New Year, New Milestones, New IEP

Milestones is such a loaded word.  Although, everytime I hear it I can’t help but think of the old (talking Roman Empire old), literal milestones that marked off the distance between two (sometimes more) points along the road.  In our case, however, the milestones are figurative but the exhaustion real.

I have been wanting to sit down and write for awhile now, unfortunately falling asleep roughly 30 minutes after the kids are in bed is not conducive to writing.  We spent the first two weeks of this month getting back into school/therapy routine only to have it smashed to bits with IEP meetings and other oddball appointments.  Meltdowns were frequent and sleep was rare.  Generally not a fun time.

I think the IEP meeting was the worst.  Never attend one of those with a migrane, it only makes it worse. Two, yes 2, hours of going over reports and making decisions based on their short term observations of my child.  All to get a plan for how a classroom teacher should handle her, what accommodations she needs, and what classroom setting will be best for A.  I am so thankful that I made a point of learning as much as I could about A’s issues and the acronyms/jargon relating to it because I think they used it all in those two hours.

Speaking of acronyms and jargon, I guess I should explain an IEP.  In our school district (which needs its own IEP for a severe communication deficit), it stands for Individual Education Plan and is used for students that need to have extra services.  In our case that’s speech and physical therapy with an OT option (sounds like a McDonald’s value meal – “I’ll have an SLP and a PT please.” “Would you like OT with that?”).  It can also apply to children in a gifted program as well.  All IEPs are handled by the ESE (Exceptional Student Education) department.   And yes, they all love their acronyms.

The upshot of all of this is that it was decided that A would receive speech and physical therapy during the morning in a pre-k setting with the option for occupational therapy to be add on later if the teacher felt there was a need for it.  The downside of all this is that the half-day class they placed her in is not at the same school my son attends.  The upside is that her school is only about 5 minutes from his, making it a bit more manageable.

This was A’s first week there.  She celebrated her birthday by spending the morning at school and the afternoon at therapy.  Poor baby was completely wiped out by 4pm.  She did have enough energy to blow out her candles and eat a bit of cupcake though.

Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a knot about sending a 3yr old with her issues off to preschool and how it just doesn’t seem right, hear me out.  A is an amazing and frequently difficult little girl.  She is quite smart and creative and intensely curious when her sensory issues don’t get in her way.  While I have done my best to provide a rich home life for her (and her brother) there are some experiences that I just cannot duplicate.  This was not done on a whim.  I spent many sleepless nights wondering if it was the right thing, wondering if it was too soon to place her in a structured classroom setting, and wondering if she would be able to cope with the busyness of a classroom with ten other preschool aged children.  Sure, she can self regulate pretty well at home, but how would it work at school when she couldn’t go hide in her room or under her blanket when things got to be too much?  Would she bite another child?  Would she try to spend the day hidden underneath something?  Would she eat?  Would the teacher and aide be equipped to handle a child with A’s issues?  Al those questions, along with a hundred thousand other questions danced ceaselessly though my head day and night.  Honestly, even though I chose to go ahead and try it, as I left A’s classroom on her first day I still wasn’t sure if I had made the correct decision or not.

Thankfully, so far, school seems to be working out for A.  She likes her teacher and has fun.  She even played in the sand table and swung on the swings voluntarily (I did have to ask her teacher if she was sure that was my child we were talking about).  She looks forward to going and is a bit put out on the days she doesn’t go (program is a mornings only 4 day a week program).  A has had some spectacular meltdowns after school, but I’m hoping those will diminish as we get the hang of this routine addition.

There is one big plus to A being in school 4 mornings a week.  I get “me time” a couple of mornings a week now.  I decided to make the most of it and hit up the beautiful city park that is very close to the school.  Besides having a beautiful walking/running/biking path around the lake, it has a free outdoor gym thoughtfully provided by the city.  It’s amazing what an hour of outdoor exercise, with a few minutes of bald eagle watching thrown in (the park has a nesting pair in residence currently), can do for your stress level.

