Sunday, June 17, 2012

And Awaaaaay We Go!

So its after midnight on Father's Day.  Tomorrow is Donny's first day of Waldorf Summer camp and I literally had to hold him down to get him to go to sleep.  He was all wound up after a good Father's Day celebration with Grammy and Grandpop, plus there is also the fact that tomorrow we are getting a kitten.

A Kitten.

What the hell was I thinking?

We have been catless for well over a year and when I heard 9 kittens were being fostered in the neighborhood, I jumped on the bandwagon.  Now I'm all nervous that its not the right time, the kitten will grow long fur, Donny and Mike will break out in hives, etc. etc. etc.

Oh--and lets not forget how fun fur is in July.  Which is fast approaching.

But all that being said, I think Donny and I are both excited and nervous about the big events tomorrow.  He could'nt sleep and I can't stop with the Worst Case Scenarios.  We will both feel better in the morning.

I think we are naming the kitten Myrtle.  Stay tuned.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Art in the Neighborhood

So, yes, its been awhile.  And I keep thinking, "I need to update the blog."  And I never do.  So I'm just going to hop right in so as to Get. It. Done.  We can be retrospective later, d'accord?

Terry from the Polish Hill Civic Association very kindly sent a Facebook reminder to me about the Grand Opening party for Little House Big Art, an art/crafts space located (it turns out) in the fabulous old Emma Kaufmann Clinic building right here in lovely Polish Hill.  I was hoping we could go but had no great expectations as today was not only piano lesson day—it turned out to be the day the bus to the piano lesson NEVER SHOWED UP.  That all worked itself out and, to my surprise, Donny liked the idea of going to “a party for an art space” and we just took the 54D straight there after his lesson.

I don’t know enough about Little House Big Art to go into much detail but the little bit I found out, I like.  The gal who put it together did so with much experience with arts and kids.  It also sounds like she has a good business sense and took the time and effort to make a solid, sustainable business plan.  Which is good, because I want them to be around for a while.
The open house was just that, with the craft supplies and tools being thrown open to any yahoo who came by.  We were there probably about an hour or so, during which time, Donny made a valentine for my Mom, a birthday card for my sister and three buttons, which you will see him modeling in the photos that follow.  There were other enticing things like stacks of really nice fabric, a sewing machine (“Look!  People can make clothes!”), a huge basket of yarn and a literal apothecary of beads and buttons.

Consider stopping by and checking it out!  If you are anything like me and are hiding your incredibly shy real self behind both a fa├žade of bravado and a strategically placed adorable child, you will not be called out and you will be made to feel welcome.  It was a lovely time. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Yesterday I was puttering around the house as much as my horrific cold would allow when the phone rang.  It was about time for the husband to call at the end of his shift so it took my brain a moment when the voice at the other end introduced itself as Donovan's music teacher at school.  Apparently, there have been some behavior problems and, with the Big Wintertime Show coming up on Tuesday, he thought the time had come for us to have a talk.


So all this ooohing and aaahing about how well Donny has been doing with his developmental milestones and all the while he's playing badass in music class!  I had no idea.  I promised the teacher I'd speak with him--and I have.  I hope he'll behave long enough for everyone to get thru Frere Jacque on Tuesday.  I've been having daily sit-downs with him about it since the call but I have this sinking feeling that all he's hearing is "BLAHblahblahblahblah."

Tuesday.  Its coming up soon.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Guided by Donovan

Donovan has been writing "songs" lately.  I use the quotations because alot of them are scales, which he has taught himself to play.  I guess he figures he is the first person to discover scales and thus has naming privileges.  At any rate, here is a short list of some of my favorite song titles:

* I read a book to myself
* A new friend: The Friend
* A bee tells its Mom and Dad that it wants supper.
* Your name isn't Frankenstein; its Captain

Is this how Robert Pollard got started?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Well Hello There!

And the funny thing is? I thought leaving my full time job would give me MORE time!  I'm being facetious--it has indeed freed up much time but I havent used it to keep this blog up to date, that's for damn sure.  But part of that is thing have been so good and happening so fast...

So to get to it: Donovan is doing very well.  Very well indeed. My last blog post was about how crazy his schedule was but since then he has tested out of work with two of his four therapists (NO MORE HOME VISITS!) and we meet with the other two tomorrow.  The way one of them was speaking, she may pack up her worksheets and sign off with him too.  Her quote was, "its like he's a totally different child!"

