Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ethan's Jealousy

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An example of Ethan's stealing. This was Nathanial's cow lovey and he was dragging it around, so Ethan had to have it. Ethan has a teddy lovey exactly like this, but that wouldn't do. Nathanial eventually gave up, long before Ethan would have, and Ethan ended up with his lovey! This went on for two or three minutes before I thought to video it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another hearing test

Aidan had a massive ear infection in July. His first ever and it was nasty. When we took him into his ENT to have a look, we found out he had a lot more going on than "just" an ear infection. We got it all straightened out and still felt like he wasn't hearing well. She looked and both his tubes were still in place. So we decided to wait until he started preschool and then do the speech and hearing evals through AEA.

He had his hearing evaluated in October and didn't do so hot. I got a letter home that day that said he had failed in his left ear and if we wanted to take him in before we got the formal evaluation report back, we could. We decided to wait until we got it back. We got them back today and they were not good.

The audiologist says that he has "significant hearing loss" in his left ear. He is not at a "learning level" with that ear. The formal recommendation from AEA is to get him into his ENT asap and have him sit with his right ear towards the speaker and other kids. That was a little overwhelming. I knew he wasn't hearing, but I had no idea it was that bad. So I called his doctor and he goes in December 12. Hopefully it is just that he needs tubes again and this is permanent damage.

Tonight, Steve was talking to him and he kept saying "What?," "What did you say?," like always. So I told Steve to try talking near his right ear. So, we turned Aidan and Steve told him in the same tone of voice what he had said and he got it instantly. It was interesting because Steve was NOT facing his left ear, he was standing directly in front of him, and he still couldn't hear until Steve stood near his right ear. Explains why he sits on top of the TV, with it jacked way up and why he can't hear me. We went through all this before, but since he was hearing some of what we were saying, I didn't think it was so bad.

He had his speech evaluation done a couple of weeks ago and we haven't heard anything back yet on that. The audiologist said that his speech would more than likely be affected by his lack of hearing in his report, so I guess we'll just wait and see what the SLP said. If she takes as long as the other guy, it will be a while before we hear back.

Ethan's Turn

Last night, Ethan started having more and more problems with wheezing. His wasn't as bad as Nathanial's, so we spent an hour steaming him and then put on the Baby Vicks and put him to bed. It was another night of little sleep for me, as I listened closely to him to be sure he wasn't getting worse through the night. He didn't get worse, but he didn't get better.

He woke up this morning to a lot of wheezing, so I did the shower and Vicks again and it didn't seem to help. I decided to call the doctor. He called back and wanted to see him. I wasn't too thrilled about that and he knew it, so he asked when Steve got off and if I would have to bring out everyone. I said I did, so then he asked if it was similar to Nathanial. After much thought on his part, he thankfully said he would try a prescription of the same meds as Nathanial and see if it helps. If it doesn't, then I will take him in. So far, it isn't helping a whole lot, but he needs more than one dose to help also. If he isn't better by tomorrow, I'll call again and take him in. I just hate the idea of dragging everyone in. Steve took off Friday then took off 1/2 day on Monday so I could take just Nathanial and Noah in, so I don't want to ask him to take off more time to come home again.

Speaking of Ethan, he is now stuck under the table (can't figure out how to get out after he got in!), so I need to get him out!!

Prayers for everyone to get better fast would be much appreciated!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Another Doctor Visit

Today we went back to our doctor for a recheck on Nathanial (what the ER doctor wanted us to do) and took along Noah. He has been very cranky and whiny. A different kind of whiny than normal...he just is miserable. Then he'll put his left ear on the floor and stop crying and just lay there like that for a while. So, he went along.

Our doctor felt like Nathanial is getting better from the prednisone (I agree) and we will just watch him. He has his last dose of prednisone tonight, so he might have a little revert in the breathing again. If he does, then he will just add a few more days to the course.

Noah has a little redness and fluid in his ear, but nothing major. We are just going to watch that and continue to use his numbing drops. If those quit working, or if he is still running a fever in a couple of days, then he wants to recheck him.

Ethan, Aidan, and Steve also have nasty colds. Here's hoping and praying everyone gets better soon!! (And I don't get it!!!!)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

ER Visit

On the way home from my sister's, I woke up to Nathanial barking in the back seat. When we got home, he was very hot and really barking and seeming to have some difficulty breathing. So, we slathered on the Baby Vicks and headed to the shower after getting Noah, Ethan, Austin, and Aidan to bed. We spent an hour in the steam filled bathroom, and he seemed a tiny bit better, but not a lot.

