Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Of kids and guinea pigs.

I am so encouraged after going to our son's CSE meeting this morning. We met with the two teachers who will work the most with him, the school psychologist/counselor, and the director of Special Ed services. They were extremely well-prepared and had everything organized and ready to go. The preliminary IEP was very good, and only needed minor changes as we discussed our son's needs and strengths. There was some good give and take of ideas between all of us, and my husband and I left the meeting feeling very comfortable that this group of teachers and counselors will do well by our son. There will be issues and hurdles for our son as for any kid, but as far as being prepared to work with him where he is and help him improve in social and academic areas, I think it will be a good experience. (I sincerely hope I don't look back on this post and think, "What went wrong?" in a few months - no one can see the future, but at least I don't have any second thoughts about this decision now.)

Tomorrow night I'm going out with my sister-in-law Teresa and our friend Estelle. Our birthdays are all close (Estelle and I share one, Teresa's was the next day), so we decided to plan a girls' night out. Nothing too fancy, but we're going to a Greek restaurant in Utica called Symeon's. I've been there before - wonderful food. Teresa ordered an ice cream cake for us, too. Sweet! I've known Estelle through Teresa since we moved up here and she connected us via Facebook, but I only met her in person a couple weeks ago. She's really great, and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better.

I need to get out in my garden and harvest some veggies. I've got sweet and jalapeno peppers, roma and yellow tomatoes, onions, eggplant and yellow zucchini squash, all ready to harvest. I want to make homemade salsa, and eggplant "parmesan" casserole (no frying involved), and chunky veggie pasta sauce this weekend.

Oh, the picture above?  It's our temporary guinea pig "playpen."  Before anyone points out that our guinea pigs would be much better off in cages, I have to say, "Thanks, I know, and I'm doing something about it."   Until I get the cube and coroplast (C&C) cages set up next week, though, this is the best way to give the guinea pigs some run-around room.  The Guinea Girls are so funny - they run around and jump and chase and burrow like crazy when they're in the playpen.  After they're done, I put Cookie in the playpen, where he enjoys sniffing around and burrowing.  The new cages will be significantly bigger than the large bins the pigs are in right now, with much better ventilation.  I need to get a table for Cookie's cage; the girls' cage can stay on the cabinet top.  Who would have thought guinea pigs would be such good pets?  I've learned a lot since we got Henry several years ago.  I've always been a critter magnet anyhow, so now we're up to 3 guinea pigs, 3 cats, and two fish tanks (one 75 gallon with 8 goldfish and a betta in our family room, and one 12 gallon with one goldfish in our son's room).  I wouldn't mind adding a fourth guinea pig, to give Cookie a companion, but we'll wait and see about that.

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