Sigh.  Getting Christian dressed in the morning is an overwhelming struggle most days.  He starts screeching.  Loud.  So loudly, in fact, that I’ve learned to not hear it anymore to save my own sanity.  On really combative days(and after running five laps through the house after him), I back into where he is so that the hitting and kicking go to my back instead of my face and abdomen.  And then we wrestle.  And it’s NOT pretty.  And when it’s over, I don’t feel good about it and Christian starts undoing his clothes claiming that they are in fact, “Wet!”  Sigh.

(Which is also why I wait until JUST before the bus is supposed to be here to get him dressed.  Bus drivers, I beg you, PLEASE be patient with me!!!)

But, perhaps, just maybe, I have stumbled across a magic trick this week.  One where there is still fighting, but the dressing task gets completed without so much struggling (on both parts).  It’s called, “The Three Bears.”  Maybe you remember a couple of weeks ago I had a video clip of Christian’s obsession with this story, especially the Nick Jr. version.  Well, if I recite this story and pause at certain points, he seems to be distracted enough by inserting the missing words in the story that he is not fully aware of the dressing routine that is going on.  Yes.  Sneaky, I know.  But working (for now).

So much for trying to “cure” my need for coffee.  I woke up crabby this morning.  I’m not sure why, but I just felt down right ornery.  I’m sure that it didn’t help that the kids got into 5 fighting matches within the first half-hour that we were awake.  That and I was a little scared as to how the morning would progress.  This was Christian’s first day back at school in SIX days.  (There was no school yesterday, then there was the weekend, and he was “sick” since Wed. last week.)  Six days off usually makes for a tough transition back.  I don’t want to sound negative, but I do want to be prepared (for battle).

I shouldn’t have worried, though, because it actually went pretty well.  With some wrestling, Christian got into his clothes.  He walked out to the bus by himself.  He even got on the bus by himself, even though there was a substitute driver today.  I would call this a BIG success for him (and me).  🙂

Brian actually came home in the middle of me getting Christian ready.  He’s not quite himself yet.  😦  My guess is that the kids & I were more violently ill, so we passed the yuck through our bodies more quickly.  Poor Brian has had this brewing since Saturday.  I hope that he feels better soon and that this day of rest (and the meds I picked up for him) will help!

Liv has been in a major “Diva mode” today.  Talking back.  Verbally arguing with me.  Requesting something and by the time she gets it, not wanting it anymore.  (sigh)  😦  But in the middle of all of her drama, as she watching a “Blue’s Clues” episode about Masterpieces, she walked into the kitchen and told me (with some attitude), “Mom, I’m a piece of work! “I thought to myself, “I can’t argue with that.”  Oh, she meant, “Masterpiece,” which she is, but today “piece of work” seemed just about right, too.  😉 

I’m just having one of those days, too, where I’m tired of being dragged around the house for Christian to bring me to what he wants.  Use your words, Buddy.  I know that they’re there!  Just use them, PLEASE!!!  I will get you what you want (well, within reason).  sigh.

And Christian’s come up with this new phrase for when he’s extremely frustrated OR overly excited — “A boom shocka boom.  A boom shocka boom.”  or “A blue soccer ball.  A blue soccer ball.”  Huh???  I’m not sure what exactly he’s saying.  Olivia was trying to tell me yesterday, but I couldn’t understand her “Olivian” either.  Hmm…I wonder how long this phrase will hang around?!?

OK, so this post is just some rambling, venting, “crabby me” stuff.  It’s the way my day seems to be.  Oh well.  I’m hoping that tomorrow isn’t SO crabby.  😉

Christian is making some HUGE steps forward, especially in the area of communication.

  • Last night he grabbed a bunch of bananas and held them up to his ear and proclaimed, “Banana phone!”  🙂  I ripped him one off the bunch and he’s been walking around with it up to his ear and chattering at it (in his own speak).  So cute!
  • Also, last night, he was having some issues not really wanting to work with WD, the therapist who was here.  He especially didn’t want to write for her and continuously tried to escape the table, so I came and stood on the other side of him.  He was vocalizing his frustrated scream, so WD worked with him on finding words for his feelings, finally getting him to say, “I mad.”  But he didn’t stop there.  He continued to tell us, “Writing so hard!”  WD and I looked at each other astonished.  Really?  Did he just say that?  Awesome talking, Christian.  Mama’s sorry to hear that writing is hard, but SO glad to hear you put that into words!!!  🙂 🙂 🙂
  • Christian’s also saying, “Night, Liv!” when she heads to bed.  She is majorly excited by this, too! 🙂

But, just like any time Christian has made HUGE strides forward in one (or more) area(s), he seems to take some steps back in others.

