Tuesday, August 31, 2010

This isn't what (I thought) I wanted

Tomorrow Dave goes back to work, and a week from tomorrow the students return.  There's definitely a part of me that wishes I was going with him . . . I like getting up early, talking with the other staff (I <3 the KIPP family), being in brainstorming sessions and having philosophical this-is-what-we-want-our-school-to-be-like meetings.  Planning, photocopies, planning, organizing, planning . . . I like the excitement and busy-ness, the sense of new beginnings, that comes with the start of a new year.

But tomorrow I won't be there.  I'll be home, with Maya.  One therapy (OT) here in the morning, followed by a drive in Manhattan for therapy #2 (speech & feeding).  I have two appointments for Maya (ENT & developmental pediatrician) that need to be scheduled, a prescription to pick up at her pediatrician's office, and I have to schedule Parker's vet evaluation for his therapy certificate (classes start Sept 12!).  I have papers to sign and fax to get the agency for Maya's speech & feeding therapy agency changed, again, and will then be a thorn in the coordinator's side until I know that it's done.  The car will need to be moved (alternate side, ugh) and the dog walked.  Cleaning out the house will continue, and various projects will be done.  I'll think about things to blog about (and probably forget them).  I'll be hoping that Maya's croup-iness subsides, and that I won't need to take her in to see the pediatrician.  Maybe we'll have time to hit the playground before the first therapy, maybe not. 

I wasn't the stay at home mom type.

I worked for the first year after Maya was born, and stopped only because of her special needs.  It was nearly impossible to coordinate appointments, arguing with doctor's offices and navigating through the Early Intervention process, from school.  Once therapies were seriously starting, it was hard for me to keep up with what was going on, and the grading and planning that had to be done at home were overwhelming.  I was barely keeping my head above water.

But I really didn't want to leave work.

Like it was yesterday, I can remember sitting in the meeting when I would announce to my team that I wouldn't be returning, and I still couldn't get through it without tearing up.  "This isn't what I want to do, but it's what needs to be done, for now", I said.  And at that point I kind of thought that I would only need to leave for a year---study the therapists, help Maya catch up on her milestones, and bam, I'd be right back. No problem.

Not quite.

So as the back to school buzz crescendos this week, there's a part of me that is bitterly wistful, that's very "Hey!  What about me?  I want to be there too! I was a good teacher!  Don't forget me!"

And this isn't to say that working out of the home is better than being a stay at home mom, and it's not to say that staying at home is better than working.  It's just to paint the picture of how much I loved my work.

If you asked me 3 years ago if I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, I would have said no.

But, as it turns out, I love staying at home with Maya too.  I like playing with her, the playground is fun, it's fun to watch her discover new things (like the decks of cards that she's totally obsessed with now, or her crush on Elmo) and make new sounds (da-da-da and nananana).  I love working with her and Parker, and drawing at the table.  I love the way she makes me laugh, like today when she decided that she needed some iced coffee, just like dad & mom:

If you asked me 3 years ago if I wanted to be a mom to a child with special needs, I would have said no.

But therapies are just a normal part of our days now, and the therapists have become the friends that I really chat with throughout the day (other than my sister).  I love the way they all love Maya, and she makes them laugh, and I like learning from them.  The appointments can be downers, but we make the best of them by choosing really amazing doctors and taking pictures, and videos

Without special needs, I wouldn't know about the amazing parents in the special needs world, the women in the support group that I've met. 

Without special needs, I might have missed celebrating all of the little things (like new sounds).  I'm apathetic by nature, and I might have just "yep, she makes noise.  kids make noise.  whoop-de-doo"-d right past it all.

Without special needs, we wouldn't have Parker.  And his therapy classes start in September . . . who knows where that volunteer work will lead.

This isn't what I thought I wanted . . . but I'm so happy where I am.   A few months ago things were pretty dark, and I wondered about how people come to terms with parenting their children with special needs---how to get past the sadness, the mourning, the wishing-things-were-different.

But I'm past it.  For now, anyway.  I know it's cyclical, and I know sadness will creep in from time to time (sometimes in a crushing way).  But for a while now, it's just been good.

