Friday, January 30, 2009

Both boys went to the barber today. Though I've been cutting George's hair with clippers for months now, this was the first time he'd allow someone else to do it. An even bigger deal for him is the cape he let the barber put on him! He hates things like that, especially when they make him feel constrained, but he sat still and let it all happen!





You've got to love those faces in the last two photos. He's not crying in the last one, just trying to vibrate hair off of his lips, LOL!! Good job, little man!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Love Thursday

that's love

When he scrubs the pots & pans, and she makes his favorite dessert... that's love.

What is your visual reminder of love today?

(Home smoked pulled pork sandwiches, baked beans, and salad for dinner, peach cobbler for dessert. Mmmmmm......)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Precocious children

seventies Emma

I spend an hour every school day doing battle, errr, I mean, working with the dear little children in Emma's classroom. Don't get me wrong, I love that hour. The kids are still exactly that: kids. And yet? I work primarily with the group of top readers/writers. Want to know something about smart kids? They're SMART.

Yes, fine, top scores on tests, first ones done on most projects, know the answer to everything you toss at them. But also? SMART. As in: smart alecs, masters of distraction and misdirection, "throw some words on the paper and turn the page and be done" champions. And today, they won. At the end of my hour, I told Emma's teacher that I was escaping. He begged me to take him along.

Most days, they make me laugh. Today, they almost made me lose my voice. I'm fairly certain they got together before I arrived and plotted my downfall:

  • "Let's make sure that each of us is always working on something different and need it explained, repeatedly."
  • "Let's pretend that we have no idea what any of the vocabulary words mean; you know, the ones we've been working on all week."
  • "Let's all ask the same questions, at different times, repeatedly."
  • "Let's write down partial sentences as answers, even though she hasn't let us do that ever."
  • "Let's summarize the story we've been reading all week by making up completely new stories off the top of our head, repeatedly!"
  • "Let's wiggle so much that she has to tell each of us to sit down, many, many times."
  • "Then, let's ask for hugs as she leaves, just to make her think she was imagining it all!"

There are only eight of them in that group, but I would swear that some days they multiply. And turn into monkeys. Good thing they're cute little monkeys, it's the only thing that saves them.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Vitamin D

Sometimes it doesn't matter that everyone is hacking and sneezing and using up mass amounts of tissue. Sometimes, you need to get out of the house! Due to the strange weather dynamics of the Willamette Valley, the icy & foggy weather at home masked nearly 60 degree warmth and sun less than an hour away. So away we went! It felt so GOOD to be in the sunshine. And we found this amazing inlet where the kids could run and dig and climb and splash and.....
(Click on photo grouping to be taken to the entire Flickr set)
(There are 55 photos there [pared down from 128], don't say I didn't warn you!)

A long weekend, with lots of sleeping in, is helping everyone heal. When not at the coast, the kids are playing with beans, making figure 8's in the basement on their scooters, and watching lots of videos. We're going through another phase of screaming tantrums, so George can be a handful at times. I'm hoping that will reduce once he feels better. Emma is spending more time in her room playing with Legos, her animals, or on the computer. I'm glad she can find ways to escape the craziness of a sometimes difficult brother, but it saddens me that she needs to. I suppose it's normal, though, and I need to remember that. All older siblings need to escape the younger ones sometimes, no matter how "normal" they may be.
Lots of good reports coming from school these days, thank goodness. We're heading into the span of time where the school district transition team observes all the special needs kids and makes placement recommendations. The particular school we're hoping for (provided it doesn't fall victim to budget cuts) is hard to get into, and he would have to be accepted. The behind-the-scenes rumors from his teacher are that he is high on the list. But nothing is certain until he is observed and we know how many spots are available for next year. Here's hoping that they don't view him on a "screamy" day.

Well, it's ten o'clock. I suppose I ought to go get out of my pajamas. Although, no one else in this house has yet, so maybe just another cup of coffee...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cozy & Warm

We seem to be in for another round of the crud here (or possibly an ear infection), so still laying real low. But I wanted to post a quick picture of the AWESOME arm warmers my good friend, Beth, MADE for me. I so wish I had the creativity and know-how to do something like knitting.

Arm Cozies

Thank you, Beth!! Mouse-hand will be vanquished thanks to you! They feel like cozy sweaters on my arms!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home of the Crippled & Ailing

Crutches & Meds

Forgive the lack of posts. We're all in various stages of recovery from sickness & surgery. My head is full of cotton instead of creativity. I have three humans relying on me for food, tissues, and entertainment. Stories and pictures will return soon!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Back to School Whiplash

Snippets of conversations between all the moms at George's special needs preschool:
"So, how was your three month, I mean three week, vacation?"
"Oh my gosh, it's so nice to get back into our routine!"
"Which did you get more of, presents or meltdowns?"

Snippets of conversations between the moms (other than me) at George's "typical" preschool:
"I so didn't want to bring Timmy/Suzy/Jr. to school today! I'll miss him/her so much!"
"Timmy/Suzy/Jr. didn't want to come to school today, he/she wants more free time."
"I don't know what I'm going to do with myself while they're in school!"


Sunday, January 04, 2009

The fun you can have at an airport

A random moment via the camera on our phones:

Fun at the airport

And I apologize for the quality and movement in the following video. Our phones are not fancy ones, but I was a bit in awe of our lunchtime entertainment at the airport and had to capture it. Who knew you could watch middle-aged men in far-too-tight pants sing 70's hits in the middle of the terminal?

Just like a picnic at Golden Gate Park, no? And the close up on George's shoes was because he had been dancing along to the music. You know. Until the moment I tried to capture it on film. Durned kid.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New situations, new successes

We had no idea what to expect from George on our trip South. It's been a couple of years since he's been on an airplane or shared a bedroom. He would be sleeping in a sleeping bag, too, a first for him.

Add to that a house with ten people staying in it, visits to other houses filled with even more people, and the need to share toys and space with cousins, and this could have been a disaster.

The growth I've seen in him over the last few months was apparent during this past week. He had a couple of meltdowns, but they were situational and completely understandable (a broken Thomas the Train toy [sorry, Michelle, thanks for trying!] and a plane he could get inside and look at [my father-in-law is a pilot with a stunt plane], but it wouldn't take him home no matter how often he asked). He used his activity schedule, we gave him familiar foods to eat and videos to watch, and since the weather was beautiful, we spent lots of time outdoors. He coped in his own way, wonderfully.

Both new experiences and sensory overloads are often met with this pose:


By far the most useful item we purchased for this trip was a set of child-sized headphones. We bought a set for both kids to use with our laptop on the airplane. What we didn't expect was that George loved them and used them throughout the week, whenever he wasn't sure of a situation.


In the house filled with new people, outside at a museum, travelling through busy airports, they gave him the separation he needed from the world. They worked well for watching videos at the airport when our flight was delayed by a couple of hours, too!