Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Blog

We just got a Mac this weekend and I'm in the process of moving my blog over to .mac

It is at:
http://web.mac.com/milikow

The migration isn't complete yet, but all new blogs will be to the new site.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sep 10

Jer got home early this morning. He was exhausted because he was on an overnight flight from San Diego, so Yoav and I played for a few hours (and did laundry and got bagels) while Jer caught up on sleep.

Then we went to Aroma for breakfast and to walk around downtown. Yoav got hives from a fruit cup! UGH. There were some fingerprints on the top of the fruit cup and there must have been some butter or cheese on person's hands :( The fruit was blueberries, cantalope and pineapple, all of which he's had multiple times. I gave him three antihistimine pellets to help the rash go away faster (Boiron homeopathic Histaminum - Hydrochloricum).

Then we walked over to the Mac store and bought a Mac!!! It's awesome!! We weren't planning on getting one, but they're so nice and Jeremy's been thinking about it for a while and they just lowered the price by about $300. I want to try to make a little 2yr video for Yoav's birthday.

When we got home, Jeremy set up the new computer and I put Yoav to sleep - he was really exhausted. This is his fifth no nap day in a row (awake about 12 hrs and asleep about 12 hrs each day). Usually after 3-4 days, he does a nap day. Today he probably would have taken a nap, but I wanted to have a quiet evening with Jeremy to play on the new computer and also to watch The Wire (it's the first one of the new season today!)

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Sep 9 - Cousin A's 1yr Bday Party

Today was Cousin A's 1yr Birthday Party. Yoav had a lot of fun! It was in Central Park - It was a beautiful day - We were there from 1pm to 6:45pm and then he fell asleep on the subway home!

Yoav got to run around a lot - played with balloons, rode on another child's Kettler bike for a while, climbed on rocks near a waterfall, etc.

He blew bubbles for the first time (with a bubble wand) - see new video below and on Videos page!!! I wouldn't have thought he could do it yet, but I guess once you can blow, you can blow bubbles...



Yoav Blowing Bubbles.



Yoav with balloon Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 8, 2006

Sep 8

Today was an enjoyable day - no conflicts, lots of fun and it was 100% diaper free w/ no accidents (we didn't leave the apartment).

The day was filled with coloring, cars/blocks/train tracks, reading, eating and a one hour bath!

We ate a few items from our CSA this week - we got a lot of variety but not much of a few of the items so I cooked a few for lunch - we had corn, eggplant and some husk cherries for lunch. Turns out Yoav is allergic to nightshade veggies. He reacted to both the hust cherries (which are a form of tomato) and the eggplant.

I found out at my mom's house that he's got a sensitivity to tomatoes - he ate quite a lot of cherry tomatoes and got a rash around his mouth - no hives, just a red rash - looked the same as when he gets hives, just that there were no actual hives. We eat Israeli salad a lot w/ cucumbers and tomatoes and he definitely eats some raw tomatoes and he's been ok but I guess just the amount that he had was too much or actually could just be that he's had enough in his system that only now is he showing a reaction. Today it was confirmed b/c he ate some of the husk cherries and had the same reaction. bummer.

So tomatoes are in the nightshade family and when I told my NAET practitioner about the tomato reaction, he said it could be nightshade.
Today ALSO (very odd that after months of nothing new - last was soy, we had two new reations today), I made eggplant for lunch and he reacted to that the same way as the tomato - no hives, just redness. He's had eggplant before, too, but usually I put it in food and I also didn't broil it enough today b/c I was afraid I'd burn it and even though I like it a little crunchy I don't like Yoav to eat anything that's at all charred. Anyway, so it was less cooked than he's ever had it before, and it was also from our CSA, so it was fresher than any we've had before which could be a factor.

I read that with the nightshades, the issue is alkaloids, which are reduced 40-50% with cooking, so I guess Yoav is fine as long as they're cooked and since it wasn't hives and didn't last long, and we have so few foods left we can eat, I'm not going to worry about it - I guess he can do without eggplant, but I do a lot of tomato based cooking...

Potatoes are also nightshade, but he's eaten a lot of potato, always cooked of course, w/ no problem - probably because you always cook potato and he's luckily not sensitive enough to react to these when cooked.

Anyway, so tomato and eggplant added to the allergy list.

