Taking the Scenic Route

Friday March 30, 2007

30th March 2007

Friday March 30, 2007

On a work note, this half of the semester the students are apparently taking his “no required attendance” seriously.  He was the only one that showed up.  lol.  He doodled on the board for a while (since there are often late-comers) and eventually wrote a note on the board and left.  It was pretty funny.  They can get everything they need from his website, but the administration isn’t ready to turn it into an online-only class yet, so he goes in to teach it.  He is adamently opposed to college classes that REQUIRE attendance.  He figures that by the time you are in college, you know whether or not you need to show up to class to hear things in person to do well in class.  Of course, some of this is because he is one of those rare students that can never show up to class and still get an “A” and turns all his work in early.

On the home front, he came home early and since it wasn’t drizzling, he decided to go run the mower before it started raining again.  Zora was happy to follow him around.  I think that is the single neatest thing about getting a Reel mower instead of a motored mower…you don’t have to send all the kids inside to avoid injury from the mower throwing rocks and such.  That and being easier to maneuver.  It does an adaquate job…we aren’t going to win any awards for a neat lawn, but it looks pretty decent and the trade off of never having to get gas, costing a lot less at the outset, and being more family friendly make it worth it.  Better on the environment too…bonus points!  I don’t think I would want to do a large yard this way though…it is a bit of a workout.  Not horrible, but more than a regular mower.

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The evile box of dirt.  You know, there is something inherently wrong with a box of dirt and a bag of sand.  These should not be things that are ‘bought’, they should just ‘be’, ya know?

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Taking a stand on the last island of tall grass

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ahhh…widdle biddy gwassy feetses

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And, sure enough, shortly thereafter it began to rain. 

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He is all curled up on the couch right now, asleep.  He feels feverish, so we will probalby keep him near us this evening.  I hope my favorite little guy feels better soon.  He was quite unthrilled when dad cleaned out his ears.  Daddy and Zora  are making a run to the health food store for some vitamins and some special snacks for him.

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30th March 2007

Friday March 30, 2007

FeeBee sent out a meme:  What is on your dining room table right now?  Since Zane was on my computer, I grabbed the camera so I would resist the urge to clean it before showing anybody.  lol. 

So, here’s the table

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  • 2 placemats:  one a map of the U.S., the other a counting/Sesame Street one, wiped down, but needing a better cleaning.
  • coffee cup:  about the only thing I have ever won…got it in a drawing at the Great Bend Holiday Inn one time.  We still have 3 of the 4 cups, but I don’t use the “Bunny” one, because that is Zach’s favorite. 
  • Zane’s empty glass of Chocolate Milk
  • A pink towel because it keeps raining outside and I need to be able to wipe kid’s feet off when they run outside for a bit.
  • A handprint thing done by Zane that broke 3 minutes after he brought it home a few months ago and is glued together.  You can’t really see the print on it, but it is the first one he did so I hold on to it.
  • An owners manual for some various electronic equiptment.
  • a banana
  • a basket that Zane brought home from school today

and that last thing got me thinking…Hey, I haven’t taken pictures of the things he dragged home from school…so

the contents of the basket:  fruits and veggies that are either drawn on, put together and glued like a puzzle, or various other mini craft projects…and of course, the bunny.

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That reminded me that he also brought home this wind sock thing

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And a box of dirt he wrote his name on.  Theoretically, there are seeds in there for radishes that will grow. 

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However, whoever thought it was a good idea to send a box of dirt home with a kid with sensory issues is out to lunch.  It ended up on the carpet, causing much drama and work because I had to first FIND the carpet cleaner. It is living out it’s life on our porch now.  Which reminds me, I need to clean out the vacuum so I don’t have little sprouts growing in it.  (although, that would be interesting)

which made me realize I forgot to blog about how school went after the Tuesday disaster…

I called his teacher so we could talk about strategies to make the drop off smoother and what would happen if he just fell apart while in school…what they would do, what kind of things might make it easier for him and the like.  This teacher is just wonderful  (except for sending boxes of dirt home) and loves the kids and really understands how to work with them.  She is such a blessing and has probably spoiled me for life for every teacher who will come after her.  lol.

Anyway, it was decided that she would meet us out at the car when Zach dropped him off to help get him into the building.  (Physically, Zach can do it, but we really wanted Zane to *want* to do it and go on his own steam).  After all the planning, Murphy’s Law kicked in, and he happily left the car to go to school.  They had some minor stresses during the day, but for the most part, it went really well.  Naturally.  She thought he would be ok to come back to the afternoon literacy group even.  However, as I got the kids ready to go, I noticed that Zane was coughing his head off, and he just kept coughing and coughing.  I put some mentholatum stuff on his chest and that helped, but when I asked him if he wanted to go back to school he declined.  He looked worn out and hadn’t really responded to any questions since getting home, so I decided that it was better not to push.   I was glad I did.  He wandered around the house, sort of touching everything as he weaved past it, quoting the entire text of “Goodnight Moon” over and over.  I went to clean out the dishwasher and came out to discover him asleep on the couch.  I guess he put himself to bed.  lol.  One worn out little dude.

