Sunday, September 30, 2012

31 for 21 starts tomorrow!

Here we go!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Real posts to start Monday!

Milkshake on the first
day of school. Have we been back
a month already?

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Independent, just
getting a couple things. Just
a couple three genes.

Eye Candy

This is one of my
favorite pictures ~  Uncle
Pete, Baby boy cheeks.

Thirty one/twenty
one blogging challenge starts in 
4.  Hoarding posts now.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Have I told you all that I love you lately?  I do.  I love this space, and your spaces, and that my whining last night about some seriously first world problems is met with sympathy & pats on the head, not the eye rolling it probably deserved.  And, as these things often do, the moment passed and today I am filled with Yes, I can too do EVERYTHING.  All Half the laundry is folded, I ran(!), I'm here - about to gift you with some hyper adorable pictures, AND I got that work thing done today, that I'd been avoiding for weeks, that I'd lugged home for the weekend and then (obviously) felt guilty about not doing.  I swear it was like a giant evil eye glaring at me from the kitchen counter all weekend.  Never, never, never bring work home.

 Yes, sort of like this evil eye.  

[I did not get a chance to read YOUR lovely posts, fold the other half of the laundry or spend any time with the kids who were already in bed when I got home.  And I only got 6 hours of sleep, which might account for the giddy tone here.]

Miscellanea from last week ~
IEP meeting update:  I didn't want everyone's guard up and I didn't really know what I was asking for, so I requested an "information gathering meeting," to talk about The Girl's communication in class.  The Girl's teacher, who at first meet just seemed too young and waaaayyy too well put together to be spending her day with preschoolers really impressed me (proving once again my first reactions are always wrong).  She showed me some of the matching/selecting activities they do, that she can do without ASL, and it sounds like she really is trying to pick up some signs.  The SLP's office is between the two pre-K classes so she (apparently) pops her head in during circle time or at the activity tables and demonstrates the sign of the hour or something.  We talked about iPads and assistive speech apps and they're going to try out some of the iPad programs to see what works before we sink a bunch of money into something.  No one thought signing AND using a speech app was a bad idea, even though the one speaker at the NDSC conference said we should stick with one system...?  Facebook was all for "multi-modalities".  I dunno.  I can make the argument either way - we'll try it out and see how it goes.

Yup, just keep pressing buttons to see what happens.

Oh, and I brought cookies.  They never eat during these meetings which I suppose is the professional thing to do, to not smear crumbs and chocolate all over the official IEP document, but I hope they dug in later.  Somebody better enjoy them since I spent a whole seven minutes in the store picking them out.

Did someone say cookies?    

Also, since I am mom of the year, I completely forgot to ask about PROMPT training and apraxia.  Since this was just a "chat" we're going to have a formal IEP meeting in a month to touch base again, so we'll cover it then.  I still want to observe the classroom at some point too, though the logistics of that might drown me.

Did I mention The Girl is the proud new owner of an iPad?  Shortly after this post, my SIL ran into a mom and her daughter, who has Ds, and she was raving about their iPad and Proloquo2go.  My super-awesome SIL then plotted with my other super-awesome SIL and my super-awesome MIL and they all combined funds to gift The Girl with a very early, exceedingly generous Christmas present.  WOW, right?  I am terrified I'm going to break it.  I'm terrified she's going to break it.  I had also gone to dinner at SIL's home the night before they gave it to us and completely forgot to bring anything, not even a bottle of wine - I am a HUGE schmuck.
Ha!  Mommy said "Schmuck!"

And, last, right after the IEP meeting last Monday we drove for an hour into town to get labs done at the Children's Hospital.  We've had them done closer to home before but it would have been easier to lop off a finger and hold the bleeding stump over a bowl, for all the trauma and random useless needle pokes inflicted on the poor girl.  At Childrens we were in & out with only a single tear shed.  Results came back today & we're good!.

The pout.  Practicing for next year's labs. 
Actually this was right before The Boy's 8:30am soccer game and we had the unmitigated GALL to go thru McD's drive thru for coffee without getting her anything.  MEANEST PARENTS E.V.E.R. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Overly (?) Idle Thoughts

I am having a really hard time lately with this work/life balance myth.  There are a gazillion articles floating around about how You Can Have It All!  or Don't Even Try!  Be happy with what have!  Neither of these theories, however, get the laundry done, my miles run, my sadly neglected blog written, much less my children snuggled, read to, homework-ed, potty trained, therapized, or taken out for a bike ride.  Never mind the fact that I should be spending at least 25% more time at work than what I'm currently logging, and stuff there, as they say, ain't getting done.

Totally unrelated soccer pictures to follow.
And before you awesome women out there tell me to take time for myself, I do.  Matt & I had date night last night and I spent today in my bathrobe, catching up with my reader.  The kids played happily & it was a lovely, much needed, relaxing day.  But the work I brought home wasn't worked and the laundry is now padding the walls around me.  Something is always neglected.

Something like remembering to call the school when we tweaked switched around our days and telling them we weren't going to pick her & that The Girl should go back to daycare on the bus (no, she wasn't left standing - but it was a last minute freak save).  Or remembering to make her follow up appointment with the ENT that we are months overdue for, garnering that shitty parent alert! in the scheduling nurse's voice.  Or remembering we'd talked about getting The Boy's eyes checked... two months ago.

Matt and I were talking about tweaking our schedules yet again, but this is the 54th time we've had the conversation and we have not yet managed to fix the problem that is there are only 2 adults and 24 hours in a day.  I went out to lunch with a friend on Friday and rambled on about the relative merits of 4x10 or 5x8 work weeks only to suddenly realize we I had said the exact same things a couple months earlier in the exact same restaurant.  She's a patient friend.

