Saturday, February 28, 2009


I know I've been a little scarce lately. Chalk it up to moving followed by RSV, I guess... Just one of those little gifts our toddlers so generously bestow on us.

But while those kinds of gifts are the negatives of this job, it certainly has its rewards too. And wow, this week was just full of them.

Take for example, the little girl who has been imitating any one-syllable word I say to her for about four months now... but can't get out two syllables or two words to save her life. I was so excited this week when I picked up a puzzle and said, "Say puzzle," and she said it, with both syllables. But not half as excited as when I then reached to open the bag the puzzle was in, and said, "Say "open puzzle"", fully expecting her to simply say, "Ope." as she typically will, hoping against hope that she might actually say "Open." "Open puzzle," she repeats with perfect clarity. I about fell over, I was so shocked.

Or how about the little boy who has been working on the word "milk" for no joke, six months. Has NEVER been able to say it. Always calls it "buck". He asked for "buck", I said, "Say milk. mmmmmiiiiiillllllkkkk." He drags it out just like me, "bbbbbuuuuuucccckkkk." I sigh. "Mmmmiiiillllkkkk," I repeat, handing it to him. "Mmmiiilllk," he says. "YOU SAID IT!" I gasp in astonishment. And that little boy, I tell you -- his entire face lit up, he leaped up from the floor and ran across the room to his mother, who was on the phone and not paying a bit of attention, and shrieked, "MOMMY, MOMMY, I SAID MILK!!!!!" And he did indeed say milk. Perfectly. EVERY SINGLE TIME after that. I can't explain it, but I sure am excited. :)

Then there is the severely autistic child that has been working for ALMOST A YEAR, week after week after week, and still the child has yet to communicate ANYTHING. No signs. No words. Nothing. I cannot tell you how many millions of times we have taken that child's hands and made him sign "more" so he could be swung in his blanket more, nor how many millions of times we have taken his hands and made him sign "eat" and given him a fruit snack. Over and over and over. It gets so frustrating after awhile. But yesterday? Yesterday I said, for the three millionth time as he reached for the fruit snacks and tried to grab them from his mother's hand, "No, tell Mommy "eat"" AND HE SIGNED IT!!! And then while swinging him, HE SIGNED MORE. TWO SIGNS in one day!! And then... THEN.... while reading his doggie book that has a dog on every page and we have said doggie to him ten bajillion times, and signed it, and barked, and asked him to point to the doggie and helped him do so.... but he has NEVER appeared to have ANY understanding of even the concept of "doggie", the child SPOKE. He said "doggie". Not once, not even twice, but THREE times the child said doggie, TWICE the child said arf arf, and once he signed dog!! This is mind-blowing.

So. It's been an awesome week in the speech department. Other than that, I have nothing to write about except cough, cough, cough, because cough, cough, cough is all that I've done for the last week or two. RSV. It stinks. :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Mommy Meme

No, I'm not a mommy yet, but I saw this meme on Lots of Scotts and thought it was really cute, so I asked my niece to answer these questions about her mother, my sister... :)

Little Girl is 6 -- here's what she said:

1. What is something Mom always says to you?

2. What makes Mom happy?
"When I do a good job."

3. What makes Mom sad?
"Mommy's never sad."

4. How does your Mom make you laugh?
"When she tells me jokes -- if she ever does."

5. What was your Mom like as a child?
"She had glasses."

6. How old is your Mom?
"Uh... Mama, are you 28?" (She was right.)

7. How tall is your Mom?

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
"Go shopping."

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?
"Go to work."

10. If your Mom becomes famous, what will it be for?
"She might go to Disney World."

11. What is your Mom really good at?
"Picking out shirts for me."

12. What is your Mom not really good at?
"Doing sports."

13. What does your Mom do for a job?
"Go to the credit union." (She's right.)

14. What is your Mom's favorite food?

15. What makes you proud of your Mom?
"I don't know."

16. If your Mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?
She became frustrated at this point, insisted that she didn't know, and she didn't want to answer any more questions. We resumed at a later time. :)

17. What do you and your Mom do together?
"Watch tv."

18. How are you and your Mom the same?

19. How are you and your Mom different?

20. How do you know your Mom loves you?
"She tells me every night."

21. What does your Mom like most about your (step)dad?
"I don't know."

22. Where is your Mom's favorite place to go?

(I'm sensing a trend...)

