Monday, September 28, 2009

C is for Candy (chocolate) Factory, Circus, and Camping

What a week! Where to start? How about our letter field trips for the week.
First we went to Sweet's Candy Factory in Salt Lake with a few of our adorable friends. 3 sets of twins, 6 boys within 5 months of each other--what could be more fun? I hope you don't mind I stole the pic Jess, thanks for having your camera handy. It was a fun visit, one I found quite interesting for myself. Having a candy sample that was still warm from being made was seriously rocking. The boys did pretty well too (surprisingly) and had a lot of fun picking out candy in the discount shop they had.

Saturday we caught the Barnum and Bailey show, Zing Zang Zoom.

Wizard Davis

Magician Carter

We didn't have outstanding seats, but we didn't pay much for them either. The first half the munchkins were completely mesmerized. They didn't budge the whole time. Carter didn't even eat the handful of cotton candy I gave him. For the record, I was mesmerized too. The acrobats and tight rope walkers were so amazing. I don't know how they do it all, some of those performers must be incredibly strong. There was a magic component to the show that was fun and intriguing also, not sure how they do it!

Life is pretty good!

After intermission the boys were a little less interested but still enjoyed it. I thought that was the best part, elephants and tigers!

Quite the fun time, I want to go again!

After nap we headed out to go camping with Lowell's family. A stop for gas, then groceries, some mixed up directions and 20+ miles up Payson canyon later we finally made it around 8:30 pm. Lowell set up the tent in the dark and we huddled around the camp fire getting dinner for my poor hungry bubbas.

S'more's makes everything better--the toasted coconut 'mallows were even better than last time, holy cow I love them! The boys and I got tucked into bed while Lowell cleaned up and visited.

Leap Pads in the tent, yeah we definitely rough it :).

This is where the night went from somewhat questionable to just plain bad. The boys quickly gave up their beds and climbed in with Lowell and I. Fine, we were all warm and cozy. A few hours later Lowell got up to "use the restroom" and when returning flipped the sleeping bag over and didn't realize the air mattress pump was on top. I was awakened by it slamming into my face, cutting open my lip, bruising my mouth, and leaving my teeth aching. It was a good time for Carter to push me out of our bed (serious bed hog) so I moved over to his bed and just whimpered over my swollen mouth and sore tummy (from swallowing blood, ick!). At some point the boys had unpluggled their mattress so it was very low and just had their kid sleeping bags (note to self: we are buying them thicker bags before we go camping again, just not warm enough for late September weather). Lowell was a sweetie and came and warmed me up but neither of us slept well. The munchkins were enjoying themselves in their double high full air mattress and thick sleeping bags (grrr. . . ).

Grandma occupied the boys by spinning them around in a chair from the camper while breakfast was being cooked. It was yummy and fun to watch the boys explore and play with their cousins.

We had a great site--isn't this fab? Totally isolated but enclosed so the kids knew how far they could roam.

Carter smiling in the camper (it's Lowell's sister's and the only way I want to camp without toilets near by).

Little C in the yellow aspens

Big D also

The trees driving home, holy cow it was gorgeous! up Nebo loop. I love fall colors in the canyons. So that was camping, for all my whining and drama about loss of sleep (and still sore lip) it was a good time and we sure enjoyed time with the fam.

Other notable items from the week:

Tuesday Lowell's mom and sis watched the boys so we could go to the temple for the first time in far far too long. I'm not going to even admit how long, but it was so nice. So peaceful and relaxing and uplifting. I think we haven't gone because we felt like if we have a break from the kids we need to do something restful like seeing a movie or going out to dinner but we were definitely in the dark because the most restful activity would have been going to the temple. And just what we need to boost us as parents so we can try to be better parents. Anyway, another note to self: Go to the temple!

This week was the boys' 4 year doctor appointment. They continue to be small, actually falling in the percentiles from last year. They are 7-8 percentile for height and 40 or so for weight. They did well on their eye test and though they were literally climbing the walls (and driving me crazy!) their doctor felt they were developing well and still age appropriate. He thought they may be leaning toward ADHD but woudn't recommend medicating them yet (we wouldn't want to even if he did suggest it) so that was as far as we got with that. Didn't have the H1N1 shot yet so we'll be back for flu shots. And Yes, I am giving my kids the shot and yes our ped recommends it.

