Sunday, August 31, 2008

Union & Windsor Fair Pictures

How do Girls . . .

I headed out of my office, through the living room, and I guess I must have been walking funny . . .

Thane asked, “What’s wrong, Mama?”

I replied, “Nothing’s wrong, I just need to pee.”

“You can’t pee, Mama! You don’t have a penis!”

At the time, since it was within the crucial three hours after taking a diuretic, I really wished it was that simple . . . and laughing really didn’t help my predicament any!

I did have to explain that girls still do pee, regardless of the fact that we have “nothing.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Certificate of Success

We had fun at Freedom Riders again today. I found myself feeling a bit sad that we have a week off and then we'll do a shorter fall session of only five weeks. At the end, on October 11, there will be a show where all of the riders can show friends and family what they have learned. The teacher very nicely gave the boys certificates and their choice of Ty Beanie Babies. Thane chose a fawn. It struck me as an odd choice and I thought maybe he just grabbed one, but he was quite taken with his little baby deer and snuggled her all the way home.

I need to spend a bit of time catching things up a little on this blog, but I have been playing with beads more than typing lately. I have posted a lot of pictures of my stuff on Flickr because it is easier to chat with friends about what I am up to if they can take a look.

I have all sorts of pictures of the boys at the Union Fair, a Medieval War that Dave went to with a friend, and Braeden's recent interest in stop-motion videos . . . I just need to sort, choose, and post somewhere.

I also sold my website after 12 years. I wasn't keeping it up well and the fertility issues seem more distant. There is just so much else I need to learn and be up-to-date on now.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Braeden and Fall

This week's big news is that Braeden got a a big role in an upcoming community youth theater production of There's Something in My Closet. This will be a lot of work, and some solo singing, so it should be interesting. He's excited and we have all his lines highlighted and ready to practice.

One of the other mother's of a child at Braeden's school called and started asking about fall carpool. The same day, a month before school starts, I got an email from another family in our carpool. We got a tentative schedule worked out, but I have to admit that fall is starting to scare me. I'll have Thane going to school 14 miles south of home while Braeden is 22 miles north. I have to drive Thane both ways each day, and it looks like I will be doing Monday and Friday afternoons.

Tuesday and Thursday I will still have to make my way north to get Braeden at 5 as he will be doing fall afterschool sailing. Then he has theater on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Good thing he rarely has homework! Thane will still be horseback riding through October. He has come so far and it so nice to see him doing more and looking forward to the ride.

I feel kind of like I just settled into summer's version of routine, and there are only two weeks left! Next week is chaos of some variety as I am driving two other kids to sailing camp, and asked one of the other moms to pick up on Wednesday and entertain Braeden for an hour and drop him at the theater where I will get him after horseback riding. Thursday I will pick up her child and bring him home for the night. Dave will take the two older boys to the Union Fair. He's going to take Thane alone another night as he just thinks it would be better for the kids to do it that way.

I already know Thane's teacher for the fall. I am hoping Braeden gets one of two teachers for his reflections group, and that he is happy with his schedule. He is beginning his transition into upper school with one class.


The theme at Thane’s school this week was sports and Olympics. Not only did he surprise everyone by trying on football gear – I didn’t even recognize him at first! He won a gold medal and was totally thrilled. One of the cutest things is that he wore that little gold paper medal all day, long after he left his undies and shorts behind in the bathroom.

That, of course, takes me to another penis story.

“I’m shy,” Thane said. “I’m shy.”

Dave asked, “Are you shy, Thane?”

“No! Penis is shy.”

Later on he came running to me buck naked and holding on, so I asked “Is penis shy?”

“No! He’s happy!” he reported as he ran away.

As he continues to work on gender identification, he told Braeden. “I am a boy. I have a penis. Mamas have boobies.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Special Diets and School

I got a comment today on my Gluten-Free School Supplies post from Thomas, who writes for The Gluten-Free Casein-Free Experience. He compiled a piece with suggestions on How to Have a GFCF School Year, a 3-part series. Check it out starting here.

