Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Oh, Hi! I Didn't See You There

Like I do at the beginning and end of just about every semester, I disappeared there for a bit. You know the drill--I'll tell you I'm sorry (I am) and that I'll try not to let it happen again (even though we all know it will).

ANYWAY, for today's post, I present a little photo essay I call: "Life at the MOE House in Four Pictures."

Picture #1

You know, once we got out of that infant diaper stage, I thought we'd never buy another tube or tub of Aquaphor ever again. I mean, there's petroleum jelly and coconut oil, not to mention all sorts of organic and natural remedies for irritated skin. Besides, the kids have all developed those tough outer layers that come from summer days playing in the sun and sand and winter days in the snow and cold. But then we experienced the Great Chapped-lip Extravaganza of 2014-15. So, after months of trying just about everything with limited success, in an act of total desperation, I dug out a tiny long-forgotten tube of this stuff from the bottom of Stow's old diaper bag and gave it to Sky. 

It worked immediately. 

I guess this just goes to show you that A) if it works on a baby's butt, it will work on lips (eeeww), and B) sometimes it really IS better not to clean out the diaper bag (but, other times it's not, so I am totally leaving that decision up to you).

Picture #2

One of the things you learn when you have a kid on the autism spectrum is that sometimes lining toys up can be a bad thing. Every parent questionairre we answered about Sky asked us if we'd noticed such behavior. We hadn't, of course, because we hadn't suspected autism or known that such behavior can indicate lack of flexibility, inability to adapt, or poor imitative play skills. Now we know, though, so every time Stow comes up with one of these lines of toys, I panic just a smidge. The crummy part is that all toddler/preschoolers put their toys in a line from time to time, so it's difficult to tell. We're pretty sure Stow's just making an emergency vehicle parade here. I mean, the kid has some awesome creative play skills and our walls have enough dings in them to attest to his tendency to drive these cars and trucks all over the house. My heart still skips a beat every time I come upon a scene like this, though. 

Picture #2.5
In my defense, here's a comparison from Sky (with his Lego mini-figures circa 2011). Of course, we just kinda thought he liked to look at them all (which was true), but it turns out that these are in a specific order, and back then, if you moved them, he would insist on "fixing it." I didn't pick up on this AT ALL until one day when the OT working with Sky rearranged a couple of these guys when Sky wasn't looking. While he didn't freak out, Sky did nonchalantly put them back in the exact same order no matter how many times the OT moved them. Later, the OT asked Sky to close his eyes and tell him which guy was where in the line. Sky promptly listed the guys in order, by set, based on the date they entered our household.

So, yeah, I'll be happy when Stow outgrows this particular toy-lining phase.

Picture #3

If you've been reading this blog much at all, you know that we are always and continually on a quest for a system of reward that is intriguing enough to motivate the kids, flexible enough to meet our varying disciplinary needs, and simple enough that I don't completely fall off the wagon by the third day. A friend introduced the marble jar idea to me. I mean, I've heard of marble jars before, but this one is different. This is our family marble jar. Each of us has a different color. Good choices earn marbles. Bad choices lose them. When we hit the goal line, we'll decide on a shared activity to do in celebration. Here's why I like this (and why I think it's working so darn well): the kids have to work together to reach the goal. Instead of getting on each other's nerves and egging each other on, they have started to help each other earn marbles. The marble jar has even motivated them to look for the good in each other (in hopes of scoring a marble on their sib's behalf). Because Ren and I can also earn (or lose) marbles, they have started to think about (and understand for the first time) the ways he and I help out, too. It's pretty awesome, and I hope their enthusiasm lasts until the end even though that milk bottle is A LOT bigger than it seems.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, Ren earns most of his marbles by refraining from farting during dinner. I'm thinking of having t-shirts made: THE MOE FAMILY: Keeping it Classy So You Don't Have To.

Picture #4

Speaking of classy. This is a picture of Ren's Saturday-morning breakfast. Notice the Ghiardelli mint-filled dark chocolate on top? When I saw this, I knew that he had finally crossed over to the dark side. I mean, I can't imagine any other Japanese person I know eating this for breakfast. I'm not sure whether I should be proud or just a tad disturbed. 

An interesting but totally relevant side note: I moved this scrumptious-looking bowl of food up into the cabinet so that our resident human vacuum/ninja child wouldn't get his hands on it. Ren didn't find it until a few days later. When he did, he ate it, though. Maybe that's the part that should disturb me....



Stephanie said...

I love the marble jar idea! Ren isn't the only dad who could earn marbles by not farting at the dinner table. After watching her dad at the dinner table, my daughter has now added the phrase "fart like a man" to her vocabulary. Sigh. yep, we're keepin' it classy, too.

Anonymous said...

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