Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Red, Orange, Yellow, Blue...

Some of you may not be too impressed by what I am about to say, but being the mom of two special needs kids before #3 came along, my viewpoint is skewed. Last week I was walking around outside with Sadie (19 months old) and asked her to pick the yellow flower (thinking she would just pick one or I was going to point at the yellow flower). She proceeded to point at the yellow flower say, “Yellow” and then pick it. Coincidence? No, she then picked out the white and purple flowers. She has since replicated this new talent and I am completely impressed. I keep underestimating her and then being surprised when she does something so genius! Oh typical children…

This made me think, of course, of what we went through to teach Madeline colors. Seeing as how we spent a little while teaching her English we did not push things like colors or shapes. Why would we? Well, once she was headed to pre-school I figured it was time to really start working. You probably already know this, but Madeline has a bit of a strong-willed personality. Mix that with the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome and you can get in some interesting situations. I remember time and time again I would say the colors of things and then ask her what color something was. Inevitably she would tell me every single color she knew except the actual color. I am not exaggerating! I would point to a pink flower and ask, “What color is this?” (this is after going over it) and she would say in her shaky dramatic voice, “Yellow? Green? Blue? Orange?...” Every color but pink. I laugh now, but at the time it was very frustrating. Thankfully she now knows her colors, but this trait has moved onto bigger and better things. For example, any time I ask her which direction we need to turn or tell her to tie her left shoe, etc she will say or do the opposite. I would say 90% of the time this is true. Even if she were just guessing she would have better odds (I am not taking her to Vegas- that is for sure)! Now, I am sure that there is a perfectly logical explanation for this and I should probably ask her doctor, but for now I just laugh to myself and understand that at some point she will get it- it is really not that big of a deal.

As for Sadie, I guess I need to start really working with her- who knows what she can learn? I certainly don’t.

Monday, August 9, 2010

29 days- can we make it?

Well, summer school is over and we still have 29 long days until school begins. Can we do it? Today my nanny was not able to make it to work- so much fun. I was lucky enough to have a friend help me for a few hours because I had an appointment. I did, however, get to bring all 3 kids in search of Nature Camp for Madeline. Apparently, I signed her up for one that is 25 minutes from our house. She has done nature camps in the past and the facility is only about 10 minutes away, but not this week. To make matters worse I showed up on time (crazy, I know) to the place we thought it was only to be turned away and rerouted. By the time I made it back home (9:45) I had to immediately leave for an appointment then go get her (it ended at 12:00). It is already a short camp, but the hour of driving makes it even that much more fun. I should get a lot done this week for sure!

Speaking of school, Madeline graciously gave me yet another funny story. During the few weeks of summer school the bus picked up both Madeline and Timothy. This is normal for Timothy, but not for Madeline. You see, the Special Ed bus comes right to the door- what service! Timothy gets so excited he can hardly stand it and basically runs out to the bus where I strap him into the 5-point harness that is built into some of the seats. According to the bus drivers on the way home it is considered a good day if Timothy only gets out of his seat once. She had to pull over on the highway once to get him back in. I guess they don’t fasten it tight enough despite my continuous pleas. Anyway, Madeline was happy to wait out front for the bus and even thought it was cool to be dropped off. On the first day though, Madeline came into the house and asked, “Why does my bus have seatbelts?” Goodness, how do I answer this without sounding degrading? I think I said something like, “Well, these are newer buses and they just happen to have seatbelts.” Luckily she bought it. I did not have the heart to tell her that she will now ride the Special Ed buses. Since she will be going to a new school next year that is across town she will again be on the short bus. I joke about how lucky I am to have 2 kids on the bus with the tented windows! This means that each and everyday I will have 4 buses stopping at my house! I think the neighborhood kids might come and wait by our house assuming that the bus stop has moved. I guess there are perks to having such special little ones; sometimes I just have to think outside of the bus, I mean, box.

This is an old pic, but I thought it would show what it is like to keep Timothy from running like a mad man- maybe I should do this rather than chase him like a crazy woman to the bus. I guess a little extra exercise is not a bad thing... Oh, and that is my brother Benny (I guess he did not feel like chasing Timothy anymore).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Well, I don’t mean to brag, but we actually made a trip- to Texas no less- without any drama. From start to finish everything went really well. Seriously, nothing crazy happened. There were plenty of opportunities for disaster. I mean the plane rides alone can offer drama and mishap. We had a layover each way, which was actually nice- gave Sadie a chance to run around. Madeline had the exciting opportunity to go to Dallas with two of her cousins and my mom. This was the first time she was away from me and home at the same time. I shuddered every time I thought of it and started praying for my mom about a year ago. My mom showed that she is a strong and daring woman- way to go mom! Madeline was, for the most part, well behaved and listened to my mom (a few threats were made, but that is pretty normal). While they were in Dallas Sadie and I drove to Austin to visit some of Josh’s siblings. Sadie did really well on the drive and we had a great time! I can really go on and on about what a great time we had and how much fun it was to hang out with my entire family- it is not often that we are all together at the same time. I love my family, but am happy to be back in Portland. It always helps me remember how much I love where I live. Now I just need to convince them all to move on up and start enjoying the weather and scenery. They are all convinced (except my youngest brother) that we are all a bunch of liberal hippies. While I am flattered that they think of me that way I do remind them that we live in the suburbs.

All in all I am glad the girls and I had a chance to visit the Lone Star State in all its glory. Now, I am back to mild weather and very little humidity. I laugh when people complain about the mosquitoes and told my friend that unless you get swarmed by them while on your way to and from the car you do not have a problem. Now, here is a good photo to show you where I grew up- try not to be jealous!