We have what may be some different circumstances. My son, despite diet changes, is still not a well-rounded eater. Because of that, it really helps to have him eat in a group setting and have similar items. Sometimes the school provides these, but his teachers clear most things with me first, or simply buy identical items to what I have provided in the past.

My son is still in preschool, so I am going to provide some information with preschool-age kids in mind. I think might extend well to those just starting Kindergarten and grade school as well.

I label everything. We aren’t casein free anymore, but we are egg free and we have a bunch of other allergies to contend with. One big problem is that if you take the gluten and the egg out, you often get stuck with date paste, which we can’t have either.

I bought a bunch of gluten-free, egg-free and casein-free (we did that too until Thane’s gut healed) stickers and patches at Jeeto! . . . we also had a t-shirt, but Thane outgrew it and now he won’t wear anything without Rocket from the Little Einsteins. I have labels on his lunch box, on his backpack, and I laminated little GF-EF cards and attached them with split rings to the zipper on his lunch and to the front patch on his backpack. I did the backpack part because one very nice mother of another child at my son’s first preschool put a bag of treats in my son’s bag, which meant I had to take it home and wash it! I figure it is okay to hit people over the head with the fact that he has a special diet as long as it means he stays healthy.

So there are my suggestions to add to the article linked in the first paragraph.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Halloween Cowboy in August

A certain young boy was trick-or-treating at my house today . . . and his big brother was adorable too. Thane decided he wants to be a cowboy for Halloween, so Braeden went hunting through his old costume stuff and got Thane all set up. I couldn't resist the teaching opportunity, so we played trick-or-treat for awhile. The smiles were worth every second, including the sharing of chocolates and dum-dum lollipops!

Misty & China

You have to love little children – they are so inquisitive and adorable.

This past week, Thane’s new speech therapist sent a note home suggesting we work on “he/she” with Thane, and on having him use more precise descriptive language – not letting him get away with “I want something” while we try to guess what, but have him say, “I want the apple juice.”

I laughed about the he/she stuff and told his teacher we have been doing that for ages. That is when she told me the girls have nothing story below.

So a little while ago he came running in to check if I have lips (which automatically makes me think of Larry Boy from Veggie Tales). We confirmed I have lips, he has lips, and Dave has lips. He decided Misty, the dog, didn’t. I said she did, but hers are black. So he leaned down and corrected himself, saying “Yes, He has lips.”

Being the parent who tries to do the things therapists ask, I corrected him and said “Misty is a girl.”

“No, he’s dawg!” (For some reason Thane says “dog” with a Brooklyn accent. We joke it must be inbred, even though I don’t have one even though I was born in Kings County Hospital where they let people in the psych waiting room die on the floor and leave them there for an hour.)

“Yes, she is a dog, but she is a girl dog,” I replied.

“No, he’s a brother.”

“She’s a sister dog,” I said, but then the light bulb went off inside my mind and I added, “She doesn’t have a penis, she’s a girl.”

Well, I was right that it would make a different for him.

“Oh, she has a . . . a . . . poopie . . . a . . . what?” I had to laugh a bit because he has always been bothered by the fact that she has black skin at her anus, though her fur is bright white back there.

I said, “She has a vagina. She’s a girl.”

“That’s right! She has a China! I have to go tell Daddy that Misty is a girl so she has a China!”

We have a long house. He had to go through the foyer, through the living room, all the way through the disaster we call a kitchen, past the bathroom, and to the sunroom.

“Daddy, Misty’s from China! She has to go there to visit her family.”

I was expecting Dave to come out laughing about Misty having a China, but I waited a few minutes and nothing. I called him on the intercom and asked him if he thought it was funny that Mist had a China. He explained that the story he got was that she was from China, so she needed to go visit her family there.

I love the way the story was adapted on his way through the house!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mist!

She's just one again, according to Thane. Actually, today she turns 12, which is pretty old for a 80-pound Siberian muttsky. She was not amused that we asked her to wear a hat! She did enjoy her gifts, though. I actually took the boys to a pet store this afternoon and let them pick some treats for her. They chose a stuffed bone with a squeaker, a stuffed pink person, a fancy birthday dog biscuit, and gluten-free, grain free dog treats. These ones actually look totally safe for Thane to touch.

