Saturday, February 28, 2009

18 years

Tomorrow will mark 18 years since Mat and I went on our first date. I can't believe how much time has past - where did it go? As you know from my last post, our first date movie was "Silence of the Lambs". To our defense - we lived in a small town, were both in the high school musical (which was going on this particular day), so we had very limited hours, and choices, of movie to see! When you are 15/16 years old, there aren't a lot of things you can do. But we had fun. We didn't go alone on this first date. Another couple went with us. But after this first movie, we continued to see movies every weekend for years until Mat went off to college. (He was older - he went first!) But at that time of our first date, I had just recently met Mat's family. He is one of 5 children of which he is the oldest. After 18 years, I can truly say I love his brothers and sisters very much and can't imagine having better sisters and brother! I have known Mat and his brother and sisters over half their life, and I feel truly lucky to have them in my life. So happy anniversary to my true love! It has been a wonderful 18 years.

A blog I follow - AnyMommy - wrote this terrific article about having "forced twins". Since that is what Mat and I have, this article (and her blog) have really been helpful to us. Here is the link to the Article: Forced Twins

There are a lot of days that are really hard. Even though Cainan and Finley aren't biologically related, they are only 30 days apart. Our life is no different than if they were biological twins. They will always be in school together, and we will deal with the same issues parents with twins deal with. They love each other just as much as they fight each other. One line in the article really hit me: "I cried tears of joy when I saw our unusual choice of building a family work". We feel that way a lot of times. We doubt our decision many days - are we being fair to Cainan or Finley? Are Cainan's behavior related to adoption or being our second 2 1/2 year old? Would Finley be less "Finley" if she didn't have a "forced twin"? Questions we may never be able to answer, BUT knowing that I have Stacey (AnyMommy) who shares the EXACT situation (forced boy/girl twins) I feel better. The only people that get you are people who have your same situation.

Arlington is sick again. She has a fever this time and has been on the couch all day. I looked in her throat when she said "my neck hurts" and her tonsils look swollen. UGH! Always on a weekend. I think our walk in clinic is open on Sundays, so we will be heading there tomorrow to make sure it isn't strep. It is going around, I want to make sure. Poor girl. Here is her "bed" for the day:
Finley also woke up with a cold. No fever, just a runny nose. They have been having a rough couple of months. Hopefully it will stay just a cold and not turn into something bigger. Finley has also done AWESOME this week with potty training. She has continued to wear underwear each day to school and here at home. She is just in a pull up for nap and overnight. Yay! I did have it out with the daycare yesterday because she wet her self on a few occasions at school. There was one period where they didn't take her for 4 hours!!! Of course she isn't going to make it. They have only 6 kids in her class, and there is NO excuse for them not taking her to the potty at least every two hours. Arlington's old preschool had 18 kids to 2 adults and they manage to potty train her (and the other 17 kids) without problems. I am just going to have to stay on top of them. Finley is the ONLY one that is potty training right now, so they really have no excuse.

Cainan is doing well. Hopefully he stays healthy. I have good news to report that his learning of his colors is coming along!! He has picked up a few new ones and has been consistently remembering him. All the credit for that goes to Mat who every day and every night before bed is working with him constantly on colors. It has been hard work and it is finally starting to pay off. His potty training is still slow, of course. I am not going to harass the school about him yet. One kid at a time. But here at home today he has successfully gone once and has been dry almost all day except for nap. I still HATE potty training. A lot.

We hung a ton of pictures around our house today. It is looking GOOD! I took a few pictures. Here is one of our new clock.

And one of our family tree wall. This is a neat wall that we had in our last house. From our grandparents we were able to get pictures of our great grandparents, and in some instances our great-great and great-great-great grandparents, and hung them up. The sign on the wall says "Home is where our story begins". A gift from my beautiful sister in law Carrie (check our her blog at Hicks Family Five)

I found the babies in our family room today like this:
Don't they look cute? They aren't fighting - they are sharing the same beanbag, and having fun! This moment deserved a picture.

Even cuter (and funnier) was the way I found Arlington asleep in our bed last night:

She is a hoot. This girl can sleep anywhere, anytime, any position. I have a ton of funny pictures of her sleeping because comfort is not an issue when it comes to this girl falling asleep. I wish I could sleep that well.

Arlington had fun Kindergarten homework this weekend. She brought home an empty jar and had to fill it with 15 things (or less) that would fit in the jar. Here is what she chose:

Superheroes. She had gone though the book being put together by her classmates and was trying to find something that wasn't done yet. Plus, she loves superheroes about as much as she loves being a princess. She had to fill the jar, then draw a picture of all the things she put in the jar. This took awhile since she didn't chose something that was repeditively the same. She drew each superhero. It was fun.
Arlington also read the book "Green Eggs and Ham" all by herself. It is fun to watch her read like that!

Girl Scout cookies were also delivered today. Yum. A huge reason for Arlington to be in Girl Scouts is because the cookies are so yummy. Just kidding. Sort of. The boxes have gotten remarkably smaller over the years, yet the cost keeps getting higher. Hmm...

