Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year..almost....NEVER POSTED from Dec.

Happy New Year's eve all.

I hope this finds you all well. I did not get to send out Christmas cards, yet again.

Time seems to speed up at the worst times and slows down only occasionally. Only when wrestled to the ground and sat upon.

We have such a whirlwind of things going on, sometimes I wonder how we will accomplish any of our goals, but then I slow down our days, or we are forced to slow down because of sicknesses, and somehow some things get done.

We certainly have had our fill this cold season. I had a horrible cough and when Chris got on my case to head to the doctor and I realized that it had been going on for 6 weeks, I went and was put on antibiotics. I am slowly starting to regain energy. Alex has an ear infection, and the medicine is completed today, doctor is closed today and last night her ear started to hurt again. Kath who usually gets sick and heals quickly has been the one who has had lingering illnesses that make Roger and I take turns taking off from school. The boys have illnesses on and off too.

Other than that we have had a lot going on. Still working on some homemade Christmas gifts. I know, it's after Christmas but homemade stuff takes a looong time, especially when people get sick and those little people want to be held.

We have gotten to see some family, but not everyone, yet. The girls and I took Amtrak down to Penn Station and visited with Chris in NYC. We got to see the Tree in Rockerfeller Center. The girls were a little disappointed since they apparently wanted to see a tree that was bigger than the buildings. Eish. :)It was a great visit though with subways, taxi cabs and great food.

For Christmas we planned a nice quiet family retreat from the world. The girls woke up at 6:30 and I was able to get them to not wake anyone up until about 7. Then the excitement was high! They loved the piles of presents. It was hard to do the prepping and wrapping since Kath has been going through a phase (please let it be a phase) of waking up if I am not in bed and not going back to bed unless I do. So my ability to accomplish any major goals was dramatically cut. But luckily on Christmas Eve Chris was here and when Kath came bounding down the stairs I grabbed her and he finished the wrapping.

We had a very nice slow and relaxing morning that sped up considerable when Roger was napping and his sister from South Carolina said she'd be stopping by for dinner. ....So we scrambled. Basically pushed back the mess and chaos as much as the two hour notice would allow as well as scramble for enough food to feed everyone. We couldn't all eat at one table since our Christmas Village was on our spare, folding table. First ever buffet Christmas meal for us. One step away from going out for Chinese, but it was wonderful to have the boys home for a change (darn, wish I got a family picture, but I was a little distracted, and my camera is MIA)and it was nice to have some time with the kids and Mitch and Etienne. And I did end up having more than enough food. Desserts included. Amazing how that happens, how you end up having exactly what you need.

Now we are on break and Roger's been sick. I finally forced him to go to the doctor yesterday and he is now on antibiotics too. He sounds horrible and apparently learned nothing about my being sick since October since he kept saying, "It's getting better..." Yeah, right.

Well, we are more than our illnesses. I guess I just wanted to clarify for family why I am behind in all holiday 'responsibilities.' I am hoping that when Roger is not working the paper job anymore that he will be able to help me keep all the plates going. From checking backpacks, working on homework, making lunches, doctor appointments, after school pick-ups and activities, meals, bill paying, cleaning, organizing and so on. let's get to the good stuff. That was a mini update. Now, how will I look to the New Year.

Every year I have made to boys write letters and they get to keep them to look at the next year. I have never collected these letters, they are private. I do this with my students too. It is a way to reflect and honor the past year and then to look to the new year with hope and goals and dreams. ....TBC

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Yes, it’s November so I have a lot to say. Especially since I have not written in eons. Things were at a fast pace before school began, while we tried to get our ducks in a line and our lessons ready for the school year. And we had the final frantic moments of the DayCareChaos. Without Robin as our constant, we floundered, I didn’t want the girls in day care (Kath) or before school care (Alex). At the last moment a fellow mom from my Daisy Troop said she’d take on the girls in the morning. So I drop them off, she feeds them breakfast and gets Alex and her daughter on the bus then she drives Kath to school on her way to work. In the afternoon Nick picks Kath up and takes care of her until he drops her off at the end of my school day (classes end at 2:23, he brings her by 2:45) before he goes to work. Then I pick Alex up or meet her at the bus stop. My idea is to make even this crazy transitional times calm. Sometimes I succeed. Sometimes not.

Kath has been going to a special education preschool. She’s been in a self-contained room, that means everyone is her room has a disability of some kind. She has a blast. She’s learning so much. Her language is exploding. She’s doing great physical activities, she can hold onto a swing and swing for quite a long time. She is completely and utterly exhausted when Nick picks her up. He’s made comments about how easy his part is, once he gets the tired, often cranky girl in the car.

Her teachers began, in the beginning of the year, to take a few kids into the integrated room (mix of kids with learning disabilities and regular ed kids) . Kath was one. They found she had the easiest time transitioning and that seemed to be strong in there. The idea is to make sure she has peers to bounce ideas off of and raise her and visa versa as well as have peers who are above her so she can aspire and even some who struggle so she can master her skills with them. So by the end of this month they will have a cubby move so she can become a full fledged member of the integrated room.

Alex is doing great in 1st grade. She loves math (who is this kid?? ) and she’s reading tons…when Roger and I spell over her head, she knows what we’re saying. uh-oh.) She’s having a great year, experience. She loves school and is an absolute sponge. She and I are not doing soccer this fall (remember last year I started coaching her team with Chris?) Since she was sick soooo much last year I decided to not push it this year. Besides with me going back to school full time, it seemed too much. She missed about 13 days of school by December last year. She hasn’t missed one (knock on wood). She has to do a ritual of nasal rinsing every morning, taking Delsyum cough suppressant (2X a day) and her inhaler (2X at least a day). She wheezes. But it’s not as out of control as last year. Thankfully. Thinking of signing her up for winter soccer or Tae Kwon Do.

Nick is taking a year off of school. He struggled last year and we’ve since come to have him diagnosed with Post Concussion Syndrome. We are in the process of getting him help, insurance takes a long time, seems like especially now that insurance companies are trying to cover the least possible. We know that regardless of what they pay out, we will pay whatever it takes to get Nick the help he needs. This is from his accident when he was in HS where he ended up in the hospital. So much new research has come out…that I wish was out then. It would have saved him so much. Now at least he knows help is on the way. I have some reading to go so I an understand what he’s going through and what will help.

Chris is doing well. He’s working and living in Manhattan. He’s applying to grad schools and life sounds like it is going well.

Roger is doing good. He’s still working the two jobs. Thankfully too since just when we thought we’d start to catch up, our well pump went. First we started September with only one paycheck. Ah, really? So that threw us back financially. Then in October one Thursday morning I woke up to get ready for work and there wasn’t any water. When I called Roger (he was doing his newspaper job) he said he knew (nice to tell me). He was hoping it would just come back on. Oy. So when the well people came in the afternoon (thankfully we store lots of water in the basement) they told us it wasn’t that we needed a new well hole dug, but it was that we needed a new pump. And that would cost $2600. And since we don’t have credit cards we asked if they could do payments. They said no. So before they left we talked them into letting us break it down into two payments. Ah.

Hoping this will be the month it all catches up.

As for me. I am back to teaching full time. I love my job, for that I’m thankfully. I have a really big obstacles this year in way of student behavior and New York State Standards and Regs. Another issue has been that I was given 6 classes (normal is 5). In the past a 6th assignment means that you get extra pay, meager as it is, it still made you feel a little better. But our union voted out extra pay a few years ago. So I have a whole ‘extra’ class, lesson planning, papers to grade, behaviors, etc. Then on top of that there are new regulations about students who struggle. And instead of providing them with an extra class I am expected to increase, improve their instruction within the time I have them with everyone else AND provide State Ed with quarterly updates, written in narrative form. I need to declare what I am doing to ensure they improve. And my name will be on that paperwork. And then my yearly review will depend on how these students do. Some of these students have orders of protections against members of their own family, move around a lot, have parents with drug/alcohol issues, financial difficulties. And yet, if I am unable to show they improved, my evaluation can suffer. Oh and did I mention that many of these kids have difficulties with attending school every day?


I’m also still the Daisy leader for Alex’s Girl Scout group.  And this month is National Novel Writing Month. For this month I (along with at least 170,000 other crazy people around the globe will endeavor to write 50,000 words). Hoping that this month will be my breakthrough month here too. 

I have about 90 students, old and new who are working on either the NaNo amount or the Gaboury Novel Writing Month (8000) words. I’m pretty impressed with my kids throwing themselves into their writing like that.

I guess I should let you up for a breath and I have to try to do some catch up for my novel. Wish me luck! :)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Funny Stuff

Funny Stuff from the lil peanut gallery.

Alex: (with her thumb between her pointer finger and middle finger)I got your nose....
Kath: NOOOOOO!!!!
Alex:Look, it's only a joke, see it's my thumb!
(Kath then tries to put her thumb between her fingers.) Kath: I got my heiny!
Alex: Now I'm putting my nose back on.
Kath: I'm putting my butt back on.

Me: Kath, don't drink (meaning swallow) the water from the lake.
Kath: Why not?
Me: Where will the fishes swim if you drink up their water?
Kath: In my mouth!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Capital District Writing Project Summer Institute 2010

I just completed one of the most amazing professional development courses I've ever had. Roger was involved in the summer institute during the first year of its re-inception, and he has remained involved.

It was a 4 week self-discovery journey into writing as a teacher and as a writer. I read many challenging thought-provoking articles that challenged my thoughts and ideas about writing, teaching and myself as a writer.

I wish I had written right after the program ended because already I feel many of the things I learned have become assimilated into my thoughts, they are no longer 'the things I learned during the Capital District Writing Project's Summer Institute' but now just another part of how I think. Which is great...but I wish I could show you the process I went through, though it is probably only really interesting to me. :) The first week was amazing. It made me even research what it would take for me to go back to school for my PhD. The second week I stumbled in the lesson I had to teach then felt like I couldn't get my footing again until about the middle-to-end of the third week. During the fourth week I was exhausted, but was suddenly the craving the institute to last another two weeks. This is ironic if you know me since I HATE being away from my kids and yet for 4 weeks I had 'class' from 8:30-3:30. I wondered how I would survive being gone that long. But it was so energizing and reflective that the time flew for me. I felt like I could take myself more seriously as a teacher of writing and even more a writer for myself.

One of the really great reasons I was able to relax into this experience was that Roger took the reigns as the point-person at home. He turned on the daddy-light and the girls had a great time. He even had a storytime where he invited some little friends to join them for a snack, book reading in the tent and games. They had lots of pool time, with Kath learning how to move at least her left arm with both feet and being able to propel herself in a controlled way in the pool.

Alex has been working hard at reading. She's taking our annual family summer reading contest very seriously. She has earned one free book so far through Barnes and Nobles summer reading program. She read 8 books by herself for that. She's also worked on a math activity book we bought for her.

The girls and I went to Long Island and had a great time visiting and staying with Aunt Eileen. We went to Robert Moses beach several times as well as the Fire Island Lighthouse. (Kath was thrilled to see it in a distance and then walk the beach path to it and TOUCH it!) We also got to spend a day with Grandma Steiger and time with Grandpa Steiger. We traveled by ferry with Aunt Eileen to Ocean Beach and got to see Chris at work at his grandparent's hardware store, enjoyed a walk through the town and of course the beach! On Tuesday we drove up with Aunt Eileen to Sag Harbor and had a great time window shopping the town, getting starfish, t-shirts, lunch and ice cream. And seeing huge, huge (ferry sized) rich people's boats. Before we made the drive back up home, the girls and I stopped once more at the beach where we also had lunch at Robert Moses. Great time.

