Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Toddler Head Banging

I just tucked the boys into bed, turn out the lights, and close the bedroom door behind me.  The house is finally quiet and calm.  Just as I sit on the couch next to Zach a steady "bang, bang, bang" comes from the boys room.  I get up and go look in on the boys.  James, 19 months, is sitting with his back against the closet door, banging his head into it.  I put him in bed, go back out to the living room, and before I can even sit down again the banging starts again.  And it lasts anywhere from 5 - 30 or so minutes.

And this has been going on for months.  Close to a year, with a short 2-3 month break in the middle there.  It started in the playpen.  He would literally rock himself to sleep, but if I tried to rock him to sleep he wouldn't sleep at all.  When we moved him to his floor mattress (he absolutely hated his crib, so we threw the mattress on the floor and he loves it) it temporarily stopped.  After a few months it slowly started to happen again, only this time he didn't have the soft flexible sides of the play pen.  He had hard walls to bang on.  The last 2 - 3 months it has gotten worse.  He will bang his head on the wall until he falls asleep and slumps over onto his side.  If he is lucky he is awake enough to crawl to his bed.

Ok so this wasn't taken after a head banging episode, but it is an example of his barely being in bed asleep... flip him around so his head in in bed and that is as close as he gets after banging his head to sleep.

We didn't know what to do about it.  We knew it was his way of soothing himself, and releasing any pent up energy for bed.  But we weren't sure what to do, other than stopping him when he starts banging so hard it sounds like he's going to punch a hole in the wall.

About a week ago Zach finally looked it up online.  (Why didn't I think to do that sooner?)  According to pretty much the whole first page of Google's search "toddler bangs head on wall" it is a soothing/attention getting/pain coping mechanism.  20% of all toddlers do this, with boys being 3 times more likely to do it than girls.  And it peaks between 18 - 24 months.  

One of the suggestions was to provide some sort of soothing rhythm to serve as an alternative to head banging.  Rocking, massage, music, metronome, etc.  We tried turning on classical music for him, but it didn't slow him down one little bit.  I finally downloaded a metronome app on my Kindle and put that right outside his door.  As soon as I turned it on the head banging stopped.  Didn't happen all night.  Same thing the next night.  Then that next morning when he woke up at 5:50 and started banging his head I turned it on again.  Within about 2 minutes the banging stopped.  It has been amazing how just having that rhythmic clicking is enough for him.  It totally soothes and comforts him.  


The thing about James is that he has always loved rhythm.  He loves music, especially when it has a good strong rhythm to it.  The has been thumping rhythms on tables and boxes since he turned about 1.  When I think about it, it doesn't surprise me at all that the metronome comforts him at night.  But I was amazed at how simple a solution it was.  I found the faster he is banging his head the faster the metronome needs to be going, so I can't just leave it on the same setting every single night. 

If you have a head banger I suggest trying something similar.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A fun, yet relaxing weekend...

Halloween night the boys didn't want to dress up, so I put them in "farmer" clothes (so they could match farmer Dad).  We then went and visited/partied with Papa Theron (Grandma Darla was out with her mom).  The boys didn't even realize they missed out on getting candy.  They were to thrilled with seeing Papa and playing with the train set.

Sunday, November 1st was a cool, rainy day.  The boys were about to go nuts cooped up in the house (they were trying to figure out how to turn their beds into slides and jungle gyms). So we decided to head to the park.  Which is covered, lucky for us. While they played Zach and I got to watch the rain and enjoy the thunder.

He couldn't figure out how to go any high than that, thankfully.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin Business

Today I thought it would be fun to carve a jack-o-lantern.  Most years I have several carved by now (Oct. 30).  I guess I'm slacking. Wyler saw me setting up to carve the pumpkin and was instantly interested.  "What you doing Mommy?"