Steve wanted to try to put him to bed and see if sleeping would help him feel better. We laid him down while we unloaded the car and put everything away. Then I listened to him through the monitor and it sounded like he was now barking with every intake of breath. I decided he was going, because he didn't sound well and I wasn't going to sleep anyway. I went in to wake him up and was very glad that I did, because he was having a lot of difficulty by that point.

By the time we got to the ER, he was having retractions and just not breathing well. He loves blowing raspberries, but he was doing it every single time he would take in a he was trying to get more air that way.

Unfortunately, we had the doctor on call whom we have philosophical differences with. But, what are you going to do? She gave him a breathing treatment and that didn't help at all. Then she waited a while and finally decided that she would put him on Zithromax, prednisone, and a cough medicine "so I could sleep." She gave him the Zithromax and prednisone in the ER. He threw most of it up, but we tried. I was frustrated because I don't want my kids to have antibiotics unless they are clearly needed. She didn't even have a diagnosis for him!

We went home and he did sleep well. I kept the monitor on loud and barely slept, trying to listen to him. I did go back to bed this morning and Steve kept an eye on the boys for a few hours.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday and another Thanksgiving

Am I insane??? I do believe so! We spend the night at my sister's. Shawna and I got up WAY too early at 3:30 to go Black Friday shopping. There were some great bargains, though, so I was willing to do it. We had a lot of fun, too. Steve and Chris took care of all seven kids while we ran from store to store picking up bargains and waiting forever in lines.

Then we came home around 12 and got ready for Thanksgiving with my dad, stepmom, and little sister. I felt really bad because I was having issues with the babies and Aidan, so I was very little help in the kitchen.

It was another wonderful meal and very relaxing. It is so nice to not have to worry about going anywhere else and just enjoying the company you are with.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


This year we had my family Thanksgiving. This has been pretty stressful in the past because we have to have two huge meals in one day and everyone gets ripped off. My sister came up with a brilliant idea. We had Thanksgiving with my mom's family at Grandma's today and tomorrow we will have Thanksgiving with my dad at my sister's.

Today was a wonderful day! We were all so relaxed and we actually got to enjoy the holiday. There was no stress, no rushing around, no worrying about how much to eat (or not eat), and we didn't feel like we were cheating anyone. I loved it! It helped a lot that my boys were actually pretty good, too!

A little sad is watching my grandma. I have always been very close to my grandparents and that has been one of the hardest things about moving away from home. My grandmother has Alzheimer's. I used to not notice the slight differences in her when we would visit. It is becoming more and more obvious every time we go back. She did not make any of the food this year and that was hard to see. She has always been an amazing cook. Grandpa made a fabulous turkey, though! (He has always made the meat and it is always awesome!) Grandma asked one of the kids, in a joking way, what his name was. But it was very clear she had no idea which child he was. That was heartbreaking to me. I knew it was coming and I know my younger kids will never know the grandma I know. She used to play baseball with us and run around. She has always been so much fun. She is still fun, but she is quickly forgetting more and more. I know that I am lucky to have any grandparents alive, but this is still hard...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Six Years Ago

Was a day that greatly impacted our lives as a family. It was the day Steve became Austin's father...legally.

All the way back at the beginning, way before Steve, and even Austin, I made a choice. The choice of person wasn't great, but the outcome has been worth every single hardship along the way. Austin definitely wasn't a mistake...God has great things in store for that child, I know it.

I remember going to BirthRight and taking the pregnancy test. There I sat with my best friend, while the lady told me I was not pregnant after about 5 seconds. Sara then ensued in telling the nurse that it might not show up that fast and while they spoke, slowly the negative began to turn into a positive. I thought I was prepared for that eventuality, but as it got more and more positive, I got more and more scared. I was only just 19, what was I thinking??? How was I going to raise a child on my own??? Because I think even then I knew I would be doing this alone. The nurse then said that it could be a false positive because it wasn't very dark, but to get checked anyway.

I went back and told his biological father, "JR", that I was pregnant and his response was "Can I go finish my game now?" For, with my news, I had interrupted a very important Dungeons and Dragons game. He did and I was left alone to think.

I was very, very sick. I finally broke down and told my little brother what was going on. He told my sister who told my father, who told my mother, who called me. That was a nightmare. I wasn't yet ready to face that, but now I had to.

I ended up in the ER due to the morning sickness after being in urgent care, then the OB's office, then finally the ER to receive fluids and be sure it wasn't a tubal pregnancy. The relief I felt when I saw that tiny little baby with his little heartbeat, just fine, right where he should be, was overwhelming. In all of this, JR dropped me off at each destination and took my car with him. So my mom finally came to the ER with me.

Fast forward a few months and I knew I was ready to leave. I moved back home to raise Austin alone. I knew I would be eventually doing this, but I didn't realize I would be alone for the remainder of my pregnancy and birth. It really didn't matter that I was alone. It was better to have family that actually cared around me than JR who didn't really care and didn't want anything to do with me or this child.

For the first year of Austin's life, I begged JR to come visit Austin. He did three times. Each time, he said he didn't want anything to do with Austin if he couldn't have me, also. doesn't work that way. I was finally OK with being a single mom, I was not going to let him manipulate me any longer.

We saw each other occasionally in court, but otherwise our paths never crossed again. I attempted a termination of parental rights when I was single and Austin was three. That drug on for several months, with the final ruling not only with his rights not terminated, but he suddenly had visitation. This person who had not seen Austin beyond six months of age was now allowed to visit him? He did one time. When he failed to follow through with that, we went back to the sole custody agreement and all future supervised visits ceased.

Then I met Steve. Austin was four and I had just bought my first house. I was finally in a place where I accepted being alone, being a single parent, and I knew I could take care of myself and we would be all right. I think that is why things with Steve went so well....because I no longer needed someone, someone to take care of me, but companionship was nice. It was nice to have someone to talk to about anything.

Austin and Steve had a very rough start. He hated Steve. Steve did everything right, but Austin did not care. He was an invasion in his routine and someone new. We now know that the struggles they had the first 18 months were due more to Asperger's than anything else, but it was very trying during those times for me. I loved Austin so much and I loved Steve so much and Steve loved me and Austin, but it didn't matter to Austin. I am not sure any other man would have been able to go through those struggles and been a better person for it. Steve learned how difficult Austin could be, but it did not change how he felt about Austin, or me for that matter. He understood Austin needed his boundaries. Steve never, ever tried to parent Austin...they were just "friends" during that time.

When we knew we were going to get married, we started talking about adoption. Steve wanted very badly to adopt Austin, but we also both knew that since there was one failed attempt at termination that JR fought, it could very easily end that way. Steve said he didn't care...he considered Austin his son and if he could never legally adopt Austin or if Austin never had his last name, that didn't change anything.

The Monday after we were married, papers were sent to JR to relinquish all rights. He had 30 days to do so, without a court hearing trying for a termination. He waited that entire 30 days, also, but in the end, he signed off all parental rights. Whether he realizes it or not, that was the greatest gift, besides Austin, he could have given us. The papers were signed on September 18, one day before Austin's 6th birthday. And on November 21, 2001, Austin was officially adopted by Steve and became his son legally. That was the first day Austin called him "Dad" also. It was one week before Thanksgiving...we had a lot to be thankful for that year.

All the heartache of the past no longer matters...Austin has a father that knows and loves him very much. He has never had to worry about where he stands in our family. He has not had to have "visits" with another person, and for that, I am so thankful. He has not had to divide his time between parents. He has not had to worry about his brothers being "step" or "half." They are just, simply, brothers.

God works in amazing ways. I never could have imagined at 19 where my life would be today. I did not see God's plan then, nor did I even realize that God had a plan for my life. That he could use my trials and my sins for good.

Austin does not know all that I went through with JR. He has no idea the struggles we had and I will never share that with him. If he chooses to meet JR someday, he will be able to draw his own conclusions about him.

This year, our family has even more reasons to be thankful. We did not know that day in November 2001 the struggles we would have to add to our family. We were just beginning the journey. And now, six years later, we have five very healthy boys and a loving home where they are all safe and loved.

Thank you God for all the blessings you have bestowed upon our family....we are eternally grateful!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Two Steps!!!

