Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 165

Saturday January 29, 2011

My parents arrived today. I was outside with Teddy and Mel when they arrived. My heart practically jumped out of my chest when I saw my dad's beautiful smile beam out of the car window! He hugged me so tightly. I felt like I was 5 years old again. I wish I were!

Not only did my parents arrive, but practically an entire continent of amazing food did as well :) This weekend was the annual "Matanca" in my hometown, a huge Portuguese party where a smorgasbord of pork products (e.g., linguica, fried pork, blood sausage) lines the Portuguese hall and feeds hundreds of happy participants. Before driving down to SB, my parents stocked up on all sorts of yummy treats from this pork party. I couldn't have been happier :)

We spent the afternoon hanging out with my folks. Nina was in an on-and-off again mood. One minute she was interactive and happy, the next she was beastly. This is hard on any adult but it is excruciating to watch its impact on Teddy. It tears him up. One second Nina is nice to him the next she is hitting him or screaming at him. We've been using a token system (i.e., star chart) for a while now to manage both the kids behaviorally because I recognized (thank you Linda) that we needed to consequate Nina not just Teddy so he wouldn't build resentment. Each time she hits, she loses a star. Each time she uses her words, she gets a start. Each time Teddy remains calm and asks for assistance he earns stars. The system works great with both kids but what it doesn't accomplish is take away the pain in Teddy's eyes.

At one point, Nina yelled at Teddy totally unprovoked. Poor Teddy just happened to walk in front of the TV and interrupt her visual of the Pink Panther cartoon. Teddy snapped back at her and she began to cry. Thankfully, my mom jumped in with Nina allowing me to spend time with Teddy. We ended up hanging out in Nina's room (with the door closed) for over an hour. We lay on that bed and literally cuddled. At one point, we were nose to nose :) We cuddled in silence, we talked, we laughed, we cuddled some more. Teddy needs our love just as much as Nina does. In some respects, he needs it more!!!!!! After an hour, he turned to me (an inch away from my face) and said, "Okay, cuddle time is over my old lady!" His smirk was soooo big and he was sooo proud of himself. I swatted his bottom as he crawled away!!!! Old lady my foot!!!!

The funny thing is that while Teddy and I were in the room hanging out, I could hear Nina interacting (and squawking frequently) with my folks and Todd. At one point I could tell they were giving her some dinner and she protested to Todd, "This rice tastes like nothing!" Everyone erupted into laughter. My mom is known for her fabulous rice and both of the kids adore it! My mom was so elated by Nina's sass that she said, "I agree tastes like nothing!" What a funny girl....even when she's pissed she somehow manages to be funny!

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