After he took the nap, he decided to play on the computer, which is when I sat at Zach’s computer, intending to check my blog and do some online reading, but got the meme, and grabbed the camera instead so I could remember what to post in answer to her question when I got Zane off my computer.

As I went to put my camera away…

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Such sweetness.  Life is nice.

 

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27th March 2007

Moving in

First, a scary story

I had a heart stopping moment the other day when we all went to Kohls to look at rugs (we knew the stores would be pretty empty due to the Jayhawks game).  Both of the kids were in the mood to wander, so it was a bit frustrating trying to look at stuff.  Zach ended up holding Zora and I was going to retrieve Zane when I discovered for the thousandth time he wasn’t following like he was supposed to.  Just as I was rounding the corner to glimpse him on top of the the display bed (just sitting, looking like he was trying to lay down),  the lights went out.  I was probably about 20-30 feet from him, but I knew he hadn’t seen me and it was now absolutely pitch black.  It took me a heartbeat to orient myself and get that huge lift-a-car-off-your-child adrenaline rush and start running in the pitch black to where I barely glanced him only a second before.  I could feel his fear and it felt like everything was in slow motion as I called to him to tell him I was coming.  I made it a bit more than halfway there before the emergency lights flickered and I could see my way to scoop him up.  He was trembling hard and gripped me harder than I think he ever has before.  The lights came back on and I carried him for a while as I hugged him and talked to him.(I didn’t even notice his weight, if that tells you how pumped up I was).  He finally stopped shaking and I lowered him to the ground.  After it was all over, I started shaking and choking back tears.  It was such a scary moment and I will never forget the look of absolute fear on his face under the emergency lights.  He held my hand the entire rest of the day.

Second, a frustrating story

Well, we aren’t entirely sure what is up with Zane, but today he not only tantrumed while getting ready for school, but, unlike in the past where he gets a hold of himself by the time Zach gets him to school and happily gets out and goes to the classroom, he was still screaming “NO school!  NOT school!”  over and over again even as the car pulled up to the front door.  He wouldn’t get out of the car.  Zach decided to bring him back home instead of battling him over it.  We think the combo of the lingering cough & presuably not feeling 100% and too much change just made it all too much for him.  I hope he starts feeling better and it goes better tomorrow for therapy.  I don’t like seeing him that upset.

Third, some cuteness from our little firecracker

Although I haven’t gotten a picture of it yet, one of her favorite new games in the new place is pushing Duplo/lego trucks that Zane made in the circle of the living room, the short hall, through the bathroom, into her bedroom, and back out into the living room.  She will do several circuits of this a day.  She hasn’t quite got a motor sound yet, but I think that is coming.  Very cute.

She is also enjoying helping us unpack when we aren’t looking (that is one of the lego trucks and some pretzels and something else I can’t figure out in the top drawer of our bathroom vanity)

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She also insisted on “reading” during her afternoon snack today

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And she loves following big brother around the yard…

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…talking all the way..

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…and isn’t happy if he decides to do something else.

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Of course, she still has Daddy to play with

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She is going to keep us veeery busy.

 

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26th March 2007

Monday March 26, 2007

Although she has been doing it every once in a while for us and my folks, today she waved bye-bye to Carrie (ST) when she said good-bye, prompting the entire reception desk to look up and wave at her so she would wave back again.  lol.  Imagine about 5 ladies behind the desk (including one that popped her head out when she heard she was waving) all giving little squeals of excitement to see her waving.  Very neat moment.

I ran to the store after the therapy to pick up a few things, forgetting that 5pm is NOT a good time to try and just run into the store.  However, both kids did really well.  I was proud of them both.  Zora had to be convinced that staying in the seat of the cart was the only option, but eventually she chilled out and basically behaved. 

Had our first cooked-on-the-stove-at-home meal tonight since before our move.  It was tacos, and it was very good.  It feels nice to get to the point we are beginning to live again instead of just surviving.  There is still a lot of work to do, but we are getting there.

 

Coolness:

Zach & Jennifer
married for
11 years 11 months 11 days

 

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26th March 2007

Monday March 26, 2007

Zane has done much better than we thought he would through the move and settling in.  He is a bit more temperamental than normal, but certainly no more than can be expected with the schedule being so wonky.   He really seems to love the new place and seems generally happier as a whole.  The move was a good one for him.  (for all of us, but he was the one I was the most concerned with)

Zora seemed totally laid back with the whole thing and pretty happy about all the excitement.  I remember moving in to that apartment when Zane was exactly the same age (born 4 days apart, with year long leases, so it is pretty much exactly the same age) and Zane did not handle the change well at all then, so I was surprised how nonplussed Zora seemed about it.

This week I started noticing a lot of things where Zora’s development is parting ways with Zane’s.  So many subtle things that makes me wish Zane was our second instead our first so that I could have had him evaluated younger.  For instance, Zane pointed, but now that I see more typical pointing, I can see that it was different.  Zane pointed to get something, where she seems to want to know what something is.  She points and then looks up at us and babbles a question that is obviously a “what is this?” type question.  When I tell her it is time to go inside, she will actually start heading inside.  (now, she may change her mind about *wanting* to go inside and throw a tantrum, but it is totally different than Zane’s meltdowns because he doesn’t understand) When we tell her what something is she tries to repeat it.  She is starting to have names for things.  She looks back at us as she is playing to babble something to us with such easy eye contact.  She just ‘finds’ us without having to scan the horizon. 

