Sunday, December 8, 2013

Someone has questions.....

After reading Holly Claus, A Christmas Princess, Gretchen asked me if she's real. I told her I don't really know but it's possible. She said well I guess that's one more question for tomorrow. I hope Santa's ready because I have a lot of questions that I need answers for! ..... Well I hope Santa is ready today to answer her questions!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

No Common Decency

Evan has decided he is going to do the Advent calendar every day even though the kids are taking turns... Sean could care less but he's doing it because it's his turn.  Gretchen set her alarm clock early today to get up and do it BEFORE Evan could since it's her turn.  When Evan tried to do today (and it was already done), Gretchen declared Evan has "no common decency whatsoever"..... Sigh....  

She's being good Santa

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

New Beginings

We had our meeting today with the neuropsychologist regarding Gretchen's testing.  Apparently Gretchen is through the roof on the verbal components but equally and oppositely low on the non-verbal.  We got a lot of info that boils down to these labels:  non verbal learning disability, math learning disability and ADHD.  The doctor is still writing the report for us.  Once we have it we will see our pediatrician regarding the ADHD and what kinds of options there.  We are considering medication but will be watching that very carefully.  We obviously don't want it to change the essence of who she is but we really want to get some help with the ADHD component because it's likely affecting her behavior in class (and her grades in reading and math).  If some wins in the classroom result of better focus, it would really help her confidence. 

Once we have the report, we'll let the school review it in anticipation of the IEP meeting we have scheduled in January.  The doctor did not feel that she had dyslexia but rather spatial processing that had her flipping words, skipping lines and substituting.  Gretchen saw an opthamalogist in Sept for a thorough examination so we know it's not a vision issue.

So.....  oddly enough, I feel some peace now than before.  I guess because we have confirmation on what the issues are...  And hopefully very soon some strategies for how to help her at home.  I'm hoping that rather than walking aimlessly down roads that look like the "right" one, we can start on a path that will really help her! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Nutcracker

Last year we saw an interesting Nutcracker at CLC.  Gretchen knew the story but I think the ballet is kind of long for her.  This year the family and the girl scout troop saw a production done by the lovely Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre for Kids.  It has the ballet highlights in there since it was only an hour.  I think we all enjoyed that.... 

Thursday, November 14, 2013


Steve and I have butterflies today and that sick feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you think something awful may be coming.  We made the decision to have Gretchen tested for dyslexia and ADD. She has a learning disability that she gets services for but we still feel like something is missing.  She's failing math right now even though we sit with her and go over homework and concepts.  Reading is better but still below. You think when your child goes through the IEP and the whole services thing that they are going to improve however slowly.  While we are afraid of the results, we think it's time to see if there is a medical issue.  At least we'll know what we need to do for her.......

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Santa's Minion

G: Why won't Santa bring me an elf on the shelf? 
Me: You buy them at the store. Santa doesn't bring them. 
G: Why don't you believe it them? They're real you know. 
Me: We didn't have them when I grew up. 
G: Well, that's 'cause Santa hadn't thought of it yet!

She's got an answer for EVERYTHING!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Cowgirl Gretchen

Gretchen wanted to be a cow girl this year.  We didn't have the annual "how do you keep a child warm all night?" predicament we usually have.  This year it rained all night but it didn't stop us from going.  We went for the 90 minutes - not too bad in the rain....

Gretchen and our neighbor friend

Monday, September 30, 2013

Piano Lesson

She's only had a few lessons so this is a very simple song but getting here took some effort so it's worth celebrating!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Picture Day

Always a treacherous day for a parent.... did they mess up their hair, getting something on their clothes, smile nice (or did they use their fakey smile).  Steve always takes their picture at home when we know they look good.  He got some good shots this year!
Almost a forced smile but not quite

The big sister has it under control

Ready to go to school

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

First Day of School

Sigh.... The first day of school was mixed results.  We had to switch daycare providers so it was a lot of change for the whole family.  While Gretchen had a good day at school, she got in trouble at the new day care for doing something to her brothers.  When she came home, she was upset and felt like it was hard to be in a new place.  Evan was sad and upset when he came home.  He doesn't like school or the new daycare.  Sigh.  I couldn't get a good reason out of him but it seemed like something happened yesterday since he ate so very little for lunch which is not like him.  Oddly enough, the child who has the most problems with transitions had no issues.  Sean was happy.  School was fine.  The new daycare was fine.  I was worried the most about him and he was fine.  His lunch bag is missing.  The new one I just bought cannot be found at daycare so I was not happy but he was so that's what's important.  Hopefully it goes better tomorrow..... 
3rd Grader in our midst

Big sister has a tough job!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Professional

Like many parents, I wish I could be in Gretchen's head sometimes to see where something is going.  Other times, I'm glad I'm not.  Today we had the following conversation:

Gretchen:  I have decided I want to be like Taylor Swift.  Is that a good idea?
Me:  Um.....
Gretchen:  I need to know everything about her.  What do you know about her?
Me:  Um....
Gretchen:  [Sigh] I need a professional
Me:  A professional what?
Gretchen:  Someone who really knows all about her.  I want singing lessons too.  How many will I need to become a superstar?
Me:  Um....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Camp Blues

Gretchen has a bad track record with her things.  I know this and she knows this.  Last summer we went through countless containers of lost sun block, bug spray, bathing suits, etc.  It drove me insane.  I promised myself this summer I would be more relaxed about it!  And that lasted about a week.....  She has been in summer camp for two weeks.  The first week she lost the new can of sun block and found it but when it came back home on day 4 it was completely empty.  So I put in a tube of lotion sun block and a half full can.  The tube is gone.  She can home with a tick last week which Steve quickly removed but it freaked her out so know she is using the bug repellent.  I already had a can of Off in her bag and Steve added a tube of Repel which is now gone.  Monday she went to camp with a hoodie.  It has yet to come back.  When we ask her to look for it, her response is outrage.  "How am I supposed to remember all that?"  I offered a reward if we could go 5 days in a row without losing anything but that did not garner a lot of excitement.  Today I told her the next tube of bug repellent or sun block will be paid for out of her piggy bank.  She was not happy which made me happy - maybe, just maybe, I can get her attention.  I think that makes me a bad parent but I am at a loss on how to handle....

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Summer Work

We made the decision to not send Gretchen to summer school this year.  She gets services right now and should probably go to school for three more weeks if not the whole summer.  So it's a difficult decision for us to say no to summer school.  Until I had children with learning disabilities, I subscribed to the belief that summer should be fun.  As an adult, I pine for the days when I got up in the summer and wonder just what the day would bring me.  I wasn't a summer camp kid so I was on my own a lot.  The first summer after my parents separated, I used to go to the library in the morning and looks for books to read.  I would read there for awhile and then come home.  I remember feeling lonely though I don't know if I could have explained that to anyone at 9 years old.  The main reason we don't go to summer school is that we send Gretchen to an outdoor day camp that doesn't bus from the school she would have to go to.  Last year we promised ourselves we would do summer homework but we did not get very far.  This year, we are doing better with it.  Gretchen is on the second day of activities.  We're trying to do something four days a week with two activities per day (choices - math, reading and/or writing).  We joined the summer reading club at the library and signed up for some library programs.  I'm trying to balance my view that summer is for fun with what Gretchen really needs.  The truth is she needs both:  she needs to keep doing school activities and she needs to do physical activities to bolster her self confidence.  It's hard to know how much more we should be doing.  It's probably not enough but we are doing something this time.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I have a bunch of posts that I didn't publish so if you are getting stuff from 6 months ago, it's because I never published it.  I meant to revise it or add more then I forget.  Also, I will be consolidating the blogs this year sometime.  It's too much now to keep up with.  After the boys 5th birthday in July, I will have a new combined family blog.  I started this combined blog 3 years ago but haven't done anything with it yet.  I will very soon!

There is no crying in baseball

We did our annual baseball game as a family this past weekend. The kids sit pretty well through an entire game if we keep feeding them....  We had ice cream, hot dogs, pizza, french fries, cotton candy, pretzels, Teddy Grahams, licorice and lemonade.  Though this particular time Gretchen and Evan were motivated to stay the whole game so they could run the bases.  Apparently Wrigley has a thing on every Sunday game in April/May were kids can run the bases after the game.  Sean wasn't as interested in staying as Gretchen and Evan. Though when it came time to run it, Sean wasn't going to miss out.  You can see in this picture Evan is standing there waiting for his brother and sister (he's in the blue shirt/red shorts). 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break Rules!

We surprised the kids with a trip to Dollywood over spring break.  First though we went to visit our friends in Hendersonville NC.  We didn't tell the kids where we were going after but then we drove to Pigeon Forge TN to stay in the Dells of the south!  Dollywood was very cold but a very nice amusement park.  Clean, affordable and a nice selection of rides, I would love to go back when it isn't 45 degrees.  After that we traveled to Lexington for a visit with more friends and then to Indianapolis to the Children's Museum (we did that last year and they asked to go back).  It was a long and exhausting week but between the cabin in Pigeon Forge and the hotel visits and uncle Todd's drum set, it was the best vacation ever according to the kids!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

She stayed up to midnight!

Of course she was completely bored and couldn't believe how boring it was.....  guess we're not too exciting.