Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Super Stretchy ABC's

The boys received Dr. Seuss Super Stretchy ABC's as a birthday gift from a friend.  What a great game!

 The game comes with a Twister like mat with letters A-Z and a board complete with a tornado to insert the letters into slots where two feet, two hands and an ear.  On the child's turn they spin the tornado and have to go to the mat and figure out how to get their feet, hands and ear on their respective letters at the same time!  What a great way for kids to learn/reinforce letter recognition and motor planning practice.  The letter tokens are two sided so they can come out either with a picture of an object that the child has to find or know what letter it starts with or the letter itself.
 For every letter they are able to put their feet, hands and ear on (the ear is definitely the hardest!) they collect it in a little toy box.  There are also footprint tokens and when they come out, you put them in the purple path (pictured).  When the footprints reach the door the game is over and the mystery letter is revealed.  Whoever has the mystery letter wins!  If no one has the mystery letter, Thing 1 and Thing 2 win!


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Halloween with my Sensory Boy!

For the first time in two years we had Halloween!  This was the first Halloween we have had since we knew my son Liam has a sensory processing disorder.  We are also anxiously awaiting our appointment with a developmental pediatrician to determine whether or not Liam is on the spectrum or if anything else is going on.  This is also the first Halloween we have had since our boys are old enough to understand the concept of trick or treating!

 

As many fellow sensory parents know, Halloween can be challenging for children who don't like change or new situations or unknown places.  We started the week of Halloween off with a local pumpkinfest where our son Caleb had a pumpkin on display.  It also allowed to us practice our trick or treat skills as we stopped for candy at the various treat stations along the festival route.  Caleb was Woody from Toy Story, Jake was Iron Man and Liam was slated to be Buzz.  He had put on the costume a couple of weeks before without incident.  When it came time to go to the pumpkinfest he refused the costume, but he went.  The decorations freaked him out and he stayed in the baby carrier the whole time, but he participated.

As Halloween got closer Liam kept telling me that Halloween was closed or that he will stay in the house.  The day of Halloween arrived.  He is in an inclusion class at his preschool so they do not do costumes, they simply had an orange and black party the day of Halloween where everyone brought in treats and they wore there self made bat hats.  No worry about costumes there.  Daddy got home from work early, we tried to give the boys some dinner and it was time to put on the costumes!!  Jake eagerly put on his Iron Man costume, Caleb jumped into his Woody costume and then it was time to see if Liam would put on his Buzz costume.


 "I can't do it mommy, I can't put on my costume."  I find when Liam says he can't do something, he generally means it.  The good news is he was willing to put on his sweatshirt and come outside with us.  I put him in the baby carrier and away we went trick or treating.  Through my trial and error over the past year and half figuring out what works and what doesn't, I have found our "baby carrier" to be invaluable.  It allows Liam the comfort of being close to me and provides some proprioceptive input to ease his anxiety.


We went to about 10-15 houses.  We took turns ringing doorbells and said trick or treat and thank you.  Everyone was done after an hour, as it started to drizzle and it was time to head home and pick out one treat to have before bed!  Liam was so happy to be home but I am so proud he went out and tried this new experience.  It is so important to me that he at least tries.  I find I often do a balancing act; figuring out when to push him and when to pull back.  I am not always right, I often struggle to find the right strategy or just to hold it together.  As the five of us sat on the living room floor and reviewed our candy choices, I asked Liam what he was for Halloween.  His response?  "A sweatshirt mommy."  This years Halloween may not have been perfect, but I would not have it any other way!


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sale on Weighted Blankets!

This is not so much a blog post as it is a plug for a sale going on at my Etsy shop called Three High Chairs.  As mentioned in my previous posts, my son Liam has Sensory Processing Disorder and last month I decided to open my own shop on Etsy called Three High Chairs where I offer affordable weighted blankets and lap pads proven to help children and adults suffering from sensory processing disorder, autism/ASD, ADHD, restless leg syndrome or those who like extra pressure or a heavy blanket to calm down or fall asleep.

October is Sensory Processing Disorder Awareness month and as a result, I am offering a 5% discount on Toddler blankets by entering code 5OCTSPD at checkout and a 10% discount on Twin weighted blankets by entering code 10OCTSPD

My etsy shop can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/threehighchairs
Almost all of my blankets are custom made where the seller chooses the fabric and the weight and I make the blanket.

Come check us out!










Friday, October 18, 2013

Scrub a Dub Dub Three Boys in a Tub

Over these past four years I feel like bath time has always been a challenge.  When the boys were babies it was hard because we bathed them in the sink x 3 which meant we had to fill the tub with warm water three times and resulted in bath time taking close to an hour.  As the boys got older it got complicated depending on how many sets of hands were home to help.  If my husband was home we could bathe them together and it could be relatively quick, but if it was a solo job I had to take them to the tub one at a time and I was back to it taking close to an hour.  Once my son's (Liam) sensory issues began around the age of 2 we always had to worry about temperature and screaming.  Sometimes he loved the bath and it was fine, sometimes he hated the bath and he screamed through the whole thing.  We never knew which one we were going to get and we still don't.