We have been back into the swing of things with Kath's therapies, but for the most Roger has been the one who has dealt with it since I had the writing project for the 4 weeks in July and then this week I had a three day inservice workshop.

Summer has been great. I'm actually excited to go back to teaching fulltime. It will be nice and good for us financially. It will be wonderful for Roger to be able to quit working his second job...after the Christmas tip season. Our worry is still the childcare situation...I do have faith it will work out and it will all be okay. But it sure will be nice to have it figured So feel free to send us your positive thoughts and prayers in regards to that issue! :)


Sunday, May 2, 2010


I've been pretty bad at this. I must admit an addiction to facebook has not helped. It's much easier to post a quick status under 420 characters. And get immediate feedback.

But I would like to keep everyone up to date. I won't slam you with too much...I know your eyes must roll back in your head when you get these updates...reminder: they are much easier to read as a blog as opposed to an email update. :)

Chris is doing well living in the city and working on Long Island. He enjoys his job and his life. Nick is gearing up with finals.

Alex is in a love/hate relationship with school. Every day (EVERY!) she tells me how she doesn't want to go back...can't she stay home, be homeschooled and so on. After extended breaks and vacations it's worse. But once in school she has a good time. She loves her teacher and she loves learning. I think she might get anxious because she sees many kids making poor decisions and that makes her nervous. But she is great. She's made great progress this year, is learning to read and loves it. She just turned 6. She has her second dance recital coming up in June. She's teaching Kath her dances. She also rides a horse every Monday. She finished her religion classes last week. She is a Daisy. Spring soccer has started and she is on my team. She's a very busy girl.

Kath also continues to be busy. We just had her year evaluation. She has done so well in the past year. When we look back at her paperwork from her tests a year is amazing. Kath scores 'below average' but she's finally in the average range. Many skills seem to be pulling together for her. She is of course still way behind where we want her to be and she still has daily struggles but she is amazing.

It has been said to me that when I first suggested the plan of continuing Kath to remain at home for her therapies, and attend a regular education nursery school, that they didn't see how this would work but that after the year, they see it did work for Kath. We were given kudos for making Kath such a priority. Felt good to be acknowledged but also made us think and realize just how intense a year it was. Kath had 13 therapies a week, with another one thrown in once a month as the Teacher For the Visually Impaired consults with us monthly. 12 of those therapies are here at home. One at the hour ride from here. She goes to school 2 days a week for 2 and 1/2 hours. And she has dance class once a week.

It would have been easier to put Kath in a school and have all therapies there, but I didn't feel she was ready for that. She wasn't. Her stamina was such that she was exhausted after 2 hours of school. She makes it much longer in the day now...sometimes her therapies start at 8:30AM, other days they end at 6:30PM. But I can reset her when need be, hold her and have her reapproach things, whereas in a school setting they have many other students to also consider.

She scored around a three year old range for many of her cognitive scores...that is only about 5-6 months behind. Her physical scores are a bit further back...and that will impact gripping writing utensils, cutting with scissors and so on. For them she is more at the 2 1/2 year old range-she's 3 1/2.

Her vision issues may slog her reading abilities, but Kath has been pretty amazing.

Speech wise she has become quite the yacker and after you've been around her for a bit, understand the context, she is easier to understand.

Kath has her first dance recital coming up on May 14th. She is a mouse in "A Cinderella Story." She is thrilled and she has an adorable costume. I'll try to post a picture.

We've made a decision about next year. We've decided that Kath will be going to a program school. She will be going to Village Preschool from 9-1. Since Robin won't be able to take care of the girls next year we are struggling to find good child care that will allow Kath the least amount of transitions and distractions as possible. On that same turn I'm returning to teaching full time next Fall. My fellow teachers are very very excited...that feels very nice. Trying to figure out how I will fit 'it all in' is an anxiety filled concept, but I'm sure it will work out.

Hope this gives you a heads up--hoping to get back on soon and tell you some funny stories about the girls too.

