Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reminder. A couple of you have mentioned getting my emails. I am writing on my are receiving notification through an email. Some of you may actually have been erased from the list by accident, let me know if someone isn't getting this and I will try to add them. But there is a limit to how many I can notify. You might just need to check back to the actual blog. I think there is a highlighted link at the bottom of your 'email' which will bring you to the actual blog page--where the pictures are...and you can bookmark the link as a favorite.

So we have made a very wonderful transition into the chaos that is school and outside activities and therapies and doctor appointments ...oh and work.

Alex absolutely LOVES school. She loves her teacher. She loves learning. She loves the playground. She loves everything. Although her class doesn't always behave--she tells me each day kids had to 'turn their card over'--the warning system for behavior modification--she loves it.

If the whole class is good, they will get a letter. If they spell Popcorn (or Popcorn Party) they will have a party. Guess what letter they are up to? That's right. Three weeks into kindergarten and they haven't even gotten the first P. Poor teacher! One day Alex said the boys got in trouble because they were playing swords with yard sticks. Ironically my 10th graders had done the SAME exact thing that very day! Guess boys never outgrown that! Haha.

She plays school, sings the songs and teaches Kath all the fun parts. Kath will actually sit and be schooled by Alex. Quite funny. Especially when Kath breaks out and runs around laughing, running away from her teacher!

Alex recounts the whole day from the second she gets off the bus, the walk home and then throughout the evening too. She gets off the bus around 4 ish. So we don't have too much time with her before bed. I am so glad that I am home every other day so that I can at least have a bit more time in the morning some days too and not be distracted by my preparations for school.

Kath has made remarkable progress in her school transition too. She listens to the teacher, plays well with the other kids, follows directions and has fun. I haven't been up with her during her school since last week because my school days have coincided with her school days, so Robin has stayed with her. This coming week I won't be there either, sadly. But she has been more focused and listening better than some of the other 'regular ed' kids!

This Wednesday I brought Kath up to the pediatric dentist. I took her to a dentist who was 45 minutes away and this doctor was worth the drive. She definitely had a way with Kath. Kath opened her mouth, let Dr Kim look with a mirror and even count her teeth! So the gray tooth is bruised. At this point we have to just sit and wait and watch. It will either heal and be okay. Fall out. Or get infected and need to be taken out. But she doesn't suggest root canal or any other invasive techniques. So, we wait. And I try healing touch and positive intentions.

Wednesday night was Alex's first Open House. It was for me to go up and be on the other side of that~! :-) Met up with not only her teacher, but her art teacher, gym teacher and her speech therapist. All wonderful people. She's in a great school.

This Thursday, while at school, I got a call from Alex's nurse. She was at the health office not feeling well. Actually Alex's teacher sent her down because she didn't look right. The previous night she had climbed into bed with me with a fever. I gave her some Tylenol and she was her usual perky self, so I sent her to school. I kept her home on Friday so she could rest. But by 9:30 I remembered that it was picture day. So I emailed her teacher, called the school and found out I could bring her up. We ran up to school and had her pictures taken. Then we went to the doctor where we couldn't see our usual doctor and where Kath screamed--yes SCREAMED--the whole time. She was a mess. In her defense she had fallen asleep and woke up without warning/transition time. I took Kath to get checked because her nose has been running all week but it changed to green (sorry to gross you out) that morning. Both girls were diagnosed with upper respiratory infections. They both aren't contagious...supposedly...but are drippy, coughing, tired people. Poor girls.

Of course, we have a jam packed weekend. Dance class. Birthday party. I am chaperoning the homecoming dance tonight. Tomorrow is a soccer game. Then Lori's son's birthday party in MA. Monday so far is just an oil delivery and hippotherapy.

I'm already backing out of things and hoping for rain/cancellation for Sunday's game so they can rest up. Chris is away this weekend, so it would be great if he didn't miss the game, too.

Not very creative in the telling but there it is. I left out all the things Roger and I had around all this...and our illnesses. ;-)

Have a great week.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kath's first day of nursery school...

How exciting! Tuesday was fantastic.

Many of my fears were assuaged. Hopefully it will continue tomorrow.

Kath had a great time playing with the toys at the school after hanging up her jacket and backpack. She was followed and hugged...continuously by a boy who took a liking to her. Every time I turned my back, he was hugging her. Kath handled it ok, told him no and didn't hit him. Not too sure how patient she will be if he continues tomorrow though....But this same boy later took a little doll from her. She looked at me, (I didn't do anything-I wanted to see what she would do), she looked at him, walked over, stood in front of him, took the doll back and gave him quite the Kath stare as she walked away and either said No or Mine. He didn't bother her again. :-)

I was worried about how she would handle the transitions. When she was told she needed to work on the shape/bus glue project I thought she would say no, freak out, whatever. Instead she put the dolls away that she was playing with and she went and sat next to the teacher and matched up shapes and glued. As if she always handled transitions so well. Ha.

She played with play do, painted a big yellow picture, sat on her mat (has her name and picture) during circle time, had a job (feather tickler-she touched her friends with the feather and that meant it was their turn to get up and sit at the table to get snack). She played outside and overall was excited by school. The Gogurt was tough for her. The snack was yogurt in a squeeze tube. That is hard for her to maneuver. She struggles to hold it, squeeze and push it up. But she managed at least a bit.

When it was over (2 1/2 hours long) the parents started to come. She craned her neck to see and I told her that no one else was coming for her, since I was there already. She looked at me and said, "Hold me mama." Then and only then did she allow herself to lay on my shoulder. She slept through Physical Therapy.

That little girl worked so hard and had such a great first experience. Tomorrow we will have day two--hopefully it will be just as good.

Oh--almost forgot--too tired to go back and rework all this--sorry folks. During library time she sat on the rug...not on me. Even after she chose her book, she went and sat on the rug. She sat with her friend, looked through her book and enjoyed her little bit of freedom.

Today, Alex, Chris and I had soccer practice--it was so much fun--Sunday was our first game and we did so great. The kids are having fun and each kid scored at leat once--Alex scored twice. It felt bad after awhile.

My Open House is tomorrow. Have to get some school work done.

Hope all is good.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

First week of school

This week was a great day for us going back to school.

Roger started Tuesday and is having a great time with ideas and students. He was bursting with excitement this morning when he came home from doing the paper route. I am excited that I am still teaching a 9th grade honor's class, but I also looped up with one of my classes (moved up to 10th with one class) and then I also have another group of 10th graders. It has been fun so far!

Alex was so excited about riding the bus. We let her. She was escorted down to the bus on the first day by mommy, daddy, sister Kath, brother Chris and his girlfriend Abbi. She was thrilled when we waited, she danced. She needed help the first two days with the seat belt, but by Friday she was doing it by herself. She loves her teacher. She loves the grown-up feeling of school, too, I think. She is such a little sponge. They had a fire drill (it sounded 'like a duck being squeezed'-qwaa-qwaa-qwaa). She tells me each day who gets in trouble (that means they can't have a popcorn party). She loves art, music, health, gym. Next week she has library. She said that a couple of times (like when they watched a movie in health) she forgot she was in school. She gets so involved, she forgets. :-) Chris has made sure that he was down at the bus stop the first two days.

Yes, I still sobbed when my 3rd one got on the bus and waved with a HUGE smile until I couldn't see her anymore. Whoever says it gets easier is full of crap. Roger who went into school late so he could see Alex off, called me after he left. He asked, "What bus is she on?" I told him. 'Ok, I think it must have come already." "Roger? Are you up at her school?" "Uhm--ye..ah...." :D

On Friday she told me they needed to wear red, white and blue. She started to tell me she didn't want to---it's not my little fashion bug's usually-type of outfit. So...I told her that Sept 11th is a very special day for us and we have to remember it and honor it. I tried to water down what happened. Do you know how hard that is? Bad people took control of 4 planes....She said she understood why it was important. Last night before bed (hours and hours after we discussed it in the morning)she said she hoped that all those people were okay in heaven. (I didn't mention heaven.)"That they were taking care of one another." Love that girl.

Today Alex has her first return to ballet class. Tomorrow is her first soccer game. I overheard her tell someone she is a little nervous, but when we had practice on Wed, Chris and I were pleasantly ASTOUNDED by how aggressive Alex can be in going after the ball!

Now for Kath. Kath is having a very tough week without her sister around. I am still job sharing, so I am home every other day. She tells me in the morning, "No! You stay home!" But she is good for Robin, or at least that's what Robin says. :-) She misses Alex and with everyone's scheduled changed, she is feeling very unsettled. She is the one left home. So 'staying home' has become a big thing. And she asks all day when Roger will be home.

Then, as I mentioned, she hurt her tooth. I believe it happened when we were at PT one day at the park. That day I turned around and she had quite the bloody nose. I never checked her teeth other than to make sure they were there. But now I think that she hit that tooth, rehit it from when she first learned to walk and chipped her two front teeth on the tile floor in the foyer. When I saw it this weekend, the gum looked grey and swollen too. On Tuesday (of course this happened on a 3 day weekend!) I called and brought her in to see my dentist. She gently cried into my chest and wouldn't let the doctor see more than a peek or two. He said there was trauma and he would love to take an x-ray but he didn't want to frighten her any further. He suggested a pedidentist. So I began my calls-in the car, in the parking lot. Did you know that pediatric dentists do not allow parents in with children? How insane is THAT? I have been searching, calling, contacting others about who they use, trying to find a friend of a friend, I have been doing healing touch, positive intentions and so on (hey, figured it couldn't hurt, right?) And the swelling is gone and the gum looks pinker. Huh. I bumped into a couple of medical professionals I trust and told them, asked them and they said they would not go the route of a root canal (as was a possible suggestion). She would have to be put under sedation. I am trying to avoid that at all costs, especially with this girl.

She also had her orientation on Friday for her school. She was mad because Thursday night was parent orientation and she couldn't come, Chris took care of the girls. :-) Her orientation was 1/2 hour long. She made a picture on a paper that has her name on it and she will sit on it (working on name recognition) during circle time. She tried to play with a couple of kids, some weren't as friendly. :-) She saw where her cubbie is, where to hang up her coat, where the class fish is, where the library is, the potty and so on. She was so exhausted with just that 1/2 hour that when we went to my school afterward she put her head on me and lay on me the whole time...except when she asked to get down..took my hand..and dragged me towards the door. :-)

Last night we went to a friend's book signing at Barnes and Noble and her little friend ran up to her to hug her and since Kath wasn't braced for the enthusiasm she fell backwards and hit her head HARD. She cried so loudly and then put her trains down and said she wanted to go home. I sat in the back with her and held her. She said her head hurt and I wanted to make sure that she didn't have any negative reactions. Then we got them ready for bed and I just couldn't stop thinking about it so I picked her up and brought her into sleep with us where I felt I could monitor her all night. She slept great and she is great this AM except for a little bump. I felt so bad for my friend. I think it bothered Kath that much more because she was so tired after such a busy day, despite napping in the car before food shopping (see I told you it was busy! :-))

Anyway, that was a quick trip through the week. Hope you all had a great week. We send out our thoughts to my mother-in-law who is mourning the loss of her husband, as I wrote last time.

Enjoy your week.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Just a reminder

Sometimes I update or edit a post, I made corrections if I forgot something. The updated version is on the actual blog, not sure if you get the corrected version, so feel free to check the actual blog and see the pictures of the kids on it, too!

Couple of quickies:

One of Kath's front teeth is turning grey. She chipped both front teeth when she was around 19 months or so...who knows if she rehit it since then. Calling doctor tomorrow.

When Kath gets bit by a bug she says, "A buggy EAT me!"

When Bucca (our dog) licks her, she says, "Babo EAT me."

Kath is now able to climb to the landing of their swingset that Roger built. Imagine climbing a height twice/three times taller than you with real strength only in one hand/arm. Imagine you are climbing on slippery PVC piping. She is amazing.

Tonight we were working on pointing with her right hand. She can easily do it with her left hand's pointer finger, but she usually points with her right thumb when asked. Tonight she held her right hand with her left hand and pulled her pointer finger up and out of her tight fist with her left hand...and the pulled her right arm to the book to point out the objects. And this process, though it took a relatively long time...she stuck with it. Repeatedly. And clapped for herself when she did it.

All Kath stories for the night..but you know my other kids are amazing too.

A Summer Wrap-up

I'm sorry I was not more diligent about writing here this summer. I actually didn't write much anywhere else either. I have been funking over my list and how I didn't accomplish the many, many items on my Summer-To-Do-List.

I didn't finish painting. I didn't organize the book room and bill piles. I didn't write. Well, you get the idea.

But I have to pull on the reins and consider all that I have done. I went out to brunch with Donna quite a few Sunday's. Love the Cheesecake Factory and their yummy omelets. We considered that cheaper than what we would have paid in copays for mental therapy. We were able provide therapy and support to one another. Thank you, Donna. Please continue prayers for Hope and her family as she continues to battle PLE.

I marked, by looking through pictures and quietly reflecting, the year since Grandpa Steiger died. I still miss him. I guess that is as it should be. People who make a mark on your life should always have a place. But I endeavor to live my life in a way that would make him proud and not simply wallow in my loss.

We had play dates. We went to the Bronx Zoo with the Sousi family. We traveled to visit family in MA several times (something we haven't been able to do since our head was turned around and upside down-just was one more thing,can't really explain that to anyone who doesn't understand. Visited and celebrated with Janine and Bob, twice. Went to the free Regal Family Festival Movies. Went to the Clark Art Museum Family Fun Day with the girls and Roger and saw and made some great the rain. Then met up with Chris and Abbi for ice cream afterward. Stayed with my aunt while she had surgery to remove nodules on her lung..that fortunately was benign. Had a little graduation ceremony for Chris. Had a great result on a mammogram. Kath had fantastic doctor visits. Made the very difficult decision to put Kath in a regular ed nursery school two days a week, as opposed to placing her in a special ed pre-k. Chris and I started to coach Alex's soccer team. A few hikes at Dyken Pond and one in the Catskills. A Hindu and Jewish wedding (same couple married under both faiths). Many visits to the 'beach' (ie Snyder's Lake and Grafton State Park). Restarted hippotherapy. I read more books this summer than I have the past 2 years. Chris and I saw about 5 movies (not Disney!).

Yes, we have had many unexpected things-car repairs, Nick was diagnosed with Lyme's again, a major scare as to whether or not we could send Nick back to school due to financial issues, a past student of mine passed away, and Roger's mom's husband passed away too, but when I look at all we DID do and all the good that did surround us, I am quite frankly impressed.

So, now that I restart school tomorrow, I don't have to feel as though I messed up my summer. We did A LOT. Even if I didn't write my novel. Even if I didn't finish my painting and organizing projects. It was a good summer.

This week's schedule is:
Today~ whatever to get us ready--wash, last minute supplies for the week and for Alex's school.

Tuesday-Roger classes and I have a superintendent day. Kath has PT and Speech. 5PM is Alex's little orientation and meeting the teacher.

Wednesday-first day of classes for Averill Park. Alex is planning on taking the bus. Mom will try not to follow the bus. 6PM Alex's soccer practice. Kath has OT.

Thursday- My first day of class. Kath has PT and speech. 7PM Kath's orientation for her school.

Friday-Kath's orientation at 9:30. A friend of ours has a book signing that night!!

Saturday- Alex restarts ballet. (Kath starts the following Sat-both are at different places--of course!)

Sunday-Alex's first soccer game 12:30.

Monday three of us go to school. Kath has special ed, OT and hippotherapy.

Tuesday -Kath starts school. Kath has speech and PT.

And so it continues. :-)

Life is good.