Saturday, October 26, 2013

Last month after Samantha had her adenoids out she had a few weeks of bad breath and yuck from the pocket of bacteria behind her adenoids. This month we had our post-op visits with both the pediatric endocrinologist and the ENT.

We met with the ENT and he signed off, pleased that she wasn't experiencing any post-nasal drip. I've noticed that Samantha's allergies don't seem to be active now. I'm hoping that it is because of the removal of the adenoids. It would be nice to relieve one more irritation.

Then we meet with the endo. and got a clean bill of health. The sample taken from her stomach was perfect--no celiac or esophagitis. Samantha has hoping she could stop taking the Prevacid. The endo. agreed that now that the adenoids were out and she wasn't suffering post-nasal drip any longer we could stop.

He ended the appointment by saying that he likely didn't need to see Samantha again. Wished her well and we said good-bye. We were with him for 7 years.

Can I tell you how emotional I was?! Since that first phone call, day 7 after Samantha was born she's struggled with so much more than a child should. That newborn screen test changed everything.

There have been periods in her life, even an entire year, when it was about medicine, doctors, tests, and quarantines (no outings or daycare to stay germ free). There was even a year when monthly medications and doctor's visit costs rivaled our mortgage payments.

Samantha was so happy as we left. I was happy and emotional. It was something we had wished for so long.

So we're down to one pill--the synthroid. That is it. And that is for life and "no big deal."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Al and I agreed to be part of this year's Nutcracker cast.


Al got the theatre bug.

Friday night we had our first practice. It was funny and fun. Most of us are a bunch of out-of-shape adults, but we laughed hysterically and got some exercise.

I'm not nervous about doing it, but I'm embarrassed. I don't like to be in front of a large group of people in general so this will be interesting. And I'm definitely out of my element as far as the acting thing goes. When the instructor started talking about quarter stage and I just stood there with a blank stare pretending I knew what she was talking about.

I can handle the dancing part. It's fun, but pretending for the audience is going to be challenging for me.

The main thing is that our kids are excited that we're taking part and get to be on stage with both of them.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Its been a long week, but we made it through with a lot of tears and promises for the future.

Samantha had to say goodbye to two of her classmates (brother and sister twins) as they moved out of state. Samantha and her bestie got to squeeze in two play dates and lots of quality time and I got to enjoy breakfast with their mom one last time.

We bought Samantha's best friend packages of stationery and some pens to write and a framed picture of the two of them on the first day of school this year. I got choked up when Samantha's best friend said, "As soon as my desk is unpacked, this picture is going on it."

Of course Samantha sobbed and asked if she could go with them. Both my kids have been asking when we can move too.

I can't wait to book us a flight to Denver and spend a week playing in Colorado for the summer. I'll miss the twins, but I this last year I was getting to know the twins' mom well. I'm bummed that they moved too, but know that we'll keep in touch.

Some friendships are worth the extra effort and this is one of those.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

I've been thinking a lot about "Work-Life Balance," which should be called "Life" balance because there is always work in life.

Like so many parents, I struggle with that life balance, between what is required and what I want. I've been far luckier than a lot of people because I have flexibility in my work schedule where I can be a library helper once a month or drive on the occasional field trip.

I'm still a tired mother. I grumble sometimes and on stressful days I wish I could quit my job, but truthfully I'd miss it tremendously.

I've been trying to step back, outside myself a bit, and think about how I want to live my life, how I want to engage my children. For example, I know it's easier to make pumpkin bread by myself, but they get such joy out of helping and I find little ways to teach my girls things like measuring math skills. And they take such pride in what they've accomplished.

I'm learning to let the dust bunnies sit a extra few days so that I can do a messy Halloween craft with the kids. And I feel better about it. I feel happier with the time I get to spend with them and, more than that, the quality of the time I spend with them.

And I want to them to look at me and feel happy, not resentful or neglected. I want them to know I love them and that they're wonderful, beautiful children.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Al and I have been pushing reading homework a bit more this year as Alyssa's learning to read. We typically let Samantha read her own books and then ask for a synopsis, but her teacher made some excellent points about why we should be more involved: comprehension and correct pronunciation. And this year I made the policy that the book has to be approved by me because Samantha will read the same book over and over again and try to count that in her reading log.

At first she grumbled that she didn't want to read the book I picked, but about the third chapter in she admitted it was a really funny book. She asked if she could read me the remainder of the book.

This week Samantha and I have been reading Treasure Island. Some nights we'll each read a page and the next night it might be that we trade off chapters. I do stop and ask questions when there is subtle figurative language or a deeper meaning. And we're practicing those good 'ol context clues, but she's getting it! We are having a blast reading together and I get to read children's classics that I've never read before. (We're a third of the way through Little House in the Big Woods, too.)

Last night Alyssa picked a book out and asked Daddy to read. The book is a Level 1 or Early Reader. I think it has a whole whopping 5 words in the story--lots of repetition, obviously. Alyssa picked up the book after Al read it once and tried to read herself. And she did. 

The excitement on her face said it all! She read it to me several more times and then excitedly announced that tomorrow she wanted to learn to tie her shoes. 

More than the reading is the bonding--the quiet time set aside to be with each of our children, one on one.