Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Mama, I spit!!! ....

.....and so I heard at 4am on Saturday morning - Josh had never been sick to his stomach before so he really didn't know that he should have said " Mama, just I barfed all over my bed!!!" He was up and crying and between the two of us Chris and I got him up and stripped and got the bed changed to get him back into it to try to get him back to sleep. Well, I had a similar experience less than a week before - but mine didn't end up on the bed... in fact the loss of appetite stuck with me for quite a while. So, while Chris went back to bed - he had to get up and out with Dima for Learn to Play Hockey I started doing laundry and looking up what it was - based on how I felt and my symptoms, which seemed to be repeating themselves in him - what to do on the internet. What did people do before the internet?? Look stuff up in the encyclopedia?? Call relatives?? Send smoke signals???

We have a pull out sofa bed in our family room so I got that set up and then Josh and I ( since I was already exposed to the stomach ailment it just made sense for me to stay with him) watched movies all day Saturday while I made sure he had lots to drink to avoid dehydration. He was really slow and just laid on me while we sat around all day. Then there was one time during the day that he was close to throwing up again but we made it through the whole day without incident. After a good rest on Saturday night he woke up totally recovered and talking a mile a minute on Sunday and with a recovered appetite so he's much better.

He had to miss a friend's birthday party on Saturday and once in a while he asks when the party is... he's having a hard time understanding that it's done, gone, over. We do have a playdate set with the same kid for next week so that made him feel better.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wonka Valentines

Boy, oh boy have the valentines that kids share in class changed since back when I was a kid!

We're sitting here after school unpacking Dima's bag of "valentines" and it looks like trick or treat night !! Each of the things with the kids' names on them ( we used to do that part ) has a treat of some kind ( we never did that kind of stuff). Welcome to Valentine's Day sponsored by Hallmark, Wonka, Super Heroes, Dora and every other marketable figure out there. We've go temporary tattoos and m&ms and lollipops and home made cookies and pixie stix and a little paper football game and even one that a kid cut out herself.

All this after I decided to make Dima's outgoing valentines by having him sit down with scissors and construction paper and cut and glue hearts on little cards and then write each kid's message on his own. Surprise, surprise he actually had a great time doing it. I thought it might be a drag to make him do it but he was good at cutting out the hearts and asked to keep going!! He seemed proud of himself that he could do it. We spent two nights working on it and he really didn't complain until he had to write on the cards. I think it made him feel important too that it was something that he got to do and Josh didn't get involved in. Josh did sit down with the scissors for a while but he just demolished some sheets of construction paper and wanted to move on to other things.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our Vermont vacation

We spent last week (Sunday through Friday) in Vermont. The boys and their cousin all did very well in their ski school. It rained on Tuesday and Wednesday which at first would seem like a bad thing, but since the kids were pretty much the only ones there they ended up with private lessons. They were bundled up in their ski stuff first then the staff put what looked like big baggies with holes in them for the kid's heads on them and out they went. The final day the kids got to ski with afterward with Chris, Dave and Pop pop and they were flying down the slope with the "caterpillar" for a lift. Dima was moved up several ability levels and was taken on the chair lift before Chris got him and took him in a gondola. He's good enough to do the blue trails and seems to really like it.

Of course the excitement of the trip was making Dima exceptionally excitable and he was especially hard to handle in the close proximity of the minivan on the long drives. The two younger boys were also excitable but they both are able to settle themselves down versus Dima needing to step away from the excitement before he can get a grip on himself. He's great when he has the focus of the lessons just as he is during skating lessons, but the atmosphere in places like that make him seem as if he's not paying attention to us and I get nervous that he'll wander off when we're preoccupied with something else if he gets interested in something that he thinks is important. I try to make sure he's always with one of us or has a hand of someone with us but he does get defiant as well, which doesn't help matters.

