Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My bcakwards girl

So Alex is 4. Yup. She enjoys dressing herself. Usually it is not a big deal since we have no social life. However, every now and then . . . .For example, when we went pumpkin picking she came down the stairs fully dressed -- in layers. She knew she needed layers so that as she became hot, she could peel off her clothes.

What she was confused about was the order of the clothes.

She put her fur-lined leopard print velvet-y shirt on first, which meant it was under everything else. Then a mushroom decorated long sleeve shirt. Then her flowered pink shirt. Then on top of it all was her tank-top t-shirt. Her arms were out a little from her body and she looked a bit like a puffer fish would look if a puffer fish wore layers of clothes for pumpkin picking.

Tomorrow is Alex's CSE meeting up at school and then my meeting with Kath's teacher for the visually impaired. Today we had speech and PT. Discussed was the idea of having Kath attend a preschool program since she is such a social learner, but I still want my baby to be my baby and be home with me. I am selfish, I know. I feel as though I could do the best with her, but I do want her to socialize. I am not ready for her to be away from me for too long, I ache when I have to go to school, any more and I would go crazy.

I also had to bring my car in the shop and it needed a new water pump-other than the time lost driving back and forth-they did give me a borrowed car--it was still under warranty. Whew. Tomorrow I drive down to JFK and pick up Chris from his Scotland trip.

More later.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

To the ones I notify by message

I am working on how to send you an automatic email telling you I updated the blog. I see that what it currently does is send you a copy of the text I wrote. I feel like you miss out. :-) Plus I will be updating pics soon and well, you really will miss out. So, feel free to use the email as just a reminder to check the blog and not how you actually read the blog. :-) Enjoy!

Head butting a baby cow

Or at least I don't THINK the cow head butted Kath. Naw, she did it to the cow. Then said, "Owwww!"

We took the girls to Kristy's Barn and went apple picking and pumpkin picking. Alex loved to pick the apples--the higher up the better they were--and Kath loved to take bites out of them--to make sure they were sweet enough. Quite the side show we are. Then we picked pumpkins. That was fun--trying to lift each and every one. I suppose you only know the true value of a pumpkin if you can lift it and its stem doesn't 'bite' you. Coaxing them into walking to the far reaches of the farm, easily reached by hay wagon ride by other parents, we made our kids walk. Alex picked out her favorite bright trees and Kath tripped over every other (getting better) pot hole in the grass. Finally we reached the petting zoo.

At first Alex was a little perturbed by being so close--as in right next to-a calf. But when I reminded her that she rides animals 5 times bigger--and with bigger teeth--she relaxed. Kath had no qualms about going right up to them. As they lay on the ground--probably overfed by kids all day, Kath walked right up them and dumped her whole cup of food in front of the first animal she met. Ah, forgot to explain what we were doing and how to divide up the food so it would last through the whole little paddock. Oh, well. She didn't care that there wasn't anything in her cup. She had a cup and the poor calves didn't know there wasn't anything in it. Might explain why she eventually was head butted, but I will get to that. We saw goslings, ducklings, turkeys, pigmy goats, hens and roosters. We fed (Alex was better at dispersing her fare and getting me to fork over more money for more cups) them all. We also tried to avoid being pecked by terrified turkeys strange little boys chased and cornered. That might explain why THEY (the turkeys, not the boys)took cups of food out of unsuspecting children's hands and then practically wrestled the cups to the ground. This happened to Alex, who looked at me like she was going to cry. She was so amazed at the rudeness of the turkey she stood there stunned and looked at me. A father came over and gave her food for her cup and she snapped out of it. :-D Kath however looked at this and was upset, she started to cry until I made a joke about the turkey being like Bucca when she steals a toy/sneaker/you name it.

We had a lot of fun there. Roger waited outside the fence for us. Not sure if he was hoping to rest (that didn't happen-he was halfway up the fence watching the crazy boys chase the crazy turkeys closer to us) or if he didn't want to try to step gingerly through the assorted animal poop. :-)

As we were leaving the paddock the cows finally decided to get up and walk around. They were bigger than I thought. The girls had to watch out because the cows didn't. Not where they were trodding or where they were pooping. Then one little adorable calf who was chest high on me must have been smelling the food on girls. She nuzzled Alex first, then nuzzled Kath. Then they banged heads.

I am the kind of mother who has belly laughed as Chris puked in my car all the way home from the mall. I laugh when people bang their heads, walk into things, do assorted painful things to themselves. I am a horrible person. I actually feel bad for them, don't get me wrong, but I can't help but see how funny it would look/how funny it looks.

