Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Row Row Row Your Boat

Today has been very interesting. It has been raining - hard - for 2 days straight. We have gotten several inches of rain and it is reaking havoc around our area. We have several lakes, streams, rivers, and oceans around us and they are all flooding over. I have to drive past several little lakes on my way to work through some country roads, and they were all spilling into the street. I required several detours on the way home to pick up Arlington from school. The one and only intersection in our small town was completely flooded. I wish I would have had my camera in the car - it was pretty interesting! The streams were flowing like rapids.

(yes Finley has mac N cheese on her face. Sue me. Thanks to the weather my kids had to eat food out of a box)

It is Tuesday night, and it has finally stopped raining. The weather man says we are not done yet with the rain, but let's hope the worst is over. Several of our friends had to bail out their basements. Several schools were closed due to flooding - many of my co-workers had to leave to go and pick up children at neighboring schools. Work places were without power. It was nuts.

(uh yes, she dos have stickers on her face. I didn't do that. She did that to herself at preschool. She called them her "most special" stickers.)

But for us - the worst was where the VTs go to school. At lunch time I get an email from Mat - he thinks he needs to go for them - that the kids needed to be picked up. But he couldn't get through to the school to find out. So I have direct numbers to their classrooms, so I called. The teacher said it was just the opposite. They were sending out an email to say NOT to pick up your children - that you couldn't get there. The roads around their preschool were completely flooded. The kids were safe - the building sound, and the lights on. But - they were not sure how they were going to get anyone out.

Finally - around 4pm - Mat is able to take a bus from Pfizer to the preschool. The bus was able to get the parents there - but cars still could not pass through. Mat said they had to go the most round about way - the bus ride was about 1 hour for a 2 mile ride. The VTs were excited to be on the bus. Finley was sure Arlington was going to be on there with her!

I had a really hard time getting to Arlington's school. That intersection I mentioned above was completely flooded and blocked off by police, and I had to take quite a round about way to her school. It was crazy. I had to call a friend to give me some options because even the detours were eventually flooded.

But all is well. We are home. We live on a hill and water is running down our yard at an amazing speed. Part of our hill has slid and let go due to all the water. But it is an easy fix. We have definitely been lucky.

Tonight we saw our family of 5 deer walking through our yard. I had mixed feelings about that. I was happy to see that they survived the winter. I was not happy that they remembered where our yard is. They weren't even phased that we were watching them from the window. The youngest prancing around and doing little circles. I gave them the stink eye. I don't think they cared.

Today was Arlington's first gymnastics class. She is taking an after school class at her school. I was excited to see the programs they offered for the kids. There were quite a few kids involved! She had a blast and has already learned a cartwheel. She has taken a gymnastics class before, but didn't learn a thing and it was expensive. This class is 4 weeks for $24. Can't beat that! I am hoping she can take a second class after this one ends. She will go right after school from 3:40-4:40 each Tuesday. She really had a great time and a lot of her friends were there too.

Today I also had my second conference with Arlington's teacher. She got her report card yesterday and did fantastic!! It was her best report card yet. She did amazing and we are really proud of her. Her teacher sung her praises as well. She talked about how much she has grown this year and that she was so happy to have her in class. And Arlington has grown. It has been an amazing year, and I just can't sing her teacher's praises enough. She is outstanding and has motivated Arlington to challenge herself this year. Her teacher said she already has a teacher in mind for her next year, and I hope she and I are on the same page. As long as Arlington continues to be challenged, then she will do well.

Our Easter Bunny toy is apparently having some problems.

Finley put cups on his head to "protect his ears" and then put him in American Girl's wheelchair and pushed him around the house. She is a total weirdo.

Tonight Finley was NOT interested in climbing the stairs to bed.

She sat at the bottom fussing around.

She even slid down a few to look REALLY pathetic. She needed to be carried. It was very tragic.

That ends our tale. I am just thankful that right now it is not raining.

See you Saturday!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Making Meals Monday

So this week, I am a little behind. I know I am making something with shrimp, something with Salmon. I just haven't decided what! I am so slow. I will probably just grill up the shrimp and eat with a shrimp sauce. And we have a lot of salmon recipes that we have used in the past, so I will be repeating one of those.

I am making a new chicken dish this week. Here is the recipe.

