Category Archives: Things we try for FUN (and, coincidentally they’re therapeutic)

Climbing Indoors, Candy corn, and Claire

When I say climbing, I don’t mean the kind you do with a dynamic kernmantle rope (ahem, Brian has a lot of gear in the garage).   I mean the kind you do on a regular basis up the stairs and in the case of my children, on their new indoor playground.  Case  and Claire are blessed with enormously generous grandparents who shower them with toys and clothes constantly (to say they really do not want for anything would be a gross understatement)[we are so lucky -believe me I know!].  One set of grandparents the kids happen to live with and so the outpouring of love (or some might even venture to say ‘spoiling’) is done on a daily basis.  The latest toy/awesome gross motor tool that now graces my in-law’s back porch (turned playroom/workout room) is a giant, outdoor jungle gym.  They found it on craigslist and actually happened to know the sellers from the YMCA (obviously) and bought it.  The thing needed a major cleaning so Lee and I spent half a day taking it apart and giving it a thorough scrubbing  (I mean, like lots of elbow grease and spiders).  We then spent another half a day figuring out how to put the damn thing back together (exaggerating (a little)).   Side note: I wish we had video of the two of us using a rubber mallet trying to slam this massive playset together – cue expletives.


We finally did get it together again and the kids are all over it. And, although it’s frowned upon at school (for safety reasons), we encourage Case and Claire to go up the slide.  Like walking up a steep hill, it strengthens the muscles in your quadriceps (which are very weak on Case) and because the incline on this slide is really steep, he needs to pull with his arms to get all the way up.  It has a tunnel which we have to bribe Case to go through as his weak hip flexors make it difficult for him to pull his legs up into it and then putting all the weight on his arms to get out is equally challenging.

Perhaps you’ve already guessed what we’re using as a bribery tool… I can’t help but buy a bag when its staring right at me at the checkout line in Target and the kids can’t help but want it (Brian too).   Terrible thing, this holiday we call Halloween!  But using  small pieces of candy is incredibly motivating for Case and so I vow to myself to brush his teeth a little longer each night if he makes it through the tunnel two more times or up the stairs without as much fuss. Side note: We also use candy corn as a reward for going on the potty (I refer to it as peepee candy – appealing, eh?).  We put it in the zipper closure ziplocs and make Case open and pull “one” out or we also have an old bouillon cube container with a screw on lid that we make Case hold and unscrew (this is still pretty challenging).

You may notice in the photos that Case has things around his ankles. Although it could be some sort of odd fashion statement (not sure what the statement would be), they’re actually just 1lb weights which we’ve been putting on him when he’s around the house to help strengthen his legs while he does every day activities.  He’s getting around much better in them and I’m thinking of upping the weight to 1.5/2 lbs. Case minds them a little but doesn’t have the fine motor aptitude yet to undo the rather strong velcro  and pull them off his heels so he’ll endure it until he masters that skill (and I’ll be proud when he does!).

Finally, I had to share a few recent photos of Claire in honor of her first birthday.

The photo where she’s holding the landline phone perfectly captures the ever-present ‘tude that this girl has ALREADY.  We are in for it, I’m afraid!  The other photos are of her newest trick which is to play peekaboo with her hands over her eyes.  She showed off all her new tricks at the doctor’s office (labeling body parts to the head, shoulders knees and toes song and repeating almost all the words Case knows!) on Wednesday for her well-baby to which her smitten doctor echoed me in saying, “Uh oh, Brian is in for it with this one!”.  She is certainly a spitfire, but every time I begin to think how can I parent two totally different children I remind myself that she is the perfect prescription for Case.  He’s got a little sister who won’t take no for answer and who is going to stick up for her brother tooth and nail.  Not to mention that Case now goes up the slide willingly because Claire does it first.  In our house, a little competition is definitely a good thing!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pooped

As many of you already know, I am not very shy when it comes to talking about anything involving bowels and their movements; my own and those belonging to my family/close friends (even sometimes acquaintances). And, because I laughed out loud (by myself) after today’s experience, I figured for those of you equally comfortable talking about poop (and dealing with it too – which is most moms, I’d venture to guess) well, you might find it funny too. Disclaimer: I am about to regale you all with story about poop – if that’s not something you can stomach (or frankly don’t want to!), stop reading as I do get a little graphic with my descriptions.

This tale is not about my own poop. Rather, it’s about the poop of my two sick bambinos. Last night was a bit of horror in that no one really got any quality sleep due to congestion, coughing (both Case and Claire) and diarrhea (on Claire’s part), so, like a good YMCA childcare user, I sacrificed my workout this morning for the better of everyone’s children and kept the kiddos at home. However, by 9:30 am, we were antsy, so I decided to take another trip to Blue Bird Gap Farm with the kids (we had just been there last night!). This is my new favorite spot to venture to, by the way, as its small enough to see a lot without having to trek too far to each section, but big enough to make if feel like its a special trip (oh and it’s FREE).

We were having a grand-old-time gawking at the noisy ducks and turkeys, feeding the goats and two lively alpacas (which Case kept referring to as ‘Elmos’ – not sure why!?) and reaching our hands over the fence (and then being hoisted by moi) to pet the horses and cows, when I realized that we were approaching the witching moment – the moment where the pleasant, idyllic morning turns into frenzied-must-get-home-to-feed-them-lunch-before-they-turn-into-crazy-people (also the exact moment that I curse myself for not restocking my diaper bag chock full of snacks to postpone inevitable ‘hanger’ (hunger and anger together – something we experience a lot in our house). But we hadn’t yet made it to the perfectly Case and Claire-sized-playground where I had planned to work play with Case on some stairs and try and squeeze in the morning PT (and let Claire do her thing). So I quickly herded the cats kids over to the playground and excitedly spoke of what fun it would be to climb up those stairs and slide down that slide (four or five times in row).

The two began climbing and Claire made it to the top first where I hurriedly ran over to make sure she was, in fact, going to go down the slide in a manner which didn’t involve her landing on her head (and good thing because she was preparing slidetakeoff in what I like to refer to (for Case) as “Superman style” (head first on belly)). [Side note: Sometimes we force him to go down that way so that when he gets to the bottom he has to use his arms and core to get himself off (arms are very weak and core the same).] I quickly repositioned her to go feet first on belly (I don’t have a fun name for that mode of slidetransport) and in the time it took me to do that, Case still hadn’t yet made it to the top. When I went back to coax him up the rest of the way I smelled why. Now, as another sidenote, we are doing VERY well potty-training (if I keep on top of it, which I’ve gotten accustomed to doing) and Case rarely poops anywhere but the toilet. Not today, people, not today. And this was not just any old poop. It was sick poop. The worst kind of smell, so terrible it makes me a little gaggy just thinking about it (and that’s saying nothing of it’s runny (yet sticky?) consistency). Ok, I’m getting a little graphic even for me. Anyway, it was bad. Luckily, I had had the presence of mind to bring the stroller with me, therefore I strapped Claire in and marched (well, he waddled) to the… we’ll call them facilities. Now mind you, this farm has no admission (it’s free, remember!) – it’s part of the Hampton Parks and Recreation commission, so while it is a really great local outing destination it does lack in the arena of amenities/facilities. The bathroom was not only very small, it was very hot and without any air conditioning. So, picture this: we’re now hangry, poop-covered (well, Case anyway), and hot. And, as I’m beginning to pull down his pants I realize that we are being swarmed by flies and I think, duh, we’re on a farm, of course there are flies swarming – I might as well be cleaning up manure in here. Anywho, I get Case out of his poop-covered shorts and undies and into an alternate pair (I always have one extra change for each of them – one extra change, that’s it. Keep that mind.) and then I promptly toss his soiled stuff in the ziploc that his change of clothes was in (handy dandy). I realize half-way through clean up that Claire is crying (not only because she’s hot and hangry) but because she too is being swarmed by flies because she too has done the deed in her own pants, well diaper. Thankfully, it was in a diaper.

So I get Case finished, plop him in the stroller (he considers this a treat) and then move on to what seemed like a whiz – a regular old diaper change – sans diarrhea, just a little turd (or I believe as I referred to it while chatting with them – a turdlet, “Ooo, thank goodness, Claire’s only got a turdlet!” (or something like that)).

Finally we finish and I wash everyone’s hands (again taking turns strapping them in the stroller to do so) in order to get off both poop and any extra animal saliva I inevitably missed after we’d fed our friends. The kids are relieved to be out of the bathroom and excited to head back to the playground, I decide (stupidly) that we’ll do one more trip up the stairs and down the slide and then we’ll skid addle. This time, Claire heads to slide (she often prefers – like many climbers do – to go up the slide and down the stairs) and Case heads to the stairs. I’m watching both and am relieved when I see both reach the top at the same time. Now to get Case down the slide and Claire perhaps to follow and we’ll leave. Nope. I smell it again. I check my hands thinking, how could I have possibly missed poop on my hands (I washed them three times!) and then I glance at poor Case. His eyes say, “Really sorry, Mom,” but his body is headed for the seated position to get down that slide (once and for all!). I grab him before he has the opportunity to sit in his mess and think to myself – I really should always bring two changes of clothes. I strap Claire back in the stroller while I try to make sure Case doesn’t sit in his mess and this time, I head straight for the car. Lucky for Case my new yoga mat was in the trunk so I pop open the trunk and lay it out. Claire is now crying in a fit of hanger so I attempt to divert her attention with her water bottle while I hoist Case into the trunk and as I’m doing that I realize this poop (poop number 2) has not been contained by his undies and shorts. Oh no. It is now down his legs and pooling in his little Keens. I gag. I’m usually pretty good, but this was just nasty. The poop smell coupled with Claire’s now screaming just about sent me over the edge until I realized this will be funny when I share it with others and you will laugh after its all over so suck-it-up-sista. Which I did.

Lucky for me, I had an old pull-up in the diaper bag so Case got to go home pantsless (and shoesless for that matter) but not before he stuck his hand onto his poop-ridden leg and wiped it on my new mat (my brand new mat!). Luckily the movement of the car lulled the two into a state of diarhea induced exhaustion (but not sleep, so naps were not compromised!) that is until I smelled the smell again as I was pulling into the driveway and realized Case had gone once more. The diaper did a much better job of containing than his other bottoms but not quite good enough so his carseat cover needed to be washed (little did I know I’d just be able pop it into the load I’d be doing later containing his poop-soiled bedsheets after his nap!) Thankfully, Brian was home when we arrived (again poop-covered) and was able to scoop up Case while I quickly got Claire something to eat and after one of the quickest lunches ever eaten, both kids went down for naps. Sweet relief cause I was pooped (pun intended).

In the event of your own pooptastrophe, repeat over and over in your head :

Someone will think this is funny.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,