29 September, 2008

Another Embarrasing Story to Help Children...

this one is all mine http://www.canisitwithyou.org

"Lena" and I were best friends in fourth and fifth grade. We even had boyfriends who were best friends. She came all the way from the other side of town to come to the GATE classes at our school. We went to different middle schools and pretty much lost contact some time during those junior high years.

She was a US champion surfer, which I suppose, is something that happens when you grow up in Southern California, you know movie stars and champion surfers. I also know she went to UCI (probably even took a class from my dad!)and I think she got a degree in Chemistry. I am fairly certain she is a pediatrician now.

now I sound like a stalker....

28 September, 2008

Vote for this Project!

If you have an American Express card, please consider voting for my dear friend's project. They made it to the top 25! Voting ends in just four hours.

Grass Root Soccer (http://www.grassrootsoccer.org/) provides African youth with the knowledge, life skills, and support to live HIV-free.

22 September, 2008

Yeah. I am.

During a dinner of fish sticks, tater tots, baby apples, sliced peaches, petit peas and 1 gallon of ketchup for each child, washed down with a glass of Ovaltine:

Jake: Whoop whoop!

[Jake signs for "more" then eats his last bite and races out to the backyard, still carrying ketchup on his lower lip and milk on his upper.]

Lucy: Mom. Mama you're so lucky.

Me: Really Lucy? Why do you say that?

Lucy: Because you are just so happy. We're all so happy. We're lucky. You're lucky mom.

Me: Well that sounds good to me!

Lucy: BRAVO! BRAVO!

[takes a giant bow]

21 September, 2008

A is for Apple

Jake ate an apple. Really. All by himself. Not chopped up, not pre-speared on a fork. He ate an apple.  He ate the apple pictured below on the right. 

  


Bite by bite he picked up the apple, took a nibble then set it down on the counter. Then he picked it up again, chose the next bite and took that one too. I started to cry. 

I told him I was really proud of him. Lucy, not really understanding the great accomplishment, but loathe to miss an opportunity to be a part of a good time, ran up and said "Good job. Jake loves apples!" 

Jake has never been able to do this before. Well, if we did let him have his own apple he would eat indiscriminately, core, stem, seeds, whichever. This time I watched him choose the next bite. 

Sorry to be obsessing over this seemingly small task but add it to this little list:

  • new skill: Jake can pull the covers over himself as he lies in bed. 
  • After grabbing the hair of a little girl on the play structure on Thursday (as she raced by him). I said "Jake! LET GO!" and he unclenched his fist, her shiny hair then slid past his palm and it looked more like the hello he was trying for and less like an attack.
  • new skill: After being unbuckled, Jake walks off the bus without assistance and grabs my hand at the door.
  • Jake tried to tickle his sister tonight after she tickled him. He touched her stomach, instead of a random grab for whatever part he could find. 
  • Jake sat and listened to the entire story "The Giving Tree" when I just read it to him tonight.
It has been a pretty rough month...maybe even six weeks. Colds and migraines and general fussiness, and now, once again it feels like we have some small but significant gains in the aftermath. 

I will need to remind myself the next time I am in those dark hours, that this light feels so very good.


19 September, 2008

Real Women

support other women. Here's an idea I just had forwarded to me.

I made the gift to honor "All Women" but admit I did have the acknowledgment sent to Sarah Palin c/o McCain Headquarters:

***************************


Here's an idea for $10, or even $5 (that's the minimum).

In addition to sending more emails about our Palin concerns, let's all
make a donation to Planned Parenthood.

In Sarah Palin's name.

And here's the good part: when you make a donation to Planned
Parenthood in her name, they'll send her a card telling her that
the donation has been made in her honor.

You'll need to fill in the address to let Planned Parenthood know
where to send the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card. I suggest
you use the address for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington, VA 22202

P.S. Make sure you use the link below and choose "Honorary or
Memorial Donations" -- not the regular "Donate Online". Here is the
secure link to the Planned Parenthood website:

https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor

13 September, 2008

Pretend

we've never really had a kid who played pretend in our house. Not initiated the game on their own, although we play tickle monster with Jake, and say all sorts of things while wrestling.

Now we have bears to hide from, and pretend beetles named Sophie (and Sophie's brother and Sophie's daddy too)

and just now, Lucy sat on the floor with a fairy and a Polly Pocket and the two little people had a whole discussion about having playtime together and they decided to be friends and play patty cake. Then they climbed a mountain and got to the top and said "Good job friend! We did it." Now they are at the fairy's house and they are singing a song about being friends and going to sleep. They are even saving a place to sleep for someone's brother.

She just asked me for a brother dolly.

