My Story

The chronicle of the journey from infertility, to miscarriage, to finally raising twin girls born in June 2012.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Things Middie Biddie has asked for today

Wow.  I can't believe how quickly this turned around!

A couple of days ago, I was enduring 45 minutes of whining and screeching before she would utter a word, now she's walking up to me and asking for things!  When she doesn't know the word or exactly what she wants, she calmly comes over to me, grabs my finger, and leads me to it.  She still occasionally goes over to what she wants, reaches, and whines, but now if I ask what she wants, she'll almost immediately change gears and tell me.

Today she has already asked for:

  • A banana
  • To do puzzles
  • To do jungle gym
  • Treat (damnit)
And here's the one that threw me for a loop - milk!  She's not a big milk drinker, that honor goes to Teeny Tiny.  But she brought me her water cup and usually she asks for more water and I have her help me fill the cup, but this time she clearly asked for milk!  What makes this feel like such a break thru is that she asked for something that is completely out of our norm.  In our household, the girls drink milk with meals and have water available in their cups all day.  Asking for milk, it's a whole different level of thinking from following the patterns we usually follow, it's the creation of an action outside the norm.  And you damn well better believe I got her some milk!

She's still whining a little bit but it's not nearly as bad as it was even a few days ago.  We really only had to be hard assed and endure a bit of misery for one day, then consistent on the second day, and she's learned the lesson that she needs to communicate politely for us to understand.  I know there will be backslides and stuff, but now I know that she knows how to communicate politely, she'll just have to be reminded to do so and not rewarded when she doesn't.

The household is already so much happier!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Making her speak experiment so far

We're holding firm that Middie Biddie has to use the word for something before she gets it.  Of course we only do this for objects that we know she firmly knows the word for.

It's been rough but I think we're on the right path.  Just yesterday when I blogged about starting this, the tantrum and whining for bubbles lasted 45 minutes before I could coax out any utterance that sounded like "bubbles".  Today, about 5 minutes.  She would either finally say it, or she would get sick of whining and go do something else.

At one point I was chatting on the phone with my mom while Middie Biddie danced on the couch around me and I heard "bubble?"  Boom!  "You want bubbles?  Ok, let's do bubbles!  Sorry Mom, gotta go, she asked for bubbles!"

She also asked for "jungle gym" which means climbing on me and then diving over my shoulder while I sit on the couch.

So, yeah.  I wasn't expecting this much progress this quickly.  I'm sure there's a whole lot more struggle ahead of me, but my afternoon wasn't nearly as rough today as it was yesterday.


Now if only we could fix her sleep issues.  She's waking up every night around 2am and isn't able to get back to sleep.  Last night I brought her into our bed and she actually went right to sleep.  Normally when I try this it's a disaster because she'll lie down for about 15 minutes and then get excited and try to start wrestling around the bed, then we get fed up, put her back into her crib and listen to her scream for an hour before she passes out.  But last night she snuggled in and fell asleep.

Anyone have any ideas as to why she's waking up every night?  I don't think it's night terrors because she's perfectly consolable.  She just sits up, cries, if we go in to check her diaper or rock her, she's perfectly happy until we put her back in the crib again.  It's pretty much guaranteed that she will spend 60-90 minutes crying before falling asleep whether we don't go in at all, or whether we rock her for an hour solid before putting her back down.

We're getting tired around here.

I know it's been all about Middie Biddie lately, so here's a couple of adorable pictures of Teeny Tiny.  I do pay attention to her too!

 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Making her talk

Middie Biddie can talk a lot more than she does.  I've made the mistake of continuously trying to figure out what she wants and providing it for her without making her learn to ask for what she wants.  I never really transitioned from the constant guessing and evaluating a babies wants and desires to properly teaching them how to communicate their desires properly.  I think about how long it's been since they've eaten and just provide the next meal or snack without being prompted in any way.

As a result, I'm constantly hearing reports of children much younger than the girls, like a year younger, speaking more complexly than my girls do.  I still don't get to hear any of their thoughts.  I don't post any funny things kids say here because they don't say those funny things.

Teeny Tiny has taken some initiative and will occasionally tell us what she wants.  Any time either of them says something like "banana" or whatever, we say "you asked for a banana very nicely so Mama will get you a banana!"  So if they ask or communicate what they want, they get it almost without fail (with the exception of treats, those are only if they ate well that day).

For example, I have curtains separating my office from the main living space.  I leave them wrapped around a pole so they are out of the way, and Teeny Tiny has learned to say "curtain please!" when she wants me to put them down so she can run through them or use them for peekaboo.  If she just tugs on them, I remind her to say "curtain please", she does, and all is well.

