We did a 5K!

Lovebug and I completed a 5K this morning!  They had a Family Fun Run/Walk 5K on post this morning.  I’ve been working on a Couch-to-5K program and hoping to run one at the end of April when Hubby is home, but I thought it would be fun to go out and walk this one with Lovebug and just enjoy being outside on a beautiful day.

We did more than that!  I ended up jogging almost the entire thing, with Bug right by my side.  It was a gorgeous day, and running outside was a lot more fun than the treadmill!  Sometimes I was jogging a lot slower than other times, for sure – but I never stopped moving!  Bug kept right up with me, running a lot, jogging some, and walking for breaks.  Sometimes, she would run up ahead of me (to a designated point where I could see her) and then wait for me.  She’d sprint & stop, while I jogged.

Along the way, an 8 year old boy and Bug were running together.  His dad and friends were running a little behind me.  The kids would race hard to a telephone pole, a certain tree, or a fire hydrant – then they give the grownups a few seconds to catch up a bit before sprinting to the next spot.

The mini-races helped keep her spirits up without wearing her out too much.  The hysterical entertainment helped keep my mind off the fact that I was running!  There were no mile markers either, so I had no idea how far I’d gone until the end was in sight.

We were on the streets for the majority of it, then finished back at the track where we started for the final lap around the track.  It was awesome crossing the line – people were clapping and everything! It felt so good to just FINISH!  It felt even better to finish with people behind me…I wasn’t last!  Lovebug and I ran the last lap around the track hand-in-hand and finished strong together!

Our time was 47:57.  Laughable to anyone who actually RUNS these regularly I’m sure, but I was jogging….with a 6 year old…who was wearing Crocs.  I’d say that’s pretty darn good!

She was worn out, but LOVED it! Might be time to get her some good tennis shoes so she can really run with me.  She already wants to do the Family Fun 5K in April!

No more training wheels!

Lovebug is now riding her bicycle on just 2 wheels! I am so incredibly proud of her!

2303

She’s been riding her bike with training wheels for quite a while, and we weren’t in a hurry to take them off because her balance and motor skills just weren’t ready.  She can be a bit of a perfectionist which leads to extreme frustration (i.e fits & meltdowns) when things don’t go just right. We knew that the balance issue was hard for her, so it was inevitable that she would fall or struggle a little bit. Things like the bike not turning the way she wants it to, or hitting a bump and falling over were likely to cause a major meltdown, so we just waited and let her take it at her own pace for a while.

This past week we knew she was ready!  She has done absolutely amazing this past month with her attitude, her control, her ability to understand things – just overall we’ve seen a lot of growth and maturity.  Her Sensory Processing issues have been at a minimum because she’s getting plenty of input running around, digging in the dirt, & going up and down the stairs.

We decided to go for it!  We used a method that had been tried and true for some friends of ours that taught multiple kids in a single day how to ride with 2 wheels.

We took off the training wheels, took off the pedals, and lowered the seat all the way so her feet could be flat on the ground.  Then, we took her to the end of our street and had her walk the bike down the slight incline with her feet.  She would walk with her feet, then push-glide.  This allowed her to really feel when the bike was balanced but her feet her right there to just put on the ground when needed.

Walking the bike

 

For a while she just couldn’t understand what we meant when we told her she would “feel” the balance, but finally she called out “I feel it!!!” and we knew she got it!

Push-Gliding

 

We practiced like this for a few days, and then we put the pedals back on. Oh the JOY in her face!!!  She keeps saying “Please don’t put the training wheels back on” and we keep reminding her that once they come off, we don’t need to ever put them back on.

Riding on 2 wheels!!

 

She had a few bumps along the way.  She had to learn not to over-correct when steering, and that the faster she is going, the smaller corrections she needs to make.  But instead of getting frustrated and throwing a fit, she would just stop and say “why is this happening?” and then she’d work to figure it out after listening – really listening – to our advice.

She also fell off once, and we could tell she was about to get really discouraged.  We knew she wasn’t injured badly (no blood or even cuts), so we acted excited about her “first fall”!  I told her it was great that she feel off the bike because now she knew what it felt like to fall and she didn’t have to be scared of falling anymore.  Our reaction diffused the situation and she hopped right back up to try again.  I don’t even know how to describe how HUGE this is for her.  I’ve spent 30 minutes with her crying over bumping into a wall before.  She’s growing up…and maturing…and handling her SPD so so much better!

We talked about fear during these practice days too.  There would be times that she would say “I’m scared!”, and we had a chance to talk about how our fears work.  When we are doing something new our fears take over and we end up making the situation so huge and scary in our minds – much more than it should be – that we actually make it worse.  Once we face those fears head on, we win!  When Lovebug had a couple moments of being scared, I reminded her that God is with her and that fear does not come from him.  When we let fear win, we let the enemy win, but when we are brave then God wins.  Being brave does not mean NOT being scared.  Being brave means being scared to do something, but doing it anyway!

We were practicing on our street and as she rode down the street, she had to steer in between 2 cars parked on either side.  She had to learn quickly that when you look down you don’t control the bike – it controls you.  When you look straight ahead – where you want to go – you control the bike.

So many life lessons in learning to riding a bike, don’t you think?

She couldn’t wait to go back out to ride the bike again yesterday! This time she wanted to ride it to the park near our house, and she even ended up riding it across some grass (which I think is a bit harder than on the cement).  She’s still working on the starting up process, since it requires a bit more balance to jump on and start pedaling, but she’s doing it on her own.

What a milestone!! What a great memory for our first house in the Army!  Before I know it, she’ll be jumping on that bike saying “See ya for dinner, Mom!” and riding off into the sunset.  Hopefully that day doesn’t come too quickly!

