Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Multiple Milestones: Scooting, Crawling, and Teeth

The past 24 hours have been full of accomplishments for the trio! 

James is scooting backwards all over the place, just like Amelia has been doing for weeks now. I had to come rescue him multiple times throughout the day.


Amelia, who has been rocking on her hands and knees for over a week, crawled forwards for the first time. I wouldn't say she's full blown crawling, but she finally figured out how to work her arms and legs together to move ahead. She can even turn herself around.


The other big news is that we finally have a tooth at 9.5 months old! Madde is the first of the three to cut her first tooth. That might explain her trouble sleeping the past few nights. Hopefully she's not in too much pain.


I can't believe how much my babies are growing.

As I am typing this right now, all three are laughing at one another. Oh. My. Word.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Commentary on The Husband's Secret

I attended my first book club last month, and was a bit embarrassed to discover that I was the only person who had flagged pages and jotted down notes. I devoted 18 months of my graduate school completing my thesis on literature circles. For my first adult book club, I followed everything I had taught my students to do. Apparently, most adult book clubs are more laid back than the book clubs that took place in my classroom.

Nonetheless, I returned to my beloved post-it flags for the novel this month.


I enjoyed reading this novel so much that I completed all 400 pages in three days. It reminded me of Love Actually because it had several story lines that overlapped. The characters' connections to one another were slowly revealed and there were multiple flashbacks, which kept things interesting.

I also appreciated the epilogue. I require proper closure with books/movies. Whether I agree with the resolution is irrelevant; it's the fact that there is a decisive ending.

While reading the novel, there were so many passages where I thought "That's exactly how I feel" or "Hmm, I wonder if that's true". Here are some examples:

Describing Cecelia, the overachieving main character (p.12)
"...it seemed to perpetuate itself, so that her life was extraordinarily well organized, as if motherhood were a sport and she were a top athlete. It was like she was thinking, How far can I go with this? How much more can I fit in my life without losing control?"

  • I loved this analogy. It's almost as if I take pleasure in pushing the boundaries on being a stable mom. Where else can I take them? What other craft or recipe can we make together? Can we do one more thing before somebody has a meltdown? How much more can I squeeze into the day without feeling like I've been hit by a truck?

Describing how Will could have kept a secret from his wife, Tess (p. 55)
"Family life, even with one little boy, had its own familiar rhythms, and it was perfectly possible to keep right on dancing like you always have, even where your mind is somewhere else."

  • There is such monotony in married life with children. I hope I would notice if something/someone else was the center of Jesse's focus, but maybe not. Were Tess and Will completely out of sync with one another, or were they both so good at going through the motions that they fooled one another?

Describing Rachel's intense grief and anxiety over her deceased daughter (p.60)
"A steel vise wrapped around her chest and squeezed so she felt like she was suffocating and she gasped for air, but beneath her panic she could hear the weary, calm voice of experience: You've been here before. It won't kill you. It feels like you can't breathe, but you actually are breathing, It feels like you'll never stop crying, but you actually will."

  • As someone who has suffered from panic attacks for over a decade, this passage describes my personal experiences with a startling accuracy. It's truly as if I'm suffocating but there's a slight voice of reason that assures me I'm okay. That voice of reason is harder to hear as the panic attacks escalate in intensity.

Cecilia read her husband's letter which revealed his secret. The following day, a very distraught Cecelia makes small talk with her mother-in-law, who says (p. 214):
"I don't need to tell you this, do I? You're a mother. You'd do anything for your children, just like I'd do anything for mine."

  •  Without spoiling major elements of the novel, the fact that the mother said this is very disturbing. It seems like an innocent enough statement that every mother would agree with. But, I'd like to think that the way she protected her child is something I would never do. Does this notion that you would do anything for your child have restrictions? Or is it completely black and white? What would I have done if I was the man's mother and knew of his secret?

