Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Family

Since we didn't do a Christmas Card, here's a little update.

Mason is growing so fast- it makes me sad. He's eating solids, sleeping through the night, teething, and he spends a good amount of time laughing hysterically at the antics of his siblings. The girls call him "Mr. Chubby" and they work very hard to keep him entertained. Unless of course they are watching something on TV and then when he gets fussy they can't understand why I can't keep him quiet!

Chase keeps me laughing with the funny things he says. He loves making projects at school and for Valentines day he painted a Cupid. When he got into the car with his lovely sparkly purple and pink Cupid, he exclaimed, "Mom, Cupid is so cool, he flies in the air and shoots arrows!" I think he totally missed the point. But you know, arrows are way cool- no matter who is shooting them. Chase loves dinosaurs, swords and race cars. He is all boy, even when singing along with songs from "Enchanted," and when he proudly tells his teachers he was watching "Tinkerbell" in the car. Ah, older sisters. What can you do?

Madison LOVES to watch movies. She would watch all day long if allowed. She is such a social butterfly, she just likes to be around people. Recently we had a little puppy named Leo living with us for a short time. He was very cute and Madison carried him around like a baby. She slept with him at night and I was a bit worried she wouldn't let go of him all night long! She loved having him here and she can't wait until we get another small dog for her to carry around all day long.

Abby...., well, Abby is all over the place! She is has more energy, more passion, more intensity, more temper, more everything and anything that anyone I have ever met. It's been an intense Abby day today. She is a great artist and has really done some beautiful work at school. She is doing well in soccer and scored two goals for her indoor team on Saturday. She loves to play and she loves to move. She keeps us on our toes!

Gordon is still busy at work and at church. He is serving in the Young Men's as the Secretary. I was recently called to be the Primary President, so Gordon really has Mason duty on Sundays. We are busy, but doing well. Everyone is growing up and changing so fast. Some of it is welcome change and some of it is changing too fast. I look at Mason and it makes me sad that he will be our last baby. I know it's crazy, but it's hard to let go of that stage of your life.

Hope you all are doing well this Sunday night! Now, I'm off to bed!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Change is Good

Kindergarten has been hard for Madison. She has spent most of her time crying and avoiding anything resembling academic work. It has all been a little overwhelming for her, and really beyond her abilities. Finally at the end of November, after reports of her running out of her classroom and her speech therapy room, I was spurred into action. I felt like something significant had to change so I wrote a letter to her IEP team and layed out three options. Special Day Class, 1:1 aide, or private school. I have to say, I feel like we are very lucky with the response we got. The morning after I sent the letter out I heard from the school and listened to their plan to try some more interventions at the school. We also had a date for an IEP meeting where we would make some final decisions. In the meantime I got to visit the Special Day Classes in the district and explore the private school option.

By the time the meeting came, it seemed clear to us that the best option at this time would be the district Special Day Class. It's a little class with 8 other students and a fabulous teaching team. There is one teacher and two full time aides. Before the meeting we let everyone know that is what we were going to advocate for and by the time we met the whole team was in agreement. So, Madison started at her new school in her new class this past Monday. We have had a whole week with only two crying episodes! Amazing, considering she was crying 6-8 times a day in her traditional Kindergarten class. She seems to be happy and loves taking her little bus to school.

We hope that someday, in a couple of years- or maybe sooner, that Madison will be able to transition back into general education classes. But, for now, we feel blessed to have the chance to try this option. Life can be tough when your ability to communicate is so limited. It was hard to see her so unhappy. Private school may be a more appropriate option down the road, but with all the schools being so far away, we almost feel like we would have to move to make that work.

I love the saying "The only constant is change." I can't think of anything more appropriate when raising kids. You get one stage figured out and they have grown out of it. You buy bunch of cute clothes and suddenly they are two inches taller. You make their favorite dinner to find out now they hate it! You make your favorite dish, knowing you won't have to share, and they eat the whole thing! We feel like this class is good for Madison now, but know that things can change and always do. So for now this change is a good one, and we feel blessed. But down the line, we worry about this girl. Her path to adulthood and independence will be a lot more work for her than others and we hope we can give her what she needs to be successful.

So here's to a good change! Yay! Let's hope we keep on seeing a happy girl at school.