Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer Is So Close You Can Almost Taste It!

The girls have just a few more hours of school.   Can you believe that?!   I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by!  Rachel finally made it back to school this week.  She missed about two weeks of school in the last month and was out every day last week.  She missed speech therapy and gymnastics twice and horseback riding once.  She went to the doctor three times and is now on Claritin, steroid nasal spray and her third round of antibiotics!!  For the last couple of days her snotty nose has finally seemed to get better, thank goodness!  I hope she stays good though, because I forgot to give her her meds before she left for school this morning........loser mom,I know!

And speaking of antibiotics......the guinea pigs seem to be doing okay.  Nip had surgery for the swollen gland in his neck and one week post op, he had another one enlarged!  This time the vet put him on antibiotics, so I now can add guinea pig medicator to my resume!  Who knew you could give guinea pigs meds?  After a week of antibiotics he seems much better.  I think the lump is pretty much gone now, but it is hard to say for sure because of the the healing incision from the surgery!! Now I am wondering............why we did surgery on the first lump!  It would have been so much cheaper to go with the antibiotics in the first place!! 

Last Friday we got one of our final views of a shuttle launch.  The shuttle program is supposed to come to an end this year and there are only two or three more launches left.  It will be sad to see it go.  It is a neat feeling to stand out in the backyard and watch seven astronauts being lifted into space! 

Space Shuttle Atlantis as seen from the backyard on Friday, May 14th
On Monday, we did Rachel's IEP for next year.  I actually got a person from the school board to come in and help us assign Rachel to the appropriate classroom setting.  This person is an inclusion specialist, and she really pushes the schools to include children with special needs.  After two and a half hours, we walked away with, what I think is, a pretty good plan.  Rachel will still not be totally included in a regular classroom, but she will be in a regular class about 50% of the time.  She has just done so well with her academic stuff this year that I did not want to lose that just to get her interacting with her peers in a social setting.  I figure being in the classroom 50% of the time will give her plenty of opportunities for social interaction and the 3:1 ration of kids:teachers in the self contained classroom will keep her moving forward in her academics.  One of the reasons she ended up staying in the self contained classroom is because I pushed for (and got) more speech therapy.  The increased time with speech takes away from the time she could be in the regular classroom, but Rachel needs all the help she can get with speech!    

This Saturday we are leaving for a couple of days in the Keys.  We will be camping, so I am not as excited about it as Mike and the girls are, but I do love being in the Keys.  We will be taking the kayaks this time, so hopefully we bet to see some really cool stuff!  I hope the oil from the destroyed rig in the Gulf of Mexico does not cause any problems!  That is such a sad situation!  There is no telling how many animals will die in this fiasco and how many local fishermen will be put out of business.

A couple of blogs that I have been following have lost their precious children in the last week.  One, an 18 year old with bone cancer and the other a four year old adopted into her forever family in October from Serbia who died from complications of open heart surgery.  When reading both of these blogs, one is taken by how strong the faith is in both these families.  They encourage me to be stronger in my faith.  These tragic stories serve to remind me how blessed I am to have healthy children.  I hope to be able to take some lessons from these blogs and learn how to be thankful for what I have.  When the kids are driving me crazy with the "I Want-itis"  and the "She Hit Me First Disease,"  I want to remember how lucky I am to have them, nasty habits and all!  Thanks to all of you out there who share your stories of your children in this blogging community.  I think I have learned more about parenting in this blogsphere than I ever learned from reading a book!  I am sending prayers out to these families for comfort in the days and months to come.

And now..........let the summer begin!      

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Springtime In Florida

The flowers and shrubs are blooming and the love bugs are swarming!  I just had to take a few pictures of the flowers around the house.  Everything is in full bloom.  And just in case we were not aware that it was late spring the love bugs have come out in full force.  They are swarming everywhere.  It is almost like a Hitchcock movie!  

