Sunday, October 29, 2006

Trick or Treat

Almost 4pm. My kids are still out trick or treating - they started at 2pm. They went with a big group of our friends, so I'm not worried about them. It's actually kind of nice to have a quiet house. P and I handed out candy until about 30 minutes ago when we ran out of candy! I bought 4 huge bags from Sams, but we still used up all of it.

L decided to be Link from the Zelda games this year. She and I worked together (well, except for the hems - I did those myself) to make the tunic out of a lovely royal blue satin material. P crocheted her a royal blue cap to match and she also wore brown yoga pants and a brown belt. C was Ash from the Pokemon shows. He wore a white T-shirt, jeans, a blue vest, and a red baseball cap. Of course, this morning he told me that he needed his jeans patched because they have a hole (never an issue before) and because Ash has a patch in his jeans. So, I sewed on a patch before trick or treat hours. The red cap that he was supposed to wear was nowhere to be found, so P ran to Fleet Farm to pick one up.

It's very different living in town compared to living in the small suburb where we previously lived. We had lots of kids come by. We were handing out candy from 2-3:30 almost non-stop.

One of the couples that came by

OK. Something totally cool just happened (well, about an hour ago, but since I wrote the last paragraph). A kid knocked on the door and rang the doorbell three times. I went to the door and told him we were out of candy. He came back about a minute later, and, when I opened the door this time, he was there with his mom, whom I know from church and from working at the hospital (she's a nurse). She had an ice chest with her and told her that she was here to bless me. She had been praying and God told her to bring us some meat. They have a farm and have beef cattle and pigs. She had a roast, some bacon, some ground beef, and a ham!! We put it down in our freezer (except one of the packages of ground beef). I hadn't been praying specifically for meat, but I was planning our next trip to Sams, and this will definitely cut down our bill there! Isn't that great?!

Anyway, since then the kids have come home with their entire group (kids, teenagers, and adults). A couple of them came in to see the house, so we were busy with them. P has Revolution, a youth bible study group in about 45 minutes, so I'd better get some food going. My group isn't meeting tonight, so I'm free to clean house, pay bills, and set up school schedules. So, time to work!

Monday, October 23, 2006

October 23

It has been a long time since I posted anything. I had the window open twice to blog, but I ended up not starting because I had other stuff to do.

We continue to work with C on his reading. He has not had any problems that we can tell with being told he is dyslexic. He was pretty excited when he found out how many famous people were probably dyslexic. We went to a learning specialist who is going to work with him weekly for a while. She's also going to help me learn how to teach C to read. C has also decided to take dance class next semester since I read that dance helps dyslexic kids with their reading.

I have been undergoing several medication changes to help with my headaches. I had a whopping migraine today, but it is the first one in 6 days. I did have a bad headache 4 days ago, but it wasn't a migraine (no nausea, myalgias, etc.). The medication changes have been giving me more swelling than usual in my legs (I already had some edema from my Verapamil). I have also had terrible weight gain in the last several weeks. I know that part of it is from an increased appetite.

In any case, I signed up for Weight Watchers Online. I am on the Flex plan, where I monitor what I eat and work on controlling "points". I'm still supposed to get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily - EEK! I'm not a veggie eater (or a fruit eater, for that matter). I guess I'm going to have to make some changes. I'm also supposed to drink 6 glasses of water daily - that is really going to cut into my Diet Pepsi intake. My doctor will be happy; she only wants me to have 2 Diet Pepsis a day. I'm only on my second full day of Weight Watchers. In 3 days, I gained a pound. I hope things improve!!

L and I are sewing her Halloween costume this year. I'm not a great seamstress in the first place, and working with an 11 year old isn't easy. The good news is that the pattern is super-easy. We got a lot done on Saturday, but didn't get to work much yesterday. Today is her dance class, so we didn't do anything (besides, I have a migraine).

I know there's more going on, but I'm really wiped out from the headache and can't think of anything else. I'll write more later.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


Well, it's official: C has dyslexia. We aren't at all surprised. P and I have been working with him for the last 3 years on his reading, and he just hasn't caught on. The psychologist who did the testing said that he was "a delight" to work with and said that he worked hard during the testing. He has an above average IQ overall, but his reading scores were more than 2 standard deviations below his IQ.

So, what now? P and I are trying to educate ourselves as much as possible about dyslexia. The psychologist also said he may end up being diagnosed with a writing disorder sometime in the future. It's too early to tell right now. She also recommended that we continue our current reading curriculum (since we're actually seeing some progress), but also recommended that we look into supplementing it with something through the school district or privately. There is a private group of teachers who opened up a center to help kids with LD, but it is in the city (30 minutes away). I am probably going to call them about getting a consultation and see what they would recommend we do at home. The school district is a possibility, especially since we live just a couple of blocks from the school. My concern there is that some of the teachers (even LD teachers) are not up on the latest research. I really don't want to invest several hours a week on something that isn't useful.

