Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom?

Sometimes you just have to put on your big girl panties and deal with it

Just an Update February 25, 2007

Filed under: Adoption,Family,Life — Steph @ 12:07 pm

Wow, I haven’t blogged in quite a while! So, just an update on what’s been going on here…

We’re all sick! UGH!! We have all had some kind of upper respiratory virus that has just knocked me down big time. It has lingered for a while so tomorrow I am going to see the doctor to see if I need an antibiotic. It comes and goes, one day you’ll feel good and the next you feel crummy again. On Thursday night Lizzie got sick. She hasn’t been sick yet, not even a sniffle and I was really hoping she’d stay that way. A couple of times I think she tried to come down with a cold but she’d just sleep it off and be fine the next day. After what we went through with Joey I had a little break down on Friday night, the thought of another baby in and out of the hospital, poked, prodded, on breathing meds, etc… was just too much for me to handle, especially considering I am sick and Joe’s still in India.

Lizzie has Croup, I knew it was Croup on Thursday night, you just can’t mistake that cough. On Friday night she got worse and worse so we finally took her to the ER at midnight. Of course it’s Croup so by the time we got there she was fine. Cold air + Croup = mommy looks silly at the doctor’s!

Thankfully they know us there. Having a mom who works across the hall from the ER is a big bonus! They didn’t laugh us out of there (and I swear she went from being miserable to playing and talking) but instead said it’s almost definitely Croup since the cold air helped and they went ahead and gave her some Decadron (sp?) to keep her airways open. That really helped. Oddly enough she’d been spiking temps all day on Friday, 101, 102, etc… we get to the ER and not even a temp. By the time we got home it was back up to 100.9 though.

All of that aside, my daughter is such an angel. Up until yesterday she never even fussed. You could tell she felt miserable, she had that glassy eyed, red eyed, look of a baby that feels like crud and yet she still smiled, laughed, talked, and just never fussed. Yesterday she acted a bit more like a “normal” sick baby and was a bit fussy. Today she’s been a little better and her cough is much better.

My SIL was sick last week. Try having this crud and being 7.5 months pregnant! YICK!!! She finally had to take something for it so they gave her an antibiotic and she’s much better now.

Amazingly the only person in my family (and by family I mean, mom, dad, brother, SIL, nephew, you name it) who hasn’t been sick is Joey!!! Can you believe that?? It blows my mind! He has done SO well. A year ago this virus would have landed him in the hospital on breathing treatments and in a mist tent. He has just done amazingly well this year!!! I pray he stays this way. The flu hadn’t hit here until last week. Just last week the pediatrician was suggesting a flu shot for Lizzie and Joey and I swear the next day it hit and 3 people were hospitalized.

I think Lizzie actually caught the croup at the doctor’s office. We went in a little over a week ago for her vaccinations and there were 3 kids in the waiting room sounding very croupy. I even mentioned them to my mom. Their mom was nice enough to say “why don’t you guys sit over here away from that baby” but of course an airborne virus doesn’t care where they sit! I don’t think she has what I have because her symptoms are different. Mine started out as a nasty head cold and I think has blossomed in to a fun sinus infection. Hers was all in her chest.

So, that’s it in a nutshell, I’ve been fighting this crud off and on for almost 3 full weeks, one day I feel good the next I feel icky. The worst has been the headache and the fatigue. My house looks like a train ran through it. Today I am going to get up and get a few things done, I can’t just ignore it anymore. I have been keeping up on my cages, but other than that it’s a wreck. We are literally living out of laundry baskets because I don’t have the energy to fold the laundry!

Last weekend we went to Billings to watch my cousin play basketball. She’s the one of the stars of the MSU Billings girls basketball team and as a Senior it was her last home game. She holds a lot of MSU’s records and is truly a gifted basketball player. She’s been playing since she could walk and she has a true love of the game. Unfortunately she has a stress fracture in her foot and the doctor wouldn’t clear her to play Senior night. They have a big tournament coming up in Texas so if she had played and caused the foot to fracture any further she would have had to have surgery and not been able to play the tournament in Texas. She was crushed and afraid no one would come! We of course went! It stunk that she had to sit out the game, but they make a big deal of Senior Night and had a ceremony, cake, after party, etc… We skipped the after party as the kids were wiped out, but the game and ceremony were a blast and we had breakfast with her the next morning. All 3 kids (Joey, Logan, and Lizzie) had fun. Lizzie HATED the game! She did fine until the buzzer sounded, she hates the buzzer and she cried when the crowd cheered or booed loudly. The other sound she hated? The announcer! Something about his voice over the speaker really bothered her! By about half time she’d settled down quite a bit and by the end she was OK. She really liked watching them play as long as it was quiet! What didn’t bother her at all? The band! Go figure! My mom took her out for the first half but the 2nd half I took her back in so she would see it wasn’t as awful as she thought. :o)

What else?

Joey is a genius. I know I am biased, but the child is just supremely smart! They gave him a “reading fluency” test. 34 WPM is above average, he did 71 WPM. Apparently the test is not just on the words but the actual ability to read them correctly with proper inflection, etc… He struggles in school. He’s not a good student. He gets bored. He and his teacher have had a personality conflict all year. Unfortunately I think she just doesn’t know how to deal with him and she has no desire to try. She’s a bit lazy about it. She feels he could behave better and has the ability to be an extremely good student but his behavior gets in the way so she’s made it her personal mission to make him in to what she feels he should be. In case you’re wondering, that to her is a child who sits all day long and never moves, never speaks out of turn, never shows any excitement or enthusiasm. Of course he forgets to raise his hand occasionally, he’s 7 and in first grade!!

