Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'm bringing sexy back*

If you're a tri-stater, you know that today's weather was not the best---rain, wind, and humidity.  Yuck.  So, of course, I picked today to blow out my hair for the first time in nearly 2 months.  Why?  Because I realized I was afraid to.

If you've been reading for a while, you know all about my hair woes.  Back at the beginning of August, I decided not to blow my hair straight for a while.  For one thing, the weather made it a losing battle.  For another, when my hair is curly it hides both the hair loss & growing-in-spiky-patches really well.  But this morning, as I threw more hair into the garbage can, I realized that it's been so long that I was afraid to see what it looked like.  And the only way to get rid of fear is to confront it head on (unless you're afraid of grizzly bears, or something equally hazardous).  So I blew it out.

Hello, gorgeous.

(working the side pose)

And this, folks, is why I've been wearing so many hats.  It's hard to walk around like this, without feeling like people must be wondering what the heck happened to your head.  While I'd like to think that I would just spit out random stories to staring onlookers ("Oh, my hair?  Have you ever heard of the Great Scissor Duel?  No!?  Well, you should see the other guy.  I actually took first place!") the truth of the matter is this:  When I'm out in public, I'm usually juggling our big jogging stroller, a whiny Maya, and our overenthusiatic puppy . . . I'm barely 2 feet out the door before I've totally forgotten about the state of my head.  So I take myself very seriously as I argue with the pharmacist for 10 freaking minutes about why they have-to-have-the-nebulizer-medicine-here-or-there-are-going-to-be-big-problems, and then when I catch a glimpse of myself in the glass at the pharmacy I feel totally ridiculous. (They found the medicine, by the way.)

This is as good as it gets, with some comb-over action:

I'm still losing a lot of hair, but it must be dispersed over my head more, because I'm not finding new bald areas.  I'm SO glad that I've been taking pictures along the way, because it's amazing to see how far I've come:




Monday, September 27, 2010

This post is short & sweet, as I am currently enjoying my champagne.  I bought a bottle to celebrate the fact that the splint paperwork has gone through.  Oh, you hadn't heard?  (Become a fan on Facebook, then!!!)  The vendor is coming here on Friday to measure Maya.  Splints are on the way :)

For now, here we were during breathing treatment #3 today . . . see Maya smiling?  That's because she gets to watch Elmo while the nebulizer runs.  She loves it!

And here's the latest look-how-big-Parker-is-now picture:

Then:                                                                                                      Now:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Party City is on fire!

No, for real. 

It was like, literally, on fire when we were there tonight. Well, kind of.


Here's the story:

We got to Party City, went inside, and start searching for Maya's Halloween costume (we have a plan, just not a costume).  The general Party City atmosphere is an affront to the senses: violently vibrant, chaotically crowded, needlessly noisy, busy and bustling.  So much so that I was wandering in my own little bubble and turned to call to Dave & Maya "Hey! I found the costumes!" as he quickly approached and said "Um, dude, that's the fire alarm.  We've got to get out of here." 

It was only then that I noticed the flashing strobe lights and mildly annoying "wah-wah . . . wah-wah . . . wah-wah" of the alarm. 

Side Note: If your fire alarm system is only ever so slightly more aggitating that the general state of your store, you may need to install something more, um, alarming.

We've been evacuated:

Fire trucks are a-comin'! (That's my suprised face.  To all of you younger readers, take note, when you're 30 your "suprised face" may also cause triple chins.  This may be the last time you see a suprised face.)

(Sirens are loud)

Party on the sidewalk!

The Party City employees are clearly very concerned about the state of the store. (They're in the black shirts & khaki pants, lounging outside of the movie theater.)

They decided not to let customers back in to shop, so we had to give up and head home.

Just another typical evening :)

If you're a Facebook follower, or friend of mine, you might know that Maya is under the weather.  She has a pretty nasty cough, and may have cough variant asthma.  We're probably headed back to the pediatrician tomorrow, and we're doing nebulizer treatments 3x a day for now.  Thanks for your good thoughts :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Learned Helplessness & Early Intervention

Warning: The first three paragraphs here are kind of science nerd-y, but I tried to keep it short, sweet, & simple, and I think what I'm getting at here is really interesting from a psychology standpoint.

The Theory:
As you may or may not know, I was a zoology major in college.  I took a good number of ethology (animal behavior), behavioral neuroscience, & neuropsych classes . . . classes that looked at animal behavior and animal psychology (which, as it turns out, is very very closely related to human behavior and human psychology). 

There is a very interesting model of animal (and human) behavior called "Learned Helplessness".  Basically, experimenters exposed dogs to a series of shocks.  "Group A" dogs could turn off the shocks by stepping on a bar, "Group B" dogs couldn't control the shocks.  Later on, the dogs were put in a new situation where they could all control the shocks by jumping over a little bar and getting away from them.  "Group A" dogs jumped away, but the "Group B" dogs just laid down and whimpered, taking the shocks. 

Since the dogs in Group B had learned that their behavior didn't help their situation, they just gave up.  They  didn't assert themselves.  They were depressed.  (Human tests have found similar results.)

I've come to the realization this week that many bureaucratic systems (Early Intervention, filing claims with insurance companies, etc.) can set up the same sort of learned helplessness situation----by making people feel helpless, like they have no control over the outcome of their circumstances and no power to accomplish anything, many eventually become depressed and just give up.

The Personal Connection:
This past week, I was irate at dealing with the bureaucracy of the Early Intervention system.  I was take-my-plates-out-on-the-terrace-and-shatter-them-one-by-one-while-primal-screaming angry.  And, honestly, I'm still pretty ticked.  Here's the backstory:

I've been trying to get Maya leg splints for 10 weeks. TEN weeks. The girl can't stand. She can't walk. She needs splints.  Initially, I was worried to call too often to follow up on the paperwork because I didn't want to annoy anyone who would have the power to "lose" my file, causing a big delay. 

Causing a big delay?---Ha!  Here we are nearly 3 months later, and I'm not afraid of getting on anyone's nerves anymore.  Now I'm trying to get on people's nerves like it's my freaking job.  I would be in the office, singing "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" if I thought it would help.

If you've been lucky enough to never deal with infuriating bureaucracy, here's my list of phone calls from Monday:

10:15: Called Service Coordinator work line, left message

2:00: Called SC's cell phone (which she prefers to be reached on), left message

2:30: Called SC's supervisor, left message

4:15: Called SC's work line again, left another message

4:48: Called SC's supervisor again, he answers and says "Oh, SC is here, I think she has information for you" and transfers me.

She's like "Oh, I've been meaning to call you back". And then the big update is that she finally spoke to the person who has to sign off on our stuff and she said "Hopefully we'll get it by Friday, if not I'll call on Thursday to check on things."   Thursday.  Thursday?  If she calls Thursday, the signer person won't even get the message until Friday afternoon.  And no way they'll call her back on Friday.  So another week will go by with nothing.

I got the number to start calling myself, but in a ridiculous twist that unfolded this afternoon, it turns out that I've been leaving messages for the wrong person . . . I was given the number for the person who signs off on our speech papers, not our assistive technology papers.  So tomorrow I'll start calling the new number.

How can this be so hard.

My effingg kid can't walk. I need these splints. Sign the papers.

I totally understand why people lose their minds and shoot up offices.
(I'm not really threatening violence, please don't report me to any authorities :) )

In Conclusion
I'm a totally capable, savvy, intelligent woman---but dealing with this system has made me feel so useless and depressed that there are many days where I have thought "why bother calling. It won't matter anyway."

And if you're thinking "Oh, if it was me, I would just storm in there and demand this and blah blah blah" well, let me say, no you wouldn't.  You would quickly see that it won't get you anywhere, and actually, it would close doors in your face.

Plus---think for a moment about these calls I'm making.  I'm trying to get splints so that Maya can stand and walk.  Everyone who is in Early Intervention has kids with specials needs who are younger than 3.  So these people trying to make the calls?  We're pretty much near the end of our emotional rope a lot of the time. 

We already feel helpless, because we couldn't control whatever circumstances have led to our child's disabilities.

We are already angry and frustrated, feeling like we try to help but things don't work.

We oscillate between "I will fight with everything I have until you give my kid what she deserves" to "I'm just so tired of fighting".


We oscillate between "I will jump and push levers and fight for my ability to not get shocked" to "Sometimes it's just easier to lay down and whimper and wait for it to pass".

Oddly, making this connection (my emotional roller coaster with this situation, and it's perfect fit with the learned helplessness model) has really let me detach a little bit from the process, thereby giving me the calmness to just keep calling, patiently and matter of factly.  For now anyway.  I'm sure I'll get frustrated again :)

So that's where I've been.  And now , here are some totally random pictures from the weekend, just for fun:

Waiting for Daddy in the lobby of the building (he took this pic)

Shopping is so exhausting.   Sometimes I just need a break.

In light of these recent stressors, I've needed to up my caffeine intake.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Aquarium, Coney Island, a movie, and therapy dog class

We had a great time at the NY Aquarium this morning.  Although it was a bit of a hike, it was fun to see the animals and spend time so close to the beach, enjoying the sunshine.  Maya made some new friends:


And then we went for a walk on the boardwalk, where she saw THE OCEAN.  I write it like that because I'm pretty sure that's how Maya thinks it.  The girl loves, loves, loves water.  We drive down the Hudson River twice a week for therapy, and she starts panting and squeaking when we can see the water.  When she sees a boat, forget about it---she starts to giggle and shout. 

I love you, water!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of today's pictures are up on the Facebook fan page . . . you don't have to belong to Facebook to see them, just click on the link at the top of this page and check them out.

Maya also got to see her first movie today---an 8 minute, 4D flick at the aquarium.  Yep, 4D.  In addition to wearing 3D glasses, we were hit with mist and wind and bubbles.  As the lights went down, Maya tensed up and I thought "Uh oh, she's going to cry".  But after a few minutes she relaxed into watching, and kept her glasses on the whole time!  I actually thought she fell asleep, so I had Dave peak under them, but sure enough, she was awake.  The whole row behind us cleared out, as kids became scared and started crying.  But not Maya.  She was happy as a clam.

Until the movie ended.  And the lights went up.  And we took off her glasses.  And she realized it was over.

Then, she was inconsolable.  Poor thing.  Super cute, though :)

In other news, Parker's therapy class was better tonight, but I'm still doubtful as to whether we'll be able to pass this time around.  He just has so much puppy-ness left in him.  I don't know if we can drain it out in the next few weeks.

Friday, September 17, 2010

". . . and other favorite bedtime rhymes"

This morning Maya & I were sitting on the floor, reading some books.  She loves reading books, which I guess I can't complain about, but Weds. when she woke up from her nap I said "Guess what?!  We have time to go outside and play before therapy!" and she started to cry, pointing at her bookshelf and signing "Want! Book! Book! Book! Want!".  (We compromised and rushed through 2 books before going to the playground.)

I digress. 

We were reading a book called "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and other favorite bedtime rhymes" when we came across the gem below.  First, look at how cute the page is, with the sweet little cartoon goose.  He's smiling, climbing some stairs, wearing a bow . . . awwww.

Here are the words, in case you can't see them (in bold).  Also, here is the side commentary that I said to Maya as we read (in italics). 

Goosey, goosey, gander       See the goose, Maya?  A goose says "honk, honk"
Whither shall I wander?       That doesn't rhyme.
Upstairs and downstairs,
And in my lady's chamber.   Maybe that's the chamber door, right?  Can you do "knock, knock" on
                                                the door?

There I met an old man,
Who wouldn't say his prayers.
I took him by the left leg,             (tapping) This is your left leg, Maya!        
And threw him down the stairs.     . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .dude.

