Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A little of this, a little of that

This post is going to be completely random. I am tired, and the week isn't even half over. So I may ramble.

Sunday it rained all day here. And from the moment the three monsters angels got up, they whined. The complained. They fought. The hours ticked by so slowly. When bed time finally came, even Mat (who is definitely the more patient one) was shaking his head. They just had a very off day, and not being able to go outside didn't do us any favors. I need to invest in rain boots and rain coats, so they can play outside no matter what the weather.

Monday was back to work and school. The kids were pretty good to me yesterday. I did have one kid bite another kid, and that wasn't so great. About 10 kids lost teeth. They seem to fall out in large numbers at the beginning of the year. I had a Kindergartener lose a tooth, and when he returned to his class with is tooth in a container and a sticker that says "I lost a tooth" the teacher said all of his friends started wiggling their teeth vigorously. Weirdos.

Monday Cainan had an ENT appointment. He has had 3 ear infections in 2 months, so the doctor wanted to look at his tube and see if it needed to come out. Well, he has his 4th ear infection. She gave him a stronger antibiotic and said if this doesn't do it - the tube will have to come out. We don't go back until November, so hopefully he won't get another infection between now and then.

Today was pretty uneventful as well. I like days like that! I had two meetings this morning that took up 2 hours of my day. I did send one kid home who was very suspicious for having the flu. Today was picture day at our school. The kids were all dressed up so cute. Some kids go all out on what they wear. One little girl got her comb stuck in her hair and it took me 10 minutes to get it out. She was "twirling it and twirling it" she told me, and lost track of what she was doing. It was in there pretty good. One mother sent her daughter with visine, and a note for me "please put Visine in her eyes before her pictures". Okay.

Tonight we had a get together with some new friends. A friend of mine at work introduced me to a friend of hers who recently adopted a little boy from China. We have emailed back and forth a few times and we were finally able to get together. Her husband, she and her son came over this evening for dinner and a chance for the kids to meet each other. Her little boy is 2. The kids had a great time, and her little boy is VERY cute. It was exciting to meet another family who adopted a little boy from China, and I hope we can get together often so the kids can play. It was a fun evening (her husband made an apple pie from scratch!) and we look forward to getting together again soon! I forgot to get the camera out. Next time!

So that is about it. Tonight Mat and I are watching a movie called "Adventureland". It was filmed at Kennywood Park (which is in our hometown of Pittsburgh). It is a pretty good movie. It is neat seeing places we know.

So, that is it. I know there are not many pictures (poor Cainan- I will do better!). Sorry about that! Finley's hair was looking cute, so that is why I took the pictures above of her. And Arlington was sporting some new outfits.

Here is Arlington in her favorite reading position.

Just kidding. But she did try it. She read almost a whole chapter like this. I don't know how she didn't pass out.

Tomorrow Mat's parents arrive. Thursday is Finley's eye exam under anesthesia in Boston. So more fun to come!

I will see you Saturday!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

In every yard, some leaves will fall

Fall has officially started - evidenced by the falling leaves all over our yard, and my rake is quivering in the corner of our garage. I would like to wait a LITTLE longer before we start the endless raking of leaves, but the cold temperatures that are expected this week are not going to permit it.

This week was a fun whirlwind. Tuesday night was the open house at the school where I work. It was fine and only one hour. I had a chance to just chat with my co-workers. I got a lot of hugs from my kids and their parents, so that was nice.

Wednesday was open house for Arlington's school. It was great to finally meet her teacher. For those of you who grew up in my hometown, Mrs. M looked just like Gretchen B's mom. She could be her double! We seems sweet and nice, but also means business. A perfect combination from what I can see. We got to listen to her talk about what she will be doing during the year, and upcoming events. We sat at our child's desk (which, even for me - small as I am - was a bit of a challenge) and got to look through it. Mrs. M had school work the kids have been working on sitting on top of the desk. She also had a "welcome to first grade" packet with helpful information to use at home. There was a copy of the report cards. The days of small report cards are gone and have been replaced by 5-6 pages of detailed information about your child. While I do like it, I feel bad for the teachers. Anyway, I looked through Arlington's desk and am pleased to report that it was pretty neat. Okay.....I DID still straighten it out a bit. I wouldn't be type A if I didn't. And while I was straightening it out, I found a handful of sticky notes that said "I like you. From "P" " Oh boy. "P" is a little boy that sits right next to her. They all said the same thing. That is so great.

