Saturday, March 27, 2010

In-laws are back

4:00a Ronin wakes up and cries for me. I go to his door and he scurries back into bed. He was still sleepy and I toyed with the idea of going back to my bed, but I wondered if he'd wake up again and call out to me in 30 minutes or another hour. So I camped out at the end of his bed. Then Nikko woke up at 7a, so things seemed to fall back into alignment. I've been keeping track of the wake-up times on a calendar for the past two weeks. The first week was a smattering of early wake-ups (4a, 5a) between the two of them, but last week they were more consistently taking turns waking up at 6 or 7. Last night was a 4a fluke. This evening we went to the in-laws and thus came home way past bedtime, past 10p. Nikko had fallen asleep in the car on the way home and easily went to bed. Same with Audrey. Ronin stayed awake watching Veggie Tales on the ride home and when put to bed he got really sleepy and quietly entered la la land. But an hour and a half later he had a disruptive awakening and threw up a bit of dinner on his bed. We put him back to sleep but I really hope he doesn't have another fitful spell.

I had to "help" Nikko with his constipation today, unfortunately. I am baffled by the under-performance I am seeing from the miraLAX. Atz did suggest that maybe it's not the fiber (but not ruling it out, since he's realistically probably not getting enough fiber from chicken nuggets and peaches), but possibly stress that's causing the constipation. I balked at first, wondering what Nikko could possibly be so stressed out about, but considered that it's possible since many autistic kids can stress themselves out with just trying to be understood, trying to get through the day if they are suffering from a sensory processing issue, or can't communicate his needs because he doesn't have the language, etc. etc. So how in the world am I supposed to foster a calm Nikko day in and day out? Or is he reflecting my own stresses??

After lunch, I put the kids in the car and headed toward the McDonald's Playplace in Schaumburg. Nikko fell asleep on th way but it was not a long ride and he woke up when I put him in the stroller. This McDonald's had a "treehouse" with winding stairs in the tree trunk on one side and levels that were covered in netting on the other side, which also showcased a big circular slide. Below all this was an area with a climb-able tiger and hippo, as well as an area for younger kids to spin things on walls and look into mirrors. It was CRAZY busy in there. Lots of kids, ranging from toddler to NOT toddler. I fed the kids first to let the activity die down a bit, but Ronin was eager to get on the slide so I cautiously let him go. He tentatively explored the tree house, watching the kids run around him, some bumping him, and when he climbed up a few levels he was a bit scared and started crying. I went up to him to give him some comfort, but when given the choice to sit down at the table or go play, playing won. He overcame his fears and soon was eagerly climbing the staircases and going down the slide himself, so very proud! Nikko was content to linger at the table, Jollibee DVD case in hand, and watch the other kids while he swung his legs from his chair. He didn't venture onto the slide, instead opting to climb up a level or two and squeal excitedly when kids popped out of the slide. He was exploring the tiger and I found him sitting on top of it a few times, so I praised him for being adventurous. By 4:30p we had to leave and go to Costco for provisions. While heading toward the milk aisle, I bumped into the Owsley's with their three kids in tow. We stopped and chatted it up a bit, talked about a future playdate since Rhonda is back from army stuff for 6 weeks. My kids were being good because I had given the boys lollipops since Nikko was starting to melt down because I wouldn't give him my Costco card. Unfortunately he demanded it when I was scanning the items at checkout so I ended up giving it to him and keeping a sharp eye on it. After I had buckled all three kids into their seats it hit me that I forgot to get milk for both Nikko and Audrey, and I moaned in defeat because it was 5:30 and I had to get us home, change the kids' diapers, repack the food bag, and then head out to the in-laws to get there by 7p. I opted not to go back inside, and requested that Denis pick up the milk on his way home from dinner tonight.

It was nice to see my in-laws after not seeing them for the last five weeks. Denis was disappointed that they didn't bring back any polverone (powdered sugar candy from the Philippines), but I thanked them for the mango strips regardless. The kids liked the mango, which is kind of good because I could branch out and get more dehydrated fruit snacks, but also bad because the mango was coated in sugar. It was new and different. Nikko got really angry at me because he was touching a plastic flowered lei sitting on a corner table and I didn't want him to play with it, putting it out of reach. He started throwing a fit, jumping and crashing to the floor and whining loudly, but I was firm in not wanting him to play with it. I said No firmly, and gave him big squeezes so I could turn his body away from the corner and redirect him to something else. Something else finally caught his attention and it was forgotten. Nikko was also interested in drinking juice from a glass tonight, so I guess it's something I should really start trying with these kids. I am worried about the spills, but maybe I should get a small shammy to save on paper towels that I'm bound to use on this kid!

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