Work was really busy the rest of this week. The kids were back to their old tricks because 6 of our teachers were in conferences for two days getting ready for this years standardized tests. So out of 14 classroom teachers, 6 of them had subs!! So I saw 50 kids on Wednesday and Thursday. Worse than that, I saw them all in about 4 hours because both of those days were shortened office hours for me due to meetings. But it was fine. If days like that are few and far between rather than routine, I am fine with that. I did get tough on a few kids. I was doing a handwashing class and I get a call from the main office stating they have two kids their that had stomach aches. My rule while I am out of the office - unless they are bleeding profusely or have already thrown up - they can't come. So I asked "have they thrown up?" Of course they haven't. Back to class. My boss was so proud of me. PLUS -there was only about 20 minutes left in the school day. UGH.

Enjoy a few pictures and I will see you Tuesday. Hopefully by then everyone will be happy!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

School Once Again

School has restarted here in Connecticut after a nice week long break. By Sunday the kids were ready to go back and on Monday morning were excited once we got in the car to go. I think they enjoyed the break, but it was time to return and play with friends. This week also was a good reminder of all the reasons I decided to go back to work and not be a stay at home mom.

Sunday we watched the Oscars but found them boring. I am anxious to see a lot of the movies, nominated, though. Hopefully soon. Mat and I are movie lovers. I used to love going to the movies regularly before we had kids and now we rent like crazy. It has always been our thing. Our first date was a movie (Silence of the Lambs. I know, I know!!!). And every weekend after that for about a year, that is what we did - movie and dinner after.

Monday was our first day back. I still have 15 kids at my school that are on vacation! Must be nice. Most of them are in far away places, too, like Florida, Hawaii, Italy. The one girl that is in Hawaii has been there going on 3 weeks. 2 weeks of missed school - that seems like a lot. I can't imagine being comfortable keeping my kid out of school for more than 1 week, and even that would be pushing it. The kids were a little rowdy on Monday, but nothing terrible. Mostly they were happy to be back, too, so they stayed in class. We did have a quick 10 minute staff meeting on Monday because while we were away on break on of our second grade teachers decided to retire unexpectedly. She was pretty unhappy and kept saying she should have retired last year. Her class is really rough and kind of on the large size this year, so she left!!! The hard part was, it was on break, so our principal had to come in and send a letter out to all the parents to let them know that there would be a change of teacher come Monday. We have a sub this week in her room and then one of our existing math support teachers will be taking the position. I am secretly happy because this teacher really was kind of hard to get along with and it was time for her to go. But I do wish her well in her retirement.

Today was much busier at work. The kids are in routine now and didn't feel like being in school today. There was a mystery stomach ache that 4 girls in one class caught all at once today. Hmmmmmm.... They crack me up. They act so surprised when I don't believe them and send them back to class. But I had a busy day. NOTHING like I used to - maybe about 35 kids?? I was still able to do plenty of other things I needed to do, so I call the day a success. I did have one kid get pretty injured in gym class today - got hit in the face with a rubber hockey stick. The gym teacher was pretty upset. The kid was fine, but he is going to have a black and blue eye and a swollen cheek for quite awhile. And my day ended happily when one of my "success stories" of school phobia baked cupcakes in front of her WHOLE CLASS without a panic attack and then......brought me one to eat. Yum.

Tonight was Daisy Scouts and a PTO meeting. These Tuesdays with both are infrequent, but a little tough around out house. By the time I pick the kids up from school, get them home and fed, and help Mat get them all bathed BEFORE Arlington goes to Daisy's it is tight. Then I am home about 45 minutes and I go back to the PTO meeting and Mat picks up the kids. I do enjoy going to the PTO meetings, though. They can be a lot of fun and I love hearing about everything that is going on in the school. And I did learn tonight that our little 3000 person town has a Memorial Day parade. THAT should be highly entertaining. I guess the parade march is about 100 yards. This town is flippin' awesome.

The kids are all doing great. Finley has been in underwear at school for the last two days and hasn't had an accident. So that is going well, but I am still bracing myself for a set back. Cainan, well, he is a potty training mystery. He does okay one day and terrible the next. But we don't stress it. Daycare, unfortunately, doesn't have a potty training policy, so they aren't putting him on the potty as much as I think he needs to go to be successful. But, I think I will just go with it for awhile and really work hard on it while we are home and then maybe in April, when we have another break, work with him again. I want to thank AnyMommy for all of her potty training advice! She too has "forced twins" that potty trained, so she has been very encouraging!!

Arlington did one funny thing while we were at church this week. During the part of the service before Children's church begins, she sits with us and works on an activity book the church provides. This week, one of the pages was "what do you find in a garden?" They had pictures of all kinds of things that were appropriate and not, and you were supposed to color the appropriate ones. Arlington was going along great, and then she colored in the ice cream. I said, "ice cream is not found in a garden". She said, "well, if I drop the ice cream off the cone then yes it is". What a weirdo.

So, our life is back to normal and boring. Here are a few pictures. Some are from Arlington's birthday party a week or so ago - I got a few more from a mommy friend. And some are from the terrible disposable camera we had that day!! There is also a picture of how I found Finley when I went in to check on her after she fell asleep the other night. That girl has always been a restless sleeper. And another picture is of Mat and Arlington doing a simple science experiment from a kit that Aunt Betty bought her for her birthday. Enjoy the pictures and I will see you Saturday!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Potty Training and Pedicures

Potty training is going surprisingly well with Finley. She is doing awesome - she has actually been in underwear the last two days during the day and has had only one accident. Cainan, is doing.....not awesome. He does actually go in the potty at least once a day, so to his credit that is something! But he just isn't that ready. We will keep trying, but I am keeping my goal of August with him. Finley has stayed dry up to 7 hours at a time during the day. So funny! One day I put her down at nap at 1pm - dry. Woke up, didn't have to go, went out to eat and she didn't go until 7:30pm that night. Crazy!! And she is going all night dry. I am calling her a success.

We have had a fun rest of our vacation. I cannot believe tomorrow is our last day before we return to work and school. It was a fast week. My parents arrived on Wednesday afternoon and we have been busy doing house projects and playing with the kids all week. We have eaten out every night which has been a nice treat! They go home tomorrow but will be back in mid March for another visit! I appreciate the help, no doubt.

I have gotten a few things done. Mat and I are finally hanging some pictures around the house after almost one year in this house. It is definitely time. We got a few up before we ran out of picture hangers, so we will continue tomorrow. My dad has fixed all the nail pops in our office and we have repainted that (same red, just a fresh coat). I have worked a lot on Arlington's quilt and pillows for the girl's room. So it has been a successful week!

Arlington is doing well. She had yet another small birthday party with my parents who brought gifts from them and other family and friends. We celebrated that small bit on Wednesday. Then today my cousin's from New York, Kirsten and Alissa, came for a visit (a SURPRISE one for Arlington and my parents at that!) and we went to get Arlington's nails done. She got a pedicure and a manicure. She had a blast. She loved the pedicure the best and she picked some wild colors for her nails. I took some pictures. Kirsten and Alissa joined her in the fun and got their nails done too. We were at the salon for about 2 hours and she had a blast. Then this evening we went to dinner at a yummy Italian restaurant before the girls headed back to the city. It was a really fun day and we are all going to bed tired tonight.

So that is the quick wrap up. I would write more, but I am beat. I will be better on Tuesday once I am back at work. Here are a few pictures and I will see you Tuesday!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Potty Training Boot Camp. Day One.

I will start this post with a picture of my eldest. It is reassuring to know that the babies will be potty trained. Eventually.This is how I found Finley after I set her on the Potty. She is such a ham.
I hate potty training. Hate it with a passion. This is a cruel joke God plays on parents to test our reserve and our patience. Today - mine is little. Potty training two 2 1/2 year olds is going to push me over the edge. I am really in awe of John and Kate Plus 8 today!! Finley is doing pretty well, I have to say. She has a trucker's bladder and is only needing to use the potty about every 3 hours. Cainan on the other hand - ever 15 minutes that boy is wetting his pull up. SO not helpful. I was surprised to see he didn't have more control than that at this point. I finally had to put him in underwear because I was running out of pull ups by lunch time. Crazy! I sat him on the potty (and Finley too) every 30 minutes. At that point, Cainan was already wet, but Finley dry (but didn't have to go). So fun. NOT. Then I moved to every 15 minutes with Cainan - still nothing. So, the underwear appeared and we stayed on the tile floor until lunch time. Finally, after lunch Cainan did go in the potty! We all did a big cheer and dance! But, that scenario did not repeat today. Finley's pull up stayed dry the whole day and she used the potty several times. Yay! Let's hope it continues.


I keep thinking of all the money I am going to be saving, though, when I don't need diapers any more! It is going to buy us a trip to Disneyworld - it is THAT much money. $100's of dollars a month in diapers and wipes - gone with potty training. That is my only incentive. Otherwise, they could stay in diapers forever.
Finley and I did have one amusing conversation about potty training. I am using M+Ms as incentives to get her to go.
Me: Finley, if you go potty I will give you an M+M
Finley: M+M - yes!
Me: Go potty and I will give them to you
Finley: No, M+M first.There are going to be random pictures throughout this post before the regular set of photos at the bottom - just to warn you! My Finley was being especially photogenic today, so I wanted to post them, as well as a few of the other beautiful children that live in our house.
The kids are enjoying their vacation and I am getting a lot of projects done. I have painted the dining room, and have started painting the stairs down to the basement. The people that lived here before had 3 boys, so everything in the downstairs area - the mud room, the stairs and the playroom - all blue. That has to go. Our house is more girls, but I promise - no pinks or purples! That is reserved for the girls room. I am still mulling over the color of the playroom. That will be down the line. But the stairs and mudroom will be different shades of brown. I know I know - my world is beige. But it goes with EVERYTHING and if I chose to change carpet or flooring or furniture - I am all set.
The dining room is the same shade as the accent wall in our family room. It looks about a thousand times better. Gone are the scratches and dents and holes and marks, on and on and on. It makes me wonder what went on here! I know - three rowdy boys and two giant dogs couldn't have helped. They also liked to put numerous holes in odd places, so I am working on patching those up today. Pretty soon if the old owners returned, they wouldn't recognize their old house. Here is a picture of the dining room and the accent wall/new paint in the family room, kitchen. Hard to see in pictures, but a few people asked to see - so here you go!!