Seriously, folks.  There are about 17,000 "other favorite bedtime rhymes" out there.  Dave alone makes up 2-4 rhymes on an average day.  And somehow "Goosey, goosey, gander" was a must have in this compilation?  

Although it did spice up story time for me, if I had been reading to anyone older it might send the wrong message . . . you know, like if someone doesn't do what you want, just grab them by the left leg and toss them down the stairs.  Maybe the hidden lesson here is about right vs. left?

Goodnight all :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Maya & Elmo, sittin' in a tree

It's official---she's in love.  She has a few Elmo books, a few Elmo toys, and we put on the "Elmo's World" segment of Sesame Street a few times a week.  She loves it.

If you've never seen it, Elmo sings and talks and has little guests and gets email (no joke)---so he often disappears for a little bit (while a mini-segment happens) and then reappears.  And every single time he shows back up, she goes bananas. 

Every. single. time. 


Like this:

OHMYGOODNESS!!!                                               Mommy, it's ELMO!!!

He's right there!                                                                                     I'm so excited :)


Kitchen accomplished

I put up an album on the Facebook page :)

The kitchen is done!  (Aside from cleaning the inside of cabinets, fridge, etc).  I did the outside stuff first to see some results, which should motivate me to keep going.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Talking and apples

Maya is trying to communicate more and more, sometimes with very frustrating results.  She is signing things that I don't understand, and does a lot of pointing (which I also sometimes don't understand).  She's developing a habit of grabbing my face and squeezing it (ouch) when she wants to tell me something.   I'm going to work today and tomorrow at trying to get picture magnets printed so that we can try using a picture system (when I printed them and laminated them, she just wanted to play with the little cards---hopefully magnets will work better.  Who knows.)

Anyway, yesterday I was feeding her a cereal bar and vacuuming.  She was on the floor, and I would give her a piece, vacuum for a minute, stop the vacuum, ask her if she wanted more, she would say "Mo, mo" and I would give her another piece.  I guess at one point I vacuumed for too long (and obviously I can't hear her little voice over the vacuum) because suddenly I felt something on my leg and when I looked down she was there.  She was holding her hands up to me and rapidly signing "More! More! More!"  She certainly knows what she wants :)  In she could talk I think she would have been saying "Hey!  Come on!  I'm starving here!"

Speaking of food, our apples are almost gone!  Most went to applesauce, a few went to apple bread. 

Here are the recipes (both of which were really easy):

Chunky Cinnamon Applesauce

Ingredients: Apples, cinnamon

Directions: Peel, core & roughly chop apples.  Put them in a crockpot with cinnamon.  Cook them until they're done enough for you.  (Low overnight or for most of a day, probably . . . high for 3-5 hours I think).  Ta-da!

Freezing: Since we all like the applesauce, I didn't freeze it in cubes (my usual MO for sauces/soups/liquidy things).  I just cooled it in the fridge, put it in a ziploc quart size freezer bag, and froze flat.

Apple Bread--makes 2 loaves!!!! (courtesy of my sister, with a little tweaking from me)

1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups diced apples (2-4 apples, depending on size)
3 cups flour (I used bread flour, it was the only thing I had on hand, and it worked fine)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Directions: In one bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients (up to and including the apples).  In a second bowl, combine the last 4 ingredients.  Next, combine the two bowls together.  Grease two loaf pans well and bake a 300 for 90 mins. (Warning: The pans will only be half full or so when you fill them--don't worry, it will puff up)

This recipe is good, but it you want to make it fantastic, add a crumbly top (kind of like a coffee cake top):
Combine 1/4 cup brown sugar with 3 tbl flour, then use your fingers to mash in 2 tbl of butter until it forms coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle across the top of the loaf before baking----yum!!!  (I did this for each loaf and it was really good.) (Thanks, HCM, for the crumbly top help!)

Freezing: We ate one loaf and froze the other.  Cut it into slices, freeze flat, then put the slices in a gallon size ziploc freezer bag.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Oh brother, times 10

In choosing to blog about life with a child with special needs, I think it would be irresponsible not to include some of the bad days . . . otherwise, readers who are in similar situations may feel like I'm idealizing life, or minimizing and skipping over the obnoxious, challenging parts.  Today was one of the lousier days.  If you're thinking "Lousy days be damned---make me smile!", then just skip ahead to the end :)

Today a lot of annoying things added up and became totally overwhelming.  Here were a few:

1. We have a huge stack of bills and insurance stuff to deal with. I have to call them, but I've been putting it off because although I hear of people "fighting with their insurance" to get things paid for, I have no idea what that actually means. I feel like I'm going to call and talk to some pencil pusher who says "we don't pay for that" and I'm going to say "you need to, the geneticist said she needed this test" and then he'll say "well, we don't" and then what do I do?  (I'm going to start making calls tomorrow, though.  I know I'll feel better once I address it.)

2. Parker's therapy dog class last night sucked, and I have a ton of work to do with him.

3. I can't get anywhere with the agencies that are supposed to sign off so that Maya can get splints for her legs. The process has been going on for literally months. I spent time basically bitching at several different people over the past 2 weeks, but all of them are powerless . . . the people who actually have the power to move it along either: are never in the office, don't answer their phones, or have permanently full voicemail boxes. I am waiting on a new phone number that I can start calling to bother people, and soon I'm going to request an address and just camp out there.  With Maya.  And Parker.  And we're going to sing "Wheels on the bus".  Over and over.  And then I'll change the lyrics to "The people in the office need to sign that form, sign that form, sign that form . . . the people in the office need to sign that form or we'll never, ever leave."

4. I worry that our lack of ability to get spints, and to get our speech agency changed, might indicate that this agency will mess up our transition to the preschool system, which starts in the winter/spring.

5. As I try to do all of this, I still am surrounded by way too much stuff at home. Why is there a pile of change, a tube of sunblock, and business cards on the counter?  Why can't we stay on top of putting things away, instead of emptying our pockets or stroller contents or whatever when we walk in the door?  (This is why the purging & reorganization project will continue, even if it's only at a snail's pace, until everything has a home that is easily accessible.)

I've just had it today.

And I tried sitting on the floor and crying, but it didn't help.  And Maya didn't understand what I was doing, and sat next to me with a furrowed brow.  Then I sniffled "Mommy's sad, Maya.  Can you give me a hug?"  And she climbed right into my lap and did just that.  Then she squeezed a handful of my face and I had to kick her off.
So, there's that.  It's not all sunshine and roses here . . . but we do have some good times :)  New pictures are up in the Facebook album "What clean(ing) looks like", so you can see progress in the media center bookshelves.  And here's a video of our dynamic duo . . . playing together in the hallway. 
Highlight: You may not have ever heard Maya talk before, because she gets pretty quiet when other folks are around.  But here, you can hear her version of "Pa-pa"----her nickname for Parker.  It's the only thing she'll reliably say almost every time we ask her to.  The silly part is that she says "Ma ma!" instead of "Pa-pa".   You'll hear it at 1:03.

Remember, if you just see a blank spot with a "play" arrow underneath, click the arrow and the video will start!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Oh brother

Try real hard to remember back to 8th grade.   At my (tiny) elementary/middle school, I graduated 8th grade in a class of 17 (I can still name every one of them---and a bunch are Facebook friends, who might even be reading this---so shoutout to my class of '93 8th grade grads!).  We were the top dogs, and felt like the coolest kids around.  Maybe you were the *best* something in 8th grade---the best singer in your class, the fastest runner, the funniest.

And then you went to high school.

And suddenyl you're a very little fish in a very big pond.

That was therapy dog class tonight.  Sigh.

If you've hung out with Parker, you know that he's a great dog.  We've worked really hard with him, and he does so many amazing things:

-He will lay down and stay at the playground, as little kids run past within an inch of his nose.
-He will whimper and look at me with big eyes---but not move or snap or growl or scratch---when Maya grabs a handful of fur.
-He will gallop floppily to Maya and eagerly lick her face when I say "Parker!  Where's Maya?!?"
-He puts himself to bed
-He will wait forever if I put food in front of him and say "Leave it"

But---he wants, more than life itself, to play with other dogs.  Just desperately wants to frolick with them in puppy madness.  At 7 months, he was the youngest pup there by far---and his puppy "Dogs! Dogs! Hey, you dogs!  I need to play with you I'm right here will someone look at me I can't stand it I'm all alone!"ness it the biggest challenge we're going to face.

He did great with the one-on-one stuff---the trainer and her volunteer could pull on his paws, stick fingers in his mouth, etc etc---no problem.  He took treats gently.  He sat and stayed.  But he whimpered, wiggled, and tried to play with the other dogs as they walked by----so embarassing!

I thought we were at the top of our game. 


We have a lot lot lot lot of work to do.  We might not pass this round of classes, I fear.  He might just need to be older to gain more of the self control.  

I need to look at it like a challenge, dust myself off, and tackle it tomorrow.  But puppy training is really hard work with a toddler in tow.  Throw in a toddler who needs constant physical support, and how can I manage it?  How can I do our homework --- "find strangers and get them to approach your dog to pet him while you kneel next to him"----while holding a wiggling Maya, or having her sit in the stroller (yelling) to watch?

I thought we were a lot further along this training road than we actually are.  And it's both daunting and annoying.  Argh.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Beauty is in the details . . .

My cleaning out has sputtered a bit this week . . . the apples that took over the kitchen clamored to be cooking into applesauce and apple bread (recipes to follow), the fridge is nearly overflowing with CSA veggies to be processed and enjoyed.  I only have a few free hours when Maya is napping, and they've gotten eaten up by more routine chores. 

But as we clean out, we are taking the time to make small upgrades, too.  Why wait?  There's no point in putting off fun little adjustments that make such a nice difference. (Speaking of upgrades---did you see my fun new clogs on the Facebook page?  When you get rid of old, broken shoes, you get new fun ones!)

I hung a bulletin board (that I've been intending to hang since we moved here . . . 2.5 yrs ago), but it looked too school-bulletin-boardish, so I gave it a quick sloppy coat of plum/wine colored paint . . . much nicer.  A free, tiny adjustment that makes me smile when I walk by it:

I've been trying to find a home for my glass vases (previously they were in a kitchen cabinet, but I want to free that space for more pantry stuff).   Finally, I decided to home some of them on the bookcases in our living room (we have three, with glass doors----two in a media center, one as part of a hutch).  At the craft store this afternoon I scored some pumpkins, gourds & pincones, which fill the cases are create a nice autumn touch---the hutch is done, now I'll have to figure out how to arrange the others. 

Doors open:                                                                      Doors closed:

I'm excited to swap these out with other seasonal stuff----my mom always has nice seasonal decorations . . . it just makes every time of year feel special  :)  And since these displays will all be behind glass doors, they will stay simple and out of the way.  No clutter!

In other news, Parker's therapy dog classes start tomorrow night (and I'm nervous!).  He's definitely been practicing here at home . . . his patience and obedience are tested daily by little Maya, who now like to give him hugs and kisses:

Maya: I love you, Pa-pa!  Mwahhh!
Parker: Oh brother.                         

Seriously, though, their relationship is so cute.  I need to get some videos and pictures to show off here----he runs to her with his little tail stump wagging and licks her ears and head and she giggle, giggle, giggles.  She yells "Ma ma!" (which is how she says Pa-pa, her best attempt at Parker) and he's learning to come running when he hears it (again, more giggles).  We don't know if we'll ever fully use him in a service dog capacity (who knows what Maya will need in the long run), but he's certainly her therapy dog, 100% of the time.  He's been everything that we were hoping for :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My new 'do

Ever wonder what it would look like if  . . .

. . . you let a toddler cut your hair?

 . . . or fell asleep with several pieces of gum in your mouth that fell out and got into your hair and had to be cut out?

