Wednesday, September 30, 2009

He's gonna be a rockstar

He said a few weeks ago he wanted to be a rocker for Halloween. I think he has rocker potential for when he grows up too. That would be a mighty nice way to support his old decrepit parents. video

Monday, September 28, 2009

Parenting-A lost art

We don't go out much. It was one of those things we gave up when we became a single income family. We go to a sit down restaurant maybe once every couple of months. It's a treat. Our kids know it's a treat. Mark and Anna behave really well in restaurants. When our kids were smaller and didn't understand how to behave we more than once had to asked for to go boxes as soon as our meal arrived. We didn't want to ruin any other diner's meal with our children's bad behavior.
Yesterday we got one of those very rare meals away from home. We sat down and almost immediately a kid started crying on the other side of the restaurant. That child kept it up the entire meal. And it wasn't just little crying either. We are talking screaming at the top of his lungs. Luckily, we were sitting pretty far away. I can't imagine sitting right next to that.
I am a parent. I know kids cry. I would never advocate hitting a stranger's child. But I could totally get on board with hitting a stranger who refuses to parent their child in public.


Because of this post, these two will no doubt be a horror show next time we go out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

He can chew gum and walk at the same time

I try to make being the big brother fun. Lets face it. Being the oldest is a drag sometimes. He gets time outs for things his sister gets away with because she doesn't understand. She gets thrown up in the air and tossed around much more than he does. She's a peanut and he is huge. His responsibilities are bigger. His jobs are harder. He is charged with not hitting back even if his sister hits him first. It's just not that easy being the oldest. But every once in a while we make being the oldest extra special. Last night Mark got his first ever piece of gum. This was a much anticipated milestone for him. He's been obsessed with gum for a long time. The smell, the look, the why. Think about it. Why would someone chew something and not swallow it. The question has plaqued him. But finally finally he gets it. The kid was so excited he couldn't sit still. Back and forth he paced. He came and showed us his gum. He told us how it tasted 109,854 times. He couldn't wipe the grin off of his face. He was happy.

His best fake smile

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A change in the air

The nights are getting longer and the days shorter. Everyone seems to be in a frantic rush to get those last few things done before winter. Work on the flower beds has gone into over drive.
The search for winter hats, coats, mittens, snow pants and boots has begun. The stores now stock ice scrapers instead of bikinis. My thoughts are turning to indoor cooking. From Mac and cheese to homemade breads and cookies. They make the house feel like home. The kids and I started our afternoon tea ritual again. I have missed it.
These two are getting in the last of the sandbox playing for the year. It is conceivable in a month they will be building snow castles instead of sand. Last year we got our first major snow fall three days before Halloween.
The season is changing here in my little piece of heaven. I look forward to the fun the next season brings.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sickness

We are sick. Once again sickness descended upon our house. I should have known it was coming. After all, Mark did start school. That place is crawling with germs. Before you even open the door to that place you can see them ooze out through the cracks. It's disgusting. I should have known Mark would catch a cold before the end of the first stinking week. He would then take his filthy nasty gross germs and pass them on to the rest of us. He couldn't have passed it on any faster if he came home and licked us. Now we are all sick. And let me tell you these are the crankiest sick people you ever want to meet. The little one is down right mean.

So that's us this week. Sick.

But wait there's more. Anna had her hearing test on Friday. She has perfect hearing. It's like she hasn't ever been to any rock concerts or anything. Oh wait, she hasn't.

Now go wash your hands. You don't want what we have.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The first day

In all my speech therapy evaluation drama at the beginning of the week I haven't told you about the other big event in our lives. Mark started school on Monday. Don't expect any pictures of the big day. The little snot wouldn't let me take any. Moooooommm, not right now. I swear he is already a teenager.
Anywho, right, starting school. So we walked up to school. He immediately noticed they replaced the doors on the building. The new doors look exactly like the old ones. The boy misses absolutely nothing, ever. We went in and I swear the room seemed smaller than last year. Or maybe it's that Mark his grown so much. You should have seen him. He walked in like he was the king of the world. It was such a sharp contrast from last year. He wouldn't let me leave for half the morning last year. This year he was picking out the new kids and asking them if they wanted to play in the sandbox with him. He has grow so much from that shy boy I dropped off a year ago. I just love to watch him.
So I was finally able to tear myself away. Anna and I went on our walk. We came home to a pretty quiet house and spent the morning together. It was fun but in a different sort of way than the day before. We played dolls instead of trucks. We had quiet fun instead to wrestling.
When it was time to go get Mark, Anna was soooo ready. I'm fun but I'm no Mark.
We sat on the stairs for the end of class. I watched as my big boy led the other kids in what they were supposed to do. I couldn't have been prouder. Mark is a born follower. We have been driving home, to him, this year he is a big kid. He needs to help others do what they should. And, shockingly enough, he was listening. He did it. My heart was bursting.
Our walk back home was so much more fun than last year too. He told me about his day instead of having major overstimulated, overtired, meltdown. Last year he thought he was only getting that one day of fun. And didn't want it to end. This year he knows he goes back on Thursday.
It was a wonderful start to what I hope is a really great year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I am frustrated

