Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I'm Doing, Reading, Watching

It's summer in Phoenix. HOT doesn't begin to describe it. It's scorching! Makes me never want to leave the house, especially with both kids because loading and unloading them from car seats is several minutes under the blazing sun. (I turn the car on so AC blasts on the kids, but I'm standing under the sun and on the black pavement that radiates heat up onto my sandal-clad feet, ouch!) But life goes on and the kids have places to be and I have errands to run.

L goes to camp two mornings per week. Monday and Wednesday afternoons, both kids go to speech therapy. Thursday is my happy day with nowhere to be. :-)

L is doing great in speech. They are working on the "l" sound so he's finally learning to correctly pronounce his name.

T has turned out to be a very difficult therapy "client." She's very resistant! Her SLP is frustrated and wondering if T has more underlying problems. A hearing problem? General apraxia (making it hard for her to sign)? A visual over-stimulation problem?! I think she's just stubborn and not a quick learner. We now have her signing want, and she can put two signs together like want more, want sleep etc. And last night she finally learned open. So it's coming, just slowly.

I need to schedule a hearing test for her, but I'm worried about the expense and I'm procrastinating. Bad mommy!

L and the food. Ugh. We quit feeding therapy when T started speech because of the expense. Also, we felt we could take the techniques she taught us and run with it. Yeah, that hasn't really worked, he's regressed, lost some of the foods he'd been eating. The latest food he dropped was turkey sandwiches, which poses an extra problem: What the heck do I send in his school lunches??!! {Sorry, deep breath.} Next time, I've decided to send the turkey and cheese in a tortilla (since he told his teacher he couldn't chew the bread (liar, liar, pants on fire), I'll get rid of the bread). Anyway, I know I need to make some sort of reward chart and I have some ideas, I just haven't figured out the how and what yet. L is really hard to bribe! If there's something I know he wants, I'll say "you can have {{that thing you really want}} as soon as you {{do the desired behavior}} and he'll say "that's okay I don't really want {{that thing}} anymore." :-(

T went through a Scooby Doo phase that I really enjoyed. He still plays with the toys and likes the books, but he's moved on to watching other things like the Rugrats (awful!). Occasionally I've been able to steer him to Super Why, which has some educational value. ;-) (But today he's watching Barney--eek, I'm convinced that was created to drive parents crazy. Hence, I'm not in the living room right now.) T loves Pingu, the claymation penguin from Sweden. She cracks up and dances to the shows, and that has given me a new tantrum remedy.

What I'm Reading
Inspired by this giveaway (that I didn't win), I've been reading some Jane Austen spin-offs. First up, I read Jane Austen in Scarsdale by Paula Marantz Cohen. I really enjoyed this. It's a modern-day Persuasion--lots of stuff was right out of Persuasion (you'll recognize Bennick immediately, for example) but there are plenty of twists (the equivalent of Captain Wentworth is engaged). It was a fun, easy read. My only complaint was I think Cohen was trying to mimic Austen's gift for reading people and her social commentary etc. as Cohen describes all the SAT- and college-application stuff Anne sees as a guidance counselor. In that, I don't think the she was successful. First, Austen is a genius at that, way ahead of her time at pointing out the absurdity of various customs etc. Therefore, Cohen has big shoes to fill. And I just don't think she had particularly witty or special observations about her characters. Perhaps that's because I went to the type of competitive high school where the story is set, so I knew all these types of people up close and personal, so there were no great revelations. That's okay, I still enjoyed and would recommend the book, and I'll be seeking out Cohen's Jane Austen in Boca soon.

Now I am reading Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris. This is another quick, fun read. This is the first time I've read an Austen "sequel," Bebris takes off where Pride and Prejudice ends, at the wedding receptions of Jane and Elizabeth Bennett. It's a mystery--right away strange things start happening. I'm towards the end now and I have a variety of suspects and suspicions, I'm curious how it will all turn out. The plot is interesting, the characters are true to Austen's novel (which is probably the best reason to read this type of book, to spend more time with our "friends" the Bingleys and Darcys), but the style of writing... it's a nice style, readable, not inconsistent with Austen's style, but again, Bebris has big shoes to fill and it just isn't as robust as Austen's prose. That's okay--Austen wrote long novels, we follow all the Bennett sisters through several seasons--Prescience has only covered a couple of weeks and contains about 8 characters. I wasn't expecting Austen reborn, I'm just grateful I'm not cringing. And I'm not, far from it, it's a lovely read, and I'll come back when I've finished and tell you how I liked the resolution and whether or not I'll seek out more of Bebris' works.

What I'm Watching

I've found two new tv shows recently. I don't know why, but I started DVRing reruns of Castle this summer. I like Nathan Fillion and I've been looking for a new mystery show since Without a Trace was cancelled. So I tried Castle and I like it. Fillion plays a mystery writer (named Castle) who shadows a homicide detective (played by Stana Katic). Fillion is fun to watch, though he is sometimes over the top. The mysteries (I've seen 3 episodes so far) have been pretty interesting, though in 2 cases, I caught on to a clue before the characters did (boo). There's supposed to be a "will they or won't they" thing going on between Castle and the detective, but I'm just not feeling the chemistry. Regardless, I'm enjoying the show.

TNT has a new show this summer (there have been 3 epsiodes so far, of which I've seen 2) called Rizzoli and Isles. Angie Harmon is Rizzoli, a homicide detective, and Sasha Alexander is Isles, a medical examiner, and they solve crimes. It looks like the premise is Isles dresses well and Rizzoli doesn't, but whatever, it's nice to see two strong, smart female leads. And the mysteries have been pretty good. And I like Angie Harmon. So I'm sticking with it for now.
That's a little of what's been going on in my world. Now I'm off to write my next Piggy Tale....

1 comment:

Catie said...

That's SO funny! I just finished Jane Austen in Scarsdale, too! I thought it was pretty good but I TOTALLY agree with you (although I couldn't have said it so well) about the SAT stuff!! It was even harder for me to relate to b/c I was homeschooled in highschool.

Let me know what you think of "Boca". I rented it from the library but didn't even read it b/c it didn't seem very interesting after reading the back. I then read "Much Ado About Someone or Other" (Can't remember)and I can't say I would recommend that one, either! HA! :)