But the open house was nice. I got to meet some parents that I didn't know, so that was a good thing. Mrs. M spoke highly of Arlington and said she is a really good girl, so that was good news.

Wednesday was also picture day for Arlington. Here is the outfit she wore.

I took two pictures of her - in case the school pictures don't turn out very well. I should have taken them outside and had a nice background, but I ran out of time. Ah well.

Thursday was a quiet night - we didn't have to run any where. That was good because Arlington had a biggish homework project to work on, so it gave us time to get it completed.

Friday was a half day for my school. The staff had to stay a full day, but it was nice to have a couple of hours without the students. We had inservices and then in the evening the nurses all went out to dinner. It was really fun. We went to a really yummy restaurant that we frequent and had a great time. We managed to talk very little shop, and enjoyed three hours of sitting around and relaxing over dinner.

Today was a busy day yet again. Arlington had soccer this morning, then we went to a birthday party for one of her new classmates over lunch time. It was a fun party with a nice mix of kids. She had a great time and was tired by the time we got home this afternoon. Mat did yard work, and we did house work, and before we knew it, it was time to put the kids to bed. Tomorrow we don't have plans to go anywhere, and for that, I am grateful. We have another long week ahead of us, and company coming in the middle of it.

I was getting the last of the winter clothes out of boxes, and I found this cute hat of Finley's for winter.

I had forgotten about it. Isn't it so cute? She wanted to wear it all around tonight.

Finley and Cainan have also been into wrestling each other all over the house lately.

I don't know what started it. It is all in good fun, and they have a great time. It is fun to see them play together.

So that is about it. Something funny is going on with my right wrist. It has been hurting for a few weeks now. I must have overdone it at some point, then jumped into work, and it has just been constantly aggrevated. I am not right handed, so it is definitely my weaker hand. But, just like most offices, mine is set up for the right handed world - mouse, phone, etc. I just never changed it - I dealt. But now it is catching up with me. The physical therapist and occupational therapist at my school suggested a tight brace to wear for a few weeks to see if that takes care of it. I need to wear it also when I sleep. So we shall see.

Anyway, have a great week, and I will see you Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday blog - by "A TIRED mommy

I know you are expecting a wonderful post full of pictures and words of wisdom (hardy har - just joking, folks), but alas, tonight that will not happen. I am so busy this week that unfortunately, the blog is going to take a back seat until Saturday. I don't have any pictures anyway, so might as well skip a day.

Tonight is my school's open house. I am home for exactly 1 1/2 hours and then I have to return there for the evening. I am hoping no one cares about their school nurse, and I can get some work done in peace and quiet.

Tomorrow night is Arlington's open house at her school. So, another evening gone. But I am anxious to meet Arlington's teacher, so that one I am looking forward too.

Friday night is dinner out with my nurse co-workers. Well deserved because our school district is trying to kill us by slow torture this year. The district AND the parents. This week hasn't been awful - just a case of ring worm, flu, pink eye, and two cases of shingles. So - you know - better than last week. Right? Right? Positive thinking.

So I will return on Saturday. I want to say though - when you speak to your child's school nurse - remember - be kind to her. She has a lot of kids to care for and she may not always remember every mole your child has, or that your child may be a little more sensitive than most. We try our best, and we have the BEST interest of your children at heart. I hear so many horror stories about parents who really ream their school nurses for the smallest of problems. My school is tiny - I am only responsible for 270 kids. I know most of them pretty well. (hence the fact that I had 4074 visits last year.....) But some schools in some states - it is one nurse to 6000 students. Or a nurse manager who covers 47,000 students! We try our hardest, and your child's health and well being are our top priority. And the staff. And the teachers. We are way more than a "bandaid nurse". Those days are over for school nurses. We have children who have emotionally, physcially, and mentally complicated issues. We have to recognize such a multitude of complicated issues that it might surprise you.