But Middie Biddie is a whole other story.  She won't ask, she'll reach for what she wants and cries/whines. She's perfectly capable of speaking, she's entertaining herself in her crib right now blabbering away.  She counts all the time, will correctly identify random letters about 90% of the time, will tell me what all the animals say, she just won't use words to communicate what she wants!  Speaking is entertainment to her rather than communication. The frequency, strength, and persistence of the crying whine makes my ears bleed and it's becoming a constant thing.  It frazzles me the same way newborn screeching frazzled me.  I'll remind her endlessly to say "curtain please" and she just refuses.  I know she's perfectly capable, but once she wants something, she's already upset at not getting it and has started the tantrum to get what she wants.  Once a toddler tantrum starts, that's it, you really can't stop it to get a desired behavior.  So the problem is, she asks for what she wants by throwing a tantrum!

We need to put a stop to this and it's going to be painful.  I went to work on it tonight.  She was doing her whining and I figured out that she wanted me to blow bubbles.  She can say "bubble" just fine.  It was one of her first words, the first thing she ever identified unprompted, and she yells out "BUBBLES!!!" whenever we play with them.

She whined, and cried, and got very distressed reaching for the bubbles.  I kept telling her "say bubbles and I'll blow bubbles.  No honey, I can't until you ask.  Just say bubbles.  What is this?  Is it the bubbles?" and so on and so forth for 45 agonizing minutes.  I showed her videos of people blowing bubbles.  She tantrumed away, trying desperately to get me to blow bubbles but I held my ground.  Finally, FINALLY during one of the videos, she finally uttered "buhbuh" and I very enthusiastically declared "You want bubbles?  Yay!  Let's blow bubbles!!!!" and then it was bubblepalooza in the house!  Every so often I would stop and say "What do you want?" and she would say "Bubbles" and yay!  More bubbles!  Then I started to say "I want bubbles!" before each blow because she parrots a lot so she would repeat "I want bubbles" and be rewarded with a room full of bubbles.  That was our activity for about a half hour until she got bored and moved on to something else.

I'm calling it a victory but it's one small battle in a long war.  I'm frustrated that I'm listening to her chatter in her bed when she won't talk in person.  And I'm so unbelievably sick of saying the word "bubbles" I could scream.  But if we want her to start communicating with words rather than whining, we can't continue to allow the whining to work.

Bubbles.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Death in the family

This is one of those blog posts where I really don't have much to say, but I can't say nothing either.  I feel like whatever I write will hurt K's feelings when he reads it because it's not enough, but I don't have much to say and I can't say nothing.  So here goes.

K's mother passed away yesterday.  We knew she's been ill for some time, but an immediate passing was not on our radar.

K called his father several days ago to be met with his father panicked on the other end asking if he was returning a call from his mother whom he had just found unconscious.  K was flabbergasted as he was just calling for a random chat and of course his father had to get off the phone as he had to tend to the emergency at hand.  There was evidence that she had been that way for some time so I think we all pretty much knew what would be happening.  She was physically alive, but non-responsive.

After a day, K's father called and told him to get himself to Florida as quickly as possible as the doctors were saying it was a matter of time since there was nothing that could be done for her.  He was on a plane 3 hours later and arrived the following afternoon.  K got to say his final goodbyes and saw his father through her final couple of days until she passed yesterday morning.

He'll be in Florida until the end of the week, coming home on Friday.

This came as quite a surprise, but not a shock.  Like I said, we knew she had been quite ill, but in the back of our minds we thought it was a temporary thing.  That at some point she would rally, and start working towards health again.  We had been discussing taking the girls out to visit once they were old enough to not be nightmares on such a long flight but we never really determined exactly what age that would be.  But we had been talking about it in sooner rather than later terms over the last few weeks in light of K's grandparents passing.

We're very glad K opted to attend his grandfathers funeral a couple of months ago.  It was the first time he'd seen his mother in about 2 years and we're grateful that they had some time together before her passing.

I know when I started this blog it was very much about going into depth of my feelings and thinky thoughts and really exploring the inner workings of emotions.  I hope you all don't mind if I skip that for the time being.   It's been a whirlwind couple of months of so many things we're figuring out, so much we're changing, so many people passing, I'm kind of thinky thoughted out even though I haven't been chronicling all those thinky thoughts here.  I'm kind of emptying my head of thinky thoughts for the time being so I can help relieve K of his burden when he gets home. I'm sure he'll have plenty of thinky thoughts he'll need to get out of his head and heart when I see him next.

Goodnight Maureen.  May your rest be comfortable and everlasting.