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.