Then today was the big assessment with the Early Childhood Assessment Center. It was both good and bad. There was a lot of helpful information derived from it, but although they noticed a few deficiencies especially in behavior, they will not qualify for additional help. First they tell you your child is in an at risk zone for certain cognitive areas and then in significant need based on behavior and then that that is as far as it will go. They can tell you they have problems but not what you can do to help it. That may sound harsher than it was, because the people were very nice and encouraging to us as parents but that is the take home message I got. Some of the cognitive delays they believe are either developmental meaning they just haven't reached that point yet but will or behavioral meaning they could do the skill but just wouldn't in the testing process. They do not diagnose but told us they have ADHD and anxiety issues. That was good info, it is a starting point for more research and for finding ways to help them to learn. They thought Carter was very "engineer" like, he did the puzzles so efficiently and when asked to identify the window on a house, he called it a rectangle. Lowell was in with Davis but apparently he talked up a storm and the ladies just loved him and thought he was very funny and cute. Charmers for sure. I guess what I didn't understand was that they could only qualify for school based on cognitive or speech delays. I never thought they had either. I thought they could qualify based on behavior but that was not the case. I am still in flux deciding what to do with this info (they also said they felt the preschool teacher was not patient enough with them and thought they may do better in another school). At this point I think I am going to continue teaching them myself. They are excelling in some areas (letters, reading [Davis is reading now too by the way, such a bummer to be the 2nd of twins to do something, much less fanfare]) and need help in others (colors, fine motor) and I feel I can better help them by teaching them myself. They won't be bored learning what they already know but can get extra help with what they don't. We also get to have fun doing letter field trips with our friends and we are going to start preschool once a week with Anthony and Andrew, switching houses each week. The big challenge will remain their behavior but I am hoping to get as much social experiences in as I can for them. Our twin friends our one way, we also want to start karate soon, and our very sweet primary president has contacted us about new ways they want to try to get the boys to feel involved and welcome at church. It is wonderful to have people care about us so much, on one hand I really wish the boys did not need extra help, but since they do I am grateful they are working on plans so they can go to church. So that's another great social experience for them. I may yet change my mind and try to find a school to take them, but for now I am happy with this choice. And I am happy with my boys. I plan to keep this blog as a journal for them in the future and I don't want them to think we ever thought they weren't just fantastic little men. We may have some hurdles to helping them get the most out of school (in 2 years) but I am hopeful we can pass them and encourage those stinking cute boys on to the best that they can be.


Kristen said...

I had forgotten that they still have 2 more years before kindergarten! Seems like they are well on their way.

And I'm sorry your eval wasn't as helpful as you had hoped. I was under the impression, too, that you can qualify on more than just cognitive or speech. I know it's a lot harder to qualify in just one area (below the 2nd percentile, I believe). Or below the 7th in 2 or more areas. But even ADHD, if it doesn't affect their school performance, than it'd not really even considered the true disorder.

Anyway - at least you can breathe a sigh of relief that they don't need to be in special ed!

And you are doing amazing things with your kids. I'm impressed. :)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if they've changed the critera sometime in the last three years? Huh. Well, I will say that I have strong feelings towards parents being the most effective teachers children can have. And I know that c and d now have the best possible pre-school teacher ever. I'm sorry to hear about your lip (ouch!) but you did get some pretty pics :) Love you Heidi, it sounds like Heavenly Father does too.

Sal-my-gal said...

Nebo loop looks beautiful! We'll have to get up there this week.

Sal-my-gal said...

Frank Lloyd Wright was very "engineer like" as a child too : )

Queen Mother said...

First I have to say: OUCH! About the air pump and your mouth. Seriously, OUCH! I hope you're feeling better!

Next - I am glad that you are going to do some sort of preschool with them with other children. I think they need socialization. I know it's hard because of everything that just happened with their preschool, but learning to act socially appropriate is very important. Preschool is so much more than just learning academics, the social aspects are a large part of its importance. So, yay!

I'm surprised they wouldn't have some sort of service for them. I hestitate to medicate children - but I do agree that the twins may have ADHD tendencies. That makes a lot of sense. Hopefully they can outgrow some of the behaviors! I bet they will!

Hang in there mama - you're doing great!