Friday, July 24, 2009

Summer fun

Hey there!! Long time, no see.

We've been having an eventful summer. The girls got out of school around the middle of June, and all 5 of us got on a plane out to California. The girls stayed with our in-laws, and Jeff and I had our 1st vacation with no kids in almost 6 years. We went to was awesome. So much fun. We were able to see Ka' and Penn & Teller. We can't wait to go back.

The girls had a fabulous time with Jeff's parents. Their cousin Ariel was there, too, for the majority of the time, so they had a bunch of girly fun. Played dress-up, got in the spa, played with dolls and Barbies, and generally ran amok for 4 days straight. Needless to say, my worry that they would miss us while we were gone (as this was the longest we'd ever been away from them) were unfounded. I doubt they noticed we weren't there. In fact, I think we got a passing "Hi mom, hi dad!" after we came in the door. They were too busy.

Emma got her ears pierced with Auntie M & Aunt Kammie. I'd been asking her for 3 years if she wanted to get them done, but she kept telling me no thanks, because she knew it would hurt. Ok fine. But, as soon as mom's gone, and her aunts suggest it, SURE! LOL

As soon as we got back to Michigan, Emma started PEAK. It's a day camp that runs for 6 weeks during the summer. They have water days, do arts & crafts, go on field trips. Just the thing a kid like Emma needs. Not to mention the fact that most of the kids go to her school and she needs to make some new friends. Her best friend is switching schools next fall and making friends can be hard for her.

Sarah & Katie are doing well, having fun running around like banshees at home. Katie's doing really well with the potty training. Sarah we're still working on. Hoping to have her almost 100% trained before school starts. They're getting along pretty well, with only a few screaming matches a day. Otherwise they're like peas in a pod, best friends, partners in crime, the whole thing.

Jeff is doing well. Traveling for work. He just got back from Ithaca, NY. He & a co-worker did a presentation @ a conference at Cornell for a software product they use. I got a nifty Ivy League school sweatshirt. Yeah, you're jealous.

We also went to visit our friends in Tennessee for the 4th. Fun drive, all 14 hours of it. But it's worth it because they're our oldest friends, and our kids actually get along pretty well. We're the "Brady Bunch": they have 3 boys, we have 3 girls. The logistics are going to start getting a wee bit uncomfortable, as our two oldest are only 2 days apart, and they call each other their "boyfriend/girlfriend" when they're apart. Ahem They're 9 1/2. Oh boy, not looking forward to the teenage years.

This coming semester is Jeff's last. It's going to be hell, not looking forward to it, but then it'll be done and he'll have a degree that he's been working towards for 5 1/2 years. I'm so very very proud of him. Between going to school and working full-time, not to mention getting a promotion in between there and having to travel constantly for work. he's done extremely well. He'll be graduating with honors, which is hard enough for some people to accomplish without all the responsibilities that he has.

That's pretty much the rundown of what's been going on with us. Not a whole lot of excitement, but then again, I'm not sure I want a ton of excitement.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Another swoon post

Official "New Moon" trailer. Hoo boy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2 Updates in a row!

Today was Sarah's Kindergarden Transition IEP. It went really well. It was at Vowles, since that's where she'll be going next year, so we had her preschool team meeting up with her elementary school team. Her PT will stay the same, since she services both the school system and the Gratiot-Isabella RESD. Her Special Ed. teacher was there, as well.

First, we went through all of Sarah's strengths, and how she was doing on her goals since we last met. We only met 6 months ago, but she's made a lot of progress since then, which I was really excited to hear. Then each of the therapists went over their goals for her for the next year. They all sound really good to me, nothing too far fetched, but not too easy either. She'll be getting a lot of extra OT, since her Special Ed. teacher focuses a lot of fine motor. She'll be getting 20-30 minutes of ST, 4-6x a month. As for PT, I think it was around 30 minutes, 2x a week. But, she'll also be having 2 recesses a day, not to mention P.E., which she'll probably have with her special ed class, as she's still really small. It was suggested that I bring her to the playground at the school sometime during the summer to allow her to get used to it, as it's a bit bigger and not quite as contained as the one @ her current school.

Speaking of containment, I also warned everyone about her tendency to run off. That's still my biggest concern with her, as she's ninja-like in her stealthness. She almost seems to wait until you're NOT looking and then go the opposite direction. I told them we're still planning on getting some sort of device to keep track of her. I'm hoping to have that in place by the time school starts.

I also told them that she's not potty trained yet, but I hope to have her well on her way by the time school starts. Katie's already doing really well, and I know that Sarah won't want to let her be better at something. :D

All in all, it was a really good meeting. I'm fortunate that her team really gets Sarah and I haven't had to fight for much in regards to therapies or accommodations. We also put transportation on the IEP, even though I'm not 100% sure she'll be riding the bus. But, it's easier to put it on there and not have to use it rather than having to schedule a meeting to put it on there later. The OT seemed really excited to work with Sarah, and the PT already knows her, but the ST seemed a little daunted by the fact that she's so small and is a runner, haha. I know Sarah will have them all wrapped around her little finger by the end of the first week of school.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Update from our neck of the woods

We've had quite the goings-on around here lately, so here's a wrap-up.

I flew to San Diego a couple weeks ago to attend my sister's college graduation. It was the 1st time in almost 2 years that Jeff's been alone with the kids for longer than 12 hours. He did fabulous, which makes me think I should leave him alone more often. :D

I had a really nice time seeing a lot of my dad's family. I hadn't seen any of my younger siblings in 2 years, and I hadn't seen my dad or step-mom since my mom's funeral. I was able to spend some time at the beach, which I miss, terribly. Did a little shopping and generally had a wonderful time.

Both Jeff & I finished the spring semester about a week before that, which we were both happy about. I ended up getting A's in all 3 of my classes, finishing my math class with an 102% on my final exam. I was quite pleased with myself. Jeff also got straight A's, solidifying the fact that he'll be graduating in December with honors! Woo hoo!!

The girls are all doing great. After having some struggles making friends in the beginning of the year, Emma's made a really good friend in a girl named Paige. She's in 4th grade, which means she'll be leaving this school at the end of the year (the schools here are K-4, and then 5-6) but I know she'll keep in touch, and I'm sure we'll be having sleepovers & playdates all summer.

Sarah is having a blast in school, with the last 2 weeks of preschool wrapping up. She's headed to K next year, which I know she'll do great in. We've have K Round-Up, and last night we went to a Parent meeting at the school, where we toured all the classrooms. She didn't want to leave! We have her transition IEP tomorrow morning, where everything for her placement will get finalized. I'm pretty sure her therapy times won't change much, and I think the agreement was that her and another little boy will share an aid, who will travel to the different classrooms with them.

Katie is doing great! Since I got back from California, we've been working on the potty training. She's had a few mishaps, but overall she's caught on really well! I decided that I couldn't handle training 2 kids at once, and Katie, although she was really hesitant to use the potty chair a month ago, started initiating it on her own, so I decided to start with Katie. I know once Katie has it down pat, that Sarah will want to emulate her and she'll be along shortly. :D Katie's biggest hurdle was she really liked the design on her pull-ups and didn't want to wear anything else. But, I convinced her with some new Minnie Mouse undies. Now, she only wears the pull-ups at nap and bedtime. I can't yet have my "ritualistic burning of the changing table pad" yet, but it's close! Unfortunately, I don't think Sarah will be able to go to the speech camp this summer (funding is non-existent) so we'll have the whole summer to work on it! I'd love to send both girls to school in the fall completely pull-up free.

Katie is still my little talker. The things that come out of her mouth have me in stitches at times. Another blogger I follow said that kids at this age are so literal. I can definitely see it with Katie. She picked up Sarah's pants from the floor of the bathroom and asked,"What's this mom?". I told her,"Those are Sarah's jeans." She said,"No, it's a flower." Apparently she had been talking about the design on her jeans, not the jeans themselves.

As for us, Jeff and I are looking forward to traveling to CA in 2 weeks to visit his family. The girls will get some quality time with Nana & Papa, and Jeff & I will be taking a well-deserved vacation to Vegas for 4 days. This will be the 1st trip without kids in almost 6 years. I can hardly wait. But first we have to get through the last couple weeks of school, and Jeff has his final ACSA exam to take. Oh, and then there's the little thing of actually flying with 3 kids cross country, which is always fun. But, they're older now, and hopefully will be a little easier. And please let there be NO exploding diapers @ 35,000 feet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pardon me while I swoon

Can I just say, I'm glad poor Taylor Lautner doesn't have to wear that gawd-awful long wig. Ok, back to swooning...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I don't do this often, but I try to remember, haha.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you fabulous mothers out there!! I hope everyone had a wonderful day.

Mine started out by waking up to raucous little girly voices telling each other, loudly, to be quiet. They brought me lovely yellow flowers, a beautiful card, and, the staple of all decent holidays, donuts and coffee. It was perfect.

I sort of had my Mother's Day gift yesterday, when Jeff stayed home with all 3 girls and a friend and I went out to the outlet mall and had a "girly shopping day". It was great. No kids, no real time limit, just us & miles of shopping.

Jeff & the girls had fun, too. They went to McDonald's for lunch (which is braver than I am when I'm by myself with them), Emma had a Tennis Fun day, and there were no "Lord of the Flies" moments, so yay! :) I always knew he could do it.

But, this being Mother's Day and all, I did reflect on my mom. It's funny, the littlest things remind me of her. A few weeks ago we finally finished going through all the boxes that had come with her from California, and then stayed in a storage unit for a year. They sat in our garage for almost another year before we got through them all. I laughed a lot going through those boxes, laughed at the way my mom thought, and the way she did things. She had 2 complete sets of the same exact comforter set, with shams. I actually asked out loud,"Ok mom, what was the deal with this?" I also found another box full of linens and towels, which, whenever she moved, she would put into a big plastic bag and THEN put into the box. I always thought that was a bit of overkill, but she was like that. When I opened the bag, the smell hit me. After 2 years in a bag & box, they still smelled like her. Smelled like her fabric softener. And that smell brought tears to my eyes. Even after I washed and dried them, I used one this morning, and it still had that smell.

I'm also finding that I'm having very similar issues with Emma that I remember having with my mom. Specifically her room. Emma is a slight packrat, keeping everything she writes on, draws on, or puts a sticker on. So today I put the proverbial foot down and stormed into her room with a trash bag and a mission. I came out 2 hours later with a sore back, a slightly miffed daughter, and a very full trash bag. I also found about 15 toys of Sarah & Katie's that apparently had made their way into Emma's room, where we thought they had gone to the Island of Lost Toys. I remember my mom getting so mad at me when my room would get so bad that she couldn't see the floor. I'm trying to avoid that with Emma.

I still try to make sure that Mom is a part of my life. I have her earrings and necklace that I wear frequently. Every time I have something important to do, or it's a big day for the kids, I wear them. If it was an event that I probably would have called her to tell her about, I wear them. I still get the urge to call her, even now, almost 2 years later. I still have her email in my computer address book, and her old cell number on my phone.

In a few weeks, we'll be traveling to California as a family for the first time since Mom died. This will be the first chance I'll have had to go visit her. I remember distinctly, when my Grandpa died, how mom had said that she had never visited either her mom or brother. I remember driving by the cemetery and having her point out the general direction where they were buried, but we never went. The first time she went was the first time I did, at Grandpa's funeral. That day will be hard, just like today was, just like some days are. Most are better, some are not. But, she will always be with me, and I will never forget.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Party Time

Yesterday was Sarah's birthday party at McDonald's. Yeah I know, not the most original, but with it being April here, the weather is unstable, so an outdoor party wasn't an option. Plus, Jeff has ix-nayed home parties for awhile. It's just too stressful. So, McDonald's it was. Which was fine. They provided the food, cake & ice cream, along with a huge inside play area for the kids to run amuck on. Sarah had 2 friends that came from her preschool class, and we had 2 of Emma's friends, and her friend's little brother. Everyone seemed to have a good time. In fact, we had to postpone opening up presents until we got home due to the fact that we couldn't pry Sarah off the play structure. This is why I don't go to this place without backup. There have been instances where I'm standing on the outside, yelling at the girls to come out, knowing I can't fit myself in there to get them. Not a fun experience. Talk about feeling like a crappy parent.

But, I digress. The kids all had fun, and that was the point. Emma got invited to her friend's house for a few hours, and then we invited that friend over to spend the night. This particular friend has ADHD. I also know, via her grandmother, that this girl doesn't take her meds on the weekends. I will the first to admit that I don't know much about ADD or ADHD. That being said, I was unprepared for the onslaught of energy that this little girl has. She's a very sweet girl, but very determined when she puts her mind to something. Like incessantly chasing our cat. LOL But, she's Emma's friend, and for that I'm grateful. This is first real girl friend Emma's had. They have fun together, and that's all that matters. She and Emma were up until 11pm last night, and then up way too early this morning. I guess I should get used to that, since this will most likely not be the only time this friend stays over. The only sad part is this friend is in 4th grade, and that means she won't be going to this school next year (the elementary schools are separated into four K-4 schools, & two 5-6 schools). But, I'm hoping that they'll be able to stay friends. Emma needs to have some consistency.

I've been pondering some things, and I'm conflicted as to what to think of them. I find it interesting that I'm majoring in Special Education, and suddenly we have multiple children interacting in our lives that would fall in that category. First, Sarah, obviously. And Emma, too, since she has an IEP for her speech. Then, Emma's friend's little brother was recently diagnosed with Autism. And now Emma's other friend, with ADHD. I'm vacillating between thinking it's just a numbers game, where more kids are being labeled with something (even though I hate labels) so it's inevitable that we'd come across more kids with special needs, and thinking it is some sort of cosmic preparation for the job that I'll have once I graduate. Either way, I'm grateful for the opportunity to get experience with multiple children with multiple needs. That was my biggest fear with Sarah starting K next year: that she wouldn't have teachers who would understand her needs. And honestly, that's MY biggest fear about becoming a teacher. I'm worried that I won't be able to fulfill the needs of all my future students. I know I won't always have the right answer or know exactly what to do, but I don't want to be blindsided with a child and not having any idea how to help them. So, I'm thankful for the chance to get experience in whatever way I can.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Sarah!

