Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Speech - Alexander Edition

Alexander is 17 months old and seems to be taking after William rather than Lainy Ann in the speech department.

His words are:
"cheese" - when taking a picture, not the food
"kitty"/"cookie" - they sound the same
"mama"
"dada"
"tetetete" - his word for eat, which is really just the t-sound

The rest of his communication tools include a series of whines and screeches. The pitch tells me what he means and pointing tells me what he wants. He will also nod and shake his head.

But he is no where near average for children his age. Spending time with his cousins recently really reminded me of how delayed he really is. His receptive language is fabulous though. In fact, this morning he threw a plate to the ground and spilled food. I told him to pick it up and he did. He even picked up all the food bits.

Regardless I have called Lanterman Regional Center and we are beginning the process of evaluating for speech. It can take up to 45 days so I am glad we called when he was 17 months rather than 18 months.

Schooled by the Veterinarian

There is something going on with kitty. I don't want to bore you with all the details, but it includes vomiting on my brand new rug. My husband decided that kitty needed to see the doctor and we all know what that means. It means that *I* need to take kitty (and 4 kids) to the doctor.

So I called the vet to get an appointment and the helpful receptionist says, "We have time this afternoon." This seems like a less than ideal situation. Not only will I be taking 4 children and a cat to the vet right after school, which in our house is cranky/hungry time. But we are having a huge thunderstorm complete with hail and winds. So I reply to the receptionist, "Sure, we will be there in 30 minutes".

I grabbed the kitty and grabbed some granola bars and we head out in the rain. All the way there I get to answer questions about why the kitty is crying and why he doesn't understand English. So then the kids decide to meow at him to tell kitty that we are going to the vet and to not worry.

We get to the vet and into a room and are (semi) patiently waiting. The doctor starts to ask me about symptoms while the kids are, well, being kids. The baby wants to be held so he can see, Lainy Ann is doing homework, but must stand next to me to do it, and Connor is playing with the kitty, while the doctor is trying to keep him still. William is in his own little world bouncing around, but whenever he gets too close to Connor, Connor lets out a scream. Yet I am trying to talk to the doctor through all this mess.

At this point the doctor is telling me that my cat is ruling the roost. His symptoms are behavioral and I am a bad kitty-mommy. The low-roar in the room is cresting and I remember the granola bars in my purse. I quickly dole them out and . . . . . SILENCE. Now I can talk to the doctor. But he wants to do the talking. He says, "Do you see what just happened? The kids were bothering you and you fed them and now they are quiet. I bet that's what is happening with kitty too."

Fabulous! Even the vet is telling me I'm a bad parent.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Toys in boots

Ssssshhhh . . . . . . I have a secret. Don't tell my husband. For years the kids have been putting toys in his boots; balls, cars, paperclips, blocks, small little odds and ends. He usually finds them as he gets ready for work in the morning, but not until he puts his foot in the boot. At which point he grumble about "these kids" and dumps out his boot. He rarely checks his boot first.

In the last few months I have decided to leave my own little reminders of his children and how much he is loved. I, too, have been adding things to his boots. Not all the time, just often enough so he can be reminded about how wonderful it is to be a family man.

Thirsty

We had a long day yesterday, we skipped school and went to Disneyland to celebrate H's 4th birthday. We get along really well with his family and we thought it would be a lot of fun for the kids to be together at Disneyland. We planned for a long day with lots of snacks to avoid the over-priced bland food at Disney. The day went very well. There were few melt downs and behavior problems, we got to see several attractions in progress as they were being refurbished, and the lines were short. Even so, we didn't leave the park until after 8 pm and didn't get into our own beds until 10 pm last night. That's very late for my kids who are in bed at 7 pm and usually up by 6 am.

Caskey and I were exhausted too. As the kids got tired of walking we took turns with them on our shoulders, it was just a hard day. We fell into bed shortly after we put all of our munchkins to bed.

At 2 am though little feet came padding down the stairs. William had brought me an empty, clean water cup from the drawer. He was asking me to assemble the water cup for him because he was thirsty. I couldn't believe he had gotten up in the night, found himself a new cup with the intention of getting himself a cup of water. I can remember just a few months ago when he would scream and cry hysterically that he was thirsty, only for us to find his cup buried in the sheets.

I was so proud of my little man last night, just 3 years old, getting up and taking care of his needs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Almost 7

I'm in the process of making a book out of my blog. I'm not going to sell it or anything, it is just for my own personal use and mostly so I won't lose my blogs in the big bad internet world. I decided to start with the year 2006. I ran across this post from my daughter's 3rd birthday. I cried. I can't believe how grown up she was at 3 years old and how much bigger she has gotten in the last, gasp, 4 years.

The last paragraph spoke of her learning to ride a 2-wheeled bike and going to First grade. She has accomplished both of those things and so much more.

Just last night I wasn't feeling well and my baby girl, um big girl, helped make dinner. She decided they would have chicken nuggets and cherry tomatoes. She got the table set, food cooked, and then the plates cleared. I think she enjoyed it a little too much as she started bossing around and telling the other kids where to sit. But I was so nice to be able to depend on her.