Enjoy and thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


It has been a fight for me lately to write. Even in 'update mode.' I find an easier time going on facebook and putting up status that gives blurbs about our going-ons. It's quick, there's feedback and I can keep in touch with about 500 people at one time.

But I do notice that I am not writing as much. My story has been stagnant for way too long. And I've missed documenting some pretty fantastic times and/or issues.

I found that as I sat to read a book for school...a book I need to really concentrate for, take notes on and consider how to make it most accessible for my students...I kept jumping up every couple of minutes. I grabbed something to eat. Then to drink. Then feed the fish. Then take something out for dinner. It was strange. I could not concentrate. I thought of things I forgot, then fought with the guilt of it not having those things done and feeling guilty for sitting and reading/doing schoolwork.

As you may be able to those of you who receive this blog as an email and update...this is a disappointing one for you so far. As for being a part of my online is a bit more in line since I want to follow myself as a writer too. :)

I thought and worried that I might have attention deficit problem. I don't get to often have complete thoughts longer than child size bites.

~~~As if to highlight this thought...Kath just woke up wheezing, coughing. She's in my arms...I'm picking one key at a time.~~~

So as a writer...I need to make sure time is well-spent. I spend time circling around which project I want to work on. My blog. My young adult fiction book. My children's picture book. My nonfiction book about moms who face a different life with children with disabilities. I think one thing I must do, is instead of worrying about what and how...I need to just DO something.

Now here's your update on the life and times of US. :)

Valentine's. You would have thought it was a holiday here...Alex was so excited. ;D
She talked about if for days, prepared for it like it was Christmas and bubbled on the actually day. She made everyone in her class individual valentines...with lace doilies, sticker hearts, and lots of loving thoughts. Quite the girl. Kath made her teachers valentines as well as Chris (they are on his refrigerator in his new apartment).

We have had so many really great and inspiring moments with Kath. She is amazing. But just recently I also had be put back into reality world. Because of my schedule, I haven't been able to be at Kath's school, then she was sick and missed two days (a week for her school)then she had a day off. So I went to school with her and saw some of her struggles, which to many of you, it might not seem like much of a big deal, but in the line of preparation for a regular education huge.

~She struggles with scissors.For a very long time she wouldn't even pick up a pair of scissors. If she knows something is too hard, she balks at it. So I --being the good safe mother I am--began to leave little scissors laying around. If she is left to her own devices sometimes, she will work at something that she otherwise won't do. And it is working. Although she continues to hold the scissors with two hands...she is picking them up and clipping things...paper...pajamas...:) But when you go to school you can see that this event that we celebrated, was really just another show of how far behind she is with other kids. The other kids are working on cutting straight, we are still working on holding the scissors and cutting short strips of paper.
~Then she was supposed to 'sew' together a paper to make a Valentine envelope. She took one look at it and backed away. I had to break it down and show her and she basically pulled the string through but wouldn't do both up and down in the sewing. And she wouldn't hold the project while doing it. I bought her and Alex a mini-pillow sewing kit and she did much better but it is still very hard. And she wouldn't hold it herself. But she didn't back away from it. Everything is step by step--the less distractions the better she does.
~She needs lots of 'pre-sets.' That means we have to talk and prepare her for everything..."Ok, we are going to work two minutes. When we do that we are going to..." "Ok we are going to eat in two minutes, you need to wash your hands and help me set the table..." And God help you if you don't preset. You will have meltdowns and you will not get anywhere. Ask Roger. :)

100 days of school. Alex's class celebrated the first 100 days of school with a character named Zero the Hero (a high school theatre student who comes dressed in cape and mask and celebrates with them!). Each student had to bring in 10 items for each kid and then they all brought home a bad of assorted items. We brought in bells. There was a variety of pastas, and stickers and so on. It was very exciting and cute. Books were read and all.

