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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Needing: Boy Toys

I have been acutely aware over the last few months that we are needing some honest to goodness boy toys around here.  Andrei is constantly remaking one of the girls old toys into something that roars, cuts, or creates a noise that it was not expressly designed.  Here is his latest "conversion."  He takes the dust buster part of Kennedi's play vacuum and reinvents it as a saw.  Pathetic I know.
You need a serious face to do this kind of work.  Pants might come in  handy as well. 

Cutting down the ficus tree.
 Their Momma Carol got them these awesome tracks.  Hot Wheels, a little space, and no batteries.  Andrei loves getting them out. 

And doesn't my 90s couch look awesome with my 90s purple carpet??!! I knew from the beginning that this house was destined for us! LOL

So, my question for you with boys, what are some great boy toys for a little boy nearing the 3 year old mark? 

(And yes, my boy is shaggy in these photos.  He needs a haircut constantly.  I've never seen hair grow like his.  The good part is we've found a barber here in our little town.  He's a grandpa, is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and charges $10 a haircut.  Whoo Hoo!)

Friday, October 5, 2012


Kennedi has tested out of speech therapy!  I am so proud of her.  She'd been going to speech for 3 years, and last month she was tested and is performing above average for her age! Whoo Hoo! Three years ago when she was tested, she was performing in the bottom 3%.  She has come a long, long way!

She never talked.  She preferred to grunt and scream.  I'd try to get her to say something and she'd just smile and nod her head.  There was no buying a vowel from that child. She had something like 10 words at 2 years old. Maybe 10. Maybe.  When she was 15 months, we had her hearing and speech tested.  Hearing was OK.  She qualified for speech, (of course you do when you just say Ma and da at a year and 1/2.), and so I loaded her up at 7:30 the first morning of her speech therapy.  I watched the therapist put her in a high chair, get some animals out, and then begin playing and making sounds like a cow.  Kennedi of course said nothing.  Later at home that same day, I got out a cow, said moo to Kennedi, handed the cow to her and she said "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO." 

OK, so it's a motivational thing with you, I thought.  She can hear, she can talk (but only if she wants to), so like a bad parent I cancelled the speech therapy sessions.  I figured at $85 an hour, I could get my own plastic animals out and sound like a barnyard for a lot less.  She'll talk when she's good and ready. 

And really, we didn't see much of a vocabulary utter out of her mouth until she turn 2 1/2.  And then nobody could understand her.  But talk she did.  I was her main interpreter.  Poor little thing.  She was 3 but talked like a 12 month old.  But, after a year of speech therapy, my oh my, the difference that finally made.  And she talks and talks and talks and talks.  To everyone.  Literally. 

So, yesterday was her 3 year ARD Review.  I reminded Doug about it Monday.  I had it on the calendar.  11:00 AM.

I didn't look at the calendar yesterday.  I don't know why.  11:01 Amber (her speech therapist) calls me.  "Are you planning on coming to Kennedi's ARD?" 

Thank goodness it only takes me 8 blocks to get to the school.  I show up with my tongue hanging out and dressed in my stay at home mom clothing--sweats and a t-shirt.  Yeah, the principal's wife is impressing a lot of folks today!  Doug said, "I'm so glad you're so comfortable in your skin." 

Funny Honey.

Anyway, we celebrated Kennedi's graduation with ice-cream last night.  Ice-cream that she picked out at our neighborhood Thriftway after school.  And although I am not a spokesperson for Blue Bunny, this stuff she picked out was waaaaaay good! You must try it.  There is yummy icing in the middle! Yeah Baby!!!

I'm not a big ice-cream fan, but these were so awesome.  There are 5 of them left sitting in my freezer as I type this.  I want one.  But should I choose to devour one--or two--they are little--I will suffer the ire of my 8 year old.  She has already told me she'll be checking the freezer when she gets home today to make sure everything is as it was.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Life in a Small Town

Our new "city" is small.  Like 2000 people small.  I haven't lived in a small town since I graduated high school.  The college I attended was in a small Oklahoma town, but I don't count that.  A college town just doesn't have the same feel. Too many strangers are popping in and out all year long.  Some people think 35,000 is a small town.  That would be true if all you had known was Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Austin, etc.  I lived and taught in a 35,000 town. Yes, it does have that small town "feel," but it was never a really small town in my opinion.

I have been amazed and blessed by strangers in this town.  Of course, when you live in such a small town, everyone here knows you are the new guy. There is no Wal-Mart; there is no Jump-N-Jive; there is no chimney sweeper. But, the experiences I have so far have been refreshing. 

#1~On moving day, Doug took the tool box with the allen wrench in it back to our old house to get another load of stuff. I was assigned to getting the beds all put together.  Kennedi's bed required an allen wrench.  I called Doug and he told me there was a parts house on Main Street.  The owner (I think) who is also the town mayor couldn't find the size I needed in his inventory.  So, he loaned me his mechanic's allen wrench from the back of the store.  That wouldn't have happened in our previous city!

#2~I was mailing a package the other day, and the lady at the post office read the return address.  "Oh, I've heard good things about your husband," she says.  In my most cordial and intellegient voice I uttered, "Huh?"    I was taken aback how in the world she knew who I was.  "Your husband is Doug, right? I heard wonderful things about him at the game last week."  Yes, small town people are always at the the Friday night football game and talk about the new people in town.  I don't think in 7 years of going to the post office in our prior town the people at the post office knew who I was.  Just a regular face at the window...

#3~I was at the pharmacy last week looking for some over the counter medicine for Annsley.  It has been a long, long, long time since a pharmacist walked out from behind the counter, asked me questions about her, and picked out the best congestion medicine for her.  I was in such a state of shock.  I must go back and tell him how impressed I was by that.  I just walked out in such a daze of "wow--that is service!" 

#4~Andrei and I usually make a quick run to our neighborhood Thriftway grocery store once a week after we drop off the girls at school.  While I'm paying out, the grocery bagger asks me what car I am in--there are 2 cars in the parking lot so she couldn't tell. (Yes, they bag your groceries and take them outside for you.)  By the time Andrei and I get to the car, she's already loaded all my groceries in my vehicle.  (Of course, this only works if you don't lock your car door.  And I haven't felt the need to lock my door since we moved here.  Ever.  I've just been trying to break the habit of NOT locking it.)

I LOVE all this stuff.  Maybe the new hasn't worn off yet, but it's good so far! I love the fact that my kids are safe.  That they can ride their bikes to the park and chances are slim they will not get run over even if Kennedi doesn't check the traffic at the intersections.  That I'm not sent in panic mode when Annsley leaves the back yard and heads down the alley to see our neighbor without telling anyone.  Doug and I had always talked about moving back to a small town to raise kids as we both came from small towns.  So far it's been a great decision!
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