Monday, May 23, 2011

Things that have been growing

We have had some good rain and it has been spaced nicely so that the garden is really liking it.
And yes, that is a picture of me and I have been growing nicely too, which means baby girl is growing (and she is a mover)!
Sadly, about 1/3 of the bean plants you see in the picture below were dug up by Sasha- urgh!
It was one of those times that she knew she was in trouble and did not yip, bark, jump but just sat with puppy dog eyes trying to act innocent.
Below the zinnias (pink flower) on the left were planted from a store bought pack of flowers and the really tall just starting to bloom zinnia on the right was planted from seed by me.
Again, the cucumber plant that we have vining up the twine was planted from seed by me in my garden and the one in the forefront came from a 4 pack of plants I bought. It is the only one of the four that is still alive. The crazy ferny stuff is our asparagus.
I took this picture during the rain today. All of my calla lily plants came back and all of them have flowers on them. They are doing much better than last year. I love them. Maybe it is an omen since we are planing to name this baby Lilian or Lily for short.
The next four pictures depict other growing beings at our house: Joey, Jon, Arabella, and Sasha.



And now this last picture is to help you appreciate the power of rodents. We bought the edible tunnel on the right about 4 weeks ago and it looked like the one on the left when it started. And thus behold the power of 2 guinea pigs. If you have been lucky enough to never have a mouse in your house then this will give you an idea of the kind of damage rodents can do. (The gogurt wrapper is to give a measuring reference.)
We are happy, busy, and amazed at how fast time is moving. Jon finishes school this week and Joey has 12 more days of school (he is counting). When Joey is done with school I will have 2 months until I deliver- my doctor agreed to deliver me early so the first weekend of August! I am glad because I will have a few weeks to get back to feeling like myself before the boys head back to school. I promised the boys that we would try to do something fun each week like go to the zoo, museum, or at least the park. As the heat and humidity are descending and my feet are swelling some, this seems like a bigger deal than it might if I were not pregnant. I will be so happy to make the memories with my kids though and I am sure a trip to Sonic for cold drinks during happy hour will be a regular occurrence as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mom, why...?

I will start with two stories before I explain the pictures.
First, Jon asked me today, "Mom, why didn't you name me Dan? I like the name Dan."
Me: "Well Jon, we liked the name Jonathon better."
Jon: "Well, I really like Dan because then I could be Dino Dan."



Second, Joey and I had this conversation on the way to school.
Joey: "Mom, did you marry dad because he is the strongest?"
Mom: "Yes, and he was smart, funny, spiritual, nice, made good choices and wanted to be a missionary."
Joey: "Oh, I think girls like it when boys are strong."
And that was the end of the conversation.


And now for a Mother's Day post (a week late).
I had a great Mother's Day. Jon gave me these beautiful beads that he made in preschool a few days early- he just couldn't wait. It is hard to tell in the picture but they are rainbow.


Joey had made several things at school- cards and such. One of them he used a code to write me a note and I had to figure it out. He did a great job!

Arabella made cute hand prints and had a stem of daisies from nursery. I love that other women are so thoughtful on Mother's day.

Peter took me on a date on Saturday night. We ate at Rock Fish (so yummy!), then Barnes and Noble to get a few books we wanted, I took him into Children's Place and we bought a few things for the baby, and finally, I took him to Yogurt Story. It is a self serve frozen yogurt place that I had taken the kids to during the priesthood session. They have been wanting to take him there so I told them I would take him. It too was yummy! If you come to visit we will take you there.

Sunday, I slept in, ate a delicious breakfast and then off to church. Peter always gets me a corsage and this year was no different. Although, I wish I had a before and after picture for you because it became my badge of motherhood. It was a complete and beautiful orchid before church. During sacrament meeting Jon had to touch the middle of the flower a few times before he was convinced it was real. Then Arabella, while giving me one of her big hugs, smashed her head against it. It was smashed a few more times before sacrament was over. By the end of church the bottom half of the center part was gone as well as one outer petal and another was folded in half. Proof that I was a mother. I loved it and I love Peter for getting me one.

Now for dinner, Peter made me herbed pork loin chops and mashed sweet potatoes. But dessert was the best part. BYU mint brownies! He found the recipe from BYU online. They were divine. I am pretty sure I ate at least 1/3 of the pan by myself. This is a photo of the last brownie. They need to be made only for special occasions- too good for one's health (at least dietary but emotionally they may be considered therapy!)


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Thoughts

I have had a lot going through my mind the last week or so. I figure that if this is like my journal I will put some in here for posterity's sake.
  • Dogs with diarrhea are no fun.
  • Peter is great because he got up with the dog both nights while she had diarrhea.
  • A puppy can take up all of your patience. This is a problem because then you will feel bad because you may snap at your kids when you would not have normally.
  • Worrying that your neighbor will complain to animal control about your dog barking again is nerve racking. (Even if she did way over exaggerate the times she supposedly heard the dog barking.)
  • Trying to teach your boys ages 5 and 7 how to scoop dog poop is an experience. Especially if each of them nearly threw up while doing it.
  • Potty training can be long especially if you feel like you are the one that is trained to take your child to the potty instead of them going themselves.
  • Today Arabella had 2 accidents because she told me when it was too late. So, I would not let her watch Diego today. Then, I found her a few hours later on the potty going all by herself- go figure.
  • Also, I find it ironic that she can stay dry all night long but struggle during the day. I am not complaining though and we still put her in a diaper or pull up just in case.
  • Peter helped me make 13 pints of strawberry freezer jam last Friday night. It was almost like a date. We talked, the kids were in bed, we watched Bones reruns while we worked, and we were just together- wonderful!
  • Why do people always think Joey is so much older? His karate teacher thought he was 11. I could maybe go for 9 but 11?! I agree that Joey should show a little bit more self control in class at times but maybe the teacher will have a new perspective on his behavior knowing he is only 7.
  • Never let a crayon get melted in the dryer.
  • I love my produce co-op I have joined. We have had some great dishes the last few weeks because of the produce we have had on hand. The pineapple was so good!
  • Jon's new favorite game is Book of Mormon Battle. It is a card game. We don't play with the special power cards and so it goes basically like the game war. The good people in the Book of Mormon vs the bad people with point values ranging from 100 to 10,000. He has taught Arabella how to hold the cards and turn them over and he is able to determine who wins. She feels cool and I am proud of him for teaching.
  • The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz is a great book if you wondered why some children are the way they are. (It is about Sensory Processing Disorders but can give insight to why your child only likes this type of food or hates tags or likes this type of activity.)
Joey has been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome.
We began to have him tested in October due to some peculiarities that he has exhibited for some time now but has not been cause for concern (because it did not interfere with school or daily life too much) until this year.
He likes to jump/skip back and forth and could do this for an hour straight, if we let him. He usually makes sound effects while doing this.
He will stare off into space and rock in his seat and kind of moan to himself. (This is not your typically staring at something look.)
He gets really anxious about missing things: i.e. going to a dentist appointment during school he may miss some part of a week long project at school and will fear that he can not make it up. This usually results in tears. He has cried off and on for 2 hours before at school.
He does not play with kids but plays along side them (parallel play). When I drive past the school at recess, I see Joey jumping and not interacting with any kids.
He does not pick up on social cues- holding doors open for people, helping someone up if they fall down, taking a joke, showing interest in what someone else is talking about, realizing that not everyone wants to talk about Power Rangers or Ben 10 for 30 minutes straight.
He gets fixated on things. For example, Peter mentioned on Sunday to Joey that in January he would get to participate in the pine wood derby as a scout. The next 2 days when I picked him up from school the first thing he began to talk about was how he had designed the car and knew what each of us would do to be a part of it.

We met with the school diagnosticians last week and they are going to arrange for him to have counseling and occupational therapy at school next year. We will continue to do his occupational therapy outside of school and hopefully now that we have a diagnosis we will get the insurance company to cover more than 20 visits. He will be able to stay in mainstream classes and they predict that he will be able to be out of the special education program within 3 years. I am hopeful! They also recommended that we consider putting him on anxiety medications. This is where I am struggling. I know medications work great for a lot of people and I would hate to deny Joey something that would make his quality of life better. I just feel like maybe we could try working on some coping techniques first or something.
It is an interesting feeling to be relieved that your child has now been labeled with something that does not always have a great connotation. But, I feel like if this is what is needed so Joey can get the help he needs to continue being the happy, smart boy he is then I am thrilled. Joey is really smart and is doing really well in his schoolwork. He is very helpful when we ask him to do things around the house or for his siblings. He is highly affectionate and has the most inquisitive little mind. I find myself often looking at him and wondering what is going on in his mind. It seems to be constantly going a million miles a minute. I have read the one book I mentioned above and it helped me to understand some of what Joey is facing and how I can help. I plan to continue to educate myself and most importantly pray with Peter to be inspired to know what to do for him.
My greatest dreams for Joey are for him to be happy and to be able to serve a mission.
I love my Joey and as I look back on his life I know it was not by coincidence that he was my firstborn. He needed that extra time and attention that a first born can get because they are the only one. I am still hoping that my inexperience as a parent will not have caused him more harm. I know I have Peter by my side and a loving Heavenly Father watching over us as parents and Joey, so all will be well.

Crafts

So we wanted to do a small crafty night for RS and so I needed to come up with some ideas. Thank you to vinyl and my cricut this is one of them. I think they turned out cute.
I also made some tiles with the words Joy (a flower instead of an o) and be happy on them.
For both Joey and Jon's teacher appreciation week at school, they were to bring something each day. It has been a week of remembering what was to be sent with who on what day. Both kids had a sweet treats day and so I came up with this idea below.
I bought a 3 pack of small flower pots at the dollar store, I added some 100 cal. pack snacks (almonds, milano cookies, and lorna doones) and a small bottle of water. I put a picture of one of my boys in the middle of a flower and on the note I wrote: Thank you for giving me the things I need to learn and grow. They signed them. I then attached the note and flower to a green craft stick. Each teacher may not have received her favorite sweet treat but it is the thought that counts and they will all enjoy the water at least.

Jon's Spring Carnival

Saturday, Jon had his preschool's Spring Carnival. His class did a little performance at it. A few videos of the songs are at the end of the post.
Peter had a scout training that morning but when he got home we headed to the zoo. It was busy again but we had a great time.
If you push on this elephant in different places it makes various elephant sounds. It does appear that Jon is hugging it's hind end though. Really he had made a running start to get enough pressure behind his hit to make it trumpet.
Lions! I have not seen them this well since last summer.
We rode the train, since Peter had not done that before. Of course the kids wanted to play in the water. There were a ton of kids. Daddy and Arabella hanging in the giant nest.

Arabella wanted our picture in these eggs. They are not really adult size, especially if you are trying to hunch over a pregnant belly.
Brothers running, running, and running.
video video video
If you watch the first video, which is the longest you will see do something truly great on stage! If only every parent could be so lucky as to have their child do that.
Sorry you can not hear the words very well. I put the last one in because you could tell Jon really enjoyed the hand gestures. He has a great preschool and he is a super great preschooler!