And neither of our kids are those over-scheduled bits of precociousness you hear about who learned Mandarin by age 4 and the cello by 5.  The Girl gets 1 hour private speech therapy a week and The Boy has a 3-4 month run of soccer, which is 1 hour Thursdays + one weekend game.  I'd actually really like to find the time (& money!) to try dance, piano, more speech therapy, some OT, swim lessons, maybe karate... and Mandarin (Really! How useful would that be?  Or Spanish.  Or both!).  Maybe not all at once though.

Then there was a discussion on FB involving all these parents don't believe in or feel they need private therapy.  That debate aside, I was actually left feeling just inadequate.  Ridiculous, I know, because if we're being brutally honest, even if I were a full time stay at home mom, I would not be stringing beads and sorting sensory color chips into egg cartons with my girl - I'm more the snuggle/park/book mom.  But then I felt guilty I don't have the TIME to - maybe if I weren't trying to cram the relaxing and the laundry and the park into one short weekend, I might end up thinking painting egg cartons is an awesome way to spend an hour?

I'm just going to press 'publish' on this for the hell of it, since what's the point of having a blog if you can't kvetch every now & then?  Yes, I know we're all doing the best we can.  *I* am doing the best I can.  And this is such a first world problem since I AM employed and we are all, for the moment, healthy.  Some of my friends are not.  In the face of hardship, other's and my own, where is my serenity & gratitude?  Maybe it's not so much more time I need, as acceptance.  The problem is that re-reading that Be happy with what have! article probably won't fix everything.  Maybe yoga?  Oh!  If only I had time to take yoga!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Clear Skies

Literal clear skies.  Metaphorically not so much - The Girl's IEP meeting is on Monday - but this summer was so brutally hot we spent most of it indoors.  Today it was 75 and the skies really (literally) looked like this.

The girl seemed to have a good time.

I took my usual awesome shots.

She climbed, all by herself.

 Love this kid.

That is all. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Of Tulle & Self Mockery

General update on the speech issues:  I requested an IEP meeting with the school, set for next Monday.  Conveniently scheduled at the same time as The Girl's 4 year check up which I just remembered I forgot to move, where I'm going to chat up her pediatrician and vomit up pour out all of my concerns, arguments, and counter-arguments.  Should be a fun week.

Editorial note:  All the photos in focus are my SIL's.  The blurry ones are mine.  It should be easy to sort out whose are whose.  

But let us talk of lighter things, of tulle, and cupcakes, mommy's domestic skills, and my confused half formed social agenda.

Oh yes, mom. Let's talk about THIS.
Plan A:
Many, many weekends ago we celebrated The Girl's fourth birthday.  I was responsible for the birthday cake and party theme.  We don't do anything fancy - balloons, streamers, and maybe some match-matchy party napkins.  Simple enough, right?  The Girl likes dolls, books, animals, and Signing Times.  Pick one, preferably one that doesn't involve kidnapping Rachel (of STime fame).  T-minus two weeks I was thinking a zoo theme.
I LOVE zoo animals!

Plan B:
T-minus three days I was still thinking a zoo theme but I've hated every birthday cake we've ever bought from the two local bakeries.  They haven't even been Cakewrecks bad, which would have least provided conversational fodder, they've just been half-assed.  Then I remembered we had the female equivalent of the cupcake toppers we'd used for The Boy's pirate/Spongebob birthday AND, bonus, we could take all the money we would have dumped into a day old blob of frosting and buy a fancy hunk-o-beef, instead of the leather we usually make our guests gnaw.  Win-win!

Plan C:
T-minus two days my SIL mentions a friend of hers makes Cake Boss-level cakes.  I spend an hour drooling over her pretty website, then lose another day trying to track her down, because I'm nothing if not decisive, only to find out she was in Chicago.   She refused to fly home early for me.
Help!  It's pulling me in!
Plan B, again:
Fine.  Princesses it is.  T-minus 24 hours, Matt picks up the fancy hunk-o-beef and a couple party favors.  Except he comes home with Disney princess themed crap.  Gasp!  The Horror!  And this is where I have a hard time explaining why the generic princesses we already owned were acceptable, but Snow White and Jasmine are not.  Generic princesses still have the potential to spurn dissolute princes and grow up to be wise and generous ruling Queens (Virgin Queens, of course).  We already know Snow White just lounged around, waiting for a boy to fix things.  Right?  It wasn't even the Disney bit - yes, large, wasteful, multi-national company but, man, I do enjoy their parks.  Matt refused to return everything until I acknowledged this might not be the most rational argument I've ever made.

Looking queenly.

Plan B, Section II:
In laughing about my haphazard party planning skills at work, someone mentioned a tutu-tiara set they'd seen.  A TUTU!  WHY, OF COURSE!  If we're going to go off the deep end of gender stereotyping, let's go ALL IN.  I can too plan a pink princess party!  Except we're not going to buy the easy cheap one already made by a small child in a third world country, THAT part would be wrong.  Just in case this post does not make it clear, my domestic skills are limited.  Crafting is not included.  But I love a challenge and what's more hard core than making a tutu 20 minutes before the guests arrive?  [Answer:  pretty much anything].  Luckily my dear friend D and her craft-magic MIL came early.  Matt was otherwise occupied with the BBQ so I pulled out my stash of pink fluff and talked them into tying little knots for me.  At one point Matt came in to grab the pepper - I refused to make eye contact and told him to just keep walking.  There is nothing going on here that you need to know about.   He hates last minute.   
Where did my foot go, mom? 
All those do-it-yourself websites are right, it really does only take 20 minutes for a no sew tutu.  Three people and 20 minutes.  In case you're concerned, in order to correct the imbalance in the universe her 5 year party is going be biker chick themed.
"Can you BELIEVE what mom made me wear?"

And one more for the road: