Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Random things we've been up to this week....

This week is our week before vacation mania starts. We have been spending all the time we can with our friends who are moving away. Our neighbor 8 families who hang out together had a get together on Sunday. I made the cake. Daniel LOVES when I am baking. It has always been something he would readily help with. Even when he was only 3. I'd put him up on a chair and go through the steps of adding ingredients and stirring. He really finds pleasure in it. So do I. It's something we share and I love the conversations we have while in the kitchen together. When I have a cake or cookies in the oven he loves to sit in front of it with the oven light on watching (not touching or being unsafe in any way) and commenting on the magical changes going on inside the oven. It is pretty amazing. I love how he appreciates the little things. He loved this cake because I had to bake 3 cakes and put them together, that with making all of the frosting was a lot of baking, along with more decorating. It was a theme cake for our friends who are moving to Florida. Sailing is something they like to do so the cake has a sailboat and the shark is a joke for Alyse who is scared of sharks. It is in jest that they are going to Florida where there are many many sharks. . .

Daniel was THRILLED with the outcome of the cake and actually didn't even get upset when we cut it. This has been a problem in the past. He didn't want it destroyed, even if he could get cake out of it. That was not the case this time, I'm happy to report.

This week at his therapy, they talked about mistakes. How to act, what to say, (not FREAKING out) when someone makes them or if he makes them. This was so timely. It was about calmly using your words, that it's ok to be disappointed but a lot of the time the mistake can be fixed if you go about it the right way. I really never understand how we can go over something like this millions of times, but Miss Mary talks about it for an hour and it sticks with him. Last night we went to Olga's Kitchen, which I've talked about before. They gave Daniel "spicy" fries, that were seasoned with cayenne and black pepper. I didn't even notice. Daniel started eating and looked up to Todd and said "why did they put cayenne on my fries? I don't like to eat them that way". Just as calm and cool as ever? Normally a mistake in a restaurant is punishable by death in his mind. We have waiters and waitresses all over town that remember us CLEARLY for YEARS after a mistake was made with his food....this time, just calmly said the problem. We praised him all over the place and said we'd get them to fix it. Which they did. He complained a bit that he "had to wait" but it was incredible. I quickly went over the things I remembered from the lesson and compared it to his excellent problem solving. Reinforcing at that moment is so helpful when he can see that he solved his own problem, it was taken care of and he was calm. What progress!

Now we are puppy sitting. That's right, my cousin dropped her puppy off here for two nights. He is a coton de tulear, and adorable. Here's a picture of "Polar" and I together.

The boys were very excited to have him, but as I suspected the "puppiness" in Polar is a bit much for Daniel. When puppies play, they nip. Daniel is not happy with this. Daniel wears giant bunny slippers in the morning, Polar thinks some bunnies have come in to play with him. Polar wants to nip and play with Daniel and Daniel starts jumping around like the cartoon elephant running with a mouse going between his giant feet. I'm yelling, "Daniel stop moving, don't step on the dog!" The puppy has gained several pounds and I think I was told he weighs 5 1/2 pounds now! Good grief! He is basically a white dust mop. Adorable yes. Unpredictable, YES!

Getting a dog is something I've been throwing around. I sort of knew a puppy didn't seem like the best fit for us for all the reasons I've stated. All I want is a trained, small, hypoallergenic, non shedding dog that isn't yippy and is good with kids. I know, that doesn't sound like a dog at all. There are some breeds that are possible, but I would really like to do a rescue and frankly all of the breeds I'm interested in cost a fortune. I can't pay that much for a dog. So in addition to those requirements, cheap is also added on. Impossible? Maybe. But I think we'll keep our eyes open. The pluses, I believe, would be helping teach some flexiblity. Teaching responsibility and caring. Dogs give unconditional love. All things that would be a great benefit to, not only Daniel, but Zachary too. For now. Two days seems like a good start.


mama edge said...

First: WHAT A WOMAN! That cake is so awesome. I want to copy it for my son's birthday (by which I mean, I'll bake a cake, xerox a copy of your photo and smush the paper right over the frosting. No way I can replicate that).

Second, how wonderful to see the progress in using words and being flexible! It may seem like he only got the hang of this after hearing it once from Mary, but I'd bet the jagillion times you said it first were a big part of it, too.

And finally, my ex got a Bichon Frise, which is basically a non-shedding, outdoor pooping cat from what I can tell. The boys love this dog and have learned some good things about empathy, chores, and yes, unconditional love. I have to admit, though, I'm glad the dog doesn't live here: one extra responsibility, I don't need.

Anonymous said...

Great looking cake! Wow, I wouldn't want to cut it either.

Aw, what a cute puppy. We've always had Lhasa Apsos (although we haven't had one since R was 1 yr. old). They're small, hypoallergenic, not yippy, great, loyal dogs. The biggest drawback is you have to get them groomed every few months.

lisbet said...

We've had wonderful luck with our rescue shih tzus. They don't shed, are fairly good for allergy sufferers, and while they do need trips to the groomer (in my house, to keep their fur short), it's not too pricey, and worth it for how cute they look.