Happy Birthday, Daddy & Matt!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family | Posted on 04-09-2011

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I spent most of today with my fam­i­ly at my par­ents’ house. It was a won­der­ful vis­it!

I got to meet my youngest nephew, Eli, for the first time. I was ill every time my broth­er and his brood came to town after his birth last fall (turned out I had pneumonia—I real­ly should learn to go to the doc­tor instead of try­ing to ignore should things). He’ll be a year old next month, and he’s such a doll! He looks a lot like Matt did as a baby, but even more like his old­er broth­er, Jack. He’s sweet­ly tick­lish even though he is teething a bit, and I got to nib­ble on his toes! (He gnawed on my hand a bit too, so it all evened out.) He has a very strong grip and is at the “grab every­thing” stage, but I antic­i­pat­ed that and did­n’t both­er wear­ing ear­rings. I’m glad that I got my hair cut short again this week, as it left far less hair for him to pull at.

See­ing Jack next to my sis­ter’s boy, Will, though, is a trip—they look more like broth­ers than cousins! Jack­’s twin, Sadie, is beau­ti­ful. She reminds me of Katie at that age in some ways, but she’s very much her own per­son, with very strong opin­ions. Matt and his wife have love­ly, well-behaved chil­dren. And just in the last year, Will has gone from look­ing like a lit­tle boy to, well, not! And he’s only 7 years old! Although he says, “I’m sev­en now, you know,” with a grav­i­tas that makes it sound as if he’ll be join­ing the mil­i­tary any day now. He def­i­nite­ly lives life at one speed, and that is full ahead!

Mom and Dad cooked way too much food for breakfast—SOS, bis­cuits, eggs, lots of fruit, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and I can’t even remem­ber what else. Lat­er on we had cakes and ice cream, of course (yogurt for those of us who don’t do ice cream so much). I wimped out and try­ing both cakes, but I was being dar­ing enough to have a small slice of one. Then Mom told us that Dad­dy had been cook­ing all day Sat­ur­day, using the smok­er! I rode up there with Katie and her boyfriend, who had plans for lat­er today, so we left before any­one else did. I don’t think I could pos­si­bly have eat­en anoth­er bite, but I hope the oth­ers stayed for anoth­er meal. I know the food cer­tain­ly smelled good.

Even though the kitchen and din­ing room tables are huge, we filled both of them. Unlike the hol­i­day meals of my youth, we did­n’t sep­a­rate into adult and chil­dren’s tables. Per Will’s wish­es, we had the “men’s” and “wom­en’s” tables for break­fast, but end­ed up all mixed for cake and ice cream (he was so dis­ap­point­ed). From that I fig­ured him to be at the “girls have cooties” stage, but appar­ent­ly boys and girls don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly go through such a stage any more. Who knew?

I took an iPad, because I was asked to review an app and need­ed help from chil­dren. I had absolute­ly no idea just how pop­u­lar it would be! We could have kept sev­er­al more busy. On sec­ond thought, if there had been sev­er­al more avail­able, it might not have been as fun. After the boys dis­cov­ered the cam­era func­tion, there was a lot of silli­ness. I was glad the gad­get has a case, but for fur­ther fam­i­ly occa­sions, I think it needs one that’s more child-grip­pable. Maybe some­thing rub­ber­ized? In any case, the device is even more fun with kids. I feel much younger now as a result. We played sil­ly games, col­ored, took pic­tures, and played more sil­ly games. I should have loaded up some Trout Fish­ing in Amer­i­ca and oth­er good music. I will cer­tain­ly do so for future occa­sions!

I gave the twins their copy of Clean Water for Eli Rose by Ari­ah Fine, and they must have liked it. They each had each of their par­ents, Mom, and me read it to them at least once that I know of in less than an hour. They may have also got­ten Katie and my sis­ter to read it to them, as well. It looks as though it’s going to be in heavy sto­ry time rota­tion for a while. I could see some wheels turn­ing for Sadie, so I’m hop­ing she’ll get more than just a sto­ry out of it. If she asks ques­tions, Jack will def­i­nite­ly fol­low.

It was the best fam­i­ly day I can remem­ber ever hav­ing. I’m get­ting the pho­tos off my phone and the iPad. I hope they came out well, but whether they did or not, we’ll have the mem­o­ries.

A Monster Got Me!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Fun | Posted on 09-06-2008

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Repeat­ed­ly, even.

At Sam’s Club.

Okay, he was maybe 4 years old, and a seri­ous cutie. Wear­ing a Marine Corps t‑shirt, no less. First, he ran up to a cou­ple in front of me and “RAWR­Rd,” (not actu­al­ly touch­ing any­one). The man laughed, but had to stop and try to look huffy when his wife got all pis­sy. I smiled at the lit­tle one and laughed, and smiled at his par­ents.

His father came over and informed me that his son had been watch­ing “mon­ster” car­toons. He did­n’t speak a lot of Eng­lish, but we were able to com­mu­ni­cate just fine.

Mon­ster Boy fig­ured that I was safe, so he “attacked” me a half-dozen times before I got to the “check your receipt” lady. I sup­pose my “Oh Noes!” response was good enough, because he kept com­ing back. I did get a tick­le in, which made him squeal with glee.

I did get a lit­tle wor­ried when he tried to fol­low me out to the park­ing lot (lots of traf­fic!) but his father was on the ball.

I try to avoid Sam’s Club/WalMart/etc., but they do have the cheap­est pre­scrip­tions in town, so we end up there once a month.

That was the nicest vis­it I’ve ever had.

Study: ADHD kids’ brain areas develop slower — CNN.com

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Health, News | Posted on 19-11-2007

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Expert: Find­ing shows bio­log­i­cal basis for atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der

Cru­cial parts of brains of chil­dren with atten­tion deficit dis­or­der devel­op more slow­ly than oth­er young­sters’ brains, a phe­nom­e­non that ear­li­er brain-imag­ing research missed, a new study says.

ADHD Brain Maturation

Devel­op­ing more slow­ly in ADHD young­sters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that sup­press inap­pro­pri­ate actions and thoughts, focus atten­tion, remem­ber things from moment to moment, work for reward and con­trol move­ment. That was the find­ing of researchers, led by Dr. Philip Shaw of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, who report­ed the most detailed study yet on this prob­lem in Mon­day’s online edi­tion of Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.

I’ve gone from seri­ous­ly not believ­ing that ADHD exist­ed at all, to being forced to under­stand its real­i­ty because my life part­ner, his kids, and my daugh­ter all have it. These find­ings are a major advance!

I still know that plen­ty of peo­ple (par­tic­u­lar­ly bad par­ents) use ADHD as an excuse, but that can hap­pen with any dis­or­der, real or imag­ined.

There’s fur­ther infor­ma­tion at the Nation­al Insti­tute for Men­tal Health, where the research was done.