It has happened....way too soon! Nathanial took two steps!!! Very wobbly, but two steps nonetheless. I believe Ethan and him are competing to see who will walk first. They both stand for several seconds without holding on to anything. Lately, I have been beginning to think Ethan will walk first, but maybe Nathanial will pick up the pace and do it. I cannot believe that at only 9 months they are even attempting this stuff!! Austin walked at 10 months, 10 days and Aidan didn't even try until he was 15 1/2 months old. I was kind of hoping they'd be closer to Aidan, but it appears they won't be. Noah is still very nervous. He will cruise right along beside them and stand up with them, but he never lets go and clenches on to me or Steve very tightly to be sure we don't let go. But, he does follow them pretty closely, so if they walk, he probably will sooner rather than later.

I know I keep saying it....I am sooo not ready for this!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

From the Mouth of Aidan...

Aidan can be very, very funny unintentionally. And I probably shouldn't even laugh about this, but it had me rolling.

Austin repeatedly tells Aidan "I am not your slave" when Aidan asks for something. Apparently, Aidan has been paying attention.

The other day, Aidan looked at Austin and said, dead serious, "Get me some milk, slave."

I know I should not laugh, but it was hilarious.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Time Alone With Austin

Austin and I have been going to his afternoon appointments with his doctor alone the last couple of times. Steve comes home from work and then I go pick up Austin and we go. I have come to cherish these times in just the short amount of time we have done it.

He doesn't generally talk to me much about anything anymore. He talks sometimes, depending on his mood, but it's usually just little tidbits here and there. Getting him to expand on anything is like pulling teeth.

When we are driving to these appointments, however, he has began to open up to me. He talks the whole way there and back. So much so that I almost long for the silence, but not quite. I love that he is talking to me. It isn't anything profound or deep, it's just real conversation, which is becoming increasingly rare lately. It is nice to have this window into his world and have him telling me what is going on.

We even had to do a little grocery shopping this time and, even though he really didn't want to, he was pleasant throughout it.

I'm getting a lot less "I'm just going to read my book now, OK, Mom?" on these trips than I have in the past or even when others are with us. It's really nice because I know the silence is only going to get worse long before it gets better...and I'm cherishing what I have right now.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Honor Roll

Austin made the honor roll for the first quarter and got in the newspaper. We are very proud of him. It was disappointing for him because he was so close to all A's and just didn't quite make it.

Academically, this year is still going very well for him. I am relieved because usually after the first few weeks, things start to slip, he doesn't do his homework, he just stops caring, but that isn't happening this year.

All we ask is that he continues to do his best and earn the grade he gets.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Let there be light!

Finally, after 6 years without an overhead light in our kitchen, we have light! About a year after we moved, our light went out in the kitchen. We tried new bulbs, new fuses, everything. I decided I was going to hold out on a new light, because I wanted a new kitchen. The lights above the sink and stove still worked, so although it was a little dark, it wasn't bad.

Then Aidan came along and I knew I probably wouldn't get a new kitchen for a little while and I didn't really have time to worry about it.

Then the new roof came and all that entailed. At that time, I wanted to put in french doors on the dining room, but our contractor actually advised against doing that until we redid the kitchen and could close up the door there along with putting in the new doors. So I waited and dreamed some more...

Then I got pregnant with the triplets. Well, now it's obvious I am not getting a new kitchen any time in the next, say, twenty years, so I started working on saying something about the light. But, still, there really wasn't too much time to worry about it. And after six years of having none, who really notices anymore?? Not us, that's for sure.

And, then, two weeks ago, it happened. The light above the sink, our "main" light, fizzled. It was now officially time to call in the pros...The Electrician. I had to make time now, because now my lamp from my living room is being used to light our kitchen.

The Electrician informed me that I needed to go buy a new light and then he would install it. Isn't there a way I could pay him to do it...rather than taking five ornery kids out to do it?? Besides, this wasn't in the schedule and Austin is going to be rather torked to have to go out.

Then, a brilliant solution. Leave Austin home and try to find one in town. It made us all happy. I'm happy to find it here, without taking everyone everywhere to find one; Steve's happy about the gas; and Austin's thrilled he doesn't have to go to Waterloo. I did find one light for the ceiling and one for the sink all in one stop here in town. It isn't as beautiful as I would have picked elsewhere, but, hey, I'm still holding out for The New Kitchen.

