Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dima's weekend as an only child

The following was written by Chris's Mom to describe Dima's weekend:

On Saturday, Dec 20, while Mama and Josh attended the German Christmas party and Papa went to a Flyer's game with Pop Pop, Dima spent the afternoon with Nana. He found 2 old artificial trees in their garage, left over from when Nana had her little business, and although in dreadful condition he and Nana "fluffed" them up and he proceeded to "decorate" them. He also found 4 strings of lights, which Nana patiently unraveled and along with assorted Christmas balls and 6 strings of beads he spent hours putting those trees together. After he was finished the trees were so wobbly that they fell over. Since he had the beads strung from tree to tree they both went down with a crash. After picking them up and rearranging the fallen balls , he decided they needed something heavy to weigh down the bases. In searching through the food cabinet he came up with 2 large Ragu jars and one large kidney bean can. They added the needed ambiance that the tree lacked :0). After all was finished and safe he turned the lights on....off....on.....off

Then Dima helped Nana to prepare the food for the next day's Brunch. He was a very busy and productive boy. After Papa and Pop Pop returned, dinner was served and then all watched a movie.

On Sunday, in spite of the weather,. the Saitta Clan gathered for their Sunday Gift Exchange Brunch, minus Mama and Josh who decided not to chance the long ride on icy roads. As everyone arrived their were great exclamations regarding Dima's masterpieces. Many heads had to be turned in order to hide the smiles. But, they were reminded by Nana, that Da Vinci and Michelangelo did not color within the lines on their first attempts and Van Gough NEVER did.

After all left for their homes Nana spent all of the Eagles game unraveling the tree lights. But, she said it was so worth it to see the focus, creativity and the joy on Dima's face, and he was so proud to show his masterpieces to the family. Do we have a future artist among us?? Only time will tell, but according to Nana....... he is a genius.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Santa's Visit

Our Bavarian dance group held its annual Christmas party today - things went well as far as the nativity play the kids put on - a relief since the past month of "practice" was devoted to this and I was hopeful that my little drummer boy wouldn't blow it somehow. I just heard an ad for the arts on the radio praising this sort of thing for kids because it teaches them to pay attention and follow direction and to work as a team. Makes sense now because they really did rise to the occasion and pull it off very nicely. Josh is definitely looking to these boys for examples of how to behave. They all sat nicely at their own table to eat and as long as the big boys behaved well Josh did too - until he saw one older kid throwing food around and followed suit by tossing a pickle - I was told later on by the non-food throwers. This week has been exciting in general - he's to the point where he WOULD bounce off the walls if he kept going and going so I tell him OKAY, you've got five seconds to go crazy and he rolls on the floor and does his white-boys-can't-dance dance for five seconds and then takes a breath and walks away a happy but no longer crazy boy.

So Santa comes into the party after much anticipation and you have wide-eyed staring, backing away, stiff legs while sitting on his lap and a few tears -well maybe from the little kids.... but not from Josh! When his name was called he bounded up, made himself at home on the lap of laps and after he described the "real Santa" he saw on the way home from hockey practice today he went on and was practically a commercial for the Hess truck set that's being offered up this year. "...the one that has the dump truck and can pick stuff up and has lights..." yes, he's seen the commercial and has memorized the finer points of the product. His gift from Santa this time was a swell stein for root beers or Shirley Temples and "hum vee" cars. Then one of the other kids did get the Hess truck and Josh was quick to make friends with that kid and fortunately the other kid wasn't too possessive of it and let Josh take it all around the ballroom we were in for a spin. He can't get over how nice his new friend Tyler was to let him use his new truck and how one of the grownups who works there won a set of 6 cars and called Josh into his office after he realized they were gone and was really crying about it being gone - only to give him the whole set.

Again and again tonight people come up to me and talk about what a riot Josh is and even he teenagers who would normally think it un-cool to hang around with a little guy were playing with him while we were wrapping things up at the party. We had a wad of paper "ball" and a branch of Christmas tree "bat" and he had pitchers throwing to him across the dance floor - I've pretty much given up on trying to get him out of things like that unless I've given him ample notice and until it's obvious that things are wrapping up so we don't have a melt down like we did once leaving a birthday party where I had to pick him up off the sidewalk outside the bouncy-place as the staff was trying to leave for the night.

Today Dima had the "day of days" that he's been looking forward to - decorating and prepping food for tomorrow at Nana and Pop pop's He was literally counting down to this all week. He definitely has an artistic slant on things and is very into aesthetic details. I'm hoping things went well there so he'll be invited back again.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Veggie Tales website

Here's a fun thing to click:


Gotta love Veggie Tales, not only do you feel like you're teaching the kids something good by letting them watch their shows, but they're clever enough to include humor to keep the grown ups amused.


Friday, December 5, 2008


We had a scare yesterday where Chris’s company was starting to tell people that they’re laid off. As people were called into the conference room – not far from were Chris sits – some were told they had time before they had to leave the company and some were packed up and gone by the end of the day. Three weeks before Christmas!! I don’t know is it better to do it now, probably before people have spent a lot on gifts or let them have a holiday where they’re assuming they’ll still have a job in the future and some disposable income. Chris was still there at the end of the day and it bodes well that he’s the only person who’s still there who does his type of work. So farour losses were only on paper and it all feels more real now that we know people who are really effected by the economic situation.

These are certainly un certain times… During the day when we were uncertain about the status of his job, I was thinking one or both of us could get some seasonal work somewhere, I could go back to dentistry or I think there was a help wanted sign at the small grocery store I sometimes shop at – it seems like the people there are nice enough and they at least kind of know me from being a regular there… There are other possibilities, but it’s still unnerving to be that close to being forced to do something like that. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again I think we need to spend carefully on the Christmas stuff this year and I know a lot of people are feeling the same way.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

the Dopey decimal system??

As we were out running errands today Josh and I went to the library. When we're there we find car books to look at and they have computers for him to goof around with and he did really well, even whispering in the bathroom!! As I looked in the adult section he noticed a big goldfish they have in a bowl there. I told him the sign said that his name was Dewey - pretty clever for a library pet I must say - well, Josh watched him a while and when we turned to leave he said "Bye, Dopey". So, do you think the Disney marketing machine has their clutches on him??

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wish lists

Josh looks forward to the mail this time of year because he waits until I look through it and he gets to peruse the toy catalogs. He usually spends quite a bit of time looking through and when he sees something he especially likes he screeches and asks if he can get whatever it is. Same thing with TV commercials, this kid is a marketing person's dream "can I get that? ... can I get that??" He's also the one who recognizes the logos on the NASCAR cars especially Home Depot and Lowes because he's been there for the kid's clinics on Saturdays where they build things. They've both won customers for life in him. I used to tell him to earn the money for stuff, right now my pat response is Put it on your list, I also tried to explain that the list is possible stuff and not that he'll get everything he asks for.

Gramma, I've been thinking of this since you asked what to get them I know there are others who will ask too so here it is:

Josh: anything cars, Cars movie or vehicle related, he did see the Hess truck on TV and ask for that, he spends time using his Leapster with interchangeable games and so far he has: the basic Learning with Leap that comes with the game, as well as the Incredibles, Ispy challenger and Sponge Bob Saves the Day, he also likes to paint, so we can always use watercolors.

Dima: anything hot air balloon related, anything water related, he's played with and likes the k'nex building system, and right now he's into pretending he's cooking so toy spatulas and wooden spoons (or just cheap real ones) and that sort of thing would free up our real ones for actual cooking. By the same token our "good" frying pans have been scratched while they were "helping" with real cooking so replacements for those would free up the old ones for their use. The two of them pretend to make up menus on a tablet and I gave them an old check book cover so they can present the pretend bill to whoever the customer is in their pretend restaurant. They liked the movie Ratatouille so that's where the cooking stuff came from - plus we let them "help" during weekend breakfast preparations, I also did up a table cloth and candle and had a crab leg feast for Dima's birthday (his choice, but I can't say I didn't help sway the decision) and told them it was just like a restaurant, they liked that. Dima could also use slippers, and maybe a hiking stick (carved by Poppy of course) for when we go out hiking. They also like Veggie Tales, if you're considering getting them a video get in touch with me and I'll tell you what we already have, the company also makes books and all kinds of stuff.

Dima: plan B

The powers-that-be at Dima's school decided to change the plan to send him to another school and instead to keep him in his current school and with his current classmates and the basic classes, homeroom, gym, art, music and to send him to the special ed class for the things he has trouble with, as in Language Arts (what we USED to call English, spelling, reading) and math (they still use the same old name for that). I'm trusting these professionals to know more than I do so, okay plan B it is.

He started the new schedule yesterday and I was hoping that he'd turn a new leaf and get his act together with being in a new, much more monitored situation - there are only 5 kids in that class who are handled by the teacher plus an aide - a perfect situation for him because it's not so easy to goof around and get away with it. So anyway, when the bus pulls up to drop him off the driver stops him to have a talk with him - if I were smart I would have gone around the bus to ask what was going on, but it all happened so fast I ended up asking him what was going on once e got around to where Josh and I were waiting. Well, he admitted that he "touched" someone and I was trying to get more details when he kept saying that another kid touched him so he did the same back. He would only say that the two of them touched hands and I thought that sounded weird since the driver probably wouldn't intervene and tell him to sit in the front of the bus from now on if it were that mild. I IMed Chris about it so Dima wouldn't overhear me telling him about it and told him to do some investigative interviewing, so on their way to CCD last evening Chris asked him about it and he got a story that I had heard earlier about an incident on the playground. Sounds even weirder to me... I asked the driver this morning when the bus stopped and she said that Dima his another kid in the "privates" Well, by then he was already sitting on the front seat and he had to have heard what the driver said and has to know that I know that he lied, so I'm sure he's NOT looking forward to getting back here this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving???

If things happen in threes I guess / hope - we’re done for a while…

1. yesterday, Chris’s car was spewing oil, he checked it out last night and all I gathered from the proceedings was that some part was really, really stuck but still oozing oil everywhere and now there’s literally a trail to the repair place we took it to today,okay, now it’s fixed but what timing – the day before Thanksgiving!!

2. the beetle already had a flat so we couldn’t use that (I have called it the Money Sucking Beetle now I know why) …it’s in the shop to be repaired - and then

3. our septic alarm went off this afternoon and the guys who came to check it out just left - and took four hundred dollars with them!! Our septic pump might be shot which could cost lots more if we have to replace it!! Oh swell!! And the air just reeks or maybe the stink is stuck in my nose... because they just pumped out the whole septic tank.

Hopefully the long weekend will only get better - right now I've gotta go check on the warranty on the septic pump.... just in case

Monday, November 10, 2008

a message from Chris about Dima's hockey game on Saturday

As you may or may not know Dima is currently playing hockey for the local team called the Dyna-Mites. They have levels based on age and talent. Mite Major, Mite Minor and Cross Ice. If it was purely age driven Dima would be a Mite Minor. But as he started skating later in life than many (I know, hard to believe that starting at 5 1/2 is LATE in life!!!) he is on the developmental team, the Cross Ice team.

I was asked to help out with the coaching...for those that have seen me play you know how funny that is....! Actually I am just an assistant coach, I am really just there to help wrangle the kids and help them stay focused on the ice!
We have practices about once a week or so on Sat and/or Sundays. And get this...most are at 6am! How is that for a morning guy like me (sarcasm)!!

So...anyway......we have been practicing each week since Sept and this Sat we had a last minute opportunity to play in our first game as in we found out about it at 6:45am.
Dyna-Mites vs. The Generals at Face Off Circle in Warminster. As I said the game was not on our schedule, The Generals had some ice time and needed an opponent. So we gathered our players at 7am to see who wanted to play...well after all that practicing and no game yet....most said they wanted to play! How could the moms and dads say no eh? So we donned our new jerseys and headed off to our first game.

Cross Ice is just that, we do not use the full sheet but play side to side and there are usually no goalies.

How did we do? We won 14-11 (I did mention no goalie right?). Dima had, get this, a Hat trick and at least 1 assist! Papa has been playing since 2002 and has NEVER come close to a Hat Trick! And when called to play D, he made some great plays in front of his net and made some awesome saves too! I was shocked and amazed at his determination, spirit, focus, and over all enthusiasm during the game. And it was not just Dima but all the kids. It was like some sort of switch went off. All that coaching and practice....it appears they are listening and they do get it! Go figure.

Everyone had a blast, players, fans, and coaches.
I told Dima he may never score another goal again, and as he and I stress all the time, it is not winning that matters but having fun, but he can always take away that he scored a Hat Trick. Something Papa has never done and will likely never do!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I want to go to the hospital

As I arrived to pick Josh from school yesterday the teacher cautioned the waiting parents that the class had a "Traumatic" day. Josh apparently hasn't learned the meaning of the word traumatic cause he was definitely excited, not traumatized. One of the students fell and cracked her head and ended up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. There were police involved - according to Josh- he just thought it was great.

Today he came out with "I want to go to the hospital" I told this to the girls at our eye doctor's office (who just adore him) while waiting for Josh's glasses to be adjusted and one of them suggested taking him on a tour of the hospital - I'm not sure if you can just walk in without having a person to go visit - can you? If Josh keeps saying he wants to go I just might look into it, But with my luck he's so friendly he'd go from room to room and think it was great to get to see everyone!! Maybe there's a virtual tour or something on youtube to make him understand that hospitals aren't all ambulances and cops. The kids like the one with the "crack on her head" might be able to tell him it's no fun to be there. I'm hoping he doesn't try to get injured to see the cops and ambulance up close.

We were at the eye doctor because two of the teachers at school noticed that he's been getting very close to his work even with his glasses on. The doctor was not alarmed and said that far-sightedness is hard to deal with especially in kids. He re-tested him and the prescription is the same as it was when he was last checked in the spring so it's not that it's changed, it's just that Josh CAN see far and has to figure out how to best use the glasses to work at close distances. The doc did say that Josh could get away with not wearing the glasses but will most likely need them as his schoolwork gets more involved than it is now. He did say that we can take the glasses off for stuff like hockey so they don't get to bent up under the helmet. Since he's okay with wearing them - it's a habit now - we should keep him in them and maybe have a glasses case in the hockey bag to use while he's skating - until the level of play gets tougher. His skating is getting so good that he's soon going to be ready to actually start doing the learn to play hockey clinics. Today Coach Lisa had his class doing crossovers where they were supposed to go sideways down a line but picking each foot up and placing it beside the other and Josh was going " I did it! I did it!!" when he was really just turning his feet so that he was walking sideways. During free skate he kept telling the coach who had him chasing pucks "Stop it!" cause the guy was taking pucks from him, still he scored more goals during free skate than I ever have or will, so I've gotta say he's doing alright.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Brushes with history

All set to perform my civic duty today I got up dark and early this morning and arrived at the small school that we go to for our polling place just before 7am. There were no parking spots all around the school so I ended up going down a side street to walk to the school – by the time I got inside everyone else in the immediate area was in there too and the line went down the length of the basketball court!! What a madhouse! I really did want to get it over with so I wouldn't have to bring kids with me to wait in line. Chris ended up working from home so it did give us some flexibility in getting out there but he still had to get work done so I opted not to stay to wait around. By the time I went back around 12:30 there were 2 people ahead of me and I went right through I was voter number 716!! I guess they were busy!!

As I opted out of my first opportunity to vote I couldn't help but wonder if the lines would be like that all day. Then I was thinking about last week when I was just steps away from one of the gathering places of the city of Philadelphia while the Phillies were within reach of winning the world series, well the night just got rainier and colder until they decided to stop the game to re-start it a few days later. So not only was the game not won, I had to drive down the turnpike in bad weather, that's never a fun thing to do. Of course once they resumed the game they won and the whole town went wild but that was while I was back out in the boonies here in Chester county and even though it's an area that's tied to and very close to the city there really wasn't a whole lot of celebrating in the streets around here, uh, woo hoo....

I did have the chance to be in DC years ago when the Redskins won the Superbowl and that was cool - going down Pennsylvania Ave to Georgetown in the car of someone we didn't know until the people walking were going faster than we could drive. At the time I couldn't believe I was seeing people hanging out sitting on second story building ledges and climbing on stoplights and every one high-fiving everyone else. Now the past of that historic event that I saw was very cool. That was okay because no one did anything stupid to hurt anyone else and it was all innocent fun. From what I understand the Philly crowd - in places wasn't so controlled breaking a store window and overturning cars. Just after the game was won you could see people lighting fireworks in the crowd - duh, not a good idea! Maybe it was just as well that I didn't have to decide to go into the crowd or not.

Looks like it'll be a short bus and a special class

After many phone conversations, releases signed and hours of observation of Dima in the classroom Chris and I met with his school psychologist, the school counselor and his teacher last week to discuss what to do to help him have a better learning experience. The bottom line is that he seems to be overwhelmed with the classwork and he's trying everything he can to get out and away when it's time to sit down and learn stuff in the class. He's doing stuff like whacking other kids over the head with his lunch box and kicking them when they all sit down for story time. He's smart enough to do stuff while the teacher is distracted with other things - and with 23 other kids in the class I'm sure that's often -

At this point he's so out of control that it's distracting to other kids too. We're fortunate in that a solution is offered in our school district - in the school where he went last year - in the form of a smaller class, with a male teacher who has a background dealing with this specialized sort of situation. The program is called BRIDGES with the goal being to eventually get him back to "regular" instruction in a regular classroom once he's had help with his behavioral issues. At this point we're waiting for him to be accepted into the program - interesting word to use for it being that you'd think of that as a good thing where this really isn't a good situation to be in - Now I'm truly sorry for each time I even thought of making fun of those kids... though we're told that the class isn't strictly slow kids it's also ones with emotional issues - which is what Dima's been officially diagnosed with - for now - along with the AD/HD.

The day after tomorrow that will be his first day on a stimulant to see if this can help him make better choices while he's in school. I'm hoping that we'll find a way to help him have better days so he doesn't dread school any more. He's not pleading to stay home anymore but he's still saying that he doesn't like school.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

That was God!!!

Josh and I were playing Uno this morning and he won the first hand. While celebrating his win he said "That was God!!" and when I asked him what it meant - I was thinking he meant that was good or that God helped him win but he said "No, God is great and that was great!" Well, okay then.

A Wonderful Night

We went to a Philadelphia Phantoms game on Saturday night and a good night was had by all. Both of the boys got to stand on the ice during the national anthem and thankfully the group that sang it did an up-tempo version of it and the standing didn't have to go on too long. There was a team rep who helped them get out onto the ice and helped Josh stay standing and the team were nice to them as they skated out. The best part of the evening was that Dima was remarkably well behaved. I asked him what was up and he said he wanted to make me happy ... if only he'd do that every day...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

score hole

Before school yesterday Josh and I spent some time at a park near his school. The original intent was to try to play volleyball on the court they have there with sand so I brought a ball along and it turned out to be too windy to really play there. Picture Josh crying "it's too windy" and yelling for the wind to stop it!!!

We then wandered over to the playground part and I noticed that there were two footballs over on the field. It turned out perfectly since there was a bigger ball and a small one too. I tried to explain from my best I-know-next-to-nothing-about-sports-knowledge what really happens during a football game while we were out on the field. I thought he'd be impressed by the size of the field or at least want to run around there but he was mostly interested in going to the goal post and either punting the ball over - didn't last long since it hurt his foot - to trying to hurl the ball over the cross bar on the goal post between the uprights this goal post also had an extra bar up there and I was thinking "do they all have that?" I guess I'll have to look next time we watch a real game, or make that next time I pass by when they're watching a real game. So we spent quite a bit of time throwing balls over the goalpost and at times they would bounce off and almost bonk him in the head but he wasn't intimidated and kept at it and at it eventually figuring out that it's not so good to stand too close and with some practice he was getting them over again and again. As we were leaving he said he wanted to play football and I thought maybe I'll take him to a game of kids his age since we know some kids that play and that cheer locally so he can see that it's a team thing and it's not just standing there doing what you want on the empty field. As we drove past the other end of the field he goes - "HEY!, there's the other score hole" - and even though I don't know that much about sports I know I wouldn't call it that - he was just trying to remember the words and that is it's function so there ya go - score hole - a new term has been born. Lately he's been saying that he doesn't want to play on the "DyMaNites" (should be Dynamites), Dima's team cause he says he wants to spend time with me - once he gets on a team he'll be into playing and schmoozing with teammates that he'll forget about all that.

top goes up, top goes down

While running errands the other day Josh saw a man out in the parking lot putting the top of his Audi convertible up. While we were inside the store he recognized the guy and started asking about the car - and asking for a ride, well he didn't have the time to give us a ride but Josh ended up in the driver's seat working the control that puts the top up and down. How many kids can schmooze their way into playing with a great toy like that??? As we talked to him he said "I hope he stays like this and I hope he becomes a politician, we need more people like him." Politician??? I've heard teachers predict that he'll make a good principal and others note that he'll go a long way with that personality but that was the first time "Josh" and "politician" were uttered in the same sentence, ya never know.... That same morning we had also gone to the library and looked up some car books - beetle - porsche - monster trucks and now it seems like hes getting away from Mustangs as his favorite car and into Corvettes. He did do a great job of being quiet int he library, including whispering even as we walked up to the front door - better to do it too soon than not at all, I guess. He also had a chance to play with the kids' programs on the computer there and he saw other kids coloring - with the mouse - a car and when he got to the part with the car he got so excited that the computer mouse fell off the table and the car coloring page was clicked off of the computer by the time I retrieved it. You only get 20 minutes on the library computer and he didn't get back to that picture by the time we had to go, too bad.

Tonight's the night that Dima and his hockey team get to stand on the ice during the National Anthem during the Phantom's game He won't be so excited about the standing on the ice, though his Dad certainly will he'll blow a gasket when he finds out that Nana and Pop pop will be there. He tends to reach critical mass under exciting times like this and this will probably be a biggie!!! I did consult with his doctor about changing his meds to help him with his impulsiveness at school but she really doesn't want to change anything until the counselors at school have a chance to see "who he is" and so we're sure he's being treated for the root problem not just random symptoms as they pop up. His daily reports from school seem to go up and down and I'm anxious and ready to find a solution to help him get a grip on himself and to help us to deal with him when he needs to settle down and can't do it himself.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

our evening walk / totally cool drive in a classic convertible Mustang

After dinner today Josh, Dima and I went out to check out the neighborhood. Since Dima said that people are already putting up their Halloween decorations - he was watching that stuff on the bus rides to and from school today -I didn't have to struggle with talking Josh into getting out of our own space and going for a walk.

Well, after this evening it might not be so difficult to get him out there anymore....

As we neared the end of our street we could see our neighbor's classic convertible Mustang in the garage - we'd seen it there before - but it had been a while... we continued on ... it was looking like rain so we turned around at the end of the street and headed home around the same time the guy from the house with the Mustang comes out to pick up some fallen branches from around the front of his house and Josh hollers " Do you drive that classic Mustang?" and the guy says "Yeah, do you want to see it?" Those little legs couldn't have gone any faster over that lawn and both of my boys were looking at it and oohing and aahhing when Josh suggested a ride and the guy - who we now know is named Chris - was like - Okay, get in. The guy poked his head into this house to tell his wife he was going out for a second and she came out and was taken aback to see us sitting in the car (Why are they in our garage??). We introduced ourselves and then we tooled around the block in a great car. Most of the trip was done with the top down and when we paused to put the top up Josh had his - on - a -ride - at-Hershey Park face on. That face is hard to describe - eyes wide open and mouth like a big oval I guess. so at least for the next few days I've got a lure to go out walking with Josh whenever we have time. I had Josh draw the Mustang-guy a picture and we'll have to deliver that so at least we 'll get one walk out of it tomorrow morning.

Today I decided to take advantage of my kid-free time to get out and explore a little bit. I looked up the trail map at Marsh Creek Park before I dropped Josh off and since I hadn't been to the dam at the park and didn't want to do it the first time with the kids along I thought this would be a good chance to get some exercise and check out the trail to see if they could do it with me. When I looked it up online it seemed pretty straight forward - go along the trails I've already done to the stables and then find the trail to the dam. Okey dokey - I set out along the trails and with another chance to grab a trail map - didn't do it and re-thought that later at the time I wa sthinking I can figure it out- on my own. As I followed the blazes mostly white then later blue- like in "what in the blue blazes"?? I realized I should have measured how much time this would take - as I took a rocky - muddy - next to the water and steep embankments - kind of trail I thought about what could happen - trip and fall down a hill into the lake... fall down a well...get totally lost I was wishing I'd remembered more Girl Scout stuff. Great, then what happens when Josh is at the door of the school with me still rushing back to my car??

There were signs about hunting so as I walked I called my Dad to find out if it was hunting season - no answer - but I guess that's something I should find out ahead of time in the future. At least I had on a red warm up jacket for visibility and I also have a bell on my keys - I do that since the one time I went hiking ages ago in Virginia and once I got into my car and while getting settled in saw a huge snake draped across a fence right in front of my car!! I'm not sure if a bell would scare away a huge snake but at least it would give it some notice. So, it took me an hour to make it to the dam. As I walked along I thought I saw clearing through the trees above me on the hills and wondered how to get up there to make the walk back go faster. I tried it on the was back and I was hoping I wasn't stumbling into a neighborhood where I'd get stuck miles away from where I'd parked my car. The walk back was actually more like tractor- trails on the side of a field and much more manageable for walking quickly or for taking the kids along next time. I ended up back at the parking area much faster than I got to the dam and managed not to get lost!! That park is great and I think we're lucky to have it so close by. I did make it back in time to cool off a bit before I had to get Josh. Whew!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mr. Josh sends his regrets.....

Just this week Little Mr. Popular has gotten a birthday party invitation as well as an invite to do a playdate with a kid I've never met who is in his Lunch Bunch - a group of kids from both the morning classes and afternoon classes who get together a few times a week for lunch. This is only preschool I can imagine what this kid's schedule will look like once he's older!! As I was starting to type this a neighbor called to ask how the week's going and she mentioned that her daughter wants to get together with Josh too. How ironic! He's everybody's buddy. One of the dads from school said Josh was the topic of conversation while his daughter was getting ready one morning last week and she was debating whether Josh was her friend or her pal. Like Chris's uncle said long ago "He's going to make the best fraternity brother!" Now there's something to put on your resume!

This weekend he's going to be with us and our German dance group in the Philadelphia German American Steuben Parade - he loves that sort of stuff and usually brings down the house when he dances. His little partner and he have gotten the idea of waltzing like the grown-ups do and it really is cute. So cute that the boy who used to be the darling of the group had a hard time dealing with it the first time he wasn't the center of attention on the dance floor. They'll each have their turn. I honestly don't think Josh will have a problem passing the torch if he stays like he is, he genuinely celebrates a win when we play anything whether he's the winner or not.

Anyway, the birthday invitation had to be turned down because we'll be out of town that weekend with our old dance group in DC. And I'm in contact with the other boy's mom about potential play date times - and our neighbor will be coming to the bus stop tomorrow to goof around with Josh while we wait for Dima's bus.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"I'm not going to college because that means more school"

It seems that Dima's been having a tough week at school. They had a substitute on Monday morning and on Tuesday because his regular teacher is buying and moving into a new house. Well, apparently the sub gave them work that was hard and on Tuesday morning he comes out with "I'm not going to college because that means more school" while we were waiting for the bus. Yesterday he was kind of clinging to me before the bus got there saying he doesn't want to go and I was told that he cried on the way there and our neighbor sat with him talking to him on the way to school.... Now this morning he was BAWLING and trying to cling to me and the bus had to wait for him til I could coax him on. The neighbors were trying to talk to him as well as their kids and the bus was chanting his name before the driver kindly asked if he could help her with directions and offered him a piece of gum. All the while I'm asking one of the neighbors if she thought I should just go back to our house because his crying and all was directed toward me and he was asking if he could stay at home - today?? tomorrow??? He seemed slightly appeased when I told him he doesn't have to go Saturday and Sunday. I'm thinking I might put both boys in the car and drive over to the school and see if he can point out the way and then let them play on the playground once we get there. I'm even thinking of asking if Josh and I can ride to the next stop with them tomorrow to lure him on - if that's okay with the driver. At one point this morning the neighbor indicated that she thought he wouldn't get on the bus but I didn't want to cave in since that would set a precedent for it to happen again. I really don't want to make a big deal of this so it'll hopefully blow over and I'm hoping he'll talk about what's up if we do drive over to the school later on. I was in contact with the teacher last week and she seemed to indicate that he was doing fine socially - I think he's getting intimidated academically and doing full days for the first time might be adding to his stress - plus when he goes and when he comes back here's Josh goofing around and having a great time with no homework to do in the evenings. I'm sure that doesnt' make him feel any better.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

School has begun

Josh was so excited to get to school that yesterday when Dima put his back pack on to head out for the bus at 8:15am he put his on too. I explained that we wouldn't be leaving for HOURS and he left it on for the greater part of the morning including going to the bus and then going for a walk in the neighborhood. Last year he had morning preschool and this late school concept is still sinking in for him. He kept asking "Is it time?, Is it time?,Is it time? all morning. Today I was thinking about taking him to the playground to play and picnic beforehand but huge storms rolled through so we spent the time here. Right now he's chowing down on a roast beef sandwich and I've introduced him to eating it au jus - what a mess! He dissected it and has bits of beef and bread all over the place he's eating the bread first and fortunately he's got his "eatin' suit" on. He really likes his carbs and really likes to take stuff apart so he's having a grand old time.

Today is his enrichment day which means it's less structured than the usual days and they get to play on laptops and make snacks in these classes and there'll be a new set of kids. He's still having some trouble grasping the concept of having a new teacher and new students in his class each year. Yesterday he kept asking if kids from last year would be there - there's only one boy from last year in this class - and he already found a girl that he "wuvs" in this class. He described her as "the pink girl" that means she was wearing pink. He also did that over the summer while describing the kids at the pool he'd describe them by the color they had on. As in yelling: "That black boy splashed me...".

Dima's teacher gave an okay report on his behavior so far. She said he's been doing well as far as socializing with the other kids but she hasn't had recess duty yet so she's not sure how that's going. He tends to rush through work and then has to re-do stuff and he needs to be encouraged to take his time the first time to get it right and not waste time. I'm impressed that she was so responsive to my questions about how he's doing and she's interested in keep up to date on how things are going with his testing through the county to get him behavioral help.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Brrrinnggg bbrrriiiinnnngggg

As Josh and I were waiting for a friend to call yesterday to let me know that she was ready to go for a playdate I explained to him that when we got the call we'd leave. so next thing you know he's going "Brrrinnggg bbrrriiiinnnngggg Hey, the phone's ringing". Nice try.

We went to an awesome playground with the wife and son of Josh's Best Big Buddy - we first met him because he owns our local beer distributorship then we also ran into him and his family while we were going for swim lessons. Then when Dima and I went to his open house at school we found out that his daughter is in Dima's first grade class. When we saw each other in the classroom we set up the playdate so the two younger ones could hang out together. The playground is in a Memorial park that's dedicated to a young mother and her daughter that were murdered in Collegeville years ago - a horrific, sobering story that really makes you appreciate and think twice about the time that you spend with the kids and how quickly things can change.


I'd heard about the playground before and just had the chance to take my guys there for the first time last week. It's great for Josh cause he makes car sounds in the huge slide - tubes and makes friends of all the other kids. Dima likes swinging now that he's mastered doing it on his own so it was ideal for both of them. While we were there yesterday Josh also hooked up with a bigger kid who was leading him around and taking him from his playdate friend deliberately and he even pushed Josh's friend and made him cry. I wasn't sure if or how to intervene as far as making Josh play with one versus the other but it became clear to Josh that it was a bad choice to hang with him when he gave him a shove too. The kid was there with a sitter who was spending time on her cell phone and not really paying attention to what was going on. When Josh's friend got pushed I told Josh that if he sees something like that he should tell the other kid that it's not nice and not to do it again - so he marched right over to the kid an told him off.... not really what I meant but it did seem to bring him down a notch. Til Josh got shoved too and then it was time to go anyway so we all went for pizza.

Josh did have his Open House this past week and he first had to say hi to his old teacher and play a while with the toys in that room. He knows this year's teacher from when Dima was in her class so he just went right in and played there too. This year I've signed him up for a few Lunch Bunch sessions so he can see some of the kids from last year -they go early and have lunch there and do a craft or story time or something extra too. The Lunch Bunch teacher came into the class while were there and Josh went up to her and hugged her and she said that she and Josh have a "connection" I didn't burst her bubble by telling her that he has connections with pretty much everyone.

"Dima, Who did you sit with on the bus?"
"No one."
"How about at lunch?"
"I ate by myself."
"Did you say hello to anyone?"
"You know kids in your class, you can say hi to them or introduce yourself if you don't already know them."
"I don't want to."

Don't ask me how Dima's school year is going cause it's really hard to get any info from him. He came home one day this past week with a bandaid and I've heard several different stories of how it happened. I asked a friend's son who is older and rides the same bus if Dima's wild on the bus and he said no but he does just kinda sing at random - OOOOOKKKKAAAYYYY.... I think one of the neighbor girls takes him to his classroom and has been looking out for him to some extent. I'd LOVE to be a fly on the wall and see what really happens during his day. He's bringing home stuff that's done during the day and even when I ask about that it's hard to get information. I'm trusting that no news is good news but I'll still get in touch with the teacher and find out for sure what's happening one of these days.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

$17.00!! woo hoo

Dima found his niche on Sunday while we were at a dance show in Philly. He was posted at the keg that our group got for the night and had a great time filling up people's beers. Being that he's fascinated by moving liquid I'm surprised we hadn't thought of this before. He was supervised the whole time and started getting a dollar or two each time someone came to get topped up and he ended up with $17.00! By the end of the night he was going around like a beer-pusher "Do you need more, Do you need more?" Cause is meant he got to pour more if he found a customer. We showed him how to clean up around his space and he goofed around with the ice a little but he was well behaved and focused while he was there.

Josh and I went back to the two-day event yesterday and a guy who had a stand including cars remembered Josh and actually gave him a free car. It's a new silver Corvette and the top of it is dented - the reason it was free - but the guy told Josh that it was on a car carrier and it tried to go under a bridge that was too low so it got smooshed. On Sunday Josh kept taking anyone who seemed interested to look at the toy cars and he bought a blue classic Corvette and we saw a real one just like it yesterday while we were on the road.

We stayed much later than I intended to but Josh was playing nicely with his cars and ended up dancing and being passed around to various guys and getting rides on their shoulders around the dance floor giving everyone high-fives. He doesn't start preschool until next week so we had the chance to sleep in this morning and sleep he did - he didn't get up until 11:15 today. We'll probably skip nap today so he'll fall asleep quickly tonight and then we'll get back in sync so we can walk Dima down to his bus in the mornings. Today's his first day of full time school it'll be interesting to see what kind of reports he gets from his teacher. We do have a meeting with a counselor with the county on Thursday morning so we can get him the benefits including behavioral management advise that we all need to help him get himself calmed in exciting situations.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hanging around

We had to stay close to home this morning so the Verizon guy could come to hook up our TV for service through them. While we're hanging out here the kids have been playing pretty much all morning with toys that we got from friends that Chris has known since college. We've been so fortunate to have friends with older kids who give us their old stuff. I sorted clothes last night and it was like Christmas day - "look at that!, look at this one!" Our kids have always been well-supplied with hand-me-down toys and nice clothes. Our friends have good taste and their kids go to schools where they have to be well-dressed so we get some pretty nice stuff.

Anyway, last night I showed Dima a Leapster that at first he seemed really interested in and he was excited to use it this morning. After he played with it for a while he stopped using it and Josh picked it up and hasn't put it down since. He's been really good at figuring out how to do the games and he even figured out how to change his name in the list of players, but he changed it to JJSSJJJJJJJ. One of the games on this cassette - we got a few of them - involves moving little shapes around and he's already learned what a trapezoid is from this thing.

Now Dima' splaying with the huge aircraft carrier and doing a good job of playing make-believe with it. If I'd had to guess which toy which kid would pick I would have guessed wrong, who'da known??

Now that Josh has officially changed his own name (though I'm not sure how you'd pronounce that} going to do something I've been thinking about for while.




Monday, August 11, 2008

Josh and I spent some time at my cousin's house over the weekend and I was pleasantly surprised at how well he got along with the other kids both at a pool party on Saturday night and on Sunday just goofing around with his two cousins. Of course all of the toys are new to him and so he was amused just by going around and checking out all their stuff. We all went for a walk around a park yesterday afternoon and had a nice time. While we were outside I kept getting weather updates on my cell phone for Chester county - I have it set up to get them cause if we're ever at the pool and something's coming I want to know about it. Except for a short afternoon storm we had sun and a little breeze. For August it's been exceptionally nice weather - wise. Yesterday afternoon it was stormy all day here including a power outage. Other than being sassy with me in the morning he got along pretty well and played nicely - the dynamic with his cousins was interesting since they both wanted his attention and tried to keep him interested in whatever they were playing with. He tried again and again to shoot a small play ball into a real basketball hoop and did get better as he was out there doing it and his cousin Helen was encouraging him and throwing balls too - then his cousin John brought out different vehicles to interest Josh and then would get upset if Josh wanted to touch them and if he was driving wildly with the "mokena troll" that's how Josh pronounces remote control.

Dima has ice hockey camp from 8 to 4:40 each day this week so it'll be a good test of how things will go once he starts all-day school. Josh and I will be taking it easy around here so he can recover from not having a nap for two days and going to bed late on Saturday night. I'll have to decide if we'll be skipping nap today it's after 8 now and he's still sleeping - unusual for him - he likes to open his eyes early and start yakking - "I'm ready!!" There are times he's up there yelling that he's ready to get up and then he's still so tired that he's up there sucking his thumb once you get to him - yeah he's 5 and still sucks his thumb when he's tired I know it bothers some people but I don't think it's a problem and I know he won't go to college doing it so it'll get resolved sooner or later. The thing is since we have to get Dima at 4:30 I can't let him go in for nap too late cause I'd hate to have to wake him to get going - there's potential there for a very, very sassy little kid in the car in that case. I'd like to go to the pool or something like that after Dima's done but if it's still chilly we'll find something else to do. He'll have to be in bed at a decent time so he can get up for camp tomorrow so we really won't have too much time.

Recent deaths: 1. Bernie Mac 2. Isaac Hayes 3.? If I were a funny black man I'd be very afraid right now - these things happen in threes.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our summer has gotten less hectic with Dima's Camp Success being finished. Now we only have swimming lessons in the mornings and don't have to be out of here until 9:30ish I like being able to get a decent breakfast in the kids before we head out especially since I've been bringing my pre-made, frozen (they thaw mostly in the little lunch bag) cheese sammiches along for lunches. Josh asked for five eggs this morning - since he's five - but I told him I'd start him with two and he could see if he was still hungry after that, though with the way he eats I can see it'll be a matter of time before he really will eat five at a sitting! Josh is thrilled that his teacher is the same guy who was his buddy last time and he's been up on the lifeguard platform with him at times while he's working and he goes back and forth to the girls who are off duty with messages from his friend - little chick-magnet that he is! Today he got to go out to the parking lot to hear one of the lifeguards' cool, loud car start up. Yesterday his friend was lying looking up at the sky on the cement next to one of the guys on duty and Josh went right next to him and laid down the same way and spent some time there talking with the boys. Knowing the lifeguards can't hurt as far as the kids go since they all kind of watch and chat up Josh now and I got inside info today that they're expecting 6 camps to roll into the park on Thursday with 50 or 60 kids each I'm thinking that we'll get out of there as soon as they start coming in since it's going to be so crowded.

Hurry up and wait and wait and

wait and that was just the "start" of the Reading Phillies baseball game we went to on Sunday. There was a rain delay so we sat in the bleachers with umbrellas watching the real Phillies on the jumbo-tron. Josh and Dima got to be on it when we first got to our seats and the camera guy came up behind them - once I got them to turn around they were like deer in the headlights - too bad cause Josh is cute doing his everyday stuff like dancing around to whatever music is on and they were both dressed in team colors. Of course during the game and the non-game in the beginning Josh made friends with one of the players. Our seats were behind the opposing team's bull pen so we were right behind them. One was wasting time during the rain delay by chewing a huge wad of gum and doing things like pulling it out of his mouth and making big strings out of it - so Josh ended up renaming him Gum. Once the game did start Josh's buddy picked up the first foul ball that came our way and gave it to Josh. The kids also got sunflower seeds and bubble gum from the bucket the team had for their own use. Baseball players get the freshest gum - I don't know if it's cause they have some kind of sponsorship or if it's cause they go through it so fast, but that was the best wad of bubble gum I ever had. During the course of the game we learned that Gum and Josh were born on the same day - - what a job to be soooo talented in a sport that you get to spend a lot of time waiting around, get rained on and still have time to chat with your team mates and fans. He did get to pitch near the end and we really didn't get to say goodbye to him cause his pitching wrapped up the game and he ended up going straight in - to do what I don't know cause I doubt he even worked up a sweat. I guess we should email the guy or something to say thanks cause he did go out of his way to be nice to Josh. I think it's kinda cool that two of the Phillies are headed to Beijing for the Olympics so we can say we saw them right before they left.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swimmin lessons

Since Josh was having some trouble standing in the too-deep part of the pool he's been reassigned to a new swimming coach and different class that goes into the shallow end. Josh's already charmed this kid into tossing him into the pool even after they bring the other kids back from their lesson. And I do mean tossing him he flies maybe ten feet in the air and once smacked his back which made Josh none too happy but wasn't so upset that he didn't want to do it again. We stayed a while after lessons today and he was thrown around first, then I took him to the deeper section to jump, jump, jump and he had a moment of panic where he couldn't find the bottom and was thinking twice about jumping again but he got his courage up and kept at it. He almost got defiant then once he got over the fear and insisted that we stay in that part - it's three and a half feet deep.

It is nice that I'm getting to talk with some of the parents that we knew from the pool last year and from both of the kids' schools and neighbors of ours go to that pool too. We're getting to know more and more people as we do these various things.

Monday, July 14, 2008

What was he thinking??

Dima's grounded from the pool for a week cause on Friday night we caught him up at 10:30pm in our guest room playing with 2 fans - something he's been told again and again not to touch - and he had apparently been goofing around with the computer in that room so I'm not planning on taking him to the pool for the whole week. He can be told the same thing again and again and it's incredibly frustrating because he's old enough that this stuff should be sinking in. We were all settled in for the evening (or so we thought) last Friday when Chris heard a noise upstairs and went to check on it when he watched for several minutes while Dima was out of bed switching off and on two fans!! This is the same kid who has been told time after time to stay in the bed. We got so frustrated at catching him out of bed looking out his window anytime there was rain or snow that first I put construction paper over the lower part of the window and he tore that while up out of bed trying to look at something outside then we ended up putting a board over the window and I think he's learned his lesson there because we haven't caught him there since the board was taken down. Josh on the other hand is good at staying in the bed but he makes lots of noise while singing to himself. Right now he's very into the songs he learned when my Mom took him to Bible School he sings those and wants to listen to the tape all the time. Dima's good at being quiet at bedtime - and now at sneaking around.

He is managing to get good reports at camp so I rewarded them with a trip to Longwood Gardens last week and we also went to the pool on Thursday - it does get really crowded as the day goes on I remembered this as buses of kids were unloading and piling in. It's a huge pool so usually it's not bad if there are lots of people because they can spread out but once the camp and daycare kids get there it gets hectic. Lots of times I feel like the bigger kids aren't paying attention to - or don't care about - the little kids like Josh. Dima spends most of his time in the splash park and then it's even difficult for me to keep track of him among a bunch of kids. I'm actually looking forward to Dima being done with camp in two weeks so we can go early enough to get some pool time in before everyone else gets there.

Josh started his swim lessons today and was the one who yelled out the name of the woman who runs the pool when she asked if anyone remembered her name. Once they got in he was in a pretty deep section of the pool cause he's in with kids of similar swimming ability who are all taller than he is. The permanent teachers will be assigned tomorrow so things could change, but he was in there with the rest of them and not scared, more proud of himself that he was in "the deep part" okay, it's maybe 3'6" but for him that's chin level and when he's in there with me he's kind of tentative about it so I have him hold onto the wall while we're in that deep or we just stay in the shallow section cause it's easier to see Dima from there. He's got little pool toys that he dives after and we've been keeping them in the shallow part so he can see them and dive after them. Of course Josh made a friend today of a 3 1/2 year old who had a few toy cars along so I know Josh'll be looking for him tomorrow (when we see someone familiar or who looks familiar he usually goes: "hey, I remember you!!") and I've already stashed a car in my bag so Josh has something to offer him in exchange for letting him play with his stuff.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday July 10, 2008

Dima's done so well in "camp" this week that I'm thinking about taking the two of them to Longwood Gardens this afternoon. When I pick Dima up I'm going to just start driving there and we'll see how long it takes them to figure out where we're going. A lot of times I give them an apple in the car anyway as we drive home so I can pack their lunch and they can eat on the way and we'll have the afternoon to spend at the Gardens. Camp is only held Mon. -Thurs. so we'll have a chance to recover tomorrow if they are tired from running around today.

The staff at the Marsh Creek pool called yesterday to confirm Josh's swim lessons starting next week so our days will be getting more hectic when we all have to run to camp then get Josh to the pool then go pick Dima up again at camp. Each time we've gone to the pool so far this year Josh has already been schmoozing with the teenage lifeguards so he'll be right at home when we go for his lessons. He's also been chatting up Dima's teacher, the teacher's aid and a student teacher when we take Dima to camp. When we get into a situation where he's the center of attention he goes off on all kinds of tangents about what we've seen and done lately and he usually talks so fast and jumps around subjects that I have to translate - good thing I'm always with him so I get what he's talking about. Usually adults that he starts talking to are very accommodating and they let him talk there are also times that he latches on to a pretty girl - usually one who's a bit older than him and he can follow them around to the point where I have to call him off cause he gets annoying. At a playground recently he was literally right behind a girl who quickly turned around and her jaw clunked his head and the two of them ended up crying.

