Friday, February 27, 2009

Wow Made It To 50 Posts!

Just realized this morning that last nights post brought me to 50 posts! A real milestone for me. Surprising though, cause it doesn't feel like I've done that many posts.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rambling thoughts and what ifs...

I figured by now, I'd have figured out the whole blog thing. I have blogs I read on a regular basis, like daily or weekly. I regularly comment on some. I even have a bunch that I regularly read on my blog page.
I have 1 person that follows my blog. And 1 or 2 that have actually commented on it. Not that I really mind so much, because it's more for me that I write, not others. Hubby doesn't read it, nor does any of my family, or friends, because I've chosen not to tell very many people that I blog. Hubby knows, but has so far not chosen to read my blog. Mostly because he knows how I am about things like that. Here's a little known fact: I've had poems published in a couple of anthologies. Used to write all the time. Wrote a good 2 or 3 dozen poems over the course of 2-3yrs. Stopped writing after I met hubby and got married. Just seemed at the time like there wasn't anything else to write about. I really thought about writing again, but can't seem to get back in the groove of things. It just seems like most of what I wrote before just flowed from my fingers to the paper. Now it actually takes work just to write out a few sentences, and even then they don't seem to flow or even make sense some days.
Like a colossal writers block. And it sucks. I used to love writing, it was how I spent most of my teen years. I thought writing was something special that I was good at. And then came the kids, and there was no time to write. No time to think. To dream. To anything.
I even thought for a time that I might write a book. I mean heck, if Jenny McCarthy can multi-task, so can I right? Apparently not. Can't seem to string a sentence together that doesn't make me feel like my IQ might drop 30 points just to read it.
I want to write about how having 2 boys with autism feels. How it feels to have other kids that need my attention. How my day never ends. How terrified I am that my youngest may never live on his own. But when I try, it just seems to come out sounding fake and hollow. Dull and unimaginative. Boring.
My little triumphs are nothing to the real world. Most people wouldn't be able to understand where I'm coming from, why little things excite me. Why an almost 8yo using the potty is awesome. I just can't find the words to describe what I'm seeing, feeling, and dealing with at any given time. I just don't know how to do it. I want to tell my kids' story, and let other people know that it's not all sunshine and roses. It's hard work. It makes me cry or want to most days. The hardest is seeing my son look at something that kids way younger than him are doing, and still not being able to make sense of it. Seeing other kids hurt his feelings because they don't understand why he is the way he is.
Sometimes I blame myself. If I hadn't been in denial, had gotten him evaluated earlier. If I hadn't allowed him to do any number of things, maybe things would be different. Maybe it's bad genetics, bad parenting, bad vaccines. The what ifs drive me nuts.
The hardest day was when they diagnosed him as mentally retarded. Not when they said autism. Autism I can deal with. But brain damage, mental retardation, that I'm not sure how to deal with. What to do, how to do it. I just can't wrap my mind around it. It hurts just to think of it. It makes me wonder what caused it. Was it when he fell off the bed? Or fell at the park? Or was it before that? When he had his surgery at 4 months? Thats the part that kills me inside. The whole what caused it, was it something I did or didn't do? Could I have prevented it?
I guess that's where I stand now. Getting past the what ifs and moving on to the what nows. That's all for now. I'm sure this will make more sense in the morning, or maybe never.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday, but feels like Monday...

Hubby went back to work today. That at least went well. Had my eye appointment yesterday, which did not go so well. My eyes are ok, need a different script for my glasses, that part was fine. He dilated my eyes, and told me that they should be back to normal in about 2 hours.
Yeah. Right. Not.
More like 12 hours at least. Got them dilated at 3:30, and by 11pm, they were still huge! I looked like I'd done some heavy duty stuff, if you know what I mean lol. Went to bed with a ginormous migraine, and woke up being able to see, but with the same headache. Not cool.
Of course, Wednesdays are guitar lesson days, and Adrian's mom also wanted to hang out. No problem, had another friend pick her up, and bring her down to meet me where the boys get their lessons. Things were busy, but it wasn't too bad. Took her and Adrian home with me, and hung out here for a while. Things are going well, Adrian's taking a nap now, and we're gonna keep him for a couple days (or more lol). I still have the headache from yesterday, but it's not quite as bad. Kids are being quiet, Hub's is playing on the net, and I'm thankfully able to post on here, as my net has been up and down since the crash.
I think I have the problem fixed though, downloaded some drivers and reset my modem, and it's been working for the last couple days just fine. Weather here is nice right now, it's about 40 degrees, and all the snow is melting into huge puddles that the kids of course cannot avoid. It even tried to rain for a few minutes this morning.
Have to wait a week for my glasses, but I will also have a back up pair, since we all know I can't help losing/mangling/destroying a pair. Not too bad, I got a full exam, and new bows and lenses for the original pair, plus my new frames and lenses for about $200. Thankfully I only have to do that every 2 years.
Hope everyone else is doing well, and the weather is fine other places too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

C.diff is Negative!