Dining Room
Living RoomWe did have a painting tragedy today. I was finishing up work on the stairs leading down to the basement. I was almost done when I kicked a can of paint over onto the stairs. I didn't have the stairs covered because that carpet is particularly awful and needs to be replaced, so I didn't care if I got a few spots on it. Well, now it has a LOT of spots on it. Actually, maybe I should just paint the stairs - it looks a lot better with the paint on it! Just kidding. We will be replacing the carpet. Eventually.Tomorrow Arlington has a play date with her good buddy "K" who lives on our block. Yay! She is going to be very excited. She received a ton of really cool things for her birthday, so the two of them can fill an afternoon playing with them. It will be midweek of the vacation and a good time for a change of playmates! I am sure she is getting tired of playing with Finley and Cainan.
My parents also arrive tomorrow evening for a visit through the weekend. I am anxious to have them come over AND I know they are doubly excited about getting to help paint. (aren't you???) If you ever come and visit me know that a project will project will be in store for you. (ha ha)
I wanted to thank our Nanny for the fun gift we received in the mail a few days ago.
Aren't they cool? Terrible towels AND yummy cookies. These cookies are from a restaurant in my home town that makes the BEST sugar cookies I have ever eaten. My parents always bring me some when they come to visit because those cookies are AWESOME. They are called "Smiley Cookies". Thank you Nanny of thinking of us! We are die hard Steeler fans and will put those towels to good use next year. AND....the cookies are all gone.
I am working on Arlington's quilt for her bed. I finished Finley's, and Arlington's will be finished soon. Here is a little taste of what it looks like.
I will show you the rest once both quilts are on the girls beds and their little room is looking like it is right out of the Pottery Barn Magazine. (Just kidding).
I also hung some pictures above their beds of some photos I took of Flowers of our yard. Their room theme is garden, so we are placing photographs of flowers all around the room. It will be cute when it is all done.So that is it!! The rest of the week we will be keeping busy and I am sure before we know it, we will be back at work and school for 7 LONG weeks before we get another break. (boo). Have a great week and we will see you Saturday! Enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Arlington's Big Day

Today is Arlington's 6th birthday. I can't believe our eldest child is 6 years old. She was born on a Saturday. I thought she might be a Valentine's baby. Valentine's day, 6 years ago, was going to be my last day of work. Arlington wasn't due for another week, but I was told by my OB, it probably wouldn't be that long. I was going to take a few days before she was due to relax and get ready. I woke up on Valentine's day with back pain. I thought I slept wrong (how dumb was I???). I worked ALL day. A couple of my work mates thought I was crazy for being there, but it was my last day, and we had a nice V-day party planned (plus it was one of my co-workers birthdays) so I wanted to go. We were at the Valentine's/Birthday party around 4:30 - laughing hysterically at something or other, and I felt a small gush. Now, being STILL dumb (didn't get any smarter since the morning) I thought I had peed my pants from laughing! I asked one of my recently pregnant co-workers about it, and she said "I would be your water broke". "Nah" I said, but decided to call my OB office anyway. By this time it is after 5. I am due to leave work soon, and I feel another small gush. The birthday girl said - "yeah - you need to go!" So I drove myself to the hospital. I called Mat on the way and told him that I was SURE it was nothing to stay at work, and I would call from the hospital when I knew for sure. I wasn't in any pain. It was a 30 minute drive to the hospital. I got there and the nurse took me to a room to check me out. Sure enough, my water had broke. She asked if I had any pain, and I said no. It was now after 6pm. Mat came over from work (although I was calm, so I sent him home to get my suitcase). I sat and hung out until about 10pm - nurse constantly asking me if I was in any pain. Each time was no. At 10pm, contractions hit - hard. Mat was fasinated at their "right on the money" consistency. I was NOT as fasinated. But, I was a lucky girl. It was already 3cm dilated, so I got my epidural at 10:30 and that was the end of my labor pains!! HA! (I had none with Finley, but that is a story for another day). I was checked at 11pm - still 3cm. The nurse told me to get some sleep because it was going to be awhile. At 1:30am, she came in to see me because Arlington's heart was decelerating, and I was 9cm. So much for sleeping! at 2:10am I started pushing and at 2:25am, she was born!!! She came really fast! So I only had 4 1/2 hours of "labor" from 10-2:25.

