Mal- I'd probably just get it checked out, it can't hurt, but yeah after the holidays b/c the holidays are crazy.
Cindy- glad the third clip worked, that's awesome.
Mal- I'd look to get it checked out after the holidays as well. I ope you have a restful break and hope Owyn is on the mend soon.
Everr: Rock your exams! Then rock your break! :)
Courtney: Love your family photo!
Cindy: such great news on the nursing front!
Kate: Good to hear from you. OT is really helping a lot here. Sorry that speech is so short. Can you ask for longer/more sessions?
Starling: Hope the van sells soon! I've wanted one of those vans forever...but never looked at how car seats would fit. We would love a small camper or tent trailer if we move south.
So sad to hear of your friends loss. I can't imagine. I've been having a lot of anxiety about our vaccine decisions lately. I think we have a mix of not vaxing to selective to all on here? part of me is considering some for the girls... I don't know.
The letter to santa was awesome! Fiona can pretty clearly write her name and loves to write letters to friends and cousins. She draws pictures, writes her name, and asks for help writing their name. I don't really push any letter recognition but have been following her lead on it. When she asks about letters we've always given there sound rather then there name. She knows the sounds of pretty much all of the alphabet can isn't writing all the letters on her own. It's fun to watch it all come together for her though. I probably won't do any formal letter/reading work with her until she's older though.
I had sort of an icky situation here with a friend. We had been doing regular playdates but certain things she would say to the kids kept really bothering me. Also her daughter loves to chase Fiona and Fiona can NOT handle being chased. Daughter would ignore F's pleas to stop. The mom would never step in- it just sort of sucked. I wrote her an email and siad we needed a break from playdates and laid out why as nicely as possible. I have the social awkwardness of living in this small town though and will see her 1-2 times a week at things like library story time. Good times! But it was obviously way more important for me to stick up for my daughter. Fiona does like the girl but every.single.time we get together she ends up getting really stressed out. The last straw for me was when Fiona asked the girl to stop while at a kid event and the mom told F that her daughter could chase if she wanted and not to tell her what to do. Yeah, that isn't going to happen!
otherwise doing well here. Tree is up! Lots of fun with holiday projects. Coffee filter snowflakes! We might have made a few... :)
sue, holy crap! I'd do the same thing of a mom said that to my kid about her standing up for herself.
so i ave sort of stopped stressing/ i didn't even have 1 present for each kid and soon i will so now that i know they will each have a santa present and then Chris and I got them a mushroom tent to share. so phew. I was so majorly stressed b/c I didn't know if we'd be able to get the 2 little girls something, but my sister saved the day. I'm unsure if they will get anything beyond that and I have made peace with it.
Courtney: I'm glad things are looking up and you are feeling more at peace. Christmas doesn't have to be about the gifts anyway. Christmas movies, homemade ornaments, singing, hot cocoa... lots of fun to be had there!
I recently came across this idea which I think I'm going to try to do for Fiona- trying to decide if I want to do them as "story stones" or to make up a weather station. I think they'd be fun in a stocking... http://pinterest.com/queenmetz/story-stones/
Courtney - Glad you're feeling less stressed about the whole Christmas thing.
Nilla - That accident sounds so scary! Glad everyone is OK.
Mal - I'd get that hearing checked out too. Asking for stuff to be loud seems like more of a flag than just ignoring people.
Kate - Good to hear from you! Sorry the speech isn't helping much. Can you ask to work with someone different?
Everr - Enjoy your break!
Sue - Sounds like stopping those playdates is for the best. Hopefully it won't be as awkward if it's phrased as a kid personality thing, rather than you not liking what the mom's doing. I feel a little awkward sometimes with my mom friends here, because K really doesn't give a crap about other kids. Which means it's harder for me to reciprocate babysitting and such because their kids aren't terribly interested in playing with a kid that doesn't want to play with them. I really wish it was L that was old enough to go to preschool occasionally. She would love it.