And he is and he is'nt.  He's still silly and sweet and obsessed with his piano.  But he also has friends at school that he plays with--can you hear my heart singing? Friends!  And that has been, in my opinion, both the chicken and the egg of most of this.  Is he more social because he's made friends or does he now have friends because he's more social?

I like it too because his friends are at his level--some of the kids in his class are older, if not in age in attitude and/or interests.  There is, for example, this little subset of boys who play with these fighting tops--beyblades or something.  Which is perfectly fine.  Donny and his friends play a game they call "Go Down The Slide Without Using Your Bum."  And they play it every day.  And they hold hands and chase each other and just run, run, run just because they like to run.  He seems so much happier.  Not that he was sad but he's definitely happier.

I'm typing this as a break from completely tearing up the house (at 11pm on a Sunday) to prep the front room for the Christmas tree.  I realized in talking to Donovan a week or so ago that he has no idea what Christmas was.  Not in the biblical sense but in the Write a Letter to Santa sense.  I asked him if there were any toys he wanted and he said, ""  But he's super excited that we are getting a tree and he's pretty much memorized the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  He also thinks we should get Grammy Shanley a bike.  I suggested he draw her a picture of one instead.

More soon and with pictures!  Now back to putting the glassware back in the liquor cabinet, which I moved from the front room to the dining room to make way for the couch. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I Need a Simplicity Coordinator...

I'm not sure how much I believe in astrology but I do feel very much like the Gemini I am.  I've always felt like the Gemini poster child and part of that is that I seem to be a lightning rod for irony.  Sometimes its big, scary irony but usually its just a constant stream of everyday little details that, when looked at thru the Gemini microscope, are ridiculous.

Take, for example, the fact that I'm signed up for a series of talks on Simplicity Parenting, but that those talks now conflict with Donovan's Suzuki piano group lessons.  And speaking of Simplicity Parenting, we got a flyer for the Steel City Earth Scouts and I'm thinking of signing Donny up.  Even tho his schedule would end up looking something like this:

School, one hour session w/ Ms. Keely at home, practice piano

School, speech therapist visit at school, practice piano

School, hang out for an hour an a half with Mom before group piano lesson, Group Piano lesson.

School, visit with occupational therapist at school, one hour session w/ Ms. Keely at home, practice piano

School,  private lesson w/ Ms. Kiki

Earth Scouts first Saturday of every month, the occasional playdate and/or visit to museum/library/etc., practice piano.

Only day off with both Mom AND Dad, Church, Earth Scouts every 3rd Sunday, occasional visits to Grammy and Grandpop in Squirrel Hill, practice piano.

Is this what simplicity is supposed to look like?  The kid's not even 5 yet!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Drinking the Twinkle Kool Aid

Donovan had his first group lesson for piano last night.  He has been taking Suzuki lessons for about 5 weeks now and I will admit to it making me grumpy.  First, it took well over a year to get him on their schedule and, when we did, we were relegated to a 3:15 lesson, which was rough because he gets out of school at 3:30.  I felt the weekly newsletters left out valuable information (exactly when the parent meetings were and exactly how important they were considered), that sort of thing.  It did not help that the parent meeting I went to was out in Carnegie and while the bus service there was good it was a rainy day and the bus stop was literally right on the road, right where there was a puddle the car tires would hit as they sped by.  I ended up putting Donny in the corner and standing in front of him to keep him dry--I felt like there was a blue screen behind us and they would photoshop in a raging pterodactyl attack.

That's all changed now because I got to watch my son ENJOY HIMSELF COMPLETELY last night.  There were 3 other kids in the class and they sat in the front row with their parents behind them.  Donny was possibly the youngest kid and definitely the newest student--the other kids all had at least a year of lessons under their belts.  The class started with each kid playing a piece, bowing to applause and sitting back down.  This happened twice and the second time, Donovan sat down and played "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" all the way thru using both hands.

He had never done that before.

It was a major breakthrough that he played it all the way thru instead of stopping after each part but the two hand thing completely blew my mind: he saw the other boys do that and that was all he needed.  It was also great to see the pure joy on his face whenever he would clap for his classmates or when he would take a bow.

I'd been holding off writing the check because 1) its a big chunk of cash and 2) I wasn't sure it would work out.  Watch your mailbox, Pittsburgh Music Academy--the check is on its way!