Chris' apartment. Chris and his roommates found an apartment in Manhattan. They are very thrilled and they should be because it is beautiful. I thought that it might be in some rundown part of town in a run down building...:D but it is really nice. Four floors up (doesn't sound like much until you walk it...:D, but they will get exercise). Three bedrooms with wonderful lighting in the bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a nice size kitchen and living room. Very exciting. He is living with his cousin and a sister of a girl he went to school with. Very good situation. He is still looking for some more permanent work...and it would be great if he can find something pretty solid so he can start concentrating on going back to grad school.

LI visit. We finally got down to Long Island. It has been too long, but it is very hard for us to travel down there with the many therapies Kath has, the length of the trip, the number of illnesses the girls have had this fall and the many storms we had every time we tried to come down. SO we drove down to Chris' apartment first. Unloaded some things we brought down for him, enjoyed our walk to get lunch, enjoyed the apartment tour and the overall happiness Chris is experiencing. Then we left to drive out to Long Island after about our two hours stopover. The first mistake was when I wrote the directions on the back of an envelope I left with we actually drove ALL around Manhattan and ended up where we started. Nice tour though. So it took a bit more of a chunk of time... we drove to N. Lindenhurst first and visited with my dad and my brother Charlie. We enjoyed sitting and catching up and they enjoyed seeing the crazy girls. We couldn't catch up with Johnny because it was Valentine's Day and he had plans. After our hour allotted time we headed to S. Lindenhurst and visited my mother. She gave us our Christmas presents and we got to see her new beautiful apartment. The girls loved their gifts as did we. It was fun to have Christmas in February--we'll have to remember that. :) Then after our hour allotted time we headed to West Islip and visited Aunt Eileen. We played for an hour there and enjoyed our little catch up time and headed back on the road. By the time we got home that night I realized I never fed the girls dinner and it was 1AM. Whew.

Daisies. Alex is a Daisy, the first step in Girl Scouts. And I am the troop leader. Oh my. :) It is a lot of fun. We alternate each week with religion class. So one week she has religion on Tuesday night, then the next week is Daisies. The girls come to our house to learn about how to be a strong leader who makes a positive difference in the world and takes care of the environment.

School Cuts. As with everywhere, our district is once again looking at making cuts to staff to try to make ends meet. This is scary to us in yet another whole way. Yes, it means some of my friends will be without a job. Mortgages and families are greatly impacted by this is an economy where there aren't any jobs to be had. On another note, again as a teacher, it will mean larger class sizes. That always makes it harder to teach...imagine grouping 30 hormonal teens in a room and try to teach them Shakespeare! Or any another subject. Or putting that many kindergartners or elementary age students in a room and try to teach a new topic...try to make sure they ALL get it when kids learn at such different rates. As a parent it petrifies me because I see and know how important it is to have smaller class sizes in order for my kids to learn, especially my Kath. And since we already cut aides a couple of years ago!!! There are even less aids. I know that I haven't had any aids in my classroom in years! Kath will need a one-on-one aid, but she can do regular education work...just slower. Especially if it also entails physically doing cutting, scissors, writing. Her brain can takes more repetition than a 'regular' ed student, but she is not stupid, she just learns differently. We want her taught as a regular student as much as possible. But when you add in the physical drawbacks...well then we have a perfect storm brewing with out the small size classrooms and the aids. So when you consider your own school budgets, please realize that every school has a Kath. If we cut back on education now...what will happen later? These kids will be the power behind the government one we really want them educated 'just enough' or as much as we were educated...or do we want them better and smarter in a world that competes globally?