A really sweet thing Yoav did today that almost made me cry:
We were eating a late afternoon snack (the veggies didn't quite cut it for calories) of oatmeal and I, of course, finished first. Yoav looked in my bowl and said, "All gone ... Mommy" meaning that Mommy's is all gone. Then he took my spoon and scooped a spoonful from HIS bowl and put it in MY bowl!!!!!!!!!!!! In such a sweet, matter-of-fact way - mommy doesn't have more, I do, so we need to redistribute. He often shares in the form of let's say, eating raisins and he eats one, then puts one in my mouth, etc. But this struck me as a much more emotionally advanced form of food sharing.

Sorry for anyone reading today - it's a long one...

I also want to write about bathtime - we had quite a breakthrough (I hope)! Yoav sat in the tub today for about half an hour - first time since he first started standing in the tub, which I think was when he started walking, although I can't remember exactly when it started. Today when he was in the tub, he said he wanted his duck and I told him I didn't want to leave him in the tub standing up so did he want to come w/ me to get the duck or sit in the tub. He said he wanted to come w/ me, but then pretty much right away he said he had to pee so we went back to the bathroom. Then about 10 mins later, he sat down in the tub and said "duck"!! It was so cute that he sat down and THEN asked me for the duck. Guess he didn't want to get out again. Anyway, so I quickly got the duck and brought it to him and then he stayed sitting for the rest of the time he was in the tub, which was about half an hour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He played w/ his duck and two little cloth puppets we got from the library and his wooden boat (the animals were taking turns going on the boat and all (including Yoav) went through my leg tunnel quite a few times). We'll see what happens tomorrow, but it was a good step!

One more thing I thought of - I had a success also today w/ toothbrushing - we were listening to music and I played a Raffi song called "Brush Your Teeth" and when I saw Yoav listening and doing the toothbrush sign, I thought to grab a toothbrush and Yoav let me brush his teeth the whole time! In fact, when I finished before the song was over, he said more and opened his mouth. Sounds too crazy to believe, but it really happened - I'll try playing it again tomorrow when I need to brush his teeth and we'll see if it happens again :)

Jeepers - just thought of one MORE thing - Yoav made a tunnel today for the first time - he LOVES tunnels - he likes when I make a tunnel with his blocks over his train tracks so he can make his cars/trains go through. Today he did it himself - not over the tracks, but he made a tunnel - prior to this, he didn't understand how to put the top block on - he would put the horizontal top block on just one of the vertical blocks. I also included below a video of Yoav busily working on the tunnel!


Stacking blocks & cars Posted by Picasa



Building Tunnel / Concentration & Patience


_________________________

Finally, I want to include a response I posted to our AP group b/c a friend said she really liked it and was printing it out for her husband to read. So first the poster wrote:

Our 3-year-old DD is, for most of most days, an intelligent and sensitive joy. However, occasionally, and it seems more and more lately, we have run into some behavior that we just don't appreciate and don't know how to effectively deal with. Though there may be other things, most of these instances seem to involve something where she refuses to take responsibility for something she's done. E.g., she won't put things away after playing with them, won't pick up a plate after throwing it down because she was frustrated.
And he said whatever the parents are doing which wasn't totally clear from the post, was leading to tantrums lasting 15-45 mins. I responded with:

Re: Learning Responsibility

It really sounds like you know the answer to this already.

There was a great "Daily Groove" sent out by Scott Noelle of EnjoyParenting.com a few days ago that EXACTLY answers this, so I'll just include it after my comments.

My view (from Scott Noelle, Alfie Kohn, and others) regarding this is that at her age it is VERY normal to have these sorts of behaviors (which sound to be frustration-related). As Kohn says, it's important to take a child's age into consideration.

Regarding putting things away, I personally do not think children should be made to put toys away. I think I orginally got this idea from Danielle Conger from the AlwaysUnschooled list. Cleaning up is our need, not our children's need (well, who knows, maybe some kids do actually want their toys to be cleaned up at the end of the day). My son (22 mos) sometimes gets disturbed about a smudge of dirt on is finger, but meanwhile, he's completely comfortable when he's pouring water from one pot to another and misses and gets water all over the place. I think that the best way to get kids to *help* cleanup is just to do it together - perhaps ask for help, but don't insist (just my view, of course, I'm don't mean this to sound like I'm telling you want to do).