Anyway, fast forward 6 years through the terrible twos, the MORE terrible threes, the crazy 4's and the pretty okay 5s, Arlington is 6!! She has a 'tude some days, but for the most part, she is a really good girl. She dodes on her brother and sister and is willing to play with them any time, any place. She was born to be a big sister (where Finley was born to be an only child!). She is a lot of fun - at a great age to play games, go shopping, do all kinds of fun things together. We hope it lasts.

She had a really great time at her party yesterday. I have a few pictures to share from a nice mommy friend that took some for me, and I am waiting for a few more from one more mommy friend. The bowling party was great, and all the kids had a wonderful time. She got a lot of really wonderful presents and enjoyed opening them up last night. I took pictures of her opening all of them to send as thank yous for her friends. She is going to be kept busy for a long long time with all the great art, games, books and toys she received!

After the party, we went to Johnny Rockets restaurant. Arlington LOVED this restaurant when we lived in Florida and we went there ALL the time. They are great to the kids - give them special treats and balloons on their birthday, BUT our local JR is in the casino. It was not as kid friendly - didn't even have a kids menu! Oh well. But we still had fun eating there. Showed us we won't be going back any time soon - she will have to find a new favorite.

Today we are just hanging out at home. We are tired from yesterday! Arlington said she wants pizza and popcorn for dinner tonight, so that is what we are having! She is a hoot. Her brother and sister gave her presents today and that she enjoyed opening. Mat's parents left to go home early this morning, and since then we have just been relaxing. It was nice to have them here for the party to help with the two little ones during the party. That made a big difference!

This week Arlington and I (and the babies) are on winter break. No work or school (yay!) It is great that it is after her birthday. Wednesday my parents drive in and will be here until next Sunday the 22nd. It will be nice to have company while I am home alone with the kids for a whole week. Next weekend we are going to get our nails done with Arlington - something she has been wanting to do. (just painted, of course!). And we will be eating out a lot - yum! Plus I have a few projects up my sleeves that I hope to complete.

Enjoy the few pictures I have and when the others come in, I will post those! I took pictures of just a FEW of the presents she got. Thanks to all of the friends and family that continue to spoil her! It means a TON to our little girl that your remembered her special day. I will see you Tuesday!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I promise I will post TOMORROW about Arlington's birthday and the whirlwind day we had today. I am just too tired to get the pictures together PLUS I was a dummy and forgot my camera. I was really mad about that. We have a disposable that we took pictures with and I had two really nice mom's that took pictures for me. SO - in the meantime, while I wait for those - not a lot of pictures tomorrow! I am sorry!

Anyway, I will be back tomorrow with full details of a very fun day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Girls Rule, Boys Drool

Did you know this is the reason that girl's have babies and boys don't? If you ask my almost 6 year old, this is the answer you would receive. Here is the conversation:

Arlington: Mommy, why do only girl's have babies?
Me: Well, God had to decide between boys and girls and he chose girls
Arlington: That's because Girls Rule and Boys Drool.
Me: right.

Is she wrong??

Arlington has been tickling the funny bone this week. Tonight when we were talking about her birthday party, I told her we have two little kids who we still need bowling shoe sizes on. Half teasing her I said

Me: Arlington, tomorrow will you ask "O" and "C" their shoe sizes?
Arlington: I don't know about that
Me: You don't have to, but can you tell me why you don't want to?
Arlington: Well, we aren't good friends
Me: Arlington, you told me these were your friends- that is why we invited them
Arlington: Well, "O" and I play together sometimes, and "C" and I have the same number of letters in our name- so that is why I invited him.
Me: Seriously? But you asked "M" her shoe size today
Arlington: no I didn't. She just told me.
Me: Well you are friends with "M"
Arlington: yeah -we wore the same pants one day, so that is why we are friends.
Me: Right. Good reason.

Kids are SO awesome. If you don't have any, I strongly suggest adding them because conversations like this could be happening to you.

Arlington also brought home some work she did at school the other day. It had 5 holes in it and resembled swiss cheese. She said it got wet and she helped the wet spots along by making them holes. Nice. BUT better than that was what the paper said. They have been doing observations in their room and writing what they see. This time she was apparently observing some red wood. Why, I don't know. She never remembers that part. But she had to draw a picture, which was very good of how it started and how it ended, and then write a sentence. She wrote "I saw that the red wood good dork". I looked at the sentence over and over, and finally I read it to her. She laughed and laughed. She said "it is supposed to say I saw that the red wood got dark". SO close. Yet SO funny.

Our little funny girl. On the plus side, she is climbing faster than I imagined in her reading and writing skills. We have stepped up the books she is reading and she amazes me on the words she knows. Arlington also understands how to make plurals and past tense etc. For example, she can read "play" and can turn it into "played", "playing", "plays" and knows the difference. She also understands prefixes. The other day she and Mat were talking about taking velcro off of something and she said "it is to unvelcro it". Pretty cool. She also can read things like "I'm" and "couldn't" and understand it is a combo of words. Learning is amazing. To watch your kid make strides is even more amazing.

