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Beyond our control?

Reading ‘Random Thought‘ that Kelen wrote few weeks ago… I can totally relate to her.  I was laughing when I read that Jayden emptied the content of the vacuum cleaner minutes before they left the house, or how he spilled milk everywhere, but I know how hard it is…  I think I have my fair share of “Accident”.  There was one time when I was pregnant with Jake and had the worst morning sickness, so I laid on the bed thinking that Stella was watching Playschool! WRONG.  She came into my room covered with Sunscreen lotion.  When I walked out to the living room, my sofa was covered with it too!  Then there was spilled milk all over the carpet, because she wants to help me bring my cup!  Most of the time, I try to remind myself that she is only little.  But, there were times when I was furious and  just wished nothing had happened!

I was reading a book called ‘365 ways to Raise Confident kids’ by Sheila Ellison and Barbara Ann Barnett (Great book, it has lots activities for building self esteem, developing character and encourage imagination.  Best of all, the chapters are divided into short 2-5 minutes reading. Perfect for mums and dads!)

It happens that one of the chapter on building character was titled “When Things Are Beyond Our Control”

So much time is wasted worrying about things that have already happened, things we cannot change, or things that are beyond our control.  It’s important that children learn form you how to tolerate mistake in themselves and in others…  There are two ways to handle situation: scream your anger, or calmly say that the damage is done and there is nothing that can magically make it “un-happen.”  The most important thing we can teach children about mistakes is that there are only two things you can do with a mistake: do the best you can to fix the problem, and learn from it so it doesn’t happen again in the futre.  If you respond to your child with anger an accusations when they make a mistake, you can be sure your child will respond in the same way when she sees a mistake being made.”

So after reading that, I made a promise to myself, to stay CALM when ‘accident’ happen, and to talk to them so we can solve the problem together…   It’s hard!  I know myself, when things happened, I would be thinking, “Do I really need this extra work???” “We are running late!” “Why does it HAVE to happen now!”  But I will definitely try my hardest and keep reminding myself that we can’t make it UN-HAPPEN.  So it must happen for a reason!  To teach them and (me) how to handle ‘accident’ and hopefully learn not to do it again.

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Random thoughts

We’ve been busy this term. Monday – Playgroup, Tuesday – Swimming, Wednesday – Gymbaroo, Thursday – Kindermusik and free on Fridays.

Every morning I’m always scrambling for time before his lessons and Jayden always managed to make things more difficult somehow.

For example, yesterday just before we were about to leave the house, he decided to empty the content of the vacuum cleaner all over the carpet and while he was at it, he pooped too! This was while I was putting on my shoes just about to step out of the door. And this morning, I felt a little tired and didn’t feel like getting up yet, but he said he was hungry so I thought Ok, I’ll feed some cereal in bed. Big mistake! He was so excited, he was clapping and his hand hit the bowl and everything spilled everywhere, on him, on the bed sheets and on me. grrrr. So I had to shower and change him and wash the bed sheets as well!

So, writing this blog is actually quite relaxing for us, it doesn’t take much effort or time at all, compared to trying to keep the house tidy or looking after the kids and keeping them entertained and stimulated. We do it to keep track of the kids growth, milestones and progress as well recording our thoughts and to share and exchange ideas. It’s one of the way to keep us sane and motivated, but it’s definitely not because we have nothing to do 🙂 I guess it allows us to wind down and think about the day too.

Anyway a few days ago – we had such a bad weather. It was raining heavily and as we were driving, Jayden suddenly said “Car walking… car swimming in the water”. It’s funny (well, at least I think so! haha). He’s starting to make up his own sentences, sometimes really strange ones. When he farts, he looks at me with his innocent face and says “Poot-poot the butt!”. 

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I can’t believe how fast time flies, this little boy is 19 months tomorrow.

