Saturday, September 21, 2013

Update - Ethan's behavior

A few weeks ago Ken and I started going to see a marriage and family counselor to get some ideas on how to better parent Ethan. We were still having problems with him hitting, throwing, being mean to his sister, the list goes on and on.

The counselor we started meeting with told us to start a marble jar for good behavior. He seems to really like the marble jar and it reminds us to praise him more than just saying no all day long. It's hard to stop and praise him for doing something right, but it's been a great lesson for us too. If he gets 10 marbles he gets to go to Target and pick something out, although we've had smaller goals lately. The counselor told us he should earn a reward every day or every other day so he gets the idea and remembers to be good. So far he's earned a milkshake from McDonald's and tonight if he earns 2 marbles he'll get a candy corn oreo cookie.

She also told us to start reading a book called "1-2-3 Magic". I like the basic philosophy of the book. Although, the counselor has tweeked some things in it to better suit our family. Basically it's a counting system. The first offense is 1, then second offense 2, and the third offense is time out for 3 minutes (since he's 3). We bought a kitchen timer that is extremely loud so he can see and hear the timer go off. He still struggles with talking during timeout and sometimes he ends up in his room because he kicks the bathroom door or won't stay in timeout. Overall, I like the book. Ethan is a tough kid to get to do anything, unless it's his idea. I've had to learn that I need to give him a heads up before we need to start doing something.

The counselor told us that it sounds like Ethan has a hard time with changes and transitioning. This makes a lot of sense considering he hates when we change the routine or when we try to get him to start doing something spur of the moment.

I think the book and the counselling are helping. We have one more session before we stop, but I think we're on the right track. I've already begun to have more fun with Ethan. It's become less of a struggle than it was before.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lila at 9 months!

Miss Lila turned 9 months old on Friday. The time is flying by way too fast. She is now crawling like a speed demon and follows her brother almost everywhere he goes. She's pulling herself up to a standing position on furniture, stools, the gate, and toys. She into everything. However, she seems to understand what "no" and "Lila" means. If I say, "No, Lila" in a firm voice she will stop, look back at me, smile and move onto something else. At least that works for now :)

My little baby is growing so fast. She's about 22 lbs. and went into a new rear-facing carseat a couple weeks ago. She was too small for the infant carseat so we moved her to a bigger pink Britax rear-facing. She seems to like having more room to stretch out.

It's been very interesting watching Ethan & Lila interact with each other. I know Lila is still really young to really play with her brother. She watches him and follows his every move. I can tell they will be great friends as time goes on. 

Lila starting finally sleeping through the night a few weeks ago. I thought it would never happen. She's up at 6am now and sometimes wakes up before then to eat and go right back to bed, but we try to let her cry herself back to sleep before 6am. It doesn't always work without waking up Ethan in the process.

 Lila getting some love from Big Grandma

 New carseat
 Grandpa making sure the carseat works :)
 Playing with brother's tubes.
 "How you doin'?"
 Lila & Nana

 The 1st time she pulled up to stand holding onto something. I just love those big thighs.
 Holding her own bottle...finally.
 Getting stuck on the pillow. "How do I get over this thing?"
 9 months old. Sitting still for a brief moment.
 "I'm outta here!"

"What's that button do mommy?"

Lila is such a joy to watch grow. She's learning and taking everything in. I can only imagine how much more active she will be in a few weeks when she turns 10 months old. I have a feeling she will be walking before she's one. Yikes!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Family Photos

Here's the family photos we took about a week ago.

Ethan turns 3 1/2!!!

I know it's probably strange to post about Ethan turning 3 1/2 years old, but there's such a difference between 3 and 3 1/2. Ethan loves to play with his trucks, garbage truck, and cars. He still loves Geotrax and we joke now about the giant baby (Lila) coming to attack the trains. It gets him cracking up so it's really fun to do.

His speech is improving, although he still can't say his L's and R' very well. He'll say "wook" instead of "look". Today I heard him say "kissmas" for Christmas. I am a little concerned about his speech but it's progressing almost as fast as most 3.5 year olds. The doctor told me a long time ago that they are more concerned if he's significantly behind and if he's not meeting milestones.

Ethan loves to read and he still loves is bobby (blanket). I'll be a little sad when he stops carrying around his blanket everywhere he goes. I can't wait for him to stop sucking his thumb. I figure he'll learn when he goes to school next year from seeing that the other kids aren't sucking their thumbs.

Ethan is a lot of fun to hang out with especially when he gets one-on-one attention which can be difficult since Lila came. We're trying to find time to take just him out alone. His behavior is great when he's alone with us, but once he's in competition with Lila it changes. I'll post more about behavior problems later.

Overall, Ethan is a wonderful kid. I'm so glad that God placed him into our lives. He's spunky, outgoing, and full of fun. He's also very sensitive, moody and likes everything in it's place. We are very much alike. This is a good thing and a bad thing.

Ethan has been potty trained for about a month now. We are very happy to be out of diapers for the most part. It took us awhile to potty train him with all the change in our family with Lila's arrival late last year.

Here are some of the phrases Ethan has been saying lately:

"It's my chai (or coke)" His morning milk has become his chai (like mommy) or his coke (like daddy). He's never even had chai and he's only

had a quick sip of soda from my dad one time).

"Does mommy have a penis?" We had a whole conversation about this. It was very very funny.

"Hammurmurs (hamburgers) - Hilarious!

From a few months ago: "Not today, maybe 'morrow"

"Game over" - This was something he picked up from the movie Wreck It Ralph.

He loves to sing to anything TobyMac including "Lose My Soul" and "Whoopsi-daisy".

It's hard to believe that in 5 1/2 months Ethan will be 4 years old.