Saturday, August 04, 2007

Hair cut

This week, I cut off my hair.

This may not seem like a big deal to most folks. After all, it's hair. Hair grows. Hair gets cut. It is the way of things.

But here, my hair cutting is an event worthy of blogging. For one, the last time it happened, Andy was a babe in arms. Three years ago- my life was so completely different, the only thing I can say is, way back in that other life, there was time to get a hair cut.

For two, my boys accepted the change without a hitch. There was a time when cutting my hair- a sudden change in appearance- would have been very upsetting to Joey. He still gets excited if he catches me with my hair down, like when I brush it in the morning, or if I need to fix and replait it during the day. It's different, Mommy looks funny with all that hair everywhere. Andy thinks its funny, too- especially playing peek-a-boo with Cousin It.

And finally, there's something odd about going from hair to your butt to hair only to your shoulder. It now only takes me three minutes to shampoo my hair. Weird.

It has to be done occasionally, mind you. Otherwise the weight pulls it out, and at my age, hair loss can be permanent. Also, it tends to get a little frayed, since I don't have time to take care of butt-length hair properly.

And hey, even with trimming up the ends, I have twelve inches to send to Locks of Love!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Small Bites

We have more new foods this week! Joey ate a ham and cheese sandwich- with proper bites- for his OT this week, and he will also eat fresh peppers, sliced up! We are SO excited! Perhaps we have turned a corner with oral sensory issues? Could we be seeing real progress for healthy eating?

Joey's new "thing" is sharks. He saw some prehistoric ones at the museum, and then the prizes this week at OT have been sharks, and he's hooked. Add a new love of Finding Nemo, and bingo! Boy finds new obsession. With plenty of teeth.

On the other hand, we've also added a new biting issue- the boys have decided to bite each other when angry. Joey already bites his hands and clothes if he gets frustrated, but this biting other people thing- not good. We'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Random Moments

It's three am. There is a low noise down the hall that threatens to turn into a scream, so I roll out of bed to intervene. It's Andy. It's almost always Andy these days. Apparently the bad dream involves something with Joey, and he wants brother. I left brother fast asleep in my room, sprawled on Allan's big recliner (unreclined). I manage to diffuse the problem. I return to find my half of the bed filled with boy. I give him a kiss, then waddle over to the other side, where I do the same for the handsome man I married, who is also fast asleep, cuddled with said boy. I get in the recliner, recline it, and try to go back to sleep.

It's mid-afternoon, another day in the waiting rooms of the therapy clinic. Our speech therapist has taken pity on Andy. He likes to play with one of those plastic dollhouses they use for teaching social skills and household words and stuff to kids. She isn't using it today, so she's put it out on the lobby floor for Andy. He's stretched out on his tummy, in the middle of the carpet, playing his littleheart out, sucking on a lollipop he "won" by having dry pants and going potty like a big boy. The house is inhabited by two "baby" dinosaurs. The peace is broken by a crunching noise, and the stick emerges from his mouth, devoid of candy, so that he can say: "Mommy! Need the potty!!!"

The lull in activities before dinner. Two boys are clomping through the house in my shoes, round and round from kitchen to diningroom to livingroom to hall to kitchen, around and around. One has them on the wrong feet. They are also screeching, and hanging their arms, reminiscent of gorillas in Danskos. I realize they are actually both T. Rexes in Danskos.

Morning again. I've managed to retain my space in bed. A soft little hand touches my face. Then little lips find mine. Yes, the boy is up. Suddenly, a small body crashes atop mine with a wild giggle. Yep, the other one is up, too. Now four sets of little fingers are poking, wiggling, trying to tickle me. Get up, Mom! It's time to PLAY!!!

The big yellow bus chugs up the street, sighs and squeaks to a halt in front of the house. I head down the porch steps, admiring the way Joey can now step off the bus and come to me, instead of me having to go fetch him from the bus door. He turns and waves as the bus pulls away, with likely the last words I will hear from him for the next hour: "Bye, bus! See you tomorrow!"

