Sunday, September 09, 2012

Water-based Drama, New Schools, and VillageFest

Eliza started Mornings at Memorial, a “mom’s day out”/nursery school at the church by the War Memorial. She will go to that and language therapy at the Kaufman Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so she’ll be quite the busy girl for the next several weeks!  

Later in the day with Christina at Kaufman. Hallie and Landon watched the action through a one-way  mirror. 

Mike got home in time for Hallie to make a quick run to the store (and take a bit of a mental health break) while he put Eliza to bed. She caught a beautiful view of sun and clouds.

We experienced a fair amount of drama on Wednesday. On Tuesday night, the kitchen faucet gave up the ghost. In the morning, Mike tried a last ditch effort to fix it, to no avail. He had taken the faucet apart, so after an appointment, Mike went to Lowe’s and bought a new faucet. When he got home, he saw that the faucet we have has a sprayer (that we never use), but that he bought one without a sprayer, so he tried putting the old one back together so we could use the sink. That wasn’t happening, so he cleaned up the water mess and shut off the water to the sink until he could get the right one. In the meantime, Eliza had taken a nap, and Hallie and Landon had gone to gymnastics. Mike and Eliza were supposed to meet up with Landon and Hallie for a photo shoot, but Eliza slept longer than usual while Mike was caught up in trying to avoid flooding the house or throwing a wrench through a window.

Hallie called to let Mike know that she and Landon would come by and pick them up instead. Mike pulled himself out from under the sink and got Eliza ready, then everyone drove up to the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm. We met up with the photographer, who took photos of the kids at various locations around the farm (Cute! We’ll post some when we get them). At the very end of the shoot, we were standing near an herb garden and shallow frog pond. Eliza suddenly decided to go headlong into the pond, and before anyone could react, she was underwater. Mike jumped in after her and promptly slipped onto his rear on the slimy pond bottom. After he got her out of the water and we were sure she was okay, Mike thought about the cell phone, iPod, and wallet (with Lowe’s receipt) that accompanied him into the water. We scrambled out of the water and calmed Eliza down. Once she settled down, she wanted to go right back into the pond, interestingly enough. Mike started to assess his personal and electronic damage: wet wallet and contents, functional iPod, and malfunctioning cell phone. For all the ruckus, no one got pictures. Go figure. 

We changed Eliza into some dry clothes we had in the car, but poor Mike had to ride home all wet and smelling of pond muck and frog poop. To make matters worse, he still had errands to run. So off we went, first to Lowe’s as planned to exchange faucets, next to the Sprint store on the fly for noncommittal news on the phone (“let it dry overnight”), and finally to Culver’s for an impromptu dinner. We ate a delicious meal outdoors, and Mike almost—almost—forgot that he was still all wet. Looking at Eliza, you’d never know she’d done a face plant in the water an hour before. All things considered, it was all pretty funny once we were all home and dry.

Both the kids, especially Landon, took longer than usual to go down. Hallie handled them while Mike installed the new kitchen faucet. Considering the dramatic afternoon they had, a little time dealing with leaking water under the sink really didn’t seem to matter. Mike took advantage of the fact Landon wouldn’t go down to get his help as a plumber’s assistant. He learned all about how the old faucet was put together and how water flows up from the basement, into the sink, and out through the drain.

The rest of the week seemed tame compared to Wednesday. Eliza still had nursery school and language, Mike had work, and Landon had soccer practice on Thursday, so we kept busy. Landon also had fun Thursday morning at Ghesquiere Park getting to know the kids at the preschool he will start attending next week. He is one of four boys in his morning class, and they all seemed to get along well. There are maybe 10 or 12 girls, so the fairer sex outnumbers our rambunctious gang by nearly three to one.

On Friday, Mike and Hallie went to Barnes Early Childhood Center to follow up and confer with folks there regarding Eliza’s IEP. As we had walked down this road before with Landon, things seemed more normal and less scary this time. Eliza has an expressive language delay (i.e., she doesn’t talk). Between the services she’ll receive at Barnes and Kaufman, she’ll become a regular chatterbox in no time. She more than effectively makes her needs known as it is, so we look forward to the time when she makes the leap to talking for herself.

We have used the Signing Time DVDs as a strategy to help both Landon and Eliza communicate. We recently borrowed several from the libraries, and Hallie learned through the mom’s club about “Momcat” Kelly Konieczki, a lady who teaches sign language locally. Momcat had a Signing Time class at the local Caribou Coffee on Saturday, so we ventured over with the kids and learned all about words to describe feelings. The kids seemed to have a lot of fun, and we parents (plus Landon!) learned some new words and strategies to use with Eliza. The annual VillageFest is happening this weekend, so we spent a little time between the class and Landon’s soccer game perusing the booths. Along the way, we saw some perch. 
Steampunk perch a la Captain Nemo's Nautilus

Moosejaw passed out packages of mustaches for the kids. Of course we indulged.
"I mustache you a question, but. . . ." 

"But what?" 

"But nothing. Just take the picture."

The parents of the players had a raucous time cheering on the kids as they played (or picked grass or otherwise got distracted). We enjoyed getting to know the other parents and cheering everybody on. Landon played forward, goalie, and midfielder/fullback. He did a better job this year paying attention to the game, and he said he liked playing.
Striker Landon passing the ball

Goalie Landon blocking the kick from dark green #7

Midfielder Landon rooted in place

Following soccer, we got takeout from Achatz Burgers and came home to let Eliza sleep. We introduced Landon to the 1973 Hanna-Barbara version of Charlotte’s Web. He seemed to enjoy it. Between that and the episode of the 1960s Star Trek he saw this morning, Landon is getting his full share of mind-numbing brain candy (or foundational classics of 20th Century TV media, depending on your perspective). Eliza slept for a long time after the morning’s adventures, but we eventually braved the crowds at the VillageFest again, where Landon decorated a small terra cotta pot from Pewabic Pottery and we enjoyed pierogies from Pierogi Gals and cannolis from Holy Cannoli’s for dinner. 

The feeling of fall has started to creep in. You can feel it in the cooler breezes, the relative silence of the now-absent cicadas, and the first golden patina on the leaves of some of the trees. Time to throw open the windows!

On Sunday we had stake conference for church, and a new stake presidency was called. Thanks, Pres. Lantz and your counselors over the years for your dedicated service! We wish the best to Presidents Parsons, Wells, and Marshall as they take the reins.  

1 comment:

You Know Who said...

The captions below the mustache pictures have to be your greatest work yet! I think it actually tops the verbose debate about basil (or was it mint?). Well done.