. . . or you put a blindfold on your hair stylist, tied one hand behind their back, and just said "go for it!"?

Maybe something like this:

As new hair grows in (hooray!) I've been left with crazy tufts that stick straight up.  If you've been checking out our albums on Facebook (apple picking, baby rats, etc) you may have noticed that I'm wearing a lot of hats lately----and now you see why! 

Don't get me wrong, I much prefer crazy cowlicks to shiny bald patches, but they are really distracting.  No amount of gel will hold them down, and it's hard to meet people and have normal conversations without acknowledging that I have weird vertical hair chunks all over the top of my head.  It screams "make a joke about Maya playing with scissors while I was passed out on the couch".  So as not to alienate people with jokes about being a neglectful parent and endangering the welfare of my toddler (weird, isn't it, that some people don't get my humor?), hats seem like the safest option.

(More hair is still falling out, but I'm not focusing on that right now.  Instead of shots, I'm now using a cortisone foam that gets applied to my scalp 3 night a week.)

Maya's fall schedule is nearly solidified, and although she's as busy as ever, the spacing of her appointments seems much better this year---I'm excited to have better chunks of free time!  At first glance, though, she's certainly a busy girl:

That's it for now----I just pulled 2 loaves of apple bread out of the oven, and they're calling my name :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Why can't we just pick some apples like normal people?

Seriously.  We are not fruit hoarders . . . how did we end up with this many apples?

I'm going to plead ignorance.  I had no idea how many apples would fit into a bag.  Plus, last year we went to a different orchard---where you paid for a (much smaller) bag, and then got to fill it.  This place (Bishop's Orchards, which was great) weighed the bags, but we still overfilled them.  This is slightly over 2 bags of apples.  Very poor planning.   I'm hoping that applesauce freezes well, because Maya likes it.  Any other apple ideas?  Feel free to add them as a comment!

Anyway, we met my mom, sister, brother-in-law, nephew & niece at the orchard and had such a fun day!  Here are a few pictures:

                                          Emmie: Maya, I will set you free.
                                         Maya: You know how to work the straps?  I've been trying to figure it out
                                                    for months!

Cousin love (and tickles)

Complete pictures from the day are up on the blog's Facebook page (where photo memory is unlimited!).  Remember, you don't need to be a Facebook user to see our fanpage, it's public---just click on the picture at the top of this page, or google " 'Uncommon Sense Blog' Facebook".

Sudden Progress!
Right before we left my sister's house, Maya did 2 amazing things!  First, she signed "milk"---she's never done it before, and it's always amazing to see her sign something new.  I've been signing milk daily for months and months, and never even seen any indication that she cares when I sign it---then suddenly, boom!  She does it!

Annnddddd, then we decided to hand her her bottle (she gets one before naptime and one at bedtime) in the car to see if she could try to drink it on her own---and she did!  She needed a little help as the milk level dropped (we may need to switch back to smaller bottles that would be easier to tilt up), but she was able to hold her own bottle in the car.  I was a little bit giddy :)

Very slow progress:

On the opposite end of the progress spectrum, physical therapy type progress is slow going.  The great news is that Maya stands a lot more---she pulls up quickly and cruises well.  You guys get to see a lot of pictures where she looks like a stable, standing rockstar.  Like this:

However, in reality, she often looks like this:

(I like to think of this move as the "teapot" from the line "tip me over and pour me out" in the teapot song)

That's Miss Maya mid-fall, while cousin Collin thinks "What happened?  You were just standing so normally!".  She stands (and moves) with her knees locked---so the smallest wobble can send her tumbling.  She also tends to fall over when she gets excited (which is pretty darn cute, actually).  She'll be sitting on the floor and I'll say "Do you want to watch Signing Times?"---and she'll get all excited, start to laugh and wave her arms around, and topple right over :)     We're working on it. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New pics from today up on the Facebook page---check them out!

Back here the cleaning continures---tomorrow we're heading to CT for apple picking :)