like most of the US, our little neck of the woods is experiencing winter. it is good, mostly because i dont have any reason to go outside much.
an update on Anatoly: he is a different kid without dairy. not just in positive ways, it is like a mask was lifted off of him. less crying, less agony. somewhat better nights. he is as different without dairy as he was after we quit just lactose. but he's still an unusual boy.
he has begun to pretend. he brings an empty hand to his mouth as if it were food, and will do the same for you. but he does this even when he is upset. he does it as a response to questions. how are you? hand-to-mouth twice 'da! mmmm, da!'. that is new. he has no sense of personal space, and gets in ours in odd, painful ways. he cannot just hug- he has to press his chin into my neck and face with enormous strength and if i resist he will fit into a huge tantrum. my hands must be in the right place. he will move them, and if he can't, again it will dissolve into agony. he hits and hurts and it wears me so down i can't even say. he bites. not just a little. and shows no mercy when he does- laughing and giggling and running off as if he didnt just bite through your skin. the peeing. he can't help it. he pees all over the house. i can't keep him dressed.
scratching. i try to keep his nails short.
last night we were up a lot, listening to Anatoly scream the most horrible, loud, full-body scream for hours. hours. this used to be an every night thing. but last night was the first whole night screamfest in a few weeks. there wasn't a diet slip-up. unless, of course, he has further food allergies. after Christmas, i think,we will try to eliminate other things. anyway with the screaming, i would find a way to hold him that would make it stop and he might appear to be asleep draped over me, but if i moved or even thought about moving the scream would begin again, just where it left off. how could that noise come from his body? he screamed so loudly that Henry, our big pyr pup, came as close to the house as he could and barked for a long time.
one last note about Anatoly. he cannot be with strangers. leaving the house is fine. driving is all right. going into the store is at your own risk. but face-to-face with strangers, be they fellow shoppers who want to know "what's wrong, little boy? why are you so upset?" or the well-meaning doctor's staff who want him to get off the floor, is not doable. which makes it really interesting that we have an appointment for an evaluation on the 31st with a pediatric neurologist. because we don't have a car we all fit in, it will have to be just me and Rome and Toly.
the kids got Grandparent O'Melay Christmas presents early. so fun. Kassi a baby doll with handmade clothing (and i got the patterns!) and new winter boots and hair clips. Tristan a new winter coat & Final Fantasy 4 ds which is so beyond his age but he is already mastering. Anatoly received an electronic toy which he turns on and off. when it turns on it makes a little song and Toly says, like a question, "Fun?!" it's really really cute. Rome also got an electronic toy (these are few & far between in our home and are thus much loved) and of course Toly has claimed it as well.Even I got presents- 10 or 12 skeins of Cascade 220! 2 knitting books and stitch markers! and those babydoll patterns. very wonderful.Karl's parents are going to visit in the spring and (shh! don't tell!) they are bringing a huge outdoor trampoline for the kids.
I received the best gift ever from a friend- 7 fuzzi bunz in the mail! why is this a gift for me? well, Toly actually keeps these on. they must be softer or fit better or something, because he will wear them. and we have made it through the night with them no leaks. Thank You! as much as i love my wool covers, where we are right now with Toly demands something different.
Everyone has new pajamas from my family. even me! the kids each have 2 carter's footie type pajamas. pajamas are nice- our kids wear them all day on cold days like this.
And we have a modest pile of presents for Christmas day- all things we gave a great deal of thought. all things they sort of needed. well, mostly.a lot of shared gifts, though i know they will all share them, these were our intentions.
Tristan & Kassi: potholder loom, Schleich tournament knight
Tristan: 3 eyewitness books (ancient rome, greece & egypt) 4 bellerephon coloring books about egypt, rome, knights and armor. Harry Potter OOTP DS, new twin blanket for bunk bed
Kassi: her first My Little Pony (this is going to make her year. and it was a hard choice... plastic and all.) Schleich fairy on pony holding baby, new twin blanket for bunk bed, some more hair things, 4 dover coloring books about fairies and unicorns
Kassi & Anatoly: folding play kitchen, stainless kitchen pots/ tools set
Anatoly: Schleich unicorn, Melissa & Doug block set
It is really hard to find candy that is both good and dairy-free. my kids arent really into sugar-candy, they like chocolate and cake and cookie type candy. so i dont think they will have candy this year.
I finished the Totoro sweater last night. pictures to come. as promised: