Monday, January 17, 2011

Where we're at

The Ryan kids are growing up. It seems each day, one of them is reminding how quickly time flies.
Gavin: He has been a challenge for me lately. He is usually such a sweet, obedient child and has definitely taken on a stubborn, sneaky streak. Part of the problem, I am sure, is that he's trying to drop his naps. I know at four and a half, I am lucky it lasted this long, but that kid NEEDS his sleep. He is quite the grouch without it and will break down crying at a moments notice or throw a fit over the smallest thing. He also has developed quite the penchant for hitting his brother (when I am not looking) and then lying about it. All this to say...I literally sit there dumb founded as to what I should do.
Shawn and I are trying. We have put discipline in place and remained pretty consistent with him. We are definitely getting a run for our money. After lots of chats about lying, he's doing better at telling the truth. After getting hit back by his brother, he's starting to understand the cause and effect of that one. And we are just working on consistency with the fit thing. Same punishment doled out each time...every time we send him to to his room, he acts like he's shocked and so mad. I almost want to laugh...he knows it's coming and you can even ask him during a sane moment what happens when he throws a fit. He'll tell you exactly what would happen to him...why he does it, I don't know. I really think the sleep is a large part of it, but frankly, it's not an excuse to behave like a pill.
On the flip side, he is getting quite smart and capable at doing things himself. He writes his name, will copy words I have put on paper for him, he's great with scissors, loves to count things out, order his numbers, and LOVES mazes! He questions how everything works and is constantly wanting to do and try new things. He definitely is mastering some of the fine motor skills which are handy: zipping and snapping, putting on shoes, getting out snacks (when I tell him) and pouring things into bowls or opening up packages. It's awesome...what a helper!
He also adores Amanda and the feeling is quite mutual. He is so sweet with her and loves to take care of her. He gets her toys, coos to her, rocks her, holds things for her and generally just loves on her. The best part is, he is not overbearing and really seems to understand her space, toughness and delicacy all at the same time. I love it!
Brayden is nearly three and seems to be getting so big. He is taking on big sentences, can explain things to you and plays with Gavin far better than he used to. He likes to talk on the phone, but he is at that stage where his brain moves faster than his mouth and he has taken up a small stutter. I remember this with Gavin and am working on my patience as he tries to spit out what he wants to say. He plays by himself very well and can entertain himself for hours with his new fire house and fire truck he got for Christmas. He loves to laugh and entertain us with antics and songs he made up. He for sure thinks he is a big boy and it is funny to see the mannerisms he adopts when he's trying to come off all cool and in charge.
Unlike Gavin, Brayden is not sneaky. If he is going to be defiant, he will most definitely do it right to our face. "No!" is not an uncommon word to hear pouted or shouted out of his mouth. We are really working with him on not being rude and using a gentle voice.
Brayden has also learned the fine art of tattling. This is tough because often the boys will be happily playing and he'll come crying "Gavin hit me." Well, this could range from Gavin trying to hand him something that he doesn't want all the way to Gavin smacking him on the head. never really can tell (unless you see the obvious markings). We have had to work with both of them on asking their brother to stop, before heading out to find a referee.
Amanda is just super fun right now. She is so alert and cooey. She laughs all the time and even if she wakes up crying, the minute she sees someone she pops into smiles and grins. She is putting on a little weight and we definitely notice her getting bigger. We get a great deal of people stopping to tell us how smiley she seems and how nice her eyes are (thank you daddy for the blue eyes and long lashes...thank you God for handing them to the girl, too, this time). We really have been getting a kick out of her and starting to enjoy her more as an active part of the family. She is even the centerpiece at the dinner table, because the boys always want her to sit in the middle of the table on her bumbo chair. It's been fun!
That's the update there. Overall, it's going well. The pants seem to be getting shorter on everyone and somedays, I don't feel like I can keep up with how fast they are growing and supplying them with all they need emotionally, physically and spiritually. So I pray for wisdom...and patience...and more wisdom. May our great Lord grant it to me in abundance and may I be ever mindful of the abundance He has already blessed me with, in providing me with these children in the first place!

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