Monday, July 27, 2009

Rachel's Room

Rachel has turned into my little teenager. She loves to go to her room, close the door, and turn on her music. Yesterday, she had been in there a little while when I decided to go check on her. This is what I found.

Rachel had decided to change clothes. She loves her horse shirt and apparently wanted to wear it instead of the shirt I had dressed her in. She almost got it on right.....and all by herself!! She had just decided to ditch the shorts all together. Notice her red eyes from swimming in the pool and her lack of glasses because she broke them.

I guess she had considered changing into a dress, but after pulling every dress she owns out of the closet and throwing it into the floor, she apparently could not find one she wanted to wear. Notice the stuffed animals all arranged on her bed. They are all facing the pillow where two groovy girls appear to be holding court. Also on the floor are about 130 pieces of craft styrofoam. Rachel has recently decided she likes to empty the bag and throw the stuff around the room.

She is in her room now..........probably trying to recreate the scene. I am hoping the closet purge is not going to be her new "thing".

Sunday, July 26, 2009


We have been so lazy this week. Amazing how much a "vacation" can take out of you! Just getting the basics done around the house has been all I could manage. I guess I didn't totally manage that, though, because I never got around to folding the kids clothes. At least I got them washed! It was Thursday before I finally got to the grocery store to restock the pantry........I put it off as long as I could.

Friday, I took all the girls to see Ice Age 3 in 3D. I know it has been out a while, but that meant that we did not have to fight the crowds. There were probably only 12 people in the theater. The new 3D movie "G Force" was released that day, so everyone was watching that one. We might go in a few weeks to see that. I so hate to go to the movies and fork out a small fortune-Friday we had four free passes, so I only had to pay for one person-so we don't go very often and this was our first 3D movie. Sad, isn't it? The big girls liked it, but Rachel would not keep those big glasses on, so she watched the whole movie without the glasses. I bet she is wondering why we paid to see a blurry movie. She seemed to enjoy it though after I convinced her to uncover her eyes. I think the sound is just too loud for her in a theater.

We did not make it to the water park this weekend. It turns out Allison's friend was spending the weekend with her stepfather, not us. We did not know that until midday on Friday. Allison was really bummed about that, but we decided to wait until a later date, get a sitter for Rachel and head to the park closer to Allison' birthday. Rachel is just too small to go on any of the slides.

Allison's friend came back today to spend Sunday and Monday night with us before she moves on to another friend's house. The girls just spent the last hour out in the pool. Unfortunately, when we got back from vacation the pool was green, and Mike has been working all week to fix it. That has resulted in all the chemicals being way off and it has kept the girls out of the pool for most of the past week. Today, the chlorine was finally down, but the pH was off. I let the girls get in, but since Rachel opens her eyes underwater every time she goes under, she did not last long. After about 15 minutes, I had to take her out because her eyes were getting really red. The big girls were able to swim a while, because they used goggles or kept their eyes closed in the water.

Well, I guess I have to get back into the swing of things this week. I postponed a few appointments last week, so now this I have to face the music and get back on the road this week. We have to drive to Orlando on Tuesday for Rachel's ST. The girls HATE going, but they have not choice but to tag along. This afternoon, Allison brought Rachel's glasses to me. It looks like she stepped on them, ugh. Now that means a trip to the eye doctor too, to get them back into shape. I think it is all my fault too. I remember taking them off to change her out of her Sunday dress, and I must have left them in the floor. Bummer!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Summer Is Just Flying By!!

Wow! I cannot believe how fast this summer is going by. The girls have less than three weeks before school resumes on August 10th! I cannot believe how far behind I have gotten in posting on here. Let's see......Allison went to horse camp, we went to Dad's, yada, yada, yada......we hung out around the house for the 4th and shot off fireworks in the driveway (Rachel hated them and actually got so startled by one that she wet her pants....poor baby!)

The week of the 6th was busy with appointments everyday. I had an appointment at the Board of Education on the 7th to discuss Rachel's placement for the fall. I had originally signed her up for a self-contained classroom, which means that she would be in a class separate from the regular kindergarten classes. After discussing this with some moms and doing some serious soul searching, I decided to have Rachel's IEP changed. I decided to try to place her in an inclusive classroom, meaning she would be in a regular classroom. It has been a frustrating and confusing time trying to wade through the education lingo and actually find out what is available. The educators will say that children with disabilities are allowed to be educated with their peers in the least restrictive environment in their home schools, but somehow along the way the people in the system learn to interpret the law any way that works for them. At the meeting, the staff informed me that Rachel could be placed in an inclusive classroom, but that it would not be in our home school. Apparently, the school I originally signed Rachel up for, who said that they are great about including the special needs kids, cannot provide Rachel with an inclusive classroom. Go figure! It looks like I will end up sending her to a school about 20 minutes away in order to put her in a regular classroom. The school I originally signed her up for was just 5 minutes away. Bummer!