Starling - I too am very impressed with E's writing. Very impressive motor coordination. Katmai knows letters, and all the basic phonics, and can read or type simple words when he feels like it (hasn't been too interested lately). But I think he's still physically incapable of writing or drawing anything recognizable. The few times he's tried to write by hand it's been totally incomprehensible, which he got around by saying "this is what the letters look like in Japanese"
It sounds like most of the kids aren't writing much, but how good are your kids' drawings? Could they form letters if they knew them? I do wonder that Katmai's stuff is still very abstract. Even when he says he's drawing a dinosaur or something, all the parts he says he's drawing are just lines or blobs added in seemingly random places.
Christmas: All this talk of Christmas makes me feel like a scrooge. If it wouldn't make my extended family sad, I probably would just skip Christmas altogether. Except for the tree. I like decorating the tree. And making cookies. I haven't been able to force myself to do the whole Santa thing (and K doesn't see enough santa stuff to be curious about it yet), but I did, for the first time ever actually buy him a few things (art supplies).
AFM: We finally got home Monday night after being down south for a month. And in the course of unpacking, I rearranged half of the furniture in our house, trying to make a better spot for the kids to play and do projects in (so I don't trip over their toys so often). We have a brand new cargo bike I'm super excited to try out (can fit both kids on back with no trailer), but I'm waiting for a slightly less icy day.
Erin - I just asked R to draw a picture of a person and a dinosaur and write his name. Here's the result (2 people with "crazy hair" and a dinosaur/alligator with lots of "crazy hair") This is the best I've ever seen him write his name :)
I wrote my last exam today!! I'm DONE for a whole month :D Movie night with R tonight :)
Everr: That's great work by R! And good job on your part too. Enjoy your hard earned vacation! It's movie night here too.
DH took the day off and we went into SF and picked out special ornaments and new stockings. This is the 2nd yr we've done the ornament thing. DH took M ice skating - she liked it but it was basiaclly just him holding her up and pulling her around. Didn't last long. We forgot to let her see santa at Macy's - er I remembered but thought DH wanted to avoid it. So we get back to the car and she freaks out about not seeing him (I used Starlings explanation about it not being real santa, etc). So we came back to our town and had an early dinner then went up to the hills where the old merry go round is super decked out for the holidays and opens in the evenings. We killed time waiting for it to open - then it turned out santa doesn't come out for aother hour! So we had to convince her to let us take her another day. But we came home and are watching Polar Express. Or they are and I am on here. Ha.
Makenna doesn't write all of her name yet. I've been a bit lax on working on those things with her lately thanks to baby, other than her natural learning, which is fine. She does recognize most letters and knows most of their sounds. Is starting to sound some things out but doesn't really read at all yet. But she is completely numbers obsessed. Constantly adding and subtracting numbers on her fingers for the fun of it. I find it pretty amazing. Maybe she is going to be a numbers girls instead of a letters girl. :-) My husband is an engineer, I was a financial analyst and DH's mom was a math teacher.
Sorry for not much personals right now...I feel like I should get back to the movie..
F's pictures are coming together though they often need some explanation. I'll have to find one to share here. She can form about half of the letters on her own. I'll write someone's name on a scrap of paper and she'll do it on her own paper. Certain letters are harder for her.
Cargo bike?! I want to see a picture Erin! Glad you are home and in your own space!
yeah Owyn! So cool to see the growing!
Polar Express- i was thinking about watching this with F. Any intense or scary parts? She's pretty sensitive to that. I want a movie to watch as a family on Solstice though...
I didn't pay attention to the entire movie but we picked it bc it didn't have any scary monsters. She was a bit unsure at the beginning when the loud train came to the boy's house and also the conductor scared her a bit by being very stern in one part. But overall I think she was much less bothered by it than by most movies. Most movies seem to have something that scares her. DH had wanted to watch Grinch but he showed her the preview and she freaked out and ran away as soon as she saw the Grinch come on the screen.
