Monday, April 22, 2013

The post where I boast.......oh look it rhymes!

Sorry for the lack of posts, although seriously I am never sure who reads this ole blog anway.....but I'm going to do a big old update anyway.

BGA got her "citizen of the month" award (I thought it was Student of the Month but I was wrong) and both Dave and I got to be there.  We were very proud of our girl.  She's been on Student Council all year long so she goes to the assemblies and helps the Principal and Vice Principal and the teachers.  Her teacher has been so proud of her that she's sent me a few notes about how proud she is.  I couldn't be ANY more proud if I tried.  This is a kid who hated school when she came home to us at age 6.  She was sullen, hated homework and trying in school.  Her first grade teacher was a wonderful teacher for all of us, she wanted to encourage BGA so as BGA achieved her milestones she got a lot of awards that year.  She got spoiled.  She thought she'd always get awards. When she hit 2nd grade we finalized the girls' adoption. I think she grieved, and it was a hard year for her.  She really struggled and got in trouble and suspended because she followed a little girl in her class' lead and wrote a bad word on the bathroom wall - and got caught.  We were devastated, wondering if this was how her school experience was gonna go.  3rd grade we got the teacher we requested, but hadn't put the girls on ADHD meds yet.  The teacher came out and said she was studying for her masters and a mom to 3, main bread winner, and she said she couldn't handle BGA and wanted to transfer her.  Many of you might remember my frustration as I knew I didn't want her transferred.  I simply told the teacher I would not transfer her and if she would be patient, the meds would work and I was sure BGA would be a different girl. She was, she did a complete 360!  She made the most improvement and growth of any child in the class.  Her teacher loved her.  She blossomed under this teacher.  4th grade was tough, BGA found she would need to be responsible for a lot of her homework and failed.  And lied to me about it.  It was another hard year.  She struggled with the fact she told all the other 4th graders she'd been adopted and they teased her, they teased her about her red hair.  She was not happy a lot and it showed.  She needed her pm med in the afternoon the teacher said because she just couldn't focus, and she was not organized.  The teacher assigned another child to "help" her organize herself.  5th grade has found us at another school with another teacher, who seems able to motivate and inspire BGA and while she did have homework issues, she went from an S (satisfactory) 1st quarter, to a U (unsatisfactory) 2nd quarter, to an O (outstanding, highest you can get and one she's never achieved).  So she's made progress and we're really proud of her.

The surprise for us was LGA's teacher called us and told us that she was getting BOTH math and reading awards! She said she'd been out as her daughter had had a baby and she forgot to send the notices home.  So she was calling to ask us if we could come.  Dave was able to come to this awards assembly as well so we shouted as loud as we could for LGA!  She also got the teachers award for reading and math and both girls had missed 0 days of school so they went in a drawing for an auctioned off item (that they both told me they didn't win, but you know, that's how it goes).  We were so proud of the girls and took them to a spaghetti house with the name the same as LGA.  LGA had a Shirley Temple and BGA had a bambino daquiri. We celebrated both girls with a nice pasta dinner.

I have to say, I'm really proud of them.  I know they have issues and we deal with those daily, but I am just really proud of the growth I have seen in them.  They've come a long way from the 4 and 6 yr old girls who came to live with us.  So many years we went through so much and now I see they are more relaxed and settled in at almost 5 yrs.  It's nice to see that part of them (the lull before the teen years I think).

Now, on to the house update.  We have floors both carpet, lino and laminate.  It was not without drama, it meant going through a few things in the house that we hadn't really touched or looked at for a few years and now as of Friday, we have the laminate in.  Evidently we had to have our floors 'grinded' so now there's some discussion on how much labor time was involved.  We will see if it gets resolved.  No one told us we had to pay extra for grinding the floors.  Quite a bit extra.  We also have our patio cover and concrete done, and some sod that was put in yesterday.  We have the drains done and the water flows out to the front yard, so I hope this eliminates any more water issues.  It's really nice to have the floors done, updated after 13 yrs of carpet.  It was nice when the old carpet was ripped out for sure!  It has been almost 2 mos of non stop waiting on people to get stuff done and house torn up a bit, LGA in BGA's room, etc.  But now it's all back together (minus a few little things) and we couldn't be happier.  Welcome Spring!

This weekend BGA competes for her school in a local track meet.  She's really excited and is running about 3 races so far.  Dave has to work as there are people out with surgeries and healing time so he's been working 12 hour saturdays.  So he has to miss her meet, as he just can't go.  She cried huge crocodile tears and was NOT happy.  She even cried about it when my friend was here yesterday, even though my friend is coming with us to see her run.  We got so used to his promotion and making his own hours that this one threw us all for a loop.  But I'm going to try to film it on my camera. I've been told I need to practice before this weekend so I have it completely down and don't miss any of it.