Kath said, "Owwwww" in a bit of an annoyed voice. I started laughing! Then I yelled over to Roger (cuz I am classy too), "Did you see her head butt the cow??" He couldn't because we were behind the ducklings' fence. You will have to take my word for it. It was funny. And the cow walked a little crooked afterward. Kath walked straighter. :-D

Then we walked all the way back, bought our cider donuts and paid for our stuff. The wagon ride was next. And it was free! The girls loved sitting (ahhh) and looking around the whole farm on our hay ride. Alex and I decided we would start a farm in the next few years and have LOTS of animals. I told her she needed to help me take care of the ones we had to get into practice.

The day was great. The boys were missing from it or it would have been perfect. The weather was beautiful. Warm. Blue, blue sky. The leaves look like they were lit from within with the intense reds, oranges, yellows and greens. It was great.

I just wish I had gotten a picture of Kath and the calf bumping heads. :-D

Saturday, October 11, 2008

"I kissed a girl"

Yup. Got my attention too when my 4 year-old began singing it tonight at dinner, incredibly clearly for a girl who is being considered for speech therapy. I laughed so much, I turned red and she then told me I shouldn't laugh or make her laugh while she was eating. She could choke, ya know. I asked her where she heard that song. On your radio mom. I do have to confess I really like that song, it is sung by Katy Perry. It is a great moving song. I just didn't think it showed. I must have turned it up or sang it myself. :-D Roger just got up and poured himself some more Mountain Dew and tried to keep a straight face as I was bent in half, snorting my food through my nose. Just wasn't what I expected my 4 year-old to be singing at the table. Would have LOVED for the boys to be home. Actually it would have been much more enjoyable--in a mean way--to have a homophobic person hearing it. It was just so fun.

Alex did struggle today at yoga/riding lessons, though. As you know, we have hippotherapy on Saturdays. Yoga is a yoga/healing touch class for Katharina that Alex attends. Mostly because there is no where else for her to go, but she thinks it is her class too and has a blast with Britta. But during the session she tried to tell us something and I could not understand it no matter how many times she repeated it. (I often have to 'interpret' for her since her bigger ideas and vocab get tangled up between her brain and her tongue.) I felt so bad and finally she just broke down crying and curled up in my arms. She was so frustrated. I never did figure it out. We have our CSE meeting next week. Other than that, if you could have seen her eyes so lit up while dancing and riding, she had a great day!

Kath did fantastic too. She has been trying to talk more and more and mimicing what we say. She is growing in leaps and bounds cognitively too. She is amazing. Simply amazing.

Got to see Chris for about 15 minutes today. We began our day by going to dance class, then driving the hour to yoga/healing touch/hippotherapy/lessons. Then we drove two hours to Bennington. We dropped off Chris' passport, new license and a birthday card. We got there just when he had to leave for a film screening for one of his classes. So, the girls and I started to drive back home and ended up in Walmart getting costumes for Halloween. Kath wanted absolutly NOTHING (she kept hitting it away) with the cute witch's costume I chose for her. I thought she would be easy. ha. She ended up agreeing with Tinker Bell. It is a little difficult to shop with someone who doesn't talk and obviously has no idea why on earth we are buying costumes anyway. Alexandra has known since the day she was born that she wanted to be a princess. So she is Cinderella. Then we drove the hour ride back home. Both girls also got slippers and nice warm pjs. We will begin the fireplace tomorrow (I stained the wood behind the fireplace so it is drying still--two years ago it must not have had enough time to dry and it kinda melted in drips, but now it looks great, if I don't say so myself!) and the bedrooms get a little chilly, especially Kath's since we close her bedroom door. With Roger up and about at 1:30AM, we don't want HER up and about at 1:30AM too.

Both girls tried on their costumes while I finished making dinner. So cute to see Kath dressed up , fluttering around with fairy wings and Alex being the Queen Cinderella (or maybe even the evil step-mother Queen)telling Kath what to do. :-) Ah, it's only the beginning . . .

Tomorrow we will be heading out to apple pick and pumpkin pick. I'll take pics!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

When an almost 2 year-old is quiet . . .it's too late.

So . . .I was working on the computer yesterday when I suddenly realized that Kath was quiet. Uh-oh. Too quiet. I ran into the dining room and there she was. A vision of blue. She had opened the blue finger paint top (her Physical Therapist and Occupational Therapist would be proud), found a paint brush and then proceeded to paint the chair cushion (I think she was just trying to move it--with the paint brush, it was on the floor), the potty seat, the chair as well as herself. She was so proud of herself. After I saw her face when I began to reprimand her, I stopped, congratulated her and then cleaned her up so we could get our errands done.

