Thursday, September 27, 2012

A second opinion, higher education, & happenings at Micah's school.

Today, Micah had a sub at school for the first time, and look what showed up in his folder? Yup, we have never gotten a daily report on him until a sub comes. I really like this daily report, and I hope that it becomes a regular event in the future. I might even write his teachers a note about it.

Kidding. Only kidding. I try to leave them alone. 
(Because secretly most teachers just want to be left alone to teach and do our job. Not worry about the petty things our parents can throw at us. Just being honest.)

While Micah was at school today and Daddy was sleeping, I attended a conference at the University of Memphis on mentoring new teachers. My principal picked me as one of two people from our school to go to this particular conference. So I take it as quite the honor. I sort of fell into my current job due to some reduction in force (loss of staff at a school moved to another school) four years ago. My principal didn't hire me, and she basically inherited me. I always wondered if that put me on the same playing field as my coworkers who all mostly came from her old school when she opened up our school. At any rate, I highly enjoyed myself today!

I had visions of a doctorate degree.


Somebody slap the Roger out of me. Just kidding! Love you, Daddy! If you know anything about me in real life, my father (Roger) has been a life long student. Literally. He has a million degrees (um--an associate, a bachelor, 2 masters, and a doctorate), and he went to school my entire childhood. At any rate, I was looking around the room today at all of my colleagues thinking, "I want to do that. I want to teach teachers."

Somebody please slap me. Apparently I've lost my mind because I just got done with my masters less than two years ago.

I can't help it! I'm such a nerd! I loved watching the FedEx plane fly by the window as I engaged in theoretical discussions about best teaching practices. The sharing of ideas. The enthusiasm. The nineteen years olds running around campus with a stack of books full of high hopes and dreams.

Can I go back to college? Pretty please?

So I informed my husband over dinner that I might need to look into higher education again. We'll see what happens with that.  Haha!

In all honestly, I highly enjoyed myself. There was a catered breakfast and lunch, and I get to go again tomorrow! =)

Moving on from that...above is Micah's creation for the day with the colors red and the letter S. And I'm a bad Mama. I forgot it was hat day at school. I hope I didn't have the only little pumpkin in class without a hat!

 After the shock of Micah basically failing all his speech screenings on Tuesday, I had a talk with my husband, my mom, my sister, and the Lord. (That was in no particular order.)

I thought about my old friend Catherine, and I thought I'd reach out to her on Facebook. We went through our "single" days together, and she's a speech pathologist. I know her well, trust her, and believe any advice she would have to tell me. So I asked her if she minded me calling her to be a long distant second opinion.

She didn't mind. Thank you so much, Catherine! You set my mind at ease. After talking to Catherine, I think C & I agree Micah should have further testing once he turns two. Catherine explained that the standardized tests used by pathologists are in six month increments. Meaning, if he isn't quite two (he's 22 months)...the validity of the tests can be harder to read. She suggested waiting until he's two, letting him acclimate to MDO a little more, and ask to come to the next test to put him at ease. However, she was concerned about the number of words he knows. She also suggested a list on the fridge to get an actual count of his abilities speech wise.

 I hate that Micah might be a "late talker" (as she put it), but I think it is better to know now. We can make a "plan" of attack to work with him before the gap grows larger. Meanwhile, she gave me different strategies to use with him at home which was so helpful! I have a better grasp of things I was doing wrong and things I can do better.

She also highly recommended that he stay in a MDO program for his language development.

In other random news, we received the October calendar from Micah's school. You just don't understand how giddy this super organized piece of paper makes my heart! I am such a teacher nerd. So for my own sake, I'm going to record what he'll be studying his second month of school:

Week 1: "Noah's Big Boat"
Unit: Farm/Animals
Letter: F
Number: 3
Color: Red
Shape: Square

Red Day is Thursday.

Week 2: Fall Break!

Week 3: "Elijah Obeyed"
Unit: Fall/Apples
Letter: A
Number: 3
Color: Red
Shape: Square

Week 4: "Joseph's Colorful Coat"
Unit: Fall/ Leaves
Letter: L
Number: 3
Color: Red
Shape: Square

Week 5: "Share the Good News"
Unit: Fall/Pumpkins
Letter: P
Number: 4
Color: Orange
Shape: Triangle

Fall Party & Happy Times Farm

LOVE IT. Yes, I'm a nerd, but I'm thankful for a Christian curriculum and all the things he is learning this year!

And in our last bit of news, I booked Micah's second birthday party today at The Little Gym. I went back and forth on the decision to spend (what seems to me) obscene amounts of money for one birthday party. But it boils down to a few things:
1. I work.
2. I work.
3. I work.

Last year's party, although the cutest thing you'd ever see, about killed me. Organizing, decorating, cooking, and hosting a million people in our tiny home drove me to the edge. You don't even know how much of that my mom did for me.  It just drove me insane. I love guests, but to clean, clean, clean only for everyone to tear it up in five seconds? Plus there is absolutely nowhere in my 1200 square foot home for at least 8+ kids to go. It's cooooolllld in November (basically December since his bday is the last day of the month). Cold! I can't send them outside, either. So to save my sanity, we're paying for his party to be at The Little Gym. They can clean it up. They can entertain all the kids. They can do all the work. I'm going to enjoy this day much more than I did last year!

Well, friends, I've rambled on enough. I hope you have a great rest of the week and weekend! Hello, Friday! I'll be in my conference enjoying every minute of my child free (classroom wise) day. =)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Speech, insurance, and birthday parties galore!

 Hello, all out in bloggy land! I trust that you are doing well, and I figured since it is almost Wednesday it was time for a midweek post. How are you? We are keeping it busy! This weekend we had three birthday parties to attend in the family. Yes! You heard that correctly. I've got to steal and/or get some pictures from the family this week so I can post more real pictures.

I stole these pictures from my sister's Facebook page. On Saturday morning, we went to birthday party number 1 for nephew number 1. Four years ago, my sister and Mr. C's sister were pregnant at the same time! They gave birth to our nephews two weeks apart! Funny, huh? My sister is going on a getaway for her anniversary with her hubs, so they moved Ebin's party up early.

She & her sister in law (Jason, her husband's sister--confused yet) decided to do a joint birthday party for CJ (Ebin's cousin) and Ebin. CJ is turning six, and Ebin is turning four.

 Keren, Ebin, CJ (Ebin's cousin), Misty (Keren's sis-in-law) in Pop's backyard. (Pop is Jason's grandfather, Ebin's great-grandfather. He graciously allowed us to crash his wonderful house in Collierville for a swim party.)
 I wish I could say that I had fun at the party. In theory, I did have fun. Honestly, I spent my whole morning chasing my very active child. I did my best to keep him from jumping off the side into the pool! Mr. C was sleeping so I was on Micah duty, and my mom was on Dale duty.

My brother-in-law Jason and my sister Keren
 My brother, Dale, is mentally disabled, and my Dad was out of town this weekend. Mom was tackling Dale while I tackled Micah. Dale had a bad seizure earlier in the week, so Mom was keeping a close eye on him. There were no free hands! Then Micah started to throw a fit around his nap time. We took that as our cue to leave.
 We did stay long enough to watch Ebin open up some presents, but we weren't able to stay for cake. =/
After birthday party #1, we headed south to Mississippi for birthday party #2. Our nephew Nathan turns four this week! It was a laid back family only party. My sister-in-law (and fam) live on a beautiful lake which provided quite the backdrop for such a gorgeous day!

Micah and his Daddy enjoyed jumping on the trampoline, though. Mommy was a bit nervous about this, so I did the next best thing. I took pictures instead.

 After some trampoline jumping, we took turns feeding the geese that wandered up wanting birthday food. Micah wasn't really sure what to think of the geese. He still called them ducks.
 Here's my fourth grade niece feeding the ducks.

 After that crazy Saturday, Micah wasn't feeling that great. He's had a cough, diarrhea, snotty nose, congestion, etc for over a week. I kept him home from church as a precaution. That's two weeks of church missed in a row! Ugh! I'm crossing my fingers we will make it this week. We spent Sunday evening with my family for birthday party #3--my wonderful mother! My sister hasn't posted pics yet on facebook so I have nothing I can steal for the blog. However, let it be said how thankful I am for my mother! She keeps Micah for me every day until my husband gets off from work--for free! She's a trooper, and she is the best babysitter around. =) Love you, Mama! ::Pictures coming soon::

Monday was a long day at work followed by a visit to the after hours clinic with Micah. By Monday afternoon, he was just in a state of not feeling well. I took him to the doctor at 5:45 pm over in Germantown. I LOVE my doctor's office. They have the most amazing hours for two parents who work some crazy schedules. I rarely (unless he is super sick or I just want to) have to take off from work for a doctor's visit.

He was given the go ahead to come to school, but I was given a prescription for an antibiotic just in case. After finally arriving home at 8:00 last night, I started in on my student teacher's evaluation. Yes, that's right, teacher friends! I'm an evaluator myself. (Kind of.)  My student teacher has to teach five lessons, and I score her on a mock Tennessee teacher evaluation rubric. I took a ton of notes while she taught, and I spent two hours on her eval last night. I don't think I got to bed until well after 11 PM last night!

And now it's your favorite time of the blog post that I like to call:

Pictures of Micah's Creations I Don't Want to Clutter My House So I Photograph Them Instead for Memory's Sake of Future Generations

Creation #1 from MDO on Tuesday was a bird with his one lone feather. I'm not sure why Micah didn't want him to have any other feathers, and apparently he was a bit messy with his paint from our next photo below. 
 Creation #2 was the number of the week---the number two! I have to say, he did not stay in the dot lines at all, but the silver lining is how I still see a bit of a number 2 (kind of) if you look at it sideways. Great job with your numbers, Micah! 

 Today, I also had a message on my phone at work from the speech pathologist at Micah's school. A part-time therapist comes in and works with children a few days a week. For a nominal fee, parents could choose to have a speech screening done at school. I thought this sounded like a great idea because I have some concerns personally about Micah. Sometimes I think my concerns are "knowing too much" about children, educational milestones, whathaveyou since I have a degree in early childhood education. It's easy to become paranoid that your child isn't "normal" like everyone else.

 I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive when I heard the speech pathologist's voice mail on my phone. First of all, if he did "ok" on the "tests" then she wouldn't be calling me. We give screenings at my school all the time. I know how this works. However, I called her back promptly, and we spoke about his screenings which he did not pass. All of the screenings he did not pass. I'm freaking out at this point, but she made some valid points to consider:

1. His allergies were acting up and/or he has fluid on his ears. This can cause some significant problems with a speech screening.
2. He is a very active child, but also seemed extremely shy today. (Read: He wouldn't focus to "perform" the tasks she wanted him to do.)
3. He had a screening at a year old that showed his language skills as "emerging" with the promise to revisit this "issue" at the age of 2. His second screening (to follow up with the first one) is in December.

This speech pathologist recommended some more extensive testing to see if we could get to the bottom of his failing the language test. I'm trying not to be overly concerned because she mentioned SEVERAL things that I know Micah can do. (Such as saying and/or identifying: Mama, baby, bye-bye, hi, dog, ball, following basic directions, pointing to correct pictures, etc.) She inferred that his comprehension was off, but I also know that is NOT true. He knows exactly what you are telling him to do because he performs many of my directions explicitly. On the other hand, she mentioned a lot of things that he CAN NOT do. Those things concern me.

Many things were said in our conversation which included:

teacher concern with his lack of talking in class
giving him extra time to acclimate to his school surrounding in case he was just shy
keeping a detailed list of all words being said at home that we know he "knows"
screening him again in a month
looking into the Tennessee early intervention program if he qualifies
starting speech therapy once a week at Faith
working with him more intently on his words at home

In the end, his dad & I haven't made a decision. I'm leaning towards letting him acclimate to his school since it has only been three weeks of "class". Perhaps more interactions with the children and adults will help? Perhaps it was a bad day? All are possible, so I guess we will address this again in the future. Meanwhile, I'll try NOT to worry and work with him as much as I can.

