A family's story

Posts tagged ‘Busy’

It’s a little dusty over here…

If the blog were a physical object, I’d be dusting off some cobwebs right now. Wow! I have been wrapped up in all things in my life and haven’t made time to get here to write lately. I have a little guilt about that, as this is my “baby”, but really, I can only do so much.

We had a nice Thanksgiving. It was fairly low key, and that was perfect for our family. My sister-in-law did a great job with dinner. Everything was delicious. The boys all tried dinner, and Tate even had 2 helpings of mashed “po-matoes”. He also had turkey and a bite of corn. Jake and Cole ate a little, too, so for our family, that was a huge win. Tate sat at the dinner table with the rest of us, and it was refreshing to not have to sit with him in another room while everyone else ate and enjoyed the company of others. Tate also conversed with his cousins and Grandma and aunt and uncle. Hubz and I were astounded. Like jaw-drop astounded…and oh, so proud. (We all know how much that took for him to be able to do!!)

Once we got home, Tate was in meltdown. But home is his “safe” space, and we all gave him the space he needed. He had a rough night sleep-wise, which is always hard for me, too. But the next morning he woke up smiling and giggling, so that was wonderful.

Hubz made some breakfast and we pored over the ads. The boys demolished any ad with toys in it. It’s so interesting to see the various stages that our kids are in right now. Jake is in that odd not-quite-big-kid-not-quite-little-kid stage where some of the toys are very appealing on the paper or in a commercial..but he knows he would never play with them much. He has changed his list about 10 times…with a stuffed animal walrus being the only main-stay. Tate is finally making lists!!! And we know that his lists MEAN something. This year he wants a Doc Playset (which has already been purchased), and Angry Birds. He also listed his favorite things so we had worms, bugs, and water on his list, too. Cole loves everything. If he sees a toy in an ad, he wants it. If it’s a commercial, he wants THAT. His list is twice as long as he is tall…and growing.  I did not partake of Black Friday shopping. Hubz and I did quite a bit online, and from the comfort of our pj’s in the kitchen. That was quite nice.

On Saturday, Hubz took the kids over to his parents’ house where they played and helped set up Christmas over there..and I was able to run out and do a little shopping without all of the crazy crowds. I finished a good deal of our shopping, and was able to enjoy a few hours by myself, which was much needed. We all got home around the same time, and after setting up our Christmas tree, we went out to Red Robin for an early dinner. Tate orders the same thing every time–grilled cheese, french fries, and lemonade. He also has quite a process for eating his meal. This usually involves him stealing french fries from my plate and adding them to his pile, so that he looks like he has the never-ending fry supply. Luckily we were finishing up as the crowds came in, so we avoided over-stimulation and the like.

Sunday involved much laying around and finishing up odds and ends before everyone was back to the daily grind. We tried to take it easy, but even though we were low key, Tate had a sensory pukefest. *sigh* Once he got showered and into pj’s–at 4 pm–he was back to his cheerful, mischievous self. And he was asking for fruit snacks and lemonade, so I think he was fine. Just wish he didn’t have to lose it before getting back on track.

Jake was out of sorts, too, but once we let him shower and put pj’s on–at 4:30 pm–he was cheery and conversational and the grumpy-teen-like being left our home for a bit.

So we made it through the hustle and bustle of the holiday weekend. Re-entry into school yesterday was a bit rough…but I’m hopeful that as the week goes on, both Jake and Tate ease into their routines. Cole is easy-breezy, as always…if not a bit clingy. I really hope that was just a re-entry issue and not a “getting-sick” issue. Time will tell…and I will try to be better about posting here. Yeesh.

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Still Busy…

The past few weeks have been nutty around here. We’ve been plain old busy…like so many days have something going on…and we have somewhere we have to be. In between all of that, we had Jake’s IEP last week and Tate’s this week. 

Tate’s draft of his IEP made me sad. I’m sure a lot of it was my sleep deprivation…but some days I just get so overwhelmed by all of the delays and reports of behaviors that seem to impede his ability to learn and keep up at school. I sighed..a lot…as I read the draft. But, it was accurate..and the goals were measurable and achievable. I know he can do it. I know it.

The IEP meeting itself was productive. We agree on where he’s at, where we want him to be, and how we’re going to get there. I know I’ve said it before, but we’re incredibly blessed with a good team. They have Tate fairly accurately figured out, and they want to help him get over the bumps.