2290

What to do with a very active child in a hotel

I’ve talked before about our trampoline – the best thing ever – and how Lovebug uses it every single day to help burn up some of her excess energy.  We are now on day 16 in a hotel and we have another week to go before we’ll be in our house with our household goods, so we’ve been making the best of it, but boy, do I miss that trampoline!!

Thankfully, we’ve been able to get out & about almost every day which helps a ton, but for those days we are stuck in the hotel and Lovebug’s energy is bursting at the seams we make use of the hotel’s gym!

IMAG1316

Hubby and I have taken her in there with us several times.  She sits on the side and reads a book while we do our workouts.  Then, once we are done and can supervise her, we put her to work on the elliptical machine!  Don’t worry, it’s not even on! That doesn’t stop her though.  She spends several minutes “running” and exercising her arms which helps use up some of her extra energy while giving her a thrill.  She thinks it’s so fun that she begs us to do it! When she’s done, we have her do some bicep curls and exercises with 3 lbs weights for some heavywork.

It’s all about being flexible and working with the tools at hand!

Taking care of a sick, sensitive kiddo

My sweet Lovebug has been sick for a couple days with allergies.  Nothing major for most people…a little runny nose, a few sneezes & sniffles, and some coughing.  However, for a kid with SPD, it makes everything seem so much worse.  That barely there runny nose feels like someone smeared Vasoline under your nose.  The cough has made her throat hurt like what I can only imagine sandpaper on my tonsils would feel like.  She also really got down because she thought she was the only one dealing with these allergies.  No one else ever gets sick like this!  As hard as it is to believe, she really had it in her head that she was the only one this was happening too.  This is something she does…she gets fixated on what’s happening to her – allergies, a paper cut, a blister – and she thinks she’s the only one this ever happens to.  Like she’s got the market on complaining about this particular ailment.  But, it’s not in a drama queen sort of way…she really feels like it’s only happening to her, and she gets frustrated and confused about why no one else is struggling with this.  Once I remind her that lots of people deal with that issue, and assure her it’s “normal”, then she’s more able to move on.

We are a very natural remedy kind of household, so I’m breaking out our favorites for these symptoms.   Warm lemon & honey water to drink,  spoonfuls of honey to help the cough, Ricola cough drops to soothe the sore throat, Vicks vapor rub, and lots of water and rest.  Normally we can knock out sinus and allergy trouble quickly this way.

Yesterday went great.  She drank the lemon & honey.  She loved the smell of the Vicks so much that she didn’t complain about the feeling of it on her chest.  We made some progress.

Today was another story.  After a night of restless sleep due to coughing, a busy morning at church, & an entire afternoon of coughing she was worn out physically and mentally.   We had a meltdown in the bathtub tonight because she couldn’t get the lid back on the bubble bath.  (Did you know that the “Lefty-Loosy, Righty-Tighty” thing only works if you are looking at the TOP of the circle you are turning….not if you focus on the bottom of the circle! Go ahead, look for yourself.)  She was frustrated…and tired…and frustrated….and tired…not a pretty combination.

We finally got out of the bath after getting the lid on the bubble bath (which was now empty because in all the frustration it ended up floating, top off, in the tub while we were in the next room dealing with the meltdown), got her in jammies, and went to blow dry her hair.  At some point during the blow drying, she was thinking about how cold she was, which led to thinking about her favorite feet PJs from the last 2 winters (she didn’t grow much).  She asked where they were, and I reminded her that a) they were finally too small, and b) she refused to wear them most of last winter because the seams on the feet bothered her.   She started crying sad tears like she had lost her favorite puppy.  That ended with me reassuring her that I still have the feet pajamas in the keepsake box, and me agreeing to go to Target soon (tomorrow?) to see if they have feet pajamas in her size that feel comfortable to her.

All good?  Moving on….

Time to get ready for bed, but first a nice warm lemon & honey to calm her down and help her throat/cough.   This girl that LOVES lemonade started complaining that the lemon & honey was “too tart”.  I adjusted it once with more sweetener, but really, it was fine.  She was just tired.  So I had to put my foot down and make her drink it.  It’s SO hard to know when to stand firm with a SPD kid.  Is this just typical child behavior, or is this really a sensory issue?  Gotta pick the battles carefully.  I decided based on her past performance and lemonade consumption that this was just typical tired child behavior and decided to make her drink it.  We watched Daddy read a bedtime story on the computer while she drank it.  It took a lot longer than it should have, but she got it down.

At this point, it was about an hour after she should have been in bed.  I wanted to skip the rocking her in the swing and singing to her so she could go straight to bed, but I know that the change in routine would only cause worse problems than me just sucking it up for another 5 minutes.   Again, her sensory issues, and her Aspie tendency to freak out if the routine changes have to take priority.  I have to look at the situation and determine if she’s so tired she can’t handle the rocking/swinging, or if it would help.  Would breaking the routine cause more problems than dealing with an overtired girl for a few more minutes?

We did the rocking.  In the cuddle swing in her room, with me pushing while singing 2 songs.  Then to bed.

That went well, but then I put the Vicks on her chest.  Last night, this went completely fine.  Tonight, the Vicks was too cold, too sticky, & too smelly.  I finally convinced her to let it soak in a bit, then wipe it off on the jammies and at least inhale it.  After a few minutes of inhaling the vapors, I took her in a baby wipe to wipe it off, and another spoonful of honey for the throat.  Probably should have rinsed the teeth after that, but I wanted it to coat her throat too – tough call.

All in all, it was a rough 2 hours.  However, I will say that it was so much better than before the gluten-free diet!  I’ll be posting more detail about the improvements we’ve seen very soon, but there were so many times during this evening that I thought, “this would have been SO much worse a couple months ago!”.   I’ll take it!