Thursday, November 28, 2013

Photo Bomb

Lennier and Delenn

Kif watching around the corner.

Under Willow's bed.

Happy Hannukah!

I just wrapped these minutes ago!

Thanksgiving and Hannukah converging--won't happen for 7,000+ years.










NOW, random photos:


Willow's portrait of our family.

At the pet store before we got the kittens...Michael picked out the collars!

Willow breading fish like a pro!

Going to bed, finding someone already there!

Eating a clementine in new pjs!

Shampooing horses hair.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Meet the Kittens!

Since Gabby died, we have been thinking about getting a kitten.  It took a while to be at a place to do so.  For about three weeks now we have been looking at adoption and shelter websites.

On Sunday, Chewy found THEM.  (Yes, we only wanted one kitten, but...)

Chewy first saw Lennier and then realized that he had a sister named Delenn.  Truly, this was some good JuJu/Karma/Fate!

Sunday we went and saw them and they are very friendly!  They are from a home where there were children and cats (and their mother was named Ivanova in keeping with the Babylon5 theme).  The kids LOVED them.  They are about four months old and pretty much black, with some grey.

Tonight we picked them up and brought them home.  Luckily we will have a long weekend to help everyone acclimate.  At the moment, they are staying in Michael's room to get used to our house.  Lennier seems to a bit more brave and curious.  Delenn is a bit more shy.  Kif saw them for a few minutes--everyone had a chance to say "hey, this place is mine!"

And now...pictures:

Michael playing with Lennier.



Lennier.

Delenn on top, Lennier on the floor.

Lennier--we can tell because his collar has a bow tie.

Delenn.

Delenn - her collar has a flower on it.

Lennier.




Monday, November 25, 2013

PAIL Bloggers: Monthly Theme Post - November: Parenting - Independent Play

How do you decide how much independent play is best for your child, and how long of a leash do you give them to do that?

I find this PAIL Monthly theme a very interesting one.

I have always felt that parenting is a lot of common sense. Parental duties include getting to know your child, giving your child opportunities to learn and grow through independence and a guiding parental hand.

Parenting should be catered to your child’s individual needs.

Because of when my children were born, I have not really been a part of the trends of “attachment parenting” or “helicopter parenting” – or maybe I just don’t pay attention to the trends….

I just go through trial and error. I know my child.

Or…sometimes, I don’t “know” my child.

When I was a first time mother, my son would not play in the way “independent” or “executive” play as described. I had no idea that anything was different or wrong – I really did not notice anything unusual. I just knew he liked crafts more than pretend; that he LOVED building models in LEGOS (but not necessarily creating something out of them—he liked to stick to the plan). He and I did nature walks and museums and various other adventures. I would always let him take the lead on these adventures—letting him explore things, sometimes directing to something he may not have noticed. He loved to read and his vocabulary was exceptional. He could be left alone to play with cars or dinosaurs (he just would not necessarily come up with elaborate scenarios). Going to the park, he would wish my participation in play. He would prefer to play with me or his father versus other children…although as time went on, he would find one or two children he would want to play exclusively with. In the early years, I just assumed this was part of parenting an only child (while we struggled with Secondary Infertility).

It was not until Second/Third grade that we found out that he had special needs, that he had ADHD and more recently (Middle School) High Functioning Aspergers.

As time has gone on, as my son has struggled with social pragmatics and behavior issues—we found that certain things that would be common and “normal” tactics for parenting, just do not work. For example, he did not like being rewarded with stickers. He has issues with stickers, they annoy him. Also tags on clothes.

When we go out to a restaurant,  after he is done eating, he generally can only sit for so long—and then he excuses himself to go outside to  pace around. I see no harm in it, although I am sure that there are parents who wonder if we are being “lenient”. Especially when they see our reaction to our son when he says something inappropriate to the situation or how we are not so picky about whether he is looking like he is actively listening (testing again this year has found that he does absorb information like a sponge—his can be distracted easily, yet listening). These are not excuses or defenses--the challenges of dealing with a child who is quirky or other wise special needs means that you need to understand, at least a little, what makes them tick (or "tic"), and deal with those special needs with some measure of what will work and what won't.

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With my daughter, she has different levels of play activity--she is imaginative and can play for hours on her own.  It has been a wonder to watch how differently she plays than how my son did.  I enjoy watching her and find that often if she makes me participate, she is not as creative as she is on her own.  I try to be nearby, usually trying to be accessible to her if she wants my input.  And that works for both of us very well.

Most important to me is bringing my children to experiences.  Saturday night we all went to see Japanese Drummers.  I was proud I was one of the few people who brought a young child.  She behaved brilliantly, and she enjoyed it.  She talked about it the next day, making me smile and realize how much fun it is to see the world through her eyes.  With her.





Monday, November 18, 2013

Introspective



I read the words and even touched them, almost as if they were raised cursive and not just ink on paper.  I wonder at the lost art of letter writing, as I read mostly trivial items from years ago that stir emotions in me.  Letters that were written to me at the beginning of my adult life; toward the end of hers.  Letters that I thought lost.   

Found among video discs and photographs.  On a whim, for a distraction for her—I put a random disc in. Transported to 2009 and July.  Summer and children that were different/same.  His voice, a child’s voice.  I had forgotten it.

Again a random disc.  Still 2009, but earlier.  February and his birthday party.  Webkinz were his obsession then.  He is clutching them, while she babbles and toddles around the living room table.  He places them on the table, reciting the names to me.  I had forgotten, but I am reminded.  Some of his mannerisms—they are still present in his future.  Some of what they were/are is still here/there.

I time travelled this weekend.

It was bittersweet.  



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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Things to Remember...



“1. We're all temporary. We have to enjoy people and allow them to enjoy us, before it's too late.
2. One question should determine any given day's activities: On my deathbed, will I be happy I spent time doing this?
3. Work-life balance is a false choice. It's all life. If you suffer at your job, get a new job. If you can't, get a new attitude. And if your principal complaint is the people you live or work with, see number one.”
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I saw this quote a few months ago.  It was in a Huffington Post article, I think.  I just cut and pasted the quote into a word document and left it on my desktop at work.  To occasionally look at and remind myself.  I needed the reassurances, because I struggle with these three items every day.  So in that spirit, here are some random thoughts.

I am not in-like with my job, but at this point in time, I need to stay at this position until I can get something else (which will be an uphill battle for another time—perhaps next year?)

I always struggle balancing between being the organizer/disciplinarian in our family and allowing myself and others to simply enjoy BEING

I loved spending time with the kids yesterday.  Nothing very special happened, just the time to be with them.   Well, the “special” included watching “Captain America” in hopes of a bit of Veterans Day feel—until my son HAD to watch the Riff Trax version; going to Friendlys for breakfast; Willow getting a balloon and being very,  very protective of it until the end of the day—in which she and I had a wonderful “bop the balloon” contest which ended in a POP---oh and Willow peeing in laughter on the swings and me wondering at first if it was raining….so normal stuff, really.

Both my children have beautiful singing voices.  I need to remember to get them to sing more often (with Willow that is not too hard right now—she tends to sing about almost anything, including random every day stuff like doing homework and playing with her toys).  I also need to remember to take out the video camera more often to get these precious moments down.

I bought Michael a pretty frivolous gift for the holidays.  He wanted it and I warned him that because of the expense it would be probably one of the few gifts.  And I could not help but get it for him—because, dammit, he is 14 years old and how many more times will he ask for LEGOs as his expensive gift?! 
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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Busy doing that Thing called Life...

October is a busy month and we have been pretty much on the go for most of it---I cannot believe Halloween is almost upon us!! I often t...