Temps have heated up here this week, going into the upper 80's, so welcome Spring, with a bang!

Hope you are all enjoying the warm sun.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Our Girl Got Student of the Month!!!

I am so very proud of BGA.  She got Student of the Month, the assembly is coming up soon.  I think she may also get some academic awards this time too. as that girl amazed me and totally brought up her report card to where it was at the end of last year.  WOW.  Also there are certain catagories for O's, P's, S's and U's (Outstanding, Progressing, Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).  The girl got all O's this report card.  Has not happened. Ever. Not.At.All.  Very proud of her.

She had an emotional afternoon and tried to sabatoge this great accomplishment though.  Perhaps this comes with the territory, but as she is almost 12 I want to be able to make her feel proud of herself, and she doesn't feel that way.  I don't know how to change it but I guess I need to start reading some books on it.  Because I tell her everyday how proud and loved she is, but she still got upset yesterday.  Now, part of that my friend tells me is it's scary for kids to get shots and kids react differently to them.  BGA had to get a meningitis shot and I had no idea, so when the girls went for their physicals (more on that shortly) and ADHD meds refills, the NP told BGA she needed that shot, after I had (because what did I know?  I thought I remembered the NP saying last time that she didn't need any shots at all, and that was 4 mos ago!) said there would be no shots.  Almost like this NP relished saying it after I assured (and Dave did too as he was with us) her no shots.  Ugh.  So she freaked.  LGA picked up her uneasiness and began to work it to her advantage till we realized it (pretty quickly I might add) and told her to stop.  Then LGA decided (even though she won't need a shot till she's 9, in June, but I didn't let her know that) that she was getting a shot and got upset.  So, BGA took the shot, Dave is the person they want there (although LGA wants both of us, BGA prefers Dave) when they get a shot (good thing I asked him to come, but we had such success at it last time because he was there, that I asked him to come again.  I can really ask questions and talk to dr/np when he's there to deflect their nervousness).  All was well till dinner and we went out since the appt was 3:20 and we got out of there (OMG, such a LONG wait at this dr. office!  We are always the LAST ones in at a pm appt) at 5.   More on that in a minute though........

The NP gave me the percentages for each girl. 

BGA is 11, weighs in at 63 pounds and is 4'7.  She is at 25th percentile!  Wow.  She really needs to bulk up. I'm afraid the ADHD meds are making her not put on the weight.  So I bulk her up with whole milk, and other foods to try to get pounds on.  She is actually gaining according to the NP so that is good.

LGA on the other hand is 8, almost 9, and is 63 pounds and 4'2.  She is in the 75th percentile. So she's doing well and the ADHD meds have not affected her weight or height wise.

It was so nice to get this info as the dr, never gives it to me at all. I never knew where they were.

SO after the dr. appt, (during which in the car BGA gave Dave her good news and he praised her) we decide to go to dinner on the waterfront.  Dave was craving mexican food, which is not one of BGA's favorite foods.  I know she wanted to pick because she got a good report card and student of the month.  But we did let her know we'd celebrate later, this was just a get dinner and get home kinda meal.  So it became a pout/fit when she wanted to pick two chimichangas for dinner.  Now BGA is not a big eater and she won't finish her food a lot.  Dave felt that maybe the girls could share and BGA get one, LGA get one.  But, no, LGA had picked out her own tacquitos and wanted her own meal.  Other options were given to BGA, one of which, the nachos, the waitress said were large.  Again LGA was asked if she wanted to share, again she said no.  SO BGA blew up and started crying and pouting.  By this time an older lady in the corner was eyeing this whole exchange (and once BGA got going LGA amped up considerably, got out of her seat, was mad that she couldn't sit by me - she's becoming a mama's girl and wants to be by me a lot of the time) so behaviors were not good (girls missed out on their small chocolate Sees eggs after dinner because of behavior).  Could not get BGA to stop. She kept going.  But instead of seeming sad (as she was later, more on that) she became pouty and sullen.   We had had to wait in a hot sun beating down on it exam room for almost 45 mins and then we have to deal with behavior.  Oh I was done.  So with LGA I finally said, and I POINTED, "that lady over there is watching you, do you want to keep going?"  That stopped both LGA and the woman staring.  I don't care if she overheard, by that point, I had had enough.  So we ordered the lunch version of chimichangas for BGA and she wouldn't eat it or touch it.  She kept stabbing it so I cut it up for her and ignored her.  She started eating and finished most of her plate.  We had discussed that we're not going to buy full meals (she feels she's getting too old for the kids meals in restaurants but really she isn't and the portions when they are decent are good size for her.  Sometimes if they are small she will get a small meal or we will share, she and I or her and LGA share) because she wastes them.  So she got mad.  And pouted.  Then after dinner they tried to talk me into giving them their chocolate eggs.  Nope, sorry, consequences are in effect for not good behavior.  They can try for tonight after dinner as I am cooking and it's a dinner LGA likes, spaghetti.

