Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween from Ant Man and Yellow Jacket.

P not only dressed up this year but is trick or treating with SS.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The tale of wiggly tooth and gummy gum.

SS lost another tooth, and it was a long time coming, because she was driving us nuts complaining about the wiggly tooth. It was wiggly way before she lost the bottom tooth on the right side of her mouth (left side on the pic). Even though she said she was not doing intentionally the girl was constantly messing with that tooth during her waking hours. She was actually almost asleep when she nonchalantly spit it out, then told me how it just happened to fall. I was thankful she didn't swallow the thing altogether. But you know, Tooth Fairy money is too good to let that happen.

The the gum was rather swollen, we are convinced as a direct result of all the so called accidental tongue pushing, and finger wiggling SS had done for so long. She was really upset about the protruding gum, and it looked like she was headed to a miserable meltdown. Those are never welcomed, but are really horrific at bedtime. The up side was that we reminded SS the Tooth Fairy only leaves money on the child's bed, and only if the child is sleeping on said bed. It was good to get her out of our room without pouting or complaining. That girl jetted out of our bed and room in record time.

But the next morning the whining resumed with constant reminders of how awful the gum looked. P tried to ease her mind saying that was the adult tooth coming out. I was highly skeptical but kept my mouth shut hoping it did the trick. Nope, SS inherited Mami's ability about not letting go of a thought/subject. The tooth "fell out" Wednesday night, full blown obsessing over the gum started on Thursday morning, and SS had an already scheduled dental appointment for a teeth cleaning Monday after school. Lord have mercy, we were going to suffer through her obsession for five days. Yes five, because Monday morning counted, and the afternoon ride to the dentist's office counted as well. 

What made it more frustrating is that SS did not buy it was her tooth coming through, but would not allow us to touch her gum, and now all of a sudden, would not touch her gum to feel if the imaginary tooth was coming through.  After messing so much with that wiggly tooth, the gum was off limits. We are never going to figure out how that child's brain works. But it does work in mysterious ways. And the mysterious way this time was that she refused to believe the swelling would go down, because how would we know about such complicated matters that keep her up at night?

Finally, the much anticipated appointment. And once again SS was afraid of going, and we went through the whole, Oh I am so scared routine. Then once at the office she sat on that chair for X-rays on her own, I actually took that picture from quite far, thus the poor quality. 

Happy girl, because Dr. Lee explained all that wiggling of the tooth, and the time it took for that stubborn tooth to "fall out" on its "own", gave SS what is called in medical terminology as a "gummy gum." And that was that, because SS is a tough customer, and since we do not have MD or DDS next to our names she would not settle for our slack jawed yokel opinions. Dr. Lee recommended she massage the gum with her clean fingers or her tongue. But threw in that if it is still swollen in two months to make an appointment.

SS's gummy gum is significantly less swollen, problem almost solved. Now on to her next crisis. Behold the woes of an eight year old. I just can't help but wince at our future orthodontic bills whenever I look at SS's teeth. And of course the implant for the missing adult tooth.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

San Diego Safari Park

A week ago we were surprised to receive an email from Mr. H. He lost his composure due to two kids misbehaving more than usual. Mr. H has the bulk of the rowdy boys this year, and a bad situation escalated to worse, with Mr. H raising his voice.  He apologized not only to parents via email, but to each child individually, explained he was not perfect, would strive to be a better role model, and asked for their forgiveness. We do appreciate his remorse and understand how difficult it is to keep 27 children on task, and behaving appropriately. If this happened with JJ (when he was SS's age), it would only be a matter of talking to him, allow him to process what he witnessed, and move on.

SS is a very sensitive child, the smallest things truly upset her. When she was in preschool we had a similar incident, so we knew to be worried. SS had been moved from the toddler class to the preschool group. That was a big change for her in both positive and negative ways. The toddler teachers coddled SS, something that did not help SS with the transition. One morning she said she did not want to go to preschool, which was surprising, SS loved preschool. When I asked why she said the teacher was mad at her, then the tears began to flow. I reassured her her teacher liked her, and was not mad at her. When I talked to the teacher she was upset that SS thought she was mad. As it turns out the previous day a few kids in SS's class were not listening. SS was not a part of the group. The teacher admonished the rowdy group and said "You guys I'm not happy." That was it, and SS internalized that admonishment and was hurt. The teacher had a talk with SS, praised her behavior and apologized for the misunderstanding. I wish we could say SS has come a long way in that regard, but she is still hypersensitive.

Now we have SS scared of her teacher, although she still likes him.  SS was really looking forward to the field trip to the Safari Park, but was hesitant to go. Mr. H talked to SS again but our daughter was still fearful of him. The school district determines how many parents are permitted as chaperones for field trips. The two chaperones had already been selected, no room at the inn for a third. Thankfully the teacher and the principal came up with a solution for SS to participate. I have a purple volunteer badge, that means that I can be around the kids unsupervised. SS is required to ride the school bus for the field trip. I will be allowed to join them but must drive on my own, and of course pay for my admission. Not a problem on either requirement. It was a good thing I was there, because one of the mothers was a no show.

SS gets her first glimpse of me as they arrive. She had been looking for me during the drive to San Diego, did not see the van and was becoming anxious. I arrived at the park way ahead of the bus, lead foot that I am.

Front and center, loud and proud.

The deer were a hit with the kids, especially the one standing on its hind legs.

The okapi was hands down our favorite animal. 

Lions laying around enjoying the sun.

SS loves tigers.