So now we just need the Health Dept, and the Dr's office to both fax a note to work saying that he can go back to work! Unfortunately, the health dept lady is "away from my desk at the moment", and has been all day. The Dr's office is faxing their note, and faxing the health dept as we speak, to get them to fax the note we need.
All it means is that he'll be home tomorrow too, and go back on Wednesday, exactly 2 wks after he got called off work. It also means that he'll get a 3 day paycheck, which will cover his gas back and forth to work and a few groceries. It's great news, and I've been praying that it would hurry up and be done.
Thank you to all who have been praying for us, and have kept us in their thoughts. It's meant a lot to us.
I'm still reloading my computer, and have lost some of my bookmarks forever, but am slowly getting things set back up the way I had them before. The kids are all well, and I'm getting back to normal, just glad things have turned out for him to go back to work. With my stomach in knots the way it's been, I've been living on coffee, and lots of Monster. Hopefully once he is back to work, my stomach will be back to normal.
Gotta go for now, need to finish loading some more things into my bookmarks, and finish loading my music. Got bored yesterday so I took a break from getting it done.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

One Of THOSE Days

Well the good news is that Mikes clear of the Giardia and the Crypto. The bad news is that they weren't done with the test for Cdiff by the end of the day, because of how busy the lab was. So we'll here about that one on Monday.
More crappy news. My computer crashed, and I lost everything I had saved. All my pics, all my music. The only blogs I have still are the ones I saved on here. So I'm in the process of figuring out who all I did read daily, besides the ones on here, and re-saving them. Again. And of course re-loading all my music. And hoping I didn't delete the pics off my SD card yet. Not holding out much hope for that though.
Hoping his test for Cdiff comes back negative, then he can go back to work Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest. Today's his last day on the antibiotics too. I'm sure the kids are hoping he'll go back soon too. He's driving us all nuts, and we're happy to drive him nuts as well.
My sis came out this way from Missouri for the weekend. Got here Friday evening, and left this afternoon. We did dinner together Friday night, and got to hang out yesterday for most of the day as well. Wish I'd thought to take pics of the kids while they were here. Got to catch up on all the happenings where she is and got to tall her about all the things going on here in the last 5 mos since she's been gone. I was surprised at how big the kids got in the time she's been gone. The kids were all glad to see each other and played for hours. They even got along for a change!
Anyway, got a lot to fix, so need to stick my nose to the grindstone. If you sent me anything, or sent me your blog addy, please re-send it. Then I can re-add you quicker.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Didn't Sleep Well, Too Much On My Mind

Too much stuff on my mind. Hubby takes in his "sample" today to see if he can go back to work. We can't afford for him to be home for another week, so I'm praying that the meds have worked and he's good to go. Stressful, because he throws off the whole schedule by being here, and is driving me nuts. Also because we need to figure out how we're gonna pay bills and get groceries and everything if he's 0ff for more time. I know that he can take his other week of vacation if he needs to, but I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.
What amazes me is that no one else has gotten what he has. I've been obsessively cleaning for the past week and a half, and rearranging and vacuuming like a madwoman. Not to mention mopping and scrubbing everything, and making kids wash their hands a million and one times a day.
I don't do well with this kind of thing. Or pretty much anything to do with the city, the health dept, important ppl that can come and inspect your house, or the ones that can take your kids if you know what I mean. It makes me nervous, it even sometimes makes me physically ill.

For an example, we had a dealing with CPS about 4 yrs ago. We'd had a friend (my best friend) and her boyfriend staying with us. He's not known for his good temper. Caleb is a very difficult child to put to bed some nights. This was before I started putting him and Gabe to bed together. So I'm downstairs with Gabe, and he went up to tell Caleb to quit jumping on the bed and go to sleep. Well, he's yelling, and Caleb's yelling. So I put Gabe down on the couch, and went to see what was going on. I go up, and the boyfriend was coming down. He said that he swatted Caleb on the butt for screaming in his face and spitting at him. I went up and checked on him, and asked him what happened, and he told me a different story.
Caleb told me that he was jumping on the bed, which I already knew, and BF came in and told him to go to bed. He said that he told BF that he wanted mom and wasn't going to bed. BF told him to lay down, and he screamed in BF's face, and then BF backhanded him, twice, hard across the side of his neck. Well, I'd never known BF to EVER hit my kids, because he knew that if there was a problem to come get me. And I didn't see any marks, so I figured that Caleb was being a drama queen and I'd just check it again later.
Yes, BF knew that hitting my child was not appropriate, yes he knew that there would be consequences if there was even 1 mark on him. So I let Caleb sleep in my bed with me, since he was upset, along with Gabe (who at the time ALWAYS slept in my bed). And I went to bed, figuring on checking it in the morning. (BTW BF was asked, and denied hitting him like that.)
So when I looked in the morning, I was totally shocked by what I saw. A hand print shaped red mark, with petechiae (hemmoraging) , his neck looked like it was bloodshot. And he had a finger splint shaped bruise. And guess who was wearing a finger splint because he had hurt his finger at work? That's right, the BF.

So I called hubby, told him the situation, and when he got home, he asked BF if he'd hit him and he still said no. So we took Caleb to the police station, filed a report, and had them come talk to him. He told the cops that he did indeed hit him, and that he'd actually hit him twice. He knew it was wrong, and was willing to leave without a fight. Since BF was on probation, his PO revoked him, and he spent 5 days in jail. What does that have to do with CPS? Well if you report that someone else has hurt your child, YOU are investigated too. Yup, that's right, you are investigated.
So, being the not great housekeeper that I am, and having been called on myself because my house was a mess, I totally freaked the hell out! I cleaned everything, called my mom and mil, and they came over and helped me clean every nook and cranny. The worker came and talked to the kids, at school, and called me to say that she needed to come out to the house.
So, she came, and looked thru the whole house--even the fridge and freezer--and her only concern was that she thought the birds cage needed to be cleaned. Of course I laughed, and said that if I cleaned the cage more than 3x a week, the bird would not stay sitting on her eggs, and that since I was breeding birds, I needed her to sit.
I told her how nervous she made me, and how I felt about spanking and how all it takes is just 1 person getting mad and turning you in for something stupid (ie house was a mess cause everyone was sick) to make you freak whenever something happens to your kids. The whole experience affects me even now, I don't leave my kids with anyone except grandma, and my cell phone is on the whole time. I freak over little bumps and bruises. I get physically ill, and sometimes even to the point that I throw up. During that experience I lost 16 lbs in 2 weeks, because I was so freaked I couldn't eat, or sleep and kept throwing up.
Long story short, the case was closed, BF got 5 days in jail, and a 1yr no contact order on us and the kids. He and my best friend got married, he got counseling, and they had a child. My godson, Adrian. Even though he's had counseling, he will never be left alone with my kids. Even if I'm home, because I can't trust that he won't hurt one of them again.
Well, this got way longer than I intended, and I didn't plan on partially writing my life story, lol, but I just wrote how I felt and what was on my mind. Comment away!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gabe counted today! And Added!

Yup! For the first time EVER, not including the one time that his teacher got him to count to 3, my boy counted! Not to 3, not to 5, but to 10. We used M&M's and raisins to accomplish this magical feat. Told him if he could count them he could have them. And he counted all 10 M&M's. Then later, to make sure we could duplicate it, we did it again with raisins and mixed fruit. I'd put 2 in his hand and say "how many?" and he'd say 2, then I'd add 1, and say it again, and he'd say 3. On and on til 10. He mixes up 7 and 8. But he's trying! And he was sooooo thrilled that he did it (or maybe thrilled cause of the treats?).
Caleb wrote his first ever paragraph in his own words. He decided that he would write about teradactyls. Below is an excerpt, not spell corrected (yes he did ask how to spell some things):

"I think Birds was alive wen dinosaur was alive. A Bird is telodados (teradactyls). Telodados are big birds and thay die off. And now telodados are fostois (fossils). But because thay are istec (extinct) was a big firey rocks hit ever weir (everywhere) and Now thay are telodados fostois (teradactyl fossils) in the guon (ground)."

