Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Small Victories

Griffin is getting so good at walking while holding my hand.  He walks along with me with ease, no pulling away, focused, and very pleased with himself!  Today was speech therapy, so I put his coat on and let him out of the gated fortress to make his way to the stairs.  I held his hand and he walked...I held my breath as he stopped at the phone table.  (Beneath that table is a cabinet door that must stay open because our internet modem is inside.  If the door is closed, it will overheat.  EVERY SINGLE TIME we have walked by that door since June he has closed it.)  He turned and stared at the open door.  He resisted the urge to close it.  I said, "lets go!" and he continued walking.  This may not sound like much to you, but it's huge to me!  HUGE!  I praised him like there was no tomorrow!

Little G had her speech therapy today and Griffin and I had to find something else to do for 30 minutes... So we took a walk.  Griffin walked, holding my hand, from the front of the hospital, all the way to the cafeteria, and back.  Most of that walk was on an incline.  He worked hard and loved every minute of it!  (For those of you who know LRMC, you know how long a walk that is!  Impressive, huh?)

But anyway... Small victories.  Gotta love them!

Love and Hugs!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Waiting on a Hurricane...

So... I suppose you read the blog that my hubs posted a couple days ago, right?  We will be moving in a month.  There's really not much that I can do, other than wait.  I can't pack because the movers will be doing that.  I can't deep clean because we have to hire that out (not that I have the time to do it anyway).  So I feel like I'm standing on the beach, waiting on a hurricane to make landfall.  Being overwhelmed is an understatement.  But on to other news.

Our beloved OT, Thorsten, has opened his new office and we switched over to him (if only for a month, <sigh>).  Griffin had his first visit this morning and had a blast!  Thorsten is amazing and can read children so well.  I spoke with him about how he has become picky with every food (just as Thorsten predicted he would) and discussed some issues that I'm concerned about.  One of them is that he will punch himself in the face when he's frustrated.  Thorsten shed some light on this for me, just as I knew he would.  I can't believe that I didn't think about this, but I guess that's what therapies are for, right?  He said that I should ignore the behavior because he probably enjoys the reaction that I give him.  He said that, as an orphan in a room full of children with only 1 nanny, a child has to get very creative in order to stand out.  To correct or stop him with these behaviors is exactly what he wants... so I will try to ignore it.  We discussed how to deal with the food pickiness and the upcoming move, as well.

Little did I know, that throughout all of this, I had dirt on my face.  Little G kicked me in the face while I was strapping her into the car seat and I wiped it really quick with my coat sleeve and then forgot about it.  SO... yeah, wish I had looked in a mirror before I went into the clinic!

After we got home, I fed Griffin a sandwich since he was going to leave for school pretty quickly.  He gave me the best sugar on my cheek before I cleaned him up, and yep, I forgot about it.  Needless to say, I took him to the bus with peanut butter all over my cheek.  Again, should have looked in a mirror.  haha...  The joys of motherhood!  :-)

Oh, yesterday, I went shopping for retirement ceremony outfits for the kiddos.  I picked this outfit for Griffin and he fell in love with it.  He was so happy in these new threads that he actually cried when I took them off!  I showed him this picture to cheer him up and he kept giving it kisses.  Too precious!  I guess I need to dress this boy up more often!

Love and Hugs!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

What's With The Weather?

Chris's View:

Man... this has really gotten crazy!

A couple weeks ago, a pretty severe tornado (F4 on the scale) ripped through my hometown... about 1 mile from where my in-laws live.  It tore a path through Hattiesburg, from Oak Grove, all the way to Petal, where Maria went to high school.  So much destruction, yet I am humbled to see the outpouring of support my town is getting, yes, from outside of the city, but the support for each other from it's own residents is AMAZING!  Within hours the Hub City residents sprung to assist in whatever way they could.

One of the most amazing things that has come about is the posting of found pets.  This is mainly through Facebook, but I know that before we had kids, our dogs were our children.  If our dogs would have gotten lost after something like that, we'd have moved heaven & earth to find them.  It's pretty awesome to see the posts of the pets, I just haven't seen any getting claimed.  I hope they are.