One of the striking things for me was a fine motor development.  In OT Zane is working on holding something in his hand/palm and trying to use his pincher grasp to pick things up, or move things in one hand from the palm to the finger tips without using the other hand to move the objects (like when you grab a handful of nuts and feed yourself one at a time, or a handful of change and work the pennies out to your fingertips to give to somebody).  I accepted that he had motor planning challenges, but I didn’t fully understand or believe it was that severe because he can do so much.  A few days ago I saw Zora doing the very thing with her hands that we have been explicitly working on with Zane for a while (and he is struggling with).  She did it with such ease that I literally was choking back tears when I saw her doing it.  And she did it over and over again, like it was the most normal thing in the world. 

It is all so effortless for her it is astonishing.  I didn’t know it was supposed to be so effortless.  How could I have not known that?  I just feel like I have completely failed him on some days.  Even good days like today.

Ack.  Need to get the laundry changed over and get dressed to go to ST.  Zora is asleep, so she will be un-thrilled to be woken up and put in clothes to go out in the rain.  Such is life.

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25th March 2007

Sunday March 25, 2007

First, the great news:  We are an aunt and uncle again!  Zach’s brother had a baby boy.  Mom and baby are both healthy as far as we have heard, so that is great news.

Today’s big adventure was buying our first lawn mower and getting the yard done.  I think we are going to need a weed eater or something for the edges, because this thing is terrible at edging, but it was fun to mow. 

The little helper

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The lawn

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24th March 2007

Saturday March 24, 2007

Done. Done. Done.

*whew*

We just wiped things down and vacuumed the place.  The place had to give us one more kick in the pants though…it killed our vacuum.  We had to go get a new vacuum to finish today, but we did, and it is done.  We left the nail holes and just did a basic wipe down.  Let them have fun.  It isn’t like they are going to give us back the deposit even if we spent the day spackling, painting and cleaning.  Now we just have to give them our change of address and the keys. 

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24th March 2007

Our first visitors

Robert, who helped us move a bunch of the small stuff in his van, dropped by yesterday because he accidently left our outlet covers in his pocket and was on this side of town for his kid’s dentist appointments.  The boys had a ball playing in the new place.  They used the dollhouse in a very different way…they had little people and the dollhouse family jumping off the roof to ‘bomb’ the castle. 

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They also thought Zane’s Rebounder was the cat’s pajamas, and the daredevil child enjoyed leaping as far as he could by bouncing off.  I sort of cringed, but since Robert didn’t have a problem with it, I just took pictures and made sure Zora was out of harms way.  (Zane was more interested in his game than the chaos and noise, which was fine because I don’t really want him leaping off the rebounder like that) At the boy’s request, Robert blew up the ball pit thing that Zane’s OT gave us.  It was much larger than we thought it would be and had only about a dozen balls.  Not much of a ball pit, but pretty cool looking blown up anyway.

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I am not sure what kind of tree we have outside, but I know it is a fairly common one around here because I noticed they are blooming all over town.  It has pretty white flowers that are falling off everywhere.

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One of our neighbors stopped by and handed us this pudding thing.  He said it was part of his family’s tradition to hand out this special pudding this time of year.  I think he said it was “Noah’s pudding”, but I didn’t really get what the significance was, just that it was an act of generosity towards his neighbors in observance of a religeous tradition.  He did seem really kind and it was sure a whole lot more pleasant than the kids going aroung trying to sell magazines.

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23rd March 2007

Friday March 23, 2007

We got a sand and water table for the kids.  They had a ball.

Zach’s crazy hair.

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Zach:  “hey, where are the screws?”

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Playing together.  (or at least not against eachother. lol)

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To answer questions in the comments:  Yes, the yard is completely enclosed.  It isn’t big, but it is a good size for us right now.  The sand & water table came from Toys R Us, the picnic table is several years old and I can’t remember where we got it, but it was probably either Walmart or Toys R Us.  The picnic table converts into an art easel.  I think it is also a “Step 2″ product like the sand table.

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23rd March 2007

Friday March 23, 2007

Moving In

Taking a break in the new place.  This is before we got a gate and put it up, so that bookcase is blocking the stairs.

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Here we have a whole room that is devoted to the bulk of our boxes.  There is also a garage that has a bunch from the last loads on moving day when the combo of muddy shoes and desire to go the least distance possible to drop the boxes overtook the desire to get the stuff into the house.

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Zora mugging for the camera while Zach puts stuff together

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A yogurt break in the back yard before bedtime.  I hate this picture of me, but Zach thought it was funny.

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My little monkey girl climbing.

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  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 11 months, and 22 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years, 11 months, and 26 days old
  • Random Quote

  • The person who says it can’t be done should not interrupt the person doing it. — Chinese proverb

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