Wednesday, September 24, 2008

IEP Meeting

We had Caleb's SECOND IEP meeting today. I met the itinerant speech language pathologist (SLP) who would be working with Caleb if he attended school in our town instead of where we work. I also met the itinerant deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) teacher who would be working with Caleb if he attended school in our town. The SLP would come out monthly to test his hearing aids and work with us to make sure he continues to have some sort of amplification depending on his needs. The DHH teacher would work with his teachers to make sure they're appropriately modifying instruction so he is getting the help he needs. And his speech teacher, who we had met before, was there as well. If he attended school in our town, he would be receiving services with her, as well.

So now we are faced with a big dilemma. Do we switch his school? He LOVES his school, but I am pretty sure he is having a hard time understanding his new teacher, who is a second-language learner. For Nikki, I wouldn't have given this a second thought. But since Caleb has some strange speech patterns, I'm thinking a more apppropriate speech model might be in order. Still, he has shown great improvement in just a month, and he LOVES going to school every day.

Fortunately, there is no hurry to make this decision. For right now, the plan is to wait and see what kind of progress he makes with his speech teacher at Children's Hospital (we've been approved for 32 visits through our insurance). Still, I am struggling with how much more progress he might be making if he were in a more supportive environment. And then there's the fact that he only has one more year until he should start kindergarten. And then there's that decision to be made-do we start him at five or wait a year??

I feel so inadequate when trying to make these decisions. I wish God would just whack me on the head and say, "DO THIS!!!!!" So if you're reading this and you're a praying person, PLEASE pray for guidance for us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Back to School Night

Tonight was Back to School Night at Nikki's new public school. It was very strange to walk onto a campus with which I am totally unfamiliar and meet teachers of whom I have no knowledge. I also didn't know ONE parent. Not one.

All the teachers seemed very capable and knowledgeable. I am a little concerned that the history/language arts teacher is going out on maternity leave in February (maybe even January?), but I guess I don't get to have any say in that, either. Not that I begrudge her her initiation into motherhood, of course. It's just the downside to having been that teacher on maternity leave; I know how disruptive it can be.

I miss the little Catholic school where I know all the parents, all the kids, and all the teachers. They keep stopping to talk to me when I pick up Caleb. They all ask about Nikki and when she's coming back. I think they expected her to hate her new school, or at least miss her old school enough to want to go back. She doesn't-but I do. *sigh*

Monday, September 15, 2008


It's been two weeks and three days since Caleb got his hearing aids, and we are definitely making progress. He is comprehending SO MUCH MORE of what we say, even without any additional services!

Normally, I wouldn't ever choose to take him somewhere if I had a choice of leaving him home with Scott. Taking him somewhere always meant a meltdown that would result in me tucking him under my arm while pinning his down, and carrying him football-style to the car where I could wrestle him into his car seat. It's been fun, let me tell you. So tonight, when he wanted to go to the store with Nikki and me, I hesitated. Especially since he hadn't had REAL dinner yet (just a snack).

However, he insisted that he wanted to go to the library. I explained to him that the library would be the LAST place we visited, and if he had good behavior he could go, but if he had bad behavior, he would be taken home. He started freaking out because he couldn't find his shoe, and I reminded him of our deal. Normally, it would have gone something like this:

Me: What do you need to do if you want to go with us?
Caleb: ???
Me: Do you want to go with us or stay home?
Caleb: Stay home.
Me: Okay, let's go.
Caleb: NO!! I WANT TO GO WITH YOU!!! (followed by a screaming fit into the house)

Instead, it went like this:

Me: What do you need to have?
Caleb: Good behavior.
Me: !!!!!

Tonight, oh glorious night, he went to THREE STORES, we stopped for some Jamba Juice (I know, I know, this doesn't qualify as dinner), and THEN went to the library. And guess what??? HE BEHAVED THE WHOLE TIME!!!! EVEN in the library! EVEN when his turn was up on the computer!

God bless the miracles of modern technology resting behind my son's ears.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Athletic Director?

Here's something I've never blogged about: SCOTT'S job!

Scott was hired this summer to be our school's athletic director. He took over for a man who really was more interested in taking care of his own needs than the students', and he left behind what is commonly referred to as a "hot mess."

Since taking this job, Scott has had to hire an entirely new coaching staff, track down keys from former coaches, find computers and other technology that should have been in the coaching office, etc. Of course, one might expect to have to complete such tasks as athletic director. What one might NOT expect is to be up until 11:00 researching washing machines for the locker room. Which is what he is doing right now. One might also NOT expect to spend the better part of a week trying to fix improperly-burned lines on a football field, re-doing the lines in white paint, and then PAINTING OVER the burned lines with GREEN paint, in preparation for the first football game.

By the way, this is NOT a paid position. He's supposed to get a full release period to do this job (which still wouldn't be enough at this point), but instead he gets an advisory period (half of a regular period) to do it.

I'm certain that, eventually, he'll get his all straightened out. In the meantime, we're eating a lot of dinners without him. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

God Bless Starbucks!

Scott decided to stop at Starbucks on the way home today. Anything I order there is decaf, because I have a heart condition that is aggravated by caffeine (I wind up with nasty palpitations if I drink leaded coffee). But I think today that, even though I ordered a decaf mocha mint chip frapuccino, that they gave me the leaded version. Why?

Since I have been home I have vacuumed, spot cleaned the carpet, made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, bathed Caleb, and tidied the play room. And I didn't get home until 5:30. And I'm not even tired yet. But my heart is pounding.

WHY does caffeine have to have such a negative effect on me?? I NEED it! Or at least my family needs me to have it!