So, KIPP family (and teacher folks in general), I'll miss you all tomorrow, and I'll miss being a part of the energy.  But I wouldn't trade places with any of you, either :)

(PS---Happy 1st day of Kindergarten tomorrow to my nephew Collin!)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

What clean looks like

No, wait---I'm thinking about what cleanING looks like.  It looks like a gigantic mess.  Things are pulled out, spread out, shuffled around, divided into piles, etc.  We are slowly but surely plodding through the apartment, one section at a time, leaving empty drawers and closet shelves in our wake.

We've broken our clean-out-the-clutter project into phases.  Phase 1 is simply "Do we want this in our apartment or not?"  If not, the item gets moved to the guest bed*.  And that's that---no "should we move it into storage? should we sell it?  should we give it to so-and-so?" etc---that's too complicated and a barrier to getting rid of things.  So the bed has rapidly filled up, and 6 bags (!!!) of stuff has already been donated (clothes are easy to donate). (In all fairness, a lot of baby toys/clothes/etc are all just moving down into storage, but at least they won't be right in our space.)

On Monday, a box of eletronics is getting shipped to Gazelle---they'll pay you (not a lot, but we're not in this for the money right now---we just want to see junk go) for your old electronics, or recycle them for you even if they're not worth anything.  (We're cleaning out responsibly---no filling up landfills with old crap.)

I'm starting an album on the Facebook fan page with pictures-in-progress of the cleaning project.    I don't want to clutter up the blog (ha ha) with the junky pictures, and waste my storage space on them---but if you're nosy interested (like me) it's fun to watch other people move through their junk.

*By the way, I say "guest bed" because it is the bed in the room that is theoretically our guest room. One of the giant goals of this project is to have a usable guest room. Right now, as you will see in the pictures, the guest room is really just our stroller parking/miscellaneous room for things-that-don't-have-a-home.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Clean, Play, Cook

1.  Operation Clean House is still in full effect here.  We just cleaned out the top shelves in the closet, which consisted of: unwearable old clothes, clothes with tags still on them, framed pictures that hung on the wall of our old apartment (yes, about 3.5 years ago).   Oh, and three bottles of colognes---different ones.  So we sprayed all of them to see if any smelled good (FYI, not the best idea to spray 3 bottles of men's cologne in an unventilated closet). 

2.  Here's a taste of our morning:  Maya, Parker & I hit the playground for a bit.  It's getting easier to manage both of them on my own at the playground, now that Parker is older and more obedient.  We have to adjust ( or avoid) depending on how crowded it is, but today he just hung out on the side while Maya climbed around.  He'll watch birds, and kids running by, without moving at all---but when people approach him or talk directly to him he'll get up to say hi---we're working on that.

3.  We finally got some ground beef---for the first time in months.  This ground beef is fresh (well, frozen, but whatever) from Lewis Waite Farm, a local farm that raises grass fed, grass finished beef.  It's certainly pricier than regular ground beef, but it looks better and smells better (like a LOT better) and is better for us.  And supports local (and responsible) agriculture, cuts down on fuel for transporting food cross country, etc. etc.  (If you're into food stuff/local stuff, some good reads are Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, or anything by Michael Pollan.  Or you could take the easier route and watch Food, Inc.  Everyone who buys or eats food should really check out that movie.)

Anyway, the ground beef pictured above was turned into meatloaves, which were cooked & frozen in slices.  (And although I find the name "meatloaf" kind of digusting, I swear it's really good.)  That's a whole bunch of easy lunches/dinners.  And I have a great meatloaf recipe----I think it came from Gourmet magazine . . . but I cheated with a few things (we don't need ground veal, so I just do ground beef for the full meat amount), so it's "Almost Gourmet" Meatloaf:

2 lbs ground beef (or whatever meat or blend of meats you want)
1/4 cup minced green pepper
3/4 cup minced onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tbl horseradish
1 tsp dijon mustard (or whatever mustard you have)
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (or whatever breadcrumbs you have in a can)
2.5 tsp salt
4 slices bacon (uncooked.  I like to chop up a few more slices of bacon and add them into the mixture, too)

Instructions: Combine everything except for the bacon slices.  Knead it all together.  Put it into a greased loaf pan and lay the bacon slices on top.  Then coat the top with a thin layer of ketchup (on top of the bacon and the whole thing).  Bake at 400 for 50 minutes, let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Freezing: After it's totally cooled off (like in the refrigerator for a few hours), slice into, well, slices.  I freeze the slices flat, then load them into a gallon sized ziploc bag after they're frozen. 

