Oh, we were in Florida for three days on the weekend and oh, it was heaven! We visited Grandpa and Grandma, and my high school friend, Marta. Yes, it was a long time ago, and Marta and I lost touch for years and years, but found eachother on the internet on that reunion website. That was a few years ago and we have been writing emails ever since. It was the occasion of her 60th birthday and her partner, Ginger, threw a lavish party with dinner and dancing, and baloons and coasters and pens and little writing pads all celebrating the day. We met lots of their friends and had a great time. Julia enjoyed being a social butterfly – she deciced to wear her Chinese clothes and I didn't stop her. She looked stunning and she pranced around the party rooms and terrace. When she was tired or bored with us grownups, she played quietly with her clay and little animals at our table.
I talked to her OT therapist about her clay work. Of course, the more that I read the more I find to worry about. I was kinda' worried that her clay work was a way for her to hide from her surroundings. Annie asked me a few questions about the play, includig how Julia transitions out of playing with it, and she told me that we should remind Julia that she can use her clay work to calm herself down or to regulate herself. It is a good tool for her as long as she can stop doing it when she needs to.
Julia loved the weather and water – as did her parents. Oh, to be outside without so many clothes!! Flip flop paradise! Ocean sounds and warm water pools. We did not do as much of anything as I would have liked but in three days we packed in a lot of visiting, eating (Oy!), and water play. Julia had one day on the beach, and another day spent primarily in the condo pool. She even layed down one day in the middle of the day.
We were/are very grateful that Marta and Ginger hosted us where they were staying. It made the trip possible and not at all worrisome. And it was great to see Marta, become really reaquainted and to finally meet Ginger. Both David and I felt we had wonderful connections with both of them. We are a bit lonely up in Wisconsin – our Indy friends are so far away. We have great neighbors here, but we long for some good friend talking at times. We had that this weekend and it was so appreciated.
Before we left on Thursday, I was sworn into the Wisconsin Bar. Yahoo! No big job offer yet, but I've been in contact with a volunteer lawyers group that I hope to start working with next week. I have more applications to put in for a few posted jobs. I hope that I will be able to meet a few folks through bar activities. AND then I hope, hope, hope a job is out there for me.
I want my kitchen and I want to be able to travel again!
We continue to work with Julia in the evening during our Family Work time. Yesterday, we did pre-writing work and played a game with it. At school, Julia is drawing vertical and horizontal lines starting from a dot made by her teacher. Julia starts at the dot and draws the line straight down or across as a dashed-line indicates. I made dots of different colors and light lines of yellow. Julia had to match the dot to the colored pencil she used to make the line. Then, we made lots of dots across one line, and took turns telling eachother to close our eyes, pick a pencil, and draw a line from the dot of the correct color. This game taxed Julia a bit – taking turns, matching colors, and drawing straight lines – but she got into the swing of the game and completed it successfully.
I try to take ideas for our family work from what she is doing in school or in therapy. I definitely try to make it a challenge for Julia. And we don't usually repeat what we do. I am also working on what it is like to learn new things all the time, or rather, new ways to do things that she might have done before. She is 7 and we are still working on pre-writing and pre-reading skills, but she does pick them up quickly when she is presented with them. And she is willing to do the work with us in the evening. AND she is talking about “playing games.” She still does not understand what that means exactly, but it is something we do together and we take turns when we do it. That she understands.
As for entering back into the Wisconin winter. Oh, hum. I cannot say that I am not tired of this winter. Enough already! I am ready for spring. I heard a news person say that she saw signs of spring without elaborating what they were. I couldn't see any today, but I am very willing to believe her.