Monday, June 20, 2011

Little Bit 'A Random

Hello?  Hello?  Anyone still checking in here?  :-)  Just some random stuff:

1. Last Monday, we went to the zoo and met up with my long-time friend Paula and her kids.  We've been friends for, hmmm, 33 years now?  We met in kindergarten, we have the same birthday, we are very much alike in many things.  I will admit I chose a not-so-great day to do the zoo thing; on Mondays it is "residents of C. county get in free with identification" day, and WOW was it crowded.  I have never seen the zoo that busy.  Of course it would have been just as fun doing some people-watching as it was trying to get a glimpse of the animals.

2. Thursday S and I went and participated in a Prader-Willi Syndrome-related research study, being conducted by a team in Cleveland.  She did great!  I was really proud of her ability to go with the flow all day, do lots of 'playing' with the research assistants (which meant they probably asked her a zillion questions), and not get crabby about anything.  It was pretty interesting.  I answered a lot of questions too, pretty exhausting but well worth it if it helps the medical world understand PWS better.  Part of the study involves some kind of questionnaire used to determine the presence of autism, and I can definitely say, S is not autistic even though PWS is an autistic-like syndrome and a good number of children with PWS have an additional diagnosis of autism.  At the end of the day she and I tried, without success, to make it to the parking garage before a big storm hit; we ended up in the university bookstore, where a kind employee gave us two large trash bags to cover up with so we could at least get to the garage without getting soaked!  Then we drove through HUGE puddles, and past an impressively-overflowing stream, as we got on the road home.  Looong day, but S was a real trooper.  I think she had a great time, actually.

3.  It was either Wednesday or Friday last week, when one of the neighbor girls came over and asked S if she wanted to play. !!!  This is a new experience for me/her; this little girl has lived in the house across the street since last September I think but this was the first time they'd played.  They are pretty much the same age, but S will be in second grade in the fall and O will be in third.  But they played really well together.  I was really nervous about it.  I shouldn't be.  Sophie did fine, and O seems like a really nice girl.  The whole subject of how S will make friends, and how other kids will relate to her, is a whole post by itself!

4.  This weekend was K's all-school dance recital.  We are talking a 4-hour rehearsal Saturday morning, 4 hours at the performance location Saturday night, and another 4 hours on Sunday.  This is I think her third or fourth one of these, plus other performances, so we are used to the routine by now...but it is still exhausting.  She does so well onstage, though!  She has never gotten nervous about any performance.  She doesn't even seem to get butterflies.  And really, I have sat through enough of these now to know that as the girls get older, the quality of these performances gets better and better.  K has been attending this school for 8 years now, and the teachers do an excellent job of getting the students to dance well.  So it is a long weekend but it is fun.  I'm proud of K for sticking with this; it has been a challenge for her as the school is not in our neighborhood, so she only sees these girls twice a week, whereas some of them go to the same school.  She has made some friends recently, though, so I'm thinking she may continue on with this until she graduates high school, unless she gets involved in sports or some other activity which would conflict.

5.  I will have to do a separate post about Father's Day.  I'm a shmuck as I did not get any presents ready, from myself or the girls, for B for Father's Day.  So dealing with huge guilt about that.  And Father's Day has always been just an odd day for me anyway, as my relationship with my own father...well....there really isn't one.  Anyway.

6.  S starts camp tomorrow.  I am hoping like crazy that I can get her up and ready, get myself ready, get her stuff ready (lunch, snack, bathing suit, towel), and out the door by 7:30 a.m. to get to camp by 8 a.m..  I've already warned her teacher that, until I figure out what the traffic will be like, we might be a few minutes late.  I've been sort of dreading having to get out the door so early; but, on the other hand, I'm kind of looking forward to it as I'm hoping it will help me get more stuff accomplished in a day.  I'm going to try really, really hard NOT to come home and sleep...I just have so stinkin' much on my to-do list, plus I have a conference call at 11.  I will have to drink a bit of coffee I guess.  I'll probably end up going to be at 10 p.m. tomorrow night.

Well, not a very interesting post, but oh well!  Thanks for reading-


Diplo_Daddy said...

Believe itor not, Zoos are fast becoming very popular attractions. Sadly, some of them, like the one here in London, UK, are horrible expensive. So expensive that we can't afford to go--and I would love to go.

An said...

I'm certainly still reading this blog! I love reading your posts. I haven't been to a zoo in years, maybe a couple decades now? I'm not sure if my view of them will change now, since I'm reading a book about animals and compassion and scientific study of animal behaviors. One discussion in the book covers animals in zoos, and the impact of zoo environments on animals, generally. One interview that I just had time to skim over (an interview between the author of the book and a zoo administrator somewhere in Europe) revealed that some zoos have developed a horrible track record of 'eliminating' older animals by the dozens, or hundreds, in order to make space for newer, yonger animals, who then - ideally - breed, and produce offspring - and THIS is a huge draw for droves of zoo attendees, with lots of publicity, lots of warm and fuzzy attention in the media. I hadn't thought of this as a possible publicity tactic, deliberately planned for and orchestrated in order to hike up attendance. Some zoos have been 'caught' at it, and prosecuted. Makes me wonder a lot about all the big zoo campaigns I've heard about with 'name the baby' advertising. Hmmm. All this bothers me, since I happen to have very happy memories of my school-age zoo trips - thought whenever I see apes and chimps and bears, and the big cats, and elephants, I wonder at how they are REALLY doing, especially when I look in their eyes.

An said...

Oh, and way to go on the research study - S! I'm also impressed by K in the dance classes - 8 years is a lifetime for any kid to stick to an acticity that involves lessons!

Rachel said...

I am still here :)
I am glad S was so good for her study! And that she has made a new friend to play with! 8 years for K and dance class is great! I danced for 14 years of my childhood and all I have to show for it now is I can still do a split :)

J and Pa said...

Okay, "Mom". You are too modest to brag..... but I am not!
1. K has developed into an extraordinary dancer. She elongates her neck, keeps shoulders down, back straight; is the epitome of grace & lightness & emotion. She looks as though she is letting the music flow through her & guide her movements. She never hesitates, watches the other dancers, or watches her feet. In her age group, I do not see anyone comparable (sorry cuz I know some are your friends...) She has really been dedicated...woould she like to read Margot Fonteyn's autobiography?

J and Pa said...

And # 2. S is a delight. She certainly has the gift of gab; 99.9% appropriate, relevant stuff. She's funny. Caring. Brave. Willing to try new things --at least as much as most 5-6-7-8 year olds. She seems very independent. We all know she'll make mistakes, get hurt, have meltdowns, say something stupid, hurt her little friends' feelings, vice versa. I know you worry about the "pain threshhold" thing --YOU ARE A GREAT MOM! I have witnessed kids in my school scream/cry/kick/scratch/run all day, until the security guards have had to put them in handcuffs to a chair --little kids 6-7; and we've called EMS many times. Many kids have a lot of sh-- going on in their lives, although not PWS. The teachers, administration & other students take it in stride. Never witnessed a kid ostracize another for such a breakdown, although they can find lots of other reasons to bully....

Okay. Got a bit long-winded. Sorry. I just simply love S&K. They are the best....SOMEONE is doing an awesome parenting job....