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.