Monday, October 13, 2014

Parent Teacher Conferences

Today were our parent-teacher conferences for the kids. Apparently, while I was busy with other things, my children have shown themselves to be well-liked, well-educated, and well-behaved. On grade level or above in every subject. (Hazel's my math girl, Rain's a great reader.) Managing their emotions, getting along with peers, growing in maturity with their polite and appropriate self-advocacy. Staying focused, being on-task, accepting transitions. What progress these little munchkins have made!

Their teachers mentioned just one area where they could both use a little more practice. Writing. Doesn't it just kill you?? I could use some more writing practice too.

I've got a little notebook that I pass back and forth with Rain. He has filled it with the most amazingly detailed pictures, mostly of animals in nature. His teacher suggested that I ask him to label the pictures and then try to write at least one or two good sentences about them. 

As I type this right now, Hazel sits at the other corner of the desk, plotting and planning her piece of short fiction. I'm going to ask her to share it with me. Maybe she'll workshop one of my short essays in return.

Smart, good kids. I am so lucky.

Now all we have to do is the 504 meetings with the G/T teacher so that we can educate her about how a person can have a high IQ or great talent and a disability which requires accommodation at the same time.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Photo

Friday Photo

A single photo, every Friday. No words required.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Jack O'Lantern

You know what's the best? When you're doing something really hard and scary (and bloody!) and then your sister comes in and she's so encouraging and proud of you for being so brave.

From great struggle comes great success. Look at that mouth, would ya?

He has decided that this is the perfect year to go as a Jack O'Lantern for Halloween. Gotta love age 7.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Photo

Friday Photo

A single photo, every Friday. No words required.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quotations for Health and Sanity: James Thurber on Writing

Quotations for Health and Sanity

James Thurber, on Writing, from his introduction to "My Life and Hard Times"

"Benvenuto Cellini said that a man should be at least forty years old before he undertakes so fine an enterprise as that of setting down the story of his life. He said also that an autobiographer should have accomplished something of excellence. Nowadays nobody who has a typewriter pays any attention to the old master's quaint rules. I myself have accomplished nothing of excellence except a remarkable and, to some of my friends, unaccountable expertness in hitting empty ginger ale bottles with small rocks at a distance of thirty paces. Moreover, I am not yet forty years old. But the grim date moves toward me apace; my legs are beginning to to go, things blur before my eyes, and the faces of the rose-lipped maids I knew in my twenties are misty as dreams.
At forty my faculties may have closed up like flowers at evening, leaving me unable to write my memoirs with a fitting and discreet inaccuracy or, having written them, unable to carry them to the publisher's. ...
The notion that such persons are gay of heart and carefree is curiously untrue. They lead, as a matter of fact, an existence of jumpiness and apprehension. They sit on the edge of the chair of Literature. In the house of Life they have the feeling that they have never taken off their overcoats. Afraid of losing themselves in the larger flight of the two-volume novel, they stick to short accounts of their misadventures because they never get so deep into them but that they feel they can get out. This type of writing is not a joyous form of self-expression but the manifestation of a twitchiness at once cosmic and mundane. Authors of such pieces have, nobody knows why, a genius for getting into minor difficulties: they walk into the wrong apartments, they drink furniture polish for stomach bitters, they drive their cars into the prize tulip beds of haughty neighbors, they playfully slap gangsters, mistaking them for old school friends. To call such persons 'humorists,' a loose-fitting and ugly word, is to miss the nature of their dilemma and the dilemma of their nature. The little wheels of their invention are set in motion by the damp hand of melancholy."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Photo

Friday Photo

A single photo, every Friday. No words required.

FACES Party Friends

Monday, September 15, 2014


Rain's teeth are a mess. He has a tiny little mouth (thank you, Duchenne) and great big teeth (sorry, kiddo) trying to crowd their way in. Braces are in his future, but right now the orthodontist is content with semi-annual check-ins until Rain's "6 year" molars come in. Judging by his sister, those "6 year" molars might be done working their way in when he's about 10.

When he was a baby, before he learned to walk, Rain used a little toy bicycle to get around. We lived in a tiny townhouse with more stairs than you could shake a stick at. One day, I left the safety gate open for just a minute, and Rain and his bicycle tumbled down a short flight of stairs onto a tile floor. Straight onto Rain's face. He chipped one front tooth and bruised the other so badly that it never recovered, but rather stayed right where it was, dead and brown. I was so grateful that he didn't break his nose or get a concussion that I didn't really worry about his teeth. The teeth weren't loose at all and didn't seem to cause him any trouble. Until this month.

Rain lost his first tooth recently and the others seem eager to get out of the way of those huge permanent teeth that are trying to scootch in. The last couple of weeks have seen a loosening of Rain's front teeth, which is perfectly normal and to-be-expected. But this was unexpected:

Something funny in Rain's mouth

Rain got a funny spot in his mouth. It was squishy, not painful, very mysterious, and growing. We took him to the dentist. She recommended an endodontist. The endodontist sent us back to the dentist. (I hate it when doctors do that!)

The dentist went ahead and pulled the dead front tooth and the one next to it, in the hope that this would cause that funny thing to go away.

It hurt a lot, Rain said. So he spent the rest of the day on the couch watching as many episodes of Sir David Attenborough's Life series as he wanted. I think he saw 10. Sir David makes everything bearable.

The tooth fairy came in due course. The funny spot remains, a little less than a week later. It seems to be shrinking but it isn't healing quite the way I had hoped. Maybe when that other front tooth, now hanging by a thread, comes out the funny spot will release.

Rain's new smile, for now
Rain's dentistry/orthodontistry saga is just beginning. Dental issues are common in people who have neuromuscular disorders but most dentists aren't trained in specific treatments for these patients. Many children's hospitals have dentistry programs for kids with special needs. Ours does. People with Duchenne can have further specialized dental needs. Read about some issues here.