So stinking frustrated. We had the evaluation with the speech therapist last night. And Anna did really well. Except that isn't what we want. We want her to do badly so she will qualify for this program.
OK, let me explain. There are two qualifying scores for language.
There is cognitive; what the kid understands. To test this the therapist named objects and asked Anna to point to pictures of the objects in a book. Anna got them all. Then it got harder. She asked Anna to point to different actions. drinking from a cup, sleeping baby, running boy. Then it got even harder. She asked Anna to follow simple two step directions. Give the baby doll a drink then hand me the cup. It kept getting more difficult until she was asking Anna to do things I didn't know she could do. Anna did them all. No prompting. Nothing. She aced it. She is testing at a three and a half year old level here.
The second part of the test is verbal. She asked Anna to say things. Say ball. Say baby. She didn't do as well here. I knew she wouldn't. She has major trouble with enunciation. She will hear a sentence and repeat a jumble of syllables sounding nothing like what she just heard. She tries but it just doesn't come out right.
So here is where it gets sticky. The great of New York takes the two scores and adds them together. Then averages them. They, then compare that number to a chart of the overall averages of kids in her age group. If a child scores below a 73 they qualify. Above 73, they don't. Anna got an 86. She scored in the low 70s in the verbal portion and got a 98 in the cognitive part. Having a high score on one portion of the test drags the other score up. So the end result is she's smart but she can't tell you anything she knows. And now we have to wait six months for another evaluation. By then she will be old enough to qualify through the school system instead of the state. The school system qualifies the two scores separately. So she will probably qualify then. I just hate waiting though. We caught this early. I would like to have it dealt with now.
We have our final meeting with Early Intervention on Thursday. I am going relay our concerns to them at that time. I hope there is still something that can be done. The kicker of the whole thing is they switched our coordinator on us. We haven't even met the woman who is coming. I think this puts us at a disadvantage because the other coordinator had met Anna and knew she needed help. This one is just relying on the write ups done by the others who came here.
Frustrated. That is my word of the day. I am just not loving NY today.

Her hearing test is still on Friday. I will keep you posted.

Disclaimer: the averages and qualifying are a little more involved than what I said above but that is the gist of what they do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just laying around

Take a moment to yourself today. Sit quietly with a loved one for a few minutes. Call someone special and tell them you care. Maybe say a little prayer for our military members who are protecting those freedoms we hold so dear.
And most of all, have a great weekend!

Author's side note: I am not so bright. I know I told you all on Monday that Anna's audiology test is today. I really should have looked at my calender before I wrote that. It's next Friday. See...Dumb.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I'm having an affair

First of all, thank you all for your kind words yesterday. I will keep you posted on our progress. My SIL suggested Sign Language. I had thought about it when our kids we small but never followed through. It hadn't occurred to me as an option to help with our current situation. Thanks Gina. I appreciate your help very much.

Today we are talking lighter topics. Or rather heavier as the case may be. Have I ever told you about my love affair. No. Well, here goes. I love cheese. All cheese. It can be so many things from creamy and smooth to crumbly and sharp. I love it all. Well, except Swiss. I don't love Swiss. Ick. So imagine my surprise one day driving by this sign. A rather plain looking sign I'll admit. And if it didn't have the name of one of my favorite things on it I would probably just pass it by.
You look up from the sign and see this simple little building. Nothing special about it right. Look closer.

You just know I am going in here.
Right inside the door is one of my other favorite things. Samples!!
Then this man with these two very unruly, but gorgeous,children showed up. They were crowding the table so I couldn't get in there for my samples. It was the rudest thing I have ever....oh wait...never mind.
Just look at it all. My heart just sings in here. I asked the cashier on our first visit; the store is a co-op owned by the local farmers. They have a lab in house and develop new flavors of cheese all the time. That explains, in the the above picture, all of the milking supplies. Farmers don't like to waste space you know. I really appreciate their efforts.
And of course no trip to the cheese store is complete without visiting Lucinda the cow.
It's 7:15 in the morning and my mouth is watering. Good thing I bought provisions.

Monday, September 7, 2009

OK, so now I wish she would just start talking

We have known for a while that Anna should be talking. Mark was talking by 26 months. Long before in fact. Anna tries to talk. But she doesn't form words. During her WCC in June the doctor confirmed our fears. She should be talking. The doctor set us up with Early Intervention. We have had a number of experts here to talk with her and us. They all say Anna is average/even above average everywhere else. The next step is a hearing test on Friday, to see if maybe she fluid on her ear drum. This would explain her not being able to repeat things said to her. But I don't believe this is it. She understands everything going on around her. She follows direction very well. Her comprehension of things said to her amazes me.

The whole process is going painfully slow. We have been dealing with this since the beginning of July and still haven't gotten anywhere. I am incredibly frustrated with the whole thing. I just want to know what is wrong so that we can start taking steps to fix it. Whether it be speech therapy or tubes in her ears I just want to get it over with.

Anna is an incredibly special little person. It's so hard to watch her struggle. She wants us to understand. She repeats herself over and over then dissolves into tears. I want to cry with her at times because I want to understand her and can't.

Hopefully Friday will bring a few answers for us. No matter what, it will be one more thing we can check off the list of possible things wrong. And one step closer to a solution, I hope.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today I shall dine on nothing but funnel cake


Oh, and salt water taffy. Love that.
And nachos with that delicious fake squirt cheese stuff. Yum.
And a free glass of milk at the agricultural building. I wonder if they even still do that. It was a highlight of the day when we were kids. We always got chocolate.
Then maybe top it all off with a quick spin on the tilt-r-whirl.
I think I will also bring the Tums. Just in case.
And the best part of all, the grandparents are going to join us. It's a surprise. The kids have no idea. I think I'm going to keep it that way until we get there.

It promises to be a great fun day. Hope yours is as good.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Love this

Even though these Hydrangea flowers are just about the last thing to bloom, even though they mean an end to summer, I anticipate and look forward to their arrival every year. They put on a spectacular showing. The tree belongs to my neighbor and hangs over the fence that separates our properties. It makes a lovely backdrop for the flower gardens I am putting in.
On a side note, there is only one way to get both the sky and that flower in that same picture. It's OK though, the neighbors already think I am a little strange anyway.