Eating: A dinner would be 1 slice of meatloaf, plus potatoes and 2 types of vegetables---so one meatloaf can really last for a lot of meals.  It makes an easy lunch too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Blood draw? No big deal.

We had another genetic test done today, this time at the Children's Hospital at Montefiore.  It will take several weeks for it to be processed through CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, kind of the mecca for genetics stuff)  and I'm not overly concerned with what the results are----however it comes back won't really change our daily lives anyway.

The best part of the visit was the blood draw (I know, what?  Drawing blood from a 2 year old was the best part?!).  .  Dave decided to video tape it, not knowing how it would go, and it turned out that she didn't cry.  At all.  No, really.  It was amazing. She whimpered, her face crumpled---I whispered to her and Dave distracted and that was it.  See for yourself (and enjoy the captions):

Disclaimer #1:  If you only see a white square below, with a play button, click on the play button and the video will appear.

Disclaimer #2: Dave thinks he sounds totally ridiculous---I think he sounds like a great dad who's trying to distract his 2 year old during a blood draw.  So don't mock the voice :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Seriously, why do I have 5 bottle openers? 

Do you want to hear why?  Well, imagine that they're numbered 1-5 (l-r).  Here's why we have them:

  • #1 is awesome, the best wine corkscrew around. 

  • #2 is small, it would be perfect if you were going on a picnic, or camping, (or needed an easy-to-conceal weapon) and you wanted to pack lightly---and it can open wine bottle, beer bottles, or even a can.

  • #3 is what I would use to open a bottle of wine if I couldn't find #1.  No, that's never happened.  But it could. 

  • #4 doesn't really need justification, because it's awesome. 

  • Finally, although not as awesome as #4, #5 can open bottles and cans (#4 is bottles only).
See?  Getting rid of stuff is difficult!  There are reasons for everything.  Suffice to say, we no longer have 5 bottle openers.  (You're dying to know which ones made the cut, right?)

And as drawers are being emptied, other projects are (finally) getting finished:

She loves it :)  But after some quality drawing time, she tried to eat the chalk.  And then to feed it to Parker.  She really loves to share with him (which is, of course, adorable) ----often she'll be sitting and playing with something and then she'll spot him out of the corner of her eye, giggle, and crawl over to "give" him the toy.  (Giving him the toy sometimes consists of trying to shove it up his nose, and sometimes consists of laying it across his front paws.)

Parker also likes the chalkboard walls, because chalkboard walls mean that there's chalk around.  And chalk, apparently, makes a tasty snack.  He ate about 1/4 of a piece this morning while we were feeding Maya a snack.  Oops.

But then he made up for it by showing off his artistic side.  Well done, Parker.

PS.  We kept 3 bottle openers: #1 because it's the best for wine, #5 because it's great for opening cans with the pointy thing, and #4 because we're whimsical, and we have space for it :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Get out of my house! (Subtitle: Where I've been)

So I haven't had much time to chat and blog because I have been heavy into Project Clean-Out-My-House.  I feel the need to purge things . . . I feel like the household clutter around me is somehow turning into mental clutter that is fogging up my brain.  And I've realized that we do have a lot of hidden, under-utilized storage space (in cabinets, drawers, closets, etc.).  If only I could get rid of stuff we don't need & reorganize the stuff we need, we would have space to find permanent homes for the random things that are always floating around.

Today during naptime I tackled the toy area.

