Thursday, October 28, 2010

“Mom I‘ve got great news”

A few nights ago Caleb got up at 8:30 PM (he had been in bed since about 8:00). He came into the living room and said, “Mom, I’ve got great news. I haven’t even wet the bed yet.” I told him that was great news and sent him back to bed.

A major part of my life right now is trying to get Caleb to sleep dry. I wouldn’t care so much, but he is such a big kid and big drinker that he wets through his pull-ups. (And every other brand of night dippers for kids.) I can’t stand the wet bed any more!!! (He will be 7 in February.) We are at our last resort – a bed wetting alarm. The alarm goes off every time it gets wet. The idea is that there is an instant consequence and awareness when he wets. We have been working on it for three weeks. I get up with him four times almost every night. It is like clock work. He did have two nights that he only wet once and I thought we were almost there, but it must have been a fluke because we are back to four times every night.

It feels like it has been a long journey. He has had five to ten dry nights in his entire life. For years I waited for a dry night to reinforce and to build upon, but that didn’t ever happen. We have met with his pediatrician multiple times and his doc thinks that it is based on the fact that he sleeps extremely deeply. He does crazy things in the night when his alarm goings off which confirm how deeply he sleeps. First of all he doesn’t even hear the alarm which sounds like a fire alarm. When I say, “get your alarm off” he questions “what alarm?” Can’t he her the screaming that is pinned to the shoulder of his shirt? He is totally confused in the night. When I tell him to finish going potty he climbs in the tub. He pulls his dry underwear over his wet ones and a million other things. Part of the learning is making the child get on dry cloths, sheets, etc. Caleb is so out of it Josh can’t help him. It makes Josh crazy!! Currently Caleb has the incentive of a new basketball if he sleeps dry. Every morning he says, “MOM, I get my new basketball!” He can’t even remember the experiences of the night. (He is going to be NO HELP when he has children.)

We have tried avoiding fluids in the evening as much as possible although nothing makes a child thirstier than being deprived of a drink. Of course, we have tried waking him many times in the night to go. We did that for months with out even a sign of success, which ruled out a capacity issue. He has had his tonsils out which helps some children. We have also tried two medications DDAVP, which had no apparent influence on him, as well as another medication, which gave him unbelievable hallucinations. It was very scary. We have also tried a great children’s hypnotherapy book “Dry All Night.” It was actually that book that got Cara to stop wetting in the night just a few months ago. (I made the mistake of not allowing her to get out of the crib in the night when I potty trained her or else she would have slept dry from the beginning. It was hard to back peddle.) We had been reading that book every night as part of our bed time ritual and Cara began to consistently have a dry pull-up and then on her own began to wear underwear at night. I asked her how she stopped wetting the bed and she said, “I thinked about it.”

So here we are . . . at our last resort. It is painful, but it will be worth it when he sleeps dry. Bedwetting is hard on the child, and it is hard on the parents. I sure hope this will take care of it forever for him. A few nights ago as I kissed him good night (for the third time) and told him that I loved him I thought of the girl he will someday marry. All I can say to her is that “we are doing the best we can.”

Not only is Caleb keeping me up in the night, but Ali has turned into a little night crier. I am not talking about a little fuss here and there. She does not sleep well!! I keep thinking it is teeth, but nothing has broke through. She wakes up several times during each nap, and she is easily disrupted during the nights. I haven’t had the heart to let her cry it out so she had been getting nighttime bottles up until this week. Now she has got a “new room” in the basement storage room. I have a lamp in there, and it is plenty warm. It is perfect because I can hear her when I am in the kitchen and at my desk, but I can’t hear her when I am in my bedroom. She hasn’t been awake when I have been up with Caleb so as far as I know she is sleeping through the night now! I think she does better without Caleb’s alarm going off every few hours.

I hate to admit it, but she isn’t the perfect baby. She has become extremely high maintenance. She is harder than any other baby I have had. She wants to be held! What is up with that? I am supposed to have perfect content babies.

Speaking of perfect babies – Andy. He is such a joy! He is in the best, most adorable and wonderful stage. He is talking like crazy and the things that he says are so cute. He repeats everything he hears. The other day Cara was trying to teach him how to play Duck, Duck, Goose. She said, “You’re the Goose.”
He said, “You’re the Goose.”
She said, “NO, you’re the Goose.”
He said, “NO, you’re the Goose.”
She said . . . you get the idea. They bantered back and forth for a while and then she gave up on teaching him the game. Today they had a similar banter with the words, “come here.” Another thing that I love about Andy is the way that his cheeks bounce when he runs. He is so dang cute!! He loves to get his hair done, and to go out and play with the kids. He hurries to the car when it is time to go in order to sit in Caleb’s booster. He hopes that if he is all set up he can sit in the back with Caleb and Cara rather than in his car seat next to Ali. He generalizes many words. He knows how to say drink, milk, and juice, but when he wants a drink he usually says “water”. He NEVER wants water! Caleb’s best friend is Isaac. Isaac has two brothers Henry and G. Jessie that Andy LOVES to play with. He has generalized the whole family to be “Isaac’s.” They are all “Isaac’s.” I have had Caleb begging me to play at Isaac’s for five years, now I get to hear it from Andy. There is nothing that I don’t absolutely adore about Andy right now!