I never realized just how exhausting taking care of her was until I had that little bit of free time.  It’s not like leaving the kids with grandparents or other family for the day to go do something.  It’s knowing that A is getting the therapy and structure and interaction she needs while I am able to get the downtime I need and it’s regular.  I like knowing that no matter how bad a week might be, I will definitely be able to get at least 2 days where I have a little bit of the morning to recharge my batteries. 

Things are never black and white when it comes to these kinds of decisions.  It’s hard with neuro-typical kids but harder when there are extra issues to consider.  I’m still learning that sometimes you have to just hold your breath, cross your fingers, arms, legs, and hairs and jump.  Sometimes things will turn out fine, other times, well let’s just say other times you’re wishing for a stunt double.  Until then, I’ll be the glassy-eyed parent wearing a helmet!

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Grilled Cheese and Yogurt Covered Pretzels

Sounds like that start of  bad joke or a big mess, doesn’t it?  Actually, those three things are my big surprises of the week that led me to an interesting hypothesis.  Don’t worry, I’ll explain my hypothesis in a minute.

Yes, hypothesis.  I’m a science nerd people, just go with it.

First, a quick review.  We have established that A is beyond picky when it comes to food due to her sensory problems (as G puts it), so finding new foods leads to much rejoicing in our house.  This week, during a grocery run, we happened upon someone handing out samples of yogurt covered pretzels.

Yes, it sounds a bit disgusting, but anyone who has had one knows that they are strangely addictive and actually pretty good.  They do have a weird texture though even if you are neurotypical and I didn’t think A would go for them.

SURPRISE!  She not only ate it, she gobbled it up and looked for more.  Needless to say, a box quickly found it’s way into our cart.  It may not be something I would normally buy, but at 29 calories a piece they make a great side if she struggling with eating.  Now, if I can just keep my husband out of them…

Today’s weather; cold, wet, and generally gray, always puts me in a soup sort of mood.  So, tonight became a grilled cheese and tomato soup night.  A has occasionally eaten half of a grilled cheese, but in the past few months she has repeatedly refused to eat it.

Just for the record, my grilled cheese is very basic, butter the bread, slap on a slice of cheese, and cook it in a pan.  Nothing fancy at all, but apparently A found something offensive about it.  But all that changed tonight, when she ate not only her half of a sandwich, but almost half of mine as well.

In between bites of her own sandwich, SURPRISE!  A looked around the table then into the kitchen and uttered,

“Oop!  I want own oop!”

Pause.  Blink, blink.  “Come again?”

“Want own oop pease Mommee!”

Wow.  Not only did she want her own soup, but she actually uttered a spontaneous sentence, with manners, fairly clearly.  I was shocked.  I didn’t know what to say, what to do.  I stood there, poised to set G’s bowl of soup down staring at my little daughter who never, ever wants soup wondering if she is serious.  Then it hit me, she’s actually eating and asking for food.  Needless to say, I got her a small bowl of soup.

Did she eat it?  Well, no.  Not exactly.  She did take two bites though!  I don’t think she cared for the taste too much judging by the face she made both times.  The first bite was still pretty warm and she really didn’t like it.  The second bite I cooled to room temperature and she was much more receptive to it, but once the taste hit she made the funniest face and grabbed her cup as fast as she could.

The upshot of all this it that I can clearly put grilled cheese back in the rotation but soup, especially tomato, is a no go.  All which leads me to my hypothesis.

See, I told you we get here eventually.

Because of being diagnosed as failure to thrive (FTT), I have been keeping a record of A’s diet for our visits with her nutritionist, so I have a good record of what she has been eating since about September.  Looking back through her notebook, I noticed that she really has a very bland diet for the most part.  There is basically nothing in there that has a strong flavor except for the gingerbread biscotti (if it sounds good, the link for the recipe is in my last post, Christmas in Finicky Feeding Land).

A’s reaction to the soup got me thinking about her diet and the foods we’ve tried.  She definitely has an aversion to anything that is more than a few degrees above room temperature be it food or beverage.  Actually, unless it is supposed to be cold (i.e. – yogurt, ice cream, milk, etc), she seems to prefer her food at room temperature.

Following that train led me to the thought that she also seems to have an aversion to just about anything that is seasoned or has a stronger flavor naturally, be it food or drink.  Thinking back, I realized that when she has tried things that have this “strong flavor” characteristic, she made a face much like the one we saw tonight with the soup.  And believe me, we have tried many things.  Anytime A has indicated she wants to try something, be it my tea (unless it’s caffeinated, I’m not that crazy) or something we’re eating, I let her.  But it all seems to have led to the same result, rejection.

Based on this, I believe that A falls into the “bland” category within the sensory realm.  Or, to translate, sensory seekers tend to prefer/crave foods with strong flavors, while sensory avoiders prefer the blander foods.  Apparently A is solidly in the “avoider” category.

Well, that’s my hypothesis anyhow.  Despite her occasional forays into the “seeker” realm, I believe that A is a solid “avoider”.   It will take some more observation and discussion with her therapists, but I’m very certain that this hypothesis will move on to the proven theory realm very soon.

But in the meantime, I have A’s blanket to finish up (more on that later) and a book to read so I’m off to check out from reality for a little bit of well-earned me time!

 

Christmas In Finicky Feeding Land!

Yes, I know.  Technically, Christmas day was 5 days ago, but I’m one of those who likes to celebrate the full 12 days of Christmas.  And my kids don’t mind too much either.   I think it’s because of the music and the food.  After all, this is a season of amazingly good (and rich) food, and there is nothing easier to get a kid to eat than a cookie they helped to make.  Especially when you’re dancing to music while you bake.

Yes, it’s true, I let A help me with our Christmas cookies this year.  Crazy? Probably.  Worth it? Definitely.

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She touched it!

Let’s face it, you don’t get much more sensory intensive than mixing, rolling, and sprinkling cookie dough.  Okay, so she didn’t exactly help with the rolling part, but she did touch the dough and was quite proud of herself for doing so.

She helped squash them with the glass (great for the “heavy work” end of therapy).  Yes, I kept a hand on the cup.  Real glass and tile floors don’t play well together.

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Then it was time for sprinkles.  Who doesn’t love sprinkles?  Great for fine motor skills (hello pincer grasp!) and motor control (on the cookies not the baking sheet if you please!).

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Who knew baking could be so therapeutic?

Of course, she had to find something to amuse herself  for the 12 minutes it took for the cookies to bake and the 15 minutes it took for them to cool.  Thank the Lord for puzzles!

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And, yes, she does those on her own.  I wish I was making that up but my almost 3 year old is rather bright (not parental bias people, I have the assessments to prove it!).

After all that hard work, it’s time for taste testing!  With a nice cup of cold milk of course!

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“Yummy, yummy in tummy!”

Actually, she didn’t eat that cookie.  A decided she wanted gingerbread biscotti instead so she fed her cookie to me.   No complaints here!

What’s that?  She ate biscotti?  My super picky, super sensitive child ate hard, crunchy biscotti?

Yes, yes she did.  Only it wasn’t that hard and crunchy.  And there was white chocolate involved.

It’s a recipe that I found in a Family Fun magazine for kid-friendly, easy to make holiday treats.  And yes, it is actually very easy.  Here’s the link for the recipe: http://www.parents.com/recipe/gingerbread-biscotti/

While traditional Christmas dinner is definitely not A’s cup of tea, I have found ways around that thanks to the variety of seasonal foods that I love to make.  Granted, her Christmas dinner consisted of a GoGo Squeeze (I don’t think I would survive without those), 2 herb rolls (homemade, time consuming, but very yummy), PediaSure, and egg nog.

Yes, egg nog.  We have discovered that A absolutely loves egg nog.  How much?  Well, she guzzles it; and I mean that in the truest sense of the word.  She can down 4oz of the stuff faster than anything (sorry, the analogy portion of my brain has officially shut down for the night).

Her favorite thing though, is “Crumbly Cake.”  It’s actually called Railway Crumb Cake, but crumbly cake was easier for G to say when he was little, so the name stuck.  It is one of the easiest things to make (I’ve been making it since I was about 9 years old) and it is so delicious.  Another bonus is that it makes the house smell wonderful.  Both my kids love helping, both with the making and with the eating.  This has become my family’s traditional Christmas morning breakfast (we use it on Thanksgiving also) just because it is so easy.  It takes about 30-35minutes to bake so you do have to plan ahead it you want it freshly made in the morning, but it is worth it.  I haven’t seen this recipe anywhere since I read it in a Pockets magazine when I was 9 (yes, it was a while ago); so here it is if anyone fancies giving it a go.

2 cups flour (all-purpose)

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

Combine the flour, sugar, and butter in a large bowl until mixture resembles crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup of this mixture for topping.  To the remainder of the crumbs, add the baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.  Mix well.  Make a well in the center and add the egg and buttermilk.  Stir gently until just combined.  Pour in to a greased 9.5in pie plate and top the 1 cup of crumbs that was set aside at the start.  Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool, then slice and serve.  Serves 8.

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This was ours about 15 minutes after it came out of the oven Christmas morning.  The kids wanted this before they opened their presents.  I’d say it’s because they like it so much (which they do), but I think the real reason is they wanted to be able to play uninterrupted after opening presents.

Suffice it to say, it’s always a big hit and A has actually been eating because of it.  I would make it year round, but for me it really is a Thanksgiving/Christmas time only food.  Guess I’ll just have to hunt down some regular crumb or coffee cake type recipes for the rest of the year!

In the meantime, happy eating and even happier Christmas!

 

 

 

“I’m on Strike!”

Or, “don’t give it to me unless I can eat it through a straw!”

Yes, it’s one of those weeks.  A just doesn’t want to eat unless she can slurp it through a straw.  What’s that?  Yep, it’s the sound of my blender crying.  I don’t think mine will make it to the spring; good thing they go on sale this time of year!

Our family had a very quiet Thanksgiving.  Like most people I talked to, half my household was sick (G and myself being the sick half) and A was just completely out of sorts.  Her brother was not at school when he should be, her therapy schedule was, by her standards, completely upside down and inside out, and nobody was where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be!  According to her anyhow.

Think my kid likes her routine?

Yes, that was rhetorical.  Moving on.

We have since recovered from the traumatic schedule change and moved on to a semi-traumatic venue change for her weekly therapy.

As of Thanksgiving, the office I had been taking A to for her speech and physical therapy closed.  Thankfully, it was a satellite office so we didn’t have to find all new therapists and the main campus for the hospital is still fairly close to us.  Let’s face it having to drive 10-12 minutes instead of 8-10 minutes is not that big of a deal, especially when it means access to a brand new facility.  Yes, I like that part a lot.

Unfortunately, A didn’t see things that way and was rather bent out of shape at seeing familiar faces where they didn’t belong.   Lucky for me though, it only took her about a week to adjust to having her speech and PT at the main campus instead of just feeding therapy.  OT is supposed to be in there too, but we’re on a waiting list that includes at least half the state I think.  Okay, so maybe not that many people, but it does feel like that some days.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, right, food strike.

Sorry.  This is what exhaustion does to you.  No, really.  It’s actually a miracle I’m still awake right now.  Normally once the kids are in bed I’m falling asleep by 7:45 or 8.  Making it to 8:15 and not dozing is 100% miracle.  Of course, the tornado warning that expired about 10 minutes ago might have something to do with it too.

Back to our story!

So, because of all the upheaval in her little life (and the phase of the moon, height of the tide, and direction of the wind at 3:28am on Saturday), A is not eating again.

Actually, it has more to do with the fact that she is super sensitive right now.  More so than usual.  Her normally hyperactive gag reflex is in over drive right now and even her favorite solids (Grahamfuls, hamburger bun with peanut butter or plain, yogurt) are making her choke right now.

I never thought I’d say this, but thank God for Pediasure.

Since Saturday I have been walking a fine line between making all her meals liquid (giving up for now) and continuing to try the solids.  So far, my logical side has prevailed (scary) and I am still offering her solids at each meal.  Mostly she refuses, but sometimes she gets a bite or two down.  If she starts gagging after that I don’t push it, but I at least want her to keep trying. 

It is not easy.  In fact, you see that point farthest from easy?  That’s where we are at the moment.

We have had some triumphs.  A was really cooperative in feeding therapy today and even managed to eat 1/6 of  of her hamburger bun at dinner along with 1/4 of a Grahamful before she started gagging when the food hit her tongue.

And for those who may ask, “Isn’t that just a behavior thing?”  No, in this case it’s not.  A genuinely hits a point when she cannot tolerate solid food on her tongue.  She tries to take bites, or even nibbles, but she just physically cannot do it and I won’t push her.

Hopefully, she’ll come out of this soon.  If not, it will just force me to get creative and there is nothing wrong with that.   In the mean time, we’ll just do lots of creative art/therapy type projects that result in inexpensive and nifty little Christmas gifts for people.  For how that works out, you’ll just have to stay tuned!

Being Thankful Everyday

Yes, I know, not a very original title.  I’m sure we’ve all heard it a “bazillion times” (to quote my son) and are tired of it.  But coming up on Thanksgiving tomorrow, I realized that I no longer reserve my “what I’m thankful for this year” reflection to one day.  Every day I find at least one thing I’m thankful for, no matter how small.  Sitting here this evening, putzing around on Facebook, I realized just how big those daily small things really are.

This year, I am beyond thankful for A’s progress so far.  We have struggled to get her weight up and managed to succeed. Yay! No G-tube needed!  We have fought to get her muscle mass built up, and are making amazing progress. Plus, all those trips to the playground and chasing after her on her tricycle are great for Mama too!  I never knew you could run a mile without leaving your own block!  Amazing.

A is talking in small sentences (2 to 3 words) more often than not, she is engaged in the world around her (most days), and is just an absolutely amazing little girl.  Yes, that is my parental bias speaking, but I’m sticking by it!

G is an amazing big brother and little boy.  I won’t be able to call him that much longer as he turns 7 next month and is quite insistent that he is a “big kid, not a little boy!”  Despite all, he is caring, patient, and kind to his sister.  He helps her when she struggles and is endlessly patient (for an almost 7 year old) when she falls apart and lashes out at him.  Now, I’m not saying they don’t fight.  Believe me they argue and antagonize each other on a daily basis, but there is not a deliberate maliciousness to it.  It’s more of a I-want-to-see-how-far-I-can-push-this sort of thing and they resolve it fairly quickly and usually without needing me to step in (thank goodness!).

Tomorrow, while we’re all enjoying our Thanksgiving PB&J, yogurt, graham crackers, and Pediasure….wait, sorry, that’s A’s menu.  While we’re all enjoying our Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, assorted veggies, rolls, and pies, let’s take a minute to remember those out there that may have a harder time finding a small moment each day to be thankful for with their children with special needs.  Maybe the one’s whose progress can’t be measured yet, or who have just received a diagnosis and have no idea what their future holds or it they will be able to make it through each day.  Let’s remember that while some of us may be lucky enough to have coverage for therapies, be it Medicaid, Medicare, or private insurance, not everyone has that luxury.  Some families are left with no resources and no idea where to turn or what to do.  Let’s take a moment to remember those families too.  After all, we can’t always see the heartache and struggles people go through until we take a moment to look a little closer and open our hearts a little wider.

I hope this Thanksgiving Thursday, whether you live in the US and celebrate it or not, you find at least one reason to be thankful for what you do have and not what you wish you had.

Celtic Thunder, Separation Anxiety, and Pasta

Yes, believe it or not, they are all connected.  In a weird, roundabout, only-in-my-universe-could-this-happen kind of way.

Last Saturday (November 3) I had the pleasure of seeing Celtic Thunder in concert.  Now, this is the sort of show you could bring children to, but not if that child happens to be A.  The first time I saw this group perform, G came with us.  He was almost 5 and these guys were and still are his idols.

Excuse me for a moment while I wipe away a tear of pride…

Okay, moving on.  Bringing him was a no brainer.  G has always been a bright, well-behaved, sweet kid who has endless patience (thank God for that), so we knew he would be able to make it through the show.  Actually, he had so much fun dancing to the music that the people around us paid more attention to him at times than the guys on the stage (and if you know about Celtic Thunder, that’s saying something!).

But I digress.  This go around, it was decided that this would be a grown-ups only outing.  Myself (obviously), my husband, and two of our best friends who are basically family.  We went to the matinee so that I wouldn’t have to rush A’s bedtime routine, which is always a catastrophic failure.  My parents (who I cannot thank enough) agreed to watch the kiddos for the day so we could have lunch then go to the show.  Sounds like a win-win right?

Well…it would have been except for one minor detail.   A was having a horrible day and I had to implement what I call the “5 foot radius rule.”  Basically, it means don’t get too close to A or she might hit, bite, punch, or otherwise attempt to injure you.  I know, it sounds horrible, but on the days when she can’t cope she lashes out.  Let’s face it, she is a communication-challenged 2 year old, what other reaction could you expect?

Still, we got through the morning, she seemed to settle so off to Omi and Poppy’s house we went.  She settled just fine, so off we went to enjoy our show.  And yes, we enjoyed it immensely and even had the pleasure of meeting several of the guys along with the creator/producer of Celtic Thunder afterward.  All in all, a wonderful “Mommy’s Day Off.”

Over the next couple of days, I noticed A was quite reluctant to let me out of her sight and even more reluctant to eat.  Wait, I may have understated that a wee bit.  It was more of a cry-hysterically-because-Mommy-left-the-room and refuse-to-eat-solids-especially-around-anyone-but-Mommy sort of thing.

On top of this, we throw feeding therapy into the mix.  Now, this is not a new thing for A.  She has been in feeding therapy for about 2 months  now and this is our second go with it (her first was at 13 months).  No surprises here.  We are starting to work with A on tolerating foods she has textural aversions to (sounds like fun doesn’t it?) and I thought pasta would be a good start.  Let’s face it, it’s cheap, higher calorie, and it’s really easy to hide veggies in the sauce.  What could be better?

Apparently, anything but pasta.  Let’s just say it’s not going so well.  I thought we were making some progress since she seemed to be tolerating utensil contact with it during therapy.  Too bad, no matter what I tried, it didn’t carry over to home meal times.  Since Wednesday, I have spent more time cleaning pasta off the table, chair, floor, sliding doors, cabinet, and anything else that was within about 3 feet of A’s chair.  And it’s not like she had a plateful to toss around!  We’re talking about 4 to 6 pieces of macaroni!  That’s talent.  On the upside, my dining room floor (thank goodness it’s a small area) was really clean by Saturday night!

How am I handling all this?  Well, after I stopped banging my head against the wall, I realized that A will adjust back and she just needs time and space.  LOTS of space.  She also needed some “Mommy time.”  So I took her to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium (I love having freebies to amazing places!) since marine life relaxes her.  Plus, she loves the movie Dolphin Tale so any chance to see Winter is “awhum” (“awesome” to the rest of us) in her book.

