Sunday, November 29, 2009

A weekend with family

Mark had to work on Friday so we drove down to my mom's house Friday night. The kids slept a bit in the car and then we put them straight to bed when we got there. They settled back in nicely and were soon asleep. They've been excited all week about going to Babushka's house. It's been part of Tim's prayers every day--"Thank you I'm so excited we're going to Babushka's house!"

Saturday was a blast. We had lots of people at my mom's house for lunch: 1 from the top generation (my granddad), 4 from my mom's generation, 10 from my generation, and 9 from our kids' generation. Total: 16 adults, 8 kids, and 7 dogs. I was so thankful it was nice outside. ;)

The kids did wonderful and played with their extended family all day. I did put Emily down for a nap in the early afternoon and she was asleep within minutes. I'm sure the other three could have slept as well but they were really doing well. I was watching for some of their typical signs of overload or exhaustion but everyone was doing great so I let them continue playing. The biggest highlight of the weekend for me was with Emily. She did not fling herself on anyone (in part because we didn't let her get to that state of exhaustion) but she did have appropriate contact with people. She was looking at pictures on my cousin's camera and Wendy was sitting down and Emily just leaned against her gently with her hand on Wendy's knee. She didn't wrap her arms around her leg or ask to sit in her lap or any of the other behaviors we have seen in the past with people she doesn't know. At the end of the day when my sister and her husband were leaving, I was holding Emily. I intentionally passed Emily to Jon for a hug, took her back, then passed her to my sister for a hug. In the past, whenever she has had physical contact with people outside of our immediate family she would wake up screaming at night.

She didn't wake up. :) She slept all night long without a problem.

I'm so excited to see Emily's emotional growth as she learns what a family and specifically what a mama and a papa are and do. I was very intentional about the way I passed her to people for hugs. I wanted her to understand that I decide who is acceptable for her to hug and that she is not allowed to just go hug whomever she wants. That was the reason behind passing her to my brother-in-law then taking her back before passing her to my sister. I don't know if it really makes a difference. But it seems to me that even if it's not a conscious difference to her that it may stick subconsciously that "mama is in control and mama lets me hug people who are safe." I'm hoping we can continue to build on her understanding of our role in her world so that she will look to us for guidance as she expands her social network.

All of the kids slept so well Saturday night. :) Sunday they played a little bit but we headed home pretty early to make sure we were home in time to get ready for the week. I really dislike getting home late after a long weekend. We end up having a miserable time at bedtime and it just feels like a bad start to the week. It was great to get home and have the afternoon to unpack and relax at home. Baths and bedtime went really smoothly and they were all asleep within 15 minutes. :)


Tina said...

So glad you guys had a good weekend and that you're seeing great progress with Emily! Hooray!

Sarah Halter said...

Sounds wonderful!

Zack, Jenn and William said...

Sounds like a very happy Thanksgiving weekend for you guys!!