My dearest Sarah,
It’s hard for me to believe that you are already five years old. Time moves too quickly these days, and I feel like I’m missing so much.
From the moment you were born, I knew you were unique. It’s hard for me to remember those days, as, like most of us on this journey, I was scared in the beginning. You started surprising us from birth. We didn’t know about your “little something extra” beforehand, but I look back and am thankful, because it allowed your daddy & I to get to know you, as the tiny (well, maybe not, as you were almost 9 lbs!) human being you were. We had 10 days of just enjoying you, and weren’t preoccupied with therapies, doctors, and milestones. And when we were told, we didn’t mourn long. Your daddy, being the strong person he is, helped us all to realize that this didn’t change who you were, or what you meant to us. As if to prove the point that you weren’t about to let a diagnosis bring you down, you rolled over from tummy to back 4 days later, at exactly 14 days old. That was sooner than your big sister! You have never been content with the labels that society wants to put on you. You have always blazed your own path, while the rest of us fight through the bush to get to where you are, so we can join you on your journey, rather than force you to follow ours. Your path is beautiful, unassuming, and filled with all the wonders of the world.
It boggles my mind that you will be starting Kindergarden next fall. Little Sarah, who still wears size 3T clothes and is barely 36 inches tall, going to the big time!! I’m scared and proud, all at the same time. I can’t imagine you riding the big bus with your sister, carrying a backpack as big as you are, and sitting at a desk, with your feet dangling in the air. I know you will make friends, and I know you will shatter the preconceptions of anyone foolish enough to belittle your potential. You will wrap your teachers around your fingers and you will continue to learn and grow.
I know your little sister will miss you, as she does now when you go to school. She wants to be anywhere you are, as your best friend and partner in crime. Your big sister is one of your biggest cheerleaders and is always there to play a game of tag.
You have taught me so much in the last five years. I have learned to slow down and enjoy every milestone, especially when they are fought for with such tenacity. I’ve learned to realize that every word is precious, especially when those words have taken years to say. You’ve helped me sing when the mood strikes, dance with my whole heart, and love unconditionally. I could not imagine my life without you, my sweetheart girl. Thank you for allowing me to your mom.


Saturday, April 04, 2009

This has been a week

You know, there are times during your life when you wonder if the universe isn't playing some cosmic, karmic joke on you. This would be one of those times for me.

For those that follow me on Twitter or Facebook, probably already know about this, but for those that don't, Sarah got seriously injured this week. I like the way Jeff put it: Sarah picked a fight with a 15 lb. TV and lost. She & Katie had a TV in their room that was up on a TV stand on the wall. It was pretty secure. Apparently not secure enough for Sarah. She, Emma & Katie were playing in their room earlier this week while I was puttering around doing housework. All of a sudden, I hear this huge crash from their room. I rushed in there, to find the TV on the floor (it had been up about 6 feet) and Sarah just starting to realize she'd been hurt and screaming. I saw that she had blood on her mouth, so I rushed her into the bathroom to rinse out her mouth. The blood didn't stop. I saw that she had a huge laceration on her lip that would need stitches. I grabbed a washcloth and put some pressure on it, while yelling at Emma to get my phone. I looked into her mouth while I was calling Jeff, and I noticed that one of her bottom teeth was missing.

I got ahold of Jeff and told him what happened, and he said he'd meet us at the ER. But, it took me a bit to get the girls in the car, with Emma & Katie at least having shoes, so he actually just met us at home and rode with us, holding the washcloth to Sarah's mouth the whole way. By this time, Sarah was completely calm, just a bit perturbed at the fact that she had a piece of cloth pressed on her face.

I rushed her in, and they got us into a room fairly quickly, but then the waiting started. The ER wasn't that busy, but apparently everyone was taking their sweet time. We didn't really think about it until later, but the fact that Sarah pulled a TV onto her face and was still bleeding 25 minutes later, didn't seem to phase anyone that maybe she needed some pain meds or perhaps they should hurry their butts up. I think that was my fault though, I didn't push, because I know Sarah has a high pain tolerance, and while she might not have been complaining, I KNOW she was in some sort of pain. While we were waiting for someone to make a decision, Jeff pointed out to me that the top part of her mouth was also injured. I looked and saw that she was missing one of her top front teeth, and that one of the other ones was loose. I don't know why this revelation hit closer to home, but I immediately started crying. I just kept thinking, this kid has enough problems, and is most likely going to Kindergarden next year, and will be missing at least 3 teeth, possibly more. Maybe I should paint a sign that says "MAKE FUN OF ME" and send her to school with it. I know that's petty, and we've been fortunate that we haven't had any instances of prejudice when it comes to Sarah, but I know that window of innocence is slowly shrinking.

The doctor finally came in and said they wanted to do a cat scan to make sure she hadn't fractured any facial bones. I told them that they were probably going to have to sedate her for that, since I knew she wouldn't lay still. The on-call doc said that she was fairly certain everything would be fine. Because there was a Dora sticker on the outside of the machine and kids usually focused on that and didn't mind the loud noises and being strapped down. Right. As soon as they tried to move her bed to take her to the x-ray room, she started freaking out. I had to carry her, and once we got in the room, she become "Koala Sarah" and was crawling up my head. We attempted to hold her down and even used the large velcro straps they have, but the radiologist couldn't get a decent picture without her moving. So, back to the ER room we went, and waited some more. Finally, someone else came in with the radiologist and said that they were going to attempt the cat scan again, without sedation, but with an extra set of hands. I asked why they didn't just sedate her and they said something to the effect of that they didn't want to have to sedate her more than once. That gave me the impression that they were anticipating doing some sort of procedure that required sedation later on. I was ok with that. We all went into the x-ray room again, and a nurse wrapped Sarah up like a burrito and between her, Jeff & I managed to somewhat hold her still. Poor baby was freaking out. The radiologist thought he was able to get some decent pictures, and so back we went to the room.

Thankfully, during this time, a co-worker of Jeff's had come and volunteered to watch Emma & Katie out in the waiting room. I will forever be grateful to Kevin for that. :D We also noticed that one of Emma's friends from school was in another room, so I went over to talk with her family. Turns out she had been vomiting and was showing signs of dehydration, so she was just in to get an IV of fluids. Emma went in after awhile to say hi and visit. After the debacle of the cat scan, Jeff volunteered to stay with Sarah, so I could take Katie home for awhile. Emma decided to stay and visit with her friend. Jeff said he'd call when they decided anything.