9:53 Caleb just hit his first sleep cycle so I guess I can go to bed until he hits the next one! Besides if anyone has read this much you must really love me.

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Terrific Twos

Andy has hit the terrific twos. He is a complete joy. If every two year old were like him they really would be called the terrific twos. He is such a teaser, but in a really sweet way. He loves to kiss. He often puts his cheek, forhead, hand or even lips up to my mouth for me to kiss. He rarely gets into trouble. He isn't a big explorer or mess maker, and he hardly ever even throws tantrums. (I hope I'm not jinxing myself by writing this.) He is becoming a great talker. He is a little echo and shadow for Caleb and Cara.

His birthday was really low key. Thanks to Grandma Iva and Connie for creating a little bit of a party.

Like I've mentioned before, he is really shy with the camera, and he was totally clueless about what to do with the candles. He had his mouth full of pizza when Josh brought him the cake so he just chewed and looked at it.

I had to add this picture because he just loves his cup. He would love to drink all of his calories in the form of milk. I sure love this boy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Kids

We took the opportunity to take individual pictures of the kids so I will also take this moment to give a little update on each of them.

Ali . . . is now seven months. She is growing so fast. She has become an independent sitter and gets so much attention. She is at that wonderful stage where napping is how she spends most of her day. She used to sleep through the night, but she has recently decided that she would like a bottle at 3AM. I will be putting a stop to that soon, but she is generally a good baby. She has been chomping on her thumb for a few weeks and drooling like crazy. I hope she is teething and not just cranky. She looks down all the time when she is sitting so 95% of the pictures of her were of the top of her head, but I sure think she is cute when she is looking up.

Andy is a total joy! He is talking like crazy and really wants to be one of the big kids. He wants to play soccer with Caleb and loves it when his brother will play any ball with him. He doesn't even mind when Caleb plays tackle football with him. He loves to get his hair done. He says, "hair, cute" and points to the bathroom counter. He is so happy and go-lucky, but he hates getting his picture taken. He freezes right up and refuses to smile. The only pictures in which he is smiling is if we asked him "where's Ali?"

Cara is not quite as sweet as she used to be. She is discovering her independence and really wants to be the boss of herself. She can throw a tantrum with the best of them. She sleeps on the top bunk, and when she is mad she lays on her bed and kicks the wall. She loves being busy and wants to be with her friends all of the time. She has abandoned the boys that she used to play with and only wants to hang out with the girls unless of course the boys will play house with her. She calls it "the mom and dad game". Today I asked her to tend Ali and Andy while I went for a walk. (Josh was home too.) Her reply was "how much scoops." She was wondering how to make the formula for Ali. She is already looking forward to being a baby sitter, and she was extremely pleased that I asked her.

Caleb is really enjoying 1st Grade. He wonders why he doesn't have any time to play, but he doesn't complain too much. He is in one of the top reading groups. Unfortunately he is struggling with math. (I can relate.) Numbers are very abstract for him. We were trying to add units of 12 for his homework last week and he couldn't do it because he didn't have that many fingers. He needs manipulatives for almost all of his math. (In talking to his teacher today I guess his skills for math are on grade level so far.) I am taking suggestions on how to help him. He is really enjoying soccer, but he CAN'T WAIT to start basket ball. He dribbles his ball everywhere. After pictures we went out to Arctic Circle for 60 cent hamburgers. Caleb ate two hamburgers and a corn dog! Oh boy, how am I going to keep my boys fed as they grow.

Josh continues to work day in and day out. There have FINALLY been a few real estate deals close this summer. I feel like he has three years of working without pay to make up for, and we have the debt to match it. We are really looking forward to improvements in commercial real estate so that we can get out of the hole. His name is all over town. (It's almost like he is a celebrity.) He should be very well positioned for when things improve. He is enjoying doing graphic design. He hasn't taken on too many clients, and I am so grateful for the way he has been able to bridge the gap in our income by freelancing. He is so talented! He was released from Young Mens this summer after about six years. (I was very happy about it, but he was sad.) He is now teaching the 10-11 year olds in primary. He has a huge, crazy, giggly class, but he is enjoying it. He thinks anything is better than going to Elders Quorum.

I am sincerely enjoying staying home. Having four kids is not been nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. Caleb is my highest energy child and with him gone to school seven hours a day I can get a lot done. Car pooling has also worked out awesome with Cara so that has helped as well. My life is my kids and my calling. I am the first counselor in a primary with over 150 children and a staff of over 50. It is almost like a ward within the ward. I really enjoy it!! The kids are adorable, and I am really grateful for work that primary teachers do. My life is really good, and I count my blessings every day.

Family Pictures

I believed family pictures were SO HARD when we had two children. I had no idea!! My standards have changed dramatically. I am happy with a picture in which everyones head is in the same general direction. Looking is a bonus, and smiles are optional. I prefer no tears, but can sometimes even look past the tears. After two photo shoots and more than 400 pictures, following are my top picks. (While we are taking them Josh always says, "oh, I can photoshop that." Yah, right. He is too busy doing other peoples work so what we took is what we get.)

This group picture is a perfect example of when some photo shop skills would do me some good. Two kids looking in one picture, and the other two looking in the next picture.