Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank You

I think five is a good age to start having the kiddo write his own thank you letters (vs two word notes). It's a great way to work on his letters, and it is as good a time as any to teach him that thank you's aren't something we just say in person, we also send notes when needed.

Two pieces of paper long, it took him 30+ minutes to do, and he is extremely proud of himself for writing it. I am going to let him put the stamp on the envelope, and put it in the mailbox. Thank you G.G. for giving us another first in his life - his first actual thank you letter.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Cupcake is learning quickly. She turned 10 weeks old this past Tuesday (28th), and she is about 95% potty trained. I say that because she has not had a single accident since last Friday, and she's consistent in asking to go out when she needs to poop... still she IS only 10 weeks so I expect a few more weeks of extra positive reinforcement are in order before I can count her 100% trained.

Usually she gets her food and water picked up at 7pm, and she gets a last potty break/walk at 8:30. She goes to bed as soon as she's in from that trip. Then she sleeps through the night in her crate with no accidents, waking around 7:30am for her morning walk/potty trip.

The most exciting thing is that she's finally gone from the baby mental state to that of a toddler. What I mean by that is that she's now teachable! She has begun learning come, and sit, and is doing great with them. She is also learning "out" (as in get out of my kitchen) and of course the big one "no bite".

The big problem with our little girl is that she is a dominant dog. More then that she is hyper alert and gets distracted very easily. The commands we are working on she does very well with indoors but does awful outdoors where any little sound can cause her to flip around to figure out what it is. I think patience and consistancy will be key with it all, she IS still very young and with a little luck we can train her to focus. I'm hopeful that doing so will not be too difficult, but unfortunatly it's a personality trait vs a learned behavior so it will take a lot of work.

The other day the Kiddo received a card in the mail from his Great Grandma C. It was a pleasant surprise. In it she wrote how proud she was of him for how he's grown and how brave he is for taking his shots every day to help with it. His grin was ear to ear as I read that to him. She also sent a check and said that he could spend it on himself or his puppy. He said to me "mommy, can we buy Cupcake a shirt?"

Not a bad idea kiddo!! She IS permitted by law to go places most dogs aren't (service dog privilages) and the more places we take her the calmer she'll be with new situations. Last week we took her with us to our nephews football game. Normally posted as a "no dogs" area, Cupcake is aloud to be there. She did amazing. She curled up between our chairs and calmly laid there playing with her chew toy regardless of the cheering and noise. Still, to avoid getting harassed about it (and to save us having to explain) it would be a good idea to get a "working dog in training please ask to pet) vest for her (a "shirt"). I did some research, found a relatively inexpensive place to buy one and let the Kiddo pick the color. He is very excited that we are getting her exactly what he wanted, and I am happy that it will have the information written on it that we need displayed. Not to mention an attached medic alert tag with his information.

Two birds, one stone... and one very cute dog who is learning fast.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Medical Plans

We ended up having our medical plan meeting with the Kiddos school this morning and I think it went very well. We had the teacher, principal and nurse all in the same room and they seemed to really listen to everything we had to say, they also asked a lot of questions. We took in a folder with a sheet listing all of his medical conditions (with a brief explanation), plus a short form explaining secondary AI and the signs and symptoms of low cortisol. I asked his teacher to keep a notebook so that if she noticed any change in behavior she can note the time and day... that way we can have figure out if there are any patterns and alter his medication to compensate if needed.

His teacher, the new one, hadn't had anybody mention his conditions yet (aside from a quick, that child is the Kiddo, keep an eye on him we're having a meeting to explain things soon) but she'd listened to what she HAD been told and had been watching him. She said the information we gave her today explained a LOT and she was really glad to have it and understand him more. Knowing what his "limitations" are (vision) and understanding "why" he gets the way he does (with his focus etc) makes it a lot easier for her to teach him.

All in all I honestly think it's almost a good thing that I hadn't been extra dosing him as much as I should have been... she was able to experience him at his "worst" and that helps her understand every thing far better then just having us explain it could have.
(big truck? small kid?)

Friday, September 24, 2010

doctors and dogs

The Kiddo took Cupcake to her first vet visit yesterday. As usual she was an instant hit with everybody. I gather a Beagle/Shih-tzu mix is not a common thing, and she has a very unique look because of it. The doctor said she is extremely healthy, he did an entire check eye, nose, mouth, teeth, heart, ribs, knees, etc etc etc and it was almost like he was surprised at how well everything checked out. Maybe he was just trying to impress us with how happy he was with her but he really did go on and on about her good health and behavior.

(9 weeks old, 5lbs 7oz)

At any rate I do like the place, it was clean and the staff was nice. The people coming in and out with their dogs seemed happy, and the animals didn't appear to be too freaked out by being there. It doesn't hurt that they are 5 minutes from our apartment either.

I should add that as proud as the Kiddo is of his recent growth and the things he can do with it (he tells complete strangers about how he can now reach the potty to pee without using his stepstool)... he is equally proud of the pound that Cupcake has gained in the last three weeks, and brags about her to anybody who will listen. I think he has definitely made the connection with her that we were hoping he'd make. Score one for the parents!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

learning

A few videos to show how school is going this week

video
(the days of the week song)

video
(crank of the volume, he sings this one extremely quietly)


video
(Kiddo's teacher sent this home yesterday)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

trying...

It's been a difficult month, and I think all the stress is effecting the Kiddo a little. The Man was gone for several weeks, we got the new puppy, and he started school.
Every day we sit down before school and practice writing his name. I've noticed his focus is very poor and seems to be worse then it was a few months ago. As it is he gets a couple letters and starts messing around.

I had a thought though, this afternoon. I wonder if it's time for his hydrocortizone dose to be increased. One of the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, when it is not medicated properly, is difficulty concentrating. Of course, as far as I understand it, all kids his age have problems focusing to some degree or other. But his seems to be extreme. He was prescribed his current dose last August and since then (well since May when we started his growth hormone shots) he's grown quite a bit. The dose level is determined by height and weight... to me it seems like it could be possible that his dose is to low and contributing to his problems with school work.

At any rate we have to wait until the middle of next month to be able to ask his doctor about it. But I WILL be asking, he's had far more "oops I forgot my pants" instances then I like to admit. I don't think they are all him just trying to be funny... and I hate the idea of putting him in time out every five minutes for the rest of his life (which is one of my ways of trying to help him refocus)... it really really makes homework time drag on.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

20 minutes a day

It's time for a test on how bored you are. I mentioned in an earlier post that the Kiddo reads every day for 20 minutes. He's getting so that he can finish an entire book within that time. So I video taped it today for you, in three parts... that way if you want to watch just one section you can, but if you want to watch them all, and you have the time to spare, you can watch em all.

[[okay so I can't get part one to load, I'm working on it but I'm going to go ahead and publish this post with the other videos while I continue to try, sorry bout that]]
The Kiddo Reading (part 1)


video
The Kiddo reading (part 2)


video
The Kiddo reading (part 3)

Friday, September 17, 2010

a conversation

Since we taught him to pee standing up the Kiddo has used a little stepstool in front of the toilet to make sure he was high enough to aim IN vs hitting the edge. The other day I walked into his bathroom just as he finished and I noticed that the stepstool was pushed in front of the sink vs in front of the toilet where it usually is.

me: um Kiddo... did you just pee without standing on the stepstool??!!

Kiddo: yep! it wasn't there and I didn't have to move it, I can reach.

me: holy smokes, I didn't realize you'd grown that much. That's so cool!!

Kiddo: yeah, I'm so proud of myself because I grew *happy grin*

*yeah yeah I know, the picture doesn't really relate to the story, but I don't have any new "growth" pictures and this one is pretty cute. The socks are supposed to make his hands look more like bumblebee hands.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

home ... work

The Kiddo's new teacher sent home the weekly class letter on Monday. In it she wrote that this week they are starting their reading program, the goal is 20 minutes a night. She says it doesn't have to be the kids reading to themselves, but that they can work on letters, play games (that have letters in them) or have their parents read to them. I thought that was a little silly, if the goal is to work on the kids reading then shouldn't the KID be reading? Of course it's just possible I'm biased (since the Kiddo can read fairly well). At any rate every afternoon he does his own reading, out loud, sitting next to me, for 20 minutes. It's a good feeling and one of my favorite parts of the day.

