Friday, May 28, 2010

The Skink's New Bed

The Problem:

The Solution (we hope):

The Skink has many talents, and one of her most recently developed talents has been escaping from bed. It's a really neat talent until said Skink realizes she can't climb back IN to her crib. So... today I bit the bullet and made her bed into a toddler bed. I had been considering doing this for a while, but just couldn't quite bring myself to do it.

One reason has been my fear that The Skink will somehow hurt herself while the rest of the house sleeps. The other reason? *sigh*

I admit it. It's tough to let go of my baby. The crib was the last remainder of The Skink's babyhood... and it's hard for mom to let go.

I realize that tonight will be an interesting night. I will probably get up no fewer than 20 times to go check on my cherished Skink and make sure she is safe. Perhaps there will be a time or two I will pick her up off the floor and place her gently back in her little toddler bed. Maybe after hours of worry I will go in to find she has settled to sleep in her bed on her own. Perhaps she will stay up half the night playing with her toys...

Or - knowing The Skink, I'll find all her toys in her bed and The Skink sleeping in the toy box. Whichever way it goes, I'm sure I will update everybody tomorrow.

Sleep well!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Thrifty Thursday - PROOFS OF MY CRIME

And how is it thrifty? Because I shamelessly thieved "proof" photos of Iraq's ballet performance off the professional photographer's website! YES I DID! Of course there is no earthly way we could afford to BUY the prints right now - and what would I do with prints, anyway? Scan them? Who prints things any more?? Well... we know professional photographers do.

Only the photographer was allowed to take any pictures during the dress rehearsal, and nobody was allowed to take photos during the actual show. It puts poor folks like us in a tough place. Luckily, I don't mind having the giant word "PROOF" pasted across my children if it means getting to see the photos. Since my hubby and I worked backstage, we didn't get to see the actual ballet :o(

So with no further ado, I proudly (and somewhat sheepishly) present... PROOFS OF MY CRIME:

So - there you have it! Now - I also had to share a few pics I took myself... like this one of my two goofy dogs...

I can assure you my Chihuahua's eyes only glow when she is performing the Chihuahua Mind Meld on the bulldog... and I do mean ON the bulldog. Brandy apparently comes in quite handy as a heater.

And here's The Skink sportin' a new doo.

And another of her sportin' not much of anything. She found a cat toy and proceeded to tickle herself with it.

So - another shirt (a onesie) was in order. The Skink accessorized her outfit with a winter hat, Hawaiian lei, and by pulling her socks all the way up... because that's what Skinks do!


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Skink Update AND... Our Garden Pea'd!!

This morning there were some strange sounds coming through the monitor from The Skink's room. I went up to get her, and found her loose and roaming about, happily playing with her toys.

*Sigh* I'm afraid the crib will no longer contain my sweet Skink. Just to prove my theory, I put her back in it (I don't usually leave the side down for sleep-time - I just did it to get some pics of my little Houdini at work). This is what I witnessed:

Clearly, it's just as easy to climb out when the side is up. Nobody is safe, now...

And speaking of climbing, our peas are climbing and...

Look! It Pea'd again! Thank goodness it was outside.

And our deck-garden plants are growing like weeds... but amazingly, they AREN'T weeds - they're actual non-weed-type plants, and my daughter and I have kept them alive. Not only that, but...

The tomato plants are giant... and flowering!

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
And the ever-so-famous song (on YouTube) that goes with this infamous classic film... LISTEN NOW

And the sequel... Attack of the Flowering Cantaloupes! For this movie, I can just see the vines wrapping themselves around people  while the melons consume them from the feet up.

At any rate, so far this has been a great experience for Iraq. She has felt very proud that the very seeds she planted in little cups have grown to this point. In the next few days she'll be munching on those peas... and what a great way to get my picky-eater to eat her veggies! LOL! She doesn't want to eat anything green right now, but I have a feeling she won't bat an eye when I serve the things she grew herself. Hmmm... is that a little like eating your pets?? Aaack! Forget I said that!

With that, I must share a story from my own childhood. I must have been 8 or 9 years old, and we were visiting my grandparent's lake house in upstate New York. My uncle grew a lovely garden, and one evening he proudly served broccoli from it. Of course as children we are instructed not to play with our food, but how many of us can say we did as we were instructed? Pppffffttt! Not me!! I dissected that broccoli like a frog in biology class! I was fascinated (and a little repulsed) to find little, green worms on almost every interior branch of my veggies.