I called The Electrician back and he came to install it. Lo and behold, the #$%@ thing wouldn't work! So, he got the sink one in fine and it worked, then decided to try a new switch. That worked. Twenty minutes and he was done. This is why we hire professionals. Steve and I would have been there all day, hollering at each other, both torked, and still would have had to have called anyway. At least we both know we can't do it alone!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Aidan's Performance

Aidan sang in church today with the Cherub Choir. He was so cute! These two videos are his favorite verse and his favorite song that I have been hearing for weeks. You will have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to pause the music first, then listen to these. If you can't get them on here, they are on the dropshots page (link under "Our Family Photos" on the side).

Aidan singing his verse (Christ is the head of the church. Ephesians 5:23)

The second is his song:
(He is Lord)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Busy Day

Today we had the babies’ nine month check up and Aidan's conference.

I can’t believe they are nine months old!! They are doing awesome! Everyone is right on track to where they should be. They are definitely not behind in anything! Yay!!

Nathanial was 17 lbs, 15 oz and 29 ¼” long. His exam was perfect. He’s still the easiest of the three by far.

Ethan was 18 lbs, 4 oz and 28 ½” long. His head is taking a bit of a drop on the percentile charts, but Nathanial’s was also on the small side, thankfully. He said that he would be more concerned if he wasn’t keeping up developmentally, but since he is, someone has to be in the bottom 5th percentile, right? He has really, really dry skin but that was his only “issue.”

Noah was 18 lbs, 14 oz and 27 ½”. He has been having some issues with dairy, so we talked about that and we are just going to lay off all dairy with him until he is 12 months old and then try again. Since having their colds, he has also been extremely ornery lately and pulling on his right ear, so I mentioned that. It is a little red, but not infected (whew!), so we are going to try some numbing drops. If they help, then we know his ear is bugging him. If it doesn’t help, then it is something else. I hope it helps because he is exhausting lately!

We are having horrible jealousy issues, especially with Ethan, but also with Noah. Ethan gets very jealous whenever anyone else is being held or getting attention. He can be playing peacefully, but if he sees someone else get picked up, he hauls a$$ and moves over to wherever I am and whines or all out cries until he gets picked up.

Also, toys…they are become a huge issue! When someone has a toy, someone else will steal it, it’s guaranteed. Never matters how long they have had it, someone will find out and will take it. Then, they fight over it for a while and then someone gives up by throwing themselves backwards and throwing a temper tantrum. Nathanial is the worst about stealing toys. He wants what ever his brothers have!

I had Aidan’s conference this morning for school and it went really well. He’s doing great for his age. He’s a little behind with his motor skills and attention span with his classmates, but for his age, he’s doing awesome. All in all, very good. I have finally talked Steve into letting him start school when he is 6, instead of 5. All it took was seeing the age of the other kids in his class and he agrees it isn’t fair to send him. Our school district is insane with how early they cut off kids, so there are kids in his class who will be 6 in January and February and not in school yet! That’s not about to change, so we will just hold Aidan.

It was a great day. The babies finally took a nap when we got home (man, were they ornery after holding it off for three hours!) and are now getting up and happy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Not So Bad

OK, so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. In fact, all went pretty well. This dentists office has a place on their sheet to write if you are nervous about visiting the dentist. It actually has a ton of questions, but that was one. I wrote yes; as if it wasn't obvious by the fact that my last dental exam was dated a little while ago, in another city, before we relocated, before Aidan and the babies, etc.

The hygienist was, of course, someone I knew and when she was starting x-rays she asked if I didn't like dentists and I told her I hated it and didn't like being there at all, but knew I had to go. She said that at least I didn't let that impression color my boys' thoughts because they were great patients. Made me feel better, but they also have no idea how terrified I am of going.

So I'm thinking the worst....there will be 50 cavities (OK, maybe you don't even have that many teeth, but you get the point), I'll need a root canal, or some other horrible oral problem. My jaw kept popping when she put in the x-ray thingies, but that's normal for me. She heard it and commented on it.

Back to the little room we go and I get in the chair. She said she was just going to clean my teeth first. When she started she said there was an obvious advantage to my fear because my teeth looked fabulous and she never would have guessed I hadn't been to a dentist in...ahem...7 years. So she cleaned them and said all looked great and the dentist came in. This particular dentist has 5 year old twins, so at least we have multiples in common.

