Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Catch-Up Post

Okay...I'm going to skip right over the part with Daniel and the 24-hour EEG because it's going to make me too angry. Instead, I'm going to post a bunch of pictures from our trip to Peoria for Christmas. These are for you, Dad!

Jacob pretending to eat his slime.

Daniel looking cool in his Snuggie
Hannah shows off her Snuggie
Emma and Hannah
Hannah, Mary Rose and Daniel...doesn't Mike look thrilled?
Christmas dinner at the Japanese Steakhouse. Best idea ever.
Jacob loved it!
Flames!
Egg tossing
Dad, Jacob and Mike
Jacob saw this bird in Dad's neighbor's window. It's on the inside. Smart bird.
Me and Breanna. We've known each other since grade school!
Dad and Daniel at Steak and Shake.
Daniel and Jacob
Hannah

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Such Love and Support

I can't even begin to say how grateful I am for everyone that has offered love, support and prayers for Daniel. I've had so many people come up and ask how we are and have been telling us that they've been praying for him. It's overwhelming. It's also been interesting to find out how many people out there actually have epilepsy. So many people have told me that either they have, or know someone that has, epilepsy and that they are doing well. So encouraging.

The principal, counselor and school nurse have been so helpful with helping me out as well. They're locked and loaded for after Daniel sees the neurologist. I just wish I could figure his teacher out. I don't exactly know what's going on with her. She's acting weird and strange. Almost like she's trying to protect herself. Huh.

I was at my soccer game last night and we were warming up when my friend, Debbie, asked me about Daniel. She hadn't heard that we got the EEG results. My neighbor, Katie, only heard the word, "epilepsy," and looks at me, panicked. "Who has epilepsy?" She asked me. "Daniel," I told her. "Oh my God, Barb! I am so sorry!" She tells me as she gives me a big hug. I told her that it was okay. Really, it was going to be fine. That's when another girl on our team, Renee, comes over to tell me her mother has epilepsy and she's doing really well on medication. It was very nice to hear.

Children's Mercy has been running these commercials, both on radio and TV, where they talk about the Million Reasons Mosaic The line goes a little like, "there are a million reasons to choose Children's. What's yours?" Then, they show the picture of a child made up of a bunch of photos of other children. It always made me a little misty but now, I flat out cry when I see or hear those commercials. (I'm welling up just typing this.) I don't know if I'm going to be able to listen to the radio-thon my radio station does every spring. The whole idea of needing Children's is overwhelming. I think a lot of it is that I feel guilty for not catching this before now. That he's had to struggle all these years and I let him down. I know it's silly and we've got the diagnosis now, but...

Friday, November 20, 2009

Boo-Ya! I Told You So!

We got our answer today. The pediatrician told us that Daniel's EEG was "abnormal and indicative of epilepsy." I told you it wasn't ADD. So his teacher can freaking bite me.

After school, I talked with the school counselor who wants me to let her know what the neurologist says so that if we need to start any kind of IEP proceedings, we can get that going. Also, so that we can start making modifications for him in the classroom. She's the one who, surprisingly, has been incredibly supportive and told me months ago that this diagnosis makes perfect sense. She wanted to know if I wanted her to tell his teacher to "take one thing off my plate." I told her no that I'd do it.

I ran down to find her in the classroom. When I told her the test was positive for epilepsy, she looked as though I'd hit her and her jaw hit the floor. She told me that she'd never seen Daniel have seizures and I told her that she had. When he goes blank, that's a seizure. I don't know if she's yet a believer but she'd better get her butt on the bandwagon.

Mike is livid with the school psychologist. He wants a sit-down with the principal, teacher, counselor and psychologist. He also wants an apology since the psychologist diagnosed Daniel with ADD, clinical depression and anxiety disorder. Of course, it's always behavioral, it can never be anything medical. Mike wants there to be more education on their part. I have to agree. It's far too easy to say that your kid doesn't pay attention so he has ADD. We could have gone that route and medicated him but I just knew that he wasn't.

And I'm not in denial. And I have an EEG to prove it.

So, we have an appointment with the pediatric neurologist at Children's Mercy on December 2. I thought that was pretty fast. We'll have more specifics then.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Daniel, Children's Mercy and the EEG

*Not that you all would know but this post is going to take me forever since my cat won't let me put her down. And she's all spread out on my lap and arms. My cat has issues.*

We had the big EEG today. We were told that Daniel couldn't have caffeine or chocolate yesterday or today and that he could only sleep from 12-4am on Monday morning because they wanted him to be able to sleep for part of the test. Also, I hear that the flashing light portion works better when they're sleep deprived. Mean, but true.

So, I hunkered in for the first shift. We were good until 11:15 when Daniel started getting really sleepy. I kept telling him that he only had 45 minutes...30 minutes...15 minutes...until it was finally time for bed. He went right to sleep.

Mike took the 4am shift and, I have to say, he did an amazing job. He made sure to get himself all ready to go so that he wouldn't have to worry about Daniel falling asleep while he was in the shower. Mike then took him to IHOP for breakfast.

Of course, Jacob was mad because that's his favorite restaurant...why didn't they wake him up...blah, blah, blah. I told him to suck it up and go to school.

When I got up for the day, Mike left for work. I got Jacob and Hannah breakfast and Daniel announced that he'd like some cereal. Well, okay. Stupid me, I handed him a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles. Stupid. Luckily, he'd only taken a bite when I realized my mistake.

We decided that it wouldn't be fair to send Daniel to school on 4 hours of sleep so we kept him home. I got to see him go through all sorts of different phases this morning...the really loud and obnoxious phase, clumsy phase, quiet and withdrawn phase. The worst part was the drive to Children's. We were doing okay, singing and talking, until it started sleeting and the roads were congested and slick. I hate driving into downtown anyway. I was already worried about going somewhere I'd never been and trying to keep Daniel from falling asleep, I really didn't need the extra worry about the roads. Fortunately, I left an hour early because I managed to turn the wrong way...twice. Then, finally, I saw the building that said Children's Mercy Hospital. Should have been easy from there, right?