When we got home, BGA just kept getting more pouty and sullen. Finally in the kitchen I pulled her aside and asked what was wrong.  Apparently she does not feel worthy of this award.  I was heartbroken. I wanted her to feel proud of it and proud of her accomplishment.  SO I talked to her and kept telling her how proud we were, how proud she should be, etc.  I listed off things she does around the house that totally help me out (she's doing chores now and LGA will be responsible for doing the laminate floors when they get put in, as well as folding towels and cleaning the table off after dinner, all a good start for her). She started to come around, but then out of the blue she said, "But my birthfather will not know I got the award.  He said that I should tell him if I get an award."  Wow.  Not sure if that is true, but I guess she was thinking of him.  I'm glad she talked about it.  I wonder if someone mentioned birthparents to her at school because she was having some dreams and has had since she and LGA have shared a room.  But once she voiced this fear and we talked through it, no dreams last night.  Not one.  Oh my heart hurt for her.  But we worked through it and I will continue to let her know how proud I am of her, Dave get her a great bear hug and told her he loved her and was proud of her.

This am, LGA who I also said I was proud of, at bed time, woke the house up at 5:50.  So since I was up and moving around I fixed everyone bkfst.  LGA gets bfkst at school with her class but I gave her a yogurt smoothie to eat and she settled down.  I had BGA butter the toast and fixed eggs and pre cooked sausage for the other 3 of us (while telling LGA we were having her favorite, spaghetti for dinner, gotta keep it equal).  BGA wanted a fried egg so I made it and she said, "you are the best mom.  You are a good cook." Pshaw.......(or however you spell it).  I'm mediocre, but I try, LOL.  She was extra talkative and huggy this am but I'll certainly take it.  LGA and Dave and I watched the cat look at the birds (oh yes, we have a birds nest under our eaves and one baby already fell and died, poor thing) flying around.  She enjoyed me being there as she is in the mommy stage and wants me around.  She got on the bus and was in a good mood.  I really need to help Dave and get up in the am, because I think he can get burnt out (till we decided LGA was playing us, my friend came to stay and came during the week and fully felt LGA was taking advantage, so now she's responsible for getting herself ready and we aren't going to prompt her or remind her) in the am and it's time I helped him out a bit. 

So, my friend came to visit last week (it's been a busy couple of weeks).  She had a birthday, and came to stay so we could shop and hang out.  It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed her visit.  The girls were in school so we could hang out and talk, shop, go to lunch, etc.  Then she could see the girls in the pm after school and for dinner, then when they went to bed (and they are STILL sharing a room, almost 6 weeks later!) we could talk, drink wine, and watch tv.  Totally fun for me.  I miss her this week.  There is some background, and we haven't really been much in touch (on her end) since the girls came home. I am not really sure where it all comes from, but it is what it is.  She lost her dad xmas of 2011, so she came to see us (after I had not seen her since Nov 2007 or had much contact with her at all) on the way down to S CA and the way back.  It was awkward to say the least.  Then she asked to come stay for New Year's eve.  I invited her back all last year, but she got a promotion and works in a different location and I think her job took up some time.  We didn't address any of the issues but I tried to keep it light, and mainly let her talk about what was going on in her life.  We had a couple of interesting things, the van had to go in the shop, so I had to drive Dave's car, which is set up for his 6'2 frame and not my short one.  I used to drive his car when the girls came home but now it's firmly fitting he and his frame and not mine.  Took some getting used to.  There were some things she wanted to fit in so we were out every day she was here.  She also mentioned (evidently in jest) about a maple bacon cupcake so I tried to follow the local cupcake truck, two towns over to get one for her (never did as their truck broke down).  But it was a nice relaxing visit and we had fun.

Now we are just waiting on the scheduling of our flooring, some almost 6 weeks later.  Money had to come out of our pocket as our insurance company would not pay for all of our repairs.  I was trying to deal with the agent on the phone while my friend was there chatting to the dogs, and I was trying to hear the agent who has a very LOW voice.  But it all got worked out in the end, however, we still have not heard from the company that is doing the install even though we paid on Monday and they were supposed to get back to us in two business days.  Also have some drains being put in in the backyard to see if that will help re-direct any water that is going under the house, so that job will start.  Lots of busy stuff going on.

I am very proud of the girl, though.  This was even after my friend was here and we picked BGA up one day after school.  The teacher had had a sub and wrote a note saying how the sub really enjoyed BGA in class (BGA's class is ahem, very challenging for the teacher) and how she was helpful and I believe the words, "a joy" in class.  I'm very proud of this girl.  She's come so far.  Now if I can only inspire some self confidence in her before the teen years start.  Must work on that with her.