You want to know the kicker here?  That tornado that ripped through our hometown has somehow jumped the Atlantic Ocean and is wreaking havoc in the Solomon household right now!  I found out a couple days ago that our retirement date is like 5 minutes from now!  Not exactly 5 minutes... 28 May 2013 will be my last official day on active duty in the United States Air Force.  What's the big deal... sounds like plenty of time, right?  Oh wait, I have 30 days to out-process, 30 days of permissive temporary duty to find a job & house, then I still have to burn 42 days of leave that I have built up.  So, in all actuality, we will be leaving Germany at the end of March.  My retirement ceremony is the 19th of March, so yeah, like right around the corner.  The next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind... shipping our household goods, shipping our van, getting out-processed of every section on base that you can think of, cleaning the house so we can turn the keys back over to the German landlords who have become somewhat like family to us.  Speaking of family, that's going to be the hardest part.  We have been here for 4 years now.  We have met so many people who have become such a large part of our lives, that this will be one of the hardest assignments to have to leave.  Yes, it's a fact of life that military members get ripped away from each other.  In the past, while we have made friends, due to us being here so long, we really bonded with our group of friends here.  It will be bittersweet leaving Germany, but we are excited to move on to the next phase in our lives... military retirees!

See ya'll later!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boundaries with a Little Heimlich on the Side.

We have had quite an eventful few days!  The good and the bad...

Let me begin by saying that we can take all of our children to a restaurant and have an enjoyable experience!  Both of the littles are complete angels in a restaurant now.  We had dinner with friends on Sunday at Chilis and they did so well...very proud of them.  Afterward, we went to their home to chat a bit.

Little G does very well when we visit with our friends.  She usually sticks close to my side and doesn't venture out to other rooms.  Griffin, on the other hand, will go everywhere, get into everything, play with every cord and socket in the room, pull the dog's hair, etc.  As we were visiting, Denise brought out a huge tub of building blocks for them to play with and that entertained them pretty well.  However, Griffin still wanted to explore.  I set a boundary for him and he obeyed!  I am extremely shocked that he listened so well!  I told him that he could not leave the area rug.  He would test me and sneak one foot just over the edge of the rug...I would simply say his name and he would bring his foot back in (of course, he would protest a bit).  I was extremely proud of him!  What a smart little guy!

I have reintroduced apple slices to Griffin again.  Do you remember this post?  Well, I guess this is going to be a food that will be an issue for him for a very long time.  I had to do the Heimlich maneuver on him again and it worked, praise God!  Looks like I'm going to get a lot of practice in this area.  I think he will get applesauce from now on!

But anyway, I hope y'all have a great day!

Love and Hugs!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day

I think this is the best Valentine's Day I have ever had!  Every minute of it was enjoyable.

Little G woke up in a great mood and was extremely loving.  That was a gift in itself!  She kept hugging me over and over again and let me rock her in the recliner.  Griffin was his usual cheerful self and loved opening his first Valentine's card from my mother, "Mawmaw".  As you can see, he was very curious about the money.  All 3 received a tube of M&Ms, and the girls received candy necklaces   Griffin was content to shake the M&M tube like a rattle, so he will probably never eat his.  (and that's fine with me!  haha)

Chris was able to get off work early so that I could attend Big G's Valentine's party.  I also delivered rice crispy treats to Griffin's class.  As I was making my way down the hall, his teacher came around the corner holding Griffin's hand.  He was practicing his walking skills and when he saw me, he smiled!  As he got closer, I knelt down, he walked to me and wrapped his little arms around my neck!  Talk about tears!  I got all teary eyed because this was the first time, outside of our home, that he willingly came to me for a hug.  Then he took my hand and wouldn't let go.  He walked me through the hallways and he was so proud of himself.  When he got distracted with the stairs, I made my way to Big G's classroom.  She gave me the biggest hug ever and I enjoyed watching her open all of her Valentine cards.  Afterwards, I scooped ice-cream for all of the kids in the class so that they could have ice-cream sundaes.  It was so enjoyable spending time all of them.

When we got home, we decided to have an early dinner since Little G appeared to be starving.  Her favorite food in the world is the chicken truck that parks across the street every Thursday.  She was happy.  :-)  Here is a picture of Chris getting the grub.