Sometimes, one must stop and admire the normalcy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Dinosaurs (Act II)

We headed north again today, and spent the afternoon with the dinosaurs in the Museum of Natural History. I was kind of expecting them to hot-foot it in to the big dinosaur hall and spend most of the time there. I was surprised by side halls.

If you have never been to DC, and never seen the dinosaur exhibit (or not recently), then you're probably saying "Wha?" so let me take a little detour for you. The Museum of Natural History has changed dramatically from when I was young and wandering along the halls. For one, most of the exhibits have been scrubbed to unmerciful and character-less sterility, or tossed altogether. All of the exhibits my great-uncle Watson set up are gone, so that none of the animals in the mammal hall have any sense of habitat or context, the stuffed examples are stuck on glass shelves in glass cases. Being in the art business, this is exactly what most art and cultural museums are trying NOT to do. Why it has become fashionable in the curating of natural history, I haven't the slightest clue. Anyway, the dinosaurs have been partly spared this catastrophe, and whomever was in charge of scrubbing at least, for the most part, understood the idea of context and why it is important. The old hall retains interest. It is split into four main sections, three halls backed by a fourth. The three halls have ancient oceans and ancient forests flanking the main dinosaur hall, and then in teh back are the ancient mammals. A new cafe has been set at the far end of the dinosaur hall. The big fossil bone collection- things like brachiosaurs, tyrannosaurus rex, triceratops, stegasaurus, etc.- are in that middle main hall, will a very high ceiling (and a loft area for pterosaurs). The Oceans and Forests halls flank this main exihibit, but are seperated by walls, and have lower ceilings; so you can sometimes glimpse into the great dinosaurs from the side halls, but mostly, they are seperate exihibits with more carpetting and fewer echoes.

Another difference from when I was a kid is the sheer crush of people. When I was young, you could walk into the museum on a Sunday afternoon and have the place almost to yourself. Just not a popular day to go museum-hopping. Now, there is never a dull moment there. The crush of humanity is incredible. With the crush of human life comes the noise. Now add the echoes. It is enough to make me frantic. You can imagine what this is like for my guys.

The side halls, however, do not have the echo, or the draw. It still is crowded, but not the great, noisy, echo-y crush of the main dinosaur hall. To my surprise, despite the draw of t-rex and allosaurs, the boys made for the side halls. Quieter. Softer surroundings. Movies about fish mouths being made for sucking in worms. This is where they chose to spend the majority of their visit.

Yes, we did go out and say hello to the bones I consider old friends. My brother used to love the pteradactyls, hovering overhead, running up the stairs and reaching to as if we could touch them. Brachosaurus arching over the walkway, so it towered over you, the empty sockets gazing into space as if back to its flesh, long lost to time. But we spent most of the time exploring the world of the ammonites, the mosasaurs, and ancient mudpuppies.

These boys have a talent for finding what makes them comfortable. This is a good thing.


Every Saturday, Joey and I head over to the church to listen to the music. There is a little band that plays contemporary Christian music for the Saturday service, and Joey likes to watch the drums and the guitars and whatnot. We practice some signs and some social skills and that sort of thing, but we usually scoot out before the sermon- sitting still through someone else talking is not Joey's forté.

There is a lady who has taken a liking to Joey. She's an older lady with not the best health, but plenty of smiles. She is very tolerant of Joey pleying with her jewelry, and one week she even brought in a puppet to play with him.

Before the muic starts, Joey usually spents the time running up and down the aisles, tracking the pews. Since this is what he does to make himself comfortable, no one is really there yet, and it isn't hurting anybody, I don't curtail this much. What five-year-old doesn't relish his first little tastes of freedom from Mom? He also hands out hugs to church members who ask for them as they wander in, like the pastor, and his friend, and the Sunday School director. When the first note strikes, he settles next to me for the music.

Yesterday, we were doin our usual wandering, when he saw his friend in the vestibule. We were at the front, and he caught sight of her- and made a beeline to her, said, "Hi!" and gave her a big hug! Then he stayed to say things like, "How are you?" Scripted, but appropriate, and self-initiated!

She hadn't called him over to her. She didn't ask the questions first. This was all on his own!

Yes, we're coming right along here in our little corner of the world.