Finley is doing okay. Little stinker has a fever again. Don't know what it is this time. She was JUST at the doctor's yesterday and they deemed her healthy. Ears looked great. Came home from school today and temperature was 101.3. UGH! She came home and laid on the couch. We will see what she is like tomorrow. Poor baby. Our sickliest kid.

Cainan is doing well. Tomorrow is his first step IEP (individualized education plan) to transition him out of the birth to three program and into the public school system. His actual IEP meeting will be in May after they do testing on him this spring. They need to see what progress he has made since September. Mat and I don't think he has made much. Granted he is speaking in 3 word sentences, which is an improvement, but our concerns are much greater than his speech. He seems to have low retention. He doesn't seem to understand what we are asking. He can't answer simple questions. He gives up easily. He can count to 10, which is new. But letters and colors? Forget it. He knows one color and no letters. We work and work and work with him (repetition each night and try to make it fun) but he has not picked it up at all. So we will see. This is new for us. The girls just flew through this stuff. Cainan is a different kid and a different learner. We just need to work with him more and figure out when to push and when to let it slide. We don't see him making significant progress and that worries me. So we will see. Mat is going to the meeting tomorrow with our list of concerns and then testing will start. We want the best for him and hope he gets the support he needs so he can catch up.

School has been fine so far this week. A little busier than last week, but not terrible. The teachers are still using the nurse passes and that has been great. I did have a couple funny kids.

3rd grade girl brings in a note from the teacher that she has a headache (Monday)
Me: You have a headache?
Girl: yeah, right here (points to her forehead)I bumped my head at home
Me: You bumped your head at home? when? (why do I ask this??)
Girl: Friday
Me: And it is STILL hurting?
Girl: uh huh
Me: Did you tell your mom
Girl: (smiles) well, no
Me: (looking at clock) It is 11am on Monday. Why didn't you tell your mom?
Girl: well, it didn't hurt all weekend - it just started hurting now?
Me: Well, you don't have a bump or mark. What can I do for you?
Girl: (everyone together now) can I have an ice pack??

Again, my "ice packs" are little yellow sponges that I wet and freeze and put in a baggie. WHAT is the attraction?

Today I had a frequent Kindergartener come in
K: (hands me a note - had an accident and needs to change her clothes): I peed my pants
Me: you did? Okay - no big deal, let's get you some clothes.
I look her over and she doesn't look wet. Test her pants - DRY
Me: are you sure you had an accident??
K: (nods) I am sure
Me: Well, your pants are dry, let's get you some new underwear.
She goes and changes and comes out
Me: Were you wet?
K: no.
Me: so you actually didn't wet your pants?
K: no. Well, yes. Actually my underwear were a little wet. Well, not really a lot wet. Well, I don't know. (she shrugs)
Me: huh.
Some days, I am totally confused.

2nd grade girl: My ankle hurts
Me: what happened?
2nd grade girl: I don't know. Well, nothing really. Nothing happened. It just started hurting. By itself.
Me: okay. When did it start
2nd grade girl: just now
Me: what can I do to make it better? (nothing visible is wrong)

Can you TAKE A GUESS on her answer?????
Girl: ice pack.
Me: Righteo.

I probably give our 30 ice packs a day. Who would have thunk it.

Today was especially busy, though. I was in a meeting and I get a call from the gym teacher that he has an asthmatic in my office having an attack. I go out and one of my frequent fliers (I actually don't think I have any other kind of visitor) and what I call "medicalphobe" (always thinks something is wrong with him) is crying and hyperventilating. 4th grader. Story was, he had gotten in trouble in gym 3 times and after the 3rd time, he started to cry and say he couldn't breath. His lungs were clear, so I gave him about a gallon of water and cooled down his face told him a few bad jokes and he settled. While this is all going on, I get a call from my diabetic's teacher that he feels low. So I have to leave the asthmatic (who had calemd down at this time) to run to my diabetic who was indeed doing poorly. Got him settled. Back to asthmatic. By this time, one of our more complicated, emotional wreck kind of kids came in and was having a horrible day and needed calmed down and delt with. Then, the diabetics teacher called again. Needed to check him once more. Luckily the aid of my emotional kid came in, asthmatic was all better - back to class time. So I went back to my diabetics class. Still low blood sugar but better. Another treatment. Then he went back to class.
When it does happen at my school, it seems to happen all at once. All was well. Fastest hour I have ever worked.

So, here are some pictures! This weekend on Sunday, MAt took Arlington to a comic book convention in NYC. We went when we lived in California and it was awesome. We met/saw a lot of stars (Ben Affleck, Arnold Swartzenegger, etc.). But NYCs wasn't as fancy. Mat did see the guy who wrote and starred in "Super Size Me" pushing a baby stroller outside of the bathrooms. Arlington loves superheros. We don't let her watch any of the superhero movies, but she has watched some cartoons and has some superhero action figures. Arlington had a great time. After the convention they went to the M+M store and go some treats and then went down to the American Girl store where Arlington got a book. They had a great time and were gone all day.

