Friday, March 28, 2008

It is 3:30 and both kids are reading!

Now this is noteworthy for 2 reasons. It is Friday and there is no homework-so no rush to do that. Usually, no matter what-there is a rush by Aj to turn on the tv. Granny is taking a nap and so the tv wasn't on when we arrived home.
Aj immediately went back to our bedroom to locate and read, "The Unofficial to Disneyland 2008". We got to Disneyland in 3 weeks-so he is loving reading about the rides and, of course, looking at the various maps. Ki is again reading a Scooby Doo book.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

my son is going to be able to write as an adult!

We didn't know if this would be the case. He has lots of fine motor and SID issues. He has made HUGE gains this year (third grade). He can now write on regular third grade paper, and I can read it! And he can write a few sentences at a time vs just a few words, as before. His writing will never win an award for beauty, but it will certainly be functional. A good gain for this year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Pops and I also had not been here since we visited when dating-some 13 or 14 years ago. So, yes, it has changed.
I LOVE IT. Anyone would.
I see why Leelo loves it. Aj was in heaven. For kids in our tribe it is SUPER-DUPER tremendous.
Let's just think about the joys found there from the perspecitve of an ASD, PDD-NOS type of mind.
RUNNING water in many places
You can stand in a glass enclosed space and have waves pour over your head-and stay dry. Or go to the space outside and the mist from the waves will tickle you.
Sardines. I have a whole new appreciation for those stinky, icky fish that I have no intention of ever eating. They are shiney silver swimming bullets. But get this, they swim in large schools in CIRCLES. There is even one aquarium that is over-head in a dome shape. Let's just get the gang together and we can all lie on our backs under that dome and hve one big stim session. It could be a "stim in", you know like a sit in.
THE JELLY FISH. Wildly amazing jelly fish in tanks with brilliant blue backgrounds. These kick ass over a lava lamp anyday.

"What I did over Spring Break" by themama

Day one here at Pajara Dunes
(for those not in the know this is a gated beach community of sorts. there are many condos as well as homes on a private stretch of beach in Watsonville-about 1 hour from my home with no traffic).

Pops took the kids out on the beach in the am and ran them. In the afternoon Pops, kids and I headed over to The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I hadn't been there since I was on a date there with Pops about 13 or 14 years ago. Kind of a nostalgic-hip-tacky-fun place all wrapped up in one. It was VERY quiet as it is not summer yet. Only a few of the rides were open. Aj wanted to go on one of the roller coasters-so he and I did. He said he wasn't scared, but about 2/3 of the way through his "ahh,ooo" screams of joy changed to more of an "AAAAHHHH" quality and I could tell he was scared. Luckilly, the ride ended quickly and he was fine. I asked if he wanted to go again and he said no.
I had Pops take my picture by the cart that sells FRIED TWINKIES. Now I eat a lot of crap, but the thought of that makes me cringe. They weren't open-so I can't pass on any meaningful description of what they look like. I'll leave that up to your little mind.
There is a carasel built in 1911 there. It is beautifully painted and has horses with real horse-hair tails. They also still have the arm that holds rings you can grab as you go by. Grab a ring and then try and throw it into the mouth of a huge clown on the wall.
And then there is the beach. It is wide and the whole image is so "California". I am fairly certain that my temperature-challanged son was the only person in this or any nearby conunty that enjoyed swimming. We had to haul him out of the water before his little fingers start to freeze and snap off in the 50ish degree water.
Aj was SO excited to call jennyalice and tell her all about his day. She kindly listenedand queried about his escapades.
Then back to the dunes and the usual daily bath to cleanse the salty, sandy Aj.
Ki and I then made a cake (cake mix for us). Last time we were here she declared it Tiggers Birthday. So since we are back-it is his birthday again. There is not much regard for time, as I think it has been only 9 months. However, his age marches on appropriatley, last visit he turned 5 and this visit 6. After returning from a dinner of mexican food she frosted the cake. Tigger and his best friend Water, the penguin (not currently in his cop outfit) joined us at the table. They were each propped in their own chairs. Tigger required max assist propping. He is absent of any head or trunk control due to severe low tone as a result of his stuffing shrinking and shifting over time. Using recently discovered toothpicks as pretend candles, Ki spelled out a "T" on the cake. We rounded the table and sang happy birthday while Ki lovingly held Tiggers head up to blow out the candles.

Beach Play

Down here at Pajaro Dunes on night number four.
Today very-thoughtful Pops took kids and Granny home so I could have an evening and portion of a day to myself without the brood and the broohaha that goes with. I thnk Granny was a bit miffed that I sent her off with Pops and the kids. She and Pops have an amicable relationship at best. Here on the second floor I have a full view of the ocean, the Watsonville river and crop fields banking it. For you Hot Mama's out there this is the place some of yo have been to before. The best part is I am cuddled on the couch with a wireless laptop and need to move to see the view. My playdate will be arriving with in the next hour or so. Artie, the hot mama who does all the art. We'll have dinner out, a comfy evening, good coffee inthe morning and head on home. aahhh
I have got to get the hot mamas down here again! This place just kicks butt.

Piggie Poo

Per jennyalice he is still pooing and alive. I ahome tomorrowe and will check in.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Sweet Guinea Pig Buddy

Buddy the guinea pig has been a mainstay in my office for over a couple of years. He is a beautiful tri-color, long haired pig. Sad news here, I looks like he will die in the next few days. He has had a cough, but as I checked his water before we left town yesterday it was apparent that he is severely ill. It is hard to know how much money to spend on a pet... I held him for a bit and pet him. I feel sad and a bit guilty. At this point I hope he dies quickly so he is not in pain. I am glad I am not at home or I would be obsessed with both going in to and avaoiding the office. I don't want to have to find him dead and deal with that. Another reason why I hope he dies while we are gone. Fortunately, the kids do not seem too attached to him.

