Hellobee

Nearing the Finish Line

It’s been a rough year. For me, probably the roughest of all rough years. Pregnancy is no picnic for anyone, but it seems for me complications are unavoidable. My first pregnancy was a challenge, and not to be outdone, my second pregnancy has been even harder. Throw in caring full time for a very active toddler who doesn’t understand the words “Mommy feels really sick today…let’s rest,” a huge construction project, and the unexpected passing of my mom during the holiday season; to say that I am weary at this point is quite the understatement.

So at 30 weeks, when a phone call to my OB to ask about some weird pains I was having landed me in Labor and Delivery, I can’t say I was shocked. I have been on watch for signs of preterm labor, since my first was born 5 weeks early. After monitoring me overnight, my doctor determined that I was not actually in preterm labor, but just experiencing contractions. I was sent home with a prescription for Procardia, instructed to take it if I experienced more than 6 contractions in one hour, and asked to “take it easy.”

After a week of “taking it easy,” the contractions were not slowing down. In fact, I ended up in Labor and Delivery again, when the meds did not stop the contractions that I was having every 2-3 minutes. This time, my doctor decided modified bed rest was our best chance of getting to at least 34 weeks. My husband and I quickly decided that there was no way for me to actually adhere to this restriction while caring for my 21 month old, so we scrambled to find someone who could care for him during the day. We were incredibly blessed to find another stay at home mom who was available to watch him, and that we had some extra savings set aside “just in case.”

And so began the waiting. The helplessness. The knowing that the management and running of my household was no longer up to me. The sadness of watching my sweet boy load up in the car every morning, not to return until almost bedtime. The guilt I felt watching my husband cook dinner for us after working all day long, while I lounged in the recliner watching Friends. Yes, I know this was what I was “supposed” to be doing. I was growing a precious tiny human, after all…no easy feat….but it feels so completely unnatural to watch your life from the sidelines. To have so much to do, and not be able to do any of it. To not be able to hold your first baby when he cries for you at bedtime for hugs, because to do so might endanger your second baby.

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Bringing Literature to Life Part Two

Last time I wrote about how I was trying to bring literature to life for my kids. I really wanted to cement a love of reading by showing them how exciting new stories and characters can be. Although I was an adult when these books were written, I couldn’t help but fall in love with them. I know that I am not alone in my love for this series, which changed the whole genre of young adult fiction. The first time I read a Harry Potter book I was in college and a friend of mine told me she knew it was a kid’s book, but I should give it a try. By then three books had come out. Once I started I couldn’t stop and I eagerly awaited the release of each of the following books. When my kids were born I knew some day we would read these books together.

I tried to build up some suspense and anticipation by telling them about the books and how both Mr. Train and I love them (seriously, each time the books came out we had to buy two because neither wanted to wait for the other to finish). What really kicked their curiosity up a notch was some friends of ours had already seen several of the movies. They came over and wanted to play wizards and witches and my kids were so jealous that they hadn’t seen the movie. I told them they had to read the book with me before they were allowed to see the movie. It was met with some whining of course because our friends hadn’t read the books, but they eventually understood that it was my rule: book then movie. This was a little hard on me as well because I really wanted to let them watch the movie. I knew they would love it as soon as it started (does anyone else get excited when they hear the theme song even when it’s just the Warner Brothers sign on the screen?)

So once their curiosity was piqued we began the long process of reading the book. It was the longest chapter book we had read so far. And let’s face it — sometimes five year olds are just not interested in sitting for very long for story time. It took us about a month and each time we had to do a quick recap. I really enjoyed every minute of reading it with them. As they got caught up in the story I couldn’t help but laugh to myself knowing about the surprise ending. We finally fished the book on a Sunday night after reading for over an hour (they would not let me stop reading once we got to the last few chapters), and they immediately wanted to watch the movie. They were a bit disappointed when I told them it had to be a Saturday night movie night which was almost an entire week away. Oh well, being patient builds character right?

It also gave me some time to make our plans for our Harry Potter Movie night. Unfortunately our family, including me, spent the entire week being sick. Come Saturday we were still under the weather so we decided to have an at home Harry Potter Sick Day since we didn’t really want to spread our germs by going somewhere. Friday night I threw a few things together and we had a marvelous day.

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Basics of Behavior: Escape Behaviors

We’ve talked about the four functions of behavior and how to address attention-seeking behaviors, and now it’s time to talk about a function that is a bit easier to deal with: escape behaviors.

As a reminder, these are behaviors that exist in order to escape an non-preferred item, place, activity, or person. Maybe your kid hates going to the grocery store. Maybe he doesn’t want to brush his teeth. Maybe she absolutely refuses to clean her room. The possibilities are endless, but the point is – there’s something your kid doesn’t want to do, and you need them to do it!