The upshot of all this is that I have learned some important lessons.  The main one being do not, under any circumstances, introduce (or attempt to introduce) any form of pasta to A when she is struggling with bad days.  The secondary lesson is that “Mommy’s Day Off” will trigger separation anxiety in A that will leave me absolutely exhausted afterwards but it’s absolutely worth it!  After all, no matter how hard it is to remember this sometimes, I have to remember to take care of myself too.

 

 

“Daddy Burnd it! He Did!” or, Hilarious Things Said Today…

Ever have one of those days where your kids open their mouth and all you can do is laugh or say, “wait…WHAT??”

Well, that pretty well describes my life today.  A has undergone another language explosion and has been coming out with 2 and 3 word sentences spontaneously, which is fabulous…for the most part.  Today, though, it has been rather interesting.

My morning started with my daughter standing on her bed, butt-naked yelling, “I NAKEY BABY!”

Yep, she has grasped the concept of “naked” pretty well I’d say.  I have to admit though, when the day starts like that, it’s kind of hard to be in a bad mood. Yes, I’m still laughing over it.  What can I say, I’m easily amused!

The rest of the day was quieter (except for therapy, but that’s a whole other can of worms) until bedtime when A was looking at the burner covers on our stove as I warmed up her pillow.  Okay, that might require a bit of explaining.

A has sleeping problems.  No, let me rephrase that. She has sleeping issues.  What’s the difference you ask?  Easy.  Problems can be solved, issues make headlines.  Or, in this case, wake up the whole house on a regular basis.  I decided to try aromatherapy to see if it would help.  Okay, stop rolling your eyes and hear me out.  This stroke of genius came when A was sick a while back.  To help ease her congestion, I cut the sleeve off one of my old long sleeved shirts and filled it with rice mixed with herbal tea (from a tea bag).  When it was warmed up, it smelled really relaxing and she snuggled on it and slept with no problems.  It’s now part of our nightly ritual to warm up her “snuggie pillow” in the microwave before she goes to bed.  And, yes, it does help her settle and sleep.  Now, when she wakes up, she’ll snuggle that and usually go back to sleep on her own.

Where was I?  Oh, right, the burner covers.  As I’m holding A, she looks down at the burner covers and exclaims, “Oh dear!  Daddy burnd it!  Wook Mommy!  Daddy burnd it!”

After I managed to control my giggles, I responded that I knew the cover was burned and that yes, Daddy had burned it accidentally.  A took this very seriously and continued to exclaim, “Daddy burnd it!  He di Mommy!  He ditit!”

Yes, she was quite concerned that I had to know that Daddy burned the cover.  She continued to exclaim over it all the way to bed (which thankfully is a short distance), pausing only long enough to say good night to her big brother.

With A in bed I was sadly under the delusion that my, “Wait, what?” moments were done for the day.

Her big brother seemed to feel that it was his duty to make my evening a bit more interesting.  G is almost seven, incredibly curious, and very bright.  No, that’s not my parental bias talking.  I’m merely repeating what his teachers have told me.  Oh, and he’s all boy.  I mean that in the best possible way.  Most of the time.

Moving on, while I checked on his progress in the shower, he for some reason decided it was time to ask Mommy some “facts of life” questions.  Don’t get me wrong, I expect these questions and have no problem with them, except when I’m when I’m blind-sided.  Like tonight.  He wanted more details than I was expecting.  Apparently the children’s “Where Babies Come From” book he found at the library was to general for him.

Yikes.

On the upside, since he’s almost 7, he informed me that he’s never going to get near a girl anyhow and he’ll live all by himself, thank you very much.  Girls are gross.  Except for mommy and A, and YaYa (his aunt)…and Auntie L…and Aunt K…and Aunt M and K…but Omi doesn’t count because she’s Omi.  Same for his Grandma.   Yeah, that’s everyone, he thinks.

I love my son.  Sometimes it’s just nice to have a “normal” moment at the end of the day.

Now to put my feet up, level some class books for my momma, and watch Big Bang Theory.   Yeah, life is good.

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