Enjoy the pictures and I will see you Saturday!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Birthday to Mat!!

Today is Mat's 35th birthday. Oh, I meant 21st birthday. (ha - he wishes). Happy Birthday to my favorite man in my life! I have been with Mat since he was 16 years old, and I can't imagine being with anyone else. He is the best dad, a wonderful husband, and I am so glad to be going through life with him by my side. I love you!!

We had his little family birthday party last night because today I was gone for most of the day. We had dinner brought in from Ol*ve Garden and got him a yummy ice cream cake from C*ld Stone. We gave him his presents and spent the evening together. It was nice!

Today he got to spend his birthday watching the kids. Doesn't that sound like the perfect present? I thought so too. :) I was invited by a teacher friend of mine to go to see Jersey Boys the musical today in Hartford. She invited me way back in September. She had only known me a few weeks and she asked me if I wanted to go. It was about the sweetest thing ever. She didn't even know me and she asked me to come! Now she is one of my good friends. She even paid for my dinner because she said that I am the best nurse the school has ever had and she felt that I deserved it. So nice! There were 3 other teachers there as well - it was great. The show was REALLY wonderful. I loved the story and music. And we had a yummy dinner out after. It was a fun day.

Mat, on the other hand, unfortunately had to battle the kids all day. They were really off and gave him a hard time. Poor guy. But he took it in stride and wasn't the least bit upset when I walked in the house tonight at 8pm. I am really a lucky girl.

This week was pretty good. The kids stayed healthy and were in school the rest of the week. Finley, of course, did get a lip boo boo at school where she tripped over some blocks and landed on her face. Cainan and Finley still have runny noses and coughs, but they are much better. Arlington, knock on wood, is still healthy, so hopefully she will stay that way! Arlington's new Leapster came (her old one broke after one month) and so she has been busy playing with that as well. She loves that thing. Arlington also came home this week and told me that she and a class mate would be getting married - that they both agreed to marry each other. Lovely.

My week at work went well. Wednesday I was able to have my meeting to explain the health office and hand out the health office passes. The teachers loved them. I was really ready to meet resistance to them, but I didn't. My nursing supervisor came to the meeting just in case the teachers had a lot of questions/concerns, but they didn't. They listened intently, thanked me for doing a wonderful job, and have been using the passes really well all week! And the teacher fills out the pass, I send back what I did, and the pass goes home with the kid. EVERY TIME. And I think this will cut back on the visits AND the parents calls that the teachers are apparently getting. I guess a few teachers have gotten some flack from parents saying "my kid had a sore neck and you didn't send them to the nurse". Goodness, right? Are they kidding me? Poor teacher. So I promised the teacher that I would back them up 100% with parents AND that if they have parents that are that insistent on nurse visits then I need to talk to those parents and explain that I am not a free clinic - that I am here for emergencies. For goodness sake. So, on Wed. (and the other days as well!!!) I saw around 25-30 kids. SO amazing. I hope the days of 50-70 kids a day are behind us now, or few and far between. They had no idea I saw so many kids.

I don't have any cute stories this week except for a first grader that came in after lunch saying that his stomach was hurting. I told him he could sit and rest for a few minutes to see if it passed and I look over and he is doing a somersault on my bed! And this isn't a little first grader - he is a little on the pudgy side. I thought we were going to have a whole new problem if he fell. Kids are nuts.

On a final note, today is also a day of remembrance and some sadness for our family. My Godbrother, Matt was killed 6 years ago on this day, and today we remember what a wonderful person he was and how much we miss him. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about him and how much I miss him. He was one of the best people I ever knew and even today, when we are so sad when we think of what happened 6 years ago, I can't help but smile. I think about all the wonderful things I loved about Matt and what a good person he was and how fun he was to be around. So for my Godfamily today, know that we are thinking about you, praying for you, and have our arms wrapped tightly around you and your sorrow.

I have just a few pictures today. I got home so late from the show and am tired for a long day, so I am sorry my post is not more exciting! Have a nice weekend and I will see you Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!

They won! They won! I can't believe it. Despite Big Ben, they won the Superbowl. Yay Steelers! 6 Superbowl rings – amazing. We love our boys in Black and Gold. My favorite play – the 100 yard run for a touch down. That was flippin' awesome. I did doubt them there close to the end. Not sure they were going to pull it off. But they did! We had a fun Superbowl party as a family. We ordered pizza and after dinner ate snacks during the start of the game. The kids all enjoyed the snacks (Finley ate her weight in Cheetos) and waving the Terrible Towel. BUT, they had to go to bed at normal time – school night. It was a fun game to watch.