In addition his teacher said that this week they are working on writing their names. The Kiddo is great at writing when it's the upper case letters, but he struggles a little with lower case. That's my fault, I didn't make him work on them before. At any rate every day this week we've done home made name worksheets. I printed out some lined paper (kindergarten spacing helps) and wrote his name on the top line. He writes his name four times to finish filling out the paper.

Tuesday as we began this exercise I reminded him that the first letter of his name is a mommy letter (capital) but that the rest are all baby letters (lower case). His response: "that's right, the first letter is the mommy, and the rest have to be babies so she can carry them"

Yep, he definitely has an imagination. But if it helps him then it's a good thing, and it does help... it reminds him that the baby letters have to be smaller as well as lower case or they'll be too heavy for the the mommy letter to lug around.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just a few things

It's fall. I mentioned this I think... pumpkin pie spice flavored stuff is starting to come out. I stopped at Target yesterday to pick up some toilet paper. While there I checked their flavored coffee's (nope no luck), as I walked out I passed their in store starbucks. Wouldn't you know the pumpkin spice latte is back... ummmm I walked past, then I walked back, then I started to walk away again, then I walked back and ordered myself the smallest size they sell.
Mine of course was in a little paper cup, but this picture gives you the 'yum' factor a lot better then a picture of a paper cup would. It was good, but, believe it or not, a little too sweet! What the heck happened to me ... used to be I would gulp down the largest one they had and be happy as a clam. Now I drink half a small and have to stop because of the sweet factor? Not to mention that the entire time I was drinking it I was thinking... this tiny cup is supposed to be 12 oz but it feels closer to 8 and it's 240 calories!!

I ended up finishing it though, the cup kept the second half of it warm until two hours later when I sipped it again and thought, hmm still good - and finished it.

And speaking of pumpkin flavored things. How about this?
Lady D made me do it. She told me they have a Sam Adams pumpkin beer down in AZ and that it's really good. I'm not much of a beer drinker but I thought it might be fun to try something new so I went to the grocery store to look. No Sam Adams, but they did have this stuff. It's locally brewed, and tastes pretty good. Thanks D.

Rain on the Rooftops

video

He heard this poem back at the end of October while doing his assessment testing. All I can say is "take that Mrs smarty pants teacher who thinks he doesn't listen or pay attention" humph

(sorry it's sideways, I took the video with my phone and didn't realize it wasn't the right direction)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

shhhhh (oes)

It's no secret that I have an, um, ahem, interest... yeah that's it, interest, in shoes. But sometimes I think people just go to far, there's a difference between cute, functional, footwear and well... these:

*click the picture to go to a slide show with several other "so ugly it's funny" shoes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

update to the update :)

The Kiddo is in his new class today. He was a little confused at line up time but didn't seem to be unhappy about it.

I'm a little concerned that there has been no chance for me to have a conversation with his new teacher yet, but I am hopeful I can take a moment of her time when I go to pick her up. It would be a little silly for me to switch him classes and then end up with the same type of problem due to lack of communication (vs teacher not caring and/or paying attention to his specific situation).

Anyway I'll keep you all updated.

Monday updates

The Principal at the Kiddo's school told me this morning that they are still moving kids around and she would give me a call as soon as there was room to switch classes. I know the Kiddo doesn't care, but I really hope it is soon. I think it would be easier to have him switch as close to the start of the year as possible.

The puppy is testing my temper, but I think she's learning so I'm trying to be patient. The Kiddo and her (or is it she and the Kiddo?) are very slowly learning how to play together. He has a few issues with understanding she doesn't always want to play what he wants to play. She has a few issues with jumping and "biting" at him... she acts like he is a littler mate. Somehow we have to teach her that he is her master, not brother. Not sure how to do that, it's one of the reasons I was pushing for a 3 years or older dog vs a puppy.

