Yes, we’re still alive. We’ve been busy around here! And I was without my computer for a little bit a few days ago, while the battery was being replaced. I ALMOST talked Apple into giving me a new computer. Flickr is still giving me a hard time, so no photos this post.
I was thinking today about how wonderfully blessed with are with people who just give us things. We got a package last week from my mom with a few things she’d gotten us and a bunch of clothes that my sister’s friend had given her to give to me. I’ve never met this friend, but what a wonderful friend! And then, yesterday, we were at my friend’s parents’ house and Ilya was playing with this toy tractor… one of those cute John Deere ones. And we were getting ready to go and my friend’s mom asked me if we wanted to take it home. Really? He was LOVING that tractor, so after a bit of persuasion, I accepted. He just loves vehicles he can push around on the floor, so that is going to get a lot of use! And then today, I finally finished going through a HUGE bag of clothes a blog friend gave us. Her daughter’s hand-me-downs with lots of great stuff.
And still, we are loving Bounce videos right now; an awesome blog reader who I’ve never even met and lives far away sent them to us. They’re made for kids on the autism spectrum. My kids love them because they have lots of catchy songs. But, one thing that is really neat, is that they give kids tools to deal with stressful situations. Like, in the “Let’s Go” dvd, she tells kids to put their hand up and say “break” if things become too much when they’re at playground or birthday party.
We’re surviving. Today was a very survival based day. It snowed her this morning. While it warmed up and melted this afternoon, we stayed in, thinking of mud. Two kids, three dogs and one adult in a house all day is not fun. Even if we just go to the grocery store, the whole day is a broken up a bit more.
Lena’s latest thing is crying in um… odd situations? Today, I was cleaning across the hall while she was playing in their room. I went over and she had a bunch of toys out that she was not playing with, so I asked her to pick them up. She did and I told her she could get out one toy. Cue the tears. Another common time is a few minutes after I get her out of bed, even if she was already awake when I go get her. I’ll go through my routine of asking Ilya about his diaper and if his bed is wet and she will just burst into tears. Or, we’ll be walking downstairs and I’ll ask her if she needs to go potty and there are the tears. These random tears have replaced her anger and screaming, though, so I am okay with them.
I would say that Ilya, lately, has been warming up and getting comfortable. Both good and bad. The bad is that he is a bit more mischievous and sneaky about it. He knows to do something when we’re not in the room and he knows to pay attention to when we’re coming back. The good is that he just seems more settled… we were commenting that it’s been awhile since he cried. He is very capable of communicating with us and while he is a bit demanding (literally), he no longer turns on the waterworks when we turn him down. Language is his new medium and if he does not get what he want, he may continue demanding it. Today, he was playing with Play-doh and he was saying “SIT, PAPA! SIT, PAPA!” Aaron was walking around the room, cleaning things up a bit. I told him to ask, “Papa, will you sit with me, please?” That got the response he wanted. I am working on teaching him gentler language to get what he wants. I know it sounds a bit silly for a kid who is just learning English to be asked to say those sorts of things, but it helps give us a bit more control over the situation and it is helping him learn. One of the most fascinating things about Ilya is that he is way more likely to use a word or phrase he has heard once incorrectly (but in a somewhat similar situation, like calling a truck a tractor), than to not use it at all. We find ourselves telling him a lot, “No, that’s a truck. This is a tractor. That’s a swing; this is a slide.”