I have to say I did think to myself: Is he suffering because I'm working? The question is nagging at me tonight, so I guess I'll give that over to the Lord in prayer.

The final problem we are having right now regarding speech therapy testing includes this pesky little thing called health insurance. Suddenly, Micah was taken off our insurance! We found out when I went to fill a prescription for him!! I got this text message today from my husband frustrated by the overwhelmingly annoying process of proving that Micah is our son. We are still unclear as to why they took him off our insurance without telling us!!! At any rate, we basically can't have any kind of speech anything until we get him reinstated. What a pain in the rear. I wanted to tell her today, sure--go for the testing. Test him away. Then I realized we can't right now. We're paying everything out of pocket.

So please pray for this situation--the speech screenings and our medical insurance. It would sure be nice if something would get resolved sooner than THREE WEEKS!!! Obviously, God's timing is not always my own--but this is ridiculous.

So that is it from here. Long blog post, but I tend to do better blogging all at once anyway. Have a great rest of your week!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Strep face, Veggie Tales, and stomach bugs.

 I've had a busy week! How about you? I guess I'll play catch up via some iPhone pics since I just realized I have a trillion in my phone! 

I'll start with a picture from the doctor's office I took last Thursday afternoon. One of my students had something random on their face which our school nurse thought might be contagious. I had something show up randomly on my face, so I headed to the doctor stat! Turns out I had strep on my face. Veeeerrrry attractive! Mr. C has been referring to me as "strep face" for the past week. A couple of days & some antibiotics later...I'm all good.

We've had a whole lot of rain in the past week, and it has been amazing! I forgot how much I've missed the rain in all this drought. At any rate, I saw some ridiculous colored light pouring into my window before school one morning. I ran outside just before it started to rain again to snap this pic. The clouds were simply gorgeous! How can you not believe in God?

 Thursday was quite possibly the most exhausting day of my week. It was parent teacher conference day, and we bought tickets ages ago to a Veggie Tales concert! Yes, it was on the same day. So I started my conferences before school at 8 AM, taught all day, had some more conferences after school, and then rushed over to Hope Pres to meet up with my mom, sister, nephew, hubby, and son.
 They had the cameras, and they took all the pictures. I need to get those from my mom, but until then a few iPhone snapshots should suffice. He loved the Veggie Tales. I mean, loved them. It was the funniest thing I have ever seen. Micah was also slightly wired.

I'm still not sure how he bounced around that much, but baby boy loves some music just like his mom!

 Daddy ended up leaving early to go home and sleep. Somehow in his rush to get him to the concert, Mr. C forgot to feed Micah dinner. After the show, he & I made a late night run to Wendy's. We proceeded to have a late night picnic on the couch with our hamburgers afterwards.
Saturday consisted of Mommy running out to get the two sleeping boys a treat from a local doughnut shop. Pumpkin spice doughnuts were out! Woot!

I asked my friends on Instagram if their house looks like my house always seems to look above.
Ok, this random picture is so funny. Mr. C & I were having a disagreement earlier this week about who leaves out what around this house. I feel like I am constantly picking up after him and Micah when he should pick up some after himself.  He's a fabulous husband, please don't get me wrong. However, I told him, "Don't challenge me because I will take an iPhone pic and post it on the blog! We are in the digital age of proving arguments now." 

He laughed at me.

But guess who left out his peanut butter banana concoction and drink on the counter top? Um, and a wooden spoon. Not me!

Told you I'd post a picture, Mr. C! Haha! =)

I was home sick on Tuesday with a nasty stomach bug, so I got to have some early morning snuggles with Micah. He was playing around with my iPhone, and took some completely random shots before I dropped him off at school for the day.

I actually kind of like this shot, Micah-man. Very artistic.
After dropping him off at school (yes--I am that mom), I proceeded to enjoy five hours of uninterrupted get well time that included a hot soak in the bathtub.

The weather was amazing! By the end of the day, I was finally starting to feel better.

 I went to pick Micah up from school. And yes, I'm still loving my new car.

 We ran by the drugstore for some baby essentials, and I just marveled at how Micah's hair is a total waste for a boy. Can you imagine if I could grow his hair out? It'd be so pretty.
 And yes. He's still loving his fingers. Crazy curls just like his Mama.
Since I was feeling better, we stopped by Sonic with our "friends" (Mr. Moose) for a little happy hour!

 Micah's own tummy has been a bit upset this week on and off. I can't decide it this is from him cutting some teeth or what. At any rate, I've got him on a high starch diet to calm him down. So mashed potatoes and Cheerios for dinner! Sounds awesome! I win the Mom Award for that, right?
This morning, I woke up late (ahem--6:30). It was heavenly. I finally decided since the sun was peeping through my window I should wake up to start my day.

Then I saw my sister post this picture about her 5:00 AM workout on Instagram. Seriously, Keren? Just kidding. SO proud of you!

We bought our first pumpkin candle of the season, and I lit it for the first time tonight. Our house smells divine! 

 Then, I decided it was time to document some more of Micah's work at school. I had a stack of papers that I need to throw out. Tonight, I took pictures of all of them.  The rest of the pictures are probably boring to you, but I feel we need them in our family journal. So enjoy! Have a great rest of the week. It's almost over! =)
The letter C. He's got a ways to go on the staying in the lines or making a C. Ha!

I'm a little confused by this picture. It says "yellow duck" but obviously this is orange. Hmm.

Here's a picture of a person colored orange with the Bible verse Psalms 100:3, "It is He who made us and we are His."

Great use of graphic organizers! (Nerd alert!) I guess they are learning textures this week.

An off-centered sun.

The number one with his thumb print. I'll probably keep this one since it has his thumb print.

Tomorrow is silly sock day, and we have no silly socks. I forgot to go buy him some, and I'm trying to resist the urge to run to Wal-mart at ten pm. Oh, well. I'll put him in some striped socks, and he'll be fine. I guess. Mom fail.

Have a great rest of your week!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

You know what they say. Do a Bible study on forgiveness, and God will send people to forgive your way.

Sometimes we have a bad day, and we think, "Oh, I'm so glad that bad day is over now. It's going to get better."

Sometimes we have a bad week, and we think, "My, this week sure had a lot of ups and downs. Surely it is going to get better."

Then, you are me. And suddenly the complete chaos that is your life has made you laugh because your boss runs the opposite direction when she sees you coming. Ok, that isn't really true because I have an awesome set of administrators. I mean this with all honesty, but I have been blessed to have some great administrators in my life at many of my schools. At any rate, there is a whole lot going on in my professional career, and things that are happening require hands-on conferencing and knowledge by the administration. All of the things that have been happening just had us laughing today because it's just to that point. There is nothing else to do but try to laugh and hope this too shall pass because we are now into a full week of complete and utter nonsense. I really wish I could write it out because it would make me feel better, and you would laugh and laugh. My the stories a teacher really has to tell, but then I'd break all kinds of confidentiality laws. I don't want to do that.

Let's just say, I started studying the story of Joseph this week in preparation for a Bible study at church on forgiveness. I think that just as soon as you start to do a Bible study on forgiveness the Lord will send people your way to forgive. So if you think of me, please just say a prayer for me & my class & my issues & my forgiveness. Apparently, I don't really have quite the grasp on it that I thought I had! I told my husband tonight that I feel God is really 1. testing me or 2. trying to tell me something. Hopefully, I'll learn about it quickly. Haha!

Psalm 66:19
But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

At any rate.

 A lot is going on in my life, and sometimes I think I am committed to too many things. However, I am trying to make it my priority to go to church on Wednesday nights. This is a struggle for our family because I don't have a partner to go with me (he's working), and I have a hard time making it across town from my job to my church on time with a toddler. At any rate, I got this reminder about the discipleship class that I signed up for on my facebook page. Churches getting all fancy and stuff with their technology.
 At any rate, I signed up for a class on forgiveness based on the life of Joseph. I had a rough teaching week last week that seems to be stretching into this week. At any rate, I made myself go to church. Like, forced myself. When I got there, I found my class had only four women in it, and I also discovered the leader wrote her OWN study guide and had it bound.
I'm not sure why that floored me so, but it did. After talking with these four precious women--of all ages, colors, and sizes...I realized just how much of a blessing this class is going to be to me. Especially considering the Lord was going to throw some major forgiveness wrenches in my week on Thursday and Friday that lead into today.

Let's just say a parent situation happened last week.
Let's just say that I was really upset about it. 
Let's just say my feelings were deeply hurt.
Let's just say I've been in tears for days about it.
Let's just say that she apologized to me today due to the misunderstanding.

So I guess God is going to hit me with a two-by-four in the head over forgiveness.

At some point in the last week, I tried to watch part of the Democratic National Convention so I could be up to date on the news.

Since Bill Clinton makes me want to gag, I didn't watch for that long.

I also just realized I've started about fifty sentences in this post with "at any rate." I do apologize.

This is what the back of my care looked like at my mom's house one of the days I have to get all of Micah's stuff for school. It was so nice to have my new car. I mean, it is awesome to have this much space in the backseat. I just can't even tell you.

This weekend, I almost needed another day off to recover from my weekend! It was a busy one, and on Saturday I took Micah to my mom's so that I could go to a baby shower at the Brooks Museum of Art. 

#1 Did you know the Brooks has a restaurant?
#2 You can't take a baby to that kind of a shower.
#3 It was nice to get out for a while, and I'm so thankful to my mom for watching Micah.

At any rate (whoops--there it is again!), meet my friend Stephanie. This is probably the only time you'll see her on the blog because she hates pictures. I don't know that I have had a picture taken with her since my wedding day in 2004. I told her that since she was actually having a baby, she'd have to take a picture with me. Those are the baby shower rules, and after it was over...she obliged.

It's a really funny (and long) story of how I met Stephanie, and this is her sister Shantae. They are sisters married to brothers. Isn't that funny? So they are also sisters-in-law as well as sisters! At one time, there was a huge group of us that hung out in our "single" years at Bellevue. Fast forward a bit, and we all started to date each other and marry. Mr. C was friends with Stephanie and her husband George. We got married first, and then they got married a year later. THEN, they randomly bought the house behind our fence (not on purpose). That's actually how we got to know them more because they were our neighbors. She's due with Nicholas in November, and we couldn't be happier for them!

Saturday was the most beautiful day! I mean, it was amazing!

I have to say, I think Mr. C and I might have to try a date at the Brooks' restaurant at some point in the future sitting out on the patio followed by a walk at the zoo next door. Sometimes I hate Memphis, and other times...I love aspects of my city.

I also love Instagram.

Here is the closer picture of us, and I have to say...I'm starting to finally slim down. Others have noticed, too! That's when it feels really good.  I've now lost 15 pounds, and it feels great!

On Sunday, we headed out to a busy day of church, birthday parties in Mississippi, and I had MOF (Moms of Faith) at church in the afternoon. We were freakishly early that morning for church, so we decided to go get some Waffle House! I think it should be a Sunday morning tradition! I loved spending the time with my boys. Mr. C enjoyed his waffles.

Micah also approved, but he wouldn't be still for a photo.

Also, I try not to read too many blogs that are written by somebody I don't know. However, a friend of mine recommended The Year of Less to me. I have to say, I think I'm hooked. It is a homeschooling hippie Christian mama with six kids who is writing about living life with LESS (stuff mainly, but also about focusing your life on what  matters and CHRIST). Although, I'm not quite so hippie (or ever will be), I found this fascinating. I might have to go through and follow her lead on at least de-cluttering my house some more. So I thought I'd pass that little blog along. Especially if you liked Radical by David Platt. She's getting a lot of her stuff from that.

So there ya have it. The last bit of our week and our weekend in a nutshell.

Have a great week!