While we were up there I got a call from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia about making an appointment for him to be tested for ADHD . When I got the call Chris's mom and I were in the grocery store and I can only imagine the look on my face when they said HOSPITAL cause I was thinking that something had happened to one of the kids on the ski slopes and was relieved when I realized it was only to schedule his appointment. I'm really hoping they can give us answers about how to handle his bursts of being out of control. I did notice in the van that he was okay for a while then would do something to get my attention - usually pushing against me or starting out hugging and then leading up to grabbing my arm. It seemed like he would act up almost every ten minutes, whatever that means. That may be a piece of the puzzle for his doctor.

Since I'm not a skier and neither is Chris's mom we spent our kid-free time together doing things like shopping - one day at the Vermont Country Store - a few visits to the grocery store - and some of the time was just spent at the house . I had books and magazines and crossword puzzles to keep busy with and it was nice just to sit down and click around the TV channels and watch whatever I wanted and to get in a nap. We had the kid's seats in the minivan so we had to go back to Stratton Mountain each day to pick up the kids by 3:15. It was a real vacation to not have to sit there and think of all the things I should be doing around our house.

The drive is long - we left the house at 11:00am on Friday and after adding in a few stops didn't get to Dave's until 6:30. Then we had to re-load our stuff into our car since it was spread out among three vehicles during the ride. What a long, long day.

After the first day of skiing my nephew Brody was walking around the house on his tippy-toes and whimpering when he went back to his heels cause his legs hurt. He was not very thrilled about going back to the ski school but went along and we didn't make a big deal of saying good bye and then tried to stay for short periods of time when we watched them on the beginner slopes and then he was fine. Finally on the day we were leaving he was looking forward to going out to ski school! Josh saw skiers on TV today and was talking about how he's going to learn to do jumps and moguls and Dima has told us about skiing into a tree - something that he later said he dreamed... and talks about the chair lift and gondola a lot. He also mentioned getting his tongue stuck to something metal then the guys bringing something to thaw it out and get it off, but since none of the grown ups mentioned it I have no idea if it's real or imagined. I really do think this trip is something they'll remember for a long time. Plus I think the time spent bonding with the relatives was a good thing.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Soon on our way to Vermont

We only have one more link on our countdown to vacation chain. Josh still asks when we're going but not as often as he did before we had the visual reminder of how long it would be. I think nap time still confuses him a bit cause he thinks it should be a new day each time he wakes up. Now they're tucked into bed and we're pretty much packed - though I keep thinking of things to add to the luggage - the house we're staying in can sleep 14 people and has a washer and dryer so I'm not too worried about the clothing supply or space to play and do stuff. It's the other nice-to-have-things that we might not be able to buy up there and are used to having that I'm adding in as I sit here and think about what we might want to / or NEED to have while hanging out there.

Josh should be pretty easy to entertain, even among the chaos which is sure to ensue with so many people around. He's been very good lately about sitting down and doing jigsaw puzzles. He's got a set of Justice League puzzles that he likes to focus on and this morning I even offered to go outside for a walk so we could check out a Mustang in front of a neighbor's house and he still wanted to stick with his puzzes. You really can find anything on youtube so I found the old-time songs for Wonder Woman and Batman so when he finds pieces of the puzzles with their faces -( and what-not Wonder Woman for one has quite the exagerated figure!!)- he sings their theme song and sometimes he just has to get up to dance around if the music I put on for him so inspires him. I had my ipod going today and he got up a few times for the Cars movie sound track songs and various German songs I've got that he knows. When he hears something he recognizes he perks up and kind of pokes his hands in the air and bobs his head and then settles back down to the puzzle after singing a few words

Dima did exceptionally well in skating lessons today and so we rewarded the kids with a trip to "our restaurant". Both kids get grilled cheese and extra fruit instead of fries and they are easy to handle there since the place has TVs all around and there's always something to keep them entertained.

We're taking our laptop to Vermont but I'm not sure if we'll have internet access so it could be a week until I have a chance to get back to writing here.

I'm so not looking forward to the drive but can't wait to get there. we are borrowing a friend's DVD player to use in the car on the way so I hope we'll ALL have a pleasant ride.