Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Small Challenges

Sometimes it's the little milestones or accomplishments or challenges that arise for Ashton that I think mark her growth and maturity. Big ones of course count, but I'm more fascinated by the unique ones that maybe aren't across the board for everyone.

Now her sleeping, that is a big one for us. And it has been up and down, good and bad for many months. One thing seems to work and then just stops. Well, for the last week we've been doing GREAT on sleeping through the night!

We were in Lowes getting more bricks for the front yard work, and came across this paper desk lamp. Way too big for a night light... yet still... so I bought it. I put in on her night stand and with that on and Kiara in her bed, Ashton has been sleeping through the night! It's like haveing a lamp not a night light, but somehow it has been working. Again it's only been a week, but still a victory. I just hope it lasts.

We used to just keep her closet or room light on. And that only sort of worked. But now Ashton asks to have her door closed (which I think helps a lot - with 6 dogs and 3 cats, it should cut down the noise quite a bit). And she's out. She still stalls and tries not to go to bed, so by the end of the nightly routine I just tell her she can stay up, but must remain in bed. Eventually, she'll call out to have Kiki on her bed and then the door closed. Within minutes she's out.

She fell out of bed twice the first week she got her big girl bed. We ended up buying pool foam noodles and using those as blockers to stop her from rolling out. Much cheaper than a couple of bed guard rails. But she doesn't even need the noodles anymore. She's adjusted.

Of course with a positive in the right direction there has to be set backs in other areas. And there are. Ashton has been great with potty training. but in the last week or two, has "leaked" right before she realizes she has to go. Once she saturated herself, poor baby. We don't scold her or shame her. We calmly tell her it's an accident and change her and remind her to try and go more often. Well, as that wasn't working and she was peeing herself a few times a day, getting worse, we decided to change tactics. No chips, no popsicles, no snacks of any kind (except carrots and cheese) unless she makes it through the night, then she can choose her reward. We also are asking her more often if she has to go or urge her to try.

Yesterday was the first successful day. She got her green popsicle she was pleading for all day right before bed. Hopefully, we can do a few days in a row. Curious to see how today plays out.

Ashton also has been having trouble "beginning" to play on the violin. She has her stance and bow hold. And she's played correctly since the beginning. But recently when she's to play her first note, she has been starting by moving the bow up not down. So we've been doing little reminders and exercises to remember to start down. It's been a bit of a struggle, hit or miss.  If she doesn't get it by her recital in 2 weeks, it's not the end of the world. But it'd be nice to show that she does know it.

But as any 3 year old, she still runs and constantly falls on the sidewalk, no matter how many times we tell her not to. She's covered in boo-boos, head, elbows, knees... But kids love to run... we try only in the grass, but if the dogs are out... she goes where she can run. And like her friend and neighbor kid they always tumble. Just life of a toddler.

She has been playing more with Ms. G our other neighbor kid as it's been warming up outside. They've been riding together and playing "tea". Ashton loves to make her food and drinks. But if Mr. D comes, it's running time and they always get hurt. But after a band-aid she's always magically better.

And I prefer her running than eating gravel.  I mean, really?  She likes to pick up gravel from the ground and eat it! Why? She's going to ruin her teeth, choke, or get sick. I don't see the appeal. So that's been a constant silly battle lately as we've been outside more.

Ashton loves walking Dawson or Skylar or Kiara around the neighborhood. She would rather walk Khaleesi like her mommy does, but she can't comprehend that she can't walk her like she can the other pups. But we've been getting our daily walks in together. I usually do about 3 laps in the neighborhood. Ashton can do about one. She biked once rather than walk a dog and that went well. I'm really enjoying our walks together. Though every time she finds a stick she grabs it and says it's her lightsaber and she waves it at me with "phew-phew" noises. She treats it more like a wand from "Harry Potter" than a "Star Wars" lightsaber, but hey it makes her happy. We just have to stop her from bringing all the twigs in the house.

So anyhow, these are her small changes, accomplishments, and challenges she's been doing as of late. I'm sure in a couple months some of these won't have changed and others will arise. But these are our daily things we're doing or working on together. The life of a 3.5 year old!
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