After about 2 hours, he called and said that they'd decided to just put a few stitches in her lip, and gave us a referral to an oral surgeon to see the following day. I couldn't believe that's all they were going to do for her. I came up right about the time they were putting in the stitches, which they only did a few, and said they were leaving the end open to allow it to drain. Shortly after we were discharged. We went home and, no joke, within 30 minutes, Sarah had pulled out the stitches. Of course. I called the ER and the nurse said that should be fine, it would just take the lip a little longer to heal.

She seemed to do fine that night, and we gave her some Tylenol to help her sleep. We went to the oral surgeon the next afternoon, and he took a quick x-ray of her top jaw, to make sure the top front tooth hadn't been jammed in there, because we couldn't find it. We found her bottom tooth that had been knocked clean out, but weren't able to find any other. He said there didn't seem to be anything jammed in her gums, which was good. He also said that, because her permanent teeth were so high up in her jaw, there didn't look like there was any damage to those either.

So now it's a waiting game. She seems to be doing ok; we have her on a soft food diet for a few days, but now she's able to eat almost everything. I asked the oral surgeon if the loose tooth would firm up or fall out, and he said the odds were pretty even for either. Her gums seem to be healing well and she's taking it all in stride. Needless to say, there is no more TV in their room.

After all that, you'd think that karma would have let us be for a bit. But no. Today we decided, since the weather wasn't rainy or snowy, that we'd take a drive over to Midland and hang out at the mall. About a month ago, we had gone to the Novi mall, and had a small emergency: Sarah ran off. She has a tendency to do this and if we don't deadbolt the sliding glass door, she will go out back. Not normally a problem, but our backyard isn't completely fenced in. So, there we were, having gotten to the mall not 20 minutes before, and the girls wanted to play in the little jungle gym they have. It's not huge, with only one entrance, and both Jeff & I were watching all the kids. Still, sneaky, silent, ninja Sarah, was able to get past us. I noticed within seconds that she wasn't there, but I went into the enclosure to make sure she wasn't hiding. An older gentleman noticed me and asked if I was missing a little girl. I said yes, and he said his wife had her, and she'd been running down the mall. So, I took off, but couldn't find her. I saw a woman pointing me down the mall, but I still couldn't see anyone with her. She said Sarah had gone into a shoe store. I ran in there and grabbed her, my heart racing, and slowly walked back to the play area. Jeff met me about halfway there, she'd gone about 10 stores down. We decided to leave immediately. We just couldn't believe that, even with both of us being very diligent, she could have slipped past us. She could get a job as a spy, she's that good. And quick, too.

So, now I will be looking into getting some sort of electronic monitoring device. Sarah has a problem with impulse control. She doesn't think about things before she does it. I'm hoping that she'll grow out of this, but I'm not betting that will happen before Jeff or I have a heart attack, or something bad happens. She has enough things happen as it is, we don't need to be tempting fate.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Random things

Hello there, once again I've neglected this thing. I figured no one wanted to be bothered with my repetitive "go to work/school, clean, eat, sleep, wipe butts" routine that has been my life for the last 2 months.

I'm once again a single mom for a few days. Jeff's in Chicago, at some Apple thing, being brilliant. So, after the girls went to bed tonight, I decided to try & catch up on the 1st couple of episodes of a new show, "Dollhouse". It's by the same person who did Buffy & Angel, Joss Whedon. He also does a webshow called "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog", starting Neil Patrick Harris and Felicia Day. It's awesome. So, yeah "Dollhouse", very cool show. But, honestly, it took all my will power not to skip to the end of the episode to see if it had his signature production company plug. Those of you who used to watch Buffy know what I mean. And, it was there. I was so psyched.

The show itself looks really cool, I've only seen the 1st episode, but I have 3 more on my DVR. I think I know what I'll be doing for the next 2 nights. :D

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Apparently this family loses teeth in groups.

A few weeks ago, I had noticed that Sarah had a loose front tooth. I kinda panicked as I thought she was too young to start loosing teeth. But, I had to remind myself that she'll be 5 in April, and she just looks younger than she is. Also, Emma lost her first tooth the month after she turned 5, so it wasn't terribly early. Based on how wiggly it was, I gave it less than a month before it was out.

So, last Thursday, when we're all home from school/work, I'm making dinner (or rather standing in the kitchen wishing desperately for inspiration to hit me in the face regarding what to make for dinner) and Sarah comes to me, and her mouth is bleeding a little. So, I look and it's her tooth; not out completely, but a lot more wiggly than it had been. I gave her a towel to chew on, to help it come out, as I couldn't pull it out myself. About 10 minutes later, she comes back to me, towel in hand, and no tooth in her mouth. I ask her where it was, and she said "Idunknow, mommy". Oy. So, I check the towel-no tooth. I check her mouth-no tooth. I had Emma look all over the living room-no tooth. So, Sarah lost her first tooth, and them promptly swallowed it. Given her high pain tolerance I probably could have pulled it and she would have been fine. So, needless to say I've been checking her diapers, but no tooth so far. Unfortunately, she diapers have recently returned to their prior "consistency" and I probably missed it. But, no fear, the tooth fairy was notified, and left Sarah $2.

Not to be outdone though, Emma had some loose teeth of her own. She actually had 3. She hasn't lost any teeth (naturally, although she had 1 pulled about 2 years ago) in over 2 years, so it was time.

Yesterday, being Valentine's Day, and 4/5 of us being sick, I didn't want to cook, but we couldn't go out. So, Jeff, being the wonderful husband he is, and seeing as how he was feeling more human than he had in days, volunteered to go pick up food from Lonestar Steakhouse. I hadn't known that they did take-out. I was giddy. Their rolls and honey butter are to die for. But, I digress. So, he and Emma went to pick up our food. They brought it home and we all sat at the table. The girls ate very nicely, and we were having our first sit down dinner in almost a week. Then, suddenly, Emma gasps, and pulls what I think is bread out of her mouth. She shows it to me, and I see it's one of her teeth. So, the tooth fairy came last night for her, too (even though she's already in on the "secret"). I'm expecting the other 2 loose teeth to fall out within a couple months at the very latest.

Sick & tired of being sick & tired

You'd think the plague had hit our house with the amount of snot, mucous, and general ickiness we've had here.

Last week Jeff started feeling bad, on Monday evening. He called in sick on Tuesday with a bad fever & all over achiness. I figured he had the flu, but also knowing Jeff, I figured he would kick it in about 24 hours. That's generally how things go with him. His immune system is phenomenal. When Tuesday evening came around and he wasn't better, I started to think that this wasn't a run-of-the-mill illness. The girls were ok for the most part. Emma had a cough, but seemed ok. She was coughing through the night and ended up throwing up early Wednesday morning. So, she stayed home. The other girls were ok, until the evening, when they started with their own coughs. I decided to keep them home on Thursday, and stayed home myself. By then, Jeff's symptoms had changed some. The fever was still there, but not terrible. The achiness was less, but now he had chest & nasal congestion and a very sore throat. He was thinking flu/strep throat. I knew he had the flu, but I was iffy on the strep. I know post nasal drip can cause a very sore throat. We all went to the Urgent Care to get the official diagnosis, and took the little girls with so we could get them checked out, too. They were fine, just a little upper respiratory infection, and we were told to treat them symptomatically. Jeff finally got labeled with the flu, but no strep. He was told to pretty much be in quarantine until Monday. I don't think he's ever missed 4 straight days of work due to illness. Like, ever.