So, I just say - be kind. The nurse is not trying to bother you when calling about a sick child or to ask you a question. You know your child best, so a phone call to you is invaluable.

Have a great week!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The week that slowly went downhill. Then came back up.

Wednesday at work, things started to get crazy. And then so crazy, that it started to be a little bit funny. Because it was so unreal.

First of all, I probably saw 70 kids in my office on Wednesday. Hump day is really hard for kids in the school system, apparently. They came in for everything. I didn't eat lunch on Wednesday and it wasn't until I was on my way home that I realized that I hadn't. I was trying to figure out why I felt so hungry, and as I was recounting my day, I realized that lunch had not been part of it.

Besides the incredible amount of visits, my diabetic had a really awful day. Really awful. It started with him having the lowest blood sugar he has had in the 1+ years that I have been caring for him. I know numbers for that kind of thing don't mean much to most of you, so I won't bore you with them. But at 10am, his teacher called me and told me he was feeling "yucky" and seemed to be having trouble concentrating on a question she was asking him. I went down and he was shaky and pale and really couldn't focus on me. It took me almost 1 hour to get him into a normal blood sugar range and for him to come around. So I had to stay with him the whole time.

During that time, I did get to learn about "rounding up" in fourth grade math. Very enlightening.

Also during that time, the office calls me. They say that a teacher was looking for me because a student had noticed another student had "bugs". Oh great, I think. I know where this is going, and I let out a small whimper.

When my diabetic was in a better place (after 2 juice boxes, and a bag of pretzels), I went to find said student and took them to my office. Yep. Do you want me to tell you? Lice. Of course!! It is school after all. After that student was sent home to "remedy" the situation, I had to type up a letter, and go down and check the whole class. So fun. And kids are not dumb - they can put two and two together.

But the fun doesn't end there friends. No way. I get a call from ANOTHER classroom. "Hello, Mrs. Pletcher? So and So has a rash on his stomach that he keeps stratching. Can I send the student down?" "NO!!!!" I want to scream into the phone. But, of course......I don't.

The students rash turns out to be chicken pox. Yep. Why not? The day has been incredibly awesome so far, so I actually chuckle while I call his mom. He has been vaccinated, but I had a case last year, so some kids just don't ever get immune with the vaccine.

SO......the student has exposed the whole class over the last week. So a letter has to be sent home to the families in the class letting them know. By now I am thinking...."boy, I am going to get a lot of phone calls tomorrow."

The child goes home, my office becomes a circus of students coming in and out. I get a phone call from a parent during the busy time. She is calling to tell me that she just had her child at the doctor and the doctor declared that her child had the flu. The "we don't speak about it because the news will go crazy" flu.

It is at this point I put my head on my desk. Maybe pound it on the desk several times. Really? Is this really happening all in one day? Another letter. Interesting faces from the staff when I tell them.

We are not closing school. That doesn't happen any more. Thank goodness. The hardest part is - the child was JUST in school for a half day the day before. So the child had exposed the class. Yepper.

Still - I was not done with the funtastic day. I got a call during my lunch hour from the music teacher that a child had a diarrhea accident all over her new carpeted floor - and himself. That mess took a half an hour to wash that kiddo down and get him home. I felt bad for that little kid. He was so sad and his friends were not pleased.

In the afternoon, my diabetic was not doing much better. But now instead of him having low blood sugar, it was extremely high!! Why not? So we spent some time having the student run around the gym and play basketball to bring the number back down into the normal range (and he also had insulin, of course). But I had to stay him, and well....more time. More time that I really didn't have on this day.

Did I mention that SOMEHOW, I saw 70 kids as well? Yeah.

Thursday was not better. Repeat scene with my diabetic, unfortuantely (the low part, not the high part this time). He stayed low the whole day. I spent a large part of my day with him.

