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School and more

Wow, over 2 months since my last post. I’m beginning to become a real slacker! Let’s just say that life is getting more and more hectic. All the changes to life’s routine don’t help, but I think now that I’m much more settled into my new workplace and have all my systems and methods in-place (like Live Writer at work and my laptop and blogger-droid on my new phone), I should get back to more frequent, short-post blogging.

So Isaac’s thumb is all healed finally. We still didn’t do much swimming though after that. For a while every weekend it would rain and I really needed to take care of a recurring algae problem, which came down to dumping almost half the water out, refilling, cleaning the filters and super-shocking.

Housework and paperwork (mostly medical) has been keeping us busy. The to-do list is still long but hopefully we’ll manage to wrap most of the things up. It’s not easy when you are so exhausted by week’s end and need to relax a little. During the week we don’t get to cross anything off that list. Lori leaves work and picks up the kids from two separate daycares, and goes home to prepare dinner/warm up leftovers. Then it’s time to give the kids a bath, maybe do a little schoolwork, or play and make a lot of noise, catch a few minutes of something on TV and then take them to bed. I always come back downstairs for some quiet ME time, which consists of reading, testing software, other blogging, emailing, organizing, and maybe some TV watching. Which means I go to bed late and then get progressively tired each day, making it impossible to break the cycle.

Kindergarten is going…well, just going in some cases! We’re having some good struggles. Isabella has her good and bad days where she won’t listen, can’t stand still in her seat and has a hard time following rules. Thank goodness the teachers have a lot of patience. We’re working on writing and reading skills, mostly practicing to write her name. She can already recognize most of the alphabet when asking her to pronounce a letter you point at, or when using flashcards. But 2010-10-08 19.28.29she struggles a lot when asking her to do something on her own. For example when writing her name, if you point her in the right direction, she does well but if you leave her on her own, she ends up not copying the letters she’s supposed to copy. It is very frustrating at times, but we (especially me!) just have to re-define expectations.

Isaac has a lot of bad days, peppered with a few occasional ok ones and a handful of great days. He spends most of his time with special-ed teachers and maybe an hour or so in the regular kindergarten classroom (he generally does really bad here). Lori has been working slowly with him on reading. I don’t have the 2010-09-10 08.04.21necessary patience as I expect to see results fairly quickly and that’s just not how things work with him. The teachers are saints; I don’t envy their job! Despite the hard times, they just love Isaac so much and are always happy to see him and his sister in the morning. Here’s a shot of the first day of school just before drop-off.

Speech is going well with an occasional off day, but on the whole we’re making progress. The downside is that insurance will only cover up to age 6 and that’s only a few weeks away. We can still keep going but a quick look at the math reveals how unsustainable that would be: 1 session @ $200 x 2kids x 45 weeks = $18K! So we’re in the process of researching other health insurance options and maybe trying to appeal that imagejpeg_2exception due to medical necessity, especially for Isaac. Isabella is improving enough that it might not be necessary for her to attend much longer. Her sounds are becoming clearer and her vocabulary is improving, although she still struggles with some more abstract words such as the meaning of ‘under”, ‘over’, ‘medium’, etc. Considering the short language exposure, she’s doing great!

We have been taking the kids out separately so we can focus on each one better. For example Lori might go for a shopping trip with Isaac and I might go out to do 2010-09-11 11.31.35some work outside or wash the car and take Isabella with me. Here she is helping me cut down branches and do some yard-work.

We have not been doing a great job at keeping up with friends. Hopefully we’ll get back to hanging out more often. Speaking of hanging out…since it was my birthday in September, we went “out to eat” that evening (Isabella loves saying that phrase). We had a good time, only until we got home and Lori got sick! It was probably all a coincidence and since we pretty much all ate from each other’s plates and didn’t get sick, we couldn’t blame the restaurant. Here’s Isaac munching on brownie and ice-cream. Did I tell you he’s on a high-calorie diet?? And then there’s Izzy (Lori’s nickname for her) giving one of her beaming smiles.

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That’s it for now! Let’s see what’s in store for us today at school…

4 clicked here to comment!:

The McEacherns said...

Have you looked into applying for long term care through your state? Here in AZ, it allows children to receive free therapy services outside of whatever they receive at school.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hi there! Hmmm I'm not aware of any such thing with that name here. I know there are some special needs programs but they have really long waiting periods. There are some early childhood development programs for kids under 4 years but that ship had sailed before we even met the kids :)

Aaron & Elizabeth said...

Can't Kindergartners get speech therapy in school? Here (MN) you dont need an IEP, medical diagosis or disability to get speech therapy in school. Our Daniel gets speech 3x a week in school and he is a kindergartner.

Dave Baldacchino said...

Hi Aaron & Elizabeth,

I'm not sure whether an IEP is required for Speech Therapy. I know that Isabella is not getting any at school and one doesn't need to be a genius to tell that she has articulation problems. Isaac has an IEP and he gets Speech Therapy once or twice a week.