By Friday morning, the girls no longer had fevers, but Emma was back to coughing up a lung along with having a fever. So she had to miss her class Valentine's Day party, which she was thoroughly bummed about. But, I promised her that I would take her Valentines to her teacher after work.

At bedtime we'd been giving the girls some cough/fever medicine to help them sleep, but apparently it wasn't working for Katie. She woke up Friday night and Saturday night with pretty high fevers. Friday night she ended up in bed with us for a few hours, but I eventually put her back after the meds kicked in. Saturday night I went grocery shopping late, after the girls went to bed. I got home around 11pm, and after all the groceries were put away, I went to check on the girls. Katie was, surprisingly, still awake. She was quiet, but awake. I went to go give her a hug and she was burning up. She had a temp of 102. So, she got some Motrin, along with a drink, and I stayed by her to put a cool washcloth on her forehead. Katie, when she's delirious with fever, is wryly hilarious. She was laying there, perfectly content, but she kept saying things like "Emma's asleep", and "Sarah bit me, look Mommy, she bit my finger"- all perfectly calm and matter-of-fact. She also took issue with the fact that Oreo (the cat) was walking in her room. She kept telling her to get out. "I want Oreo out of here, Mommy." It was funny.

She finally fell asleep about 1am, poor girl. But, she was running amok with her sisters this morning, so it just looks like a flukie thing.

I know I will probably jinx myself by saying this, but so far, I haven't succumb to whatever germs attacked my family this week. I think it was some higher power that basically said,"If your family is to survive this week, someone has to be able to take care of everything." But, Jeff is leaving later this week for another business trip, so I know that will probably be the time when I get bombarded with it all. Karma hates me.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I'm so rone-ry

*Just for clarification, that last word in the title rhymes with "lonely".

So, Jeff's gone for a few days. I know it's nothing compared to the ghastly 6 month deployments back when he was in the Navy, but it still sucks having him gone. Especially on my birthday. All the girls are asleep in bed, and I'm sitting in the living room on my laptop listening to music. That's usually what I do when he's gone and I don't have children awake & running rampant throughout the house. I stay up way too late, listen to music, and play on the computer.

I had my aerobic kickboxing class tonight. My Jaime Pressly look-alike instructor so very nicely pointed out the fact that it was my birthday and had the entire class sing to me. She made up for it by not telling the entire class how old I was. Heh

The girls went to Emma's friend's house while I was at class. They have 3 boys, so she gets her "girl-fix" when they're over, lol. Of course, it takes a crow-bar to pry Sarah & Katie away from the house, cause it's apparently more fun than our house. Either that or they know that they're headed for bed as soon as we get home. LOL But they must have played hard while they were there because they both fell asleep with little to no arguments. I'm lovin' it.

So, here's to being my friend Deanna put it, "It's not as traumatic as 30." Hear, hear.

Happy Birthday to me

Today's my 31st birthday. Groundhog day. Yes, I get a lot of the jokes. No, they're not funny anymore now than they were when I was 12. :P

We celebrated my birthday on Saturday because Jeff's leaving for Apple training in Ohio this week. So, I got to sleep in, got breakfast & coffee in bed (Jeff actually COOKED! Real food!) and hung out for most of the morning. Then we were off to Wal-mart to price out new tires for the van. Not fun, but unfortunately a necessity in the feet of snow and ice. I got a little tired of having to drive like an old lady in order to avoid hitting other cars. Plus, we've had the van for 4 1/2 years, and it still had the factory tires on it. It was time. We got a fairly decent deal (compared to what I had been quoted elsewhere) and was able to get a little bit of shopping done while we waited. Thankfully it only took a little over an hour. I suggested we go test them out by doing donuts in a parking lot somewhere, but Jeff didn't think that was such a great idea. Wimp. :P
We went out to lunch (BK, not my first choice, but I was with my family, didn't matter where we ate), then came home and put the little ones down for a nap. I then went out & finished the grocery shopping alone (just me & the produce), and afterwards came home & made my famous tacos with rice. Jeff didn't want me to have to cook on my birthday, but I love tacos, so I was perfectly fine with it. Although going to Lonestar for a steak & their oh-so-yummy rolls with honey butter was tempting.
Jeff suggested since we couldn't find a sitter to watch the girls so we could go see a movie, that I just go & see the one I wanted with Emma. So, I asked her if she wanted to see "Twilight" with me. She said yes. Unfortunately, it wasn't playing anywhere near us so we had to drive 45 miles to a "Birdcage" type theater (for those not from Sac, that means a theater showing movies that have been out forever for about 1/2 the normal price; of course Birdcage is now demolished...). Emma was excited, since I told her it had the same guy who played Cedric Diggory from HP4 in it. It takes a great amount of obsession to drive 45 miles to see a movie in a crappy theater, but I'm not apologizing, lol. Emma, unfortunately, was SO excited, that her stomach couldn't handle it, and about 15 minutes before the end of the movie announced to me that she had to throw up. Joy. But, we made it to somewhere safe for her to puke (i.e. not the middle of the theater) and then we stood in the back to watch the rest of the movie in case there was a double feature of stomach ickies. I kid you not, for those of you who've read "New Moon", I had a total sense of deja vu as we were leaving, because I had to ask the concession lady for an empty popcorn bucket and told Emma to try not to puke in Jeff's truck. I was actually laughing to myself as we walked out to the car. Yeah I know, only I would find that funny. But, thankfully it was only a reaction to ODing on popcorn, Dots, rootbeer & excitement, and only happened once.
So I had a great faux-birthday!! I also got a new book that I hope to start reading soon. It's called "Blood Orange". Completely different than what I've been reading lately, which should be interesting. So, now I'm off to waste time on my birthday!! :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Google Name Meme

I saw this on Renee's blog and thought it looked fun.

Type in "[your name] needs" in the Google search.
Amanda needs to pee. (Actually, no, already took care of that thanks.)

Type in "[your name] looks like" in Google search.
Amanda looks like she is pouting. (Not often, but no one's perfect.)

Type in "[your name] says" in Google search.
Amanda says: As crazy as it sounds, we lie to make it seem like we're not Little Miss B*tch. (Lie about what, I wonder?)

Type in "[your name] wants" in Google search.
Amanda wants a hug 'n kiss. (Sure, who wouldn't?)