Not bad considering how hard he has to try to remember how to spell the words. He is in 2nd grade, doing reading and writing at a late kinder level. He's learning to capitalize and punctuate a sentence. He's also learning that sometimes you should look words up and not ask mom, cause she'll probably misspell it too (case in point: teradactyl. it looks ok to me, but blogger keeps underlining it, so I know I spelled it wrong. Just trying to get this post done before I get interrupted again!). That's all for now, gotta go chase kids!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Going Slowly Insane

Having him home is great, especially if I need help with something or need him to get the kids to do their chores or something. But he's driving me NUTS! It's fun enough to rearrange my schedule because of him being home, because I can get things done that would otherwise have to wait for the weekend. Like we got the front room and dining room rearranged on Wednesday and Thursday, and the basement picked up and looking decent on Friday. Ordinarily I would've had to get it all done in 10-15 minute spurts, over the course of a few days to a week. And had to re-do a lot of that work due to the kids and the dog messing things up day by day. But other things, like the kids getting school done, and the little things like the work I do at the Cup on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the kids guitar lessons on Friday's. I've had to rearrange those types of things, either because he doesn't want to go, or thinks the kids should stay home and do more in the way of school work, or from Dr appts.

Of course I think I'm driving him nuts too. I've been vacuuming at least 2x a day, but when he was working, all he saw was once a day. I mop everyday, but he only saw when I mopped at night, which is only like 2x a week. We do 3-4 loads of laundry a day, but he only sees like 1 or maybe 2 when he's working. There are dozens of little things that we do everyday (when he is working) that he never sees that are driving him nuts.
The kids are going stir crazy too, wanting dad to leave them alone. He has definite opinions on how much school work they should be doing each day, and what they should be working on at any given time. But like I told him, the kids' school time is MINE. He needs to back up and leave it alone. Gabe is doing well, better than he was before. He may not do as much "book work" as the other kids, but he's learning in his own way. The others are doing well too, to a point, but they don't deal well with dad constantly up their butts as far as what they're doing and when. Caleb has a problem with reading, and doesn't do well when pushed (he will cry and get very upset to the point where he sometimes throws up), so I've backed off and used what he wants to know to get him to read more. Mike doesn't back off, he pushes and pushes, because apparently "back off and leave him alone" is NOT in his vocabulary. Hence, one of the reasons that he isn't allowed to do school with them. It's not just Caleb, he does it with all the kids. That's why it's my job and not his.
Anyway, off to find something else to do, since I've actually caught up on emails and everything else on the computer!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gross Pt 2

So he went back to the Dr today, expecting to get cleared to go back to work, or at least get a general idea of when he could go back. Yeah right! Work's pissed at him, because the state (Health Dept) is up their butt. HR at work is pissed at him too, and actually TOOK his name badge from him today when he went to drop off his Dr's note and get his check. He was told in no uncertain terms that it MUST be his fault that he is sick, and don't come back until they tell him to.
Doc has him off for another week at least, maybe more depending on what the results of his next "sample" are. He's to go back next Friday and leave a sample, and they'll call him with the results. Then, they'll fax the results to work, and he is to call them and find out if/when he can go back.
I told him to watch his back, since work is so t'd off about the Health Dept. being involved, and I'm sure that they're going to try and find a way to fire him. So, he took vacation pay for the next week, hopefully he goes back to work then. Or we're sunk, no work = no $$. He said he's going to start looking for a new job while he's off, and the Dr said that as long as it's not dealing with food he can work. Here's hoping that next week is better than this week has been.

On the plus side, we got cable installed today, but now I'm left trying to figure out if we'll be able to afford it in another month. If you're the praying type, I could use some prayers right now.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Totally Gross (Warning if you have a weak stomach!)

Hubby hasn't been feeling well for the last few days. He's also had diarrhea and an upset stomach. We figured it was just the flu, or a stomach bug, but he was running to the bathroom every 15 minutes or so.
So this morning, he goes, and goes and goes. And is sh*tting BLACK, as in high probability of a GI bleed, or old blood at the very least. So he calls in to work, and goes to Urgent Care this morning. As soon as the Dr. hears the words "black stool" he ordered a complete workup: blood work, stool sample etc. He gets a script for antibiotics, and goes to fill it. Less than an hour later, we get 2 calls about 15 minutes apart. Call #1 says: "You tested positive for Giardia, come back up and get an additional script." Call #2 says: "You also tested positive for Cryptosporidium, and will need a script that will take care of that." So now he's on 3 scripts, 1 for 7 days, 1 for 10 days, and 1 for 3 days.
We went to fill the other 2, and when we get back home, we have a call on the caller ID from the city Health Dept! So he calls her back, and is asked all these questions about how long he's been sick, where has he eaten recently, what has he eaten, has he been around this or that. WTH? There was also ANOTHER call from the Dr's office, but they were out of the office, so he'll have to call them back for the bad news (i hope not really) in the morning.
Our day SUCKED! And the kicker is, he's off work until they say he's all clear of both! So no work = no pay! Wish me luck I'm going to need it.
Of course this also means that Adrian went home, as I need to baby him instead. And Sky's not going to be coming either. It'll be a quiet weekend with just the 6 of us.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm A Glutton For Punishment

