Hello there. It certainly has been a long time now hasn't it?
Let me try to catch you up.
It is now summer vacation for us so that means much of our responsibilities outside the home have been cut--yes, we still have work to do for school...but much can be put on a back burner and forgotten while we attempt to pull our house, our bills, our doctor appointments and so on back to order. We are tackling one room at a time and considering how disgusting things are...it is about time.
Bills. eish. Not even going there. Roger is still working his second job--which begins with him waking up at 1:30 each morning. Now that it is summer he is attempting to get naps, but our two little ones don't really allow for much of that.
...Though we have been trying to sip cups of coffee on the front or back porch while we ponder how to best deal with Kath's upcoming meeting with the school district.
Since she will be 3 in November, she will age out of Early Intervention (EI) and she will be in the capable hands of the school district. What that means for us is to decide how we want her educated. In a program for special needs kids--which she qualifies for according the recent evaluation (she showed huge gaps in her short term memory, not to mention her fine motor skills and delays in cognitive abilities and speech). Or do as her developmental ped suggested and 'don't mess with what's not broken' and keep her home with her therapies and allow her to attend a preschool program with Robin or I acting as her one-on-one aid. The developmental ped said that her scores were in range for normal, considering...but what we need to consider is that at 3--the skills expected jump exceptionally and she might struggle in school and as time goes on.
I watched her during the evaluation not know where a plastic duck was...5 seconds after it was placed under a cup..in front of her..and unmoved. She was never able to recall where it was. Since she does not speak clearly enough for others to understand her she is also unable to tell us (and the evaluator) if she understands a story. She is able to draw a line up and down, and a circle--that never stops--but she is unable to draw a line (each time asked) across a paper. She often does well when I am able to comfort her and redirect her though. Today at the Summerfest she was on the motorcycle ride and though she was strapped in, she didn't have the strength to keep herself upright in the seat as it went around and around. She was half off the ride and I was near tears and Rog, Chris and Abbi stationed themselves around the perimeter of the ride to jump in if needed. Her vision issues also make the rides that circle around very troubling for her--she can't seem to focus.
We see many gaps..but that is not to say we don't see a flourishing little girl who is quite bold and stubborn. She crossed her arms and told Roger "No!" this week! She is trying to learn how to jump...so she climbs on the couch (!) and basically THROWS herself down. One foot is pretty good at getting airborne, but the right food forgets to jump so it forgets to help her land. Does this stop her? Hell, no! Not even when we go to the playground. And we returned this week and could see a huge improvement since last week--she climbs up and down the equipment much steadier--we are hoping to have Physical Therapy at the playground this week. Oh and she ran in her first race the Thursday before-- 1/4 of a mile! She finished last, but she finished. She was also just getting over a flu like cold. (Alex came in second!)
She also seems to be saying a lot more words and she is a bit like a Pit Bull because she will repeat a word if you don't understand it--over and over until you do get it. Today she said, Momma, coat on. Me cold. :-)
She likes to help feed the fish--we acquired an aquarium from a fellow teacher at school who was moving. Sadly we bought more fish and subsequently lost many--just about 1/2 to Ick--a fishy disease. But she loves to watch them, especially when the 'sucker fish' cleans the front of the tank. :-)
We started both girls (and us) on Fish Oils and we see a HUGE improvement! More later.
So Roger and I are loving the freedom of some time. Today Chris and Abbi watched the girls and we went for a hike. While we sat down and breathed in Dyken Pond we realized that neither one of us could recall last summer. This past year was horrible in many respects. We were knocked for a loop and then we had no time to get back up before we were hit and knocked down over and over and over. If I listed all of the things..it would be a sad blog...but that is not my point.
Our apologies go out to anyone who feels we have neglected them. We know we weren't the best friends and family members this year. From Kath's diagnosis, Roger's accident, Nick's accident, my grandfather passing, Roger's grandfather passing, Lucy (our dog) passing, money issues, assorted health issues, amazing amounts of therapies for both girls and doctor appointments for everyone, school issues (Ok so I listed some anyway! ;-D)... we basically 1)don't know if we forgot something from you, our memories were in overload in a thousand different directions. We have found invitations and such after RSVP dates and even on the day of the event; 2) we just hung on the best we could with the help we did receive; 3) we both tend to pull into our turtle shell when things get crazy and we don't always tell anyone we are struggling and need help.
This was a tough year. We know we don't have it the worst. God, believe me, we know. But we do know that we were slammed by so much this year that it was like being hit by a wave and dragged under. Then just when we pulled back up to the top of the wave we were dragged back under and this repeated itself all year. All year.
So, now we sit on the porch and drink coffee and try to get reacquainted with one another as we play with the girls, hang out with the boys (and Abbi :-)) and try to rebuild the friendships and family relationships we neglected. And I try to get myself back into my writing.
So as we put our home back in order, we hope that you're doing well and that you can try to understand. We love our lives. We are ever so grateful for what we have. We love who we are watching our children become.
Speaking of which! Chris graduated from Bennington College this June! We are planning a party in August--so stay tuned. He was amazing. He wrote TWO thesis! One in Spanish and one in English. Amazing kid. He is home now relaxing from the frenzy of the end of term and working on determining his next step. He has a dream of opening a book store.
Nick is doing well too. He is now a frat brother, so feel free to torment him. He is working at the same camp he has been working out for the past few years. He is a counselor and the Sport Program Director.
Alex begins kindergarten in September and she is very excited. Though she is also having a great summer. I woke her up last night so we could go up to the Summerfest's fireworks. It was quite the night time adventure, even if it did rain. Pour. She works on being a therapist to Kath--she makes up schedules for her and has her do things like 'mouth exercises.' She also talks on her fake phone...and sends and receives text messages. She is a riot. Now she is making up songs and RHYMING! :-) The other day she told me (again) that she feels like God is up there reading a book to his son and we are the characters in his book....
Well, that's it for now, I suppose. Have a great night/day!