Robin. Our wonderful child care provider Robin has informed us that she won't be able to take care of the girls next year. Her mom has Alzheimer's and she will be moving in with Robin's family. Robin will need to give her mom all of her attention. That throws us for a bit of a tailspin. Robin has been wonderful. She comes to our house, there is less transition for the girls, Kath has her therapies at home, the mornings are calmer, the toys are here. Robin is great. She plays, paints, plans projects, even takes Kath to ballet. We feel Kath has made as much progress as she has because of the ideal situation we have with Robin or I being here for Kath. Next year is now a giant question mark. Alex can get dropped off at school for before- school care (even though she has been requesting to be homeschooled several times a week!! and the idea that she will spend MORE time in school...ugh). But Kath...her special education teacher has even said that she thinks we made a great decision not putting her in a a program all day. She said she doesn't have the stamina yet and she's not sure she could handle it next year yet either. Hope sees her one day at 8:30 in the morning, another day at 2:30. She sees a huge difference in what she is able to learn and do with those two different times. Kath would have to be placed in full time day care. None of the special education school run all day programs that we could get her starts at 7:30...but both Roger and I need to already be in school at that time and it's in the middle of both our jobs. So...we have no idea what we are doing yet. If Lotto could be won and allow me to take a year off so we could get it figured out...that would be great. Say prayers for us.

Alex has already experienced bullying. She started to ask us to drive her to school. After a couple of weeks of asking, she finally told us 1-she thinks she's too young for the bus---kids do things, blame other kids, and the innocent get punished. And she stood up and told some boys to leave one of the boys in her classroom alone. She then became their victim...with second grade boys putting their faces in hers telling her they HATE her.

Homeschooling. As you can see...especially if you know me...I have always been interested in homeschooling. I love the time I spend with my kids. And I think I'm a pretty good teacher. And I think Kath learns best with one-on-one with someone who knows her triggers and what motivates her. If it were feasible financially, I would do this....Even for a year to get full concentration with Kath and so Alex can get her confidence back.

Both girls are taking ballet and loving it. Both will be in shows this spring. More to follow.

Alex wants to take piano now too. If she cuts back her riding and yoga when we take Kath to hippotherapy...we might be able to swing it. We're trying.

Facebook. It is is the easiest way sometimes for me to keep in touch with everyone--so feel free to set up an account and friend me. :)

Olympics. We have been watching as much of the Olympics as possible. The girls don't really understand it is country against country...they are mostly being exposed to different sports. Kath and Alex saw the snowboarding on the half pike. Both stopped in the tracks, jaws dropped and they both said REALLY REALLY excitedly "I WANT TO DO THAT!!!" Greeattt! :) Kath and I watched the bobsledding last night while we tried to get her wheezing under control (she sounds raspy today, but she can talk above a whisper--I kept putting peppermint on her chest)..and Kath would say "They drivin on walls!!!"

Healing Touch. I take the girls to hippotherapy/lessons and yoga...and healing touch on Saturdays at Every Body Counts Therapy Center. Healing touch is an amazing alternative healing energy. Yesterday Kath told Britta (her yoga/healing therapy teacher) to stop healing touch...Britta said "why?" "Because it hurts my booboo." Britta asked where her booboo was and Kath pointed to the left side of her head...where the stroke made the most impact. It is amazing. I have even done it to her, when her back was turned and she immediately turned around...she felt it. Alex tells me it feels like a massage to her. I've had it done too and I had the same experience.

Well...I think that is good for now. Are your eyes tired? I hope this finds you all well.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wow. It's been awhile....

It certainly has been quite the while. Sorry. Some is a blur...ok, most. We have been trying to get down to Long Island to visit family since Christmas and it seems we are due/have gotten snow every weekend, Sundays--the days we have time to go down or the girls have been sick. Now this weekend Roger has a writer's retreat and I have grades due Tuesday, so it won't happen again this weekend. Ugh.

We are in a bitter cold spell right now. It was 5 degrees when I woke up today and it only got to about 12 degrees during the day. Yesterday we had a strange snow squall come through and within 20-30 minutes we got 2-3 inches of snow and more cold and incredible wind.

Kath has been sick this week. She was pretty scary. I took her to the doctor's on Tuesday because she had a couple of nights of this harsh sounding cough that made it so she couldn't catch her was a long sucking in sound as she tried to fill her lungs. Very unsettling. Took her into the bathroom and made it sauna-like...that didn't seem to help. Wrapped a blanket around her, and took her outside, that didn't seem to help. It turned out it was croup. Again.