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After having a tough night, which means sleeping for less than 4 hours… the next day, Jake was as unpredictable as the night before.  He only had one nap, at 10am.  He woke up at 11am and decided that he didn’t want to nap again.  I tried to put him to bed for his second nap around 2pm.  That didn’t work.  I must have tried more than five times when I decided to let him play.   I laid down on the carpet and let out a huge SIGH.  Then Stella came to me and said “It’s OK mummy, you can try again later”.  I was a little surprised when she said that, I didn’t expect her to understand so I asked her, “Try what again later, Stella…?”.  “Try to put baby Jake again to bed later, it’s OK.” she replied. 

Then it got me thinking.  You are so right Stella, it’s OK!  I was forcing him take his nap because I was thinking about the crumbs under the dining table, the brocolli waiting to be chopped and a thousand other things that I NEED to do while he is napping, instead of just going with the flow, taking things easy and enjoying the moment! 

They are not going to be that little forever… gosh, I will probably have to force them to hug or kiss me in ten years time. So, I am not going to worry (too much) about the crumbs under the table, the weeds in the garden and changing the sheets every Saturday morning, I will snuggle up in bed with them and savour the moment.  I can have a clean house anytime, but I will never have them this little again! 

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That is my favourite picture of the two of them playing together.  It’s Jake first time on the swing and Stella is pushing him from behind.  I have this picture on my laptop’s wallpaper, so every time I am on the computer I am reminded that “everything is worth it”.

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I wanted to introduce swimming to Jayden much earlier, but I guess I was just somewhat lazy, and only started taking him to lessons about 5 months ago. He was initially very scared – cried when he had water on his face and clinged on to me like a koala throughout the 30 minutes lesson.

But kids learn so fast, every week I can see good progress with his swimming. The main important thing is for him to be comfortable in water and to know what to do to stay afloat. We sing the songs and do the actions at home over and over again so that he would be familiar with them during class. At least this way, he would also enjoy the lesson more.

Now, he still doesn’t really like back float, but he loves monkey walk (which is walking on the edge of the pool on his own) and also mat time where he gets to walk and jump into the water. This clip reminded me of Stella when she was younger, she used to do the jumps into the water too. Now, 2 years later, she is one brave water baby!

 

 

We hope to keep swimming throughout winter, even though I find it very tiring at times – not only the classes but the showers and getting dressed after the lesson. If you know Jayden, he never stands still, so it really is a tough mission for me to get him dressed 🙂 But, at the end of the day, I know that we both enjoy it. I thank God everyday for giving us a funny, cheerful, sometimes annoying (well ok, most of the time), cheeky, loving boy.

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2 days old jake

2 days old jake

 

My 9 months old son Jake is allergic to (drumroll…..) eggs, dairy and nuts. We first found out that he was allergic to dairy when I bought a tub of baby yoghurt from the supermarket, fed him the yoghurt and ended up in the hospital emergency 40 minutes later.  He had hives all over his face 30 minutes after he had the yoghurt and was rubbing his face everywhere.  We didn’t want to wait and headed to the emergency straight away.  When we got there the hives was all over his body too.  He was very very grumpy! Cried a lot and you can tell he was uncomfortable.  He was given anti-histamine, which made him really really drowsy! He slept for 8 hours.

The first 3  months since Jake was born, he was a very happy baby. He fed and slept well.  However, when he was 4 months old he has a very bad eczema on his face.  On his cheeks, chin and sometimes on his ears.  I did take him to the GP who first gave me sigmacort (which didn’t help at all) then gave me advantan (only works for few days).  His eczema was so bad that he wakes up every 2 to 3 hours and start rubbing his face.  It was really painful to see him so uncomfortable.  I was still breastfeeding him, when he had the hives from eating the yoghurt.  Immediately I stopped eating dairy products.  I was told to try and see if that makes him better.  It didn’t! 

After about a month, we got an appointment with the allergy specialist.  When she told me that not only he is allergic to dairy, but eggs and nuts.  My jaw dropped.  I remember thinking, poor boy, what are you going to eat?  I went home feeling confused, guilty and to a certain extent – relieved.  Confused, because I don’t know what to feed him.  Guilty, because I ate everything and that makes him sick.  Relieved, because now I know how to make him feel better.  Since I was still breastfeeding, that day I stopped eating dairy, eggs and nuts.  Two days later, Jake was sleeping 6 hours at night.  His eczema was better by the first week.  It was amazing.  He is smiling and moving more. 

