Saturday, August 29, 2009

A “Dapper” 41st

What a time we had! 

The day began with a pile of little munchkins bouncing on the bed, eager to give "daddy" their homemade gifts (hand-painted and fired ceramic mugs) and cards. This was followed by a large Southern breakfast, some quality family time, a movie cinema party for our son's friend, two sleepovers for the kids and one magically romantic evening alone together. Awesome!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Coming and Going: VIDEO

Watching them grow up so fast, trying to stretch further, work harder, hold on tighter, but letting them spread those wings and climb those steps...

The First Day

Today is the day and we are ready. Still so sad to see them go and so happy when they return. No other way to say it but “mixed.”

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Home In Progress

Always Changing & Improving...

Five years in this home ...five years, three children, their grandfather ...their grandfather, the construction of a 1,200sq ft in-law apartment, the removal of over 50 trees and creation of a lawn and play area, removal and/or repair/replacement of windows, roof, heating system, a/c systems, electrical, plumbing, water pump, ceilings, walls, stairs, doors, ...and reuse of everything imaginable!

The journey continues...

The Last Day

Sun was shining, the air was hot, the sky was blue and the waves beckoned us for a nice long hike on the shore. Great day...great way to end the Summer and make way for new beginnings (like the Fall crab hatchlings and harbor seals return). Oh...I meant to say “like school.” ;-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Open House

The elementary school hallways were crammed full of little people and their families this afternoon. I don’t think it has really sunken in for any of us. Backpacks are packed, classrooms have been identified and teachers have been met. Two days left! ...So tomorrow...where else would we spend the last day of Summer but the beach!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Goodbye to Summer

Just around the corner, the kids begin classes. It is with very mixed feelings. Sad to see the Summer go and exciting to begin the Fall.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Speed Bumps

Our dinner plans for the evening?...The emergency room! In one of his worst tantrums yet, our oldest punched his hand through a glass window earlier today, leaving behind huge shards of it in his right palm and fingers. It began over another one of his "issues" with my not disciplining another child sufficiently or forcing them to "follow the rules" of the game. He was outraged at the other child (and me) for allowing them to "get away with it." I tried to explain that the child was not my child to provide consequences for, and that he would be leaving very shortly when his mother arrived. Things escalated quickly from there. He is so rigid and there is no room for "exceptions." So (without my knowing why and just knowing it needed to be done), I removed him from the pool area to calm down while I watched the children still swimming outside. Because I did not stay to "hear him out" - the screaming began, then banging, then a frightening smashing sound from the back door window.

Nate is struggling and we are with him. Each day presents new challenges for this big-hearted sweet boy and we pray that the upcoming school year isn’t as “bumpy” as the last but we are cautiously optimistic.

While his early summer therapy sessions and testing went well, discovering he has ADHD, in addition to some mood “stuff” that happens from time to time, we came out of things with the “plan” of transferring to a local therapist after diagnosis was made and taking things one step at a time.

I guess even top professionals, fall short of best laid “plans.” School begins next week and we still have not properly adjusted Nate’s meds through his pediatrician and no records have yet been sent to the new therapist’s office despite my many phone calls, emails and letters of request.

We have a PPT meeting scheduled with the school (which are difficult to get and even harder to re-schedule) on the first week that I’m not sure I will be able to attend (not knowing about job call backs or start dates), and have no documentation of Nate’s IQ, Academic Placement, and Psychological tests from the countless hours spent across the state in sessions that we cannot prove took place until the records are sent (and as a result), have no formal recommendations yet for advocating on our son’s behalf.

The medication (while helping tremendously during the early part of their long-acting application), is no use after about 4-5 hours and cannot possibly help throughout and entire school day and afternoon activities as it is currently prescribed. I am deeply concerned as we titrate upward for the maximum effectiveness and Nathan gets sick to his stomach, looses appetite, and continues to drop in weight. We are watching him closely through tears and frustration.

This is a neurologically-based, proven chemical deficiency that can complicate every facet of one’s life if not treated. We have done everything in our power that we can do through diet, activity level, social, and sleep cycle modifications, love, support, provision of safe places and a communicative vocabulary. Still, how do you help when you feel helpless?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Our Home Away from Home: VIDEO

No place else we’d rather be but together and on the beach.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunkissed In August

There is never a better time to seize the day than right now. Although I have never been one of those spontaneous people, I am also not the “planner” everyone thinks of me as being. Somewhere in the very balanced middle, I find myself enjoying each moment “not knowing” the outcome, but appreciating it as it comes more and more. Jim has taught me to slow down while ‘working’ faster. The kids have afforded me the gift of never being able to predict the outcome of any given situation and the knowledge that anything that can go “differently than planned”- inevitably will do just that. So I embrace the everyday, the broad outline of a plan paired with the open flexibility for un-scheduled fun, laughs and cries. I make a point to find positives and lessons where I would have never guessed. I let myself soak up all the beauty around me and find pleasure in simple things.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

“The Skinny Dipper:” VIDEO

Few things make us laugh as heartily as these silly munchkins and all their crazy antics. Yup, you know....”the shannanigans” that life would be colorless without.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama & Home

This past week zoomed past us similarly to the entire year. Our one week Summer vacation became a scramble of getting down to Tennessee, a ton of fun-filled activities spread between 3 states, and then a hurried trek back home here in the Northeast for a Friday morning interview.

The interview went great after studying the whole way there and back. While I felt extremely well prepared, I have not had much experience and it was difficult anticipating what questions I would be asked by the two directors and HR officer. Still, I am very happy with the end result and know that I gave it my best.
Now I wait for an answer and research childcare availabilities as we prepare for school and Fall activities in two and a half weeks.

After the awesome time we had visiting family and friends in the south, the drive home & interview, we really soaked up every last minute we had as a family over the weekend. We hit a great new disney movie, and took in a long sunny day at A Local Amusement Park. As we passed the huge lines into the park, we remembered that we’d never be able to do this without the generous gift Memere gave us for Christmas and how much we have been blessed all year.

Despite all the uncertainty ahead, we are positive and grateful for all so far.