She looked over my x-rays and said they looked really good. I thought, yeah, right...she's going to wait to tell me the horrible stuff later. She did the exam and found a tiny cavity on one tooth near the back, so I have to get that fixed. She said it was nothing major and looked pretty new, probably caused by my last pregnancy. It was so little it didn't even show up on the x-ray. The shooting pain on the one tooth that I am feeling is caused by a "tiny" chip in it. She didn't think she could fix the chip, but she'd try if I wanted her to. For now, she put a desensitizer on it and said if that works, I don't have to get it fixed. It's working great.

That's it...that's all there was! I go back in next week to have the cavity fixed, and if I survive that, then I'll be doing great. I told Steve he ought to write my dad a thank you letter for the thousands of dollars he put in my mouth with sealants and braces and every other thing when I was little, because now, at my advanced age, I have two cavities, which apparently isn't very many.

So, it wasn't very bad...I'll admit it. I still hate going, but I will go more regularly now again. Thank you, Dad, for the offer of holding my hand. I knew you didn't enjoy holding me down, but I'm also thankful that I did have the advantage of excellent dental care when I was young because it apparently pays off your whole life. It's why I make sure my boys' teeth are well taken care of.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Absolutely Terrified...

....of the dentist. I cannot stand going and therefor, have not gone in over seven years (please, do not let my dad be reading this!!!). I have graciously allowed Steve and the boys to go, since we do not have dental insurance and use flex spending funds. But Steve is increasing the amount in January (five kids now and all), so that little plot has failed me and I knew I would have to go in January. I figured I could psych myself enough that I would go. My mouth, on the other hand, had other plans.

For the last month, I have had a dull pain on the right side of my mouth that has gradually gotten worse. It is now to the point where I have shooting pain any time anything goes near it or touches it. It is awful. So I knew it is time I have to go...flex spending money or not. I have something that doesn't feel quite right on the one tooth, also. Not sure what that's about, but it makes me nervous.

This all started when I was little. I didn't like the dentist to begin with...always thought they were evil people. I had a brace put on the roof of my mouth to separate that bone and my parents would turn the freaking key twice a day to "gradually" break it, to make more room. One would hold me down, the other would turn. They claim I wasn't that old when I had it done, but I remember it vividly. And, in my ensuing fear of dentist, it might be even worse now than it actually was, but I highly doubt it. I'm just be fair.

Then came four years of braces in high school. Thankfully, I had the clear ceramic kind, which was a blessing and a torture all rolled into one. They had just come out with them, so they may have perfected it a bit more now, compared to the dark ages, but I was constantly breaking them and saw my orthodontist far more often than anyone should. Which meant another tightening and more pain.

I went when I was pregnant with Austin because my wisdom teeth were coming in. Couldn't do anything about it...I was pregnant. So, I waited until he was born and they were thoroughly impacted, and had them removed. Surprisingly, they didn't do too much damage to my straight teeth. More on the bottom than the top and even that is fairly minor. That was bad enough, but then after they removed them, they discovered I had my very first cavity...pregnancy seems to bring them on. So I had to get that filled and that wasn't pleasant at all.

I skipped a couple of years and then, out of a sense of duty, went back. They found some minor damage and did a "sandblast" thing on them. That's honestly what the dentist called it. He said it wasn't a big deal. Bull $h*t it wasn't a big deal!!! I expected it not to hurt. I couldn't eat for three days I was in so much pain after that!!! And, supposedly, I had no cavities when he did it, so there was no drilling involved! That was the last time I went.

So now it's seven years, two pregnancies, and four kids later, and I am truly terrified. I have built it up and built it up to such a frenzy in my mind I can barely calm myself. I hate, hate, hate dentists. So much so that I wanted to go all the way to Waterloo so I could have a dentist I didn't know who wouldn't think I was a wuss. But, in the grand scheme of things, that wouldn't work. The drive back and forth would take two hours, plus the time in the dentist office, and it isn't feasible for Steve to take that much time off work. So, it was between his dentist and the kids. The kids dentist is in town, but I didn't really want to go there...them knowing me and all. But I caved and am going there tomorrow morning. I suppose after all is said and done I better just start going every six months like a "normal" person.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Day Off

Today both boys had school off (eick!!). They got money from Grandma and Grandpa C., Uncle Kevin, and Grandma and Grandpa B for Halloween, so I loaded everyone up and we headed to McDonald's "Playhouse" (as Aidan says). They haven't gone since last winter and I felt like we could do this.