Our fourth of July weekend consisted of a few picnics one on Friday the fourth where we lit off a few fireworks and had a short visit from the police and Dima was just re-living that this morning at the breakfast table talking about the "cops' coming to our friend's house. The officer just checked to be sure that Chris, who was lighting the display, was sober and he took a few of the big fireworks and was on his way. At one point the whole neighborhood had stuff going off and you could tell by the time we were walking home that he'd made the rounds cause there was silence by then. We went to a different neighbor's picnic on Saturday and the family had rented a "boon mounce" - moon bounce in Josh-speak and once we got there Josh was bouncing and bouncing and bouncing all afternoon and into the evening. He was laughing and having a great time even when bigger kids got in and were whipping him around and flinging him into the corner of the thing! I put a stop to the whipping and flinging but he still kept at it except for getting out three times to say hello to neighbors as they arrived. The neighbors who hosted that one had gotten a fireworks permit from the township and had a stash of serious stuff. It may have been because they had the permit but the police didn't stop in that night at all.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Monica, one of the "little" girls from my DC dance group got married this past weekend - okay, she's 22 but I still remember when she actually was little- how could I possibly know kids who are getting married when I haven't aged at all??!! Yeah, it makes me think I should feel old but really I still don't.

Anyway, the wedding was an opportunity for us to leave the kids behind - Josh had another action packed ( Bible School, batting cage, miniature golf, going out for dinner and playing with their neighbor's son) vacation with my Mom and Dad and Dima stayed here at our house with Chris's Mom and Dad since their house isn't ready yet. He did a lot of goofing around our yard picking new plants to go into our front landscaping and then and helping to water, water, water.

We stayed with friends and had a nice time hanging out on Friday night then on Saturday it was great to see everyone and to have a chance to catch up with people that I haven't talked to in a while. Even when we've returned to the area to do shows we didn't have that kind of time to sit around and talk since we're usually chasing kids when they're with us and when a show's going on it's hard to really talk.

Of course the bride was beautiful - she's always happy and perky any way and seemed to be having a great time. I was glad to be there for the wedding and later there was an after-party at the groom's house that was awesome and truly the meaning of Gemutlichkeit -a difficult-to-describe-in-words feeling of warm friendliness; amicability. The elder Joe Smeill (a world-class musician who teaches button box camps each summer) was playing his button box accompanied by our friend Mark Meuschke and his tuba and then the younger Joe brought out a clarinet. Wow, wow, wow what great, spontaneous music! For me that was one of the highlights of the day. They not only played the usual German stuff but a wide variety of music. Monica and I ended up dancing in the living room that really didn't have a whole lot of space. That was a lot of fun.

When the guys do this kind of dance they all face each other and I think it's a male bonding experience for them. For the girls you're definitely aware of the other girls but you don't see each other like the guys do while you're spinning so you have to do other things together to get to know each other. In my old group I had the little girls - they're STILL little to me - braid my hair whenever possible and I've tried to do that in the new group too cause it gives you time to sit together and time to talk and catch up on what's going on with each other. That feeling of friendship is really what Gemutlichkeit is all about.

We - the DC group - have hosted some German groups as they've come through town and as well as taking them to the touristy stuff we'd also host a regular American picnic of some kind and once the eating part and official welcomes and all that are done we tend to get the musicians to start playing informally and then people start dancing then that's when you see and take part in the real deal - people who don't necessarily speak the same language spinning and learning from each other. Learning all kinds of things from information about the dances and our costumes and even different ways to braid each others' hair.

The guys in Alt Washingtonia have gotten together for at least as long as I've been around to do the Gamsprung everytime we get together for a special event or visit someplace. The dance has been done at all kinds of locations - including Chris dong it on a glacier in Alaska, at the MCI center in DC, on the steps of the Capitol building and for lots of celebrations. One of these days I want to start a list of all the places it's been done since I'm sure it's pretty impressive. Anyway, as we were on our way out of he afterparty and I rounded up the guys to dance and the only place big enough was the cul de sac in front of the house and so the neighbors got a free show! After the bride and I provided the music for the dance (da-da-da-da dadada dadadadada dadadadada.... )I had to get going since the couple we were staying with drove us there and they were already in the car ready to go as soon as the dance was finished but I would have loved to stay since I saw them starting another dance as we were driving away. That's the stuff I miss about that group.

One thing about that area I don't miss at all is the humidity. Saturday morning when we got up the temp was 78 and the humidity was 81% oy, that's muggy! They said that the weekend was exceptional but I think especially since I'm not acclimated to it anymore it felt oppressive every time you went outside. I dressed in a dirndl for the wedding and couldn't wait to get out of it but didn't bring along anything to change into so I was literally looking up and down the aisles of the Giant grocery store for a Centreville, VA tourist shirt while the guys stopped for beer. Since there were no clothing stores handy and no tourist stuff either I thought I was out of luck until I remembered that the little girls from the group sometimes give me hand-me-down clothes. I asked once we got to the party and was glad that they think of me when getting rid of their old - sometimes still with tags clothes. At least I didn't have to wear the layers and layers of costume, slip, bloomers, and tights. We had our shoes off anyway - apparently a rule of the house - where the entryway full of shoes reminded me of the Sex and the City episode where they have to take theirs off at a party.

After the after party we had another gathering at out hosts house with another family from the group and one of Chris's former hockey teammates and his family - again a different group to talk to and lots to catch up on - for me anyway - Miss Sarah needs to start her own blog so I can read hers since she's a reader of mine and already knew what we're up to. Right now she's preparing for vet school and she should write down stuff to read through later and so we know what she's going through in the name of helping animals. And keep us up to date on after- midnight trips to the Alamo - or I guess whatever's local at the new school. Saturday night was full of some funny, funny moments and I discovered the magic of a flat iron - yes Sarah, I have one now and will think of you when I use it- it's great!!

I'm glad we'll be back to visit the group in August for the Hottestoberfest or Augustoberfest in Hagerstown, MD the kids will be with us then so the group can see them again and Josh and Dima can hopefully get up and dance with them again. Through the course of the weekend we did get to see all of our kids' Godparents and though it would have been nice for the boys to see them too it's just as well so we had time to pay attention to our friends.

Friday, June 27, 2008

There's a reason I don't sew

My apron project (see previous post) gave me a whole new appreciation for people who sew all the time. Liz, Idi, Kelley, Uta, Mom, Aunt Joanie and anyone who ever made or altered anything for me I'm sure I didn't thank you enough.

The apron turned out uhh... wrong.... for the most part it was going along just fine and the waist band was set to look great but then somehow the apron strings were sticking out the bottom of the waist band and I'm not sure what went wrong. I followed the directions on the pattern but ended up working with the sari fabric instead of the cotton because there wasn't enough of the cotton when my Mom and I unrolled it. And that was measured out by the professionals at Joann not me! I'm not sure what part or parts of the instructions I screwed up.

As far as sewing again I'm thinking about a class and if I can find one in Pottstown or between me and my Mom it would be great if we could do it together. The good news is I kind of liked the creativity of the whole thing and thinking about how the stuff fits together and then as I worked on the apron yesterday I got lost in the project - I guess in more ways than one judging by the end result - but felt like I was really thinking the steps through and using my brain. I'd be at it for a few hours and the time just flew which was ok, but then I was wondering if it should be taking me so long. The fabric did require careful handling and lots of steps to get the seams ready so they wouldn't fray. Six easy steps can take a long, long time.

Josh is up at my parent's place this weekend and doing Bible School both last night and tonight and I'm sure he's running around like a madman getting into the toys and stuff there. My in-laws will be staying here and caring for both the dogs and Dima and I'm sure that they'll be enticed up the hill to watch for hot air balloons. he's been coughing and sneezing for the last day and really wants to get out the sprinkler or go to the pool but I don't know if that's such a good idea with him seeming sick. I'm sure we'll take it easy around here today so he can rest up for what will be a super exciting time for him. He gets excited just thinking about a visit from either of the sets of grandparents.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

selvage?? seam allowance??

A friend of mine who I might add at this point actually has a PhD has been a very, very good friend to me as she's given me a dirndl that was hers but redone for me and she has loaned me hers at times. Recently she took a dirndl that I've had in a box since we moved here three years ago and re-did it to update it and make it fit me better. Since I'll be going to a wedding this coming weekend where our DC dance group will be wearing their dance stuff I decided to make a silky new apron in honor of the wedding. How hard can it be to make an apron - it's basically a big rectangle, right? Shouldn't need a PhD to get that done in two days. Then once I get going I can move into Halloween costumes for the kids and fun stuff like that. Bah!!

Well, I should have paid much more attention in Home Ec class instead of laughing with the boys who were putting pins into the teacher's blue hair while she showed us how to do this stuff. I now have a whole lotta respect for people who do this all the time. Off the rack is looking better and better to me at this point!

Being in Joann's sewing store reminded me of Vermont where the ski terminology and even the weird steps and the weird sounds of people clomping around in ski boots make me feel totally out of my element. During my first trip to the store yesterday I had Josh with me and he wants to see toys and cars everywhere we go and the fabric - except for the novelty Lighning McQueen and race car stuff - he did identify the NASCAR logo and the Home Depot car logo - doesn't keep his attention long so I really didn't have a lot of time to look around like I should have so I ended up going back in the evening.

I must have some brain cells left from middle school cause finding the pattern went well but then figuring out what twill tape was and where it was required asking around. During my earlier trip there I picked out I did find sari ( yeah SORRY to say I won't be sewing this stuff anytime soon ) fabric that will look great with the dirndl. When I went back I got cotton to try first. Then the back of the pattern mentioned twill tape for the cuffs / bonnet / apron part of the costume I was using for only the apron so I had to ask if I'd need it and lo and behold the lady pulls out the instructions and figures out that I don't need it for the apron whew! - I wouldn't know what to do with that anyway.

