Wednesday, December 30, 2009


First, an aside. When I started this blog, I intended it to be more about Tboy. This is because I think the 'typical' child is really the other child in a special needs family. But it seems that I really only write about Tgirl. I just felt compelled to say that. I do have things to say about Tboy, but I guess I am just not ready yet.

Now onto the post!

We are going to get Tgirl's haircut in a few minutes. We cut it short over the summer for several different reasons. Not the least of which is she was getting tired of having her hair blown dry every night. I was also not relishing the thought of drying her hair night after night after night with no end in sight. So, we chopped it off. She loved it!! It is also nice because as it turns out, she can comb her own hair now - which she also loves.

Unfortunately, she is often mistaken for a boy, even when she is dressed in pink. At no time was this more apparent than late summer/early fall when she was in a 'wear her brother's clothes phase'.

Anyway - we are going to get a haircut in about an hour and we will see what we end up with. It's been about two months since her last one. I think I want it to be wispy-er and shorter to see if that helps.

Be back later!

Here she is :-)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas

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Leading up to Christmas

Christmas is now two days past, and I feel like I should be writing about our day and how everything went. But before the big day is of course, the month of anticipation starting from Thanksgiving.

Every year, Christmas gets a little better. By that I mean each year, Tgirl realizes a little bit more about what is going on and starts to expect what will happen next. It's one thing to see your typical child anticipate and get ready for the big day. It's something else completely different to watch the other child going through the motions of the season. For sure, she has always enjoyed the typical traditions, I mean who wouldn't like chocolate candy in their stocking and seeing the endless array of new stuff that magically appears.

The first year we really did Christmas with the kids, she didn't even realize she was supposed to open a present and quite frankly, she didn't know how. But each year she puts a few more pieces together and starts to expect, anticipate and react more appropriate to all of the goings on. Like when we decorated this year and watched her carefully find and pull out each Santa and then arrange them on the end table. She had never done that before, but it seems after a few years of seeing the routine, she knew just what to do.

This year, Tgirl starting very excitedly signing "Santa" whenever we starting talking about Christmas. She signed more and more every day right up until Christmas Eve when she ran around almost all day chirping and signing Santa. It was really cute to see her and realize that she knows Santa, even if she is afraid of him whenever she sees him.

The real challenge is shopping. It's not that Tgirl is hard to buy for - clothes, shoes, cars - she definitely has her preferences. The problem is mine. It is absolutely heartbreaking to walk the aisles of the toy department and see all of the toys one "should" be buying their 7 year old daughter. For years, I have walked by the princess toys, the baby dolls, the Easy Bake ovens, the Barbies, the Littlest Pet Shop and on and on. Many times, I have shed a tear or two standing there looking at the things that every other mom is buying for their little girl.

She also loves toys that make noise. For a while this year, I was debating buying her a Tag reader; I wasn't sure if she would be able to make it work. While standing and looking at them one day, I had a mom start talking to me while she was debating buying some Leapster thing or another. She went on and on about how her 4 year old twins were born early and how one had really struggled but was now reading and doing all this wonderful stuff. She was actually debating if some 3+ toy would be okay. I am happy of course, that this woman will never live in Holland, but it wasn't a good time for me to hear this when I was going through all of my present-buying angst. My little delayed, struggling girl will never read.

After all of these years, Tgirl is finally getting into dress-up and imaginary play, and stuff like that. Unfortunately, all of the neat dress-up clothes are for much younger girls - try finding a princess dress to fit someone her age. It's a good thing her head is so very small, as I was at least able to get her a tiara that fits! I also found her a nice tutu, but again, as it is made for a much younger child, it barely fits her. But she loves it, so I am happy.

In the end, I had a nice assortment of gifts for her, including the requisite car (although it was a Barbie sports convertible - my attempt at getting her something roughly age-appropriate).

Another present buying season come and gone, and I can relax again until her birthday.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Early Christmas

In big school, there are really neat field trips. At Christmas time, Tgirl goes with her class to the Dollar Tree to Christmas shop. This is followed by lunch at McDonald's. Before she goes, a note comes home, asking who she will be buying for and what they might like. Then, you send in the money and wait!

This is actually a pretty cool field trip; I went on it last year. However, like all of Tgirl's field trips, I find them very emotionally draining and avoid them if at all possible. This year, the hubster was able to go; he loves these things.

In addition to the shopping, they make their own wrapping paper and then bring home all of the wrapped presents right before Christmas break. When Tgirl brought them home, she wanted everyone to open them right away. So we did!

She got Tboy a really cool Santa Lantern. He really liked it. In fact, he used it to light his way behind the couch where he proceeded to clean out all of the toys and junk that had accumulated there. Way to go on getting a useful gift Tgirl!!!

She got Daddy a new tape measure and I got a cooking spoon. Can one ever have enough? I think not.

Most of our fun family events end up with one or the other - or even both - crying. But this was an exception. Tboy actually ran off to wrap one of the gifts he had already gotten Tgirl.

Tboy had gotten her a new car - she loves cars. In fact, she has been carrying this car around with her everywhere since she got it. Tboy was thrilled she loved it.

Every now and then, they get along, are happy with each other, and life is good.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa

We went today to the annual Cookies and Cocoa with Santa. It's hosted by the local Family Support Network. We've been going for years now. The goal is to provide a low-key environment for the kids to do crafts, play games, and of course, see Santa.

It generally lives up to that. Although Tgirl doesn't like Santa. In years past, she has screamed bloody murder but we have gotten her to sit on his lap. This year, no such luck - she would not even go into the same room as Santa. Still, she played games,

choose prizes,

and even decorated her gift bag.

She wouldn't eat her cookie though - goldfish, yes - cookie no.  I guess that is what Mom is for.

Even Tboy seemed to be having fun, assembling a mass of Puffy Penguins Prizes. Unfortunately, on the way out, he started making fun of the kids and complaining about them. I guess he did it for attention, and he is really self-centered at the moment, but really - the sibling of a special needs child making fun of special needs children????!!!! How appalling and embarrassing! I can think of nothing worse he could do. The consequence we gave him was what we considered logical and reasonable and what had to be done. Doesn't make it any easier though. I wish I knew what when on in his mind.

The truth is, I probably do know what is on his mind. He is probably confused, a little scared, unsure of how this all fits in his world, and wondering why he does so much of Tgirl-centric activities. Why isn't he going to to a Santa party for 'normal' kids. Little boy versions of the thoughts that go on in my head. We've explained things to him as best as we can, but he probably won't really grasp it all until he is much older.  And we often keep things from him because it is overwhelming and hard to understand. Is that right or wrong? Only time will tell.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


The Saturday After Thanksgiving - the annual set-up the tree day!

First, we had to drag everything out from under the eaves, and get it sorted. Once the ornament box made it's appearance, Tgril went straight to it, digging around quite purposely...


and then placing....

Finally - all the Santa's in their spot!

Yes, each year the Santa's go on the side table. Mostly, they are a collection of ornaments that are too heavy for the tree. This year, Tgirl took it upon herself to find them and get them displayed. I know that Tgirl has long-term memory; she's shown it before. But when someone has an IQ of 32, you just never can be too sure about what is going on in there. It was, oh I don't know what the word would be, but it was 'insert word here' to see her look so diligently for the Santas and place them just so. There is a mind and voice in there and I would give all that I have to hear it come out. Instead, I have to content myself with these glimpses, and know that she does know how to make sense and order out of her life.