Easy Garlic Broiled Chicken

- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 6 boneless chicken thighs, with skin
- dried parsley, to taste


1. Prehead the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking pan
2. In a microwave safe bowl, mix the butter, garlic, soy sauce, pepper, and parsley. Good 2 minutes on high in the microwave, or until butter is melted

3. Arrange chick on the baking pan, and coat with butter mixture, reserving some of the mixture for basting.

4. Broil chicken 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until juices run clear, turning occasionally and basting with remaining butter mixture. Sprinkle with parsley to serve.

a) can bake instead at 375 degrees for 30 minutes instead of broil
b) double the sauce
c) can use 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil instead of all butter.


Sunday I made a lamb chop meal. Here is the recipe for that.

Oriental Lamb Chops

4 loin lamb chops
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups rice, cooked


1. Marinate lamb chops in soy sauce for 1/2 hour
2. Remove them from marinade and place in broiler pan
3. Pour marinade over chops and spoon minced garlic onto chops
4. Broil chops 10-15 minutes on each side.
5. Remove from broiler and serve with rice.

See you tomorrow!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

So How Did It Go? Sunday

Okay - I am going to let you know how the meals went this past week.

Mexican Style Shredded Pork - 2/5 stars. The meat was really juicy and it cooked well in the crock pot. But it had absolutely no taste. This was surprising since it had many spices in it. Oh well.

Shrimp Scampi Bake - 5/5 stars. It was really yummy and very easy. We did leave out the mustard, since I am the only one who likes it. But you wouldn't notice. It was good.

Honey-Soy Broiled Salmon - 5/5 stars. This is a favorite in our house! Yum.

Tonight we had Oriental style Lamb Chops. They were quick and easy. I can post the recipe tomorrow, but they turned out really good. 5/5.

See you tomorrow for Making Meals Monday!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

All is well

So everyone is on the mend in our house. Well, technically only Arlington and Finley were sick. Both girls had strep throat and missed a lot of school this past week.

Arlington did get to go back to school on Friday. She was pretty happy about that. I think she missed her class. She had quite a bit of makeup work, but we are almost done with it, thank goodness.

Finley didn't return to school this week. She, on the other hand, was very pleased to be home. She likes school, but she can take it or leave it. She and Mat were here together on Friday. She enjoyed hanging out with him, and was feeling well enough to cause mischief. She colored on the wall with a red marker.

She is so cool like that.

Finley's vision teacher, Gail, also game over on Friday. Gail was supposed to see Finley at school on Friday, so she came here instead. They worked on the brailler and with the magnifiers and Gail was pleased with what she can do already.

Today was softball practice for Arlington. It was FREEZING. It never reached 40 degrees, and they were outside. I had her bundled up and they did a lot of running, but she was still pretty cold. Poor thing. The weather was so much nicer last week, that I think the coach thought we were past the cold spell.

Unfortunately, he was wrong. It was 17 degrees overnight. So.......I was kind of hoping practice would be canceled for today. Ah well.

(the Batmans are getting tired)

Cainan also had swimming lessons today. Lesson #4 of 6. And he is still participating! Mat took Finley with him to Cainan's lesson, and then the three of them went to see "How to Train Your Dragon". His plan was just to take Cainan, but then Arlington got invited to a birthday to see this movie next weekend. We didn't want to leave just Finley out. So, he was brave and took them both.

Let's see.....I haven't told you what we are reading lately.

Arlington and I are reading a book called "The Last of the Really Great Wangdoodles".
It is a pretty good one. Mat and she are on a break from "A Wrinkle in Time". They have read 3 of the 5, but he was on a trip so I took over with a new book!!

Arlington just finished reading he 4th of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books on her own, and that is why wanted to see the movie. Now she is reading "Pollyanna". We watched that movie a little while ago.

I am listening to a book on CD of "The Help".

I really recommend it. I am really enjoying it.

Okay - I realize I am rambling today. Not much to report I am afraid. I did rearrange a desk in our office just for Finley. Before it stored an old computer that we haven't turned on in over 1 year, and a growing pile of stuff. So - I was proud of myself for cleaning it all up and making it a little learning station for Finley.

For all of us, really. We can go and use the Brailler, or grab whatever Finley needs. Before I had it in several different places. Now, it all has a home.

That is all! Tomorrow is "So How did it Go Sunday" and I will let you know how this weeks meals went!!

Tah tah!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sick sick sick

By the way - before I start this post - most of the pictures are from Saturday softball practice, and our rooting for our favorite basketball team - West Virginia.

