chew on this

So K is a little behind in the eating area, I think. It’s taken her a while to go from the baby foods to start gnawing on more solid foods. We’ve been trying to give her little bits of things, tiny bits, but she’d often act like everything was sour to taste and make a face and shake her head before spitting it out. Over the last week or so, though, she seems to be doing better. She takes the little Gerber puffs, which I like because of their ability to dissolve quickly (unlike Cheerios or something) and she’s started with some biter biscuits, too. She seems to go through phases where she’ll do really well with foods and then she’ll reject everything for a while. Earlier this evening, she was taking the puffs really well, and she took a big bite out of a biter biscuit with no prodding and handled it well. However, then she dropped it on the floor and the dog grabbed it.

The one thing that I still don’t get, though, is that she seems to have this really sensitive gag reflex or something. Everything that goes in her mouth, it seems like she gags for a split second each time.

That was actually one of the more humorous gags, but you can hear it slightly there before she pulls it back into her mouth. Usually she keeps it in her mouth and does the gag noise. Most of them she actually ate, too, this time around, anyway. At first I thought it was because I was putting it in her mouth, but she seems to do that when she feeds herself, too. (Which she’s still having a bit of trouble doing with these things since they’re small.)

I hope we get there soon, though, because I’m so done with baby food. I think she is, too, really. She really wants to feed herself (most of the time) so I almost have to hold her hands down to get a bite into her mouth or she flings it all over the walls and my face, etc. We also have an infant feeder so that helps there.

She’s on formula yet through July, too, per pediatrician’s orders. I’m ready for the transition to milk! I’ve given her a very little bit here and there so I guess once we hit July we’ll start increasing the amount of milk and reducing the formula amount in each bottle.

And along these same lines, I’d love, love, LOVE it if this child would stop gritting her teeth! That would make me very very happy indeed. I can’t stand that noise, and it’s not good for her teeth either. I don’t know what to do to make her quit though??? Help!

ahhh, yes, we have no jumper cables

Coming in for a landing Today we went down to my grandpa’s farm for a bbq with the extended family. They did this last year on Father’s Day weekend, too, but I didn’t get to go because I went to see K in the hospital like I did every other day for those 3 months. Not only did I get to go this year, but so did K! This was the only the first or second time that most of these people had seen her. One aunt/uncle set hadn’t seen her since she was about a week old in the hospital and another set hadn’t seen her at all. One of the drawbacks of her situation, we had to skip Christmas last year. Hopefully this year we won’t have to.

So, anyway, Steve spent a lot of time preparing for this thing. He cooked all of the meat on Friday and took baked beans and home-grown salad and a ton of other stuff including provisions for the guys to shoot clays. So we ate, they shot, my grandpa and two of his friends had a jam session and made my sister sing…

Then E and I went out with 4 of my cousins and my aunt and her boyfriend on the 4-wheelers. E rode with one of my cousins then moved over (though great complaints) to my 4-wheeler, switching with my youngest cousin. E was mad about it. Apparently he can have fun with the cousin who’d tripped him earlier that day, but not his own mother. Hurt my feelings a bit, but I know he’s just a kid and one that likes to do things differently, at that. He was also a little unnerved that we were now the FOURTH 4-wheeler (lykeohmygoshwebelastinline). Of course, once I told him that we were last in line so we didn’t get any spiderwebs in our faces, he shut up about everything and had some fun! I’ll have to tell him tomorrow, and prove myself right, that my aunt got a VERY large and thick web in her face at one point. EWWWWW.

We went across the road to the rest of Grandpa’s property, through fields and such, entering some wooded trails. It was all just SO completely gorgeous. Especially a field that was absolutely filled to the brim with tiny little wild daisies. They were everywhere. I’d have taken some pictures but I had to drive.

Coming down a large hill in the wooded trails (which need to be re-cleared again), my 4-wheeler decided it was going to die. I couldn’t switch gears and when we shut it off, it wouldn’t come back on. Turned out it was a dead battery. (Read: SO not my fault.) We had to eventually “abandon ship,” as my aunt said, and triple up on two of the 4-wheelers and head back as it was a few miles yet and we’d already stalled quite a while. When we got back, one of my cousins said to his sister, “what took you so long, you were gone 2 and a half hours!” Oops. I had no idea it had been so long, but, hey, I’m usually the one jipped of a good time, so I deserve it, so there! My brother and a cousin’s husband ended up taking a 4-wheeler back out to where we’d left the stupid thing and jumping it. They got it going and he had to drive back the whole way in first gear. THAT sucked. Maybe next time we’ll all pack jumper cables… and water… and food… E was totally freaking out. He thought were were going to be lost in the woods forever and starve to death.

Through it all, I am proud of myself to have returned UN-sunburned. Yay me! Incredibly dirty (not yay for fields of “wheat” that send seeds flying at your face at 30 mph), but not sunburned! So then there was some more sitting around and then some waiting (for me) to get some good shots of the hummingbirds before heading home. So now I sit, too tired to get out of this chair! I can’t wait to go through some more of my photos, though… tomorrow!

they don’t make ’em like they used to

So the other day, I decided to clean out the entertainment center. It wasn’t really messy but it was full of VHS tapes that haven’t seen the light of day in a long, long time. A LOT of VHS tapes! We started three piles: keep, donate, pitch. I found movies in there that we have since acquired on DVD and even movies that we have since seen so many times on TV that we now detest. Most of the tapes are made up of stuff recorded off of TV. Really, I think we were the last people we know to get a DVD player, surprisingly enough. The VCR was a wedding present. When it dies, though, I’m not replacing it. In the meantime, we are keeping a small selection of tapes, including things that came from a camcorder when I was in high school and a few tapes of Steve’s football games.