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Another Day Another Field Trip

School is winding down.  The girls have just ten more days of school, with their last day being May 21st, and because of that, they have had lots of activities and field trips lately.  Yesterday was Leah's last trip, and it was an ecoboat trip on the Banana River Lagoon.  We did the same one with Allison when she was in second grade and it is really neat.  This is certainly a field trip I looked forward to.  This was a great trip.  The weather was perfect, and we saw lots of wildlife, including dolphin, manatee, great blue herons, cormorants, anhinga, turtles, pelicans, least terns, etc.  The kids had a great time and finished off the trip jamming out to Micheal Jackson's "Beat It" as the boat cruised back to the dock. 


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Totally Random

April has come and gone!  Wow!!  The last few weeks have seemed to be just crammed with stuff to do.  There have been meetings and observations at Rachel's school to prepare for Rachel's IEP this month.  There was an open house for Leah to go to see her new school she will be attending in August because of redistricting.  The nice thing about it is that it is the school Rachel has been going to this past year, so I am already comfortable with it and have been able to tell Leah some things about it myself.  Allison will be allowed to stay at the school she has been in since first grade, because she will be going into the sixth grade and the school board lets the upcoming sixth graders stay for the last year, thank goodness.  I don't think I could make it through two school changes in two years with Allison!  There have been weekends spent with the second grade mascot, King Cuddle Fluff, and music programs to attend.   

There have been birthday parties to attend, field trips to go on and trips to Orlando for speech.  When I went to Orlando at the first of April for Rachel's speech, I stopped at the Apple store and bought an iPad.  We have a communication application that works on the iPad and wanted to try it with Rachel.  She finds it somewhat interesting, but Mike installed all kinds of stuff for himself on the iPad and Rachel has become a whiz at navigating the thing to get to movies and music videos!  She is loving the iPad, but not really using the communication app yet.  

There have been trips to the vet with Cookie to get him treated for worms and rechecked for heart worms, the heart worm test was negative, the intestinal worm test was not.  He had to take some meds for two weeks to treat the intestinal worms.  Just common "stuff" to have to do with former shelter dogs.  He does have frequent vomiting and coughing episodes, so I think I need to get him back in there soon to check that out.  There was the afternoon spent shaving the cat.  In the spring he starts shedding that winter coat and starts to get mats.  But, despite our lack of skill in the cat shaving department, we do it anyway. 

Speaking of pets, we have had a fruit basket turnover in that in that department.  Allison's hamster Humphrey died a couple of weeks ago.  She was so sad that we........... immediately had to start the new search for a replacement.  No period of mourning here.  So now we are the proud owners of two guinea pigs.  Why two?  Well, I found a new home for Leah's tortoise, so she needed a replacement pet too.  The tortoise left us this past Sunday for his new home in Orlando.  He had doubled in size since we got him and was getting to big for the tank we had him in.  We could have gotten a wading pool and kept him in that, but I figured since we would not be able to keep him when he out grew that, we should find him a home while we still could transport him easily.  Once he was 40 pounds, he wouldn't be as easy to move around, and when he reached full size at over 100 pounds, we would have been in trouble.  I feel like an idiot for getting the guy without knowing what I was doing.  Just a word to the wise......DO NOT believe everything they tell you at the pet stores!  Remember they just want you to buy the animal.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that one of the guinea pigs that we have had for less than two weeks is scheduled for surgery in the morning.  He has an infected lymph gland that needs to be removed.  The joys of being a pet owner!   "RIP", Humphrey;  "Good luck in your new home, Ogwai."  and 'Welcome to the family, Nip and Bugsey."     

There have been home projects to do.  We repainted our pool deck.  I don't know what we were thinking when we thought we could do it in one weekend.  After three weekends, we moved the furniture back onto the porch, but I still have the finishing around the edges to do.  It has gotten really warm here this week, so I am not looking forward to getting out there and finishing it.

This past weekend we had a visit from the cousins.  My sister had to work and needed someone to watch the kids, and they always LOVE getting together.  They spent most of the time outside around the pool.  It is still a little cool, so they were in and out and in and out.  I was a total "loser mom" and forgot to put sunblock on them, so the four oldest got a little red.  Sunday I took Rachel on a bike ride and got her a little burnt.....just to make things equal, or to prove that I am an idiot....not sure which.

Look how much they are growing up!