Mal: That's great Owyn shared about the tree! I don't think M would ever raise her hand and volunteer to share in circle but they do sharing week when the kids get to bring something in each day (doll, etc) and they take turns going in front of the circle and talking about what they brought - usually answering questions from the teacher or other kids. M loves doing that. And I love going early to watch her. I am truly surprised by how well she handles it for having been SOOO shy.
M starts physical therapy for her toe walking today. She had so much trouble ice skating bc she doesn't ever not point her toes these days.
Owyn has watched Polar Express, but there are a couple of parts that make her nervous. The loud train in the beginning, the guy on the top of the train and the "lost toys" train car. She also gets scared pretty easily. Most Disney movies (Lady and the Tramp, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, etc) she won't watch because there is always a part that scares her. She did watch The Grinch, but the old original one. I don't think she'd watch the newer one. We've been watching the specials that come on TV and I never realized some of those old claymation or puppet ones have some pretty scary parts for little ones. She's been watching them and liking them though. I'm surprised by that!
Erin, I want to see a pic of the cargo bike! A Bakfiets has been a dream of mine for years, but likely won't come to fruition. You got one with the extended back, right? Not the one with the big box at the front? Swoon. Super jealous. Glad you made it home safe and sound!
Mal, that is great about O speaking up! E used to be so very shy, but not anymore. I've actually been thinking about looking into acting for her. She's super outgoing (with adults ... children, whole 'nother topic) and is really interested in making movies.
Cindy ... When you put M's feet into the skates, doesn't it force them into the right position? How do they do OT for that? Are there issues down the line that make it important to get OT now? Once of my friends in highschool toe-walked ... I remember the bounce in his step! One of E's little friends does it too, but her mother is very laissez-faire about it. I wonder if she should be more concerned?
Ever ... Congrats on being done! That must feel AWESOME! And what a great picture from R!
Sue ... Solstice is coming up! What movie are you going to choose? That's a lovely tradition.
Courtney ... I'm so thrilled to hear that Christmas is sorted out. How is your mastitis?
Nilla ... How's everyone post-crash? Doing okay? I've been thinking about you. So scary.
Movies ... E loves being scared. She's seen Brave, Bambi, How to Train Your Dragon, Secret of Nimh, Dark Crystal, Bolt (her favourite movie of all time!) Tangled, Beauty & the Beast, Wizard of Oz, etc, which are all pretty scary at parts, I suppose. That might be my fault. I love the tension and excitement of being frightened by a good story, and then the relief that follows after. She also listens to audiobooks that have about the same scare-factor, if not more. And she loves those. Interesting, because she is anxious in so many ways, but she loves, loves, loves to be frightened by a good story.
Drawing & writing ... E is very good at drawing and writing, as you mamas have seen on the blog and FB, I'm sure. It's not going to be her challenge, that's for sure. Which is my way of saying loud and clear to you fellow Feb '09 mamas that she definitely has her challenges. Just not those ones. I am absolutely confident that all your children are right on track! E's drawing and writing are on par with her 6 yo friend, who is in grade one and at the top of his class in that regard. I don't want to itemize her limitations, but you all know that she has her struggles. And you know that the blog is deceptive, because I'm not going to blog about her challenges in any meaningful way. You all know that, right?
Trying to make sense of the tragedy in Connecticut. I was driving the ambulance when I heard it on the news and I had to pull over while I sobbed. My partner poked his head through from the back and was bewildered and my tears.
I can't imagine those children's final moments.
Such loss and grief for their families.
My mom and I are taking the kids to a cabin at state park in WA for three nights over the solstice. I'm looking forward to getting away. This time of year is so crazy for so many people. I stay away from the malls and roads as much as I can, but I see it on the ambulance, so I can't check out entirely, which is what I'd like to do this time of the year.
I got the last few things for the kids: camera & telescope for E. Broom and a biggish schleich elephant for H. And stocking stuffers (tattoos, stickers, cars, jingle bells, smaller Scheichs, crayons).
