Sunday, May 2, 2010

This Other Blog That I Do

Technically, there is more than one. I have one set up for James to talk about video games. I am hoping it helps his grammar and spelling and basic english skills. I'm also hoping it helps him get the video game rants out a bit in a format where there are others to "listen" to them.

Then there is the business blog. I'm just getting started with that.

Finally there is the Journey blog. That is the one I was referring to in the title. I realize I've been very lax in posting to this blog. For the year so far there have been less than 10 posts and here it is, the 5th month already. Wow. Honestly, it's been too much "effort". Though honestly, that doesn't make any sense. After all, it's just typing and clicking and that's it. So I'm working on doing it more. All around.

This other blog is my food journal exercise log health rant blog. I needed somewhere I could put it all down in one place. Somewhere that the focus was my health and what and how I'm dealing with it. I want this blog to be about family and my relationships with them. Showing off pictures of the kids and that kind of thing. I don't want the health thing to distract from that.

My goal for the month of May is to post 4-5 times a week on this and the health blog. I would love to post frequently on the business blog, but if I don't have business, then I can't do that. My hope for posting that frequently is that I can sit down and really look at what I'm doing, where I'm going, and where I want to be. Be prepared for a lot of mind numbing posts like "I did 4 loads of laundry and washed 3 racks of dishes today. I knitted for a while. The kids and I went for a walk." Those are the kinds of things that I want to keep track of.

I want to start having recipes on both blogs, food pics too. The ones here will be more family focused. The ones there will be ones that I'm trying as a way to be healthier. They will overlap I'm sure.

The kids are doing all right. Jack is crawling and pulling himself up. He'll be walking before he turns a year old, I can guarentee that. As it is, he walks along the furniture so it's just a matter of time before he lets go. He'll be my earliest walker. Abbey is pulling herself up to her knees and rocking back and forth. She'll be crawling by the end of the month I think. Up to now it seems like she hasn't felt the need to be moving, but something has struck up the nerve in her to do it. They have a check up on Monday so we'll see how they are doing weight and height wise. It's a shot free appt, so that will be nice.

Izzy still isn't speaking. We are working on trying to teach him sign. I've talked to his ped about a lot of things going on with him. We both feel he may be on the Autism Spectrum, though most likely, not very severely. It seems that his language abilities are the most severe of his issues. A lot of his behavior problems directly relate to his inability to effectively communicate his wants and needs. I'm calling to try to get him in to a speech and language clinic at WMU.

I went to an Autism Conference not long ago. I learned some things and it was a nice afternoon. I met a woman, I believe her name was Ashley, from an organization here in town called Parent to Parent. They are all parents of children with special needs. Parent mentors and resource ideas and all of that. I'm looking at being connected with possibly another parent who had a child with a severe speech issue similar to Issac's. I'm also going to do the training to be a parent mentor because of my experiences with James, Jayden, and Izzy. It was suggested to me to try to get Izzy in to a music program of some sort.

This has been something that I've been working with James and Jayden on already. Music theory. I am going to keep doing that and try to expand it to include Izzy. I am now in search of beginning piano books for them. I'm not sure what will work best, and odds are it may end up being different for each of them, but we'll see how it goes. I have the keyboard and the music knowledge myself.

We are applying for a Y-Grant. It will help us get a reduced fee to join the YMCA where the kids can take classes. We are thinking swim for James and dance for Jayden. This summer James will be taking an art class and Jayden will be doing cheerleading through our local parks dept. I am also trying to get Jayden in to a summer reading clinic. I am hoping they can help her break through her barrier and make sense of the letters and how they form in to words.

We are in the final stages of an evaluation for Jayden. I asked that it be done so that we could discover if the suspected dyslexia is actual. I wanted to know if there were any other things going on that could inhibit her learning. I don't think that we will get a diagnosis like Autism or anything like that. With James' eval, Asperger's was the anticipated result. With Izzy, mild Autism/PDD-NOS is the anticipated result. With Jayden, severe Dyslexia/AD(H)D is the anticipated result. I just hope that my intuitions regarding my kids stay on par with what I experienced with James and that I'm not totally off base with Jayden and Izzy.

James is growing well. He's constantly wanting to eat. At his age, that doesn't surprise me. I'm glad to see that he is beginning the typical teenage need to eat. I know that pre-teen and teen boys grow quite a bit. I also know that James is hoping this starts to happen naturally, and soon, so that he can stop doing the hormone therapy. His endo has said that is what will happen. Once he hits the typical teen growth James will be able to stop with the growth hormones.

James wears glasses full time now. He has needed them for a while, but convincing him to wear them has been difficult. The way they feel on his face bothers him, understandably so. He picked out a pair that he really likes and I made sure to pay extra for the replacement warrenty. He is now comfortably reading chapter books. He's read Percy Jackson, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and is working on How to Train Your Dragon. All in the past month. I think we are definately developing a love for reading with him!

This summer for our schooling we will be focusing on reading. We will include a little math and science with that, but it will mostly be reading. The other focus will be social. Working on family interactions. Helping out around the house and outside in the yard. Behavior and attitude. Being a good role model for younger siblings.

One of the things I'm having a difficult time teaching James is being a role model. Because he is such a concrete thinking, he has a hard time understanding how his actions affect others. He also isn't grasping the notion that how he acts toward his brother and sister is how they are going to act toward the ones younger to them. It's very difficult to teach him to think outside of his very small box where he believes that how he acts is in direct relation to how others treat him first. He can't see that he is not actually reacting, but acting first and the others are either reacting to him or mimicing his previous action. It creates a lot of smack my head against the wall moments for me.

Katy has gotten herself in to trouble. For the past few months her grades have really gone down. She has started to alter her perceptions to something much darker and definately unacceptable. She has made herself "mentally ill" in order to fit in more with friends, when in fact there isn't anything wrong. She has a boyfriend that is very consuming of her energy and focus. It's a relationship that is much too, in my opinion, intense for someone who is only 12. She keeps "forgetting" that she is only 12 and really is trying to be much older. This all came to a head a couple of weeks ago. I won't go in to specific detail as to what she did, however it did get her grounded and pulled out of school and homeschooled for the last month of the school year. Jenn felt it was necessary to remove her from the friends and school in order for Katy to refocus on what is really important. This summer when Katy visits, she is going to find out what it really means to be intensely involved in a relationship. The side effects of all of that, of having an "adult" relationship. Instead of lounging about reading all day, she'll be helping me cook and clean and take care of the three youngest kids. This will be all day long.

She had changed her relationship status on facebook, at one point, to married. That is how involved she feels that she is with her boyfriend. I want to show her what being married REALLY is. It's not all fun and games and hanging out together. That's dating. Marriage is responsibility and time consuming. It is about love and respect as well. However a child of 12 (she really is still very much a child) doesn't have the life experience to understand the love and respect part, not really, not completely. She says that she loves her boyfriend, and I'm sure to her that is what it feels like. I remember that kind of love. It is nothing compared to what I have with Jason. I don't want her to get so focused on that feeling that she closes herself off to everything and everyone else that she will experience and meet in the future.

Do I think my lesson will work? I have no idea. I know I'll be talking with her about it, the intensity of her relationship, as well. Trying to explain how it is taking her focus away from her school work and therefore, taking away from her future. Thankfully her boyfriend will be in high school next year, he's a grade above her. While he'll doing school online instead of attending a physical building, my hope is that it will lessen the intensity of the relationship.

Well, I suppose that is enough of a update for right now. That is what has been going on here. Prayers and blessings for everyone.

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