Thursday, July 31, 2008

Road Trippin'

Yay, we got to take a few mini vacations! My husband is still saving up vacation days with his new job so we made weekend trips to Santa Cruz and Southern California. Both trips involved major time at the beach. Both kids loved it, and by the time of our last day at Newport Beach, James had started to bat away our hands so he could stand alone n the surf, and brace his legs against the waves.

He didn't mid getting sandy, but he remains a picky eater. After some frustrating tries to get more than milk inside of him during the Santa Cruz trip, I made PB&J sandwiches for James to take to SoCal. My husband rolled his eyes a bit, but I've seen the prices for PB&J on the menus -- $3-7, and there's no guarantee that James will like the (1) bread), (2)PB, or (3) jam/jelly.

They home-made "Shamiches"? So. Much. Easier! James gobbled them down. And thank goodness Trader Joe's sells watermelon precut, in a nicely sealed plastic bowl. Money well spent and it kept James happy, still, and hydrated at the beach.

What a nice change for both kids to jump, run, and yell as loudly and long as they liked! They are both really good travelers on long car trips, and it feels good to having something worth their while at journey's end. James kept up his words with "bird!", "wah-er!" (water), "Mennon!" (watermelon), "bwoo!" (blue) ... and "haycopper!" for when the helicopter buzzed us at the Newport shoreline. He also likes to count. He can get up to 14 and count back down from 5. He can sing the A-B-C song, but doesn't really know the letters.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is the Coast Clear?

Wow, one bug, four people, a month of recovery. Let's just say I hate the summer flu!

For a couple of weeks, we all took turns succumbing to The Scourge. Oh, it was fiendishly clever. First it was James, poor baby! He was over the worst of it by Day Three. Um, but on Days One & Two he couldn't even keep water down, so in we popped to the doctors' office; we had to give him 2 shots in his legs to quell the raging ear infection that was his bonus prize. After that got under control, things headed uphill pretty quickly. By Day 5, I was down with it, as well as the grandparents.

My husband and daughter lingered in Healthland through Day 10, then fell to their dooms. By then I was able to make it through bedtime without collapsing on the sofa every couple of hours.

Then, the catch-up. No, not the laundry -- that would have been Truly Hideous. The paperwork, the phone calls, the delayed follow-throughs. James was accepted into the CATS program at Sonoma State U. It sounds like an internship that could be quite interesting. His sister is starting Kindergarten next month and can I just vent here and now about my amazement that this humble grade level involves almost more preparation than I had to do to get into college? The paperwork, lines, appointments, more paperwork, reviews, interviews, assessments ... Holy Rainbow Cow!

Some big shining rays of light:
* James is talking more and more; especially since he started the preschool camp/classes offered through our local city parks & rec.
* James did very well in a mainstreamed environment. His teachers all loved him too and he liked them.
* James is digging swimming. He has gone from panicking and clutching at me to letting me put my hand on his tummy to boost/guide him and he uses his arms and legs to "swim" in proper form. He also likes to get out of the pool, count to three, and then launch himself off the edge to me. This is more than his older sister can do, and she has two additional years and actual swim lessons to her credit.
* James' speech & language therapist says that swimming is great for fostering speech and vestibular activities.
* James gives me real hugs and kisses now. He really misses me if I am out of the picture and shows it with words. For example, this morning I went out to feed the cat. His grandmother said he saw me out there and said "wanna go mommy" for "I want to go to mommy." After a year or more of playing second fiddle to apple bars, this is a great feeling for me!

Oh, and James has been growing. He is over 40" tall and just 3 1/2 years. His feet look Amazingly Sturdy. And we have 6-foot (and more) giants in both our families. He is is still our big sweetie, and we love him so!