Regarding throwing a plate when she's frustrated, well, I think the fact that she was frustrated is the key and that it's not reasonable to expect/want her to pick up the plate. Throwing the plate was her way of showing you that she's frustrated. So instead of asking/telling her to pick up the plate, I would just pick it up myself and try to focus on what led her to throw it in the first place. Perhaps try Active Listening (from Parent Effectiveness Training, by Thomas Gordon) - simply state whatever you think she's feeling - for example, "You're really frustrated because you didn't want me to cut up your food for you." in this case, if you know why she was frustrated, then this just shows her that you empathize and hopefully she'll skip the 15-45 min tantrum and move on, or if you don't know why she threw the plate, you can just say, "Looks like you're feeling really frustrated." and she'll either open up and tell you what's wrong, or maybe she won't but at least she'll hear your empathy, concern and love and again will hopefully skip the tantrum.

My son is only 22 mos, so a lot of these thoughts are somewhat academic. Let me know what you think.

Best,
Emily
_____________________________________

Here's the relevant info from
Scott Noelle's site:
http://www.enjoyparenting.com/daily-groove

Needs and Desires, Part 3
by Scott Noelle, posted on 2006-09-07

(Continued from Part 2)

Understanding that desires are just as valid as needs, and looking for desires where you once saw only needs, makes it easier to practice the Art of Unconditionality.

That's because we tend to perceive needs as requirements (conditions) for well-being. For example...

A child makes a mess, and the parent thinks, "I feel frustrated because I need more order in the house." In other words, s/he believes s/he can't experience well-being until the mess is cleaned up.

Unconditionality means allowing yourself to connect with well-being under any conditions. It harnesses the power of the Law of Attraction, because once you're focused on well-being, you attract more well-being into your experience.

When you exude the energy of Well-Being as you focus on your desire, that energy is attractive to your child. As s/he aligns with that energy in you, s/he will be more likely to align with your desire as well.

But this is not a quick fix. Subtle energies take time to do their magic. Fortunately, you'll be connected with Well-Being the whole time. :)

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Sep 7 - AP Meeting and Eggs

Today was a GREAT day!!!

Quiet morning - Yoav woke up at 6AM and we just did the usual - blocks, books, cars... Because of his B Complex NAET treatment, we could only eat white rice, which was a bummer. White rice for breakfast is a pretty bad way to start the day.

We went to the AP meeting from 1-3 at Hudson Library. The meeting is held in the Children's room which has LOTS of toys, including a lot of push toys, a full wooden kitchen and a bunch of plastic food, a wooden slide, etc, etc! In the beginning, when it was just us and another girl who's a few months older than Yoav, Yoav was pretty nervous - saying "mine" and holding tight to the push toy he was playing with. I used Active Listening just as I had planned yesterday during this period - I just said, "You're nervous that someone's going to take this toy from you?"

But as more people came and he became comfortable with the kids, he really relaxed! Most of the moms in our AP group are very hands off, interjecting only very occasionally, if it seems necessary or helpful (like once when Yoav and another boy were each pulling at a videocassette box, the other boy's mom said, "You both want the same toy." (which is Active Listening) and it worked perfectly - they both relaxed and Yoav let go and went to play with something else). Most of the parents are comfortable letting the kids work things out for themselves. A few times I saw Yoav and another child playing with the SAME TOY at the SAME TIME!! That's nearly unprecedented - once three boys were playing with a toy at the same time!!!!!!!!!! I love to see him involved in this sort of play as I think this is the best way to learn about sharing. Turns are helpful, but are so artificial and are, at best, compromises. Kids can actually get the full enjoyment out of playing with a toy while another kid is playing with it also - the toy that this happened with was a pop up type - you push a button and the door opens and a toy pops up - so each kid got to play with one or two buttons and each seemed quite happy with the arrangement (no parent involvement). I used Active Listening a few times with Yoav - "He/she tried to take this toy.", "He/she pushed you.". Once when there was a conflict over a ride on toy with an older girl (there were two cars, but the girl took Yoav's and sat on it), I said, "She sat on the car you were playing with." He said, "Yea." I said, "That makes you sad." He said, "Yea." Then I quietly pushed the other car (exactly the same) closer to him so he could see it and he took it and off he went.

As far as I know, he didn't *grab* anything from anyone else the whole time - he did try to *take* (take, in the sense that it was not an aggressive act) the videocassette box, which was described above, and, once or twice, he would just start playing with something that someone else was playing with and the other child would walk away and then he'd continue playing with it - but he probably would have been fine in these cases playing *with* the other child.

