Monday, November 29, 2010

Manicure Meltdown

We almost missed the bus this morning due to a manicure meltdown. Phoebe & Samara had done one another's nails yesterday, and as one might expect with child-applied polish, they needed some touch up work, which we did not have time for this morning! With the promise of an afternoon manicure, we got her settled down and off to school, not crying. And now, she's fallen asleep during her afternoon manicure! Maybe it'll get to set before she wakes up! But this Daddy-mani is bound to last longer than the Samara-mani did. :)

Phoebe

My little princess is growing up soooo fast! She's still so cute and adorable, getting sillier and smarter by the day, and becoming her own lovely little person. ♥

Christopher

Trying to get back to my 'pics w/all posts' habit, makes for such a better looking blog. Here's one of my favorites from this weekend. I have the most beautiful children!! ♥

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Mission!

I have this Christmas project that's been brewing in the back of my mind for months. It's one gift I can give to everyone on my list, and I can update and give it year after year - a family calendar! I will still buy presents for all kiddos and other special recipients, but I think a family calendar, pre-populated with birthdays/etc, would make a darn fine gift for the many others whom I love. I've only today just started tinkering, and already I'm hoping it'll become a beloved family tradition. I'll be soliciting photos, and maybe little yearly re-cap blurbs, and hm... what else? :) I love this kinda stuff!

The Fuller Thanksgiving

We spent most of yesterday at Papa & Grandma Lynn's for the traditional not-on-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. Every time we go, JR & I both leave feeling like we should really do that more often. JR tends to forget that he is enjoying the relationship that he has with his Dad since becoming a Dad himself, so he still resists going, but always enjoys it. And for me it's Granny, I always feel like I should should visit more with her and let her spend some more time w/my kids. She's a frail old lady, who knows how many more holidays we have with her. She says goodbye at each as if it were the last, but I always leave thinking I'll see her again at the next Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. I know I'll be wrong at some point, probably in the not too far distant future. She's 84, or that's what she said yesterday anyway, I'll have to check my records on that one. She still mourns the loss of her husband and daughter. I speculated aloud about her life w/Jason, and JR said he treats her well, but I bet he doesn't. He's an ignorant loud-mouthed nincompoop. I wonder who cooks? Who cleans?

A blog Mom shared recently has planted a seed in me: if you want more or less of something, anything, in your life, measure it. Now this is a concept my process-improvement-brain can get right on board with! My sense of looming change has not settled with my relocation, which probably means I have more work to do. :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Full Developmental/Preschool Evaluation

I met with  FCPS Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Program's Local Screening Committee on Tuesday 11/16 and, as expected, Christopher was recommended for an initial evaluation to determine if he has a disability and requires special education. He is scheduled for three assessments, all on Friday 07 January 2011: 1) "Sociocultural" which is developmental history, family background, adaptive behavior, medical status, and educational history; 2) "Audiological" which is a complete assessment of hearing; and 3) the "Developmental"/Preschool looks at the areas of adaptive, cognitive, physical, communication, and social/emotional.

At this early stage, the process is more about determining his eligibility for county services. I'm sure later the process will shift to focus on identifying those services from which he will derive the most benefit, but in the meantime, I am wondering if we should start him in speech therapy right away through our medical coverage. I can't imagine how that would not be a good thing, but will probably check w/his designated social worker to a) make sure it won't impact his eligibility for county services, and b) to see if I can start services now with the same providers who the county might use anyway, so his therapy would continue uninterrupted.

I have a lot to learn about advocating for my "special needs" child, even if it is just in the short term. I sincerely hope that our Little Mister Christopher is in fact experiencing a temporary delay, and that therapy and treatment will get him fully up to speed quickly. While I am ready/willing/able to advocate for him, however much and for however long it takes, I do hope that his special needs will not need advocating throughout his entire schooling.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photos

Been tinkering with Shutterfly & Swingvine trying to get my photos uploaded, and have been reminded why I opted for Picasa in the first place. So, I set myself up another Google/Picasa account, and will not be using those other sites. Should all be seamless to you: my links to the left should work.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Stability < _____ < Lottery

Dear Dianne, I know that stability is at the very tip top of your list when it comes to employment criteria. And I know that Plan B is all set for if/when you when the lottery. I'm asking you to think somewhere in between those parameters. Let's say, hypothetically, you won, not the lottery, but an annuity equivalent to your current income and benefits, so the "stability" part of the equation is solved, then what would you do with your days? What would be more satisfying that just stability, but not as fabulous as winning the lottery?

For the Record: I HATE the DC Commute!

I knew that returning to NoVA to work in DC would mean a significant change to my commute. I knew it would be more expensive and more time consuming. But dammit I can't take it! I spend $301.90/mo for my VRE/Metro ticket, which is actually cheaper than it would be for gas into and out of DC plus parking in DC, but it's still a lot of money. But what pains me even more is the time! I had a 20min commute in Hampton, and now I have a 1½hr commute - that's 3hrs/day - on top of an 8hr work day! So if I bust my ass and take no breaks, I still have to spend ELEVEN hours apart from my home and family - it blows!

I tried to warn Ken when I started that the commute to DC was most unappealing, and asked if I might be able to work from home (or our Fairfax office) a couple days a week, but was denied, because "presence" is such a key part of our support. Well "presence" is a key part of a happy home-life too, and I ain't gettin' enough!

Plus, when Ken hired me, he said he was BUSY and needed help, so that he would not be working so many late hours. But as it turns out, Ken still works those late hours, and I am, to some degree, expected to "make myself useful" in SEA05Z where we have funding, but where the clients are not routinely using our support. I struggled for too long to "make myself useful" at SUPSHIP Newport News, with limited success, and am not keen on having to solicit/generate my own work.

So, if things continue along this path, which I think they will, I am already mentally preparing myself to give this job one year, then I'm going to move on. I don't have a plan yet, and won't make the same mistake this time of announcing my intentions to my boss and clients before I do have another plan, but a plan is indeed brewing.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Christopher's Language Delay

We are on the road to having Little Mister Christopher's language issues identified so we can get that boy talking! Our "case" goes before Fairfax County Early Childhood Special Education Preschool Program's Local Screening Committee on Tuesday 16 November. We are expecting he will be referred into the system for services.

My work friend, Michele, knew of a mutual contact whose child also exhibited developmental delays at about age three, so she put Dave & I in touch by email, we may meet for a bit on Tuesday if our work schedules permit. His son, also a Christopher, was diagnosed with Severe Apraxia, which of course I immediately Googled, and while I am not jumping to conclusions, many of the Apraxia indicators do seem to fit w/our Christopher's typical behavior. The Family Start Guide at Apraxia-Kids.org was a decent intro.

I told JR yesterday that his new job starts soon: he's about to become a full-time speech therapist. Whatever Christopher's particular language development diagnosis is, I feel certain he will be registered for at least speech therapy, and my initial research indicates that most parents have success with therapy at least three times per week. And of course the success of therapy depends on the willingness/ability of children and parents to practice at home. I hope therapy with a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) includes teaching the parents, I'm thinking language therapy would be most effective done ALL THE TIME, we've got to turn language use into fun 24/7 language therapy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Return of "My Little Contribution . . ."

I often waffle between wanting to share my blog and wanting to keep it private, so I think I've finally come to a "system" of sorts: facebook for the world, My Little Contribution for those who are more interested, and a new totally private blog for my 'Dear Diary' type stuff. So, I moved my most private posts to the other blog, and I'm opening this one back up, no invite required, so that My Little Contribution can be what I intended: my little contribution to the internets. :) I don't like that there are now months with no entries, but oh well, I needed those months to myself.