Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Grace's Day

Reality check day. Grace's turn for a fun day with me, but Grace does better with routines, so we needed a somewhat scaled down version.

We had donuts for breakfast, but at home. A haircut was a priority, so we did that first, while she was still fresh and able to sort-of sit still. She did great! The more she tries to be still, the more she twitches and jumps, but the stylist was fast. Then we bought school supplies - the new backpack made her happy, and she clutched it all the way through the store.

We are continually working on large motor skills, so Alamo Jump was a natural stop for her, too. We got there just as the toddler music time was starting.

The teacher was great, but Grace just wasn't engaged - she does better with one-on-one attention, so I just let her go play.

She loved it! I thought she might not be able to do things and get frustrated, but her coordination and strength have really improved.

Having nice soft places to land helped with her confidence as well.

Then she discovered the ride-on cars.

We have a few at home, but the ground is rough, and there are siblings to share with. This was a pretty quiet day, so there were plenty of cars to go around, and lots of space to drive in. She had a blast! An hour and a half of running and playing and shrieking.

Unfortunately, as parents of kids with fasd know, there can be such a thing as too much fun and excitement. Any preschooler will have a crash after a lot of excitement, but kids with fasd don't do anything halfway. It started when she told me she had to go potty - great! We worked really hard on the potty training this summer, and she finally got it! So we headed right to the bathroom.

She wanted to drive her car into the bathroom. No, sweetie, we will leave it outside the door, and you can have it right back.

Five seconds later, she is naked and throwing things in the bathroom, yelling "NO! DON'T WANT TO!" Took several tries to get her on the potty, then dressed again, at which point I calmly told her it was time to go.

Face down on the floor at the shoe rack, screaming. I just grabbed her shoes and carried her out. At this point it was at normal-toddler-level-tantrum, but by the time I got her strapped into her seatbelt, she was doing the horror-movie scream. over. and over. and over. No breaths in between. All logic and communication ability gone. All you can do at that point is let her wear herself out and make sure she doesn't hurt herself (which she often tries when she is in this mode.)

All. the way. home.

When we got home (a 25 minute drive) she was quiet and sweet and talking in full sentences and ate her lunch nicely and put herself down for a nap without being told. After nap, she had a fun time playing with the toys all by herself, and we chatted and were silly. She was an absolute delight.

And then at bedtime she smeared poop all over the bed and the carpet.

This isn't fair. It isn't fair that she can't communicate how she feels. It isn't fair that she can't handle bad feelings without escalating them beyond control. It isn't fair that she can't have fun doing exciting things out of the normal every day routine. It isn't fair to HER, because none of this is her fault.

Gracie is a sweet, pretty girl, who loves to be with people, has plenty of energy, wants to please. And she will always struggle to have what everyone else takes for granted, because her brain was damaged by alcohol before she was even born. 
Just. not. fair.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Logan's Day

Tuesday was Logan's day, but Pixie thought it should be hers.

Logan is my sweet boy, so we started off dropping off meals for a friend who had surgery, and taking books and cookies to the school. Logan has also been painting rocks, so we left an apple tree on the playground for another child to find:

And a silly face at the donut shop:

We couldn't decide which donuts to get, so we got one of each, and took them to the park.

Logan noticed a cockroach crawling across the ground towards us, so what does my sweet boy do?

He dropped a crumb for it.

He also tossed a few for these guys, who discussed our presence at the top of their lungs:

We played troll ad goat for a while - I'd be the troll, of course.

I should have taped him, he has the best giggly laugh!

Dramatic like Sheridan, but in his own way. His face, with those big color-changing eyes, speaks volumes.

We stopped to watch this cool train of sorts - my 'noticer' spotted the dual sets of tires that enable the truck to operate both on train tracks and on the road. 
Me: "That's pretty cool." 
Logan: "No, Mom...that's AWESOME!"

On to Walmart for school supplies and a haircut. The haircut made him itchy, so we picked out a new shirt, too.

That face...

Yes, actually, he did pick that shirt out himself! Even though it was long-sleeved, and the temps have been in the high 90's, he insisted on wearing it. The others all have marriages arranged for them, but Logan is never allowed to grow up and leave me.

He is also into arts and crafts, so we checked out Clay Time, where you can pick an item and paint it right there. The owner tried to steer him towards sharks and action figures, but my sweet boy fell in love with this kitten!

He started off with the colors provided, but was soon mixing his own, chattering the whole time about how they were turning out. He is fantastic at figuring out how things work, and even better at articulating his thoughts! A teacher's dream!

He even experimented with different brushes

...and talked to the kitten about the chin massage she was getting.