Tess' thoughts as flirtations escalated with another man (p. 223)
"She had forgotten this: the way your senses exploded and your pulse raced, as if you were properly awake after a long sleep. She had forgotten the thrill, the desire, the melting sensation. It just wasn't possible after ten years of marriage. Everyone knew that. It was part of the deal. She'd accepted the deal. It had never been a problem. She hadn't even known she missed it. If she ever thought about it, it felt childish, silly--"sparks flying"--whatever, who cares, she had a child to care for, a business to run. But, my God, she's forgotten the power of it. How nothing else felt important. [...] Tess was busy with mundane married life."

  • I have vivid memories of flying to Italy and being so completely consumed with desire for Jesse. I walked the streets of Rome, sipped wine in Tuscany, ate pizza in Naples. But most of my memories of that trip were thoughts of Jesse, who had just lost his grandfather and was thousands of miles away. Our relationship was new and exciting, past the awkward first dates, but still fresh where saying "I love you" sent chills down my spine. I had just decided that he was the man I wanted to spend my life with. That was nearly ten years ago, and while I have even greater love for him as the father of my children, that excitement will never be recreated.

Rachel was thinking about her relationship with her daughter-in-law, Lauren. (p. 311)
"She always pretended to herself that she didn't let Lauren help because she was trying to be the perfect mother-in-law, but really, when you didn't let a woman help, it was a way of keeping her at a distance, of letting her know that she wasn't family, of saying, I don't like you enough to let you into my kitchen."

  • The only kitchens I walk around freely in are my sisters.  And when I have a get-together at my house, it is expected that my sisters and mother-in-law will help. Am I subconsciously keeping other people at a distance by not letting them help? Or even worse, am I doing so consciously?

Tess' thoughts after talking to her husband about his feelings for Felicity (p. 361)
"When you were young, you talked about falling in love with such amusing gravity, as if it were an actual, recordable event, when what was it really? Chemicals. Hormones. A trick of the mind. She could have fallen in love with Connor. Easily. Falling in love was easy. Anyone could fall. It was holding on that was tricky."

  • I have never thought about this before. I used to think you only had one soul mate in your life. But if that were true, how could widows happily remarry? The more I think about it, the more I wonder about the ease of falling in love. Falling in love with Jesse was easy, natural, and impossible to stop. Maintaining a happy marriage is much more challenging, even to the point of exhaustion at times.
There were many more passages I flagged, but they would have revealed integral parts of the plot. If you haven't read it, it was a very easy, interesting read with plenty of talking points. Bring it on, book club!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Angry Mom, Angry Son

We took advantage of open gym at the rec center today. The trio are getting harder to contain on whatever blankets I bring. They were occupied with toys I keep in the van, in addition to blocks and hula hoops that were available.


Jackson had fun riding the tricycle. He even used his feet to pedal most of the time.


In an effort to keep James and Amelia off of the gym floor, I sat them up and stacked blocks with them.


Jackson joined us and began building a tall tower.



All was happy in our little world, until two other preschool aged children came over.  A sweet little girl asked if she could build with us. Jackson, aka Mr. Antisocial, frowned and rode away on his tricycle. Of course, I welcomed her to join us. The other children and I played together while Jack rode around the gym.  This sweet girl worked so hard to build a tower taller than she was.  The next thing I know, Jackson came running over with both hands out and knocked her tower over!

I was mortified that my son would be such a bully. The poor girl was on the verge of tears when her mother came over to console her. I made my best effort to redirect Jackson calmly and get him to help me rebuild her tower. He refused. I felt so bad for the girl and I found myself making excuses for Jackson to the girl's mother.  "Somebody is ready for a nap" even though he hasn't napped in months. I hurriedly stacked the blocks then ran off to reprimand Jackson. At this point, he angrily yelled, "I knock over this, too!" He proceeded to knock over multiple tricycles. It became a free show for the parents. I felt like the other moms were just watching to see how I would handle the situation.  And I'm sure they thought Jackson was a brat. I thought he was.

I wanted to scream and pick him up and dramatically storm out of the gym. I learned my lesson in September that those actions don't work. I have three other children who can't walk that also need my attention. I rushed to put the babies in the stroller/Ergo. Jackson would NOT pick up the tricycles or blocks. I picked them up for him only because I wanted to get out asap. Jackson was calm enough to apologize to the girl, walk out, hold the door for me, and hold the stroller in the parking lot. It was as if nothing had happened.