Even with all the stress this month I have managed to resist the urge to buy a chocolate cake and eat it all myself. I'm pretty pleased with myself about that.

The Kiddo is slowly getting over his cold. It's dropped to his chest, which always seems to be the last stop on the way out of kiddo town so I'm hopeful he'll back to himself by the end of the week. Until then I'm going to give him a double dose of his medication at noon and hope that helps his concentration level.

That's pretty much it for updates. The only thing I have left to say is that it's fall, and soon the pumpkin spice coffee will be out, I'm looking forward to it. It's my favorite flavor of coffee (and creamer for that matter) and with these early mornings I'm pulling I've been drinking a LOT of coffee so it's a big event when I find a good flavor.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Distracting week

Been a little busy dealing with a few school related complications this week. Hopefully they will all be resolved by the weekend.

At any rate I'll be back to regular posting soon..

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mental Note...

I made the call this morning to go ahead and send the Kiddo to school. He ran his little 100 degree temperature off and on all day yesterday (medicated it was lower of course). This morning his nose was still goopy but his temperature was down so I mentally apologized to the universe (hoping that would fix any karma issues I'd be causing) and I got him ready to go.

Which leads me to this very important lesson, and one we learned the hard way:

With regards to the Kiddo, a trip that takes 25 minutes on a bike, does not equal a trip that takes 25 minutes walking...

I honestly thought it would take the same amount of time. After all, he bikes really slowly! I've always felt like I was walking as slow when he was biking, as I was when he was walking with me. But no, that was not the case... it is apparently actually closer to a 45 minute walk, especially if we have Cupcake walking with us.

I glanced at the time when we were 1/3 of the way there and we had ten minutes left. The kiddo ran walked the last two quarters of the distance, and the puppy ran/got carried. Both were exhausted by the time we hit the school. The good news though is the Teacher was only just ushering the kids into the classroom sooooo the Kiddo wasn't technically late, he was just the last one that was on time *chuckle*

Monday, September 6, 2010

good news/bad news

The good news is cupcake is sleeping...
The bad news is it's 10 in the morning vs 5am when she wanted to play...



The good news is the Kiddo's runny nose last night wasn't puppy related allergies...
The bad news is he's got a pretty bad summer cold. Cough, runny/stuffy nose, 100.1 fever...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The best medicine

This is one of the videos I took yesterday... the one where he's reading to his new puppy. He did that quite a bit yesterday.

video

Today the Kiddo laughed more then I have heard him laugh in a long long time. Not that he's a quiet unhappy boy, but usually he's just very mellow. Today he laughed all day long, at everything. He laughed randomly remembering something she did from earlier (as she napped) and he really laughed while they played. They did a little more reading...

video

Then we took her to visit the inlaws and they had a three way play date, him, cupcake, and their little dog Sophie. When we got home she took a very long nap, and then we took her outside to play chase. She's learning leash very well and he loves to run and have her chase him.
video

She ran around the "track" with him maybe every third time, he went around at least 8 times... she was so tired by the time she went around the third time that her legs were shaking!! But she wouldn't let me hold her back so I had to tell him to stop the game. They flopped on the grass for a break.
and we all trooped inside to rest...
She did a lot of napping today (the long exhausted type from playing so hard) so I am a bit worried about her sleeping tonight. I tried to plan for it though, we took a 15 minute potty and play session outside at 7:30ish. Then I pulled her water and food at 8. I'll take her outside for a quick (lord willing) potty break at 10 and then if I'm lucky she'll sleep a good long time.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Big Day... small puppy

Today was a rather big day in our house. The Kiddo finally got his dog. She's a Shih-Tzu Beagle mix, and (obviously) a puppy. She looks like she's going to have long hair like her daddy (which will be great for my allergies), and so far she has an amazingly sweet temperament.