Before: (1: 30 pm)
(to be fair, I was already in the middle of spreading things out and cleaning them in this pic)

After: (3:30 pm)

The changes:  The toy bin rack moved into the guest room.  We really wanted to move to a more open-access type of play space, but the rack is too flimsy and Maya could pull it over if she tried to pull up on it.  So it went into the spare room and I'll have to teach her a sign for it, and then we can walk in and pull out a bin to play with.  The toys left in the living room are in containers that we already had :)

A SMART IDEA FOR KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (or any kids, really):  You might be able to see that next to the wicker basket with toys (and next to the pink tub) there is a clear, lidded tupperware container (like this sweater box from the Container Store).  Maya's teacher had a great suggestion:  Take a few highly motivating toys (that bin has a few books in it that Maya loves, and another bin across the room has her kitchen toys in it).  Keep them in containers with clear lids----either she will learn how to open them independently (which is good fine motor practice for kids with OT delays) or she will learn to ask for help, or bring them to me for help, etc (which is good for kids with speech delays--like Maya, or kids who need motivation to interact with others).

I've got about 35 projects going on at once :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Food, glorious food! (Cooking, Freezing & Eating 101)*

I've been busy the past few days cooking &; freezing, stocking up the freezer a bit.  Cooking a whole meal at dinner time is difficult, since I'd rather spend the time with Dave & Maya once he gets home from work . . . cooking & freezing lets us have whole meals, or meal components, prepped ahead of time so that the nightly hands-on time is minimized.  (Note to my fellow apartment dwellers:  we have a chest freezer on our terrace, which gives us substantial freezer room.  But I bet that if you cleaned out some old random stuff and organized your freezer you could fit a lot of meals in there, as well.)

Below you will find a few recipes & pics of stuff that I like to keep on hand in the freezer.  Once we get some ground beef (we haven't had any for a few months, we've been waiting to order it from a local farm----which should happen this weekend!) I'll add in some pre-cooked taco meat (in ziploc bags), meatballs, and meatloaf slices.  My "recipes" are often done to taste, and tend to be kind of "throw in poultry seasoning until it tastes good"ish, but they're a start, I guess.   The freezer techniques are helpful if you want to freeze stuff but you've been unsure how to start.

And sometimes, we just go out to eat :)  Like this afternoon, when we went for seafood at City Island (pictures on the blog's Facebook page) or this evening, when we headed out for yummy Italian food in NYC's real Little Italy (aka Arthur Avenue, in the Bronx).  Here are Maya & I, all dolled up and ready to go out to dinner:

Ok, the food.  Here we go . . . easy things to make and freeze:

1. Pesto/Other Sauces (lower right bag)  The real trick with soups & sauces is to freeze them in ice cube trays.  It takes longer to freeze, but then you can defrost however many cubes you need, instead of trying to sloppily defrost a whole ziploc bag of sauce & wasting some.  

Ingredients: basil (2-3 bunches), spinach (one bag), pine nuts (aka pignoli nuts), olive oil, grated parmesan cheese (freshly grated is best)

Method: In a food processor, process the basil & spinach.  Drizzle in olive oil until it looks nice and smooth.  Add in pine nuts & cheese, a bit at a time, and keep tasting it until it tastes the way that you want it to :)  Warning: The cheese can make the pesto very salty, so add it slowly.

Freezing: Freeze in ice cube trays, then pop the cubes into Ziploc freezer bags.

2. Chicken pot pie (lower left bag): A fantastic way to use leftover chicken/turkey, and you probably already have a lot of this stuff laying around anyway.

Ingredients: 1 onion (chopped), 3 carrots (chopped), 2 stalks celery (chopped), 2 potatoes (peeled & chopped), 2 tbs parsley, 2 cups cooked chicken/turkey (cut into small chunks), 4 tbs flour (whatever type you have), 4 cups chicken stock (or 4 bouillon cubes + 4 cups of water), 1 cup of frozen peas (or half a cup--I love peas), a chunk of butter, seasonings

Method: Melt butter in pan, add onion, saute a few minutes.  Add carrot & celery, saute a bit more.  Stir in flour and (you guessed it) saute a few more minutes.  Add whatever seasonings you like (I like poultry seasoning, salt & pepper, maybe some sage).  Add the broth, bring to a boil.  Add potatoes, simmer until they're tender.  Then stir in the chicken, peas & parsley.  You're done!

Freezing: Let it cool (probably in the fridge).  Dump into a gallon size ziploc bag and freeze it flat.