Once we got to the van, it took everything in me not to throw him in his carseat and start screaming. Again, I've learned that yelling has the opposite effect with Jackson (and most everyone). I feel obligated to admit that as soon as all four kids were buckled in and the door was closed I grunted and yelled in the parking lot. How dare my son hurt other peoples feelings. I know the trio are just babies, but it wasn't fair to them that we had to leave because their brother was being ugly. Jackson's actions could have been worse, but that behavior is certainly not tolerated.

I decided leaving the gym early was enough of a consequence. Jackson had such remorse and kept apologizing and crying. Once home, I laid the babies down for their nap and Jackson and I baked a cake for my brother-in-law. At one point he put the measuring cup down and said, "I say sorry to you and you say sorry to me." He apologized again for knocking the tower over and he wanted me to apologize for making him cry. Oh dear...

Today was the first time I saw an angry, aggressive side of Jackson. I hope I don't see it much more!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Domestic Violence

The Victims

  • One in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime.
  • Women experience more than 4 million physical assaults and rapes because of their partners, and men are victims of nearly 3 million physical assaults.
  • Every year, 1 in 3 women who is a victim of homicide is murdered by her current or former partner.

The Families

  • Every year, more than 3 million children witness domestic violence in their homes.
  • Children who live in homes where there is domestic violence also suffer abuse or neglect at high rates (30% to 60%).
  • A 2005 Michigan study found that children exposed to domestic violence at home are more likely to have health problems, including becoming sick more often, having frequent headaches or stomachaches, and being more tired and lethargic.

The Consequences

  • According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness among families.
  • Survivors of domestic violence face high rates of depression, sleep disturbances, anxiety, flashbacks, and other emotional distress.
  • Domestic violence contributes to poor health for many survivors.  For example, chronic conditions like heart disease or gastrointestinal disorders can become more serious due to domestic violence. 
  • Among women brought to emergency rooms due to domestic violence, most were socially isolated and had fewer social and financial resources than other women not injured because of domestic violence.
  • Without help, girls who witness domestic violence are more vulnerable to abuse as teens and adults.
  • Without help, boys who witness domestic violence are far more likely to become abusers of their partners and/or children as adults, thus continuing the cycle of violence in the next generation.
  • Domestic violence costs more than $37 billion a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment, and lost productivity at companies.

The above statistics were copied from the Safe Horizon website. Today I had the opportunity to make a small contribution to help a local mother who is a current victim of domestic violence. I learned of her crisis situation a few weeks ago through an online forum. I contacted her privately to determine how I could assist her. We arranged to meet at a grocery store where I would keep her company and buy a few weeks worth of groceries for her and her four children

It was quite an eye-opening experience waiting at the store entrance watching every woman that passed by. Since I had never met her I had no clue what she looked like.  I analyzed each woman, trying to determine if it was the person I had messaged. What was I looking for? Poor posture? Sad expression? Eyes cast down? Young? Unkempt?  What race? Would her children be with her?  Would her husband find out? Would I be in danger?  Was her whole story a scam?

I waited an entire hour, but she never showed up. I grew irritated. Here I was trying to help and she had wasted my time. 

The next day, I learned that she was back in the hospital after her abuser had been bailed out of jail by a third party.  

After a series of contacts throughout the week, we arranged to meet again at the same grocery store today. Her story is not mine to tell, but I can say that any assumptions and stereotypes I had of victims of domestic violence were erased.  We talked and shopped for two hours. She is personable, smart, and attractive. I found myself laughing with her and relating to many of her experiences.  She was a college educated, well-traveled, highly paid, career-woman who chose to give up her job to stay home with her children. Over the years as a stay-at-home mom her relationships, income, and family dynamics changed significantly.  
. . .

