June 29, 2014: Dates and Such

Happy end of June! Can’t say this is the most eventful update ever, but we had a few bits of excitement here and there. And if you’re interested in reading my second blog-hop post, which I posted a couple of days ago, click here.

Our new schedule is working out swimmingly! Theo is at day camp for most of the day, and between Sam’s Early Intervention and his nap, I get several hours of work time, so I’ve been able to take the evenings off. Heavenly! I’ve even had time to do something that I’ve been meaning to do for well over a year—fix Theo’s ceiling fan! His room is the hottest room in the house (it gets the evening sun), and it’s a sweat box. The fan got broken over a year ago—it worked, but only at low speed, which doesn’t cool down the room much—and I hadn’t had time to investigate. But given our new-and-improved schedule, I was able to take a few minutes, climb up on a stool, take the bottom of the fan/lamp apart, and quickly fix the problem. Woohoo! His stuffy, sweaty room is now much more pleasant! Perhaps I can tackle a few other household projects that we’ve just never had time for. The list is certainly long….

Theo seems to be really enjoying day camp. It’s tiring, but I think it’s good for him—he comes home tired at the end of the day and sleeps well at night. There’s something to be said for long, lazy summer days, but Theo’s not at a point where that’s a good option for him. He gets antsy, argumentative, and full of mischief. We find it better for him—at this age, at least—to keep him pretty busy. And day camp certainly does that! They have field trips and crafts and bike-riding days and outdoor activities when it’s cool enough and water play…pretty much everything you can think of. And then he’s had swim lessons in the late afternoon. I wondered how those would go after a full day of camp, but he’s actually doing really well. I can’t believe how well he’s swimming! He can now do breaststroke, freestyle, and elementary backstroke. The only thing he can’t do is jump in the pool—that still frightens him. But he can swim the length of a long pool doing any of those strokes competently, which sets this mama’s mind greatly at ease! Given how many pools and bodies of water there are in California, I just feel much better with a kiddo who can swim fairly well! His teacher recommends we start Sam next year, so we’ll definitely be doing that.

Sam had a good week at Early Intervention. He is the little greeter there, apparently. They have all sorts of people touring the classrooms any given week—parents of kids who will be starting the program, donors who are looking to support the program, etc.—and they told me that the minute people walk in, Sam immediately lights up in a big smile, waves, and says, “Hiiiiiiiiiii!” as if he’s the official greeter! And heck, who can resist his smile?!

I actually got to spend 90 minutes with his class this week, and it was really a neat experience. Technically, I can volunteer any time I want…but I generally work while he’s there, so I haven’t yet. But one day this week, we had a scheduling conflict (the details of which are unimportant), so I decided to take 90 minutes and go hang out with his class for recess and lunch. What fun! Sam was pretty tired at recess and just sat and watched the other kids, but he was also hungry. His former OT (who still works with him when she works in his class—she’s just not one-on-one with him anymore) was trying to inspire him at recess, so she said, “Come on, Sam, let’s march!” Well, apparently they march to go in to lunch from recess, and he knows that, so he promptly marched, on his own, all the way around the very large playground, down the hall, and to the door that leads into the building, which he then knocked on. When he found out it wasn’t yet time for lunch, he was rather peeved. 🙂 But later, when it was time to go in (they have a pretty long outdoor recess, which is nice! Two, in fact…), he knew to walk in line with the other kids, and he knew right where to go to get back to his classroom. (I think the building is a complete maze, but Sam evidently knows his way around!) He promptly walked into the bathroom, climbed up on a stool, washed his hands by himself (he just needed help pushing the soap pump down), dried them when handed a paper towel, climbed off the stool, went to his lunch table, and sat down. Then he fed himself yogurt (okay, that’s still all he eats, along with crackers…baby steps!), and when he was finished, he wiped up his place at the table, walked his washcloth over to the dirty cloths bucket and threw it in, threw his garbage in the garbage can, and walked his lunch bag over to the lunch-bag tub and threw it in. Later, when he wanted to go home, I was holding him and he wiggled to be put down. I put him down, and he walked over to the inner door and tried to open it. I opened it for him (he can’t yet—by design, so kiddos don’t escape!), and he walked over to the lunch-bag tub, picked up his lunch bag, and walked to the door outside and waited for me to open it. When I did, he carried his lunch bag and walked to the gate, then waited for me to open that. Then he started walking to the car.