Next to Children's is UMKC (University of Missouri Kansas City) School of Dentistry. Next to that is UMKC School of Optometry. Next to that is Truman Medical Center. (I guess that's why they call it Hospital Hill)And they all have their own parking decks. And they all have very specific decks for employees. I could not find the parking deck for Children's. Silly me, you pull up to the front of the building and it's right there. Figures. It's never right out in front.

So, Daniel and I park on the Red Rocket level and walk toward the elevator. Even the parking deck lets you know this is a place for kids. It's the most vibrant parking deck I've ever seen. We follow the crowd to the first floor and head toward information. The very nice lady pulls out a map and starts telling me how to get to the EEG lab. Walk down this hall to security (yep...almost as much security as an airport). Pass through and take the Lightning Elevator to the first floor (I thought we were already on the first floor). Get off, turn left. Pass through the atrium and past the gift shop. Play chess with the gnome at the vending machines and turn right. Crawl under the barbed wire and make a slight left at the big tree. Turn left at the T and you're there! You can't miss it. I thank her, take my map with all kinds of lines and squiggles marked on both sides and head for security.

There, the guy asks for my license. I hand it to him and he swipes it. He smiles at me and asks me to verify my name. He looks at Daniel and says, "you must be Daniel. Good luck on your EEG." What? How did he know that? He knew everything just by scanning my license. Scary. He prints out a badge with my name and why we're there for me to wear and sends us on our way.

Somehow, we find our way to the EEG lab. We walk in and are told that we're too early. Go get some lunch. Seriously? So, we crawl back under the barbed wire to get Daniel a pretzel. Luckily, we didn't have to play chess with the gnome again.

When we return to the lab, there are now two people ahead of us and we're told to wait in the waiting room. I feel like banging my head on the wall. Luckily, these people are really efficient. One of the groups ahead of us has already checked in and as soon as we sit down in the waiting area, we're called. I'm thrilled to hear that our pediatrician has already done all of our paperwork for us and all I have to do is sign a couple of forms.

Back in the waiting room, the two dads (for once I was the only mom there) have turned on ESPN and tell me that I'm more than welcome to change it. That's okay. I've brought a book. One by one, the kids are called back. When it's Daniel's turn, we go into the room and Daniel won't stop talking. What does this do? Will it hurt? Why are you measuring my head? Can I touch that? Can you take that off to show me it won't hurt when you have to take them all off? Why are you putting one on my heart? Why are you coloring my head? What does the glue feel like? Are you done yet? Does this really measure my brain waves? Why do you have to do a blinking light? Are you going to make me go to sleep? What if I sleep through the blinking light?

You get the idea.

She kicks me out and tells me it'll be about 30 minutes. I head to the waiting room to read. The dads are pacing between sports stories on ESPN. It was making it very hard to concentrate on my book. Why don't guys think to bring something to do? After a few minutes, we all began yawning and looking like someone was going to pass out. We joked about how nice it would have been if the test could be a couple of hours long so we could take a nap. An eternity (30 minutes) later, I'm told I can come back into the room. She's wiping the glue out of his hair and she tells me he's all done. They'll send the results to our pediatrician. If we haven't heard by Thursday, we need to call and get the results. By Thursday. If the pediatrician doesn't have the results, they need to call and get them from the lab. By Thursday. It was hard to tell if this was the standard line she gives everyone or if she was being urgent or what. Ugh.

Poor kid was out by 7pm. I can't believe he lasted that long. He was mad that I made him take a bath but he still had glue in his hair and crayon measure marks on his forehead. As soon as I said, "done," he was out of the tub and in bed. Poor kid.

So, that was our adventure. Now, we wait.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sick

Ugh. We've caught something. I don't think it's the flu but it's definitely something. I suddenly felt sick yesterday and managed to get to bed at 9 (absolutely unusual for me) and knew that Jacob was starting to slide last night. Hannah complained of a sore throat before she went to bed last night so I wasn't hopeful for her either.

Jacob wasn't up when I got up this morning, which is completely out of character for him. He's usually up around 6:30 on school days so he can watch cartoons without being bugged by Daniel and Hannah. When I went in to wake him, I could tell he was sick. I immediately knew he was staying home. I went in and woke Daniel and then Hannah. She was also not looking so well, so she's home too.

Both have been just hanging out on the couches this morning...I think Jacob finally fell asleep. I'd like to try to take a nap as well but don't know if I'm going to get the opportunity.

Fortunately, neither have fevers so if they're feeling better tomorrow, they can go back to school and there's no school on Thursday or Friday so that should help.

I just hope no one else gets this!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Weekend

You've already seen the video from the Miley Cyrus concert that Hannah and I went to yesterday. That was just one part of the weekend. Mike left for Chicago on Friday morning so it was just me and the kids until this evening. Fortunately for us, there was no Sunday School this morning so we got to sleep in since none of us were in bed before midnight. This morning, I made a lovely breakfast of bacon, eggs and pumpkin pancakes. Yum. This is the time of year that I really get into the whole pumpkin thing.

Hannah was the star student for the week in her class so she got to bring home Bow Wow for the weekend. It's pretty cool that she'll get to put the concert in Bow Wow's journal (Bow Wow never got further than the parking lot). Bow Wow also got to go to puppy school with us this afternoon, which was super cute. Jen, the trainer, was really into the whole thing and would occasionally call on Hannah to have Bow Wow do something. LOL! We got some really cute pictures this weekend.

Jacob and Daniel enjoy dinner at Five Guys on Friday.
Hannah and Bow Wow
Jacob and Alice. I love this picture.
Daniel has a big dog that looks just like Bow Wow. They insisted on getting a picture together.
Hannah and Bow Wow during puppy school. Hannah's hair looks so long!
Bow Wow, Hannah and Jen the trainer at puppy school. Jen looks about 16 in pictures. In real life, she's mid-20's.