Toe walking: I did it as a kid too. I read that when toe walking is idiopathic - meaning no other cause such as sensory issues - then it has a huge genetic component. Anyway, no one ever did anything about it for me and I stopped doing it with no lasting impact, so i had been pretty laissez faire about it too. But thanks to that, she now has limited range of motion in her ankles! Her left ankle they can get to 5 degrees past neutral, but her right ankle is 5 degrees away from neutral - so she can't get it to neutral anymore! This is a change since the beginning of the yr. I think the big dif with her is that she ONLY walks on her toes. She never doesn't do it. She squats on her toes and I noticed the other day that even when she is sitting on the floor, her feet are pointed like if she were standing on her toes. So we are doing PT and have a TON of stretching to do at home. But honestly, everyone we have seen recently (orthopedic surgeon, motion specialist doc and physical therapist) are all pushing serial casting. They put walking casts on and change them every Monday to bend her foot further back each time with the goal of getting to 10 degrees past neutral. To restore her range of motion. It might teach her to walk flat foot or she might go right back to toe walking after - but we would have her was removable braces for a few hours/day to maintian the range of motion. I was initially really resistant to the idea - but they think it would only be for 3 weeks so I sadly think we may end up going that route. Hoping PT can have an impact but not too optimistic about it. She doesn't cry when I do the stretching but she did when DH did it last night. Bc he is much stronger than me. I sure hope she isn't doing this in highschool!!!
I can't stop staring at M since hearing about the CT shooting. It's hard to fathom kids as young as a yr older than her being shot! Not that it's ok at any age! I just keep thinking about christmas presents unopened, etc.
Everr - cute picture! I'm most impressed that he drew what you asked him to, actually. :) K would never do that.
Cindy - Hope the stretching works, but 3 weeks in a walking cast doesn't sound too terrible if it comes to that.
Starling - We got a Yuba Mundo, which is one of the long-tail varieties where the kids go on the back. L is in a kid seat, and K can hold onto the handlebars on the adult's seat post. We don't have a weather cover for them now, but might make one at some point. I'll have to take a picture! So far it's been mostly my husband riding them around though, because I've been stuck in the yurt finishing up the edits on a manuscript I have to turn in Monday. You've written enough books now - does this part ever get less crazy?
Mal - Yay for public speaking! Both my husband and I had the experience of being terribly terrified public speakers in school. But as adults - after many many opportunities to practice - we now both love giving public presentations. I don't even get nervous anymore. I've seriously debated whether there's some way to include the kids in our public presentations from a young age to see if I can prevent them from ever getting that fear and then needing to overcome it.
Drawing and writing: Starling, I know we shouldn't compare! Really, I just wanted to do a quick check to see if K had some major fine motor deficits, or was just normal. I think normal. He does draw things that he says he knows what they are, and do appear to have the correct number of legs or wheels, and has started to color in shapes sometimes, so I think he's OK. He's completely resistant to the idea of drawing a person or writing any kind of words (including his name) on his pictures though, so I don't think he's ever done either. In fact, when he goes to preschool, and all the other kids sign in by tracing their names on a laminated card, he draws a slug instead. :)
AFM: I've been in a furious editing bubble here, which should be done, finally, by Monday (with only one copy editing step later, but that should be easy). But with the news and the season, I'm actually really grateful to be back in my own little middle-of-nowhere bubble, where winter, even the holidays, really is a laid back hunker-down-against-the-darkness season.
Cutest kid word of the month: "fatherize" As in "fatherized" and "unfatherized" eggs. It was so perfect I didn't have the heart to correct him to "fertilized".
I'm also feeling so heartbroken over the deaths in Connecticut. It's haunting me and I need to stop reading the news updates. I think about how scared those children must have been. And the parents finding out. It's hard not to relate it to R and think about the terrifying what ifs.. Sometimes we have such rushed mornings and I'm not always as pleasant to him as I should be. But I drop him off and think oh well I'll make it up to him when I pick him up. I can't even imagine the pain of having your baby gone so suddenly like that. The constant reminders would be unbearable. I need to stop thinking about this.