Yesterday I had been anxious about meeting up with this stranger...again.  Jesse and I ordered Chinese take-out last night. My fortune read:


When I read this last night, I felt like it was validation that meeting this mother was the right thing to do. I could be a blessing to her by providing financial support and helping meet her family's most basic needs. Today I discovered that this experience was just as much for me as it was for her.  I suspect it had a greater impact on me. The brief experience changed my perceptions and reminded me that you never know what someone else is enduring. 

Indeed, small acts do go a long way.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Solids at 9 Months Old

We have offered breakfast and dinner for three months now, with lunch inconsistently offered. Honestly, lunch got in the way of us going out during the day and it was hard to fit the third meal in with bottles and naps. Over the past two weeks lunch has become a regular meal. The trio now consume 3 meals a day in addition to 24 ounces of breastmilk/formula in bottles. I have not been consistent with offering sippy cups. 

Here are the main ways the babies eat:

1. They are spoon fed meals by Jesse or I while sitting in the bumbo or high chair. 


2. They feed themselves while sitting in their high chairs.

3. They feed themselves in a free for all on the floor.

4. They (eh, really only James) feed themselves with squeezable pouches.

I've still been able to keep their food healthy. I haven't taken many shortcuts with the babies' food. Instead of instant oatmeal, I make steel cut and mix in fruit. I am very intentional in making sure most of their foods are fresh rather than processed. That's not to say that I haven't given them yogurt melts, veggie straws, cheerios, graham crackers, etc. But the majority of what they eat is produce, eggs, beans, yogurt, or chicken. Here are a few meals they've eaten this week:

Banana Egg Pancakes: Whisk together one banana and one egg together, pour batter by the tablespoon, and cook for a few minutes on each side. The pancakes have an unusual texture but they are solid yet soft enough for the babies to feed themselves. 


Taco Soup: Our recipe is 2 cups of shredded chicken, 2 cans of drained black beans, a jar of salsa, 2 cups of chicken stock, and a can of corn. Combine ingredients and simmer on stove for half an hour. We fed the trio since the ingredients were pretty wet. They always eat whatever we eat for dinner.


Cereal and Fruit Salsa: Mix a cup of diced peaches, cup of diced pears, and handful of strawberries in the food processor. Mix in cheerios.


I'm really impressed with how well they eat. We started with purees but evolved more into a baby led weaning approach. The babies never refuse food and we have given them a broad range of foods and spices now. They do fine with different textures, even though they don't have any teeth.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eleven

Maybe it's because eleven was the most significant year of my childhood.

Or maybe it's because I spent every day for five years surrounded by 10-11 year olds.

Or maybe it's just because I adore everything about these girls.

Whatever the reason, when my nieces turned eleven, I knew I wanted to do something memorable to celebrate. Their birthdays fell just before spring break this year. I proposed a few different options and they decided to have a sleepover at our house.

Our time together began with eating a mac-n-cheese lunch before heading off to a park. They chose to play mini-golf. Jackson actually used his golf club correctly this time, but he started wandering around after the second hole.


We did the typical playground stuff-swings, slides, climbing, etc.


I was prepared to relax in the shade. I brought a blanket and toys for the trio and Jack. We had bread to feed the ducks. All was picture perfect...



Until we were attacked by geese! Seriously, these were the most aggressive geese I've ever encountered. Poor Jack was hysterically running away. I think they were just territorial because when one of the geese got up we discovered a huge nest of eggs. Regardless, they were pretty darn intimidating!

video

After our park adventures. we came home for brief downtime before dinner. Between the eight of us (2 nieces, Jack, trio, Jesse and I) we ate twelve quesadillas in addition to beans and rice. I can't imagine how much food we'll tear through when the triplets are older.

After dinner is always the most stressful time of our day because the kids are getting tired and Jesse and I are busy cleaning and trying to get everything ready for bed. The girls took the babies upstairs to play. Jesse loaded the dishwasher and made his lunch for the next day while I wiped down the high chairs and swept. When we were finished we just looked at each other and said, "Hmmm. You think they could just come by every day?" 

