Posted in Family, Kids, Kitchen Reno, Me, Overbrook

Why I Am OK About Rescheduling

So last week my husband asks how would I feel about changing the date that we start the reno from May 21st to May 28th. How did I feel?? NOT HAPPY. But yeah, I love my husband and the ONLY reason we chose the date we did is because it worked around his work schedule (which is crazy this year because of an audit that he is, essentially, running). And that schedule changed and that week no longer worked. So yeah, I worked through the not happiness and it became fine. Really.

And then it became so much better than fine because this, THIS my friends, is my week:

Sunday: Jim and Neighbor uninstall sliding glass door, frame in extra wall space and install new “full glass” (which ISN’T FULL GLASS) door. In between, fiddle with PC that we have had to install new hard drive on and therefore reload every freaking thing including thousands of updates onto. And yes, I ended that with a preposition.

Monday: Fiddle with PC more. Make menu, grocery list, add coupon software, print coupons, get gas, grocery shop, unload, lunch, rant about kids’ cyber school software program giving error codes at the end of the progress check and then rejoice at the rescheduled progress check, realize a chipmunk is in our house and try FOR HOURS to try and catch it. Pick up neighbor child from bus stop. Neighbor mother try to catch chipmunk. Fail. Make dinner, take Bennett to robotics, go to bed.

Tuesday: Carpool run to CPFA (Laura) and USP (Catie). Finally get Quicken to work on PC. Gather three trash bags’ worth of laundry and go to laundromat for 1 hr 5 minutes ($17) and catch up rather quickly. 🙂 Lunch for Bennett and me. Go to CPFA, get Laura, drop Bennett and Laura off for Algebra Keystones. Go to paint store and get paint for kitchen. Go to Entemann’s outlet and get donuts as a special treat for kids this week. Pick up Laura and Bennett and go home.Get home only to realize that 1) chipmunk is still in house and 2) dogs are VERY aware of this fact and have torn apart various parts of our house trying to get at it. When Jim gets home we finally join forces, use a crabbing net that I didn’t know we owned and catch the darn thing. Out it goes.

Wednesday (plans only at this point): Home in morning (put away all that laundry, maybe?) Leave at 12 for USP (Catie drama rehearsal) and Biology Keystones. Go to Lowes and get flooring that is finally in. Drop off library book, but don’t get sucked into vortex of library. Pick up all children from those at 4 plus car pool kid, drive home. Get Ethan from neighbor’s house. Dinner. Collapse.

Thursday:  USP and CPFA, home by 8:30 or so. Actually home a lot of the day! Leave at 3:15 to get to CPFA’s Spring Art Show (Nana pick up Laura so she doesn’t have to drive all the way home and then turn around to go back to school). Admire my daughter’s talent. Leave by 5, grab dinner and then head to Overbrook School for the Blind for Ethan’s Spring Concert. Meanwhile, Catie is performing in her drama, which we will miss tonight. Carpool family will drive her home. Spring Concert usually ends around 8:30, and it’s about 1 1/4 hours from home, so it’s a late night.

Friday: USP for Catie and carpool girl. Drive to headquarters of PALCS for Laura to finish Algebra. Home unknown time. Dinner of some sort, leave and meet Jim and Nana at USP for drama at 6:30.

Saturday: Thank goodness NOT starting kitchen reno!

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Posted in Kids, Overbrook

Encouragement

Just got home from Overbrook’s Parents Day. I didn’t go to the “meeting time” and tours (this is my 7th parents day!) but instead went and saw Ethan in the pool and then went back to his classroom for a spelling test and then onto lunch. I got a good chance to talk to his teacher.

Background: Ethan repeated a year in Overbrook’s preschool program, which we called kindergarten. Since his brother and sister are in 4th grade, we say he’s in 4th as well.

At lunch Miss Peggy (Ethan’s teacher) and I were talking about Ethan and his abilities. She thinks he needs to go to their middle school program next year (effectively skipping 5th grade) because she doesn’t want him “pulled down” by the other kids. When I literally gaped at her, she said “What you don’t understand is that there is no other kid like Ethan in the elementary program!”

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted in Overbrook

Parents Day – After

I got to Overbrook, went to their “Blind services fair” in the gym, watched the kids in the new pool (Ethan LOVES the water), sat in on their spelling test and short geography lesson, and looked at the birthdays on the wall: 97, 98, 98, 99, 00, 01. Ethan is the youngest by at least 1 1/2 years! And I asked about other academic classrooms….there aren’t any. Of the 42 some odd kids in the elementary program, these 6 are it. Wow. I’m humbled and thrilled that my kid gets to be there! He got 9 right out of 10 on his spelling test (which he Brailled on the Brailler).

A side note about the Brailler: this is a brand new feature in our home. I just learned how to load the paper and how to use it and I’m tickled pink. Ethan is better at it than I am (no surprise there), but if I can at least do it I’m happy.

So the kids had lunch and then he and I left to visit MumMum and Grandad, drop off clothes for Nana, visit friends very quickly and then head home. A good day was had by all.

Posted in Overbrook

Parents Day – Before

I’m going to post a Before and After today. I’m going to Overbrook’s annual Parent’s Day (one of the five days I get into Philadelphia). I love seeing the teachers and therapists, seeing parents of other kids, watching Ethan in action in his favorite setting….I only have to walk on the campus and I get this happy feeling, like “I LOVE THIS PLACE!”. Ethan’s in his 6th year there, and I always, always ALWAYS get that feeling. If I could bottle up what they do, how they make the kids feel, how supportive they are…I could make millions.

The reason for the Before and After: so many times in our lives the reality doesn’t live up to expectations. I want to see if it does today. Jim’s going to put the kids on the bus so I can get an earlier start. So I actually need to go and eat some breakfast and put on some make up. Hope your day is going to be as nice as mine!

Posted in Connor, Overbrook

Unexpected Moments

I’m in tears from reading this blog. I know the heartache, the pain, the peace. I also know the questioning, anger, rage and powerlessness that she didn’t seem to go through.

Out of the blue, a few days ago Catie said “Mommy, I wish we had five kids instead of four. I wish Connor hadn’t died.” Me too, Catie, me too.

Bennett just came up, freshly showered and smelling sweet and gave me a big hug. He’s getting so big. I wonder if Connor would have been tall like him or shorter like Ethan. Connor’s hair was blonder at birth than any of the others–I wonder if he would still be blond or getting darker like Bennett and Laura?

Many times I am completely fine with waiting until heaven to see my son. The death of a child isn’t something you “get over”, but the every day heartrending loss becomes more of a dull ache in a corner of your heart. Most of the time you are able to get on with life using the rest of that heart, but sometimes something will hit that sore spot and the tears will flow. And I believe it’s a good thing to cry over that loss, be it one or twenty years later.

We were not created for loss. We were not created to be finite, but perfect. God in his graciousness made a way to get around what Adam and Eve did, but going through loss is still not the original Plan.

Coming back to this much, much later….after Bennett attended his first non-family birthday party. He did great, with no potty issues, and I sat and talked with a lot of moms with some sort of connection with special needs kids. I gave my name and number to two who know moms who are thinking about Overbrook so they can talk to me about it. I’d love to be a support for that school–it’s AMAZING. I wish I had someone “older and wiser telling me what to do” in this path with a blind child, but I’d also like my journey to be worth it to someone else.

So this was a little disjointed (just like my life!). Sorry about that!

Posted in Kids, Overbrook

IEP’s

If I haven’t stated so before, I have three kids (the triplets) that all have yearly meetings with teachers/therapists/etc to decide their educational fate for the upcoming year. Two are called IEP (Individualized Education Plan) (Laura and Ethan) and one is a 504 (Bennett). Bennett’s is different because his needs are purely physical, not educational. I had Laura and Bennett’s meetings last week and Ethan’s today.

All are on the intense side, as we truly are planning the next 12 months (minus the summer for B&L) of their lives and what services they will need, the goals they should accomplish and how they should accomplish said goals. Laura is doing better and will not need occupational therapy next year and will have her O&M (orientation and mobility) services increased BECAUSE SHE IS DOING GREAT and CAN HANDLE MORE! Whew! Bennett is also graduating from OT and will only have a personal aide now to help with his issues.

Ethan’s IEP took over an hour. He will be getting less PT because he’s doing better gross-motor-wise, but increasing his O&M because he’s falling behind his peers. 😦 Then I had an hour long discussion with the school psychologist, who is completely “on the fence” about whether Ethan has PDD/Asperger’s or not. I don’t know, either. I can see some of the things he does as being because he’s blind, or because of his brain bleed early in life (Grade III/IV IVH for those who know about such things), or just odd quirks. I can also see that it indicates some sort of autism spectrum problem. I’m not in a hurry for a diagnosis. I want him to take his time and be SURE about what he decides.

After meeting with him, I visited Ethan’s class and talked with his teacher. LOVE HER! I really hope they keep E in her class next year. Not that the other teachers aren’t awesome too, but I love the continuity that it gives him. She has kids from 6 to just-turned-9 in her class. He is absolutely FLOURISHING in her room. I LOVE OVERBROOK SCHOOL FOR THE BLIND! Seriously, if you have a visually impaired child in the Philadelphia area, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It’s an amazing school.

After that, I picked up Catie from MumMum’s house, drove home and crashed. IEP’s exhaust me!