This Saturday was a lot different. I was awakened by Brody and Hazel pretty early. Shortly after I heard Wyatt up who had wet the bed again. At that point I thought it would be fun to wake up Paige since she got to sleep in yesterday :)
We started breakfast which of course consists of multiple supplements and medications mixed with peanut butter on toast or mixed with applesauce - yummy. Some day they will learn to swallow pills, but I can't blame them since I couldn't until I was 14....
After that we started the reflex exercises. We have to do them 6 times a day per enrolled child (2) (although Hazel likes to join in sometimes....) It has been really hard to fit everything in, but we found out yesterday that we can lump them together. So rather than doing 6 different times per child per day, we did Brody's in 2 sets of 3 and Wyatt's in 3 sets of 2. Really made it easier. After the first sets, we were off to the park. It takes about a 10 second golf cart ride since it is in our community. We played there for awhile and then headed home to talk to Papa on Facetime.
The kids LOVE talking to their Papa and being able to see him on the computer. They told him stories, screamed, danced, showed him their toys, etc. etc. My favorite part was that their Dad was able to be just as silly and crazy and playful through the computer as he is at home. (okay, almost...) They had so much fun with him and I hope we can do that everyday. In talking to him we realized that we haven't even been here a week and it seems like a month. I am hoping it doesn't always feel like that long, or this 6 months is going to feel like years. However, we both agreed again that this is the right place for us right now and that the sacrifices we are making are well worth it.
After that we were off to the Pool. Definitely a disappointing part of the day for me. The kids loved it but I don't enjoy swimming at all - but that is beside the point. This pool was in a big dome that appeared as though it can be removed in the summer. When you walked in, it was hotter than a sauna and the smell was less than pleasant. It was strange because it wasn't just the heat in there that was uncomfortable, but it really felt like there was no air and it was hard to breath. There was one lap pool and one pool for the kids. However, compared to most "kid" friendly pools around these days: There was no beach entry. There was no slide. There was no diving board. There was no buckets dumping. There was no guns to squirt. Nothing. On top of that, you are not allowed to use noodles, floaties, tubes, other flotation devices including a LIFE JACKET! Yes, I have heard of pools not allowing floaties because they are not actual life saving devices, but they still allow life jackets. In fact, some supply them. When I told them I didn't like that rule and asked what their reasoning was the answer was "I don't really know but I think they don't want people thinking that they don't have to watch their kid because they have a life jacket on". Okay - really? Weather your child has a life jacket on, floaties, a tube or nothing at all, parents are going to watch their kids or they aren't. I watch my kids like a hawk - or worse - at all times - especially by water regardless if they have any sort of flotation device. Some parents don't pay attention at all - again, regardless of flotation device. They told me that they have life guards so I didn't need to worry. Ha ha. There was one lifeguard there watching the whole pool. Are they SURE that they can watch every kid the entire time? Are they sure that one won't slip under that they can't see? Would they not rather have a little backup by at least allowing children that can't swim to wear a life jacket? Apparently not. We swam in the smelly sauna pool for a bit while Wyatt jumped in and ran around (getting yelled at every time) THINKING that he had a life jacket on. We had to stay right on him the whole time and after awhile, it is just too much so it was time to go.
So, I am not a negative person by nature, but after $20 for 45 minutes, I am not looking forward to EVER going there again. Sadly, as far as I can tell there are no other pools around besides the ones in the apartment communities. Ours is beautiful, free and will open in April, so lets hope we can hold the kids off on swimming until then...
After that came showers, dinner, medicine, Target for returns and much needed tissues, towels and Almond butter. 8 loads of laundry at the on -site laundry facility which were only completed an hour ago. I cant wait to have our rental washer and dryer installed. Not only is it WAY more costly to do it at the on site laundromat, but it is not all that convenient to put all of that laundry and blankets, etc. in the storage bins we call laundry baskets, load them on a golf cart, drive them to the laundromat, carry them in one by one and then go back 5 times to change, check, fold, pick up, etc.
Okay, here is my new plan. Each day, if only for myself, my husband, my family and my posterity, I am going to write an update about each child individually. If you are not interested, you have my permission to skip these updates :) It will include the good, the bad, the better and the worse. I will list bullet points of anything that happened in the day. It may be a strange behavior, a good behavior, an improvement, a set back, a funny story, or anything else I want to remember. I really want to be able to track their progress throughout this program which was really the point of this blog. I want to be able to watch them grow and change and to be able to go back and say "remember when Wyatt used to lick windows and now he doesn't anymore?" Those will be good times that I know are ahead.
