Friday, April 17, 2009

[day 108 ... april 18]

Time to mow the lawn! Lucky I have a teenager to help out with that these days. Not looking forward to the few years after Tynor is gone and before Niall is old enough to mow.

[day 107 ... april 17]

Lately Niall has been loving playing basketball, particularly with teacher Mike (as in this after school photo). He can even make baskets sometimes, and is learning about dribbling. He's delighted with his skills and really focuses on improving, taking tips from Mike and practicing and practicing. It's fun to see him enjoying it so much. Though now he wants to be on a basketball team next year, and I'm not sure he'd like that so much. We'll see how Skyhawks basketball camps go this summer and take it from there.

[day 106 ... april 16]

Another fun session at Rosemary White's with our super OT therapist, Carissa. This time we were downstairs with several other kids and their therapists (and parents - though we mostly watched the frey this time, as there were so many kids and people running around).

This is therapist Jeannette in the blue caterpiller costume (as it were). She and the child she works with join us or vice versa maybe once out of every 4-5 visits. It adds another dynamic to the session when the children can be encouraged to collaborate with each other. "What's your plan for getting the ball from me? I think it'll only work if you team up and do it together") and get help sorting out conflicts when they inevitably arise ("Ask him when he'll be done with that" or "Maybe he has another idea of how you two could build the fort - did you check with him?"
There is typically a LOT of action and running when we're in the big downstairs room, and Niall and Cory were both completely sweaty and soaked by the time we were done today. But it was a fun, fast-moving, exciting session that they both really enjoyed. It's great when they can enjoy it AND we can keep working on those goals for Niall too.

[day 105 ... april 15]

We love Great Harvest! I only wish there were one in Woodinville - sigh. But at least we're lucky enough to be near one once a week now, typically, because the Great Harvest in Lake Forest Park (pictured here) is on our way to Niall's weekly OT appointment at Rosemary White's clinic. We have an hour between school pickup and our appointment, and the drive takes a half hour more or less (the clinic is in Shoreline). So we nearly always have 10-15 minutes to spare to swing by GH and get a bread sample. We're well acquainted with the breads they bake and serve on Wednesdays now!

We usually buy a loaf or two of bread too - how can you resist when it's so yummy and so good for you, to boot. Choices are almost always a loaf of Wade's Wheat (formerly known as Honey Wheat, I believe) and then sometimes a loaf of Cinnamon Twist (sinfully delicious) or perhaps Feta Spinach (which Niall is particularly fond of). Makes me hungry just to type this. :-)

[day 104 ... april 14]

The chicks have officially moved outside! I came home today to find one of them standing *outside* the box, looking like she wasn't quite sure why she could hear her friends but couldn't see them. Silly girl! I'm sure she just flew right out and then had no idea where she was. Well, at least we came home in the mid-afternoon (rather than early evening as we often do), and I was able to pick her right up and plop her back into the box.

But clearly the writing was on the wall: time for these young ladies to be enjoying their new digs - outside.

The only thing that was holding me back from moving them was trying to figure out a good feeding and watering system in the small space of the chicken tractor. Pressed to get them outside straight away, I decided they can make do with the feeder and waterer I've been using all along, and eventually I'll track down something better that holds more feed and water.

Moving them was quick and easy, and they took to their new home pretty well. One of them jumped up to the top roost immediately, and then seemed to have no idea how to get down. Probably the same one who flew out of the box - I just bet it is! She did finagle her way back down eventually, but it took her a good 10-15 minutes. None of them knew what to make of the plank from the house to the outdoor area, and they tried walking on it very hesitantly. But they'll figure it out quickly, I'm sure.

[day 103 ... april 13]

Just a welcome sign of spring. I love seeing daffodils. Although crocuses are earlier, daffodils - to me - mean that Spring is really come after all. I mean, a crocus will sprout right through the snow, which is a wonderful trait. But daffodils wait until the ground actually starts warming up, and that's when we're on our way to sunshine and wading pools and fresh veggies and all that good stuff. So the daffodils are a real harbinger of the end of winter, for me, and it always cheers me to see them finally arrive.

These daffodils are in a field up the street from our house, and I just liked how they were planted with the grass and how they're framed by the dark fence.

[day 102 ... april 12]

Happy Easter! The boys awoke to find their Easter baskets on the couch, as usual, and enjoyed breaking into their new Lego sets and beginning to build them. I caught a few extra minutes of sleep, though was awoken periodically with questions about "Can I have this treat?" as the chocolate in the plastic eggs was too alluring to ignore on an empty stomach (or, heck, any time at all for these boys! :-)

Later in the day we dyed eggs, trying for a few multi-colored versions but often dunking them accidentally in the end. Oh, well! The eggs turned out beautifully anyway, and we enjoyed the dying process. It's fun to have both boys old enough to manage this now, at least to some degree. We did have a few cracked eggs but they're hardboiled, of course, so little harm done.

I really like these cute bunny egg holders, but sadly they're losing their paint coating so I don't know how many more years we'll be able to use them. Enjoy them while we can, I guess.

[day 101 ... april 11]

Cory, Niall and I went for a neighborhood walk today, and took the north route instead of heading south down to see the goats, as we usually do. It was nice to have a change of scene, and good to get outside and stretch our legs in the reasonably nice weather. I enjoyed taking photos of the daffodils and other early flowers growing in yards and by the side of the road, and the kids ran around and explored.
When we got home, Niall picked a little bouquet in our backyard: the classic dandelions with some fallen cherry blossoms for variety.