I brought the stuff home and had to sit down to read with dictionary and directions in hand - thank God the pattern people have a whole set of instructions for the lowest- common denominator- people but at the same time they're ASSUMING that you know what selvage is and that you've already got the basic stuff covered. As I'm looking at the pattern I'm noticing there are multiple languages on there and at least I can do this in English and don't have to translate then define these words.

My Mom and Dad are on their way here now to take Josh - he's soooo excited! - for the weekend so I've got a list of questions to ask when they arrive. I guess I should be trying to figure out the apron now but 1. my mind is getting boggled with that information and 2. Josh is still here and he's listening to our German music and sometimes NEEDS me to dance with him and 3. I'm also helping him figure out how to make his own recording on his little keyboard. I'm thinking I'll get back to the apron construction project once Mom clears things up and once Dima's settled in for nap this afternoon.

By the way: selvage (n.) The edge of a fabric that is woven so that it will not fray or ravel.

Friday, June 20, 2008

kids behaving well

My sister was here yesterday and described a mom who came into the restaurant she works at with three kids who were running around the place and yelling and being total brats and I was telling Andie that I blame the mom cause the kids are doing stuff and getting away with it cause she’s letting them – they even got dessert after not finishing their meals!!!

Anyway, I took my kids to see their Papa play hockey last night and explained how I expected them to behave ahead of time and said that we’d stay for as long as they were well behaved, like in no running around and just sitting to appreciate how much effort the players put into practices and how they try hard to work together as a team, well we ended up staying for the entire game cause they did unbelievably well.We did get up between periods to move around and I was armed with snacks and with answering their questions and them just talking I can’t say I paid a lot of attention to every detail of the game but for their ages they were great. I was still trying to tell Dima how to know where to line up and how to know which goal each team was shooting for cause I'm convinced that he still gets disoriented when his team is out on the ice. He actually asked me a few times what happens if you get it in the wrong goal!! I think if he took a second each time they go on the ice to think ahead that he would be more eager to go after the puck when they're out there, he's just not the thinkn' ahead kind.

Even today they both did well with playing with each other. We're hanging out here at home since this is one of the few days of this whole summer that we don't have to get up and out. I can't say they didn't have a few disputes but mostly they worked them out among themselves and we were all happy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Out of energy - in more ways than one

Last week Josh had an impromptu vacation to my parent's place. After our power went out last Tuesday night and was expected to be out until Friday they offered to take him to give us one less person to deal with while we were without power. The lights came back on earlier than expected but they took him anyway and he had a grand old time. Apparently he asked to take a nap last Thursday saying he was "out of energy". He had the next door neighbor (and his toys) to play with while he was there and had multiple excursions around town. He got to try his hand at miniature golf, batting in a batting cage, and riding rides at a fair. He also got to visit my sister at TGI Friday's and from what I understand he really chowed down. My Mom and Dad also took him to their church to see Coach Becky again and he got to be a part of the children's sermon.

One of the reasons I left time open on our schedule this summer open was so the boys could go do things like that and so that we'd have time to get out to Longwood Gardens and stuff like that - the visit to my parents was great cause each of the boys got some "only child time" and a change of scenery it was nice to not have to intervene to listen to disputes over who took what toy every ten minutes. Dima still had school so he had to stay around but he had a chance to go out to eat with us and he did a great job of staying quiet in the mornings if he woke up before us.

I had to take one of our cats to the vet this morning - Attias had been lethargic, definitely not himself and kind of moping around over the weekend and seemed to get worse on Monday afternoon, he peed in our shower stall and was spending all of his time under our toilet so we locked him in the bathroom - and gave him food and water in there and a litter box and he wasn't eating much so off to the vet to find out what's up and he's dehydrated so they're keeping him to give him IV fluids and antibiotics. The blood work had a few alarming things and they want to re-run the blood work in two days to see how he's improving. I got really tired while I was in the office I think from the stress of realizing he's really not doing well and he might not come home. It's just over a year since Farook died and the kids still ask about him once in a while. Pets are great companions but when it comes to this type of thing I wonder what I was thinking when I decided to get two kittens after Chris's old old one from college passed away a few years ago. Normally Attias had a great personality and was almost dog- like when we had guests and just over the last week or so he was markedly different and seemed very tired.

This coming weekend there's a hot air balloon festival not too far from here so we're planning to take the kids there Saturday afternoon - Dima's gonna loose his mind since he's practically obsessed with them. I'm looking forward to doing a tethered ride just to know what it feels like to go up in one. This past week we saw 5 of them from our back yard on one afternoon. My Mom got him a magazine about kites and hot air balloons and he looks at it every chance he gets. The boys have a Reading Phillies game on their schedule on Sunday so they'll be tired out. Josh has been sassy today and I think it's at least partly because he's still recovering from being so busy and skipping naps over the last few days. It usually takes a few days to recover once they're out of the normal routine.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I've said it before and had it confirmed again and again you can find ANYTHING on youtube. Including yourself sometimes!!
We took the kids to a friend's birthday party on Saturday at BounceU a place with inflatable obstacle courses and slides - Josh was a slidin' fool - going down a 20 foot slide again and again and again. On the way home was the Sly Fox a restaurant that we've danced at a few times. The place hosts goat races each Spring to celebrate their Bock beer and they have us dance during the event. Well, while we were eating an assistant manager asked how things were and in the course of conversation we mentioned that we'd been there for the fest and the guy said he thought Chris looked familiar and that he saw him on youtube. I was a little skeptical since guys in lederhosen can kinda look alike - thinking he had him confused with someone else. It was really him - during a video of the goat racing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzTQOKMFuoU so you really never know what you'll find on there.

Josh is finished with school for the summer and having a great time playing uninterrupted while Dima's at school and going on special outings with just me. On Monday I had to go to Avondale , near Longwood Gardens to up two ceiling fans I got from a woman on freecycle.org - gotta love the internet! - so since we were so close and it was a beautiful day I took Josh to see the treehouse exhibits they built there - those people never do anything half way these treehouses were beautiful- could almost live in them- huge - multi- level rooms! I'm glad we have the membership there and do intend to get down there more often since the kids love it and it's great exercise. Josh and I walked over 9000 steps - yes I wore a pedometer - in an hour and a half - and even though he complained at first about walking I told him that we didn't have much time there and once he started looking around at stuff he kind of forgot to complain that he was tired.

Every day Josh is still asking when he goes back to school and asking when we can go to the pool at Marsh Creek. I must admit I'm looking forward to it too that pool and splash park are awesome and some of the kids and moms we know from the neighborhood and school will be there. As thrilling as it is to talk about things like what kind of vehicles can pop "weewies" (wheelies) it's nice to have adults to talk to during the course of a day. While tooling around with Josh I do get to be the authority on pretty much everything - like the old Steve Martin thing where you could literally tell the kid anything or make your own language .... I haven't done it yet, just think it's funny that you could. One of my favorite responses when I really don't know enough about whatever he's asking is : "it's just the way things are" I'll save the let's look it up stuff for when he's older - by the time we'd look anything up now he's three subjects ahead of whatever I'm sitting there looking up - unless it's something visual on youtube.

On another great website the boys have been watching falcons with me: http://www.dep.state.pa.us/dep/falcon/ and we've seen them feeding the young ones while we ate breakfast - fortunately I was finished eating by the time I clicked on it and it didn't bother the boys. In case you don't happen to know: they kill other birds and dismember them to feed to the little - ok young ones- they're not really little. This led to a discussion about how birds of prey catch food and I went to youtube to find pictures of eagles swooping down to catch fish and stuff like that, forget encyclopedias it's all on youtube!! Last week we watched a video of the young falcons being banded and at the ice rink Josh got a little bird that kind of pops out of an egg and he pretends he's banding it. The way he does it is just like on the video. He actually has me hold the bird and he pretends he's banding it.

Well, it's supposed to storm this afternoon so today will definitely not be a pool kind of day but Josh has already asked anyway. He'll probably ask again after nap cause he still has trouble grasping that it's part of one day both before and after nap.

We have to go get Dima at school soon then back here for lunch and nap and probably some kind of indoor games this afternoon maybe painting or possible going out to step in puddles as long as there's no lightning.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mr Destructo strikes again and again

Either Chris is being rude and not replacing the toilet paper rolls as they're used up or... insert light bulb -going on - sound here.....

"Um, Josh why have the toilet paper rolls been disappearing quickly lately? Have you been playing with toilet paper while you're on the potty?"

"Dima did it!"

" How would you know that if you two aren't in the bathroom at the same time?"

"Mama, I Wuv you!" -- Nice try at changing the subject. I did get lots of those around Easter-candy - dolling- out time

"I love you , too. Okay, so what are you doing with the toilet paper while you're on the potty - where are you putting it?"

"On the floor, then in the potty"

"Caught ya! I knew you were doing it, now I guess you can't have any privacy while you're on the potty cause you're goofing around with the toilet paper! Josh-ua!"


I'm telling you: that kid cannot be left alone even for a second. Do you wonder why I'm exhausted at the end of a day? He can have privacy when he's a teenager! He has access to plenty of books while he's - um... busy there so there's no reason he should have to look for something to do it's just his Mr. Destructo side coming out. I might add that he still has no pillow on his bed because he's destroyed those every time we've given him a chance! I guess we're the ones who need to learn from this stuff that this kid cannot be trusted even for two seconds.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Time Flies!

Looking at the calendar I realize we've only got two more weeks until Josh is finished with preschool! Dima has until next month but boy did the school year go by fast.