Oh, here's some pictures from 2009 of the two of us.  (we rarely get pictures of us together!   So enjoy these oldie but goodies!)
(Yep, that's how we roll!)

Tonight, we are going to see a movie and have dinner for our Valentine's date.  Looking forward to it!  And yep, I'm going to wear those red high heels.

Love and Hugs!

PS.  What did I get for Valentine's Day?  A huge iron skillet and some Dove chocolate.  Somebody is buttering me up for a big pan of homemade cornbread, y'all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

An Evening of Texts Between Parents

So last night, I babysat for a friend and Chris stayed home and took care of our children.  This is our texts between one another.

At 4:26-

Chris-  Griff just head butted me in the nose!  I think he cracked it!  Sitting here with a tissue stuffed up my nose.

Maria-  Sorry babe.  Feeling better?  Need to go to the ER tonight?

Chris-  I'll be okay.  Did you let Little G get into the rice box?

Maria-  Nope.

Chris-  Okay, guess she snuck into it.  Rice everywhere.

At 5:20-

Chris-  Griff just fell off the trunk in the living room right on his hiney.  It had to hurt, but he didn't cry. He knew he was in trouble, though!  Big G tattled on him, so right as I came through the gate, he  just sat down... Right off the trunk!!

Maria-  Is he ok?  

Chris-  yep.

Maria- hehe

At 5:30-

Chris-  Little G just came up to me and asked for a kiss, so I leaned in to kiss her and she slapped me!  She's mad at me right now.

Maria-  HAHAHA!!!!  Why is she mad?!  

Chris-  Because I sent her to the corner.

Maria-  Just to clarify, she slapped you and then she got mad at you for sending her to the corner?

Chris-  Yep.

Maria-  But she wasn't mad at you when she slapped you?

Chris-  No, she was smiling the entire time!

Maria-  HMMMMM.  Wonder why?

Chris-  I don't know.  Will we ever get through to these two?

Maria-  Nope.

Just a typical evening for us.

Love and Hugs!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Losing Control

It is so amazing how quickly one can lose control of a situation when children are involved.  Ok...well, maybe it's just me... maybe it's amazing how quickly I can lose control.


This is a bathroom scene and poop is involved.  Read at your own risk.

So Chris is working 2:00-10:00 PM shifts all week.  Evenings are difficult but I have it down to a very strict routine, for the most part.  However, tonight I served dinner a little too early.  The chicken truck was parked across the street so I knew that in order to avoid the dinner crowd, I needed to order ours by 5:00.  So, by the way, this is THE best chicken and fries ever!  Anyway, I serve the kids and they were done by 5:30 (usually dinner is done by 6:00-6:15).  Well, this was way too early.  Little G goes to the bath right after dinner and then from the bath to bed...then Griffin goes to the bath.  However, since we were ahead of schedule, all of my children ended up in the bathroom at the same time.  I put Little G in the tub and put Griffin on the potty for his nightly poop.  (I warned you!)  Big G was in and out of the bathroom, mostly causing the kids to laugh.  Well, as Griffin is doing his thang, I started washing Little G, only to discover that she pooped in the tub!  Well, I have no idea how she didn't notice this, but when she finally did, she started screaming.  I still had Griffin on the potty, so I started letting the water drain but had to keep Little G in the tub.  Griffin was ready to get up from the potty, so I asked Gracie to get the roll of toilet paper so that I could clean him up.  Little G is still screaming, Griffin is laughing hysterically, Big G is completely grossed out, and I'm about to pass out from the fumes radiating from these two children!  I picked Griffin up and laid him across my lap.  He flailed and knocked his potty over, sloshing urine on the floor.  Big G very hesitantly sat the potty straight while I sat Griffin on the bathmat.  I rescued Little G from the cesspool, and by wedging her between me and the bathtub to keep her from running away, I managed to cleaned the tub.  While I was doing this, Griffin escaped and decided that he needed to urinate all over the bathroom.  He was already slipping and sliding all over the I reached as far as I could and grabbed his ankle and pulled him back to the safety of the bath mat.  I managed to keep them contained there until the tub was clean.  I wrangled them both into the tub and let them play while I mopped and scrubbed the bathroom.  Then I was able to wash and get them out of the tub.  I have no idea where Big G ran off to, but I think she was hiding!  haha.