I wish the man could have been here for it because I had forgotten how much work a puppy can be and I can feel myself starting to twitch (mommy needs a time out). When we put her in the bathroom and baby gate her in and she criiiies and cries. We tried putting her in a crate in the livingroom (so she was with us) and she still cried.






I think maybe all the fuss was because she was over excited and tired though because finally she settled down, and the kiddo read her bedtime stories until she was fast asleep.

We left her there and took a quick trip to the store, came back about an hour later and she was quiet. She looked at us as we came in the door, then put her head down and went back to snoozing. I think that bodes well for her not being a barker (*fingers crossed*).

I had a couple video's to post here with this but for some reason Blogger isn't uploading them right so y'all will have to make due with pictures for now.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chapter 2 - Day 1 (Part 2)

Picking the Kiddo up from school was not the experience I thought it would be. I expected him to come running at me, full of chatter about the other kids or what really neat toy he played with. Instead I got this:
video
After shutting off the video camera and calming him down we talked about how the bus doesn't stop at our house. We live much to close to the school for them to want to stop here so he can't ride the bus. He looked really sad for a minute and then said "I know, what if we got a new house? Then the bus could come get me!" Well that would be a solution to the problem, I gotta give him credit for thinking it up. After that we tried again. He still wouldn't really talk to me about class though, just the very bare bones basic stuff:
video
Over the course of the rest of the day he told me a little bit here and there about what he did. They traced baby a's (in crayon) and circles (again in crayon). He also had a sheet of paper with a whole bunch of l's on it, I'm not clear if they were supposed to be practicing strait lines or what (he wouldn't tell me).

All in all I think he had a good day. He has said a couple of times that he "did it right, small" which I assume means the a. And that he "didn't do it right, but it was hard" which I have no idea what refers to. I'm finding the lack of actual communication frustrating. But for now it's enough that he had a smiling face (after the school bus incident that is) and he still has quite a bit of enthusiasm for the next day he gets to go to school (his teacher bribing with a ding dong probably helped that).
Just now as I put him to bed I asked him what he was going to dream about. He said "I will dream about the school bus,... and about our new house!!"

Chapter 2 - Day 1 (Part 1)

I think of today as day 1 of the Kiddo's second chapter of life.. chapter 1 was all the baby and toddler stuff, growing and learning at home.

Chapter 2 is more about social expansion, Kindergarten!! I admit I've been super freaked out, I still am. Fortunately between my mom, sister, and friends I have a great support structure and it's helping me adapt to the changes. Thanks everybody!

The Kiddo took heading to his first day of school in stride. He ate his breakfast faster then I've ever seen him eat before. When it was time to get dressed he picked his black cords and bright yellow shirt, and his favorite white tennis shoes. He wore his backpack for at least an hour pacing around the house waiting for it to be time to go.





















When we got to his school I found a place to park (across the street) and walked him towards the group of parents and kids milling around. We got about 20 feet from then and he stopped, he gave me a little push and said "okay, bye mom, you can go now, I'll see you later!" Of course I didn't leave (which ticked him off a little) and I managed to get a couple pictures before they were all shuttled into the classroom.
Look at how short he is, even WITH the last three months worth of growth. Now is the two hour wait until it's time to pick him up. I'm going to try to get THAT on video for you guys. I'm sure he's going to be bouncing up and down on an adrenalin high so we'll take a quick trip to his Grandma's house, then the store (to walk it off) and then we'll be home and I'll post Part 2 the after action review *chuckle*

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

$13 = (take two)

ThredUp box number two got here yesterday. Five pairs of pants and three shirts. The brown pair and the gray ones aren't adjustable but I think I can take them in a bit so they fit him, the other three are all perfect. They are all (minus teh gray athletic pants) cargo style, which is the Kiddo's favorite.

I'm VERY pleased with the whole thing. I sold both pairs of his, to small, police car shoes on Ebay (the 8's went for 15, the 9's went for 20) which more then paid for both boxes of used cloths. In the end I got him an entire new wardrobe with no money out of pocket, I can't ask for better then that.

Thoughts...

Thoughts Become Things; Choose The Good Ones.