Social Butterfly

Nikki's personality is NOTHING like mine! At her age, I was shy and introverted. I still hate change. In social situations, I never approach someone I don't know and introduce myself. I'll speak to anyone willing to talk to me, but I would never initiate it.

My daughter, on the other hand, is a social butterfly. In the week she's been at her new school, she has introduced herself to a family that also walks to and from school so she has someone to walk with. She has met about seven new friends (all of whose names start with the /k/ sound?). She has been invited to a back-to-school luau this Friday. She has friends calling on the phone. She is very, very happy.

I am happy for her (REALLY!), but it's requiring some paradigm shifts on my part (have I mentioned that I hate change?). I'm going from having her across the street from me all day at a school where I not only know all the kids, but also all the parents and teachers, and have known them for at least seven years (some of them for ten!) to a school I've never even set foot on except for at evening Girl Scout leader meetings. I don't know the teachers, I don't know the kids, and I've never even met the girl hosting the party, much less her family. I had to make an awkward phone call introducing myself to her mom last night:

"Hello, I'm Nikki's mom. She's very excited to attend your daughter's party on Friday, but I'm having a nervous breakdown because I'm entrusting my child to your care and I have never even met you. Please forgive me, I'm sort of an emotional basket case."

Okay, maybe it didn't go QUITE like that. But I think New Friend's Mom could tell that I was a little uncomfortable with the whole thing. I did give her my cell, my home phone, and Scott's cell just in case.

Today, Nikki informed me that this same friend wanted her to go home with her after school.

I'm just not handling this transition well. Her anxiety may be improving, but mine is most certainly NOT!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

White Coat Syndrome?

When I took my computer in for repair last week, it was doing some crazy things when I moved the mouse (like drawing big squares on the screen and not opening what I was clicking). When I took it into Cry Wolf (finally, six months after my fiasco), it was just fine (aside from the non-functioning keys). The technician said it was "white coat syndrome"-that it would perform poorly until I took it to a professional, at which point it would be perfectly functional. Regardless, they took my beloved laptop and, joy of joys, it WORKS AGAIN WITHOUT AN EXTERNAL KEYBOARD. Of course, it cost $300 to get there, but it's fully functional once again!!

When I Googled "white coat syndrome," it said it was the opposite (that the problem only appears IN the doctor's office), but whatever happened to my computer happened to Caleb's hearing aid. As soon as I gave it to the audiologist, it worked.

So now we have a fully functioning laptop AND hearing ears. But, as predicted, the handle to the back hatch on the van broke this morning.

I'm getting the feeling that September may not be my month.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Dead Hearing Ear

Caleb's hearing aid died sometime in the night. I'm not sure what went wrong. I put the battery back in and turned it on, but it didn't whistle when I closed it in my hand (my own method for checking battery function). So I changed the battery. And it still didn't whistle. So I listened with the little stethescope-looking thing they gave me, and sure enough, dead as a doornail. I checked the first battery with the battery tester and it still had juice.

So tonight I left a message for the audiologist. It's not very reassuring when a two-week-old hearing aid (which, in case I haven't mentioned it, cost TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS!) stops working.

This is so much fun!! :P

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Saturday Morning

Caleb: (lacking a tone of true panic) Help me!
Scott: (unconcerned) What's wrong?
Caleb: It's stuck!
Scott: What's stuck?
Caleb: Taleb!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Six things you never wanted to know about me...

Melissa tagged me in a "meme" (which would be called a survey on MySpace, I think), so now I have to tell you six things about me and then tag six more of YOU. Since I don't think there are six people who read my blog, that may be a challenge. So here goes...

1. I met Scott when we were in sixth grade. His best friend was in my class. I had a crush on him in 9th grade, he had a crush on me in 11th grade, but we didn't start dating until senior year.

2. Our golden retriever, Maggie, was born on our "dating" anniversary, November 17.

3. If we had had another girl, her name would have been Adelle. My grandma's name was Donna Dell. Her name was supposed to be Donna Adelle, but they messed up her birth certificate, and she didn't even change it when she got married. I guess she got used to the alliteration. Anyway, the plan was to rectify it in the next generation. I guess it wasn't meant to be rectified.

4. Everybody at school thinks I'm scary. I don't get it.

5. This year, I colored my hair for the first time, got reading glasses, gained five pounds, and my back went out on Tuesday night so that I could barely stand up for my first day of school. Apparently, my body reached some sort of critical mass at 38.

6. I am really bad at coming up with things to tell you about me. Clearly.

Okay, DONE! Now Rachel, Tami, Ronnie, Lisa, Sara, and YOU (just tell me who you are) are next!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Settling In

We're starting to settle into our school-year reality. Of course, we're only two days into life with students and Nikki's new school, but things seem to be going well so far (not that I'm trying to jinx myself or anything...).

Caleb has accepted the fact that he can no longer be with his teacher from last year (because her class is for little ones in diapers) and is happy to go to school each day. We are taking frequent breaks from his "hearing ears" (or in today's case, all day since Daddy forgot to put them on) and his behavior has been MUCH improved.

Nikki started at her new school yesterday and LOVES it. She has made a couple friends and is managing the walk to and from just fine. She found a mom and son to walk with today on the way there. She went the long way on the way home, but made it just the same. She is very excited about the minimal homework load. We're going to the library today after everyone is snacked and done with homework.

My classes are running smoothly and my students are great. The school is a hot mess, but as long as I hide in my classroom and teach my kids it affects me very little. My only concern is that we may be losing an instrumental colleague and I'm pretty sure the school will fall apart without him. It's close anyway. I'm choosing to pray about it and let God work it out.

So far, so good!