 I showed him pictures of jack-o-lanterns and let him pick a face to carve.  He picked this face and dubbed it scary


We pulled chairs up to the table and cut into the pumpkin.  When it was time to pull the seeds and guts out Wyler dove right in.  (Last year as soon as he touched the slimy innards he took off begging for me to wash his hands.)  He utilized his "seed crane", which is basically his hand but with awesome heavy equipment sounds to go along with it.  After it was gutted he eagerly watched me carve the face he picked out.  On the back of the pumpkin I caved a W for Wyler, since he was an awesome helper.

We then washed the seeds, and roasted them.  I combined these two different recipes.


I boiled the seeds in salt water, then tossed them in oil and BBQ sauce.  We then roasted them for about 15 minutes.  Not sure exactly how they turned out, since they are still to hot to eat (and this is pretty much my first time eating pumpkin seeds I'm gonna wait till Zach is home to try them and pass his verdict).

Here are the end result of our projects:

Wyler was pretty excited to be my pumpkin helper today.  Though it was pretty tiring work.  We had to take a chocolate milk break when we were done.

And to top it all off I now have something to enter into Pinstrosity's Monthly Challenge!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy in October

While I was doing the Answer Me This questions I was posting pretty regularly.  But boy have I fizzled out since that ended...

This month has been pretty busy.  Every Saturday we have had something going on.

The first Saturday and Sunday we had General Conference, which was amazing.  I have been enjoying listening to the talks again.  You can listen to it here.

The next weekend my folks came and spend the night Friday night.  Also it was the Graham County Fair.  We went to the fair Saturday morning while my folks went to the temple.  We then all met up at R&R Pizza for lunch.  Then headed home for some more visiting before they had to take off.  We then went back that night so Wyler could ride a few rides.

After going to the county fair we went by Grandmama Darla and Papa Theron's house.  Wyler made a beeline for the back room and the bag of cars.  They boys sat here and played for a good long while while the adults made hamburgers.

Around that same time Grandma Darla brought over some Halloween balloons for the boys.  They lasted a surprisingly long time.  A few days later Wyler came running down the hall from his bedroom with the balloons.  I don't know what Frankenstein did wrong, but Wyler put him in time out.  And he was there for a good couple hours.   

He was put in time out again the next day, but only for an hour at most...

The next weekend we went to Animas to visit Grammy Paralee and Grandpa Scott for a cousin's baby shower.  We had a grand time visiting.  Wyler found some sunglasses in the toy box and stuck them on the head just like Grandmama Darla wears her sunglasses.

And James absolutely loved the dogs.  It is a good thing Angie is so patient with little kids.

Just last week I started going down to the Easter Arizona College to walk the track around the football field (no sidewalk + living on a busy street = me not wanting to try to walk near my place).  Several friends met us there and we had a wonderful time visiting and running after our kids.  Sadly one of my friends sliced her leg on a bench she ran into... so no walking for her until next week... hopefully.

The next day (a Saturday) I got to get a visit from my parents again, and I also went to a Relief Society crafting day.

On top of all that I have decided to take on the project of making and selling pumpkin bread to try to save up for Christmas.  So far I haven't had many orders.  I hope it picks up soon though.  Otherwise I am not quite sure what to do with my 5 pie pumpkins...

What has your month been like?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dipped Pine Cones

Back in February we went up the mountain with Jessica and Porter Webb to play in the snow.  While up there (right below the snow line) Jessica and I found some really cute small pinecones.  I took a bunch home with me to use for a Christmas craft at some point this year.

Shortly after getting them home I baked the bugs out of them, and put them in my big clear vase until I could decide what to do with them.

Fast forward to last week.  After perusing Pinterset for a good while I finally decided I wanted to dip my pinecones.  What to do with them after that I am still at a loss.

I spread some paper out on my table and plopped a chair on top of that.  I then tied about 20 cones to the bottom of the chair.  I took a paper cup, with the top half cut off, and filled it with paint.  I then proceeded to dip the bottom of the cones in the paint.  I let them dry and then cut them down.  The next night I did about 20 more (I've been doing this at night since I don't want my 3 year old and 1.5 year old helping...)  I still have one more batch to do tonight. 

The lighting in my dining room is annoyingly bad, so I had to bring in another lamp so I could see.  So that is why the lighting in the pictures is really off.