Friday, January 27, 2017

Keep On Trucking

We are still happy with the immediate outcomes of Ruby's new school situation. This girl is making HUGE strides in potty training - only two accidents total last week! Her verbal skills are improving daily, and she is happy, happy, happy.

It must be noted that Ruby is still a toddler, so she still has the occasional push or hit at school, and if someone is across the room building a block tower, she must run over and knock it down, very joyfully. But overall, she is adjusting well. She loves the kids in her class, she loves her teachers, and she leaves with a smile on her face every day.
However, the new school schedule means Ruby needs to be awake by 6:30am to arrive on time. This is about an hour earlier than she would wake naturally. While she doesn't seem to mind getting up earlier, it does mean that her body has already become accustomed to early rising, so our weekends are now 6AM wake-ups as well. Boo.
Fitting all of Ruby's therapies into her now more-full schedule has been challenging. We had to drop gymnastics, and fitting in both of her private speech therapists is a constant calendar game, but we are starting a literacy tutor at Gigi's Playhouse this week, and we are looking into private PT and/or hydrotherapy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


When Maddux was a talkative toddler, she would say all kinds of funny, crazy, sometimes even insightful things, as toddlers often do. I would chalk them up to "Maddux-isms" and was sad they were a phase that would pass.
If you spend extended time with Maddux, you've probably realized that is not the case. This girl still says some of the most bizarre things. Lehr and I often meet eyes over the dinner table as she's talking, making sure the other person heard the same thing.

Unfortunately, I do not take the time to write them all down anymore, so it's hard to recount for posterity. Last night's gem is still in my mind though. We were having a discussion about the upcoming career day at Maddux's school was taking place: what careers will she hear about, what's her favorite from years' past, etc.
Maddux: Mom, YOU should come for career day! You should come speak! You could tell everyone how you take pictures.
Me: I don't know... I'm not sure..
Maddux: No really! You are a photographer. You have a CAREER! My class would love to hear about what you do. And if you come you get free breakfast!
Me: laugh laugh laugh
Maddux: Seriously mom! They will feed you.
Me: So I should go because of the breakfast? Are they going to give me oatmeal? Or is it eggs? I better make sure I like it. What is the breakfast?
Maddux: I don't know. I don't have a career, so I don't get the free breakfast.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

So How's It Going?

Ruby has been in school for a week now, so I thought it was time for an update. To be clear, she hasn't really been in school for a whole week. Even this upcoming one won't be a full five days. The first week we returned to school on a Thursday, last week we missed the first two days due to icing, and this upcoming week is following a 3-day weekend. But if you add all of that together, she's been there for just a few hours short of five school days.

Ruby loves school. Did I mention that? She yells 'coooool' when we pull into the parking lot each day, and she happily walks with me, backpack on, to the front doors where we wait for her teacher each morning. When I pick her up a few hours later, she is walking in line with her classmates and smiles so big when she sees me. After saying, "Mommy" and coming right to me for a hug, she tries to return to her teachers to go back to the classroom.
The first day, the big kids were so excited to have her at the breakfast table with them. Maddux and Eli insisted on 'first day pancakes' for her, and all three had quite the celebration while they ate. In her day at school, she does centers, speech, story time, circle time (with a calendar and weather and some other daily routines), OT twice a week, and snack/lunch. I get a great report at the end of the day telling me how she handled the transitions and each of these areas. She has yet to 'struggle' with any of them. (Again, she loves school.)

The best part? (Or at least one of the best parts, because so far it is ALL the best part.) She is ROCKING the potty thing. Finally we are able to be consistent all day with her visits to the toilet! She started going at the school on day TWO, and she has consistently gone every day since, rarely wetting her pull-up at all. This means she is wearing underwear more at home and having many days where she is dry all day. Her teacher said to start sending her in underwear to school.

Can we all stand up and cheer now?!?!

It's obviously too early to say if this is a good thing in the long run, but for right now, Ruby's new school is a GREAT thing. Even if just for right now, so many prayers have been answered.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

A Scholar

Eli's middle school operates in semesters instead of quarters. This is new for him, and we were curious if the doubled time in each grading period would be a bonus or detriment. Whether it's the added time or a shift in his study habits or just maturity in general, it appears the semester schedule is a win for Eli: he made honor roll!
All semester long, Eli appeared to be working hard, spending appropriate time on his school work, even when his extracurricular activities were taking up most of his after school time. And while we can monitor his progress through an online app his school uses, the grades weren't finalized until a few weeks ago. Eli received all A's and one B (in grammar). He is frustrated with that B; he struggled so much with that class, watching his grade rise and fall each week.
Lehr and I are beyond proud of him because we honestly did not help him with school work this fall. We discussed early on with Eli that we are here for any help he needs, but he has to ask. While he occasionally asked for us to quiz him on study guides for tests or quizzes, his assignments and projects were completed without our guidance (and knowledge, most of the time!) Life is good.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

All The Emotions

Sitting here on the eve of Ruby's first day of her new school, special needs pre-k, all a bundle of emotions. The last three nights I've been up at 3AM, unable to sleep. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that it's my anxiety about what lies ahead for us tomorrow morning keeping me up.

I am so excited, so hopeful, so encouraged about what this next step will mean for her, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous too. Nervous about how Ruby will do with this longer day of school. Worried this situation won't help her reach any more of her potential than her other school. Scared that she will pick up bad behaviors from other kids instead of good ones. Fearful that we're settling for something less instead of pushing her to reach higher. Terrified that we are doing the wrong thing.

So tonight is a Proverbs 3:5 night...