Monday, January 29, 2007

Wintry update...

Brendan managed to convince us to let him sleep in his box last Thursday night. He was off school on Friday, so any sleep disruption would not affect school... As he was tucked-in (with sleeping bag, pillow, & Rufus) I worried that he might wake up in the night & not know where he was, so we added a flashlight, tucked the top flap in, & he was snug as a bug.

I read to him as usual, although it was harder to hear the heavy breathing that indicated that he was asleep :) He did, after some initial scrabbling around to find a comfortable spot, fall asleep. There were no yells in the night, although he did tell me next morning that he'd awoken at 4:00 am, tried to fall back to sleep, & then got up & read at 5:00. He was no worse for the wear on Friday, but decided that the box was not the best place to sleep :)

I had once again made a list of things to do so that our day-off would be focused & fun. The list included making banana muffins, working on his wizard robe, working on our japanese, & watching InuYasha, as well as stints playing Adventure Quest (for Brendan). I was nearly done with the first shawl for the church service auction (this coming Sunday) so wanted to finish, wash, & block (stretch it out with pins to dry) it. In all, between Friday & Saturday we worked through the list & both got done what we wanted to, which was good! Brendan's tics seem to have backed-off in frequency lately, but increased in intensity when they do occur. The lesser frequency does seem to be making things easier for him, though, & for us as well. He didn't really want to help make the muffins on Friday, but was happy to keep me company. It was a very cold day (our local public schools cancelled that day due to the cold) so Brendan didn't get to go outside to play, & he spent a lot of his non-AQ time sitting on the floor vent in the dining room to "warm his butt". We did some work on learning the katakana alphabet & reviewed some conversation for our lesson on Friday, but he was really more focused on watching InuYasha... since we watch in japanese, he's definitely getting some language stuff from it (I know I do). I made blueberry pancakes for dinner & grammie came over as she usually does on Fridays. She was mourning the loss of her uncle, the last remaining member of her mother's family, who had passed away last Wednesday. She had called him just a few days before, so was glad to have spoken to him one last time. "Unc", as he was known, had been a Marine in WWII & seen heavy fighting in the Pacific, plus was the family historian, & fortunately passed everything on to my mom before he died, so she's planning to bring it all over so I can copy it. I have read some of his reminiscenses & they're pretty amazing.

Saturday we finished his wizard's robe- hooray! I set in the sleeves & sewed the sides while Brendan read to me from "Eldest" & then he stitched the long hem seams (with my guidance) after I ironed & pinned them in. The sash still needs to be made, but that's today's project. I'm looking forward to seeing him wear the whole ensemble, since it's of his own design (colour-wise) & has really sparked his imagination. We had a great japanese class with Tomoko in the afternoon, We're still working on conversation relevant to our visit to Japan, & once he'd gotten permission (easily granted) to participate while pretending to be InuYasha, it all went very smoothly :) He'd also thought of a game, involving his InuYasha action figures, that was a lot of fun. He would pose them & then we would think of sentences to describe what they were doing, which then Tomoko would translate into japanese for us to learn. He was very interested in ways of describing how they were using their swords, bows & arrows, etc, & I think it's because he's been interested in creating japanese names for the special "moves" his lego characters have. He sometimes confounds Tomoko by asking for random words like "dimensional" & "wave", faithfully memorises them, then combines them into names for the various weapons & "moves". We also told her about a project we've decided to begin, a picture-book describing his life in the US that we'll translate (with her help) into japanese & take to Japan with us to give to her nephews & his penpal. She liked this idea very much, & mentioned that her sister is working on the possibility of our visiting her nephew's school while we're there. That would be sooooo cool!

Saturday evening we started watching a production of Mozart's "The Magic Flute" that Charlie taped from PBS recently. We've been watching half an hour or 45 minutes before bedtime & it's been really wonderful. We have a children's cd called "Mozart's Magic Fantasy", an adaptation of the opera with more dialogue & added characters, that Brendan just loved when he was younger, so he's enjoying the "real thing" very much. This production is absolutely amazing- heavily influenced by the Lion King, with the use of puppets & larger-than-life costumes. The singing is superlative, too, & I've never heard the role of the "Queen of the Night" sung so naturally, without any sense that she's straining for the high notes. Brendan seems to be enjoying the music as much as the staging & humour (their Papageno is a hoot- played very broadly with lots of physical humour ala Harpo Marx) & it's been fun to discuss over breakfast the next day (often initiated by Brendan).

Sunday was a way-busy day. Both Charlie & I had meetings after church & Brendan ended-up visiting at a Sunday School friend's house while Charlie met with his dad, while I stayed at church to slog through music committee things. I had a migraine well on the way by the time I got home (nearly 3:00). Brendan & Charlie had gone to the library to find a movie that Brendan had heard about from another church friend ("Cats & Dogs") so they spent the rest of the afternoon watching it (and laughing uproariously) while I dozed on the sofa, trying to get rid of the headache. Brendan had had a wonderful time visiting while Charlie had his meeting & has been wholeheartedly welcomed back any time. What I found very neat was that he didn't show any sign of strain after his visit. Sometimes he exhausts himself from holding back tics & doing everything he can to behave his best when he's at friend's houses, & then comes home & decompensates all over the place, but there was no sign of any stress or strain, which was truly a gift. He was pleasant & friendly the whole rest of the day. He begged to watch an extra 15 minutes of Magic Flute at bed time & was doing so well that we did.

He was not happy to remember it was a school day this morning, but the sight of all the snow that had fallen over night really cheered him up. He's been waiting for enough snow to fall so they can make "mole holes" in the snow piles at school (last year there was practically no snow or snow fun where we live) & determined this morning that it was time... The kids will be able to go out as long as it's not too cold. I took pictures of his snowy school & schoolyard for our picture book, since the place in Japan where we'll be taking the picture book has no snowfall. I also took pictures of our snowy house this morning. It really is pretty & feels like we're finally having a "normal" winter, although the driving sure is exciting... Hopefully Charlie & Brendan will be able to get out cross-country skiing before it all melts, since last year was a bust for any kind of skiiing. Fingers crossed for the snow play today- I'm off to make a wizard robe sash...


At 2:04 PM, Blogger mcewen said...

A photograph of snowy house to share perhaps? I love snow in pictures especially if I'm nice and cosy inside.


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