 

8 months old

8 months old

 

Of course I still have to be cautious with the thing that I fed him.  I kept a food diary.  I told everyone that he is allergic, and it is VERY serious.  I try to get as much information as I can from the library and the internet about food allergy. 

Here are some of the useful websites for support and information:

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy

Anaphylaxis Australia

Royal Prince Alfred Allergy Unit, NSW

www.kidswithfoodallergies.org

www.fankids.org (for children)

www.fanteen.org (for teenagers)

 

Allergy free cookbooks:

Everyday with Allergies (written by perth mum, Tara Humphries.  Get sample recipes and order online at : www.everydaywithallergies.com)

Allergy Safe Family Food (written by Suzanna Paxton, Australian)

The Tolerant Cook, The Allergy and Food Intolerance Cookbook (written by Tish Richardson PhD, Australian)

The Kid-Friendly Food Allergy Cookbook (written by Leslie Hammond and Lynne Marie Rominger, USA)

Allergy-Free Cooking for Kids (Antoinette Savill and Karen Sullivan, UK)

Websites for home delivery of various allergy free products withing Australia:

www.glutenfreefavourites.com.au

www.allergyblock.com.au

www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au

www.groceries4u.com.au

www.crdirect.com.au (Western Australia)

www.looseproduce.com (Western Australia)

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Jayden is such a chatterbox – the only time he stops talking is when he’s sleeping! It’s amazing how much he’s progressed from his first word “Car” at 10 months old. I know… – it’s not mummy or daddy, it’s CAR!  At 14 months, he knew over 100 words and now at 17 months, he has started to speak in somewhat proper full sentences. 

He loves to copy whatever we say – word for word. He’s also starting to ask a lot of questions. “What’s that?”, “Whatcha doing?”, “Where is Papa?”, “What happened?” and things like that. It’s so cute to hear him talk!! He’s a tough boy with lots of cuts and bruises but with a gentle voice 🙂 

We listen to music all day long, talk to him all the time and we read lots and lots and lots of books. I think that encourages him to talk and help him to learn new words quickly. And as a bonus – he loves to sing and dance!

 

If you like the song – that’s “Amazing Grace (My chains are gone)” by Chris Tomlin. 

 

Finally, here are some tips that I found useful with regards to enhancing speech development

  • Show excitement and respond to all attempts at communication, this encourages the child to experiment with language
  • Use hand signs – this promotes speech and is one way of preventing frustration for the kids
  • Do not use baby talk
  • Sing nursery rhymes and early childhood songs that are short and rhythmic
  • Engaging toddlers in repetitive little rhymes encourages auditory memory
  • Sharing lots of books and talking about pictures will improve their vocabulary dramatically
  • Play music and dance together
  • Talk to the kids and wait patiently for a reply.

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What did you say??!?!

Recently I read an interesting article in Mother & Baby (April/May 2009) about “Dealing with those %$# swear words.”  I think it’s never too early to know what to do and plan what your response is going to be when that time comes. After all – don’t we all want good-mannered kids. So here are some of the great info and tips that are mentioned in the article. 

As kids explore language, it’s normal for them to learn a few bad words too. When they hear someone use the swear words – they might not understand its meaning, but they understand its emotional attachment. So when kids say some swear words, it’s most likely that they’re trying to express their emotion, such as fear, anger or frustrations. 

How to deal with it?

  • Don’t immediately overreact – An overreaction lets your child know that swearing is a way to get your attention and this may prolong the swearing.
  • Punishment is not the best way to deal with it
  • Look for the reason behind the language – Are they just playing with the words, or are they really upset or scared about something? You need to calmly talk to them and find out
  • Remind your child of the rules – “We don’t talk like that in our house or when we’re out”
  • If they use bad language when you’re out – If practical, go home immediately, making it clear it’s because of what they said. The next time you go out, warn them the same thing will happen if they swear again.

Finally kids are little mimics – so we have to keep it clean ourselves!

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