Poor jennyalice agreed to feed, walk and water the zoo. Nice of me to leave her a dying pet. She really doesn't care for the rat-footed piggies, so I guess that is good. No sadness for her.

I am not sure what to do with his body. Should I bury it in the back yard? Frankly, there isn't really a good spot that isn't lawn or root bound. But I don't know that I feel comfortable putting him the trash-even if he is wrapped up nicely. Thoughts? I'll talk to Pops also.

Many of my past and current speech clients are in love with Buddy. Kids who no longer see me still ask their Mom's about Buddy. He is fed many times a day by his adoring fans. He has patiently tolerated many a dump of hay on his head, turning up-side down of his house and the flinging of food pellets. As well, he has allowed my 2labs to stick their tongues in between the squares on the cage or to push the cage around so that they could eat little morsels from his cage.

I need to let the parents of the kids I see know that Buddy will be gone when they return after spring break. I may contact my teacher friend at the preschool mentioned below on how she is handling the demise of Wilbur with her preschoolers. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the kids who have been fond of him.

I do have Sammy the guinea pig. He lives in the family room. He was supposed to be a companion for Buddy-but he seemed more interested in trying to kill Buddy-hence his home in the famly room. I could move him in-but it is not a straight trade out as Sammy has funky long hair, is mostly white and unfortunately has pink colored eyes. But he is very sweet, likes to be pet and eats like a horse. Oh-and my husband would love to get rid of the pig in the family room. But it would be fun to get a baby piggie to raise. I could have a contest with clients and family to name him/her.
Updates to follow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Wilbur the Guinea Pig

When Ki was younger we had her in a co-op preschool. The school rents space inside of a church. My job our last year was as the official "pet care taker". I cared for Bo the white rat. Then mid year he uh, kicked off. But I have to say prior to that he had a great time over winter break at my house. He became obsessed with escaping from his cage and roaming our home. This once included traversing from my office all the way into the kitchen and adorning my mother's foot while she did the dishes. Luckily, she is unfazed by animals and rats.

Following Bo's demise and subsequent burial in a Cheerios box in the trash can, it was my mission to replace the preschool fuzzy pet. I lobbied to get a guinea pig, as they are not as offensive to many a Mommy as a rat. Also, they are fairly hardy asthe weigh 1 1/2 to 3 pounds. Better in my opinion, then say, a hamster whose little legs can snap off too easilly.

So I became obsessed with adopting an adult guinea pig. I found one on Craig's List. A handsome guy whose pet-loving family held him often. So Wilbur, the sweet and tubby guinea pig, became a member of the preschool. Our time overlapped at the preschool for 6 months and then Ki moved on to kindergarten. Overtime I occasionally inquired about Wilbur.

Last week Squid was kind enough to call and let me know that Wilbur had passed on. I think he had a good life. How many piggies get little kids sliding fresh veggies into their cages all day?

A few days later I got the following e-mail from a friend who is still at the school:

I popped by the school yesterday to grab my daughter's jacket that she'd left on her hook. As I was going in the outside door, there was an elderly church volunteer reading the sign that the teacher had put up on the outside door about Wilbur's death and to not tell any of the other students yet. He was shaking his head very sadly and then looked at me, realized that I was from the school, and said "this is SO tragic!". And I said, "I know, he was about the cutest one we'd ever had". And then the man looked even sadder and said well, "what happened to the little boy?! Then I realized that he thought Wilbur was one of the children at the school!! So I straightened that out for him that he was our school pet.

Maybe the next one can be called Fluffy or something.

( :

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ki lost her second tooth

Dear tooth Firey
I am sorry but I lostt My tooth yesterday
I lost my tooth at Roy Clown scool When I was walk to the hafis. when I got ther it was gond.
P.S. Plese give me monny

Monday, March 10, 2008

I, the sandwich

I remember when Granny first moved in my friend Bea pointed out that I was living the sandwich generation. You know-taking care of your kids and parents at the same time.
I told her the good news was that the 2 pieces of bread really got along great.

Fast forward nearly 2 years. Aj has gotten more volatile and Granny has lost her skills at modulating her responses to the kids. Two weeks ago I had an evening meeting to go to and Pops was due home 45 minutes after I left. I put sandwiches ready to be grilled and a hunk of ham on the counter. Evidently, Alex wanted some ham and either was or wasn't using a knife to cut the ham. He and Granny got into a disagreement. Then Aj kicked Granny in the shin. Now if this isn't bad enough, Granny has the old-lady skin that splits and bleeds if you snort at it. The result was a BIG gash on her leg. This was just 2 inches from another slow-healing sore on her leg that was from her walking into a toy in the family room.
Last week her leg began to look infected and I took her to the doctor.
The role of her poor memory meant that on the way to the doctor she asked 10 times (I counted) why we were going. Also, when the doctor said, "So, how did you do this?". She said she didn't remember.
So in the sandwich life, I am working to hold it all together and not leave the bread without the filling.
I don't want to find out what it means when Child Protective Services and Adult Protective Services go to battle with me in the middle.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Today Ki said.
"Okay, you be the Momma Ninja. Granny you be Old Ninja. And I am going to go outside and do what Ninja's do best."

A name is important

Can we really have a president with the name "Huckabee"?
That name makes me giggle.
Of course "Mitt" was a name no go, too.
Obama is different, but it doesn't make me giggle.