Tuesday, January 20, 2015

18 mo check up

I can't remember if I mentioned this, but back when Julia was 6 or 9 months old, her Michigan pediatrician recommended she have physical therapy because she wasn't into rolling or crawling.  I reluctantly complied, and regretted it, because in no time she was getting into things she didn't used to be able to get into.  At her 12 month check up, he recommended she be re-evaluated at 15 months, because she was borderline on needing intervention.  Then we moved, and I didn't get that 15 month check up because I had other things to worry about, and I refused to worry about the most delightful child on the planet.

So.  The Juje had her 18 month check up yesterday with her new Kansas doctor.  Here's how it went, starting with me, Juje, and the nurse alone in the room.

Nurse: Is she saying 15-20 words?

Me: No, we're a little worried about that.  She's more around 5 or 6.

Nurse: Can she point to 3 body parts?

Me: No, she only points to 1.

Nurse: Does she make animal sounds?

Me: Yeah, she moos.  [In my head I'm thinking Ah crud.  I thought animal sounds counted as words. This reduces her word list even more.]

The nurse leaves.  While we're waiting for the doctor I quiz Julia to make sure we're solid on things.

Me: Julia, where's your eye?

Julia points to her ear.

Me, panicking: No, Juje, that's your ear.  Ear.  Here's your eye.  Eye.  Good girl!

Anyway, the doctor comes in, we go over some of the same questions.  He asks some new ones like, "Is she stacking blocks?" to which I answer, "No, she only knocks them down."

Finally, bless his heart, he says, "Well, all kids progress at their own rate.  I think she's just fine, and that pretty soon she'll have a spurt.  If not, call me and we'll get her an appointment with a developmental pediatrician."

I wanted to hug him.  I had told myself before the appointment, "If they'll just give me a few months to finish Damon's room and the downstairs bathroom, I'll do whatever therapy she needs come spring. Summer would be even better.  Please, just give me a few months!"  Wish granted. 

If you are calling me names right now for being a bad mom, you are hereby banished from this blog.  I am not kidding.  Don't come back.  Unless you afterwards do extensive therapy with one or more of your children, learn your lesson, and are coming back to repent of your wicked thoughts. Amen.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Los Niños

Damon: enjoys chess club at school and went to his first chess tournament on Saturday.  6 rounds, he won 2 and had 1 stalemate.  Parents and coaches (yes, there are chess coaches. It was like that movie, Searching for Bobby Fisher) were not allowed in the room to watch.  Currently pondering ways to put lethal radiation from spent uranium rods to good use.  Also wants to invest money in natural gas.  I hope I can figure out how to buy some shares today--his heart is set on it.

Claire: enjoys drama club, and spends indoor recesses (when it's too cold to go outside) working on making a movie with her friends.  Tells me she's a really good actor.  Has a pet betta fish named Rainbow.  (I now believe betta fish are the best kind of pet to have, if your child must have a pet.)

Anne: A great help, especially when she pretends to be a dog and chases Julia/gets chased by Julia.  This allows me to make dinner, do dishes, etc, without Julia's "help."  Got an easy-bake oven for Christmas and has used it twice.  I got one when I was a kid, and I only remember using it once.  Alternates between hating piano one week and wanting to quit, and practicing hard the next week and not complaining.  Begs to tend Julia during sacrament meeting.  Jake doesn't think this is good, but I love it.  I can sit quietly and enjoy the meeting while Julia and Anne go out in the hall.

Julia: Just about 18 months old and says mama, dada, hi, bubbles, moo, and possibly dah for dog.  Likes to jump, do little tap dances while turning in circles, have books read to her (if they're low on words and high on pictures), scribble with markers (and sometimes suck on them), scribble with crayons (and then eat them) and watch TV.  If only the show could hold her attention for more than 10 minutes!  All you moms who don't let your babies watch TV, pat yourselves on the back and give each other high fives.  You're awesome.  Or something.  Is the most smiley, pleasant child you've ever met, particularly when she is getting her way.  Has just started throwing tantrums when I won't let her have things like the video camera.  She and I are in love with those baby food pouches.  They are an expensive habit, but so convenient and clean I want to kiss whoever thought them up.  Has started the dreadful habit of waking up at 2 or 4 a.m. and not going back to sleep unless it's with me on the couch.  I would love to let her cry it out, but she wakes up Claire, and Claire comes and gets me out of bed.  And then Claire, who is chronically sleep deficient anyway, doesn't always go back to sleep.  Yawn.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


This is Bud's hide.  As you can see, he was a beautiful steer.  He was a reserve grand champion and took first place in the showmanship class.  After he was sold my grandpa bought his hide and gave it to me.