The best part of the meeting was when we got to his placement. For the first time EVER, he has his lunch and recess with the regular education classes…without the assistance of an aide. You read that correctly…my kiddo has about 200 minutes a week in a regular education setting. First.time.ever that that section of the IEP was filled out. Hubz and I did a victory dance. In addition to lunch and recess, Tate is trying to do P.E. without an aide. And is doing fairly well. His P.E. teacher uses a visual schedule for her classes, anyway, so it is perfect for him. 

I think the most spectacular aspect of this placement is that he can maneuver and cope with the lack of structure that happens in the cafeteria and the playground. He’s got his routine, and it works. 

On top of IEP meetings, just about every weekend is busy between Tate and Cole’s soccer games, Jake’s Cub Scout obligations, and trying to get to Mass on Sundays. I never have a down day. Ever. I am up to my eyeballs in trying to keep all of my commitments straight right now. 

Additionally, as much as I enjoy having Cole in preschool 5 days a week, those 2 and a half hours that he’s there are just not conducive to getting much done. Especially when one is trying to stay with an exercise routine to get healthy. Or I feel like I have to volunteer because, well, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, and what the heck else should I be doing with my time?!

When Cole gets home, it’s all, “Hey, play with me. Entertain me. Be next to me the entire time.” I know that before I know it he’ll be off and doing his own thing, so I really try to keep up with him and play blocks/transformers/legos/read/etc…but it’s also frustrating at times, too. Like, I can’t pee alone right now. He sits right.outside.the.door…every time. Or I can barely get a few chores done. Or write a blog post. 

On top of it all, Hubz is scheduled to go out of town for 2 weeks starting the last week of this month. He’ll get back right before a 5-day weekend that the boys have in November. That is the icing on top of the cake right now. I will have to manage it all by myself, with Halloween in there, and Hubz will be halfway across the world. Quite literally, as he’ll be in China. 

So, that’s us…hopefully I’ll find myself some inner peace soon…and a chance to write more…

Sidetracked

I haven’t written in a week. Nothing incredibly major has been going on, but I just haven’t found, nay, made the time to write. I feel pulled in several directions these days, and getting my thoughts down on “paper” has been pushed down the priority ladder. I miss writing. It helps me process everything that goes on in our lives.

Last week Jake had his MAP testing. Forgive me as I cannot recall what MAP stands for, but the kids take the tests in math and reading three times a year–once in fall, once in winter and once in spring. Jake’s reading test was last Wednesday. He went up 14 points since last spring. That is huge. The average is 8-10. He is making gains!

We had Open House at the boys’ elementary school on Thursday. Tate was incredibly excited to go this year, which is new because in the past he could barely make it through the doors of the school. This year he came in with us, and practically ran down the hall towards their classrooms. We went to Jake’s classroom first. Jake was excitedly showing us his state poster project, and his writing samples. (We need to work on punctuation. Oy vey!) We also talked to his teacher, and she was praising his independence as of late, as well as his progress over the year! Tate kept pushing us to be done so that he could go to his classroom 3 doors down the hall. We finished up with Jake’s room after about 10 minutes.

We made our way to Tate’s classroom. His teacher and favorite aide were there. He got all excited and started to do his “white man” dance in the hall. He totally, without a doubt, inherited Hubz’s moves. As he was dancing, we all entered the classroom..except Tate. That was just a bit too weird…I mean, going into his classroom at night?! What was wrong with us?! Hubz went outside into the hall to try to encourage Tate as I looked through his work. He really had some impressive pieces to show off that night! I loved that his teacher had a slideshow of the year so far. The kids are obviously enjoying their teacher, aides and each other.

We tried to engage Tate to come into the classroom via a video on the iPad. It was a video that his class had made about One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. (Hence the soliloquy about it the prior week when he wasn’t feeling well.) He was game until he saw a little kid in the hall beeline for Tate’s locker. The younger child (preschool-age) opened Tate’s locker and started opening and shutting the door repeatedly. We lost Tate. That was NOT in the plan. It was HIS locker. He kept standing guard at his locker and would not come into the room. Every time he’d get close, I swear that preschooler was watching, because that preschooler would make another beeline for Tate’s locker.