We think he literally is just too advanced for the class work. He finishes before the rest of the class and then gets bored. Last year his teacher gave him double work for that reason. If he was busy he was fine. So she’d give him two assignments to do so he wouldn’t be done first and get bored and in to trouble. She was awesome, instead of complaining, she actually did something to help him thrive.

Unfortunately the best school in the district for accelerated kids is short staffed and at capacity. We will keep trying to switch him. I did finally have it out with the principal over Joey’s teacher and things have improved. For the first half of the year I swear not one single positive report came out of that classroom. She marks papers like a highschool teacher would. -1 or -2 or -3. No stickers, no smilies, no stars, no nothing. If it was a good paper she’d write “100” on it. That was it. I allowed as how kids at this age need positive reinforcement and she’s not teaching highschool students or college students but 1st graders!!! Do you know she’s the ONLY teacher in the district who gives spelling tests the way she does? She gives them in sentences. They have to write the sentence. She marks down for punctuation and capatilization! Now I know those things are important, but in 1st grade it’s a bit much I think. He has done well with it, but a lot of parents have complained about her “curriculum” being just way too advanced. And homework? They are supposed to have about 10 minutes a night of homework. Instead? They have a good 30-45 minutes most nights and some nights it’s a full hour. Early in the year they had 30 words a week to learn. Word Wall words x 10… Spelling words x 10… Sight words x 10… It was a lot. Joey didn’t struggle with it but I know others in his class really had a tough time. She keeps telling us Joey should be scoring “above average” on everything and yet his report cards don’t reflect it. She gives him “average” marks on things. Their report cards are set up on a numerical scale. 1-4. 1 being needs help, 2 being improving, 3 being at expected level, 4 being meets or exceeds expectations. She told us at parent teacher conferences in the middle of the 2nd quarter that he should be at 4 on most everything by the 3rd quarter. He’s at 3 on most everything. 3 is great, I am happy with 3, but they’re not fair marks. Just for instance, one of the things he had a 3 on last quarter was “Able to write stories with a beginning, middle, and end”. Now this is something Joey does for FUN! I swear he spends about 80% of his out of school time making books. He loves it. That’s all he’s done this entire weekend is make books and beg me to let him type them up on the computer. These books all have beginning, middle, and endings. Also, reading fluency, she marked him at a 3. Obviously according to her test he’s exceeding expectations, so where does the 3 come in? When it all came to a head a little over a month ago I almost pulled him from her class. There are 2 first grade classrooms and we considered moving him. After talking with him he seems to be doing OK. I think he actually thrives a bit under her dictatorship, and aside from that he would have had to learn another teacher’s style well in to the 3rd quarter. It just wasn’t beneficial. So, I spoke to the principal, the teacher, and the school social worker and things have vastly improved. He’s actually brought home about 10 papers with positive marks on them. I’m sure it’s tough for her to take the 10 seconds to draw a smiley face or attach a sticker, but she’s doing it. My sincere hope is that they BOTH learn something from this school year.

I could go on and on about our struggles with her this year. In the end I really think it just all boils down to a personality conflict and her being just so very rigid. They come from kindergarten which is basically just a free for all, to her classroom where she treats them like high school students and it’s just a HUGE culture shock. My aunt is a principal at two schools in the district (both rural because she lives 60 miles north of town before you ask why I don’t move him) and she told me early on that other teachers in the district dislike this teacher’s methods. She urged me to complain, push her, speak to the principal, and stay on top of it. I have talked to her at length about the things coming home, the phone calls, the conferences, etc… and she has said over and over again to just keep pushing for reform with this teacher. She’s not one to ever side against any teacher, it’s that professional code we all have when it comes to our peers, but she’s been different with this one. She said at this age they should be learning in a fun way, they are supposed to be encouraging them to enjoy school, explore school, embrace the opportunities, etc… not treating them like prisoners in a juvenile detention center which is really what this all boils down to. I think this teacher would be exceptional at a high school level. At elementary? Not so much.

Anywho, enough on that, you get the point!

What else…

This is getting long so I’ll wrap it up. Lizzie was 17 lb. 8 oz. at her last appointment, she’s in the 75th percentile for weight. Height she was I believe 29 inches (I have to look on the card LOL) but also in the 75th. She is very healthy, happy, and bright. She’s sitting up if I sit her up, she can’t pull herself up yet but mostly I think because she won’t try. She HATES to be on her belly, and I mean hates it. I’ve never seen anything like it. She used to scream until we flipped her to her back, now she just rolls herself over. We’ll see if she crawls since you kind of have to be on your belly to learn to crawl! She really wants to be mobile so we’ll see. Her doctor thinks she’ll be mobile by her next check up and she thinks she may skip crawling. Right now if she wants to get something, she’ll lay on her back and use her legs to scoot herself to it. It’s really quite something and as a result she has a patch of hair in the back of her head that’s shorter than the rest and I’m not sure will ever grow in! LOL She talks all the time, babble, babble, babble, and she’s in to reaching for everything. She especially likes cups, she thinks she’s big enough to just grab one so we have to be careful with those. I bought her a sippy cup, she won’t hold it like she will my cups. Little bugger! She could hold her bottle and her cup if she tried but she prefers I hold them. If she wants it bad enough she’ll do it, but otherwise let mom do it! I think in another month she’ll have her abs strengthened to the point she’ll sit up that way. She does a lot of crunches trying to sit herself up! LOL

Joe will be home the 6th of March. Joey has a hockey tournament next weekend that will be fun.

That’s really all there is to report! I’ll do my meme’s this week since I’ve slacked off on them for the last 3 full weeks!! :o)

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