Miley Cyrus Concert

So, I've had these Miley tickets for about 5 months now, only I hadn't told Hannah about them. The concert was supposed to be 2 weeks ago but Miley got sick and had to reschedule. Tonight was the big night. I had to get a sitter (actually, Hannah was furious that she wasn't staying with the sitter. She loves Lara, and so do the boys. They always have a great time.) since Mike's in Chicago but it was completely worth it. Miss Hannah was shocked. I thought, for sure, Daniel had ruined the surprise on Friday but I guess I covered it up pretty well because she almost didn't believe me when I told her that's where we were going. Hannah and I had a great time.

If you like Miley, here is a song from the concert. I hate to admit that I love this song and crank it in the car whenever it comes on, but I do. Please excuse my lack of singing ability! :) Also, sorry for the crappy camera work. It's hard to dance, sing and run a camera!

video

I accidentially hit stop in the middle of The Climb but I just had to post this. I didn't notice Hannah singing her little heart out until much later but there she is...So cute!!!
video

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Little Bit of Crazy

Wow. Another week has gone by.

My dogs are nuts. Alice is still trying to figure out her place in the pack. Oriana's been letting her go until recently. All it takes is on arm to pin Alice. Alice doesn't like that much, but Oriana's had enough. And considering there's a 60 pound difference between Alice and Oriana, Oriana's probably going to win every time. For the most part, they do look like they're playing and that's been good for Oriana.

Alice has been going to Puppy Preschool on Sunday afternoons. It's been a lot of fun for all of us. The nice thing about Mini Schnauzers is that they're very smart and they learn pretty quickly. She's got "watch me" and "leave it" down and this week we're working on the "loose leash walk" and "sit." The interesting thing is that a lot of this is through hand commands instead of verbal. The trainer says it works better, especially for a family like ours, since a hand signal is always the same but verbal cues can vary (especially for Hannah who still has speech issues). It's fun to see the kids really getting into the training. Of course, when they fight about who gets to go first, that's not so fun.

Mike dropped Bella off at the vet to be spayed this morning. We go pick her up tomorrow. It's strange how a little 4 pound kitty makes such an impact on the house. Of course, you don't realize it until she's not here. I really miss her already.

Last week, we discovered that our hamsters had babies. Ugh. Seven babies to be exact. We've been watching them and yesterday, their little eyes opened. They actually look like itty bitty hamsters. So cute. We also talked to the pet store and they're going to take them for us. Sweet.

Hannah tested for her low brown belt in tae kwon do this Saturday. She did really well and actually broke a 1 inch board on the second try. We were all pretty shocked. She's now just one belt below Daniel. We think he's hit the wall.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Happy Freaking Tuesday

I'm really not in a bad mood...just getting grumpy about the fact that it was in the 40's this morning. I want summer back. I really need to move some place warm. The only good thing is that the soup I'm making for dinner tonight will be really yummy.

Bella decided to go into heat this weekend. Ugh. She's still, very much, in heat today. The vet wanted to spay her earlier this month but she had a skin infection so she couldn't do it. I take her in to the vet later this morning to get her pre-op stuff ready and to get her scheduled for her spaying. I want my sweet kitty back...not the one that wants to hump everything that moves.

Alice went in for her rabies shot this morning. She's, essentially, full grown and weighs a whopping 11.7 pounds. It's surprising because she looks like a little tank. I thought she was a little heavier. Mike thought she was at least 20 pounds. Last we checked, Bella weighed 4 pounds. I'm really curious to see what she weighs now. *UPDATED* Bella weighs 5.7 pounds.

They went to scan Alice's microchip and they couldn't find it. They really thought that it was either malfunctioning or that there wasn't one in there. They took her back for an x-ray and discovered that it had migrated to under her armpit. Go figure. But it does work.

My soccer team had a game last night and I actually agreed to play forward for the last three minutes. Probably not the smartest idea since I've only played forward once in my entire life, but I figured it couldn't be that hard. Those were the longest three minutes of my life but I almost got a goal. If I had kicked the ball about a foot to the left, it would have gone in. Instead, it bounced right off the wall. So close, and yet, so far. Oh well. I'll be going back to my defender position next time. I've had enough of offense. I did manage to slip and fall on my butt. I landed on the ball and had two girls from the other team desperately kicking at me to get the ball. Neither of them touched me but both were very apologetic. All I could do is laugh. And laugh I did. One of my teammates told me that I had a creative way of keeping the ball away. LOL! I'm so enjoying playing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Hmmm...

Okay. So tonight was the Grey's season premiere. Yay! Of course, I spent those two hours trying to look for Ellen Pompeo's baby bump (never found it since they only filmed her from the shoulders up) but I have to say that I loved the two episodes. I feel bad that I didn't cry for George but whatever.

We've had a running toilet in our bedroom that's been driving us nuts for the past few months. I've been just too lazy to change out the innards of the thing (the suction thingy inside isn't sealing properly) and it came to bite us in the butt tonight.

Mike went up to get ready for bed when he tells me there's a minor flood in the bathroom. Apparently, the toilet got clogged and since it seems to continually run, it overflowed. Stupid me, I flushed it again and more water flowed out. I plungered it and turned off the water. I came downstairs to find that there was water dripping out of one of our can lights in the kitchen. It wasn't a lot of water (like just the amount that overflowed) and it only flowed for a minute or so but it was enough to freak us out. So, tomorrow I'll be changing the innards of that stupid toilet like I should have done months ago.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Random Monday

We had a very busy weekend. So busy, I'm not convinced we actually had a weekend.

Friday afternoon, our pediatrician called and said that they've set up an appointment for Daniel's EEG on November 13. She said that was the first available but that we can get on a list to be called in case of a cancellation. She thought we'd absolutely be in before November. I hope so.

Rosh Hashannah snuck up on me this year. I did my best to get the apples and honey and whatnot but I really think there was something off about the soup. Hmmm. Oh well. My challah turned out beautifully. I let it go in the Kitchen Aid for about 20 minutes and let it rise forever. I think I've just been in such a hurry to get it in the oven that I'm not giving it full time to rise. I guess I'll just be making them in round form for now on instead of braided. My braids always turn out lop-sided.

Mike took the kids to services on Saturday afternoon and they really enjoyed washing away their sins in the creek behind the synagogue. Next week is Yom Kippur.

Hannah had two soccer games again this weekend. I cannot believe the skills these little first graders have. They're really good at dribbling, turning and controlling the ball. You can already see these girls falling into different roles on the field. The forwards are obvious. They're the ones running and running and running. Then there's the defenders. They hang back and watch for when the other team breaks away with the ball. My Hannah's a defender. And that's more than okay. At this age, they don't have goalies so these defenders are even more important. Hannah had 4 saves in her game yesterday. She stood in front of that goal and kicked that ball almost to midfield, away from their goal. It was so fun to watch her beam as the other parents cheered for her like she had just scored a goal of her own. I'm so glad she enjoys soccer. I finally got her a pair of cleats (we've wasted WAY too much money on equipment for the kids when they only play one season and fight us the whole time). They're really cute and pink. She loves them.

Alice is fitting in with the family. A couple of times a day, she'll bounce on Oriana and the stampede begins. It sounds like a herd of elephants running through the house when they run and chase eachother but I'm really happy that Oriana's getting attention and having fun as well. I just wish Alice would quit pooping on the floor. I hate the housebreaking stage.

I took the kids up to the Deanna Rose Farmstead on Saturday for their Apple Fest. I'm not sure what made it an Apple Fest since I didn't see any apples but that's okay. I love Deanna Rose because it's free and there's so much to do. The kids panned for stones (Hannah's favorite since she wants to be a rock finder...LOL!) and got to make a corn cob doll in the old schoolhouse. They also got to bring home a wooden top that some men were making for the kids.

So, that's about it from here...I'm going to enjoy the thunderstorm that just rolled in.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here We Go...Update

We took Daniel in this morning and our pediatrician thought there was enough evidence to send him to the pediatric neurologist at Children's Mercy for an EEG. What I think is really nice is they are actually going to set the appointment up for us. He told us that it can take about a month to get in but the when we do get in, it will be a very thorough exam.

More than likely, he'll have to do a sleeping EEG. Unfortunately, what that will mean is we'll have to keep him up all night so that he'll sleep during the day of his appointment.

While I was hoping this would happen a little quicker, I think this is playing out the way I'd thought it would. I'll keep you updated.

Here We Go...

We have Daniel's doctor's appointment this morning. I hope we get some answers today. We probably won't get much more than a referral but it'll be a start.

I have to say that I'm really disappointed with Daniel's teacher. I asked her to simply write down whenever she notices Daniel zoning out and she told me that she couldn't possibly watch Daniel all day. That maybe I should ask the school psychologist to come in and observe Daniel for 20 minutes. That's not what I asked you to do! I just wanted her to document it when she noticed it. She's so not on board here.

The person that surprised me, though, is the school counselor. I left her a voicemail explaining what I thought was going on and she left me a message back. Her first words were, "Wow. Wow wow." She also said that it makes total sense and that she'd be more than happy to help in any way that she can and that she'd talk to Daniel's teacher about watching for whenever Daniel zoned out (HAHAHAHAHA!!!) and about strategies she can use to help Daniel more in the classroom.

I can't believe how nervous I am about all of this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This Is The Video...

This is the video that made me really take pause. This could easily be Daniel. Again, we don't know for sure but, oh, I don't know.

I'm struggling with the embedding so here's the link Absence Seizure

A Ray of Hope?

I was so upset about the 9 minute long voice mail that I got from Daniel's teacher the other day that I couldn't even think. I asked Mike to listen to it so we could discuss it before deciding what action we were going to take. Mike told me that Daniel's teacher said something that really resonated with him. The line was this:

Daniel will just be sitting there working and then it's like he's suddenly gone.

Mike said he could relate to this and even said that he experiences it as well. It's like he's listening and the next thing he knows, someone is saying, "are you listening to me?" He says it's really frustrating but he can't help it.

As we were talking, Mike casually mentioned that his brother has Epilepsy. I knew that but it wasn't on my radar. Yesterday, I, on a whim, Googled Epilepsy in children. The first article that popped up was something about getting the school ready for a child with seizures. I clicked on it and I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

The first thing they said to let the school know was "my child is not ignoring you. He's having a seizure. Please let me know when this happens." What? Aren't seizures where you lose total control of your body and have convulsions? Apparently, there are many types of seizures.

There is a type called Absence Seizures where someone hits the pause button in the brain. It gets turned back on after 10-20 seconds and the child has no memory of it and, aside from appearing to be daydreaming, there are often no other symptoms. Some have eye rolling or fluttering but most just stare. The scary thing is these can happen 50-100 times a day. And it's often genetic.

I call Mike and he tells me that this is the type of seizure his brother has. Now we're getting somewhere. I called the pediatrician and we have an appointment for Friday morning. I was talking with my friend, Vivian, last night at TKD. Her husband is a neurologist and she told me that more than likely they'll just send him for an EEG for an official diagnosis. That's what Marc told me as well. I also called his teacher and told her to write down any time she may see him appear to be daydreaming. I don't know if she'll actually do it but we'll see.

My gut tells me that this is what it is. Everything I've read about it and everything I've seen on YouTube of kids with it tells me that it's seizures. Not that I want him to have Epilepsy but it would explain so much and it's completely treatable. My research tells me that most kids are able to stop meds after 2 years. The school will also be forced to make accomodations for him, like repeating directions and offering extra help.