In addition to these activities, I got suckered into helping with a few PTO committees. As with most schools, the same 20 people volunteer all the time. Last week I was concurrently running a spring fundraiser, helped out with the school book fair, and helped organize 2 classrooms for Teacher Appreciation Week. Oh, and Tate’s ABA team had a team meeting, and I was given a couple of action items for that, as well.

Additionally, we had some lovely weather last week. After an incredibly cold and wet spring, we had 3 back-to-back days above 70 degrees (two were in the 80’s!!) and were sunny. I had the kids out and about so we could enjoy it all.

Hopefully I can better juggle the craziness that is the end of the school year and also manage to write more in my blog over the next few weeks. There is a lot going on….so I will definitely try!

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Mostly Wordless Wednesday

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Yesterday the boys had early release…and Tate’s therapist didn’t come because she was sick. Sooo…after his homework was done, and I was busy searching my files for Jake’s IEP (I did find it), Tate decided that our monthly calendar needed some updating. Nice, huh?? Guess what I’m doing today?!

Monday already?!

Lately, our weekends have been chock full of activity. I think know our busy-ness has contributed to my sense of overwhelm and crankiness. This past weekend we were busy, per usual, but we were able to carve out some quiet time, too.

On Saturday, while Hubz tried to get Jake to nap in preparation for a scouting overnight, Tate and I spent an hour playing outside. I am so glad we did. We drew with chalk. Tate told me a story about his favorite Wubbzy episode.

We went to the backyard. Once there, we rotated between the swings, digging for worms, and our clubhouse. Tate shared his beloved swing with me. Oh yes he so did. I was thrilled. We dug for worms. Well, I dug for worms. Tate has a love/hate relationship with those squirmy critters. I dug them up, showed him them wriggling in my hand, and he demanded that I put them in the bucket with dirt. We put the bucket in the clubhouse.

After a little chase game and round 2 on the swings, I suggested hanging out in the clubhouse. Tate climbed up after me. We sat and talked. We had a great conversation about where things live…he was quite into talking about who lives where. (We live in a house, birds live in a nest, and worms live in the ground.) We talked about the sunshine and the grass, too.

Later, once Hubz and Jake were gone, Cole, Tate and I played outside some more. As I pushed them on the swings, we counted and sang the alphabet. Cole got down and played with the dirt. Tate swung until it was time for dinner. I wish I could see that unbridled joy on his face more often.

The boys and I had great fun together. We read stories, watched tv, played with Legos and laughed–a lot. Bedtime went ok. Cole went right down to sleep. Tate fought it more. His anxiety spiked when he realized that Jake and Hubz weren’t coming home. After some deep pressure hugs and a little echolalia, he was out..and it was only 8:15. Score!

I watched some crappy tv, and enjoyed every moment. I got to have a snack without sharing, play with my phone, read, and be a bum. Vacation!

Sunday started early…very early. Tate was up with the birds at 4:15. They were chirping. He was chirping echolalic phrases. I got to relive most of Saturday through his echolalic processing. *yawn*

Hubz and Jake got back by 8 am. As a treat, I got to go to Mass by myself! I took Tate to his last Sunday School class and enjoyed listening and participating in church. After Mass, I went to the reception after his last class. I totally choked up as I thanked his 1:1 aide. Aide is a h.s. senior. He has been with Tate for 2 years. This year he volunteered and wasn’t even doing this for service hours….just did it to spend time with his favorite kindergartener. Aide is one good kid. He’s going to go far. I know it. Aide also offered to babysit for us if we ever need it. Said he’s going to miss Tate. I excused myself as I suddenly had something streaming from my eyes. Oh.Right. Tears of joy and gratitude.

We got home, and hung out for a couple of hours. Then, we packed everyone up in the van and went to Jake’s first lacrosse scrimmage. So far, Jake is enjoying the sport. He hasn’t fought us about going to practices. He hasn’t whined about having to wear his protective gear. He has even tried to tie his own cleats. At the scrimmage Hubz and I learned 2 things. (1) We need a tutorial on lacrosse. (2) Our kid is so slow. And also, not aggressive. The slow we get. But the lack of aggression??  Hubz and I are, um, scrappy…small, not very athletic, but super competitive and aggressive when it comes to playing a sport. *shrug* who knows…

We got home in time for me to make dinner, and Hubz entertained the boys. And by entertained, I mean turned on the tv and let Tate have our Xoom tablet. Yup.

And, just like that, it’s Monday…and the chaos continues….

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