Although Hazel is not enrolled in Brain Balance, she is right in the middle of it every day, so I will be including an update on her as well. I think she started to feel left out because the boys were always doing exercises and going to Brain Balance with mama and she wasn't. The other night while I was at my nutrition consult the kids were supposed to all be asleep but Paige heard a noise so she went in to check. She found Hazel laying on the floor doing the "Lizard". This is the hardest of all of the exercises the boys do. Paige asked what she was doing and she replied "I'm just doing Brain Balance, this is just all I want to do right now". It was SO cute. So Paige did some more of the exercises with her and then she went to bed happy. These are the things I want to remember and want my kids to be able to read when they are all grown, have gone to college, gotten married and had kids of their own. Yes, that is all happening.
- He was overall pretty good today. Maybe less hyper than usual. Maybe less emotional than usual.
- He was helpful as usual. He is such a good sweet boy.
- He had a good time swimming and was talking with other kids and was throwing a ball with them. I didn't see him catch any although he may have but I did see him throw some and he seemed to be throwing better than I have seen him before.
- He ate pretty good today and didn't complain about the shredded chicken or green beans.
- He had fun playing at the park whereas yesterday at the park he kept saying he was bored and wanted to go home.
- He seemed to play pretty good with Hazel and they were sharing pretty good.
- He was walking around the kitchen in circles over and over and I had to tell him to stop.
- He was eating a toy necklace and had to be reminded that it wasn't food.
- Still had to be reminded multiple times to do things he was asked.
- Did great on his exercises and loves that we are combining three sessions into one!
- He totally remembers directions and which way we have gone. In fact, the other day when we had only been to Brain Balance one time and I was taking him back for the next time I couldn't remember which way I had gone on the winding paths we take and so I asked him what way we had gone earlier. He told me and I followed and he was right. At one point I asked him if we were even going the right way and he said "yes, because I remember seeing those pool chairs in that backyard". We had driven by those houses ONE time. It just amazes me that he notices things and remembers them. I call him my navigator.
- This morning we found out that the Bouncy house place was closed on Saturdays yet open on Sundays. He was really upset by this "rule'. He thought it was so strange and just didn't understand why they would close today but open Sunday. (Hence why we had to do Swimming instead). Anyways, so when he said the prayer on the food today he blessed that they would do good at Brain Balance, that Hazel would stop whining and that the bouncy place would change the strange rule and not be open on Sunday.
- He says the funniest and cutest and smartest things I have ever heard. I really am blown away by the way his mind and vocabulary work. Example: Driving on the cart path the other day we came to a main road where we have to stop and wait for cars to pass before crossing. It even has a "cart crosswalk" and a "cart crossing" sign. Too cute. Anyways, I didn't hit the breaks quite fast and hard enough and we ended up slightly onto the road so I just reversed a bit and waited until I could cross. What was Brody's comment? "Mama -why do you get us into these situations?" Also, if you didn't see it on my Facebook already, his comment from our first night here was "I can handle really cold weather, but this is ridiculous!" There are many more where those came from.
- Brody is the sweetest boy. He really doesn't know how to be mean. He is kind, loving and tender. He always says please and thank you and means it. He is so cute and is growing up so fast. He is nice to EVERYONE and will go up to anyone and talk to them and make friends. He is a great older brother and just a fun kid to be around.
- Sucessfully climbed the back patio fence and was going to make a break for it. Luckily Paige saved the day and grabbed him before he took off. He hasn't tried to jump that fence the whole week - not sure why today was the day.
- The last two days he has wanted sandwich after sandwich after sandwich. Is he starving? What is the deal? This is coming from a kid who three days ago didn't like or eat sandwiches.
- He also doesn't like his crackers anymore at all. Won't even eat them.
- Loves cookies and is even taking bites of them instead of putting the whole thing in his mouth or making us break them into pieces.
- Loved swimming of course although he wandered around trying to find the slide. I think he may have been as disappointed with the pool as I was.....
- Tried to eat the concrete sides of the pool.
- Drank the pool water - of course.
- Loves riding in the golf car and NEVER tries to get out of his seat belt -Just sits and enjoys the ride.
- When at target, he was pretty good in the cart until the end. He was pushing open the part of the cart that moves when the carts are pushed together and tried to escape which resulted in the breaking of a $5 jar of organic peanut butter.
- He has been much more assertive lately (since starting BB). Knows what he wants and tries to get it. Is less compliant that he used to be which is actually a good thing because that means he is thinking for himself and not just doing what he has been taught over and over - make sense? So I like that his brain is changing and his personality is coming out, but it just makes it harder. Example: at the store he never really used to try to get food items from the shelves. Maybe because he didn't pay attention or maybe because he knew he couldn't have them. However, lately, he is not only trying to eat things at the house that are not allowed, but he was saying "chips" and "pretzels" at the store today when he saw them and also tried to get a bag of marshmallows off the shelf. In fact, when we were at a burger place the other day he ran and tried to eat some fries off the table next to us. Luckily we caught him first.