This one is, once again, going to sound a lot simpler than it is, but here we go: If you want to extinguish an escape behavior…don’t let them escape!

I know. I know. But seriously, it’s not as easy as it sounds!

Note: Before I jump into my explanation, I want to make it clear – this advice is intended for problem behaviors. I’m not suggesting that you should force your child to do every little thing you want them to without listening to their opinion. The information in this post is geared towards people who are struggling with tantrums or other challenging behavior related to a child trying to escape something. 

If you’re trying to extinguish a challenging escape behavior the most important thing to remember is that you absolutely cannot allow the child to escape whatever it is they don’t want to do. Not even delay it. If you do that, your child will just learn that all they have to do to get out of something is scream, cry, and throw a fit. And then guess what? They’ll do it every time they don’t want to do something. Fun!

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Easy DIY Animal Necklaces

Easy DIY Animal Necklaces on Hello Bee

There’s something about little plastic animals that is so hard to resist. They’re fun to play with and it feels pretty awesome to wear one around your neck! When I found these colorful dinosaurs and fantasy horses in the Dollar Spot at Target, I knew they would be perfect for wearing. Regular plastic animals work for this too, so grab whatever you can find and make a necklace or two for your older preschoolers…and maybe one for you too!

Animal Necklace Supplies

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Introducing Baby Confetti 2.0

The Confetti family is so happy to welcome Asher Isaac to our family.  After stewing long and hard about whether to induce, this little guy rendered the debate moot. He arrived without any intervention necessary, making his grand entrance on his due date, Friday, January 23rd, at 6:26 a.m.  He was 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

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We have been soaking up the newborn snoozy days, before all hell of newborn sleep kicks in, as I am sure it will.  So far, he has shown himself to be a champion nurser, a frequent flyer on the changing table and a very chill and happy baby.  He has been surrounded by an overwhelming amount of love from family visiting from near and far, but when we have had a bit of time to settle in, I’ll be back to share Asher’s fast and furious birth story and more about our new lives as a family of four.

D’s Journey – My Perspective

I’ve written a whole lot about how D has grown to be the little man he is today, and all of the struggles he’s overcome. Of course, I’ve told everything from my own perspective, but I haven’t blogged in detail about how I coped or felt through it all.

I initially thought that this whole thing would be a bump in a road that D would overcome, and I wanted to limit the number of people who knew about the horrible scary thing that would forever be in his past. I didn’t want him to be labeled “disabled” or even “special needs.” It took me a while to accept the magnitude of what had happened to him (and to our family). As I mentioned briefly before, I basically went through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) several times, after each substantial development.

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Mr T and I were very private and guarded for the first few weeks. We didn’t even tell our parents what had happened (beyond that D was born via emergency C section) until I let them visit me at the hospital 2 days after he was born. Just like us, I’m sure they didn’t understand right away. As we allowed a few close friends to visit D in the NICU, I told them then. I sent an email to my other friends when we scheduled D to get the feeding tube surgery, to explain why he was getting it – until then (6 weeks after his birth) they thought his only issue was prematurity. I cried so much when composing that email, and when I wrote updates to the HB boards, which were a big source of support for me.

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Sweet P at One Month Old!

When we brought home Little Piñata over 2.5 years ago, we had to write monthly updates for our agency. Even though it seemed kind of stressful at the time to sit down and write it all out, it really was a great opportunity to check out milestones each month and make a record of how much he had grown and changed. The agency that placed us with Sweet P doesn’t have the same requirement, but I’d like to do the same again! Of course, I’m a full week behind, but at least she isn’t two months old yet, so I’m not yet that behind.

Weight & Length: We had a check-up 4 days before she turned one month old and she was 20 inches long (up from 18.5) and weighed 6lbs 15oz (up from 5lbs 5oz at birth), so she’s growing like a weed!

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Sleeping: Little Piñata was such a good sleeper from the beginning, so figuring out sleep for our little girl has been more of a challenge than it was the first time around. She naps well in the morning and early afternoon, but hardly sleeps much at all from about 5pm until 11pm or so, and then usually has 3-3.5 hour stretches between feedings the rest of the night. I’m hoping we can figure out a way for her to sleep well in the evening so I can start going to bed earlier.

Eating: Sweet P’s diet the first 2 weeks of life was soy formula they started her on in the NICU. However, she seemed pretty uncomfortable eating it from the time we brought her home, so we quickly switched to donated breastmilk! We have had donations from a handful of amazing women, and one woman who has given over 500 oz and plans to give more! We are so very grateful to be well stocked for now. Little P has 8 feedings a day, usually taking 3-4 ounces at a time, so she’s a good eater, which would explain the good weight gain!

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