Thane is the one who wanted a birthday party and insisted the cake needed to be shaped like a dog bone. We used an allergan free yellow cake mix and once again we were underwhelmed . . . even Mist snubbed that, so good thing Braeden got her the fancy dog biscuit!


I forgot my camera last week, but after a rough week the week before last, we had a surprisingly easy transition to yet another horse. I was smart and put a bunch of different horse images in his social story about riding, but Othello wasn't one of them!

Othello is yet another beautiful horse and he is very sweet. He's also half Percheron, which makes him even bigger than Manchester. The woman leading the horse is over 6 feet tall. Last week Manchester was tired. I'm not sure why we had Othello again this week, but Thane was thrilled and they seem like a good match even if Thane looks totally tiny riding such a big horse. He had some new experiences today including trotting, riding the horse without his side walkers holding onto him, and then doing a slide puzzle. I have a picture of that on the bottom because it is just cute to see his concentration.

We spoke with our social worker today and told her that ours should be the feel-good appointment of the day because we are both so thrilled with how Thaney is doing. He's playing with other kids, he's loving school, he's just doing fantastic.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Thane Humor

Thane and I were doing a Lazy Town maze last night when I explained that we had to stay away from character Robbie Rotten. I said he was a “stinker” so Thane decided I meant he smelled bad. You have to kind of picture him flapping excitedly and talking about Robbie Rotten being stinky to get the full effect.

Anyway, all the stinky talk led to me saying “P-U!”

Thane stopped flapping, opened his eyes really wide, and said with perfect intonation for a question, “He peed on me?” . . . followed by looking down to check himself out (and grabbing his package because he really likes that thing).

When I got to school today to get Thane, one of his teachers said that Thane told her he had to go to the bathroom so they went inside so he could pee.

When he was done, he said, “I have a penis.”
She agreed.
He said, “You're a girl so you don't have a penis . . . you've got NOTHING!”

So there you have it. From a boy’s point of view, if you don’t have a penis, you have nothing!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Doesn't He Look Cute?

It seems as if Thaney is all tuckered out this afternoon. He gave me a nice big hug when I picked him up at school, we got some ice cream, picked up a friend of Braeden’s, and came home.

While the older two boys played together, Thane I played catch. How the game works is that Thane runs back and forth from the sunroom to the living room – through the kitchen – and I try to catch him. It is so hot and humid, and the sky opens up every once in and while and unloads buckets of water, that I had no idea how he could keep it up.

Braeden and his friend reported an injury to a stuffed horse – “Grandma Horse.” I had to give Grandma Horse stitches while a very, very impatient Thane asked if I was done yet. When I was finished, he placed a giant bandage over the wound. But then Baby Horse needed a Band Aid too – with Big Bird on it. And then Mr. Lizard needed an Elmo bandage. I thought we might go through a ton of bandages, but I went to the bathroom and when I came out, I found this:

Could anything be cuter than a little boy sleeping in his swing with Curious George and Wilbur the Pig (a gift from his grandparents because he wanted a stuffed pig last year)? Of course I needed a photo, but I didn’t use a flash because I wanted him to get some sleep. What a cutie! And no, I am not remotely biased!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Wacky Wednesday

Above is a newspaper clipping with Braeden on the lower left. The coach in the middle, dressed as an "Old Maid" is wearing a dress of mine (bought from the store I was snickering about below, which adds some extra humor to me).


I saw the owner of this store – which I happen to like as it has a nice selection of clothing for plus-size women – putting up this sale sign earlier this week. I think the wording is unintentionally humorous . . . and somewhat unfortunate as I am not sure it will really lure people in. I have been laughing at all week because my shirts do indeed resemble tents.

Alien Sighting

I actually think the fact that Thane is at home and still wearing clothing is more alien than the SigningTime stickers he's added to his ensemble.