It’s a long walk and he was tired, so he sat down and gave up partway, but the point is, he has his entire routine down and is quite capable! And he wasn’t alone! None of the kids in his class is older than three (the day after they turn three, they age out of Early Intervention and transfer into the school system—there is no grace period), and all of the kids have some sort of special need (there’s one other with DS, and I assume some are on the autism spectrum, and the rest have some sort of special needs, though I couldn’t tell you what), but all of the kids are able to follow this routine and do an impressive job of self-care with minimal help from the teachers. It really is great to see how independent they are learning to be, and how proud they are of it! Honestly, I never would’ve thought to have Sam start cleaning up his own place yet. Theo does it, but Theo’s six. At Sam’s age, we were still cleaning up after him. I think Theo was three before we started having him clear his plates from the table. And yet, Sam is doing it already. Clearly, we could’ve had Theo do it earlier, too! I think we (I mean this globally—I think a lot of parents do this without even thinking about it!) don’t necessarily realize just how much our kids are capable of. New resolve: Never underestimate what sorts of chores my kiddos are capable of. I know they’re both smart little cookies, but I don’t think I was giving them enough credit for how much they can do in terms of being independent little creatures!

Anyway, a sad note about Early Intervention: Sam’s beloved teacher had her last day on Friday! She’s moving on to another job that will work better for her current living situation, and it sounds like a great opportunity, so we’re very happy for her! But we loved having her as Sam’s teacher, and Theo in particular had a giant crush on her, so I know they’re going to miss her. 🙂 I do know Sam’s new teacher, though, and I like her very much, too. So it’s all good…but we will miss BeLinda!

Big excitement for Chris and I this week was a date! Auntie Lynnie watched the boys while we went out to dinner and dessert. We went to our favorite sushi restaurant in Sacramento, where we used to go when we were dating and first married. And oh, it’s every bit as good as we remembered! We had a few appetizers (calamari, oysters [for me!], grilled asparagus) and split a couple of sushi rolls, plus I had an oyster shooter and a nice glass of wine, while Chris had a yummy cider. Then we walked over to a chocolatier we like and had homemade ice-cream bars (vanilla covered in dark chocolate and almonds) for dessert. So tasty! Meanwhile, the boys went to dinner and church with Auntie Lynnie, Uncle Charles, and cousin Stevie. Theo went to the kids’ room and did some crafts and heard some stories, while Sam attended part of the service passed a lot of gas. 🙂 I’m laughing about this because…like mother, like son. As legend has it, when I was about three years old, my family went to church one Sunday, and I expressed some very loud gas on the hard wooden pew. Being three and having no shame, I sat there straight-faced. Meanwhile, my then-10-year-old sister was mortified, and the man in the pew in front of us was reportedly trying so hard to contain his laughter that his shoulders shook. I am, of course, the same kid who sorta mooned the congregation during her baptism. I had ruffled underwear under my shortie 1970s pinafore thingy, but apparently when they told me to raise my candle, I lifted it so high that my dress came up, and my ruffly little bottom was exposed to the entire congregation. Is it any surprise I don’t go to church now?! Appropriate church behavior is apparently not my forte! (I’m joking, of course. I’m quite sure I could now attend church without farting or showing my underwear to people. At least, I hope I could….)

On that lively note, I’m going to bid you goodnight. My dear husband forgot to feed me today (long story!), so I’m hungry and cranky, and it’s time for me to go find food. See ya next week! I’m hoping to write up a post on thyroid stuff later this week, so check back if you’re interested in that. We’ll see whether I get to it…I also have a book on computer animation to write, so we’ll see whether I can squeeze in a blog post!

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