Last Friday Dima's class had a PJs and pancakes party in the classroom and I went in to help out. The kids were all excited about getting to eat at school and wearing their PJs . They made place mats the day before the party with utensil and napkin and cup outlines so they'd know how to prepare their place settings. They were allowed to smear their own butter on the pancakes and pour their own syrup it didn't turn out to be as big a mess as you'd imagine, most of them did very well - one little girl was REALLY loading on the butter and I was thinking I'd probably do that too if I didn't know how bad it was for you. I moderately butter mine compared to this kid. Since I was manning the eating table of the event I was the closest and I was amazed at how many of these kids didn't know how to cut their own pancakes. I mostly helped them out and tried to encourage them to try it on their own but some were not at all sure of what to do or confident that they could. A little praise was good for most of them to do it again once they got the hang of it.

Next week they're having a PJ day at Josh's school and he already said he doesn't want to go - Sometimes I don't know what he's thinking when he says stuff like that. This afternoon we had a picnic at Marsh Creek park cause I said we could if Dima had a good day at school and boy was it nice. The weather is great. Then as we were leaving Josh said he wants to stay in his bed all afternoon. I was trying to motivate them to go walking with me later and I think all he wants to do is "pway".

Josh will be the line leader at his school this Friday which means I'm allowed to stay in the classroom and of course it's the same day that I'm allowed to stay at Dima's for Mother's Day. I was thinking: of all the times through the year when I would have loved to stay at either class and had the time to do it of course they both have to have something on exactly the same day! Since it'll be Josh's un-birthday ( something that someone made up so the summer - birthday kids don't feel left out) I should probably go to that one. I already got some Rice Crispie Treats for his snack that day cause I remember taking those when I was little and you actually - Okay my Mom - had to make them with gooey marshmallows.

We went to a goat race - bock beer fest this past weekend and again Josh was the talk of the fest while he was dancing. We'll be going to a kid's fest in early June and I'm sure he'll have a grand old time there. It's nice that he's getting to know the dance group kids more and more as we go to practices and events and it's not a bad thing that each of them - Josh and Dima get in a little only- child time while practicing and going to their own events.

Since Dima will be going to "Camp Success" - kind of like summer school - we'll still have a pretty structured routine around here during the summer so we can all get up and out of here each morning to get him to school. I for one am already looking forward to the pool being open so we have that to do. This past Friday Dima saw a hot air balloon going up and so every time it's a nice day he keeps saying " it's a good day for a hot air balloon". I did see one last night as I left his hockey practice and I called them to tell them it was up. That'll get him moving when it's time to take the gear off and get out of the rink!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

recent quotes

A mere day before his first -ever hockey game Dima asked "How do I know which goal to shoot it in?"

"It could be a bear" said Dima while helping Papa look for the reason our electric dog fence isn't working followed quickly by "No, then we would have to see a cave"

While smelling a red tulip " it smells .... red" per Josh.

While looking at a tick on his sleeve " it's a sticker bug" Dima said between screams.

While smelling a yellow tulip " it smells ..... yellow" Josh again.

"They're better than the beginner adults I know who were just playing their first game not too many years ago" Mama said while watching Dima's first game. " These kids can go backwards - on purpose!!"

"When do they go in the water? "Josh asked while watching "Riverdance".

Monday, April 14, 2008


Dima went to school for the first time on his medication today and he earned his sticker for the day!! The drug he's taking is supposed to help him rest well at night and to calm down during the day. We started him on it last Wednesday for night time use only until we had a weekday to monitor him during daytime use. I did notice that on Saturday after having a noontime dose he was playing very nicely on the porch and not running from thing to thing like he usually would have done. Yesterday we stayed around the house while the Flyers were on TV and then I took the boys to the rink to watch Chris play. It was hard to say if or how it effected him there cause Josh was acting up by then - I regretted letting him skip his nap - and I've noticed in the past that when one of them acts up the other usually kind of sits back and watches and stays out of whatever the other is up to, Thank God! I made a deal with Dima that if he gets all of his stickers this week we can go get a pizza on Friday. We drive by the pizza place on the way home and they always make some comment about it as we go by. As Dima got into the car today and told me that he had his sticker he asked if we could go to the restaurant today - Nice try, but I'm not negotiating on this one, he's got a short term attainable goal and he'll feel good about himself when we get to stop for the pizza on Friday.

If by chance your almost 5 year old picks up a crossword you've been working on and sits there while he's spending time on the potty looking all cute while holding the pen to his lips in a way like you do and scribbling on the paper you might be inclined to laugh with him. Then, when you walk away you should probably take the pen along with you since the little Mr. Destructo might write on his own face and legs in the two and a half seconds that you're out of the room. Yes, this really happened - Josh had scribbled up and down his legs and on his chin. At least he didn't get as far a writing on the wall!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

cheap fun

While the boys were in school a friend and I went to Five Below - this store has pretty much everything and all kinds of neat -to -have stuff that we really don't NEED but ...
I got a pack of little whirly - helicopter rotor on a stick toys ( 3 for a buck) and rewarded Dima's third sticker in a row with the toys. They were inspired to eat their lunch in record time so they could get out to play with them and now they're out running around like madmen trying to use them. At times they're getting whacked in the face and sometimes they're doing better than I did with them. It's only a matter of time before they'll have them flying all over the yard. I also found beach towels and a bocce set that I might save for Josh's birthday. That should be a good family game that's also good for their eye-hand coordination. Josh'll have that mastered in no time. We've got a great yard for that stuff and they need something to do while they count the days til we can get out the baby pool and Slip and Slide. Josh is now asking for a new color of helicopter thingy since he can't flick that one
Gotta go out an help him.... to be continued

The last segment was while we were home between school and skating lessons.

Meanwhile back at our house... Josh is resting in his bed and thinking about NOT jumping on his brother anymore... something he got a time out for doing just yesterday and then he did it this afternoon from pretty high up on the jungle gym. Since both boys behaved well at skating I decided to reward them with a trip to our - ok my - favorite park so they got to play on the jungle gym and while there were climbing and sliding I was thinking back to just after we moved here and Josh was so little that I had to follow him around to spot him and be sure he wouldn't hurt himself today he was whizzing up a rope ladder where he used to just pull himself up on the first rung and kind of go sideways to the next opening on the thing and at the time he thought that was great - it's amazing how quickly the time flies.

During our excursion to Five Below I got Josh an alarm clock and made a picture schedule so he can get into the same routine that Dima's in first thing in the morning. Dima's really good about turning off his alarm, getting out of his P.J.s to put on the clothes that were laid out the night before and coming downstairs on school days. Lately Josh has been whining for me to help him and I think he's big enough that he can start to do more for himself.

He just used his alarm to get up from nap - got his pants on without help and is downstairs on his own. He's looking for a toy that he had this morning and he's walking around in the playroom saying "I'm getting warmer". Funny, funny kid!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

our visits to Dr. Wiley

Almost a month ago we had a consultation with Dr. Peter Wiley and AD/HD specialist at CHoP to investigate the possibility that Dima has AD/HD . The more I read about it and talked to other people about it the more convinced I was that it would come to this. Once I read about kids who have it lacking the inner voice that tells most of to stop things that get them in trouble I could imagine Dima's picture in the book next to that entry.

The first visit was for testing and for Dima to be interviewed. Some of it was done while Chris and I were in the room and a major portion of it was just him and the people who were interviewing him. He had several breaks while they were together and it lasted at least four hours.

Since seeing Dima’s dr yesterday – yes, he does have mild AD/HD - I’ve been copying his reports for Dima’s teacher and the therapists at school because he thinks that Dima would benefit from speech and occupational therapy and so I have to get that ball rolling. I also faxed a copy to his pediatrician to see if she could prescribe medications for him but, no of course it couldn't be that easy, now we have to find a doctor who psychiatrist who treats kids to do the prescribing.

Dr Wiley was very thorough and he went over each test that he did and explained the results and what they mean as well as noticing trends in how he's learning and where he's lacking. I liked his approach with explaining the pros and cons of the medications with out saying that we HAVE to use them, just providing information to allow us to make an informed decision. The pediatrician and Dr. Wiley have both said that they've seen results with behavioral therapy combined with the medication.

So many people have a bad impression of what the drugs do but the way he explained how they work is different from anything I’d heard and it really made sense. Plus there are different things to try depending on how they affect him to see what works the best and at what dosage. After reading up on AD/HD I had a feeling it was coming to this. I should have recorded the visit yesterday cause it was just filled with information.

After yesterday’s appointment my mind was just swimming! In a way it’s just the beginning of more doctors and more therapies but I feel closer to an answer to helping him get a grip on himself. The bottom line is that with no one to talk to him and to nurture him and to really take care of him until he was almost three profoundly effected the formation of his brain and so his functions differently than others especially in terms of impulse control.

When I brought the kids home today I gave Dima a pair of heavy duty scissors to go out to our forsythia to trim some to bring inside - when you give him specific instructions about something like that he can do very well as long as he's not already wound up. He very carefully went out into the yard carrying the scissors the right way and being sure not to run it was kinda funny to watch him walking back with scissors in one hand, branches in the other using almost a tight -rope walk type step. Now he checks on them every few minutes to be sure the cats aren't chewing them or just obsessing over whether we should give them more water or take them out of the water because he knows you're not supposed to over water.

He got two stickers so far this week and if he can get two more I told him that he and I can go out to a restaurant of his choice on Friday night when Josh goes to see the Reading Royals game with his Papa. I'm going to try to set reachable goals for him so that he doesn't feel like he'll never accomplish the ones that are set too high.

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