Type in "[your name] does" in Google search.
Amanda does badass hair (Snort..hahahaha, no)

Type in "[your name] hates" in Google search.
Amanda hates feet (Not all feet, just the smelly ones.)

Type in "[your name] asks" in Google search.
Amanda asks "What would Google do?" (Well, yeah, DUH, I'm using Google for this Meme)

Type in "[your name] likes " in Google search
Amanda likes to distract herself with silliness. (Anything to get out of actually having to do anything productive.)

Type in "[your name] eats " in Google search.
Amanda eats pandas. (Sorry, no, I'm allergic to bamboo.)

Type in "[your name] wears " in Google search.
Amanda wears Betty's blouse (Who is this Betty and why do I have her clothing??)

Type in "[your name] was arrested for" in Google Search.
Amanda was arrested for possession of crack, prostitution, and a bar fight (Um, wow, I have no recollection of this at all.)

Type in "[your name] goes" in Google search.
Amanda goes west. (Actually, I went east. I don't go west very often, too expensive.)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Warning: Geek Alert

Ok, I'm totally geeking out about the fact that Stephenie Meyer is my friend on MySpace. Yeah, I know I'm one of about 135,000, but HEY! It's still cool!

**You'd think I wasn't turning 31 next week...

Family Update

Life has slowly been chugging along for us. We're back into the routine of school/work/kids etc. I'm now working 4 mornings a week, which was an adjustment, but I've found it actually makes things easier. I'm able to get home after picking up the kids from daycare at the latest by 1pm. I then feed them lunch and put them down for a nap (no guarantees that they'll actually sleep, though) and after that I'm able to be a lot more productive. The morning routine of getting all 5 of us fed, dressed, and out the door by 8:10am is actually a lot easier than I had envisioned. I only work 4 days a week, so I have all of Friday off.

Jeff is back in school, as well. He's teaching again this semester and taking his final class for his minor. It's Metalworking, which I thought sounded fun. Not so much after he told me he needed steel-toe boots, safety goggles, and pants that weren't easily flammable. Oy. He's also going to a few training sessions for Apple. He's preparing to take the ASCA Certification test soon, and I know he'll do fabulous!

Emma is doing wonderful. She's officially out of the Resource Room at school, and in the classroom full-time. She's still seeing the school Social Worker, but it's looking like the issues she was having in the 1st semester are slowly being resolved. We got her 2nd quarter report card last week, and she's doing great. She got a majority of 3's (her school grades from 1-4, 4 being the highest), a couple 2's, and a couple 4's. From the progress reports from her teacher, it looks like her being in the classroom full-time now is really being beneficial to her academically, as well as socially. She rarely comes home from school saying she's had a bad day. She's making great strides in reading and spelling, and is testing her skills by e-mailing with family.

Sarah is still as chipper as ever. She recently got new glasses, which are slightly different than her last few pairs. These don't have the cable temples, so they fit a little looser. I was worried that this might take some getting used to, and that she might start yanking them off frequently again. But, she adjusted to them nicely, and really notices when she's not wearing them. A for school, she's doing fantastic. She did a few things over Winter break that her teachers had been working with her on, so I sent a note in the first day back after the new year. Things like counting to 10, as well as identifying more shapes, and being on the road to being potty trained. There's a small possibility that we might go ahead and send her to Kindergarten next fall, but I'm still not sure about it. There are a few more people I want to talk to about possible placements for her, and I don't want to send her just because she's old enough. Legally, I can have her stay in preschool another year, but I'm not sure what's best for her yet.

Katie is going great. She and Sarah are still the best of friends, even though Katie keeps trying to be the boss. Too many times during the day I'll hear something to the effect of, "NO, Sawah, sit down!" Or "That's bad, Sawah!" Talk about a chip off the ol' block. This child is "Mini-me" and mimics everything I do...not always a good thing.

My birthday is next week, which is always interesting. I'll be 31. Jeff is going to another Apple training for most of the week, starting on Monday, so we're celebrating my birthday on Saturday. Yay! I get to sleep in! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

This shall henceforth be known as the "Macbook Air incident"

Last weekend, my MacBook Air started having disk errors, saying that my hard drive was failing. Which, in and of itself, sucks. Especially since we've had these types of things happen to us before, and we've lost LOTS of stuff (pictures, files, etc.) But, we've learned our lesson, and now we have an external HD to back up our main home computer. Up until Christmas, my laptop didn't have an external backup, but Jeff thankfully amended this by getting me one for Christmas. So, all of my email, contacts, websites, files were saved.

But, since the closest Apple store is 2 hours away, getting it fixed required the whole fam to pack up in the car and drive there. They didn't have the part on hand, so they had to send it off. Meaning I was laptop-less all this last week. Which wasn't terrible, just inconvenient. I use a program called 1Password for most sites and programs I use, and since I don't have it on the main Mac downstairs, that meant I couldn't log into a lot of things all week. Thank goodness I hadn't yet done it to my email, cause that would have sucked.

I was fully expecting it to take another few days for my laptop to get back to the store. I had asked if they couldn't just send it directly to my house instead of making me drive all the way back, but they said that it affected quality control, and that they tested everything once it was returned, to make sure everything was completely repaired. I couldn't really argue with that, so I said ok.

They called me yesterday afternoon to let me know it was ready to be picked up. I mentally ran through the days that I might be able to go, and decided Monday would be the best day, since I didn't have school or work, and neither did the kids. I wasn't looking forward to driving out there alone with all the kids, but it seemed the best time. Jeff had other plans, and suggested maybe doing it after dinner last night. The kids would be fed, and hopefully fall asleep early. Plus, he'd said that the snow wasn't going to let up all week, so I'd be driving in my van that needs new tires in not so fun conditions. Again, I agreed that was probably not the best idea. So, we had dinner early, packed the kiddos into the truck, and started on our way.

Normally the girls are pretty happy in the truck; they love riding in it and listening to XM Kids on the satellite radio. Most of the time they fall asleep, allowing Jeff & I to have a little bit of quiet time. This trip? Not so much.

Katie had been whining since we left the house, and I silently wondered if she wasn't feeling well. But, I tried my best to make everyone happy and comfortable as best I could. The weather was atrocious-snow blowing sideways across the freeway, and the traffic was a lot slower than usual. What would normally take us only about 2 hours, was taking closer to 3. About 45 miles from our destination, Katie's stomach had had enough. She proceeded to throw up all over herself and her car-seat. And, by Karmic coincidence, we were NOWHERE near an exit. Both Jeff & Emma have sensitive noses to unappealing smells, so we rolled the windows down slightly to allow for some ventilation. Yeah, we rolled the windows down, in Michigan, in the winter, when it was snowing. But, it was either that or risk there being 2 more people puking in the truck. We had to drive for 10 miles before an exit came up. Poor Katie was so brave, she didn't even cry the entire time. I felt so bad for her; she was a mess.