I feel choked up lately when I think about Grandpa.  Alzheimer's is bad.  Grandpa was (is--I think he's helped me from time to time since he died) good.

Friday, January 9, 2015

the good, the bad, and the ugly (not necessarily in that order)

Really hit the jackpot when we bought this home: bats in the attic, mice in the basement and probably the walls.  Here's a fun date idea: you and your significant other hanging out in the unfinished basement, pulling down insulation filled with feces and acorns (might have a squirrel problem here, too, friends).  Guess what?  If you haven't been able to hang out for a while, it's not so bad!  Doesn't matter what you do, as long as you're together.  Mouse casualties: 4 in December (3 caught in glue traps, 1 beat to death by Jake, in the basement, with a broomstick.  You should have heard that battle cry--the terror when the mouse jumped out of the insulation at Jake, and the rage as Jake chased it down).  Not a single kill since.  We even called in the professionals.  Nothing.  Clever little monsters.  I shouldn't dare hope they're all gone, but I can't help it: please, let them be gone!  The mice, I mean.  The pros say we can't get rid of the bats until March.

Irony: we considered the guy who bought our house in Michigan neurotic and irritating.  We left him (he was measuring every room and window in the house with a measuring tape as we loaded the kids in the van) and his inspector alone in the house for 5 hours (they had asked for 4).  When we got back, his head was literally in our fireplace.  Looking for raccoons, I guess.  The inspector looked aggravated by his client and grateful to see us.  When we bought this (insert swear words) house, neither Jake nor I was even here for the inspection.  Boy, do we wish we would have taken a few pages out of Cautious Carl's book now.  (Honestly, it would have been very difficult--we were stretched pretty thin at the time.  But if we knew then what we know now, we would have found a way, by golly.)

Moving on.  Here's a story from parent teacher conference.  Names have been changed to protect people's privacy.  But know that these are real kids in the school here in Kansas.

Teacher:  So, what does Becca tell you about kids at school?

Mother: Not much.  Just that she has two friends named Meg and Hailey, but some kids don't like her.  She wouldn't elaborate.  We're just so grateful for Meg and Hailey.  Becca hasn't had close friends for a long time.

Teacher (tearing up): Yeah, Meg is really great.  I taught [a different] grade last year, and Meg was in my class then, too.  I just have to tell you--one day at recess, I saw Becca, Meg, and Hailey walking across the playground with their arms around each other's shoulders.  So cute.  But some of the kids are...not so nice.  One little girl was handing out birthday party invitations to some of the kids during recess, purposely not inviting Becca.  Meg was invited and brought the invitation into me saying, 'I don't know what to do with this.  So-and-so didn't invite Becca, so I'm not going.  What should I do with the invitation?'  And there's one little boy that really has it in for Becca.  One day--has Becca ever mentioned Noah?

Mother: Yes.

Teacher: Yeah, they sit by each other and Noah's really good to Becca.  Anyway, this other little guy who really has it in for Becca was put in a group with her one day, and he stood up and said, "I won't be in this group if Becca's in it!"  And Noah stood right up and said, "Then I won't be in YOUR group!"  So, we've got all kinds.

May God bless them all, but especially the nice (not mice) kind.  Unless He can bless them to get out of our house and stay out, which is what Damon prayed for.  He didn't want the devils hurt, and initially encouraged us to let them live in peace in the basement.  Then we explained things like hantavirus to him (and updated our wills because Jake and I might be dead in a few weeks from it) and he was okay with getting rid of them, if they don't suffer too much.