Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Long time, no see...

I haven't kept up with blogging for a few months.  I feel God prompting me to get back to it.  I think it helps me deal with stress and it helps me to get my feelings out.  It also helps me to remember what my children are up to and helps me to see where we've made progress or gone backwards.  So, I think I'm back and will definitely try to post on a regular basis.

An update on the last year...I'll try to do the short version...but this still may wind up long.

Marriage is still going strong.  Trying to work on going on a date once a month.  We do better for awhile and then have to remind ourselves again.  Andy took me to see Wicked this year.  AWESOME!!  We also went to see the Dallas Symphony.  It was a lot of fun.  Those are the biggest dates that we've been on.  I'm hoping to get away for our 15th wedding anniversary for a night.  We could use a night away, I just don't know how feasible it's going to be.  However, I'm going to ask God and pray for a way to go.

Deidra did pretty well in her first year of junior high.  She ran into a problem with one of her teachers and was constantly getting detention from her.  From some of the contact that I had with the teacher, I didn't know if this teacher really relates to children that are her age.  I gave the teacher my support as I didn't want to send the wrong message to Deidra.  I told her that there will always be people that you don't get along with, but she still had to respect her and follow her rules.  Finally, by the end of the school year, I got sick and tired of some of the stuff going on.  Deidra said that she was darned if she did and darned if she didn't and I could see her point.  There comes a time when your children need to know that they have their parents support, so we called a conference.  She had been getting bullied and they let that slide, but they were giving her detention for far less stuff and I was just tired of it.  I let the teacher know that out of Deidra's 7 teachers that she was the only one that she was having an issue with.  Her teacher apparently didn't believe me as when we went to the conference, she let me know that I was indeed right as she had emailed her other teachers and they all reported that she was a joy to have in their class.  I told her that from the very beginning, I wondered what was going on as nobody had ever had a discipline problem or behavior problem out of Deidra.  Sure, she'd get in trouble every once in awhile for talking out of turn, but she had never gotten detention or ISS until this teacher started handing them out to her all the time.  Once we had the conference and we all got our feelings on the issue out, things settled down.  I'm secretly hoping that she doesn't get this teacher again though.  She did her intro to theater class and really liked it.  She also did pre-athletics and they want her to run track as well as do volleyball.

Josiah started out ok in first grade.  He's a strong reader and was getting all As and Bs.  Then, around Christmas his behavior started going down hill.  His teacher thought we changed his meds, however I told ehr that we didn't.  It's about the same time that he started giving his kindergarten teacher a hard time too.  In counseling, we talked about how he's going to do this with people the more familiar he gets with the relationship.  So, I guess I'll know for when he starts 2nd grade.  We also got him tested for special ed on the recommendation of our attachment therapist and our neurofeedback dr.  Right before 1st grade let out, we had an ARD meeting and the school psychologist diagnosed him with depression.  That isn't something I see him with at all...nor do his therapists that we have outside of school.  However, our counselor told us that she used to be a school psychologist and if he's presenting with a sad face and a depressed act to get attention all through the time that she did his testing that is probably why they came to that diagnosis.  They have the paperwork stating that our therapists have him currently diagnosed with RAD, ADHD, and PTSD.  So, at least they are aware.  They're going to keep him in mainstream classes, but he'll be given access to the content mastery room and if he escalates in there at all he'll be given to someone in administration until he calms down.  He ended the year with all As and Bs and I was proud of him.  Now, if only we can get his behavior to catch up.  In June, our neurofeedback dr said that we weren't getting what we needed from him and that although he's made small changes, he wasn't showing the benefits of a child who had been in therapy for almost a year and he thought that something was inhibiting his therapy that only he had control over.  That really threw me for a loop and I didn't know what to do.  A couple of weeks later, we wound up at the psych hospital on the recommendation of our attachment therapist.  He had snuck out of his room in the middle of the night and got into the matches and hid the burnt matches in between his mattresses.  He was also getting really hard to handle.  The hospital didn't keep him, but they offered us day treatment as an option.  We didn't wind up doing it as it was only supposed to be for a couple of weeks and his honeymoon phase is about that long.  I didn't want to go through the hassle of taking him that far every day and I didn't really think it was fair to the girls either as we wouldn't have been able to do anything.  They also wanted us to do family therapy and Andy wasn't sure how that would play out with him having to leave work that early when he already misses work when they have psych appts and attachment therapy.  They did say that we could enroll him at anytime though, so if we run into more problems, we may have to put him in there.  Oddly enough, a few days later he came out of a huge angry phase and slid into happy, giggly, giddy behavior.  I'd much rather deal with a happy kid over an angry child.  He still has poor impulse control when he's happy or sad as he tends to go over the top, but still...I would rather deal with happy boy over angry boy.  So, he's been a bit more manageable.  We also started having him go to after-school care in April as he was taking his anger out on the girls on the way home from school.  He had gotten suspended from being able to ride the bus due to safety reasons, so in order for our girls to stay safe on the way home, we figured we would try after school care.  Our attachment therapist thought he needed to go into residential treatment, but we wanted to try this way first.  He's gotten sent home a couple of times for really bad behavior...trying to run away and jumping the fence because he didn't want to listen to the teacher and do his time out, threatening to kill someone that didn't want to play with him anymore...however, he's been much easier to get out of his tantrums since we entered the happy, giddy phase.  I can't help but wonder if he's not bi-polar.  I guess time will tell.  We saw some new behaviors emerge when the happy, giddy phase started as well.  So, who knows?

Emma had a good year in 2nd grade.  We had her tested for dyslexia.  She has 2/3 characteristics, so they say that she doesn't have it.  She is really struggling with her reading math, and writing though.  I think there's definitely some sort of learning disorder going on.  It takes her a long time to catch on.  Since they let the kids redo work and will change their grades to a 70, she managed to pass.  3rd grade will prove to be a challenge I'm sure though as she has to pass the STAAR test that she'll take for the first time in 3rd grade.  She has a hard time with timed testing.  She tries hard though.  That's all I keep telling her is that she just needs to give it her best.  She got an award for being the kindest student in her class at the end of the year.  Makes a Momma proud.

Tracie had a good year in kindergarten.  She was at reading level 1/2 way through the end of the year.  I'm not sure that I'm totally on board with that, as they said that about Emma as well, but I see some of the same issues that Emma had when Tracie reads to me.  However, we'll have to see how 1st grade goes.  She really liked her teacher and she made friends easily.  She was the leader at her table for sure.  She was always trying to keep them on task.  lol

Melina went to Bible Study Fellowship with me.   We did the study of Genesis.  She loved going.  Her teachers loved her.  And it was so neat to hear her tell me about what she learned every week.  She even relates when it rains to Noah and the big boat.  She also told me about the rainbow.  When I'd ask her who made the moon or the stars or flowers or something that we'd see she'd tell me "God did!"  I ask her now who loves her SO much and she says "God does!"  Pretty good for only being 2 1/2.  Well, she turned 3 at the end of April, but I thought she did amazing and it's so nice to see her little heart for God that she has.  Her teachers always told me how sweet and helpful she was during class as well.  She is my little helper girl for sure!