This momma is tired.  On a positive note, the chicken truck guy likes my hair.


Monday, February 4, 2013

A Very Noticeable Difference

I have been very proud of my little dude today!  First of all, we went to OT together.  We no longer have Thorston as our OT because he left the clinic and is starting his own business.  We miss him but Unka is pretty awesome, too!  She is making both of my littles work pretty hard and I think that's really good for them.  Today, Unka was so impressed by some of the things that have improved since last week and so was I!  He sat up and played longer than I have ever seen him do before because he will usually get tired.  Not today!  He also followed things much better with his eyes.  He was able to navigate different levels on the floor without falling...and this is just to name a few!

After OT, I dropped him off with Chris and went to Griffin's parent/teacher conference.  I was really looking forward to this.  The first thing that his teacher said to me was, "so, have you noticed the difference?!"  She has noticed a considerable difference over the past two weeks.  He is recognizing when his name is called.  He is walking from the entrance of the building to his classroom by holding his teacher's hand without sitting down many times.  He is completing tasks and focusing more.  He is learning to climb steps and his teacher shared with me an amazing way to teach him to walk down the stairs properly.  I'm really excited to give this a try.  When he gets tired of the classroom setting, one of his teachers will take him on a walk around the school and he will push a little lawn mower through the halls.  He has figured out how to keep it directly in front of him by steering it back into place.  Also, as he is walking along, they will practice greeting people.  For his reward, she will take him to the library and let him play with the stuffed animals while he takes a break.  As she was telling me all of these things, I had tears in my eyes.  I love to hear about his successes!

He is amazing... he will be even more amazing.  One day at a time.

Love and Hugs!

Friday, February 1, 2013

OH, You Want What? 3 "Firsts"

Griffin gave me 3 new "firsts" yesterday.  I'm so proud of my little boy!

Dinner took forever last night but I allowed him to take his time.  I was babysitting my friend's son and she asked if my kids wanted Happy Meals so, as a treat, I said yes.  Big G got a Happy Meal and the Littles shared a pack of fries.  They love fries.  LOVE THEM.  (So do I).  But anyway, as I was pinching up fries for Griffin, I said, "pleaseeeee!" and opened my mouth.  He put the fry into my mouth.  He gave it to me.  This is huge!  Yes, he has fed me popcorn and a Cheeto before, but those are things that he could care less about.  I was so shocked, actually!

Then, after such a long time in the highchair, I unhooked him and lifted him into my arms.  This is the time of day where I usually take him straight to the bathroom for a bath.  However, since we had no plans for Saturday, I was just going to give him a bath in the morning.  Nope, Griffin had other plans.  He started signing "bath" all on his own (the 2nd "first")!  He KNEW it was bath time.  Who could say no to such a sweet request?  Chris and I both looked at each other, kind of in a panic, because we knew the bath water wasn't preheated.  (Yeah, our German home has a water heater that we have to preheat before we can have hot water, and that usually take about 20 minutes.)  So I took him into the bathroom and sat him on the potty chair to kill some time.  He sat there like a big boy and POOPED ON THE POTTY!  Sorry that you had to read that in all caps but it's just that amazing. So proud of him!  (He has used the potty before but it's been awhile.)

So when the bathwater was finally heated, I let him splash around for awhile before wrapping him in his towel and holding him on my lap, in front of our little bathroom heater.  Every night after bath time, we sing songs as he's snuggled on my lap and he expects this now.  It's a very special time for us and I love that he wants it.  I have been trying to teach him "Wheels on the Bus" and for the 3rd "first", he started rubbing his tiny little fists over my eyes for "The baby on the bus goes wah, wah, wah." (is that how you spell that?  not sure.)  It is adorable!!!!!  He did it to Chris, too.  So proud of him!!

I asked Chris, "What's not to love about this little boy?"

He said, "I know, right?"

Why are people so scared of Down syndrome?  I'll never understand that.

Love and Hugs!