Monday, January 23, 2012

progress update

“You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road
That's a great book. You should read it, if you're not easily depressed/frightened out of your wits. It'll motivate you to get your 1 year supply of food, as well as buy guns, ammunition, and build a secret underground bomb shelter in your back yard.
Before I forget, I want to record what an excellent job Steve at Redwood Learning Center did (and is doing) helping Claire. He's the one who trained our Utah tutors, provided us with teaching programs, and is still supporting us via email and telephone now that we've moved.
When we first met Steve, Claire couldn't/wouldn't say hello to people (even her own father). She cried/screamed/held up her hand/turned her face away/all of the above. At kindergarten recess she would pace and do other self-stimulatory behaviors around the playground without ever going near other kids. There were other unpleasant behaviors, but I don't want to go on all day. Now, 16 months later, she can say hello and respond appropriately to questions like, "How are you?" She plays on the playground, and even plays with other kids. As I type she's playing dress-up downstairs with one of her school friends and her tutor JT. She sounds like a typical child, except her speech is still a little odd sometimes. And her cute little friend really likes her and was excited to come over and play! I could cry for joy because of that.
Claire no longer qualifies for services through the school district. Part of that is because she's repeating kindergarten, but that is also because of the therapy program Steve set up for her. I don't know if she will have an IEP in the future (her fine and gross motor skills are still a little behind), but for now it's wonderful.
Steve introduced us to the Superflex program which helps Claire understand how to behave in public, and how to overcome "rockbrain" thinking (for example: one night Claire was in the bathtub while Damon took a shower in a different bathroom. He got done before her and had his pajamas on while she was still in the bath. C: Is Damon out? Me: Yes. C: No! Make him get back in! I'm not getting out unless he's back in the shower! Me: No, he's not getting back in. You need to use your superflex powers and let things happen in a different order. [she still threw a fit, but she is slowly getting better at accepting life when it doesn't go her way. Bad example of success, good example of rockbrain thinking.])
We still have things to work on, but Claire is doing so well. We have Steve to thank for that, and Heaven for guiding us to Steve.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Peep is no longer with us

The kids got mice for Christmas. They asked for pet mice a long time ago, and I promised them they could have them if they did their chores without whining until Christmas. These are the kinds of promises you make when you feel guilty for moving your children from a neighborhood/state/everyone/everything they loved to a place they don't love as much.

They loved those mice. I even liked them for a little while, until I found out how much they smell.

On Monday, Anne and Claire were playing with them unsupervised. I feel kinda bad about that now. To avoid getting too gruesome Anne committed first degree mouseslaughter. I felt bad, Anne felt bad, Damon felt worse, Claire was philosophical, and now Peep is buried in the best little cardboard box we had (thank you, Marcus, for the box Jake's Christmas gift was put in) in the backyard. We've prayed for her soul numerous times this week, that she'll be happy in heaven and that she'll forgive us for letting her die. Damon says we cannot move from this house unless we take Peep's remains with us. So, I guess he's reconciled to moving here.

One down, two to go.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rated PG-13 for language. Not suitable for all audiences.

Sunday morning I got Claire out of bed. She likes me to personally get her up most mornings.

"Mom, I'm not a b****."

"What?" Not sure I heard that right.

"I'm not a b****."

Yep, heard it right. Starts with b, rhymes with twitch. "Claire, that's a bad word. Don't ever say that word, OK?"


"If I ever hear you say that again, I'll wash your mouth out with soap, OK?"


"Where did you hear that word?"