Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life at the Calhoon Circus

Life with a almost 3 yr. old (on Sunday!) with special needs and a 6 month old (tomorrow) keeps Kevin and I busy.

Hannah news first: (scroll down to read the Luke news)
I am sleep training Hannah. I read "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" which is about the crying it out (CIO) method. We tried for three nights. I had 3 hours, then 3.5 hours (then I fed her and she went to sleep shortly afterwards), then 4 hours of crying in which I got up and fed her again. I realized this wasn't going to work for us since she was getting worse and not better as people who have had this method say happens. So I decided to let us get some more sleep and try again in a couple of weeks. Friends had told me about using the Ferber method which is CIO but with the parent coming in for reassurance. I got a hold of his book "Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems" from the library a few days ago. Both books made very good points about the benefits developmentally of getting good sleep and to get good sleep you need to be able to fall asleep in conditions that you can recreate so that when you naturally come out of sleep at night you can go right back. This all made sense. Hannah is not an awful sleeper but she sleep in our bed but would not usually go down until 11-12 for the night and get up between 7 and 8 instead of sleeping 7-7 or 8-8 or for any 12 hours stretch like babies should at her age. And she would wake up 1-2 at night to eat. I had after the first book gotten her on a better sleep schedule and so at least she was willingly going to bed between 7 and 8. But then she would get up after 1-2 hours like it was her 4th nap of the day and want to be up for 2 hours more. But I was on the right track. I even had her laying down for naps awake and not putting up much fuss.

Waking up to Hannah in my bed, sweet yes but I can still see her sweet face in her bed.

So I thought I would try the Ferber method last night and I got her to sleep in her own bed all night for the first time I think EVER! It felt great. I really like my space at night and I am a tosser until I fall asleep and Kevin may say that I am a tosser all night. I did miss a little cuddly baby a little bit though.

Oh and something else funny about this whole sleep thing. The other night I was all set for her to wake up around 9 and be up for a couple of hours. I had gotten my second wind and was ready for the get Hannah back to sleep show. Well as I was rocking and walking and swaying with a warm baby against me (she was in our Boba carrier) I was putting myself to sleep and not Hannah. I get crabby when I get tired and I noticed I was getting crabby with Hannah that she just wouldn't go to sleep. I looked at the clock thinking it had to be 12 or later and it had just turned 11. This is when I realized that my efforts were working on me more than Hannah. Oops.

Even daddies can wear cute little babies. :)

On other fronts Hannah is sitting up by herself and doesn't fall over to much anymore. She is really good with her hands. When Luke was little the therapists would ask about Luke's two handed play and how well he was using his hands. I would say that yes he was using two hands here and there and of course I thought he was doing great. Now I realized that even as he was using his hands it was not anywhere near where Hannah is. Not trying to say bad things to Luke, just a realization.

Hannah is also laughing and smiling tons. She is having fun standing in her bouncer. And did I mention she is a ham for the camera. She loves to smile and pose for the camera, just like Luke, maybe he taught her.

She LOVES to eat. We call her a piranha. We have been feeding her squash, yams, bananas, apples, plums. avocados and mangoes so far. She does great and if you are finished with the food you prepared and she is not she will scream very loudly for more. She is a great eater but in my excitement with her eating have fed her too much food with too little water content and she got a little backed up yesterday. However, she is unstopped and I am watering down my food a bit. I am feeding her food cubes from non blended but just squash and the others cooked and scooped out, or mushed manually. We had some baby food in jars and I have been using those to water things down as they are very liquidy.

Now for LUKE:
Luke is doing great! He got a new walker with some wheels that will grip a bit better on the solid surface floors. He seems to like this walker better than the last one and does not hesitate to use it when asked and does not mind standing in it. He does get distracted by everything to look and pointing at from his new higher view and so it is sometimes hard to get him into actually walking. He wants to keep telling me things which means he has to stop and take one had off the walker to talk.

He is also climbing stairs. He can do it all by himself, with lots of close supervision. Right now he doesn't ever crawl over and try them himself. He always waits for us to put him on the third stair or so. I don't mind this as it is kind of a built in saftey measure. I am sure it will end soon but for right now I am all for it.

Luke is doing great with wooden blocks. He has colored and non colored sets mixed together for some color as well as shape interest. He really likes to line them up and count them. He also will organize a number of them one way then switch them around. I tell him I like how he designs the blocks. In the past couple of days he has seen me make pyramids and bridges and so had started to copy the patterns and make them himself. He is good at the three block pyramid and then will build more blocks on top of the middle block. He is still working on perfecting a bridge (or arch). He will ask me to make them and he likes to push the other blocks underneath.

Luke's fine motor skills are getting better as well. He has gotten a lot better at putting his legos together. He is also better and manipulating pages and movement things in books. Oh and he still is really really into books. He has some other block puzzle and blocks to string like beads that he plays with while we feed him. He is learning how to string the blocks and take them off. He hasn't quite got the hang of it yet.

Luke still claps for himself after doing something he likes or he thinks you will like or when he does something good. Luke just likes to clap for himself. I think it is kind of how he shows us he is happy. Although he has a mad clap too, interestingly enough.

Luke has been pretty healthy this season so far. No ER visits yet and hopefully there will be no more. We have taken care of some viruses and bacterial things here at home with increases in his meds.

I have been laying a full length mirror on its side for the kids to play in front of and they both like it. Luke likes to sign and move his arms around in it. It will be in their play area and when he sees it he will starting moving his arms and watching himself. It is pretty cute.

Oh and what about Kevin and I you may be thinking. We are doing great and I am happy to say that our marriage is as strong as ever, probably stronger. We find moments here and there to laugh about our days. Yeah its hard to have little personal time and to never have enough time, yea I break down. But we get through it, together.

So a bit blog post done in more time that it took Hannah to cry herself to sleep (progress!)


  1. I enjoy your blogs so much and Luke and Hannah are beautiful. Such a nice way of being able to see their progression and how much they have grown. They have such a good Mommy and Daddy and God has blessed all of you.

  2. I am glad to hear you are all doing so well. I also think that Joel's and my marriage is stronger than ever. We should consider ourselves blessed. That is not always the case with parents of little ones with special needs!