I would hazard a guess that the temp outside was about 5-6 degrees, without the wind chill. I had to completely strip Katie down (thank goodness I'd brought her & Sarah each another set of clothes), clean her off, and set her in the drivers seat, all while the door was open. Then I had to clean up her seat as much as possible. My small stash of baby wipes was barely enough to get the job done. But, the truck still smelled a bit funky. Jeff to the rescue with a brand new "New Car smell" air freshener. Once everyone was back in their respective seats, we continued on to the Apple store. We only had an hour before it closed, and Jeff was determined to not have this trip be in vain. So we trudged on. We got there about 15 minutes before the store closed, and while he and the girls waited in the truck, I ran inside the mall to go get my computer. It was fixed, I got my paperwork for the repair, and I was heading back out to the truck within 5 minutes. Jeff pulled around, and as I was putting my stuff inside, he said,"Sarah leaked through her pull-up, she needs a change, too." Oy, when it rains, it pours.

So after another set of clothing was changed, we were on our way back home. The kids finally fell asleep about an hour later, and we had about 45 minutes of peace & quiet. I think I should write Apple and use this incident as a reason why Michigan needs another Apple store closer to where I live. Considering how many products we buy from them, it seems only fair.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Slight Snafu

So, Jeff just called me and let me know that I need to be taking 6 credits in order to keep working at the college...fabulous. I was quite happy with only taking 1 class, but if it means my job's on the line, I guess I'll suck it up.

So now I'm taking Aerobic Kickboxing for the whole semester and Bowling for the 2nd half. Awesome, now I don't have to pay my daycare lady more money to watch the kids while I go work out at the campus I get to pay the COLLEGE.


Well, after starving Sarah all morning in preparation for her being sedated, we get to the docs to find out they had no plans to sedate her. Ugh. So, the poor thing was famished for nothing. I was really worried about whether or not she would sit still for them to get decent pics, and I didn't want to have to go down to Lansing in order for them to IV sedate her. But, with Daddy's help, she did fantastic. They were able to get a good look at her PDA. The cardio said that although her PDA is at a weird angle, he's pretty sure that it's extremely tiny, which means it's shrunk since last check. Which is awesome. He also said that because he couldn't hear it with a stethoscope, that it's considered a "silent" PDA, which doesn't warrant any surgery. Woo Hoo!! He said that they would most likely have to make the hole larger in order to get in there during the heart cath, so we'll just check up on it again in a few years. Phew. I'm very glad that she doesn't have to go through surgery. :)

We then went out with Daddy for a celebratory Burger King lunch, lol. I also decided to be brave (translation: braving the freezing temps) and go get Sarah's new glasses. I had to chuckle at one of the light-up signs on the way home; you know, the ones that show the temp and time, etc. It said it was 77 degrees. I don't know if it was wishful thinking or if it was so cold the machinery has malfunctioned. Either way, it made me laugh.

Prayers for Sarah

Sarah has her annual cardiologist appt this morning. "Annual" really means it's been 2 years. She has a small PDA (Patent ductus arteriosus) that has been present since birth. But it's never caused her any problems, she's never been on meds for it. Sometimes they close on their own, which is why we didn't do anything about it 2 years ago. But, if it's still there, we will go ahead and get the catheterization done. It's not open heart, it's a short procedure where they go into a vein through the groin area and close the hole with a small mesh object. Since kids with DS sometimes have issues with being under general anesthesia, she'll probably stay overnight for observation. This wouldn't be so bad, but the only hospital who does this procedure is in Grand Rapids. So it's a bit of a drive.

Because this morning's procedure requires her being under oral sedation, she can't eat anything, which is pissing her off. I had to surreptitiously give Katie some breakfast so I didn't have 2 extremely ornery kids on my hands. But, Sarah is persistent, and tried to sneak some cold pizza from the fridge. I am however giving her some clear liquids, but it isn't helping.

While this PDA hasn't really affected her life, it might cause problems as she gets older if left open. So, some prayers and good thoughts would be appreciated this morning. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jeff's Revelation about women (Possibly NSFC-Not Safe For Children)

Quote from my husband this morning:

"I used to think that women hit their sexual peak at around age 30, now I'm convinced women hit their sexual peak after reading "Twilight".


Monday, January 12, 2009


I've started the process of selling some of my mom's things on eBay. This is an extremely cathartic process for me. I've kept a lot of the things she left me, but even she told me that she knew I didn't like ALL the stuff she had, and to keep only what I wanted. I've kept a lot of her Depression glass, but there's just too much.

Most of it will be Depression glass, Asian art & figurines, plus some shabby chic style things. I only have a couple things on there now, as I'm slowly dipping my toes into this "selling on the Internet" business. Buying stuff off the web I'm used to, selling, not so much.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Where to Begin? Part 2

When I left you the other day, I was whining about my mountain of mommy guilt re: my daughter's social skills. Aside from those particular issues, Emma's had a great year so far in her new school. I love her teacher and I know she has made significant progress. It kinda makes me wonder how well she would be doing if we'd moved her to this school right after Kindergarten. But, again, just heap that onto the guilt mountain.

Another new change is that now Emma is riding the bus to and from school everyday. This is new only that it's an actual "yellow school bus" rather than the local transportation that she took to her old school in Kindergarten. She's been really excited about this since we told her at the beginning of last summer. Her new school starts 45 minutes after her old school, and she doesn't catch the bus until 8am, which is nice for us all, because we really aren't morning people. A few months ago, the high school had their Homecoming week. Due to where we live (right across from the high school) our street was part of the Homecoming parade route. I kept waiting for a notice or call from her bus people to let me know how they were going to change the route on the day of the parade. I didn't get anything until the morning of the parade, after Emma had already left for school. So while I knew what the deal was, Emma didn't.

After getting to the new drop-off spot for that day, I waited...and waited. Fifteen minutes after her normal time to be dropped off, I saw the bus coming up behind my car, where I was sitting with the 2 other kids. I didn't have a chance to get out of the car, and the bus didn't stop. So I scurried and tried to catch up with the bus, hoping it would notice that I was following it and stop, to allow Emma to get off. It didn't. So, instead of following it around, I went to where I KNEW another stop was, got out and waited for it to show up with the other parents. The bus got there, no Emma. I was immediately freaking out.

There's a rule for the elementary schools that no child under the age of 10 can be let off a public school bus without a parent/guardian visible. So, since September, I've had to wait on my front porch every afternoon, so the bus driver can see that I'm home, and let Emma off. There's a waiver I can sign which will allow her to get off the bus without that, but Jeff & I aren't comfortable with that. It's a huge pain in the butt, but I can deal with it for another year until she's 10.

So, when Emma wasn't on the bus, I panicked. The bus driver, which was a sub, and didn't know the original route well to begin with, couldn't tell me which stop Emma had gotten off at. I was now livid as well as panicked, which doesn't go well together. Some kids on the bus told the driver and myself that Emma had gotten off at the stop previous to where I had been waiting originally. I had no idea where that was, not to mention the fact that there was a Homecoming parade going on at that moment right where Emma had gotten off the bus. I had no idea where she could have gone, nor did I know, since we'd only been at our new house for a few months, if she would know which way was home.