If you do this meme with your kids, let me know, I like reading what kids have to say. :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

She Has Our Eyes

"You're sure you can't read any of the letters on this line?" asked the nurse who was performing a vision test on Little Girl.

We're all blind as bats in our family. I knew it was only a matter of time before Little Girl received the fated diagnosis. Our eye problems trace back for generations. But back to the exam.

Little Girl shook her head and answered, "No, I think they're in French."

The kid has inherited her great-grandfather's genes, too, I think -- she's a natural-born comedian.

My sister has been taking the brunt of Little Girl's funny remarks lately.

When Little Girl was doing her Valentines, one depicted an elephant with the comment, "I like you a ton." Little Girl didn't get it, so my sister explained that the elephant weighs a ton and he likes you a ton and that's the joke...

Little Girl responded, "Oh, I know -- I'll give this Valentine to you, Mommy, because you weigh a ton too!"

Another night my sister made cookies. She took two, her hubby took two, and Little Girl took two. They ate them. My sister then went to get another, and Little Girl seized the container and said, "Oh, no, no more cookies for YOU!" My sister doesn't have the willpower to stay on a diet. Little Girl just may provide that willpower for her... :)

Speaking of Little Girl, I'm taking her back to Little House land this summer and so I figured it was time she read more of the books, now that I'm in town to do it. We started Little House on the Prairie (we've already read Big Woods together before) one day last week. I was a little worried because she didn't want to read it. I kept urging and she kept saying no.

Finally, I took a chance, and just opened it and sat on the floor and started reading aloud. Sure enough, within ten seconds she'd wandered over and started listening. She listened throughout the first chapter. But the kicker was, when I closed the book after finishing the chapter, she cried out, "NO! Keep reading!" Whew, we still have our little fan-in-the-making.

I am loving reading these with her. How many times have I read Little House on the Prairie? I know exactly what happens. But somehow knowing that SHE doesn't know what happens adds a new level to the experience. Take "Crossing the Creek", for instance. I absolutely could not keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks. Sure, *I* knew Jack was fine -- but SHE didn't, and it was so heartbreaking reading that and knowing that SHE thought Jack had drowned.

I wonder how many books we can read before summer... maybe all of them. :) I don't want to rush it though. I want to savor every moment of her very first (of many, I hope) "Little House" reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Beautiful Day

What'd I say yesterday? And sure enough, here I am... :)

I had plans for today but they fell through at the last minute, so I ended up with the entire day ahead of me with absolutely nothing to do. The good news? It's a beautiful 70 degree day out today and I got to spend a good bit of the afternoon outdoors.

I explored the neighborhood. I've driven all through it a couple of times, but somehow you never truly know a place until you've walked it. Now I feel like I know my way around all the little side streets and such in the subdivision.

I walked to the pool and got a feeling of what it will be like this summer. It's an easy walk, about the equivalent of two blocks, I'd say.

I found an old friend's home. My best friend in elementary school lived in this subdivision, several streets away from mine, and I remember the fun we had biking to the pool, but I also clearly recalled walking to a park, and in my driving tours I've not been able to find this park. So today I walked out to her old house, thinking maybe I'd find the park nearby since we walked there instead of biked, and I found her house with a sign in the yard with their last name on it, so her parents obviously still live there. And I found the park tucked back away behind some houses, barely visible from the road, even walking. Not much of a park, though, a couple of basketball hoops is about all that's left of it, from what I could tell. The gates were closed for winter, so perhaps there was more to it out of sight -- when I was little, there was a big playground there, but it may be long gone as that was a good 25 years ago.

I walked over to the other side of the subdivision where I had seen an old cemetery on my driving tour. I wanted to take a closer look at it because I'd seen my grandmother's surname on one of the stones.