Things otherwise are OK. I was going to blog Monday night, but Blogger wouldn't let me on - it said I needed to sign in, but my password wouldn't work. I was about to email them to get them to send me the right password or give me another one, but then it let me in today. I don't know what's up.

My headaches are pretty status quo. I think the intensity is down some, but the migraines are still quite frequent. The daily headaches seemed to really improve with my current meds, but they have now come back. I'm able to manage since I'm not working. I had a migraine today, so we really cut back on the schoolwork and housework. Of course, we have to make it up eventually. The dishes are finally washed, but the laundry just didn't get done tonight. I have a teenage friend who comes over to clean every week (courtesy of P's mom!), so I need her to get in here tomorrow or Friday.

It's supposed to be cold, rainy, and snowy tomorrow. I want to go to a medical lecture in the morning, but I'm not sure if I'm going to be brave enough to venture out!

Sophie (our youngest cat) has taken to crying outside of L's bedroom door at night. She wants to sleep in the room with L, but L doesn't want her to. L wants to keep her bedroom door closed all night, but if Sophie's in there, she wants to be let out in the wee hours of the morning and wakes L up. Right now, she makes it hard for L to sleep because she cries outside the door. I've already brought her downstairs once tonight. I hope she takes the hint - but she's a cat, so the odds are not good.

Well, I'm pretty wiped out. I'm going to sit and watch MASH and knit. It's a great combination!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Monday - again

I didn't think that days of the week would matter so much now that I'm not working, but it turns out that the day of the week is probably even more important now. When I was working, I learned to make myself feel that I was never "off work" unless I was out of town or signed out for a special occasion. That way, it was never a big deal (theoretically) if I was called to deliver a baby at night or on the weekend. And, I was on call during the weekend about every 6th week.

But now, I look forward to weekends more than I used to. Days with full homeschool schedules are very taxing. Not only is there the physical stuff about trying to keep the laundry moving and the kitchen clean, but there is the emotional work of trying to keep the kids on task and helping when they run in to trouble.

Mondays are especially difficult. I worry about my kids' intellect sometimes when they get up on Monday morning and act like they have nothing to do in life but play video games. They seem truly suprised when I tell them to eat breakfast and do their chores so we can do school. It's like the first day of school after a long vacation and they are perplexed by the whole concept. But, we eventually get moving, and they do their chores without too much trouble, and we eventually start school.

L has dance classes on Monday evenings, too. I love to take her because I love to watch the dance classes. By the time we get home Monday night, though, we're both pretty beat. P takes C to AWANA on Monday nights and then P finds an empty room at church to do his reading for Tuesday. He spends the entire day Tuesday and Thursday at school (college). He spends a good bit of Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the middle school or high school, observing the math teachers.

The good news is that Tuesday is a pretty quiet day for us. I hope I can go grocery shopping. I had a migraine today, but it was pretty mild (I think it's my new meds working!). Hopefully, all will go well tomorrow and I can get groceries purchased and, perhaps, some laundry done.

I introduced a new concept into our school today - grades. We had always shied away from doing that until high school because we feel like we can evaluate our kids by our daily interactions with them. Grades are not very helpful for the teacher in homeschooling, to my mind. But, L has been doing her work so quickly (so she can play or go to the library) that she has not been very careful, so I want to impress upon her the importance of doing work well instead of doing it quickly (or doing both, if possible). I was worried that the concept of grades would be very distressing to her, but she took to it pretty quickly. She was also happy because the first several items that I graded were done very well, so she got A's. C has been asking me to grade his work, as well. He doesn't do much written work except math, but I was happy to grade his math. (He does writing in his new reading program, but I don't grade it.) I'm not sure how things are going to be tomorrow, though. L's math was not up to her usual work. Not only did I not give her good grades, but I'm making her go back and redo the ones she missed. I'm afraid there may be "wailing and gnashing of teeth" around here tomorrow!

Well, my kitchen and dining room are clean, there's a floor in my living room, and the rest of the family is in bed. Sounds like a perfect time to sit and read or knit.

Scratch that - in the time between typing the last paragraph and hitting the "publish" button, both kids came downstairs. L can't sleep because it's too hot, but she won't change from her satiny PJs into a T-shirt. She won't turn on her window unit AC because she's afraid that more ladybugs will come inside. C says his legs are sore, and he just needs a hug. Even after the hug, he was still not interested in going back to his room. He finally decided he'd try sleeping again. So, now I'm going to try the reading or knitting thing. We'll see how it goes;-)