The girls and I got the babies ready for bed,


while Jackson and Jesse inflated the air mattress and made the bed.  Jackson was so excited that his big cousins were spending the night. It took a bit of coaxing to get him to come upstairs and read stories.


After my kids were in bed I went downstairs to spend a few hours catching up on eleven year old gossip and taking quizzes in girly magazines. The good news is that I love chatting with my nieces and could stay up talking to them every night. The bad news is that I'm more out of date than I thought in regards to teen celebrities.


The following morning flew by as I rushed to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door in time to take Jack to preschool. After dropping Jack off, we headed to the mall for a shopping spree.


The babies and I had hours of entertainment watching the matching fashion show that took place. The entire time I kept staring at Maddie and Amelia while thinking, "Is this what my life will be like in ten years?" I certainly hope it is!


After buying new dresses, we obviously had to go home and do makeovers.


At some point throughout the afternoon we also ate a shocking number of homemade waffles, picked up Jackson from preschool, and cared for babies (nap, diapers, bottles, play, neighborhood walk, etc).

The girls are such little mammas already. I love it!


Happy belated 11th birthday, girls!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break Shenanigans

Spring Break last year was insanely busy. Jesse and I spent the entire week rearranging furniture, changing Jackson's room from a nursery to a toddler room, and preparing the triplet's nursery. In addition to all the housework, I had to complete units of study for the rest of the school year since I was cutting back to teaching half days after Spring Break.

The agenda for Spring Break this year was to have fun, go on adventures, and relax as a family. We were able to accomplish that for the most part. I've already blogged about the major events (Jackson's birthday party, zoo trip, well checks for all four kids, and Easter). In between the bigger outings, we had a lot of downtime.

We spent a lot of time playing on the floor, singing, and dancing with babies. Can you tell these girls adore their Daddy?


The trio are just funny to watch nowadays. They're constantly taking things out of one another's hands and even mouths. James stole Maddie's bow right off her head. She tried to get it back. Then Amelia rolled over and started tugging, too. These interactions happen multiple times a day.


Jesse insisted that I buy new clothes over break. He's seen me wear the same maternity shirts and yoga pants for over a year now. He gave me his debit card and demanded I not come home without new outfits. After trying on lots of clothes I came home with a few new dresses and leggings.


We headed uptown on Tuesday. I don't typically go uptown with the kids by myself because there's very little do that is free, including parking. Jesse backed into a spot in the parking deck. While putting Maddie in the Ergo, I asked him to hand me the stroller so I could open it up in front of the van. He stubbornly insisted it would fit. I'd by lying if I said I didn't find entertainment in watching him sideways shuffle James and Amelia, then pick them up because the stroller wouldn't fit between the two vans.


We headed to the children's library. Jack played on their up-to-date technology,


while the babies played on one of many large area rugs.


I had entirely too much fun having Jesse hold Amelia up in this bizarre portrait.


We briefly walked around uptown and checked out the trains.


Jackson had his well-check on Thursday. Jesse's mom volunteered to watch the girls while we had a boys date. (The original plan was to leave all three babies at home, but James was having a hard time after his shots the day before.) Upon Jack's request, we ate lunch at IKEA.


After IKEA we headed to the park, then Jackson's 3 year well-check. We took the boys to Sweet Frog afterwards because Jackson was so cooperative at the doctor's office.


The entire time Jesse and I were out with Jackson and James I kept thinking about how easy it would be to have two children. Since James was Baby A, I've always assumed that if the pregnancy was a singleton I would have given birth to James. When we were trying to conceive, we obviously only planned to have one child. It was so easy on Thursday just putting James in the Ergo and walking around with Jackson, then driving away in our Corolla. Of course, as soon as we got home I couldn't stop kissing my girls and thinking about how lucky we are that there was a Baby B and C, too!

Another exciting event over break was Jackson's haircut. Nothing was noteworthy about the haircut itself, but it was the first time Jackson sat in the chair by himself. We always talk about it beforehand but the second the hairdresser puts the scissors in her hands Jackson freaks out. He always ends up in our laps. Not this time. Whoo hoo!


Jesse and I both made sure we had time to do something fun with family/friends. He attended the Bruce Springsteen concert with his mother. I went out for dinner/drinks with my former teammates. It's nice to feel like an adult from time to time. I miss connecting with friends and having non-baby related conversations.

All in all, spring break was pretty busy with two birthday parties, two Easter gatherings, five egg hunts, a zoo trip, and five doctor's appointments. I don't know if we relaxed quite as much as I would have liked to, but we definitely created enjoyable memories together as a family of six.

Now the countdown to summer begins.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Commentary and Collages

Easter 2014 was a marathon of egg hunts, driving, and overeating. What should have been a joyous holiday celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord turned into a chain of stressful to do lists. Nothing was necessarily bad, I just didn't have my usual feelings that my heart would burst with enthusiasm and love for Christ.

Here's why Holy Week was a bit off this year:
Thursday-Maundy Thursday is my absolute favorite church service of the year. Every year I find myself in tears during the stripping of the alter.  Departing in silence provokes such powerful emotions and helps prepare my mind for the awe of Easter weekend. (If I can find a service that incorporates washing of the feet, it's even better!) Instead of attending the beloved service this year, I celebrated my niece turning eleven with a family birthday party. Again, this was a fun occasion that I would always choose over church, but it still left me missing Maundy Thursday.

Friday-I woke up in the wee hours of Good Friday to Maddie vomiting in her sleep, then Jackson throwing up later that evening. I'm not entirely sure either were virus related as they were completely isolated, one-time occurrences. Even still, their vomiting sent me into a state of total paranoia, which caused Jesse to get frustrated and angry at me. I was happy to escape to the Good Friday service, though the stations of the cross/drama was changed because of pouring rain.

Saturday-Despite a good morning, the day ended poorly.

  • Our huge egg hunt with my extended family was cancelled due to heavy rain. I'm not sure if the kids or adults were more disappointed.
  • Even though the year anniversary has already passed, it was a few days shy of Easter last year when my sister-in-law died. Apparently Easter is now a reminder of her absence. A literal and figurative cloud hung over us all day.
  • I spent most of Lent in prayer and reflection trying to admit my shortcomings and accept others offers for help.  Ironically, I found myself stubbornly alone and completely stressed out while Jesse and his mother went to dinner and a concert. The event had been planned for quite some time and they both deserved a chance to enjoy such a fun evening. Still, I turned into quite the curmudgeon as one thing after another went wrong throughout the day.  I still had the sole responsibility of baking cakes, stuffing eggs, assembling Easter baskets, cleaning the house, washing clothes, etc.  I ended the season of Lent the exact same way I began...completely overwhelmed and ungrateful. So much for personal transformation.
Sunday-Easter itself was as busy and fun as always, but I can no longer pretend like it doesn't bother me that Jesse and I have different beliefs. Once again, I attended church sans Jesse.  I fear religion will divide our family, when it was once an issue that united us.
...............
Thankfully, amidst my many less than wonderful feelings, there were plenty of smiles to be shared.  We enjoyed visiting family, overindulging in food, dressing the babies up, etc. I'm confident that the children felt happy and loved, which is my priority. The highlights included:

...an indoor Easter egg hunt, coloring, story time, and snacks at our brother and sister in-laws' church on Saturday. Jackson got to hang out with his cousin/best bud, Levi. The babies were loved on by their aunt and uncle. Everyone got to play with eggs and have fun.


...Easter morning egg hunt and opening of Easter gifts. The babies each received a new outfit, small bath toy, squeezable fruit pouch, bag of yogurt melts, and pacifier. Jackson received a chocolate bunny, slap bracelet, farm animal figurines, candy bracelets, and Candy Land game.  Even though Jackson just turned three, this is his fourth Easter. Jesse and I decided three is the perfect age for simple egg hunts.


...church egg hunt, story, crafts, and service. This was no different than the usual church sponsored egg hunt, but it was fun for the kids to be surrounded by their church family. I also appreciated the fact that the eggs were stuffed with bracelets, stickers, beads, and small crafts. The ground was very wet so Jackson wore his rainboots. He was very serious about hunting for eggs!



...Easter lunch with my side of the family. In lieu of the traditional meal, we had a cookout this year. The weather warmed up considerably which allowed us to have yet another egg hunt. Additional entertainment included a play performed by my adorably talented nieces. I say it all the time, but my kids are beyond blessed to have such incredible aunts, uncles, and cousins.


...Easter dinner with Jesse's side of the family. My phone died and I didn't think to bring a charger, so I don't have any pictures. We had a more traditional meal (pork, mac-n-cheese, potatoes, rolls, green beans). I provided some unattractive, but tasty desserts. All four kids received ample attention, in addition to a stuffed animal and sweets (courtesy of their MiMi).

After being on the road for ten hours, we were all ready to head home and go to bed.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Rollie Pollie

James cannot stay still. When he is sitting, he shuffles around the floor and turns himself in whatever direction he wants. Last week I caught him emptying the laundry basket that was on the other side of the rug.


The only place he can play safely is on the floor. I've had to literally catch him as he rolled off the bed and the changing table this week. 

He is a stunt man in the bathtub.


His days in the bouncer are over.


He has also begun to wrestle his sisters, roll over top of them, and pin them to the ground.


James has been army crawling and rocking on his hands and knees all week. I know it's only a matter of time before he's full blown crawling.

Friday, April 18, 2014

3 Year Well Check

We took Jackson to his 3 year well-check yesterday. I was surprised at how much he was asked to do by the nurse and doctor. He completed the following requests:
  • stood on the scale barefoot for height and weight checks
  • provided a urine sample in a cup (good thing he's potty trained!)
  • stood still while the nurse took his blood pressure
  • brushed fluoride on his teeth
  • attempted to identify shapes on a vision test (When asked "What do you see?" he replied "Nothing" and "Shape")
  • drew a circle and an x
  • jumped up and down
  • bent at the waist and touched his toes
  • walked on his tip toes and on the heels of his feet
He also had to answer the following questions:
  • Do you know your name? (refused to answer)
  • Can you tell me some fruits and vegetables you eat? ("bananas and apples")
  • Do you sleep in your bed? ("yes")
  • Do you use the potty? ("yes")
  • Do you put your clothes on by yourself? ("yes")
  • Do you brush your teeth? ("yes")
  • What is the name of one of your friends? (He named his BFF from school and Geo from UmiZoomi)
  • Are you a girl or a boy? Is Mommy a girl or a boy? Is Daddy a girl or a boy?
I expressed concerns about social/separation anxiety because Jackson will NOT play in an enclosed area where there are multiple people he does not know. He still gets upset when we leave him at the church nursery. He doesn't transition well. The pediatrician told me to keep taking him places and exposing him to different people. The behavior was common among three year olds, but it would not be typical if he refused to go to the places (i.e. park, church, rec center) for fear of other people being there.

Our other concern was allergies and frequent complaints from Jackson that his eyes are burning. She gave us a prescription for liquid Claritin that is covered by Medicaid.

We were asked if we wanted Jackson to receive the flu vaccine. We declined since we had repeatedly promised Jackson he would not receive any shots. We'll just wait until next flu season begins.

Here is Jacskson's growth since birth and some pictures from his doctor visit:

Weight
Height
Birth
8 lb, 15 oz
21.75 in
1 Month
11 lb, 1 oz
23.25 in
2 Month
12 lbs, 15 oz
25 in
4 Month
14 lbs, 4 oz
25.75 in
6 Month
16 lbs
27 in
9 Month
19 lbs
29 in
12 Month
21 lbs, 5 oz
30 in
15 Month
23.2 lbs
31.5 in
18 Month
24 lbs, 15 oz
33 in
2 Years
27 lb
34.5 in
3 Years
31 lb, 8 oz
37.5 in


Nurse asked if she could "hug his arm". BP was 72/40
Waiting for the doctor, showing Geo around
Getting to pick out a sticker at the end