We are the Stow Family and this is our story. Our lives are blessed by Love, Joy and Hope. Follow our sometimes interesting stories on loving our two boys, exploring parenthood, and celebrating a little extra - two parents, two boys and an extra chromosome!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Time outs and other arbitrary happenings

Sorry! You'd think as a writer I could think of a better title, no? Well, my brain is still sleeping this morning as I realise that I haven't updated the blog in over 10 days!

It's not that things have been boring, it's just that there is so much happening that I don't know what to pick to write about - so this post is going to a snippet of a few things!

Time Outs...
We have officially started (and are following through) on Time Outs for Mister Malakai. His antics (hitting his brother on the head repeatedly, throwing things at the TV etc) got to a point where I realised that we had to decide on something and stick to it!
So far, Time Outs have worked wonders! It took Malakai a few tries to figure out what this new thing was all about, and now he's got the hang of it. He doesn't like it - but seems to tolerate it quite well. AND it has curbed his antics really well. He still takes his chances, but we've seen a huge improvement and Harlan isn't getting his poor little head abused!

Malakai is probably most happy when he's helping out around the house - packing away toys, unpacking groceries, helping to pack dishes away... He, like every other toddler, wants to feel as though his efforts are worthwhile. So, whenever I can, I try to include him and give him a 'little job' to perform, which he just loves!
Yesterday, we went to buy bread and milk. I would usually put him in the trolley and push him around, but yesterday I told him nicely that I was going to let him walk only if he stayed by my side. I gave him the bread to carry and he walked through the entire shop, by my side, carrying the bread with the conviction of a Very Important Job.
I just smile when I think of how big he's getting. :)

Both Malakai and Harlan are still teething... can't believe it! How long do these little suckers take to make an appearance? Nevertheless, both boys are drooling up a storm and quite grumpy - shame! Malakai is getting his incisors and Harlan is getting teeth numbers 5 and 6 - can't believe he's already got four teeth!

He's still a super sensitive little guy, but beyond that he's really still very smiley and happy. He's rolling all over the place now and is learning to pull himself into sitting position from his side. He loves standing and give him half a chance and he won't let you put him down.  Crawling is not too far off either, I think we'll have a mobile-baby within the next month or so. I am just wondering how I am going to deal with two mobile children... But I will cross that bridge when I get to it I suppose!

Finding a School for Malakai
Last winter we took Malakai out of school - he was there for only about 3 months, but he just got so terribly sick all the time. If it wasn't tummy bugs it was pneumonia or a runny nose - it was never ending. In those three months, Malakai lost about 2kgs and really looked so thin - gaunt actually.
So, I totally believe we did the right thing by bringing him back home. He got healthy, gained his weight back and even went through a developmental growth spurt in many areas.
But now, 6 months later, I am seeing signs that Malakai is ready to go back to school - at least for mornings. He seems really frustrated and bored with what's on offer at home and I can tell he would get so much out of a fun and loving environment where he can socialise and do new things every day.
So I've been looking... and looking... and looking... Hopefully I find the right place soon!

Our edible garden
I've finally started my own edible garden - yay! I am so excited! I must admit I was inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal Vegetable Miracle, which I read almost 4 years ago already! Since then I've dreamed of growing my own food - or rather attempting to grow my own food.
So, we've got three different kinds of tomatoes, lettuce, spinage, green peppers, artichokes, asparagus, onions, spring onions, butternut, beans, carrots, strawberries and a variety of herbs.
I stand every night and water my little 'crop' of vegetables and just feel... well... right. Aaaahhhh.

Working from home
Since leaving my job in June, I've been blessed enough to work from home. I am excited about what I'm doing and looking into the future... I must say I am not a patient person, so sometimes I get a little frustrated that things are not happening fast enough - but then I just remember that there is so much I want to do and I can't do everything at once.

Things are knitting together, like a wonderful colourful tapestry blanket. I have simplified my life, I am working from home, I am more available to my children during the day and can watch them grow, I can tend to my new edible garden and hopefully use this to feed my family - from the earth to my family's dinner plates! Things do not always run smoothly, and I hyperventilate sometimes when Uncertainty comes a-knocking... but for the most part, when looking at the Bigger Picture, I am happy. Yes. Happy.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This 'n That...

Well, we are officially in summer! Yay! We hardly had a spring-time at all and seem to have just been thrown in the deep end - long bright sunny hot days, followed by cool nights... It's been lovely! No more dressing the boys in layers upon layers of clothes - just a t-shirt and shorts... yay!

Malakai loves being able to run around barefoot - keeping shoes on him this past winter was a challenge I tell you! The boys just love spending most of the day outside, in their garden, playing in the sandpit, the water table and the jungle-gym! If only we could get some rain now... It's been six months since our last rain - my garden is dead and the air (although beautifully warm) is carrying so much dust!

As for Malakai - he continues to go through a spurt in communication and fine motor development. He is saying more words more consistently now and even attempting two word phrases like 'more please'! I am so proud of my little monkey.

On the flip-side, Malakai is also determined to hit Harlan on the head with anything he can find and when he can't get near him, then he throws things at his head - and he's got a really good aim! We are trying various approaches to this problem, and so far nothing is working...

As for Harlan - he's becoming more mobile and adventurous with his body. He's a happy smiley boy, really! He adores Malakai, even if he's a bit nervous of him at times because he knows he gets hit on the head sometimes... oh no...

Both boys are teething up a storm! Malakai is getting his incisors and Harlan is getting teeth (just don't know which yet) because he's drooling up a storm and refusing solid food. Mama's not getting much sleep with these goings-on!

I thought I would leave everyone with a few pictures - long overdue!

Big Blue Eyes!

I love this one of Harlan!

Hooligan Malakai - In the car driving through the Lion Park

Malakai just loves water and playing in his water table

Both boys enjoying their jungle gym

Happy boy!

Smiling despite his snotty blocked nose!

Just loved this one - Harlan's big blue eyes!

Malakai talking to Harlan - I love it when he's gentle

Another big smile!

Getting teeth?

Playing in the washing basket

Cruising at the zoo

Learning to catch the ball - big boy!