One little person has "a nice haircut", which was met by "thank you nice thing a say [sic]."

In Lucy's make believe land all of the little people share and are kind to each other. They compliment haircuts and say excuse me.

It is also sweet because in this little world of hers, the brother talks too. And he always has nice things to say to his sister.

12 September, 2008

Every Action

has an equal and opposite reaction:

Jake off of his Adderall XR:
  • more verbalization
  • more silliness
  • less able to sit in class
  • more clearly visible by his reactions that he is "there" because he is making sounds and laughing appropriately at funny things
  • I feel like I need to research every drug on the market to find him a new drug that will help him focus without losing what little verbal ability he has.
Travel to Tahoe, Southern California, East Bay and everywhere else we went this summer:
  • Lots of great memories for kiddos and grownups
  • Nice things to reference in the car when we there is a crybaby Lucy who misses her cousins
  • Out of control laundry and suitcases that have not officially been unpacked completely in over a month.
  • Nagging feeling that I am behind
I have finally done all of the laundry:
  • can't find any time to fold it unless I am awake at 2am
  • can't find anything because it is in a gajillion baskets all over my bedroom
  • brief sense of accomplishment until I open the dryer and find more clothing that, while clean and dry... is still magically not going to be folded and put away.
  • constant feeling that I am behind
Date night with Descartes on Thursdays:
  • happy husband and wife who actually talked...to each other.. throughout an entire dinner about more than just who needs to go potty.
  • less cash
  • less time to do crappy laundry (see above)
Can I Sit With You? book number two being published this fall:
  • whooo hoooo excitement and thrill of accomplishing something meaningful
  • constant feeling that I am behind
Lucy is most precious bright star:
  • no sleep for precocious toddlers in our family apparently because she has not been asleep before 11pm more than once in the last two weeks.
  • I am worn out by 10 am each day
  • have seriously contemplated nearly full time preschool/daycare so at least someone can stimulate her for 8 hours a day.
  • breath-stealing guilt that I am sometimes annoyed by her smart, capable, little personage, after my oft-mentioned heartache of having a child with disabilities
Finally took care of myself and went to the doctor for shoulder pain:
  • not only do I have a rotator cuff injury, but something is f'd up in my elbow as well.
  • need to go to physical therapy 2-3 times a week for at least a month
  • personal mini-crisis wondering how the hell I am supposed to be strong enough to care for my disabled child when I am only going to get older and weaker
  • guilt for not going to the gym regularly so I could have avoided this injury, be in better shape and live a healthier life for me and my family.

I am now going to clean the guest room, one room, (I can do it) while Lucy is FINALLY taking a nap. 


08 September, 2008

I've Been Hiding

Not really. But I have somehow avoided real life for nearly two weeks with travel and family, so I suppose I've actually been living my "real" life instead of blogging about it.

I've actually had so much to say lately that I didn't really have the energy to write it down. A few things...

Jake has been doing okay in school. His new aide Lynna is young and strong. She appears confident, and gets along well with the other adults in the class, which I think is key to Jake's success.

Jake cried every day for two weeks in the morning before school. We would get two blocks from school (at a stop sign near a 7-11..and since he's never had a negative experience there, I had to assume it is his last marker in knowing that he is indeed going to school). He wold cry with real tears. Something that doesn't happen very often. Only when he's injured...or very very sad about something.

It would take him another 40 minutes at school with Janet comforting him and talking about change, and how Anna still loves him, but she is working somewhere else now before he would begin to be okay. Eventually he would calm down and has had pretty good days.

We shall see. Sadly there is no real way for me to observe Jake with his new aide without becoming a part of the environment. I expect that Janet will keep me informed, and Jake's home aide is also in the class, so while I don't like her to "spy" for me, I know she would say something if it was a bad match.

For now I am home with both kiddos. Jake has a cold. He slept until just a few minutes ago, and Lucy is happy to stay in her jammies and watch a kid show in the living room). She spent her days in SoCal with paper dolls and pink castles and the full attention of Grandma, Grandpa and mommy, her time further punctuated by adoration from her cousin Bubsy, aunts and uncles, and a whole other set of grandparents. She's an outgoing kid but I think even Lucy is enjoying being left alone this morning. We are skipping her swimming lessons this morning so as not to torment her brother by dragging him along.

07 September, 2008

The Nicest Thing My Parents Could Write to Me...

an email I just received upon our return from Southern California:

Dear Jennyalice

PJ & I think you are doing a wonderful job of raising Lucy. She is a very delightful and charming little girl.
We really enjoyed having her here(You too)!
love,
Momma and PJ

*************

as Lucy is fond of saying "Phew. That was a close one Mom."
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