Please pray for Daniel on Friday. The poor thing needs to get rid of the label of being a bad kid.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Dear Daniel's Teacher

I am writing because this is the fourth year in a row that my son's been labeled as "difficult" and "inattentive." I am aware of your concerns and I appreciate you letting me know that you think he's brilliant but unfocused. I also appreciate you letting me know that you've been teaching for 30 years. Several times. That should make you an expert in handling children of all temperaments. So, imagine my surprise when I find you are having such difficulty with my Daniel. Amazing how one child can bring your classroom serenity to a screeching halt.

I have never disagreed that Daniel has difficulty dealing with transitions. I know that it is something that has been written about many times by the school counselor and I know that you've been chatting with his previous teachers so this should come as no surprise to you. My question for you is this: why in the world would you send him to the Reading Specialist (who seems to find Daniel delightful, eager to work and very attentive) five minutes after arriving at school? Do you think this is potentially setting him up to feel behind for the entire day? I think that if you ask him about this, he will tell you that he feels as though he's playing catch-up until the end bell rings.

As far as his DWP from last week goes, I am aware that you think you personally put the packet in his homework folder but I can assure you that it was not in there last Tuesday. I, personally, go through his homework folder as soon as he arrives home and it was never there. Can you possibly admit that you made a mistake and that when he asked you for another because he didn't have one, you wouldn't hold it against him as being forgetful? I highly doubt that he took it out of the folder and "did something with it before getting home." Of course, I'm not ruling that out as a possibility but I struggle with why he would only remove that one bit of homework. Especially when he's been threatened with no computer, no DS and no outside time if he forgets his homework again.

I also understand that Daniel took the wrong spelling test last week. Yes, he should have known, as he was taking the test, that he didn't find any of the words familiar but as this is only the second spelling test of the year, do you think that you are being a little hard on him? You must have some very smart students if you've never had a single student in your 30 years of teaching take the wrong test. As someone who once taught third grade, I know that that kind of organization can be difficult for some 8 year olds. I'm sorry that Daniel had to be your first student to make this mistake.

I understand that, as a third grader, Daniel needs to learn personal responsibility and self-direction. I commend you for making the effort to make all of your students self-sufficient. This is one of the reasons I've been letting Daniel slide for a bit. He needs to learn that there are consequences for not doing homework or not paying attention in class. Unfortunately, I don't see that you are dishing out any consequences for these behaviors. You specifically told us at Meet-The-Teacher Night that all that they will be required to do is fill out a missing homework form and that we can dish out the punishment if we so choose. I guarantee that all Daniel wants to do is please you and if you start doling out the punishment, he'll start complying. The boy doesn't find me a threat. You, he does.

So, I will not, as you suggest, "take Daniel to see our pediatrician." We've been down that road last year and our pediatrician doesn't see an issue. It may be because his parents don't see an issue, but I don't want to put words into his mouth. I would be more than happy to sit with you and talk about developing an IEP or 504 plan that would guarantee the accommodations that it seems you've been having to make without one. That would actually please me quite a bit. That way, maybe I'd get you teachers who seem to think 8 year olds are mini adults off my son's back.

Sincerely,
Daniel's Mom and advocate

Random and Junk

So, last night, Alice cried. I knew she would. Oriana did too when we first brought her home. I put her in her little crate before heading to bed myself, turned out the lights, snuggled my head in my pillow, said a little prayer (please, please don't let her cry!), closed my eyes...*whine, whine, WHINE* We decided to bring her crate into the bedroom, which helped, but she still whimpered off and on throughout the night. At least Bella wasn't crying too.

I knew that we should expect crying and that we'd have to work on housebreaking (oh, the joy) but I forgot that you have to teach puppies things like walking on a leash. She started getting the hang of it last night but we still have a long way to go. The kids have been enjoying running up and down the street with her. Oh, and I was looking at her papers last night and it says that she was born in Berryville, Arkansas. LOL!!!

Later this morning, we're ditching Comcast in favor of AT&T. I'm pretty excited about it since we'll be getting a new DVR and can finally watch all of our channels on both TVs. We only get the very basic cable on our upstairs TV because it doesn't have a box.

The kids had their first day of Sunday School for the year yesterday. It was cute to see the kids in their new classes. I have to say that I'm happy that Hannah didn't get the same teacher Daniel had...it wasn't that she was bad but she just wasn't very energetic. I really think she should be teaching older kids. I'm not sure why but they combined the third grade this year so there are two teachers. That should be very interesting.

After dropping off Hannah, I ran into one of the rabbis, who was also walking out of the first grade room (one of her daughters is in Hannah's class...as an aside, the rabbi also had a baby about a month ago). Rabbi H came up to me, threw an arm around my neck and let out a huge sigh. "We made it!" She told me, obviously very relieved. I laughed and said, "yes, we did! At least you didn't try dropping your girls off in the wrong room!" Rabbi H looks at me quizzically. "I walked over to the 4th grade room and tried to drop Daniel off there. The teacher asked me if Daniel was in 4th grade and I said yes while he was saying no! I don't have the same baby excuse you can use!" She laughed and said, "well, in all fairness, that's always been the third grade room." That probably is why I was so confused. Too funny.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Yeah, We're Kinda Crazy

Okay, so we got a new dog. A Miniature Schnauzer named Alice. She and Oriana seem to get along okay but we're not going to be leaving them alone together anytime soon. She's so stinking cute. She's also pretty much full grown so she won't be getting much bigger.

Oh, and this is Mike's fault. LOL!











Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hannah's First Game

Hannah had her first soccer game this morning. She was so excited. In previous years, the teams had played at different schools in the district. This year, Overland Park opened a brand-spanking new soccer complex. I think there are about 14 fields. For the games, we play on half of the field with two others playing on the other half. They then break the field up even more so that the kids get even more play time. Since it's 4 on 4, they wouldn't get a whole lot of playing time since there are an average of 14 girls on each team. It's kind of hard to explain but they kind of break each team up into two and they play side-by-side on a quarter of the field. Each with their own goal. It was so cute to watch them running up and down the field. At this age, they don't play positions and all you see is 8 girls running up and down with a ball in the middle. It's pretty funny. I'm so glad she had a good time. She really went after it out there and tried her best.

