Friday, January 23, 2009

Sickies, sickies and even more sickies.

Those of you who are lining up and eager to come and see us, it is now safe to do so! The last two weeks here have been with sick germs abound! First it was the common cold, graduated to the flu and then some of us even had the stomach flu. It really started the last couple days we were north for the Christmas holiday. Then we were free of all viruses just to have them return two Tuesday's ago, when Bryce got sick and I couldn't bring him to the sitter, which meant no gymnastics for Dev. It lasted a few days and then Tim started feeling it. The following Tuesday, instead of going to gymnastics happy and healthy, Dev then had a fever and body aches, so once more we stayed home. Before he caught the bug, he had been complaining of his ear hurting and we found he had an ear infection and I started giving him the cold pink antibiotic. It was his first one ever.

We thought Hunter might get by with just a cough and runny nose, but as I took a shopping day last Thursday, the school called my cell phone, telling me Hunter had vomited and had a fever of 102. I was 30 miles the other way and called Tim to see if he could pick up Hunter. He did and we got to the house about the same time. Hunter still wasn't feeling well Friday so he stayed home that day, too. I had a meeting scheduled with his teacher on Friday, but we rescheduled for later today (I'm writing this at 6:00 a.m.).

We all seem to be better now, so come on down, up or over, whichever direction you need to take to get here! :)

Hunter did miss another day of school and not from snow, ice or the sickies. The Friday before MLK, Jr. Day many schools in our area, around the country actually, were closed because it was just too darn cold! The week before we got over a foot of snow, the next week I don't think it got higher than 10 degrees. Hunter calls Mother Nature crazy because this past Saturday it reached 40 degrees. The boys and I watched the icicles drip from our frozen gutters and the sparkling, fluffy snow in the yard that was over a foot deep lost its shine and pushed down on itself and is now just a couple inches above the shoveled driveway. We had plans to go sledding at a friends house this weekend, but we all agreed there wasn't enough snow anymore and what we did have was hard with crusty ice. Now the weather is back to being freezing and there is a winter storm coming our way. (If you are on your way, drive safe! :P)

I'm going to change things up and start in reverse and start with me. I've had my nose in the books I got for Christmas, so the house has suffered! Before I got into that zone, I had cleaned out all three boys' rooms of old, broken and unwanted toys. I did the same to the family room downstairs and then tore into organizing and cleaning out the store/dog room (a room that doesn't get a lot of heat. Brr!) Most recently I cleaned out my pantry and am happy to report that only about a half dozen items were past their "Best use by..." date! Now I need to give my attention to the most unorganized room of the house, my computer/hobby room.

Tim twisted his ankle on Sunday during his weekly basketball game. He's been favoring it since, but doesn't think it warrants a trip to the doctor. The building Tim works in has been around for many years, but as the company grew, they didn't relocate, that just slapped on new offices as they went. Therefore, there were windows not to the outside like you would think, but from office to office. You could sit at a desk and have a conversation with someone on the other side of a wall through a window with the glass removed. Besides that, it was just run down looking inside. It has finally been gutted and redone with new carpet, new paint, new furniture. Tim's office is actually going to get a window to the outside! If I hadn't recognized the building from the outside before opening that door a few days after the work was finished, I would have thought I'd gone to the wrong place. It looks 110% better.

Bryce is getting so big! He is catching up to Devin and they are 22 months apart. He has been sleeping through the night four out of seven nights. Last night was one of them and it feels great to not wake up until you want to! I opened my eyes this moring at 5:50, ten minutes before the alarm was to go off to check on Hunter. I came upstairs and sat with my oldest until he headed out to meet the bus at 6:17, bundled in a warm coat, hat and mittens.

I took a two minute video of Bryce. He's been vocalizing a lot. Tim and I have started the ma-ma and da-da wars, but so far B is ignoring us both and saying ya-ya. He's also waving bye-bye (toward himself) when he gets down on his belly to head downstairs. The past two nights he has sat down at the table and eaten not only his entire meal, but he's climbed down and come around the side to eat mine!

We are still calling him The Destroyer of Homes as everything he passes, from magnets on the fridge, whatever on any and every table, books on shelves, toys on the floor or put away, it doesn't matter. Everything he touches is either thrown, tossed or pushed aside and there is this cluttered path left behind him. Every time, too many times, each and every day! Oh, well. How much fun can a floor really be with no toys and just the clean lines of a vacuum? (It does look good while for the short time it's clean though!)

Except for the Mohawk I can't tame on Devin's head, my middle son is doing well. He spends most nights sleeping soundly under his favorite blanket with a couple of stuffed puppies close by. As his room is directly above ours, we don't need a monitor in there to hear him cough or cry out in the night. Now and then I hear him cough, but he has been sleeping through most nights.

For some time he was using the potty every 30-45 minutes, keeping one Pull-Up or training underwear dry from morning to night. Now he's being a stinker about it and is refusing to use the toilet. If he does, he complains about it the entire time. Now he's been wetting himself often, even getting the chair and couch wet. We'll keep at it and hope he'll get over this hump.

Everything coming out of his mouth is understandable. I'm not remembering the last time I had to ask him to repeat himself. I often tell him to look at me when he's talking and speak up, but each word coming out of his little mouth is a real word. I didn't note anything down, but I do remember him telling me to go away when he wasn't feeling good (sniff), telling me to, Stop that, when I tried to tickle him or play with his hair (which he still does to me), and he did call one of his toys stupid (there are worse words, I suppose).

I don't remember if I mentioned this in my last update, but Hunter was bullied again by the same boy who was picking on him on the school bus. This time around this boy had a friend in on it. This was during recess and apparently really got Hunter down. The teacher noticed and was able to talk to him about it. I know the teachers of these boys know and am told the parents were notified. Anyway - it's been a couple weeks since then and Hunter tells me there hasn't been anymore incidents between himself and either of these boys.

He keeps bringing home high scores on his spelling tests, but it seems his teacher is concerned with his writing skills. From what she briefly wrote in the communication notebook, there's concern of how Hunter is doing in writing assignments; taking what he's read and writing about it in his own words; how, why and his feelings. We need to decide if he's just writing something simple and short because it's him having to print it, or if he's not understanding what needs to be done. When he's had a scribe write for him, he says a lot more because he's not the one writing it. This year the school did get him an Alphasmart, so maybe it's just he needs to be able to use it more than what he's being allowed to. On my end though, I think I do need to get him some sort of typing course.

I'll end this entry by typing out one of Hunter's assignments he brought home. It was a worksheet he did after his class read a story where one of the characters helped his father sell newspapers in his newsstand on Saturday nights. First off, I didn't think it was Hunter's because the words had spaces in-between and the letters were the same size. Hunter confirmed it was his work and his dad and I got a good laugh from his honest answers.

Helping Out
The question: What jobs or chores do you have to do in your house?

Hunter's answer: Clean my room (he has more than that, but that's the biggest one).

Question: How is doing these chores a help to your family?

Answer: I just do it.

Question: Would the jobs get done if you did not do them? By whom?

Answer: Yes. Mom and dad.

Question: What job do you like the most? Why?

Answer: None, because I don't want to do any of them.

Question: What job do you like the least? Why?

Answer: All of them - cause I do.

Question: Are there some jobs that you work on together with your parents or sisters and brothers? What are they?

Answer: Yes. Clean up other rooms.

Question: If you could make up the job assignments in your house, which jobs would you give?


Yourself: Nothing

Your brothers and sisters: Everything

Your parents: Everything

Your pet: Nothing

Do you think it is important that people are assigned chores in order to help out in a household? Why or why not?

Answer: Yes. It goes by faster.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their week.

Oh - since Tim rebuilt my computer I don't have my address book, so please send me an email so I can put your address in my address book.

1:31 P.M. - Hello again. I typed the majority of this update in my comfy recliner chair under a blanket with my hubby's lap top. I didn't get it finished and proof read before he appeared by my side to take it to work at 7:45. So, I've finished it up now, but since I haven't posted it yet, I can tell you how my meeting with Hunter's teacher went.

It seems that Hunter is having difficulty writing paragraphs. He just wants to write one or two sentences about the subject, but he's not completing the assignments by being so brief. We talked about ideas of how to get him interested in writing more and we put together an outline of how the paragraph should look like, what questions he should answer, etc. He's writing again to his cousins, so hopefully that will help.

He's been refusing help from a scribe, probably because he's the only one in the class with one. It's obvious to us that his assignments are longer and with more detail when he dictates what he wants to say to the scribe. I'm going to try and show him this by having him write out what he wants to say about something and then record what he wants to say about the same subject. I hope I can show him how much more he can do with a scribe in this way. I was told today that his 4th grade testing is an all or nothing thing. He can't have a scribe for certain areas. He either has one or he doesn't. They did a practice math test and because he refused the scribe he didn't write detailed answers and did poorly on those problems. He also has an Alphasmart in the classroom. I've started researching typing classes for him.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Happy Belated New Year everyone!

I think this will be the shortest update on record! I just finished posting pictures for you to see and spent the better part of the day purging the boys' bedrooms of toys they don't play with or are broken, but mostly just cleaning it out. (Tomorrow I do the bathroom. How many expired items do you have in your medicine cabinet?) Hunter's room took forever and he is no help at all. I just want to go and spend my remaining time sitting in front of the TV ignoring Mt. Laundry next to me. I'm imagining that pile would make one nice pillow....

Our drive up north was the best. The boys rode well, the roads were clear; we had no issues at all. My poor husband on the other hand had the worse time. It took him much longer than normal because he was driving up on icey roads and in the snow. Thankfully he made it up there safe and sound.

Like last year we had no plans until the rest of my sister's arrived the day after Christmas. So the boys and I attended my moms side of the family get together on Christmas Day. Tiff and Mark actually arrived earlier than in years past and were able to join us there.

We spent Christmas morning with the IL's, went to the get together mentioned above, and returned to stuff our faces some more back at the IL's that night.

The next day we had our holiday with Amanda and Saturday, a gift exchange with my dad. Our boys opened their Santa gifts at the IL's. Check out the picture slide show to see what Santa brought Dev. Hunter's big gift was a Nintendo DSL. (Bryce can share in Devin's present.)

We had fun in the snow, fun with the Wii, fun playing board games and enjoyed each other's company while making one heck of a mess in the house (five kids and seven adults staying the night with more coming during the day!) Of course, those who enjoy the hunt went on a few geocaching adventures! Check out my other blog to read about those.

Tim headed back to Ohio the Sunday after Christmas, but the boys and I didn't come back until the following Saturday. Those last few days were pretty rough for Dev and B. They caught themselves a stomach bug and had a bit of a fever and both threw up, but thankfully on different nights! Our last night there I considered staying another day because Bryce was up every hour fussing. Before we left my dad gave me a roll of paper towels and a garbage and said if I'm prepared for the baby to throw up then it won't happen, and he was right! The ride back home went just as well as our ride up.

Except for a few Christmas decorations Devin had brought into his room, our house is back to its original state .

I'm sure I've missed something worthy of sharing with you, but I didn't keep track and I'm impatient to get this up. I've been home for a week now and should have done this before!

I hope you all had a safe and happy New Year and wish you the best of health and good fortune in 2009!