They put the kitten in a little box while it dried, and that quickly became her bed - he added a little pillow he found at a yard sale (he loves tiny things) and blanket, and made her pretend food and a milk dish! He carries her back and forth to Grandma's every day, so he can take good care of her.

Of course, he had to try Alamo Jump too, and his expressive face says it all:

(notice I did get him to change into a short-sleeved shirt after lunch!)

He slowed down enough to play some games with Mom - a board game

and Jenga. Jenga then turned into building a maze to trap bad guys, complete with narrated story line. He has a fantastic imagination!

While we were there, we somehow ended up with three new turtles for the library, so we headed there next 

and he found his first rock!

Last stop, ice cream!

At least, I think there was ice cream under all that.

Thank-you, my sweet, sensitive, exuberant, handsome, caring, scary-smart goofball for a laughter-filled day!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sheridan's Day

I took a week off before school started, to reacquaint myself with the kids. Sheridan got the first one-on-one day.

We started with breakfast at Mad Coffee, a newish place neither of us had been to.

She liked the danish, but wasn't too sure about the organic fruit and vegetable smoothie! She was philosophical about it: "It's anew day and we tried a new thing." Um...okay! Sheridan is never afraid to try new things - nor is she afraid to express her opinion about it!

From there we shopped for school supplies. She is very excited about school starting back up, and thinks it has taken way too long! Choosing the right notebooks and so forth was a matter that required much deliberation, but I think we are set. 

Next up was a trip to the Blue Stone, where she redeemed her prize certificate from summer reading.

and of course said hello to Ivan!

A quick stop to grab snacks for the library gecko, and to say hello to a few other critters,

then we dropped off the gecko treats at the library, where she found her first rock!

I love how freely she shows her excitement and joy. Of course, she freely expresses ALL her emotions, usually at top volume and with a great deal of flair. I see some theatre experiences in her future!

A trim of the bangs meant a stop at the fountain - she wouldn't tell me what she wished for. 

Then she got her nails did!

Did I really just pay someone $7 to do something I could do at the dining room table? h, well, she felt special.

We had lunch at the Waffle Shoppe, where Daddy and I met MANY years ago.

Then we started hitting thrift shops - her choice of activities! I guess if I'm going to have a daughter who likes to shop, I'm glad she also likes things cheap.

Did I mention how she likes to show how she feels about things?

Next stop was Alamo Jump. It was hard to get pictures of her that weren't a blur of legs and long hair flying!

She was literally yelling "Wahoooo!" as she bounced (or flung herself) off of things.

She slowed down for a couple minutes to eat a snack and watch a cartoon,

but then she was off again.

Last stop: Founder's Hall, another place new to us, for ice cream.

Unfortunately, about halfway through, the ice cream fell off the cone. She handled it well, though! Whew! You do NOT want to be around when that dramatic flair turns toward the tragic!

Thank-you for a fun day together, my funny, smart, goofy, free-spirited, beautiful 7-year-old!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Lincoln County Days

We started off my one week stay-cation by running up to nearby Lincoln for some fun.

The rock painting/hiding craze has struck our area in force, so everyone had to bring rocks to hide. This one was still there when we left!

We managed to get a great parking space right in town, and next to this little kids' area. There were some very noisy sheep to pet,

stilts to try out,

a ring toss,

and coloring pages.

 perfect place for another rock!

A bridge to explore.

Just don't go down by the water, kids.

KIDS! Is anybody listening to me?!

Stopped for a snack and dropped off Christopher's rock, which was half the weight of my diaper bag.

I think it's a character from Five Nights at Freddy's.
 Since everything was on the main strip, wherever you happened to be was the perfect spot to watch the parade.

Grace, of course, was thrilled with all the horses

from little ponies

to slightly bigger ones.

Also a good spot to leave a rock.

History everywhere, most of it violent (in other words, of interest to little boys - especially when someone refers to 'the Jones Boys' of yore).

Another rock hidden.

And then somebody had about enough.

Even cute when he pouts!

There were free horse-drawn trolley rides, so we had to check that out.

A hideout for sharpshooters!

and other scary things.

Near a nice little museum where you can get a map of the area (oops! too late!) and even try on some dress-ups.

We stopped in Capitan for burgers on the way home, then pretty much everyone dropped off to sleep.

The Catnip Kid...

Miss I-Wasn't-Sleeping...

Christopher and Logan...

Not Grace!...

Even Daddy.

Er...aren't you the one driving???

Next up this week, each kid gets a one-on-one day with me. At the end of which, I will go back to work so I can rest too.