July 8th we had an appointment with Rachel's ST in Orlando. I hate driving 1 1/2 hours each way for a 30 minute appointment, but I think this therapist is worth it. Rachel seems to be improving in her speech, although, as with everything, her progress is slow. I look forward to the day when she can carry on a conversation with me. It is so frustrating to have her try to tell me something and not be able to understand her. I know it must be a thousand times more frustrating for her! At the board meeting the staff was talking about possible communication aids for Rachel. In the past I have been opposed to them, but I can see Rachel's frustration increasing with time, so I am a little more open to the idea now. She really needs to be able to communicate. She has learned some sign language, but surprisingly, the staff in the classrooms do not know it, so she cannot communicate with them! She has so much to say and we are only understanding a small portion of it!

July 9th I had a dentist appointment. I am finally at the end of my Invisalign treatment. It is amazing how straight they have been able to get my teeth. I will never have a million dollar smile, but it is so much better than it was. Molds were made on the 9th for the retainer I will be getting in the next couple of weeks. At that time I will be done wearing the Invisalign trays 20 hours a day. I am so glad to have that behind me. Actually, in the last two weeks I have been terrible about putting those things in during the day. It has been over a year now, and I am tired of the whole routine!

July 11th, we loaded up and made our second trip home to Alabama. This time it was to North Alabama to visit with friends-lots of friends. We left Melbourne around 10:00am that morning. We started out visiting my cousin in Ringgold, GA on the trip up. We stopped at his house around 7:00pm and ate dinner with him and his wife. We were just there an hour or two, but it was great to get a chance to say hello. From there we headed to Nashville, TN. We arrived there about 10:00pm Saturday night. We stayed with a friend of mine from college spending Saturday and Sunday nights. We packed up and left Nashville on Monday morning and headed for Huntsville, AL. We arrived there just after noon and headed to our favorite bar-b-que place. We had not been there in about 15 years! We actually were not sure it was even still there. It was, and it was as good as we remembered.

From there we headed over to Athens, AL to visit with the family we used to live next door to when we lived in the area. They fed us an excellent dinner, and our kids all played together and had a good time. My girls loved the dog and kitten that they had-"Mommy, can we please have a dog like this one?" After dinner at their house, we headed to the other side of Huntsville, AL to stay with an old friend that I grew up with. He was gracious enough to let us stay with him Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. While we were there we visited a local state park and hiked the trails and also took the girls out on the lake for a day. On Wednesday night we met up with a friend of mine from nursing school. She and her family joined us for dinner at a nearby restaurant. I wish we could have visited with them longer, because her girls and mine are really close in age and really seem to get along well.

On Thursday, we packed up again and headed to another friend's house in Decatur, AL. He and his wife have four kids, so when we are all together, it is chaos!!!!! The kids had a great time, though. That afternoon, we all loaded up and went to the nearby water park. That was lots of fun. Friday we packed up again and drove an hour away to Lake Guntersville. We spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday hanging out at the lake. It was really nice. The weather was freakishly cool for July, but it was beautiful!! On Sunday morning we went to Cathedral Caverns. It is a cool state park with an awesome cave, and it was just 10 miles from where we were staying on the lake. Sunday afternoon, we packed up again and went to another friend's house in Huntsville. We had dinner with them, spent the night. We packed up one more time Monday morning and started heading back to Florida around 9:00am. We got home about 9:00pm Monday night. We had a great time visiting with everyone, but we were all really glad to get into our own beds Monday night!

Last night, at 9:00pm we picked up Allison's best friend from the airport in Orlando. She moved to Wisconsin in December, and Allison has really missed her. Allison was beside herself with anticipation of her friend's arrival. We all got home about 11:00pm. The girls were WIRED and I had a hard time getting them to settle down. At 4:00am they were still bumping around upstairs!!!! They had even woken Leah up and she was in the room with them! I drug Leah out of the room and got her back to bed, but the girls said that they still did not get to sleep until after 5:00am!!!! Tonight I put them in the bed about 11:00pm and have not heard anything bumping around upstairs, so hopefully, they are all sleeping!! Allison's friend will be staying with us until next Monday. Should keep Allison and Leah busy for a few days. If nothing else, it will keep them busy arguing about who gets to do what and with whom! Allison wants to go to Aquatica (Seaworld's water park in Orlando) on Saturday or Sunday. I told her we would see about it. It is pretty expensive, but Allison has been asking for over a year to go to this park with her friend. She wanted to do it for her birthday last year, but we never made it. Maybe I will make it an early b'day present for her.

Okay, I guess that about wraps up the last couple of weeks. I am going to bed now and hoping the girls sleep through the night!!