Eating: When you're ready to eat it, defrost and dump it into a 9 x 13 glass pan (or whatever you have).  Top it with pie crust (I used frozen, don't use the graham cracker kind-obviously)---it takes me 2 frozen crusts to top it, broken into pieces, don't worry if it doesn't look pretty . . . it will taste great.  Bake at 350 until the crust looks cooked (maybe 25 mins?).  Yum!

3. Lasagna  (top bag):  Frankly, I'm tired of typing recipes, but you can see that I cut the lasagna into chunks before freezing.  If you want to freeze a tray of anything, the best way to do it is to cut into slices or chunks, and freeze those first.  An hour or two in the freezer and they won't be freezer burned, they'll just be independently frozen.  Then you put those into a big ziploc bag and ----viola!---you can easily defrost a slice or two for dinner anytime.   

(I'll continue my "Cooking & Freezing" series with more recipes & tricks if people are interested.  For now, I'm done.  If YOU have any ideas for ME as for things to do with 6 lbs of tomatoes, please post on Facebook, or here, or email me at: uncommonfeedback@gmail.com .  We got a lot of tomatoes from the CSA this week!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Honestly, who sits like that

(Maya's fever was better today--much lower (101ish) and she was fever free for a chunk in the middle of the day.  I'm hoping tomorrow may be the end of it.)

When we were in VT, we went out to eat at this awesome place called American Flatbread in Burlington (fantastic pizza, great microbrews).  Anyway, Maya was sitting across from me (I couldn't see her legs under the table) and Dave said "Oh, Maya!  Come on, sit right.  Honestly, who sits in a chair like that . . .?!"   And then he turned to look at me:

Turns out that we both sit with our left leg up (see, both of us!).  Why is that?  Some weird genetic hip thing?  If I'm driving long distances, I tend to drive with my left leg up, too (unless any of you are cops, and then I definitely don't do that).  Sometimes I sit with both legs up (which is how Maya sits in her stroller, and in the car seat).  I never sit with only my right leg up. 

Any other one-leg-up'ers out there?  Is the left leg more common or something?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I remember the happier days . . . (from Maya)

 . . . when I was on vacation.  Times of eating ice cream . . .

and gazing out at the sea . . . (ok, at the lake.  whatever.)

But now I'm home, and sick.  Bad fever sick.  Trying to sleep my way through the day (here at a doc appt) and the night too. 

But I have a feeling that my mom will be up worrying all night :(


Maya woke up with a fever.  Actually, she woke up, ate breakfast, had nearly an hour of special instruction . . .and her therapist then said to Dave & I "Hey, she doesn't seem like herself.  And did you notice she's a little warm?"  So we took her temp . . . 103.5.  Yikes.  I felt like a slightly negligent mother, especially since this morning Dave and I were laying in bed saying "Wow, she's been sleeping later since we got home---this is great!"


Anyway, hopefully I'll get around to an update soon, but for now I'm taking care of sick little Maya.  I put a new pic from this morning up on the Facebook page, check it out!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

We've returned

After a longggg day in the car, I'm not uploading and recapping now :)

But I have to throw something up to say:

1. We're back, and beat, but happy :)

2. WE HIT 200 FACEBOOK FANS!  Pretty cool stuff.

Maya and Parker want to say"Thanks for tuning in!":

Wait, that was Parker saying "Something here smells yummy" and Maya saying "Parker get your nose away from my tushie!"   Let me try again.

Hmm, this is Maya saying "Parker, you eat this grass now.  You're allowed to, I promise (wink)" and Parker saying "Maya, you are always trying to get me in trouble . . . but this does smell good."  Back to the drawing board.

Parker: Are we done yet?
Maya: Parker, look!  Now I'm a doggie, too!

There we go :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Video plug. I mean, a video, and a plug.

1.  Maya's blueberry picking (and smushing) video has been uploaded to our Facebook page.  If you're not a fan already, you can get there by clicking the icon to the right, or searching "Uncommon Sense Blog" on Facebook.  (You DON'T even have to be on Facebook to see our page---because it's set to "public", so feel free to check it out even if Facebook scares you!)