But he wasn't my only issue. I had a SECOND case of chicken pox. Second!! Not in the same class. Or even in the same grade. Another letter. Another child who was vaccinated. But what I didn't tell you yet is......I have three children in the school who are NOT vaccinated. Against anything. So I always have to call their parents as well. All parents are very nice, however, one was actually surprised to learn that her child was the MINORITY that wasn't vaccinated. Really? This is public school.

To top off my Thursday was a 2nd grader who broke his elbow at recess. The student fell off the monkey bars and landed on his arm. It was pretty easy to tell that 1)he wasn't faking being hurt and 2) it was more than just hurt. So his mom came and got him, he got an x-ray, and sure enough....broken. Poor fella.

Friday proved to be a much better day. No one had any major rashs, bugs, low blood sugars, broken anything......it went well. I was so relieved because I was starting to think I was cursed. Plus, it was Friday, and the weekend was near, so that made it even better.

Arlington got to play with her friend "B" after school today. She gets off the bus at this little boys house, so until the weather turns bad, "B's" mom and I wanted to give the kids a chance to play together after school. She rides his bus on Monday, Wednesday, Friday. This is one of my mommy friends, so it gives us a chance to catch up as well and just chat. On Friday the kids rode bikes together, played basketball (B tried to teach Arlington a few tricks - it was really cute), and just enjoyed running around.

Today turned into a pretty good day as well. Arlington had soccer practice this morning, and I took my camera. I only took a few pictures because she was kind of far away from where I was sitting. It was FREEZING this morning at soccer.

It was around 47 degrees at the start of practice, and we were so cold watching the kids. It was sunny, so that is all that saved us.

After soccer, Mat and Arlington ran errands and I came home to be with Finley and Cainan. Everytime Arlington finishes a book, she gets a little something for her fish. Something that costs just a few dollars, but it was a great incentive over the summer to get her to read. But today she got a special treat because yesterday, for the first time since she started reading chapter books on her own, she read a whole book in 1 hour! We were really shocked. Not that she can't do it, it is more that she won't. She gets preoccupied with other things and doesn't want to sit and read. But, without any prompting, or intervention from us at all, she sat down at the kitchen table Friday and read the book from beginning to end in 1 hour. Granted it was only 70 pages, but we were so happy!

So, as a treat she got to pick another book. She has about 1 million chapter books, but Mat wanted her to pick the next book we would read after "Savvy". She picked "The Magician's Elephant".

This is the exact book I was thinking for her. It is by the same author who wrote "Tale of Despeuraux". She started reading it right away and got pretty far in it already. When she wants to.......

We decided to go to the movies this afternoon and we saw "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs". It is the newest kids movie. It was a kids book and they turned it into a movie. It was really cute. We took all three kids and all three were perfect angels. I was so glad! Cainan ate a whole tub of popcorn basically all by himself, and then in the car on the ride home he said "I'm hungry". What a weirdo. I am glad we decided to go.

We were supposed to have dinner tonight with another family who adopted a little boy from China, but the husband is sick and so we rescheduled for later in the month. We are anxious to meet them. We have a lot of friends in our adoption community, but they almost all adopted girls. So this will be nice.

Anyway, Finley wore this cute shirt this week to school.

It says "I like chocolate candy and marshmallows." So true.

Arlington had a cute outfit on - I love the knee high socks!!

Cainan is doing well. He had two days in the row no accidents at school. So that was a plus.

Finley has been in underwear at school all week and has done great! I am so glad that the pull-ups days will soon be behind us.

The kids had good weeks at school. This was Arlington's first week of homework. I can't believe I have a kid old enough to do homework.

This past week was also my mom's birthday. I am deliquent in getting her a birthday present. But the kids made her cards, so she better be grateful she at least got that. I won't dare tell you her real age because I need her to help care for her grandchildren and clean my house.

My sister in law, Tricia's birthday is Monday. We wish her a very happy birthday and remind her that her giant pack of pictures and stories from the kids should be there soon!

