When I got off work on Saturday, mom called and asked me if we were heading out to the costume contest in Franklin. I told her that we hadn't planned on it, but after she talked it up, I thought "HEY! That could be fun!!" So I talked to Uncle M when I got home, and he seemed like he would enjoy it too, and before I knew what I was doing... I was walking around Franklin with the Red Queen, The Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter on my arm, and I was Alice. Everyone LOVED the costumes. They kept stopping us and asking us if they could take our photos. The girls enjoyed it as well! We ended up winning the Best Group Costume section of the contests, and a set of $20.00 gift certificates to a local restaraunt! Uncle M was in the height of his glory parading around as the Hatter. I can't even begin to explain what fun the car ride there was....
The whole reason we were able to attend this event was because the Redneck didn't call, and didn't show his face the entire weekend. It was his weekend to see the girls, and he didn't even call to let me know he wouldn't be visiting them this weekend. I wasn't too upset about it, and since the girls didn't know anything about it, they weren't either. I love that they are at an age, that they are blissfully innocent to the workings of unstable parents. I can shield them from that so they can enjoy childhood. Uncle M however asked me "No Call... No Show... can we Fire him???" I giggled and said "we both know it doesn't work that way... although it should."
On Sunday we went to the zoo, again in full costume. I felt like a fool dressing up, but a bigger one walking around with the family in complete costume, and I was not in costume, so I put mine on in the bathroom once we got into the zoo. The girls were exhausted by the time we got home, but really enjoyed visiting the zoo. We saw most of the animal exhibits, fed some seriously overweight goats in the petting zoo, watched a very talented magician at his magic show, and participated in the Halloween festivities at the zoo. I felt a little sad for the animals, they all looked kind of cramped and sleepy, but at least the girls got to have a bit of that culture. We were stopped by an entire photography class and our photos were taken by all twenty of them, I couldn't get over how fancy all of their cameras were! Uncle M picked on me because for being a very camera shy person, I was in front of the camera an awful lot all weekend long.
I met with the amazing preschool teacher from the IEP program and the director of her current Child Care this morning. It was very enlightening. The preschool teacher, handled the entire situation very well, and was able to address all of the director's reluctance to accepting what she was proposing. The director seemed to be interested in the social skills modeling techniques, was seemingly opposed to the rewards chart, and strongly opposed to a communication system due to privacy issues. She seems to be very pressed for time each day. The teacher from the IEP went so far as to offer to give the center 24 backpacks (one for each child) so a communication system can be set up between the parents and students, privately. She is giving the director and myself, a good chunk of child care education tools that teach social situations, and emotions, so the Vampire, and other kids in her class will have a better structured learning environment. The IEP preschool teacher talked about one of the teachers, and what an excellent job she did with the Vampire, and it gave me hope that maybe the little one can pull through this insanity. As we were leaving, I let the IEP preschool teacher know what my fears are with this daycare, and she told me not to worry, because if the Vampire does lose her spot here, then she can follow her to the next daycare, and do the same thing, and one of these days, she will catch on. So I am hopeful once again. The Vampire had a good day today at daycare, I will do everything I can to ensure that there are many more to follow!