New schedule

So, I stopped Nik’s ABA sessions.  Our new schedule is:

Mon: preschool and social skills
Tues: preschool and speech
Wed: preschool, social skills, and occupational therapy
Thu: speech
Fri: friends playgroup and social skills

Nik will be trying out a montessori program for the summer, starting in June.  In August, if he is doing well enough, I will keep him there.  Otherwise, his current preschool teacher is opening a new kids’ education franchise.  He is guaranteed a spot there, if I want him to go.

So we will have an easier summer this time around!

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Spring Fun

We’ve been having a fun few days, enjoying the warm weather, before the flies and pesky bugs show up.  We cleaned out the patio, set up the sand & water table, garden toys, and I have a handyman coming over in the next couple days to fix the swing set (it is leaning precariously to the right.  And Nik doesn’t seem to understand that it isn’t safe.  But then what kid would?) 

We have had a playhouse in the garden for a couple years now, but last summer, Anju was too young to really notice/get it.  When we went into the garden to get it ready for play, she saw the house, squeaked, ran over to it and was busy inside for a good 10 minutes.  Then of course, Nik had to run over and play as well.  It was really cute, seeing them in there, talking to each other, playing house.

We went to the local Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday.  Anju was all dolled up in an adorable dress, and in her red shoes.  Nik wanted nothing to do with his dress shirt and vest, so he went in his regular shorts/tee.  Oh well.  Its not like he wanted to sit with the Easter Bunny for pictures anyway!

 

Talking about the Easter Bunny…he showed up in a golf cart which was converted into a helicopter, with two men in front and two behind, guiding him in with those airport navigating thingies.  Very cute.  We got in line to take photos with him.  Anju was totally fine, until it was our turn.  As I held her up for the Bunny to take her, she screamed, did a 180 turn in my hands, and leapt onto me, clinging to my neck like that creature from Alien .  The Bunny handler (!) then took my camera and took a photo of us.  As long as I was holding her and sitting between her and the buuny, she was fine.  There was a lot of vigorous thumb-sucking and hair-twirling going on though!

These are pictures from our Friday playgroup egg hunt:

      

Clean up

I was putting away the clean laundry the other day when I heard the thump-thump-thump of toys getting tossed into a bin.  I walked into the playroom and saw Nik putting all the toy animals into their bin on the shelf.  When he saw me, he said: “I clean up, mommy!”

Completely unprompted.

Again, take that, ABA tutors!

Irish greetings to you!

Since my kids are part Irish (not quite sure what miniscule percentage), we are “celebrating” St. Paddy’s Day today.  Even though the Catholic Church wanted to move the celebrations to last Friday, the 14th, so that good Catholics wouldn’t get drunk during their holy week leading up to Easter.  Pah! 

Of course, our celebrating, now that we have two little ones, is really all food related, with no green beer in sight.  Also, unless you are in Ireland, the next best place to celebrate is Chicago.  Where we live now is no comparison.  While I don’t regret the move, and I certainly don’t miss the weather, I do miss the high energy.  Those Chicagoans can sure party!  Spring/Summer/Fall is the best time to be in Chicago, with all the fun festivals and concerts, and outdoor activities.   

One other thing I miss today: seeing the Chicago River, Irish green for the day.

chgrvrgettyimage.jpg
Tim Boyle / Getty Images file

Update:
The green color is arrived at by using a combination of various vegetable dyes.  The environmentalists got their way back in the 1960s…thank goodness!  Check out the “official” Green Chicago River story
here.

Hiding spot

So Anju really likes having her hair done into pony tails.  And she really likes removing said pony tails shortly after.  It is always a chore trying to find where she dropped the little elastics.  But if I ask her, she inevitably knows exactly where she left them and will get them for me.

I just asked her where her ponytail holders were.

She ran over to her toy kitchen, opened a cupboard, pulled out a bowl, fished out the elastic and ran it back to me.

Now if only I had that kind of a memory!

Sweet!

I took Nik for a haircut this morning.  I’m trying to take him more frequently, so that he gets used to the procedure.  I used to take him once every 6 months (or when his hair was so outrageous that I couldn’t ignore it!), but then it was a hair-raising experience (pun intended) every time. 

I found this place that cuts kids’ hair only, in this cute little historic area about 20 minutes from where we live.  I don’t mind the drive, because the experience there is worth it.  They have toys, fun things to look at on the walls, books… Anju has a great time there while she waits. 

I started talking about the haircut the night before, reminding him of the Oswald episode where Henry the Penguin had to get his hair cut.  I brought it up again this morning, and he remembered the lollipop he got last time (yay!). 

When we pulled up to the salon this morning, he recognized it and walked right in.  When the lady said hi, he said, “Hair cut!”  So we wasted no time in leading him to the chair.  He climbed right in and made faces at himself in the mirror.  No fuss when we put the cape on, and then I whipped out my video ipod (preloaded with some of his favorite tv shows!) and he was thrilled!  We dialed up SuperWhy! and barring a few screams and pushing of the stylist’s hand, he was great. 

Both he and Anju got lollipops.  You should have seen her face when she saw what it was…it was her first time trying one (yes, I deprive her so much). 

I did what I had to: gave him enough forewarning, took distractions, and didn’t stress out.  And it worked! 

Take that, ABA tutors!

The good and the bad

I ended up having a good day yesterday.  Got a lot of phone calls from friends and family.  It was nice to be home and relax with the kids.  Took them to my favorite restaurant (which is closing soon because the locals don’t appreciate good food!) for take-out.  Actually eating there would have been a disaster, because Nik was in a “mood.” 

The not so good:

At one point in the afternoon, the kids went downstairs, and then I heard Anju slip and fall, and then a lot of crying, and then Nik saying: “Oh no, MOM!  A BIG MESS!  MOM! MOM! ” 
So of course, I run down to find a huge puddle of dog pee in the family room, a couple of Nik’s favorite (now in the garbage!) books and toys right in the middle, and Anju off to the side crying.  Aargh.

Another one?  I put the kettle on, and then ran upstairs to get something, and then the phone rang, and it was a friend so I talked for a while, then got on the computer, and then I suddenly remembered the kettle!  I don’t think I have ever run so fast in my life.  Luckily there was still a little water in there boiling away, but boy, was that a scare!  I had visions of the house burning down.  [And yes, the kettle normally would whistle when it’s done, but smart me deactivated the whistle because its too loud.  Yup.  Again with the thinking!]

Oh you want one more?  Okay.  After I give Nik his bath, I refill the tub and he plays in there* while I fill up his humidifier, close his blinds, get his pajamas ready, etc.  So, last night, when I got back to him, he had decided to flood the bathroom.  There was an inch of standing water on the floor. 

Yeee-up. 

Fun times.

(* Yes, I know I shouldn’t leave him in the tub alone, because he could drown.  I am not out of earshot though and he is the loudest child in the bathtub.  He’s always singing, or splashing, or talking, so I listen for that.  I’m in and out of the bathroom anyway, filling the humidifier, etc.)

Whatever works, right?

So I know it’s not good to bribe children to eat, because it causes a lot of food issues down the road. 

I know that.

But if all my son “eats” is pediasure morning, noon, and night, and will only eat food if I bribe him…isn’t that okay?  [You don’t have to answer.]

I bribe him with movies or taped TV shows.  If he takes a bite, I let the movie play.  He has to keep eating, or else I will pause the movie.  [Pausing is good, because the image is still on the screen and it keeps the interest going.  See, mama is thinking!]

He eats more than he normally would, and once I get him started, he’ll usually eat until he’s full. 

So for now, I’m not thinking about the issues down the road.