So tomorrow's going to be chaotic enough just with the kids, but I just can't leave well enough alone. The boys have their second guitar lesson, which means since I have to be there, so do all 4 (+1) kids. I also need to get a hold of the parts store and find out how much it's going to set me back to get my brakes and rotors for the van. Yeah, really fun.
Thursday is haircuts for the boys, going to the library, and picking up Skylar after he gets out of school. And of course even though he and Adrian are the same size (roughly, he just turned 3, but is small for his age, and Adrian will be 2, but is big for his age), they DO NOT get along. And Adrian is usually the ringleader in whatever trouble comes of the two of them being together. He likes to bite push and bully poor Sky, and Sky just sits there and takes it.
Friday's gonna be nuts too. We have all the regular school stuff, plus I have the cable guy coming (finally!) anytime after 3. Somehow in between all that in the next 3 days I need to rearrange the living room, get the new entertainment center (duh, I need to buy it first, lol) set up, get Caitlin's new shoes, set up the other playpen for Sky, do tons of laundry, plus wrangle 2 toddlers and 4 other kids. Not to mention all the other last minute things that always come up when you have your days packed with all kids of other things that MUST get done by XXXX date.
On the plus side, I can't take more than 2 extra kids at a time without another adult with a car and license, because this van's only a 7 seater and I need to have a seat for ME. I miss my old van, it was an 8 seater, so if I only had my kids, I could separate them, or I could pack in my 4 and 3 more and pack it to the gills with diaper bags and carseats.
I keep telling Mike that my next van needs to be one of those HUGE 15 passenger vans lol. He of course doesn't find it that funny. Hmmmm.
Anyway, Need to get some sleep before Adrian (or Gabe) wakes up and wants my full undivided attention. Btw, anyone want to buy a Dyson Slim, new in box? Cheap!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The More The Merrier!

Picked up Adrian yesterday. Figured that was why his mom and dad were trying to get a hold of me. He does so well with my kids, and they were telling me that he looks for us when he comes home. He's over here quite a bit, and for a while (when they were both working) he was here all week and home on weekends. So really, it's no surprise that he's been calling Mike daddy and I mommy for some time now. He also calls them mommy and daddy, so I think that he just figures that we're all his mommy and daddy. He'll be 21 months on the 16th. Getting so big, talking more and more every day. It seems like every time he goes home, he comes back here with a new skill.
I thought when he was born it would be so hard to deal with him and my 4, but in reality it's easier dealing with 5 than it was going from 1-3, or 3-4. Really, going from 1-3 wasn't as hard for me as going from 3-4. Adding the twins when James was little was only really hard the first few weeks, when I was too sore to move much and sooooo sleep deprived that I wasn't always sure which kid I was trying to change and feed. Then, when I was able to get out of the house, since we lived about 5 blocks from great grandma and about 7-8 blocks from grandma, it got easier. We went to the park, we went for walks, we went to grandmas. Simple.
When the twins were almost 2, we had Gabe. Wow what a difference. We had moved, so we were about a MILE away from either grandma, and from great grandma. We were still close to a park, but it was such a hassle to get there. I still didn't have my license, so we had to walk everywhere. Caleb had just been diagnosed with autism the fall before (Gabe was born in March), so we were dealing with all that too. And on top of all that, Gabe never seemed to sleep. EVER. He nursed on demand it seemed like 24/7. He napped for about 20min at a time. He wasn't fooled by being stuck in a swing, or carseat. He wasn't having any part of grandma, grandpa, or daddy. It HAD to be mommy, all the time. He refused the bottle, sippy, pacifier. I'm sure that had a lot to do with it being harder adding him to the mix.
With Adrian, my kids were bigger. And while Gabe (and Caleb) are still quite a handful most days, they're easier now than they were then. Adrian was fine with the bottle, and does great with the sippy. He was and is fine with a pacifier. He sleeps, AND naps. Two things that Gabe didn't do. He's fine with crowds, which Gabe (and Caleb) was not.
Every child is different, and I suppose if Adrian was like Gabe or Caleb, then my life (and his parents') would be very different. It would probably be much harder.

