Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Back to business

I haven't blogged since JANUARY. I just re-read the last post to see what was going on last time I stopped to re-evaluate our life. I mentioned I had started working and that things were getting a bit crazy. I had NO CLUE as to how crazy they would get!!!

The semester is now over and I survived being a working parent...barely. There are rumors that there are mothers out there that manage to work, cook, and clean. How they do that is beyond me. I feel like I'm just starting to wake up from an odd dream, and while it seems like a blur, the mess of this house reminds me that four months in which I stopped cleaning really did happen. I think I may enlist the aid of FEMA to help turn this man-made disaster back into a lovely home.

But enough about that! How are the girls you ask? They are doing great, of course. Nora and Emily are the sunshine of my life. Here's a bit of an update to get you all caught up.

Nora continues to do extraordinary at school. She is smarter than I am at this point in time, a fact that she uses to her advantage on an hourly basis. Her grades are off the charts, and her extraordinary teacher Ms. Nicki Anderson continues to offer Nora additional activities and assignments that are more geared to her cognitive skills. In reading and vocabulary, Nora scored in the upper 99% of the children in the state. Not too shabby! She is reading short chapter books on her own (Nancy Drew Clue Crew, the Rainbow Magic Fairies series, Magic Treehouse), and listening to all of the Ramona Quimby books on her iPod non-stop. I believe she's reading at about a third grade level. Her math and science skills also continue to develop. She does complex addition and subtraction problems, and does a lot of worksheets where math is used to solve puzzles. At school they recently hatched some chicks, so she's also an expert on the anatomy of an egg.

Nora has unfortunately decided that homework is NOT her thing, and I've been so busy with work, I haven't been keeping on top of this issue. She is bored with the spelling homework that gets sent home every week and has decided she no longer wants to do it. I haven't yet figured out a way to get her to do her homework without fighting, but I guess I have all summer to figure that one out.

Socially, Ms. Nora is as busy as a bee. She has gone to a number of birthday parties this year for some of her closest friends. She talks a lot about Elizabeth, Alyssa, and Katie, and I'm planning on having a summer slumber party so she doesn't loose contact with these girls who are so sweet. She misses seeing her friends at ACES, the before school daycare service, but she admits she'd rather sleep in. Me too!

Emily's language continues to make leaps and bounds, but she still has good days and bad days. Sometimes she speaks so very clearly that you would never ever know she had a disorder; other days she mumbles and speaks so quietly and I have no clue as to what she is trying to express. I would give almost anything to find out if there was something to make the fog that seems to envelop the language area of her brain dissipate. But the biggest and most important improvement happened about six weeks ago. Emily learned to tell us that "I don't know the word for that". YAY!!! She understands that there are things she wants or thinks, and that there are words that correspond with those ideas, and that the adults around her can help supply the language and facilitate communication. PROUD MOMMY right here folks!!!

Since I'm done with work, Emily is no longer at Apple School. In some ways that is sad, because the time spent in a regular classroom was good for her. Academically she kept up with and even exceeded some of the kids in her class. She recognizes all of the letters, can read her name, and is showing interest in learning how to add and read. She had a week where they learned about museums, and she told me she want to work at a "zee-um" (YES!!!!!!!). She had some issues though; there were some bossy little girls at Apple school that would tell her what to do, and in getting upset, she didn't always have the words to express how she felt. But she did tell the teachers, which is HUGE. She understands that we are here to help. I think this is the beginning of the end of Emily's communication issues.

Sweetie pie is finishing up her Pre-K program, and that too has been a big success. She has learned all the names of the kids in her class, and talks about her friend "my Shannon" all the time. She has almost learned to write her name, but continues to struggle with creating a diagonal line. She met almost all of the goals of this year's IEP. She likes school, although the transition from morning playtime to afternoon school continues to be difficult. I am very much looking forward to her all day kindergarten program next year.

There are a lot of other things to catch up on, but I will save those for upcoming blogs. I mean, check out the photo at the top! Yes that's my girls in the Pacific. Like I said, it was a REALLY busy semester! I hope to blog about it all in the summer, knowing full well the number of posts will fall back to few if none in the fall. But I'm a working momma now, and I have to accept that there are only so many hours in the day, and that its more important to spend time with the kids instead of writing about the kids. Until next time, love and light to you all!!!