Of course I immediately took my discovery over to show my mother. Soon everyone was inspecting their broccoli a little closer, and not one piece was free from the little, boiled garden invaders. Yes - they had all been boiled with the broccoli, so I am sure they were quite clean at least.

To my childlike horror, I noticed that my grandmother was still happily eating her broccoli! I marched right up and demanded to know why she was eating worms! She smiled gently as she swallowed her bite and simply said, "I like meat with my vegetables!"

What a woman! She is currently a very youthful 101 (and a half) years of age. Who would have guessed that the fountain of youth came in the form of garden worms?


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Socially... Antisocial

Iraq had her ballet performance last Saturday. Everything went beautifully... for the most part.

As the mother of a child with an autism spectrum issue (namely Aspergers) it is hard knowing that my high-functioning daughter will always have issues with social interaction. Knowing that she has Aspergers is a huge step in the right direction for me as a parent. It means I can more easily identify her weaknesses and do my part to teach her HOW to interact.

The problem comes in when little Iraq has little interest in learning HOW to interact because she just doesn't care. She doesn't care... until she has been completely alienated by her peers. Then she wonders why they won't play with her, or for that matter, even speak to her.

I have tried to explain social grace to her on occasions too numerous to count, but she doesn't think my reasoning is valid. It's much like trying to parent Spock from Star Trek. "I find your explanations lack reason and logic... "

How do you explain to an almost-7-year-old that her female peers often act based on emotion and not logic? Of course my own little Spock does not lack emotion in any sense... she is far too easily incensed if I do not allow her to act exactly as she pleases. And unfortunately, she often pleases to do some wildly strange and bizarre things (as far as I can see).

So here are some "social interaction" pictures I took backstage during the final dress rehearsal for the ballet...

Initially all is well when nobody is too close... but when the adorable little girl on her right leans in to the shot...

Hey! Too CLOSE!

That's better but you have ruffled my little, blue feathers!

I will now physically distance myself from you, and my prickly vibes will frighten the little girl on my left and she will leave...  quickly...

When I am alone, I can adhere this endearing smile to the frontal quadrant of my cranium...

For today, I am a bluebird...

And I do not require your presence in my territory!

But I will concede to playing with your toys... provided you do not touch me, look at me, or ask me why I like to line them all up in little rows after I have dressed them all in the same color...

And now I will take up as much room as possible so that you may not approach...

And I will use a frightening expression as I lunge outward to vanquish any thoughts you may have had about trespassing into the territory that I have marked...

I will now look unconcerned... so that you will know that I am superior...

I have completed my posturing at this time, and you may take my photograph.

What more can I say? The photographs are posted in the order in which they were taken. The performance went beautifully, but no photos could be taken during the actual show. Iraq played her part to a "T" and loved the applause. She did not suffer any jitters as her little peers did... I suppose it wouldn't have been logical seeing as how she is our superior and all.

AND... She's not afraid of lions or tigers or bears....      Oh, *sigh*

In other news, Iraq was able to pick her first piece of home-grown food - in the form of this delicious strawberry...

And it was superior to any strawberry you may have grown, I'm quite sure!    LOL!


Friday, May 21, 2010

For All The Parents of Special Needs Kiddos - and other caregivers!

Here is the link to a GREAT article on CNN about the stress we caregivers deal with, and what stress can do to us...

PLEASE remember to do things for yourself on a regular basis... and please remind me to take this advice too (LOL).

Click >  Can caring make you sick?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

First Dress Rehearsal

Tonight was the first dress rehearsal for Iraq's ballet which will be on Saturday evening. I think we can all agree she looks the part :o)

Brandy The WonderDog!

Here are some shots from today's Service Dog training session.

She's getting where she can practically do it in her sleep!

Looking quite stately.

Stone Brandy sculpture!

I also took a Video of brandy doing a "Down - Stay!" Click on the link to see it on YouTube.

This will help The Skink, who is still quite unstable on her feet, get up and down the stairs.

As opposed to the "barge through the door, knocking me down with all my groceries" command.

This morning on the way to the bus. You can see that The Skink still walks with a very wide base.

                                                                                : D

I had been wondering what our cats had been cackling at out the office window... We have two adolescent Mourning Doves and their parents in a tree out there :)

The pictures of them aren't very good - I had to use a lot of zoom through a window screen.

That's it for now :o)