Today we also made chocolate chip cookies together. From scratch. Yes - my family who knows me - I said from scratch. I used my Grammy's recipe. All the kids got to help.




We had a great time making them together. This is the first time the girls got to help make cookies. We were celebrating being able to make desserts with eggs and their ability to help.

So, that is all. Tonight Mat and I will be watching "Confessions of a Shopaholic". We have been watching serious drama's lately, and I am in need of a little fluff. I read this book and it was pretty funny, so I am hoping the movie is slightly entertaining.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sisters, siblings, silliness

Arlington is a great big sister. But, being a great big sister comes with great responsibility. I was an older sister, but I had a brother. It wasn't the same. So I really can't relate to the sisterly bond she and Finley will always share. But, Arlington proclaimed, with much dismay, that "Finley is following her everywhere". Sorry kiddo - that is never going to change.

Finley does follow Arlington everywhere. She is her big sister's shadow. Arlington dutifully allows her to follow. And actually, 90% of the time, Arlington enjoys her sister's company. But there are days when Arlington just doesn't want Finley's overly smothering affection. The day we were at the fair, Finley really wanted to hold Arlington's hand, but Arlington wasn't in the mood. It was sad to see Arlington pull away from her, and Finley's feelings get hurt. I felt for both of them. I am sure that is going to happen more and more.

The funniest, though, was when we were at Lake Compounce Saturday and Arlington was eating a churro (yummy cinnamon dough stick). She was graciously sharing it with Finley. She got to the end, and there was enough left for two bites. She leaned the remainder of her churro toward Finley and told her to take a bite. Finley, not understanding that she wasn't supposed to eat the rest of it, put the whole piece in her mouth. Arlington started to cry. Her favorite treat at the amusement park, and Finley just finished it off. Finley just stood there, dumb founded, with churro sticking out of her mouth. Poor Arlington. Poor Finley! We did end up getting them another one later in the day, and it went much smoother.

Cainan adores both of his sisters. He is definitely the biggest follower in this family. The girls treat him like a baby, and Cainan loves it. They dode on him, and pretend he is a baby, and he lets them. It is the great "copy cat" so whatever they do, he does it too. We are still waiting for Cainan to develop independence from the girls. I am starting to think it may never happen.

They have all been playing extremely well together lately. Now that school is back in session and they are all separated all day long, I think they enjoy each other's company more. The evenings in our house have been smooth with little to no tears, and that has been a blessing.

I forgot to tell you that Cainan got stung by a bee while at the amusement park. Poor thing. That is the second time this summer. He must be quite tasty because the mosquitos love him as well. We were walking along and all of the sudden he started to cry. Hard. He was holding his neck, and sure enough, he got stung by a bee. They were all over the park - tons of them. He had a hooded sweatshirt on, and after he got stung, he put his hood up and wouldn't take it off. He was protecting himself, he said.

Monday we were all back to school and work. We lazed around on Sunday after church, but we still were tired Monday morning. Arlington had her first starts of homework on Monday. We were told she will have homework every evening Monday-Thursday. We got a list Monday of the week's homework. She was actually excited about it. She thinks she is very grown up being in first grade and will say things like "I am not in Kindergarten any more, mommy. I am a big first grader." Well then.

We heard from BESB (Board of Education for services for the Blind) of Connecticut today. They emailed to let me know that Finley qualifies as legally visionally impaired. As much as that pains us, that also means that she qualifies for services for visionally impaired children. We will be receiving paperwork in a few days to look over and sign. Once we send that back, we will be assigned a teacher that will go and work with her at her preschool. I am anxious to see what they are going to be working on with her. Since she still sees fairly well, I am not sure where they will start. We do see her struggle to write and draw. She thinks she is doing fine, but she really has to concentrate to write letters and draw pictures. Well, right now besides people all she draws is lollipops, but still. I will keep you posted on what they have to say.

We had pasta to eat Monday night, and while Finley was eating, she took the pasta off her plate and made this:

And F! She is too cute. She then wanted me to take her picture looking at her F. If she ate as well as she played with her food, she would be really fat.