The doctor (not her regular pediatrician)said she wasn't worried since Kath was eating okay. Of course that egg sandwich she was chomping on in the doctor's office was the last thing she ate until today. That night she ran a fever and continued to cough. Then on Wednesday night she not only was running a fever, having trouble catching her breath, coughing, runny nose and not eating, but her hands began to have tremors. Alex was also home Wednesday and then Thursday because she was coughing with a runny nose...and glassy eyes. I was afraid that whatever Kath had, Alex would get and pass along.

Back to the doctor's we went on Thursday. On Tuesday Kath had been a pretty peepy chickie, Thursday she made me hold her, didn't even want to get dressed -she went in her pjs. She sat listlessly on the couch, at a slant and not even tried to help herself. This time, it was a nurse practitioner, and she said it was an ear infection.

Today Kath finally got up and played some. She also ate. And seems to be on an upswing. Whew. Alex went to school today, but her eyes still look glassy. Hoping she doesn't get it. They said it could have been strep too...but that they were giving Kath the same meds they would give her for the ear infection....

Kath is back to doing hippotherapy. We are on Saturdays. So, after Alex's ballet class, we head out and have a yoga/healing touch session...then riding time. It is amazing how different Kath is with just the time switch. We used to have it on Monday's at 4PM, now we have it Saturdays at 2. Kath says goodbye at the door, gets on the horse 'by herself' and has a great time...much different from the girl I hadd to stay with for the whole therapy session, holding her leg. Alex takes sibling lessons and loves it too! As always.

Kath is in a ballet class at our local arts center. I was going to sign her up at Alex's dance studio but her teacher made a big deal about Kath not being potty trained...despite one other mother telling me that her daughter wasn't trained. I think I ran into my first unprovable case of discrimination, I don't think she wanted to deal with Kath's disabilities. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise--as that usually happens--and we found the local place's teacher used to work as a special education teacher and she loves Kath. Kath will be in her first show in April or May-"A Cinderella Story" and she will a castle mouse. She is tickled. Kath giggles the whole class, the movement and the ability to move and dance brings her so much joy.

I have continued to work on my writing and I am really enjoying it and I think it's halfway decent, but unfortunately, by the time I take care of every body else for the day...I don't even have energy to take care of dishes, I go onto Facebook and see how my hemimoms are doing and try to have some time with other people/moms, sharing stories. I also find myself so drained I sometimes just sit and watch NCIS stories...crazy.

We lost power for several hours this week--Monday. No one else on our block did and when it came on it was in a brown out type situation...the pump wouldn't work--so no water or flushing for about 10 hours. When it finally came back on after 10PM one casualty was the phone. It seems something was fried in the surges, so the answering machine in inoperable, so call my cell if you need to reach us.

We are at yet another crossroads though since we found out this week that our sitter will be totally unavailable for next year. So we went from toying with the idea again of homeschooling~~~(Alex has gone from loving school to telling me she is 'lonely' in school and wants to be homeschooled, her teacher says she's great and wonderful, has friends and all...)and keeping Kath in a spot where she gets more out of one on one...her special ed teacher told me this week that she's worried because she doesn't see that Kath has the stamina for a full time program yet,~~~ to looking at full time programs/day care for Kath and putting Alex in before school care before her full day of school. She doesn't even want to take the bus anymore...she keeps seeing the kids being mean to other kids. But as we have noticed before...something will happen. Something will pick up and a solution will be had...would be nice if it was in the form of a lotto ticket...doesn't even have to be billions...or millions, just enough to catch up on bills so I could take a year or so's good to dream! :)

Well, Alex came down looking for me and I set her up on the couch. Going to bring her back up and snuggle. Time is too fleeting....Enjoy!
PS I'm going to send this out after only a light editing, so please excuse, since I'm sure there will errors and although I go back often to fix the errors, I think you would only see that if you looked at the blog itself afterward. :)


Hopefully tomorrow I will get to writing about some of the funny stuff....