It was really amazing to see - I feel like I really learned a lot - I'm particularly glad that I had recently learned about Active Listening, because it seems like that's the only form of communication generally needed for playdates. Plus now I know that he can play happily alongside other like-parented children so I think I'll be more empathetic when we're in a different situation and I'll try to be more aware of my own need to fit in and make the other parent/s comfortable.

After the meeting, we went to Whole Foods and then home. Yoav played w/ a 5 or 6 yr old boy on the bus. The boy had a balloon sword and he was slowly moving it into our seat and would gently touch it to Yoav and Yoav would laugh and laugh. Or Yoav would poke his finger back to touch the sword and they both thought that was funny. The boy even started singing a little song that Yoav tried to sing :)

At home, we did another egg test - Vitale said not to eat any egg while he was away (for the past 3 wks) and we did some home treatments to boost Yoav meanwhile. Tonight he ate about 80% of a scrambled egg with no reaction!! We'll have it again for breakfast - his last reaction was in the morning - Vitale thought it could be because Yoav ate the eggs on an empty stomach so potentially it was an egg + stomach acid problem. We'll see tomorrow!!!

Yoav fell asleep at 6:30 - with Jer away, I just get the evening to myself to clean, email, blog, read, etc...

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Sep 6 - Mine / Grabbing / etc.

Jeremy left today for San Diego - he'll be gone until Sunday :( We went out for bagels together in the morning. Yoav was pretty sad when he left - since Jeremy had a suitcase, Yoav knew he wasn't coming back today. I just used Active Listening after Jer got on the bus, "You're really sad that Baba left." Yoav said "Yea." and that was the end of it for the moment.

We relaxed at home most of the day - I was really tired because I didn't sleep well. We played with blocks, a little with Yoav's cars, some reading and horseplay on the bed when I was trying to rest a little :)

Then had NAET for B complex. Vitale said the egg should be fully clear now and I should retest.

Then to pick up CSA food. Yoav didn't nap and usually is fine not napping if we're home, but once I got the food, I had to carry him in the wrap since I had so much to carry. He really wanted to sleep but I managed to keep him up with songs. He seemed to understand. He kept asking me if he could have tzi tzis because I kept distracting him when he was nursing and falling asleep. He was happy to get home and get to sleep - he fell asleep at 6.

So I just finished reading "Parent Effectiveness Training" by Thomas Gordon, plus I skimmed "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen (I read it a while ago). Yoav has become quite possessive around younger children. With my sister's daughter (Jana) at home this weekend, he frequently grabbed toys from her and he's been saying "mine" a LOT - today when we were walking to NAET, he was holding a matchbox car and kept saying "mine" even though no one was walking with us!; when a young 15mos girl came into the laundry room yesterday he grabbed our laundry cart and said "mine!" obviously worried that she would take it;

Although he also had beatiful sharing moments this weekend with Jana -
1. He was playing a game with a cup and the dog and wanted Jana to play too. He said "Cup. Jana" I gave him a cup and then he went to Jana to give it to her. She's only 15mos and didn't realize she was being invited to play so she didn't take it - Yoav tried a few times to get her to take the cup, failed and continued playing by himself.
2. Jana dropped a block and Yoav picked it up and gave it to her - this went on for about five or six series of Jana dropping, Yoav picking up and returning to her. Not sure if he thought it was a game or that she was accidentally dropping the block and he was just helping.
3. Once he was drinking from a water bottle and offered it to Jana.

Anyway, my thoughts from my reading are first and foremost, that this is very normal toddler behavior and that the most important thing for me to do is to acknowledge his feelings and help him to come up with a solution (ideally his own) that works. For the MINE issue, I think the answer (for me) lies with PET - I will simply say, "That's your laundry cart." or "You're worried that she/he will take your laundry cart." etc., depending on his tone/meaning. No consoling/sympathizing ("Don't worry" / "I know how you feel") as these are one of Gordon's 12 Communication Roadblocks, and in this case, I agree that they are not responses that Yoav needs to hear from me.