Erin - Good luck finishing your editing :) R is pretty agreeable most of the time, he has his moments though. And I love K's thoughts on fatherized eggs, so cute!!
Cindy - That does sound like a pain but I agree that 3 weeks isn't a big deal. Especially at this age. Hopefully it is just a minor issue with a quick fix :)
Starling - Yes they all have their challenges for sure! I do love reading your blog and seeing your pics :) I'm not worrying anymore about R's lack of understanding about letters. I can understand how it is a difficult concept to understand. I'm going to make note of those movies, R also LOVES movies and I need some new ones. Enjoy your trip! It sounds so nice and relaxing, I think I could use a trip like that!
Mal - Yay for Owyn!! That's awesome :) R's teachers never give me any input as to what he's like at daycare, I should ask I guess. I am very curious. He's never had any problems or challenges reported to me. The only thing I hear from them is about funny things he said that day. So I guess he makes the teachers laugh a lot :P
R and I are having a date today :D We are going for lunch in a minute and then going to see a Red Riding Hood panto play. I think R is going to love it so it should be a fun date!
Another one here haunted by what happened. I had just laid down my preschoolers for nap time when I checked the news and found out. We'd had a rough week together. With the holiday coming, the kids have been bouncing off the walls. It's been hard to keep them contained as the days go by. Then, I found out and I just wanted to scoop them all up and hug them tight. Instead, I sat in my silent room, alone with 6 sleeping kids terrifying myself with thoughts, wondering what I would do, where would I take the kids, how would I keep them safe, how would I keep them from being terrified? I've had trouble sleeping. I just can't get it out of my mind. It's heartbreaking as a parent, definitely. But as a teacher in a small town much like theirs, it's just terrifying.
Took Owyn to see Santa on Friday night. I wasn't sure if the little house in town would be open and it was going to rain soon, so I didn't tell her where we were going just in case it didn't work out. So, she was so surprised when we got there! Of course she told him she wants something she's never before asked for... and all her gifts are bought, wrapped and under the tree already! She asked for a Pete the Cat buttons book. I've seen it, but I didn't get it for her. I did get her a Pete the Cat Christmas book though. Close enough?
I've found myself lost in the what ifs as well. Simply terrifying and unbearable to think about. I had a horrible dream last night that I couldn't find Maeve anywhere and woke up feeling so upset and thinking about all of those families. Of course she was with me, glued to my side in fact, where she always sleeps. And I feel so blessed and lucky to have these girls.
I could use all of your good thoughts, vibes, crossed fingers- whatever you've got! Dh is applying to 2 different jobs that just came up in Oregon! He's off now working on his apps. I'm trying not to get too excited in case it doesn't work out. One of them he thiks he's not really qualified for but is applying anyway. It's in Corvallis which is where I lived for college. I really like the area and would be thrilled to live in that area. The other is in Roseburg. I don't know much about that area but internet searching gives me a good vibe as well. We'll see. I hope one of these will work out for us and be a good fit for our family.
It is haunting. I imagine more so for you, Mal. It must touch so close to home as you sit in your classroom and look at your charges.
I'm staying away from the news. It's the only way that I can keep my anxiety at bay.
And yes, I'd say any Pete the Cat gift would do! It's so late in the game. E has been asking for the Madagascar movie for months, and then today asked if she could have a cowboy. I told her Santa already had everything packed and sorted and ready to go.
I am completely avoiding the news media now that the victims identities have been released. Putting a face to it is just too much!
I was totally afraid M would ask for something random from Santa. Every letter we've written she has asked for some random thing she has never even wanted before that - like a stuffed bunny with a brush. She already has a stuffed bunny. Anyway, we still haven't made it see Santa and I think she's forgotten so I doubt we will. But yeah, any Pete the Cat book works for me! :-)
Sue: Very exciting! I hope he gets one of them. Then I will come visit you. We've been wanting to check out Oregon for a while! Maybe we could all meet up in Oregon!