I am not a fan of bats, they are rather creepy but SS loves them. I don't know if it is about Batman, but she really likes bats. I had to suck it up for my baby girl and look at the yucky creatures.

Beautiful creatures.

Our beautiful creature.

The kids were allowed to spend five minutes at the splash pad.

SS looks like a world class runner on this action shot.

Another one of those moments when you have to suck it up and allow your child to do things that were taboo for you. Abuela was big on germs, cleanliness, and that translated into a strict animals are filthy and are not to be touched  rule. At least they had brushes for the kids to use. I'm still uncomfortable with petting zoos, but I realize it's just conditioning. I don't want SS to miss out because of my hang ups.

I am glad I was able to join SS on the field trip. Initially the principal decided an appropriate punishment for the rowdy boys was they could not go on the field trip. I don't know why, but she changed her mind. They were there, and there was only one chaperone. It took me about twenty minutes to figure out the three boys identities. I asked SS and she confirmed my suspicions. Those boys are very high maintenance. And this is coming from the mother of a very high maintenance boy.

Mr. H is a very nice person, but very inconsistent, I could see how the kids get out of control.  He is naturally loud and comes across as yelling, so I wonder how much louder he was when he lost his cool. One minute he is the kids best friend, the next minute he is stern. I wondered if it was situational, but SS told me that is how he is at school. Again I can understand how the kids take liberties when he is on I'm your friend mode. The important thing is that SS was able to participate, and had me by her side amid all the madness.  It was quite a crazy day, I found myself texting P about how freaking LUCKY we are with SS. Sure she is a hellion at home, and sometimes makes us want to bang our heads against a concrete wall until they crack.  But she is such a well behaved child at school and wherever else we go. The most remarkable part is that she is so good despite our fly by the seat of your pants parenting. Yup, lucky indeed.  

This one cracks me up because it's classic SS. Everyone around her is going wild and rolling downhill. I told SS she could join them but she declined. There she is watching it all, and when she decides to join in the mayhem, she does it her way. She tentatively walks around, then walks backwards. That was a big rebel move on her part. SS is not comfortable with chaos, or what Abuela calls bullicio (I think).

Friday, October 23, 2015

School Harvest Festival

When did Halloween become controversial?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Carnitas for breakfast.

We offered cereal (two Halloween editions), oatmeal, and the always sure thing, eggs. Toast with jelly or Nutella also got a no. SS liked Tuesday's carnitas dinner so much, that she had them yesterday over chips, so carnitas nachos, for lunch. And that is what worked for breakfast this morning. Carnitas with plenty of avocado and Mexican crema. She gobbled it all, and while an unconventional breakfast, it worked.

Friday, October 16, 2015

SS's big backpack.

It does look huge and heavy from this perspective, but it only contains he homework binder and lunch box.  

Plus her two water bottles in the side pockets. It's been really hot as usual, but also humid. SS has been finished both water bottles this week. She is going to need another metal water bottle, because SS likes her water ice cold, and the ice in the plastic water bottle melts. And from the earful I got yesterday this is very upsetting to our daughter. 

Coming soon to a store near you, SS's own brand of Lego jewelry. The girl is discovering some girly things she likes, but obviously with her own twist. She is at school today wearing one off this on each wrist. SS also discovered My Little Pony, and likes the yellow one, the name is Shutter something, bug, fly, or shy. Not too sure about it because I'm only fluent in super hero or Lego language. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

October is THE BEST MONTH around here, not only do we celebrate P's birthday, but, HALLOWEEN. SS has been asking for decorations since the first day of the month, and we finally delivered.

When hedges attack! 

I used the cookie cutters on SS's sandwich, and she gets to eat a witch hat and a ghost for lunch.

But the deal is she must finish the mess that is left after fun is had. Well, the middle, I'm not bothering with the edges. 

And a side of pickles, because SS is all about pickles whenever she can get them.

This morning I was combing SS's hair while CNN was on as usual. The breaking news announcement was made, and as usual I didn't expect much. Because CNN has a serious misunderstanding of what the term means at times. They cover a story for a day and still use that announcement.  This time it was used properly, a stabbing attempt foiled in Jerusalem. Good morning world, thanks for the reminder of how f*cked up, crazy, violent the world is. As I was pondering that the reporter on the scene was talking but I did not catch the beginning. I did hear the phrase lone wolf, and not sure what context it was used, and it really did not matter, it's part of the post mortem drivel.

Then SS begins howling, HOWLING, and it took me a few seconds to realize she heard the phrase, is not aware of its meaning in the context used, but what the hell, the dude on TV said lone wolf, and she's going to howl like a wolf.  And that led to me dissolving in a fit of laughter. Which is kind of inappropriate, given the suspect is dead, and it is indeed a tragedy, and an all too common occurrence. It's tone of those things that as a mother of a young child I should take seriously, and I do. But the last thing I expected was to have my child howling like a lunatic in the middle of the living room at 7:00 a.m.

The thing is we have had a rough few months, it's been stressful, as evidenced by P's eighteen pound weight loss. His mother's health is taking a toll on him, and he is struggling with things I experienced as a child and teen, so many moons ago. I remember the pain, and feel the loss decades later, and there is nothing I can do to make it better for him.  Coupled with never knowing when I'm coming home, and worrying where am I investigating by my lonesome, and if I'm safe. The past week was hell for us, and it was an eye opener as to how much I have missed, and how much I'm missed. And it's hurtful to see how stressed out my eight year old, innocent child has been. So howl away SS and be the carefree eight year old you are meant to be. The past week of extra cuddles has been good for all of us, and now thanks for the laughs. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015