Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bitty Farm

OK-it's not really a farm, but since we are lame suburban hipsters, we like the way it makes us feel. Here is what we have planted since April; bush beans, pole beans, 9 tomato plants, 2 zucchinis, 2 yellow crook-neck squash plants, 2 cantaloupe plants, one watermelon plant, 40 corn plants, a lot of carrots, a peach tree, an orange tree, and some herbs. In the past 6 months we have eaten one peach, 3 tomatoes, a half ripe cantaloupe, and about 80 zucchinis. That's it. EVERYTHING ELSE EITHER DIDN'T GROW, AND EVEN IF IT DID MANAGE TO SPROUT A FEW LEAVES A MILLION DIFFERENT KIND OF BUGS ATE THEM. Mostly it was these guys...

Although our corn is full of worms, so I can't blame the above insect for all the damage. We don't want to spray poison, so Chad got a dust buster, it worked great.

Here is the garden on September 1st. Notice the random stalk of corn that grew 2 feet higher than the others...

Here it is today...
I can't believe how many bugs live here, seriously, I have never seen anything like it. Our strategy is to attract "beneficials" like birds spiders and wasps that will eat "bad-non-beneficials" like aphids, stink bugs, and worms. So wish us luck with that.



We like to pretend that our garden looks just like this one...

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Serious Hair Issues

This is how Della's hair looks every morning when she gets out of bed. It also looks like this when she wakes up from her nap...


This cockateil look is furthered by Della's repetitive almost Autistic-like head shaking when she is laying down or in her car seat. Della's hair is naturally curly. The top layer is soft, fine, and silky. Cute right? Yes, actually it is very cute...until you get to the bottom layer. Brillo pad, seriously, that's the only way to describe it. It is so course that it feels brittle and dry. Brushing out the mass of snarls is becoming a chore that my daughter and I both dread. I have tried leave-in conditioners, rinse-out conditioners, detangler sprays, and even a fancy hair "masque." Nothing helps. I was hoping that as her hair grew, the weight of the curls would help make them straighter and less likely to become tangled. Not so. Apparently the equation went like this: more hair= more tangles x 10.

So here are my options...

1. Continue brushing the rats nest that sits atop Della's head twice a day while she screams and cries real tears (this is rare for her). Oh, by the way, she has some sort of neurological/ developmental impairments and her sensory system might be hyper sensitive, making routine activities, like brushing hair, more painful or over stimulating for her. But she couldn't tell you if she was overly sensitive or not because she doesn't talk or communicate thus making it impossible for you to know what she is feeling. Also- since her receptive language skills are that of a 6 month-old, there is no way to explain why you are putting her through all this .

2. Cut it off. It seems simple enough, but the more that this option seems like the right one, the more I don't want to do it. I think I have some weird emotional attachment to her hair. Almost like it is the one thing that I can control in her life. I can't make the connections in her brain enabling her to talk, I can't give her the strength she needs in her muscles to walk, I can't explain to her why she get poked and prodded all the time, I can't watch her enjoy playing princess, I can't even ask her what her favorite color is. But her hair, that is one thing I can do something with. Just like other mothers do for their daughters. See, I told you it was weird.

So unless ya'll (Texas talk) know of some miracle de-rats-nesting product, I think I will have to go with option number two. At this point, no idea is too outrageous. I would slather her head in Crisco if I thought it would work. Feel free to contact me with your ideas. In the meantime, here are some pictures of Delly-Bean with Cinnamon Toast Crunch all over her face...



Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Archer's First Day of Kindergarten



Archer throwing up signs. Notice his bright green sticker that says who he is, what class he is in, and how he gets to and from school...


Archer is officially in school! I'll admit it, I cried at the parent orientation but only because they took the kids into the classrooms while the parents stayed behind to fill out forms. As soon as the kids were out of sight the principal read some stupid poem (OK, it was kind of sweet) about how our children grow up so quickly. Who are the sadistic people that are running things?!?! Don't they know that some of us are having a hard enough time holding back tears? Once I got weepiness out of my system things have been great.

Archer gets on the bus at 8:23 AM and is dropped off at 4:01 PM. That is a long day for a little boy who gave up his nap 6 months ago. He has come home tired and grumpy. There are enough Kindergarten students to fill 9 classrooms but there are only 8 teachers. Archer gets the "new teacher" once the school hires one. Until then he is in a classroom with twice the amount of kids, one teacher, and some teacher's aids. I'm not too happy about it, but I can't really do anything. I just wish they would hurry, it is going to be hard transitioning to a new teacher and a new routine as he gets more and more used to the one he is in now.

Archer did confess to me on Friday night that he gets "Two or three timeouts a day." What!?!? I calmly asked him what was going on. He said that most of his timeouts are for talking when he isn't supposed to (I have no idea where he gets that). Then he said "One of my timeouts was at recess because I threw mulch at a kid's face because he was trying to make my hand let go of the jungle gym. So I dropped down and I escaped and threw mulch in his face." Ahhhhh, my son the non-stop talker/mulch thrower.

He later told it Great-Grandparents that "There is a waitress at my school. I am pretty sure she is a super model. She talks really sassy like this 'Oh no you don't!' She also drives my bus!" I think he sees her as a hero of sorts ever since the day this sassy talking waitress/supermodel/bus driver rescued him. The other morning Chad watched Archer get on the bus and watched as he chose a seat next to a brother who had his sister on his lap, the latter waving to her parents out of the bus window. When said sister was finished saying her good byes she turned around to sit next to her brother and noticed Archer occupying what she perceived to be her place on the bench. Little Sister was very upset that Archer wasn't complying with her "family only" rule and started yelling at him to move. Chad could tell that Archer was kind of silently freaking out as he started straight ahead, eyes wide, completely ignoring the angry girl. Don't worry, the Sasstress herself came to his rescue by yelling in the bus's rear view mirror "Uh-uh! Sit down missy! Three to a seat on this bus! Don't be yelling at nobody!" PHEW!

Feathers!

During Della's Speech Therapy we have been working on causal relationships specifically the appropriate use/play of an object. This includes the knowledge that a hat goes on your head, that a brush is used on hair, and you talk into a phone. For some reason these relationships are harder for Della to understand. We are always looking for new ways to keep her interested, so we hide objects in a box full of beans or in this case, a box full of feathers! I literally looked away for about 5 seconds and Della flipped the box over spilling feathers everywhere. She wasn't interested in the little brush I had hidden, but she loved eating the feathers!


Is degree of their unnatural color directly related to the toxicity of the dye used in the feathers?