2. If you're not already a Facebook fan, become one!  Just click "like"!   We're currently at 190 fans, and it would make my day week year to hit 200 fans :)  Do you know someone with a child with special needs?  Someone who likes poodles?  Someone who is losing hair?  Forward us along :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dolphins (?) and berries and storms, oh my! (VT, Day 4)

Yesterday Dave tried to get Maya really jazzed to go to the ECHO center in Burlington.  We had never been, but heard it was a cool hands-on aquarium for kids.  Dave told Maya all about how she'd see dolphins, maybe even a whale . . . instead, she saw a turtle: 

(Addendum: As I looked up the website to hyperlink it, I found that it is, indeed, an aquarium. But if you've ever been to any other aquarium, it's probably not what you're expecting.)

And some fish, to be fair.  But the center was kind of a bust . . . more of an eco-center, not an aquarium.  Really fun if you have a 5 or 6 year old, not so much for 2.   But we made up for it by going to Ben & Jerry's afterwards, where she got to see more (you guessed it) COWS!

After naptime, we packed a great picnic and were really excited to go to the evening blueberry picking session at Owl's Head Farm.  There was a Dixieland band under a canopy and we set up our blanket and headed out to get the berries.  Much to our surprise, Maya quickly got the idea of berry picking and was really into it:

Unfortunately, she's a quick little thing, and did some fancy fingerwork---she would pretend to drop her berry in the container, but instead would nimbly grab up 2 or 3 more berries from the bottom, and then smush them all and stare at the mess in her hand.  (Dave may have a cell phone video of this---it will be uploaded sometime soon if it came out.) So she didn't get to help pick for too long.

We noticed the sky was looking, um, ominous . . . so Dave went to quickly pick berries as I gave Maya a snack.  When he returned with berries, the sky was looking even darker.  We could hear the lightening across the valley between 2 mountains, and we were really hoping it would blow by.  We danced to the band and took some quick pics:

Dave, open your eyes

Maya, open your eyes

Ok, Maya, look a little less startled

Aw, that's sweet.  (But see the makings of the storm?)

Then it got darker and a cold wind started to blow, and we ran (ok, briskly walked----but I did yell to Dave "Forget me, save yourselves!" as he motored ahead of me with the stroller).  It rained so hard that we had to pull over driving home, because I thought we might hydroplane off the road.  We had our picnic in the car instead :)

And today?  Today was Maya's first beach trip :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

. . . and a cluck, cluck there . . . (VT, Day 3)

Yesterday you got a look at Maya's super psyched car ride to Shelburne Farms.  She is all about the cow statues here in Vermont, and we were excited to re-introduce her to the very sweet big brown cow at the farm.  Turned out that Maya doesn't much care about real cows . . . we didn't even get a picture. 

But the tractor ride out to the farm was fun:

And she got to meet some furry guys . . .

Before the CHICKEN PAR-ADE (imagine me singing that, a la "Ta-DA!").  Yep, the chicken parade.  It happens when a farmer (or teenager who works on the farm) opens up a magic trapdoor in the side of the barn, with a ramp leading into the field.  The chickens, who spend their evenings in the barn, are all pleased as punch that the magic door has opened, and march down proudly into the yard.  As Maya is a fan of moving animals, we knew she'd need a front row view for the parade:

Well, hello there.

Come on chickies, right this way!!!

I'm not sure if I would rather touch you . . .

 . . . or eat you . . .

(that's Maya's sign for eat, which cracked me up as she eyed the chickens)

So much fun, I can't stand it!

(I was there too, see?)

And I caught a chicken for Maya . . . but she was nearly chickened out by then:

Today's adventures included a trip to an aquarium that wasn't really an aquarium, and a near death experience at the blueberry farm.  Stay tuned for all that and more :)

Safety PS
Hey, parents & grandparents, did you know that many of the most well-intentioned adults still make mistakes when installing and using carseats?  A friend of mine, and car seat expert, emailed me after checking out our (adorable) video yesterday because she noticed that her chest strap was not ideally positioned. 

Chest straps should lay from armpit-to-armpit, right across the nipple line (as if you are "connecting the dots" is a helpful way to remember it).  So check out your car seats, people!  And remember to keep your kids rear-facing as long as possible (check your car seat limits, but "age 1 or 20 lbs" is pretty antiquated now, many seats can be rear facing up to 35 lbs---Maya switched after she had turned 2.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

With a moo moo here, . . . (VT, day 2)

(Today is Day 3 in Vermont, but I'm blogging a day behind.  It's too tough to relax and stay current, so something's got to give :) )

We had to go to Church street, to hang out and eat my favorite sandwich ever, at the Red Onion.  Maya fell madly in love with the random cow statues that are adorning the area (Parker was terrified of them).

Maya rides a cow all by herself:

Ok, maybe Dave was helping.  See if you can spot him:

Since she's obsessed with cows, we took her to Shelburne Farm today to get up close and personal with their big brown cow.  She was SUPER PSYCHED on the way there:

But for pictures of the farm (where she wasn't so into the cow, but loved the Chicken Parade (yes, you read that right) you'll have to wait :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vermont, Day 1

We left NY at 10:25am and got to Anne's house in VT at 7:15pm.  We had one rest stop, stopped for lunch, and went on a ferry ride in that time.  What did Maya do?  Not nap, that's for sure.  She babbled, whined, ate some snacks, watching Signing Times (3 times) and finalllllllyyyy fell asleep for 30 mins:

She was a big fan of the ferry ride, her first boat ride ever!

Parker loves having more space to frolic, but does not love skinny steep stairs, which he fell down last night (only 2 or 3 stairs, he's dine) and now gives the evil eye to.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Vermont bound :)

Tomorrow we head out for a fabulous week-ish in Vermont  :)  We are excited to unplug (slightly, less time online), unwind, and enjoy life at a slightly slower pace. 

Highlights will likely be: my favorite sandwich at the Red Onion in Burlington, Ben & Jerry's factory, Magic Hat factory, Shelburne Farm (where Maya will love the animals), watering (and eating) from my SIL's (that's sister-in-law's, for all of you non message board folks) garden, playing Scrabble, letting Parker run in the field, and enjoying general sillyness.  Possible bonuses include free time to nap, read, and maybe finish writing my little essay.

Any friends in the Burlington area?  Great suggestions of things that we shouldn't miss?

Hopefully I'll post at least one update from the road :)  I imagine that the Facebook page will get more frequent updates/uploads from my phone----so if you're not already a fan, become one now!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Zoo . . . Hair . . . CHEW . . . Where?

If I come up with a nonsensical rhyming title, then it totally makes my jumbled update-about-everything post appear cohesive, right?  Right.

1. Zoo:  We went to the Bronx Zoo the other day and had a fun time.  Well, Dave had a fun time:

Maya was so scared that she re-enacted her DMV pose:

Until Mommy came to save the day:
(Hmm, who's having more fun?  Maya or Mommy?  Or the magical glowing prairie dog?)

Fun at the petting zoo:

Miss Maya is attempting vertical movement more and more!  Here, some teetery walking holding on to only 1 hand!:

It may not be graceful looking, but who cares . . .

2.Hair: My hair continues to fall out at an alarming rate:

Ok, it's not quite that bad :)  Actually, I convinced Dave to cut my hair (with the balding patches, I've been hiding from salon folks----I don't want anyone messing with my hair, and I don't want lots of people coming to stare at it).  So we did a chop at home:

(not the most glamorous pic, but you get the idea)

3. CHEW!!!!!!!!  This is the best update by far (and if you check our Facebook page, you're already in the loop on this one).  Maya has come so far with feeding therapy that today Erica (her feeding therapist) said "No more jars (baby food)----she's an eating girl now!"  So, in theory, Maya could only be eating normal food now (with some exceptions---she can't do very hard things, like apples.  She can't manage something very complicated, like rice.  And she can't really regulate how much she gets in her mouth at a time, so we still have to feed her most pieces by hand.)   She's an eating girl!!!!!!  Real food!!! 

Here, she digs into dinner (yogurt, blueberries, some snacky stuff, and a cereal bar--not pictured).  The sushi belongs to Dave & me:

4. Where?  We're going away on Saturday and Maya has been studying up for the trip.  Here, Dave helps her to plan our week's worth of activities.  See if you can figure out where we're heading :)