Friday, October 29, 2010

Spider glove!

Isabel seems to be on a spider-compound kick. Some of you may already be familiar with her "spider-frog". Now, there's the "spider-glove"! Pictured here on long-suffering Rody, dressed by Zizi.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


ai æm ə i a
Repeated after me, syllable by syllable, and please forgive the transcription, as I'm not a professional. :)

Can you guess James' current favorite song? :) If not, click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

October at Hidden Villa

(Pictures added!)
We came back with our pants covered with (I think) cow manure. There's a big pile in the chicken section that the chickens run away from kids on. Unluckily for the chickens, my kids are not intimidated by small hills of manure. After a bit, they realized that James was (mostly) harmless, and seemed to prefer his quiet advances and general plopping down in the middle of them to the squeals of some visiting schoolkids who were getting a great tour. I hope the chicken taking a dirt bath can recover--it looked as if all the feathers on its back had been plucked. Do chickens persecute each other? As the kids ran past the cows and sheep, we got the usual "Are they twins?" question, and heard some teenage boys talking about how they wanted babies and how they wanted to be "daddies", which isn't something I hear every day.

We also got to see two piglets. The sow didn't like me coming over to look, but seemed, as most animals seem to be, more tolerant of the kids. Is the red lamp a heat lamp? And why is there a fence between them and their mother? It looks like they can go to her, but she can't go to them. James didn't want to go home after peeking in at the goats, and had to be relegated to my shoulders to get him back to the car. Isabel insisted on holding hands, and as James isn't very interested in holding on at the best of times (he has absolute trust that I won't let him fall off), it was a somewhat precarious journey. We were very grateful that we'd saved our water for the end! (Also very grateful that those stinging weeds near the rams had been cut back.)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Great five minute video about how people with Down syndrome are more alike than different

I loved watching this movie from the NDSC (National Down Syndrome Congress) this morning--I was especially interested in the young woman teaching sign language! Here's the link.This second link has Spanish subtitles.

James is very gently putting two babies to bed at the moment, patting them softly and tucking them in, and vocalizing. Isabel is placing chess pieces in their case, quietly counting them. Last night she was fascinated by the numbers after one hundred. I hadn't realized before how interesting a concept that was. You could just see the gears clicking over.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guess that DVD

So. James decides he wants to watch a DVD this morning. The problem is, it's not a DVD in either of our two DVD cases. He embarks on a spectacular signing extravaganza in order to explain what DVD he wants. He signs what looks like "giraffe" (this is the only sign that I haven't figured out by now). He agrees that it's a giraffe. He signs "signing" (confirms this) and what looks like "caterpillar", or "snail". He keeps shaking his head "no" after each guess--no, it's not a caterpillar, it's not a snail, it's not a lizard, not a dinosaur, not blanket. After about five minutes of repeating this, he tries another sign, that looks like him when he's going "crack-a-dog". (What? You haven't read any James Herriot?) Or maybe a crazed monkey. He says no to monkey, and no to gorilla. And no to crack-a-dog, and wild. He leads me to the TV and guides my finger to change channels. No such luck. Whatever this movie is, it isn't on one of our few channels. Hmm. He starts again. Signs "horse", and confirms it. Signs "frog". Yep, that's frog. I worry that he's remembering "Neighborhood Animals"--our copy of it got so scratched we haven't watched it for three years. I point to a Baby Einstein symbol on a book, and he smiles, but doesn't confirm it. I open the drawer of DVDs that aren't in our two cases of frequently used ones, and look around. Dog. Frog. Signing. Could it be "Baby Signing Time"? We put that away six months ago. I take it out.

James ecstatically smiles and grabs the blue Baby Signing Time DVD, and signs again--"giraffe" "signing" "caterpillar". Ah-ha! "Caterpillar" is "time"! He just kept his finger moving instead of keeping it still. And "The Pets I Love" song has a frog and a dog, and the "crack-a-dog" is the "Diaper Dance". So he approved of the "baby" in "Baby Einstein", but not the whole. Still can't figure out what the giraffe had to do with it--James' signs morph over time, usually becoming more exact, but giraffe and baby don't look at all alike. That was really hard. I'm impressed that he didn't give up!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Kids at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Our day at the Monterey Bay Aquarium this summer.