Wednesday, June 2, 2010

End of May Update and Ready for Summer!

Hello all!

Update started May 31st about 8:00 PM.

I can’t believe another month of 2010 is over! According to the calendar, it’s not officially summer yet. Although there have been a few days it sure has felt like it, others are more seasonable and much more enjoyable. This past Memorial Day weekends started out at a comfortable 81 degrees and ended with a high of 87 and a thunder and lightening storm. In that aftermath, it’s going to be a the perfect high of 82, but too soon it'll be up there again.  Ugh. I won’t be outside of the air conditioning much, I can promise ya! LOL

There have been quite a bit of firsts in my boys’ life this past month. Two of which happened only yesterday. Every year we’re invited to the birthday party for the two boys of family friends. They were both born in the first weeks of April and then last year, a baby girl was born in the first week of May. In celebration of their births and Memorial Day, the family had a big birthday bash at their lake, which included a bounce house and a dip in the lake.

In the years past, probably because of their age, the boys didn’t go swimming in the lake. I wasn’t prepared for Hunter to want to go swimming with them; no swimming shorts bought that fit him yet and not enough life jackets with us for all the kids there. Hunter asked me again if he could join them in the lake, so I said, What the heck. Go swim in your jean shorts. I asked one of the boys to volunteer their life vest for Hunter and we strapped it on. But then, the moment of getting into the lake from the dock was facing him. First he thought he’d go backwards down the ladder. No. Then he thought he’d run in and jump like his friends had done. No go. He sat down and put his feet in the water, thinking he’d just slip in. Uh uh. Finally a boy emerged dripping from the water and offered to jump in with him. Another boy did the same and before Hunter knew it, he was in the lake, coughing up a bit of the water from his lungs. After all that worry, he had this huge smile on his face. Soon he was climbing back up on the dock and launching off the end like the other boys.

In other news , Hunter did well at the science fair. I’ll be honest with you and say I wanted to be a pain in the butt mom after the results came in! There were about 20 other science projects there and the majority of them got a first place ribbon. Hunter wasn’t one of them. It looked to me as if all the projects that had some sort of example along with the poster board presentation earned the higher ribbon. Earlier that day, Hunter told his judge about his project, The Moldy Investigation, but he doesn’t remember if he told them why he didn’t bring in any of his test subjects (I just had a shiver thinking about those tomatoes!) It wouldn’t have been healthy for anyone to open those sandwich sized plastic containers. I can bet that one of those kids would have indeed opened up a container and sent mold spores up into the air. Hunter learned allergies, respiratory problems and in serious cases, death can occur when exposed to mold spores. His poster board presentation wasn’t the neatest. The things he cut out were jagged and uneven, but it was colorful and had his two week journal on it as well as mold facts and pictures he took. This project was all his, from the subject matter (shudder) to the words, look and presentation. I’m so proud of him for what he accomplished.

We haven’t had any incidents where Hunter has hit or pushed his brother for being annoying. In the past he has done exactly that instead of telling Devin to stop or walk away. He hasn’t been walking away because Devin is Hunter’s shadow. Devin is at that age where he wants to be where Hunter is and do whatever he’s doing. Hunter is doing a great job of telling Devin when to stop and when he wants to be alone. But that hasn’t stopped Hunter from telling me how annoying Devin is and most recently he's told me that little brother’s need mute buttons.

A couple weeks ago, Hunter went with some other special education students for a field trip to the middle school. He returned again the following week with his fifth grade class. They were given a tour of the school, saw their classroom, met some teachers and did a mock drill to prepare them for the three minutes they’ll get to go from classroom to locker to classroom again. I haven’t seen that part of the school yet, but I’m told the sixth grade classrooms and lockers are all in one hallway and there won’t be any running from one end of the school to the other like I remember doing! Hunter’s current teacher has told me that all the sixth grade teachers were once elementary teachers, one actually came from Hunter’s original school that closed down. She also told me most of them have a background in special education. It helps to know this, but there’s no denying I’ll be a wreck come that first week of school in the fall!

Devin actually had two firsts to speak of over these past few weeks. Although he didn’t go far from the ladder, Devin also enjoyed a dip in the lake this past weekend. Also without swimming shorts, he eagerly put on his Tweety Bird life jacket and said he wanted to jump right in and swim out to Hunter and his friends. His dad tied a rope to the back of the life jacket and told Dev to go for it. Up until that final step, it looked like he would actually just jump in, but then he realized what he was about to do and stopped short. Tim lowered him in, but once there Devin freaked out, screaming he couldn’t swim. A fact I promise you I am very well aware of! Tim pulled him back out, but Devin really wanted to be in there. We coaxed him onto the ladder and at his own pace, he climbed down and was soon floating and bobbing in the water. He never made it out to his brother, but he was a very happy boy the whole time. I thought it was going to be a battle to get him to come out, but then the thunder rolled and he knew from the reactions of the boys swimming around him that it was time to get out.

The other first he had he’s been trying to do again! After a hard day of being almost five and almost three year olds, Dev and B were in the bath having a grand time when suddenly what should appear but an eruption of bubbles big and small. Devin moved over and said, What was that?! I smiled and said, What did you just do? He said, Um. I farted? I said, Yes, you did and that’s what happens when you fart under water. He thought that was so wonderful and kept trying to fart again until I told him to stop in case he accidentally poo’d in the bath tub!

T-ball has begun! Devin has had a few practices and one game so far. There is another tonight, but I’m hoping to get this posted before we go, but being in the company of a chatterbox and a climber, it’s always up in the air what I can get done! Devin is much more interested in playing this year than he was last. Although there’s no stopping any of the kids from playing in the dirt, Devin does it without standing back up and saying how bored he is and that he wants to go home. When a batter goes into the box, they are given a certain amount of pitches before the T is put on the plate and they hit the ball off that. Both times Devin was up to bat in his first game, he hit the pitches. No need for the T! Keep it up, Dev!

His last day of pre K is this Friday, the day after Hunter’s last day of fifth grade. Hunter and I are going to keep that a secret, though. If Dev realizes that he’s going to school, even for the half day, and finds out Hunter will be home without him…you can imagine the fuss and whining he’ll give me! I don’t have anything scheduled for Dev to do over the summer break. Hunter has his summer camp the end of July, but Dev will get plenty of playground and water park time with little bro Bryce, plus three weeks up north with the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and this year we’ve decided to go back to the beach house in Oak Island, N.C. in August, so there will plenty for him to do! I can’t forget that Dev has already been assigned homework and Hunter will be meeting with the math tutor sometime this summer, it just hasn’t yet been worked out yet.  I’m thinking Bryce will be given some fun activities to do over the summer from his speech therapist on Thursday.

Devin’s imagination is going as fast as his mouth. He’s always playing make believe or talking make believe. I posted on FB about the time I was pushing him on the swings and he said to countdown from three and blast off to Mars. Then he surprised me saying he wanted to go to Pluto. When I started counting backwards from three, he told me I had to start higher because, since Pluto was so far away, we needed a bigger count down. I’m thinking of painting his room, which has been the same since he was born, into a rocket and outer space theme and taking the glow in the dark planets hanging from Hunter’s ceiling and putting them in Devin’s with the glow in the dark stars.

This is his pre k picture.  That funny face he's making on the right?  That was the group picture sent home with every kid!  LOL

Devin is loving pre K so I have no fears about him not wanting to go to Kindergarten in the fall. He was hesitant of course, going to pre K at first, but, although shy, he wants to make friends and have fun more than anything. When he first started pre K, I had him signed up to go from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. He was all for it, but then he wasn’t so much because cartoons were turned on for the kids until 8:30 when the rest of the children arrived. Devin wanted to play, he didn’t want to watch TV. He explained it to me this way, with emphasis and a bit of a whine on the last word, I can watch TV at home. So we moved his arrival and departure back a half hour. Some mornings he says he wants to go before he even eats breakfast, but then I remind him that the kids are watching cartoons at pre K right now. He says, Yeah, it’s not 8:30 yet. Five minutes later he’ll ask, Is it 8:30 yet? On the drive there he’ll say, Don’t drop me off until 8:30 because I want to play, not watch TV.

Bryce’s first experience to share wasn’t fun for either of us. It also happened this past weekend. For those of you who have been in Bryce’s company, he’s an eater. If there is food out of his reach, he does his best to get to it. He has a very good relationship with food; he eats all his dinner and finishes off what Devin doesn’t eat and he has a huge sweet tooth. There isn’t much difference between Bryce and Devin in regards to weight and height and they are 22 months apart! When we arrived at the BBQ this weekend, I gave him a couple cookies to settle him down before the food was laid out. Yeah, yeah, I should carry apples, carrots and bananas with me…right. Bryce does love apples and bananas, but he knew he was gonna get some goodies that day and he was soon digging in. By the time we went to bed, he had more than his share of candy, cookies and cake. We were asleep in the camper when I heard Bryce coughing and then gagging and then puking. Poor guy was whimpering and heaving, experiencing his first too many sweets tummy ache. I got him over the tile of the little kitchen before he made a mess of the bed he was sharing with Devin. All Dev did was roll over. Once poor B was done, I got him cleaned up and he layed back down on his pillow with a sigh. I wiped down the floor and climbed back into bed myself. He seemed to be OK the rest of the night and the next morning.

Bryce had his third birthday this month, well, last month. He’s part of the reason my update is a few days late! Every time I sit down, he sits down with me and wants to cuddle not with me really, but with my arm! The little stinker takes the closest arm and hugs it and wraps himself around it. He likes to take my hand and rub the side of his face with it. He also does it when he’s hurt or upset, a new comfort thing for him. We didn’t really have a party for his birthday.  At Hunter suggestion, the five of us went to Chuck E. Cheese and had cake when we got back.  Unlike Devin who checks in with us every few minutes at Chuckie's, Bryce goes to where ever his eye wanders. He hasn’t learned yet that a drink on a table isn’t his just because it looks like his or to not try to take over a game of skeet ball, his favorite, because he wants to play. For those reasons I’m not that far behind him and for those reasons I can still interact with the baby that’s still in him but soon will be only a memory.

I tried to enter a video along the side of the paragraph above, but it doesn't work the same in a blog as it did on my website.  Please follow the link here and turn your head sideways to watch us sing Happy Birthday to Bryce.

I posted a couple weeks back on FB that I got B into a preschool classroom. It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would. Back in November I decided to get my son evaluated because of his lack of speech. The program here in Ohio is called Help Me Grow and Bryce immediately began going to a social playgroup that was two and a half hours long and a speech playgroup for one hour. He loved it, never had a problem leaving me behind, so when I was told that the rules in Help Me Grow wouldn’t allow Bryce to continue with the groups after he turned three, even though there was only three weeks left in the school year, I started asking around for a place Bryce could continue interacting with other kids his age. He does have an IEP and I could get a speech therapist (ST) to come out to my house, but I wanted Bryce to be at a center so he could interact with other kids. First I was told, Take him to the park. I do take Bryce to the park a lot, it’s a great way for me to procrastinate, but it’s a guessing game if there will be kids there at the same time. Then I was told there weren’t any other playgroups that they knew of.

Finally the new director for the program invited me to bring B to a preschool in a town about twenty minutes from my house, only five minutes further down the road from the playgroup location. Of course I was all for it and waited impatiently for the ST who was working out of that preschool to call me. She told me what days she was there so we decided Bryce would come Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 12:45 to 3:00. So Dev and I took B to the school and then Dev and I went and found a geocache and then got some groceries before returning to pick up Bryce. As we walked down the hall a woman I didn’t know came to greet me and introduced herself as the woman in charge of the preschool. After that, the first thing Boss Lady said was, You can’t leave Bryce here like that. I was speechless for a second before she went on to explain that Mr. Director was misinformed. Her decision was the final one and she didn’t have room for Bryce, that she was full and even if she wasn’t, Bryce couldn’t be left here without emergency medical forms and other paperwork filled out.

That was understandable, I said, let’s fill out that paperwork now. I don’t know if Boss Lady was having a bad day or what, but I swear the smile she showed me was fake. She said it was too late in the year to be accepting a new child into her program. She said Bryce was welcome to get his twenty minutes of speech two times a week as is stated in his IEP, but it would be against the law to allow him to be in the preschool classroom. She was full at this time, nothing she could do about it, but Bryce was signed up and ready to attend in the fall. If I really wanted him to attend a preschool this year, then two other locations had room for him. Those places were much too far to travel to from my house and by the time I got it setteled with them and another ST, the school year would be over.

For those of you who know me, I am a shy woman who avoids confrontations. Although I’ve gotten much better, I still tend to bite my tongue and step aside sometimes. However, we were talking about my son and I didn’t agree here, so I had to say something.

I said I understood that Mr. Director had the wrong information. He had met Bryce at the playgroup and agreed Bryce would benefit from this setting and the school year was still in session. Mr. Director went above and beyond for my son and I was very appreciative. I asked Boss Lady to talk to him so this wouldn’t happen to another parent who was just looking for a place for her child to get speech without having one of her people drive way out to our house and my not having to go way over somewhere else just to be able to have my kid interact with other kids. I asked her to reconsider this situation.  Bryce would only be there for about five sessions and he is a child with an IEP. The school year is still going on and he needs services. We talked about it some more and came to a decision. Bryce could continue to come on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, but not for the full two and a half hours and I couldn’t leave the property. So Bryce is there for 45 minutes and Dev and I either play on the playground or watch a movie in the van until he‘s done. Hope the Boss Lady is a bit more sunny in the fall.
Although Bryce isn’t talking in sentences, he is using more and more single word and two word phrases. He is also imitating like crazy! The ST is working on pointing and identifying items that Bryce will need or do in a days activity and saying hi and bye to people he interacts with. A few things he’s done at home is wait at the door with the dog, but instead of silently hoping and staring at the door like Knight does, Bryce will stand there and say over and over, Go outside. Go outside. Go outside. Another time he was being very loud while looking directly at me. I thought he was just exercising his vocal chords for the enjoyment of my ears, but then he comes up to me, grabs my finger and puts it up to my lips and makes a slobbery Shh sound. He wanted me to tell him to hush. LOL One other thing is while we were outside blowing bubbles, Dev picked a dandelion and gave it to me and I tucked it behind my ear. Bryce saw this and maybe because there wasn’t a dandelion in his immediate area, he choose a small bubble wand and practically shoved it in my ear canal! I helped him to put it on my ear and he was happy with the result.

A few time lapsed pictures of my boys at the cook out:

Tim has been busy with three times a week softball games. We can only attend the Friday night ones as the others are too far away on school nights. After school is out though, we might attend them all. Devin likes to go and although he gets bored with the game, he’s quick to retrieve any foul balls that fall on our side of the fence. Tim has more responsibility with his job and will be traveling more. He tried to get a manager’s meeting up in Traverse City to show off his home town area, but flying twenty people in from different states ended up being too costly. So he’ll be going somewhere in New York in a couple weeks for a few days.

I was going to tell you all about what I’ve been doing around the outside of my house, but this update is already lengthy and I haven’t even put the pictures in I want to share, so I’ll save that for another post in a few days. Someone also asked me why I don’t use my geocaching blog anymore. I don’t because, by the time I do that hobby as well as my new hobby, entertain and tend to my boys, housework, errands, etc, etc, and more etc., I just don’t have the time to keep up with two blogs. So when I can sit down and write, I’ll do so all here, in one spot. That way those of you who like to read what I write will get it all in one place. I do want to share some of the cool finds I’ve made geocaching. It’s a great outdoor hobby I like to do and Hunter seems interested in going with me again!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Thanks for reading!



No comments: