Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh, The Crazy Things I Do!

A couple Saturdays ago, I took Steve's girlfriend out for a mall trip, just the 2 of us. It was a belated birthday shopping trip for Brittany. We lunched at Ruby Tuesday's, then proceeded to spend countless hours checking out various stores at the mall. We walked, we shopped, we talked, and we laughed... a lot!

After about 9 hours... I kid you not.. 9 hours!, we thought about grabbing another bite before heading home with our bags. While standing in line at the food court, we realized we wanted Avocado Rolls from our favorite Chinese Restaurant on our way home. So we headed up the escalator, and ready to find the car. Passing by one of the stores near the escalator, I stopped by the window and decided to go in. I can't exactly tell you how long Kirkland's has been at the mall, just that I have always walked by, gazing quickly at the window display and told myself that someday I'd go inside to check them out. I have said that for several years. There was this cute vase set in the window, with animal prints on them, that pulled me inside at long last. Of course, Brinny & I were easily distracted by all the other cool things to be found inside, all at really reasonable prices.

We worked our way from one side of the store to the other, until at last, I saw the trio of vases that pulled me in. Then I spotted a giraffe statue. Brinny loves giraffes. I offered to get it for her as the last of her birthday presents. She looked up and saw another giraffe, but this one was also a lamp, so she chose that instead. Making our way to the cashier, I spotted a hall tree/bench. I've been on the lookout for one for quite some time, and never seemed to find "The One"... you know, the one that looks really nice, sturdy and especially that comes at the right price. After looking at the tag, I really knew this was the one! I shook it, to make sure it would be sturdy enough. I debated with myself over whether or not to get it. That was a very quick debate.. this was, after all, the perfect hall tree for our home.

We went to the register, and I asked the cashier about the hall tree. They had one, just one, left in stock. SOLD! The other cashier brought it out. Hmmm... didn't look that unwieldly, so I handed my bags to Brinny and got a grip of the box and we started for the parking lot. The box weighed probably 40 pounds or so; it was just a big rectangle. Brinny & I laughed, and she stayed to the far right of me to keep the way clear so I wouldn't knock people over with this big find of mine.

As we made our way about a third of the mall, I stopped to shift the box. The cashier had ripped a part of the box when she was getting it out of the storeroom. As I set the box down, I peeked through the rip.
"Hmmmm, that's odd," I said.
"What?" Brittany asked.
"Look" I replied, "that doesn't look like the same fabric on the bench of the hall tree, does it?"
"Oh, it isn't," added Brittany. "Maybe it came in different patterns, or..."
"or it's not the hall tree I just bought!" I laughed. Brittany's eyes got big~ "you don't think... you don't suppose they gave you the wrong thing, do you? What's on the box? Oh, it says 'bench'... there's nothing on here about a hall tree"

We burst into laughter as we realized we were going to walk back to the store. I lifted the package up, and off we went, trying hard not to bowl people over as we walked fast back to the store. As we got to the entrance, we noticed the fabric on this nice bench out front. We laughed harder~ "oh, so that's what's in the box!"
I explained to the nice cashiers about the error. We were charged the correct price by the cashier, but the woman who grabbed the box didn't grab the correct one. Ah, and the hall tree came in a much bigger box! They said they could bring it out for us~ just pull around to the one entrance and call them and they'd have it for me. Yeah, after sizing up this box compared to the one I'd just been hauling around, that was the right thing to do. Really, the only smart thing to do.

Brinny & I laughed all the way back to the car, pulled it around to the entrance where I'd been directed, and I called the store. Meanwhile I folded all the seats down in my car to make room. A quick stop on the way home for our avocado rolls, and less than an hour later we pulled into our driveway.

No way I could have carried THIS through the mall!

William likes it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Motivation, Thy Name is Star Wars

I will admit, I have never been above using bribes rewards to get my kids to do things. I mean, don't you pay your kids an allowance to do their chores?

William needs motivators to accomplish things. He loves to read, but only if it is something he is interested in, or if there's a little reward at the end of it. At school, when he completes an assignment or task, he gets computer time, or gets to play a game he likes. At home, he does his homework, then gets to watch a favorite program or plays on the computer.

Potty training has proven to be a challenge. He's always been great about staying dry at night, even waking up just to go potty. Daytime is where he has lapsed. Every school break I would attempt training. Schedules didn't work; momma gets distracted by day-to-day things like, oh, cooking, laundry, etc., and William would get off track and it'd be 2 steps forward, 1 back, then 1 step forward, 2 back.

Three weeks ago, the substitute for his regular 1:1 aide sent home a note and asked if she could work with a training schedule for William at school, and if I would be willing to continue it at home. We worked out the details, and at the end of the week, William only had 1 or 2 wet accidents at school and the same at home. He still didn't like pooping on the toilet though, but generally reserved those incidents for home. Last week he had 2 wet episodes between school and home. I just needed to figure out how to motivate William to have his bm's in the toilet. Ah, bribery rewards!

I still had toys set aside from his birthday presents. I sometimes tend to over-buy gifts for the kids, so I set them aside for future presents. I had an assortment of Leap Pad books that I hadn't given him yet. So I went with the ol' "Hey, if you poop IN the toilet, you'll get a present!" Well, recently the Hasbro catalog came in the mail, and William became enthralled with the pages of Star Wars toys. (This, of course, pleased Momma since I am just this side of obsessed with Star Wars!) When I mentioned *present*, William excitedly said, "Present? Star Wars present?" Me: "No, not Star Wars this time, but a different present" Imagine how excited he was the other day when he pooped in the toilet, only to be given a Leap Pad book. Yeah, that didn't really motivate him for the next time.

Yesterday he successfully went again, and again excitely asked if he would be getting a Star Wars present. Well, no, but later, maybe next time, I promised. I called Robert who was halfway home from work to see if he could stop and buy some Star Wars toys for the bribe reward box. In the meantime, I gave him another Leap Pad book, but this time, he was rather happy because it was about dinosaurs, and came with interactive cards.

Robert arrived home with the goodies, but had to leave shortly after. Sarah had been having severe pain in her right side for a couple hours, and the Doctor's nurse said to bring her to the ER so they could check for appendicitis. So off Daddy went with our little girl. Luckily, it was not appendicitis~ she may have hurt it playing at school yesterday. Sarah is a bit of a tomboy and plays football and kickball and things like that with the boys, who treat her as one of the boys. She remembers lunging out and falling at one point.

As they were getting ready to discharge her, it was time for me to get William ready for bed. As is our routine, he goes potty before getting his pj's on. Guess what he did? Yep, "Mommy, I p.u'ed in the toilet! Present? Star Wars?" You bet! He went to bed with his little reward and we opened it this morning.

The funniest part of this story is that normally it's a struggle to get him to sit on the toilet for a bm. Peeing, no big deal. Pooping, hah! It had always been a struggle. Until now. This morning, before it was time to head out the door to go to the bus, he did not want to get off the toilet until he pooped. He tried, unsuccessfully, to go, but he sat there, without a fuss, wanting to go, until he realized, it just wasn't happening. But he tried, willingly.

Thank you Obi-Wan. You were my last hope, and you did not fail.

And Sarah is doing well today, so I am breathing easy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The End of Summer

The kids went back to school at the end of August. William was looking forward to seeing his teacher and aide again. His class was looping, so he would have the same teacher for 2nd that he had for 1st Grade. His aide has also remained his aide this year! Being the mom that I am, I had to get those all-important 'First Day Back to School Pictures'.

And while the kids were in school, I accompanied Robert to his company golf tournament. I do not play golf, nor have a desire to learn, but I love hanging out with Robert and the people he works with. So the only shots I took were with my camera.
Heading to our starting positions~

Love this wooden bridge


Robert & Carol watch Gordon take his shot

That weekend, we decided to visit Robert's parents. We stopped along the way to have a night with friends.
The kids had fun playing with the valet cart~ Emily, Sarah & William, Cameron

Sarah Robert & Emily

Me with my beautiful friend Julie

William & Emily say 'bye'

And on to Grandma's house. William and Sarah decided that Grandma's lap is oh-so comfy~

Papaw loves his grandson~


Sarah & William enjoyed Grandma's porch swing!

What a wonderful way to cap off our summer!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vacation: Part Five~ The Last Day

Since we weren't leaving Salt Lake City until late Tuesday night on the red eye, we spent the earlier part of the day visiting Park City. We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at Bandits' Grill and Bar~ Rachel recommended the Tri-Tip Steak Sandwich. That woman sure knows her food... it was so good, I craved it for several weeks later.

Afterwards we walked down the street, checking out the shops. Robert spotted this moose statue and wanted a picture. William didn't know what to think of it.

Meanwhile, Sarah and Leah found this bench

Park City has some really neat shops, and I found souvenirs for my older kids. Lucy was not feeling well, so we cut the outing short and headed back to Rachel's. It's just as well because I still had a lot of packing to do. That evening, there were lots of hugs as we said our goodbyes.

What a wonderful vacation! William fell asleep while the plane was taxi-ing for takeoff. I was all snug with my Dreamsacks blanket & eyeshades, ready to sleep on the first part of the flight. I don't remember much except that Sarah was snugged up against me until it was time to land.

We had a bit of a layover in Atlanta~ time enough to grab a little breakfast before the next flight boarded. It was so good to be back home that afternoon, but we were all still excited from our trip to see our friends.

And that is how we spent our summer vacation!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Vacation: Part Four

Since my very good friend Cathy finally updated her blog with more of her vacation, she asked me to please update mine. I actually have already blogged about Day 4 of our vacation in the post "A Very Special Playdate", but if I were to leave this post at just that, Cathy would never forgive me. I love her too much to do that to her, so....

After that wonderful playdate, Robert, William and I headed back to Rachel's house. Sarah had stayed there while we had gone on our playdate, and Rachel had taken the girls to the mall. Rachel and Aaron had tickets to see Wilco that evening, and managed to get a hold of one more ticket for Robert. They were trying to get one for me, but that didn't work out. That was fine by me; it meant I could hang out with the kids! Rachel ordered pizza for us, and then she & Robert left to go to the concert. Aaron had left earlier with his buddy to set up a good spot on the lawn.

While they were at the concert, enjoying the great music of Wilco, I was having a blast with the kids. Leah and Sarah were playing games on the Wii while William, Lucy & I were singing songs from High School Musical.... loudly. Lucy and William played Webkinz on the laptops, and all I could think when I sat there watching them was "for anyone who thought that kids with special needs couldn't do the things 'typical' kids do, boy are they wrong!"

How cool is this?

After the pizzas arrived and we all had our fill, Leah and Sarah decided to be a little creative. They took the caps off their drinks, got a couple straws and made up a game of 'table top bottle cap hockey'.

Robert texted me from the concert~ they were having a great time! Leah and Sarah returned to their game on the Wii and William followed them. Lucy and I played Webkinz together, followed by more singing (loudly, of course), this time songs from Wicked. At one point, Leah & Sarah came running up to me, out of breath, and Sarah asked when we had to leave in the morning. I told her we weren't leaving until the next evening. Have you ever heard how loud two 10-yr old girls can squeal with delight? They grabbed each other by the shoulders and jumped up and down. Yeah, I was the hero that night.

The gang returned from the concert, having had a blast. They think they had the better part of the deal. I know otherwise~ my night was way better than theirs.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Today is a Special Day...

Someone very special is having a birthday today. Hop on over to her blog here, or her MySpace page here, and wish her a Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday My Friend!!!