  • I cannot get him to fall asleep at a decent time at night.  I end up just resting in the basement until he runs out of steam and falls asleep on top of me.  This also means that he is sleeping in later in the morning, which, in turn, means that I have to drive him to school.  (His bus comes a little after 7am.)
  • He refused to get dressed this morning.  Refused.  I wanted to get out the duct tape and make sure that he couldn’t get his clothes back off when I turned my back for 10 seconds.  (Yes, he can be that fast if he wants to be!)  I struggled through the hitting and kicking, but eventually gave up, too tired to battle with him any longer.  (He willingly put another pair of jammies on at that time.)  After raising my blood sugar with some breakfast, I called his teacher and asked her if I could bring Christian to school today in his jammies.  (Not wanting him to start associating not getting dressed with not having to go to school.)  She agreed and I threw some clothes in his backpack just in case they could convince him to get dressed.  Christian wasn’t so happy with me for taking him to school, but he had a good day and they were able to talk him into some actual clothes at his first bathroom break.  Hopefully then he’ll know that even if he goes to school in his jammies, he will not be able to hang out in them all day.  (I must admit, though, that I’m feeling a bit like a lousy mom for not being able to get him dressed this morning and just being tired of all of the battling.  Makes me want to have a really big cry.  (And a vacation.))

For the last TWO months Christian has insisted on wearing his zip-up one-piece Buzz Lightyear jammies any time he is at home.  Last night, he was in the bathroom doing his business, totally nude, the way his business needs to be done.  He pointed to the door and told me to, “Leave.”  So, I did.  I returned to check on him after 10 minutes when I could hear him spelling with his letter blocks.

He had dressed himself…

…in his RED, two-piece jammies…

…all on his own.

After I got over my initial shock, I ran for the camera (in case it didn’t last).  He kept them on for the rest of the night.  He immediately put them back on when he got home from school today. 

Totally A.MAZ.ING.  I am still in awe.

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Christian also let me trim his hair with the scissors today.  He actually requested it.  I haven’t been able to cut his hair with scissors since he was about a year old.

What new thing will he do/let be done next?!?

My mind is boggled.  (In a good way!)

Our family is finally getting back into our “normal” routine.

Brian went back to work this morning.  When he was home over lunch, he took a long nap and said that he was a little sore.  He seems to be doing OK, though.  He is actually glad to be doing something other than just sitting around the house.  😉

Christian seems to getting back into the swing of our mornings again.  Getting dressed (and on the bus) on Monday and Tuesday was not fun.  (Today was a million times better.  I kid you not!)  Christian wanted to sleep in and stay in his jammies.  He actually told me (& Brian) to “Get! Out!” (with finger raised and pointed) of his room.  We had to fight the urge to laugh ‘cuz Christian was SO serious.  🙂  Christian had also had a hard time falling asleep during the first half of this week.  I almost had him sleeping Monday night, when I heard Brian open and close our bedroom door and move down the hall.  Out of the silence, Christian proclaimed, “What’s that noise?!?” and then hopped out of bed to check.  Sigh.  His vocabulary has definitely blossomed over break (as other things have gone downhill).  His songs now included the Karaoke sequence at the end of the first Shrek movie — I have been serenaded while in the shower with “It’s fun to stay at the YMCA!”, “Do you really want to hurt me?”, “Staying Alive,” and “Dance to the Music.”  (Now, I need to learn the order of these songs so that I can sing them along correctly and not completely frustrate Christian.  Can I leave out Sir Mix-Alot, though???)

