Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Oh, you probably won't get a postcard this year, so consider this it!

This is the Gwendo-family on vacation. As you can see - constant motion is the itinerary.
I am in my own personal heaven right now. Where is yours?

There is no other place I would rather be on my birthday (which is tomorrow), or any day, for that matter.

I am a lucky mama.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Great Parenting

Left unattended for almost an entire minute:

'HA! That mama thinks she is gonna pack for Hawaii, but I am not gonna let her! I must go. I have suitcases to unpack and climb into.'

Monday, September 10, 2007

Desperate Milestones

Do you see it? Can you tell? What is different? Just take a guess!

Supergirl has been obsessed with losing teeth for approximately 18 months now. Maybe it is because she really is smaller than the rest of her peers and later to develop (at important things like losing teeth - and not sure how to break it to her about the breasts...).
Maybe it is because she is also obsessed with fairies, and this should have been obvious to me. I don't know. But I do know that this is *A Great Event* at our house.

Supergirl was the only kid who did not lose a tooth in Kindergarten. Oh, she claimed that she had a 'wiggly tooth' for months. She would even 'wiggle' it for us (cringe- there was no loose tooth!). But, nothing.
Finally, the very day before first grade started, she had a wiggly tooth. A really wiggly tooth. Not fictitious by any standard, as she was able to soon delight the family with tooth tricks:
Pushing it perpendicular to the gum with her tongue, making that awful tooth-pulling-away-from-socket sucking noise, claiming that she could 'feel the root' and it was 'really sharp', etc.

And then, her best friend came to visit yesterday. Betsy does not go to her school. Betsy just lost her lower front right tooth (lower right central, if you care) the other day! WOW! Nuts!

Some comments were made by adults about the coincidental tooth, and, as Betsy proudly showed us her gap, Supergirl and her hanging-by-a-thread-tooth disappeared for a brief interlude. Moments later, she presented us with a big smile, and this:

Monday, September 03, 2007

Smacked By Raffi

I am, occasionally, overcome by emotion.
I am, occasionally smacked in the face and upside the head with some visceral memory of Elijah.
I am even, occasionally, moved to tears by a song.
But today?

I may have toppled over that edge.

When Elijah was with us, there was a point, perhaps around seven months, when I realized that he would, most likely, never walk. Of course if I had voiced that realization at the time, it might have been interpreted as losing all touch with optimism, so I kept my mouth shut for the most part. Not to imply that dh was in denial, but even between us it was an unspoken, yet understood, foreboding.
There were other fears, other forebodings, that were barely allowed in my thoughts, let alone in my conversations. (not that they asked for or needed permission)
When friends and relatives gave Elijah a gift of clothing (Tiny Boy wore the same size - 3mos- for his entire 13 month life - that is, when he wasn't in the preemie clothes), I was always relieved if I didn't spot any sports-related motifs on it. I am sure there are those parents who will disagree with me, but HEY! I've got something to SAY!
(clears throat)
If you are giving a gift to a child who has special needs that may be physically restricting, then PLEASE, for the love of cod, do NOT give them something with, say, a soccer print on it. Because, as the parent who was wondering how many years it would be until we needed a wheelchair, and would insurance cover any of that, well...I found it really hard (okay, I am just going to say it: insulting) to dress my child in soccer clothes! Or football, or basketball, or 'lil' slugger'. The irony was a bit too much for me to swallow, and I often choked on it.
Better to stay away from all sports.
Where was I going with this before I got all lecture-y and in your business about not rubbing someone's limitations in someone's face and how that might cause some strong emotions? Oh yes, emotional breakdowns. (welcome to my brain, we're happy to have you here!)

So, Elijah used to have a lot of therapy. A. Lot. He was in OT and/or PT usually three times each week. And of course we continued what we could at home. One thing he loved to do in therapy and at home, was swing. Not in those little bitty baby swings so much, but in Big Swings. Swings that went places. And because I am a music teacher, or maybe just because I am a mommy, I was always singing to him whenever we did anything repetitive for any length of time. I had a few swinging songs. I think I started singing to keep myself entertained, but Elijah loved music, and if I started swinging him without the tunes, he would often start quietly cooing. Quietly, but in a clearly melodic way. To gently remind me.
One of those songs was a Raffi tune of which I heard only the refrain in a childrens' store. The tune was pretty and simple.
I never heard the rest of the words - so I would just sing 'lalalalalalalala' after that, then back to "Swing..." Elijah didn't mind, and I was covering the important part.

But last week was a big week for us. Supergirl started first grade and also got a library card! So we came home from the library on Wednesday with a bag of books, DVDs, and CDs.
Today I took the children with me to buy groceries, tossing a library CD in the car for variety. It was a Raffi CD. One I had never heard before. I guess you can see where this is going.
(straight into another non-sequitur, you ask?)

The guitar intro started, and I thought, 'Oh, this is pretty. Sort of 'Raffi covers Simon and Garfunkle'. How different!' and then the lyrics kicked in;
and I started to cry. Just because I realized where I had heard it, used it, sung it. I remembered, and it made me sad. And I was trying to explain this to Supergirl, but dammit if she didn't just want me to rewind the song over and over so she could hear it. Again.
And I would have been okay, really, okay with the memory and the song and the sadness.

But then I heard this:
Like the robin in my window, I feel like I can fly away
On a cloud or on a rainbow
I know, I'll go
Like the moon up in the heavens
Like the balsam growing tall
Like the tides that move the oceans
I know, I'll go"

Fuck you, Raffi.
Fuck your clouds and your rainbows and fuck you, too.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Guess What I Did?

I'm learning how to focus, people.

I have created a dumping ground an appropriate forum for the ever burning question, "What's in Supergirl's lunchbox today?"
(Nobody cares what you had for lunch? Oh, really?)