As many of you know first-hand, we experienced some wicked storms in these parts last week. I was out with the babies for a walk on Thursday and the sky started to look “ominous”. So I turned right around and headed home. I am sure glad I did.

Just minutes later a storm blew through. And as I was putting Ramona down for her nap I heard a big thunk. I poked my head outside to see that the tree out in front of our neighbor’s house had split in half and fallen on our roof. The roof seems okay and the city came by and took off the tree the next day. Now you would think that would be the big news for the day, right? Wrong. We also had our first full-blown toddler disaster…

Basically it went like this: We were playing on the front porch. I had Ramona in my arms with her feeding pump running. Simon was practicing going up and down the stairs, they’re concrete and he’s getting pretty good at it. I had been painting the weather stripping and had all my supplies out on the porch, somewhat securely stowed. All of the sudden, before I even knew what was happening, he had gotten ahold of the gallon of white paint, lid on tight, raised it up above his head and chucked it down the stairs. In slo-mo, the lid popped off and big gloppy splatters went everywhere. The paint poured out down the stairs and left a sizeable puddle on the landing.

Pop quiz: What is a toddler’s first response to an unknown substance? Answer: Touch it (I would also accept eat it). So while I’m trying to figure you out what to do with Ramona, Simon goes over and starts splashing his hands in the paint. A little fleck hit his cheek and of course he just had to see what it was, so he took BOTH hands and rubbed his face up and down. So now he has paint on his clothes, his hands, up his nose, in his eyes and mouth. He looks like he is wearing white mascara. I am still standing there immobilized, probably with my mouth hanging open.

Finally I snap to and decide to put Ramona right inside on the couch while I clean everything up. When Simon sees me opening the door to go in, he wants to come too. I have to hold him back to get the door shut, thereby getting paint on my hands, which then gets on Ramona and her feeding pump, which then gets on the couch where I leave her. Once she is settled I head back out. In my absence Simon has been pounding his little paint covered hands on the door so I’ll let him in. I rush out, turn on the hose, and start hosing everything down. I strip down Simon, and clean off his face. To get the paint out of all the nooks and crannies I have to pretty much spray him in the face, he cries. Then I work on getting the paint off the brick and concrete before it dries, popping my head in every few minutes to make sure Ramona is cool. By the time everything was hosed off there was a river of paint running down our sidewalk into a milky white lake in the street.

I’ve been thinking that Simon is secretly working on a baby version of Jackass: The Movie. Some highlights so far inlcude throwing his potty down the basement stairs, eating a cigarette butt, putting Mommy’s toothbrush in the cat box, seeing how much cat food he can put in his mouth at once and, of course, the paint.

But we’re all fine and good now. I haven’t been posting much. Haven’t had too much angst to process, just mostly feeling busy and very grateful that we are returning to a somewhat normal family life. We still have so much help and I don’t feel quite as exhausted all of the time.

Some good news about Ramona: We received the results of her Develpomental Therapy six month evaluation. Amazingly, she is at an age appropriate level in 5 of 8 categories. Her cognitive, receptive language, social, emotional and self help skills are right on track so far. Her gross motor is most delayed, but it’s only by two months (25% delay). She also has a one month delay in expressive language and fine motor (13% delay). This is so miraculous, not only because of her heart condition and hospital stays, but because her initial evaluation showed a 75% delay across the board. She has come so far. We thank God for all of the folks at Early Intervention who are giving us the knowledge to create lots of opportunities for Ramona to grow and develop as normally as possible.

Ramona has been doing a lot of new things. She is turning pages on her books, feeding herself crackers and puffs, playing little games, waving and clapping, and sleeping through the night most nights. She gets very excited about all things kitty. If she sees our cats, sees pictures of cats, or hears us say “kitty” or “meow” she will straighten out her arms and legs and squeal with delight. It’s very cute. Here are some pics of the babies. Ramona had her tube out briefly this morning to give the skin on her face a break so we read a book and took some pictures tube free. Here’s one also of Simon looking like such a big boy. And another shot of Ramona getting ahold of one of her new best friends, her feet.

Thanks for checking in on us, have a good weekend, Jane.