Acknowledge

When Nathan was smaller I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to help him develop. Now he is in a stable routine and I spend less time researching therapies etc.

Instead, I spend all my spare time trying to figure out how to be a better mother to Isabelle. She is such a bright, curious, intense, exuberant little girl. Parenting her requires a lot of skill! She spends a lot of time looking for and testing limits, is very volatile, incredibly sensitive and observant, and always looking for something new to learn.

An invaluable tool has been Janet Lansbury’s blog. I absolutely love her views and opinions, and have learned so much from her. She is Isabelle’s teacher for her Friday morning RIE class, and has given me great advice for handling her.

Her latest post about acknowledging our kids goes right alongside my “I notice” post from yesterday. I think the concept is one and the same, but Janet says it so much better:

The key to your child’s heart .

Look for more parenting resources here, I am learning a lot!!

I notice…

I have been listening to the Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting series by Noel Janis-Norton, and really enjoying it.

The first step towards calmer easier happier parenting, according to Noel, is called “Descriptive Praise”. She explains in the first CD that if we notice and praise our kids about all the things they are doing well, we are reinforcing positive behaviors. The praise feels so good that our kids will do more positive things to earn more positive praise. She claims this can really transform situations.

It’s pretty simple. She mentions that it’s not about using words like “amazing” or “wonderful”. Instead, you simply say things like, “I notice you are playing happily by yourself.” Or, “You listened when I asked you to put your toys away.” Or, “You were very good to your brother during your game”. She explains that simply noticing the behaviors and letting the child know will help considerably, without constantly using big words or saying thank you (or they lose their power).

I’ve been doing this with Izzy and Nathan and they both really love it. I can see it in their eyes, how the praise fills them with joy and self esteem.

I wanted to share this as I think it is so positive to use with all our kids, both typical and special needs.

Natural Flu Defense

I found this article and they mention a lot of the things I use to prevent/treat colds:

Natural Flu Defense

I always keep around the house:

- Tons of Emegen-C as well as high quality vitamin C
- Grapefruit seed extract which I put in water to gargle and in my neti pot
- Alpha CF for baby also helps to manage the symptoms
- Tea Tree extract vapo rub
- NAC (as mentioned in the article)
- Sinus Cleanse
- Roxalia for sore throat
- Probiotics

So those are some of my go-to tools to use when any of us get sick. If you have some good ones you use, please share!

Yoga

Nathan started yoga today. A few years ago he had some sessions with the wonderful Catherine, who is certified by Sonia Kumar and her “Yoga for the Special Child” method. But at the time we were doing so much that I let yoga fall by the wayside. Last week I decided to try hot yoga again, after a 2 year absence. Right away Catherine mentioned that a training had just finished and there were many new people certified, and would I like Nathan to receive sessions. After my amazing experience with hot yoga, my answer was a resounding yes.

Today Nathan saw Analee, and I must confess I had tears in my eyes, watching her work with him. She was so respectful of him, so kind, so supportive. She explained to me that she wanted the sessions to be very holistic – not just stretching his body, but working with his mind and spirit. She never forced him to do anything he didn’t want to do, made it very fun, playful, and relaxing. Nathan was very happy throughout the session and was very communicative of his pleasure or displeasure.

I feel that this is a perfect complement to Nathan’s current program. He is receiving medek sessions every day. He does hippotherapy once a week. Rolfing massage once a week. And speech therapy twice a week. Adding yoga plugs in the stretching component and is another way for him to learn how to relax his own body, as spasticity is such an enemy to him.

Overall I am so pleased about this new development. Next I am going to take Izzy to yoga classes – she really needs something to help her calm down! It sure is helping her mommy to be more relaxed and happy :-)

Addicted

I confess I’ve become addicted to this smile: 20111106-073219.jpg

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I also started hot yoga this week and love love love it. I’m so addicted to it! It’s excellent exercise, it’s spiritual, it detoxified, I lost 3 lbs this week doing it, and I feel like a million bucks at the end of the practice. It’s really helping me with the stuff going on in my life.

I’m addicted to this sweetness

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And to this crazy little girl

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Down

I find that I prefer not to blog if I don’t have something good or helpful to say. Last night a friend suggested that I should write anyways, that people don’t just want to hear the good. I hope she’s right.

Nathan’s Dynavox is down. Nothing happens after I press the power button. I had to send it in for repair to Mayer Johnson, which is a total bummer. Repairing it will take some time, and let’s not even talk about the cost. It happened right when we were teaching him to use the internet and he was really enjoying it (more on that later).

I feel down. The last 5 months have gotten to me. I am often sad. Yesterday was one of those days. I’d managed to keep Gryffing content while I got Nathan ready for school. Then I had to get Izzy ready for school, and that’s when Gryffin exploded. While I changed her he was in his crib screaming. The stress got to be too much and I burst into tears. So Izzy looks at me and hugs me and says, “Mommy, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. Which of course made me cry even more. So she says “Don’t cry mommy don’t cry”. And then she starts crying. So there we were, Izzy and I holding each other and crying, Gryffin in his crib screaming, fortunately Nathan was already en-route to school. It broke my heart.

My halloween pictures are down too. I waited too long to take pictures, and by the time I did Izzy was in full breakdown mode. I made the mistake of using the auto mode on the camera so they didn’t come out so well. So here they are: