Friday, February 24, 2012

Getaway with the Hubby

A few weeks ago I mentioned I might be able to go with my husband to a conference in Orlando.  We were able to work it out with someone to watch the children and we went away for a few days.  I was able to visit with a good friend and her family during the day when my husband was involved in his conference.  

My friend's husband works at Disney and so we made a visit there as well.  I finally got to see the Beauty and the Beast show and I loved it.  I also finally saw the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular as well and I can't wait to get my family back to see it.  I think the boys in particular will enjoy it.  

I didn't ride much while I was there since I'm pretty pregnant, but I did ride Snow White's adventure before it closes down for good, and I rode Peter Pan's Flight.
I admit to falling  asleep during Impressions de France.  I blame being pregnant.

It was some nice getaway time with DH (Dear Husband) which we haven't for eight years.  Far too long since we'd been able to go somewhere together sans children.  It was also good to visit with a good friend and visit WDW with the only child being the one in my belly.  

The kids were good for the sitter and her husband, and she gave us a new idea for handling our schedules after school.  

It was definitely a win all the way around. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

More Doctors, More Evals, and a Break

Looking at my month you can see it is very full of evaluations for Acroboy, and Doctors appointments for the kids and myself. We had the usual orthodontist visits, immunization visits for Acroboy, and a visit for Princess Ballerina to the dermatologist to look at the birthmark on her forehead. I also had my checkup for the baby and things still look good.

It turns out the birthmark on Princess Ballerina's forehead is a very light Port Wine stain. It will not fade anymore than it has.  We were told we could take her to a pediatric dermatologist and have it removed with a laser treatment if we wanted. We could also do it when she is older. DH and I talked about it, and we think if it becomes a self-esteem issue later on we'll do it, but for now we'll let things be.

I did find a way to bring up her birthmark to Princess Ballerina and speak with her about how she feels about it. She said, "If I didn't have my birthmark, I wouldn't look like me."

You rock girl, you rock.

Acroboy has had speech evaluations and a psychologist observe him at music time. She observed for about 15- 20 minutes. After spending several hours at our evaluations at our favorite autism medical center, and even with the speech therapist, let's just say I'm skeptical about how full a picture she got of Acroboy after just 20 minutes.

Our Cub Scout Blue & Gold Banquet is coming up, and it will be my last one for a while. Last month was our last Pinewood Derby until Acroboy turns eight and joins cub scouts.

Lastly, in a couple of weeks I get to join DH at a conference in Orlando. I have a good friend who lives in the area, and the plan is to hang out with her during the day while DH is in his meetings. It will be a last getaway before this baby gets here. I'm looking forward to it. We may even hit up Disney. Disney World without kids? I haven't done that in ages. If we go, I think I'll see all those shows my kids have no patience to sit through (like Beauty and the Beast).

My friend's grown daughter is coming with her husband (for one night) and their little girl to stay with my kids (the rest of the time).

I'm looking forward to a brief, but welcome break.

Friday, February 10, 2012

I Feel Guilty

I feel guilty. I really do. And yet i feel justified. I took Acroboy to music time and sat back and watched him act at his worst. I watched him be hyperactive, get in other people's spaces, and not pay attention, and I did nothing. Not a thing, nada, zip, diddly squat.

I did this because I wanted the school employees to see just how much help Acroboy needs. I just want to get him into a preschool setting where he can start working more on some social skills.

One of the other moms commented to me as we were leaving, "Boy, he sure has a lot of energy, doesn't he?"

Yep, I feel guilty.

I explained to her that I had purposely sat back because I wanted them to see how much help he'll need adjusting to kindergarten.

I think I was a little ticked off too, because I got a note in the mail saying there was no record of us ever applying for Acroboy to be in preschool. Umm, right. That would be why we got the letter saying Acroboy was on the wait list. Okay.

Now I have to straighten out this mess.

In addition, Firstborn's grades have been slipping lower and lower in math and science. He gets the concepts, but his anxieties are popping up again. He stresses out over quizzes and test and his mind goes blank for a few minutes. He then realizes how much time has passed and freaks out more. In his mind the missing time means he'll fail the quiz/test. If he fails the quiz/test, he will fail the class. If he fails the class, there is no way he can get into a good school. If he can't get into a good school, there is no way he can provide for his family. It goes on and on.

When I first started talking to the counselor, her first reaction was, "If his grades are slipping, maybe he shouldn't be in honors classes." Hold it right there sister. He gets the information, it's the tests, quizzes and organization problems that are the problem. All you have to do is talk with him and know he gets it. So do that--talk with my kid.

He had a decent handle on his anxieties thanks to the work with the school counselor and school psychologist and amazing teachers we had up to fourth grade before we moved here. Firstborn used to cry every time things did not go as he expected or when he would get himself working into an anxiety spiral. We had a number of student support meetings regarding how to help him. It was because of my friend's comment about Firstborn's behavior we talked to the school and started his diagnosis process. However it was not on an official 504. I've written a separate post on Firstborn's journey to diagnosis.

If I am really honest with myself, i think part of the reason the anxieties weren't as pronounced the last couple of years is I don't think Firstborn has felt quite as challenged at the schools here. Now that he is finally starting to get more challenged by new material and he is getting closer to high school, his anxieties have been creeping back in.

I had asked for copies of the school records before we moved, but I was told they would just forward everything to the new school. I took them at their word--everything would be forwarded. I should have been more adamant.

I went to the junior high to get copies of their current records and while I was looking at them with the counselor, we saw that there are absolutely no notes about any student support meetings, teacher's notes on behavior, counselor notes, or anything other than standardized test scores and grades. Either the notes never made it into the file, or somewhere between the move they got lost.

So there is no record of any supports or diagnosis for Firstborn. I think I have to take responsibility. I did not understand what would be at stake if I didn't put a "label" on my son. I thought I was helping him.

I was wrong and I feel guilty about it.

Now I've got to call our favorite Autism medical center and get Firstborn in the wait list to be reevaluated. I'm going to go about this the correct way so we can get him just a few accommodations so he can deal with his anxiety. He'll be starting high school next year, and the pressure will be on. I need to do everything I can to help him succeed.

I resolve to not let any guilt I feel hold me back. From now on I will be the warrior mom my kids need me to be.