Special Needs Blogger gets Kidnapped

Yes, me. I have been kidnapped.
Ok, maybe not literally. The “kid” part is literal. The “napping?” What’s a nap?
And what does any of this have do do with Special Needs blogging? Today is a bit off topic, but hopefully it will help you feel like you know a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes.
A couple of you have send kind emails asking if I’m still here and if everything is all right. Thanks so much for checking. Please accept my apologies for being so quiet lately; I’m just a bit tied up with the duties of a new mother. 
Awwww, how cute are they?

Here are my kidnappers—aren’t they darling? They are still going by their temporary names, “Black Collar” and “Purple Collar.” Dull names, yes, but we are watching their personalities unfold as we consider permanent names to make sure they fit. And personality may be a bit of an understatement.

“Black Collar” was born on St. Patrick’s Day, so he turned 2 weeks old yesterday. He’s tough and bouncy and a drinks with GREAT enthusiasm from his bottle. He is quite athletic, although his coordination hasn’t yet caught up to his aspirations. He can jump 2 stacked bales of hay but not quite land on top.
“Purple Collar” is a few days younger. He was born on March 21st. His hair has some curl to it, as does his tail and the way he tends to hold his neck as he nurses. He also is eager to eat but less coordinated than his herdmate and is learning to sneeze efficiently to clear the milk from his nose. He’s a snuggler and spends as much time curled in your lap as you can offer. His favorite place to be scratched is right along his jawbone…don’t get started or he won’t let you stop.
Bottle feeding these kids is sheer delight. They are bonding with us nicely and seek out petting and laps.
Each day they get to wear little harnesses and walk on a leash, which is preliminary work for the carting we plan to train them to do. This will take several years of training, so we’re starting now!
Right now, harnesses and leashes are associated with all things fun and frolicky, as there is a backyard playground waiting at the end of the walk. They get to spend an hour each day leapin’-hoppin’ around and causing side-splitting laughter. I really must learn how to import video into Blogger so you can enjoy these antics too!
Gilford (left) and Gordy (right) think new little brothers
do not belong here. 
Our ten-month-old goats, Gordy and Gilford, are most bent out of shape at the arrival of these intruders. These usurpers of their maa-aaa-aah’s time. These interlopers, invaders, party crashers. So, as Maa-aaa-aah, it’s my responsibility to make sure they know they are still loved and valued members of our cart-training and scrub-eating team.

That means an extra hour daily of focused attention and harness work with this older pair. Gordy loves this and Gilford...well, let’s just say one reason for getting our second set of boys is to train them to fill Gilford’s place in the tandem pulling team. He has no intention of working, thank you.

Everyone's trying to figure each other out.
So between kids just weeks old and kids soon to be yearlings, there has been precious little time to devote to the blog. It’s probably good to take a break, breathe in the spring air, and listen to the birds that have returned in the past week.

Gordy is eager to move toward pulling his princess.
He needs to grow some more, both in muscle and bone,
but he's going to be a great puller!

Do you have any wonderful distractions in your life right now that help balance out the demands of meeting special needs? I’d love to hear your stories!


Anonymous said...

Just a remodel project that I enjoy more than many other tasks but not as much as online stuff. My yard is not near the standard I like to keep! Barbara

Rose-Marie said...

Thanks for chiming in, Barbara.

I'm impressed you can stay sane during a remodel. That certainly does keep a brain occupied, though...some days on overdrive! I hope the outcome is every bit as wonderful as you imagine.

Then, it's on to the yard... Goats are great for weed control. I'd offer ours to help you if they could distinguish weeds from favorite flowers and valued shrubs, but it doesn't work that way unfortunately.

Donna Genzlinger said...

Oh my goodness! They are adorable! And I don't even like animals. I mean, I like them, but not enough to have them. I can barely take care of my kids and myself. I don't do a great job with myself. My distraction SHOULD be to diet and exercise, but sadly, it is not. No distraction right now. We just started a trial with a Tobii, and all my time is spent stressing over that. I gave up waiting for the school to act, went over their heads and arranged it myself with the vendor, and in the process managed to alienate rather a lot of people. Oh well. We only got it last weekend. So far Abby likes the parts where she gets to choose music or videos that are favorites. Doing school tasks or language/communication--not so much. She's staring at the ceiling, sliding out of the chair, etc. I feel like this is a time I should push (from your most recent post) because I know she can do it-at least the access part, she has no problem with that. And she has not had access to a language system other than symbols on an etran board. And she's 14, and often a real teenager in that she's stubborn and resistant! So getting into the real stuff on the Tobii is going to be a struggle. All my time now is spent worrying about this, and whether we can get far enough during the trial period to qualify without completely turning her off to it. She's so often frustrated when she can't express herself, but she doesn't want to do the work to make it better. Of course, she hasn't often been challenged with something like this at school either. Maybe that's a factor, too. At any rate, I'm waiting for the time when I can have a distraction! Enjoy those goats! They look like a wonderful outlet for all of you. And by the way--Angela looks great in that picture. Beautiful smile!
Donna Genzlinger

Rose-Marie said...

Donna, I think you'd fall in love with these little guys! They are just such fun. They'll only be on the bottle another month and I'll mourn that special time with them. Such is the life of a mom, right?

I'm delighted you went through the vendor to get Abby a trial with the Tobii. :0) Good for you!! I can also relate to your stress over the time limits of a trial and having to prove Abby can use the thing to do "serious work." I think if you can show Abby successfully using it with things she enjoys, many of the required skills can be covered. That will help keep practice fun. Is it possible Abby needs a break to move around and recharge her batteries before she does the hard work? THEN she could have some time to "play" on the device. If you set up the pages to insure that the "serious work" is successful without a lot of investment of energy and time from her (i.e.: have 3 choices of possible answers to a math problem rather than have to generate the answer out of a full row of digits), would she buy in better? After all, eye gaze is still work and takes some learning. It's important to keep the cognitive demands low while she's getting the physical skill down.

Good luck...I so want Abby to get her "voice!"