The bus driver was sure that she had gotten off at a stop with a ton of other kids who were going to a daycare. She gave me the address of the daycare and I went to go find her. Thankfully, another mom who'd been waiting with me volunteered to go searching for her with me. We went to the address: no daycare. No one was even home. I'm starting to hyperventilate at this point. The lady with me started walking towards the parade route and I searched all the streets in between. I went as close as I could to our street, parked and got out and started walking towards our house. That's when I saw Emma standing in our driveway, watching the parade with none other than her 3rd grade teacher. Talk about a stroke of luck.

What had happened was, since she didn't know anything was going to be different, when the sub driver told everyone who normally got off on our street to get off at a stop she wasn't familiar with, she listened and got off the bus. When she realized she wasn't in the right spot, she was super smart and started looking for our house. Ironically, after getting there and finding that I wasn't there, she saw her teacher setting up with her kids to watch the parade, and sought her out to ask for help.

What really pissed me off was the bus driver seemed to have no idea that what she'd done was simply idiotic. Firstly, she was a sub. Why the hell do you give a sub the job of dealing with an altered route when it's their first time for that route? Second, Emma is under 10, meaning legally, according to THEIR rules, she needs to have a parent/guardian visible before they let her off the bus. The sub didn't ASK the adult at the stop whether Emma was with her, she just assumed. And Emma, not knowing that there was anything different, was just doing what the bus driver told her.

This almost made me want to take her off the bus entirely. But, seeing as how I value my sanity, I decided against it. She enjoys it, it makes her feel a little more grown-up, and I don't have to drive to and from the school twice a day. We haven't had any other issues with the bus, so I suppose it was probably just bad timing.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Where to begin? Part 1

Do you ever get the feeling that if you sit down and actually try to do something, you know that most likely you'll get interrupted, and never finish it or not finish it the way you want to?

Yeah, that would be me and this blog at the moment.

While my life has been boring for the most part, there have been a few things I wanted to blog about. But, when I had free time, most likely I would convince myself that I could be doing something else instead of blogging.

I guess I should probably start back a few months.

Way back last school year, at Emma's old school, I had asked at one of her IEP meetings to have her evaluated for a learning disability. While she had made some progress in the Resource Room (for reading and spelling) during 2nd grade, she just wasn't progressing at a rate that I felt was ok. Plus, she was starting to regress in other areas where she had been really strong (math). They told me at the time that they were pretty sure that they wouldn't be able to get to it before the end of the school year. I was ok with that, since I'd already known that she would be going to a different school this year, due to us moving and me not being able to drive 15 miles to and from her school that was in the middle of nowhere twice a day.

So, she switched schools and I waited for her to be evaluated. But, during the summer she had gone to speech camp for 6 weeks, and had made great progress in that area, and they had also worked on some language and reading with her, as well. Which was fabulous of them, considering it wasn't really their job.

About 6 weeks into the school year, we have her bi-annual IEP. The school psychologist tells us that they don't believe she has a learning disability, and her teacher confirms that, while she's not 100% caught up to her peers, she's within the average range for her abilities. I thought, great! This is wonderful. Her 3rd grade teacher (whom, I LOVE) is an ex-Resource Room teacher (she taught in there for 15 years) and so I trusted her opinion implicitly. She also told me that she didn't think that Emma really qualified for Resource Room help anymore. I had to pause at that one, because I couldn't believe my good luck!

Then they dropped the bombshell on me. While they don't think Emma has an LD, they did want her to start seeing the school social worker. They had noticed (and I confirmed this has been an issue since Kindergarten) that Emma seems to have trouble maintaining good peer relationships. She gets easily offended and is often reduced to tears at school. She would come home and tell me how so & so wasn't her friend anymore because of something they'd done or said. It seems she had a hard time distinguishing between innocent schoolyard squabbles and real issues. I've always felt bad for her in regards to friends, because, even from an early age, she couldn't really keep friends. Her best friends when we lived in San Diego were kids of friends we went to church with, and when we moved 2000 miles away, we only kept in contact with 1 of those families. That family we only see once a year. When we moved here, we didn't know ANYONE. All of the people Jeff worked with had kids who were much older. I started Emma in preschool, but it didn't seem like any of the kids really wanted to be close friends with her. Trust me, I tried almost everything. We had parties and playdates and parent coffees. I tried to go to almost every school function they had. Then, there was the insult to the injury when I put her in a school where none of her friends from preschool were going. She easily made friends in Kindergarten, one of which, Adam, is still her friend to this day. But, it seemed every year that the few friends she made that were really important to her, either moved or switched schools.

Last year, her best friend was Adam. Adam had a few other friends who didn't always want to play with Emma, since she was a girl. Which is ironic since there was another girl who was ok to play with, but not Emma. (Insert angry mom rant over unequal gender treatment by little children in public schools.) Adam's mom is probably my closest friend here, and so we got our kids together frequently (she has 3 boys, so she got her "girl-fix" when I came over, lol).

I have tried SO hard to make sure that the transition to this new school would be easy for Emma. I even put her on a soccer team last spring that had all girls that would be going to her new school. I was hoping she would make friends that would carry over to her class. But it seemed like nothing worked.

Emma is a VERY social child. She's not withdrawn, she's not shy, but the social worker just doesn't think she can relate on a peer level to kids her own age. This makes sense, since she'd constantly been around kids who were younger than her (i.e. her sisters, and the siblings of friends). When they started talking about that at the IEP, I lost it. Academic delays you can fix, but I knew enough about social development to know that it's VERY hard to catch up in that regard. I immediately had flashes of her going through school as the social outcast because she couldn't relate to any of her peers. And I was mad, too. She's SO bright and smart and funny and loves life. How could these kids not see that and want to be her friends? And of course, I felt guilty. Jeff & I were the ones who dragged her across the country, away from her only friends and our whole family. I blamed myself for not doing enough to make sure she had good social outlets. But, I thought, what else could I have done? I put her in sports and school and did all I could with being so far away from any help from family and having just had a child with special needs.

One bad thing about not growing up with the same kids: it seems like all the families have enough friends and whenever someone new comes into play, they don't have room.

Emma DID make a really good friend over the summer during speech camp. Ironically it was a girl who she'd gone to preschool with, but who goes to a different school. She's had a couple play dates since the summer, but she lives about 30 miles away, so those are few and far between.

So far, she's been seeing the social worker about 1-2 times a week. I don't know if it's making any difference. Emma still comes home from school on occasion and tells me she had a bad day because someone wasn't nice to her or so & so didn't want to play with her. It's hard to make her understand that no one can get along with everyone all the time. I know part of it is probably school related, and I know that some of it is from the stress that we've been under for awhile. Our household is far from stress-free and I know she internalizes it. Add that to my mountain of guilt please. But, how to fix it? That's the million dollar question. I only wish I had the answer.