Cainan and Arlington got into the fun as well. Cainan's was the easiest.

Arlington, well, you know she can make letters, but I promised her I would take her picture with her pasta masterpiece anyway.

This week is already turning into a long week at work. We have an behavior challenged kid starting this week, and after three meetings, and finding our new friend a "safe room" for tantrums, we are all on edge. I am a huge fan of public education for everyone, but this kiddo - I am afraid even I don't think he belongs in public school. But we are going to give him a chance and take it day by day. My biggest qualm is - he is in the same class as my diabetic. He is my biggest responsibility and he takes up a lot of the teacher's time. I need him to be the teacher's main focus (because he still isn't really able to tell when his sugar is low and he needs me), but now, her focus is going to be altered. I did advocate. Hard. But I lost. So we will have to see what happens.

Tonight is also PTO. So my blog is ending early. I am sorry I don't have more pictures. I just didn't have much to take this week! Did you like Arlington's outfit from above? Here is a close up of her shirt.

And she wore another cute outfit today. Don't worry - the fashion show will soon be over.

Pretty soon it will be too cold outside for cute things!

See you Saturday!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Who are you and what have you done with "fraidy cat" Finley?

First of all - aren't these socks so cute that she is wearing? She is looking very grown up lately.

Anyway, Saturday we went to Lake Compounce. It is an amusement park (for those PA folks - it is Kennywood's sister park) that is here in Connecticut. It is only 1 hour away from our house. The reason we chose this day to go is that it was a Pfizer sponsored day. The tickets were cheap, the parking and drinks were free, and we love to go to amusement parks.

After Arlington's soccer practice this morning, we piled on the car and headed to the park. It is a cool day, and on the verge of raining, but Mr. Weatherman swore to us that we would get today in at the park before the rain hit.

The kids had a blast at the park and we took a ton of pictures. Don't worry - I won't torture you with all of them. And yes, someone stole Finley and replaced her with a brave, potty trained, mild mannered child.

She had the most fun today. It is like someone flipped a switch and she stopped being afraid of the rides. She rode EVERYTHING. Everything in kiddie land, everything outside of kiddie land she was big enough for, and just had a blast.

We couldn't believe it. She astonished us the entire day. She rode the kiddie roller coaster!!

She rode this "all though it was a kiddie land ride dropped really fast" ride

But the kicker was when she rode this:

Finley is in that boat!!! And she was LOVING it. She didn't cry. Mat said she squealed with laughter.

What a big day for our girl. It isn't about the rides. It was about overcoming the fear. We have no idea what gave her bravery today. Yay for you little girl.

Cainan did pretty well with the rides too. He rode a lot of things, but mostly he enjoyed sitting around watching. And eating. And watching. Our couch potato boy.

He doesn't mind riding. But he could really take it or leave it.

Arlington, of course. Rode like a maniac.

Even her dad was getting a little queezy keeping up with Arlington's love of "twirly" rides. And since her mother doesn't go near those rides with a 10 foot pole, he was on his own.

She found a new favorite. The Rotar. This ride used to be at Kennywood (for all of you PA people who might remember) - it spins you around and around, and then the bottom falls out and you stick to the wall.

Yeah, she is that crazy.
Poor Mat. Arlington is lucky she has an awesome dad.

Arlington couldn't really ride the roller coasters there. They didn't have many, but she is two inches too short for them. Next year, baby, next year.

So a great, fun day. The rain did hold out for the most part. We stayed almost until closing, and then it started to sprinkle, so we called it a night.

The park stayed pretty empty all day due to it being its last full weekend it is open, it was on the verge of rain all day, and it was only 65 degrees. But that was perfect for us. We are crowd haters, and ridiculously long lines for lame ride haters, and super duper hot days while standing in said line haters........so the day was perfect.

So that is that. I will put the rest of the pictures below in a little slide show. After a long, hard week at work (which I can't even begin to explain to you), we were glad for some family fun time.

So enjoy the pictures! See you Tuesday!