For the grabbing, I think a combination of PET, NVC and Playful Parenting is necessary. I'll use one or more "method" depending on the situation, pressure from other parent, Yoav's response, etc.
NVC: "Yoav I see that you grabbed a toy from Jana and that makes me very sad because I need Jana to have fun too. Would you be willing to give the toy back to her / give her a different toy / play with something else similar instead, etc."
PET + Playful Parenting: Ideally try to stop him from grabbing before it happens if I see him going for something, then gently hold his hand to keep him from grabbing and say "You really don't want Jana to have that toy." (PET) "Why don't we come over here and play with these other toys?" (Playful Parenting). If I'm too late, try to offer another toy to Jana and apologize to her on his behalf, hope that's ok for her and then move away to play something else, with more active play/involvement from me to keep him relaxed and having fun.

Also from everything I believe in, the most important thing is to recoginize that these are difficult/stressful moments for him and I need to ensure that he gets a lot of love from me during these times - lots of hugs, kisses, active playing with me, etc. In many cases, it might be best to shift gears and to cuddle up with a book together.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Sep 5 - Blooming Independence

Quiet day at home today.

Just a quick comment - Yoav has been more focused lately in his playing - he's sometimes so focused that he won't even notice if I move away. He also doesn't look to me for encouragement or praise (which I'd expect, but still glad to see it). Today he piled up three cars one on top of another, which took a few tries and a very steady hand. He smiled when he did it and said "skateboard cars!" but he didn't look at me when he said it, he just looked at his handiwork. Also, he's showing much less frustration when playing. It used to be that if he was trying to stack cars and one fell, he would generally cry or bang the car against the table or floor (whichever he was playing on). Now these little setbacks very rarely upset him - he just tries again. Only when he tries several times with no success will he sometimes get upset, but then still gets less upset than he used to - he will usually ask for help or switch activities.

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Sep 3 - HTTSYKWLALSYKWT

I was visiting my parents Wed-Sat. My sister and her 15mos daughter were there as well. I'll write more later.

A few brief items from today.

We were getting ready to go on our bikes and Yoav wanted me to wear my hiking boots. I said, "I know you want me to wear those but they're really heavy. I don't think I can bike with them on." Not a good answer. He whined a bit and held the boots up to me. Then I said, "Why don't I try these black ones this time and I'll see how it goes with them and maybe next time I'll try the hiking boots." Great answer. He said, "OK" and put the boot down and we all left.

In this case (the second comment, of course), I acknowledged that his idea was a viable one, that maybe the hiking boots would be good for biking, rather than just poo-pooing his idea/desire. As Yoav gets older, his need for autonomy increases and this is the sort of interaction that works best for him.

This evening, I reread "How To Talk So Your Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk" (subject title of today's blog is acronym for book title) by Adele Faber and Elaine Maizlish. I'm really glad I reread it - I hadn't liked it very much the first time I read it, but I think it was just because Yoav was too young and I didn't realize how relevant a lot of the book is.

I learned a lot, but two things I want to write down so I don't forget:
1. Don't use the word 'but'. I think this is the problem with a lot of my NVC discussions with Yoav. It's true that 'but' sort of means that you didn't mean what you just said or that even if you say you are, you're not taking it seriously. Like in my example with the hiking boots. I definitely said 'but' the first time - "I know you want me to wear those BUT they're really heavy." So this is really saying that I recognize Yoav's want, but my opinion (the boots are too heavy) is more important and therefore I'm not going to wear them. This books says to say "The problem is" instead.
2. Here's a response I'm going to try next time Yoav wants to eat something that he's allergic to (compiled based on several suggestions in this book):
"You really want to drink the milk, huh? The problem is that you're allergic to it and if you drink it, you'll get little itchy bumps all over your face. I really want you to be able to drink it too, though! That's why we go see Dr. Vitale every week - hopefully he will fix the allergy so you can drink milk soon."

Saturday, September 2, 2006

Aug 30-Sep 2 - Visit with Grandparents

Visited Warlick grandparents Aug 30 - Sep 2.

On Thurs Aug 31, my aunt (mom's sister) came by in the morning and then in the afternoon we went to visit Great Grandma Warlick and Aunt Bobbi (dad's side).

Here's some video of Yoav helping Jana with a block when we were visiting BJ and Bobbi:



Sep 1 - Helping Jana



Then on Fri, Sep 2, it was rainy, so we stayed home all day. Grandma did some singing on the guitar and interactive songs. Here's a clip of her and Yoav doing "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" - Yoav really enjoyed it, though I failed to get much on video.



Sep 1 - Helping Jana