Oops!! Don't fall! The girl really needs some cleats. I didn't want to get her any until I knew she liked playing.
I love this picture. Hannah and two of her friends sit and chat on the sidelines. Too cute. Oh, and that grass they're sitting on...astroturf. Looks real doesn't it?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

So Sore

A few weeks ago, I was at Hannah's very first soccer practice. A few of the moms were talking about putting together a mom's soccer team in this indoor league that another mom had previously played in. Sheri, the mom that had played before, looks at me and says, "you played in high school, right? Are you in?" I thought about it for a little while and decided I was.

Our first game was Monday night and boy, did I feel that game all day today. It was seriously fun, though. I played in my usual defender position and was surprised to find that I wasn't too bad. Even after all these years. However, I'm definitely not 15 anymore. I came home so stiff. The games are 44 minutes long (two 22 minute halves) and I probably played 20. I didn't find my groove until minute 42. Just when I started to get into the zone, the end buzzer went off. Ugh. Figures. What was cool was one of my neighbor's husbands came up to me after the game and said, "you know, Barb, you were really good out there." Thanks Nathan! :) I never thought that I'd be playing team sports again and it's pretty awesome. I needed something to fill the void that MOPS left and I really think this is it.

On a side note, the girl that had proclaimed her hatred for me in high school has been nothing but overly-friendly too me lately. She's been posting on my Facebook page and messaging me about what a great mom I am and how she's so happy that we're friends. Give me a break. I'll be polite and all that but she's not one that I'm going to be getting together with the next time I'm in Peoria.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Really???

Venting...

Tonight was interesting. Very interesting. An old "friend" from high school informed me, in her Facebook status comments, that she hated me in high school because I was immature. She went on to say that she was also mad at me for stealing her best friend in high school as well. But isn't it great that we're all so much older and we can forget about all that?

Wow. She's held a grudge against me for at least 16 years. Good for her for getting it out after all this time. But what makes me mad is that she felt she had to let me know so publicly. Especially since we (literally) have 79 mutual friends...including the friend that I guess I stole (because, apparently, she had no free will).

For the record, I wasn't very fond of her either. You'd think she'd be more upset that I actually stole her boyfriend rather than her best friend. But there was no mention of that. Huh. Go figure.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Phew!!!

Okay...so I've been really, really bad about posting. I will try to do better. I promise.

This is the kids' third week of school. That doesn't seem possible. I've already gotten a call from Daniel's teacher about getting homework done. It's frustrating when he "forgets" his assignment notebook or doesn't fill it out completely. I really think they should have one starting in second grade but whatever. At least he's got his teacher wrapped around his finger. Hannah's doing really well in first grade. She LOVES her teacher and seems to be loving the challenge that comes with more the tougher academics of first grade. Jacob loves being high man on the totem pole. In fact, tomorrow he has hall duty in the morning. One of his fourth grade friends told Jacob that having hall duty was "tight." I just thought that was seriously funny. Translation for Dad...cool or awesome. Gotta keep up with the current slang. :)

Hannah's been really enjoying soccer. Her coach is fantastic and the kids really love him. She's getting really good at dribbling the ball and keeping it away from defenders. First game is in two weeks on the swanky new fields in Overland Park. Their team name is the Shamrocks because they wear green jerseys. Hannah was mad that they weren't the Green Lightning. I don't know where she got that from but she was convinced that was their team name.

Most of the moms on Hannah's team play on a recreational soccer team of their own. I was asked to join said team. Like an insane lunatic, I said yes. Our first game is next Monday. This should be seriously funny. I haven't played since high school. I can't keep from laughing as I type this!!!

Hannah's team also has a winter basketball team. *sigh* Seriously??? Of course, she wants to play. And she wants to play soccer again next Spring. And softball next summer. Oh, and there's no way she's quitting gymnastics (she told me that). How funny is it that of the three, she's my athletic one?

Jacob's looking into the violin mentoring program this year. Basically, the high school kids come to teach the elementary kids for 1/2 hour a week (private lessons) for FREE. Since they get community service hours out of it, they can't charge (they do in the summer since they don't get the credit). He's excited about the private lessons. I'm trying to figure out how to put another 1/2 hour into my week.

Daniel is...well...Daniel. He's just enjoying living life and drawing. He's been filling up notebook after notebook of drawings. He's been creating various characters in anticipation of a comic book series he's going to write when he's older. I hope he does.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Making Herself At Home

Little Bella has decided that she loves the stairs. Unfortunately, she likes to go up and down them on the outside of the rail. She also thinks it's a good place for a nap.

Bella's adjusting really well to our crazy zoo. She endured a full day of not just my kids but their friends as well. I really think she enjoyed playing with them all. She's never felt the need to hide and needed to be in the center of everything. I think we got a good one.

Here's little Bella Swan on the stairs. She's going to give me a heart attack!



Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Not a Replacement

Meet Bella.



We adopted her this evening. I had no intention of getting a kitty today but she just wanted to go home with us so much. So, here we are. She's 13 weeks old (and very big already. I think she's going to be a big girl.) and she's a little love bug. As we speak, she's sitting in my lap purring. In fact, I don't think she's stopped purring since we first picked her up. Oh, and yes, her name is after Bella from Twilight. Jacob's idea and I loved it. I would have preferred Rosalie, but Bella's good. It'll be nice to have a cat with a normal name. I certainly wasn't thinking about that when I named Guillermo. He was unique, though.

So, Bella hates Oriana and has already landed two paws full of claws in her nose. She could care less about Peaches.

I need to get some new batteries for my camera so I can take better pictures since the phone takes really crappy ones. But here she is. Our new girl. I still miss Guillermo.

Okay...

So life without Guillermo kind of sucks. I always knew that I'd miss him but I didn't realize I'd miss him this much. :( I swear I've seen him at least five times today.