Arlington is not well. She has been sick since Sunday. We couldn't figure out why she was whining so much on Sunday and fussing. And it was because she just wasn't feeling well.

She woke up in the middle of the night Sunday into Monday saying she couldn't breathe. Her tonsils are very swollen and she was really warm. She was up from 4:30-6am just tossing and turning and then finally fell back to sleep.

She didn't have school on Monday anyway (teacher inservice) so it worked out well. Mat stayed home with her in the morning and then I in the afternoon. Her fever hit 102.3 as a high yesterday afternoon. She never moved from the couch for about 10 hours. She hardly ate or drank anything. As soon as the medication wore off, the fever would be back.

So today - she is home. She woke up fever free this morning, but her tonsils are the same size. I was thinking it is just a virus, but decided to take her to the doctor anyway just to play it safe. She has a headache and a stomach ache and a sore throat - classic signs of strep. But also classic signs of the flu as well. But since her fever is gone today, I wanted to make sure she isn't going to infect all of her friends if she goes back to school tomorrow. Aren't I nice?

I took her in, and in about 2 minutes the nurse turned around and said "her strep test is positive"

Of course it is. Of course.

The doctor looked her over - nothing else seems to be wrong. So at least we get antibiotics out of the deal. BUT - the kicker? She wants her to stay home the rest of the week. She said it looks like a bad case and it may take a while for the antibiotics to kick in.

Wonderful. Uh, I'm sorry - Mat is supposed to be leaving on a business trip? Yeah.....about that. I cannot miss a week of work.

Mat has decided to cancel his trip. I am happy about that part on many levels. But I will be home again with Arlington again tomorrow, and then he will take over for the last two days.

So, no Daisy Scouts for her tonight. We are just hanging out, relaxing again today. I am antsy in the house. The house keeper was just here Friday, so thankfully I don't have house work. But I don't have much else! It is raining hard, so we are just cooped up inside. I may actually have to start on a project.


And Finley has a fever tonight as well. And complaining that something is stuck in her throat. And she threw up.

Really people? Really?

(she looks like a deranged Easter Bunny)

I told Cainan he better start holding his breath. He just looked at me.

Today Gail, Finley's vision teacher, came to show us the Brailler. I had been looking forward to this day just because I was curious about it and how we are going to learn this skill, and teach it to Finley.

So here is our new friend.

Yes, it looks like it came from the 1940s. It works like an old type writer as well. Very old fashioned.

We had a chance to sit and learn how to use it - load the paper, work the keys.....basic stuff. Finley had a chance to use it and we talked about teaching her proper hand technique on the keys right from the beginning.

No. Bad. Habits.

Bad habits? My kids? No way.

Gail spent about 1 1/2 hours with us. We talked a lot about the Brailler, and what would be coming in the next year. We talked about what she expected Mat and I to learn with it (how to actually type with it) and what Finley should learn this year (how to play with it and make it work).

She also brought Finley this paper.

It is dark, and large, and raised. The lines are perfect to teach her how to write between the lines.

And she also brought us this paper.

If you put water on it, it raises up. Pretty cool!

We are getting all kinds of neat stuff to work with. Finley is really set. Friday the Brailler will go to school and Gail will work with her and the teachers on it there. Then, Finley will be expected to "play" on it during each of her school days to get used to the push of the keys. You don't have to push extremely hard, but you do have to give it some strength.

And we will get a second Brailler at home. I am excited about learning how to use it well. New skill. Very cool.

This cool yellow thing:

It is a copy of the keys on the Brailler. It also folds together to make a large Braille cell. It shows us how to make the letters in braille, then it opens up like this to reveal where it would fall on the Brailler.

Oh! And she brought her these.

This will help her strengthen her hands to use the Brailler. She will have to learn to clip them on things by just using her fingers.

And Gail said the orientation and movement specialist will start with her soon. She will work on balance, left and right, difference in "feeling" different shapes, textures in her hands- instead of using her eyes. She will check her safety in the house and in her school. She will work with the public school on how she will get around in a few years.

Progress. We are really lucky about where we live. Connecticut has a lot of services and products that are available to us courtesy of state funding. We are lucky that we can have an expensive Brailler free of charge. It really does make this all a little easier.

Just a little.

Tomorrow I will have both girls home with me. That should be a blast and a half. I wish there was a type face for sarcasm. I would use it right now.

That is it! I will see you all on Saturday.