The looks I get when I'm in public with my kids, and my "extras" are varied. Some people give me "the look". You know the look, the one that says, "WTH, don't you know how to stop at a couple" or worse. Of course, I give them looks back, lol, but most of mine are smiles. Looks that tell them that I know what causes it, and I LIKE IT! Picture this: Me and 7 kids. The oldest is 11, then twins @9, then 7, and almost 7, and 3 and almost 2. Wow. And then we met my sisters and their kids. 1 sis has 2 sons(7 and 8) and a stepson(8) that she had every other weekend. The other one has 2 a boy and a girl, Brianna is 2 and Christopher is 5. So the ages go: 11, 9, 9, 8, 8, 7, 7, 6, 5, 3, 2, 21mos. Can we say OMG!?!? Talk about getting stares! We can't get together much anymore, because my youngest sis moved to Missouri and my other sis works full time. But in the summer, its me and my 4, her and her 3, and at least 2 of the 3 extras.
I love my kids, and I love my "extras" as if they were my own. If I could, I'd have a few more. But I can't. So, I have my "extras", and my nephews and niece.
I'm sure this post is rambling, and probably blah, but I really just felt the need to babble for a while. It's been one of those days, and it was a long weekend as well.
Now I'm off to watch the President, he's on EVERY channel!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

TGIF--a Day Late

Yesterday was total chaos. Not that that would be anything out of the ordinary. Spent Thursday in Milwaukee, and took the kids around town, and to the Mitchell Park Domes. Awesome! The kids really like the domes, and we try to make it a few times a year. We've only managed twice since the summer of 2006 when grandma died, because it was really hard for me. We had taken Gabe the morning after she passed, because mom and I needed some time to talk about all that had happened the night before. But thats a whole other post right there.
Anyway, yesterday we did school and our running and bill paying before Mike got home. Then we dropped the kids off at grandma's for our first night out in a year! We went TV shopping, and picked up more stuff for our already spoiled kids, lol. We settled on a 32 inch (the same size we already had) LCD tv, the last one they had (floor model) for $100 off! Great deal!
Also picked up more school stuff, like they need more! Picked up stuff to make our own word wall, and magnetic letters for Gabe. 4th and 5th grade books for James to work out of, and more stuff for next year's schooling.
I'm hoping that when we move, I'll have more space for our school stuff, not just a couple shelves on the bookshelf.
In other news, my desktop weather says it's 48 degrees out!!! Heat wave! Get out and enjoy the day!

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Monday again!

And boy does it feel like one! This week, we are taking my sister's two kids to school part of the week. That means doing something we haven't done since the middle of December...waking up at the butt-crack of dawn! Today went pretty well, but it was really hard for me to get out of bed. Got the kids up and dressed, fed, and out the door to pick up her 2, all within an hour!
Today's been pretty laid back, just kind of getting things done little by little, no real hurry. School has been going well, but we aren't doing as much book work as I had anticipated. Mostly what we are doing is watching educational programming, and picking something each day that they want to know about and going from there. Like the hawk in the yard. We see, we look up, we learn. Seems to work well for the older 3. Gabe is hit or miss with a lot of it, it all depends on what catches his attention and keeps it for more than a few minutes.
I also did something I thought I'd never do recently. I bought 4 Fisher-Price Kid Tough DVD Players. One for Caitlin, and each of the boys (James got a regular portable dvd player instead of a kiddie one), and an extra for those times that one or the other needs to be charged. We're eagerly waiting for them (YAY for Ebay!!). The main use for them is (supposed to be lol) to watch educational, learning dvd's. We'll see about that though, lol.
The biggest problem that I'm having with teaching Gabe is that if it's geared for his actual age, he can't do it. But even if it's geared toward a pre-k level, he is still having problems attempting to do things. He seems to have a real fear of trying and failing. I think it ties to his public school experience, where nothing was really expected of him. By the time I pulled him in December, he had JUST (after 2 + yrs of public school) started to attempt writing his name, but the kicker is, even when I sat in and watched during school, they weren't making him do anything! He didn't have assignments, or homework (other than have mom or dad "help" you read for 15 min a night). They expected him to sit in his seat with a minimum of noise or redirection. They gave him the same papers as everyone sometimes (other times they gave him paper to draw or pretend to write letters on, or trace letters), but didn't expect him to actually accomplish anything. I think that he figures home is the same way, and I've been trying to impress upon him that we DO have to do work when it is school time. I need suggestions on working with him!!! Anyway, this is turning into a book, and I have kids to chase and do more school stuff with!