I’ve started going through the tapes that we had once recorded that I thought we might want to keep. Some of these are so bad there’s nothing to do but throw away, they’re all static. Some of these are in great condition.

So now I’m sitting here watching the Addams Family… the ORIGINAL, the GOOD, not those silly movies, the original show… and the family is trying to teach Lurch to dance. Besides this marathon from a few years ago on TVLand, I can’t remember the last time I saw this show on TV.

There’s a ton of junk on TV now, why can’t anyone show the good stuff anymore? Who cares if it is in black and white? Nothing beats it. The Addams Family, I Love Lucy, I Dream of Jeannie, Green Acres, Leave it to Beaver, etc. Not to mention stuff from the 80’s even, like Mama’s Family and The Carol Burnett Show. The only one I ever see on anymore is the Andy Griffith Show. Meh, I guess I’m just mad at TVLand and their stupid “reality” shows that seem to have taken over their airwaves.

Now to see which of these are on DVD. Not that I can afford anything right now, but hey, I can add them to my wishlist. :P

Oh, I’m also proud of my organizational skills. I bought some plastic drawers to put inside the entertainment center’s two cabinets. There are two drawers in each of the two cabinets and they fit perfectly… after I took off the door magnets! Then they slid in and I screwed the magnets back on so the doors will actually stay shut. Now, throwing out or getting rid of most of these tapes, I also have at least one of the larger drawers for my yarn which is overflowing out of it’s basket. I will even have room for my scrapbooks of recent years to be in a decent place! I figure with neither of us finding any work, we’re not going to be moving anytime soon, so we might as well make this closet we call a house work… again.

school’s out for… the summer!

And I am as excited about it as E is! :P
Actually, we’ve been done since the week before Memorial Day. Turns out I timed it perfectly and our school year extended from August 31 to May 21. Sounds short when you compare it to public, and probably even private schools, but the state allows us to do whatever dates we want as long as we get in enough hours. Technically, since E’s not yet 7, the hours for this year didn’t even matter, but we kept good hours anyway. Plus, when you’re working with just one kid (even a very uncooperative one), it’s easier to get through the work. Especially when said child doesn’t struggle with it. His biggest issue is he doesn’t want to do it, but he is ever so completely capable of it, no problem at all. I know he gets it and I suspect that a lot of it is easy for him.

You know, about three years ago now, someone online was mad at me and tried to engage me in a war, I guess, I don’t know, really, what her problem was – but she actually posted in laughter at me that my kid was unable to read. I didn’t engage her, though other people alerted me to her “activities,” and while that hurt, it was just so off the wall crazy. He was 3 years old! Of course he couldn’t read!

But now, he can… when he wants to. In fact, sometimes I wish he couldn’t read LOL because sometimes he leans over and reads my computer screen or text messages!

Honestly, I’m trying not to be the parent that thinks their kid is just so awesome, so great, etc., when they’re not, but I really believe that E is smart, very intelligent. He’s just so active, so he bounces off the walls all the time, but this kid can retain information like you wouldn’t believe. I am trying to make sure that I keep his mind active through the summer. We’re doing a reading program with Barnes & Noble that a friend told me about. It’s very simple, just picking 8 books of our own for him to read, marking them down, then we take in his sheet and he gets a free book. He doesn’t really want to, but he seems to be coming around to it. The other day we read Puff the Magic Dragon together which is pretty simple because it repeats the same phrases several times – he was actually getting annoyed with it by the end of the book and he yelled at it, “WE KNOW THAT ALREADY!!” Tonight he started reading a Doctor Seuss book to me by himself, though I still have to help with some of the words (of course), and he got about a third of the way through it before I think he got bored. So we put it down to start again tomorrow.

In Math, we really pushed it this year. I started with a small book from Walmart or Walgreens or something, first grade math. He flew through it and was finished somewhere around late October. So I ordered the first grade book from Abeka and through the rest of the year, we managed to get within 30 pages of the end (it’s really a huge book). However, I don’t ever remember actually finishing a math book in school… ever. So I’m not worried about not finishing. I went through and it was all things he already knew anyway, at that point, except for Roman numerals and from what I gather, that’s about a third grade plus skill anyway. (Right?) I don’t remember doing them myself until maybe 6th grade?? I’m keeping those pages to start for next year, review and such, unless the second grade book goes back even further.

But he has no problem adding and can easily add numbers with two or three places. I know he could do more, but the book didn’t give him more than that! Three and four numbers to a column, too. He’s learned carrying ones, he knows all about money, telling time, shapes, patterns, temperature (in Fahrenheit), oh, subtraction, of course, and even measurements such as gallons, pints, quarts, cups or inches and centimeters, etc. His biggest thing is just that he doesn’t want to do it, so he’ll act like he doesn’t know it. I guess it’s an attempt to get me to say “well forget it then”? So he might take a really long time on a problem but that’s only because he’s just sitting there mad about having to do it. When he puts his mind to it, he can really shell them out.

So I’m happy with where we ended up with for first grade. Not that we ONLY did math and reading in first grade, of course, but those are the two biggest things. Right? I think so. :P