Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who Let the Dog In?

Windy, cold, and rainy days this week. With the little ones still recovering from colds, and not wanting to expose the unsuspecting public, we found ourselves trapped inside our house most of these past few days. Getting a bit stir crazy, the kids and I spent some time in the basement digging up some lost treasures of years gone by (in other words, old toys). Bob the Builder Duplos, Disney books, Pokemon VCR tapes, and a couple buckets of dress up costumes like Barney and Batman, were among the favorite finds. But this one topped the cake for Tubby:

It is a super-fun remote control Elmo track made just for toddlers. Bob bought it for Crispy for his two year old birthday (which I missed as I was in the hospital on bedrest with Laura at the time). Crispy loved this toy when he was little, but it was archived prematurely, and now he can't even remember it. But it has been a hit today. With how much Tubby loves cars, this was a perfect find! And when the kids all came home from school, taking turns became quite an issue...everyone wanted to try, but Tubby was still not ready to give it up. It's tough for a two year old, but he needs to learn some good sharing manners too, even if it means the rest of us have to listen to screaming and crying for the better part of the afternoon!

Today it has rained continuously....without all. Dreary, damp, and depressing. We risked it all, and took a trip to the grocery store after driving Laura to her bus stop (yes, her stop is so far away that unless it is beautiful weather, I need to drive her there). Normally, I would rather whip up a meal of sawdust and Ladybeetles from the basement than make a trip to the store, so why we went during the most rainy day of the year, I have no idea. But we did. And it wasn't so bad. Except for the checkout price...$296. I think THAT is the reason I prefer not to go to the store. That is just for regular food for our family. No frills, few snacks for school, and no breakfast bars this year...these kids have been eating breakfast at home before school everyday---a Zajac first!
I let the dog outside as I was putting the groceries away, allowing me easy access from the garage to my kitchen through the rain. Being the sweet, kind, boy that he is, three minutes later, Tubby let the dog back in the house because of all the rain. The mudroom gate was still down, I had grocery bags all over the kitchen ($300 makes for a lot of bags), and now a very excited and WET large dog running around the house. After the initial panic, and moving my crying baby to safety high up in the sling, Brietta actually did very well. She vacuumed my floors, entertained Tubby, and was very responsive to "no".
Tubby took his care giving nature another step farther: he filled up Brietta's dog dish with food, and personally brought it to her.
He then watched her carefully as she ate, decided that she was running empty,
and proceeded to get her "Ohm" (which is Tubbish for "more"'s like he is saying the word backwards).
Brietta did so well, that we left her out the remainder of the afternoon. She was calm, good, explorative, but not destructive, and responsive. Even when the kids came home from school, she kept her composure and didn't jump on a single one of them. However, when Laura noticed her out of the corner of her eye, she startled so severely, I thought she just might have a little 5-year old heart attack. Poor girl needs to get out of this scared-of-animals phase. She HAS been getting much better since cousin Carly worked with her on petting Minnie (a 4 pound mini poodle). Since then, she is at least attempting to touch animals, whereas before, she would not even enter the same building as one.
After the excitement with the dog, Jonny, the girls and I visited the local library. Jonny did not find the book he was looking for, but the girls found MANY to check out and read over the next few weeks. We rarely visit the library....I just never think of it, but the kids LOVE it. And it is free! We need to do that more often. As well as visit our great community center to swim. We have a yearly membership there because just going with several of my kids during the summer weeks for swimming lessons pretty much pays for the yearly family dues. I am terrible about going the rest of the year...another thing I keep forgetting about. I am now deciding that Wednesdays will be swimming afternoons. That will give the girls another day of physical activity and it is great for all the sensory input they receive in the water. Perhaps Thursdays will become library day. And when riding is on hiatus over the winter months, I can turn Mondays into teaching my kids how to play the piano, instead of just the hit and miss lessons I am currently giving them. These are all great ideas in theory, but honestly, it is so hard to add anything extra to our very very full-with-just-life plates. We'll just see if we can make these new additions fly.
Melissa rejoined her old Girl Scout Troop this evening, and it was a roaring success. One of her best friends just so happens to also be in the group (we did not previously know this), so it was a terrific surprise for her to be greeted with a squeal and a huge hug. All the girls welcomed her back warmly, and they are such a nice group. The leaders are both wonderful moms who are so kind to the kids, and understand Melissa's limitations yet can work things in for her without Melissa feeling different. This certainly feels like a good decision we made to return....Melissa was so giddy when I picked her up, and all the girls had an impromptu pow-wow group hug as they were walking out the front door of the church. It's so wonderful to see her happy, especially in a social setting, as that is probably her most challenging aspect of life presently. Looking forward to a great year for her.....and to have at least a one year break from being Cookie Mom (as this Troop had to come up with a new Cookie Parent when we jumped ship last year to a different troop).

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