Party Time!

We had a fantastic Father’s Day this year.  Duhdee didn’t want anything and he’s really hard to buy for without instruction because he’s very particular…it’s the engineer in him, I guess.  Monkey and I gave him something that I knew he would love though, the gift of time.  We gave him a bunch of “gift certificates” that he can use to get down time as he needs it.   Now I just need to make sure he uses them!   He’s not very good at doing nothing but I do think the “sleep in as late as he wants” one will get used in short order 🙂

Once we were up and dressed we jumped in the truck and headed to Maine.  We had to tend our experimental garden and I had managed to plan a lobster feed for my dad that included ALL of my siblings and ALL of the grandkids, this is not easy to do now that 5 of the 6 grandkids are teenagers.  We stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to grab something to eat on the way and I heard myself saying something I wish I’d heard my mom say just once in my life. 

(After Monkey had finished his muffin)

“If you want any more to eat, you’ll just have to eat donuts!”

He didn’t seem to mind, lol.

When we got to my parent’s house it was raining steadily so I convinced (it wasn’t that hard) my sister to Monkey-sit while Duhdee and I played in the mud.  Just before we left Monkey grabbed two of the remote controls (and more than one is a universal, I don’t know why), handed one to Grampa and kept the other for himself.  They were seated side by side on the couch flipping when we walked out.  I barely got a “bye” from the little punk. 

Monkey had such a great time that day, he did so amazing.  I know he expects every trip to Grammy & Grampa’s house to be a party but it amazes me how social he is becoming with everyone.  He spent a long time playing ball with Grampa and then both of his Uncles, which was a first, he tends to avoid direct interaction with all 3 of them.  He was also not shy about telling them what to do “Up high!” was a favorite, lol.  He wore out the dogs playing ball after he finished with everyone else…and he still had energy to spare, of course.

My dad really seemed to enjoy himself and all the attention Monkey gave him.  He also seemed to take great pleasure in telling me to check out my “redneck” son.  Monkey had grabbed my mother’s little red rocker (she has had it since she was Monkey’s age, it’s an antique a couple times over now)1 and pulled it as close to the TV as he could get it so he could watch NASCAR. Prior to that he’d been standing with his nose practically touching the screen as he watched.  In a few years I expect he’ll be asking to go hunting with Grampa *sigh*

We had him hand out high fives and hugs before we mentioned that we were leaving and he did better than normal, we may be on to something there.  He also did great on the ride home, the day before he’d spent an hour (AN HOUR!!) whining “Home!  House! Dogs!” over and over and over until my ears bled.  I STILL didn’t shush him, though, but we were pretty close.  My mom can’t wait for the day we tell our “non-verbal” boy to STOP TALKING OMG!  The day is not too far off, I imagine.

  1. I’m sure glad my mom never reads this but somehow I’m sure this will make it’s way back to her via my tattletale sister :-p []

Oh, hi!

I sort of disappeared, eh?  A few things have conspired against me in the last almost 2 weeks…1) I had a birthday and Monkey gave me The Sims 3, which is incredibly addictive; 2) Work has been very, very busy and my co-workers have been out of work leaving me to man the ship solo; 3) I am leaving for vacation myself on July 2 and there is way, way too much to be done before I feel comfortable doing so; and 4) It’s summer and our weekends disappear at light speed!

So, what have we been up to?  Monkey had his last normal school day of the year last Thursday.  His class put on a end of year performance for all the parents and siblings.  It was incredibly cute but I’ve had the lyrics for “Toe Knee Chestnut” stuck in my head ever since.  Let me tell you, I hate Toe Knee at this point.  Monkey will start his summer session next week, he’ll be with the same class but he’ll be in a new classroom (with a guinea pig!) for the summer.  The new classroom will stick after the regular fall session kicks in but I think the guinea pig will go back to whichever class she belongs too normally.

Little Cupcake has turned 2 and we went to her birthday party.  Cupcake looooves Monkey, she and Monkey yell to each other from the windows when the other is outside.  Sometimes Cupcake yells from her bedroom window when Monkey isn’t outside (her bedroom window faces our dining room.)  A while back, I forget if I’ve mentioned this, Monkey began greeting our neighbor (and now just about every man he sees) with “Yo mon!”  I have no idea where he picked up the Jamaican accent but it’s stinking cute.  Now Cupcake has started yelling “Yo, [Insert an incredibly cute mispronunciation of Monkey’s name]!” whenever she sees him.  The cuteness is just about deadly. Monkey has also picked up something from Cupcake… “Mine!”  Fortunately, he’s only used it in response to her claim that something (everything) is “No! Mine! No!”  He has also discovered that he can use his height to his advantage and he will just hold whatever she is trying to take from him over his head until she gives up, lol.  He won’t resist her if she gets her hands on it but he will now try to keep her from getting that far.

What else?  We’ve been gardening.  Our snow peas are coming on full steam and I can’t wait to have a big plate of them very soon.  Our strawberry patch has been producing very well this year and we’ve even managed to get a few despite the squirrel who thinks taking a single bite out of each ripe berry is funny.  Our garden experiment in Maine was mostly a failure.  Nothing sprouted but a single stalk of corn (which is useless, lol) and our potatoes.  We’re very excited about the potatoes though and we did toss in a few bush bean seeds and some squashes yesterday in hopes that we’ll get a bit more.  We’re really just trying to figure out what we can grow up there at this point.  The two late frosts really put a crimp in the, already short, growing season.  Duhdee is planning some sort of primative irrigation system for next year to continue to experiment with.