Interestingly enough, I spent Monday at the courthouse looking up land records, and had been looking for this particular surname. I recognized nearly all of the names in the land records as being various members of the family. But one name stuck out as being unfamiliar, and it turned up time and time again as these people apparently bought and sold property with some frequency!! My grandmother's brother was named Paul, and there were several transactions for Paul and Gertrude, his wife -- but then there were also transactions for Paul and Sarah, and I have no idea who Paul and Sarah were.

But guess what? When I went to the stone in the cemetery to see who with our family name was buried there, it was none other than Paul and Sarah! What a coincidence.

Now I'll be on a quest to find out who these people were and if they are any distant relation to us. :)

After exploring the neighborhood, I spent some time in the back yard, cleaning up leaves and such and getting to know my land a little better! After all, since the weather has been so horrible ever since I moved in, I've really not gotten to take a good look out there except from the window. With the warm sunshine making it feel like spring, it was a perfect day to look around the back yard and start deciding what I'm going to do with it in terms of trees and flowers and landscaping. And eventually a playground. :)

Unfortunately, our beautiful weather is supposed to last for today only, so it's back to winter tomorrow. But since I wasn't able to go to Florida or California for a break from winter, wasn't it nice of God to send its weather here before finishing our winter?

I am so ready for spring!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What to Write When You Don't Want to Write...

I realize the blog has been sorely neglected of late. At first it was due to busy-ness, but I must admit that's not been the case for the last week or so. I just don't seem to want to write right now, and I can't explain why.

There is so much going on right now, so many things I could write about, but maybe it's just that they're too close to my heart to put out there in black and white.

So maybe something will come to me soon that I'll want to write about, but until that time comes, all is well, life is great, I just don't have anything that I particularly wish to write about at the moment. :)

(Now that I've written this, I'll end up posting like ten times in the next three days. Doesn't it always work that way? :) )

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Moving In...

Yes, I'm here in the new house. It's been a busy couple of weeks, to say the least, but now things are settling down and the house almost looks like a real house. :) I'm just waiting on a furniture truck to arrive at any minute, and then I can finish the last room...

Just over a week ago on my scheduled moving day, I grew quite worried as it began to snow a couple of hours before the movers were due to arrive. They came nonetheless, and loaded all the furniture despite the constant downpour of snow. We probably got two or three inches just during the time they were there.

It has done nothing but snow there since November and I was so glad to get out. Because at the new place? Why, it hardly ever snows there, and if it does, it's a mere dusting compared to the amounts of snowfall we got at the old place. After emptying out the house and handing over the key to the new owner, I got in my car and drove away, elatedly saying, "Goodbye, snow! And good riddance!"

Sure enough, when we got to the new place, the sun was shining, the ground was clear, and they hadn't had a bit of snow. It was a happy day.

And then the very next day, it began to snow. And it snowed and it snowed and it snowed. And then after a couple days of snow, it began pouring down ICE. Lots of ice. I walked across my yard to my mailbox on top of about six inches of snow and never left a footprint. Who needs snowshoes?

Unfortunately, the ice took out the electricity so it was a chilly night, but I was fortunate enough to get mine back the next day. Some people are still waiting...

We finally began to clear out from the ice storm. People could actually leave their home. (Seriously, the whole state was shut down one day, nobody went anywhere!) And then the blizzards hit. Constant blizzards and whiteouts all day long. Meanwhile it was sunny and clear at the old place...

Yeah. Very funny.

We had a nice warm sunny weekend which got rid of some of the ice (it's still there on anything untreated but at least now all the main roads are clear) and now we sit waiting for the next big storm to hit. Apparently any minute, since the schools just let out early although it's not snowing yet.

The local schools usually miss one to two days a year tops for snow. Since I moved here, there have been seven school days, and they have missed five and a half of them. I can't even begin to tell you how unfair this is...

Will I ever escape the snow?

Excuse me, I think... I hope... I hear my furniture truck arriving. Or maybe it's just the next blizzard.