However, I got distracted again. She handled me a bag of marshmellows. So, I opened it and handed her and Alex one. Thanked her for bringing it TO me and then turned around. A few minutes later I realized the whole bag was gone--without the tie, still opened. I didn't have far to look. Kath was sitting around the corner, on the floor, working on hand/eye coordination (ha!!) taking marshmellows out of the bag and licking them. One at a time.

Ah. What a pip.

So, the pumpkin farm was nice. It was terribly expensive though considering I was only there for about 2 hours and the free pumpkin was a really small one. The place is beautiful, it had farm animals and a huge wheel we were able to pretend we were hamsters and roll down a big stretch of farm on. But as I said very expensive--8 dollars for the each of us. Ahh.

I am almost considering starting my own homeschooling group but I don't know anyone who does it. But the group I met showed me how difficult it will be to find people I can fit with. I am so awkward! :-)

Alex is feeling better. She had a second bout with the cold but seems to be healing. The boys are great. Chris turned 21 on Saturday. We drove up and took him, Nick (who came home for the weekend and was at Bennington Friday night), Chris' friend Sean and the girls out to celebrate his day. We then bought a cake, pretended there were candles (his dorm doesn't allow real ones), and sang to him. Can't believe he is 21. Wow. This is harder for me to handle than me turning 40 was. I drove Nick back up to Rochester on Monday. He and I spent Sunday shopping for a new cell phone and sneakers. It was good to have some reconnect time. I miss them both.

I have off today, tomorrow and Monday. Roger had off today, goes to school tomorrow and has off on Monday. So glad. I am so tired again. I actually took a 3 hour nap. Eish. (One night last weekend I slept for 12 hours.) I did get my hair done. Haven't done that since before summer! Feels great! Tonight the girls and I decorated for Halloween. That was hilarious since most of the stuff freaked them both out at first, but then Kath was carrying around, in the crook of her right arm, the Skeleton Man, as if he were her baby doll. Although Alex helped me hang up a spider web she still took wide steps around an oversized spider on the floor.

Katharina is trying to mimic words--she is repeating many, many things. Alex said '13', Kath said '13.' Other words too but if you are not right there to hear it said previously, you wouldn't catch it. But the fact that she is trying to repeat is so amazing! She usually will copy if you ask her, now she is doing it on her own.

Haven't gotten back into writing, but I am hoping tonight. I am working on writing up and sending pictures in for a book a woman on the listerserve is making about kids who had strokes to help new parents get through. I have three book reviews to write for the Canadian Library/Teachers publication and then grading and such.

Hope everyone is great. It is so wonderful to see someone else reads this, though now am nervous about my editing. . . .:-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Nothing clever comes to mind--as a title

Everyone is doing well. We are busily back to school, therapies and living. Chris turns 21 this Saturday. How on earth did that happen? Somehow turning 40 didn't mess with my head-maybe too much worrying with Kath??--but NOW having a 21 year-old!! Give me a chair, I need to sit. Nick is coming home this weekend (yeah!!!) and we are heading out to Benny to watch Chris'soccer game and take him out to dinner.

Alex is slowly getting over her cold and Kath is being amazing. I am homeschooling Alex, but it doesn't really feel like it--most of what we do is fun and sprinkled with some 'book work.' Guess that is why I wanted her homeschooled (one reason) we get to play and learn! We are meeting up with a homeschool group at a local farm tomorrow. Kath is uber-aware and into everything. She gets forks for dinner and we have ALL the forks on the table. She 'reads' books. She hops on one foot---then the other! She sings. She runs everwhere. She is amazing--they ALL are.

Roger is doing well, trying to fight off The Cold and stay focused on his teaching.He still amazes me with his strength --to be able to work a second job--every day. Now if Congress passed a package that would give the taxpayers 700 Billion Dollars!!! He could write. I could concentrate and write. Ugh. sigh.

I am having a wonderful year although they cut the funding to the literary magazine I advise. I wasn't going to tell my students, but I did today. I am still going to advise it. I have 14 kids interested this year . . .how can I not??

As I visited and made goals for this month on my writers'forum, I realized AGAIN how I have allowed myself to get distracted. Don't get me wrong--I know I have good reason, but . . .there is more than one fellow writer, who is now published, who when I first joined the forum, they were plodding through like I was. Now they are published. I am still struggling through my story. sigh.

I did just a great two weeks of reading, which is a good sign (for me) that my brain is on the upswing (what a picture THAT is!). I read three of the Twilight series books by Stephenie Meyers in the last week and a half. At the same time as progress reports were due and well, everything else. It has been so great to be able to slide into the storyworld and escape for a little bit.

Off to go do something--read? grade? write?