OK, I do believe that catches mostly up to speed.  I’ll have to post about Father’s Day tomorrow, I am just out of time now!

The trickster.

This AM Monkey and I took the bus to school.  While we were waiting at the bus stop one of my bus friends1 approached and greeted us.  Monkey used his favorite diversion tactic and left me very confused.  I had to translate each of these for the gentleman.

“Look!  Bus!”  (He looks at the school bus across the street.)

“Look!  Truck!” (He looks at the truck driving by.)

“Look!  Elephant????” (He looks over his shoulder and then snaps his head back around with the most confused look on his face.)

All I could do was shrug and laugh.  That kid!

  1. someone I see and talk to almost every time I ride the bus but I don’t know his name…kinda weird but it’s a bit awkward to ask him his name after 5 years, lol []

Oh, so tired.

We’ve been rather busy this weekend!  On Saturday we took Monkey on a playdate with another little boy with FX who lives nearby.  The other little boy took a 4 hour nap1 so the adults sat and chatted while Monkey amused himself with all the toys.  It is so nice to sit and talk to people who speak our language 🙂

Today was spent in Maine.  We stopped to check on and water our garden up there, it’s not doing so well but it was just an experiment.  After that we went to a Portland Sea Dogs game, which they won.  It was Monkey’s first baseball game and he did great!  He did not use the seat we had for him but he was able to stay for the whole game.  He would pretend to pitch the ball and then clap…for Every.  Single.  Pitch.  The stadium erupted into cheers on a number of occasions.  The first few times really freaked him out but he calmed down as soon as the pitcher resumed pitching.  Towards the end of the game he hardly reacted to the screaming at all.  Whenever a run scored the crowd would stomp their feet on the metal floor of the stadium and it sounds like very LOUD thunder.  He totally loved that, even when we were under the stadium by the concessions.

After THAT we went to my neice’s graduation party which just seems so unbelievable…I’m not sure how that happened.  One second she’s running around with a stick in her mouth, licking people because that’s what puppies do, duh, and the next she’s all dressed up and dancing at her graduation party.  Scary.  Monkey and Duhdee were pretty much beat by this time but I had fun.  We tend to be a loud and rather rambunctious crew, we left hours ago and I still keep randomly cracking up over the smart @ss comments and insults that were flying.  I love my family.

Now, sunburnt and exhausted, I am headed for bed.  Duhdee is already calling me “lobster,” I can just imagine what I will look like tomorrow…and the sunblock was sitting by my feet the entire time.  D’oh!

  1. I am SO jealous! []

I started to write this as a comment and it got out of control :-)

Grammy’s comment about knowing her kids more than the teachers triggered this.  Monkey’s current teacher certainly seems to agree with the idea that we know him better than they do.  But I’m not all that sure that this is totally accurate.  I think in some ways they do know more about him than we do, which is why we let them set his goals without much interference. 

Monkey seems to have different attitudes at home and at school.  He will do things at school that he won’t at home and vice versa.  It’s weird.  He won’t use his entire vocabulary at school…there are certain things we hear him say all the time that they never hear.  Again, weird.  We thought that if he felt more comfortable in his classroom (and he does) he would share more of his skills but it doesn’t seem to have worked that way.  He’s definitely showing MORE than in the last classroom but still not all.  I wish I knew how to fix that.

One example, at our annual meeting the ST mentioned that she wanted to work on breathing exercises with him to help him speak more loudly.  Uh, what?   We were flummoxed, the boy has lungs and USES them to the point of giving poor Duhdee headaches some days.  She was shocked to hear that he can be so loud, she really thought he had some sort of trunk weakness that was affecting his diaphragm. 

Another example is that at school he will apparently eat with utensils…we have to constantly remind him at home to use his fork/spoon and he still ignores us a lot of the time.  I would have said he didn’t have the coordination or fine motor skills to do that…in fact I have said that exact thing on those stupid questionnaires we have to fill out for all of the evaluations we’ve done.

I just wish I knew how to get him to use all the skills he has regardless of which environment he is in.  Any suggestions?  I can’t be the only one who’s seen this 🙂

So depressing.

I’m back to work.  *SIGH*  I was really enjoying my recuperation.  I had my own personal Buffy marathon going on.  I miss Buffy and Angel and evil Spike (I’m only part way through Season 2.)   C’est la vie.

This morning Monkey had two escorts into the classroom.  Two of the little girls in his class arrived just as we did.  Duhdee and Monkey stayed outside with them for a minute to give me a chance to go talk to the teacher.   I had to ask Monkey’s teacher to stop greeting him in the mornings.  We had noticed that he was increasingly upset about going to school and we realized that it started right about the time she began to get down at his level when he walked through the door and basically force eye contact.   She didn’t touch him, she just would not get up and walk away until he made eye contact, no matter how much he squirmed.  Not good.  

The talk went fine, she is OK with backing off during the transition period.  I was worried that I would have to point out that it is in his IEP for a reason.  I can’t seem to do this without feeling snarky and I don’t want to be snarky with his teacher.  I really like her.  Hopefully he will relax in the mornings again.  He does fine with her the rest of the day…it’s just that first minute or two that it takes to get him through the dooor and get his backpack hung up. 

So, anyway, Duhdee and Monkey arrived a few minutes after me.  Monkey had a girl on each arm right up until they walked through the door.  He was in heaven.  He is serious trouble ladies.  Between the sunny nature, the cherub-like cheeks and those curls…big, BIG trouble.