In the afternoon, Sunday, after church, Arlington and I went and did some birthday shopping for Mat. We also did a little other shopping as well! Mat brought the two little ones home for lunch and naps. Arlington did pretty good because we were gone for several hours. I bribed her with cinnamon sticks from Antie @nnes while we were at the mall. She really enjoyed those and made a huge mess of herself! But it was fun. We got home around 3pm to find that both the little ones were awake. They normally aren't up until around 4pm, but Finley decided she was done napping and had gone over to Cainan's room to bother him and woke him up too. Little stinker.

Monday Finley stayed home from school. She was up every hour over night complaining that her “face hurt” her ears hurt, her teeth hurt, her throat hurt. So, that meant we were definitely going to the doctor. The only thing that had disappeared from her illness was the fever. She is still coughing a lot and her nose really running. Found out she had a double ear infection, a sinus infection and bronchitis. So she is on some heavy medications and should be feeling better in no time. I stayed home with her this day. It was my turn. We had a fun day today - played, went to the doctor, roamed around Rite Aid while we waited for the medication, came home an played playdough. When she napped, I did more painting. I got the family room complete, and have just one last section of the stairs left. Yay! Then we will take another break while we decide on the next colors.

After Finley's nap on Monday we went and picked up Arlington and Cainan from school and Cainan was really whiny. He came home and played, but kept whining. We took his temperature and it was 103. Great. So, Mat would be staying home with him on Tuesday. I gave him Motrin and then all of the sudden his neck and feet broke out in hives. It was so bizzare. Just those two spots. Cainan has weird skin as it is – very sensitive (when we first brought him home it was a crazy mess). I put Calamine on it and then after bath when they were worse, I gave him Benadryl. Sigh. We are really having a hard time getting back to work here! I should have known that Finley would pass her fun little germs to her brother. He also has a cough and runny nose. times ahead.

Tuesday. We woke to no snow. (by the way, we were expecting some) I thought we were in the clear. I turned on the news and most of the schools in our area were on an “early dismissal”. Arlington's school and my school district – no early dismissal report, but it wasn't snowing. I got to school and at 9am, the call came for Arlington's school. There was early dismissal and no Kindergarten for her. Mat was home with Cainan, so he just had Arlington home too. My school? No – they decided to wait it out. I think that was an okay decision – until about 2pm. It started snowing.....then sticking.....then REALLY sticking. It took me an hour to get home. We had gotten a call from the district saying that the buses were slow but the kids would be home soon. At 5pm (yes 5pm) we got ANOTHER call from the district (we get automated messages here) stating the buses were still in progress of getting kids home and kids would be home soon. Stupid school. They made a bad decision. Again. Tomorrow we are probably going to pay for it, and they will call a delay or cancellation, even though the snow is supposed to stop here overnight. Sigh. And guess what tomorrow is? When I was supposed to talk with the staff about the health office rules. Yeah. Again.

Mat told me that Cainan did something funny during the day. This afternoon he was going around saying "I'm a good girl". Poor guy. Two sisters - he is all messed up.

Today at work was interesting. It was not wise for me to be absent yesterday apparently. I was bombarded with hyper staff, students who came down because they knew I was back, and a parent who was just plain rude (a dad). I had to send his kid home early this morning for having some “bowel troubles” twice at school. Dad was not happy about having to come and get him. Told me, “well I will be there by the end of the day”. Uh, no. This is public school – not a babysitting service. I told him he needed to come within the hour. He was grumpy about it, but did come. This is the SAME family where I had to send the kid home two weeks ago for pink eye and the evil grandma came and when I told her that I needed a note for him to return to school she waved me off and said, “I will tell his dad – that isn't my problem”. Nice, right???? On top of that fun phone call, the janitor came in and told me that yesterday a kid had thrown up twice in my office on the floor. “That's not fun” I told him. He says to me “from now on, can you just set the kids by the garbage can so they can throw up in there?” Are you KIDDING me? Yes, I will make sure of that. I will make sure the kid who can't help it aims for the garbage can to make your job easier. Give me a break. Oh, and by the way – I want you to clean my toilet's counter clockwise because I don't like the way the swirl is going. Seriously. Stick to what you know, man.

Mat took Arlington out tonight to do some sled riding and clean the driveway. Guilt has over taken us because our really nice neighbor keeps cleaning our drive. So Mat did the whole drive. Although, with it continuing to snow, it probably won't matter. We are supposed to get 5 inches or so. Hello? Mother Nature? Yeah, we have a request. No more snow this season. We have enough, okay? It was been really fun, and really pretty, but that is enough now, alright? Would that be okay with you? We will see Mr. Snowmeiser next year.

Oh, my cute story from today, I had a kid come down with a scratch on his hand. He got it from his cat. On Sunday. But, I wasn't there yesterday, he said, so he needed to wait for me to come back so I could see it and put a bandaid on it. Awwwwwww. Go to class.

Before I go, I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published the February issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine… you’ll really like it.

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Have a nice week and I will see you Saturday!!! Saturday is Mat's 21st birthday. Ha! Did you believe that? He is actually the big 35. Oh my!! Old man is ½ way to 40.