She is already asking about her first cell phone and camera. She wants to know about make-up and boyfriends. I am eternally grateful that she is happy with the answer, "When you are older" for now. I'm not ready to deal with any of those things. I am very proud of her, she is going to be a wonderful mommy and a self-reliant woman. Ugh. *woman* Can I even use that word in relation to my daughter? I think I am going to keep calling her my baby girl as long as she will let me. [caption id="attachment_644" align="alignnone" width="399" caption="Lainy Ann selling Girl Scout cookies at Daddy\'s office"]Lainy Ann selling Girl Scout cookies at Daddy's office[/caption]

Short-Stuff is Smart-Stuff

Four kids and they all have some striking similarities. Like all kids they adore electronics, remotes, basically anything they aren't supposed to have. The Holy Grail of all this is untouchable is Daddy's Office. It is his sanctuary, as it should be, he works from home occasionally and he revives my dead camera, cell phone or Nintendo DS, because the kids played with it. I can only imagine that it is beautiful to a child; 3 huge landscape flat screen monitors, tons of tiny screwdrivers, which seem to be the perfect size for tiny hands.

Alexander has discovered this magical place. He is only *allowed* back there under supervision in the arms of an adult. At which point he wiggles and squirms and gives out adorable smiles until he gets what he wants - to be put on the ground where he can reach everything. But even better than that is to sneak back to the office undetected so he has a few minutes alone to explore to his hearts content. But short-stuff has gotten too smart for his own good. Now when he sneaks down the stairs he closes the gate behind him. That way when I panic and can't find him I immediately dismiss the office because, well, the gate is closed.

He hasn't figured out how to cover his tracks yet. Just yesterday he left a tell-tale half eaten granola bar next to the mouse. He must have discarded it in glee ready to start using the computer. I think he may have accidentally discarded my husbands emails too . . . . .

Medieval Castle

I know I have posted time and time again that the yard is the kids domain. They "steal" the recycling trash and make inventions. Every few weeks I have to scour the castle and other hidey spots in my yard for the trash. They even take stuff out of the trashcans to create lemonade stands, garage sales, or play house. I think they were in hog heaven when we remodeled the kitchen last summer and they got to color and draw all over 30+ cabinet boxes. [caption id="attachment_595" align="alignnone" width="360" caption="Box-Fort out of boxes that held kitchen cabinets"]Box-Fort out of boxes that held kitchen cabinets[/caption]

We recently found an old Halloween skeleton. It was tossed onto the porch to await the next trip out to the trash. But as I just looked outside I discovered the castle decorated with bones. Its like a warning to the rest of the neighborhood; don't trespass or we will maim you. It looks so much like the castles in those movies where they put skulls on the top of the turrets to warn passer-byers.

Don't worry neighbors. The only fear you have is a bunch of kids yelling hi and waving. Oh and they might steal your trash and decorate my yard with it.

Compassion

My daughter has spent most of her life thinking about #1. Even when she is helping the other kids, its usually to benefit herself.

But these last few weeks she has gotten into the giving spirit. She has spent hours holed up in her room drawing pictures, writing letters, and making wrapping paper for her friends and family as Christmas gifts. She even scoured her room for toys and trinkets she was willing to part with. Her gift to me was a spider ring leftover from Halloween and a beautifully drawn portrait of our family.

It was so nice to see new traits in my daughter; compassion and generosity.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Playing Hookey

I have absolutely no excuse. The kids have been on winter break for 2 weeks and we have done nothing but hang out together at home. We have stayed in our jammies, eaten more snacks and fewer meals, and in general have been lazy. They have played with the neighbors, skipped naps and stayed up late. Its been heaven, for all of us.

But Monday marked back-to-school for the boys. They were almost an hour late the first two days. It was hard to get back into the routine. Then they were so cranky and tired when they got home from school. Sure, it was nice shopping with only 2 kids instead of 4, but they were so worn out at the end of the day. They missed each other too. Lainy Ann would mope all day and Connor wanted nothing more than to play outside with everyone when he got home from school.

Last night the kids received the last of their Christmas gifts from grandma. They had little time to play with the toys last night before bedtime. So first thing this morning they were shooting nerf guns and playing cars. And we were late for school again. But they were playing so nicely. Connor even said "Do I have to go to school today?" Its only kindergarten and preschool. So I made a deal with them. If all of them promised to rest (watch a movie) so mommy could rest then they could stay home.

They played outside all morning with the nerf guns. There are quite a few 'bullets' on my roof now. Even Alexander got into the act and was running around outside playing and swinging on the seesaw swing. We put batteries in toys. Everyone took a turn with the new remote controlled car and Chinese yo-yo. We played a crossword game on the DS, sent email thank you notes, and cuddled on the couch. I feel only slightly guilty since I didn't want to deal with the fight to get everyone to school this morning. But how much longer will they be little?

I have decided to go play with our visiting cousins this afternoon, just to overcome the guilt.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Puddles

"It's raining. Do you know what I love most about the rain?" asked Connor last week.

"Do you love jumping in puddles?" asked William (3 years old)

"Nope, I don't have to water the plants when it rains because the rain does it for me." replied Connor.

Yup, mom is such a slave driver that the kids beg for it to rain. How horrible of me to ask them to water their tomato plant. LOL