And Olivia, she is back to her Olivian ways.  😉

I love our routine…

Besides everything else going on yesterday, Christian had a field trip.  I was a little unsure how that was going to go since Christian had it out with me while getting dressed yesterday morning.  He refused.  What can you do when your child refuses???  I had wrestled clothes on to his body only for him to take one thing off as I was putting another on.  After 10-minutes of wrestling while the bus patiently waited in our driveway, I walked out and sent the bus away.  I’d have to drive him in.  Thankfully, after an extra 1/2-hour at home, he was willing to get dressed.  Whew!  However, when I mentioned school, he started whimpering and said, “Church.”  He has never “asked” for church before…

Needless-to-say, he was NOT happy when we got to school.  He screamed.  He held onto the straps on his carseat.  I had to carry him into school while he threw himself around hoping that I would drop him and he could escape.  Unfortunately for him, I knew that routine and managed to get him into school.  (Unfortunately for Olivia, she had to follow us into school in the very bitter winter air, while I hoped that I wasn’t walking too quickly for her. 😦 )  We got into his classroom and he continued to scream, refused to take his coat off, tried repacking his backpack as we helped him unpack it … I was really worried that this was NOT a good sign for the trip.  😦  One of the assistants finally got him engaged in something else and gave me the signal to just sneak away.  (Which is what needs to happen when we’re in that situation.)

I didn’t receive any phone calls while they were out, that was a good thing.  When I got to school, I was preparing to hear that things were a little rough, but his teacher and both assistants said that he did SUPER on the trip!  HURRAY!!!! 🙂  They went to Wal-Mart to shop for their classroom exchange gift, ate lunch at Pizza Hut (they went through the drive-thru at the next door McDonald’s to pick up burger patties for Christian), and then went to visit Santa at the Mall.  He did great!  I’m SO happy!  🙂

Next big curiosity-maker is his BIG Holiday Program coming up at the local PAC on Friday night.  Hmm…I’m excited (yet nervous) to see how that will go!  (I hope that his social story will help!!!) 

So, Brian and I decided to take the kids trick-or-treating again this year.  The plan had been to do the “candy hop” in my SIL’s neighborhood with the cousins, but her kids were sick, so we opted to do the downtown businesses trick-or-treating instead.  (The businesses were doing it at an earlier time, too, so Brian could still get out bow hunting. 🙂 )  Our niece and SIL, JJ, met us downtown after we had stopped by my in-law’s house for a warm-up trick-or-treat.

Christian wasn’t overly enthused about going out.  Well, and getting out of his jammies.  (He had been wearing them since Wednesday afternoon.  Apparently, they are SUPER comfortable! 😉 )  I finally wrestled him into his “train engineer” costume (blue-stripped overalls and a million long-sleeved shirts).  Brian coaxed him into his socks and shoes and we convinced him to get into the car.  (We live in the country without many nearby neighbors.)  He seemed OK after that.

After our quick stop at the farm, we braved the cold, windy weather downtown — going up and down Main Street trick-or-treating at the participating businesses.  It was fairly busy.  It was extremely cold.  We made it up one side of the street and halfway down the other when all of the sudden Christian had a meltdown.  A drop on the ground, cry and refuse to be picked-up “wet noodle” fest.  Brian and I looked at each other and said, “Time to go.”  I picked Christian up and started walking quickly towards the car.  I’m not sure what everyone else was thinking as I was rushing down the sidewalk with a boy hanging off my arm kicking and crying and hitting me in the face, but frankly, I wasn’t really thinking about them.  I just wanted to get him to a safe place where he could feel “safe” (i.e. the car). 

Brian came to my aid with a block left to go, as I had to stop and set Christian down trying to find a better way to carry him.  We traded, and I took Olivia.  I’m not quite sure what it was that just set him off SO badly, but, WOW, it was extremely upsetting to him.

Besides that, it was a success.  Christian wouldn’t say much while we were out, but before we left I heard him say (while jumping on a bed), “Trick-or-treat.  Give me candy!”  and then whispered, “Thank you.”  I’m sorry, but that is WAY too cute!  😉 

The kids got candy, but not too much.  I did have to hide it after awhile, though, as they were both circling the kitchen trying to sneak additional sugar.  Olivia asked me what had happened to the candy and I told her that it had gone on vacation.  She seemed satisfied with that answer and left the room.  A half-hour later she came back and said, “Mommy, candy don’t go on vacation.  People go on vacation.  So, where my candy?”  Too funny, Liv, too funny!  (And great reasoning skills, sweetheart. 😉 )