The kids and I went to Petsmart today to see if they had a little marker stone for his spot. Of course we went in to see the kitties up for adoption while we were there. Daniel fell in love with this cat that was about 18 months old and looked like Guillermo but with white paws. The love ended when the cat hissed at him. Hannah was all over this little 10 week old black and white cutie that was just the sweetest little thing. He so badly wanted to come home with us but I just couldn't do it. Sue told me 3 days...Dad told me a week. I've decided that I just might be ready when I can look at the sign for the cat supplies in the pet store without crying. Yeah, I ran out of Petsmart crying like a blubbering idiot. And that's okay. I just need my friends to stop texting me to say that they found me the perfect kitten up at Wayside Waifs...okay, so it's two kittens. LOL! Oh well. Stephen means well. I just hope I don't show up to find a kitten sitting in my chair at TKD tomorrow!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

RIP Guillermo Cat




This was quite a rough day. I certainly didn't expect to be burying Guillermo this afternoon, but we did. I was just happy that I found what was left of him before the kids did. Luckily, they didn't see any of it. Mike was really good about going to get him from our neighbor's backyard and digging the hole and doing it all without me or the kids seeing it.

Jacob was very upset. He had just told me last night that Guillermo was his best friend. He said that he was feeling guilty because he'd been very hard on Guillermo for watching the hamsters. I told him that he shouldn't feel guilty at all.

Hannah was sad because she felt like she should be. She understands that Guillermo's not coming back but she's just not all that sad about it. Which is just fine. I wouldn't expect her to be overcome with sadness. I can just tell that she sees me sad and thinks that's how she should feel. She's too precious.

Daniel just wanted to see what was left. We didn't show him, of course. That's not to say that he doesn't miss Guillermo but he's all into the gross and disgusting right now.

I just wish we could have buried him under the black-eyed Susans in the backyard. It was his favorite spot to sit on warm summer days. There was just too much clay to dig a proper hole there so Mike placed him under the rose bushes on the side of the house. The kids all went around and picked different flowers to place on his little grave. It was so sweet. Even their little friends, Kellan and Mikayla, joined in and placed flowers down.

A little later, I'd gone out to check on the site and I noticed a fluffy little cat toy had been placed on the grave. Jacob later told me that he thought Guillermo might like one of his favorite toys. A little later, I noticed that two other little toys showed up (a catnip squirrel and a neopets toy). We're going to look for a little stone to place there. Not anything creepy that says his name but just a little something.

It's shocking how quiet the house is without him. It hurts to go into the bathroom and not have him yelling at me to turn the water on. Or to go into the kitchen and not have him begging for more food because the dog's eaten it all. Just sitting on the couch and not having him jump up in my lap is wrong.

I do have to say that I'm really glad I let him eat what was left of Daniel's chocolate ice cream last night. Normally I'd have brushed him off of the table but I just kind of figured whatever last night.

I miss my grouchy little guy. He was my first baby.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Holiday Weekend

It's been a strange weekend. Daniel had Bear Scout camp Friday into Saturday so he and Mike were gone. They arrived back home in time for dinner on Saturday and then we went to see Ice Age. After the movie was fireworks and then home for bed. This morning, we packed Mike and Jacob up for Webelos camp. They'll be gone for a few days.

The house always feels off when people are gone. Daniel and Hannah were clearly lost all day without Jacob. They didn't know what to do with themselves. Luckily, some new neighbors helped with the boredom.

A new family moved in a few days ago and they also have three kids. The oldest is Daniel's age and the middle one is Hannah's age. Their mom was not used to the sheer amount of kids that live on our street so she was a little taken aback.

It was just so nice to be outside and talking to adults. I find that when Mike's gone I get next to no adult conversation and most conversations start with "Mooooooooooooooom!" Ugh. Hopefully there will be people out tomorrow too, or I may just lose my mind. At least I know that Mike and Jacob are having a good time at camp.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Pitchmen

FYI...there's a Pitchmen marathon on Discovery Channel today. I can't believe how sad I am about Billy Mays.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Told You I'm Obsessed...

I cannot get this song out of my head. Yes, it's Blue October. No, it's not the real video since it hasn't been released yet as a single. The kids singing on it are so cute. Hard to believe it's Blue October since it's such a happy cheery song.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hmmm..

What an interesting week. Ed McMahon, Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Billy Mays all in one week. Crazy. While I'm really tired of all the Michael Jackson coverage, I'm all over the music. A good portion of my childhood revolved around Thriller. I showed Jacob the Thriller video on YouTube this afternoon. He'd never seen it before. He loved it. We also went through Billy Jean and Smooth Criminal. The videos are so long, though, that he lost interest after those three. Oh well.

The kids have been outside all day, everyday, all summer long. They come in every now and then to eat or get a drink or to tattle but otherwise they're gone. I love it. Of course, all the SPF 50 sunscreen hasn't kept Hannah from looking like the Coppertone girl. LOL! Her little butt is so white and the rest of her so isn't. I like to think they're having a good summer.

Really, that's about it from here. Not a whole lot going on and that's the way I like it. Just thinking about the upcoming school year stresses me out.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Where Is This Summer Going?

I blinked and June's almost over. How did that happen? We've already had a great summer, though. We got our vacation and the kids got to go to their very first concert.

Last weekend, we headed to Red, White and Boom. It's an annual outdoor concert that the radio station I listen to puts on. Mostly up and coming artists with one hit or so and then they have a headliner that's been popular for a while. Needless to say, since Mike's stuck in the 70's, he was not at all happy about going. He was a convert by the time the concert was over. Especially after Blue October played (they played just before the headliner, David Cook...although I think they could have easily headlined.)