Aidan decided last night that he needed slippers and his old ones didn't fit anymore. So we stopped at the store first and he bought himself Spiderman Slippers with his money. He got lucky and they were even on sale! He loves them and immediately changed into his pj's when we got home so he could wear them. Thanks everyone for the money!

Austin received a gift card to a bookstore for his birthday from "Uncle Michael Michael" and they have a great sale going on right now, so he is adding his Halloween money to the gift card and getting some great books with his money. Both of them have decided what money is left will go to their respective savings accounts.

Austin found out that for a mere $500, he can put his money into a CD and earn higher interest. He's about $50 from that goal, so he's getting really excited. He has to have some money still left in savings to do that, but I think it's a great idea. He's saving for a laptop and we've been trying to convince him to wait until at least high school to buy it so it's still relevant in college. He's finally seen the wisdom in this and decided that he will wait until his senior year and buy a really nice one. I said that way he may also have some money left over for "fun money" in college.

The babies' money is being saved. They don't need anything and it's the best idea for them. They did have their very first McDonald's hamburger. I was grossed out because I put it in a napkin to try to get the grease off it. I really thought there wouldn't be that much. There was so much I went through about 10 napkins before there wasn't anymore! Ewww!! They downed it and the bun entirely and probably could have eaten at least two of them, if I let them. I cannot believe how much they are eating lately!! Wow! They love table food and they love feeding themselves!

They are now sleeping, taking a late nap, so I need to get some work done!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Parent Teacher Conferences

Austin had his parent teacher conferences tonight. I was looking forward to going because we haven't had as consistent communication this year as I have in the past. When I need something or there has been a problem, the teachers are great about e-mailing me. It's harder, though, because there are so many more of them.

We were scheduled to meet with his language arts/lit teacher and PE teacher. I called and requested that we meet with all of them.

We started with his math and his teacher said that Austin has been really solid this year. He is doing incredible in math this year and it is great that he has a teacher who is willing to explain something a dozen times if a student isn't understanding. He said that he has called on him several times when he has thought he wasn't paying attention, but he instantly had the answer. Austin has a tendency to "look" like he isn't paying attention, when he really is. Because of all the sensory input in a classroom (lights buzzing and bright, other kids bustling about and making noise, the hard seat, etc, etc, etc), he crouches on his feet in his seat and generally puts his head down on his desk to block it all out. Hence, teachers think he isn't paying attention, but he is. He is getting a B+, right on the verge of an A- (89%). That is awesome for him!

Next we went to the PE teacher. Austin has dressed every time and is getting an A in PE!!! I was thrilled with this when I saw it on his report card, but he explained it to us. He said that it is a very subjective class (no kidding!) and Austin is trying his best, has a positive attitude, is dressing and showing up on time, and has gotten all A's on written tests. He said that's why he's doing well. The skills don't matter, as long as he is giving an honest effort. I wish every PE teacher would be this way...he's consistently done poorly in PE because of his poor motor skills and we finally have a teacher who doesn't judge on the final product, but the effort!!! I loved it!

Then we met with his Lit/Language arts teacher. She said he's doing well (A-), but could be doing much better. I agree 100%. He does the least amount of work to go squeaking through, but if he applied himself, he could do a lot better. So, we discussed it and I told her what worked last year was to MAKE him spend X amount of time on a paper. If most people got done in 15 minutes, he HAD to take 15 minutes to do it. If he got done sooner, he needed to scrutinize his work and redo it. That really helped and forced him to slow down and he did better. So, she said she was going to buckle down on him and try this option.

Next was his science and social studies teacher. Same as his lit teacher...he wasn't applying himself fully. Still getting a great grade (A-), but could be doing better. He said that very morning he had gotten a test back with a D, and Austin immediately put it in the recycling. I made him get it out and show it to me. For crying out loud, the kid got questions about dinosaurs wrong! He said that it took the entire class 30 minutes to do and Austin was finished in 6 minutes!! So we talked about the option again and he is going to do that with him. He asked if it was OK to hand it back to him and say it needed to be looked at carefully, I said you betcha.

All the teachers said it looked like he wasn't paying attention, but when he was called on, he had the answer. They all said he is a great pleasure to have in class because he is more on "their level" than his peers (they don't see this as a problem). All in all, it was a great conference and I felt like we had gotten through the first quarter well and hopefully he'll do even better next quarter.