This past year as my boys navigated the age of 3 and are in the independent age of 4 just getting them to go the bathroom to take a bath has been a challenge.   Recently, while I was at the grocery store I discovered these bath pellets made by Crayola where you can change the bath water different colors. The container comes with red, blue and yellow so that you can make any color you want.  Now when it is a bath night we just ask what color they want their bath and they get so excited to see their chosen color and figure out what pellets to mix to make new colors!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Puzzle Storage Wars

So we have this Melissa and Doug puzzle with lots and lots and lots of letters.  The puzzle comes with about ten wooden boards for your child to spell three and four letter words with the letters.  I love this puzzle.  It is educational, one of my little guys loves letters, it is a win win.  The drawback to this puzzle, it comes in a wooden box with a compartment for the wooden boards and a compartment for the letters but there is no lid.  This means when I am not looking the little letters crawl out of the box and scatter around my living room constantly.  At least that is how it feels.

As a solution I got elastic food storage covers (they are basically different sized shower caps) and I stretched it over the top of the box.  Now we have a lid that my little guys can easily take on and off when they want to use the puzzle.  But when the puzzle is not in use, all the letters stay neatly in the box and no longer scatter around my living room when I am not looking.




Monday, September 9, 2013

Weighted Down

One of my little guys, Jake, had to have eye surgery at the end of the summer.  We had timed it as best as we could to allow him to play, swim, run, jump, ride bikes, and generally have fun before the big day.  You see, once Jake had the eye surgery he would be required to remain relatively sedentary and could not get his eyes wet for six whole weeks.  The doctor would be cutting into his eye muscles and shortening them 5cm each to hopefully train his brain to no longer cross his eyes.  Keeping any three, almost four year, old calm and relatively sedate for six minutes seemed highly impossible to me let alone for six whole weeks.  This was without me adding his two same aged brothers into the mix who like to play chase and wrestle and generally run around together where head to head collisions are the norm rather than the exception.

Jake is an especially bouncy kid.  He loves to sing and dance and crash into the couch just because.  The idea that he was not going to run around and bang his head seemed an impossibility.  Since one of my other sons, Liam has sensory processing disorder I became very aware of the various items used in treating children with sensory issues.  While Jake does not have sensory processing disorder, he has poor motor skills and muscle tone and we have found he responds well to extra weight when, as I like to say, he has ants in his pants. I started researching weighted lap pads and blankets knowing that the weight helped Jake during circle time at school and he generally loves to wrap himself up in blankets.

When I looked at the prices I knew that it would be a hefty investment that was not in our budget.  After doing research, I decided I could figure out how to make a weighted blanket on my own.  I went to the fabric store and Jake got to pick out his fabric, super heroes of course, and that night I set out to make a blanket.  By the next afternoon I had completed a 5 pound weighted blanket for my little guy.  He adores it!  Fast forward two weeks, Jake underwent the surgery and afterwards he cuddled up with me under the weighted blanket and fell asleep.  The blanket worked!!  The surgery was really successful and Jake has been doing an awesome job of keeping calm with a little help from his blanket and matching lap pad.


After doing all this, I decided to open up my own Etsy shop called Three High Chairs.  My goal is to make affordable weighted lap pads, weighted toddler blankets and weighted twin blankets so that parents in a similar situation to mine do not have to break the bank.  Check it out at http://www.etsy.com/shop/threehighchairs



Monday, August 5, 2013

Travelling with Toys



We take lots of road trips with our little ones.  Mostly because the prospect of flying on an airplane with my triplets not only terrifies me but the cost is prohibitive.  As a result, any vacation we have ever taken has been via car.  We have a Honda Pilot with three car seats in the middle row and lots of trunk space in the back (we always keep the back row of seats folded down).  Caleb, Jake and Liam’s first road trip was at six months old when we drove to Charleston, SC to spend Passover with family.  The amount of baby related equipment and items we brought with us was staggering.  Two strollers, three pack and plays, suitcases full of clothes, diapers, baby food, bouncy seats, toys, etc.  I could barely see out the back window of the car. 

As the boys have gotten older we have been able to reduce the amount of equipment.  Last year we gave up on the pack and plays since Liam would climb out and sleep with us anyway.  Just last month we took our first road trip without the stroller now that the boys want to walk more and I have a carrier for Liam when he is feeling anxious.  Even with less equipment, we still needed to make room for all the toys.  Anytime we pack up the car to embark on our next adventure I am reminded of the scene in A League of Their Own when Tom Hanks’ is trying to get everyone loaded on the bus and one of the players emerges from the house overloaded with her little boys' toys.  Tom Hanks declares how they cannot leave for the World Series without Stillwell's toys.  That is my life. 

Last holiday season I found these fantastic back packs in BJ’s that unzipped into different scenes for the boys to play with on the go.  We got one car backpack, one dinosaur backpack, and one rocket ship backpack. 


 

When I had to attend a meeting with all three boys in tow, I used the backpacks and it worked out great.  They were able to bring along a small number of toys, a coloring book and crayons and the boys were able to each carry their own pack.  Finally one less thing for me to carry!! Now when we take road trips the rule is that we bring the three backpacks and a few toys that can fit inside.  Usually it consists of whatever came with the backpack (cars, dinosaurs, astronauts), a coloring book, crayons, and a couple of small favorites.  This makes my life a little less cluttered when we travel and I am always prepared with something to distract the boys when we are on a road trip or at a meeting or other out of the house function where they need to find something else to do besides running around in circles!!