed in a few months.  I hope that his transition goes better than Laci's.  We don't rock him to sleep now and he still goes to sleep on his own by himself so I am very hopeful and optimistic.  But on the bright side, he'll be five in just two and a half short years too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Conquering the bike... again

For Christmas, Charlie's parents gave Laci a new bike.  We weren't sure what size bike she needed.  I didn't want to get her a bike that was too small because we would just be replacing it in a few years.  She is so tall, I figured a wee bit bigger would be better than too small.  I was wrong.  It was too big.  She couldn't ride it, even with the training wheels.  The only time she would ride it is if we were taking a family walk and I could walk right next to her, holding her up.  i looked like I was walking a pony.  For most of the summer she rode her tiny bike.  The bike was getting tinier all the time.  But she could ride it fine.  
Last night it was a beautiful, warm fall evening.  It rained most of the day but after dinner it was dry and warm.  We decided to go for a family walk and Laci wanted to take her big bike.  I stood along side her prepared to catch her.  But she just took off and didn't need any help at all!  Away she went.  She did fall once but got right back up and took off again.  It was wonderful to see.  I was so proud of her.  I am most proud of her ability to fall and get back up.  That skill will help in her life.  As she rode, I reminded her how important practicing things are and how proud of herself she is when she finally gets it.  Our next challenge is riding without training wheels next summer.  She said she is willing to do that but only on the small bike.  Next summer is a long ways off so I think she may be ready for the training wheels off the big bike too. 
When we got home, the kids played in the leaves... next door.  No one leaves there and there were tons of pretty leaves to jump in.  I wish I had my camera because they were pretty cute in the leaves.  

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Laci's 5!!!

I forgot to blog about a very important event in our house last month.  Laci turned 5!  This was an important milestone.  5 years old is "all grown up".  She's a full blown kid.  I feel like I have said that at every birthday.  No more baby, all kid.  But 5 years old really is a milestone.  She's in kindergarten.  She's in elementary school. 

Her birthday is at the end of September and we really didn't know how to celebrate.  She just started school in August so I don't know her friends yet and we don't know how to contact them yet.  So we used this opportunity to catch up with some of her friends from daycare.  First she wanted a birthday at Chuck E Cheese.  But we ended up hvaing a simple party at home.  We love simple.  Laci still loves simple.  We invited 6 kids but only 3 kids were able to come.  I was a little disappointed because I hadn't heard from more kids but Laci was happy that her friends were there, there were presents and cake.  We made masks, ate pizza, had cake, played games (sock game, balloons, hot potato) and opened presents.  Laci was so happy and had a great time. 

My parents came that weekend to help her celebrate.  Charlie's parents came on Sunday to celebrate with her again.  Her birthday was on Monday so we opened her presents and celebrated a third day that day.  And on Friday, we made it to Red Robin, our family birthday restaurant.  I love birthday weeks in our house.

He Did It!!!

He did it!  Charlie ran in the first annual Purdue Half Marathon on Saturday.  My brother found the run and asked us to run with him.  I have absolutely zero desire to run a half marathon right now.  I was surprised when Charlie said that he would run it.  He is so dedicated to his Running Streak - anything else is just a risk to jeopardizing it. 

My brother is a running machine.  Charlie is not.  Their running "philosophies" are night and day different even down to when to arrive at the race.  My brother trains hard.  He studies, learns and follows training programs to reach his goals.  Charlie ran a few long runs on the Saturdays leading up to the race.  My brothers goal was 1:25.  Charlie had two goals - to finish upright and to finish his Sunday run upright. 

My parents came down for the weekend to cheer my brother on.  I wanted to bring the kids to support Charlie.  As we prepared for the race morning (all outings with my kids require preparation), I was regretting the decision to bring the kids.  We had to leave at 6:00 a.m. (the runners were leaving at 5:30), it was cold and there is lots of downtime.  The advantage of supporting my brother is that he is fast, there isn't a lot of downtime.

From the traditional spaghetti dinner until Sunday, the weekend went great.  Charlie finished in a time of 2:11:30 - 10 minute mile pace which is what he wanted.  He even accomplished his second goal and completed his run on Sunday.  The streak continues!  I knew it was wrong of me to complain but I was exhausted!  Between getting up at 5:30 (which seems much earlier on Saturday than it does the rest of the week) and walking all over campus from the start line to the fountain where we cheered them on and pulling the wagon and stroller, I was worn out on Sunday.  But I was so proud of my boys. 

Charlie wondered why I wanted to bring the kids.  I told him that even though it was hard to bring them, I wanted them there.  They didn't see much and didn't understand what was going on.  I want them to see their dad achieve his goals.  Someday they will understand.  In the big picture, it was important.  It was important for them to cheer him on and hug him at the end and it was important for Charlie to see them at the finish line.

As we went to sleep exhausted last night, we reflected on the day.  After the race, most of the day was spent watching football and pigging out on junk food.  Charlie was really glad he did it.  But he has no desire to run another half marathon or marathon any time soon!  I have a desire to run a half marathon every now and then for about 30 seconds.  Then the feeling passes and I am just happy to get my regular daily runs in.  More on that next week....  I hope.  It was a great day.

Laci loves to pose and have her picture taken by anything.
We waited inside.  I brought lots of books and snacks and they waited really well.
Calvin and Grandma waiting by the fountain, Mile Marker 12. He clapped and cheered for every runner.
My brother running just past Mile Marker 12.  He was all alone and ended 13th out of 1500!
Charlie almost at the home stretch.  I was so glad he got to reach his goal at his beloved Purdue.
The Medalists!  Laci ran in the Kids Fun Run.
She was so excited to get a medal. 
While we were taking family pictures after, she insisted on one with the three runners.   

Monday, October 8, 2012

All American Mac N Cheese

Here is my all-american family eating mac and cheese at Noodles ... with chop sticks?  Doesn't everyone do that?  :)
She insists on trying the chop sticks at Noodles

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October 3, 2014

October 3, 2014.  That is what I am calling Calvin's Reset Date.  Our new journey started on August 23, 2012.  This is the day I received the call.  This was the day Calvin fell and had his first concussion.  Or so we thought at the time.  It was really the start of something else.  After his fall, things just didn't add up.  His daycare teacher was surprised he had a concussion because she never saw him hit his head very hard.  That comment stuck with me.  Charlie said that he never got a firm diagnosis at the hospital that he had a concusion.  A week later, his teacher said he fell and was a little disoriented, a little wierd for a few seconds.  She asked that we take him to the doctor for a peace of mind.  We sort of blew it off.  What we were going to say "His teacher says he falls over and is weird."  He's two.  He falls over.  He's weird.  A few weeks later on Sept. 18 it happened again.  In front of two other teachers.  He started crying, walked over, his lips turned blue and he shaked and he fell over.  What?  The word seizure came to mind when they said he trembled.  I took him to the doctor but he was fine so he got the all clear.  And a referral to a pediatric neurologist.  Fortunately, we got into see one within a week.  The doctor said that the best thing to do was to wait and see.  These episodes aren't hurting him.  Most likely, they are toddlers going hysterical, holding their breathe until they pass out.  Calvin does have hysterical tantrums.  We felt better about this all.  But things just didn't add up to us.  The part that we couldn't reconcile was the disorientation.  We have seen the fits but he was never disoriented or out of it as the daycare had always described.  The doctor ordered an EKG and an EEG just in case.  Both came back normal but the doctor had indicated that the EEG is not a very conclusive test.  We talked to everyone at his daycare about this and said that if it happens again, let us know and pay attention to the surroundings.  Was he provoked?  Toddlers can go off on the slightest little thing.  They can start screaming if you look at them wrong. 

But then it happened again.  On Wednesday, at about 4:00, he was walking around his daycare room, fell over, shaked and his lips turned blue.  Another mother was in there too and even commented it looked like he was having a seizure.  It was unprovoked and out of the blue.  We talked to the doctor about this latest episode and he decided to start treatment.  Calvin is now on anti-seizure medicine. 

It was very hard for us to put him on it.  Who wants to put their baby immediately on a drug.  But we have to trust our doctor.  The hardest part through all of this has been the fact that neither Charlie and I have seen it happen.  It just doesn't seem quite real to us yet.  We are trusting his daycare teachers.  But their have been so many witnesses and the descriptions are always the same.  We have information about seizures - what to do, what he can and can't do, things to watch out for.  It's very unreal to us.  But hopefully the medicine will work.  The doctor said that if he is seizure free for 2 years, he can be weaned off the medicine.  The last one was October 3, 2012.  So my plan is to get him off his medicine on October 3, 2014.