They've become my summer obsession. Two years ago, it was Maroon 5, last year it was Twilight (although I think it was after the summer) and now it's Blue October. Their music is deep on so many levels. I wish I was able to get Calling You on video but I was too into the song to record it. I did, however, get Hate Me on video. Awesome, awesome and amazing. For those not familiar, this song is an apology from the lead singer to his parents for all of the crap he put them through while he was growing up. The lead singer deals with bipolar disorder and drug/alcohol addiction. The answering machine message at the beginning is an actual message to the lead singer from his mother. Also, it's pretty explicit so watch out when listening around young ones (Mike would cringe every time they would drop the F-word). Please pardon my singing along. Also, at the very beginning, that is NOT me screaming like a banshee! :) However, I do give out a few "whoooooos." Lyrics are below.

video

Hate Me by Blue October

I have to block out thoughts of you so I don't lose my head
They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed
Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I'm alone
Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home
There's a burning in my pride
A nervous bleeding in my brain
An ounce of peace is all I want for you will you never call again
And will you never say that you loved me just to put it in my face
And will you never try to reach me it is I that wanted this

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the tings I didn't do for you
Hate me in ways
Yea ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

I'm sober now for three whole months that's one accomplishment that you helped me with
The one thing that alwasy tore us apart is the one thing I won't touch again.
In my sick way I want to thank you for holding my head up late at night
While I was busy waging wars on myself you were trying to stop the fight
You never doubted my warped opinions on things like suicidal hate
You made me compliment myself when it was way too hard to take
So I'll drive so f****** far away that I never cross your mind
And do whatever it takes in your heart to leave me behind

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you
Hate me in ways
Yea ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

With a sad heart I say bye to you and wave
Kicking shadows on the street for every mistake that I had made
And like a baby boy I never was a man
Until I saw your blue eyes cry and I held your face in my hand
And then I fell down yelling make it go away
Just make her smile come back and shine just like it used to be
And then she whispered how can you do this to me

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn't do for you
Hate me in ways
Yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what's good for you

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ask For a Little Storm...(and a big vacation photo post)

Well, I finally got my awesome storm last night....on what's considered the last day of severe weather season. The lightning started a good hour before the rain and continued well after the rain slowed. The rain came down in sheets. We lost power for just a second so that wasn't so bad. We also didn't get any hail, which was good. We did, however, get some really nasty wind. Enough wind that it blew my hanging flower baskets down. And those suckers can take some wind. I thought about pulling them down but didn't want to be touching a bunch of metal in a huge lightning storm. Luckily, they don't seem injured, so that's good. I saw Jacob in his room just watching the lightning from his bed. It was cute. I joined him for a while and we 'oohhed' and 'ahhhhed' at it all. He asked me to wake him up if the storm got cooler. LOL!

While we were on vacation, they came and inspected our fence around the pool. He left us a note asking if we could get the fence just a smidge closer to the house and that otherwise, we're good. Sweet. Now I can get on with my life.

We got back from our Oklahoma trip on Sunday evening. We were barely in the garage when the kids' friends were asking if they could play. They were certainly missed while we were gone.

The trip to Tulsa was surprisingly easy. Especially since there are no interstates between here and there. We had to take 169 Hwy all of the way. Fortunately, not only was it four lane for a good chunk, it was also 65mph. Nice. We also only hit about 5 towns before Tulsa so we didn't have to slow down much. There's not much in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma...lots of hay, wheat and little oil pumps. That was the funniest thing. We also passed signs for Independence, KS and I realized we're not that far. I'm so going before the summer's over.

In addition to the water park, aquarium, Build-A-Bear and other stuff we did, we caught up with Mike's great-aunt and two cousins, who live in Tulsa. That was really neat. Of course I took a few hundred pictures (literally)...

Daniel at the Air and Space Museum. They had a hands-on portion that they loved.
Jacob was the only one tall enough to do this. He was like an astronaut.
Hannah in a plane
Waiting for the movie at the planetarium
Okay...so on our honeymoon, we got to pet stingrays. I asked Mike to take a picture of me petting one. When the film came back, it was just my hand and the stingray. For ten years, I've been on Mike about that. Here, Mike tries to fix that wrong. Here's me petting a stingray. Of course, I wasn't paying attention to the stingrays and one of them put my hand in their mouth. It felt strange and squishy (not painful in the slightest) but it scared me enough to scream and pull my hand out abruptly and splash the heck out of Daniel, who was standing right next to me.
The kids and Mike pet the stingrays.
This was cool. They had a tunnel where the bull sharks would swim above your head.
The kids outside of the aquarium.
The Oklahoma Aquarium
At the zoo, they had a rainforest exhibit and there were tons of these little blue poison dart frogs.
There were also monkeys running around. So close we could have touched them.
The kids goof around at the lion drinking fountain.
These tigers were too cute. They had such a good time with this ball.
At the zoo.
We ate dinner at the most bizarre steakhouse. Before the steaks came hummus, pita and tabbouleh. Oh, and cabbage rolls!
Did I mention that dinner also came with a basket of ribs and smoked bologna?
Daniel in the lazy river at the water park
Jacob loved the wave pool. I have to admit that I did too.
My little Hannah was fearless. This slide emptied into a 9ft deep pool. The girl had no problem swimming to the side.
I couldn't believe Jacob went down this 7 story tall slide. Three times. That's him going down.
And at the bottom.
Here's Mike going down.
These slides were 5 stories tall. The kids loved it. Hannah comes down.
And Jacob
And Daniel. The yellow one was faster than the green one. The pink one was for the tubes...Hannah was mad because we wouldn't rent one and she really wanted to go down the pink slide.
Mike's cousin, Kenny, Mike's great-aunt Lorraine and his cousin, Robert with us in the background just after breakfast Sunday morning.
One of my favorite things from the trip. We confused the Garmin so much that it stopped telling what road we should turn on. Instead we got, "Left on road."
The kids wait for the Build-A-Bear to open. They were so excited.
Jacob stuffs his bear.
Hannah dressing hers
The kids with their finished products. Of all the things we did in Tulsa, this is the one thing they can't stop talking about.
Daniel is a happy boy.
This is the coolest sign. You'll have to click on the picture to make it bigger so you can read it. This is the border coming from Oklahoma back into Kansas. It says, "Leaving Cherokee Nation."