- Told him to say "Hi Papa" when we were talking on the computer and instead, he said "Hello". I thought is was really cute and also shows that he is not just repeating what we say but actually saying what he wants to say.
- Did okay on his exercises. Does better with reinforcement. He is starting to do some on his own, but then is also pretty lazy on some and doesn't do them well even though he can.
- Has been looking at himself in the mirror a lot lately and always looks in his mouth. Not sure why, but just seems like he is discovering that he has a mouth and teeth, a tongue, etc. He is also squeezing his nose with his fingers like he has newly discovered that as well.
- He got a hold of his Thomas trains again a couple weeks ago so they made the trip with us. Since then he has been obsessed. He plays with them all day. He wants to watch Thomas movies and steals my phone or Paige's phone multiple times a day trying to get on youtube to watch Thomas videos. Note to parents: The majority of the time, if your child is overly obsessed with something - certain foods, certain TV shows or characters, etc. It usually is not good for them. Example: When Brody was 4 he was OBSESSED with Strawberry milk. That is all he wanted all day long. He would ask over and over again. I realized that this was probably a problem so I cut him off completely. He hated water at first but then it became all he ever wanted. Almost immediately, his hyperactivity went down 3 levels. He had better behaviors and of course later we found out that he was intolerant to casein. Next example: Wyatt and Brody are both right hemisphere delayed. That means that we need to really work hard at stimulating the right brain and NOT stimulating the left brain because that is what keeps creating an even greater imbalance in the brain. So guess what stimulates the left brain? Watching Television and movies, watching/playing on the computer, playing on an iPhone. All of the things that he and Brody want to do all day. In fact, these are the things that when they have to stop doing they get very upset or we see bad tantrums. So - after this weekend, we are saying goodbye to Thomas once again. We will have to hide everything Thomas related and it will break my heart to see him look for the trains, but he will adjust soon and then spend his time doing other things - like swimming at the sauna pool... ** Note: maybe tomorrow I will do my post about each hemisphere and what they are responsible for. I find it VERY interesting and enlightening.
- He is so cute, loves to be tickled, loves music and singing songs, is happy an loves to have you kiss him all over his face and neck. He says "kiss" and then you kiss like crazy and he laughs and then says "kiss" and we start again. He is so smart is is crazy. I can't wait to see all of that smartness continue to come out in the coming months.
- I think there is more, but can't think of it so it may end up on tomorrows update.
- She has turned into the whiniest girl in the world the last month or so. So bad. Whines and throws fits about everything. Attention? Tired?
- Wants treats and candy and sugar all day. What does that tell me? Yep. Starting Monday, me, Hazel and Paige are all joining the boys on their diet. Probably will be the hardest thing I do. No sugar. No Dr. Pepper when I am tired and having a hard day. No carbs. No sugar. Wait, did I already say that?
- She is very helpful at watching Wyatt. She yells if she sees him doing something he shouldn't.
- Loves to stay up late with the girls and comes out of the room 100 times...
- Eats three grapes for breakfast and then says she is full, but then for dinner eats pickles, grapes, chicken, orange juice and a pb&J...
- Held on to me swimming very tight. She seemed very scared and wouldn't let me let go of her at all. She was fine if I was holding her but there was no letting go.
- I had to comb her hair after her shower which she HATES and cried the whole time. Yet, as soon as I was done she said "thank you mom". She is good at saying thank you, but not so much please....
- Very, very cute and happy and silly and sweet and dramatic. Loves to talk to just about anyone and loves to tell crazy stories. Takes care of her older brothers which is so funny. Today we were getting ready for swimming and we told Wyatt to get his swimming suit on. He hadn't done it yet so Hazel proceeded to take Wyatt by the hand and say "put on swimming suit". She followed through until he put it on. She also does that when he is supposed to eat. She takes him to his plate and says "eat food". He takes a bite and she says "good job". Thanks for your help Hazel!
- She is amazing and great and wonderful and we are so grateful that she is here. There is NO WAY - repeat: NO WAY that I, or anyone , could do this alone. Paige is SO great with the kids and she is patient and loving and truly wants them to succeed and get better as if they were her own kids. She works very hard and deserves 10 times the pay we can afford to give her. Just don't tell her that ;) She knows how much we appreciate her because we tell her every day and just in case she has forgotten - You are great Paige and we love you!
I am off to bed! An hour earlier than lately. None of us are really adjusted to the three hour time change yet. However, tomorrow may be the hardest. We have 9:00 a.m. church which is 6:00 a.m. our old time. We are probably somewhere in between the 3 hours so far, but still not totally switched over. We will need to get up early, get ready and leave 45 minutes early to make our 3.5 mile trek to the church in our golf cart. It is the first time going there so I hope I don't get lost...
A week ago tomorrow I stayed up most of the night packing for what I believe will be the hardest, greatest most rewarding journey our family will ever take.