Wednesday, August 22, 2012

School Started........

And we started off with a bang!!  If you follow me on the social networking site (yes, I know which one of you doesn't, LOL) you'd know school started off with issues right from the start.

LGA went to a new school, a magnet school.  Her teacher is nice and some of her classmates followed her to the new school.  Also one of her first special ed teachers, and her aide, also are there.  So LGA is pretty much not having that hard of a transition.  However, now she's in the 3rd grade Special Ed class versus the Kinder/1st.  So she's in with some big kids (I'm not sure what grades yet this class is, 3-5 or 3-4, I am not sure).  So she's having some issues and she says some teasing.  Now, one of the issues FAE (Fetal Alcohol Effects) kids face is that they 'embelish' a lot.  So, we're hearing stories about a certain boy (there's always a certain child that LGA fixates on) we will call him M.  M does this, M does that.  M was mean to her, etc.  So I will be having a conversation with the teacher about M.  I believe he is now in another class so I think they addressed the issue but I want to know if he was moved because of LGA or because of his issues.  LGA has of course, since it's a new transtion, and because Family of 4 has had a LOT of transition this summr (enough to make our heads explode) and because she is now 8, has had some tantrum fits issues.  She has been in time out a lot lately.  The minute she goes off she goes to time out.  We just can't deal.  She's going through a lot of transition (which she never handles well at all) so, I think, she holds it all in at school and then explodes when she gets home because she feels safe to release it.  I have had headaches all this week.  Doing homework with her when it was subtraction (basic one number subtraction) was pure torture.  But she's dealing (not sleeping well at night because we have to give her ADHD pm booster at 3 or 3:30 sometimes though, so that's a whole other issue).

Last week, BGA was going to the school she's gone to for the 4 yrs since she's been home.  She had as I posted, her teacher from 1st grade who was looking forward to teaching her this year.  In the midst of LGA's transition, I was happy BGA had some stability.  The bully was gone!!  Kids were treating her nicely.  I was happy we would have a good school year.  I was enjoying meeting the other mom that I talk to and sometimes go to coffee or a meal with, at pick up time.

Then the boom dropped............BGA's class (as well as 7th and 8th grade classes) was full as they had reduced teachers and didn't get their grant for this year.  So her teacher said she thought they would take kids who didn't show up the first week.  Oh, no.  I got a call on Thursday (and didn't pick up because I thought BGA was calling me saying she didn't feel well, typical PTSD symptoms and nervousness of school) saying she would be moved to the school across the street, the very next day.  On a FRIDAY, folks!!!  So I call, I can't get the counselor. I call again.  Have to leave vm.  I decide as it's time to pick up BGA, that I will go down to the school personally.  

First person I get is the school secretary who has known us for 4 yrs.  She has comforted and reassured BGA during those first years when she wanted to call me a lot.  So she says it's not anything BGA did but that they had to go by registration dates.  Then she sort of lets it slip, "we have had kids here since 2nd grade who have had to move."  Uh..........BGA has been there since 1st GRADE.  She tells me nothing we can do.  I say I could take it up at school district, she says I could.  She says parents are mad, uh........duh!!!  Some of the 8th graders have to move, their last year of school and graduate with new students. 

So I see counselor and principal outside.  The counselor says she called me (we go WAY back too, she knows the transitions the girls have been through, yet they still chose to move her).  I say I can't go to school across the street as the times coincide with when LGA's bus comes and how will I pick up my kids???  She says to come in the office and she asks where LGA is going.  I tell her and she asks me if I would prefer to move her there.  I say yes, because I need to put her in a school, like now.  She calls they have a space and I wait for BGA to get out of school.

BGA is SOBBING.  She is devastated.  She says one girl was very mean and said, "I'm gonna have a party now that you are gone!"  And no one said goodbye to her.  In their defense 9 students had to leave.  She sobs the whole way to the school. I have to fill out the LARGE registration packet and we get her registered.  She's nervous, she wants to be with her friends, she's upset.  We come home and wait for LGA's bus.  Which of course instead of the outside transportation co they used last year, is now the school district and they are within a half hour of when they are supposed to drop off so I never know WHEN they will drop off.  LGA is sort of happy BGA is going to her school but not really as she really wants to go by herself.  The bus is all her 'thing' and she doesn't have to share.  But it is a new school so she is sort of comforted.

We now have to buy uniform stuff for 2 kids now.  But at least there are no arguments on what they will wear.  I find out parents went to the school district and their child was put back in the 5th grade class immediately. I ask Dave what we should do.  He says based on how the kids treated BGA we should move her and a new start might be good.

So the next day she's ready to go but keeps hugging and kissing me and telling me she loves me. I'm a nervous nelly when Dave takes her to school.  I worry all day.  We arrange with her teacher to pick up her computer memory stick we brought for supplies (we have since found out BGA's new teacher provides supplies, but we send her with what she has anyway) at the old school and to say goodbye.

When I pick BGA up (and new school, new parking procedures, where do the parents park for pick up, etc?)  I stand and wait for her so she can see me (always important with BGA) and ask her how her day went.  First things she reports is there is a bully there, he was not respectful to the teacher, that the kids cuss more (what about old school?  Oh no, they stopped there when the bully left. Oh great!) and her teacher was nice but very strict.  She won't really say much but says she misses her friends.  However, one of the friends she had in 3rd grade moved last year in 4th to a new school.  She moved because the bully and his friend were teasing her for being a bit chubby.  So her parents moved her.  She's now at this school and BGA walked out with her and so she had a familiar face, YES!  She's another "A" girl (with a very pretty name) and fairly shy.  But BGA likes her.  So we do some talking about does A have other friends, etc.   BGA tends to dominate in play and she tattled excessively (cause the girls ARE tattlers, both got mention by their teachers) on the kids in the old school so they really were out to get her last year.

We go to her old school and she walks around nervously as I talk to the teacher.  The teacher hands me a packet of goodbye cards from her classmates.  She says, since she knows all about our transitions, etc., that she had them do BGA's cards first, but each child did goodbye cards to all 9 kids.  Wow.  We talk a bit and she tells me how the school is not doing well.  How instead of having several teachers for 7th and 8th as you would in a middle school (our schools are K-8) that one teacher is teaching all the subjects.  So I am still not sure what to do.  Dave thinks we should stick it out.  He seems firm on it so we figure Monday is a new day and we go from there.

I do find out there is another very good school on the other side of us, that our other mom that I hung out with's older daughters went to, in their early grade school years.  The principal is supposed to be very good. I find out LGA's Special ed teacher and his aide from last year are now there.  So I am thinking about that school as we now drive 15 mins there and back to take BGA to school.  LGA is still riding the bus (and she's seen my mama van at school and is upset BGA is picked up) because we don't want her to lose her spot and we don't know if BGA will still like this school or have issues, if it's the right fit yet or not.  But this other new school sounds good too.  I didn't know about it till BGA was already in LGA's school.  I don't know if LGA can be moved since different Special ed day class grades are at different schools. But I was told the school she is at, they have classes up through 8th so I would like her to stay there for some stability.

This week, neither girl wanted to go to school on Monday, they fought us all the way.  BGA had a better day, described her teacher as a bit older (I saw her doing crossing duty) and she looks like she's in her 50's, has freckles like BGA, which she liked.  BGA tends to get overly involved with her teachers, so I have to explain boundaries to the teachers each year.  Some follow them (the 4th grade teacher she had initially before they cut down to 2 teachers and we had to move her, did not. I tried to explain she looked at me like I was nuts.  WHY can't teachers understand I know this girl, and I know what I need to explain as to how they need to teach her??) some don't.  This year, her first teacher at old school, I felt comfortable with for BGA and knew she did too.  She sighed a happy sigh when I told her she had that teacher. usual I digress. 

BGA's teacher is from Alabama originally, has older children and likes to quote sayings from the south, that kids in this generation are not necessarily used to.  I wrote up the student profile and I believe she read it. I put that BGA likes to help the teacher, so yesterday BGA reported she picked up the roll sheet and took it to the office.  They are very strict there as I gave BGA some lipgloss that I did not realize was tinted a red color - teacher said no bueno on that.  I invited the teacher to keep me informed of issues, I said BGA likes to be dominant in play and tattles. I laid it out on the line, but I also listed all of her positives.  She's sweet, she likes to help, etc.  More things keep emerging as to what her teacher's personality is. 

I know we will have a talk, the teacher and I, or Dave and the teacher, at some point.  There is also a new female leadership team at this school, new principal and vice principal.  I feel comfortable with a female leadership team versus the weak male leadership team and female counselor (who wanted to 'catagorize' our foster to adopt children) so I am hoping that this will bode well for us.  If not we will see if we can switch to the closer school.  The new school is near where LGA went to preschool for the first year, so we all know the area, and here we are again, 4 yrs later, driving back and forth to get to the school. 

So off to a new school year, with a new school, after a summer of huge transition.  It's been rough in our house, but I am encouraging the girls to talk more to me, and trying to allow for time after school to talk.  Which is hard as homework is pushed back, the original time BGA thought she had with me and wanted, is now a half hour vs. an hour.  I am making time for LGA but her homework is harder this year, she fights me on it, and I'm often frustrated when it's time to make dinner.  Supposedly my meatloaf the other night was not up to it's usual par.  All adjustments.  We'll get through.

I just hope this is a new start for my girl.  I know she was very comfortable in her old school but it was not the best setting for her.  The kids wrote lovely cards to her (for the most part).  One girl wrote that they'd been friends but weren't anymore and the girl was sad.  She said most people teased BGA because of her hair color and they didn't like it.  Two of her friends said their hearts were broken and that they missed her already.

One girl, who is now living with her grandparents (and not liking it, the kids are all with the grandparents and I think the parents split up and the mother could not take care of them).  She has been a friend of BGA's since 1st.  She got really nasty last year and I didn't know why.  She had a hard time and she took it out on BGA.  BGA said they talked about it but she said mean things about BGA's BP.  BGA had a hard time one spring day and really lashed out at me and used every phrase she could think of till I pulled her into my arms and rocked her and she let it all out.

Anyway, this child's card had BGA's name with LOVE written into the name (those of you who know our last name will get it).  A huge red heart on the inside left side, and a hand drawn picture of Dave, me, and BGA.  Saying Mom, Dad, BGA.  Then it said "good friend."  WOW.  I was blown away.  Anyone want to take a guess as to what this girl wants and knows BGA has??

But, BGA seemed to think they were forced to write them because the teacher made the girl who made the bad comment write an apology.  I had to explain that the teacher had her write it because she felt the girl needed to.  But the teacher evidently (because the girl wrote it) said she'd miss her recess if she didn't write the note.  So BGA thought these kids were forced to write the notes. I had to explain only the girl who said the mean thing was asked to write the apology.  The other kids were writing what they felt.  There were some honest notes, and some good ones. 

Hoping both girls have a good day today and we can get used to our new routine soon.  It's different for all of us, but we'll make it.  I hope this is the new start for them both.  BGA told me the kids said she had brown hair, versus her red hair.  That might be a good thing, I hope. I told her to go with it.  Her hair is turning a bit darker I have noticed, so that might go in her favor.  But when I commented on it, this girl who has wanted her hair to be darker for years, said, "Oh I don't want it to turn brown." who hasn't picked up on the fact that red hair can be cool, after telling her year after year as she got teased and hated her hair, that red hair was pretty. 

Happy Wednesday folks.  If I were a better blogger, I'd do a What I Wore Wednesday post, or a What's In You Wednesday.  But I'm not, so this is what you get. 

If you have any good thoughts, hope for a good transition for BGA, and that this might be the place for her and that she will have a happy school year.

Monday, August 13, 2012

We Had A Tea Party today......

In LGA's room.  All the main characters were there, you know the important ones, Spongebob, Mickey, etc.

Unfortunately BGA is way past tea parties, but LGA had a ball and did not want it to end (we had a little problem when I had to leave to cook the back to school dinner).

We will also be having a back to school night dinner, our first ever, which will include Spaghetti with meatballs (LGA's FAVORITE), salad, garlic bread and home made cake.  Sounds like a nice meal I'd say.

New doggie wants in, and chewed a flip flop because we didn't let her in.

Score!  Cookies!

She's pouring the tea.

Spongebob is hanging with some buds

Mickey is my "son!"

Tea Party ready!

Cat wants in!

Dogs want in!

Backpacks are ready and packed with new school supplies.  We're ready..........

Sunday, August 12, 2012

School Starts This Week!

Can all of us parents say a collective, WHOO HOOO!

Yes, school starts and I couldn't be happier.  Now the teachers out there are going to say, "well what about us, don't we need a break, a time to recoup from teaching your kids?"  Yes, you do.  No one is questioning that at all.  I have difficult kids to teach, I do not begrudge any teacher who needs a vacation.  My girls require structure and a schedule.  You'd be ready for school to start if you went through that too.  And we had NO activities this year due to not knowing what would be required of me to settle my mother's estate.  The weather has been very hot this year, more than in the past couple of summers, so we were stuck inside a lot.  The first part of the summer BGA was able to watch a lot of tv and play her gaming system, as I just didn't have it in me after being at my mom's and clearing her place out, to do much other than veg in front of the tv.  I did it.  It happened and my kid watched way more tv than she probably ever has.  LGA went to summer school.  I am not going to apologize for it and so be it.  If my kid can quote all episodes of Shake It Up, Victorious, Good Luck Charlie, Pair of Kings (shudder) or Austin and Ally, I don't care.  So can I.  And in LGA's case, to keep the peace, I let her watch Spongebob.

Changes are a comin' this way for school this year.  LGA will go to a Magnet school, which is a very nice school, if I do say so myself (and I do).  We toured it last week and found it to be really nice (compared to BGA's school she has attended since coming home and LGA's school last year).  BGA BEGGED to go.  We will see.  I need to meet with the principal and counselor and see if it's a fit.  But I was told that we have a better shot at it because LGA is now attending.  LGA will be in the Special Ed day class.  Her teacher is an older woman whose husband is retired and helps out.  I liked them very much.  When I went to register, I bribed the girls to be quiet so I could fill out the forms (lots of forms, by the way, much, much more than a regular school).  They did for the most part, but they were taken by this school so ventured into the room where all the shiny trophies were while I filled out the forms.  I was at a desk with a nice chair by the way, a far cry from registering LGA last year to attend her new school in Jan when Dave and I had to sit in a cramped office on small chairs with people coming in/out.  This room was large and the office is inside the school not where you enter from the outside in.  The teacher came upon the girls and said hello, and we figured out it was LGA's teacher. She very kindly waited for me to fill the forms out and give them to the office staff before taking us to LGA's classroom.  It's really nice.  They have awesome desk chairs so they don't rock the chairs back.  LGA had her name, her ABC's and numbers.  The teacher and I tried to talk (LGA interrupted several times, which was annoying me but I tried to talk to the teacher and her husband tried to distract the girls so I could) and I liked her teaching style.  LGA will be in a modified 3rd grade class so she will not be at her desk all the time (which I think she will like).  We also discovered since we were moved due to zoning, that LGA will have some of her classmates that live in our housing complex, attending with her.  One of her first Special Ed teachers who she had in summer school, supposedly teaches at the school, although I could not get it confirmed.  But that made LGA feel better.  She ended up hiding behind me at first when talking to the teacher until she saw something that she wanted to investigate and went over to look at.  So I am hopeful for her new year.  She is closer to home so I can go down and volunteer, although they tend to discourage that in Special Ed day classes. But if I have to pull her for an appt, I can get there quickly rather than having to go 20 mins or more to the other side of town.

Now on to BGA's school.  Her school is a lower performing school.  We live in an area surrounded by some lower income housing, so the school is in the area where it's a very diverse neighborhood.  The school has been underperforming since BGA has attended, but always gotten their grants and been 21 students per class.  Free school lunches, etc.  This year they did not get their grant and the class sizes have jumped to 34 students per class.  Some teachers have left or been let go.  BGA has the teacher she had in first grade, when she first came home.  We like this teacher, LGA had her for first grade as well.  BGA will be in 5th and this teacher taught 5th last year.  She didn't really like it but this year she has been assigned 5th grade again.  She also has 43 students in her class!! So I think the first week will be hard on her and on BGA.  The bully boy is back, the one who put glue in BGA's hair while I was at mom's the first trip.  I was hoping he was expelled but he appears to be back.  I am hoping he might get moved as they will need to move students to other schools.  I would say they could move BGA to LGA's school as her teachers feel she could benefit from a change in environment and we feel the same way as well.  BUT......I would need to make sure it's a good fit for her.   So we will see how this year goes.  Dave was of the opinion we could keep her in the class as she knows the teacher and the teacher knows how to teach her. But now we are not sure.  This teacher is the one encouraging us to let her have a change of school.  I'm not so sure about BGA's school year.  We need to see how it goes.  LGA is bussed, BGA would need to be driven about 10 mins away and picked up.  There is time, etc., but then I don't want LGA to lose her bus pick up if we were to drive them.  I think we're going to wait it out for now and see how it goes.  BGA sighed a sigh of relief when she found out she had this teacher and became less stressed and worried. Maybe some of the problem kids will get moved.  We will see.

LGA's school is a specific type of uniform since it's a magnet so I have been buying a few things to supplement her wardrobe.  Luckily we had a few things since her school last year was uniform but more lax on the polo shirt colors and bottoms (jeans were allowed).  Uniforms make it so much easier to know what they will wear each day but a bit more expensive to buy.  When I went to buy polos at Old Navy since I figured they'd have a back to school sale and Target was out of our color, there was a line back to kids' clothing and I saw a woman carrying our color in a huge stack of polos on her arm.  I knew we were doomed. I ended up having to pick white as that was all there was left.  LGA and white do not exactly mix.  She's hard on her clothes so I'm trying not to buy anything expensive.  She's also growing in foot size and clothing and has caught up to BGA who is not growing either weight or height wise.

I'm happy school is starting as I will have some time again for myself, and to do some beading hopefully. I have missed it and yesterday picked up some patina paint to color in some of my brass and copper charms for some colorful jewelry.  I'm excited to learn this type of coloring and also hope to pick up stamping in the fall/winter season.  Stamping is hugely popular with stamped necklaces with charms, bracelets, etc.  I have saved some favorites on Etsy of styles of earrings, necklaces and bracelets I like so I hope I can make some pretty jewelry and increase my techniques.

Welcome 2012-2013 school year.  You started later, end later, and have some different break schedules than in the past, but I am looking on it as a good year hopefully. I told BGA's teacher I would volunteer if she needed help - she didn't answer me.  Hmmmmmmmmm..........I don't think it's me though, I think she's just a hands on, no help type of teacher, as I never saw parents in her class very much.  She will let me know what kind of help she needs. 

Wish us all luck.........let's hope this is a good school year for all. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Minor Vent.......But It's A Good Thing, Too....

If you have followed this blog or the other blog, the one I have now made private, or you know me from another forum, you know that LGA has been in a Special Ed day class at another school since Jan of this year.  We were told by the Special Ed person from the Special Ed department at the school district, that LGA had to continue at the school she was at because there were no openings at schools near us.  We were ok with it, as she is comfortable there with the kids she knows.  It's 20 minutes away from us and a long freeway ride to get to the school, but LGA gets bussed, so the only disadvantage was if we needed to get to school to pick her up (which only happened once during the time she attended).

LGA has an IEP and we meet frequently to go over her goals for school, etc.  We didn't get to do an end of year IEP as I like to do, so I know what is going to happen for the new school year, due to my mother passing away and me having to go down to Southern CA for a week and a half.  So I was disappointed, but managed to email LGA's very nice teacher and find out who her new Program Specialist was for this school.  I then asked the teacher if it was possible to transfer LGA to a school here closer to our home for next school year.  I emailed our former Program Specialist (for the Special Education department) to ask him if we could move her.  He said no, but that we could move her to the school across from BGA's (which has later start times and later ending times, which is not what I want) in another year.  So we thought, okay, she'll go to the school she went to, and it will be ok.  When my mom passed I thought some stability would be good for LGA.  She still wants to go to her former school, BGA's school, but they do not offer Special Ed day classes. forward to yesterday.  We went out to a fab pizza place that is supposedly the best in our town (came highly recommended from Dave's co -workers and online recommendation from of course, Facebook) and had a great dinner.  We still have leftovers for tonight or tomorrow as well.  We went to the mailbox (which due to the 100 degree weather, I had not felt like trucking out to the mailbox.  The air quality is bad, and I'm a preemie that feels it in my lungs so I stayed in) on the way home and found the letter stating LGA would be moved to another school.

Another school. That makes 3 since January, one for the Jan-May period of school, one for summer school, and now one for her school year.  She panicked.  I don't blame her.  I now have to enroll her in school number 4.  Which means of course all the forms you need to register her.  It means trucking two kids to the dr. to get the physical form, it means trucking two kids down to the school.  It means a new teacher AND new kids for LGA (who just got used to the kids she had in her class) however, if the letter is correct, maybe some of the kids from our area (which it appears there may be 3 or 4) will be going to this school with her.  It means that there is a new teacher, although based on the school website, the teacher she had at her first school, who she also ended up having in summer school, may teach there (she won't be LGA's teacher but she can be a familiar face).  It means going through all the stuff again, that we go through each year, so that the teacher can be familiar with LGA.  It means a new speech teacher (and I'm hoping it is not the first teacher she had at her first school.  The one she had from Jan-May was awesome!  I could see LGA learning a lot - contrary to the one she had for 2 years at the first school).

I am glad she will be close and I can drive there (on back roads) and be there within 10 mins.  But I am really having a hard time with no stability for LGA.  She just keeps going from school to school, teacher to teacher, speech teachers, friends, etc.  So I am really hoping that the kids she got to know at the other school (and some went to summer school) will be there at the new school also. I feel LGA is not getting to make any concrete friends and this bothers me.  Although she has a hard time making friends, but is trying and really seemed to have made a friend with a down's girl named E. And I wanted her to continue with this friend, I thought it was positive that she made a friend with someone who had some similar issues as LGA.  She seemed happier and talked of this girl a lot.

Just to keep track we have:  transition from preschool to grade school.  Two years with her sister and in mainstream school (kinder to second).  Transfer in Jan to Special Ed day class, with all new teachers and students.  My mom dies in May and we had to go to my mom's for 18 days away from home.  Immediate transition (like next day) to summer school for a month.  Luckily she had a few students from her class and a teacher she had had at the first mainstream school (in first grade).  Now we have another transition with a whole new team. 

I know that transitions are part of life, but they are so hard for special needs kids.  LGA did well in summer school, though, and being closer to the school I might be able to volunteer if it's possible (the other teacher would not let me as LGA was a new student).  So now I need to email the previous program specialist we had at the first school (who is always so helpful.  I need to know if he is now the current specialist since the one we got assigned to in Jan was at the other school) and find out if LGA can stay at this school for awhile. I'm concerned that she will be transfered each year and I really do not want that. 

So my vent I guess would be that instead of notifying me personally, to ask me if this fit our plans, etc., they just notified me with a letter, and now I have to call and find out all the details.  I might not get them till after school starts, either, because I don't know if the speicalists work during the summer.  I need to set up a new IEP meeting so I can meet the Program Specialist, the teacher, principal (if applicable) counselor (if applicable), speech teacher, and school psychologist (and need to see since we are back near our house if any of the previous team we had for the first 2 years are our 'team' again, if that makes sense, or if we need to aquaint ourselves with a new team)etc.  We all need to be on the same page for LGA's goals.  It means meeting a new 'team' possibly.

I also have to find out if the new school is a uniform school as the previous school (from Jan to May, school #2 I guess we could call it, it's all getting confusing with all of these schools LGA has attended) was a uniform school.  Luckily I had uniforms for LGA that BGA wore when the school they both attended was a uniform school (they gave it up last year).  But that means that LGA will now need clothes she can wear to school and not the uniforms (which I can't give up, just in case there is another school transfer!) she wore from Jan through summer school.   I do believe, due to how hard LGA is on clothes, that I will hit up the thrift stores next week and let LGA pick what she wants.  She is so hard on clothes, that it's hard for me to justify buying expensive stuff for her.  I did hit up Target's clearance, but didn't buy her anything because I thought she was wearing uniforms. 

Are you confused yet??  LOL.  Well, I think if I had to sum it up, I am glad LGA is closer, and I will email and find out who our team will be and if they can keep LGA at this school for a few more years, so she can have some stability and be closer to home.  I know I am we are her advocates, Dave and I, so we'll go forward.  I think there is some relief for me that she's closer. I really did not like that she attended school farther away, but I went with it.  Both girls have close start and end times so we'll see how transportation works out.

One thing also that bothers me, on Facebook I found a FASD group (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). There was a blog article, and it was written by a Mental Health Counselor.  She and her husband had a foster FASD teen.   The husband was trying to get the SW who had her own ideas of how to raise the foster youth, to see that parenting this child would not work as she had been taught.  She was trying to fit the child into the 'normal' box of what she learned parenting wise, for a child who did not have special needs. Finally the husband says to her, "he's retarded. would you expect him to do thus/so?"  I found myself not really liking that description.  Yes, my child is brain damaged.  I disagree with saying she is retarded.  But then again, who likes the term brain damaged either?  Yet it is true.  We know this, we deal on a daily basis with it.  I don't know why it struck a chord with me but it did.  LGA says her brain gets 'stuck' and she knows this.  Perhaps she shouldn't, but she couldn't understand why things don't 'stick' and she can't remember something she learned previously.  She gets mad and upset that her sister can do more than she can.  We deal with this daily.  There are times when it's really not fun and it's tiring.  But we have plans in place, and I know we'll be making a visit to a psychiatrist this fall so we can get meds regulated. 

And just in case anyone is wondering, I was not in favor of meds, I put it off as long as I could.  It was finally when our agency Sw told me that it wasn't about what I wanted but what was best for the girls, did I re-think what I had previously thought about meds.  It was when the 3rd grade teacher wanted to give up on BGA because she (and this was not one of her better moments but she was going for her masters) said she couldn't take it if 2 mos in to the school year, BGA was going to act the way she was and wanted to transfer her.  Wanted to transfer her to a class where the teacher would handle her 'issues' but not challenge her.  I stuck to my guns (no transfer) and put the girls on meds.  Life has been better for them since.  I don't take breaks in meds either, we keep them on the meds, all week long.  The girls can tell the difference as we have talked about how they feel on/off meds and they can tell that their brains can focus on meds and how they feel. 

In other news, as I noted above, the temperatures have been in the 100+ mark here.  Because we are in a 'valley' it feels like a hot oven most of the time.  I have not wanted to cook, I have not wanted to turn my oven on or have any extra heat in the house. I have not wanted to clean my house (which has seen better days to be honest, lately) I have not wanted to do a darn thing.  The girls have been busy with some new toys and coloring items, as we did venture out for school supplies.  Me? I did a bit of beading, and organizing (and wishing to order supplies from my Etsy suppliers - not on the table right now) but mostly wishing the hot summer would go away.  We missed the boat on the small-medium patio sized pools that have a filter and pump and that the girls could play in for some water play outside, so we've been inside and we're starting to get a bit bored.  So we ventured out for pizza and ice cream yesterday and I'm glad we did.  The pizza was excellent.  I'm doing stove cooking (chicken in a skillet, rice in the rice cooker, etc) and needing to make another grocery shop for salad stuff.  The girls have been drinking smoothies from my new Ninja blender (the old one I got as a wedding present blew up mid blend a couple of weeks ago). 

Hope you all stay cool wherever you are.  We'll be heading to "Diary of A Wimpy Kid" this weekend to stay cool.  Temps are expected to hit mid to low 90's (which is a bit more bearable) this next week.  School starts in 11 days and counting. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Dentist.........

The girls have had dentist appts this summer.  In the past we have not had very good dental coverage so we haven't been able to go to the dentist much.  The girls were able to (and required to have one appt) when we were fostering them, so they had appts (at which point 7 yr old BGA HATED the dentist and would not allow the dentist to fix her filling that had come loose.  She would not sit still she wouldn't let the dentist near her to numb her mouth, so we had to leave.  This was a Medi-cal before we finalized, so the dentist was not one of our choosing).  So we decided to not go to the dentist till we could get better coverage on Dave's insurance and also to see if the girls being a bit older would make for a better visit.

Fast forward to me having to have my wisdom tooth out in Feb.  The girls went with me and got to hang out at the dentist while I had my tooth pulled.  They have video games and the movie Finding Nemo seems to be on every time we visit (hmmmmmmm....maybe I should donate some movies the girls do not watch).  They liked the office, the staff and were ok hanging out there.

Dave had some plaque build up on one of his teeth and thought that he had chipped his tooth when we were gone at my mom's.  So he went to the dentist and made appts for the girls.

BGA went first on the same day Dave was getting his deep clean.  He went in first, we went to lunch, came back and BGA had her appt. She did very well.  Lost one of the baby teeth that had a filling on it, but still needs the other one fixed.  She had no new cavities (good thing as neither girl likes to brush - what kid does for that matter??) and got her teeth cleaned, flouride put on and will get the filling fixed and sealant put on at the next visit.  She got a new rotating spin toothbrush, toothpaste and got to put a coin in for the 'treasures toy machine (like gumball machines but with 'treasures').  She picked out a bouncing ball 'eyeball' and gave it to LGA.  Nice gesture.

Monday was LGA's turn.  Now if you have seen her pics you know her mouth is a bit of a mess, caps that the county put on before we had her (we would have skipped that part) and teeth coming in crooked, teeth coming in behind the caps, overcrowding, etc.  Plus this kid does not brush.  We told the girls they would be going to the dentist this summer, but when you watch LGA from the cutout in the wall in the family room (that looks into the bathroom.  I think they thought it would be more 'room' to cut a square size cut out on the family room wall to make it appear a larger room.  Really annoying to me, but is handy when you want to see in the bathroom and see what a certain 8 yr old is up to) she is not brushing and does not really brush.  But telling the girls that there would be extensive xrays taken (there was) and that the dentist could see exactly where they were brushing and not brushing, they started evidently brushing.  

LGA had no cavities, which was very good.  She still has none to this day.  BGA had 2 originally now only has 1 and no new ones.  But LGA's teeth are a mess and she will need braces.  BGA might if there is a spacing issue but she has 6 more teeth to come in.  We will go on an orthodontic consult to see what the orthodontist thinks will be needed for LGA's teeth.  Her caps are finally coming out, but there is one tooth behind the front cap and that cap just won't come out. I was hoping the dentist would pull it but he wouldn't. It also appears she is losing a cap from the side, so if she loses both she would only have one cap left in her mouth (same as what BGA has, one cap on the side.  She had a front tooth cap and lost it right before she came home).

LGA had a good appt, after initially being scared during the xray part of it (the nurse refused to let us stand in the hallway to be there for her, so we had sit in another waiting room).  She did everything the nurse asked her to do and was very good about getting her teeth cleaned, etc.  I was very proud of her.  The next day she brushed her teeth all on her own with her new toothbrush and then said, "mommy look at my clean teeth!"  LOL. 

I'm glad they are more comfortable at the dentist.  I will have to take BGA on my own to get her filling fixed, so that will be the real test.  I have to take both girls as Dave has to work that day.  So we'll see how it goes and if BGA can do it.  Our dentist is not even a special one, with no tv (except on the orthodontia side) or music, etc.  But they are nice and our dr.'s were cool.  The one we want to have has a name that is really funny considering her profession.  :-)

I'm just glad we have had check ups (well except for me I will now need to wait till the fall to get my check up and teeth cleaned) finally. They are more into brushing their teeth now as well, which I am happy about.

And, we survived the visit, no one got upset or worried, etc.  We walked in like we'd been to the dentist many times.  One more thing that the girls conquered.  The fear of the dentist.  For now. 

Hope you are all staying cool here this week.  It's in the 100's here, but expected to go down to the low 90's by the weekend. 

Dave moves to a temporary schedule for the month of August but it's one in our favor, although less time alone with him for me. School starts in just under 2 weeks.  Not ready yet, no new backpacks or school supplies have been purchased, still on a go to bed a bit later and sleep in later mode (BGA) and the lazy days of summer. 

Hope you are all staying cool in your part of the universe.